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.

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.

fighting the fight with allies, shouldn’t be like this.

this weekend was, well, not so fun.

I think I need to find another cause. And this sucks. I believe in equality. so I can fight that on many fronts, so its not the end of the world. The problem is I don’t have the energy to fight it on all fronts, at the same time. Especially since I don’t feel like I have a safe space now that I’m back in the states. Especially when I have to fight the fight with very little support within a group that is supposed to be a safe space.

I’ve been doing a lot of work fighting for equal marriage. (that’s same sex marriage to all of you who aren’t clued into the lingo.) I’ve been having a few doubts about my involvement.

1. I would much rather abolish the word marriage from legal documents. fundemental unit of the patriarchy and all that.
2. the debate is phrased as any “TWO” people should be able to get married. that leaves out a lot of my friends and their relationships. Polyamorous groups should not be denied hospital visitation rights because only two of the people are really married. There should be a document that says, “hey we’re family, we take care of each other and we have the rights and responsibilities of being family”
3. this document should be available regardless of the sexual or non sexual nature of the relationships. If I want my best friend as my next of kin and we look after each other as family, it shouldn’t matter that our relationship isn’t romantic in nature.

now on top of these concerns, I’m getting fed up with the sexism in the movement. let me retarget that. I’m getting fed up with sexism in the group I’m working with. oh, and the racist comments, and the biphobia, and transphobia and other remarks I probably haven’t even noticed yet. (plus everyone likes to tell me about how they like bloody steak and other products of rape, torture and murder.)

I understand people aren’t perfect. I mess up all the time. I’m still learning about how to mindfully watch my language. But I’d like to think I’m genuinely trying. This weekend was the leadership retreat, so we had a lot of time with each other. We also, largely because i had earlier brought up my concerns, had a discussion about being more mindful in our speech.

It was a very useful discussion as it helped me identify who I wanted to work with more and who I wanted to avoid. I had been trying to take everything with a grain of salt, focus on the issue at hand, all that stuff. but there are some things I can’t ignore. a member of the “team” posted a racist remark on my facebook.

I updated my status to reflect that one of my friends is looking for a home for their dog. the Nice Guy(tm) NG commented and I commented back:

NG: I was going to type something really off message. *lips sealed*
me: you get a gold star for keeping it to yourself. I’m very proud of you.
other dudely man: But now I just want to know Nice Guy(tm)’s off-color comment about dogs. :(
me: I already deleted it. I don’t allow that type of thing on any page associate with me.
NG: You’re so silly Lauren. ♥

now you can guess that there was a comment by the Nice Guy that isn’t shown in this exchange. as i deleted I don’t have the original text, but it was something like: “Plus my Vietnamese friend would be upset if I started talking about how he eats dog”

wha…?

so I deleted. I would have removed the person from being my friend, but we work together. so I had a discussion with the chapter leader. and thats how we ended up with the discussion.

this is in addition to people slut shaming, constant use of the word “bitch”, gossip about how the bi-guy is really gay, (“I mean really.. he’s just sooo effeminate”). wha? in a group that is fighting for “equality”?

in the course of the discussion the racist Facebook comment was brought up by the Nice Guy(tm). he doesn’t get how it’s racist. “I mean, my friend really does eat dog, it’s a true statment!”

wha?

I start getting really upset. he feels upset and “victimized” because I didn’t explain it to him at the time. He doesn’t get it. It is obvious that I should spoon feed him the information. and he’s studied sociology, so he knows about this stuff.

I mean, come on. I call bull shit on that. actually bull shit can be useful as fertilizer, I call carnivore shit on that. because their poo is that much more gross and full of disease. (I love kitties, but they have super icky poo) The point is, if he truly believed it wasn’t “that” offensive, why did he self screen at first. why not just make the statement if its not racist?

so that was awkward for everyone who witnessed our heated argument.

The next morning at breakfast everyone was talking about how if we make everything PC then we can’t do anything, because everything is offensive to someone. the thing for me is, who are we offending. am i offending someone I am at odds with? am I offending the Mormons? because generally my existence offends a lot of people. and trying to not be hurtful to oppressed groups when our individual privilege gets in our way of being compassionate, is different from the “moral Majority” being offended that women want equal pay. (or whatever).

the burden should be taken up by the privileged. This is our way of dealing with our own biases and recognizing ways to improve ourselves as human beings. so the breakfast group completely diminished the impact of the discussion the previous night.

The leadership team is mostly gay men. there is one bi guy, me, another straight girl and a bi girl. could it be at all possible we’d have more women if there were fewer sexist jokes? maybe?

the moment that takes the cake. we go the the park, someone’s boyfriend meets up with us. He has volunteered and as the bf of one of the leaders so he is tagging along on the leadership retreat. At the park he decides to share a joke that someone sent him:

“a man is getting into bed with his wife, she says ‘I have a headacke’ he says, ‘perfect, i’ve just been powdering my penis with asprin, you can take it orally or anally”

what progress. I call him out on it. he tries to backtrack and apologize, “i’m not really sexist”, and “all my female friends thought was funny” because a man talking about forcing his penis in a woman’s mouth or anus
must be hilarious. wtf? yeah.

I get up and go for a walk and call a friend. I need to get away from this person. eventually I come back. I’m tired and I left half my stuff at the house where we are having the “retreat” I end up sleeping there a while, then meeting up with a friend. she lets me know, there are lots of causes, maybe there’s another way to be involved in the issue that is not with this group. those are probably true statements

I have brought in so many volunteers, I have raised so much money for this group. at least I know the money goes back into the community. I do think they use money well as an org. I think that the type of work being done is useful. but I’m too tired to fight all these fights at once.

someday’s I don’t walk my talk.. I just ignore it all and run away

Last night I went to a Landmark Education Forum introduction night.  I’m not sure exactly what it is, so don’t ask questions for me to clarify. 

what  I do know is that it is some sort of “life changing” motivational workshop thingy.  So yes they were trying to sell me their ideas.  So you have to be open to getting a breakthrough.  I’m really open minded (or like to think so, or try to be so) so I really atttempted the sample excercises with gusto.  To do this you must allow yourself to feel a little vulnerable.  This is all necessary to set the scene as they say.

Anyway………

The last excercise we did was to make a table with two columns.  We chose something in life that we weren’t happy with, or that we were avoiding.  then listed the cons of leaving this thing the same in one column.  In the other collumn we were to write how leaving the situation alone gave us some sort of benifit (i.e. the reasons we weren’t changing it). 

She then asked us to share what we chose as the thing we were avoiding.  A man from the back of the room yells out, “shrek in a dress.” 

what?  know one understands what he means.  Apparently he means some woman at his job is ugly and obnoxious or something and he refers to her thusly.  (once understood people laugh nervously).

I immediatly stiffen up.  under con’s he yell out, “I’m unable to see women as sexual anymore” (a little less nervous tittering including from the lady in charge who seemed unable to deal with the comment)

I should of jumped up and told him that women do not exist as objects to fulfill his sexual desires.  I should have at least walked out.  instead I stared at my paper thinking the excercise was not adequately explained because my choice didn’t have a solution I could put in place that would be effective in my lifetime and contemplating doing those thing I feel I should have done. 

not only was it innapropriate but it completely shut me down.  There was no way I was going to share and grow in a situation like that.   and after the lack of support from the people running the course, there was no way I was going to drop NZ$625 on a single weekend workshop.  (which I can’t afford right now anyway.)

just when I almost forget that many men don’t see me as human, I get reminded again.

 

what the hell do I do about nice guys

I’m living in a hostle in an 8 bed dorm at the moment.  mostly women in the room itself.  The building holds about 40 people total I think.  It’s really fun even.  But one guy is bothering me a bit.

I mean, I get on with him quite well, he’s intelligent, witty, funny.  But I, being myself after all, will go on about issues that are important to me.  Or mention “taboo” subjects that others might shy away from.

And he freaks out everytime he hears the word “vagina.”  I know a guy doing that isn’t news.  Many men, and even women i might add, have issues with the word vagina.

And Yes, I know i should be saying Vulva half the time I say vagina.. but it’s a coloquialism…or something……Alright I’ll do better next time.

anyway.  I mentioned how I was with my sister when she gave birth and it was really cool, though a bit weird to be looking at my sister’s vagina.   And he shuddered.  to be fair “penis” bothers him a little too, (though not as much)

So do I just keep saying “Vagina” around him in the hopes he will become desensitised?

or is there a better solution.  He agrees with many of my feminist points when I actively make them.  but says standard “nice guy” misogynistic crap as well.  Like when he’s the only guy in the room, “I guess we won’t be watching stargate”  It took me a while to get that women don’t like stargate…..  yeah… he totally “gets” it doesn’t he….

but point out every offence would totally mess up the good vibes of the hostle.  and I do have to live there.  so I will just focus on the one issue at the moment and the really obnoxious ones.

nice guys are the worst.  because they mean “so well”.

It’s like he sees me as a person but all women he doesn’t know are totally alien creatures that are different from men.

ok.. I’m just ranting and repeating at this point. so I should stop typing.

Why yes that does look like rape culture.

For some reason I’ve been thinking about how “funny” rape is.  Because in movies if it happens to a man it’s high-lar-ious.  This has always bothered me.  If someone is a victim of such violation it should not be made fun of in general.  I really noticed it in “Sorority Boys”  Where one guy drugs his Frat brother who he thinks is a woman (as he’s in disguise) and then rapes him.  But it’s funny because he thinks he’s raping a girl, but in reality he’s doing a guy.

That’s pretty disgusting.  Also at the end of Mallrats The jerky guy goes to jail and is forced to submit.  Doesn’t that tickle your funny bone.  In countless comedies there’s  a prison rape scene that is supposed to be funny.

Now, personally I was already disgusted at the reaction I was “supposed” to have to these scenes.  But recently I’ve been thinking about the implications this humour has in society.  Why people think these scenes are “funny”?

In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m going to answer that.  Because rape is something that happens to women.  So when it happens to men it feminizes them.  It’s making them “weak” and “girly”. And we all can tap into our inner bullies and laugh at that, right?

This implies that at some level as a culture we accept rape as something that happens to women.  We don’t view it as nice in general, but it is accepted nevertheless.  It also implies that people see women as inferior, weak creatures, with which similarties should be avoided at all cost.  What greater insult is there than to be a “girly” man?

And no, I don’t have answers at the moment.  And yes, that pisses me off even more.  I feel helpless to change this.  After all I’m just a girly weak being according to the dominant paradigm.  I know that things can change because progress has been made in the last 100 years, but damn if I know the next step in this case.  bleagch…