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May 22 2007

and/or random things

blowfly.jpg
Sentimental blowfly photo of the week. Like so many of us, blowflies start life as carrion-gnawing maggots. Calliphora sp. May 22, North South Austin.

One of the aspects of blogging that is supposed to make the whole enterprise so revolutionary is the blogroll. This is a collection of links to other people’s blogs that you put in your blog sidebar to let your readers know what sort of cult you belong to. I am in awe of some of those bloggers with 842 blogs in their sidebars. Their intellectual lives must be enriched to the point of explosive rupturement by the assimilation of so many similar opinions.

I am much too lazy to either read more than one or two blogs a day, or to maintain such a list, but it is not beyond my scholarly inclinations to hook you up with the occasional blogular point of interest.

So here are two blogs wherein the blogger collects pictures of a certain sort of thing and writes piquant little quips about’em. They make a pleasant change from my usual routine of mouldering away about the megatheocorporatocracy.

passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, coworkers and strangers has passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, coworkers and strangers.

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks preaches to that choir of snobs who like to mock the misuse of this popular punctuation mark.

116 comments

1 ping

  1. Pinko Punko

    These are the blogs that kind of will themselves into existence, merely collecting the darkest corners of our damaged psyches.

    I marvel at the fascinating aspects of personality that would cause someone that possible sees you everyday to feel the need to leave you a note about something. The contrary argument would be I’m sure the one slob roommate has gotten yelled at directly 500 times about pissing on the toilet, so now there is this dance of note-leaving because the yelling is almost now shameful because there are no consequences. Like Bushwad, all he has to do is just not do anything, and the Congress is left writing strongly-worded post-its.

    I do have a good roommate story. I think I could share it with IBTP readers.

  2. Pinko Punko

    Ok, so I left the piss comment before reading that blog. I think dribbly bratwursts must be a common thing. (of course they are)

  3. Pinko Punko

    Well since this thread is spiraling out of control with trolly comments right and left, I will tell my story. It doesn’t involve passive-aggressive notes per se, but more just WTF roommate behavior. So this group of three grad students were sharing a domicile. And each was in charge of sending in a particular utility bill. Each bill needed to be mailed in using snail mail and a fat, juicy USPS postage stamp. Keep in mind that there are three roomies and three utility bills, giving a final ratio of one bill per human occupant. Well, one of the roomies, when calculating each month’s portion for a particular utility would add on the cost of 1/3 of a stamp to her or his roommates’ portions. You have not been shatted. I will leave unproposed another possible solution to this MENSA-level brain teaser.

  4. Twisty

    Finally, my dream come true: an all Pinko Punko all the time comments section!

  5. Hecate Demetersdatter

    That is one gorgeous bug.

  6. Pinko Punko

    Well, that is an admirable dream, but it does not equal the dream I had last night (and I am not making this up) where I was present for the birth of Queen Latifah and her life partner’s baby (not her real life partner, somehow my SO’s college roommate, I do not know or care if QL has a life partner). The baby literally popped out like a football. And I remember thinking to myself “what the F is going on here?” This is what we call a “Celebrity Dream Cameo” and we have a blog about it that never gets updated and nobody reads. As of yet unposted is the above, one with Ozzy Osbourne at a sushi-boat place, one with Stephen Colbert and Jeremy Piven, and all the dreams with disembodied bloggers. Sadly, in one dream I knew I had done something wrong, but didn’t know what, and I was getting deservedly scolded by a disembodied presumed to be Twisty voice. Perhaps it was for commenting too much in one thread?

  7. Bitey

    Oo! Just a few nights ago, I had a long, involved dream in which I was trying to rescue my sister from my mom’s house (yikes!), but at the end, it all turned out to be a big, fun party of some kind with thousands of people all hanging out harmoniously on a green hill under a blue sky, and Steve Carrell was there, and everyone was singing the theme song to The Princess Bride in unison. It was great!

    I’m gonna have that scolding voice in my dreams tonight, I’m sure.

  8. NeoCleo

    I hate passive-agressive shit almost more than anything. When someone tells me they “don’t like confrontation” it sends a chill down my spine because it’s a strong indicator that PA is their MO and interacting with them will give me a P in my A.

    I never dreamed that this disgusting behavior could be such a good humor resource. I think I just shifted in my paradigm. I’ll excuse myself now and do something about that. Muchas gracias Twisty.

  9. Twisty

    I sense that people yearn to publicly decant the contents of their nocturnal subconciousnesses; feel free to use this thread to do so, but personally I put other people’s dreams on the same point in the human interest continuum as toddler ‘art’ and stories about one’s youthful LSD experiences, so no offense but I’ll be skimming over these.

  10. Bitey

    I used to feel that way about hearing about people’s dreams, too, but then I read Freud and Jung, and now I can’t get enough of ‘em.

  11. Pinko Punko

    Ha! Your blog-fu is strong. I depart, defeated. I did like my stamp story.

    Bitey, that was a good one-

  12. Dawn Coyote

    It so happens that just today I got a email from my soon-to-be-former-spouse that said, essentially, “I didn’t reply to your email about the completion of our divorce because I still want to try to control some part of your life, and this is what I’m reduced to. The fact is, I hope you rot in hell, and if you’re willing, I’d like to meet with you so I can tell you that in person.”

    My response: “While it’s oddly flattering that you continue to view me with such passion, I hope you’ll understand why I must decline. I encourage you to apply elsewhere.”

  13. lawbitch

    A “true confessions” thread? Please make them good! I’m stuck in bed sick, and I desperately need some amusement. Thanks in advance for your pity and deep dark secrets.

  14. thebewilderness

    Dawn Coyote is the adorable one, although I did like the 1/3 stamp story.

  15. Pinko Punko

    Dawn Coyote’s story, while obviously a tough situation. is the alpha and omega of PA- “I am not responding to your message by responding, here are some things that I would prefer to say to you in person, but obviously won’t”

    *DOES NOT COMPUTE*

    I would send a fake “out-of-office reply” just to drive the person insaniac (in my hypothetical fantasy world- you can’t screw around with these people in real life). Also, were those inappropriate quotes?

  16. Spinning Liz

    Oooo, the passive-aggressive blog has a magnificent blogroll: who knew there are entire blogs devoted to apostrophe abuse, or abuse of the word literally. Heaven! But wait, what, no blog documenting the abuse of ellipses?? Is that my next calling I feel tapping me on the shoulder?

  17. preying mantis

    I hate extraneous quotation marks so very much, not least of all because the signs that contain them to excess often also contain weird homophone errors. You’re left standing there, looking at a sign, trying to puzzle out what on earth they could possibly mean when they say that they’re “excepting” applications “now” or when they direct you to speak to their “assistance” as they are “currently” in a “meeting.”

  18. Joanna

    Somewhere, there is a blog dedicated to improperly used accent marks on menus.

  19. SJ

    I am going to combine genres here and say that the P-A blog is “totally” “rad.”

    I am going down to the coffee shop I avoid to snap a pic of the sign in the kids playroom that says something to the effect of “PARENTS I AM EMBARRASSED FOR YOU and your Lack of Ability to clean up!!!”

    Oh, hell, maybe I’ll just steal it so I can scan it proper.

  20. Ron Sullivan

    I read the comments before clicking on the links, so I’m still in suspense about whether there’s a blog devoted entirely to grocer’s apostrophe’s.

  21. Cunning Allusionment?

    When my dad and step-mom were first together, she was outraged at how ill-mannered I and my brother were, and that we lacked proper respect due one’s father. So she proceeded to put enraged post-it notes all over the house indirectly referring to how a person should behave in the presence of one’s father. She has since dropped the waspy shit and we love her dearly.

    Though the accents were all in their proper places, Joanna, I thought you’d appreciate this poorly translated menu option:

    Meta drainpipe to the oven white or rosy sause

    I took a picture, and that is exactly as it appeared. Fortunately, we knew enough Spanish to know that what was being offered was baked beef cannelloni in a white or red sauce.

  22. Catherine Martell

    CA?: this is the king of mistranslated menus.
    http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order/

    I’m assured by a Chinese friend that these translations are indeed literal Babelfish versions of the Chinese.

    Bitey: Freud and Jung don’t so much help with other people’s dreams as far as I’m concerned. Helps you understand why they had a dream about running away through a big red velvet corridor from a giant snake, but doesn’t make it any more interesting.

  23. Pinko Punko

    CM:

    Hee.

    But I do love hearing other people’s dreams.

  24. RadFemHedonist

    I had a horrific nightmare where there wre two secret agents or something who ended up losing all their body parts in incredibly gory fashion (one of them swallowed the other one’s eyeball), then it swapped to my friend from college in a house that wasn’t theirs, and I was making my way to this house and walked past another house where they were having a party and I went in and asked a question (can’t remember what it was) and then left, I had no idea what was going on. Also the secret agents were sitting on the second floor of a block of flats where there was building work going on and one of them was probably Gillian Anderson (the other one may have been David Duchovny but was animated at one point) also Gillian Anderson didn’t have Gillian Anderson’s voice for some reason, maybe Pamela Anderson’s voice, all I know is it’s someone who has been on the Simpsons or Futurama as a guest star. That’s all I can really say.

    I hate my dreams, they always end up being nightmares.

  25. B. Dagger Lee

    Ron, there is a blog devoted to incorrect plurals and the wrongly placed incorrect apostrophe. And I am a fan of the Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks.

    One thing I like about dreams is that sometimes I’ll have a dream that sets up a complicated, fraught emotional situation, and I’ll feel a very intense emotion; when I wake up with the emotion still in me, I feel like I’ve had a run-through of joy or sorrow or terror or whatnot.

    Like, now I know a little bit of what it’s like to be eaten by a talking bear.

  26. Mar Iguana

    “Rebuilding The Family By Rebuilding The Man”

    My personal fav. No doubt, “The Man” needs rebuilding from the ground up.

  27. dr_igloo

    And here I thought that the passive-aggressive use of a fake out-of-office reply was my idea.

  28. yankee,transferred

    Twisty, thank you for the entertaining links.

  29. Pontiste

    I have a morbid fascination with excessive quotation mark and apostrophe use (and find that I need to be vigilant myself about the former, as well as overindulgence in the parenthetical department). Thanks to Twisty I am breaking my ellipses habit. I’m quite fond of Excessive Capitalization, for what that’s worth. Maybe Christopher Guest’s next mockumentary should be on usage-police bloggers.

    The bad punctuation topic recalls to mind a certain kind of Asian stationery (which I first saw in Thailand, but I think may be a pan-Asian phenomenon, and I don’t mean the Hello Kitty variety). It was consistently pastel, sickeningly cute (flowers, baby animals, little children), but the kicker was the incorrect, mistranslated, randomly generated, or just vaguely ‘off’ English slogans. I can’t remember any of the mangled English right now, unfortunately. My favorite, though, which I do remember, was a set with a tinted photograph of a little girl and boy walking along the beach, with the phrase, “It’s good to have friends, even in Hell.” I sometimes wish I had set up a little import-export business in the ironic stationery line.

    I will refrain from dream-journaling here.

  30. buggle

    Pinko-I had a roommate who did that too- charged us for a portion of the stamps. You are not alone! I didn’t mind paying, but I just thought it was the strangest thing ever.

    And I love dreams, and hearing other people’s dreams, and interpreting them. I think dreams are completely amazing and give us so much information about ourselves.

    I have a series of repetitive dreams.

    1) the old “I’m in high school and I haven’t been to class all semester and now it’s time for the final and I don’t even know where my classroom is and I’m late” dream, which I think everyone has.

    2) I have to pack for some big trip, which I usually don’t want to go on. It’s an international trip and I hate flying. I can’t fit everything into my allowed baggage. I’m freaking out trying to find appropriate clothes to wear and wishing I didn’t have to go.

    3) When I went vegetarian, I started having dreams about eating fried chicken. Those are gone though now, thankfully :)

    4) I used to be a synchronized swimmer (insert required SNL joke here, ha ha) and I have dreams about going to a meet, and forgetting my whole routine. Or I’ll have to fill in as a substitute for someone else’s routine, but no one has showed me the moves, so I have to try and fake it the best I can.

    As for incorrectly used punctuation- I do it all the time. I like to do it. I really don’t give a flying fuck if it’s not perfect. As long as I mostly spell things right and am able to communicate, it’s fine. I get really sick of people online who flip out over tiny little dots and slashes.

  31. buggle

    Law Bitch, I’m trying to think of a juicy confession for you, but I guess I’m pretty boring. :( I need to go start some trouble.

    Well, the one confession that is weighing on me is about the consent thread, but I didn’t want to put it in there with all those little piggies in there. Eeek. So, the other day I apologized to my boyfriend for pressuring to have sex with me when I’m having my period. He would always refuse, even on the last day when there was like one drop of blood. I thought it was sexist bullshit, and I would bug and nag him, and guilt trip him and beg. So pathetic. Anyways, I haven’t done that for a long time, but after reading the consent thread I feel awful about it. I realized that I didn’t think his reason for saying no was “good enough.” Ack. I feel so bad, because I would justify it because I knew that he’d get into it once we got going, and he wouldn’t care about any possible blood. Which is so what rapists say, “Oh well she says no now but once I get her warmed up she’ll enjoy it.” Gah. I feel so awful.

    That’s probably not the kind of confession you were looking for, but there it is.

  32. vera

    This is not on topic, but I just read a story in our local paper that is so hair-raising I’m running to IBTP for psychic relief.

    I opened the paper to these headlines: “The De Anza sex scandal: Women detail scene at party.” Apparently three young women at one of the local colleges learned that eight members of the college’s baseball team were raping a 17-year-old girl in one of the bedrooms of the home where the party was being held. The bedroom door was being held closed but the three women forced the door open, made the men leave, rescued the girl, and took her to the local hospital.

    The girl was nearly unconscious, had vomit on her, and was muttering “I’m sorry.”

    The district attorney, Dolores Carr, is not pressing charges due to a lack of evidence. The columnist believes that Carr’s “caution” can be attributed to the Duke University case.

    Here’s the link: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_5964944?nclick_check=1

  33. buggle

    WTF vera? Lack of evidence? WTFuckity fuck fuck fuck? So, the three women forcing open the door and rescuing the girl doesn’t count as evidence? I guess it’s just a matter of he said she said. Cause ya know, three women plus a rape victim-they are all just lying bitches!

    I fucking hate the fucking world.

  34. buggle

    “The three, all soccer players at De Anza College, were about to leave around 12:30 a.m. when a girl they didn’t know gestured to a room off the kitchen and said, “Hey, there’s eight guys in that room with one girl.”

    Thinking that was strange, the soccer players – April Grolle, Lauren Chief Elk, and Lauren Bryeans, all 20, knocked on the French doors to the room, which were being held shut from within.

    A De Anza college baseball player opened the door about three inches. “You girls don’t know what the f— is going on,” they remember him saying. “Get the f— out of here.”

    But a black sheet draped behind the door was lifted a bit at the bottom. As the lights flickered, Chief Elk bent down and saw a mattress, a girl, a man thrusting above her and a number of pairs of legs surrounding them in a horseshoe.

    “We immediately knew what was happening,” recalled Chief Elk, 20, as she and Grolle told their story publicly Tuesday for the first time. “We knew it was not right.”

    The three women, now “swearing like sailors,” in Grolle’s description, began knocking more fiercely, pushing their way into the room with all the weight in their slender but tall
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    frames.

    “You don’t even f—— know the girl,” they remember one young man telling them. “Mind your own business.” At that point, Grolle made up a lie, giving it credibility by saying – correctly – that the girl was wearing a yellow corset. “I do know this girl, she’s a friend of mine,” she remembers yelling.

    What they found after the boys departed is etched in their memories forever, every last tawdry detail. On her back on the queen-sized mattress was a semiconscious 17-year-old girl, naked from the waist down. Her eyes were shut. Vomit covered her mouth and ran down the side of her face. Her jeans, panties and one shoe were all shoved down on one leg. The only thing the victim could mutter was “I’m sorry.”"

    Yeah, that seems very clear to me that it is consensual sex. Definitely. That poor girl. Men really do hate us. They really really do. I feel like killing someone.

  35. vera

    I’m checking to see if a demonstration is being planned. I hope that district attorney is fired, though I didn’t get the impression, from reading the newspaper account, that she’s in any danger of losing her job.

  36. buggle

    I just sent this letter to “Judge” Carr. HEre is her email address if anyone else wants to write. judgecarrforda@ comcast.net

    I have recently been informed about the De Anza rape
    case, that you have dismissed due to lack of evidence.
    I am absolutely horrified. I am ashamed of you, as a
    woman, for not standing up for women’s safety. I am
    appalled that you are in the position you are in, and
    yet you clearly do not care about the health and
    well-being of women. I am very curious to find out
    what more evidence you could possibly need. You have
    three witnesses, who found the victim most
    unconscious, with vomit on her face, and men standing
    around her, one of them raping her. How is this a
    lack of evidence? In fact, what more evidence could
    you possibly hope for in a rape trial? You have THREE
    witnesses who can corroborate each other’s stories.
    You have EYEWITNESSES to this rape. The fact that the
    victim was drinking and vomiting shows that NO MATTER
    WHAT, she did not, could not, consent to having sex.

    I am absolutely horrified. I am going to spread this
    news to as many people as I possibly can, so that they
    can all see the evil that you are perpetuating. Women
    are raped every single day in this country. Most
    never report it, I know I sure didn’t. They don’t
    report it because of people like YOU. People like
    you, who are too afraid to take a stand. Too afraid
    to do their jobs, and obey the law. Right now, you
    are just as bad as any rapist, or any other criminal.
    You have allowed men to get away with gang-raping a
    girl. Congratulations! You should feel so pleased with
    yourself. I hope that next time it isn’t your
    daughter, or a girl you actually care about. I wonder
    how easy it is for you to sleep at night-knowing that
    you let GANG RAPISTS get away with their horrible
    crime. It’s likely that this isn’t the first young
    woman who has been raped in that house, and you’ve
    made sure that it won’t be the last.

    I expect to hear from you. You owe me and every
    single woman in this nation an apology, and an
    explanation. I look forward to it.

  37. Loosely Twisted

    Ouch, oh my that is terrible.

    The dreams that bother me, have to do with post-it notes. I love post-it notes though, I have them all over my desk, and use them constantly to remind myself of lotta different things. However, I dreamt of post-it notes before they were post-it notes.

    I would describe my dream, however I believe it would definately trigger something more sinister in doing so. Let’s just say for the lack of details, these post-it notes would have everything I had done wrong on them when I went to bed. The “room” I happen to be in at the time, I was chained down and force-fed the “wrong” ideas.

    I knew when I had these night terrors, that men and women hated me, and I was not welcome in my own home. It caused me a many night of wetting the bed, and an ulcer that I live with every day now. I was only 5 when these night terrors started and they didn’t end til around 9 or so. But I did grow out of them.

    When I say night terrors, I mean specifically the kind of fear that would cause you to wet the bed, and purpetuate it every night with a fear of not going to bed the next night. Nightmares are not easy by a long shot obviously. But night terrors are something else all together that do not match the intensity of a nightmare.

    Along with being force-fed these messages on post-it notes, I was in a room that was not fit for a 5 yr old. Example sharp metal tables, and shard metal refridgerator, and other items in the room with gears and bolts that were haphazardly spread around the room and nearly every surface was covered with post-it notes that related to the item in general.

    Then the electrical shocks would start and it would be at this point that fear would freeze me in place and I would attempt to scream and scream until someone else woke me up. As waking up from a night terror doesn’t happen on it’s own. I think I managed to wake myself up all of maybe 2 times in the 3 or 4 years I remember having these dreams.

    *great now I am going to have one tonight* **shiver** I wish I could tell you why these dreams were so bad for me. I can’t. All I can say is it had to do with picking up the unspoken messages of people all around me. And then trying to brainwash me to believe them. The more I was induniated during the day, and the more I was hurt and abused during the day the more intense the dreams and the pain and fear.

    I don’t like confrontations becaus those caused the most intensified of all my night terrors. If I attempted to stand up for myself, back talk, or even attempt to think as though I had a right to say something. I was in for it that night in my dreams. I would fight tooth and nail not to go to sleep. But a child can only fight so much to keep from sleeping.

    When these dreams started to happen with my own child, by the time I realized she was having them she had out grown them. I would have gotten her dream therapy of some sort, I would have tried to find out why these dreams occur. It’s the most tramatic thing besides being raped that I can remember in my childhood.

    I feel better that someone else knows about my pain.
    You know who I blame.

  38. Loosely Twisted

    Wow, my comment hit the mod. Wonder what I said?

  39. Bitey

    From the local CBS station:

    One of the eight suspended baseball players, pitcher Chris Knopf, told the San Jose Mercury News on Monday: “From the beginning, I kind of felt like it was a witch hunt and the De Anza players were victims, and not really this girl.”

    See, and I can’t think of anything to say.

  40. Lucija

    Great letter, buggle… I second all of that… Unfortunately, it probably won’t do much help… The patriarchy can be shockingly stubborn and immune to all reason… I remember a case where there was no doubt whatsoever that a man assaulted a woman and pushed his finger into her anus, and was about to penetratively rape her, when she finally managed to escape… The judge acknowledged that this was a FACT, and then proceeded to drop all charges because, as he put it, how much worse than a forced handshake can having a finger forced into your anus actually be… Now, people use this judge’s line of reasoning as a punchline over here, as if it were something terribly funny, while rapists across the land rejoice…

  41. Bitey

    Wait–it came to me:

    Dear Ms. Carr,

    I am writing to you to congratulate you for your brave decision not to prosecute the De Anza boys. Apparently, one of them, a Chris Knopf, said to the San Jose Mercury News, “From the beginning, I kind of felt like it was a witch hunt and the De Anza players were victims, and not really this girl.” And really, who could argue? A seventeen-year-old who is fed so much alcohol that she is in danger of aspirating her own vomit, who forces a group of athletes to shove the clothing from her body, who compels them to have violent sex on her in front of their teammates, well, clearly she is a danger to society. It’s too bad she didn’t die on that mattress on the floor–it would have saved us all some trouble. My only question is why you’re not charging her? Those nice young boys are victims! You should be protecting them. Isn’t it your job to protect people?

    Thank you for your service,
    [Bitey]

    I usually don’t go for sarcasm, but I couldn’t help myself. Maybe I’ll write a proper letter later.

    They hate us. I’m thinking about buying a gun.

  42. buggle

    I hear you about buying a gun.

    I yelled at this pig on the street the other day- he was leering at a woman who was jogging by, he turned and looked at her, stopped walking and stared. Something inside me just snapped, and I started yelling at him. Now THAT was empowering, lemme tell you.

    Since then, I’ve decided that I need pepper spray or something, just in case someone decides to mess with me after I yell at them. Although part of me was just wishing he’d come after me, because I’ve got a whole lot of rage built up inside me.

    Nice letter Bitey, I like the sarcasm. I think that WAS a proper letter.

  43. Catherine Martell

    That’s horrific.

    A minor point, but still: check the headline on that CBS local story. “No Charges In DeAnza Rape Allegations Case”.

    It’s not a case about rape allegations, which implies that the allegation of rape is the crime involved. It’s a rape case. Calling it a rape case still allows the possibility that the accused could be innocent, but correctly identifies the crime that is being investigated. Unless Bitey is right and they’re going to prosecute the victim.

    “We really are taking the opportunity to turn this into a learning experience for students, quite frankly,” [college spokesperson Marina] Spatafore said.

    Since March, De Anza College has held a meeting with all student athletes at which school officials discussed “critical issues of personal choice and responsibility,” she said, noting that the college is working with students to ensure everyone is aware of appropriate behavior on and off the field.

    Learning experience? Personal choice? Responsibility? Appropriate behaviour? For pity’s sake, everyone knows that gang-raping a drunk 17-year-old is “inappropriate behaviour”, even jocks. These men don’t need a touchy-feely talk on personal choice, they need 10,000 volts to the testicles.

    Whoops! Did I just make an inappropriate personal choice to imply that gang-rapists deserved summary electrocution? Gosh, I really must work on my critical issues someday via a learning experience.

    If anyone needs any further evidence why Twisty’s views on rape law need putting into practice right now, direct them to the De Anza scandal. In the meantime, much as I would like to shoot various soft parts right off these bastards, please think twice about buying a gun. You’re five times more likely to be shot and killed if you live in a household with a gun than a household without. And I believe the stats are even worse if you’re a woman.

  44. buggle

    Oh no, I’ll never buy a gun. Sometimes I want to, but I’m not sure if I’d use it on myself to get the hell out of this sick ass world, or what. I’m mostly kidding about the gun thing. But I do feel violently sick and angry right now. I really don’t know how to live like this.

  45. LMYC

    The “5 times more likely” statistic is a flat-out lie. The original form of it, before it met the Interweb, was “you’re 14 times more likely to be shot with your own gun that you are to shoot your attacker.”

    The problem with this is that you don’t usually need to shoot your attacker when you draw a weapon. It’s not something you should rely on, but you are not likely to HAVE to shoot.

    Do we measure our police’s effectiveness by how many criminals they kill? No — and most cops don’t have to fire their weapons in the line of dity, either — no matter what TeeVee tells you. I dont’ care how many seasons of “The Shield” you’ve watched, they don’t. And yet they carry them — because their effectiveness lies in how many crimes they stop and how many criminals they make lie the hell down and wait for the wagon to come pick them up.

    I’ve known several people who have used legally owned firearms to save their own lives — in every single case, the attacker took off like someone had stuck a rocket up his ass. In every case, not a single shot needed to be fired.

    I really, really, really resent the utterly, preposterously, disgustingly sexist belief that a woman can’t hold a firearm without someone wrenching it out of her wimpy little wrist. Oh, but cops can hold them — I’ve never heard a single person who makes that “N times more likely claim” state that COPS shouldn’t carry weapons ebcause they’ll get shot with them. I’m firmly convinced that this is because these supposed Concerned Citizens have a mental image of cops as MALE, so they have Magic Guy Hormones that allow them to keep their grip on their goddamned duty weapons.

    Firearms are one of an entire spectrum of possible tools that can be used to deal with threat. They are not a panacaea, and there are definitely limitations to using them; they are useful in a narrow range of situations, like a fire extinguisher for the kitchen. But if you’re going to make a decision whether to purchase one or not, do it without the help of the lies and bullshit. In that little thing called the real world, the biggest consideration of whether or not you should purchase a firearm for self-protection is whether or not you or anyone else in your house suffers frmo clinical depression. If that’s the case — or if you really are just totally squicked by firearms — DON’T GET ONE. Use pepper spray, personal alarms, other stuff. Do NOT keep a firearm in the house if ANYONE in that house is depressed. Beyond that, there are ways to be safe, even with kids — police officers are the classic population of people who must keep weapons int he house and are often married with kids.

    And no, don’t EVEN try to trot out that hysterical statistic about the sixteen gajillion kids every MINUTE!!!!!!!!!! who kill themselves adn each other with a firearm in the house. The safety council statistics put it at slightly over 100 children a year. Now, even that is too many — which is why there are things like trigger locks and safety cabinets. But your kid is in far greater danger from cars, swimming pools, and bicycles than frmo hysterical stiatistics that LIE LIE LIE.

    It just pisses me off — I remember buying into all that ebcause it never occurred to me that they would lie. These were people who were Concerned About Violence! Why oh why would THEY lie?! Well, when I started to look at the actual figures myself, I found out — they lie like anti-abortion people lie about the MILLIONS OF WOMEN WHO GET BREAST CANCER AND COMMIT SUICIDE AFTER THEIR ABORTION! They are On The Side Of Light, so they don’t have to worry about such mundane things as accuracy.

    Hot-button topic for me — the magnitude of the sexism and lies in the anti-gun lobby annoys the shit out of me. There are excellent reasons NOT to own a firearm if you just don’t want one, and there are other options for self-protection. But bullshit, lies, and hysteria are NOT useful.

  46. Catherine Martell

    LMYC:

    I really, really, really resent the utterly, preposterously, disgustingly sexist belief that a woman can’t hold a firearm without someone wrenching it out of her wimpy little wrist.

    You’re burning down a straw-anti-gun-lobbyist. I didn’t say women were weak or feeble. I was under the impression that the gun-owning scenario would be more likely to (a) provide a findable weapon for an intruder without your knowledge, or (b) escalate the violence if you pulled it on someone. Both of these factors would, I think, be gender-neutral. If women are more likely to be killed by a gun in gun-owning households, I expect the reason for that is that the men with whom they share those households have the means to shoot them. Not that said gun has been prised from anyone’s cold, dead, wimpy little wrists.

    I’m thoroughly anti-gun, but also non-American, and unacquainted with the peculiar and frankly baffling intricacies of American thinking on the subject. If the anti-gun lobby in the US is massively sexist, well, just fancy that; but I have nothing to do with it. I will drop the statistic if you like, though the site I just checked it on did reference a reasonably credible-looking academic paper rather than The Lore of the Internets. I still say guns are bad for all people, mostly on account of their shooty, flesh-explody, bone-splintery, death-causing properties. And what’s bad for all people is quite often worse for women.

  47. LMYC

    A sample bullshit lie: that “N kids every DAY are killed by firearms accidents!” line.

    You know how they arrived at that statistic? Simple:

    They added up every firearm-related death between the ages of 10 and 29 that was not specifically ruled a homicide, and called it a “firearms accident,” and then cast it as little Johnny finding Daddy’s gun in the sock drawer. Drug dealers who shoot one another, all manner of non-specific violent crime … they added it allllll in, and then slapped the “Boy Scout Shoots Best Friend” label on it. And including people up to the age of twenty-frigging nine quite neatly bracketed in the segment of the population responsible for almost all violent crime.

    I’m leaping on this, I know — and I’m coming down hard. But this really ticks me off. There’s so many good questions to ask, and so many vital decisions to be made regarding one’s opinions on this, and the sheer proliferation of lies makes it nearly impossible to do so.

  48. Antares

    A part of my heart went dark when I read the De Anza story. So many things about it are wrong :

    “You girls don’t know what the f— is going on,” as if women can’t recognize rape when they see it!

    “You don’t even f—— know the girl,” and, “Mind your own business.” Do we have to know the person to care about their well-being? WTF?

    Also that the rescuers felt the need to make up a lie about knowing her to justify the intervention, and that the young woman felt the need to say, ‘I’m sorry.” It’s all a sad example of the patriarchy in action.

    Good job, buggle and bitey.

  49. CannibalFemme

    Speaking personally: I don’t think it’s the actual weapon that increases the potential of violence in a confrontation. I can’t speak for firearms, as I’ve never carried one, but I spent a long time getting proficient with various sorts of bladed weapons (my favorites are butterflies and harpies in a spring clip), and I’ve fought both with and without weapons over the years.

    In my experience, the men who escalate when faced with a weapon are the same sort who escalate when there’s *any* form of fighting back. They’re the ones who don’t run or duck away when confronted, but are entirely delighted at the idea of taking on a woman who has the gall to defend herself, the ones who immediately go on a hate-high. For me, I’d guess it’s been about 40% of the men I’ve fought. It actually scared the crap out of me until I got used to seeing it.

    These days, I carry weird things that don’t count as ‘weapons’, like sharpened hair sticks, knitting needles, umbrellas, etc., as there is a lot less worry about being prosecuted for being a dangerous knitting-needle-wielding predatory bitch.

  50. CannibalFemme

    Oh, and: on the subject of random things, here is the delight of my day:

    http://community.livejournal.com/loltheorists/

  51. Dawn Coyote

    From the article I linked here:

    Given her capacity for conceptual confusion, it is perhaps not surprising that Ensler cites “gang rape in a suburban high school parking lot” to show how women in America are menaced. Yes, that is an atrocity. But it happens rarely, and America’s allegedly “misogynist” culture reacts to it with revulsion and severe punishments.

  52. H

    I fired a letter off to that prosecutor, too, pointing out that with three witnesses, even a rape victim in Saudi Arabia might get the chance to see her persecutors n court. I am outraged at this ‘no evidence’ thing. It’s obviously not a lack of evidence – many rape cases have been successfully prosecuted on far less. It is clearly in some way politic for for the case to remain unprosecuted.

    As for the college framing such a horrific crime as no more than a cute little opportunity to talk about ‘responsibility’? Give me strength. In fact, give me a plane ticket across the pond and I’ll use what strength I have to organize a riot in protest at such mealy-mouthed rubbish.

  53. SarahMC

    4) I used to be a synchronized swimmer (insert required SNL joke here, ha ha) and I have dreams about going to a meet, and forgetting my whole routine. Or I’ll have to fill in as a substitute for someone else’s routine, but no one has showed me the moves, so I have to try and fake it the best I can.

    I have the exact same dream. Except instead of synchronized swimming it’s acting and dancing. I fear they will never end.

  54. yankee,transferred

    There are not words to express my outrage. Here is my letter, which pales in comparison to others:

    I am writing to express my disgust in your choice in the DeAnza rape case. How is it possible that you find “lack of evidence” in this case, when there are eyewitnesses to the rape? Is the word of the women who were there not as good as the word of the men perpetrating the crime to you? You should be ashamed of yourself, as I am of you, for having made the choice against women that you have made here.

    What, possibly, could that 17-year old intoxicated girl have done that would give you the idea that gang rape by the baseball team was consensual sex? You have effectively given these eight men, along with countless others from here on out, carte blanche to force sex upon girls. What is wrong with you? Do you have daughters? Surely not. Rape is never excusable. Rape is is a crime against humanity. What proof do you need?

    Again, I am ashamed and horrified. I have three teenage daughters. I fear for their lives with people like you in public office. You are an embarrassment and a danger to society.

  55. the opoponax

    last night i dreamed that the film i was working on for the last week or so NEVER finished, and that somehow i was pregnant and the shoot kept going on and on until finally 9 months had passed and i went into labor on set. which is kind of an obvious dream, in fact if you think about it, it’s a bit of a joke. i.e. “i could gestate an entire human in the amount of time it’s taking these assholes to shoot 15 pages of material!”

  56. Jezebella

    LMYC, as long as lots of cops, who are trained to handle firearms, keep getting shot by their own weapons, I’m thinking it’s pretty hard to hold onto a gun in a tight situation no matter who you are.

    You really are throwing up all these straw-men and burning them down, you know. I see this is a nasty little hot-button for you.

    Do you really think the ANTI-gun lobby is any more sexist than the PRO-gun lobby? Give me a break! The NRA plays on EXACTLY the feminine stereotype of the tiny weak woman who will be responsible for her own assault/murder if she doesn’t have the sense to defend herself with a Big Giant Gun.

  57. Christina

    Oh the sadness of a missed opportunity! I wish I had taken a photo of a note put up outside my residence today:

    “The sadness of the women’s movement is that they don’t allow the necessity of love. See, I don’t personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.”
    -Maya Angelou

    This after a meeting where it took five and a half hours to convince people (men) that if a man made several women in the house uncomfortable with instant and unremitting sexual comments, he probably shouldn’t be allowed to live here*. The note came down before I remembered the amazing passive aggressive notes blog.

    *Extra points for the fact that a man argued we were engaging in censorship and it all reminded him of how the books started to disappear in Fahrenheit 451. Nobody said “feminazi,” but it’s only a matter of time. We’re going to have a meeting, and I think we should play the women’s rights drinking game.

  58. Feminist Avatar

    I see we took the ‘random’ in the title literally in the comments.

  59. Tom

    Great site. IBTP too and am fucking pedantic asshole but will forward to my wife who is not.

  60. preying mantis

    LMYC, as long as lots of cops, who are trained to handle firearms, keep getting shot by their own weapons, I’m thinking it’s pretty hard to hold onto a gun in a tight situation no matter who you are.

    It depends on the statistic you’re citing. A number of the “cops shot with their own guns” stats include officers (sometimes even retired officers) who use their gun to commit or attempt suicide and cops shot in domestic assaults while off-duty. Once you add those to the number of incidents which start with a perpetrator going for the officer’s openly-worn gun, the numbers start to skew away from a reasonable representation of what a non-depressed, non-battering, non-battered person would be facing if they were to carry a concealed weapon or keep a gun in the house.

  61. Valkyrie

    How is it that the Blogosphere is completely silent on the DeAnza rape except for the few comments here?

    I have a daughter who will be seventeen this year and have been fluctuating between tears of hopelessnes and murderous rage since reading the article referenced above.

    Monsters.

  62. ashes

    hey twisty, long time lurker here. When are you going to type up that post on heterosexual relationships you mentioned in the recent post on rape? I really want to read it.

    Thanks

    ash

  63. MzNicky

    Oh, B. Dagger Lee, whom I otherwise revere, you said “wrongly placed incorrect apostrophe,” which, I think, is a redundancy. On the other hand, seeing “it’s” when “its” should be used drives me totally insane. I don’t know why, but it just fucking does. I want to fucking kill people who do this. Again, I can’t explain why.

    I like to hear someone else’s dream if I know the person. It can provide insight into how the person thinks and what has meaning for her. If I don’t know her/him, though, it’s teh boring.

  64. Pinko Punko

    The coverage is not all over about the De Anza case- I think a lot of people have not heard about it.

    I happen to be in the area right now and only first heard about it when they made the announcement the other day- most likely because it is so effing painful to watch local news I don’t, and I don’t read the local paper either because of how infuriating it is every single day. We just need to brings some pressure to bear here. My guess is that the case didn’t get picked up in the national media because it seemed so open and shut.

  65. Pinko Punko

    Well the front page of the San Jose paper is basically a gigantic “WTF????” about the story. The sheriff is convinced a crime was committed. I need to dive into the details but this seems way more obscene than the usual obscene bullshit.

  66. thebewilderness

    I think it is true that most statistics regarding guns are massaged with vigor to produce the desired result.
    The fear of being shot with your own gun is one law enforcement suffers from and encourages everyone to join them. When you have that beastie hanging off your hip you have to be hypervigilant. It is very tiresome. I have a fairly large personal space, but even that isn’t adequate when you carry. I always thought it would be better if we could at least wear a shoulder holster. Having that lunky thing hanging out there so you have to keep that side turned away all the time and not get too close to this guy or that guy. It makes it harder to subdue the perp when you have to keep you hip twisted just so. Pain in the butt.

  67. MedeaOnCrack

    Carry? JFC.

    Signed
    Aghast Canuck

  68. Valkyrie

    Pinko – I’ve tried to alert a few other feminist blogs in my own clumsy way about DeAnza (OT comments and e-mails to who knows where). If those boys were in driving distance of where I am right now I would not be responsible for my actions tonight. Big love to the girls who stepped in and stopped it and Twisty, as always, thanks for the sanctuary.

  69. MedeaOnCrack

    I don’t understand how there aren’t campus lynch mobs after these men. I’m glad to hear about these brave young women. Where is the censure for these assholes who haven’t stood up and said “I did it”. Tying this into the other thread, there’s no danger Twisty’s Law will ever come about. Men and their laws get to name rape.

  70. Pinko Punko

    Those women are unbelievable heroes. I really hope the outcry doesn’t stop- I think the San Jose paper is committed, I am going to check the Chronicle. Pardon my French, but I think someone should pass out some t-shirts as part of a larger visibility protest “De Anza Women’s Soccer Fucks De Anza Men’s Baseball Rapists’ Shit Up”

  71. B. Dagger Lee

    Oh MzNicky, when you’re right, you’re right.

  72. Lucija

    I sent a letter to the despicable Judge Carr, despite my lack of optimism regarding the case. Holding my fingers crossed now in hope that a miracle happens…

  73. vera

    Carr is actually a district attorney for Santa Clara County (where I live); she was elected in the last election. I’m guessing she’ll be un-elected in the next.

    She made a statement which was printed in the local paper (the Mercury News) this morning:

    “I’m aware of the public upset and outrage,” Carr said. “It’s not as simple as people think it is. The girls’ statements were compelling. This is one of the things that makes this a tough job.”

    Carr, who would not elaborate on the case, citing privacy concerns, blamed the controversy on what she called the public’s lack of knowledge about the legal system. She said her office needs to better educate the public.

    “We did have the best minds in our office looking at the case,” she said. But in the end, she said, her prosecutors felt the case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. “This DA’s office has a reputation of aggressively prosecuting sex assaults; it’s been consistent over the years. There will always be decisions that are difficult to make, but that is my oath of office.”

    I’m trying to figure out who is ultimately responsible for evaluating the performance of a county district attorney, and I’ll write to that person (state attorney general, perhaps?) demanding an investigation. I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

    Here’s a link to today’s article in the Merc:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_5974317

  74. 'soup

    I’m so proud of those soccer players-far too many people dither. I say act now and apologize later if you need to.
    Weapons and self-defense: it doesn’t matter if you’re packing heat or anything else if you are unwilling or inexperienced in using it. In pdx the city offers a padded-attacker class in which women are encouraged to do anything they need to do to escape (well, no weapons though)and it’s quite an eyeopener.
    It’s way better to get angry than to succumb to the fear we are being fed daily. Then anything you lay hands on can be an effective weapon.

  75. Calidor

    Does anyone else fear that when the college comes to discuss “critical issues of personal choice and responsibility” it’s going to spend at least part of the time telling girls not to go out too late, drink too much, or wear provocative clothing? Surely this is a classic example of Twisty’s thesis about the way in which rape functions to control the behaviour of all women all the time. I didn’t see it before I started reading this blog, but my eyes are opening.

  76. MedeaOnCrack

    I am very disturbed by some recent rape cases. There is an ongoing case in Saskatchewan with a 12 year old native girl who was raped by three white men. Apparently there was no rape. She instigated it, you know? The men said she begged “more, more” jumping all over them, and they thought she was older, like, 14 maybe? (legal age of consent in Canada!?). She was under 5 foot and under 90 lbs. Her vaginal tears were not anything extraordinary and wouldn’t have been painful, said the examining female doctor. The men walked, with one getting a few months house arrest, a second off even after appeal. There is one more appeal trial to come in October.

  77. Virago

    Carr’s excuse of the rape on the basis of evidence smells a lot like someone dropped the ball when collecting/documenting/transferring evidence and the defense attorney would drive a truck through the hole that was left. That, or the case would be thrown out by a judge anyway because of incorrectly collected/documented/transferred evidence.

    I think Carr’s hands are tied by the law, not because she disbelieves the victim or the eye-witnesses. Doesn’t matter, though. Carr will still have to take the fall for the patriarchal legal system that effectively legalizes rape.

    I don’t blame Carr. IBTP.

  78. delphyne

    She could at least have tried to get the little bastards in court. That might have made them think twice about ever doing it again.

    Two of the young women who tried to rescue the victim have gone public (very disturbing) -

    http://www.ktvu.com/station/13370961/detail.html

  79. pisaquari

    !Speech Help!:

    Must give 4-5 minute informative speech on an “issue” for class tomorrow and I have chosen to do gender roles’ destructive nature (I could fillibuster that sh*t) but I’m a bird in flight when it comes to structure.
    (Any personal opinions on high points to touch on in terms of “biological sex differences” we are fed that are complete BS?) I have gutted about 9 books for information but I have too much now and am having a difficult time as to how to present this. Ideas wanted!
    *Also: should mention this class has the intellectual reverberations of a bean: when I asked about them the topic the females said they were feminine due to their femaliness biology and the males reported being masculine due to their wilted cucumbers.

    I figure I could also just take one story like the De Anza case and point out all thats wrong with it but I fear I might get puke-envy and share with the class.

  80. vera

    MedeaOnCrack, I agree. There are always outrages, but lately there seem to be more of them, and they’re more outrageous. I read about them and I feel like part of me turns to stone.

  81. MedeaOnCrack

    Carr said the young woman’s statement was “compelling”. So I think sometime during the ‘consensual” gang bang” the 17 year old probably choked out in a vomit-garbled voice “Oh Yes Please!”. And that will be consent, according to the law that sb/jerry et al uphold.

  82. MedeaOnCrack

    Quite honestly I’m beginning to see the appeal of unrestricted gun toting.

  83. josquin

    As I read through this thread and came across Pontiste’s declaration of fondness for Excessive Capitalization, I recalled the the writer A.A. Milne, who used it in such a charming, quaint, and pitch-perfect manner.
    Awash in a warm nostalgic glow, I continued reading, only to fall across the description of the awful, vicious, steaming heap of entitlement and hatred as enacted by the De Anza individuals.
    I think I shall retire to my room and read Winnie the Pooh now.

  84. Frumious B

    buggle
    May 23rd, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Hey buggle, have you heard of Instead? It’s a menstrual cup that does not interfere with intercourse. Useful for all women who don’t want to make a mess and bloody their sheets during insertive sexual activity.

  85. MedeaOnCrack

    josquin here’s something Milne related. A bit lighter than the current topic, but still with a point to make about the patriarchy:
    www(dot)cmaj(dot)ca/cgi/content/full/163/12/1557

  86. Virago

    She could at least have tried to get the little bastards in court. That might have made them think twice about ever doing it again.

    I agree that the rapists should face some consequence. (Some of them have already been claiming that they are victims of the system.) Unfortunately (and unsatisfyingly) the DA can’t just drag the rapists into court. If she could, and did, and they were found not guilty on a technicality, what they’d likely think would not be “We did wrong and this court thing sure scared us,” but, “Hey, rapists can go against the legal system and win. Looks like we have a free pass to rape.”

  87. josquin

    Yep, MedeaOnCrack,
    as with the best “children’s” literature, there was more going on with the 100 Acre Woods gang than initially meets the eye.
    Some shadows, some darkness, and an understandable amount of anxiety.
    I hear also that Christopher Milne resented his dad for yolking him with the fictional character “Christopher Robin”. Apparently it was a torment to him throughout his life.
    J. S. Bach is about the only male artist I can enjoy wholeheartedly without the nagging knowledge of his troubling personal life.
    And even Bach couldn’t keep from foisting billions of children on his two wives.

  88. Artemis

    pisaquari, you asked for help with your speech.

    Given that they’re not advanced blamers (maybe not even at the Feminism 101 stage), I say start them off with some gender-role discomfort.

    Create a form that has a 5″ long two-headed horizontal arrow. Label one end “masculine” and the other “feminine.” Hand out one form to every person in your class. Tell them they will now be rating each other on their position on that scale. Tell them that their answers will not be divulged after the rating (this is an important rule in this). Have each person stand in front of the class for one long minute while everyone else sits and stares at them deciding where on the scale that individual fits.

    When done you will have an audience of at least a few people who will be open to hearing what you have to say.

  89. Vera Venom

    My goodnes. That story has me in tears. I’m shaking. I’m so glad those young women were brave enough to face the rapist scum and rescue the other women. Those evil little pigs knew al the right things to say, didn’t they – she wanted to be there, it’s her fault for getting drunk.

    What is the excuse for not prosecuting again? The word of two young women who witnessed it isn’t as credible are 8 rapist pigs on a baseball team.

    I’m so angry, and horrified I’m shaking. I wish there were a hell for those rapist pigs to burn in.

  90. the opoponax

    @ Frumious B:

    i tried the Instead cups, and while ok, they were uncomfortable in a way that definitely didn’t make me feel sexy. but, y’know, different strokes and all. and they’re definitely worth trying!

  91. MedeaOnCrack

    Poor Clara Schumann.

  92. Babs

    Gathering of Women Seeking Justice @ District Attorney’s Office
    The purpose of this gathering is to support each other and to support women
    who have been victims of sexual abuse.

    When: Thursday, May 24, 2007
    From 12:15 pm until 1:00 pm
    Where: Santa Clara County Building
    70 W. Hedding Street and North First Street.
    Please meet at the BACK PARKING LOT (this is closest to the D.A.’s office)

    I just found this entry on the Mercury News reader comments from a story about the rape. There’s still time to get there, all you Northern Californians!

  93. RadFemHedonist

    “males reported being masculine due to their wilted cucumbers.”

    I’m presuming that’s a penis euphemism? Only I haven’t heard it before.

    “Surely this is a classic example of Twisty’s thesis about the way in which rape functions to control the behaviour of all women all the time.”

    I hadn’t quite linked that up before this post. I knew that rape was fuelled entirely by misogyny and desire for power, but it hadn’t occurred to me that rape is both terrorising in of itself and a method of limiting women’s/children’s (note the tendency to worry incessantly about children being naked in public or becoming endangered should they explore in any way) activities in general by suggesting one is protecting them by restricting their lives.

  94. Babs

    Also, while we have the permission to be random: Can anyone chime in with any countries one could elect to move that have the least amount of crap like this (De Anza rape case) happening? I’m about to go search for the “Radical Feminists Guide to Expat American Living” on the net, but in case no such list exists, I’m putting out the feelers amongst the folks in the know.

    Sweden? New Zealand? Anywhere to go when the asshats take over the country?

  95. Bitey

    Damn it! I’m in LA! If it were tomorrow, I could get there.

    This case has opened my eyes to the fact that legally and socially (not really, of course, but who cares about that?) rape is in the eye of the rapist. I guess the only way to get a conviction is with a guilty plea? Shit on this world. Shit on the rapriarchy.

  96. Vera Venom

    Definitely not New Zealand. Rape, abuse and MRAs abound.

  97. Vera Venom

    addendum: I never thought I’d say this but the only place where there’d be no situations like De Anza, is someplace where there are no men.

    Find me a place like that, and I’ll buy the ticket tomorrow.

  98. badkitty

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to get so angry that your head actually explodes? If so, this case is pushing me dangerously close to the edge.

    “She got drunk and she did this to herself”. Oh my fucking god.

  99. Babs

    http://www.marieclaire.com/world/articles/best-country

    Time to see if I can get two acres in the Swedish countryside for the same $135,000 US I have it for in North Carolina.

    This place sounds very groovy. Now I’m off to search for the 2005 World Economic Forum survey they mention, which ranks the US as 17th on the list. I’ll see what my 15 other options are.

  100. TinaH

    Josquin,

    I hate to even cast aspersions at good old Johann Sebastian, but some researchers think that Anna Magdalena Bach, his second wife, may have written some of the compositions attributed to him.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/04/23/nacad123.xml

  101. tinfoil hattie

    Virago,

    These guys just GOT their “free pass” to rape, because they were not charged. How much more of a free pass do they need?

  102. Babs

    http://www.weforum.org/pdf/Global_Competitiveness_Reports/Reports/gender_gap.pdf

    The 2005 World Economic Forum Report on the Gender Gap. It appears I may also consider Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Finland.

    Time to start investigating those immigration policies!

  103. cycles

    Crud! I live and work within 10 miles of De Anza, but I didn’t check this thread and see the info about the rally until right now.

    I’m surprised at the college’s response: suspend the players from the rape squad – er, baseball team (the members of which, by the way, are listed here). I realize the college’s powers of punishment are limited, but, come on. Students are expelled from schools for cheating, plagiarism, and pranks; surely they should also be expelled for raping somebody.

    I would think anything less would be imprudent, PR-wise, for the school. Given a choice, would you want to attend a school where famous gang-rapists lurk after getting just a slap on the wrist for their crimes?

  104. Virago

    tinfoil hattie: Yes, I understand what you’re saying. My point was that full force of the legal system (if you can call being taken to court that) hasn’t been used against them, and, if it were (they were prosecuted) and beat the system, that would be a different kind of free pass. (Yes, unlike the one they have already, being athletes and rapists who were not even charged with rape.)

    It’s similar to Gavin DeBecker’s views (from The Gift Of Fear) that women think very carefully before getting restraining orders against their abusers. His reasoning was that once the abuser realized that, even if the police were involved, even if there were a legal document forbidding them from contacting their victim, the police would most likely do nothing if the order were violated. The abuser would realize then that the victim was even more vulnerable and that would just make the abuser feel more powerful and he would act accordingly.

  105. mearl

    Jesus Fucking Christ. It gets worse and worse. Time for women to start rallying outside courthouses, crashing massage parlours, marching on Washington and the like.

    Am off to smoke off an email – thanks, vera and buggle. I might not be anywhere near De Anza, but I’ll write an enraged something, since once in awhile someone listens. I’ve got nothing to lose, every time.

    Last week some gross dude was leering nonstop at my 22-year -old, Maxim-model-esque buddy and coworker while we were out with our disabled clients having dinner and watching the hockey game. The guy was old enough to be her dad. At the end of the night I waltzed up to the guy and handed him a note. I didn’t stick around to see his reaction, but here’s what the note said: “OGLE SOMEONE YOUR OWN AGE, PERVERT!” I’m having Days of Honesty here in Winnipeg. Nothing to lose? Then why not protest misogyny and get a laugh while I’m at it?

  106. delphyne

    I think it’s somewhat different though, Virago. A restraining order really is just a piece of paper, on the other hand being accused publicly, being brought to trial, having to prepare a defense, being forced to sit through a trial and having to face prosecuting counsel are all considerable discomforts even if they don’t result in a conviction.

  107. lawbitch

    Twisty, oh, Twisty, where are you? You’re loyal blamers are left to wallow in the randomness of this thread. Do we need to bring the great goddess of blame an offering of tacos?

    I’m still stuck in bed with a virus today. This thread is so eclectic that I can’t articulate a comment that covers the discussion here. Then again, maybe it’s virus-induced delerium.

  108. Virago

    Delphyn, in the state where I live, the abuser does have to show up to court and face a judge and answer questions in order for a restraining order to be issued. My abuser did just that.

    The first time he broke the restraining order, I called the police. They did nothing. They wouldn’t even get out of their car. I called internal affairs to report the behavior of the cops and was warned (by internal affairs) that reporting the police would make the police less likely to help me if I did need help. My abuser, realizing that the police were going to do nothing, stepped up his stalking behavior and threats to me.

    Later when we went to court, the charges against my abuser were dropped because the police didn’t bother to show up to the trial. The judge’s hands were tied by the law. My abuser went against the police, two different judges in two different courts, and walked. He won.

    So, no. I don’t think that facing a court deters these guys.

  109. Virago

    Reading over that, I realize that it might not be clear why there were two courts and two judged involved: The first court appearance was necessary for the restraining order to be issued and the second court appearance was for the abuse charges that he faced for attacking me.

  110. Twisty

    Jesus, Virago. I mean, Jesus.

  111. MzNicky

    Virago: As others have noted on this and other recent threads, and especially in view of your story, which I know for a fact is not an isolated case, I’m totally and seriously rethinking my whole philosophical stance with regard to not only carrying a fucking gun but being trained in how to fucking use it.

    Oh yes. I so Blame the Motherfucking Patriarchy.

  112. lawbitch

    Virago, I am sorry that the system failed you. What many people do not realize is that the law enforcement and judicial system cannot protect women from domestic violence (a/k/a dickhead abusive men). Experts recommend an “escape plan.” That means don’t let your abuser find out you’re leaving in advance.

  113. Virago

    I’ve heard about the expert-suggested “escape plan,” and my feelings about it are mixed. One reason is that the idea of having an escape plan completely ignores the fact that the reason women have to have an escape plan is because the law fails so miserably to protect abused women.

    The escape plan also puts all the pressure on victims to completely change their lives. (Reminds me, however superficially, of the advice given to women to avoid rape: Don’t dress provacatively. Don’t walk alone. Etc. Only now, it’s: To avoid further abuse, change your address. change your routine, etc. And if I don’t do these things, do I then “deserve” the abuse?) There is no talk about changing the system or of effectively punishing the criminal. Again, it’s women who must change their existence.

    Another thing the “escape plan” suggests to women, I think, is that the abuse has to reach a certain level before they change the situation, before they take such drastic action as escape. By that I mean that if it’s only emotional or verbal abuse or if he only hits you once, well, is that enough to have to, say, leave your job, friends, and family and go into hiding? Most abused women would say no, it’s not enough to only be hit once. Or twice. Or three times.

    In my case, I chose to stand and fight. He won and I lost, and he realized that he could win against the legal system and abuse with impunity. Eventually he moved on from stalking and threatening me and he’s found other women who won’t fight him as readily.

    The system didn’t just fail me personally, it also failed all the women who have and will become involved with this man.

    IBTP.

  114. Catherine Martell

    Virago, I agree with you completely about the ethics of the “escape plan”, and am horrified (though completely unsurprised) at your story. I’m sure you already know that there are a lot of women out here who have gone through similar things, but I just wanted to let you know again: there are a lot of women out here who have gone through similar things. In fact, almost every woman I know has some form of stalking story. Many are milder than yours, but all of them come together to create a climate of permanent fear in which all women are forced to live. Rape, sexual assault, physical abuse, stalking and harassment are the weapons of male terrorism against women.

    Thank you for telling your story, and for analyzing it so clearly and eloquently.

  115. delphyne

    Hell Virago, I can see why you don’t trust the courts.

    “One reason is that the idea of having an escape plan completely ignores the fact that the reason women have to have an escape plan is because the law fails so miserably to protect abused women.”

    There was a TV programme on here in the UK a while back which interviewed to women whose male partners attacked them and the only thing that made a difference to them finally was running away. The police and courts did nothing to protect them even though these men were committing terrible acts of violence on them. It was chilling.

  116. mearl

    May I once again recommend Gavin de Becker’s “Gift of Fear?” (My first choice would be revolution, but I am too much of a clutz to spearhead anything. I’d be on board, however.)

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