Author Topic: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)  (Read 19861 times)

wepner

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Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« on: November 23, 2013, 02:29:27 AM »
First off I'm a dude and I don't really know enough about feminism to say if I support it or not (I'm down with equality and the like but I don't know what "the patriarchy" or "the male gaze" is or how important they are to feminism in general) but it seems like feminism or at least women's roles in society type topics have been brought up recently.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/left-family-in-texas-moved-to-london-for-a-job/
^This thread seems to be judged much more harshly because a woman is leaving for her career than threads about dudes doing the same thing (granted not by the same people necessarily) and someone declares feminism to be the death of western civilization. Nice stuff

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/her-husband-has-a-mustache-and-she-wrote-to-an-advice-column/
^The thread (like the one above it) (jokes?) that husbands will cheat on their wives if there wife gives them any chance. I don't like this joke, I'm not offended or whatever but the assumptions behind it are pretty lame.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/off-topic/who-here-doesn't-have-kids-but-wants-them-or-never-wants-them/
^Also the thread about having or not having kids and how society views it depending on if you are a man or a woman (maybe)

I guess basically I'm curious what people think about feminism in general and why and how does mustachianism relate to women in general.

nikki

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 02:59:15 AM »
I guess basically I'm curious what people think about feminism in general and why and how does mustachianism relate to women in general.

Interesting post, wepner. I'm sure this will start a lively discussion.

On the one hand, mustachianism is in line with feminism because it empowers all people--men and women alike--to have better control over their financial lives, which manifest both in the private sphere of the home (household management) and in more public sphere of the investing world, which might traditionally be thought of as a very male-dominated area. When I first asked my grandmother what she knew about investing as a curious 19ish year old, she said, "Go ask your grandfather." She really has no idea about it on a theoretical level, or even what they have invested and where. Mustachian couples are less likely to have such an information gap regarding family finances.

But on the other hand, mustachianism touches people from so many backgrounds that there is necessarily a wide range of views on the roles of women and men and which roles are better valued (illustrated in the threads you linked above--well done). For example, if we were to scour the Investor Alley category of these forums, I wonder which gender would mostly be represented. I imagine men, but this is the type of data that can be collected rather than assumed. Likewise, looking at threads on Christmas gifts or buying clothes, it seems like more women post (again--data could be collected rather than assumed). Mustachians themselves don't seem to be shaking off gender norms.

So mustachianism doesn't necessarily seem to be inherently feminist. It absolutely can be, but does not have to be.

Does that make sense?

ch12

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 06:00:23 AM »
I guess basically I'm curious what people think about feminism in general and why and how does mustachianism relate to women in general.

Interesting post, wepner. I'm sure this will start a lively discussion.

So mustachianism doesn't necessarily seem to be inherently feminist. It absolutely can be, but does not have to be.

Does that make sense?

Being pro-equality makes you a feminist, full stop. There are so many shades of feminism and when most people use the word, the phrase "bra burning feminist" comes up. It took a semester in college for one of my professors to break down my own barriers; I'd been raised in modern America and I believed that I deserved an equal shot, the same as anybody. She's the one who pointed out that the definition of feminism was:
Quote
the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Mustachianism is indeed not inherently feminist, but Mr. Money Mustache himself is. Being involved in equally shared parenting puts him on the vanguard of feminism and I hope very much that someday in the future I will find someone who is honestly comfortable doing 50% of the work.
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All those bachelors’ vows of future bathroom cleanings, it turns out, may be no more than a contemporary mating call. “People espouse equality because they conform to the current normative values of our culture,” says University of Texas evolutionary psychologist David Buss. “Any man who did not do so would alienate many women—yes, espousing values is partly a mating tactic, and this is just one example.”
Lots of men say that they are comfortable picking up 50% of the work, but they honestly don't know what this entails.

My favorite stay at home dad blogger:
http://retireby40.org/2012/09/week-single-dad/
http://retireby40.org/2013/01/happy-stay-home-dads-easy/

Someone who writes about gender issues (completely non-PC) all the time:
http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2013/04/04/march-madness-sheds-light-on-the-real-workplace-revolution/

I know that Mrs. MM, in the comments of a post (possibly about talking to your spouse?), said that Mr. Money Mustache thought about taking her name when they married. He's definitely all about giving everyone a fair shake, which makes me happy. Reading his blog does not mean that you have to stand behind radical feminists; not all of the blog readership is comprised of radical feminists.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 06:02:03 AM by ch12 »

Jamesqf

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 12:30:03 PM »
Being pro-equality makes you a feminist, full stop.

I'd disagree with that.  Once upon a time, maybe, but these days equality is pretty much the norm, so feminism has morphed into something that's more about seeing men as evil and/or inferior.

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Lots of men say that they are comfortable picking up 50% of the work, but they honestly don't know what this entails.

Well, I think that's more a conflict of expectations.  The single guy says that he will be perfectly happy picking up 50% of the work, expecting the amount of work to be about the same as what he now does - e.g. clean the bathroom once every week or two.  The woman he moves in with, however, expects the bathroom to be cleaned every day.  This means there's now 3-4 times as much total work, so his 50% share is twice as much as he was doing while single.

footenote

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 12:36:12 PM »
Women make 81% of what men earn in the U.S.:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male%E2%80%93female_income_disparity_in_the_United_States

We have quite a way to go. As a woman who was often the only female in a weekly staff meeting, I've lived the degree of difficulty. I place easily half the onus on women.

Having said that, everyone has an innate tendency to hire and promote people who are like them. That's true regardless of gender, race or age. So another half the responsibility for getting us the "rest of the way" there is on professional men.
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Kriegsspiel

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2013, 02:02:02 PM »
Am I the only one who lol'd at "male gaze?" It made me think of... "rape eyes" or something. Must be a Method thing.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2013, 02:24:28 PM »
I'm female and I admit I've never fully understood what feminism means.

I think that labels (feminist, socialist, right-winger) are most often used to isolate ourselves and/or to criticize one another.

Anytime you have a social movement, it's usually a backlash against something troublesome in mainstream culture.

I believe that for the most part, American culture is fairly gender-neutral when it comes to law and opportunity.  So I don't find a lot of value in trying to identify as a feminist.

I think that as we all try to become more "enlightened" (whatever that means) we all have some work to do.  Women need to stop tearing each other down for making different choices.  (the "Mommy Wars" - Childfree vs. Childed)  That would be a good start.

You know, be the change you want to see in the world, and all that jazz...

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 03:38:35 PM »
I'm a young woman (30) and I didn't really think feminism is still a thing.  I mean, I'm glad the feminists and suffragists of the past did what they did.  Those were actual movements, and they earned me the freedoms and choices I have today.  As far as attitudes - some people are jerks.  Some diss women, some diss ethnic or racial groups, some diss different socioeconomic classes.  Haters gonna hate.

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2013, 03:51:00 PM »
Being pro-equality makes you a feminist, full stop.

I'd disagree with that.  Once upon a time, maybe, but these days equality is pretty much the norm, so feminism has morphed into something that's more about seeing men as evil and/or inferior.


I disagree with both of you. How's that for a way to start a discussion!

ch12: The word "feminism" has very negative connotations to some pro-equality women. I am a feminist by your definition but I don't identify with the word. Not because of the bra burning and man hating connotations but because I have experienced classism and racism from people who call themselves "feminist." I guess I am an intersectional feminist, if we're gonna get academic about it.

Jamesqf: Equality is definitely not the norm. This is a false assumption often made by comparing the way things are now to the past, or to other cultures/places. However, equality is making some big strides (thanks to feminism!) and it's a natural reaction to feel threatened by this. So when somebody attempts to redistribute the power or even just point out inequality, this is seen as an attack on men.

Onto the topic of mustachianism and women!
Mr MM definitely walks the walk, what with the co-parenting and sustainability. However the forums are a mixed bag. There's a lot of libertarianism and left-wing liberalism, which you would assume would be supportive of women/feminism - and on paper I guess it is. But turns out this is not the case in reality. Both on the forums and in real life.

I am a woman in my late twenties with no background in politics or gender studies. I think that feminism is definitely still a thing, and even though it's not perfect it's the best thing we have for now.

Disclaimer: I am talking about my personal views and general impressions. I am not making any accusations of anyone, or calling anyone anti-equality, or anything.

ch12

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2013, 03:57:14 PM »
Being pro-equality makes you a feminist, full stop.

I'd disagree with that.  Once upon a time, maybe, but these days equality is pretty much the norm, so feminism has morphed into something that's more about seeing men as evil and/or inferior.


I disagree with both of you. How's that for a way to start a discussion!

ch12: The word "feminism" has very negative connotations to some pro-equality women. I am a feminist by your definition but I don't identify with the word. Not because of the bra burning and man hating connotations but because I have experienced classism and racism from people who call themselves "feminist." I guess I am an intersectional feminist, if we're gonna get academic about it.

Jamesqf: Equality is definitely not the norm. This is a false assumption often made by comparing the way things are now to the past, or to other cultures/places. However, equality is making some big strides (thanks to feminism!) and it's a natural reaction to feel threatened by this. So when somebody attempts to redistribute the power or even just point out inequality, this is seen as an attack on men.

Onto the topic of mustachianism and women!
Mr MM definitely walks the walk, what with the co-parenting and sustainability. However the forums are a mixed bag. There's a lot of libertarianism and left-wing liberalism, which you would assume would be supportive of women/feminism - and on paper I guess it is. But turns out this is not the case in reality. Both on the forums and in real life.

I am a woman in my late twenties with no background in politics or gender studies. I think that feminism is definitely still a thing, and even though it's not perfect it's the best thing we have for now.

Disclaimer: I am talking about my personal views and general impressions. I am not making any accusations of anyone, or calling anyone anti-equality, or anything.


I agree, and for those same reasons I did not consider myself a feminist until earlier this year.

Our generation has a very hard time labeling ourselves feminists because there are crazies out there who use the same term. Even though in theory feminists are the same, there are so many different shades of feminism that I don't think that feminism is one concept anymore, which causes massive confusion.

Again, I'm pro-giving people an equal shot and that is my definition of being a feminist. Other peoples' definitions may vary.

abhe8

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2013, 05:19:25 PM »
i'm another 31 y/o female (professional degree, full time working, mother of 4 with a husband about to quit his job to be home with the kids) who, while I believe in equal rights and opportunities for women, cant' identify with "feminism" per se. I have seen too many other women turn up their nose or narrow their eyes at me for "not making more of myself" and blame it on my children.

i think its better then it has been the past but still has a ways to go. that said, we aint never gonna be equal. i push out babies, he doesn't. that is by no means grounds for discrimination or hatred or disrespect. different but equal. 2 plus 3 equals 1 plus four equals 5.

im not sure how feminism or ones views on it relate to MMM or financial independence, except maybe that people considering FIRE think outside the box and often so do those advocating for more rights and respect for everyone.

galaxie

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2013, 06:26:53 PM »
Being pro-equality makes you a feminist, full stop.

I'd disagree with that.  Once upon a time, maybe, but these days equality is pretty much the norm, so feminism has morphed into something that's more about seeing men as evil and/or inferior.


Wow, I strongly disagree with you there.  I'm a woman and I identify as a feminist, but honestly the place where my feminism is most relevant these days is when I see one of those commercials that implies men are incompetent children and only "Moms" know how to take care of day-to-day grown-up stuff. That kind of assumption isn't good for men or women.  Many of the men I know would be much happier if, for instance, corporate parental leave policies acknowledged that men have a relationship with their children and allowed them to take some time off when their children are born (my company's doesn't). 

Part of my feminism is believing that people shouldn't be judged for activities that don't conform to social expectations of their gender.  Part of this is that I work in a male-dominated field (engineering) and am pretty serious about a male-dominated sport (Brazilian jiu-jitsu).  Despite that, and having short hair, and often wearing pants, I'm a lady.  Sometimes this surprises people for some reason.

Have you seen this discussion of sexism and probability that's been going around the internet lately?  vhttp://www.davidchart.com/2013/10/

Rural

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2013, 07:16:32 PM »
  Once upon a time, maybe, but these days equality is pretty much the norm


There you're wrong, but it is much closer than it was 30 years ago, or 20 for that matter. It's also becoming harder to see the problems when you're standing on the outside. While that's a problem in some ways, in the long run I think it's a sign of better things to come. But the norm? No, not yet. It speaks well of you that you think so; I'd venture that means that you see it as normative because you treat people equally.

Jamesqf

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2013, 10:09:36 PM »
Women make 81% of what men earn in the U.S.:

Because women, as a group, tend to make different choices.  I suppose how you see this depends on just how you define "equality": as being identical, or as having equal freedom to make choices.  So there are a good many people who choose something along the lines of a "mommy track" lifestyle, and get paid less because of it.  But they don't have to make that choice.

And claiming that they should get paid the same despite "mommy tracking" runs into the feminist "women are superior" line of thought.

...but honestly the place where my feminism is most relevant these days is when I see one of those commercials that implies men are incompetent children and only "Moms" know how to take care of day-to-day grown-up stuff.

OK, but don't you also see a similar number of commercials suggesting men only care about big trucks, beer, and watching sports on TV?  So there is equality in men and women both being subjected to stereotyping.

Quote
Part of my feminism is believing that people shouldn't be judged for activities that don't conform to social expectations of their gender.  Part of this is that I work in a male-dominated field (engineering) and am pretty serious about a male-dominated sport (Brazilian jiu-jitsu).  Despite that, and having short hair, and often wearing pants, I'm a lady.  Sometimes this surprises people for some reason.

Hummm...  Seems like you're proving my point for me: that you CAN do these things.  Works the other direction, too: I do a number of stereotypically female things, like cooking, gardening, & riding horses, and emphatically don't do other stereotypically male things, like watch sports.  But I am a (heterosexual) male.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 11:31:40 AM by Jamesqf »

Ian

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2013, 11:45:28 PM »
I'm not sure I want to jump into the main discussion here, but I'll respond to the OP.

I'm down with equality and the like but I don't know what "the patriarchy" or "the male gaze" is or how important they are to feminism in general
While the discussion of these terms can become complex, ideas like these are almost always simple observations with numerous applications. I'll try to explain their cores simply.

The male gaze means that the camera is a straight man. It looks at what the stereotypical man wants to see because that's who the creators believe their audience is. That's not to say that men are never objectified, but when you look popular culture, it's way more like a strip club than the Chippendales. It's why the Avengers pose like this instead of this - and why we think the second one is ridiculous but shrugged at Black Widow's pose in the first.

Patriarchy means that society is mostly structured around men. It's obviously those parts of the world where women are explicitly or legally inferior, but it's also more subtle systems (which is where the waters get muddier). I think most feminists would agree that patriarchy is bad for men, too - it's not an evil conspiracy set up by a Patriarchal Council somewhere, just a dysfunctional system that is weighted toward men.

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2013, 01:32:49 AM »
Women make 81% of what men earn in the U.S.:

Because women, as a group, tend to make different choices.  I suppose how you see this depends on just how you define "equality": as being identical, or as having equal freedom to make choices.  So there are a good many people who []choose[/u] something along the lines of a "mommy track" lifestyle, and get paid less because of it.  But they don't have to make that choice.

And claiming that they should get paid the same despite "mommy tracking" runs into the feminist "women are superior" line of thought.

Just wanted to throw an interesting point in here. The Australian Productivity Commission did a study that removed the variables of time out for children etc. and found that the pay gap remains. Ie women not on the "mommy track", still earn less than men in the same roles. Food for thought.

I will try to find a link.

ch12

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2013, 02:53:10 AM »
  Once upon a time, maybe, but these days equality is pretty much the norm


There you're wrong, but it is much closer than it was 30 years ago, or 20 for that matter. It's also becoming harder to see the problems when you're standing on the outside. While that's a problem in some ways, in the long run I think it's a sign of better things to come. But the norm? No, not yet. It speaks well of you that you think so; I'd venture that means that you see it as normative because you treat people equally.

It says something about him that he thinks so - I don't know if "well" is the word that I'd use. If you think that equality is everywhere, great - but I definitely disagree.

tangent: I was incredibly heartsick to read a Jezebel piece that was posted on HN. http://jezebel.com/one-womans-dangerous-war-against-the-most-hated-man-on-1469240835 I'm not playing the blame game with anybody on the MMM forums, but her lawyer husband's initial response was awful and he continued to not take the problem seriously. I also don't think that a male teacher would be fired for someone cyber attacking them and posting pictures of them on a horrible site. I also don't think that a man would be afraid of losing custody of his children for getting his head photoshopped onto someone else's body.

C. K.

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2013, 06:16:36 AM »
I'm not sure I want to jump into the main discussion here, but I'll respond to the OP.

I'm down with equality and the like but I don't know what "the patriarchy" or "the male gaze" is or how important they are to feminism in general


The male gaze means that the camera is a straight man. It looks at what the stereotypical man wants to see because that's who the creators believe their audience is. That's not to say that men are never objectified, but when you look popular culture, it's way more like a strip club than the Chippendales. It's why the Avengers pose like this instead of this - and why we think the second one is ridiculous but shrugged at Black Widow's pose in the first.


I understand the premise. You explain it well.

I'm going to be nit-picky and say the Avengers examples don't help your argument when the second image is obviously a more cartoony, brightly-colored satire of the first.  I didn't notice the guys were all turned around until I noticed that the Hulk is rubbing himself. No one is doing that in the first picture.

Anyway, you explain the concept well.

avonlea

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2013, 10:39:02 AM »
I agree that we all have different ideas of what feminism means.  To me, it means equal opportunity and deserved respect for the work done by individuals.  I have stated on this forum before: Our society has become more equal in the sense that women are now able to advance into the career fields long held by men.  It has not, however, yet given respect to the traditional jobs held by women.  When caring for infants (human lives) gets you the same wage as flipping burgers, you know that there is a problem with societal thinking.

As far as personal choices go, shouldn't we all be allowed to make the choices we want and not feel bad about it?  Insecurity, I know I have my own fair share of it.  I think a lot of us want to believe that we are very accepting of others' personal choices, but when someone else out there starts attacking our own, it takes a very strong person to not get defensive about it.  It's much easier to give in and make comments back; I know I have at times.  And so the battles continue...

When it comes to relationships, I believe that as long as each partner feels the other is pulling his/her weight, that relationship is a success.  We all have different talents and strengths so no two marriages have the exact same division of labor.

Okay, those are my feelings anyway.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 11:12:10 AM by avonlea »

Ian

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2013, 04:16:05 PM »
I'm going to be nit-picky and say the Avengers examples don't help your argument when the second image is obviously a more cartoony, brightly-colored satire of the first.  I didn't notice the guys were all turned around until I noticed that the Hulk is rubbing himself. No one is doing that in the first picture.
Yeah, the Avengers example was satire. Perhaps it wasn't the best to use out of context: the original complaint with Black Widow's pose, which is common for superheroes but highly sexualized and useless for fighting. I think the idea is that it should look as out of place to us as Hulk's pose (or at least Captain America's) but that it doesn't because we're used to women posing like that on posters. I didn't mean to say the two are actually comparable, but I think they demonstrate a tendency.

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2013, 09:09:56 PM »
Perhaps it wasn't the best to use out of context: the original complaint with Black Widow's pose, which is common for superheroes but highly sexualized and useless for fighting. I think the idea is that it should look as out of place to us as Hulk's pose (or at least Captain America's) but that it doesn't because we're used to women posing like that on posters.

I'm not sure about that.  I am, as I said, a hetereosexual male, yet I didn't notice anything about the woman's pose until I looked at the second picture, and even then had to study the first one carefully.  There's also a question of just what interests particular people.  Not to get too explicit, but that part of anyone's anatomy, male or female, has no attraction for me.

As for being useless for fighting, sure, but notice that the characters to either side are all in some close approximation to her pose, yet it's only even halfway reasonable for the guy with the bow.

Maybe a better argument for sexism is that there are five males, and only one token woman :-)

Ian

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2013, 03:23:54 AM »
I meant that to be a light-hearted demonstration, but I've kind of derailed the thread, sorry.

I'm not sure about that.  I am, as I said, a hetereosexual male, yet I didn't notice anything about the woman's pose until I looked at the second picture, and even then had to study the first one carefully.
We may have miscommunicated here. I was saying exactly that - the woman's pose doesn't strike us as odd because we're used to it. Sexualized = normal. Let's also be completely clear which pose we're talking about (link is the first one I found on Google with an explanation and examples). As for how useful particular Avengers are being, we could get into details about it, but I think there's a pretty clear difference in how they're presented overall.

Maybe a better argument for sexism is that there are five males, and only one token woman :-)
If we're talking about sexism, sure - women being poorly represented is a big problem. I used the images as an example of the male gaze, which is one specific piece of the issue. And again, to be clear, I'm not here to slap "sexist" labels on the Avengers or anything else, I was trying to identify particular trends.

wepner

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2013, 08:43:04 AM »
Thanks Ian for the easy to understand definitions.

Really interesting discussion. Its funny I brought this up and right afterwards it seems like this kind of stuff is affecting me pretty heavily. My soon to be wife and I have been thinking about where to live (America or Japan) and Japan is behind on a lot of "women's" issues that end up making things pretty lame for guys as well. Not much maternity leave, lack of daycare, etc.

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2013, 09:14:03 AM »
I have actually been thinking a lot about this recently.  I still don't exactly understand what "feminism" is, especially in our modern society.  I do see a lot of people who claim to be feminist and are all about being "better" than men or acting "manly".  I work in a male dominated field and am married with one child.  I love working with mostly men and even partaking in some activities that are male dominated.  However, as I get older I love wearing dresses and when my husband takes care of me.  I also prefer to do housework and take care of our son while my husband fixes the toilet and mows the lawn.  I do not feel like doing the housework makes me inferior to him in any way.  We are different and have different talents and I appreciate our separate aptitudes.

As far as women in the workplace, I have seen preference for both genders.  I have been passed up for jobs because I am a woman, but also have been hired because I am a woman so I believe it really depends on the company and supervisor. 

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2013, 09:33:31 AM »
Women make 81% of what men earn in the U.S.:

Because women, as a group, tend to make different choices.  I suppose how you see this depends on just how you define "equality": as being identical, or as having equal freedom to make choices.  So there are a good many people who choose something along the lines of a "mommy track" lifestyle, and get paid less because of it.  But they don't have to make that choice.

I agree you can't compare apples to oranges.  It's unreasonable to compare the career of a woman who took off 3 years (1 year each for 3 kids) to the career of a single man with no kids.  But, actually, the studies I have read note that they have controlled for different choices, such as time off to have a child, and STILL found a pay discrepancy.  That's pretty distressing, no? 

I'm also curious about the "mommy track" lifestyle comment.  I think that's exactly part of the issue that women are accused of "mommy track" if they take off a sick day for a kid or leave early on a day for a soccer game, but that men are not accused of the exact same behavior or "tracked" to a slower career path.

Me, I believe the definition above where feminist = equality for everyone.  I'm amazed that everyone wouldn't self-idenitify as a feminist under that definition.

- A married woman, no kids, serving as President of a non-profit board of otherwise entirely men for an organization dominated by men.

Edit to fix formatting

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2013, 09:39:33 AM »
Women make 81% of what men earn in the U.S.:

Because women, as a group, tend to make different choices.  I suppose how you see this depends on just how you define "equality": as being identical, or as having equal freedom to make choices.  So there are a good many people who choose something along the lines of a "mommy track" lifestyle, and get paid less because of it.  But they don't have to make that choice.

I agree you can't compare apples to oranges.  It's unreasonable to compare the career of a woman who took off 3 years (1 year each for 3 kids) to the career of a single man with no kids.  But, actually, the studies I have read note that they have controlled for different choices, such as time off to have a child, and STILL found a pay discrepancy.  That's pretty distressing, no? 

This
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galaxie

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2013, 11:52:59 AM »
Women make 81% of what men earn in the U.S.:

Because women, as a group, tend to make different choices.  I suppose how you see this depends on just how you define "equality": as being identical, or as having equal freedom to make choices.  So there are a good many people who choose something along the lines of a "mommy track" lifestyle, and get paid less because of it.  But they don't have to make that choice.
[\quote]

1. Women tend to make different choices because of social pressure to make those particular choices - witness how the MMM community judged that woman who moved to London and and left her daughters under her husband's care in Texas.  Men who go on temporary rotations for work certainly aren't shamed that way (though many folks agree it's not fun for anyone).
2. Structural inequalities can also make it more likely that women drop out of the workforce.  Traditionally female jobs are paid less.  Traditionally male jobs don't react well if you take time off to have kids.  There's also an asymmetry in how employers perceive mothers and fathers: moms who take the day off to care for a sick kid are perceived as not committed to their jobs; dads who do the same thing are caring and involved fathers.
3. I think other posters have addressed the fact that the pay discrepancy isn't caused by mommy tracking.


And claiming that they should get paid the same despite "mommy tracking" runs into the feminist "women are superior" line of thought.
This is a straw man; feminists don't think this.

...but honestly the place where my feminism is most relevant these days is when I see one of those commercials that implies men are incompetent children and only "Moms" know how to take care of day-to-day grown-up stuff.

OK, but don't you also see a similar number of commercials suggesting men only care about big trucks, beer, and watching sports on TV?  So there is equality in men and women both being subjected to stereotyping.
Right - feminism would agree with you there.  This idea is often summed up with "patriarchy hurts men too."  It hurts men by limiting the roles, activities, and emotions men are socially approved to have.  Often it accomplishes this by implying that men should not do anything that is like a woman (because being like a woman is terrible).

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Part of my feminism is believing that people shouldn't be judged for activities that don't conform to social expectations of their gender.  Part of this is that I work in a male-dominated field (engineering) and am pretty serious about a male-dominated sport (Brazilian jiu-jitsu).  Despite that, and having short hair, and often wearing pants, I'm a lady.  Sometimes this surprises people for some reason.

Hummm...  Seems like you're proving my point for me: that you CAN do these things.

Yes, I can do those things, and it's harder for me to do it, and I get no end of crap about it.  People make uncomfortable jokes about me.  People make assumptions about whether I hate men or not.  (Hint: I am married to one.)  It's not weird for a person to be an engineer, or do jiujitsu, or have short hair.  But it is considered weird for a woman to do it.  It's considered especially weird for a woman to do those male-identified activities... and then fall on the feminine side in some other aspect of life.  Gender stereotypes are bad for everybody, mm'kay?  My gender doesn't (and shouldn't) provide any information about what kind of career or activities I prefer, or which chores I do at home. 

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2013, 12:08:33 PM »
We may have miscommunicated here. I was saying exactly that - the woman's pose doesn't strike us as odd because we're used to it. Sexualized = normal.

Yes, I do think we're miscommunicating.  What I'm trying to say is that I don't really notice that moderate version of what is supposedly a sexualized pose because to me it is not really sexual.  Maybe it is actually intended to appeal to repressed homeoerotic desires?

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Let's also be completely clear which pose we're talking about (link is the first one I found on Google with an explanation and examples).

Sure, but we also have to remember that these are comic books, and so intended to appeal to a median audience of 13-17 year old males, a group not exactly noted for its appreciation of subtlety.  Likewise, the places I can remember seeing real-life approximations* of that pose are mainly hot rod & motorcycle magazine covers, aimed at a similar audience.  We might compare & contrast these to say the covers of romance novels.

*Which I think demonstrates that, after allowing for the stylization and exaggeration of the comic book medium, "the pose" isn't all that far-fetched.  Diet, exercise, and a few years diligent yoga practice, and you too could manage it :-)

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As for how useful particular Avengers are being, we could get into details about it, but I think there's a pretty clear difference in how they're presented overall.

Can't argue about that, due to lack of information.

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2013, 12:22:24 PM »
I agree you can't compare apples to oranges.  It's unreasonable to compare the career of a woman who took off 3 years (1 year each for 3 kids) to the career of a single man with no kids.  But, actually, the studies I have read note that they have controlled for different choices, such as time off to have a child, and STILL found a pay discrepancy.  That's pretty distressing, no?

Except that the studies I've seen seem either to have not controlled for everything, or have been done by groups having vested interests in getting results that show a difference.   

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I'm also curious about the "mommy track" lifestyle comment.  I think that's exactly part of the issue that women are accused of "mommy track" if they take off a sick day for a kid or leave early on a day for a soccer game, but that men are not accused of the exact same behavior or "tracked" to a slower career path.

I used "mommy track" in quotes because it is a commonly used term.  I do think men who do similar things, for whatever reason, do wind up on a similarly-slower career path, even though there's no common term for it.  In fact, I myself am on such a path, because I've chosen to organize my life in such a way that I can easily take time off from work for other things that are important to me.  (Though in my case, it's hiking, riding, skiing, and such, rather than daddying, the principle is the same.)  I dare say I could have made a lot more money, and have a more "prestigious" job title, if I hadn't chosen this path.

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Me, I believe the definition above where feminist = equality for everyone.  I'm amazed that everyone wouldn't self-idenitify as a feminist under that definition.

Sure, under that definition, and with the caveat of equal opportunity rather than identical outcomes, I would emphatically call myself a feminist.  The problem is that not all self-described feminists follow that definition

CommonCents

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2013, 12:59:57 PM »
I agree you can't compare apples to oranges.  It's unreasonable to compare the career of a woman who took off 3 years (1 year each for 3 kids) to the career of a single man with no kids.  But, actually, the studies I have read note that they have controlled for different choices, such as time off to have a child, and STILL found a pay discrepancy.  That's pretty distressing, no?

Except that the studies I've seen seem either to have not controlled for everything, or have been done by groups having vested interests in getting results that show a difference.   

If there's a flaw in the analysis, then absolutely, challenge the study for that reason.  But it seems rather unreasonable to dismiss a study, not because of a legitimate error in the analysis itself, but simply because you think it *might* be biased.  Rather show (if it is) that the study actually IS flawed.  A lot of studies are done by affected parties because they are the most invested in the issue involved.

Have you read the 2008 Dept of Labor study?  It doesn't show as large a gap as described above, but does show a 5-7% discrepancy, which was attributed in part to direct and indirect discrimination. 

CommonCents

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2013, 01:02:20 PM »
Quote
Me, I believe the definition above where feminist = equality for everyone.  I'm amazed that everyone wouldn't self-idenitify as a feminist under that definition.

Sure, under that definition, and with the caveat of equal opportunity rather than identical outcomes, I would emphatically call myself a feminist.  The problem is that not all self-described feminists follow that definition

Well a few muslims did some bad things in the name of their religious deity, but I don't blame all of them for the actions of a few...

fallstoclimb

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2013, 01:17:48 PM »
This thread is seriously bumming me out.

Feminism = equality.  It's that simple.  It's not about men being "inferior".  It's also not even about who is currently 'on top'.  The recession hit male-dominated fields harder but that doesn't make feminism any less of an issue.

I'm a 29 year old female.  I appreciate the strides previous generation of women have made, and I'm proud of my mom for being the breadwinner in a time when that was still fairly rare.  I would never ever look down on a woman for making choices to get out of the workforce (isn't that what half of us here are trying to do???), but that is not what feminism is about.  Here are some examples of things feminism is about:

1) Women being paid less / held back in their careers.  Yes, it still happens, and no, it is not always because of women intentionally mommy-tracking themselves (said without judgment, just using shortcut slang here).  It is illegal and I do think rare today for anyone in management to consciously make the decision to promote a man over a woman because of his gender, but society DOES value male management styles over female management styles.  That is an example of ingrained sexism.

2) Slut shaming happens every day, even in the established media, even of rape victims.  Again, this is due to ingrained cultural sexism.

3) The male gaze and the patriarchy are trickier concepts that people get tripped up by, but basically it is how I was raised to be a "nice girl" (not by my parents, just by societal expectations) and how when I am assertive I am disliked and called bitchy.  Relatedly, think about how polarizing just about every female politician is.  Ingrained. Cultural. Sexism.

4) Plus, you know, it's a real bummer that we are the only industrialized nation without proper family leave for baby making time.

Tying it back to personal finance / MMM, I think it is a feminist concept for women to be financially independent from their men, but that was a more useful idea when women typically didn't work and were systematically screwed over in divorces.  Let's simplify the idea to making financial decisions jointly, and if you are financially vulnerable -- if you are home with the kids and not bringing in money yourself -- making that decision intentionally and thoughtfully rather than because it is the cultural norm. 

It's not about bra-burning and it's not about man-hating, but I won't be ready to lay feminism to rest until I am no longer told by strange men on the street to smile. 

uspsfanalan

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2013, 01:29:19 PM »
Wow, I strongly disagree with you there.  I'm a woman and I identify as a feminist, but honestly the place where my feminism is most relevant these days is when I see one of those commercials that implies men are incompetent children and only "Moms" know how to take care of day-to-day grown-up stuff. That kind of assumption isn't good for men or women.  Many of the men I know would be much happier if, for instance, corporate parental leave policies acknowledged that men have a relationship with their children and allowed them to take some time off when their children are born (my company's doesn't). 

Here, here! Excellent points. As a guy, I'm often surprised that other guys don't realize how much we're being dissed in popular media and how it hurts everyone. Let me give you a concrete example of one of the "dumb dad" campaigns that has been going on since the 70's.

http://kosheronabudget.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kix.jpg

This is an image of the Kix cereal box with the slogan, kid tested mother approved. This is a giant F you to all the moms and dads out there. It's harmful to moms because its using guilt to imply that you aren't a good mom if you're not doing the shopping. It's harmful to dads because it implies that we're too dumb to know how to feed our kids. It's 100 little things that happen in day to day life that add up.

This matters to me because my wife has zero maternal instincts, she's just not interested in kids. I'm the opposite, I've volunteered at the school near by and volunteered with Big Brother's Big Sisters for a few years. My wife and I only recently decided that we'd like to have kids. She's never wanted kids but is willing to have them because she wants me to have kids. She's afraid that I would be missing out something that would be extremely meaningful to me. One of my favorite MMM moments was just a caption in a picture showing a dam he built out of pebbles with his son.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/05/11/the-quitting-lawyer-and-the-despondent-millionaire/

We both have good paying jobs, but she earns about 30k more than I do. If one of us were to stay home it would most likely be me. Right now that might be a social taboo but it would work for us. My career would probably suffer, but once you have enough and you're happy, does it matter?

Would I call myself a feminist? Definitely not because it means too many things to too many people. But I whole-heartily believe in equality. If a guy wants to work in a traditionally feminine field go for it. Same with woman going into traditionally male fields. I think the schools would benefit from having a lot more male teachers in the early grades. I think we'd have a lot more cool products if there were more women in STEM. The only people who are afraid of this have a scarcity mentality and I feel sorry for them. It must be hard to try to fit into what society tells you to do all of the time. Sorry for the rant, I'll step off my box now. :)

Jamesqf

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2013, 01:36:52 PM »
Well a few muslims did some bad things in the name of their religious deity, but I don't blame all of them for the actions of a few...

Whyever not?  If a belief system, whatever it is, explicitly calls for believers to do bad things, and someone still subscribes to the belief, aren't they complicit even though they personally may be too lazy or lily-livered to do anything of that sort themselves?

Feminism = equality.  It's that simple.  It's not about men being "inferior".

Well, no.  It just depends on the definition you choose to use. 

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The male gaze and the patriarchy are trickier concepts that people get tripped up by, but basically it is how I was raised to be a "nice girl" (not by my parents, just by societal expectations) and how when I am assertive I am disliked and called bitchy.

There's a good example.  When men are overly assertive, they are disliked (at least by many of us), and called jackasses or dickheads.

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Relatedly, think about how polarizing just about every female politician is.  Ingrained. Cultural. Sexism.

Nope.  It's just that you only hear about the polarizing ones, because being polarizing makes news.

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It's not about bra-burning and it's not about man-hating, but I won't be ready to lay feminism to rest until I am no longer told by strange men on the street to smile. 

But it'd be ok if strange women tell me to smile?

fallstoclimb

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2013, 01:44:38 PM »
Quote
It's not about bra-burning and it's not about man-hating, but I won't be ready to lay feminism to rest until I am no longer told by strange men on the street to smile. 

But it'd be ok if strange women tell me to smile?

OK, be serious.  Has that EVER happened? 

For the record, no, I don't think it would be okay.  But it is especially problematic that one gender is systematically told by strangers to smile.  I think it is an ingrained problem that when I walk by myself on the street (or heck, even in my office building, which pisses me off to no end) I am told by strange men to smile.  The inherent meaning is that they are telling me (intentionally or not) that my purpose is to "look nice" and "be pleasant".  Men are basically never told to smile because society does not view one of their roles as looking nice. 

To your other comments -- yes asshole men are also called assholes.  However there's generally a much lower bar for female.  And sure, the polarizing women make bigger news (eg Sarah Palin), however I would argue that there's not much to Hilary Clinton to legitimately make her polarizing -- and yet she is.

I have zero tolerance for men dismissing feminism so I'm pretty much going to bow out of this conversation now before I get too angry.  How the hell do you know what my experience has been like as a young ambitious pretty woman? 

Another example of feminism -- my best friend went to med school and people consistently tripped up and asked her how nursing school was going.  Innocent, yes.  They didn't mean any harm.  But, its still a problem!

CommonCents

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2013, 01:49:16 PM »
Well a few muslims did some bad things in the name of their religious deity, but I don't blame all of them for the actions of a few...

Whyever not?  If a belief system, whatever it is, explicitly calls for believers to do bad things, and someone still subscribes to the belief, aren't they complicit even though they personally may be too lazy or lily-livered to do anything of that sort themselves?

At the risk of digressing topics to create another spin off post, I would say the reason is that most muslims disagree with whether the belief system actually instructs them to go around committing terrorist acts or not.  Thus, it's not just the distinction between act v. nonaction (but mentally supportive).  It's the distinction between what their belief system is comprised of.  To tie this back to feminism conversation, I would say that I - and most people - disagree that "rabid" bra-burning "women are better than men" mentality actually is feminism.  Instead, most people in this thread agree it's about equality.

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It's not about bra-burning and it's not about man-hating, but I won't be ready to lay feminism to rest until I am no longer told by strange men on the street to smile. 

But it'd be ok if strange women tell me to smile?

No, it's not ok, but I believe her point is that you probably HAVEN'T been told to smile, whereas she has.

I have a friend who attended a firm event.  At the fancy firm event, a client grabbed her skirt and tried to pull it up so he could look under it.  Because she didn't want to get a negative reputation and hurt her career, she debated long and hard before reporting it.  If you get a negative rep, other firms don't want to hire you as a "troublemaker."  She finally did.  Big surprise, it hurt her career, she was also made to attend trainings/support groups about it and nothing changed.  (She's a US lawyer in the UK, my understanding is that the sexual harassment laws there are different and very weak so she didn't try to sue.)  I don't know any men that this happened to.  Not to say that it hasn't - I'm sure the equivalent has, but it's at a much lower rate (even accounting for the fact that men are probably less likely to report). 

CommonCents

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2013, 01:53:45 PM »
I have zero tolerance for men dismissing feminism so I'm pretty much going to bow out of this conversation now before I get too angry.  How the hell do you know what my experience has been like as a young ambitious pretty woman? 

Yeah I have to say I'm extremely disappointed and saddened by this thread. 

Ian

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2013, 03:40:52 PM »
Not going to drop this thread yet, but I'm not sure how much good I'm doing. One more try.

Yes, I do think we're miscommunicating.  What I'm trying to say is that I don't really notice that moderate version of what is supposedly a sexualized pose because to me it is not really sexual.  Maybe it is actually intended to appeal to repressed homeoerotic desires?
Okay, let me take a step back. I'm not trying to be condescending, just absolutely clear.

I was trying to say that a common female pose is impractical and designed to display the female body, but we don't notice because that pose is the norm. You said you didn't notice anything about it. I said that was the point. Now you're emphasizing that you didn't notice because the pose isn't sexual to you. This is 100% irrelevant to this discussion - we're talking about dominant societal trends here. Your comment about repressed homoerotic desire makes me suspect you aren't arguing in good faith: half the point of the pose is displaying the breasts.

Sure, but we also have to remember that these are comic books, and so intended to appeal to a median audience of 13-17 year old males, a group not exactly noted for its appreciation of subtlety.
You're basically saying "Sexist advertising is meant to appeal to sexist people" and that is the point.

Also, though this is a pretty minor point, I'm told that the audience for mainstream comic books basically isn't growing any younger, so the median age of readers is now the mid-thirties and rising.

We might compare & contrast these to say the covers of romance novels.
We could do that, and it might be interesting, but in this thread it's just a distraction. Do you think I'm going to leap to the defense of romance novel covers? Those are typically awful too, but they don't make other things in society suddenly okay.

Which I think demonstrates that, after allowing for the stylization and exaggeration of the comic book medium, "the pose" isn't all that far-fetched.  Diet, exercise, and a few years diligent yoga practice, and you too could manage it :-)
This is irrelevant. The discussion started with a real person using the pose, so I don't see why you bring it up. What I've been saying is that it's sexualized, which you seem to be trying to refute by saying that it's used in other sexualized contexts like motorcycle magazines.

Quote from: wepner
Thanks Ian for the easy to understand definitions.
Glad you found it helpful.

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2013, 04:04:49 PM »
I would never ever look down on a woman for making choices to get out of the workforce (isn't that what half of us here are trying to do???), but that is not what feminism is about.

I agree that the examples you listed are things that feminism is fighting for, but acknowledgement and value for caregivers (paid or unpaid) is something that feminist organizations, such as NOW (National Organization for Women), are currently fighting for as well.  It's not as well-publicized as other feminist causes unfortunately.

http://www.now.org/issues/mothers/faq.html

Here's a small snippet from that page:
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Q. Why are MCER [Mothers and Caregivers Economic Rights] issues important to the feminist community?

A. These issues are important to the feminist cause to promote equity among all people by acknowledging that everyone in our society, at some point in their life, will either need care or have caregiving responsibilities. In particular, social research finds that the opportunity and economic costs associated with unpaid caregiving disproportionately affect women and their economic security.

madgeylou

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2013, 04:41:53 PM »
smdh. people with privilege so rarely seem to realize that they are privileged.

just gonna leave this here:
http://whoneedsfeminism.tumblr.com/

along with something i wrote for the hairpin about why feminism is important, and how to explain its importance to people (the last question):
http://thehairpin.com/2011/10/cheat-ees-and-friends-with-prosecco

wepner

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2013, 06:20:03 PM »
Really interesting articles madgeylou.

I can't say that I disagree with what most anyone has been claiming are feminist ideals or observations, but I still feel like feminism = equality is a little too simplified... To me its a bit like saying that libertarianism = freedom when in reality there are other assumptions baked into the word (for example virtually no libertarians in America don't also believe in laissez-faire economics).

Also if the patriarchy is basically just a skewed or inefficient or unbalanced society is the patriarchy worldwide or does each region/country/whatever have there own patriarchies? I hope this doesn't sound sarcastic but I can't imagine that the societies in Israel, Japan, the Congo and Canada are similar enough to where there problems could be solved in a similar way.

http://jezebel.com/melissa-harris-perry-brilliantly-shoots-down-michelle-o-1471171145
Also this is really interesting to me, a feminist critique on the first lady that gets totally shut down, and now I need to learn about white feminism vs black feminism :)

Actually does anyone have any book recommendations (on feminism in general.   
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 06:27:15 PM by wepner »

footenote

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2013, 06:53:14 PM »
smdh. people with privilege so rarely seem to realize that they are privileged.

just gonna leave this here:
http://whoneedsfeminism.tumblr.com/

along with something i wrote for the hairpin about why feminism is important, and how to explain its importance to people (the last question):
http://thehairpin.com/2011/10/cheat-ees-and-friends-with-prosecco
smdh [squared]. peace out.
It's always darkest before it dawns on you

Ian

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2013, 07:29:14 PM »
Also if the patriarchy is basically just a skewed or inefficient or unbalanced society is the patriarchy worldwide or does each region/country/whatever have there own patriarchies? I hope this doesn't sound sarcastic but I can't imagine that the societies in Israel, Japan, the Congo and Canada are similar enough to where there problems could be solved in a similar way.
There are definitely differences. I don't think anyone would claim that feminism in the Congo should be the same as in the US, but in the past there has been a problem of people assuming their version (usually white, American, and middle class) applies to everyone. One key example is black feminists, who complained exactly as you did: that people were assuming their problems and solutions were the same as the main group. That's why these are broad labels; I don't think you can pin them down too specifically because there's so much diversity.

Actually does anyone have any book recommendations (on feminism in general.
This isn't necessarily a good introductory book, but I enjoyed The Mismeasure of Woman. It takes a lot of issues that tend to be arguments of opinion (emotionality, math scores, etc) and gives a lot of hard data and analysis.

Jamesqf

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2013, 08:43:32 PM »
But it'd be ok if strange women tell me to smile?

OK, be serious.  Has that EVER happened? 

Actually, yes, if you include in the strange category friends of friends that I don't know.  The irritating thing is that I WAS smiling: I just tend not to show teeth when I smile, because I work around animals a lot, where showing teeth can be interpreted as a threat.

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...however I would argue that there's not much to Hilary Clinton to legitimately make her polarizing -- and yet she is.

I disagree, both due to probable political differences (which we can skip), and the fact that she seems to have attained her current position largely as the result of being married to Bill.  Which, if you think of it, is pretty anti-feminist, isn't it?

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How the hell do you know what my experience has been like as a young ambitious pretty woman?

Same way you seem to know what my experience as a not-so-young, not very ambitious, not attractive man has been :-) 

Jamesqf

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2013, 09:17:18 PM »
Okay, let me take a step back. I'm not trying to be condescending, just absolutely clear.

I was trying to say that a common female pose is impractical and designed to display the female body, but we don't notice because that pose is the norm. You said you didn't notice anything about it. I said that was the point. Now you're emphasizing that you didn't notice because the pose isn't sexual to you. This is 100% irrelevant to this discussion - we're talking about dominant societal trends here.

I think we're still miscommunicating, so I'll try again. 

1) Sex sells.  That's why most books & movies, if they aren't pure romances to start with, usually have romantic subplots.

2) Different audiences find different things sexy.  That's why romance novel cover art is not at all like comic book art.

3) To make your point about "the pose", you pull examples from a genre intended to appeal to a particular subgroup of young males, who apparently find this pose sexually appealing.  Which is pretty much a circular definition, isn't it?

3a) And the reason I didn't notice it in the first picture is not because it's familiar, but because I'm not a member of the group it's designed to appeal to.

4) We could probably make a similar analysis of the covers of romance novels (or anything intended to use romance/sex to appeal to women), and find similarly unrealistic bodies & poses.  Which is equality, in that it's using sex to sell, but not identity, because different things appeal to different groups.

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Your comment about repressed homoerotic desire makes me suspect you aren't arguing in good faith: half the point of the pose is displaying the breasts.

Sure, but there are certainly other poses that would do as good a job of displaying breasts, while not over-emphasizing the butt.

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You're basically saying "Sexist advertising is meant to appeal to sexist people" and that is the point.

No, what I'm saying is that sex and sexism are not at all the same thing, and that a big part of the reason I'm not a feminist (by my definition), is that I see a lot of feminists equating the two.  I just don't see any connection between equality of opportunity, and the fact that I find a certain subset of women physically & sexually attractive.

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The discussion started with a real person using the pose...

It did?  I must have missed it somehow.

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What I've been saying is that it's sexualized, which you seem to be trying to refute by saying that it's used in other sexualized contexts like motorcycle magazines.

No.  Again, what I'm saying is that I see nothing wrong with something being sexualized.  It's the old "sex object" thing again.  There's a difference between being a sex object (which I imagine most of us would like to be in our spare time), and being just a sex object.

olivia

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2013, 09:24:44 PM »
smdh. people with privilege so rarely seem to realize that they are privileged.

just gonna leave this here:
http://whoneedsfeminism.tumblr.com/

along with something i wrote for the hairpin about why feminism is important, and how to explain its importance to people (the last question):
http://thehairpin.com/2011/10/cheat-ees-and-friends-with-prosecco

Amen. I love hearing from men that sexism doesn't exist.  Because as men, they would definitely know better than women!
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Elaine

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2013, 12:49:09 PM »
I think asking what feminism means to a group of women is probably similar to asking a group of self-described Christians what being christian means. There will be a common middle ground group, and probably extreme groups on either end. In the middle we have women agreeing that it means equality, famous quotes such as, "feminism is the radical idea that women are people". These feminists (in my opinion AS a feminist) tend to focus on rights, wages, education issues, safety/violence issues. There may be a small number on the extreme end who hate men and believe women to be superior, just like there are extreme Christians who think all gay people are going to hell,etc. And there's probably another extreme spectrum of women who think that feminism is completely moot. It's a social and political issue so of course different people experience it differently- but there are factual representations of the inequality between women and men, rates of rape and sexual assault for instance, or wage differences. Curricula in schools (e.g. how many female authors are taught, etc.), and international issues. For me feminism is not just about my own day to day life, it's about the fact that women in Saudi Arabia aren't allowed to drive, or leave the house, or that acid burnings and mercy killings still happen, or that in many African cultures if a man rapes a woman it's because she "seduced" him, even if the she in question is hardly a woman herself.

So even if you don't want to get into the male gaze (which, for the record, yes, is real), and marketing, and all the myriad social inequalities and ways women are perceived versus men- these other things are certainties. They are facts, and that's why I think feminism has a place still. Or to sum it up even better: when the day comes that I can ask a male friend if a neighborhood is safe at night, and take HIS word for it, we will have made serious progress.

Also, someone in this forum joked about the term "rape eyes", nice. That's really hilarious to the one in four women who have been sexually assaulted. And that, my friends, is the male gaze.
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Jamesqf

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2013, 01:49:44 PM »
...but there are factual representations of the inequality between women and men, rates of rape and sexual assault for instance, or wage differences.

The question, though, is what is inequality and what is non-identity.  As for instance the fact that there are going to be very few female on male sexual assaults, because of basic difference in physiology and psychology.  There are also instances in which the balance tilts the other way, in favor of women.  It's still quite possible for a woman to walk away from a marriage with a very large (non-child support) divorce settlement, even though the man has produced most or all of the income.  (See e.g. Tiger Woods.)

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Curricula in schools (e.g. how many female authors are taught...

But why should we care whether the authors are male or female?  Surely what matters is that they are good writers?

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2013, 02:19:59 PM »
To the OP, I'm in a rather strange unique situation.  I make $180K (sometimes more with bonuses and stock) and my husband makes $29K.  He is in the arts, and we always knew he would not make as much as me, but even though we knew that going in I think we were both surprised by how much the typical gender roles affect how we feel about this.

I am an intelligent woman who went to a top university and I am very well respected at work.  While I enjoy what I do and I very much like the idea of being a strong role model for my future children, I do sometimes feel like I don't have the options that some women I know do (being a stay at home mom) and I feel jealous.  Also, if I question something my husband wants to spend on (for example, go back to school to get a Master's) he will sometimes get defensive and say that I'm treating it like "my" money instead of "ours."

But over time these episodes have decreased with frequency and I think we're both much more comfortable with our situation.  It's a bit embarrassing to admit this since I want to be a strong independent woman, but the fact is that there are very strong societal messages that are ingrained into our thinking.  The biggest reason that I at times wish I could be a stay at home mom is because I travel for work and worry that I won't be a good mother if I do so.  Colleagues and friends and family that know about my travel often ask me what I'm going to do once I have a child, as if the two are mutually exclusive.  And this can get to me and make me feel like I will not be a good mother if I'm gone so much.

But then I think about my own father.  He traveled for work a ton as I was growing up and we are as close as can be.  I never once thought he was a bad father  because he was traveling, and I suppose that's because it was expected and he was "providing for us."  Even though I'm doing the same, there still seems to be a feeling that as a woman I need to be around more often, but my husband is just going to have to be the person picking the kids up from daycare, getting them fed and bathed and putting them to bed.  My husband is more than okay with that, and at times considers being a stay at home dad, but we'll see.

I don't feel that I'm paid less or valued less at work because of my gender, but I do think that the expectations around child rearing are still very gender based.  But, I think the family landscape is changing, and hopefully families like mine will help with that.

uspsfanalan

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Re: Feminism (or women and mustachianism)
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2013, 02:48:07 PM »
But then I think about my own father.  He traveled for work a ton as I was growing up and we are as close as can be.  I never once thought he was a bad father  because he was traveling, and I suppose that's because it was expected and he was "providing for us."  Even though I'm doing the same, there still seems to be a feeling that as a woman I need to be around more often, but my husband is just going to have to be the person picking the kids up from daycare, getting them fed and bathed and putting them to bed.  My husband is more than okay with that, and at times considers being a stay at home dad, but we'll see.

I find myself in a bit of a similar situation, I make 58k and my wife makes 80k. I was attracted to my wife because she's a strong, smart and loving person. When I was dating I was looking for an equal partner, I didn't want "honey do" lists and to have my meals cooked for me. We both cook, clean, use power tools, mow the lawn. It's been really great for us.

At the same time I wish I could support her more and she didn't have to work so hard. If we have kids, I'll likely be the primary care giver. I will probably always have an ache that I should be doing more for her. Even though I know it's stupid and illogical I can't shake it. It's probably how a lot of mom's ache to be home even though it's best for the family to be out there earning a living. I hope as long as we're kind to each other it and try to see it from the others' eyes, I think we'll be okay.