Diana, Gretchen of Drifting Though, and I have been talking about feminism and women’s issues since December. Last Friday, we invited our friends to join the discussion, and they showed up in a big way. This post will catch you up if you’re just joining us, and hopefully keep the discussion going.
We talked about it on Twitter for a week beforehand, and I devoted several posts to letting everyone know they were invited. This post will show you how the day went from my point of view. It includes links to eight bloggers other than me who supported this and helped make it work (it also includes one of the best live music videos ever posted on YouTube).
We did so well we attracted a couple of commenters who used feminism to attack the idea that we should talk about more equality for women. Their arguments were not very good. We responded firmly but politely, and I ended up banning one of them and writing a post about it.
He responded with a post of his own which I find too offensive to link to. Diana did link to him. So she could rip his argument to shreds. She did it respectfully, and was kind enough to actually engage in a real conversation about feminism on his blog. And then our friend Jolene of CreightonCreation really nailed the issue of labels and categories.
In the meantime, our new friend Vic wrote one of the most powerful posts I’ve read in a long time. It’s about what your life looks like if you’re born in Bolivia, and you happen to be born female. If you only click one link while you’re reading this, click this one. Vic has a couple of other posts in her archives that you want to read, and she doesn’t pull any punches with this stuff. Which is good, because it needs to be talked about in the strongest terms possible.
As of December, 2013, 66,oo0 U.K. women had been subjected to genital mutilation. In many cases, transported to their parents’ countries of origin to be subjected to it. Don’t even think about comparing FGM to male circumcision on my thread. If you do that, you’re not going to get the usual kind and gentle smackdown. You’re going to get the blogging equivalent of a black eye.
And here’s one that talks about rape in very stark terms:
The US fares no better. One of six U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. Yet did you know that in most states the legal definition of rape continues to require the use of physical force?
Rape is sex without consent. That can happen in all kinds of ways that do not require physical force. So, I think it’s more like one in four, and I think the laws need to change. It’s even worse in other parts of the world.
So, we’ve discussed the label to death. Let’s talk about issues. Here’s a question:
What’s the most pressing issue for people who care about equality for women? If you had to prioritize, what would you put at the top of the list?
I almost framed the question to start a discussion about rape, but I think it’s better this week to be a little more open with it and see where the conversation goes.
(Thanks for all the support, Alva, Rose, Hannah, Natacha, Ali, Holly and David. It’s much appreciated.)