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    “Taylor Swift’s firm testimony in a civil trial this week involving a former radio host who allegedly groped her is sending a strong message to women who might experience similar forms of sexual harassment and assault: Don’t diminish the act.

“It provides a useful template for her fans, for younger girls who might experience these forms of harassment and be intimidated out of saying anything because their voice is consistently discredited,” said Karen Tongson, a professor who specializes in gender studies and pop culture at the University of Southern California.”

Constantly being discredited.  Welcome to the world of being female in society.  It’s the little details like the aforementioned that they don’t list in the Growing Up Female set of instructions.

Will Ms.Swift’s actions make a difference?  There is certainly a large mountain to climb in Canada on the issue of sexual harassment.

    “According to 2014 Statistics Canada data, 83 per cent of incidents involving sexual assault — including unwanted touching — were not reported to police. The most common reason provided by victims for not reporting the crime was that it was considered minor and not worth the bother to come forward.”

Yeah.  The violation of women’s boundaries in 2017, in Canada is still a thing.  I think perhaps our PM, before making any more “year” plus declaration statements – ala balanced cabinet – we should tackle the systematic lack of respect for the boundaries and bodies of women first.

     “The Canadian Women’s Foundation told CBC in a statement that Swift’s refusal to accept blame is “particularly important, as that often happens when seeking justice through the court system.”

Why is this important?  Because we still blame the victim for getting assaulted and harassed in our society and our institutions still reflect this patriarchal value.

Good on ya Ms.Swift for fighting the good fight and showing us what we’re up against in the battle for a female liberation in our society.

 

[Source:cbc.ca]

 

So many discussion centre around this notion.  It would be nice if we could agree on a basic set of facts rather than arguing from completely different frameworks.

 

[Source]

A nice example of the different way society treats women and men. And yes dudes, of course you don’t see it.

When women make progress in arenas typically identified as exclusively male, sexual representations are used to establish cultural boundaries that reproduce male supremacy (Birrell & McDonald, 2000; Robinson, 2002). It is no accident that Danica Patrick’s success in Formula One racing was coupled with a semi nude photo shoot in Sports Illustrated’s hallowed (soft porn) “swimsuit edition” in 2008. This strategy for preserving male supremacy is borne out in a recent study (Kane, 2008) on the effect of sexist marketing strategies for women’s sports. Kane found that the use of sexual objectification as a marketing tool, rather than building a greater fan base and greater interest in women’s sports, actually undermines the female/pro-female (parents of girls, for example) fan base of women’s sports while failing to generate a male fan base.

>-Ann Travers, “The Sport Nexus and Gender Injustice” in Studies in Social Justice 2 (2008): 79–101, p.84

Getting in trouble for naming vectors of oppression; it is what Feminists do.

Good Show Ms.Ditum.

 

Intersectionality a useful concept in describing oppression along multiple axis.  Let’s cue up Kimberle Crenshaw who coined the term for a little more background.

“The term intersectionality theory was first coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989.[3] In her work, Crenshaw discussed Black feminism, which argues that the experience of being a black woman cannot be understood in terms of being black and of being a woman considered independently, but must include the interactions, which frequently reinforce each other.[19] Crenshaw mentioned that the intersectionality experience within black women is more powerful than the sum of their race and sex, and that any observations that do not take intersectionality into consideration cannot accurately address the manner in which black women are subordinated.”


On to what Carly Thomsen says:

“I recently asked my students in an upper division Gender and Women’s Studies Feminist Engaged Research course—in which all students are Gender and Women’s Studies majors or minors—a question about that day’s reading we were discussing in class. A student responded with: “It’s all about intersectionality.” My initial question is not particularly relevant, as I have found that students will attempt to answer nearly any question by referencing (the need for and value of) “intersectionality.” I followed up to ask: “What is intersectionality?” My students looked at me blankly. All of my students had been exposed to what they would describe as “intersectionality.” Yet, not one had read the original theory of intersectionality. Not one could accurately describe the theory. Not one had a sense of the genealogy of the term. Not one could think of limits to intersectionality. Some thought that the term refers to moments in which activism and scholarship “intersect,” while others insisted that it refers to the moment when any two or more marginalized identities meet within one person’s life. Not one knew its roots in black feminist theory or critical race theory. I raise this point not because these moments gesture toward some type of feminist pedagogical failure—if only the students learned the material properly!—but because these moments point to the hegemony of discourses of “intersectionality” within Gender and Women’s Studies. In these moments, we can see that, as Ahmed (2012a) suggests, “intersectionality can be used as a method of deflection,” as a way of re-directing attention away from race and racism (195)—and, by extension, from whichever form of marginalization one is working to address—by bringing up other forms of social exclusion. The failure here lies with neither an individual instructor nor student but with a field that has produced so little critical reflection on the limits of “intersectionality” that it figures as that which is largely beyond contest.”

 “Becoming Radically Undone: Discourses of Identity and Diversity in the Introductory Gender and Women’s Studies Classroom” – -Carly Thomsen

   Pay attention when people start throwing the term intersectionality around.  Quite often you’ll see intersectionality thrown at feminists who have the utter temerity to want to discuss issues that concern women directly or who want to centre women in their discourse.  Silencing women, of course, is the goal.

 

“There has been little acknowledgement of the way in which trans politics demands far more of women than it does of men, perhaps because this would require an acknowledgement of the fact that male/female remains as much, if not more, of a dominant axis of oppression as trans/cis. Why aren’t we claiming that “men” needs to become a more inclusive category? If men can get pregnant too, why aren’t men’s rights activists campaigning for abortion rights? Why does pregnancy become a de-politicised “people’s” issue while testicular cancer remains a men’s issue? If sex is irrelevant, why are female people always the ones expected to cede linguistic and physical ground?

Pregnant with my third child, I faced more than one self-righteous male informing me that “biological sex is a construct.” The arrogance of this is staggering. Every single human being on this planet exists because of the reproductive labour of female bodies. Around 830 women die every day due to preventable pregnancy complications. The world is missing an estimated 90 to 100 million women due to the extermination of female – not feminine – infants. In such a situation, to boldly declare that you “see no sex difference” reveals both ignorance and privilege. We’re back to the idea that female people cannot be credible witnesses to their own lives.

If men were genuinely invested in supporting trans women, there’s an obvious thing they could do: stop pretending it is inevitable for “masculine” men to respond with violence to the idea that those who wish to socially transition to womanhood remain biologically male. As feminists have been arguing for decades, maleness and femininity can coexist. If the thought of that makes some men violent, then the problem lies with how men see maleness, not with feminists refusing to treat womanhood as a catch-all category for anything men don’t want to be.

Andrea Dworkin suggested when it comes to justifying misogyny, the right has religion while the left has nature. Trans politics has offered up a suitably postmodern amalgam of both. Are we dealing with scientifically verifiable proof of the “gendered” brain? Or with some mystic, soul-like essence known as “gender identity”? In many ways, it doesn’t matter which, as long as both are reinforcing a male view of how masculinity and femininity work.

I am tired of men posing as more open-minded than feminists, when in fact they’re behaving in the exact same way men have always behaved towards women. If you’re a male person telling a female person to be silent about her experiences of gender and power, you’re not only doing feminism wrong, you’re exemplifying the very values you claim to undermine.”

[Source: The Independent]

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