Femmostroppo Reader February 3, 2011

Items of interest come across recently in my feed-reader. I deliberately didn’t link to lots of coverage of Australian natural disasters or the Egyptian uprisings, because there’s just so much to sort through. What else did I miss? Leave your own interesting links in comments.

  • Why the Left needs feminism
  • – “I must admit to some naivety, because it came as a bit of a shock to me that identity politics could so easily be divorced from leftwing thought and cast as unrelated to the struggle against capitalism.

    I mean, what is sexism if not a manifestation of capitalist reliance on women’s unpaid labour and reproductive capacity? (More on this in a later post, methinks.) And what is racism if not another handy way to separate out one sector of society to be exploited for their labour, all wrapped up in “science”? What is ableism if not driven by capitalism’s need for the most “productive” labour at the lowest cost and accommodation? How is enforcing heterosexuality and strict gender roles not about ensuring an increasing population to fuel the capitalist eternal-growth pipe dream?”

  • Taking a Brave Stance Against Survivors of Rape
  • – “Sure, no one could think someone who dismisses triggered rape survivors as oversensitive hysterics and agrees not to make money off a t-shirt specifically designed to say “fuck you” to them only to avoid a fight is an asshole.”

  • Exceptional American Beliefs about Mobility and Inequality
  • – “Americans, then, are much more likely than the average citizen in our comparison countries to believe that individual characteristics determine success, wide gaps in income are acceptable, and the government should let them be.”

  • On Living Together, but Sleeping Separately
  • – “The weight on the marital bed is artificial and relatively new, argues Stephanie Coontz, who has written extensively on the history and sociology of marriage.”

  • Why Is It Hard To Lose Weight?
  • – “We live in a toxic, obesogenic food environment. There’s a reason more people are fat now than ever before — and it’s not because we’ve suddenly become incapable of controlling our appetites. It’s because our food environment has radically changed in the last few decades, and our appetites are now completely out of whack with it. Blaming fat people for getting fat and not losing weight is like blaming people in the Middle Ages for getting the bubonic plague. Yes, some people get fat, and some don’t. Some people in the Middle Ages got the plague, and some didn’t. Some people had a natural immunity to the plague, or happened to live in a part of the continent where it was less virulent, or just got lucky and didn’t get exposed to it. And some people have natural resistance to obesity: more active metabolisms, less powerful hunger triggers, quicker satiety points, whatever. If they’d been born on the African savannah 100,000 years ago, they might have been hosed — but they got born now, so they’re lucky.”

  • “Just leave if you don’t like it”
  • – “in the LCA context it currently equates to: “don’t like the talk? embarrass yourself and be rude to the speaker!””

  • Pay no attention to the man behind the turntables
  • – “So the fellows over on NiceGuy’s MGTOW forum are discussing why women seem to like DJs — sorry, “why a womyn so crazy about DJs?” Because that’s what Men Going Their Own Way like to do: spend all their time speculating about the details of the dating lives of the women that they totally don’t want to have anything to do with.”

  • Fat and pregnant: 10 weeks
  • – Wonderful post, just wonderful

Disclaimer/SotBO: a link here is not necessarily an endorsement of all opinions of the post author(s) either in the particular post or of their writing in general.

Categories: gender & feminism, linkfest, social justice

Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. On American beliefs about inequality – It turns out that Australia is very like the US when it comes to beliefs about inequality:

    In the 1999 International Social Survey, 61 percent of U.S. respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that “people get rewarded for their effort,” versus 58 percent in Australia, 49 percent in Canada, 41 percent in Japan, 40 percent in Austria, 33 percent in Great Britain and 23 percent in France (ISSP, 1999).

  2. Re: the first link…
    Sexism far, far predates capitalism. Why do so many people always forget that capitalism has not been the dominant economic paradigm since The Dawn Of Time?
    (This is not to argue that the left doesn’t need feminism–if anything, the fact that sexism is not a subsidy of capitalism is yet another reason the left needs to be feminist–but for a post that opens with “Part One: history lesson”…)
    Rosenbluth and Iversen’s Women, Work and Politics is worth a read, if you have access to a good library.

    • That’s a good point, Willow, although I suspect infelicitous phrasing rather than not realising. I’m sure the author realised that we all know that sexism came first, but her historical point was how the Left’s failure to effectively address its inherited gender bias as part of challenging the dominant social paradigms is in no way a new thing.

  3. Oh, totally! But I study misogyny in a pre-capitalist (or, a capitalism-izing) society. I’m allowed to be snotty and nitpicky on just this one topic. ^_^ And like I said–I agree with the general point, and I appreciate the link.

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