Archives for category: Feminism and Violence

I do not know how to start this post. I am angry. I am tired. I am tired of being angry.

There is often a lot of discussion surrounding ‘privilege’, at least there is on the Tumblr community. Privilege is what people in positions of power have in society. So, there is male privilege, which allows men to access things (capital, in the Marxist/Bourdieu-ian sense)  more easily than women. There is also white privilege, which allows white people to access better capital than people of color. There is cis privilege over trans* people; heterosexual privilege over LGBT*Q; and so on and so forth.

For examples of male privilege, see here or here.

Now, it has been my absolute honor to come across an article claiming female privilege.

Let me now explain how this article is complete and utter bullshit.

1. I’m allowed to be far more open about my sexuality than a man is. In fact, if I’m bisexual, it’s encouraged (both male and females encourage it funnily enough). If I’m hetero, I’m allowed to make comments about how hot men are, compliment men without others thinking it’s harassment and generally can make lewd comments about any person, be them male or female, and it’s considered ok. I can say “I fancy him so much I’d  even rape him” or “I need to pull him into the storeroom and show him I mean it” or “He is mega hot” about any male whether  he is seventeen (I am forty) or seventy. I can sit in a Twilight movie and drool at Jacob (for instance), and not be seen as a dirty old woman.

Women can only be open about their sexuality when it is approved of BY MEN. If you didn’t notice, she did not mention lesbianism, which only involves women. If a woman identifies as a lesbian, she will be told that she only likes women because she hasn’t had a good dick or a good fucking yet. In fact, even porn with “lesbians” in it is made for the men who watch it, and not for actual lesbians, which can be shown by the heavy emphasis on vaginal penetration. Bisexuality is only acceptable when she eventually settles down with a man, because then she will be seen as “really heterosexual”.

She is also completely erasing the Madonna/Whore complex. If a woman has sex before marriage, she is seen as a slut and a whore and deserving of any sexual assault that befalls her. Meanwhile, if she doesn’t have sex, she is a prude or a stuck up bitch or an ice queen. So tell me again how women’s sexualities are not controlled by men and how women are so free?

2. If my partner and I were in a domestic dispute and both violent, or both shouting, and I hit him … if the police were called, my male partner would still be the one far more likely to be taken into custody for the night. If my male partner tried to report domestic violence, it would be harder for him to have the charges laid, than if I did so. In fact, while there is a charge of Male assaults Woman in my country, there is no Woman assaults Male. That would be classified instead as General Assault.

Perhaps the male partner would be arrested, but let’s talk about what happens afterwards. The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years, while women who kill their male partners are sentenced on average to 15 years. This is despite the fact that 86% of female offenders kill in self-defense, while males are most likely to kill out of possessiveness (82%), abuse (75%) and during arguments (63%). Women are eight times more likely than men to be killed by an intimate partner.

Also, let’s talk about the fact that men are only allowed to show two emotions: anger/rage and lust. This is EXTREMELY harmful to the men in our society, and it is (one of) the reason(s) why men are disproportionally the one’s who commit assault (sexual assault, general assault, and domestic violence), have road rage, and commit murder. This is a problem and it needs to be fixed! THIS IS PART OF FEMINISM.

3. If my relationship with the father of my children was to break up, I’m far more likely to get the kids. And if I want a child, but don’t have a partner, I can do that too. I get to choose whether I have the baby or not, I get to choose whether the father’s name is on the birth certificate or not (and if he queries it, he’s the one who has to pay for the DNA test) and if he’s named as the father, he then has to pay child support, whether he was aware I was trying to have a child or not.

Yes, the reproductive rights of women are absolutely brilliant right now. No, really, it’s great.

Left out of her claims are the following facts:

1 –there are currently 31 states where a rapist can sue for custody of his child born from the rape. Also, let’s not forget that this happened

2 –the reason why women are often given custody is because of the sexist idea that women are better with children and more nurturing while men cannot be tied down that way because they have to be able to move to work

3 –working mothers lose more custody battles than they win

Also, are we just going to completely ignore the fact that if a woman does not want kids, people think there is actually something wrong with her? If a woman says that she never wants children, people will try to CONVINCE her that she actually does want kids, or that she’ll change her mind, or that kids are such a blessing. Are we just ignoring that? I guess we are.

4. I’m allowed to be as education- and career-driven as I want to be, and push for the top, seeking equity and equality in everything. But when it comes to dating and relationships, I’ll want the dates paid for, the doors opened, the bling bought. And if I want to choose to not be career-driven, and be instead at home, and not work, then I can far more readily choose that option too than a male partner could.

Women are “allowed” (by men) to be educated and career-driven, but it will cost them in many ways. Women are “allowed” to be career-driven, as long as they somehow figure out how to work and still do all of the house work and childcare. Women are “allowed” to be career-driven, as long as they are okay with never making more than their male peers and never being in a position of authority over them. Women are “allowed” to be career-driven  as long as they work above and beyond their male companions in order to even be noticed, and even then their achievements will probably be awarded to the men they work with.

Also, if women do well in academia or in the work-place, then they are immediately suspect. Claims are made that they “slept” their way to the top, because CLEARLY a woman cannot get into any position of power without having sex. This accusation has been leveled on me before, because I graduated with honors and won academic awards before moving on to date one of my previous professors.

In regards to the second part of her statement: the idea that men should pay for everything on a date is sexist and it comes from the idea that men are the breadwinners in society and women don’t/shouldn’t work, so how could they pay for anything? This is also a problem in society, and it needs to be fixed, but I’m not convinced it happens epidemically.

5. If I write an inflammatory comment, or a blog, or article, and a man questions anything in it, all I need to do to shut the conversation down is call him a bully, or say he’s a privileged male. I can also make disparaging comments about his sexuality, his economic standing, the size of his penis, and his ability to do pretty much anything in return for him disagreeing with me. I can do this, because when I do, I KNOW there will be a bunch of other women who will stick up for me. Because as a woman … I now have privilege.

Sure, a woman can try to “shut a man up” by calling him privileged or a bully. Want to know how to shut down a woman during an argument? Claim she’s on her period. Or, wait, no –just say she’s a crazy bitch who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Or, I’ve got it, this one’s good –say that she is being a typical woman and over-reacting. These things are called “gaslighting”, and they are all a form of mental abuse that happen all the time. So, let’s be honest, it is MUCH easier to silence a woman than a man during an argument.

Any notion of “female privilege” is either bullshit or is perpetuated by different strains of sexism and patriarchy. I will accept, however, that cis women have more privilege than trans* women (also due to patriarchy and trans-phobia). I will also gladly take responsibility for and accept my white privilege, because I definitely have that.

I refuse to accept that I have any form of female privilege that is NOT directly perpetuated by sexism and/or patriarchy. Just because patriarchy and sexism can backfire and hurt men as well as women does not mean that women have any sort of dominance or privilege over men. Period.

Someday I will actually write something that is not a response to something else that is completely wrong, but today is not that day.

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TRIGGER WARNING: rape, suggestion of murder, general offensiveness towards women.

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Just in case you cannot read the three images above, here is a transcript:

Original status: Dear fb friends, I wanna know your favv pickup line. Comment!

Female 1: Are you gay? No? Lets make out.

Male A: Gentlemen don’t use pickup lines, they devalue women…wait, was that a pickup line? JK, I meant what I said.

Male B: Does your leg hurt? Because you must be an angel fallen from the sky.

Female 2: Tu cheese bari hai mast mast

Female 3: Is that a mirror in your pants, cause I can see myself in them.

Male C: Allow me to release my basilisk into your chamber of secrets

Male D: I’m working on my abs

Male E: this will go alot smoother for both of us if you stop resisting

Male F: You must be my new boss because you just gave me a raise. (Most likely not gonna work & chappal for free. )

Female 2 again: on your comments it just looks like all these people are trying to hit on you lol

Male F again: ^ she’s to blame for this since she’s looking so preety… lol (see what I did there!)

Male G: i once picked up a girl by asking her if she was a lesbian. and then when she said no i told her my friend wanted to dance with her

Male G again: another time i told a girl my friend was a charity case and his make a wish was to dance with her lmao… it worked

Female 4: The word of the day is “legs” so let’s go back to my place and spread the word. (most pick up lines are for hook ups)

Female 5: it’s funny because earlier today [boyfriend] randomly came out or our room and said that pickup line to me lol. Now i know why lol

Male H: I have a 45 and a shovel I doubt anyone will miss u stop resisting

Male I:Guy: hey wanna go hook up?
Girl: sorry my bf is over there
Guy: my fish died wen I was 6
Girl: huh?
Guy: uh I thought we were telling each other stuff we don’t care about

Today, kids, we are going to talk about rape culture.

Rape culture is when “pick-up lines” that perpetuate graphic violence against women, disrespect a woman’s choices, and disregard her sexuality (or use it as a way to get with her) are all seen as “funny.”  Rape culture is being able to claim “it’s just a joke, stop taking it so seriously”. Rape culture is allowing these “pick-up lines” to go unchecked for what they really are: violent harassment against women and just plain old sexist.

Rape culture is any culture in which rape and sexual violence are normalized by methods such as the above status and its following comments.

Pick-up lines are not inherently bad. Some of the comments above are actually funny -personally, I like the Harry Potter reference, since that gives plenty of space for the person to say ‘no’. The “angel” one is also fairly common, as far as I know, and the mirror one isn’t that bad either.

I want to be clear: Not all of these lines can be used by solely by men to get women. However, due to the fact that the majority of the comments which perpetuate violence (rape, murder), disrespect choice (having a significant other), and use sexuality (being gay or not) were written by men, most of whom (if not all) are heterosexual. The first comment which uses sexual orientation to pick someone up was written by a female, but that leaves other comments which fall into one of the three categories above (and others which are just generally offensive) which were written by males (who are hypothetically using these pick-up lines to get women, or even just using them now to be ‘funny’ in this instance).

So let’s break this down.

1.) Generally offensive:

Male D: I’m working on my abs

Offensive because some people are not attracted to looks, but rather to intellect or charity or basically anything. Maybe a better pick-up line would be something more like ‘I have no sexually transmitted diseases/infections’. This is offensive because it just lacks any sort of intelligence needed for decent conversation.

Male F: You must be my new boss because you just gave me a raise. (Most likely not gonna work & chappal for free. )

This one is offensive because, seriously, it is already difficult enough for women to be in a position of power in the workplace (look up ‘glass ceiling’ and ‘glass escalator’ and then look up ‘female CEO vs male CEO’) and now this just mocks it. Awesome. I’m so glad that you are the type of guy who only supports women in positions of power if she is attractive enough to make your penis hard.

Male G again: another time i told a girl my friend was a charity case and his make a wish was to dance with her lmao… it worked

This… I just can’t.

2.) Using sexuality:

Female 1: Are you gay? No? Let’s make out.

Male G: i once picked up a girl by asking her if she was a lesbian. and then when she said no i told her my friend wanted to dance with her

Let me make this very clear: The fact that you are heterosexual and another person of the opposite sex is heterosexual DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO MAKE OUT/SLEEP WITH/DATE/FUCK/KISS/OR BE WITH THEM IN ANY WAY. It is this type of thinking -that if a girl likes guys and you are a guy, therefore she must like you -leads to sexual harassment and rape. Thinking that you are entitled to ANYTHING when it comes to another person is simply wrong.

She owes you nothing.

It doesn’t matter if you bought her a drink.

It doesn’t matter if you are ‘such a nice guy’.

It doesn’t matter if she happens to be attracted to guys and you are one.

It doesn’t matter if she flirted a little or even a lot.

It doesn’t matter if she kissed you or if you gave her a ride home or if you helped her up the stairs or if she invited you in or if she gave you her number or if she wants to date you or if she marries you or if she did this or that or anything.

It doesn’t matter, because nothing you do entitles you to anything. She owes you nothing.

3.) Disrespect choice (having a significant other)

Male I:Guy: hey wanna go hook up?
Girl: sorry my bf is over there
Guy: my fish died wen I was 6
Girl: huh?
Guy: uh I thought we were telling each other stuff we don’t care about

This is something I really hate, and I’m sure many women have experienced it. You, a woman, are being hit on by some guy that you don’t care about and don’t want to be with. Regardless of whether you’ve told him no already and he ignored it, or if you’re just telling him no for the first time, we often fall back on the ‘I have a boyfriend’ card.

Because, apparently, in this society, a ‘no’ from a woman is irrelevant until it is noted that she is only saying ‘no’ to you because she is with another guy. That’s when most guys will back off, because of the respect for the other guy -not for the girl. Until, of course, the two break up, and then she’s free game again, right?!

No means no.

When you ask a girl, do you want to hook up, and she says ANYTHING THAT IS NOT YES, it is a no. She is a human fucking being, and she deserves your respect, regardless of whether or not it’s what you want.

4.) Perpetuate violence (rape, murder)

Male E: this will go alot smoother for both of us if you stop resisting
Male H: I have a 45 and a shovel I doubt anyone will miss u stop resisting

These, to me, are honestly the most terrifying. These more than any other comments perpetuate graphic violence against women. Despite the glaring incorrect grammar in both of these comments, they both mention resistance. From this one word alone, we can assume that the woman doesn’t want to be ‘picked up’, and the threat of rape is there.

The second one goes even further, because he chooses to mention that he has a gun and a shovel, which then threatens murder. Basically, if you don’t let me rape you, then I will rape you anyway and then kill you and bury you so that no one will know.

And I’m sure there are some of you who are out there right now saying ‘They were just joking, they would never say this to anyone if they REALLY wanted to pick them up’.

They aren’t ‘just’ jokes.

For those of you who do not click on the links I provide, I’ll sum this one up. This is research done by a college professor and graduate assistants which found that sexist humor creates a ‘safe space’ for people to become more tolerant to sexist attitudes and behavior. Sexist jokes lead to a toleration of hostile and discriminatory attitudes towards women and serve as a way to legitimize sexist actions.

These attitudes can then potentially be expressed by violent acts -like rape and murder.

So, no, nothing is ever ‘just a joke’. That is a piss-poor excuse for letting things like this go unexcused. These men are sexist and potentially violent towards women, and what’s terrifying is that in this culture of normalized violence, they (and other men like them) can and are getting away with it.