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A wonderful medley featuring the main title theme and a theme called “The Children” from the fourth season of the show.
Why hello there gentle readers (and a big thanks to John Zande for bringing this video to my attention). Today were going to look at one of the fundamental differences between the lived experiences of men and women in public. We’re also going to look at some of the horrible things misogynistic, entitled men say when they see a version of reality that doesn’t agree with theirs. These are the same dudebro’s that cry foul when women post videos on you tube and decline to open the comment section. So, let us watch the video and then digest some of the comments I annotate from said video.
A handy refresher about Helen Lewis’s Law -“Comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”
**UPDATE – A big thank you Bleatmop for this information – Shoshana has also been receiving rape threats due to her participation in this video. See the story here. **
This video is a PSA about street harassment and this definition is from their blog Hollaback.
“What is street harassment?
Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. It exists on a spectrum including “catcalling” or verbal harassment, stalking, groping, public masturbation, and assault. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life. Street harassment can be sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, sizeist and/or classist. It is an expression of the interlocking and overlapping oppressions we face and it functions as a means to silence our voices and “keep us in our place.” At Hollaback!, we believe that what specifically counts as street harassment is determined by those who experience it. If you’ve experienced street harassment, we’ve got your back!
Is Shoshana’s experience unique?
The experience of street harassment is different for everyone. Street harassment disproportionately impacts women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and young people. Although the degree to which Shoshana gets harassed is shocking — the reality is that the harassment that people of color and LGBTQ individuals face is oftentimes more severe and more likely to escalate into violence. These forms of harassment are not just sexist — but also racist and homophobic in nature.”
Shoshana noted, “I’m harassed when I smile and I’m harassed when I don’t. I’m harassed by white men, black men, latino men. Not a day goes by when I don’t experience this.”
Yes, well, lets take a peek at what the enlightened you tube commentators has to say. I went through the comments and came up with 5 rough categorizations of comments that I screen-capped: Clueless Dudes, Entitled Males, FreezePeach, Misogynistic ManSplainers, and Victim Blaming. Some comments could be in more than one category, but divisions needed to be made somewhere (it’s such a pleasure seeing so many graduations of misogyny). Oh yes there are a smattering of non vile responses, but those are for a different post.
So here we go, category one – Clueless Dudes.
Clueless Dude Analysis/Response: Wow, so much fail, so little time. Let’s respond in order.
#1. Women in public are not obligated to say or do anything. The men in this video were trying to elicit a response or commentate on her physical stature. This is not conversation, it is harassment.
#2. Should we speak in nothing but hyperbole when defending the status-quo that benefits you so much?
#3. Would it really make your day if so many of these comments were preludes to asking for sex or touching that you have not asked for? The good ship male experience sails in the calmest of waters.
#4. Ah, you’d be surprised what a relief it is for many women who age out of, or fat out of or whatever out of, the category of women who get unwanted male attention. The transition from harassment target – girl I’d like to fuck – to invisible to the male eye penis is a reality for almost all women.
#5. Would any comment sections about female harassment be complete without some evo-devo-pysch bullshit? Let me know how your hunt goes Jonny Tan whilst the females gather roots and berries… (pro-tip: That whispering you hear is civilization and progress proving your low opinion of males and humanity comes directly from your rectum).
Category Two - Entitled Males.
Sometimes while surfing the web you find passages that are so brutally eloquent that the only acceptable action is to replicate them. This from the Notes Against Humanity Blog.
“I am targeted for rape and other types of sexual violence because I’m perceived as female. The only effective way to protect myself from rape is to not exist in the world while being perceived as female. (And even then, you know, men get raped too.)
Do you have any ideas about how I could do that?
I am patronizingly told that yes, rape culture is a thing, yes, men should be taught not to rape, yes, yes, rape is very very bad and it’s always the rapist’s fault, but
shouldn’t we really be giving ladies the tools they need to stay safe in the meantime after all change doesn’t happen immediately and we can’t just tell all men to stop raping and they’ll stop and yes this is unfair but maybe for now you can just keep yourself from getting raped so that we don’t have to feel bad about this?
Okay, I’ll indulge you. What’s your plan? How long am I supposed to appear outside only with an escort, carry pepper spray and keys between my fingers and a gun that I’ve paid money for and been taught how to use and self-defense training in case I can’t access the gun, wear only baggy clothes, refrain from drinking or dancing or consensual sex or anything else untoward? What’s the timeframe here? How long do I have to do this while you do the work of teaching men that I don’t belong to them? How are you going to teach them that? Where are you getting the funding for these programs? Who will teach law enforcement to take rape accusations seriously? Who will teach coaches, religious leaders, politicians, and other powerful men to stop covering this shit up? How are you going to implement mandatory consent-based sex education at all grade levels?
What’s your plan?
How long do I have to live like a prisoner in this world?
Do you know how it feels to be a target?”
***Let me preface this post with a handy disclaimer for clarification – When women say that have been abused – I believe them.***
**Update – Lucy DeCoutere speaks of her abusive experience with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC radio’s show The Current – Catch the podcast here.**
Okay this story broke over the weekend and the major print media involved so far has been the Toronto Star. In the TS’s words here is what happened -
“CBC star Jian Ghomeshi has been fired over “information” the public broadcaster recently received that it says “precludes” it from continuing to employ the 47-year-old host of the popular Q radio show. Shortly after CBC announced Ghomeshi was out the door on Sunday, Ghomeshi released news that he was launching a $50-million lawsuit claiming “breach of confidence and bad faith” by his employer of almost 14 years. He later followed that up with a Facebook posting saying he has been the target of “harassment, vengeance and demonization.”
Hmm. Well I think the CBC’s information – having a host that is violent toward women – is probably a good reason for canning the dude.
“Ghomeshi’s statement said that he has been open with the CBC about the allegations. He said the CBC’s decision to fire him came after he voluntarily showed evidence late last week that everything he has done was consensual. Ghomeshi blames a woman he describes as an ex-girlfriend for spreading lies about him and orchestrating a campaign with other women to “smear” him.
The three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent. They allege he struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and that they were verbally abused during and after sex.
A fourth woman, who worked at CBC, said Ghomeshi told her at work: “I want to hate f— you.”
Fascinating. It would seem that Ghomeshi has the standard defense of blaming and making women responsible for his shitty behaviour down pat. Might another dodge in the dude’s handbook be that what he does in private (beating women) should have no effect on his job?
“Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks. They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. … But that is my private life. … And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life.”
Ah, but Jian the three women in question all say that you physically attacked them explicitly without their consent – and that boyo – means your private life, your private kinks – are fucking irrelevant to the issue at hand, because attacking people is against the law.
“Early last summer, the Star began looking into allegations by young women of sexual abuse by Ghomeshi over the past two years. The Star conducted detailed interviews with the women, talking to each woman several times. None of the women filed police complaints and none agreed to go on the record. The reasons given for not coming forward publicly include the fear that they would be sued or would be the object of Internet retaliation. (A woman who wrote an account of an encounter with a Canadian radio host believed to be Ghomeshi was subjected to vicious Internet attacks by online readers who said they were supporters of the host.)”
Go read that paragraph again. You will not find a more clearly defined example of what rape culture is and how it affects women and their choices.
Why didn’t these women just go to the police? Because often filing a police report and going through the process ends up as nothing more as a re-victimization of an already traumatized individual and no legal censure for the abuser in question. Plus, now with the shiny new information age, women are targeted for harassment, rape and death threats over social media and email (just take a peek at the abuse women get for daring to speak their mind). Coming forward just isn’t that easy or cut and dried as people would like to portray.
From the New York Times:
“They [the women Ghomeshi abused] explain further:
“Each of the women accusing Ghomeshi cite the case of Carla Ciccone as a reason they desire anonymity. Last year Ciccone wrote an article for the website XOJane about a ‘bad date’ with an unidentified, very popular Canadian radio host whom readers speculated to be Ghomeshi.
“In the days that followed, Ciccone received hundreds of abusive messages and threats. An online video calling her a ‘scumbag of the Internet’ has been viewed over 397,000 times.”
In her 2013 XOJane piece, Ms. Ciccone writes that a man she calls Keith, who “has a successful radio show in Canada,” repeatedly tried to touch her when they went to a concert together, even after she asked him to stop.
Those who speak up about sexual harassment or violence have long been subject to public scrutiny and criticism. But an onslaught of online abuse and threats has become a strikingly common response to women’s public statements — see for instance the threats Anita Sarkeesian and others have received when they speak publicly about misogyny in video games.
Brianna Wu, a game developer, details her harassment in an essay at XOJane, describing death and rape threats as well as threats to her career:
“They tried to hack my company financially on Saturday, taking out our company’s assets. They’ve tried to impersonate me on Twitter in an effort to discredit me. They are making burner accounts to send lies about my private life to prominent journalists. They’ve devastated the metacritic users’ score of my game, Revolution 60, lowering it to 0.3 out of 100.”
Yah, soooo..before we get any spirited arguments about “Why didn’t they just go to the police? – the above quote is your answer. Do you want to face the possibility of ruining your life given the very real chance that your trauma won’t be taken seriously by the authorities? Can you see how large the disincentive is for women to “go public”. Again, say hi to what it like to live in a rape culture.
Heather Malik writing in the Toronto Star elaborates this key point about how rape culture effects women and the reporting of sexual abuse:
“When it comes to redress for suffering a sexual attack, Canadian women might as well be in Saudi Arabia. We whisper among friends and quietly trade stories, or we shut up for our entire careers.
The barriers start with institutional sexism and pile on with the almost impossible burden of proof for acts committed in private, the adulation offered to well-paid and well-connected men, the insulation of a large staff on Ghomeshi’s radio show Q, his hiring of a PR company and a team of libel lawyers, the fact that he claims he is a union member now filing a grievance against the CBC, an army of carefully catered-to fans online, the continuing shock of being physically assaulted, and then one of the worst things of all, the terror of being placed in the online bearpit.”
The stigma for women surrounding sexual assault and battery needs to be removed. The choice between ruining your life for a slim chance at justice or shutting up about your sexual assault is really no choice at all for women, as this story so vividly illustrates. Women need protection and support from the legal system and society. Woman should be able to exercise their human and legal rights without fear of retribution from the misogynistic elements of society that would see their lives ruined for the mere act of speaking the truth about their experiences.
As a long time CBC radio listener, I sincerely hope that Mr.Ghomeshi is not rehired. Canada is a progressive country and the abusive, anti-woman vibe that surrounds Mr.Ghomeshi has no place on our national radio network.
The wheels of justice are moving slow on this one, as is often the case with rape. It is ‘funny’ that our society won’t take the time to look at the reality of the situation when it comes to rape and the legal system.
One could say that, tacitly, rape is condoned in our society. Not a particularly happy conclusion, but there it is.
A Voice for Misogyny – AVFM writes yet another page on how not to be a decent human being.
Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:
[UPDATE: The real White Ribbon Campaign has responded; I've added excerpts at the bottom.]
Apparently, A Voice for Men is just itching to be sued.
Paul Elam and the gang over at everyone’s favorite Men’s Rights hate site have just launched a new website — WhiteRibbon.org — that seems pretty clearly designed to undermine and co-opt the real White Ribbon campaign, a long-running international initiative to fight violence against women.
The REAL White Ribbon campaign has a number of websites, reflecting its international reach — in Canada, where the initiative originated, as well as in the UK, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand. and other places. But apparently the organization didn’t buy up all the related domain names.
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What? The religious using coercive tactics to harm children. Unpossible.
Kidnapped for Christ is a documentary film that details the experiences of several teenagers who were removed from their homes and sent to a behavior modification and ex-gay school in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. The film was directed by Kate Logan. Tom DeSanto, Lance Bass and Mike Manning are the executive producers.
The documentary details the experiences of several teenagers who were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to Escuela Caribe at their parents’ behest. The film focuses on the plight of a Colorado high school student, David, sent to the school by his parents after he told them he was gay. The film also documents the experiences of two girls: Beth, who was sent to the school because of a “debilitating anxiety disorder”, and Tai, who was sent for behavioral problems resulting from childhood trauma.
The Bible Reloaded provides commentary on the actual film.