#293 Because of breast cancer awareness campaigns.

365reasonstobeafeminist:

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and sheds thousands of lives every year. It mainly affects middle-aged persons and many of those have to undergo a masectomy as part of their treatment. Yet, a new trend awareness advertising is glossing over what breast cancer really means. This trend centres around hetero male sexual gratification and uses language which focuses on saving the breasts, hooters, tatas and boobs rather than saving people . As Sara Florence points out:

"A campaign that utilizes images of young, healthy women with supple, and more to the point, present breasts is not exactly sensitive to the needs of the demographic it’s supposed to be supporting. Furthermore, using sexualized humor to make light of the rather harrowing experience of actually losing one’s breast to a deadly disease is really just twisting the knife.”

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So what is the problem here then?

Well, firstly there is no reason to sexualise a life-threatening disease. Breast cancer doesn’t just affect breasts, it affects people. Persons. Human lives. Secondly, breasts do not solely exist for nothing other than hetero cis male pleasure. Finally, what is the point in supporting a disease that mainly affects women, while simultaneously objectifying and sexualising their bodies? These campaigns might raise a bit of cash and awareness, but they are mainly undermining the status of women in society.

"When a campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight a deadly disease appeals to the potential loss of a sexual object, rather than the potential loss of a human life, it sends a powerful message about what our society values. The sexism of breast cancer awareness normalizes the view that women are sexual objects rather than subjects with agency and dignity."

-Beth Mendenhall.

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Worrrrd.

emmisaid asked:

Hey I hope you got a chance to read my admittedly long spiel about your Beyonce post. And was wondering if you got a chance to watch the video and if you had any thoughts on the discussion. More importantly if you thought bell hooks was condemning B.

Hello!

I just read your post; thanks for calling my attention to it. I have indeed seen the video of the New School talk and I’m happy to chat about it— especially with people like you who are critical and involved!

While I agree, of course, that intersectional feminist critiques of the [white] male gaze and the sexualization of black women are hugely important, it’s also essential to note that bell hooks didn’t merely muse about it— she said ”I see a part of Beyoncé that is in fact anti-feminist — that is a terrorist, especially in terms of the impact on young girls.” Sounds pretty accusatory to me!

I do understand her reasoning though. Especially for black women who have long-been framed as sexually available (slaves, even after abolotion!), large scale performances of sexuality like Beyonce’s should be critiqued… But not policed.

She is not a “terrorist” for performing her sexuality publicly. By telling black women they must never be sexual, shake their asses, or perform their desires in order to avoid falling victim to the male gaze, we are continuing to oppress them by dictating their bodies.

It’s important to understand that bell hooks is what we call a “radical feminist.” It’s not a derogatory term by any means, it just means that she calls for new systems, not negotiations within existing ones that are oppressive. Understanding her framework is key to further discussions on the topic.

Lately, feminists like Annie Lennox, bell hooks and Emma Watson have taken issue with Beyoncé’s sexual openness. While trying to discredit Beyoncé as a feminist, they seem to have forgotten one of the most important parts of Chimamanda’s speech in ***Flawless.

"What does a lady dress like, exactly? And who decided what a lady looks like? What bearing should one’s clothing have on one’s identification as a feminist? This is exactly the kind of misogynist policing we’ve fought tooth and claw against for decades, and to level this line of “reasoning” at Beyoncé is not only antifeminist, it is despicable." (x)

Reblogged from thequeenbey

penguiemmings asked:

I'm a feminist and I think that women and men should be equal, but is it considered non-feminist or something if I want to be a housewife? I like cooking and cleaning and I feel like I should be able to that without conforming to gender roles? idk of this makes sense?

Can a housewife be a feminist? Of course!

A feminist is someone who believes in gender equality— which is completely separate from their gender performance. There’s nothing wrong with conforming to traditionally feminine or traditionally masculine roles… Or rejecting both.

An easy way to think about it is that you should stand up for other people’s gendered choices, even when you wouldn’t make the same ones. It’s about opening doors, not closing them.

When in doubt, think of it this way:
What’s between your legs shouldn’t determine how you live your life.

kermanguy:

fuck-yeah-feminist:

divasdishblog:

"People are perfectly happy to see women as sex objects, but the actual biologic of our bodies is apparently gross and unmentionable."
- Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Female bodies must always be:
naturally beautiful (but hairless)
sexually available (but not slutty)
curvy (but not skinny, and certainly not fat)
fertile (but not menstrual)
So… good luck?

This is simple to logically smash. The same magnitude of expectations are put on men. Please, stop, you’re just making yourself look stupid.

Are men socially expected to shave their legs or armpits? Does their sexual value depend on how they shave their pubic hair?Are men shamed for having too much sex? Or is a “male whore” simply called a “player” (if even given a title at all) and perceived as the ultimate male?Are the political achievements of powerful men (ex: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney) belittled by conversations about their bodies like their female counterparts (ex: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin)? Do interviewers ask male actors about their dieting techniques on the red carpet?Are men defined by their ability to produce offspring? Or are their successes independent from marriage and children? Are they asked about their family plans in job interviews?
__________________________________________________________________
Look, men certainly have their problems. There’s no denying that fact. Masculinity is a hugely limiting construction that crushes boys and men while encouraging the oppression of girls and women. And that’s why feminist analysis of masculinity is hugely important— see the work of Jackson Katz, Michael Messner, Tony Porter, and Michael Kimmel for more.
But what’s important to note is that critiques of men are framed as failures of masculinity (aka bridges into femininity). Think of the insults: “pussy,” “fag,” “bitch”… They all equate failure with women.So yes— men are oppressed by patriarchal structures. But they also benefit from them. Gender oppression is not an equal battle.

kermanguy:

fuck-yeah-feminist:

divasdishblog:

"People are perfectly happy to see women as sex objects, but the actual biologic of our bodies is apparently gross and unmentionable."

Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Female bodies must always be:

  • naturally beautiful (but hairless)
  • sexually available (but not slutty)
  • curvy (but not skinny, and certainly not fat)
  • fertile (but not menstrual)

So… good luck?

This is simple to logically smash. The same magnitude of expectations are put on men. Please, stop, you’re just making yourself look stupid.

Are men socially expected to shave their legs or armpits? Does their sexual value depend on how they shave their pubic hair?

Are men shamed for having too much sex? Or is a “male whore” simply called a “player” (if even given a title at all) and perceived as the ultimate male?

Are the political achievements of powerful men (ex: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney) belittled by conversations about their bodies like their female counterparts (ex: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin)? Do interviewers ask male actors about their dieting techniques on the red carpet?

Are men defined by their ability to produce offspring? Or are their successes independent from marriage and children? Are they asked about their family plans in job interviews?

__________________________________________________________________

Look, men certainly have their problems. There’s no denying that fact. Masculinity is a hugely limiting construction that crushes boys and men while encouraging the oppression of girls and women. And that’s why feminist analysis of masculinity is hugely important— see the work of Jackson Katz, Michael Messner, Tony Porter, and Michael Kimmel for more.

But what’s important to note is that critiques of men are framed as failures of masculinity (aka bridges into femininity). Think of the insults: “pussy,” “fag,” “bitch”… They all equate failure with women.

So yes— men are oppressed by patriarchal structures. But they also benefit from them. Gender oppression is not an equal battle.

Reblogged from kermanguy