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Oct 30 2006

Obviously they can’t even walk the walk

walkamileinhershoes.jpg
Exhibit A in the case against moron high heels. From the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes® website

If you’re one of the many fun-loving Americans who are constantly on the lookout for ‘fun’ ways to ‘raise awareness’ about stuff — usually while traversing short distances on foot with a tribe of like-minded revelers wearing identical cheap T-shirts — you might enjoy Walk A Mile In Her Shoes®. The group hands out high-heeled pumps to male participants and away they go, traipsing down a mile of pavement, in order to “inform the world of the valuable contributions men are making to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.”

It’s nice that somebody, somewhere has been hipped to the wild idea that men, who are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of all this raping, assaulting, and violenting, might want to contribute to stopping it. Yay. And Walk A Mile In Her Shoes® is a cute joke, since there’s nothing more hilariously butt-ugly than a guy in a pair of 3″ heels from Payless*.

Yet I cannot but wonder if the group’s claim — that sticking ridiculous footwear on a few dudes will “help men better understand and appreciate women’s experiences, thus changing perspectives, helping improve gender relationships, and decreasing the potential for violence”– though clearly well-intentioned, isn’t just a bit naïve.

Let’s face it. Subsistence as a subhuman member of the sex class has exceedingly little to do with sauntering through town in uncomfortable shoes. In fact, when one’s oppressors don a symbol of one’s oppression and parade hither and yon for an afternoon’s diversion, it’s about as ‘awareness’-raising as if a bunch of honkys went around doing watermelon jokes in blackface to send ‘urban’ kids to basketball camp.

Complains blamer Stephanie, at whose college men are being encouraged according to the aforementioned program to “protest” violence against women: “I’m a woman, and I’ve maybe walked a foot in high heels over 24 years. How about they walk a mile with a black eye, and have to tell everyone they pass, “No, everything’s okay. I just fell down the stairs.” Or they could walk down a busy street in the dark wearing fake boobs and a mini-skirt, and see how ‘aware’ that makes them.”

Better, better, but it still involves all that confounded walking. Always with the walking! I confess I remain dubious that a spurt of light physical exertion can sustain quite the philosophic oomph required to sufficiently enlighten a person who has basked in the luxury of male privilege all his life. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if men could really give enough of a crap about the gynocide to read a fucking book or something?
______________________________
* But what’s with the “®”? Are they afraid some rival drag queen troupe will steal their clever plan for world anti-violence domination?

48 comments

1 ping

  1. grrr kitty

    I know I harp on this all the time, but I’d like to see these dudes get paid 70% of what a woman earns for doing the same job. “Valuable contributions”, feh.

  2. varnish eater

    So here’s where my feminism question comes in:

    If the real issue of feminism involves beating, murdering, raping, less money for the same job, etc, then why do high heels and skirts and such seem to matter so much to feminists who disapprove of them? Like why do some women get on another women’s case for wearing a skirt or heels when we should instead be yelling at the guy who wants to rape her? As you say, when these guys walk a mile in a pair of heels it doesn’t really educate them on the plight of women, so are they really that big a deal?

    Sorry to get into this again, I know it sparks a ton of debate, but I continue to be confused on this issue.

    And before someone accuses me of being a fembot, I’m not. To me, clothing doesn’t seem particularly important to feminism, that’s all. But I’d appreciate some more enlightenment! Novice blamer and all that.

  3. varnish eater

    I meant “another womAn’s case”

  4. finnsmotel

    V-eater,

    I’d say the main issue with the ‘walk a mile’ concept is that it actually enforces the gender rule that women should wear high heeled shoes.

    Add to that…

    Call my cynical, but, I have yet to see a rally for any cause that wasn’t designed to give more attention to the rally-ers than the rally-ees. Yes, you are so precious for running a 5k (something you probably planned to do anyway) in the name of baby seals.

    In this case, the guys are going to walk a mile in the shoes, in no small part because it will bring attention to them for doing so.

    I realize this creates a quandary for the activists among us. How to help without stealing the show. But, it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard.

    Live a life free of purposeful oppression. Resist social pressures to behave like an asshole. At least recognize when you’ve got the upper hand and give somebody a break once in a while. You know, simple shit like that.

    And, hey, if you’ve gotta rally, because you just can’t have a weekend without a rally, maybe a better concept might be a high heeled shoe burning rally.

    But, you know, the feminists, they get a bad rap for burning things. So, that would probably backfire, too. People do love they bras.

    -finn

  5. B. Dagger Lee

    Dude! This is the perfect post! All of that nasty ankle biting pressed you to the perfect post! When I put it though my dual-process sausage-making and textual analysis machine, the device just goes bonkers! Congratulations.

    Me Likey.

    yrs, BDL

  6. AlphaBravo

    I am blamer Stephanie. My school is quite ridiculous. In addition for seeing the delightful ads for this event, I’ve had to spend all of October walking past the “SAVE THE BOOBIES” t-shirt table for Breast Cancer “Awareness” Month(I keep checking to see if they add some shirts about saving the lives of the “boobie”-owners).

    I didn’t mean to suggest that they should have found a more appropriate variation on the walking-with-matching-shirts theme. But “raising awareness” seems to be the only thing people do anymore. Are there really people walking around, completely ignorant of the fact that violence against women is a problem? Are there masses of individuals who had no idea that breast cancer was a problem until they happened upon a pink bag of chips? How much longer are we going to spend in awareness mode?

  7. Friggas Own

    They should have to run a mile in those shoes, while some big scary guy chases them with a knife, screaming “I’m gonna kill you b_tch!” That might raise some ‘awareness’. They should have to work a register through the Xmas season in those heels, for minimum wage, while every asshole in existence troops past them to tell them they’re stupid and worthless, calls them pet names, or leans in too close to either threaten or ‘flirt’. That would definitely raise some ‘awareness’. They should have to pole dance in those heels, because it’s the only job around that pays enough to cover the baby’s medical bills, and they should have to dash quickly to the car with the keys already out because some creep got the idea that you were ‘dancing just for him’. They should get fired from a casino or airline in those heels, because they were getting ‘too old’ to be decorative anymore, and they should have to look for work in those heels because what jobs are open to a 40 year old waitress or flight attendant? They should have to clean house in those heels, every day, while their spouse takes them for granted and heaps verbal abuse on them for not doing it all exactly how he likes it.

    Walk a mile? How about asking a woman and actually listening to what she has to say? ‘Raising awareness’ is about as useful as fish mammaries.

  8. maggiethewolf

    Me likey your consta-compassion, BDL.

  9. finnsmotel

    “‘fun’ ways to ‘raise awareness’ ”

    Did we ever resolve the question of what “fun” is?

  10. antelope

    AlphaBravo says:

    “Are there really people walking around, completely ignorant of the fact that violence against women is a problem?”

    No – but, I know that in Alaska at least, and probably lots of other places too, there are lots of men walking around thinking that violence against women is usually committed by some stranger who drags the Little Lady into a dark ally – probably a dark stranger in a dark alley to boot. Therefore they think good ways to prevent violence against women might be:

    - Encourage women to be constantly under the protection of nice guys like themselves. After all, every woman has a husband, boyfriend, father, brother or Priest who is a nice guy, if not all of the above. Make sure she never forgets how much danger she will be in if she gets more than 10 feet from a member of her nice guy team.
    - Give every woman a gun and teach her to use it – she will surely have it at the ready to blow those alley-dwelling creeps away when the moment comes. A gun in the household cannot be a threat to the woman herself, as no member of the nice guy team would ever use it except to protect her.
    - Put more dark strangers in jail. In fact, put them all in jail pre-emptively.

    Somehow I really doubt that Walk A Mile in Her Shoes is doing anything to dispel any of these myths, and it may well support them.

  11. cycles

    Technically, Walk A Mile In Her Shoes should be using a service mark SM rather than the registred trademark symbol ®. One is for services; the other is for products.

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=r679gs.2.1

    I can’t vouch that the HTML above will appear as intended, but you get the idea.

    What does this have to do with anything? Nothing, except that it’s interesting to muse on the commodification of this “product”.

    Did you notice that the website sells 50-, 75-, and 100-packs of women’s shoes in large sizes?

  12. Twisty

    Hey VarnishEater, there’s nothing objectively evil in a skirt or a pair of shoes. Clothes are a feminist issue only because they are utilized by patriarchal forces to identify women as the sex class, to perpetrate cruelties against women, and to categorize them as belonging to one of two equally subordinate castes: the Virgins or the Whores. This is true of all cultures, everywhere. Women are expected to dress both similarly to each other and differently from men to demonstrate their complicity with the Femininity Directive. It is much easier to oppress a class of people, and believe that they are different, if they look different.

    If you’re really interested, use the search feature to scan the blaming archives for my extensive body of work on the tyranny of fashion. I just can’t shut up about it, apparently.

  13. varnish eater

    Okay, I get it now. Thanks!

  14. BourbonHipster

    Oh Yeah, because someone’s effort doesn’t solve all the world’s problems, let’s blame them for the problem in the first place. You know what? Unless you can prove anyone of those men have ever beaten a woman, why don’t you shut your sexist, fallophobic… oh sorry, misandronist mouth.

    And by the way, it’s nothing like a “bunch of honkys [going] around [telling] watermelon jokes in blackface to send ‘urban’ kids to basketball camp.” It’s more like a bunch of athletically impaired old people walking around in Air Jordans to raise money to send kids to basketball camp, but you don’t really care, do you, ’cause you’re too busy looking for excuses to turn (gradually declining) social inequality into gynocide. You’re not a feminist, you’re a crypto-facist.

  15. jbeeky

    “Co-creating a United Gender Movement, men will be a part of the solution to ending rape, sexual assault & gender violence.”
    By wearing shoes? I mean, maybe if they were willing to wear a tampon………

  16. Twisty

    I thought I’d try out my fun new Disemvoweler on the charming BourbonHipster. He invites me to “shut my mouth’, but unfortunately does not lead by example, proceeding to call me names, among them ‘misandronist’ [sic] and, I kid you not, “crypto-fascist”. Who but a 20-something white male moron uses the phrase ‘crypto-fascist’ as a parting zinger?

  17. Buttercup

    wow, that disemvoweler thingy is pretty slick.

  18. Sophist

    I just can’t shut up about it, apparently.

    That’s one of your more endearing qualities.

    Oh, and I love BourbonHipster’s idea that you have to prove that someone has personally beaten a woman before you can criticise them. By that logic, shouldn’t he have to have video evidence of Twisty castrating helpless men with pair of rusty garden shears before he can call her a feminazi?

  19. KTal

    When I was an activist I saw the ‘raise awareness’ shit all the time and in fact was quite well hated when on a funding board, I regularly asked questions like, “..and this will change what?” and “So how will you involve the group you supposedly wish to confront/work with/educate in this?” or “And this addresses issues of race and class how?” or their favorite, “And tell me how this isn’t like _____ that you/they did last year and from which we haven’t seen or been shown any real progress?”

    THey hated me, I tell you, they hated me and bumped me off the board as soon as they had the chance. It was said I made a kid from an enviro group nearly piss himself because I asked ‘hard’ questions. (like, “So, have you asked the people in this area if that issue you decided to campaign for is the pressing issue for them?”)

    Give me a fucking break.

    Really telling also to go to their ( the shoe people ) site and see a) A man proudly holding a pair of red pumps (proud I guess that he walked a mile in them and now he can go home and beat his chest about what a great guy he is and how he did his part b) that the campaign idea issued from a man.

    I like Friggas’ version much better. Although I’d add that the mandatory run of the game should be about a year or two — with scenarios ever changing without the knowledge of the shoe wearers.

    And I absolutely, wearing of heels seems to me to smack of supporting the notion that all women wear heels — or at least the woman that count.

  20. robin

    Laughing heartily at the disemvowelment!

  21. Minerva

    For about a year I have lurked here on almost a daily basis. I have remained cloaked primarily because the benefit has turned out to come from reading and learning from the author and many commenters rather than spending time attempting to add substantively to the discussions. I also look forward to Twisty’s photographs of the part of Texas I used to call home (Blanco, more than Austin, actually, but still).

    However, for some reason it has taken the appearance of the disemvowler to bring me out. It isn’t too substantive, but I laughed out loud for the first time today, and that is something.

  22. KTal

    Merriams online:

    Main Entry: cryp·to
    Pronunciation: ‘krip-(“)tO
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural cryptos
    Etymology: crypt-
    1 : a person who adheres or belongs secretly to a party, sect, or other group

    Alright, bourbon hipster has it on you Twisty, you are a member of a secret fascist sect pocketed quietly in the Red State. Since fascism starts with corporations being closely aligned or supported by the government, it seems you are on the right track as my google research analysis shows that:

    According to the Center for Women’s Business Research:

    ” * Nearly 10.4 million firms are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 12.8 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales.

    * Three quarters of all women-owned businesses are majority owned by women (51% or more), for a total of 7.7 million firms, employing more than 7.1 million people, and generating $1.1 trillion in sales.

    * For the past two decades, majority women-owned firms have continued to grow at around two times the rate of all firms.”

    And they also say that 20% of women majority owned businesses are owned by women of color and that women of color owners make 36% of all businesses owned by people of color.

    But then, it appears you have more wokr to do, according to “The World’s Women, 2000 Trends” which states that “Women make up 29 to 51% of the professional and technical worker’s group, although they tend to be concentrated in the lower status and less well paid occupations.” it goes on to say that, “The 1999 census of the 500 largerst corporations in the United States shows for instance, that women held just 11 percent and 5 percent of the most senior of these positions, including four presidents and chief executives.”

    It seems that the crypto-feminist fascists are branching out on their own instead of working through the patriarchical systems that exist traditionally for upward movement and entrepreneurship.

    I guess what it also says is that before we can take over the state, we first have to take over the state, which is owned by those largest corporations of which women still have the smallest proportion of representation.

    So it seems that your crypto-fem fascism still has some work to do. I guess BourbonHipster should be able to rest easy with his Jack Daniels as we aren’t ready to take over the world yet.

  23. greengirl7

    Great vowel movement Twisty. I know, I know – couldn’t resist. Thanks to Friggas Own for clearly stating the real significance of high heels in the context of this ineffective, patronizing Walk A Mile endeavor.

  24. simplywondered

    first and most important – gales of laughter at whole thing. great post and great comments.
    next – are you a crypto-feminist fascist, a crypto-fascist feminist a crypto-feminist-fascist or any other permutation? – the world must be told. and would a closet architect be a crypto-fasciaist? ah words…
    here was bourbon hipster (oh please!) shambling around excitedly having managed some sounds that didn’t just involve grunting and you take all the vowels out of his words. you are HARD!!!

    antelope – AlphaBravo says:

    “Are there really people walking around, completely ignorant of the fact that violence against women is a problem?” well YES I would say – or at least totally in denial. Lots of men and alas some women too. This is why there are people who can (when they have even the most basic understanding of what feminism is striving for) say ‘I’m not feminist / not in favour of feminism’. I’m not saying I understand more than feminsim for beginners, but I believe I know the big problem and that in all its guises, feminism strives to eliminate it and make life better for women and men.

    But maybe we should cut those men some slack – it doesn’t look like they do much walking in anyone’s shoes. Or perhaps it’s better that they are – ahem – men of size – surely they can’t find the energy to perpetrate nastiness against women if they have that to carry around – and to the person who sugested the men in question should walk around with fake breasts, it’s sad the way society forces already large-breasted men to conform to some undesirable female fantasy. shame on you.
    And I promise it’s the last (what the hell – disemvowel me – ends up shorter and probably makes as much sense) how could twisty forget the crone to go alongside the virgin and whore?

  25. amananta

    I’d be slightly more impressed if they joined a group like “Men can stop rape”, that helps men un-learn the biases they are raised with that teach them women are subhumans who owe them sex.
    I have refused to wear heels for years, even before I became a feminist. I spent a few years in my teens made up like a Barbie doll, with permed hair, starving myself, shaving off every scrap of body hair (or ripping it out with an Epi-lady) and tottering to the bus stop in a mini sweater dress and little spike heels, trying not to fall over cracks in the sidewalk while trying not to miss the bus. I didn’t have to become a feminist to realize this was a ridiculous, pointless waste of time that was ruining my health – but a big part of the process of my becoming a feminist came from the incredible pressure put on me to go back to doing all of these time-consuming, crippling, painful, expensive habits just because I’m a girl.
    They should walk a mile in my shoes – oh wait, they do, because I wear men’s sneakers! (I have big feet.)

  26. Edith

    I eagerly read the disemvowelment primarily because I wanted to test out my reading-without-vowels skillz. You will be happy to know that I totally rock at it. In fact, I even identified the phrase “crypto-fascist” BEFORE I scrolled down for the Twisty explanation. How awesome am I? (Way.)

    And how awesome is this post and its comments? (Way, way.)

  27. Cass

    Okay, I don’t get the part about the shoes, either. But events like this are intended to serve several purposes:

    1. To raise money, for such services as d.v. shelters, hotlines, lobbying organizations, advocates who go to the hospital in the middle of the night, etc.

    2. To interest people enough to become volunteers, which nearly all of these organizations depend heavily on.

    3. To get people’s street and email addresses, so they can be contacted when some particularly important piece of legislation arises on a state or a national level.

    4. To start the process for some people of “raising consciousness”. This phrase has prompted a great deal of smirking in the above comments, by people apparently convinced they know everything they need to know about these issues. Considering however that I’m still learning about it all after several years in the field, my guess is that their confidence in their own wisdom is somewhat misplaced.

    Now, friends, take a look at the goals above, and please tell me with what kind of event these could be better served. With giving potentially sympathetic men black eyes? Unlikely to be very popular. And ditto for book-reading groups. Yes, I admit, walking around a few city blocks to end violence against women sounds inherently goofy. So what the fuck would YOU suggest for people actually working on the front lines*, where yes, money, volunteers, and public awareness are critical? How do you think we’ve managed to go from zero domestic violence shelters in 1977 to over 5,000 today?

    If you have any brilliant ideas the leaders of this movement have somehow missed the past three decades, please share them. I’m all ears…

    *A note on those front lines: we’re not actually there right now.

  28. Twisty

    Cass, I’m not against rallying for causes. I’m saying two things:

    1. That “thons” as a genre are an exceedingly inefficient method for raising money, and
    2. that this particular group’s claim, that walking in high heels will somehow hip men to ‘a woman’s experience’ of violence, is a crock, and an insulting one at that.

    It’s too bad that actual education (what I referred to as book-readin’) is a non-starter, since it’s the only thing that will actually work.

    My idea is that if these activist groups would simply use all their “thon” money and effort to make a couple of good, old-skool PSA ads, they could make a killing. Commercials work. They sell Hummers for chrissake.

    This is your mind on drugs.

  29. Cass

    I agree with you to an extent, Twisty, about -thons; and yes, the heel-wearing struck me also as a dumb and possibly insulting gimmick. The only point I was trying to make is that if you wish to effect social change, you have to find some way of engaging society itself: a fact some people in this thread seemed genuinely unaware of.

    And P.S.A.s, as I hope some of you have noticed, are already an important part of our arsenal.

    “Its too bad that actual education (what I referred to as book-readin’) is a non-starter, since its the only thing that will actually work.”

    Far be it from me to question the value of book-learnin’, but personally, I’ve learned as much or more from listening to the stories of survivors themselves. Bringing these stories to public attention (at conferences, in newsletters, in front of men’s groups and legislative committees) has been a major part of the d.v. and rape awareness movements since the very beginning. There’s other forms of education as well: one very brilliant teacher at U.T. has her students carry several 50 pound sacks of sugar to various social services and businesses along the Austin bus system, to give them some idea of what’s it like to be a poor single mother trying to make all her appointments around town with several small children in tow. Its an eye-opening experience, I promise you (particularly on a 90 degree day).

  30. the_amadaun

    Damn, amananta. Is it sad that I actually couldn’t believe there was a real organization called “Men Can Stop Rape” and had to google it? The mind boggles. My day’s just been made a little better.

  31. Cass

    Last sentence should have read, “90-plus degree day, with 90-plus percent humidity.” Ninety degrees here is nothing.

  32. Twisty

    Ain’t it the truth. I believe it’s 90 degrees right now, for I’ve caught a wee chill.

  33. KTal

    Cass says: The only point I was trying to make is that if you wish to effect social change, you have to find some way of engaging society itself”

    I agree, but I also believe that all too often events like these only engage people who already are engaged, concerned and connected with the organizers or the organization in some way. Rarely do these events go outside of the usually paradigm of white, well educated, middle or upper middle class people.

    Usually the response to this is that those people are the ones with the money and thus since money turns the wheels, then money is where one must go. Fine then, say you want to raise money, just don’t couch it in terms of ‘raising awareness’ because those people most often are already aware.

    Working to make real, effective change certainly involves more than a walk around the block and a neat little fundraiser among the wallet groups.

    Those who organize educate people in creative ways, particularly those normally ignore make effective change. This requires outreach into a community probably not familiar with traditional organizers, finding community leaders in a neighborhood, understanding their values and ways to get their attention.

    Getting a bunch of white middle class guys to hobble in girl-shoes for a couple hours may open wallets, but it won’t open minds and communities locked tight.

  34. KTal

    While writing the above, the dillusion swept over me that I in fact do know and remember how to do html code. Setting my eyes on the above once it appeared on the screen, set me straight. I apologize as I did not wish to appear to shout or seem like a finger pointing marm.

  35. rootlesscosmo

    I just want to register my admiration for Twisty’s use of “to hip” as a transitive verb. I first heard this in Jackie “Moms” Mabley’s routine in which she’s invited to the White House by “Ike, Mamie, and ‘Dallas’” (gives you an idea of when I heard this) to counsel them on the question: “What is the right age to hip a child?”

  36. cycles

    Did you also notice that woman on the left, in the picture on the main page, is not wearing heels? No woman I know would wear heels to walk a mile. Why would the men, then?

    I don’t know. It’s just silly. Although I will say, domestic violence hasn’t been completely dragged out of the shadows yet. It is still rationalized, normalized, and excused. Beatings, psychological torture, rape apparently should all be tolerated in order to preserve the sacred family unit. I’m not sure what men donning shoes has to do with this, and I question their methods, but I feel a twinge of remorse for disparaging their little teetering efforts. Maybe that’s the point: when members of the patriarchy debase themselves, by imitating their subordinates, in order to benefit said subordinates, we should regale them and treat them with kid gloves because, you know, not all masters are so kindly.

  37. Skeezeroo

    I tend to mistrust the notion of “raising awareness” as the motivator for such events because of the following:
    a) perpetrators could give a shit. It’s not like they are not aware that violence against women is both wrong and a problem, but if they weren’t aware before, an “event” like this isn’t going to enlighten them into thinking, “really? It’s not right? Well I’ll just be setting my sleazy abusive ways aside then!”
    b) people who are not perpetrators aren’t really the problem. Nor can they necessarily stop someone else who is. And if they came upon a scene in which a woman were being abused, they are probably no more or less likely to do something about it because of having seen such an event or participated. They’ll either attempt to stop it or they won’t, based on how they were raised or how they have developed their moral compass (and/or how dangerous the situation is to them personally).

    I do, however, support crazy-ass ideas that might help raise money that go toward initiatives that actually can make a difference somehow. I don’t think this one is appropriate due to how charged the whole subject is, and how degrading to women it appears. Men walking in heels only shows a man how frigging hard it is to walk in heels at all, much less for any significant distance. *I* wouldn’t/couldn’t do that. And it has zero to do with how it feels to be a woman or better yet, one who is a victim of violence. I don’t know that it is really possible to put a man in a comparable position, and even if you do, what does that do? It’s not like we don’t already know that physically, woman are more easily overpowered, and damn, it must suck to be the weaker sex physically. Note, I didn’t say it’s impossible – things like Impact make a difference in a woman’s ability to at least get on a level playing field in certain cases.
    I think the point is more the fact that men who perpetrate this kind of violence do so because there’s something sick and wrong going on in there – they pray on the weakness, get off on the sex-factor, feel like women have it coming to them for something that was done to them in their lives… shit that “awareness” isn’t going to fix. I don’t know what will, but this event? I’m guessing not.

  38. simplywondered

    yes, it does seem about as appropriate as ‘black up and watermelon day’ to raise awareness (or money) for a racial harmony organisation. but fair enough to people raising money. the assumption that high heels are’girl-shoes’ is maybe the worrying bit. I think men prefer to wear them anyway and quite like the excuse.

  39. Leigh

    Believe it or not, I actually spent a minute trying to read BourbonHipster’s comment, thinking it was some new form of internet slang, and shaking my head, ‘god, why are hipsters so fucking weird?’ Then, I scrolled down and realized it was just Twisty, besting the trolls once again. Then, I chuckled. What a fitting punishment from trolling! Gutting the ‘argument’ of coherent meaning. Brilliant.

    *No offense intended to any self-avowed hipsters out there, but my tolerance of hipsterhood’s anarchy-lite (‘revolution is tight pants and ironic haircuts’) is pretty low these days.

  40. Ron Sullivan

    No woman I know would wear heels to walk a mile. Why would the men, then?

    The cattle prod must be just out of the frame in that photo.

  41. simplywondered

    leigh – adore every word of the comment BUT not sure the ability to gut troll comments of ‘coherent meaning’ can be regarded as a success in any field other than micro-surgery

  42. r1g0r

    my comments are in no way aimed at everybody here. those that deserve my ire are probably the least likely to read or understand my words…

    ____________________________________________________________________

    has anybody given thought to the fact that many women have clamored for attention for every wrong ever done them (similar to some racial factions), yet refuse to accept when the attempt is made by AT LEAST a vocal minority to help bring attention to these same issues.

    even at the expense of that group’s dignity. let’s be honest here. any group of guys parading about in heels has the same chance of retaining their “cool” as the proverbial snowball.

    they did this to try to help. they did this in public, in front of news cameras.

    when was the last time YOU sacrificed YOUR dignity (or anything else, for that matter) to TRY to help another person.

    most likely, never.

    i believe the operative phrase here is: BITCH, BITCH, BITCH!

    if you can’t be bothered to do something to help correct the problem, don’t belittle those that will! i give many cool points to these guys for trying and for caring.

    but then, i do belong to an older generation. one that was very vocal about their moral convictions. this probably makes all the difference in the world.

  43. Twisty

    If you can’t be bothered to use the shift key, don’t expect to chasten anyone here with your “ire”.

  44. Cass

    “Maybe that’s the point: when members of the patriarchy debase themselves, by imitating their subordinates, in inorder to benefit said subordinates, we should regale them and treat them with kid gloves because, you know, not all masters are so kindly.”

    Beg pardon- is that really the best you can do, cycles, at paraphasing the arguments I put forth above? I have more faith in your reading comprehension abilities than that!! Why don’t give it another try, reading as slowly and taking as much time as you find necessary; and return here with a response that has some relationship to what I actually said. It won’t be that hard, I promise you.

  45. Cass

    Skeezero: Actually, most abusers by definition are able to convince themselves they’re not “real” wife abusers, or even if they are, they’re somehow justified in their actions. That’s the power of a neurotic mind to lie to itself. Many of them can speak very movingly in fact of the fear and hatred they felt for their own fathers in childhood, without making the connection that they’re carrying on the same pattern into the next generation.

    Another very important point is that physical violence is only a small part of what we define as “domestic abuse”. Its a pattern of behavior that may or may not include shoves, punches or strangulation, but always involves emotional and verbal forms of violence, as well as some form of controlling behavior. My father was for years very emotionally abusive towards my mother, but would never have dreamed, I’m sure, of laying a hand on her or us kids. So needless to say, this is another huge area for misunderstanding, confusion, and self-deception on the part of both the abuser and the victim, as well as society at large.

    My own feeling is that the dynamics of domestic violence are not some freak occurence in society, but are written into the patriarchal DNA, and have been to some extent or other a feature of male/female relationships (as well as other kinds) since time immemorial. “Raising consciouness” about d.v. then is not just about black eyes, but about the ground rules of the patriarchy itself.

    “people who are not perpetrators are not the problem. Nor can they necessarily stop someone who is.”

    You can’t stop someone who’s determined to lie to themselves from doing so. On the other hand, two of the major factors in abusers taking responsibity for themselves and getting treatment are 1.) awareness that such treatment exists, and 2.) recognition within the community, and disapproval of what they’re doing. The studies that’ve been done show that public attitudes are EXTREMELY important in this regard, for both perpetrators and victims.

  46. rootlesscosmo

    racial factions

    what’s a “racial faction?” Does r1g0r mean the civil rights movement? As a fellow-older-generation-eer, I trust his moral convictions were engaged with that while it was going on?

    Lord, lord, the pouting and whining of the privileged… you can’t shame them. The only thing that produces even a small change in conduct (not attitudes, the hell with attitudes) is fear.

  47. ms_mutt

    “Even at the expense of that group’s dignity. let’s be honest here. any group of guys parading about in heels has the same chance of retaining their ‘cool’ as the proverbial snowball.”

    Sweety, these men aren’t sacrificing their dignity by wearing high heels (if they are, then women sacrifice their dignity every day). Don’t you see? By mocking women’s footwear they are heroes out to save the damsels in distress.

    Now…

    Unless my abusers are actually convicted or, for that matter, any abuser is convicted and properly punished before he kills his “significant other”, then these “cute” attempts to raise awareness mean shit. They are empty promises peddled by the patriarchy to make itself feel and look good.

    Also, if demanding real results makes me a bitch then I’ll happily call myself one. Better to be a bitch against the patriarchy then be a bitch of the patriarchy.

  48. Mar Iguana

    I would be one happy old woman if I never heard the word “bitch” again for what remains of my dwindling years.

    R1gOr, which older generation are you from? The WWII “greatest” generation or the greater generation, who was separated from them by a major gap?

  1. Reverse Paranoia | the cat lady speaks

    [...] I will never be this funny. Let’s face it. Subsistence as a subhuman member of the sex class has exceedingly little to do with sauntering through town in uncomfortable shoes. In fact, when one’s oppressors don a symbol of one’s oppression and parade hither and yon for an afternoon’s diversion, it’s about as ‘awareness’-raising as if a bunch of honkys went around doing watermelon jokes in blackface to send ‘urban’ kids to basketball camp. [...]

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