Tag Archives: women

Been That Kind of Day

15 Jan

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My Life In Syria

10 Dec

Syrian national Mahmoud Al Moufti on living in a country at war.

Excerpt:

“The war is horrible, poverty is horrible, life here with the current economic situation and the health situation is horrible. Awaiting the unknown is horrible.

Syrians are good people. My country is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This country and its people deserve better.

I am 33 years old, married. I have a four-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter. Both came to life during the war. Both are waiting with me for the time when we can live a normal life. They might ask when this will be. After asking twice or three times, they will know that nobody can answer this question.”

You may read the rest here.

Online Misogyny; A Speech For Feminism in London

10 Dec

By Sister Outrider

“On the 25th of October 2015, I spoke at the conference Feminism in London. The subject was online misogyny, and I was honoured to share the panel with Connie St. Louis, Dr. Emily Grossman, and Alison Boydell. The following is a transcript of my speech.”

Excerpt:

“Though she is now controversial, I’m going to paraphrase Germaine Greer here. Germaine Greer is of the opinion that women don’t realise just how much men hate us. I would suggest that the Twitter feed of any known feminist or prominent woman provides a clear demonstration. The men who sent rape and death threats to Caroline Criado-Perez, the men that intimidated Sue Perkins into deactivating her Twitter account, they exist and operate offline, presumably interacting with women outside of the digital world. How does it translate?

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There seems to be a distinction between conduct offline and on, lines which the perpetrators of online misogyny consider it acceptable to cross from behind a screen, but not in the flesh. I think that a cultural shift is essential if we are going to live in a society where women are not abused or threatened for speaking out, online and off. But, until we get to that point, how do we as women cope with online misogyny? How do we go on living our digital lives in such a potentially hostile environment?

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Firstly, and most importantly, I suggest solidarity. This applies offline as well as on, though in some ways it’s easier to connect face-to-face. I know that things can get a bit fraught when we’re trying to make a complex and detailed point in 140 characters, especially when the conversation relates to our experiences and our identities. But other women aren’t behind the misogyny we experience, nor are they responsible for upholding a system in which it flourishes. Audre Lorde described it as horizontal hostility – wasting our time and energy on people also disadvantaged by a racist, classist patriarchy, instead of challenging vertical power structures.”

You may read the rest at Sister Outrider’s blog here.

 

The Sexiest Oppression

9 Dec

Excellent work by Natasha Chart, via Feminist Current

Excerpt:

“To see a commercially produced picture of an obviously terrified and restrained woman with a knife held up to her face, presented as an object of sexual entertainment, is to infer the existence of an audience that is pleasurably aroused by this scenario. I hope that I know no such men, that I never meet them, that no one I care about crosses the path of such a person. Because how would you know? There is no “type” of man who rapes and abuses — such men are everywhere, they look like everyone else. No woman has any reason to give a man who enjoys a picture of a woman being abused the benefit of the doubt that he would not like to experience that in person, that he would not like to cause that fear himself.

This is part of how a woman’s fear becomes something other than evidence of intimidation, as it should be, how instead our fear becomes evidence to men of sex, romance, even love. A man can fear for his life and kill a stranger in self-defense after a single encounter. A woman fears for her life because of a long history of threats or violence, and if she stays, or complies, or even retaliates, her actions will be viewed through a lens that sees fear as a normal part of a supposedly consenting sexual relationship for women. Any injury the man commits will often be seen as her shared responsibility, part of their relationship.

Too many men see the torture and abuse of women and think it’s an especially sexy kind of fun. Too many women, anxious to avoid being called “sex-negative,” want to be game and go along with it. The existence of some women who like their part in pornography or religiously compelled submission are held up in male-dominated politics as the only women’s voices that matter; no one is supposed to care about women who experienced these cultures as a long series of abuses that they couldn’t find their way out of at the time, or the other women who have to deal with the consequences of how men behave after such indoctrination.”

Lee Lakeman and Alice Lee, Chris Hedges Interview

2 Dec

This is well worth twenty-five minutes of your life.

Days of Revolt: The Moral Bankruptcy of the Left on Prostitution

Alice Lee, Asian Women Ending Prostitution

Lee Lakeman, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter

The Stories Told By Silence

23 Feb

I tried to reblog this but her reblog button doesn’t work for me.

http://warycontraryandnovirginmary.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-stories-told-by-silence/#comment-770

Good Dog, this woman can write.

No, We Are Not Sockpuppets

10 Feb

Wall Nietszche

We are individual actual humans who want all of us to be free from the constraints of patriarchy, including you who identify as transgender.

We support the right of humans to marry any other consenting adult they wish. I doubt you could find a DGR member who thinks it important that “sex” even be a box on a marriage contract.

We do not support violence against humans who identify as transgender, even though some of you do it to us.

We fully support freedom of gender and sexual expression, as long as it does not encompass pedophilia or non-consensual sexual behavior. 

We deplore the abuses of pornography and prostitution, but also abhor punishing humans, mostly women, who are used thusly.

Our work is to encourage respect for all life, and such must start at home, with our own species.

 Biological sex just is what it is, and can’t be imagined away. But gender roles are damaging constructs that are hardest on women. When XY people want to be considered XX people, they ignore how hard it is on XX people who are born, bred and socialized as women, to be expected to give you top billing, because of your oppression.

We know non-conforming XY humans have a hard time of it. Because Gender is really strict. You have a penis and want to wear pink? The gender police will go after your ass. 

You are XX and have zero interest in performing femininity, like me?

The gender police will go after your ass too. 

We’re all being victimized by this crap.

But we’re also all colonized by it, including XY humans who talk themselves into female spaces and behave like gender-colonized men; sexually acting out, scaring women and girls. And yes, even raping them, when XY people with intact genitalia are housed with XX people in prisons.

This happens. We’re not just making it up.

Radical feminists and allies are not out to get people who have gender identity issues. Our hopes are that you can work your way past the horrible things this culture has done to you, and understand that our goal is to free everyone from the horrible laws of gender.

But meanwhile, we work to protect women and girls, who have been sadly abused for centuries. We can’t put men first, even when you have been sadly abused yourselves. We especially cannot do this if you insist on invading women’s spaces. 

We have so little, and men have so much. We’re not just here for you to lean on. We have our own goals that often have nothing to do with supporting human males. Sometimes we even want to work to save our world from imploding into self-destruction.

Is it so much to ask of women that you let us do this? 

The essay in question:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/08/1276144/–Lierre-Keith-DGR-feminist-and-transgender-exterminist-slated-as-a-PIELC-keynote-speaker

One of Xavier’s comments. It’s worth reading them all, he did such an excellent job of debating here. 

Read them all. All the DGR radical feminist advocates, both male and female, handled this with integrity. 

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1276144/52599507#c105

Hearts For Internet Girlfriends

31 Jan

You know who you are. I appreciate you so much. You’re life savers.

Even those of you I don’t hear from much. Or not at all.

It’s okay. I know life can be so hard and toilsome.

But even those of you I never hear from anymore, I still love

Because of all you gave me, these women gifts
That can be done even with images and words.

Thanks so much, all of you. Here or not.

You are wonderful amazing people.

I miss you when you’re gone.

But, again, that’s your prerogative

I just would never want you to think I hated you

Because I don’t.

I just miss you, and hope you are well,

gentle women.

Are Men Redeemable?

24 Oct

I was thinking tonight about how the fundamental split in feminist thinking is not about porn and prostitution, or gender identity, but about whether men are inherently violent. 

If a woman is, to this extent, a gender essentialist, she is left with two rough choices: accept the existing male-dominated structure, or devote herself to trying to extricate herself from involvement with men as much as possible. Work within the system quietly, or absent yourself as much as possible. (The third choice of exercising a hostile takeover is perhaps another example of a philosophical split, but outside the scope of this discussion).

If she is a social constructionist, her aims will be different: to work both within the system of patriarchy to support women, and to openly criticize it and try to change it, also from within. This position assumes men as a class are both capable of and willing to accept stepping down from their socioeconomic position of power over women, an assumption clearly unproven.

This question of whether the male class can substantially change their behavior towards women does play out widely in the context of the porn/prostitution debate, though; as does another question: how does what we do change who we are? How much can we detach ourselves from our actions? Violent porn and violent bought sex are quite popular, and by many accounts becoming more so. When does the game become real, and is it ever really just a game?

The existence of men who are to all appearances gentle and actually like women beyond wanting to fuck us, does argue that there is hope. I’m not so paranoid as to insist they are all fakes. I’m even acquainted with a few. I think.

But the thing so many do where they suddenly go nuts without much warning and physically attack people, is still deeply worrisome. Also, does it really make sense to be so complacent about a huge cohort of individuals, many of whom consider themselves entitled to stick things inside another huge cohort of individuals, at will? That doesn’t seem right. That seems kind of violent, actually.

So is “sex-positive feminism” social constructionist or gender essentialist? Is it about progress through normalization, or merely giving in to biological fate? If men are allowed to sexually use us at will, will they be nicer to us? Will they stop hitting us so much?

Or will shit just get worse? Like it used to be, say a few hundred years ago?

I find myself wanting to be a social constructionist but feeling more gender essentialist, if only out of pragmatism. But that gets me back to how what one does affects who one is. Gender essentialism feels like giving up, but so does turning violent porn and prostitution into a growth industry, which is what happens under capitalism, especially when one legalizes things. 

And I am again thrown back to the original question. If we give men more violence, will they become less violent? This hardly seems likely. If we restrict their access to violence, will they become more or less violent? Answer not clear. But we can’t answer it for men, their actions constitute their own answers to this question. And all the mansplaining in the world won’t change that.

Children Are Victims, Including Prostitutes

26 Sep

Center For Public Integrity:   New Report Urges New Approaches To Child Prostitution

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/09/26/13468/report-urges-new-approach-child-prostitution

“Police and prosecutors should treat juveniles accused of prostitution as victims of crime and abuse and stop arresting these minors and putting them into the criminal justice system, according to a report released Tuesday by Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

The institute and council are under the auspices of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. The report, “Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States” was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice. “

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