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  1. #21
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    Default The Sisterhood

    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post

    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?
    I've never associated feminism with not being allowed to critique women. I've also never thought of myself as a "feminist", just more of a "we are all equal" kind of stance.

    I think it's natural to judge (internally) various situations and things: people/behaviour/appearance/points of view/art/music etc, and those initial first reactions can often shift when more information is processed.

    I guess what someone does with those first impressions will determine whether they are behaving appropriately or not. For example, you might meet someone for the first time with awful breath. You could scrunch your nose up and loudly exclaim "ewe" while jumping back 2 steps. Or you could smile and nod and try to hold your breath, and quickly (subtly) escape to make conversation with someone who has better dental hygiene.

    You could look at a photo of a woman and think: wow she's ugly. That's a natural reaction, and doesn't necessarily mean that she IS ugly - it also doesn't mean you are unkind. we all have different ways of interpreting and processing the information around us and often it's a reflex that we can't control. If we then go on to post on that woman's photo "you're ugly!" Then that would be cruel.

    Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think it's moot what the physical appearance of the person being critiqued actually is. I.e they could be stick thin or morbidly obese, or anywhere in between, and two different people looking at that person might feel completely opposite things about whether that person is attractive or not. But I don't see any reason why someone can't critique another person's appearance if they do it with respect.

    Especially when that person posts selfies of themselves online. I'm not referring to anyone specifically, but generally am referring to women who, whether celebrity or not, share their images with the public (for example on Instagram). There is only one reason to post photos of yourself online. To get feedback. That doesn't mean it gives people licence to be cruel. But it shouldn't be surprising when people comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    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?
    I've never considered there to be a sisterhood or that there was an unspoken rule about criticising other women.

    I wouldn't randomly go around trolling people's social media but I don't think it's "wrong" to say "I think she is beautiful" or "I think she is unattractive", and if I didn't have something nice to say, I wouldn't say it to that person (or on their Instagram for example) but if I'm watching the bachelor with DH we will happily sit together and talk about what features of which women or men we think are attractive or unattractive. I guess it's all about context, your audience and your intention. If your intention is to hurt someone, then yes it is wrong.

    Conversations about men is slightly different because (assuming you are sexually attracted to men generally), it's kind of like rating them as potential sexual partners. This is only natural. Again, I wouldn't condone going on a guy's social media and saying "put a shirt on, your body is disgusting!", but I know I've commented to my friends and online as well about how hot I think certain celebrity men are.. Who hasn't? When it comes to "rating" women, it's not really the same is it..? Maybe that's why there's such a distinction..?
    Last edited by witherwings; 03-10-2016 at 21:43.

  2. #22
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    Interesting comments girls thanks, something to mull over at 4am with a sick baby lol It's nice to have a debate without people getting offended. Just like the good 'ol BH days

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    But had that author been male (I haven't seen the thread so have no idea who it is or what was said) would you have pulled yourself up? Or would you have just said he was a tool for x reasons?

    And to be clear, of course I support everyone being conscious of our language, but why does there seem to be this unsaid rule that the constraints are much tighter when talking about women? (individuals, celebs, the whole gender, whatever)
    I don't know that until today I would have pulled myself up either way to be honest...

    As for the constraints, the best response I can think of is this (and I'm sorry that it's a crude one) - that language in general, that regular day-to-day conversation in general, has been gendered for so long that it has become subconscious for so much of society for so long, that perhaps the standards are different because women are trying to reclaim some language or trying to make up lost ground? I'm flying blind on this because I don't know much about the history of feminism...

    It's interesting that some people find the c-bomb so offensive but will happily call a man a d*ckhead. I can cop most insults but if I'm called a b*tch I do bristle and find it hurtful because the word is often used in response to a woman being strong, or determined, or assertive. It's like the way that little girls are often described as bossy where boys with the same traits are 'showing leadership'.

    So as is usually the case for me it probably comes down to semantics and the way things are said. Which doesn't mean that women shouldn't be criticised, but that we should be mindful of habits of language that bring women down unnecessarily. I would include in this referring to men as girls and pu**ies.

    Meh. I don't know.

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  6. #24
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    I guess this is gives an example of what I'm talking about. These are comments in response to a facey post about Lindsey Lohan losing part of her finger. They come so easily in our society. Some of them are SO sexist!

    And I guess it shows we still have such a long way to go because I don't think a male would be referred to like this. Maybe I'm naive but I think people that talk like this about celebs would use the same language about any woman.

    (Language warning)

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  7. #25
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    There are a lot of stupid people in the world, and occasionally they learn to create Facebook accounts and then waste their time being trolls. I don't think the comments about Lindsey Lohan are a good example of what delirium is trying to discuss, but yeah, those comments are vile. People can be offensive and stupid and annoying. I try not to waste energy caring about those people or the things they say.

    Yesterday Malcolm Turnbull's Facebook guy posted an update wishing the Australian Jewish community a happy new year. The downright stupidity that ensued was beyond belief.

    That's social media for you. If you're a sensitive soul, it's probably not the place for you (I'm speaking to the general "you", not you Harvs)

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    Fair enough. I guess I was trying to explain my response to Del's question to me because I can't word good tonight.

  10. #27
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    Default The Sisterhood

    Quote Originally Posted by harvs View Post
    Fair enough. I guess I was trying to explain my response to Del's question to me because I can't word good tonight.
    I didn't see your previous posts! Whoops it seemed kind of out of context but now i can see it.. Anyway, your "word good" made me laugh
    Last edited by witherwings; 04-10-2016 at 06:41.

  11. #28
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    Yep I knew what you meant Harvs 😉

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    Quote Originally Posted by witherwings View Post
    I've never associated feminism with not being allowed to critique women. I've also never thought of myself as a "feminist", just more of a "we are all equal" kind of stance.

    I think it's natural to judge (internally) various situations and things: people/behaviour/appearance/points of view/art/music etc, and those initial first reactions can often shift when more information is processed.

    I guess what someone does with those first impressions will determine whether they are behaving appropriately or not. For example, you might meet someone for the first time with awful breath. You could scrunch your nose up and loudly exclaim "ewe" while jumping back 2 steps. Or you could smile and nod and try to hold your breath, and quickly (subtly) escape to make conversation with someone who has better dental hygiene.

    You could look at a photo of a woman and think: wow she's ugly. That's a natural reaction, and doesn't necessarily mean that she IS ugly - it also doesn't mean you are unkind. we all have different ways of interpreting and processing the information around us and often it's a reflex that we can't control. If we then go on to post on that woman's photo "you're ugly!" Then that would be cruel.

    Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think it's moot what the physical appearance of the person being critiqued actually is. I.e they could be stick thin or morbidly obese, or anywhere in between, and two different people looking at that person might feel completely opposite things about whether that person is attractive or not. But I don't see any reason why someone can't critique another person's appearance if they do it with respect.

    Especially when that person posts selfies of themselves online. I'm not referring to anyone specifically, but generally am referring to women who, whether celebrity or not, share their images with the public (for example on Instagram). There is only one reason to post photos of yourself online. To get feedback. That doesn't mean it gives people licence to be cruel. But it shouldn't be surprising when people comment.



    I've never considered there to be a sisterhood or that there was an unspoken rule about criticising other women.

    I wouldn't randomly go around trolling people's social media but I don't think it's "wrong" to say "I think she is beautiful" or "I think she is unattractive", and if I didn't have something nice to say, I wouldn't say it to that person (or on their Instagram for example) but if I'm watching the bachelor with DH we will happily sit together and talk about what features of which women or men we think are attractive or unattractive. I guess it's all about context, your audience and your intention. If your intention is to hurt someone, then yes it is wrong.

    Conversations about men is slightly different because (assuming you are sexually attracted to men generally), it's kind of like rating them as potential sexual partners. This is only natural. Again, I wouldn't condone going on a guy's social media and saying "put a shirt on, your body is disgusting!", but I know I've commented to my friends and online as well about how hot I think certain celebrity men are.. Who hasn't? When it comes to "rating" women, it's not really the same is it..? Maybe that's why there's such a distinction..?
    You are my hero! You've said exactly how I feel but I never would have been able to write it as diplomatically as you.

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  14. #30
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    Fwiw I have found hard-core feminists to be some of the most judgemental people I've encountered, usually because they tend to have a very unwavering ideal of how the world should be and find it difficult to accept anything less.

    It is apart of the human condition to "judge" - in other words, take what they are presented with on face value and make an assessment based upon that and previous experiences. These "judgements" are largely harmless if the person is a smart, intelligent person that generally keeps their thoughts to themselves. I would never sprout my views of celebrities on fb because I think it's in poor taste and really, who cares at the end of the day what I think of Rebecca Judd. Fb makes me worry for the future, there are just so many morons out there.

    I think the "sisterhood" is a load of BS. Most people only have their own self interests at heart which is fair enough. Your "sisterhood" is your friends and family who support and love you. Not strangers online.

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