Sunday, February 19, 2012

Feminist Objectification

Lets strip away (no pun intended) some jargon. Am I right in thinking that 'Objectification' is essentially about men making prejudicial value judgements about women. I think that I am am and value judgements lie at the root of many evils. The central issue that this post addresses is that in my view, feminists such as Object themselves objectify people and do so in a manner that is just as bad as those that they campaign against...

I want to look at a few examples and we will start by reproducing a posting from Mumsnet. You should know that Mumsnet have never supported a campaign to close strip clubs they particularly never supported the campaign to close clubs in Tower Hamlets....

From a previous posting, you will be familiar with 'KristineRackabusi' and her sense free rantings, that even other Mumsnet contributors find hard to deal with. 'Betternextlife' also takes issue with Kristine and quite rightly chides her for objectifying dancers as 'gender traitors'. So when the comment started out so right, it is a pity that it then went onto to go so wrong....

Dancers dance for a number of reasons, but the reasons outlined in the post in question are a form of objectification, stating that they (dancers) are poor, desperate and socially unsophisticated victims of abuse. I have met many dancers and can without reservation say that I never met one to which the postings description even begins to apply to. Furthermore, I could begin to accept the argument if any study had ever been undertaken into dancers backgrounds, which as far as I am aware has never happened. So in summary 'Beternextlife's comments are value judgements and therefore another example of feminist objectification.

Can someone please explain to me why so many third wave feminists see dancers as either gender traitors or abused simpletons that know no better and must be rescued? 

There is another group on the club scene that are victims of feminist objectification and they are the customers of the venues...

'.......Dismissing them as worthless objects is what the punters do......'

Another sweeping comment that owes little to reality and is deeply insulting to the people that I have met and know on the club scene. Speak to some customers directly and then judge. That said in any customer facing situation you will encounter morons, but there is more chance of that for the average office worker than a dancer, who at least has recourse to a bouncer.

Below we have another Object Yahoo Group frame grab. As is usual, the posters details have been redacted, but her comment is to say the least disturbing...

We can see that the lady is working hard to impose her value judgements on delegates at the courses she runs. Although it seems that the students are more world aware than the trainer. As someone who has in the past visited lap dancing clubs, I take issue with the fact that someone who never met me can decide that I am an abusive man.

The question presupposes to the answer, 'Would a non abusive man go to a lapdancing club?' is a closed question. A better better way of phrasing the question would have been 'Why would a non abusive man go to a lapdancing club?'. The nature of the question opens it to a greater range of responses, but that clearly was not the trainers intention, whose only goal seems to be as I said before, the imposing her value judgements on her delegates.

If anyone was to publish a comment that stated that anyone that went into a mosque was a terrorist, they would quite rightly be prosecuted under any one of a variety of race hate laws. If I was to state that all feminists are fundamentally misandric, I would be guilty of a crass and sweeping value judgement. On that basis, the statement that only abusive men go into lap dancing clubs is as misguided as any other form of propaganda.

Finally I note that Tony N posted on Mumsnet  and I have included his posting. I dropped by the chat session that he was participating in about feminist attitudes to strip clubs. I only wish I had thought to frame grab the chat thread, that way you could see for yourself some of the abusive comments that were made to and about him.


  1. Have to say in the while Mumsnet does not support banning strip tease venues they have deleted a discussion I started as at the end the comments once again ended in personal attacks. However if I get one person to think rather just accept the designer feminist view I believe I have done something positive. And it is just as well I have a thick skin as in the open debate the value of my existence was questioned (amongst other things).

    Interestingly this does make me wonder what agenda some of these feminists truly have if it is necessary to make personal attacks.

  2. I noted that the thread had been deleted and I was annoyed about that because I really wanted the world to see what some of the comments were like. You are right that if just one person starts to think, then we have a victory, no matter how small. I imagine that their moderators saw what was happening and decided to delete the whole thread, because if they just removed the postings where people were being horrible to and about you, there would not have been much left to read....

  3. "Can someone please explain to me why so many third wave feminists see dancers as either gender traitors or abused simpletons that know no better and must be rescued? "

    Because they're not really third wave feminists at all, but rather the tired remains of the second wave? Part of the problem is that political dinosaurs within the academic and journalistic establishments use their power to silence any authentic voices of the third wave, in order to perpetuate the same old myths which helped elevate them to positions of cultural influence in the first place.

    1. I often wondered if they were not the children of Howard Kirk (The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury), in some senses like a solution looking for a problem and fixating on the wrong one. Maybe they see lapdancing clubs as a winnable issue with the plaudits and book deals that come with it...

    2. And perhaps they shy away from addressing more serious issues related to gender inequality (oppression of women in ethnic minority communities, female 'circumcision', the commonplace use of rape in gang culture, etc.) because to tackle those would not only require genuine hard work (as opposed to fashionable posturing), but also expose them to genuine risk and the possibility of being accused of racism by fellow 'liberals'.

    3. I think that you have the nail squarely on the head. This is why I refer to Object as being 'Designer Feminists' or maybe 'The Avon Ladies of Feminism' would be more appropriate...

  4. If the radfems that patrol the boards on MumsNet are anything to go by they seem to be 5 year olds inhabiting the body of a woman. When reasoned logic is being used they will first try to bring it down but if they doesn't work name calling is the order of the day. I do know now that although I view myself as an equalist, on MumsNet I am into conspiracy theories (that was the nicest insult) and everything about me makes me a misogynist even if I support the dancers' rights. I didn't have a halo when I went in I admit but deserve one by not resorting to calling the radfems names back.

    1. Perhaps they believe their own propaganda that, "Reason is a male construct"? ;-)