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Mar 23 2009

Spinster aunt biffs off; leaves link in stead

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That’s right. I Blame the Patriarchy is very highly respected among spammers.

But occasionally even non-spammers write in. Sometimes they recommend other useful informative excellent work that needs to be kept on the road. 23 minutes ago, blamer Samantha sent me a link to a blog called Gin and Tacos.

Tacos? I’m on board.

The Gin and Tacos post in question skewers with gusto a patriarchy-denying opinion piece written by collaboratrice and nationally syndicated knob columnist Kathryn Jean Lopez. Which is totally wild, because weren’t we just talking about another collaboratrice and nationally syndicated knob, that sourpuss troublemaker Kathleen Parker? Lopez — who actually namechecks Parker in her piece to demonstrate that they are two hearts that beat as one on the subject of whataboutthemen?! — has hurled a wad of antifeminist phlegm at a pop singer named Rhianna. Rhianna was assaulted by her boyfriend but is now back together with him, and because they are both famous, the story has been all over the tabloids. Lopez avers that blaming the Rhianna for her own assault is wildly popular among a few Boston schoolgirls, and blames feminism for this. Blogger Ed responds somewhat feministically.

Behold an excerpt:

Let’s summarize the historical record of America: the K-Lo version [K-Lo is Kathryn Jean Lopez; how cute is that! -- Twisty]. Everything was great for women. There was no oppression. Then feminists invented some, and now everyone’s confused because they said there was some when there wasn’t and now when there IS some (which, according to the original K-Lo hypothesis, there isn’t) we react incorrectly.

I almost didn’t recommend this post because Ed is in a band, and like all dudes in bands, he can’t resist taking a swipe at Rhianna and her boyfriend for not being Rawk. But you get what you pay for at I Blame the Patriarchy, and sometimes that means links that blamers send in when I don’t have time to write anything myself.

79 comments

  1. Ed

    Hey, I took a swipe at them because their music is atrocious, not because they are insufficiently rawk.

  2. nobodyspecial

    Hey, don’t worry about it. I can’t resist taking a swipe at music where men aren’t hitting high Eb’s and women are singing baritone.

    Stuff like this makes me wonder what planet I’m on when people say that men “like” pretty, young women and that they have an “advantage” in a patriarchy. Yeah, just like that asshole like cute, young, pretty Rihanna.

    Like. Sure, like a tank full of sharks like a California grey seal. I got told that, as if I was supposed to be stupid enough to believe it. They “like” me. Yeah, they’d LOVE me with barbecue sauce.

  3. Deschant

    I recently came across a blog post in which the writer (a woman) criticized the increasing popularity of labiaplasty and then proceeded to blame feminism for it. This was a few days after International Women’s Day, and she wrote that probably many of the feminists who took place in IWD events would happily submit to a labiaplasty in order to please their (male) partner, because “this is what feminism is all about”.
    The thing is, many of these self-denying women would make great blamers. They seem so spot on in some matters, yet so tragically misguided in others. For that, IBTP.

  4. Comrade PhysioProf

    Tacos? I’m on board.

    Gin? Sign me right up.

  5. birkwearingblamer

    Both the article and the author’s biography are devoid of facts. You know, those things that are based in reality.

  6. nobodyspecial

    Nowdays, it IS what feminism is all about. Either you take pole-dancing classes because porn is now empowering, or else you snivel into your hankie and vote for a sexist shithead because *whine whine* What Else Am I Supposed to Do?!?!?!!??!!?!?

    The days are long past when Rebecca West could say feminists were DIFFERENT from bimbos or doormats, aren’t they? It’s ass-jigglers on one side and battered wives on the other. No thanks, either way. And no wonder “normal” women are completely confused and getting it wrong. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FEMINISM.

  7. undercover punk

    I was just thinking about the SAME thing. Feminism IS a philosophical METHODOLOGY for critically analyzing how the power dynamics of the patriarchy manifest in our daily lives. Ok, so it wasn’t *exactly* the same thing. Maybe there is no such this as a FEMIN-IST, then.

  8. Jezebella

    Oh, fer fecks’ sake. Feminism exists, as do marxism, christianity, consumerism, nihilism, and islam. There are varieties of each of these belief systems, many of which contradict each other, just as there’s no one Monolithic Feminism, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Are y’all suggesting that if something is merely a philosophical methodology, it doesn’t exist? I hope not, because philosophical methodologies can get people killed, and oppressed, so they seem pretty fecking real to me. Others can save peoples lives and sanity. For example, feminism. Which exists.

    Nobodyspecial, your characterization of feminism as consisting of “ass-jigglers” and “battered wives” is pretty fucking offensive. And, you know, nobody CHOOSES the latter, you know that, right?

  9. VinoVeritas

    Well aren’t I suprised! Here I am, in my sensible shoes, dog by my side, reading a little light feminist theory, and Lo and Behold, I’m told that I don’t exist. I’m just a bimbo doormat! Hell, I’d better crack a beer, 11 am or not! Anybody who criticizes a battered woman in the wake of her attack is a vacuous waste of space and makes me want to puke up the awesome burrito I ate for breakfast. It must be pretty nice up on that marble pedestal where you can stick women into categories like “ass-jiggler” or “battered wives,” never mind the fact that there’s fairly often some cross-over between the two categories. And every woman who strips does it because it seemed awesome when she saw it on TV, right?

  10. humanbein

    I blame the patriarchy whenever people bicker about feminism! It’s good for a joke or two, but then somebody’s gonna get hurt.

    The people who identify as feminists who worship femininity have a lot to answer for. But can you blame them? They heard the word, and figured that feminism was all about being so girly that you out-girled all the manly men at their own game! So now they blame feminism for what we blame the patriarchy.

    The conservative women only get the tiny bit right about porn being bad and sex being over-glorified in our culture. What else do they get right?

    They think – in a profound disconnect from millennia of human belief that personhood begins at birth – in the radical new idea that fetuses and blastocysts are people. If conservative means “to hold on to the past”, this is not a truly conservative idea.

    If you would have told their grandmothers that the blob that fell out of them when they miscarried was a person their heads would have exploded.

  11. Amalthea

    @ Jezebella – Thanks for telling it like it is. Ideas are powerful things.

    I thought the Gin and Tacos response to K-lo’s crap was spot on!

  12. MLH

    Either that, of feminists are awful because they don’t like it when well-meaning people open the doors for them? How did it get to that? For the record: feminists like people to open the door for them, and reciprocate too, for the most part. Opening doors has to do with manners, not with feminism!

  13. Orange

    That whole Chris Brown and Rihanna thing–I’ve read that much of the hip-hop community has joined the oppressed-teenage-girls community in declaring that Chris Brown prolly only hit her because she gave him herpes or was asking for it. Sure, Oprah urged her not to go back to Brown, but I get the feeling that a lot of what Rihanna has been hearing is not “You’re better off without him and you don’t deserve to be hit.” It’s a shame. I hope the legal system whacks him to the fullest extent of the law.

    Another thing I read recently: When abuse includes choking, the victim is something like 5 times more likely to end up dead than abuse victims who are “merely” slapped or punched. Chris Brown allegedly had Rihanna’s neck in a chokehold with his arm. So jesus, I hope she gets enough support in her life to remove Brown from her environment, and that he doesn’t end up stalking her. At least she might have the money to hire good bodyguards. If only every battered individual had the same resources, eh?

  14. MLH

    Hmmm… I just read Lopez’s piece again, and I have no idea why she blames feminism for Rihanna’s return to Brown. I don’t see her point, I don’t get the connection.

  15. undercover punk

    Sorry, I *meant* that I was thinking about what feminism IS. You know, the definition thereof. I apologize for confusion caused by the fact that I appeared to be responding to the immediately preceding comment by nobodyspecial. I maintain that feminism is a philosophy, a way of seeing the world and criticizing the existing social structures based on their support and maintenance of male privilege. Analogous to the term Marxist, feminists are people who supposedly subscribe to the related philosophy. If I define feminism as a mental act of analysis within a particular (anti-patriarchal) framework, then I’m using it as a verb not an identity. It’s one of my favorite activities! There is SIGNIFICANT disagreement about what a FEMINIST is. I just published a post about it. I didn’t mean to upset anyone, deny their existence as a sentient being!, or ruin their breakfast. It’s the best meal of the day, my fellow feminists. And entirely necessary for long day of Blaming!

  16. Jezebella

    MLH, it’s a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.

  17. undercover punk

    Jezebella, agreed! Heart v. head, so fascinating! And MLH, chivalry v. general manners v. feminism! Another fertile topic for discussion! Oh, I could stay here at IBTP all day!

  18. not a dudetiful wife

    Women are the punching bag.

    Put the powerful word “feminist” on there and tools will line up to take a shot. Not so much for the payback for “how dare she” (which is why most thugs of both sexes take a shot), but for the biscuit and the pat on the head the patriarchy culture gives them. They have a mentality that they would starve without it. They cannot exist without it. The approving glance of the suburban “not-a-feminist” or the men in charge of the editorial page, or the approving grateful glance of all who think – “at least she’s not one of those uppity bra-burning demanding feminists.” Insert cookie, pat on head.

    On another feminist blog, they are publishing letters from women who seem to stand with their hands on their hips and ask, demandingly (of course this demanding couldn’t be put to use demanding from the partriarchy) why they should call themselves with the word “feminist.” A torrent of it being unuseful, unneeded, doesn’t mean anything anyway (but, for something that doesn’t mean anything, people are sure passionate about it…), and whatever.

    It seems supremely stupid to me that feminist blogs publish those letters. Imagine a pro-race site publishing letters from people who aren’t….pro-race. What a bunch of tools.

    Some of you may not remember this. Once Oprah was careful to have the KKK and the like on her show to be “balanced” then she cut them off. She realized it really doesn’t move things forward to have people who essentially object to real equality. And it was her show. She took some flak for not being properly like a woman “balanced” on her show, but she made a decision to stand against these nay-sayers to equality and put out what she thought was content that promoted progression.

    I think we’ve been too “fair and balanced.” Make sure the anti-feminists have their say or women who say they are for women but who do not want to be called feminists. That reeks. They seems to be putting themselves into knots: how can I be “feminist” in a way that I can still get laid and still get general approval. I mean, gee, to be called feminist…some people criticize and hate that and I don’t want to be that…and oh gee, it Doesn’t Really Mean Anything Anyway…Prior Feminists Fucked It Up to Where they got the Mens to hate them…so it’s really not my fault I want general society approval and don’t want to use the word feminists. You can copy and paste that. That’s the Cliff Notes.

    Use the word feminists and you will be opposed to a large group of people and their philosophy that women are the punching bag. (insert RiRi picture here) The dumping ground. The not deserving of the really good jobs and opportunties. The power. The power to do what you want without being on bended knee looking fetchingly at a man hoping he’ll “let you” because you are “nice” and “not one of those other kinds of women.” (ever notice how much we are always on notice to not be “one of those kinds of women?” Those kind of women are the women other women say got what she deserved because she didn’t know how to work the politics or know how to behave. Ever notice?)

    In other words, believe that you are as valuable, deserving, and interesting as a man is to be a feminist. Women who demand and aren’t careful to make themselves pretty beforehand. Who don’t couch their value, as in, I’m valuable…if that is okay with you, I certainly don’t want to be one of those bra-burning women..har, har.

  19. Popes

    I made the mistake of reading the whole article, plus a good chunk of the comments.

    It made my head hurt. Then I felt nauseous.

    Help me out here. Is Lopez suggesting that there was no violence towards women pre-feminism, or is she just suggesting that now our response to male-to-female violence it to collectively shrug about it (“you play with the big dogs, you get bit” mentality, clearly born of feminism)? I couldn’t tell, since she does go on about men’s “natural instincts” to protect women.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to blame feminism if you had spoken to, say, feminists about the CB/Rihanna situation instead of random teens in Boston? I mean, if a variety of feminist groups had all piled on her about how Rihanna deserved/started/wanted it, she might have a leg to stand on. Somehow, I don’t think feminists are saying that. In fact, every single one I’ve heard speak about it is saying the opposite. All of which makes me think that the problem, at its essence, is not feminism, but that, as a society, we have not become feminist enough. (Big shocker, right? I mean, who saw that coming?)

    Meanwhile, i am eternally frustrated by the lack of widespread understanding that feminism is not about women getting to act like men. For feck’s sake, what’s it going to take? Sure, a part of it is about women being free to not have to act “like women” (i.e., perform compulsory femininity), but that does not imply that we all want to act like men. That bit about being free to not have to perform femininity is part of the larger goal of liberation from oppression. If people just got that, who in their right mind would be trying to justify someone for violently attacking another person? And what sort of knob would blame feminism for that?

  20. otoc

    Popes, you bring up an interesting point. Lopez is assuming that all young women are influenced by feminism. That’s obviously not the case. Is this myth useful to the patriarchy? Is that why it’s repeated so much?

  21. undercover punk

    I do apologize if I am over-commenting. You know I love a discussion! And I’ve been thinking specifically about these things as of late.

    Female is *defined* by its relationship to MAN, it is the OTHER. The Second Sex, you know. It has no independent existence; it is a negative definition. Therefore, when women reject traditional notions of femininity, the only other way society can understand “woman” is by defaulting to the concept of man or masculinity. Popes, that’s why they’ll never get it. You make a nice illustration of this point.

    And otoc, yes, the myth is perpetuated because it serves an important purpose: keeping the truth about feminism as biting cultural critique from ever reaching the consciousness of the masses.

    The term “feminism” is used the way that “lesbian” is, to keep women in their place. To suggest that we are NOT REAL WOMEN. To scare us into backing down. So that we will volunteer to take a less militant stance against the patriarchy. It’s been quite effective, don’t you think?

  22. rootlesscosmo

    @otoc:

    Lopez is assuming that all young women are influenced by feminism. That’s obviously not the case.

    Or she’s just labeling as “feminism” whatever she wants to scold young women for. It’s a twofer–blaming the oppressed for their oppression and throwing mud on the ideas and actions that offer a way toward liberation.

  23. tinfoil hattie

    The approving glance of the suburban “not-a-feminist”

    Aaah, yes. Do please get in the dig about all those “suburban” women who hate feminism. That’s right. All non-feminists live in the suburbs. There are no non-feminist women in any city, anywhere. For that matter, there may not even be any feminists in the suburbs at all! Perhaps I too am a figment of my imagination.

  24. yttik

    Many thanks to Gin and Tacos for dissecting and responding to that article. The part about the Oprah mag article gave me a chuckle, apparently what motivated K-LO to write this piece is a deep seated concern that so many women are thoughtlessly tossing away heterosexuality. Apparently what we want from men, men are not providing, so we are turning to other women. Ahh, interesting. We could write a whole thesis about that alone.

    We should “blame” feminism for giving us “unrealistic” expectations of men, yes indeed, like expecting to be treated as a full human being, as a cherished partner, as someone worthy of basic respect. Absolutely, that is what feminism has done, it has raised our expectations. I “blame” feminism. Hallelujah! The fact that some men like Chris B have been unable or unwilling to rise to that standard is a reflection on the Chris B’s of the world, not feminism. It is not as if the bar has been set too high. Women simply do not like to be choked, slammed into windows, or pounded on while driving down the road. Chris B knows this perfectly well having given an interview about domestic violence a few years ago in which he explained exactly what it is like for a victim. He isn’t ignorant or uniformed, he knew exactly what he was doing, he just didn’t care.

    Is K-Lo’s fear that women will leave men in the dust if men don’t adapt and start meeting our needs, a valid concern? Hope so, because that could suddenly make things very interesting.

  25. Ciccina

    Okay, I’m going to ask a question that a lot of people aren’t going to like, but its something I’ve been thinking about since I read the article in the New York Times that discussed young women – girls, really – justifying the violence against Rihanna and blaming her for the attack.

    I was pretty angry after I read that article. Of course at Chris Brown, the manimal who can’t keep his hands and his teeth to himself. His career should be over. But I was also, and am, mad at Rihanna.

    I’m not mad at Rihanna because of the attack – god no. But I am mad that she reconciled with Brown. She has essentially told all those teenagers that they’re right – stay with your abuser, both share responsibility, its not a big deal. It sends a terrible, terrible message, when the only message they should be hearing is that no one should be hitting you, and you shouldn’t be hitting anyone, ever. Who knows how many of them scrutinized – and internalized – her decision.

    I would never be angry with a battered woman who didn’t leave an abuser because of longstanding interpersonal dynamics (ie Tina and Ike Turner) or because of intimidation, economic necessity, and so on. But in Rihanna’s case – she’s been going out with Brown for how long? A year? She’s not living with him, not married to him, doesn’t have kids with him. She doesn’t need him economically or professionally. She did not *have to* go back to him.

    And as a public figure whose fan base is mainly teenage girls, I’m inclined to think she should have thought about them, not just herself. Role models – or rather, people who present themselves (and make their living) as role models have to think about the ramifications of their conduct. What happened to Rihanna was not her fault. But Rihanna’s decision to reconcile was her own, and yes, I blame her for the terrible message she’s sent to young people.

    So there it is – I said it. My question is – is this feeling justified? Or am I being a nitwit?

  26. jezebella

    I blame the patriarchy every time a disagreement between two or more women is characterized as “bickering.”

  27. not a dudetiful wife

    ciccina, it would be okay if you had an opinion about it even if these weren’t music stars. It would be okay for you to have an opinion, even if some people think you’re a nitwit. I don’t think you’re a nitwit.

    I do think we lose ourselves in total political correctness to explain how a woman can be so against herself, though.

    As in – if she choses this relationship, then it is okay. The same thing is said about religious multiple marriages (always multiple wives for a man) and any cultural crap that puts a woman one down. We say it is cultural and can drown in the “well maybes” even if we have photographs of the obvious bruises. But in poltical correctness, we are not to judge as to good or bad. And in the patriarchy, the math cannot come out that the man is at fault. She triggered it somehow.

    The “well maybes” are disturbing here when particularly women and girls write “well maybe she did something to cause it, to trigger it, to deserve it….” And the worst argument women get into, “with me it will be/would have been different.” Into that argument goes that some women, who know how to behave and how to work it, can get along in this patriarchy world just fine without criticism, and handle a difficult, powerful man if she is woman enough, even thrive apparently. So there is no discrimination, for women who know how to gently, pleasingly deal with the patriarchy. If they know just how to gently persuade a man to get her way without causing his violence. It’s all her fault if she doesn’t.

    Every young woman who excuses the abuse here is silently saying “with me (or a better woman) it would’ve been different.” Blaming the woman. Haven’t we had enough of being a punching bag?

  28. Twisty

    nobodyspecial: “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FEMINISM.”

    Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I can pack up and go home now. Catch you guys later at the jiggle-party?

  29. humanbein

    Ciccina – you’re mad at someone who has been beaten into submission and learned to accept it? Don’t blame her – for anything except being beaten into a good patriarchal woman. Blame all the forces around her that made her think that this is what a good woman does.

    Anytime anyone thinks this is what a good (insert gender role here) does, they are thinking exactly like the patriarchal culture tells them, in all the messy and contradictory ways that is normal for the confusion it represents.

  30. Twisty

    Ed: “Hey, I took a swipe at them because their music is atrocious, not because they are insufficiently rawk.”

    OK, two things. One, I misspelled “Rihanna” about 80 times in this post. Two, Ed is right, he never said that she wasn’t rawk, he merely pointed out that she was ProTooled.

    After reading Ed’s review (“atrocious”), I listened for the first time to some Rihanna tunes. She’s definitely not rawk, but mostly she’s just innocuous Top-40-type pop. 20 years from now, 30-somethings will feel nostalgic when they hear that “Umbrella” number.

    Later on, after dinner, the iTunes shuffler perused the Twisty Library and came up with Scratch Acid. Now that’s atrocious.

  31. caitlinate

    @nobdyspecial. There’s no such thing as normal women. There is no fucking gradient of women going left and right. There’s the patriarchy on top and women underneath. Some surviving in whatever way they can, some thinking the way to the top is to crush the others and some who never look up. Either way, you’re full of shit.

    @Ciccina. Staying in an abusive relationship isn’t always related to economic reasons or to convenience. Physical abuse often also equals emotional abuse. You make excuses for their behaviour, you normalise it, you find reasons why it is okay and your own fault. If people tell you to not be in the relationship or to not go back to the relationship you create excuses for why they don’t understand – either you or the abuser or your relationship or the ‘special love you share’. I have no idea why Rihanna has decided to return to the relationship. Maybe because she’s only twenty years old (CB is 19) and madly in love and inexperienced and doesn’t know there are better relationships out there (if that is what she wants) and that she really doesn’t need to be treated this way. Sure I wish she wouldn’t go back to him, would ‘send a message’ to teenage girls everywhere. But i don’t think it’s good to be angry at her – her actions in returning are a product of her abuse and her behavior isn’t exactly uncommon.

    Oh Twisty, Umbrella will work its way into your head and never leave. It’s rude like that. “Umbrella – ella – ella – ey – ey – ey, under my umbrella…”

  32. yttik

    Ciccina, we should be angry with Chris Brown for being such a crappy role model. He just taught millions of teen agers to hit their girlfriends. Then he added insult to injury by not having the decency to stay away from his victim. Why did Chris brown go back??

    Nicole Simpson left. Leaving a violent relationship can get you killed and then you’re not a role model, you’re just another statistic.

  33. thebewilderness

    “I’m not mad at Rihanna because of the attack – god no. But I am mad that she reconciled with Brown.”

    When you leave, that’s when they kill you.

    It is not her job to send a message to people who think it is acceptable for her to be beaten into submission. Her first responsibility is to live. Second is to recover. Third is to make a plan of escape that will not get her killed.

    So, no, I don’t think you a nitwit. I just think that you, like everyone else, are making assumptions that may not be valid.

  34. MLH

    I am with caitlinate. Rihanna is very young, only 20. She may have seen her mother and other females in her family putting up with abuse, and therefore deduct that she should follow that example. Or maybe someone is giving her bad advice. Maybe she thinks her career would be over if she left him, (don’t forget who owns the music business!) Who knows. I read the NYT piece and I was livid too. It would be too painful to see her career disintegrate over this and his thrive. I hope that does not happen, but if it does, that patriarchy for you.

  35. Silence

    Rihanna is nothing more or less than a young woman who has made a name for herself in the music industry. It doesn’t make her any more savvy than average or better able to cope with the patriarchy. Indeed, as a celebrity, she has probably had to internalize the standards of the patriarchy more than the average woman her age, not less. When a woman is famous, the tabloids are on her every frickin’ minute of her life. She cannot gain weight, not wear makeup, eat a doughnut in public, or in any way appear to be ‘a frump’ without expecting instant retaliation.

    I’m nearly twice her age and I wouldn’t know how to handle such pressure. I find it not at all surprising that she, like so many abused women, is willing to excuse of forgive Brown’s behavior and run back to him. We are told every day that we are nothing if we don’t have a man. Our entire purpose in existence is to attach ourselves to a member of the ‘real’ sex and thereby achieve a measure of validation.

    Not only does Rihanna have the usual reasons for running back to her abuser — wanting to be loved, feeling it is a woman’s duty to ‘save’ her man, fears of never finding anyone else — but I suspect that she knew on some level that the public would blame her if she broke with Brown, no matter the reason. She is pressured to please her audience as well, and everyone professes to love scenarios of forgiveness, love, and happy ever after, even when it’s all bullshit. And if she did indeed harbor such thoughts, she’d be right, as witness the level of scorn that’s already being leveled at her for daring to be abused in the first place. Stupid uppity woman.

    Rihanna has no duty to be a role model. I only hope she has someone in her life who can give her good advice and she will soon leave Brown for good. Maybe ten years from now, after reflection and perhaps therapy, she’ll be in a position to serve as a role model by her own choice and speak out against domestic violence. One can hope.

  36. Margaret Jamison

    ***When you leave, that’s when they kill you.***

    And, of course, they NEVER kill you if you just stick around. /sarcasm

    The difference isn’t that if you stay, you live, and if you leave you die. The difference is that if you stay, you remain in the good graces of the patriarchy for at least *having* a man, and if you leave, you’re a manless hag. Yes, even at 20. You might live or die either way, but women who couple with men are rewarded with a boost in status. Women who won’t couple with men are knocked down several notches; they’re considered ugly and faulty for not being able to snag a man.

    It’s the same reason women stay with men who leave the seat up and don’t do any housework but refrain from beating them. The same reason they stay with men who cheat on them and give them diseases. The thought of being alone is literally worse than the thought of staying with a horrible man. There is a cost-benefit analysis being done, but only rarely is it death on one side and life on the other. Death is generally a possibility no matter what you choose; it’s only the quality of the life on either side that’s different. Some women think men (even woman-beating ones) increase quality. Some women don’t.

  37. phiogistic

    The ones that blame Rihanna are like the pro-gun contingent that comes crawling out of the woodwork any time there is a shooting, insisting that if everyone were armed, shootings wouldn’t happen. Logic and empathy fly out the window in the face of the need to sustain a facade of control, to convince yourself that it wouldn’t happen to you. If you can make yourself believe she deserved it, did something to “trigger” the violence against her, then you can rest easy that it won’t happen to you, because you would never do anything to “trigger” violence against yourself, right? It’s not an admirable attitude, but it is understandable.

  38. muchell (mesaventure)

    I understand why people ask the questions about leaving, because I’ve had the same thought myself. The thing about victim-blaming, however, is that, usually, the victim is already blaming herself, second-guessing decisions made, trying to analyze her behavior. This doesn’t mean she deserved it, but it does reflect the way that patriarchal narratives fuck with our heads. She doesn’t need anybody confirming any destructive lines of thinking, but people nonetheless do when they say, “what did she do to trigger him?” and “if she doesn’t leave, it means I can deride her because I would never be so stupid.”

    It’s like “breaking the news” to a fat person that they are fat as though they’re in denial, like they don’t live in their own bodies and minds, aren’t aware that diets and gyms exist (or that they need to be shamed for their bodies because now weight and “health”–read “fuckability”–are some kind of moral imperative).

    Seconding not a dudetiful wife’s point about the judgment thereof reflecting the patriarchy’s way of dividing women into the good, evil, and useless–kind of like thinking you are safe from rape because you don’t go out to bars, dress modestly, don’t piss off your father, etc.

  39. birkwearingblamer

    Abusive men are so predictable. Here’s the cycle:

    In the beginning of the relationship, it’s all too good to be true. That’s because it’s not true, the abuser is just sucking in the victim. The abuser tells/shows the victim what she wants to see–not what he truly is.

    Slowly, the abuser takes control–isolating the victim, tracking where she goes, controlling resources, emotional abuse, etc. The victim starts trying to “keep the abuser happy” by walking on egg shells. The abuser can never be appeased because he wants total control.

    The tension builds in the relationship. Finally, the abuser goes into a rage and physically/verbally abuses the victim. The victim is a afraid.

    The abuser starts hoovering. Flowers, promises that it will never happen again, “come on baby, remember how good it was?”, etc. The victim desperately wants to get that too-good-to-be-true lover back. After all, he doesn’t hit her all of the time. He used to be so loving (with that facade that he used to suck her in). He’s sorry. The abuser will be just good enough that the victim comes back. The abuser’s goal is to get the victim back under his control. There is a “honeymoon” period. It doesn’t last very long and each cycle it gets shorter.

    Then the cycle begins all over again. The problem is that each cycle, the abuser becomes more controlling and more violent, and the victim more afraid. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    The abuser feels *entitled* to behave this way because the patriarchy has taught him that he is the *superior* one and women exist to control and please him. The victim receives messages that support the abuser’s entitlement. The victim tries to be a “good wife.” She needs the male approval. Her very life may depend on it.

    The victim believes all of the horrible things that the abuser says about her–like you’re a whore, you make me so angry that I hit you, you can not make it without me, I’ll take the kids and you’ll never see them again, ). The victims gets depressed. She’s not thinking straight. She keeps trying to please the man who tells her that his abuse is all her fault.

    Got the picture? It could happen to any woman. All you have to do is get sucked in by the wrong guy.

  40. slythwolf

    The approving glance of the suburban “not-a-feminist”

    Aaah, yes. Do please get in the dig about all those “suburban” women who hate feminism. That’s right. All non-feminists live in the suburbs. There are no non-feminist women in any city, anywhere. For that matter, there may not even be any feminists in the suburbs at all! Perhaps I too am a figment of my imagination.

    And let’s not forget that The City and The Suburbs are the only two places in the world. Rural areas don’t exist, so there couldn’t possibly be any feminists in them!

  41. Margaret Jamison

    ***Got the picture? It could happen to any woman. All you have to do is get sucked in by the wrong guy.***

    Well, you’d sort of have to actually believe in the concept of the “right” guy to feel you’d gotten sucked in by the “wrong” one. I rather think that tenacious belief in the “right” one is part of the problem.

    Otherwise, all women would simply be doing their best to stay away from males, and there would never be any question of a woman “returning” to *any* man, “right” or “wrong,” since she’d never have been with him in the first place.

    Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

  42. Twisty

    “Rural areas don’t exist, so there couldn’t possibly be any feminists in them!”

    This explains why my molecules have been wafting in and out of existence since I moved out here. That’s life on an event horizon for ya!

  43. undercover punk

    Margaret Jamison, I believe we are kindred feminists. Solidarity, sister! Catch you on the flip-side.

  44. not a dudetiful wife

    birkwearingblamer, you’ve pretty well captured the cycle for most abusive relationships. and they don’t always involve the hitting, but mental and other abuse. I’d say I’d add the outside influence that a woman loses a lot when she breaks up with a man. That to be alone is the worst thing and the co-abuse that happens with family and so-called friends and the church who says if only she were prettier, better, more nice then the relationship would have been a success.

    but also, the abuse relationship is not just the area of damage. These creeps continue to abuse, on a different level, in other arenas. This is my observation. They often abuse animals if they can. In the workplace, they target women. I was recently laid off and my now ex-boss was a sexual abuser at work. He didn’t harass me with requests for sex, but he did others and none would come forward. His first wife was abused from what I hear, and was hit, and left him.

    This turd shanked my success every chance he could and removed work from me so I would be on the layoff list. I got moved to him last year and was a rising star, but he did everything he could to stop my success. On the day of my layoff, he shamed me in the maximum way, practically making it a prep walk, and now, some people who promised to help me get another job and other favors will not return my calls. It’s all a vague shunning. I have a scarlet A and no idea what the deal is. I have no idea what stories he is spreading. And now there are no women working there in that department except as admins. I had reported my sort of abuse to HR and nothing happened – of course. I took a number of other steps I won’t go into – that’s not the point. The point is, this jerk is a thief. Stealing from the company and shareholders, effectively, because I was very successful for the company, and stealing from the career I worked to build, and my paycheck and benefits. All because, he doesn’t like women, basically.

    The point is, say you believe that woman abuse in a relationship is just in that relationship and a personal matter. (Probably few of you believe that here.) Nope. I disagree. Just like animal abusers are almost always guilty of abuse and crime in other areas, these men do not leave their hate and irrational anger of women just at home.

  45. Hedgepig

    @ tinfoil hattie and slythwolf: We know there are non-feminists in the city. There was a whole TV show about them for years, and years and years.

  46. Spiders

    By the way, the average number of times a woman leaves and returns before she leaves for good, is seven.

    Then of course if the matter ever makes it to court, the defense will use this against her.

    “Well if he was that bad why did you keep going back?”

    Case notes will be subpoenaed; “Isn’t it true you told the counselor that you blamed yourself?”

    The abuse goes on and on…

  47. birkwearingblamer

    Spiders has a good point. If any blamer has a friend who is being abused, document it. Write it on your calendar. Arrived late and visibly upset, bruises on arm, said that she is afraid of spouse, etc. Take photos of injuries. All of this can be used as evidence. A friend who documents evidence is an even better witness if she has no connection with the spouse (like a colleague, boss, someone who hasn’t even met the alleged abuser). It’s a sad fact that the victim’s own testimony is not enough. You can help the victim get a protective order and testify at divorce/child custody hearings. The victim may not be ready to leave yet, but keep a gathering evidence. The best thing to tell the victim is, “I’ll be there whenever you need me.” Leave the door open for her.

    If anyone needs assistance, go to your local Women’s Shelter. they have resources, including legal assistance. You need a plan to get out safely, and they can help you. You may not want to access the Women’s Center information on your home computer because it may be dangerous (abusers watch). Access the information at your local library or have a friend look it up for you.

    I don’t know what to do in rural areas? Blamers, anyone know?

    NOTE: In my jurisdiction, all people *must* report child abuse (not just drs, attorneys, teachers). For abuse of an adult, reporting is not mandatory. You might even put the victim in more danger by reporting. The victim needs to contact a Women’s Shelter and make an escape plan.

  48. Miss Gonzo

    Ed is a little bit wrong criticizing Rihanna’s music on the fact that it is “pro-tooled”. Lot’s of Rawk, even Indie Rawk is pro-tooled. Pro-tools may not be everyones taste, but it does not automatically turn music into saccharine top 40 pop.

    His article is great, though.

  49. rootlesscosmo

    @birkwearingblamer:
    said that she is afraid of spouse

    My radfem family lawyer friend (32 years’ practice, representing women only) says that when she interviews clients, they often answer “No” if she asks “Does he hit you?” If she asks “Are you afraid of him?” the same women frequently answer “Yes.” Many abused women feel shame about being the target of abuse; the real story often comes out via the reference to fear.

  50. Squiggy

    As a woman who left her abuser (with their three very young children) 25 years ago, I’ve been trying to analyze things ever since. One thing not mentioned here exactly is the part about women often feeling ‘comfortable’ in abusive homes because they’re already conditioned to abuse since birth by her parents (and maybe older sisters and brothers). Some of the same dynamics originate and thrive there. She feels like if she’s just nicer, prettier, more pleasing she won’t be abused. Imprinting from birth, compliments of the patriarchy. Hard to dislodge.

  51. tinfoil hattie

    We know there are non-feminists in the city. There was a whole TV show about them for years, and years and years.

    Well, that’s where we part company. Those women were feminists! Fun, empowerfulled, sexy feminists! One of them even experimented with lesbian sex! What do you call that, huh?

  52. TheLady

    The whole problem here is that the focus is on the victim rather than the perpetrator, and it kinda busts my nonexistent balls that we’re colelctively contributing to the trend.

    I heretofore commit to not saing the R word again in relation to this business.

    To recap: Chris Brown is a sadistic piece of shit who beats up on his gilfriend. Chris Brown needs to be banned from having a gorlfriend or ever being intimate with a woman again. Why was Chris Brown allowed access to a woman he beat up so badly? Will Chris Brown’s career suffer from the revelation that he’s an abusive fuck who takes out his pathetic insecurities on women? What can we do to make sure Chris Brown is never allowed to do this to anyone ever again?

    All impotent questions, I know; but that’s the P for ya. Still, leave the victim out of it.

  53. tinfoil hattie

    Excellent blaming, TheLady.

  54. blondie

    Speaking of the awesomeness of tacos, why is it that fish tacos sound so unappetizing when they are, in fact, manna from heaven?

  55. TheBellWitch

    TheLady, that is brilliant.

    From the original NYTimes article:

    ‘Boys who condone Mr. Brown’s behavior disappoint, but don’t shock Marcyliena Morgan, executive director of Harvard’s hip-hop archive. “But it’s the girls!” she said. “Where have we gone wrong here?”’

    Um, perhaps we’ve gone wrong when we aren’t shocked that boys and men accept violence against women? Why aren’t we freaking out that teenage boys are apparently so immoral (Statistical significance issues of this particular survey aside)? IBTP.

  56. Uppity

    Psychological abuse is just as damaging, can’t be photographed but can lead to death just like physical abuse. The cycle of violence described above is correct. There doesn’t seem to be much hope of any recognition of the parallels of physical and psychological abuse. And little support from our “sisters” family, friends and whooo boy, why is it 70% of abusive spouses get custody? How does that help anyone but the patriarchy? I fing hate men and all their collaborators.

  57. Spiders

    “The whole problem here is that the focus is on the victim rather than the perpetrator”

    No, that’s really not the “whole problem”. The problem is obviously patriarchy, but because the “victim” is the one I care about here, the perpetrator can fuck off and die.
    What we need is for more people to take up the slack re: perpetrators, but services that are based in feminist ideology are right to only focus on the “victims”.
    The last thing perpetrators need is even more focus on them, but women really need service providers who will work with them with a view to real empowerment.

  58. TheLady

    Hang on Spiders, I don’t think we’re talking apples and apples here.

    I agree with you that resources and actions should be poured into helping the victim (although I’m not sure I’m on board with the implication that spending energy on punishing the abuser is a waste of time).

    But what I was talking about is not how we distribute action, but how the discourse around this issue is structured (and the fact that we were mirroring it even here).

    The victim’s actions, choices and decisions are not heuristically fertile topics of discussions because, being the victim, she is deprived of agency anyway. (note: I’m not saying that she doesn’t deserve agency as a person, only that she has no agency in the context of the abusive relationship that she’s in, yeah?)

    The heuristic dead-end is exactly what makes victim blaming such a tempting mental rabbit hole; one just ends up going round and round in circles around what she could or should have done, where the fact is of course that he beat her up, so it’s his actions that are more likely to yield useful insights into how to prevent violence.

    Of course we should talk about how to help the specific victim – the practical discussions should definitely center on her and her alone. But the more academic/theorietical ones will be more useful if they leave the red herring of her agency out.

  59. undercover punk

    tinfoil hattie, the Sex and the City characters do not fit my definition of feminists. EVERY SINGLE episode revolved around their escapades and interactions and dates with MEN. Oooh, so interesting and exciting! Sorry, that was my sarcasm.
    I understand that sex-with-men was the intended plot of the show, but it is *undeniably male-centric*. Experimenting with sexual “lesbianism” is not feminist without further consideration of the role that men play in “completing” a woman. Not to mention that the lesbian was ultimately demonized and stereo-typed as an overly emotional woman whom Samantha couldn’t handle–perpetuating the myth that female relationships are too much “drama!”
    Though Samantha was not a monogamous person and valued her “independence” above all else, her identity was largely defined by her sexual conquests (MEN, except for that one time). I’m not saying that the show lacks value entirely; the female characters loved each other as unique individuals, supported each other emotionally, and were not internally competitive. But their relationships, even with each other, more often than not, involved men and the eternal search for male attention/completion. According to me, that is NOT feminism in action.

  60. Margaret Jamison

    No, I think Spiders had it exactly right, TheLady. Seeing as how men have been beating women since the beginning of time, it’s sort of silly to say that women should either just sit around and wait on woman-beating men to get their act together and stop beating women, or, conversely, that they should exert a whole lot of effort directed at men to get them to stop beating women. Clearly, beaten women have been expressing dismay at their beatings for as long as they’ve been happening. Telling woman-beating men that women don’t like being beaten has not worked. They know women don’t want to be beaten. It’s part of the thrill.

    So, maybe that’s where Spider’s coming from when she says focusing on men who beat women is sort of ineffectual (let me know if I’m off-base). Woman beaters’ response to “don’t beat women” is and always has been some version of “says who?” or “who’s gonna stop me?”. Maybe women ought to be coming up with an answer to those questions amongst ourselves that doesn’t have anything to do with “sky daddy,” or “karma,” or “my male hero/heroic male institution.” To me, that’s not victim-blaming; it’s consciousness-raising.

  61. TheLady

    it’s sort of silly to say that women should either just sit around and wait on woman-beating men to get their act together and stop beating women

    I don’t really think that I said or even implied this, so this is an argument from false dichotomy.

    or, conversely, that they should exert a whole lot of effort directed at men to get them to stop beating women

    But who else should we exert the effort at but the people who’re doing the shit we want them to stop doing? How do you envisage making women stop getting beaten up?

    Woman beaters’ response to “don’t beat women” is and always has been some version of “says who?” or “who’s gonna stop me?”.

    Well, if we’re not going to stop them, who will?

    And if we don’t talk about them, and to them, and about how we’re going to stop them, and about what we should do to them when they don’t stop, then how is that to even be achieved? And what’s that, if not thought and effort?

    I mean, you say yourself that we need to come up with more proactive answers than “some real or imaginary dude will sort this out for us”, but how can we possibly do that if we close our eyes and our ears and try to pretend that abusers don’t exist, and talk instead about whether or not she should have gone back to him?

    I just completely don’t see how talking about the victim is going to help here – especially the kind of talk that’s been predominating in this particular case, centering not on the woman herself as an individual but on her status vis a vis her abuser (did she provoke him, did she deserve it, etc.).

    Talking to the victim is another matter entirely, and I am fully in support of doing as much of that as possible. But nobody is getting on the phone right now and asking the victim in this case: “what are your needs? What are you scared of right now? How can we help?”.

    They’re just emptily speculating about her choices and her state of mind, which is not only prurient but ineffectual, and serves to reiterate and reinfirce the P’s victim blaming narrative.

  62. Margaret Jamison

    I guess what I’m proposing, TheLady, is that women focus on changing *ourselves* in such a way as to make us unlikely candidates for men’s abuse. Self-defense, traveling in numbers, valuing ourselves as worthy entities who don’t need to have males in our lives. That kind of thing.

    Talking to men doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked. Continuing to do it despite its poor track record is not exactly reasonable.

    I don’t think it’s useless to talk about what we can do, as women and potential/one-time/on-going victims of male abuse, to avoid abuse when we can and to escape it with our lives intact when we can’t. But that involves talking about women shunning male contact, which is what some of us would like Rihanna to have done, or to do in the future.

  63. Uppity

    No, I think a whole lot of education needs to be done, for instance starting with law enforcement, the judicial system, and women themselves. Personally (knowing Twisty hates “I” stuff) I didn’t even realize I was being abused my entire marriage until I ended up in a Women’s Shelter (the horrible end-yes, it escalates when one tries to leave) and was exposed to the information. And those ladies in Bellingham, WA actually interfaced with the above agencies and had court advocates. Lost the kids anyway, and my house, and my profession. Now just a bitter, poor old lady.

  64. Jezebella

    You may be bitter and old and poor, but you’re free and breathing. That’s got to be better, right?

  65. Twisty

    Margaret Jamison: “I guess what I’m proposing, TheLady, is that women focus on changing *ourselves* in such a way as to make us unlikely candidates for men’s abuse. Self-defense, traveling in numbers, valuing ourselves as worthy entities who don’t need to have males in our lives. That kind of thing.”

    Margaret. Pull yourself together, woman. All women are likely candidates for abuse because we are the sex class. It is the founding principle of patriarchy. Skulking around in self-valuing packs isn’t going to stop violence. But you know what will?

    Revolution.

  66. Hedgepig

    undercover punk, I’m guessing tinfoil hattie was joking about Sex and the City women being feminist. Your analysis of the show was spot on.

  67. Twisty

    “Sex and the City” is about shopping, attractiveness, youth, upper-middle-class honkiness, and heteronormativity. Some of it is witty, but owing to its 1950′s themes, it is a vacuous wittiness.

  68. Hedgepig

    Its themes are much more harmful than the messages of 50s fiction because it pretends that if you think hanging out with your female friends is a great consolation when you’re not with a man it means you’re liberated. When will we get a work of fiction that shows a woman thinking “oh well, a root with a bloke will pass the time until my girlfriends come back from their respective business trips”? Or better still “How about I catch up on my reading until my girlfriends get back etc”? At least in the 50s women didn’t pay lip service to sisterhood while relentlessly pursuing male attention. They just relentlessly pursued male attention.

  69. Margaret Jamison

    ***Margaret. Pull yourself together, woman. All women are likely candidates for abuse because we are the sex class. It is the founding principle of patriarchy. Skulking around in self-valuing packs isn’t going to stop violence. But you know what will?

    Revolution.***

    God forbid women be “self-valuing.” In groups even.

    Yes, we’re all candidates for abuse, some more likely candidates than others. Most rapes are committed by men known and trusted by the victim.

    You say nothing will free us from this situation other than revolution, and I agree. How exactly do you suppose revolution is to take place, then? You don’t think it’s worth it for women to take purposeful steps to change the relational atmosphere between ourselves and men. So, what, then? What exactly is the Twistolution?

  70. Spiders

    TheLady, oy sorry, I think that came across as a bit more abrupt than I meant it to be.
    It just put me in mind of all the various welfare sector services we have here now, which focus on delivering “anger management” programs to violence perps.
    These types of services cause the dudes to feel all special and unique, when they are in fact just upholding a cultural norm.

  71. undercover punk

    It is my *sincerest hope* that tinfoil hattie WAS being ironic. The illusion of feminism/sisterhood is undeniably more damaging than openly unapologetic male servitude.

    ***************************************
    Twisty, maybe your book should be a BLUEPRINT for Revolution with concrete examples and practical advice for its execution.

    Citing “Revolution” without further specificity is not instructive to the blametariat.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    - Margaret Mead

    Women earned the vote, the right to work, and other freedoms necessary for independence from men *BECAUSE* SMALL GROUPS OF INDIVIDUAL WOMEN FOUGHT LOUDLY AND PERSISTENTLY TO CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE’S MINDS.

    The consequence of refusing to value this strategy–particularly without alternative action–is equivalent to passive victimization. As in, the results are the same. What could we possibly have to lose by TRYING? And if by trying we “fail” to alter the course of the world on its patriarchal path, we have at least set an example for others to follow.

    I HAVE AGENCY AND I EXERCISE IT BY REFUSING TO PARTICIPATE IN MALE WORSHIP and encouraging other women to do the same. Criticism without action may be therapeutic on an individual level, but it isn’t productive.

    Twisty, IBTP is an *unprecedented platform* from which to propagandize anti-patriarchal values exemplified by ACTUAL BEHAVIOR. The Revolution may not be televised, but the blueprint COULD be published on the internet for all to access and discuss. This IS the new millennium, after all. Fearless leader, what’s the Master Plan for the REVOLUTION?

  72. Twisty

    Margaret, women have been taking purposeful steps toward their own liberation for years and years. These steps have produced bupkis, mostly because they have been taken in high heels.

    Twistolution (a joke name, of course) is a regular old revolution. It is preceded by populist revolt to eliminate femininity. This revolt is merely a femininity work stoppage. Women stop wifing, child caring, acting in porn films, singing on pop records, nannying, cleaning toilets, pole dancing, cooking, modeling, reproducing, putting out (for love or money), being pretty, losing weight, buying shit, and generally appeasing the oppressor. In other words, we cease all sex class activity. Women are ideally positioned, since we have a potential mole in every nuclear family.

    It would only work, though, if a huge majority of women were on board, and if significant preparations were made for medical care, and to keep everyone from starving to death, and to keep the internet connections up, and if there were a way to prevent scab workers (women collaborators) from stepping in.

    Women, unfortunately, are largely unwilling to part with the comforts of femininity and the status quo, so signing up sufficient revolutionaries who have uncompromising dedication to the cause is the main difficulty.

  73. Margaret Jamison

    Oh, I see. You thought I was recommending that women band together in high heels. I wasn’t.

    Much as aesthetic femininity is a sign of women’s wholehearted embrace of their own second-class status, and much as I’m against that, getting rid of aesthetic femininity won’t keep men from raping and beating women. Femininity isn’t just about lipstick and handbags. It’s about masochism, prioritizing others over ourselves, martyrdom, devaluation of ourselves, dependence on our oppressors for validation, physical frailty, aversion to self-defense (as a result of that devaluation of ourselves), misplaced trust in and identification with the oppressor, and on and on.

    And anyway, how exactly do you think men would react if significant numbers of women stopped hanging off of poles in all states of undress, stopped boosting their boobs up to their chins, stopped willingly submitting to marriage and family? Do you imagine they’d take such insolence silently? What are women to do in the face of a violent blow-back?

    And as for numbers go, are you really suggesting that no women take strides until there are what you consider “enough” women on board? How does one amass the numbers needed for a movement if not by starting with a few and gaining traction?

  74. delphyne

    Femininity is what’s left after women have been threatened, beaten, assaulted, raped and terrorised by men throughout our lives. All the behaviours of femininity are due to the violence we face from men or are threatened with, both physical and social. Male power over and abuse of women is so pervasive it gets its own name, gender, and because it is almost universal people forget to make any connection between cause and effect – they see the feminine behaviours as stand-alone or not really caused by violence or the fear of the same. Any group who were treated like women are by men would be cowed and submissive and wanting to please their oppressors.

    Stopping men’s violence against women, by whatever means it takes, will wipe out femininity or, to be more accurate, the submissive behaviours that women have to take on to survive. That will be the revolution.

    I’ll join one of your self-valuing groups Margaret.

  75. Squiggy

    Twisty wrote, ‘Women, unfortunately, are largely unwilling to part with the comforts of femininity and the status quo”

    What ARE the comforts of femininity and the status quo? I can’t think of any. Honestly.

  76. eibhear

    Further reviews of IBTP from the British press:

    “This slim blog…”- Blogworm

    “…We look forward keenly to the appearance of her last work”… Review of Reviews of Reviews

    “…vague..”- Vague

    “Esteemed friend,
    I am a Nigerian Doctor who has recently lost his wallet in London…”- Letters to the Prime Minister, ed. 2009

  77. Clarity

    Why is sexism so much worse in England?
    Apparently friends in other countries say it’s much worse here. Like an actively sexist press. The atmosphere is just much worse.

  78. phiogistic

    Women in Iceland did go on strike, in 1975
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/18/gender.uk
    They still don’t have wage parity with men but there is this happening now:

    “Minister of Social Affairs Ásta Ragnheidur Jóhannesdóttir presented an action plan against human trafficking yesterday, which includes placing bans on operating strip clubs and purchasing sexual services.
    It is hoped that the ban will take effect before the parliamentary elections on April 25.”

    Good stuff on Iceland here: http://radical-left.blogspot.com/

  79. Jezebella

    Hey, Twisty, you’re the only person I know with Scratch Acid on her iPod, so Imma share this link wit you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_2mnwV6EAY

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