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Posts tagged "Feminism"

micdotcom:

23 women show us their favorite positions

When reality television star and fashion blogger Lauren Conrad was asked what her “favorite position” was on a live radio program a while back, the women listening held their breath. Although we take great pride in the work that we do, most of us could relate to being undermined and belittled publicly at work. When Conrad cleverly retorted “CEO,” it was hard not to aggressively high-five our laptop and mobile devices. The words “hell” and “yeah” could be heard all across the nation.

1 in 3 women has experienced some form of sex discrimination at work | Follow micdotcom 

(via dr-archeville)

If kept within the bounds of activism, action will lead only to a certain version of freedom—one that has dominated Arab feminism for the last sixty years and that has still not changed the material conditions that perpetuate oppression at the somatic and social levels. If, however, action is understood as a reorientation of affects on the basis of a careful understanding of the conditions that structure not only our social, political, and economic position in the world but our feelings as well, then other unconsidered forms of freedom can be affirmed.
Found a paper titled “Disjunctive Synthesis: Deleuze and Arab Feminism”
Historical visions of Arab women have been dominated by the Western-generated frenzy over the odalisque, the favorite subject of many European artists, such as Matisse, Ingres, and Delacroix. In Arabic, oda means room; thus, the woman of the room, or a concubine of the sultan confined to an enclosed space. The odalisque was forbidden to be seen by any other man save the sultan, whose exclusive plaything she was. In Matisse’s Odalisque with Left Knee Bent, the woman sits in one of the rooms of the harem, lounging idly, forming part of the colorful background but not performing any action. The atmosphere created is one of sensual idleness, a woman keeping herself distracted, perhaps while waiting for the sultan to visit. An epitome of available sexuality, she is a figure who appears in many forms and guises in European artwork and literature (for examples of the latter, one need go no further than George Gordon, Lord Byron, who fancied himself an eastern hero of adventures, slipping into harems and battling despotic sultans and sheiks). Her image still pervades Western conceptions of the East as lazy, sensual, exotic, and willing to succumb—the same image that Arab women writers like Ahdaf Soueif and Leila Sebbar seek to reconstruct.

dynamicafrica:

#TBT Dynamic Africa History Post: Who Was Huda Sha’arawi?

Considered to be one of the central figures in early 20th century feminism in Egypt, Huda Sha’arawi (pictured: center) was born into a wealthy family in Minya, Egypt, in 1879. She was the daughter of Muhammad Sultan, the first president of the Egyptian Representative Council.

Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, Sha’awari was raised in a harem, largely secluded from the outside world. At the thirteen, she was married to her cousin Ali Pasha Sha`arawi who she eventually separated from for seven years after he refused to leave his concubine, as per their marriage arrangement. During her separation from him, Sha’awari extended her formal education. From a young age, she was tutored in a variety of subjects and spoke French, Turkish, and Arabic. 

A pioneer and activist, Sha’awari was involved in many philanthropic projects throughout her life beginning with the establishing of the first philanthropic society run by Egyptian women, in 1908, that offered services for poor women and children. She argued that women-run social service projects were important for two reasons. First, by engaging in such projects, women would widen their horizons, acquire practical knowledge and direct their focus outward. Second, informed largely by her harem upbringing, such projects would challenge the view that women existed solely for men’s pleasure and were constantly in need of protection and guardianship by men. However, despite holding this progressive view of women’s rights at the time, Shaarawi saw the problems of the poor as issues to be resolved through charitable activities of the rich, particularly through donations to education programs. Holding a somewhat romanticized view of poor women’s lives, she viewed them as passive recipients of social services, not to be consulted about priorities or goals. The rich, in turn, were the “guardians and protectors of the nation.”

As a young woman, Sha’awari displayed defiant acts of independence. Once such incident involved her entering a department store in Alexandria to buy her own clothes instead of having them brought to her abode in her harem. In 1909, she also helped to organize Mubarrat Muhammad Ali, a women’s social service organization and the Union of Educated Egyptian Women in 1914, the year in which she traveled to Europe for the first time. Sha’awari helped lead the first women’s street demonstration during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and was elected president of the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee.

In 1910, she opened a school for girls focused on academics, rather than teaching practical skills like midwifery which was common at the time. Four years later, she founded the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women. But it was her founding of the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) in 1923 that Sha’awari is often most remembered for. The EFU consisted of upper and middle class Egyptian women, and at its height had about 250 members. The EFU focused on various issues, particularly women’s suffrage, increased education for women, and changes in the Personal Status laws. While the EFU accomplished few of its goals, it is widely credited with setting the stage for later feminist victories. She remained an active member of the EFU throughout her life and the organization remains active to this day.
Part of Shaarawi’s motivation for founding the EFU was her desire to send a delegation of Egyptian women to the 9th Congress of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in Rome, in May 1923. In a speech at this conference, Shaarawi advanced her conception of Egyptian feminism. She argued, first, that women in ancient Egypt had equal status to men, and only under foreign domination had women lost those rights. Second, she argued that Islam also granted women equal rights to men, but that the Koran had been misinterpreted by those in power. Shaarawi and the EFU maintained their ties with the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance for several years. However, in the 1930s, increasingly influenced by the nationalist movement in Palestine, Shaarawi and her colleagues began to define nationalism in pan-Arab, rather than Egyptian, terms. In addition, they became increasingly suspicious of Western feminists, and began to cast their feminist struggle in pan-Arab terms as well. Eventually, they broke their ties to the Suffrage Alliance. In 1945, Shaarawi and the EFU played a major role in founding the All Arab Feminist Union.
Upon her return from the Rome conference in 1923, and following the death of her husband that same year, Sha’arawi performed an act that will forever be remembered as a major moment in her life: she removed her veil in public at a Cairo train station. Her decision to unveil was part of a greater movement of women and was influenced by French born Egyptian feminist, Eugénie Le Brun, but it contrasted with some feminist thinkers like Malak Hifni Nasif. In fact, some say that Sha’arawi’s removal her veil, although bold at the time, has become an exaggerated part of her life as removal of the veil was never on the EFU’s list of priorities.
Sha’arawi passed away in 1947. Much of her life was penned in her memoir The Harem Years.
(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

unknownshadeof:

rosalarian:

Gonna keep a tally of messages I get from a) white feminists completely proving my point and b) people who think this comic proves feminism is worthless because I criticized one part of it. (Even despite me writing these words underneath the comic.) Then I’ll add them all up, see which column has more, and then drink myself to sleep either way.

Haha… this is why we can’t have nice things.

This comic is perfect.

(via devotedtodiversityinart)

zeezeescorner:

Obstetric fistula is a condition that occurs during a prolonged childbirth where a woman lacks adequate healthcare. It results in tearing of the birth canal which leads to incontinence and results in 90% of babies being stillborn. As a result, women are left unable to control their bodies, leading to bad body odour. These women are often abandoned by their husbands and exiled from their communities for being “unclean.” It affects 2 million women in 55 countries. The condition is mostly preventable when women have access to healthcare and education. In most cases, surgery can repair damage.

UN-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says: 

Women with obstetric fistula sometimes die in shame abandoned by their families and often suffer lifelong physical and emotional effects — but there is hope. Skilled professionals know how to treat patients. With support, those who have been ostracized can reintegrate into their societies.”

Watch this video narrated by ambassador Natalie Imbruglia to learn more about the condition & how to help.

she-hulk-smash:

Yuri Kochiyama is my activist role model because she specifically cared about and showed up for black, Latino, and Native American communities. Asian oppression was not her main focus with other oppression coming in second; her primary goal was dismantling white supremacy and she understood that fighting for ALL people of color was crucial in achieving that goal.

I am a pinay feminist but I cannot have my feminism be exclusively Asian. I have to be here for all of us and part of that is the acknowledgment of anti-blackness and shadeism in my community that needs to be eradicated. Antiblackness is a crucial component, if not the true heart of white supremacy, and if we don’t make the dismantling of that a priority in our feminism, we are operating on exclusivity and success at the expense of black people. We need to stop appropriating, stop aligning ourselves superficially, and for fuck’s sake, WE NEED TO STOP USING THE N WORD BECAUSE IT IS NOT OURS. We cannot claim to be activists if we willingly remain ignorant.

Discussion of oppression should not just cover intersectionality of individual identity, it should be about solidarity across communities.

haganenorekinjutsushi:

including the following: East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and West Asian/Middle East, the indigenous people of North Asia/Russia, and mixed race Asians
Like/reblog this post if you are a fellow feminist of Asian descent, no matter where you currently reside, so that I can follow you ^^
(I’m Korean, living in America.)

lucyandlouise:

Huda Shaarawi

  • Huda Shaarawi was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1879 to an affluent family
  • She was raised in the harem system, which kept women veiled and secluded from society
  • At thirteen, she was forced to marry her older cousin as his second wife
  • Huda refused to marry him at first ,but her family pressured her into the marriage
  • Soon Huda separated from husband and they stayed separated for several years
  • While separated from her husband, Huda was able to receive more education and became involved in activism
  • She was not happy with the harem system so she began to organize lectures for women, which brought women into the public for the first time in some cases
  • In 1908, she created an organization operated by Egyptian women that offered different services for poor women and children
  • In 1910, Huda opened a school for girls that focused on education rather than skills like midwifery
  • In 1919, she organized one of the largest Egyptian women’s anti-British demonstration
  • In 1922, Huda decided to stop wearing her veil after the death of her husband
  • In 1923, when she came back from a women’s conference in Europe, she reportedly stepped off the train and removed her veil
  • That same year Huda created the Egyptian Feminist Union, which is still active today
  • The organization focused on different women’s issues such as education, restrictions involving women’s clothing, and the organization lobbied to raise the minimum age of marriage for girls to sixteen
  • In 1927, Egypt opened its first secondary school for girls as a result of the Egyptian Feminist Union
  • In 1944, Huda founded the All Arab Federation of Women
  • She continued to be active in her organizations until she died in 1947 at the age of 68
  • Source: amazing women in history, wise muslim women, distinguished women
Every man who is pushed by his selfishness to trespass on the legitimate rights of women is robbing the rights of others and bringing harm to his country. He is an obstacle preventing the country from benefiting from the abilities and efforts of half the nation or more.
Huda Shaarawi - Speech to Arab Feminist Conference (1944)

tonidorsay:

Do not immediately defend yourself.  You defensiveness will want you to do so, but don’t.

Instead, post this picture in reply:

image

Followed by this picture:

image

And point out to them that they are not interested in an actual conversation, which you can tell by the violence and abuse their statements includes, as per the second picture.

Because they are not willing to change, and they are being abusive, anything they say in response is going to be part of the cycle unless it is an apology — and terfs do not apologize for being abusive bullies, and even when they do (because of posts like this), they are lying.

Because all TERFs and truscum are anti-LGBT, violent, misogynist, ignorant, incompetent, prejudiced, bigoted, deceitful, and dishonest, as well as opposing human and civil rights for everyone.

Indigenization often involved a rethinking of a Western idea. In India, for example, campaigns on the issue of domestic violence focused on dowry-related murders and the role of mothers-in-law as perpetrators of violence against women. Likewise, Chinese feminists extended the concept of domestic violence from the usually Western concept of ‘wife beating’ to include child beating, parent beating, husband beating, daughter-in-law abuse and elder abuse. Since women held the purse strings in Southeast Asia, the liberal feminist agenda for women’s control of the finances had to be readapted to societies where spiritual potency not wealth was the measure of status. In the Philippines, women’s health activists asked the question whether women had the capacity to make choices regarding health and reproductive health because they lacked money and access to basic services and feared the judgement of the powerful Catholic Church. In India and China, the two most populous Asian countries that experiences draconian population policies (one-child policy, sterilization programs), activists mobilizing on the issue of contraception had to fight against sex-selective abortion and female infanticide.

Mina Roces and Louise Edwards, Women’s Movements in Asia: Feminisms and Transnational Activism

The great feminist divide over the issue of whether prostitution is ‘sex work’ or ‘violence against women’ (VAW) has its Asian variant with activists lined up on both sides of these two camps. But here was another example of where the Asian context introduced new perspectives to the debate. Activists argued that poverty, sex tourism, the presence of American military bases and American servicemen on R&R leave as well as the trafficking of Asian women across national borders (all the way to Australia, the USA, Lebanon and Europe) needed to be considered in any discussion about prostitution as a feminist issue. As cities such as Manila and Bangkok earned reputations as ‘sex capitals’ of Asian for tourists looking for a ‘good time’, women’s organizations were committed to dismantling the Orientalist narrative that represented Asian women as ‘exotic’, ‘erotic’, and submissive women since this powerful myth perpetuated the view that Asian women were ‘available’ for sex. Activists from Asia not only has to debunk their local culture’s grand narratives of the feminine, they also had to destroy images perpetuated by foreigners (including colonial and imperial powers both Asian and Euro-American) who could not get beyond the sexualized image of the ‘Asian woman’.

Western white feminists have to stop acting as if something that worked for them will work for us. There are so many other factors that play into our lives. Nor is there such a thing as “quintessential ‘Asian woman’” when different religions, cultures and histories (including older and more recent political regimes and contexts) have shaped womanhood and femininity for different Asian women in different ways.

not-your-asian-fantasy:

The face of the US scientist is changing: Asian Americans now make up 14 percent of the science and engineering work force, according to recent data from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which can be found atwww.nsf.gov/statistics/seind08. With these numbers one would expect a proportionate increase in leadership positions. However, this is not the case.

In academia and federal institutes, Asian Americans encounter what some call a “bamboo ceiling,” similar to what female scientists faced 30 years ago. A diverse group, Asian Americans comprise numerous ethnicities, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Indian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islanders. All lumped under the umbrella of the “model minority,” this community faces a number of misperceptions or stereotypes—some of which work in their favor and some of which do not. (NB: not sure about this “bamboo ceiling” catch phrase but there are some legit worrying stats in there.)

dating-as-an-asianguy:

I despise MRAs. In case you don’t know, MRA stands for “Men’s Rights Activist.” You’ll often find them trolling in the comments sections of news article that talks about rape, pay inequality, depiction of women in the media, etc. 

Here are some of their familiar choruses:

"Divorce court favors women!"

"Men have to fight in wars!"

"Men have to pay for first dates and face the risk of first rejection!"

"Women are privileged because they get to cry while men can’t!"

"Women are supposed to be submissive and deferential because biology."

"Waaaah, the hot girl in class won’t give me sex even though I’m Nice to her!"

You get the idea. Mainly, they’re guys who despise feminism because it has deflated the value of the Average Guy. For example, back in the 1950s, any Joe Schmoe with a high school education and a job was probably seen as a decent catch because most women relied on men for financial support. Fast forward to now, and with so many women having post-graduate degrees and their own income, suddenly Joe Schmoe isn’t worth so much on the sexual market anymore. 

He COULD work hard to improve himself and become more of an eligible bachelor (e.g. stay in shape, read some books, learn to cook), OR he could just sit on his ass and whine about the oppression that men face these days from those women. Yeah, you know those same women who dominate all 19% of Congress? 

Anyway, my point is that MRAs are despicable people and no confident and successful guy should want to be associated with them.

So it’s much to my dismay when I see Asian guys somehow sounding a lot like MRAs when they talk about certain advantages that Asian women have in American society. For example, Asian women are more readily accepted socially and romantically by the White majority. There is arguably more positive representation of Asian women than men in the media. Asian female news anchors are a common sight because Americans associate them with positive feminine qualities. Meanwhile, when and if Asian men show up in the media, it’s usually as villains (if we’re lucky) or as anti-sexual comic relief. 

When it comes to Asian American literature, America listens to the voices of Asian WOMEN, not men. Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston are the Asian equivalents of Ralph Ellison and Langston Hughes; that is, minority writers that are presented to White Americans as being representative of their groups. It is almost certainly not a coincidence that both Tan and Kingston flatter the American ego at the expense of the Asian one, especially the Asian male one.

So in this context, how can Asian men talk about gender differences in our demographic without sounding like an MRA? It’s a very tricky situation, but here are some general pointers.

1) Don’t make it about sex

Things such as the interracial relationship disparity and Asian male stereotypes are key symptoms of anti-Asian prejudice, but don’t bring in your own sex life (or lack thereof) into the debate. This makes it sound as if your main complaint is that you’re not getting as many hot chicks as you think you deserve. That’s not a cause that most people want to support.

2) Be an ally of feminism

You can be critical of anti-Asian male prejudice AND support feminism. You can be critical of a certain branch of Asian feminism that seeks to demonize Asian men while ignoring the many transgressions of White men, and still be supportive of the idea of gender equality. If you can show that you’re an ally of feminism, then you can also neutralize the most broad-brush (and lazy kneejerk) attack against you, which is that you’re a sexist who wants to subjugate Asian women.

3) Don’t use terms like “sellout”

As a rule, you don’t want to insult or demonize people you’re trying to have a dialogue with. Sad fact is that there ARE indeed sellouts of all types who will try to fit in with the most dominant group. But name-calling ends debates before they even start, and we want to have a dialogue here.

4) Find sympathizers with non-Asian women

In my experience, non-Asian women often have an easier time empathizing with the issues of Asian men than some Asian women do, especially if those non-Asian women have had relationships with Asian men and know what kind of prejudices that we face. These women aren’t regressive anti-feminists; they’re well-educated feminists who don’t have racial blinders on when it comes to Asian issues. By finding White, Black, and Latina women who support you, you can again neutralize the inevitable attack against you that you’re just trying to figuratively bind Asian women’s feet.

5) Be an awesome person

The predictable ad hominem attack against you will be that you’re a typical Asian male loser who plays Starcraft all day and has no friends or girlfriends. Therefore, you’re just a whiner. While there are some people like that, it’s not as if Asian male discrimination only afflicts the dorks. Here’s Tim Chiou, a 6’2” handsome Asian actor, talking about how he knows what it’s like to be devalued for his Asianness. If you exhibit charisma, social ease, and a diverse group of friends, you will be given much more credibility when you speak out.