Blogger is shocked that women are treated as objects

wait, no. I’m not shocked at all.

If you are naked at all, and a woman, it is only for the purpose of sex and men.

so many commenters on this Even the title of article lets us know that, silly women, don’t you know breasts are for men?

I doubt the women were “shocked” that men wanted watch them. They were making a point. Women cannot safely walk down the streets with the same rights as a man.

on woman say “We should be able to walk down the street and not have this many men taking pictures of us.”

I agree. Commenters of course say, “be realistic.” It is comepletely unrealistic to hope for equality. maybe it is, but I think that is too fatalistic. They are also accused of being “hypocritical biotches” because they are only doing it to get attention! (those slutty slut sluts).

It is not right that women may get naked for men. That his is acceptable and the only way for women to get naked. Why are we not allowed to be naked for ourselves? because it is hot? because we don’t like tan lines? because at that moment my shirt is tugging all weird like and the tag is itching me and I want to take it off?

but that’s right. either we are wrongfully distributing the property of one man, or we are now the property of all men. Yeah. I know, this isn’t shocking either. what’s it called again when men feel complete entitlement to women’s bodies? oh yeah… RAPE CULTURE

headdesk.

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in which my dad is not completely fail.

my dad just got a new bass player for his band, which was a bunch of dudes. Now it is a bunch of dudes, and a woman. which is sometimes an untenable position. She is also trans*. I don’t know which ending to that word or if trans alone is her preference when she feels the need to discuss that part of her life.

anyway. I barely said hello to the band all night. I went to watch TV with my mom. I went to go get a piece of cake from the freezer (on the other side of were they were practicing), and noticed that almost everyone had left except for one guy. as I was passing by with my newly acquired cake, I hear the band mate say something out of earshot. My dad, in a moment of win, replies “she, SHE , it’s not easy for me either , but I’ll get used to it. it is important to respect peoples preferences”

It is not complete automatic acceptance, but it is good faith and respectful of the pronouns she prefers. not only that, it is standing up to someone who is not respecting the pronouns she prefers. (I would add identities not preferences is preferable, but it was such a leap forward I hate to diminish the achievement)

Of course I only categorize the evening as “not completely fail” because of an exchange after the last band member finally left.

I wanted to provide positive reinforcement so I thanked my father for correcting his band mate. and he said something like “I wasn’t sure how the band would react, but most of them feel like me, as long as it can play, then whatever”

I cringed! I might have literally done a facepalm. I informed my father that no one likes to be referred to as “it”. He explained that he wanted to say something gender neutral, to express the views of the band. I understand his intent and all, and I understand how annoying it is that there is not a generally accepted gender neutral tone (not one accepted enough so I can use it in a scholarly paper or anything like that) but, FACEPALM I say. So I informed him of zie and hir. so that was a bit fail. but not completely. My dad is respecting an individuals identity and wishes, even though they are foreign to him. so it is a step.

Ironically I was discussing various identities with my mother a few days prior (gender identities, sexual identities and polyamorous vs monogamous). I was saying that all of these were on a spectrum, and had to inform her of the Kinsey Scale to talk about the others having a continuous scale like that. (though I didn’t bring up asexuality) . My mother’s response was, “well, I’m not likely to meet any of those people, so I don’t need to know about this stuff.”

Granted she hardly ever meets anyone since she is introverted and mostly retired, so she can do what she likes. But she teaches a yoga class. you don’t know who in your class identifies as what. “those people” are everywhere!!!

It is privileged attitude that “they” exist somewhere else away from “us”. I was getting frustrated with the conversation because I was trying to “gently” explain the consequences of our various privileges. She understands the “I don’t get targeted for violence” part of privilege, but not much beyond that. It was getting really frustrating trying to explain that we need more positive lgbtqi characters in mainstream stories. she kept saying that “they” already have some gay films, so they should be happy with that. (headdesk).

So I gave up. I was about to get upset, and it would not have done any good.

party in consent culture

I usually don’t drink because I’m afraid. I mean, I don’t consciously think, “I’m uncomfortable with this situation.” But last night I went to a party where I did feel 100% safe. It is only when I juxtapose this to other parties that I realized something was wrong.

Even around my nudist friends, I would not get drunk and naked. I was at a (clothed) party with the nudist crowed, and Rich started hitting on me as soon as he found out I did a shot of tequila. Um…. yeah…. (I use his name because I do not protect the identities of would-be rapists who think they just need a girl with beer goggles to get laid, and don’t consider that to have consent neither party’s judgment can be impaired)

But last night was amazing. I’d known some of the people for a decade. Others were new to me, but they were all screened by my friends. And they were all open and honest about sex and relationships, and lots of them had slept with at least one of my friends. (so not only personality screened, but personality in bed screened) My friends would not sleep with people who did not communicate with all their partners. They wouldn’t sleep with someone who used sex to control and gain power.

It was consent culture. I got really drunk for the first time in many many months. I was talking to this guy about everything under the sun. but I had no fears drunk and chatting. It was safe. When I mentioned I was feeling a little too drunk I handed him my drink. He brought me some water. I started to feel better so we bee-lined to the hot tub. Because of our influence the hot tub quickly became a nude space.

I was sitting in a hot tub in mixed company, naked and drunk. It was just hanging out. It wasn’t sexual towards me. There was sex at the party, there were lots of people who sleep with each other at the party. No one grabbed my ass even in jest.

But can you imagine the court case if I was assaulted in that context? she was drunk, why would you be naked if you didn’t intend to have sex? she regularly hangs out naked with old men that she has hugged! She has had sex more than once before! And she was at least a decade younger than all the other people at the party at a big house! She must have been LOOKING for a rich man or something!

I was drunk so I went to bed there, as many people did. I was half naked in one of the guest rooms (they have a Gi-normous house). But I have no doubt that if passed out completely naked on a couch or bed that I would have been perfectly safe. imagine doing that at a frat party.

It is so wonderful that that house is a pocket of consent culture in a wasteland.

It is fucked up that personal safety is remarkable. But I’m glad it exists at all.

This is what a feminist looks like, and it isn’t like me at all

****transcript to come later. sorry******

Something has always irked me about the shirts and buttons that read “this is what a feminist look like”. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now I think I get it.

The subtext is that what you think feminists look like is wrong. We’re not ugly and hairy!

Um…………..

(yes the ellipses needed to be extended that much.)

In advertising campaigns like the one above and other places on teh interweb, the womyn stating “this is what a feminist looks like” are mostly thin, usually white (especially if they have a greater speaking role), able-bodied, almost always make-up wearing, with legs shaved (if they are shown), or showing embarrassment at not having their legs currently shaved. The men that are claiming the label don’t have such stringent beauty requirements.

One make-up-ed womyn has pink hair! how alternative! they are throwing me a bone. How “individualistic”.

It reifies the gender normative world we live in. One man even says “I’m a feminist, though I do like to wear a lot of make-up.” LOLZ! Isn’t that hilarious! Its funny because men and feminists aren’t supposed to wear make-up! see it’s a joke, because he is a REAL man who doesn’t do that girly thing.

It doesn’t only leave me out, but it is the epitome of liberalism. It is saying:

Yes we are feminists, but look we’re still pretty! We don’t go TOO far. We’re not like those crazy hairy legged butch girls that don’t take the time to pretty themselves up. Those people are the radicals and can be safely ignored while faux-feminist men can pretend to agree with us because we are still fuckable, and are even really great in bed.

and the men who are “feminist” don’t have to have their masculinity challenged. They are still REAL men!

Does anyone else get that sense? I may be exaggerating for effect, but I think that is what bothers me. I don’t want to discourage womyn who are currently performing femininity from being feminists. But at the same time I think that focusing on the “look” of such people (and trying to show that that “look” falls within accepted cultural norms) is counter productive. Shouldn’t we be focusing on their views of female oppression and their personhood instead of how feminists “look”?

I understand wanting to reach out to people who are afraid of the “f-word”. But diluting the movement can have the the same effect as it being co-opted. Eventually you might even get a person who is anti-choice and makes women pay for their own rape kits calling herself a feminist.

Wait. that already happened? Oh.

thoughts on the hand-up vs hand-out dichotomy

I was reading Guerrilla Mama Medicine and saw this beautiful peice of writing.

I wanted to make a new blog post instead of comment because my train of thought inspired by this is off topic.

First, I agree that womyn are more likely to share with their children, or share knowledge with a community. And I think it is wonderful that womyn do this. I also think this dichotomy is set up by patriarchal structures. Womyn are expected to care for their children and be nurturing, helpful, to cook, to clean, to take care of you when you’re are sick. Men do manly things like shoot stuff and work and come home for a nice meal prepared by their (implied ownership) wife. Here is an instance where womyn needn’t try to act or become “equal” to men in action, but where we should find a way to create community where everyone cares for each other. A situation where men should “condescend” to the female level.

The other, more off topic, thing I wanted to discuss is the whole idea behind the original phrase. ” give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” The use of this phrase is problematic. People refuse to give hand-outs because it doesn’t solve the problem. But then they never follow up and teach people how to take care of themselves. (patronizing I know, I’ll get to that.)

This is because people have internalized the dichotomy. The view the statement as an exclusive OR. You can only get a hand out, or only a hand up, not both. Only one of these actions is good, so the other must be bad.

The “good” one is steeped in the idea that people can pick themselves up by their bootstraps and have a great life if only they knew this one piece of knowledge. If they can’t live “successfully” (as defined by current societal standards) after that then we can blame them for their own situation! This doesn’t really work well. knowing a piece of knowledge may remove one obstacle but there may be many others which may not be overcome with any amount of pulling yourself up. Structural inequality is a real thing in the real world.

I think the original intent of the phrase was intended to get people to do MORE to help build productive communities. You should take time to teach this man to fish so he can have a better life, give people real tools to help themselves. Yes, this is condescending. What we should do is, when someone is interested in learning something, help them gain that information because education should be freely given to everyone, not just the privileged.

The thing is, people are lazy. People are busy. People need to rush off to do that important thing. People need to get to a ball game, or catch their favorite show on TV. People don’t want to spend that time. And they KNOW that hand-outs are bad. That is the only option when “hand-ups” are good. So they rationalize doing nothing.

Some people work 2 jobs just to get by, some people work 16 hours and and are exhausted and need to sleep. All of their money goes to rent and food for themselves and their families. These people may not have the resources to help out. But we need to be honest with ourselves about which category we are in.

I am a student. I am trying to complete a PhD. I’m dealing with trying to control my Bi-polar II disorder. I do not have the time or emotional resources to make a lasting difference in people’s lives by teaching them the knowledge that they want to learn. I don’t even think I have the knowledge myself. But I do have the time once a week to help cook food, and possibly even provide a little money to help toward the purchase of ingredients. I can give people a meal. maybe only once a week. but I can give people food and nourishment.

If you do not have the financial, time, and/or emotional resources to teach people, you can make one day easier. If people do not have access to overcome structural inequalities, you can still make one day easier.

If there is a need you can fill, fill it. Short term solutions are not a reason to stop fighting for true freedom from oppression. Fighting for freedom from oppression is not a reason to deride all short term solutions.

But teaching people to pick themselves up by their bootstraps is not a real solution. It doesn’t come near to addressing the problem. The problem is a power structure that creates situations where people must go without, where people are left hungry and forgotten. No amount of bootstrapping will solve this. We must not let these short term solutions stop us fighting for true freedom from oppression for all.

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  

its not just straight men who hate you

I just unsubcribed from reading Box Turtle Bulletin

It has been MONTHS since Carrie Prejean made her comments on the Miss USA stage, or whatever it was.  Can we please get over it?  She’s no longer Miss CA.  So WHO cares?  When she makes more comments we can talk about how those comments are innapropriate, hurtful etc.  I have not problem with that.

But I am SICK of the slut shaming mysogynistc bull shit that is the Glbt movement.  A bunch of men sitting around talking and blogging about what a slut she is.  She has sex tape.  I understand that it is seemingly hypocritical.  And drawing up her logical inconsistancies may be appropriate.  but really, you don’t have to be so fucking mysogynistic when you do it.

Like say with the blog title “Carrie Prejean even sluttier than you thought”.

And then the half hearted apology today really pushed me over the edge.  Apparently Ms Prejean tried to distance herself from the video.  First calling it disgusting and claiming it wasn’t her. so BTB idea of an apology is to use her words to slut shame her instead of their own.

Now I certainly can’t speak for all of our readers, but if this video showed what I think it showed, then I am sure that there are a number of the fellas that would agree with Carrie that, “Ewwww, that’s disgusting.”

Commenters guess that she is on her menses when the video was made. apparently womyn’s bodies are disgusting when they are doing something perfectly natural (and dare I say lubricating). Yeah. slut shaming with a side of self loathing for your bodies natural processes.

I use a diva cup, i get personal with my menses. FUCK YOU. my period is part of who I am. If you hate menstruation you hate women.

I don’t know if that was the authors interpretation. I have to stretch my imagination for sexual things that are “disgusting”. I’m sure there are plenty but not many that I think would be on this video.

I really hate it when people fighting for a cause i believe in use such misogyny. It means I have to spend my time defending people that I would just spend my time disagreeing with.

This is not the first incidence that Box Turtle Bulletin has done this. this is not my first experience with misogyny in the movement. I’m just done. If they legalize lesbian marriage and not Gay male marriage, don’t expect me to help you out. I’m so sick of this.

except I will help. because I believe in standing up against injustice, even if it means coming to the defense of people who have hurt me. I left one last comment there so that they at least can’t claim ignorance of their actions when this happens again.

HEAD meet DESK

"Pirates are better than black people"

"Pirates are better than black people"

so apparently there is a guy out there that wants to turn his house into a pirate ship.  AWESOME!  so he created a facebook group to show his live in girl friend that people support this noble goal.  I’m with this.  So I joined.

I then take a peak at the discussion page, which , I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he doesn’t moderate it.  Yeah.  if the picture is not showing up properly, the fourth discussion topic on the list is “Pirates are so much better than black people.” UM  HEADDESK.

And the part of the “discussion” I could manage to read through had at least 7 people defending the post , or adding to the “joke”.

the person who started the “joke” also added

Nonsense! I’m a revolutionary thinker. I’m not saying blacks are BAD, just that they’re far inferior to pirates. That’s why you don’t hear about pirates being enslaved by black people.

and someone else adding

Pirates are also better than spicks.

saving grace was there were people calling out these racist statments for what they are, but the following quotes from discussion have enlightened me, I see now. If only I had a sense of humor! because this isn’t about racism its about styles of humor. actually let me quote all of Alex Orby Kelly’s (god only knows if that is a real name) comments in full.

First comment:

no-one would say it was racist if he said “pirates are so much better than white people”
you’re all over-reacting.
i think it’s hilarious.
pirates are just so much better than people in general.
so shut up and take a joke.
kay:)

(emph mine) um All I’m hearing is “you people should shut up and let me laugh at this!” You are all so mean for being offended.

second comment:

but the point is; if he was serious he wouldn’t bother posting it.
i can understand why you wouldn’t because it may seem racist.
but if you look at it from a comedic point and don’t take it seriously then its quite funny.

(emph mine)

Third:

i know, the whole group isn’t a serious issue.
its meant for fun.
meaning that more than likely, this topic is as well.

fourth:

all i’m saying is that if he called the topic “pirates are better than white people”
no-one would make such a big fuss.
i wouldn’t and i’m white, i’d find it funny.
don’t you think black people have a sense of humour too?
race is such a touchy topic, thats whats OTT.

(emph mine) So the white people who think this is racist are the racist people? even though most of the people calling out the Bull Shit are POC????? and the reverse racism card.

fifth:

he’s saying pirates are better…
like i said, i can understand how the wording of it sounds racist.
but its most probably not.

intention doesn’t matter!  please refer to the wonderful Jay Smooth for more assistance.

sixth:

exactly, i just wanted to get across my point (just like you)
that its less about racism, more about differences in humour.
and that there shouldn’t be such a fuss made.

(emph mine) Yeah. because wanting to be viewed as a a full human being instead of an object of ridicule is getting in the way of a joke! the horror. Because if black people would lighten up, there wouldn’t be a problem apparently? It’s just a different style of humor!  and we should respect other people’s sense of humor.  we’re being so oppressive.  HEAD DESK

plus this gem from Michael Barattini:

So now your saying it’s ok to pick on other races but not black people? that pretty racist… thats kinda like saying balck people are better than every one else…

see here, here, here, and here. also while you’re thinking about it, have you unpacked your knapsack recently?

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

pre existing conditions

I can’t afford to get help for bi-polar disorder.  My parents paid out of pocket for doctors for it so it would never show up.  so I wouldn’t be discriminated against because of it.

I’ve been off pills for about 3 or 4 years now.  but I’m depressed at the moment and it sucks.  I have insurance, but I can’t go on the record.  its a pre-existing condition.  I’ve heard to many stories recently.  I’m not going on the record for something I’ve handled for the past 4 years.

Maybe I’m paranoid.  maybe there is good reason.  If I can just get by until I get manic again or I stabalise a little.  I’m just so apathetic, and bursting into tears, and I can’t focus.  I’m afraid I will fail out of grad school as I’m starting.

but I’m so afraid of going on the record as crazy.  fuck.

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 7:52 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

monkey’s, porn and consent

Yesterday a(nother) liberal dood I know wanted to share how science totally rocks.  his evidence is that a study was done that shows monkey’s like porn and he read about it on the internet. now I don’t know if he read about it at ABC, but I figured if I was going to rant about it, I should look up an article about it.

Then he got really upset that i thought it was horrible. Later he even sent me an email along the lines of, “but I’m a nice guy why do you think I’m a horrible person?” Which makes the issue, not about my reaction to porn, not about rape culture, not about animal captivity, but about poor him and his feelings. Because my feelings hurt his feelings and that is so mean.

This means that I now I have to spend my time letting him know I don’t think he is a horrible person. Well I have to do this if i want to keep the peace. And I do want to keep the peace since I work with him, and we rely on each other to help each other out when studying, and things like that. GRRRR.

But on to the monkeys. First, the article is about how “The study is the first to show that monkeys appraise visual information for its social value and can then use this data to spontaneously discriminate between images of their fellow monkeys.”

but just like with humans the scientists understood “monkeys” to mean MALE BODIED monkeys.

Twelve adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) participated in the study

so already there was bias. that female bodied monkey’s don’t count and we don’t need to see how they think since they are the “other sex” anyway.

The monkey’s were given headshots of both males and females, and hindquarters of females to look at. The article does not discuss how the monkeys responded to headshots of the females. but high social ranking males and female hindquarters were “paid for” more often.

Did they pay for headshots of the women too? would they pay for hindquarter shots of the socially high ranking males? how do we know that “sexiness” of the picture had anything to do with it? Maybe social desirability of the subject was important regardless of the position of the monkey in the camera frame. (not to mention that heteronormative assumptions are made about all subjects in the test).  So again, bias about how humans (i.e. heterosexual male humans) view naked pictures comes into how the experiment was organised, and how the data is interpreted:

Camerer says it is “no surprise” that male monkeys “really like looking at female posteriors”. But he is puzzled that males would pay with juice to see high-status males, but would not look at them for very long.

so already we can see this is a problematic study, immersed in patriarchal structure. feminsiting has a post today about science being used to objectify (human) women.

But what about the monkeys? they were “housed in captivity”.  And someone tells me about this study and expects me to be thrilled because no monkey’s were “physically harmed”(quote from self proclaimed nice guy)? Um… vegan here, I’m for autonomy of creatures. that means I’m against captive animals as a slave class for experimentation, regardless of the nature of the experiment.

And onto the issue of consent. This is the biggest issue involved. I don’t know about you, but If I was hanging around and people took pictures of my genitals and butt, and then sold it as porn to someone else, I’d feel angry and violated. But we can do that to monkeys, and its no big deal. More specifically, we can do that to FEMALE BODIED monkeys and it is  SCIENCE.

But you know what? People do this to FEMALE BODIED PEOPLE too. and there is no recourse. If I’m at a nude beach, and someone takes a picture to use as porn, that’s sick right? but shit like this happens, and it is legal, since I’m in a public place. CREEPY. Even if it were illegal, I can’t go to the cops. That could close down the beach, and everyone would “know” its my own fault, and really I wanted it anyway because otherwise I wouldn’t have been naked and teasing men with my nudity.

so this whole taking pornographic pictures without consent issue is both personal and political.

Just more evidence that female bodies are the bodies of the sex class. To be used by men, for sex and porn whenever they want to.  Whether it is male scientists using female monkey bodies to observe monkey objectification, or male monkeys paying to view female bodies as a commodity. Or if it is male humans jerking off in public at a female body who is minding her business and just wants to enjoy the beach. Female bodies are only good for sexual gratification of men and to hell with what women think about it.  Guess what that looks like to me: rape culture.

but you know, getting upset about this hurts the feelings of all those liberal nice guys who really do respect women “both as a group and as individuals”, but who still find this study awesome. /snark.

because rape and tasers are hilarious.

This was linked to on facebook by a liberal dood friend of mine, and “liked” by a few womyn. The friend part is not sarcastic. Just shows that even people like my friends, who really do care about social justice and equality, don’t quite get what I mean by rape culture. Nor do I think they want to. Takes re-evaluating their lives too much.

Anyway, the end of this video, the obnoxious main character is anally raped with a taser. WTF? This is comedy. Because rape is funny if it happens to men.

But it is even more than that. it is raping someone with a lethal weapon. Normalizing violence. Normalizing police brutality.

And people tell me I’m the man hater? Look around. did you laugh at this video? do you think it is funny when a male prison rape scene is alluded to or depicted in a comedy? who laughs at this? I’m guessing some of the people who think I’m a “man-hating bitch” do. I’m guessing some faux-feminist men, who think that showing men weak is what feminists want to see, will laugh. (I actually had a male “feminist” friend of mine say a guy got what he deserved when a woman didn’t tell him she had and STD when he didn’t want to use a condom. ummmmmm wha…?)

Back when I wrote the post on why media depictions of sexual violence against men is a feminist issue, I did not have the benefit of having read Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl. While I don’t quite agree with every thing she says, I do like how she defines traditional sexism as against femininity instead of against women. This type of sexism can be manifest towards males and females. I think this is a case of that.