Archive for feminist

Free Women?

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by AF

I’ve vacillated almost endlessly, unable to decide whether to post this, or not. I suspect some people I respect will misunderstand me or my intentions. In the end, though, I’ve decided that I should stop being a coward and say it, right or wrong, so here goes…

For once I want to be serious. Jeez! I know! It doesn’t happen very often, does it? Look out for a blue moon tonight and watch out for the odd flying pig too.

However, to my mind, the question mark in my title does say a great deal about the subject of this post. Are women free, or liberated these days? Well, particularly in some cultures, just as was true thousands of years ago, some plainly are. Also, it’s perhaps a far greater proportion now than it once was during recent centuries – in the West at least. But I have to admit that I don’t think that most are all that free at all.

Then again, some would argue that relatively few people of either gender are free in any real sense of the word, but I suppose the question most women would really be asking is: are women today at least as free as their equivalent men of today? I suspect the answer to that question when asked in general terms is still a resounding NO.

Before I attempt to explain why, I ask you to please take a good look at a great article from a clever and talented lady. It makes some entirely valid and well argued points. It’s also something with which I entirely agree in principle at least. Conversely, I almost totally disagree with it as well, on a very different level.

I know – that’s as clear as mud, isn’t it? I guess I’d better pause here whilst you go for a quick read of the excellent article right here

Done? Okay then. Now, if you’ve looked at the post in the link, then I hope you’ll understand when I say that I can’t disagree in the slightest with the sentiments at least and that I think all the behaviour and phrases quoted are clearly of an unpleasant nature (certainly when used publicly) and not a way in which I hope I would ever regard or behave towards any woman. Nevertheless, the comment quoted as being from Charlie Sheen (for instance) only serves to demonstrate that he apparently knows practically nothing about real women and very little about sex either, but then some people have extremely limited imaginations. In any event, he’s only playing up to the role he’s picked for himself (or that has been picked for him) in the eyes of his ‘fans’.

Equally, I should point out that it’s not all one-sided and I don’t much like the way some women refer to men and stereotype them either, but (as the rather graphic saying goes) shit happens and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, or dignify people like that by giving a damn about them – they are what they are – usually rather stupid and pretty ignorant, in my opinion.

The simple and absolute fact is that some men hate women and some women hate men. No one can change that truth by legislating, or complaining, or anything else (unless you’re prepared to shoot them of course), because they think what they think and every time you highlight their behaviour, you simply increase their importance. Most people are not that pathetic, so why would you care about a stupid minority of insignificant jerks? Marginalise them and they and their ilk will eventually become almost invisible.

There are women’s issues that desperately need to be addressed, such as equal pay for equal work and real equality of opportunity regardless of gender, though childbirth is a factor to be considered in some cases, whether anyone likes it or not. This post is not the place or occasion to discuss the subject in detail, but these days and for most women, the decision to bear children is just that – a choice. I can see no reason whatsoever why an employer should be forced to manipulate reality in order to try to ensure that such a choice does not affect the career prospects of the individual. I believe that positive discrimination is just as evil as negative discrimination.

All that said, although I write fiction, there is a recurring theme in much of what I produce, particularly in my sci-fi stories and it’s that most women of the future are strong and liberated. In my tales, whatever their individual hang-ups and insecurities, future women have largely achieved equality and even superiority at times by one simple means – as a gender, they DON’T GIVE A DAMN what any man thinks! Of course, I’m not talking about personal relationships, those are always excepted, private and should be what suits and is developed by the individuals involved for themselves. Outside of that, I’m a passionate believer in the equality of women, but I’m also sure that they’ll never achieve it if they remain dependent on men being nice to them, frequently not saying what they think and allowing it to occur because it’s some kind of decent thing to do. It simply won’t happen!

Men don’t care much what women (as a whole gender, rather than as individuals) think of them, but women on the other hand are all too often demanding that men in general should view them differently from the way they do. That is not only unrealistic and doomed to failure, it’s a dreadful weakness and they will not succeed in achieving their goals until they manage to move on from that and cast off the shackles of such limiting ideas.

So, there you go. I say again, I think the article in the link is superb, but I do think it also highlights a weakness in the female cause. That, for what it’s worth, is my opinion. Still, no one ever took much notice of my views in the past, so I can’t imagine that anything will change significantly on this occasion.

😐

Is It Just Me?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on April 23, 2011 by AF

I’ve wondered at many things over the years (too many years that is), but I was today reminded of something that is a recurring mystery to me. It started when Twitter (well, rather it was one of the interesting people I follow on Twitter) pointed me to an excellent article by a clever and witty woman who, me not being American, I don’t know.

Anyway, it was a good article highlighting the ridiculousness of discrimination – most particularly sex discrimination, but also on the basis of race, etc. It’s well worth reading, so why not take a good long peek here. I really enjoyed reading it and I thought it was funny, insightful and probably very accurate as well as important – and then, to me, at the very end comes this quote that brought my confusion flooding back… “As American social critic Elizabeth Janeway responded, “We haven’t come a long way; we’ve come a short way. If we hadn’t come a short way no one would be calling us ‘baby.'”

WTF is that about? Maybe it’s me (there’d be nothing new in that), but I’ve never understood why women would mind that – it’s like me getting all pissed off because some woman calls me “Honey,” or “Mister,” or even “Hey you.” Why would I care? It’s a whole lot better than “Sir” or (in the case of women) “Madam”, which authority endlessly seems to use in order to be offensive because it’s overly polite and yet we can’t prove that and so argue with it.

I mean – what is their problem? To me (as in this case) I read an excellent article that is very well written and, more importantly, tells it like it is and then the thing I’m left with is the feeling that women (in this case) can be so damned pompous. I know the disappointment is my fault because I have this rosy view of women and their fight for equality as worthy and in fact vital for all of us – men too – but still…

Perhaps someone can enlighten me, because I just don’t see this at all. Is it perhaps that there is some hidden difference between the UK and the US of which I’m not aware? I know we’re traditionally “divided by a common language” and maybe there is hidden meaning in this, but in my view, this is petty and just plain silly. Worse, it’s counterproductive.

Gonnakillhim on Twitter has explained that it may be that it somehow puts the user in a superior position over the receiver and I genuinely thank her for that explanation. I guess that’s probably right, but in my opinion that’s only in the mind of the person hearing it. If it is true (and it may well be, at least in America), then it raises another question for me – how the heck did people manage to get themselves into such a stupid situation? I mean, to me, women are great, definitely equal and the average women (whether she likes it or not) is better at some things than the average man and vice versa – what the hell’s wrong with that?

Why would it be some kind of a put down if I called a woman I was in conversation with “Honey,” or “Baby,” (which to me is just being friendly) instead of “Madam”, which I would only personally say if I really meant “…and f*ck you!” but wanted to avoid actually using the words.

Hey ho – sigh – rant over. But I would like to really understand – seriously!

I Wonder About Women

Posted in Miscellaneous, Scandalous! with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by AF

Well, yes I guess I would wonder about women, wouldn’t I? After all, I’m a guy… However, the eternal, “God! She’s hot! What would it be like to…” well, you get the point I’m sure – that’s not what I’m wondering about women just at the moment… although there is this redhead…

Sorry, I’m getting off the point – well, in truth I haven’t actually got to the point yet, have I?

Sooooo-oo… considering all the razzmatazz there has been about women’s rights, emancipation, equality, freedom and all the rest, I have been quite taken aback this last week or so.

“How come?” I hear you crying out (that wasn’t a yawn, was it?)

Well, the thing is that I’ve been looking into Blogfrog recently (I joined heaven knows how long ago and have pretty much ignored it ever since because the widgets don’t work on WordPress.com – grrr!). It’s very interesting because, if you look for “friends”, it throws up a long list of people who it thinks match whatever you put about yourself in your profile. For some reason I can’t imagine, most of those it listed for me were women – go figure!

Anyway, Blogfrog displays a brief description of each blogger and the thing that surprised, indeed shocked,  me was the way the women had described themselves. I was stunned at just how many of them seemed to start with something like, “I’m a mom of two (three, four, five, a soccer team – whatever)…” or “I’m a wife and married to this wonderful superman…”

The point I’m making is that so many of these women (some of whom were very interesting and talented people when I went and read their blogs) seemed to define themselves in terms of the other people in their lives. I have people I love and care about in my life, but I don’t use them to define “me”. I am what I am. It’s no one else’s fault. I’m just me! Why do so many women see themselves only as someone else’s wife, mother, sister, friend, or even f*ck buddy? It’s what they do, not what they are!

It’s awful! To me, so many of them are such special people, why would they put themselves down in that way?

I’m Shocked

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by AF

I am truly shocked. If this reported statement had come from some aging redneck hate-monger in Mississippi or somewhere like that, I’d have been appalled, but not shocked the way I am, or perhaps even entirely surprised.

But this was apparently said by an undergraduate student attending a lecture on dehumanizing actions and he questioned the inclusion of rape – referring to it as “just” rape!

Apart even from the awful attitude it displays towards women, it shows a total lack of understanding of what sexual relationships and even sex itself is about. It’s bloody Neanderthal!

If that’s what educated young men think these days, then I despair of our culture, I really do…

Do yourself a favour and read the full post (it is quite a few months old, but that does nothing to detract from its validity)  here at Hecate of the Crossroads because this young woman puts it far better than I can.

We Should ALL Get Over It

Posted in Miscellaneous, People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by AF

Well, my last post produced a couple of comments that rather surprised me, but I’m not sure why I wasn’t quite expecting some (fairly mild, as it happens) dissent, even from people I respect.

I have, though, thought quite a bit about what was said and it was undoubtedly fair comment on what I wrote. So, I think that’s probably part of the reason – what I wrote wasn’t a very good explanation of what I wanted to convey.

That said, I’m not very sure I can do better, but I feel the need to try because it does quite upset me that women should ever feel threatened in the way that they often apparently do and also that men should behave in some of the ways that women complain about and be so disrespectful to others (male or female) as they seemingly frequently are.

Firstly, let me say that all this is, in my view, simply symptomatic of much of life today and the US in particular (with the UK following closely behind – as usual) seems to me to be becoming daily more confrontational. That may be just an impression I get from the news and TV, but it seems to me to be true anyway. Also, much of this PC nonsense is encouraged by the litigation culture that has grown up and the only people that benefits is the lawyers who have fought tooth and claw to create it! I sincerely believe that, if it were only possible (and which it clearly isn’t), we really should toss out most of our current culture and start again with a much more enlightened and tolerant approach to almost everything.

The other things that I have to admit to are that I’m sure that what I see and the way I view things will be coloured by my, perhaps rather old fashioned, very English upbringing and the fact that, not being a woman, it’s very difficult to put my maleness aside and understand exactly where the women might be coming from here.

Nevertheless, to some extent that last sentence is my point! If a society doesn’t make the big deal about sex that ours do; if it’s just accepted as being amongst the most important and natural functions of humanity; if (as they are by quite a number of women) men are not expected to think like women and the differences between us are celebrated rather than complained about, then to my mind there is really only one problem left on this topic – the fact of women feeling (and actually being) threatened by men.

So we’re back to upbringing and education – I wouldn’t hit a woman, or try to force anything upon her physically, simply because I was brought up to believe that it is wrong and cowardly. Furthermore rape is something I just don’t understand at all, since desire from my partner is the biggest turn on to me and the converse is therefore also true – i.e. it’s critical to me and if the woman isn’t interested specifically and plainly in me, then she may be lovely, but she’s not for me any more than I am for her. I can’t say I would never be violent towards a woman because none of us can say “never” about anything, but I would absolutely hate myself for it if I were and I can’t imagine the circumstances in which I would behave in that way. I certainly hope I’m sufficiently adult and educated not to need to use violence towards anyone, unless I or someone I cared about was physically attacked, of course.

So that’s perhaps why I see what I see, but it’s also why I don’t understand any other way and believe in much less confrontational relationships between men and women than appears to me to be becoming the norm, which saddens me.

Hmm… that seems like another rambling expression of a lot of differing things to me, but it’s probably the best I can do for now 😉

Addendum: something else has occurred to me that I realise I didn’t make clear – I’m talking here about people who are at the very least acquainted with each other and not total strangers. I cannot recall ever hearing the cat-calling that some commenters mentioned, not even in the UK (though I’ve certainly heard OF it there), so I guess I must’ve just been lucky.

Get Over It!

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by AF

You know, I’ve never fully understood the PC brigade about almost anything in general and the anti-sexism thing from many women in particular. I often thought something along the lines of, “What the hell is going on with them?” Since I’ve been blogging, though, things have become somewhat clearer.

It seems that there are two things going on of which I didn’t take account. Firstly, the UK has done what it always does and copied the US, although, as is so often the case, Britain and the Brits are entirely different from America and that explains to some extent why I never understood. In the UK, many women go on about equality and take an “I’m me and I’ll behave how I like and I’m entitled to this that or heaven knows what else, etc.,” attitude and the fact is they’re pretty much in control of a lot of things. If they’re not then I’m sorry for saying this but it’s because they either don’t want to be (that’s fine), or they’re too lazy to be (and a lot are), in spite of oodles of positive discrimination in their favour.

In the US, though, it does seem that things are probably a bit different and never having lived there, I didn’t get that bit. It seems to me, from what I read, that there is a lot more far more seriously sexist attitude from a significant number of men over there. But then everything seems to be bigger and sometimes more violent or extreme in the US, doesn’t it? Maybe a few of you can enlighten me further – particularly the females amongst my readers who have mostly always seemed to me to be extremely fair and well balanced members of their sex.

In Spain, where I spend most of my time, women are often delightful – why else do you think I’m here? They get un-PC remarks all the time, but they don’t take offence. In fact, many of them seem to revel in the fact that men find them sexy and attractive (and whole lot of them certainly are – very!) and the males are not afraid to comment on it. But then, as I observe and understand it (and like everything else it’s a generality and there are exceptions), just because a man thinks a woman looks hot and comments on it, it doesn’t mean he assumes that she would be interested in him either emotionally or physically. He might hope for such luck, or even dream about it, but that’s it! Incidentally, it’s a very definite no-no to call a woman “hot” here (in Spanish) – it’s just not polite because in the local jargon it means she is available to almost anyone and that’s not something most Spanish men would automatically think of any woman. More importantly, the women know that, so a few sexy comments don’t make them feel threatened or uncomfortable, just complimented and feminine.

I think that’s nice all round: men are men and women are women and each respects the other without needing to be particularly wary about their natural reactions – just how it should be.

Truly Scandalous!

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by AF

This item from the UK Daily Mail is scandalous in the extreme, but without any of the nicer connotations that come with consent…

“Flatmates Amy Overend, 19, and Melissa Cooper, 22, barricaded themselves in their rooms and rang 999 when four men sneaked into their hospital accommodation shouting abuse.

But when they called again after an hour they were told they were classed as a ‘ secondary emergency’ because they were behind locked doors.

Miss Overend then called her father, an ex-magistrate, who repeatedly called the control room to demand that someone was sent round.

By the time officers arrived the gang had run off, but the nurses were worried they would return.

Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Julie Spence said the force’s response fell ‘well below’ the standards expected. She added that the fact that it was dealing with a high volume of calls at the time was ‘no excuse for the poor handling of the incident’.”

That isn’t just scandalous, it’s ?@/!ing pathetic! Of course, although it would still be lamentable, it would be a little less worrying if under English law the young women were permitted to protect themselves properly by opening up with a pump action shotgun, if the assholes got through the door. Typical of police advice would be, “If you use violence to defend yourself, madam, it must be proportionate, or we’d have to arrest you! Leave it to the professionals.”

Yeah, right! If and when they get around to it! So the current situation would appear to be that you’re damned if you shoot the assholes and raped if you don’t – great!

I suppose the police might have arrived in time to catch one or two of the miscreants if the door had not been lockable, but do you think they might have arrived before, during, or after the gang rape was over?

What a bunch of useless jerks we have running our sick society!