Feminism – Level II ?

Let’s play a game.. I throw a word/phrase/concept at you, and you nod if you have heard allllll about it already.

Okay? Here goes..


Rape culture.

Rape victim survivor. 


Dowry Deaths.

Female foeticide.

Honor Killings.

Girl being the family’s honor up-holder.

Different rules for girls and boys, growing up.

Women having to be told.. “Listen.. YOU are BEAUTIFUL! Believe us!”.

Equality at the workplace.

Women’s clothing being their own business.

“Women’s” safety.

Women being women’s worst enemies.

Women being “given” their rights.


You nodded alllll through that, didn’t you?


Come closer, and I’ll let you in on a secret.

This stuff no longer makes me think. Righteous blog posts and facebook posts about all that makes me yawn. Quite like sitting through the same course three semesters in a row.

I am thinking there is a huge void in the blogosphere where the stuff that comes after “Feminism 101” had to be there.

Don’t you? Or have I gotten just a bit more of a “know-it-all elitist” now?


8 thoughts on “Feminism – Level II ?

  1. This stuff no longer makes you think because you’ve heard a lot about it over many years, and you already -did- think about it, and presumably you reached conclusions on most of these topics. (for many of them, the conclusions are trivial: rape: let’s have less of those)

    It’s not terribly interesting to discuss the goals on these topics, we’re pretty much on the same page already. And so yes, we could move on, to more “advanced” topics.

    The problem is that these problems are not solved in practice, just because we agree on the goal. Thus there’s still room for *doing* something, or if we don’t know what to do, for discussing how best to approach the goals.

    Quite a few of these issues are no longer discussed here in Norway (except perhaps as part of international feminism), because not only do we agree on the goal, but we actually solved the problem too. (or at least come close enough that the matter is no longer relevant in the everyday life of most women)

    In a Norwegian context, these are seldom or never relevant, and are little discussed: Dowry.
    Dowry Deaths. Female foeticide. Honor Killings. Girl being the family’s honor up-holder. Different rules for girls and boys, growing up. Women having to be told.. “Listen.. YOU are BEAUTIFUL! Believe us!”. Women’s clothing being their own business. Women being “given” their rights.

    Among some feminists, there’s opposition to moving on to level II, because having dealt with the most blatant and obvious issues, we move into murkier territory, and in that territory, it’s no longer universally true that all problems can be simplified as “men are bad while women are victims”, and some feminists are uncomfortable with talking of issues where the blame is not squarely assigned to the men.

    But these discussions are still happening. I had 2 really good discussions on dating-scripts last week, for example. (one on whether women need to let go of passivity-priviledge in dating in order to improve equal rights, and one on ethical pick-up aka what should a (heterosexal) man do if he desires sex yet wants to act ethically)

    • Agree that the problems are still unsolved in practice. So, that’s engineering work to do – bug identified, debugging in progress – work for lawmakers, enforcers, in-the-field socialogists, activists. As far as I am concerned, I do all I can do – write, talk, stand up for myself, help others stand up for themselves sometimes, and occasionally deliver a few raps on a few knuckles. I am more interested in finding “what else”? Digging to reach the underlying pure math solution.

      I don’t understand why people who have been exposed to feminist concepts and have even been writing on the same for years, insist on sticking to the same story years later. If ‘feminists’ are afraid that entering murkier territory might backfire in some superficial sense, isn’t it a contradiction to the ‘equality’ that they want?

      Those are exactly the kind of discussions I want to hear. Apart from a few ‘academic’ books, I am not able to find material on the subtler points. Even the best feminist books are stuck at what Germaine Greer & Gloria Steinem had to say.

      • I get you. I have the same tendency. Finding the principal root of the problem, is a lot more interesting than dealing with all the messy real-world engineering of implementing a solution. I do feel there’s plenty of such discussions happening, but I agree that much of what falls under published feminist literature seems stuck in 101. I think one reason for that is that much of the 102 stuff might not identify as “feminist” per se, precisely because of the fact that it’s murkier. Yeah, feminism claims to be about equality, but the name itself tells a different story. If you’re used to being the *victim* and blaming someone else for all your troubles, changing roles to become an equal participant is a difficult thing to do.

        Judging from your goodreads “want to read” list, you’re currently diving into quite a bit of feminist literature. I do think you’ll conclude much of it is 101 stuff, hammering on points that you’ve grasped a long time ago. I wish I had recommendations for you, and I suppose I do, but not in the form of books. Still, I could probably dig up a hundred urls for discussions of concepts that I’d consider “advanced” topics in feminism.

        One ? http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2012/05/29/what-is-feminine-hypergamy-noh/

        Deals with the interesting fact that if you ask random men to rate random womens (physical) attractiveness, the answers will follow the expected bellcurve, whereas if you do the same in reverse, then women will consistently claim that about 80% of all men are below average looking, and only 10% are above-average looking — and the consequences of this fact. Feministcritics.org is generally a good blog, though it deals only with one small fraction of what you’re asking for, namely rational critique of feminism. Most of the folks there (including me) self-label as feminists, but are convinced that “men bad, women good” is a oversimplification, and that a more nuanced view is needed to move forward.

  2. Well before moving on to level II, I guess there is lab/field work for Level I pending. Sadly it is our (those of us who have got the message) part to play because except for a few psychopaths, most offenders or perpetrators of social evils do not read blog posts or facebook posts. And I am feeling so helpless now after saying this 😦

    • Forget the psychopaths & ‘ignorant’ offenders – they can not be preached to. Blogs & facebook help people educate themselves about the ways they have unwittingly been perpetrating patriarchy in seemingly harmless ways and give them the impetus to stand up against discrimination. I am simply saying that it has to go deeper than “look at all the injustice around” to make more practical sense.

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