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February 26, 2009

Comments

Alex

That's because the media doesn't reflect what men and women truly value.

Alexandra Foley

Fantastic! I'd love to hear more about the Oxford debate. I read the line-up and thought you'd have a hard go out there against all those "sexologists!"

I guess I'm not surprised by the poll findings. But relieved, I am!!

Modest Marilyn

My favorite part is how you mention that they didn't even affirm promiscuity, but said, "If men can do it, women should do it too!"

I also liked how you mentioned how they want women to imitate raunchy men of all people, instead of men who could prove to me role models. ;) Your words made me happy on the inside.

Trish

I am quite old, and I remember the 1960s and 1970s. The feminist movement at that time said publicly that they wanted men to be more responsible, but their actions showed the opposite. Back then, the rallying cry was that women were not supposed to be sex objects--yet thanks to the so-called sexual revolution, women are far more often regarded as sex objects today than they were in years past.
Strength is not synonymous with self-indulgence.

Heather  Carson

What they argued was that if men can be promiscuous, so, too, should women.

This sounds like what my five year old would say when she wants something her sister has already. What a ridiculous argument.

Perseus

I would enjoy seeing a transcript of that debate, if one exists.

As a man I can speak about the never ending allure of sexual conquests and the consequences of that; but I can also speak about the virtues of restraint and modesty too. In the end life is much better led with a certain degree of restraint.

The notion that promiscuity is a virtue seems strange to me, especially as one who had led that lifestyle for a good part of his life.

Dana

I'm always a little sad when I see conversations like this about feminism. I don't understand why people want to put down something they haven't bothered investigating very far. At least I have a background in Christianity and I'm not afraid to read Christian websites. And y'all aren't the only ones who do this about feminism. I read a book by Paul Campos, The Myth Of Obesity or The Obesity Myth or something like that, and every time I turned around he was saying, "Where are the feminists on this issue? Why aren't the feminists speaking out about body image?" Excuse me? They have been doing that for years. Then we invaded Afghanistan and all the conservatives were going, "Where were the feminists when the Taliban was repressing these women?" Uh... campaigning for the U.S. Government to do something about it--go check out the Feminist Majority Foundation sometime. Or when Sarah Palin ran with John McCain, Concerned Women for America was all crowing about how it really is possible for a woman to "have it all", to be a mom and a career woman--when previously to this campaign they were saying the exact opposite. What in the world? Does anyone even *care* what feminists have to say, not just when it's something that conservatives disagree with?

There are even feminists against pornography and prostitution. The radical ones, mind you. Imagine that.

*takes deep breath*

OK. As to the "free love" movement. There are also feminists who speak of that time and that movement and who say that it really wasn't the idea of feminists. That while we do want control over our bodies, including our reproductive systems, that doesn't mean we necessarily see value in sleeping with anything that moves. It doesn't mean we like to be used. And these feminists often say that the men "benefited" more from the free love movement than women did. Which of course is true, because society's attitude about female sexuality never changed.

As I see it the real problem is the double standard--not that women should be able to be as bad as men sometimes are, but that men should be expected to behave morally.

But they aren't. Some lip service is paid to the idea of men controlling themselves, but only when an anti-feminist is losing an argument. If a book is written about sexual morality, it's aimed at women. If someone speaks of chastity, nine times out of ten they're speaking of women preserving their virginity until marriage, not of men being respectful of virgins or any other women. (I mean, what about women who are divorced? What, are we just used goods now?)

This is a serious problem no matter what religion you practice, or even if you practice none. No, women should not reduce ourselves to men's worst behavior--but men need to be held to that higher standard, not glamorized or excused away. "Boys will be boys" is only a valid defense when the male in question is under the age of 18. Even then, I should hope a parent's first priority with sons is to discipline them when they act up, not to smile and nod indulgently. This kind of thing is why men have problem behaviors later on.

Also, don't confuse what the media pushes in regards to sexual behavior, with what feminism advocates. If you haven't read Susan Faludi, you should (obviously, ignore her pro-choice bias for the sake of the larger argument). Advertisers care about what will make them money, not about what's right. If they can convince you to behave wrongly, thus causing you to suffer more problems in your life than you would have otherwise, you'll naturally turn to spending money to solve a lot of them. A person who gets an STD must pay for a prescription to keep it under control or clear it up. A man who must pay child support is benefiting the state which skims off the top of the monthly payments. A woman who gets pregnant either pays for an abortion which benefits the clinic, or carries to term and benefits a hospital and possibly an adoption agency. Everyone wins except the people whose lives have been ruined, and none of this has anything to do with women's political, social, and cultural equality. (Not sameness. Equal value.)

In the end, there is a lot about feminism that dovetails nicely with some of the values of the big three religions. It might help to try to find that common ground, if you don't want to keep alienating women who might otherwise sympathize with and even associate with you. After all, Eve was made from Adam's rib, not his heel.

Cadydid

This study is not really that surprising. I think that deep down inside, men desire a woman who is pure and true to them, just as us women desire a faithful man. I know, for one, that when my husband and I waited until marriage, it was wonderful on so many levels. It was wonderful knowing that I was the only woman who had ever been in his arms and it was wonderful sharing this one aspect of our lives exclusively with each other. I wouldn't trade it for the world and I know that he wouldn't either.

Luthor Rex

"every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman. Male sexuality, drunk on its intrinsic contempt for all life, but especially for women's lives,"
- Andrea Dworkin

Feminism = hate movement QED

Trish

Dana-

You speak of people putting down things they haven't investigated very far, and I assume that was directed at my comment. In fact, I was a very active feminist in the 1970s. I was deeply involved in the movement, and I rather suspect that it is you who hasn't investigated. The fact is that the feminist movement has never been what it claimed to be. The CLAIM was that men were to be more sexually responsible, and that women were no longer to be treated as sex objects. However, the feminist movement actively promoted sexual promiscuity, abortion, and the objectifying of women, while freeing men from all sexual responsibility. Your claim that Concerned Women for America "crowed" about anything indicates that you have not bothered to learn anything about Concerned Women for America. Investigate? I wish you would.

Dana, I wish YOU would read Susan Faludi. I wish everyone would read all the feminist writers. They hate women. Their first claim is that women and men are exactly alike, and only the opression of society has made them different. Anything that women have traditionally accomplished is treated as having no value; any activity of men is praised. The goal is to be like the worst of bad men: materialistic, uncaring, having sex for the sake of sex, having sex without regard to consequence. That's what the abortion argument really boils down to: feminists want women to be men, and screw around without any physical or emotional consequence.
But women aren't built that way. There are consequences, and we reap the harvest we have sown.

You also betray your own prejudice when you talk about how "everyone benefits" from abortion. Everyone? The child who has died by torture, how does she benefit? How does she have "control over her own body"? She doesn't, of course; she just dies. The moment the feminists lost me forever was when they claimed--AS THEY STILL CLAIM--that a man should not have to pay child support if he is not allowed to force a woman to abort his baby. Yet they claim to defend "women's" rights.

I remember, twenty and more years ago, having a conversation with several other women. All of us were feminists. The other women were talking about feeling ashamed because they still shaved their legs, and making excuses for why they still did it. That set off a light bulb.
I shave my legs because they're MY legs and it damn well pleases me to shave them. I have control over my body, so that's my absolute right. Right?
Wrong, according to feminism. That argument applies only to abortion, and it applies only if one wishes to abort, not if one wishes to give birth.

I'm sorry, Dana, but if you really want to respect yourself, you need to read the people you are quoting, and you need to do a lot more research. Feminism does not respect the human female.

Patricia

That sounds like an amazing debate. I'm not at all surprised by the results. I agree, why immitate the caddish male? I personally really like Lenny Kravitz and his "Love REvolution". He used to be sort of caddish, but now he's sweet!

Ruth

Trish:

Hear, hear. Couldn't have said it better myself.

I'm a sixty year old grandmother and former feminist who gave up on the women's movement - a misnomer if ever there was one! - for reasons similar to your objections. I believe the movement started out with good intent: equal pay for work of equal value; women legally treated as chattel; women not being able to buy property without having a man co-sign; etc.

Sadly, when the movement gained momentum based upon these principles, it was quickly hi-jacked by the women whose agenda was based upon their contempt for traditional female values and their desire to set the goal for young women to be "just as bad as you", i.e. the worst of the male of the species. It seems to me that the women's movement has left in its wake a culture that aspires to the lowest common denominator of behaviour for both sexes.

Dana is right about some (early) feminist ideals being aligned with religious tenets; however, today's feminist ideologies that require the follower to believe that life does not begin in utero, will not 'dovetail' with any of the major religions that I am familiar with. It will take thinking people who question the accepted feminist rhetoric and cliches to find the common ground with religious groups.

I am beginning to think that many of the feminist issues (early '70s) of the 'man's man' and the downtrodden woman were not so much economic as they were spiritual - or am I just getting old and idealogically worn out.

Olive Girl

feminism is not always a bad thing. It's just that it all depends on what kind of feminism you are talking about.

Eliza

Dana, great response!

Again, there are more choices in life than Either radical feminism Or surrendered-wife tendencies. Why is it that people feel the need to defend their extremism by bashing the equally radical opposite. It's like saying: 'What do you mean, you don't like being here on the North Pole in a t-shirt, we'll maybe you're cold, but we tried living inside a volcano, and it almost killed you!'.

How about keeping the benefits of the feminist movement(education, 'boss in own belly', in some countries voting and having you own bank account), and blending them with your own convictions? Why can your body only be a precious shrine or a lowly-male-attracting tool? It can be all those other shades of grey!

And also , for every 10 women who have devoted themselves to a (commendable) lifestyle of modesty, I bet it would be quite hard to find even 1 man.

But always open to be convinced otherwise.

blondegirl

Why not just be yourself? Absolutely excellent advice! But I'm quite sure that if a woman said, "Well, by having sex when and where and with who I want, I AM being myself." then you'd all accuse her of being brainwashed by society.

Tellya what- I will refrain from saying YOU are brainwashed if you refrain from saying I am. :)

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