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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The medium is part of the point.

Not much needs to be said except that I absolutely love this quote:

Graffiti it’s a unique form of art — the medium is part of the point, and the point should be heard.

Read into them what you will.

equity

cairo

washington

western pop culture

Brazil

View more >

The audacity of normality.

An Italian sports magazine has a groundbreaking cover, showing two gay rugby players in a passionate kiss.

 
The players are a couple who both play for Libera, ‘Italy’s first gay-friendly rugby club’. 

The magazine says the cover is an effort to challenge homophobia in sports, which it describes as the ‘last taboo’

LGBTI Italians have few protections from discrimination – and Italy is the only country left in western Europe that provides same-sex relationships zero legal recognition. But that could be about to change, with the Italian parliament recently passing a motion that could see civil unions introduced in coming months.

Read more >

Make-up artists, please carry Bobbi Brown skin foundation ‘Espresso’.

You may have seen the beautiful Nykhor Paul, a fashion modelfrom South Sudan, fill up your news feed recently. She has called out makeup artists for being ill-prepared to work with dark-skinned models and with many brand now catering for women of colour, there’s little excuse for professional makeup artists to not carry make-up for darker complexions.

Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don’t have to do anything but show up wtf! Don’t try to make me feel bad because I am blue black its 2015 go to Mac, Bobbi Brown, Makeup forever, Iman cosmetic, black opal, even Lancôme and Clinique carried them plus so much more. there’s so much options our there for dark skin tones today. A good makeup artist would come prepare and do there research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! Stop apologizing it’s insulting and disrespectful to me and my race it doesn’t help, seriously! Make an effort at least!

I’m tired of complaining about not getting book as a black model and I’m definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!! Fashion is art, art is never racist it should be inclusive of all not only white people, shit we started fashion in Africa and you modernize and copy it! Why can’t we be part of fashion fully and equally?

Read the full article >

To all my Queens in the house.

So I saw Magic Mike XXL on the weekend and have been scouring the web (and by that I mean I clicked on the second page of google results) for a well constructed review of the feminist and racial undertones of the newest Magic Mike.

I struggled to find anything that articulates my thoughts on the movie in this context – that both celebrates it for its racial, age and ‘all body types’ inclusiveness with a focus on the deeper level of sexuality that many (not all) women need to be turned on,  but also acknowledges that it does feel a little superficial in its exploration; let’s go to a strip club that’s full of all African American women, and give lap dances to several overweight women (by hollywood standards), but ensure the main female love interest is a skinny white female (but having said that is bisexual in the film soooo again is inclusive, ugh I’m confused).

Some quotes from one review that stood out to me here:

I think it’s appalling that for a long time only women were objectified, but I think if we really want to advocate for equality, it’s important to even things out. Not objectify women less, but objectify men just as often as we objectify women. – Chris Pratt

No one does sex for women well — not in film and not on TV. Women are accustomed to seeing distorted images of themselves reflected back by way of the male gaze, but media that operates from the nexus of a woman’s desire is still so rare – Jill Soloway

You begin to see that “the female gaze” may not just consist of the camera panning down the male body, or putting women in traditionally male roles, but also about embracing aesthetic preferences that disrupt linear, conflict- and violence-ridden storytelling structures with lingering romantic awkwardness, offbeat humor, earnest themes, and occasionally fanciful song and dance routines that defy reality.

But hey, how much less realistic is solving a plot problem via choreography than solving one through blowing things up, after all, and walking away casually? The point is, the doorway is widening. And the more diverse ways we have of telling mainstream stories, the more likely audiences  will find something that speaks to them, irregardless of gender expression or identity.

I also aligned with some elements of this article in terms of encouraging men to watch these kind of videos to address the whole ‘teach men not to rape’ argument.

Too many men, I fear, do not know what the face of a joyfully turned-on woman looks like. Moreover, too many men do not care. “Smile,” they leer at her, as she walks by on the street. Not because she looks sad, but because she is not pretending to be happy. Because she is not outwardly focused on presenting an appealing facade.

Perhaps these men have been told, too many times over by too many movies, books, stories, rock songs, that their own desire is paramount, and that women are the ones who must strive to stroke, as it were, their egos. Perhaps they’ve been told that “sexy” is something women do at men and for men, but never for themselves.

I am tired, so tired, of the onus being put on rape and sexual assault victims and survivors to prevent their own abuse and harassment. I believe, as deeply as I believe anything, that the solution to rape culture is to teach men to treat women like people, and not only to value their enthusiastic consent but to derive their own incredible pleasure from it.

But I have (too) often wondered: How? How, when so many stories we tell about romance and sex fail to show this version of empathetic, differently empowered masculinity to the men who need to see it most. Magic Mike XXL is the narrative I’ve—we’ve—been looking for.

And in case you think I live under some sort of feminist rock, I of course read Roxanne Gay’s review and while a fabulous read (alert, spoilers!) I do still feel if we’re critically analysing the film, it was a little 101 (hello, Mike just happens to drop into conversation he believes God is a woman? Is this really necessary for the plot line or more likely a conveniently dropped in feminist stance to win over all the women in the audience [and it worked]?).

And just because it appeals to Roxanne (and myself, and millions of other women’s) ideas of sexuality, doesn’t mean it’s all encompassing for every woman’s desire or pleasure (and the movie doesn’t need to be condemned for this but it’s important this is acknowledged). Still, I for the most part agree with Roxanne, namely:

Jada Pinkett is flawless in this movie. She is utterly flawless and sexy and charismatic and I hope she gets the bigger roles she deserves.

And most certainly:

Rome warns the audience at the convention that women not on birth control should proceed to the nearest exit because some grown woman shit is about to go down. She ain’t never lied. Grown woman shit is exactly what goes down. I feel like I got a little bit pregnant (quadruplets, probably) from what happened next.

In summary, go watch. You’ll likely enjoy it (just don’t focus on the storyline too much, the gyrating and stimulated sex by Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello to music like Nine Inch Nails ‘Animal’ makes up for it, I promise 😉

Calling male feminists.

In the words of Louise Brealey: ‘I’d like every man who doesn’t call himself a feminist to explain to the women in his life why he doesn’t believe in equality for women.’

Friend zoning is like a terrible thing. The idea of it is like a terrible male thing. Have you ever heard a girl say they’re in the friend zone? I definitely think the idea of the friend zone is just men going ‘this woman won’t have sex with me’. – Daniel Radcliffe

If you look up feminism in the dictionary it just means someone who believes that men and women have equal rights. I think the reason that so many people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture now people think that feminist means like, some woman is gonna start yelling at me – Aziz Ansari

I feel like, whether it’s a woman or a man, that you don’t have to be defined by your gender. You can be whatever you want to be.You don’t have to fit into the boxes that someone might tell you you have to fit into. That’s what it [feminism] means to me. – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

And number 24. Dustin Hoffman. Read it now >

Fucking outrageous.

Don’t you just love Helen Mirren? She has commented on Hollywood’s sexist, ageist casting with an accurate and succinct “It’s fucking outrageous.”

Mirren spoke at women’s breakfast in New York and when asked to comment on Maggie Gyllenhaal being told by a casting agent that at 37 she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man, Mirren responded quite simply:

It’s fucking outrageous. It’s ridiculous. Honestly.

We all sat there watching, you know… as James Bond got more and more geriatric and his girlfriends got younger and younger.

And she has something to say on being labelled as ‘sexual’ at 69 years young:

I don’t like the word sexual. There are people who are sexual, and who are less sexual. But there’s got to be another word. Sexual is so limiting.

Being powerful is so much more interesting than being beautiful.

*applause*

Read more >

Feminism in the age of Miley Cyrus.

An older article but still appropriately relevant and I thought worth highlighting a few choice quotes.

There is space for all women, for all identities, within the feminist movement. Fellow musician Amanda Palmer put it brilliantly when she said, in her own open letter,

“…there needs to be room on the vast playing field for Adele to wear a conservative suit, room for Lady Gaga to do naked performance art in the woods, room for PJ Harvey to wear high-collared 18th-century jackets on stage, room for Natasha Kahn to pose boldly naked on the cover of her last record, and room for Miley to rip a page out of stripper culture and run around like a maniac for however long she wants to.”

We are too complex to be placed into boxes. We understand that there is no right way to “do feminism.” We are allowed to pick on each other. We are allowed to question the ways that other women express themselves. But we are not allowed to disrespect them.

Miley’s feminism may not be yours, but it is one of ours. Feminism has changed. It is intersectional. We are people. We are women. Some of us want to beat the system, some of us want to change it, some of us want nothing to do with it, but the point of the women’s movement was to ensure that we have that choice.

Read the full article at Bustle >

Bikinis and power suits.

Jessica Alba ForbesTalk about girl power! Jessica Alba not only kicked butt on tv show ‘Dark Angel’ and movie ‘The Incredibles’, but she’s also kicking butt in the business world and has made it onto the cover of Forbes magazine.

Speaking at Forbes’ third annual Women’s Summit in New York – where female entrepreneurs and leaders work to change the power imbalance in the business world – Alba spoke of the challenges she face when launching The Honest Company, which sells a range of non-toxic household products and turned over $150 million in revenues last year.

People just saw me as this girl in a bikini in movies kicking butt — maybe not the brightest bulb… It took three and a half years of condescending nods and pats on the back of ‘good luck’, or ‘go back to endorsing things or go do a perfume.’

Well the jokes on them, after only 3 years The Honest Company is currently valued at US$1 billion.

Read more >

That’s Mr Saldana thank-you-very-much.

zoe saldana

Zoe Saldana has questioned the buzz surrounding her husband’s take up of her last name. Here is why, Mrs Saldana, your husband taking your last name is so damn newsworthy. Because:

63% of men would be upset if their wives kept their maiden names, and a whopping 96% of men wouldn’t take their wife’s last name

I would say being in the 4% makes your husband ‘newsworthy’ wouldn’t you? And for good reason. Because:

Many millennial women are changing their names not based on some ideological preference, but seemingly by default.

So many women I speak to respond to the question of taking their husband’s last name with ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ well here is a reason for you:

Changing a name is, in many ways, a change of identity. We associate our names with our heritage, family, childhood, career and even our personal brands. Switching over when we sign a marriage certificate is saying goodbye to one aspect of our life and adopting a new identity; in heterosexual marriages, that often means sharing one with a man.

I am glad Zoe Saldana, not that your husband taking your last name is something that’s newsworthy in the 21st Century, but I am glad given the huge number of men that refuse to even consider taking on their wife’s name that your husband’s choice and your empowering words may just start to affect change.

Men, you will not cease to exist by taking your partner’s surname. On the contrary – you’ll be remembered as a man who stood by change. I know our sons will respect and admire their father more because their father lead by example.

Gentlemen, I implore you to think outside the box- remove the box altogether. Let’s redefine masculinity. A real “man” leads alongside his partner. A real man accepts his mortality. A real man acknowledges that nothing can be done alone.”

Read more >

*2013 Women’s Health survey of Men’s Health’s male readers

We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.

beyonceAnother awesome illustrated feminist blog post, this one by illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw – “We Are Entitled To Wear Cowboy Boots To Our Own Revolution“.

It was a great opportunity, then, to depict women of colour with their own words. It’s incorrect to separate feminism from racial equality as though they were unlinked. I can’t divorce a woman from her race any more than I can divorce her from her femininity; both are part of her identity and together they affect how she is treated in this world.

I can’t personally represent the voice of a woman of color, but in my artistic depictions of diverse women (and men!) I can make an effort to show empathy, respect, and dignity.

I hear you sister!

View more of Crenshaw’s illustrations >

I do not belong to anyone but myself.

ariana grande

In an open letter on Twitter and Instagram, Ariana Grande has written an epic response to the constant inquiry into her love life stating:

I’m tired of needing to be linked to a guy, I’m not Big Sean’s ex, I’m not Niall’s new possible girl. I’m Ariana Grande.

What I meant when I said what I said about not being Sean’s ex is that I am tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man’s past, present or future PROPERTY / POSSESSION. I… do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you.

I have come to the realization that I have SO. MUCH. MORE. to talk about. I’m currently making the best music I’ve ever made in my life.

If a woman has a lot of sex (or any sex for that matter)… she’s a ‘slut.’ If a man has sex… HE’S. A. STUD. a BOSSSSS. a KING.

Echoing Taylor Swift’s thoughts on the sexist double standards:

I’m not allowed to date for excitement, or fun, or new experiences or learning lessons. I’m only allowed to date if it’s for a lasting, multiple-year relationship. Otherwise I’m a, quote, ‘serial dater’. Or, quote, ‘boy crazy’.

Here’s to women everywhere being their own, independent selves.

Read more here >

Ambivalently yours.

This is simply brilliant. Ambivalently yours is an annonymous blogger who creates artworks articulating the feelings many of us experience with reconcilling our feminism with our love of girly pink things. 

Here are some of my favourites.

 
  

  

  

  

   

  

  

  

  

Women in comedy.

women in comedy

I don’t have much to say on this other than watch, just watch. You won’t regret it.

If you’re short on time, I recommend watching Lena Dunham and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Watch them here >

A carefully curated wall of light and positivity.

Luna-Lovegood-Wallpaper-luna-lovegood-25518129-1024-768

Wow this is great! So eloquently put. Evanna Lynch (the actress who plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films) wrote what is essentially an essay schooling homophobic followers and banishing them from her social profiles.

Some choice snippets below.

I don’t want your poison all over my carefully curated wall of light and positivity.

It is possible to not like the idea of homosexuality, to find it a wholly alien, uncomfortable concept and to not impose this view on the people it affects and above all to not shame people for the way they are.

I encourage you to read more here >

Luna Lovegood

Celebrating same-sex love through traffic lights.

vienna lights

I love this! Vienna has installed same-sex couple pedestrian lights! Disappointingly they will only be up until June for a host of events including Eurovision, but these are so cute let’s hope we see them pop up somewhere again soon!

 Read the full article here >

Inspire with words.

Age is not important

Some inspirational quotes I thought worth sharing…

equalityRaise your voiceMan adviceAge is not important

Sourced from Debrief Daily

Stop taxing my period.

CR_tampon_330pxX184px_v6This is something I’ve been frustrated about since its inception. The fact that pads and tampons incur GST, meanwhile condoms and lube are considered a health necessity and are GST free. Mmm…k, nothing sexist going on here.

I was so excited when I found out that student activist Subeta Vimalarajah has started a petition to remove the discriminatory tax from female necessities and I encourage everyone who believes in removing this unfair and discriminatory tax to sign.

The Australian Government taxes every menstruating Australian 10% every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year.

Sign the petition and tell Mr Hockey loud and clear that a period is not a luxury or societal burden, it is an aspect of reproductive health.

Sign the petition >

You misunderstood, it’s a cape not a dress.

#ItWasNeverADress is part of a project launched at the Girls in Tech conference from software company Axosoft to encourage more women into the industry.

It Was Never a Dress is an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day.

“In science, technology, arts, mathematics, politics, houses of worship, on the streets, and in our homes, insightful women are often uninvited, overlooked, or just plain dismissed.

“Through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions, It Was Never a Dress will foster necessary conversations, vital voices, and images from around the world that honor ALL women.”

Read the full article here >

What Martin Luther King Jr has to say about the Baltimore riots.

martin-luther-king-quote-a-riot-is-the-language-of-the-unheard

And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity.

Read the full article here >

Laverne Cox poses naked for transgender empowerment.

Isn’t she gorgeous? Initially rejecting the proposal to pose naked on the cover of Allure magazine, Laverne Cox then changed her mind…

“I’m a black transgender woman,” she told Allure. “I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent.”

“Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks.”

Adding to her credentials, Laverne Cox has also been named one of TIME MAGAZINES‘s 100 Most Influential People.

Anne Hathaway tells it how it is.

Sourced from attn

Everyday inequalities highlighted through satirical illustration.

These satirical illustrations by Polish artist Pawel Kuczynski highlight inequalities in everyday life. Sometimes we are so engrained in the day to day we just accept inequalities without question.

Illustrations sourced (and more available) from Truth Seeker Daily

Celebrity call outs on gender inequality.

Kristen Schaal

Kristen Schaal

A Daily Life gallery of celebrities using their star power to call out gender inequality.

Kristen Schaal’s quote is my favourite:

We’re going to print human hearts out of Xerox machines 30 years before women get pay equality. At this point, we’d be better off printing a 3D penis, slapping it on the bank counter, and saying ‘Hey society, f–k you, pay me!'”

Read article >