The facts are these: Joss Whedon is lauded as being one of the most forward-thinking show creators and writers currently wielding his craft today. The famous exchange between Whedon and a reporter – Why do you write these strong female characters? Because you’re still asking me that question – is bandied around the internet on a frequent basis. (Although this exchange was of his own imagining.) He’s praised for his interesting and multiform characters. Why, in these very pages, I’ve given him a share of credit myself.
He’s earned the moniker of feminist seemingly through just the creation of strong female characters alone. But, as friend and scholar Jake says, “Having a girl beat up guys is not equivalent to a strong female character when they ALWAYS, CONSTANTLY depend on men.” So true! Let’s consider some of his body of work as we undertake the Topic that Made the Fanboys Cry: Joss Whedon’s feminism.
(Although this exchange was of his own imagining.)
reminder that pointing out how someone is problematic is not the same as “hating” them
you can like someone who is problematic as long as you recognize that
I don’t want to be a feminist anymore. Like a five-year-old, I want to close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, stomp my feet on the floor and scream “No! No, you cannot make me, I won’t, leave me alone!” I am, simply put, too tired. So very, very tired.
I am tired of fighting with my friends. I am tired of arguing that someone groping and slapping my butt isn’t “what I have to expect”, just because I’m at a bar, and the one attacking my butt has a drink in the other hand. I am tired of hearing “boys will be boys” and “when you’re dressed like that …” and “that’s just what guys do”. I am tired of trying to drown those sentiments in loud, repetitive no’s, screamed over and over again, till my throat is sore and my voice weak – just to hear them repeated, as soon as exhaustion threatens to silence me.
I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of seeing someone writing something offensive, sexist, racist, ageist, ableist, somewhere online. I am tired of seeing those writings getting likes and lol’s, and SO TRUE’s. I am tired of being consumed by confusion and anger, typing, typing, typing and typing a seemingly endless response, including research, links and statistics, and then hesitate clicking “submit”. I am tired of knowing that I hesitate because I am afraid of the flood of responses that will come. I am tired of knowing that I will be bombarded with lighten up’s, stop whining’s and get a sense of humor’s for so long, that I will start to wonder if I am indeed wound up too tight, a nagger and humorless. I am tired of the fact that I’m afraid of being called a cunt, even though I don’t find genitalia insulting or demeaning. I don’t want to be a feminist anymore. (via gingerrqueer)
I can already hear the eyebrows raising.
Really, Rachel? You, who grew up a tomboy and who still dresses in guy’s clothes, want your kid to embrace all the trappings of traditional and patriarchal demands to be soft and fluffy?
Yes. Yes I do. But not for the reasons you might think.
When I was very young, my favorite color was pink.
One day, I learned that little girls were supposed to like pink. I decided that just wouldn’t do and changed my favorite color to purple. It wasn’t a rebellion on the expectation for me to like pink- no, I already loved the color. It was a rebellion against being like all the other girls, because being like the girls was a bad thing. Baby’s first instance of internalized misogyny.
As I got older, I deliberately eschewed anything feminine. I liked the term “tomboy” and often used it to describe myself. I was proud whenever the guys let me be “one of them.” I avoided shopping and dolling myself up very much. I never, ever wanted to be like “THOSE girls.” Being a girl meant being weaker, being less than. I hated it, so I tried to defect.
Once I hit college and was thrown into studies that revolutionized the way I saw gender and its social relevance, I began picking apart at my internalized misogyny. It started with realizing that slut shaming was a terrible thing to do. It eventually led to unpacking why I had been so determinedly a “tomboy” for my childhood.
I have a feminine side that I can embrace freely now. I love dressing up, doing my makeup, going shopping. That’s not to say that I’m not still strongly masculine sometimes. I am. I like the way guys’ shirts look on me and there are days when my physical language is a whole lot more manly than my face and curves would speak to. However, I’m no longer ashamed of being feminine when I want to be.
I spent a decent amount of my childhood repressing a part of myself because I associated “feminine” with “lesser.” We live in a toxic kyriarchy, it was bound to happen. I just hope that I counteract that enough in my child’s life- whatever gender they may be- that they feel like they have the freedom to be feminine if they so choose.
No more apologies.
my feminism will be mean and loud and irreverent or it will be fucking bullshit
(Source: , via the-uncensored-she)
If you could take a few minutes out of your day to fill out a survey for my sociology class, I’d really appreciate it. It’s in two parts because Survey Monkey only let me make ten free questions per survey- it’s not very long.
I’ve got too many white men complaining about affirmative action in my responses right now- I’d really like responses from people who can speak to the way racism, sexism, and whatnot affects their everyday interactions.
"Hey, I’m working on a paper about prostitution and I remembered from one of your earlier "status debates" that you thought prostitution was okay. Would you mind giving me some thoughts? I would love another source!"
This makes me intensely uncomfortable for a few reasons.
First, it appears that she’s considering people a source if they’ve voiced an opinion on Facebook. While my opinion happens to be well researched, many people who spout off on Facebook have no backing. So being a ‘source’ because I have an opinion is not a good thing.
Second, I am not a sex worker. I am also not a fount of knowledge about sex work. She’s writing a paper, not just informing herself, and she can’t be bothered to do actual research? This smacks of “oh hey mayyyybe I should write on both sides so I’ll ask the radical liberal chick I know what her opinions are” instead of actually delving into both sides of the debate.
When Moran says she ‘doesn’t give a shit’ about the representation of Black women in a TV programme, it’s important to remember her comments are part and parcel of a society that upholds white as the norm. That’s how the dynamics of race and racism in our society work, and without any critical analysis, the people who benefit from it will continue perpetuate it. Feminists included.
Hooks also wrote that ‘it’s obvious that many women have appropriated feminism to serve their own ends, especially those white women who have been at the forefront of the movement’. Caitlin Moran is just part of the problem. When feminists can see the problem with all male panels but can’t see the problem with all white television programmes, it’s worth questioning who they’re really fighting for. Philippa Willitts (via tellyfeminista)