But I’m A Nice Guy

I’ve been trying to think of something to say about the terrible shooting in California this weekend, but I am consistently coming up blank. So many thoughts in my head, so little abillity to consolidate them. So I am just going to leave this here.

You are not entitled to our bodies and our company just because you are “a nice guy“. The “friendzone” doesn’t exist. If a woman you are interested in tells you she has a boyfriend (even if she doesn’t) it is because she knows you’ll respect another man’s ownership of her, than the actual ownership she has of herself. But sometimes even when we DO have a boyfriend, you still feel entitled enough to us that you will kill us if we reject you.

“I am afraid of women. And that makes me angry.”

Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.
– Margaret Atwood, paraphrased.

Julia Gillard vs Tony Abbott in Celebrity Deathmatch.

Would anybody like to see a video of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, giving Tony Abbott a serve about his disgraceful misogyny in Parliament today?

Oh you do? That’s what I thought.

You’re welcome.

Transcript behind the fold.

Continue reading

Let Me Tell You About All The Things I Do To Stay Safe (or, Jill Meagher is not a cautionary tale)

My local pub – my favourite place to drink – is really close to my house. It’s so close that, on a clear day, you can see it from my end of the street. Getting from there to here requires crossing a main road, and then walking along streets lined with residential homes on both sides. It’s quiet, and it’s familiar and I walk from here to there and back again ALL the time.

Last weekend, whilst making a trip only barely longer than mine – also from her local bar to her home – 29 year old Brunswick woman Jill Meagher was kidnapped, raped and killed. Early this morning, her remains were discovered in Gisborne, 45 kilometers from where she was last seen on Sydney Rd. The internet exploded today with condolences to her husband, family and friends, and as well as with the usual warnings from armchair concen trolls to young women to “be careful, and take precautions”.

Commenter GIW at 3AW says:

There have been so many incidents of rape, assaults, harrassment and murder but still women don’t get it. You do not venture out on your own in the wee hours of the morning especially after you have been drinking, why is it so hard for that message to sink in.

And there are many other sentiments the same. Be careful girls, don’t walk alone at night, don’t get too drunk, don’t wear high heeled shoes. BE CAREFUL!!!11!!!!1ELEVENTY!

Let me tell you about all the things I do to stay safe, every time I leave my house alone at night. EVERY TIME.

  • I carry my keys in my hand after I have gotten off the tram, because they are sharp, and because it gets me into the house quicker.
  • If I know my partner will be awake, I text him when I have gotten off the tram and he meets me at the front door so I don’t have to unlock it.
  • I cross to the other side of the road if I pass someone who makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • I check my reflection in shop windows to figure out if the man who is walking behind me is getting closer on purpose or if he just happens to be travelling in the same direction as me.
  • I promise my friends (and make them promise me) to text as soon as I get home, so they will know I made it safely.
  • If it’s not too late, sometimes I telephone someone so I am talking to someone as I am walking alone.
  • I routinely text my partner as I am on my way home, letting him know where I am at the various stages of my trip, so he’ll have evidence of where I was if he ever needs it.
  • I avoid making eye-contact with passers-by.
  • If there is a group of men on the street, I will hurry by as inconspicuously as I can.
  • If I am going somewhere on my own, I almost always wear flat shoes, in case I need to make a run for it.
  • I wear sunglasses and headphones on public transport so that people will feel less inclined to strike up a conversation with me.
  • As soon as I get off the tram, however, I remove both sunglasses AND headphones so I can see and hear what is going on around me.
  • If I can see my shadow from street lights, I keep an eye on it to make sure there’s not another person’s shadow too close to me.
  • If I am carrying an umbrella I take it out of my bag and carry it in my hand, so that if I need to use it to hit someone, I can.
  • I walk on the inside of the footpath, nearest the buildings, so that it would be harder for someone to pull me into a car, and so that I don’t have to squeeze through groups of people coming in the opposite direction.
  • Once, I was on a tram home quite late, and a man struck up a conversation with me. He made me feel SO uncomfortable that I got off the tram at a different stop than usual simply so he would not know which tram stop was mine.

I am sure there are a million other things I do that I haven’t listed here, simply because I don’t even notice that I do them. And furthermore, I would wager that many, many other women do these things, or similar things, to feel safer when they go out on their own. All that’s left to do from here is either never leave our houses again unless in the company of a manfriend, or start squarely blaming the perpetrators of these crimes against women instead of pointing the finger at the victims in an attempt to mitigate blame.

I refuse to become a shut-in. I refuse to let fear scare me into not living my life on my terms. I refuse to be blamed for the crimes committed against me and my sisters. What happened to Jill was an awful, terrible, violent crime, but urging young women to “protect themselves” absolves bad men of the blame for the crimes they commit.

Clementine Ford said today on Facebook:

Seriously. Those concern trolls publishing statuses today and tweets reminding women not to be naive about their safety need to be shamed in the public square. Jill Meagher was not raped, murdered and casually discarded because she was silly enough to believe that the street at night didn’t pose some risk for her. Those things happened to her because someone chose to do them – because some people still deeply hate women and believe they are entitled to desecrate another human being for their own satisfaction. We do not solve that problem by ‘reminding’ women that the rules are different for them and urging them not to be so cavalier about their precious, vulnerable selves. We begin to solve it by placing the blame where it is due – on the shoulders of those who think its their right to do these things to another human being. If it’s too unpleasant for people to dwell on that, the urges and actions of people who despise women so much they could do this to them, then they should shut the fuck up and leave the grown ups to talk about it.

FFS. Don’t insult her memory, or that of other women who’ve endured sexual violence, by making the take-home lesson that women need to be more careful. You know what would really help women? Living in a world where their fucking rapes and murders weren’t turned into cautionary tales.

RIP Jill. I will remember you.

She is exactly right. What happened to Jill Meagher is not, and should not be a cautionary tale. It is a tragic, violent crime, perpetrated by a bad man. That man is to blame. Not Jill, not the drinks she had on Friday night, not her high heeled shoes, or the time of night that she decided to walk home.

I wish to extend my love and best wishes to Jill’s husband Tom, and her family and friends both here and abroad. The coming days and weeks will be very trying for them and I hope they will be able to draw strength from one another and from all the good people of Melbourne who banded together this week to help the Victoria Police and the SES find out what happened to Jill.

May eternal light shine upon them all.

#destroyingthejoint

ginvincible:

Yay destruction. 

Sorry Alan Jones, you’re now irrelevant!

ginvincible:

Yay destruction.

Sorry Alan Jones, you’re now irrelevant!

Had it up to here.

I am sick and tired of people who claim to be progressive spouting some of the most vile racist and misogynist rubbish I have ever heard, and then claiming it’s “just an innocent joke”.

No joke is “innocent” when it’s at the expense of a marginalised group.

Leisel Jones Is Fat

Leisel Jones in in London for her 4th Olympic Games, the first Australian swimmer to achieve such a feat. She has won eight medals on the Olympic stage since her first Games at the age of 14, in Sydney. She has set world records in the 100 and 200m breaststroke on numerous occasions, in some cases breaking the record that she herself had set. She is, by all measures, one of Australia’s finest athletes.

And she’s fat.

Oh god, stop the presses. A 26 year old woman has hips and a belly.

A grubby piece of reporting at the above link, complete with a gallery of photographs of Liesel bending over, sitting cross-legged on the floor, standing next to Kenrick Monk and Stephanie Rice, and doing her stretches. Thrown in for good measure are some photographs of her modelling a completely different swimsuit in 2008, which we can look at and compare the slim, svelte Liesel of then, to the huge heifer of today. If you wish, you may also compare Leisel to Kenrick Monk and Stephanie Rice, because don’t you know all swimmers are meant to have THE SAME BODY?? Oh you didn’t? Maybe you haven’t been reading Fairfax news today.

A great big steaming FUCK YOU to the mainstream media.

Leisel Jones is an athlete, and a damn good one at that. She’s also a 26 year old woman, and has, from what I can tell, a perfectly normal body for a 26 year old female athlete. She’s not the tiny little 14 year old that she was 12 years ago in Sydney, and nobody should expect her to be. This sort of grubby reporting is what’s responsible for the self esteem and body image issues that young women have. Are you TRYING to incite eating disorders, Fairfax?

“Some feel that Jones is not in the best shape and is treating London as a farewell tour, not taking it as seriously as she had the previous three Games, where she won a total of eight medals.”

“Some feel?” Who are these “some”? Or are you just making things up as you go along, Fairfax? It’s not enough to take a low swipe at a successful athlete, you have to muddy it even further with ugly speculation and hearsay?

Her coach says:

‘She’s a different sort of athlete. She’s not a 14 or 15-year-old girl who is doing 10 really hard sessions a week. She’s probably at the end of her swimming career. She’s been doing nine sessions a week, and two gym sessions a week coming into this, and we were really happy with her from coming off Santa Clara [in California, where she swam faster than she did at Olympic trials].”

The lady GOT INTO THE OLYMPICS. They don’t just let you in because you’ve been to lots of other Olympics. You have to qualify, which means you have to meet a certain benchmark. If Leisel’s body shape truly impacted on her ability to swim, she’d not be at her fourth Olympic Games.

Leisel says:

“The fourth Olympics was more important to me than medal tallies…The fourth Olympics was the one that was unique and was mine and that was more important to me, because that showed longevity, and longevity and integrity are probably two things that are more important to me…I’m just proud I’m here because this has been probably the toughest journey, the last four years.”

Integrity. Something that Leisel Jones has in spades and that the mainstream media seems to be SORELY lacking these days.

Gamers get hella uncomfortable over male sexuality too. Can you imagine a “good male character who just happens to be wearing sexually exploitative outfits because he’s ok with his masculinity?” Constantly has the camera pan lovingly over his asscrack and firm glutes, and big ole dangly ballsack that is totes sweaty from all this MMA and soldiering. Time to hit the showers, and do you, personally, think it’s ok to have a long slow pan up the dude’s package (indiscreetly hidden in a jock of course), to his chiseled physique and erect nipples (pierced). He’s not even a Bond-esque confident man, he’s basically a weird Bowie caricature that’s constantly having near-dickslips in every single cinematic as the completely nonsexualized female characters do their business of being gruff and shooting dudes and advancing the plot. Finally, at the end he falls in love (out of nowhere) and/or is killed by the big baddie.
a forum post I read recently, trying to give a solid example of what ‘male objectification in gaming ’ would actually look like if it was anything equivalent to current female objectification in gaming. (via nothingbutsurrender)I think I reblogged this before, but I’m just gonna reblog it again.

(via hobbitdragon)

So fantastically accurate.

(via psdo)

Image

Quote

The thing about patriarchy is that individual men, gay and straight, are often really wonderful people who you love deeply, but they have internalized some really poisonous shit. So every once in a while they say or do something that really shakes you because you’re no longer totally certain they see you as a human being, and you feel totally disempowered to explain that to them.
(via albinwonderland)(Source: lasluchasdelcorazon)

I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one

In an epic display of male privilege, Jay-Z has decided to stop using the word “bitch” in his songs now that he has a daughter:

Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich
I didn’t think hard about using the word bitch
I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it
Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it.

How righteously noble of you, Mr Z. Before your little one came along were there no other women in your life? No mother, sister, girlfriend or wife? No other woman you respected enough to give you pause to consider your use of the word bitch in your music?

For more than two decades, Jay-Z has made a career off the objectification and commercialisation of women and women’s bodies, particularly women of colour. He has made (lots of) money off positioning misogyny as entertainment, made money off lyrics like:

I don’t love ‘em I fuck ‘em.
I don’t chase ‘em I duck ‘em.
I replace ‘em with another one.
You had to see she keep calling me BIG.
And my name is Jay-Z.
She be all on my dick.
Gradually I’m taking over your bitch.
Coming over your shit.
Got my feet up on you sofa, man.
I mean a hostess for my open hand.
You coming home to beer shifts and there be soda cans.
I got your bitch in my Rover man.
I never kiss her, I never hold her hand.
In fact I diss her I’m a bolder man.
I’mma pimp her, it’s over man.

It’s quite stunning to watch the hypocrisy in action. You would be forgiven for thinking that Jay-Z was the first man in the history of humanity to have a daughter, due to this sudden display of self-righteousness. He spends more than 20 years demeaning women through his music, and now that he suddenly has a daughter, everyone who uses the word bitch is deserving of his disdain?

20 years spent objectifying some other father’s daughter but it takes the birth of his own to teach him that maybe, maayyybeeee, calling women “bitch” isn’t the nicest thing to do?

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the rape culture. Enjoy your stay.