April 26, 2008

Weekend Recommended Reading

Posted in recommended reading at 2:00 pm by LB

Your dose of weekend reading material!

A really excellent post at Shakesville, “Feminism 101: ‘Sexism is a Matter of Opinion'”. It’s long, but it’s really, really worth it. Some bits:

We’re all biased—either because we are the potential targets or potential beneficiaries of sexism, whether we want to be or not. A woman who rejects the existence of sexism is no more unlikely to be oppressed by it than a woman who spends her days documenting it. A man who acknowledges and fights the existence of sexism is no more unlikely to passively benefit from other people privileging men over women than a man who actively marginalizes women. That’s the reality of institutionalized sexism; it compromises us all.

Like the Matrix, which Morpheus described as “everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room… It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth,” the systemic sexism known as the patriarchy is so comprehensive and profound that “seeing it” actually takes some effort, some willingness to see it. And, like those who find themselves awakening from the Matrix, people who find themselves awakening from the patriarchy learn to identify its patterns, upon which it is dependent for the transmission of its ideals and its continual self-generation.

A commentary at Feminist Gamers about the recent “open source boob project” which I also read about here, and rightly proclaims, One more time: Women’s bodies are not public property. And also this take from Alternet, and this parodic response from misia.

The Kinsey Confidential reports on a new study (that I’m interested in reading, and can hopefully write about later) that states, news flash! Men’s sexuality is complex and varies; it isn’t unidimensional or homogeneous. Says study’s author Erick Janssen,

one of the main conclusions of the focus group study is that, just like women, men are different. Sex researchers tend to focus a lot of differences between men and women, while not giving as much attention to the differences that exist among men, and women.

This is pretty sad that we need studies to tell us these things. But we do. With how ubiquitous damaging, homogenizing, pathologizing presentations of “normal” sexuality are in all aspects of society, these kinds of studies need to happen more often, with a broader sample (this study only had 50 participants), and needs to be shouted from the freakin’ rooftops.

5 Resolutions discusses a new study which says 65% of women ages 25-45 have disordered eating. Not surprising when our culture equates “health” with “skinny”.

f-word‘s posting about a study of why men ‘interpret’ women’s behavior and language as “yes.”


  1. Arkhilokhus said,

    Hey LindaBeth,

    As a sort of companion to that studt referenced in f-word, did you happen to see this study about recognizing sexual cues?

  2. lindabeth said,

    Yeah, I had…and like the f-word author, I’m not quite sure what to make of all this. I’d like to ponder for a bit an do a little more research, and I’ll probably do a more thought-out post this summer. For example, one of the things that has seemed unacknowledged in the articles at least (haven’t looked at the study) is the way that women’s responses are often made in an effort to minimize potential conflicts or consequences that arise from flat-out “no”‘s. And so many of the responses to these have come in the form of “women should just be direct and say what they mean”, but what seems to be unrecognized is the way these kinds of situations can be threatening for women who do speak directly and firmly.

    So I think there’s more to it than what is being reported, and it seems to serve more as an excuse for bad behavior than any actual enlightenment.

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