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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Mismeasure of Woman

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Author Topic: Mismeasure of Woman
seffie
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Member # 37698

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I just finished reading this book by Carol Tavris. I was wondering who else, if anyone, has read it. The theme is that because women are measured against male "norm" she is always treated as the inferior deviant from that norm. In it she goes over the actual inherent differences between men and women, and the ones that are forged by society, economics, etc. It's a terribly interesting and liberating book but I don't know anyone else who has read it!

I was just wondering if anyone here has (it seems a good place to be asking, lol) and if you know of any like-material I could read. ^_-

Posts: 3 | From: Al | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
thismoment
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Hi,

that does sound quite interesting! Have you heard of The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir? I'm reading it (in French - good practise! [Big Grin] ) at the moment, and it really is fascinating. Beauvoir discusses so many things to do with how society treats women on the basis of their sex, in such probing detail, and with brutal honesty. When I start thinking about feminism (which is a lot of the time), and what it means to be a female, or a person, or to live in this society, it tends to be shunned if I try discussing it with the majority of the people I know (eurgh, feminism, yuck! Let's run and hide... etc)... then I read this, and it's so, so refreshing to read Beauvoir. I really can't recommend it enough. It takes up a lot of my headspace, and it's not 'easy' (again, the French has some influence on this!), but it really pulls and tugs at preconceptions, stereotypes etc.

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seffie
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I have heard of it actually. Tavris quotes her a few times ^-^

I hate how feminism has become criminalized because of its most popular incarnation. The, "anything you can do I can do better" mindset.

If we could focus less on who is better and more on how to bridge the gap society has placed between the sexes, we'd be far better off.

Posts: 3 | From: Al | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I assume you mean stigmatized, not criminalized? Feminism -- the movement seeking equality for women -- isn't criminal anywhere I know of.

I also think it's important to be aware of how diverse a movement feminism is and always have been. By no means would I categorize the movement right now as "anything you can do I can do better," even though detrators often will. There are feminist women right this very moment working to get women human rights in areas where they have none, feminists working to get women equal pay, feminists working to improve women's health (ahem), feminists working to help survivors of violence and abuse, feminists working to get history better represented per women, feminists working to get women legal representation, feminists working to educate men, feminists making art, literature, feminists working in education, feminists working to help girls and young women make their own media, feminists doing SO many kinds of work -- a list like that is just a teeny representation -- which by no means come from that point of view.

In terms of other work on gender roles, status and gender studies you have a WEALTH of material to draw from. De Beauviour is a great suggestion, but if you're new to feminism or gender studies, you might want to read a bit more on the history of the movement. ManifestA, by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards is a feminist primer for young women I suggest to users here often.

[ 03-28-2008, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
orca
Scarleteen Volunteer
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You might also want to take a look at A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (that's Mary Shelley's mother, by the way) and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. Those are both foundational kind of books for two of the different waves of feminist movement. They also give you the perspective of what things were like for women at the time when those books were written and can help you to appreciate just how far we've come.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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seffie
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Heather, I think either you read that the wrong way or I wasn't very clear. What I meant to say, is that it has been stigmatized (thanks for the word, lol) because of what most people think it to be. You say "I'm a feminist" and people who are ignorant of what feminism is are going to think "ugh, you're one of THOSE". Of course feminism is a diverse movement...but that doesn't matter to the general public who is ignorant of it. I hate that it has come to the point where feminism is no longer taken seriously by so many.

I know a lot about feminism and women's rights and the history of both. I've always been a feminist of a sort, but I never agreed with the way a lot of (of course, not all or even the majority of) "feminists" do more to widen the chasm between sexes than bridge it. In some areas, gender equality has become something like a war.

I can't summarize the book here, there is far too much content. If you are interested in those sorts of things and have time you may want to read it. I got my copy for like, a few cents, on Amazon (a great place to buy used books, by the way).

I need sleep now. ^-^

Posts: 3 | From: Al | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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