Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

Cara Blouin

I want to say that maybe Rapture, Blister, Burn is the feminist play we deserve, but I’ve been trying not to blame myself for the bad things that happen to me. It’s one of the many struggles that I go through as a living human female, an experience that, by the way, I regularly complain about not seeing portrayed on stage. I like to blame *that* on the glut of white male playwrights who dominate the art. “I am sick,” I whine, “of seeing female characters who are just cardboard cutouts who don’t have real feelings or motivations written by jerk dudes who don’t know what it is like to be a lady.”

So it’s hard to know how to feel about the paper dolls that Gina Gionfriddo has cut out to use as mouthpieces for her barely thought out ideas in Rapture, Blister, Burn. I think it’s worse. It’s one thing to be alienated by someone who can’t understand your experience. It’s a curious betrayal to be alienated by someone who presumably should be able to.

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By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Elliot Rodger and his murder spree in Isla Vista, and how many, many signs point to the fact that this was motivated by a violent misogyny that had at its root a staggering entitlement complex.  You may have also heard of the many, many men who have been trying to dismiss his attitudes as “crazy”, or the idea that he was “a lone nut”, and not reflective at all of a toxic misogyny in American culture.  Maybe that’s true!  Maybe he WAS a lone nut, and it’s just a weird coincidence that his 140-page manifesto uses the same language and expresses the same ideas found in MRA and PUA writing around the internet, maybe it’s a just a coincidence that this lone nut fit right in on their message boards.  It’s definitely a coincidence that there’s a bunch of other lone nuts who think just like him and talk just like him and admire him.

No pattern, nothing to see here.  Just a bunch of completely isolated, unrelated individuals who, by catastrophic happenstance, think and speak exactly the same way, and maybe also hang out on the same message boards, and like each others’ youtube videos.  Lone nuts.

Look here, this is for the lone nuts out there, I am going to give you some red-pill information here.

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Please remember that we are all guests, here in the house of feminism.

There are many things that guests are permitted to do on behalf of their hosts.

Redecorating is not one of them.

My goodness, I am ready to be done with all this.  Here’s the thing:  James Gunn, tapped to direct Marvel/Disney’s (Marsney’s) upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie did this poll about the superheroes that folks would most like to engage in the intercourse with, and then he followed up all these votes with some pretty awful misogynistic and homophobic junk.

This was a year or so ago, I think, and someone just noticed it recently, so people started talking about it, and James Gunn immediately took it down but look! It’s here on Google cache.  The internet — like an elephant, or a quiet iorich — never forgets.

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Every once in a while, something like this will percolate through my Twitter feed, a blog post like this one by Patrick Rothfuss where he tries to square up his notions of feminism with some stuff that he’s said in the past.  And because I’m interested in the subject, I read it, and because I’m an insufferable know-it-all, I’m about to sound off on it.

The truth is, I’ve got a little bit of sympathy for Rothfuss, here.

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SCIENCE!

“Making sense” is a funny phrase, because we use it to mean two different things. In the first place, we use it to mean “making logical sense” — that is, a conclusion follows directly from available data according to the strict and very specific laws and modes of logical reasoning; in the second place, we use it to mean, “seems intuitive” — that is, when we hear a scenario, and we hear the prediction made for that scenario, it seems “right” or “familiar” to us. We use this term precisely to muddy up the difference between “logical sense” and “intuitive sense”, and it’s unfortunate, because while logical sense is verifiable and repeatable, intuitive sense is based on predictions made from past experience, and is therefore only as accurate as the experience is representative, and furthermore is essentially tantamount to saying “that’s true because it’s familiar.”

Today I want to talk about the “science” of Evolutionary Psychology. Evolutionary Psychology is a pretty fun thing, because what it consists of is: you observe some behaviors, notice a couple statistical facts, and then make up a story to explain why cavemen had to do it that way. Is it true? Is it false? Is it genetic, or cultural? Who knows, or cares? It’s not like we’ve got a bunch of cavemen sitting around that we can ask about it, who knows what those guys thought? And it’s not like we can just crack open some DNA and find the gene for “wearing pants” or for “wanting to have a lot of sex with women,” or something.

It’s less like a science and more like a kind of weird game, I guess. Anyway, almost inevitably, it’s used by douchebags to justify being douchebags (“observe douchey behavior, make up a story about why cavemen were douchebags”), and I just wanted to point out that there are couple of ideas that only make it LOOK, for instance, like the human race is naturally inclined towards patriarchy, but with a little imagination you can make an equally compelling story for how it’s maybe the other way around.

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So, by now probably you have all heard about Sandra Fluke, and her testimony about why 1) some women need “birth control” for reasons other than explicitly controlling birth, and 2) it’s not really the Catholic Church’s business to decide what medical treatments their employees get, one way or the other.

And maybe you have also heard about Rush Limbaugh’s pretty grotesque response to that!  If not, it’s here.  Yeesh.

Amazingly (and I don’t know if this is a first time or anything) Rush Limbaugh has actually APOLOGIZED for his statements!

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