Suzanne Franks gets something right

For those who weren’t here for Femi-crazy Invasion 2010 here at FTSOS, Suzanne Franks is one of those caricatures of feminists that really has no place in rational discussion. Hell, she demands people refer to her as “Zuska”, and should one refuse to delve into her weird Internet fantasy game, she’s liable to start throwing down some bans (or call you sexist: whatever works at the moment to get her whiny way).

She’s a forgettable character in the blogosphere, but I am still getting hits from her post all about me; I admit I clicked around a little recently. And one of the things I clicked was this post. It’s all about this image.

For Franks, there is no distinction between this image and the one in her post about CNN. She believes that virtually all images of the female body are sexist. The basis seems to be that since men tend to dominate and run things, pictures of women are only meant for the sake of objectification (except maybe face shots). In reality, this is just a ridiculous tool Franks and her friends use so they can whine that everything is sexist. And there’s no practical way that sexism can ever go away under this mis-definition. In essence, Franks should be pointing out nearly every picture of a woman under her caricature philosophy. The fact that she focuses on particular images belies what she probably actually recognizes – not all images are sexist.

In the image in question here, yes, it is actually sexist. Lindsey Vonn’s body is specifically being viewed at the expense of her other talents. One sports writer disagrees and it’s here that Franks takes out her frustrations and anger.

Silly ladeez! Chris Chase mansplains why you are WRONG!!!! (Though I note, alas, poor Chris is unable to actually directly link to the womentalksports.com post he is mansplaining.)

Because the ladybranes are tiny, I am here to help. I am going to translate Chris’s mansplaining post into a more direct communication that really gets the message across, so that even the teeniest tiniest ladybraned ladeez out there will understand what is meant. Chase’s original text is in boldface. Here we go!

She goes on and on from there, inserting some imaginary conversation she’s having in her head. This is where Franks is generally wrong. All she’s showing anyone (except her faithful in-group commenters) is that there are certain things that might please her if any reasonable man actually said them. She seems to have this sort of desire to hear a man say “but Vonn’s cover is awesome because, while she is posed in a classic come-hither-and-fuck-me-hard-you-know-you-wanna stance…” just so she can validate her philosophy in her head. If a man actually says it, then I’m right! Until then, I’ll just pretend really, really hard that men actually think this way.

One final, bit of a non-sequitur point on the term “mansplaining”. In the past Franks has tried to define the term, claiming that it isn’t just the act of explaining while male. Instead, it’s giving a condescending explanation to someone who does not need one. This is a lie because within that definition is the qualifier that it’s really a man explaining something to a woman, but that can be ignored for a moment because Franks and friends also point out that women can be guilty of “mansplaining”. Of course, they’d never be able to give any examples, but I can take this at face value. Let’s say, sure, anyone can mansplain. But then wherein lies the intrinsic masculinity? If anyone can do it, then there are two options. Either there is nothing inherently masculine about condescending explanation or Franks and friends are grouping the majority of men together as if there is something inherently wrong with how men behave. This is itself sexist since it is discriminating against one sex based upon an unfounded stereotype. (And here I use “sexist” correctly, i.e., discrimination based upon sex, not the doltish ‘it’s just discrimination of women’ definition caricature feminists have to offer.)

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