Fighting with the Sky

Archive for the ‘Link Love’ Category

Trigger warning.

There have been some great posts lately about sexual assault and rape culture.  Here are some ones that I thought were particularly interesting/well-written.

Ms. Blog: Silence and Sexual Assault on College Campuses

I am compelled to speak up because sexual assault breeds in a Petri dish of silence. Certainly the potential danger in coming forward is critical for rape and sexual assault survivors. Yet even vocal bystanders risk violating a tacit cultural agreement to keep such problems hushed up.

Equality 101: Incorporating Discussions of Violence

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is that we need to have conversations about violence with our students and not just lecture about statistics and the plight of “those” women. Those women can be us, our students, mothers, sisters, daughters and the boys and men around us. We need to have conversations about this reality, but also empower women and girls, so that the conversation is not merely about the victim.

The SAPAC Voice: CouchSurfing ignores violence against women

In fact, CouchSurfing seems to continuously ignore the various complaints from many women on their own message boards, and only give out the standard response, that members need to look into their potential hosts more closely. The only way it seems to get CouchSurfing’s attention is through proof of legal action, where the responsibility is completely on the survivor to lodge a complaint and seek the authorities.

Gender Across Borders: Dear Jezebel

Just over two weeks ago, Jezebel published an article entitled American Guy in Paris Freed From The Idea Of “Consent”. In said article, an American named Edward Pasteck described a recent trip to Paris and certain revelations that struck him while embarking on his relationship endeavours. As the title of his piece might suggest, curious Edward discovered that, in Paris, it was okay to rape women!

Shakesville: Ugh.

Steve Harvey is back with more of his wisdom about men and women and relationships. (If you’re not familiar with this guy’s shtick, here is Renee’s “Steve Harvey” archive.) And, like all the rest of his gender essentialist, heterocentrist, deeply misogynist claptrap, this “men and women can’t be friends” garbage is about as fresh as pterodactyl droppings. It’s also one of the key narratives of the rape culture.

Advertisements

Here are some links to great articles about the sexual assault charges against WikiLinks founder Julian Assange in Sweden.

Feministe: Some thoughts on “sex by surprise”

Well, no, I’m not sure it’s that straightforward. The actual details of what happened are hard to come by, and are largely filtered through tabloid sources that are quick to offer crucial facts like the hair color of the women (blonde) and the clothes they wore (pink, tight), but it sounds like the sex was consensual on the condition that a condom was used.

Salon: The rush to smear Assange’s rape accuser

Public evidence, as the Times noted, is scarce. So, it’s heartening to see that in the absence of same, my fellow liberal bloggers are so eager to abandon any pretense of healthy skepticism and rush to discredit an alleged rape victim based on some tabloid articles and a feverish post by someone who is perhaps not the most trustworthy source. Well done, friends! What a fantastic show of research, critical thinking and, as always, respect for women.

Alas, a blog: Rape Myths and Julian Assange

Most women who have been raped had little public evidence of their experience. By repeating these rape myths in defence of Julian Assanger people are attacking not just the women involved, but other women who have been raped and had their experiences dismissed. They are also contributing to a culture where rape is denied, minimised, and distorted.

Tiger Beatdown: How We Describe Women Who Reports Sexual Assaults Now

You guys, why are these women engaging in the (risky, socially consequential, unlikely-to-succeed) act of charging a socially prominent man with lots of supporters of sexual assault? They’re spies, right? Or they’re feminists who go around tricking men into having sex with them so they can make rape accusations? Whatever the case may be, it sounds like this is totally just about broken condoms, of all things! HOW BIZARRE!

Salon: Broadsheet: U.S. rape laws, explained

The country has the highest reporting rate in the European Union. (Perhaps because “Swedish women, backed by a strong consciousness of women’s rights and a history of a very public discussion of the scourge of sexual violence, may be more willing than most to look to the law for help,” writes the Times’ Katrin Bennhold.) Swedish law also recognizes “withdrawal of consent” as rape, which is what is alleged in the Assange case, and details three types of rape: “severe,” “regular” and “less severe.”

Reading about Sweden’s tough stance on sexual assault, I couldn’t help but wonder how the U.S. measures up. I gave Diane Moyer, legal director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, a call to find out.

Since I haven’t been doing a lot of writing this week, I have been doing a lot of reading.  Here are some of my favorites!  Also, check out some of the stuff that I have been posting on tumblr.  Or you could even ask me a question!

Womanist Musings: Jesse James and the Fallen Woman

I like Sandra, from the interviews I have seen with her – she seems like a woman that I would really enjoy sharing a beer with; however, the Madonna/Whore binary that this story is creating in her defence is harmful to ALL women.

Professor What If…?: What if she SHOULD be able to run/walk/hike along? Thoughts on the rape and murder of Chelsea King

Yet I must admit that this quote reverberates because it was one of the first things I thought when I heard a young girl was missing after going to run alone in a local park. Living in a rape culture which blames the victim, I recognize that even I, a feminist scholar and teacher, have had a “she should have” commentary beaten into my brain on a daily basis.

fbomb: A Call to Arms

If women are going to continue to break down barriers and keep the fight of feminism alive, we have got to lay off the girl on girl crime. This is something that affects women of all ages. Several weeks ago in Salon Magazine I read an article by Martha P. Nochimson, an established former NYU professor and author, take down Katheryn Bigelow simply because she didn’t like her movie.

Equality 101: Social Contexts of Education: Teaching Social Justice to Privileged Kids

Because children come from privileged backgrounds are the ones who need to know the most about power, privilege, and access; in other words, it is a necessity for these children to understand the foundations of social justice education.

feministhemes.com: That’s Ms., Not Miss, Thank You

Actually, Ms. is a way of privacy. Ms. does not convey age like Miss might indicate youth and Ma’am might indicate experience. Ms. does not convey marital status like Miss implies single and Missus implies married. Ms. implies female, woman, lady. It allows a woman’s name to stand on her own, without being defined by social roles.

feministhemes.com: Telephone: Lady Gaga’s Latest Controversy

Lady Gaga’s new video for Telephone has set of quite the firestorm online. Gaga appeared (pantsless) on my radar about a year ago as I noticed her being ripped apart by women-targeted fashion and gossip blogs, and the occasional feminist blog. Over time, things seemed to improve: she developed a reputation for being subversive, outspoken, gay-friendly, and arguably feminist. Her latest video has put a lot of us back at square one, wondering if we were kidding ourselves, if she’s messing with our heads, if this was just a fluke, if she jumped the shark, or (!!!) if it’s just a (NSFW) music video.

Criss writes: VAGINA!!! TAMPONS!!! VAGINA!!!

The ads are selling tampons — which are things you stick inside your VAGINA — but they are not allowed to say the word “vagina.”

Feministe: Five-Song Feminist Playlist

Jezebel has a Feminist Play List of five feminism-inspired songs, and they pick some good ones. But I know Feministe readers are primo Insufferable Music Snobs, so add your selections in the comments. And maybe the most fun thing about making this list? There are so many more than five songs to choose from. Feminism win.

Viva La Feminista: Book Review: Enlightened Sexism by Susan J. Douglas

Douglas attempts to unveil the contradictions in society, especially pop culture, that allows us, men and women, to believe we live in a post-feminist world but in fact do not. She fails to convince me, despite believing it, due to her contradictory examples.

this ain’t livin’: Feminism and Television: All the Credit, None of the Controversy

But these shows don’t actually have any main character who straight up says “I am a feminist.” In Veronica Mars, the feminists are actually depicted as laughable figures; they are straw feminists of the worst order, honestly. “Woman power” is used as a joke line on Buffy, and I don’t see Dr. Yang calling herself a feminist even though she’s kind of a personal feminist icon, for me. Where are all the feminists on these feminist shows?

FWD/Forward: Doctor Who and the Evil Wheelchair Users of Evil

As we can see, the trend with wheelchair-using characters in this show is that they’re evil and must die at the hands of our charming able-bodied hero.

this ain’t livin’: LGBTQ Representations On Television: Doctor Arizona Robbins

Doctor Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw), introduced in the fifth season of Grey’s Anatomy, is one of my favourite women on a show which already has a lot of awesome ladies (like Chandra Wilson as Doctor Miranda Bailey, Sara Ramirez as Doctor Callie Torres, and Sandra Oh as Doctor Christina Yang). She was brought on board in the wake of the blowback about the gaywashing of Doctor Hahn as a love interest for Dr. Torres, but she’s her own character, not just a love interest, and she’s extremely awesome. There’s a reason she’s referred to as a fan favourite.

this ain’t livin’: Before You Criticize the Food Choices of Others

Food policing is an area in which all sorts of assumptions are made about class and ability status. It goes hand in hand with the idea that people have an obligation to be healthy, that all bodies are the same so there’s only one way to be healthy, and that there is virtue in eating “right” as dictated by current authorities in the food world. Like, say, Michael Pollan, who is editorialized fawningly in numerous publications all over the planet for his “simple” and “helpful” food rules.

Here are a bunch of great posts about International Women’s Day:

Womanist Musings: In the Shadow of Hattie McDaniel Stands Monique

Ms. McDaniel won her award for best supporting actress in the movie “Gone With the Wind” in 1939. At the Atlanta premiere, not only was she banned from attending, her name was stricken from the souvenir program along with all of the other Black actors. Segregation meant that no matter her achievements, she was not worthy to be counted alongside the White actors. She was the first African American to be invited to the Oscars as a guest rather than a servant. What an accomplishment for the daughter of a slave.

feministhemes.com: The Blame and Shame Game

I don’t doubt that the motives here were well-intentioned, but I think that the posters that the students developed are a prime example of how we talk about sexual assault, rape, and domestic violence in our culture.

Criss writes: International ALL Women’s Day: “Feminista”

I was excited to read Erica Kennedy’s FEMINISTA mainly because of the title. I happily bought the book, not just because I could put it on my shiny new eReader but because buying it I was supporting a fellow Latina writer.

The story and characters have turned out to be not be my particular cup of tea, but I wanted to read it anyway. Until the word “tranny” appeared — and didn’t go away.

Also make sure to read Criss’ follow up post: ” ‘Feministas’ and the T-Word: The Aftermath”

In the tradition of loving Johnny Weir, check out all of these awesome articles about him:

Bitch Blogs: Reproductive Writes: Get With the Program

I recently argued in a post that hormonal contraceptives are the new tampons – the logical progression from hiding periods away, to getting rid of them altogether. It’s no wonder, then, that these contraceptives are marketed to us using the same tried and true lady-vertising tactics as their feminine hygiene predecessors.

Tiger Beatdown: The Complicated Influence of Ke$ha on Society

You know what? Sometimes it is just best to start your week with something ADORABLE. And disturbing! And complicated! And possibly wrong to even write about! But also, for real so adorable oh my God.

Professor What If…?: What if the need for Women’s History Month became a thing of the past?

Just as the (ironic) goal of women’s studies is to do away with the need for women’s studies, so is the goal of women’s history month to be able to do away with the need for a “special month” set aside for women’s history. Just as gender (and the intersecting issues of race, class, sexuality, ability and so on) should be a part of academic studies generally, so should women’s history be included in EVERDAY curriculum.

Overthinking it: Why Strong Female Characters Are Bad for Women

That’s the last straw. It’s bad enough that they make movies that objectify women, but then to call those women Strong Female Characters? I do not think that phrase means what you think it means, Megan Fox.

So you know what I say? I say screw Strong Female Characters. What we need now are some Weak Female Characters.

And because I also saw my first burlesque show this past weekend, I needed to include this post:

Gender Across Borders: Burlesque: Meow of a Kitten, Roar of a Feminist

Burlesque has made a comeback in the last decade, and Dita Von Teese – the picture perfect burlesque queen and Marliyn Manson-ex – is as much a role model for some young women as Britney Spears ever was. I pondered the show over the rest of the weekend – was it objectifying women? Did I feel OK partaking, and even paying for it?