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So with no empirical evidence to back up her wildly speculative, evo-psych crap, she offers the following:

She continued: “In a rape case, the courts – in defence of a man – would select as many women as they could for the jury, because women go against women.

“Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don’t know, but other women on a rape case would say she was asking for it. The only reason I can think of is that they’re sexually jealous.” [taken from this SMH article]

She then goes on to say date rape is an area men and women need to work out between themselves. What without the aid of the legal system? Or without the incoherent ramblings of every deluded celebrity who decides to weigh in?

[Um…happy to admit my ignorance, but have humans even been AROUND for billions of years???? What about primates? Or is this gendered backstabbing quality we women apparently possess an animalistic quality of the soupy nothingness we’re supposed to have come from? What qualities did this soupy nothingness pass on to men? And what to celebrities?]

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Big time trigger warnings

Ok, ages ago I posted on the bruhaha over the Bill Henson images, and promised to post on the notion of the sexual ‘innocence’ of children and why I think it’s a dangerous concept.

Briefly, I think it’s dangerous to make *that* the harm – if the harm lies solely in the ‘corruption’ of ‘innocence’ then a it would seem that a range of things flow from this:

a/ the focus lies on the victim and not the perpetrator in assessing the magnitude of the wrong and the insinuation is that the *wrong* is the ‘loss of innocence’ rather than the fact that an adult is having sex with a child.

The adult, the person of full capacity is doing something they know is not okay, and they’re doing it for their own gratification. (Yes, we can get into chats about pathologies etc later, but I don’t believe that every person who has sex with a child is *diseased* and therefore *helpless* and I think to say that’s always true makes sex crimes the acts of monsters, and takes focus away from the overwhelming instances where abuse happens within the home, and covers over a real discussion of the issues at play when people molest children)

b/ this worship of innocence plays out in an unspoken suggestion that a ‘less innocent’ child is less wronged, or maybe even brought it on by their own behaviour. See above. Don’t have sex with kids.

In the context of a society that puts preteen girls on the runway, that fetishizes the teen body incessantly, that fantasizes about ‘naughty schoolgirls’, that pornifies women’s bodies in ways which erase markers of maturity and womanhood, that airbrushes even the Crowned Most Beautiful in order to make their bodies more like that of a young teenager, this innocence/not innocence trope is profoundly sinister.

We worship bodies that look fifteen, though to assuage our guilt we’ll tolerate bodies that look, say twenty. We sexualise girls the minute their breast show the slightest HINTS of budding, we accept grown men leering over young girls as A-ok. We’ve set society up for the pitfalls of finding sex with kids a tempting idea…and then the innocence thing…

We buy into archetypes of sexuality that rely on the corruption of innocence for their ‘hawtness’, teen and preteen porn is everywhere, men leer and backslap over teen girls (through the years, Anna Kournicova, the Olsen Twins, the Veronicas etc), we debate whether Lolita was asking for it, whether she seduced him or not…the trope of the hapless unhappily married man seduced by a sexy teenager is rife in movies and tv. The ‘naughty schoolgirl’ look has an enduring appeal for men’s mags/strip shows/porn sites, and the whole basis seems to be the idea that when men are honest, they must admit that they want to corrupt innocence, to defile youth, they want to make that ‘innocent young thing’ admit she’s not so innocent at all. That seems at the heart of it all – no matter what we say, no matter how much she doth protest…she’s still a chick and we all know chicks *want it baby*, yeah.

We’ve set up the notion that it’s desirable to have sex with very young bodies, and we buy into the innocence thing in order to get off, we utilise this innocence in order to pervert it for cheap sexual gratification and now as a society we have the hide to pick up this notion of ‘innocence’ as though we’ve not utterly perverted it anyway, and suggest that *this* is what makes sex with kids wrong? Does this not suggest immediately that if the child in question is less innocent, say she dressed all sexy-like, say she made moves, say she seemed like she knew what she was doing, oh, say she had some boobs…well, you know…that means it’s not as bad as when the child is ‘innocent’ right??

Does it not also rely on biblical notions of purity and corruption? Does it not make knowledge of sex or sexual desire in and of itself *bad* and *dirty*? Are not bad and dirty girls to be punished? Does it not locate the sin in the body that ‘tempts’? Does it not make a child’s body bared into the site of temptaion and sin? Does it not take the focus *off* the wrong, off the perpetrator, of the desire, off the society that says that desire is fine/normal and ok? Is it not just an easy fucking answer to absolve us of having real discussions of where we’re going wrong?

So, in case you missed it, I hate the notion that the wrong in adults having sex with kids is in the ‘corruption of innocence’ as it plays into the notion that some rape is worse than others, not due to how fucked up the rapist is, not to the barbarity involved, not to how much humiliation was intended, not to the fact that an adult thought they could use their influence to get off at the expense of letting a child come into their own sexuality in their own time and with persons of their own age?

I also think that this notion of innocence in relation to sex crimes is not confined to childhood – the old argument “It’s worse to rape a nun than a prostitute” still finds plenty of support. NO…it’s wrong to rape. Period. To suggest otherwise is to say that some women ask for it which is to say that rape is about women tempting men and not men using their dicks as weapons of humiliation, degradation and pain.

What’s raised all this again for me is the notion of ‘availability’. It seems (and I’ve covered this before) that women are *for* sex, that’s what they’re for, no matter what they’re doing/saying, underneath it all, she’s really just a body (a pussy), a site for men’s pleasure. I mean take a look at what we’re doing to Sarah Palin. Feminists ought to vote for her cos she has a vagina – Vaginas Unite! But also we can’t quite take her seriously can we? VPILF was up within days, and in my last post I discussed the Sarah Palin dolls. Cool. Let’s fetishise her as a dominatrix and a schoolgirl. Cos while she’s the Republican candidate for VP, she’s also a chick – see above for what we know about chicks.

Anyway, with all this, and with our notions about women’s bodies as penetrable is another linked idea – that women are always and ever ‘available’ to men. I mean you can see that in the way women are ranked and assessed and leered at and harrassed in walking down the street, in our commodification in magazines etc. But some more examples came up for me this week and made me really fucking angry.

Hoyden About Town has a discussion of a Jim Beam ad which relies for it’s humour on the fact that two really hot chicks are lesbians – it’s entitled The Tragedy. It’s part of an ongoing campaign which trivialises stalking and makes stalking ‘fun and funny’, and which suggests that women all really ought to be compliant, brainless, opinionless, human sex robots- the perfect girlfried is an automaton that thinks her piggish muntheaded man can do no wrong…ahaha! Oh women, they’re so ANNOYING, and stupid, and they EXPECT things, and they hate it when I’m a prick! God, wouldn’t a sex slave who thought I was the shit be great. Yeah, that’s what ALL women should be…and yeah of course…it’s a tragedy for men that two hot chicks would dig each other and not them.

Unsurprisingly the ad was complained about and the response of the Advertising Standards Bureau was that:

“The Tragedy”, was not intended to mean that it was a tragedy generally for women to be lesbians, but that such an attractive woman was not available to heterosexual men.

Well, phew. Lesbianism itself is not a problem to men, so long as it’s *ugly* chicks, and the lesbians aren’t going to begin stealing mens possessions – hot chicks. And EXCUSE ME??? The tragedy is that the hottie is not *available* to heterosexual men…men, not even man. Are you getting this everyone? All women everywhere are the property of Teh Menz. Teh Menz reserve the right to put their dicks in any such woman as they find appropriate -whenever and whereever and no furhter correspondence is to be entered into.

Hot on the heels of pondering this I hear this following story in which an 18 year old hid in the boot of a car waiting for the topless waitress to leave her job at the bucks party so he could rape her repeatedly calling her a ‘bitch’ and a ‘slut’, saying ‘You asked for this slut, you’re just a stripper’, telling her if she did what she was told, ie to let him rape her repeatedly while telling her it was all her fault, she wouldn’t get ‘hurt’. Curious definition of what counts as ‘hurt’. But fuck – any more chrystal clear examples of the attitude that women are ‘available’ to men? He saw, he hid, he raped, he took what he thought was his. He humiliated and punished, he hurt, he raped, he did his best to destroy her. Why? Well, really, she had ‘ no innocence’, therefore she ‘asked for it’. No innocence=sexually available=ought to be punished. The thing is it’s not confined to examples, it’s not confined to one fucked up dude, it’s about society’s fucked up attitudes to women and girls, to sex and bodies, to consent, to innocence/corruption, availability, sex and rape. It permeates everything, it’s there when we don’t acknowledge it, and it means that a child who is molested who is seen as less ‘innocent’ somehow *caused* the actions, or the topless waitress somehow *caused* this piece of shit to hide and rape her repeatedly. It means that the focus of sex crimes is taken *off* the perpetrator, and put onto the victim – is s/he sufficiently chaste enough to be deserving of our sympathies? No? Well, nasty ‘slut’  probably *wanted it* then – I mean for real??? Can we not put the fucking emphasis where it ought to be – rape and child molestation: DON’T DO IT – EVER.

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Trigger warning.

Some things I’ve been reading and thinking about – all tied in together. I’m hoping that it will make some kind of coherent sense…

Over at Hoyden About Town there have been discussions on the use of passive language in discussions of rapes (and in discrimination against women more generally). The discussion is that when we report rapes by saying “A woman was raped today” we erase the subject who commited the act from the sentence (and effectively the scenario). Lest sceptical readers dismiss this as ‘just semantics’ the post linked to above contains a study which found that men reading descriptions of rapes written in the passive voice (ie, a woman was raped) they tended to attribute more blame to the victim than when the story was told in the active-voice versions (ie two men raped a woman today).

As Lauredhel points out in that post, it is a short trip from this to rape being a ‘women’s problem’, just something that ‘happens’ to a woman, and from there, straight onto ‘women ought to be more *responsible* in their behaviour or they’ll *get themselves raped*.

This attitude was discussed in a recent post about the compensation scheme for rape victims in the U.K and recent moves to withhold a percentage of that compensation if it was found that the woman was drinking – because if a woman drinks alcohol, and later is raped, the logic went that she *contributed* to her own rape.  WTF? Contributed to some guy hurting her and humiliating her for a sense of power? By enjoying alcohol, as so many of us do, so frequently. 

Clearly the idea that if a woman drinks alcohol, that she on some level consents to her own rape is appallingly fucked up – but common.

To illustrate this absurdity in a different way, Melissa from Shakesville says in her post Geez, When will women stop getting themselves raped already?:

And, forgive me for being Ms. Fucking Obvious 2008 here, but when two people leave a pub or a party or some other venue where there’s been alcohol, and one rapes the other, what are the odds that the rapist is alcohol-free? When in blue hell do you think any of the assholes who go on about how women shouldn’t drink because they might get raped might notice the gobsmacking inconsistency of routinely failing to acknowledge that alcohol might be lowering the inhibitions of the men who rape? Oh, right—that will never happen, because that would require suggesting that men not drink, and it’s only reasonable to request that of women.

It seems that it’s ok to say that a woman who drinks brings on her own rape – and any assertion that the same could be said of any guy who gets raped would be met with open mouthed incredulity…what? No. AND ALSO, women ought to watch what they drink so they can be sure the guy they are with/chatted to will not follow then rape them. A person ought to be able to expect to buy a kebab and fall into a taxi after a night on the booze – not to be raped, and certainly not to be blamed as though a women drinking is the CAUSE of a man raping. If men rape after alcohol has been consumed with a woman, then why AREN’T we refusing men alcohol? Oh right…cos we KNOW it’s horseshit all along, it’s just this way we get to ignore it.

So thus far, we’ve touched on the issue of the erasure of the rapist from the rape, and the concomitant focus on the actions of the victim, and further this idea that women ‘contribute’ to their horrific ordeals by way of drinking, while men’s drinking goes unchallenged. Just so we’re clear, women are blamed for other ‘contributions’ as well, such as what they were wearing, their sexual history, their behaviour prior to the rape, agreeing to ‘making out’ with someone and well a whole range of other things. Each of them could be a seperate post. But I’m trying to go somewhere with this.

I’ve also hated for a long time men’s ‘jokes’ about prison rape, or their equation of being treated poorly in the workplace/in a social setting to being ‘fucked up the arse’ or having to ‘bend over and take it’. Why? Well, I’ve never formulated the words for it this comprehensively, but commenter Rebekka in this thread slammed this as part of rape culture. This solidified it for me, and thinking it through I am discomforted by it because:

a/ if it suggests rape it equates some dumb passing annoyance with rape and that’s fucked up

b/ if it suggests just anal sex it says that anal sex is always abhorrent, always painful, always humiliating, degrading, a way for the ‘fucker’ to debase and assert control over and contempt for the ‘fuckee’.

c/ it makes clear that the speaker is ‘not the sort of person’ to enjoy anal sex, that anal sex is punishment and submission. It asserts an ‘us and them’ mentality mainly directed at homosexual men, considered ‘wrong’, ‘deviant’, ‘perverted’, ‘violated’ and ’emasculated’ for the presumed monolithic enjoyment of anal penetration – poofs and women might ‘take it up the arse’, but not ‘real men’. This sort of homophobia makes me furious, and the idea that penetration=violation, the idea that certain types of bodies are penetrable/for penetration and the correct manly role is fucker/violater is horrific, and feeds into rape culture.

d/ Yes, it’s about anal sex, but it also implies that fucking is assertiong of power/submission, that to ‘let’ someone bend you over and ‘fuck you’ is to degrade yourself, to do something you don’t enjoy and to grit your teeth and wait til it’s over. So…where does that leave heterosexual women?

e/ further, the same men seem to not mind the idea of anal sex with a woman. Wait on – you just finished insinuating that to ‘bend over and take it’ is to let someone degrade and humiliate you and inflict pain…and therefore, you either think that to do this to a woman is hot *because* of this, or you know you’re talking macho crap at the expense of others when you crap on with your ‘us and them’ crap and that making anal sex jokes is stupid but you like the power in the game, or you see women and gay men as less than human, as objects, lodging places for your dicks to be bent over and fucked – thank god I’m a ‘real man’ and not debased like that. Which is it fellas? I don’t have all day.

So, just to trying to keep this rant together in some way, we’re talking about the erasure of the rapist and the focus on the behaviour of the victim. Further we’re talking about the idea that FOR A WOMAN, having a drink, wearing ‘sexy clothes’ (which, hey, it’s demanded of us for men’s viewing pleasure don’t forget), flirting, interacting with another person, or walking while female equals some kind of contribution to rape. We’re also talking about the representations of some bodies as penetrable/others as impenetrable, something linked with attitudes to do with ‘proper’ masculinity, linked with homophobic violence, disrespect to women and rape culture. If women are penetrable, made for penetration, to be bent over and fucked, and ‘real men’ are not, this affects the ways we think about and talk about rape. Men raping women is natural, normal, a fact. Men raping men is what happens to dudes in prison who never get to be ‘whole men’ again, cos dudes don’t get penetrated. “P**fters”* and “chicks”* get penetrated. That’s what they’re ‘for’. 

So many men I know have expressed this fear of jail (and these are dudes who aren’t facing social/racial discrimination, it’s just not likely to happen to them). Why so scared? Cos of the threat of rape. Now I read in a Criminal Laws text book (which I don’t have to hand) that the stats for rape in prison are one in four. That’s the same stat I’ve heard for women out in general society. You know that squelching fear you feel when you contemplate prison rape? Welcome to our lives.

So anyway – what triggered this post is that in the Sydney Morning Herald lately there have stories about a stripper who is accused of raping a man with a sex toy. Now. Stop. If you’re about to accuse me of saying this is ‘less serious’….then shut your face and cool it.

I want to look at the language here. As Hoyden commentor Mindy noted, the passive language is gone in the reporting of this case. The stripper has been mentioned *as the accused rapist* in all the articles I’ve seen. A man did not get *himself* raped at his friends bucks night. He wasn’t raped all by himself. There was a rapist involved. Is this possibly because it is a ‘man’ rather than a woman? That it is just a fact of life that women ‘get themselves raped’, that the rape of a woman is nothing unusual? That a man is not ‘supposed’ to be raped?

The reporting is interesting, for a number of reasons. I can’t draw any conclusions, as I don’t really have them, and because I should be essay writing – but:

I’ve seen headlines that have ‘raped’ in inverted commas – is this a quick way of saying at this point it’s alleged that the stripper raped him, we can’t say she ‘did’ for legal reasons? Or is it more sinister?

Is it some kind of ‘Oh yeah, she ‘raped’ you buddy! Whatevs’. Is it disbelief that he objects? Is it incomprehensions that a ‘straight man’ has been violated by a woman/outside a prison setting?

Now I want to proceed carefully here, because the articles discuss that the guy was at a bucks party where there were two strippers and a topless waiter (and one imagines at this bucks party substantial amounts of alcohol), that the men had been cheering the stripper on ‘in a mature way’ (that’s not my quote). There doesn’t appear to be a tone to this, an accusation. It seems to be very matter of fact.

I am not for a second suggesting that he is lying/wanted this to happen, I am not suggesting he ‘brought it on himself’, or should have known better, or contributed by drinking, or anything else. I’m just thinking through what it would play out like if a woman had been raped by a male stripper witha a sex toy during/after a night on the sauce, after dancing with the stripper, after participating in a rather physical routine, after cheering in a ‘mature way’. I think the narratives would sound somewhat different.

I think this illustrates even further the idiocy of our approach. No one’s saying “Well, he got on the sauce, he danced with her, he saw her whip a guys crotch, he got down on all fours, he clearly wanted it to happen” – what I’m saying is that that *would* be the implication if she was a woman. And why the difference in treatment? Because of the ways we concieve of rape as a woman’s problem, women’s bodies as being ‘for’ penetration and mens as not, because of the language we use that focusses on the woman and her behaviour and erases the rapist from the rape, because of the blame that shifts onto the victim in that way of talking, because we blame women if they drink/dress up/sneeze – because our attitudes to women are fucked. So rather than say ‘It’s less bad’, I’d rather be saying ‘the discrepancies in the treatment/the outrage/shock that a man could be raped by a woman might help some men think through the fact that language is important, and that these reports might help to illustrate that NO MATTER WHAT,  any human is allowed to live her/his life in the way they see fit, and swing drunk and half naked from chandeliers if they so choose and still NOT be told they *contributed* to their own *rape*. Rape is not a thing that ‘happens’ to you, not a thing you ‘invite’ – it is a fucked up thing that someone else does to you, and the blame  lies with the rapist and with society for the bullshit is spits out regarding rape.

*Sorry – trying to point at the ugly aggression of the word.

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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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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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So. Having ‘popped a spaz’ over the shithouse content of mainstream news service blogs I typed the following last night (or maybe the night before…since the following shit attack over “Sam in the City” (LAME) on the SMH website, I got myself involved in an online sledge-off with Sam de Brito of “All Men Are Liars” fame (ahem) on the SMH site. Check the fucker out and bombard him with counterarguments). Figured I’d get me a blog and whack it on…but my head hurts, I can’t find my glasses, and I have NO idea what all these buttons are for. I’ll get better. Here goes:

Allright (cheers *Author Boy*, I know it’s not ‘a word’ but, you know, it’s common parlance).
I have officially had enough – here it comes. I am, I freely admit, a lazy bastard! I’m an ‘ideas man’, I get all excited over a new idea for a movie, a comedy skit, some new political agitation…and then time passes and nothing happens.

But today, the thing that’s really on my tits is that every time I look at a newspaper/magazine I am astonished by the fuckwits who get given the privilege of being published, and get PAID for their shithouse writing. This in itself hasn’t been enough motivation to do what I’ve been talking about for years and actually start my own blog, but today I had a little ‘snap’.

NOW – a little disclaimer. I am not a professional writer. I like to write, I get fired up and I think that I have some things to say (occasionally) worth saying…it is this I believe that will distinguish me from Sam de Brito, ‘Ask Sam’ and Miranda Devine (that’s right, hate em, if you don’t like it, feel free to stop reading here and I won’t give a shit). I am fiercely political and I will not sit down and shut up. According to my boss I have a pathological avoidance of using proper paragraphs, and as will become apparent, I have very little grasp of the rules of grammar. So if you’re tempted to write in and criticise me for this, don’t waste your time. These things are unlikely to ever change. You like right-wing bullshit? Go buy a newspaper.

Right, now that’s out of the way, let me tell you what FINALLY prompted me to do this (at the cost of cooking a proper dinner for my son, who is now enjoying a tuna, cheese and mayo melt instead of the planned meal).

An article on the stud/slut hypocrisy. Are your eyes rolling back into your head yet? (Take that, *Fabric Boy*, a masterfully spaced paragraph, no?)

Right, well, if you rolled your eyes cos you’re sick of ‘feminist ranting’ then, save your time and energy and fuck off now. There’s a billion ways to get your misogynist kicks out there, so you know, go away. As you may have been alerted to by the website title, I am not interested in politeness.

You wanna know why? I have to live in a world where rape is used as a tool of war. Where even in countries where civil unrest is not an issue, one in four women will report being raped, one in four women will be beaten by their partner. I have to live in a county in which we have systematically tried to extinguish the rightful owners, through genocide, incarceration, forced use of English, dispossession, slave labour, withheld wages and stolen children. Where laws which step up the attacks against Indigenous communities passed with barely a word of opposition. A world in which people can be beaten and killed for their sexuality, where the rule of law can be tossed out the window for ‘special cases’, where left-wing is equated with ‘radical lunacy’. So I am saying “Fuck Politeness” – I have to live in this world, in this country, in this society. But I don’t have to use ‘manners’ when I talk about it. It shits me off and right here I’m gonna say so as loud, as often, and with as many expletives as I please.

Now I’m tired and hungry so I’ll see you all later. (By the way – all for politeness in everyday life, I’m polite to everyone. What I’m talking about is refusing to be polite in the face of pressure to shut up, to swallow the lies I’m being fed, to not be angry, to ‘play nice’ – I’m pissed that when Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle stood up and asked Bush to answer questions about David Hicks, they were called ‘impolite’ – when people’s lives are at stake, the only acceptable response is “FUCK POLITENESS” (or “I believe I will bypass politeness in favour of speaking my mind” if you are really against swearing).

Sleep well!

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