Why, what do YOU think they “should” look like?

BackgroundBackground 2.  Background 3.

Things this post is not actually about:

  • Maia’s “tone” or “the way she brought this up”
  • Cupcakes
  • Deep meaningful conversations about “what constitutes feminism”
  • Hating your freedoms

… which is not to rule out any of those things as automatically unimportant or “off the table” or taboo.

This is about:

  1. A group which calls itself “feminist” is formed
  2. A post is made to said group about a shop catering to a non-standard body type
  3. A feminist blogger says such posts should not be made because they’re unfeminist, or that such posts have to be phrased in a way she likes, or that the moderators of the page have to justify why it’s feminist because being posted to a feminist group means it must be relevant to feminism

And I think point 3 is a bit shit, for a lot of reasons, and none of them are those bog-standard derailments about “refusing to take criticism” or “taking things personally” or “misrepresenting what Maia said”.

Because I think point 3 sums up what she said pretty well, given that what she said was:

things which I would normally just be ‘eh’ about really agitate me when they’re done in the name of feminism

posting anything to a feed of a feminist group is to promote that post as a feminist act …

promoting any particular sized or shaped [body/clothing fitting] is problematic from a feminist perspective

the way clothes are produced in [NZ] is absolutely the opposite of everything I think feminism stands for

I object to … promoting clothes shopping (particularly at a specific shop) as something that is going to appeal to a group of women who have nothing in common other than they’re young feminists

To me a core part of that responsibility [as a contributor in a feminist space] is to never suggest that liking the things I happen to like is part of being feminist

material presented on the feed should be explicitly feminist…

I think this is a real danger … that women can feel that they can’t be a feminist because they don’t look a certain way and aren’t interested in certain things. And I think the easiest way to avoid that is to make aesthetic/lifestyle/survival choices off the table for feminist discussion. In order to create an environment where anyone feels like they can be feminist it needs to be as unacceptable to promote a particular way of say dressing as to diss a particular way of dressing…

I’m anti feminism being linked with a single aesthetic…

I think I’ve articulated in quite some detail why I think having material which isn’t explicitly feminist in feminist spaces is alienating. Particularly in feminist spaces that present themselves as generally as “The [not even 'a'] Wellington Feminist Collective.”…

I think feminists should orient themselves critically towards those businesses for the reasons I listed…

I think it’s inappropriate for Coley to post it without explicitly making clear why because she is promoting one particular, inaccessible, aesthetic/lifestyle/Survival strategy as feminist, which I think is alienating…

And while I don’t think I did make a demand of the WYFC – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me doing so. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making demands with institutions/organisations that you’re supposed to be allied with. In fact, I think it’s an important part of building a social movement.

As to who I am? I’m a feminist who has thought about feminism and is prepared to defend her opinions. I think that gives me a right to talk about what feminism is and isn’t. I think that’s all any of us needs. And I think talking about what feminism is and isn’t is really important…

Issue:  “promoting a single aesthetic”

As I said at THM, one post about one shop on a page covered in posts about abortion and misogynist radio contests and debunking stereotypes about Muslim feminists does not “promotion of a single aesthetic” make.  I get body issues.  I get being fat.  I get that sinking sense of disappointment when even stores which are advertised as catering to different body shapes invariably do not carry anything near my size.  And I saw the post about Emma’s on WYFC and thought “bet she doesn’t go to a size 18”.

But that hardly fucking invalidates the fact that being a fattie who can’t shop at Glassons is hardly the only form of body-policing or body-discrimination in the world and sometimes the size 12 girls with the E cups might like to know where to find dresses that fucking fit.  And those girls are going to totally get feminist critiques of fashion and narrow beauty standards.  And until every second post on the page is “oh hai here’s another resource explicitly aimed only at straight-sized busty girls” it’s fucking ludicrous to act like this one post represents the WYFC endorsing a single acceptable body shape.

Issue:  “get a Marxist analysis or go home”

I think a lot of Marxist feminist analysis is fucking awesome.  I’ve been pretty clear about that. But anyone who’s literally going to say that women can’t plug local businesses [at least without a laboured disclaimer about the evils of capitalism] because all business is capitalist and therefore evil can fuck right off.

We live in a capitalist society, we need fucking clothes, and as a fattie who herself and whose many non-standard-body-type friends have a lot of fucking difficulty finding clothes that fit I am actually not willing to self-flagellate because finally being able to buy cute dresses for only-slightly-above-“straight”-size-prices is Buying Into Corporate Doom.

Also?  When you’re having a go at something for not explicitly nailing down what “feminism” is defined as, and you’re also saying “it has to be this and this and this and phrased like this and tick all these boxes”, don’t get fucking precious when people tell you you’ve appointed yourself Lady High Mistress of Feminist Lines in The Sand, because you just really did.

Issue:  “well this affected me so your argument is invalid”

Do I have a problem with people raising issues that have affected them?  No.  Do I think there’s a big fucking difference between “this affected me and here’s why and let’s discuss that” and “this affected me so it should never ever happen against because you’re not real feminists”?  Yes.  See above.

Issue:  “but THE!  And R18 VENUES!”

Do I have a problem with disagreement and debate?  No.  Do I think there’s a big fucking difference between “let’s look at why this post is here and what I find problematic about it” and “let’s look at this post and also I want to explicitly say I’m not a member of this group I’m critiquing and also your name is a lie and also your choice of launch venue is discriminatory*”?  Just a tiny bit.

Time for a high school analogy, because I feel pretty safe assuming we’ve all been there.

This:

“Regina, I think that thing you said was mean because you reduced Lindsay Lohan’s character down to her country of origin.”

Is “raising something you found problematic”.

This:

“Regina, I think that thing you said, while wearing those totally out-of-style trainers, was mean, and while I’m pointing that out can we also remember that you stole my trike in kindergarten you bitch?”

Is being vindictive and petty and nasty and refusing to just engage with the topic at hand … which hilariously is what Maia keeps accusing her detractors of.

Issue:  “everything posted to the Collective page MUST be explicitly feminist!”

This is a biggie for me.  For now?  Let’s look at those above points where it’s pretty obvious that “feminist” here means “MY kind of feminism which can only discuss things I am comfortable with and MUST involve analysis from THIS point of view”.

That’s not discussion, it’s not a conversation.  It’s an ultimatum from a person who doesn’t even go here,** about how a group she isn’t even involved in*** has to be operated to pass her magical test of feministness or she won’t let them call themselves feminist.

As the sweet old lady said to the Mormons, well in that case you can fuck right off.

But there’s a lot more that’s problematic with that statement and that’s going to have to wait for another post.

And finally some comments on the comments to hopefully avoid the same wank-circle that has devoured the THM post on this.

Issue:  “waaaa why can’t feminists all be cuddly hug-buddies waaaaa”

Because obviously feminists do disagree.  And that’s fine.  But as already established, this isn’t about disagreeing and discussing things, this is about one person declaring that feminism has to be done a specific way or she’ll take away our feminist badges and let everyone know we love Sarah Palin.  (No, seriously, that’s the “logical” conclusion drawn.)

Issue:  “you just hate Maia and think everything she says is wrong”

Nope.  I just think it’s fucking horrible to attack an entire group because one post is Doing Feminism Wrong and You Get To Decide That.  Like I just said.

~

*From the Facebook thread

**For some reason this issue is hitting ALL the Mean Girls buttons.

***Oh but she’s seriously excited, honest, she thinks you guys are just the best even if you are wrong and alienating and evil and kicked her dog.

32 comments

  1. Rageaholic

    OK… how do I say this… I think Maia wants to be so inclusive that it gets exclusive. If someone’s entrance into feminism is due to struggling to find clothes that fit because they have a non-Glassons body type, telling them that they shouldn’t talk about that with the feminist collective may feel incredibly exclusionary and think feminism in general is not for them. And saying that capitalism is an “issue” pretty much excludes all feminists for whom feminism means having the freedom to go out and make a truck load of money; which is something that is incredibly important and feminists have worked hard for, and frankly until we really have equal pay we still are.

    Of course my personal definition of feminism is mostly made up of “we should have the freedom to make whatever choices we want (even if I don’t agree with all of them), and we should have the freedom to talk about these choices and be heard with respect and without fear of being shamed”.

    The other issue I had with Maia’s post was the format which she was criticising. It’s a Facebook page where people share links and resources and ideas. Above this though, it is a SOCIAL page and imposing too many rules seems like it would be stifling and un-sociable. Maybe (*maybe*) sharing the link in question would be inappropriate on a formal collective blog where the purpose is feminist analysis and activism. I hope the Wellington Young Feminist Collective does start a blog full of original articles and stories (I see they have a tumblr at the moment), but I also hope that it fills a gap in the blogosphere that is not already filled by The Hand Mirror.

    I enjoy reading The Hand Mirror, and enjoyed reading the comments on Maia’s article. But I think there is a lot of room in feminism, and on the internet, for many people, views and, dare I say it, feminisms.

    • anna caro

      Rageaholic: (I’m engaging with specific points here, because I don’t think I have the energy to tackle the whole thing, but I want to respond to a couple of things).

      Being anti-capitalist does not mean (at least for me) that there aren’t important battles to be fought along the way. Sure, feminism is a large part of why I have been able to have a job, a university degree, and a comparatively high income, particularly for someone my age. I owe movements gone by blah blah blah a heap of gratitude for that. Without it, given I have a female partner, I’d be somewhere between pretty damn broke and utterly screwed. These things have enabled me to do everything from leave a country that was dangerous to me to buy a house so I’m not living in a place that interfaces really badly with my disabilities, to being able to keep me in supply of clothes, technology and satay chicken. They’re far from unimportant to me. However, there’s a difference between saying that “I can do x because of feminism, and therefore feminism is really important to my life” and “I can do X because of feminism, and therefore X must be a feminist act”.

      I don’t want to speak for Maia, but I don’t think she was saying that people who are size 10 and have E cups shouldn’t talk about issues finding clothes – issues with finding clothes to fit different body types (not just large ones) are important and if I remember rightly Maia has blogged about same in the past. But keeping it as ‘people who cater for another small type of body shapes/sizes but still exclude most” maybe helpful personal information but it doesn’t go anyway to tackle the problem. Saying something like “It’s often hard finding clothes to fit your body type – I’ve found X store particularly awesome because they fit Y body type – share some of your favourites” may not fit my personal politics (and isn’t personally the discussion I’d like to see on the table) but would have stopped me feeling alienated.

      • QoT

        I’m really sorry you felt alienated, Anna, but one of the things I’m going to post about tomorrow is being a bit sick and tired of this insistence that all conversations between feminists have explicit feminist analysis attached.

        In short, sometimes I just want to talk about cupcakes with a group of people who I know won’t immediately respond that the frosting will go straight to their hips. And that’s feminist enough.

        • anna caro

          I’m just writing you a comment that touches on that, but there’s a difference between feminist spaces and conversations with other feminists. I totally hear you, I really do – I want to talk about exercise with people who don’t assume I’m doing it to lose weight. And there’s not an easy answer to it short of making the world awesome (working on it!) but if I were to post under the name of a feminist group “here’s a new programme I’ve discovered where you tick off every day you walk 7.5km” I’d be leaving a lot of people who couldn’t do that for whatever reason wondering if the group was for them. I’m not suggesting it needs a detailed feminist analysis, but I would aim for some acknowledgement that (a) this is a very personal goal and (b) it’s not that I think it’s feminist to exercise, but that this is a safer space to talk about it in.

        • QoT

          The thing is, Anna, I don’t see “walking 7.5km every day” as inherently catering to feminist concerns – quite the opposite on face value. Whereas “here is a shop which isn’t limited to patriarchy-approved body shapes” is.

        • anna caro

          I can’t reply directly to the comment I want to reply to for some reason (maybe looking in the wrong place) but okay, I see your point. What if I preceded it with ‘my body doesn’t allow me to engage in lots of forms of exercise, but…”. Whilst it’s not as obviously feminist relevant as body shapes and clothes, I think it’s an equivalent example (pretend it was a feminist disability centric community if you prefer…).

        • QoT

          It’s a settings thing, I try not to let the comments get too budged up on the side.

          I guess to go deeper into the analogy, my problem is that why should a person be “ticking off” a certain amount of exercise daily anyway?

        • anna caro

          And that’s pretty much exactly my point. To handle life with my brain and my body, neither of which are exactly typical, that’s what I need to be able to do things like exercise (which is important for me). I don’t think exercise is a feminist act, or that there’s any imperative to do so, but given that part of the reason I have struggled is to do with gender issues, finding ways of analysing the problematic frameworks I used to operate in and circumventing/challenging them sits quite comfortably within a feminist discussion for me.

          But if I don’t make that clear some people who may be able to meet the random goal I’ve set for myself will get the impression that as a feminist I think checking off a certain amount of exercise a day is important. And some of them may, for example, prefer to exercise irregularly and intuitively and have had unpleasant experiences at being told that to be a good woman you need to do the same amount of exercise at the same time every day, and feel uncomfortable.

          And some won’t be able to meet the goal I set for myself and also feel excluded.

          Which is why, without a discussion of the background, I wouldn’t have posted this on such a group.

        • QoT

          Anna, I think it’s pretty simple. “Ticking off a regular amount of exercise”, whatever your personal context, has pretty obvious connotations of patriarchal norms around “having” to exercise.

          “This shop caters to non-standard body shapes frequently shafted by patriarchal beauty standards” doesn’t.

        • anna caro

          I’m going to leave the discussion here, because I’ve become a bit too personally invested in it to have the energy to go further (and yes, I do appreciate that I have done things to direct it in that way). I found your last comment really marginalising, but it also sounds like you’re finding aspects of what I’m saying alienating, and going back and forth has probably outlived its usefulness.

          I find it a shame that the first full on political discussion I’ve had with you has ended up this stressful for (I think) all concerned. You have written some awesome things that I haven’t really engaged with, and I hope to in the future under pleasanter circumstances.

  2. Kat

    Whoa, I’m really shocked at this personal attack. I really don’t think that you’ve understood what Maia is trying to say and as such have misrepresented her. She is not saying ‘you should believe exactly what I believe’. In fact, I think she has been quite clear that her opinions are her own. For example, ”

    “I think I’ve articulated in quite some detail why I think having material which isn’t explicitly feminist in feminist spaces is alienating.”

    Please note the use of ‘I think’ rather that ‘you must think’.

    This thread is from a Facebook page that anyone can join. If your group only wants to represent and include non-Marxist feminists or for feminists to discuss lifestyle interest stuff then fine. But it hasn’t said this. Its a ‘social group’, but what this means exactly I don’t know.

    I don’t understand how posting about clothes is social, but asking important questions about what feminism is, in a feminist group, isn’t? All of the privileges we as women, workers etc have today came about though others struggles, because they were fought for. And they can be easily lost which why we as feminists need to keep asking hard questions and having debates.

    • QoT

      Kat, I’m shocked that you haven’t apparently read my post.

      This is not a “personal attack” on Maia, it’s a criticism of her comments. I have specifically highlighted in direct quotes where I feel she is saying what people have to think and how people are allowed to act on a feminist forum.

      I have explicitly stated that I have no. Fucking. Problem. With people discussing feminism, or having debates, or anything like that.

      THIS ISN’T A FUCKING DEBATE, though, this is Maia laying down her laws on what groups who use the word “feminist” (or, gods forbid, “the”) have to do to qualify.

      That’s kind of the entire point of my post, which you clearly felt no need to read in any depth before riding in like a shiny white knight to post a comment so irrelevant and already-dealt-with it’s almost off-topic.

  3. Maia

    QoT – Your whole framing of this is absurd. To even suggest that I even want to take away someone’s feminism card because I object to one of their posts, is an example of of how consistently what I’ve said has been misrepresented.

    I’m going to probably write some more about why I think debating feminism is necessary. And why I think strong claims about what feminism is and isn’t makes feminism stronger not weaker.

    I guess the only thing that I want to say here is you can object all you like to the way I made my argument. And while I’ve responded to a lot of criticisms to my writing, in a way I accept them, writing is about audience.

    But if you can’t hear the point I was making from me Anna Caro wrote about this too. She’s a better writer than I am, so perhaps her way of raising it will meet your approval.

    • QoT

      Maia, since we’re in my playhouse now? Go fuck yourself. Is “framing” the way you want to spin “I directly quoted substantial portions of your post and subsequent, theoretically elaborating, comments”? Go for it.

      Also, fuck your strawmen arguments. Oops, looks like I pretty explicitly just spelled out that I *do* support debate, and I’m *not* fucking objecting to “the way” you made your argument – I’m objecting to you demanding other feminists behave the way you have determined feminists “should”.

      Finally, FUCK YOUr “if you can’t hear”. I FUCKING QUOTED YOU. I waded through 80-odd fucking comments on THM where you just kept saying the same fucking thing and that is still what you are saying, while pretending that objectors just hate you personally and are “misinterpreting” everything (did I mention DIRECT FUCKING QUOTES yet?).

      This right here? This is certainly not you acting in any kind of good fucking faith on this “debate” and it’s hilarious how much you are doing exactly what you’ve been accusing others of – refusing to engage, refusing to debate the actual issues at play.

      • Megan

        And Maia, bear in mind, there’s a BUNCH of us who disagree with you. People who don’t comment on THM, explicitly because of the way you engage with commenters (per the discussion I see on Twitter and other blogs, anyway).

        Calling QoT’s analysis ‘absurd’is snide and patronising. She directly quoted you. Repeatedly. And all you can say is ‘You are misrepresenting me, and I am sorry you don’t like the way I write’?

        To quote you: “Feminism should be about massively different people coming together with ideas in common.” As long as those ideas are the same as yours, though, right?

      • Maia

        I know you quoted me. I stand by everything I said. I just don’t see the connections between anything you quoted and these:

        ““this affected me so it should never ever happen against because you’re not real feminists””

        “That’s not discussion, it’s not a conversation. It’s an ultimatum from a person who doesn’t even go here,** about how a group she isn’t even involved in*** has to be operated to pass her magical test of feministness or she won’t let them call themselves feminist.”

        “I just think it’s fucking horrible to attack an entire group because one post is Doing Feminism Wrong and You Get To Decide That.”

        “Oh but she’s seriously excited, honest, she thinks you guys are just the best even if you are wrong and alienating and evil and kicked her dog.”

        I made a statement about that one post (and posts which fit that broad type). I didn’t make any generalisations about Coley, what sort of person or what sort of feminist she was, I didn’t make any statement about the collective as a whole. And unless you think critcising a single sort of content is an attack, I didn’t attack the group. I didn’t make any statements about intent or what Coley or any collective member thought. My whole post was predicated on their good intent

        So yes you are misrepresenting me, and I do find the way you are framing this ridiculous.

        • QoT

          Quote 1 is in response to you telling me and other commenters on THM that we couldn’t criticise your post because it affected you, not hypothetical non-real people.

          Most of the other quotes are exactly what I keep fucking saying, Maia, so I’m not sure what’s difficult about them. You are saying “posts should not be made to WYFC unless they explicitly spell out why they’re feminist”, or “feminists should by default be explicitly anti-capitalist”. I am saying you don’t get to make those rules.

          The final quote? Is me having a little dig at your constant self-apologism. “Oh but I LOVE the idea of a Collective! I’m so excited! Now I’ve complimented you you HAVE to listen to me telling you you’re doing it completely wrong and aren’t really feminist”. It’s so … highschool. As I said in my post. Did you read it?

        • anna caro

          And it couldn’t be that she was genuinely excited about the collective, but struggled with some aspects, and wasn’t quite sure of the best way to do it, but was trying to make sure she wasn’t misunderstood?

        • Maia

          QoT – you have taken “I don’t think this action is feminist”

          And claimed that this is saying:

          “You are not feminist.”

          Over and over again. They are not the same.

          Last week I told Sandra Coney that voting to support the make life harder for prostitutes bill wasn’t feminist.

          Like I have said I think any feminist who has thought about the issues and is prepared to defend their views has a right to make claims about feminism.

        • QoT

          Sure, anna. It could be. Just like when a friend says “I really like that dress, you look awesome, but I just have to ask if that’s really the image you want to be presenting?” they could honestly really like the dress.

        • QoT

          No, Maia. I have taken “you should do this, you should do that, if you’re going to call yourselves “the” then you should do this”

          And claimed that that’s fucking nasty.

          You keep pretending to just want to “discuss” feminism but what you are doing is laying down your version of feminism and demanding everyone follow along.

          And since you refuse to deal with the actual issues, please be aware that you can FUCK OFF with snide little “anyone who’s thought about the issues” comments.

  4. anna caro

    QoT: Okay, before I start, I think Maia has explained that she didn’t mean what you interpreted from various points in various places. You may not have seen these explanations, and you’re not the only one to have come to these conclusions, but I’m not feeling comfortable with some of these horses being flogged in all directions. That aside, because this could easily end up personal for me, your points:

    Issue: “promoting a single aesthetic”
    I covered a lot of this in my reply to rageaholic, but to add to that. In a neutral world I wouldn’t give a shit about who promoted which clothes where (there’d also be no need for the collective, so it’s a bit of a moot point, but whatevs) but if mainstream stores carry shapes/sizes A-M, and someone comes along and carries shape N, well that’s fantastic for N-woman. And for A-M woman they probably read it, shrug and move on. So will some O-Z women. But the O-Z women won’t just be reading it here, it’s in every fucking place every fucking time. And they hoped to find something different here but instead they see “Awesome!’ and ‘Just like everything else, this is something that doesn’t cater for me’. It may just be one post, but it reinforces a fuckload of exclusion, including some coming from within the feminist movement.

    Issue: “get a Marxist analysis or go home”
    Did Maia actually say this? Because I haven’t seen it.
    And I have been to City Chic with her and she was a lot more impressed with it than I was, who went round grumbling about how not enough things had sleeves.
    Anyway, I don’t know how Maia interprets demands, but my reading is not the same as yours. Demands to me is pushing a movement or group to go in a particular direction, which happens all the time. It’s not holding a gun to someone’s head and ordering them to do something, even metaphorically…

    • QoT

      I have seen plenty of explanations from Maia. None, including her comment immediately above yours, actually bother to pay any attention to what detractors are telling her.

      On the “single aesthetic”. I don’t know how else to explain this, but a size N woman celebrating finding size N clothes, one time, on a busy, active page, is not fucking promoting A SINGLE AESTHETIC. As soon as the WYFC mods say “from now on we’re only catering to size N women” then we can start throwing around accusations of “particular” or “specific” sizes and shapes being celebrated. But it’s ONE FUCKING POST. Maybe tomorrow someone will post about the next City Chic sale and all the size A to M women can feel left out because they can’t wear City Chic (though that’s a whole different dynamic because of thin privilege).

      When someone starts accusing people of “promoting a single aesthetic” because they let through a SINGLE FUCKING POST which that someone couldn’t squee over, it’s FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

      Re Marxist analysis.

      As quoted, Maia certainly insisted that feminists take an anti-capitalist view of clothing and fashion, or should “orient” themselves that way.

      I have no interest in quibbling about semantic definitions of “demanding”. Maia is telling a group of women that they’re not allowed to do XYZ while calling themselves feminist. If you don’t think that’s a demand or that that doesn’t constitute any kind of coercion or pressure (she’s only posting on one of the biggest feminist blogs in NZ, after all …) fine, but I think it’s shitty no matter what it’s called.

    • meganwegan

      As a woman who has been looking her entire life for clothes that fit, I know all about feeling excluded from conversations about fashion. I know what it’s like to go shopping with friends and come home with a scarf, because that’s the only thing you could buy in the straight sized shops they went to.

      The difference is, now, when I see someone say “hey, here’s this shop that sells something that won’t fit you, but will fit other women”, I think “yay! that means those women have more options”. Not “OHMIGOD THEY LEFT ME OUT.” Maia doesn’t think it is feminist? Well, I think it is. She’s entitled to her opinion. But she doesn’t seem to think that I am.

      To me, this entire discussion has been framed around one comment, that said ‘here’s this thing I found you might find interesting’, and a bunch of people have thought ‘but that’s not relevant to me, and I am offended’.

      • anna caro

        I think it’s awesome for people to have more options too. I wouldn’t have posted the link myself, but I have no problems with it being posted.

        But when there’s a long history of people being excluded generally, and excluded generally from feminism in particular, for a particular reason, posting that link as part of a feminist group without any sort of qualification is likely to reinforce those feelings of exclusion.

        I’m not that upset about the original comment, but it made me feel a bit uncomfortable, and I think how baby feminist very insecure about her body me would have reacted, and the answer is “pretty unwelcome”. Maybe I shouldn’t have felt that, but lots of people do and as I don’t know a woman who hasn’t been fucked around and internalised some kind of bullshit about herself, making our feminist spaces more welcoming is really important.

        …and what really upsets me about this whole thing is that the original poster seemed to have taken some of Maia’s criticisms onboard (as she appeared to with mine about the mooncup, which was in some ways the predecessor of this) and disagreed with others as she’s entitled to do so. And that seems to have got lost in what this has blown up into, which I guess I’m contributing to, but hey…

        • QoT

          So … we should make our feminist spaces “more welcoming” by demanding a rigorous explicit feminist analysis of every single utterance made in that space? Gee, as a baby feminist I can just imagine how welcome I’d feel in a place that demanded proof of my feminist cred before I could share information with people.

  5. Maia

    I’ve just re-read this post and noticed something I’d missed:

    We live in a capitalist society, we need fucking clothes, and as a fattie who herself and whose many non-standard-body-type friends have a lot of fucking difficulty finding clothes that fit I am actually not willing to self-flagellate because finally being able to buy cute dresses for only-slightly-above-“straight”-size-prices is Buying Into Corporate Doom.

    This is not a response to anything I said.

    To be really explicit, because I think this is important. Of course everyone needs clothes. I am entirely opposed to self-flagellating about ones clothing choices, whatever they are. I’m glad when anyone finds clothing strategies that work for them. I don’t care whether they buy from independant boutiques, chain stores op shops, on-line, or make their own. I don’t see any of these as buying into Corporate Doom.

    One of the things that gets me most angry is the idea that we should somehow be changing the world with our shopping, and that some sort of clothing choices are OK and others are less OK. So I wanted to make it clear to anyone who read this that that’s not what I think.

  6. Not A Feminist

    I have really, really complex thoughts about this whole deal, but all I can really manage to get out is:

    Maia’s (intentionally gentle) post made me feel really, really alienated from THM and from feminism.

    This expletive-laden, in-your-face post did not.

  7. Trouble

    I don’t have a dog in this race, but I do appreciate the irony of Google ads spruiking clothing for tall women at the top of the page. Almost makes you believe their algorithm’s gone sentient, in a stirry sort of way.

  8. Pingback: This is what this feminist looks like « Ideologically Impure
  9. Boganette

    Ok, I only JUST realised this is all based on the FB group and not the offical Tumblr. The group is just a place for feminists to chat/share links/discuss shit isn’t it?

    While I still dislike a lot of the comments on THM post I can TOTALLY now see why people were like WTF? to Maia’s post. Especially because I’m like WTF? Why cause all this fucking shit and be ‘mean’ (I do think the original THM post was attacky in this context) over a fucking Facebook group. Oh sigh.

    Bring on Wrestlemania. Thanks for this post. I finally know what is going on now. I am so utterly slow.