Tag Archives: harassment

Privilege Denying Occupier Dude

6 Nov

[Inspired by this comic and this meme.]

See also:
“Feminist Call to Action: Occupy Dudeville”

“Our ‘Brethren in Struggle’, I Presume?”


Conference Videos: “Anita Hill, 20 Years Later”

5 Nov

Go check out a whole bunch of videos from a conference discussing Anita Hill’s testimony 20 years ago, sexual harassment, and law. The event was from a couple weeks ago and includes many wonderful speakers and discussions.


Website for the conference, “Sex, Power, & Speaking Truth: Anita Hill 20 Years Later”

Awareness… Yeah, That’s the Ticket!

22 Jun

There is a new “cancer awareness” campaign targeting women’s pubic hair. Cancer of the pubes? Nope. Your cervix! You know, cuz lady bits are all just one big amalgamation to be pornified.

This is not, of course, the first time women’s body parts have been turned into objects under the guise of ‘awareness’. There has been the ubiquitous pink merchandise that declares “I ❤ boobies”, for example. (Fun side story. . . before I knew these bracelets and so forth were for “breast cancer awareness” I legitimately thought it was some overtly misogynistic crap designed to sexually harass women. Why? Because I only saw men with the bracelets and stickers, and particularly dudebro-y men at that.)

There’s campaigns to “save the boobies” and “save the ta-tas”, emphasizing the preservation of fatty masses over the life of an actual female human being.

There are “dance for the cure” parties for women. And the dancing? Around a pole, natch.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation had an ad showing a woman with a shirt that reads, “Punch it, strangle it, kick it, spit on it, choke it, and pummel it until its good and dead.” Hahaha! You thought we were talking about murdering a woman! Funny jokes!

There was Boobie-thon, which urges women to send in photos of their breasts, covered or uncovered.

I think you get the idea. This newest sexy-cancer campaign is supposedly mirrored after Movember in which males grow out mustaches or other facial hair to bring awareness to general “men’s health issues”, including male-specific cancers. Creating a similarly awkward portmanteau of ‘vagina’ and ‘July’, this newest cervical cancer awareness-raiser is called Julyna. (I’m strangely reminded of that episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry can’t remember the name of a woman and only knows that it rhymes with a female body part.)

And so, Julyna kicks off with not only a hilarious name, but an inaccurate one. Vaginas and cervixes: not the same thing, actually! The campaign further removes itself from the actual subject with its promotion of sculpting pubic hair, something the founders chose to create ‘media buzz’. It seems if you’re not showing pictures of breasts or shaving your pubes, no one much cares about ‘awareness’.

The parallels with Movember pretty much end with its involvement of hair in some way. Other than that, it is actually a reversal. Men keep their facial hair, women remove their pubes. As the last linked article says, the website for Julyna “has sample design ideas and suggestions on how to execute shapes with the least amount of discomfort.” There will be discomfort (ingrown hairs, itchies, etc) but just not as much as there could be. Got it.

Not only is the campaign Not Helpful in the way that it promotes sexualization of female bodies for some bullshit ‘awareness’, but the awareness it is raising is over something rather dubious. Cervical cancer is believed to be caused by HPV, a virus which is transmitted to the cervix almost solely through penis-in-vagina contact. While I don’t expect a soon-to-be-popular movement to include a critique of PIV, that should be a part of any campaign that is truly trying to reduce the cases of cervical cancer.

As with any mainstream awareness movement dealing with cervical cancer, Julyna hypes the importance of very frequent Pap tests. As I have written about before, cervical cancer screening (particularly in the U.S.) is used far too often, is unreliable, and is part of a broader system of medical surveillance of female bodies as a means of control. The constant urging of women to ‘test early and test often’ serves to make women afraid of their own bodies and shame women as irrational and immature for deciding against the test. With the sexy-cancer angle, the concurrent pressure to get Pap tests is similarly unacceptable and harmful to women.

Now, in an attempt to balance the scales, I have a proposal. I ask everyone to join me in supporting my new personal cancer awareness-raising cause: testicular cancer. To increase knowledge about it, I ask that all men bleach their assholes. It’ll be a great attention-getter!

(Thanks to Jilla for bringing this campaign to my attention.)


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.

Droppin’ Stats, Changin’ Convos

26 Nov

[Trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence.]

I had a Thanksgiving dinner with a some of my relatives last night. One of the topics of conversation that my mother and grandmother found it necessary to discuss is how I have a class that gets out after dark this term. *EEP GASP* Well, doncha know, when your class gets out after dark and you have to walk two whole blocks in the darky darkness to get to your car, well… you know what can happen.

I pointed out that it’s one day a week that I have this class (response: “Well, once a week is enough”… whatever the hell that means). I gave a visual of how many blocks I have to walk from the bus stop by using my fingers to draw out a little map on the table. I clarified this invisible map again. I repeated how it’s just one class and there’s still plenty of folks out and about or inside their homes at 6:30 pm.

This also wasn’t the first time my class schedule and darkness had been brought up recently. About a week ago when my mother found out that I walk! two blocks! in the dark! once a week, she and her boyfriend immediately turned to talk of weaponry. Do I carry that pepper spray my mom got me for Christmas a few years ago? A suggestion that I purchase a knife. (I’ll be sure to add this knife to my Christmas list this year.)

A few things piss me off about these conversations. It seems they think if they don’t tell me about Vague Bad Things That Happen In the Dark To College Girls that that very Bad Thing will happen to me (and that if I know about it, I can somehow prevent it). Also, there’s this notion that I don’t already freak the fuck out walking around at night by myself. That second conversation happened about half an hour after I almost cried walking to my car because I was so scared after seeing someone standing out in the middle of a park that I had to go by. Also, last year I didn’t sign up for a class because it got out in the evening. Finally, this thing I’m supposed to be afraid of is never actually articulated directly, yet they both are trying to spook me with it.

When this particular dinner conversation still wasn’t over after goodness knows how many minutes, I finally took the opportunity to break through the opaque language and fear-mongering.

“Well, 70 percent of sexual assaults are by someone the victim knows… so…” *sassy head tilt*

Never have I seen a topic so quickly changed. On a dime, I tell you. I looked over at my partner who was doing the restrained version of this and smiling a little. Meanwhile I was trying not to burst out in laughter because BAM, I just did that.

Next topic? A man who got shot nearby that bus stop I get off at. My family needs to stop watching the local news.

Links: November 5, 2010

5 Nov

A Radical Profeminist: “Where’s Andrea Dworkin When We Need Her?”

The Period Blog: “Dictionary Definitions of Genitalia part 1”, a telling analysis of definitions given to female and male genitalia

[TW for sexual assault] Women’s Rights (Change.org): “14-Year-Old Girl Raped After Being Used as ‘Bait'”

The teacher coerced 14-year-old B.H.J., an African-American student who had reported being repeatedly sexually harassed, into meeting her tormentor in a bathroom, assuring her that they would “catch him.” But nobody followed B.H.J. into the bathroom, and nobody stopped her from being raped; the teacher simply went back to her classroom and waited. B.H.J. is reported as being severely traumatized and in an almost completely non-communicative state.

[TW for violence/sexual assault] Women in Prison: “Interview with Brenda Myers”, formerly-prostituted woman discusses sex trafficking in the Chicago area, decriminalization, her experiences, and how she got out of the sex trade

My Husband Betty: “Jeez Louise This Whole Cisgender Thing”

New York Times: “High-Tech Answer to Harassment on Egypt’s Streets”, article about the Hollaback-style actions being taken by women in Egypt

Echidne of the Snakes: “Chains Beneath The Frivolity and Flounces”, on RuPaul’s new tv show that has drag queens instruct women on how to be better women

[TW for descriptions of violent porn] The Globe and Mail: “More Men are Speaking Out Against Pornography”, article quoting both Gail Dines and Robert Jensen, as well as some young anti-porn men

Small as their numbers might be now, hot-blooded, heterosexual men of all ages are becoming more vocal about swearing off pornography. Rather than opposing it on religious or conservative grounds, the new wave of men against porn is concerned about how the pervasiveness and extreme forms of pornography are affecting not only women, but their own attitudes and sex lives as well.

The article also mentions The AntiPorn Men Project, which I have recently added to by blogroll. Check it out.