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It takes dedicated effort to remove these sorts of fiery speeches from the history of women. Oratory like this somehow doesn’t make it into the classrooms, or history lectures. So the lessons need to be discovered, theorized, and fought for in each generation of women making progress glacially slow. Yet we have helpful mnemonics for the British Monarchy, US presidents and Canadian PM’s that we teach to children. Yet nothing for the bold female speakers of the 60’s and 70’s who set their minds to one of the most important projects facing humankind – the dismantling of patriarchy.
Unless you seek information like this out, you won’t be told about it by your choice of news station, you most likely won’t hear it on the radio and I’m almost certain you wont get this in secondary school. The exclusion of feminist history in the mainstream is not an accidental omission, but a tactical choice.
– [Source:Notes from the Third Year]
Excerpts from Elizabeth Stanton’s address to the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
“Some men tell us we must be patient and persuasive; that we must be womanly. My friends, what is man’s idea of womanliness? Is it to have a manner which pleases him- quiet, deferential, submissive, approaching him as a subject does a master. He wants no self-assertion on our part, no defiance, no vehement arraignment of him as a robber and a criminal …. while every right achieved by the oppressed has been wrung from tyrants by force; while the darkest page on human history is the outrages on women – shall men still tell us to be patient, persuasive and womanly?
What do we know as yet of the womanly? The women we have seen thus far have been, with rare exception, the mere echoes of men. Men has spoken in the State, the Church and the Home, and made the codes, creeds and customs which govern every relation in life, and women have simply echoed all his thoughts and walked in the paths he prescribed. And they call this womanly! When Joan of Arch led the French army to victory I dare say the carpet knights of England thought her unwomanly. When Florence Nightingale, in search of blankets for the soldiers in the Crimean War, cut her way through all the orders and red tape, commanded with vehemence and determination those who guarded the supplies to “unlock the doors and not talk to her of proper authorities when brave men were shivering in their beds,” no doubt she was called unwomanly. To me, “unlock the doors” sounds better than any words of circumlocution, however sweet and persuasive, and I consider that she took the most womanly way of accomplishing her object.
Patience and persuasiveness are beautiful virtues in dealing with children and feeble-minded adults, but those who have the gift of reason and understand the principles of justice, it is our duty to compel to act up to the highest light that is in them, and as promptly as possible…”
-Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Ms. Stanton had the revolutionary fire that, as of late has been sputtering and spitting; hopefully new female leaders can step forth and reanimate the movement and bring back the revolutionary zeal that in 1890’s (and henceforth) got things done.
This excerpt from an article in the New Statesman:
“It’s a shame then that my enjoyment of International Women’s Day each 8th March is consistently spoiled by the United Nations’ attempt to put men at the heart of feminism with their #HeForShe campaign.
I personally am very happy for men to describe themselves as feminists, but they should be the loyal, kit-wearing supporters in the stands, and women, the first XI. #HeForShe is a pitch invasion, where men nick the ball and start booting it around to show how much they want the match to go ahead as planned.
International Women’s Day is about women. It is about the issues and oppressions that affect women globally. Hearing the statistics and stories should be enough for men to support women without it being specifically branded for them. If a man can hear that 85,000 women are raped in the UK each year and only care when this fact is labelled FOR MEN like a horrifying statistical Yorkie, he probably isn’t that much use to the feminist cause in the first place.
Feminism is constantly expected to make itself pretty and palatable. We’ve created the straw feminist, all smouldering tits and desiccated ovaries, sticking pins into voodoo dolls’ little embroidered balls, just so we can say, “I’m a feminist, but I’m not one of those feminists. I love men!” Loving men and being a feminist are not mutually exclusive but nor is “loving men” in any way a mandatory part of feminism. We should not pander to make men who, whether they support it or not, are part of a system that benefits them.”
Ms. Fletcher isn’t going to win many male friends for this article, but rightly so, feminism isn’t about the men. :)
I am very privileged and honoured to host thoughts on prostitution and ‘sex work’ from Emma, a recent addition to the DWR commentariat. Emma takes a hard look at the commercial rape trade and those who support it. With Emma’s permission I am reposting her comment to the main blog, as it is simply made of awesome and unworthy of being buried in a comments section.
Thank you Emma for your words on this topic.
[The message was edited for line breaks, otherwise appearing in its original form]
There is very little in terms of a meaningful convo on this subject with people who insist that having sex is like going to a restaurant.
It’s not just a different outlook on life, it is a different universe altogether, made impenetrable by either a complete absence of conscience (or even “simple” imagination) or its willful (?) shut down . Been there, done that, got tired of debating the gloriousity of “sex work.”
But I have yet to meet a girl who dreams of becoming a masturbatory receptacle, a sexual outlet/toilet, for men. Doing “sex work” one day is not something little girls aspire to. When I grow up, I want to make a life for myself by being penetrated in every possible way, often violently, by multiple strange men — many of them disordered and deranged, and unable to find a woman to form a relationship with for obvious reasons — who, after ejaculating into me, will care about me as much as about used tissue –
said no little girl ever.
Just like there are no girls who dream of becoming an object to be used and abused (sexually and not), there is no parent who would encourage and champion that kind of “career” for their child(ren). And that includes the johns, pimps, and “sex workers” themselves. I don’t know of a “sex worker,” even a “high class escort” or a “happy hooker,” who would encourage her children to pursue this line of “work.”
Check out this report, “Welcome to Paradise,” about German legal brothels: http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/welcome-to-paradise/
Here’s the end paragraph:
[The brothel] Paradise’s [owner] Jürgen Rudloff appeared in a documentary, “Sex – Made in Germany”, which aired on the German public broadcaster ARD last summer. In one scene he’s sitting in his spacious kitchen dressed in an open-necked white shirt and linen jacket, surrounded by his four shiny-haired, privately-educated children.
Would he be happy for either of his two daughters to work at Paradise, the interviewer asks. Rudloff turns puce. “Unthinkable, unthinkable,” he says. “The question alone is brutal. I don’t mean to offend the prostitutes but I try to raise my children so that they have professional opportunities. Most prostitutes don’t have those options. That’s why they’re doing that job.”
He pauses and looks away.
“Unimaginable”, he repeats. “I don’t even want to think about it.”
That from a man who knows this “business” as few others do; he runs it, after all.
He does not even want to think about this option for his daughters, but he has no qualms “encouraging” unrelated women to join his “business.” Like so many johns and pimps and sex “business” owners, he’d do his very best to prevent his daughters from going into this line of “work,” but it does not stop him from exploiting other, powerless young women.
This peculiar mental split is depressingly common, and one dark aspect of male sexuality that nearly all men are in denial about and unwilling to explore, ever. Any attempts to have them try to even acknowledge and look at it are usually met with violent and/or hysterical reactions, accusing the questioneer of misandry and similar fairy tales, of demonizing male sexuality and trying to shut it down, etc. And, oh, freedom, wouldn’t you know. It’s as predictable as clockwork.
One thing that’s certain about human beings (apart from their endless stupidity) is their bottomless capacity for rationalization. There is no behavior, no matter how depraved and evil, that cannot be rationalized away by its participants and/or perpetrators.
Ahh, you can hear the faint hum of the patriarchal machinery gently whirr in the background as it gently churns out non-provocative titles such as this:
The unabashed use of the qualifier quickly raised this commentators eyebrow and raised the feminist lobes to a strong yellow alert. Was this a sage nod to journalistic principles or just a slavish introduction to (yet another) slap-happy, patriarchally-reinforcing, equality hug-fest?
Thankfully, the code yellow lobe condition turned out to be unnecessary as the article found its way and made some crunchy assertions about the sexism women face in the workplace.
“Should you have to dress sexy to keep your job? Many women working at some of Canada’s popular restaurant chains say they do.
But dress codes for female staff at some restaurants — which can include high heels, tight skirts and heavy makeup — may violate women’s human rights, according to some experts.”
Wow, enforced femininity violating human rights? It’s almost like the material conditions forced on one class of people is destructive and not conducive to healthy existence in society.
“CBC Marketplace investigated the dress codes at some of Canada’s top restaurant chains and heard from dozens of female staff who say they felt pressured to wear revealing outfits or risk losing shifts.
“The dress is so tight that you can see your underwear through it,” says a current employee of Joey Restaurants who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job.
She claims she was told not to wear underwear at all in order to avoid this.”
Because wearing a sexy tight dress is the necessary foundation for serving people food and drink. Hmm, seems like there is a societal standard at work here – rhymes with blofectification….can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m sure my fellow blamers will help me out though…
“It is sex discrimination. I have no doubt about it,” she [University of Ottawa law professor Joanne St. Lewis] says. “The male employees are doing exactly the same task as the female employees … And they do not need to sexualize their clothing. That’s the bottom line.”
Yep. The good prof correctly identifies that problem, there is a set of standards for women, and a set of standards for men. Guess which sex has more harmful rules and stipulations?
“Toronto pastry chef Kate Burnham grabbed headlines in 2015 when she spoke out about her alleged sexual harassment while working in the kitchen of a popular downtown restaurant, Weslodge.
Burnham’s case nabbed the attention of Toronto-based restaurant owner Jen Agg, who took to Twitter to say sexism and sexual harassment are major issues in the industry.
It also provoked Agg to organize a conference on the topic called “Kitchen Bitches: Smashing the Patriarchy One Plate at a Time.” The event, which brought both men and women together to discuss the abuse happening in restaurants, sold out.
Agg says what happens in kitchens is shocking.
“Slapping with tongs, snapping bras, relentless grabbing — women chefs learn quickly to crouch, never bend over, when picking up a pot,” she wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times.
St. Lewis suggests sexualized dress codes can send a signal that tolerating harassment is part of the job.
“That is not something that I think any employer has the entitlement to ask in 2016 of any woman in a Canadian workplace,” she says.”
Yep, because being slapped, having one’s bra snapped and being relentlessly grabbed are all hallmarks of a relentlessly egalitarian society. Women systematically being treated as objects, with little or no respect to their autonomy, it’s almost like there is a prevailing social set of norms, some feminists like to call Patriarchy, at work.
Dale Spender provides some sociological insight into the roles of women and men.
– Dale Spender, Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them (1982)
Another concept is relevant here *thinks hard*now what could that be? Oh yes! Patriarchy. That ‘wispy-diaphonous’ notion that so many dudebros can’t seem to get a handle on. :/