wildfeministappears

A feminist perspective about the feminist perspective

Human Rights and Feminism

Today I want to talk about feminism and human rights. Not the common sense kinds of rights feminists inherently believe they understand, but the actual human rights of the world and where we are failing.

The UN’s Declaration of Human Rights isn’t complicated, but is never followed by any country. Somewhere, we all fail. But let me help you to understand what we’re dealing with.

The first line of the preamble for this declaration is as follows:

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,”

Let’s stop right there for now. Does not sound like the underpinnings of what feminism should be about? That we, as a group, should recognize the “inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family,”? There is no better place to start. We should do it ourselves before we demand it of others. Ask yourself essential questions about your own feminist beliefs. Do you truly recognize it as the basis for “freedom, justice, and peace in the world,”? Do you dignify everyone you meet, or do you degrade human beings, as groups and even as individuals? Are you mocking others for their beliefs to their face or behind their back? Can you meet them as equals, or do you pity them or even rage against them?

I don’t think there’s one of us who doesn’t think someone is beneath us for their beliefs. There’s a name in your head right now that you want to never think of again, someone who has pissed you off for their addition to the barbaric acts we’re dealing with. Someone who doesn’t treat others with dignity and respect inherent to all of us. Someone you could never reach or change; a person who has power and is wielding it , one who has “outraged the conscious” of your mind. Can you ever look at them as an equal? Can you ask for equality, true, pure equality?

Don’t feel bad about it. None of us are perfect. This Declaration is asking the impossible and isn’t meant for individuals, but for nations. It’s why we have elections, trials that specifically bring people to justice for “crimes against mankind”, prisons for actual, violent offenders. The system isn’t perfect, and we all know it. What I’m asking you is, as a person, when you meet another person, are you judging them? Are you degrading them in your head? Do you turn your head from the homeless, judge others openly on social media to rally others to your judgments, or say things that you know aren’t in line with what should be your beliefs? Do you even make those terrible jokes that you know you shouldn’t but get a great response and make you feel good anyway? I do. And I want to stop.

But let’s end on a high note with some of the articles that are just common sense for all of us.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

There are thirty articles in this declaration, and I think each of us know or can easily find an instance where these weren’t upheld by our nation. Maybe it’s because it’s too systematic at this point and we have a long way to go. But we can fight for these basic human rights everyday just by making others aware, signing petitions, or taking a stand where others won’t or just don’t. I’ll get to the rest of it later, but in (late) honor of human rights day, I want to start with you. I want to start with me. Let’s be better feminists.

Take the Power of Media Away From Trump

What’s terrifying about Trump is that he’s somehow gaining power despite having even less of it than he used to. We’ve exposed his secrets and lies, caught him on everything, and are disgusted with him when he does terrible acts. He’s shamed on television, radio, and in real life. But somehow this isn’t bringing him down. Somehow, he says morally reprehensible, ugly, and shocking things that are causing people to start frothing for his vision to work, including taking his words into their own hands and attacking people we didn’t have this level of issue with.

I’m not saying we didn’t have problems with racism, religious backlash, and homophobia before. We have and still do. We’re working on it. But his words are throwing the entire nation into such a disgusting pool of degradation that now there is no going forward. It’s a fight against a minority that’s so loud that it’s taking lives, or dehumanizing those lives, or attacking those lives, that we’ve lost control of the minority. They (including those we elected, not just normal people) are just ripping through whoever disagrees with them, disregarding law and plain sensibility.

I knew the republican party was becoming more extremist; we all did. But for their front runner to be such a loathsome, over the top enemy to our values that we can compare him to ISIS and have no problem with the comparison… They are bringing the United States down. Somehow, they’ve created a monster so insidious that it’s already starting to affect who we are as a nation. Don’t laugh at them. Don’t just be angry at them. Trump has this power because the media is on him. I know what I’m about to ask is hard. We all want to be disgusted so that our rage will carry us to the election, but the election is too far away and too much damage has already been done.

I think it’s time for a media blackout on Donald Trump. Find something in the infinite amount of news that isn’t him.  If he can’t get our attention, then he can’t get to the others. He may be the most interesting, horrifying thing you’ve ever seen, the greatest train wreck ever to watch, but that train wreck is becoming us.

https://www.change.org/p/all-news-networks-time-warner-take-the-power-of-media-away-from-donald-trump?recruiter=11664457&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg&fb_ref=Default

Turning 27

So, I turned 27 on Monday.  It wasn’t a big event; I enjoyed myself, but it certainly isn’t a major milestone.  But it did make me think about my life.  I started really considering my age.  Not just “Oh, I’m getting older!” but really where I am, and how I’m changing.

I came to the realization that there is no point in your life when you have it all together.  While I have two feet solidly on the ground, my head out of the clouds, my head managed to end up in a fog, where realism meets still not knowing what life is.

My body has crinkles in it that I now know aren’t going away.  My hips are solidly hippy, curved into that womanly form that’s ready to carry the weight of my struggles.  I have to take better care of my skin, and bouncing back from eating 15 pizza rolls just isn’t going to happen. 

My favorite clothes are getting smaller, and I continue glancing over towards the women’s section in stores, dreading leaving my junior section.  The women’s section is adulthood.  The bright colors are gone, the clothes don’t cling, and there’s certainly no pictures.  It’s like leaving the children’s books section as a preteen, where you discover it’s all words.

I know what I want from life but I don’t have the skills to achieve those goals.  There is this gap of experience that I didn’t know I had, or at least I thought I could fake the experience.  But there is no faking!  There is no pretending at this age!  I’m too old now to be clumsy or nervous.  Somehow, I should know better, and I don’t. 

I don’t mean to say that I won’t enjoy this age.  I enjoy having experience in life, having the ability to skip over misunderstandings that just don’t happen with adults.  I enjoy my relationships, my hobbies, my opinions.  I have strong opinions, and they won’t be shaken like they might have when I was younger.  I love myself and accept myself.  I don’t think I’m at a precipice of anything huge anymore; I’m settled.  But I’m settled into the middle of woman and… well… woman.  

It isn’t a question anymore of who I am; it’s a question of how to compromise how adult I can be while still being me.

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I feel something deep in the pit of

I feel something deep in the pit of my soul.  Usually, such anxiety comes from knowing a large storm is coming, but I’m out of the way of the storm, so I know it’s something else.  The earth moving, perhaps.  Such large successes that I fear are going to be followed by larger retaliations.  Opportunities lost, or missed entirely.  I’m not sure.  I just feel certain that something is going to happen.  I sense the cry for blood, and I know there will be destruction. 

Can you sense the stillness, the expectant charge in the air just waiting to crash down?  What’s coming?  Why do I feel darkness hanging heavily over us?

I’m frightened.

Texas State Sen filibusters to block abortion regulation

I’m standing with Wendy! She’s my hero.

Feminist Philosophers

Texas State Sen filibusters to block abortion regulation

And the link takes you to the live video.  It is interesting to watch Wendy Davis live.  Slow and steady.

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The Vagina Diatribe

I am not ashamed of my vagina.  I am not ashamed of my clitoris, my labia, my breasts, or my nipples.  They are not pornographic, and I will not have them censored, nor will I stand by quietly as women’s body parts are considered “filthy” or “wrong”.  To suggest that using these medically correct terms is subject to censorship is to suggest that we stay immature and ignorant of ourselves, and to be ashamed of what we are.  In order for our society to become stronger, to have the knowledge to understand that women are not sex objects, we must first get over the idea that certain body parts are not to be discussed or spoken about.

Not being able to say medically correct terms is detrimental to our society.  We are censoring pride by saying we should be disgusted with our own body parts.  We are censoring education.  We are censoring shared knowledge and experiences.  We are destroying our worth.  We become more ignorant the more we stay immature about our own bodies.

Acceptance is the first move towards change. 

 

Inspiration for this piece: http://trib.al/fN7G0nD

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“‎Rape culture is a culture in which people who have survived a violent crime are asked to laugh about it because other people think it’s funny.”

Truth.

Anti-Porn Feminists

Rape culture is a culture in which people who have survived a violent crime are asked to laugh about it because other people think it’s funny.

Found here

TRIGGER WARNING for the images below the fold, these are examples of the sexism and misogyny men display with impunity, often under their real name and with their picture attached, on social media.

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Dirty Fingers

This is going to sound revolutionary to some people (just the way I like it), so brace yourselves: My breasts are no more sexual than any other part of my body.  While they can be used in sexual ways, they are not always sexual.  My fingers can be sexual, my stomach can be sexual, the back of my knee can be sexual (there’s a spot there, trust me), but they are not always sexual, and we accept that.

I understand its ingrained in us to believe that breasts are sexy, and they can be.  But this is misused all the time.  Women are shamed for showing off their breasts because of this idea.  Seeing someone’s nipple impressions is just scandalous!  Cleavage is a crime that gets you thrown out of events!  Women are raped because the shape of their breasts are apparent, and then they are blamed for it.

But look at these fingers!

funny-fingers10My god, just look at them!  They have no sense of decency!

I know I’m being silly, but here’s the point.

My body is only sexual because of ideals of what sexual is.  Men are allowed to walk outside with their shirts off because they aren’t seen as sexual objects, but women are shamed for wearing many types of clothes, because their curves are seen as salacious.  But it’s ridiculous.  Body parts are just that: parts of our body that we were born with.  And until women can be seen as a whole person rather than parts to be judged, there will continue to be shame and displacement of blame.

Body parts are not dirty, nor are they shameful.

unmentionables

My, what a large frontal cortex you have!

Okay, I hate the “Love your body” campaign.

I understand the original purpose: to show that all women are beautiful no matter how they look.  But much like this:

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It still objectifies the fuck out of women by making it about their bodies, completely ignoring the women as human beings.  We haven’t changed the conversation of objectification, we’ve simply diverted to making it some sort of celebration.

There are a plethora of facebook pages “celebrating” curvy girls while bashing skinny girls, and more often than not it’s just a bunch of body bashing or sexual comments.

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And even in feminist circles it becomes about the body and not the mind.  Women with “non-traditional” bodies are being praised for bravely showing off their bodies in sexual ways.  But we don’t know a damn thing about that woman in her bra and panties.  Except for that she’s brave for being in a bra and panties. 

It isn’t changing the way we think about women.  The conversation is still focused on their bodies and the way they feel about their bodies.  Or the way men feel about their bodies.  Or what kind of laugh we can get from making fun of advertising that’s still happening.

Why isn’t their a better campaign?  The “Don’t objectify yourself or others” campaign, or the “Be yourself” campaign, or even the “My body shape and size isn’t your fucking business” campaign.

I’ll start.  Don’t objectify yourself or others!  You are not your body. 

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The Saturday cat is so privileged that he totally disrespects the Sunday cat’s space

Don’t appropriate your appropriation on me, appropriators! That word just lost all meaning. Good.

Feminist Philosophers

If you’re anything like me, you get annoyed by the way the phrase “check your privilege” – while it can sometimes be used to make a really important point – is so often employed to shut down disagreement, carve lines of moral superiority, and do all sorts of other similar and similarly conversationally shitty things. But do you know what? You need to check your getting-annoyed-at-blogosphere-trope privilege. And do you know who else needs to check their privilege? These fucking cats.

 

19 Cats Who Need to Check Their Privilege

 

This cat who doesn't realize there are kitties with no paws because he's ableist:

“This cat doesn’t realize there are kitties with no paws, because he is ableist.”

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