The radical idea that women are people

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:30 am UTC

Maybe I'm imagining the undertones but I did hear them. My brother's girlfriend, in particular, sounded ... shocked, I guess I'd say.

What I'm actually hearing, I think, is their underlying assumptions: women who conform to cultural standards are attractive. I couldn't stop myself from comparing it to hijab. People from moderate Muslim communities will compliment women who cover their hair, just as people from my culture will compliment a woman wearing makeup.

Edit to add: I think one difference between men being complimented on dressing up vs. women is that men can joke about it easily. For women, it hits too close to home to joke about, maybe.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:55 am UTC

I am never sure how to interpret the "You have on makeup! :shock: ...It looks nice!" that I get from my coworkers when I wear makeup. Which is not even THAT unusual, it is just not a daily thing by any stretch. I just say "thank you," and move on.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:10 am UTC

Feels like it falls in the same category as "You've cut your hair! It looks good!"

... which arguably is pretty hard to come up with a sensible to response to as well.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:26 am UTC

Are you male, YSN? You're right that the coworker's comment might be as innocent as you perceive it. I wouldn't be able to stop myself from hearing the echoes of ten thousand people/ads/shows/jokes that told me I was ugly and disposable unless I wore makeup. That's how brains work: repeated patterns of reward/punishment will trigger whenever a similar event happens.

That's a part of how women (and other groups) get accused of being "oversensitive". An elbow that gets constantly re-injured will react with memories of pain to milder bumps. Or something. Apparently I'm in philosophy mode. I should go do something non-internetty.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby sophyturtle » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:58 am UTC

That is totally a thing. The repeated comments/whatever make it a pattern that has way more meaning than a sporadic comment here and there. Like, cat calling once in a while might seem like a compliment while having it happen weekly/daily feels like/is harassment.
It is totally a thing.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby McGrupp » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:54 pm UTC

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

I think people also feel like they have to make a comment if it's apparent you used more effort a particular day. I do think it's very much like the haircut thing - some people get a little annoyed if you don't notice that they got their hair cut/died/shaved/whatever. So if you look like you put in that much more effort, it may be assumed that you'd be a little miffed if no one noticed.

After all, you can't go around telling everyone that they 'look nice' today - that's just overbearing and a little odd. So, to be nice if something's different, that's when people compliment. For a while in my life, I would get complimented when I wore my hair down because I didn't do it very much. On the other hand, one of my friends would get complimented when she wore her hair up as she didn't do that very much. I really think it's a contrast thing.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Роберт » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:I think people also feel like they have to make a comment if it's apparent you used more effort a particular day. I do think it's very much like the haircut thing - some people get a little annoyed if you don't notice that they got their hair cut/died/shaved/whatever. So if you look like you put in that much more effort, it may be assumed that you'd be a little miffed if no one noticed.

This. And I feel like it's awkward to just say "you got a haircut!" and leave it at that. So if I can find something positive to say about it, I'll try to throw that in as well, because otherwise it goes like this:
"You got a haircut!"
"Do you like it?"
"..." :|

This is for if overall I don't really like the haircut. So I try to get in the habit of saying something positive along with a mention of something like that. Although I do hope I'm smart enough not to say something like "you got your lip waxed, it looks great!" I'm afraid I may have accidentally hurt someone's feelings by commenting on makeup before, even though honestly I often think people look better without it.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Malconstant » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:37 pm UTC

Perhaps the way to win all of the compliment points is to try and notice when someone is not wearing makeup and tell them how nice they look. Even if they are wearing makeup that was unnoticeable, that should still be taken quite positively.

Just so long as it's not done in such a way as for it to be suspected that the compliment was really only given because you want them to look a certain way. That is to say

good: your face is pretty!
less good: I see you're not wearing makeup, you're face is pretty!
even less good: I see you're not wearing makeup, way to go, you're beautiful without it!
bad: Way to go! You're not afraid to show the world that you don't need to put on a fake face to be beautiful!
extremely bad: I'm so glad you decided to stick it to the patriarchy today. When I look at your face today, I can tell that you're not trying to be attractive to men, and I'm so proud of you for that!
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Роберт » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:41 pm UTC

Malconstant wrote:Perhaps the way to win all of the compliment points is to try and notice when someone is not wearing makeup and tell them how nice they look. Even if they are wearing makeup that was unnoticeable, that should still be taken quite positively.
I've had many times when I've complimented women on their hair and it turned out that they didn't have time to "do" their hair that day and that's why it looked better than usual. (Apparently I like the natural waves etc. in hair to stay there).
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:56 pm UTC

Malconstant wrote:extremely bad: I'm so glad you decided to stick it to the patriarchy today. When I look at your face today, I can tell that you're not trying to be attractive to men, and I'm so proud of you for that!

However, if you find yourself having just done this, don't backpedal. It won't work. Push through. "I am so proud, here is a cookie." Now, you're still an ass, but they just got a cookie, so feelings are not as hurt. Nobody can stay mad if you give them a cookie.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:13 pm UTC

If I read some forum posts right from some people around here, if you say exactly that to the right person you may very well end up with a date!
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

A date *and* a cupcake.
Pretty much all the lady-feminists I know are always like, "I'm so proud of you when you are a man-feminist, so I baked you cupcakes." They do that for me. It's how I know I'm doing it right.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Noc » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:41 pm UTC

Malconstant wrote:Perhaps the way to win all of the compliment points is to try and notice when someone is not wearing makeup and tell them how nice they look. Even if they are wearing makeup that was unnoticeable, that should still be taken quite positively.

However, people do tend to respond a lot better to complements about what they've done, as opposed to what they "are." Put another way, people respond well to statements that validate decisions they've made, as opposed ones that do the opposite.

Thus, it's often frustrating to be told, say, that "Your hair looks nice!" when you haven't actually done anything with it. It just...worked out that way, through no fault of your own. Especially when people insist that "Well, it looks good whatever you do!" which just sort of hammers home the idea that a lot of your appearance is out of your control. If you aren't terribly worried about your appearance in the first place than it's often not a big deal...but if you are, then it gets bothersome.

On the other hand, discovering that someone is observant and knowledgeable enough to pick up on decisions you've made and approves of them can be pretty nice! So if someone's like "Hey, did you leave your hair natural today? It looks good like this," it can validate what was potentially a worrisome decision. "I like how you did [this thing you did]" is often more pleasant to hear than generic, blanket compliments, especially when the specificity of the answer suggests particularly acute sensibilities on your part. Naturally, there's risk to specificity -- if you're compliment someone on how good they look without makeup and it turns out that they are wearing makeup, you'll end up looking a bit silly. But if worst comes to worst you can always ask about things, and queries of "I like how this worked out, what did you do to accomplish it?" tend to be fairly positively received.

. . .

That is, of course, only one facet of the matter. The gist of the above is that it's useful to be aware of the choices people are making, but awareness of other things is pretty important too. Like, awareness of how someone relates to a given choice is a thing: if they're worried about how a choice will be received, some positive feedback can mean a lot. If a choice is distasteful to them, your enthusiasm for it will also be distasteful, rather than reassuring. Also, awareness of how other people react to them, and any patterns in such -- especially patterns that are bothersome to be see perpetuated and refreshing to see contradicted.

So yeah, in conclusion: "your face is pretty!" is kind of a shitty compliment, and context and circumstances vary enough that you cannot win All The Compliment Points with a formula of Good Things To Say. Rather, the key aspect of being a benign social presence is awareness of the choices people and how people are relating to and responding to them -- which will vary from choice to choice and from person to person and from social circle to social circle. But a lot of patterns are common enough that you should definitely be keeping an eye out for them specifically, hence this thread.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Enuja » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:50 pm UTC

On the issue of whether a compliment on dressing up is social pressure to make women look "nice" or the good human relationships strategy of complimenting changes people chose to make: context is extremely important. We live in a society where women are strongly pressured to be ornamental. It doesn't bother all women: in fact, I think it bothers a relatively small minority of women. So, for the most part, when you compliment a woman on her fancy clothing and makeup, you'll make her feel good. But those of us who don't want to be ornamental, or who dislike gender divisions, the context of usually bucking the trend makes getting compliments only when we bow to pressure really, really awful. If you've only seen someone in jeans and T-shirt, or you've never seen them wear makeup, then this person is probably not a fan of social pressure to dress up. So be very careful when you compliment them for dressing up, and make sure you also compliment them when they are not dressed up.

In grad school, I had a thing where I complimented people for looking comfortable. I explained myself: I said I liked being comfortable, and it made me happy to see people looking happy and comfortable, so I complimented comfortable sweaters and the like. I think it was appreciated. Also in grad school, one guy always wore slacks and a collared shirt. People constantly made fun of him for dressing up, but no-one made fun of the two women who regularly wore skirts and jewelry. (Most of us dressed quite casually.) Even though everyone was conforming to gender expectations, the social pressure around clothing very much supported women for being ornamental and punished men for the same thing.

Yes, it's good to compliment people on the choices they've made. But when you only compliment them on a thing they almost never do, you're probably not complimenting them on a free and happy choice they've made. And, please, folks, stop telling women who usually buck expectations that they should be happy with compliments on the very rare occasions they do succumb to social pressure.

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:56 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:But those of us who don't want to be ornamental, or who dislike gender divisions, the context of usually bucking the trend makes getting compliments only when we bow to pressure really, really awful.

Thanks for putting that into better words than I did.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:12 pm UTC

Yeah, see that's about where you lost me.

If I don't think you look nice every day, I'm not going to treat you like a leper and avoid you or treat you differently, I also am not however going to falsly tell you that you do look great just so when you DO dress up and people compliment you you don't get hurt feelings because someone said something nice.

If someone is outright shunning you on a regular basis or treating you poorly and you dress up and they respond with "Glad you finally decided to dress like a woman" punch them in the face. If I work in a cubicle 10 down from you and notice you are all dressed up like you're going to a ball and I say "Hey, you look very nice today" while passing you in the break room, I am not at any way in the wrong.

EDIT: To add, social pressure social pressure, social pressure. Sometimes people dress up because it's requiered by the venue or out of respect for the people/place they are with/at. It's not always "society made me feel like I HAD to".

We can't just go around assuming everyone is a piss poor person.
(I guess that you can, your choice really)

EDIT #2 - SHIT- GMA IS CORRECT 2 POSTS DOWN.
Last edited by Panonadin on Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:19 pm UTC

The issue isn't "Panonadin is or isn't an asshole". It's rather that our culture has trained everyone (men and women) to give positive reinforcement only to people who conform to gender norms, and to sometimes rigid and unfair standards of beauty. (I think.)
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:32 pm UTC

Some of the recent posts were about behavior by individuals that I guess leads to our culture being that way.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:39 pm UTC

As previously explained to you, a behavior can contribute to a problem without implying that the person behaving that way was being a dick.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:41 pm UTC

Because people are taught to do a thing, they do it. They see others do it, they get rewarded for doing it themselves, and they get punished for not doing it. (It's sad to watch a group of boys or girls tear down one of their friends who doesn't at least pretend to like the same celebrities the others do. "Ew, you like that one? But he/she's uuuuuuugly!")

If we can get fewer people to do this, then there is less echo in the chamber. Fewer people might grow up to think this kind of enforced compliance to stereotype is normal. That's the hope, and that's why I think education focuses on changing what individual people do. After all, we mostly learn from each other. All the speed limit signs in the world won't stop people from adopting the same speed as most other people on the road.

/or, y'know, what gmal said in fewer words
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:43 pm UTC

I guess what I'm hoping for then, is that not everyone get thrown in to group A because they did something classified as something group A does.

I know that this may not be the intention, but the way some of the posts read, it sure does come across that way.

Also went back and edited my post to recognize GMA's correctness.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Noc » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:04 am UTC

Also what Enuja said! But especially this:
Enuja wrote:And, please, folks, stop telling women who usually buck expectations that they should be happy with compliments on the very rare occasions they do succumb to social pressure.

Which is kind of really important, even when generalized. If someone doesn't react react to something the way you expected they would, this is a sign that you do not understand them as well as you thought you did. This is often forgivable provided you are willing to learn from the mistake, but continuing to assert that they shouldn't be bothered and should be reacting positively and are obviously Doing It Wrong just compounds the error.

Panonadin wrote:If I work in a cubicle 10 down from you and notice you are all dressed up like you're going to a ball and I say "Hey, you look very nice today" while passing you in the break room, I am not at any way in the wrong.

And this comes back to what I was saying about awareness. If somebody is presenting themselves in a way that they're uncomfortable with, likely under some manner of duress, complimenting them on how good they look is a dick move. In cases where the lack of comfort is obvious, the issue here should be similarly obvious: for instance, the wake of an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction is not a good time to tell someone they have a beautiful body. It doesn't require a tremendous amount of awareness to pick up on this: the compliment may be genuine and well-meaning, but the fact that you aesthetically appreciate something they found mortifying and objectifying is not a helpful or reassuring observation.

And as Enuja says: if a mode of dress seems out of character for someone, there's a good chance that they're not comfortable with it, which means that there's a good chance that your comment may have a similar effect. This isn't always the case, but it's something to be aware of -- and insistence that the other party's feelings are irrelevant and that you have the right to make an honest observation as it occurs to you, is textbook douchebaggery.

. . .

Secondly is awareness of patterns. In a vacuum, a single person's comment is relatively harmless. But...well, a good example here is jokes. If there is an obvious joke to be made about my name, I have probably already heard it many, many times before. I may very well have gotten completely sick of it. Were you the first to make the joke, it might be pretty funny, but at this point you'd just be adding yourself to the yammering ranks of a peanut gallery full of people who are falsely convinced that they are both witty and original. Upon meeting me, some awareness would allow you to recognize the likelihood that this pattern exists, and thus the fact that making this joke would be obnoxious rather than funny.

The same principle applies here. If you don't wish your presence to be obnoxious, it's probably a good idea to try and avoid behaviors that fit existing, bothersome patterns. The behavior itself may be neutral or even positive, but the pattern is likely neither.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Enuja » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:31 am UTC

Panonadin, it's fine for you to enjoy looking at people who are dressed up, including women in dresses. In the vast majority of cases, it's not just OK but actively appreciated and kind for you to compliment someone who is dressed up. It's also fine for me to not enjoy being complimented for bowing to pressure. For the most part, these personal feelings don't even conflict. When they do, that's OK, too, and the best outcome is for you to learn about this one person, continue to visually appreciate them dressed up, but simply don't compliment them for dressing up in the future. When someone 10 cubicles down dresses up on some apparently random day, feel free to compliment them. If a big boss is coming to the office, the person 10 cubicals down usually dresses more casually than everyone in the office, and everyone is ordered to dress up for the big boss, don't compliment that one person for dressing up this one day.

To those who like giving compliments to people who are dressed up, I suggest you compliment both men and women when they dress up. We don't have to get equality by making everyone wear jeans and T-shirts at all times. Contributing to positive pressure towards men with nice bags, good scarfs, and flattering pants is an awesome way to work toward equality.

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:53 am UTC

Thank you Enuja for the kind response.

Can I ask how you feel about people dressing up for an occasion that kind of calls for it? Do you think that's something we should change because it is it's own form of pressure? I mean I can understand that it calls for females and males to dress in a certain way, but is that a bad thing? If you do consider it a bad thing is it not the occasion, but the type of formal wear that is requiered that you would oppose?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Enuja » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:01 am UTC

Personally, I love dressing up! And I love looking at guys in skirts. For me, it's the gender inequality of expectations and allowed clothing, not the act of being fancy, that's a problem. But I know plenty of women and men who hate dressing up, period. I've got a party this weekend, that I will dress up for. I'm planning on wearing a tuxedo shirt, a black silk bow tie, a black leather corset, and trousers (but I need to buy the shirt & the tie!), and very much looking forward to it. Friends of mine who don't like dressing up aren't going, and it's not a formal event, just a fancy party. Personally, I wish that events with mandatory fancy dress were not mandatory for anyone to show up to. But I don't feel nearly as strong about this as I do about people being able to chose the fancy dress they like most, no matter their perceived gender.

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:28 am UTC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yakx7XC6eg0 - this is how I feel about compliments
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Shro » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:I know that a lot of feminists think that the lesson about objectification is that no-one should be objectified, but I am a feminist who strongly disagrees. Instead, we should respect the agency of the people we objectify, and never allow the social category a person is in to prevent them from doing things we'd be okay with other people doing. In other words, we need to get rid of the madonna/whore dichotomy, and treat the same person as an intellectual, a saint, and a sexual object, depending on circumstances and relationships. As a bisexual woman, instead of not objectifying the women around me, I also objectify the men. It very, very much bothers me that women are still more objectified, more expected to be "nice looking" for other people than men are. But I don't respond by trying to get rid of human beauty and fashion: instead I embrace different people's individual choices as to how to present themselves. I think that one lesson from gay male culture is very important: if you're part of the class you sexually objectify, you can both objectify and respect that class. And I think we can and should all learn to treat ourselves as if we were in the class we find sexually attractive, and treat the class we find sexually attractive as if we were in it.


I hate to be caught up on semantics, but I think objectification itself is the removal of agency of the "subject" being objectified. Think about sentence structure, the subject is what does something and the object is having something done TO them. Which is honestly the only problem I have with objectification myself. Another trend that's related to agency and whatnot is women being praised for what their bodies look like vs. what their bodies can do (besides look hot while being boned) whereas males aren't quite objectified in the same way, because big muscles and a strong physique are itself a emphatic emblem of agency (I am strong! I can do anything!)

Роберт wrote:I've had many times when I've complimented women on their hair and it turned out that they didn't have time to "do" their hair that day and that's why it looked better than usual. (Apparently I like the natural waves etc. in hair to stay there).

This is actually another aspect of "professional" appearance that I abhor. Straight hair is considered more appropriate than wavy/curly hair, not just in the workplace. I know of a reality dating TV show that some people seem to think that men prefer straight hair on women they want to think of as classy and "bedroom" hair that's wavy/curly.

And let's not forget that all of these things (makeup, doing your hair, waxing, shaving) do not happen magically. They take MASSIVE amounts of time, energy and resources. (A full body wax is approximately $200 on the cheap side) Is it really fair to expect women to do all of these things and change themselves so much on a regular basis to fit into what is considered "feminine"? Femininity becomes less dependent on who you are and more of a function of how much money you have. And then a feminine presentation becomes a visual shorthand for successful. And as a society, we have a lot of problems with successful women who don't seem feminine.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Enuja » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

Shro wrote:I hate to be caught up on semantics, but I think objectification itself is the removal of agency of the "subject" being objectified. Think about sentence structure, the subject is what does something and the object is having something done TO them. Which is honestly the only problem I have with objectification myself.
Sometimes, I like being a sexual object, to be appreciated for what I am instead of who I am. Not everybody likes to be objectified: some people are only interested in sexual appreciation in the context of love, but that's not me, and I still consider myself a happy and integrated feminist, even though I personally like being objectified.

I'm sexually submissive: it's hard for me to enjoy sex unless I feel like my agency is being taken away. I do have the agency to enter into this type of exchange, and to change it if I decide it's not working for me, but I like being objectified. And I think a lot of men like being objectified, too. But I don't like being objectified all of the time: sometimes I want to be treated like a person with agency, and very often I don't want to know when someone else is internally objectifying me. I internally objectify sexy people around me all the time, but I don't inform them of this unless they give me really good signals that they want me to. And I try very, very hard to objectify men and women equally, which works for me because I'm bisexual.

I think that all people should be able to be both subjects and objects, and that includes being the object of sexual objectification. I know many feminists want to get rid of objectification, but instead I want to universalize and temporize it (make it change with time, and never objectify anyone or any group all of the time).

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Роберт » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

Shro wrote:And let's not forget that all of these things (makeup, doing your hair, waxing, shaving) do not happen magically. They take MASSIVE amounts of time, energy and resources. (A full body wax is approximately $200 on the cheap side) Is it really fair to expect women to do all of these things and change themselves so much on a regular basis to fit into what is considered "feminine"?

(Edit: I realize it was a rhetorical rant, I'm just agreeing with you)
Of course not. Which is why most of the people in this thread approve of women not doing these things when they don't want to and doing them when they want to. And feeling bad about it when they feel coerced to do something other than what they want, although I'd don't condemn them for making that choice. Similar for men. If they want to shave their legs and wear makeup, that's great! If they decide not to because of social pressure, that's sad, but I don't judge them.

In general I think it's more practical to not do alterations, so I tend to keep mine pretty minimal. Once a week trimming, that sort of thing. Daily shaving and/or makeup would drive me nuts. I already shower daily. But whatever you want is fine.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:
Shro wrote:I hate to be caught up on semantics, but I think objectification itself is the removal of agency of the "subject" being objectified. Think about sentence structure, the subject is what does something and the object is having something done TO them. Which is honestly the only problem I have with objectification myself.
Sometimes, I like being a sexual object, to be appreciated for what I am instead of who I am. Not everybody likes to be objectified: some people are only interested in sexual appreciation in the context of love, but that's not me, and I still consider myself a happy and integrated feminist, even though I personally like being objectified.

I'm sexually submissive: it's hard for me to enjoy sex unless I feel like my agency is being taken away. I do have the agency to enter into this type of exchange, and to change it if I decide it's not working for me, but I like being objectified. And I think a lot of men like being objectified, too. But I don't like being objectified all of the time: sometimes I want to be treated like a person with agency, and very often I don't want to know when someone else is internally objectifying me. I internally objectify sexy people around me all the time, but I don't inform them of this unless they give me really good signals that they want me to. And I try very, very hard to objectify men and women equally, which works for me because I'm bisexual.

I think that all people should be able to be both subjects and objects, and that includes being the object of sexual objectification. I know many feminists want to get rid of objectification, but instead I want to universalize and temporize it (make it change with time, and never objectify anyone or any group all of the time).


Objectification + consent for objectification = Fun times for all.

Take away that consent and it's a bad time.

It's.. all pretty much about consent.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby setzer777 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:03 pm UTC

I think a lot of people conflate internal and external objectification. You certainly don't need someone's consent to think about them in purely sexual terms. It's only when you interact with them that objectification potentially becomes a problem.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Malconstant » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:53 pm UTC

I often find objectifying to be a tricky idea to pin down. I understand the connotation of removing-agency, but surely this doesn't mean to think of someone as a mindless sex doll, as the idea of "objectification" is ubiquitous, whereas seeking out sexual experiences without the agency of the partner is not so ubiquitous. The term has, at times, seemed to be used purely as an insult, extending from "creep" as being one who expresses unrequited sexual desire. Invoking the term is suggestive of the offender de-humanizing the victim.

So, honestly, what is the collective impression among this thread of the idea of what objectifying means, regarding feminism/sexuality. Is it the projection of sexual capabilities onto someone, which is itself separated from expression or consent? Is this idea inextricably tied to de-humanizing, or removing agency, as in a zero-sum game of human potential?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:14 pm UTC

There's a lot of ways you can invoke this language. Do you wanna talk Kant or kink? Among other options, of course.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Malconstant » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:23 pm UTC

doogly wrote:There's a lot of ways you can invoke this language. Do you wanna talk Kant or kink?

I didn't know this was an option. Lets start with Kant's take on objectifying, regarding feminism/sexuality, and work our way over to bdsm from there.

Or did the modern term terrifyingly originate in Kant's capable hands? I don't even want to broach a topic involving nuanced psychology from that vantage. I don't want to broach any topic from that vantage.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:29 pm UTC

Oh, I don't think Kant was particularly noticing feminism. He wasn't actually that great at the whole moral thing. Not gonna say I'm a fan really.
But he did have this thing about not treating people as means towards your ends, but recognizing them as agents with their own means.
And that sort of general deal is probably where I'd pin "objectifying."

So then you can spoiler for sex.
Spoiler:
do like a thing where instead of receiving lots of tongue attention and active pleasuring during the oral sex, you just sort of grab the hair and use the mouth like a fleshlight. That might count as objectifying. Or have your person on all fours in front of you, put your feet up on their back like an ottoman, and watch a movie or the evening news. That is a very different objectifying. I don't really know if Kant was into either of these or not.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:15 pm UTC

Well, if you're going to bring up sentence structure,
Shro wrote:the object is having something done TO them [by the subject].
The subject of that clause is "object", and the agent (which is "subject"), is the object of the prepositional phrase I added.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

I want to get to a place where I am neither conforming nor rebelling but simply being.

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote:Best romance story ever?

Probably?

I mean, I'm not exactly the most feminist person myself, but isn't it just common sense to back the Hell off if someone says 'no'?

Because no means no?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Ashlah » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:46 pm UTC

You would think so.


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