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Sat Jan 11, 2014, 02:49 PM

Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism

This is a very quick listen. The second half is sensitive, especially for women.
(Possible trigger warning.)

Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism



"From the Personal Is Political to the Personal is Personal: Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism." Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College, and author of Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality, explores how mainstream feminism has lost its way by fighting for the individual rights of a small group of elite white women instead of the collective liberation of all women. Dines argues that much of what passes for feminism today is focused on the pseudo-empowerment offered to women who conform to the narrow standards of femininity set by the porn culture. She calls for a feminism that is unapologetically fierce in its commitment to radical social change.

29 replies, 2647 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism (Original post)
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 OP
chervilant Jan 2014 #1
chervilant Jan 2014 #2
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 #8
chervilant Jan 2014 #10
ancianita Jan 2014 #3
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 #9
ancianita Jan 2014 #11
chervilant Jan 2014 #4
redqueen Jan 2014 #5
chervilant Jan 2014 #6
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 #7
ancianita Jan 2014 #12
RainDog Jan 2014 #13
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 #14
RainDog Jan 2014 #15
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 #16
RainDog Jan 2014 #17
CTyankee Jan 2014 #18
chervilant Jan 2014 #19
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 #20
chervilant Jan 2014 #21
cinnabonbon Jan 2014 #22
chervilant Jan 2014 #23
cinnabonbon Jan 2014 #24
PotatoChip Jan 2014 #25
cinnabonbon Jan 2014 #26
Waiting For Everyman Jan 2014 #27
Why Syzygy Jan 2014 #28
Waiting For Everyman Jan 2014 #29

Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2014, 04:03 PM

1. Essential viewing,

particularly for the small contingent of anti-feminists who support porn and denigrate radical feminists.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2014, 06:34 PM

2. I am predicting

that your OP will not get the hundreds of responses that are typical in other pro-feminist threads because the anti-feminist group will not watch this important video all the way through.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 02:32 PM

8. I hope so.

I've heard rumor. On facebook I block misogynists on sight. This is not an issue I care to debate.

Genuine men are going to have to take charge of schooling the boys who don't get it.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 06:35 PM

10. Would that they be role models!

A girl can hope.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2014, 09:45 PM

3. Making it difficult for 70% of this society to go to college is one reason this wasn't common

knowledge enough for the public to oppose more virulently the neoliberal 'ideas' of the 1% promoted by Reagan and Thatcher. Had the percentage of college exposure been reversed so that 70% of us had been to college, Marx and Gramsci would have immediately informed a public better intellectually equipped to nip these parasitic weeds in the bud.

And the porn industry would've been better regulated, elections wouldn't have been digitally stolen, the contract on America and Glass-Steagall wouldn't have flown, and Clinton's DLC would have had more Chomsky progressives nipping at the president's heels.

I like this class. Her analysis for the fragmenting of this society and women's solidarity within it are fair.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 02:33 PM

9. I agree.

She does an excellent study of neo-liberalism.

I don't, however, understand your connection of porn to stolen elections ...

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 07:11 PM

11. It's not a direct connection, but one of a number of consequences of informed voters voting for

those who would have regulated that industry more closely, among others. I don't have any major case to make about or against porn in particular in this thread. Although I pretty much agree with her comments about the pacification of women around women's issues through neoliberal propaganda about the 'sovereignty' of individual women. There's no real individuality for women under an hegemony of normalized structural inequality, where it's argued that the participation of all women in porn is "individual choice" and "self-empowerment."

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:06 PM

4. Well, well, well...

Going on three days, and none of the virulently anti-feminists gang have bothered to comment... Telling.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:27 PM

5. I'm glad to see it posted here, no matter how ignored it is.

K&R

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Response to redqueen (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:12 PM

6. I totally agree

I've been posting the link every chance I get.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 02:15 PM

7. I do too...

The first half is quickly and easily viewed. The second half is a sledgehammer.

I've been asked to remove a x-posting in a different group. I'm leaving this one here so it can still be viewed.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 07:30 PM

12. Feminism is hardly understood anymore. She's right in her description of third wave feminism.

Or third 'way' feminism. Whatever. The parallels she draws with the civil rights movement are legitimate on many levels.

The all-or-nothing argument used to deny structural inequality doesn't disprove the structural inequality for all women, just because some make it work for them -- whether in porn or any other activity.

Being born into systems of oppression, for those who see clearly, is no reason to confuse individual women's 'agency'; neither is that confusion ever any reason to restate women's problems as merely 'human' problems.

No one who is paying attention to women worldwide will ever believe that distorting and misrepresenting women's oppression will ever 'defang' the truth, whether feminists temporarily 'lose their way' or not.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 07:42 PM

13. Her rhetorical strategy is to immediately discount

any women who doesn't share her opinion, so, once you see that, if you think that, in itself, is part of her problem, there's really nothing she can say that makes anything else valuable because of her bias if you don't share it. fwiw.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 08:10 PM

14. Yes.

There is a certain amount of bias in her presentation. She's a teacher, so of course she has a point.

I don't know what you mean by "discount any women". In what way does she do that?

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 08:28 PM

15. In her opening remarks

She's giving an "in-group" talk - i.e. you already agree with me so I will disclose my bias to you upfront.

I remember sitting in one of those "in-group" talks where a feminist said she wouldn't mention what she was about to talk about outside of a self-selected group interested in feminist issues, but she thought those who were anti-porn were on the totally wrong side of the issue, etc., and explained why. She didn't say Mac and Dworkin weren't feminist, tho. She thought they were simply wrong, with good reasons that I share.

So, when this woman immediately made a disparaging remark about a woman who had a different opinion, I was no longer interested in what she had to say.

She's preaching to the choir, iow.

She may have some fine points to make, but she won't be making them with me.

I don't disagree about the scourge of neo-liberalism, tho I think the cultural exchanges have been great for people across cultures, etc.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 15, 2014, 12:11 AM

16. She really spoke to me,

and has seem to do so with other people with whom I've shared. If her articulate style puts you off, then you are put off.

I'm not sure what disparaging remark to which you refer. If you want to give me a time mark, I can offer a comment. I remember one point at which she answered an audience member with a phrase along the lines of, 'no, I've never heard that'.. approximately. At that point she was doing a bit of exchange about different things she has heard from young women today, someone offered something SHE has heard, and Dr. Dine indicated, no she had not heard that *one*. She didn't have a lot of cross talk with the student audience.

I'm not sure what your personal experience with some other, unnamed, speaker has to do with this instance. But there it is.

I will be the first to admit I am not classroom educated on feminism. I don't care to become an intellectual about it. Intellectualism for the sake of itself bores me. I'm more a pragmatist. I feel she laid out a very good case for why feminism is such a wreck these days. Things we young women of the 70's thought would resolve and no longer be issues in our lives, aren't resolved! It's much worse.

Part of her bias is that right wing politics is poison to women. I didn't think there would be any disagreement about that in this forum. It's been a few weeks since I watched it myself, but I've been talking about it. The second part comes down hard on the fable that women in the sex industry are somehow 'liberated', and therefore all is well. She gave a very insightful analysis of the current day 'slut walk' expression of 'feminism'.

I'm still unclear on which bias you blame for your bias. Or is it simply the offering of opinions that restrict your ability to offer honest evaluations of presented material? This isn't a newspaper report. It's a presentation with several messages to communicate.

If you, or anyone, is afraid that patriarchy is going away any time soon, rest assured. In order for that to happen, genuine men and women are going to have to overthrow the church. Don't see that happening. It serves a very good purpose to those who never want to see the full expressions of both genders. Why, that would upset the entire world; and we all know things are good enough as is, don't we.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 15, 2014, 06:35 AM

17. It was the statement

that another woman couldn't be a feminist because she was in the porn industry. I think that sort of thing in the context is classist and elitist and heteronormative in assumption.

I agree that economic issues are THE important issues for women's empowerment. That's were I focus my attention and, with all the hostility that has occurred here, I thought I would give the vid a try but...maybe I was just tired earlier. I was, in fact.

I have no idea what you are talking about in your last paragraph as it has nothing to do with my view of the world.

Hopefully this will give your video another kick.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 15, 2014, 04:44 PM

18. I could be wrong but I thought that remark was about a woman who was exploitative of the porn

industry, not one who was victimized by it. I'll have to go back and look at the video again...

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 10:24 AM

19. Going on a week...

490 views, only 18 replies...

Do you think that DUers aren't willing to commit the time necessary to view this video, or does it hit too damned close to the truth that so many deny or refuse to see?

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Response to chervilant (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 05:47 PM

20. I think maybe

most people don't realize how dire this situation really is. It is one of my top, unbending issues.

Those of us aware of the seriousness need to raise a lot more awareness.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 06:30 AM

21. Which is why

I keep posting here, and posting links to your OP.

I thank you again for posting this important video!

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 08:40 AM

22. Really interesting video!

For some reason I haven't seen it before. It was definitely worth it.

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Response to cinnabonbon (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 09:34 AM

23. I'm so glad you posted to this OP!

I hope that you will post a link at every opportunity, given that a significant number of DUers seem ignorant of the link between porn and violence against women.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 09:45 AM

24. Haha, I will do my best. ;)

At the very least, quotes from the video might work too. Seriously, I'm so glad you posted this, otherwise I might have missed it!

It is a little sad that people are so interested in defending their porn that they can't see how it is damaging. You'd think they'd listen to the people who has to live with the consequences of this culture, but noooo.

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Response to cinnabonbon (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 10:48 AM

25. Thank you for kicking this up.

I probably wouldn't have seen it otherwise.

My thanks also goes to the OP. I've bookmarked this thread in order to view again and/or link to.

Excellent video.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 10:57 AM

26. oh hey, you're welcome!

It's fun to talk about feminism and the different "waves", so when people post videos about it I just have to come and take a look at them.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 11:12 AM

27. Without seeing the video, I basicly posted the same idea yesterday.

She's right, women degrading themselves is not empowering, what utter crap self-deluding propaganda! Damn! People worry so much about not being conned in relatively small ways in their personal lives, and then they'll buy right into a con that big. Amazes me.

(The poster I was replying to gave what was actually a very good boiled down summary of the current brand of feminist thinking, emphasizing the concept of shamelessness in expressing one's sexuality in a hypersexualized way.)

Waiting For Everyman (7,302 posts)
236. Shamelessness for its own sake is not a virtue.

If Miley Cyrus were ashamed of her last tv performance, that would be the beginning of common sense, which she clearly doesn't have.

Women who really are secure with their bodies have nothing to prove. That's what this has turned into: prove that you are cool with your sexuality by doing these grotesque and demeaning things (that, oh by the way, men want to see you do).

I can understand men pushing this view, but I am floored that feminists are conned into pushing it too. Frankly, it isn't very bright.

If feminists are really stuck on promoting this silly ideology, then I can only conclude that feminism has been co-opted by the patriarchy. It's over, turn out the lights.


The "rape culture" problem and the "culture of violence" (toward women) problem don't happen in a vacuum. You don't offer a cause but I will as the OP did: both come from a hatred of women problem, which isn't helped one bit by encouraging women to degrade themselves as much as possible, in some very odd reverse psychology ritual of proving themselves, which never needed doing in the first place. It's a lot of double talk and double think at the bottom of it. That's what it usually takes to get people to act against their own self-interest.

Don't bother trotting out the burkas. Rejecting one extreme does not require accepting the other extreme. It's a very false, simplistic argument. Both extremes are equally unacceptable. Both of them have nothing to do with common sense, or any benefit to women, and everything to do with ideology at women's expense..

http://www.demo.gr/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4339581


Finally found one! I'm 64, so I've seen the genesis of the modern movement, and Gail Dines is the first feminist I could agree with, and maybe even join. Everything she said was right on as far as I'm concerned.


ETA: I do recognize that she's talking about porn and I'm referring to pop culture, but lately they aren't real far apart. I think they're just different aspects of the same thing. The connection is, that both promote the same message about women (they're just something to fuck).

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 12:25 AM

28. It's not clear

whether or not you watched this video. I appreciate your comments either way. But if you did not, I urge you to take the time.

The second half is about porn, the first about the political influences on feminism. It's pretty brutal, so I tell everyone not to watch it before bedtime. I avoid the porn arguments at DU. I'm not here often anyway, and I get furious when dealing with misogynists. My peace of mind is more important. We can approach it from the other side, and that's what Dr. Dine suggests.

She opened my eyes to the current *slut* explosion, slut walks, etc. with her example of Nafissatou Diallo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn's rape victim. Going slut walking for her is not empowerment or any defense.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 05:41 AM

29. Oh yes, I watched it all, and highly recommend it too.

I'm very glad you posted it, because I hadn't seen or heard of Dines before -- I don't get involved in the arguments much either. I completely agree with her. Her entire talk is very relevant, and she's very watchable.

There is not a thing empowering about porn, or the watered down version of it that we see in pop culture, which actually I see as just as big a problem because it is more accepted and has more influence on a wider population.

Porn broadly speaking, up to a certain point (violent, non-consensual, etc.) is going to be around to some degree, but that doesn't make it into a feminist flag to wave either. That is absolute nonsense.

Imo, "twerking feminist" is an oxymoron. If there's anything in this world that says "serving the patriarchy", it's that practice. Women need to get a clue and really think about that. Dines talk, in this video, would be a good place to start.

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