This time I would like to talk about sexism with a spin: female to female sexism and shaming.
This idea came from Nicole of My Garden Diaries, who is awesome and y'all should check her out for some inspirational gardening ideas! Nicole commented on one of my previous posts about fat shaming that by isolating other women based on their weight (and other things, of course), that we are "setting up walls in our own camp." I couldn't agree more with her that this is NOT the right approach whatsoever. In last week's post about Courtney Love, I included a really awesome quote for Margaret Cho about female sexism.
As I've mentioned before, women are more than capable of sexism against their own gender, which is just plain silly. It's apparent in transphobia, for sure, which is my opinion is a blatant type of sexism.
I recently read this article about Sheryl Sandberg, who is the chief operating officer for Facebook. She's an interesting lady, and a powerful and influential person. I find her comments a little generalizing, though, such as:
“We [women] hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in,” she writes, and the result is that “men still run the world.”
I'm not into this statement. I think it puts down women as an entire gender. First of all, not all women lack confidence. Second of all, lack of confidence has nothing to do with the fact that we still live in a society that feeds patriarchy to all of us. We, men, women, and all humans, are taught certain social norms and standards. It's going to take a lot more than the self confidence of women to change that. This article is also critical of her:
"But Ms. Sandberg, who has helped steer this social network to this once-unimaginable height, had more on her mind than securities filings and ad metrics. She was attending the annual World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, where her subject wasn’t Facebook — but women. Specifically, how women, in her view, must take responsibility for their careers and not blame men for holding them back."
I hate this. I, personally, do not blame "men" for "holding me back," or holding women back. I blame a society that teaches us that this type of thing is okay. Granted, patriarchy was established by men, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the modern male. I disagree with Sandberg because she is a woman who is blaming women for blaming men.... it just seems like a sick cycle.
'Bout time I featured Rosie on my blerg.
I feel like the media promotes girls hating other girls. Girls are constantly being featured as being "catty" or "bitchy." There is always the popular girl versus the not popular, but way more relateable character. There are the millions of girls who in unison say "I'm not like other girls." Who are those other girls, and why is it so bad being "like" them? Why do we have to diss other females based on how they look or what they wear, or what their weight is? Why do we have stereotypes about different "types" of girls, such as completely generalizing stereotypes based on race?
Feminism should be completely equal opportunity. Feminism has been criticized as being a "white woman" thing. I recently watched (most of) Makers, the new PBS documentary on the last 50 years of feminism (which is AWESOME and you all should check it out. I really enjoyed the documentary's strive toward diversity, and how it totally acknowledged the fact that early feminists were all about helping out the white, straight, cis women in the beginning. They completely left out lesbians and women of other races (I don't recall anything about transgender people mentioned, but I actually did not catch the last hour of the documentary). I remember specifically of black women saying that they didn't consider feminism to be for them in the beginning, just because they are black. I can't say much for the early days of feminism, but I hope we've come farther than that since then.
Another cool thing about Makers is the representation of anti-feminists, such as Phyllis Schlafly, who I could punch in the face and not bat an eye. She's interesting though, because she's totally a feminist, but just hated the feminist movement. I think that her whole attitude, in a nut shell, is that the need for a feminist movement or the Equal Rights Amendment acknowledges the fact that women are oppressed, and making such a fact public would continue to promote this oppression. But if the feminist movement had never existed, what would that mean for today's society? I'm not sure anyone can really say.
But with that being said, today is our day and this month is our month, so let's all be nice to each other and stand in solidarity with feminism! If that's your jam :)