More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

Posts Tagged ‘wtf


is all I can say.

Head over to Jezebel for more info:

http://jezebel.com/5673680/what-was-marie-claire-thinking-with-this-fatties-piece?skyline=true&s=i

I don’t actually think I buy anything from their advertisers, but I’m double checking and I urge you all to do the same, and if so, change products.

One unintended consequence of the article I’ve felt? Feeling really sorry for the author.

I didn’t expect to! I didn’t intend to!

But someone who holds that much contempt for other people, to the point of being physically sick over their appearance and likening them to heroin addicts (which everyone knows means Bad Person, yeesh), must have a lot of self hatred.

It hurts to see a woman hate her body so much.

And it hurts to know that thousands of women feel the same way.


Okay: Florida just recently passed a bill making women considering abortion undergo an ultrasound.  Oklahoma just tried to pass a similar law. (It is now halted for 45 days while more middle aged white men twiddle their thumbs and consult their religious books.)

Ummmm what?

Is this the newest thing, since recent challenges to Roe vs. Wade haven’t worked?  If you can’t make it illegal, make it more emotionally painful, increase intimidation and government interference, and up the expense? None of these laws, and there are currently twelve involving mandatory or recommended ultrasounds, have anything to do with health or science. There’s no mention of how an ultrasound might increase abortion safety, due to more accurate dating of the pregnancy, or more information on fetal position and other complications. It’s all about convincing a woman to make a decision that the state has decided is the correct one for her, regardless of any of her personal needs.

As written by Cara on Feministe, who says it more eloquently than I could,

“It all seems to be about the poor little woman who doesn’t understand what it means to be pregnant, or who will surely have a change of heart once she sees a blurry, cloudy image that I’ve never been able to personally make out.  It’s about forcing government into the decisions of doctors, trumping science with ideology, and attempting to take away the privacy of women.  Indeed, it’s about taking the focus off of women and their rights and yet again putting the fetus, this time literally, right in the front and center of the picture.”

Yup!

-Radfemles


Iceland, which banned prostitution last year, has now banned all strip clubs and “any business that makes money off of nudity.”

I mentioned a few posts back about the anti/pro sex feminism chasm, and this is a big example of the anti-sex side. A lot of immediate reactions I’ve heard to this new legislation (after “people go topless in Iceland? Isn’t it cold?! GAHHH) tend to support it, under the guise of protecting women. But who are we protecting women from, and who is doing the protecting?

Here are a few things to think about before supporting this type of legislation in your community and abstractly.

Making things illegal doesn’t mean they stop existing. They go underground, where the likelihood for crime and abuse skyrockets. Banning stripping doesn’t mean banning strippers, it means banning strippers in public places. Back alleys and underground clubs aren’t the sort of public that respond to that regulation too well.

-Limiting options isn’t feminist. Regulating women’s sexual expression and what they can do with it isn’t what was fought for.

-What happens next? Are these sources of money going to be replaced by other jobs that these women have skills for? “Helping” women who haven’t asked for your help by “liberating” them and then leaving them high and dry only opens them up to further abuse.

Assuming demographics makes an Ass out of U and Me. All too often, anti sex feminists support an image of a downtrodden woman, suffering from abuse and drug habits, as the main workers in the sex industry.  These people totally exist, but those who choose to work in the sex industry through no coercion are impacted negatively by these sort of bans.

So what’s a feminist to do? I’m going to go with: support a moderate option! (Being moderate is very radical these days, people. Isn’t it crazy?)

Regulate the sex industry! Make it safe for women to request their rights and have a safe, judgement free legal system to go to! Offer support programs for workers lacking options! Promote a fair living wage for all workers, and judgement free, affordable healthcare for those in the industry. Stop the circumstances that result in people being forced into the sex industry, i.e: have programs that target violence, poverty, substance abuse and promote education and job training.

Make the industry safe and consensual by eliminating undesirable factors that make women feel forced to enter the sex industry and allowing those who wish to work in it a safe, healthy, respectful environment.

All too often we find ourselves separate from these issues: “I’d never want to work there!! Who would!!!” (that’s my inital reaction, srsly, I understand.) but eliminating options and looking down on other women for their choices isn’t cool, either.

Over and out,

Radfemles


Wait, are grown up, elected, paid officials really yelling “babykillers!” while debating legislature?

Really?

I keep trying to write a witty sentence or two of commentary, but I just keep coming back to really?, so I’ll leave it at that.

Srsly, really?

There is nothing radical about screaming like a (wanted) baby.


Terry O’Neill: “Health Care Reform Victory Comes with Tragic Setback for Women’s Rights”

Yet again, women’s health is a tool to be negotiated with in order to appease those who wish to legalize discriminiation against women. Good job!

Support your local abortion fund TODAY! The Stupak amendment didn’t get passed, but the spirit of the amendment did. Women aren’t to have equal access to health care or access to reproductive choices

Yay for getting something called “Health Care Reform” passed. Boo for it being a sad, watered down excuse at what should have been accomplished. I didn’t elect these representatives to allow myself to be treated as the second class citizen many members of the right wing view me as.


Utah did not pass the bill to criminalize miscarriages! Some common sense and the public backlash definitely helped, I think. Good job talking about it and getting the word out, people! This is a nice sized triumph. : )


When someone calls you out for a privileged comment, it can be hard to realize that you were in the wrong. After all, everyone you know uses that word/you didn’t know it meant that/you didn’t mean it THAT way/you weren’t doing it on purpose/other people are too sensitive, right?

Wrong.

This has come up lately with the word “gypped” in my experience. Gypped is a racist term against Roma. When we use the term, we further the prejudice against the Roma and the stereotype that institutionalized the word and made it part of our vocabulary. So let’s imagine a dialogue right now:

Mary Sue: “That vendor gypped me!”

Becky Jean: “Mary Sue, gypped is sort of a racist term. Do you mean he cheated you?”

Mary Sue: “I’m not a racist! How dare you! Everyone uses that term, it’s not about black people or anything!!! Why are you attacking me, you’re not perfect!!!”

Becky Jean: “I know you don’t consider yourself a racist, but the language you use can betray your actual beliefs, so you need to be careful. I’m not attacking you, I’m informing you so that you can look into the term and eliminate racism from your vocabulary, so your words match up with the lifestyle you want to lead. The term refers to a stereotype of the Roma people, often referred to as Gypsies, and they suffer a lot of discrimination and hate, so we need to not further that with our words.I’m sorry if you felt attacked, that was not my intention.”

Now ideally, this is where Mary Sue calms down a little and says…

“Oh, I’m sorry I got so upset. Racist is such a scary term, and I immediately jump to my own defense. I was scared of my beliefs and words not matching up. Thanks for telling me. I know you don’t mean that I hate others, just that we live in a racist world and need to be conscious of our speech. Are there any other terms like that I should be aware of? We can help educate each other.”

Or…

“It isn’t racist!! I don’t even know any gypsies, and everyone uses the word!! You’re oversensitive, and you can’t save the world!!! I didn’t MEAN it, so it shouldn’t matter!!”

And here is where you want to cry, or start poking them very hard in the eye, right?

Well, violence is never the answer, and though crying might help you feel a bit better, it should probably be saved for when you can hug a puppydog and rant about the injustices of the world to your stuffed animals and significant other.  And since right now, Becky Jean wants to come away from this conversations positively affecting Mary Sue, we’ll skip the crying.

Ganieda, one of our lovely commenters, linked me to this excellent post entitled “How to Discuss Race and Racism without Being a Jerk.” My favorite part is the part she quoted to me, during yet another of my epic rants about NOT BEING ABLE TO GET THROUGH TO PEOPLE AND GETTING FRUSTRATED

“Intentions aren’t the only thing that matters.

(Last one, and it’s short.) Suppose I step on someone’s foot. They say, “hey, ouch, you stepped on my foot.”

My proper response is, “Gosh, I’m sorry. I’ll be more careful.” Depending on the situation, I might add something like, “I was looking for my kid’s sneaker that she always kicks off,” or “I’ve got something in my contact,” etc.

My proper response is not, “Well, I didn’t mean to step on your foot, so why are you angry?!” “

This is a great example to point out to Mary Sue. You can explain yourself, you can ask for reassurance that the person calling you out isn’t considering you a Bad Person, but you have to show that you realize that your intention is not the be all and end all of the term and that it has a greater affect than “just being a word.”

Which is why Mary Sue’s explanation of not knowing the term’s severity and feeling attacked is a lot more valid and provides a lot more discussion than “well I didn’t know!!! you’re oversensitive!!!”

Another great example is a few posts earlier, in my Yay Spain! post. A commenter called me out on the image of Spain I’d put out. I apologized, agreed with her that my words did not get across my intentions, and explained what I exactly meant. Voila! Did it feel good being called out? No, I felt bad about unintentionally perpetuating a harmful stereotype by not using my words in a clear manner. But I drank some lemonade, felt sad for a minute, then sucked it up and responded. And I learned from it.

Now, if you’re wondering why I have a very long post on racism, the answer is intersectionality, and because the following tips can be used with sexists as well! Along with ableists and homophobes and sizeists and…..

More about intersectionality this time. Off to eat pizza bagels!