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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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36 Responses

  1. TomSims
    TomSims February 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm |

    “It’s nearly impossible to go on a liberal-minded blog and be more than a click or two away from a dedicated feminist one.”

    Very true. They are joined at the hip.

  2. DAS
    DAS February 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm |

    I thought it was a very good documentary, but I was certainly surprised that nobody from the feminist blogosphere got even a shout-out (that I heard at least).

    1. Monique DC
      Monique DC March 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

      I found the ending of “Makers” particularly disturbing when it focused solely on very affluent, celebrity type women as the voices for what comes next. And the documentary only slightly touched on the plight of women and children in poverty. I am looking forward to women becoming more activist as more and more reproductive and work place rights are eroded. (I thought the documentary should have a disclaimer added about M. Mayer. The irony of being featured in a documentary about women’s rights and then unilateraly removing one of the benefits (telecommuting) from her firm – a benefit that helps women manage home and work. Tragic that she doen’t use her success support women – or, apparently, even be neutral with respect to business practices that enable women and families.

  3. Alison
    Alison February 28, 2013 at 12:52 am |

    Agreed – I enjoyed the documentary overall, but I was also bothered by how little they spent on the present/future. With three hours, they really could have culled a bit from the segments on the earlier years and given at least 10-15 minutes more at the end on 4th wavers, online feminist activism, new directions in the movement, intersectional focus, etc. I also found it sort of…cognitively dissonant for them to put out the old “where are the young women, we don’t see them marching” while barely talking about them at all *in the very film they’re making*. I mean…you can’t send zero invitations and lock and bar the doors and then wonder why no one came to your party.

    I almost feel like it would have been better to do four hours in two two-hour episodes, and have the first episode be about the beginnings of the movement and the big fights for the pill and Roe and the ERA and such, and then the second episode could have covered the more recent advances and changes and the current state, plus where people want to see the movement go and what we hope to accomplish.

  4. Datdamwuf
    Datdamwuf February 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm |

    I’d like to see them continue the documentary from the stopping point. What are the concrete gains and where have we lost ground laid out clearly and with interviews of the people working toward equality up to the present day.

    the anger over the ERA, I was a teenager and can remember seeing Phyllis Schlafly every where and despising her. It was unbelievable to me that this simple amendment did not pass. Over reach on the part of feminists? I noted the documentary stressed that at first feminist leaders shut out LGBT (something I was not really aware of before). This changed over time, and I can’t help wondering; if they had not made clear their support for gay rights at the critical point, when so few states remained to ratify, would the ERA have passed? Schlafly certainly hammered on gay rights the bill would introduce in her very successful work to defeat the amendment.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L February 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm |

      This changed over time

      Not so much as you think, if you’re going to use the term “LGBT.”

      1. A4
        A4 February 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm |

        Very good point Donna. Some people seem to think it stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Those other people”

        1. Datdamwuf
          Datdamwuf February 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

          If you could tell me what I’ve said wrong here, using that term in the context of the movement at the time, I’d appreciate your feedback – I guess I’m too thick to get what you mean.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm |

          DDW, Donna’s saying that trans folk of all stripes aren’t really accepted even now, while LGB people are.

        3. A4
          A4 March 1, 2013 at 7:20 am |

          My interpretation was that in implying that feminist leaders shut out LGBT people but no longer do so you were erasing the reality that transphobia is still present in many prominent feminist spaces and discourses. However, I certainly cannot speak for Donna. My comment was mainly an expression of agreement with her point though, so I wonder why you did not address your question to her.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L March 1, 2013 at 10:19 am |

          I suspect that DDW actually was addressing the comment to me, and I’ve already responded; see below.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L March 1, 2013 at 1:24 am |

        Exactly, mac. When DDW says that “at first feminist leaders shut out LGBT,” and that it “changed over time,” what you’re referring to is the hostility towards lesbians expressed by some well-known feminists like Betty Friedan (IIRC), a battle that was pretty much won when, 40 years ago?

        None of that has anything to do with the issue of the hostility towards, and non-acceptance of, trans people (especially trans women) by mainstream feminism and “feminist leaders” (to the extent that term has any relevance anymore). It isn’t as if “feminist leaders” didn’t think about trans women back then; to the contrary, a lot of them seemed to think and write about them way too much given the infinitely tiny amount of knowledge they had, and some have continued to do so ever since. Any changes with respect to the two issues have had nothing to do with each other, and certainly haven’t happened in parallel. So “LGBT,” as a collective noun, is not at all useful in this context. Unfortunately, despite the addition of the “T” to the menu, it’s still quite common — so please don’t think I’m singling you out, DDW — for people to use the term LGBT reflexively, even when it’s extremely clear from context that the T isn’t even being considered (except perhaps when organizations are trying to raise money by talking about all the violence against “LGBT” people).

        After all, even though things are obviously better than they were even 10 years ago, and there are plenty of trans-friendly feminists around (including here), I think it’s still pretty safe to say that there’s no general acceptance of trans people by “feminism.” (Not to mention that if you go back and read second wave feminist writing, there’s an alarming amount of rather amazing homophobia directed at gay men — characterizing them, basically, as a bunch of icky pedophiles constantly having anal sex in public toilets; that kind of thing.)

        Look at it this way: how often do women who appear to identify as feminists make comments here that are openly anti-trans? And how often do they make comments here that are openly anti-lesbian? Think about the difference, and there’s your answer.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll March 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

          This is exactly how I feel about “feminism” and WOC. You get the white women and Black women covered, the rest of us…well we just fall under the umbrella term of WOC. As if there aren’t significant differences or different oppressions that get ignored along with us.

          Just bring up colonization and it becomes obvious.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

          Cosign, Donna, with a caveat that the same anti-trans areas of feminism have a relationship with the L side of the community that is also pretty damn fraught – sure, it’s better to be fetishised and appropriated than erased and hated, but it’s not good. I swear if I never see the term “political lesbian” again it’ll be too soon. Also what pheeno said about non-black WOC.

        3. Datdamwuf
          Datdamwuf March 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

          thanks for clarifying Donna, I did use the acronym reflexively where it didn’t apply. I would be interested if you can point me places to educate myself on trans issues within feminism. I really don’t have much knowledge specific to this area of civil rights.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L March 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm |

          You’re right, mac; I didn’t have in mind that some of the same feminists who despise and/or ridicule trans women also take the position that being a lesbian is a political choice and action that should be undertaken largely without regard to one’s own romantic and/or sexual desires, which are a creation of the patriarchy anyway. I wonder, though, if that particular viewpoint ever really been as “mainstream” in feminism as being anti-trans. Certainly not now, I hope!

          And I completely get what you and pheeno are saying regarding use of the term “WOC.” Not that there aren’t (and haven’t been, for a long time) plenty of Black women with their own issues with organized feminism and “feminist leaders.” To say the least.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm |

          I wonder, though, if that particular viewpoint ever really been as “mainstream” in feminism as being anti-trans.

          If it ever was (I doubt it) it’s not now. Which, on the one hand, thank fuck, and on the other, it sucks that being anti-trans is still such a “respectable” part of the feminist movement.

          Honestly, I could describe myself as “lesbian with exceptions”. The Kinsey 5, basically. 50% of the reason I don’t is that I don’t want to associate myself with an identity I don’t really embrace. (The other half basically boils down to Fuck Off, Biphobes.) So when I see feminists treating being in a same-sex relationship as…well… I don’t even know, enlightened? rebellious? edgy? argh. It just disgusts me.

        6. Donna L
          Donna L March 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm |

          No problem, DDW. I’ll have to think about your question, though. The history of trans issues and trans people in terms of their relationship to and treatment by “feminism” is a huge topic that goes back more than 40 years, and I can’t think of any one place that covers it all comprehensively in a way that isn’t anti-trans. You could try reading some of the writings of Emi Koyama and Julia Serano and Susan Stryker, many of which can be found on the Internet (as well as in books that both Serano and Stryker have written).

          There’s a huge article on the subject in the online Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-trans/, but it’s a little more “neutral” than I’m comfortable with; I don’t much like the idea of an “on the one hand, on the other hand” approach to the writings of people like Janice Raymond. Purported “neutrality,” in my opinion, is often itself weighted heavily in favor of being anti-trans. Pretty much in the same way that a “neutral” article about homosexuality would be.

        7. Donna L
          Donna L March 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm |

          Also: I like Patrick Califia’s books to the extent they deal with trans issues as they relate to feminism. (Some of them were published prior to his transition, under a slightly different first name. And I can’t vouch for his writings on BDSM issues, which I basically skipped in the books of his I have, because some of it involved blood and was a bit too graphic for my faint-hearted self.)

        8. mxe354
          mxe354 March 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm |

          It’s really disturbing to see Janice Raymond’s arguments presented in a scholarly manner in that SEP entry. And the critique of Julia Serano towards the end is quite sloppy.

        9. Datdamwuf
          Datdamwuf March 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm |

          Thank you Donna, I’m going to check some of your other references before reading any more at that link. Raymond is an asshole and seeing her opinions treated as a “citation” rather than the drivel it is, is pissing me off. It does illustrate your point as to the hostility toward trans persons. I’d completely forgotten about her awful book.

        10. DouglasG
          DouglasG March 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm |

          [(Not to mention that if you go back and read second wave feminist writing, there’s an alarming amount of rather amazing homophobia directed at gay men — characterizing them, basically, as a bunch of icky pedophiles constantly having anal sex in public toilets; that kind of thing.)]

          It didn’t alarm me much at the time. But I think it did plant the idea in my subconscious that, in a feminist Utopia, male homosexuality would be eradicated (in a nice way for those who cooperated – we’d take a pill one night and wake up happily hetero or something like that).

          I definitely recall reading a fair amount of writings by Choice Lesbians, though I only ever knew personally some bisexual rounders. And then there were those nasty squabbles about which, if any, trans people would be admitted to the strictly segregated Wymyn’s Music Festivals (womyn-born-womyn – blaargh!!!).

  5. Datdamwuf
    Datdamwuf March 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

    I see your point, since the transgender community wasn’t specifically spoken of at the time, I shouldn’t have used the LGBT term. I would really have appreciated having you just say flat out what the problem was with my post. Or are you saying that the feminist movement still ignores transgender issues?

    1. amblingalong
      amblingalong March 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm |

      I would really have appreciated having you just say flat out what the problem was with my post.

      Don’t be an ass.

      1. Datdamwuf
        Datdamwuf March 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm |

        amblingalong, I think the post was stuck in mod or something, as I responded to Donna, I posted it at the same time of my first post when I thought DOH! and then I thought of the second question. Obviously Donna answered me very well indeed.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm | *

          FYI to all: comments held in moderation are timestamped with the time of comment-submission, not the time of comment-publication. It is possible for admins to manually change the timestamp, but I can’t imagine why any of us would. Other technical glitches are theoretically possible, particularly with the blog misbehaving as it has been, but I can’t verify that anything of the sort happened with this particular comment.

        2. Datdamwuf
          Datdamwuf March 1, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

          tigtog, I really don’t know what happened, I could see my second comment when I posted and after I did it I thought, wow, that is going to come across badly, but there is no way to retract the comment. Then I thought everyone was being very nice by ignoring it and concentrating on giving me info in response to the first one so that was great. again, apologies for being a bit sensitive that night.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L March 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm |

      The problem, as I think I explained, is not that the trans community “wasn’t specifically spoken of at the time.” It’s that your statement that things “changed over time” in a favorable way for LGBT people was too broad.

      I really thought I was pretty clear in my initial comment, and even if I wasn’t, I don’t think there was anything the least bit hostile in what I said. Nor was I implying that you were too “thick” to understand. When you asked for clarification, I tried to provide it; when you asked for references to things to read about the subject, I tried to answer that as well. I certainly don’t think I said anything justifying this air of grievance!

      1. Datdamwuf
        Datdamwuf March 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

        Donna,
        I have no idea why the comment shows a date of March 1, trust me – I did NOT post this comment today. I only posted in the stream above thanking you for the clarification and info. You have provided me a wealth of information that I’m exploring and I really appreciate it.

        this comment you are responding to was posted immediately after my first comment on February 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm BEFORE you explained what you meant. Yes, I was kinda taken aback by the one liner you first posted, sometimes we all get thin skinned, sorry bout that.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L March 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm |

          OK; no problem. I trust you!

    3. Donna L
      Donna L March 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm |

      Also too: in certain respects, “ignor[ing] transgender issues” would be a major improvement!

  6. Monique DC
    Monique DC March 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |

    After reading the thread about LGBT being an inappropriate label (and all the details on both sides) I find that I am regretfully still in search of a blog on women’s issues. I’m exhausted just by the microscope aspects of the discussion. Can one say anything on this topic that is acceptable? My response is not that LGB or LGBT issues are not important, but that in the vast landscape of the problems women have to confront, the energy (and evidently extreme political correctness) pointed at this internal discussion doesn’t do much to raise awareness nor move the cause of women forward. I’m sure my comments will bring even more ire and many many more posts critical of my view. Meanwhile, I will be searching for a more constructive, focused, less academic, less harsh site for contributing to the inclusive improvement of our current reality for women and families.

    1. Nico
      Nico March 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm |

      “I’m exhausted just by the microscope aspects of the discussion. Can one say anything on this topic that is acceptable? My response is not that LGB or LGBT issues are not important, but that in the vast landscape of the problems women have to confront, the energy (and evidently extreme political correctness) pointed at this internal discussion doesn’t do much to raise awareness nor move the cause of women forward.”

      Whether or not one believes energy directed towards LGBT issues can “move the cause of women forward” will likely depend on how one understands the cause of women.

      The oppression of women (by default presumed hetero) and of LGBT people ultimately share the same prehistoric roots: an essentialized understanding and defense of the reproductive order, which requires the control (aka husbandry) of female sexuality/reproductivity as its cornerstone, while requiring that non-hetero sexualities, identities, and behaviors (by default presumed non-reproductive) be contained as a threat to that order. There IS a kind of fucked logic to it.

      Yeah there’s something kind of “microscopic” about that. But anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-sex, anti-woman, anti-repro rights sentiments and politics can all be pretty easily traced back to the need to uphold the “natural” reproductive order. Is it always necessary to bring all that into every discussion? Probably not. But I do think it’s important to not lose sight of the common germ from which virtually all gender-based badness originally sprung.

      De-essentializing the reproductive order is the holy grail of gender equality. The mere existence of LGB and especially T people exposes the essentialist error. That’s why we’re discriminated against and feared and disappeared. Feminism, as a vehicle for advancing “the cause of women,” is still paying for its early estrangement.

      “Can one say anything on this topic that is acceptable?”

      I suspect not. :-(

    2. EG
      EG March 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

      Meanwhile, I will be searching for a more constructive, focused, less academic, less harsh site for contributing to the inclusive improvement of our current reality for women and families.

      Enjoy your flounce.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L March 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

      doesn’t do much to raise awareness nor move the cause of women forward.

      I guess you’ve never heard of intersectionality? “The cause of women” includes lesbian and trans women.

      And it’s hardly “extreme political correctness” to point out a factual and historical error. Even if it were, people who complain about alleged “political correctness” are usually just saying in code “please absolve me in advance, because I’m about to say something hurtful and offensive, and it’s really annoying that I’m not allowed to do that anymore without being criticized for it.”

  7. Raging Leftie (@ragingleftie)
    Raging Leftie (@ragingleftie) March 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm |

    A bit strange that they didn’t even mention the feminist blog network, can’t understand it. The future is the most important!

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