Just to be clear about why I roll my eyes over the whole “Kuzco is my favorite princess” thing people like to say on tumblr all the time:
If Kuzco himself identified as a princess, I fully would support that. Fabulous. You call yourself whatever you want. No reason to see either the role of “princess” or Kuzco’s gender as inherently restrictive forces that have any real (rather than socially given) set definitions.
HOWEVER, he does not identify as a princess in that movie. So it again becomes this thing where we get this semi-rare character that subverts several gender roles- he’s a guy that behaves in a way society has come to label/code as “feminine” or “girly.” Specifically, he is a bit of a immature brat, concerned with his appearance and social status, etc.
By not judging these things as necessarily “just for girls,” we could help to open up more options for young boys so that they are not always forced to perform in a hyper-masculine manner regardless of their desires. Like it’s okay to sashay a bit and not necessarily be “gay” or “girly.” It’s okay to have an opinion about clothing without it being a grand statement on your entire identity. [this isn’t to say it isn’t problematic the way they seemed to intentionally try and code the most bratty Disney character ever as more what they think “feminine” is, creating an unnecessarily link between implied femininity and undesirability, but leaving that aside for now]
But by saying he must be a “princess,” in other words indicating we think he is “like a girl” (since princesses are otherwise always girls, in media) we end up re-asserting the idea that a certain set of behaviors are only things “girls do” even though it’s a boy doing it! Enforcing the gender binary: stop that ish in its tracks. Also: he is not gay just because his mannerisms are not stereotypically masculine (one of the other phrases that often gets reblogged is that he’s ”the first lesbian/gay princess/character/whatever”). That also reinforces unhelpful stereotypes about sexuality and gender.
THANK YOU I AM SO SICK OF PEOPLE CALLING HIM THAT FOR THAT REASON AND WAS GOING TO MAKE MY OWN POST BUT THIS IS IN MUCH BETTER WORDS THAN MINE AND THANK YOU SO MUCH.
this topic came up the other day but I only said I didn’t like the Kuzco thing without re-iterating why, so here you go
IT’S A RUNNING JOKE WHY CAN’T PEOPLE FUCKING TAKE IT AS A JOKE
NO ONE IS REALLY TRULY SAYING THAT KUZCO IDENTIFIES AS A PRINCESS
IT IS A MOTHERFUCKING JOKE FOR FUCK’S SAKES SO DON’T START THIS SORT OF BULLSHIT THANK YOU
that awkward moment where you have to point out that we’re all aware it’s a joke. The entire discussion is about the problem with enforcing that type of humor. There’s a reason it’s a running joke. Jokes don’t pop out of the blue… as evidenced by paragraphs above this. Humor often enables oppressive behavior exactly because of this “it’s funny so automatically it’s untouchable because humor can never alter how we think” attitude- even though this flies in the face of how complex humor is, and how much it ties in to how we communicate ideas and social “rights” and “wrongs” to each other.
BUT I GUESS WHEN YOU PUT THINGS IN ALL CAPS IT REALLY DRIVES THE POINT HOME THAT WE CAN ONLY CRITIQUE REALLY SERIOUS THINGS ON TUMBLR LIKE THE NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLES OR SOMETHING BECAUSE EVERYTHING ELSE GETS A FREE PASS DUH THANK YOU
I would love to find out where exactly this picture comes from. The initial reaction to it has been disgust. I’ve even seen people make fun of the girl and refer to her vagina as being loose or used up.
This is how we treat women who have active sex lives.
I’ll put it into video game terms. It’s as if our vagina has a life bar. Every time we ‘take a pounding’ we lose a little bit of that strength, that power. It’s our power of denial. As women, we’re considered weak if we give in to our carnal urges. We’re supposed to be the virtuous ones, not men. We’re supposed to guard our virginity and we’re the ones who keep the Number.
Don’t get me started about the NUMBER. Films address it and it’s a very real thing. What’s Your Number is a huge example of this, where a woman panics over finding out that women who’ve had more than twenty sexual partners have a harder time settling down and finding “the One”. Even I’ve agonized over my number, and it’s relatively low.
Really, nobody knows that number unless you tell them…
And it’s none of their goddamned business. That number means nothing if you’re safe. (Like the gal in the picture, who has obviously protected herself. My feelings on promiscuity are not all about empowerment, though. Give Kerry Cohen’s Loose Girl a read and it will definitely open your eyes as to why some women behave in self-destructive ways.)
If women’s vaginas have life bars, men’s penises power up each time they have sex. Their number is a sign of virility, of success. The “notches on the bedpost”. If women are the prey, men are the hunters (note, this applies for heterosexuality. It seems that homosexual men fall into a strange limbo with women, in that the more people they sleep with, the more the outside culture damns them for being ‘sluts’. That’s a whole other topic!)
I’m not trying to critique or attack men, either. I think that there is an inordinate amount of pressure on men these days to ‘keep up’. After all, you’re expected to have sex if you’ve got a penis. If you’re not having sex, you’re not manly.
In essence, what I’m trying to say is this:
This picture can be used one of two ways. You can use it to look at a young woman and consider her a slut for ‘banging all those guys’. You can demean her by asking why she’d keep such disgusting trophies. You can make judgmental commentary about the guys on the wall.
Or you can look at it as a commentary of how our society reacts to open shows of a woman’s sexuality. Women are sexual receptacles, but we’re not supposed to spit it back out — we’re not supposed to talk openly about our sexuality outside of safe forums like Cosmo and if we do, we’re supposed to keep it to romance. Soft candlelight, massage oil, silky satin and lace. We’re not supposed to seem like we enjoy one night stands, or that we do it for practice. Teaching about birth control is damned and condoms are handed out for free.
So, in essence, when you look at this picture, no matter what you think about it, please think this:
At least she used protection.
Should it matter beyond that?
I’m a guy, and I need feminism. Not “men’s rights.” Feminism. Here is why.
Everything that MRAs talk about that men can’t do or are socially punished for arise directly and immediately from misogyny. Not “misandry.” Misogyny.
Whether I am expressing my emotions, playing with children, baking, having sex wherein I am penetrated in any way, wearing the wrong color, talking the wrong way, moving the wrong way, being sexually harassed/assaulted, or paying too little attention to looking like I’m not paying attention to how I look, when society punishes me or derides me or marginalizes me for these things, it is happening because they are things women, not men, are expected to do, and our society at large fucking hates women.
Has that sunk in yet?
Men, can you even think of a single goddamn way you have ever been mocked that wasn’t related to something that a misogynist society sees as feminizing? Even when large men are mocked for their bodies, they are referred to as having “man-boobs,” for fucks sake.
How do you expect to improve those things with “men’s rights?” What right are you fighting for? I can tell you what I think you’re fighting for. I think you’re fighting for the right to contain and control misogyny, and direct it back at women, where you think it belongs. You want to maintain your privilege but erase its consequences, and that’s why your movement is farcical; it’s a big fucking feedback loop. How do you expect men to be free from the peripheral effects of misogyny when you refuse to even fucking believe it’s real?
This pisses me off. People who say “well, gay people live together, why do they need marriages?! What will they get out of it?! Marriage isn’t even a government/legal issue!”
Yes it fucking is.
According to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), there are 1,138 statutory provisions in which marital status is a factor in determining benefits, rights, and privileges. As soon as the government grants rights based on marriage, marriage becomes a government issue. As soon as the law grants rights based on marriage, marriage becomes a legal issue.
Besides, it isn’t a religious-only thing. Otherwise atheists couldn’t get married. But back to those 1,138 rights. I’m listing a few of them below:
Last year, San Francisco became the first city in California to go after crisis pregnancy centers, faith-based non-profits that are often purposely vague about the services they offer in hopes of luring in pregnant women who expect to hear non-biased information about all of their options, but instead receive anti-choice rhetoric.
After San Francisco’s supervisors introduced a bill that would force centers to make it clear that they don’t directly offer or provide referrals to clients for abortions or emergency contraception — that means no more of those creepy “Pregnant? Scared? Alone? We can help!” billboards, for example — First Resort, a crisis pregnancy center listed under OB/GYN services in one of San Francisco’s largest medical buildings, sued the city for allegedly violating their civil rights by enforcing the 2011 ordinance.
First Resort — which is run by people who have expressed, on the record, their goal “to make abortion unnecessary in the Bay Area” — claimed that the ordinance could apply “to virtually any speech made by First Resort, including statements made to its financial supporters for fundraising purposes” and that it was therefore unconstitutional.
To which the judge said: Bullshit!
From Courthouse News Service:
The court tossed First Resort’s five argument that the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague, which can only be upheld if a person of common intelligence “must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application.”
[Judge Saundra Brown] Armstrong noted that First Resort “ignored” provisions that state the purpose of the ordinance is to prevent false and misleading advertising regarding services and counseling provided or not provided and that any center cited under the ordinance would get a chance to cure the “false, misleading or deceptive advertising.”
The judge ruled that a “person of common intelligence could discern that the conduct proscribed by the ordinance is false and misleading advertising, and not simply any statement made by the limited services pregnancy center.”
First Resort had hoped to follow in the footsteps of CPCs in cities such as New York City, Baltimore and Austin, which have all tried to pass laws to prevent similar acts of false advertising but have, thus far, been successfully barred from doing so by centers that claim they have a constitutional right to mislead women. It looks like San Francisco will be the first city to officially force crisis pregnancy centers to be upfront about the services they actually provide — and, therefore, their intentions. Awesome.
Judge Upholds Most of Abortion Services Law [Courthouse News Service]
One step closer.
I need to move here.
Can we fucking talk about this for a second?
Can we really?
Because this shit right here was the EXACT. SAME. REACTION that I fucking got when I was recovering from my eating disorder.
Folks ENCOURAGED ME TO STARVE MYSELF when I was losing so much weight.
And had nothing but mumbles for me when I called them out on that bullshit years later.
Because we really do not fucking care HOW you got skinny. Just as long as you got skinny and stayed there.
We don’t give no fuck about health. We give a fuck about how fuckable you look to mainstream.
So your ass could have damn near died, but it don’t matter doe, cuz you can fit into a size 6 now.
Concern trolls and thinspo mothafuckers can forever miss me with that bullshit
None of the men I’ve spoken to believe me when I point out that women don’t talk more than them and that we don’t interrupt them with our “banter.”
Seriously we don’t.
According to a study conducted by psychologist Don Zimmerman and sociologist Candace West in their “Sex Roles, Interruptions and Silences in Conversation,” study.
“…males interrupt females far more often than they interrupt other males - and much more often than females interrupt either sex.”
In fact, “in mixed-sex conversations, men ‘hold the floor’ more of the time than women, even when the women have higher status…” (pg. 210)
Deborah Tannan, a sociolinguists in the 1990s, did a study where she recorded two-and-a-half hours of conversation, noting that, “…men often do dominate their conversations with women by interrupting.”
Dominating conversations doesn’t stop at interrupting, even “stony silence,” is a pass for this. How? She gives an example:
“…she cit[es] a dialogue between a husband and wife in Erica Jong’s novel, Fear of Flying. Bennett, the man, remains stonily silent, while with mounting misery his wife Isadora begs him to tell her what she has done wrong. When he finally tries to leave the room, the scene ‘ends with her literally lowered to the floor, clinging to his pajama leg. But the reason his silence is an effective weapon is her insistence that he tell her what’s wrong. If she receded into silence, leaving the room or refusing to talk to him, his silence would be disarmed.” (pg. 211)
This obviously, can be dismissed as an exaggeration. It is, after all, a reference taken from a fictional account but also points out something that rings true: How interactions are defined by the participation of all parties involved. For starters, patterns of speaking and conversation styles taken on by most women usually contain “frequent use of qualifiers or hedges that decrease the assertiveness in the statement,” we also use what linguists Robin Lakoff calls: “empty” adjectives - adjectives that do not have connotations of power.
Other assessments show that it IS typically women who ‘hold onto’ men, in a very figurative way, when we converse with them. We are usually the one’s that try to keep the conversation going.
Pamela Fisherman, a sociolinguists who analyzed 52 hours of couples amongst themselves, concluded that women “work harder” to keep conversations flowing. In our attempts to do so, we are more likely to use tag questions (e.i: “phrases that can be used to obligate one’s partner to reply”), we give encouragement to continue a conversation and force interests more often to ensure the man knows we are being attentive.
In those moment when we DO initiate a conversation on a particular topic, they fail 64% of the time. In comparison to the men on the tapes whose topics successfully carried 96% of the time. This means that, “women had to keep bringing up new subjects all the time and mostly they fell flat.” (pg. 209)
The most notable way that men killed conversations was something as trivial, as minimal, as saying, “Um,” when the woman had finished speaking. The woman’s response? They “pursued whatever subject the men seemed willing to talk about.” (pg. 210)
What does this all come down too? It confirms a few things. 1) In mix-gender conversations, women typically, put the concerns and interests of men first. 2) In mix-gender conversations, women still come across as less assertive and even, less convincing. (“studies have shown that the tentative style that women often use makes any speaker seem less convincing and believable,” and this becomes an issue when it trickles into work place perceptions, adding another layer to the glass ceiling: “Women [who] were not convincingly powerful in their style of speaking…were not put into positions where they must present themselves powerfully.”) 3) Men interrupt women more in conversations and all-in-all, dominate these conversations. In one way by the conditioned leeway women usually give them (e.i: we are expected and trained to be more polite and thoughtful of the feelings of others, this slips into conversation style as well. Lakoff specifies that we use “overly proper grammar and excessively polite speech,” most of the time). At the opposite end of the spectrum, men are more likely to cut off women through socialized feelings of entitlement a.k.a, a manifestation of male privilege.
[The trippy thing about “privilege” is that many privileged people cannot identify it until it is pointed out to them and when it is, it is usually met with hostility because their power and the cultural advantages the society gives them is being attacked. In context of these studies, it has to do with how the opinions of men are more valued, thus most men grow to internalize these beliefs and this is externalized through putting their views above that of women’s].
For the guys: You may not notice you’re doing it, but try to get in-tuned to how often you talk compared to how often the women in your life talk when they are conversing with you. Whose topics carry on the longest? Who interrupts who the most? Do you give unwarranted encouragement through verbal cues or body language? (e.g: nodding your head, giving “ahuhs” or throwing in tag questions). When awkward silence enters the conversation, whose the first to break it?
Experiences will differ from person-to-person. But all these studies, from the Fisherman and Tannen’s tapes to Lakoff and Kramarae’s observations (Dr. Cheris Kramarae pointed out that these speech patterns are also cross-cultural), there should be a gender-specific pattern to the conversation styles.
But at the end of the day: No, we do not talk more than you when we are talking with you.
Spencer, Metta et al. Foundations of Modern Sociology: Seventh Edition. “Gender Roles.” Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1996. (pg. 209-211)
Great research here. For men who’d like to stop doing this (do I even have any male followers?), here’s a guide I wrote for you.