Monday, April 30, 2007

Oh, terrific.

Cassandra Says:

Once again, America ignores the rest of the world…
Did you know that war may be on the horizon between Estonia and Russia? I didn’t for a few days, until a friend on LJ who actually lives in Estonia told me. As soon as she told me I started looking at the US media, and…nothing.
Then I checked The Guardian, and it was right there front and center. That’ll teach me to rely on the US media.
So, in case anyone else missed it, check out the following links from The Guardian. Short summary…the Estonian government took down a monument commemorating the Russian soldiers who drove the Nazis out of Estonia (they didn’t destroy it completely, they moved it to a new location). Estonia’s Russian population is pissed off. Ethnic Estonians considered the monument to be a national insult “celebrating” the fact that they were “liberated” from the Nazis only to be colonized by Russia – from their perspective they simply swapped one set of oppressors for another. The Russian government is throwing a tantrum and demanding that Estonia be “punished”. Given Russia’s previous behavior in the Baltic, this is more than a little ominous. According to my friend what’s actually happening on the ground is much worse than the media is making it out to be, and this confrontation has been brewing for a long time...


Guardian links over at CS's, i actually can't make myself go over and read them right now. Pooty-Poot scares the shite out of me, as does this entire fucked-up era.

New term of the day: "conspiracism"

as defined here.

It is very effective to mobilize mass support against a scapegoated enemy by claiming that the enemy is part of a vast insidious conspiracy against the common good. The conspiracist worldview sees secret plots by tiny cabals of evildoers as the major motor powering important historical events; makes irrational leaps of logic in analyzing factual evidence in order to "prove" connections, blames social conflicts on demonized scapegoats, and constructs a closed metaphysical worldview that is highly resistant to criticism.1

When conspiracist scapegoating occurs, the results can devastate a society, disrupting rational political discourse and creating targets who are harassed and even murdered. Dismissing the conspiracism often found in right-wing populism as irrational extremism, lunatic hysteria, or marginalized radicalism does little to challenge these movements, fails to deal with concrete conflicts and underlying institutional issues, invites government repression, and sacrifices the early targets of the scapegoaters on the altar of denial. An effective response requires a more complex analysis.

The Dynamics of Conspiracism

The dynamic of conspiracist scapegoating is remarkably predictable. Persons who claim special knowledge of a plot warn their fellow citizens about a treacherous subversive conspiracy to attack the common good. What's more, the conspiracists announce, the plans are nearing completion, so that swift and decisive action is needed to foil the sinister plot. In different historical periods, the names of the scapegoated villains change, but the essentials of this conspiracist worldview remain the same.

(jump to another page)

...Conspiracism can be used to critique the current regime or an excuse to defend the current regime against critics. David Brion Davis noted that "crusades against subversion have never been the monopoly of a single social class or ideology, but have been readily appropriated by highly diverse groups." When the government and its allies use conspiracism to justify political repression of dissidents, it is called "countersubversion." Frank Donner perceived an institutionalized culture of countersubversion in the United States "marked by a distinct pathology: conspiracy theory, moralism, nativism, and suppressiveness." The article Repression & Ideology explains how conspiracism works when it is part of a campaign against dissidents.

Conspiracism as part of an anti-regime populist movement works in a different fashion. Populist conspiracism sees secret plots by tiny cabals of evildoers as the major motor powering important historical events. Conspiracism tries to figure out how power is exercised in society, but ends up oversimplifying the complexites of modern society by blaming societal problems on manipulation by a handful of evil individuals. This is not an analysis that accurately evaluates the systems, structures and institutions of modern society. As such, conspiracism is neither investigative reporting, which seeks to expose actual conspiracies through careful research; nor is it power structure research, which seeks to accurately analyze the distribution of power and privilege in a society. Sadly, some sincere people who seek social and economic justice are attracted to conspiracism. Overwhelmingly, however, conspiracism in the U.S. is the central historic narrative of right-wing populism.

The conspiracist blames societal or individual problems on what turns out to be a demonized scapegoat. Conspiracism is a narrative form of scapegoating that portrays an enemy as part of a vast insidious plot against the common good. Conspiracism assigns tiny cabals of evildoers a superhuman power to control events, frames social conflict as part of a transcendent struggle between Good and Evil, and makes leaps of logic, such as guilt by association, in analyzing evidence. Conspiracists often employ common fallacies of logic in analyzing factual evidence to assert connections, causality, and intent that are frequently unlikely or nonexistent. As a distinct narrative form of scapegoating, conspiracism uses demonization to justify constructing the scapegoats as wholly evil while reconstructing the scapegoater as a hero.

...In Western culture, conspiracist scapegoating is rooted in apocalyptic fears and millennial expectations. Sometimes conspiracism is secularized and adopted by portions of the political left. It is interesting to note that on both the left and the right (as well as the center) there are critics of the apocalyptic style and flawed methodology of conspiracism....


This page on logical fallacies could come in handy. (I'm still reading around the whole site).

Sequence does not imply causation. If Joan is elected to the board of directors of a bank on May 1, and Raul gets a loan on July 26, further evidence is needed to prove a direct or causal connection. Sequence can be a piece of a puzzle, but other causal links need to be further investigated.

Congruence in one or more elements does not establish congruence in all elements. Gloria Steinem and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick are both intelligent, assertive women accomplished in political activism and persuasive rhetoric. To assume they therefore also agree politically would be ludicrous. If milk is white and powdered chalk is white, would you drink a glass of powdered chalk?

Association does not imply agreement, hence the phrase "guilt by association" has a pejorative meaning. Association proves association; it suggests further questions are appropriate, and demonstrates the parameters of networks, coalitions, and personal moral distinctions, nothing more. Tracking association can lead to further investigation that produces useful evidence, but a database is not an analysis and a spiderweb chart is not an argument. The connections may be meaningful, random, or related to an activity unrelated to the one being probed.

Participation in an activity, or presence at an event, does not imply control.

Similarity in activity does not imply joint activity and joint activity does not imply congruent motivation. When a person serves in an official advisory role or acts in a position of responsibility within a group, however, the burden of proof shifts to favor a presumption that such a person is not a mere member or associate, but probably embraces a considerable portion of the sentiments expressed by the group. Still, even members of boards of directors will distance themselves from a particular stance adopted by a group they oversee, and therefore it is not legitimate to assume automatically that they personally hold a view expressed by the group or other board members. It is legitimate to assert that they need to distance themselves publicly from a particular organizational position if they wish to disassociate themselves from it.

Anecdotes alone are not conclusive evidence. Anecdotes are used to illustrate a thesis, not to prove it....

"and here, again, the appeal to the sodomist, with the play upon the buttocks"

A 1965 classic. It feels oddly...familiar, somehow, I can't put my finger on it.

(actually, Ren, is this the one you had a while ago? I can't remember)




"A floodtide of filth is engulfing our country in the form of newsstand obscenity...We know that once a person iss perverted, it is practically impossible for that person to adjust to normal attitudes...in regard, to sssex."

That there was from "Perversion for Profit," funded by the entirely unperverted and non-profiteering Charles Keating. You can see the scandalous second half here, if you've an interest in such things. (Pervert).

good ol' George Putnam. He's still around, you know.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Maybe it's the weather turning warmer or something

...maybe i just want to get the hell awayyyy. or maybe I'm watching Battlestar Galactica and the description of the living arrangements keep bringing it to mind.

but for whatever reason, i am finding myself fascinated by the idea of this:

Living in Antarctica

****


HARPER: Snow! Ice! Mountains of ice! Where am I? I...I feel better, I do, I...feel better. There are ice crystals in my lungs, wonderful and sharp. And the snow smells like cold, crushed peaches. And there's something...some current of blood in the wind, how strange, it has that iron taste.

MR LIES: Ozone.

HARPER: Ozone! Wow! Where am I?

MR LIES: The Kingdom of Ice, the bottommost part of the world.

HARPER: Antarctica. This is Antarctica!

MR LIES: Cold shelter for the shattered. No sorrow here, tears freeze.

HARPER: Antarctica, Antarctica, oh boy oh boy, LOOK at this, I...Wow, I must've really snapped the tether, huh?

MR LIES: Apparently...

HARPER: That's great. I want to stay here forever. Set up camp. Build things. Build a city, an enormous city made up of frontier forts, dark wood and green roofs and high gates made of pointed logs and bonfires burning on every street corner. I should build by a river. Where are the forests?

MR LIES: No timber here. Too cold. Ice, no trees.

HARPER: Oh details! I'm sick of details! I'll plant them and grow them. I'll live off caribou fat. I'll melt it over the bonfires and drink it from long, curved goat-horn cups. It'll be great. I want to make a new world here. So long as I never have to go home again.

MR LIES: As long as it lasts. Ice has a way of melting...


--Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Millenium Approaches

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Disability Carnival #13 is up

...at Ballastexistenz. Lots of good stuff; mosey over and check it out.

(did i really just say "mosey?" i did, didn't i. ergh)

Take Back the Blog




So. Here we are.

You know. I'd meant to use this occasion to talk more about the general harassment and menacing that happens to women and other members of traditionally oppressed groups--hell, it can happen to anyone, as far as that goes; but, more often, to people who are already vulnerable, one way or another. To people (often, but not always, women) that other people (often, but not always, men) want to, well, let's take a look at what the National Center for Victims of Crime says:

Top three reasons victims felt they were being stalked:

stalker wanted to control victim,

stalker wanted to keep victim in relationship,

and stalker wanted to scare victim.


Hold that thought.

So, yeah, there have been a lot of creepy-as-shit happenings around the greater 'sphere. A lot of good people feeling, quite justifiably, unsafe, not just emotionally but "in real life," as it were. We've talked about some of them here. Kathy Sierra. Devious Diva. Jill Filipovic. On and on.

And, I was going to have some sort of general meditation on this...phenomenon: what do you reasonably do to protect yourself without feeling muzzled, what is and isn't fair play in flamewars, at what point does "just the Internets" spill over into "the real world" (hint: once someone's physically injured or even loses a job or relationship due to online "outing" or other such interference, it's "real;" the problem is stopping it BEFORE it gets to that point.)

As it happens, however, it appears that I am personally, if tangentially, implicated in something that thematically is not entirely unrelated to this l'il Day of Recognition of Creepy Internets Stalking And Threats And So On.

How exciting!

Or, not.

Those in the peanut gallery, I do apologize for what looks like a return to the "internecine feminist wars." It's partly that. But it's partly more than that; and it's the "more than that" that's roused me from my Warner Brothers and Monty Python nap and is getting me to wade in, once afuckinggain, as well as connect it to this here Take Back the Blog! business. Hopefully for the last time for...a while, anyway.

Let's start here.

...want me to keep digging?

Because the only way a sociopath will let go and leave the target alone is if the target makes it NOT worth their while. So, whilst you refuse to stop slagging off radfems, I will continue to dig.

RenegadeEvolution // Apr 25th 2007 at 10:31 pm ( edit)

Stormy;

What, because outing me, stalking me, providing my information for public view is such the right thing to do? Really, is it? My legal address, families home number, all that, is that next? Think that is not threatening, perhaps a little endangering? Way out of bounds? Something I would never do and have actually blogged against? Wow, actual threats and intimidation. I'm impressed.

Apr 25th 2007 at 10:38 pm
What, because outing me, stalking me, providing my information for public view is such the right thing to do?

It is all information that you, or those around you have posted in blogland. I said nothing about your family information. I do not post information that is not publicly available, and in this case, I am using (well, rather collating) the information you have posted about yourself. Being a narcissist really does have disadvantages you know.

So what will actually MAKE you STOP slagging off radfems?

Shall I show them the photo, the one without the black eye strips?


*****

Okay. A little background. Renegade has herself been called out recently for saying some nasty shit. A summary and her (one of her) responses to this can be found here.

For the record: I can totally understand why people would find that language disturbing, even "silencing." I'll be blunt: it made me uncomfortable, the rage levels, and yes, I've said plenty of nasty, angry shit my own sweet self. What can I tell you. Nonetheless, a general rant, without singling out anyone or naming names, culminating with "Fall under a truck and die choking on your own blood" is not, in fact, a -threat.- That is a -curse.- A nasty one. But a curse. It is not, "I am going to hunt you down, -puffball-, and push you under a truck, p.s. I know where you live, here's the address and a photo of your house." But then Renegade can speak for herself there, and has done. Several times now.

Not to get -totally- confusing, but I guess there's some other shit swirling about as well, something to do with "leaked" messages from a private inner forum of a particular feminist board. My current thoughts/feelings about this are summed up in this comment here. Cassandra has some sensible things to say about it as well.

But all of this is, I think, really a sideline, and not actually at the heart of whatever's driving this.

Because, we've been here before, haven't we, Stormcloud? Last time, you tried to strongarm antiprincess into taking down her entire blog. Then, as now, your purpose seems to have been to get people not so much to keep the commons "safe" or even be nicer or fairer to each other, but to "stop slagging off radfems." Then, as now, you seemed bent on tracking all your woes to one individual (of many) who has the reputation of saying meen/"unfair" things about your chosen ideology, and/or (!) the behavior of some of you who do or say rather crappy things in the name of said ideology, and/or good old fashioned flaming and sniping.

Then, as now, I pointed out that what you are demanding is neither reasonable nor makes any goddam sense.

Unless, of course, we put it in the context of:

...wanted to control...

The main difference now is, you've upped the ante. You've added wanted to scare.

So what will actually MAKE you STOP slagging off radfems?

Shall I show them the photo, the one without the black eye strips?


Note that -wanted to- is here considered sufficient for the definition of "stalking," whether you've actually succeeded in scaring the target or not.

Which brings us to the other part, the more relevant, I believe, of the background.
Renegade is a sex worker--stripper, porn actress, model. As anyone purportedly working on the behalf of women and especially women who have been in the sex industry ought to know, there are particular vulnerabilities that such women are subject to in this our Patriarchal world, and no, in fact, they do not only come from the evil industry itself.

They come from the attitudes of a world which, by and large, thinks that "whores" are disposable, and deserve whatever they get.

Lose your "day" job, lose your family, lose your friends. Open yourself up to even more harassment than your average female bear.

That's sort of the point, though, right?

So what will actually MAKE you STOP slagging off radfems?


Now, I'm not clear on which "them" are supposed to be shown Ren's photo without the black eye strips. But given the overall context of that little exchange (it goes on), it's pretty clear that the implication is -someone Ren wouldn't want to know who she is.-

Stormcloud, you say here:

It is all information that you, or those around you have posted in blogland. I said nothing about your family information. I do not post information that is not publicly available, and in this case, I am using (well, rather collating) the information you have posted about yourself.


And you know, that ought to be at least somewhat reassuring; but, from where I sit, it's not.

1) You -said- nothing about her family information, you -do not post- information that is not publically available; that still doesn't say anything about what you -will- do...in order to make sure we none of us (oh, I'm getting there) "slag off radfems.

2) I'm leery of the phrase "publicly available." That COULD mean "only things RE has posted online in 'public' forums;" it could also mean "full name, phone number and address; after all they ARE in the phone book." And, too, she's been pretty clear that some shit she's taken down specifically for self-protection purposes; you are deliberately ignoring this. Not just things she's -said- about radfems or anything else of that sort (we'll get to that): -personal shit.- Name, name of loved ones, photos. Not Cool.

2a) so then what exactly do you mean by "want me to keep digging?"

3) and here's the $64,000 one: trying to personally blackmail someone at ALL, however ineptly, because you want her to STOP SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT A POLITICAL IDEOLOGY, is, well? Deeply fucked up.

And! And. It gets better. And here's what's dragged me into the fray, finally, Dear Readers:


RE:

I won't personally say word one to or about another radical feminist blogger unless asked for my opinion or invited to comment in her space. If linked or quoted, I do think I have the right to give my side or defend myself. Large feminist/women's issues, I do think I have a right to comment or write about them or critique/analyze them, but I will avoid bashing. Books and noted authors/speakers, I think I should be able to do the same, but I will avoid bashing them.


Perfect, except for the loophole that you will allow the posse to continue.

...Whilst it seems unfair that RE has been 'singled out', it is because she is a ringleader, one of them at least, but has also been one of the most prolific in posting radbashing, plus stirring it up. The others of the posse do know full well what is going on, and should have the good sense to follow suit.



Let's just get one thing very, very clear. I am not ALLOWED by anyone to say or do anything. I own my own words, no one else's; and I answer to no one. Not Renegade, not antiprincess, not Princess Sparkle Pony, not the Pussycat Dolls Porn Posse, not the Zionist International Conspiracy, and least of all to some sorry little wet sparrowfart shaking tremulous tinfoil-covered fists and mouthing wild accusations and vague imprecations from the other side of the Atlantic.*

*Guide for the Perplexed: the above was not, in fact, a threat. That was a flame. A fine and time-honored Internet tradition, and yet another arena in which you are not so much morally superior as simply inept, Insect Girl.

Oh, yeah, and that second post? Which captured your publically posted words for all Internet eternity? Well, I realize that you don't -like- that. See, thing is, though: capturing someone's words and saying, "hey! you said something stupid as shit here!" or "ooh, you say you never said such and so, but here you are, saying such and so!" is not, in fact, on a par with posting sensitive shit like other peoples' nekkid and un-black-barred photos (or home addresses, or names of partners, and so on, and so on).

The latter is a potential endangerment to one's material well-being. The former is--an embarassment.

And that's what this is really all about, isn't it?

Stop slagging off (my chosen peer group/ideology)

Stop making us LOOK bad. Stop -embarassing- us.

Which, as a P.R. technique, well, savor the brilliance, there.

But apart from that--whatever deal was agreed on by you and Renegade is between the two of you. No more, no less.

Here is the deal, -my- deal, Stormcloud, the ONLY deal.

I hereby promise to not go try to look up and post for all to see -your- (or anyone's) personal information, (hey, I figure we both keep pseudonyms for a reason, right Stormy?) make -your- everyday, offline life miserable, or interfere with such in any way.

That would be true with or without your -ultimatums.- Without your -treaties- or whatever it is this week. Those are my ethics. That's it. That's all.

And: this is more etiquette than ethics, but I also will not attempt to post at anyone's blog where I have been explicitly requested--by the owner--not to post.

And: in general, I -try- to back up my arguments and other such shit; that is certainly something we could all be more stringent about, though, myself no doubt included.

And, as it happens, believe it or not, I have been trying to extricate myself from this godforsaken "'Radfem' versus Everyone Else but especially the Wasp/Sparkle Pony/Fuckbot Brigade" merrygoround for quite a while. And it is, has been, in fact, my intention to do my utmost to studiously ignore the lot of you from here on out, and in fact have been rather unsubtly suggesting to my pals that they do the same (and vice versa). This has been true for a while now, actually. Mostly because, it's really fucking boring. You're boring. Dear Jesus on a cracker, I'm boring myself for fuck's sweet sake.

So, apart from instances where this shit really does spill over into potentially affecting actual lives--to wit, say, lawmaking, or, y'know, -stalking-, I am gonna -continue- to do my utmost to talk about anything and everything BUT this shite. Try to persuade my friends to do likewise, because I would just enjoy our interactions so much better (and if I can't, well, that is their prerogative, because I am Not The Boss Of Them, nor they of me). Not, let us be -very- clear, because I give a fart in a high wind what you think or are plotting in your feverish little brain. Because I HAVE A LIFE GODDAMIT.

Having said that.

I do not promise to abstain from talking about any subject I please, linking to any public post or quoting the words thereof (same as everyone on the goddam Internets, Stormy) in order to further my own argument, say garden-variety meen things aka "flames" about any particular ideology, group or individual, or look at you cross-eyed. Especially not on account of your -threats.-

If you do not care for this policy, you may proceed to the complaints department, where you may fill out a form in triplicate, cram it in your gob, chew it vigorously to a fine pulp, spread it all over your body and wallow in it 'til you're fungal.

For that matter--you can do anything you please. We are all free agents, after all, even within our limited circles. And, should you decide to go ahead and do...whatever it is you're vaguely threatening to do...well, that's your decision.

Your choice, that is. No one is MAKING you do any such thing.

So, yeah, you could do that.

And if you do, you will be held responsible for it. And, one way or another, in whatever way those of us who were affected decide is ethical, there will be consequences.

Furthermore, as a matter of fact, here's what you've accomplished:

From here on out, in the event that Renegade or any of her "posse" (otherwise known as "friends") is "outed" online or off, and subsequently harassed--guess where we're ALL going to be looking first, Stormcloud?

Even if you didn't do it.

Unfair, isn't it?

Now, I understand that you see yourself as having taken one for the team, as it were, so perhaps this doesn't bother you so much.

Whilst I am the most nastiest unreasonablest bitch on the planetS I am trying to get all of you to see the end goal. Yeah my name is fucking mud. So what. I'll live.


Ends justify the means, eh? Okay.

Now, personally, I don't actually see you as representative of "radfems." I think you are basically speaking and acting for, well? yourself.

But let's say more people besides you share this belief that what you did was not only for the sake of, but for the -good of-, radical feminism. Ists. Whatever.

Here is what you just did, effectively:

"In the name of keeping all women safe, theoretically, I have just threatened to compromise another woman's safety. And, in the name of salvaging radical feminism's good name, I have...just threatened to compromise another woman's safety. In, um, the name of radical feminism. ...VIVA!"

Nice going, loser.

Comments are closed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

...eh, screw it.

i've decided: if i'm going to get caught up in other peoples' grand operatic dramas, complete with looney tunes, at least i ought to be entertained by it.

so, with that, i return, gratefully, to the Old Masters:





You have to admit, there is a certain universal poignance to it...



...best leave it to the professionals.



"Oh, I've had enough of this."

"No, you haven't."

"Oh, shut up."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

i'm ready for my sandwich, Mr. deMille

meh. hungry, yet...not. that is: i know i need to eat, yet none of the currently available options appeal. i did fast food burgers way too many times this last while. yesterday, for dinner (there are even fewer options in my neighborhood than in certain dreary parts of Manhattan), i had roast chicken from a Peruvian fast food joint. it used to be one of the few edible-ish places around; as with so many places around my spot, it seems to have gotten worse. anyway: it was gross.

i don't feel like cooking, either, so there too. and i'm out of groceries and can't be bothered...

going to Subway shortly i guess. cheese sandwich, with onion and a drop of oil. nothing else. water to drink. breath mint to follow. with this Spartan repast, a library book of Elizabeth David's writings propped up, in much the same way that one (oh noes) "uses" prawn (mmm. prawns. actually, ick, i don't like shrimp either) to get one through a rather run of the mill "relief" session.

meh.

i know you are all simply riveted by this.

i'll have more substantial nourishment for me and y'all...eventually.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

delurk, delurk...

even if you're not a lurker. here, i'll keep it nice 'n' easy: one word description of how you feel right now. just one.

me: "spacey."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Erase Racism Carnival is up

at Double Consciousness. I have a post in it, and there's lots of other good stuff there. go check it out.

More fucking harassment/outing bullshit by sexists/racists

Now Devious Diva of This is Not My Country is getting it. Which really sucks, not just because she's awesome and no one deserves this anyway, but also because she writes about shit that not many do, from a perspective not many do, and which in fact is precisely -why- she's being attacked (her support for European Roma and biracial heritage, among other things). Spread the word, spread the love.

DD's tagline really sums it up:

"The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing."

So c'mon, good people. Step up.

On a related note: April 28 is "Take Back the Blog" day, to be hosted by Crablaw.

As announced, this page will host the April 28, 2007 Take Back the Blog! Blogswarm in support of the rights of women to participate fully in all aspects of our society, including specifically online in the world of blogging but indeed everywhere and at all times, day and night, without fear of harassment, intimidation, sexual harassment, online stalking and slander, predation or violence of any sort. This page will be modified without notice during the next several weeks to accommodate the incoming structure and content for this Blogswarm...


h/t Jack

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Carnival of Feminists, #36, part 3

go back to part one

go back to part two

The rest of the entries are kind of a grab-bag; I've divided them into more or less short categories, in no particular order:

Work

Geeky Mom
explains Why I Work

Before I was married, I never questioned whether I would work or not. I knew a couple of women from both high school and college whose goal was to marry, have kids and stay at home, but for most of the women I knew, the question of whether to stay home or work didn't arise until after kids came along. For me, the question didn't arise until pretty recently. When our first kid came along, I was our only income, so there was no question about whether I would work or not. I had to. I had a pretty heated argument with someone who suggested I was shortchanging our son by returning to work. I remember nearly shouting, "Well, who's going to pay for our food and shelter if I don't work!" I was pretty steamed. In hindsight, it wasn't that I felt my adversary was right, but that I resented the dilemma in the first place...


ericacbarnett, who is Sick of Your Insane Demands, takes a critical look at a recent WaPo editorial by Carrie Lukas, noting that 77 Cents Is No Bargain:

...If US employers had to provide flexible working arrangements, pay for maternity leave, and keep women's jobs open while they're out taking care of their babies, women like Lukas wouldn't have to "opt" to make less money....These are structural flaws in our economic system, not choices--women "choose" "fulfillment" because the alternative--putting the kid in day care and going back to work immediately after childbirth or risk losing your job--is so unappealing.

...And personally, I would consider plenty of the jobs women disproportionately take pretty dirty, dangerous, and depressing: Jobs like day care worker, nurse, cafeteria cook, maid, home health care worker...


On a related note, Girl With Pen, aka Deborah Siegel, implores, Please, Leslie Bennetts, Tell Me I'm Wrong:

...I excitedly started reading [Bennetts'] book, The Feminine Mistake -- how can anyone who has written about Betty Friedan pass up a book with such a title? But the prologue itself gives me pause. Not for the reasons expressed by the "stay at home brigade," as Bennetts calls them in her retort on HuffPost to the barrage of opening critiques she's received from SAHMs, but on behalf of my generation.

Well-intentioned and heartfelt, Bennett's writing nevertheless positions younger women as in need of cautionary tales. Some of us, no doubt, do, and Feminine Mistake is full of important information about what happens when opt-out wives get left. But many others of us clamor instead for tales of workplaces that have realized women (AND men) have families. Where are the cautionary tales aimed at corporations about how bottom lines suffer when they fail to retain their women? Or the cautionary tales aimed at young husbands about how miserable they'll be if they opt out of time at home with the kids?


Octagalore of Astarte's Circus looks back from her current vantage point of "white collar worker" to her interlude as a stripper in "Tits, Torts, and Narcissism:"

What was my demographic? Typically, guys in their 40s-50s. They couldn’t be younger because I needed CEOs, VPs or partners in profitable firms. 2 years and out, was the goal. Also, I wanted them to feel lucky. Typically, they were somewhat out of shape. They’d usually be in fields in which they were working 50-70 hour weeks. Not much time to work out...

So, NOT the kind of “menz” who I’d want to gimme some sugar IRL. Nor feeding my narcissism – they didn’t want ME. They wanted a character. It was flattering to be able to come up with the character, to some degree. But more from the standpoint of artifice – solving a problem. The kind of kicks and giggles that come from any job well done – stripping, computer programming, teaching a class, making a placement. I didn’t respect anyone who could be fooled, even by me. The resulting attention wasn’t anything to take to the ego bank, but the cash fit nicely at B of A...


Renegade Evolution levels with us even further about "the biz:" "Okay, so, you want some truth, do you?"


Being involved in sex work, any variety really, most certainly affects you socially. Personally, this is where I’ve noticed the negative most often, most severely, and yeah, most painfully.

...People who hardly know you will ask flat out if you have been raped or molested, as well as asking how old you were when you lost your virginity, what your sexual orientation is, if you’re a drop out, on drugs, or if you have a significant other and how they “let” you do that…

You will also note that once in this business, people you assumed to be friends and such are suddenly embarrassed by your very presence and you become something else they gossip about and speculate on when you are not around.

And guess what? These are all things I tell women who are pondering getting into this business.


La Guerrillere broadcasts Dispatches from Planet Femina: Take This Job and Shove It:

You know that part of the fairy tale, where the heroine is tempted by the lure of fairy gold or great magical powers, not realizing the price that such riches exact? Like in "Goblin Market," when Laura eats the goblin fruit despite Lizzie's warnings. I think that sums up my time spent in the bizzaro-world of high class spas.


Parenting (i.e. Work, continued)

Rootietoot and Northern Girl have a new blog and manifesto, Omega Women Untie! From the opening call to arms:


Alpha Moms and Other Overachievers, you can have your SUV’s and androgenously named children and Blackberries. You can blow your Talbot’s wardrobe out your tight little Pilates ass. Take your charts and schedules and personal chefs and Go….A….Way.

We, the Omega Women, will rejoice in our crock pot meals, our stained and wrinkled clothing, and our joyful and spontaneous approach to life. We reject that Alpha philosophy of Junior High that says you have to be perfect to be worthy, and will debrief our husbands whenever we want.

You in?


At Bastante Already!, Kim raises and streams her consciousness about work, and parenting, and growing up, and by the way, Please Put Your Pants On:

I've earned a few stripes by now; I'm wisening into a crusty old sage.
I've tripped around edges, got wrapped in electric fence.
I'd like to say it made me stronger, but I'm not yet convinced it won't kill me.

Except.
It has made me stronger, hasn't it?
But it's compromised my tolerance.
Makes me want to yell at the world to grow the fuck up already.
Get of your ass already and I don't give a RAT'S ASS about your fucking "Me Time!"

You know what I got though?
As cliched as it sounds?
I finally have a love for my child that is so strong I miss her when I'm away from her for mere hours.
I have, for real and for true, a deepening relationship with an almost eight-year old girl who I think will trust me when she needs someone to trust.
I got this crazy, happy little funny little sometimes FUSSY little thing at home with me every Could Be Much LonliER Night....


kactus, aka Super Babymama asks, rhetorically, What's in a Name?

Lemme ask my brother, who for some reasons, almost 11 years after she was born, still cannot/will not pronounce my baby's name right.

...Of course, he doesn't mispronounce his other nieces' and nephews' names. Not Luke, not Dan, not Elizabeth, not Katherine. Just the little non-white one's name.

But you know, it's such bad manners to point out somebody's unconscious or passive aggressive racism. I'm supposed to shut my mouth every time he mangles my girl's name, cuz if I call him a racist fuck I'm just being a bitch, which is the worst thing a woman can be...


Mandy at How About Now? isn't sure this whole parenting deal is for her at all:

I strongly suspect I’m not really fit to be a parent – I’d rather make great art than a great person (I think). I also don’t believe in an ideal childhood, and I actually hope I can settle for average in that field instead of frustrating myself by reaching for the unattainable. Everyone I know is, to some extent, fucked up by their parents. Not that they were beaten with coat hangers or burned with curling irons or molested in the kitchen while the rest of the family sat down to Sunday dinner, but that no matter how much love we receive, it’s never the amount we desire...


Thelma T of Saying Yes has some wise words on The Gift of Frustration:

One thing I am trying to teach my children, instill in my children, is that it is okay to be frustrated. It is okay to not know what you want to do, to not like how what you are doing is going, to not be entertained 100% of the time. My imagination is one of my best friends and I am not sure it would be what it is if I hadn’t had time to fill, myself to entertain, things to figure out.

...I have seen over and over again, parents who are cruise directors with activities lined up one after the other for the moment the child shows the least bit of boredom. I’m not talking about just having ideas at hand, but rather having the whole kit ready only to be followed by another and another. I have had children over at my house who wait for the next activity, who sit there with blank faces wondering what it is they are to do now. I want to yell, “GO PLAY! GO INVENT SOMETHING!!!” but apparently they don’t know how! They’ve never had the time to realize they can save themselves from their own boredom, their own frustration...



Body Image and Appearance


Scorpiogrrl rants about leg shaving:

...If I am to shave again, it will bloody well be on MY terms, and FUCK whatever anyone else thinks about the hairy state of my legs.

He went on: "But don't you prefer the feel of freshly shaved legs".
I replied: "Actually I like the feel when they're hairy."
(It's true, I do. I like stroking them. I was, in fact, admiring the hair for quite a while yesterday.)

...So, Paul - and other males who may think to ask women who don't shave if they prefer the feeling of shaved legs and whatnot - Don't YOU prefer to feel your legs after they've just shaved?
No - you don't shave your legs?
But, it feels so nice to have shaved legs!
Why don't you shave YOUR legs?


mammamayhem of girl-mom threw out her "skinny pants"

I can love myself and I can love my body and being a curvy beautiful woman says “fuck you!” to the society telling me I have to be different than I am. I feel like I let go of so much when I bagged up those jeans, and took them straight out to the dumpster. I’m going to buy myself some new pants, and new swimwear. Summer is coming if this snow ever stops, and for the first time in my life I feel ready for the beach.


Nikki P. of Expressions of Herstory is also feeling good about letting go: Nappy Tale

So I'm loving my natural hair more and more everyday. Yeah, I said it I'm loving my hair. Did I love it when I first cut it? In honesty, NO! I didn't know how to manage my natural hair because I had been managing straight and relaxed hair most of my life. I was frustrated and thinking maybe I had lost my mind. I was even a bit self-conscious about my new look. Do they think I look like a boy? Why are people asking about my sexual orientation? They didn't ask me questions when I had straight long hair. Do the brothas think I'm too much too handle?...


Ms. Heathen at Behold, I Ensmarten You! has hair on her mind, too:

I hate explaining to the stylist exactly what I want done and then hearing one of three things:
"What does your boyfriend think of cutting it this short?"
"If we leave it long here it will look much more feminine."
or "I'm not sure that will compliment the shape of your face."

Sigh. It's not my boyfriend's hair, why do they ask that? Nobody has ever asked him if he has my permission to get a buzz cut, but somehow everyone thinks he owns my hair. Whiskey tango foxtrot?

...If I were concerned about how feminine I looked, I would have spent hours trying to rescue the hair instead of minutes with a pair of scissors. Femininity warred with comfort and comfort won.


Meanwhile, over at Screw Bronze!, Elizabeth has a different perspective on femininity and comfort: "I seek kink fashion skirts, someone to tongue so I feel "normal" plus a bottle of Valium"

...I have been pushed out of normal, passed some sort of veil of “fitting in” and it is more than just the wheelchair. More than so much pain every day I take different pills because the ones that work give toxic tremors after 4 days. Then there is passing out in the chair and hitting my head, bleeding or trying to walk two nights ago three feet unassisted and falling and screwing up my leg and foot. Or yesterday, getting my hair dyed, having five people to shampoo my hair, two for rinsing the color, two to hold up my head and shoulder weight, one to keep the oxygen mask pressed to my face. That, for me, that’s normal...

So maybe I am wondering if I haven’t been wasting my years if I could have been transforming lives by showing a bit more cleavage or whether these days making out and sticking my tongue in someone’s mouth because they make me feel “normal” for 10 or 15 minutes is such a bad thing after all? Or maybe if I buy a pleated skirt and some high heel kink mary janes, I can at least pretend that I am taking people’s minds off of what I don’t want to think about, and yet can’t stop thinking about. Because a lot of time, it hurts when I breathe.

As I explained in one alternative store the sexy look I was going for with a tinge of fetish and tights and bows, “I want it to say ‘I’m crippled but perverted.”


Aman A. at Improvisations: Arab Women Progressive Voice wonders When the Veil is Not a Veil

Of course, I'm dying to know how "Arab and Muslim culture" is now reduced to women covering their hair. I have a nagging fear that in these terrible times the veil has become our fig leaf! I find it a bit ironic that while a Kuwaiti minister is under attack for refusing to cover her hair--a stance that was praised by some readers on this blog-- Pelosi was quickly praised for supposedly showing respect to Arab and Muslim culture by donning what looked like a veil...


Untied Omega Woman rootietoot observes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, with an eye toward some Old Master beholders:

With the commonly accepted fine art paintings, from notable artists like Matisse, Picasso, those guys who are accepted as masters, the women are lush, large, sometimes outright fat (there, no pussyfooting today), and yet the paintings are considered beautiful. Of the photographs I’ve seen, there’s all sorts. The lean model types are more photos to sell a product (clothing, makeup), and the ones that, to me, seem like real *art*, with an eye for the total imagery and not just the product being marketed, have women in them who are imperfect. I like that. It makes me believe that I can be attractive and interesting, too.


A number of images of "Women the Media Would Ignore" follows.

And Triumphant Mulatta has a brief review of an exhibition by photographer Zanele Muholi, Positive images of black female sexualities (obligatory NSFW warning: nudity)

I am so moved by Zanele Muholi’s photographs. They are candid and tender and don’t feel exploitative like photography sometimes does to me. She has a beautiful eye for same-sex loving relationships among black women...


Religion and Spirituality

Passover pass'd over. The Purloined Letter considers the symbolism of Tapuz-The Orange:

A traditional seder plate holds bitter herbs (usually horseradish), charoset (a paste of sweet fruit and nuts), a roasted egg, a shankbone (or roasted beet for vegetarians), etc. In a traditional haggadah, we point to the foods and say things like, "Why do we eat matzah tonight?" or "Why is there charoset on the seder plate?"--then have a discussion of many different understandings, many different possibilities and ideas. The horseradish reminds us of the bitterness of slavery. The charoset is a way of expressing the sweetness of liberation.

Our seder plate, and the plates of many other progressive Jews, also holds an orange.

Why is there an orange on the seder plate?...


KG and JN of Jewish Women's Archive Blog answer as well: What's in an Orange?:

...The crucial phrase in the story was put into the mouth of a man saying, “there’s as much place for a woman on the bimah (synagogue pulpit) as there is for a orange on the seder plate.” As the 1996 Ma’yan haggadah concludes “Ever since that day, some Jews have placed an orange on their seder plates to assert symbolically that women and women's wisdom belong at the center of Jewish life and practice.” And this is the version that first began to appear in mainstream haggadahs....


Medusa Coils reviews a "Did God Have a Wife?" from a Goddess/spiritual feminist perspective:

This book establishes with strong archeological evidence that the Goddess Asherah was among the deities worshiped by Israelites, Judeans, and other peoples of the Ancient Near East (ANE). It’s a shame that William G. Dever couldn’t accomplish this without being unfriendly to today’s Goddess folk, a good number of whom came to this conclusion a while back...


Property of a Lady
's Deborah Lipp takes a personal look at the darker side of Feminism and Goddess Worship


There are two things you hear about feminism and goddess worship.

...The second thing is that goddess worship is inherently feminist, or at least inherently good for women. I thought Marina Walker demolished that theory pretty effectively by looking at Mary worship, and demonstrating that Mary is worshiped most fervently in the most patriarchal enclaves of Catholic culture. But you can also look at India, home of Shakti worship and Kali worship and Lakshmi worship; it is also a hotbed of sexism and misogyny. How anyone can look at goddess worship as it exists in the world today and assume that worshiping goddesses makes you all warm and cuddly towards real-world women is beyond me.

So that leaves me and my relationship with goddess worship. And feminism. Definitely I came into Wicca through feminism, and in my mind, they were connected. But the relationship I have with various goddesses, and my experience in Wicca as a feminist, is more complex...


Junia's Daughter had offered this entry for Blog Against Sexual Violence Day: Think Before You Preach:


Sexual violence is utterly evil. God hates it and we should too.

...It is vastly fostered by sexism, racism, and homophobia...It happens frequently in church, one of the prime places sexism, racism, and homophobia are found. This is one of the most damaging places because it fuses sexual and spiritual abuse and because the normal response is to excuse, minimize, deny, and/or blame the victim.

...Urging victims to forgive without seeking justice or helping them achieve it, or insisting that they find spiritual meaning or value in their experience--as happens constantly in pulpits, religious books, and pastoral counseling--is a further rape which grieves the Spirit of God.

...Please, before you preach on Jesus' words in the Garden of Gethsemane, or tell people to pick up their cross and follow him: think long and hard, and then think again, about how your interpretation will be received by the many silent survivors of rape, molestation, and sexual exploitation in your pews...


Academic


Seraph of Six-Winged Reflections posted a paper on the history of Courtly Love, and how its influence is still very much with us, albeit having gone through many sea changes in the process.

In Medieval times, women were given two role models, Mary and Eve. In the tradition of courtly love, women played both parts; beautiful, saintly Mary, passionately loved but inviolately chaste; and seductive Eve, giving in to temptation and desire.

...Whether or not romantic love was invented per se by Medieval poets, the work of such poets profoundly affected the meanings of the word “love.” While originally, the two types of love were sharply delineated—caritas, or charity, being Godly love, and amor, a term mainly designating carnal desire—the “religion of love” inspired by the practice of courtly love blurred the distinction...Redemption and sublimation were formerly sought through the church; now, the acts and feelings of being in love were expected to raise men to a higher plane of being.

...These ideas about the nature and function of love have had very interesting affects on life in the modern West. Christian preachers across America decry the state of the modern family, in particular the high rate of failed marriages. Such preachers often attribute the weakening of the traditional marriage structure to the immorality of our society (notable, homosexuality and pornography), but it can also be explained by a belief in a modified form of courtly love...


Thinking Girl also shares one of her papers with us, on Nationalism and Gender.

Mother country, homeland, motherland, mother tongue, land of our forefathers, brotherhood of men. These symbolisms are commonly spoken in moments of nation-building, painting a picture of “nation” as inextricably tied to personal connections of home and family. These symbolisms also inform identities in particular ways through intricately woven overlapping relational discourses of gender, race, sexuality, and nation. They are presented in the usual way of ideology – as divorced from any notion of embodiment.

However, these symbolisms are not just rhetorical devices, devoid of meaning and impact on those whose bodies match the symbols. They are part of nationalist discourses that have negative ramifications on bodies – specifically, the bodies of women...



Miscellaneous


Aulelia of Charcoal Ink tells harassers, don't touch what isn't "yours"

I tried to ignore him.

I tried again to ignore him, hoping that I wouldn’t react. After all, many girls get pushed on by men and get on with it. Why couldn’t I just leave it?

...Are we supposed to be calm and quiet and ignore them? I tried that in the first half yet again my anger was just too much. Should I have acknowledged the fact that they were men and shut my mouth? Either way, they would have found out that I wasn’t a Parisienne. This incident has opened many questions for me concerning men and women.Did he think I was arrogant for rebuffing him? I hate the fact that some men think they can prey on you and you are supposed to take it, regardless...


R tells us What An African Woman Thinks, in this case, that It's About Time:

Call me weird, but I do not mind travelling on my own...

The problem is, when you do, everyone and his family and their pet want to poke their nose into your business, at the very least to give you advice about how to improve your life—because it can’t amount to much. That so brings out the GRrr in me.

So the hotel industry in Kenya is finally getting a clue, taking the single woman traveller seriously. Well I suppose incredibly late is still better than never, right? But, of course I'm the perennial cynic. It's not the single women travellers that are drawing the attention, it's their money. Oh well. At least its something, and something is better than nothing.


The Swearing Lady hasn't weighed in on whether That Word is always terrible in the U.S. or okay in the U.K., but by her lights, at least, in the Arse End of Ireland:

You might think I'm being a bit hand-wringingly feminist about all this, that I'm taking on the moany mantle of shadenfreude so beloved by bra-burners; maybe I am. I'm not much of a feminist, though. I have no academic arguments to make to back up my sex, and most of the time I'm a terrible misogynist (and misanthropist). I'll just kick yer arse if you have a go at me.

...But the bad language! you cry. It's all very well to have the bad language coming from the blogging, manly fingers of Twenty Major, but girls should have more sense! Sense and sensibility!

But see, that's the thing. Cunt is such a very useful word.


Feminism on Feminism


Varieties of Feminist Theory is "A blog composed by the undergraduate students of Varieties of Feminist Theory (WSTU 125) at the George Washington University to expand conversations about feminist theory beyond the classroom." Topics include The Third Wave and a number of pieces on Gloria Anzaldua (There is no such thing as too much Anzaldua!)

cheshire bitten is a radical feminist, no matter what they say.

salty femme has a primer on surfing the third wave:

Here’s my secret: feminism is where it’s at for me. I really believe that. I also believe that feminism exists at the intersection of about 8 million other “isms” that we also need to pay attention to, without which a discussion of feminism would make absolutely no sense at all. I cannot discuss men, high heels, patriarchy (i.e. the BOOGIEMAN), footbinding, or lesbian identity without a) specificity and b) context...

If second-wavers are all “Damn the Man!” why and how do they express this by pitting women against one another and simultaneously assuming that somewhere deep down, all women just get each other? I don’t mind women talking about their own horrible and painful experiences with femininity – I think they should, in fact. I’ve had some of those myself. It’s the nonspecific ones that get me.


diaries of an eccentric nerd athaba hijibiji's zooeylive also considers intersections, rather deeply, in Women of Color Feminisms, Chela Sandoval, etc.


“Woman of Color” is not a term I grew up with. I mean, the term has a different connotation when you are living in a non-white nation/state/society. You just don' think about “race” in the same way when you are growing up in a country like India—I mean, what does it mean when you have a black/brown bourgeois in power? But in retrospect, I think I did grew up with a consciousness of race , especially since there was no way we could bypass the colonial history in Kolkata or in India. But the point is, I never thought of myself as a WOC until I came to this country. Similarly “Women of Color feminism” was not a term that existed in my political lingo until I was 22 or so...

...In general, I do agree with Sandoval. The WOC feminists did provide us with very different ways of thinking about race, class, and gender, very different ways of thinking about ourselves and our social locations. And at this point, we have to admit that neither the racial-identity based nationalist radical movements nor the white liberal feminist groups ever tried to analyze the social complexities in the ways US Third World feminisms or WOC feminisms did. But what is making me uncomfortable here, is Sandoval's use of the term “US-Third World feminism.” I mean, if we, the women of color living in US, begin to call ourselves “Third World women” or “Third World feminists,” then, where will the women from the material Third World go?..


Feminist Ally
jeff posts the third installment of his story, Mama's Boy: Accidentally Raised as a Feminist Man:

A big part of feminism in my life also centers around issues that are deeply entrenched in gender, but aren't only applicable to gender. My mother taught me to have little tolerance toward bullies, and she often did this by standing up to sexist men, who are at least one type of bully, in my mind...


...which inspires sassywho (I never leave without incident) to start her own series, first part here: "You can call me a feminist:"

My mother is a strong, successful, and ambitious woman who not only encouraged but nurtured my independence. She came of age a little late for the 60's feminist movement, and climbed the corporate ladder as a single mother in the 80's pseudo-equality environment no doubt struggling with the harsh realities that things weren't quite so. She used birth control, she votes, she divorced her husband, she's owned several of her own homes, and she has feminism to thank for that. She certainly lives her life with (mostly)feminist principles, and her accomplishments definitely contribute to feminism, but she is not a feminist. Why? Because she says so, in fact she almost cringes when I use the language.

My father isn't a feminist either, but even with all of his flaws I was incredibly lucky with how open minded he is...

...So why am I a feminist and my parents are not, even if we share some of the same values and principles? It's rather uncomplicated actually, it's because I say so. Now, what kind of feminist I am is much more convoluted. Feminism is a social, political and personal movement not limited to women. Change does not occur without conversations and organized actions. I hear people say that they agree with the values but don't want to consider themselves one, like it's a dirty word. Feminism is not a label, or a title, it's an identity much like a political or religious affiliation. A woman does not have to be involved with NOW, with Planned Parenthood, or march on the steps of the Washington to make an impact from a feminist platform. Just starting a conversation by stating that you are a feminist contributes to the movement by opening dialogues in your own community....


Team Rainbow has a guide for the perplexed, in How to Talk to a Feminist:

As a mighty and brilliant patriarch, comfortable in the knowledge that you have earned every bit of your life's privilege within a just and equal global meritocracy, you may occasionally come across individuals that cause you great discomfort and inconvenience. Sometimes these individuals self-identify as feminist. Other times it's up to you to label them. In any case, it's on everyone's mind: what do I say to these hysterical shrews? How can I calm them down and assist them in seeing reason? The following is a step-by-step guide that will help you help them...


And finally, if you're feeling overwhelmed at this point, once again, you can always take a refresher course at Finally, a Feminism 101 blog.

*****************************************************

Thank you all who sent contributions, so much; thank you, everyone for bearing with me with the lateness and the...lengthiness. The next Carnival will be on May 2nd and is being hosted at Kitkat's Critique. Also be sure to check out some of the other fine carnivals whose links i will probably post sometime...tomorrow. today. Thank you and have a wonderful evening. *pitches over and passes out*

go back to part one

go back to part two

Carnival of Feminists #36, part 2

In other news--well, there was a lot of it, news, this past couple of weeks, that affected us, much of it grim. To start, fresh off the ticker tape today: the Supreme Court 5-4 decision upholding partial-birth bans. Mad Melacholic Feminista has more:

I can't say that I am at all surprised by this decision. After all, this is precisely why Bush and Co. have been trying to stack the judiciary with folks like Robert and Alito. Moreover, I was out there protesting Roberts during his hearings because I knew, despite what well-meaning folks tried to tell me, he was no moderate.

Of course, my sentiments are best expressed by Ruth Ginsburg:

'Today's decision is alarming,'' Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent. She said the ruling ''refuses to take ... seriously'' previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion.

Ginsburg said the latest decision ''tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.''


The most troubling part of this ban is that it will undoubtedly result in the death of women, whose lives are no longer as important as the fetus they are carrying.

I think that what troubles me even more about this decision is drive to "draw a bright line between abortion and infanticide."...

What hubris of this administration (and the SCOTUS majority) to think they alone have the ability to draw such bright ethical lines on matters that are inherently fuzzy and hence why they lead to such impassioned ethical debates. Ethical deliberation is not intended to answer "easy" questions, it's intended for the very difficult questions, such as a pregnant woman having to consider a late-term abortion to protect her own life.


bean of a bird and a bottle laments, "Oh Justice Kennedy, How You Have Failed Us"

The Supreme Court today upheld the late-term abortion ban Congress passed after the Court struck down a similar ban a few years ago. Congress, if you remember, passed the bill after making findings that a late term (aka partial birth) abortion was never medically necessary. Which is BS. Of course. Anyone with half a brain knows that.

But apparently not Justice Kennedy, who provided the crucial fifth vote to uphold the ban and who wrote the friggin’ majority opinion. Given that he’s now the swing vote on the court (since O’Connor stepped down), this does not bode well for women’s rights under the Roberts SCOTUS.


Jaymi at the Feminist Pulse points out that not only is this a loss for womens' rights today, but

This is truly frightning, especially when we don't even have an effective safe-sex ed program in schools. Bush's abstinence only bull shit has been proven by independent researchers to be completely ineffective at preventing pregnancy. Duh.


Feminist Nation has a partial list of other bloggers covering this.

Lauren at Faux Real Tho! rounds up more roundups, noting in passing,

The one thing I find hopelessly cruel — other than the obvious things that everyone else has noted — is that the type of abortion banned was the one that allowed a family to say goodbye to and bury a very wanted child, often named, who was assigned a birth certificate. It was one way of allowing women to view and hold their dead babies after delivery, one avenue of emotional healing after having gone through the majority of a pregnancy and then given the dire news that the pregnancy wasn’t viable.

I can’t imagine making it so far through and then having to deal with the disappointment.


Oh, so about that abstinence-only education business: yeah, this just in, it doesn't work. As Amanda of Sexual Evolution puts it, ...Shock!

...a federally funded study of “abstinence only” sex education programs found that they are not effective in reducing sexual activity or increasing age at first sexual activity amongst young people. The study, by Mathematica Policy Research Inc., followed participants from four abstinence-only programs as well as young people from the same communities who were not receiving structured sex education. It is by far the largest study that has been done on the topic, looking at more than two thousand students in cities and in rural communities and conducting long-term follow up research. The four programs studied were chosen because they were supposed to be the “all-star” programs. The federal government spends $176 million funding abstinence-only sex education programs annually (and approximately, oh, PRACTICALLY NOTHING on comprehensive sexuality education). Put it all together into once sentence and this is what you get:

A federally funded study has demonstrated that the government is spending $176 million annually on abstinence education programs that are ineffective while refusing to seriously fund other, potentially more effective comprehensive programs.


Debra Haffner of Sexuality and Religion not only has been saying that Abstinence Only Programs Don't Work since 1997, she is willing to challenge their proponents on their own claimed turf:.

The press releases from organizations that support abstinence-only education are trying to find the best spin on the story. One said that it doesn't matter that the programs aren't effective because they offer the right moral message.

But, they don't. As our "Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Sex Education" says we have a Scriptural and theological commitment to truth-telling. And programs that lie or deny young people life saving information about their sexuality are wrong.

And immoral.


DCup of Politits waxes nostalgic about Sex Advice from My Mother (yes, this one also could've gone in that first section):

It boiled down to this.....(brace yourself)....don't do it.

My mother, staunch Democrat that she is, has missed a great opportunity to reach out to the other side of the political spectrum on the sex issue. All this time she's been working at the hello desk at the casino and she could have been raking in the dough teaching no-sex ed for the Bush Administration. Ah, another missed opportunity to create a financial legacy that I could have shared with my siblings.

Well, fuck. Actually, don't fuck. Because that's the message that the absolutely useless abstinence-only sex education programs have been spreading to hormonally pumped American teens...


Written on the Body's Jane Doe notes that in general, Repression does not feel good.

I’m always been tempted to analyze, or perhaps pathologize, this new fad called abstinence. There’s a lot going on there. Authority figures telling people not to have sex isn’t a new occurrence- the Christian Church has spent most of its history trying to do just that. And sex-denying propaganda has always been targeted mostly at women because:

a) they are the purer sex and therefore by default in charge of taming the wild, and never liable, sex drive of the male sex.

b) because they get to bear the children that may or may result from fornication and god forbid we may not know who the father is.

...and now here we are in the 21st century with Maxim, Girls Gone Wild and the Abstinence movement. Living in a culture that can no longer deny women enjoy sex and in which they don’t have to risk get pregnant every time they have sex (I’m speaking specifically of Western culture here) we’ve seen methods of sexual control split into a schizophrenic monster....You’re either having sex or not, you’re a virgin or a whore, now god dammit make up your mind so we can judge you either way.


And sure enough, the judging continues apace, as evinced through some of the other major stories of the past few weeks or so.

As noted by Pam's House Blend along with, well, pretty much everyone by now, Don Imus passed some rather bone-crushingly ignorant racist and misogynist judgment on the Rutgers' womens' basketball team. He got judged in his turn, but is that the end of it? The Anxious Black Woman connects NBC's firing of Imus with the near-simultaneous dropping of the Duke lacrosse case, and asks a question that takes on multiple resonances, How Innocent Are They?

How "innocent" are the Lacrosse players? I don't know about the three particular guys who were charged, but...we know that they specifically hired two black women to strip at their party. Hmmm, were they hoping to recreate the hypersexual "video ho" broadcast all over Viacom-owned TV right in their living room? We also know that at least one instance of violence occurred - the hurling of the racial epithet...for which a 911 call was made and a next-door neighbor verified hearing.

None of these occurrences prove "rape" or "sexual assualt," but they do prove that the party guests are not "innocent," that they're not "good people." They were racists who were interested in demeaning a racial category of womanhood, and when they felt they didn't get their money's worth, so to speak, they sought to berate them verbally...


Please Professor Black Woman
has more thoughts on the notion of the "Good Person" in this context:

Amidst a storm of people calling for his dismissal, Imus went on Al Sharpton's radio show and apologized with the simple phrase "I'm a good person." Sharpton's rejoinder, "You can be the best person in the world and still need to be fired." On his own show he said "I said a terrible thing but I'm a good person."

Here is the problem with "I'm a good person."...It excuses the violence perpetrated by the average American citizen because they are not wearing a hood, a tat, or a t-shirt that affiliates them with a known hate group. Yet it is the every day violence, of the "good people," in this world that makes it unsafe and encourages the "less good people" to enact violence on the bodies of the Other.


TransGriot dryly notes that Dissing Black Female Athletes Is Nothing New:

Before Title IX mandated increased funding for women's athletics in 1972, the African-American community was long a proponent of allowing women to compete in athletics. The YMCA's, YWCA's, sports clubs and HBCU's ensured equal funding for boys and girls sports in our communities and in many cases to insure excellence insisted that the girls play by the tougher men's rules...

So when the ripple effect from Title XI began to take hold in the late 70's our community was positioned to take advantage of it.

But with that success came negativity. The L-word was (and still is) hurled at many women athletes. The WNBA was so sensitive to it in the early days that despite a fan base that is 10% GLBT peeps, they still market their athletes by heavily playing up their femininity. They are seen glammed up, you'll read articles on WNBA.com concerning which WNBA players have the rep for being fashionistas or they inform the public when players miss the season due to pregnancy.

Black women athletes face additional challenges. If they perform at high levels they are quickly accused of cheating by the white male dominated sports reporting world and the court of public opinion which is shaped by their blustering comments...


while Black Amazon, Having Read the Fine Print, explains patiently, machete in hand, that yeah, actually racist and sexist slurs predate rap, too, or, Hip Hop Didn't Do That Shit:

...Privilege results in lazy ass motherfuckers who have no desire to deal with the responsibility of their "rights". It is expected you'll be unchallenged un shaped and allowed to do whatever.

Hip Hop didn't do that.

...Hiphop doesn't make Our female allies slow out the fucking gate to stand up, or that gay bashing white boys are pitted against grandstanding DA's and leave a lone black woman the face of all evil?

Or a dried out tired media using any opportunity to scare up flagging sales?

Or one white man using rash misogynistic racist language to speak in barely coded terms to his audience and getting caught cause he went after a high profile Cinderella team...

...Hip Hop didn't do that shit it just gave it a beat and a hook


A Womyn's Ecdysis writes of LAX...DUKE Depression:


I mean, SERIOUSLY, do people honestly think that women with "questionable" histories who dress in "sheer red negligee" go around saying they were gang raped for shits and giggles? Because it is SO much fun to be publicly humiliated and Wikipedia-ed as a result of reporting a sexual assault?...

...How much more does a lifetime of circumstances, a lifetime of choices that we do not approve of, taint our ability to see truth? She's a stripper. Single mother. Black. Student at a less prestigious school. She supposedly stripped less than 2 weeks after the alleged rape. If she was really raped, she wouldn't go back and do that sort of thing again. Or, SHE MIGHT HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS AND NEED TO FEED HER CHILDREN.

...In the future, these men will always be, perhaps unjustly, linked to the case and they will forever have to prove they were indeed "innocent" of the charges, and that the "fantastic lies" were indeed fantastically told.

But, my primary concern is not of the first class smear affairs. My focus is on the young women who will forever have those three children that lived through this and the murky mystery of what truly happened that night...


troubleinchina of Trouble! The Whole Shebang! is also good and fed up with the mainstream media's assbackward labelling of "victim" and "criminal," respectively, as she fisks a New York Post article, "Attack of the Killer Lesbians" (no really, that's the real headline, too):


I love this article. I do. Because it's written like an exact "How To Belittle The Experiences Of Women and Gay People Who Talk About Harassment" Primer.

April 12, 2007 -- One of them was "slightly pretty," so the freelance film director decided to say hi.

Next thing he knew, he was encircled, beaten and knifed in the gut right there on a Greenwich Village sidewalk - by seven bloodthirsty young lesbians.


It came out of nowhere! It did! He was just walking along, minding his own business, when those lesbians (must make sure we know they're young and lesbian) just attacked him for being friendly! That's totally how this happened!...A simple hello! Defenseless and terrified! The slightly pretty one just came at him for no reason!

Hmm... That just strikes me as a bit odd. But then, I didn't grow up in the city. And I understand girls are now meaner, and these were young lesbians, so maybe they're part of that. Damn. Poor guy.

Oh. Wait. There was a video tape of this attack.

The women, in turn, claim they were defending themselves against a violent, anti-gay bigot, and counter that Buckle provoked them as he sat outside the IFC Center movie theater trying to talk pedestrians into buying his latest movie. When they rebuffed his advances - telling him he wasn't their type - he began calling them "f- - -ing dykes," they say. He then spat on them, threw a cigarette at them, and even grabbed one of them by the throat -which, like much of the melee, was caught on an IFC video security camera.

Right... that's just "saying hello" in ... some other language? Like Klingon?...


Diary of a Goldfish eyeballs still another example of media's sexist/sensationalistic slant, in The Violent Femmes:

However, six killings in two months involving mostly black male children in our capital city and our Communities Minister Ruth Kelly insists this problem is about isolated individuals. Six isolated individuals dying in similar circumstances in the same city within a space of weeks. Meanwhile, what about white female children? One killing in the last few years, a slight drop in rates of crime among young women, but a few very nasty, highly publicised incidents. Naturally, it's a outrage.

BBC news: Violent girls making the headline.

The article is one of those standard finger-wagging exercises. Women or girls are perceived to have begun to indulge in a previously male-dominated vice. The causes of this vice must be gender-specific, something wrong with girls, as opposed to something wrong with the concerned individuals or society in general. Just as many imply that those boys in London are killing one another because they are black, not because of anything in themselves or in the culture they occupy – or, far more likely, a deadly combination of both.

But this article really did take the biscuit, the link to it posing the question: Is violence among teenage girls misguided feminism?
...


As per "violent girls," well, we do have ways of dealing with them. Some girls more than others, speaking of racism...well, the Shaquanda Cotton case is more or less a closed book for now--if you missed it, you can get a pretty full rundown on the fourteen year old girl who was sent to jail for seven years for pushing a hall monitor over at The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum, including the denouement: that is, after serving a year, there was a strong recent push to get her freed, and she was indeed released to her mother.

That same weekend, however, another school called the cops on a six year old girl who was having a tantrum: like Cotton, she just happened to be black. I'm just going to go ahead and include my own piece on this, God bless the child.

The last Carnival covered the Kathy Sierra saga in detail; this one keeps going and going, not least because Kos said something really, really stupid about it. Wampum has a good roundup of reactions to this. A pretty representative sample is at Pacific Views: Newsflash: Rape and Death Threats Not Funny.

Get a thicker skin. Hunker down. Learn to defend yourself. Don't antagonize people. Don't crave acceptance so much. Be more confrontational. She was asking for it. Yeah, whatever. As many of the responses to this have noted, this doesn't happen to men. Not like this. They do not routinely get threatened with rape. They don't get as many threats. Nobody's been telling them since they were little children that there are an awful lot of things they have to do to keep themselves from being physically violated in public, in private, in churches, in schools, at work, in buildings late at night, when walking down the street, while walking in the woods, when going to the park, in parking lots, at parties, at concerts, when you're alone, when going on dates, while going out with friends of the opposite sex, in bars, when taking cabs, in your own home, in nightclubs, at sporting events, while jogging, when wearing the clothes all the perfect fashion models and actresses wear, when your blouse is too low, when your skirt is too high, when your clothes are too tight, when you're wearing sexy shoes, when you've got on too much makeup, when you look good, when you're wearing shorts, while breaking up, if you're too nice, if you're too bitchy, if you flirt too much, if you draw too much attention to yourself, when visiting an ex, on becoming a public figure, when getting into a male-dominated field, while near construction sites, near waterfronts, at amusement parks, when getting into your car, et-frakking-cetera.

...And unless that woman happens to have powerful friends, she's probably going to be told to get a tougher skin. It's just a joke. A fark. Nobody really means anything by it. Until they do.


Like say, for instance, when some guy who's been exhibiting stalking behavior one fine day decides to go on the worst shooting rampage in U.S. history.

brownfemipower has a few words inspired by Emily Jane Hilscher:

Why is our need to disown this man from our culture more important than our need to remember, honor and mourn those who were brutalized? What would be different if our first reaction was to talk about a fallen sister’s laugh, the way she learned to crawl when she was only four months old, how she was a horrible speller, or how she had sex for the first time (and boy did she love it!) while at Virginia Tech?

How would things be different?

Would we hug our daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, best friends, lovers, a whole lot closer? Would we try to remember a time when violence against women wasn’t so fucking normal? Would we get ill, physically ill, realizing that we have no memories of that time, and that our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers don’t either? Would we commit to letting our love for the women in our lives guide us toward a world free from violence? Towards a world where “only” and “just” are cause for outrage and horror?


And some are taking action. In response to yet another passel of (college) journalists who think feminist concern about womens' safety is just the funniest thing ever, soapbox spinster has been dedicating the last two weeks or so's worth of posts and other activism to calling them out. The latest update:



First off, yesterday afternoon, sometime between a meeting I had with Fab Dolan and the Town Hall meeting at 7, the USC and the Gazette both released press releases with official, for-real-this-time apologies:

...The USC has also claimed accountability and USC President Fab Dolan has officially apologized. He also notes that reforms will be in place by September 1st (aka before the Gazette can publish another issue)...


and Sylvia of the Anti-Essentialist Conundrum has a new project: AfroSpear is Ready to Strike!

After the galvanization of support and discussion surrounding Shaquanda Cotton and her release, many bloggers of African descent discussed how to maintain this network of support and internet action. As the conversations brewed, we noted the difficulties of finding many black and African voices who focused on political subjects. So the trickles and traces began flowing into common areas until we formed a stream of voices on the internet tubes, a stream of individual bloggers and communities that call themselves the Afrosphere.

In the advent of Don Imus, where the mainstream media have essentially seized upon a miniscule soundbyte of “black culture” — mainstream rap music — and have attempted to use it as the be-all and end-all of our existence, I’m realizing swiftly that an Afrosphere is necessary.

...As a result, in addition to maintaining my little haven The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum, I am joining the ranks of a new collaborative think tank. Along with four others — Maxjulian/Lubangakene of thefreeslave, Asabagna, Aulelia of Charcoal Ink, and Field Negro — we will combine our voices on this blog and share ideas and information to illustrate the range and depth of thought and community among the various types and cultures of people of African descent...


To end this section a somewhat lighter or, well, not that, more schadenfreudische? curious? note, Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild infamy got ordered to jail for a bit (as zuzu at feministe put it, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy). Off of which, Plains Feminist has the scoop on the disconcertion that happens when feminist activism dovetails momentarily with that of the Religious Right:

What's different about GGW is that they manipulate women by getting them drunk and by taking them, one at a time, onto the tour bus. Once there, without their friends to support them, they can be intimidated and coerced into the soft porn we see advertised on cable. They can also be raped. If they are drunk or underage - both happen regularly - they cannot legally consent, anyway. And all of this has happened on the tour buses... GGW poses a danger to women. And, further, Joe Francis and his cronies get rich off of their films, while the women who are filmed get t-shirts or caps.

And so I did everything I could to stop them from coming here...

I was feeling pretty good about this effort: I knew that others were also making phone calls, and I also knew that people would likely have a strong reaction once they read the links I'd sent. But the next day, there was an interesting shift in the "movement." My original email had been forwarded, and I ended up on a distribution list of some religious folks. Here is a portion of an email call to action I received:

I am more than willing to go to the Lava and pray... An effective method maybe to emulate the red LIFE tape we use at the abortion clinics, only use blue tape and write the word "PURE " Silent prayer meetings versus vocal protests have a lot more power in this type of confrontational situation…

I believe that when men, especially, come to events like this and act in prayer and purity, it is extremely powerful against the forces of darkness...


Tensions also flared between factions of feminists. This round was sparked by a workshop proposed for UK-based Ladyfest Leeds, on Feminism, Censorship, and Pornography. The description reads, in part:

As the Home Office prepares to pass new laws over the ownership of extreme adult pornography, Ladyfest Leeds will be holding a panel debate looking at whether this form of censorship contributes to women's liberation or oppression.

We will be bringing together a range of participants to debate whether there is a need for this change in the law, and to look at the key issues involved surrounding pornography and feminism. Key questions include:

* Is this the start of a more sinister invasion of people’s privacy or is it essential to ensure a safer future for women (and others)
* Should the possession of extreme pornography be illegal?
* What role does pornography play in backing up institutionalised sexism and sexist beliefs?
* Can queer/feminist porn inform this debate? Is it a liberating/subversive force or is it still embedded within patriarchal images of the woman?
* Is reclaiming the sex industry a necessary step in achieving gender equality?
* Can women be anything but commodities/objects in sexual images? What about the objectification of men?

We want to hear your views! It will be a lively and informative debate, and ALL viewpoints and perspectives on this often controversial topic are welcome...


Anti-porn activist Charliegrrl read the notice and asks, "When is Feminism not Feminism?"

I was browsing through the workshops of Ladyfest Leeds, to find a workshop entitled Feminism, Censorship and Pornography. Here we go I thought… So I did a bit of digging to find that the workshop is being held by two women who both have signed the petition against the criminalisation of the possession of extreme violent porn. The workshop is about criticising the recent legislation to criminalise the possession of extreme violent porn, and considering if this contributes towards women’s liberation or women’s repression..?

A few of us objected. Why do we need to discuss if criminalising the possession of rape and murder of women is a good or bad thing for women? Of course it’s a good thing. Oh but of course, criticising the workshop is censorship and that’s baaaaaad…

**The blurb to advertise the workshop was going to be this…

How many feminists fantasise about rape play? Is “pornography the theory, rape the practice”? How many of us are turned on by the idea of restraint and pain? Is SM just a space for abuse? What does pornography mean to feminists in contemporary society? How has porn affected OUR lives and sexual experiences?

In our 90 minute workshop, we will be hosting an open discussion exploring issues surrounding feminism, pornography and censorship. As the Home Office prepares to pass new laws over the ownership of extreme adult pornography, we question whether this form of censorship contributes to women’s liberation or repression. And we want to hear your views! We hope to host a lively and informative debate, and welcome ALL viewpoints and perspectives on this often controversial topic.


‘Rape Play’? What the fuck!!!

They have since seen sense after complaints and edited this blurb to omit ‘rape play’ and amended the line-up to include anti-porn discussion. I’m still not convinced. ..


One of the workshop's organizers, verte, replied, which response is on her blog, rocket fuel:

...Ladyfest pretty much fits into a third wave feminist mould and therefore is inclusive of all strands of feminism, including pro-porn, anti-censorship and pro-SM feminism, and less concerned that there are binary right/wrongs on single issues. On past occasions, however, we have been called 'sick psychos' and received cat calls asking us if we've been raped, which I was then forced to reveal to 150 people in order to dislodge some entirely incorrect assumptions. This abuse came from anti-porn feminists. I think they sometimes breed shame in other women at feminist events, especially when it comes to sexual expression, and it's therefore important that there are speakers to counteract these views and, I hope, find new, more moderate solutions. I still have hopes that the workshop may prove a productive forum for discussion on pornography. It's why I set set it up in the first place. At Feminist Fightback, I read, some radical feminists boycotted the event because ENS Women included the International Union of Sex Workers on the agenda. It's all too ironic that they cite the abuse of women on porn sets as a reason for the criminalisation of the possession of 'extreme' porn, and then attempt to prevent these women having rights and seeking solidarity with and support from other feminists...


Sparkle Matrix responds to verte (among others) with "Let us draw the line...so bite me I'm a nun"

Keen-sighted people may notice that women are routinely raped and beaten both in real life and in pornography. That nudging up to 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That woman’s humiliation and degradation are viewed as “entertainment” for masturbation. Cannot we just leave it out for a couple of days a year at a Feminist function where we can celebrate our femaleness - try to remember that many women do not have CHOICES are NOT willing participants and do NOT become aroused by sexual abuse.

If you are having a reaction to this - then ask why? What are you so in need of protecting? Why are you so angry about your own “freedom” rather than the emotional safety and comfort of women as a group including partaking at a feminist event? You are not — then you have no right to call yourself “feminist”


Incurable Hippie
also calls out members of Informed Consent (a UK-based BDSM board), among others criticizing Charliegrrl, as Bullies Defending the Patriarchy:

I *know* the pro-BDSM arguments and they are very loaded, and are packaged in a way to make it look really bad to oppose them. If you oppose them you are censoring people, or oppressing valid alternative sexualities, or anti-sex (that good old!), or anti-free will! There is also lots of talk about allowing women to choose to work in the empowering sex industry.

...I am not currently up for writing these arguments out myself, because I know what I'd say, I know what pro-porners would say in response, and I'm sick and tired of having the same discussions and rows, which lead nowhere and frustrate me intensely. My energy is needed elsewhere!

However, as a brilliant sum-up of a lot of the issues involved in BDSM sex, 'rape play', pornography, prostitution, lesbian S&M and abusive sex, I must send you on to read, How Orgasm Politics has Hijacked the Women's Movement" by Sheila Jeffreys.

Summary:
Just because it makes you have an orgasm, doesn't make it ok.
Think about *why* you might have an orgasm that way.
Put it in a political and gendered context. Think.


antiprincess of I Shame the Matriarchy responds to incurablehippie:

well, yes ma'am!

as a switch who mostly bottoms, I'm used to doing what I'm told and respecting authoritah and all.

So, off I go to think. some more. on why I'm such a reactionary gender traitor and unenlightened lumpenfraulein and wrecker of the Movement and selfish selfish pervert, off to contemplate how best to do penance for all those selfish selfish orgasms I've so gleefully and heedlessly flung all over the Feminist Landscape, crushing the tender buds of Revolution with every spasm...

Seriously, I gave it serious thought. as usual. All night. Why am I like this? why am I so sick and defective and bad? Where did I go wrong?

and I came up with the usual answers: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.

What makes Incurable Hippie think I haven't thought about it? I've been thinking about it for coming up on twenty five years now. politically, gendered-ly, psychologically, morally, legally, name-your-adverb-ly - I still don't know. That's a lot of sleep lost to tossing and turning in the name of getting right with Feminism.

I know I feel a lot more functional, and make better, more healthy choices, when I'm not obsessing about what a bad person I am. And part of that is accepting what makes me tick, sexually speaking.

So, yeah, I thought about it, and I think I'm still a pervert.


oh-annalouise
uses a comment from the same Incurable Hippie thread as a jumping-off point:

Here's the one that really set my teeth on edge:

"Their so called consent is not solid. Let me see, paranoid schizofrenic women, bipolar disorder women, histerical personality disorder, postraumatic stress personality disorder from rape or chid abuse, 90% of them are heavy drug users, mentally retarded women, autistic women. Almost all well known US porn stars fall in one or more of those cathegories. Many are also in codependent relatioships, sometimes abusive. So much for consenting adults. "

Let's move on, for a sec, from how totally fucked up it is to imply that survivors of sexual assault are therefore, for the rest of their lives, unable to give meaningful consent. Let's even move on from the women who pose for Kink.com.
Let's talk about women in the sex industry who's exploitation and coercion is an indisputable fact. Let's talk about trafficked women and underage girls and what it does to truly oppressed, truly exploited women to use this kind of rhetoric...


continue to part three


go back to part one