Viewing posts tagged sexism

Random Thing #2

Another snippet looking for a home...


The fembot is an expression of a patriarchal and misogynistic power fantasy.  The woman who is your creation but not your daughter (and thus sexually available).  The woman who is programmable, controllable, designable to your own specifications and customisable to your wishes.  The woman who is literally a commodity (or at least a product) rather than a living being who has been reduced to one, and who it is therefore possible to own without guilt.  The woman who serves your needs unquestioningly, as her reason for existing.  The woman who never resents anything, or at least is designed not to.  The woman who is rightfully doomed to the subordinate position of servant, and who accepts it as a given and a duty, because of her innate inferiority and subhumanity.  The fembot isn’t so much a new idea as a modern reification of age-old ideological constructs of patriarchy.  The one specifically modern thing about her is her convenient inability to get pregnant – something that would have seemed a disadvantage to pre-modern patriarchs but which now, in post-sexual revolution Western capitalist culture, strikes many men as a ...

A Presumptious Dilettante's Five Belated Eggs

The more I think about it, the more I think a humble, sympathetic, non-domineering, non-entryist engagement with the anti-oppression movements springing up around issues of gender identity (i.e. Trans issues) is going to be absolutely crucial for the Left in the coming years. 

This isn't just a moral imperative.  Sure, the Left must stand with the oppressed.  Always.  By definition.  Otherwise why bother being on the Left?  Otherwise, what does 'The Left' mean?  But it's also a tactical imperative.  The system must be attacked at its weakest points.  The righteous and rightful rage felt by many on the axis of Trans oppression is absolutely one of the system's weakest points.  It hits people where they live: in their bodies.  Bodies are oppressed, disciplined, punished, curtailed, invaded, wounded and even dissected by capitalism... and it behoves the Left to realise that this happens in arenas outside the sites of direct capitalist production.  This is one of those things that everyone formally 'gets' and then puts to one side.  That's not good enough.  Capitalist oppression is total, hegemonic, far-reaching and omnipresent.  It ...

Unredeemed

Spoilers for Game of Thrones... if the writers haven't already spoiled it enough.
 

Aside from being just horribly and needlessly misogynistic (Moffat has nothing on this. Nothing.) and basically relying on the assumption that Jaime can be redeemed despite being a rapist (presumably because Cersei is such a b*tch that its okay to rape her), it also perfectly illustrates something I was banging on about in a post about The Borgias a few years back. 

It illustrates what happens when you purposefully remove consistent moral thinking from narrative texts just for the show-offy hell of it. 

Now, I'm not a moralising finger-wagger (at least, I try not to be because it's a deeply unattractive and narcissistic trait) but I do believe that morality is a vital part of fiction.  Not in the sense that all stories should contain clear moral messages, or avowedly support a certain moral position, or anything like that, but rather in the sense that they should be aware that questions of justice and injustice are built into storytelling, at least in the Western tradition, and that it is literally impossible to tell a story in that tradition without ...

The Wank Delusion

Sexist image alert.

Dom Kelly brought this to my attention, with his pithier comment: "*vomits*"


Okay, let's examine this in what some might say was far too much detail.

Reason is sexy because one conventionally 'attractive' woman reads books by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, et al, and throws away a Bible.  In the nude.

Right...

1.  It is assumed that this picture - i.e. the person in it - represents 'sexiness'.  But the whole concept of what is sexy is subjective - far more so than is admitted by consumerist media culture, to which this image owes its entire idea of sexiness.  The image is catering for only one idea of what is sexually alluring: the idea of the straight, cis-het male.  He's probably assumed to be white as well.  The image, including the person in it, is arranged for the gaze of this intensely privileged group.  This is 'reason'?

2.  Because one sexy person is an atheist, that doesn't make Atheism itself sexy.  Systems of thought, ideological doctrines, persuasions of belief, scientific theories and hypotheses... in short: ideas... are not open to judgement based on the perceived ...

Footstamping

Rich, white, male kid.  Drunk driving.  Killed and maimed people.  Got off with probation because he suffers from "affluenza".  Essentially, he couldn't help doing it because he was too privileged to know better.

It's so obvious, really, isn't it?  Shouldn't even need saying.  But.  Imagine a black person, a poor person, in the same position.  Would they be gently treated because society deprived them?  I'm not saying I want a 16 year old kid to be sent to one of those privatised totalitarian hellhole gulags that America calls 'prisons' for 20 years (though it would be a sharp lesson for him in what it feels like to be an ethnic minority, since those prisons are mostly stuffed with poor people, who are mostly people of colour).  I'm just pointing out the disparity.

Compare with the treatment of Glenn Broadnax.   Compare what happened to Zimmerman with what happened to Marissa Alexander (she is at least getting a new trial).

Things like that happen in their thousands every day.  I could fill up all the free memory Blogger has given me just describing, in ...

3

"Not so much of that oatmeal, girl," says Meg to one of the kitchen drudges, "It's only pikemen we're feeding, not horses."

They're in Irongron's castle, somewhere in the century or so following the Norman Conquest.  Sarah is undercover, cooking Irongron's stew.

"Don't the guards on the gate get stew?" she asks, wanting to know in which pots to drop the Doctor's knock-out potion.

"What, meat for those common creatures? I should say not. They'll have oatmeal the same as the rest of us, and lusty enough they are on that. So you watch yourself if ever you take out that skillet."

So class is, perhaps, a more fundamental division than gender, but gender oppression brings its own particular problems.

"I'm not afraid of men. They don't own the world."

Well, they kind-of do... but Sarah isn't discussing actual property relations.  She's talking about the way the world should work, with no one group 'owning' it.

"Why should women always have to cook and carry for them?" she demands.

"What else should we do?" asks Meg.

"Stand up for ourselves. Tell the men you're tired ...

5

"I know it sounds mad," says Martha, "but when the Doctor became human, he took the alien part of himself and he stored it inside the watch. It's not really a watch, it just looks like a watch."

"And 'alien' means 'not from abroad', I take it," enquires the frankly incredulous Joan.

"The man you call John Smith... he was born on another world."

"A different species."

"Yeah."

Joan is a sensible woman from 1913 and she's not having any of this nonsense.

"Then tell me," she presses, "in this fairy tale, who are you?"

"Just a friend. I'm not... I mean, you haven't got a rival, as much as I might... Just his friend."

"And human, I take it?"

She humouring the deranged girl.  As John said earlier, it must be culture shock.  Someone from a less developed culture trying and failing to understand the scientific romances of an ordinary school teacher... an ordinary school teacher, by the way, with whom she is far too familiar.

"Human," confirms Martha, "Don't worry. And more than that: I just don't follow him around. I'm training to be a doctor. Not an alien ...

27

TW


Adelaide screams at the sight of Palmerdale's dead body.

Leela slaps her across the face, silencing her.

This is horrible.  It's one of the relatively few examples of serious, realistic, non-Fantastic, gendered violence in the show.  Companions are captured by monsters, etc., but this kind of thing happens rarely.  It is better in some places.  Worse in others.  In 'The Time Meddler', Edith's implied-rape is in there simply to tick a box of genre tropes.  Yeurch.  In 'Vengeance on Varos', Maldak slaps Peri across the face to assuage his bruised ego.  It's utterly gratuitous and revolting.

But this is a woman slapping another woman.  (That's not worse... except in the sense that the representation, authored by a man, alibis male involvement in violence against women by ostensibly disappearing its gendered dimension.)

More than that - it's Leela slapping another woman.  Wonderful Leela, who has never done anything like this before.  Okay, she's a ruthless killer in battle... but slapping a 'hysteric' like she's James Bond or something?  Normally, though she dreads weakness in herself because of her self-identification as a ...

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