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Archive for April, 2010

in which p. rants about ageism, part 144-B

Posted by pocochina on April 20, 2010

Oh goody!  Another round of feminist generational sniping!

I am not sure I can fathom the depths of ageism that went into the reaction to this Newsweek article. Now, being a mainstream media publication, Newsweek makes a few fairly standard, though potentially misleading, moves in its discussion of feminism and the pro-choice movement:  it goes ahead and calls the offices of the largest women’s organizations, which can’t turn down the chance to get the party line out there, and then commences in context-free handwringing about young people failing to consider Roe and abortion rights in the same light as folks did thirty years ago.  As one astute activist, erintothemax on twitter, noted, Newsweek did an article on young voters attitudes towards abortion without quoting a single young voter, let alone talking to a young female pro-choice activist, of which there are, um, several.

cont’d below!

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You check YOUR fucking privilege! Body image is not trivial!

Posted by pocochina on April 7, 2010

I’m kind of seeing a trend in a lot of the third-wave-y blogs* I frequent in which the authors (a) decry the widespread discussion of body image issues within mainstream feminism because Other Issues are more important, (b) sanctimoniously claim that they’re not going to talk about body image because it is an issue for privileged white girls and no-one else, and they are above such nonsense, or (c) discuss body image issues but with an apologetic caveat that No, Really, This is Self-Indulgent, But Isn’t It Interesting that Ladies on the Teevee Are Getting Skinnier? THAT IS SOME BULLSHIT RIGHT THERE.  It ignores the undeniable (well, so I thought, but maybe I am that much of a fucking egghead freak?) fact that body image issues affect women who are not cis, white, and middle-class, perhaps even more than women with those privileges.  It is flagrantly ableist because it ignores the very real mental health implications of body image issues.  It trivializes the body shame experienced by fat women, who are particularly in need of support from the feminist movement at this moment in time.  And it is philosophically frustrating because it assumes that even the tiny, incomplete alleviation of women’s suffering through honest discussion about body hatred is not worthwhile.

(cut for ED triggers)

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hot for student: sex, campuses, and the “meaningful” in front of “consent”

Posted by pocochina on April 6, 2010

There’s a certain strain of third-wave feminism which likes to claim it’s invested in personal agency and intersectional identity and analysis of existing power structures, but is actually so mired in mainstream American neoliberal I-got-mine individualism as to be pretty much useless when it comes to anything but cheerleading for new! and! empowerful! modern femininity.  Nowhere is this more evident when discussing consent issues (see also – TW, incest), and today’s Broadsheet column on a new policy at Yale University is probably a paradigm example.

The headline is as follows:  “Yale bans teacher-student sex”



Apparently, the policy of Yale University has been that student-teacher affairs were impermissible if and only if the professor had “direct pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities” over the student.  Under the new policy, undergraduates are sexually off-limits to professors.  TCF, in a highly formalistic reading of the language provided that’s disturbingly close to the linguistic jujitsu performed by abortion exceptioneers and civil-rights law dodgers, decides that this is enough to protect students from affairs with professors which have a “direct impact on their academic careers.”  (I’m going to use “she” to connote the student in the relationship and “he” to connote the professor because that is the most likely scenario both to exist and be reported under the school rules, not in order to diminish the existence or potential harm of other sexual student/teacher pairings.)

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