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Joss Whedon Dissects The Word “Feminist” In Equality Now Speech [VIDEO]


We’re not quite sure how we feel about this one but we thought you might want to give it a watch.

(via Jezebel)

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  • Anonymous

    Oh, he’s enjoying his privilege, alright.

  • http://www.seeknewtravel.com/ Kit Whelan

    He’s coming from a good place, makes some excellent points and was quite funny… but my face was still like this the whole time: http://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv270/kgilligan88/unsure.gif

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed the speech and appreciate his sentiment, but I’m a bit tired of men telling feminists what they should call themselves. Humanist, egalitarian, anti-genderist (if I’m getting what he’s saying right), etc. It’s all telling women to remove themselves from their own right’s movement.

  • Shaine

    my boyfriends mum just got white GMC Yukon SUV just by some parttime working online with a macbook… More Help

    w­w­w.b­u­z­z­1­6.c­o­m/

  • HamsterMasterSamster

    Ultimately it’s not the women of the movement who wind up twisting the words they choose to identify themselves with. ‘Feminist’ became negative through overwhelming use of straw feminism and the usual pejorative associations reinforced by its opponents. ‘Feminist’ did not accrue negative connotations arbitrarily and naturally – it was via direct opposition to the movement. You don’t give up a word you use to describe yourself just because people who misunderstand or misrepresent you are loud and annoying.

    I’m reminded of a game forum discussion I saw a few weeks back, with a gaymer complaining about other gamers still using the word ‘gay’ as a negative adjective. Actual responses including telling the LGBT community to find a new word to identify themselves with because ‘language evolves’ and ‘you don’t own the word’. As long as there are people in the world who don’t care about you or your struggles (I’m not even talking about hate here, just a basic lack of empathy/compassion which is far, far worse), there will always be people waiting to take the most powerful words of your discourse and turn them against you.

    Screw those people. I’m a feminist.

  • impossiblesouffle

    Oh, look, everyone, it’s annual Pat Joss Whedon on the Back Day.

    I’m glad he’s willing to engage, and he can not like the way the word sounds or whatever, but the word is not just a label, it’s an ideal. “Genderist” is a different thing, and he doesn’t get to re-draw the lines of identification because he is a guest in this house.

    We don’t even know if he’s a well-mannered guest, seeing as how he once fired a woman for making the gigantic mistake of getting pregnant.

    In short, thanks for your opinion, Joss, but there are better arguments for getting rid of the word “feminist,” and that one ain’t it.

    Oh, and lol at the implication that educated people can’t be sexist or misogynist. LOBL

  • Lizzy Kabloom

    I think the word feminism has so many negative connotations for alot of men it’s hard to get them to open up and educate themselves about the issues. Especially when ignorance is so comfortable a defence in a world doctored specifically for the comfort of white middle class male enjoyment, why bother learning any uncomfortable truth that would mean you had to alter your understanding of the world or your functioning within it to the detriment of your own indulgence. I sympathise with them, being lazy and ignorant is easier than knowing something is wrong and the way you live your life is passively perpetuating and suporting it. I digress, I do think it needs a rebrand even if the word isn’t changed, just some better marketing for it. Having men who are revered for their achievements in pop culture by both men and women who are willing to speak on behalf of women discriminated against in the global community is definitely a step in the right direction. But he did go on about words alot when I know he has more than that to offer on the subject.

  • Anonymous

    I’m confused by the way he framed this. His language made it ambiguous whether he wants to replace “sexist” with “genderist” (which makes sense to me) or replace “feminist” with “genderist” (which makes no sense since it still includes the polarizing “ist”). I still call myself a feminist, though I feel the word itself implies a binary inherent in the Patriarchal language it is a part of. So, there’s that. I guess I’ll have to listen again?

  • HamsterMasterSamster

    Agreed, he wasn’t 100% clear but I got the impression he wanted to replace ‘sexist’ with ‘genderist’, and I guess wanted to just outright lose ‘feminist’ because . . . sexism is over?

    I kinda get his point (though again he meanders a lot and worries a little too much about cracking jokes > clarity). Like there’s no equivalent word for people who are proponents of racial equality because it’s assumed to be normal and opponents of it are assumed to be primitive apes, and that by having a word like ‘feminist’ we’re implying it’s not normal, not default, to be invested in gender equality.

    Trouble is, sexism can be a very subtle beast. Sexism isn’t over, and it isn’t past, so I don’t think it’s appropriate for a word defining an ongoing women’s rights movement to be put to bed.

    EDIT: I actually think the lack of other words for specific movements against other inequalities is why we’ve now got terms like ‘social justice’ springing up, which kind of encompass all manner of ongoing social inequality issues. A term which, lo and behold, has also been lampooned and mocked and derided within moments of its inception.

  • Anonymous

    Next time an MRA says something about “the feminists”, I’ll be severely tempted to tell him to call himself a “People’s Rights Activist”.

    The fur. It would fly.

  • Anonymous

    Well he does compare it with Racism while pointing out that Racism isn’t over. He would like Genderist to mean Misogynist and remove Feminist because the ideals of equality should be a default rather than a possible point of view someone might have.

  • Anonymous

    Or perhaps, given who we’re talking about, more like this?

  • Mina

    I can understand his thought process on this, as I certainly do think language shapes our thinking and vice versa. And I appreciate his intent. But a couple things:

    1) I wasn’t big on the statement that ALL of recorded history shows oppression of women. That isn’t the case, and I don’t like when people think it is. I’ve seen it give fodder to sexists’ attitudes where they genuinely believe something has “always been this way” and is therefore natural and foolish to try to change. I don’t think Joss really believes his statement as literally as he said it, though, and I don’t hold it against him. But it bore pointing out.

    2) I also don’t like the implication that “that was then but we’re past that now.” I get what he’s saying to some extent. Like he was saying with “racist,” people know it’s a bad thing to be a racist and they try to avoid making public statements that would cast them in that light. And no, people don’t always take being called a sexist as seriously as they would being called a racist. So I can sort of see what he means that we don’t have a word regarding gender that induces that same recoil. But first of all, if someone doesn’t already hate being called a sexist, why would they suddenly shy away from being called a genderist? And on top of that, and most importantly, having such a word would NOT make it clear that it’s all over and in the past. Sexism is NOT over (and neither is racism, so how did use of that analogy ultimately help his point?). I think that regardless of whatever words we use, if we use them in such a way as to avoid admitting failings our society still struggles with, then we have a problem.

  • HamsterMasterSamster

    They should be default, I’m totally with him there. But at the same time, they aren’t. I don’t think it hurts to have a specific movement to address specific social issues relating to a specific subset of people. So many social inequality problems are institutionalised and insidious and your average person does not see them until very specific discourse starts bringing them to light.

  • Emily

    I do appreciate his attempt here, but the thing is, there has already been so much effort put in to creating language that contextualizes the problems women face.

    I’ve been working on a research essay for school about gender and language. There was a movement called the Feminist Language Reform that gave us a lot of terms we now use constantly. Terms like “sexual harassment” didn’t exist before that. I’m not sure what Joss Whedon is attempting to do is necessary. However, even with the language reform many terms either didn’t catch on or began to be used improperly. Sadly, the word feminism seems to be falling into the category of misuse lately, but that doesn’t mean we throw it away. We cen take it back.

  • Lien

    And the worst part? I got this horrible sentiment that these people will say “See? even Joss whedon agrees with us!”

    oooh… the forum boards… the forum boards…

  • Lien

    Careful, he might take it as a compliment!

  • Lien

    To his defense, he was clarifying that this is only an idea he got in his head and not something final. A nice touch if you ask me, he is expecting that someone else comes with a better idea then him so he is leaving thins open minded…

    …But i still get offended in his effort nonetheless!

  • Lien

    Agreed. I think when he said It’s “was then but we’re past that now”, he should of actually see the similarity of the past and present and realize the issues of yesterdays still exist today. Not all of it, of course but a good portion is.

  • Anonymous

    i am so sad that i agree with the first half of your premise.

  • Anonymous

    Changing the word feminist because men don’t like it.

    HOW CUTE

  • Travis

    Wait… which gender do you not think qualify as “people?”

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    I like what he had to say. He’s not really saying that “feminists need to find a new word because ‘feminist’ is bad,” it’s that you shouldn’t have to declare yourself a supporter of something, because the detractors should be the ones on the wrong side of things.

    He talks about how we’ve evolved as a society to understand that all races are equal, and to think otherwise makes one a racist. As such, we need to realize we’re at a point where society understands that all genders are equal as well, and to think otherwise makes one “genderist” (to use the word Joss suggested :p).

    It’s about not having to proudly declare that you’re this or that, it’s about really almost shamefully pointing out those who are in the wrong by society’s standards. Declare yourself a feminist or whatnot, and suddenly you have to explain yourself, you’re literally explaining why you have common sense and think everything should be equal, but this should totally be the opposite – detractors should have to explain themselves and justify their backwards-ass mentality.

    Instead of taking a stand to say “we’re right to support equality,” we should be taking a stand to say “you’re wrong for not supporting equality.”

  • Anonymous

    Like many have expressed here in the comments I respect Joss’ intent but I don’t agree with many of his ideas. It seems to me that much of his opposition to the term “Feminist” comes from the belief that the “-ist” makes the term sound “militant” and combative, and that that tone distorts the essence of the idea of Feminism. Personally, I don’t find the term to be militant, though, like ALL rights movements, Feminism has – and, by necessity, needs – a certain amount of militancy, just as it needs optimism, inclusiveness, and adaptability, among other qualities. Changing the term to “Genderist” doesn’t remove this stigma, only changing the minds of opponents to Feminism will (just as not talking about race won’t end racism, only changing the thinking of racists will). A common tactic among opponents of a movement is to turn your own language and imagery against you, as we’ve seen with the term Political Correctness. To allow opponents to dictate the viability of your identifiers isn’t being progressive or adaptable, it’s being timid and weak-willed.

    I also don’t agree with his assertion that the term Racist/Racism itself implies we’ve passed some arbitrary point in history where it’s expected that discrimination based on race is a thing of the past – or that anyone thinks that way. Just as the term Post-Racial is an inherently flawed idea, the idea that there will come a time where discrimination against those that are different from you will cease to exist is also flawed. There is no end-point to discrimination (the existence of discrimination will always be the “norm”), the term Racist doesn’t imply that there is, and to assert otherwise only confuses the issue. The term Feminist will never become outdated. And though opinions on who can or can’t be a Feminist may change, the basic idea of what Feminism entails – the belief in equal rights for men and women – will always remain the same.

    And just as a response to several posts below: men can be and are Feminists too. The term itself doesn’t identify who is and isn’t a member of the movement or is capable of espousing its ideals. There are, and always have been, Feminists from all genders, and opponents of Feminism from all genders. Let’s not diminish Joss’ intent because of his gender, nor imply that it is only angry men pushing back against the movement. Being exclusionary goes against the very essence of what Feminism advocates for. This isn’t an example of a Man trying to co-opt the struggle, this is an example of a Feminist attempting to inject some nuance (to mixed results) into the discussion about what Feminism is.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    His reasoning for not liking the term “feminist” because of the “ist” is because that “ist” means you’re not born that way, and those ideals are something you’re taught through life. Which means you’re taught how to be a feminist, which isn’t really right. The point is that you really ARE born a feminist, insomuch as caring for, or at least understanding, gender equality. However, it’s not really something you learn, just the same that no child is born racist, and all children think (mostly) equally of things.

    Joss’ point is that “ists” like racists are taught how to think that way, it’s not (and goes against) how they are born. Feminism being an “ist” isn’t right because no child is born thinking a gender is inferior to theirs.

    Then, there’s the fact I mentioned in my own comment that instead of the supporters having to label themselves for believing in something that is the societal norm, we should be applying negative labels to the people against that societal norm – calling someone a “genderist” (his word) because they think one gender is inferior, in the same way someone who hates black people is a “racist”.

  • Anonymous

    That’s how I viewed it, and what I hope Joss was meaning.

    As for me, I’ll happily use “feminist” AND “genderist” AND “human rights-ist,” because even if you treat them as synonyms, why shouldn’t we have different words? There are lots of different words for lots of different things, no reason to phase one out or replace it.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    For what it’s worth, I think “sexist” is still a fine word for idiots who are against equality :p

    But yeah, his speech was never about “we need to change and not use the word ‘feminist’ because it’s bad,” which regrettably I’m seeing a lot of people in the comments misconstrue :/ The whole point of his speech was that the wrong words have the bad connotation – the fact that people have to say “I’m not a feminist but…I’m for gender equality” in such a way like someone that starts a racist comment with “I’m not a racist but…” That ain’t right :/

    It’s like…it seems wrong to be the one supporting equality. Maybe instead of saying that “we’ll fight to reach equality” we should be declaring that “we’ll fight to keep equality in place.” Much like Joss was sayin’.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    That’s not what this was about at all…

  • Laura Truxillo

    It does seem like rather the least important point to focus on. Rather like trying to figure out which shade of blue to paint the walls in a house that needs repairs.

  • Matt Baen

    As I fellow male I would suggest that Whedon – no matter how much of an ally he is, no matter how enlightened and progressive, no matter how cool – ought to STFU and leave these kinds of discussion to women. After all, while people of all genders have an interest in rights for all people, in this case it’s about the rights of women.

  • Anonymous

    I have an issue with his assertion about people being born with certain ideals. I don’t think we’re born Feminists or Misogynists. Nor do I think we’re born with an inherent sense of equality. Why? Because we first have to recognize our differences then place values on those differences before we can recognize if we, or someone else, puts more value on one thing than another. As a child if I don’t understand what male and female are, nor understand what gender equality and inequality are, then I can’t be a Feminist because I can’t formulate an opinion one way or the other on issues of gender equality (in other words, ignorance does not equal enlightenment). We would require an understanding of morality that just doesn’t exist that early (and certainly not independent of the society into which we are born). Yes, children have a basic understanding of fairness, as has been documented in various studies, but that is a different concept from morality (which tells us WHY we value things like fairness and equality).

    We are taught what gender, class, etc mean to us as a society. But we are born ignorant of what those concepts are, and thus have no opinion on the equality of one person to another when we emerge from the womb; child A doesn’t know if she’s equal to child B, she just knows that child B is separate from herself – and only then after she’s developed a sense of self; it is later in life, after she is taught (and has experience with) gender and begins to formulate opinions on gender dynamics, that she is able to place value on male, female, social equality, etc. When Whedon implies that Feminists are born, he is implying that we are born with the ability to make nuanced value judgments w learning or without learning or experience – a belief that I just don’t agree with.

    So, I believe that the “ist” is appropriate because I believe we ARE taught Feminism (and on the other end of the spectrum, misogyny). We’re taught gender, gender dynamics, morality, equality, and all these other concepts that allow us to then formulate a value system. And for some, male=female. But for others, male=/=female.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    Well, what I mean is that feminists strive for equality, the idea of which is nearly a default for everyone; no one is born hating or thinking less of a race/gender/whatever – that’s something taught.

    That’s what I think he meant. It’s nothing about sounding “militant,” just that to him, there are more important things that we could be worrying about than how we label feminists, we should instead be focusing on how to label the people who are sexist, and make them aware they are in the wrong.

    His suggestion of “genderist” wasn’t something that was supposed to replace “feminist,” but “sexist.” I still think “sexist” works just fine though :p

  • Anonymous

    Well I disagree with Joss’ notion that we have an inherent desire for equality when we are born (I think Joss is mistaking “absence of prejudice” for “desire for equality” – the absence of one doesn’t imply the presence of the other). I think that is a value judgment that is made later in life – some decide that they value equality, some decide that they don’t. I think we are born ignorant of the concept of equality, are taught it (remember, equality doesn’t mean the same thing to all people), and only later are able to make complex and personal value judgments on the equality of men and women in our society.

    I think Joss is concerned about how we label Feminists, though. If he weren’t I don’t think he would have taken the time to break down the word and how, in his opinion, the “Fem” and the “ist” don’t seem to work well together. I do agree that more time should be spent discussing sexists (a term that I find perfectly acceptable) than what Feminists are calling ourselves these days; again, I think this is an example of opponents turning the conversation back on Feminists and away from themselves. I do think that most people who are uncomfortable with the term Feminist do harbor reservations about the term sounding militant, as that is how misogynists have usually portrayed Feminists, and what many Feminists (male and female) have expressed is the biggest turnoff to identifying as a Feminist.

  • Ashe

    I wish he spent more of the speech telling men to listen to other women.

    I’m all for men having these discussions-it’s THEIR problem, after all-but they need to make sure not to, indirectly or not, take over the movement and go against one of the primary motivators for feminism in the first place.

  • Ashe

    This isn’t the worst speech I’ve heard, but it’s far from a good one.

    He’s putting too much blame on the wrong ‘wording’ of equality. Really? That’s one of the oldest tactics in the book. Bigoted people, no matter which kind of person they’re targeting, will say ANYTHING to avoid getting repercussions for their ideology/behavior.

    That’s why you hear so many people say, “I’m not racist, but…” “I’m all for equality, but feminism…” “This isn’t homophobia, I just think that gay people…”

    It’s not necessarily words; it’s people. Now, I strongly support changing language to reflect changing times. Yes. Feminism has a shitty history AND a shitty present. Womanism? Womynism? New wave feminism? These are good discussions.

    This? Whedon, it would’ve been better if you had just told the audience, “Can you just listen to women? A lot of problems would be solved if you did.”

  • Ashe

    THANK YOU for #1. That comment made me itch too. I also don’t think he meant it maliciously, but it’s just more inaccuracy. The last thing inequality needs is more inaccuracy.

    Yeah, history is full of ugly shit. But a lot of what we are used to today wasn’t even a thing a hundred years ago. Or three hundred years ago. Or even here or there in certain parts of the world.

  • Matt Baen

    OK. I guess ultimately I don’t care for his “You’re doing it wrong” tone. And as others have noted, etymologically and historically/anthropologically he’s full of it.

  • Anonymous

    For all his criticism of Feminist’s aural qualities, Genderist isn’t a more pleasant sounding alternative. But that’s still besides the point. Instead of worrying about terminology, this would’ve been more helpful if he urged people not to be ashamed of being called Feminists & suggested some positive behaviors or actions that would reduce stigma against the label.

  • Charlie

    I think the big problem is that some people think women already have equality in the western world when they actually don’t (although the sexism is a lot more subtle) so when women try to gain ground they think they are trying to be dominant. It’s that difficulty we need to iron out.
    Another problem is that some men and boys have real trouble thinking of women as agents of change and so ignore anything with a female lead judging it to be frivolous. The only way we can change that is to have influential women of the past included in history courses (not as a separate subject) and have more representation of influential women in the media.

  • http://www.wulfmojo.com Wulfy

    People seem to be very caught up in the words of this and not the sentiment. I didn’t get the impression that Whedon would be terribly upset if ‘genderism’ caught on, his emphasis was more on the idea of reframing our discourse so that anyone who doesn’t support equality is the asshat, rather than feminists being seen as the weird exception. As he says, there’s no middle ground so why should
    allying yourself with feminism/equality be seen as something that is difficult. Of course, an alternative would be to try and promote the idea that feminism means these things and that popular ideas of feminism are wrong, but that is a very big battle, so it doesn’t hurt to have some other ideas running alongside simultaneously.

  • Charlie

    I’m worried that all the fedoras will take away from this is the I hate feminism part…

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to need Joss Whedon to take several seats. And then several more. And then just keep taking and taking seats.

  • María

    Off-topic, I think it’s the first time I see Whedon wearing a tie…

  • ImpureTale

    When Joss Whedon apologizes for his need to use rape and the threat of rape as easy “character growth” and “empowerment vehicles” for his female characters and for firing Charisma Carpenter for getting pregnant I’ll care what he has to say about feminism. Until then he can go screw himself.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    “Nor do I think we’re born with an inherent sense of equality.”

    Studies have been done that show even infants understand justice and fairness. We have to be taught that injustices and unfairness are acceptable, through “just so” stories. So yes, we are born with an inherent sense of equality. It’s when we are taught about the divisions, that the injustice and unfairness are also learned.

  • Aline

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I got the feeling that he wasn’t so much trying to tell feminists what to call themselves, as telling them not to call themselves anything. He was making the point, I think, that having this label divides people with similar ideals because it makes feminism seem other. Rather, the label should be for people who don’t hold to these ideals, making them the other. And while I guess genderist does make more sense than sexist, I just don’t buy into it.

    Saying ‘I’m not sexist/genderist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/whatever’ doesn’t hold the same impact as saying ‘I think these things are common and a problem and I’m actively working to change that’, and that’s the niche that the label feminist fills for gender equality. Doing away with it implies that either it isn’t a problem, or that people want to solve this problem by default; and because neither of these things is true, it risks failing to promote discourse and action.

  • Joanna

    On a flip side I hate it when people call me feminist because I believe in gender equality, as if they get to decide how I identify myself. I find that describing gender equality with an exclusively gendered word to be a bit of an oxymoron. I’m not saying others should shrug off the label because of what I think, I just don’t think they should impose it on me because of what they think.

    And I think that the biggest problem with words like “feminist” and “gay” and “male/female” is that people tend to use them as nouns rather than adjectives. So you’re not a female person, you’re just a female. You’re not a gay person, you’re just a gay. This is what happens to labels. They get detached from the person they describe and end up being that person’s entire identity. And even worse is, for example, defaulting a scientist or mechanic or whatever as a man unless the word “female” or “woman” is attached to these labels. When we see the word “scientist” or “gay” or “feminist” we should just imagine a person rather than our individual idea of whatever label is attached to them. Same with the term sexist, as Whedon says, people imagine a guy in a powder blue suit or something, and that they can’t be sexist cos they’re not like that guy.

    I’m probably making less sense than Whedon here. Bottom line labels are stupid, people are people.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with him on the word “feminist”: it’s just a bad word, poorly constructed. He’s also right about the reason for it. The ending in “ist” really does give the feeling of something you become, not something that is your natural state. I don’t believe you truly become a feminist, unless they became sexist, then got back on the right path.

    But there’s also something else about the word that always bugged me: it looks like it means “pro-women”, which is okay if you think the opposite of it is “anti-women” and not “pro-men”. The major (misguided) criticism against feminists is that they are men haters, a myth made possible because of that word. There is no “blackist” or “gayist”, so opponents of those causes have to refer to them as “anti-racism activists”, or “gay rights activists”, which is a lot less catchy.

    Finally, the thing that bugs me the most about the word is that it minimize – if not outright ignore – the good that the slow but imminent defeat of sexism will bring to men. It is impossible to have a skewed vision of women without having a skewed vision of men. They are both linked and cannot be detached. Why? Because both genders have to fit together and complement each other.

    Example, it was once considered as a fact that the woman had to raise the child and take care of the house, while the man would go to work and provide for the family. The man was smarter and better at working and the woman was the most sensitive one, better to deal with her feelings. Anybody that didn’t fit that ideal was not a real man or not a real woman.

    But now, this isn’t true anymore. Logically, If a woman can now provide for her family, something about her that we thought was specific to her must also be present in man, like the ability to raise children and show affection to them. Have you noticed how much better your dads were compared to those of generations before? Feminism brought you that and many men live better lives because of it.

    The myth of the real man still hurts many men. When failure is no longer just failure but proof there is something wrong with you, there’s a problem. When showing empathy or sensitivity is showing signs of weakness, there’s a problem. When you have to use violence to compensate for those “failures” and “weaknesses”, there’s a bigger problem.

    The improvement of women’s condition is and will always be the most important goal of the fight against sexism but it will also always be tied to the personal growth of men. The word “feminist” doesn’t do justice to that reality.

  • Anonymous

    In what world does “Racism imply something we’re past”? I admit things are better than in the Jim Crow era but a cursory google search or scanning a newspaper will tell you it is absolutely a very real thing. And as someone who works in Hollywood (which has notorious representation issues) you’d think he’d be aware of that.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that’s what he means. In the context of the video, I understood that what he means is, we’re past the point debating whether treating black people differently is a bad thing or not. If you do, you’re racist and that’s bad.

  • Anonymous

    See, but that does a disservice because it implies that open racism is no longer an issue or something and that the only kind around is subtle, behind-closed-doors types. When that isn’t true at all. Hell in Chicago only a few days ago a black car accident victim had her brains blown out while asking for help in a white neighborhood.

    I can sorta see his point but I’m really tired of non-minority people with feminist or LGBT leanings using racism as some sort of measuring stick for how far we’ve supposedly gone or how much we’ve overcome when the struggle is still going on.

  • Anonymous

    Alies can be misguided or outright counter productive, such as inserting themselves as the icon of someone else’s movement. If he wants to help he can start by enabling womens’ voices, not speak for us or govern our movement for us.

    It doesn’t matter what feminism is called. It will have a negative connotation because we need to change the attitude towards women/the word.

  • Anonymous

    I understand, but you have to realize that he’s discussing the words, not the struggles. Compare the number of people who are willing to admit publicly that they are racists versus the number of people who say publicly that they are not feminists. That’s the issue he’s adressing here.

  • athenia45

    His use of Katy Perry as an example of women not claiming the word feminist, I just don’t think it’s the best example. I mean, it’s just a whole different can of worms. I feel like people who do call themselves feminists have no problem defending themselves/living feminist values (see: Kiera Knightly), but for others like Katy Perry, she doesn’t want to be held accountable at all. She wants to make money as a “strong” woman, but also objectify herself to sell records. That isn’t meant to dis Katy Perry, I’m just saying, she and others like her benefit from the patriarchy and have no problems with it as long as it done good for them.

  • Brian Dirk

    Because a single defined concept is incredibly more powerful of label. Especially when you assign a negativity to it…

    In essence it makes easier memes (http://gifs.gifbin.com/sw50sw8sw578.gif) and not just in the silly pictures on the internet way. In the “easily identified, and virally accessible idea” way.

    As a guy I get flack when I self identify as a feminist – more often than not its from male friends who share outlooks. They just can’t bear to identify has the “ist.” There is stigma there.

    I guess the point is that identifying as anything that ends with an “ist” sets you apart from the rest of the world. I agree with Joss’ sentiment that I would prefer to have the hate mongers be forced away from the pack, and not the equality supporters.

  • Anonymous

    MRAs are a literal hate group. I started off thinking they actually wanted to talk about men’s issues and gave them the benefit of the doubt, but it’s always this: http://manboobz.com/

    A good website that does discuss men’s issues is: http://goodmenproject.com/

    I’m sorry, but you’ve drank the koolaid and were taught that feminism = bad, we’re all extremists, lesbian man-haters and whatnot. You’ve been misinformed and it would be great if you learned more about it. Feminist just means you believe women are equal to men. Hopefully, that includes you.

  • Anonymous

    Of course I may be projecting because I’ve found race to be a consistent stumbling block in pretty much everything I’ve ever seen by Whedon, even if Zoe was badass. The stuff with Kendra in Buffy immediately springs to mind (as does the lack of any actual Chinese people in Firefly) but that’s an area of his work where I’ve never been impressed with him.

  • Anonymous

    There are plenty of people who are feminist but don’t label themselves as such because of intersectionality reasons (feminism’s historical attitude towards people of color, transgendered people, etc.). That’s fine.

    But I think not using the word feminist because it doesn’t include men in the title is misguided and only hurts those who use it – who, if I need remind you, gave you your rights.

    You’re stigmatizing the word, which isn’t supportive. As for it being misguided, feminism is a rights movement. Men don’t need a rights movement; they already have rights by default, and if they want more, all they have to do is give it to themselves. I hate how plainly I have to say that, but feminism is about dismantling the patriarchy, which is a very gendered term that describes a very gendered problem. Yes, we’re all humans, but there’s one particular gender that needs H-E-L-P. Marginalized people shouldn’t have to find the least offensive, most comfortable way to argue their own humanity with their oppressors.

  • Faradn

    I’m guessing you haven’t talked to many MRA’S. The Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t label movements as hate groups on a whim.

  • Anonymous

    True, he was saying we shouldn’t call ourselves anything. Which is just as bad to me, because it’s still, “you know, I think you ladies should …”

  • Anonymous

    You’re right about what he’s saying, but there’s a lot of problematic stuff in his speech. Just the line where he says that it’s HIS duty to create a word warrants some major side-eye. Men, especially white men, have had a bad history of trying to govern minorities’ rights movements for them. And worse, when they try, they’re given more legitimacy and press than people actually a part of the group (I understand this is a geek website, he’s a geek icon, but this is still the only speech we’re discussing).

    It’s a shame so many people have taken the bait and think the word is bad and, even thought they agree with the movement, avoid the label like the black plague. Really, it’s just letting the misogynists, who tarnished the name in the first place, win.

  • Anonymous

    I mentioned in one of my posts that we have done studies that show that infants do have a sense of “fairness” (that child is getting attention that I’m not, that child is getting a toy that I’m not, etc), but fairness and equality are two separate things. Things don’t have to be equal to be fair, and that’s a nuanced understanding that infants and young children don’t have. And they certainly can’t understand the concept of being socially equal to another being because that requires a more complex understanding of societal rules and such. I think that we are taught that different can be equal.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right, he isn’t exactly a bastion of equality himself. He still suffers from a lot of bias. He’s a cool guy that is funny and he tries, but he still needs help.

  • Joanna

    I agree with you but we have to remember that patriarchy hurts everyone. I’m not all like “waht about teh menz?”. I just think we should stop treating men like men and women like women. I’m not talking about a movement for a specific group of people. I’m talking about changing how we as a society perceive each other as people.

  • delia

    i like what he says about the word misogynist, since most of the time people don’t actually hate women, they just don’t trust them to make their own decisions or don’t think they belong in certain circumstances or don’t think they are worth paying a certain amount of money. it’s not the same type of hatred or discrimination as racial discrimination, where the people in power just didn’t even want to ever see or interact with the oppressed people. so i get that.

    but i think he’s wrong about the people who are un-feminist being the plague. it’s not by accident, and unplanned. some of it, sometimes, on an individual basis is. but actually there’s been many legal systems the world over, throughout human history, that were very intentionally created to keep women out. women not being allowed in all levels of schooling, all types of buildings, all professions, all financial transactions, that was not by accident. there are definitely the people who, on an individual level, just “don’t get it” and he’s right that that is enough for them to just float along with the system. but there’s still a system that was created in a very intentional way.

    also, i think feminism is more than just man/woman stuff, it’s all the gender and identity stuff, trans* issues, and the intersectionalities of race, physical ability, and much more. of course, i’m speaking of feminism in the ideal, since i know it often falls short of this inclusion. but we’re talking about definitions, so we should go with our goals, not our shortcomings. and i don’t like when people trying to define feminism shrink it down to man=bad, woman=good. women can buy into systems of oppression, men can be hurt by them, and there’s all those people who don’t fit squarely into either the “man” or “woman” category, and i personally think all of those folks belong in feminism, and feminism belongs to all of them, if they’ll have it.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    It seems to me that you’re really focusing a little too much on “a man telling women what to do” and sort of entirely missing his point.

    Seriously look past the fact that he’s a dude, and listen to how he’s saying that in the dynamic of people for or against gender equality, we who support it shouldn’t be the ones being labeled. We should be labeling the detractors with a venomous word that makes them realize they’re in the wrong.

    Like, we call people racists because they think bad things about race; we don’t call ourselves “pro-racers” for thinking all races are equal. Why do we have to have a separate term to let people know we support in gender equality?

    Joss is talking about how in terms of things like race and “racism,” normal people for racial equality are at the forefront of that societal norm, while racists are behind this line, which marks them as “living in the past” or just plain wrong. We should be defining sexism the same way, where if you’re a normal person, you’re for gender equality, while sexists are labeled as such because they are against that social norm. “Sexism” should be plagued word just like “racism” is. That’s what he’s talking about.

    As a person for gender equality, I’m just a person, I shouldn’t have to define myself with a special label like “feminist” for supporting the social norm.

  • delia

    patriarchy hurts everyone, but it hurts some more than others. there’s no denying that historically (and right now), male-bodied people have received the majority of the benefits of this messed up system, just by existing as male-bodied people.

  • Joanna

    Agreed. And while society treats men like men nothing is going to change.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    That’s what he’s talking bout, actually. Joss talks about not liking the “ist” part of “feminist” because it means something you’re taught overtime. Like, a kid isn’t born racist, it’s something they learn. The same with gender equality, a child isn’t born thinking one gender is above another. Not that “feminist” is the default for children, but it’s just that he’s talkin’ about how we shouldn’t have to have special word to emphasize support of something that should just be accepted as the social norm, we should be emphasizing the…”wrongness” (I guess) of sexists, the same way we do racists.

  • delia

    he’s a self-proclaimed wordsmith. that is literally his business. i think since HE is getting caught up in the words, so should we. and if his sentiment differs from his words (i think it does, i think he sentiment is more positive and less offensive than his side-eye-inducing words) he should be better at using words, since that is his job. i love joss, but come on. he should be more clear, especially in a speech about the clarity of verbiage.

  • Meaghan

    For as misdirected as they are, men’s rights groups DO have valid complaints, such as custody preference. I think this latest wave of feminism does and should work to abolish negative gender norms that hurt women AND men.

  • Mina

    I don’t think that IS what “-ist” means though. I mean, you don’t think of a hypnotist as a person who was “taught to follow hypnotherapy ideals.” While that may be true, you mostly just think of them as someone who engages in hypnotism. And that’s all -ist means: a person who engages in a particular -ism.

  • http://www.wulfmojo.com Wulfy

    To be honest I think he’s reasonably clear, it’s not like he’s vague about his concept of shifting the popular discourse around equality. When I say that people are getting caught up in the words, I’m referring to the words ‘feminist’ and ‘genderist’, not the wording of his speech.

    Of course, these are important words connected to very large and powerful discourses, so of course people are are very engaged and possibly conflicted with them. But I’ve seen a lot of discussion around this speech today that seems to be trying to reduce it to ‘OMG Whedon doesn’t want us to say feminist any more’. Firstly this is inaccurate but worse it makes it seem as if the issue is simply about word choice and not the ideas that spring from the words.

    There is a huge problem for present-day feminism in that many people simply do not engage with it despite the fact they probably broadly agree with it when pushed. Whedon suggests trying to change the landscape through terminology. I know others would prefer to keep focused on the feminist label and push for greater awareness about what it means. I’m not sure that these two are incompatible, but I think it’s an important debate.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    Well no. Joss’ exact words were along the lines of “an ‘ist’ is something you learn to do/be. You can’t born a baptist, communist, horticulturalist…”

    In the same way, you aren’t born a hypnotist.

    His idea is that we naturally feel things are equal, it’s the norm, while you would have to be taught by life to end up sexist or racist or what-have-you. The point of his talk is that we’re the norm of society, and we shouldn’t need to emphasize that with a label, and instead emphasize the sexists with a label that denotes them as going against the societal norm.

    As I said in another comment; “I don’t call myself a pro-race” if I’m for racial equality, so why should we have to call ourselves “feminists” if we’re for gender equality? We’re not in the wrong, racists and sexists are.

  • Ashe

    “He doesn’t get to re-draw the lines of identification because he is a guest in this house.”

    SNAP.

  • Ashe

    I just don’t like how he kept saying things like, “Look, we’re PAST this now, we KNOW better now…”

    No, we don’t, rich white man. When people are still angrier at the word ‘racism’ than actual ‘racism’, we are not.

  • delia

    actually, i think he was vague about shifting the popular discourse around equality. he was vague about the how, and his history of racism-based why wasn’t particularly strong either. he wasn’t particularly clear about what he wanted genderist to mean–it can be worked out after the fact that he wants it to replace sexist or misogynist, but he never actually says that. in fact, he comes very close to accidentally saying it should replace feminist.

    also, boiling down a discussion of whether it is even his place to be going on about the terms we use to ‘OMG Whedon doesn’t want us to say feminist any more’ is a bit disingenuous.

  • Mina

    Yes, I know he’s saying -ist means you learned it and weren’t born that way, while the default setting has no word. But in that case, what are we to do with words like “abolitionist” or “pacifist?” Their opposites don’t have names, but does that mean you can’t be born anti-slavery or anti-war? That the natural, default of mankind is to support war and slavery? I just think the idea that -ist means “you learned it, it wasn’t natural” could quickly spiral into absurdity.

  • Cameron Paul

    I guess you’re right. But you must know that not all MRAs hate women. I consider myself a feminist and have for a long time, but there was a period a while back where a fell for the MRA rhetoric. It wasn’t because I hated women, I have always loved and respected women (I was mostly raised by my mum, after all), It was just because I genuinely believed that men were experiencing some kind of gender-based discrimination. It was comments like general_apathy’s that had alienated me and actually plunged me deeper into that movement. I returned to feminism thanks to exposure to feminists who were a lot less dismissive and willing to discuss things with actual arguments (and encountering more and more actual sexist comments from MRA). I obviously recovered from that dark path, but I believe there are at least a minority of others still on it who respect women but feel alienated by feminism. My point is that the best way to dispel their misconceptions about feminism is not to dismiss and alienate them, but to show them why they are wrong.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    Well we don’t use “abolitionist” anymore because that was strictly for abolishing slavery, which we’ve done. The social norm now is “no slavery.” I’d also say that the antonym for “pacifist” is a warmonger, but, eh, it’s besides the point.

    The idea is to change the social ideals of how we feel about things. Obviously Joss’ “ist” talk isn’t going to apply to everything, but the idea is that we should be realizing gender equality is the norm, and really putting more emphasis on sexists, rather than feminists.

  • Mina

    Well LEGAL slavery has been abolished. But slavery has not gone away. It just usually gets called trafficking now. And some current anti-trafficking activists do indeed refer to themselves as abolitionists. (Sorry, that topic is kind of a tangent to what we were discussing. Not trying to derail the conversation.)

    I guess the thing to me is sometimes we have a word for something and the actual etymology of the word might not make total sense to us. But that doesn’t mean we just throw out or replace the word that’s already being widely used by people who identify themselves with a particular movement. Maybe one day no one will have to actually explain that they are a feminist because it will just be assumed. But I don’t think trying to force an immediate change in language just because we don’t like the sound of it (its literal sound or, more seriously, how people react to it or use it incorrectly) will work. I think it will mostly just distract from the actual issue at hand.

  • Travis

    Look past the fact that Joss is a dude? But that would require not discounting him because of his gender and actually treating him like an equal person.

  • Ana KH

    I’m replying to your comment because it’s the most highly rated, at the moment, but also because it’s an example of a lot of highly rated comments in this thread that seem to have hit a mental wall as soon as Joss said, “We need a new word.”

    He’s talking about the power of words to frame and define the cultural battlefield. He’s talking about how the word feminist, by the very way that the word is constructed, is putting us on the defensive – the burden of proof is on us to justify why our idea that men and women are equal is valid.

    He’s saying that the people who are against feminism are the ones who should be pushed into the spotlight by the language we use to discuss inequality. We should put them on the defensive, make them have to justify themselves, and bring the full burden of societal shame and censure on them for being anti-equality.

    I don’t agree with the idea that men have no place at the forefront of feminist discussion, but if that’s the position on which you oppose his message at least make that clear, instead of misrepresenting what his argument actually is.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but if you say that feminists are basically MRAs, then you clearly have no love of feminists because that’s a strong insult.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely, there are issues that men face, but they’re not forced onto them by another demographic; they gave it to themselves by developing an extremely narrow definition of masculinity (which is, don’t be like a woman). Working together to get rid of the patriarchy is helpful to every last person. But it’s still a disservice to women to act like men have it just as bad.

  • Anonymous

    Out of curiosity, what do you mean, “treat men like men”? Do you simply mean, recognize their gender?

  • Meaghan

    Women are just as guilty for perpetuating that narrow definition. I don’t see the point in figuring out who’s to blame or who is worse off. Using that kind of tone in an article just serves to alienate men and women who would otherwise be open to associating with feminism.

  • Anonymous

    I did. I enjoyed his speech, appreciated his effort, but ultimately rejected it. I didn’t go into a full essay on why, but I don’t find his speech did much more than announce that he wants to help, and that’s fine. If he wants to help, though, giving speeches about what feminism should be doing is the wrong path. I say this because he is an ally/person belonging to the privileged group and not an actual victim of what he is speaking about. That’s important to consider when dealing with rights movements. You can’t say to look past his gender because gender is the entire point of the discussion; the power given to his words is the very thing up for debate. It’s extremely important to take into account. It matters. I don’t know how much more plainly to say it.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you say, you put it much more eloquently than he, that indeed is what I stand for, BUT … suggesting feminists call themselves nothing is still suggesting what to call themselves. And I’m going to stand by that.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right, it’s called internalized misogyny. It’s a scary reality.

    I’m going to disengage from you because you need to read up on some Feminism 101, but I won’t leave you high and dry: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/the-faqs/faq-roundup/

  • Meaghan

    Exactly the kind of condescension that makes people inclined to disengage from the discussion. Props.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.

  • Joanna

    There are a lot of prejudices towards men such as assuming they’re better at x, y and z and that’s part of the reason why we a see a lot of the wrong people in power or in high paid jobs. That’s why some men feel a sense of entitlement, that life should just be handed to them because they’re men, and ultimately why many more fall into depression because they don’t fit the societal construct of masculinity and have the power and success they think they should have. There is too much pressure on people in general to conform to their assigned gender roles. It doesn’t work, it has never worked. We are not a binary and we should not treat each other as such.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you. Gender roles are incredibly destructive.

  • Cameron Paul

    I didn’t say that. My exact wording was “my experience of MRA is that they are pretty much feminists with a focus on men”. I was saying that I was thinking of some MRA (and I apologize for not using the word “some”) as being respectful of women’s rights while mainly focusing on men. A little lesson in logic, If I were to say “Some As are Bs” it would not necessarily follow that “All Bs are As” or that “Some Bs are As”. The same principle should be applied in interpretation of my comment. I didn’t mean to imply anything about feminism other than that it means gender equality. The point is moot, anyway, as this discussion has reminded me of the overwhelming sexism present in the MRA community.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I’m sorry for alienating you with my comment.

    That said, please understand that I wasn’t shouting into the void here. I was addressing myself to a group of feminists, talking about the word “feminism”, many of whom have had similar aggressively nasty conversations with MRAs about this issue. Context matters—it’s just silly to expect someone to be polite to a hate group, especially when there’s no reasonable expectation of that group being in the conversation. That’s exactly the type of attitude I was joking about. :/

  • http://adornyourhearts.tumblr.com Xomyx

    But women do not have the systematic power to impose those narrow definitions. Being stuck with disproportionate child care makes you more likely to get custody, not being the woman.

  • http://adornyourhearts.tumblr.com Xomyx

    I don’t think a ton of people are willing to admit that they’re sexist, even if they don’t identify as feminist. Few white people would identify as anti-racist allies.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    I don’t think a speaker’s gender is anything important if what they’re saying has some sort of value…

  • SuperFubar

    When (if) he addresses the criticisms of this speech, he’ll probably blame it on an executive or some other figure a la Alien Resurrection and the Buffy movie.

  • Anonymous

    What you actually said was that the ratio between good and bad apples in the movements are so similar that it looks petty to make fun of MRAs. Your entire post was a giant statement that you think the two movements are very alike. I don’t see how I could possibly misinterpret that and I don’t think it’s fair for you to lecture me about something you didn’t say.

    If you’ve changed you mind, made a mistake or whatever, you’re allowed to do that, but don’t act like I twisted your words.

  • http://autistscorner.blogspot.com Thalestris

    So I didn’t watch the video (I never watch videos — I hate noise, so I always have the sound off on my computer and it’s annoying to have to turn it on to watch videos), but a lot of commenters have said his beef with the word “feminist” goes something like, why have an “-ist” word for the thing you want to become people’s default setting? Why not have the “-ist” word refer to the attitudes you want to supplant? (Never mind that we do have that word, that word is “sexist” or “misogynist.”)

    Well, there is another name for feminism which doesn’t have the “-ist” or “-ism” suffix: Women’s Liberation.

    What’s he think about that one?

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    Not to mention there are LOTS of men who proudly call themselves feminists and don’t find the word exclusionary at all.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with your suggestion that a lot of MRA’s are fighting toward similar goals as feminists, insofar as they are angered by the discrimination they feel. However, the difference seems to be what they are blaming for that discrimination. Whereas feminists identify that oppressive force on both them and men as resulting from patriarchy, the MRA movement seems not have recognized that it is due to patriarchy, and seems to redirect their frustrations at women, as if it is some female power structure that cause them to lose custody battles, or to put on the facade of machismo, or any other concern. That’s the problem. They’re feeling the boot of patriarchy on their neck, but they think it’s because of the other gender that likewise feels patriarchy’s boot on their necks. I agree that it may take a steady, guiding hand, and some people have the energy to do that, and others don’t.

    I can’t tell you how much it makes me chafe when someone suggests that it’s my inherent duty to always be available and open to enlightening others about my intersectional struggles for their betterment. Sometimes, I have the energy, and of course, I would always want to be that person if it were humanly possible, but it’s unfair to ask that I carry the yoke of always having to be someone’s friendly tour guide into the world of Asian racial oppression or gay male oppression (I speak to those purely as someone whose identity intersects therein. I’d add feminism, but I think I’m expected less to serve in this way than women find themselves with regard to sexism). I can’t imagine that it’s any less unfair to expect that at all times from women about Feminism 101 (not that you necessarily did, but just pointing out that you can’t expect all people to always sit down with you during an argument and gently guide you through what’s wrong with what you said all the time.)

    Sometimes people are dismissive, and it’s less to do with because they don’t WANT to help walk you through it than it is because they’ve been fighting the fight on a different level for a long time and have other aspects of it to deal with. It’s fantastic that these people you knew were able to help you at the time in that instance, but sometimes you’re that person in that moment for someone who needs guidance, and sometimes you’re not.

  • Anonymous

    I liked one of the points you made in particular about the egalitarian/humanist response.

    It makes me think about if (or when) someone says, “Oh, I’m not a queer rights activist, I’m equal rights for everyone.” What would that mean? It would imply that “queer rights activism” ISN’T about obtaining equal rights for everyone? It would imply that queer activism is actual a queer supremacy platform, which is wrong.

    And that’s why I have such a problem with the “I’m not feminist, I’m a humanist” argument. It misconstrues the goal, which is gender equality, with gender supremacy. At worst, it’s intentional, and at best, it’s horribly uninformed about the goal of the feminism itself.

  • Anonymous

    Really, props to that line, because it’s brilliant.

  • Anonymous

    I want to remember this line about “being a guest in this house” because it will forever be useful to me. Thank you.

  • impossiblesouffle

    You’re very welcome!

    It’s usually how I try to explain the whole being an ally thing to my friends. Varying results, btw, so I’m sorry in advance. :-

  • Anonymous

    This dude needs to stop with the “I’m one of the girls, ladies” speeches. I know he’s been a hit with the media but it’s kinda getting old and the more he talks, the more he trips himself up.

  • Ashe

    Labels are fine, provided it’s what someone wants to be called. Labels are only bad when forced on people or used as a reason to harm.

    We’ve gotten to the point where we need labels to paint what’s wrong and what’s right with our surroundings-people are people, sure, just, uh…some MORE than others, as society would have us know.

  • Important Film Maker

    If this wasn’t Joss Whedon, you’d most likely be ripping into him.

  • Morso Denutink

    Yeah we predicted the “he’s a man and has no right to tell us what to do” response from feminists. No surprise there. We also predicted most feminists would reject a call for true Equality with both genders working together because, as so many know, feminism is not about equality anymore.

    When movements become corrupt they will never give up power.

  • Anonymous

    WOW. No. The MRA is a hate group, pure and simple. The things they address can be found in the feminist movement.

  • Anonymous

    I would seriously caution on the goodmenproject web site, seeing as how they gave a voice to rapists at the expense of their victims (Content note: rape, victim blaming): http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/good-men-projects-rape-faceplant-predators-and-the-social-license-to-operate/

  • Anonymous

    Second…

    It’s all well and fine to get that message from him, and maybe even he intended that. But intention isn’t magical. There is a huge problem with the most privileged type of person, standing infront of marginalized people of the movement and telling them how their movement should be. Fucking NO. He needs to listen. He needs to listen. He needs to LISTEN.

  • Anonymous

    “It seems to me that you’re really focusing a little too much on “a man telling women what to do” and sort of entirely missing his point.”

    But…that IS part of the point. And trying to separate that fact erases the crap he pulled here.

  • Anonymous

    WOW. No. No times a thousand.

  • Anonymous

    Ahaha! I see your sad attempt at menz oppression there. Cute :)

  • Anonymous

    You shouldn’t have to. They’re the ones ignoring your very valid point.

  • Anonymous

    Second. That was AWESOME.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    No, that really is not point to it. His gender is useless, and his suggestion of how we all could change the shape of the equality battlefield is not made better or worse because of what he has in his pants. The value of Joss Whedon’s words are not implicitly tied to his gender in any way, and they would be the same no matter what Joss identified with.

    I know I’m going to get a LOT of shit for saying this, but despite me being totally for gender equality (and actually putting women up on a pedestal), this is the problem that I have with part of the gender equality movement; gender is made INTO an issue by virtue of perceived gender roles, the very roles we’re supposedly trying to negate.

    It’s emphasizing differences in gender, and undermines the entire point of the movement. If we really want to make things equal, we have to remember that a person is a person, and their value comes from the words they speak and the actions they take; gender, race, sexuality, creed, height, weight, and physical and mental faculties mean nothing.

    And with that, I’m done :/

  • Anonymous

    But they do, because the point of view he is coming from, is a Straight, White Dude (who is also rich). These things heavily bias what he said. So yes, I’m going to keep disagreeing with you.

    (Edit to add) It’s about privilege, it’s about recognizing that, and knowing when to stand down. Joss doesn’t, and he really needs to.

  • Anonymous

    Found some articles that explain the argument against Joss’ speech here:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/11/what-joss-whedon-gets-wrong-about-the-word-feminist/281305/

    http://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/dear-joss-whedon-stfu/

    Really good points from both. My overal reaction to his speech is….*sigh* I’m disappointed, and sadly not surprised. I’m really tired of The Terrible Bargain…http://www.shakesville.com/2009/08/terrible-bargain-we-have-regretfully.html

  • Anonymous

    Good point…I’m guilty of that, as well.

  • Anonymous

    “In the context of the video…”

    Also note, in the social context in which this video and speech were made…

  • Anonymous

    The wife was on the fence about this speech until I reminded her what kind of screen writing Joss has done in the past: http://femanist.net/?p=280

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but it does. The problem with “men’s rights” groups is that they’re essentially sexists who present a false narrative about feminism being anti-male and being behind custody preferences. That’s kind of crap. There are a lot of reasons why women have historically been favored in custody arrangements, and yes, changes in the social structure means that needs to change, and feminists are among those who believe it SHOULD change.

  • Ivan

    Have you heard about the H in the MRM? It’s a new thang for our fedoras! Some of us are now MRHA!
    Metabolic Radiocarbon Hydrogen Activators!
    The fur is far less capable of flight compared to feathers on our fedoras. And they are flying. Flying very, very well.

  • Ivan

    no fucks are available as gift at this time.
    Keep your misandry in your designated ‘female space’ with all the ‘trigger warnings’ and there won’t be any ‘manslaning’

  • Ivan

    I’m guessing you haven’t either. SPLC is funded by TERFs the REAL hate group.

  • Ivan

    lol
    you funny

  • Ivan

    I think you should expose MRA ‘hate’ by linking to AVFM or MR Reddit. They are so, so hateful! Like OMG!

  • Ivan

    After Amanda Morccottee and infamous Hugo no self respecting MRA will call GMP and men’s rights site.

  • Ivan

    lol
    Conform!
    ROFL!

  • Ivan

    lol Yeah you don’t need feminism. Patriarchy will solve all your problems. hahaha

  • Ivan

    You seem to know very little about MRM. Alpha/beta crap is pua domain. Please learn before making silly comments

  • Ivan

    As a MRA I have zero respect for feminists because of comments like ones below. The few “womyn” who are truly hateful toward men as a gender are the ones who set the precedent for our movement. We are tired of men being shamed and exuded. The most beneficial aspect of red pill masculinity is complete immunity to any shaming attempts.

    MRM is flourishing because open, honest rationality always wins over sexism and hate. We do not tolerate intolerance.
    I do realize that I’m in a wrong hood to argue men’s rights but I’m glad some people here recognize the need for our movement.

  • Ivan

    Ignorant men who educate themselves on gender issues become MRAs. We will make sure they are informed.

  • Charlie

    Sorry I insulted your fedora. I guess it’s on the wrong end to protect you from butthurt.

  • Charlie

    You mean the same MRA that encourages men to beat their children so they don’t turn out to be ‘gay or feminist’ and terrorise a college student who has nothing to do with what they are angry about. Yeah ‘honest rationality’.
    Men have legitimate problems but using them as an excuse for blatant misogyny and child abuse isn’t exactly rational.

  • Ivan

    HAHAHA you will need to have some of my respect in order to insult me. You have none.

  • Guest

    Which, I think, is exactly the problem, isn’t it. I respect you. I think you have a right to complain about many things such as workplace danger or child custody issues. However, I have also seen articles from MRA leaders encouraging people to beat their children so they don’t turn out gay or feminist. How can I possibly reconcile myself with that and see you as a sympathetic and respectful cause? The fact is, I can’t.

  • Ivan

    I will provide you with opportunity to post some proof about child abuse but insinuation of homosexualmisia is ludicrous since we have gays activists.
    MRAs simply don’t have time for misogyny. We’re well adapted to it as a go-to feminist insult. Legitimate problems take precedence.

  • Charlie
  • Ivan

    Respect is earned and not given. There are some feminists that have earned my respect but innate hypocrisy of feminist ‘theory’ prevents them from keeping it. You cannot destroy patriarchy by utilizing patriarchy.

    I’ve have had numerous discussions with many feminists and it has never been productive. I have little hope it will change.

  • Ivan

    Fat Dave’s site? He is a feminist, not an MRA

  • Charlie

    The article is on MRA’s approving child abuse. Maybe you should have read it rather than just looking at the link. Also ‘we simply don’t have time for misongyny.’ Why has nearly everything I’ve ever seen an MRA say misongynist then? You know it means ‘hateful towards women’ right? Or is it that you just think the vitriol that they spew is factual and that’s why you don’t recognise it to be hate speech.

  • Charlie

    There is no hypocrisy in feminist theory. It’s that women are equal to men. No hypocrisy at all.

  • Morso Denutink

    1. It’s pretty clear I said when “MOVEMENTS” become corrupt. Meaning movements in GENERAL become corrupt not just feminism. Pay closer attention next time.

    2. I’m not throwing stones, I’m criticizing a corrupt and hypocritical movement that has gone of the rails. Since feminists themselves blindly support the movement and refuse to hold it’s leaders and organizations accountable the rest of us will have to do it. Feminism is clearly no longer about Equality.

    3. How the hell does my statement say anything about “hijacking” the movement? Your paranoia is typical and obviously stems from exactly what has made feminism turn from a movement of equality to a movement of hate. And that is the demonizing of men. Believing anything men do is some plot to put women in a dungeon. Sickening. You should have paid listened to your inner voice when you felt alienated and defensive, that was conscience warning you that something was wrong with feminism.

  • http://www.robbieblair.com/ Robbie Blair

    Why is it that so many people assume that feminism is a woman’s issue.

    I know that many people care deeply about defining me and my permissions based on my gender. I understand that. But regardless of what signifiers I carry—how white or male or straight or American I may be in the world of labels—I do not want to live in a world where half of our population is crippled by the other half.

    I don’t want that for the portion of the population that has been subjugated because of gender for thousands of years. And if those people retaliate by rejecting others because of their gender, I have a problem with that too. The battle for equality is important to me. Why exactly is it that we would cripple and antagonize half of the population, many of whom—like me—would be glad to be part of that fight?

    The question should not be about who is speaking. It should be about what they’re speaking to. The values that their beliefs support. Not which chromosomes are tied to their DNA.

  • Alexander Nielsen

    And I am a bit tired of women telling … oh, is that sexist? If you don’t want people to focus on your gender when you speak, then don’t focus on other peoples gender when they speak. Imagine that people say “Well… you are a girl…”, as a response to you voicing your opinion. Do
    people bringing up your gender annoy you?

    Then… do… not… do… the… same!

    Pay attention to what he says, why, his arguments. Equality is a not a women’s issue, it is a human issue.

  • Anonymous

    Normally I don’t reply to people who try to make some counter-point after a conversation has clearly been dead for some time because they have something bigoted to say, but I just think you are so amazingly tone-deaf to think you can come into a conversation about how men have no right to define feminism for women and try to offer a counter-point by defining feminism for women, and I wanted to let you know that I am laughing at you. Good-bye.