Has Modern Feminism Weakened Women's Sensibilities?


srmaher

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Over the past few weeks, I have come across several articles and videos (See below) that rail on “the insidious nature” of cat-calling. Now, the purpose of this post is not to defend “cat-calling” since I can understand how this could be offensive to women. I do know many women that find the “hooting and hollering” very flattering as they walk down the street.


 


What I don’t understand is the hysterical reaction by these women in this video who equate a “whistle” as harassment. Below I have provided a few quotes that show the kind of mentality of those opposed to this practice.


 



"Street harassment (Cat-calling) is about ownership…It's about the idea that women's bodies and very presence in public space is not for [her]."

"Of course, a whistle on the street is not a physical attack, but it reflects the same sense of entitlement over women's bodies that could lead to one."

"Street harassment is almost like a gateway drug to other, more serious forms, of violence," Pozner said. "The idea that women don't control their own bodies is so connected to the culture that allows women to be sexually assaulted."

 


This way of thinking is the product of the indoctrination that has come from our Universities, which offer mind numbing courses in “Chicana Feminism; Studies in Queer Literatures and Cultures; and Feminist and Queer Theory.” This is just a small sample of the kind of courses offered at our universities that do nothing more than create a victim mentality in students who are taught to see men as “oppressive” and “sexual predators.”


 


I shake my head in disbelief when reading these kinds of statements. I thought modern feminism was to strengthen, not weaken women's sensibilities? I blame academia as a whole for fostering this kind of victim mentality, which leads one to see threats where none exists, or in the very least, making mountains out of molehills. Let me provide three (I could provide many more) examples that show the product of modern feminism, and then you tell me if this movement has made women stronger.


 


Wellesley College


 


The first example comes to us from Wellesley College, an all-girls school (and the alma mater of Hillary Clinton). The “Sleepwalker” was an art piece put on display on the campus of Wellesley College. This particular piece was so controversial, so shocking, that it caused “students trauma...apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault.” What on earth could produce such traumatic feelings? A statue of a man sleepwalking in his underwear. One administrator was reported to have said, “The statue presents an obvious trigger for many students, who are forced to see it outside their window before they're going to sleep,or as they're on their way to class.”


 


remove-the.jpg


 


Trigger Warnings


 


If statues of men wearing underwear are traumatic, could you imagine reading a book like the Great Gatsby, which contains “a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence?” But no need to worry, unbiased academics are busy at work placing what are being called, “trigger warnings,” on books and other academic materials. These “trigger warnings” are meant to alert students, “that the material they are about to read or see in the classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.” I am not sure George Orwell could have dreamed up something so ridiculous, but again, he didn’t live at a time when radical feminist ideology saturated academia.


 


Larry Summers Heretical Idea


 


In January 2005, at the Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce, Larry Summer, who at the time was the Dean of Harvard, spoke about the potential reasons for women being underrepresented "in tenured positions in science and engineering at top universities and research institutions." In his talk, Summer said something so outrageous, so grotesque, that it almost caused Nancy Hopkins, a Biology Professor from MIT to "faint and throw up."


 


He hypothesized in his speech that a possible reason for the “gender gap” in the math and sciences might be there inherent biological differences between the sexes and that women are more likely to choose family and children over “rigorous academic jobs.” For saying this, he lost his job and almost made Dr. Hopkins faint and throws up.  


 


Conclusion


 


These are just a few examples showing what modern feminism has produced. I find it so ironic that this movement was intended to empower women, which in actuality has caused many to see themselves as powerless victims, trapped in a sexist society run by privileged white men. It’s quite sad because I don't believe a person can be happy and at the same time believe they are a victim.


 


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Edited by srmaher
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I'd like to give you a reasoned and thoughtful response, but there really isn't one.  Your rant doesn't have any serious point worth considering.  The medical equivalent of your argument would be if I were to say, "Look, I found three cases of people who were on Coumadin and died of a blood clot.  Clearly Coumadin isn't working, so we should pull it from the market."

 

Now, if you want to have a discussion about how rape victims process their trauma and if we can or should be doing things to avoid triggering that trauma, that's an interesting discussion to have.  I might even enjoy that.

 

If you want to have a discussion about cat calling and sexual harrassment in public spheres, then we can talk.  

 

But the argument you present here isn't a rational argument; it's a red herring.  If you're going to rely on arguments like this, you're going to have to do it in an echo chamber, because the serious feminists on this board won't be bothered with this kind of nonsense.

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There are some strains of feminism (not all of it) that, I think, are descending into self-parody (I'm thinking of that Jack Nicholson line from As Good As It Gets--on how his character, an author, can write women so convincingly, he dryly replies "I think of a man.  Then I take away reason and accountability.")

 

That said--while this idea of cat-calling as a "gateway drug", the overbroad defiition of "sexual assault", and the funny numbers about the frequency of sexual assault (however defined) strikes me as a modern-day Salem witch hunt:  the bottom line to me is that cat-calling is boorish, and I'm not inclined to stick up for the "rights" of moronic churls who can't keep their mouths shut and who frankly do seem to think they have some sort of ownership interest over women generally.

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I am grateful for all the advancements our society has made in how we treat women. I think we still have a ways to go. Feminism itself has lost allot of credibility, in the same way that Teachers Unions and other Civil Rights groups have.

 

If I was a women I would not call myself a feminist. I am blessed to have women in my life that are intelligent and confident enough to not allow themselves to be labeled victims and used as pawns in social movements geared to divide, conquer and enslave us. You'd think these movements unabashed and glaring hypocrisy would be enough to cause one to question their motives but sadly for many the ends justify the means.

 

I myself have never cat-called a women ever. I've never been with a guy friend and had them cat-call someone. I don't really understand the mentality, but I think it goes along the lines of a numbers game for those who engage in it. I assume some women must respond to it, or else these guys are really crazy. Could it be a cultural thing? (so much for cultural sensitivity...lol). I've been all around the world and American men are generally much more respectful and reserved. In many cultures (French, Spanish) men don't get anywhere with women unless they go way out of their way to make their attraction known and it's expected of them. My first wife experienced random cat-calls pretty often and because of it she developed a dislike/annoyance for Hispanic and Black men. So are feminist racist?

 

If this is truly becoming more prevalent I can't help but wonder what cultural shift might be at the root. 

Edited by Windseeker
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I believe all humans have value and should have liberty and justice no matter who they are.

 

I don't consider myself a feminist in the same way I don't consider myself a racist.

 

Feminist and Racist are practically opposites.

 

A feminist advocates for equality, while a racist advocates for inequality.

 

So you don't advocate for either? You're neutral?

 

M. 

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Feminist and Racist are practically opposites.

 

A feminist advocates for equality, while a racist advocates for inequality.

 

So you don't advocate for either? You're neutral?

 

M. 

 

No both a racist and a feminist focus on their own self-interests at the expense of what is good for all.

 

Feminists do not stand for equality for all, they don't even stand for ALL women. When women are brutalized by a person, culture, religion they deem useful to their ideology of divide and subjugate the silence is deafening.

 

as for equality ... Feminist are silent on the plight of men/boys and their abysmal graduation rates, prison percentage etc...

 

So I don't advocate for either?? I'm neutral? How did you arrive at that?

I have to label myself a Feminist to care about women?

 

What does liberty and justice for all mean to you? Does that ring neutral to your ears? If it does then perhaps you ought to re-consider your perspective. How does claiming you're pro-women (Feminist) mean you care for everyone yet being pro-male, or pro-<insert race> means you advocate for inequality?

Edited by Windseeker
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No both a racist and a feminist focus on their own self-interests at the expense of what is good for all.

 

Feminists do not stand for equality for all, they don't even stand for ALL women. When women are brutalized by a person, culture, religion they deem useful to their ideology of divide and subjugate the silence is deafening.

 

as for equality ... Feminist are silent on the plight of men/boys and their abysmal graduation rates, prison percentage etc...

 

 

The general definition of feminist is a person who advocates equal rights for women. So if the cause is "women's rights" then a feminist would "stand" for all women's rights. You may perceive in your own way that that might not be so, but that is your perception. And I'm sure there are groups out there advocating for "men's rights" too. How they relate to a feminist probably varies. The bottom line is, your perception of what a feminist is, is wrong.

 

M.

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Going back to OT. There where some interesting points made.

What do feminists hope to achieve in their movements? What can be defined as offensive? Are those who are offended in the minority or majority of their demographics (ex. are the majority of females offended by whistling?)

I am a woman, and I personally find whistles less offensive than cat-calls. I think of whistles of the guy equivalent of "Wow, he's a hunk."

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Going back to OT. There where some interesting points made.

What do feminists hope to achieve in their movements? What can be defined as offensive? Are those who are offended in the minority or majority of their demographics (ex. are the majority of females offended by whistling?)

I am a woman, and I personally find whistles less offensive than cat-calls. I think of whistles of the guy equivalent of "Wow, he's a hunk."

What do you see as being the difference between a whistle and a cat-call?

Your comparison doesn't stand up.  "Wow, he's a hunk" is something you say privately to the friend who is with you -- it's not a forward or uninvited comment made to said hunk.

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Then again--my cousin (an RN) met her husband (a cop) when he accompanied an arrestee to the ER for a medical checkup during my cousin's shift; and she cousin called out to him across the room and loudly complemented his . . . err . . . posterior.

 

Different strokes for different folks?  Or is it just a different dynamic when the person on the receiving end is a male (or happens to be open-carrying a loaded gun)?  :satan:

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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The general definition of feminist is a person who advocates equal rights for women. So if the cause is "women's rights" then a feminist would "stand" for all women's rights. You may perceive in your own way that that might not be so, but that is your perception. And I'm sure there are groups out there advocating for "men's rights" too. How they relate to a feminist probably varies. The bottom line is, your perception of what a feminist is, is wrong.

 

M.

I think feminism once stood for equal rights. Now, in my experience, it stands for rights for women superseding the rights of men. It's that progressive thing, the bar always gets moved.

You may think my perception is wrong and that's fine, we can just agree that the other is wrong ;)

 

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I admit, I'm probably about as much as a feminist as most modern women even though I don't readily consider myself one.

 

Also admitting, the range of feminism is a broad one. 

 

But, generally, me and self-proclaimed feminists don't get along.

 

I'm strongly pro-life--feminists despise me for it. I do believe in a difference of the genders--one again, feminists despise me for it.

 

Now, there is a movement of pro-life feminists out there, but they aren't as loud as the pro-choice ones.

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What do you see as being the difference between a whistle and a cat-call?

Your comparison doesn't stand up.  "Wow, he's a hunk" is something you say privately to the friend who is with you -- it's not a forward or uninvited comment made to said hunk.

 

You know in movies when two guys would be hanging out and a woman would walk by, and one of the guys would do a two-note whistle? That was the kind of whistle I was referring to.

 

A cat-call is baically all the rest; the "heyyyyy sexyyyyyyyyy"s, the "come on babe's"s, and so forth.

 

Then there's honking. That is the one I encounter most frequently. Walking down the sidewalk and hearing a car give you the double honk.

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I've had this discussion before it seems. Surely there is a wide range of what is considered feminist. It is not as simple as breaking out a dictionary and defining it, because the variation is too great to define. You can argue all day that feminism is simply pushing for equal rights for women, or that feminism is pushing for superior rights for women. Perhaps you can say that the more extreme feminists are not actually feminists at all and call them misandrists. The term has no real value and is poorly formed. Sexists, racists, age-ists, and so on are all based on bias toward one side, by nature of the misnomer that is feminism is a default to the assumption of being pro woman at the acceptable expense of man.

 

I don't personally care for labels anyway, but I'd much rather be called anti-sexist or equalist than feminist.

Edited by SpiritDragon
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A few comments mentioned that there are different strands of feminism, i am sure there is truth to that, but the institutions that shape public opinion and social norms (i.e., the media and academia) openly advocate radical feminism, so the other "strands" never get to voice their opinion. 

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Gummy/Estradling

I could not say it any better (estradling75), Unfortunately those like myself cant get away from the indoctrination that comes from the left. They run the educational system and the media, perhaps if i was really interested in feminist theory, i would have to "Search" it out because you will not get these "ideas" from academia or the media. Actually, they do talk about them but in a mocking way. The examples i give are things I come across in the news, i dont have to seek them out, their like low hanging fruit, easily debunked. I forgot who said this, "there are things so ridiculous that only intellectuals believe them." Behold, modern feminism.

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...I'm strongly pro-life--feminists despise me for it. I do believe in a difference of the genders--one again, feminists despise me for it.

 

Now, there is a movement of pro-life feminists out there, but they aren't as loud as the pro-choice ones.

 

Have they actually told you that they despise you, or is that the impression you get?

 

M.

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