Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So, gourmet, organic, etc. cookies -seems- like a good idea, right?

...and they come in flavors like chocolate chip, and chocolate mint fudge, and everything you supposedly want.

So why is it that they inevitably taste like ass? And I find myself going back to terrible shit like Mallomars and Hostess Cupcakes?

ETA: and while we're on the general subject.

I propose a moratorium on all use of the term "cookie" for derisively signaling that so -and-so is a Crap Ally or just plain asshole who's made some entirely inadequate gesture nominally toward erasing oppression and is now wondering, whinily, why effusive thanks and praise are not coming hir way from the oppressed/annoyed persons in question.

Why? Because

a) as overused and often misused poli-blog cliches go, it's getting even worse than "straw__"

b) cookies are a GOOD thing. we should not be minging in doling out COOKIES.


Monday, July 28, 2008

:facepalm: Okay. What's Wrong With This Picture?


Renegade was addressing this post by Nine Deuce, and at first I was--lazily, I admit it--just sort of responding off of RE's response, briefly, because honestly, I just didn't want to get into it, and I didn't want to go over there and really engage. Mostly because I can hear the faint melancholy tinkle of "It's a Small World" playing in the back of my head again, and I--no. I mean--no. I'm obsessive compulsive, God knows, but even I have my limits for this particular argument, particularly--no, can't even be arsed to get into it that far. Okay, fine, porn is the root of all evil, people or at least men are like Pavlov's dogs and can be conditioned by orgasm, the idea that a career in sex work could ever be anything but dangerous and disgusting is merely an illusion and the people who are in such careers and argue otherwise are merely kidding themselves--you know what, I'm not one of those people, I'll stick up for my friends, but otherwise...what the fuck ever, I'm really tired. Whatevs.

But I did eventually click over because I -had- replied even tangentially to Ren's post there, and thought it'd be rum not to at least read the whole thing before commenting.

Unfortunately, I got stopped by this illustration. Which, I take it isn't of ND's drawing, but seems to have met with great approval from at least two other people who've since blogged it at their own spots. Um. Uh.

Okay. Not to be leading or anything, I'm just gonna go ahead and repost it and ask:

Why, exactly, might someone find this offensive? Even someone who -isn't- an Empowerful Stripper or Sparkly Fun Sexy Feminist? Three guesses, and the first two don't count, 'k?

I'll be over here.

ETA: right, okay, clearly I was wrong, Heart and Nine Deuce and witchy-woo have determined that the cartoon is not repeat NOT racist, (or sexist either, of course: we're not laughing AT the clueless blonde in the bikini, NO) and therefore it must not be. And obviously any cartoon by this cartoonist is probably okay, I mean: like, there's no racism here either, right?

ETA again
: thanks, Sarah, for explaining -why- the former is erm -problematic- more coherently than I can at this point. I mean, obviously you are another one of those woman-hating meenie meenertons who Just Have It In For um whichever beleaguered personality it is this week and don't really mean what you're saying EITHER, because who would really; but, thanks for the effort: we who are about to crush the True Revolution salute you. Oh, and Ren, too, of course. And Bint, yes indeed.

ETA again, again: Yes, I am aware that the second cartoon is likely anti-W and anti-war. No, it wasn't actually -immediately- obvious to me on first seeing it, for a number of reasons, (for one, having seen a few too many unironic right wing odes to Dubya a la "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" back in the day, and just a shitload of really rank xenophobia) although I figured it out after a few more clicks. No, I don't think that the fact that it's not actually intended to be far-right propaganda means that it isn't using problematic, racially loaded imagery.

The artist in question--who's worked for both right wing and left wing media outlets and whose motto would appear to be that she is, in her words, "an equal opportunity skewer" (how...edgy) has a number of similarly erm ambiguous cartoons wherein mostly I think, as with the first one here: I really don't know -what- the fuck the point was here, exactly; I can -guess- what it's -supposed- to be saying more or less, but, ummmmm, it's not actually funny, see.

And, you know, I COULD go on explaining how actually, it doesn't -matter- that the audience in the first one may not have been -intended- to be -all- of color; it's -still drawing on loaded imagery and pushes reactionary buttons-, or the etiology of the "dumb blonde," but, well, mostly, at this point, I just want to know, from Certain Factions:

So, finally, is irony an all-purpose ass-cover, or isn't it?

Because, see, many of the people now going,

"Racism? What racism? I can't see any racism! The author didn't INTEND any racism (I know this to be true, I have osmosis)! Ergo, it isn't racist! Your perception of any racism therein, therefore, is INVALID. And it certainly isn't sexist! Just because it's drawing on sexist imagery to make its point doesn't make it sexist! It's, why, it's, it's...IRONIC."

i.e., the ones who thought this thing was a BRILLIANT illustration of something or other in the first place?

are the very same people who would -appear- to be insisting that when it comes to stripping, sex work, porn, burlesque, femme accoutrements, you know, pretty much anything that's OF the Patriarchy, BY the irony, no subversion, no nuance is possible. The POINT is, MEN will always see it a certain way; and that's all that matters. O.K.

Indeed, no authorial intent (what, you're saying the stripper can be an "author?" Get out!) matters. Some things cannot be reclaimed; cannot be "ironic;" queer burlesque is just more man pleasing by any other name; there IS no such thing as "feminist porn," high heels have one meaning, and one meaning only, one size fits all thanks, and so on, and so on, and so on. So sorry; whatever it is you're trying to accomplish, there--have a little orgasm, make art, trivial shit like that--you're going to have to just rip it all up and start from scratch.

But so now we learn that apparently when it comes to making fun of the people you want to make fun of? Employing stuff that, if it ISN'T the same ol' offensive reactionary racist-sexist-etc. shit, sure plays it on TV? Why, THAT'S just FINE. Of COURSE no one's going to interpret either of those cartoons as a straightforward celebration of sexual harassment or shoot-the-Indian! Don't be so stupid! C'mon! Where's your sense of humor? You're imagining things! Yer just so SENSITIVE...

And, finally, this? Sums it up.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Python of the day, 7/25/08

So, has anyone ever flown with a cat?

I'm taking Wee Beastie on a jet plane for the move. apparently he can go under the seat, in his carrier, which is good 'cause I wasn't going to put him in luggage, but still a bit nervous about the whole thing. Any tips? Someone said -not- to give a sedative because the pressure combined with the sedative can actually kill them? :{

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kyle Payne sentencing update

at Eleanor's Trousers.

Okay, you want a "solution?" Here:

This was in response to a comment over at this thread:


...Look, I don’t have as much control over what happens in Africa (though believe me, I’m doing as much as I can and we can speak about it privately if you’d like), as I do over what happens to the women around me. I know I have control over what I wear. I know that I can engage fellow English-speakers with computers on the Internet in a conversation about how we can help each other. Maybe this idea of a sisterhood turns you off.

(me speaking) “Now: the great thing about "my body my choice" is that it also means I don't get to tell YOU what to do with your body or choice.”

Sigh, I’m not telling anyone what to do. I wish you weren’t so confrontational in your post. Yes indeed, your body, your choice. And if you only want to care about your body and your choice, that’s ok too. But let’s not act like our bodies and the choices we make with them don’t affect others. Never in any post have I said, “cover up them titties u hoebag!” I’m not saying that I don’t personally engage in all these feminizing beautifying behaviors. I’m just saying I’m ambivalent about the repercussions of a “post-feminist” society in which women are still valued primarily as physically beautiful beings and women just choose to go along with it. Far from empowering, I find it depressing. But neither do I have a solution.

O.K. then. On the "sisterhood" and "doing what one can within one's limits" tips, here's my attempt at a "solution."

Rather than going into endless cycles of self/other critique about what is and isn't properly feminist, patriarchal, empowering, etc., simply:

Have other womens' backs.

Because even if -you- really aren't saying "cover up those tits" to some other woman who did nothing to bring it on, guess what? Someone else out there is. Sometimes even online. In the street, at the workplace, in your family, among your friends.

And you know what you do? When someone else sneers at some other woman and says she looks like a tramp, or a fat slob, why doesn't she shave/not shave/cover up/take it off/lose some weight/eat a cheeseburger/relax that "unprofessional" hair/put on some makeup/scrub off that paint and then maybe she'll get a man/stop getting all that male attention/have better self esteem (!)/whatever else is unwanted that she's supposedly -bringing on herself-.

You say:

"Well, I think she looks great. And even if I didn't, so the hell what? What the hell business is it of yours? Who asked you? (if one wishes to be combative) You're no spring onion yourself. And besides, what does this have to do with (her experience of assault/her leadership ability/her position on campaign finance reform/the brilliant novel she wrote/her research in nuclear physics/anything else)? No, I said: it's not cute and I'm not amused, and I won't hear this."

Bonus points when you say it to a man, even. Yes! I've done it! Selfish, unsisterly me. Lots of times.

And if you really -don't- think so and so is awesome or looks good? If the problem is maybe not even so much your own guilt at your supposed privilege or indoctrination or whatever it is as that actually that you secretly agree with the sneerer?

Ah. Well. Now we come to the "examination" part.

And you know, you don't have to change your mind, obviously; but, well, I do think this little exercise of Sarah's is a nice one as well:

...I used to pass judgments on people all the time. The way I broke myself of it? I started saying “That person’s AWESOME” instead of “weird/trashy/whatever” judgment I was about to pass. It made me stop and think, yeah, that person is awesome.

And you know what I've found? Ultimately, this sort of thing tends to mean a lot more to -the actual other people- than endless rounds of navelgazing and beating myself up for yet -another- way in which I fail to measure up, or R Doin It Rong. Or even changing my sparklewhatsit for a hairshirt. Because, see, wearing a hairshirt doesn't actually help anyone else. If you want to help other women? Help other women. Listen to what THEY need and want, and take it from there. Nine times out of ten? Simple nonjudgmental support is a great damn gift all by itself.

It's really not that complicated, I don't think.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feminist** link love, 7/22/08


My appearance does not determine my level of feminist commitment. Neither do my choices to or not to marry or my sexual orientation. Or whether or not i like porn. Guess what? I can vote for whoever the fuck I want and still identify as a feminist...

...I identify with feminism because of its commitment to social, political, and economic equality for all people. Regarding women specifically, my feminism allows me to: be independent, while depending on those I love; be flirty and "girly" whenever I want, without it compromising how people view my intelligence or sexual freedom; exercise, for me, for my body, for my health and strength, not to fit into conventional beauty; stand firm for what I believe in, and not be called too masculine or bitchy. My feminism does not discount the differences between men and women, but strongly believes that these differences are either a product of, or exaggerated by, socialization. My feminism values men because it values equality. My feminism is anti oppression. It seeks to end the discrimination of people on the basis of sex, age, race, social class, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Oh, and my feminism is always changing, because like the waves of change flow through society and politics, feminism needs to be fluid to reflect the needs of the world.


Feminism is a way of engaging with the world and a lens through which to process it, it's the belief that women deserve equal consideration and rights as human beings. That's it. There's no membership card or secret handshake, no "10-step guide to removing the patriarchy" to follow, no rules. Well, except maybe one: if you engage in behaviour that shames, denigrates or otherwise attacks any woman (or group of women) for her appearance, job or lifestyle, you are not acting like a feminist. In fact, you're acting like an asshole. You might still be a feminist (remember, there's no card to revoke). After all, some feminists are assholes, just like some people are assholes. Nobody is going to kick you out of the movement (some, like Ren, may leave in protest, because it's a label that you get to choose to apply to yourself or not).

But here's the thing: you're not helping.

In fact, all you're doing is perpetuating a double-standard that has been around for centuries and is part and parcel of that patriarchy thing you hate so much. The virgin/whore, good girl/bad girl split isn't exactly a new one...

Sarah: (in comments)

But you know, if you supposedly “know” that you shouldn’t judge women for how they look, here’s an idea: don’t do it. Don’t come here and do it to me.

...I used to pass judgments on people all the time. The way I broke myself of it? I started saying “That person’s AWESOME” instead of “weird/trashy/whatever” judgment I was about to pass. It made me stop and think, yeah, that person is awesome.

And that’s the kind of sentiment I want floating ’round my feminism.


I’m just going to say that if you look at us closely, the human race can be quite creepy. Feminists are no different. We’re not gentle unicorns with ribbons in our luxurious manes, treading softly on rainbows.

“But Natalia!” You’re saying. “Not unicorns? You’re so dour.” Well yes, this is rather dour. But it also helps me be a better feminist, or so I’ve decided.

Here’s why:

My feminism is not a superhero costume. And it cannot be summed up with politics alone. Rather, it’s part of the way in which I understand and relate to my own humanity, and the humanity of all the women I know.

...So I feel all noble and aggrieved and slightly martyr-like when I treat others the way I want to be treated, and said others turn around and treat me the way I don’t like at all. Perhaps if I was a more spiritual person, I’d see some cosmic messages in all of this, and pipe music would issue forth from the skies, and I’d sit down and write a self-help book and earn millions. As it stands, I just get ticked off.

And that’s another part of the journey of being a feminist human being - you enjoy the anger of others, and others enjoy your anger.


For me, feminism is about having the freedom to choose. An important aspect of this involves trusting women's judgement. If a woman makes an informed choice she should not be judged by that choice. Sometimes I'm made to feel like that's quite a crazy, radical thing to say! But I learned that not from looking at sex work but from women in Christian religious movements. Some women I've talked to throughout the time I've being studying new religious movements (2001 - present) talked of oppression not from the patriarchal hierarchy in which many of these NRMs operate but from wider society. One of the major oppressive presences in these women's lives is Feminism. I've spoken at length to many women in a variety of NRMs and read many stories too; they tend to avoid feminist literature not because they're unintelligent or incapable of engaging with the material that challenges them but because they're judged so harshly by feminist writers.

I spoke once with a woman once about written material that challenged her beliefs. She had spoken previously of her refusal to read newspaper and magazine articles against her religious movement, but spoke at length about Modern Theology. We found that we both enjoyed Karl Barth, and she explained a lot that had gone completely over my head. She spoke too about liking to look at mystical literature and early Christian theology. In short, she was incredibly knowledgeable and well-informed. This isn't terribly uncommon...

...To assume women in NRMs aren't terribly bright is, to me, absolutely ridiculous. It would be laughable had I not known that these women's colleagues and neighbours rather looked down on them and didn't bother them because they were "those religious nuts", assuming they are incapable of talking about anything other than their religion. For the women, they have this and the feminist literature against them.

These women have made an informed choice. Women do that - women make informed choices to do things you wouldn't want to do. If you don't trust women's ability to make an informed decision when the woman is free to make that decision, well, that makes me think you don't really think very highly of women. Which brings us very neatly to sex work.

**and from an expat who renounces the "f word" for herself:


Now look at them! Look at them, tribe womyn! None of them are rolling in the money, contrary to popular belief. None of them are being paid off by the Porn Overlords, academia, Sugar Daddies, or anyone else, yet there they are in Chicago at the DA:PBS event! Two of them wrapped up in bandages, the other dealing with her own medical problems and an odd curse of bad luck that seems to fall upon her anytime she sets foot in Chicago. All of them, gasp, are dirty, dirty, horrible sex worker rights activists, involved in various ways with SWOP and other organizations. All of them have faced strife: from loosing everything to the federal government, to death threats, to daily verbal and emotional abuse, physical abuse, to real life and work related chaos and stress, physical pain, stalking, slander, outing, lies and countless other charming things thrown at them by the law, by feminists, by men and women alike, yet there they are…smiling. Ready, willing and able to do what they came to Chicago to do, what we all came to Chicago to do: Make some kind of difference.

So let me tell you about Robyn & Jill.

The truth about Robyn & Jill, that is.

Jill B is one of the funniest (in that sharp, rather sarcastic way I love) people I’ve ever known. She’s been a victim, a survivor, a motivator, an ally, a mentor, a leader, an educator, an inspiration. A sex worker, a feminist, a harm reduction advocate, and yep, a fellow ex-pat. She loves 24 as much as I do. She has a dog. She’s had my back any and every time I’ve needed it. She’s patiently engaged people who do nothing but insult, dehumanize, and trash her. She’s really tall and has a great laugh. She’s a hell of a lot of fun to be on the radio with. She’s smart, she’s articulate and thoughtful and well informed. She’s patient, brave, and strong as hell. She’s amazingly altruistic, and always wants to do the best thing for all involved. I respect Jill a whole hell of a lot, and really, I can’t say enough good things about her. One of the main things that sucked about this event? Jill couldn’t, due to work and such, be there the whole time!

Robyn Few, well, this is the first time I’ve ever met Robyn face to face, and let me tell you…the woman is a powerhouse. She’s passionate, boisterous, proud, and she doesn’t take shit from anyone…all qualities I admire immensely. She’s also incredibly warm, friendly, inspirational, and she’s got an amazing laugh too. She always seems to have a smile on her face, even after all she’s been through. Whore Pride? Robyn has it to spare. When life kicks her, she turns around, grins, and makes a difference somehow, somewhere, for someone. I came back to the hotel on Thursday night, and Robyn was out front, talking to four Chicago Police Officers about decriminalization and sex workers rights. And the cops were nodding! She passed the torch of educating the police on sex work to me so she could go to bed*, ...One of the other main things that sucked about this event? Robyn had to leave early for chemo.

In fact, you know what? People like Jill & Robyn almost make me believe in sisterhood!

...And you know, when I look at some of this other shit, for a second, I do think maybe they are just jealous. Not because of looks, or money, or power, or any of that shit, but because of solid, true allies and sisters like these.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Kickass, I didn't realize getting a root canal was a feminist act

Someone of whom I've never before heard posting at somewhere I've heard entirely too much of, but you can go there via here or here or here, here, or here, anyway:

ashley Jul 20th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

the defining characteristic of feminism is that it's not fun and it
costs dearly in social acceptance.

when guys approve, it's a great guage of whether or not something is
feminist at all.

who doesn't like to dance around naked? we should all be able to do it
without any rules or judgment or without having invited physical
assault on ourselves. know, fuck it, fisking much less serious attention would be redundant in more ways than one, so very briefly:

1) I dunno who's supposed to "having invited physical assault on ourselves," but

2) did you know that being kicked or stepped on with spike heels hurts -a lot-? It's true.

3) y'know, Harlan Ellison and Woody Allen ceased to be amusing long since, too, for similar reasons (same old spiel gets boring, misogynist dickhead actually not all that charming at the end of the day, angry rebel schtick somehow less convincing when coming from an obviously really comfortable person, oh yeah, and the misogyny really does kind of get old)

4) indeed, dancing around naked (or however) without judgment or rules would be nice. here's an idea: be the change you seek.

5) so! how 'bout that Project Runway?

I'll blog about something substantial when y'know I have the mental energy to write about something that takes more effort than a good fart.

ETA: Jesus fucking Christ. Seriously? Seriously?

ginmar Jul 21st, 2008 at 7:55 am
Oh, christ, she’s got a picture of her ass on her blog? And she’s got Ren Ev commenting? Yeah, that’s empowerfulizing. RE’s had her nose broken four times in this emperfullizing career of hers as a stripper, but it’s the feminazis that are mean and awful to her. Jeezus.

and, currently, in moderation, this:

RenEv Jul 21st, 2008 at 8:18 am
Let’s not do this again. Yes, my nose has been broken 4 times: Once in a car accident, once in a sports accident, and yep, by an abusive partner, who happened to be female. Never as part of my job, never due to stripping, or anything like that. My ex partner wasn’t a dancer or a patron of strippers, she was just a violent person. Also, once again dragging out my personal life to prove an argument, and distorting the actual facts of what happened, well, yes, I’m sick of it. My broken noses did not occur in the course of my job, and anyone saying so is not only lying, but very, very unethical...

ginmar Jul 21st, 2008 at 6:12 pm
Drakyn, why are you here? I can easily show those here how you treat feminists.
And frankly I wouldn’t trust anything RE said at all. She appears to have a miserable time as a stripper and porn actress, but she gets really infuriated at feminists who point that out. And she just plain makes shit up about radfems.


[RE again]...And yeah, seeing the truth of the history of my nose mutilated, distorted and used like that was triggering in a way for me. In that enraged crying sort of way. Getting the shit kicked out of you by a single abusive female asshole being used to fuel Gin’s little personal hate on for me and stripping when, gee, guess what, stripping and the money it provides and whatnot helped me get OUT of that situation, that fucking sucks. It’s wrong, it’s abusive, it’s oppressive, and it’s silencing...

Ginmar, if you're "not going to trust anything RE says," maybe at minimum you should stop trying to speak FOR her, especially when it's about her own damn experiences, hm? Particularly experiences of broken bones? Seriously, don't bother: just fuck off. Your shit is not wanted here, or pretty much anywhere.


So, having FINALLY started watching Project Runway...

I have to ask: d'you think they kept Garbage Bag Gal instead of the other one because they thought it'd make better television--you know, because she was sure she was gonna be axed and he thought he was gonna win-- or because they really thought wossname's was worse? At least he made an effort...and c'mon, haven't any of these people heard of, ummm, whatever fetish it probably was?

Also, what'd they do in the last Gristedes one? Did any of it involve fruit roll-ups used like leather? Please say yes. Oh please.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kyle Payne: Why it was a Big Fucking Deal, a note for the perplexed

Re this:

ETA: this, too

Hi, witchy, stormcloud, delphyne, Heart, whichever other of the "radical feminists" who just can't understand why this is a particularly big deal for those of us who aren't among the Elect, or what the difference is between this guy and, what is it now? all the other porn "users" in the world? all the other male feminists in the world (except the ones you approve of, of course)? all the other men in the world? (except for the ones you're in relationships with and/or still married to, of course), this one's for ya:

Because he's a predator who sounds plausible, he's STILL FUCKING BLOGGING AND GOING TO FEMINIST AND PROGRESSIVE CONFERENCE THAT OTHERS OF US MIGHT BE AT? Because there's an open hearing for his sentencing and getting the word out might just -might- get him a harder sentence if enough people read and go to it?

which, once again for the peanut gallery, is:

via Eleanor's Trousers:

Darren Johnson
July 8, 2008 at 11:02 pm
Any one who lives in Storm Lake or close to Storm Lake should go to this sick S.O.B sentancing on 11-Aug-2008 at the Buena Vista County Courthouse. Payne has asked for open sentancing. This means the Judge will listen to all that want to talk then decide what the sentance should be. He needs to do time.

CYA at the courthouse on 11-Aug-2008.


Okay? If nothing else, does that register? At all? I know this is really fucking difficult to understand, but...

p.s. and no, in fact, "our" "male allies" (yes, I know the two or three, maybe four or five, people you mean. No, I'm not naming names. Deal with it. and a couple of others I suspect you -may- mean are not allies or friends of mine, in one case not anyone's at all; the mere fact that Renegade tolerates their existence on her blog doesn't mean jack shit other than that's her comments policy) being rude/mean Internets assholes to you, fanboying mainstream porn actresses and/or yeah, sometimes saying wince-inducing garden variety sexist crap and/or shit I just plain don't agree with, still really not equivalent to SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A PASSED OUT WOMAN. And hey, guess what, any of 'em ever does? I'll be first in line with the pitchforks and torches. I'll just have to have my puppet strings pulled by someone else, I -guess-.

But the fact that you apparently can't tell the difference between a predator like Kyle and someone who just happens to read Playboy or whatever and is mean to you and/or your precious ideology? Or, more likely I suspect, are pretending you don't see it for your own grudgetastic reasons? What's that old joke again?

"What's the difference between chicken stew and chicken shit?"

"I don't know, what?"

"Remind me never to go over to lunch at your house."

Not that that was ever on the menu. But, -really.- How fucking petty can you -be-?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quote of the day, 7/12/08

I often think about people who have boundary issues not just as people who have trouble maintaining their own or who are inclined to violate those of others, but as people who seem to actually lack the understanding of where you start and they end. Meaning they take on emotion that’s yours in ways that are just inappropriate, and becomes kinda controlling, and can be really overwhelming…and given that, it’s not actually that surprising when the people with a saviour complex start getting offended when the designated-savee decides no thank you, that’s not the way she wants to go, develop delusions that they and only they can handle the necessary struggles, and become really fucking controlling, actually.

--Purtek, who's been on a roll lately

Friday, July 11, 2008

p.s. no, dear Heart,

I really shouldn't bother, but since we're all about lies and the lying liars and all.

She fisks:

Examples of what I’m talking about from the pro-porn/prostitution side about anti-porn/anti-prostitution men:

I find what appears to me at first to be yet another garden variety (as these things go, there aren’t actually THAT many of them I don’t think) male radical feminist blog… Since I’m in the mood to snark, I read and roll my eyes a bit: yeah, your classic: all of 22 years old and teddibly teddibly earnest,

Male radical feminists (note, I don’t think a man can be a feminist or a radical feminist, but I think they can be allies, and the good ones don’t identify as feminists in any event, but whatever) are steretoyped as young (hence naive) and then the diminutive and effeminate “teddibly teddibly earnest”. Mr. Magoo comes to mind, or maybe Stewie on Family Guy.

hetboy dweeb fan[boying]** …creepy and risible in a milquetoast way at best

I mean, how much more unmasculine is it possible to be than to be a hetboy dweeb milquetoast, especially with the “que” spelling?

squeaky clean,

A man cannot be ”squeaky clean” and still be a man. It violates Section 34(b)(9) of the Codes of Manhood. Real men (not the anti-porn/anti-prostitution kind) are sweaty, dirty, stinky and hairy (thus they cannot be “squeaky”, too much hair). Squeaky-clean is for :::shudder::: GIRLS.


Real men, not the anti-porn/prostitution kind, are not articulate. They are strong silent types who brood in their caves, their steely masculine silences interrupted only by the occasional grunt, belch, spit or blowing their noses onto the ground.

nice trimmed fingernails and suchlike,

Everybody knows the hands of any self-respecting man are dirty and rough with filthy fingernails from working under the hoods of 4×4s.

In other words, a man who opposes pornography and prostitution is less than a man and therefore deserves to be treated as women are treated by misogynists, be the misogynists male or female.

**I made ze error when I first wrote that as "fangirling."

This is my quote she's fisking. Without attribution, of course.

I mean, yes, I am DEEPLY invested in preserving REAL MANHOOD, the strong, silent, hairy, truck drivin' kind; isn't that completely obvious from everything I've ever written? And of course, I am all about upholding the gender binary; unlike, oh, say...Heart.

Kevin Aviance salutes the Patriarchy, as indeed do we all

Does it actually -hurt-, all those contortions?

And yes, being nice and cleancut and self-abnegating and -tearfully repentant-: you know, maybe, just maybe, the point -here- being that while it -might- earn you disparagement among the MRA's or even Hell's Angels (oddly enough, none of those are -here-), it -does- tend to make a man more plausible -when posing as a Friend To Abused Women-, don't you think, hm?

"Let's see; who should we pick for RA/earnest anti-porn lecturer/rape crisis counselor, hm? Should it be that degenerate looking man with the battered leather jacket, Harley, and vulgar, coarse language? (Or, for that matter, even the seven foot tall, flamboyantly sexual & clearly male drag queen?) Oh, no no no: he's SCARY, he's -not safe.- Let's go with Kyle here! He seems like such a nice young man; he's polite, soft-spoken, never gets angry, the compleat Boy Scout; why, he wouldn't even hurt a fly."


Kyle Payne, radically unmasculine and Friend To Women, three days after the guilty plea

Ah yes, and while we're at it: let's make sure transgendered people aren't allowed to counsel women, or that trans women be allowed in womens' spaces, ever. Right, some people? They sound like "camp queens," after all; they're -weird- and SCARY, unless they can pass, -maybe-, and -real- women find that traumatizing. For that matter, non-trans women who strip and voluntarily perform in porn and say nasty, angry things, well, they're probably dangerous too, right?


p.s. oh, and yes, absolutely, I am only outraged about Kyle Payne as a roundabout way to make the world safer for ze pr0nz and my patriarchal puppet masters; it couldn't just be that I or Renegade or any of the other nasty, scary, pornified perverts think he's an abusive, still-dangerous piece of shit who needs to be taken down because, you know, he IS?


Yes, technically that was a rhetorical question. Obviously.

And now, off to ask my wall why it's peeling in such an unpleasant manner.

ETA: Thanks for this, from the SAFER blog: Kyle Payne and Screening for Sexual Assault Advocates.

As for all the Monday morning QBing on What It All Means, Dear (yes, still about Kyle Payne, that scumbag)

Purtek sums up my thoughts nicely:

yeah, I’m pretty wary of the kind of guy who dresses everything up in terms of just how completely he is going to save me, the one who seems just far too good to be true, the one who always knows exactly the right words and turns of phrase like maybe it’s actually kind of practiced…but “male feminists” categorically? Not the same thing. Because you know, the thing with predators is, if the red-flag-warning-sign for potential predator becomes “identifies as feminist” then real predator will shift identifiers, will find a new one, will adapt to the given situation.

...The delusion that we’ll find the marker, that we’ll be the ones to know, is only hurting us and making us more vulnerable to the one who doesn’t fit our assumptions.

This isn’t new. Kyle Payne reflects exactly what predatory behaviour has always reflected - predatory behaviour. Adaptation. Manipulation and deception. Showing people what they want to see. Not radical feminism, not pornography, not male feminism, not men in general, not feminism in general.

And I know I've sounded like I've been arguing from several directions on this. (I am large; I contain lunch; you got a problem with that?) I...yeah. I do go back and forth, a bit at least, wrt how "different" predators as such are from the general populace, and how one would tell such a thing.

As for the "male radical feminist" (or sympathizer/groupie) (all three at once, mind you) business:

Well, it's like this. I've only known (of) a handful of this rather rare and special breed. And even of the other half dozen or so I'm thinking of, I don't actually assume they've gone out and assaulted unconscious victims, okay.

Here's what originally skeeved me out about Payne's posts, -before- learning about the charges (I did find the blog randomly surfing, -then- googled his name and saw Eleanor's Trousers and the Iowa news story, had had no idea who he was before that):

* The super squeaky clean image combined with a strangely zealous focus on the dark, dirty, dangerous, depraved, disgusting. The fact that he was supposedly all about -purifying- the filth does -not- make me -less- suspicious. I gather that it does, for some people. And,, it just...people tend not to work that way. "You can't pray a negative." I mean, this is not news, this, that people who -obsessively- focus on getting -rid- of something Bad in other people -might just be- harboring it themselves. It doesn't ALWAYS mean that the anti-gay politician's going to be caught with a choirboy, or that the Temperance preacher has a stash of Scotch under the pulpit, but, well, I don't get how the general concept is exactly a -shock- to anyone at this point, you know?

* Yeah, and about that purification thing: -this- is actually why I don't trust this breed of male feminist, okay. Not because I don't think men can legimately be feminist, care about womens' rights, even be anti-porn (though, again, I get -real- suspicious of anyone who makes the latter the center of his activism -real- fast).

Because, the whole "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy, grovel fawn (oh but by the way somehow I'm still grabbing the limelight and erasing your voice even as I beat my breast in self-abnegation)" = CREEPY, with a capital EEP.

at minimum, it's risible and doesn't actually help anything, because it's still relentlessly solipsistic. At worst? Well, you do figure: human beings being what they are, eventually, if one's martyrdom is NEVER properly appreciated by you UNGRATEFUL BASTARD PEOPLE, all that self-loathing -might- just suddenly snap outward one day and oooops, here comes nice, pathetic, humble little Marvin Milquetoast or Hubert Hairshirt with the kitchen cleaver.


See, I like people who have a healthy sense of self-preservation, me. Who -don't- make it all about themselves, but are also willing and able to cheerfully say, "You're not my table, sorry," when it really ISN'T, sometimes. And I do mean -cheerfully-, because getting overly defensive is another whole deal and, well, we've talked about this.

But, you know. I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, I don't -want- some dude I don't even know to wear sackcloth and ashes for my sake or the suffering of Class Woman or whatnot, ffs: what on earth good does that do? Do something -useful-, or at least--look, it's a nice day, go play in the sun. Be happy, Chuckles. At least -someone- should be. And it's a fuck of a lot more straightforward that way than, well...I've rambled about this.

* the I-express-my-anger-just-through-tears thing, which--cool, look, Noli Irritare Leones expanded on this, "Denying the Shadow."

To which I'll respond: It's not that I don't think a guy could react in sorrow to something he's "supposed" to get angry, to, ever. It's not even the skeeved out reaction I had to "lookit me, I'm weeping with sensitivity over these porn slides; I'm just THAT sensitive," which of course becomes a lot more darkly hilarious in light of the subsequent charges, that bit.

It was this bit, specifically:

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I do not get
angry - as an activist, a friend, a lover, and as a colleague.

And, yeah, he goes on to explain no, it's not true, here's how, but I'm sitting here thinking: first of all, why is he telling us this? And then, if -everyone-, even your most intimate companions, notices this about your persona, and the following story is about how moved you are on someone else's behalf, but it's -not- about -anger- as such...well, effectively what he's saying is: no, he really -doesn't- get angry. At all.

Because, one gathers, among other things, that would be not only too traditionally masculine, but, perhaps, -selfish.- Which, he is not. Even if he -does- lose control of himself just like everyone else, every so often, it's in a -good cause- when he does it. For The Sake Of The Suffering Women, not himself. See. He -feels deeply-. Passionately, even. But he doesn't get -angry.- Certainly not so's his nearest and dearest would ever discern. He is the UBER Nice Guy, apparently.

Big ol' red flag here.

* The other thing about people who wear their uber-sensitivity on their sleeve: yes, it's true, there IS more of a taboo about men crying than there is for women, it's a point, sure. But...personally, I'd also have felt skeeved out reading that particular anger/tears story, written in the same way, from a woman. Maybe I would've speculated that there's some social conditioning going on in there if she didn't mention it, but ultimately? Yeah, there are good reasons to mistrust people who make a huge show of their supra sensitivity, sometimes.

Or, well. Particularly, in this way:

There's a book called "The Sociopath Next Door" by a Martha Stout. Less a clinical text than kind of a layperson's field guide to Dangerous And Skeevy People To Avoid. And while I still agree that no set of red flags is going to be 100% foolproof, and I do honestly see the danger that this, too, can be "othering" in a way that means "whew, the rest of us are off the hook," then, I DO still see the kind of red flags as laid out in frames like this more potentially useful than "see, I knew you couldn't trust a man/porn user/radical feminist."

Specifically, this piece of advice, paraphrased because I don't have it in front of me:

Someone who fucks you over and then (or simultaneously!) goes into poor-sensitive-piteous-me mode is someone to stay right the hell away from.

Because, it's a -great- weapon, or can be, crying. The classic misogynist trope is that women cry in order to manipulate, and often, yeah, that accusation IS an abuser move ("stop being so sensitive! stop crying, or I'll give you something to cry about!") But, truth is: yeah, tears/sensitivity CAN be a -great- tool in the arsenal of the predator: because most people, if they AREN'T predators themselves, DO lower their defenses when someone else (apparently) bares their throat. Kyle here demonstrates nicely, if perhaps not in the way he meant to, that indeed, it's not a gendered thing: men can use tears as a defense and weapon too, yes they can. So, thanks for that, Kyle. (You shitbag).

Mostly, I guess: if there's any lesson at all to be taken from this, and I'm not at all sure it does work out so neatly, it's: trust your instincts. Trust -yourself.- Just because someone says all the right things and meets all the right demographic boxes and all your friends think they're wonderful and they won awards and shit, doesn't mean you have to make yourself vulnerable to 'em if it doesn't feel right. Even if they're "nice guys." Even if they're "feminist." (Or aren't). Even if they're anti-porn. (Or aren't). Even if they speak with authority and a soft voice. Even, yes, if they're women.** And if it did feel okay and they blindsided you and fucked you over anyway, well, they're scumbags and that's all there is to it.

Beyond that?

"By their deeds you will know them."

**ETA: And here's why I have a problem with "oh, okay, the moral of the story is 'you can't trust any man, feminist or otherwise.'" Not because I think Evelina Giobbes are as statistically significant as Kyle Paynes--for one thing, I DGAS mostly about who's-got-it-worse stats, I say this to forstall.

Because, even if you don't give a shit about mens' tender fee-fees, whether as actual victim of crimes committed by men or women (yes, it does happen) or unjustly accused innocents, here's the thing: women do victimize women, too. And when you make it all about "right, we want this to be a SAFE space! No mens!" the implication, at the very least, is that women are safe because they're women.

Really, no.

And so what you get, besides the Giobbe case, are a lot of female on female abuse cases that are dismissed by the mainstream because, well, homos, what'd they expect + your basic misogyny, AND, then when the victim goes to her feminist/lesbian community for support, the same ones who were right there whenever a man was the abuser (hey, maybe that's how she hooked up with her current abusive female partner to begin with: nice trusted pillar of the anti-violence feminist community, just like Giobbe) are suddenly nowhere to be seen.

Because, women don't do that.

Because, if we can't trust one of our OWN, now, who CAN we trust?

Oh, yeah, and also, the partner can follow her to the DV shelter. Hell, she might actually -work at- the DV shelter. Certainly some of their mutual friends will.

So the upshot is: a woman is hurt, betrayed, and has nowhere to go: and the whole "men versus women" thing made it WORSE, even without any actual men in the picture.

It'd be great if it were that simple, wouldn't it? All you need to know is that You Can't Trust Men. Oh, sure, it's -hard- to get rid of all that feminine training, male pleasing and so on: but the good part is, that's a really clearly defined goal, and once you get there, it'll be so much better, won't it? I got all my sisters with me. Yay safety.

Too bad it doesn't work like that.

ETA: Thanks for this, from the SAFER blog: Kyle Payne and Screening for Sexual Assault Advocates.

Kyle Payne, please report to HQ for your eternal damnation.

Just an update to say that even though I did see this entry, somehow I missed the bit where apparently he's PLANNING TO WRITE A BOOK BASED ON WHAT RAPE SURVIVORS HAVE CONFIDED IN HIM. (thanks, Ilyka and Wolfa, for highlighting this):

One day I’ll write a book. Well, hopefully several. But this book in particular will be a compilation of all the stories shared with me by survivors. Women (of a variety of different backgrounds) raped, beaten, groped, stalked, threatened, drugged, coerced, tortured, pissed on, and emotionally abused by men (of a variety of different backgrounds). It always strikes me, when listing these abuses, that the words are almost meaningless out of context. Maybe that’s part of the problem. Why would we take men’s violence seriously if we cannot begin to understand, on an emotional level, its effects on the lived experiences of women? I would never try to publish this book - these are not my stories to tell. But sometimes I tinker with the idea of creating something - maybe a work of art - that could somehow demonstrate to people that this problem is real. That the “shocking,” “disgusting,” and “evil” stories they hear about barely scratch the surface.

--oh, right, sorry, he'd "never try to publish it." So this is, what, a coffee table book? Privately bound, kept under the bed?

Which, you know, makes me feel a lot better, because now we know that if nothing else, he's for sure -been directly told- all these stories in confidence, and you know, he's just such an -honest- guy, I totally trust him to keep his word about not eventually deciding to start sussing out publishers after all. I mean, hey, bail is expensive.

Please note the date of when he wrote this, p.s.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fuck you, Kyle Payne.

ETA again: Also, Renegade has a continually updated list of all the other people covering this, here.

So, I'm surfing around, procrastinating, you know how it goes, and I find what appears to me at first to be yet another garden variety (as these things go, there aren't actually THAT many of them I don't think) male radical feminist blog, one Kyle Payne. Since I'm in the mood to snark, I read and roll my eyes a bit: yeah, your classic: all of 22 years old and teddibly teddibly earnest, doesn't seem totally rabid or nothin' but your basic pompous, sanctimonious hetboy dweeb fangirling Andrea Dworkin and other Famous Not The Fun Kind Feminists for whatever reason. Yeah, there are a few of these around, mostly kind of, well, um, creepy and risible in a milquetoast way at best, foamingly horrid at worst. Ime, imnsho, etc.

But this one, thus far, well, I am thinking, trying to be relatively charitable, not really sure why--basically he just seems like this character, albeit with politics I find particularly teeth grinding. Oh, whee, yet more hairshirting and lecturing about the horrible awful pr0nz and such small portions.

More on this in a bit.

But okay, self-examining to the point of actual rectal-cranial inversion AND hara-kiri, squeaky clean, "articulate," nice trimmed fingernails and suchlike, he kind of reminds me of ummm certain more prominent "mainstream" male feminist bloggers whogo shall(koff) be nameless, mostly on account of I'm feeling passive aggressive. But mostly making me roll my eyes -really- hard overall, this one, and okay, shit like this kind of puts me on red alert:

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I do not get
angry - as an activist, a friend, a lover, and as a colleague. I
assure you now that this perception is simply not true. I experience
anger much the same as anyone else. Events and circumstances pose
threats to me and my view of the world, causing me to want to lash out
and reassert a personal feeling of control. Yet the way I engage this
conflict, and ultimately, resolve it, may be somewhat unfamiliar...

...Despite how horrifying mainstream pornography is, absolutely none of the
information I provided was new or shocking to me. I had spoken about
pornography countless times before, addressing a variety of audiences.
And my research had revealed that the “woman-hating” in pornography
was not merely a fringe issue, relegated to a particular genre or
subgenre. Instead, the entire industry, along with its intimate
connections with prostitution and sex trafficking, is rooted in an
ideology of hatred toward women (and a system that enforces such
hatred). Yet, no matter how familiar I am with patriarchy’s firm grip
on sexualities in our society, I can’t help but break down emotionally
when speaking of such an atrocity.

Stifling sobs and brushing tears from my cheeks again and again as my
presentation went on, I was embarrassed and worried that my audience
had missed important messages in the speech. Perhaps they didn’t even
take me seriously, given my uninvited display of emotion during a
formal presentation. Regardless of reactions from audience members, I
felt strangely fulfilled having expressed myself so openly. For the
first time in my academic career, I felt I had allowed myself to be
human as a presenter. I regret that, at least for some, my tears may
have been distracting or confusing. Yet I see no reason to apologize
for them, given the subject matter.

Right, so, putting aside (for now) the pr0nz business, what I hear him saying, Kyle, (-nod- -nod- -nod-) is that he DOES TOO get angry, just like a non-saintly human being, he's just moved to piteous tears instead of your more masculine way of being...angry. And, he's not sorry. Well, okay then, I...tend to find people of any gender who disown anger as such (no, really, tears of sorrow aren't anger) kind of creepy, but...whatevs, get down with your sensitive self, I guess. And hay, I mean, presumably he's totally fine with the idea of women farting, whether or not he expresses flatulence in a traditionally masculine way himself. In fact--well, no, let's not actually go there.

Just...okay, charitable, schmaritable, fact is, I'm pretty skeeved out, on account of I always think, with guys like this, they really protesteth way the fuck too much. That the flip side of all that earnest--well, NOT chivalry, clearly, whatever you want to call the left-wing equivalent: 'ray the strong feminists, down with Patriarchy, down with masculinity, goes to anti-porn conferences and Sheila Jeffreys speeches for fun, lectures his fellow menz on being less patriarchal, and wears his shame with pride...

That the flip side of all this is, well, something a lot darker and uglier. That I just don't trust someone who goes on and on and ON about how TERRIBLE and ALL PERVASIVE all the misogyny in the world is, specifically the -sexualized- misogyny, of course; and only a handful of feminist celebrities and their adoring male acolytes can put things to right. But this is all very general thus far.

But so anyway, I'm skipping about, and I come across this rather cryptic entry:

I want to be very careful how I share these words with you. Given the
numerous accusations and attacks I have received lately, I am finding
it very easy to respond in ways that are defensive, confrontational,
and antagonistic. While those behaviors might be appropriate if I was
enlisting in a battle for my place in the hierarchy of our dominator
culture, they are neither relevant or productive in this context.
Furthermore, I worry that these actions would be interpreted as yet
another reason not to listen to a word I have to say.

I am upset that there is gradually developing a bizarre and twisted
understanding of who I am and what I am about. And I am angry that
individuals, who I presume are otherwise capable of critical thought,
are jumping to the most outrageous conclusions. I am also deeply
disturbed at the joy others have taken in painting such a disturbing
picture of me....

So, not really knowing what the fuck he's rabbiting about there, never having heard of this particular dude before, but thinking it's probably some potentially marginally amusing Internets wankfest. And I'm really trying for any excuse not to get on with the move and other shit I need to do, so I dust off the ol' binoculars and google his name.


A few days ago I stumbled through tag surfer into this blog, ostensibly written by a male feminist named Kyle Payne. I thought his branch of radical feminism was a little extreme for my taste, but nonetheless, I left a comment and got one back. Today, I received the following comment (news story) from a reader (ryan) and thought I’d post it here, rather than in my comments:

Here is your feminist Kyle Payne:

Storm Lake Privacy Invasion

Thursday, 14 February, 2008 12:00 AM

(Storm Lake, IA)–An arrest is made by Storm Lake Police in relation to a ten month long investigation into an assault and invasion of privacy of a Buena Vista University Student.

A search warrant was executed at Pierce Hall room #B10 on April 26th of last year. Authorities seized a computer and a digital camera from 22-year-old Kyle Payne’s room. A search of the Ida Grove man’s car turned up photographs described as personal in nature that also showed the woman may have been assaulted physically without knowing it.

A search of Payne’s Ida Grove home turned up more evidence including another computer. All items were sent to the DCI Crime Lab for forensic analysis.

Through investigation it was found that Payne, on January 3rd of 2007, was serving as RA for Buena Vista University when he attended to an intoxicated 18-year-old female student in her dorm room. He allegedly physically assaulted her while she was unconscious and video taped the act and downloaded the images onto his laptop.

Payne was arrested at his Ida Grove home Wednesday and charged with 2nd degree burglary, a class C felony, invasion of privacy, and assault. He was taken to Buena Vista County Jail and booked on an $11,300 cash bond..

The comments at that link at Eleanor's Trousers (thanks), many purporting, credibly, to be aquaintances of Kyle Payne's, are...illuminating. And, well, it doesn't sound good. Nonetheless, I'm a bit hesitant to blog this on account of the whole "innocent till proven guilty" thing, okay, sure.

Well, as it transpires, as of just one week ago there has been an update:

Iowa Blogger Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman's Breasts

An Iowa blogger who claimed to use activism and education to promote “a more just and life-affirming culture of sexuality” for women, especially those women who have been victims of sexual violence, has pleaded guilty to photographing and filming a college student's breasts without her consent.

Kyle D. Payne, 22 of Ida Grove, presented his guilty plea Monday in Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County. He agreed he was guilty of felony attempted burglary in the second degree and two counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor.
Lynda Waddington :: Iowa Blogger Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman's Breasts

In documents filed with the court, Payne agrees that "with an intent to arouse my sexual desire, I photographed and filmed Jane Doe and her breast without her consent." A portion of the plea agreement stating that Payne was of sound mind when the incident took place in early 2007 was stricken from the document, leaving only the portion where Payne agrees that he is currently of sound mind.

At the time of the incident, Payne had been employed by Buena Vista University as a dormitory resident adviser. Police reports indicate that while attending to an intoxicated and unconscious female student, Payne reportedly assaulted and photographed her. The guilty plea entered Monday did not include assault charges. Tips received by police and campus security following the incident led to a 10-month investigation that resulted in Payne's arrest in February....

Payne, who identified with radical feminists like Andrea Dworkin, attended a training for feminist anti-pornography activists in January at the University of Texas in Austin. An article in the Ida County Courier stated that Payne had "written papers and given several public presentations on feminist critiques of pornography, prostitution, and the 'rape culture,' in addition to serving as an advocate for survivors of sexual violence." According to a resume previously posted on his blog, he has attended many such conferences since 2004.

Payne faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500. As a condition of the plea deal, the state has agreed that no other charges will be filed as a result of this incident. Sentencing has been set for Aug. 11.

Oh, yeah, wrt "other charges:" according to several of the commenters at Eleanor's Trousers, he'd been previously accused of other assaults and/or allegedly having child pornography on his computer, last year.

So, okay, well, I mean, it's not as though we've never heard of, o I don't know, anti-gay legislators who get caught cottaging, televangelists who're winged by sex scandals, all that jazz.

Of course, -sexual assault,- as opposed to just fucking around like the rest of us mortals, ceases to make anything like schadenfreude even remotely amusing.

The best part for me, though, is that throughout this all, the dude is -still blogging- as though nothing had happened. Charges brought in February; guilty plea on July 1. This is an entry from early May:

If we are serious about rape prevention – in other words, not rape
avoidance, defense, or something along those lines – we need to begin
with where rape begins, in men’s decisions to assert dominance over
women through sexuality. Ultimately we are talking about subverting
patriarchy as a system, but of course, it is largely men’s choices
that maintain that system. We are talking about taking rape away from
men, along with their unearned advantages in this society, and of
course, their unjust (as if there were any other kind) dominance over

Tell us about it, Kyle.

And then, this post, as included in the May edition of the Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution:

Bob Jensen made an important point to the group as our time together drew to a close: “Not everyone gets better.” This is certainly true of survivors of sexual violence, who are far too often met with frustration, even blame, from loved ones who simply cannot understand why they haven’t “put the pieces back together.” And I think it might be a fair statement regarding anyone doing anti-rape or anti-pornography work. It is the most heartbreaking experience for me as an advocate not to be able to tell a survivor that everything will be fine, that with the right amount of support and determination, she will be able to move on with her life, and in some sort of meaningful way, feel okay. The reality is that not everyone gets better, and whether we call it the “rape culture” or “porn culture,” we are living in a society that actively prevents healing from taking place.

Yeah. You might say that, Kyle. You might, at that.

And I...suddenly realize that all the commentary I was going to make from here on out just feels...completely redundant.

Renegade Evolution has more.

This really interests me, though, from a commenter at Eleanor’s Trousers:

July 8, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Any one who lives in Storm Lake or close to Storm Lake should go to this sick S.O.B sentancing on 11-Aug-2008 at the Buena Vista County Courthouse. Payne has asked for open sentancing. This means the Judge will listen to all that want to talk then decide what the sentance should be. He needs to do time.

So, basically, if I’m reading this right, he’s throwing himself on the mercy of his peers. Hence the trying to keep a low profile (I take it), the acting like everything’s normal, the charm: he doesn’t want the pitchforks and torches, he wants to show up there and be all “aw shucks” and hope for a slap on the wrist. Is what I’m getting from that.

Seems like it’s probably worked for him in the past; apparently there are other charges pending from the university he’s at–child porn on the computer, alleged by the commenters at ET, although that’s not official yet apparently–and the same commenters were also pretty clear that this is an ongoing problem at the university, shit like this getting swept under the carpet.

If you look at his vlog (latest entry about Independence Day; the article about his guilty plea came out on July 2. He's...well, see for yourself, how he presents himself, would do for a court. Smooth. He's 22, and clearly an ambitious little thing, probably well-heeled and reasonably well connected as these things go.

I…would not let this one go.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Natalia Antonova asks the "realness" question

to wit, in this instance, "Who's a 'real' woman, anyway?"

more specifically,

How many times have you heard some idiot** say something like, “man, I hate American chicks, might as well go to Thailand/El Salvador/Moldova, that’s where the REAL WOMEN are at.”

Now, we all know what he probably means here - women who are at a similar economic level are not submissive enough, and women who are not are “easier” to deal with. There’s also the fact that a certain woman’s upbringing may make her more “susceptible” to what the man perceives to be submissive status, or else give the appearance of such status.

That’s all pretty much clear, or so I think. What isn’t often clear is the motivation of the “submissive foreign woman” in question. Based on my experience, scenarios vary wildly. A lot of women consider the arrangement a step up, and will tell you to fuck off if you try to lecture them on who to marry and how to carry themselves.

Were you born outside of Donetsk to an emotionally sadistic mother who cleaned hotel rooms and slept with guests for extra cash? Did you have an alcoholic stepfather who tried to bash your face in with a wrench after you refused to blow him? Did your mother then kick you out of the house for “trying to steal [her] man”? If not, you’re probably not going to have a whole lot of authority in the eyes of the eighteen-year-old who just wants a nice, stable life with some aging paramour in Milwaukee...

So what do you do about all of this? I don’t know. I know that until conditions markedly improve in my native Ukraine, people are going to want to get out. Until more men realize that women’s sole purpose isn’t to gratify their sexual and culinary needs, they’re going to seek out the vulnerable among us.

And we will keep on keeping on.

Though if I have any ideas about any of this, it’s to stress that all of us, the rich, the poor, the in-between, the misogynists, the crusaders, the quiet and shy, the loud and abrasive - we are all as “real” as the next person.

I think here, as with the feminism (among others), what happens here is that...well, I dunno, there's a whole comment thread there and I'm not currently up to opining very eloquently or originally. Just: well, yeah, the situation is...grey and complicated. As are people, including women.

**in case you were wondering whether this was a rhetorical question, some lovely examples of said idiots came up in the course of the conversation. f'r instance, as found here,

I salute those men who have gotten the hell out of the feminist matriarchal West, and have managed to find some remaining enjoyment in their lives by going Expat.

...The poor schmuck who dares marry invites the host of Hell upon his head. At any time , for any reason, a wife may “cash out” and strip the man of his assets; and if he has children get child support and alimony in addition to the house and car. Men walk on friggin egg shells in their sexless marriages as the wife manipulates him mercilessly over the barrel. That they flee the country is no surprise.

Worse you do not consider, because of your isolated perspective, that many men do not have sex at all.

or from right there in the thread, for that matter,

“Firstly women from these countries often act a little more ladylike (e.g. avoid swearing, farting, obnoxious - not playful - man-bashing) and traditionally (e.g. support men making the money, and women tending to the home and family, and often more religious).

And secondly women from these countries believe marriage is a lifelong commitment, and certainly don’t use terms like “starter husband” in their native cultures ( A lot of men have heard the horror stories and read the statistics about divorce in America, and want more than just Til-Inconvienence-Do-Us-Part”

...That being said...If a woman cheats, farts, and walks all over her man, that says more about him than it does her.

Doesn't it, just? -poot- oh, excuse me.

The things I learn. So, apparently, if I'd been married traditional, like (and if my husband kept me in line, of course), I'd cease to be flatulent again, EVER? wow, no wonder they want to keep marriage sacrosanct. -poot- goddamit. -urp-

...blimey, this homosexual agenda's more insidious than I thought.

My favorite, though, speaking of, was this one, as ganked from another thread and reposted here:

This string has me in complete disgust! Let me tell you all…all of you feminist, male bashing\hating\demeaning bitches, you are the reason so many American men are looking for (and finding) beautiful , intelligent , talented, warm and loving women abroad …Ukraine and Russia in particular, because they are disgusted with your feminist bullshit! Go to your Gay Pride parade but don’t expect any intelligent and decent man to accompany you !

so, basically,

"I'm NOT going with you to the Gay Pride Parade! I'm going to Russia instead! Because I am an intelligent and decent MAN, and you don't deserve me, you, you LESBIAN!"

I bet he has a great big gub, though.

Friday, July 04, 2008

"Death comes to us all, Mary Agnes"

Jesse Helms is dead.

"no comment," because, well, you know what they say. really is the great equalizer, isn't it? Whatever else in this
world, no matter how wonderful or how awful you are, it's the one
thing that's guaranteed. Sooner or later. In his case, later. (He
was 86).


yeah. I said "no comment," didn't I.

-bites tongue really hard-

Oh, yeah.

Happy Independence Day.