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Interesting discussion in class today - Feminism


O Latin

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This won't seem relevant at first, but I thought it was interesting, especially given the discussion about That Wife.

Before one of my classes, we always have to stand outside the door forever waiting for the class that uses the room before us to pack up and leave (they stay there well after their class is scheduled to end). Today, as we were (finally) making our way into the classroom, this one guy (I'll call him Joe) said that he "didn't want to sound sexist" but he thought gender studies classes always took forever to leave the classroom. (I have no idea if the class before us is gender studies. Based on things they've left written on the board, I think it's maybe something to do with education or child development). Apparently, Joe is in another class that uses the room right after a gender studies class and they take forever to leave and leave "interesting questions" written on the board.

Well, this observation prompted another guy (I'll call him Bill) to launch into a speech about (and I'm paraphrasing here) how he doesn't think feminism is really necessary any more and efforts to advance women just end up hurting men, or something along those lines (I was busy playing solitaire on my phone to make it emphatically clear that I was not going to involve myself in this conversation).

But here's the part that sent my brain into "OMG, must go home and post on FJ" mode. Bill said, "If I were a black woman, it would be much easier for me to get a scholarship," which made me want to simultaneously :lol: and :angry-cussing: because it sounded almost exactly like what That Husband apparently said at some point.

Then Bill proceeded to attempt to engage a girl who I take to be a fairly radical feminist (or at least studying radical feminism) based on the books she carries with her. She refused to respond to his questions.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting, to say the least, and I wanted to share it here.

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Well, this observation prompted another guy (I'll call him Bill) to launch into a speech about (and I'm paraphrasing here) how he doesn't think feminism is really necessary any more and efforts to advance women just end up hurting men, or something along those lines (I was busy playing solitaire on my phone to make it emphatically clear that I was not going to involve myself in this conversation).

Just no, no, no. There's a lot left to do in my country when it comes to equality between men and women. You know, I'm living in the officially most equal country in the world. Isn't that pretty scary? For me it is. I have to wonder how the rest of the world looks likes, if this country is the most equal one. For example, I would apparently gain more from a sex change than from an academical education (according to my uni. teachers).

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I hear this kind of crap a lot on my own campus as well. I don't know if it comes from complacency on their part, having never witnessed the blatant sexism of the past or if it's just comes from the fact that they are male. For those who say feminism is no longer necessary, what about the fact that equal pay for equal work still does not exist? What about the fact that certain professions are still male dominated? What about the continuous chipping away of our reproductive rights? I don't pretend that Women's Studies classes (that's what they are termed at my University, though they incorporate gender and LGBT issues as well) are prefect, they have a long way to go and are still in my mind stuck in the second wave in sense that it's still a very white middle class discourse. It's gotten better but it's not entirely inclusive and it certainly isn't global. But at least they're trying. At least they're having a conversation about it and raising people's awareness.

I find myself bored in most of the classes (I'm doing a Women's Studies minor) as they talk about a lot stuff I already know and have read, but for some it's a real awakening process and it allows them to consider new ideas which certainly has value. I'm surprised how much crap comes my way just for insisting on defining myself as a feminist. I don't consider myself a radical feminist, but just for using that word people assume things about you. They meanings and ideologies you might not even hold and that often are just not true (the bra burning myth anyone?). I'm just so sick of it. It's not my fault if other people are stupid and misinformed.

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Of course men are going to say that feminism is no longer necessary. They get really worried and pissed when anything threatens their male privilege or their ability to sexually exploit women.

I would have had a great time ripping this idiot apart if I was there, but then I'm mean like that. :twisted:

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I used to work with a guy who claimed that I made more because I'm a woman. He's clearing a f*cking idiot who has no idea about the statistics of the pay gap. He also really hated another woman who was Asian-American (he was white) and really thought she was getting a bunch of extra money because she was a "double minority". I think that he had seen her pay stub or something, but in his mind she could never make more because she had a better degree, was more skilled at her job, or was simply better at negotiating salary when she was hired. Nope, she was clearly less qualified than a white man, so any extra pay had to be because of liberal PC pandering or some crap.

On the plus side, you know not to waste your time dating any of these men.

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I hear this kind of crap a lot on my own campus as well. I don't know if it comes from complacency on their part, having never witnessed the blatant sexism of the past or if it's just comes from the fact that they are male. For those who say feminism is no longer necessary, what about the fact that equal pay for equal work still does not exist? What about the fact that certain professions are still male dominated? What about the continuous chipping away of our reproductive rights? I don't pretend that Women's Studies classes (that's what they are termed at my University, though they incorporate gender and LGBT issues as well) are prefect, they have a long way to go and are still in my mind stuck in the second wave in sense that it's still a very white middle class discourse. It's gotten better but it's not entirely inclusive and it certainly isn't global. But at least they're trying. At least they're having a conversation about it and raising people's awareness.

My general impression of this guy (he's in a couple of my classes and he's the type that likes to talk a lot and ask a lot of questions) is that he's just not the brightest light in the harbor and is generally clueless about most things. I don't think he's a misogynist jerk, I think he's just uninformed about what the issues are. He's also in the military, which probably affects his worldview to some extent (at one point during the conversation, he went off on a long tangent about how five of the six women in his unit or whatever left because they got pregnant)

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I had a class discussion recently in my WW1 class about women on the front line. Before the class started the girls sitting near me were discussing how biased some tutors are, and that you can't get a good grade on as essay about women unless you take an extreme feminist view point. One girl said something like "I'm a feminist to the extent that every woman is a feminist, but I hate it when people take it too far...".

It was a pretty quiet discussion- nobody wanted to voice their opinions, until one guy (I believe he is in the military) said that no way, women shouldn't be on the front line. About 3/4 of the class agreed with him.

I was pretty surprised, my uni is renowned for being left wing, and this was the only class I have been in where people have expressed remotely conservative ideas. In another class, the majority were in full agreement that Sharia law should be introduced into Australia.

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My general impression of this guy (he's in a couple of my classes and he's the type that likes to talk a lot and ask a lot of questions) is that he's just not the brightest light in the harbor and is generally clueless about most things. I don't think he's a misogynist jerk, I think he's just uninformed about what the issues are. He's also in the military, which probably affects his worldview to some extent (at one point during the conversation, he went off on a long tangent about how five of the six women in his unit or whatever left because they got pregnant)

You may be right, and as much as I hate to say it, the military can bring out a misogynist streak in men.

Of course, never mind that it's always That Woman or That Girl (you may also insert That Slut/Bitch/Whore here in many cases) who plays on the female card to get out of doing stuff, and forget all the women doing things the right way. Yes, there are some women who try to get pregnant to get out of the military, or to get out of a deployment, but forget the rest of us who do their job.

And yes, the culture does encourage it to an extent - there was a charming letter in the Army Times in December 2009 about how women got pregnant so they could get "months" of leave (6 weeks medical), extra uniforms (we have to turn them back in, and who needs a camo tent anyway), get out of everything (there are restrictions on duty depending on stage of pregnancy and if it is higher risk), and he got punished for being a single dad while all the women who couldn't keep their legs shut got rewarded.

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Lillian, that's funny because the topic of this class also happens to be WWI. It's also the same class where, on the first day when the professor (a woman) was going over what textbooks we needed, including an anthology of women writers of WWI. One guy (not the same guy from today) said something along the lines of, "Yeah, I took a class last year on the Middle Ages and we had this book of women writers and it was just mind boggling to me." The professor responded with, "Yes, women have been around for awhile," and the rest of the class cracked up. I don't know, maybe WWI classes attract the types who just want to learn about trenches and machine guns rather than real history and all that goes into it (FWIW, I've been disappointed in this class because of the way it's structured, but we've covered women and men, on the front lines and at home and everything in between).

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one guy (I believe he is in the military) said that no way, women shouldn't be on the front line. About 3/4 of the class agreed with him.

Okay, this is a pet peeve of mine.

Women *are* on the front lines. I have a female friend who did several tours in the military, including getting shot at in Iraq on a daily basis. She was on the front line every goddamned day, but she was classified as "support staff". That means that she received no honors for the lives she saved and none of the follow-up support. I think the men even were paid more because they were in combat and she apparently was not, despite being right beside them in the same missions with the same demands and the same risk.

Female soldiers are sent out into battlefields with men, armed with guns and fighting for their lives. We just refuse to call it what it is.

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Lillian, that's funny because the topic of this class also happens to be WWI. It's also the same class where, on the first day when the professor (a woman) was going over what textbooks we needed, including an anthology of women writers of WWI. One guy (not the same guy from today) said something along the lines of, "Yeah, I took a class last year on the Middle Ages and we had this book of women writers and it was just mind boggling to me." The professor responded with, "Yes, women have been around for awhile," and the rest of the class cracked up. I don't know, maybe WWI classes attract the types who just want to learn about trenches and machine guns rather than real history and all that goes into it (FWIW, I've been disappointed in this class because of the way it's structured, but we've covered women and men, on the front lines and at home and everything in between).

Wow, as you said, it must be something about WW1 that brings out that side of people. I've actually been disappointed in my class because of it's structure too, lol. We've just been going chronologically learning names, dates, battles, etc etc. We touched on women once in the whole semester, and haven't spoken about the effects of the war. It's pretty much unlike any other history subject I've done, and I'm a history major 3/4 of the way through my course. History isn't just about memorizing facts and figures, gah!

Sorry, OT, but i'm procrastinating revising for this exam (seriously, a history subject with an exam?!).

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Okay, this is a pet peeve of mine.

Women *are* on the front lines. I have a female friend who did several tours in the military, including getting shot at in Iraq on a daily basis. She was on the front line every goddamned day, but she was classified as "support staff". That means that she received no honors for the lives she saved and none of the follow-up support. I think the men even were paid more because they were in combat and she apparently was not, despite being right beside them in the same missions with the same demands and the same risk.

Female soldiers are sent out into battlefields with men, armed with guns and fighting for their lives. We just refuse to call it what it is.

I really don't know anything about it, so I kept quiet. I'm not sure if women in the Australian army are on the front lines, I think there was a newspaper article about the issue and that's why we were discussing it.

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Wow, as you said, it must be something about WW1 that brings out that side of people. I've actually been disappointed in my class because of it's structure too, lol. We've just been going chronologically learning names, dates, battles, etc etc. We touched on women once in the whole semester, and haven't spoken about the effects of the war. It's pretty much unlike any other history subject I've done, and I'm a history major 3/4 of the way through my course. History isn't just about memorizing facts and figures, gah!

Sorry, OT, but i'm procrastinating revising for this exam (seriously, a history subject with an exam?!).

Hmm, maybe your prof and mine should get together to teach the class. The problem with mine is that 90% of our reading (most of which I don't do because there is a shit ton of it, I'm a slow reader, and I don't have time) comes from these two books of primary sources/eyewitness accounts. I get that there's a lot of that stuff from WWI and that's a good way to learn history, but there's almost no context. I feel lost, like I don't know where I am or what's going on. We don't have any exams, though. We just have to write a bunch of papers.

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That's kind of the same with our class...soooo many readings, just random dull information-loaded readings, which I neglected doing...but, surprise! apparently they were all essential and there is going to be essay questions about any of them from the whole semester for the exam. Ugh :(

I regret taking this class, but I love WW1 history usually.

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In another class, the majority were in full agreement that Sharia law should be introduced into Australia.

Good Lord. Can you give me a context for the discussion?

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Good Lord. Can you give me a context for the discussion?

It was a class about immigration in Australia, and each week one person would have to monitor the media for issues relating to migrants. One week the issue of Sharia law was the main topic, and the tutor asked the broad question of "What do you think, should sharia law be introduced into Australia?" One boy said "It wouldn't be soo bad, would it? It only affects them?" which was met with agreement from the rest of the class. For further context, this was the boy who never washed his hair, who got all his media articles from Green's (considered to be a very left wing political group) newsletters and believed in open borders for all countries. The class was generally made up of white private school kids. I think there was one asian girl (who kept quiet), one girl from Canada, one from Seattle, and the rest were from Australia. It was a second year undergraduate Bachelor of Arts class.

For most of the semester I sat there in silence as I didn't want to be considered 'extreme right wing' when I'm actually center-left...

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Not all countries allow women to serve on the frontlines. I believe in Australia, the policy has been recently changed to allow it. I remember seeing something on the evening news a while back about it. I tried to google news it but couldn't find a link.

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It was a class about immigration in Australia, and each week one person would have to monitor the media for issues relating to migrants. One week the issue of Sharia law was the main topic, and the tutor asked the broad question of "What do you think, should sharia law be introduced into Australia?" One boy said "It wouldn't be soo bad, would it? It only affects them?" which was met with agreement from the rest of the class. For further context, this was the boy who never washed his hair, who got all his media articles from Green's (considered to be a very left wing political group) newsletters and believed in open borders for all countries. The class was generally made up of white private school kids. I think there was one asian girl (who kept quiet), one girl from Canada, one from Seattle, and the rest were from Australia. It was a second year undergraduate Bachelor of Arts class.

For most of the semester I sat there in silence as I didn't want to be considered 'extreme right wing' when I'm actually center-left...

Can I ask what uni you attend? (though it sounds like a second year BA class at pretty much any uni in Australia :) )

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O Latin, did you test directly into an upper-level history class and that's why you're in one that's all primary sources without having a basic background in the period? That happened to me, and it's a real struggle. Even though you can't cite it, Wikipedia is your friend - I went to college in the dark ages so I'd go to the library and use paper encyclopedias or check out an elementary-school level text (like "History of Brazil" or "Colonial Africa") to get the massive amount of backstory I had missed in high school.

History is so big, it's easy to take enough credits or AP tests to jump yourself straight in over your head. All I got in high school was American & European history, and those credits put me straight into upper-level African & South American history with no background whatsoever.

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Of course men are going to say that feminism is no longer necessary. They get really worried and pissed when anything threatens their male privilege or their ability to sexually exploit women.

I would have had a great time ripping this idiot apart if I was there, but then I'm mean like that. :twisted:

Yes, that anyone would take it seriously when a man says that feminisim is no longer necessary is hilarious. Could there be a more self-serving statement?

What makes my blood boil are the women who parrot that same crap.

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O Latin, did you test directly into an upper-level history class and that's why you're in one that's all primary sources without having a basic background in the period? That happened to me, and it's a real struggle. Even though you can't cite it, Wikipedia is your friend - I went to college in the dark ages so I'd go to the library and use paper encyclopedias or check out an elementary-school level text (like "History of Brazil" or "Colonial Africa") to get the massive amount of backstory I had missed in high school.

History is so big, it's easy to take enough credits or AP tests to jump yourself straight in over your head. All I got in high school was American & European history, and those credits put me straight into upper-level African & South American history with no background whatsoever.

Well, sort of. I'm a senior, so this is a class I should be in. It probably doesn't help that my AP credits got me out of Western Civ and American history, so I never took those in college. I think the other part of the problem is that the prof likes to cover things categorically rather than chronologically, so like one week we talked about the homefront and the next week we talked about naval war, so I understand each topic itself, but I don't have a good sense of what order things happened.

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A simple timeline notebook (like for WWI, a notebook with a page for each month of each year) that you can put notes into chronological order in, can be really helpful for that - I did a similar book for the cascade of African independence movements, which I learned about over several different classes, and it helped me a lot without adding a lot of reading.

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