Recently in Feminism Category

Yogurt: What Else Could a Woman Possibly Need?

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I found this on Salon's Broadsheet--it's too good not to share. It's "'substitute for human experience' good," at least for "the class that wears gray hoodies," sporting the "'I have a master's but then I got married' look."


It's ALWAYS Her Fault

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I can't even comment on this story about a man who faced no charges or prosecution for killing his wife's lover, while she was tried and convicted for involuntary manslaughter, so I'll let columnist Jacquielynn Floyd and blogger Melissa McEwan do it instead, and provide this link to background on the case.

I will only add, that if the jury in Texas were to decide the Johnny Vegas business, I'm sure they'd figure out a way to make it all the fault of the woman he had hauled on stage. Don't punish the man with the gun or the power; punish the woman. At all costs, punish the woman.

Good god. Some British "comedian" has apparently... I don't know what to say. Go here and read about some piece of shit with the stage name Johnny Vegas who got up on a London stage last week, announced that he had no material, and so decided to have some woman from the audience carried on stage so that he could sexually assault her. Mary O'Hara, a writer for the Guardian, saw the "performance" and wrote a blog entry about all the ways in which it "crossed a line." And of course people come along in the comments and defend Vegas, and explain why it WAS funny AND entertainment to see a young woman assaulted and humiliated in front of an entire audience.

And then there's the nightmarish story of Josef Friztl, the Austrian who kept his daughter Elisabeth in the cellar for 24 YEARS, during which he repeatedly raped, beat and brutalized her, and father seven children by her.

OK, one was intended to be an evening of "comedy" where what really mattered was that the man doing the assaulting got off on it, while the woman being assaulted did not, so that eventually the assaulter wanted to be hidden from public view (he asked that the curtain go down so no one could see the end of his "act"); one was intended to be a way of life where what really mattered was that the man doing the assaulting got off on it, while the woman being assaulted did not, so that eventually the assaulter wanted everything hidden from public view.

Anyone seeing the connection here?

Feminists on Film

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Thanks to the media news digest I get every morning, I was able to spend several hours following the links detailing the sordid history of How Glamour Fired Nasty Male Blogger after its readers demanded the magazine do so. Turns out some self-proclaimed narcissistic asshole had a blogging gig at Glamour, which he used as a forum for writing about (among other things) running out on a woman after she made dinner for him because he assumed that some sort of small sore on her lip meant she had herpes, and how he then went to a Foo Fighters concert with her a week later, only to use it as an opportunity to feel up some other chick, and how being SUCH a jerk has been really emotionally HARD on him, especially since he forgot to the get the phone number of the anonymous chick at the concert.

The bile rose in my throat as I read about the events from the perspective of the woman who actually bought this creep a ticket to the concert. I'm glad to say that I've never dated anyone this awful, though I was sickened to realize that some of what the guy said echoed lines I heard from my evil ex Adam.... No. Won't go there. It's in the past. Anyway, after all his asshole-ry, this guy has the nerve to claim he's still the wronged one, that he would sue this crazy bitch, except she's crazy--really crazy, and he's afraid of her and for her--if he took legal action, she might hurt someone--even herself, and that would make him sad, because he's both an asshole and a guy with a big heart! As for the other details, well, Jezebel knows and analyzes the whole situation well enough that I don't feel obligated to attempt it myself.

What I really want to know is this: how did such an obvious douchebag and really crappy writer get this gig in the first place? OK, I discovered that part of it is that he used to screw the woman who started the blog at Glamour--it still has her name in the address. But didn't any of the editors read this guy's stuff? Didn't they pay attention to both the misogynist content and the dreadful prose? He treats women like shit, and then writes shitty little entries detailing it all. And for this he got paid? Like, not just with hair care products or a year's supply of Turtle Wax, but with real money, that stuff you can use to buy toilet paper, dog food, hot dog buns, bleach and a place to live?

It's all further proof that most fashion magazines are written and published by people who hate women and consider them stupid. If you don't believe me, check out Jezebel's wonderful column Cover Lies, which decodes the hyped-up teasers on the covers of magazines into the sorry, pathetic messages they really are.

Calling Rape What It Really Is

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In a recent entry, dizzybuzzkill wrote

When I watch 37 trailers to upcoming movies and don’t see a single one about a woman, I don’t immediately come up with “regurgitated” rhetoric that explains it, I feel it first. When I hear a CNN newscaster tell me about the sexual history of a rape victim, my heart beats fast and my tummy hurts.

My heart is still racing and my stomach is still churning with revulsion after reading an item on Broadsheet, Salon's blog for women, about

an online discussion forum called AutoAdmit that advertises itself as "the most prestigious college discussion board in the world." According to the Washington Post, this "prestigious" discussion board also included threatening, sexist, racist and homophobic comments -- including strings of online attacks against two female law students who found out from friends that AutoAdmit users, often writing anonymously, had posted messages that included photographs gleaned from social networking sites, comments about the students' physical appearances, slurs about their supposed sexual promiscuity, and rape threats.

Which is bad enough. But what really upset me was that the two women filing a lawsuit against AutoAdmit's users

named DOE I and DOE II [in the complaint] in an attempt to protect them from further harassment -- were subjected to statements like "Clearly she deserves to be raped so that her little fantasy world can be shattered by real life" and "I would like to hate-fuck [DOE I] but since people say she has herpes this might be a bad idea" (that second one was posted to a thread called "Which female YLS students would you sodomize?").

Hate-fuck.

Hate-fuck.

I've never heard the term before but I'm certainly familiar with the concept.

At least this is an acknowledgment of what rape really is. It's not overwhelming desire, it's not passionate attraction too strong to resist, it's not crossed signals or unclear communication.

It's hate-fucking. It's violence, it's cruelty, it's intended to terrorize, hurt, debase and humiliate women, and the men who engage in it like it for the ways it harms the women more than for the orgasms it provides the men.

I have to go throw up now.

The 47th Carnival of Feminists is up at Ornamenting Away from dizzybuzzkill. I got up this morning, started coffee, sat down to read. I heard the coffee maker produce this click it makes when it needs to cool down because it's been on for too long, looked up at the clock, and realize I'd been sitting for an hour without coffee, because the posts were too interesting to get up from. (The coffee is just decaf--I don't need any stimulants at all--but it's nice in the morning to have a cup of slightly sweet, fairly milky warm liquid, which is how I like my coffee.)

There is something to intrigue, inspire and inform every feminist. I'm not done reading, but so far my favorite post (and new blog) is on "the modern cad" from Feminist Fire.

When you're done reading all the posts, please scroll down past dizzy's blog roll and click on the link to her banner art, which takes you to the collages of Blondstrawberry, a totally awesome collage artist. I am lucky enough to own a collage by Blondstrawberry--if you click on the gallery page and get gallery one, you'll see two columns of thumbnail images, the top right of which is a woman looking down at something. Click on that if you want to see the collage I bought.... It's called "Sober Beacon" and it hangs in my living room. It's not huge--only 4"x6"--but it's very cool. I got it when Blondstrawberry was just starting to sell her stuff and it wasn't pricey--it cost more to have framed and matted than to buy it in the first place--but I think she's seen some significant success and realized what her stuff is actually worth, so you can't get it for next to nothing anymore. But if you like her stuff, I would definitely contact her about acquiring some.

Really Long Comment, In Which I Disavow the Cow Part

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So, I would be happy to live my life without anyone ever again bringing Ben Christensen to my attention, but as I continue to write about the damage done when gay men court and marry straight women (particularly in the context of Mormonism, with all its attendant ideas about what an ideal family should be like), and as he continues to be a gay man married to a straight woman and to find it hard to understand the patriarchal bent of our culture and his own privilege, that seems unlikely. In a recent post, I mention that his name kept turning up in google searches that led people to my blog; MoHoHawaii left a comment there providing a link to what Ben was writing that prompted people to do the specific search I was seeing. I wrote a long comment in response, longer than a lot of the entries I've posted lately, and thought about posting it as an entry of its own, but it seems better as a comment. If you're interested, click on the link and read it; if not, well, it's relegated to the comment section of the blog and you don't have to deal with it.

Narcissism and Misogyny

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A couple of years ago I encountered a totally bullshit argument for the preservation and even expansion of practices that maintained the patriarchal status quo and buttressed the power of men at the expense of the rights and full citizenship of women. As is standard for an argument so thoroughly by, for and to the patriarchs of the world, it not only advocated for greater rights for men, it absolutely ignored the cost of the whole thing to women--because after all, the general concerns of women are completely secondary in a major social question like whether or not uncloseted gay men should claim what they feel has traditionally been “the exclusive territory of straight men” and marry women in order to knock them up and just be regular dudes who gets to go to Mormon heaven. No, the issue of marriage between men and women isn’t a topic where a gay man needs to think about the general concerns of women in heteronormative relationships (despite the fact that he has a mom, a wife, five sisters and a daughter) while defending his right to claim the same privileges a straight dude gets; it’s a topic where what comes first are his rights as a MAN.

I think most people conversant in gender politics will agree that an argument like that isn’t just patriarchal, it’s misogynist. Which is what I called it, along with the guy who produced it. But turns out this guy didn’t like being called misogynist--with all those sisters and that young daughter, he knew it was BAD to admit to misogyny (though he still hasn’t figured out that it’s also uncool to enact misogyny). For the past year, I learned recently, he has been fretting over the topic, trying to figure out a way to clear himself of the charge. And finally, through intense intellectual struggle and self-reflection, he came up with one! Turns out he’s not a misogynist; he’s just a narcissist! That’s right! As he himself writes, “to be honest, I do all too often think of my needs before I think of [my wife’s]; but it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman and everything to do with the fact that she's not me.”

Once again, the guy’s inability to imagine just what his arguments reveal about him is breathtaking. What do you do with a statement that can be paraphrased, “I’m often really selfish and insensitive in my relationship with my wife, but it’s not because she’s a woman; it’s because I’m really just a jerk in general”? It’s not as if misogyny and narcissism are mutually exclusive, after all; the profound selfishness and self-importance involved in narcissism might make it much easier for a man to be indifferent to the well-being of women in general, to think that it’s OK to oppress women--or at least wait to empower them--if doing so makes things easier and more convenient for HIM, the one who’s REALLY IMPORTANT.

Now, I’m not going to argue that ALL men are narcissists, because I don’t think they are. I feel I know men who exhibit remarkable compassion and generosity. But I am going to argue that for men who don’t want to do the work of thinking about someone else’s needs simply because those needs are someone else’s and not their own, there are plenty of ways in which they’re allowed to think it’s their god-given right to be narcissists if they want to.

Sex, Misogyny, and My Blog Stats

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I am not religious about checking my site meter or my blog stats, particularly when I’m not blogging much, and lately I haven’t been. But I generally try to check them once a week or so, just because.

About a year ago I noticed that there was a lot of traffic to my blog from some site called Real Adult Sex. This totally freaked me out, for so many reasons. First of all, I figured it was a porn site, and I didn’t want to visit it, because (believe it or not) I’ve never consumed internet porn and sort of wanted to keep it that way, plus I have heard that a lot of porn sites infect your computer with all sorts of nasty spyware and so forth. Secondly, I couldn’t imagine why a site devoted to “real adult sex” would be linking to mine, because although I write a lot about sex, I write about things like how it sometimes sucks and how I used to be a prude (and sort of still am--hence the fact that I’ve never visited an internet porn site). I didn’t see why that would appeal to the readers of a site discussing real adult sex.

Then traffic from that site dropped off--though it didn’t go away completely--and I just quit worrying about it. Recently, however, it picked up again, and I thought, all right, I don’t care if it is a porn site; I have to know what’s going on. So I followed the links back.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Feminism category.

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