Tag Archives: women aren’t human

New Hub Post: “Female Lawmakers Use Satire Against Conservative War on Women”

25 Feb

Here is my new post on Radfem Hub. It’s about the responses of several female politicians to the recent slew of especially egregious anti-abortion bills, including Virginia’s trans-vaginal ultrasound bill that was in the headlines this week.

P.S. If you want to get really drunk, use “trans-vaginal” as your ‘drink’ word and watch an episode of The Rachel Maddow Show from this week. Now THAT is a partay!

[image via Maddow Blog]

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WE ARE THE 51%

15 Oct

If it was not yet clear how entirely male-centric the Occupy Wall Street movement is, let this be the straw bale of hay that breaks the camel’s back. Two men have put together a video called “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street”, featuring interviews with young women at the event in New York. Not just interviews, but lingering, slow-motion shots of their hair, faces, and bodies. The women in it probably thought they were just being interviewed about why they are there, why it is important to them, etc. Well, surprise! You are now being used as “hot chick” bait for attracting more skeezy “male allies” to Zuccotti Park.

Also, the music gives off an aire of “look at these wondrous woodland creatures we just discovered”. Watch at your own risk.

Naturally, these dudes have also created a Tumblr under same name as the video featuring photos of women at the demonstration, many of whom clearly don’t know they are even being photographed. Those who knew they were being photographed almost certainly didn’t know that their image would be presented in an explicitly sexualized context.

The makers of the video have attempted a weak explanation of their little project, with the most plainly problematic parts put in bold by me:

A lot of fantastic media has been created about the “Occupy” movement. I was watching one video in particular and commented to a friend, “Wow, seeing all those super smart hot chicks at the protest makes me want to be there.” He replied, “Hmmm… Yeah, let’s go with that.”

We instantly went to Tumblr and made hotchicksofoccupywallstreet.tumblr.com. Our original ideas were admittedly sophomoric: Pics of hot chicks being all protesty, videos of hot chicks beating drums in slow-mo, etc. But when we arrived at Zuccotti Park in New York City, it evolved into something more.

There was a vibrant energy in the air, a warmth of community and family, and the voices we heard were so hopeful and passionate. Pretty faces were making signs, giving speeches, organizing crowds, handing out food, singing, dancing, debating, hugging and marching.

It made me want to pack my bags and pitch a tent on Wall Street. And it’s in the light that we created this video.

And we hope it makes you want to be there too.

Amazingly, the fact that these men are eager to “pitch tents” because females are in their presence does not make me want to take part in their political movement! Like, at all! Rather, I am horrified and not flattered in the least. And “pretty faces” weren’t giving speeches, debating, and organizing. These are actual human beings using their widdle lady brains to think hard stuff and get shit done.

Luckily, other women have been calling bullshit on this one, which has prompted the video makers to add this addendum. Again, I have placed the stupidest parts in bold:

EDIT: Apparently a lot of controversy has erupted online from people passionately opining (among many things) that this is sexist, offensive, and dangerously objectifies women. It was not my intent to do that and I think the spirit of the video, and the voices within, are honorable and inspiring.

However, if you disagree with me, I encourage you to use that as an excuse to create constructive discussions about the issues you have. Because, to be honest, any excuse is a good excuse to bring up the topic of women’s rights.

Woops, the whole thing is dumb! Who knew that a video reducing politically active women to “hot chicks” would cause a ruckus? Those “passionately opining” (read: “harping”) women just don’t *get* what the delicate artistes were trying to accomplish. And wait a second. . . let’s re-read that last sentence, shall we:

Because, to be honest, any excuse is a good excuse to bring up the topic of women’s rights.

The “excuse” is that you produced a video which turns your political peers into sexual objects simply because they are female. The “excuse” is a problem that you have created. You made a 4-minute contribution to rape culture. Congrats for creating a problem for us to fix.

There’s something else about this comment that just drips with… jeez, what would you call that? (Maleness? Ha.) “The topic of women’s rights” just totally sounds like something that a dude who dropped out of a women’s studies class after a week would say. It lacks any real historical knowledge or background in feminism. He’s trying to sound like he gives a shit, when he clearly doesn’t. It’s disingenuous to the extreme, and precisely what women involved in male-led movements have to combat at every turn.

And as was recently written about on the Rad Fem HUB, the “Occupy” movement is no friend to women for a number reasons. Whenever women organize with men, these are the kinds of problems we’re going to have. Our concerns will be minimized or ignored, we’ll be treated like their personal fuck objects and eye candy, and the group’s goals will end up entirely serving them, not us.

This is, sadly, another occasion in which Robin Morgan’s words from 1970 are still far too relevant in the present:

And that’s what I wanted to write about—the friends, brothers, lovers in the counterfeit male-dominated Left. The good guys who think they know what Women’s Lib, as they so chummily call it, is all about—who then proceed to degrade and destroy women by almost everything they say and do: The cover on the last issue of Rat (front and back). The token pussy power orclit militancy articles. The snide descriptions of women staffers on the masthead. The little jokes, the personal ads, the smile, the snarl. No more, brothers. No more well-meaning ignorance, no more cooptation, no more assuming that this thing we’re all fighting for is the same; one revolution under man, with liberty and justice for all. No more.

Let’s run it down. White males are most responsible for the destruction of human life and environment on the planet today. Yet who is controlling the supposed revolution to change all that? White males (yes, yes, even with their pasty fingers back in black and brown pies again). It could just make one a bit uneasy. It seems obvious that a legitimate revolution must be led by, made by those who have been most oppressed: black, brown, yellow, red, and white women—with men relating to that the best they can. A genuine Left doesn’t consider anyone’s suffering irrelevant or titillating; nor does it function as a microcosm of capitalist economy, with men competing for power and status at the top, and women doing all the work at the bottom (and functioning as objectified prizes or coin as well). Goodbye to all that.

Run it all the way down.

[Update 10/27/11: Sady Doyle has written an article addressing the “Hot Chicks” video, as well as how a ‘leaderless’ movement allows for sexism to go even more unchecked.]

Links: March 26, 2011

26 Mar

Check out this awesome new blog, Debunking Serano, which gives a page-by-page refutation of Julia Serano’s book “Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity”. I’m kinda-sorta planning on doing something similar  with a used copy I got a couple weeks ago. Until then, get started with Serano Debunker’s posts here.

Femanon: “Poor, poor johns”. . .

Essentially, no one has the right to buy sex or sexual acts-we know that a great amount of abuse exists in this industry, and anyone who risks the chance of raping someone so that they can “get some” is sick.  No one has the right to sex, period.

Noanodyne: “The word is ‘no'”

The Vagina Conspiracy (Ded Gurl Cingz the Blooze): “Liberal Transwomen, Misogyny and M2Fs” – audio . . .

Transwomen living theoretically, and M2F maintaining male privilege and entitlement.

Ball Buster: “Creativity and Rebuilding Solidarity”

Undercover Punk: “Fat acceptance + trans-activism = conflict”

No Immunity in Death for Sexual Objectification

27 Jan

[Trigger warning for violence and dehumanization, particularly involving pornography.]

Two news items involving the death or murder of women have caught my attention.

The first story involves murder charges against Rodney Alcala, a man with a history of violence towards women and girls. He is already a convicted rapist, kidnapper, and murderer, having killed at least 7 and up to 100 women.

In the New York Times story linked above, the author attempts to end on a “happy” note, it appears. With what? A description of how beautiful one of the murdered women was.

[Bruce Ditnes, who dated Ellen Hoover,] said she had long black hair down to her waist and “gorgeous brown eyes.” He said he was not surprised that she had caught Mr. Alcala’s eye.

“Ellen would literally cause traffic accidents,” he said. “We would walk into restaurants, and people would spill things on themselves.”

She was just so gorgeous that a man killed her.

She caught Rodney Alcala’s gynecidal eye, the lucky lady.

*

The second story is that of Carolin Wosnitza. She was a woman. She was a woman who was featured in pornography, and she died while undergoing her sixth breast augmentation last week. Basically every mainstream headline about her death involves the words ‘porn star’ or ‘sexy’, and few use her non-porn-industry name. A couple examples: “‘Sexy Cora’ Dead: Porn Star Dies After Sixth Breast Operation” . . . “Porn Star Dead After Breast Surgery”. (See this post at I Blame the Patriarchy for more on the media portrayal of her death).

Her non-porn name doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, but “Sexy Cora” does. On her page, “medical issues and death” is the first section. Besides the complications from surgery, there is another note:

Cora was hospitalized in 2009 after trying to break the world record for the number of fellatios performed in one day. She was trying for 200 men but was unable to pass 75.

In fact checking this story — yes, it is true — I came across a forum for dudes who like to fight each other where one man decided to eulogize “Sexy Cora”. Another man commented on the post, which deserves an additional trigger warning of its own. I am posting it because I think it gives a peek into how little regard men who “love women” through viewing pornography actually care about the women they watch. The comment is exceptional in it’s ability to make me hate the world, so I have put it below the fold. Continue reading

Degrading Feminism (See What I Did There?)

15 Jan

[Trigger warning for descriptions of BDSM.]

I found an interview on Feministing with “feminist” pornographer and sex-pozzie educator Tristan Taormino recently. I don’t visit Feministing anymore, so I found it linked from another site. That site? Adult Video News, the pornography industry’s trade mag. Just how I like my feminism. . . pornography-industry approved and promoted.

I’m not really going to get into the interview too much, but you can read it here if you’d like. There were just a couple bits I wanted to draw attention to since they relate to my later analysis.

1. Taormino says that, in college, she lived in a place called Womanist House. Later, when discussing young women not identifying as feminists, she expresses her confusion at this. She mentions how it’s a slap in the face to all the feminist work of the past, which I’m assuming means USian, white suffragists. While I get the train of thought she’s going with, there are other reasons that women – even young women – don’t call themselves feminists. Uh, hello… Womanist House?

2. “And I was raised by a gay man, so I love musicals.” And I was raised by straight, blue-collar parents, so I love NASCAR.

Now, onto something that was not in the interview.

On Taormino’s website, she answers messages from people asking advice about their sex lives. This one question stuck out to me. The following bold emphasis is mine.

Dear Anal Advisor:

My boyfriend is ultra submissive in just one area: his ass. He doesn’t go for the Mistress thing, lick-my-boot mentality, but when it comes to his ass (which is the focus of his fantasies and always how he’s able to come) he’s full sub. I know exactly what he needs that way, pain and humiliation. Directed at his ass. Insulting HIM gets us nowhere, but insulting HIS ASS does.  My snag is this: there are only so many ways to insult an ass. Degrading his ass, calling it a cunt or pussy gets him off in a snap. Is there any way to get good ideas to boost my imagination so play is not monotonous for either of us?

Mistress of His Ass

Can you guess what is not addressed whatsoever in the response? What is just glided over as a-okay and totally unproblematic? Get out your sex-poz bingo cards!

Dear Mistress of His Ass:

Plenty of people get off on pain, humiliation, degradation, and overall submission. Clearly your boyfriend’s submissiveness is tied directly to his ass and anal play. There are many ways to combine submission and anal pleasure. You’ve already insulted his ass, but have you also tried to insult and humiliate *him* for wanting his ass penetrated, for being a naughty butt boy? Take all the cultural baggage that comes with anal pleasure, and use it to your advantage, as a psychological tool: it’s dirty, taboo, dangerous, and will make him gay. Of course those aren’t true, but these myths can make for great mindfuck material. If he likes extreme submission, you may also want to explore forced anal penetration or anal rape scenes; that’s tricky territory, so tread lightly. It also sounds like there is an element of gender play in your man’s fantasies, since he enjoys having his ass be called his pussy. Try to explore that part of his desire further. Does he want to crossdress, to be girl? Does he want to be forced to do it? Forced feminization is quite popular and may be part of what he’s try to express in the anal play you’re currently having. See if he will open up about and be specific about his submissive anal desires, and use what he gives you to take things to the next level.

Way to NOT unpacked everything that goes into the idea of degradation being sexy.

The woman writing for advice says that her boyfriend enjoys being degraded. How? By calling a particular orifice of his a pussy or cunt. This is then misidentified by Taormino as a possible desire for “gender play”. Could it be that, since he equates having a vagina with being degraded, that he is actually just into that other popular practice of misogyny? Then, there’s “forced feminization” brought up in her response. That idea/practice is seriously woman-hating as folks raised as girls/women endure that exact thing – forced feminization. And this is what bunch of dudes get off on. Surprise, surprise.

The first line of Taormino’s response is simply a statement of fact, implying that if enough people like something, that makes it good/healthy/etc. “Plenty of people get off on pain, humiliation, degradation, and overall submission.” Yeah. Like rapists.

Taormino advises the advice-seeker to use “cultural baggage” as a way of turning her boyfriend on via degradation. Interesting term… “cultural baggage”. Using homophobia as incitement for your boyfriend to orgasm. . . FEMINISM.

And for all the talk about how “sex is a normal and natural thing”, “pornography can be a celebration of healthy sex”. . . why is it that sex is constantly referred to as dirty, women as dirty, etc in all porn, including feminist porn? Oh, but Taormino clarifies that sex as dirty and so on “aren’t true”. Just how far are we supposed to take this massive cognitive dissonance here? What if this boyfriend (who I’m assuming is white because BDSM is totally a Thing White People Like) really got off on, say, “fantasies” of being degraded as a black woman under U.S. slavery? Do we say, “Hey, well, what gets you off gets you off,” or do we offer even a modicum of analysis of just why the hell that may be? Hmm, could it have to do with misogynistic racism? I’m a little surprised Taormino doesn’t suggest something like that since, you know, what’s more degraded than having a vagina as well as brown skin? “But how else will he orgasm if not imagining himself in the position of an indentured woman?” Tough shit. Find something that isn’t  overwhelmingly offensive even at first glance. Find something that doesn’t eroticize someone’s oppression.

Golly, I’m sure glad that feminist Tristan Taormino is doing justice to all the feminist work that came before her. Fight the good fight, Tristan. . . well, unless someone thinks it’s really hot.

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.

Transcript

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!

Amazon.com & the Tip of the Rape Product Iceburg

10 Nov

[Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault and sexual abuse of children.]

There’s a news item going around about how Amazon.com is selling an e-book called, “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct.” It’s a guide to raping children and how to get away with it. Amazon isn’t taking down the book and said in a statement that Amazon thinks taking down the book would be “censorship”. It’s a great feat of mental acrobatics to believe that a private business doesn’t have the right to sell what it wants, so I’m guessing that something else is behind this.

It’s been pointed out elsewhere that Amazon sells plenty of products designed to fit all your rape culture needs. I think one of the reasons Amazon is claiming some bullshit “first amendment” argument here is because, if they listen to people’s concerns about this item and decide to pull it from their site, they’d probably have to stop selling a really freakin’ huge number of other rape-related products.

As was done in the Shakesville post I just linked to above, I too decided to look up “rape” on Amazon. Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of material, particularly movies.

Now, Amazon doesn’t sell (what they consider to be) pornography. However, just because they don’t sell anything released by Vivid doesn’t mean they don’t have things closely resembling pornography.

On the search results page, I find “Breaking Her Will”. The main reviewer complaint is that it was too tame. The film is about the abduction and rape of a female hitchhiker. Reviewers of these kinds of films tend to voice this dissatisfaction about the violence and degradation not being ‘intense’ enough. As reviewer S. Klepper of Texas (using his real name) says,

when it arrived and I looked at the cover, I was thinking “5 stars”, when I started watching it, I was like “holy sh**!”, after watching it all…weeeellll…. the bottom line is this, B&D, lots of female nudity (cool), BUT! NO penetration (not so cool).

Perhaps this would-be rapist would prefer one of the movies in the “Forced Entry” series or “Victims” or “Forgive Me For Raping You”. Maybe he could watch the films while wearing this shirt that Amazon also sells.

Amazon knows that they have customers seeking products that facilatate their rapist desires, and they likely aren’t going to take this pedophilic ‘guide’ down. Money over women’s lives, like always.

Dudebro: “There’s Some Women… Which One Should I Fuck?”

10 Nov

I watched The Colbert Report tonight and the guest was Cee Lo Green, who performed his very popular “Fuck You” song. I noticed that all the people in the band were women people, much to my happy surprise. Keyboardist, bass, guitar, drums… women! Way unexpected and cool to see for once.

Then, I went online to look up more about the band. Third result: “Which one in Cee Lo’s all female band would you bang?” I presume ‘one’ means ‘woman’ and is not referring to and instrument or another object.

Are there no limits to men’s ability to to sexually objectify any and all women they see? I saw these women and thought, “Oh, that’s pretty cool… good for them,” and this dude and plenty of others thought, “Oh, they’re hot… which one of them should I fuck?” And, of course, dudes, I’m sure those women totally want to have sex with you too. They aren’t there because they want to play their instruments and make some music; they’re there because they wanted some random internet guy to contemplate and discuss, with other guys, which one of them is the most ‘fuckable’.

Also related to the performance tonight, how fucking sad is it that I questioned whether or not the band members were really playing the instruments? It was a very brief questioning, but still… that the presence of conventionally-attractive women playing instruments looked artificial and just a mimicry of a “real” (mostly male) band? I guess that’s why I have the tag ‘the misogynist within’ on here.