Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Lessons in feminism.

Feministing has many good posts that can point to the troubles modern day feminist face.

Favorite feminist-blaming ever

Feminists are supposedly responsible for promiscuity, more women in prison, killing romance, and just about anything else you can think of.

But this is my favorite anti-feminist crap story ever: Warning: feminism is bad for your health.

Their argument is that there's a correlation between gender equality and lower life expectancy. Seriously.
Debunking Media Myths


I'm at a panel run by the very cool Caryl Rivers on media myths like the "boy crisis."

Another media narrative they're discussing is the myth that professionally accomplished women make for bad wives, or have bad relationships. Well, shit...I've had my fair share of bad breakups but I'm pretty sure it didn't have much to do with how well I was doing at work.

The "empowered" Pussycat Dolls

Because there's nothing like appropriating feminist language to promote bad girl bands.
This is a great video from The Showbiz Show, where comedian Jessica Stein points out the sheer idiocy of the claim groups like the Pussycat Dolls are feminist, and funnier yet, empowering. Hilarious.

Because constitutional equality is so "retro"

There's a new effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Nice.

The amendment, which came three states short of enactment in 1982, has been introduced in five state legislatures since January. Yesterday, House and Senate Democrats reintroduced the measure under a new name -- the Women's Equality Amendment -- and vowed to bring it to a vote in both chambers by the end of the session.

The renewed push to pass the ERA, which passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly in 1972 and was ratified by 35 states before skidding to a halt, highlights liberals' renewed sense of power since November's midterm elections. From Capitol Hill to Arkansas, legislators said they are seizing a political opportunity to enshrine women's rights in the Constitution.
But naturally, some women think equality is just plain silly.

Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly has been making the rounds testifying against the ERA.

In the 1970s, Schlafly and others argued that the ERA would lead to women being drafted by the military and to public unisex bathrooms. Today, she warns lawmakers that its passage would compel courts to approve same-sex marriages and deny Social Security benefits for housewives and widows.

"It's very retro. It had 10 years of debate, very passionate debate for 10 years, and it was defeated," Schlafly said in an interview yesterday."
Hows about we make a rule that the amendment would guarantee equality for all women except Phyllis Schlafly? Then everyone wins.

By the way, here's the oh-so-controversial text of the amendment.

Nevada judge: Men's attraction to young girls a "natural impulse"

Fucking gross.

When sentencing a man on child pornography charges, Carson City District Judge Bill Maddox said that "these kinds of offenses are problems with impulse control...When I say that, it's my understanding that most men are sexually attracted to young women. When I say young women I don't just mean women that ... you should be attracted to. I mean women from the time they're 1 all the way up until they're 100."

Some more.

Drunk women can consent to sex

Red Stapler sends on this article about a recent decision in the UK holding that “where the complainant has voluntarily consumed even substantial quantities of alcohol, but nevertheless remains capable of choosing whether or not to have intercourse, and in drink agrees to do so, this would not be rape.”

I’m really of two minds on this one. I think any standard which says that any alcohol consumption makes it impossible for a woman to give meaningful consent is overly broad and paternalistic. But I do think there’s something to be said for an inability to give meaningful consent if you’re intoxicated.

As far as I can tell from the Telegraph article — and I haven’t read the actual decision, but if someone gets ahold of it I would love to — the judge is saying that a woman can be very drunk and give consent, and that it’s only when she’s drunk enough to not be able to give consent that it’s rape. Which sounds reasonable enough, until you consider the practical application of such a flimsy rule. What counts as “drunk enough not to consent”? Too drunk to talk? Too drunk to fight back? The woman in this case apparently feels that she was too drunk to choose to have sex, and yet the judge says that she did choose, and her consent was meaningful.

So who decides whether she was too drunk to consent? In this case, the woman filed a rape charge — obviously she is under the pretty strong impression that she didn’t consent to sex. She was drunk enough to be throwing up, and only remembers coming to and finding Benjamin Bree having sex with her. Again, I’d need to read a transcript of the trial or at least the actual opinion to get the details, but it sounds like Bree’s argument is that she had indeed given positive consent — that is, she didn’t just stay silent, but actually said yes. Given that, it becomes harder (though certainly not impossible) to argue that he should be convicted of rape. (For the record, I do think anyone who has sex with someone who’s so drunk that they’re puking and passing out cannot reasonably believe that they have consent to sex, and are therefore committing sexual assault. But that’s not a particularly popular or common view).

When A Man Hates A Woman: The ugly side of sex and the Web

Ask any three women who publish online if they're ever been stalked, sexually threatened or threatened with violence on other blogs or in comments. I don't need to bet money to know you'll get a yes from one of those women. Too busy to ask anyone? That's OK, I'll raise my hand for all three.

Imagine being a girl and working really hard to earn the reputation of a respected voice in the world of tech journalism and blogging -- a world populated by disproportionately more men than women -- and to find yourself the target object of a hate-filled Web site. The tone and content of the hate site centers around sexually threatening you, suggesting ways you could be killed and have your corpse defiled, stating that you are a "slut" and that your gender is also in question. Your straight male colleagues don't have this problem.

Then the person running the hate site blogs about every word you say, every time you make a post or publish an article. And targets your friends. And posts the names of your family and Google satellite maps of your family's homes. They deface your Wikipedia page at every opportunity, with sexual slurs, objectifying you at every possible chance. It's enough to make a girl choose not to be a tech journalist.

This issue for women has bugged me for a long time. Since way back when a friend of mine got threatening and scary messages from a jerk. He, for some reason, snapped and decided she'd wronged him. So he went out of his way to harass her, popping up at computer labs she was at, and sending her cruel emails. It was malicious, and some of it was tricky, using friends and altered addresses. And the worse part is how slow campus security was to take it even remotely seriously.

And some still want to laugh and shrug this treatment off. Hey, it is part of being online...says some guy who isn't being threatened, and probably never felt that fear. Toughen up. Say that when your friend, sister, or wife is getting the treatment. Say it after you've been made to feel vulnerable.

And please go to Feministing to see the various sexist and misogynistic products out there, it should be under the Products label. They are not to be believed, until you see them.

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