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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

{Edited: Sorry, major trigger warnings. I got carried away and forgot to include that before]

So it’s the weekend and I have to spend it familiarising myself with the role of Tribunals in administrative law in order to write two papers. My favourite.

There’ve been a lot of things I’ve been thinking about and wanting to write about lately:

*   alcoholism and addiction and the seemingly special ways in which addicts can let the people in their lives down – meetings of al-anon (for families and friends of alcoholics) were amazing in that every story you could connect with, laugh before the punchline…it was all too fucking familiar.

*   masculinity and high school, and what’s going to happen to my pint-sized son when he gets there. (This prompts some crazy ‘Perhaps I could home-school’ thinking before I realise I don’t have the resources anyway, and we’d both go batshit crazy)

*   abusive and unhealthy relationships and how divorce is not really the end of things if you have a child – the after effects of abuse, and the physical reactions you have to the person/behaviour. Given the ex is temporarily back in our lives and I’m trying to ensure my son sees him this has been an insane couple of weeks being flooded with that stuff again. Confronted with how very much my life has changed (for the better) but that you’re drawn right back into square-one type reactions when you’re forced to get caught up in managing the Other’s behaviours/irrationality etc

Sigh. So I spent a lot of time sifting through that amongst the full time work, raising my son, attempting study and WOOO_FUCKING_HOO ELECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I also kinda wanted to at least write one proper post today before I hand my weekend over to administrative law.

I came across two articles in the Sydney Morning Herald last week.

One is an opinion piece discussing the progress made by feminists and feminism over the last 30 years with regards to women’s safety in Australia.

The other a report of the rape and resultant death by stoning of a thirteen year old girl in a stadium in Somalia.

Paul Sheehan et al are very keen to shake their fingers at Australian/Western white feminists for ‘not doing more’ to counteract this sort of brutality…

I want to tread really carefully here, but why is it that what ends up happening is that we’re expected to see these things (the plight of women there and here) *in opposition*??

Do NOT get me wrong, and do NOT put words in my mouth: this episode described in Somalia is about as fucked up as it gets. A thirteen year old reports being raped by three men. Nothing happens to the men and she is dragged screaming into a stadium. A truck full of stones is driven to the stadium in order that more people might participate in stoning this child to death for ‘her’ sin…some people object and are restrained, one boy is shot dead for objecting. Some people tried. Others went along with it.

Right…so. As a feminist, as a woman, this melts my fucking brain. It tears my insides, it causes my blood to boil a howl of anguish rips through me that I can’t let out for fear that the sound itself will destroy me and I will be utterly dissolved/eradicated.

But here’s the thing. Yes. It’s *shocking* in its overtness in this instance. But do NOT start up with the us and them crap. You who make/laugh at jokes about the inferiority/irrationality of women, you who turn a deaf ear to misogynist remarks, you who defend Jeremy Clarkson’s right to use the rape and murder of prostitutes as comedy material. You who scold white feminists for not doing more about the bad, the evil ALL THE WAY OVER THERE, ignoring the damning evidence of cases like Leigh Leigh, Anita Cobby, Brandon Teena/Teena Brandon and countless numbers of nameless, faceless women who have suffered just as much at the hands of men determined to break/destroy/annihilate them BECAUSE THEY ARE WOMEN, only the newspapers can’t get quite so much mileage over spilling the gory graphic details all over the papers. Because we LIKE to be scandalised. We like to hear the monster stories. It makes us feel like it’s not *regular men* who do this.

What are FEMINISTS doing about the Evil Others Overseas (because obviously in Australia we have WAY more respect, I mean yeah, groups of men will rape women shouting to them that they deserved it, will piss on her while she screams, will dream up unimaginable horrors to act out on her body for shits and giggles, but that truck shit wouldn’t happen here! Telstra Stadium has RULES man!)???? What the fuck are YOU doing?

We’ve kinda got our hands full here. With you know, the fact that we have the same statistical chance of being raped (in our homes/our beds/on the street/at a party/out celebrating/wherever the fuck we are/whatever the fuck we look like/however the fuck we’re dressed) as men in prison.

WHY? Because MEN have fucked up ideas about women. Feminists are fighting to change that and men are deriding them, mocking them, threatening to unleash some good-ole-sexual violence upon them. (YEAH YEAH, not all men, a tiny percentage actively identify as feminist, and good, we’re glad of them but tell me please what HAVE you done lately, for us here OR for them there?). Maybe YOU could do something about the plight of women overseas since white feminists DO try, DO discuss, DO speak out, DO call for action, over their own plight, and the plight of women in different situations to our own but men like Sheehan conveniently ignore that and use it as yet another moment to spank uppity women and put them in their place. Sound familiar?

So if you can’t see the goddamned OBVIOUS links between the appalling attitudes to women here and overseas, if you can’t see that ALL sexual violence is wrong (NOT a fact of life, NOT inevitable but something MEN could change) and that women’s experiences here and Somalia are a connected continuum and the result of misogyny…then just fuck off with your opinions on feminism. Try reading and learning and shutting your mouth until you do.

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