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March 08, 2006

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» Hugo from Random Ravings
One of my favorite blogs recently has been that of Hugo Schwyzer. Hugo describes himself as follows: a progressive, consistent-life ethic Anabaptist/Episcopalian Democrat (but with a sense of humor), a community college history and gender studies prof... [Read More]

» Don't blame me, the teevee ate my brain from F-Words
Can't we be big boys and reconcile sexual attraction with interpersonal relationships? [Read More]

Comments

alexander

Hugo:

It's interesting that you seem to glorify Brokeback Mountain for it's tolerance towards homosexuals, yet at the same time oppose pornography and sex work. Is there not some hypocrisy here? How can you be in favor of one form of sexual freedom but not another?

Is it because being pro-homosexual is the trendy thing? And there is no social stigma to it these days? I supported homosexual rights back in the 1970s when it was not a trendy thing to do. At the same time, I supported legalizing prostitution on the same principle of sexual freedom.

This is why I see conservatives as the lesser of the two evils. At least conservatives are consistent. They are either tradtionalists who oppose all sex outside of heterosexual marriage, or libertarians who are tolerant of all sex among consenting adults. Liberals always have double standards...and this is one reason "liberal" has become a dirty word in recent years.

Hugo

Alexander, there is no inconsistency in supporting the right of consenting adults to do as they please WITHOUT paying for/commoditizing each other's bodies while strongly opposing the sexual exploitation of the economically vulnerable.

Ultimately, I also think masturbating to a paid-for fantasy image is inconsistent with both feminism and faith, because it substitutes a picture (one that exists only for our pleasure) for an actual relationship. It connects sexual pleasure to something that can be bought and sold; that is damaging to everyone in the process.

The Gonzman

Just making a note that since we proceed from different perspectives on what constitutes sexism, that I'm not weighing in here. This eing one of these intra-feminist dialogues which I stay out of and just agree to disagree on.

I'l call attention, also, to the kudos I threw to Hugo on the taping issue, lest I be accused again of just disagreeing with the Good Doc for the sake of disagreeing and playing the gadfly.

kate.d.

these are really good questions, and i hope you don't mind if i plagarize this basic format for my own blog against sexism post this evening! my brain is mush lately for work stress, and this would be a great way to organize my thoughts and do a little introspecting.

Heather

How I am working to end sexism in my personal life:

1. I've come to the conclusion that I deserve a promotion and will ask for one at my next annual review, despite thinking in years past that it would be too "pushy."

2. I'm reading books and adopting ideas that make it okay for me not to worry too much about how clean my house is (and spend my time with more fulfilling activities). Including, finally hiring someone to clean my house.

3. I'm fighting the urge to believe that just because my husband doesn't find something I say interesting, doesn't mean it isn't interesting in and of itself, or that I'm not interesting / smart / clever.


How I'm missing the mark:

1. I have taken on the mother role when it comes to money matters in my relationship because fighting with my husband's childish ways of dealing with it is too hard.

2. I'm finding it difficult to find energy for women's issues specifically when global issues (like Iraq) seem to take precedence.

3. I still find myself choosing peace over confrontation most of the time.

sophonisba

2. I'm finding it difficult to find energy for women's issues specifically when global issues (like Iraq) seem to take precedence.

I think I know what you mean - though I'm not certain - but you don't have to choose between them, they're not exclusive categories! Iraqi women and women soldiers have plenty of 'issues', to put it mildly. War is a women's issue, if anything is. There's no political issue involving large groups of humans that isn't of concern to women, and there's nothing restrictive or limiting about paying attention to the things that happen to women, in whatever context. We're half the world.

prefer not to say

Applause to you on 1) acknowledging that calling women sweetie and hon etc. might be irritating to some women, and 2) trying to work to eliminate it from your repertoire. As a woman who really really really hates being addresssed with endearments appropriate for small children by colleagues, I really respect you not falling into the "I don't mean it in a bad way and you shouldn't be offended by it" defense or the "Well, Woman X wasn't offended by it, so you shouldn't be either" defense. Thank you. Keep working on it. It matters.

Hugo

Thanks, "prefer." I do believe that such endearments have their place in certain relationships, but that the "right" to use those terms is mutually agreed to. I am working to confine my use of those words to those few relationships where I know that they are welcome.

alexander

Alexander, there is no inconsistency in supporting the right of consenting adults to do as they please WITHOUT paying for/commoditizing each other's bodies while strongly opposing the sexual exploitation of the economically vulnerable.

This is an arbitrary distinction. One could just as well say that all sex outside of marriage is wrong. Or that all sex involves paying for something (what of people who insist on expensive weddings as the price of their submission?).

It comes back to the fact that homosexuals have largely won their legal battles so it is a safe topic for people to support. Jump on the bandwagon, as it were. Supporting the rights of sex workers is not "safe" and will not get you invited to any trendy bandwagon.

alexander

War is a women's issue, if anything is.

Then why do women continually support war?

During the last US election, women voted en masse for the two pro-war candidates, Bush and Kerry, even though there was a clear alternative in third party candidates. The Libertarians, the Greens and Ralph Nader all called for a US withdrawal from Iraq. We know Bush's policies, and Kerry's policy was to fight a "smarter" war. And let us not forget Kerry's "Reporting for duty" militaristic speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. But women voted for Bush and Kerry.

Women want war.

On a related front, women support the "war on drugs." The "war on drugs" has destroyed much of the Bill of Rights (via no-knock raids, drug testing, asset forfeiture, profile searches, etc.). It's militarized law enforcement. And it's put millions of people in jail for victimless crimes, including cancer patients using alternative medications.

The current head of the DEA is a woman and she has no problem jailing medical marijuana patients. Is this an example of female nurturing?

I've been an activist opposing the "war on drugs" for years. I find women can be the most fanatic supporter of this war. Take, for example, the near hysterical response of women to the so-called "date rape drugs" which are, in the main, legitimate pharmaceuticals and whose impact have been grossly exagerated. There's an interesting article on this at:

http://home.earthlink.net/~jamiranda/dnews.html#n3

Abroad, the US has used chemical warfare against the Andes to attack drug crops, with devastating effects on the eco-system as well as on the civilian population. Much of the constitutional abuse involved in the PATRIOT ACT had its origins in the "war on drugs". US agents routinely kidnap foreign nationals for trial back in the US, in violation of international law.

Are chemical warfare and terroristic-style kidnappings OK with women?

So unless women are calling for the complete decriminalization of drugs, please do not tell me women are opposed to war.

CaptDMO

"I've posted about this habit before; many men come to pro-feminism because they see anti-sexist work as a modern and enlightened way of living out a "knight-in-shining armor" fantasy!"

In the future, please try not to co-opt "anti-sexist" attitudes with "pro-feminism" ones!

Catty

Alexander,

I actually agree with what you said, re: War on Drugs and support for sex workers. I'm against the war on drugs, I support the rights of sex workers, and I'm not anti-porn, but I'm not pro-porn either. I'd like to see the industry change greatly, mainly for the benefit of the workers- both male/female/straight/gay/transgendered/etc performers that choose to work in the industry.

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