Feminist read’ems: men harassing WOC online, iconic blondes, and party-pollie numbers games

Feminist read ’ems!

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“A Disincentive to the Female Voice Online”

Jenn talks about men who cyberharass bloggers who are women of colour. Her experiences are harrowing and revolting, but she vows to survive:

When I participated in a popular APIA forum, I was disheartened to watch as feminist voices were shot down by male participants who threw around words like “whore” and “slut” within their counterarguments. In another forum, men angry that I am unabashedly partnered in a stable, eight-year-long interracial relationship have accused me of “loving to suck White dick”, “daddy issues”, and worse. They re-posted photos of my loved ones (that I used to host on this site to share with real-life friends) and made racially and sexually derogatory remarks about the people in them, including mean-spirited mockery of my boyfriend’s mother. . I no longer host personal photos for this reason. Still others have emailed me hateful judgements and presuppositions of my personal life while assuming materialistic, superficial motivations for all Asian American women. In all these behaviours “” commonly received by many women in cyberspace ““ it is the woman and her experience that becomes decentralized; even in assaulting us, male aggressors shift the focus from a female blogger’s feminism to a denial of her self-worth based exclusively upon the men in her life.

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From Diary of a Goldfish, “Paris Hilton and the Iconic Blonde”. The Goldfish takes a generational look, drawing parallels between the misogynistic media treatment of iconic blondes Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, and Paris Hilton:

“Every decade has an iconic blond like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana, and right now I’m that icon.” – Paris Hilton.
[…]
In fact there’s probably no legal or social misdemeanour that Paris Hilton hasn’t committed which someone I know hasn’t also done. A dalliance in amateur porn? Indulgence in drink and drugs? Horrific fashion sense? I can personally lay claim to at least one of these.
[…]
To be an iconic blonde – and the blondeness is important but not essential – you have to give us a reason to hate you. Some weakness, some foolishness. And then you’ll never be out of the papers.

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http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2117971,00.html
In the Guardian, Zoe Williams fulminates “Wake up. Feminism is more than just capitalism with tits.” Her premise is that the parliamentary numbers game of counting politicians and comparing sides isn’t a valid way to assign a feminist value to a party’s policies:

“[Sarah] Sands gives us mistake one, that the rabid possessive individualism characterised by Margaret Thatcher is a truer “feminism” than [Harriet] Harman’s. The sine qua non of feminism is battling for collective rights, anything else is just capitalism with tits.
[…]
Look instead at the conditions keeping women out of politics, which are the same as those keeping women at the bottom of any heap. The pay gap, the carer gap, the maternity drain, all the ossified iniquities that fence women into hardship. That’s what closes down opportunities. Scratch anyone who uses the word “role model” and you’ll find they’re either avoiding solutions which are ultimately fiscal, or they’ve given no thought to gender politics at all.”

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And your wild-card link for the day: “Parlez-vous l33t?”: Txt-speak in French and Mandarin.



Categories: culture wars, gender & feminism, Politics, social justice, Sociology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. tigtog et al, that’s the tip of the iceberg for asian american online discussions. i recommend anyone to check out these mixed gender forums.

  2. re Donna Darko’s comment: Jenn should have some discussions at her own blog that descended into a bunch of Asian-American Nice Guys (TM) throwing hissy fits for not getting sex from Asian-American women. I realize that there are issues with interracial relationships between POC and whites, but flinging misogynist garbage is unacceptable.
    Here is an example from reappropriate (comments are very repulsive).
    Asian-American men call Asian-American women who date “out” whorientals. Fascinating that this urban dictionary definition was wedged in the middle of racist porn.

  3. Thanks for the link-love!
    They call us “Whorientals”? That is just… wrong… I mean, what kind of sick, twisted mind came up with that one?

  4. I agree with what she said about speaking up, holding fast and supporting one another. Since I came online a few years ago, I’ve spoken up about women’s issues. Most of the time, I was like “where is everyone else?”
    And though the solution is more likely to require more extreme action than simple stoicism (perhaps a concerted effort to challenge male aggressors on the blogosphere) sometimes I have to wonder why the onus falls on women to bear the wearisome burden of combatting such threats and intolerance.
    I believe we will survive “” indeed, thrive “” not simply by refusing to “cut and run” but by building support networks. We will help one another stand steadfast. Because we believe our voices are not only a benefit, but a necessity.

  5. I have to wonder why the onus falls on women to bear the wearisome burden of combatting such threats and intolerance.

    Truly? Because most of us don’t realize there’s a problem, probably. We generally don’t see such things as you describe, so don’t do anything about it (I’m obviously not talking about those who actively participate and perpetuate misogyny).
    Getting men to realize there’s a problem, and then persuading them that there is something they can do about it would help. Yeah, I know, that’s now become my job 😉 But it’s difficult when you’re not aware what the problems are and how they are manifested. Frex, looking at thread on hair, I was blind to the issue of complimenting a women on her appearance strengthening the patriarchal ‘imperialism’.
    Perversely, I don’t think things like the email I received yesterday, advertising ‘2007 Women in Leadership Program for Academic Staff’, actually help. That takes combatting prejudice and abuse out of our hands, tells the menfolk that this facet of the problem is being tackled by The Powers That Be, so we don’t have to do anything else. The truth is that the societal mess has to be addressed at grassroots.

  6. Jenn – My links didn’t work out, but there’s a condescending, sexist definition from the Urban Dictionary that a “whoriental” is an Asian woman who’s self-hating and dates white men. And when I googled it, trying to find the urban dictionary definition (that I’d seen before) for the purpose of this post, several of the hits were racist, Asia fetish porn.
    I think that if you search Model Minority or some of the other sites, that you’ll find people saying similar things.

  7. Moronic Bleached Brunettes ‘think’ they are Iconic Blondes? Well, no, it’s not ‘thinking’ exactly; it’s flat-out lying.
    Paris, Marilyn and Princess Dye are Moronic Bleached Brunettes as are Britney, Christina, Gwen, Anna Nicole, Courtney, Nicole, Madonna and 70% of prostituted women.
    Blondes are an extremely tiny genetic minority and we would be very happy to have some help in getting this massive product-related group of Brunette MORONS off of our backs.
    The name Blonde belongs to the Blonde people.
    [hoyden note: if anyone really wants to check out Carol’s website, it’s at blondfrombirth dot org.]

  8. Well, that’s an interesting website you have, Carol. You’re not going to get much argument on a feminist blog that hair dye is a pretty screwed up way of making women conform to a mythical femininity script, and on general reality-based community terms we’re also going to be in agreement that hair dye chemicals are unhealthy and environmentally damaging.
    I think there’s a lot more going on in terms of the simultaneous fetishising and demonising of blondes as embodying sex etc than your simple idea of a form of racism though.

  9. Carol: yeah, white people are sooooo discriminated against. Talk to the hand.

  10. tigtog said, “I think there’s a lot more going on in terms of the simultaneous fetishising and demonising of blondes as embodying sex etc than your simple idea of a form of racism though.”
    Don’t keep me in suspense, tigtog; what else is going on?
    And to you Lauredhel: when a tiny genetic minority group (3% of Caucasian women in the USA are Blonde) are harassed and bullied by a huge majority group (95% of Caucasian women in the USA are Brunettes) it is discrimination.
    40% of those Brunettes are bleached and have assumed the GOOD name Blonde because there is no power or money to be had for being a Bleached Brunette.
    You can attach a million ‘dirrty’ words to a good name like Blonde and it will still be good to hide behind but good words attached to a bad name like Bleached Brunette won’t make it a good name.

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