Das Leben ist ein Rätsel

Beiträge mit Schlagwort ‘feminism’

Why the bad connotation on feminism?

Feminism is the believe that women and men should be equal.

That’s it. And that is not a bad principle now is it?
Many women fought and still fight for male and female to be on same terms but for some reason, especially in western countries this word „Feminism“ is some totally outrageous, something no woman want to be connected with.
People pretend in our „civilized“ society women and men were on same terms already which actually is BULL SHIT!
Seriously that is not true! Women are still under-represented in almost every facet of live, well except the we traditionally were allowed to enter few spots like child caring, education, or nursing.
In Germany 38% of all representatives in the Bundestag are female, which is quiet a record but really does not represent the amount of women in Germany which is about 50%.
In the UK it’s about 22% in America mere 17% and that is only for the lower or single houses. Most states don’t even have women in higher governmental positions at all (For example Spain) (source: http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm)
So much about the great equality of men and women is so called 1st world countries.
But this is Not because of laws that prohibit women in anyway. No it is culture and after more than 2000 years of oppression of women we can’t expect it to fade away in a few decades. But for it to eventually disappear we can’t just sit back and say „oh we are all equal I don’t care anymore“.

How did I get to do this post. Well due to a video by the gaming idea channel on a woman called Anita Sarkeesia who has a youtube channel called „Feminist Frequency“ where she takes a look at popular culture and talk about it in a feminist way.
Recently she did a Kickstarter Project raising a lot of money for a series called „Damsel in Distress“ where she took a look at the cliche in video games.
Apparently this made it into news and blogs and a lot of people hated her, she got death threads insults, and what not. She has no Comment section on her videos anymore.
Aside for Trolls and haters there are actually a lot valid critiques on her videos (I won’t go into the ‚where did the money go‘ or ‚it’s from Wikepedia‘ discussion here) in forms of blogs and video replies, I even watched a few of those and agree with them in a few point.
I did a few comments about how I though Anita had some valid point even if her way of phasing and even her arguments might not be wholly correct or at least debatable and immediately got into a discussion on how stupid Feminists are and that stating how women are under or misrepresented in popular culture is just nitpicking.
So that is why I write this post.

I don’t want to say what anita said in her videos if you are interested:

But quickly her main point is this: In mainstream video game franchises like Mario women are often reduced to a price for the hero. They don’t develop character have no power and are acted upon. Her main example for this is Princess Peach.

Although this is not wrong if you what the whole series there is much room for justified critique.
She does not simply state an opinion but says it as if it’s a general truth, she gives statistics without any source. She even denies strong female characters like Zelda to be a good character.
So yeah, she is not perfect, who is?
What is most annoying is that she deactivated the comments so you can’t even discuss with her and thus it feels like a statement of hers rather than something to discuss upon, making her seem like a small child drying to want something without listening to anyone.

Still She accomplished something amazing: She was heard! Proabably BECAUSE of this flaws, because people disagreed and hated it she managed to get into the news and opened a media wide argument about womens representation in media and this in itself is something great!
Too many women take what we have got for granted and just overlook how from birth on boys as well as girls are forced into specific gender roles which hinder both to actually be who they are.
Why are less women into maths and science? Not because they are biologically different, but because from birth on they are driven onto a different direction. For all who say that is nonsense just take a look at Children ads for example these two for Lego:

Kids a drilled toward the believe that girls and boys play different stuff and don’t have anything in common funnily enough in the 60s it wasn’t necessarily so:

This is the next step of feminism, we built up a land where it’s technically possible that anyone can be anything whether it’s a stay at home dad or the female physicist, so now culture needs to change accordingly and sadly since the 90s progress as come to a stand still.
So feminists like Anita are actually needed, even if one does not agree with everything, think that she overdoes it at some point e.t.c. it is worth it because it gets the discussion going and people thinking again.

For what is the goal of feminism?
Well it basically would be that gender roles all together seize to exist. that there are as many heroic action women as damsels, and as many princess in distress, as heroes because the pre-existing role models do not exist anymore.
Is that ever going to happen? Who knows? I don’t, if it’s no where soon, but don’t you always need an over the top goal to change anything at all?

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What is it with Magical Girls

This will be a less „scientific“ approach and more of a personal thing so I won’t go into theories and what not.
It’s just that since I took a look into MLP (yeah I know its not magical girl genre, bear with me for a moment) and I realized there are a lot of feminist mothers who love to take any girl-oriented show and tell why it is an embaressment for any sophisticated woman and that girls will only learn how to be cute and obedient…
And thouh some aspects might be true I started thinking about it.

Now comes the personally part:
My neices (4 and 6 years old) are classical girls. They want everything in pink, love princesses, play with Barbies wear cute dresses,… and their favourite show is Winx Club.

For all who don’t know it a picture and you will I think understand the shows basics…

winx-enchantix-the-winx-club-30825307-1772-1265

In the course of the Show (basically every season) the girls get new cute companions like Pixies, Pets or little mermaids. Also they get new transformations with new cute outfits.

And now I managed to draw the circle to the title: Magical girls!
Although Winx is an Italian Show and the concept came from Japan it is still very much comparable to older Magical girl Shows like Sailor Moon to which I will come later.
These shows are heavily criticised and I must say I wasn’t actually happy to hear my nieces loved Winx of all shows, the best. It is pink, they look way too thin, its all about looking cute and having make up…
Than I realised I loved Sailor Moon with 6 and it puzzeled me: Why did I like Sailor Moon?
And not only Sailor Moon, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Card Captor Sakura, when it first came out even Wedding peach!
Most readers might say „well its a show for girl, you were a girl… that’s what they like right?“
But those who know me know I NEVER was a typical girl. Till this day I hate pink, I never wanted to be a princess, in Kindergarten I played with the boys Power Rangers (though I always insisted on not being the pink ranger) for Karneval I dressed up a a Squa or Pirate…
So why did I become so interested in such a girl show, one that is so much criticised at that. My mother still tells me how she hated that show, because of the short skirts the needy attitude of the protagonist and the shrill voices. But still, although I was a tomboy, a girl any feminist mother could wish for, I fell for magical girls.

So after thinking about it and watching the whole Winx series, which I like to call the new Sailor Moon, I came to an answer:

They are not at all that anti feminist.
Yes you can criticise the dresses and length of skirts and personality aspects of characters and probably bring MANY points against Magical girl series.
But I claim there are many points that can be highlighted that show a good gender approach for small girls!
I liked Sailor Moon because she kicked ass! Yes she was a cry baby and a glutton and naive but that made her all the more appealing because it actually is a realistic character. Maybe not the type of character feminist mothers want to have their child to look up to, but still a realistic one. I would cry for help if I saw some monsters attack someone and than turning towards me! What’s so wrong about that?
Sailor Moon just like Winx and many other magical girl series give normal girls a special feature, they are not passive, but they have to act, be it defeating enemies as in Sailor Moon or Winx, or be it breasking a witches curse, as in DoReMi or collecting magical cards, like Sakura.
And the best is: They can remain girls doing this! They don’t have to become some kind of boy, or even dress like a boy. Even as a girl, wearing a cute dress, maybe even heels, you can kick ass!
Now what’s so wrong about that?
Also since usually these shows have very different characters. It’s not like they say „you have to be a dumb Blonde like Usagi to be happy“ but they show different characters, usually one more sportif and less girly in between (for example tecna in Winx or Haruka in Sailor m
Moon, hell they even say it’s Ok to be homosexual, how much more open can you get?)

So to all hard core feminist mothers: it is easy to spot the mistakes producers did, considering you point of view and surely there are some things that just shouldn’t be, but also try to see what some show and movies actually do right.
You can talk with you kids about the shows to strengthen their understanding on it and the depiction of women to prevent a band influence. 😉