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May 05 2008

The Spinster Repore

Because I am the world’s leading authority on world news, I am uniquely qualified to bring you world news from around the world. Let’s go!

Malaysia: The Foreign Minister has proposed that grown women traveling abroad must produce notes from their mommies before being allowed to leave the country alone. This is because drug smugglers like to trick women into totin’ dope to the E.U., whereupon the women are arrested on drug charges and chucked into prison. The Malaysian Foreign Minister feels strongly that responsible adults should take charge of these jet-setting women.

What impeccable logic. Criminals use women to further their own evil ends, innocent women end up in jail, government responds by depriving women of rights. What’s missing from this brilliant jurisprudential scenario? The actual traffickers.

Happily, cooler heads have prevailed. Women’s groups raised a stink, and an hour ago I received word that the Prime Minister has put the kibosh on the Foreign Minister’s scheme. Sadly, one gets the sense that it’s not because of the patronizing inconvenience to women, but rather because the note-from-mommy plan would have been impossible for immigration authorities to implement. However, the episode did offer the Home Minister the opportunity to publicly declare, “We do not discriminate against women.”

I’ll bet you don’t.

Ecuador: Legislator Marie Soledad Vela demands that “a woman’s right to enjoy sexual happiness” be written into Ecuador’s constitution.

What she means, of course, is that women should own their own uteruses, and that the Constitution should support their right to reproductive health and freedom. Dudely politicos have responded with predictable outrage, as they always do when someone makes the outlandish claim that women ought to be regarded as human beings with full agency. Because men have such a hard time conceptualizing women as anything but meat socks, one of the opposing legislators has naturally accused Vela of attempting “to decree orgasm by law.”

Note that the BBC headline says “Sex on Ecuador’s political agenda,” when the actual issue is women’s rights. Sex = women 4ever!

UK: “Research” conducted by More Magazine concludes that “modern young Brit women” want their lives to be (as Germaine Greer puts it) transfigured by love. Moreover, they expect that (heterosexual) marriage to a “soulmate” will bring about this electrifying event. This apparent blind faith in the panacea effects of love-and-marriage with Prince Charming is unsurprising, since women are conditioned from the cradle to believe that lifelong, monogamous, God-approved marriage is “natural,” and that somewhere out there their special someone awaits.

Marriage is actually the elemental unit of patriarchy.

25 comments

1 ping

  1. Lt. Rev. B. Dagger Lee

    Violence is the elemental force;
    Propaganda is the elemental word;
    Money is the elemental metaphor.

  2. elanor

    Re: Ecuador. I read about orgasm being a private matter in an Israeli free newspaper too. I bet most people think the woman is insane, based on the “professional” news report. They didn’t even report what she wanted, except the vague “clearer laws covering life, health and sexual education.” It’s all about The Orgasm! Can I say projection and making your opponent sound insane?

    Glad to see you bloging frequently again, Twisty.

    Btw, you wrote “Never view this blog using Internet Explorer”, but what else should I use? With Firefox certain symbols looked strange too. Or is it a joke? Help!

  3. Jeni

    Okay Twisty, I try not to be too Kool-Aid drinking, but when you use both the phrase “meat sock” and the sentence “Sex = women 4ever!” in one post, I just want to sit at your feet in awe. As soon as I stop cracking up.

    Thanks for making some truly nauseating news a tiny bit easier to handle.

  4. MarilynJean

    Since we’re going international with this post, did you see the whole thing about Indonesian massage parlors that require chastity belts for their massueses?

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-chastity27apr27,0,6212460.story

  5. PhysioProf

    What the fuck’s a “repore”? Is that Texan for “report”?

  6. Twisty

    PhysioProf, do they have Stephen Colbert up there?

    Elanor, if this blog looks funky in Firefox, I cannot help you. Sorry. I’m a doctor, Jim, not a web designer.

  7. PhysioProf

    I think Stephen Colbert is on teevee everywhere, but I’ve never seen his show. Pop culture allusions past 1988 go right the fuck over my head. WHOOSH!!

  8. Shannon

    “Meat socks”

    hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  9. Tanya

    Is anybody paying attention to the underlying problem in the Malaysian case? The illegal drug trade is the root cause of drug trafficking. If we legalized them, we could eliminate drug trafficking altogether. Let’s not forget that the war on drugs is another tool of the patriarchy. There are far too many young, African-American men in jail for “drug crimes”. There is no damn excuse for putting people in jail for smoking the wrong plants. Link

  10. RKMK

    I hate to bring the rage back to the domestic front, but

    IBTP. *cries*

  11. Susan

    Ha! I knew you were a Colbert fan, as soon as I saw the header. He seems OK for a dude. Colbert and the Daily Show are about all my kids can get me to watch regularly on the TV. I wish the Daily Show had more women correspondents, though. IBTP and complain about it all the time. Out loud.

  12. truffula

    I’m guessing that the travel letters from Malaysian women’s parents or employers would have pretty emphatically not been from their mommies but from their daddies.

  13. Dana

    I used to drink the legalize-em-all Kool-Aid until I moved to a neighborhood where people would sit around drinking forty-ouncers in the front yards of places where they did not live, and I doubt homelessness was their problem–they looked a bit too well-fed and put-together. And then I remembered having grown up in an alcoholic household (both my dad and my stepmom, ouch), and all the brouhaha raised when Ohio banned smoking in most public places (the wannabe public smokers fought it FOUR TIMES despite overwhelming popular votes in-favor-of), and it occurred to me that a careless public smoker already forces me to either share in his imbibing of said substance against my will or to retire from public life in a bid to avoid said substance. And I thought about what that would mean if someone could just walk around smoking a fatty in public as well, and how it’s already a PITA to run into a publicly drunken person, much less a stoned one. The prospect of yet another handy excuse to sexually assault women alone is giving me the heebie-jeebies. Much less if, say, my three-year-old daughter inhaled the stuff randomly at a bus stop (the assholes already smoke tobacco in them, right in front of her, without asking me if it’s OK to light up).

    So… no. No, I don’t think so.

    I think they should legalize industrial hemp, because it is dreadfully useful and a lot more eco-friendly than cotton and because it is THE best marijuana-eradication technique on the planet, bar none; get that interbred with your favored drug-cannabis variety and your FDCV will be wiped out of existence by the sheer power of genetic influence. But I really don’t care if they ever legalize the drug. And I certainly don’t want them legalizing other drugs that are far worse. Maybe if they restricted the hell out of where those drugs could be used, but you know as well as I do that some wit would find a way around the laws, finding them “oppressive.” Which, I suppose, they would not find the idea of forcing their drug use on me via the smoke they put off to be similarly oppressive.

    It’s like prostitution, though. There are people who say prostitution wouldn’t be so bad if we’d just legalize it. Ask the ladies of the night in Nevada how true that is. Ask poor communities devastated by alcohol use how well that being legal has turned out–say, Native American reservations. And bear in mind that Prohibition came on the heels of the worst period of alcohol use and addiction in American history. Yeah, I didn’t know that either.

    OK, enough subject-of-blog hijacking. Sorry.

  14. elanor

    Twisty, but what do you use on your computer?

  15. Ginia

    I wouldn’t really call a reader survey from More magazine research: it’s a sex rag for 15 year-olds with tips on provocative dressing and a darling little feature called ‘position of the fortnight’ – a kind of mass sexual grooming for underage girls.

    Personally I find the concept of soulmates terrifying patriarchal propoganda: if your partner is your ‘soulmate,’ ie the only person in the world capable of giving you fulfilling love, he has full licence to abuse you as much as he wants because no one else could possibly take his place. Sorry if this is basic stuff, I’m still quite new and consistently horrified.

  16. macon d

    Your comment-rules say nothing off topic allowed, but I just wanna let you know that I love your blog, and that I gave it an E! Award today:

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2008/05/act-all-humble-and-stuff.html

    Thanks for helping to keep my eyes open,

    macon d

  17. WendyAnn

    Since I was a small child, I have been vehemently anti-marriage. I always stated when asked, because total strangers think it’s OK to demand of little girls who they want to marry and how many kids they want, that I was never, ever, ever getting married.

    I never understood why it was so abhorrent to me on such a basic level.

    It can’t be said enough — thank you Twisty for this, “Marriage is actually the elemental unit of patriarchy.”

  18. invisible

    Violence is the elemental force;
    Propaganda is the elemental word;
    Money is the elemental metaphor.

    I much prefer the new Physics. The one where up is down, black is white, and everyone has a dog-whistle.

    Everything is just a theory, dahlings.

    …except what Twisty says, of course.

  19. Lara

    WendyAnn I also agree with Twisty’s assesment of marriage. Polly over at sizeofacow has a detailed post on the real purpose of marriage, you should read it:

    http://sizeofacow.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/im-getting-civilly-partnered-in-the-morning/

  20. invisible

    I, myself, just adore a good marriage.

    I’m kind of into the whole New Age heart chakra thing. Or maybe the ghost of a tortured, dead Nazerene, on a stick.

  21. Optimist

    I am SO moving to Ecuador! I am hoping to receive the first state-issued vibrator!

  22. RaJ

    Fun fact about Colbert (from No Fact Zone:

    “Of the sixty-seven writers nominated for an Emmy in the Comedy/Music/Variety Show category last year, only four were women. Three of those four ([Laura] Krafft, [Meredith] Scardino and Allison Silverman) now write for The Colbert Report.”

    To say nothing of all the brilliant women who otherwise fill the ranks of the show. (Yeah, I intern there.)

  23. slythwolf

    I think all drugs should be legalized because it ought to be each individual human being’s sovereign decision what to put into hir own body.

  24. Nos

    Re: UK

    Apparently, there are a whole lot of stupid young women out there in the UK who want to have a life and family in partnership with the man with whom they have choosen to have children.

    Those fools!!

  25. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    This spinster laughed so hard at Twisty’s description of that UK article I thought my appendix would bust.

  1. Pandagon :: Moments in severe overreaction :: May :: 2008

    [...] right to sexual pleasure into the nation’s constitution. From what I understand, the law is just about laying the groundwork for public policies that acknowledge that women are sexu…not just wombs on feet. And everything that would follow—good education, reproductive rights, [...]

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