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  1. #1
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    Default The Sisterhood

    This topic has been on my mind for some time now, but the current thread on Bec Judd has brought it to the fore for me again.

    Are women allowed to critique each other and still be feminist? If so, under what conditions? Does the physical appearance of the one being discussed change the above question?

    Is it essentially counter-productive to the 'cause' to expect women should get immunity from intelligent, measured discourse simply bc those discussing them are also women? Now I'm not talking about hurling abuse or threats. I'm talking as I said ^^, fair criticism and discussion.

    I've just seen a pattern overall lately, on social media, on this forum, where any level of discourse, particularly of what is considered socially attractive, particularly thin women is met with this blanket of proverbial suffocation. Words like catty, b*tchy, jealous, you must be fat are readily dished out, while the canonisation of these beautiful women follows.

    A perfect example is Angelina Jolie. I've never liked her. I've always found her acting very overrated, and I've always got this strong vibe that she is quite fake. I never really bought the whole Mother Theresa thing with her, and many others didn't. But on social media, news articles, anyone that expressed reservations about her were ripped to shreds (like concerns that Pax's mother was alive at the time of his adoption and reportedly only did so bc she couldn't afford to keep him, and Angelina could have helped his life so much more by giving his mother and/or village money and resources). Women critiquing Angelina were told they were just jealous of such an amazing woman. That they were haters. Fast forward to the messy divorce which she has imo, shown her true colours. Could it be her 'vilifiers' actually were on the mark?

    Another example is here on the forum on a Gabi Grecko thread. This woman obviously goes to great lengths for attention. During her fiasco several members suggested she had faked the pg and the miscarriage for attention as she clearly had mental health issues. People were quite scathing, saying others were jealous, being mean and nasty for talking about her..... then in the next breath denigrating Edleston saying he was creepy, taking advantage of her. Both of them later separately confirmed she faked the pg and miscarriage for attention.

    Is there a Sisterhood rule where many women think any criticism of members of our own sex is off limits? Should there be? Why do we seem to come to the aid of 'attractive' women by believing jealousy is always the source? Does that not in fact reinforce the antithesis of the Sisterhood? To automatically assume any criticism of our own gender only stems from personal competitiveness and low self esteem? Why are we happy to have frank conversations about men but not women?

    There are a lot of questions there lol This thread is intended to be for genuine discussion and reflection so please ladies let's not get catty (jokes )

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  3. #2
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    I thought these articles were interesting to the discussion

    http://www.crushable.com/2014/03/04/...f-other-women/

    Being A Feminist Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Make Fun Of Other Women
    • Guys, we need to talk, because you and I seem to have a different understanding of feminism. You’re welcome to interpret it just as exactly how you want for yourself, but when you start using your own interpretation to try to shame me into never saying a critical world about my fellow women — celebrities or otherwise — then we’re gonna have a problem.
    And I don’t mean the kind of problem where I come to your house and beat you up because you disagree with me. I mean the kind of problem where we’re legitimately gonna have issues communicating. For example, I think it’s okay for me to make fun of Taylor Swift. A lot of the things she does strike me as annoying, and it’s my right to voice those opinions; an not only as a human, but also as an entertainment blogger. It’s quite literally my job. But a lot of Crushable’s readers — people whom I find interesting and informed on many other topics – have suggested that Taylor should be off-limits to criticism simply because she’s a woman.
    I actually feel you girls, as (sensible) feminists should support another woman who has the guts to openly shame and unflinchingly write about her love life despite the fact that shes beaten down for the exact same reason and not apologizing for it, and because it’s upto feminists to defend unfair judgements against a woman, even if they fairly have a few points that makes them not like her fully.
    So we should blindly support her simply because she’s a woman? Without taking into account whether she’s talented or intelligent or interesting? Isn’t that kind of insulting to Taylor? Because even though she happens to be all those things, you’re asking me to base my entire judgement of her as a person and a performer solely on her gender — and let me tell you right now, that’s not feminism.
    I guess now is probably an appropriate time to tell you what feminism actually is. Personally, I base my understanding of the concept of feminism on the definition of the word feminism. Weird, right? I’m just literal like that. According to the online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘feminism’ is defined as:
    “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”
    Men and women should be treated equally. That’s it. (Although I’d also extend the definition to include not just men and women, but all sexes and genders in between.) You’ll notice it doesn’t say anything about women giving other women immunity from criticism, anything about responsibilities being conferred on someone simply by virtue of being a member of a certain group, or anything whatsoever giving you, me, or anyone else the authority to impose their views on anyone else.
    And yet we continue to receive comments like the following, trying to tell us we’re bad feminists just because we employ an equal-opportunity policy in our criticism:
    “And don’t dare call yourselves feminists here with this kind of attitude towards women plastered all over your website.”
    I never signed a contract to keep any of my opinions to myself, even if they’re inconvenient to others — regardless of gender. I don’t see feminism as a big poofy cloud intended to protect women from criticism and comment, and I’d personally be offended if anyone tried to do that to me. Being treated with respect and honesty is my right as a woman human, even when it’s uncomfortable.
    To turn this into a real world example: as a woman, can you imagine coming out of a job evaluation with your female boss having heard only great things about your performance when you’re actually just doing a mediocre job? Wouldn’t it make you feel kind of ****ty to know that you were being more gently just because you’re a woman? Would that interaction feel empowering to you? Would it give you incentive to improve? To challenge yourself? To start a dialogue? I’m guessing probably not.
    And on the other side, if you had gotten an honest critique, what right would someone else have to come in and try to protect you from that honesty just because you’re a woman? I feel like that’s inserting the subject of gender into a conversation it didn’t figure into in the first place, and feminism is used as a mask for that way too often. Feminism means having a choice to behave exactly how you want — whether that’s as a CEO, a teacher, an astronaut, a snarky blogger, a stay-at-home parent, a best-selling artist who takes her husband’s name, or any other number of opportunities that are available to people of all genders.
    So before you yell at me for being anti-feminist just because I refuse to treat men and women differently, do me a favor and remind yourself of just how backward that concept is. Because let me tell you right now, there isn’t a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women — it’s just the regular hell for all of us, and I’ll be sure to look for you when I get there.




    Last edited by delirium; 03-10-2016 at 19:31.

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  5. #3
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    ll of a sudden, to say women should invoke their hard-won right to speak their minds—even if it means disagreeing or criticizing another woman—feels like a radical statement in the current climate, where #squad girl-types are aggressively pushing the idea that women who criticize other women are somehow anti-feminist.
    “Many third wave and liberal feminists have confused ‘personal choice’ with liberation, forgetting that liberation for women should be about collective liberation and really has very little to do with women’s individual, personal choices,” says Meghan Murphy, founder of Feminist Current, a Canadian feminist site. “This means that young/liberal feminists often confuse critiques of things like objectification, pornography, representations of women in pop culture, prostitution, etc., as ‘attacking other women’s choices’ and as therefore out of bounds.”
    Enforcing that idea is a huge problem. “What is being suggested when we say ‘don’t criticize other women’ is that we stop thinking independently and questioning the world around us, which is not a good thing,” she says.
    Related: The No B.S. Guide to Making Friends as an Adult

    Men don’t impose similar restrictions. They’re free to be critical of one another and even stupidly so—see Donald Trump’s statements on just about everything—without raising alarm among their peers. Revealingly, their opinions are never categorized as being catty or undermining; instead, they’re publicly permitted to exercise their intellect. Keith Richards recently slammed The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, calling it a “mishmash of rubbish.” Other men conceded his right to an informed opinion—no one rose up to declare Richards a misandrist, or called him out for not sticking with the brotherhood.
    On the other hand, when Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to complain about what she felt was the VMA’s preference for celebrating a certain kind of feminine beauty and sexuality (in other words, slim supermodel-types), slim supermodel-type Taylor Swift swooped in to school her.
    “I’ve done nothing but love and support you,” Swift tweeted, as if both represented a cure for the implicit cultural prejudice Minaj was hinting at. “It’s unlike you to pit women against each other,” she continued. “Maybe one of the men took your slot.”
    Though she later apologized for demanding Minaj play cheerleader for her sex—go XX!—it’s unclear whether Swift ever really got what Minaj was saying. She was offering a cultural critique that felt true to her experience as a black female artist in the U.S. Is it so hard to think that MTV, which is staffed by both men and women, might possess some form of cultural bias for skinny white girls?
    AMY SCHUMER ON HER LONDON PRESS TOUR FOR TRAINWRECK (PHOTO: BERETTA/SIMS/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)
    Comedian Amy Schumer reacted just as childishly when writer (and FLARE contrib) Monica Heisey lightly criticized some of her race-related jokes in the Guardian; Heisey felt they demonstrated a lack of cultural sensitivity. (The article was largely complimentary.)
    “I am a devout feminist,” Schumer tweeted in response—a status she seemed to think made her immune to criticism. She went on to ask for a kind of god-like deference, that people “trust” her comic instincts and “resist the urge to pick me apart.”
    Schumer obviously had second thoughts about her first reaction, though. In a subsequent exchange on Twitter she conceded the possibility that some of her jokes could be offensive. “I am evolving as an artist,” she explained via Twitter. “I am taking responsibility and hope I haven’t hurt anyone. I apologize [if] I did.”
    (PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/RONDAROUSEY)
    Not every woman wants blanket approval from her peers. MMA champ Ronda Rousey stirred the pot recently when she created a T-shirt that bore her personal slogan, “Don’t be a DNB” (DNB=Do Nothing *****).
    Rousey explained the meaning behind the phrase in an interview. “I have this one term for the kind of woman that my mother raised me to not be. I call it a ‘do nothing *****.’” She goes on to suggest that a DNB is a gold digger, someone who aims to “f-ck millionaires” rather than win her own spurs in life.
    The T-shirt, which benefits women’s charities, generated some debate as to whether or not it represented yet another example of a woman being catty or cruel or misogynistic. To my mind, the message echoes a lot of traditional feminist urgings. The crudeness of her language aside, Rousey’s belief that a woman should not rate her potential so cheaply as to sell it to some rich creep is more in line with traditional feminist ideals than aspirational Instagrams featuring supermodels and pop stars living like the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, or yet another e-commerce site with a “feminist” bent, where the thinking is more Buy Something Great than Do Something Great.
    Agree with her view or not, but what Rousey seems to understand is that a political movement shouldn’t operate like a sorority, or be policed by cheerleaders. Winning social, political and economic equality for half of the world’s population isn’t a minor-league squad goal; it’s a necessary component of a just society. Consequently we can be tough-minded, argumentative, passionate, political and critical—and we can even be wrong. Just like men.http://www.flare.com/culture/is-it-a...e-other-women/

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    Why are we happy to have frank conversations about men but not women?
    )
    I think there is an expectation of solidarity on BH, that I can sort of understand. We are all something in common (vaginas and kids). That's somewhat bonding. With that comes a desire to see the best in our fellow comrades. Which can be a positive - people rallying around a member in need of support.

    There are some downsides to the sisterhood - blind loyalty *can* lead to readers glossing over parts of a story that indicate the poster may not have been a perfectly innocent party in the issue at hand. Ie assuming the woman is always right and the hubby is an ********. Which *can* be a bad thing - if someone doesn't have a good grasp of all the reasons why something happened, the chance of history repeating itself skyrockets.

    Me - I don't care much what sex someone is. I'm loyal to my own sense of right and wrong, not a vagina or a penis.

    That's not to say someone should have free reign to say whatever they want. They shoudnt but that's the case whether it's a male or female we're talking about.

  8. #5
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    I am not comfortable criticising other people's appearances. Male or female.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    I am not comfortable criticising other people's appearances. Male or female.
    That's fair enough What about discussion beyond the physical?

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    I dont know, I think experience has taught me that judging celebrities from afar serves no purpose.

    I have had personal experience with Bec Judd from before the whole fame thing and she was lovely. One of my good friends from high school is a famous Aussie actress and several time logie winner and i see how rumours upset her and her family, another one is from a very famous family that has spent a lot of time in the news in the past 5 yrs especially and the media speculation and public judgments have led her to now live overseas (along with all her siblings). My step brother is married to one of the women in the 'lay down sally' boat from the olympics and she left the country for years following the olympics because of rumours.... knowing these people personally i can say i know a lot of the gossip spread around is downright false. So i just dont see the point.

    I am not above gossip. But doing it on a public space free for those involved to see (especially in a country like australia) seems cruel to me. Especially since 99% of the time those gossiping dont have any idea about what they are really saying.

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    It's really sad that some women judge others on looks .

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    This is an interesting topic. And a topic that needs to be discussed.

    I have learnt a lot over the years. I have made mistakes, judged people. I am still learning so much. But I think there is one important thing to keep in mind. Respect. Be respectful. Be kind. You do not know what else is happening to someone.

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnaby View Post
    I dont know, I think experience has taught me that judging celebrities from afar serves no purpose.
    I wasn't just meaning celebs, I just used them as examples as that is the topic atm.


 

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