Blogger Feministx popped over the other day to visit and leave a comment on SW’s “goody goody” post. I hadn’t read Feministx before, but she claims she “started my blog with the intention of focusing on feminist concerns, but lately I have taken to writing about the biological basis of human behavior.” Feministx invited Sciencewomen readers to come past her blog because
“I really need some women that are interested in science to come add to my blog. Lately, I have been writing about biological basis of behavior issues and most of my readership has become male. They tend to disagree with me most of the time. I would like a better balance of perspectives, so if this blog is going to [sic] light, come to my place!”
Sciencewomen commenter rb actually did visit her place, and left this comment:
not to stray off topic, but holy shit Feministx, I go to your site, hoping to see something interesting and what do I see….you being a frickin’ racist idiot with a post about how ugly aborigines are. wow…really great blog you have there. You state:
“I don’t like to be a racist, but are they really that hideous in general?
I don’t believe the women of any other race are categorically ugly, but I have to be honest here, they look borderline deformed. Like mothers of orks or something.”
I think I know who the hideous person is Feministx
Holy shit is right, actually. Feministx writes about Aboriginal women here where she contrasts a group of women with “an attractive one as well,” asking whether she (the “attractive” one) is “mixed.”
Lord. Those remarks don’t really show many feminist chops — although they could.
Feministx could have written about different standards of beauty and how they vary across the globe and across history, or how dark-skinned women (and men, and kids) have been socialized through Western white standards to think lighter skin is more attractive (and create massive industries that try to lighten skin, with dangerous results).
She could have written about the incredible poverty experienced by the Aborigines, and how that particularly affects Aboriginal women, and in fact, lower-case-A-aboriginal women from countries across the globe. Or about the domestic violence they and their children experience.
She could have written about endemic malnutrition experienced by indigenous and migrant people, particularly children, in poverty across the globe, or how governmental policies on farm subsidies reinforce poor eating habits because cheap calories are junk calories.
She could have written about how in recent memory Aboriginal families were ripped apart and kids were put in “Homes” to “civilize” them up until 1970 and how the Australian government only last year got around to apologizing.
Any of these topics could easily be considered a feminist topic. Power dynamics in families, the intersection of gender, race and class, abuse of women, obesity and body image, and standards of beauty are all standard topics in women’s studies classes.
But instead she takes one photo, even a group of photos, and has the temerity to call all Aboriginal women ugly, while calling herself a feminist? Sorry, but I call that bullshit. It does discredit to the word “feminist,” even considering that feminists consider themselves a pretty diverse bunch. The most basic part of the definition of “feminist” is considering gender as an analytical lens to work towards social change. I don’t see any hope for social change in this post.
Instead of spending her time looking for photos of women on Flickr, many of whom probably didn’t give their approval to the photographer to plaster their images across the internet, Feministx would do well to read up on some Australian history, on the colonizing of the continent, on existing power relations where gender and race intersect in Australia, rather than publish drivel on whether a group of women represent their entire ethnic group in terms of her limited definition of attractiveness.
I’m just sorry about the traffic this post may send her.
For christ’s sake.
I’m done now.