Tag Archives: misogyny

Sexually Enlightened R&B Song: Burnt Out Feminists Respond

17 Oct

The notoriously shallow, fairly bro-focused site College Humour has produced a viral video entitled ‘Sexually Enlightened R&B song’ featuring a black heterosexual couple, both stereotypically attractive, in which the man serenades the woman with a standard-composition 90’s R&B tune about having a fair and equal sexual encounter with her that evening. At face value, this content should not be at all humorous, but I found myself laughing out loud, not at the ideas being shared, but at the ridiculous thought that a mainstream cultural product would ever seriously espouse such blatantly feminist values from the mouth of a man.

I liked it and laughed despite the basing of the piece upon clearly heteronormative, liberal feminist views (not the radical queer intersectional feminist approach I try to take. As I commented to my friend, hard feminist porn producer Nikki Swarm, it’s important for the singer to clarify that although his woman is experienced, she is not a ho, because it would be going too far to — gasp — humanise sex workers! and they are getting married, so clearly she can’t be a ho! I disagree with versions of feminism where some women do not receive feminist protection, where those who have made ‘bad choices’ about themselves and their bodies, including sex work, casual sex and abortions are demonised, and the line between good and bad girls is tightly upheld. Instead, I believe that everyone has the agency to make their own choices under structural systems in which the options for oppressed people (in this case, make money from sex work, be in debt and unemployed, or work shit jobs and make peanuts for hard, stressful labour) are all problematic.

Nevertheless, despite all this, the feminist principles articulated in the song were still far enough from the androcentric social norm around heteroromantic, sexual and intimate relationships to be highly unusual, and worthy of attention. The ideas it introduces, such as sexual reciprocity (‘I’ll go down on you / You’ll go down on me) and a woman having a healthy human sexuality (In my opinion / your sexual liberation / is healthy and normal / and makes you human), as simple and pedestrian as they should be, are presented as alien to the misogynistic norm, so far-fetched and impossible as to be funny. Continue reading

Revolutionary News Roundup

19 May

A collection of news items that have made us angry, made us sad, astounded us, and/or ignited our revolutionary fire lately [trigger warnings for sexual assault, murder and violence against women, reproductive and police injustice].

  1. Purvi Patel, who says she miscarried, gets 20 years in prison for feticide [Filed under: reproductive injustice, misogyny, patriarchy, intersectionality]
  2. Mary Jane Veloso Spared in 11th Hour in Indonesia [Filed under: poverty, imperialism, Third World women]
  3. Mumia Abu-Jamal medical emergency [Filed under: political imprisonment, silencing, state violence]
  4. 72 killed in Philippines slipper factory fire [Filed under: poverty, Third World Women, inhumane working conditions, unabated capitalism]
  5. Biker gangs have major shootout, murdering 9 – National Guard not called in, no one is killed by the police or called a thug by the media [Filed under: white privilege, violence in America, gangsters, thugs]
  6. Baltimore State’s Attorney charges 6 police officers in murder of Freddie Gray; lawyers file motions to dismiss all charges [Filed under: systemic racism, police unaccountability]
  7. 20 year old gay feminist activist murdered after resistance to on-campus sexism and misogyny led to suspension of rugby team [Filed under: rape culture, misogyny, youth culture, MRAs, LGBT issues, violence in America, violence against women]
  8. Transgender woman London Chanel murdered in Philadelphia and Remembering Us When We’re Gone, Ignoring Us While We’re Here: Trans Women Deserve More (late but highly relevant post) [Filed under: trans women of colour, violence against women, transmisogyny, LGBT issues]
  9. Nicki Minaj and Beyonce release new video for ‘Feelin Myself’  [Filed under: carefree Black girls, flawless, problematic faves]
  10. Global inequality is so bad it’s almost impossible to visualise it [Filed under: poverty, wealth, 1%, globalization, unabated capitalism]
  11. ‘sHell no!’ Seattle kayaktivist fleet protests Arctic drilling [Filed under: activism, protest, ecofeminism, wealth, 1%, globalization, unabated capitalism, resistance]

#TwitterSilence is Not Golden

4 Aug

twittersilenceIn recent weeks, the online abuse of feminists has made headlines with the bomb, rape and murder threats received by figures such as historian Mary Beard, activist Caroline Criado-Perez, and several female journalists, including Time magazine’s Europe editor Catherine Mayer, Guardian columnist Hadley Freemam and Grace Dent from the Independent. In response, liberal white feminist Caitlin Moran has been campaigning for “all pleasant people”, as she calls them, to refrain from tweeting today, August 4, 2013, as an act of protest against this abuse.

We have many qualms with Ms. Moran’s particular brand of feminism – namely, that it is ablist, transmisogynist and silencing of women of colour. However, our refusal to participate in the #twittersilence campaign is not motivated by personal dislike, but on principle. As many tweeters have said in the past couple of days, our silence is exactly what the trolls – including members of the otherwise anti-establishment organization Anonymous – want. Their hateful abuse is flak directed at feminists and women speaking out against the sexism they are experiencing and observing in the world around them. As explained by Rhiannon and Holly at the New Statesman, rape threats in particular say “shut up, because you’re a woman” to women who have spoken, and “don’t speak, because you’re a woman” to women who might want to speak in the future. [Trigger warning for that link.] But we will not be silenced.

Online as in real life, our ability to speak out and indeed, our commitment to #shoutingback is one of our most powerful weapons, and we will not have it taken from us.

For more info, including news of Twitter’s pledge to address abuse with a “Report Tweet” button as petitioners have requested, check out this article: http://www.heavy.com/tech/2013/08/twitter-abuse-reporting-bomb-threat-silenc/

Patriarchy Makes The News

17 Jun

A quick roundup of all the sexist shit that’s been reported around the web recently. If you have things to add, leave them in the comments below.

Trigger warnings for statistics and/or descriptions of rape, violence against women, photos of the Nigella-Saatchi incident, and Action Bronson’s disgusting EP cover.

  • Underground rapper Action Bronson releases new EP with racist/sexist cover image [no one in the blogosphere seems to have critiqued this yet. not to worry. we plan to.]

Resisting Rape Culture: Teaching Men Not to Rape

19 Mar
Seattle Grrrl Army Anti-Rape Culture Mural

Props to the Seattle Grrrl Army for this dope info-mural.

Following today’s conviction of the young men in the Steubenville rape trial, Sisters of Resistance want to give a big shout-out and thank you to political analyst Zerlina Maxwell, who has been in the spotlight recently for speaking out against the rampant victim-blaming going on around the case.

We agree wholeheartedly with Zerlina’s stance that instead of telling women what they should do to prevent rape, we should instead be teaching men not to rape. In an interview on Fox News that attempted to bring together issues of sexual violence with those of gun control, Zerlina said the following:

“I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything. I don’t want women—I don’t want men to be telling me what to wear, how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape.”

We also want to thank blogger Alexandria Goddard for making copies of the incriminating tweets, pics and video, independently reporting on the case for months and attempting to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions, members of Anonymous who circulated the video in order to bring attention to the case and publicize the story, and Matt Binder who compiled some of the disgusting victim-blaming and slut-shaming tweets since the verdict, effectively documenting how rape culture is supported and reinforced by society, women and men included (**TRIGGER WARNINGS** for the last couple of links).

The actions of these individuals show us that it is possible for us to effectively resist and challenge rape culture. We stand in solidarity with the Steubenville survivor and all victims and survivors of sexual violence everywhere. We especially remember Jyoti Singh Pandey, who died after a gang rape on a public bus in Delhi in December 2012, and the teenage girl in the Maldives scheduled to be publicly flogged (what century is this!?) for premarital sex (sign a petition against this here). We join with many in calling for an end to rape culture worldwide.

End rape culture now!

Graffiti Mural Reading No More Rape Culture