Hoyden About Town is pleased to present:
A 2007 Retrospective!
You can see the nomination thread here. Bear in mind that this wasn’t a democratic vote. Our idiosyncratic nomination and selection process has resulted in a list of posts that we don’t pretend are “femiblogosphere’s most popular” or “best writing”. They’re more: “Stuff we feel encapsulates and exemplifies the feministic and stroppolicious nature of the hoyden”. Or, “Writing we like”. “What the Hoydenizens like to read.” These are some of the posts that stuck in our minds; the post that made us think; the posts we referred back to; the posts that made a difference.
Though “-bolsho” doesn’t have the same resonances in Australia as it does in some parts of Europe, we have out of respect deleted it and changed the name of the awards to FemmoStroppo. “Stroppy“, in Australian and British English, means “obstreperous“. Some more conventional dictionaries have it meaning “bad-tempered and easily offended or annoyed“. These are terms used to dismiss women when they’re getting too uppity or political. So consider this a move at reclamation. A stroppy woman won’t readily submit or do what she’s told. A stroppy woman refuses to be “taken in hand” or to “know her place”. A stroppy woman has a well-developed obstreperal lobe, and she wields it with flair.
We present our top ten, then the rest of the top 40 in reverse alphabetical order by blog name. Nominated posts from tigtog and I we haven’t scored, but we include them at the bottom if you’d like to read back. There should be a bit of something in this carnival for everyone. I’ve pulled out a sentence or two to remind you of the post if you’ve read it, or tease you into reading it if you haven’t.
Share And Enjoy.
The Hoydeniverse’s Top Ten Femmostroppo Hits for 2007
Ilyka Damen: Ilyka’s “Occasionally Conversations with my man are instructive.””
“A lot of the guys written about on feminist blogs do things I would never do.”
“Then don’t identify with them. It’s not about you! You stand to pee, they stand to pee, beyond that, what’s the commonality?”
Theriomorph: Theriomorph’s “Stoned to death” (Theriomorph has kindly put her Femmostroppo posts back online for these awards.)
They send the footage of your torture to the internet. It is a message to other women: do not be a woman. If you are a woman, this could happen to you.
Problem Chylde: Sylvia’s “Stretching the Knapsack Metaphor..”
Many white progressives do unpack that knapsack. But then, they do a quick quick inventory and then REPACK the knapsack.
Feministe: La Lubu’s “What color are the holes in your parachute”
And I laughed. Yes, I laughed. What the hell else could I do? Who the hell did they think was going to be pulling $750,000 out of her ass? Because it sure wasn’t me. At the Ronald McDonald House, I traded war stories with the other parents. Most of the parents there were long-termers—waiting for the call for new organs for their sick children. Everyone had lost their jobs because of their children’s medical crises. At least once. I met folks whose employers couldn’t be bothered to give them a week of time off. I met a family where both parents had hepatitis C (and that ain’t cheap, people); they were waiting for their toddler son to get a lung transplant. People from all over the nation. A nation of isolated medical crises.
Shapely Prose: Kate Harding’s “On being a no-name blogger using her own name”
But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.
And that guy? Thought you were on his side.
Theriomorph: Theriomorph’s “On being small, a Virus”
pity you aren’t more, because you’re so close.
La Chola: brownFemiPower’s “Feeling like a macho man”
And when I read about liberal bloggers calling the women backed into a corner–the women that I love–”illegal aliens” even as she tells us about nursing brown women being forcibly separated from their children, it takes everything I have to keep from vomiting. How easy it is to animalize and dehumanize even as we claim to care.
Problem Chylde: Sylvia’s “Not to be rude but…”
As I see it, I think there’s sometimes
spite in your eyes.
As you serve, you want bad things to befall them, but…
don’t you want us to warn you
when there’s a problem?
Look at what I’m doing here,
trying to make your errors clear so you never repeat them.
Shakesville: Melissa McEwan’s “This is really shaping up to be a “back-to-bed” day of the highest order.”
Quite literally, the only thing a person can do to avoid being raped is never be in the same room as a rapist. Since they don’t announce themselves or wear signs or glow purple, that’s not a very reasonable expectation, is it?
Enough victim blaming. Enough.
A View From A Broad: Ginmar’s “One Simple thing”
You won’t be popular as a feminist. You can’t prettify its message, make it palatable to those who use and abuse women, or convince people who don’t want to be bothered. Feminism is action instead of reaction, movement instead of cultural inertia, and thought instead of rote acceptance. Merely by demanding action it is threatening. Cultures by their nature, once established, tend to roll along until stopped. Feminism is the mechanism that stops a culture in its tracks and changes its direction.
Don’t expect to be liked for it.
The Rest of the Top 40
Theriomorph: Theriomorph: “Who determines our “most important ideas?”
The word ‘framing’ has become so ubiquitous, and such sloppily-used shorthand for so many things, we seem to have forgotten the basic fact that marketing is propaganda.
Theriomorph: Theriomorph’s “My yes is not more important than her often impossible no”
An upper middle class 18-30 year old white woman’s screaming orgasm is not going to end rape.
It’s just not.
“Benefit of the Doubt” double feature:
The Silence of our Friends: Donna’s “The Benefit of the doubt”
I’m really wondering, how many chances do we give white allies? How many “mistakes” are they allowed to make before we can say, “Wooooo that white person has a helluva alot of racist baggage he is unwilling to own?” And why is it we don’t get this nice benefit of the doubt at least once?
Feministe: Nanette’s “The Benefit of the doubt”
In making the decision to not just shake my head and move on, or to stay silent and probably seethe or to roll my eyes and think “oh well, par for the course” but deciding instead to bring this to his attention, come what may, and to believe (or at least hope) there would be no blowback from it… I was giving him the benefit of the doubt.
The F Word: Holly Combe’s “Surprise! Men give Thumbs up…”
The Lycos survey result doesn’t stem from narrow-minded women and free-love embracing men. It just shows us that heterosexist assumptions about what sex is (i.e traditional coitus) and what makes it happen (i.e cock) are still leading society not to take lesbianism seriously.
The Curvature: Cara’s “This promotes Rape”
All of you out there who don’t get it can tell me until you’re blue in the face that you’re not a rapist and you think that rape is bad and horrible and terrible and you’re NOT a rapist, really, really not, you just think that the joke is funny — but I only have one thing to say to you:
If you’re not a rapist, get off the rapists’ side.
Taking Steps: Little Light’s “There is no spoon”
And where do I get off feeling like less of a person for not meeting them or having them met by the world? Where do I get off feeling that way when I find the idea of looking at other people with similar limitations that way, well, abhorrent? And do I, in the end, still apply that internalized cultural ableism to my lens on the world?
Shapely Prose: Kate Harding’s “The Fantasy of being Thin”
Overcoming The Fantasy of Being Thin might be the hardest part of making it all the way into fat acceptance-land. And that might just be why I’d pushed that part of the process out of my memory: it fucking sucked. Because I didn’t just have to accept the size of my thighs; I had to accept who I am, rather than continuing to wait until I magically became the person I’d always imagined being.
Shapely Prose: Kate Harding’s “Gratitude”
Let’s think about this for a minute. I was so stunned by the fact that he actually left me alone when I told him to, my reflexive response was gratitude, as if he’d done me a freakin’ favor.
Shakesville: Melissa McEwan’s “Guess who thinks rape is hilarious now” [Video – follow the links to the whole “Rape is Hilarious” series]
Seriously—where’s the punchline? For that matter, where’s the joke?! Even worse than the usual “rape joke” fare, this is literally just having a laugh at the idea of gang-raping a woman.
This strikes me as one of those nuances of sexism that many men don’t notice or understand. To have women’s experiences like this trivialized as “Odd News” is just infuriating, in no small part because the constant positioning of humiliated women as the butt of jokes humiliates us all. This shit is important, and even as I say it, I know why it doesn’t seem like it is, or should be.
The thing is, the real cost of sexism to women is not in our paying a single emotional penny here for this insult and a single emotional penny there for that disgrace, but in the cumulative negative balance it leaves inside each of us.
Scribble Pad: M’s “Prostitution as just another…”
it strikes me that maybe we – the women who have much greater access and standing in society – are taking over their discourse. we are putting in their language the words that we want to use because that language bolsters the politics of the work that we are doing.
Methinks: erimentha’s “Do you?”
The people at the Centre say it’s a foolproof case – DNA evidence, and she’s a minor – just 14, for chrissake, and he knew it. The b***** paedophile is going away for a long stretch in prison.
Except he isn’t. Suddenly, there’s a wedding.
La Chola: BrownFemiPower’s “Deserving more”
if you have ever wondered, what’s so wrong with being poor–this is it: if somebody is gentle with you, if somebody takes time to talk to you, if somebody wants to help you heal instead of drugging you until the pain goes away, if somebody believes you when you say it hurts–there must be a mistake.
Jupiter9: JoAnne Schmitz: “It’s not the empty street that causes rape”
This seems so obvious. It’s not the alcohol. It’s the act of the rapist. It’s not the bar. It’s the act of the rapist. It’s not the revealing dress you’re wearing or the shoes you can’t run fast in. It’s the act of the rapist. It’s not that he wasn’t in the Boy Scouts, that he’s unemployed, that he’s poorly dressed or doesn’t watch Friends. It’s his act of raping.
I Blame the Patriarchy: Twisty Faster’s “Anal is the new Third Base”
As evidence in support of the men-hate-you argument, this article couldn’t be any more repellently potent; it is not the isolated ramblings of some midnight teen tubesock blogger, but in fact appears in the mainstream men’s magazine Details. You know, if I’d sat up all night with a tub of Cool Whip, a six-pack of Tab, and an 8-ball, I couldn’t have contrived a more definitive expression of our culture’s merry glorification of misogyny.
I Blame the Patriarchy: Twisty Faster’s “It’s another Blamer Brain trust alert”
These freely roaming terrorists are patriarchy’s enforcers. They’re the product of a culture of violence that luxuriates in the juridical presumption that all raped women are guilty unless proven otherwise.
The message that we cripples and fatties get, overwhelmingly, is: Your chub/limp/whatever offends those of us who are normal. It disgusts us, so you’d better make up for it by hating yourself, saying, “Yes, I am too fat; I wish I could be thin,” or “Yes, I hate having a disabled, non-normative body; I wish I could be like everyone else.”
Feministe: Zuzu’s “Rejecting The Frames”
And then a funny thing happens: in the face of this intractability, people start buying into the Obesity Crisis™ Watchdog’s frame. They start to offer their diet and exercise routines along with their sizes to show that THEY ARE TOO HEALTHY, DAMMIT.
That’s always really, really bothered me.
Feministe: Jill’s “Hi, I’m Jill, and scummy law school sleazebags have gone after me, too.”
It’s not feminist and it’s not fair, but it’s the reality of women in the workforce. On Monday I wrote about the difficulties that professional women face in being both sexual/attractive and being taken seriously. Professional women cannot win — if we’re outspoken and make waves, then we’re ball-busting ugly bitches. If we go along with people who sexualize us, or don’t say anything, we’re sluts who are demonstrating bad judgment.
Feministe: Jill’s “Why I’m Pro-Choice – Blogging for Choice Part 2”
I am pro-choice because I trust women.
FemChannel1: Sudy’s “Say it ain’t so feminism (Vlog)”
Feline Formal Shorts: Magniloquence’s “Lightbulb moment” (roundup post)
Suddenly, we’re at the heart of the problem. Focusing on consent, on the yes, on enthusiasm and porn and the media and sex… that’s all great. But that’s not all rape. It’s not all of rape culture. It is, in fact, a rather narrow part of it.
Falling Off My Pedestal: Book Girl’s “Infantilising women and Girls with Disabilities”
Women with disabilities, including those women with severe forms of disabilities have the right to whole bodies, bodies that are not carved into for no medical reason other than to make life convenient for caregivers, or to spare people from the awareness that PWD do grow up, and become adults.
There is also a very disturbing assumption made about the female body, that it is undignified and messy, that menstruation is something to be ashamed of.
Echidne of the Snakes: Echidne’s “The Naked Desmond Morris”
Then agriculture was invented and the end of the glorious hunter power ended. Who invented agriculture? Of course we have no way of knowing, but if it was so bad for men it must have been invented by women, except that according to Morris women don’t invent things.
Creek Running North: Chris Clarke’s “Belief in evolutionary psychology may be hardwired”
“By setting up a stimulus that often spurs EvPsych statements in the susceptible,” says Mann-Esser, “we hoped to be able to detect increased locus taedius activity among those men who had half-remembered bits of evolutionary biology come to mind from high school.
blue milk: Blue Milk’s “Smug Married Guy…”
Single mothers are not lazy or stupid or uninspired about life, and they’re not all living in poverty either, although being with one income means they are almost always more vulnerable. Single mothers, like partnered mothers are often studying and working, but single parents are often doing it tougher – earning less and owning less. In fact, lone parents (who are women in the vast majority) are more likely than partnered parents to be undertaking study.
blue milk: Blue Milk’s “Sorry, is our struggle stifling your productivity”
The very worst thing about this, the thing that is worse than living this insanity is that this gross inequality between men and women is completely silent.
Audrey and the Bad Apple: Audrey Apple’s “She’s A Brick”
I, Audrey Apple, have become a statistic and entered the realm of teenagers and feminist song writers.
Audrey and the Bad Apple: Audrey Apple’s “Rightwing Checklist for letters…”
My mother chose me over the alternative [emotive headline – check]
I AM not supposed to have an opinion on abortion that counts [passive-aggression – check], because I’m male and a Christian [inbuilt superiority complex – check], but when my mum tells me that I was unexpected and unplanned, it all starts to have a familiar sound to it. [world weary cynicism over degrading morals – check]
Angry Brown Butch: Jack’s “Gender/Queerness and street harassment”
Some guys will try to talk to me specifically about my gender presentation; I’ve gotten a whole lot of “I like short hair! I like women with short hair! I don’t mind!” Oh yeah, thanks, random-ass dude, I was really worried that you might mind!
Special Award for clean, striking blog design
[Miscellany]: M’s “Needing a Mother”
Nominated Posts (by others) from tigtog and lauredhel – thanks!
- Lauredhel’s “Motherless birthing, and the one-way street of obstetric “choice””
- Lauredhel’s “2-D girls in a 3-D world“
- Lauredhel’s “Passive Aggression: foregrounding the object“
- Lauredhel’s “It’s a trap! Feminism, romance, and sociological patriarchy“
- tigtog’s “Feminism Friday: It starts so young“
- tigtog’s “Consensual sex contracts vs. consexual creed”
- Lauredhel’s “The eternal feminist problem: Lecture deficiency syndrome”
- tigtog’s “She did not feel as guilty because at the funeral she found out the girl had tried to commit suicide before”
- Lauredhel’s “Stop and think: invisible access for invisible disabilities”
And lastly, because it’s made of awesome [~lauredhel]
tigtog and tekanji’s “Finally A Feminism 101 blog”