Boys will be boys should be men

Eleanor Henry is a 22 year old law student from Melbourne who has just posted images on facebook to show the objectification women can be subjected to. The photos show a group chat she was “accidentally” added to, where fellow university students had referred to her as a ‘bike’ and encouraged one of them to pursue her with obscene tips like asking her for a picture to “show me where you piss from”.

And people still don’t get it. It’s not that they were talking about asking her out, it’s the derogatory way they described it.

Tell me that there is even a shred of respect or appreciating her as a person with those comments.

Enough of this ‘it’s just boys being boys’ crap. These boys need to grow the fuck up then because real men respect women. They see them as people and respect their sexuality. They do not treat them as sex objects. There is a difference and it’s about time boys understand what that nuanced but important distinction is!

Would the respectable men in your life ever speak about a woman in this way, even behind closed doors in the ‘men’s locker room’? I know all the men in my life and my friends’ husbands wouldn’t, and they are all very stereotypically ‘manly’ men. So don’t lump these sexist, misogynist boys into the same ‘boys club’ because you are doing the real men a disservice.

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Because we all know, don’t we, that women lie about rape.

Absolutely horrific and so so hard to read, but also so important to shed light on one of the many reasons why women ‘just don’t go to the cops straight after and get a rape kit’.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/the-story-of-louise-well-never-know-the-scale-of-the-rape-epidemic-in-sydney-20160221-gmzh62.html

One particular comment on the article articulates exactly where my frustrations lie:

Even in cases where a woman is gang-raped and beaten half to death, she still needs to defend her credibility. As though this is all just a bit of fun that got out of hand. And it’s no different in the courts. Cases abound where a perpetrator is convicted of assault and even grievous bodily harm, but acquitted of rape. In one quite famous Tasmanian case, the jury accepted that the perpetrator had fired a gun next to the victim’s head – there was incontrovertible evidence, after all, with a spent cartridge and a bullet hole – but STILL managed to conclude that the sex was consensual. Because apparently evidence that the perpetrator held the victim at gunpoint isn’t evidence that she didn’t consent.

Our system is grievously, grievously broken because it still appeals to the common knowledge of the totally uninformed. Because we all know, don’t we, that women lie about rape. – Lou

It is an absolute joke that Sydneysiders are punished with ridiculous lockout laws for a few dickheads who coward punch other men, but sexual assault and rape that us ‘feminazis’ have been screaming out about is something we ‘have to expect’ because we ‘acted/dressed/walked a certain way’. And God forbid anyone speaks up about it because they will then certainly be labelled a liar because ‘where’s the proof’?

Even after all this, it is still incredibly hard to get a rape conviction. Why?

Crimes against women never seem to get the same attention as crimes against men.

Look at the outrage and action from a few victims of cowards punches.

Yet women are being raped and killed in their own homes every week.

Victim blaming is still rife. – Steve

Instead of taking away the rights of the public, why aren’t we focussing on punishing the perpetrators of rape and assault? We created a specific sentencing for coward punches, but the justice system for rape, assault and domestic violence is still stuck in the dark ages where the victim (male, female or child) has to go through horrendous embarrassment (have you actually read about the rape kits? Would you want your rapist’s semen sitting in your body so tests can be run to prove you went through such an ordeal?) and relive the moment over and over in statements and in court with the likely outcome of their offenders not being prosecuted because of lack of evidence that it either happened or was consensual.

Our system is completely screwed when Luke Lazarus can anally rape a virgin but his sentence is overturned because of a technicality with the judge’s statement and so there could have been ‘reasonable belief’ that she consented to the sex. Even if she did consent initially, which is plausible, even if she then goes outside and goes ‘actually, I don’t think I’m up for anal as this is my first time’ (extremely plausible) there is no longer consent! Why are there not more processes put in place so these cases don’t become a he said/she said battle where the he always wins?

Why is the whole idea of women’s rights – to be equal to men, to be respected as much as men and to be supported by the government and society as much as men – so fricken hard for people to understand?

 

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Why I won’t jump for joy over Michelle Payne’s Melbourne Cup win.

It’s something I grapple with every time a female ‘wins’ in a male dominated sport or career. The thought that, while obviously this woman kicks arse, she’s beating the men but at their own game – by having to play how the men play. 

But is this the ultimate goal of feminism? To still measure performance by male metrics? Don’t we want women to win by playing the game how women want to play it?

This article is the best articulation I’ve read recently on that idea, that we shouldn’t just be striving for equality, but liberation.

Equality is a fundamentally conservative aim. Rather, it is liberation from a system that idolises money and power and demands women “act like men” to get ahead, that we should set our sights on.

Michelle Payne’s victory at yesterday’s Melbourne Cup… may indeed prove she is equal to the pinnacle of her male competitors, but it does very little to further the concept of liberation.

Now, the journalists main point is that the cruelty of the Melbourne Cup conflicts with her views of feminism because it “is inextricably tied to my passion for animal rights”. That whipping the horses and dominating them to perform to the jockey’s needs over their own is a violent activity linked with stereotypical views on male masculinity and dominance.  

So if a woman wins the Melbourne Cup, if she pushes her horse the hardest in training, whips it the hardest on the track, is that actually us winning the feminist battle? Surely reassessing the current practices of the sport with (again stereotypically) what’s seen as more feminine qualities like empathy and compassion, would see new practices being implemented that reduce the harm and violence towards the horses. 
I guess what it really does come down to is:

 In a world that consistently fails to recognise let alone reward us, should we celebrate every victory by a woman as a win for women?

Yes, there is something deliciously thrilling about a woman taking advantage of the spotlight to tell men off and proclaim that, “Women can do anything and we can beat the world.” 

But there is the contradiction. Perpetuating and celebrating violent spectacles like the Melbourne Cup isn’t beating the world; it’s joining it. And that is the difference between equality and liberation.

True liberation will be when typically feminine qualities are seen as strengths along with masculine ones; when a male can express empathy, openness, vulnerability and not be judged as weak; when domestic violence of any kind, both physical and mental is not tolerated to or by any gender; and when women succeed because they were themselves and didn’t have to ‘lean in’ and act like a man to succeed at what is still a man’s game. 

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So I want to be liked, that doesn’t mean I’m bad at my job.

So so great, this is the problem with ‘The 9 Top Ways Women Give Away Their Power.’ and all those other articles about how women need to ‘lean in’, stop apologising, stop using passive words like ‘just’ (a word I use in probably almost every email, just to soften it):

See, the problem with these sorts of guidelines is the insistence that if women would just assimilate and act more like men, the entire mechanism of misogynistic bias against them would collapse.

Germaine Greer decried this type of feminism; the idea that freedom is found in mimicking men.

I’ve always found it interesting that the qualities that are supposed to make a good manager, qualities like empathy, are the ones that women naturally possess, but are told to tone down in the workplace.

Promotion of authentic power, the kind that doesn’t “leak” out of a woman means valuing not just quotas of women at top levels, but their own way of doing business, as well. In practical terms, this means not demonising a woman for wanting to be liked.

It means accepting that, when it comes to emails, the word “just” or the use of question marks or even an exclamation mark (or four) does not automatically denote powerlessness.

Argh I wish this post would go viral so that this kind of thinking would be encouraged at work.

Let’s stop telling women to modify their behaviour to “get ahead”. Because the quagmire is not with women’s behaviour at work, but the denial and repression of it. Excuse me, I was modifying my language. I meant to say that the way women do business, with humility, empathy and feelings, is already powerful, it’s just that most people are scared s–tless of it.

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Seven anti-feminist headlines you won’t believe were published.

This is brilliant! In this article Clem Bastow takes the stock-standard, idiotic anti-feminist responses to female writers and turns them into clickbait headlines!

She won me over with our mutual dislikes (I can already tell we’re going to be BFFs):

There are two things on the internet that make me descend into an apoplectic fury without fail: witless responses to feminist commentary, and clickbait headlines.

And then shines light on a truth that all female writers know to be true:

If you call yourself a feminist… a guy with a Lars Von Trier-related username will let you know exactly a) what he thinks and b) why you’re wrong.

And then drops in this absolute gem of a reference:

It’s such a widespread and depressingly common occurrence that in 2013, an ‘internet law’, Anita’s Irony, was stated: “Online discussion of sexism or misogyny quickly results in disproportionate displays of sexism and misogyny.”

And this then follows on to her reworking common responses to her feminist musings into clickbait. And my-oh-my would I click (fricken click-bait gets me every time). My favourites below, recognise any familiar sentiments you may have read or unfortunately experienced yourself?:

14 Great Egg Recipes That Celebrate The Anonymous Twitter Accounts That Called Me A Stupid Whore.

This Man’s Story About The Second Cousin Of A Friend Of His From College Will Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Intimate Partner Violence.

Violence Against Women Statistics Are No Match For This Link To A Niche Men’s Interest Blog That Features Animated GIFs Of Fire.

25 Ways In Which These Women Were Definitely Asking For It.

Here’s What Happens When A Dude With No Hobbies Is Given A Laptop And Wifi.

Why Is A Woman Who Claims To Be Single So Determined To Ignore This Unsolicited D–k Pic?

She Deleted His Defamatory Comment On Her Facebook Page, So He Surprised Her With A Fifteen-Message Screed. What Happened Next Will Amaze You.

The only thing I disagree with, and not that it’s explicitly written but implied due to the constant references to men, is that it is only men who write these witless and often aggressive responses. I’ve read some pretty disgusting comments directed to females by females, not to mention the number of female public figures that just say some honestly damn stupid crap that then reaches out to the masses.

Can’t we all just get along?

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Diversity Barbie raising her voice.

So Mattel has just announced that it will model a doll after Zendaya Coleman (the awesome chick who had this cutting response to Giuliana Rancic’s dig at her dreadlocks looking like they smelt like weed):

zendaya quote

This is a huge leap for a brand that has been squarely seated in the white privileged blond space for many decades. Hopefully this is the beginning of diversity in the Barbie range and not just a short term fix for a lack of relevance with today’s multicultural and aware society.

I’m excited to be a part of the new direction the Barbie brand is headed, specifically how they are celebrating diversity in the line and encouraging kids to raise their voices.

When I was little, I couldn’t find a Barbie that looked like me. My… how times have changed. Thank you @barbie for this honor and for allowing me to be apart of your diversification and expansion of the definition of beauty. Can’t wait to keep doing amazing things with you.

zendaya barbie doll

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Rewarding progress.

Diversity was the theme of the day at the 2015 Emmy’s. A few small steps add up to make positive change on female, racial and transgender rights.

  1. Viola Davis: “The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
  2. #AskHerMore meant less ‘who are you wearing’ and more ‘who do you admire’ questions on the red carpet
  3. Andy Samberg called out Donald Trump on his racism
  4. ‘The Amys’ called out the ‘Worst Dressed’ coverage for what it really is
  5. Jon Hamm told it like it was: “People look back on those days through a thick veil of nostalgia, but life was hard if you were anything other than a rich, powerful, white male.”
  6. Uzo Aduba wins for OITNB, again!
  7. Jill Soloway: “People need to make an attempt to find identify and nurture people of colour, women, trans people, queer people, and include them in the creative process.”
  8. Jeffrey Tambor: “I’d like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for our inspiration. Thank you for letting us be part of the change.”

And here’s to more change.

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