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Fighting the patriarchy, is it even possible?

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  • Fighting the patriarchy, is it even possible?

    I accept that we live in a patriarchy. Is it possible to change it? Apparently You can thwart the patriarchy by walking around naked and owning your sexuality OR refusing to be sexualized by men for their entertainment. Kind of conflicting weapons. If it's true women make the choices they do because they have been raised within this system, how do they break the system? Maybe it's not possible to win but it's the fight that is meaningful?


    I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”

  • #2
    Wow GoSpuffy, this is a huge subject and I hope I'm not going to be too controversial You know I'm not in the least bit academic, but I'm a kind-of-2nd waver who believes women are oppressed under a patriarchal system because of our sex. We as women have made great strides in the West, but in other parts of the world, and even currently in America with the abortion bans, our rights are being rolled back.

    I think the 'walking around naked is empowering' or 'I chose to do porn because I just love having sex' is all very LibFem and that only seems to work for a minority of women and mainly in the West, and is done for the gratification of men. (If it really were 'empowering' men would be doing it) In other parts of the world, women are still dying in menstrual huts, being married off at 12 years old, suffering FGM and baby girls are murdered because of their sex. In the UK two women a week are murdered due to domestic violence. Women are not free and we are not safe and that's why we have to keep fighting, if not for ourselves then for the generations that follow.

    My motto is that if the majority of men are applauding your feminism, then you're doing it wrong (don't know who said that first, but I've always liked it)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Priceless View Post
      My motto is that if the majority of men are applauding your feminism, then you're doing it wrong (don't know who said that first, but I've always liked it)
      I like that

      It's a great question but patriarchy is so insidious it seems too vast for me to answer...

      This monologue by Kalki is a fascinating piece though, it entertained me so just thought I'd share this here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ITgugcyVw
      .
      buffylover made this stunning banner

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      • #4
        That was really good SpuffyGlitz. I especially liked that Hansel & Gretl was written in a time of famine when children were abandoned and left for cannibals.

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        • #5
          Just finished reading Do It Like a Woman by Caroline Criado Perez and if that doesn't fire up your inner feminist, nothing will. It's really accessible and highlights women's issues both here in the west and out in the wider world. I'd highly recommend it. Now I want to read her more recent Invisible Women, anyone read it?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Priceless View Post
            Just finished reading Do It Like a Woman by Caroline Criado Perez and if that doesn't fire up your inner feminist, nothing will. It's really accessible and highlights women's issues both here in the west and out in the wider world. I'd highly recommend it. Now I want to read her more recent Invisible Women, anyone read it?
            Not read either. I seem to have The Guilty Feminist on my Kindle (I swear I don't remember buying half the books on my Kindle). It's a podcast - have you listened to it?
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TriBel View Post

              Not read either. I seem to have The Guilty Feminist on my Kindle (I swear I don't remember buying half the books on my Kindle). It's a podcast - have you listened to it?
              I haven't, but only because I read a tweet where the Guilty Feminist told women to 'be nice' and that made me so angry Women are socialised to be nice and it does us no good. So I turned against her and her podcast . . . which I'd never actually listened to. If you ever read her book let me know what you think.

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              • #8
                I thought this was an interesting read. Although Buffy isn't mentioned, this made me think very much about the show

                https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/o...en-movies.html

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                • #9
                  https://www.theguardian.com/global-d...-against-women

                  Almost 90% of people are biased against women, according to a new index that highlights the “shocking” extent of the global backlash towards gender equality.

                  Despite progress in closing the equality gap, 91% of men and 86% of women hold at least one bias against women in relation to politics, economics, education, violence or reproductive rights.

                  The first gender social norm index analysed data from 75 countries that, collectively, are home to more than 80% of the global population. It found that almost half of people feel men are superior political leaders and more than 40% believe men make better business executives. Almost a third of men and women think it’s acceptable for a man to beat his wife.

                  The UN Development Programme (UNDP), which published its findings on Thursday, is calling on governments to introduce legislation and policies that address engrained prejudice.

                  “We all know we live in a male-dominated world, but with this report we are able to put some numbers behind these biases,” said Pedro Conceição, director of the UNDP’s human development report office. “And the numbers, I consider them shocking.

                  “What our report shows is a pattern that repeats itself again and again. Big progress in more basic areas of participation and empowerment. But when we get to more empowering areas, we seem to be hitting a wall.”

                  Conceição said the data show that perceptions and expectations in society about the role of women are prejudiced against them.

                  “While in many countries these biases are shrinking, in many others the biases are actually sliding back. If you take the overall average of the information we have, we show that on average we are sliding back – that biases, instead of shrinking, are growing back.”

                  The figures are based on two sets of data collected from almost 100 countries through the World Values Survey, which examines changing attitudes in almost 100 countries and how they impact on social and political life. The figures cover periods from 2005-09 and 2010-2014, the latest year for which there is data.

                  Of the 75 countries studied, there were only six in which the majority of people held no bias towards women. But while more than 50% of people in Andorra, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden were free from gender prejudice, even here the pattern was not one of unmitigated progress.

                  Sweden, for example, was one of several countries – including South Africa, India, Rwanda and Brazil – in which the percentage of people who held at least one bias increased over the nine years the data covered. More than half of people in the UK and the US held at least one bias.

                  “UNDP is very conscious of the backlash against women’s rights. We are aware and we are concerned, so we think the report … is an answer to push back the pushback,” said Raquel Lagunas, acting director of UNDP’s gender team. “We cannot pick and choose, [saying]: ‘These human rights are for women, and these ones are not.’”

                  Lagunas said it was difficult to predict whether attitudes have changed more recently, but suggested the report’s findings “may make the road ahead more difficult”.

                  “We can see big progress in the next five years [in some countries] and still at the same time see pushback in other countries,” she said.

                  “We need to invest and double efforts to address the hardcore areas of power – political power, economic power – and we think, we hope, this publication is going to have impact in the countries we [UNDP] work, and open conversations with governments, because gender equality is a choice.”
                  https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/3fe284fd977dafe431e137e5f50f8f2194297a96/31_510_3484_2090/master/3484.jpg?width=460&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=b3f89e377547e574ddb31889274d6c84Girls stay longer in school but obesity, suicide and sexual violence remain risks



                  Read more
                  The report comes as rights campaigners call on world leaders to accelerate action to meet global targets on gender equality.

                  “As representatives of leading organisations championing gender equality, we’re raising the alarm about the pace of progress. There is no time left for business as usual: gender equality can be achieved for billions of girls and women by 2030, but it requires everyone to move faster,” read an open letter, signed by nine presidents and CEOs of organisations including Plan International, Women Deliver, the One Campaign and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

                  “We’ve found that, if the current pace continues, 67 countries – home to 2.1 billion girls and women – will not achieve any of the key gender equality targets we studied by 2030.”

                  These countries are not just the poorest. If trends over the past two decades continue, the US will be among them.

                  In June, a gender index published by the Equal Measures 2030 partnership found that no country was on track to achieve gender equality by 2030, the deadline to achieve the UN sustainable development goals.

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                  • #10
                    Priceless - has that surprised you (genuine question - not a rhetorical one)?

                    “While in many countries these biases are shrinking, in many others the biases are actually sliding back. If you take the overall average of the information we have, we show that on average we are sliding back – that biases, instead of shrinking, are growing back.”
                    This just confirms what I've been thinking for the last three/four years...since Trump was elected and since the Brexit referendum (I'm not blaming either - I think they were a symptom not a cause). I'm generally not bothered about the POTUS and while I voted Remain I can understand some of the reasons for leaving. What really worried me was the campaigns run by the winning sides. Both put to use an irrational fear of the "other"...and in a patriarchal society woman is "other" (rational concerns about immigration etc. I understand...irrational fears frighten me). I don't think it'll stop here...you only have to look at the arguments being raised about abortion.

                    Patriarchy is not simply about men...it's also about attitudes that are "masculine". TBH, it's why I rarely use the term The Patriarchy and why I prefer phallocentrism to patriarchy. I think that if you made a similar analysis of reports on race and sexuality you'd find they had also slipped back. It's not conscious bias that bothers me...you can field an argument against it. My biggest concern is unconscious bias...the type of bias disguised as "natural" or "commonsense". It's hegemony...and it's how patriarchy maintains and reproduces itself. There was bound to be a backlash - you could see it in the use of terms like "PC", "Snowflake" and more lately "Woke". Once upon a time, these terms had positive connotations but now...

                    Coincidentally, I came across this article earlier in the week. I haven't read it all but it seems interesting: https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...feminism-today

                    This is how it starts (initially, I didn't get any further than Bannon's remark because I was angry. His comment about "10,000 years of recorded history" is the point I was making about The Guardian in BtVS).

                    "On 7 January this year, the alt-right insurgent Steve Bannon turned on his TV in Washington DC to watch the Golden Globes. The mood of the event was sombre. It was the immediate aftermath of multiple accusations of rape and sexual assault against film producer Harvey Weinstein, which he has denied. The women, whose outfits would normally have been elaborate and the subject of frantic scrutiny, wore plain and sober black. In the course of a passionate speech, Oprah Winfrey told the audience that “brutally powerful men” had “broken” something in the culture. These men had caused women to suffer: not only actors, but domestic workers, factory workers, agricultural workers, athletes, soldiers and academics. The fight against this broken culture, she said, transcended “geography, race, religion, politics and workplace”.


                    Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, was one of 20 million Americans watching. In his view, the scene before him augured the beginning of a revolution “even more powerful than populism”, according to his biographer Joshua Green. “It’s deeper. It’s primal. It’s elemental. The long black dresses and all that – this is the Puritans. It’s anti-patriarchy,” Bannon declared. “If you rolled out a guillotine, they’d chop off every set of balls in the room … Women are gonna take charge of society. And they couldn’t juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He is the patriarch.” He concluded: “The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo 10,000 years of recorded history.”

                    Edited to add: "
                    It’s deeper. It’s primal. It’s elemental"... I agree with this...it's where the roots of patriarchy/sexual difference are to be found. It's why I'm not sure we'll ever be rid of it (and why S7 has an episode called "Beneath You).
                    Last edited by TriBel; 07-03-20, 02:51 PM.
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                    • #11
                      No it doesn't surprise me TriBel, but it does mean we have to keep fighting and never believe the lie that because women in the west are okay-ish, we can vote, we can speak, we can write in newspapers, run for parliament etc. that we have nothing left to fight for.

                      As for politics, if Labour could get its act together and the US Dems could find someone who had a frikken clue, then I think the yoke would be lessened, but as you say, I'm not sure we'll ever be rid of patriarchy, but that doesn't mean we have to stop trying.

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                      • TriBel
                        TriBel commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I've just read the comments BTL on the Mail about the Chancellor axing the tampon tax and I'm seething.
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