By Kara Chyung
Normally I seek out the news, other feminist blogs, or my own life when looking for new blog topics, but this time I tried a slightly different route: I went to YouTube, typed in “feminism” and hit “Enter”. Let’s just say I was pretty surprised by what came up.
Below I’ve listed some of the highlights of my little exploration. If you’re ever in need of something to watch, search “feminism” on YouTube sometime and go wherever the mouse leads you. But be warned: it’s a jungle out there, especially in the comments sections.. .
Courtney Martin shares her story about growing up with feminism and why she eventually decided to call herself a feminist, giving insight into how feminism is changing since thirty years ago.
This satirical, sarcastic video “debunks” popular stereotypes of feminism. Kind of a comic relief after watching videos filled with yelling and mocking of the movement.
Popular YouTube vlogger Jenna Marbles rants about double standards and gender roles in relationships. Her message: you can’t be a feminist while waiting around for Prince Charming to come and take care of you. Makes you wonder why it’s the guy who is expected to hold the door for a girl.
You might be appalled by the title of this video, but I clicked on it because I was interested in getting a different perspective. The Amazing Atheist addresses many issues that feminists often cite as reasons to be feminists. Despite some angry yelling (and a lot of cursing), he makes some pretty good arguments. I don’t agree with a lot of what he says (like how feminism is useless because it can’t bring about actual change), but I think it’s important to know the other side’s opinion. If you like this video, check out his other video called Failure of Feminism, which brings up a lot of good points about gender inequality with regards to men.
By Christiana Paradis
Meet Fallon Fox: the only transgender professional MMA fighter. Standing at five feet six inches, and 37 years old, Fox has many obstacles in front of her, especially as an MMA fighter. Though 2013 has presented society and the media with several athletes who have come out as LGBT – including professional basketball player, Jason Collins – it is difficult to compare these to Fox. Most athletes were welcomed into the LGBT community and after a couple weeks of headlines all of the buzz died down.
Fox has fought her way to the top because it is what she loves to do; however fans of the sport do not always reciprocate. Internet trolls frequently comment how “manly” Fox looks on promotional pictures and it is not uncommon for Fox to hear comments like “Kick her in the nuts” during matches. Furthermore, commentators were playing songs such as “Dude Looks Like a Lady” before Fox would enter the ring – but this isn’t bullying… bullying is just for kids, right?
Fox fights every day for herself, for her health, but also for respect. She states:
“MMA is the most dangerous sport there is for a transgender, with all the body contact, I know that, but it just turned out that I was good at it, you know? You pursue what you’re good at…. I realize that it’s kind of amazing that I hit girls. You’re brought up not to hit girls, that it’s the worst sin, and that’s what I do. But you know, gender is the last thing I think about when I’m fighting. It’s the one situation where I don’t think of gender at all.”
If gender is the last thing Fox is thinking about before she goes into a ring, then why is it the audience’s first? People are paying to watch women get in a cage and fight and that is what Fox does. She delivers what is asked of her, so why do commentators and audiences think they have the right to define her? As GQ states in their article, “Fallon Fox: The Toughest Woman in Sports” Fox is up against multiple oppressions specifically “When you are a transgender athlete, a lesbian transgender athlete, a lesbian transgender athlete who fights women in a cage, a lesbian transgender athlete who fights women in a cage and fathered a daughter, a lesbian transgender athlete who fights women in a cage and fathered a daughter and served as a man in the Navy.”
While I commend GQ for running a story that portrayed Fox honestly and favourably, I have an issue.
…then what are they subliminally saying about Fox? They’ve portrayed and treated Fox as they feature men and not as they portray women in their magazine. Thus, despite writing an honest piece about Fox’s struggles as a transgender female in MMA they’re still featuring her as a man in their magazine.
Thankfully, Fox is too determined and focused to be bothered with such petty nuances, “I just try not to think about all of the obstacles all at once. I tell myself, you know how to win. Sometimes you get beat up, but you’ve always won.”
By Yas Necati
How does the new year shape up for a bra-burning, man-hating, sex-loathing feminist? I give you… New Year’s Resolutions of a Women’s Rights Activist:
1. Burn my bra. In fact, burn all my bras. Bras are obviously the main source of my oppression and most dominant factor of a patriarchal society.
2. Burn everyone else’s bras. As bras are so blatantly the source of all evil, I will start on mine, then burn every other bra in the world, to finally achieve an egalitarian society.
3. Burn everything I own that is vaguely feminine. Femininity is a product of the patriarchy so I will seek to abolish it… then again, so is masculinity… let’s disallow both in all sexes!
4. Never again interfere with a single hair on my body. I will grow out ALL my bodily hair, and wherever possible, tie it into plaits.
5. Hate all men. Well this one’s a given. ALL men are the same, clones dominating over us, restricting our womanliness. I will not make contact with a single man in the new year.
6. Refuse to enter another heterosexual relationship… and purge myself of previous ones. Sleeping with the enemy is wrong! Making any contact with the enemy is wrong! I will avoid any intimacy with our enemies in the new year.
7. Become a sex-hating prude. In fact, I will refrain from all relationships. I despise sexualisation in mainstream culture… so I will now simply hate all sex and everything sexual.
8. Lock myself in my room and avoid any further contact with the outside world. As a man-hating, bra-burning, professional anti-sex feminist, I do not wish to have any exposure to the patriarchy. Considering that everything is patriarchal, even the trees, I will never leave the house again and absorb myself in feminist tumblr pages. I will only emerge from this sanctuary rarely, to intimidate innocent men on Twitter and restrict men’s freedom and rights by hurling abuse at them from my window.
Just a note that this post is satire, for any who might be in doubt! If you’d like to read my actual New Year’s Resolutions, please click here. Have a great new year, from all the team at PBG!