I’m not looking for it. It falls in my effin lap (pt.2)

Ah google feed.

Again. I did not start my day trying to find sexist crap. Google shows recommended and popular items to me. This one was popular. Anyway. The above video is a parody of an advertisement for a peice of cloth that covers cleavage. The parody takes offence at this because (ZOMG!!!) The Dude Nation needs to have boners, and their only joy in these hard times is to stare at women. Women are only here for the benefit of men.

of course if women did have low cut shirts then they would be dirty whores and need to be more modest. so yay for the gray area of not winning.

I skimmed the comments until I was disgusted. It did not take long.

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Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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that’s funny!

Normally when I blog or generally talk about feminist things, the above is a sarcastic phrase used to indicate my dismay and precedes a description explaining, as gently as I can, why the joke was racist/sexist/homophobic/able-ist/etc.

But, this is not one of those cases. I want to talk about what is funny. That’s not true either, I want to talk about why I’m funny.

Shocking to believe, I am not a humorless feminist. In fact, I was the class clown, and now I’m the clown anywhere but class. (in a PhD program it is not recommended to crack jokes the whole time, but I digress)

I will retell stories in my head until I think they are funny enough to share, I make wise cracks when other people are speaking (so much so, I almost made the vita-mix sales man lose it with laughter when I was watching the demo and was standing near the front), and puns. Oh, how I love the puns. Other people don’t always agree, but trust me, they’re wrong, my puns are hilarious.

But people don’t notice. And by people, I mean what the patriarchy defines as people: men. Its not that they don’t get my jokes, they just forget I ever made them.

I can think of two reasons.

1. Men get told off by me when their shit is sexist, racist, etc. so they are associate me with killing THEIR fun at the expense of others.

2. “girls” aren’t funny.

This may be slowly changing, but in general womyn are seen as up tight, as adorable, as sperm receptacles. To make jokes, means you have agency, you are the one who is receiving attention for something other than what a nice looking object you are. AND worst of all, you have to be clever! You can be a little funny, but not as funny as a guy.

Well, Duh, I hear you cry.

What brought this up in my mind? It is related to how I met my first boyfriend. Why that came to mind, I have no idea. I was walking from the coffee cart to my office on campus, and I was thinking about those days gone by when I was in an improv comedy class. I was in high school, and I met my first boyfriend there. He was too old for me, and I was too young for him. When you are a high school student, age differences are bigger.

I thought he was so good looking, and he was younger than the last crush I had. Therefore, (I rationalized) it would be just fine. However, I did have to think about it. We were flirting for a while, and one night he drove me home and asked if we could date/be in a relationship/something. So I said I would call him the next day or so. (Should have been a warning when) he said, but you were flirting with me! As if that means I HAD to be in a relationship. Then he cited an example.

We were doing an exercise in class where we were speaking in unison and making sentences (groups of about 5 people). Sort of an oral Ouija Board. The teacher thought this man was leading the sentences, and we assured her he was not. She said, it must be that rich baritone voice.

Now if you’re a young woman in a patriarchal society, you want to marry well. Even then I didn’t want that, but I knew that it was true.

So of course I responded with near Mae West intonation: “I could use a rich baritone.” (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more)

Not that this could not possibly be just a joke. It HAD to be for the benefit of a man (a real man not just an imaginary referent). It had to be flirting, or leading on, or something. It could have no reference to anything but how I felt about the man’s hot sexy sexiness.

It couldn’t, I don’t know, be a JOKE? Given how much people hurt others by saying “it’s just a joke” you’d think this would be given a pass. But, no, it was flirting, and If I didn’t go out with this man, I would be a dirty cock tease. right? Silly me, “girls” don’t make jokes. But my virginal lady bits were a flutter over his sexy goatee, and therefore did not notice the poisonous sentiment.

I can’t believe that it took me nearly ten years to notice that.

I’m not looking for it. It falls in my effin lap. (pt1)

I’m often told I “look for things to get angry about.” And I admit I look where some of these thing are highlighted, like feminist blogs, non-feminist blogs, twitter, google-reader feed, newspapers, television (well I don’t watch that, but it is where these things are), conversations with “liberal” friends, conversations with academics, conversation with fellow students, oh, and the rest of the world.

So today I have examples from twitter/liberal friends and my google reader.

First, recently on twitter one of the trending topics was #IHateWomenWho. I tweeted my dismay (with spaces and no hash mark describing the misogyny. ok, so far so good. But that is not what made my blood boil. I get a reply saying that if there were a similar post about men it would my misandry, and that wouldn’t be better, but it would be equal.

Because feminism is about equality even if it degrades all humans?  bah. also note there isn’t a similar trend. I’m sure people have applied the hash-mark to I hate men who. but would it have the vitriol as the remarks policing how much women should wear, what sluts they are, women who pretend not to be sluts? yeah. I think not. And there were not enough of them to be highlighted as the top 6 trends or what have you. and I know the reply is nothing new, but it came from someone I know. I don’t think I said anything controversial. its not like he responded to one of my more politically charged tweets. Really?

Plus it looks like one of my (other) friends is a junior MRA. I thought, at first, he was just coming to terms with coming out as a transvestite, but it is so full of bitterness. And he’s framing it as if he is a feminist. as if he is fighting against sexism. It’s NOT fair, he will(read has already) decry, that the dress code at a club does not allow men to wear sandals, but it allows women to.  So he HATES that sexism.  He also Hates that women get to look “pretty” (read policed every day about how fat they are, how much make-up they wear, clothing is to prudish, clothing is to revealing, just smile honey etc…)  Yeah, those poor men. I agree men should wear what they want, but saying you hate sexism, or a feminist is ridiculous if that is the only time you hate sexism. Just like sarah palin is a “feminist” because she likes title 9. (Nevermind that she is for forced pregnancy, and made women pay for their own rape kits, is against comprehensive sex ed…).

Never once has he commented on the sexism of advertising objectifying women, never once has he commented on the fact that a third of college women are sexually assaulted, never once has he commented about rape as a weapon of war in the Congo, never once has he picked up the torch for racism, or gay rights, or domestic abuse, the sexual salvery of undocumented women, or how men have been found not guilty of rape when they say, sure I kept going when she said no, but I stopped when she kicked me really hard.  He might agree these things are bad, but he only gets angry when he can’t be involved in a conversation with girls at a party, because they want to talk amongst themselves (he told me about this because I am a feminist and I would understand). this is the same thing as not letting women into conversations about healthcare, or letting them work in male fields, or into the philosophy department at college.  A conversation at a party.  Give me a break.  the whole point is that sexism is an opression that is institutionalized and systemic.  individual predjudice does not oppresion make.  Plus, the opressed class wanting to have a space where their voices are heard, and they can feel safe, is NOT the same at the opresser keeping others from participation as full citizens in society.

Anyhoo. Onto item three. It appeared in my google reader. The top item when I hit “explore.” It showed a blog which listed funny pie charts. some were more funny than others. the last one:

Pie chart "why women cry"

A pie chart in shades of pink. about 10% for "happiness" about 10% for "sadness" and 80% for "????"

(screen shot instead of link.  I’m not driving more traffic there) Um.  Yeah.  because women are emotional and cry for no reason.  Again.  see post title.  I was not looking for pie charts that reify stereotypes of irrational women or ask google to make my blood boil.  But don’t worry, I know, I’m sure it is a strange coincidence that I saw it and not indicative of culture at large.  I’m sure that the fact it was even made was not indicative of culture at large.

Bull effin shit.

One more thing. I’m not “not laughing” because I’m a humorless feminist. I’m “not laughing” because you are a douche.

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.

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.

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.

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.