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Stigma in the Name of Feminism

Disclaimer: The use of the terms “feminist” and “feminism” in this article do not constitute a summary rejection of female rights and feelings. On the contrary, I feel very strongly that the Feminist movement has done a great deal of good. What has happened is that in the interest of including everyone, some feminists have adopted some pretty bizarre attitudes. We’ve seen before about how my fellow leftists often stigmatize the mentally ill. Guess what? Some of them are at it again.

square192The real story comes out of the Nia Predicariment. Is it proper to worry about a young woman gaining 42 pounds or not? Shrinkette and I, for two, feel that it is as long as the focus is upon health. But hand this question over to the anonymous author of Blame the Patriarchy and you get a singeing rant with the title “To Be Hot and Nuts”. Yes, that’s right. The woman who BTP claims to defend is caricaturized as “nuts”. I said “excuse me….”

Judging from the commentary, I will probably be roasted. It seems that along with the fat rights activists (I keep telling them that fat is not a feminist issue — it’s a health matter), they’ve jumped on the Myth of Mental Illness wagon. Consider the leavings of Donna (not Psychperson) who writes in sarcasm:

You see, the problem with mental illness in females is that it so often renders them unable to devote all their psychic energy to fulfill their sexbot roles. And this hurts other people, you know. Won’t you all think of the poor, poor, dudes in their midst who not only might have their tender retinas assaulted by the sight of a woman who is not only FAT, but *gasp!* isn’t even aware that she should be deeply ashamed of it. The horror! /sarcasm off

We do need compassionate support and we do need advocates who will help us stand up to our current crop of elected officials and the drug companies (e.g. how much are you paying for Abilify) but these people are not our friends. Not when they use the language of mockery, not when they deny the adverse health effects of excess cellulite, and not when they deny mental illness.

We who suffer from mental illness almost need to start a new party: the one is downright cruel and the other too histrionic for our good.

Dr. Maria and Shrinkette offer rational evaluations of the Nia article.

Comments

Twisty Identicon IconComment from Twisty
Time: 2/12/2006, 6:29 am

Dude, I didn’t use the word “nuts” in the name of feminism. I used it in the name of bitter facetiousness. Possibly the delicate nuance of my tone threw you, so let me just clarify that I most definitely am, in fact, on the side of the nuts. My credentials as a nut-sympathizer include extensive experience with schizophrenia. Believe me, I realize all too well, it’s serious as cancer. I actually have cancer, so I know from serious!

Also, I am not the least bit “anonymous.” My name is Twisty Faster. You can call me Twisty.

Joel Identicon IconComment from Joel
Time: 2/12/2006, 12:30 pm

Twisty, I am sorry about your cancer and your experiences with schizophrenia, but I am not a mind-reader and you don’t have the right to determine what offends me. I’m am not going to mention what I have gone through in the way of physical disorders because this is not a game of hearts and I am not going to attempt to trump you with cards that don’t pertain to the conversation. Your cancer is doubtless painful and unendurable, but it has no bearing here.

I don’t like people bandying about words like “nuts” even in “facetiousness” (heavy metal sarcasm strikes me as a more apt description because there was nothing light about your article) — not around a general audience which will see your use of the term as as green light for abuse. I found your article offered nothing to the larger discussion except a Fox-News-as-if-Rupert-Murdoch-had-fallen-on-his-head-and-turned-into-a -liberal circus.

I do not consider my bipolar disorder to license my use of nuts, crazy, loony, or similar perjoratives to describe another person, even in “defense” of them.

I commend to you the better discussions offered at shrinkette and Dr. Maria’s site. ~That~ is how the article should be evaluated. You would do well to learn from them.

BTW, my name is Joel Sax and that is the name my mother gave me.

Dreaming mage Identicon IconComment from Dreaming mage
Time: 2/12/2006, 2:44 pm

I dropped in to comment on the entry, but now I forget what I was going to say. This stands alone.

Twisty, you are being a classic “flamer” and that is reprehensible.

Joel, you show immense class in dealing with this idiot.

I share your distaste for pejoritives. I am physically incapable of using many of them. I could never say that another person is fat, I will say large instead. I can’t refer to another as nuts, though I call myself that. I would be physically ill if I attempted to use the racist “n” word.

I admire your ability to use your born name online. I can’t quite do it. I do, however, remain “Dreaming Mage” EVERYWHERE I go online, so many people know me as that. More, perhaps, than know me in the “real” world.

Mage

Dreaming mage Identicon IconComment from Dreaming mage
Time: 2/12/2006, 3:26 pm

LOL On pejoritives… I seem to be completely comfortable with “idiot”

Mage

Raine1563 Identicon IconComment from Raine1563
Time: 2/12/2006, 8:09 pm

I’m with you guys – I use those words to describe myself among friends- but I would never use them to describe anyone else and actually I probably shouldnt use them at all. I guess if I dont want anyone using them for me I shouldnt use em for myself. This blog gave me something to think about

Tp Identicon IconComment from Tp
Time: 2/13/2006, 6:27 am

Twisty is one of my favourite feminst reads for her dismembering of the particarchy, but her post on the Nia article was illconsidered in terms of the potential negative impact of her chosen desciptions.

Joel Identicon IconComment from Joel
Time: 2/13/2006, 11:25 am

TP: It tipped me over. And I didn’t particularly like the way she tried to excuse her characterizations. I’m not going to visit there any time soon.

I think that that there were fine analyses done by three female doctors which separated out the beauty versus health issues. BigMamaDoc (see shrinkette for a quote from her) explained how you can’t separate looks from weight issues ~but~ that there were unfair stigmas floating about. She concluded that we needed better attitudes and better meds.

I concur.

Tp Identicon IconComment from Tp
Time: 2/15/2006, 5:35 am

…we needed better attitudes and better meds
Definately.

Emma Identicon IconComment from Emma
Time: 2/23/2006, 4:36 am

check out the new edition, the authors have answered twisty’s line.