Gay men need consent to touch a woman, too. [Role/Reboot]
Why do humans have sex at night? (SFW) [io9]
In defence of “Blurred Lines”. Could it in fact be about sexual liberation instead of sexual assault? [Slate]
Image via Wet Paint.
Victorians were more progressive about breastfeeding than we are! Although, it was linked to femininity, class and bonding with the child, stigmas that still exist around breastfeeding (or NOT breastfeeding) today. [Sociological Images]
Everyday Sexism has made a doco about shouting back at street and sexual harassment. The accompanying article by Clem Bastow is equally as hard hitting. Check them both out, because no one should be made to feel like they brought harassment on themselves, they’re overreacting, or dread at the prospect of leaving the house because they might experience it. [Daily Life]
The manic pixie dream girls of superhero movies. [Think Progress]
Someone actually wants my opinion on the week that was in sexism and misogyny particularly in politics, but across other spectrums as well. Kudos to Corey Hague on editing me to sound like I actually know what I’m talking about! [ABC Central Victoria]
Meanwhile, Mia Freedman thinks it was a good week for women: at least we’re talking about sexism and there have been consequences for it. [MamaMia]
Famous women writers before their suicides. What do you think: artistic or glorifying suicide and sexualising violence? I find some of them, like the Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf portraits, visually appealing because they’re inoffensive to the eye and create tension and anticipation, but I can’t stomach the Dorothy Parker nor Sanmao ones. Vice may be known for their provocativity (is that even a word?!), but I think this photoshoot is in the same vein as Terry Richardson and Dolce & Gabanna’s rapey aesthetics – which I quite like despite myself – where stopping the sexualisation of violence against women should trump artistic expression. [Jezebel, as the photoshoot on Vice's website has been removed]
It was Father’s Day in the U.S. over the weekend, and to celebrate, The Hairpin has collated fiction’s worst fathers. As someone with a deadbeat dad myself, I can empathise.
Fashion, feminism and femininity: mutually exclusive? Hell no! The other day when discussing feminism with a mansplaining misogynist who told me I only make him more confused about feminism because of the way I look, a friend interjected that I might just be the most feminine person she knows. And the most feminist, might I add?! [Daily Life]
Kim Kardashian may be a fame-whore, but she’s a person, too, and she deserves some semblance of basic decency. [TheVine]
Is the only reason we watch True Blood anymore for the sex? [The Daily Beast]
If we can’t have the real deal, Feminist Taylor Swift is the next best thing. [Twitter]
Image via Sociological Images.
I’m writing about reconciling my feminism with a love of professional wrestling for TheVine.
While Beyonce may be the female version of a hustler, Clem Bastow writes that men can certainly be divas, too. It’s just that they’re never called that… [Daily Life]
In praise of The Mindy Project. [Medium]
Not as gross as the trolls who are “mourning the loss of Angelina’s curves”, though. [Slate]
Does Australia hate intellectuals? I tend to lean towards the affirmative. [Daily Life]
Test the gender balance (or imbalance) of your retweets. And while you’re at it, follow me! [Twee-Q]
Searching for an alternative name for “stay-at-home dad”. [The Atlantic]
In response to the body- and slut-shaming surrounding Teen Mom Farrah Abraham’s porno, Jezebel reiterates that vaginal and anal sex don’t make you “loose” [SFW].
Apparently the episode in which Ryder and Kitty reveal that they were molested as children was made in partnership with RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nation Network, although you wouldn’t think it from Sam and Artie’s reaction to Ryder’s confession.
“Some hot 18-year-old played with your junk? I’d kill for that!”
“Why are you ashamed of this?”
While their responses are typical of many of the attitudes surrounding female-on-male sexual assault, the fact that these were really the only strong reactions—apart from Marley, Tina and Mr. Schue’s meek protestations about it being “not cool”—before the show moved on doesn’t really scream sexual assault awareness.
Artie, Sam et al.’s feedback simply buys into the notion that girls who are sexually assaulted are sluts who wanted it (Kitty’s depiction on the show as a bitchy, sexually promiscuous cheerleader proves this, though in their defence I doubt the writers had this storyline in mind when they created her character) and boys are sexually awakened studs. Had the episode aired a follow-up scene in which Mr. Schue led the class in an after school special-esque speech about the detrimental effects of sexual assault and the accompanying attitudes surrounding it, it would have been schmaltzy and patronising as only Glee can be, but at least it would have taken a crack at dismantling such bias.
Elsewhere: [RAINN] Glee & RAINN Team Up for Episode.
Image via Wikia.
Last week the female anatomy and empowerment were addressed, and this week The Carrie Diaries was all about the disenfranchisement possession of the female anatomy can sometimes beget.
It was Halloween, and Carrie took Walt to another one of Larissa’s fabulous parties in the city. (How these 16-year-olds manage to club- and party-hop without any mention of fake IDs is beyond me.) Carrie met a hot young writer for her bible, Interview magazine, and ditched Larissa and Walt for him, who both happened to be high on ecstasy and LSD. Later, while Carrie was tending to a strung out Larissa, her crush, Bennett, was cruising Walt, who flipped out and left the party for the streets of New York. When Carrie left Larissa passed out on a bed that doubled as a coat rack (isn’t that the beginning of an episode of Law & Order: SVU…?) to get back to flirting, she finds out that Walt’s gone missing. Carrie admonishes Bennett for letting her friend go missing, when she was the one who left him at a party in the city whilst he was high for the first time. Whilst Carrie’s stressing out about one friend going missing, the other is getting molested while she’s unconscious by a guy in a lion costume. Carrie employs her newfound feminism to tell the extra from the cast of Cats that “mumbling incoherently does not mean she’s into it” and that being unconscious is not an invitation for sexual advances.
The Cowardly Lion calls her what all feminists have been labelled at one point or another, a killjoy, and Bennett tells Carrie that “Larissa got herself into this mess” by taking drugs. After smoothing things over, Carrie entrusts victim-blaming Bennett to watch over Larissa while she takes to the streets to look for Walt. You’d think someone as small-minded as Bennett would insist she stay indoors while he heroically braves the parasites of the city to find her friend, lest she bring on a sexual assault herself. But Carrie just tells him not to “take advantage of her while she’s passed out” to which Bennett replies, “She’s not my type.” You mean unconscious women aren’t sexually attractive to him? There may be hope for Bennett yet—oh wait, he was insinuating that women in general aren’t his type, not just passed out ones. Nevermind…
Image via Ch131.
“… I say the answer is more nudity in newspapers, not less. Put more boobs on Page 3, and add some cocks too. Show people of every size, shape, colour, gender and sexuality; let them speak in their own voice, and celebrate them all. That, rather than self-censorship of adult-oriented content, would be a progressive tabloid revolution worth fighting for.” [New Statesman]
While I don’t agree with most of her sentiments, Clem Bastow makes some interesting points about the inclusion of men in feminism. This was also a topic that came up during the abovementioned “who’s-a-feminist” debate with my friends. [Daily Life]
Let’s stop debating the “culture wars”: people deserve rights. The end. [Jezebel]
Julia Gillard’s Question Time smackdown against Tony Abbott and the liberal party’s sexism and misogyny primarily against her gets the New Yorker treatment. In a nutshell, maybe Obama could take a page out of her book?
Michelle Smith’s Wheeler Centre Lunchbox/Soapbox address on girls in culture, both now and in the Victorian era. Wait, they’re not the same thing?!
I’ve been embroiled in a “I-don’t-believe-in-feminism-I-believe-in-equality” debate this week but, as Ben Pobjie rightly points out, when it comes to Kate Ellis being talked over and shouted down on Q&A, it’s about human decency, not feminism. [MamaMia]
The case against condom use in porn. [Jezebel]
In defence of Mean Girls‘ Janis Ian. [Rookie]
Brave isn’t “Just Another Princess Movie”. [The New Inquiry]
Image via Tumblr.
For the past two weeks it seems as if Jill Meagher has been exclusively in the media. Then, since her funeral last Friday, her name has all but dropped out of the headlines, if not from our collective consciousness.
Her tragic disappearance, rape and death sure played on my mind after some colleagues talked about it not-stop a few days after Jill went missing and transferred their obsession with the case onto me.
As I wrote last week, tragedies like this that are hyped up by the media rarely affect me. Obviously there is something about Jill that has permeated our abovementioned collective consciousness, if the outpouring of grief, support for her family, flowers out the front of the store where some of her last moments were captured on CCTV and the 20,000 Melbournians who turned out to march for peace two weekends ago are any indication.
Jill’s murder was no doubt horrific and it’s heart-warming to see so many everymen affected by a woman they never knew. But since her killer was charged and her body was found and laid to rest, I’ve started to get a bitter taste in my mouth about all the hoopla surrounding Jill’s disappearance and death: what’s so remarkable about this situation that has everyone calling for safety on the streets?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for safe streets, but I resent the fact that it’s women who are being cautioned not to walk alone at night, to get a taxi or a friend to accompany you home.
Some of this “concern” was directed my way last weekend at a friend’s birthday not far from where Jill lived, partied and was abducted. I was asked by a friend to please not walk alone at night and, as the non-owner of a car who is often without money for a taxi, I responded that I don’t have that luxury. It’s decadent to catch a cab two streets from the train station to my house, and unless that friend is going to offer to chauffeur me around the city, I think I’ll take my chances. It doesn’t come naturally for me to live my life in fear, not to mention the fact that the chances of experiencing a violent crime the likes of which Jill did are extremely rare. My friend is more likely to be involved in a car accident than I am to be attacked while walking home.
Upon further thought, my male housemate, who is out late many nights per week at work, rehearsals for a play, jogging and being social, was also there when my friend expressed her misguided anxiety about my after dark activities yet not a peep was directed his way. For those alarmists who think that any female on the street post-sunset is doomed to the same fate as Jill, please be mindful that according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, non-sexual assault is the most common form of violent crime, more likely to be committed against men than women. Why are women the only ones who are deemed less safe after Jill’s death? And why is it our responsibility not to get attacked? Maybe we should be focussing our concentration on teaching boys (and even then, it’s not just men who rape and women who are raped) not to rape and on a better screening process for criminals who are likely to reoffend, as Jill’s murderer, Adrian Bayley, did.
And another thing: abduction, rape and murder were just as scary and real before Jill made the news as after. In fact, because her killer is now in custody, the streets could actually be deemed safer (no thanks to the legal system who knew of Bayley as a repeat sex- and violent crime-offender but he’s only off the streets now that someone’s dead). That’s part of the reason why the moral outrage this incident has incited rubs me the wrong way: how many abductions, rapes and murders (not so much in Australia for the former and latter, but definitely so for the second crime) happen on a daily basis that we don’t hear a peep about? Or if we do, it’s only after it’s too late. All of the horrible things that happened to Jill were in existence before she experienced them. What’s so unique about her case?
I think it’s because she’s the “perfect victim”, if you will. Young; beautiful; white; middle-class; a migrant. If Jill had’ve turned up alive after her sexual assault, I think we would have heard the whispers of victim-blaming that circulated in the early days of her disappearance become a lot louder. She was drunk. She was out too late. Her shoes were too high. What was she wearing? Why did she talk to/go with her attacker? Don’t you think it’s weird her husband wasn’t with her? (This is a direct quote I heard from several people specualting about her disappearance.) Why didn’t she insist someone walk her to her apartment only a couple of blocks away along a route she took frequently? But because Jill did meet a fatal end, she’s become a martyr for making our streets a safer place as opposed to just another slut who was asking for it.
A blog post about Jill and the subsequent Sydney Road peace march and Reclaim the Night rally still to come talked about how SlutWalk is a radical feminist phenomenon that’s got its heart in the right place in theory, but that the Jill rallies are much more palatable. These sentiments are echoed in some of the comments on the post, that SlutWalk isn’t right for them but marching for Jill is. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion (as is the catch cry of my concerned friend. Indeed, you are entitled to feel scared on the street at night if you so desire just as I am not to be.), but I don’t understand how taking a stand against victim-blaming, slut-shaming and rape culture isn’t “right for you”. But somehow a march to honour the memory of a woman we’ve only come to know in the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, without the clear objectives that SlutWalk, marriage equality marches and the banning of live exports rally over the weekend have. Did 20,000 people turn up to those?
In no way am I being a rape-apologist or trying to suggest that rape isn’t an increasing problem, both in practice and in our culture. I myself, friends, family, colleagues and people I’ve only read about have all experienced intimidation and harassment, if not something more sinister, on the streets and within circles we thought of as safe. But perhaps instead of using Jill Meagher as the scapegoat who warns women to keep themselves locked away in their homes after sundown or, at the very least, be clothed in shapeless, unrevealing garb with a chaperone present at all times, we should be focussing on the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in society, perpetrated not only by strangers, but more likely by those close to us as well, and our reluctance to deal with its true cause and prevention unless it happens to the right kind of
person woman and only after the fact.
Image via SBS.
Checkmate, Pro-Choicers, the latest in anti-abortion internet trolling. Good for a hate-read, not so good for logic. Ahh, pro-lifers, you odd little things.
The makeover as a patriarchal tool of oppression. [New Inquiry]
Stella Young on Daily Life’s feminist faux-pas embarrassing-crush countdown. [ABC Ramp Up]
Cutting off your misogynistic nose to spite your racist face: Clementine Ford discusses the two issues as they relate to the AFL. [Daily Life]
“Should Parents Be Allowed to Kill People Who Sexually Molest Their Kids?” Um, sure! While we’re at it, let’s kill that guy who cut us off at the intersection, and that woman who pushed in front of us in the lunch line. The article goes:
“Molesting any child is reprehensible, but taking advantage of a 4-year-old who has no awareness of what’s going on and no ability to fight back seems particularly deranged.”
I don’t disagree, but murder is a bit rich. Read the issue discussed further at Jezebel. [TIME]
Hey Christian Girl, for all your Ryan Gosling and associated conventionally-attractive-to-straight-women meme needs, with a religious edge.
James Franco’s overly wordy take on Snow White & the Huntsman. [HuffPo]
Check out this mansplanation of what feminism’s really about. [Feminaust]
When Jess discovers all her male roommates have had sex dreams about her or used her likeness as a “self-completion” (read: masturbation) tool, she takes to wearing a ski jacket and balaclava around the apartment until she can feel comfortable again.
Firstly, just because someone has sexual fantasies or, especially, sex dreams about a friend, co-worker, roommate or acquaintance, doesn’t mean they want those fantasies to come true IRL.
And secondly, although this is not New Girl’s first offence, what someone wears doesn’t necessarily prevent them from being sexually harassed or assaulted. Jess’ ski jacket is one step away from having her wear a burqa on the show. Not cool.