Linkspam of Spring 2012

So it’s spring here in Oz, and the days are getting longer and warmer, there are more birds about, and weeds are growing at an amazing pace in my garden.  So to distract myself from thinking about that, here are some amazing pieces of writing I’ve found about the place recently.

Libby Anne at Love Joy Feminism writes, “When It Really Is about Controlling Women“:

If abortion is murder, the argument that women need to “take responsibility” for the “voluntary decision” to have sex by carrying the pregnancy to term is irrelevant. It should not matter. If it’s just about “saving babies,” then abortion is wrong because it’s murder, not because it’s a woman failing to “take responsibility” for having had sex. When someone makes the above argument, then, they make clear that some proportion of the anti-abortion movement is not simply interested in “saving babies,” but rather in depriving women of control of their own reproduction. Some proportion of the anti-abortion movement, then, is actively anti-woman, not simply passively anti-woman. They make opposing abortion about “slut shaming,” about trying to control women who want to have sex but not to have children, not about “saving babies.”

And then they wonder why women get upset. They wonder why they’re called anti-woman. They shouldn’t. It should be obvious.

Libby Anne also wrote, “Dear Pro-Lifers: STOP ERASING WOMEN“:

There, right there, is where women are removed from the picture entirely. Somehow zygotes magically develop into human beings…like, by themselves. Nothing else involved there. No one else effected. But that’s simply untrue. A zygote will NOT develop naturally into a human being if left to itself. Rather, in order to develop into a human being it has to have massive intervention from an outside source. Namely, a woman. Without this intervention, a zygote will not become a human being.

I’m sorry if it seems like I’m splitting hairs here, and I realized perfectly well that the author of that piece probably didn’t even realize he was doing this (which almost makes it worse), but every time a pro-lifer erases women like this, I can’t help but cringe. No, more than that, I want to yell.

Over at Boing Boing, “Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has a few choice words for a Maryland politician“, with a link to the actual letter written by Chris Kluwe.  This issue was beautifully handled by Chris Kluwe and certainly has added for me a whole new respect for NFL players.

A older piece by Kate Harding, “The Fantasy of Being Thin“:

And then I started thinking about what it was really like before I’d actually made peace with my body. And what it was really like was this: The Fantasy of Being Thin absolutely dominated my life — even after I’d gotten thin once, found myself just as depressive and scattered and frustrated as always, and then gained all the weight back because, you know, diets don’t work. The reality of being thin didn’t even sink in after all that, because The Fantasy of Being Thin was still far more familiar to me, still what I knew best. I’d spent years and years nurturing that fantasy, and only a couple years as an actual thin person. Reality didn’t have a chance.

We’ve talked a lot here about how being fat shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you’ve always believed you couldn’t do until you were thin. Put on a bathing suit and go waterskiing. Apply for that awesome job you’re just barely qualified for. Ask that hot guy out. Join a gym. Wear a gorgeous dress. All of those concrete things you’ve been putting off? Just fucking do them, now, because this IS your life, happening as we speak.

From Feministing, a “Young Man schools homophobes with… The Bible?“.  The video is an hour long, I read the transcript which is linked under the page.  Matthew Vines has taken time to research bible quotes on same-sex relationships (sadly failing to recognise bisexuality but you can’t have everything), and comes to a completely different conclusion than the ones spouted by fringe Christianity.

A same-sex couple in Nevada who have had their same sex relationship recognised by the State and who have a “certificate of domestic partnership” which is supposed to give them the same rights as married couples, had their relationship ignored when one of them was admitted to hospital recently.  In the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Same-sex couple in Henderson upset with hospital’s treatment“.

From Benny at Queereka, “Kinksters, Time for a Change“.  *Trigger warning for discussions of sexual assault, rape, and harassment*

From Yessenia at Queereka, “Self-Defense: Now Available in Pink!“.  *Trigger warning for discussion of rape culture, violence, sexual assault and rape*

Now, as a general rule, I’m suspicious when I see phrases like “women’s self defense.” Because isn’t that just called ‘self-defense?’

What makes women’s self defense different? Well, as we’re all generally aware, the implicit rest of the phrase is “women’s self defense against rapists.”

But like most things modified with ‘women,’ the message eventually becomes “self defense that’s pinker and weaker than the regular variety employed by standard (male) humans.” And you get classes like this: “Girls’ Fight Night Out.” Forty-two year old girl Betty Ryan described her reason for attending: ““This was about fun and self-defense, which is why I chose to go.”

Listen, rule of thumb: if you’re learning self-defense against rapists, it’s not gonna be fun.

Three posts from Lesbilicious, “Street Harassment: the taboo is finally breaking

The neglected phenomenon of street harassment suffered by a majority of women in Brussels as well as in other European cities is the subject of the documentary  ‘Femme de la rue’ (‘Woman of the Street’) by student filmmaker Sofie Peteers.  Released in Belgium at the end of July 2012, this simple university work created an incredible snowball effect. The topic has been picking up in the francophone medias to such extent that Belgium is now examining the possibility of creating a law to penalize street harassment.

And “Is Fifty Shades of Grey so bad it should be burned?” and “Moscow Pride: a brief history“:

Pride in Moscow has been banned every year, and activists have marched regardless. In 2006 and 2007 the demonstrators were subject to homophobic violence from nationalists as well as from the police, and several were arrested. In 2008 the organisers used a flashmob form of protest, and in 2009 the location was changed at the last minute – clashes with anti-gay protestors were avoided, though the organisers were still arrested and illegally detained overnight. In 2010, activists fed police false information and were able to hold a ten-minute march: for the first time, they avoided violence and arrests.

In late 2010, Alekseev took the Russian government to the European Court of Human Rights, regarding the banned Pride marches in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and won: Russia paid him almost 30,000 Euro in damages and legal fees. However, the next year, the parade was attacked again, and over thirty participants were arrested.


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