Tag Archives: patriarchy

Miss Mary Black’s Masterpiece: GRAWR!!!

My good friend Mary Black recently graduated from Graphic Design school in Prague, Czech Republic. She created this RAD feminist magazine called GRAWR and I LOVE it! You can view the magazine here: http://grawrmagazine.blogspot.com/

I wrote an article for the magazine, along with three other self-proclaimed feminists, we all wrote about what it’s like to be a feminist in our country (mine being the USA). Here’s a copy of my article:

American Feminists Under Attack

I am an American. I am a feminist. I am and must consciously choose to be a strong woman. Some may call me a bitch or a slut. I have reclaimed these words to empower myself, to give myself an identity formed by my life experiences. On the same token, these words can be turned and used against me as a weapon in an instant flash.
BITCH.
She is strong, opinionated, independent and powerful. She can have what she wants. She manifests and creates her own future and her world. Men are intimidated by her goddess powers. She stands up for herself and her beliefs. She refuses to be walked all over.
SLUT.
She likes to have sex and isn’t ashamed by this fact. For centuries women’s sexuality has been repressed. Now we have more power over our bodies and have the freedom to sexually liberate ourselves if we so choose. We possess amazing sexual energy, men can’t resist our magnetic charms.

When these words are used to hurt us, they carry negative connotations that we then may internalize to be true. If I choose to be frank with my thoughts, and someone doesn’t like how assertive I’m being, they call me a bitch. If I choose to have more than one lover or I act confidently and flirtatious then I’m a slut.

In the 1970s women in the U.S. started to take back the power, along with people of color, homosexuals, and many other groups of otherwise oppressed people. As a girl growing up on the Westcoast of the U.S. in the 1990s, I was brought up to believe I could have everything a man can. However, this doesn’t mean that I get treated the same way that men do. I experience sexism in my daily life in many different ways.

In this society, I get called a bitch when I act tough (like a “man”) or a slut when I am sexually open. On the flip-side, a man will be commended for this same behavior. He is a “real” man for being strong and confident, he is a pimp or a stud for getting laid often. I don’t like the fact that I have to fight to convince people in this country that it’s okay for women to behave this way. I hope that someday women and men will truly be treated as equals, instead of this false sense of equality that America claims to possess. I love this country, but I hate sexism, and until I can act in the same behavior as a man and be treated the same as him, I will not be satisfied. That is why I’m a feminist in this country, because I believe that we must keep educating and fighting for justice for all.

Check Yo’ Male Privilege

I love this.

It’s a male privilege checklist for heteronormative males (straight men) but has valid points for all. The checklist is to bring awareness to men, how sexist behavior can freak out the women that they are attempting to hit on, and how they can act respectfully instead of  acting like a total creeper.

I found this on a livejournal post I came across on the web.

For Teh Menz
An unfortunate aspect of the patriarchy is that men are brought up to view sexual harassment as natural and acceptable. Well, it’s not. And female feminists know and male feminists know it. But…male feminists may need some help. Just what does “Check your male privilege!” mean? After all, an unfortunate aspect of privilege is that the privileged are blind to it.

A Feminist Man’s Guide To Interacting With Women in Public

You – general you – are in a public sphere. You spot a women you view as attractive.

Male Privilege Check #1 – The Blatantly Unacceptable: Do not holler. Do not catcall nor honk. Do not gawk or leer and stare. It’s creepy and unnerving. Be discrete. When speaking to her, look her in the eyes. No, not the breasts. The eyes! The eyes!

Male Privilege Check #2 – Your Sense of Entitlement: There are things that you need to be considering internally. Is she already in a monogamous relationship with someone? Does she even like men? Is she looking to have someone flirt with her?

Male Privilege Check #3 – Be Aware of Your Environment: Is it twilight? Night? Are you in the city? The suburbs? Was there any kind of gendered crime committed in the area recently? Is she with friends? Alone?

Male Privilege Check #4 – Greetings: Begin with a “Hello!” or “Hi!” Introduce yourself. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” and “I like your shirt.” are acceptable comments. “Nice tits!” is not.

Male Privilege Check #5 – Her Reaction: Be particularly aware of how she responds. Does she smile nervously? Begin looking around to see if there are other people in the vicinity? Start mentally plotting her escape? Glare at you? Curse you out? Reach for her cell phone? Her can of mace? A big stick?

Male Privilege Check #6 – Exit Strategy: If she exhibits any of the above, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. Do not attempt to guilt her into continuing the conversation. Women are socialized not to create a scene. Do not call her a “bitch”, “slut”, nor “whore”. Do not chase after her. Do not laugh. Politely smile, wish her a nice day, and LEAVE.

Male Privilege Check #7 – Male Guilt: Most importantly, keep in mind what is important. You may be a perfectly decent guy, a feminist, and intended no harm. She may curse you out or go home and rant about you to friends. Deal with it. It is more important for her to be as non-threatened as possible than for her to understand that you have good intentions. It’s not about you. Women are also socialized to give you the benefit of the doubt. There’s no need to plead your case.

All snark is snark between friends and fellow feminists. Hope this helps someone.

A radical feminist view – how patriarchy hurts us

Radical feminism is a philosophy emphasizing the patriarchal roots of inequality between men and women, or, more specifically, social dominance of women by men. Radical feminism views patriarchy as dividing rights, privileges and power primarily by gender, and as a result oppressing women and privileging men.

Radical feminists tend to be more militant in their approach (radical as “getting to the root”). Radical feminism opposes existing political and social organization in general because it is inherently tied to patriarchy. Thus, radical feminists tend to be skeptical of political action within the current system, and instead support cultural change that undermines patriarchy and associated hierarchical structures.

Radical feminism opposes patriarchy, not men. To equate radical feminism to man-hating is to assume that patriarchy and men are inseparable, philosophically and politically.

Patriarchy is a social system in which the father or eldest male is head of the household, having authority over women and children. Patriarchy also refers to a system of government by males, and to the dominance of men in social or cultural systems. It may also include title being traced through the male line.

Patriarchy is a society where women are dominated by men.

I like to split it into three categories:

Male Domination: Men run the show. They have hierarchical power (and privileges) over women institutionally, socially and on an individual basis. Sexism, in this day, is not gone by any means.

Male Identification: Acting out a gender role as a typical “man”. Masculinity is often viewed as better than or more powerful than femininity. Women are subjugated and therefore identifying as a man, and acting out rigid male gender roles is contributing to patriarchy.

Male-centricity: Society is centered around male needs. It’s all about pleasing men, becoming what they find to be desirable. You can see this just by looking at any Women’s magazine! : “What do men find sexy?” “How to snag your man.” etc. I believe that many women contribute greatly to patriarchy by being very male-centric and also by believing that men should dominate and that sexism is natural or normal. When we see images in the media of how women “should look” according to male desire, those of us who collude with patriarchal ideals will never achieve these unrealistic ideals of female beauty.

Patriarchal relations can be viewed in many different facets: sexuality, the household, male-on-female violence, paid employment, cultural institutions, and the state. These are not mutually exclusive sites of exploitation: historically, the state has tolerated male-on-female violence within the household, for example.

Patriarchy?! Like misogyny and stuff…??

Male domination is the end of female liberation!

So you stumbled upon my blog where I take an in-your-face approach to a wide variety of subjects.  I am prepared to bitch and share the love about my ideas on patriarchy, feminism, beauty ideals, relational/communication issues, sex in the media, ethical sluttery/bitchiness, queer and trans issues, monogamy/polyamory, racism in this society and others, classism and capitalism, consensual sex, sizism and fat-phobia, pornography, sexism, sexual assault, domestic violence and more!

I’m a self-proclaimed feminist. A bitch [in a good way]. I work at a domestic violence shelter. I enjoy making art out of the everyday. My heart is in activism. I believe in DIY culture. I like learning new things. I am anti-oppression. I’m an American Jew with a dream of helping people and promoting good messages. I want to embrace any opportunity to inspire others or become inspired by someone/something.

I love bicycles, punk rock shows, thrift shops, road trips and rainbows. And the sushi train always puts a smile on my face. 🙂

I believe that the personal is political. So I write about politics or “issues” from a personal standpoint. From experience. It’s better to speak for yourself and it’s less dry than say a research paper. This does not mean I wont be taking material from other sources or people. It’s important to engage in dialogue with many people instead of a more limited spectrum of thoughts. I like hearing what other people have to say and I welcome any ideas, criticisms, comments or questions.

Love is in you. Love is in the resistance. Fight the power.