I’ve been reading Treaty and Equal Rights Convention papers and UN Women papers for the last two days and it crossed my mind that I haven’t noted a single line of description which says, “We have the Human Right not to be offended.” With that being such a primary Feminist stage, perhaps I missed it? Is “Not Being Offended” throughout the day, a right? Is it a matter of Equality?
For me, in regards to HeForShe, this is an awareness question. We need to have clear ideas of where our focus is best served. Jumping on something, or someone, merely because they offended us, is a lot of work and quite frankly, creating a world where no one is offended, is the sort of whitewashed effort that hides death camps, historically speaking.
I don’t have the answer. I’m asking. Is that area truly a right and is it important enough to spend energy on — while suffering the obvious consequences in other areas? Is it a fight you wish to fight?
But most of all… Is It A Right?
I’m going to leave it at that and perhaps jump in to the comment area with you later.
*NOTE: I am inviting differing opinions with this post, in fact I am encouraging them. Please keep in mind that the Other has a voice, and is equally vouchsafed to her opinion — no matter what. Within this discussion, as with the rest of this website, I will not tolerate attacks or hate. You may disagree as much as you like. You do not have to agree with anything here to enjoy yourself here unchallenged. Disagreement does not require threats or hate to communicate effectively. Posts of that nature will be deleted without warning and depending on the magnitude, I may decide that the author is not welcome. Equality does not offer the right to attack or threaten.
NOTE: Updated on Dec 5, 2014
#shirtgate (?) Sorry, I can’t be reasonable here, because it was wrong. I say this after weeks of reading, writing and discussion and I do not say it lightly. Not only wrong, but it was criminal. As it was criminal I feel a lot of women should have been arrested. From all reports, a large percentage of feminists are pissed off about it — as am I .
It was short-sighted, over-done, had no purpose, served no goal and set feminism back in the eyes of the general public, about 20 years. — No.. that’s not an exaggeration and it is a serious injury.
Feminism as a movement has political clout… hard won political clout and without that clout there is no way anyone is getting any closer to equality – because without political power you have no method to effect change in the government. If you have no voice, you can’t speak. But what about the speaking we did with #Shirtgate you might reason. That wasn’t a voice. That was noise.
The only reason Matt responded was that he was for womens rights and was not your enemy. Personally, I’m not your enemy either — but I would have not only told you all to F-off, I would have found a shirt that had pictures of actual naked women, not half-naked, and worn that until if fell from my body in rags. I might have gone so far as to hire a porn star driver to get me around town so I could show off my shirt. — but that’s me.I’m not a sheep. I don’t go for bullying and I don’t care who is doing it.
Three girls, in high-school, were raped, and instead of backing them up, the school officials attempted to bully them into silence. – Where was your outcry there? Well I’ll tell you where it was. The YesAllDaughters told you not to show up. They are not feminists. Maybe you can shrug that off with a “if they don’t’ want us that is their prerogative and nothing off me.” But – – from where i’m watching — it is nothing off you because you no longer have it . But that is only one area —
The basis of the action is wrong. “we have the right not to have to deal with that offensive type of thing any more…” ..
Really? Where did you get that? See, I don’t have that right. I’m offended by sexist actions every day at work and I don’t have the right throw a fit about it. I don’t have the right to walk down the street without the fear of attack or without having to deal with someone trying to stop me or engage me in one form or another. And i’m a fairly large man with the same problem Christopher Walken has — generally people believe I’m violent on sight — just because of the way I look, and my size. That doesn’t stop them from offending me though. There are men who hire body guards to get them from the door to the car without out being accosted. So… why do you have this right? Where did you get this? I would really like to know.
The only people I know who have a right like this(well they claim it is a right) is a small population. If you were to wear something offensive to them, they, like #shirtgate did, would attack. They would grab you off the street, take you to prison, whip you, and perhaps stone you. If they didn’t stone you they would rape you just about every day you were in prison for the crime of offending men and god by what you were wearing. ISIS is one of those groups. Of course they would probably just behead you and get it over.
Now.. Matt — that’s his name by the way — Matt, he was attacked, insulted, publicly humiliated to the point he was ashamed to go see his mother — for 5 straight days. Phone calls emails, women screaming at him outside of his house, death threats.. it was horrid.
So what is the difference between the women who attacked Matt and the religious values of the men of ISIS? Not a damn thing. that’s what. You both have conjured an inflamed view of your importance, and your worth. And worse than that, you devalue everyone around you. NO.. EVERYONE, not just Matt, because you were like that before you saw that shirt. Those women do not see anyone as having value except themselves.
Those actions were not feminism, they were not women’s rights, they were not in defense of being objectified (which most of you don’t have any idea what that means at all). The Objectification theory was written and published in 1997. It has never been more than a framework theorem. No empirical data was ever gathered which showed it to be anything more than a framework theorem. Also, Roberts, one of the women who authored Objectification theory did studies afterwards and discovered by the results that it actually proved to be exactly the opposite as was proposed by the original paper in 1997.
Tomi-Ann Roberts returned to Colorado College, with much different ideas on her mind, most of them going toward the essay of Rebecca Walker.
Roberts does three papers, which attempt to clarify the theory for her, but wind up pulling her down an unexpected direction. Then, in the Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology Roberts gives us a glimpse and then a flood of this unexpected direction the work has led her too. (p.78)
… according to the position that we have provided, objectification of women serves an important existential function — it strips them of their creaturely connection and thus provides psychic protection from the threat of death. Thus it is not surprising that women objectify other women, additionally, it is also not surprising that women also objectify their own bodies, a phenomenon referred to as “self-objectification” and demonstrated by numerous studies ...”
The 180 degree turn on what objectification is, and what it means, and who it means it too, is quite radical. However Roberts in her return to Colorado will hold on to these ideas, as well as refining them. It is always a noteworthy trait of a researcher to be able to drop their preconceived ideas and accept the direction further research reveals. It is unfortunate this trait is not as prevalent as it could be
So, according to the studies in this area, not only was that shirt NOT a threat to you at all, objectifying is something required — though not fully understood, but something, which is beneficial – Hey, I didn’t write the papers, but it does make sense that who you are, and how you feel and the rights you have are All completely up to your words, actions and deeds and are not affected by any outside environment or agency. That’s how men have them.
If I am not sexist – I learned this back in the 80s — If I am not a womanizer or a bigot or a hate monger — no amount of screaming and accusing is going to make me into one, and I will not accept the mantle or the guilt. It is insulting, sure, it is even hurtful — but i’m not going to be guilted into doing something different because you’ve suddenly decided that a perceived and indefensible wound gives you the right to devalue my life. And the fact that you would try, that you would even make the attempt, tells me that that not only will I not, but I should not submit to your decries — because bullies suck.