Saturday, August 9, 2008

Censorship: Tories Need To Go

I was born in Canada and have lived here most of my life. As far as I am aware we are not a homogenous group of people. Though the agents of socialization have an image that they like to portray to the world, it  excludes large groups of people. If you are poor, or are of colour, or lean away from traditional "conservative values" your Canadian identity is constantly questioned. 

To see my government discipline identity is something that I find incredibly disturbing.  According to the CBC, "The Conservative government has announced it will no longer fund a federal program that subsidizes international promotional tours of Canadian artists." Apparently these groups are subversive and do not present an image that Canadians would agree as representative of our national identity.

While I will admit that unfortunately the Tories are our elected government, they should not be able to decide exactly what "Canadian values" are without consulting the people. Yeah, you know the public whom you claim to represent...Let's face it, the Tories represent  certain bodies and ignore others. From their anti-woman, anti-labour, stance it is safe to declare that they do not act on behalf of all Canadians, and therefore should not be entrusted to decide what is and isn't Canadian.  Once again they are allowing their constituents to establish the agenda without realizing that they are supposed to represent all Canadians.

I am not one of those dupes that votes PC against my class interest, and I demand that my government represent me, and others that are like me.  These artist that they are refusing to fund are Canadian, and therefore their work is a reflection of Canadian ideals whether or not it makes the government uncomfortable. This is nothing more than political pandering and censorship.  We claim live in a free society that encourages difference and dissent but clearly unless you reflect PC values you will be disciplined into submission.

Harper seems to forget that he does not have a majority government and therefore has no real mandate to speak on behalf of all the people. There may be an election in the winds Mr. Prime Minister, keep alienating people and you might find yourself on the other side of the aisle. A true leader does not fear when someone challenges social norms.  Art is meant to be disturbing at times. It is meant to evoke emotions and when we stifle art we reduce social progress. You may be content with a nation of automatons but I would like to live in a country that is diverse and open to change.

Nude Jena Jenson PETA AD, Exploitation Ok For Women and Not Animals


H/T Free Womens Blogs.

PETA, PETA, PETA...what can I say. I think that your goal of ending the abuse of animals is laudable. I believe that we need to treat animals humanely but why you continually refuse to extend the same privilege to women continues to astound me. Did you not realize that women are animals to and therefore by continuing to exploit us  to advance a political position you are flouting your own principles?

I understand that this is a program to promote spaying and neutering but how does a naked woman add to our understanding of this objective? It doesn' simply draws the eye in without relaying any significant message that raises consciousness. Those that stop to look at this advertisement will look at her body, and totally ignore your message, and that would seem to me to be counter to your goals. So PETA stop pimping pussy and calling it social put yourself on the same level as the makers of those horrendous "girls gone wild videos". 

Rest In Peace Bernie Mac

You were shameless but you cracked me the hell up. Sleep well my brother.

Elizabeth Edwards, Respect Her Privacy

image Unless you are living under a rock you know that John Edwards has admitted to having an affair.  CNN has done nothing but cover this "issue" since he confessed to being a lecher.  This affair has been sensationalized by the media, and what should be  private family business, has become an international story.

I could go on and and on about how  someone's sex life is no one else's business. I could talk about the hypocrisy of a nation that regularly participates in extra marital affairs sitting in judgement of John Edwards. I could even comment about a society that regularly sells sex, shaming someone for committing an act that it promotes. All of the aforementioned are extremely relevant, however I believe that what Elizabeth Edwards had to say is indeed what matters the most.

John made a terrible mistake in 2006.  The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007.  This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well.  Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private. 

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed. 

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame.  The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown.  But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue.  I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.

Emphasis mine H/T dailykos

Yes a private matter which apparently CNN and the rest of the news agencies fail to heed.  Even while repeatedly reading her message on television they continue to dissect this affair as though Edwards had committed a capital offence.  They even have a special investigation unit assigned to this story and Anderson Cooper made sure to report with his most serious facial expression ( you know, the furrowed eye brows, and pursed lips).  It disgusts me to watch as they  portray  her as a woman who should be respected because of her strong political stances, and then callously disregarded her wishes because for these agencies smut peddling equals profit. 

On one hand she is presented as the courageous cancer sufferer and the other a poor victim who has been duped. Over and over again the refrain is poor Elizabeth Edwards.  When John admitted to this affair today, it was not news to her. She has chosen to stay in this marriage and her decision should be respected. Elizabeth did not ask for sympathy, nor did she want her private life use as fodder for entertainment, and yet these news anchors have the nerve to say, "poor Elisabeth Edwards."  The family has dealt with it and moved on. The source of todays pain is not Edwards infidelity, but the public shaming and intrusion into their private lives. The media would rather pass the total guilt to John and create him as a monster, however this totally disregards the malevolent approach that they have taken.  At some point this puritanical shaming of sex acts needs to end because it is damaging to the family that is involved. If Elizabeth is a victim at all today it is not because of her choice to stay in this marriage, it is because the media has decided to turn an affair into a three ring many experts do we need to discuss this anyway? I am sure most people could figure this out without all of the commentary and unnecessary drama. 

Enough CNN...Russia invaded Georgia today but you would never have been able to tell from your news coverage.  The world is filled with dicks acting like dicks so as a news consumer I would rather hear about world events than what some man chose to do with his genitals. It certainly had no impact on my life.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bush Is Eloquent In Comparison To McCain

WOW, I used to think that BUSH was one of the worst public speakers  I had ever heard until I listened to McCain speak....If he wins he will be yet another president that should not be allowed to speak without the aid of his handlers.

Link Love Friday


Yes it is once again time for another edition of Link Love.  The following are blog posts or articles that I found interesting this week. Please check them out and feel free to leave your own links behind in the comment section. Nothing like a little blog whoring to start the weekend off right.

Deluxe Vivens Livejournal: It is not coincidental that hip hop has made [email protected]$a the most common noun in popular music but you have almost never heard any certified thug utter the word cracker, ofay, honky, peckerwood, wop, dago, guinea, kike or any other white-oriented epithet. The reason for that is simple: Massa ain't havin it. The word fag, once a commonplace derisive in the music has all but disappeared from hip hop's vocabulary. (Yes, these thugs fear the backlash from white gays too.) And bitch is still allowed with the common understanding that the term is referring to black women. The point is this: debasement of black communities is entirely acceptable “ required even “ by hip hop's predominantly white consumer base.

What Tami Said: Diamond purveyor DeBeers wants you to get your Africa-inspired bling on. The September issue of Elle magazine features the company's diamond pendants shaped like tribal masks. Hmm, let's see...what part of this is most vomitously offensive?

Doing Feminism:  When you’re a feminist, pro-feminist, feminist ally, or even if you sometimes indulge in conversations about feminism, you’re bound to hear something like this:

“Feminists have gone too far; they’re taking away men’s rights.”

“Feminism is oppressive to men!”

“Women have equality, they just want to take away men’s rights!”

… And so go the cries of those who, quite plainly, just don’t get it. Feminism isn’t taking away men’s rights. If feminism is taking anything away, it’s the unfair advantages our sexist world grants men, and boy, those aren’t rights.

abyss2hope: If someone believes there is a rape loophole which makes a particular action legal and that loophole exists only in the enforcement of the law and not in the law itself, that person is making a false statement when they deny that a particular action is rape.

Argentina's illegal Abortions (youtube video)

Pizza Divaloa: A woman sets herself on fire rather than submitting to an arranged marriage.

The Black Snob:  Soledad Obrien from CNN represents a problematized body. Though she is light enough to pass for white she claims blackness. Can she truly relate with the struggles of black women of a darker hue given that her skin tone opens to the door to a great amount of privilege?

Rage Against The Man-Machine: I have a little test I apply when I stumble upon something I suspect is sexist or detrimental to women. If it’s media, I imagine that the woman being depicted is a man. If it’s a behavior expected of women, I imagine what a man would say to someone who suggested he do it. It almost never fails: if the switcheroo results in a sense of absurdity, I’ve found some sexist shit. If you think about it, fashion is kind of a catch-22 for women; men get to call us ugly (and therefore virtually worthless) if we don’t contort and torture our bodies in order to fulfill their standard of beauty, then they get to make fun of us for being insane when we do the things required to fit that model.


Just A Drop: Now We Cannot Even Use The Bathroom In Peace

Can any function that womens bodies perform possibly go without being policed? Every single living creature defecates...but women must concern themselves with the offending odour...image There is no need to fear ladies, Just A Drop has come to the rescue with a solution.

Did you ever think the day would come when you couldn't even take a shit in peace? The rules involved with being a woman are beyond ridiculous..Don't fart, don't belch, cross your legs when you sit, shave your legs, arm pits and twat, smother your face with makeup to keep revlon and max factor in business, don't masturbate, yada, wonder parents have to start from birth programming us in the ways of performing femininity.

image MMM eucalyptus in the bathroom because women don't do something as human as that is far to dirty and manly for us to ever admit to. You know, this kinda conflicts with all the toilet paper ads that are aimed at us now doesn't it?  I guess the tissue is just for decoration if we slip up and are one of those unfortunate people whose bodies actually function the way that they were biologically intended to. Now we can hide our disgrace.  Shame, shame on me for being totally human.

Don't women have more important things to worry about than making sure that the bathroom smells like eucalyptus, what with the 70 cents on the dollar, no daycare provisions, domestic violence, rape etc?  Here I am dedicating this little tirade to Just A Drop.... I will admit that the aforementioned are far more serious issues, however  this rant really isn't about bathroom "politics" shit no, it is about the way in which companies create a fear in women, that cause us to spend our few disposable dollars purchasing things we do not need, to correct constructed faults. Note, your vagina does not stink, so don 't buy deodorizer, but your shit does, and you know what it's supposed do your business, move on and don't be tricked into buying yet another piece of crap that you don't need. Stop making others rich because of your ridiculous insecurities.

Is That Really Beyonce: Black Women and Beauty

image Believe it or not, that is an image of Beyonce that is being used to market L'Oreal Feria haircolor.  Obviously someone discovered photoshop and lost their ever loving mind.  The image is barely even recognizable as the famously beautiful Beyoncee Knowles.  It seems to me that altering her image to this degree actually defeats the purpose of attempting to leverage her celebrity status to market a product.  

Even though Beyonce is  super model beautiful, her image was still not acceptable to portray beauty by L'Oreal standards.  Womens bodies are routinely photoshopped and used in advertising, but this kind of "beautification" has a very specific basis in racism. Notice that along with a change in complexion her nose has been altered to appear more Caucasian.

As a woman and a feminist, I try to remove myself from the beauty as power syndrome, but realistically inhabiting the body that I do, in the society in which I reside, it is an impossibility to completely vanquish.  A male acquaintance of mine once thought to offer me a compliment, "you are beautiful for a black girl," is what he said to me.  Another man told me, "I just don't see you as beautiful but then I was never raised to see black women that way." I believe that these statements are revelatory in that they  highlight which bodies are understood as beautiful and why. Black women are created as unfeminine, dark bodies in the maintenance of white female beauty, it is a binary that privileges one group while relegating another to invisibility.

When I see images like this, I understand how it is that even today black children can still show preference to a white doll over a black doll. The media and most other social institutions hold up models of black inferiority that no one would want to identify with. If a woman as attractive as Beyonce Knowles cannot be accepted as beautiful, what chance do other women who have not achieved super star status have of feeling validated in their femininity?

Throughout the years I have come to understand that my beauty, though different, is not less than. I have learned to love the black features that society has tried to create as savage or decidedly unfeminine. This translate to loving my dreadlocks which reach the middle of back, realizing that my fuller lips are indeed sensual and inviting to kiss.  I am woman and beautiful not because I fit the stereotypes but because I have created an understanding of beauty that allows for a more inclusive ideal.  Whiteness as a beauty standard excludes not only black women but all WOC, and it is lunacy as well as the pinnacle of self hate to worship that which you can never be.  So when you are tempted to scream at the moon and ask Ain't I A Woman....answer with a resounding yes. Everything about you is beautiful and deserves affirmation.

Do not covet whiteness for it is self defeating.  Remember that when you search for an ideal that you cannot achieve, not only are you devaluing yourself, you are enriching someone through your own self depreciation.  How much money do black women spend annually trying to "tame" our hair so that it will appear Eurocentric? How much money is spent yearly on creams to lighten pigment, despite the fact that they lead to permanent damage?  Each dollar you spend in your futile attempt to become white, or emulate whiteness, makes you complicit in your own marginalization. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, and decolonize your mind.  Allow no one to profit by creating an insecurity where no should exist.   

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blame It On The Dirty Prostitutes


Bruce Edwards | The Flint Journal

According to the FlintJournal this sign was posted by Sherrie Lynn and Russ Palmer, "after watching drug dealers and prostitutes doing business on the street and finding hypodermic needles and condoms left in their yard."

"We don't want it here," said Sherrie Lynn Palmer, 48. "There's a lot of really good people around here. I don't want to sit here and let the crime fester. It all starts with the prostitutes. It brings everything else. We don't want it here. There's a lot of really good people around here. "

So, if you happen to work in the sex-trade you are automatically a "bad person". Good to know, I'll keep that in mind when I try to ignore all the reasons why prostitutes are considered spoiled identities.  I'll try to forget that society engages in slut shamming on a daily basis. I'll try to forget the economic inequality that leads some women into this choice, and while I'm at it, I will just ignore the fact that some women choose this as a viable career, because what is the point of validating female agency in a patriarchal world anyway?

I personally love the way that women are blamed for running down the neighbourhood. It certainly could not be the fault of the predatory johns could it? Men cannot be taken to task for their sexual proclivities because well, they are men isn't it obvious? The men are the ones wearing the condoms but the inappropriate disposal is the fault of the prostitute.

You know what I find interesting, men by far exist in a privileged position in this world and yet they are assigned responsibility for very little. Women who exist as marginalized bodies with limited access to power are to blame for everything. Does anyone not see something slightly off about this way of ordering society? Power with out responsibility would never be deemed acceptable in the business world where money is at risk, but when it comes to our social discourse we blindly give men a free pass without forcing them to own any of their privileges.

One of the major incidents that offended Ms. Palmer was being mistaken for a prostitute as she walked her dog.  Nope don't want to be confused and accidentally taken for a bad girl. After all the effort of making sure her vagina is pure and sacrosanct, imagine the horror of being confused with a dirty slut...Again who are the ones approaching her...that would be the MEN. Who are the ones making her feel like less than because she walked out of the house with a vagina between her legs...aaah once again that would be the MEN. So she can put up all the signs she wants directed at shaming the dirty sluts out of her precious little neighbourhood, but until as a society we decide to deal with predatory MALE behaviour I'm afraid she is going to have to deal with being mistaken for a dirty prostitute...BTW I can think of a whole list of things I would be more offended by, like pedophile, rapist, murderer... the prostitutes hurts no one and that is something that should be remembered before we make a push to rush them off of our streets in an effort to sanitize the neighbourhood.


You Dirty Breast Feeding Woman

image Can there be anything more natural than a woman breastfeeding her child? For those that are successful at it, it can be a moment of complete bonding and nurturing.

Unfortunately because the female body is always, already sexualized this natural act has taken on an air of perversion to some, thus forcing women to hide away from public view as though they are performing a shameful act.  Manuela Valle discovered how shameful when, she was ushered into a change room at at an H&M store in downtown Vancouver, for fear that her breastfeeding in public "might make some customers offended".

According to CBC, "Valle said she was politely hustled off to a change room by staff, as they chatted with other staff on radios, making her feel like a shoplifter paraded in front of the other customers."

"It seemed as if I had been stealing or something, so I was very humiliated. Everybody in the store was looking at me as if I'm getting arrested, and I said out loud, 'I am getting arrested for breastfeeding my baby,'" Valle said.

"They were actually pushing her into it. I became upset at that point," said Francisco Valle, her husband.

It is not the act of breast feeding that people have objection to, it is the breast they find offensive.  What is at issue is what body parts have been socially constructed as existing for sexual gratification.  The female breast has been constructed as  sexual, largely due to the male gaze.  Though women can, and do receive sexual gratification from them being caressed, kissed, etc, their primary function is to feed children, and that is what is overlooked in the social construction of female breasts.

Female genitalia are considered dirty by society, whether it is the supposed smell emanating from our vaginas, or our multi functioning breasts, the fact that men receive sexual excitement, and or gratification makes them dirty.  Consider that menstruating is still considered taboo despite the fact that it is part of our natural biological process.  We are taught to find shame in our bodies and restrict any display for fear that the dirtiness of womanhood is offensive to all. I submit that it is not womanhood, or womens bodies that are dirty and foul, rather it is how they have been constructed that is ultimately the issue.

When H&M forced Manuela Valle  into a change room they effectively converted a natural biological process into something filthy.  How dare she as a woman believe that she had the right to publicly breast feed when the world "knows" that breasts are for male pleasure.  Even at the risk of breaking the law and not following their own policies the desire to police women came naturally to them. It seems that unless the body is on display for the sexual gratification of men it is simply inappropriate.  Breast feeding is an act of gender performance is actually uplifting to women and to deny us that right only serves to sustain patriarchal control over female bodies. If men can say where and when we reveal our breasts, then ultimately we have no control over our physical selves.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Womens Bodies Are Never Perfect

I made a conscious decision to visit more black blogs. On my first and last trip to Crunk&Disorderly I was greeted with yet another attempt to discipline the bodies of women.


The Photo is labelled, "Why Are You Exposing The Problem Area" Beneath is is the following commentary.


I had to pass this along (please dont ask why I was on Fabo’s myspace page . . . it gets pretty boring in the office).

There are definitely three (count ‘em three) side eyes going on in this pic. I’m going to leave the captions to you but its obvious shorty in the front and the sista to the right is not feeling homegirl’s stretched out stomach.

- - Bree

Get even more side-eye candy at Side-Eye Fever!

I am getting tired of calling this shit out.  Why is it necessary to divide womens bodies into parts that are pleasing, or displeasing to the eye? Why must we cover our bodies because "real bodies" cannot compete with the digitally altered pictures of women that appear in magazines? Finally why should a stomach that once carried a child be deemed repellent because it bares evidence of the miracle that occurred? That should have been enough for me ...why, oh why, did I think that this blog could be redeemed in the comment section?

How does, How can, How can you be skinny and have belly wrinkles like that!

I mean, I have a belly and I sucked it in and it doesn't even do that!

She probably tells people that's from when she had kids. Thing is, those kids look like they're at least 11.

I just picture this boy hollering "No Mama, I don't want to stand their! You're stomach looks like brains!!

even the lil boy is screamin. why my mama gotta shame me like this?

When I checked the blog there were 139 comments of the same vein.  They remind of a school of piranha, viscously feeding off the flesh of this woman; tearing a bit of her dignity away with each comment.  The sad part about this is that it is common behaviour in locker rooms, or in quiet whispers exchanged between friends as a less than "perfect woman" walks by.

From the moment a baby girl is born we use adjectives that refer to beauty to describe her, and judge her value.  It is a burden that the female carries from her first breathe to her last. It is part of our social discourse that has become so normalized that to speak out against it is to be called angry, or overly sensitive.  A good girl excepts the fact that her body is flawed  and engages on a program of self improvement that enriches the diet, exercise, and beauty industry.  Our bodies are devalued because it adds profit to the capitalist system and helps to maintain the patriarchal grip on the world.

We are sold the lie that this all just a part of the natural selection process.  Yes we engage in this cruel dissection of form in an effort to ensure male attention. Well I call bullshit! There are too many institutions that benefit from this cruel practice to claim that it is anything other than social discipline. I am sure when crunk & disorderly placed this photo on his/her blog they thought it was just mindless fun, however fun at the expense of the dignity of another is hardly progressive or validating of human worth.  The aforementioned should not even be necessary to say.  Well Crunk & Disorderly thanks but no thanks....I think I will stick with a blog that does not gain traffic or amusement from devaluing women based solely on appearance.

The Anti-Rape Condom, Your Vagina And You


Is this a case of what will they think of next or what?  In stumbling across the Internet I discovered a company called RapeX. One of the things that women are taught from birth is to fear rape.  In almost every situation that you can think of women are conditioned to assume the possibility of rape. Companies have made a fortune marketing safety products to women based in fear. High pitched whistles, or mace anyone?

Not only must you always be on guard against rape, you must daily find ways to combat the possibility of assault.  This is the angle that self defense classes take. Empower yourself, fight off your rapist.  Tell me what good a well place kick does when your attacker has a gun, or he has drugged you?  But now there is no "excuse" to become a rape victim.  The responsibility is once again on the shoulders of women.

If you are out on a date you can either insert the device before going out, or if during the date you are uncomfortable about your date partner, excuse yourself to the bathroom and insert the device. For the first time there is now incriminating evidence, it will no longer be your word against his!

Right, you fear that you might have accidentally accepted a date with some kind of crazed pervert but instead of leaving the situation, your response should be to stuff your vagina like it is the thanksgiving turkey and carry on blissfully with your date. That is just some of the best advice I have seen in a very long time.  Why oh why did I buy the dog whistle and the stunner when all of this time I could just have shoved this thing between my legs and achieved a blissful worry free life. Who needs meditation now?

According to RapeX you should wear their anti-rape condom when, "you have to travel long distances alone, on a train, working late, going out on a date with someone you don’t know too well, going to clubs, or in any situation that you might not feel comfortable or even just not sure." So basically every time you leave the house with a vagina between your legs it should be stuffed with one of these condoms..and I thought tampons were uncomfortable.  But what is a little discomfort, after all having a vagina is all about personal responsibility, and I know this because RapeX has told me so.

Simply because your body is sacred and it is your legal and moral right to be safe. Nobody can make you safe except you. You do not have to secure your home, equally you do not have to secure your body, however it is better if you do so!

Yes much better if you do so.  In fact when you go to sleep at night you should have one of these products or your night side table, that way if a rapist breaks in you will be prepared.  Don't call 911, lock your door, or try to leave your premises, just slip one of these little beauties into your vagina and all will be well. Take a big sigh of relief everyone. 

This product attempts to market itself as an anti-rape device but in actuality it is disciplines the bodies of women, and makes us responsible for attacks perpetrated against us.  If only you were prepared in every single situation the evil rapist would not have gotten you. What were you thinking leaving the house with the belief that you had the right to exist free of sexual violence...didn't you notice the vagina between your legs?  The simple solution to the problem of sexual violence is to be proactive and spend the money on this latest protection device...if you don't, what happens will be blamed on you, and not the evil predator that violated you. Your vagina is not some movie that you can return to netflix when you are done with it, it is a chalice that must be guarded like the holy grail.  Everything that is essential to your being is located 6 inches below your belly button and we all know the consequences should we forget that. So remember be a good girl plug it up and be safe.

Toby Keith A Racist Really?

Fresh after the controversy for his latest song Keith decided to inform the world that Obama is successful because he acts white. Does this man have racist tendencies?

Let me see if this city girl can figure it out... Let's look at the lyrics in question.

Well a man come on the 6 o'clock news
said somebody's been shot
somebody's been abused
somebody blew up a building
somebody stole a car
somebody got away
somebody didn't get to far yeah
they didn't get too far

Grandpappy told my pappy back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he'd done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street
For all the people to see

That Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune
And we'll all meet back at the local saloon
And we'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing
whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
too much corruption and crime in the streets

It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down
You can bet he'll set 'em down...

Well I think this city girl has come to a conclusion in the face of undeniable evidence...Can you guess what I'm thinking? Now I have yet another reason not to buy his CDS other than a strong dislike of country music.

Britain's Top Model Goes Tribal


h/t F blog via Penny Red Highlights.When they sat around a room brainstorming about how to celebrate the selection of Britain's top model who decided mmm let's go with the racist image of the savage worships white princess look?  Did they think it would become the latest rage? I wonder if they consulted with Marcotte when they came up with this image?

Does it really need to be said that dressing blacks in tribal clothing at a pseudo coronation is wrong? All that is missing is the hyper masculinized white male to save her from the invading hordes,  but she is ready and willing isn't she..lips parted, suggestively posed, waiting for the conqueror to arrive. I guess we can all be reassured that this former colonial ruler still has a place for its former subjects. The post racial world that we have entered means that white supremacy is under grievous attack, and therefore it must be comforting to some that blacks can still be positioned as 'other' and subdued at will. I suppose there is truth to the saying that the sun never sets on the British Empire...some ideas don't seem to want to fade away.

Women Deserve Better

Women Deserve Better, and it is unfortunate that this message is still relevant today.   Speak truth to power my sister!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Castrate The Dirty Trannies

image I was reading Questioning Transphobia today and came across a story about mandatory sterilization of trans bodies in Sweden.  According to The Local this new legislation would make it mandatory to remove testicles and ovaries in each case of sex reassignment surgery.  This amounts to forced sterilization making pregnancies like that of trans man Thomas Beattie impossible.

This is not the first time that it has been suggested that certain bodies undergo castration.  It has been well documented that eugenics programs in North America castrated those considered to be mentally deficient, Native American women, and Black women without consent.  What these bodies have in common is that they are marginalized bodies.  Many prominent eugenicists promote racial and genetic purity without acknowledging that the perceived faults that they are critical of, stem from a direct result of the systemic social discrimination against the targeted bodies in question.

In the case of someone identifying as trans, eliminating their ability to reproduce will not reduce the amount of trans identifying people in society.  Trans people are born into CIS families, a fact that is over looked in this fear led legislation.  Just as you cannot raise someone to be gay, you cannot raise someone to be trans. It is either a part of their identity or it is not. A trans identity is just as naturally occurring as a CIS identity.

This proposed bill is the very height of CIS privilege.  This legislation amounts to nothing more than trans hate.  To assume that one group of people has the right to control the biology and reproduction of another is beyond arrogance and discrimination, it is dehumanizing.  That it even needs to be confronted as such symbolizes the degree of privilege CIS bodies operate with culturally.  If trans people were to suggest that CIS bodies should be castrated because they were somehow abnormal they would be dismissed as ridiculous. Just because a group of people are a minority within society does not mean that they are unfit to parent. Gender fluidity cannot and sh0uld not be used as an excuse to violate human rights.

You know I am done putting this nicely...I have been writing this post trying to politely to refute trans hate but you know what...This is just FUCKING WRONG, PERIOD.  Take your head out of your ass, deal with your bigotry and fear, and then come to the realization that no one has the right to demand that another undergo castration because you, that's right you have issues.  Don't even give me the bullshit line about your concern for the children either. They are always used as a convenient excuse as to why abortion is wrong, or gay adoption is wrong, but when it comes right down to it people don't really care about kids or so many of them wouldn't be living in poverty and without access to education, and health care...but it is all about the kiddies right?  So final thoughts, forced castration is wrong..I can't believe I even had to say that in the year 2008.

Sensitivity Training, and Political Correctness

Last night my sweetie subjected me to Penn and Tellers Bullshit. It was all about sensitivity training and how useless the seminars are in the workforce.  The basic thesis is that what these training sessions promote is group think, and that non alignment is punished.  The idea is that these training sessions occur to stave off potential lawsuits.

I don't believe that personal realignment can be achieved in this manner. To become an ally of the marginalized peoples of this world has to be a personal decision as it requires great dedication to decolonize a mind.  That said, I do  believe that society would be improved if people would  acknowledge that it is necessary to validate our shared humanity.

Those that are resistant to change often state that the pendulum has swung to far, and that they feel as though they don't have the right to free speech anymore, however if free speech means creating someone as other then it isn't really free is it?  The choice of specific language may not have consequences for the speaker if they inhabit a certain body, but it will certainly have an effect on the listener.

If I were to stand in front of a latin[a] lesbian and repeatedly say things like spic, carpet muncher, lesbo, etc, it may not effect me as a person, but to her it would be assaultive and reductive speech.  Not only would I be asserting difference, I would specifically be positioning myself as better than her based on hetero privilege and erroneous race hierarchy. The attempt to reduce others is based in a selfish desire to escape a social system in which certain groups are privileged, and others are marginalized however, this approach is only the internalization of oppressive behaviour that has been aimed at us.  We wrongly assume that because these same tools have been beneficial to white males that we may employ these strategies against other bodies of colour to create an artificial uplift. This creates a combative relationship between marginalized bodies that eliminates social cohesion as a possibility, thus we end up working at cross purposes with no one achieving any concrete gains.  How does this relate to sensitivity training you are probably wondering at this point? Sensitivity training is part of the arsenal of tools that actually build animosity rather than create a sense of community.  We don't learn to speak to each other and critically unpack privilege, instead we learn to repress certain language that society has decided is offensive.

Telling someone to be silent without engaging with them on the history of why the isms as they stand are harmful produces no lasting results. Instead, people further entrench themselves in their individual privileges as a form of armour against being spoken to, instead of with.  Conversations regarding isms must be ongoing conversations. One cannot simply attend an eight hour seminar and experience a metamorphosis.  I am a very committed trans ally and yet I know that even as I speak out in favour of trans rights my message can sometimes be lost behind my CIS privilege, so much so that it detracts from my thesis and will occasionally drive the subject matter away from the issue at hand. If I as an ally am not capable of removing all of the unearned CIS privilege in my speech or behaviour, how successful will someone who has no desire to change be?

So now that I have laid out all of the critique, where are my solutions?? You are never supposed to criticize unless you have a solution right? (I am told this constantly) In truth I have no concrete solutions on how to effectively combat unearned privilege other than to say that we must begin to engage one another.  Critical thinking must be taught from the very earliest of ages in our school systems.  It is critical that children learn from a very early age to recognize isms and how they interact.  This is usually not taught until University ensuring that it is a message that only certain classes of people will learn and then only if they so desire to be taught.  Ironic isn't it that class another "ism" effects who learns to critically engage with intersectionalism.

The Legacy Of Slavery

Greetings, Womanist Musings readers.  Renee has graciously asked me to guest post here.  I blog over here, mostly about race and gender, particularly from a black woman's perspective.  I also like to throw in pictures my (and other people's) garden, and my cats from time to time.   Hope you come by.

I grew up in a big city in the Midwestern U.S. The neighbourhood that I grew up in was a new development of small bungalows going up in a previously wooded, area, so there were woods to play in all around us, but we were really in the city.  It was a very attractive place for those who were buying – young black couples who were recently migrated from the south.  My parents both had had rural upbringings in the south, as did most everyone I knew in my neighbourhood.  We grew up knowing “down home” meant the places our parents, many of them with their southern accents, sayings and folkways intact, had come from.  We northern city kids inherited much of that upbringing, although our circumstances were different than our parents. 

My parents came north to find work and a life that the segregated south would not easily offer (which is not to say that life in the north was all butterflies and rainbows).  My dad came, as hundreds/thousands of others did, to work in the auto plants.  If I think about it, practically all of my friends had fathers, uncles, cousins that worked in either in auto or steel manufacturing.  These were among the first good jobs – union jobs, too – that opened up to blacks.  My mom had come because she had family up north already; an uncle and aunt and their kids - from the same small town in Florida she was from.  After my parents met and married, they lived in an apartment near my mother’s relatives for a while.  This apartment was in a densely populated, inner city area.  When the opportunity came up to move to the new house in the neighbourhood described above, where there were lawns and woods all around, they jumped at the chance. 

While we lived in that house, our personal family migration story continued.  Aunts, uncles, cousins – a whole assortment of relatives streamed through, living with us a couple of weeks, a few months or in one case several years, until they found work and settled into their own homes.  That’s what happened in lots of families.  The chance to buy a home… to own property was huge. 

And although in my childhood memory there was plenty of space to roam, in reality these were tiny little houses on tiny little plots of land, in a corner of the city where our families were allowed to live in relative peace.  It was starting out as a black neighbourhood.  However, in other parts of the city, the white parts, when black people moved in, whites moved out.  If they didn’t move out of the city altogether to the suburbs, they moved further west – the white side of town.

A while back, ding over at BitchPhd wrote a post that talked about the importance of land:

The new Skip Gates special on PBS is full of these stories of passing, diaspora, disappearance and reinvention.

What strikes me about some of these early stories of lost family members reclaimed is how prominent black-owned land figures into them and how crucial the land is to forming early black identity as well as ideas of freedom and citizenship. The program begins with Gates visiting the land his family has owned for 6 generations and passes by a parcel of land his family had owned but had to sell. Since part of their own genealogical story is lost to them, their farm acts like an anchor for their identity. In subsequent conversations with celebrities like Chris Rock, Tina Turner, Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle or Tom Joyner, Gates reveals that their families had once owned land - 40 acres, 62 acres, 65 acres - donating or selling some of their land to build schools or churches. The revelations about property and land ownership become a source of pride in their family.

What is it that Rock says – If he had known this before, it would have taken away the inevitability that he would be nothing. And property is usually the vehicle for these stories to come to light; it acts like a bracket around early black families: you were property and now you have property.

At the turn of the century blacks owned between 12-15 million acres of land; by the 30s and 40s that number shrinks to just a little over a million. For many of these black families the land is a foundation to build their newly acquired identities as freed people that suddenly disappears, forcing their story to jump, only to be picked up further down the line. What happened? What happened in those intervening years? Did African Americans just suddenly decide, "Hm, you know, owning land sucks. Let's pick up and go north"? Usually something else happened to make a family, or even a whole black town, disperse.

Read the whole post here...

She cites Torn from the Land, an investigation into the loss of black families’ land between the period of reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement:

In an 18-month investigation, The Associated Press documented a pattern in which black Americans were cheated out of their land or driven from it through intimidation, violence and even murder.

In some cases, government officials approved the land-takings; in others, they took part in them. The earliest occurred before the Civil War; others are being litigated today.

Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia, oilfields in Mississippi, a baseball spring-training facility in Florida.

The United States has a long history of bitter land disputes, from range wars in the Old West to broken treaties with American Indians. Poor white landowners, too, were sometimes treated unfairly, pressured to sell at rock-bottom prices by railroads and mining companies.

The fate of black landowners has been an overlooked part of this story.

The AP — in an investigation that included interviews with more than 1,000 people and the examination of tens of thousands of public records — documented 107 land-takings in 13 Southern and border states.

In those cases alone, 406 black landowners lost more than 24,000 acres of farm and timberland plus 85 smaller properties, including stores and city lots. Today, virtually all of this property, valued at tens of millions of dollars, is owned by whites or corporations.

Properties taken from blacks were often small — a 40-acre farm, a modest house. But the losses were devastating to families struggling to overcome the legacy of slavery.

Anti-racism education makes the connection between white privilege and generational wealth.   This flies in the face of the American myth of “pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps.”  In this society, poor people are blamed for their poverty – the reason people are poor, we think, is because they are lazy, or they don’t have good judgment, they have poor morals or they just are not smart.  We don’t acknowledge that generational wealth (as one example – there are many others) makes a huge difference in the life of an individual (and therefore a family, and thus a community), and this is absolutely connected to having property.  When people have property that they can pass on to their children or other relatives, this makes a difference.

Of course, it is not only about owning land, which is not a universal concept, anyway.  When people don’t have to pull up stakes because no one will hire you because of the body you inhabit, this makes a difference.  When people move out of neighbourhoods that suddenly become “undesirable” this makes a difference.

So it is not only the monetary value of the land.   The ability to move freely about is a kind of capital, too.  It is knowing that you belong somewhere; that you fit in, that you have an identity and being treated accordingly.  It is the ability to not have your very presence be so offensive to people that they want to annihilate you and those who look like, or act like you.  And so, while I am reflecting here upon the past, this is not simply a story of the past.  People who inhabit bodies that are considered “wrong” are fair game for mistreatment.  Some bodies do not matter… not then, not now.

Native peoples, whose identity is closely connected to the land, were murdered or run off land they had inhabited for centuries.  Of those who survived, many of their children endured “kill the Indian, save the man” campaigns that were meant to “civilize” them; make them American, make them white… by denying them their language, cutting their hair, keeping them away from their communities… so much more.  Refusing to abandon their cultures cost them the right to move freely about in society.  The trauma of this sustained pattern of genocide is evident today. 

For my people, the descendants of Africans who were enslaved, there is a different story, but a parallel one.  Enslaved people owned no property; they did not even own themselves.  Even their children and their partners, (should they be allowed to marry), could be taken away from them in an instant - sold away to someone else.  Even our names do not belong to us.  There are not many generations that I can count in my family tree; there is no land that I can point to and say, “This is where my people come from.”  Several years ago, my daughter and I visited Nigeria – it was my first trip to an African country.  While we were there, many people welcomed us, welcomed us “home.”  But one man I talked to spoke the truth when he said that he had sorrow for African Americans, because we “do not know where our village is.” 

I do not know where my village is.  Does it matter?  Should it matter?  On the surface, perhaps it does not.  I prefer to live in a world where I can connect to people beyond the fact of shared bloodline – after all, I am the mother of an adopted child.  I have friends whose ties to me run much, much deeper than blood.  I want to create a world where people do not align themselves into tribes with boundaries that cannot be breached, whatever those boundaries happen to be.  Yet, I cannot help but believe that the combination of this “homelessness” and the reality that my people have been reviled for most of our history in this country feed into a communal psyche that is damaged and goes untreated. 

My parents grew up under the system of segregation.  They saw the signs that said “colored” and “white.”   They learned the corresponding message that they were thought to be so … what?  Inhuman? Unclean?  Diseased?  …that they could not share space - eat… work… watch movies… worship – with white people.  What does that do to a people, generation after generation?  Yet we are told slavery was a long time ago, segregation is illegal.  Get over it.  Move on. 

I believe this is a wound that has not been healed in the souls of my people.  I don’t know that it can be. Last Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an official apology for slavery and segregation.  Reparations were not mentioned as part of the apology – I believe the resolution would never have made the floor had they been.  Many people believe an apology without the offer of restitution is meaningless.  Perhaps so.  But the acknowledgement that it happened, and it was wrong, and that the repercussions are long-lasting…. is a tiny bit of salve on that wound. 

Monday, August 4, 2008

Angelina Jolie And The Perfect Family

image When we look at this picture we are meant to embrace this esthetically beautiful family.  But what are the hidden messages in this photo? As I discussed in an earlier post on Angelina, motherhood is only valued in this society when the mother is of a certain race and class.  Angelinas position as a white woman of privilege makes her maternity desirable and pure.  This message is reified in many ways in this photo.  Take note that every single person is dressed in white. 

Yes whiteness is good and works as a purifying agent.  In whiteness we embrace the "light" and become not only normal, but valuable. How would the emotions triggered by this photograph change if this image involved a black family, or the uniformity of the clothing were changed?  The choice of white is not at all accidental, we are meant to see Angelinas experience as an affirming one, and internalize the idea that under the most ideal conditions motherhood is to be celebrated.  She is elevated amongst women not only for her class privilege, but for her unacknowledged whiteness.

I would like to draw your attention to little Shiloh in the corner of the photograph.  Upon having a child many parents take a pictures just like this one. In fact  I have a multitude of pictures of my oldest child holding my youngest child.  They are just as staged as this photo.  What is problematic about this picture is  the child that was selected to hold the infant.  As many are aware over the last few years Brad and Angelina have adopted children from across the globe, yet it is Shiloh that is on the front page welcoming the latest addition to the family.  By choosing their white blonde child instead of one of their children of colour it helps to reaffirm that what makes this family valuable is the purity of its whiteness.  It is intact and perfect because the bodies of colour have not disturbed it.  They exist only in the peripheral imagination,  quite invisible much in the same way POC are made invisible in the face of hegemonic whiteness. To involve her children of colour is to diminish the value of Angelinas whiteness for then her body would become a spoiled identity, tainted by the very blood of her children.

Daily we are inundated with such innocuous images of normalcy and domesticity.  To embrace the white picket fence and the traditional family is to understand which bodies truly matter in this society.  This photo reaffirms the racial hierarchy under which we all live.  Though the labour of bodies of colour is necessary to support and maintain the system, they are continually erased, because to admit their presence is to embrace the social injustice that allows some to live in splendour and others in abject poverty and marginalization.  Yes this is the post racial, equal society  which we inhabit.  It is important to note that its supposed blindness is based upon its refusal to validate bodies of colour.

Ambercrombie & Fitch: Racists Never Learn

I have  actively boycotted Ambercrombie & Fitch for its treatment of racial minorities for some time now. In fact I positively ache when I see a body of colour wearing any of their apparel.  Do not spend your hard earned money to support a company that believes that bodies of colour are only to fit to work in the back room. Do no spend your hard earned money to advertise a label that believes that you are less than.

In 2005 Ambercrombie settled  a class action  "discrimination lawsuit brought on by nine former employees who claimed they were fired, asked to work in back storage rooms or put on overnight shifts because they didn't fit into the "Abercrombie look" enough to work on the sales floor during regular business hours."

A&F sells whiteness as good and sexy. A person of colour is considered contrary to their public image. Take a look through their catalogue, or a walk through a few of their stores.  It came as no surprise when I read a story about a Muslim woman being denied a job in the kids section because she wore a hijab.  Apparently the woman was told that her clothing did not fit the Ambercrombie image.  Yeah, you know all American, white and blonde. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. The act also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee, unless doing so would create an "undue hardship" for the employer.

It seems for A&F respecting people of different cultures and religions is a hardship.  They simply cannot acknowledge POC as equal citizens as it would conflict with white supremacy.  Despite having to pay out a 40 million dollar settlement in 2005 A&F seems intent of continuing on a course of marginalization. As POC we must mobilize against this kind of oppression. We need to actively boycott their stores and inform people exactly what  message they are sending out each time they purchase, or wear A&F products. Just as with any company, they are dependent on consumer dollars.  The proletariat at this time may not have much power but it is possible to use our consumer dollars to force a change. Companies like this will continue to discriminate as long as they can make a profit.

Cross posted at Feminocracy

GNGH Closes Maternity Ward: Don't Get Pregnant In The Falls

image Since I currently reside in Niagara Falls Ontario, from time to time I feel compelled to blog about local issues.  It seems that the hospital system is running at an 18 million dollar deficit and it has been decided that the best solution is to close the maternity ward at Greater Niagara General.  This is the improvement plan suggested by the NHS (Niagara Health System).

Among the reasons suggested for the closure are a shortage of trained staff and a refocusing of specializations. St. Catherines is projected to become a "centre of excellence" for women's and children's health in St. Catharines. Niagara Falls would become the centre of excellence for plastic, dental and orthopedic surgeries under the plan. NHS officials said the changes are necessary because at present, wasteful duplication of services at its various hospitals and an unwieldy model make it impossible for the system to balance its budget.

Yes you read that right, having a maternity ward in a hospital is a wasteful distribution of services...perhaps we should make it easier on the NHS and have our babies in the hydro fields, swaddle them, and immediately return to work.  Giving birth is a life and death endeavour, and to decide that a hospital does not need to have a maternity ward simply does not validate the danger that women go through when we are having babies.

I live close to the highway and St.Catherines is still a twenty-five minute drive away from me, whereas GNGH is less than ten.  In a time of a medical emergency that time difference could mean death, but we are only talking about the lives of women and children so why should the NHS care.  It is not as if women and children have any real power or value in this society.  The total population of Niagara Falls is, 81,155 and women account for 41,960, that is over 50%  yet for some reason GNGH is not in need of a maternity ward that specializes in gynaecological procedures.  There are 4,725 single parent families and of that figure 3,775 are headed by women, but  a women and children health centre is not needed here.

Just like most small towns in Ontario, the Niagara Region is going through an acute shortage of doctors and in the area of specialists the problem is magnified. Instead of formulating a plan to encourage doctors to make Niagara their home the solution is to reduce the few doctors we have practicing here, and close down the ward altogether. 

As we know, women that alone with a child largely  in poverty, and for the few that are fortunate enough to drive, the distance that they must travel to get healthcare will come at a greater cost due to the increase in gas prices. One of the major issues in this area is public transportation in between the different regions.  It is very difficult to travel easily between Niagara and St. Catherines by bus because the two transit systems do not interact. For those that must rely on public transportation not only will there be an added cost but reaching the hospital will be a long and highly inconvenient journey that includes taking a minimum of 2 city buses and one inter-city bus. (trentway) Imagine making this trip to get pre and post natal care.

Whenever governments talk about cutbacks it is usually the poor that bare the greatest cost, while large corporations continue to receive larger and larger tax breaks.  When the Mike Harris government was elected on a platform of fiscal responsibility he immediately reduced the amount of money welfare recipient received monthly.  This latest bid by NHS is just another attack on the poor and marginalized in society.  At one point do we say that it is not okay to sacrifice essential needs in the name of money?  When will we begin to value people over possessions?  We are all born of women and this is a fact that the bean crunchers need  to remember. Don't let them limit our access to good healthcare without a fight, sign the online petition here.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Colluder Of The Week - Dame Eileen Atkins


This weeks colluder award goes to Dame Eileen Atkins.  In an interview with Times Online she reportedly said the following.

Now girls are expected to have sex before they’re 12, which is terrible. It really upsets me when silly girls get as drunk and aggressive as boys. My skin crawls when I see laddish women presenting television shows who almost slap their thighs as if they’re in panto. I think, ‘Stop. This isn’t what we meant by feminism.’ It’s gone completely wrong. Women think they can have a fantastic career and four children, and knock themselves out trying to do it.

Not only is this woman confused, she seems to believe that her idea of feminism should represent all women.  Right, young women are encouraged to have sex early which is why we have all kinds of slut shaming, and purity balls.  I was also really surprised to learn  that being born with a vagina meant that I had naturally passive and submissive tendencies...gender essentialism anyone?  Finally lets not push for things like socialized daycare and job sharing programs to make it easier for working mothers, lets just return en mass to the kitchen where we belong.  Keep in mind this of course only applies to rich white woman as WOC have always had to work.

h/t The F-Word Blog

No More Penis Envy

image Freud would positively love this webpage.  Yes, secretly all women are just dying to be able to pee standing up.  All of our lives we watched our brothers and fathers pee against trees and felt inadequate, but now through the wonder of modern  technology we can be just as "good as the boys."

Now that we can stand along side the men we won't have to face the dangers that come with squatting. Finally technology has found a way to counteract our defective female bodies.  Is anyone else suddenly feeling liberated and free?

The new pseudo penises are so small and convenient that they fit in a purse.image Imagine that, the joy of two worlds coming together so beautifully, a penis and traditional female luggage. So along with carting a ton of useless shit that we really don't need, as well as  the crap our boyfriends, or husbands ask us to put in there, we can carry around our new dicks.

Think of the freedom that this new convenience will lead to. There will be no image more squatting over dirty toilet seats.  But even more important than that, there will be no more long line ups to use the bathroom.  Instead of going in pairs to the facilities we can grab our girlfriend and visit the nearest bush with the confidence that our new dicks will make it an easy and possibly fun experience.  Have I mentioned that we will be able to pee standing up?  The overwhelming joy of finally being the equal of a man in a pissing contest, is something I have dreamed about since I discovered that I was born a deformed male. If only Freud were alive today to see his theory of penis envy proved true as we rush out to buy what nature has deprived us of. Between a strap on dildo and this latest concoction women are are finding ways to overcome the disability of being born with a vagina.  Now if only we could find a way to fake a cum shot, the world would be completely equal.

Thanks to the new disposable dick, there will be no need to demand that establishments keep cleaner bathrooms and make sure  that there is toilet paper in each stall.  There will be no need to ask for more facilities so that women don't have to wait in such long lines.  The new female dick will ensure that women finally will no longer be in need of "special privileges". 

Women only make 70 cents for every dollar that a man makesimage but spending $4.50 Canadian to achieve this new equality seems worth it doesn't it?  So when your boss asks you to make coffee or calls you sweetie, you can whip your new dick out of your purse and demand he treat you like the man you have always wanted to be.   Just ignore the breasts and the ovaries, that plastic peeing dick will make you a "legitimate man" in the eyes of patriarchy. Don't forget to revert to a woman when you return home. It is important that you continue to do more household labour than your husband and spread your legs on command.  It is important to remember that while you may be seeking equality, the capitalist system is still highly dependent on free female labour. Lets face it we can only push this equality thing so far.  For now though we can all celebrate the fact that female equality has take a huge leap forward with this wondrous product.  One small leak for woman, one large piss for womankind...ahhhh someone point me towards the nearest urinal.

Kyle Payne: No Forgiveness For You

image Awhile ago I posted about Kyle Payne a so-called feminist ally who turned out to be a rapist..that's right a rapist. He wilfully exposed a womans breast and took pictures, and video.  Today he sent out a mass e-mail announcing that he had a statement to make.  I am late posting a response simply because I could not decide whether or not I actually wanted to read what he had to say.  In truth, there is nothing that he could say that would explain his behaviour, or cause me to have any kind of sympathy for him.

I write this letter in the interest of dropping barriers, sharing openly and honestly a story that is very difficult to talk about, in hopes that doing so may bring peace, understanding, and hope to the lives of others

Yeah like a rapist shit could actually inspire hope in anyway. The only thing this man inspires is revulsion and disgust.

While caring for the female student, I felt a sudden impulse to expose her breast. Not knowing how to deal with this feeling at the time – and to put it more clearly, not knowing how to make sense of such an urge, given my personal values and my politics – I acted upon it.

A true ally doesn't feel the need to assault women in this manner.  If you were even a half way decent human being, what you would have done is gotten up and left the room...but personal responsibility does not apply to you, does it?

I owe a special apology as well to the many women who have sought my assistance as a rape crisis advocate and who, upon learning about my actions, may have experienced re-victimization. I believe my actions warrant everyone’s questioning of my character and of my ability and willingness to act in accordance with my own professed values. I will either earn trust back, or I won’t. That is not for me to decide. But I take this as an opportunity to speak openly and honestly and be held accountable for my actions.

Actually this little stunt is just an attempt to abdicate responsibility, and it is clear to all who have tarnished themselves to read it.  You will never earn the trust back of any woman, much less a feminist woman.  You are a rapist Kyle, own up to your actions.

I have faced a great deal of serious consequences of my criminal and unethical actions, all of them just and appropriate. I lost my job in residence life at a major research university, my university-owned apartment, in addition to my acceptance at an excellent graduate program in student affairs. I was unable to attend graduation at BVU, and since pleading guilty, I have been banned from campus for life. My reputation as a pro-feminist activist and an advocate for survivors has been seriously, and quite possibly irrevocably, compromised. I have been forced to leave several activist groups, including those for which I was a leader or founding member. I have also been the subject of intense scrutiny at BVU, in my hometown, in my professional and social networks, and all over the internet. With a criminal record, I will face serious limitations on my career prospects, as well as on my involvement with various social organizations and in personal relationships.

You deserve every bit of it too. This is part of taking responsibility for your actions...That is what you wanted right?

Recognizing what I feel to be my responsibility as a male ally to feminism, as well as a decent human being, I ask that any women reading this letter who wish to share their responses contact me via email

This is the part where  I completely fucking lose it..STOP CALLING YOURSELF AN ALLY YOU RAPIST SCUM. YOU ARE NOT A DECENT HUMAN BEING.  Allies don't do what you did. You are an affront to every decent man that I know.   At this point I am incapable of saying anything else that could be considered remotely coherent, so I am going to direct you to two women that are more eloquent than I when it comes to Kyle...check out Cara at The Curvature and Corvid Diaries.