Comments on: Tales from the Backlash: Blogging Women’s History Month edition http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:41:03 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-258415 Thu, 12 Mar 2009 20:04:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-258415 Satsuma: you’re right that without an emotional need for men it’s easier to see clearly. But you’re wrong to say “men this” or “men that.” Even worse, “all men are this or that.” That’s what sexism IS. Participating in it, whether it’s the common anti-women type, or the less common anti-men type, is not the solution. Rights and fairness are for all. Anything less than that is nothing but a demand for privilege.

I agree with you 100% that women should stand and fight. Given the nature of the problem, that’s 24/7, open heart surgery of the soul without anesthetic. Which is why so many people (both genders) would rather do anything but recognize it. I agree with you 100% that harassers should be fired, preferably immediately. That’s not because men are beasts. It’s because fairness is for all.

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By: Jeremy Young http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-254374 Mon, 09 Mar 2009 03:44:06 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-254374 An interesting corollary to this “backlash” is the fact that, as far as I can tell (and I don’t claim any particular expertise), feminist/gender theory is receding into the background in many emerging areas of historical scholarship. I gave a comment yesterday on a panel about the 1960′s and 1970′s, and while all three of the papers on the panel talked about women, not one of them used any sort of gender analysis. (To be fair, one of the papers was about fashion in African-American magazines, and the gender analysis is definitely going to be in the final project, so I’ll let that presenter off the hook.) I was really shocked by this, particularly since all three papers gave central play to issues of race and class.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-253188 Sun, 08 Mar 2009 01:31:30 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-253188 Satsuma, I appreciate your point of view, but I don’t think it’s reasonable or fair. I don’t think men qua men are “the enemy”–it’s patriarchal society, which benefits men, but which both men and some women work to uphold. It’s not as simple as shirts v. skins.

And The_Myth–on-line rudeness is not a sex-specific characteristic. Indeed, when on-line, we don’t really know who we’re talking to, which is why I talk about people who present as male on-line (whatever their actual sex/gender identity is.) But I think that it’s quite clear that there is more hostility expressed by people who present as male on-line in feminist blogs and other forums that discuss women’s issues.

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By: The_Myth http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-253160 Sun, 08 Mar 2009 01:11:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-253160 I am convinced that the promise for democracy once held by the Internet will not ever be achieved because incivility has now become the way in which things are run online (and off for that matter).

While I have no doubt that more men than women make overtly nasty comments, and that women are more often their targets than other men, it only takes a few weeks perusing such “lofty” places as the forums at The Chronicle of Higher Education to reveal the deep hostility that can come from women as well.

I think it’s unfair to cast men as the sole aggressors and women as the only victims. This is even more perplexing when one considers the ambiguous gender identity embodied in many of our nicknames. For instance, American Lit scholars might note my nickname matches that of a famous poetess, but how many people know my sex specifically? [Here's a hint: I'm a dude!]

There really does need to be more formal study done of the phenomenon by sociologists, anthropologists, communication scholars, and rhetoricians [I apologize for forgetting any other interested parties]. Sadly, I’m not exactly sure how this could be done with any reliability or validity because of the anonymity and user agreement issues though. To those willing to take up the challenge, I await your findings with much anticipation!

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By: Satsuma http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-253155 Sun, 08 Mar 2009 01:07:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-253155 We can indeed get far by vilifying every man that exists. I have done this all my life. I see no wrong in saying that men hate women, that they oppress women, and that they aren’t going to change. This is a given in my opinion.

I operate from an idea that if half the human population stopped serving the other half, we’d have an end to male tyranny. It’s very simple. Until I see men radically change their public attitudes towards women, and fight for women only causes “selflessly-sacrificing all their income potential and their entire lives” (the way women have for centuries) I’ll give this species another thought.

When you’re a lesbian, you simply see things very clearly, when you’re a straight woman and sexually attracted to men, it’s very difficult to get this. But you shouldn’t be surprised when women marginalize themselves, and you shouldn’t be surprised when men sexually terrorize women on the Internet. There will be no change in men as long as women serve them and defend them. Stop defending men! Stop it. Fight for women, and advance the goals of women worldwide. Have self-respect.

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By: Satsuma http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-253145 Sun, 08 Mar 2009 01:01:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-253145 I can type well over 200 words per minute, and don’t have a word counter in the heat of battle :-)

I’m always amazed to the degree that women are in denial about who the enemy is in patriarchy. Just who do you think these sexually harassing professors are? What is it that stops women from driving them from the academy, recording their infamy on cell phone videos, marching on their offices…?

I believe it is women’s fear of facing the world as adults, of not having male attention or male economic subsidy. It is a fearful thing to say no, I will not support male supremacy in the home. Very difficult.

The people who were the most committed feminists were lesbians. Even in 19th century England, over 63% of radical suffrage groups were comprised of “spinsters.” Perhaps there really is something in the lesbian soul that is horrified by the rapists, the harassers and the plug uglies, and even more horrifying to have straight women defend them all the time. It is a horror to behold. Hope this is less than 400 words!

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-253085 Sun, 08 Mar 2009 00:01:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-253085 One of the perverse advantages of working in a field where feminist scholarship is still quite publicly marginalized is that you have no illusions. . . the reality is that when you incorporate gender you change the narrative; so it’s easier not to incorporate gender. When you acknowledge the patriarchal structures that allow you to say some things are none of your business, you need to change your behavior. And if you acknowledge the existence of patriarchy, perhaps your supreme wonderfulness is not all about how great you are, and there is indeed luck involved.

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By: thefrogprincess http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-252962 Sat, 07 Mar 2009 21:27:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-252962 Satsuma, while I appreciate your passion for this issue and I think you do make some provocative points (especially when it comes to the issue of feminism and religion), a lot of women (myself included) cannot come to a position such as yours because we don’t see men in the same way you do. There’s no doubt that men benefit from the status quo and there’s also no doubt that a lot of men (maybe even more than we want to admit) who have little respect for women; that much is clear. But I’m certainly never going to agree that every man out there is anti-feminist and anti-woman. Do we get anywhere by vilifying every man that exists? Surely there has to be some middle ground.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-252933 Sat, 07 Mar 2009 20:41:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-252933 p.s. for example, my guess is that there are a lot of women who felt free to criticize Jen in the ways she described, although I’m sure that it was people presenting as male who left the majority of disgusting, threatening, and/or just plain nasty comments. Women are acculturated by misogyny as well, and we also are much more judgmental of other women and are nearly as prone to apply narrower standards for appropriate conduct on other women.

For a few disheartening recent examples, check out the competitive motherhoods on display in the comments here and here, all because 1) one woman wrote openly about her drinking before and after having a baby, and 2) another woman dared to suggest that leaving the paid workforce to care for children is a risky professional and financial strategy. I think feminist women are better than this pointless judgmentalism and name-calling–but we aren’t always.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/07/tales-from-the-backlash-blogging-womens-history-month-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-252929 Sat, 07 Mar 2009 20:34:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3840#comment-252929 Satsuma–I agree with your perspective, but can you please keep the comments shorter (under 400 words)? (Please see the policy on comments here, or in the top left column on the front page.)

The short answer as to why women don’t band together and resist is that many women benefit from the current system, and many others don’t believe that they have as much in common with other women as they do with men and women who share their faith, ethnicity, region, politics, etc. Sisterhood is beautiful–but (sadly) I just don’t think it really exists.

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