Archive | December, 2010

Cervical Screening Lies: Part 1

30 Dec

[Trigger warning for medical coercion and abuse.]

Women, particularly in the U.S., have been conned into believing that pap smears are a necessary, frequent screening that they must endure, either so they can have access to oral contraceptives or so they feel “proactive” and “responsible” for their health. This is a bunch of rubbish.

I have gone through two pap smears, both before age 20, because guidelines at the time said it was necessary and I believed I was required to submit in order to get birth control pills. In my case, and surely the case of millions of other women, informed consent was absent when I made the decision to get cervical cancer screening.

I have compiled a great number of links so that every woman may educate herself about this procedure and the lies we are told so we will not resist having this done to us. Know that you are not alone in questioning this screening.

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Facebook: Connecting You With Doods

29 Dec

I got a friend request on Facebook recently. (Oh, my basically blank, useless Facebook account.) The request comes from a guy I was good friends with in 4th grade. He now works at a porn shop. I know, right? Anyway, his public profile photo is of him – at work – getting a faux blow job from the woman who played “Serra Paylin” in that well-publicized porn film from a couple years ago. He’s giving a thumbs up in the photo, which weirdly reminded me of the Abu Ghraib torture photos. I know, right?

Safe to say, the dude shall be ignored. (Where can I get that on a t-shirt?)

Tunes I Dig: Janelle Monáe, “Cold War”

28 Dec

Love Janelle Monáe. Love this song. Love this video.

Lyrics below the fold…

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The Circle: Patriarchy, Trauma, and Silence

27 Dec

With the whole #MooreandMe saga, I did a lot of thinking about how much emotional damage I was willing to take in order to ‘do good’. It was not an easy thing. Reading about and writing about rape and about supposed ‘allies’ and feminists turning their backs on victims for 7 days straight, making it a part-time job, essentially… it’s constantly triggering.

Many feminists and rape survivors (often both) did not feel able to participate because it was so upsetting (many over at Shakesville alone said as much). Protesters were getting rape threats, death threats, the most vile insults hurled at them… all because we wanted some liberal men to acknowledge that rape is serious and that victims should be listened to. The irony.

More irony? Because men have raped women, those women feel unsafe to engage in anti-rape activism because they get rape threats and are triggered, leading to fewer women speaking up, leading to rape culture staying in place*, ending in men raping women with impunity. And repeat.

Patriarchy is one efficient machine.

*This is not to say that victims have an obligation to ‘speak out’. We don’t. The persistence of rape culture is not the fault of women. The male sense of entitlement to women’s bodies is why rape culture persists, no matter our ‘resistance’ to it.

Links: December 27, 2010

27 Dec

Rage Against the Man-Chine: “Get on the Fucking Ball, Janitors”. . . on ‘feminist porn’ being less popular online than ‘janitor porn’, and other internet search experiments.

I Blame the Patriarchy: “A lil bit of twerking and lifting”. . . on the new show ‘Bridalplasty’, in which women compete to receive cosmetic surgery before their wedding day.

Boner Killer: “Creatures of the Night: When Men Keep Women in a State of Fear”. . . on a recent series of sexual assaults against women by teenage boys [TW for sexual violence]

Echidne of the Snakes: “My Christmas Reading: The Science of Sex Differences”. . . several short conclusions from reading three books on the topic.

The history of sex differences in science is a nasty one, and there’s not much reason to expect we are doing much better right now.

Shakesville: on two assvertisements. . . one with real-life Beyoncé not being as interesting to watch as on-the-expensive-TV Beyoncé, and the another one featuring a father who sabotages his daughter’s clothing so that she can’t wear them.

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Strip Clubs

25 Dec

“[S]trip clubs – you know, those places where women are paid to get naked in order to publicly reinforce men’s social and personal power over females?”

(via Witchy Woo)

When the Porn Runs Out…

24 Dec

[Trigger warning for sexual violence.]

I just finished emotionally trudging through reading the new post over at Aileen’s place on something called Fucked Toys. Trigger warning applies to that post too, which includes some photos further down the page.

You know how Gail Dines says that the pornographers she interviews say that they’re running out of things [to do to women]? That they’re trying to find the next ‘extreme’ thing? Yeah. God dammit if this isn’t just another new thing with which to degrade women’s bodies.

It’s not like this violent stuff doesn’t exist in porn already. It certainly does. But for a man to be able to buy ‘toys’ like this will only further ingrain misogynistic desires for these types of things. A sex toy that vomits on your penis. A sex toy resembling a prolapsed anus. No really.

It’s one thing to watch it, it’s another to act out on a ‘toy’ what you have watched… and what’s next after that gets old? Who’s next? Your girlfriend? Your wife? Your daughter? That tipsy girl at a party? That woman walking back home from the bus stop at night?

If you seriously think that what you consume through media has no effect on how you figure yourself in the world, how you think about other people, what you come to value… well, you really need some media studies 101. If you think that sticking your dick into a synthetic tube meant to mimic a woman’s mouth and using the ‘vomit-like lubricant’ the ‘toy’ came with isn’t going to mentally connect that pleasure with that degradation… you’re also wrong. If you think that once that act isn’t extreme enough for the man because he wants it to be ‘more real’ that he won’t try finding a willing woman to reenact it? And if he fails, that he won’t try coercing a woman into it? That he won’t just outright assault a woman? Wrong. He will. Because it’s the violence that makes it ‘more real’. What he sees in porn is a man (himself) shoving his dick down a woman’s throat until she gags and throws up. Then comes the toy that will do that ‘in real life’, because a toy can’t say no. But flesh-and-blood women can. And when they do say no? Or when they finally just say ‘get it over with’ after repeated pressuring from a man? Then what will he do? He wants it, he’ll have it.

Male entitlement plus desires for extremely violent ‘sex’ will inevitably lead to rape in some cases. When you can’t just rewatch the video of it, when the hole you’re fucking isn’t just a rubber tube in your hand… then what?

Does My Ass Look Good in These Shoes?

23 Dec

The current trend of shoes that “shape up” your legs and butt has resulted in a number of awful ads recently. This is the newest addition.


Brooke Burke: This year for the holidays, I’m giving my mom better legs. I’m giving my brother a tighter core. My cousin. . . better posture. And my sister, a cuter butt. And now, my man. . . this year, he’s getting a sexier me. I’m getting everybody Sketcher’s Shape-ups. Why? Because they really work. Step into your new body, with Sketcher’s Shape-ups.

The most disturbing part is what she gives “her man”. His gift is her body.

Your relationship: now with prostitution!

Small Victories, #MooreandMe, and Olbermann & Me

22 Dec

[Trigger warning for Assange things, sexual assault.]

(If you want a recap of everything that has happened with the #MooreandMe protest in the last week, this post is incredibly comprehensive, and this post has a great number of links to articles and blog posts about it. And here’s another huge linkfest.)

On Rachel Maddow’s show last night, Michael Moore stated the obvious, which — unfortunately — is cause for minor celebration. He said that women’s allegations of rape must be taken seriously. It’s a crumb, in a way, but as Sady explains today, the mountain moved a little bit, and it’s because of the #MooreandMe Twitter campaign. Maddow wouldn’t have framed the issue the way she did if not for a week’s work of tireless tweeting, emails, and blog posts telling Moore that he needed to talk to us.

After most of the protesters had either gone to bed or taken a break last night, I was still up and on when I noticed that Keith Olbermann was tweeting away. This was at about midnight. I thought this might be a chance to actually get through to him, since my previous attempts at interaction that day had gone unanswered. I had asked him to please correct his claim that consensual sex without a condom is considered rape in Sweden. It’s immediately laughable, since, you know… how is there any population growth in the country then? Yet, this had gone uncorrected. I also wanted the lie about the allegations being only about a “broken condom” to be retracted. Here’s my first try, second try (with a bit of snark), and third try.

Here’s what happened when I finally got through.

And then he signed off for the evening. I was all shakey and really weirded out by the whole thing. I’ve watched this guy’s show every day for six years. The internet is a strange thing.

So, no, he didn’t say, “I’m sorry I stated something incorrect, I retract it,” but he did kinda-sorta say that the case was not about a broken condom. While doing this, though, he throws in something about “the story” changing which either refers to ‘what the public hears’ or ‘what the accusers claim happened to them’. I’ll be generous and hope it was the former.

The biggest thing I got out of this, though, which Sady’s most recent post talks about, is that a bunch of feminists with computers can actually affect what happens in “real life”. RAINN and more local anti-rape organizations got a bunch of donations (many in Michael Moore’s name), and two progressive leaders, Maddow and Moore, showed that you can support the guy’s organization without dismissing the likely event that Assange sexually assaulted two women.

Two women. That’s the other thing in all of this that I’m having trouble with. Rapists don’t have all of their assaults reported, nor do they just do it once. As blogger-journalist Andrea Grimes points out in her great post from yesterday , “Who Will Rape Me?”:

And you know what? The person who rapes me probably won’t even think I’m all that special since he’ll probably have raped seven to nine women, depending on what stats you rely on, before he’s ever put in jail.

It’s unlikely that this was the first time Julian Assange has sexually assaulted women. We also recently found out that he stalked a college student who expressed that she was not interested in him, sending her many emails and calling her home repeatedly.

With all that the two accusers have had to deal with – death threats, rape threats, people posting their full names, photos, home addresses, and more information online – it is very unlikely that another victim of his would ever come forward, if she or they exist. Besides that, this whole ordeal has been a lesson that women, should they be raped by a popular hero of the Left, they should shut the fuck up for the cause. Further, it showed all women that they are not to be trusted as reliable witnesses to their own assaults.

For all the damage that was done and will continue to be done, there’s a portion of women who saw the feminist blogosphere response and felt validated. Swedish women and feminists started #prataomdet (#talkaboutit) to discuss their own sexual assaults in the open. For the same reasons, “We’re Telling” was created. Finally, there was a national audience of millions who saw Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore denounce the unconditional support of an accused rapist who appears to otherwise be on ‘our side’.

Yes, it’s thoroughly sad that this is groundbreaking, but it’s not nothin’ either. Dismantling misogyny and rape culture happens chip by chip, and so slow that most of us won’t see the results of our work within our lifetimes. But we do it anyway, against all of the forces that say we’ll never be able to change anything. Well, chip chip chip.

Now, onto the next battle.

Robin Morgan Essay, “Goodbye to All That”

21 Dec

In yesterday’s post, I quoted from Robin Morgan‘s 1970 essay “Goodbye to All That”, originally linked to in this post at Tiger Beatdown. The essay is still relevant as ever, unfortunately, and I want to make sure that feminists of “my generation” read it. Know your roots, my fellow youngins!

Morgan also did a second part to this essay in 2008 in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, which was posted at Heart’s blog, Womensspace.

Here is the original essay below the fold, as well as the preface given from the website it was on.

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