The Shouty Woman

March 30, 2006

I love Johann Hari

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 1:29 pm

No, I really do.

"Naturally, this problem is being blamed not on the men who choose to rape, nor on the failings of the police and the courts, but on those dirty bitches who choose to walk about being women. […]

Imagine if there was an epidemic of heterosexual men being anally raped across Britain. Does anybody imagine we would hear the same arguments? Men shouldn’t wear those sexy tight tank-tops if they don’t want to be raped. Men shouldn’t get so hammered on a Saturday night that they can barely walk straight unless they want a hairy bloke to drag them into an alleyway. These are arguments nobody would ever make – but what’s the difference?"

It's so refreshing to see sentiments like this in a mainstream newspaper rather than just on radfem blogs (not that there's anything wrong with those…).

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Gang rape

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 12:59 pm

I found this post via Pandagon. I'm not sure what to say other than that I'm too depressed and defeated to feel anger. The piece may be two years old, but if anything things have got worse since then.

What has gone so wrong with society that young men see gang rape as acceptable? Or worse, as a bit of fun, or as a mark of virility? How have their morals become so skewed that they think it's OK to treat another human being like a piece of meat, or like a cigarette, made for their pleasure and to be passed around between them? And more to the point, what has gone so wrong with society that this behaviour is normalised?

You might think this is a bit strong – after all, no-one (or very few people) is going to admit that they think gang rape is OK. But why then are none of these boys going to prison? Why is the rape conviction rate still 6% -yes, six per cent – and why do judges treat victims as criminals? Why is it that when it comes down to it, a woman or girl's testimony is worthless?

But of course, this is what this is all about. One thing that comes out of the article is that many attackers use porn on a regular basis – one eleven-year-old (yes, you read that right) accused of raping a young child had been watching free porn previews on his moblie phone and copied what he saw. Other boys videoed their attacks and passed them round to their friends. It's not surprising that rapists, and the judges who acquit them, see women as little more than sex toys, incapable of saying 'no' – this is what our culture is telling them.

As Peter Misch, a former adolescent psychiatrist, explains in the article, "men's magazines perpetuate a myth of availability, yet this is not an open sexual society." Gang rapists are simply taking what they feel they're entitled to, and the courts are backing them up.

Read the Guardian article, read the account of a rape trial, read the stories of victims so traumatised that they can't speak about what happened, read the defeated words of the counsellors and charity workers who have to deal with this epidemic. 

Then tell me there's nothing left to fight for.

March 23, 2006

How dare you gain weight without my permission?

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 1:49 pm

Via Twisty, a couple of stories that depressed me so much I could cry, except I’m at work and it might confuse my colleague.

Call me touchingly naive, but I have this idea that when you marry someone it should be because you love them. Not their hair, or their breasts, or the fact that they’re a size 8. Because all that stuff changes, however much makeup, or dye, or surgery you throw at it. Sadly the husbands of the women in the posts above don’t seem to have grasped this concept. Their wives are their property, dammit – how dare they presume to put on weight or cut their hair without consent? After all, when you sign that register at the church, you’re really signing an agreement to remain forever a size 8, pert-breasted 23-year-old. Did you not realise?

I hate this for so many reasons. Firstly because it demonstrates how women are, for many men, merely objects or trophies to be showed off. So much for the idea of marriage as an equal partnership. Secondly because stories like this will encourage women to hate themselves even more, and to subject their bodies and faces to violent, aggressive surgery in an attempt to buy a few more years’ worth of attention from their men.

Thirdly, I hate it because, against all reason, it makes me worry for myself.

I know my boyfriend loves me the way I am. He tells me all the time, reassuring me when I have attacks of low self-esteem. But part of me can’t help thinking he’ll change his mind, and stories like this just make it worse.

Fuck this. Why should we live up to this impossible standard? Why shoud the women in these stories, and others like them, live in constant fear of their husbands’ rejection? Why should I be made to mistrust my boyfriend who loves me and would never hurt me?

I wish I could answer these questions.

 

 

 

 

 

March 21, 2006

God needs some better spokesmen

Filed under: Feminism,Politics — by Lucy @ 2:21 pm

Well, I’m back after a few days away from the computer – I spent the weekend with my best friend, who’s currently deciding how best to tell his mum that he’s gay. I can’t begin to imagine what he’s going through, and anything I say just seems hopelessly inadequate. I’m just praying (to what I don’t know, as I’m an atheist…) that his mum sees sense and doesn’t reject him. All of you arseholes out there who think being gay is a ‘choice’ – rationalise this. If it’s a choice, why would anyone choose to be rejected by their own mother?

I’m not a fan of organised religion generally, but those godbags (to use a Twistyism) who think that people like my friend are going to hell, or that contraception is evil, or that a cluster of cells smaller than a fingernail is somehow a ‘baby’ and should have more rights than the woman who’s incubating it, really make me want to kill something. Preferably a fundementalist preacher.

I seem to spend my life at the moment alternating between anger and fear. These people make me angry, but I’m also terrified by their steady gaining of real power. We’re OK here for now (unless Blair has a Damascene conversion from his current woolly brand of xtianity), but a cartel of nutters seems hell-bent on turning America into a real-life, correct-in-every-detail version of The Handmaid’s Tale. If so, God (ha!) help the people like my friend. Coming out may be tough, but I’ll bet it’s a million times worse not even to have the choice.  

 

 

 

March 16, 2006

No Entry

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 1:34 pm

Mind the Gap has an interesting post about the new Home Office camapign to encourage men to get consent before having sex. You think this would be a simple matter of asking ‘do you want to have sex?’ (or not having sex with someone who is clearly unable to give consent), but apparently for some men this is just too difficult.

For the sheer fuckwittery of some (most?) people’s recation to this idea, see this thread at sky.com. Warning – prepare for your blood pressure to go through the roof as you marvel at the ignorance of these people. The main strands of ‘argument’ seem to be:

  • well, women take advantage of men too!
  • it’s all the fault of the stupid drunken bitches women, for getting so pissed that men can’t help but rape them
  • hey, if there was no rape we’d be living in a utopia!

Great – so it’s all our fault, and even if it isn’t we should just learn to live with it because rape’s part of our society. Well, sod that – if there’s something wrong with your society you try and change it, you don’t passively accept it.

So the upshot is I was really pleased to hear about the Home Office’s camapign. Even if the emphasis is on ‘avoid being falsely accused of rape’ rather than ‘don’t rape women because it’s wrong’, it has to be a step in the right direction. I agree with Winter’s concerns about the posters though – there is something very creepy about the use of the word ‘enter’, and the picture is dreadful. Still, we’ve got to take what we can get I suppose, and at least the government seems to be taking the issue more seriously. If they’d design some better posters they’d be halfway there…

March 15, 2006

Vampires!!!

Filed under: Random — by Lucy @ 2:04 pm

On a lighter note, I’ve been reading this book this week on the recommendation of my mum. It’s fabulous in a gothic sort of way –  very much in the style of Victorian horror/fantasy stuff like Dracula and Frankenstein. There’s been a bit of a vampire theme this week – our cable provider’s just put Buffy season 6 onto its video channel thing. Bring on ‘Once More With Feeling’!

 

Love sex? Hate porn

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 1:49 pm

In my daily trawl through the feminist blogosphere, I came across this insanely long thread at Feministe. It started off as a commentary on ‘infighting’ among feminists, but has now been hijacked by trolls and descended into total confusion and anarchy, so I’m not getting involved.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the supposed war between ‘sex-positive’ feminists and whatever the other kind is supposed to be called now. To be honest I’m not entirely sure where I stand on this one, although I’m finding myself coming down increasingly on the side of the ‘radfems’, as like them I can’t even attempt to justify the production or use of pornography from a feminist perspective.

I love sex (and who doesn’t?) but porn isn’t about sex, it’s about pain, exploitation and hatred. Don’t believe me? Go to this site and check out some of the quotations. The women who participate in this shit aren’t ‘liberated’ or ’empowered’; for the most part they’re scarred and miserable. Sex can be about love, it can be about pleasure, it can be about fun, but it should never, ever be about the exploitation of other people’s pain.

I could go on for pages about this as there’s so much more I want to say, but I’ll save it for another post. Just one thing: before anyone asks, I don’t think the solution is to ‘ban’ porn. I’m not stupid – even I can see that it would be totally unworkable. To be honest I don’t know what the solution is, or even if there is one.

March 14, 2006

Well, let’s give this another go…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Lucy @ 4:58 pm

Welcome (if there’s anyone reading, which I doubt) to my second attempt at blogging. The first one kind of petered out after a few weeks for various reasons, the main one being that I forgot to update it and then couldn’t be bothered. Recently, though, I’ve found myself needing an outlet again to express my anger at the fuckwittery that I encounter on a daily basis. This is (hopefully) it.

I should say before I start that if you’re not of a feminist turn of mind, you should leave and close the door on your way out. There are plenty of places on the net where you can get together in little groups to discuss how feminism’s gone too far, how porn’s really empowering and how women who are raped are just bringing it on themselves. This blog isn’t one of those places.

That said, I hope that this won’t become a solely feminist blog. Strange though it may seem I have more than one interest in life, and I expect posts will crop up on some or all of the following:

1) Politics, especially of a Labour variety
2) Music
3) Books
4) Languages
5) Other random crap

So, introduction over. Here we go…

Hello? Anyone there?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Lucy @ 4:37 pm

 

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