Month: July 2016

We Need to talk about Feminism: 15 reasons why Gender Equality is not a joke

 

The very definition of what feminism is supposed to be

Feminism is considered dirty and disrespectful, because of its hijacking by feminazis. Therefore, there is often negative stigma about there being multiple genders, and being a feminist. Empowerment has been twisted into an excuse for riotous, hypersexual behaviour; Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are examples of this.

Ok, let’s clear one thing up: Gender Equality, aka Feminism, is not about oppressing anybody. Feminazis are after world domination, not equal rights. What “chauvinist, sexist pigs” were to 1960 and before, Feminazis are now. 

First and foremost: why are there so many waves of feminism?

Second: why isn’t it called Gender Equality? 

Feminism was about equality for the sexes, because it believed women were oppressed. And they were, in a formerly patriarchal culture which dominated, suppressed and punished women. Now, it’s about sustaining the equality by wiping the slate clean from older generations. Basically, men need to be respected too if women think they’re getting equality. 

The simplest answer to this question is that gender, like sexuality, is a fluid, psychological state that is constantly being shaped and understood. One does not simply “wear” a gender, but thinks it instead. People have a harder understanding gender than they do race, because you cannot see gender, only its manifestations. Most people can look at a black person, and see that they behave no differently to another person. In the past, people believed that being a woman was a personality flaw because of behaviours associated with it (such as insanity). It is because some people still believe there are “fundamental biological differences” that go beyond genitals that there is still a debate.

1. Post-feminism and third-wave feminism overlap

Post-feminism believes that femininity should be reclaimed, instead of demonised. It follows on from Second wave feminism, which shunned feminine behaviours such as wearing makeup and shaving. Post feminism believes that the emphasis is on people, not just women. A lot of postfeminists believe that sexuality is power, and by being a stripper, burlesque model, sex symbol celebrity or porn star, you use your sexuality to earn status. Postfeminism re-eroticises women by asserting that these women are erotic subjects, not objects.

2 The different eras: 2nd wave- 4th wave

The 2nd-4th waves of Feminism are considered “modern feminism”.2nd wave Feminism is the plotical protests, riots and campaigns for abortion, divorce and equal pay. Third wave feminism is about equal rights for people of different sexualities, ethnicities, religions,

3 Feminism is about masculinity and gender-neutrality too

Third-wave feminism acknowledged that not just white western women can be feminists. There are at least five genders: masculine man, masculine woman, feminine man, feminine woman and agender. Transgender is identifying as a gender different to their biological sex; for instance, a person born male would identify as a  woman, and have masculine or feminine traits. Cis people can have masculine or feminine traits without being trans, since masculinity and femininity are behaviours, not necessarily gender identities; in the LBGT community, there are Butches and Femmes, used to indicate gender attraction preference (both terms are applicable to men and woman). Likewise, there are straight girls who are tomboys, and boys who are “effeminate”, to describe gender nonconforming people. Someone who has both masculine and feminine traits is androgynous.Gender is a spectrum, so genderqueer  and gender fluid people are somewhere in between. Other terms, such as Lipstick Lesbian and hypermasculinity describe extreme forms of masculinity and femininity.

Genderqueer is any gender nonconforming person, and can be someone who is a gender bender, genderfluid, a tomboy or who is androgynous. Crossdressers, drag queens and transvestites may be considered genderqueer, but they are often excluded from the definition because they only perform a gender, rather than identify with the gender they perform.

In order to understand and challenge stereotypes against women, we need to define what is masculine. 

5. Feminism is about awareness and history

Everyone knows women are treated better than they used to. People still celebrate Black History month, right? Even though slavery no longer happens, people are still taught about the treatment of black slaves. It’s the same with Hitler and the Jews, there is still a generation who can remember what happened to them, either first-hand or from their parents. Heck, we learn about Henry VII and his revolutions with the War of the Roses and his son starting the English Revolution.Women may have the right to vote, shed light on rape, highlighted the hypocrisy of religion  History leaves footprints in the path of life, and they cannot be erased. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat it.

6. Feminism is not about oppression anymore

It is not necessary to insult someone based on their sex to be sexist; ignorance plays a part. Every time you tell a woman she’s “bad news” for having male friends, or man for saying he’s being an idiot for “mansplaining”, you are contributing to ignorance.   If women believe all they can be is a housewife, whore, princess, fashion model, wife, mother or have a “pink collar job”, then men believe all they can be is a soldier, sailor, pilot or strong man. And these are idealised, unrealistic images of gender culture still holds.

7. Sorry, but rape culture is still around

“She can be my Sleeping Beauty/I’m gon’ put her in a coma” is a line from Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. Who would want to be put in a coma? Regardless of gender, rape can affect anyone; women can rape as well as men, because consent has nothing to do with having a penis. It’s about force, dominance – and that’s why people think only men can rape, because dominance is a masculine trait.

8. People are still forgetting about the  LGBT

Most people assume that feminism still relates to straight women, which is a lie. One such assumption is that Feminists are lesbians, because they hate men……

This shouldn’t be the reason the LGBT community is linked to Feminism. The LGBT community often traverses traditional gender roles; for instance, a man might be a stay at home dad if he is gay, how invisible asexual women can feel because women are defined by their relationship status in movies,  that Trans men and women still don’t get full recognition because they were born in the wrong body. All the female culture, about “dating rules”, wearing makeup and  choosing clothes, are still about male desire (just pick up Cosmopolitan).  Imagine how many women have been told “the modern woman sucks, you’re a crazy whore who sleeps with men on Tinder!” and they’re not even straight? Phyllis Schlafly once said that if men and women got equal pay, women would be out of a husband. As if that’s the least of women’s problems…..

9. Telling someone they are a moron has nothing to do with their gender

It’s true, sometimes men are morons. But then, women can be pathetic too. Focusing on the former, men com it’s more socially acceptable to insult men, and be disrespectful. This has nothing do with them being men, it’s culture. As for women, it’s well acknowledged that women are thought of as being unable to handle serious topics of discussion. Both of these ideas are highly destructive, as it puts up barrier between the genders.

10. Fergie basically reinforces the sexualisation of women as gold diggers in “my humps”

As if women cannot be financially independent. Women should not need to rely on men for money if they have well paying jobs. A lot of people think women should not need to work, since they should be able to take care of the house and children. However, women should not be encouraged to think that their boyfriend is a personal wallet, since it’s downright stupid and disrespectful.

11. “A schoolboy’s dream, you act so shy” Mary Jensen and the shy “girl next door” image

Mary Jensen is your classic, ideal female: sweet, shy, innocent, polite, never gets angry. She helps her disabled brother, helps out as a volunteer, is intelligent as a dentist and always sees the good in others. However, there is something about Mary nobody talks about: her shyness. Shy girls are often characterised is being seductive, coy vixens waiting to seduce others. 

 

I’m not referring to characters such as Snow White. These girls are distinct from the shy girl type, with one main difference: these girls are aware of the power they hold to charm. As soon as any nice, quiet, feminine characters gains self awareness that others are attracted to her, she is instantly a “bad girl”. Whereas stereotypical shy girls have kindness, never call out others’ faults and tend to blush, the “bad vixen girls” are cocky, have husky voices, are often sarcastic, and instead of being sweet, are instead candied to look like a sensual feast. Typically, the shy and pure girl is favoured as being better than the coy girl.

12. Twerking is bad, but shouldn’t be shamed

Okay, so twerking is very sexualised and is quite vulgar. Unfortunately, shaming the dance will not drive people away from it. In rap, hip hop and R&B music, twerking is a common practice. Miley Cyrus was one of the main culprits for making it popular, and her image of going off the rails has contributed to the poor image of twerking.

13. Slut shaming is destructive – teaching boys about good sexual morals is more important

It’s more important to teach young teens about abstaining, good code of conduct and respect regardless of gender. It’s also more important for them to understand that films are not usually good examples – When has there ever been a movie scene where the girl gets the pill, or a man puts wears protection? (if any commentors can think of any, post them below).

14. Gender equality doesn’t demand heteronormative marriage, because it breaks down traditional barriers

Before we go further, I’d like to note that I am not advocating or shaming open relationships, polyamory or cheating. This is also NOT a jab at any particular racial or religious group.  thing is, marriage is the traditional way of thinking for how relationships should be. But casual sex, gay marriage, single parenthood and domestic partnerships aren’t wrong either. Polyamory is fine so long as the feelings are all mutual, whereas polygamy and polyamory is often portrayed as unequal – with one man and several wives/concubines who act as servants.

15. Stop feeding the trolls

Give me £1 for each time social media spreads a crazy message and I’ll be a billionaire. This isn’t just limited to gender, but to everything. Trolls are probably the admin who run joke meme pages, not just the ones commenting on posts. This is how UniLAD gets their money, through clickbait. Yes, I would say the same if the poster was male, please go away keyboard warriors. This person is likely suffering mental derangement, which is nothing to with gender. Anyone who thinks this crazed human is a feminist probably thinks ISIS are true Muslims and the KKK are true  Christians. Come on people, you know they’re as fake as plastic cheese, surely? 

If I see another Meninist page calling feminazis feminists, I’m throwing my keyboard at them 😉

I hope you liked this post 😚

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The importance of language and numbers: a complex relationship 

Language is pretty important. Along with maths and science, it’s one of the most important subjects (although many Nerds don’t see a distinction between maths and science). As one person told me: “We use language every day, but maths uses us”. The world is often divided between the maths/science people and the arts/humanities people, and that maths and language are complete opposites. One such argument is that maths is universal and that all equations lead to the same results, whereas language is not natural or innate. I’m afraid saying that maths is the opposite of English is like yin and yang; one cannot exist without the other. There are more similarities between the two than you may realise, but nobody has taught you.

But first, to answer an important question: is language a man made construct?

Maths is though to be the universal language 

On maths being a human construct: it depends on whether you’re willing to count non humans. Nearly every life form has some means of communicating – dogs sniff at their rear ends, prairie dogs have different calls for predators, and creatures such as lobsters have mating rituals. Stags battle for does over dominance, and can even vote using their ear.Plants even communicate with insects using pheromones and smells. Humans can even learn to understand how an animal is feeling based on the tone of its cries, its stance or its facial expressions. So, non verbal communication expressed to convey messages isn’t unique to people. As for complex two way communication between people and creatures, primates and squid can learn sign language if they are taught. Unfortunately, we have yet to teach them to translate for other animals. A smile said to have universal meaning, and supposedly tears mean the same.

The debate, however, is different for written language. Nearly every culture has written signs or symbols to signify something – British Sign Language, Chinese and hieroglyphics to name a few. This is where communication evolves into language, and grammar, punctuation and tone are introduced. Written language is supposed to reflect the spoken word, but there’s been a few cases where this isn’t always the case.

As for maths, nearly everything is made up of numbers – time, atoms, creatures multiplying and so on. As a result, the number system was added to our language, along with symbols for square roots, pi, infinity and the multiply and divide symbols. This, therefore, makes maths a language, presumably understood by all – even computers.

But, maths and English do not always communicate the same things. And, many maths and science snobs have insisted that maths is more important, more useful and makes more sense than English. Many defenders of English have argued that, when used correctly, English has more practical value in everyday life over algebra, trigonometry and long multiplication – especially since calculators, code, algorithms and spreadsheets do a much better job of  replacing humans than for using language (just look at what the spellchecker did if you don’t believe me).

So, what makes a language?

A language is a formal system for the exchange of information. The context might be to solve a problem, answer a question or determine a conclusion from something. Maths does all of these things. English goes a bit further by embedding itself into culture due to people’s ability to manipulate it for creative uses (maths is usually too concrete to be used in art by itself). Yes, even chemistry has its own symbols for elements on the periodic table. You can convey information with maths, but can you hold a conversation or tell jokes with it? Essentially, words can be more easily combined with other subjects such as music or drawing. Granted, songs and drawing do use a degree of numbers in their composition.

Maths and English are supposed to work in harmony, since English often has certain lengths defining things such as paragraphs. As for maths, you can still write numbers in written form, as well as using words to to pose questions and give answers. I suggest that the reason maths and English do not always get along is because English is used to explain maths, but maths cannot explain English.

My mother once said that knowledge is like an orange; it has many segments in it, but forms a whole (hence why there’s a picture of an orange). The different segments represent the fields; law, technology, business, science, maths, the arts and language. We all start off with a full fruit, but we lose segments as we forget to apply what we learn. The white pith running through the middle is your mind, connecting all the pieces together. Maths and English all belong in the orange skin, symbolising the education system. You, as an individual, are the tree the orange grows on as you expanding and branch out.

It might be easier to say that the tree is knowledge itself, because of the Tree of Knowledge in Genesis. But you cannot consume a tree (no, I’m not Lucifer telling you to eat the orange). Knowledge is something you consume, but subjects are what grows from watering the tree. Learn to combine maths into english, and vice versa, and you can go far.