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smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 5:19 PM

FEMINISM

"Feminism is an entire world view or gestalt, not just a laundry list of women's issues." -Charlotte Bunch

I didn't really start this thread in order to "debate" the merits of feminism. I do agree with the above statement, the only difference is that I think feminism can best be described nowadays as feminisms. I believe the movement has morphed into a series of competing ideologies.

As with any philsophical world-view, I'm particularly interested in learning about it, but more than that, I'm particularly interested in various views on the subject, to better articulate where it is exactly that I stand. What I'm having some trouble with, unlike with almost any other philosophical position, is that it's terribly difficult to find any criticism of the movement by respected intellectuals whatsoever. Finding virtually unchallenged assertions of various feminisms by intellectuals, that I can find.

I have found a few. Christina Hoff Sommers is a recent criticizer, and I enjoyed her books very much, whatever I might have disagreed with in them. Another recent joyous discovery was G.K. Chesterton, from quite some time back. I'm not as strong on this topic as I am on others, and I'm appealing to the audience here to help me find others. I don't particularly enjoy reading ANY book without listening to debate, or criticism. I'm not looking for put-downs or anything derogatory, but genuine intellectual debate or criticism. The following is an example from Chesterton:

"There is also, of course, in the case of these women, the further falsity that is introduced by their sex. It is false to state the matter as a mere brutal question of strength. If his muscles give a man a vote, then his horse ought to have two votes and his elephant five votes. The truth is more subtle than that; it is that bodily outbreak is a man's instinctive weapon, like the hoofs to the horse or the tusks to the elephant. All riot is a threat of war; but the woman is brandishing a weapon she can never use.

There are many weapons that she could and does use. If (for example) all the women nagged for a vote they would get it in a month. But there again, one must remember, it would be necessary to get all the women to nag. And that brings us to the end of the political surface of the matter. The working objection to the Suffragette philosophy is simply that overmastering millions of women do not agree with it." -G.K. Chesterton in "What's Wrong With the World?" circa 1910

I'd appreciate it if anybody in the group could point me to criticisms of this kind. Thank you.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 5:26 PM

Actually, I re-read myself and thought that perhaps in parts I wasn't clear, that I'm looking for criticisms primarily regarding the philosophical foundations of the various feminisms, but any debate regarding general arguments put forward will do. Thank you.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 7:13 PM

BTW, I don't need books in general that either defend or advocate for a kind of feminism, those are all over the place, and I have no difficulty finding them whatsoever. Thanks in advance. -Stout

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 10:08 PM

Ok, Jeremey, if I understand you correctly, you don't want me to expose how I feel, like I did in 1969, when I burned my bra in the middle of the university commons?

Or you don't want me to expound on the cultural history of male disillusionment of their importance?

Or both?

oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 10:25 PM

Let's just start where we banged you over the head and drug you back to the cave to do all the cooking and womanly chores.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 10:31 PM

LOL Sun, certainly you are more than welcome to expose how you feel, or state your views on this thread, I was merely starting the topic to try and find criticisms by intellectuals. If you would like to state how you feel or open up discussion, go right ahead! I'd love to hear it.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 10:35 PM

See Oogie? For a guy it all has to start with banging.

"Regressive evolution" has that one hole in it...you have to evolve first.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Fri, 19th Dec '08 11:16 PM

Sorry for messing around on your thread Jeremy. Couldn't resist.

Feminisms...of course. That's always going to be the problem with labeling large groups of humans of any kind...there are generalizations, but no truths. As soon as you put a label on any group you are going to have factions..."isms".

During the attempt to ratify the constitution, the ERA, I came the closest I ever did to wanting to slap someone. A "pink lady"...they wore pink aprons and served cookies to legislatures, told me I needed to learn to be a lady (not like I hadn't heard that since birth from my mom).

Anthropologically and historically, human sexual roles first had to do with procreation and survival (in pre-historical times, that was one in the same). That women bore the children was the major influence on how those roles were defined. In societies where life was fairly easy, cultures tended to be more matriarchal. Written "history" is only a couple thousand years at best, and in that time, present laws and policies came into being based on our primitive beginnings, not reality.

I witnessed the real liberation of women: birth control that works. Feminism of any sort will be a thing of the past, because it is already obsolete. Once a woman could chose to have children or not, she became liberated. I am blessed to have had that freedom given to me.

Or I'd have ten more children (come from very fertile stock, we get pregnant real quick). I'd love them all...but that would not have been my choice in life.

That choice has in one generation allowed females to hold office, be astronauts, be doctors. It didn't happen before because of lack of birth control, not because women couldn't do these things before.

K....btw...above just my analysis...

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 20th Dec '08 2:08 AM

Your view on history and anthropology sounds similar to Chesterton's "debate" with the militant suffragists as he called them.

Your opinion about feminism being obsolete is also similar to the view held by Christina Hoff Sommers......

However, it seems to me though that in reality, amongst "certain" women, feminism and some of its more extreme views are alive and well, or perhaps I would have no real need to study the issue at all. If I didn't MEET the women who feel they need to competitively take positions to spread their "feminist" views, I probably wouldn't bother.

In particular, I'm not a big fan of some of the "gender" feminists, the ones that take it as their duty to feminize men. How could anyone really believe that some of these differences are not genetically based? The teacher in my classroom in particular seems to almost take it as her duty to feminize as many of the male students as possible. I see a problem with hypermasculinity, just like I see a problem with hyperfemininity whether hyperfemininity has become a part of psychological thought at this point or not, but really men are fine as men in my opinion, as long as they don't go too far. Hypermasculinity has shown a moderate correlation with rape, not so much I don't think with mere masculinity itself. I like masculine values, and I don't see any reason to change myself as much as these women want me to change.

I like hearing both sides of the story. I have to wonder if there hasn't been negative side effects to feminism though. The idea that having two income earners has led to problems in the economy is an interesting one to me. Heres a treatment of the issue, from a particular perspective: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_1_56/ai_112493430, though there might be better treatments out there, I dunno. From what little I know about economics, the idea that now we have to have two income earners to compete with each other makes sense from what little I've learned about economics so far, though the phenomenon is probably caused by more than just that, mabye.


I dunno, I'm young and just talking, like a said, it's a weak point in my understanding to a certain extent.

davidf
Davidf  (Level: 102.1 - Posts: 746)
Sat, 20th Dec '08 11:12 AM

You should try reading Foucault, he had a lot to say on sexuality. I have to say whilst I like some of what he says, I was put off by my ultra feminist lecturer who was so anti men it was untrue.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 20th Dec '08 2:50 PM

Thanks for the suggestion David, I'll put it on my to-do list. I did go through the Wikipedia article on him, and briefly scoured the following site, http://www.iep.utm.edu/f/foucfem.htm, but that last sight made it seem he was fundamental in helping the feminists compose arguments rather than in criticism. Is this the case? It doesn't matter, if he's an important person to the movement I'll have to read him eventually.....just wanted a little more info than I got on his relationship to it. Thanks.

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sat, 20th Dec '08 5:05 PM

My opinion only:

Fanatics of any sort scare the hell out of me. I cannot for the life of me figure why women would want men to be more like women...ewww. I love the differences. For a female teacher to take this bent though, is inexcusable. I despise teachers that abuse their position.

Many ardent feminists I know are like any newly liberated group...testing the boundaries and yet still basically insecure in their own "skin". It's difficult to find new values and worth with such a dramatic cultural and psychological change. Many, obviously, get power-hungry, many don't know how to negotiate the opportunities...all are trying to find their path (both males and females). It's very confusing for all: Mr. Mom to men finding their "feminine side". Females trying, and failing, to be more "manlike". It's a transition, a major cultural transition, with no or little paradigms to follow. Just think, Jeremy, you are a pioneer!

I love watching this upheaval unfold...its so...so...so sexist!



oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Sat, 20th Dec '08 7:07 PM

I'll add to the dialogue as soon as I'm done washing my panties and getting my pedicure

luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sat, 20th Dec '08 7:13 PM

I meant sexy.

oogie54
Oogie54  (Level: 201.5 - Posts: 1120)
Sat, 20th Dec '08 10:14 PM

My view of feminism is accepting the equality of men and women collectively regardless of gender in terms of capacity of intellect,cultural/social status(or lack thereof) qualification and position in career, etc, etc. The fact that Rosa Parks was a woman is incidental to me in terms of her notability in the annals of history regarding racial injustices being challenged and overcome. The life exemplified by someone like Mother Theresa speaks more profoundly than any papal missives issued by the Vatican, not because of gender entitlement, but of individual commitment to an ideal. In the shameful history of our culture's many actions of disenfranchisement of whole classes of people, women's rights is no more or less important than any other. I guess what disturbs me most about any "ism" is the "us against them" nature extant in every faction despite it's declarations of social freedom and unity. The champions of any particular cause tend towards elevating themselves above the plebeian class, by their profession of greater understanding and "altruistic aim" lacking in ordinary people.


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