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Yeah, I have to say, I was happy when this thread got restarted because I thought I'd be able to learn more sexual objectification theory, but I stopped paying attention when the subject quickly moved elsewhere.
Actually, it was more like free birth control pills, public discussions of masturbation, nudism and, when the wall came down, a higher rate of female orgasm. I'm not saying there weren't hot Stasi sex tapes, but then again, like, I said, we've already got them.
Long time, no post.
I thought of you while watching a cool video that just happens to be the last post in the Gender Politics Thread down in the OTD. It's a happy little youtube video by the name of "Do Communists Have Better Sex?"
I, alas, wouldn't know, but it's about hawt times in the ol' DDR who, apparently, refused to abide by that totalitarianism and prudery connection that we talked about some time past.
We already have the Stasi; might as well get the jobs, health care and higher rate of female orgasm! For workers revolution!
(Comrade Longears, you'd probably like it, too. Assuming you haven't seen it already.)
I still like your Queen Victoria II idea from that other thread, Limey.
Raise the Minimum Wage, NH Style!
25 well-dressed Democrats and labor bureaucrats, 6 libertarian trolls with signs reading "The Minimum Wage Is Too Damn High!" and "US Out of NH!" (which I kinda liked), one person of color (featured speaker) and other than her (and me) not a low-wage worker in sight. Which I guess isn't surprising seeing as how it was 9:30 on a Tuesday morning.
Ah, New Hampshire.
When I was a young goblin lad, peddling socialist newspapers and attending UMass Boston, I befriended a left Irish nationalist Catholic emigre who also served as a steward in HERE (the Hotel and Restaurant employees--I think they merged with somebody else and are now UNITE!).
We were chatting and he told me about a case where he was representing a trans union sister who wasn't allowed to change in the women's dressing room. This was the mid-90s, so I don't remember how the case ended, I think the company ended up providing her with her own dressing room.
Anyway, I remember being impressed that this pretty devout Catholic was going up against his employer in defense of trans rights and then he ruined it at the end by saying some pretty transphobic shiznit but then reeled it back in by saying "Whatever, she's a union sister and I'll be damned if I let them gobshites push her around."
Union members: Not always the most enlightened folk, but generally on the right side.
This is down to the imperfections of the English language and taking it extremely literally. No one's claiming that someone thought women were a different species of animal, or that they weren't human beings. To reduce the phrase to such parsing is to be needlessly semantic. It makes you sound like a lawyer trying to deny a worker his rights due to a technicality :P
So...who in 1986 thought women weren't people?
You know what? I thought Rebecca West said that, now I'm not sure.
But here's another good one from her: "I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."
I think it comes down to the imperfections of trying to reduce a variegated body of thought to a flippant line from an old suffragette that has become immortalized on bumper stickers.
[Picks baton up out of the gutter]
Yeah, well, Delany appears to have spent most of his life in porn theaters, so...
(Link for people who aren't Dicey)
I haven't been fallowing this thread at all closely; has the been some unspoken decision that radical feminists are the mean ones who yell?
I get the idea that "radical feminists" are the ones who say anything that the individual poster disagrees with; "basic" feminists are the ones who say things the individual poster agrees with.
Young people between the ages of 18 and 21, regardless of gender, didn't have the vote in the United States until when, 1969 or something? (1971, it turns out.) So, before then, the idea that they were people was radical?
Whatever. Here's my point: people on these boards always take pains to distance themselves from the "radical" feminists and insist that "basic" feminism just means a belief in the political, economic and social equality of men and women. And then they turn around and use ideas--sexual objectification, rape culture--derived from the "radical" feminists thereby illustrating that they have no idea what they're talking about when they talk about "radical feminism."
Lots of contemporaries thought that workers didn't need to be treated as people. Does that mean they thought workers weren't people?
Who thought women weren't people?
Btw, I've remembered one. There was a list of anti-woman "jokes" that I saw once in article about women in the countryside in Tsarist Russia:
"I thought I saw two people coming down the road but it turned out to be a man and his wife."
So there, during Rebecca West's lifetime, Russian peasants would've thought women were people was a radical idea.
I mean, it's catchy and all and looks good on a bumper sticker, but it's a pretty stupid slogan.
As for the state of the "movement," here: International Women's Day in Boston
Only problem I have with this is that, so far (and I just got back from work so I haven't looked any further), it appears that sexual objectification theory STARTED with the tag-team ludicrousness of Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin.
But I guess we can ignore all that and just rely on slogans from bumper stickers.
feminism = the radical idea that women are people.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yeah, I don't what that means. I just like posting links about Nadezhda Popova.
So, I'm trying to figure out who first came up with the idea of sexual objectification. I'm still not sure--none of the articles I'm looking will straight up say "Objectification theory was first brought up by blah blah blah in 19blah blah blah" but they all seem to start with Dworkin and MacKinnon on Kant and pornography.
Dworkin and MacKinnon, of course, are probably the two best examples of extreme feminists who people use to dismiss feminism as crazy man-hating.
So, if it is in fact true--which I'm not saying it is because I don't know--that crazy man-haters Dworkin and MacKinnon came up with this wonderful body of thought, that was later added to by Wolf, then what does that say about objectification theory on the scale of basic feminism ---} extreme man-hating feminism?
pres man wrote:
I'm guessing that the whole attracted to beauty is morally wrong crowd is made up of ... how shall I put it ... aesthetically challenged individuals.
Naomi Wolf was/is (depending on how much you like women in their 50s) actually pretty hawt.
In the same book that she put forward the extreme position that beauty is problematic, she also put forward the theory that looking at skinny models in Cosmo or whatever cause anorexia.
Whether that's extreme feminism or basic feminism I'll let the people who've already admitted they've never read a feminist book but know all about it decide.
Was enjoying that video in Gamer Talk of the nude woman writhing in d20s and I realized that I never took a Womans Studies course, so I don't understand "objectification" theory. Like, at all.
So, I looked it up on wikipedia and found that there are quite a few views on it from a variety of feminist perspectives. (I, of course, am not a feminist.)
I'm sure I'll have hours of fun looking all these people up:
"While the concept of sexual objectification is important within feminist theory, ideas vary widely on what constitutes sexual objectification and what are the ethical implications of such objectification. Some feminists such as Naomi Wolf find the concept of physical attractiveness itself to be problematic, with some radical feminists being opposed to any evaluation of another person's sexual attractiveness based on physical characteristics. John Stoltenberg goes so far as to condemn as wrongfully objectifying any sexual fantasy that involves visualization of a woman.
"Radical feminists view objectification as playing a central role in reducing women to what they refer to as the 'sex class'. While some feminists view mass media in societies that they argue are patriarchal to be objectifying, they often focus on pornography as playing an egregious role in habituating men to objectify women. Other feminists, particularly those identified with sex-positive feminism, take a different view of sexual objectification and see it as a problem when it is not counterbalanced by women's sense of their own sexual subjectivity.
"Some social conservatives have taken up aspects of the feminist critique of sexual objectification. In their view however, the increase in the sexual objectification of both sexes in Western culture is one of the negative legacies of the sexual revolution. These critics, notably Wendy Shalit, advocate a return to pre-sexual revolution standards of sexual morality, which Shalit refers to as a 'return to modesty', as an antidote to sexual objectification.
"Others contest feminist claims about the objectification of women. Camille Paglia holds that 'Turning people into sex objects is one of the specialties of our species.' In her view, objectification is closely tied to (and may even be identical with) the highest human faculties toward conceptualization and aesthetics. Individualist feminist Wendy McElroy says, given that 'objectification' of women means to make women into sexual objects; it is meaningless because, 'sexual objects', taken literally, means nothing because inanimate objects do not have sexuality. She continues that women are their bodies as well as their minds and souls, and so focusing on a single aspect should not be 'degrading'."