Open Thread

I’m working on a couple pieces now so I suppose it’s time for an open thread.

FYI, MRA’s have started a hashtag on Twitter called #itaintrape. Most of them use their sock accounts to post hateful shit about raping women.

It’s disgusting.

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19 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Well, some fundamentalist jagoff says that rape culture doesn’t exist and championed the Bible as a book that in no way condones rape. Since I’m an atheist I already wrote my take on the subject, but I’d be curious to know what you’d say about that. Or how you reconcile being Jewish and being feminist at the same time? I don’t just wonder about you in regards to this subject, mind you. I know plenty of self-described feminist Christians and Jews (as well as LGBT Christians and Jews).

  2. Re: My own personal stuff.

    The wife-beater and his girlfriend moved out. Thank goodness! It got really crazy here right before they left. I think they were fighting with a rival drug dealer or maybe that bald idiot just ticked off the wrong guy, but there were gunshots near my house on two occasions amid some other tumult. A neighbor down the way said a shot was fired into her house, although they’ve been unable to locate the bullet.

    Wife-beater is supposed to be in court tomorrow for a whole bunch of charges, including burglarizing some other people’s home while they were in it. I would think that would be the most serious charge, but there is also a sex offense involving a minor about which I can’t get much information – and that could be the worst one. Since beating women unconscious and leaving them all over the place to die is only a misdemeanor, for which the courts gave him a tiny fine and sent him back to the house to continue trying to murder his victim, I’m not expecting that much will happen to this fella. I actually feel sorry for the people who are pressing charges against him. They’ve stuck their necks out for nothing – and worse. This guy is very unstable, so when they fail to lock him up, he’s probably going to go after his victims, again.

    I think one reason I find radical feminism so appealing is that I see the failure of this horrible legal system we have here, at least, in the U.S. No amount of working to change laws in our favor or politicking is ever going to fix this. It’s all too far gone.

  3. G’day, and it’s a beautiful one in my town today.

    Since it’s an open thread I’d like to pat western liberal feminism on her back for once. I am in conflict about liberal feminism — I don’t believe working within the patriarcho/capitalist system will ever result in women’s liberation — but I also have the idea that in addition to working on eventual goals, feminists must also deal with injustice within the existing system that’s staring us in the face.

    When I went to college there were very few women receiving advanced educational degrees in the US. My graduate school had since its founding hundreds of years before deliberately limited its acceptance of women students to 2%. The year I started, the school was forced by the government to accept more women, and 13% of my class were women. This wasn’t enough — one out of eight means you are not a critical mass and are a conspicuous token-like minority. We were brought in with no change to the culture of the institution itself — almost no women professors, the male professors biased, all the portraits on the walls old men, all the books written by men, all the dorms and bathrooms and so on set up for men, and much more. We were brought in without preparation as a setup to fail, but the result was exactly as the men running the institution had feared — we did extremely well, in school and afterward.

    The same really quite amazing thing has happened in education in all countries that have stopped discriminating against women in admissions. In what I consider the blink of an eye, historically speaking, the moment colleges were forced to stop discriminating, women showed their true intellectual capabilities and have become dominant in higher education. I do believe that education is THE pipeline and I do credit the legal and social pressure by liberal feminists for results like these:

    On the one hand, all this is a stunning vindication of the intelligence, focus, and ambition of women once we’re no longer artificially crippled. On the other hand, the patriarchy is absorbing these women. These women are trying to succeed in a patriarchal society and the only way for them to do that is to adopt patriarchal, by which I mean male, norms. Many women, including many women of color, aren’t receiving the benefit of this educational revolution, and full liberation from patriarchal norms and society isn’t going to be a direct result — in fact, transformation may be set back by this “reform”. The question is whether women will resist absorption and use their new educational power to transform society.

    Anyway, though I’m a critic of liberal feminism, I’m going to give them claps today.

  4. Meanwhile, this particular kind of torture against girls goes on: trigger warning, and I’ve never said that before: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/documents-girl-15-who-shot-brother-16-suffered-abuse/ar-AA7S5cS?ocid=mailsignoutmd

    The young girl shot her brother after years of horrible abuse including incest by two family members including the brother. She had several little girl siblings. I am against violence except for self-defense and to protect the lives of others under attack. I find her action completely justifiable.

  5. One could write a book about this case of torture. It encapsulates so much. What about the mother? I asked myself. At the very end of the article it says that after the mother found the brother having sex (raping, but the article won’t say that — but it’s obvious. The boy was left in charge at home and brutally locked his sister up when she wasn’t compliant — ) with his sister, “the police were called” (since the mother found them, it appears she did the calling) —

    And did nothing. Left the girl at that house of horrors.

    This is why I’m a radfem. Legal equality and abstract equal rights and social contracts, all that liberal reform work, doesn’t get at the horror of the part of society that is split off and where the women and children still live. John Locke, that great philosopher of the American Revolution, had a million fine words to write about the people’s natural rights not to be subjugated in the liberal State.

    What is never mentioned is that before he got to that, he carefully partitioned out what he called the scope or purview of the State, from the private, “state of nature” sphere, where the State was not to interfere with the “People”. Like Rousseau, he had fine words about equality, but none of those words applied to women and children.

    As I read these male political philosophers it all starts to sound like benighted yammering. Like the idea that “people” enter into social contracts and thus form liberal states. WTF-all has that got to do with women, who had no legal rights regarding contracts and weren’t part of that? When Hobbes talks about the brutishness of human nature, where dog eats dog and the state of nature is limited to self-preservation, what can a woman think, who learns unselfishness from her mother and often must protect her children at the cost of her own interests?

    It is so bizarre to read these guys now, as an expereinced adult, and realize their conclusions are all based on thinking only of men and generalizing from men to humanity. Their conclusions are wrong, laughably wrong, but students still have these mens’ writings pushed in front of their noses without any perspective on what has to be the most glaring omission in the history of human thought. At least Aristotle mentioned women, though he called us defective men who should only be fed half what men ate; after that the silence is so total, I can’t even say women were invisibilized as subjects of “human” thought. We were invisible. We weren’t there. We did not exist. It’s not as if they were thinking of women and deciding not to mention us; we were not human, plain and simple.

    And that’s the fine tradition that leads us to a little house in Florida where what goes on is not the province of the authorities, and where the women inhabitants are still dealt with as their masters wish, in the 21st century in the United States of America. So when I hear that the feminists got what we want and feminism is over in advanced countries, because look at that chart I just posted, I see more than ever that the private sphere, the one where the State is hands-off, is the base of patriarchy’s power, and the struggle is really just beginning..

    • V.,

      I was struck by some of the wording about this atrocity in the article you linked to and I may have seen it, elsewhere, too. They referred to the boy raping the girl as something like “the children were having sex with each other.” That is a really bizarre thing to say and certainly must say something about whoever originally made the statement. Sadistically raping a child is not “having sex with her.” Even when the perpetrator and his victim are both minors, they are obviously not “children having sex with each other.” What a strange world some people live in where unthinkable, perverse and violent acts committed against children are simply “sex” or “children having sex.” I can’t express how very weird I think this is!

      What gets me about liberals, in general, including many liberal feminists (some who have visited this blog) is how divorced they are from reality and determined to remain there, especially when we talk about real, actual violence against women (like when I talk about violent acts committed by men against me, personally, for example). Suddenly, these “compassionate” people, these bleeding hearts turn ice cold. Suddenly, all of us millions of women living with male sadism, trying to hold on, trying to survived, are “one offs,” we’re “flukes,” exceptions to the rule, because NAMALT, you know. It must be our individual faults that men keep trying to murder us. And, if we talk about it how to prevent it, we are “extremists” and “militants” and – of course, radicals – as in, “That’s really rad, dude!”

      I’ve heard a lot of women say they find radical feminism alienating – but what I find alienating is the fact that there are a bunch of people who claim to be on my side, but who really don’t give a damn what happens to women, especially women like me. They want it to happen. I read the liberal comment sections, so I know what’s in these people’s minds.

  6. Something else, too, that is bothering me, that I’ve wanted to say, but don’t quite know how to say, with regard to certain aspects of feminism being alienating to me. I will give this example. There was an article written by Amanda Marcotte a few weeks ago. I don’t know if I can dig it up, again, because I don’t remember what the headline was or what the article was really supposed to be about. But, she talked about how women in the 1980s and 1990s took advantage of the advances made by the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s. I really felt like she was talking about some elite group of women who were able to take advantage of this. I was not one of them. I tried, but I was met with a wall of violence both at my traditional work (non-strip club work) and in college where rape and other types of male violence and the constant threat of it was the norm. I often feel that when liberal feminists are talking, they are talking about some a group of women I have never met.

    The women I’ve known were pretty well subjected to all manner of violence and abuses at work. I don’t know of anyone who didn’t have to strip to pay for college, to keep a roof overhead or to care for a child – sometimes while on the run from male abusers. That was the 1980s and 1990s that I remember. Officially, we were entitled to more, but the reality was very different – unless maybe you had a well-placed uncle somewhere who could get you a cushy job.

    So, yes, I’m grateful for what the liberal feminists have done, but it just isn’t enough. For example, it’s not enough to say, you’re free to get a college degree now, girl, and then subject us to rapists and stalkers. In fact, this is something the liberal feminists did that has kind of hurt women in education because now we’re forced to take potentially violent males onto college campuses. In many ways, I’m not sure my life would have been all that different without the liberal feminists. The only think I can think of they really did to help me much was made it so financial institutions are no longer allowed to discriminate against us – so you can now get a loan or a mortgage. But, I’m not so sure that’s such a great favor, either, when you consider how corrupt the men running the financial institutions are.

    So, I don’t know, but for some reason, I’m just not feeling really grateful toward them right now. I kind of feel like I was set up. “You can do anything you want, be anything you want to be!” But, you’re still going to have to face gang-rapists waiting for you outside your office, or be attacked by some maniac while you’re asleep in your own bed, or be held captive and tortured in your own home (euphemistically called Domestic Violence, which is happening to women on a grand scale), living in fear of stalkers, and being harassed on a day-to-day basis by all kinds of men. I don’t think they really did much to improve my life. In fact, I can’t think of one thing they did to improve it and I certainly think their promotion of pornography, their hyper-sexualized culture they shove at us from the time we’re tiny tots, and their tendency to talk about “choice” and “consent” in cases where women are prostituted by pimps and johns – I think all of this has had a very detrimental effect on my life. I think, in fact, the people promoting and normalizing these things are directly responsible for some of the violence I have endured.

    • I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the more I really think about it, the more I try to think things out for myself and not just parrot something like “I’m grateful for what the feminists before me did,” this is how I feel. I’m really not so grateful. I feel really let down, lied to and betrayed.

      Then, when I read things like the article I mentioned above, I feel even more alienated. I don’t think liberal feminist women like Marcotte have any understanding of what most women are dealing with. It seems like there’s some gathering at a glittery night club somewhere that I totally missed out on. I didn’t get an invitation.

        • V.,

          Thanks for your kindness. I wrote that pretty early in the a.m., yesterday right after I woke up from a long winter’s nap – something I should never do. Although, I’m doing it, again, right now and I’m a little groggy.

          Here’s a for instance. My great aunt just died and left a million dollars behind. Back in the 1930s or maybe the 1940s, she was a student at a private high school for girls my grandmother always called “The Convent,” (all girls – that’s the thing that feminism did and one example of how “equality” was used against us, to give rapists and other violent men greater access to women). Most of those women were college-bound, but she was not. Some recruiters from a big insurance company came and asked for two non-college bound girls and she was chosen. She went to work for the company and stayed working there for years.

          She never wanted to marry. She was in her mid-40s before she finally married a man. I don’t think she liked being married. She was panic-stricken at the thought of having to have sex with a man. Then, luckily for her, he died pretty young. They were both in the insurance business, so they must have been insured to the hilt. She lived very modestly. She had friends from her neighborhood. When she retired, she dined and socialized with her neighbors and she was 80-something when she died.

          My aunt lived the most successful years of her life before the sex revolution. She travelled when she could. And her life didn’t turn out a whole lot different from mine, except she didn’t have to run down as many blocked avenues as I did, being told that I had every opportunity in the world to succeed – which was a lie. I didn’t. I’m a hole – blonde hole. And, that’s all I ever had the chance to ever be. My whole life has been nothing but violence and trying to run from it just to end up in a worse spot.

          Without feminism, I, personally, wouldn’t be in a much different spot than I’m in today. I don’t think feminism made anyone take men’s crimes against women any more seriously and if it did, it never helped me. It was the 1990s before it was officially illegal for a man to rape his wife where I live. But, even once that law was put in the books, it didn’t change what happened to me. It didn’t keep me from being held prisoner in my own home by a huge, brute with a knife. When I filed for the divorce to a marriage I never wanted (I was taken to the court house by him out of state and forced to sign papers. I tried to run out. He grabbed me. I protested verbally in front of the clerks. No one batted an eye!) I was terrified to mention to the lawyer that I was being brutalized – not that he could have or would have helped me, anyway. And, right now a rapist and a pervert walks free, while I live in a prison of fear. How is this any different from how things were before all the marches and the passage of laws, which have mostly been used against us, anyway?

          I would still have gotten an education somehow – probably at the same all women’s college and probably in the same subject – only without throwing three years of my life down the drain first – all because I believed the lies. I finally quit studying math and science after being made to feel extremely unwelcome – the constant harassment on campus and culminating with a male student coming up to me in the hallway and screaming in my face. What’s the point in finishing a degree – for what?! For more of that? And, that’s what you get and worse and none of the efforts of the past have changed that. Title IX has failed to change it. Non-discrimination and anti-violence against women acts are one big joke! I learned that the first time I went to some government anti-discrimination office after escaping gang rapists outside my office, after having to go from one job to another as a young woman because of constant harassment (literally being chased a round a desk by the owner of the company, etc.) – nothing could be done for me. I don’t know if they’re doing anything for anyone, but they’re not doing anything for women.

          But, the real problem we have here is men. There is no way for us to live with them – they are toxic to us. They are a death to us whether it happens quickly or over a bit of time. No legislation can change that. The mistake the early feminists made was believing that men were as fully human as women are, when they are actually soul-sucking, life-sucking demons in the flesh. If there’s going to be any more feminist-driven legislation, maybe we better think it over long and hard because there is no way to deal with the devil, you always lose – I’ve read all the old folk tales!
          .

          • To clarify what I wrote in the 2nd paragraph above, I mean to say that we can no longer have all-girl school or all-women colleges because of the “equality” laws on the books now. The Convent school has been out of existence since the ’60s and merged with an all boy’s school, which I attended and at which girls were treated as second class. This is not an improvement on things – subjecting us to potential sex abusers (male students) and treat us like dirt on top of it – is not an improvement.

            Sonia Johnson talked about this in one of her speeches: Men own the law. We can never win. They will always turn any progress we make around on us and use us to hurt us – (worse than before!).

  7. Since this is an open discussion, I’d like to mention this example ( http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/28803/title/Porn–Good-for-us-/ ) of why I am highly skeptical of so-called scientific studies.

    The pimps and johns and those who want to promote pornography, or promote other ideas like, for instance, that gender is innate (that female children are natural-born slaves to men) use this kind of smoke and mirrors to convince the easily convinced that these things are harmless. The title, “Porn good for us?” first makes me ask who is the “us?” It certainly isn’t the victims of pornographers…but, I guess such women don’t count for much – once, again.

  8. Ever wonder where some of those girls and women who simply seem to vanish into thin air?

    This article is from March 28, 2014. It relates to the recent scandal in the U.K. news surrounding a man named Epstein and includes Prince Andrew, O.J’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz, some Hollywood men and President Rape (Bill Clinton):

    http://theremustbejustice.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/teenage-girl-recruited-by-pedophile-jeffrey-epstein-reveals-bill-clinton-snared-in-pedophile-ring-from-kosovo-to-iraq/

    This is a more recent video from Russia Today. None of the major U.S. news outlets seem to be covering this much and what I have seen is denials from the dudebros and attacks on the survivors.

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