RSS

Tag Archives: sexism

No, seriously, please stop bringing up false accusations when we talk about rape

So, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle (trigger warning for victim blaming, rape apologism, ableism, and general fuckwittery if you choose to go to the link) going on over on the Frankie Magazine facebook page at the moment regarding the use of the term “eye-raping” in one of their articles. It started off pretty standard—someone brought it up, it got a lot of likes, the magazine posted a pretty gross fauxpology, people responded to that.

Earlier today, it probably had about a dozen comments. Then I went to take a nap and, while I was snoozing, it exploded into a messy, derailing attempt to fill the anti-feminist bingo card. But at some point in the middle of it, after I woke up and for some bizarre reason decided to give rational discussion a go (before I was told that I should go back to swinging my man decapitator, and that I keep my husband’s testicles locked up in the drawer by my bed), I ended up posting about why it’s fucked up to try and turn the focus onto false rape allegations when rape is being discussed. I’m posting it here for posterity, because it is an important discussion to have, but also because the way that thread is going I’m guessing it will soon be gone.

The reason people get pissed off when someone comes into a discussion about rape with “but some women lie about being raped!” is that it’s a very common derailing tactic. It’s not relevant to the discussion, it doesn’t add anything of value; all it does is shift the focus of conversation from the huge number of sexual assaults committed (seriously, one in four women, one in eight men, one in two trans* people, and 60-90% of people with disabilities is a huge frickin’ number), to a discussion of false rape reports that are very much in the minority. False rape reports occur at the same rate as other false reports, and that’s before you take into consideration that the vast majority of sexual assault goes unreported in the first place. And funnily enough, it doesn’t seem to happen with any other type of crime. When I’m talking about a string of burglaries in my neighbourhood, no one has ever chimed in with “well, you know, some people make a false burglary report to get insurance money”. When someone gets beaten up on Courtenay Place on a Saturday night, I’ve never seen a Stuff commenter talk about their “sister’s boyfriend’s cousin who pretended he’d been beaten up because he wanted to get back at his mate”. Yet, somehow, in every discussion about rape that takes place, people feel the need to bring up false rape reports as though they are somehow just as, or more, important than the fact that, if we look ONLY at the sexual assault cases reported to the police last year (remembering that anywhere from 40-90% of sexual assaults go unreported), then nine people a day were raped in New Zealand in the year ending June 2012.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told that false rape accusations are “the real issue here” when discussing the shockingly prevalent sexual assault rates we have in New Zealand. And I am all for discussing the issue of false rape accusations—as a separate issue to sexual assault. I’m all for it, as long as we’re discussing actual false rape accusations, not reports that are later retracted because the victim can’t face trial, or is pressured into recanting (by family, friends of their attacker, etc), or situations where it goes to trial and the accused is found not guilty.

But please, for the love of all that is good and holy, stop derailing discussions about rape and sexual assault with your “what about those bitches who cry rape and ruin men’s lives” bullshit. It’s not helpful, it’s not conducive to a reasonable discussion, and it makes you look like a giant jackass.

Unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for—in which case, carry on, you’re doing a great job.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Rape/Sexual Assault

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

If you’re miserable and alone, it’s probably because you’re a slut.

This one’s a few months old, but I just stumbled across it tonight: according to Curt Smith, who runs an advice column called ‘The Single Guy’s Opinion’ (I, for one, am completely shocked. Also, when I want advice on how to cook a steak, I don’t ask a vegan, but okay), women have become too easy.

Oh good, because we’ve never heard that one before.

Anyway, Stacy has written to this advice column with a question:

Dear Curt,

I’m a 35-year-old woman, and met a very handsome 43-year-old man named Daniel. We’ve been dating for five months now and still haven’t slept together.

My problem is that in the beginning, Daniel asked me how many men I’ve slept with. Being a little scared of his reaction, I lied and told him seven. But after a few months, I could not live with the lie and finally decided to tell him the reason why I still haven’t slept with him yet.

I told him I didn’t want to make love because I was scared that he’d lose respect and eventually leave me like all the other men. At this point he asked me again, just how many men were there, to which I replied forty-three.

His reply was, “Hmm, one for each of my birthdays.” And from that day on, I never heard from him again. I don’t get it Curt, why is it that when men sleep around, they’re studs , yet when women sleep around, they’re sluts ? Why can’t women have their fun too?

Stacy Jones, TX

Well, first of all, Daniel is an asshole. Now brace yourself, because—spoiler alert—Curt’s answer does not include the words “patriarchy”, “bullshit”, or “double standard”.

[B]efore I begin, allow me to stress that I’m not passing judgment on women, nor am I saying that women shouldn’t enjoy themselves sexually.

I’m not sexist, but…

An object that has value is worshipped, respected, cherished, and shared with very few deserving people. As soon as you start sharing that object with anyone and without care, the object starts to lose value. The more people use the object, the more it depreciates and the less bargaining power it has: this is a plain psychological fact of life.

CURT DID YOU REALLY JUST CALL WOMEN OBJECTS? REALLY? YOU DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO COUCH IT IN IMPLICATION? YOU JUST OUTRIGHT CALLED WOMEN OBJECTS? I CAN’T EVEN.

Capslock aside, I’m not sure that’s even true for every object ever. A yearbook has more value the more it’s passed around—more memories, more personalised notes, etc. My high school yearbooks are literally filled with all these amazing handwritten notes and fabulous memories.

What about cupcakes? When I bake cupcakes I want to share them with as many people as possible, because cupcakes are awesome and delicious and everyone should be able to nom on my cupcakes because they are damn good cupcakes, if I do say so myself.

Fuck, now I want to make cupcakes.

Anyway.

But the reality is that most men (those looking for a serious relationship and not a one-night stand) do place great value on a woman’s sexual restraint.

I don’t want a serious relationship with a man who places that much value on my sexual restraint before I even knew him, let alone was dating him, unless he is someone who has firm moral beliefs about non-matrimonial sex and so am I. Otherwise it comes off as creepy and controlling.

There was a time when many women cherished their bodies much like a sacred temple. Where only a noble man, one who respected and loved her, had access to her body.

I’m sorry, but I cannot stop laughing at a noble man. I’m picturing a seventeenth-century dude, here.

But over time, it seems that women have failed to realize the important role their sexuality plays in finding a long-term mate.

Here’s the thing—my hackles get almost as raised by the use of the word ‘mate’ in relation to people as they do by MRAs referring to women as ‘females’. We’re not chimpanzees, okay? Well, most of us.

But if women themselves don’t value their bodies like they used to, why should men?

I value my body. I value it so much that I’m like, “Hey, my body and my sexuality is fucking rocking, and y’all should get up on this.” My vagina is not the 500-year-old china-plated family heirloom that has to be locked away and earthquake-proofed. It’s the placemat my three-year-old nephew made me in kindergarten that gets pulled out all the time, because that shit is rocking.

Some women will argue that if men have the right to sleep around, so should women. But I ask only one question: If women adamantly believe this, then why is it that when faced with the question, “How many men have you slept with?”, most women who have slept around with truckloads of men always lie?

Some women lie. Some men lie. Some people don’t even know their numbers. I’m not clear on mine, but I know it’s a shitload higher than a) the national average and b) my partner’s. And some people have had it drummed into them for so long that a slutty woman is a worthless woman, oh my god what is wrong with you, you whore, that they lie about their number in order to avoid the slutshaming that will inevitably follow. And you know what? That’s fucking fine.

Things my partner needs to know about my prior sexual encounters (and I want to make it clear these are my rules for me personally, and I’m not saying this is what everyone should be following by any means):
-History of sexual assault, because they need to understand that there are some things that are totally off limits, and because they should know if I suddenly freeze up and shy away it’s probably not them;
-Any sexually transmitted infections I may have that could return, if we’re not using condoms.

That’s it. My number has no bearing on either of those things.

Women have sexual propositions directly or indirectly thrown at them every single day. Because of this abundant supply of penis, women have the final decision to act on or ignore such propositions.

Ladies! Your constant sexual harassment means YOU HAVE THE POWER.

Men, on the other hand, don’t necessarily have women on bended knee with diamond rings and gold bracelets, so they pretty much take it when they can.

Women only want sex when there’s jewellery involved, obviously. Shit, I should have way more bling.

Men recognize the power of a woman’s sexuality. In turn, men appreciate and place great value on women who can control themselves and demonstrate a certain degree of sexual discipline because most men certainly can’t.

MEN CAN ONLY THINK WITH THEIR PENISES AND CAN’T SAY NO TO SEX EVER. Gee, where have I heard people spouting this shit before?

If a woman can show men that she is honest, loyal, trustworthy, and sexually responsible, then she will have the most powerful weapon to attract men. If, on the other hand, a woman abuses her sexual power with many men, it will backfire on her. Unfortunately, women only realize this after they’ve had their “women’s movement fun,” when it’s too late and the only choice they have is to lie.

“Women’s movement fun”. In scare quotes. I’m just going to leave this here.

Over the past years, most women have lost a sense of value for their sexuality. They’ve realized that sex is fun and pleasurable, but in the process, they’ve forgotten that it’s the one gift that they can offer their lover, and that so many men value.

Ladies, you have literally nothing to offer a man other than your very chaste ladyparts. Okay? Okay.

Here’s a better example: if I were to offer Stacy the same engagement ring that I once offered my ex-fiancée, would she appreciate it?

Look, I wouldn’t be okay with my partner going “Hey, this is the exact same dick I once offered [a previous sexual partner]” just as we were getting hot and heavy, but that’s not really the same thing as me knowing he had a sex life before I knew him.

As more and more women put their careers ahead of their social lives, they’re getting married at a later age. But because of an emotional void, some find the wait a little too long and replace love with sex.

Again… I’m just going to leave this here.

A woman should give the man the test of time and make him wait at least three months before having full intercourse with him.

“Full intercourse”? Am I back in year ten sex ed?

Both the women’s movement and the media have encouraged women to compete with men in all aspects of life, including sex.

Preeeeeetty sure feminism is all about giving women equal rights to men, not encouraging them to compete…

Most men will agree that they’re always on the lookout for a serious soul mate. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun in the process.

Apparently it means women can’t, though.

Why do we men behave in such a way? Because we are very much aware of how hard it is to control ourselves when seduced by women. Therefore, we fear women who are equally sexually active — especially when they have dozens of men courting them — because they also lack that control.

NO. WORDS.

The women’s sexual movement had women across the United States screaming, “We want equal treatment! We want to be able to do everything men do! We want to have sex!” Well, women did just that and unfortunately, they abused their sexual magic to the point where it lost its value over time.

Three things:
-“Sexual magic”. Snigger.
-Pretty sure feminism wasn’t limited to the United States?
SEXUAL MAGIC.

After all, if the body becomes familiar and the personality becomes aggravating, what else is there left to commit to? Well, I’d like to think that it is the woman’s special gift that keeps a man hooked.

I can’t get over “and the personality becomes aggravating”. Protip: if your partner’s personality is aggravating, you need to rethink your relationship. And as for that last sentence, I’m going to hand over to my boyfriend for a second, who’s reaction was: “I’mma trick you into a relationship! With my vagina! It’s a mousetrap! Or a Chinese finger trap—you’ve got to get all the way in, and then sneak out.” Which is the best mental image ever, to be completely honest with you.

The man who had to work hard and commit in order to bed a woman will appreciate her more. After all, time was invested in her.

She’s not a classic car you’ve been restoring, guys.

Annnnnnd, that’s it. Curt Smith, you are a fuckhead of the highest order, and me and the body I have no respect for are going to go bake some cupcakes now.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Sexism

 

Tags: , , , ,

MJ’s SlutWalk Perth Speech: Russell Square, Perth, December 3rd 2011

I went over to Perth to spend some time with my family over there, and I was invited to speak at SlutWalk Perth while I was there. Hopefully there is video to follow, as I did see someone recording all the speeches! Below the jump is my speech in full—minus any cracks I may have made at the start regarding the 37 degree weather!!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 10, 2011 in Rape/Sexual Assault, SlutWalk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Blog for Peace 2011: The Many Faces of Feminism

It seems to be a common misconception—especially amongst men, although definitely not limited to them—that feminism is a monolith. There is this common idea that one branch of feminism is all branches of feminism, and every self-identified feminist will agree with every opinion, publication or discussion that takes place under the branch of feminism. This is despite the fact that the first six words on the Wiki page for Feminism (I know, I know, but it’s the first place most people look) are, “Feminism is a collection of movements…”

In my experience—and I really want to stress that—this idea is usually perpetuated by those who are anti-feminism, or in some cases, men’s right’s activists. It’s easy to take the most extreme, the most controversial, the most opposing viewpoint to your own, and lump everyone into that category as a way of dismissing an entire group or movement. And let’s face it, it has to be a lot easier to dismiss feminism out of hand than to examine the many, many complexities and contradictions within the feminist movement.

Identifying as a feminist doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with everything in the movement—or even most of it. For some people, “feminist” means nothing more than “I think men and women should be equal”. It’s not a political statement, or even something they think about most days. For others, it is their livelihood, their careers and their politics. For most, it falls somewhere in between.

Very few people will deny that there are a metric ton of problems within the feminist movement, both past and present. Racism, classism, cissexism, reclamation, sex-negativity, parenting, the concept of “choice” and many others continue to be contentious issues amongst feminists—and that’s before we bring in postfeminism. Using these problems as an excuse to dismiss feminist issues, however, is to deny a myriad of very real failures in achieving equality. Because at the end of the day, disagreements on whether or not the world “slut” can be reclaimed doesn’t take away from the fact that one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, or that less than 10% of reported rapes result in a conviction.

Feminism will never be a monolith—and nor should it be. Different groups—be that geographical groups, races, seuxalities, classes, whatever—will always have different goals and priorities. Yes, these goals will merge and diverge and various points, and this is a good thing. Of course we don’t all have the same goals. What the fight for equality means to me as a young, white, queer woman with terrible health is different to what it will mean to a Muslim woman in France today, which in its turn will be different to what it means to a poor Black woman in the United States, which will be different… you get the idea. None of these battles are any “more” or “less” feminist than any other, though they will be more or less relevant to the people involved. It’s important to remember the distinction, both from within the movement and outside of it.

This is my contribution to Save the Children’s Blog for Peace project. It was an odd tangent, I know, but this is where my brain went! Please follow the link for the full blogroll of participants 🙂

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Personal

 

Tags: , , ,

Signal Boost: hate pages on Facebook

Trigger warning for just about every -ism you can conceive. This post is about the prevalence of hate groups on Facebook. Also an added trigger warning for discussions of rape and abuse in the comments.

Addendum 25/09/2011: Scar has quite rightly pointed out in the comments that this list doesn’t contain any hate pages against trans* folk. This was an oversight on my part—at the time I posted the link to this page, I simply didn’t have the spoons to read through the whole list, and I take full responsibility for this. My heartfelt apologies to anyone who felt erased by this—obviously as it is not my list I can’t do a lot about it, however I will definitely keep it in mind when I am linking pages in the future.

Good Gravey has posted The big, bad list of hate-pages yet to be reported (plus the success stories) on his Tumblr. Those of you who follow/like/whatever-the-kids-are-calling-it-nowadays the SlutWalk Aotearoa Facebook page will know that I and the other moderators of the page will often post the links to Facebook pages that perpetuate rape culture; however the sad truth is that the list Good Gravey has provided here is, simply put, too long to deal with individually.

Facebook have outrighted stated that in their opinion, pages that threaten rape are no worse than a bawdy pub joke. According to Facebook’s statistics page, there are over 750 million users currently on Facebook. If we assume a gender balance, and we also assume the often-touted statistics that one in four women and one in eight men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, there are over 140 million survivors of sexual assault actively using Facebook.* To ignore them in favour of stating that “It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining” is a horrific marginilisation of a huge part of your users.

And this doesn’t just stand for rape culture, either. The only way to even stand a chance of being taken seriously is to report each one of these disgusting pages that promotes racism, sexism, rape culture, cissexism, classism, ableism and any other -ism you can conceive.

Again, the full list is here and I would encourage those of you with the spoons to report, report, report as much as possible. There is currently a success rate (i.e. the pages now show as uanvailable/removed) of ~9%. This is could, but we can try to make it better.

*If anyone wants to check my math (it is rather late): 750,000,000 users = 375,000,000 women and 375,000,000 men.
375,000,000 x ¼ = 93,750,000
375,000,000 x ⅛ = 46,875,000
93,750,000 + 46,875,000 = 140,625,000

 
13 Comments

Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,