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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

Tag Archives: feminism

One. More. Time.

FEMINISTS are arguing for Sarah Palin to be taken seriously as a candidate. We’re busy discussing her politics, the issues, what she stands for – the mainstream media is discussing her possible extra marital affairs, her daughter’s pregnancy, her pregnancy, can a ‘Mom’ work in the Whitehouse, and…VPILF:

Sydney Morning Herald Screenshot today?

The writing chopped off that should be seen running across the bottom of the picture:

Cocktail of Cleavage and Authority – Sarah Palin is having a remarkable effect on the conservative male

The pic leads to an Annabel Crab article, whom normally I love, but occasionally get shitted by – for the laughs she will dilute or skate right over the top of the issues that are the basis of the article.

Today we got a run down of men’s infatuation with Palin and Thatcher, including a “rough translation” of a Silvio Berlusconi quote that Thatcher was a ‘nice piece of pussy’. We get:

It’s something more; a compelling cocktail – authority plus maternalism, with a hint of cleavage.

Matron’s back.

And she’s hot.

And she’s armed.

Call it the dominatrix effect; it’s the same element that used to turn grown men into fawning, wobbling supplicants before the former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

She makes the quick point that Clinton was never discussed in these terms* (that’s right, and it deserves more than the one small paragraph it got – perhaps a look at the implications of this bullshit misogyny) – before attention turned to the *FAIL* by feminists to ‘deal elegantly with Palin’. Jeez, sorry we’re not being elegant, we’re busy discussing her stance on the *issues*.

So anyway, what’s Crab’s *evidence* of this humongous *Failure of the Feminists*?? Oh yeah. That the National Organisation for Women won’t back her play – that’s right the National Organisation for Women is busy fighting for women’s rights and choices. They aren’t going to back an anti-choice, anti-equality, anti-sex-ed candidate just because she’s got tits. In Crabbe’s books it’s a FAIL!!!! FAIL N.O.W, FAIL ALL FEMINISTS EVERYWHERE ON THE BACK OF JUST ONE QUOTE!!! FAAAAAAAIIIIIIIILLLL!!!

She sees this *failure* to back Palin/a woman,any woman, as a diminishment of the National Organisation for Women. I see it as standing for the rights of women to make choices, that’s right, the rights of the women whom Palin’s government would like to deny their choices, AND for the rights of Sarah Palin. We’re not denying her her *right* to stand for office, we’re excercising our right to say “She is NOT a friend of women’s rights to choose when/how they reproduce, whom they love – we wish her success and gainful employment, but we do NOT endorse her as a political candidate”.

The National Organisation for Women should NOT be backing a candidate simply because she ís a woman. Or because she is a mother. Or because she is a hot mother/woman. Or because she is a hot and able to shoot mother/woman.   

I expected better from Crab. Not ‘because she is a woman’ because Miranda Devine is a woman (and by the way I would still fight for Devine’s rights to choose her lifestyle, to not be subject to harrasment) but because she can write well, and because she has the facts at her disposal – why did she not mention the explosion of feminist blog posts keeping an eye on the sexism of the media’s treatment of Palin, why did she not acknowledge WHY N.O.W would not endorse an anti-choice, anti-rights-for-same-sex-partners, anti sex-ed candidate?

*It’s true that for all the sex scandal surrounding Clinton, we’d never run a headline about his intoxicating “Cocktail of COCK and Charm”. 

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Look, I should say up front I am a little grouchy of late over feeling like as a woman I am being ‘locked out’ of certain cultural experiences. Since it’s acceptable to slip in slaps in the face to the idea that a woman might be more than a live blow up doll, might aspire to be more than the focus of mastabatory desire into songs, ads, movies, television, office banter etc etc ad infinitum, I am feeling a little like I am getting a giant “up yours” from the writers/speakers of such media/forums.

So…perhaps I am being mildy uncharitable but I really think not.

The Gruen Transfer [triumphant horn music heralding the arrival of an ALL NEW type of television show…intelligent debate, insight, critical thinking and ‘clever’ humour].

Now, don’t get me wrong…there’s space for all this, and a show about advertising, a show which ‘bites back’, talks back, debates, unpacks, pokes fun at, subverts is more than bloody welcome, it’s a necessity. Except that this show stops short almost every single time. The best one liner? From a woman. In response to the question “What’s wrong with this ad?” the prompt delivery “There’s no brown people”. Which is great. Except The Gruen Transfer is there for the quick hit one liner, not to actually engage with these issues.

Episode One I think (which of course featured scantily clad young hotties): One panelist observes in horror that only one percent of Australian women think they are beautiful!!! Does anyone take up the invitation to intelligently discuss the role of advertising in this mindset? Oh no, Wil (as ever) goes for the cheap gag, quipping that that one percent are “up ’emselves!”.

I thought, Hmm, the guy who made this point might make another…no. In response to an ad in which a disembodied tongue goes off on a frolic of its own, he expounds on how great this would be…you’d never have to ‘attend’ to foreplay again. You could watch tele, and say “Give me a call when she’s ready”. GET. FUCKED!

You know, it isn’t that I can’t see the humour in the one liners, it isn’t that I haven’t laughed. It can be fun and entertaining…it’s just that…well Wil in show two shows an ad featuring Kylie Minogue writhing and bucking on a mechanical bull in sexy underwear. She then defies the men in the audience to stand up. The discussion is about sexualisation in ads…Wil’s response “I know I can’t”. Yep, good mate, we got it. Hot chick=boner. I’m seeing who your audience is and it is not me. It isn’t that I can’t relate to the ‘hotness’ of Kylie – she’s gorgeous, the absolute pinnacle in that ad of heteronormative feminine sexiness…but ok…you tell me you’re gonna be critiquing, you display the perfect mastabatory fantasy scenario (go amuse yourselves for a while women who object/feel uncomfortable/are annoyed at the objectification and glorification of the Impossible Attainment of the Clean and Proper Body – cos it’s BOYZ TIME!!!) you crack a funny about cracking wood, and I’m supposed to applaud your intelligent subversive humour? Yet again. GET FUCKED.

Look, it’s slick, it’s amusing, I laugh at some of the remarks, I enjoy some of the challenges, it facilitates a surface level discussion (but it always STAYS surface level, the bottom line is a succesful ad is a good ad needs no critiquing or further discussion) and is better than lots of other stuff on tele. BUT. It’s SOOOOOooooo goddamned heteronormative, so white privilege, so misogynist…so the invitation for the average man who fancies himself a cut above the rest intellectually to ogle objectified, perfected, sanitised women’s bodies…and call it an intellectual exercise.

I call total bullshit.

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So I had to go in to uni on the weekend.

I study by distance education now, and it was an on-campus session. I was dreading the hours and hours of boredom in store.

I forgot the dynamics of tutorial set-ups.

You know the phrase “There’s always one” right?

Well he announced himself in the first five minutes with an Anna Coren worthy segueway from the Constitution into “…and I come back, and now you can’t smoke in pubs!! I mean what the fuck is with THAT?”.

Absolutely. Entirely the most pressing Constitutional concern in this country right now, one that has kept many a High Court justice awake at nights wrestling with her/his conscience.

Anyway, he was just the most delightful bundle of machismo and testosterone, in a charmingly squat, open mouthed package, and whenever someone dared to disagree he thought nothing of snarlingly swearing at them, hurling contempt with his barely thought out reply. It was fun, it really was to share a space of learning with the thug.

One of his finer points of argument over the weekend?

On the gender makeup of High Court benches

“Well! You know…if they’re dealing with cases about guys smashing up cars and shit…you’d want people who know about guys smashing up cars”.

Um.

Firstly I am now curious to know if there’s ever been a case before the High Court about “guys smashing up cars and shit”, and second? I’d really like to know what the FUCK Dyson Heydon would know about guys smashing up cars that any woman would not. 

Anyway…

So the tutor. Oh the tutor. Not quite as blatant a dick swinger as this tool, but…well, I think he just preferred to wield his in a different manner.

There he is, up the front, in his button down shirt and chinos, all objective, neutral expert. He states from the outset that he is a conservative and against big government, then spends the rest of the weekend alternately making oblique proclamations which *tell* us what the role of government is and is not, and using the case law and articles to *prove* his points of the perils of Commonwealth power and the threat of the reds under the bed (Julia Gillard et al apparently)…EXCEPT that many times that weekend I caught him out in blatant misconstruction of the cases and the articles.

First he told the class to just ‘not worry about’ the critical discussions of Constitutional interpretation set in our readings. He proclaimed post modernism says that the text has absolutely no meaning (sorry, not quite it dickwad), decided it was all pointless and with no qualms dismissed out of hand the readings which were clearly set for a reason.

He told the class that the legal critic Craven is a conservative (not the sense I got reading his articles) and informed the class that Craven both slammed progressive interpretation (which he did, although miraculously the tutor “forgot” to mention that this was after he had ripped apart literalism as resembling “arguments amongst eight year olds with dictionaries”, and asserted that the text book implied that a section of the Acts Interpretation Act might enable this Unholy Union of United Unionists (Ok, that’s my phrase, I have fun with exaggeration) to alter the Constitution without a referendum, *conveniently* leaving out the fact that the very next sentence obliterated this theoretical possibility. It would never happen. Any attempt would be immediately challenged and found unconstitutional by the High Court which would find that the *possibly, possibly maybe, if you close your eyes and squint while very very drunk* reading of the *dangerous* clause would be read as being subject to the Constitution.

He informed the class that the second “Airlines” case represented a massive and threatening expansion of Federal government powers by obliterating a long held constitutional distinction. I will not bore you with the details (unless you write and ask) – suffice to say: It. DID. NOT. I am sorry but it didn’t. It is not a matter of opinion. It DIDN’T. It just fucking didn’t. It was at pains to emphasise the importance of continuing to uphold a distinction which most people find dubious at best.

When I pointed this out, he claimed that it did to all intents and purposes since if it was shown that there would be any affect on the trade in question that was sufficient. Again…BUH BOW…WRONG, thanks for playing. It explicitly did NOT do this, rather insisted that there had to be a real physical danger that by upholding the distinction the Federal Government would be prevented from performing its duties.

Ok. This is all very boring to many readers I’m sure. But dude was either ill informed or duplicitous.

So THEN. He asks if anyone knows of ‘the meat case’. I know the one he means and I say yes. He rolls his eyes, slaps his thighs and asks “I MEAN! Really! Can ANYONE explain to me what possible head of power justifies federal governemnt involvement in the regulation of the production of meat??”

I (not meaning to deadpan, having my finger ON the explanation in my book) say blankly “trade and commerce”. “NooooOOOOOOOooooo!!!” comes the disparaging remark from bogan-wannabe dickslinger over yonder “It’s QUARANTINE [he says in that “Err, ya fuckwit, as if you wouldn’t know THAT” tone of voice] mad cow an’ shit”. I’m barely able to recover from that before the tutor beamingly gestures at said dickslinger and says in a tone of pride like “Look what I made”: “We have a constitutional lawyer in the making over here!”

Eh? Unless a Constitutional lawyer ought to actually be able to read and understand the Constitution and Constitional cases.

Sigh.

So. Apparently reading and understanding will get you nowhere! If you don’t have a dick and you don’t wave it around you get nowhere. So that’s what I learned (or rather was reminded of). It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how many readings you do, how many notes you take, how much you care about the law and the Constitution, how much you would like to discuss the history and interpretation of it to hopefully make the lives of anyone living in this country safer and better, to attempt to require a legal system which claims that it constrains and protects all its citizens equally to actually fucking DO IT.

Nope. Doesn’t matter what you say. If you’ve got a dick and you assert yourself in full belief that you are a genius and the whole world would benifit from your insights, you *win*, hands down, no matter how much of a clueless, selfish, aggressive tryhard wanker you are you will win with comfort and ease over some WOMAN who don’t know shit about guys smashin cars an’ shit.

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I came across a debate over the differences between radical and contemporary feminism the other day, triggered by a specific call for submissions for a feminist text. The post itself was interesting and well worth a read, as, in my experience has been anything by this author, and can be found here. The catalyst for this post though, was my response to a specific comment which said that women failed to realise that men hate women. I sat stunned and thought, “God, is that what it comes down to? Is that the conclusion I’ve been fighting off, but secretly know to be true?”. So I went for a walk and I thought about it…and I decided that even when I feel like it’s an inescapable conclusion if we look at the stats and the stories…that I don’t believe it. That I won’t believe it. So the following is my attempt to explain why. People might want to have a go at me for saying I don’t want to disrespect the belief that men hate women…fine. Have a go at me, don’t harrass the woman who said it . The reason I say I don’t want to disrespect the view, is because I can see how a person could come to that conclusion – there is a fair amount of evidence to support it. Please, if you’re reading it here, direct any criticisms of this view to me and not to her (also: harrasment ain’t cool, no matter how much you disagree, so keep it civil). There is a lot of empirical data which would seem to back it up. My rebuttal comes not from saying there’s no *evidence* to support that view, but rather from an objection to the generalisation it requires and from the violence I see inherent in this kind of generalising, categorising and defining. Not least because I see the power of destructive manifestations of masculinity as in part operating from the same logic.

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I am not trying to disrespect your belief that men hate women. I just wonder whether that belief gives us any way “out”. Masculinity is constructed in opposition to the construction of femininity, bred to fear and loathe it. However saying all men *anything* is of concern for me, if for no other reason than if we can posit that “all men x”, then equally it can be posited that “all women y, and all “gays”z and all “blacks” a, and all “whites” c”.

Whenever we generalise and categorise and attribute certain characteristics to a “class” of people, violence seems certain to follow. Indeed I think there can be violence in the very act of categorising and defining.

There are times, when I look at the statistics of violence, abuse and disrespect directed at women by men that I feel like this is *true*, like MEN HATE WOMEN. And yet…I am raising a boy child. I am sleeping with, laughing with, loving a man – not a saviour, not a saint, just a human being…and the *fact* that this man listens to, learns from and loves me (and here I mean love in the very best sense, yes, love as a feeling, but also love as a verb, as a choice, as a gifting, showing love in many ways with acts and words and with kindness and laughter) doesn’t *disprove* the fact that masculinity is violent and oppressive, that masculinity has produced a culture where rape is used to silence, to belittle, to humiliate…that it has produced individuals and societies which disrespect and harm women…I just wonder…if we believe that men *hate* women, because they are men, and because we are women…are we not throwing our hands in the air and saying nothing can be done? Where are our options, our ways out?

If on the other hand, gender constructions damage all of us (and yes, definately to greater and lesser degrees and in vastly different ways) and language and discourse, and *masculinity* and *femininity* are problems that produce violence and individuals and structures who disregard the autonomy, rights and needs of other humans, this at least gives us the room to work on challenging and deconstructing gender, gives us some hope for making changes. I dunno. Maybe I sound like a naive, ignorant git. But…as an atheist this is the faith I have to have, my choice to embrace “messianism without a messiah”- that there are changes that can be made, that it is discourse, culture, religion and science that fuck us up, that being born with a penis doesn’t mean that you are biologically destined to hate everyone with a vagina, or everyone you deem “unworthy” to *have* a penis, or homosexual men, or anyone who transgresses the boundaries of gender.

I struggle with this, as I often panic over the *fact* that since a penis can (and so often is) used as a weapon, that every where I look there are human beings equipped with a weapon that they could, if they so chose, use against others to harm, to humiliate, to degrade, to assert power. I feel desperate over the state of the world knowing this. It makes me ill that there are many areas of the world in which this *weapon* is deployed coldly, callously, en masse, as a tool of war, and in every part of the world, that there are family homes in which it is wielded in secret, relationships where it goes from being a part of a body which gives and recieves pleasure, to a tool of pain, times where it is used against strangers not as a command in war, but for “fun”, for punishment, for violence for the sake of violence… I despair over this, and I fear for us all, myself, my friends, the women I don’t know, women trapped in civil wars, and boys growing into men that could be corrupted to a point of such revolting callousness and disrespect – and I don’t understand it. But I can’t bring myself to say that ownership of the penis=biologically inescapable hatred for women.

I don’t know…maybe this does make me a fool. And perhaps it is true that all *deconstructing gender* won’t make a licking difference to the use of rape as a tool of war. However, I can’t see how (and I am willing to listen to an explanation of how it might) taking the view that men hate women will make a difference here either. Sadly I am only a hair’s breadth from agreeing with the view that men hate women when I ponder what the hell *will* make a difference to the many and varied ways in which rape is utilised to punish, to keep scared, to violate, to overpower, to hurt, to humiliate…

I just know that I am uncomfortable with the ramifications of enforcing categories of people, and effacing the differences between people in that category, then ascribing certain attributes to “all” of the people *within* that group. This, it would appear, is the way that so much of the violence of modernity has worked.

So perhaps we need to acknowledge the specificities of rape(s). That rape as a tool of war, as a *command* which must be obeyed, is linked to, but differs from rape in other scenarios, in that it requires its specificity to be acknowledged if we are to even begin thinking through how we might possibly protect people from it. We will need to acknowledge issues of race in rape, for example the perception in Australia, that men from certain cultures are more ready to rape *our girls*, which cause hostility to certain members of our society, ignores the many gang rapes committed by *anglo aussies*, and does little if nothing to actually keep women safe, prevent rapes or intervene in the violence inherent in the ways we *do* masculinity. Also, what of other issues of race involved in rape? Where white men raped/rape Aboriginal women not only because they are women, but because they are Aboriginal, to degrade on the basis of race as well as gender?

In mentioning some of the complexities inherent in any discussion of rape and how to begin even thinking through *undoing* “rape culture”, I am not for a second holding myself up as someone having the answers. I don’t even know all the complexities, being that the privileges of my life have sheltered me from having to know some of them. It’s just immensely complex and I don’t want to reduce the problems of rape to only those I know about/understand, or position myself as some “expert”, some neutral, objective “authority” who gets to make bold blanket statements  – because I see the danger inherent in that…

I just don’t see how the conclusion that men hate women will help us to resolve these issues. Even when I am at my most down, most vulnerable to this belief – I can’t believe it. I choose not to believe it. If I believe it, then I see no way forward. If I believe it, then I can see no good in men. If I believe it, then given the power men have in society, we’re all doomed. If I believe it I think I really will go crazy. If I believe it, then stretching on forever, all I can see is hate, punishment, violence, retribution, no escape, no options, no possibilities. I look at my son, I look at my lover, I look at my male friends, and I see that while masculinity has a powerful hold over men, while masculinity pressures men to devalue and disrespect women, that men make choices, that men are human beings, capable of civil and respectful behaviour, capable of loving, capable of kindness, capable of good no less than women. Sure, many men continue to choose hate. But to categorise them as *all the same* and to attribute a hatred of women to them all is bleak…and not only is it bleak, but the act of categorising and attributing is defeatest, disrespectful, devoid of hope and buys into the very violence masculinity operates by, thus disabling us from deconstructing and debunking this violence.

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The anti feminist thing is really kinda wierd. I mean, the feminists I know are these dynamic, sexy, funny, brilliantly *alive* women. I wish I could put up a photo catalogue of these women for you so you could see them, see their different styles, see the laughter in their eyes, with a little description next to them, such as: This is […], she’s the one with the deadly curves, the long silky hair, the big eyes, the penchant for corsets and 1920’s hats and skirts. She’s a postgrad student who has had several gorgeous male lovers, and is into fashion and movies, books and television. This is […] who is funky and alternative, who sports dreadlocks, but loves a good eighties love song, who works hard, and who laughs more than any other person I’ve ever met. She writes poetry, and has joy in her heart, despite her upbringing. She’s a postgrad student with a passion for live music and took a lover for a short period of time and handled the whole situation with grace and good humour. This is […] who is a tall, striking lesbian with a passion for Japanese fashion and a streak of defiance, who wears enourmous costume jewellery. And on and on and so on and so forth. Teachers with a passion for giving children an education to inspire a love of learning, refugee advocates, students of development studies, poets, beautiful, sexy, funny, warm, incredibly alive women – none of them with odour issues, none of them with hate in their hearts, none of them “anti-men”, although plenty of them prepared to say that masculinity causes problems for all of us, and who won’t put up with bullshit just cos they’re “expected to” being women and all.

It’s nuts, this persistent bullshit that feminists all look the same, think the same, dress the same and have the same attitudes on hair removal/makeup/high-heels and fashion as each other, or that we are defined by these attitudes. For example, and it’s *only a friggin example*, it’s not a prescriptive thing, like this is what feminists *should* be or are or whatever…I LOVE shoes, shoes can stop me in my tracks, I have a shoe rack with strappy black heels, little pink kitten heels with a huge fake diamond on the front, tall elegant burgundy heels with a strap, and my favourite firetruck red, pointy toe-d, four inch stiletto heeled leather pumps…I also have Birkenstocks and Havaianas. Which am I gonna wear when I’m going to the shops, taking my son to the museum, or on an average day at work? The flats, cos I don’t wanna cripple myself before my time. But…I dunno…I’m trying to think this through…

 There are so many *beauty* myths about feminists (aside from all those other myths). One major one seems to be that we all look and dress the same (and apparently, according men’s mag Zoo, as discussed in this link: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6820  we all *smell the same*, ie bad, cos we’re angry, angry hate-filled women, angry at the world *for no good reason*, loathing, despising, hating the poor menz *for no good reason* and apparently therefore angry at hygeine and pleasant smells).

But, given that I know many, many feminists, and those that make the above assertion do not, generally speaking know many, many (or usually any) feminists, I think I can say that this much is untrue. Sure. Plenty cut their hair short, or shave it. Who gives a shit? What’s wrong with diversity of hairstyles? And this diversity doesn’t prove the anti-fems point that we *all* have shaved heads.

So, some cut their hair off cos they’ve got a bit of a tomboy style and don’t give a rats about being fashionable, some in that adorable, high maintenance pixie style that shows up their gorgeous bone structure (damn em!), some shave it to make a point, some for fun, some for ease of care, some for Why-The-Fuck-Not, some grow it long, put it up with sparkly pins, some let it do its own thing, some straighten it, some pay good money for dreadlocks and hair extensions. SOME DO ALL SORTS OF COMBINATIONS OF THE ABOVE COS THEY AREN’T DEFINED BY THEIR FUCKING HAIRSTYLE OF THE TIME!!!!

I enjoy the company of these wonderful, colourful, vibrant women, those with the allegedly *outrageous* dressing style, those with the shaved head and piercings, those with the tats, those with the hair extensions, those who play dress ups in corsets and skirts, those who have the latest styles in their wardrobes, those who don’t give a rats about what they’re wearing and those who adopt many differing combinations of the above. I also have never had the experience of choking on any one of their armpit odours (sorry, but Zoo’s obsession with this has stuck in my brain as particularly fucking stupid).

Anyway – I’ve been staring at this painting of Dora Marr, a Picasso portrait of his lover. For me, she’s a bit representative of what I love in my life, and the things I’m striving for in my life, the portrait is of an independant woman, of considerable talent and renown before she met Picasso, she took him as her lover quite soon after they met. In this portrait, she’s painted in vibrant hues of yellow, pink, green and grey, and she’s looking at him with this warm expression of knowing, of desire, of life, of self possession and of desire and good humour. And I love it. For some reason my eye is continually drawn to it…something in the colours and her expression has this portait as a bit of an icon for me (and for me personally) right now…I see this woman in her vibrancy, her good humour and graciousness, her fiestiness and spirit, her meeting the eyes of the world a far more accurate reflection of the way I see myself, and the vibrancy, diversity and colourful balance I strive for in my life, than in something so fucking self-congratulatory and trite as yet another bullshit mens mag “hairy-legged, smelly feminist” beat up.

She doesn’t accurately represent the styles and tastes of all my feminist friends. I’m not arguing to have Dora Marr’s personal aesthetic replace the stereotype of feminists or anything. But in no way does Zoo’s portrayal of feminists stand up to any investigation whatsoever – feminists are women of many styles, many backgrounds, many sizes, shapes, and fashion views. Some of them are visually striking, in a range of different ways, some refuse to adorn themselves in any way. But each of these women has a passion and a grasp of ethics and the multiple *meanings* of their lives, and a livelihood that makes them a pleasure to know, and an inspiration to me. And I guess this is what the Dora portrait reflects to me – one the one hand, I want to work to ensure that at the end of my life I’ll see a woman of self possession, and a diversity of brilliant colours and experiences like those captured, and on the other, that diversity of colours, the depth of the portrait, the nuances, the many different layers represent for me the beauty made up in the richness and diversity of the talents and loves and passions and styles of my feminist friends. Zoo can do exactly what it’s designed to do and fuck itself and encourage others with similar attitudes to do the same. No matter how many times they say it, their attempts to bind and define feminism in terms of “ugliness”, “disease” and “hate” do not actually lastingly alter the truth that feminism has many strands, many views, many faces, and many styles and that feminist women, no matter which *aesthetic approach* they take are bright, strong, powerful, vibrant and alive, and bound to make a difference in this world, and as such are much more accurately reflected in like the colours that make Dora so beautiful than in any ugly piece of untruth some mens magazine would have us believe.

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Ok – ENOUGH!

The other day I went to a doctors surgery and I read through a copy of a “womens” magazine. You know the ones? The ones with the “raunchy” sex section? With suggestions like “When you’re going down on him [cos it’s always assumed it’s a him] try pouting and moaning like a porn star. HOT!”

So anyway, having waited forty minutes already I thought I’d check it out. Fuck me.

Under the banner of something like “Are you GOOD in bed? Do you wanna be GREAT in bed?” it had about eight suggestions. Two stuck in my mind as particularly outstanding – one for being so galling, the other just made me laugh out loud.

 So girls, when you are going to have sex and you are ashamed of your body because it doesn’t look like a taut skinned pre-pubescent boy’s body, what you should do to make the sex “hotter”, to be “great” in bed is to lie on your side facing away. Get him to lie behind you, lift your leg and let him enter you from behind. That way you don’t have to be worried about all the ‘bits’ of your body that you are ashamed of. That way he can get off without ever having to look at your hideous disgusting women’s body.

I am NOT making this up!

The second??? This being the one that made me laugh, cos the one above is so NOT funny…”Don’t be afraid to initiate sex”. ???…….????????????

Wow. Now I know that I am a feminist and I am over thirty so perhaps it is alzheimer’s kicking in, but was I ever afraid to initiate sex? Is it something women are afraid of? Or should be afraid of?? See the article said “I know this one sounds scary girls” then it went on to say you didn’t need to be so bold as to say it, to ask for it, or just to get on with setting it in motion…”anything you do that makes him think of sex” (like not killing him dead) is good to initiate sex while protecting your gigglish girlish innocent persona.

They are talking (as they always do) about sex in the context of a relationship…what sort of a relationship do you have where if you wanna have sex with your partner you have to wait til they initiate it??? What exactly is your boyfriend (cos only hetero relationships get a look-in in these mags) gonna do, what is he gonna think if you grab him, kiss him and push him up against a wall? Is he gonna freak that he’s dating Sharron Stone and your gonna go get the icepick? Are we still after all this time being forced to choose between playing damned whores and gods police? Sluts or timid little ladies who blush and only have sex because they are doing someone a favour?

So…given the above I thought maybe I should start up a regular column for women so we can know what our men want (stay away from other women girls, unless you’re pashing your female friend in the pub for ten bucks and the guy’s amusement) and can plan ahead to ensure that we are great in bed.

PART ONE OF HOW TO BE A SEXY, HOT HETERO GIRL:

 First I suggest taking a good look at your body. If you are female, chances are you have some flesh. That is wrong, out of place and disgustingly unsexy. You could of course choose to kind of grab it in chunks, tie it back with rubber bands and enter the room sideways like a crab so he is amazed by the tautness of your skin and can’t see all the wierd rubber bands.

This then requires that you choose certain positions in order that he doesn’t see your back. Also do NOT let him touch you. While the feel of hands running over your skin might be sexy, this is not about you. You are here to do a job and to fit in with current stereotypes of beauty. Straddle him carefully, facing him. Tie him up so his hands can’t wander. Then proceed to move carefully so as not to begin pinging rubber bands across the room.

The added advantage of tying his hands up is that he then can’t touch you “down there” – cos we all know how gross it is down there. That’s why labial cosmetic surgery is so popular. But that’s a topic for another day. 

 For today, consider the rubber bands. If this is too high maintenance, you could always try starving yourself til ‘acceptably’ thin, saving a fortune from your low paying, non-threatening job, and investing in surgery to cut away all that disgusting womanly flesh. This is the only true method to ensure that he can have sex with you from in front and behind so he will not get so bored with you. It’s a worthwhile investment in becoming a hot hetero girl.

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Well fuck me rigid masculinity pisses me off sometimes!!!

I’ve been in a bit of a grump about the state of the world all week, so it’s a kind of cumulative rage that possesses me today. But I do get very sick of living in a world that gets defined by men, for men. This morning I woke up, and for some self punishing reason, decided to see what Arsehole de Brito had to say about the world. WHY oh WHY do I do it to myself? Worse still I clicked on the comments section! MMMMMMfuckityfuckityfuckinfuckincunts!

Seriously, it’s such a self serving community of bigoted women-haters…they’d argue with that and say they *love* women. I’d counter that they love access to pussy on the condition it’s not too old, is perfectly groomed and comes attached to a conventionally gorgeous and compliant but perky young woman. Also, said pussy has to be available on demand, but not have too many demands of its own, else it gets labelled a “slut”. And in all of this, who makes the calls on defining women? Men. Men just stating ‘facts’, just ‘observing’ truths.

 What was the article about? About a bitch of an old woman having a go at her husband on the beach (oh if ONLY my job was to take one little glimpsed interaction and to spin it out into a full length sound off with no rules about how my article should actually be thoughtful/insightful/a genuine attempt to engage with the issues). The article then touched on male rape in prisons (oh so delightfully referred to as ‘man love’ – love/rape…one of these things is not like the other, right?), concluding that there was none of this happening in the particular prison setting as the guys are 18-21. Clearly then rape would never be an issue.

It was a bit of a diatribe on men needing to grow balls in the face of nagging, gnashing, petty high-strung women. NOW – let me go on the record to say I cannot stand watching two people nag/shout at each other or treat each other poorly in any way. Not defending this behaviour. But an isolated incident turned into a diatribe on Sam’s favourite topic – how men need to grow bigger kahunas in setting boundaries on their women, or their women will run all over them. It’s a bit of a theme for him. Women it appears are quite like children (which is possibly true of the women Sam likes to shag) – if you don’t show them where the limits are they will run riot on a grown up version of the sugar high, and before you know it, your life will be reduced to ruins by a full-scale, adult sized Veruca Salt. Put your foot down Sam, show em whose da boss.

 Anyway, whatever right? Just another fuckwit with a keyboard. But what happens every freaking time is that it becomes a hate fest over women and their maniacal, hysterical ways, the fact they’ll screw you within an inch of your lives if you let em, they’re shrews, harridans, they wanna trap you into marriage and babies, take your money and make you miserable. Poor, poor men. Generalisations are flying around so thick and fast that if you aren’t careful you’ll lose an eye. Now. I do not have a problem with someone observing the behaviour of people in public and then examining it. But in order to examine it, you would need to put some genuine thought into what’s going on. These articles are never truly about resolving these issues and making peoples lives happier, they are about tapping into deep seated bitterness and anger towards women, about reinforcing stereotypes in ways that make people feel good for “knowing” stuff about life. So when it results, every freaking time into a disgusting display of bigotry – then I have a problem with it.

 I’m so sick of being told not to worry about this – I mean I get it. On the one hand, blah blah, be the bigger person, he’s an idiot, not to worry…but, he has access to publication in a mainstream newspaper’s website, he preaches to the masses and the ‘masses’ lap it up. Bigotry towards women is everywhere in society, in its extreme forms, and in ‘jokes’ and song lyrics and leers and generalisations. Why is it that I should just say “water off a duck’s back”? I’m no duck, I’m a woman, and I live in a world where there is appalling levels of violence and hate directed at women, and I’m supposed to put up and shut up?

Well, no. I mean, yeah, I have my own blog. Big deal though, what twenty ppl read me a day? It’s hardly turning the tables on the Sam de Brito’s of the world. To say ‘ignore it’, to say ‘start your own blog’ is all well and good, except it ignores the fact of the institutionalised nature of discrimination against women. It’s gonna take way more than a blog to redress that. But apparently it ain’t cool for me to say I’m a feminist, to be angry. I’m supposed to say I live in a “post-feminist” world. All cos of Ally McFuckinBeal. I’ll tell you what? You men who say I’ve got ‘no sense of humour’, I’m ‘too angry’, etc…go out and do something yourselves to ensure that women can walk the streets safely, that they will no longer be beaten, that they can choose if and how and when they would like to procreate, that they can make choices about how to support and care for their families, that they can define their desires and sexuality for themselves, that they can access equal incomes and high positions in the workplace. I’ll sit back and observe, and then I will happily talk about our post-feminist world and laugh at every shitty joke you tell me.

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