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Feminist Tyson, Rape Manuals & Texas Justice

20 Jun

Image

Oy vey. So much going on in the news: a 15 year old girl is told to cover up by a TSA agent, a man was acquitted by a jury even though he killed an escort in Texas, there is a rape manual on kickstarter, and Tyson is a feminist?

This is madness.

The story about the man who was acquitted by a Texas jury, even though he murdered an escort, is something everyone has been talking about. The jury took 11 hours, split over two days, to decide whether or not to convict him. He would have faced a life sentence in jail. Admittedly, I’m not always sure what the correct punishment is for people. I am not a believer that jail solves things. I do think it is sometimes necessary. I also  know our prisons are overrun and run for profit much of the time. I hope this man has to go through serious counseling, at the very least and serves some kind of time for something. I don’t know what the clear answer is here.

But that he was found NOT guilty because under Texas law, he had a right to shoot her because she had stolen his property: either his money or HER vagina..

That’s what gets to me. This is wrong. This is flat out wrong.
You do not have the RIGHT to shoot an escort because she chose not to have sex with you. No, you don’t. You.. DON’T. I don’t know if he had the intent to kill–likely not. Maybe he meant to seriously harm but not kill (not that it matters in my book). I don’t think most people are sociopaths (that’s 4% of our population). I don’t think most people mean to do a LOT of things they do but they do them and they should be punished adequately. What I do think happened is this man was raised in a culture where it is okay to shoot people whenever he feels he hasn’t gotten what he wanted. That is clear because the jury supported him. This woman did not pose a threat to him. She did not break into his house, with a gun or any other weapon, threaten him, etc.. He lost money. He shot her over $150.

But the reasons.. the reasons for which her death was justified by the jury not convicting him? I.. I am at a loss for words. How is that anyone can claim you have a right to shoot someone because they won’t give you their vagina?

At any point in time, businesses have a right to refuse service. What he should have done instead of SHOOTING her was finding a way to get his money back. He clearly didn’t understand what an escort is and paid thinking the service was something else (prostitution).  Okay, so he was upset he didn’t get the service he paid for (though not one she offers,clearly). You cannot SHOOT people because you are pissed you didn’t get the service you thought you would.

Why.. why is this any different? Oh right because it’s about sex and women’s bodies and people still think you can possess them whenever you want. That you can own people. And is that so surprising in a world where slavery STILL exists?

This blows my mind. Really. I don’t know what else I can say about it that anyone else hasn’t already said.

To the TSA agent who shamed a young girl in public for her clothes (reminds me of the University student who wrote a letter to the girl about what she was wearing, that it was distracting and she should protect the men around her):

There are some things you should keep to yourself. That comment was one of them. If you are uncomfortable with the way she was dressed, it is not up to you to embarrass her. If she was being rude or upsetting people around her, I could understand why you might want to speak up and correct her behavior but you have ZERO right to tell her what she can and cannot wear.

That is up to her parent. Not you. So zip it.

It came to my attention yesterday that there is.. a rape manual seeking support on Kickstart. Of course, that isn’t what the authors calls it but the exerts on Reddit clearly lay it out for anyone to read. I quote:

“All the greatest seducers in history could not keep their hands off of women. They aggressively escalated physically with every woman they were flirting with. They began touching them immediately, kept great body language and eye contact, and were shameless in their physicality. Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically.”

“Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”

Sex

Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”

Wow. Just..

(crickets) (blink).. (blink)…

This is dangerous and I’m glad it’s being talked about. There is a difference between being dominant and being an aggressor. First rule: You ALWAYS ask for permission. Good grief. Always. Nothing gets past that.

You cannot be dominant toward someone you don’t know. You cannot be aggressive toward someone who hasn’t said that they liked it or it was okay.

This is immature masculinity. This is exactly what I spoke about in the radio show yesterday. We have to replace this with mature masculinity. There is no other option. You do not need to take in order to get something you want. If you do this, if we practice this, we will keep violence in our societies.

What people repeatedly miss about dominance is that you can only take something that has been given to you. Doing anything less than that makes you a predator, an aggressor, an assaulter. People get caught up in the romantic notion of “man grabs woman around waist because she says no but he knows.. she wants him.. because she kisses him passionately and slowly sinks down to her knees..” Lets stop there shall we? That is the picture this guy is painting. No is not a yes. I do understand that some people play that game of “come get me. I’m going to say no but I really just want you to chase me and pin me down and take me.” But that has to be discussed. It is NOT a default all women possess. You might luck out and it might be something she wants.. Or, you’re a rapist.

Is that something you want to risk?! I don’t! I don’t want to risk that.

Get the consent first, then play.

And by the way, the hand on the thigh or small of my back when I haven’t asked for it? Really creepy.. Really, really creepy. But the hand on my thigh or small of my back when I have given my consent to that person? Hawt.

Consent is sexy.

*****

Tyson a feminist. Well.. I’m not sure I’d call him a feminist (mainly because it is a little disconcerning to be called something when you haven’t said it yourself. It feels forced and pushed on you, you know?) but I do appreciate his recent insights into his humanity and community.

SLCFeminist is pretty upset Clutch Magazine recently called Mike Tyson a sort of feminist.

but one comment a feminist does not make. Danielles explains how she cannot, “condone his violent behavior, especially when it was directed toward women,” but she can understand,  ”how he got there.” Wait, what?! Ultimately, she tells the reader that, “Feminism seeks to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, are treated as equal human beings. And that’s what Mike Tyson wants–to be seen as human. It’s what we all want.” Fair enough, feminism advocates for fair treatment of human beings, but fair treatment of human beings doesn’t necessitate that feminists overlook a harried history of an abusive misogynist because he makes a few salient comments.

Well, that is true. Making a few enlightened comments doesn’t make anyone anything. When you identify with an idea, or belief, or focus, that is done with a lot of active work. So I agree with SLCFeminist. This doesn’t make him a feminist but his recent reflection does line up with feminist ideals. He said:

“We as people — men — in my experience, we are told we are superior to women, they come from our rib and this and that. That’s all our insecurity, to make us feel like someone, like a slave master. I’m so happy to reach a stage in my life, a paradigm shift. Everything I did believe was a goddamn lie.”

Read the rest of the article here. I think that is an awesome thing to come to terms with Mike. You’ve done quite a bit of damage and your self in the present is much better than the one before. I’m happy for that. I don’t know the details of the accusations against him as a rapist. I know he was convicted. Considering how hard it is to convict anyone of rape, I have a feeling he’s guilty. The evidence must have been pretty damn good. It’s clear you have a ways to go.

but at least you have a good start.. I guess.
Too bad it was so bad for so long..
But at least.. it sounds like you’re doing the right thing now. That’s all anyone could hope for.

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NJ High School Tells Girls No Strapless Dresses *Edited*

8 May

No no

I read the article about the New Jersey high school dress code not allowing strapless dresses to be worn at prom because it is too “distracting.” Some parents agreed with the rule and others claimed this was slut shaming.

For me, this is particularly interesting issue. I agree with skirts not being allowed to be shorter than 6 inches or have to be longer than where your finger tips reach on your thighs when you put your hands down at your sides. And this rule that the high school has passed into dress code is interesting. Why am I not upset about the idea of a teen girl wearing a strapless dress but I am upset when teen girls wear things that are too tight or too short.

Why is one thing okay and another is not?

The most notable piece of information here is the environment. In one scenario, the teen girl is at school, in class (presumably). The other scenario is her at a high school dance. In class, a dress code makes sense because class is about learning and it isn’t about fashion (well, I don’t feel it should be in high school). But a prom is about having fun, dancing and having the time of your life.

Personally, I don’t understand why girls wear short dresses when they go to dance. I have tried it and while I looked fabulous (yes!) I couldn’t dance the way I wanted to. A girl needs to get down!

I do think we need dress codes for minors but where do you draw the line? A strap seems to be a ridiculous line to me. If they were discuss dress lengths, on the other hand, I would be inclined to agree.. But why?

What makes this slut shaming? It’s that their reason is it will be too distracting for the boys. But isn’t that the reason for a lot of girls’ dress codes in school? It’s wrong. That can’t be the reason anymore. It should not be allowed. We can’t talk about it like this anymore because that is distracting from the real issue here: that girls are responsible for not distracting boys’ attention, that we are responsible for their successes or failures at school. And vica versa! We are responsible for our own behavior. It is about personal responsibility and not blaming others. But I am not against the idea of dress codes or dressing guidelines simply because it keeps everyone on a “equal” level (and no, I did not attend a school with a uniform. I also thought this was as a high schooler and my opinion hasn’t changed because I’m older).

Strange. I had never thought about it before. What are your thoughts?

Also, recently I noticed how uncomfortable I am when little girls wear make up. I’ve always been uncomfortable with it but now I am really uncomfortable with it. The first thing I think of is pedophiles and how inappropriate it is for a little girl to look like a grown woman.

I do understand where people are coming from when they say “But if she hadn’t dressed like that she wouldn’t have been attacked.” Maybe this line of thinking starts when girls are little. It doesn’t mean it’s correct. It’s just something we’ve carried on.

That is something to ponder. What do you think?

P.S. It is very important for me to note here there is a difference between telling children/young adults what is appropriate to wear and telling a grown ass woman what is appropriate for her to wear. But right now, I don’t know the lines sometimes.

W. Va Schools Face Deciding to Including Sexuality in Anti-Bullying Policy

8 Nov

SeattlePI.com reports that the 75-page student conduct and disciplinary policy, which will be voted on December 14, lists 12 common reasons a child could be bullied, including race; color; religion; gender; ancestry; national origin; socioeconomic status; academic status; physical appearance; and mental, physical or developmental disability.

It’s the inclusion of gender identity or expression and sexual orientation that have some groups, such as the Family Policy Council, labeling the policy ‘dangerous and expansive.'” ( “Proposed Anti-Bullying Policy for W. Va. Schools Sparks Controversy” by Winston Gieseke for http://www.advocate.com)

No matter what an individual thinks of the LGBT community, this is a good policy to have in place. I understand the discomfort of parents who send their children to any W. Virginia schools. I understand that some people feel being gay is wrong and they do not want their children exposed to it.

But the truth is there is a lot of heartache for children who are being picked on because they either are, might be, or are suspected to be gay. I’m sure gay kids are not the only ones who are picked on. Kids find any reason to bully each other if they want to. This policy protects their children further but it’s scary because it may put pressure on parents to talk about what “gay” is and then they are further challenged .. because it forces them to set a good example.

I was just asking myself this question the other day: How do I be understanding and accepting while not accepting things I don’t believe in, into my life?

It’s a tough question and not an easy situation but it is simple. The thing all Americans love to boast is that no matter if I agree with you, you have a right to speak out and I have a right not to listen. It’s my freedom. I love this philosophy behind being an American.

I think it was five years ago when the KKK marched in a town I lived in. I could not disagree more with the KKK’s beliefs. They make me sick to my stomach but if I take away their right to speak freely and live as they wish (as long as they are not doing anything illegal), then who is to say mine cannot also be taken away?

No matter how strongly opposed to the idea of being gay a person might be.. they have a right to be here and to be protected.  It may disgust some, but they do have a right to pursue happiness in any way they see fit (again, as long as it isn’t illegal).

We need this policy for those children who are being picked whether or not they’re gay. It simply isn’t right and that is what parents should focus on; the good of all.

 

Shake Your Tail Feather, Fellas

12 Oct

Two years ago in November I went to the Everything To Do With Sex Show in Toronto. It’s an annual event I highly recommend attending (it’s a tour throughout Canada and also makes a stop in LA. Check the link for tour dates). I saw all kinds of things, most of which I don’t remember. What I do remember is how overwhelming huge it was (that’s what she said) and the giant inflatable penis I took a picture with. It was too funny.

I saw glass dildos and wooden dildos for the first time. I asked the wood dildo crafter (what else do you call them?) “Why would anyone buy a wooden dildo and not glass one? Wouldn’t you get splinters?” No, he said. It has that coating over it to protect it. It’s light and safe in water. I’ll never forget what he pointed out about glass dildos. “Sometimes, sometimes, they can break if you heat them up and cool them down a lot.” Revulsion and terror ran through my body thinking about what that must be like. That was the conversation I thought of when reading this story. It doesn’t state she was using a glass dildo… just the thought of something inside destroying.. Anyway, read the story.

*shudders*

*****

A few weeks ago, I read Mistress Matisse’s column, “Control Tower” in The Stranger. Here is what she said:

“In that worldview, women are assigned value based on appearance. We may get a low score or a high one, but we can’t opt out.
Now, it’s sexy to be objectified when you want to be.
Performing a stylized female sexiness on chosen occasions is both a gift to a lover and a narcissistic pleasure.
Trying to be a sex bomb all the time, however, is tiring, expensive, and hard on anyone’s self-esteem.
That pressure creates some female resentment of men, because men aren’t expected to do the same.”

But it’s more accurate to say we don’t allow them to.”

Touche Mistress, touche.
I was dragged to a Chippendale show in Reno eight years ago. I scoffed at the idea and about half-way through the show until I saw someone I thought was super sexy. That made all the difference but the idea of men prancing around in a thong shaking their bottoms was ridiculous to me. You could’ve summed up my attitude with this: “That’s women’s work.” I know a lot of people will not agree with my opinion that objectification is not bad. Listen, I loooove looking at my man. I looooove looking at myself sometimes and whenever I go out on the town, I see women who are freaking HOT. I appreciate that! The truth is we objectify all the time. Objectification is bad when that’s all you’re summed up to be. Don’t lose sight that person is living, breathing and is as equally valuable as you are, as are all living things.

But the idea of objectifying men? Weird.

I was shocked sitting in my anthropology class when I learned about males dancing sensually for women, to turn them on and lure them into their beds. They danced seductively. It was a difficult idea to understand but now that I’m a little older, a little more open, a little wiser.. I see that men just wanna shake up and fluff up their feathers for us too. We should let them.

And no, it doesn’t make them silly or gay. Just makes them a little flashy. It isn’t just women’s work,  you know.

I Love You, Jamey Rodemeyer

23 Sep

“People were really cruel to me, bullied a lot, beat up, thrown against the walls, lockers, windows, stuffed into bathroom stalls, people shit on my car, people scratched my car, broke my windows.. and my parents went in to talk to the school administrators about the harassment I was getting in school. One of them basically said ‘If you look that way, talk that way, walk that way, act that way, then there’s nothing we can do to help your son.'” Terry, the partner of Dan Savage (founder of the It Gets Better Project), said these words in the video above. I chose to highlight these words because it highlights the fundamental problem in the way human beings think about sexuality that lead to further bullying and supporting sexual assault.

Today I read about Jamey Rodemeyer’s death. Reading about it broke my heart, man.. It really did.. He was so young. I watched his video for the It Gets Better Project (Yes, he made a video encouraging hope months before he took his life). It was obvious he was sweet, sensitive and conscious. We really needed more people like him. Lets not waste the impact of his death because each and every one of us is a special, ordinary person that matters. I am thankful that he had a supportive community to balance evil he faced from his peers. I want to say thank you to the people who stood by him. I hope none of his supporters are blaming themselves for this. You did more than you will ever know. I’m so, so sorry his life ended this way.

I used to think suicide was selfish. The first time someone very close to me in my family attempted suicide, I was angry for years. I thought this person was inconsiderate to the people around them and weak. It took me 5 or 6 years to understand how much grief comes over someone to consider suicide. That person is so far gone into hopelessness, so far gone.. I can hardly imagine. The second time someone else in my family attempted suicide, I was full of rage at the people I felt pushed him to it. Yeah, this person chose to attempt suicide but those people.. pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. Eventually, a person will break down, no matter how strong willed they are.

When someone is in this kind of aching, it is important to be compassionate. The world has already been brutal enough toward them.

Terry’s words in the video above struck home with me. If he had been different, if he had done something different, then he could receive help. Lets place the blame where it belongs: on the one bullying, shaming and being an inconsiderate evil little monster. As much anger as I have toward these people that pushed this kid this far, I know that the way to beat anything is to be the thing it is not. What they offered was hate; we can offer love. I don’t mean being soft. I mean being challenging and educating. I mean, stretching the boundaries of the heart and finding a way past our anger to kick this kind of thing to the curb. Enough.

It was enough a long time ago but goddamnit, no more. Be kind to each other. Please, for the love of this kid, be kind. Whatever your actions are it is your thoughts that fuel the energy behind them. Pay attention; they matter.

French Woman Sues Ex-Husband for Sex

6 Sep

A 51-year-old French man is being sued by his ex-wife because he did not have sex with her for much of their marriage. Here is the link for the story but I summed it up with that first sentence.

When someone has committed themselves to a monogamous marriage, it is understood that person they are committed to is the one and only person they will have sex with. Practice and theory are quite different but this idea is what it is and these two people have chosen this with their own free thinking minds. Of course, I’m assuming no one was forced into this arrangement.

The Frenchman’s lawyer argues on his client was not sexually active with his (ex) wife due to work stress and illness.

I’m a little repulsed by the idea of sex being my “duty” to anyone. I have sex with someone because I choose to, not because I have to. Okay, I’m not a little repulsed; I’m disgusted with the phrasing. Even though someone has vowed to be with their partner “until death do us part,” assuming they used traditional Christian vows, does anyone owe anyone else sex? Even your life partner?

I do think having sex with your partner is a vital and essential part of taking care of their well being but that is also a deeply personal thing. I am choosing to allow that person inside my body, or in a man’s case he chooses to be inside of someone else. I firmly believe in traditional marriage values but I also believe that I have ownership over my own body, no matter what. I feel my partner has that same authority of their body. No one gets to decide for me what I do with my body and no one should pressure me either.

This woman’s move to sue her ex-husband for lack of sex disgusts me. Sue him for many things, if you wish, but you have no ownership over his body.

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