Tag Archives: sexism

Intersectionality Quotes

I suggest further that this focus on otherwise-privileged group members creates a distorted analysis of racism and sexism because the operative conceptions of race and sex become grounded in experiences that actually represent only a subset of a much more complex phenomenon…. I argue that Black women are sometimes excluded from feminist theory and antiracist policy discourse because both are predicated on a discrete set of experiences that often does not accurately reflect the intersection of race and gender.  These problems of exclusion cannot be solved simply by including Black women within an already established analytical structure.  Because the intersectional experience is greater than the sum of racism and sexism, any analysis that does not take intersectionality into account cannot sufficiently address the particular manner in which Black women are subordinated.  Thus, for feminist theory and antiracist policy discourse to embrace the experiences and concerns of Black women, the entire framework that has been used as a basis for translating “women’s experience” or “the Black experience” into concrete policy demands must be rethought and recast.

–Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex”

Although racism and sexism readily intersect in the lives of real people, they seldom do in feminist and antiracist practices. And so, when the practices expound identity as “woman” or “person of color” as an either/or proposition, they relegate the identity of women of color to a location that resists telling.
My objective here is to advance the telling of that location by exploring the race and gender dimensions of violence against women of color. Contemporary feminist and antiracist discourses have failed to consider the intersections of racism and patriarchy… Because of their intersectional identity as both women and people of color within discourses that are shaped to respond to one or the other, the interests and experiences of women of color are frequently marginalized within both.

–Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Mapping the margins”

dirty trashy prude

[cw: sex talk, misogyny]

Initially I wrote an introduction to this but instead just have this list:

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so I bought some new books…

Group reproduction – both biological and social – is fundamental to nationalist practice, process, and politics.  While virtually all feminist treatments of nationalism recognize this fact, they typically take for granted that group reproduction is heterosexist.  I refer here to the assumption – institutionalized in state-based orders through legal and ideological codifications and naturalized by reference to the binary of male-female sex difference – that heterosexuality is the only “normal” mode of sexual identity, sexual practice, and social relations.  Heterosexism presupposes a binary coding of polarized and hierarchical male/masculine and female/feminine identities (ostensibly based on a dichotomy of biophysical features) and denies all but heterosexual coupling as the basis of sexual intimacy, family life, and group reproduction.  And heterosexism is key to nationalism because today’s state-centric nationalisms (the focus of this chapter) not only engage in sexist practices that are now well documented by feminists, but also take for granted  heterosexist sex/gender identities and forms of group reproduction that underpin sexism but which are not typically interrogated even in feminist critiques.

[…] Heterosexism as sex/affect involves the normalization of exclusively heterosexual desire, intimacy, and family life.  Historically, this normalization is inextricable from the state’s interest in regulating sexual reproduction, undertaken primarily through controlling women’s bodies, policing sexual activities, and instituting the heteropatriarchal family/household as the basic socio-economic unit.  This normalization entails constructions of gender identity and hegemonic masculinity as heterosexual, with corollary interests in women’s bodies as objects of (male) sexual gratification and the means of ensuring group continuity.

–V. Spike Peterson, “Sexing political identities/nationalism as heterosexism,” Women, States, and Nationalism, p. 59-60


To display the falsity of the “natural” nuclear family, Michelle Barrett explored the many different forms that family takes in human societies by examining anthropoligical and historical works.  “At an ideological level,” she wrote, “the bourgeoisie has certainly secured a hegemonic definition of family life: as ‘naturally’ based on close kinship, as properly organized through a male breadwinner with financially dependent wife and children, and as a haven of privacy beyond the realm of commerce and industry.”  If we reject the ideological assertion that the state is merely protecting natural relationships, then we need to ask whose interests the family-household system embedded in twentieth-century American liberalism serves…

[…] The ability to create a privatized household depends on financial resources that are unavailable to many, particularly families that do not have a white, male wage-earner… Those who cannot satisfy the material prerequisites of family life do not create the same kind of privatized units as those of the more economically privileged…

[…] Although the contractually agreed-to marriages of today may seem like a significant advance over the pre-arranged, clearly economic arrangements made for many men and women in the past, this understanding presupposes that monogamous, dyadic sexual relationships should have higher status and receive greater benefits than other forms of relationships.  This superiority is asserted often through a variety of disciplinary mechanisms, including mental health experts, the media, schools, religious institutions, and the law.  In this sense, marriage itself can — and should — be understood as a disciplinary system…

–Valerie Lehr, Queer Family Values, p. 19, 20, 23

Believing the women

[cw: Christianity]

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

Luke 24:1-11

Remember that.  It was women who first saw the empty tomb.  It was women the angels told “he has risen.”  It was women who brought the news.  It was women, not the male disciples who are more well-known.  And despite the fact that they had witnessed many strange and impossible things themselves, the men didn’t believe them.

Believing in the resurrection begins with believing the women.

When Dudes Talk Gender & Asexuality

…I’ve seen them get a few things wrong.

This post is my submission for the March 2016 Carnival of Aces.

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So back to unexpectedly seeing yourself in other’s posts, it happened with this too.

I just took a quiz to find out what kind of Dominant I am, and it turns out, the way dominants talk about bdsm is completely abhorrent

yeeeeeeaahhh I know exactly what quiz they’re talking about there.  I took it too, since it’s one of the first results when I was doing some basic searches.  And, yeah.  Abhorrent is the right word to use.

It’s in a “select if you agree or disagree” format with a list of statements and one of them is literally like “Women are inferior and should serve men.”  And that’s just one of the repugnant things on there, presented like it’s some neutral acceptable thing.  As if sexist men are just one of many types of doms to be celebrated by the kink community instead of a problem to be purged from it.

Eugh.  Come at me with your #notalldoms protests if you want, but I hope you’d still be a little troubled that messages like that are so prolific/accessible with very little out there to counter them.  Quibbling over exact proportions doesn’t dissuade me from the impression that there’s a festering sore going untreated in that camp.

things I’ve been thinking about

To make you feel good — a post by swankivy about touch & coercion and her personal experience with a manipulative boyfriend.  I feel like this could provide some context for why I have misgivings about the phrase “enthusiastic consent.”  I know what it’s trying to get at — genuine consent, non-coerced actual consent, consent consent and not begrudging uneasy hesitant agreement to cave — but I feel like tacking on “enthusiastic” just creates the expectation of emotional performance, which hits a nerve for me as someone who’s been put in that position a lot as a kid.  Maybe more on that another time.

Why “Just Leave” Doesn’t Work — an explanation for those who take the “just leave” approach to abusive relationships.  Really important stuff to understand.  Also relevant to the simplistic “it’s not abuse if they accept it” excuse I kept encountering as a way to handwave critical thinking about D/s.

There’s a War On (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7) — an old series on BDSM and abuse (!).  I’m excited to have found (re-found?) these posts because I’ve been looking for something adequate on this topic for a while now.  Trigger warnings on this like whoa; it’s about harm and consent violations (of sexual & nonsexual kinds) and at times gets pretty graphic; there’s discussions of and mentions of basically all the terrible stuff you can think of.  I’m pleased to know this series exists, because it’s needed and the commentary ranges from actually decent to even good, but I’ll also note that the main point can be basically summed up as “There is abuse that happens within BDSM contexts and the community is crap at dealing with it.”  It seems to be written for an audience who wouldn’t agree or take that statement at face value, or who are seeking more details about what exactly goes on and how exactly the community is failing.  Important writing, but again, it’s rough.

This post by aceadmiral and the recent reblog chain discusses representation of nonsexual relationships and same-gender relationships as a site of conflict.  I have Thoughts and I want to write a whole post on them but that may or may not have to wait, and for now I’m just linking one of the posts here.

on “Victorian morality”

Given how often I’ve seen the idea that disgust toward sex is haughty and oppressive unless paired with a disclaimer, I’m interested in how that erroneous cultural link formed to begin with.  I can only assume it must have something to do with the upper-class elites of the Victorian age, your classic “prudes,” and this post details the best explanation I’ve come to for what we now know as “Victorian morality,” based on what I can put together from what I can scrounge up on the subject.  If you’re more informed and have corrections or additions to make, please let me know in the comments.

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“It’s 2014.”

Yes, it is.

So what?

What is it with people’s compulsion to state the year any time they’re surprised that the world is more oppressive and horrible than they’d imagined?  These things don’t simply erode with the sands of time, passively worn down through the length of their existence.  To assume so is to undermine the bravery and strenuous labor people have put into actual change for the better, to dismiss all their personal risks and contributions as nothing but the seconds ticking by, to trivialize their strain and sacrifice as nothing but an effortless inevitability.

It’s worrying when people buy into the fallacy that everything gets better as we move into the future, that everything was worse in the past, and that the timeline of events proceeds in a linear fashion with every single thing always improving for the better — which all amounts to: you can sit back and not do a thing, and these problems will just take care of themselves, if you give it time.

It is perhaps the most insidious and brilliant way of discouraging otherwise well-meaning people from the necessity of immediate action and involvement.

For those who have been fighting for decades and are dismayed at the lack of progress within their own lifetimes, I empathize, but for those who just showed up on the scene and are bewildered by how little had been accomplished: yes, it’s 2014, and that doesn’t mean a thing.  You expected things to get better while you were asleep at the wheel?

Sorry, no, this sort of thing takes work.  And if you’re surprised, then that only demonstrates how little you have participated in doing that work.


Men Should Respect Themselves

TW: rape culture, victim-blaming, general all-around fail

As I read this post [edit: it appears the post has been deleted] I went from confused to disgusted, and it reminded me of yet another post I’ve been meaning to write, but maybe it would be better to just deliver the short version: You know that whole “women should respect themselves” idea as applied to sexuality, with the implication that self-respect = not having sex?

Why doesn’t anyone ever say that to men?

Stop using that “lost control of myself” excuse and man up, men.  You’re a disappointment to God.