Sunday, January 23, 2011

letters from a Fan Girl.

Sometimes the comments section just doesnt cover what needs to be written...
I received a couple of comments on my horribly shallow, flippant, and terribly thought out post about a stupid twitter feed called "thingswomendontdoanymore."
here is my replies as a blog post, just because it looked messy with all the links in the comment section.

Gen said...
Feminism is completely outdated and unneeded anymore. I am strong enough to laugh at the comments about women making sandwiches. I have more education then my husband, but I am the homemaker BY CHOICE. If these comments hurt your little feelings then it is your problem not the person who wrote them. Have a nice life always getting your feelings hurt.
January 20, 2011 1:04 PM

Scuba Nurse said...
Thanks for your comment Gen, I hope you appreciate the CHOICE you so pointedly mentioned. You have it because of feminism, and just Because YOU have freedom and choice doesn't mean everyone does. Push off the boat ladies, Gen's aboard!!
I find it interesting that you are so keen to judge my frustration on some really horrific comments because you are a stay at home mum. Where in that did I slag of those who are happy to do work at home?
Thanks for judging me though, and I will take you point on board not to get annoyed by the ignorant.
Oops, too late.
January 21, 2011 10:03 AM

Gen said...
I said that feminism is no longer needed, not that it was never needed. We did need the feminists to help us get equal pay and equal rights. I am very grateful for the hard and difficult work women did to give me what I have today.
I feel that in today's world feminism has turn to whining about insults and no longer helps women. If women want to be equal with men we have to put up with the same shit that they deal out to each other. It is pure arrogance to expect someone to "respect my feelings" just because I don't have tackle swinging between my legs. Let them make jokes about women, we have just as many about them. You don't hear the men whining about how unfair it is when we make references to them being dumb and unrefined. People will always make jokes about someone different, it is human nature, some people just need to develop their sense of humor.
How can you be horrified about some ass making a joke about women in the kitchen. If you need to be horrified about something it should be the female circumcision the some poor 5 year old is going through right this second. Maybe you should write a blog about that.
January 22, 2011 4:17 AM

Just to clarify your point that wining and insults no longer help women... Whining and insults never helped women, or indeed anyone.
Discussion and action on the issues makes a difference. I work helping people both in my ‘real’ job and my volunteer role. So I sincerely hope that my actions back up my ‘whining’.
Can you please explain exactly where in this blog post I get upset about people in the kitchen... where is this constant comment coming from?
Nowhere in there is there ANY comment from me about being in the kitchen.
There IS a comment from someone else; I just thought it was rather funny.
Sorry if you didn’t.
Someone recently told me to ‘be strong enough to laugh’, if that advice helps.

With response to your suggestion on what to write about, thanks, it is a good idea.
I try to only write about what I know, from breast cancer, to miscarriage and stillbirth, to sexual assault prevention.
If that strikes you as offensivly kiwi-focused please take a look at my blog about my support of the campaign to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from death by stoning and execution

I have got a half written piece on female circumcision however I wrote it because of a woman I worked with, rather than my own experience, so has remained on the back burner for fear of being judgemental of a culture I’ve never been a part of.
So easy to do online.


  1. I was unsure which post to respond to, so I picked this longer post. The kitchen comment came from the twitter post. You say that you find it funny here, but from your site I took it to mean that you found it horrible that someone said that. If I misunderstood your site I apologize.
    I did not look at your other blogs so I was unaware that you wrote about other stuff. I also appreciate that you write about what you know.
    I did not say that you should write about female circumcision for my entertainment (per the other post), it is just a cause that I am passionate about.
    I find it interesting that you feel you need to be a part of a culture to feel that a part of it is wrong. I don't want to assume anything, but I can only hope that you are opposed to ethnic cleansing. For people like Pol Pot the murder of over 1.7 million people was his and his army's culture, should I not be outraged by that because I am not a communist?
    I have totally skewed from my original point, which was that I don't know why someone should be upset about what some dumb-ass on twitter makes fun of someone else. Thanks for talking with me about this, I appreciate the discourse.
    Also no need to omit my name "to save some embarrassment". If I was embarrassed by what I wrote I would not have written it.

  2. Ughhh - We're equal now! I guess all the women who aren't "equal now" didn't get the memo. I get so bored with women happy to benefit from feminism but who want to keep other woman oppressed just so they can laugh along with their idiot husbands to 'sandwich' jokes.

  3. Thanks for contributing Gen. Can you please link us to your writing on female circumcision? My reason for not writing about is not just because it isn't my culture, but because every single thing that I wrote was uninformed and opinion based. If I write like that, it does need to be my story, noone elses. It's my personal blog an that's the way I roll, sorry.

  4. What? Feminism isn't needed? What. The. F....

    Okay- no, we're not equal, and while I don't need to react to every stupid or ignorant or sexist comment ever made, I do have to object to somebody telling me I'm 'equal'. The very fact that you have to say it probably suggests it's not the case.

    Suffice to say my interest in diversity and sociology at uni is why I have this opinion, that, and my interest in literature, and sports and just about everything where I see women receiving less money, less coverage- I won't go on. Nope, I don't need someone telling me it's all okay now. I don't want the current generation of women to accept this as their lot.

    I avoid mocking men for being men, can't stand gender based generalisations, and I definitely argued with someone on twitter about their tweet- and while they did have the guts to answer back, they couldn't really fault the logic I was working on.

    Feminism isn't just some fancy name for emotive reactions against a perceived slight. It exists because we don't have power, we are the 'other' who constantly have to define ourselves, we are the 'minority' story even if we are 50% of the population or more.

    Ugh. I don't moan and gripe about being a girl, but I'm aware of the balance of power and that is why in my own way, I resist it.

    Feminism- necessary. If only because people assume they are on an equal footing when they most certainly are not. At least know there's a glass ceiling when you're throwing yourself at it.

    /end rant

  5. Oh? Are we equal? Huh. I guess I'll take my 80 cents in the dollar, my lack of access to adequate healthcare, not to mention legal medical procedures, the harassment and discrimination I face on a daily basis and shut up shop.

    Gen, it's GREAT that feminism has won the battles that you want to fight. It's great that you can stay home because you choose to. How about you don't give up the fight for the rest of us?

    As for why be upset over something dumbass someone says on Twitter? Maybe because it's the 100th time we've heard that joke? Maybe because it highlights a particular discrimination we feel, or see. Maybe because our partner backhanded us when we refused to make him a sandwich, and the police didn't take our complaint seriously. Maybe because we feel so powerless in our lives that complaining about people saying shit like that is the only power have. Maybe because it's actually just not very funny.

  6. Is the issue here that feminism was needed, but now we are moving into a space where feminism of it's self needs to be less didactic and move more towards equalism?

    Maybe I'm just tired of being grouped in with disgusting men simply because of my gender.

    Perhaps I should start a cause for gentlemanism.

  7. It has moved toward equalism. Infact it IS ALL about equality. We don't want to rule, we just want equal standing in jobs, politics, the courts and legal system an healthcare.
    And before you question whether we are or not I suggest you go do some reading, because the women who read this may not understand that you are a friend not a troll. They get a bit cross about having to teach feminism 101.
    I had 9 months job hunting before I even got an interview then the first FIVE asked me if I was planning kids. Illegal? Yes. Demeaning to me as a professional just seeing me as a reproductive machine unable to prioritize my career? Yes! Happening anyway? Yes.

  8. By the way I'm sorry you feel grouped in with "disgusting men." The feminists who feel this way are few and far between, perhaps we need to look at how the media portrays both groups, how we actually behave, and the difference.
    I cannot remember the last time I saw a man shamed simply for being a guy, but then Im not one, would love to hear from those who have.

  9. Sorry, I wasn't generalising that all men are disgusting, or that I think that feminists are trying to say that. We are all so different that in any sort of grouping there will be components that just don't fit.

    You know me, I've felt that way forever. I see some men and it makes me feel awful to be one. I see some women and it's makes me feel awful to be a person too, I just get that feeling more with men. It's probably because I know that their actions will colour the impression that I create simply by dearn of being a man.

    And I'm sorry, I didn't mean to comment on the state of feminism, I know it's moved on; I should have thrown a "perception of" in there, and I didn't.

    As well, I had figured that since I'm a friend and not a Troll, I would be able to use conversational shorthand and you would bring to it what you know of me. You know I won't going flying of making generalisations .

    Also I was trying to say, again probably with too much constraint, that the word "feminism" or "feminist" is so coloured now that it will be difficult to change those perceptions; especially in those whose perceptions most need to be changed.

    I know it's easy to misrepresent one's self on the internet; but you know fully well that I have always wanted the world to be an equal place. Any one who has felt even the slightest persecution should do.

  10. Thanks for clarifying Jeremy, you are right about the image of feminism which is why I now identify openly as one, because positive feminist role models in every day life are a great way together that ball rolling.
    Please don't let the intensity of the debate here and other spots put you off. You are very welcome.

  11. First off let me just day that I had no idea that you were in New Zealand.(I just now read your Bio, sorry) If things are so bad over there that you don't make equal pay and have crappy insurance because of your gender then you do need to work some stuff out over there.

    For the record I live in Colorado (USA obviously) and I have never had problems like that, nor have I ever know anyone that had. Before I had kids I worked in a town called Boulder, and they are so "progressively feminist" that men feel like second class citizens. I am very sorry that I assumed that you lived in the united state, you know what they say when you assume anything...

    I am a veterinary technician and I do relief work now that I have kids. I work in a very woman heavy work place, in fact there are no men in the clinic I work at. Maybe this is why I don't feel that we need feminism in the Unites States. I have always had a job and never had a problem getting one. I am sorry that you were asked inappropriate questions in your job search.

    Before anyone starts posting how "luck" I am let me just state that I have been raped, that is how I lost my virginity. It was horrible and no, I didn't report it. I don't feel that feminism helped me with that at all. It was therapy and myself that helped me be able to talk about it. Also I had an abusive boyfriend in collage, but I took care of that on my own.

    I am trying to hit everyone's key points in their post, but there are a lot to hit.

    There are many laws here that are for spousal abuse, including ones where that police have to take both parties in no matter who "started" it and that the police file charges not the "injured party". This helps insure that the person who was assaulted cannot change their minds. I have no idea of the politics there where you live, but I would love to hear about them.

    For the comment about women sports not being as recognized/covered/compensated as male sports I just have to say tough. People pay to watch the sports that they find amusing. Truthfully I find almost all sports boring and would never pay to go see any of them, but that is neither here nor there. Sports are entertainment and if people don't find it entertaining they won't watch. Do you think that unpopular movie stars should be compensated for movies that no one likes?

    I am sorry that I didn't understand that you are coming from a different political culture and I hope that we can share how different feminism is here.

  12. Firstly let me say I am very sorry about any pain, hurt or assault you have had in your life.
    Please try to understand that having been assaulted is not a badge of honour to be held up to garner respect in a discussion. And stating how well you coped, as if that is the norm and expectation is just cruel to those who are not at this point in time.
    Feminism is not only for those who have been hurt by a man. It is for Women and Men who want to strive for equality together.
    Do you have any idea how offensive the phrase “If things are so bad over there that you don't make equal pay and have crappy insurance because of your gender then you do need to work some stuff out over there.”
    That’s like telling the slaves in early USA history that they really should pull themselves together and create a union. We ARE working on it, and people like you who come and undermine what we say by using your personal beliefs and ignorance don’t help. And this isn’t an NZ issue. I would suggest you do some reading on equality on the USA. Like 51% of the population is female yet how many women are there in oval office? We at least have had two female prime-ministers here.
    I am very happy that your life is now good there.
    My life is really good here, and I appreciate my privilege.
    Privilege is what it is. Whilst I appreciate your point of view I find it very interesting that it keeps coming back to you. Your life, your great job, your story, your privilege, your history of sexual assault. Yet you tie it in to MY beliefs and that of those who choose to comment here.
    This is my personal blog so it is about me, and I would suggest if you want to write about you, you do so elsewhere, rather than here to undermine some really valid discussions.
    At first I was annoyed that you only comment on the one blog post that is personal to you, with no interest to any of the actual current events or issues that have been written about.
    But now I’m glad.
    We don’t need any more closed minded comments; we get enough of that in the real world.

  13. Everything's alright in the US of A? Perhaps you need to look at current politics. HR3 and HR 358 spring to mind. Don't know what those bills seek to do? They want to redefine rape and abortion rights backwards by about 40 years. I don't find that very feminist or equal. I also don't find the homophobia, racism and ableism - casual and institutional - very equal or feminist either, yet there's a bucketload of that in the good ol' equal USA.

    I'm sorry that you had painful experiences, but to say "feminism didn't help me at all" ignores that feminism gave you forward movements in mental health that you were able to take advantage of. Imagine if feminism didn't exist and you went to your therapist to talk about your experiences. What would they do? They'd tell you you were making it up, or blame you in some way.

    I find it very unusual that in one paragraph you blame feminism for not getting the criminal justice you deserved, then go on to laud criminal justice for rape victims. If it is that great, why didn't it help you? That's right, the justice system is part of a patriarchal culture bent of keeping women silent...not feminism.

    Actually, I'd say NZ is MORE progressive than the US, because we have blanket civil unions (if not same sex marriage), have had female leaders, a (slightly) better social welfare system, and a WAY better health system (did you know it's mostly government funded?). Some of what we have - racism, institutionalized sexism, class wars, ableism - sucks ass, but it's mostly true of the world over.

    Don't you dare pity us. Learn about us. And learn about the state of privilege you exist in - feminism gave you that, whether you want to recognize it or not.

  14. Gen, I could spend some time pulling together statistics about the state of women rights/realities in the USA, but you sound like a competent women and I am sure you could find this out for yourself. The data you will find would probably not reflect your day-to-day reality - the mere fact that you can choose to be a stay-at-home-mother puts you in an economic minority.

    I did want to pick up on one point you make:
    "If things are so bad over there that you don't make equal pay and have crappy insurance because of your gender then you do need to work some stuff out over there."
    - Gen, we have a public health system here. This is a far cry from the USA. We DON'T have 'crappy insurance because of your gender', because most people don't have any public health insurance. You are a stay-at-home-mother, therefore, as I understand it, your health insurance is provided by your husband's employer. Wow, empowerment. In NZ every person has access to healthcare, regardless of socioeconomic status - in the USA, women are far more affected by your privatised health system than are men. (Directly, and also indirectly as women are more usually the sole caregivers.) I have a two-year-old, and his healthcare is FREE until he is 6 - every GP appointment, every medicine prescribed. I have friends in the USA who are financially crippled due to almost routine healthcare needs of their children.

    I could continue raving, but Gen, you have obviously invested quite a lot of time writing and reading on this topic over the past few days. Now I think you owe it to the rest of the women in your country to do some of that research I mentioned... representation in government, comparison of average salaries, company CEOs, senior management in educational institutions (schools, colleges), sports coverage, how women are portrayed by Hollywood... oh I could give you a raft of references, but I will leave you with just two:

    This is an American woman's blog on raising girls in this sexualised, stereotyped gender-limiting world:

    And if you do nothing else, I really urge you to watch this amazing poem, 'Sisterhood' by Kate Wilson -
    In fact, everyone reading this needs to watch this :)

  15. Wow, I didn't realize that the crappy insurance thing came off so snotty. I did not mean it to have that tone at all, I was just saying that I didn't know that it was like that over there. And for the record I don't pity you, I don't pity anyone who is trying to make their situation better.
    @ SN,
    the reason I come back to me is because I can only talk about me and my experiences, I don't want to talk about some other people I know and tell their story. I do not use my assault as "a badge of honour to be held up to garner respect in a discussion". I fully understand that any person that has gone through something like that deals with it in their own way at their own pace. I only wrote about that so that you would know where some of my opinions come from.
    As I pointed out in earlier posts I don't think that femenism was never needed. I have posted before that we needed femenism in the 60's ect. I was expressing my opinion that feminism today (here in the US) is worthless because NOW does nothing but piss and moan over video games and idle comments that are posted on twitter.
    It was not the justice system that kept me quiet after my assult, it was my age and coping skills that did that. I AM trying to learn about you and your politics, that is why I am continuing this conversation.
    @ Rachel,
    SN had commented earlier about different heath insurance for men and women, that is where I got the info about your insurance. I am sorry if I misunderstood. I would love it if we got socialized heath care here. It is one of the things that we, as a nation, are working towards (granted somewhat crappily). I don't feel that using my husbands insurance makes me unempowered. If we separated or anything like that there are many programs that would help both me and my twins get good health care. I do know that we (my husband and I) have better health care then many Americans, and once again I hope that socialized heath care will help that. I did look at that blog link you sent, and I also hate the "princess" culture that has popped up here. This culture is teaching girls to be over-entitled brats who take no responsibility for their actions. I see more feminist influences here that not. It is not that men are telling these girls that they CAN'T do something, it is women(and Hollywood) telling their girls that they are ENTITLED to things with out working for them. I don't understand why Americans are so hot and bothered to watch female celebraties acting like brats. Most of the women here who have money (either from daddy, music or movies) feel that they are to good to do real work, and that they NEED to have million dollar wardrobes/parties/material things. Sorry, I didn't mean to go on a rant there, that just pisses me off. I don't know if you have the same phenomenon over there, but I would love to talk about it.

    Finally to SN, I thought we were discussing this one topic, and I didn't want to muddy the waters with any other things your have blogged about, I will gladly talk about these if you wish. Also I didn't realize that talking about myself undermined this discussion. I just wanted to give a basis for my opinions.


Feel welcome to post a comment on what you like or don't like.
Please use a name to make it easier to follow.
Remember; this is my space, if you want to shit on the lawn, that's fine, but don't feel hurt when I turn the hose on you.
If I feel that comments are attacking individuals I will choose not to post them.
Tough cookies.