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antifeminism antifeminist women mansplaining rape culture twitter

Christina Hoff Sommers: “If ‘bossy’ has to go because it is sexist, then shouldn’t we stop using male-vilifying terms like ‘mansplaining’ & ‘rape culture’?”

I follow a lot of truly terrible people on Twitter — Manosphere bloggers, white supremacists, Fidelbogen — so it took me a moment to realize that this dopey, backwards tweet didn’t come from some obscure reactionary bigot but from none other than antifeminist celebrity academic Christina Hoff Sommers, inventor of “equity feminism” and the author of the bestselling The War Against Boys.

Oy.

Also, I think she meant to end that with #BanBossy, not @BanBossy.

Interesting that she doesn’t seem to understand hashtags any more than she understands rape culture.

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titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@grumpycat If you want to skip through the incredibly posh bloke’s intro, Mary Bear starts at about 6:40.

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

@kittesherf – In the post and it was discussed here earlier on, I disagree with Sandberg’s elitist brand of feminism, or her implication that if women are hitting glass ceilings it’s because they’re not “leaning in “enough.
But another blogger today posted this story which suggests, no, it may be institutionalized sexism after all: http://jezebel.com/female-professor-loses-job-offer-when-she-tries-to-nego-1543018097#

I felt that the act of calling for a ban on bossy was in itself “bossy”. Yes, I’m sure I’ve said why I don’t like Sandberg’s work, but there you have it again.

FRom what I’ve seen, MRA’s seem primarily interested in their own free speech and no one else’s. They seem more than happy to advocate violence against the feminists and other people they disagree with. But no matter, I’ve never heard the term “freeze peach” until now, I’m not “internet cool”. Whetever.

katz
6 years ago

Jennydevildoll is losing her grasp on punctuation. Not a good sign.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Jesus H Christ. What part of “diva is widely used as a gendered insult” is so fucking hard to understand?

Talk about deja vu. Every time a gendered slur is mentioned, jennydevildoll protests that she doesn’t use it that way, that her nice friends don’t use it that way, that she’s seldom/never seen it used that way. Somehow this seems to lead to the notion that the people pointing it out (Sandberg, commenters here) are the people using it that way.

Who was it said above that the confirmation bias is strong in this one? Never was truer word written.

Well, except that MRAs are douchecanoes.

And that kitties are teh cute.

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

@hellkell – email from lurkers? Not particularly. But I’m not really looking to base what I do or think on how many people are for it or against it.

@katz – I’m on an old computer, sometimes it gets slow or sticks, and I can’t afford a new one at the moment. What is it not a good sign of?

kittehserf
6 years ago

jennydevildoll, you seem to be dismissing the whole point about this one matter because you don’t like Sandberg’s brand of feminism. Fine, you don’t have to; I neither know nor care anything about her. This is about one word.

For them as knows their Latin: does this qualify as an ad hominem argument? “I don’t like Sandberg’s brand of feminism, ergo her comments about ‘bossy’ fail.”

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

kittehserf – No, I feel any type of crusading for bans on speech is bossy.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I am a little confused here….

jennydevildoll: May I ask something? It seems like a lot of your objection to the whole “ban bossy” thing is that 1. You don’t like Sandberg’s elitism and 2. In your experience, “bossy” is not a gendered term and 3. You see it as more effective to address the underlying sexism than the term itself.

Is this correct? Am I misinterpreting anything?

katz
6 years ago

For them as knows their Latin: does this qualify as an ad hominem argument? “I don’t like Sandberg’s brand of feminism, ergo her comments about ‘bossy’ fail.”

Sure. Sandberg’s brand of feminism may have influenced her comments about “bossy,” but the comments stand on their own.

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

@sparky- yes, well, primarily 3, then 2. Point 1 was more about why I dislike Sandberg in general, for those who were asking.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Banning bossy is more of an opt in kind of thing, and it’s more of a call to think of how the word is used. This is not a ban on free speech, nor will any one be “persecuted”” for using it. Not really a crusade.

vaiyt
6 years ago

Talk about deja vu. Every time a gendered slur is mentioned, jennydevildoll protests that she doesn’t use it that way, that her nice friends don’t use it that way, that she’s seldom/never seen it used that way. Somehow this seems to lead to the notion that the people pointing it out (Sandberg, commenters here) are the people using it that way.

Where did I see that before? Oh yeah, privileged dudebros in every discussion about hurtful slurs EVER.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Tee hee – too true, Vaiyt!

Brooked
Brooked
6 years ago

I was in NYC several years ago when it had it’s biggest earthquake in decades, which was a 3.9. Having lived in Southern CA and grown rather blasé about minor quakes, I was kind of amusing watching people freak out like it was a Mayan prophecy of world doom coming true.

@trans_commie Great to hear you found a good therapist, I’ve found mine to be invaluable.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Apparently there’s some giant fault line under Tennessee that had an earthquake back in the 1800′s. It made the Mississippi flow backwards

O.o That’s some apocalyptic shit right there.

I remember my first earthquake clearly: I was in Vermont checking out what was soon to be my university, it was like 3 in the morning, and I actually thought about getting under a doorframe before I fell back asleep (a+ disaster training, Californians – even New England teens know what to do in a quake!). Until then I didn’t even know they got quakes in Vermont, let alone 5-pointers!

There was also one in Massachusetts last year, which I actually did think was just someone driving my with the bass turned up, until I left the dressing room and everyone was talking about a quake.

You get a bit blase about earthquakes in California, but the idea of being in the BART tunnel under the bay when one hits? That’s a bit scary.

Welp, I know what my next nightmare will be about.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

jennydevildoll:

OK. Well, I would agree that challenging sexism and sexist assumptions is a very important thing to do and will ultimately be the most effective way of ending sexism and misogyny.

But I also think that the above is a big thing to do. It seems like it needs to be broken down in to smaller, concrete steps, and it seems like questioning the use of the word “bossy” is one way to go about questioning society’s views of women in leadership roles.

My experience with “bossy” is different than yours. I have only ever heard bossy used against girls. It was sort of the playground equivalent of “b*tchy.” So, does that make your experience or my experience invalid? No. It means we have different experiences if the word. There’s no way to get around that but to try to listen to each other. And I think, that if women are saying that they’ve experienced the word “bossy” as a gendered slur then that needs to be taken seriously.

You say this:

As for Alice and Bob here, again it goes back to my view that bossy is not necessarily gendered, though it tends to be more unfairly used against girls simply for being assertive, headstrong, or confident, and that should be reexamined.

Maybe that’s part of the disagreement? “Bossy” the word does not specifically refer to women and girls (like a word like “b*tch” refers pretty directly to) but “can be” gender neutral. However, it is used more often as a perjorative for girls. So, to me, that would make the term very problematic, not because of the definition of the term but the way it is most often used.

Again, I think you’re right that we need to be challenging the stereotypes that boys are assertive leaders and girls are little miss bossy-pants. But I think challenging those assumptions by challenging a specific is an effective strategy. One strategy, but not the only one.

Also Alice expressed a thought that people shouldn’t do it, she didn’t say to ban it.

I think that’s what people have been trying to say all along. That “bossy” is a word that shouldn’t be used, not that people are going to get persecuted for using it.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

Doesn’t mean I have to suddenly take it as a gendered slur EVERY time it’s spoken, especially when it’s not given in the context of an insult.

Well, this is a concrete example of misunderstanding what was said.

You claimed that you didn’t realise it was an insult. I said it was sometimes used as an insult, and the fact that it has a ‘correct’ dictionary meaning doesn’t make it less of a gendered slur when it is used with the slang meaning. I never claimed that it was impossible to use respectfully, just that often it is used as a gendered slur.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Brooked

Having lived in Southern CA and grown rather blasé about minor quakes, I was kind of amusing watching people freak out like it was a Mayan prophecy of world doom coming true.

This is pretty much how folks in Texas reacted to snow. It was like, “WHITE SHIT IS COMING FROM THE SKYYYYY THE END DAYS ARE UPON US AAAAAAH”

And then I moved to Boston, where snow was the White Nuisance.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@jenniferdevildoll

You might listen to Mary Beard’s lecture and reflect her comments on the use of words to negatively describe women’s speech and so trivialise women’s opinions. And then you might reflect on how words like “bossy” are used to negatively describe women’s positive behaviour and so trivialise the women.

“Bossy” is such a minor piffling word, a mere pinprick compared with “bitch” and “slut” and “cunt”. Compared to “princess” and “cupcake”. Or “ugly”, “frigid”, “spinster”. Myself, I was surprised at the campaign. But then I listened to what other women were saying & I realised that it is exactly the words like “bossy” which do so much harm with their minor piffling pin pricks so small that you might not even remember them, so small that it is difficult to argue against them because you then seem like you’re making a big fuss about nothing, so small that you don’t realise the poisonous cumulative effect that has already told you that you, a girl,cannot be a natural leader, should not be assertive, will not be listened to.

So you can carry on calling other women “bossy” and denying there is any gendered link. Or you can try using better clearer language instead (why do you think the “bossy” person has overstepped their authority? why are they wrong?) and question its use by others.

I know which path I’ve chosen.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Or “ugly”, “frigid”, “spinster”.

Isn’t SPINSTER meant to be in all caps?

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

Well said titianblue.

I would add that just because some women develop a thick enough skin to not feel the pin pricks (like jennydevildoll’s immunity to being called a bitch) that doesn’t mean other women can, or should have to.

There’s no concrete definition of what makes a woman a bitch beyond it displeases someone somewhere.

Is actually a rock solid concrete damn definition.

Except you missed the last bit “and that makes her a horrible person and not a proper woman”

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ emilygoddess

Those tunnels are full of rats. Rats that will be scared and confused, while you’re trying to step over/through them in the dark without stepping on them as you attempt to walk out of the tunnel alongside lots of other confused, scared, clumsy people.

This nightmare brought to you courtesy of the stuff that I think about when the train stops in the tunnel under the Bay for other, non-earthquake-related reasons.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ titianblue

It’s the death by a thousand cuts, isn’t it? Extra frustrating when it’s people who claim to be on your side who’re making some of those cuts, which is part of why so many people are getting annoyed with Jenny in this thread.

Brooked
Brooked
6 years ago

Isn’t SPINSTER meant to be in all caps?

It has to be in order for it to be successfully used as utterly devastating condemnation of unmarried women over 30.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Those tunnels are full of rats. Rats that will be scared and confused, while you’re trying to step over/through them in the dark without stepping on them as you attempt to walk out of the tunnel alongside lots of other confused, scared, clumsy people.

This nightmare brought to you courtesy of the stuff that I think about when the train stops in the tunnel under the Bay for other, non-earthquake-related reasons.

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH

kittehserf
6 years ago

Isn’t SPINSTER meant to be in all caps?

It has to be in order for it to be successfully used as utterly devastating condemnation of unmarried women over 30.

Truth! It’s so devastating I used it for our Manboobz Ravelry group.

/advert

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

Funny how SPINSTER felt more like a pinheaded prick than a pin prick.

There was an earthquake centered in Virginia about 3 years ago that was felt all the way up here in northern New England. I was pregnant with the twins and browsing on Amazon, looking at bouncy seats for babies, when all of a sudden my chair started swaying back and forth. My first thought was “Wow! They’re really making the internet realistic nowadays.”

I was a little disappointed when I found out later it was just an earthquake.

katz
6 years ago

I didn’t need to sleep tonight anyway…

kittehserf
6 years ago

Funny how SPINSTER felt more like a pinheaded prick than a pin prick.

::mops coffee off monitor::

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

@sparky – thank you for taking time to respond without any veiled digs at my disorder, for starters. That is much appreciated.

I’m sorry you had the experience as a kid of bossy being used exclusively for girls. I do definitely think that should be challenged. I agree with you that people having different experiences does not negate the experience of either person. I think you maybe hit the crux of the disagreement when you wrote:

Maybe that’s part of the disagreement? “Bossy” the word does not specifically refer to women and girls (like a word like “b*tch” refers pretty directly to) but “can be” gender neutral. However, it is used more often as a perjorative for girls. So, to me, that would make the term very problematic, not because of the definition of the term but the way it is most often used.

This sums up both sides of the argument, that while it can be gender-neutral, very often it’s not used that way. Maybe I was overly focused on “teach people not to use it incorrectly” without being aware of the impact it has made all the times it has been used incorrectly. Maybe it would be good to teach kids not only that girls being assertive or leaders doesn’t make them bossy, but also to talk to them about why people may come at you with certain words that are unfair, that it can have more to do with them than you. That could be another way of helping them develop a stronger sense of self, to not get into defining themselves as others define them. As you said, there doesn’t only need to be one strategy for tackling this stuff.

I’d also think it could be good for children who are maybe questioning their gender at an early age, as some do, to not constantly hear reinforcements of “this gender is this, that gender is that”.

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

I never claimed that it was impossible to use respectfully, just that often it is used as a gendered slur.

@kim – ok. Then why is hard to accept that I know people who are using “diva” respectfully, when I’ve said they are in music or performing circles, where the word originated?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

but also to talk to them about why people may come at you with certain words that are unfair, that it can have more to do with them than you.

This sounds an awful lot like asking the oppressed group being asked to cut their oppressors some slack. It can work up to a point, but it really doesn’t fix the issue.

I don’t know who made veiled digs at your disorder, WTF is this now?

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

@titianblue – I think someone said it doesn’t play for people outside of the UK? But I will gladly read the transcript.

katz
6 years ago

Then why is hard to accept that I know people who are using “diva” respectfully, when I’ve said they are in music or performing circles, where the word originated?

This is you not following the conversation. People previously said:

Shockingly, it is possible for a word to be used in it’s positive/neutral original meaning and still be a gendered slur when it’s used for it’s alternative meaning.

Noone has said you can’t talk about a lead soprano as a diva.

So again: No one has said you can’t talk about a lead soprano as a diva. No one has you “have to suddenly take it as a gendered slur EVERY time it’s spoken”.

But, much like “‘ban bossy’ doesn’t mean ‘make it illegal to say the word ‘bossy'”, it appears that no matter how many times it is said, you will never notice it.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I don’t know who made veiled digs at your disorder, WTF is this now?

Seconded.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

*is just watching this whole conversation unfold, since he has nothing to add but is kind of fascinated anyway because how the hell did this start again?*

jennydevildoll
6 years ago

@hellkell – No I don’t want them to cut oppressors any slack. I thought it might be good to explain that this is something people may do, and not let it define their sense of self, to build them up, so that they feel stronger and safer challenging things if they need to.

I’ve mentioned here in the past, about having mental health issues and earlier in this thread mentioned to someone (can’t remember who) that I live on disability. In full disclosure, my diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder with depressive features. Yes, sometimes it creates psychotic breaks in which it becomes painful or paralyzing to communicate, either verbally or through writing. So yes, I start hearing cracks about incoherence or poor typing and I go into times people have used this against me. However, to be clear, I’m not saying that sza is behind anything here…just a huge disagreement and a computer in bad need of an upgrade.

katz
6 years ago

LBT: It started when jenny posted a rebuttal of sorts.

hippodameia8527
hippodameia8527
6 years ago

I was also in Seattle for the Nisqually quake. I worked in a building on the edge of Lake Union, and when the shaking didn’t stop and didn’t stop all I could think of was the ground was going to liquefy and we’d all die. And I really hated that job.

We lived. 🙂 Of course, the earthquake did shake loose all the asbestos in the building, but we weren’t supposed to know that.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Hippodameia: I was in a building on Broadway and Pine, at first I thought a semi was coming up Pine. Then I saw the light poles swaying.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Well, jennydevildoll, you haven’t exactly shown familiarity with anyone else here despite having read for quite a while, so why would you expect us to remember you’ve mentioned previously that you have mental issues? For that matter, surely you know this place well enough to know that ableism doesn’t fly here.

“Living on disability” doesn’t automatically imply mental issues.

hippodameia8527
hippodameia8527
6 years ago

I understand the people up in the Space Needle had an exciting time . . .

My mother told me that one of the dogs freaked out and had to be sat upon. The other simply barked her disapproval until the shaking stopped.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

’ve mentioned here in the past, about having mental health issues and earlier in this thread mentioned to someone (can’t remember who) that I live on disability.

I don’t even know what to say to you if you truly believe that someone HERE would dig at you about mental health issues.

katz
6 years ago

I was on the Eastside, so the Nisqually Earthquake was a lot milder for us. There really wasn’t any damage where we were.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Argh, liquification. That’s the reason why I would never live in the Marina even if I could afford to do so.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I understand the people up in the Space Needle had an exciting time . . .

::hides under desk at the very idea::

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

I understand the people up in the Space Needle had an exciting time . . .

Aaaaand there’s tomorrow night’s nightmare. At this rate I’ll have the whole week booked by the end of the night (but it’ll be a nice change from the usual volcanoes, zombies and giant robots).

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’ve been dreaming about kitties all week. Every night it’s been a different New Kitty. The timing’s crap, given the $$$ are going down, but I would love love love to have another kitty.

Good bit of news today: we just got our lease to sign for the next year and our rent hasn’t gone up!

hippodameia8527
hippodameia8527
6 years ago

Sorry! If it helps at all, the Space Needle is actually a safe place to be during an earthquake. It was built to withstand up to a 9.1 quake.

kittehserf
6 years ago

The words Space Needle imply height to me, and that’s nightmare material even without an earthquake!