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February Comments of the Month

March 1, 2010
Cat at a computer, text: I can haz featured comment? Iz on catnip!

Commenter Cat writes construktive commentz.

Here are some of the comments that made us think over the past month. Follow the links to join in the conversations.

From Miss Avarice on Chivalry or Common Courtesy: The Etiquette of Romance, Or, What Does a Feminist Relationship Look Like?:

Thank you for describing the problem so well, and including these real world examples!

In my experience, it’s good to treat people in ways they generally would like to be treated. I know many women (as well as men) who feel uncomfortable when someone else pays for their meal, myself included. But sometimes it’s good to learn to gracefully accept kind gestures. As far as who drives, I have passenger anxiety so I always prefer to be the driver. At the same time, I like to be treated like someone special. I think everyone is special in different ways, so I would do my best to do the things that make my date, valentine and/or spouse feel special too. That means asking them about their likes and dislikes when relating to a love interest or romantic partner. It’s a good conversation starter for the shy types on a first date.

The most important thing for a feminist relationship, in my opinion, is that the people involved put relatively the same amount of work into it – on both the romantic side of things as well as the practical. It doesn’t mean one person duplicates every gesture made by the other person. Rather, when all is said and done, neither person should feel as though they gave too much away for what they got back in return. Of course it’s not all about what you “get” – but I think give-and-take makes relationships flexible, durable and delightful.

From mouse on Boardroom Betties:

I’m interested in the issues this raises, but I’m getting mixed messages. You admit that there are inherent problems with these sorts of quotas, but then suggest upping the quota to 70%.
Is it really “evolution” if the results are “decidedly mixed”? And does cracking open institutional barriers matter if women aren’t then filling those cracks?

From Alek on The Eyes Have It:

I have a question. When is it ok to look then? I see a woman I like, how do I initiate communication? Randomly walking up to a random womna who hasn’t let you know she wants to be approached is inappropriate. Ok. But apparently sometimes just looking to see if she’s interested can be taken as being inappropriate.

So when is it right? I might be wrong in interpreting the article… But what I concluded from this and similar articles seems to be that relationships should only be started if the woman initiates first, and men should never initiate. Please don’t be too hard on me. I’m confused.

From happybodies on Getting it Right when it Comes to Anti-Rape Campaigns:

I think public campaigns for sexual violence prevention can be really tricky. For example, while I really like the “this is not an invitation to rape me” ads, I find some problem with the fact that they are still inundating us with pictures of sexualized female bodies, and very normatively sexual bodies. There is also the huge concerning of creating a safe space for survivors. When we do any advertising on campus we try to use the language of “sexual violence” rather than “rape” because it’s often less triggering. While this language is on a small scale, there are also campaigns like cabwise in London which is VERY TRIGGERING: http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2009/11/26-cabposter-415.jpg

For this year’s V-day, we tried to circumvent some of these problems by using sex positivity as a means of sexual violence prevention. To promote consent on campus, we asked students to give their favorite ways they ask for consent, and gave them the “Consent is Sexy” V-day stamp of approval. We also included info about a local violence shelter. I don’t think this is the only way to promote sexual violence prevention but I really like it: http://happybodies.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/consent-is-sexy/

There is also an ongoing conversation on Why the Navy Should Make Room for Women Submariners.

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