feminism

Why women might end up coming across "cold" to men
When strangers do make threats against women they generally make a move when the woman is alone, so by definition you cannot have possibly been there to see and know what the woman has had to deal with in the past.
Men who explain things
"He was already telling me about the very important book -- with that smug look I know so well in a man holding forth, eyes fixed on the fuzzy far horizon of his own authority."

More Than Their Fathers

A PubSub feed for "Lakshmi Chaudhry" leads to Feministing pointing to AlterNet reprints of a March 2006 article by Chaudhry [reprint] and Susie Bright [reprint] writing about the same topic, that is, men's portrayal as sexless consumers in recent advertising campaigns. Chaudhry points to a study which suggest that “women may still bear the greater burden of domestic work, but American males today do more at home than their fathers, and are happy doing it”. As somoene who regularly irons his clothes, I bristled at Tina's assertion that men aren't going to anytime soon take up half the housework. It's probably true that men will never make up half of the housework, but the point Chaudhry makes is that increasingly men take up some duties. Granted, I currently live alone, but let the record reflect that I will happily iron my sweetheart's clothes while we listen to music or a lecture. Taking a look around on any nice Vancouver day, you'll probably see quite a few men taking their bouncing baby out for a walk. Not half of parents with babies out for a stroll are men, but more than, say, 10 years ago.

Chaudhry cites Mark Simpson, evidently inventor of the term 'metrosexual': “Consumerism wants to make us as atomized as possible -- because the more individualized we are the better consumers we are. This is why masculinity is so fragmented today and incoherent -- and irresponsible. It used to be the tradition. Literally passed down from father to son. But we live in a society where tradition stands in the way of profit. So bye-bye daddy.” This sounds sympathetic to Post-Modern Conservative's idea of The Smithereens (an idea I readily admit to not understanding fully).

Both articles argue that North American advertising and popular culture express correctly North American masculinity, that is, neither how men desire to express it not how they actually do express it. Big surprise. But two feminists, both "sex-positive", point this out, showing an awareness outside of male writer circles that masculinity are not uniform and that those that come to use from the television screen are much further off from reality than we're led to believe.

Femfox.com and the male geek's gaze
"The relationship between the viewer and the image loses its intimacy when the photographs [...] become a means to an end and play into the all too well-known stereotypes of the woman as seductress, sexual object or, at best, eye-candy."
Where are the women of comics?
"It is a nice irony that Crumb, whose pneumatic women and lascivious hippies have been called misogynistic, may have inspired more women to enter the field."

The Reverse Generalization

Anne Kingston on feminism and its backlash:

It's ironic. Twentieth-century feminism is routinely trashed for having assumed all women wanted a hard-driving career. Even Friedan came to recognize the error of that presumption, writing in her memoir, Life So Far: "I couldn't define 'liberation' for women in terms that denied the sexual and human reality of our need to love, and even, sometimes, to depend upon a man."

But now critics of feminism routinely make a reverse generalization -- that feminism got it wrong and that women really want to drop out and revel in the traditional role of woman.

The backlash could have been predicted if we consider that the modern corporation was created based on the assumption that employees had domestic backup and that married men should be paid more than single women. Should we be surprised that corporate life tends to be unaccommodating to married women and mothers? Or that a wage gap between men and women continues and women are frustrated they cannot get ahead?

The last paragraph of the article, which points out what women really want, is worth checking out.