I was at slutwalk yesterday, and as I’d volunteered to be a marshall at the Melbourne event, apparently I was a “slut wrangler” – thanks The Age. It was a fantastic event and the organisers did a great job liaising with the police and the city council regarding the march, getting great speakers and keeping everything together. This post isn’t about the great signs, fantastic people, great speakers and the courage that everyone showed by marching or attending yesterday, no, this post is about the protesters to the march who just don’t get it.
Two lone Christian protesters holding signs saying ”Rape is horrifying but so is immodesty” and ”God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” were the only visible opponents.
There was perhaps a third protester on the steps of Treasury House at the top of Collins Street. I heard that there was someone there with a sign that was very close to illegible due to the amount of text on it, who ended up being surrounded by people who were marching before the police took them away (the sign holder, not the marchers). I have no idea what was on that sign, so I’ll leave my commenting to the ones reported in The Age.
Rape is horrifying but so is immodesty
So, apparently being immodest, is as bad as being raped. I take it that the author of this sign hadn’t:
a) thought for more than 5 seconds;
b) been raped;
c) know anyone who has been raped (though if they do, they probably think that it was the victim’s fault); and/or
d) listened to the experience of someone who has been raped/sexually assaulted and asked why/how the rapist could do that.
The author of that sign also clearly missed the entire point of the march. The fact is, that regardless of what women wear, rapists will rape. I was (sadly) briefly friends with a woman at university who was raped at knifepoint when walking home from school one day. She had her throat slit during and was incredibly lucky to survive. She was wearing her school uniform and carrying her school bag – she was not dressed immodestly. I was raped by my then boyfriend. I was partially naked at the time, which I suppose is considered immodest, but given I was in a relationship with him, then again no – any more than I’d be immodest if I was raped today by a partner (which wouldn’t happen).
Before I started reading this post I thought I’d do a little bit of reading about modesty (on wikipedia of course), to make sure I understood what the protesters were talking about. There are some very interesting quotes in the wikipedia article on modesty which I thought I’d share.
Modesty may be expressed in social interaction by communicating in a way exhibiting humility, shyness, or simplicity. The general elements of modesty include:
Downplaying one’s accomplishments;
Behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency
Standards of modesty vary by culture, or generation and vary depending on who is exposed, which parts of the body are exposed, the duration of the exposure, the context, and other variables.
Proponents of modesty often see it as a demonstration of respect for their bodies, for social norms, and for the feelings of themselves and others. Some people believe modesty may reduce sexual crimes. Some critics assert that modesty reflects a negative body image, and there may be a correlation between repressive body attitudes and undesirable outcomes such as sexual crimes, violence, and stress.
Most discussion of modesty involves clothing. Issues of modesty and decency have arisen especially during the 20th century as a result of the increased popularity in many countries of shorter dresses and swimsuits and the consequential exposure of more of the body. This has been more pronounced in the case of female fashions. Most people consider the clothes that they are wearing to be modest. Otherwise, they would not wear the clothes. What is considered “modest” in this context will depend on the context when the clothes will be worn and can vary between religions, cultures, generations, occasions, and the persons who are present. [emphasis added]
Modesty is such a fluid concept, it changes year to year, and what is considered modest now, would be considered highly immodest 100 years or more ago. The fact that modesty has different rules depending on which gender you present is also incredibly suckful and unfair, and good reasons for it to be ignored. Immodesty is not as horrifying rape, I’d happily walk naked across the CBD of Melbourne, but I’d not happily be raped.
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble
I’d just like to laugh at the irony of this statement. Humility is nicely defined as:
Humility (adjectival form: humble) is the quality of being modest, reverential, even obsequiously submissive, and never being arrogant, contemptuous, rude or even self-aggrandizing.
I’d like more Christians to be humble, and to not attempt to dictate to others what they should and should not do.
Bec, it’s just an ad… get over it.
They’re not playing into anything, they’re doing a good job at selling their product.
I’m sure if you were trying to sell lots of your over-priced flowers you’d be trying to do whatever it takes to get people to buy them too.
[ok I now have a fever and am sick, so if this post doesn’t make all the sense that I intend, apologies]
The stories above are just the Government actions taken against US Muslims. They do not detail in any way the daily prejudice, discrimination and bigotry faced by Muslims in the US. Islamaphobia is in full swing.
From where I’m sitting (sick and fuzzy headed), the Islamaphobia in the US (yes, I know it exists in Australia too, and is equally problematic) can lead to some very bad outcomes. The estimated number of Muslims in the US is around 2.3% of the US population (Australia’s Muslim population is 1.71% of the overall population). There just are not enough Muslims in the US (or Australia) to rise up and protest against the oppression they’re suffering (unlike the peoples in many Middle Eastern nations currently – which has nothing to do with Islam and all to do with oppression, lack of opportunities, etc). The research on stereotype threat also suggests that Muslims may feel that they have to conform to the predominant sterotype held of them, which doesn’t do anyone any favours.
If we look back at history, we can see many many examples of groups that have been vilified and terrible results (clearly we are very bad at learning from history and are doomed to repeat it). The news media played a large part in the Rwandan Genocide.
According to recent commentators, the news media played a crucial role in the genocide; local print and radio media fueled the killings while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued events on the ground. The print media in Rwanda is believed to have started hate speech against Tutsis, which was later continued by radio stations. According to commentators, anti-Tutsi hate speech “…became so systemic as to seem the norm.”
From late October 1993, the RTLM repeatedly broadcast themes developed by the extremist written press, underlining the inherent differences between Hutu and Tutsi, the foreign origin of Tutsi, the disproportionate share of Tutsi wealth and power, and the horrors of past Tutsi rule. The RTLM also repeatedly stressed the need to be alert to Tutsi plots and possible attacks. It warned Hutu to prepare to “defend” themselves against the Tutsi. (Source: Wikipedia – link above)
We can also look at the internment of Japanese people (definitions on who was Japanese or not was interestingly broad) in the US during World War 2.
Many concerns over the loyalty of ethnic Japanese seemed to stem from racial prejudice rather than evidence of actual malfeasance. Major Karl Bendetsen and Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Command, each questioned Japanese American loyalty. DeWitt, who administered the internment program, repeatedly told newspapers that “A Jap’s a Jap” and testified to Congress,
I don’t want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty… It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty… But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.
Internment was popular among many white farmers who resented the Japanese-American farmers. “White American farmers admitted that their self-interest required removal of the Japanese.” These individuals saw internment as a convenient means of uprooting their Japanese American competitors. Austin E. Anson, managing secretary of the Salinas Vegetable Grower-Shipper Association, told the Saturday Evening Post in 1942:
“We’re charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons. We do. It’s a question of whether the white man lives on the Pacific Coast or the brown men. They came into this valley to work, and they stayed to take over… If all the Japs were removed tomorrow, we’d never miss them in two weeks, because the white farmers can take over and produce everything the Jap grows. And we do not want them back when the war ends, either.”
The Roberts Commission Report, prepared at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request, has been cited as an example of the fear and prejudice informing the thinking behind the internment program. The Report sought to link Japanese Americans with espionage activity, and to associate them with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Columnist Henry McLemore reflected growing public sentiment fueled by this report:
“I am for the immediate removal of every Japanese on the West Coast to a point deep in the interior. I don’t mean a nice part of the interior either. Herd ’em up, pack ’em off and give ’em the inside room in the badlands… Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them.”
Other California newspapers also embraced this view. According to a Los Angeles Times editorial,
“A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched… So, a Japanese American born of Japanese parents, nurtured upon Japanese traditions, living in a transplanted Japanese atmosphere… notwithstanding his nominal brand of accidental citizenship almost inevitably and with the rarest exceptions grows up to be a Japanese, and not an American… Thus, while it might cause injustice to a few to treat them all as potential enemies, I cannot escape the conclusion… that such treatment… should be accorded to each and all of them while we are at war with their race.” (Source: Wikipedia article linked above)
Again, the same sort of language is used to vilify a group, which then results in investigation and restriction of that group’s ability to participate in society. I worry that the Muslims in the West (particularly in the US and Australia) are going to be increasingly targeted and that is going to end up being really bad. I don’t really have a solution, just fears that the situation is going to get worse, but I hope I can stand up against Islamaphobia whenever I encounter it.
Propagating this fear runs the risk of radicalising the general population against those who follow Islam, and that crimes against Muslims may not be reported or may not be fully investigated by the authorities. Discrimination and prejudice will continue to rise, people may feel obliged to recant their faith in order to face less bigotry, to hide their culture and act white, to remove their sense of self to find some safety. This sucks.
I’d like to be quite clear straight up, I loath Danny Nalliah and especially loath his god (and by that I mean his interpretation of god). This is a man who claimed that Victoria decriminalising abortion resulted in the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 that killed 173 people and wounded 414, because he had a dream about fire and brimstone.
Now he’s come out saying that the floods in Queensland, specifically Brisbane, are the result of our former Prime Minister (now Foreign Minister), Kevin Rudd, being mean to Israel (don’t read the comments on that piece unless you’re prepared for a dose of scary). Apparently asking Israel to to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open all its nuclear facilities to UN inspectors is mean, and Australia/Queensland/Rudd needed smiting as a result.
I can’t (and even when I was Catholic struggled really hard with this) worship or believe in a god that would happily kill (or make miserable) hundreds or thousands of people because of something that someone else did (or even that they did). I don’t even get how that makes sense. I never liked the whole fire and brimstone methods used by some ministers and hate the rhetoric of fear (which is something that Nalliah uses all the time).
That Fleming Gent posted a comment on Nalliah’s press release/blog post/thing and unsurprisingly that comment was not published, because it disagreed with the message that Nalliah was pushing. PZ Myers also had some good commentary on Nalliah:
Kevin Rudd has been insufficiently zealous in his support for Israel, and Rudd is originally from Queensland, so God is making it rain great buckets in Queensland to send him a message.
It’s a rather opaque message, O Lord, and it seems to be causing far more suffering to other people, rather than Rudd. Wouldn’t it have been far more effective and efficient if, say, the Lord God Almighty made the plumbing in Rudd’s upstairs bathroom overflow? I should think it far more persuasive that something mysterious and ominous was going on if every time Rudd flushed, he ended up with a gusher of feces and urine on his shoes. Taking aim at the whole of Queensland is just a bit sloppy.
I also don’t understand, if god is loving, forgiving and understanding, why ordinary, regular sinners are being punished for their representative’s alleged sins (I refer to Queensland (and bits of NSW and Victoria) for Rudd and Victoria for the decriminalisation of abortion). That doesn’t make any sense to me, and I’d hope it doesn’t make much sense to those Christians who actually critically think about things.
And then, Nalliah and his “church” took credit for the Brisbane flood not peaking as high as it did, because they prayed for Queensland, filling the gap between Rudd’s actions and god’s wrath… or something. Seriously, they gathered on the steps of the Victorian Parliament (because they’d get publicity there) and prayed loudly and publicly (you know, something Jesus recommended against):
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5 (NIV)
Prayers such as Nalliah’s are great thing, it’s not like you can test them scientifically, and discover whether or not the prayers had any effect (they didn’t), and when things turn out well you can say that your prayers had the right effect, and if things turn out badly, you can say it was clearly god’s will, and that you tried. It’s a win-win situation and really does nothing for anyone. It’s not like someone, who claims that god speaks to them, would ever admit that their prayers were not heard.
I honestly would like Nalliah and his Ministry to stop receiving publicity, to go away and be on the fringe where they belong. I’d love Nalliah to stop being so afraid and infecting others with his fear. I’d love him to recant his hateful and prideful ways and to be humble and listen to the stories of those he currently considers sinful and learn that there is more than black and white in the world. I’d love him to actually love, unconditionally as Christians are called to love, and to stop judging as he should really know better.
I’m Australian, and consequently value real-estate quite a lot (housing is in short supply and consequently rather expensive). I’m also, I guess, an intellectual, and value knowledge and books quite a lot too. So when I see photos, like these of Detroit, I am unable to comprehend why there is so much derelict property lying around (not to mention books, and police files). I do understand that Detroit is in the process of being abandoned and that there are many (apparently) insurmountable social issues, as well as being part of the rust belt’s decline, but I am staggered by the decay and abandonment of the property in these photos. Every time I see photos of abandoned real-estate in the US (without good reason like it being riddled with asbestos or unsafe to live in), I wonder how a nation can have such a glut of what is/was perfectly serviceable property that could be turned into residences or something else useful.
This photo (above) disturbs me for the wanton privacy breach. Because the people represented in the photos here clearly don’t deserve any privacy.
Welcome to the 29th Down Under Feminists Carnival. Thank you everyone for your submissions which I have organised as much as I can. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I did, and that you continue to submit posts to an awesome carnival. Thank you so much to Chally, of Zero at the Bone and FWD/Forward and Radical Readers and Feministe for organising this carnival and letting me host it.
Thank you to Chally, Jo, Mary and Deborah for hunting down and finding most of the great posts to include this month. Thank you to everyone else who submitted their or other’s writings.
If I have used incorrect pronouns to identify any of the participants please let me know so that I can correct them. Any misuse is unintentional and due solely to me being unfamiliar with the author of the post.
If I have misrepresented/badly summarised your post, please let me know and I’ll correct it.
So, this carnival is big and full of fascinating reading. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it all together.
This month’s optional theme was Awesome Women.
So, put your feet up, down, sideways or however you feel comfortable and enjoy.
Ilaeria blogged about the three people who have had the biggest impact in her life, her mother and two grandmothers and share the lessons she learnt from them.
tigtog writes about Bell Hooks week at Hoydon About Town. Deborah at In a Strange Land, during one of her Friday Womanist posts quotes Bell Hooks.
Deborah from In a Strange Land blogged about the anniversary of Sufferage for Women in New Zealand (17 September 1893) and the hard work that was put into gaining signatures for the petition that helped make is possible.
Mary at Hoydon About Town has been awesome and has developed a Firefox bookmarklet to make submitting blog carnival posts easier. Please go and install so it is much easier to submit posts for the next carnival.
Media and society
Wildly Parenthetical at Hoydon About Town talks about Sexting and Slut Shaming and how bad the Minister for Home Affairs’s new campaign is for young women.
I spoke about Rampant Sexism in an edition of the MX where it suggested the women were different than men, that women should earn less than men for the sake of their heterosexual relationships and that women can steal men and that men can do nothing about it.
Pickled Think writes about media and societal pressure on men to propose regardless of what their girlfriends may feel about marriage because it seems that their feelings aren’t important (all girls want to marry right?), and Pickled Think also discusses the patriarchal institution of marriage and the lack of the “big gay proposal”. (The last line on the first comment is also gold).
Blue Milk reviews Radical Act, a documentary about queer/feminist musicians in the USA, made in 1995
Ju at transcendancing has written a review of Glitter Rose, a short story collection by an Australian author doing interesting and challenging things with female characters. The collection is published by a press that is also doing interesting and challenging things with a feminist focus in publishing.
Kim writes at Larvatus Prodeo about feeling sympathy for Stephen Conroy and the ongoing debate about the internet filter being more complex than liberties or the rights of adults.
Mary at Hoydon About Town wrote about #groggate and the outing of Grog Gamut’s legal name by The Australian. The scary thing about The Australian’s justification is that they’re arguing for the outing of anyone who attempts to influence politics (or anything else) regardless of the wish for anonymity.
There are many ways that the less powerful are silenced, and conflating having something to hide or keep private with being not worth listening to is one of them, and insisting on identity disclosure is another. Not all pseudonymous writers are using pseudonyms to ethical ends, this is abundantly clear to anyone who has ever been on the Internet. But insisting that only those who name themselves and state their interest to everyone who lives in the country can speak is far worse.
Ariane at Ariane’s little world, adds to the discussion regarding #groggate by explaining that a person is not their job.
Bodies and health
Ariane calls bullshit on obesity being the root of all evil and society’s with focus on fatness as a health issue. Ariane also points out the negative health consequences of dieting.
Split Milk talks about why she doesn’t want to engage in discussions about dieting and how important fat acceptance places are.
Many fat activists also identify as feminists and in my opinion the most important tenet that those two movements have in common is a core belief in bodily autonomy. Advocating for fat acceptance is about asking for freedom from oppression and prejudicial treatment.
You know what? Fuck you. You’re not me. You’re not that other person. You don’t know the circumstances surrounding why someone is the way they are unless they tell you. Yes, we all make superficial judgements but does that give you the right to be abusive or phobic? No.
Fat Heffalump shared her paper that she presented for the Australian Fat Studies conference this month. She shares the effect that the “war on obesity” has had on her and most likely has had on others.
Sam at fat dialogue writes about her experience with Control Top Underpants and how important making people uncomfortable is as a really powerful critical and political intervention.
Julie at the Hand Mirror writes about Thin Privilege and how it isn’t all that great.
The Thin versus Not Thin dichotomy is yet another false division that just sets women against each other. We need to fight, together, against a culture which judges us on our physical appearance, whether that appearance is one that conforms or not.
Steph writes at LadyNews that although Christina Hendricks is great, and the media acceptance of her not typically represented body type is also great, having her body shape/type as one to aspire to is not a good thing.
Pickled Think shreds an article discussing a new sitcom hopefully not coming to a screen near you, and how fat really isn’t coming back to Hollywood.
Health and disability
Jo at Wallaby writes about Accessibility and Sydney’s public transport, focusing on Sydney’s buses.
Michelle at The Red Pill Survive Guide (*trigger warning – discussion of suicide*) writes about World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, and talks about how she understands that level of despair.
Chally at Zero at the bone, writes about taking a sickie and how hard it is for people with disabilities to take a “sickie” for legitimate reasons let alone “bludging”.
Helen at FlyingBlogspot.com talks about her ordinary and what she does to manage day to day. Helen also discusses how her ordinary may change with a review of her medication and trying some new treatment.
Race and Racism
Hexpletive blogged about the NSW Parliament amending the NSW State Constitution to finally recognise indigenous Australians as the first people in the State.
I wrote a piece about Boat People and how it should not be an issue.
Queen Emily at An Army of Rabbits discusses the concept of whiteness and the difference between white in Australia and white in the USA.
Jo at Wallaby writes a post about an anti-violence march asking some very pertinent questions for you to answer before you read Blue Milk’s post below.
Blue Milk writes about the march in Alice Springs by Aboriginal men to “stop the violence” and the lack of media coverage about positive Aboriginal stories.
Steph at 天高皇企鹅远 writes about japan ken and barbie, how they’re in Japanese inspired clothing and not actually Japanese, leading to the fetishisation and exotification of non Western cultures.
Chally wrote at Feministe about one of her favourite bit of cognitive dissonance.
stargazer at The Hand Mirror wrote about how collective responsibility is not productive, and states that, “i still don’t accept that i have any responsibility to apologise for the actions of someone i’ve never met and have absolutely no chance of influencing.”
the news with nipples writes Another burqa blog post and reluctantly gives Sergio Redegalli some of her time while she discusses how wrong his latest “art” work is. Then asks why the debate about burquas is still being controlled by people who do not wear burqas.
Blue Milk talks about how Stephanie Rice’s apology to queer people was not adequate and points out all the flaws in that apology very nicely.
Steph at 天高皇企鹅远 went to WorldCon and discusses her experiences with two panels, one on queer themes in SF, which she had to walk out of and the other chaired by a trans academic which was a far more positive experience.
PharaohKatt at Distinctly Disgruntled (*trigger warning – discussion of suicide*) deconstructs Bob Katter’s comments regarding the apparently non-existent LBGTIQ population in his electorate, the high rate of suicide of LBGTIQ people and Bob Katter’s comments about suicide on a Q&A segment.
I think the dynamic is deeply conditioned by internalised queerphobia. Specifically, internalisation of the double standard that there’s a threshold of queerness that someone has to prove in order to be ‘really’ queer (when there’s no such threshold for heterosexuality).
Maia at The Hand Mirror discusses a proposed bill in New Zealand which would re-criminalise street sex workers and how the relevant political parties have voted.
It is specifically targeting street sex workers. Street sex workers do not generally have $2,000 to pay a fine. The fines, when they’re awarded, won’t have the magic power to stop someone being poor and working as a sex worker, it’ll just make them poorer. It won’t make street sex work disappear, it’ll just make it harder, more dangerous, and more marginalised.
Steph at vegan about town discusses how veganism, race and ethnicity intersect and how calling for China to be “wiped from the face of the earth” for the way they treat animals is hypocritical when every country mistreats animals.
Maia at The Hand Mirror also discusses how there is a connection between problems the way food is discussed and the problems with way food is produced and looks at this under a feminist framework.
Shiny writes about how she is all out of cookies and isn’t going to give them to people who meet basic human standards of decency.
Callistra writes about safety and safe spaces, what they can be and how they are created.
Safety and feelings of safe spaces are also a place of sanctuary. It’s an intimately known quality, where so much discussion has already occured that the system can meet your needs. It means when you’re miserable and need company to listen to, you have friends who can answer that need. Or if you’re miserable and need to talk; you know you can have these needs met. It means if you need to sit quietly and absorb group energy, you can do so without worrying what others might think, say or do. I noticed this as being ‘a place where you can exist without struggle of identity’.
Callistra also writes about what connections are and how they contribute to safe spaces.
Writing at The Hand Mirror, anjum writes about women in minority cultures, who as feminists want to criticise and change the culture, but who fear that it will only give ammunition to haters in the majority culture.
steph writes at vegan about town regarding exclusionary language in the vegan and animal rights movement in Australia and how veganism and the animal rights movement are often seen as white/Anglo-Saxon, middle-class movements.
Pickled Think writes about surviving the Christchurch earthquake and how she feels right now.
Blue Milk writes about breastfeeding and how she felt when she first started and how she feels about it now.
Hexpletive writes about the 9th World Indigenous Women and Wellness Conference she attended and presented at in Darwin and then goes on to discuss the other Conferences and Conventions that she is interested in for the remainder of the year. I’m going to have to look some of these up.
Spilt Milk shares an experience of encountering penis graffiti with her young daughter and recounts Helen Barne’s Young Adult novel ‘Killing Aurora’, in which the protagonist draws vagina dentata graffiti in response to penis graffiti.
Spilt Milk wrote about her childhood comforter and how that was taken away from her, and now how the childcare centre her daughter goes to wants to take away her daughter’s teddy bear.
Queen Emily writes at An Army of Rabbits, two (related) things that never happened to her in Australia, specifically the assumption that she’d been to church followed by an exhortation to keep god in her heart.
Chally wrote about how social justice can also be about staying silent and doing what is right for you versus the wider world (this post could fit under most categories, and I struggled to find the best fit).
Wallaby writes about how prioritising and choosing your energy drain is important for your wellness, and your choices in this regard should be admired, fostered and encouraged.
tigtog clearly states for the record why banning commenters and refusing comment publication is not censorship as blogs are privately owned spaces.
the news with nipples writes about the petition put together by Plan Australia to make September 22 the International Day of the Girl. You can sign the petition here.
Natalie at definatalie.com writes about her feral leghair and why she’s going to grow it. She includes a great discussion about The Gruen Transfer and their discussion about redefining femininity based on advertising.
steph discusses at LadyNews the current Jadelle (a contraceptive implant) furore in the media. steph advocates choice and education for women, which some of the quotes in the article also supported.
Megan at Craft is the New Black writes about the need for the ‘generations’ of feminism to recognise and celebrate each other’s worth.
In a post to mark Women’s Suffrage Day in New Zealand, Ele at Home Paddock writes of the need for us to exercise our hard won right to vote in the upcoming local body elections.
*Trigger warnings – posts in this section discuss violence against women*
The Dawn Chorus discusses Street Harassment and how when reporting it or writing down what has been said, the tone of what was said is missing which is one of the reasons why street harassment is often belittled or dismissed.
Blue Milk explains that asking is sexy and that without consent it isn’t sex and the comments are great too.
I don’t know why the idea has persisted that asking for consent is necessarily a clinical business – what is stilted about – more? do you want to? do you like? Because “mood-killer”? Are you kidding me? That moment when they close the space between you both and ask you to put your cards on the table – is this on or not, can I do this with you – is one of the most heart-flippingly exciting moments in all of existence.
Jo at Wallaby wrote about the treatment received by two women who had been sexually assaulted in different legal systems and how much those legal systems differed.
XY writes about why he won’t be walking in Reclaim the Night/Take Back the Night march and provides and excellent resource (if you need one) to explain to some men why they are not always welcome to march.
AnneE at The Hand Mirror takes some relevant material from a paper on people who abuse their partners.
blue milk at Hoydon About Town writes about the strange behaviour of the state and society when a mother whose daughter was victim of incest is upset and protective of her daughter when pornography is displayed at a 7-11.
And isn’t it a strange world where police can be called in to protect your right to display pornography? So unquestioning are we about it that the newspaper article actually describes what unfolded as a “bizarre incident”. It is the same strange world where it is estimated that up to one in four girls will be sexually abused during their childhood.
Both Deborah from In a Strange Land and I wrote about Brendan Black and his opinion piece in Fairfax media on breastfeeding and breasts. Unfortunately he fails terribly at being a feminist ally when he could have done very well.
Jo at Wallaby suggests that men should not go out alone otherwise they might, “be accused of, and/or commit, indecent assault, sexual assault, rape or other sexual violence.”
Well actually I think its incredibly creepy, and I don’t think I’m alone in that assessment. So, the article was published in the Age, but taken from mashable.com – which I don’t read and today cannot be bothered investigating further. I’ll use The Age article for basis and go on rambles from there.
What happens when you mix male gamers, pretty girls, and a social platform where girls that connects the two for a price? The answer is GameCrush, which has just opened to the public.
GameCrush first made headlines in March when it entered public beta. The site hooks up “Players” (mostly nerdy males) with “PlayDates” (mostly young females) to play everything from Call of Duty to simple arcade games. Players can choose to play either Xbox 360 games or just a simple browser-based game.
Initially this does not seem all bad. The idea of “Play Dates” sounds nice, like something you’d take your children along to and getting people together to share common interests is a good way to meet people. But only if it were that simple. The article continues.
Users of GameCrush have four basic options for making connections with PlayDates. … The Edge is this service’s version of a red-light district.
There is a catch, of course. PlayDates don’t crush their controllers for free; it costs $US0.60 per minute to have a pretty girl sniping with (or at) you.
So there is a “red-light” district AND even just to play with “pretty girl[s]” you need to start paying. And this is where it is creepy – in effect this is purchasing time with someone, making their time, attention and their appearance a commodity. Which is pretty much what prostitution is. It still gets worse:
And before you ask, yes, you’ll find girls that are willing to do more than just play games if you ask nicely. Part of the reason for this is the service’s points system; Players are expected to tip points to PlayDates, who can then trade them to get real cash. Simply put, there’s a big incentive for PlayDates to “do more” to earn more points.
While reading this I kept thinking of “gentlemen’s clubs” where for extra you can get private lap dances or private shows… and where some women will go further depending on the venue. Is this really that much different?
Male geekdom already has big issues with the way women are viewed and this is not helping that at all. The whole “Play Date” thing would be nice, if money weren’t exchanging hands and if the mostly female participants were not likely to be pressured to go further than just playing a game. Sadly this type of enterprise just continues adding to the women are objects and can be owned, especially when you get to pay for them.