flaunt that feminism

“Boys Will Be Boys?” Well, Girls Will Be Girls

[I wrote this “op-ed piece” as a final for my English Language: Development and Issues class last semester, and I really wanted to post it publicly. Give me feedback, let me know how you feel about it, and pass it along if you agree!]

A few months ago I was deeply disturbed by a photoshoot which had surfaced on the internet: the infamous Nick Jonas crotch grabbing photos done for Flaunt Magazine. No, it was not the photos themselves which disturbed me; I am in no means of a conservative mindset when it comes to racy photoshoots. What disturbed me were the headlines which were coming along with the photos: “Nick Jonas Grabs His Crotch, Shows Off Abs in Sexy Shoot,” “Nick Jonas Drops Pants, Grabs Crotch, Breaks Hearts,” “Nick Jonas Drops His Pants And Grabs His Crotch to Show He’s All Grown Up”  and, my personal favorite, “Nick Jonas Didn’t Just Grab His Crotch in That Sexy Spread- His Abs and Butt Got Some Lovin’, Too!”

Why was I disturbed by the headlines? Well, maybe because I have been reading for years now headlines about other ex-Disney Channel stars, these stars all female, and they had never been called sexy; they were never called “heartbreakers;” their pictures were never justified by saying they were “all grown up.” Instead, their photoshoots had been called racy or inappropriate, or they were told that they needed to be better role models. People would comment on them and call them sluts or whores; meanwhile, people were praising this Nick Jonas shoot up and down because he had “grown up so nicely.” Don’t you just love sexist language?

Sexism in the media is very prevalent. Language is the most basic way in which we construct meanings in our lives, and people learn sexism through language everyday just by the words that are used to describe males and females in different scenarios. Semantic derogation is the way in which words that refer to women have acquired belittling or sexual connotations. For example, a single male is a bachelor which has a positive connotation, but a single female is a spinster which has a negative connotation. The same thing happens with males who date a lot versus females who date a lot. A female who has had a large number of sexual partners, or even just who people believe has had a large number of sexual partners, is most often called a slut, a whore, a man-eater, or a serial-dater. On the other hand, a male who has had a large number of sexual partners is often called a player, a lady’s man, or a stud.

Taylor Swift has been one of the most well-known stars who has been slut-shamed, and she finally commented on it recently, stating, “You’re going to have people who are going to say, ‘Oh, you know, like, she just writes songs about her ex-boyfriends.’ And I think frankly that’s a very sexist angle to take. No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says that about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life, and no one raises the red flag there.” Right on, Taylor Swift.

Enough about semantic derogation, though. There are a ton of others ways in which the English language has sexist tendencies. Another of the most common ways is through insults. So many insults which people commonly throw around are anti-feminine. “You run like a girl” or “Don’t be such a girl” being the most obvious examples. Why does it have to be bad to run like a girl? These phrases have become so common place that even girls will use them without thinking about it. That is how far sexism has become ingrained in our language.

The big problem is that at its core, English really was built as a sexist language. It’s asymmetric, meaning that “man" can be used to mean the human species in general. It’s also androcentric meaning that female terms must be marked. If a lion is female, it’s a lioness. If an actor is female, she’s an actress. We also don’t have any singular pronoun to use which refers to a person without specifying his or her sex. Why do we always have to clarify what sex the person is who we are talking about? We shouldn’t have to, but we feel like we do, and the English language has actually forced us to.

Another huge way in which our society has been structured as sexist without us even realizing it is through titles. In most heterosexual marriages, the woman is known to take the man’s last name as her own. This is often been seen as a symbol of unity and of their two lives becoming one. However, there is a reason why it is always the woman who takes the man’s name, rather than the other way around; this is because of the patriarchy ingrained in most societies. In the past, women were seen as property of men. They were first the property of their fathers, and they were then passed on to their husbands, thus the reason why a father “gives away” the bride at her wedding.

Nowadays, women are not generally considered property, but this tradition of taking the man’s last name still stands strong. It’s tradition, so people tend to not question the patriarchal and sexist undertones of it. If a woman chooses not to take her husband’s last name, she is going against the norm, and many people will question why she made that decision. The fact that this is a practice which still exists shows how sexism can be so easily overlooked. Furthermore, a woman is then expected to change her title from Miss to Mrs., so that everyone can be aware of her relationship status. Does a man have to make people aware of his? Not at all.

All of these ways in which language is used in our society support the Dominance explanation for the relationship of gender and language which claims that spoken language reflects and allows for social gender inequality. Many times this takes place without anyone really realizing it. This is mostly the case when it comes to a woman taking a man’s last name, a person telling someone not to run like a girl, or the media calling Selena Gomez’s photoshoot racy while Nick Jonas gets to be sexy.

The media has so much power in shaping the way that people view gender stereotypes, and the people in charge of media should be forced to start taking responsibility for what they’re teaching, especially when there are so many young children reading these celebrity news stories. These kids learn from a young age that when Nick Jonas acts this way, he’s praised, but when Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez act this way, they are questioned or shamed. Even more concerning is the fact that when girls are young they are straight up told not to do certain things because “that’s not ladylike.” On the flip side, a young boy’s questionable behavior is often explained away by saying, “Oh..Boys will be boys.” Well, how about we start saying “Girls will be girls?”

I’d like to start a twitter trend where people tweet something girls “shouldn’t do” with #girlswillbegirls. Would anyone be behind this?? Let’s get it going! 

My twitter: shannnnnnnon14 (that’s seven n’s!)

Citing My Source For the Smart Stuff
Pichler, P., & Preece, S. (2011). Language and gender. In Language, society and power: an introduction (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge

I need feminism
I need feminism because I live next to a park that I am not allowed to go to because of predators I used to think were imaginary and existed only in the minds of my paranoid parents until I’ve seen grown men sit on the park bench staring at me. I used to take a longer route home because I was so afraid that I was being followed. I haven’t been there in almost a year
I need feminism because in elementary school sex ed I was told not only about periods and puberty, but about rape and sexual assault while I could see the boys playing outside of the window
I need feminism because I used to think something was wrong with me because I was never catcalled
I need feminism because while walking in the school hallways one day an older boy grabbed my arm while whispering in my ear that I looked nice. I never learned his name but for the next two years that’s all I would think about when I saw him at school, his fingernails embedded in my arms flashed into my mind as he smirked
I need feminism because when a senior boy asked me to Winter Formal my freshman year I told him no because I was afraid and he called me a slut for the rest of the year
I need feminism because when I was in the eight grade I told the boy sitting next to me that rape jokes weren’t funny and he called me a bitch. He now sits in the back of the room in our honors chemistry class where I am too afraid to talk because when I do he shouts over me and when I make a mistake he makes sure to laugh and flaunt it. 
I need feminism because I once told a Freshman girl who was walking home after leaving school late at night to text me when she arrived and she rolled her eyes and told me she was OK because she’s had a can of pepper spray on her for years
I need feminism because after my father took me driving for the first time ever I ran over a curb and my father rolled his eyes and said ‘I knew you wouldn’t be any good at this. It’s just the way girls are.’ I’m seventeen and I still do not have my license 
I need feminism because when I apologized to my best guy friend because I was in a bad mood one day he said it was alright because I was a girl. He did not know that the day I was upset was the anniversary of my suicide attempt
I need feminism because I felt the need to apologize to someone because I was in a bad mood
I need feminism because I am tired of apologizing for being born
—  I need feminism

anonymous asked:

(Part 2) Yeah, Taylor Swift pushing the idea of fake corporate feminism onto millions of impressionable fans does harm the movement because she takes the most important element out of it- POLITICS. She's too much of a coward to stand up for feminism as it pertains to politics in regards to reproductive rights, domestic violence, sexual assault and equal pay. But she flaunts feminism like the fake asshole that she is despite not uttering a single word to advance the movement. Cause she's a coward

👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

2

“The BBC has come under fire for allowing Rita Ora to flaunt her chest on the pre-watershed program The One Show.
The newest Voice UK judge was promoting the new series of the BBC singing competition, but after appearing in a low-cut white blazer she became the target of over 400 complaints.
‘I do not want to see her boobs hanging out on a family programme,’ one viewer wrote on the BBC’s Points of View message board.
More also disapproved online including Rob Meech who tweeted 'should Rita not be wearing a shirt? Or at least a bra?’”

This makes me really angry.

She should be wearing what she wants, not what you find “acceptable” by your standards. If she is confident enough to wear it then good on her, if it makes her feel good then great and it doesn’t matter at all what you think. “Her boobs hanging out” is a gross exaggeration, there is a tiny bit if cleavage showing and yes it’s extremely low cut but by no manner of means are her boobs “hanging out”.
When did it become shameful to show bare female breasts? It’s got to the stage where even breastfeeding in public is enough to offend people, a natural act which all animals engage in to feed their young since the dawn of time and suddenly it’s deemed unacceptable because a woman will have her bare breast out in public.
So it was on a pre-watershed program that children might have been watching, well use it to teach children that woman should be able to wear what they want and that their body isn’t merely an object for men to lust over, teach them about human anatomy, teach them not to sexually objectify women. Most parents are okay with giving their child access to youtube and music channels on tv where scantily clad women strut around in music videos that are extremely sexual to make money and get famous yet the BBC receives 400 complaints when they let a woman wear a low cut top on a family tv show?
As for the BBC saying if they had been notified they would have made her change to prevent “offence” I’m glad they weren’t notified because she has the right to wear what she wants and it’s not her outfit that has to change it’s our society that sexualises nudity and teaches girls to dress “appropriately” so as not to distract men.
I am angry at our society and like the headline says the world is in crisis yet people still feel the need to complain about something as petty as some skin on show.

Article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2900240/BBC-recieves-400-complaints-Rita-Ora-flaunts-chest-One-Show.html

anonymous asked:

you know, staying "neutral" or "staying out of it" is nothing but contributing to oppression.

Alright, ok. you got me.

i’m not a “social justice” personality. I’m an individual who has their own opinions, beliefs, and life experiences that contribute to them. Just because i’m on tumblr doesn’t mean i’m obligated to use this platform to get involved in arguments about social justice or flaunt my feminism badge or whatever the fuck.

In fact, i do try to educate, try to help people, I vote, I’ve protested, etc. I don’t really “stay out of it”. I’ve been more upfront in the past, but it has honestly gotten pretty exhausting,  especially on a place like tumblr where things can get p twisted and debates can get ugly.

I do music and voiceover stuff. That’s what my blog says and that is certainly what i spend most of my time doing and where most of what i care about is. I don’t call myself a social justice advocate because i don’t primarily act as one.

I’ll support what i support passively, by helping when i can and where i can. A lot of people like helping those big entities of “causes” and “movements”. They can do that. I like helping people, individuals, and that’s mainly what i want to focus on doing.

I’ll keep writing music, that talks about gender dysphoria, anxiety, depression, self worth, abuse, and dealing with these things. 

I’ll keep doing shit like that, like i have been doing. Call that “contributing to oppression” if you want, i don’t really care at this point. I’m exhausted with the semantics and just want to make music and reach out to people.

honestly fuck the idea that being a true feminist means that you don’t flaunt it. flaunt feminism until it makes bratboys and anti-feminist people cry. lead by example, yeah, but don’t shy away from talking either