From Lindy West’s post for Jezebel, “If I Admit That ‘Hating Men’ Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?”, a list:
- Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
- Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
You should go and read the whole thing. It’s good.
Nancy Grace Augusta Wake AC GM served as a British agent during the later part of World War II. She became a leading figure in the maquis groups of the French Resistance and was one of the Allies’ most decorated servicewomen of the war.
On the night of 29–30 April 1944, Wake was parachuted into the Auvergne, becoming a liaison between London and the local maquis group headed by Captain Henri Tardivat in the Forest of Tronçais. Upon discovering her tangled in a tree, Captain Tardivat greeted her remarking, “I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year,” to which she replied, “Don’t give me that French shit.”
Joshua Foer, in his New Yorker article on John Quijada and Ithkuil, the Language He Invented. The whole thing is worth a read, but I ended up going down a little of a Láadan rabbit hole.
After a brief detour to Mental Floss, where I found ramine (verb), defined as “to refrain from asking, out of courtesy or kindness”, I ended up at the Láadan language’s website itself, and read through the list of Láadan to English definitions.
The two definitions above give you some idea of the thinking behind some of the words in the language, but there are far more in the dictionary. For example, búsholan - meaning alone “in the bosom of your family” - is a word for a feeling that I’m sure many people felt over the last fortnight or so. (There’s also sholalan, for “alone in a crowd of people”, and various other modifiers on the root sholan (“alone”) as well.)
I also liked the section next to eba, “spouse”: “Láadan wouldn’t allow “X married Y” or “Y married X,” which presuppose that marrying is something one person can do to another. It has to be a joint action, done together.” This seems only right and proper. The distinction between hatheril and hatherilid could also be useful.
If the point of an invented language is to try and open cracks in the way you think, letting ideas that are hard to express have a short representation (even if it’s one you can’t widely use), then it seems to me that Láadan succeeds.
I woke up this morning to two posts from Ariel Waldman on Twitter:
- Hey, @sfgate, this article appears to be completely making up that the Chinese are banning women from being astronauts: Pseudo-science in space: bring your testicles
- I don’t understand where you make the jump from “no cavities, no illnesses” to “they also require testicles” w/out any facts
I thought this was a little unfair, although the original article is also slightly problematic. As I’m no good at condensing fact to the space needed by Twitter, and anyway am private there, I thought I’d post here.
Firstly, Ariel’s point. I agree there’s probably no explicit ban on women in the Chinese space programme. However, all seven of the Chinese astronauts to date are male, as are the five other members of the 1998 group and both members of the 1996 group. Moreover, as with the US and Soviet programmes, all fourteen are pilots. Apparently the PLAAF does allow women to become pilots, so that’s not an outright ban, but I’d suggest it does mean you’re recruiting from a heavily male-biased pool.
In summary: there’s no explicit ban, but past performance implies there’s going to be far more testicles than not.
Secondly, I’m a little unhappy with this section, by Doc Gurley in the SFGate article:
NASA’s ban on women was so effective that it took almost thirty years before the first American women piloted in space. This, despite the reality that Russian women astronauts began rocketing into orbit in 1963.
It’s true that one of the earliest Vostok pilots was Valentina Tereshkova, but the idea that the Soviet Union was a bastion of equal rights in space is rather undermined by the fact that it took nearly twenty years for her flight to be followed by that of Svetlana Savitskaya.
Of course, the USSR was flying plenty of missions during that time (and after the failure of their lunar programme, logged far more time in space (onboard the various Salyuts) than the US; so much so, they still have 70% more flight time than the US). The reason for the launch of Savitskaya, I’m sure, was the imminent launch of Sally Ride, the first US woman in space; since then, the list of female astronauts has lengthened considerably, and it’s dominated by Americans.
In summary: the Soviet Union launched women largely for propaganda purposes, rather than high-minded ones.