parkade2   Gavin de Becker in his book The Gift of Fear is about how we sometimes short circuit the information we receive from the environment.  Here is an excerpt regarding a seeking help in a situation and concluding with how social dynamics really bollocks things up for women.

   “A woman alone who needs assistance is actually far better off choosing someone and asking for help, as opposed to waiting for an unsolicited approach. The person you choose is nowhere near as likely to bring you hazard as is the person who chooses you. That’s because the possibility that you’ll inadvertently select a predatory criminal for whom you are the right victim type is very remote. I encourage women to ask other women for help when they need it, and it’s likewise safer to accept an offer from a woman than from a man. (Unfortunately, women rarely make such offers to other women, and I wish more would.)
  I want to clarify that many men offer help without any sinister or self-serving intent, with no more in mind than kindness and chivalry, but I have been addressing those times that men refuse to hear the word “No,” and that is not chivalrous—it is dangerous.
When someone ignores that word, ask yourself: Why is this person seeking to control me? What does he want? It is best to get away from the person altogether, but if that’s not practical, the response that serves safety is to dramatically raise your insistence, skipping several levels of politeness. “I said NO!”
  When I encounter people hung up on the seeming rudeness of this response (and there are many), I imagine this conversation after a stranger is told No by a woman he has approached:
MAN: What a bitch. What’s your problem, lady? I was just trying to offer a little help to a pretty woman. What are you so paranoid about?
WOMAN: You’re right. I shouldn’t be wary. I’m overreacting about nothing. I mean, just because a man makes an unsolicited and persistent approach in an underground parking lot in a society where crimes against women have risen four times faster than the general crime rate, and three out of four women will suffer a violent crime; and just because I’ve personally heard horror stories from every female friend I’ve ever had; and just because I have to consider where I park, where I walk, whom I talk to, and whom I date in the context of whether someone will kill me or rape me or scare me half to death; and just because several times a week someone makes an inappropriate remark, stares at me, harasses me, follows me, or drives alongside my car pacing me; and just because I have to deal with the apartment manager who gives me the creeps for reasons I haven’t figured out, yet I can tell by the way he looks at me that given an opportunity he’d do something that would get us both on the evening news; and just because these are life-and-death issues most men know nothing about so that I’m made to feel foolish for being cautious even though I live at the center of a swirl of possible hazards DOESN’T MEAN A WOMAN SHOULD BE WARY OF A STRANGER WHO IGNORES THE WORD ‘NO’.”
  Whether or not men can relate to it or believe it or accept it, that is the way it is. Women, particularly in big cities, live with a constant wariness. Their lives are literally on the line in ways men just don’t experience. Ask some man you know, “When is the last time you were concerned or afraid that another person would harm you?” Many men cannot recall an incident within years. Ask a woman the same question and most will give you a recent example or say, “Last night,” “Today,” or even “Every day.”
  Still, women’s concerns about safety are frequently the subject of critical comments from the men in their lives. One woman told me of constant ridicule and sarcasm from her boyfriend whenever she discussed fear or safety. He called her precautions silly and asked, “How can you live like that?” To which she replied, “How could I not?”
  I have a message for women who feel forced to defend their safety concerns: tell Mister I-Know-Everything-About-Danger that he has nothing to contribute to the topic of your personal security. Tell him that your survival instinct is a gift from Nature that knows a lot more about your safety than he does. And tell him that nature does not require his approval.
  It is understandable that the perspectives of men and women on safety are so different—men and women live in different worlds. I don’t remember where I first heard this simple description of one dramatic contrast between the genders, but it is strikingly accurate: At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.”

-Gavin de Becker.  The Gift of Fear, pp 31 – 32.

If your Feminism doesn’t center females at its core, you may have a problem…

postfeminismStevi Jackson.  Trouble & Strife Winter 1992/93.

journalism    Our Canadian media is taking a beating as of late.  Neil Macdonald opines:

“Consider Postmedia, the biggest newspaper chain in the country.

It is largely owned by an American hedge fund, which regularly drains the member newspapers’ dwindling profits at a handsome interest rate as their newsrooms are merged and hollowed out to cut costs, and editorial direction is dictated from corporate headquarters.

No one knows where it will end, but end-stage asset stripping is probably a safe bet.”

My very own Edmonton Journal has been gutted in the latest round of cuts to the editorial board.  Where do people think ‘news’ comes from?   Primary sources – professional journalists – are the ones reporting and writing the stories that provide the grist for the mill for carrion feeders (bloggers like myself and the rest of the internet) possible.  We should be very concerned that our eyes and ears to the world are slowly being hacked to death by corporations that prioritize everything but the actual process of Journalism.

“Baron, now executive editor of the Washington Post, acknowledged the economic forces ripping the business to shreds.

It is so on target that I’m going to quote its most salient passage:

“The greatest danger to a vigorous press today,” he begins, “comes from ourselves.

“The press is routinely belittled, badgered, harassed, disparaged, demonized, and subjected to acts of intimidation from all corners — including boycotts, threats of cancellations (or defunding, in the case of public broadcasting) …   

“Our independence — simply posing legitimate questions — is seen as an obstacle to what our critics consider a righteous moral, ideological, political, or business agenda.

“In this environment, too many news organizations are holding back, out of fear — fear that we will be saddled with an uncomfortable political label, fear that we will be accused of bias, fear that we will be portrayed as negative, fear that we will lose customers, fear that advertisers will run from us, fear that we will be assailed as anti-this or anti-that, fear that we will offend someone, anyone.

“Fear, in short, that our weakened financial condition will be made weaker because we did something strong and right, because we simply told the truth and told it straight.”

   Yeah.  The facts of matter might be offensive, but they still are the facts of the matter.  We seem to have lost sight of this salient feature in much of society.  The problem, of course, is that our press depends on advertising and therefore behest to many sorts of of influences that detracts from the reporting of the facts. 

I hope we as a society get back on track and start supporting our journalists and the crucial role they play in society.  Being able to comment and critique in a contextually appropriator manner is founded on having access to the facts of any particular situation.

“But the original information, before it is aggregated and re-aggregated a thousand times, has to come from someone with the experience, brains and training to uncover it in the first place.

That is usually the work of credentialed journalism. It’s what Baron did in Boston. The alternative is usually just spin and corporatist fantasy, and let us all hope the latter does not overwhelm the former.”

 

 

 

What courage looks like – […] “the reason I’m here is to make sure that I’m doing my part to make sure my daughters have access to proper healthcare and rights to their own bodies. As their mother, I owe them that.”

Everysaturdaymorning's Blog

When my husband and I had children we always agreed to be open and honest with our kids. When we ended up having two daughters, my husband informed me that “those talks” were all mine. I’ve always been pretty open about women’s rights and at an early age they had probably heard me rant and rave about things they probably shouldn’t have but looking back on it, I’m so glad they did.

They’re 8 and 10 now and about one year ago they asked me what an abortion was. At first, I didn’t want to tell them anything. I didn’t want to tell them the process of an abortion. They’d never understand. They’d get the wrong idea about what it is because they’re kids. There’s no way they could really process that information. Then I thought back and no one in my family talked to me about periods, pregnancy or…

View original post 549 more words

Meghan Murphy – The Nordic Model

The Prime Directive

Meghan Murphy is the most prominent radical feminist in Canada today. This interview is an excellent exposition of radical feminist theory and Murphy’s views.

5) Advocates of prostitution and porn call these Nordic reforms “anti-sex” and “moralistic” but it’s interesting to note that these laws are passed in countries (Sweden, Norway, Iceland) that are known to have the most open, relaxed and non repressive attitude about sex. Your comments on that?

M: Yeah that’s a funny one. I mean, if we’re talking about free sexuality and a real liberated vision of sex and sexuality, you’d think you’d be advocating for consensual sex. But prostitution isn’t about female desire or “enthusiastic consent”, which is supposedly what we’re touting in feminism these days. I mean, sure, sometimes a woman “consents” to letting a man have sex with her or agrees to perform other sex acts, in exchange for money, but she isn’t…

View original post 235 more words

dogma

MarryWollstonecraft       “Wollstonecraft concentrated on describing the state of ignorance and servility to which women were condemned by social custom and training.  The passionate feeling with which her book is imbued give it wide social appeal and persuasive power.  […]  Wollstonecraft’s acute question – “how many generations may be necessary to give vigour to the virtue and talents of the freed posterity of abject slaves?’ – still has pertinence. “

Excerpts from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman –

“And if it be granted that women was not created merely to gratify the appetite of man, or to be the upper servant, who provides his meals and takes care of his linen, it must follow, that the first care of those mothers or fathers, who really attend to the education of females, should be, if not to strengthen the body, at least, not to destroy the constitution by mistaken notions of beauty and female excellence…

To preserve personal beauty, woman’s glory!  the limbs and faculties are cramped with worse than Chinese bands, and the sedentary life which they are condemned to live, whilst boys frolic in the open air, weakens the muscles and relaxes the nerves.  As for Rousseau’s remarks… that they have naturally, that is from their birth, independent of education, a fondness for dolls, dressing, and talking – they are so puerile as not to merit a serious refutation…

I have, probably, had an opportunity of observing more girls in their infancy that J.J. Rousseau – I can recollect my only feelings, and I have looked steadily around me; yet, so far with coinciding with him in opinion respecting the first dawn of the female character, I will venture to affirm, that a girl, whose spirits have not been damped by inactivity, or innocence tainted by false shame, will always be a romp, and the doll will never excite attention unless confinement allows her no alternative.  Girls and boys, in short, would play harmlessly together, if the distinction of sex was not inculcated long before nature makes any difference.  I will go further, and affirm, as an indisputable fact, that most of the women, in the circle of my observation, who have acted like rational creatures, or shown any vigour of intellection, have accidentally allowed to run wild…  ”

-Ed. Miriam Schneir. Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings. pp 13 – 14.

     Let it be known that in the 18th century the processes of female socialization were known to women.  Fast forward to the present and we are still presented with arguments about how biology plays an overarching role in determining female social status in society.  Of course, admitting that society and the socialization that goes along with it is inherently unjust to women, as opposed to calcified biological fact, would lead us to conclusion that society has been set up for the benefit of one sex, at the expense of the other.   Social norms are malleable, biology not so much.  I know which case I would rally around if I was trying to justify the inherent injustice that exists.

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