Stef (firecat) wrote,

picks from 17th Carnival of Feminists and 2d Erase Racism Carnival

Here are quotes from posts linked from the 17th Carnival of Feminists ( that I found insightful or interesting:

I can relate to this sometimes:
And can I just say that I find a certain joy in knowing that I am finally invisible in the eyes of men? Can I get a hallelujah here, folks? Isn't old, fat, menopausal and invisible supposed to plunge you into deep depression? It ain't happening here, which makes me wonder what is wrong with me. discusses the phenomenon of attacking the appearance of someone you disagree with (something I am always dismayed by especially when I see it from lefties):
But you know, it's not like there's anything really remarkable about any of this. People do it all. the. time. Men, women, lefties, righties, about any subject matter and in any setting (blog, IRL, et al). People who are supposed to be sensible and respectable do it. I think a lot of people do it without thinking about it - I know I have. Then I started catching myself at it and going, "WTF?" And if I had a nickel for everytime I've heard or read someone else doing it, I could retire right now and just blog all day.
A number of posts discussed Carol Hanisch's essay "The Personal Is Political," published in 1969, and her new 2006 introduction to the essay. (The PDF is here.) Other bloggers reproduced these quotes from the introduction but I couldn't leave them out of my post:
They could sometimes admit that women were oppressed (but only by "the system") and said that we should have equal pay for equal work, and some other "rights." But they belittled us no end for trying to bring our so-called "personal problems" into the public arena -- especially "all those body issues" like sex, appearance, and abortion. Our demands that men share the housework and childcare were likewise deemed a personal problem between a woman and her individual man.
I wish we could have anticipated all the ways that "The Personal Is Political" and "The Pro-Woman Line" would be revised and misused. Like most of the theory created by the Pro-Woman Line radical feminists, these ideas have been revised or ripped off or even stood on their head and used against their original, radical intent.
This quotes from the original essay is also resonating for me:
I believe ... that these analytical sessions are a form of political action. I do not go to these sessions because I need or want to talk about my ”personal problems.” In fact, I would rather not. As a movement woman, I’ve been pressured to be strong, selfless, otheroriented, sacrificing, and in general pretty much in control of my own life. To admit to the problems in my life is to be deemed weak. So I want to be a strong woman, in movement terms, and not admit I have any real problems that I can’t find a personal solution to (except those directly related to the capitalist system). It is at this point a political action to tell it like it is, to say what I really believe about my life instead of what I’ve always been told to say. speaks for me on why I find it difficult to support the Democratic party:
that’s what the pragmatists are missing: They assume that the Democrats can ignore or backpedal on certain issues that have to do with “identity politics” — abortion, affirmative action, welfare, marriage equality, etc — and that they’ll still have other things to offer people whose very identities they just sold down the river. But when you tell me that my right to my own body is a political issue up for exchange, you haven’t just insulted me. You’ve denied me the right to exist as you do. You’ve treated me as less than human.
Switching to the WTF category, comes up with a strange, Humpty-Dumptyish definition of "sexual object":
One of the challenges for modern feminists is find a way to articulate why being a sexual object--that is an embodied sexual being who is inspired by the desire of another--is not necessarily an exploitative relation.
And tries to say two things at once, and fails to convince:
On this particular spa trip, however, I saw something that really depressed me; a beautiful, petite woman with the most horrible implants I have ever seen. ... At the risk of sounding terribly patronizing, I felt sorry for her; it looked like she'd been enhanced by Dr. Quack Tits, M.D.
Let me be clear; I don't think less of women who want or get implants.
Sorry, but IMAO, if you "feel sorry for" someone that means you think less of them. You might sympathize or empathize with equals, but you don't "feel sorry for" them. gives us another reason to support organic local produce - slavery rings in Florida tomato and orange farms.
So it makes sense that liberals aren’t interested in ending sexual slavery in farm camps nor amending the 1938 Federal Minimum Wage Act that exempted – and continues to exempt – farm workers from federally mandated minimum wage requirements.

They don’t want to pay ten dollars for a tomato. Would you? has a problem with one of the standard pieces of advice for women on how to avoid rape:
The email went on to say that women should be aware not afraid, and take simple measures to protect themselves. Number one on the list of “simple measures” to take at night was; Never go out alone.

Simple? How are we supposed to not be afraid when we’re told the only way to avoid attack is to basically give up our freedom?
is a long, interesting critique of Western thinking about female genital mutilation. lets us know that the cosmetics industry is going after men's facial wrinkles:
one of the products featured in the L'Oreal advertisement is called "Anti-Expression Cream". Surely Lady Bracknell cannot be the only person who is horrified at the suggestion that facial expressions ought to be eradicated
I can really relate to the take on rock music described at
I love the form of rock music, the loud, crushing guitar riffs coupled with beautiful melodies- those who adhere to essentialist and stereotypical concepts of sex might say it is a very masculine form- but I’m a woman and I fucking adore it.

However, sometimes it is difficult to reconcile my feminism with this male-dominated, ‘masculine’ music culture. I can enjoy the music, but sometimes recoil at the sexist lyrics of some of my favourite bands and feel uncomfortable with their sexually objectifying portrayal of women on their album sleeves and in their videos.

These links are from the Second Erase Racism Carnival at is about everybody's favorite topic, privilege. The comments included the following very important point:
Hurtful and powerful are not the same thing.
and also some interesting criticisms of the notion that prejudice from a member of an oppressed group does not count as 'ism'". discusses the secret coded language of race:
We actually talk about race all the time, but we do it in code. Much of our discussions about economics, military issues, neighborhood affairs, public safety and welfare, education, sports and movies is about race. Some of the code words we use are “underclass,” “welfare mothers,” “inner city,” “illegal aliens,” “terrorist,” “politically correct” and “invasion.”
Incidentally, Paul Campos would in some cases add "obesity" to the list. I think some folks might be tempted to comment that when they think of those words they don't assume ALL of the qualifying people are non-white. The point still stands, though, IMO. (Note that the comments on this one kind of got sidetracked.) describes racist culture surrounding the World Cup that I didn't know about:
Thousands of fans screaming monkey noises and throwing bananas onto the field when a Black player is trying to make a kick. Entire groups unfurling pro-Hitler banners, complete with swastikas, and using intricate choreography to form human swastikas or even the face of Der Fuhrer in the stands. Teaming up to spit on Black players. ... And keep in mind: we're not talking about occasional instances here or certain countries or a few particular people. We're talking about routine attacks.
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