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Nov 16 2005

Indiana College Girls: Shaving Their Way To Happiness

It’s 2005. Do you know where your feminists are?

They’re sure as shit not at St. Mary’s College in Indiana, sister school of Notre Dame. There appears to be but inchoate appreciation for feminist theory or analysis in this institution of higher learning, not to mention an hysterical fear of female body hair, and a unusual reverence for the brassiere. By this account in the student newspaper, St. Mary’s is a patriarchy-friendly environment where “being a feminist mean[s] having hairy legs and burning bras,” two vile satanist aberrations with which the student body are definitely NOT down.

For instance, rigorous depilation and a life of dutiful servility to her master are apparently what constitute fully-realized humanity for one St. Mary’s junior, whose “image of a feminist is an extremist — someone who does not shave or believe in the institution of marriage.”

“A man,” she opines, a soft pink glow gleaming from her Jesus-kissed Catholic cheeks, “should take care of his wife and children.”

Another student remarks that feminism is about “empowering” women, but not, apparently, to the extent that she should be allowed to set fire to undergarments. She puts it this way: “Too often in our world, feminism is that dirty “F” word connoting man-hating femi-nazis and bra-burning wenches.”

Again with the bra-burning. You’d think these bras were the fucking Shroud of Turin the way these honky bitches obsess about preserving them from arson-crazy — excuse me, did you say”wenches”? yeah? — wenches. Why hasn’t anybody told these rabid femaphobic teens that nobody has actually bothered to burn a bra since, I don’t know, 1973, and even then, the women in question were pretty much the opposite of wenches?

Nowadays, if a radical feminist buys a bra, she wears it until it falls apart, because it fucking cost 50 bucks.

By the way, the erudite collegian using the epithets “femi-nazis” and “bra-burning wenches” to describe the bottom of the radical subhuman lesbo man-hating barrel was young Katie Kelly, student director of the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Resource Center. I was unable to obtain her email address for comment, but I have no doubt that Katie is deeply protective of the brassière because she equates it morally with precious human embryonic material, the sanctity of the death penalty, and the evils that medical marijuana might wreak upon bedeviled cancer patients. What a peach! Are there any more like you at home, Katie?

68 comments

2 pings

  1. Lisa

    I usually forget how unusual my Catholic, all-girls, high school experience was. Most of my fellow students were horrid, non-patriarchy haters, but the school was geared toward teaching us to be thinkers, not good Catholics. They even taught us all about birth control: the health teacher handed out booklets and then told us to write on the cover that the Catholic Church does not condone the use of birth control. She then discussed every available method. Oddly, I didn’t realize how radical this was (for a Catholic school) until years later.

  2. Sara*

    So glad to read you and know that you seem to be feeling better. Love the glasses.

    I always wanted to burn bras. It seemed like a good way to keep street people warm in the cold MN winters.

  3. dina

    First, Twisty, awesome essay as usual.

    Second, it pains me to say, but this perspective is not limited to Indiana college girls. The east coast undergraduates I teach are constantly prefacing comments with phrases like “I’m not a feminist but…” and “not to sound like some man-hating feminist but.. [insert mainstream and completely un-feminist sounding thought about "men" and "women" here]”

    I would not be at all surprised if their definition of feminism revolved around body hair and burning bras.

    Actually, the depression I was suffering as a result of enduring all this was what sent me searching for Twisty in the first place. I’ll have to remember to thank them.

  4. Emma Goldman

    I will never understand why people get their undies so bunched about bras and unshaven female body parts. Why does it matter so fucking much? (Yeah, I could come up with an answer on my own, but the obsession is just . . . weird.) What I understand even less is the willingness–nay, eagerness!–of women to have their pubic hair ripped out by the roots. You will never convince me that’s a good idea.

  5. dina

    First, Twisty, awesome essay as usual.

    Second, it pains me to say, but this perspective is not limited to Indiana college girls. The east coast undergraduates I teach are constantly prefacing comments with phrases like “I’m not a feminist but…” and “not to sound like some man-hating feminist but.. [insert mainstream and completely un-feminist sounding thought about "men" and "women" here]”

    I would not be at all surprised if their definition of feminism revolved around body hair and burning bras.

    Actually, the depression I was suffering as a result of enduring all this was what sent me searching for Twisty in the first place. I’ll have to remember to thank them.

  6. Hissy Cat

    No, it’s true. I’m a radical feminist and I burn bras all the time. Ok, one time. And only one bra. But I did walk into my bookcase this one time (which was filled with like, 300 copies of the S.C.U.M. manifesto. And books on witchcraft. And lesbians. Lesbian witchcraft!), and I knocked some incense I had burning into a pile of dirty laundry (cause feminists don’t do housework, see). Well, the incense fell right onto a bra! And burned it! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Actually, I guess it was more “singed” than “burned,” per se. I mean, most of the ashy stuff came off in the wash. Yeah, I still wear it, so what?

  7. Stella

    What IS it with the fear of female body hair?

    I pluck my straw eyebrows (when I notice and feel like), and the occasional moustache or chin hair, and I shave my legs sometimes (again, when I feel like it).

    But, seriously – what is going on with all this Brazilian-waxing?!?!? WHY would anyone DO that?

  8. SneakySnu

    I think I was most struck by this professor’s observations:

    Vincent Berdeyes, a professor in the department of communication and performance studies, said it is impossible to attend Saint Mary’s and not be a feminist.

    “I think the thing about a women’s college is that those values of feminism are woven into the institution, just educating women is a primary value,” Berdeyes said. “To me it would seem an inherent contradiction between being a woman in college and being anti-feminist. There has to be some limitation or misconception about what feminism is to be able to hold that position.”

    The hell? Oh wait, he’s a communications and performance studies prof, not an historian, because if he were an historian, he might recollect that women’s colleges were started not on feminist premise, but on the post-Enlightenment bourgeois idea of “female education” completing a young woman before going off to marry.

    There is nothing inherently feminist about women’s colleges.

  9. Anonymous

    Ahh, shades of nostalgia.

    I was in college when Mike Barnacle called our students “whiny, unshaven feminists” in the Boston Globe. We took up a collection, and sent him a largish box full of used disposable razors.

    There are plenty of clean-shaven feminists, and plenty of hairy reactionaries. Though I don’t get the Brazilian waxing either. Ouch!

  10. dd

    It seemed to me that they were more dealing with the perception of the word “feminist” than with the concept. The word may well dredge up images from the 60s when bra-burning and non-shaving were apparently the feminist calling cards.

    Many of these students may actually be feminists along the lines of some of your own definitions, but just not really identify with that term.

    Did anybody else get that kind of a reading out of this? These girls aren’t necessarily backwards and patriarchy-loving… they just don’t like the word feminist.

    Quotes like this kind of led me in that direction:

    “Some people think that if you are a feminist then you are a man hater. I think a lot of people are afraid of feminists,” Kensinger said. “But again, I think feminism in its most basic nature means equality, so I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to believe in that.”

  11. Kate

    From memory, the women’s colleges of my (Australian backward rural) university were bastions of binge-drinking and, well, actually, I’m not sure what else they did in there. I believe there were decidedly un-feminist competitions revolving around who could sleep with the most men in a single academic term and who could drink the most schooners of beer.

    As an aside, I’ve never understood the American fascination with sororities or colleges or whatever — can someone explain this please? And why do you force adults to share rooms with each other? Isn’t this inherently infantilising?

  12. Kate

    I mean, adults who don’t actually know each other beforehand or want to have sex, that is.

  13. Ms Kate

    What a thought provoking piece that was! I was struck by the dumb stuff of course, but also by the very basic, progressive things some of the women said. Kills me to hear the “well, I’m not anti-woman I’m just traditional” types say, though. Hello ladies, traditional values are pretty damn anti woman if you look close.

    As for not shaving = feminist, I think these girls should go visit a Hasidic neighborhood or other “hypertraditional” sectarian enclave (e.g. Amish) area sometime. Guess what! The women don’t shave! That would be vanity, after all.

  14. Dr. Virago of Quod She

    Twisty, to be fair to Katie Kelly, she was reporting/parroting what misinformed people think feminism is. There were, however, plenty of actual dolts in the article worth mocking, like the one you mock oh so well right before commenting on Katie.

    And speaking of bra-burning…I swear I read an article in Ms. in the mid-90s (right about when they went ad-free) by the reporter who originally wrote about the bra-burning protest (it was outside the Miss America pageant, as I recall), and in this Ms. article, the reporter admitted that she’d made up the burning part, although bras were involved in some way (I forget how).

    So, in other words, not only are anti-feminist people obsessed with this image of bra-burners, but it’s all in their heads! Of course, you could pretty much say that about all things patriarchal and stupid.

    (PS – Lisa, me too re: very different Catholic school experiences. It all depends on the order running them. My sister’s women’s college, for instance, was run by radical lefty nuns, many of whom were lesbians.)

  15. Hattie

    That bra-burning thing never happened. It would have been a good idea, though.
    I probably shouldn’t say this, but I buy bras at Wal-Mart. (Yes, I know, I know.) It’s the only place I can get cheap bras to fit.
    Those young women will get beaten around some and then they will become feminists. Poor things.

  16. Ancrene Wiseass

    I agree with Dr. V. about Katie: I think she was simply trying to outline the popular conception of what feminism means and deploring it.

    And, as Dina says, this is not at all an uncommon idea among college undergraduates, even women. I can’t even count the number of times students have parroted back at me exactly the kinds of ideas you’re so righteously lambasting here. And I can’t count the number of times well-educated people have reacted with horror and disbelief when I say I’m a feminist, since I don’t always wear sensible shoes, usually shave, and do not have a pair of 6-inch-long, razor-sharp fangs dripping with the blood of men who tried to open a door for me. Many of them try to convince me that I’m “really” a “humanist,” and I can’t always seem to get through to them that it’s entirely possible to be both.

    Yet again, the Patriarchal Shock Troops have outwitted us. They’ve played on people’s fear of change, need to feel a solid sense of identity, and dislike for the kind of hard work that comes with trying to dismantle our carefully inculcated sense that gender is “natural.” And their primary vehicle for exploiting these fears is the Femi-Nazi, a distorted portrait that turns our justified anger into venial hatred of half the human race and our legitimate concern for the right to control our own bodies into a desire to kill babies.

    They’re good at the propaganda; we have to get better at countering it.

  17. bridgett

    Believe it or not, St. Mary’s is currently looking for a US Women’s historian…

    http://www.h-net.org/jobs/display_job.php?jobID=30038

  18. Anonymous

    Your blog is stretching the truth about the article. The article displays a far better balance than your explitive laiden, pejorative driven rant on the mis-understanding of feminism. In fact many of the quotes displayed a philosophical acumen in describing the problems of feminism

    “Senior Meghan Daley, who considers herself a feminist but does not embrace many of the ideals of ‘radical’ feminism, shares Kensinger’s attitude. “I believe that feminism is often misunderstood, especially by social and political conservatives, who frequently assume that the feminist movement has been irreversibly tainted by the sexual revolution,” Daley said. “On the contrary, authentic feminism will always have as its goal the ultimate well-being and dignity of women.”

    Women like this who are articulate, intelligent, and calm do much more to promote equality than angry women such as yourself. But blogs are like preaching to the choir, your friends hail you, and then every once and a while an opposite mind disagrees. Since you are a professor, however, I would have expected a little more perspicuity, but, alas, we are human.

  19. Kyria

    First the boy meteorologist (via Pandagon), now this. I wonder if it isn’t part of a coordinated effort; I mean, these kids obviously have no actual experience of what they describe, and their straw-women are a good 30 years out of date. Perhaps someone’s coaching them.

  20. Masterfraud

    Ughhhhh, shudders. I grew up mere blocks from St. Mary’s. This is totally unsurprising. Every woman I knew who went in there at age 18 emerged at 22 as if four years had never passed. Catholicism in tact! Ring on the finger from the high school sweetheart! Legs shaven! Gah. (Pee-ess, if you’re from St. Mary’s, and had a different experience, bravo. The odds were against it, that’s all I’m saying.)

  21. San Francisco Knitter

    What the hell is the big deal with burning bras. Who cares if someone did it or not? It’s an article of clothing, not a fuzzy kitty. I’ve got half a mind to stage a bra burning party just for the fucking hell of it. You’d think the world would end.

  22. Arjet

    Dr. V:

    It’s funny–I randomly surfed onto the quasi-official debunking at snopes.com just the other day. No lesser authority than Susan Brownmiller sez so:

    That’s a myth. It was the time of draft-card burning, and some smart headline writer decided to call it a ‘bra burning’ because it sounded insulting to the then-new women’s movement. We only threw a bra symbolically in a trash can.

    But yeah, I’m with San Fran Knitter: why are the leg hairs and incendiary bras always singled out? Is it the whole “you’re demonstrating your refusal to construct yourself as an object of my (visually mediated) sexual desire and that threatens my male privilege” thing?

  23. Chris Clarke

    I’ve waited all day before linking to my blog post on the bra burning issue. I think that shows admirable restraint on my part.

    House Passes Constitutional Amendment To Ban Bra Burning

  24. Lauren

    Indiana feminist (but alas, not Catholic) here. I shave on occasion and I have indeed burned a bra. Several, actually.

    It became our annual ritual between sermons at high school church camp.

    Nope, not kidding.

  25. Aaron

    I swear, the next person who uses the term “feminazi” will hear from me. An incredible insult to feminists and Jews.

  26. Maureen

    But… but what if you’re burning your old bra in celebration because you got implants?

    (And watch their heads explode)

  27. Hissy Cat

    And why do you force adults to share rooms with each other?

    Pure sadism. No other explanation.

  28. CafeSiren

    I believe the term “femi-nazi” was coined by Rush Limbaugh. That’s reason enough not to use it.

  29. Ancrene Wiseass

    I hope nobody thought I was recapitulating the term “Femi-Nazi” with anything other than disgust. It is, indeed, an absolutely appalling insult both to women and to anyone who suffered under the Third Reich, as Aaron noted. My point was that Limbaugh and Co. have managed to create an inaccurate and offensive portrait which has affected far too many people’s thinking about feminism, and the very term itself is part of that mythology.

  30. Ron Sullivan

    the bra-burning protest (it was outside the Miss America pageant, as I recall), and in this Ms. article, the reporter admitted that she’d made up the burning part, although bras were involved in some way (I forget how)

    They threw them into a trashbarrel. Girdles might have been involved too, or maybe that was a separate event. Whoever invented girdles should be strangled, starting at the ankles.

    So should whoever engineered most of the bras available at the time. Listen up, you pretentious, dainty twits who presume to scold anyone about “invective-laden” blogs: you ain’t heard invective yet. I curse the feeble lot (or little) of you to spend 18 hours in a Playtex from 1965. The stupid nose-cone effect was not the only reason we hated the damned things.

  31. Emily

    Unfortunately, a similar misreading of the entire feminist project was featured in the opinion section of my school (Penn State) newspaper last week also. For a school that boasts a student body 40,000 strong, it garnered a lot of attention but surprisingly little response.

    http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2005/11/11-08-05tdc/11-08-05dops-column-01.asp

    P.S. Mr. Dimmich’s e-mail address is included in the article.

  32. Chris Clarke

    Emily, I sent in a response. I wonder if it’ll see ink.

    It was even polite and cordial!

  33. antelope

    I grew up in Virginia, and ran around w/ shorts & hairy legs most of the year during my teens, even though that was definitely not the norm at my school.

    Hardly anyone called me a freak to my face, because I think they were actually somewhat frightened of me. Total strangers shouted insults from across the street sometimes, and the kids who wrote the school paper made it clear that “hairy-legged women” were not invited to certain parties. Other than that, no major problems except, of course from family.

    My stepmother believed, for example, that mosquitos liked me the most of anyone in our family because my hairy legs attracted them (I later found out I am just tastier than the rest of my family because I have Type O blood and they don’t.) She also supported her son in his belief that it made a disgusting noise if I scratched my legs, therefore men with hairy legs were allowed to scratch their bites but I was not, because it reminded people of the disgusting hair. When lice were going around at my school & about 60% of the kids had them, the reason I had them was obviously me leg hair. Lots of lectures about, “why don’t you want people to like you?”, “why do you want them to think you’re a piece of shit?” etc…

    The first time my legs were shaved was for my prom. My stepmother was so horrified at the thought of hairy legs sticking out from a prom dress that she offered to shave them for me. She had to kneel to give me a dry shave with an electric razor & it was totally worth it.

    I guess my point is, though, that if you blatantly reject the patriarchy, they don’t really mess with you that much. They basically just don’t know what to do with you at all and have to mostly ignore you – and that’s not all bad. It’s much, much kinder than how they treat the women that blatantly accept the patriarchy.

    And yes, I still had friends and I still dated. I dated geeks but I would have anyhow so that’s alright.

    One unrelated but funny thing – I think the kids who were the MOST bugged by me were the punks. “THAT’S not how to be a non-conformist. You’ve got to be a non-conformist the way WE do it.”

  34. Sophie

    Warming a bra, not burning it.

    In the fight to comply with the Kyoto protocol, Japan urged salarymen to drop their suits and ties this summer. Now it’s winter and quite cold in Japan. A company has created a bra you can micro-wave in the morning, and that will slowly release its warmth afterwards…

    Weirdly furry : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4420820.stm

  35. Twisty

    Dear Anonymous Commenter,

    Firstly, my “blog” isn’t stretching anything. Blogs do not stretch. Neither do they bend, or kick, or jump, or even rest comfortably nestled among pillows. If there is any stretching to be done around here, I do it personally.

    Secondly, please (a) read the sidebar and (b) consult a dictionary before posting here again. It is impossible to consider seriously quibbles from those persons who employ phrases like “explitive laiden, pejorative driven rant on the mis-understanding of feminism.”

    Thirdly, you appear to labor under the misapprehension that I wish to “promote equality.” Hey, Anonymous Commenter, the 60′s called, and they want their misogyny-masquerading-as-idealism back!

  36. frog

    I hate shit like this, and I’ll bet the radical feminist nuns who run my women’s college do, too. Just goes to show you that stupidity’s everywhere, I suppose.

  37. AndiF

    I’m a feminist, I live in Indiana, I hardly ever shave my legs (especially not after shorts season is over) and I burned my gymsuit at the end of my sophmore year in high school. Can I qualify to be a cliche at St. Mary’s?

  38. CafeSiren

    Emily,

    I followed the link. The guy’s a moron. I find the following single sentence emblematic of the whole thing:

    “But in a world where feminism holds the reigns of society, we overhaul the design of the family unit, weaken the effect of feminine sexuality and introduce the possibility of having our daughters, sisters and mothers fight on the front lines and work grueling jobs”

    Yep. Good thing that we have the patriarchy around, so no women today have to work grueling jobs, and we can all just sit around on our sexually appealing asses.

    The patriarchy also, apparently, frees you from the bonds of conventional spelling. “Holding the reigns.” Jeebus.

  39. Chris Clarke

    The patriarchy also, apparently, frees you from the bonds of conventional spelling. “Holding the reigns.” Jeebus.

    CafeSiren, I took that as a Freudian typo.

  40. Dr. Virago

    Ancrene Wiseass said: And I can’t count the number of times well-educated people have reacted with horror and disbelief when I say I’m a feminist, since I don’t always wear sensible shoes, usually shave, and do not have a pair of 6-inch-long, razor-sharp fangs dripping with the blood of men who tried to open a door for me.

    LOL at that last vampiric bit. Yeah, I had a dolt of an ex, who’d lived with me for about a year and a half, who said to me once: “You’re not a feminist.” Huh? I looked at him with incredulity and said, for starters, “Dude, did you not notice the Ms. magazines around the house?” And he replied: “But you’re not a jack-booted, hairy-legged lesbian.” (Note from me: not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Me: *smacks head*

  41. Dim Undercellar

    You know what just occurred to me?

    Even the Young Muslim Man hasn’t terrified The White Male enough to turn into a fearsome monster that parents tell their kids fairy tales about. Jevhova knows White Male has enough ammo to work with for the purposes of terrifying young’uns.

    But they reserve their dragon-creating tactics for the feminists.

    How badly must feminists have frightened White Man the first time around? It’s almost heart-warming. More heart-warming is the sound just barely tickling my ear canal of that same dragon waking up again, and the frantic scrambling of the Patriarchy to ressurect the fairy tales they didn’t think they needed any more.

  42. tisha

    Hey, I’m bald as a hairless cat and haven’t shaved in years. Pop on a wig, and I don’t even have to do my hair! Very handy, living up to patriarchal expectations without having to waste time on the upkeep.

    Anyhoo, this college sounds like Any University in Anytown. My take: Although feminism may have temporarily lost the media battle, it’s winning the overall war, because these “I’m not a feminist, BUT” women are for the most part DO hold feminist ideals; they just don’t know it yet(sorry about that patriarchal war analogy).

  43. kathe

    Antelope says: “if you just blatantly reject the patriarchy, they don’t mess with you” and I think that is true (at least in some cases). I never shaved anything, and I never even wore a bra, so I never had one to burn. But from an early age (I’m ooooLD) I wore mostly men’s clothing, and walked around like I thought I was a real person, and the worst thing that happened was that sometimes I got mistaken for a dyke (ohthehorror). I was raised to be a person, not a woman, and I think it showed.

  44. Diana

    At the beginning of every semester, I tell my feminist theory class that I will grow out my armpit hair just for them. They claim they “choose” to shave, but I counter that if it’s a choice, then there’s a viable alternative, i.e. not shaving in this case. They then explore how very little choice they really feel they have as my locks grow longer and longer and they are stuck with their razors. A very few do try it, which takes great bravery at a stuck-up looks-obsessed sexist institution like mine. One even chose letting nature take its course for her class project and photo-documented the process! Lovely.

    As to the Feminazi label, we’re having a discussion tonight on this very issue, featuring yours truly. Y’all come on down now and hear me rant in person. I am no nazi, but we’d better do something drastic ‘cuz the man has his eye on our rights one more time!

  45. Ledasmom

    Whoever that was up there who mentioned Mike Barnicle – I was in that graduating class that got called “whiny, unshaven feminists” (all because we had a vague suspicion that Barbara Bush didn’t get fairly selected to be our graduation speaker which, given the makeup of the college, was a fair suspicion). The mother of the woman in front of me at graduation while we were being lined up said, regarding Mr. Barnicle, “I bet he came here and didn’t get any, and that’s why he’s so peevish” (or words to that effect: this is fifteen years ago now.
    The whole kerfuffle ended with Raisa Gorbachev being added to our graduation speaker lineup, meaning that we had two different sets of guys in suits with guns running around campus with walkie-talkies.

  46. laughingmuse

    “Yet again, the Patriarchal Shock Troops have outwitted us. They’ve played on people’s fear of change, need to feel a solid sense of identity, and dislike for the kind of hard work that comes with trying to dismantle our carefully inculcated sense that gender is “natural.” And their primary vehicle for exploiting these fears is the Femi-Nazi, a distorted portrait that turns our justified anger into venial hatred of half the human race and our legitimate concern for the right to control our own bodies into a desire to kill babies.

    They’re good at the propaganda; we have to get better at countering it.”

    I just had to say – rock the fuck on.

    I see so many young women, in academics, in positions, planning for lifestyles perhaps not allowed previously (career, travel, personal freedom, etc.), quail at the term “feminist”. One girl who is just a dumbfuck drove me nuts – because somehow “feminist” translates in some people’s minds to “hating or not wanting to have sex with men”. Whatever.

    And the “femi-nazi” thing… I usually let a lot of conversational stuff roll off my back, but if I hear anyone say that, I am on them like white on rice.

  47. The Fat Lady Sings

    Boy, Twisty; I’m with you on the bras! Damn things are expensive – and I’m not about to throw away good money! As for the younger generations lack of appreciation for all the rights they so blithely take for granted – they only think they don’t need ‘em. It’s a very different tune they’ll be singing when they find that the husband they pin such high hopes on will not be able to support them – not without some help. The Bush economy, don’t you know. Girlfriend’ll have to get up off her pretty little ass and work as well. Only, she won’t get paid equal wages for her work. Why? Because she let it slip away without a fight, thinking she wouldn’t need it. Well, wakie, wakie! Got to fight to keep ‘em! Out in the cold? Well, you only have yourself to blame!

  48. Christopher

    Okay, I thought the old-fashioned ideal involved men who weren’t such gigantic whinners.

    I mean, jeeze, I hate the way that Congress dresses and wears their hair, but I don’t take it as a personal insult.

    The whole point about rugged independance is that you don’t need an underclass; You’ve learned that you should do things for yourself.

    I always thought of the above as being the old-fashioned, early half of the 20th century vision of manhood.

    I mean, isn’t getting pissed off because you have no servants the kind of thing bufoonish rich people do, while “Real Men” are down to earth?

    That’s what I got out of movies. Where are the patriarchy guys getting their definition?

  49. More Reality Check

    Even though you guys dont know the proper use of the word “vibrant,” Reality Check is back to remind you guys that the world is passing you by.

    Young women are not lured by your dated feminist rants, because it lacks a general enthusiasm for life and the opposite sex. Women’s Studies departments are now just academic fetish bins from which its scholars will never pop out of to deal with the world…especially men (the good ones and the bad ones). In law school, all the feminist jurisprudence types were the most insular, unhappy, and one-dimensional types. The gig is up. I say “Yay to St. Marys!” Why is it so hard for you to deal with young women who don’t like your form of brainwashing?

    PS I expect this post to be deleted. We wouldn’t want any posts that don’t stick with the party line do we?

  50. Emma Goldman

    Yo, Reality, perhaps you could work on subject-verb agreement (rants . . . lacks) and the whole preposition thing (“out from which its scholars will never pop” would be one correct way of putting it, but “from which its scholars will never pop out of” is unharmonious as well as incorrect).

  51. More Reality Check

    Yo, Emma. My writing is perfect. I has no doubt about that! I am flattered actually. That is ALL you could whip up as a rebuttal?
    Maybe I am on to some-thing!

  52. Twisty

    Man, Reality Check. I remember when you used to be fun.

  53. Emma Goldman

    Sorry, RC, you provided neither an argument nor facts. The little pseudo-factlets you threw in demonstrated such a deep and broad lack of understanding it didn’t seem worth the effort. You also don’t seem to be interested in an actual discussion; you merely created an opportunity to assert a “So there!” argument and crow about how we’re all fading away into irrelevance. Whatever, dude.

  54. Donna

    Young women are not lured by your dated feminist rants, because it lacks a general enthusiasm for life and the opposite sex….Why is it so hard for you to deal with young women who don’t like your form of brainwashing?

    Hey RC, when your RealDoll starts “talking” to you, it’s time to put her back in the closet and go to bed ‘mmkay?

  55. Polly Phonic

    One of the defining moments of my adolescence was standing just outside the changing rooms surrounded by a horde of girls all staring in shock at the hairy, unshaven legs sticking out from under my shorts. I can still remember their horrified questions:
    “But it’s not natural!”
    “Don’t you want to get a boyfriend?”
    “That’s disgusting.”
    And all of them seemed deaf to my responses that ‘it’s only hair’.
    At first I didn’t shave because I couldn’t be bothered. Then it became a matter of principle, as my mother nagged time and again about it being ‘more hygienic’ and asking why couldn’t I ‘take more care of myself’. However, my response that ‘you wouldn’t tell me to do this if I was a boy, and they sweat more anyway’ generally shut her up for a few days.
    I do shave from time to time, if my legs or underarms are likely to be bared, but only for a quiet life. I hate the fact that body hair has to be made into such an issue, when but for a Y chromosome I would be allowed to have as much hair as I wanted.
    As it is, most people think I’m either revolting, or a lesbian, or both.

  56. CafeSiren

    “Young women are not lured by your dated feminist rants, because it lacks a general enthusiasm for life…”

    Right. Because every time I shave my legs or put on a bra, I think “Whee! Boy am I lovin’ life!”

    To quote BtVS: “Give me something to sing about.”

  57. tisha

    Hey, if you don’t want to pay 50 bucks for a bra go to TARGET; they have a new line out that’s just as soft, seamless, comfortable and well-fitting as the ones at Victoria’s Secret. And I believe they’re pretty inexpensive too, around 20 bucks (unless you’re not already boycotting Target over their lapse in judgment over the morning-after-pill/pharmacy issue . . . unfortunately, if I boycotted Target I’d have to shop at WalMart, so I’ve chosen the lesser of two evils).

    I had a breast reduction and now go braless (whee!) except at my relentlessly masculine workplace, where going braless is considered a pretty severe tactical error.

  58. jean

    Twisty, Thought about editing your comments on Katie Kelly? I never heard of her before reading your blog post, but I agree with several commenters that her words were just DESCRIBING the type of dumb thinking that goes on about feminism. Now that poor girl is probably getting a whole bunch of irate emails about the way she belittles feminism, misdirected at her.

  59. Twisty

    Here is what Ms. Kelly said in the student newspaper piece to which I allude in my post:

    “”Feminism is a way of being in the world,” Kelly said. “It’s about seeing yourself as an empowered woman and advocate for change in gender inequality concerning social, political and economic issues. Too often in our world, feminism is that dirty ‘F’ word connoting man-hating femi-nazis and bra-burning wenches.”

    To which I reply, “man-hating femi-nazi” is just another term for radical feminist. In her statement Ms. Kelly clearly divulges her disdain for radical feminism, apparently preferring to view feminism as some kind of self-esteem enhancer for the girlie set.

  60. belledame222

    It is true. Nothing says “existential happiness” like razor burn and stubble.

  61. Josef K

    Three things:

    1. So, Ron Sullivan is a woman and Mandos is a man?
    2. Twisty, are you really a professor or is that anonymous commenter confusing you with BitchPhd?
    3. I think the bra-burning is one of those anti-feminist fairy stories to be filed alongside the rape-claim train and positive discrimination.

  62. TeenageCatgirl

    lol Reality Check, yes, you’re entirely correct. My problem is not the inundation of images of my sex used as commodities, or abused in pornography, it’s not the threat of violence or rape, it’s not the lack of political representation or economic opportunity or any one of a hundred different ways women are discriminated against, it’s that I don’t have sufficient enthusiasm for life or the opposite sex. Obviously, if I gave more blow jobs I’d be fixed.

    Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to stay away from those sinister, machievellian women’s studies departments, too.

  63. WookieMonster

    Wow, my favorite WoSt Prof. was one of these “men” creatures. He loved his wife and his daughters very much and thought that they should be considered the equal of any man, go figure.

  64. mythago

    “But it’s not natural!”

    Oh my God. That made me spew coffee. Did these idiots think you went out and glued on fake leg hair, or what?

  65. Helen

    “Reality Check”, why do you think people like me drop in from the other side of the world for some laugh-out-loud reading (which also completely and utterly nails the issue under discussion), if you think Twisty’s just some irrelevant old whiner?

    The only amusing thing about your writing, on the other hand, is your spelling.

  66. craig

    “Hey, if you don’t want to pay 50 bucks for a bra go to TARGET”

    Except that Target has a policy of allowing their pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill if they object to it on moral grounds.

  67. TeenageCatgirl

    Nice one Helen.

    WookieMonster> Who’d have thought it, eh? Women being considered equal! Ridiculous!

  68. Amanda

    “honky bitches”? Really, Twisty?

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