Have You Noticed How. . .

. . . popular culture in the US celebrates strong women a lot more eagerly than the US feminism does?

The former gives us Buffy, Olivia Benson, Temperance Brennan, etc. The latter informs me that I’m raped whenever I have sex and coerced every time I have a conversation with a guy.

These pseudo-feminists keep blaming the pop culture for the female subjection, though. Funny, that.

13 thoughts on “Have You Noticed How. . .”

  1. Thats an interesting point. I would say most tv shows out there have strong female characters. Just off the top of my head the popular geek show Battlestar Galactica has one of the strongest female characters that i have seen.

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  2. The ‘geek’ world has a long history of strong female characters. Marion Zimmer Bradley would publish annual anthologies of female fantasy (either woman writers or female leads) that were as entertaining and intriguing as anything in the mainstream. In the 90’s we had Buffy, Scully and Xena. (Okay- Xena was campy to the nth degree, but she didn’t take shit from anyone). The rebellion in the Star Wars universe was lead by two women. Most importantly, in my opinion, was not that ‘they’re women’, but that they were leaders. It wasn’t in spite of, or because of their femininity. They were equals. They were people first. Which, if I’ve come to understand your brand of feminism, is the point.

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  3. Great point. Although I’d clarify it to say that it’s only radical feminists that insist on these disempowering explanations for everything, it’s definitely true that they don’t realize how much harm their opinions can bring.

    I’ve mostly given up on trying to follow their arguments these days because it makes no sense. Today on Tumblr I saw a post saying that “the idea that there is a ‘correct’ way to spell words is oppressive.” Apparently because some people may not know the correct way to spell things, therefore, the IDEA that spelling exists is oppressive. Yeah, try to understand that.

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    1. We have people teaching this idea of the oppressive nature of correct grammar and spelling at my university. And in the next classroom, I’m trying to explain to students why it’s important to distinguish between “it’s” and “its”.

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  4. Buffy fell apart anytime a cute boy was involved and Olivia Benson, the same character who was afraid she gave off a “gay vibe,” is just a female cop archetype. (I’m not familiar with the other character you named, so I can’t comment there.) These hardly make for “feminist icons.”

    Your understanding of feminism is very limited if you think that feminists think all consensual heterosexual sex is rape or that willingly talking to a man involves coercion. Considering that most feminists are hetero or bisexual, that argument doesn’t wash for obvious reasons. It’s honestly kind of frightening that you bill yourself as an academic but are stating this garbage, which clearly shows a lack of understanding of feminism. Reading a Dworkin quote doesn’t make you qualified to speak on the matter, which you ought to know if you’re actually in academia.

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    1. drunkenatheist: you probably are not a very regular reader, which is why you might not know what this post is about. It is aimed at a certain group of people who have followed me here from a radfem blog and are now ceaselessly insulting me as a “fucking moron” for saying that I am neither raped nor coerced in spite of being a woman. I realize that taken outside of that context this post might look weird.

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  5. Well, that depends on what feminism you’re talking about. I personally avoid feminist writings that push the points you are talking about, and I still find plenty of feminist writings to like.
    I also am not impressed by shows with “strong female characters” unless they are a major part of the plot, are shown doing their thing onscreen, and have good character development. “That lady you saw for five seconds in the beginning was a badass warrior/business-woman/politician, the hero said so!” just doesn’t count.
    Of course, I am also one of those people who insists on analyzing everything I watch, which means whether I loved or hated a show, I usually find something to criticize.

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  6. Those are massive overgeneralizations both about mass/popular culture and feminism — I realize this is to create controversy and raise hit count, but if I didn’t I would take it as an indication of low intellect!

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    1. Z :

      I realize this is to create controversy and raise hit count,

      No, not this time. šŸ™‚ I’ve just been annoyed by these trolls coming here from Twisty’s blog to spam my threads, that’s all. We are all human and, in my overworked state, I’m too tired to deal with their crap any longer.

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  7. dunno – i no longer live in the USofA šŸ˜‰

    spontaneous side-note :
    1 – strenght for me is 1st of all mental/”in the mind” and then i “test” it IRL
    2 – well yeah, i am a woman and focus on “other women” and hence notice their strength 1st (no not he BS/mainstream)
    3 – “l’erotisme est feminin”

    ohwell.

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  8. Still, I think it can be useful in some tiny way to have people suggest that saying hello is oppressive and that sex is oppression, because then rational folks can think back and actually determine what is and what is not. And thus discover their own strengths. The push-back against these extremists can help women (and men) discover just what you’re trying to show.

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    1. I think what you say here is very profound. I haven’t thought about it this way, but it’s true, I have now defined my own position re: harassment in a much clearer way thanks to such posts.

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