The Shouty Woman

January 31, 2007

5.7%

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 3:32 pm

‘Bees’ and ‘Wasps’ unite! Here’s something we can all get furious about.

Conviction rates for rape in the UK are low, and getting lower. In the worst-performing county in 2004 (go Gloucestershire! What an accolade!), only one case out of 116 resulted in a conviction. One case – that’s a conviction rate of 0.86%. The ‘best-performing’ county, Northamptonshire, managed to reach the dizzy heights of 14%. The average is around 5.7%.

All this is made even worse, of course, when we take into account the number of rapes that are not even reported – generally thought to be between 80 and 90%. The best-case scenario, then, is that 14% of 20% of all rapes lead to a conviction. However you look at it, that’s a hell of a lot of rapists walking the streets.

The extraordinary thing about these statistics is the relentless downward trend. In 1980 women had a one in three chance of seeing their rapist put away. Why, in an age of ‘post-feminism’, when feminism is supposedly no longer needed, is rape seen as an irrelevance?

Look at the comments section of the BBC article. Man after man whines about miscarriages of justice, false allegations and ‘her word against his’. What are the women saying?

“I was raped when I was 15 and still a virgin.”

“I was raped in December 2005 and I never reported it to the police. Mostly because I knew it wouldn’t be taken seriously”

“I was involved in a high profile rape case where a photographer I visited ‘tried’ to rape me. I did not report this as I felt in some way to blame as I felt that I should have not have put myself in the situation in the first place.”

Rape victims are coming forward, speaking up, and still society blocks its ears to their testimony. Women lie; women are sluts; women get drunk; women walk home alone; women wear short skirts, women accept lifts from friends; women are dirty; women deserve it. Never mind the women; what about the men?

What will it take for people to pay attention? How many more suicides? How many more lives destroyed? How many more rapists freed to rape again? Look me in the eye now and tell me we don’t need feminism. We will need feminism as long as there is even one woman who sees her attacker walk free.

January 29, 2007

Who’s Immoral?

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 2:57 pm

Let me get this straight (no pun intended). Gay people shouldn’t be allowed to adopt because their ‘lifestyle’ is ‘immoral’, yet pieces of shit like this are just fine as potential carers, simply because they labelled themselves Christian?

Being ‘Christian’ – in fact, belonging to any religion at all – does not automatically make you fit to look after children. In many cases, it seems to make you less fit – after all, the parents in the above article believed they were doing God’s will when they savagely beat their adopted son and left him to die. The Catholic Church doesn’t have such a great track record, either – read this for a horrific account of abuse in Catholic-run orphanages.

None of this means, of course, that all religious people are a menace to children – no-one sane could argue that. So why then are the religious lobby trying to make the same argument in relation to gay people? Would they really rather see a child placed in an insitution than send her to live with a loving gay couple? What is it that terrifies them so much?

These bigots need to examine their own behaviour, and that of their fellow ‘Christians’, before claiming the moral high ground. If other people’s consensual sex lives are more important to them than the welfare of the children they claim to care about, it’s they who are immoral – not the gay people they so despise.

January 22, 2007

My 2 Cents

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 4:44 pm

I’ve been trying to avoid commenting on the latest anti-trans bilefest, simply because it made me so angry that I couldn’t produce an articulate response. All I’ll say on the matter is that Little Light is an incredible woman and I bow down in awe before her writing.

One thing I will say, though, is that I find it incredibly disturbing that once again radical feminists are using the same arguments as the religious right to justify their bigotry. How is claiming ‘you cannot be a real woman unless you’ve given/ have the capacity to give birth’ any different to the frothing fundie’s argument that ‘real women’ want to settle down and have children? Why is it oppressive and wrong when men judge women solely in terms of their bodies, but fine when transpeople are on the receiving end of the same judgement?

And that really is all I’ll say. I’m determined to write about something other than these endless convoluted interblog arguments; they do tend to suck you in, though.

January 12, 2007

And On It Goes

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 12:50 pm

So, Ginmar and others – I bet you think you’re really clever. That’s what feminism’s all about, isn’t it – attacking a fellow feminist to the point where she considers self-harm? Just what the Suffragists were fighting for all those years ago.

Laura’s blog was one of the first I found when I began my journey into the world of online feminism. It was she and others who inspired me to blog myself, and to start blogging again when I took a break. She is a fantastic writer and a deeply committed feminist.

So, Ginmar etc, what is it you want to achieve in attacking and belittling women like Laura? When the last non radfem/ ‘pro porn’/ sex-positive/ just-a-bit-different voice has been driven out of the blogosphere, is that when the real revolution can begin? The one where men, and not women, are the targets? Because – call me stupid – I thought that was what your brand of feminism was all about. Something seems to have gone wrong somewhere.

What will it take for you to examine your own behaviour rather than that of every other fucking person on the internet? Shouldn’t the fact that the target of your hatred almost cut herself be a sign that you’ve got some serious thinking to do? Never forget that behind the cute pseudonyms and Blogger profiles are real people, with real feelings, and that what we type in this strange, insular community can have real consequences.

These latest hatefests have made something clear to me. The real dividing line isn’t between radfem and sex-pos, or pro- and anti-porn, or even between men and women. It’s between those with empathy and those without it.

January 8, 2007

What was I saying about being nice…?

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 6:25 pm

This shit is getting out of hand.

I’m not linking to the original post because I think it’s truly vile, but follow the above links and you’ll get there.

Note to the originator of the ‘bee’ analogy and others: you don’t get to decide what feminism is. You don’t get to launch vicious, childish personal attacks on people and then claim it’s not a problem because it’s done in the name of the One True Way. And most of all, you don’t then get to express surprise when people get fed up with your particular brand of feminism.

I’ve got news for you: like many of the others you consider ‘wasps’ or whatever your metaphor is, I am still anti-porn. I think most porn is misogynist and damaging to women’s sexuality. I no longer write about this on my blog because it’s a debate that has been played out endlessly, and everyone already knows everyone else’s views. Contrary to what you believe, only one of the ‘wasps’ even describes herself as ‘pro-porn’. If you bothered to engage with people at all, or made an effort to understand where they’re coming from, you might have realised this earlier.

You can delink people, blacklist people and put people on ‘endangered lists’ to your heart’s content. In doing so you are ignoring powerful feminist voices and dismissing other women’s experience as worthless, but hey, that’s what your philosophy seems to be all about.

It wasn’t the ‘pro-pornies’ who turned me away from radical feminism: I did it all on my own. Can you guess why?

January 5, 2007

To the person who got here with the search term ‘fed up with arsehole boyfriend’…

Filed under: Random — by Lucy @ 5:23 pm

If he’s that much of an arsehole, he’s not worth it. In the words of Dan Savage – Dump The Motherfucker Already.

Play Nicely

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 11:06 am

What upsets me about the eternal feminist blog-wars isn’t so much the points of view expressed – after all, a debate wouldn’t be much of a debate without differences of opinion. No, what really gets to me is the sheer nastiness of some of the participants. Time and time again we see newcomers politely attempting to join a discussion and being hounded out by people unwilling to acknowledge dissent. Women whose beliefs differ from the  accepted standard- however slightly – are attacked, belittled and dismissed as ‘trolls’. It’s not surprising that many feminist bloggers and commenters have simply decided to give up.

At the risk of sounding trite, niceness doesn’t cost anything. You may disagree violently with someone; you may feel strongly that their beliefs, or lifestyle, or interpretation of feminism, or whatever are misguided and wrong, but that does not give you the right to treat them like shit. Unless someone has blatantly come to your blog to troll, they deserve a fair hearing. ‘Mean feminism’ is fine in a vaccuum, but most of us live in the real world, with other people, where meanness isn’t a very productive strategy. 

It’s because I’m so hung up on ‘niceness’ that I try only to comment on blogs where I know I’ll feel welcome. I disagree with Belldame, Amber and Antiprincess on certain things (I think my opinion on the dreaded p-words, for example, is pretty different from theirs), but they are always polite, civil and willing to engage in debates rather than slanging matches. I’ve learned from them and in some cases have actually changed my own views as a result.

Feminism will only move forward if we can move past our differences. Let’s be honest; we will never reach a consensus on porn and prostitution, but there are so many things we do agree on, and so much we could achieve together. So, be nice, and listen to other women. You may even learn something.

On a happier note, it’s my 25th birthday today. Party for nice feminists at my house!

January 3, 2007

Satire

Filed under: Politics — by Lucy @ 4:36 pm

Bush Urges Iraqis to Pass Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

Heh. 

I’m Back

Filed under: Random — by Lucy @ 1:18 pm

Hope a good holiday was had by all. Post to follow once something makes me angry.

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