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TerraPrime

Feminism redux - please read first post of thread

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Rad Fems reduce the situation of modern feminism to an us vs. them situation by pursuing more rights than males when the basic notion of feminism is equality. What sort of equality is it when you want more rights than males?


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Rad Fems reduce the situation of modern feminism to an us vs. them situation by pursuing more rights than males when the basic notion of feminism is equality. What sort of equality is it when you want more rights than males?

Please define "Rad Fems." And then please list which rights they are pursuing that males don't have.

Perhaps you could phrase it in a haiku, or iambic pentameter, so your poetry can be published.

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TKS You make blanket statements about feminism as if it's proponents speak with one voice. I think you'll find with even the most cursory reading of feminist literature that the vast majority of feminists do not want more rights than men.



Can you please give an example of main stream feminist position that in your view equates to women having more rights than men?


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LS is it impossible?

It certainly is today but can't we strive to create a world where it is not? That is what I meant. That feminism can strive to create the conditions where people do not feel restricted by their gender or sex.

This kind of lends itself to an interesting question: what would such an ideal world look like? Would no activity, clothing, attitude, or any other form of expression have any innate gender connotation? Would the ideas of masculinity and femininity cease to exist altogether? Is such a thing even possible, and if [it isn't], how far can it plausibly be taken?

ETA:

I don't mean to insinuate that this isn't a good goal; I want nothing more than to live in as close to a gender-blind world as is possible. I suppose my main point, then, is to question how much is possible.

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The problem for me, was that it seemed very obvious that cheerleading is subordinate to the sport they're cheering for. I think if cheerleading, or competitive cheering was truly transformed they'd be wearing something other than skirts? Cheering as a sport, totally fine with that... but they ought to ditch the skirts and tight sweaters.

And also, the whole Girl Scouts thing... it just made me uncomfortable.

From the badges the girls earn to the activities they participate in, just seemed like genderization at work. It just shows how profoundly inherent gender roles are in our supposedly "modern" culture.

I think this is where the rubber meets the road, and where I wish feminists were more involved.

It's crazy because in the end it was me who became the bad guy... and for what, trying to get my step daughter, and her mother to become a little more progressive. I am such a tireless champion of feminism. ;)

I learnt a lot of handing stuff scouting, and frankly the handiest things weren't the traditonal boys activities.

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LS is it impossible?

It certainly is today but can't we strive to create a world where it is not? That is what I meant. That feminism can strive to create the conditions where people do not feel restricted by their gender or sex.

Not sure I follow with what is impossible? (Don't mean to be rude, I am just not certain what I should be answering. :) )

As for the second sentence, to me that is what defines feminism. That it is so far the only movement which main aim is for us to live in a world where we are no longer restricted by gender or sex.

I was thinking about that, too. How do you determine the degree to which your prejudices are informing your decisions to wear traditionally gender coded clothing? Do you have to consciously think, "I know this clothing is associated with traditional gender roles, but I'm choosing to wear it and can take it off when I choose"?

Nah, clothes are complicated for a host of reasons, but at its basic level, it helps to ask yourself why you are wearing your clothes. Is it for a specific reason (I need to look neat and professional for a job interview)? Is it to please (if I dress like this maybe some guy will judge me sexy enough), to pander (everyone else thinks this is fashionable) or is it because you really dig your outfit (Wow this makes me look AWESOME!) etc.

The answer is normally in asking "why?" and going from there.

Apart from that I don't really see an issue with gender coded clothing per se, as long as it is not restricted. Say, men should be allowed to use dresses, golds, sequins etc. as well. so it doesn't just go one way.

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Rad Fems reduce the situation of modern feminism to an us vs. them situation by pursuing more rights than males when the basic notion of feminism is equality. What sort of equality is it when you want more rights than males?

Are you referring to Radical feminism in general, radical feminism historically (for instance Dworkin) or the internet group RadFems? Cos all of those three are quite different.

If you are just looking at what academically is referred to as Radical Feminism, it is at its basic level that even with legislation being equal, our culture and society are still inherently sexist. Giving women the vote and the right to own property etc. won't automatically fix all the issues women face. In other words: the personal is the political.

So I dunno, which group are you specifically referring to? TERFs? Cos yeah, TERFs are bonkers, but few people of sound mind would disagree with that. But then to be a TERF you really need to be a essentialist and believe in Magic Vagina Powers, so it kinda makes a backwards sort of sense.

I am actually a feminist-oriented poet. About half of the current POV voices in my poetry originate from female characters. Look, I belive n peole behaving how they want to behave. The fact that they will not behave according to the way Rad Fems dictate they should is classic Marxism. You enforce a society where women expressing their sexuality are regarded as gender-traitors, see where that gets you. "Oh, m,lud, I have been pinched on the bum by a cheerleader lately...I have been sexually abused." I mean, get a life. If you want to talk about something that matters, i'e. enforcing manslaughter sentences on people circumcising their daughters, enforcing heavier rape senteces, I'm all for it. Just don't target me as being a bigot because I don't jerk off to a photo on my wall of Karl Marx.

LOL you don't have a clue about feminism do you?

Radical feminists are criticised by socialist feminists for not including enough class struggle and politics in their works.

Terminology fail.

Thing is, if you want to throw around big words, look them up first and know what they mean. It's ok to ask, but don't run in and pretend to know what the hell anything is about. I suggest starting with some actual reading of feminist works if you need orientation.

EDIT: You could always try linking or posting some of your feminist oriented poetry if you'd like. I am sure it could prove interesting.

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[mod hat]

Oh look, one user managed to derail the thread with half the posts.

Those posts are gone now.

Let's resume/continue.

[/mod hat]

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Amusing as it may be, I REALLY don't want this thread to focus any more on TKS's poetry than it already has done. Please stop encouraging him? <br />

<br />

And sisters, we need to up our game, taking control of the poetry establishment is all very well but maybe we should try to hijack the legal system or media industry instead? :-/<br />

<br />

Oh well, it makes up for not being able to rip the heads off sabre-toothed tigers I suppose.

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So wait, who am I supposed to blame for my poetry not being published? Is Cathy Brennan persecuting my poetry?

Just trying to get my bearings here, it's so confusing.

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The problem for me, was that it seemed very obvious that cheerleading is subordinate to the sport they're cheering for. I think if cheerleading, or competitive cheering was truly transformed they'd be wearing something other than skirts? Cheering as a sport, totally fine with that... but they ought to ditch the skirts and tight sweaters.

And also, the whole Girl Scouts thing... it just made me uncomfortable.

From the badges the girls earn to the activities they participate in, just seemed like genderization at work. It just shows how profoundly inherent gender roles are in our supposedly "modern" culture.

I think this is where the rubber meets the road, and where I wish feminists were more involved.

It's crazy because in the end it was me who became the bad guy... and for what, trying to get my step daughter, and her mother to become a little more progressive. I am such a tireless champion of feminism. ;)

that would be an incorrect assumption for reasons of safety. the reason why skirts are worn with bloomers (or biker shorts) instead of pants or regular shorts is so that when the flyer is going up you don't have a "leg" to get hands caught in or slide off of. The reason why tops are tight is for the exact same reason - and a minority of cheerleaders wear sweaters. Outside, sure - moreso you will tend to see them wear their warmups if it is cold though.

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Re: Cheerleading

I have many issues with cheerleading, even with the acceptance that competitive cheerleading is a collegiate sports and all that was mentioned before.

First, the uniform. When cheerleading is done with all the cheerleaders wearing long sweat pants, or if male cheerleaders are wearing hotpants that ride up their ass cheeks, the short skirts of female cheerleaders will remain a symbol of objectifying women's bodies for entertainment purpose.

Second, male cheerleaders - when there is parity in numbers for male and female cheerleaders in a squad, the activity will become less a sexist event.

Third, when professional cheerleading teams, you know, like for American football and basketball, start to feature male cheerleaders, then I will see this sports as less sexist.

But until then, the actual activity of cheerleading will always come across as sexist to me.

The more difficult question thought is for parents with young girls - should we permit them to participating in cheerleading if we see the activity as sexist?

One might argue that the tenet of feminism is empowering women to make their own choices and under such a view, if a girl wants to join the cheerleader squad then they should.

I would counter to say that this holds true for adults, but less so for kids. For instance, most of us liberals would accept an adult smoking pot as their own decision, but we probably wouldn't permit someone at the age of 11 making their own decisions to smoke pot. As guardians however we limit the access of free choices to our children when we deem the activity to have harmful effects in the long term that the child may not be able to assess. So the question is: does particpation in cheerleading cause long-term harmful effects to young girls that it warrants prohibiting them from participating?

As with most things, the answer depends on the individual child. Most kids that age do things because that's what their friends are doing it and they want to be with their friends. So that's not a bad reason to do cheerleading. But the activity does focus on physical appearance in ways that might be harmful to developing a healthy body image.

In one study on highschool female cheerleaders (mean age around 15), there was no increased risk to eating disorders detected when compared to teenage girls in general (which, I want to emphasize is just indicative that teenage girls in general have a very high risk exposure to eating disorder). The abstract for that study is here for free.

Cheerleading, a staple of American schools, has received little attention in scholarly research. This sport is considered "high risk" for development of eating disorders; therefore, female, high school cheerleaders (n = 156, mean age = 15.43 years) from the southeastern region were surveyed in this preliminary study to determine rates of dieting, body dissatisfaction, and eating problems. Almost one-half of the girls (46%) indicated they were currently trying to lose weight. Body dissatisfaction was significant by race [chi 2 (2, n = 153) = 9.270, p = .010] and was reported by 50% and 73.5% of Black and White girls, respectively. About 13% of girls had EAT-26 scores of 20 or higher (possible eating problems). On the Orientation to Exercise Questionnaire, a measure of subclinical eating disorders, those with eating problems (EAT-26 score of > or = 20) had significantly higher scores (M = 87.65, p = .0002) than those without problems (M = 76.05). Furthermore, scores increased by 69% for each unit increase in BMI (p = .0481, slope = +.6902). The cheerleaders did not appear at higher risk for eating problems than adolescent girls in general, but this age group is considered at "high risk" for eating disorders, so those who work with cheerleaders should be aware of warning signs.

In a different study that focused on collegiate female cheerleaders, on the other hand, certain positions on the cheerleader squad seem to be correlated with increased risk to eating disorders:

Results

The ED risk for cheerleaders was estimated at 33.1%. However, when body mass index was controlled using backward stepwise logistic regression, flyers had greater odds (odds ratio = 4.4, 95% confidence interval = 1.5, 13.2, P = .008) of being at risk compared with bases, but no difference was noted between the base and back-spot positions (odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval = 0.5, 6.6, P = .333). A main effect of BI perceptions was seen (P < .001), with a significant interaction by clothing type (F2,133 = 22.5, P < .001, η2 = 0.14). Cheerleaders desired to be smaller than their perceived BIs for each clothing type, with the largest difference for midriff uniform (2.6 ± 0.8 versus 3.7 ± 0.9), followed by full uniform (2.7 ± 0.8 versus 3.5 ± 0.9) and daily clothing (2.8 ± 0.8 versus 3.5 ± 0.9).

Conclusions

Cheerleaders, especially flyers, appear to be at risk for EDs, with greatest BI dissatisfaction when wearing their most revealing uniforms (ie, midriffs). Universities, colleges, and the national governing bodies of these squads need to focus on preventing eating disorders and BI dissatisfaction and promoting self-esteem.

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TP,

I thought with most college cheerleading squads there is parity in numbers of men and women on the squads. At least there was when I was in undergrad.

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It could very well be a sampling error on my part, but I typically saw 12 females and 2 to 4 males. I wonder if there's published stats on it?

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TP,

I thought with most college cheerleading squads there is parity in numbers of men and women on the squads. At least there was when I was in undergrad.

There is. In college the ratio of male to female cheerleaders is close to 50/50. In HS in the south it is closer to that as well because cheerleading is a much larger draw there than it is in the North East for example.

Re: Cheerleading

I have many issues with cheerleading, even with the acceptance that competitive cheerleading is a collegiate sports and all that was mentioned before.

1) First, the uniform. When cheerleading is done with all the cheerleaders wearing long sweat pants, or if male cheerleaders are wearing hotpants that ride up their ass cheeks, the short skirts of female cheerleaders will remain a symbol of objectifying women's bodies for entertainment purpose.

2) Second, male cheerleaders - when there is parity in numbers for male and female cheerleaders in a squad, the activity will become less a sexist event.

Third, when professional cheerleading teams, you know, like for American football and basketball, start to feature male cheerleaders, then I will see this sports as less sexist.

But until then, the actual activity of cheerleading will always come across as sexist to me.

The more difficult question thought is for parents with young girls - should we permit them to participating in cheerleading if we see the activity as sexist?

One might argue that the tenet of feminism is empowering women to make their own choices and under such a view, if a girl wants to join the cheerleader squad then they should.

I would counter to say that this holds true for adults, but less so for kids. For instance, most of us liberals would accept an adult smoking pot as their own decision, but we probably wouldn't permit someone at the age of 11 making their own decisions to smoke pot. As guardians however we limit the access of free choices to our children when we deem the activity to have harmful effects in the long term that the child may not be able to assess. So the question is: does particpation in cheerleading cause long-term harmful effects to young girls that it warrants prohibiting them from participating?

As with most things, the answer depends on the individual child. Most kids that age do things because that's what their friends are doing it and they want to be with their friends. So that's not a bad reason to do cheerleading. But the activity does focus on physical appearance in ways that might be harmful to developing a healthy body image.

In one study on highschool female cheerleaders (mean age around 15), there was no increased risk to eating disorders detected when compared to teenage girls in general (which, I want to emphasize is just indicative that teenage girls in general have a very high risk exposure to eating disorder). The abstract for that study is here for free.

In a different study that focused on collegiate female cheerleaders, on the other hand, certain positions on the cheerleader squad seem to be correlated with increased risk to eating disorders:

since I can't edit these as well as before:

1) I addressed it in my prior post. When you are talking about cheerleaders who are involved in the stunts and flying, the skirts & bloomers/bikershort are far safed than regular shorts or anything with a leg. There was a push back in the 90s to have the women wear pantyhose - it ended very quickly when it was found to be more dangerous. I have never spoken to a female flyer or base who would have preferred to wear shorts or pants.

2) in college, big time HS cheerleading and all stars, there is. Where the preponderence of difference comes is at the younger ages up to high school.

3) Well, yeah, no argument there. The only thing I'll say to this is that most are really dance teams instead of cheerleaders, but that's definitely not the issue. I think it was Oakland(?) who was selling seat visits by the cheerleaders during the game? I think there is an ocean of difference between what the college or all star cheerleader is doing and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, but they all do go by the same name so they will be put into the same bucket.

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It could very well be a sampling error on my part, but I typically saw 12 females and 2 to 4 males. I wonder if there's published stats on it?

A lot of it will depend on the size of the school but also what division a team wants to compete in. All female or co-ed; small, medium or large. Tumbling, non tumbling, building, non.

Most of the competitive schools will have a team in the 16-20 member range and will, if they want to be co-ed, try to get it to 50/50 as much as possible.

Like I said to Scot, in the competitive colleges who do go co-ed, it is very close to 50/50 because of how the competitions are done.

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I wonder how much the stats you quote re eating disorders have to do with cheering as much as the sort of person who is attracted to competitive activities in the first place. Eating disorders are complicated and a view of the world that "blames" an eating disorder on participation in a certain activity is over simplistic and may be damaging in assisting in recovery as the support network for the sufferer may focus on the activity rather than underlying causes.

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Re: Grey

Thanks for shedding light on the sports for us.

Re: Zabz

I wonder how much the stats you quote re eating disorders have to do with cheering as much as the sort of person who is attracted to competitive activities in the first place. Eating disorders are complicated and a view of the world that "blames" an eating disorder on participation in a certain activity is over simplistic and may be damaging in assisting in recovery as the support network for the sufferer may focus on the activity rather than underlying causes.

Oh, for sure. I didn't intend to imply causation.

Also, I am not entirely convinced that being involved in cheerleading does not in some way impact a young woman's perception of self or body image issues. It may even be for a positive impact, seeing as how much exercise it demands of the participants and thus pushing them to exercise more. Unfortunately, that's the sort of articles I could find on a quick search. I suspect the literature on it goes deeper and wider than the 2 studies I found.

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Re: Grey

Thanks for shedding light on the sports for us.

Re: Zabz

Oh, for sure. I didn't intend to imply causation.

Also, I am not entirely convinced that being involved in cheerleading does not in some way impact a young woman's perception of self or body image issues. It may even be for a positive impact, seeing as how much exercise it demands of the participants and thus pushing them to exercise more. Unfortunately, that's the sort of articles I could find on a quick search. I suspect the literature on it goes deeper and wider than the 2 studies I found.

quite welcome. Was hoping it wasn't coming across as "cheerleading is just fine, nothing to see here" because that's absolutely not true but wanted to help put some perspective.

have more to add on the body image issues, but lil man is calling.

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