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Explain women only spaces to me.
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Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that you aren't anywhere near as worn out as I am of stumbling across people who seem pathologically incapable of putting themselves in other peoples shoes at all.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, one hopes you are at least somewhat open to the idea of actually learning something, given that your title of your thread asked for an explanation.

you seem to believe that all women-only spaces are the same, and exist for the same reasons. they do not.

when we are talking about spaces for women to be safe, we are talking about shelters for abused women. yes, a woman does actually have to be abused to live in such a shelter. and it is a place she (often with her children) comes to live, because she was living with a man who abused her - so she has no other place. she can't just move to another apartment, because she has a genuine fear that the man can track her to that apartment, and continue to harm her (really, do some reading on women's shelters). and yes, transgender or gay men and even older male children are often excluded from those spaces - that's a whole other set of gender-equality issues. the point is, the whole reason for these spaces is to offer a protected place for a woman in fear of physical violence from a man.

if the only place you had to live was with the older asian boy who beat you up, and if you had a reason to fear that any asian was likely to beat you up, it would be reasonable for you to have an asian-free shelter. that wasn't the case.

another women-only space that has been mentioned is women-only universities. these exist for the reason you have given as valid - because of the very thing you have cited as a reasonable purpose for a women-only space, the different interactions that occur in women-only vs. mixed-gender groups. IT IS NOT ABOUT WOMEN BEING VICTIMS.

another women-only space that has been mentioned is things like women-only gyms. again, while this has something to do with women not wanting to be subject to sexual attention while exercising, IT IS NOT ABOUT WOMEN BEING VICTIMS. it's about women being able to focus on doing what they came to do, which is work out.

things like women-only clubs, again, are about the social interactions. THEY ARE NOT ABOUT WOMEN BEING VICTIMS.

and the comparison of menstruation tents to urinals is that men are not biologically constructed to menstruate any more than women are biologically constructed to effectively use urinals. some gender separation is because the genders have some biological differences, which requires different handling. which is why only one of us will be getting a pap smear, and the other will be in line for a digital rectal exam. check a cancer website, if you don't know why that is.

so - do you get that not all women-only spaces are about women being weak? do you understand that there can be many different reasons for women-only spaces?

in short - why don't you just answer my questions about how often you think women use or want to use different sorts of women-only spaces? WHAT, EXACTLY, DO YOU THINK A WOMEN-ONLY SPACE IS? (other than a red tent)

i think i am starting to understand your platonic thing, though. you think all women-only spaces are chairs which differ only in color. in this, you are wrong. in point of fact, while some are chairs, some are tables, and some are racecars. does that make it any clearer to you?
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eureka00



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Honoring the Female Bleeding Time: The Red Tent

Throughout the ages women have bled each month as we do today. We are connected to our female ancestors through this sacred time. Without the bleeding time, there would be no humanity, no creation of the peoples of this world. This makes women special.

I think back to the pivotal time in my life that transformed the way I thought about my bleeding time. It was when I was in my late teens and I was old enough to be free to meet other adults that thought differently than my family. To hear the opinions of women, who in my mind speak the truth about the menstrual cycle. They were open, unafraid to talk about it, they used words that were positive, and stirred something inside of me that I had never really felt before. Words and phrases like honor, rite of passage, moon time, connection, sacred, power, life, cleansing and creation. I could feel a calling, an echo of something wise and ancient in these words and thoughts on the menstrual cycle.

Regardless of what we have been taught about our bleeding time, it is important, special and deserves deep respect. More and more women are coming to realize this, and in some circles it has become a movement to reclaim the honor of the moon time. Some women have begun to bring back the Red Tent.

moon phase info
The Red Tent has been traced back to biblical times and Christianity. Red is the color of blood and in many cultures red is a symbol of power, as well as honoring one’s self. Men, with their lack of understanding of the cycles of women, as well as superstition, or religious belief felt that women should go to a place away from them during their bleeding time and childbirth. Red tent’s were set up for this. Many cultures including Native Americans, Chinese and Africans had lodges or places set up specifically for a woman’s moon time. It is said that at one time in humanity’s history, all women within the community would bleed at the same time, often in time with the moon phases. Ovulation would be the full moon, and menstruation would be the new moon, the dark time. This is where ‘moon time’ comes from.

The Red Tent was a place where a woman could retreat and take time to let her body naturally cleanse. Other females would join her in their bleeding time as well. Other female friends and family would gather in the Red Tent to aid these women in whatever ways they may need; massaging, feeding, drinking, laughing, sharing conversation about life, creating sacred ceremony and honoring what was being experienced through this bleeding time. The Red Ten was a monthly ritual. Did you know that the root of the word ‘ritual’ comes from the Sanskrit word R’tu, which means menstrual?

In the Native American tradition women gathered at their bleeding times to pray, sing and vision. The tribe often used these visions to guide the tribe in whatever message these bleeding women had seen. This shows that this bleeding time was sacred for not just the women, but the entire community as a whole; a time that was considered powerful.

The Modern Red Tent

As I mentioned, there are women, today, honoring their bleeding time. While some may actually have a Red Tent to attend, more than likely it is a gathering of a small group of female friends, or simply a self-honoring time set aside each month. There are some huge Red Tent gatherings, as well as Red Tent workshops across the nation. I actually went to a music festival where there was an amazing, beautiful Red Tent set up. It was a quite retreat and place to honor the divine of the female. More and more people are awakening to the importance of honoring the female cycle. It is as if the ancient practice is rising from a deep slumber.


http://natural-fertility-info.com/red-tent.html

Some info and history on the Red Tent seen at the music festival. Some pretty interesting history there if I do say so myself.
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TIAB



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drowemos wrote:
@TIAB - Why are you comparing menstruation tents to urinals?


... Nevermind. Mouse already responded on this point in a far kinder way than I am capable of at this time.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trans women are often denied entrance to women's spaces. That is terrible. That is not an argument against women's spaces, however. That is an argument for inclusion of all women into women's spaces.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My university dorms weren't segregated by building or floor, but roommates had to be the same gender (although technically we both had our own rooms, but we shared a bathroom).
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drowemos wrote:
I find that the arguments on this board don't really get to the core or anything. It stays on a very surface level of rhetoric. Basically I want to talk about the Platonic form of the chair and the board wants to talk about it's color. So we talk past each other a it gets frustrating for all. I say "are all chairs are connected?" you say "you fucking moron that ones red and this one is blue".

While you clearly have a preference, what makes you think that level of abstraction to a generalized rule is better? Not every argument lends itself to formal logic, which is why we have informal logic. Sometimes the important characteristics are non-generalizable. That's not a problem, it's the nature of dealing with social issues. It's why we use descriptive statistics when speaking of people, because no one rule explains their behavior.

Quote:
I also find the narrative of "women need special safety" odd. Personally I would justify women only spaces with the scientific data that show subtle changes in group dynamic in women only groups. Honestly I don't think your argument is going to convince many people because it portrays women as broken and men as monsters. The fact that you keep on going back to that kind of make it sound like you have a pretty low opinion of women in general. Not that I am saying this is your actual opinion it's just how it comes across.

Then you're misunderstanding what we're saying, and you should ask more questions rather than drawing assumptions. It's also presumptive to assume the things you think are the reasons women do things are, a) at all related to why they really do them or b) the important reasons. You asked a question and are now dictating the answer to women. Congrats, you're a dick.

Quote:
I think my argument is better for the practice. But that is just a mater of opinion.

It shouldn't be. You decried our position for not citing scientific research and then offer an opinion of what you think would be better? That doesn't sound hypocritical to you?

Quote:
I am also just tired of the juvenile name calling. I made an appeal to you better nature and got your worst.

If you can't handle impoliteness you won't just fail here. You'll find all of life disappointing. Get over it.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I also find the narrative of "women need special safety" odd.


literally even our legal system recognizes this 'narrative' as being based soundly in fact and affords them extra protections

much like, say, gays and racial minorities

why is this 'narrative' so hard to accept?
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eureka00



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we dress him as a woman and send him alone to a bar/club in any major city in the US at night? He wouldn't even have to be scantily clad.
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Adyon



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been staying away from this, but I wanted to add a quick bit based on what Sam said
Sam wrote:
my answer to the whole thing is that womens only spaces are generally a good idea for the same reason why women's only gyms are a good idea.

protected classes, external issues with no inflicted-on-male analogues, and strict scrutiny also play in if you want to talk about it as a legal issue.

While I can't convince Drowemos to think of why people might feel uncomfortable and need a place to feel comfortable, I can explain why I don't think a "women only" space violates the ideas of equality.

Just as mentioned with women only gyms. When it DOES happen that women constantly get hit on at the gym, wanting their own gym where they can just go to hang out isn't inequality. It's catering to the needs of individuals in the same way, having healthy alternatives than normal fast food places around caters to me, as I won't eat it. So by that stretch, if there's a place for it, it's not discrimination. It's business. There ARE male only gyms out there too that mostly cater to guys who get embarrassed or distracted at other gyms. And those stay legal too.

The idea of things that are based on gender is not discrimination. It's when something presents an unfair ADVANTAGE. So, if someone opened a women's/men's only gym in a place that had NO other gym, people could have rights to complain and get it changed. Their are male only clubs out there, just as female only. The difference is the type of clubs has changed from back when. It used to be that women were barred from big male-only political clubs that were used for the wealthy, powerful men to gather. That pretty much barred women from being able to participate in an important area that they could use to better their careers or have political influence on how discussions are made. Similarly, we currently wouldn't allow businesses to have male/female only business lunches/meetings/parties anymore, as it pretty much promotes gender based differences in who will get promoted based on who gets to mingle with their bosses.

Of course, places that are there to provide support for medical reason is another matter. Simple and necessary. It's still just business, but you want Hospitals and other establishments that specialize in women. They can provide more specified health coverage in a safe environment that focuses on women's needs. (I mean, heck, I get my hair cut at a place that ONLY does men's hair, because they are likely to be better at cutting men's hair than a general place.) Areas that cover for mental health or anything like battered women shelters, etc fall into that same line of thinking as it being medical care.


You're thinking about it all wrong Drowemos. These things aren't based on gender. They're based on needs. It's only discrimination if someone else's needs aren't being met. And that's the only area "Feminism" deals in.
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Ennis



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay could we please not with the women/men/gender biological differences. You're talking about sex, not gender. Sex is physical biology, gender is social/personal/mental. There are women with penises and men with vaginas, so this whole "well gynaecologists/periods are a woman-only thing" is incorrect anyway. Anyway onto addressing Drowemos' bullshit:

Quote:
And I can cut the world in ways where the number of male victims is greater than the number of female victims of abuse so it 's not the quantity. For example to people who've encountered terrorism get to make and Arab free space?


Except that's not even based in fact, that's based on racism and Islamophobia you've learned from the media. More "Arabs" and Muslims are killed because of this unfounded fear than white people (and I'm assuming you're white from what you're saying) are actually killed by "terrorists". You shouldn't even need to be told that racism is alive and well in America (guessing you're American too) if you'd been paying any kind of attention to the Travyon Martin case. http://asexual-not-a-sexual.tumblr.com/post/55387597655/more-so-the-verdict-on-george-zimmermans White people do not need their own spaces when EVERY space is safe for white people, whereas a black teenager can be murdered by a cop-wannabe white guy and he gets acquitted when a black mother who only fired warning shots is given 20 years under the same law.

Quote:
The argument further disintegrates when you start talking about cross dressers and transsexuals. If the space is for safety only then you can not allow transsexuals or cross-dresser in because they could still make the victimized woman feel unsafe. Under this logic you are force to turn them away despite their self identification because it's what victim feels that maters.

Yeah okay basically you can just shut the hell up because you have no idea what you're talking about and you're just using trans* people as some throwaway prop in your shitty-arse argument. First of all, transsexual people generally take huge issue in being lumped together with cross-dressers. I'm not going to get into queer politics and the myriad of issues with the "transier than thou" people, but for the sake of simplifying things let's just say for now that what you're calling a "transsexual" is a trans woman and "crossdresser" is a (perhaps gay) man who likes to dress in female clothing. Trans women come in all shapes, sizes and stages of transition, and acting like somehow you can "always tell" is laughably ridiculous. The cis-passing trans woman is not going to make even a transphobic cis women in a women's group feel unsafe. Also no she is not somehow required to inform everyone of her trans status, she is not misrepresenting herself because she is a WOMAN in a WOMEN'S group. If people are assuming she's cis then that's their issue, not hers. She is likely dealing with the exact same things that the cis women in the group come to discuss.
Now, when it comes to non-passing trans women that's when it gets... thorny. The reason for that is transphobia and cissexism, not because the non-passing trans woman is somehow "not woman enough". For me (admittedly I'm not a woman, but I'm not a man either) I'm not going to feel "threatened" or like they're a man in a dress, I understand them as expressing their internal gender as best as they can and have just been unfortunately dealt a bad hand wrt genetics and probably a testosterone-laden puberty out of their control. Ideally this would be how all people see them (because it's the truth) but people are fed a lot of lies from the media and representation of trans women is generally terrible. Trans women are actually raped and murdered at a rate *higher* than cis women, especially if they are non-white. The "fear" or "uncomfortableness" that cis women feel when there is a visibly trans woman in a women's space is not based in fact, and is not akin to "fearing men" (even though they think it is) is is akin to whites irrationally fearing and suspecting black people because of the racism embedded in society. And trans women often ARE excluded from women only spaces, this isn't a hypothetical point you're making, it's actual an enormous issue with real world consequences. As in, trans women DYING because they are denied access to a shelter kind of consequences. Your "forced to turn them away because of victim's feelings" displays the exact same reasoning for this, of conveniently forgetting that TRANS WOMEN ARE VICTIMS AND HAVE FEELINGS TOO. And no, this isn't the fucking same as a cis man turning up to a women only space and demanding access because his man feelings are hurt that there's a tiny space free of men, because TRANS WOMEN ARE NOT MEN. Also it's not just trans people that have "self identification" your gender identity is a "self identification" too, it just happens to line up with what people decided you were at birth.

Yeah I just really do not feel like going into the issue of the grey area between trans women and male-identified crossdressers where nonbinaries often reside. If anyone else wants to, go ahead.

Quote:
And what about lesbians. Couldn't a victim of sexual abuse feel uncomfortable around anyone who would be sexual attracted to them. You would have to ban all lesbians because remember we are making a blanket statement here. It's not a case by case judgement its anything that could cause discomfort.

Everything you say just reveals a gaping ignorance of how anything works outside of your personal mind theories and in the real world. For one, the victim of sexual abuse could also be a lesbian. Secondly, you're once again acting like the privileged group (in this case straight women) can somehow be imposed upon by an oppressed minority. If straight women wanted to make a group free of lesbians, they probably could. Oh they probably couldn't outright state it, but they could make it happen, and likely no one would care or notice. But if lesbians wanted to make a lesbian-only space? Ho boy, the ink on the poster for it wouldn't have time to dry before people would start accusing them of man-hating hairy legged feminists and of discriminating against straight women, lecherous jokes about orgies from men, you name it.
Anyway I got off-topic. This assumes that lesbians act the same way around straight women that straight men do, and they do not. Usually the reason women do not want men in their spaces isn't because of their potential to be sexually attracted to them, but the stupid shit they often say when women are talking about their experiences because they do not have experience being a woman. They hear that from their friends, family, coworkers and often partners, they don't want to hear it in a safe space.

I want you to read this [url]everydaysexism.com/[/url] and then come back and tell me there isn't a need for women only spaces.

Quote:
On the other side what about gay men. Should they be allowed into the space due to their lack of interest in women. Or is appearing to be male the problem. Does that mean no masculine looking women?

I wish I was Dennis and could just swear profusely at this point.
Gay men are still men, and actually often get away with physically touching a woman and harassing her because if confronted get to act like it's no big deal because "it's not like I'm interested in you, get over yourself, stop making a fuss". Put it this way: would you feel any better if a straight guy unwantedly grabbed your crotch than if if was a gay guy, or would you mainly just not want your crotch to be unexpectedly molested?

I'm not even going to address the masculine-looking women thing.

Quote:
Furthermore what if none of the women in the space has been abused? How is the existence of the space justified then? By all right if at any time their is no abused women in a women only space it would need to be opened up to men because the rational for it gone. You would need a token abused women in the space at all times. Which would be weird.


This is just some weird-arse mastubatory head theorising for you, isn't it? You have literally never read actual women's experiences with these things, or anything about abuse or rape culture.

Quote:
So let's back up and use a different meaning of the word "safe". When I go out with drink with coworkers I don't invite my boss because it makes everyone feel more "safe". My boss is a great guy and no one is afraid of him. But the conversation is just more free when he is not around. We don't feel like we have to watch ourselves. No one has to be a victim in this scenario no one has to be weak.

Yeah, this really isn't the best thing to base an analogy on but I'll try to work with it. You just said the conversation is more free, you probably all enjoy yourselves more, you don't have to carefully analyse everything you say when the boss isn't around. That sounds like a good thing you might want to happen quite often, so you and your coworkers can get things off your chest without endangering your job or the chance of a promotion. Now imagine that your boss insists on being invited every single time you go out for a drink, because otherwise you're "dividing people" and "putting too much emphasis on hierarchy". At first you're fine with it, you limit yourself a bit but still try to have fun. Thinking he'll be fine and get it you make some jokes about work being half procrastination and half actual work. He suddenly looks extremely angry and threatens to install spying software on worker's computers, he doesn't want to be paying people to be slacking off! You backpedal and explain you weren't serious, it was just worker humour, but when you go into work the next day you discover there's a new company policy and you can be fired for going on facebook during work hours. You probably don't feel like inviting your boss for drinks anymore, even though he acts like he's just "another worker" he's not really and still has power over you, and has proved that he will use what he finds out in that casual context in your professional one too. So what, are you not supposed to ever be able to just have a good rant about office politics with your coworkers now? Sure he can come along sometimes, but ALL the time? You're gonna go crazy if you have to hold yourself back all the time, paranoid he's going to take something you say in a way which could end up negatively affecting you at work.
Anyway, I tried my best with what you gave me. The boss is men trying to get into women-only spaces. It's not like women are in a position to somehow just not interact with men ever, but sometimes in this current society with the sort of imbalances between men and women, they just want a space to talk to other women without a man telling them the sexual harassment they experienced wasn't that bad, or he would have welcomed it.

I think other people have addressed the rest. People who notice a hole in my analogy (sometimes I get a bit carried away and don't prove the original point as well as possible) are welcome to say something.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
I'm pretty sure that you aren't anywhere near as worn out as I am of stumbling across people who seem pathologically incapable of putting themselves in other peoples shoes at all.


The ones that arrogantly assume they have the capability of putting themselves in another person's shoes are much much worse.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thy Brilliance wrote:
Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
I'm pretty sure that you aren't anywhere near as worn out as I am of stumbling across people who seem pathologically incapable of putting themselves in other peoples shoes at all.


The ones that arrogantly assume they have the capability of putting themselves in another person's shoes are much much worse.


Thy, we cannot trust you to have a credible understanding of the topic at hand and are not interested in hearing your interpretations.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, of course, we can't put ourselves in thy's shoes because thy is constantly reinventing himself every day as a being that chooses to wear new shoes even though they strangely look like the exact same shoes he has always worn and has absolutely no continuity whatsoever with the beings from the past which also wore shoes that strangely look like the exact same shoes he has always worn but he assures us are actually different shoes
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/much+blood+Researchers+fear+gift+life+sometimes+endanger/8652224/story.html

Quote:
When doctors at a New Jersey hospital pioneered a “bloodless” surgery program for patients who refused blood transfusions on religious grounds, they discovered something totally unexpected: Jehovah’s Witnesses, who would choose death over a transfusion, recovered just as well as transfused patients — and in many cases, even better.

They suffered fewer post-surgery complications, spent less time on mechanical breathing machines and had shorter stays in intensive care.


I'm going to go ahead and guess this will be similar to what happened with antibiotics previously - overzealous application to people who don't necessarily need them.
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