Comments from June 2008

Comments received during June

, 20 July 2008

Comments on the latest features and reviews

Why are women so critical of each other?, by Rosjke Hasseldine

From Suzanne O

I am new to this website and I am relieved to know conversations such as

these are going on. I feel very strongly that a feminist dialogue is as

relevant today as it ever was, but I feel that we need to address the

treatment of women by other women to really move forward. I work for a

domestic violence organisation and I often find that female survivors are

judged most harshly by female police officers, solicitors and social

workers who perpetuate a culture of woman-blaming. Why is this the case?

I also tire of programmes from the Trinny/Susannah and Andrea Turner ilk

treating women in a punitive, judgmental and degrading way reverting to

age-old stereotypes that women have fought so hard to discard. I

appreciate the argument that we are ingrained with the values of a

patriarchal system but a dialogue that highlights the mis-treatment of

women by other women is, in my opinion, more necessary than ever when women

have more influence to shape our choices and roles than ever before.

From Alison

I completely agree; women are afraid to

join together because we are (sometimes subconsciously) constantly

competing to be part of the boys club; Climbing over each other to take the

crumbs of pseudo-power our misogynistic society gallantly hands us for

following the rules. I feel that women are scared to back other women who

fight against this because it’s easier to be a clinger-on to the more

powerful team and thus avoid rejection by men. Maybe a way to address this

is to make more and more women aware of how they are using misogyny against

each other. I recommend The Beauty Myth, by Naiomi Wolf.

Women can be of enormous inspiration to other women, what makes me feel

empowered is seeing other women stand up for what they believe in and

challenge society. And I feel betrayed by those who play by the rules at

the expense of their own gender

From Jean Owen

There is a world of difference between bullying and gossiping (misogyny)

among women, and constructive criticism. We can’t always agree with each

other, that is an unrealistic and unnecessary expectation. The idea of

women around the well, too, is a misrepresentation of village life, the

absent woman might well have been the subject of gossip. Women need to

speak from the head as well as the heart.

From Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Rosjke Hasseldine writes: “Women’s misogynist behaviour towards each other

exposes something deep and dark within women’s relationships. Underneath

the popular image of women being good at relationships lies a reality that

blocks our ability to support, protect and fight for each other. Something

is causing women to hate each other, to feel jealous of each other and to

tear each other down. Something is teaching women to use the language and

weapons of patriarchy against each other.”

That “something” is psychopaths in power acting on the authoritarian

personality that many women are born with.

This is what psychologist Bob Altemeyer said:

“Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is

so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed,

and so dogmatic that nothing you say or do will change their minds.

They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things

had improved as a result.”

Here is additional information from Altemeyer, where he explains that

being Liberal/ Democrat doesn’t save one from being Authoritarian, it

just that right wingers as a group scored higher.

Also, read Political Ponerology: A Science of Evil Adjusted for Political

Purposes to understand how misogynistic psychopaths (mostly male) gain

power and use it to poison entire societies.

From A different Helen

I found Rosjke Hasseldine’s article “Why are women so critical of each

other” very interesting and I agree with much of it, though I do think we

beat ourselves up a bit too much about being unsupportive of each other.

Whilst this is certainly undesirable from the point of view of concerted

group action, it is nevertheless a human failing rather than a specifically

female one. Men can also be backstabbing and bitchy, and like to undermine

their competitors. I always find it unsettling to see men behaving like

fourteen year old school girls, but it’s not uncommon. Face to face

criticism in the form of banter is perhaps more usual, and though it often

looks like good natured leg-pulling, I am often surprised by how much the

victim takes the criticism to heart. Men have their own ways of getting at

each other I think – its not just us

One thing men are particularly adept at though is forming temporary

alliances for mutual gain. I always think of this as “pack hunting”, and

men operating in this manner can be very effective, though also very

brutal. I note that as a woman I am almost always tacitly excluded from

such alliances, even when they are formed amongst colleagues sitting right

next to me. Women do however also pack hunt I have noticed, but in my

experience at any rate it seems more a defence mechanism rather than to

achieve a particular goal. Perhaps this is where we need to up our game,

and channel our own pack hunting into something more aggressive and

go-getting. I’m sure we will always bicker and snipe at each other to a

certain extent, but that shouldnt stop us working together to achieve a

more equal society.

From Andrew Stirling

I’ve just finished reading your article on women’s apparently

misogynistic habit of launching attacks on powerful women. I found it a

very interesting article, not least because I just recently was involved in

a discussion on the very same subject with my peers. We noted quite similar

behaviour, and drew the same comparison between adolescent girls, groups of

adult women, and the way that successful women are treated. However,

interestingly, we actually came to quite the opposite conclusion. Whilst I

am male and therefore have never directly experienced it, the average group

of women seem to have an extremely strong impulse to spend a great deal of

time ensuring and reinforcing that they’re all equal to each other – that

none of them are allowed to be overtly better than the others. When a

member of the group breaks this requirement, they are criticised, excluded

and harassed until either they fall back in line with the rest of the group

or leave the group entirely. Despite this enforcement of no overt

competition, the fact is that women are just as competitive as the other

half of humanity, and therefore lacking the capacity to compete directly

they do so covertly – frequently through social manoeuvring, resulting in

the characteristic ‘bitchiness’ that women often fall victim to. This

method of competition is inherently self-destructive, however – while the

overt competition that exists in most male groups drives the members to

out-do each other, covert competition in female groups drive the members to

cut down each other.

Interestingly, these patterns of competition continue to exist in mixed

groups because covert competition and overt competition have no way of

facing each other. Therefore, the women compete against the women, and the

men compete against the men, and the two have learned to keep well clear of

each others’ games.

There are clearly exceptions to this concept, in which the women either

genuinely don’t compete at all or compete overtly (often these groups are

composed of women who were expelled from average groups for doing so). But

I would suggest that these are a relative rarity, and that the groups

described above are the norm for most women. I therefore believe that it is

because of an extension of this standard group behaviour that successful

women suffer so much criticism at the hands of other women – because these

are the most visible, the most stand-out examples of women breaking the

unspoken rule and daring to be better than her peers, and are therefore

natural targets for hundreds or thousands of women doing what seems to them

to be the natural thing to do in the conditions – sink the knife in.

What is the solution to this? It’s difficult to know. It’s reasonably

clear that things need to change, as currently the social system is

destructive and counter-productive. However, how much of the current system

is hard-wired and how much is socially-driven? I suspect that while

there’s a significant portion hard-wired, the majority is socially

enforced, but this would clearly need research to back it up and I’m not

a psychologist or sociologist. Also, would the ideal female system be the

complete lack of competition or a female equivalent to male groups’ overt

competition? While the idea of people being supportive of rather than

competitive with each other seems good, I personally doubt how realistic

this ideal would be, as most people of both genders are competitive by

nature, and it’s in no small part due to this competitive nature that we

as a species have developed to the point that we have. Therefore, I’d

suggest that the best realistic outcome would be for friendly competition

between women to become accepted and even encouraged. Not only would this

change success to being desirable rather than taboo, but it would also

allow men and women in a mixed situation to be able to compete directly

with each other in a social environment as well as professionally, which

could leave men a little more comfortable and inclusive when working with

women, as competing with them would have become more normal. With any luck,

this could also eventually improve society’s image of successful women of

all walks of life – corporate professionals, athletes, entertainers, and so

on. Perhaps this is extrapolating a little too far, but one can only


Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking article.

From Irina

RE: “Why are women so critical of each other?” – it is a worthy subject

but I hoped the article by Rosjke Hasseldine would have, say, some quotes

from the press (illustrating how one women speaks against or undermines the

other) or statistics from researches backing the author’s view. It would be

great if the article was researched.

Otherwise it is good and the message is clear: we need to stick to each

other and the analysis why it doesn’t happen is also correct, here i fully

agree with Rosjke.

The book by Phillis Chessler (A Woman’s inhumanity to woman) comes to my

mind here. It is a fat book dedicated to all possible spheres where women

can successfully hate each other: at home, at work, at school etc.

On a personal level, I don’t feel worse for being criticised by a woman

than by a man though. I tend to think that when a woman is sexist she is

just being a silly cow but when a man is sexist, he is a downright evil [to

be rooted out! – joke.] It is because of the power imbalance: someone with

authority being nasty does more damage than a rightless weak agent (i.e.

woman). Also i understand that women are mean to each other because of

their weakness, and some men are sexist because they are either plain thick

or benefit from women being subjugated. So if a woman is rallying against

me I forgive her and don’t get worked up, but if a man dares, the hell

breaks loose.

From Amy

I absolutely agree with you,you’ve voiced something i’ve been giving a lot

of thought too lately. women are indeed other women’s own worst enemies at

times, all you need to do is listen to a room full of women watching other

women on TV to hear that; in my experience negative comments about the

women’s appearance/clothes/weight/intelligence/behaviour are rife, and

thats not because i surround myself with unpleasant people i just think

thats a fairly accurate reflection of how women are to other women. we’ve

internalised the messages of patriarchy as badly as men have and are just

as good at perpetuating them. every time a woman refers to another women as

a ‘bimbo’ or a ‘tart’ or makes negative comments about another woman’s body

because it makes her feel bad about her own we are buying into that, and i

know i am guilty of some of this at points (not the tart and bimbo stuff

though, just couldnt say those words) or slagging women off in magazines

saying they’re shallow and image obsessed. its a double bind women are in,

damned if you do damned if you dont but for us to also damn other women is

just a step too far because the very women we are damning are just as much

constrained within a patriarchal, damaging culture as we are. this is a bit

of a ramble but i just wanted to say yup i totally agree, its a divide and

conquer culture we’re in if we keep up the divisions then patriarchy really

has won.

From Lizzie

I agree completely with this article. As a young woman, I am surrounded by

criticism and rivalry, especially concerning body image. Some friends of

mine frequently spout insults about random women they spot just for their

choice of clothing. Many girls I know like nothing better than a good old

‘bitching sesh’ about female friends and aquaintances.

So much for sisterhood.

I’ve even been met with disapproval and contempt when it’s emerged that

I’m a feminist. Many of my female friends are harsher critics of feminism

and women in general than most of the guys I know.

I believe this springs mainly from insecurity and the belief that

insulting other women is normal, acceptable behaviour, perhaps with

positive rewards.

Only by changing these attitudes can we create solidarity and a positive,

pro-woman society.

It may take a generation but I hope one day we will be free of mindless

and destructive criticism.

From BrevisMus

“After all, you cannot burn thousands and thousands of women as witches

without it having an effect on women for generations after. It creates a

ripple effect that invokes fear around being your own person and speaking


Nice theory, but incorrect. Men were also burned (or, as in England,

hanged) as witches. In fact, there were some societies in Europe where men

made up the majority of those killed.

Also, there are some massively exaggerated numbers of people killed in the

witch trials floating around. Again, in England, many people charged were


Finally, it wasn’t really for ‘speaking out’ that got people into trouble.

The little old man or little old lady who lived on their own and only went

outside to tell the local kids to stop throwing cabbages at the wall was

more likely to be accused by a frightened community. Again, there’s a

modern myth that all the witches were [female] mid-wives standing up to the

[male] medical establishment, but again, not true.

I suggest the following as further reading (all academic and thoroughly


* The Triumph of the Moon by Prof. Ronald Hutton

* The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-century Representations

by Dr. Diane Purkiss

* Trial of Witches: A Seventeenth Century Witchcraft Prosecution by Prof.

Gilbert Geis & Ivan Bunn

From Charlotte

Really enjoyed reading your article on “Why are women so critical of each

other”. It made me have a much better understanding behind the jeaously

between women; as I only left secondary school last year, its a haven of

bitchy girls, even between ‘so called’ friends. Also through your article I

saw parrallels in my life from my family, over being told to be a ‘good

little girl’ and ‘marry a nice man’. I find it so sickening argh!!! Love

this website! Thanks.

From Kayleigh

I really enjoyed reading this, and it voices concerns i believe a lot of

women have. Having certain girlfriends who are supportive to your face but

not necessarily the same behind your back makes me feel sad that we can’t

100% trust and rely on each other as we each follow our dreams.

Sex and the City the movie: Having your (wedding) cake and eating it, a review by Catherine Redfern

From Beth

For the the most disappointing aspect of the whole film is, as the article

mentions, the whole situation witb Miranda and Steve. In what way should it

be easier for Miranda to forgive Steve than Carrie to forgive Big? I find

this preposterous! The way Miranda is seen as a culprit for working too

hard is also despicable.

And re: Samantha’s stomach – this part riled me immensely but I was glad

to know, after lengthy discussions with many women, that absolutely

everybody else felt the same: what on earth was the camera looking at?

Samantha went from a size 10 to a size 10 1/2?

We can but laugh….

From Claire Eaton

I cannot believe that someone has gone into that much detail to dissect

the SATC film and basically slag it off. I loved the series and I felt that

the film was brilliant too. I think it had a much more grown up feel to it.

Samantha ended up single and childless to show that you don’t have to be

married and with children to be happy. Charlotte ended up married, with

children and happy – why oh why do people nowadays seem to scoff at

marriage as oldfashioned and oppressive (I might add that I am very much a

modern and independant woman AND married!). Miranda and Carrie are like

polar opposites showing whether you are married or not things can go wrong.

I believe the art of forgiveness is something that can only be learned

over time and experience and as these four women are now more mature and

have moved on in their lives I think this was an excellent overall theme

for the film.

From Beatriz

Fab SATC movie review and very ellaborate! Loved it. An additional

positive point about Samantha: she is shown as slightly disappointed when

Carrie tells her she’s getting married, and replies with the line: “You

know me, I don’t really believe in marriage”. Good this was that this line

was actually included in one of the trailers to promote the movie in the

US. I thought this was a big redeeming feature in that trailer.

From Lucy

Just read Catherine Redfurn’s review of SATC movie. I agree with her that

SATC does have some feminist aspects (paragrapg 1). But I wondered if

anyone agreed more so that SATC is an anti-feminist piece.

Because of it, women declare they shall go shopping. Men have better

looking girlfriends.

They command they have Tuesday night in front of the telly to have “me

time” and watch their fave soap. Men have less clingy girlfriends so they

can spend the evening at the pub with the lads.

Women are sexually more experimental (thanks to Samantha). Men get a

perfect bedroom goddess.

Carrie demonstrated that whilst she’s successful, her live seemingly

revolves around men. Samantha is punished for not having children with

cancer. Charlotte stoops to dirty tactics to get her man. Miranda allows

weird, ugly and poor men to think it’s okay to prey on women when they are


Not waxing leads to infidelity, wanting everything in life leads to be

jilted at the alter, being sexually promiscuous leads to cancer and being

the perfect housewife leads to infertility. You can’t win.

Whilst the show does demonstrate some admirable aspects, the backlash from

it is depressing.

Women through the words “liberation” and “feminism” around when disccusing

SATC, but I think it’s nothing of the sort and women should take it as

light entertainment, not a source of revolution.

Catherine Redfern, founder of The F-Word and author of this article, replies

Thanks for your comment. I decided not to specifically discuss the series itself in the review, but focus on the movie. But I know a lot of people do share your view and although I am a fan of the show I can completely understand where you are coming from. I guess it just goes to show that there are quite a lot of different opinions on Sex and The City.

From Annika

I really liked this film, I really did. I’m not sure what I expected out

of it, but I did enjoy it, laughed at some parts and got tearful at


There were a few things I didn’t agree with, most of which have been

covered already from what I can see.

The one thing I didn’t agree with was the ending. I don’t understand why

the men got forgiven. I felt it was a betrayal to all women, by sending

across a message that no matter what, we should forgive our men. So,

getting jilted at the altar, should be forgiven. Your husband cheating on

you, should be forgiven. Carrie was jilted at the altar, because Big felt

that the wedding was becoming too much. She was making it bigger than Big,

and he could not take the pressure. The poor man. *rolls eyes* Her fault.

Steve cheated on Miranda because she didn’t give up the goods often enough,

so OF COURSE he could not control his urges, and just HAD to sleep with

another woman. *rolls eyes*Her fault. What a load of rubbish. These men are

clearly bastards for what they did, the hurt and humiliation they caused,

why on earth the fact they were forgiven should mean a happy ending, is

beyond me. As far as I was concerned, I thought they should have ditched

the fuckers, and gone on to have a happy and fulfilled life, with or

without the presence of a man. Because it can be achieved you know.

And forgiving someone who had cheated on you is not as easy as the film

made it look. Definately not. I didn’t like how it made it look as though

it was Miranda’s fault for Steve’s infidelity. I was really angry about

this. Men cheat because they can. Because they can easily blame it on the

woman. He did it because she didn’t have enough sex with him. Because she

didn’t give him enough time and attention. So he had no choice but to

cheat. What a load of rubbish, seriously. This just feeds into that little

myth that men can’t control themselves or their sexual urges. The poor

little men. Lets blame the big bad woman. Men cheat because they do. They

are adults, they make that choice to do it, no reason other than that. They

can help themselves, but choose not to. So I definately do not think Steve

should have been forgiven. I think he should have been castrated at they

very least.

But again, this is just my opinion, and i am going through a very

emotional break up at the moment. Hence, the anger at the cheating men. :)

From Rachael

Here, Here! Exceelent review by Catherine! The movie was far too long (at just

over two hours) and it sold out on many of the strengths that the series

had – ie: realistic depictions of women and their choices, good

characterisations and sometimes dark plots.

And I know Charlotte was meant to be the romantic one – but what was with

all that irritating, girlish screaming in the film??!

The only character who seemed to retain her strength was Samantha (and it

was lovely to see a celebration of her 50th Birthday) but most of the film

seems to have suffered the big Hollywood treatment… know – the women

become over-blown stereotypes of their former selves so that the original –

and generally strong women of the series – are lost. Real dissapointment.

From Caer

For goodness sake, it’s entertainment, not Tolstoy. Get a life.

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

“I deem your issue is not serious enough* to merit my rapt attention. Therefore I will send in an abusive and condescending email!”. See Feminism 101 for more on this.

From Sonia

“The movie goes to a very dark place that we’ve never done before.”

– Maybe she meant Mexico…

Rape: an unfinished revolution, a review by Louise Livesey

From Jennifer Drew

An excellent critique of Joanna Bourke’s latest book on Rape but and this

gives me an opportunity to criticise Bourke not the author of this

criticism. Unfortunately perhaps because Joanna Bourke is a historian

although she should have known that when writing history one must always

bear in mind that making a sweeping statement about an issue without

checking the facts is not correct. I am referring to Ms. Bourke’s claim

that ‘false memory syndrome’ is a myth. Ms. Bourke in her book mentions

Elizabeth Loftus who is one of the spokespersons for False Memory Syndrome

Foundation. Loftus claims that adult survivors of child sexual abuse who

recover memories of experiencing child sexual abuse whilst in therapy have

all been deceived. This is because some if not many therapists have

deliberately manipulated their clients into falsely believing they were

abused as children. There is much controversy surrounding the issue of

False Memory Syndrome but Ms. Bourke clearly presumes that most therapists

have manipulated their clients. This is patently untrue and if Ms. Bourke

had researched this issue more thoroughly she would have discovered that it

is not uncommon for survivors of child sexual abuse to ‘forget’ having been

abused. Clinical studies have been conducted on ‘false memory’ and whilst

it is still hotly disputed, evidence has shown that it is very, very

difficult to implant a ‘false memory of child sexual abuse’ within a

patient’s mind. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation are very active in

making sweeping claims that child sexual abuse does not exist. Ms. Bourke

should not have made the sweeping claim that ‘false memory syndrome’ does

not exist.

From Grainne Tobin

I was glad to see the qualification ‘depends who your grandmother is I

suppose’… I am 56 year old, a feminist all my life, and some grandmothers

of F word readers must too.

Haunted?, a review by Lindsey M Sheehan

From mia

In response to the article on El orfanato, I think that it makes no

difference whether the ghosts are real or the woman is a victim of post

traumatic stress. the reality is that her actions are brave either way:

whether her perceived reality is in line with what is really happening is

moot: it is real to her, and therefore her responses are real, and brave,

and strong.

What I do have a problem with though is the theme of mothers dying for

their children in horror films; for example, dark water with jennifer


Ask a feminist – The F-Word problem page, by various contributors

From Nickie Colson

In response to Confused & Crafty’s ‘Ask a Feminist’ question.

I think that the distinction between feminist and housewife shouldn’t be

seen as a six-foot wall with barbed wire at the top. I am a student who

enjoys cleaning my room, because I feel like I’m valuing my environment and

thus valuing myself. If feminism simply creates a new ideal woman we feel

pressurised to conform to, then it becomes its own worst enemy.

I would say that if you think all women should make their own soap and are

failing in their duties if they don’t, you’re traditional. If you think all

women should be able to choose whether or not to make their own soap,

you’re feminist.

From Jenna

I was just browsing the articles on this site which I am loving!) and saw

the “Ask a Feminist” article where the woman was concerned about her

surname, and the surname of her baby. One thing that wasn’t in the article

that I wanted to point out is that in Latin American countries, the

tradition there is for children to take both the mother’s and father’s

surnames. So it would be FirstName MiddleName Father’sSurname

Mother’sSurname. Here’s an article about it that Google brought up for me:

The custom is that the father’s surname is the “main” one, but the child’s

legal name contains both, and another awesome thing about this naming

convention is that it allows the child a bit of choice; if he/she wants to

drop on of the surnames, reduce one to just an initial, or continue to use

both, the option is there.

When I tutored some Latin American students, teaching them English, I

thought it was awesome how the mother’s surname is kept, and the students,

upon coming to Canada, really wanted to make sure that their official

records with the school contained both surnames. I believe they felt the

same way about legal documents.

Mentioning this custom might be something to mention in future articles

where the subject of surnames comes up. :)

Mama’s mop and Bachelor’s soup, by Kristine Bergström

From laurel Dearing

oh ive wondered this many a time. course we are expected to look good,

work, do the chores and be a mother. we are a failure if we dont have it

all. im not saying it isnt ok if someone does but jeez. pressure much?

plus the past 5 years or so has regurgitated the gender divides in

advertising. whsmiths does pink pritstick for girls, because obviously its

worth the extra mone for different packaging. plus theres the brats, most

little girls wear make up and jewellery… kid over the road complains i

have a boys haircut, that in sonic there isnt a marriage at the end, and

that my best mate isnt my boyfriend.

child of our time showed that lemonade tasted better to the specified

gender it was aimed at when the same, that girls chose slutty outfits and

hated their appearance, and girls and boys seemed to have no way of

communicating with each other, with the boys not understanding anything

other than words for a purpose and girls blathering on about how many

neclaces they had. these kids were 7 by the way. one kid said she was off

the fat scale and sometimes hated her life. the dad of another said she

could be an astronaut and still put on her makeup, which is a nice though,

only assuming your 7 year old needs to play dressup for a serious job is a

bit sad. yes ive gone way off topic but media is soething that annoys me.

when i was young there werent girls shows. sure the girls in there were

often damsels in distress but you didnt have to be them, you could be the

guy saving the world! adverts. bleh. its all hair and naked women and


individually these ads are totally harmless but i really think this

barricading us constantly with sexuality and female roles is gonna have a

bad effect

From BrevisMus

I’m not sure why Kristine Bergström hasn’t considered the Flash adverts

with Karl Howman in them. These have been running for years! And even

though they do feature a man, they do make an excellent ‘exception that

proves the rule’.

Karl’s use of Flash isn’t to make his house all lovely so the neighbours

won’t judge him harshly and the kids will die of BACTERIA!!1! – it’s to get

his chores done super quick, to get one over on his wife, so that he can

lounge about and get the credit for what she assumes was a tough job.

Unfortunately, as it stands, Kristine’s article is pretty much a straw

argument, since her statement that “all housework related commercials –

exclusively and without exception – star only women” is not true.

From Rhona

Three hours a day? Are you sure? I realise it’s an average, but bl**dy

hell, do these women live in some uber-sanitised intensive care unit or


Honestly, it sounds a bit mad – even my mother (a woman who cleans the

toaster with a toothbrush) would be hard-pushed to spend three hours a day

on housework.

I don’t doubt that women (particularly in ‘traditional’ families) still

carry the majority of the domestic chores and – to address the point of

your feature – this is in part due to the ‘branding’ of cleaning products –

but I think these figures are a bit questionable and bad statistics do no

favours for anybody.

From Monica Adorno

What about Flash all Purpose??

The husband always cleans in that ad …

Cartoon special…, by Yvonne Howard

From jude brown

Brilliant cartoons by Yvonee Howard. Love them – keep them coming please!!

From Nic

More of the cartoons please, much more.

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

Indeed, Yvonne has kindly offered to do a monthly cartoon for The F-Word, which will be appearing on our blog.

From tracey heynes

I enjoyed the cartoons you put on – what a great idea,giving us a little

light relief alongside all the depressing realities of being a woman in our

sexist society that you address in your articles.And the jokes are so close

to reality!!Great stuff!

From jude brown

Brilliant cartoons by Yvonee Howard. Love them – keep them coming please!!

Men! Feminism needs you! (Not your privilege…), by Anne Onne

From Audrey Cook

You might like this!

My boyfriend, and two closest friends (who are male) could definitely be

described as pro-feminist. Keep up the fantastic work; I check the site


From Jake

Could this article not be considered a tad bit patronising? As a feminist

(or ally, if you like), I found being told it was not a good idea to refer

to people as a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore’ pretty insulting, despite the


From laurel Dearing

i know what ou mean about that scene wih chelsea. i get horribly triggered

by all sorts of things like that; ultra violence and sexual assault,

paricularly group mentality. coz i freak out my head was just like shes

gonna be ok, dont freak out, its a soap. hate how it didnt affect her. i

dont care how coked up she was. that was so much worse than prison.

From The Biscuit Queen

You have got to be kidding me… thin privilage?!

I disagree that any of the groups you claim have inherant privilage are so

well off-straights, whites, men; seems to me that in many ways the

so-called oppressed have so many laws and groups to protect them it is

straight white men who actually are the only group acceptable to

bash….just like thin people.

I happen to have been an extremely thin person my whole life-first due to

a natural metabolism and now due to self-control. If you think people judge

you for only being fat you are delusional. From the time I was in

kindergarten people have felt it acceptable to comment on my size on a

weekly if not daily basis. They assume it acceptable to comment on my

eating habits and even tell me often that I am not allowed to eat salad and

skip desert. It is usually heavy people who feel the need to do this, and

it is very tempting for me to say if they ate salad and skipped desert

maybe they wouldn’t be so fat….but I am not allowed to say this both due

to social pressures and personal morality not to make rude comments.

p>I do not comment on people’s body weight one way or the other. Don’t tell

me that I am somehow privilaged to be thin-this whole privilage thing is

just a lame way of putting others down to make yourself feel better. Thin

privilage…what a rediculous joke.

Anne Onne, author of the article, replies

I think we’re misunderstanding each other. I’m not suggesting that all thin people have it easy, and in many ways ‘thin privilege’ is a misnomer, because it misses the fact that people who are naturally ‘underweight’ are also subject to oppression. More correctly, it would be called conventional-ideal-weight-privilege, because people, especially women of weights either end of the spectrum get attacked for their appearance.

You are entitled to your own opinion, and if you’ve read the privilege checklists and disagree with them, then there’s nothing I can say to change your mind. But I never intended to suggest that all thin people do not suffer any form of discrimination on appearance or weight grounds. Thin women are also subject to disapproving stares and comments about their diet, or how they are unattracticve (indeed, the size zero debate feeds into this woman-bashing, rather than alleviating it, because it unilaterally asserts that thin women are not as attractive as ‘curvy’ women, and blames thin women, whether they diet or not, for being vain or not ‘sexy enough’ as if they exist for that. But there is a greater social pressure to not be fat than not be skinny, because the health risks of being obese are much more emphasised in the media, and deemed less physically attractive than the thin side of the spectrum (even the very thin side of the spectrum), they get more problems from society for that.

As someone who is white, heterosexual, average weight and health, I do feel that I’m getting an easier deal than people who fit the norm less, even from my personal experiences with friends. Yes, they get protection, but that protection is specifically there because the actions of individuals, and the way society is structured as a whole, puts them at greater risk.

From Alice Dale

With regard to the last pice by Anne Onne:

“To you, as a male commenter, this would just be an unsavoury scene in a

TV series. How did I experience it? My heart was racing, and I felt sick,

as if it had happened in front of me.”

This is such a relief – I’m not the only one who feels this way! My

boyfriend recently felt I was overreacting to a particularly brutal TV

programme we had watched together, and I was begining to be concerned with

my own level of emotional involvement with the TV I watch, and the books I


From JM

Your title is rather misleading considering the content. You state that

feminism needs men. However as a reader, I found the tone to be

condenscending, and holier-than-thou. You basicly tell men they can join

you and help you in your struggle, but they will never be truly welcome,

their opinions never as valid, and their life experiences as basicly

worthless. Humans all have something to add with equal validity, and the

recognition of such is a very important step to equality.

PS: Calling your potential ally’s your “oppressors” isn’t going to exactly

motivate them to help you out. I’m not saying lie, but when writing

specifically to an audience, softening language can win you a lot of


Anne Onne, author of the article, replies

Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry that the tone of the article doesn’t agree with you. I didn’t intend to come off as either, but writing a feminist piece on men is running a tightrope between being placed in the role of the ball-busting man-hater, and gently coaxing nanny, and although I was trying to be milder than many feminists I have read on the issue who don’t mince any words, I knew that with so many male readers, I was never going to write an article that fitted all.

I don’t believe men aren’t welcome in feminism, because I don’t believe it’s purely women’s struggle, especially if we beleive that part of the problem is men’s personal interactions with women, and their role in oppression. Men are welcome, in fact needed, because women can’t end systemic oppression on their own, particularly if men think it’s only in women’s interests to end it.

The point was not that their experiences are worthless, but that women’s oppression is not about men’s opinions or their experiences. Humans of course all have something to say, and equal rights to express that opinion. but clearly not all humans have equal experience of something, and when we are talking about a particular issue, the point was that those with the most experience of it, the most affected, deserve to be listened to, because they are normally the most ignored. When we’re talking about issues that women bear the brunt of, it makes sense that their experiences and opinions are most relevant. This is not to mean that men shouldn’t comment, because they can still contritute many interesting things to any discussion, but that they should remember that they’re talking about something that affects women much more, therefore may be advised to listen to those experiences.

There will be many areas where men’s experiences are directly relevant, especially in discussions on how the patriarchy negatively affects men, but because of the nature of the movement, because of the belief that on the whole, women are more badly affected by the patriarchy, and because the movement is primarily about addressing this, men’s experiences won’t always be directly relevant.

I actually thought mostly about my experiences as an ally in LGBT communities and anti-racism communities, in writing this, because I could relate to the defensiveness many male commenters have, having also felt put upon. I took my experiences of having to listen, to really listen about the experiences of other people, even where I had an opinion, and how that affected me. I realised that I didn’t really have as much to say about racism as a person of colour, nor did I have as much to say about homophobia as someone who is homosexual. Reading the comments of other people like me who dismissed everything the minority had to say, or focused on their own, relatively better off experiences taught me how important it was to make the effort as an ally to be different, to truly side with those who were systematically oppressed. In many ways I wrote the post that I would have benefited from back then, just about feminism.

It was difficult to know which word to choose, and I did try and alternate between ‘oppressors’ and ‘majority’, but I still believe an important part of learning to be an ally is learning to not react to language that implies people like you are to blame. It helped me a lot to be reminded in LGBT spaces and anti-racism spaces that I do benefit in many ways, and do contribute to systemic oppression. Having to hide the fact that a certain contingent of the population are directly benefiting from another group is difficult, and feels counterproductive if you want that group to realise and take responsibility.

Come on Boris, what you got?, by Sandrine Levêque

From John Burridge

Any attempt to marginalise lap dancing clubs (and other branches of the

‘sex industry’) by reclassification of licenses etc, will further

stigmatise it, thereby leaving the women involved more open to abuse from

pimps, violent criminals etc.

Comments on older features, reviews and blog posts

Stopping violence against women at its primary root, by Matthew Provost

From laurel Dearing

personally im not any more against \”violence against women\” in ay way

other than picking on someone weaker than you. i think if someone hits you

then you have the right to hit them back. i dont think its any worse to hit

a boy than it is a girl, however this extending to bullying because their

female or in a sexual way at primary school age is abhorrent. i guess i

have actually experienced that, not that i realy thought much of it at the

time, but i do now wonder how that guys attitude is now. he certainly didnt

get it from his parents though. there was definately this hatred and a

sense of anger leading to him need to control. i think it was sort of done

as a curiosity at the age but… kids see so much these days i cant believe

they wouldnt know what theyre doing.

Feminine feminism, by Laura Wadsworth

From martin

Laura Wadsworth so helped me out. Curently doing alevel media course and i

wanted to do a piece on feminism. Out of all the articles I have read this

has been the most fun and intresting. I admire this girl for having such a

strong point of view and knowing herself so well. This artcile itself is

good covering many points a little chating but still hitting the points she

wants to make.

The experiences of young women in science, by Rachael Hawkins

From Homi K. Bhabha

Biased writing infuses such agonising pain in the agnostic soul.

A slice-by-slice attack on women’s right to choose, by Kit Roskelly

From Dawn Kofie

The recent attack on women’s abortion rights has resulted in a plethora of

articles containing misinformation, conjecture, liberal helpings of

faith-based science and thinly veiled emotional blackmail.

So I just wanted to say thanks very much for your balanced, articulate and

thought provoking piece.

A bride by any other name, by Eleanor Turner

From Sera

I was very happy to find your article. As so many of my friends and

acquaintances are getting married, so many of the women are still taking

their husband’s names. So few have kept their own, that I’m beginning to

wonder if feminism is something pay lip-service to until a man comes along.

Thanks again for the great article.

Loose Women, a review by Dawn Kofie

From steve

I recently watched a broadcast of Loose Women whilst on paternity leave,

looking after my wife and newborn son. I found one particular item to be

outrageously sexist and demeaning towards men. Having some buff young man,

shaven down and tanned, semi-naked, waiting on 4 giggling women is not what

I call entertainment.

Why is this broadcasting found to be acceptable at one in the afternoon.

If the roles were reversed, would a show that had 4 men sat around talking

with scantily-clad women parading around be acceptable? I think not. This

show should be cancelled, an absolute disgrace.

PS. I am a triathlete and have an extremely fit physique, and am

constantly sexually harrassed by women, which I find offensive. But what

can I do? I am tired of double standards. If women want respect and equal

rights from men then my advice is for them to rise above the banality that

is ‘Loose Women’ and find your own way.

Are you married? If not, why not?, by Victoria Dutchman-Smith

From Blinkered

Why don’t you for once talk truthfully? Feminism is a modern con designed

to load on the pressures on modern women. They ultimately end up doing the

housework, looking after the kids and now having to go out and earn the

bread. Two salaries don’t feed a family nowadays. No doubt you’ll see this

post as being myopic. The truth is you’ll all end up spinsters, or single

mothers with kids roaming feral in gangs as its the only bond family they

have. The world is imploding and feminism with its really selfish message

is a cause for it. Next time you read the news and see a kid stabbing or

shooting another why heck that kid had only a mother and no father – in a

word – feminism.

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

You’ve got to appreciate a commenter with such a wonderfully-accurate name. It’s also good to know we have another thing to add to the “feminism is responsible for all the woes of the world!” list. As though stabbings and violence don’t predate the women’s movement by, um, almost the total stretch of human history.

You will generally find feminists critiquing the most common division of labour in heterosexual relationships, particularly those with children, which sees the women take on a wholly unfair share of the work.

The term ‘spinsters’ is an extremely loaded one – rather, I would say there’s nothing about feminism that prevents a person having a relationship, if you want one. However, if you don’t want one, feminism questions why single men get to be neutral (or even positive) bachelors, while single women are heckled as “spinsters”, as though the only full life is one with a (male?) partner.

Incidentally, I was raised by a single mum and I never roamed around in a “feral” gang (feral is a dehumanising word).

Feeling a bit uncomfortable?, by Jane Purcell

From julie llewellyn-thomas

im a yoga teacher and author of 2 yoga for birth and baby yoga

in my 2nd year of midwifery training and laughed when i read this.

Body language speaks volumes, by Anna Sandfield

From Hazza

Anna, I personally don’t understand how my touching female friends is

‘taking a culturally sanctioned opportunity to touch women’s bodies

without their explicit permission’.

Good Lord! Does the fact I do similar things to male friends not come into

the equation? Is everything I do to women an expression of patriarchal

oppression, and not just fondness?

I also think you go into certain things a little too deeply. There’s

often an easier explanation. Like the ‘hand on shoulder’ case. In general,

it tends to be TALLER people who do this – thus often men having their

hands the shoulders of women – or shorter men. Likewise, ‘leg-crossing’

stems from women wearing skirts. In general, having your crotch exposed

attracts less attention when you wear trousers as you aren’t displaying

your underclothes to the general public. Or have you seen kilt-wearing men

sitting with their knees apart? (Incidentally, I tend to cross my legs the

way a ‘woman’ does simply because I find it comfortable).

In other cases you generalise men too much. You aren’t the only one who

gets told to ‘cheer up’. I get it all the time (I have a naturally

melancholy face) from both men and women.

Yes, I enjoyed my girlfriend ‘cuddling to’ my touch – just as often as I

enjoyed ‘cuddling to’ her touch. The feeling was mutual. We loved and

protected each other. No element of control here.

My girlfriend would always walk on my left. I am right-handed – as it

just so happened, my gilfriend was left-handed. See? Things aren’t

necessarilly as clear-cut as you make them out to be.

How the word ‘slut’ oppresses women, by Jennifer Drew

From Leah Muir Walters

I was very impressed on your article about the ‘slut and slag’ issue. I

have been raving about this for some time and ironically i have been

labelled as such by men for even bringing up the subject. I find it sad

that from personal experience and the experience of other women that even

in a relationship what i would reguard as ‘forced sex’ though non-violent

based on the right of the man to have sex at whim with his female partner

whenever he pleases is still widely accepted as the norm. Furthermore, the

tightrope modern women face in terms of the ‘good girl’ and ‘bad girl’

label is somewhat impossible as men seem to make up the rules to fit

specific situations. My two best friends are men one i must say is far more

liberal in this respect than the other though his negative behaviour is

somewhat still engrained in respects to the issue. My other male friend is

currently into the sciences based on female and male sexuality and the

books he is currently reading support the view that men have no control

over there sexulity and biologically are ment to sleep with as many women

as possible even if this includes rape. We have had many arguments over the

issue and i seem to be hitting my head against a brick wall. Even more

disturbibgly i have had this debate with many women who all seem to agree

with the slut, slag label due to hetrosexual sex supposedly changing the

female physical anatomy and not the males. So this new phinominon on how

‘tight’ a women is has popped up. Personally i believe it’s sad to hold

your worth as a woman on this ill informed ‘fact’. As this loose woman

label seems to aply only to women who sleep with multipul sexual partners

as opposed to a woman who is in a relationship. But reguardless of how a

woman is having sex wouldn’t the results be the same? . To rap this up i

would just like to add how sad it is that women are now judging their worth

on how shall i say, well suited their bodies are to give men pleasure. It

makes me so frustrated and sad. Thank you for illustrating my pet hate.

Jennifer Drew, author of the article, replies

Thank you very much for your comments and I agree with you the term

‘slut’ is one designed to control and subordinate women’s sexualities to


Human sexuality is a very complex issue because it is widely believed to

be biological, innate and unchanging. However, reality shows that both

female and male sexualities are in fact social constructions and as such

change according to cultural definitions.

‘Feminists are sexist’, by Catherine Redfern

From Will

I think as a man living in western society I cant answer for all men but

personally I feel as if sexism against men is tolerated and ignored while

female issues are addressed. Men are always antagonised whenever we

disagree with a female. You have to look both ways before crossing the

street and likewise listen to both sides before forming a stance. I dont

think women rights should be ignored but I feel men rights are of low value

to western society.

From Charlotte Rose

I’m a fellow feminist and I’ve also noticed this reverse-sexism charge by

anti-feminists. You’re article nails it on the head what these charges

really are about. Thanks so much for writing this article, which I’m sure

to use whenever I get in such an argument.

Natural deodorants, by Kery Saegert

From Melissa Tasse

ammonium alum… alum is an aluminum salt! These “crystal rock”

deodorants do contain aluminum… again, the alum is an aluminum salt…

which is why they wrok

Not a happy birthday, by Amity Reed

From mickey mouse

stupid, intellect-free lezzer

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

Um, calling someone a lesbian is only an insult if you’re a raging homophobe. And as homophobia is stupid, I think we can safely lay to oneside the rest of your comment.

The Oxbridge sex workers, by Laurie Penny

From Hannah

In relation to the article about the Oxbridge sex workers, I believe that

these girls are acedemically intellegent and to have their skills regonised

and rewarded by the workplace they should stick to what they are good at

By working in the sex trade for finance etc. they are perpetuating the

problem for girls who wish to follow this acedemic pathway, they are

allowing themselves to be seen as slaves to men and therefore will never

gain the respect from them when they do wish to enter a more formal career.

These girls are making it increasingly difficult for women to rid their

label as merely objects of men’s disires.

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

I think it’s important not to lay blame on the women, even women who make these choices from a position of relative privilege. Discrimination against women in the workplace is not their fault; neither is the existence of the sex trade. I don’t know that I agree with the idea that women should be “gaining” respect from their male colleagues; rather men in the workplace need an attitude adjustment if they don’t give their female colleagues the respect they deserve.

If you want to blame someone for the existence of the sex trade, I would suggest looking to the (mostly) men who visit strippers and lapdancing clubs and prostitutes, keeping them in business.

Why men should care about gender stereotypes, by Alex Gibson

From Karen Goyer

Interestingly, I was speaking with the Dean of a College of Business this

month who said that an alarming trend in higher education is that men are

not choosing it. There are so few men choosing to enter as college

freshmen vs. women that women, in a few years, will be the ones “qualified”

to manage men in 8 out of 10 cases–which leads to a whole new set of

social issues. One wonders if this anti-education trend is related to

issues you so articulately note.

From Laurel Dearing

the worst thing is a wave of scene and/or metrosexuals decided women

wanted you to be that way. basically this seemed to mean changing their

hairstyle for most. dont get me wrong, some of them im sure it worked for,

but most of them put up a fashionable facade for a while at the same time

as reading nuts. then of course they decided that women still didnt want

this and were complaining where the real men went. sure some of them were,

but if your whole reason for changing was to get straight women by being

what you deem effeminate then theyre obviously not getting something.

people want them to break us and themselves out of the moulds, not for them

to join us in it.

how utterly rediculous. wouldnt mind a bloke being stupid loving footie

and swilling beer if thats really who they were and were happy with, rather

that because thats how they feel they should be, that it makes them more of

a man, or simply because it means they can be lazy, and reliant on the same

women they only otherwise use for banter or eye-candy. sorry for typos and

use of “you” as opposed to “one”. i dont mean you personally. or at all.

one just feels pretentious and by the time i write it out properly i would

have forgotten what my next sentence was lol

‘Who… me? I’m just a housewife’, by Samantha Jay

From Chris Grollman

Thank you for this frank and very readable article, which was apart from

anything else a pleasure to read.

Choice being an important principle, decisions such as that to be a

housewife (or the gender-neutral homemaker?) should be freely taken, and in

the context of feminism this means taken without coercion by social

arrangements unfriendly to women making other choices.

It seems that your case is a very special one, in that your decision to be

a housewife has nothing to do with expected behaviour, difficulty

reconciling work and children, lack of educational or training

opportunities, pressure from your husband or anything else.

Ithink my point being that while it should still be a feminist goal to get

rid of the structural aspects of society which push women toward

housewifery(?), as human beings we have to realise that people’s behaviour

rarely maps onto the reasons a theory would give for it. Yes, feminists

(and everyone else!) should be as non-judgemental as possible, but I think

it is also honest to say that where housewifing is a result of a lack of

women’s freedom of choice (and men’s, equally related to gender

expectations), this is obviously ‘bad’, and so a reduction in housewifing

due to an increase in equality of choice would be good.

The problem you identify is to me more the failure of individuals and

their group thought in letting the stereotypical (therefore exaggerated and

wrong, e.g. replacing ‘fewer housewives’ with ‘no housewives’) appearance

of a feminist society get the better of the fundamental values which drive

(at least my) feminism (liberty, equality and the rebalancing of what is

deemed important in society).

Glamour models made me sick, by Hannah Whittaker

From Anon

In response to Glamour Models Made Me Sick by Hannah Whittaker.

First of all I want to congratulate you on writing this article at such a

young age and wish you good luck with your life and recovery. Not many

people would have not only the intelligence to examine their own life like

that but also the guts and honesty to speak publicly about an important

issue which is so personal.

My comment though is that it’s important to remember that the glamour

models themselves are in the same boat as us. I’ve no doubt the reason

girls become glamour models in the first place is for all the same reasons

you described.

So many people in society are quick to judge women who enter those

industries but it’s important to stand side by side with other women to

fight these causes and not play into the hands of sexists by blaming the


It is the publishers and newsagents and photographers that deserve the

blame for perpetuating the production and distribution of these poisonous

images. The women themselves are just trying to deal with the same

pressures and double standards as the women and girls outside of the

industry. It’s the expoiters, not the exploited, that should be held


I’d like to ask the question “do the men who buy, sell and make these

magazines know the harm they cause?” but, unfortunately, I think it would

be better changed to “do they care?”

A real alternative?, by Jessica Bateman

From laurel Dearing

i think even though there are positive aspects to making different girls

beautiful to, its effectively saying that its not only women that try to be

like playboys that are sexual objects, but in fact all women, tomboyish,

tattooed, essentially we are all only worth that.

The new breastfeeding taboo, by Cathryn Dagger

From A. Gray

Sure, it can be difficult or painful, and I experienced many of the things

the author did, and more. I had a breast infection twice, antibiotics,

bleeding and cracked nipples, the works. Breastfeeding was not pain free

until two months post partum, but I stuck with it. Why? Not because I’m

holier than thou, but because I tend to care more about my son’s best

interests than my own personal comfort. Formula is a pharmaseutical and

contains none of the stem cells or antibodies my milk does. Nobody ever

said that being a mother is easy. Milk is a babies birthright and I’m

sorry to say that your child, statistically, will be unhealthier and less

intelligent because of your choice to use formula. Congratulations.

Thanks for writing an article detailing your own excuses to not do what we

all know is best for your baby.

Lifting the veil on mothers and daughters, by Rosjke Hasseldine

From Jacqui Deprez

Not sure when this was written but it was v resonant for me. I have two

daughters. I’ve had a sometimes difficult relationship with the eldest,

particularly when she told me how crap I was as a mother. I felt the same

about my mother so we do pass it down. Anyway, with the help of therapy

we’ve sorted ourselves out and she’s forgiven me for my failings and loves

me for who I am. I also have forgiven my mother – she is 78 now and its

too late to educate her. But we do need educating to bring our daughters

up with a sense of worth and belief that we can do anything we want.

Mothers are responsible for the attitudes not just of their daughters but

of their sons. too important to ignore or just to keep fingers crossed.

However, holding mothers entirely respnsible is yet another get out for

fathers and other influencing factors in our childrens’ lives. We can’t

take it all on the chin although we’re an easy scapegoat.

General Comments

From Symphony

I saw that you linked to my post about Mildred Beaubrun, the young Orlando

woman who was shot after not giving her phone number. I just wanted to pass

on the sad news that she died.

From Ichabod Crane

Fucking fat cunt there’s too much swearing on this site so i’m off to

Ofcom. put kettle on

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

Personally, I think the swearing on this website is in either in the context of women expressing their justified anger and frustration, or discussion of reclaiming terms such as ‘cunt’. However, lucky for us Ofcom doesn’t yet regulate the internet, so we’ll carry on as we are for now, thanks.

From Kat

I’m just angry and thought I would let you know that the current abortion

situation in UK is not that bad compared to Poland.

In Poland abortion is legal in three cases: when woman was raped, when she

may die during labour or when there’s something wrong with the pregnancy.

But recent news from Poland show that even being raped is not a good

enough excuse to get a legal abortion. Even being a raped 14 years old


This is just sad and outrageus.

If you could mention this on your blog it would be great. Maybe if world

knows what’s happening there and how women’s rights are violated, there

will be a chance for a change.

From B.V

got a joke \”womens football\”

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

Random misogyny, included for illustrative purposes

From Matt

I have been reading the “Daily Mail tells women to step back and shut up”

blog and I agree that the Daily Mail portrays a negative view of women.

One think I’ve noticed is that the paper uses many examples of sexist

language in articles referring to women, although I have noticed this with

other newspapers such as the Daily Express as well as regional newspapers.

One particular language discrepancy I’ve noticed – and I have also seen

this in broadsheets such as The Times – is how a woman whose husband has

died is continaully referred to as “his widow” or “the widow of”…but a

man whose iwfe has died is still referred to as “her husband”. When a

policewoman was shot and killed in Bradford around two and a half years

ago, her surviving spouse was also referred to in the headlines as a

“grieving husband” rather than “a grieving widower”. This of couse is just

one example of sexist language in newspapers and I’m surprised how

journalists don’t take sexism in language into consideration. I’ve even

seen some examples of gender bias in The Guardian on one or two occasions.

The Daily Mail also has a habit of referring to women with a title before

their last name, when men are nearly always referred to by last name only.

From Matt

I read some of an article on this website (actually 2 different articles)

and I must say that this is one of the worst sites I’ve come across. I

didn’t realize that feminism in the U.K. was seemingly worse than it is

here in America. I think feminism is wrong, 100% all the way wrong. I know

about it, where it comes from and why it started and where it’s headed. You

females think you got it all figured out, believing the men are one of the

greatest causes for this nonsense you’ll created yourself. Men don’t hold

you’ll as prisoner’s today, and the women of old times had rights as well.

They weren’t prisoner’s or slaves like feminist’s try to make it sound.

Sure, some women were, as children were too. You don’t see the children of

the past 100 years making a movement based on abuse from old times and

current times do you? At least here in U.S. I don’t see that yet.

Unfortunately, unless you feminist’s decide to drop back and realize you’re

not equal to men in all aspects, and never will be or could be, then until

that day comes things are always going to be harder for you’ll than one

might think. I don’t even know how you “guy’s” can march around in your

feet proclaiming the lies from your mouths to the young women of the past

few generations. Feminism has truly and indeed fucked up society in

different ways but not limited to the family, sexual abstinence, marriage

especially and a woman’s true role(s) in society and in a family structure.

Even church women are feminist (more and more are young girls) and many of

the young women (who could’ve been good women) are fucked up because of

their belief that they are more superior and powerful than men. The ONLY

thing women have over men and that you’ll could possibly defeat us in is

the sexual aspect because most men will do anything for a woman’s cunt and

most guy’s will buy her anything to just be in her presence. I am not

conceding possible defeat either because I believe that this “war” that is

being waged between men and women will be won by men because most us will

eventually learn that the cunt/presence of a female is more damning for the

long term and only good for short term needs/wants. We’d crush you “guys”

and one day you’ll realize the full potential of men when we come knocking

down your doors and we’ll truly show you what enslavement is if that’s one

of the things you’ll keep clamoring about. This isn’t all that I have to

say to you but I will say that what I’ve spoken about is serious because

I’m defending women who want to be a real woman and not some robot for the

feminist movement. I’m also defending my male brother’s who are straight

and not gay in nature. You’ll can have the gay “men”, they’re not real men

at all. Good luck with your march, I’m sure it’ll burn in hell and hurt

you’ll more and more as time goes by.

From Sonia

I am interested to note that the blog post calling on us all to go out and

campaign for David Davis, which I was intending to comment on today, has

been taken down. Nevertheless, I would like to make this comment, even if

it cannot be done in a public forum. I have noticed that the F Word has

recently been becoming more and more political in a non-feminist way, by

which I mean that there are increasing numbers of posts that have little or

no relevance to feminism. I was shocked to see this website encouraging

feminists to help campaign for a politician with Davis’s record on gay

rights – I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but I will anyway. He

supported Section 28 and opposed civil partnerships. That this website

would express such support for him – based on the issue of 42 days

detention, which is not directly related to feminism – is really the final

straw for me, and I will no longer be reading the F Word.

Louise Livesey, author of the blog post, replies

Thanks for your message to the F Word, we welcome all contributions.

I think the post on David Davis you responded to was mine, and I just wanted to clarify – I was in no way suggesting supporting David Davis (who I described as egotistical and self-aggrandising) but Jill Saward who is using the opportunity to campaign on victim’s of sexual violence rights. Sorry for any confusion caused (although I’ve reread the post and am happy that is what I’ve said).

From TheDudeWhoBelievesInEquality

Apparently accoding to the article… Luluboy ( whatever ) Says (insert

censor here) you hope you all burn in hell. Right? You just thought yes.

Read the rest of the comments and ALSO watch the video. Im sure if you look

at it from another point of view, you WILL see that its totally off point

and contradictory. If you are 12, searches youtube for stuff like that and

have an extremely constructive circle and enviroment of vocabulary-impaired

people, how you express yourself is much different. And obviously YOU write

like that in posts just not in crude and unrefined language. Think about

it. Im not thinking what you are doing is wrong, I’m saying you should

reconsider only posting evidence of major sexism acts that are flawless.

Hope ‘Feminism’ turns into ‘equalitism’ since it states that its for

them”The first males were mutants… the male sex represents a degeneration

and deformity of the female. MAN: … an obsolete life form… an ordinary

creature who needs to be watched … TESTOSTERONE POISONING: … Until now

it has been though that the level of testosterone in men is normal simply

because they have it. But if you consider how abnormal their behavior is,

then you are led to the hypothesis that almost all men are suffering from

“testosterone poisoning”A Feminist Dictionary, ed. Kramarae and Treichler

(Pandora Press,1985)’

And by the way, I find MANY articles here seeming to be sexist such as

‘’ PLEASE try to

make the article targeted at only those affected and when debating, a good

arguement is one that has analysed both/all point of views.

‘’? What IS

this? Contradiction to one of the articles where it states that feminism

helps men as well. Apparently that article ( and NO article ) was not found

when the keywords ‘help men’ was entered into the search box. Having read

both male AND female written articles, the contrast on which men and women

are affected varies significantly.


Apparently, I DON’T watch soccer, am not a couch potato, and am sober 24/7

( apart from dreaming about being drunk ps. I haven’t had a dream like that

though, not one that I can or should remember )…. so I have no right to

talk about soccer matches and its broadcasting around the world, BUT I AM

sure ( through obvious statistics ) when you watch tennis, male doubles

finals.. intense and mentally draining strategising, look around the court,

(at the spectators if you didn’t get it..) HARDLY any spectators.. Women’s

single final, ( okay fairly much spectators, more then men’s doubles) Cool

strategies, lucky shots, and not too confusing, ALOT of loud

moaning(irratating to me) and awesome matchplay.

Men’s singles, ( Do you have a portable chair to put between the isles?),

less human-made noise, faster balls, better match-play, ( due to more

practise time( no period’s although I’m not sure but sounds logical ) and

physical strength for more possibillities of shots eg. angle,depth). Which

would you watch? ( Didn’t state women’s double’s for I have never seen a

match broadcasted before )

Sensibly the people I know and hang out with would watch men’s finals.

Women DO get sponsored, ( around just as much as men, ) commercial/money

making opportunities (eg. commercials, and ALSO around the same as men,

from what I’ve seen, and possibilities of same amount of commercials are

dependent on how frequently its aired, decided by company, you should get


And if you were a small business ( just enough to sponsor only ONE player

assuming its the same price ), would you sponsor Roger Federer a tennis

outfit of pants and shirt, if you are high on supply for male outfits, or

racquet etc., or Maria Sharapova, a tennis dress or racquet etc.? If you

were to sponsor Sharapova, I have no objections, but I’m quite sure that

most businesses in such a situation that I have mentioned would choose

Federer even though I have no statistics to back me up. Also would you

rather watch players fightning on the field with the refree in a soccer

match, or a player who just tolerates biasness/wrong judgement of the

refree having none of the drama juice spilling out of the controversal


In that article, the author states that the women are punished even though

the men are the ones commiting the crime. If a women rapes a man, ( woah,

wonder which guy would say it out loud and not commit suicide, commiting

suicide is also punishment enough, If you say nobody asked him no commit

suicide, nobody said good lawyers were forbidden )

would the judge believe the man’s story, ( assuming the woman isnt

muscular and the guy is muscle-deficient ). I highly doubt so. And If the

woman WAS a body-builder w/e, I’m betting the guy COULD get punished as

well. But apparently there have been no such cases.

If some of my opinions don’t seem apropriate for this website since its

for the UK, and hasn’t been updated since the begining of last year, then

please tell me or ignore it if sounds unfair/not related to you. Thank you

very much for your time and effort in reading this. I hope feminism DOES

become significant and applied in life BUT with its current state, I cannot

support it due to its differences with the ideal ‘fair’ world. And a cliche

saying ‘ Life isn’t fair’ If you would like to read an article that is

opposing feminism, then here it is,

Its australian and NOT written by me, I have nothing to do with it but it

seems like it is written the same way that many other feminism articles

have been written like, One-Sided.

From Shirley Jackson

I am increasingly concerned about the disproportionate coverage of issues

by the media, in particularly with regards to those issues affecting women

and children in the family courts. I wish to raise the media profile with

regards to the often overlooked issues that these members of society have

to deal with on a day to day basis.

Fathers 4 Justice came with a flurry of media attention, albeit due to the

outrageous (and compromising) displays of egocentricism. Despite their

behaviour which incurred an amount criticism, the ‘upside’ (for them) was

that it raised the profile of issues around paternal contact with children.

Subsequently the effects have been felt in all arenas with regards to the

welfare of children, namely social services departments and the family

courts. These arenas are desperately trying to redress the alleged

imbalance of justice to fathers. This has further compromised women and

children, especially when there have been issues of domestic violence in

the family.

The law fails to protect women and children in the family courts. There

remains a presumption that contact is almost always in the best interests

of the child, despite there being little research in this area. This

presumption fails to acknowledge the real issues; where there has been a

history of domestic violence, the perpetrator will continue to abuse

contact as a way of exercising the power and control they once had in the

relationship. This statement is supported by research.

In circumstances when there has been reported issues of domestic violence,

and the mother has real fear around contact, these fears are ‘brushed

aside’ by the judiciary as being nothing more than being ‘implacably

hostile’ to contact. It is the right of every mother to protect her child

from harm. Indeed, when she fails to do so the authorities may take steps

to protect the child on the grounds of neglect. However, in private family

law, when a mother seeks to protect her child she risks her liberty as

increasingly the courts seek to enforce contact orders with penal notices

and ultimately imprisonment. The hidden truth is that women are being

imprisoned each year for nothing more than protecting their children when

the system fails them. This is done under the secrecy laws, supposedly to

protect the children. Scotland, however, hears family proceedings in an

open court. It seems there are no such issues around confidentiality there.

The outdated contempt laws effectively ‘gag’ the women from speaking out

about their experiences, ensuring that the general public do not learn of

the wide scale oppression of women.

We currently have a system whereby there is an unequal access to justice.

The pendulum has well and truly swung in favour of contact at all cost.

This has resulted in the injustice of women and children in their

thousands, under the guise of expert, professional opinion.

Incidentally, I was surprised to find there is a Mothers for Justice

campaign when researching this subject. There has been little or no media

coverage of the same. This leaves me to wonder whether this

disproportionate coverage in the media is grounded in the gender

inequalities that exist in our society, the media reflecting those views.

Or is it simply that mothers are far too busy meeting the needs of their

children to find the time to stage publicity hungry events such as climbing

the Houses of Parliament dressed as Wonder Woman?

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