I’m a feminist and you are too!

I am a feminist

I admit it; I find myself mystified by much of the public debate about feminism.

I suppose that’s because I have learned to judge people by what they do, not what they say. So you (female or male) can claim that you are not feminist, whine, stamp your feet, roll your eyes, vote in a poll to ban the word “feminism” or wail that Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt was “persecuted” for advocating gender segregation in science labs, but none of the that changes the fact that you, just like me, are a feminist.

How do I know that you are a feminist? It’s pretty easy.

For women:

  • Do you vote? If so, you are exercising one of the first rights brought to you by feminists.
  • Do you have your own bank account, credit card or mortgage? Those economic rights are brought to you by feminism.
  • Did you marry the man (or woman) or your choice or did your father trade you in a monetary deal for greater family prestige or advantage? If you chose, you are a feminist.
  • Do you use birth control? Choosing to control your own fertility makes you a feminist.
  • Do you have a professional job? You can thank feminism.
  • If you’re divorced, did you get custody of the kids? That wouldn’t have happened without feminism.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Unless you are prepared to give up all those rights, you are a feminist, whether you admit it to yourself or not.

Men’s rights activists: your whining has nothing to do with men’s rights & everything to do with inability to get a date.

For men:

  • Do you own your wife? No, you’re a feminist.
  • Do you spend the money that your wife earns? You’re benefiting from feminism.
  • Did you marry the woman (or man) of your choice, or did you pay a bride price or receive a dowry for her? If you chose, you’re a feminist.
  • Have you committed any honor killings lately? No, that’s because feminists have successfully broken the link between women’s sexual purity and men’s honor.

Whether you like it or not, abiding by these societal rules makes you a feminist.

If you are a woman, you can protest all you want that you are a “lady against feminism,” but unless you are immured in your home, unable to go out without the escort of a male relative, and swathed in a burqa when you do leave your home, you are a feminist.

And men’s rights activists: We all know that your whining has nothing to do with men’s rights and everything to do with your inability to get a date. I imagine that you are correct in assuming that you would have a much better chance of getting laid if you or your father could buy someone to marry you, but that has more to do with you than with feminism.

Banning the word feminism will have as much impact on women’s rights as banning the word “war” will have on the prospects for world peace. In other words, no effect at all.

Simply put, anyone who behaves according to the principle that women are morally vested with the same legal, political and economic rights as men is a feminist. I don’t care what call yourself; I’ve seen what you do … and what you do makes you a feminist just like me.

  • Lawrence Newman

    Yes, MRAs are just whiners. I mean, the mass genital mutilation and sexual suppression of infant boys is simply a non-issue.

    Worra cunt.

  • itry2brational

    “If you’re divorced, did you get custody of the kids?”
    If you’re a divorced *man*, likely no, ~83% of custody goes to the mother. Given the facts surrounding fatherless families and child abuse, compared to others, paint a very bad picture. “That wouldn’t have happened without feminism.” Thanks be to feminism.

    • Who?

      It’s complicated. Blaming women for fatherless families completely denies men any volition. Is that really where you’re coming from?

  • itry2brational

    “I suppose that’s because I have learned to judge people by…” whether or not they are feminists. As you clearly demonstrated in your article: ‘if a woman/man does x, she’s/he’s a feminist etc.’ Pretty clear. Feminism itself is a judgement of men. BTW, saying something IS doing something.
    Also, I believe you seriously shot yourself in the foot because every single one of your detractors in NCB, lactivism, anti-vaxx, the whole kit and kaboodle, would qualify as ‘feminists’ according to your own structure. However, you are clearly on record for judging them as NOT being ‘feminists’.

    • Who?

      I think it’s the picking and choosing that gets judged. If someone accepts what feminism offers, but denies all relationship with it, that is hypocritical.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      Dude, you’ve been talking to yourself here the last week trying to get attention. You seriously need a better hobby. I will take the bait this one time to say this.

      Have you considered painting? Model kits? Landscaping? Making soap? They’re a lot more rewarding.

      • itry2brational

        DF, obviously people are reading what I write….including you…and that’s all that really matters. Lame trollish hacks typically go straight for the weak ad hominems, exposing their complete and utter lack of relevance, congrats. If you want a dialog, step right up. If not, then there’s nothing left to say to you.

        • Who?

          Answer me then, I’m responding to your comments, and not attacking you.

          It’s clear you’re trolling because you won’t engage when someone answers your ‘points’, erratic as they are.

  • ChristopherSSandberg

    Your first choice skepticalob Find Here

  • Gatita
  • dimux

    Your first choice skepticalob Find Here

  • Chi

    Honestly I think we need to do away with gender definitions altogether. All they do is create division. Until we get away from using gender stereotypes, then there’s always going to be this inequality. There’s always going to be people insisting that their gender deserves more of such and such because of their gender.

    I’m a secular humanist. All people deserve the same rights as anyone else regardless of race, sex, religion, political leanings etc etc etc.

    Why can’t we just take people for who they are, for their minds, for their hearts? Why does it matter whether they stand or sit to pee? Who gives a rats ass about the color of their skin?

    Until we can let go of the things that prejudice us, there will always be prejudice.

    • Cobalt

      I don’t see a problem with “masculine” or “feminine” as labels for characteristics of behaviors, objects, activities, or physical features. It is valuable to have ways to describe things.

      Now, insisting everything be rigidly one or the other is misguided at absolute best and frequently very damaging. There is a wide range of neutral, and that should be acknowledged. And humans shouldn’t guide their choices based on genitalia, the insistence on males having access to only “masculine” and females only “feminine” traits, activities, options, etc, is pointless and dangerous.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      That might be helpful, but it might just end up with the same problem as the people who say “I don’t see color” and think that that means that racism is over or even that they have no internalized racism. We can stop labelling people as male and female, but there will still be people who can become pregnant and people who can’t. There will still be people with more mammary hyperplasia than others. And there will still be biases, conscious and unconscious, about people based on their ability to get pregnant, mammary size, tone of voice, etc. I think at this point we need to critically examine our biases about race, gender, and various other social/biological constructs before we can get rid of them enough that it makes sense to just junk the label.

  • Alex Tureac

    To put it simply, the meaning and purpose of feminism has changed drastically in the last couple of decades.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      No, the meaning of feminism hasn’t changed at all. Some people have tried to discredit feminism by claiming that the meaning has changed. It’s like insisting that you’re not German if you’re not a Nazi, thereby discrediting Germans by tarring them with the brush of Nazism.

  • perpetual lurker

    I think the problem with defining yourself by any sort of -ism or -ist is largely a semantic one, in that it implies an alignment with certain ideologies, and just which ones may vary depending each person’s understanding of the term. Surely most women (though unfortunately not all) can get behind the definition of feminism you just outlined. But feminism has become a complex term even among those who proudly label themselves as such. Are you 2nd wave, 3rd wave? Are you radical, socialist, cultural, eco fem? Sex positive or sex negative?

    Worst of all, I’ve definitely encountered people in some of these subsets who flat out tell me I’m NOT a feminist because I don’t share their beliefs.

    When I stand up and say, “Yes I am a feminist” and the next question is “What kind?” or “What does that mean to you?” I find that none of these sub-categories fits me. I end up having to make a definition for myself, which starts in a place pretty similar to what you outlined, and if pressed, I add nuance which is a hodge podge of all of the above. So if I have to create my own definition for what the label of feminist means for me, why label myself at all?

    • Gatita

      Labels mean something. When the word feminist gets stigmatized it undermines the idea that women deserve social, political and economic equality of the sexes (thanks Beyonce for putting that into a song lyric). But I hear you on all the camps. It can be insular and ugly, all the in-fighting. And I’m definitely not on board with some of the ideas flying around in academia.

    • Cobalt

      But feminism (equality) does not mean, inherently, a lot of the other beliefs common among some feminists (pro choice, all PIV is rape, whatever).

      For example, compare to Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. If you believe Jesus is the Savior, you are Christian. Many Christians also participate in the Santa Claus myth. Does belief in Santa make (or disqualify) one from Christianity? Or is Santa just a somewhat related cultural tradition that has no real basis in Christian ideology but is popular among Christians due to celebrational overlap?

      • Roadstergal

        That’s actually quite a good angle to compare to feminism, IMO, because some things that have absolutely no basis in Christianity and no relationship to the core values are taken by a subset of thought leaders and elevated as critical to the identity. (I’m thinking ‘Christmas Tree’ here.) And some things that are critical to core Christian values are pushed aside as unimportant by a subset of thought leaders (the socialist stuff about giving to the poor, eg).

  • Daleth

    YES! You said it. My own mother couldn’t get a bank account without her husband’s permission in the 1970s. THANK GOD, or should I say thank the goddess, for feminism.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Thank feminists for feminism. They’re (we’re) the ones who made it happen.

    • itry2brational

      Praise be to feminism, our lord and savior!

  • Wonderlust

    I usually like your posts to….This is like saying if you agree with moderate republicans or replicate their beliefs then you are a republican. Most people agree with most of or all elements of most moderate positions. I am not a feminist, mostly cause I reject some pretty core parts of what most people would consider feminism.

    • Cobalt

      Such as?

      • Daleth

        *crickets*….
        🙂

        • Gozi

          I thought I was the only one confused.

          • Wonderlust

            I think most feminists would agree that someone who doesn’t believe in rape culture, is pro-life, and slut shames (to borrow the term). Has a place in their movement.

          • Gozi

            Wait a minute, are you saying all feminists are prolife? I am nit trying to argue with you, but I need some clarification.

          • wonderlust

            I think feminists tend to be pro-choice, think slut shaming is wrong and should be avoided, and believe in rape culture. I am pro-life, I don’t believe rape culture exists, and I have been known to engage in slut shaming. I should never try and type comments on my phone I tend to make mistakes. I don’t think feminism would want me!

          • MaineJen

            Well, you’re entitled to your opinion, I guess. But no, I don’t think you’re a feminist.

          • wonderlust

            Its okay, but according this those very article I am! That is my entire point. I am not trying to say any of the things that I personally believe are right. They are just my beliefs, I just think its silly to say. “oh you don’t own your wife? Your a feminist!” I am not a feminist, many many people are not feminists!

          • Roadstergal

            “oh you don’t own your wife? Your [sic] a feminist!”

            Well, yes. Otherwise, where does your idea that women aren’t owned come from? If you think that a woman’s body, including her sexuality, is her own property – that is an integral part of the sexual revolution. It’s not feminist to be a slutty slut, it’s feminist to choose to be able to be a virgin or a slutty slut, or whatever in-between is what you determine is best for yourself. If you don’t believe in owning women, you do subscribe, to a certain extent, to the idea that women should have control over their own sexuality.

            You say women should be able to work for equal pay, but it was the development of reliable contraception that made having a career a viable choice for women. While reliable contraception isn’t an absolute necessity for a given woman to have a career, it allowed women to enter the workforce on a dramatically increased scale overall (aside from preventing unwanted pregnancies, it also allowed – and allows – women the ability to control side effects of their periods that interfere with work). And access to contraception was a substantial focus of the sexual revolution.

          • Cobalt

            From what you’ve described, you agree with the core value of feminism (equality), but lack the integrity to abide by it (public ownership of women’s private choices/slut shaming, etc.).

          • wonderlust

            Its not that I lack in integrity, I believe in equality in opportunity as it applies to the public sector. I would support any man or woman’s right to work anywhere in any position, to be treated the same in a criminal proceeding (women are given the death penalty far less often then men even when you account for the types of crimes they commit), or to vote.

            The thing is I see multiple sexual partners like most people see smoking. Its a social ill. Just like we discourage smoking, educate school children not to smoke, and make laws that are punitive against smokers. I think promiscuity should be treated in a similar manner. We have ads that shame smokers all the time and no one bats an eyelash. We tell kids to say no to drugs, and that is fine to. Why not add, don’t sleep around because your future spouse will probably appreciate it while we are at it? Sure it doesn’t work 100% of the time, some people are gonna do it regardless. That doesn’t stop us from telling people that its a bad idea.

          • Who?

            All fair enough.

            So I take it your advertisements would tackle both genders?

            On a more practical note, why on earth one might choose to do or not do anything to please some so far imaginary future possible person defeats me. And why assume you know what that imaginary future possible person might want or not want in a spouse? And why talk about your sexual past if there are no health issues arising out of it anyway?

          • Cobalt

            Your spouse doesn’t own you, per se, but they do put your value in your “purity”. They own your behavior, before you’ve even met.

          • Who?

            Well that isn’t going to work very well is it? I guess if one or the other is actually sexually inexperienced, the ‘you’re the first’ thing might fly, just: but if both are experienced, and both lying about it, there are going to be some awkward conversations/silences in that couple’s immediate future.

          • Cobalt

            Informed consent- for smoking or promiscuity. Although there is much more definite health risk in smoking and no real way to mitigate that risk. Sexual activity has risks, but they are typically very manageable. Neither is appropriate in public areas, as the public has not consented to participate.

            Why would a future spouse’s concerns about one’s sexual activity matter? Is there a purity standard that needs to be upheld in order to get a “good” spouse? Or just the spouse you personally would want? Does it make more sense to just have a spouse that doesn’t have purity issues if one is inclined to promiscuity?

          • Roadstergal

            The way I see it, your feelings towards sexual morality and the risk-benefit tradeoff of sex are part of your overall personality, and I would think personality matching in general is a critical part of making a good spouse match… (if you want a spouse.)

            Being a virgin just because you think a future spouse would value that, rather than because it’s what you prefer – that doesn’t sound like a solid basis for a relationship.

          • Cobalt

            Precisely. Why twist yourself in knots trying to please someone who is basically incompatible with you when you could have a partner that appreciates you as you are.

          • Roadstergal

            “don’t sleep around because your future spouse will probably appreciate it”

            I would never appreciate virginity in a spouse. I appreciate someone who has experience and knows both what he wants and how to best please me. I pity the poor bastard who didn’t have sex out of the misguided idea that I would prefer it.

            I admit, I am morbidly curious about what punitive laws you think should be enacted against me and my husband?

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            And your post demonstrates perfectly that you can’t assume that everyone follows the same moral code.

            Most of this is directed to wonderlust’s post.

            Some would rather not have sex before marriage and some would rather have a partner that knows what they’re doing because of experience. Enforcing one of the other leaves a good number of people unsatisfied.

            I didn’t have sex before marriage for multiple reasons. I’m demisexual and find it difficult to form sexual attraction to begin with. When I do have sexual attraction it’s with one person I’m deeply emotionally connected withwith. I don’t want anyone else. People in my family tend to be hyper sexual after getting it once like a switch is flipped. That sounded like a lot of feelings I didn’t want to deal with outside a committed relationship. My religious beliefs also factored in but it wasn’t so much a “keep yourself pure or else” kind of thing but that the kind of feelings brought about by sex are for a committed relationship that if a child comes from that union it will be cared for by parents who love each other and their child.

            That works for me. I don’t assume it works for everyone around me though.

            You cannot force your version of morality on others. It leads to resentment, opposition, and in extreme cases violence to escape it. We can’t even get it through people’s heads “Killing your neighbor is a bad thing” which is probably as close to a universal agreement that you can get. Getting into someone’s private sex life isn’t going to go over well.

            If you want people to follow your moral code, you lead by example. Why would someone want to follow your morals? Because they see something in your code that resonates with them. Beating it into them and shoving them down their throats doesn’t work.

            Using Christ as an example he always said “Come follow me.” Those that wanted what he had followed him. Teach by example.

          • Gatita

            Actually, saying no to drugs and criminalizing drug use has been a failure. All that money for law enforcement and jail and people still become addicted. It would be much more humane to decriminalize drug use and take the money currently used to punish and allocate it to treatment instead.

            Another failure of moralism: Alcoholics Anonymous. It doesn’t have a high success rate and because it’s a faith-based intervention it’s diverted attention from potentially effective drug treatments for alcoholism.

            Regarding sexual behavior, teens in states that teach abstinence get pregnant at much higher rates than teens in states that provide information on birth control and who make it available for free or low cost.

            Shaming is a seriously poor public health intervention.

          • MaineJen

            “Your future spouse will probably appreciate it?” LOL. Says who?

            And last time I checked, multiple sexual partners do not threaten your life the way smoking does. At least, not as long as you have easy access to condoms.

          • Roadstergal

            Hi! I’m a slut by your definition. And I’m not in the least bit ashamed.

            (ETA, I’m a slut by a lot of folks’ definition, come to that. Still not ashamed.)

          • Gozi

            My brain is on fire…

          • just me

            What do you mean by you don’t believe “rape culture” exists? Are you saying women lie when they say they have been raped, that they’re just slurs who asked for it?

          • MaineJen

            As in…you don’t believe rape culture exists, you are pro life and you practice slut shaming regularly? So you don’t think you’re a feminist? Or you think someone who is all of those things is a feminist?

    • MaineJen

      Some core parts of feminism: equal rights, equal opportunities, full personhood under the law. So the part you disagree with is?…

      • Wonderlust

        Seeing as you just defined humanism…none of that. I tend to reject most of the sexual revolution aspects.

        • LibrarianSarah

          No she didn’t. The definition of Humanism is:

          “An outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human
          problems.”

          It has nothing to do with equality between groups of people.

          • wonderlust

            Sorry my bad, I meant egalitarian, that is what I get for typing while distracted.

            The main things I don’t agree with tend to be the sexual politics. The idea that a woman should feel free to sleep with multiple partners if that is what she decides and we should all be okay with that. I am pro-life I don’t believe in abortion under any circumstance other then to protect the life of the mother. I don’t believe we have a rape culture.

          • Guestll

            So you do believe in abortion then, but only when it dovetails with your values.

            You don’t believe we have a rape culture. Why is that? Could you elaborate?

          • wonderlust

            You do understand that that is not the point right? The thing is this article is arguing that if you simply hold the idea that women deserve protection under the law that you are feminist full stop.I am arguing that there are other things to being a feminist and its possible to think women are human and deserve rights, without identifying with the modern feminist movement. So I will ask you! I think women should be able to vote and work for pay, does that with all these other beliefs means I am a feminist?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            I understand what you are arguing and you are wrong.

            You are just the type of person I was writing about, someone who claims he or she is not a feminist, but is actually a feminist. and unwilling to admit it.

          • wonderlust

            But the article doesn’t address this issue. So are you saying its possible to be pro-life and a feminist? That the feminist movement doesn’t care about your stance on that issue? The article seems to be taking the broadest most middle of the road view of feminism and saying if you agree with these things, then you are a feminist regardless of anything else.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Of course it is possible to be a feminist and anti-abortion. Feminism is about legal, political and economic emancipation of women.

          • Roadstergal

            I think, though, that if you believe in removing women’s access to pre-viability termination of pregnancy, you’re butting up against the mentality behind “Do you own your wife?” The idea that women’s right to bodily autonomy should be limited.

            It is, of course, a touchy subject. (And I believe we’re barking up the wrong tree with it anyway. With all of the data showing that access to free LARC tanks abortion rates, the question should not be ‘are you pro-choice,’ but rather ‘why the hell aren’t we funding free LARC for all women who want it.’ Which is, I think, a feminist issue.)

          • Who?

            A strictly non-religious amen to this. The mentality that limits contraception and abortion makes my brain hurt.

          • Cobalt

            Yes!!

          • Sarah

            I agree that it would be best if the US would provide LARC for all women as required. However, we have pretty good access to it in the UK thanks to the NHS, indeed it’s often pushed over other forms of contraception. We still require nearly 200k abortions per year though. Access to both is necessary.

          • Roadstergal

            “Access to both is necessary”

            I agree with you 100%. It just annoys me greatly when anti-abortion folk aren’t pushing like mad for expanded access to contraception and better working conditions for pregnant women, which would at least make them non-hypocritical.

            There were two recent pilot programs with expanded access to LARC – one based at Washington University in St Louis, one in Colorado – where the unwanted pregnancy rates and abortion rates dropped substantially. I wonder if there’s been an analysis done on the abortion rate in the UK? I mean, I’m 100% pro-choice, but I think it’s always so much better to not have to put the woman in the position of needing an abortion in the first place.

          • Guestll

            I understand your point exactly. You’re not a feminist, except you are.

            I don’t agree with every tenet of my faith, in fact, I disagree with much. I’m still a Roman Catholic.

          • wonderlust

            Why would anyone want to apply a label to people that patently reject it anyway? Why would feminism as a movement want people who don’t want to be feminists or declare they don’t need feminism? That is like you going around informing other people they are Roman Catholics!

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            They reject it because they don’t understand it. If they understood it, they wouldn’t be rejecting it.

          • Guestll

            If you partake of the sacraments yet insist you’re not Catholic…

          • Guestll

            If you support abortion in cases to protect the life of the mother, does that mean you also support abortion in cases of rape and incest?

          • wonderlust

            No, I support abortion in the same way I support amputating limbs and chemo therapy. I accept that pregnancy can sometimes be a life threatening condition and that sometimes the only way to preserve the life the mother is to deliver the fetus regardless of gestational age and the viability of the fetus. In this case the delivery of the fetus is really just to prevent two deaths because in most cases the fetus would die at the time the mother died anyway.

          • MaineJen

            If you are pro-life except-in-the-case-where-the-pregnancy-threatens-the-woman’s-life…then I hate to break it to you, but you are actually pro-choice.

          • Wonderlust

            Did you not read all the way to the end? In cases where the infant is removed to preserve maternal life the baby was going to die as soon as the mother passed regardless. What medical case do you know of where the mother dies and the infant miraculously lives in the dead women’s body to viability? (including only cases where the mother died of things that an abortion would have helped so not like the Texas PE case. That one is not relevant since the issue was not using an abortion to protect her health that was should she be kept alive artificially just to continue her pregnancy.)

            Also chemo can be done in pregnancy and is done in many cases

          • Guestll

            What if the pregnancy threatens her mental health?

            Are babies from mothers whose lives are threatened in any way somehow less valuable than babies from mothers whose lives are not threatened?

            I would respect your argument a whole lot more if you you said, “I am against abortion in all cases.” At least it would be consistent. Instead, you choose to be pro-choice when it aligns with your values.

          • Cobalt

            “The thing is this article is arguing that if you simply hold the idea that women deserve protection under the law that you are feminist full stop.”

            It does, assuming you mean equal protection. The way individuals may parse the implications of this may vary, and different conclusions may be drawn by different people, but that does not invalidate the initial premise of equality.

          • MaineJen

            What about a man? Can he sleep with multiple partners? What do you consider multiple? And seeing as how you’re pro life, are you also pro birth control and sex education?

          • LibrarianSarah

            I would say that feminism is a subset of egalitarianism just like the civil rights movement is.

            As for the rest, what business is it of yours how many partners a woman (or a man for that matter) sleeps with? Assuming everything is consensual and outside parties are not being harmed what’s the big deal? And what is the “acceptable” number of sexual partners someone can have?

            As for the abortion thing, is there any other medical procedures that you think that the government should have complete control over or is that just it?

            And you really don’t think victims of rape and sexual assault are blamed for it? Or feel that they have to justify what they were wearing, how much they had to drink, why they didn’t scream loud enough or fight hard enough? That women who are sexually harassed aren’t told to “think of it as a compliment?” If so I’d like to know where you live because I’d like to move there.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            The idea that a woman should feel free to sleep with multiple partners
            if that is what she decides and we should all be okay with that.

            Why should it be any of your business unless the woman in question is proposing to sleep with you?

          • Who?

            Surely then the issue is that neither gender should be able to have sex with multiple partners? I haven’t been pregnant in a couple of decades but as I recall it takes two-so telling women they should be mindful of the number of their sexual partners is meaningless in a pro-life context unless men are under the same strictures.

            Or everyone could just take responsibilty and use contraception.

          • Sarah

            It is beyond me why you either think yourself entitled to an opinion what I do with my vagina, or imagine that anyone should care whether you’re ok with it or not.

        • MaineJen

          So why don’t you define the sexual revolution aspects you disagree with? Because to me, the sexual revolution was more about equality and non-discrimination. Also not getting sexually harassed.

          • Roadstergal

            I think of the sexual revolution as a natural corollary to bodily autonomy. Bodily autonomy includes the freedom to determine the type and amount of sex that’s best for you – whether it be copious amounts or none at all, or anything between.

            In that sense, I think it comes down to the ‘owning your wife’ part of what Dr Amy notes, up above. The idea that a woman’s body, including her sexuality, belongs to herself, and that she can choose to use it however seems best to her, is a feminist idea that pushes back against things such as marital rape as well as slut-shaming. IMO.

  • Sue

    I suspect we won’t hear from the non-feminists today because they don’t access the internet freely.

  • Froggggggg

    It’s mind-boggling how many people, especially WOMEN! still don’t get this and see feminism as a radical and undesirable movement whose only proponents are extreme left-wing, unshaved, frigid, man-hating hippie women. Very sad.

    It’s one of my pet topics that really gets me riled up… I could go on, but as usual, Dr Amy put it so well that there’s not much to do but agree. 🙂

    • Wombat

      There are some cuckoo(er) sub movements and off-shoots of feminism…. but that is true of anything. Just because someone is a Christian doesn’t mean they’re a card carrying member of Westboro Baptist Church – heck, even if they agree on a few points they still aren’t the same… there’s a matter of degree and what they disagree on.

      We don’t ~generally~ expect Christians to go ‘oh, but not that kind, not like them’ every time they mention something remotely religious. We shouldn’t expect it of feminists either, but reading comments sometimes people sure missed that memo :c

      • Gatita

        Academic femisim can be pretty extreme, I know I read that stuff sometimes and feel completely alienated. I can understand why a lot of women would be put off by some feminist dogma. I read the recent NYT essay about Caitlyn Jenner by the feminist Elinor Burkett and aside from being appalled by the nasty jabs at trans women (trans women don’t know what it’s like to be harassed by men or denied opportunities, really?) I was put off by her definition of female gender. Here’s a response to Burkett’s essay that really resonated for me: http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2015/06/10/why-the-feminists-defending-caitlyn-jenners-gender-transition-are-missing-the-point/

        According to Burkett, newly transitioned women like Caitlyn Jenner can’t lay claim to woman-ness because:They haven’t suffered through business meetings with men talking to their breasts or woken up after sex terrified they’d forgotten to take their birth control pills the day before. They haven’t had to cope with the onset of their periods in the middle of a crowded subway, the humiliation of discovering that their male work partners’ checks were far larger than theirs, or the fear of being too weak to ward off
        rapists.

        She’s arguing, on the one hand, that female-ness is largely a social construction–a fair and, in academic circles, not uncontroversial claim.But, according to Burkett, that construction is built almost entirely out of negative experiences…

        And that’s what is most troubling about this essay and the response to it: it reflects what has become a dominant strain in feminist thought– that we become women by suffering and by embracing our pain. That was the assumption behind last year’s #YesAllWomen campaign, which encouraged women to tweet about instances in which they’d been victims of male aggression. It was part of the reason Leslie Jamison’s recent essay, “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain,” which
        enumerates all the wounds men have inflicted on her, and on woman-kind more generally (even in fiction) was so well-received. But as Jessa Crispin writes in a trenchant essay that feminists should read:

        This emotional segregation is not good for us….I worry about making pain a ticket to gain entry into the women’s club. And I worry that the assumption of vulnerability threatens to invigorate just the sexist evils it aims to combat by demanding that men serve as shields against it.</blockquote

        • Gatita

          After creating this post, now I wonder if this has anything to do with so-called feminists who oppose pain relief in labor.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Personally, I think feminists who have a problem with transwomen are jerks at best. There are definitely strands of feminism with which I disagree profoundly. There are also strands of humanism , the civil rights movement, and pro-democracy philosophy that I find problematic, but that doesn’t mean I’m against humanism, civil rights, or democracy, just that there are things people do in the name of all of the above that I find objectionable.

          Also, any ciswoman who thinks that transwomen have it easy has her head stuck someplace smelly. Sure, transwomen grew up without being told that they were “just girls” but they have to put up with being told that they’re unnatural and getting attacked for their gender identify.

          • Roadstergal

            I don’t think there’s anything inherently feminist about demonizing trans women, but it’s been a while since I graduated from Bryn Mawr…

            I agree that there are things I disagree with that are branded ‘feminist,’ and feminists that I disagree with (and vice versa) – but overall, I still self-identify as ‘feminist.’ These disagreements are generally about things tangential to the main issues of gaining equality.

          • LibrarianSarah

            It’s weird because the most “trans-friendly” people I know are the self-identified feminists. But then again I don’t hang around radfems all that often because they tend to be as ablest as they are transphobic. I think that most feminists try their best in take intersectionality into account. They sometimes fail but I think most feminists hearts are in the right place.

          • Gatita

            I also self-identify as feminist but I regularly run across feminist writing that leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I think The Movement, the leaders, are very out of touch with the average woman and the gap gets bigger when you’re talking about women of color.

            My personal flavor of feminism was going to college and waiting until later in life to have a family even though I grew up in a patriarchal culture where I was taught that the greatest thing I could do is get married young and have lots of kids and martyr myself to my family. I’ve spent my life pushing for recognition at work, asking for more money, fighting back against street harassment. This is my lived feminist experience and I’m proud to carry the label. But then I read something online and think yuck, if this is what’s being framed as feminism no wonder women are reluctant to align themselves with this.

          • Roadstergal

            I wonder if ‘online’ has changed things. I went to college when blogs weren’t yet a Thing, and when I read feminist writings, they all seemed very much in tune with what’s written above. Backlash, The Second Shift, that sort of thing.

            And now that I’m online, a lot of my FB friends are trans/gay/WOC, so the feminist stuff I see shared on Facebook tends to take that experience into consideration… hm.

        • Froggggggg

          Yes, I agree – some of the academic stuff is extreme (I did a couple of subjects on feminism at uni and they sure managed to suck the fun out of it!), and also often too far removed from reality and completely missing the point (IMO) by negatively labelling women who make different choices to whatever the academic deems to be suitable. I guess it’s as Wombat says above – there are sub-movements that are more extreme and I’d put some of academia in there.

          I will have to read the essays when I get a chance. It hadn’t even occurred to me that feminists may have an issue with transgender women.

  • Frum lady

    Few years back this place was busy as a beehive. Where are all the commentors and followers? Please keep going on strong Dr. Amy. You’re a strength.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Depends on the topic. Post a couple of days ago has 607 comments so far.

    • Who?

      We busted disqus a few weeks ago mercilessly teasing anti vaxxers….

    • Cobalt

      Our shill checks have been late, hard to keep up a good work ethic without all that sweet shill money to finance the highroller lifestyle.

      Or we’re still depressed from the list of dead babies from a few days ago.

      Could go either way.

    • Megan

      Because it’s boring for me to comment, “yup, I agree.”

      I guess we are awaiting parachuting MRA’s…

  • carr528

    Guess the Duggars are about the only people who can’t call themselves feminist. Daddy picks the grooms, women are only good for breeding, it’s the woman’s fault if a man strays, and, while they vote, I’m sure it’s only for people Daddy (or the husband) approve of.

    • Poogles

      That would be everyone in the ATI Quiverfull movement, not just the Duggars.

    • Wombat

      Pretty sure hardliners of most conservative religious movements qualify to a degree. Well, the women probably don’t in many cases, but quiet wins out over dead/shunned/etc.

  • Amy
    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Nice, but then there’s this line: “I once savagely castrated a visiting speaker because I ran out of chocolate.”

      I don’t get it. I mean, who hasn’t savaged the occasional guest speaker? Especially if there is inadequate chocolate on hand. That’s why talks always come with treats.

      • LibrarianSarah

        I for one am surprised that you need a reason to savagely castrate someone. Here I was just doing it for funzies. Boy is my face red.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Nah, reasons are optional.

        • Gozi

          It makes an excellent soup.

      • Who?

        Especially if they happen to be talking nonsense, when savaging is practically obligatory. Though it does take some will power to overome the urge to be a nice girl and let them get on with it.

  • Gatita

    Actually, if you take advantage of all those things but refuse to identify as a feminist, what you’re doing is stowing away on the movement. It’s like antivaxxers hiding in the herd.

    • CrownedMedwife

      Exactly. If you’ve grown up in the US and attended public schools or college in the last 43 years, you’ve benefited from the feminist movement. Your educational and athletic opportunities were directly shaped by your feminist predecessors and their pursuit of gender equity. With that, I’d like to extend sincere thanks to all the feminists who contributed to those efforts and the changes it enacted. Today, the 43rd anniversary of Title IX; this post couldn’t have been more apropos. Kudos Dr. Amy.

  • Spiderpigmom

    (Clapping)
    (Cheering)
    (Some more clapping)

    While I find Dr Tuteur’s ideas entirely reasonable, I’m not normally a huge fan of her style of delivery to say the least. Posts like this are why I’m still following the blog. They makes me want to give a sustained standing ovation and send them to all my contacts with a MUST READ note.
    So. Satisfying.

  • Rita Rippetoe

    And, if you are a woman who enjoys and uses all those rights without calling your self a feminist, you are an ingrate.

    • ArmyChick

      I think it has become “cool” for women to say “I am not a feminist”… and they don’t even think about what that word actually means. They just buy into the men hating rhetoric and don’t bother learning how far women have come.

      So I always tell them they are allowed to have an opinion and voice it because of FEMINISM. Feminism has allowed women to be more than a man’s servant; women used to live in men’s shadows..no we have a choice. They usually shut right up.

      • Sue

        Modern women claiming not to be feminists suffer the same spectrum bias as anti-vaxers and radical NCBers. If you’ve never seen the circumstances that required the change, you don’t appreciate the effort that got you there.

        • Who?

          Quite so. My 20 year old daughter tells me feminism is dead, that there is no further need for it.

          In some ways it’s great she’s got to this stage feeling respected and equal, to the point where she takes that for granted, but she’s about to go into a male dominated profession and get the shock of her life.

          • Sarah

            Oh yes. It can be quite an eye opener when a young woman enters an environment where equality isn’t taken for granted for the first time!

  • Kazia

    sadly, I have heard women say that they believe that men, specifically their fathers and then their husbands, should control all finances and even vote for them.

    • Gozi

      I guess it is their “women’s right to choose,”

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Women, sadly, can be every bit as stupid and act as contrary to their own interests as men. It’s a bit like poor people who vote Republican.

      • ForeverMe

        “Women, sadly, can be every bit as stupid and act as contrary to their own interests as men. It’s a bit like poor people who vote Republican.”

        Yes. So, so true. Great comparison. In both cases, I just don’t “get” it. (Neither feminist hating women nor the poor who vote Republican. Men, I just accept. 😉 )

        • Who?

          I think it’s a bit harsh. A lot of poor people who vote Republican do so because they’ve bought into the ‘trickle down’ ‘aspirational’ language so cunningly employed by these so-called conservatives.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Yeah and many women are “not feminists” because they’ve bought into the idea that to be a feminist you have to hate men. But that doesn’t mean that being a non-feminist or anti-feminist is in any woman’s self interest or that voting Republican is in any poor person’s interest.

          • Gozi

            Some of them agree with the conservative ideas of abortion and gay marriage.

    • Guest

      My cousin once told me that she didn’t understand why feminists hate men so much, that she liked it when her husband opened the door for her and paid when they went out to dinner. I just stared at her.

      • Amy

        I don’t get it regarding the husband paying for dinner. If she’s not working outside the home, then isn’t “his” money really the “household” money anyway? And if she IS working outside the home, if they have joint resources (as my husband and I have chosen to do) it doesn’t really matter who signs the bill, because again, it’s household money. And if they DON’T have joint resources and keep separate accounts, she is directly benefittng from feminism in exactly the way Dr. Amy outlined in this post.

        • Gozi

          You can let a man pay for dinner and open doors for you and still hate men. Feminism, as I understand it, was never supposed to be about hating men.

          • Sue

            Paying for dinner and opening doors are signs of courtesy and respect. They don’t have to related to gender.

            If I give someone a lift in my car, I generally open the door for them.

            If I get to a door and someone is struggling with parcels, I open the door and hold it for them. I would also open the door or give my seat for an elderly person – man or woman.

            If I invite someone to dinner and they’re struggling financially, I might offer to pay, or take turns, or pay for the meal and let them get the coffee.

            You don’t have to be thinking about gender to express consideration for others.

          • Sarah

            Holding doors open for others is simply politeness. I would never bang a door in someone’s face, that’s rude and ignorant. Nothing to do with male and female.

          • Angharad

            You just reminded me of my worst date! We were going into a building with a breezeway and those heavy doors that are kind of slow to close. As he went through each set of doors, he turned around and pulled them closed behind himself, right in my face. I was shocked. I don’t care if people hold doors for me, but he went out of his way to make my life harder.

          • Gozi

            Ugh! I think I would have let him pull the door closed and he go one way and I the other.

          • Sarah

            How rude.

          • Nick Sanders

            What in hell?

          • MaineJen

            …aaaaaaaand the date is over.

          • Roadstergal

            I open the door for someone if I’m there first. It’s always a bit of a mental calculation as to how far away someone has to be before holding the door becomes awkward…

            But there are definitely some dudes who have their arms full of packages who will start juggling and dropping them in their effort to open the door for themselves instead of having me hold it for them. I’m just holding the door open because your hands are full, I’m not chopping off your dick.

      • Kazia

        I’m a lesbian AND a feminist, so I should be a huge man hater…but (surprise surprise) I’m not. I know lots of great men. The ones that yell out of their cars while my girlfriend and I are walking down the street holding hands piss me off though. Always men. Always.

        • Nick Sanders

          Maybe you should walk down the sidewalk instead of the street? 😛 I’d yell at you too, I’ve got places to go.

          • Kazia

            lol, yes I meant on the sidewalk.

          • Who?

            😉

        • MegaMechaMeg

          Absolutely nobody hates straight men more than straight woman. I’m really not sure how lesbians got to claim first place there.

        • demodocus

          My husband and I get some of that, too. Its always men then, as well. The jerks.

    • Nick Sanders

      I’m a dude and frankly, I don’t want that. I don’t want a slave, I want an equal.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        “I don’t want to be your better half. I believe that 1 and 1 make 2.” – Alanis Morrisette

        I actually kind of like that.

        • Nick Sanders

          First time I’ve heard it; it is pretty good.

          • Cobalt

            From her song Not The Doctor off her album Jagged Little Pill, circa 1995.

          • Daleth
          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I just pity the guy on the other end of “You Oughta Know” (Dave Coullier, it is rumored). That is some serious rage, coupled with stalking.

          • Gatita

            Truthfully, it kind of took away some of the song’s awesome for me. Dave Coulier inspired that kind of rage? REALLY????

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            There’s a monster looming on the set of Full House, I guess….

          • MaineJen

            Well, I guess that blonde mullet would make anyone mad…

          • Poogles

            Dave Coulier denies he’s the one the song is about. Alanis says it isn’t necessarily about only 1 man, as she dated a few men who were much, much older than her when she was a teenager (14-18 years old).

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Alanis says it isn’t necessarily about only 1 man

            She’s gone down on more than 1 guy in a theater?

            🙂

            And broken into more than 1 guy’s house to play his Joni Mitchell albums?

          • Poogles

            “She’s gone down on more than 1 guy in a theater?”

            It’s always possible, lol. Or the song is a mish-mash of different experiences with different men – so the guy she went down on in the theater may not be the same one she interrupted in the middle of dinner (Dave says he thinks that the dinner line is about him, but even he’s not sure).

            “And broken into more than 1 guy’s house to play his Joni Mitchell albums?”

            That’s not from “You Oughta Know”, though, it’s from “Your House” so who knows? She keeps the identity of which partner inspired which songs very close to the vest, so all we really have is speculation…which can be very entertaining 😉

          • Roadstergal

            Hey, if you give it a try and enjoy it, why not do it more?

            What always bugged me about that song, though, is her putting that forth as a competitive thing. “Would she go down on you in a theater?” Like she doesn’t actually enjoy doing it, it’s just one-up-woman-ship. Or maybe not, I think I’m overly sensitive to these things. :p

          • Cobalt

            Maybe the one-up-woman-ship is appropriate when determining individual compatibility (assuming the “ups” are true). Not a better person, big picture, but better for *him*. I think that’s fair.

          • Roadstergal

            I dunno, I just feel like acting slutty to get a guy when it doesn’t make you happy is the other side of the coin of being a virgin at marriage to get a guy when it isn’t what you want. Like I said, I’m probably over-sensitive to these things. 🙂 There’s always a tension between being yourself and making reasonable compromises to be with someone.

          • Cobalt

            I agree, and I don’t think your sensitivity is at all out of bounds. That kind of awareness in the general population would do this world some good.

          • Poogles

            “What always bugged me about that song, though, is her putting that forth as a competitive thing. “Would she go down on you in a theater?” Like she doesn’t actually enjoy doing it”

            At the same time, why assume that putting it forth as a “competitive” thing means she doesn’t enjoy it? They’re not mutually exclusive.

          • Roadstergal

            I still haven’t forgiven her for “Ironic,” however.

    • Wombat

      There’s a real resurgence of this in some Christian circles that are usually not that bad, or at least quieter about it.

      It’s posed as hip and modern Christianity to ‘submit’ to your husband, and allow him to be the leader/ultimate decision maker.

      I’m sure it’s just more of the further stratification/polarization of the country and striking back against percieved ‘war on religion’ and increased promiscuity, but it’s still odd.

      It’s a woman wearing Louboutins, writing from her office job, spouting what is essentially regifted Quiverfull et al positions. Talking about sexual pleasure and liberation, but only in a straight married relationship oh but no experimenting with spanking because that’s reserved for your husband to discipline you if needed.

      It’s a very odd dichotomy, and I fear it’s laying on the glamour and decietful ‘comprimise’ (you can have a job! Like volunteering somewhere your husband approves as ling as you can still keep house) a little thick and bordering on propaganda, but we’ll see I suppose. It’s not that huge yet to be massively worried.

      • Gozi

        A lot of men get excited about being the head of the house and their wives submitting to them until they are made to understand that it is a position of responsibility. If you are the head, you are also responsible for what goes wrong in the family.

      • Megan

        I actually went to a wedding where the words “I vow to submit to you” we’re part of the bride’s vows. I almost laughed out loud. The groom vowed to be kind and just to her (gee thanks). The whole thing was very strange. In the car I told my husband that would never be part of my vows though I did vow to discuss important decisions with him. He told me he would never want a wife that “submitted” to him.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          To me, “submission”, particularly in marriage, brings to mind S&M and other kinds of sexual role playing. Because pretty much any other context sounds like a joke.

          • Roadstergal

            It always makes me think of sending a manuscript in for publication, really.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I have both meanings in my head with the result that every time I have a manuscript ready for a journal I have this brief mental image that is completely not work safe and (probably) not what the editors meant at all when they said they’d welcome a submission from me…

  • fiftyfifty1

    “and swathed in a burqa when you do leave your home”

    Or shaved head and wearing a wig?

    • yentavegan

      OUCH.

      • fiftyfifty1

        I would expect that burqa-wearing women have the same response.

        • MichelleJo

          It’s not a competition. In both cases, it’s a matter of whether it’s forced on them or not. And I wear neither, nor do I shave.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Hey, if you want to wear a burqa or a wig over a shaved head that’s fine as long as you’re doing it because you want to not because you are legally forced to or socially coerced into doing so.

  • UNCDave

    Oh good, you’re poking the MRAs with a stick. I look forward to the reasoned and measured debate they’re likely to bring.

    • Roadstergal

      I’m settling in for the barrage of foreskins.

      • MegaMechaMeg

        Everything on the internet come back to foreskin. Somehow.

        • Roadstergal

          It covers the whole internet. #infantile

        • itry2brational

          No, according to feminists, everything comes back to feminism. Somehow.

    • NoLongerCrunching

      While many MRAs are huge asshats, there are some grains of truth in there. Dads often get screwed over with regard to custody. There is also a lot of subtle anti-male sentiment in American culture lately. For example a standard trope on TV is to have the wife be smart and competent while the husband is a bumbling fool that everyone pokes fun at. Our educational system also tends to favor children (read: girls) who can sit still for long periods of time. (Of course later there is the opposite situation in which girls get steered away from STEM).

      • Stephanie

        I agree those are current issues, however I think they stem from not enough feminism. Why can’t dad have custody of the kids and why is he portrayed as a bumbling idiot? Because the house and management of children is still viewed as a woman’s place, and those perceptions end up being excuses for women needing to return to the home.

        Schools favoring quiet children who sit still isn’t favoring the gender. It is favoring the trait. An active, loud girl will get into just as much trouble for acting out as an active loud boy. A quiet boy will be favored just as much as a quiet girl. It is still an issue with the educational systems, just not one based on sexism.

      • Stephanie

        I agree those are current issues, however I think they stem from not enough feminism. Why can’t dad have custody of the kids and why is he portrayed as a bumbling idiot? Because the house and management of children is still viewed as a woman’s place, and those perceptions end up being excuses for women needing to return to the home.

        Schools favoring quiet children who sit still isn’t favoring the gender. It is favoring the trait. An active, loud girl will get into just as much trouble for acting out as an active loud boy. A quiet boy will be favored just as much as a quiet girl. It is still an issue with the educational systems, just not one based on sexism.

        • Roadstergal

          “Because the house and management of children is still viewed as a woman’s place, and those perceptions end up being excuses for women needing to return to the home.”

          So much this. I hear a lot of this, actually, from AP/EBF types. Men aren’t ‘competent’ to so much as touch the baby, so the woman has to stay at home and be 100% responsible for care. It’s a way of presenting a limitation of options as ’empowerment.’

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Yup. I pretty much swallowed that nonsense hook, line, and sinker the first few months of motherhood. Rather unsurprisingly, by month 4 of DH only holding DD for ten minutes max in the evenings while I did the dishes, I was an angry and resentful mess.
            To be quite fair, I was the one insisting on all this. DH would have been perfectly happy to help care for DD and just as good at it as I was, as evidenced by the fact that when I finally snapped, stopped breastfeeding, and started leaving the house on my own for a while, he and DD had a perfectly lovely time bonding while “discussing” golf/soccer/football, and I’d always come home to a happy baby with a clean diaper and a full tummy. From what I understand, this will cause DD lifelong trauma issues having to do with maternal abandonment or something. She must’ve missed that memo. *shrug*

          • Roadstergal

            I have to admit, I feel it’s a bit awesome that you eventually snapped… I mean, I adored my mom and miss her every day, but I had a wonderful relationship with my dad, too, growing up, and I wouldn’t want to have had to sacrifice that on the alter of AP.

            From what I understand of attachment theory, it’s just a matter of having a close, safe relationship with steady figures that can be relied on, and it seems to me that the more trusted figures, the better. Growing up, my next-up sister often held that position, along with my parents. I felt more safe and had more fun going out into the world when she was coming along with me.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Heh. It was probably the best thing for all of us. For the first few weeks post-snap, DD would shriek miserably if DH dared hold her, much less if I left the house for even two minutes, just as she always had. Then once she actually spent more than ten minutes with him, him explaining sports and playing fun music for her, she realized that Daddy is actually a pretty cool guy, and her whole face lights up when he walks into the room. That’s a GOOD thing, methinks.
            DH grew up as one of 8–yes, 8. I think part of the reason he and his siblings are so happy and confident is that they had such a built-in support system. Sure, they fought, like all siblings do, but when it came down to it they all had a big, close circle of people who loved them. That’s pretty awesome, in my not so humble opinion.

        • Mattie

          I’d argue that a loud girl would get in more trouble, have less ‘chances’ because being loud is ‘just how boys are’ whereas a loud girl is breaking all the rules.

          • Cobalt

            Not just disruptive, but also not cute…double whammy.

          • Roadstergal

            I’m thinking of the story that Laura Ingalls Wilder (ostensibly) told, of her little sister getting in trouble for rocking in her chair while doing her exercises…

      • Who?

        Just to note many of the most vociferous custody-seeking dads in my world would struggle to pick their own kids in a line up, so disinterested in them are they until they become pawns in the latest game.

        • just me

          That’s not really fair to brush all dads like that. I think it is harder (in the US anyway) for a dad to get custody, all things being equal.

      • KarenJJ

        There’s some talk in Australia of ‘toxic male culture’ stemming from domestic abuse statistics and violent crime. It feels like the elephant in the room that people are only just starting to discuss. It’s been hard because every time it’s been brought up you get the “#notallmen” pushback. But like #notallmidwives, if that’s the best you can say about an issue there’s something going on that’s not right.

        • Who?

          It’s a big topic. We are on a dark path here in Australia, I’m horrified by where we are going re citizenship etc, but then I guess how is a government to get re-elected dealing with actual issues when it can choose instead to focus on the scare monster.

          And every time someone says ‘we want to keep people safe’ my mind goes to the 45 women who have already died here this year as a result of intimate partner violence, and wonder how their families feel about all this.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        There have been formal studies looking at teacher behavior in schools starting at preschool that demonstrate that teachers tend to favor boys. It’s usually more subtle now than, say, my 5th grade history teacher who, on day one of the class announced that boys were just better at history than girls and who would always call on boys, ignoring the girls who were volunteering, and then say, “Only boys are willing to speak in class” and so on.

      • Empliau

        The history of schooling in the west (and maybe other places, but I am not familiar with Asia or Africa) is of a classroom where concentration was valued and corporal punishment freely handed out (Yes, I meant to do that) for transgressions pretty much of any kind. Yet for centuries the schoolmasters were exclusively male, as were the students. It may be that boys of five are on average less able to sit quietly than girls of five, so that there is now a disparity of educational outcomes in the early years – but this idea, freely bandied around, that women teachers have set up a classroom structure that favors girls’ abilities and strengths, is complete and utter nonsense.

  • Nick Sanders

    I’ve long been quite happy to tell anyone who wants to know that I’m proudly feminist.

    • demodocus

      My mom raised *all* her babies to be feminists, too.

  • Kazia

    In the “Do you vote” line, it should be brought to you by feminists, not buy feminists.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks!!