So, Prince Harry Got Naked in Vegas and I’m Supposed to Care about HIs Right to Privacy

As ever, I think the media, and the all dipsticks in a frenzy over this, have got themselves mixed-up in some sort of David-Bowie-inspired-Labyrinth debacle. This isn’t about the constraints on the British Press which prohibit them from invading the privacy of the Royal Family. This debate should be about everyone’s right to privacy. No one should find pictures of themselves being drunk, stupid and naked on the web; even over-entitled white boys with some serious privilege issues. And, let’s be honest here, the media sources making po-faced statements about not being allowed to show pictures of Harry’s penis are actually whinging about not being allowed to. I doubt even channel 4 news would have managed to refrain themselves from showing all the footage of Harry’s penis if they though they could get away with it.

I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about Harry. I think he’s a buckethead and I have no time for him or the rest of the nincompoops in his family. I do, however, care about his right to privacy and that of ordinary people; especially those who are vulnerable. I think Paris Hilton is nincompoop but no one deserves to have their sex tapes available on TMZ [or whoever posted them. I’m not going to google this to double check which parasitic media outlet actually published them]. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted in this manner. And, here, I do mean sexually assaulted. Having pictures of your unclothed body posted about the net for others to sneer at or masturbate to is sexualised violence.

And, yeah, I’m sure some will read this and think I’m over-reacting; that Harry is just being a jack-the-lad and it’s all a bit of a fuss over nothing. I would agree that Harry playing naked billiards with his mates is neither news-worthy or surprising [although, let’s be honest here, possibly a bit unsafe playing it drunk]. But, it is sexualised violence to post pictures of his body naked without permission. Frankly, I’m not overly-fond of the issues around consent and naked pictures in general. I think far too many vulnerable people get pushed into both being photographed or filmed naked and then lose the rights to their images but are somehow led to believe they have “consented” through “choice” [and, seriously, do I loathe “choice” feminism and it’s insistence on pretending to “empower” vulnerable women through their sexual exploitation].

There is also a gendered dimension to this issue which the press is conveniently obfuscating. Harry, age 27, running about naked is a bit of a laugh; Vanessa Hudgens, still pretty much a teenager, sending a man naked pictures of herself is a “slut”. This is without even getting into the serious misogyny which has punished both Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan. The old slut-shaming double standard always rears it’s ugly-head in these situations. As @londonfeminist tweeted this morning:

Just imagining today’s headlines if Prince Harry were Princess Helen.

We all know the Daily Fail would be running headlines about a Princess Helen being disgrace to the crown, a slut, a whore and a whole passel of nincompoopery. They’d publish the photos. They wouldn’t care about a Princess’s right to privacy; not in their desperate attempt to label her a whore.

Publishing photos of people either naked or in other sexually compromising positions is sexualised violence. This should apply as equally to bucketheaded princes as it does to vulnerable 17 year olds. And, the media aren’t the only ones responsible for perpetuating this sexualised violence. Every time ordinary people google these images, they are buying into and feeding the sexual exploitation industry and helping to increase the number of sexually exploited people.

The whole reality television and “celeb” magazines industry need to die. Today.

People need to stop financially supporting the sexualised violence of others. This serves only to feed rape culture.

Oh, More Rape Apologists Whinging About Poor Ickle Sexual Predators Lives Being Ruined

I think Savannah Dietrich is a pretty incredible teenager. Having been sexually assaulted by two teenage boys, she took the very brave stand of publicly naming and shaming them despite the fact that it was technically illegal for her to do so. Now, I’m a generally fan of the theory of a  juvenile justice system whose entire purpose is supposed to be the rehabilitation and education of young offenders. I think many teenagers end up caught in the system due to the failings of the adults responsible for them. I think sealing juvenile records and keeping their names from public knowledge is, in many cases, the best way to ensure that those teenagers have the possibility to go on to become important members of our communities. But, I have two qualifiers: those who commit sexual violence and murder need to have exemptions made on a case by case basis. A fifteen year old who shoots their stepfather who had been molesting them for 4 years deserves the chance to heal in private. A fifteen year old with every advantage who chooses to get behind the wheel of a car whilst intoxicated which results in the death of a pedestrian doesn’t necessarily deserve the protection afforded by anonymity [unless, of course, said 15 year old is also a victim of abuse]. I like to live in a utopia where our teenagers are nurtured and respected and not villified for crimes caused by the Patriarchy.

The two teenage boys who sexually assaulted Savannah Dietrich don’t deserve that protection. They had no respect for Dietrich’s bodily autonomy. Then, they published photos of the assault on the internet. They needed to be held publicly accountable for their crime; particularly since they seem to be playing the victims of a smear campaign orchestrated by Dietrich. Here’s a hint, if you commit sexual assault, your reputation isn’t being smeared by being publicly named. Your reputation was smeared because YOU chose to do so by committing sexual assault. It is YOUR fault. No one else is responsible for your behaviour. Just you.

Judging by this article in the Huffington Post, I suspect the boy’s defence attorneys might want to revisit the concepts of personal responsibility and free will.  Or, at least, contemplate not making public statements that make your clients look even more pathetic and guilty than they already are. Yeah, death threats were a tad OTT but suggesting that the victim of their sexual assault ruined the lives of the perpetrators by holding them publicly accountable is just stupid, rape apologist horseshite. Being kicked out of the high school you attend with your victim and being forced to move are the NATURAL CONSEQUENCES of sexual assault. NO ONE should be forced to live near or go to school with the person who sexually assaulted or raped them. The fact that the defence attorney of one of the attackers, David Mejia, thinks that the possibility that his client might lose a potential scholarship to an Ivy League university is worse than the sexual assault his client committed just demonstrates how fucked-up rape apologists are. His client should be in therapy. He should be in therapy as part of his legal punishment to deal with the fact that he’s a sexual predator.

We never hold sexual predators properly accountable for their crimes.

We always excuse them by blaming their victims.

Savannah Dietrich has kicked off a public debate which seems to be changing the discourse around sexual violence and personal responsibility. I’m glad she’s taking the very brave step of naming and shaming her attackers but how shameful is it that it takes a teenager to get the media to notice the vileness that is rape apologism?

I also notice a real lack of left-wing right-on Dudes declaring Dietrich a hero for her use of “Free Speech” but that’s because “Free Speech” protects the perpetrator’s right to publish photos of their sexual assault and not the victim’s right to publicly name them.

The Hypocrisy of Left Wing Right-On Dudes.

Left-wing men are the worst hypocrites for normalising violence against women. You expect misogyny from right-wing conservatives who are anti-abortion, slut-shaming arsewipes. But, it’s those men who think they are the Dude who are the real problem in rape culture. It’s celebrities like Leonardo Dicaprio and Colin Farrell who hang out at the Playboy mansion who normalise the patriarchal construction of women as fucktoys. It’s Hugh Hefner who thinks his financial support for Roe vs Wade makes him a Dude [cus, it had nothing to do with him being allowed to fuck as many women as possible without consequece]. Or, Rolling Stone magazine who have Charlie Sheen as their cover story despite his clear history of serial domestic violence and his abuse of prostitutes [not to mention glamourising his descent into drug addiction]. It’s Roman Polanski and Chris Brown being given standing ovations despite taking no responsibility for the very serious crimes they committed. I never see mentions of Sean Penn’s arrest for domestic violence mentioned in articles lauding his status as a Dude. PETA have given props to Tommy Lee for his financial support whilst conveniently ignoring his convictions for domestic violence against his now ex-wife Pamela Anderson. Anthony Kiedis, noted supporter of Barack Obama and PETA, isn’t exactly boyfriend material with his personal history of VAW [not to mention the lyrics to The Adventures of Raindance Maggie are on the wrong side of the rape apologism debate]

Why do we only ever see female celebrities posing naked in Playboy and never male celebrities posing naked in Playgirl? Why do female celebrities have to ensure they look fuckable at 40 and have to pose naked to do so? When was the last time George Clooney, noted Dude, required to get his cock out in order to conform to the Patriarchy’s beauty standards? Okay, PETA, misogynists that they are, do have male celebrities posing naked but the image of Dave Navarro in his “Ink not Mink” campaign is nowhere near as well known as the image of Pamela Anderson defined as chunks of meat by PETA. Yeah, I’ve been harping on about PETA here recently, but, really, they are the line in the sand. Supporting the rights of animals whilst helping to perpetuate rape culture is pretty much the essence of hypocrisy.

Really, though, the nincompoops who support Assange because he runs Wikileaks whilst insisting that he couldn’t possibly be a rapist because he runs Wikileaks are the real hypocrites. The level of paranoia and serious congnitive dissonance [not to mention general stupidity] involved in their leaps of illogic are something spectacular. This was posted on the Wikileaks Twitter feed this week:

WikiLeaks @wikileaks Despite not even being charged, Assange is the most rape-smeared man in modern history. 2x to 4x that of DSK, depending on how you measure.

It’s just a #facepalm moment. Now, I haven’t read the whole of this blog but the first bit was enough to make me think the author was a dingbat with some serious paranoia issues. And, I’m sorry, but hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London whilst having a tantrum about being questioned [and not arrested] just makes Assange look like a complete prick [not to mention guilty]. Assange supporters could join with Ched Evans supporters and form a supergroup of whiny-arsed, stupid nincompoops with serious delusions of grandeur. We could call them: The Quintessential Nincompoops.

It is perfectly possible to campaign against racism or investigate corruption in government or be an environmental activist and still be a misogynist and rapist. The Occupy Movement went out of its way to disassociate itself from the women who were raped in their camps in Glasgow, New Haven, London, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Dallas [and the list goes on]. These Dudes implied, rape after rape, that the women weren’t actually “involved” in the movement or were “vulnerable” and shouldn’t have been there, or were “prostitutes”. Because, women who get themselves raped clearly brought it on themselves by being vulnerable or prostitutes or pretending to be activists. Or, some other fucking misogynistic horseshite. It just made it easier to for the right-wing arseholes in government to dismiss the entire movement.

It would be nice if those men who self-identify as “Right-On Dudes” got off the hypocritical bandwagon in behind the anti-choice, slut-shaming arsewipes and started taking the systemic violence against women seriously. Feminism needs more men who are willing to stand up in the fight against domestic violence and sexual violence. But, we need men who aren’t hypocrites. We need men that understand the systemic nature of VAW and who are willing to start changing the misogynistic discourse which places all women on a spectrum of Patriarchal Fuckability. We need men who do understand that Hugh Hefner’s “relationship” with his multiple girlfriends were abusive. We need men to understand that abusing the body of a prostitute is VAW; that pornography is VAW.

We need men who understand that misogyny is just as harmful to society as racism, homophobia and disablism are.

We need men who aren’t hypocrites.

Pussy Riot: whose freedom, whose riot?


Please reblog this radical feminist analysis of the Pussy Riot controversy. [via RadFem Hub]
Recently there has been lots of noise around the arrest of three members of Pussy Riot, a Russian anarchist female punk band. The media almost unequivocally represented them as the modern heroines of our time, fighting for freedom, democracy, sexual liberation and peace against a dark and ruthless dictatorship (articles are to be found in the NYTLe MondeThe Guardian, etc.) Feminist groups all over the Western world are sending links and petitions to “free pussy riot”, anddemonstrations have even been organised in support of the group by big institutionalised organisations such as “Osez le féminisme” (dare to be a feminist).
Now while I support without ambiguity the liberation of Pussy Riot’s members, it’s worth pausing for a minute to ask ourselves, as radical feminists, what the political dynamics are here. Why would Western media denounce so passionately the repression of feminists in Russia, when it usually only diffuses information that supports male supremacy and patriarchy? Feminism has long disappeared from any malestream media, except when journalists can turn it into male masturbation material, that is pornify either our suffering or our resistance to it. What’s going on here?
Before learning more about the case, the first thing that made me frown was the fact progressives were hailing Pussy Riot as the “new feminists”, despite that their name is fairly insulting to women. It is certainly not apolitical, since we are in a context in which pornography has deeply colonised our movement and the only groups that the media presents as feminist are those that either insult us or reclaim the very instruments of our subordination, that is, male sexual violence, PIV, pornified femininity and all the associated harmful cultural practices. These tactics of destroying the meaning of feminism form part of a general worldwide backlash against women.
I found it suspicious that Pussy Riot was getting so much media attention, even for pseudo feminist standards. You can measure the degree of feminism of an action by how men react to it, and if men collectively cheer and celebrate it, then you can be pretty sure there’s something wrong about it, or that it doesn’t somehow support our liberation from men. And as far as I can recall, even the slutwalks didn’t get as much coverage or public appraisal. What was it that men liked so much about Pussy Riot?
Well, under closer inspection I discovered that the high level of coverage was related to – though indirectly – promoting men’s right to women’s sexual subordination and the pornification of our movement. The arrested women actually form part (and are victims of) a mixed anarchist group called “Voina” (meaning “war”), founded in 2007 by two men called Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaïev, who regularly engage the women in extreme and degrading women-hating pornography as part of their public “political stunts”. Some of Voina’s men have actually already been incarcerated in 2011 for hooliganism – which is punished for 7 years of prison in Russia, but their bail was paid for by an artist named “Banksy” four months after their imprisonment. (More information can be foundhere and here)
Included in their anti-government actions are a “public orgy” in the national museum of biology in a room full of stuffed bears, where several men anally penetrated their female partners in a position of submission, including one heavily pregnant women, as a metaphor to “bugger/fuck Medvedev”. “Medved” means “bear”, hence all the stuffed bears – this was meant to be symbolic, artistic and revolutionary according to the activists. Here the male anarchists literally used women as dead bodies or receptacles through which to make a political point to other men. Violating women as a means to offend other men is nothing else but an age-old patriarchal mechanism – behind which the intended target are us, for men to bond over our annihilation.
Another planned stunt in the name of “sexual freedom”, inspired by extreme forms of pornography such as zoophilia/ necrophilia, includes a member of Pussy Riot masturbating with a dead chicken in a supermarket under the watch and camera of the anarchist males, after which she inserts the dead chicken entirely into her vagina and hobbles with the chicken inside her out of the supermarket. This is how the male members themselves describe their act of “liberation”:
“How to Snatch a Chicken: A Tale of How One Cunt fed the Whole of the Group Voina… in honor of their hero, a 19th century political philosopher/prisoner, Voina’s president’s wife dubbed “Vacuous Cunt With Inconceivably Huge Tits,”smuggled a chicken out of a grocery store in said “Vacuous Cunt…”  [the journalist comments] : First, the troupe searched for a large and fresh enough chicken. Then, the store isles and CCTV cameras were blocked by the members of the group holding up banners with “FUCK WHORING YOURSELF!” smeared on them in I-don’t-want-to-know-what. The blockade allowed Vacuous Cunt to promptly stuff and smuggle the poultry out of the store, which was then presumably cooked and eaten.[1]
The president is presumably Oleg, and the woman in question, apparently his wife – a situation which would qualify as domestic abuse and sexual slavery given the level of violence, women-hatred and humiliation directed at the women involved. The woman is reduced to a corpse to be ‘stuffed’ in the most degrading and insulting way. No woman would desire such things as inserting a dead chicken in her vagina in public were she not under heavy control and terror. Also of note is the fact that one of their children was brought to this stunt, visibly no older than four. Sexual exhibitionism in the presence of children may also qualify as child sexual abuse. How deeply has women-hatred sunk into men’s minds, that they are incapable of imagining a riot without it being a by-the-book copy of a gonzo porn film? Here again, we see men instrumentalising women and using sexual torture of women as a means to communicate a political message (which if not totally vacuous, communicates nothing other than their hatred of women).
Perhaps the most saddening action of all consisted in filming one of the women naked, covered in cockroaches, meant to be understood as “sexy”. The association of women to filth and parasites to be eliminated couldn’t be clearer. This is women-hating, genocidal propaganda at its most dangerous form. Voina’s men give the world to see where women’s place must be, even when fighting against authoritarian regimes: head down, underneath men and fucked by them.
Now what does this mean for us, what can be understood from the media’s silence about Voina’s pornographic exploitation of women, when all the attention is focused on promoting Pussy Riot as our modern heroines? The effect and intent is political. While all the public eyes are set on the Russian representatives of the state and religion as the ultimate fascists, dictators and machos, we are made to forget that the primary oppressors and tyrants of these particular women are the men closest to them, that is, Voina’s men and their use of pornography to demean, oppress and enslave their female comrades. They are their everyday police, the fascists and colonisers breaking the women’s resistance, occupying their souls, sentencing them to public humiliation and subordinating them through sexual abuse. We are made to forget that these women are doubly victimised: first victims of the violence by the men of their own group, they are then punished and held responsible for the abuse committed against them.
By holding Pussy Riot as examples of resistance, being silent about the pornographic violence and denouncing the state and religious authority as the only oppressor, it follows that the media is complicit with the men from Voina. It protects the anarchist’s individual impunity, and more generally, furthers all men’s interest in promoting rape and women-hating propaganda. It also prevents women in general from identifying men’s sexual violence and the harms of the penis as the primary agents of our oppression. It distracts and disgusts women away from feminism. What kind of dignity and respect for our movement can women have if the only models of resistance given to us by the media are those to be seen by millions of men as humiliated, soiled and degraded in this way?  Even the most brave and valiant women, who fight bare handed and alone against Putin and the religious authority, must be shown by men to the world as surrendering and conquered.
If we want justice for the women imprisoned and to show true solidarity, we need to not only denounce the injustice by the Russian state, but also denounce the violence by the men from Voina. We need to recognise and openly denounce the pandemic levels of sexual violence present in most male-centric leftist or anarchist activist groups, whereby women are often pimped by the men of the group for pornography or expected to submit to extremely violent or degrading acts in the name of “sexual freedom”. What counts for these men is to fight for men’s total public access to women, especially militant women, because it really serves to put all women back in line. The weapon of mass destruction against women is the penis and this is why all men are focusing on making Putin look bad while they say nothing about the bastards of Voina.
For our sisters, for all women, we need to say out loud that this is not feminism.
–  HUB Newsfeed

Pussy Riot: Gender, Free Speech, Benevolent Sexism and “Western” Hypocrisy?

I’ve been following the legal trials of Pussy Riot for several months now. I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable about the directions the press has taken with this case and with the level of celebrity endorsement, particularly on the issue of free speech. Whilst I do think this issue is fundamentally about the right to free speech, I don’t think it is the right to free speech that the media suggests. I have always felt that the right to free speech only supports those in power or a very small group of those with no access to formal power but who can engage with the media. I don’t think discussions about the right to free speech are ever supportive of marginalised groups; no matter how much left-wing men swear it is. Free speech is the rallying cry of pornographers, neo-Nazis, rape apologists, and racists who assert that their right to be a jackass is more important than the harm they cause. Hearing people defend the tenets of free speech always makes me twitchy. Free speech, like pacifism, is a position only available to people with privilege. After all, the right to free speech is irrelevant if you live in abject poverty in a place with no access to electricity and, subsequently, have no real medium in which to assert that right.

A couple of weeks ago the journalist Miriam Elder, who is the Moscow correspondent for the Guardian, tweeted this:

Curious: do you think there would be such a campaign against Pussy Riot if they were men? And such a campaign of support in the west?

I’ve been pondering this since she tweeted it but haven’t quite been able to articulate my concerns about the way the media is constructing Pussy Riot. I’m a big fan of anarcho-feminist punk bands, or any feminist musicians,  and feminist performance art but there is something wilfully disingenuous about the uncritical way in which Pussy Riot are being portrayed in the “Western” media. This is not to say that I think Pussy Riot deserve to be convicted for hooliganism in this case. Far from it, I think arresting non-violent protestors is one of the Patriarchy’s favourite power plays. It’s a nasty silencing technique. The three members of Pussy Riot should never have been arrested; never mind convicted. However, I do have concerns about the media’s treatment of Pussy Riot; particularly since Pussy Riot were not protesting the right to free speech. Free speech is somewhat of red herring here. The debate for “free speech” is just the same old “Western” hypocrisy and benevolent sexism pretending to liberate women when all it does is further constrain us.

Until last night I thought I was the only one with these concerns. Then, Rowan Davies tweeted a link to this article on RadFem Hub: A Radical Feminist Collective Blog. I had no idea about Pussy Riot’s connections to Voina. To be fair, I hadn’t actually heard of Voina either. A perusal of google suggests they are a political performance art group; that is usually code for general misogynistic pornography pretending to be “art”. PETA has a similar policy and I think they are all misogynistic nincompoops too. Voina are, simply, quite vile, nasty misogynists. It would be very hard to argue the right to free speech based on their campaigns which is why the creation of Pussy Riot was both a necessity for publicity and a way of obfuscating Voina’s misogyny.

The relationship between Pussy Riot and Voina disturbs me but it also explains why Pussy Riot are getting so much “Western” media interest. Generally speaking, the media’s interest in Feminism is either to force women into accepting the pornographication and objectification of their bodies or to belittle, humiliate and denigrate feminists. I don’t think Pussy Riot would have received media attention in the “West” if they were male. I don’t know anywhere near enough about the internal workings of the Russian government so I can’t really comment on whether or not I think a male punk performance band would have been arrested in similar circumstances. But, I do believe that Pussy Riot is only garnering support in the “West” because of the holdover of the anti-communist hysteria, anti-feminist discourse and because of “benevolent sexism”. The inclusion of “free speech” is about the free speech of pornographers; it’s not about the free speech of feminists.

Pussy Riot are getting support from male artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul McCartney, and Stephen Fry because of “free speech”. I think their various personal histories of misogynistic discourse make their definitions of “free speech” both hypocritical and lacking in political analysis. I do truly believe a lot of their support is because Pussy Riot have vaginas and are young and pretty. It is benevolent sexism: the protection and support of pretty women whose personal voices are erased in order for the Menz to feel better about themselves [or ignore their own inappropriate behaviour]. Benevolent sexism is incredibly harmful to the Feminist movement because it gives the appearance of male support without acknowledging the conditions of that support; notably passing the Patriarchal Fuckability Test as Pussy Riot do.  I don’t think that this is necessarily a conscious decision on the part of some of their male supporters but I think it is there. This is not to say that Pussy Riot aren’t either deliberately using the PFT as a way of garnering support or that they aren’t aware of being used in this manner. It’s certainly not the first time women have used the benevolent sexism card to push through their legal demands.

It’s also worth acknowledging that the only major world artist whose been attacked for their support is Madonna who was labeled a moralising “slut” by Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy minister. Madonna expressed her support at a performance in Russia; as did the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Paul McCartney. I haven’t heard of anyone referring to members of RHCP as sluts. And, let’s be honest here, Anthony Kiedis’ sexual history isn’t exactly that of a man who respects women.  I also don’t see a group of celebs lining up to pay for the legal costs of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samustsevich as, apparently, Banksy did when he paid the bail of several members of Voina when they were arrested at a previous demonstration. Nor, do I see anyone really upset about the possibility of Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova’s young children being taken into care. After all, the loss of their children into foster care isn’t about the right to free speech for men. 

I also don’t think Pussy Riot were just arrested because they were criticising the Russian government. I think they were charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred because they identified as Feminist activists. This case is as much about silencing feminists as it is about the right to “free speech”. It is about patriarchal approval for the right kind of feminists: those who think that prostitution and pornography are valid “career choices” rather than the abuse and torture of vulnerable women. I doubt very much that the male celebs lining up to support Pussy Riot would be doing so if the women were also anti-pornography and anti-prostitution campaigners who refused to use the language of pornography in their campaigns. Similarities to the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, who have support in the “West” are striking.

I do believe the right to free speech is an important requirement in a democracy. But, we don’t have it now and we never really had it. Free Speech is about rich, white men being allowed to say whatever they want, whenever they want it. It’s about allowing pornographers to abuse and torture women’s bodies without taking any responsibility for the harm. So, whilst I have supported the campaign to free Pussy Riot, I have not been doing so uncritically under some misguided construction of feminism or free speech. 

I have been supporting Pussy Riot because no one deserves to be imprisoned for singing and dancing.

I have been supporting Pussy Riot because we need to change the discourse around free speech so that it applies equally to minority groups.

I have been supporting Pussy Riot because we need to stop using women’s bodies as political tools.

I have been supporting Pussy Riot because the #waronwomen is destroying women’s lives everywhere.

Assange: The Quintessential Example of White Male Privilege and Their Silencing Techniques

I haven’t blogged about the lying git that is Assange yet because it makes me both homicidally angry and thoroughly depressed at the number of people who are on the left of political spectrum but also seem to be clinically stupid. It is perfectly possible to have some good political policies whilst remaining a misogynist with a history of sexually abusive behaviour. Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy both being cases in point. Being critical of the Military-Industrial complexes isn’t a get-out-of-jail free card for rapists. Anyone who claims it is is, simply, a rape apologist who is perpetuating and perpetrating rape culture. We shouldn’t be allowing the existence of that kind of misogynistic bollox.

I haven’t blogged about Assange because I don’t want to add to his messiah complex. He is quite clearly an attention seeking whingefest of the most egregious sort. I didn’t bother to watch his speech from the balcony either. I don’t want to waste my time on someone who has their head jammed so far up their ass that they think they are The Second Coming. I genuinely think the media need to stop covering this case. That attention seeking arsehole doesn’t need the publicity. After all, the official Wikileaks twitter feed published this a few weeks ago:

Despite not even being charged, Assange is the most rape-smeared man in modern history. 2x to 4x that of DSK, depending on how you measure.

He doesn’t need the media feeding his messiah complex too. Assange supporters could join with certain footballer’s fans and form a supergroup of whiny-arsed, stupid nincompoops with serious delusions of grandeur. And, then decamp to some remote island somewhere so the rest of us don’t have to listen to their shit.

As much as I hate the idea of giving this arsehole even more publicity, I think keeping silent whilst supposedly intelligent journalists, like, say, John Pilger, are spreading myths is immoral. We need to change the language we use to discuss this case. We need to stop confusing Assange the person with Wikileaks. We need to stop pretending that being right about one thing means that someone is right about everything. It is perfectly possible for Wikileaks to be an important political tool whilst recognising that Assange is a nincompoop. After all, he isn’t the only person who works for Wikileaks AND it’s not like Assange doesn’t already have form for leaving Wikileaks supporters high and dry. We need to start challenging the myth that celebrities don’t need to rape because they could get anyone woman they want. These are exactly the kinds of men who are rapists because they believe they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want.

The only reason we should be talking about Assange is to support victims of rape; including the two women Assange sexually assaulted. We need to start taking real action in the face of rape myths to support women who have been raped. After all, we all know that one of the reasons many, many women refuse to report their rape is because they are afraid of being disbelieved. The woman Ched Evans raped has had her reputation and name smeared across Twitter by Ched Evans supporters. The two women in the Assange case, who deserve to have their anonymity protected, have had their real names trashed across the internet.

The only reason to be mentioning Assange’s name is to ensure that rape victims know just how many people believe them and will support them.

We need to make our voices louder than the rapists, rape apologists and their handmaidens.

And, we need to get Assange to shut the fuck up.

Metro: Reinforcing Misogyny Through Piss-Poor Writing

I get the Metro as often as I can. We use it for lining the cat litter trays. Ballerina Cat, the well-known Twitter sensation for her malicious incontinence policies, will not use a litter box which any other cat has used. We have 4 cats. This is expensive. Not that this is in any way relevant to this post. I just wanted to point out why I was “reading” the Metro which is usually misogynistic bolloxs. As an excuse you see.

Anyways, Thursday’s Metro involved a truly brilliant article entitled “Doctor ‘drowns’ girl for research”. This is it in its entirety:

A paediatrician accused of waterboarding his stepdaughter could have been conducting an experiment, court papers suggest. Dr Melvin Morse, 58, denies he brought the 11 year old girl “to a possible near-death state from the simulation of drowning” by holding her head under a tap. The American is known for research into children’s near-death experiences and this “would fall into the area of study he practises’, Delaware police said. The allegations emerged after he was arrested for reportedly dragging the girl by her ankle across a driveway in July.

I’m going to guess that this “article” is just quoting sections of the court documents given by the defence but really, could the Metro have been more on the justification of torture side of things? Being involved in research on near-death experiences by children isn’t permission to waterboard your stepdaughter. It isn’t permission to drag a child by their ankle across a driveway. This is an abusive man abusing a child.

Now, I’m sure it wasn’t quite the Metro’s intention to suggest that Morse was justified in waterboarding his stepdaughter. It’s just a poorly written filler-column. Problem is that these kinds of twaddle slip through in the Metro all the time. It would have been really simple to have clearly stated “court papers submitted by the defence” or “prosecutor’s a dipstick” or “the police are just stupid”. By writing the article in this manner, the Metro is basically saying that a violent, abusive man is justified in being violent because he’s a “scientist”.

I’m sure his stepdaughter, you know that child whose only ELEVEN, will be pleased to understand that her torture is justified in the name of science.

Marge Piercy’s Right To Life

I’ve not read this poem before but it came up on my FB feed via Wipeout Misogyny. It is so incredibly beautiful and powerful.

Right To Life

A woman is not a pear tree thrusting her fruit in mindless fecundity into the world. Even pear trees bear heavily in one year and rest and grow the next. An orchid gone wild drops a few warm rotting fruit in the grass but the trees stretch high and wiry, gifting the birds forty feet up among inch long thorns broken atavistically from the smooth wood.

A woman is nota basket you place your buns in to keep them warm. Not a broodhen you can slip duck eggs under.

Not the purse holding the coins of your descendants till you spend them in wars.

Not a bank where your genes gather interest and interesting mutations in the tainted rain, any more than you are.
You plant corn and you harvest it to eat or sell. You put the lamb in the pasture to fatten and haul it into butcher for chops. You slice the mountain in two for a road and gouge the high plains for coal and the waters run muddy for miles and years.
Fish die but you do not call them yours unless you wished to eat them.
Now you legislate mineral rights in a woman.
You lay claim to her pastures for grazing, fields for growing babies like iceberg lettuce.
You value children so dearly that none ever go hungry, none weep with no one to tend them when mothers work, none lack fresh fruit, none chew lead or cough to death and your orphanages are empty. Every noon the best restaurants serve poor children steaks.

At this moment at nine o’clock a partera is performing a table top abortion on an unwed mother in Texas who can’t get Medicaid any longer. In five days she will die of tetanus and her little daughter will cry and be taken away.

Next door a husband and wife are sticking pins in the son they did not want. They will explain for hours how wicked he is, how he wants discipline.
We are all born of woman, in the rose of the womb we suckled our mother’s blood and every baby born has a right to love like a seedling to sun.
Every baby born unloved, unwanted, is a bill that will come due in twenty years with interest, an anger that must find a target, a pain that will beget pain.
A decade downstream a child screams, a woman falls, a synagogue is torched, a firing squad is summoned, a button is pushed and the world burns.
I will choose what enters me, what becomesof my flesh. Without choice, no politics, no ethics lives.
I am not your cornfield, not your uranium mine, not your calf for fattening, not your cow for milking. You may not use me as your factory.

Priests and legislators do not hold shares in my womb or my mind.

This is my body. If I give it to you I want it back. My life is a non-negotiable demand.

Thankfully, Misogyny Returns to Live Another Day: The Olympic Closing Ceremony

So, The Olympic Closing Ceremony has returned us to normalcy with Misogyny making it’s big comeback; along with Freddie Mercury and John Lennon. I do have to state, for the record, that I went to bed during The Who and I haven’t bothered to read any blogs or media reports on the Closing Ceremony yet so it’s entirely possible I’m just repeating what everyone else is saying. But, I don’t actually care. The Closing Ceremony was just an embarrassing celebration of nincompoopery and misogyny. Spending two weeks celebrating the talents and athletic ability of some truly incredible and inspiring women to end it with 2 women famous for wearing clothes seems a bit, well, pathetic. Not to mention, the whole Kate Moss cocaine issue and Naomi Campbell with her violence problems. Moss, at least, wasn’t too out of place considering the rest of the show seemed to be a Who’s Who of British Drug Addiction. Why Pete Doherty wasn’t invited is anyone’s guess.

I thought most of the Closing Ceremony was tedious, ill-conceived and poorly executed nincompoopery. I can’t begin to imagine why anyone thought One Direction was a good idea or what dimwit was in charge of sound and hadn’t planned enough music for the Athlete’s Parade so that they were forced to repeat music from the first half; cleverly highlighting who had been lip-syncing. All in all, it was nowhere near as good as the Opening Ceremony lacking any sense of story-telling or political protest. I was holding out for a Pussy Riot protest art piece and the Kaiser Chiefs singing I Predict a Riot. I was sorely disappointed by the lack of both. Although, I do have to give whoever was in charge props for celebrating two charming British institutions: the traffic jam and police kettling tactics. Unfortunately, those were simply not whimsical enough to maintain any sense of fun during 3 tedious hours of bad British music: performed by some who should have been better [and I’m looking at you here Beady Eye].

But, what really fucked me off was the Ode To Misogyny which was the second half. That should have been accompanied by Soul II Soul’s Back to Reality wherein men are celebrated (fully clothed) for their talents and women were running around half-naked. Then, at least, we could have pretended it was meant ironically. And, yeah, I’m fucking incensed that Moss and Campbell’s images were paraded around the venue on the back of a truck: because objectifying women’s bodies is just so cool and, you know, unusual. Or, something equally tedious.

That alone was just beyond fucking sexist bollocks but Eric Idle surrounded by (fake?) Victoria Secret’s Models in angel gear was the final nail in a night of extreme stupidity. Monty Python aren’t exactly reknown for their realistic portrayal of women but accompanying Always Look on the Bright Side of Life with a bunch of angels in their underwear is just beyond ignorant. They had a chance to do something truly spectacular and original with the Monty Python sketch and instead went with the same tedious misogyny; much like they did with the inclusion of rape apologist Russell Brand. It was disgraceful. He is disgraceful. The less said about him, the better.

The ONLY redeeming feature of the whole night was Darcey Bussell. She is just an incredible athlete and a true celebration of British talent. That sequence with the Phoenix and the brilliant dancing was the best part of the Closing Ceremony. As soon as someone with better computer skills than me puts the Phoenix sequence on youtube, I will post it because it was genius. 

The rest was a gigantic pile of shite. And, I can’t even begin to work out what Annie Lennox was on about. If this Olympics was a real celebration of women athletes with Saudi Arabia sending women competitors for the first time, Lennox should have been singing her anthems of women power: Sisters are Doing it for Themselves or Sing. Oh, and George Micheal’s Freedom should have been performed by women in Pussy Riot outfits. Just because. But, it wasn’t. It was the same tedious misogynistic constructions of patriarchal conformity celebrating the hyper-sexualised objectification of women’s bodies that Playboy peddles daily. A waste of money and time.

Misogynistic Walk of Shame: Hooters. And, Not Just for the Name.

This is the bit where I admit to reading Jezebel; a magazine which claims to be feminist whilst writing some of the most misogynistic, anti-woman twaddle I’ve had the misfortune to read. If you don’t believe me, look at their posts on breastfeeding or any post on celebrities. In between the gobsmackingly sexist posts about women, Jezebel manages to produce some utterly brilliant rants about body image, patriarchal fuckability, and stupid arsewipe advertisers. So, I have to give them props for their rant on this piece of misogynistic arsehattery: 

The entire ad is about how fat, ugly and utterly unfuckable most women are; cause that isn’t offensive or misogynistic at all. Apparently, the only subhumans with vaginas who are even remotely fuckable are “girls”. I do wish people would actually read Nabokov’s Lolita and realise it’s about the rape of a child and not some guide to fucking barely legal 18 year olds. [I’m also fairly creeped out by 40 year old men wanting to fuck 18 year olds. Just gross. Really, really gross].

Hooters remains the quintessential example of the normalisation of the objectification and pornographication of women’s bodies. FFS, Hooters is classed as a “family restaurant” and not  a sex entertainment venue. You can have your child’s birthday there. Granted, you have to be a pretty piss-poor parent with some serious common sense problems to think that a venue featuring half-naked women being objectified is a good place to go for chicken wings. But, lots of parents do this and, in doing so, help perpetuate rape culture. So, I’m going to be loud and proud about my judgy pants here: If you take your kid to Hooters, you really do need some basic critical thinking skills and parenting classes to boot.

I can’t possibly improve on this rant in Jezebel: 

This commercial is just a stank bundle of cheap, hacky, antique jokes that prop up the patently damaging notion that women’s societal value declines drastically with every cellulite dimple. Oh, thanks, guys. Thanks a lot. Now that I’m too embarrassed to go to the pool and exercise because some dickhead lifeguard and the voices in his head are going to be horking over my body, I guess I’ll just cloak my shame in sweatpants and gorge on fried chicken all night! 

So, what they said and I’m adding Hooters to my Misogynistic Walk of Shame Boycott. [Not that I have ever eaten there. Obviously.]

Oh, and in case you are clinically stupid and wanted to pretend that that was a one-off example of extreme misogyny by Hooters, here’s another ad charmingly entitled More than a Mouthful.