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Timeline: 100 Years of Birth Control

Since Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger coined the term “birth control” in 1914, contraception has truly revolutionized women’s lives in the United States, and around the world. Brush up on your birth control history, and see just how far we’ve come in 100 years.

SEE THE HIRES VERSION HERE

Drugačna politika

"Vsi politiki so isti, samo zase jim gre," slišim pogosto in velikokrat se moram strinjati. Programi so si vse bolj podobni, usta pa polna zvenečih besed kot so solidarnost, enakost, napredek, trajnost. Žal se pri besedah pogosto tudi zaključi.

Težko je ločiti desnico od levice, zdi se da vsi drsijo nekam proti sredini. Za politiki ostajajo predvsem prazne obljube in sumljivi dogovori. Čisto nič presenetljivo ni, da politikom ne zaupamo več. Zdi se, da jim je več do oblasti in pomembnosti kot pa do ljudi. Žal se tudi tu levica pogosto ne loči od desnice.

So pa svetle izjeme, ki jih žal pogosto spregledamo. Morda zato, ker več naredijo, kot govorijo in kadar kaj povejo je kratko in jedrnato. Morda zato, ker ne uporabljajo praznih pomembno zvenečih besed in se ne tolčejo glasno po prsih vsakokrat, ko jim kaj uspe. Morda zato, ker o njih časopisi ne pišejo tako pogosto in ker njihova imena niso povezana s korupcijskimi ali spolnimi škandali. Ampak izjeme obstajajo in Mojca Kleva Kekuš je ena izmed njih.

Ne samo zato, ker je po prstih klofnila tiste velike ribe, ki utajujejo davke in tudi ne zato, ker se je borila za evropska sredstva, ki bodo zmanjšale razlike med revnimi in bogatimi v Sloveniji. Ampak predvsem zato, ker živi in ustvarja drugačno politiko.

Je ena redkih političark, ki se glasno in jasno zavzema za svoje vrednote in ki ji enakopravnost in solidarnost pomenita več kot volilni sogan, ki se ga poleg selfija vtakne na Facebook post. Še ko sva študirali je vedno naredila več kot je bilo treba, a kljub temu ostajala v ozadju. In če je ne bi poznala, bi jo verjetno tudi sama spregledala.

Je edina v evropskem parlamentu, ki pravice žensk in LGBTIQ aktivno podpira ves čas in ne le na dan žena, paradi ponosa ali pred volitvami. Ki solidarnost in trajnost živi in ne samo govori. Kot političarka in oseba je iskrena in zagnana. Predvsem pa v politiki ni zaradi oblasti in moči, ampak zato, ker bi rada drugačno družbo.

Z drugimi besedami, Mojca je tisto, kar bi vsi politiki morali biti, pa niso. Vendar ima politika svoja pravila in logiko, po kateri glasnejši in vplivnejši dobijo višja mesta na listi. Tako je Mojca pristala na neizvoljivem tretjem mestu, čeprav si s svojim delom dejanko zasluži prvo.

Ni mi v navadi, da bi stvari sprejemala za gotove in nespremenljive. Kot Mojca pa tudi jaz verjamem v drugačno politiko in rada bi, da me v Bruslju zastopa nekdo, ki svoje obljube drži in ki brez velikih besed naredi tisto, kar si je zadala. Zmagati s preferenčnimi glasovi je morda res težko, ni pa nemogoče. Samo obkrožiti je treba številko tri. Navsezadnje je čas, da se tudi Socialni Demokrati naučijo, da ima trdo delo prednost pred političnimi ambicijami. 

Čas je, da se v zadnjico brcne vse tiste, ki jih poganjajo lastni interesi in želja po pomembnosti. Da se pokaže sredinec gobezdačem in samo-oklicanim rešiteljem krize. Čas je, da se podpre tiste, ki so se s svojim delom izkazali in ga želijo nadaljevati. Če ne bomo podprli tistih nekaj izjem, ki obstajajo, nam ostanejo samo še tisti, v katere ne moremo niti verjeti niti zaupati.

Podari preferenčni glas Mojci Kleva Kekuš in 25.5.2014 obkroži številko 3 na listi Socialnih Demokratov. 

ZA drugačne politike.

You can see this ad at Brussels airport. It would probably go unnoticed if it wasn’t at the luggage pick up place, staring at you as you’re waiting for your bags. So I had to look at it. And more I looked at it, less it made sense.
The log line “Nice to see you” is accompanied by a photo of woman who is covering her eyes.
Sarcasm or mistake? In any case, I wonder what is the message they tried to bring across? Because it seems like what they’re really saying is: “We’ll pretend that you’re welcome and you make sure you stay out of our way.”
Not exactly what every visitor wants to hear….

You can see this ad at Brussels airport. It would probably go unnoticed if it wasn’t at the luggage pick up place, staring at you as you’re waiting for your bags. So I had to look at it. And more I looked at it, less it made sense.

The log line “Nice to see you” is accompanied by a photo of woman who is covering her eyes.

Sarcasm or mistake? In any case, I wonder what is the message they tried to bring across? Because it seems like what they’re really saying is: “We’ll pretend that you’re welcome and you make sure you stay out of our way.”

Not exactly what every visitor wants to hear….

Hello, who are you talking to?

Companies that make underwear for women need to stop speaking to men to sell their products.

I’m not trying to speak for all women but I can share how I experience most of the ads for underwear/lingerie that advertise products for women. What am I talking about? Ads like these:

image

What is the problem with these ads? They aren’t made for women. They are made for the pleasure of male gaze. These ads aren’t really talking to women but about them. They show how women should look like to be desired and liked by men. Something I already wrote about.

But this time I want to address the companies making underwear and paying for those commercials. Yes, that’s right. I mean you Victoria’s Secret, Prima Donna and all of you alike.

There are couple of things you need to be aware of: if you’re too lazy and shortsighted to find out and address the needs of your target audience, someone else will.

There’s some things you really need  to stop doing. And you need to stop doing them yesterday.

1. Addressing women like they are men: displaying sexy bodies and body parts (e.g. breasts, legs, bodies without faces) means talking to men. Those images are there to please mean and to show women what they need to wear to please men. This doesn’t mean that women don’t want to feel sexy. But there’s many ways how women like and want to feel desired and being sex objects isn’t among first 100 of them. So wake up and smell the 21st Century.

It might be good idea to apply principles of design thinking and invest some money into research about your target audience - namely women. It’s a tricky job because women aren’t homogenous group, but if you really want to reach them you have to do it. This means you will also need to get some women on board and include many more in your research. It’s a tough job but you might end up making a revolution and redefine how we perceive clothing.

2. Think usability! Expecting women to be impressed only by how underwear looks is not only short sided but also gravely oversimplified. Most people don’t buy things just because they are pretty. There’s other things that matter such as usability (yes, I’m still talking about underwear), fabric, maintenance, feel, life-span etc. It’s not all just about sizes and colors and it’s hard to find brands that promote the quality of their products through usability.

Many hopes and brands are killed by bra bones that end up stabbing you in the chest after two weeks and underpants that stretch, wash out or tear. If your product requires special care and hand-wash, then make this clear and visible. Though thinking UX might seem “less sexy” it’s very valuable to customers. Who likes throwing their money away with a bad product?

3. Guilting women into buying things

The oldest trick in marketing is guilting women into buying products so that they’d stop feeling guilty about who they are and who they are not. Never enough beautiful, caring or sexy but always only few steps away from the “right solution”.

Whole fashion and cosmetic industry depends on evoking the feeling of guilt. This is wrapped in a bunch of “advises” on how to become better lover, mother, daughter, wife, sister, cleaner, cook and what else not.

Part of this strategy involves offering identification points that are based on social expectations, recognition and acceptance. In case of lingerie ads the identification point is making oneself desirable enough for men to want you. The only social recognition one can get out of this is that of a sex object, object others desire.  So most of lingerie producers would mask their unoriginality, lack of  creativity and sexism behind the statement that they have to show half-naked women and female body parts to show their product. I guess soft-porn poses and lustful gazes are then just a part of it too?

How about doing something different and original and giving women credit of being humans with full potential, with their own lives, plans, hobbies and desires. And what’s more - how about finding out what those really are? You might be surprised to find out they are not all about looking sexy and impressing men. 

And how about giving women positive identification points that will make them fell good about who they are and how they look rather than feeding them with ideal body-shapes and sizes that will only make them hate their own?  Didn’t you hear that objectification of women has serious consequences?

So who is it again that you’re talking to?

Draga davčna uprava ali uporabniška izkušnja na nuli

Danes sem od DURS Celje poskusila pridobiti informacijo, ki sem se jo že večkrat brez uspeha trudila pridobiti po elektronski pošti. Ok, sem pomislila, so pač preveč zaposleni, da bi odgovorili na moja sporočila. Verjetno bom imela več sreče po telefonu. Well, think again.

Po dveh poskusih in neprestanem ponavljanju sporočila: “Vaš klic nam veliko pomeni, prosimo počakajte na prostega agenta  ali pristisnite na 0 in pustite sporočilo" sem postala nervozna. Če jim moj klic tako veliko pomeni zakaj hudiča sem že pol ure ne telefonu in še vedno nisem imela možnosti govoriti z živim človekom?

V tretje gre rado. Izberem drugo možnost, kjer dobim celo ime odgovorne osebe. Povprašam še za številko,  vendar mi povedo, da mi je ne morejo dati, ker te številke bojda niso več javne. Hm, okej, očitno sem preveč dobesedno vzela besedo javna uprava in naivno pričakovala, da bo dejansko dostopna javnosti.

Ampak nič ne de, bom pač poklicala na splošno številko in se vsaj končno dokopala do dotične odgovorne gospe, ki mi bo lahko odgovorila na vprašanje. 

Izkazalo se je, da je ta odgovorna oseba sicer danes bila v službi, vendar zdaj ni več. Kdaj bo prišla, mi nihče ni znal povedati. Ko sem prosila za naslov njene elektronske pošte, so mi povedali, da tega podatka žal nimajo.

Priznam, da sem zmedena. Kako naj človek pride do javnih uslužbencev, ko pa jih ni v službi med uradnimi urami in ni jasno, kdaj bodo prišli, njihove telefonske in naslovi pa so najbolj varovana skrivnost, da jih niti sodelavci ne smejo vedeti? Prosim, svetujte.

Cats against fascism

(via riotgrrrlberlin)

Marko Crnkovič o vseh, ki to niso

Že dolgo nisem prebrala kolumne, ki bi mi dala toliko misliti kot Crnkovičeve Šolske uniforme in vzgoja bodočih kravatarjev v sobotni prilogi 31.8.2013. Temu primerno svoje reakcije nisem mogla omejiti na bežen zamah roke ali kratek površinski komentar.

Crnkovič v kolumni zagovarja uvedno šolskih uniform, kar bogato podpre z neoliberalnimi argumenti, ki temeljijo na nerazumevanju revščine, družbene izključenosti in predvsem razmišljanja velike večine ostalih ljudi, ki niso Marko Crnkovič. Med branjem sem se večkrat vprašala kako je možno, da nekdo ki je očitno zelo inteligenten hkrati uspe obravnavati sodobne družbene pojave brez da jih umesti v družbo in brez da upošteva razlike med družbenimi razredi in spoli.

Crnkovič svoje razmišljanje začne z ugibanjem o ženskem kodeksu oblačenja na plažah. Razočarano ugotovi, da je danes veliko manj topless žensk kot včasih. Ugotovitev pripiše domnevnem puritanizmu: “Danes pa se seveda delamo - no, delajo - spodobne.”

Kot heteroseksualen belopolt moški srednjega razreda Marko Crnkovič ni tarča seksizma, niti se vanj ne poglavlja. Zato, predvidevam, težko razume kaj pomeni biti topless ženska na plaži v današnji s seksom in ženskim telesom obsedeni družbi. Gola  in razgaljena ženska telesa so povsod, od reklam za zavarovalnico do reklam za ročne ure. Da ne bo pomote, ne zato, ker se seks prodaja (ker potem bi bila povsod tudi moška telesa), ampak zato, da zadovolji moški pogled.  

Če topless trend res upada in Crnkoviča res zanima čemu je tako, gre za mnenje vprašati predvsem kako žensko ali celo več njih. Ne morem pa se znebiti občutka, da Crnkoviča v resnici ne skrbi ženska emancipacija, saj nam v svoji kolumni postreže s celo vrsto mizoginih argumentov. Videti je, da ga veliko bolj skrbi pomanjkanje topless ženskih teles, ki bi jih lahko gledal na plaži.

Ni skrivnost, da žensko sončenja zgoraj brez skoraj vedno povzroči buljenja (strejt) moških vseh starosti, ki se odkrito naslajajo nad tvojo “emancipacijo”, te nadlegujejo, ogovarjajo in se do tebe obnašajo kakor, da bi jim morala biti hvaležna, ker ti namenjajo tolikšno pozornost in ne kakor da te v resnici spolno nadlegujejo. V vsakem primeru vedenje, ki je svetlobna leta daleč od kakršne koli osvobojenosti, sproščenosti ali spoštovanja do žensk.

Nadalje Crnkovič sklene, da čeprav se ženske na plaži delamo spodobne, oblačimo majhne deklice v dvojne kopalke, z modrčkom:  ”Ta stare se delajo fine, iz ta malih pa delajo same Lolite.” Tudi sama sem se večkrat začudila, ko sem opazila tri in štiri letnice z modrčkom. Sodeč po slikah mojih staršev sem v teh letih naga tekala po plaži. Gre res za arbitrarno odločitev staršev oz. mam, kot namiguje Crnkovič, ali se je spremenilo še kaj drugega? 

Strinjam se, da je erotizacija deklic problem, o katerem je potrebno razmišljati in pisati. Stvari pa vseeno niso tako zelo preproste, da bi lahko krivdo enostavno zvalili na matere (kje so parnerji oz. partnerke?), brez da bi ob tem upoštevali širše družbeno in politično dogajanje.

Že bežen vpogled v igrače in oglase za deklice nam pove, da se je seksualizacija žensk premaknila v zelo zgodnja leta. Otroški izdelki in igrače zdaj vsebujejo tudi make up pribor, reklame, spoti in mediji (in še kaj drugega) pa nad deklicami izvajajo velik pritisk, da se čim prej spremenijo v ženske. Sodobni ženski idoli, ki jih popularna kultura veselo producira in vzpodbuja, k temu seveda pripomorejo. Zato se tri oz. štiriletne deklice jokajo zaradi ljubezni do Justina Bieberja ali pa pojejo o slabi romanci oblečene kot Lady Gaga.

Danšnja družba v deklicah vzbujajo in vzpodbuja željo, da čimprej prehitro odrastejo. Da se lišpajo, igrajo z dojenčki in so podobne mami. Da začnejo ugajati moškim. Pod pritiskom so tudi starši, vzpodbuja pa ga še industrija. Prej ko bodo začele uporabljati kozmetiko in "ženske" izdelke, prej bodo pridno vzgojene potrošnice, ki bodo kupovale, kar jim družba pravi in se obnašale tako, kot drugi (večinoma moški, ki vodijo velika podjetja in revije) pričakujejo, da naj bi se obnašale, če želijo biti v družbi prepoznane in spoštovane kot ženske.

V Bruslju, kjer živim, lahko že na daleč vidiš katerega spola je dojenček. Deklice bodo zagotovo v roza ali vijolični barvi z “dekliškimi” okraski na vozičku. Pa ne zato, ker bi se starši tako zelo zagreli za roza ali modro barvo, ampak zato, ker veliko izbire v barvah za dojenčke ni, še posebej pa ne ob omejenih finančnih sredstvih.  Našteti primeri pa so le kapljica v morju patriarhalnega sistema, ki ženskam zapoveduje kako se naj oblačijo, obnašajo, govorijo in s kom naj spijo, kdaj in kako pogosto.

Vse to uvodno razmišljanje o ženski goloti, erotizaciji deklic Crnkovič nastavi kot uvod za zagovarjanje šolskih uniform. Njegov glavni argument je, da je uvedba šolskih uniform dobra, ker briše razlike med učenci, ki se zaradi tega lažje osredotočijo na učenje.

Tej argumentaciji manjka vsaj dvoje:

  • razumevanje vzrokov in posledic razlik v družbi,
  • razumevanje, da izobraževanje ne more delovati v vakuumu ali izven družbe.

"Kljub temu pa obstaja dejstvo: kakšnekoli že so, zunanjih razlik ni primerno izpostavljati prav v šolah. Šola ni prostor za izpostavljanje razlik in kakršnekoli izvirnosti na nivoju zunanjega izgleda, temveč kvečjemu znanja, sposobnosti in pameti."

Šola in izobraževanje, kot ju razumem, sta del družbe zato delujeta v njej in v njeno korist. Oz. naj bi. Da v družbi obstajajo razlike, je jasno in očitno. Da so te razlike posledice družbene neenakosti, ravno tako. Da se ta družbena neenakost odraža v načinu oblačenja, govorjenja, prehranjevanja, je dejstvo, tako očitno in pred nosom, da ga še vedno ne vidimo.

Da bi zavoljo znanja prikrili to družbeno neenakost in ukinili pravico staršev, da svoje otroke oblačijo primerno svojem mnenju, okusu in finančnim sposobnostim, je absurd. Kako bi otrokom koristilo zakrivanje družbene raznolikosti in barvitosti in kakšno sporočilo bi jim s tem poslali? Ne bom trdila, da sem strokovnjakinja za izobraževalni sistem. Mi je pa skoraj 15 let trenerstva v neformalnem izobraževnanju ter dela z otroki in mladimi dalo dovolj izkušenj, da vem, da “lahkost” oz. uspešnost učenja ne zavisi od oblačil, ravno tako oblačila ne vplivajo nakreativnost, niti inovativnost, niti pripravljenost ljudi na učenje.

Crnkovič se je precej arogantno in samovšečno obregnil tudi ob “modno osveščenost” staršev:

"Staršem in njihovim napol samostojnim potomcem bi bilo treba glede na njihovo modno neozaveščenost odvzeti pravico do samostojnega oblačenja za šolo in na tem nivoju onemogočiti vsakršne poskuse izpostavljanja individualne miselnosti." 

Po avtorjevo naj starši torej ne bi več smeli oblačiti svojih otrok, ker žalijo Crnkovičev občutek za estetiko. Vsekakor stavek, ki razkrije več o avtorjevem sprejemanju in razumevanju družbene raznolikosti kot pa o družbeni raznolikosti sami. Crnkovič nazadnje zaključi, da so slabe modne navade staršev posledica feminizacije in infantilizacije družbe. Poleg ugibanja, od kje podlaga za takšno sklepanje in kaj Crnkovič misli s feminizacijo družbe, mi je po branju kolumne ostalo predvsem veliko neodgovorjenih vprašanj.

Kako lahko Crnkovič ob zdravi meri radovednosti, ki mu je manjka, velike teme obravnava tako površinsko, kakor da bi pisal o svoji najljubši barvi? In zakaj se potem takšna površna razmišljanja, ki žalijo  in obsojajo ženske, revne, delavski razred, starše in še koga, natisnejo v prilogi enega najbolj uglednih slovenskih časopisov?

Morda nanje nikoli ne bom dobila odgovorov. Si bom pa vzela pravico predlagati ustreznejši naslov Crnkovičeve kolumne: Marko Crnkovič o vseh, ki to niso.

So, let’s make few things clear that rather sloppy reading of my post maybe didn’t clarify enough. I guess Talking fedora was too busy writing the answer to be able to properly read what I actually wrote. So here’s some help:

1. I didn’t claim that men who don’t like feminism don’t want to understand it. But that there’s two types of men who talked to me about feminism. And yes, most of them didn’t really want to understand it but convince me I’m wrong.

2. There is a dialogue and there is a “discussion” where one person doesn’t get to talk while the other is aggressively convincing him/her of how wrong he/she is. It’s completely fair and reasonable that I chose not to engage with the other one. After all, it’s my time, my life.

3. I didn’t talk about men who say feminists are often misandric. But about men who accuse you of using misandry when you’re talking about female oppression. Which is clearly not the case. 

4. In fact no, 99% of men I argued with didn’t have any statistics to back up on. One of them used as an argument an article with no data.

And the last sentence is my point exactly. There’s no need for people ,who genuinely dislike feminist movement, to discuss feminism under false pretense of being interested when all they are really interested is directing all their anger to you and convincing you how bad feminism is for you and the others. Thanks, but no thanks. 

Feminism: arguing with the men who don’t get it

I’ve met my share of men who claim they want to discuss feminism (see PS. below the post). About 5% of them really want to discuss. The other 95% mostly want to convince you you’re wrong without taking serious consideration of what you are saying.
The main difference between the first and the second is that the first don’t get it, but are interested, while the second one don’t want to get it. It’s rather easy to distinguish between them after few initial sentences. 

With the those, genuinely interested, you can discuss without being attacked for what you think, you can ask and answer stupid questions without having to defend your position. It doesn’t mean the discussion isn’t challenging but if it gets personal it’s usually enriching, not threatening.

It’s about dialogue, exchanging opinions, however different they are, about listening what the other has said, reflecting and responding. This kind of discussion is based on respect of the other person and his/her* values.

But then there are the other, more common kind of men who engage into discussions about feminism. They wouldn’t listen and respond but pick up selected lines, aggressively throw them at you, responding to what you said only if they can somehow twist your words to prove their point.

They are not interested in discussing feminism or reflecting upon gender roles. They will use their male privilege and domination techniques to stuff their opinions down your throat without taking seriously into account what you’ve said. 

What they’re really after, whether consciously or not, is not discussion. It’s convincing you that you’re wrong. That there’s no such thing as oppression of women and if anyone it’s the men who are really oppressed. That feminism is all about misandry and pornified society is a sign of sexual liberation and not patriarchic oppression of women.

They will base this argument on nothing else but thin air, maybe their cousin’s story, laugh away any statistics or data you will present and label them as fault. Needless to say, most of them are straight, white middle class men who use sexist language and behavior but never reflect upon it. They instead, call you sexist as soon as you mention anything that is “female only”.

The more I discussed feminism with men, the easier it became to distinguish between those who don’t get it and those who really don’t want to get it. And the more time I can spend having insightful discussions with those, who understand and practice dialogue. Our opinions might stay the same as they were but we get new insights.

So how to argue with the men who don’t want to get it? My advice would be don’t. It’s a waste of energy and you’ll be better off spending that time doing something anything else, including nothing.

*******

PS. To avoid misunderstandings. There are of course many men who get exactly what feminism is all about. I didn’t want to imply they don’t exist at all. The blog post, however, talks about those, who don’t get it.

sexistradar:

We’ve already written about sexism in politics and it’s double standards when it comes to judging women and men. This article exposes one of the most commonly used domination techniques: ridiculing. This technique uses humour to dominate and discredit women through humiliation. It is very wide spread, in politics and beyond.

Women and femininity are used as a butt of the joke to make women feel unimportant, powerless and subordinate. Furthermore, when protesting against such sexist behaviour, women are often accused of having no sense of humour. The important question to ask in such situations is: who is laughing and at what exactly.

Another technique used here is called double standards: women in politics are judged either for being to feminine or for being to masculine. It’s “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” rule all over again.