Sunday, December 9, 2007

Episode 1: Say It Ain't So Feminism

A glimpse into comments on some of the most progressive US feminist sites and blogs on the internet.

Quotes from Say It Ain't So Feminism

Here are the quotes used in Say It Ain't So Feminism, in order of performance.
Aren't they just gems?

Of course I saw his race. I deliberately married him, too, as a political statement.


If transgender advocates don’t think their lives are enough to support their political agenda, I’m sorry but that’s their problem. They don’t get to take over my life for their ends.

Many portrayals of Asian feminist empowerment come at the expense of Asian men.

As for the gypsies, their main problem is they have too many kids. Stupid people all over the world tend to have too many kids. It’s going to prove to be one of the issues of our day if nothing is done to prevent the wanton, reckless procreation of the world’s have-nots, who only succeed in passing on their poverty to subsequant generations, and thus drag us all down with them. Not pretty, but it’s obviously what is happening. Soft-headed, well-meaning but cosmically misguided “welfare” practises only exacerbate the problem.

Just for the record, I do not fear or hate these psychologically damaged boys. I pity them. I do hate that “professionals” can say they are able to magically turn these pitiful guys in a woman. As I said before, they should lose their license to practice medicine by praying on and profiting off the mental problems of these unfortunates.”

I just wonder, you know, what would happen, what would we accomplish if women spent more time fighting the causes and the issues than one another. I mean, can’t we all just get along.

This is beyond awful, and I’m incredibly ashamed of the US–though not even remotely surprised. (Maybe someone should tell them that if they send more money, fewer of those displaced persons will try to cross the border? Even if that’s total bullshit?) But my shallow self has to take over for a second here: The state of Tabasco. I had to do a double-take. Yes, yes, I’m an ignorant slut, blahblahblah, but it is kind of funny.

Race, racism is male tool. It was created and perpetuated to keep one type of man in power. If a woman supports race, she’s supporting male power.

I am currently undertaking my 3rd year dissertation at University College London on the subject of the Peloponessian War. I will soon have a degree in the subject of Ancient History. Can you say the same?

I’m just upset that attributes of femininity and feminism, are once again attributed to the thin, perfectly tanned, white female body.

I’m saying this as a women of color, which is a stupid term anyway. My color is only skin deep and I don’t define myself by it. White women are no more privileged than any others. Feminism is the great equalizer, and frankly, these women of color need to get a fucking grip.

36 comments:

kactus said...

Great job, Sudy.

ms.cripchick said...

Sudy you are amazing!!! Ah-ma-zing. Just wow.

Is there any way you can post the comments you used in the video, if not a transcript, so it's accessible to deaf/hh folk and people who don't use youtube?

Sudy said...

Ms. CC -

Great idea - THANK YOU.
Yes, I will work on it and make that accessible...

XO
Sudy

Anglofille said...

I appreciate your efforts, but I don't feel this proves anything. There are idiots from every walk of life, including feminists. I don't understand this tendency to think that all feminists are saint-like and free from all bias themselves. That's not realistic. We're supposed to be shocked when there are feminists out there who express ignorant or offensive ideas. I'm not shocked. When we set ourselves up as being morally superior to everyone else, we undermine our common cause.

http://www.anglofille.com

DaisyDeadhead said...

I just linked you, this blog, as well as your original.

Wonderful work, great to see this!:)

Elaine Vigneault said...

It would be really really really really really helpful if you provided links to the original articles and comments.

DeservingBitch said...

Wow. Great project, great work. Thank you.

Octogalore said...

Excellent, and thought provoking. Great presentation technique, too!

Sudy said...

Hi Anglofille,

Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comment "this doesn't prove anything," cuz I agree. I wasn't and am not out to prove what's already known. For me, this really was just a comical way for me to look at what's going on.

I think we'd ALL agree that regardless of creed, gender, ethnicity, class, orientation or lifestyle - there are PLENTY of baffoons out there.

I'm not looking for shock, just a laugh.

Elaine - a lot of the submissions were buried in comments, hundreds deep. For this first project, I just credited the folks who submitted them, not the actual sites. I understand how it'd be helpful. I'll keep that in mind for the future - thanks!

Wonder said...

Anglofille -

i think the point is not that feminists are supposed to be saints or morally superior.

i think the point is that some of us are making comments that are biased, and that's a problem.

I don't agree with the logic that we shouldn't criticize each other for fear of undermining the cause. if the cause is equality, than giving biased comments and attitudes a pass undermines the cause.

korman said...

How many of these stupid remarks were actually made by feminists, and not, say, random idiots leaving comments on feminist blogs?

Vox said...

Sudy, you are so awesome in so many ways.

Anna said...

Sudy, I had a really hard time with the volume on this. I had it all the way turned up, and then when you did both the "rewind" sound effect, and the last of your own statements to the camera, the change in volume was very startling.

Being that I'm not familiar with vlogging or using the camera at all, I can't suggest a solution for it, sadly.

FEMily! said...

I agree with korman. Most of the comments didn't really indicate that they were made by feminists. Nubian of blac(k)ademic doesn't even consider herself a feminist anymore, and I think the point she made about the cover of Full Frontal Feminism is legitimate (even though I don't agree with it and love the book). Every blog gets its share of idiots that just want to put feminists down. I think this video might have gotten the point across that these comments are indicative of feminism.

I'm hoping that the next installments either have more to do with the content of the blogs or you only use comments that are actually coming from feminists.

Femtique said...

I think it's good idea to do what you did. I have observed a lot of b.s. from the Feminist Forum at Live Journal, and several other feminist blogs. It's about time the truth comes out!

delux said...

Awesome. I have to say i'm amused (but certainly not at all surprised) that people are questioning how you are presenting "feminism".

belledame222 said...

korman: I remember many of these remarks from the original context, and yep, they were from self-ID'd feminists.

belledame222 said...

Nubian of blac(k)ademic doesn't even consider herself a feminist anymore, and I think the point she made about the cover of Full Frontal Feminism is legitimate

Well, yes; I think that's exactly the point of including that particular quote, you know...

korman said...

belledame222 - the video is misleading about the source of the remarks. For example, ShoutyWoman did not make the transphobic comment captioned "Taken from ShoutyWoman". I've tracked down some of the other remarks, and at least some of them are stupid comments which feminist bloggers were challenging or mocking, as in the case of the transphobic one, which actually enraged ShoutyWoman. Feminists can be bigots, and that bigotry should be challenged, but because it's unclear about who said what (and when!) this video doesn't succeed.

FEMily! said...

belledame222, no, Nubian's quote is contrary to the point that I believe Sudy is trying to make. Nubain doesn't identify as a feminist, but she still made a feminist argument. How does that expose the "disturbing" parts of the feminist blogosphere? It doesn't. And like korman said, there are plenty of people who have commented on the horrible comments that Sudy used in her video, so it's not like people are agreeing with these people.

Blackamazon said...

YOrour right femily it's not

" like" anything

Peopel did agree

who call themselves feminists and i find it interesting at how bendy and easily your willing to toss aside their identification because

It doesn't fit your rosy picture of feminism


Nubians point is contratsed by teh next point which SUDY makes plain. it's not contrary to anything.

but i find it odd that peopel are UP IN ARMS over her not indicating that their not feminists

( as if they did not self identify as one)

The video succeeds just fine if teh best you can do is to nit pick i don't understand who said what rateh rthan challenge teh very immediate and real problems the video presents with current feminism
's
un willingness to challenge it's ...

WAIT A MINUTE thats what SUDY MEANT

thanks for illustrating the point

by missing it completely

FEMily! said...

blackamazon, I'm afraid I can't really respond to your comment to me, since it's very disjointed and difficult to read. I'll try, but if I'm not following you, don't blame me.

I'm not painting a rosy picture of feminism. Like I said, I hope that later installments of Sudy's projects either deal with the content of the blogs or from comments by people who are definitely feminists. That means I would like Sudy to expose the racism, heterosexism, and general unfairness that exists in the feminist movement. Most of the comments that Sudy cited in this first video didn't really convey to me or korman that they were indeed feminists. I was giving Sudy constructive feedback to make her project more effective, not discounting her project completely. Now why would I try to help her make her point better if I had a rosy picture of feminism or if I was up in arms about this project? I actually like the project and the way it's presented, but you automatically thought I did not support Sudy because I'm not in love with this first video. I guess you assumed this because I didn't explicitly say that I liked the project, just like I questioned if these particular commenters were indeed feminists since they were vague in their position on the issue.

I hope that I clarified that better for everybody.

Blackamazon said...

No i assumed that your first concern with the project was pointing what and what not was feminist, as that was the first thing you pointed out.

So no I didn't assume I read..

And yes it is conspicuous since you claim they didn't convey who said what and most people managed to get it.

And many other people have managed to give constructive criticism oft eh project without their FIRST

instinct being

" we don't believe these are feminists cause you don't say it explicitly enough and are you sure you understand the difference"

Rachel said...

blackamazon, I'm afraid I can't really respond to your comment to me, since it's very disjointed and difficult to read. I'll try, but if I'm not following you, don't blame me.

oh, wow. You know what? Sudy, this comment just makes me more relieved and glad that you are out there doing the work that you do. Because it's very much needed.

korman said...

It's true, blackamazon - I have developed a sort of instinct. When I hear an outrageous, offensive statement supposedly made by a feminist, I go and check whether they really said it! I spent a lot of years arguing with anti-feminists on Usenet, who would not hesitate to spread slander and repeat lies. Now, Sudy is nothing like those bastards - she's not anti-feminist and she's not a liar. Nonetheless, this first video is misleading and confusing. Those fuckers on Usenet would have pounced on it and quoted it to death! I look forward to a second installment that does a better, clearer, fairer job of mocking bigotry posted by feminists.

FEMily! said...

Blackamazon, when did I ever say "we don't believe these are feminists cause you don't say it explicitly enough and are you sure you understand the difference"? You just made up that quote, even after I've tried my best to explain what I was trying to convey. You still ignored the fact that I like the project and that I would like the comments for the next installment to be either from bloggers or from commenters who Sudy knows are feminists, because I think it would strengthen her point. If I were doing this project and received a bundle of comments from a third party through e-mail, I would have looked up the comments myself to make sure they were made by actual feminists (not necessarily saying that the ones that were used aren't!) so that nobody would question my sources. It might take a long time and fewer comments might be used because sometimes comments and websites get deleted, but at least the project would be well-researched and people like me who think critically and don't accept everything as fact wouldn't be able to question it. I want Sudy's project to be the best it can be, so I don't know why it's turning into such a scandal.

Rachael, I'm going to guess that you thought when I used the word "disjointed," you thought I meant that blackamazon's communication was incoherent. Reading my comment again, I understand how it might sound that way. That's not what I meant at all. I don't know if it's my computer or the page, but the format of blackamazon's comment is physically disjointed. Parts of the same sentence are on separate lines, which made the comment difficult for me to read. I wasn't sure if I could adequately respond because I didn't know if I was understanding her. I wasn't commenting on typos or anything like that. When someone over the Internet is talking to me and I don't understand what they're trying to tell me, I tell them that I don't understand but will try to reply as best I can anyway. I don't poke fun at people's typing skills or grammar, as I don't expect people to type well or use proper grammar online.

If I were trying to insult blackamazon, I don't know how such a comment would make Sudy's project any more necessary than it already is. No one is immune to an online argument, not even (or maybe especially) with feminists. I wasn't even trying to get into one, and look what happened!

Sylvia/M said...

If I were doing this project and received a bundle of comments from a third party through e-mail, I would have looked up the comments myself to make sure they were made by actual feminists (not necessarily saying that the ones that were used aren't!) so that nobody would question my sources.

What if Sudy wants you to question the sources? In that, she doesn't want you to grill her about not knowing every intimate detail about the people commenting on these blogs, but she wants you to question where the sources of these comments get off feeling comfortable spouting bile in a progressive feminist environment.

FEMily! said...

What if Sudy wants you to question the sources? In that, she doesn't want you to grill her about not knowing every intimate detail about the people commenting on these blogs, but she wants you to question where the sources of these comments get off feeling comfortable spouting bile in a progressive feminist environment.

Nobody would have to know intimate details about the commenters. A disclaimer stating that she researched the comments she used or including links to the comments would have been sufficient. A lot of commenters have their own sites and blogs. Visiting them could indicate where they stand.

Honestly, I don't know where anyone, feminist or not, gets off spouting bile in a progressive feminist environment. But if you're going to say that these comments are coming from supposedly progressive feminists, it helps to provide support for that. While there are self-proclaimed feminists who say disgusting things, there are also misogynists saying the same horrible things on these blogs. Sometimes it's hard to tell who's who.

Mila said...

Sudy -- I admire your acting skills. It's a good video.

Feminism needs to be self-critical and discerning in order to be valid. Like any intellectual/social movement.

I'm glad you mentioned the book cover ontroversy. It can seem at times that no one reads the books, literally judging them by the cover.

I'm looking forward to the next episodes.

Lara Ayad said...

I find most of your video very revealing and telling that there is classist and racist bias in much of the feminist movement. HOWEVER, I completely agree that the cover for "Full Frontal Feminism" is completely racist and sexist in so many ways. People complain that we should not judge a book by it's cover, as if it's not important...It IS important, for maude's sakes we live in a culture driven by marketing and advertisement. Even the author of the book herself said she agreed with the graphic on the front cover so that she could "sell" the book to women who did not like feminism in the first place.
WHY should we ever have to "sell" feminism to make it "agreeable" to the misogynist masses? Sudy, you contradict yourself by saying that feminists of color should not complain about the book cover being racist and sexist...think about it.

FEMily! said...

I don't really see how the cover of Full Frontal Feminism is sexist or racist. The argument can be made, but I just don't agree with it. I think women should be able to wear whatever they want without it reflecting on their personal philosophy. If it's anti-feminist to say that rape victims who wear short skirts were asking for it, then how can someone, as a feminist, judge someone on a bookcover who is showing a bare midriff? As for the cover being racist, how? Because it doesn't have an image of a Black torso? Then people would be saying that Valenti, a White author, is using a Black body to sell books.

The foundation of that book is to show young women that feminism is relevant to them. A lot of young women say "I'm not a feminist but I believe [insert many things that feminists believe in]." Feminism should be appealing, but because of the history and media coverage of feminism, a lot of people are turned off by the movement. I don't think anyone who hates women would even be taking a gander at that section of the bookstore, so it's definitely not for them. It's for young women.

Sudy said...

Hi Lara,

I was a bit confused at the end of your comment where you wrote that I contradict myself by saying WOC shouldn't criticize the book cover?

When/where are finding this? The video points to two different opinions found in response to the controversy. I'm just not sure where you are getting that said that WOC shouldn't criticize the book.

I'm confused because I've written countless posts on my primary blog about this topic and my position is clear that I do not endorse the book, its cover, or its material as appropriate for young WOC.

Can you clarify?

Thanks!
Sudy

Fal said...

Hello Sudy,

Thank you for doing this post because I've read somethings in blog sphere on feminist pages that made me want to shake the blogger.

Shake in the figurative sense not the literal sense.

Once again thank you

angryyoungwoman said...

This is just really great. I agree that it would be nice to have links to the posts and comments (it's always good to know the back-story of a comment and how many people called the commenter out on his/her stupidity), but I figure you'll get it all in time. In the meantime, great work! I'm totally impressed with the amount of time/effort that apparently went into this.

Lucy said...

Hi,

I used to blog at 'The Shouty Woman' (www.shoutywoman.wordpress.com). I've only just discovered your site and am vey upset that you appear to be accusing me of transphobia. The transphobic statment you attribute to me was taken from a post of mine in which I was ATTACKING such comments - the original came from a commenter (afraid I can't remember who) at I Blame The Patriarchy.

I'd be grateful if you could make this clear in your video as I'd hate for anyone to think I share such hateful views.

Thanks,

Lucy

Lucy said...

Oops - URL in previous comment should have read www.shoutylucy.wordpress.com.