Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Emma Watson as purveyor of 21st-century feminist doctrine

Misogyny and sexism in the hipster blender.

Dear Hipster:

How about that Emma Watson? Her UN feminism speech impressed me. I’m a 28-year-old white male, working in the graphic design field. In my circle for friends, most of whom would I guess be called hipsters, gender inequality doesn’t appear to be much of a concern. In fact, it’s something I rarely consider. I haven’t observed any real-world examples of sexism in my own recent experience. I think I have an open mind about the politics of male-female gender disparity, but since it doesn’t seem to be a real problem in my world, I tend to wonder, has my generation “closed” the gender gap?

— Brandon, North Park

I snicker over ironic circumstances as much as the next hipster, and you have to admit that there are boatloads here. Emma Watson, successful actress and now UN spokesperson for gender equality, delivers a memorable speech designed to redirect discussion back toward the radical idea that women are people, who deserve to be treated as such.

What’s the message that many seem to take away?

“OMG Emma Watson is so hot!” or, “Ooooh, there’s a feminist I can ‘get behind.’”

Face, meet palm.

When it comes to sexism, we hipsters are over it. We believe in a modern world, where womanly women and manly men enjoy differentiated equality; a separate-but-equal world of sensitive lumberjacks and empowered princesses; a Mad Men-themed paradise of voluntary domestic bliss where women embrace traditional femininity from beyond the squashing reach of the conventional patriarchy. Call us post-feminism feminists who see the highly politicized debate of the mid-20th-century Old Guard as unnecessary, and, frankly, a bit uncool.

Maybe this means the gender gap is closed or closing in our corner.

Or, it could just be more hipster sexism.

Yup, that’s the misogynistic version of hipster racism, whereby it’s okay to go on hating women, as long as it’s done ironically. Think of that “Blurred Lines” music video and its message of, “LOL, women are ‘whores,’ right? Jk, jk.”

But, here’s the thing: Is that, strictly speaking, bad in the same way as old-school “women belong in the kitchen” sexism? A big part of Emma Watson’s argument is that ideas of feminism (which she defines as, “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”) are sullied by “man-hating,” “isolating,” and “unattractive” sentiments. Maybe the same ones that push hipsters away. It’s only with a mellower, more practical understanding of equality that we can arrive at same, by actions of solidarity between men and women. Watson’s speech tacitly questions the assumptions that behaviors treating women as women are wrong by virtue of their separating effect, that equality can only be achieved by forcing very different people into very similar boxes. Interestingly, many people understand feminism, and any other push for equality, in those terms.

In a sense, Watson proposes that men and women face different issues, and that the problem may not be with their differences — it’s in twisting those differences into something dark and spooky that hurts women and privileges men. On the surface, it appears that hipsters are finding ways to reaffirm the freedom for men and women to be different and equal, because we know that separate but equal doesn’t work.

So, while Emma Watson urges the world’s men and women to unite and stamp out gender inequality, there’s a chance, albeit a dubious one, that some inkling of just such a force is already at work among the hipsters of the 21st Century.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Encinitas, not a neighborhood but a kingdom

Bicyclists, roundabouts, low-income-housing, Swami's, who was Yogananda, sea bluffs, condos raffled, Moonlight Beach,
Next Article

All stars rotate around Polaris

Home planet for the obscure and irrelevant

Dear Hipster:

How about that Emma Watson? Her UN feminism speech impressed me. I’m a 28-year-old white male, working in the graphic design field. In my circle for friends, most of whom would I guess be called hipsters, gender inequality doesn’t appear to be much of a concern. In fact, it’s something I rarely consider. I haven’t observed any real-world examples of sexism in my own recent experience. I think I have an open mind about the politics of male-female gender disparity, but since it doesn’t seem to be a real problem in my world, I tend to wonder, has my generation “closed” the gender gap?

— Brandon, North Park

I snicker over ironic circumstances as much as the next hipster, and you have to admit that there are boatloads here. Emma Watson, successful actress and now UN spokesperson for gender equality, delivers a memorable speech designed to redirect discussion back toward the radical idea that women are people, who deserve to be treated as such.

What’s the message that many seem to take away?

“OMG Emma Watson is so hot!” or, “Ooooh, there’s a feminist I can ‘get behind.’”

Face, meet palm.

When it comes to sexism, we hipsters are over it. We believe in a modern world, where womanly women and manly men enjoy differentiated equality; a separate-but-equal world of sensitive lumberjacks and empowered princesses; a Mad Men-themed paradise of voluntary domestic bliss where women embrace traditional femininity from beyond the squashing reach of the conventional patriarchy. Call us post-feminism feminists who see the highly politicized debate of the mid-20th-century Old Guard as unnecessary, and, frankly, a bit uncool.

Maybe this means the gender gap is closed or closing in our corner.

Or, it could just be more hipster sexism.

Yup, that’s the misogynistic version of hipster racism, whereby it’s okay to go on hating women, as long as it’s done ironically. Think of that “Blurred Lines” music video and its message of, “LOL, women are ‘whores,’ right? Jk, jk.”

But, here’s the thing: Is that, strictly speaking, bad in the same way as old-school “women belong in the kitchen” sexism? A big part of Emma Watson’s argument is that ideas of feminism (which she defines as, “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”) are sullied by “man-hating,” “isolating,” and “unattractive” sentiments. Maybe the same ones that push hipsters away. It’s only with a mellower, more practical understanding of equality that we can arrive at same, by actions of solidarity between men and women. Watson’s speech tacitly questions the assumptions that behaviors treating women as women are wrong by virtue of their separating effect, that equality can only be achieved by forcing very different people into very similar boxes. Interestingly, many people understand feminism, and any other push for equality, in those terms.

In a sense, Watson proposes that men and women face different issues, and that the problem may not be with their differences — it’s in twisting those differences into something dark and spooky that hurts women and privileges men. On the surface, it appears that hipsters are finding ways to reaffirm the freedom for men and women to be different and equal, because we know that separate but equal doesn’t work.

So, while Emma Watson urges the world’s men and women to unite and stamp out gender inequality, there’s a chance, albeit a dubious one, that some inkling of just such a force is already at work among the hipsters of the 21st Century.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Forget bike lanes or sidewalks in rural San Diego County

Supervisors steer around anti-car measure
Next Article

The Truth: no better suited than Catherine Deneuve

Hers truly is an imitation of life.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close