Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cambridge Feminists Freak Out Over Butt Contest

Well, since we've been on the topic of why I don't really think of myself as a feminist anymore (despite the fact that I am, of course, an egalitarian with respect to the sexes, and despite MK's best efforts and cogent arguments...)

Apparently the Cambridge Tab is having a "rear of the year" contest, in which readers are asked to vote on the best butt, from a selection of pictures of nekkid and partially clothed male and female butts:

NSFW, naughty butt pix (also: Daily Mail)

From the story:
However, not everyone is supportive of the competition, which is being run for the second time despite strong opposition from women's groups last year.
Lauren Steele, Women's Officer at Cambridge University Students' Union, has condemned the online poll as 'irresponsible'. 
In a joint statement with Anija Dokter, from Cambridge Feminist Society, she said: 'This is an example of immature, blind and irresponsible behaviour on the part of The Tab editors.
'I sincerely hope they will take responsibility for the harm caused, not only to the women depicted but also to the broader community, for reinforcing sexism and exclusion.
'The Tab should immediately remove the photos, publish an apology and mandate that all future publications cannot include the misuse and appropriation of women's and other minorities' bodies.'
Right then. So, to review: [submittingh] some pictures of butts--both male and female--voluntarily, by the possessors of said butts, is "irresponsible," "immature" (ok,well, they maybe have a point there...), "blind" (???), have somehow caused "harm to the women depicted [and] also to the broader community," reinforce "sexism and exclusion," and, apparently, involves the "misuse" and "appropriation" of "women's and other minorities'" [sic] bodies...

Honestly, this kind of abject nonsense has become more-or-less par for the course in academic feminism. We could go through this pointing out all the errors, but, well, why bother? There's basically no way to make them more obvious than they already are...

There is just no way that I can think of myself as allied with a movement that routinely tolerates this kind of idiotic cant. And it's not merely tolerated...these silly buzzwords and incoherent, boilerplate objections are like shibboleths of contemporary academic feminism. To try to have a discussion with such people is like stepping through the logical looking glass.

Oh, and don't forget the puritanism! I really love me some fear and loathing of sexuality...  That's a great way to win me over to your side.

Anyway, I haven't given up on the egalitarian project...but I just can't have anything to do with such people. If this were rare...or if sane, liberal feminists challenged this kind of thing more regularly, that'd be the kind of thing that would likely make me think of myself as a feminist again. But, as it stands, I feel as if I'm standing on the shore watching feminism sink in a whirlpool of incoherent, po-mo inspired gobbledygook and conceptual confusion.

IMO, either liberal feminists need to seize the helm again, or there needs to be some kind of successor movement that goes back to the enlightenment-inspired, egalitarian roots of old-style feminism. Otherwise, people like me are going to continue to abandon ship.


Blogger Random Michelle K said...


I am at work and cannot look at naughty bottom pictures!

2:25 PM  

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