Why Feminism IS a Dirty Word.

You’re probably thinking how dare she! (or he). But let’s think about it, at the moment it is. Too many women disagree about what constitutes feminism. 

Take for instance the latest cele-bitchy argument involving none other than Miley Cyrus, Nikki Minaj, Kim Kardashian and Rashida Jones whereby Jones has taken it upon herself to call out the other three celebs as ‘whores’ for their near nude trend setting.

Jones tweeted ‘This week’s celeb news takeaway: she who comes closest to showing the actual inside of her vagina is most popular.

Whilst the use of bitch, slut and whore by the female population may have originated as a political move, probably third wave feminist, but has it gone too far when it amounts to actual slut shaming?

I would argue that part of the reason why feminism is in such a mess is that no one can actually agree on what it entails (and that is even if they are one of the few who actually know what it means). I mean, there are some that capitalise the word feminism to read as Feminism.

So I ask the question, how can we expect anyone to get what we are on about if we cannot even agree?

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– Claws xo

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The ‘R’ Word

This was originally going to be a post on ‘Rape Culture’, but we’ve found across all aspects of our campaign (Blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc.) that people like to pick holes in the smallest of semantics, and make assumptions about things we thought were clear but apparently needed to be clarified. This is their right, and it is great to formulate genuine discussion and clear up misconceptions. However, in an attempt not to be misconstrued, or for the focus to be taken away from the important points we are trying to make about sexism, we decided to do a post on rape specifically. We believe it is fairly black and white, common sense stuff.

We are defining rape as sexual activity that is forced upon someone without consent.

Just to be completely clear;

  • This is not restricted to sexual intercourse, but includes a variety of sexual acts. For example, forced oral or anal sex.
  • This is not restricted to men raping women.
  • Often we think of ‘forced’ as just physical force, but we are including threats, coercion and manipulation as forms of ‘force’.
  • If someone is not in a position to either give or deny their consent, for example someone drugged, unconscious or a child, then you cannot engage in sexual activity. A lack of no does NOT grant permission.

Still unsure? You shouldn’t be, but here is a handy flow chart if you ever find yourself still confused in a situation.

Feminism, Harassment and Rape Culture

Quite recently on our Facebook page, we’ve had some discussions with members of the public debating definitions, the relevance of sexism and feminism and a whole lot of other common misconceptions. As such, we’ve decided to do a post clearing these misconceptions up.

    1. Feminism

The dictionary defines feminism as the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this state.

In short, feminism is about equality, so really, everyone in the world should be a feminist.

    2. Harassment

‘Behavior that annoys or upsets someone.’  Now, some people have asked us – how is harassment and/or sexual harassment only a problem for women? Now we aren’t denying that men can get harassed.  Of course not. But, for example, if a man comes up to a woman and says she has a great ass – that can be very scary, humiliating and threatening for a woman (particularly depending on the context) because there is the very real possibility that this situation can turn nasty. When a woman does it to a man, there is rarely a connotation of being in real danger, threatened, or harassed.

    3. Rape Culture

Defined as ‘a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape.’

We aren’t claiming that everyone in society is a rapist. However, certain behaviors and strands of thinking such as victim blaming and slut shaming teach us “how not to be raped,” rather than “how not to rape”. These attitudes trivialize rape, and propagate violence.

All these are ‘hot topics’ regarding sexism, so we will be doing more posts exploring each of these in more depth soon.

Kitty x

Anonymous Submission

The following came from one of our fans. A great example of everyday sexism.

“Them – Blah blah blah electricity company. Is that Miss or Mrs?
Me – Are you married?
Them – What’s that got to do with anything?
Me – Exactly. Miss means I am my father’s property. Mrs means I am my husband’s property. If I say Ms you think “militant lesbian feminist.”
Them – I’ve never thought about that before.
Me – You’ve never had to. You’re male so your entire life you’re just “Mr.” Not “Master” and then “Mr” when you get married/get into long pants instead of short ones. No one ever asks you your entire life if you’re married. It’s completely irrelevant.
Them – So… what shall I put you down as?
Me – Baroness.”

Tips for talking to your local misogynist

We’ve all been there. We’ve heard some dumb sexist or misogynistic  comment that offends, either directly or indirectly, and you want to speak up but you don’t know how what to say, or how approach the issue and avoid being labelled a bitch or prude. Whilst we can’t promise that anyone who is sexist, (or homophobic, or racist, or discriminatory in any way) will actually listen, we’ve got some tips for the best way to confidently approach this problem.

  1. Self Educate.

I’ve heard a lot of girls claim that they didn’t really know how to rebuttal when put up against sexist comments/harassment,  or that sexism ‘didn’t really affect them’ in any way. But once you start delving into the big, scary world of feminism, it is scary to learn how sexist our culture is – and perhaps you will be surprised to learn how sexist you have been to your own gender. On a side note, feminism is actually defined as ‘the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men’  not just some ‘Girls RULE, Boys DROOL’ policy for man-hating dykes, as most people seem to believe.

This sexism surfaces in multiple ways that are actually considered socially acceptable by most without question. Think slut shaming, rape culture, the 17.5% pay gap for some beginner examples (and that’s just in Australia, a first world country, the women less developed countries have it much, much worse than us). So basically, the more educated you get on the subject, the more confident you will feel discussing it, and the more likely you are to blow away the sexist bigots with your knowledge.

    2.   Stay Calm.

After all that educating you’ve done on how gender inequality still exists, you are probably going to be seething mad when a old white man tells you that a) sexism doesn’t exist, b) you’re being a ‘femi-nazi’ or c) that you’re just whinging and looking for attention. But you must remember not to fling anything within reach at his head, but instead graciously offer up some pearls of your new found wisdom on how while gender equality has come along way, we need to address the less obvious sexist infiltrations into our culture. Remember, we are trying to generate discussion, not a brawl.

 

   3.  Be Assertive.

While this one seemingly contradicts the last point – let me specify. Being assertive does not mean being aggressive. Being assertive means  being confident and standing up for yourself or others. As long as you don’t swear, scream, threaten or throw around personal insults in your discussion or rebuttals about sexism, then you have successfully kept it civilized. If you still get called a bitch or a prude or a femi-nazi etc., just remember you, the woman, have been the bigger man.

 

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Don’t forget to share your tips, stories or opinions to kittygotclaws@outlook.com (all submissions will be kept anonymous).

 

Kitty x

Unwanted Sexual Comments

As this is our first post, you were probably expecting something explanatory about what ‘Kitty Got Claws’ is all about (and you didn’t grasp it from the header) then pop over to our ‘About’ tab, (above ^^) which is full of information.

As it wouldn’t be fair to ask you to share your own stories dealing with sexism without offering you something first, I decided to get the ball rolling and share with you a small teaser of some experiences I’ve had.

I think I can bundle up plenty of quotations and story into the one theme – men making unwanted sexual comments and completely inappropriate observations of my body. .

Here are some of my favorites..

‘I have a big dick’.

‘How about I come home with you tonight?’

‘I’d fuck you’

‘Oh, nice ass’ *stands there ogling for several minutes*

Some people might even argue ‘But some of these were just men paying you a compliment, how can you be mad if he just thinks you have a nice ass?’ And you know what, maybe you are right and I am being a total bitch for not taking a compliment gracefully. Or maybe, just maybe, it is creepy when someone starts their first interaction with you completely sexually orientated with no respect for boundaries or you as a person. I think it makes it even worse that all these comments were from people 10, 20 or in some cases, 30 or 40 years my senior. All these examples happened at my work (a bar) but being drunk is not any excuse.

I have a feeling this is incredibly common scenario, and that most women would have dealt with these kind of advances. Share your story or opinions to kittygotclaws@outlook.com to have it posted on our blog – remember all submissions will be kept completely anonymous.

Kitty xx