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Kristin Devine

Kristin is a geek, a libertarian, and a domestic goddess. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals and works with women around the world as a fertility counselor. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of https://atomicfeminist.com/

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  1. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    I’m 50, and looking at your childhood experiences, I’m gonna say “hard same.” I played flag football (not competitively; it was the neighborhood kids forming teams with bandannas in our back pockets as the “flags”) and HORSE and probably would have played more sports if I actually, you know, liked sports.

    I don’t remember ever being told I couldn’t do something or something was not “ladylike.” No, wait: I remember in woods shop, the teacher claiming that “the girls” wouldn’t pass the “safety tests” for using the power tools and so if we failed, we could ask “one of the boys” (who, he seemed to assume, would all pass) to do that step for us. Though now as an adult I wonder if that was reverse psychology because all the girls got mad and were like “Yeah? We’ll show him….and we all passed all the safety tests). (All the students took wood and metal shop – the metal shop teacher was much lower key and I liked him a lot better – and cooking and sewing, even though the cooking and sewing instruction was pretty awful and I already knew how to, having learned from my parents).

    I also remember from my younger years “Free to Be, You and Me,” which actually was probably more revolutionary for BOYS in the sense that it showed football player Rosie Grier doing needlepoint, and had a segment about a boy wanting a doll (making the point that: boys grow up to be dads so them wanting to be nuturing is a good thing).

    I also wonder if it’s colored by family attitudes a little, and Klobuchar’s family was different? In my family, my mother was the first in her family to go to college – and she wound up earning a Ph.D. in a science field. And my dad, a geology prof, frequently had women grad students working with him, and as an adult I learned from one of those former students it was because he didn’t put them down or treat them differently from the guys, like some in his department did.

    In some ways I almost feel like gender roles were LESS rigid in the 1970s than they are now; there was this weird optimism like “we are on the brink of a big change and things are going to get so much better for everyone; boys who want to sew won’t be laughed at any more; girls who want to go into politics will be encouraged” and somehow that seemed to retreat and change starting in the 1980s and I am not sure if it’s just my perception or if it’s real, but…Report

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to fillyjonk
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      says:

      That’s a really good observation. My Mom never got to go to college and my Dad was the first to get a 4 year degree. Both were very supportive and encouraging of my goals, but socioeconomic status has a lot to do with the neighborhood(s) you grow up in, which in turn has a lot to do with the messages you get from peers and teachers. That going into a male dominated profession was going to mean having to fight and prove myself to be accepted there came through pretty loud and clear to me even if it was rarely explicitly stated.

      I think you’re also right that things went backwards later in the 80s. The backlash that came from the rise of the religious right very much pushed the ‘REAL women would CHOOSE to stay home and raise the kids’. There was a very strong feeling as I entered college that the clock was being turned backwards on gender equality, and that if you objected to that it meant you were an evil feminazi secular humanist liberal. (Which probably went a long way toward 20 yr old me saying “Really? Fine. I guess I’m going to have to be a liberal then.”)Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        And my mom even chose to stay home and raise her kids! When I was born, she told me, my dad suggested “If you want to go back to teaching, we could get a nanny” and my mom’s response was “No, I think I’d rather stay home.”

        I’m glad she did, but I’m also glad it was her CHOICE to.

        She did go back to some college teaching many years later when we were older; she did a lot of sabbatical fill-ins and things like that.Report

        • Avatar bookdragon in reply to fillyjonk
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          says:

          My Mom stayed home too, but she slid into depression that didn’t start to turn around until my sister was in school and she could go to work part time. She tried really hard not to let it show, but kids do pick up on their parents’ emotional state, especial the parent staying at home. Technically I know it was her choice, but I also recognize that she made that choice under the influence a lot of social pressure. So I’m torn between being glad she was there and wondering how much better her life might have been if she had worked outside the home instead.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        I think you’re also right that things went backwards later in the 80s. The backlash that came from the rise of the religious right very much pushed the ‘REAL women would CHOOSE to stay home and raise the kids’.

        Yes. 100 times this.

        Kristin seems intent on thinking that a) things always ratch forward, and b) things were ratched forward pretty damn far in the 70s.

        To address (b) first, they weren’t actually ratched at the point she _thinks_ they were in the 70s. Everyone was basically lying to everyone. We all, at the end of the 60s, collectively, decided that we were going to stop being sexist, and thus we had Solved the Problem of Sexism(TM).

        This was…uh…not true. It was things we pretending were true, but were not. What little girls were being told in the 70s was absurd pie-in-the-sky optimism.

        It is perhaps worth reminding people that Mondale’s campaign was literally a throwaway. There was _absolutely_ no way Mondale was going to win that election, and everyone knew it. The Democrats put a woman on the VP ticket solely as a PR gimmick. The first serious female VP candidate was actually Sarah Palin, believe it or not.

        Second, uh, we had a backlash against the hippies start in the 1980s, and that included the fight against sexism. In fact, we’ve repeatedly made forward movement on this and then slipped back halfway.

        Hey, remember the attacks on Murphy Brown being a single mother? That was way back in the…90s?

        In fact, it’s interesting to look back on what ‘family values’ used to mean and realize it actually generally meant ‘women staying in their place’, and the right was using it to attack women _outside the home_ until literally the mid-90s.(1)

        Gee, it’s almost as if we didn’t solve sexism in the 70s. Maybe we actually solved it in the…mid-90s? At which point it was Solved Forever, and we’ve never had any sort of reversal again. I mean, it’s not like we have moronic misogynistic running mobs around complaining about anything vaguely female.

        1) At which point ‘family values’ somehow turned into ‘anti-gay’ and ‘anti-choice’.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          I saw a blog once that was written by an Afghan who showed pictures of growing up in Kabul in the 1960s.
          He wrote about how women attended university, everyone dressed in suits and ties, and lived very Western, very secular cosmopolitan lives.

          That’s where I started to grasp how the “arc of history ” stuff is dangerously misleading. The arc of history bends in any number of ways, and towards justice is just one of the many options available.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          i love all these dudes explaining to a woman about how no, actually, she’s WRONG, she IS oppressed, and she’s a FOOL for not RECOGNIZING it

          like

          the enlightened intellectual progressive thing to do here is to yell at a woman and tell her she’s wrongReport

          • Avatar bookdragon in reply to DensityDuck
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            says:

            Dude, I’m a woman.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DensityDuck
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            says:

            You realize that literally nowhere in my comment did I say ‘Here is what things were like for women’, and I instead mentioned actual events like the Mondale election and Murphy Brown and what ‘family values’ used to mean politically?

            I may not be a woman, but I think I can accurately describe things society literally said outloud toward and about women.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC
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              says:

              i started quoting parts of your post where you were explaining how she was wrong but i ended up just quoting your post so go read it again kthx

              “I think I can accurately describe things society literally said outloud toward and about women”

              this is literally what mansplaining isReport

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                this is literally what mansplaining is

                Yes, folks, me explaining what the right used to mean by ‘family values’, is indeed mansplaining on my part. Only women can…explain what a bunch of old white guys meant by ‘family values’. Hmm. Wait.

                Or, maybe…anyone talking about Dan Quayle’s attack on Murphy Brown is mansplaining? Someone should go demand Wikipedia take down its article until it can be written by a woman!

                No, I have it: Folks, a man talking about the electoral odds of Mondale being elected is, in fact, mansplaining. Why this is, I’m not entirely certainly, as Mondale is, in fact, a man. (I outsmarted you by talking about the odds of Mondale, a man,being elected president, instead of the odds of Ferraro, a woman, being elected VP!)

                Or, really, I guess mansplaining is literally just men talking about _anything_ in a discussion about oppression of women.

                Wait, no that’s not what mansplaining is at all. Mansplaining, at least in this sense, is when a man decides that what a woman says happens to them personally is less true than what the man thinks happens to women.

                It’s when men dismiss the narratives and experience of women.

                But I have, at no point, dismissed Kristen’s narrative. In fact, I specifically said it was true, that women _have_ been told they can do ‘anything they want’ since at least the 70s.

                I then pointed out that her example of a woman being a possibility of VP was not actually a real possibility and everyone knew it.

                And that women ‘doing whatever they want’, such as Murphy Brown being a single mother, were attacked _decades_ after all little girls were being told they can do anything they want. That ‘Women should stay at home and deal with the children and anything else is morally suspect’ was the official right wing position, under ‘family values’, until _at least_ the late 90s. (And I’m not entirely sure it’s changed, but I won’t debate that. I’ll just say it was _openly_ their position until the late 90s.)

                At no point do I disagree with Kristen’s personal experience. I’ll leave _that_ to the women here, who have…mostly done so. I was instead pointing out how society has _acted_, things said and done.

                As someone who is in society and can observe and do research on giant public events as well as anyone, I can comment on them as well as anyone, regardless of gender. I have just as much knowledge of what happened with Mondale, or the Murphy Brown dispute, or what Republicans _openly_ said over and over, as anyone else, and have just as much right to comment on them.

                I mean, unless Kristen worked on the Mondale campaign and is like ‘No, we didn’t think it was hopeless, we mistakenly thought we had a much better chance than we did. We nominated Ferraro with the expectation that she would indeed become vice president’. I guess _then_ I’d be guilty of mansplaining over her.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                As someone who mostly agrees with your characterization of these events, I also 100 percent agree that you were mansplaining.

                So it’s not just a political disagreement that would make a person think so.

                One of my friends talks about the difference between lateral modes of interaction and commentary vs vertical ones, and how often men don’t seem to realize that what’s being objected to in their responses is not what they have to say, but the vertical superior to inferior method in which it’s being delivered. I don’t personally have a good way of pointing out *how* someone does that, but social conditioning seems to lead to men doing it more often than women do.

                (I do it a lot – the last paragraph here is an example of it – which tends to result in me being really annoying, but I do try not to.)Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                @maribou
                One of my friends talks about the difference between lateral modes of interaction and commentary vs vertical ones, and how often men don’t seem to realize that what’s being objected to in their responses is not what they have to say, but the vertical superior to inferior method in which it’s being delivered. I don’t personally have a good way of pointing out *how* someone does that, but social conditioning seems to lead to men doing it more often than women do.

                Claiming I’m saying things in a manner that tends to be socalized into men…that sounds entirely possible. I’m not entirely sure what that means (Honestly, on the internet, I think everyone tends to talk like this.), but okay.

                But there is a fundamental difference between how a lot of men interact with other men vs how they interact with women, a base-level assumption of incompetent or lack of knowledge (Even stuff that said woman would automatically be more knowledgable about, like their own personal experiences!) on the part of the woman. I’ve seen men do it to women.

                This is what _I_ understand mansplaining to be.

                Checking Wikipedia, it has apparently…changed.

                (I do it a lot – the last paragraph here is an example of it – which tends to result in me being really annoying, but I do try not to.)

                If that’s what mansplaining is now, (And wikipedia backs you up.) then there’s no specific term to describe when some random guy starts explaining X to a female expert in the field of X. I mean, if that’s how people are using the word ‘mansplaining’, I can’t stop them, but turning mansplaining into a discussion style is…well, exactly what would make sexist men happy:

                ‘Oh, you said I was mansplaining, but that doesn’t mean I’m being sexist, you just don’t like how I generally speak to everyone. I just speak assertively.’

                ‘No,the reason you got called out for mansplaining is that you attempted to tell a woman who was talking about hearts, who is actually a cardiologist, an extremely simplistic version of how hearts worked. And you don’t do that sort of thing to men.’

                Or ‘No, the reason you got called out for mansplaining is that you disagreed with the actual personal experiences of some woman who told you those experiences.’

                So…now it’s just become much harder to call men out of that behavior, now that we’ve apparently changed mansplaining to mean ‘Anyone talking to anyone while thinking they are in a position of more knowledge.’ (Which is, basically, the entire internet.), as opposed to ‘Assuming women’s lack of knowledge due to sexist assumptions by men.’?

                Also…good job making this now any-gender-applicable term sexist, everyone. ‘Let’s prefix negative things that can be done by anyone, even women, with ‘man-‘, this doesn’t play into caricatures of the feminist left as man-haters at all!’.

                Ah, the academic left, once again shooting itself in the foot with bad terminology. I’ll file it right next to ‘micro-aggressions’ (The word aggression means ‘purposefully try to harm’, which is literally the opposite of what micro-aggression is attempting to convey.) as ‘why the academic left shouldn’t be allowed to name things anymore’.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                “I disagree! But I looked it up on Wikipedia and it agrees with you but, and here’s the point, I’m still *RIGHT*.”Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Pssst? Did _you_ look it up on Wikipedia? Here, let me quote them:
                In its original use, mansplaining differed from other forms of condescension in that it is rooted in the assumption that a man is likely to be more knowledgeable than a woman. However, it has come to be used more broadly, often applied when a man takes a condescending tone in an explanation to anyone, regardless of the age or gender of the intended recipients: a “man ‘splaining” can be delivered to any audience.

                Hey, look at that, I was using the ‘old’ meaning of a word less than a decade old. Almost the textbook meaning, in fact! Silly me, how dare I be a few years out of date!

                And I didn’t say I was ‘right’. I said the change in meaning is absurdly counterproductive and stupidly renders the actual sexist behavior originally described by the term with literally nothing to describe it with.

                I will, however, point out that DensityDuck, who originally first accused me of mansplaining, was _also_ apparently working off the old definition, as the complaint was, literally, that we were a bunch of men telling a woman that she’s oppressed despite her saying otherwise.

                That, of course, is not what mansplaining is anymore. Apparently. Mansplaining is now _how_ something is said, not ‘men ignoring the expertise and knowledge of women’.

                It’s a bit amazing how the term mansplaining turned into _tone policing_ and now can be used against a _more knowledgable woman_ telling a man something if she does it in a condescending manner. Just…wow.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                @davidtc Without getting into all the drama and indignation of your response, characterizing what I was doing to you as “a woman doing it to a man” is inaccurate.

                I’m a genderfluid nonbinary person who identifies as both male and female. Most of my mansplaining tendencies *definitely* come from the male side of my socialization experiences (which are plentiful).

                Content wise, a) wikipedia is not your best source for understanding volatile social terms, b) I didn’t say the vertical/lateral difference was the only aspect of mansplaining, just the one that men seem most deaf to (you’re not disproving me here, c) pointing out assumed power dynamics is not “tone policing”, d) when I said speaking in a way that implies assumed inferior / superior, i wass definitely *not* only talking about knowledge level assumptions, e) I’m very familiar with the term mansplaining, far more familiar than you seem to be, and you are definitely still, quite performatively, mansplaining. now at me instead of Kristin (and yes, you *can* be mansplaining at someone other than a binary woman, and *yes* the fact that “everyone” seems to you to do that on the internet is part of those male blinders that many – not all – men seem to wear).

                So if you take the concept and the underlying problem seriously, stand the hell down and pack this into your memory banks and process it for a while, and quit expostulating.

                If not, like, fine. I’m responding out of irritation and not out of kindness, which is not my best look anyway.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                Without getting into all the drama and indignation of your response, characterizing what I was doing to you as “a woman doing it to a man” is inaccurate.

                What? Huh? I didn’t say that.

                Or…wait. Do you think I decided that anyone could do it to anyone because you said you did it to me, and thought I forgot you were non-binary and thought you were a woman?

                No, I already assumed women could also mansplain, because, duh, women can be sexist against women also. Women can ignore and discount the knowledge and experience of women. As can, obviously, non-binary people. Which I do know you are…I actually almost mentioned it, but it didn’t seem particularly relevant.

                This is because the fact you said you were mansplaining to me wasn’t important to me because it was _you_ doing it. It was important because you said _I_ was the victim of your mansplaining.

                I.e, I was thinking of it like racism. People of color can certainly be racist against people of color. It’s such a systemic bias that it’s hard to anyone to escape. What they (or anyone) can’t be racist against is white people, because racism refers to a type of society-wide systematic discrimination. There are occassionally some bias against white people, but it’s not racism.

                Likewise, I was operating under a definition of mansplaining that allowed anyone to do it, in theory, even if it was mostly men in practice. It just didn’t allow men to be the _victim_ of it.

                From my point of view, you basically said ‘Oh, we’ve now defined racism where there’s such thing as reverse-racism now.’. You can see why I was not particularly overjoyed with that redefinition.

                But if that’s the definition now, that’s the definition now.

                Content wise, a) wikipedia is not your best source for understanding volatile social terms,

                I used Wikipedia merely as a counter of Jaybird asserting that I was still claiming I was right. Which I wasn’t claiming. I mentioned Wikipedia to try to get across ‘It used to mean that, now it doesn’t.’, but that was apparently unclear without the actual text from Wikipedia. So I quoted.

                It seems exceeding odd for people to complain about me saying ‘This is what X means, and I’m not doing that’, and someone replies ‘No it doesn’t mean that’ and I go and check and it’s changed and I say ‘Oh, huh, it used to mean what I thought but it changed. Huh. Not really following this change, and not really sure it’s that great a change…’

                What do you want me to say here? I was wrong? Let me say it officially: I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE MEANING OF MANSPLAINING. IT HAS CHANGED. MY DEFINITION WAS OUTDATED.

                Now that that is out of the way: I have gone on to state some opinions about this change. And I hope people who have read those opinions will read them and understand that I can _accept_ and do not dispute, in any manner, how things are now…but that does not mean I have to like the change. I can even dislike the change without fully, or even slightly, understanding the new thing, because it is, regardless, a change from a definition I did understand to a different thing. I am allowed to have opinions on what words are used to describe things, and dislike it when they change semi-randomly, especially when they take away a word I see as useful to put it on something else.

                b) I didn’t say the vertical/lateral difference was the only aspect of mansplaining, just the one that men seem most deaf to (you’re not disproving me here

                At this point it looks to me that the term mansplaining has evolved into some large sociological theory, one I think I sorta grasp the edges of about how women and men are taught to interact differently.

                I’m…not really sure I care about the details right now. I rather suspect that ‘mansplaining’ won’t actually be the name of it, and at some point a few years from now I’ll read about the concept, better defined and under a better name…and we’ll have lost ‘mansplaining’ as a word for a certain type of blatantly obvious sexism for no real reason.

                c) pointing out assumed power dynamics is not “tone policing”

                In my experience, if something can be used to tone police people, it will. But whatever.

                d) when I said speaking in a way that implies assumed inferior / superior, i wass definitely *not* only talking about knowledge level assumptions,

                Okay?

                I mean, you have three options here. You can either try to explain the entire theory behind what mansplaining is to me, or link me to a good definition, or…not try to explain. Whichever you want. Saying somewhat vague things and then explaining that’s not really the whole thing when I try to restate my understanding of it to make sure I’m following…is not a good use of anyone’s time.

                Like I said, I’m sure I’ll come across it eventually.

                e) I’m very familiar with the term mansplaining, far more familiar than you seem to be, and you are definitely still, quite performatively, mansplaining. now at me instead of Kristin

                If mansplaining is something _you_ also occasionally do, and just did a bit to me, then I’m not particularly worried if I’m doing it. I don’t find anything objectionable about the paragraph you said you mansplained in.

                I will continue to try not to do what I used to call mansplaining, because that is sexist.Report

        • Avatar Dave in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          I wrote this at two separate times of the day so I apologize in advance for any rambling.

          “Kristin seems intent on thinking that a) things always ratch forward, and b) things were ratched forward pretty damn far in the 70s.”

          I’ll get to (a) later because it’s a very strange claim given the substance of her post.

          “To address (b) first, they weren’t actually ratched at the point she _thinks_ they were in the 70s.

          And what does she think? You don’t know. There are small tidbits but hardly enough to know where she thought things were let alone claim she was past it. While my response to (a) shows that, I’ll continue along.

          “Everyone was basically lying to everyone.”

          A falsifiable claim if there ever was one.

          “We all, at the end of the 60s, collectively, decided that we were going to stop being sexist, and thus we had Solved the Problem of Sexism(TM).”

          You’re attributing this to Kristen? I don’t know if I’d do that.

          “It is perhaps worth reminding people that Mondale’s campaign was literally a throwaway. There was _absolutely_ no way Mondale was going to win that election, and everyone knew it.”

          I was 11 in 1984. Geraldine Ferraro’s VP candidacy was a BIG deal for girls back then. Hell, it was all over my elementary school and teachers talked about it. Hell, I thought it was a big deal and I wouldn’t have known whether or not she had a chance.

          “Second, uh, we had a backlash against the hippies start in the 1980s”

          It started as soon as the first hippie emerged.

          “In fact, we’ve repeatedly made forward movement on this and then slipped back halfway.”

          The problem I have with this kind of rollback argument is three-fold. First, it downplays the fact that progress, especially in areas like civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights – whether through legislation, constitutional law, etc. – have faced fierce opposition since the beginning, and continue to face the same opposition after-the-fact. Sure, sometimes it pulls one way, sometimes the other.

          The second problem is the attempt to quantify a change to an abstract and qualitative notion of progress. Not only is it poor form to do that in general but the fact that you mentioned 50% of our progress is a stunningly large number, to the point of absurdity. The use of a quantitative measure, having (unfortunately) spent time on Twitter in this kinds of debates, I can’t tell if you’re serious or just being a Chicken Little (I’ll know if I”m called “alt-right-adjacent”).

          The third is arguing the notion of “solved”. What sort of misguided idealist or just flat out moron believes that we can solve racism, sexism, etc? Impossible which is why I think the whole language of “eradicating power structures” is a giant pile of abstract virtue-signalling horseshit, the kind that the “conservatism” that’s emerged feeds off of.

          We’re not talking about the social conservatives of the 80’s and 90’s. This is different. This is a populist movement inspired in part by the rise of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web. It hides behind the “dissident” image and claims of heterodoxy but in reality is a right leaning movement that wields a vulgar form of rationality as a spear and shields itself with claims of non-ideology while being virulently anti-left. It embraces the worst elements of identity politics while claiming to be fighting the good fight for the West, the Enlightenment and even liberalism (ugh).

          As much as the left identitarians annoy me, these people lay claim to my beliefs and shit all over them. Not having it.

          ————————————————————————————————————–

          As far as Kristen believing in constant progress, her post adamantly rejects that in at least three places.

          1. “It is no mystery to me why younger women feel like a pretend character like Wonder Woman – a comic book character that is not even meant to be human, mind you – is like, sooo totally inspiring or whatever? Because absent the stories of all the actual women doing actual stuff throughout all recorded history, women’s sudden “liberation” probably does feel downright supernatural.”

          2. “Yet, some people have so much invested in maintaining this fiction where a sexist pig is lurking under every rock that they are deliberately undermining girls’ confidence for their own benefit..these charlatans continue to promote false mythology where they lie to young women and girls about history and reality in ways that actively harm and undermine those young women and girls in the future.”

          YESSSSSSSS! Stuff like this makes me grin ear-to-ear because I think the same way. Speaking of reality, when do we get to discuss anti-semitism?

          I’d point out that there are men doing this also…just saying…

          3. “Life ain’t perfect but I am not oppressed and Susannah is even more not oppressed than me. We can acknowledge how good things are for us without surrendering the good fight. We can acknowledge how far we’ve come without forgetting the women who came before us who fought the battle on our behalf and without forgetting our sisters around the world who haven’t won yet. We can keep working to make things better and fairer without demanding special treatment – because we don’t need special treatment. We can call out male bull– when we see it without embracing a victim narrative.”

          My only nit with this one is that the bullshit doesn’t only come from males.

          I’m not sure how (a) holds given the very substance of her post. Maybe you don’t like her target. Someone else already complained about her criticisms of Wonder Woman and her not understanding women that haven’t lived under rocks since 1950 despite the fact that Kristen’s Wonder Woman represents the exact kind of feminist approach that speaks to my support for liberal feminism. Thank goodness she goes against the grain. This site needs more feminists like her.

          I’d much rather read people that understand that real world activism with real world people doing real world things should be more inspiring and more empowering than a movie. However, we’ve gotten used to a form of activism that need not concern itself with the material conditions of women around the world so long as performativity and virtue signaling are done properly and that the “right voices” are “centered” unless the oppressed class is Jewish. How’s that for empowerment?Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Dave
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            says:

            there exists a school of thought that says Wrongthink should have been conquered by now and if it isn’t that means it’s winning and we need to fight extra hard

            there also exists a school of thought that says pretending there’s been no progress might give some people the wrong impression but allowing that there *has* been progress is worse because people would slack off and the Wrongthink would grow back twice as fastReport

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dave
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            “Everyone was basically lying to everyone.”

            A falsifiable claim if there ever was one.

            It’s almost as if the claim that ‘everyone’ lying about the same thing to ‘everyone’ should be understood as hyperbole, because that can’t literally be true.

            “We all, at the end of the 60s, collectively, decided that we were going to stop being sexist, and thus we had Solved the Problem of Sexism(TM).”

            You’re attributing this to Kristen?

            How…what? How would I be attributing to her? I attributed it to ‘we’, as in society at the end of the 60s.

            I was 11 in 1984. Geraldine Ferraro’s VP candidacy was a BIG deal for girls back then. Hell, it was all over my elementary school and teachers talked about it. Hell, I thought it was a big deal and I wouldn’t have known whether or not she had a chance.

            By ‘everyone’, I meant ‘the people in politics, and any serious political observer’. And I rather suspect your teachers did, in fact, know she had no chance. This was an example of the ‘lying to everyone’ I referenced previously.

            So since apparently people didn’t follow what I was saying, let me clarify: Sometime around the late 60s, society starting doing what Terry Pratchett calls ‘lies to children’. That’s stuff we (And again by ‘we’ I mean society.) _want_ to believe is true, and tell people is true, because if enough people believe it’s really how the world works, it is.

            We started telling little girls (and boys) that women could be whatever they wanted when they grew up. We pointed to _any_ example we could find of that, for example a pre-doomed VP candidate. (Picked exactly for that purpose, in fact.)

            I am in no way critising these ‘lies’…fifty years of telling children these things has made them almost true! Or at least true enough we tend to get really upset when it turns out not to be true. But it sure as hell wasn’t true back then. It wasn’t even true for those little girls who were first told those things back then. They became adults in the 80s and 90s, and ran _smack_ into a bunch of old men (Who predated these ‘lies to children’) blocking their path. For decades.

            Men who attacked single mothers. Men who attacked women who didn’t stay at home with their kids. Men who attacked _men_ who did stay at home with their kids. Discussing whether or not women can even _be_ president. Entire political frameworks based on this sort of crap, usually called ‘traditional family values’. It was what they screamed about before homosexuality and abortion had to carry the load by themselves.

            I mean, I was there. I saw it. I obviously wasn’t a woman, I won’t comment on the personal experience of any woman, I’m sure some of them had perfectly great experiences and some had horrible ones (I point to various court cases about sexual discrimination and sexual harassment and women who have written about their experiences), but I can see _society_ and the things political leaders said.

            “In fact, we’ve repeatedly made forward movement on this and then slipped back halfway.”

            The problem I have with this kind of rollback argument is three-fold. First, it downplays the fact that progress, especially in areas like civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights – whether through legislation, constitutional law, etc. – have faced fierce opposition since the beginning, and continue to face the same opposition after-the-fact. Sure, sometimes it pulls one way, sometimes the other.

            I…am utterly baffled by this being in ‘disagreement’ with me. This is…exactly the point I was making.

            The second problem is the attempt to quantify a change to an abstract and qualitative notion of progress. Not only is it poor form to do that in general but the fact that you mentioned 50% of our progress is a stunningly large number, to the point of absurdity. The use of a quantitative measure, having (unfortunately) spent time on Twitter in this kinds of debates, I can’t tell if you’re serious or just being a Chicken Little (I’ll know if I”m called “alt-right-adjacent”).

            Erm, I said ‘halfway’, clearly intended as a somewhat vague estimation of us rolling backwards, not ‘50%’. It’s exactly the same as saying, ‘one step forward, two steps back’.

            Also, you seem to think ‘50%’ is too large, but I suspect that’s because you’re thinking ‘Let’s draw a line of our forward progress, and then at the end go back halfway’. Like if you start pre-women’s-sufferage and move forward to now, and then go back halfway, we’d end up in the 60s or whatever.

            That is indeed absurd. But that’s because we don’t do it all at once. We repeatedly make a small amount of progress, and then backslide a smaller amount. I don’t think ‘halfway’ is too high a number for our backsliding on average. I mean, look at abortion rights. We legalized that in one giant step back, and since then we’ve constantly slide back, to the point where it’s much harder to get an abortion how than in the early 80s.

            If you want to argue it’s closer to ‘three step forward, one step back’ or even ‘four steps forward, one step back’, whatever. I don’t think this is actually _quantifable_ in any manner, and I suspect neither do you.

            The third is arguing the notion of “solved”. What sort of misguided idealist or just flat out moron believes that we can solve racism, sexism, etc? Impossible which is why I think the whole language of “eradicating power structures” is a giant pile of abstract virtue-signalling horseshit, the kind that the “conservatism” that’s emerged feeds off of.

            It is super-weird how you keep disagreeing with me by agreeing with me.

            We’re not talking about the social conservatives of the 80’s and 90’s. This is different. This is a populist movement inspired in part by the rise of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web. It hides behind the “dissident” image and claims of heterodoxy but in reality is a right leaning movement that wields a vulgar form of rationality as a spear and shields itself with claims of non-ideology while being virulently anti-left. It embraces the worst elements of identity politics while claiming to be fighting the good fight for the West, the Enlightenment and even liberalism (ugh).

            Erm…this is now what ‘we’ are talking about, is it?

            I’m pretty sure that I was, indeed, talking about social conservatives of the 80s and 90s, and how they undercut the narrative that ‘Since the 1970s, little girls have been told they can grow up to be whatever they want’.

            As far as Kristen believing in constant progress, her post adamantly rejects that in at least three places.

            Actually, I said she seems to believe that change is never backwards, not that there is constant forward movement. That we ‘racket’ forward…our progress might be irregular, but once we reach a new level there’s no possibility of going back.

            I disagree with this position.

            …the rest of your post just gets…uh…weird.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Dave
            Ignored
            says:

            Now hold on. Were girls really being told they can be anything they want?

            Because that’s not what boys are told.

            “Boy, you’re going to spend your life digging ditches if you don’t get those grades up.”

            “Study hard, because you do not have a future in baseball.”

            In fact, although our local economy ran on coal, I can’t recall a single boy who wanted to be a coal miner when he grew up.

            Then there’s the famous exchange between a mom and her son.
            “Mom, when I grow up I want to be a socialist.”
            “I’m sorry son, but you can’t do both.”

            Boys of my era were commonly taught by smacking them in the face with stinky slabs of reality.

            Yet there’s a very interesting talk at the Smithsonian by the first female Thunderbird pilot, who wanted to be a fighter pilot since she was 5 years old. After giving a presentation to her 6th grade class, [probably in 1988] her teacher told her that women weren’t allowed to be Air Force fighter pilots. She acknowledges that he was correct, but she was unphased because she had the support of friends and family. (That’s about 12:00 minutes in). She also shares a wonderful story about her gloves and her helmet from 35:25 to 39:00.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          The main thing I recall about Geraldine Ferraro is that her husband’s business dealings (he was in real estate) became a huge, multiple updates daily issue. Even though the ultimate conclusion was no wrongdoing, it sucked all the oxygen out of the first month of the campaign.

          Nothing to do with her being a woman of course.Report

  2. Avatar bookdragon
    Ignored
    says:

    Okay, I can’t help but feel you are making a mountain range out of two mole hills here.

    First, Klobuchar’s statement was not about “OMG women are soooo oppressed. Victimhood!” It was frankly, a simple statement of fact about where she came from. Which is btw a place and time not dissimilar from where I came from, and one where opportunities for women were expanding, but the a being woman president? A girl saying she wanted to be president in the 70s would get ‘oh, sure you can honey’ in the easily recognized ‘look how cute and naive’ tone adults use on kids with lofty but unrealistic goals. Nor, do I think her statement was any claim of victimhood; it struck me as ‘Look how far we’ve come’, which is pretty much part of your thesis here, so I don’t know why you feel like you need to spin it into something horrible.

    Second, I feel like the point of the Disney story was exactly to celebrate women who achieved or pushed for opportunity back when things were much worse in terms of socially pervasive sexism. The Sophie story, is literally, ‘Sometimes people will tell you can’t do something because of your gender [or race, class, etc.], but let that stop you, even others – even those in your same group – tell you shouldn’t try”.Report

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to bookdragon
      Ignored
      says:

      Gah. Typos.

      meant to write “don’t let that stop you, even if”

      Also, I get that you hate Wonder Woman, but she was and is my favorite superhero. I don’t think the current movie was at what you depict here, or meant what you seem to think to any women not living under a rock since 1950. I do think it was well done and showed women as powerful and capable – and not just an extraordinary individual but in a large and diverse group of women – in a more explicit way than a lot of prior superhero movies, and that struck a cord with a lot of women. I think the same applies to the Wakandan women in Black Panther, perhaps more so since they are clearly just humans.Report

      • Avatar Dave in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        I went back and read her Wonder Woman review for the first time. I loved the movie but the review is exactly the kind of thing that needed to be written. This site is better for having published it.

        You’re entitled to dislike it but her review covered much more than the movie, something I’m sure you noticed when you read it in detail. Plenty of extraordinary individuals mentioned. What do you think of them?Report

        • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Dave
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          says:

          I did notice it, and commented on my impressions at the time. You can easily find them there. If you bother, you’ll see I agree on holding up various real life women who have achieved a lot.

          However, as a woman who has practiced martial arts since I was 14, I strongly disagreed with her criticism of Wonder Woman as unworthy to be a feminist character because she used physical force. I disagree with her telling me (in that article and others touching on her take on feminism) how I have to express my own strength and personality in order to be feminine enough (by her definition) to count.Report

      • Avatar Dave in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        “or meant what you seem to think to any women not living under a rock since 1950.”

        You win. I’m convinced.Report

        • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Dave
          Ignored
          says:

          That was my sarcastic reply to “Girls aren’t being told these stories and I know that they aren’t because a whole lot of women truly thought they never had a role model on Planet Earth before the movie Wonder Woman. ” (emphasis mine)

          The diatribe that follows isn’t wrong about the need for more history discussing actual women who are admirable and worthy of emulation, but the concept that girls and women therefore cannot and should not enjoy enjoy strong fictional female characters is BS.

          Worse, when put along with the rest of her ‘oppression olympics’ rant, I can’t help but think that any history that actually mentioned the barriers those women had to overcome would have to be deemed wrong and damaging to girls since until the *very moment* they heard them (like her daughter watching Sophie) they couldn’t *possibly* know that women were *ever* not allowed to do everything.

          But sure, jump right to snarkily dismissing my point. That’ll convince me.Report

      • Avatar Kristin Devine in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        Hey, great, you liked a movie. (has nothing to do with WW the character, who I also like) I think that is absolutely fine that you like a movie, and my not liking a movie does not detract in any way from you liking it. In fact you are free to read one of the 4 million breathlessly pro-Wonder Woman articles that exist online.

        I felt differently and I wrote about it and some people liked what I had to say.

        I really fail to understand how one woman having an opinion that is different from 99% of other women is an intolerable position that is offensive to people. It doesn’t take anything away from you for me to see something differently.Report

        • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Kristin Devine
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          says:

          It is not intolerable. However if you write about that opinion as you did here, directing a sneering sarcasm at women who loved *finally* having a movie featuring an iconic female superhero and implying that celebrating how they feel about the movie and the character somehow means that they think there have never been any other feminist role models – or worse, that by celebrating WW they are somehow actively ignoring and burying all real historic female roles (something mentioned here but much more strongly implied in the original WW article) – maybe, just maybe, you should expect push back on that?

          It’s not that you have a different opinion than 99% of other women. In this particular case it’s that you write that opinion in a way that comes across an insulting, sometimes even contemptuous, of how those others think and feel.Report

    • Avatar Kristin Devine in reply to bookdragon
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      says:

      I have tried really hard to walk away from this one and I just can’t. This comment speaks to the fundamental dysfunctionality of this site and so I feel I must push back. Nothing personal.

      Let me tell you the origins of this piece. An offhand remark I made on Twitter about what Amy Klobuchar said went viral – over 1500 people liked it and it got a lot of retweets, and Will asked me to write a piece fleshing it out. Because Will and I are trying to run a newsmagazine here, we are always on the lookout for interesting subjects that will interest our present readers and also possibly even attract new ones (shocker! a newsmagazine might want new readers!!)

      For example, I wrote about Kellyanne Conway not because she’s my idol and I was all fired up against how unjustly she was being treated, but because someone asked me my opinion about it on Twitter. One of my Twitter followers cared about my opinion on the topic enough to ask me about it. I hadn’t even HEARD about it before they asked me. I don’t give two s– about Kellyanne Conway, quite frankly. But since I’m trying to attract readers to this site, I thought (just as Will and I thought regarding this piece) that it might be something people might want to read about since at least one person was interested to hear what I had to say.

      So my last two non-fiction pieces were not written because I had some burning and furious desire to get my opinions to the masses but because I had reason to believe that readers and potential new readers of a news magazine I consider myself working for, were interested. With me so far?

      I have a notebook in which I keep a great many little story ideas and I’d written down the vignette of Sophia the First because I thought it was interesting (and BTW, believe it or not, I actually am fully capable of understanding the intended point of a Disney cartoon, but thx for the explanation) I’d also written down the “whenever I really need my husband he becomes the biggest problem I have” observation I used in the Kellyanne piece. Neither of these things is enough for a piece on their own. They’re just interesting tidbits. That’s why I keep stuff like that in my notebook, so I can tuck them in places for color as circumstances arise.

      These “molehills” you speak of, you’re referring to an article I was asked to write due to public interest and a vignette I’ve had in a notebook for 18 months that I thought fit in pretty well. Not anything I’m salivating rabidly over or trying to blow out of proportion because I’m an insane conservative maniac always looking for something to stoke the fires of my perpetual outrage, but an article I was asked to write because at least 1500 people appreciated a sentiment I expressed.

      Reminder, some of us are trying to run a news magazine.

      I am here to do one thing. Produce interesting content. I want this site to succeed because I honestly think it’s a pretty cool concept and a noble cause in such a divided world. I don’t care if I have to drag Chip along by the fedora to do it, I’m gonna do what I can to make this site succeed for as long as the editors will have me (which is probably going to be about 2 minutes after I post this). That means I’m gonna write stuff that people – including OTHER people, not only longtime OT people, want to read. I am very well aware that a good percentage of the longtime readers of this site don’t like that, and they’d prefer to have boring pieces about the same three things again and again and again, keeping a few tame and/or crazy conservatives onhand that they can either tag team into submission or use to confirm their priors. But that ain’t me.

      One of the best, soundest rules on this site IMO is the rule that using things you know, or think you know about a person in their personal life to psychoanalyze them in the comments, is off limits. I think that’s a pretty damn fine rule, and I think it should apply three times over to the people who are willing to lay it on the line to create content. So I really do not appreciate people saying things like I’m making mountains out of molehills because that comes off to me a lot like “women are hysterical, overwrought, overly emotional, etc”. You’re dismissing my opinion as being ill informed, being borne of exaggeration, possibly even dishonesty, due to what you perceive as some type of underlying psychological/emotional baggage. I don’t think it is right that people can sit in the comments and take potshots at the emotional state of the people who are producing the content. In fact I think it’s against the rules of the site.

      Now THAT was me making a mountain out of a molehill.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Kristin Devine
        Ignored
        says:

        ” (which is probably going to be about 2 minutes after I post this)”

        no, no no no no no no. i hope @trumwill touched base with you about this in private but we 100 percent would never do that. Not to any of our writers, and definitely not to someone who writes as many fine pieces for the site as you do. (But also, not to ANY of our writers.)Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Kristin Devine
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        says:

        “Nothing personal”? You accuse me of breaking the rules of the site, and completely mischaracterize my use of a simple common idiom as an attempt to denigrate women as “hysterical, overwrought, overly emotional, etc” and I’m not supposed to take that attack on my character personally??

        All the backstory on how you wrote this, okay. But I don’t follow you or anyone else on twitter and obviously don’t read your correspondence will Will Truman, or your journal, or your mind. So I read this content you created, and I responded with my honest reaction to it. Given that you spend paragraphs talking about how, sure, most women have some experiences of sexism, but those are ‘lightning strike moments’ (a good turn of phrase btw) and not worth making a big deal out of, it struck me as both ironic and inconsistent that you were taking two fairly innocuous things like the Sophie story and Klobuchar’s statement about attitudes she experienced in her childhood and built that into evidence of some grand narrative of “oppression tales” that are “toxic” and the work of charlatans who “promote false mythology where they lie to young women and girls about history and reality in ways that actively harm and undermine those young women and girls in the future.”

        I guess I should have just gone with my original reaction told you that seemed inconsistent, if not downright hypocritical, but I didn’t. I erased that response and instead pointed out that, in my opinion, neither Sophie nor Klobuchar came across as you described them. I pointed out why I felt your characterization didn’t fit, and yes, that I felt you were being unfair and uncharitable in how you were insisting that Klobuchar must be lying about her experience because it wasn’t that same as yours. I did not quote the language from your own article in which you did in fact repeatedly exaggerate and accuse her and Disney and anyone else who tells stories of women overcoming obstacles of doing it for nefarious reasons and creating a toxic environment that damages little girls. Maybe I should have so that my reaction to it would have been plainer, but I certainly didn’t say anything implying that you had “some type of underlying psychological/emotional baggage”, nor did I take potshots at your emotional state.

        The phrase “making a mountain out of a mole hill” is one that applies to a lot of commentary on blogs and in other other media. There are tv commentators who have gotten rivch using that as their whose whole shtick for creating content. (Nearly all of the most famous ones are men, btw). It absolutely is not a reference to psychological/emotional baggage or emotional state, especially wrt to stereotypes of women. I am a woman and very strongly object to any suggestion that women are prone to being hysterical, overwrought, etc., so I am extremely insulted by your accusation that that as what I intended. In fact, attributing that intent to me is far closer to applying a psychoanalysis or taking potshots at a commentator than anything I said. And, yes, I do take that attack on my character as personal.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Kristin Devine
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        says:

        Wondering if I can get a ruling on whether I’m one of the “tame or crazy conservatives” or both…

        I need to calibrate my indignation.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    The other day, Bug (who is 6 and 3/4, as I am regularly reminded) asked me why the shows he watches never have songs about Boys being heroic and being able to do anything?

    So we had to have a conversation about how when we were kids, there weren’t many (any?) shows about girls who were strong and heroic, and certainly very few songs, and, so girls didn’t always get the idea that they could be strong and heroic. So, these days, they go a little overboard with those songs.

    Also, kiddo, if we are being honest, you tend to like shows like “Nella The Princess Knight”, and mom & dad don’t screen your shows on the basis of traditional gender normative behavior*, so let’s discussion ‘Selection Bias’…

    *Mostly we screen on “Does listening to this show annoy the ever-living out of us or not”Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      I remember as a kid seeing lots and lots of shows where “girl characters” were secondary to the “boy characters.” I don’t remember having a problem with it, though I also don’t remember wondering “why aren’t girls ever the heroes?”

      I also remember reading somewhere that at one time the thinking (of network execs and the like) was “girls will willingly watch many ‘boy shows,’ but boys won’t willingly watch ‘girl shows,'” which is probably the answer to the question I never asked. (I’ve also read that’s why JK Rowling went by JK rather than Joanne – because some publisher told her boys wouldn’t want to read a book if they knew it was by a woman)

      I don’t know. I’m not sure how much of that I buy but I do remember as a kid when we played “superheroes” or whatever, some other girl would grab Wonder Woman right away and I’d either be left in the role of “victim” or playing a character who, in the cartoon, was male. Not that that second mattered greatly to me then, but.

      But yeah: I wouldn’t have a problem with some shows being more “traditionally” boy-oriented, provided they’re not, you know, like putting girls DOWN or somethingReport

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      It’s interesting that even the old Disney movies that reinforced the very traditional gender roles were still focused on the princess. The prince is a savior/hero, but very much a flat secondary character in most of them. The first one I can remember where the male character was really the lead is Aladdin.

      I’m sure Disney didn’t do that out of commitment to any agenda other making money, so there must be a market for princess stories that’s a lot more lucrative than one focusing on princes. Maybe that was because there were so few stories where the girl was the central character? But now that there are a lot of stories with girls who are heros in their own right, maybe that will also change?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        How many parents refer to their boys as princes and encourage them to play knights rather cops, superheroes, cowboys and other modern archetypes? Even in the remaining monarchies, I’m relatively sure that most boys don’t play imaginary games involving royalty. Girls are sometimes referred to their parents as princesses and indulge in imaginary games involving royalty or at least genteel behavior from what I gather. This creates a market for princess movies but not prince movies. Boys are raised in a more small r-republican manner.Report

        • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to LeeEsq
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          says:

          when I was a kid I kind of hated the whole “princess” thing, princesses seemed boring to me. And my parents never affectionately called me “princess” though I know some parents who do that now.

          I was frankly more interested in the “funny animal” type cartoons (like Bugs Bunny, et al.) than the princess-themed Disney movies, but then again, I grew up in the 1970s, which was kind of a Disney drought (Except for “The Rescuers,” which I loved, and which did kind of feature a female hero in Bianca)Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to fillyjonk
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            says:

            Disney didn’t really discover the sheer marketing power of princess until the Little Mermaid. It took them until the aughts when I was in college to really weaponize princess culture for material gain. While they had princess movies when Walt was alive, they didn’t really market them as such. That came later. Maybe the counter-culture had enough influence on society that girls were encouraged to have a more small r-republican fantasy life at the time.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to LeeEsq
          Ignored
          says:

          ” I’m relatively sure that most boys don’t play imaginary games involving royalty.”

          About 75 percent of the boys I’ve seen grow up from baby to teenager (about a dozen) in the last 20 years have gone through a knight phase at some point. Quite often this involves some king stuff though not always. Do you know any boys, I mean, kids who are boys right now, or are you just speculating?

          And these boys are all American.

          The culture reinforces their superhero and cop games a lot more enthusiastically than the knight ones, these days, but they’re all still there…Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Maribou
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            says:

            It could also be a generational thing. The key word might be the past twenty years, which is when Disney’s Princess Cult started really going strong. Before that, medieval-esque fantasy was not part of mainstream entertainment for the most part so being a knight or princess was beyond the radar of most girls and boys.Report

            • Avatar Maribou in reply to LeeEsq
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              says:

              All the kids when I was growing up also played at being knights. Like we had a 6 month ongoing fantasy thing at recess in gradeschool in which knights were part of it.

              I originally specified the past 20 years because I was trying to be clear that this wasn’t something to do with where I grew up being old-fashioned or something.

              But I think now that it’s possible that “medieval-esque fantasy” just wasn’t part of your own childhood play, and that’s making you think it didn’t hit anyone else. I mean, I guess there could also be a window in the late 80s-early 90s when you were a kid and I wasn’t, but when I was too young to know many kids again yet, that this common feature of childhood play somehow disappeared from the landscape.

              (The Sword and the Stone, which I mentioned below, is the Disney version of Arthur, and it came out in the 60s and had regular revivals in theatres throughout the 70s and 80s.)Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                I was born in the 1980, so the Smurfs and the Disney’s Gummi Bear cartoon with its’ medieval setting were part of my childhood. I was certainly interested in the Middle Ages but never really had a fantasy of being a knight. It could be because Jews really don’t have much incentive to romanticize the Middle Ages because we were on the receiving end of the sword more often than not.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                @leeesq OK, but then you’re talking about a 40 year range, not a 20 year one.

                There’s a lot wrong with knight fantasies – most people in the middle ages were, as you say, on the receiving end of the sword more often than not – but they are also very very common among boys in the Western mainstream and have been for a long time.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                boy: “Knights are cool! They get neat armor and swords and horses who were their best friends and they swore to always be honorable and courageous! I want to be a knight and defend the people against evil monsters and bad guys!”

                woke: “actually knights were assholes who oppressed the poor on behalf of the rich.”

                kid: “Okay, well, I guess my role model will be a secular humanist with ingroup/outgroup morality and situational ethics, then.”

                woke: “That’s better. And don’t forget that everything you do is primarily motivated by reflexive defense of your unearned racial privilege.”Report

      • Avatar FortyTwo in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        Robin Hood. One of my favorites. It does have a strong female character in Lady Clucke.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to FortyTwo
          Ignored
          says:

          Bambi and both The Fox and the Hound of _The Fox and the Hound_ are also male, and earlier than Robin Hood (which is one of my favorites as well). [And while the Fox and the Hound aren’t royalty, Bambi most definitely is, as is quite explicit in the movie’s later parts.] And Pinocchio was definitely the very earliest male protagonist in a Disney animated feature, sharp on the very heels of Snow White. Dumbo. Peter Pan. All male. Those were off the top of my head.

          Turning to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Disney_theatrical_animated_features provides many many more.

          Reviewing all of it, I think if you disqualify Pinocchio for being a puppet, there’s a pretty strong woman-or-male-animal protagonist thread, you could argue that much… Peter Pan is, I think, the first more-or-less human male to star in a Disney animated feature, and if he’s too fae to count (or if you want to stan for Wendy being the protagonist of that one, which I suppose you could arguably do), you get the Sword in the Stone, in 1963. Wart / Arthur is definitely the protagonist and definitely male. Long before Aladdin.Report

  4. Avatar JoeSal
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    says:

    Netflix is awful stuff, it’s injected with, well you know.Report

  5. Avatar Mark
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    says:

    I graduated from medical school in 1970. My class was 5% female. No woman applying to med school in my time was told that women were unfit to be doctors, but somehow that was the ratio we had. The previous generation were explicitly told that women were categorically unsuitable. The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court was in 1981. In my youth, which wasn’t really that long ago, there was one woman in the US senate. Things have obviously changed. Activism had a role in producing these changes.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    “The 1970s Were Just Like The 1950s” is one of those stories like “Christians Thought The World Was Flat” and “Galileo was Excommunicated For Proving Heliocentrism”; it’s total bullshit, but it feels good, and we have decided that we aren’t allowed to like things that aren’t true, so people keep telling it like it was truth.Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    Hypothesis: Many liberal feminist women from upper middle class backgrounds have rather stereotypical feminine cultural instincts and feel kind of guilty about this. They know they should be more tomboyish but really just like things marked as feminine as girls and as a women. To get around what they might see as something of a persona failure, they tell stories about society forcing this on women rather than admitting this is what they like.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq
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      says:

      They like it because society forced them to like it!

      Of course, we are all, male and female, shaped in such ways by society, for better or worse.Report

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to LeeEsq
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      says:

      Hmm. Personally I never had a problem being both tomboyish and playing with Barbies, so, No.

      I’m not sure what term is actually appropriate, but it feels kind of like some sort of projection on your part. Perhaps you really want to believe that all girls and women deep down want to be glam and traditional girly because of your own preferences?Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to bookdragon
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        says:

        I never had a problem being both tomboyish and playing with Barbies…

        Borrowing from my wife’s experiences, neither did she. Part of that, she admits, is growing up on a small Kansas farm. Everyone did tomboyish things — clean manure, kill chickens, whack the aggressive steer in the nose with a broom handle to remind it that it was suffering delusions of gender. But she could also play with dolls, which her brothers couldn’t.Report

        • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Michael Cain
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          says:

          I grew up (mostly – moved around a lot) in more rural parts of Ohio, so there may be something to that in terms of girls from that background learning to be more can-do and getting far fewer messages about the importance of having perfect hair, make up and nails 😛

          I didn’t have brothers, but I do think boys get the short end of the stick a lot of times because they so often aren’t encouraged or even allowed to explore ‘girly’ things. Sure, guys are often taught do some basic cooking and sewing as life skills for when they’re bachelors out on their own, but rarely get the chance for imaginative play with dolls that aren’t GI Joe or Transformer plastic models.Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    My maternal grandmother graduated from UC Berkeley in ’28. She ended up being a secretary. My mother graduated from UC Davis in ’65 and ended up as a very successful small businesswoman. My wife is a high-level HR professional for a university, and she isn’t 45 yet.

    And while I own a small (very small) business, I am mostly a house husband.

    Time moves on, and opinions and prejudices change with that time. Things are incrementally getting better, in the same way that my generation is more racist and sexist than my sons, while less so than my parents. But these things do take time; there is no switch that makes things suddenly change all at once.

    Being a year younger than Ms. K, but growing up in a small west coast college town, I remember it mostly being the same. Girls could, and did, do anything. Except for shop, because none of them wanted to take it, so far as I remember. But a lot of guys took home ec.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Aaron David
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      says:

      Let’s talk about “women don’t want to take shop”. There’s a lot going on there.

      I think that some women (SOME!) might believe they would enter a hostile environment if they were to go in a shop. Many of the shops I’ve been in have pinups and nudes all over the places, and this is evidence in support of that.

      But suppose we set that aside, and just engage with “women don’t want to take shop”. This appears, to me, to put them at a disadvantage in the job market. Shop skills seem to be in demand, but on the other hand, they are kind of declining, so maybe it’s not so dumb to stay away from shop.

      The lube place I go to employs all men. It’s clear that a woman would be physically capable of taking that job, but none do.

      I do not, for a hot second, think there is anything about having two X chromosomes that puts working at Jiffy Lube off limits. It’s more that this just doesn’t seem like something that makes sense to do, nor it is a strong enough career path (like programming is) to induce someone to challenge their self-image.

      So, I think we still systematically assign certain types of work by gender. It’s a lot less than it was, and there isn’t a lot of people overtly saying “No”. In fact, these gendered attitudes are often propagated by women as much as by men, perhaps more in some cases.

      (An old friend of mine, a woman (one of the first to attend Cornell), once taught a class intended to teach women how to change a flat tire. In response, another woman told her, “As long as I have my looks, I’ll never have to do this for myself.” That’s the gendered world. We’re still living in it.)

      Should we even care about this kind of thing? What troubles is me is as much a “what else do we have gendered attitudes about, that costs us in terms of unrealized potential” and “what sort of blinders do I have with regard to my own potential, or that of people around me?”Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Doctor Jay
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        says:

        One of the major reasons that none of the girls in my town really wanted to was that I grew up in a small, left coast college town. Girls were for the most part more interested in taking Chem or Physics or Calc or any of the AP offerings in the social sciences. So, not only would no one bat an eye if a woman or girl wanted to take these classes, they might have been pushed into it by the women in their lives as a measure of feminism. Much like those boys in Home Ec were often pushed into by parents. (Though sometimes they signed up to meet the girls.)

        Now, my HS is fairly small, only about 1k or so students, so you tended to know people from all walks of life (though, again, most everyone was a faculty brat of one sort or another) and I never heard anyone talk about how they were pushed away from metal for their gender.

        I also get my oil changed at a lube place, and while this one doesn’t have any women on staff that I know of, the place I used to go to in Sacramento had more than a few women pass through, most on their way to city or county work as there is a premium for women in that field, as with most technical and trade positions.

        Oh, and shop skills are in intense demand, looking at the wages they pay. Society has simply stigmatized them. Not as much time to play with a smartphone. And believe me, it is a very rewarding career path.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Doctor Jay
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        says:

        I was able to take shop (though I was one of only 2 girls in it and the teacher felt a need to hover over us a lot), but that wasn’t the case everywhere and certainly not a decade prior. For instance, my sil had to get all sorts of special permissions and even make her case to the principal to get permission to take automotive repair instead of home ec in high school (there was no option to take both. it was one or the other with the presumption that boys did auto and girls home ec). She is 8 years older but lived in suburbs of Chicago that were certainly more liberal than the rural Ohio town where I went to high school. She eventually prevailed on the argument that knowing how to do basic repairs was a safety issue because of the commute she had to her after school job, but only after submitting written testimony from her parents that she was already proficient in cooking and sewing.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Doctor Jay
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        says:

        In my junior high, we were all required to take shop and girls enjoyed it as much as boys did. (Home ec was treated the same way.) In my high school (mine! in the 90s!!), kids who were “college-bound” were literally not allowed to take shop and neither were girls on vocational tracks. Occasionally someone would challenge this, it would go up to like the provincial level, an exception would be made for that one student, and then it would go right back to neither the college-bound nor girls on vocational tracks being allowed to take shop.

        I heard this changed sometime in the 2000s, but I don’t know that for sure.

        ———

        I also grew up – leaving aside my own fucked up family and just looking at larger cultural messages – being told *at one and the same time* that I could be anything I wanted and that it was very unrealistic to think of a woman being premier or prime minister. (I was given to understand by teachers and other adults that it was *far* more realistic to want to be an astronaut, as that was a question of merit, not popular appeal.)

        Mixed messages, not unalloyed girl power or unalloyed oppression, were very much the order of the day in the 80s where I grew up.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou
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          says:

          kids who were “college-bound” were literally not allowed to take shop

          My HS (late 80’s/early 90’s) was small enough they didn’t have to forbid it, they simple made sure to schedule the shop classes at the same time as they held the classes one would most certainly want to take if college bound. It was a remarkably effective way to track the kids.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Maribou
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          says:

          Also, these “rare” events of being emotionally slapped in the face with sexism – again, leaving my family situation growing up out of it – these events happened to me about once a week, or significantly more often, for my whole life.

          It’s only in the last 5-10 years, as I became more affluent and more insulated, that I’ve been able to mostly avoid them, and could, if I chose, live a life where I only banged up negatively against sexism once a month or so.

          But for most of my life I neither had the money nor the social context to avoid random sexist assholes, so this whole concept that we’re ruining girls lives by acknowledging them is….

          Foreign to me.

          I appreciated the essay though. It’s a very clear view of something I heard about and always sort of felt was mythological. It’s good to know it existed for some people.Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to Maribou
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            says:

            And the larger overall point at the end – that we don’t spend enough time or energy telling kids about the women who fought for rights and just lived powerful and self-directed lives throughout history, I agree with. But tons of children’s authors – often the same style of folks that are critiqued for muddying that message in this essay — are spewing out kids’ non-fiction books about these women at about 100 mph these days. Kristen Gillibrand, for eg, just wrote a book like that. I mean, personally I could do without the political weight of her writing it and talking about the Clintons as secular saints (euch) but she was pretty much doing the OPPOSITE of saying ” in the ’70s barely anyone thought a girl could be president, but in 2016 a girl very nearly was”. She was saying “this happened because of a long line of women who took no shit and did what they thought was right, and now we’re going to tell you all of their stories – and eventually we WILL achieve political equality.”

            And the pro-women-in-history books that DON’T fawn on the Clintons are far more common, and incredibly popular. There have been more high-quality books about, for eg, Sojourner Truth, published for kids in the last 5 years than I ever had access to as a kid.Report

  9. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Like you, I came of age in the 70s, and saw a world in which civil rights for minorities and women was a victory achieved and the struggles in the rear view mirror.

    Part of what made me receptive to the Reagan argument was that the complaints of feminists and civil rights leaders seemed like perpetual grievance.

    But as I have grown, I have come to the shocking and depressing realization that victories are never completely won, and constantly under attack.

    Are there currently people questioning whether women should be allowed to vote? Yes.
    Are there people who would happily see women who get abortions hanged? Yes.
    Are there people who consider women’s role in life to simply be the pretty deferential accompaniment to a man? Absolutely.

    And these people aren’t all old.

    History doesn’t just run in one direction. It can move towards or away from freedom and dignity with equal ease.

    Oh, and if anyone thinks the argument over geocentrism was won centuries ago…

    http://galileowaswrong.com/Report

    • Avatar jason in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      “Are there people who consider women’s role in life to simply be the pretty deferential accompaniment to a man?”
      Some of them have television shows—like the Duggars.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to jason
        Ignored
        says:

        One of the other things which has surprised me in life is how oppression and injustice can come from any direction and use even the language of liberation.

        In the same way that religious people can sometimes deceive themselves into thinking that because we say the magic words and perform the magic rituals, that we are somehow immune to evil or wickedness, there are plenty of social liberals who fool themselves into thinking that we are immune to misogyny and the desire for hierarchy.

        The entertainment world was long known to be rife with sexual exploitation of women, even before we knew about Cosby or Weinstein. Except it was easy to overlook because they didn’t use the old language, they just found new language to express the same old ideas.

        Instead of “you must conform to tradition by being sexually available to me” it was “in order to break free of tradition you must be sexually available to me”.

        That’s why I don’t see this as a battle that will ever be won, once and for all. There are young men, hip men, woke men, who watch the Handmaid’s Tale and find it titillating instead of horrifying.

        All they need is the right creed or received wisdom to give themselves permission to act on it.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Feminism was always going to have a problem when it came to sex/romance. One way that men sought to control woman was by limiting their sexual freedom and casting female sexuality in threatening terms. Another way used to control freedom was by requiring that women be attractive ornaments for men. The thing is that women who are traditionally attractive in appearance and behavior are likely to have greater romantic/sexual success than women who are not, so freeing women from one method of control doesn’t really get rid of another.Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to LeeEsq
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            says:

            “The thing is that women who are traditionally attractive in appearance and behavior are likely to have greater romantic/sexual success than women who are not, so freeing women from one method of control doesn’t really get rid of another.”

            That really really really depends on how you define romantic/sexual success.

            Being someone’s prize is not a successful life, for many people.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Maribou
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              says:

              Maybe not as a prize but I’d really like to know that there were women that are sexually attracted to me and I’m sexually attracted to them at this point in my life. I’m approaching middle age and feeling really locked out of this area of life.Report

        • Avatar Dave in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          “there are plenty of social liberals who fool themselves into thinking that we are immune to misogyny and the desire for hierarchy.”

          Liberals aren’t the problem. We aren’t the ones drinking the ideological Kool Aid, which is why I like Kristen’s approach to feminism – at least it requires critical thinking.

          “In the same way that religious people can sometimes deceive themselves into thinking that because we say the magic words and perform the magic rituals, that we are somehow immune to evil or wickedness…”

          Liberals don’t subscribe to this bullshit although I’m sure you can find a lot of people self-flagellating and apologizing for their #whiteprivilege

          I hear it’s all the rage on Twitter these days.Report

  10. Avatar Doctor Jay
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    says:

    Here’s when the Ivy League colleges first allowed women to attend:

    Yale: 1969
    Princeton: 1969
    Cornell: technically 1872, but as a practical matter 1970
    Brown: 1971 (when its women’s college, Pembroke, merged with Brown)
    Dartmouth: 1972
    Harvard: 1977 (when Harvard & Radcliffe merged)
    Columbia: 1981 (although Barnard students were allowed to attend certain Columbia courses as early as 1955)

    (I cribbed this list from Quora).

    So all those accomplishments of Amy Klobuchar happened at a time when it had just become possible for a woman to do those things.

    There are women from that generation who, realizing that the governor module had been disabled, ran as fast and as hard as they could in response, just as sort of a middle finger to everything that had been holding them back. I can see her doing that.

    In the last presidential election, it wasn’t that hard to find voters who were worried about a woman holding the office. It maybe wasn’t a big fraction, but it didn’t take that big a fraction to make a difference. And we all know it’s not cool to say that, so how many more thought it, but didn’t say it out loud?

    Nobody imagined this. It’s quite real.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      There were also women’s schools that men didn’t attend. My mom went to one of those.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      “Cornell: technically 1872, but as a practical matter 1970”

      Just a quibble that my grandmother’s pre-1970 degree from Cornell would disagree with you strongly about the practicality of that matter.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      Just as a followup:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Cornell_University#Coeducation

      They were degree-ing woman vets in 1910, for example. There were restrictions – things weren’t *equal* until 1970, but claiming they didn’t admit until 1970 is embarassingly wrong on the part of the Quora list.

      Pursuing this mostly because I think the squashing in of a college like Cornell with the other data on that list is exactly the sort of erasure of women’s history that Kristen is talking about in her essay, and which I agree with her does happen. It’s the sort of fake news I wish we would all work harder to avoid.

      (The SF field also had this happen multiple times – women in the 70s-80s were given to understand that Women Were Never Writing Science Fiction Before, when really women had been part of the field all along – and women’s historical sff writing has been rediscovered multiple times as well.)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Maribou
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        says:

        Women were writing SF back in the Golden Age, but largely under names that hid their gender: Andre Norton, C.L. Moore, Leigh Brackett. This didn’t completely end even in the 70s and 80s, with Alice Sheldon writing as James Tiptree and C. J. Cherryh hidden behind her initials.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Schilling
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          says:

          If you look up the tables of contents of some of the recent anthologies of women writers from the Golden and Silver ages (Future is Female, Sisters of Tomorrow, etc., I’ll think you’ll find more clearly feminine names than you expect. The difference, according at least to the sf anthology editors / amateur historians of the field whom I follow (Pamela Sargent, Jonathan Strahan, etc.) is not so much in who was writing / publishing short stories, as in who was making the connections and being shepherded into writing novels. In those cases, yes, there are definitely a lot more gender-hiding names. But when they looked at the magazine publication histories, there are far more obviously female names than collective memory acknowledges.

          Saying “there were biases” which there were, and telling a version of fandom/writerdom (so intertwined) that is nigh-devoid of female writers, which it never was, are two starkly different things. It’s the latter that I’ve seen / heard of happening, cyclically, and of which I do not approve.

          (It even happens with the 90s, with modern fans talking about the 90s. “Oh, cyberpunk, that was all male writers.” No, it never was.)Report

          • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Maribou
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            says:

            The same applies to sciences. Even in the 90s I was advised to only use my initials in order to hide my gender when submitting articles for publication. However, I know (now – certainly saw no histories in HS or undergrad pointing it out) that women beyond just the one example of Madame Curie have done research, engineering development, and published the same going quite a long way back.

            So, there are 2 aspects here, which I think play into Kristin’s essay. One is that, yes, women have been able to do a lot more than we typically know about and/or acknowledge. But, the second is that we don’t know about not because of some liberal/feminist conspiracy to depict women as perpetual victims, but because those women have been overlooked or hidden in our collective culture and history. And in some cases, they deliberately self-masked, because that was the only way to do what they wanted to in their times – a fact which has extended far beyond the 1970s.Report

            • Avatar Maribou in reply to bookdragon
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              says:

              “Even in the 90s I was advised to only use my initials in order to hide my gender when submitting articles for publication.”

              I was also advised to do this, by well-meaning tenured professors of both genders. And, honestly, it’s part of what pushed me away from lab biology and most of the organism-type specialties (mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology, etc) A small part, but a part. The women I saw being published in ecology, in animal behavior & primatology were not being told to hide their names. or if they were, they ignored it. and the profs in those fields also never gave us that kind of advice (although they did sometimes talk about having been given it).Report

              • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                There really is something to having both support from and examples of other women in higher profile positions in fields you are considering.

                A friend once told me she was always interested in diplomacy, but never seriously thought about diplomatic work as something open to her until Madeleine Albright became SOS.

                Yes, women were allowed and even encouraged in some tracks to join State well before that. But for a girl from her background, it took the example of a woman being in that top spot to knock down all the ‘women can’t do that’ messages she got from family/church/local schools.Report

              • Avatar bookdragon in reply to bookdragon
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                says:

                btw, that friend was from MN and is roughly 10 years younger than Klobuchar, which is partly what got my back up about Kristin pronouncing that Klobuchar couldn’t possibly be telling the truth about her own childhood experiences and impressions.Report

              • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                FWIW, I’ve published both under my (pretty clearly feminine) first name and my initials at different times.

                I never even considered that people might view my papers more negatively because of my gender….I figured the reasons the higher profile journals turned me down was that I was a nobody and a nowhere school (so: less sexism, more, the sort of cliquishness that you see in some areas of academia). Or it’s possible they weren’t very good papers, lol. (Though I eventually did get most of them published.)

                Am I wrong to say that it irritates me slightly that now I have to consider whether using my name vs. initials almost would amount to a political statement in some people’s eyes? I know some other women in my field who would insist I should publish under my name, because of “woman visibility.”

                I dunno. it’s an awful lot to hang on my little papers about allelopathy in redcedar or soil invertebrates. And I’m already exhausted from writing and editing themReport

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to fillyjonk
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                says:

                @fillyjonk
                FWIW, I think things have changed since the 90s in this particular small aspect of biology publishing, from what I have heard. I think you’re fine either way at this point in time. I’m not much of a biologist anymore but I do work in academia and I hear a lot of gossip and more-than-gossip about all kinds of stuff, good and bad, and I don’t hear about this one being a problem any more.

                I was frankly appalled it was still (at least perceived as) a problem back in the 90s. But it was.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Maribou
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                says:

                My mother was valedictorian of Lawrence University in 1948, so I can confirm that some women were going to to rigorous colleges and doing well prior to the 1970’s.Report

  11. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    There’s also–and I’ve said this elsewhere, so again, I repeat myself again–but there’s also the fact that if women fail to do Boy Things they hear “well that’s too bad honey, that was a really good try, you can always be a mom”. Whereas if boys fail to do Boy Things they hear “suck it up, get back on the horse, get back in there and TRY HARDER, don’t be a LOSER”.

    Like, women are allowed / expected to fail at Boy Things in ways that men are not.Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      Yeah, but if you are a woman and you “fail” at finding a husband and having kids, you get judged in other ways. I’m just sayin’ from my own experience.

      People are really damn quick to judge others, I figure it’s because they want to justify to themselves that whatever choice they made in life is RIGHT. Not just “right for them” but RIGHT.

      People are garbage some times. (colored by the fact that I have had an utterly crap day, largely because of other people, but I might even stand by that statement on a better day)Report

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      Yes. And that is harmful to both boys and girls, albeit in different ways.

      I say again, I’m a feminist as much because I love and want what’s best fro my son and because I love and want what’s best for my daughter.Report

  12. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    I’m roughly Klobuchar’s age. I was a math major at Berkeley, and there were basically no female students in the program and only a few professors. (I only remember one, the woman who taught my first quarter of calculus, but surely there were others. Maybe?) We used to hear about math anxiety and social discouragement, because surely there wasn’t that big a gap in innate ability. And Berkeley was two-thirds male overall, which led to a fair amount of griping. And this was the liberal Bay Area.

    I look at the latest data, and Berkeley is over half female. The math department faculty is still predominantly male, but there’s a fair number of women. (Every name I recognize is emeritus, of course.) Anyway, based in this tiny sample, I’d say that things have changed.Report

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Mike Schilling
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      says:

      It’s even more dramatic at the high school level. I was one of 3 girls in my AP Calc course in 1983.

      My daughter’s calculus class is over half female, and there are more girls than guys in her AP programming class (an true anomaly I’m told, but such things are anomalies..until they’re not).Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Mike Schilling
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      says:

      My wife got a BS and MS in computer science at Kansas State in the mid-70s. She was often the only female in the class. She tells a story about a male professor stopping her after class to tell her, “Please, keep asking questions. You’re the only one in the class that’s getting enough of the material to ask. If you don’t understand something, none of the boys do. You’re my warning system.”Report

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