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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Caricature

A propos the dumb Wonder Woman flick and all of the equally silly Hunger Games and Co, it’s beyond annoying how people keep getting duped into thinking that gender equality is about getting women successfully to mimic the worst stereotypes of the aggressive, ass-kicking, emotionally stunted, sullen, and super-ripped masculinity.

Since when is the goal of feminism to get women to turn into a caricature of manhood’s worst features?

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18 thoughts on “Caricature

  1. Ah, gender equality, how far we are from achieving thee. Sorry in advance for the following tangent.

    A week ago, I came back from a conference in my core community; I am one of the senior/established people there. Yet, this did not stop a whippersnapper who’s some 10+ years my junior (a young prof elsewhere) to argue with me how women have smaller brains, especially a small amygdala, and how of course male and female brains are different and just by looking at a brain you can say if it belongs to a man or woman… Any attempt on my side to diffuse his tirade and bring it back to the right track — arguing that, as is true in the morphology of nearly all nonreproductive human organs, the difference between the average sizes for men and women is much smaller than the the variance within each gender and that from looking at a brain alone unless it’s from the tails of distributions you are very unlikely to properly guess if male or female — fell on deaf ears. He barely stopped short of saying that I am of course stupider than him because I am a woman, and science says so!

    What exactly do I have to do/say/achieve professionally to avoid clueless douches (apparently there are ever fresh batches constantly being grown) from condescending to me? I am senior enough that, if I were a vindictive witch, I could damage this person’s career; his hubris prevents him from seeing h ow stupid he’s being, in addition to being misogynistic. (FYI, of course his wife doesn’t work. How shocking.)

    As much as I like men, some days I am really really sick of the bull$hit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anon on said:

      If I were you, I perhaps would be vindictive and damage this person’s career. There should be consequences for stupidity and bad behavior. Many brilliant young women’s careers have been damaged for much less; why not this idiot’s?

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    • Shakti on said:

      Consider: how many men with this exact same attitude may have held you back when you were starting in your career. You can’t ever really know. He probably would’ve regaled you with tales of phrenology and drapetomania 100 years ago because it fits so cozily with his views. It does not benefit you professionally to aid or help one more such person. Further, it just isn’t collegial to insult potential colleagues and seniors like that. Why would you have such a person as a colleague or a research partner?

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      • I was once invited to work on a research article based on the idea that women are closer to animals than men. And that women don’t feel as much pain as men do when experiencing torture because of that. The people who invited me and came up with the idea were women. Professors of gender studies.

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        • Dreidel on said:

          “The people who invited me and came up with the idea were women. Professors of gender studies.”

          Women who obviously felt that being “closer to animals” (in other words, closer to nature) was a positive characteristic of their gender.

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          • Yes, exactly, it’s that whole “women are more intuitive, less rational, very anti-numbers and anti-science, very animalistic” kind of feminism. I ran away as fast as I could.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. “getting women successfully to mimic the worst stereotypes of the aggressive, ass-kicking, emotionally stunted, sullen, and super-ripped masculinity.”

    I think this is coming from two different places.

    Masculine/feminine national cultures.

    In more feminine countries (Scandinavia, Netherlands) feminism tends to be more about equity at work and at home so there’s a big emphasis on things like paternal leave and men doing their share to keep the home going. The goal is to reduce ideas of gendered work and roles.
    In more masculine cultures (like the US) the emphasis of feminism is all about opening up masculine spheres of power to talented women as well while maintaining sexual dimorphism as much as possible.

    The other is the economic power of (mostly male) nerd culture and the persistent adolescent fantasy of a sexy girl who’s interested in cool guy things like weapons and fighting instead of boring lady things like…. pressing flowers, and stroking kittens, and swimming in rivers wearing dresses and hats… ‘n shit

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    • I don’t know, I have a suspicion that most people in the world would see the gloomy, silent, unemotional Scandinavians are representatives of a more masculine culture than gregarious, smiley, excitable and obsessed with niceness Americans.

      But I absolutely agree that all these Catniss Everdeens exist solely to allay the fears of womanhood that possesses unattractive little nerds.

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      • Stringer Bell on said:

        Well, he’s operating from Breitbart’s definition of masculine and feminine. You see, northern european countries are weak (therefore feminine), because they let non-white immigrants in. They’re even called cucks (short for cuckold), a term made popular by the alt-right in the last year. Trump is the true ‘alpha’, everyone else who opposes his common-sense non-PC talk is a cuck.

        It’s creepy. And it perfectly explains why he has so much hate for women, especially white women. They’re betraying their race! What could be a bigger sin than that?!

        But hey, if imagining himself and his ‘people’ as cuckolds gets him off, who are we to judge?

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        • Who? Who are we talking about? I’m completely lost.

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          • Stringer Bell on said:

            Cliff. Who else on this board (other than panamahat) would call scandinavian countries ‘feminine’?

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            • ” Who else on this board (other than panamahat) would call scandinavian countries ‘feminine’?”

              the terminology isn’t mine, it comes form socio-anthropology and is about whether a culture prioritizes ‘masculine’ values like competition and ambition or ‘feminine’ ones like security and nurturing.

              In this framework Scandinavian countries are among the most feminine and Japan(!) is the most masculine (the UK, Germany and Hungary are all in the top 10)

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              • You mean the current national governments, though, not the actual countries, right? Because, with all due respect to Scandinavians, a nurturing Scandinavian is a but of an oxymoron. It’s not for nothing that they are very not into child-bearing as a culture.

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            • I feel like I’ve missed half of a conversation.

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        • There is nothing even remotely accurate in this post (Stringer bell at 10.27). Not sure where his obsession with me comes from, but it is the opposite of healthy.

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  3. \ Yes, exactly, it’s that whole “women are more intuitive, less rational, very anti-numbers and anti-science

    I read a movie review about women and math which sounded interesting and touching on many issues you have written about:

    Троха про “Обдаровану”
    http://morreth.livejournal.com/2990139.html

    The movie “Gifted” (2017) is about “Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.”

    Trailer:

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  4. “You mean the current national governments, though, not the actual countries, right?”

    It’s about the majority values in the population (which influence what type of governments come to power and how). There are problems with the model (like all models) but I’ve found it’s a very good predictor/explainer of cultural variation in general.

    “a nurturing Scandinavian is a but of an oxymoron. It’s not for nothing that they are very not into child-bearing as a culture.”

    The nurturing aspect is tempered by high individualism (preference for smaller families) and general dislike of inequality. This means that nurturing is largely outsourced to the government (extensive welfare infrastructure) or bureaucrats (a network of social workers).

    Within the smaller Scandinavian family though there’s no strong division between mothers and fathers as nurturers. In strongly masculine cultures mothers nurture and fathers discipline (in feminine cultures both parents do both).

    masculine/feminine dimension is just one of several (and they interact).

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  5. Well said Clarissa. For women to become more like man is not exactly progress.

    Like

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