14 May 2010

this is a rant about 'girl stuff'

This has been bubbling up for months actually, thinkin about feminism, girl stuff, etc. I've been researching it for like.. the entire year (I seriously have a huge google document that's pages and pages long about it...) but Tavi's post got me motivated enough to post something here.

It is ten minutes long (I cut out repetition to save time, I was just going off the top of my head, no prep) but hopefully ten minutes well spent. Sorry for the strange quality, I don't know crap about compressing. If you guys don't hate videos I suppose I'll do them more often (shorter, obvz) but I just didn't feel like writing it all out so I just recorded free form.



Isabel said...

I really wish Tavi hadn't claimed your hand in marriage already because I would be TOTALLY ON THAT RITE NOW.

Tiffany S. said...

Love this blog entry!

I'm a feminist and I have a hard time understanding why people are not feminists - why wouldn't you want want equality for the sexes?

Women have the right to be respected and treated as equal. We have the right to do whatever and be whoever we want and not be judged for it and not be told our place by others. We are not second class citizens and we cannot stand by and let others treat us we are.

Anonymous said...

shut the fuck UP! Go make a sandwich!

samantha said...

bums me out too man

but seriously,


Amber said...

Great post, but at times I think you sell yourself a bit short in the video. Age doesn't necessarily equal wisdom, especially if you don't open yourself up to it. As for the Fashion Industry, I find it disappointing that an Industry catered to the interest and desire of a woman perpetuates so much inequality, and discrimination. From the size issue, to the race issue among models, I have found myself completely disillusioned with Fashion to the point where I have felt as if I lost my voice. Your courage and Tavi's have made me remember mine as well, and the power of it in its honesty. Thank you for that. The Industry will change, with the fearlessness shown by you, and others who aren't afraid to speak the truth. Very inspiring.

blukats said...

Thank You!!!

It was so wonderful to see this tonight. I love that you came into this on your own.

Having grown up in the 1960's-1980's I often wondered if younger women today really understood that things still aren't equal for all humans. And also appreciated all the work feminists have done so you and everyone else can get on the internet and speak your piece.

It would be so awesome to see that rights for everyone was picked-up again, that feminist was not a dirty misappropriated word any more.

I can suggest writings by both Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf if you are looking for more to read. Especially Gloria's book regarding advertising and fashion magazines which feels even more timely today.

Holly said...

The book that really got me into feminism was 'The Second Sex', by Simone de Beauvoir. Total classic. Cool reads about Third Wave culture I recommend are 'A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World' (ed. Karen Green and Tristan Taormino), which has loads of scans of actual Riot Grrrl era zines, and will totally inspire you to start your own, and of course one of Marisa Meltzer's other books, 'How Sassy Changed My Life'.

leslie said...

it sucks that my/your/our peers don't understand fundamentally that being a woman = being a feminist. we live in an internet age that promotes, i think above all, a sense of self-importance, and i just don't believe a majority of young women do not (even subconsciously) believe in sexual equality. "being a feminist" has such negative connotations, including the immediate imagery that you brought up. it's just fucking sad that the undeniably patriarchal american society manages "brand" and stereotype basic human rights in order to fight against them

Meg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria said...

I totally agree with u! Allmost veryone in my class doesnt even know what a feminist is.
Imma show this to my classmates on monday.

You are fab btw.

Alecto said...

i have always been a hard advocate for equality. i took a women's studies class this semester and found myself so frustrated that some women were perfectly okay with being patronized for "being a girl." or, that when they were being patronized, they said nothing. what the *BLEEP*. when did this become ok?

and you're correct-- it comes from society/family/culture/media. so when someone (i.e you, me, the stranger down the street) actually says something against misogyny we're construed as hardcore feminists. i think not. i've done more than most males OR females my age and should be respected as so. just because my gender is female does not degrade my accomplishments.

there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why women should be considered the "weaker sex" but i find that some women actually agree with it! mind boggling, isn't it?

it's refreshing to hear that i am not the only person on this planet that becomes frustrated on a daily basis. you keep thinking the way you are and you will be better off for it. i applaud you.

Meg said...

I can completely identify with your struggle. I find that everyone around me is completely incapacitated and cannot realize the injustice that is being served, ESPECIALLY women/girls towards themselves.

I once started a debate in law class about the topic and about 2/3 of the male population in the room made some vocal expression of their distaste on the matter. I wish I could speak more eloquently to convince them otherwise, but even my teacher who is a female and for whom I have only respect for didn't seem completely on board. Thankfully a well spoken BOY in the back of the class clarified my thoughts.

Another instance that occurred in my English class occurred when my teacher mentioned briefly the term "girl power." A male student who sat next to me, like those in my law class, moaned in distaste on the matter. Of corse this set me right off, so I went on to tell him that girl power (like feminism) does not mean empowering girls to be better then boys, but rather empowerment of the gender as a whole, banding girls together rather than tearing each other down. He actually did not have distaste for this idea! And he understood it! How amazing. I know that it shouldn't be this way, that I shouldn't get elated when I see a male who GETS feminist ideals, but this is the way it is. I'm not going to be passive about it though, that isn't really an option.

Thank you for this lovely video of awesomeness and insight and I could go on forever and ever. But thank yooooou. I feel less alone in my beliefs because of people like you in the Internet community. Stay awesome <3

Megan said...

Amazing! I totally agree 100% with everything you said. So many people I know are complete apathetic ignoramuses and it's so infuriating!! No matter what I say they still don't see where I'm coming from or why I'm pissed off! It's really ridiculous. Great Post!

sweetheart said...

I'm so glad that someone said this! & I'm so happy that it was you that said it and you articulate yourself really well.

I think the thing I find hardest to believe is that to many females, feminism has become a dirty word! It is the one -ism which is about women, supporting women's belief systems and their choices and yet they refuse to acknowledge or even support it. I know I'm rehashing everything you've been talking about, but I'm newly introduced to feminism (as a belief, not the concept) because I was raised into a stunted system in that even in my family my mother believes in tripe like wives should have a meal ready for her husband etc (which by the way is ridiculous seeing as SHE is the one which goes to work and my father doesn't?!). It makes me realise how ingrained this is in society that even someone who lived through second-wave feminism, devalues herself that much as a female.

For some reason I've spent a lot of my life with very few beliefs, instead I've just kind of accepted things. But these last few years have really started to make me realise things which totally aren't good at all. I really am starting to believe that I am a feminist.

So yeah, I'm really glad that you are using your free time to learn all about this stuff and that you are posting in on your blog because y'kno what? Riot Grrl's zines and 90's feminism might not be 'relevant' any more (btw zines are TOTALLY relevant) but these blogs we all have are, in fact now more than ever it's so much easier to communicate with people and it would be so amazing if between us we could start something just as amazing as that.

Oh and Meltzer's book was so good, I keep forgetting to write a review on it.

Oh and you probably stopped reading ages ago, sorry for the essayyyy.

Abby said...

Love this post.. agree with everything you said. I like the videos too btw. MORE MORE! Also, I would like to note how strange it is to read these blogs of other people and think to myself, "gosh I wish they lived in my town/ went to my school because we would be best friends" But seriously I have so much more in common with people I've never even "met"

Teagan said...

You. Rock.

Molly Rose said...

I live in a really really conservative, bible thumping, wright-wing religious area in Pa, and I experience that so much. It's considered weird if you're not in a serious relationship before you graduate from high school, and no body bats an eye if someone gets married and has a kid before they're even 20. Its like expected. It freaks me out sometimes.

Angelica said...

I love this post, and I love how so many fashion bloggers are getting interested in feminism. Hopefully bloggers like you can start to change peoples' ideas about feminism, since you're living proof that feminists are not just a bunch of "bitter cat ladies." Riots ARE good for the world, let's start one :)

sahrahbobahrah said...

you should check out second-wave feminist art from the 70's - 80's. there's a book on it called "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution" which is packed full of a bunch of amazing and thought-provoking feminist art.

also, you should look at Feministing.com. it's a great website/blog that's relevant to modern-day feminism.

i've never commented on here, but i'm a long time reader of your blog and i thought i'd chime in!

trina's reality said...

Right on. Right on.

My AP Language class was reading Scarlet Letter a while ago, and every once in a while my teacher mentions Feminism, and all the guys in class groan. What the hells wrong with it?

I mean, the womens' movement is always on AP History exams too--obviously the AP officials feel feminism is important.

And I remember a news coverage couple years ago when a girl was raped by a man on a cruise ship, but later the police-or the managers on the ship?-refused to arrest the man because the girl had on a short skirt.

And male teachers who teach elementary school are promoted earlier in their careers compared to female teachers in the same school.

I feel like all the crap women have to face is so wrong--and we are in the 21st century! Thank you for bring it up.

Lizz said...

wow thank you for that! to be honest I kind of had the same stereotype about feminists/feminism too until I started researching for my AP history class. I completely agree with you. People do need to realize what feminism is about: gender equality. So many people are just taught from a start that 'it's a man's world'and it's time to change that stereotype. Thank you for this amazing insightful post.

aimee said...

hey, this blog was really interesting and i tend to agree with almost everything you've said here. major kudos for the insight! :D

I'm an old-school feminist. But by that I don't mean that I'm a "bra-burning femi-nazi" that is pretty typically known to the popular world. I mean, in the original wave of Susan B. Anthony: equal rights, equal pay, equal treatment under the law feminism that acknowledges a woman's femininity as part of her person and a vital aspect of her humanity.

As women, we must be pushing for a realization that in order to be equal, we must NOT be forced to be men. That is what our everyday culture says to us: that in order to be successful, we must act just like men. If a girl or young woman gets pregnant, we are told that we can't have maternity leave, we are told that we will get a pay cut, we are told that we should just leave the workplace. As a feminist who truly regards the rights of all human beings (and especially young girls in the womb -- they are the overwhelming target of sex-selection abortions around the world), I find this a travesty and not really all that shocking that our culture "needs" abortion, because women are expected to be men in order to succeed. That should not be the case. Our sexuality is part of who we are -- and we should embrace and acknowledge that instead of trying to suppress it.

I think the 90's version of feminism was much more related to the "originals" (SBA, etc), but we still have yet to find the heart of feminism in the feminist movement today. I take heart in knowing that the younger generation has leaders like you and Tavi who can get this ball rolling. I'm 21 and have been trying to make the same effort in my part of the generation and its amazing how few of my friends and peers care. So I sympathize with you there!

Good luck in your endeavors, and keep me updated!

happened-to-be said...

Well, I kind of felt weird while I was watching your video, because I felt outraged one minute and calm the next one. I mean, first of all, you say yourself that you don't honestly know that much about feminism. In that case, how can you expect other people to know? But maybe that is not the main point. What I am trying to say, is that you use stereotypical views on feminism at the beginning (bitter, angry cat-ladies) but then you yourself also use your stereotypical view on feminism, because there are many kinds of feminism and not all are about equality everywhere (for example, christian feminism). Men and women are different, their bodies, their minds, their characters (even if it is just a matter of how they were brought up. That is why I partly agree with aimee that women shouldn’t be forced to be equal. Thus, how can you expect every woman to prefer career from being a mother? Women have different priorities and what I believe is sometimes wrong with feminism is that they expect other women to think like them. It is required of every woman to believe that self-development and personal fulfilment can be only achieved in work and not at home. I think, also, that in many cases you generalize and you jump to conclusions without getting to know more about other explanations of for example lower wages for women (http://www.reasonforliberty.com/economics/why-women-are-paid-less-than-men.html). I think that people really should be more be open in order to make judgements and opinions and to give arguments. And when you say that some people, who are older than you and say ‘it’s a men’s world we just live in it’, you just assume it’s crap. But if my grandmother or my mother said that (when I was younger I surely did ignore it) I think I would reconsider my opinions and stop for a second and wonder ‘why do you think that?’. Maybe they also have some arguments. Of course, there are people who just say it without thinking because they are lazy and enjoy being blissfully unaware of what it’s happening around them, but there are some who base their opinions on some arguments, some reasonable arguments. And it is worth taking their opinions into account too. All in all, what I basically wanted to say is that, no one should pass judgments without making an effort to understand one’s point of view and ending a discussion with words ‘it’s crap’. Feminism is a broad concept and there are many issues involved. I consider myself a feminist, but it doesn’t mean I don’t wanna have kids and limit my whole life to work. I just want to be able to choose what I want (of course, without harm to anybody) without sexists, feminists or anybody else telling me I can’t or I am not supposed to.

BTW, I really like your blog :)

happened-to-be said...

'That is why I partly agree with aimee that women shouldn’t be forced to be equal.' it should be 'shouldn't be forced to be men' ;p

Carys said...

I agree. It's hard for me to understand that there are young girls/women out there that do not understand the concept of feminism.
The tight jeans thing really depresses me it's such a sad thing to realise that the law does not recognise things like this.
Tavi and yourself rock my world.
xo Carys

>.< said...

so the problem is they don’t offer classes about these kinds of topics in high school, and even when you get a class like this in college, it really depends on the kind of teacher. it’s all about passion and how much people care about things.

side note-the easy thing is that people get so caught up in the day to day hectic lifestyle *guilty as charged* that we forget to think about these kinds of issues and they never bother with them; easier to move on and forget since its not an easy fix

ANYWAY, the best teachers give you all the facts and let you make your mind up for yourself and EXPECT you to.

So I looked into wages briefly, no HUGE amount of digging and supposedly in 2008, women earned 77% of men’s wages (that improves a half penny per dollar earned every year) But there seems to be a narrow wage gap of 92.1% that applies to men and women under 25...but according to Katha Pollitt in 1997, “Young men and women have always had earnings more compatible than those of their elders: starting salaries are generally low, and do not accurately reflect the advantages that accrue, or fail to accrue, over time as men advance and women stay in place, or as women in mostly female kinds of jobs reach the end of characteristically short career paths.”

And this brings up the WHOLE reason I actually commented on your post....

but what i really wanted to write was that our professor brought up one interesting fact about the beginning of what they call feminism. the women before us were fighting for equality NOT the modicum that being a woman was respectable. They were trying to enter a man’s world and thus the reason we find ourselves in this predicament and not facing the bunt of the issue.

the problem is feminism is still fighting for the same crap that is going to get us only a half penny more a year and society will still have the same notion 10 years from now that women are the “weaker vessel”. we need to start getting recognized that being a woman is something to be proud of. we offer different things than men do and they offer different things than we do; one is not better than the other. and as aimee and happened-to-be mentioned women have different priorities, some want to be stay-at-home moms and rock that and others want to be career driven and STILL others want both. but the fact of the matter is what women usually have an affinity towards is valued less, right, i think thats the crux of the issue is.

and now after watching that video from Professor Walter Block from that link happend-to-be gave...i feel even more in the mindset that this will never change. besides the fact that there are so many issues (cultural ramifications, social differences between then and now, etc) that factor into the main issue that it feels like it could never be sorted out....and now i dont even know why im posting, but i did....

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should learn more about this topic before opening your mouth, you come off really dumb. Leave the serious subjects to Tavi and stop trying to steal her material. She is IT and you are a wannabe.

Meredith S said...

Thank you so much for posting this video!

Frances895 said...

That was a totally worthwhile rant. Personally, I think that one of the advatages of the blogosphere is that people can share things like this. It's up to young bloggers like us to stand up for the causes and crusades we believe in.

Tavi said...

Anonymous 4:46-When did feminism/talking about Terry Richardson become MY material? That sucks, because I really wish more people would talk about it and am very glad that Belle is. Deciding that feminism and the "serious subjects" are reserved for only SOME people to talk about is ridiculous. Feminism should be talked about, discussed, and reserving it for only people you deem worthy is the opposite of progressive. Jessica Valenti said this better:

ANYWAY, you, Arabelle, YAYAYAYAY. It's such a bummer when I think about how many girls could be AWESOME people who do incredible things if they hadn't been raised in such a patriarchal society and culture.

Anonymous said...

? I've listened to like five minutes of this and you haven't explained what feminism IS, just why people should be feminist or believe in feminism...

Romi said...

I agree with you...There are mixed messages in society however, we aren't really given much opportunities for enlightenment on the issues and ideals behind feminism...

Even though equality ought to be an important issue in everyone's mind, many people - especially young girls haven't been taught the values of self worth or such things...While I do believe in equal standards and all, I sometimes think that there are certain things I would prefer a man to handle...


Anonymous said...

We are not girls, we are WOMEN.

Fashion is a demeaning, belittling industry that destroys women and their rights.

Terry Richardson is a pervert who makes millions taking objectifying photos of young women.

American Apparel objectifies women and is a disgusting monstrosity.

Blogs, bloggers, models, wanna-be models, modeling agencies, commercials, films, television, magazines, politicians and the like objectify women.

Lose the blog, stop supporting the anorexic fashion industry and THEN you will be a true feminist.

firefly said...

So right.

That's just...all I can say to agree with you there. However, I think that people, if they have the ability to, shouldn't just settle for "the same" but better, for everyone instead of society turning into a feeding frenzy where the people of power only support themselves.

Also, first Anonymous: Was that a joke? If it is, that's not really funny. If it's not, it still is stupid. Making a sandwich should never be an insult.

liz said...

Before I actually thought about the issue at all, I always had the vague impression that we were living in a post-feminist world and that feminism was a concept best left in the dark ages. It's always lovely to see another young person waking up to the fact that feminism, simply and originally, means equal rights for both sexes.

One point of yours I disagreed with was that women cannot be content just staying at home, raising children and caring for a family. I respect your passion, but the fundamental cornerstone of feminism, I believe, is the right to choose. Women have been relegated to the domestic sphere for so long, that the thought of any woman voluntarily choosing such a life seems a bit traitorous :/ but feminists fought for a woman's right to break free from the domestic stereotypes that defined our gender, and I don't think it's a step forward to erect new stereotypes and barriers in their place.

To be receptive and understanding of women who choose to work, have childcare, stay at home and care for their children, have no children, have five children, voluntarily choose to wear a hijab, cavort around uncovered, proclaim their husbands as the heads of the family, have no husbands- that is the way forward. We cannot only be accepting of someone's choice when it is the same as our own.

Marie B said...

Try the Fbomb.org

Anonymous said...

I like your blog and I'm I believe firmly in gender equality, but I'm not totally sure that I learned anything about feminism from this video. I feel I just learned that you think people who aren't feminists are stupid. I totally understand that this is just a rant, but you have the opportunity to expose an impressionable lot of people to the feminist ideal(s) through this blog. Don't make girls who are miseducated feel like idiots.

iamronel said...

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ronelmarin.net said...

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Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog and respect your opinion. So please don't take what I'm about to say offensively.
I just feel that you sound so whiny in this video. I really wanted to enjoy this, but I ended up just being annoyed. I'm sorry. I promise I'm not trying to be rude. I just felt that you would get your point across better without calling women who aren't feminists stupid. You really don't need to act so condescending because some women enjoy letting their husbands make the money while they take care of their home. And I wish you didn't say 'like' and all those other annoying teenage girl things so often because I KNOW you have a brain.

I probably agree with you on your points, but I'm not sure because I couldn't sit through the entire video.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see someone so passionate on an important issue but I found this video a bit confusing at times. It seems your passion is rather aggressive and there were moments when you shrugged it off as if resigning yourself to the fact nothing can be done. I understand you probably dont think that but perhaps the 'off the cuff' presentation of this video undermines the how serious you are about this issue. I'd love to see something a little more prepared, perhaps a creative essay style video would really allow you to address the points youre attempting to make clear here.


Anonymous said...

i'm a femnist and all...but i think this post is seriously obnoxious. you sound like an idiot, you've read like two books about femnism, you don't know shit. shut the fuck up

Anonymous said...

oh and also,,,,,,,,,,, the comment by tavi i will quote here,

"ANYWAY, you, Arabelle, YAYAYAYAY. It's such a bummer when I think about how many girls could be AWESOME people who do incredible things if they hadn't been raised in such a patriarchal society and culture."

is also pretentious and annoying. shut the fuck up you are twelve stop acting like you know everything. you two are obnoxious as hell, leave femnism to people who actually know about what it is.

warrior said...

Odd. For all of the "feminists" that are commenting but telling you/Tavi to "shut the fuck up" is really backward. If they were true feminists, it would make a lot more sense if they simply promoted those who promoted their same ideas, regardless of obnoxiousness. Even if you were "pretentious" and "annoying", it's still a great effort, and not enough girls/women today are making those efforts. Many people shrug off and avoid the "politics" of feminism and blindly go about their days. I applaud YOU, on the otherhand, for making an effort, which should most definitely be encouraged and NOT shot down by ANOTHER "feminist". How can society progress if we don't at least TRY? I honestly feel like these people are treating feminism like how people hog their favorite indie bands or how people love to hold scandalous secrets, to boost their self esteem and feel ABOVE others. OH WAIT, THAT'S NOT EVEN FEMINISM. Not to mention that it's NOT MIDDLE SCHOOL ANYMORE. We promote and talk about feminism NOT to make ourselves sound smart, but to PROMOTE IT FOR THE SAKE OF IT. And you know, EDUCATE OTHERS. It really doesn't matter if we're annoying or not. But hell, let's make it "annoying" and KEEP POSTING and KEEP MAKING MORE VIDEOS! To feminism!

Love you Arabelle,
love you Tavi,
and love you REAL feminists.

Pixie Dust said...

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I would love to invite you to my make-up & accessories giveaway! :)) Check it out here:


Can't wait to hear from you <3

Shante said...

I loved your video. Feminism is something I've been interested in for a while and you made me want to know more...Thank You!

Cara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I support your views on feminism, however, I do have issues with some modern feminism. I feel that feminism can extend to the point where it is not about recognizing women as equal human beings, but more like superior members of the human race, like we should all stick together and get each other just because we have vaginas. I think we should stop trying to represent ourselves as the suffering women of the world and begin to show ourselves as human beings, because that's where all the prejudice lies really, when we separate ourselves. That's not to say we shouldn't celebrate femininity. I personally love clothes and make-up, and yes, there is an instinct in this to please men, however, just as men might wear make-up and good clothes, it is also about feeling like a better, stronger, sort of superhuman version of yourself. And impressing other women too. I don't tend to call myself a feminist, although I support equal rights, because I feel the idea of feminism has become, in my mind and the minds of a lot of people, a lesbian, "we don't need men" idealism, which I definitely do not support. Therefore I would consider myself more of a humanist, if that's not already a word for something else. And I think many women who share my views would consider themselves the same, mainly due to the bad press of the feminist ideal.

Anonymous said...

jeebus, you and tavi are fucking brilliant. if this is the direction which young fashion/blogging/media/LIFE is moving in, i am so fucking psyched to see it happening. i can't wait to be a part of it and i can't wait for you ladies to continue growing in these amazing ways and only get better and better and BETTER! love always.

Fito Plancton said...

wow, this video gave a lot to talk and think about!
did you realized that most of the married girls still take care of the house and the kids while working when men just go to work?
As far as I concerned those ways of behaviour/thinking or even ours should be accepted aswell as long as everyones´s happy an functioning without disturbing others.
we have to agnolage also that not everyone thinks the same as us ´bout feminism there´s a hole world of diferents philosophical thoughts and lifestyles.
no one´s gonna like an angry feminit, let´s be happy feminists. and put out there our points of views from a lovely and careing way.´cause at lasts we are all equal, animals, plants, us, nature in general. ( guess i turned out way to hippie, just another point of view)
i esxuse myself for the english, I´m an Argentinian.
p.s. go make me a sandwich,jaja, love ;)

♥Mimi said...

You bring out some good ideas.

I think some girls are okay with staying at home, mainly because they're happier. Some girls think that being a housewife is like being a slave... and that's not entirely true.

The thing is, the human species have survived because men hunt and fight (i.e. work) and women beget children (which relates to being a mother and stay-at-home wife). I know it's out of place for me to touch upon a topic such as this, because I'm not educated in this field. And my own mother works outside the house, and I have to say, she's not that happy in her life. There's responsibilities, bills to pay, errands to run, keeping her boss happy (she works in the hospital as a health records person), and even to GET such a job, she had to take many years of school and pay a LOT of money. The thing is, BECAUSE she has a job, she has the responsibility of paying half of everything for the bills, and to pay off her own loans and debts. My father doesn't help her with stuff like that. And because she has a job, she can't care for her family, so instead, my grandmother cooks and cleans, which I am SO appreciative of.

What is feminism really?

Trying to get equal rights for both sexes?

Why isn't there masculinism? I mean, if it REALLY isn't a man's world, then there MUST be men suffering or being oppressed as well.

I don't know.


Great rant, btdubbs (:

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Rebecca, The Clothes Horse said...

I love your video. I'm a feminist too...I was the only girl I knew at my Christian college who wasn't afraid to use that term. It is upsetting how people stereotype the term and how others think we don't need it anymore--half of the battle seems to be convincing people there is still a need to fight for feminism.

Maile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maile said...

For a just a brief back round on myself. I was raised by a strong as nails single Mom. She raised myself and my 5 brothers and sisters. She earned her masters in Anthropology while raising us, consults for non-profit agencies that advocate for civil rights of Native cultures and she owns her own PR and production company for Native Artists. My mother instilled all her strengths in me. I practice everything she taught me about being a responsible woman and I share my life point of view with my husband of ten years.

I think in many ways the idea of being a feminist and wanting to be equal to men has been greatly mis interpreted. At the heart of it, I just want the same job opps as men, to earn the same as a man, to earn reciprocate and receive respect equally to a man, to have my voice heard, feel safe to express myself as a woman and not be judged for being strong and feminine.

On another note, I want to celebrate all that makes me female and different from men. I dont want to BE a man, because it isnt possible. As a woman there will be things I can do differently because I am a woman. To me its about truly respecting those differences and allowing them to be a place for men and woman to really grow together.

I think where woman get into trouble sometimes (myself included) is when we are too literal about being equal and we allow all our female strengths to be thrown out the window. Lots of times when I do see my other pro female friends getting frustrated with men its because they ARE being treated like one of the guys. I think as woman we have to be responsible to ourselves and make it clear what "equal" really means to us. I have seen a lot of woman act out in ways that are right ugly and blame in on a rift in the equality of the sexes. If you behave like a cold hearted woman dont complain when someone calls you a bitch because when men act the same they get called assholes.

Now this is not to say that there not some real injustices still being done to women. I hope I didnt make you think otherwise in my last paragraph. Woman still face a lot of challenges. Ones I hope we soon together with men can overcome. Because isnt that what respect and equality are about?

Maile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Have you read The Beauty Myth, I forget who wrote it. Anyway, I think you would love it. However it made me so angry I had to stop reading it lol. Oh and rape is SO by bugbear. Well, the way rape is trivialised is my bugbear. Feminists are angry coz you can't look at the way women are treated in this world and NOT be angry lol.

AshleyDoll said...


Anonymous said...

What an empowering speech! Now I want to call myself a feminist and go out and change the world!

svfx said...

I am a firm believer of feminism and women's rights so I was really excited to stumble across your video on youtube and see another girl of my age, just as passionate about feminism as myself. However, after watching the actual video, I was left sorely disappointed. Instead of a well thought out treatise on feminism ideals, you presented a judgemental attack filled with irrational arguments and fallacies.

In your video, you said 'Feminism is just about gender equality'. Um, no. It isn't. Although it was certainly the focus of many feminist movements, especially the earlier ones and even some recent ones that have paid particular attention to wage disparity, it is however, not the defining characteristic of feminism. Furthermore, the term 'gender equality' in itself is suspect, as it can refer to the argument against machismo representations and expectations of men in the media and society at large. Would this then, an example of the strive for 'gender equality', be relevant to the feminism argument?

Your oversimplification of feminism discounts the various, sometimes conflicting, perspectives of what feminism is about and you're dismissal of people who don't subscribe to your narrow definition of feminism is just inappropriate. For example, when you make numerous references to feminism not about being 'better than' men, well that ignores the feminists out there who actually do take the view that women are the better sex. I'm not saying this is right, but it is simply a fact that they do exist. Your outright dismissal of your friend's view that a woman is better suited to a home-maker style life is another example of this. There are, believe it or not, many women out there who find their work of running a home, being a mother and wife, an empowering role.

Furthermore, I couldn't help but find it confusing when you asked what was wrong with young girls who listened to Lady Gaga and did not know about the works of the two people who you cited. What has that got anything to do with feminism? How do you know these girls aren't passionate about women's rights and feminist principles? This relates back to how you constantly expressed your outrage at 'girls who were older and smarter' than you who didn't share the same views of feminism as you. There isn't a correlation between age/education and belief in feminist ideals. Simply being older and more educated does not make you a feminist - it's being interested in women's rights that does.

Ultimately, this video has been very little about feminism, and all about the judgement of the values and morals of others. You keep using the term 'wrong'. At the end of the day, feminism is a philosophy, not an absolute truth and there's no way to put a right or wrong on it. Even after I've written so much, I have not proven what you believe is wrong. I've only pointed the flaws in your arguments. Likewise, your labelling of various people as 'wrong' in your video, is therefore rendered invalid.

I know at the end of your video, you added as a disclaimer of sorts, that you're not an expert in the field and that viewers should do more reading before forming an opinion. Maybe you should have taken some of your own advice? Your rants purpose was to explain what feminism was and encourage more people to fight for feminist principles (all admirable goals which I share), but as a result of your disinformation, you would've probably helped your cause better by not making a video at all.

Gina Ray said...

Your awesome...LoL.. just had to say that...LoL..OK.. I have a have a kind of, story to tell.. I was watching "If You ReaLLy Knew Me" (YES i watch it and cry EVERY time :) im an emotional person)..LoL..And the women leader told the girls about the "be a lady flower"...Girls are being told how to dress, act, talk, walk..etc...and i told my mom about that.. didn't add any opinions, just told her about the flower.. and she said " well you have to" That was sort of a femanistic (YES i am making up a word if it isn't all ready made up)moment for me ..and i went off... i brought up how women in before the 20th century had to fight to be free to do what they wanted to do..Why would u want to be told who to be for the rest of your life?...well my mother is stubborn and old school... that will never change..but her statement certainly changed me...it was good to hear a young girl getting angry at these things...makes you feel not a alone...keep on raving and ranting girl...

YES said...

Yes! This is about the age at which I started putting the label of feminist on the way I was feeling about my world.

This is a post about door-holding ("gentlemanliness" and "chivalry") from my blog if you feel like digging up on those realms of feminism too: http://nuclearhair.blogspot.com/2010/06/i-think-it-is-safe-to-say-that-most.html

Don't stop talking about feminism. Be the one that all your friends can't seem to shut up about feminism and how it can exponentially inflate the confidence you have and just your general presence in the world.

Girls just seems so damn scared that people are going to pool them into the "lesbian" or "man-hating" category (which I'm surprised you didn't address), that they won't bother to try and explain it. Or they use the typical "I'm not a feminist but..." Why aren't you a feminist!?

ARGHHhhh anyways. Good post. Your passion can be channelled through further self-education and speaking out.

Amrit said...

i totally get where you are coming from. i am 15 and go to an all girls school, as did my mum before me. she used to tell me of how people at her school used to be so narrow minded and, although acts (in the uk) such as the sexual descrimination act and equqal pay act had just been passed in the late 70s, all the girls just wanted to marry and be housewives! i thought things had changed since then but recently i have come to realise i have been naive and that, although i go to a girls school where we are all encouraged to have ambitious careers, there are very few feminists! and feminism does not say that a woman can't be a stay at home mum, it just says that society should give her the choice to do what she wants to with her life! the woman who is a heart surgeon and has a phd while the father of her kids stays at home with them should be respected by society just as much as the woman who chooses to let her partner work while she is at home and even the woman who doesn't want to start a family! feminism liberates women, allowing them to be more than sex objects or dumb stereotypes-it liberates MEN TOO!!! feminism allows men to break from steretypical masculine roles and the more people who know what feminism is truly about, the better-feminism has a bad name when really it benefits us all.

some modern feminism books which you might be interested in reading are those by Natasha Walter (there is a new one callled Living Dolls) and a recent publication by Kat Banyard called the equality illusion.
wow what a rant but it's good to see someone believing in the same thing :)

Anonymous said...

Well as much as I do love my fellow feminists, I am a little disappointed by how judgmental and condescending your approach is. You mentioned how teenage girls can recite lady gaga lyrics and don't know of Joanna Newsom like that was a catastrophe. That's a matter of musical taste and not feminism. I happen to be a fan of both Gaga and Newsom, but I would say Gaga actually has a huge impact as a feminist, if you actually did your research before throwing out your ideas you would know Gaga is a huge feminist. I'll be honest with you, I laughed out loud when you said all people were equal afterwards because you said it just after you put down all the females of your generation. This is very much the musings of a teenage girl, be more open-minded.

Anonymous said...

Why are women bad drivers?

Because there's no road between the kitchen and the laundry room.

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