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.

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.

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.

why do YOU have sex?

I accidentally came across this article. I skimmed as much as I could so I wasn’t ranting about something I hadn’t read. Now my head hurts. (though it does acknowledge cultural constraints on women’s sexuality)

My biggest problem with the article is that I don’t understand why we need such a study. Or rather, I DO understand why we need such a study and I think ugh.

I know why I have sex. so I’m guessing this article isn’t for me. Who cares why women have sex? oh. MEN. (and maybe lesbians but I’m pretty sure society still thinks that they only exist for men to fantasize about.)

Plus the whole article goes on and on about how women have sex to get back at people, or they are trading favors, or “simply to “keep the peace” at home.” (Um rape culture anyone? 84% of women report this. If saying no was easy and respected this wouldn’t be an issue…)

The article has a tone that implies that this behavior is female in nature. Men’s sex drives are mentioned briefly a couple times, but usually to uphold that men have sex for pleasure or because they are in love, (both in the top 20 reasons men have sex). See it’s those complicated women that make sex complicated!!

Actually, it is not the study itself I cringe at but how the analysis is used. if we looked at how sociologically we are programmed we might find that these results are consistent and indicative of a problem. but the patriarchal lens looking at this study could never make those connections: “More than half of women under 60 still suffer from low sex drive.” Low sex drive in women is a problem for whom? Who is suffering from it really? if I don’t crave chocolate one day am I suffering from lack of interest in chocolate? I mean eating chocolate does bring me pleasure when I do it. so isn’t this the same problem? no. why? because chocolate is just a preference.  And who decides what a “normal” sex drive is?  “Low” is BAD!  why???? If women aren’t interested in having sex whenever a male is, this is seen as problem. Why isn’t that just a preference?

And they only have what people report. People do things all the time without thinking them through, then piece together why. Also there are societal constraints on how we are expected to answer these questions. and women are not supposed to feel pleasure. We are supposed to lie back and think of our country. would that color how people report their reasons for sex? I think so. Its that whole ontological reality thing. we don’t have access to it.

When you have a relationship with someone, no matter how brief, is what 64% of the people do important? no. It is what you and your partner think and communicate. It is how you feel, about how you’re partner feels. Because no specific person will match up with the “general” person on everything, so you must still listen and react and be honest.

Or maybe I’m just being reactionary because this study shows I am in fact a freak of nature because I believe sex should be grounded in consent and pleasure. Plus I think that my body should never have to be used as a bargaining chip because I want to be seen as a whole person, even though I acknowledge that I don’t yet live in that world.

rape- that’s one of those crime things, right?

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where rape was illegal?  oh wait… technically it is. But effectively it is permissible in every culture I’ve lived in.  (USA and UK).    I’d like to believe, as my father does, that people are held responsible for their actions.

 My father overheard me talking to my mother about the time a guy grabbed my ass.  He was upset.  “that’s illegal, that’s assault! we have laws about that sort of thing, at least in America!”  (I was in the UK at the time).  But where is this America that he lives in?  None of the kids that beat him up in elementary school for having a funny name were charged with assault.  Since when do we care about bullies?  And since when do we care about sexual harassment?  Yeah I was pissed off about it.  And Yes, I had to avoid him and stop participating in clubs I enjoyed as I wanted to avoid the guy.  And yes it’s wrong that it had to happen that way, when HE was the perpetrator. 

 But it was such an insignificant issue compared to the sexual crimes committed on a regular basis that have no repercussions for the perpetrator. 

I heard once that 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime ( and no, ass grabbing isn’t included in that ).  where are the trials to match?  where are these rapists?  mostly walking free. 

 Women are taught to stay silent.  If they speak up they are punished.  Because in this culture if you say you were raped, it is most likely your fault for being slutty.  In this culture if you have ever said yes to sex in any context, it is assumed you gave consent in all others.  (anyone ever hear of the virgin/slut dichotemy?)

we live in a culture where women are denied rape kits. And victims are not allowed to use the word rape in court. And then when she counter-sued the suit was thrown out.

 There is still debate over whether legally a husband is raping his wife if he forces sexual intercourse on her.

What I’ve highlighted is only the tip of the iceburg. grrrrrrrr. Oh and by the way, rape is also apparently funny if it happens to guys. (how many movies do you see the bad guy go to prison and everyone is delighted he’s getting it up the ass? it’s not cool. or in Sorority boys (yes I watched it) a guy date rapes someone, but it’s ok because he thought it was girl, but it was actually a guy.. so it’s hilarious instead of horrible.) Just no… do you hear me? It’s not ok.

and people wonder if feminism is still relevent in this day and age. i have friends who don’t believe in the patriarchy and/or don’t think a rape culture exists.

I wish I lived in that place too.  Instead I live where when she finally comes forward her face is in tears, begging me not to tell anyone because she is just so ashamed.  She wouldn’t tell me who did it.  I will never forget who she looked when she said, “I thought he was my friend.. why would he do this to me?”  But she was silent.  She didn’t need to wait for an external force to blame her, living in this country in a big city on the west coast, she still knew “it was her fault”.  She was a woman after all. 

I went in curious and left amazed. GO SEE THIS IF YOU CAN!

“The Business of Being Born” & Its Effect on Audiences

by Barbara E. Herrera, LM, CPM

I’ve watched fourteen audiences walk into and then out of Ricki Lake’s childbirth advocacy movie “The Business of Being Born,” and the word that stands out is transformed.

Natural birth advocates leave natural birth fanatics.

Pregnant women walk into the movie as patients at local hospitals and walk out with resolute plans to leave their doctors and find a midwife for a birth they know will be safe and respectful.

I’ve role played with women who want out-of-hospital births (or out of unsupportive doctors) after seeing the film, but whose partners (who wouldn’t attend the screening) are fearful – helping them with ideas to get their loved ones to the movie.

And families who were initially hesitant to support a midwifery-attended birth have become ardent supporters intent on converting their misunderstanding friends.

I’m finding it challenging to get the press to either view the movie or to cover the importance of it in our community. It seems some people find natural birth not newsworthy… a big ol’ yawn.

But, how can any thinking person who cares about the effects of hormonal attachment/detachment that occurs during birth in our culture find this unimportant? How could someone yawn about the economics of slicing a person open for convenience’s sake (the convenience of the clock, the wallet and the courtroom)? I would think that someone with any semblance of a heart would “get” that birth as it stands today is abhorrent and a complete overhaul is needed.

This movie explains why it goes far, far beyond having or having not medication at birth… it is an entire mindset of respect for a woman’s autonomy and the understanding that choices in birth create the most amazing human beings that walk in our neighborhoods. Damaged women and babies do nothing but hurt the world… why foster the continuation of such cruelty?

If the right people saw the movie, the word would get out. That is what is so challenging about the publicity surrounding this movie. It has amazing amounts of well-documented –and jaw-dropping – information that relatively few know about. The people seeing the movie could quote the statistics chapter and verse! It’s those that haven’t seen the movie that need to plop their butts in the seats and then they need to tell others about it from their points of view.

If you’re reading this, you can do your part by either attending the movie yourself if it is in your area (check www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com) or sponsoring a viewing.

If you are so inclined to educate the public about the movie, write letters and send fliers to whomever you can – the press, letters to the editor, your email lists, friends, family, support groups, children’s pre-schools, middle and high school health and sex education teachers, women’s studies programs, child development programs, psychology classes, childbirth education teachers, local midwives (including Nurse-Midwives), La Leche League leaders, head nurses on Labor & Delivery floors, friendly obstetricians, chapter leaders of the International Cesarean Awareness Network, local leaders of midwifery organizations, natural clothing stores, cloth diaper suppliers, childbirth educators and lactation educators as well as putting fliers on bulletin boards at natural food stores and attachment parenting baby stores, Babies R Us and other kid-friendly stores and locations.

Together, we can bring more people to know what we’ve known for far too long. Birth can – and should be – an honored and cherished experience, no matter where, or how, it occurs. It is in the knowledge of options and in the light of respect and humanity that birth becomes perfection.

Perfection is rightfully ours.

Vons/Safeway/Dominicks is anti-choice

Well i found out through Feministing:

Safeway hosting anti-choicers in Aurora
Having lost their appeal to the Aurora city council to shut down the new Planned Parenthood clinic, the antis have set up shop on private property — specifically the parking lot of a Dominick’s/Safeway grocery store — adjacent to the clinic. Of course, photographing women and license plates outside of abortion providers is not exactly a novel anti-choice tactic. But this time they’re not standing on public sidewalks.

As a private business, Dominick’s/Safeway could throw them off the premises and make them stop this intimidation. So call Safeway corporate and ask that the Aurora location do just that:

1-877-SAFEWAY(1-877-723-3929)
Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m, Local Time
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Local Time

The Dominick’s/Safeway store in question is at 3025 E. New York St, Aurora, Ill. 60504.

UPDATE: Folks in comments are saying they’re having better luck with this number for Safeway corporate offices in Pleasanton: 925-467-3000 .

Please call the corporate offices. The lady I talked to was shocked that this was happening and said she is calling their district manager. I’m not shopping at safeway or any safeway owned businesses until this is resolved. Please join me standing up for choice. Vote with your dollar and let them know that they have lost a customer if this continues.

again the number for Safeway corporate offices in Pleasanton is 925-467-3000