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Well, well, well – look at this. Is the conversation about #rapeculture starting to take on a shade of sanity?

16 Oct

These two articles are only tangentially related to the main story today, but they demonstrate just how schizophrenic mainstream, feminist-influenced media has become.

This is Maria Kang, the mother of three children, who is *gasp* not a lardass, and who feels like other women can make the decision not to be lardasses themselves.

The horror!

maria

She got called all kinds of names by women who feel “fat-shamed” by Maria and her three gorgeous sons and her sculpted abs and Maria is just such a bitch to point out that when it comes to weight, for most of us, it’s “your body, your choice”.

Blah blah blah BEAUTY STANDARDS blah blah blah FAT ACCEPTANCE blah blah blah SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION blah blah blah….

http://jezebel.com/fit-ab-baring-mom-issues-faux-pology-over-judgey-faceb-1445844576

Nothing particularly surprising about that, except when you consider it next to this article about Melissa McCarthy.

melissa

Now all of sudden the bitchy whiners are on the opposite side of the fence.

HER COAT IS TOO BIG WHY DIDN’T YOU OVERTLY SEXUALIZE HER WE CAN’T SEE HER TITS OH MY GOD THIS IS SEXIST AND FATPHOBIC AND I DEMAND TO SEE MORE SKIN

http://www.thegloss.com/2013/10/10/fashion/melissa-mccarthy-reese-witherspoon-penelope-cruz-shailene-woodley-elle/

What

The

Fuck?

Could you pick a goddamn side here?  Are we sexualizing actresses and forcing them to display their bodies in a totally demeaning way that simply needs to stop, or are we not?  Is it only acceptable when fat women are sexualized? Why would that be?  Do we have an agenda here, whereby fat lumpy women are the only acceptable objects of sexual desire?

The incoherence is turning the conversation about bodies and objectification and sexism into a joke that even the thickest plank can recognize.

And the same thing appears to finally be happening with #rapeculture.  We have the “new Steubenville” all over the news today, with two young teenage girls alleging they were raped by local football stars, one of whom happens to be politically connected.

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/10/12/4549775/nightmare-in-maryville-teens-sexual.html

It’s the same story, all over again.  Daisy liked Matthew and she found his attention flattering.  Daisy and Paige got hammered one night and Daisy texted Matthew and a meeting was arranged.  Everyone drank a whole lot of alcohol and sex happened.  Rather than pledging his undying love for Daisy, Matthew took her home and left her semi-conscious on her front lawn in freezing temperatures.

That was a dick move, for sure.

But what if it hadn’t happened that way?  What if Matthew had tucked her into his bottom bunk and wrapped her up in his favourite flannel sleeping bag and greeted her the next morning with some toast and tea and asked her to go steady?

couple

Would it still be rape? Or just a hilarious story they recounted to the cheerleading squad about how it all began?

http://judgybitch.com/2013/10/10/hypothesis-its-only-rape-when-he-doesnt-fall-in-love/

Maybe Matthew did rape Daisy.  Maybe it all went down just as the two girls claim it did.  Maybe it was straight up voracious sexual predator takes down innocent prey. The trouble with that story is that the PREY MADE HERSELF VULNERABLE.

Cue the screams of “victim-blaming”…. Don’t fucking bother leaving your comments on this blog, because I won’t publish them.

seatbelt

Wear your seatbelt.  It’s a sensible precaution if you get in an accident.  The accident may not be your fault, but it will be your fault if you get severely injured by failing to take that reasonable precaution.

Wear a helmet when you ride your bike.  It’s a sensible precaution if you get in an accident.  The accident may not be your fault, but it will be your fault if you get severely injured by failing to take that reasonable precaution.

 

It’s not victim-blaming.  It’s victim-preventing.

And finally, some voices come out of the dark to state the obvious:  Emily Yoffe at Slate earned herself a mountain of hate by writing The best rape prevention: tell college women to stop getting so wasted.

 

Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue.

As soon as the school year begins, so do reports of female students sexually assaulted by their male classmates. A common denominator in these cases is alcohol, often copious amounts, enough to render the young woman incapacitated. But a misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted, they are putting themselves in potential peril.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/10/sexual_assault_and_drinking_teach_women_the_connection.html

Emily’s solution to this problem is to try and move the cultural conversation towards attaching shame and stigma to being black-out wasted.

I don’t believe any of these statistics will move in the right direction until binge drinking joins smoking, drunk driving, and domestic abuse as behaviors that were once typical and are now unacceptable. Reducing binge drinking is going to require education, enforcement, and a change in campus social culture. These days the weekend stretches over half the week and front-loading and boot and rally are major extracurricular activities. Puking in your hair, peeing in your pants, and engaging in dangerous behaviors have to stop being considered hilarious escapades or proud war stories and become a source of disgust and embarrassment.

Fair enough.  It really is getting rather nauseating, watching drunk young women act like base animals in the street. This girl is actually shitting on the sidewalk, in full view of pedestrians.

shitgirl

Seriously?  Gross.  Her friend joins her a few minutes later to urinate on the same piece of sidewalk.  Disgusting.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2461512/Swansea-woman-pictured-defecating-street.html

I’m delighted to see Emily at least tackle the problem, but “stop binge drinking” is not going to work anymore than prohibition worked.  The real solution is for both women and men to have a sense of loyalty and solidarity with their friends.

You never leave your man behind.

Or in this case, your woman.

It’s deeply ingrained in male culture.  The Marine who drops back to help a little boy finish his 5K race.  I defy you not to cry.

That feeling used to be part of female culture, too.

You play for a team, and you keep each other safe.  Every person I know who is over the age of 30 greets that idea with “well, duh”.  Why don’t young women do this anymore?  Why don’t they protect each other, not from “ooh scary rapists lurking everywhere”, but from their own impaired judgement?

It must be partly because women simply don’t think they should be held responsible for impaired judgement, but also because the mantra of “strong, independent woman” forecloses the possibility of “stupid, irresponsible girl”.

Daisy and Paige were stupid.  Paige is now coming forward with her story, claiming the boys “separated them and made them drink more”.  Oh really?  So they forcibly dragged you into separate rooms and sat on your chests and poured alcohol down your throats?

Really?

I doubt it.

http://jezebel.com/the-second-alleged-maryville-rape-victim-speaks-it-wa-1446110042

Daisy and Paige let each other down.

Apparently, there is video footage of at least one couple having sex.  Perhaps it really does show an assault.  Perhaps not.  Whatever it shows, that shouldn’t stop us from pointing out that girls like Daisy and Paige and the Steubenville girl and every other girl who wakes up after a night of shit-faced idiocy feeling ashamed and grubby and used played a part in her own degradation.

Thank you, Emily, for bringing the conversation more into the mainstream.  I hope she doesn’t get fired for stating the obvious, but you know, I won’t be surprised if she does.  Wait ‘til Amanda Marcotte reads that piece!

witches

There’s gonna be a storm of cackling witches over at Slate, out for Emily’s blood!  Poor dear.  Take a page from the British Bulldog, and hold fast.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Winston Churchill

Lots of love,

JB

The Slutty Selfies Mom is Right: sexually aggressive teenage girls posting provocative pictures on boy’s social media feeds need to be shut down before those girls make a mistake and blame it on someone else. Guess who that will be?

12 Sep

Kimberley Hall has come under some fire recently for daring to inform girls who post pictures of themselves pouting and braless in their bedrooms on her sons’ Facebook wall that they WILL be blocked for those actions.

We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your skimpy pj’s this summer!  Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that.

I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra.

I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.

If you post a sexy selfie (we all know the kind), or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – it’s curtains.

http://givenbreath.com/2013/09/03/fyi-if-youre-a-teenage-girl/

I know!  What a slut-shaming killjoy, huh?

no fun

Kimberley is a Christian, so she frames the debate in terms of modesty, which makes me blanche a bit.  And it makes me feel like we have a lot of work to do, if Kimberley is worried about the social impropriety of flashing some cleavage, which is inappropriate to be sure, but not even close to representing the real danger boys face from the sexy selfie girls.

We’ll get to those dangers in a bit, but first I want to look at two reactions from feminist media.  The first is from Jezebel.  They have two main critiques of what they deem “Biblical Sexism”.

The first is straight up idiotic, as we have come to expect from Jezebel.

Kimberley’s stance is hypocritical because she herself posted TOPLESS pictures of her sons!  Flexing their MUSCLES!  Carrying their little sister on big manly shoulders!  Goofing off in a way totally designed provoke a sexual reaction!

boys 1

They were at the beach, wearing normal bathing trunks and doing the normal things boys do at the beach, which everyone knows is EXACTLY THE SAME as arching your back with a pouty expression half-clad on your bed, right?

This:

boys 2

Is totally the same as this:

girl

Or this:

girl 2

These are not images, as far as I know, that appeared on the Hall’s Facebook wall, but I googled “teenage girls sexy selfie pajamas” and there was no shortage of pictures to choose from, and from the mother’s description, they look about right.

It is completely ridiculous to equate boys goofing off at beach with their little sister with sexy selfies.

Jezebel’s second critique is that Christianity seems to take a poor view of girls acting slutty, and since sluts are awesome and girls will inevitably find meaning and fulfilment in sluthood, that’s unacceptable.

Instead of addressing a letter to unnamed teenage girls, Hall could’ve had a (shirt-optional) chat with her sons called “FYI (If you’ve been brainwashed by Biblical sexism).”

“Respect everyone regardless of their gender/sexuality/appearance,” she might’ve said. “Don’t worry! It’s okay if you have sexual feelings! You’re a sexual being! Girls are too. That doesn’t mean you can treat them like objects. You and you alone are responsible for your thoughts and actions. Get over this Madonna-whore complex while you still can.”

http://jezebel.com/concerned-mom-slutty-girls-selfies-are-tempting-my-pe-1251831479

Same old, same old.  Girls can act in any way they deem fit, and boys are the ones held responsible for that.  Boys, you and you alone are responsible for your thoughts and actions.  Girls, carry on being sexy.

Nothing to see here.  No double standards at all.  Move along.

flag

It’s beyond hypocritical that the same website WILL hold girls responsible for the reactions they provoke in other when it comes to wearing racist t-shirts, but give girls a pass when it comes to provoking others by wearing skimpy t-shirts.

The claim that Confederate flags are just innocent symbols of “Southern heritage” is a common one, but the fact is that for many people, they represent slavery. Students and staff should be able to attend school without having a graphical reminder of the mass subjugation of human beings thrown in their faces, and if West thinks her daughter’s right to show Virginia pride trumps that, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for her position.

http://jezebel.com/5860455/mom-defends-daughters-inalienable-right-to-wear-racist-shirt-to-school

Provoke racist thoughts = no sympathy

Provoke sexual thoughts = fuck you boys, you’re responsible for your own reactions so deal with it

And here is how that contradictory message gets processed by teenage girls.  Tuesday Cain is 14 years old and lives in Texas, too.

Almost every other picture on Facebook is some girl doing “duckface.” I do it in the picture for this post because someone told me to do it because it would be funny. It’s on my Facebook. So far it hasn’t hurt anyone.

1tuesdaycain

I actually agree parents should censor things that might somehow be taboo, but what you are describing is not taboo.

I’m constantly hearing messages — like what you wrote — that parts of my body are not to be seen in public because it is not socially accepted. Women are expected to cover up more than men. People try to make us feel bad. That we are “asking for it” or that we have somehow lost our character because we took a picture with our lips pursed? That’s crazy and rude.

http://www.xojane.com/issues/tuesday-cain-open-letter-to-the-mom-who-posted-rules-for-teenage-girls-on-facebook

This poor little girl.  Where are her parents?

Oh, wait.  They’re helping her hold up provocative signs outside the Texas legislature and then boo-hooing their way across social media when cupcake gets the reaction she intended.  Good job!

dick

http://www.xojane.com/issues/billy-cain-tuesday-cain-jesus-isnt-a-dick-so-keep-him-out-of-my-vagina

The pouty selfie she posted isn’t all that bad, but it exists on a continuum that gets bad very, very fast.  She seems to have zero awareness what the half-open mouth and lowered gaze signals. The fact that lips signal sexual attraction seems to have by-passed her altogether.  Instead, she succumbed to peer pressure because someone thought it would be funny.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1332709/Men-drawn-womans-lips-facial-feature.html

Tuesday thinks 14 year olds signalling their sexuality with pouty shots posted on the Internet is not taboo, and shouldn’t be.

I’m guessing that is because Tuesday has no real awareness of the fact that she is using her face and her mouth and her expression to signal her sexuality, and she has no real comprehension of what that means.  And obviously, no one willing to explain it to her.

mouth

She absolutely believes that she should be able to provoke any reaction she likes, face no consequences for that, and ultimately blame others for how they react.

Message received, Houston.

The bodies of young girls are not dangerous.

But you know what is? Teaching young women they should be ashamed of their bodies.

Here is where the story gets interesting.  First of all, deploying your sexuality with some measure of accountability and some regard for those around you is not “shaming”, Tuesday.  It’s basic civility.  Manners.  Dignity.

And secondly, the bodies of young girls most certainly ARE dangerous, although that is because your older sisters have created a culture and influenced the law to back that culture up, in which girls CAN visit real harm on boys.

The bodies of young girls are dangerous because they can be used to criminalize consensual sexual activity if the man is X years of age.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/05/09/should-13-year-olds-be-having-sex-probably-not-they-shouldnt-be-fame-whores-either/

The bodies of young girls are dangerous because they can be used to enforce fatherhood on boys.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/07/10/legal-parental-surrender-is-not-morally-equivalent-to-an-abortion-and-no-amount-of-bitchy-sarcasm-will-make-it-so-yeah-amanda-marcotte-im-talking-to-you/

The bodies of young girls are dangerous because they can ingest any amount of intoxicants, participate in any activity and then still hold their male partners legally liable, no matter how enthusiastically consent was given at the time.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/08/21/drunk-sex-is-not-rape/

There is nothing inherently wrong with anyone’s sexuality, but the sexuality of women, and only women, has been harnessed to some very real consequences.

That only men face.

Only men are rapists.

Only men can be forced into parenthood.

Only men can be held legally responsible for sex while intoxicated.

Kimberley is right to ban sexy selfies from her sons’ social media.  It’s the first step towards making them understand just how vulnerable they are.  If Kimberley does nothing but ban the selfies, and never takes the conversation any further, she hasn’t achieved much in terms of keeping her sons safe.

shots

It’s the opening salvo in a conversation that I suspect is about to get very intense in our culture.

The sooner, the better, if you ask me.

Lots of love,

JB

Miley Cyrus may have delivered a brilliant parody of slut culture, but let’s all focus on what a dick Robin Thicke is!

28 Aug

Okay, I did it. I watched Miley Cyrus perform on the VMAs. I was prepared to be cringing and squirming and recoiling from my screen every ten seconds.

Meh. It wasn’t really that racy at all. Miley isn’t exactly the world’s most energetic dancer and she seemed to be having a lot of fun and at the end of the clip, she looks like nothing more than a 20 year old girl doing her damndest to be edgy and sexy without necessarily being all porny about it.

No really.

Her costume is revealing, to be sure, but not in a stereotypical way. I remember the first time I saw Christina Aguilera in her ass chaps, her panties visible under her “skirt” in Dirrty, and that video left me feeling like I needed a shower and an STD test.

Miley strips off to a nude colored latex bathing suit, but it’s very obviously a nude colored bathing suit, and covers far more than the costume Madonna wore on her MDMA tour. Here’s the view from the back.

Madonna sizzles in Miami as her MDNA Tour is filmed for DVD

Click here for a view from the front. NSFW.

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/872225/thumbs/o-MADONNA-570.jpg?3

Madonna, of course, is a feminist icon whose labia liberates women from hegemonic gender ideals.

Madonna is both a counter-hegemonic force and a feminist for two main reasons: she radically tries to change society by blurring the boundaries that separate different groups of people in society and she urges all people to gain power in their, lives and lift themselves out of subordinate positions

http://preserve.lehigh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1662&context=etd

Madonna was the First Slut of slut culture, teaching women and girls that chaining yourself by the neck and lapping milk from the floor was actually totally empowering!

Madonna is the true feminist. She exposes the puritanism and suffocating ideology of American feminism, which is stuck in an adolescent whining mode. Madonna has taught young women to be fully female and sexual while still exercising total control over their lives. She shows girls how to be attractive, sensual, energetic, ambitious, aggressive and funny — all at the same time.

milk

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/14/opinion/madonna-finally-a-real-feminist.html

And Miley’s hair! Let’s talk about Miley’s hair. When she chopped it off and bleached it blonde, everyone wanted to know where sweet, adorable Hannah Montana went!

hair

But she never had that hair to begin with. Miley herself explains how it was all smoke and mirrors and 350 hair extensions, and she’s done with that shit now.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2378360/None-real-Miley-Cyrus-reveals-long-flowing-hair-extensions.html

So what is it that freaked everybody out about Miley’s VMA performance? Here’s what I think: Miley exposed, either deliberately or inadvertently, that pop culture, and feminist pop culture in particular, uses sexual promiscuity and availability as a barometer to gauge whether a woman is “grown-up” or not.

You aren’t grown up until you’ve fucked your train of guys, or at least look willing to do so.

Britney Spears did the same sort of “coming out”, transforming herself from lollipop sucking high school ingénue into fully fledged sex toy, but she did it in a way that suggested SHE was in charge of the whole process, and found the experience liberating and empowering. And she followed the porn script, as she is required to do. Tousled sexy hair, gaping mouth (insert dick here), strategically placed sparkles to draw attention to her breasts and crotch. She played everything out perfectly.

britney

Which is just the message pop culture WANTS young women to receive: being a slut is totally cool and awesome and a marker that you, young woman, have arrived on the shores of liberty! Of course, being a slut is none of those things, but it is a really effective way to perpetuate “rape culture” and make certain that both young women and young men learn to mistrust their innate, natural desires for meaningful relationships with one another.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/08/06/lets-talk-about-sluts/

For whatever reason, whether consciously or out of total ineptness and naiveté, Miley refused to follow the script. Giant teddy bears and Hildegarde hair buns and granny panty bottoms, – Miley gave slut culture a nice big “fuck you”.

I found myself actually smiling at the end of the show, because I give Miley some credit, which may or may not be due. I feel like she was saying “Oh, I can’t be a grown-up until I prance around in some skimpy costume pretending to fuck some guy on stage? Okay then. Here goes!”

And then she proceeded to prance around in a skimpy costume that was as far from “sexy” as you can get and still be skimpy, she did her required ass-shaking dance moves and turned them into a parody, made the whole simulated sex thing look preposterous, and basically was so NOT hot, it was actually funny.

Miley Cyrus is only 20 years old, but that doesn’t make her stupid, and the woman has been in show business for a long, long time. It’s entirely plausible that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing, and why. In order to even contemplate the idea that Miley might have been making statement about the cultural expectations that mark her out as an adult, we would need to believe that Miley really is intelligent, aware, self-critical and powerful enough to bend her team to her will.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/guest-op-ed-was-miley-cyrus-vma-performance-a-parody-20130827

But if intelligent and aware = refusing slut culture, where does that leave feminists?

Well, duh! They’ll find a man to blame! It’s Robin Thicke’s fault!

Cyrus’s performance was shocking, but for reasons not being discussed. It was jarring because, as opposed to the random, half-nude models we’re used to seeing prance around Robin Thicke, we were watching a 20-year-old woman — a household name, someone we “know” — play the object in Thicke’s sexy sex dream. And as was the case during the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl fiasco of 2004, the focus has been on Miley’s performance choices and not Thicke’s compliance in them. While criticizing a woman for her actions might imply that she’s being given an agency that has been long denied, it’s not. It’s holding her to a standard not required of her companion, who got to sit back and enjoy the young ass shoved in his face.

http://jezebel.com/mileys-need-to-shock-was-the-least-shocking-thing-abou-1200886682

I’m really curious: what does Jezebel think Robin should have done when Miley decided to grind on him? He looks a little surprised, so let’s assume it wasn’t scripted.

He should have grabbed her hips and went to town on her?

No way! That’s rapey!

He should have moved away and left her grinding in mid-air?

No way! That would be rejecting her and humiliating her further!

He should have taken her hand and led her off stage back to her keepers?

No way! That’s paternalistic!

He should have reacted in a sort of bemused way, because those are some “Blurred Lines”?

There was no way for Robin to win this one, as is usually the case. It amuses me that Jezebel will go to town on Miley’s “appropriation” of black culture and call her out as having a responsibility to treat black music and culture and dance with respect, but then at the same time, try to blame everyone BUT Miley for her salacious, over the top attempt at sexualizing her own body.

http://jezebel.com/on-miley-cyrus-ratchet-culture-and-accessorizing-with-514381016

Which is it? Is she an adult responsible for her behaviors and actions and the implications thereof, or is she a pretty little innocent being hopelessly exploited by big mean Robin Thicke?

You can’t have it both ways.

And how fucking ironic is it that a website called JEZEBEL is going to call someone else out for cultural appropriation? Oh, okay then.

The Jezebel stereotype is particularly damaging to black women, but here’s a bunch of mostly white ladies using the word to discuss … Celebrity, Sex and Fashion for Women. Nothing to see here, right? Move along.

jezebel

Whether or not Miley INTENDED her performance to be a comment on slut culture and the requirement that young women equate adulthood with sexual salaciousness is kind of irrelevant. She subverted the sexy-porny-big hair-sparkly meme whether she meant to or not.

Whatever Miley is, she ain’t Britney Spears. Or Madonna. Or any other female performer who looks bed-ready at all moments. And I kind of like her response to ALL her critics.

It’s our party we can do what we want to

It’s our house we can love who we want to

It’s our song we can sing if we want to

It’s my mouth I can say what I want to

response

It’s probably a whole lot of wishful thinking on my part to think Miley Cyrus just pulled off some very clever commentary on slut culture, but since I begin with the idea that women are actually intelligent and capable and self-aware, I can easily allow for the possibility.

And even if she didn’t, she made playing at sluttiness look utterly absurd. Slutty Miley is completely embarrassing.

Which is just as it should be.

Lots of love,

JB

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