“It was a procedure day at this clinic, so there were a ton of protesters outside. Suddenly, a woman — this stately matron in a power suit — comes up to the group of protesters and yells, ‘EVERYBODY GET OUT OF MY WAY!! I HAVE A YEAST INFECTION!!’ and busts through them, pushing everyone aside, to get to the clinic entrance. Took any of the power out of the protesters. It was magnificent.”—The Hair Pin, on Pro-Life protestors outside a Planned Parenthood (via fearofthederpsicle)
I absolutely 100% support women asking “Why should I have to guard my drink? Why should I have to be scared of walking home at night? Why should I accept this?”
I have a couple of questions though, more about the original image, directed toward no one in particular. And anyone feel free to tell me I’ve totally lost the plot.
First, do you think there is a place for accurate information about predatory behavior? We’ve probably all seen that garbage column about “don’t wear a ponytail” and “you’re most likely to be raped in a parking garage,” and those aren’t anything but harmful. But like for example because of some school presentations and some prominently placed books in the middle school library I could tell you at a fairly young age some strategies that internet predators are likely to employ. Now that I’m older I could tell you even more such strategies, and I could also tell you some details about how they rationalize it to themselves.
Similarly, The Gift of Fear, while flawed, has also been helpful to me for identifying predatory strategies and escalation warning signs. Is there something that inherently normalizes rape culture in teaching people how predators behave and the most effective way to handle a stalker?
(One of the ways these kinds of conversations most often fail is in their failure to accurately describe what rape culture(s) look(s) like. Even feminists who are clear on the relative unlikelihood of being attacked by the “stranger in the bushes” vs. your own home will not mention the doctors, police, soldiers, and guards who are also the faces of rape culture. That’s one common way “advice to potential victims” fails.)
I also want to ask if you can teach people not to rape? How often in the history of rape has rape just been a result of a misunderstanding or the undereducation of the rapist? Versus how often has it been a deliberate act committed by someone who knew exactly what they were doing, who has probably done it before, and who is likely to go on to do it again? How would you teach someone like that not to rape? Do you believe that a predator can become a non-predator? Some of them? How long will that take? Who is willing to do that work for that long; i.e., who is willing to teach people not to rape?
Does this make any sense at all? I guess I’ve been confused by “teach people not to rape” for a while because to my understanding you usually have to wrest away the power to rape (either by changing social/bystander norms or by removing a particular predator from their potential victims) and you cannot in either case “teach” people not to rape, you have to force people not to rape.
What I do think should be taught is how rape happens and why and how we as survivors, as bystanders and as people have historically and can today work to end it, both on a micro level of individual interactions and on a macro level requiring such things as prison abolition. I do think people should be taught how to name and resist various manifestations of rape culture(s). None of that really falls under the heading “Don’t rape” though.
yeah, I am pretty much on the same page I think.
recently I was talking about this with a friend who’s in training to volunteer at a women’s crisis and general information phone line. part of their training is general information about rape culture and myths around sexual assault from a local sexual assault crisis centre. one of the women in the training group got really mad learning about the high rates of sexual assault in everywhere and asked what she could do to protect her children from this kind of abuse. The trainers explained that as a matter of policy they didn’t ever really talk about that side of the equation, that they preferred to focus on changing the behaviour of perpetrators. I was kind of floored by their distance from the messy complicated reality of this woman’s life, any life.
like, this is all well and good as a party line. obviously there is a strategic decision being made here to do whatever it takes to move public discourses away from victim-blaming. and I basically support that decision. but we need to differentiate between the message we want to emphasise and the conversations we are allowed to have. the fact is that there are some things that you can do or learn to protect people you love or yourself from sexual violence; stuff like bystander intervention tactics, spotting predatory behaviour, etc. they are not accessible to all people under all circumstances, they are not remotely infallible, and not doing them does not mean you are responsible for violence perpetrated upon you. but they exist, and if someone acknowledges that ultimate responsibility lies with perpetrators but still wants to do what they can to protect themselves then I don’t see what it achieves to fob them off and keep them ignorant. what are people supposed to do in the interim between now and the end of sexual violence in the feminist utopia, you know? I think it’s a valid question.
I would love to see the conversation about this grow. There’s a huge difference between victim blaming and equipping people with the knowledge and tools they needs to recognize predators and predatory environments, and how to deal with them if cutting them out of your life is not a possibility. There’s also a lot to be discussed about internalized attitudes that impede one’s ability to acknowledge and confront abusive behaviors, not only for oneself, but in regards to other people. We know most rape and violence does not leap out of alleys, but we need to follow that up with an exploration of why certain environments make assault more likely, and how we can protect one another from them. This does not include blaming victims, but it would necessarily include analyzing how we aid and abet predators of other people (e.g., Joe Paterno, Feministe). In fact, I believe a goal of a rape-free world if pretty much unachievable if we refuse to take responsibility for protecting others in a non-paternalistic manner. There is a reason rape culture encourages women to distrust and attack one another. Refusing to give people information they want so they can protect themselves and their families in favor of spouting platitudes like “it’s not your fault!” sounds like good social justice warrior thinking, but practically it is fairly useless.
Okay, this is really bothering me. I don’t think anything warrants this kind of passion from the lesbian community about someone’s own PERSONAL identity. Plus, in the history of queer rights, it has been the norm for LGB people to exclude Trans* individuals from any community for any number of reasons. Because “men were trying to make their way into women’s spaces”(one of the main reasons trans* people were excluded from second wave feminism), Because they weren’t “normal” enough to be accepted by mainstream society, because issues of trans* discrimination were too large in comparison to issues like Marriage equality. So please spare me, on delusions of insecurity. No one is forcing you to like men, or date them, or find them attractive. Some of us just want you to acknowledge that some men…date lesbian women. Some men still have feminine characteristics that they can not abandon for the sake of identity. Some men’s gender is so fluid they can’t fully identify as one way or another. I personally, still date lesbians, and lesbians find me attractive. Is someone going to tell them they’re not lesbian because they’re dating a trans* man? I hope not because no ONE can create someone’s identity for them, and being immersed in the lesbian culture it’s hard to just abandon it. And keep this in mind: I don’t think any of you know what MY experience is like, but I once Identified as a lesbian, and for years lived life as a lesbian. I know what it’s like to be bullied, ridiculed, kicked out, harassed(sexually and verbally) because I was gay. But you don’t know what it’s like to be me. And for that reason I think you have something, that makes you less enlightened on this subject.
Honestly, yo, go fuck yourself.
Or, to be less of an asshole, MEN DO NOT BELONG IN LESBIAN COMMUNITIES and it is not transphobic to say so. To co-opt the struggle of trans women against transphobic lesbian communities who excluded trans women and called them men, in order to argue that actual men belong in lesbian communities is pretty damn horrible.
The insistence that men do belong in lesbian communities and the insistence that lesbians as a whole should be welcoming and inclusive to men in lesbian communities is nothing but sexist male entitlement. The fact that this is even an issue is an example of how homophobia and sexism intersect in the lives of gay women so that even in ~progressive~ queer circles it’s considered big mean “identity policing” for a woman to say she doesn’t date men.
I am cis, but here’s how I break it down:
A) Would the changes suggested actually benefit trans men and women more or less equally?
B) Do the changes suggested benefit trans men while erasing, speaking over, insulting or even actively harming trans women?
I acknowledge that not everything can be reduced so neatly, but I believe it’s a fair way to determine what will actually reduce transphobia in cis-dominated spaces, and what is actually sexist bullshit that is only going to perpetuate the marginalization of trans women. Because hey, women’s spaces are for women, and it is not oppressive to reject the intrusion of men, especially when those men are using cissexism against women to justify it. How fucking toxic is that?
I don’t know whether it is, but if it is: So’s money, university degrees, punctuation, your ownership of your garden plants, the right to privacy, state borders, breakfast, taxonomy, electrons being negative, counting in base ten, pigs being food and humans not being food, maritial status, weekends… That doesn’t mean all those things which more or less aren’t “natural” should cease to exist right now and it’s a crime to participate in them and perpetuate them. Most of those things are fairly useful. Some of them aren’t, but “not natural” isn’t the reason.
(most of the above examples very biased towards European/Western culture and I realize they’re not universal)
Spot on. I think at least 90% of the people on tumblr who have an opinion on whether or not gender and mental illness are social constructs have no clue what “social construct” actually means.
I think most of it actually comes from people who view social constructionism as threatening. People who actually know what a social construction is tend to not see it as an existential threat. There is a difference, though, between breakfast and gender. It’s important to talk about these things as social constructions because part of that construction is also a relationship to power and structures we’re supposed to be dismantling and I feel like leaving it at “owning a houseplant is a social construct too” leads us in a kind of reactionary/complacent direction. I mean, I think “woman” is a lot more of a material condition people are forced into than some internally meaningful (or even coherent) identity. With being trans and all “both sides” tell me I’m supposed to be invested in the latter but tbh I’m not. It’s just that the second-wavey “abolish gender through your refusal to comply” or the pomo “let’s fuck with gender until it reaches critical mass” strategies both seem kind of naive at this point. It’s a discourse, not a factory we can go on strike at and shut down.
TBH if you’re a social justice advocate and you bring up “Otherkins” every second post to mock them, I don’t really give two shits how ridiculous you think they are, your vitriol towards such a small segment of the population is wildly disproportionate to the impact they have or the amount of attention you should be paying to them, and makes it crystal clear that when presented with a population that it is acceptable to mock you will glut yourself on gleeful nastyness, and I no longer give a shit what you have to say.
Also, hating on asexuals just makes you look ignorant. I don’t know what dark matter bizarro world social justice failurejuice you’ve been swilling, but you don’t have a justification for being cruel to one of the least understood sexual minorities on the planet, no matter how much “mutual appreciation” you can suck out of other tinyhearted visionaries.
lol this dude follows me and has reblogged other stuff i’ve written. which might indicate he gives a shit about what i have to say despite claims to the contrary? i wonder why he hasn’t un-fucking-followed me yet for all my asexual hate?
asexual hatred yeahhhhhhh it’s like oxygen
i don’t know about anyone else but i have known about otherkin for maybe 4-5 years now and i personally didn’t give 2 shits about them until i saw “species dysphoria” and “human privilege” floating around tumblr a few months ago. i have a pretty high tolerance for all sorts of magical thinking up to the point where other not-similarly-deluded people are expected to, you know, do something with it.
Tumblr user adailyriot put together a good list of links to read and check out. I would ask that you not go into this exploration expecting everyone to speak softly and politely. You may not understand why some of these behaviours impact us so deeply, but that lack of understanding does not justify rejecting our words if they are not delivered in a certain tone. Remember that this is me at my calmest. I have been moved to tears of helpless rage more than once over these things…and my words are not always polite when I am processing that sort of thing.
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.
“To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.”—
“Let’s get one thing out of the way: Mexican immigration is an oxymoron. Mexicans are indigenous. So, in a strange way, I’m pleased that the racist folks of Arizona have officially declared, in banning me alongside Urrea, Baca, and Castillo, that their anti-immigration laws are also anti-Indian. I’m also strangely pleased that the folks of Arizona have officially announced their fear of an educated underclass. You give those brown kids some books about brown folks and what happens? Those brown kids change the world. In the effort to vanish our books, Arizona has actually given them enormous power. Arizona has made our books sacred documents now.”—
Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and filmmaker. His book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto’s Fist Fight in Heaven,” was on the banned curriculum of the Mexican American Studies Program.
what? No. Men don’t get to identify as lesbians. Sheesh. It’s not cisexist for lesbians to not want to have men identify as lesbians.
But i mean, why not?
I honestly don’t know why not? If it is what he closely identifies with, why should he not be able to?
I really need to read John Locke and not be on tumblr right now, but I am curious why this is an issue, like I am not trying to be condescending because my knowledge of queer issues are really not good.
Because it’s sexist and wrong for a man to try to muscle his way into to a lesbian community. Because it’s an example of sexist, entitled, awful shit that men do to women, and especially what men do to lesbian women because we live in a culture where women’s sexuality *has* to revolve around men and that can’t handle a sexual identity that doesn’t involve men.
Men aren’t lesbians and men should stay out of communities/spaces that are for lesbians. This should be a no brainer and it’s pretty outrageous that anyone would disagree with that.
Because it’s horribly disrespectful to my identity as a lesbian to expect that I should welcome a man as a potential romantic partner.
“And yeah, this is just perpetuating the problem wrt racism and leaving out the voices of women of color. Not to mention the aspect of being disingenuous regarding the Schwyzer affair. Clarisse Thorn is a prime example of one of the voices that has been given a place of privilege within feminism to be heard over other voices, but who wants her “feminism” to be a voyage of self-exploration and examination of her likes and dislikes, and not anything larger or more inclusive. We’re supposed to accept that her various navelgazings on BDSM and polyamory are “feminist analysis” and when someone raises the question of race, we’re supposed to accept her voyage of discovery as she browses some websites as “inclusivity.” Asking her to consider another perspective–say of women who are marginalized in other ways–is “silencing” because well, it’s not what SHE wants to talk about (herself!) and all of a sudden she’s got a nasty headache and starts making non sequiturs about her eating, sleeping, and grooming habits. Like all our annoying nagging about racism and classism is keeping her from having a bowl of soup and going to bed or something, oh, the humanity. It would be merely an irritating personal quirk if it were not absolutely typical of “professional feminists” nowadays. The rest of us are supposed to shut up and let you all speak, because you’re the ones with the columns and the connections and whatnot, but you feel put-upon if asked to actually represent a broader swath of women than just “myself and women who are eerily like me.””—
Look, I’m trying to be charitable to Clarisse because I don’t think she’s a stupid person or someone with bad intentions and, this is key, because I don’t want an abusive man to be able to succeed in making women’s criticism of other women more important than addressing his shit. And because of that, I give her more leeway than she might deserve.
But what the fuck is this shit? What *is* her feminist activism beyond endless, tedious confessional blog posts analyzing personal emotional issues, but never, ever analyzing her constant desire to appease fucked up men, whether it’s pick-up artists, sketchball dominant men, or Hugo?
It came to my attention today that a comment I made a while ago about how the homosexual community has been part of the mainstream for decades has upset some people. For that, and for my lack of explanation, I deeply apologize.
I never meant to compare us to the LGBT community in an offensive way or to compare what we’ve been through to them. What I meant to convey was that homsexuality has been, if not accepted, at least known about for a long time. It was considered something real, whether good or bad, people still acknowledged that it was a real thing. Asexuality, more often than not, is still looked upon as a joke by many people, considered not real, a cry for attention or something similar. That is the point I meant to make: that the widespread knowledge of asexuality is still in it’s infancy and every portrayal in the media will affect us in some way because that knowledge is so limited. I did use homosexuality as a reference, but only to show that they have been part of the mainstream, something known and acknowledged, for several decades and they are just now starting to become something that is being shown in a truly positive light on television. For a group like the asexual community, which has hardly any mainstream acknowledgement, it will be a long time before we have much in the way of visibility, good or bad.
So, I apologize for my offense. I never meant to belittle or erase what the gay community has gone through, only express the challenge my own community will be facing as we try to gain visibility and acknowledgement. I hope my incoherent babble makes a bit of sense, because my intention truly was never to marginalize anyone.
I want you to take a moment and ask yourself exactly what sort of view you’re approaching the ways in which homophobia expresses itself. Because your idea of homophobia is a very male-centric one. It’s rare that women are believed to be homo/bi/pan. It is. When a man comes out society will believe him, in this day and age anyway. But when a woman comes out she’s immediately disbelieved. To society women being homo/bi/pan is considered just a phase. Especially if that woman happens to be in her twenties.
Because misogyny intersects with homophobia. And I mean TRULY intersects, not the tumblr internet kind of intersect where I just put the word intersectionality at the end of the post, claim that it’s not hard, but then refuse to explain what or where things are intersecting. I’m not using it like a buzzword to prove just how SJW savvy I am but if hard pressed to explain what I mean I would deflect and then mock. I mean ACTUAL intersectionality, in that homophobia toward women is different than homophobia toward men.
Yes we share many things. But misogyny always affects the way in which women deal with homophobia, just like racism always affects the way in which POC deal with homophobia. These issues cross and modify based on these factors.
You see, women aren’t expected to have a sexual orientation, according to society. Not really. A woman is expected to be heterosexual in so far as when a man gives her the permission to be so. This affects homophobia because it means that anytime a h/b/p woman comes out society laughs at her for having an orientation that might not involve a man. Because the concept of women being able to be just as sexually autonomous is an absurd concept to society.
Ask any h/b/p woman you want. I guarantee you that she’ll attest that when she came out the immediate response was one of dismissal. Oh it’s just a phase. You just need a good man. You shouldn’t hate men! You’re not gay/bi/pan you just want attention. Those are all common things that h/b/p women endure, and it proceeds for the rest of their life. Homosexuality/bisexuality/pansexuality within women is never considered a real thing by society. It’s considered a joke. Because this society is also misogynistic, and thus a woman is not “allowed” to have a sexual orientation.
Not only that, but homosexuality was still listed as a mental disorder less than fifty years ago. That’s not even one generation of people later. In the 70s and earlier, if you were gay then it was considered about as valid of an orientation as a unicorn. You were called sick, diseased, or confused. You were subject to “medical procedures” that would “cure” the disease of homosexuality. It wasn’t valid, not back then. And there are far too many people from that era that are alive today for anybody to say that homosexuality today is considered as equally valid as heterosexuality. Because it’s still not.
Expand your horizons OUTSIDE of the anime fandom. People fawning over the yaois is not an accurate representation of society. Homosexuality is still considered a joke, and it’s more so for women.
You see, this is why I said you need to just shut up about homosexuality and its place in society. Because you’re wrong, and you’ve shown absolutely no interest in being right. All you’ve shown is an interest in being indignant. So just shut up about homosexuality. Talk about asexuality all you want, but leave homosexuality out of it. You’ve got two strikes, and the coach is calling you out. You’re not going to bat that home run that saves the game. You’re going to swing, you’re going to miss, and you’re going to fuck everything up. So just shut up about homosexuality.
“the homosexual community”
when are these people going to realize that “homosexual” was abandoned as a self-identifier fucking half a century ago for a reason and it makes you sound like goddamn jerry falwell when you call people that?
bonus points for pronouncing it “hummuhsekshul”
Asexuals: the problems you encounter are pretty much entirely attributable to sexism and homophobia
the greatest threat to your community being taken seriously is the fact that you are utterly, disgustingly oblivious to this