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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:14 am 
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This whole situation, which I've been following from the start, is making my head hurt:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-26066153

The pub should not have used the language that they did in their event promotion and they should have issued a proper statement and apology after the event was cancelled and posters removed instead of the anti-apology that was released.

I feel that the local feminist group should have engaged the pub in a meaningful dialogue about why the chosen language can be harmful so that they understand and avoid it in future, and gain some allies in the process. Instead, they argued from their keyboards, brought in the media and legislators to threaten the pub with the loss of their alcohol license and are now using misandry speech that alludes to violence.

I left the online section of the feminist group after seeing crowing statements like '"We're awesome and we won!" when I can't shake the feeling that more damage has been done here than good.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:04 am 
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Do you know that they didn't attempt to handle it in person civilly? I just ask because I could see how something like that could seem like it escalated quickly. There is a bar around here that used to have a shot that was named after a play off the words Date Rape with an accompanying image of a grape attempting to rape another grape. I personally knew several people who tried to talk to someone at the bar about it and have a real conversation, but they brushed it off entirely until the media was involved.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:28 am 
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And why is it their obligation to educate others? Sure it would be nice if the bar learned that its not ok to call women slags and hags, but I find it problematic to silence other women in their moment of victory to tell them that they did it wrong. Women are silenced in so many ways when we try and speak up against rape culture and patriarchal privilege, first by men ignoring us or telling us we have no sense of humor and should just shut up, and then by other women second guessing, policing or blaming them.

If you wanted to, you could reach out to the bar and thank them for not using the terms (without putting down the other activists). That might be a positive way to help get your point across.

I do think it is appropriate to call them out for misandry and calls for violence.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:07 am 
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A new guy at work brought in a box of donuts and obviously they weren't vegan so I had to decline while everyone was tucking in, but my partner also declined because though he's vegetarian, he doesn't eat questionable crepe like that which is probably not even vegetarian, and in front of everyone the new guy was like "hey, it's women who have to watch their weight, not men! Dig in! You'll burn off the calories at work today but (vijita) has to sit at a desk!". Then he told me he was just kidding and I should really have some donuts because I'm the "skinniest girl who works here." UGH.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:37 am 
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Ouch! Way to be socially awkward and insulting!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 am 
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8ball wrote:
This whole situation, which I've been following from the start, is making my head hurt:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-26066153

The pub should not have used the language that they did in their event promotion and they should have issued a proper statement and apology after the event was cancelled and posters removed instead of the anti-apology that was released.

I feel that the local feminist group should have engaged the pub in a meaningful dialogue about why the chosen language can be harmful so that they understand and avoid it in future, and gain some allies in the process. Instead, they argued from their keyboards, brought in the media and legislators to threaten the pub with the loss of their alcohol license and are now using misandry speech that alludes to violence.

I left the online section of the feminist group after seeing crowing statements like '"We're awesome and we won!" when I can't shake the feeling that more damage has been done here than good.


Sometimes it feels as if more is accomplished by actively engaging people and helping to move a more permanent change forward. Activism by keyboard is easier but more transient. Ah, feminist action before the internet. . .

I don't think disagreeing is silencing. Telling people that if they disagree they are silencing and somehow complicit in sexism is silencing in and of itself.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:39 am 
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I don't see how I've silenced anyone. I disagree with the approach that was taken, and the conversations that were evolving around it in the online group. I haven't and didn't say that they shouldn't have attempted to combat what they perceived to be a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:48 am 
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Of course you're entitled to say whatever you want in disagreement, and I think you have valid points. And I am sure that your posts on the online site of the feminist group were non-judgemental and informing. Tone makes a big difference.

I just find that second guessing happens a lot in activist communities - one group gets something done and then everyone else piles on to say how they should have done it better. It can be really frustrating to accomplish something good and get criticism because it wasn't perfect.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:50 am 
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A question for j-dub and tofulish (or other people who know the court system better than I do):

re: something tofulish said upthread about criminal courts not functioning for domestic/sexual violence. How do the courts, or the legal system, have to change in order to do a better job of holding people accountable for these kind of crimes? What kind of things do we have to do to have a chance of being able to take someone to court for one of those crimes? I realize this is a giant question. I do not want a dissertation-sized answer. Just, some more information about how the current system doesn't work and what might be possible (or, possible if the teaparty and GOP in general weren't such jerks). Also, the second question is (for me) more of a hypothetical: Like, if bad shiitake were to happen, what would I have to do to stand a chance? Wear a hidden camera all the time? Something else?

Sucks that such a sucky situation is so exponentially sucky.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:57 am 
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Today, this TED talk challenges my feminism: http://www.ted.com/talks/paula_johnson_ ... hcare.html

I am so happy that someone out there is investigating women-specific responses to major health issues, and so furious that I should have to be so "happy" about it (because of the usual man-centric health care blah blah blah we all know about).

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:40 am 
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Well, we've started a separate system of courts for veterans, understanding that a lot of the issues that bring veterans into the criminal court system are particular to people who have served in the military.

Why not take sex crimes where children are the victims out of the criminal courts and create a separate court where the children are allowed to be more fully supported. I am not going to go into too much detail about what that would look like, because you said no thesis :) But maybe we could have an agreed diversion system to that court (no jury just a judge familiar with these kinds of issues, using counselors to help facilitate witness testimony, no open court instead a safe room that felt more conducive to children, not having to have the accused in the room), in exchange the penalties the molesters face could be limited to rehabilitation and other programs to help them work through their issues, rather than jail time. You could still keep the criminal courts for very severe cases or cases where the child victim could participate more fully.

I am not a fan of the jury system generally, and think it works poorly with domestic, intimate partner and sexual violence, because its so "he said, she said" I would find it helpful to have a judge trained in that particular field evaluate the case instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:11 am 
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There is some literature out there if you're interested talking about what would have to shift from a feminist/anti-violence perspective. One of the steps that's been made in some parts of Canada is the introduction of Domestic Violence Courts*: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.c ... vw/dvc.asp

*I know you asked about sexual assault rather than DV but they are related.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:19 am 
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A woman I know who is a self-identified feminist, is the leader singer/guitarist in a punk band, is a great artist, she organizes a ton of shows and pop-up shops, is being bulled by an absolute sexist douche on Facebook. It all started when dudedouche was called out on Facebook by my friend because he decided to do a performance (he's in a rockabilly band...terrible) in BLACKFACE. My friend called him out on it, and while everyone else seemed pretty complacent and even was SIDING WITH HIM for doing it, she was pretty unrelenting in letting him know it wasn't cool.

He started a fake Facebook account making fun of her. Her name on Facebook is "_____ Monday" (not a real name) so he called this profile "______ Tuesday". He posted photos of her, making fun of her because she's an "ugly" feminist who doesn't shave and wears no makeup, shaming her because she's a confident, curvy woman. He posted statuses that were so hurtful, parodying feminists by saying we all talk about our periods too much and we all pretty much just need a good dicking.

Needless to say, a bunch of us reported it and it got removed. Now this dude is on a public rampage talking about how my friend needs to get a sense of humour, and she's so OBSESSED with him because she keeps reporting this stuff, so that must mean she really wants a piece of his man meat.

And what's worse - SO many people are laughing at his comments, in agreeance with him, slamming feminists left and right for being a bunch of feminazis with no sense of humour.

I actually cried because I just felt so heartbroken that shiitake like that still happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:24 pm 
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That super sucks, PPP. That guy is clearly unhappy and forked up. All you can really do is be grateful you're in a better place than him and try to ignore it.

Lutin, my background is in criminal defense. I have not had to work on very many sexual assault cases, but my perspective is this: the criminal justice system, in the US and Canada anyway, is an adversarial one. That means that the way the system attempts to arrive at just outcomes is by having advocates (lawyers) representing the two opposing sides in a legal conflict (in criminal matters, this is the State and the accused) duke it out , and accepting the outcome as some semblance of justice. In any case, it's a difficult process, and both sides tend to be very passionate defenders of their position, which is one of the things the system relies on to work. In criminal cases, the prosecutor must prove the accused not only performed the prohibited act (known as the actus reus) but had the requisite intent/mental state (mens rea) to perform the act. That is, if you stab someone, but you're sleepwalking and have no idea what you're doing or control over your actions, you have performed the actus reus but did not have the mens rea, so you would not be convicted. This doesn't extend to ignorance of the law or to doing something like getting black-out drunk and then doing things without being aware. (If you do something like get drunk or take drugs, you are deemed to accept your own behavior while under the influence, so you can't say you didn't have the requisite mental state like someone who is sleepwalking or who has a seizure or something) On top of this, as a society, we have built our justice system on the presumption of innocence of accused people. That is, generally, we'd rather have guilty people go free than innocent people go behind bars. Obviously, this isn't how things always work, but it's an ideal.

In order to prepare their case, each side must thoroughly examine and test the arguments and positions of the opposing side. In a drug case, for example, the defense counsel will ask the police witness tough questions about his or her experience, memory, ability to perform his or her job, etc., and the prosecution will ask the accused tough questions about his or her drug use, lifestyle, income, etc. Remember, the prosecutor has to show not only that the criminal act was performed, but that the accused had the intent that makes them culpable.

The issues I see with sexual assault cases are these: 1) Sexual assault is a very emotionally charged crime, which leaves a surviving victim who is often the only person who can make a prosecutor's case, since the act of having sex in and of itself is not criminal (unlike, say, the act of selling heroin), the prosecutor must be able to show that the sex/sex act occurred, AND that it was not consensual; and 2) Sexual assault is difficult to pin down. Since the actions that make up sexual assaults (intercourse, etc.) aren't themselves illegal, and whether or not the assault occurred is a somewhat subjective standard, the mens rea for sexual assault is a difficult thing to prove. Because of these two things, when a defense attorney cross examines the victim of an alleged sexual assault, they look like they're bullying and badgering them. Sometimes, they ARE bullying and badgering them, and that's never okay, but usually, when they ask questions about what they were wearing, or past sexual activities, what they're trying to do is plant a seed of reasonable doubt that the accused knew or should have known that their sexual advances/activities, etc. were not consensual. That is, they're trying to show that the accused THOUGHT things were consensual, and that the assault was a mistake rather than a crime. Unfortunately, I think it's possible for there be essentially two truths where sexual assault have occurred. That is, a victim may not be consenting in that moment, and may feel violated, while the "assailant" honestly and truly believes he or she is having consensual sex/engaging in consensual activities. The legal system doesn't have a way to deal with this. We don't find people guilty who don't have the required mental state, because it's unjust, but that doesn't address the fact that the victim feels/has been violated. It's obviously very hard on victims, who generally aren't super familiar with the way the legal system works, and who, I imagine, don't care whether their assailant thought they had obtained consent or not. To them, I imagine it must feel like being attacked in a room full of people who are supposed to be protecting and upholding societal norms, which must be painful and alienating.

To make things worse, I think the way these cases are generally talked about is overly polarizing (I get really angry with a lot of feminist publications that seem to feel that even entertaining the thought that a person accused of sexual assault might be innocent is repugnant). The way these cases are reported in the news invites the court of public opinion to weigh in, giving it a lot of volume and legitimacy that, I feel, it doesn't deserve. Sometimes it seems to me like everyone thinks they're a legal scholar when it comes to sexual assault cases, and I think it's because they're such emotionally charged, immediate cases. Most people either are themselves or know someone who is a survivor of sexual assault, and that is terrible. It also makes it very difficult to be objective, or to reserve judgment. I see a lot of people critique the legal system as it serves victims of sexual assault, and while there are definitely valid critiques to be made, I do think there needs to be a consciousness of the fact that we in the public don't have access to the police reports, evidence, and full testimony of the people involved in the cases. It's easy to say that the jury reached the wrong verdict, or the defense attorney is a bully, or the prosecutor is a jackass based on the 15 minutes of news coverage we've seen, without having any knowledge of the actual elements of the offenses charged (i.e. what things must be proved for the accused to be found guilty) and access to the full case files.

I guess I don't know what the answer is. I see a lot of issues that don't have easy solutions.

Whew! That was long! I hope that provides some insight. Mine is obviously a particular perspective, and I imagine there are others whose views would differ quite a lot from mine.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:03 pm 
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One of the things that I was too tired to talk about this morning is that I think a court set up to deal well with the realities of sexualized violence would not have prison as it's go-to solution. For a variety of reasons. One is the absolute injustice that is the prison system. Another is that we live in a world that (on a macro level) teaches that women are objects to be consumed and men are consumers. While there certainly are repeat predators (in fact they perpetrate the vast majority of sexual assaults), there are also people who honest to god have no idea what consent looks like. I would be much more interested in some form of restorative justice (that is, of course, optional for the victim) helps the perpetrator to humanize their victim and to find ways to atone and be accountable for their actions.

I don't think that is right for serial predators or someone who who uses a weapon or who beats the shiitake out of their victim, but for these more "grey" instances I am much more interested in teaching and developing accountability than throwing someone in the hellhole that is the prison-industrial complex. I also think that if the consequence was more about rehabilitation people would be more likely to report their partner/friend/coworker, and juries would be more likely to convict.

I also think that it is a much broader issue, one that involves teaching consent early and often, and creating a culture where we hold each other accountable for our words and actions.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:29 pm 
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The only conscious reason I can remember for not calling the police about my molestation as a kid (thought about it every damn day and nothing useful came of telling my mother) was that then it would be my fault if he were arrested and went to jail and everyone would hate me. I was 11-12.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:55 am 
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Never mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:22 pm 
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This article talks about how short hair on women is a political statement:

http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-penny/2014/01/women-short-hair-political-statement

Quote:
Tuthmosis is right, for all the wrong reasons. Wearing your hair short, or making any other personal life choice that works against the imperative to be as conventionally attractive and appealing to patriarchy as possible, is a political statement. And the threat that if we don’t behave, if we don’t play the game, we will end up alone and unloved is still a strategy of control. When I talk to young women about their fears and ambitions, it’s one of the main things they ask me about.


I've had short hair for most of the last 16 years and in that time have been pressured by just one partner to grow it. I haven't had a lack of romantic/sexual interest (or, negatively, harassment) from others as a result of my hairstyle and am not alone nor unloved. I know others who have long hair whose circumstances are the same or quite different. Aside from knowing a little of the massively distorted lens of entitlement that the quoted writer (Tuthmosis) is looking at the world through, I cannot comprehend that the length of a woman's hair determines her worth any more than the texture of her stools.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:46 pm 
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Salon are also running an article about female nudity:

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/22/6_reasons_female_nudity_can_be_powerful/

Quote:
We all know that the prohibitions on women’s nipples have nothing to do with women’s nipples, but everything to do with control.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:50 pm 
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A band I listen to. I like a lot of their music but a lot of their lyrics and graphics are about doing horrible things to women and it's just like, I get that it's not meant to be serious but it's just stupid. You're not edgy, you're not creative, you're not hardcore, you're not funny. Oh, a band/singer/musician singing about killing women? WOW. NEVER HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE. You must be SO edgy and creative! Good Lard.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:06 pm 
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Also, this guy at the bus stop today said to me, "No offense, but I hate women!" I just said, "Excuse me?" He proceeded to yell to us (a group of women) about how his girlfriend treats him like crepe and is lazy and has everything she could ever want and that she ruined his Valentines Day and that if she didn't want to be with him that she should leave. Then he yelled that if she wanted, he would leave her but that he'd take the kids.

Real winner there.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Just in time for Valentine's Day! Mr Peabody, set the wayback machine for…never.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/20 ... nnoys.html

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Princeton Mom! I've been wondering what she's been up to these days...

ETA: this is just gold.
Quote:
Another Valentine's Day. Another night spent ordering in sushi for one and mooning over "Downton Abbey" reruns. Smarten up, ladies.
GET WITH THE PROGRAM, DUMDUMS! Women, am I right?!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
Princeton Mom! I've been wondering what she's been up to these days...

ETA: this is just gold.
Quote:
Another Valentine's Day. Another night spent ordering in sushi for one and mooning over "Downton Abbey" reruns. Smarten up, ladies.
GET WITH THE PROGRAM, DUMDUMS! Women, am I right?!
For real. Somehow, I had (mercifully) missed her first "everybody marry my son ASAP" shot across the social media bow. I hate to say this, but - sssshhhhh! - she hasn't exactly covered Princeton with glory in terms of its alumni's…how shall I put this?…basic intelligence?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:55 am 
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Oh my, Princeton Mom sure is a goldmine of unintentional comedy!


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