Tag Archives: feminist friday

International Women’s Day 2017

We’ve had some of our most success, interaction, and made the most friends through being feminists. Which is interesting, I suppose, since many people have an opposite experience on the Internet.

Regardless, happy International Women’s Day!

In case you weren’t aware, the old Feminist Friday posts that we were a part of aren’t dead yet, and you can find them going on on Part-Time Monster:

In the past, I’ve talked a bit more about that project and the original e-book that came out of it:

The e-book is no longer on Amazon, I don’t think, but is still up on Smashwords. I don’t think any later ones were ever pulled together, which is too bad, but perhaps we’ll all get together and do more with it. I know I have other plans for projects like this, expect more on that soon!

For now, what would you like to see coming out of Feminist Fridays? Let me know in the comments below!

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Rage-Inducing “Soft Sexism” – Feminist Friday

A few months ago I read a Jezebel article about user-contributed experiences of what they termed “soft sexism.” I will admit this is not a concept I had really heard before and looking around I could not find a specific definition, so I came up with the below from the experiences that I read.

Soft Sexism

engrained societal and cultural gender norms that influence behavior

The reason that soft sexism is so problematic is that it can be difficult to tell whether it is just part of the engrained gender paradigm of our current culture and society or whether someone really believes that something is “women’s work” or “men’s work.” At the same time when it does happen it can feel incredibly insulting and yet frustrating because we do not know how insulting it really is. When someone is obviously sexist than we can understandably be pissed and personally I am generally able to just roll my eyes and walk away. I know this does not solve anything, but most of the time I do not feel like smacking my head repeatedly against the wall.

On the other hand when I experience soft sexism I am not quite sure what to think and just end up vaguely frustrated and annoyed.

The Fire

A picture from the beach recreation area we went to.

A picture from the beach recreation area we went to.

This experience had me ranting to David for days and even thinking about it now it still makes me angry. At David’s last job there was a work event that was in an outdoor pavilion. They did potluck style where everyone brought food or drink to share and it was just a come hang out type of event. So we go and are having fun, but it was not the nicest of days and some of us were getting kind of chilly. (I would like to point out that David worked with mostly women and some had invited their boyfriends to the gathering.) Two of the guys had decided instead of building a fire inside the fireplace in the covered pavilion they instead wanted to build it partially out on the beach. Most of the people were under the pavilion cover because it was windy and rainy. So one girl asked if her boyfriend could build a fire inside the pavilion and he said he did not want to.

No one else was stepping up to the plate so I decided that I would just go ahead and get a fire started in the fireplace in the covered pavilion. I did not have the best materials to work with, especially lacking some good kindling, but eventually I got a small fire going. I am tending to it and slowly adding logs to make sure I do not add too much too quickly and snuff out the fire. With the fire going a lot of people start gathering around to be closer to the warmth. A little time later and the two guys who had decided to build their fire out closer to the beach come in and start commenting about what a bad fire it was. Then they proceeded to take over tending the fire.

I was so pissed because while they did not specifically say it, I definitely felt like there was an element of the fire not being good enough because it was built by a girl. At the same time it was not explicitly said so it could have just been that they just might have thought a small fire was not a good fire. Just for clarification a large fire is not necessarily a warm fire. You get better warmth from really hot coals, which do not necessarily require a large fire. If you cannot tell this is still a bit of a sore spot for me because it just felt so insulting – because I know how to build a fire!

This is not the fire I built that day! This is just a tribute! [Tenacious D playing]

This is not the fire I built that day! This is just a tribute! [Tenacious D playing]

Strong Man

The other place that I have definitely experienced this type of soft sexism is when people are surprised when I am able to lift or move something by myself. Now yes, there are plenty of people who are stronger than me, but just because I am a woman does not making me incapable of doing things. Most of the time there is never an actual comment about the fact that I am a woman. More of either a shock that I lifted something myself, or an “are you sure you’ve got that?” I mean I am currently holding it up off the ground and moving it to where it needs to go, so I am pretty sure that I got it… On one level it could just be trying to be polite, but at the same time it just feels off and slightly annoying.

The other problem is that I sometimes wonder whether I am blowing it out of proportion. I know that sometimes I overreact to things, I had a really bad temper as a kid and I learned how to deal with my emotions productively. One of the things that I know I have to do is take a step back and look at a situation a second time. It can be difficult when something is not an obvious sleight, but still feels like a sleight – you wonder, is it just you?

HULK HAVE COFFEE

Because not every guy is the Hulk.

Geek Baby

Now another area where I feel like we experience some of the most sort of soft sexism is with things surrounding our wonderful Geek Baby. Some situations were people simply wondering why we did not have as much pink stuff on our registry when we knew we were having a girl.

Another issue is around the fact that even months later everyone still asks about how the baby is doing or how I am doing, but they seem to forget about David. Even though currently David is the one who is home with her full time on paternity leave. I know that I am the one who went through the pregnancy and labor and all of those shenanigans and that there are things that I could still be dealing with. At the same time as the temporary stay-at-home dad he is still dealing with a lot taking care of our child and it can be incredibly stressful. Yet, the engrained paradigm is that the mom is the one who cares for the child and so is the most consumed by it, but not the father. This is not meant as an insult or necessarily thinking that it is wrong for the dad to stay home. It is just so culturally or socially engrained into us we do not even notice that we are doing it.

Another way you can see this with interactions with children, especially babies and toddlers, is how we sometimes talk to or about them. It was a long time ago, but there was an article that discussed how we talk to girls in particularly. We need to say my smart girl, my beautiful boy, my strong girl, or even just attribute my wild child to any child. (Side note: Geek Baby is definitely going to be a bit of a wild child, I personally call her my little dare devil). If we always call girls pretty princesses and boys strong men what does that do to how they perceive their places in the world around them?

Supergirl and Batgirl onesies

And what was wrong with the characters’ colors for these?

Important

Discussing and confronting soft sexism is important because it is so hard to prove that it is actually sexist. It is not just about confronting what others do to you, but also confronting things that we might do. Part of the problem with soft sexism is that it stems from the paradigm of the culture and society that we live in, which becomes engrained into the way we think and work in the world. Like in an off-hand joke or comment that just gets thrown around a thousand times without anyone questioning whether it might be better to not tell the joke.

I think the other important issue is that if the person is truly sexist then their true colors will show through eventually. In that I mean that I don’t think most people really mean anything by the comments etc. At the same time it does point to a larger social and cultural issue that we need to keep chipping away at.

What do you think? What stories or examples of soft sexism do you have? And how do you deal with it, in yourself or the world around you? Let us know in the comments below!

A Little Something for International Women’s Day, March 8th

Maybe you’ve been following them, maybe you’ve been a part of the conversation. Maybe you just remember one of our most popular posts here and wondered what it was about. Well, last year’s Feminist Friday posts from here and other blogs have been published in an e-book!

The cover! It's a real thing!

The cover! It’s a real thing!

You can find the book, available March 8, on Amazon for $0.99. They wouldn’t let us run it for free, so we’ve decided that any proceeds will go to a charity to be determined. There is also a free version available on Smashwords.

As an e-book, all of the links are active, so you can go from pages in the book to the original blog posts, where you can still like, comment, share – all the good stuff. If you have not engaged with these posts before, be prepared! Most of them had well over 50 comments, some incredibly long and thoughtful. Some probably worthy of being their own blog posts…

The original post I wrote for it was about the Purpose of Education, which has been spruced up to include data from the poll at the end! Turning towards education for a bit made sense, as it was a topic which kept coming up in the comments of previous posts. I also added a lot of an international perspective, by referencing the documentary Girl Rising quite a bit!

We’ve written about Education a few other times here on the blog, here’s a few other good ones to take a look at:

Also, we have a whole category here on Comparative Geeks about Feminism, take a look:

One last thing. The cover was the design work of one Jennifer Miller, please check her out and if you need graphic design work, look her up for sure! And a big thank you to Natacha Guyot of Science Fiction, Transmedia & Fandom for the editing and organizing work!

The Purpose of Education for #FeministFriday

Hello, and welcome to another Feminist Friday post! After 6 weeks of conversations, which you can find information about here, we realized that we had both barely scratched the surface of Feminism – and that we needed a good starting place, an area to spend more time on. What has been decided on first for focus is Education.

I had volunteered to host a post for Feminist Friday this month, and with the topic of Education, I volunteered to get us started. We’re considering talking about Education through age ranges, from early childhood – before schools even – through childhood, adolescence, and into secondary education – and on into adult education. But before hitting any of that, I felt that the place to start is with the purpose of Education.

While this might especially mean the purpose of formal education systems, I think that the question also applies to early childhood, lifelong learning, home schooling, and any number of other ways you might consider Education. Or at the very least, I would like us thinking about these things as we consider the purpose of Education.

I don’t want to present myself as having the answer to this, either. This is a conversation starter. I have some sources I want to point out, and I’ve done some thinking and reading. I’d also like to present a bit of my personal experience with Education. However, at the end, I will have two polls – about what we think the current purpose of Education is, and what we think the purpose of Education should be. And the comments board is open – please join in the conversation! Holly and I will both be giving that a look today.

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A to Z Reaction and All The Things in April!

Last week we finished up the April A to Z blogging challenge, with 26 Character Studies! We hope you enjoyed them; we certainly had a good time writing them. Welcome to all our new followers from the challenge, and thank you to everyone who stopped by and were reading and commenting!

survivor-atoz [2014]

Of course, what this also means is we have a whole month of things that have been happening that we have left pretty much untouched. We did a post for International TableTop Day, but otherwise it was the challenge. 

And then we went on a weekend trip to Seattle, to visit our friends and occasional guest bloggers @Odorunara and @Briantific. They each did a great guest post – Leah on Hannibal, which we now have to watch (sounds pretty good!), and Brian on ESO, in which he has gotten much further than we have and has taught us much of what we know about the game. Thank you again to them, and make sure you read their posts!

So we have a ton we want to talk about and want to catch up on and share with you and we didn’t really know where to start. So, here’s some thoughts on things that have been going on we want to talk about, or will be soon!

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