Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Somebody's Sister"

There are many things I like about Feministing, but I think the thing I'm really appreciating the most is the new "community" Feministing. An interactive feature, it allows users to blog themselves -to highlight issues they see in their lives. Some of them aren't as well written as others, but there are a lot with good ideas and more than a few gems; ones that make me rethink my own complacency. This one, entitled "That's somebody's sister", is one of those gems. As sad as it is, before reading this piece I had never stopped to consider the phrase before, how that "someone" is often male and how the possessive quality of the phrasing eliminates treating a woman well for the woman's sake and instead makes it about treating the woman well for someone else's sake. The end note is one that should be repeated often:
Ultimately, misogyny, sexism, discrimination, harassment, rape, and domestic violence aren’t bad because of what the female victims’ brothers will feel. They are bad because the woman , a person in her own right, is being hurt. And until this starts being the frame around which people, even men trying to appeal to misogynists, argue for equality, equality will not be achieved.
Genevieve PlusCourageuse deserves much applause for highlighting and emphasizing a prevalent theme in society, and an accepted one. She deserves kudos for bringing attention to an issue I have previously mindlessly accepted. And we all deserve this phrase -and the behavior that elicits it- to be stricken from society.


jjfs85 said...


A coworker of mine posted this on Screenrant (Bruce Simmons). I thought you'd be interested.


petpluto said...

Ha! Thanks, JJ! I would totally read a Joss Whedon Batman comic.

Jess said...

I don't know that I necessarily agree with this. There comes a certain point in time when theory meets the real world, and theory loses. While saying "That's somebody's sister" doesn't allow the woman to stand alone from all other people, particularly males, I think it is a more pragmatic and practical solution than saying nothing at all, and I think it does truly make some people think and possibly change their behaviors.

petpluto said...

I definitely agree in practice, but it is increasingly frustrating that such a concession even ever has to be made, which is what I think the point of the original post is. That we should be raising kids who don't have to think "what if this was my sister or my buddy's sister" and can just think "this is a person". Because let me tell you, being someone's sister (or daughter) doesn't make me any more valuable.

petpluto said...

The Thrift Store has a post going down relating to this same topic: