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Dec 03 2009

Spinster aunt explains comedy

Whenever I hear some guy say that feminists don’t have a sense of humor, I want to punch that guy in the neck.

What I mean is, I want to take a bunch of tiny razors and glue’em to a glove, kind of around the knuckle area, and put on this glove and then punch him pretty hard about six times and turn his Adam’s apple into pâté. I would probably dip the razors in curare first, if there was some lying around and nobody else was using it. Because here on Savage Death Island, that shit is comedy gold.

What got me thinking about comedy gold was an item in the Canadian National Post headlined “B.C. police seek serial groin-kicker after series of attacks.” The item was emailed to me like 6 weeks ago by blamer Holly Campbell. Fast and friendly service, Holly, that’s what you get here at I Blame the Patriarchy.

Anyway. According to the article, a psychotic young woman is on the loose in British Columbia.

[T]he young woman inexplicably kicked [some dude] in the groin hard enough to send one of his testicles into his abdomen.

Having read the headline, you will not be surprised to learn that she is suspected of having kicked 3 or 4 other random dudes in the cubes, apparently without provocation. If the outraged dude message boards are to be believed, she is apparently the perfect radical feminist, since she’s actively living the violent anti-testicle fantasies the rest of us only dream about.

Anyway. Don’t tell me I don’t have a sense of humor, because this shit is funny as hell. Because the dude’s nut ruptured — ow! I bet that hurt! — and “will be replaced by a prosthetic before Christmas.” Just in the time for the annual B.C. Holiday Parade of Testicles! What a gasser!

Let me just say a few words about humor. Everyone loves humor, but the fact is that jokes are attacks. That’s why dudes on the Internet are always telling women to lighten up already and join them (the dudes) in busting a gut at their (women’s) own expense. Dudes like attacking women — it’s how they express affection — but since punching them in the neck with curare-dipped razor gloves — at least in public — is somewhat frowned upon by those with gentle upbringings, jokes are all they’ve got left. So fuck you if you don’t like being their joke-butt. Ha ha!

Ergo:

According to the long-established elements of comedy we’ve all assimilated from oppression culture — e.g. surprise, irony, incongruity, impropriety, et al.– that hapless dude who got biffed in the giblets is a fucking Platonic ideal of a joke-butt. What a savory little fillip of unexpected delight is the whole ball-bonker tableau. A little white chick, who runs around socking it to unsuspecting dudes who are strolling down the street minding their own beeswax, has got it all, comedy-wise.

Should I explicate further? Dudes usually have nothing to fear from little white chicks, see, since they (dudes) are, by universal agreement, the class who typically mete out the sex-based violence. Conversely, everyone recognizes that women typically don’t enjoy the dudes-only luxury of gaily sauntering through the town square without the expectation of sudden, unprovoked harassment. But here’s B.C. Girl, challenging the Global Accords Governing the Fair Use of Women with a surprising, ironic, incongruous, improprietous turnabout! The underdog puts one over on the overlord! Hi-fuckin-larious!

154 comments

3 pings

  1. slythwolf

    I find it interesting that three or four guys in a city the size of Langley (about a hundred thousand people) get hoofed in the junk and everybody assumes it must be the same woman doing it. ‘Cause obviously there’s only one woman in fifty thousand who would actually have the audacity to hoof someone in the junk.

  2. Andrea

    This post is the most eerily relevant thing I’ve read in a long time. Because, you see, less than three minutes ago I was smoking a cigarette and marveling in despair over the internet’s unwavering bigotry. Then I was thinking of emailing you, because one thing I like do to when I’m suicidal (not in the Pall Mall-smoking sense) is read your archives, which cheer me up. Humor is a weapon. Humor is all I have in my arsenal at the moment. Well, and all my completely unprovoked threats of cutting off balls and stuffing them in mouths. It’s no AK-47 but it will have to do.

  3. norbizness

    That’s my purse! I don’t know you!

  4. fannie

    But in their Hilariously Funny Movies, dudes always put scenes of other Dudes Getting Kicked/Hit/Punched In The Balls. Why aren’t the dudes on the outraged message boards laughing at this woman’s practical application of pure comedy gold?!?

    Oh, right. The nutcracking has to be on their terms.

  5. AngryYoungFemme

    I haven’t even read the article yet and I’m already laughing:

    “I just want to know what her problem is.”

  6. AngryYoungFemme

    Also:

    “My doctors say I will still be able to have children,” Mr. Clark said. “But at 22 that’s not something I want a stranger, this woman, to decide.”

    Really? Personal bodily autonomy is important to your re:reproduction? Sheesh, I wonder where I’ve heard that argument before. *Blinks* Perhaps this is “what her problem is.”

  7. Judi

    Very, very sweet. I hope she’s wearing stilettos. Or steel-toed boots. Steel-toed stilettos.

    “she is suspected of having kicked 3 or 4 other random dudes in the cubes, apparently without provocation.”

    But it’s not possible for a woman to attack a male “without provocation.” Aren’t we all provoked, all the time? If we’re not provoked by now, when are we gonna get provoked?

    Is “random dude” an oxymoron? Aren’t they (nearly) all participants, one way or another, in keeping us in a state of fear?

  8. PhysioProf

    That’s totally fucking hilarious! And it’s even funnier if you picture her making some kind of karate shouting sound upon impact: HAIEEEEEYAAAAH!!!

  9. Foilwoman

    What’s necessary here, as always happens when women are attacked, is for some talking head to go on at length about what the men did to bring this attack on. Either these men, or some other men from this anonymous-junk-kicker’s past.

  10. TinaH

    Hmmm. I wonder if she’ll do seminars or a book tour or something.

  11. PandanCat

    That’s my kind of humor right there! Next time some dudebro tries to whine about your lack of humor, blamers, just tell him about this lady. Bonus points for groin-kicking movements to go with the tale.

  12. Amanda

    So. In addition to what AngryYoungFemme has already pointed out about the whole “personal bodily autonomy” thing, how’s about this gem: “Embarrassed by the situation, Mr. Clark didn’t go to the police until nearly four weeks after the attack.” Really? You mean, after his attack, the gentleman didn’t immediately come forward and report this alleged abuse? He didn’t complete an intrusive “exam” before bathing? I mean, honestly, how can we know for sure that he ever WAS kicked in the ‘nads? It’s his word against hers, after all – and there’s not even a suspect! He’s probably just making it up for attention; you know how men can be about their balls. What was he wearing that day, anyway? Tight jeans? He was asking for it. How many times has he allowed women to fondle his testicles? Obviously he likes scrotal stimulation.

  13. Jane Q Public

    Where were these dudes walking when this occurred? If it was a dark alley/ outside a nightclub/ in a shady part of town they were clearly asking for trouble. Besides these guys were probably drunk when this alleged scrotum kicking happened. How can they be sure they didn’t ask this fine upstanding lady to massage their nuts with her toes? Everyone knows dudes dig ball play. So it got a little rough. Dudes like it like that. They asked for it, got what they wanted, now they feel guilty and are trying to ruin a perfectly nice woman’s life with their lies.

    What makes this comedic gold for me is to imagine B.C Girl as a stereotypical hot girl of male fantasy. After she HAYYYYAHH’s these alleged victims in the nutsack, she straightens her skirt, fluffs her hair, applies lipstick and walks away whistling.

  14. rubysecret

    Throwing off a century of tradition, in act two Clara suddenly delivers a grand jete directly to the sweet cheese of the Mouse King. The stunned mouse soldiers carry off the King, while Clara delivers another balletic blow to the family jewels of the Prince. She then chasses off alone to the lands of snow and sugar plum fairies, and there decides never to awaken from her enchanted dream.

  15. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The only way it can possibly get any funnier is if the Serial Crotch-Kicker’s attorney avers that the attacks were the fault of the Random Dudes who got kicked. Because, y’know, they were a) wandering the streets drunk, b) wearing something provocative, or the Ever-Popular c) But It Was Consensual!.

  16. octopod

    Dude, this shit is Grade A comedy! Makes me want to write a story about it. Maybe a disaffected superheroine? I’m imagining something like Kate Beaton’s world-weary Wonder Woman here.

    Like I said, hella funny. Damn these humorless testerical masculinists. Bet they have hairy legs, too.

  17. birkwearingblamer

    I’m not convinced that these alleged victims were acting so innocently at the time. Why should I take their word for it?

  18. birkwearingblamer

    I’m not convinced that these alleged victims were acting so innocently at the time. Why should I take their word for it?

  19. yttik

    Thank you, Twisty. It’s annoying being a woman and either being accused of having no sense of humor or else having your humor policed by political correctness.

    Tiger Woods for example, flew out of his driveway and slammed into a fire hydrant and a tree at 2 in the morning. Rumors blamed his wife, he was having an affair so she must have been beating him with one of his golf clubs and he tried to make a hasty exit. That picture is worth a laugh, but at least a dozen people will you accuse you of condoning domestic violence, advocating man hating, etc. Not at all. And you know the truth of the matter? She probably simply refused to have sex with him and he took off in a rage. That is the more likely reality, the one that we see most often. We laugh at the idea of a woman beating the crap out of some guy’s car with one of his prized possessions. We laugh because it’s actually such an unusual act that it’s kind of amusing to contemplate.

    Of course domestic violence isn’t funny, you don’t have to tell me that, I’ve seen enough of it. Neither is causing permanent damage to some guy’s crotch, but watching the structure of our dominant/submissive culture flip upside down once in a great while, sure the hell is.

  20. rainie

    It took a moment to comprehend “hoofed in the junk.” Thank you for the smile slythwolf.

    Also enjoyed was “steel toed stilettos.” What a perfect name for a blog!

    Reading this made me cringe a bit guiltily. More than one boy on the playground got hoofed by a girl back in grade school. It was the only thing that stopped them cold. Nothing like a leg-reach-radius personal space to make the rest of the day go more smoothly though.

  21. MarkusR

    I swear just last weekend I saw a clip of some male standup comic making a groin kick joke on “History of the Joke” (History channel). The premise is that he is being kicked in the groin for the first time and not knowing why some would do it, and that there is pain involved. The act was hilarious. Regardless of my personal experience in the matter.

  22. Jezebella

    Twenty years of “America’s Funniest Videos” has proven scientifically that a dude being hoofed in the junk is the funniest thing ever. Who are we to argue?

  23. slythwolf

    Junk-hoofing is the lowest-common-denominator form of comedy. It has universal appeal. I know this because in the hypothetical future proposed in the film Idiocracy, the most popular television program is “Ow My Balls”.

  24. MarianK

    Interesting … I googled ‘National Post British Columbia’ to find out what kind of rag it was. The very first item to pop up is this article – even though it’s 6 weeks old! Google-heirarchy-wise, this article is actually more important than the newspaper itself.

  25. enflared

    Someone is taking a cue from Hothead Paisan, whose comedy chops are–wait for it–bonerfide.

  26. Mike

    Geepers!?!

  27. Emily H.

    “Dudes usually have nothing to fear from little white chicks, see, since they (dudes) are, by universal agreement, the class who typically mete out the sex-based violence. Conversely, everyone recognizes that women typically don’t enjoy the dudes-only luxury of gaily sauntering through the town square without the expectation of sudden, unprovoked harassment. But here’s B.C. Girl, challenging the Global Accords Governing the Fair Use of Women with a surprising, ironic, incongruous, improprietous turnabout! The underdog puts one over on the overlord! Hi-fuckin-larious!”

    If you have to explain it, it’s not funny.

  28. Lullabee

    I laughed, yeah, but is it necessary for you to make it sound like “little white chicks” are at the absolute bottom of the Scariness Heap?

  29. Jonathan

    @Amanda:

    What was he wearing that day, anyway? Tight jeans? He was asking for it. How many times has he allowed women to fondle his testicles? Obviously he likes scrotal stimulation.

    The media is way to hard on her. She can’t really be held to fault for following her ancient nutsack-crunching instincts. It’s how humans evolved.

    And enflared, thank you for the Hothead reference!! Maybe if the sperm and Pepsi creatures stopped hating women for a second they would find the time to laugh at women’s jokes.

  30. Jonathan

    My SO is a feminist, and the dudes in her business school class all agree that she is really funny!

    However, this happened because she ran mental circles around the head of a prominent improv group and made him do a Tina Turner impression. His only recourse was to declare her funny in front of the whole class, at which point the entire class started laughing at her jokes.

    They never even chuckled at a single line of hers before the improv sketch incident. If humor is this dogmatic and dictatorially controlled, it is no wonder that the elites have not bequeathed humor onto the lower castes more often. It could be dangerous in non-cleared hands.

  31. PatriarchySlayer

    Have you ladies heard of the case (I think it was in England) where this fine lady was minding her own business having a drink at a nightclub, when some asshole comes up to her and decides it would be a good idea to grab her crouch.
    Well she didn’t really like this, so she spilled her alcoholic beverage on his crouch and proceeded to light him on fire. Now HE’s pressing charges against her! And she is pressing sexual harassment charges against him. She denies having ever light his crouch on fire, saying something about he was so drunk he probably light his on junk on fire. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.

  32. Katherine

    Thanks all for the laughs – felt like I exploded an ovary I laughed so hard!

    PatriarchySlayer: I’m surprised I haven’t seen more drunken accidental self-lightings-on-fire with the way drunk people start playing with fire.

  33. sally sputnik

    RE: the peen-burner, I think Twisty did a post on that woman. I remember the tone in the comments being something along the lines of “well, violence is bad, but bwahahahahaahha!”

  34. speedbudget

    If the guys didn’t want their nuts kicked, they wouldn’t have been outside. Amirite?

    Patriarchy Slayer:

    Actually, it was in Greece, and the man had been standing around with his pants down all night and hitting on women (literally and figuratively). He was from England. This woman told him many times to back the hell off and he didn’t, so she did what she had to do to get the message through.

  35. Jill

    “is it necessary for you to make it sound like “little white chicks” are at the absolute bottom of the Scariness Heap?”

    Not necessary, no, except that the woman in question is reportedly a little white chick. I admit I don’t know who is at the absolute bottom of the Scariness Heap, but if pressed I would probably consider isolated pre-pubescent girls to be good candidates for the job. You appear to have strong views on the subject. What are they?

  36. Pantsuit Sally

    Here’s the weenie roast post: http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2009/08/15/immolation/

    And in this case, I would love to get the groin-kicker’s side of the story. Sometimes, one man’s “without provocation” is one woman’s “final desperate attempt to ward off unwanted attention”.

  37. Jill

    Cee: “Um.”

    You are trying to tell me something. What is it?

  38. Felicity

    This woman is an idol! ..Just turn the tables for a minute, ‘One man inexplicably kicking women’s crotches! Chances they’ll never be able to reproduce!’ Wouldn’t happen.

    I find it hard to sympathise with Bazza tbh.

  39. Lullabee

    “You appear to have strong views on the subject. What are they?”

    Well, little white chicks are in general better off than chubby white chicks or WOC. And as far as stereotypical scariness is concerned, I’m sure a little Asian chick would be regarded as generally even less scary than a little white chick.

    But, actually, it’s a weird issue if you look at privilege as it relates to scaring men.

    What with Missing White Woman Syndrome, I’m sure that even though slender white females are better off under the kyriarchy than most other women, men probably do see them as more helpless and less capable of ‘nad-kicking than women who aren’t being kidnapped and raped on the teeveenooz all the time.

  40. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    “peen-burner”

    If I can ever scrape up enough cash to buy a little red Mercedes convertible, this is going to be my status plate.

  41. Jill

    Lullabee,
    Excellent; we’re completely sympatico, since it isn’t my contention that members of the sex class who have overlapping memberships in other oppressed classes don’t experience different oppression quotients, depending on the number and degree of marginalization of the ancillary memberships. My contention is, in fact, that women are oppressed, so it’s funny when one of’em kicks a dude in the balls.

    What is Missing White Woman Syndrome?

  42. Oaktown Girl

    See, as a Black woman, I can tell you that being regarded as human enough to even deserve to be seen as NOT being by definition “scary” (you know, because we’re basically animals), or of needing to be “protected” (as White women are, particularly petite “innocent” ones) would be a major step forward. We’re so far down on the totem pole of humanity that just even being able to get to the point of being worthy enough to be condescended to by dude nation would be progress.

  43. Jane Q Public

    As for the peen-burner license plates. You might have to leave out some vowels to make it fit. PNBRNR. Also maybe try DCKBRNR or DCKSMSHR. All would look great on a Mercedes convertible.

  44. procrastinatrix

    P33NKLR

  45. Nine Deuce

    People have been dropping some real knee-slappers on me lately. They almost always take the same form: some dude “ironically” makes a stupid, unoriginal misogynistic “joke” (e.g., “Woman, shouldn’t you be home baking cookies?”) in order to rile me — the house feminazi — up and illustrate just how silly and extraneous the whole feminism thing is. You know, because once we can joke about something it no longer exists. I mean, how would a guy who is so with it that he can make fun of forms of misogyny that even our grandfathers think are passé actually be a misogynist? I can’t decide whether I’m more offended by the aggression or the lack of originality.

  46. Lullabee

    Missing White Woman Syndrome is the tendency the news has to cover stories about dead, raped, or kidnapped white women and children out of all proportion to sense or their coverage of any other victim of crime. It’s only really treated as newsworthy if a POC is a victim of a crime if it affects white people (see: Duke lacrosse team). It’s really creepy and fetishistic, but that’s not the worst of it; the really great thing about it for the patriarchy is that it scares all women in different ways. They all get reminded of how vulnerable they are, and WOC get the added bonus of knowing that if something bad happens to them, society won’t care.

    The Wikipedia article is quite interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_white_woman_syndrome

  47. slythwolf

    If the guys didn’t want their nuts kicked, they wouldn’t have been outside. Amirite?

    I mean, at least wear a cup at all times. You know?

  48. Cathy

    Amanda, that comment was superb. He didn’t go to the authorities right away because, obviously, he secretly enjoyed it.

  49. Jill

    Doh, I finally get where this is going. My inclusion of the adjective “white” to describe our symbolic ball-kicking woman has been interpreted as a de facto diminution of the experiences of all other oppressed groups. My insouciant allusion to race has revealed a casual application of unexamined white Internet feminist privilege. Yes?

  50. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    “Missing White Woman Syndrome” is when a white woman (preferably a youngish one) goes missing and APBs, flyers, volunteer search parties, and all manner of alerts are activated, a la Natalee Holloway.

    The same action, however, is very rarely taken if the missing female is African-American.

    This is familiar to me because I live in Cleveland, where eleven (!) black women went missing over approximately an 18-month period. (Their remains were eventually discovered in the home and environs of Your Friendly Neighborhood Serial Killer. Perhaps you heard the story — it was all over the national news.) When one of the gals’ families contacted the Local Fuzz, they were told to “wait until the drugs ran out. Then she’ll be back home.”

  51. Jill

    ““Missing White Woman Syndrome” is when a white woman (preferably a youngish one) goes missing and APBs, flyers, volunteer search parties, and all manner of alerts are activated, a la Natalee Holloway.”

    Ah, the Natalee Holloway phenomenon. The “woman” part threw me off, because these cases always seem to be about a virginal young innocent teenager.

    I’m not being a terribly advanced patriarchy blamer today, I guess. I’m blaming the fever and chills. I think I’ve got swine flu.

  52. Oaktown Girl

    My insouciant allusion to race has revealed a casual application of unexamined white Internet feminist privilege. Yes?

    No, not for my part. I was merely presenting the how polar opposite the perspective is for Black women in reply to Lullabee who wrote this:
    but is it necessary for you to make it sound like “little white chicks” are at the absolute bottom of the Scariness Heap?

    White women can’t even imagine what’s it’s like going through everyday life being seen as “scary” and totally unworthy of even Dude Nation’s “protection”. It would be cultural progress for Black women to NOT be at the “top of the Scariness heap” and worthy of “protection”.

  53. CLD

    My vanity plate: JNKHFR In honor of slywolf’s excellent JuNK HooFeR comment.

  54. Felicity

    “White women can’t even imagine what’s it’s like going through everyday life being seen as “scary” and totally unworthy of even Dude Nation’s “protection”. It would be cultural progress for Black women to NOT be at the “top of the Scariness heap” and worthy of “protection”.”

    How totally confusing. Are you sure you’re on the right page/ blog?

  55. Jill

    “White women can’t even imagine what’s it’s like going through everyday life being seen as “scary” and totally unworthy of even Dude Nation’s “protection”. It would be cultural progress for Black women to NOT be at the “top of the Scariness heap” and worthy of “protection”.”

    You’re right. White women can’t imagine that.

    As an aside, non-Beauty2K-compliant white lesbians (the other oppressed group to which I belong, besides the sex class) are often seen as scary, but in, I think, a somewhat different, psychotic, antisocial Aileen Wuornos kind of way. And I have to say, I wouldn’t expect too much media-generated outrage if an ugly dyke went missing.

  56. Oaktown Girl

    CLD – I’d honk for that!

    How totally confusing. Are you sure you’re on the right page/ blog?

    Yes, I am. It’s not flattering to be seen as scary. And it does not feel good to be viewed as so sub-human that it simply doesn’t matter whatever bad things may happen to you. Not saying that some White women, especially overweight an other less “desirable” ones don’t get a taste of some of this. But it’s a whole different world and psychological assault when you realize at about the age of 3 exactly how low your standing is a a Black female, and to have that negativity reinforced on a daily basis.

    Not trying to derail the thread. I’m all for junk hoofing humor!

  57. Felicity

    Ah, I suppose it depends what you mean by ‘cultural progress’.

  58. Felicity

    Just to clarify, of course it’s widely understood that’s how WOC might feel, but to bemoan not feeling as ‘protected’ as white women? And the deplorable unacceptableness of that? I didn’t think this place was Love.com’s guide to being a better woman.

  59. Oaktown Girl

    I said “worthy” of protection. It’s a matter of humanity.

  60. Elizabeth

    Hmm, these random men, what were they wearing?

  61. Pantsuit Sally

    I think I get what you’re saying, Oaktown Girl. It’s kind of like back when white feminists and black women were both protesting the Miss America pageant- the white women were fighting against basing women’s value on their appearance while the black women were fighting for the rest of America to acknowledge their status as human beings. Both groups were criticizing the prevailing notion of beauty but from very different perspectives, one of which was certainly less privileged than the other. It really speaks to the power of the patriarchy, and demonstrates that it’s not enough to just be a feminist, and that true feminism encompasses antisexism, antiracism, and anti-every other oppression.

  62. Felicity

    Jealousy over not being an object? Is that anything to do with feminism or something else? It’s like you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    People see the potential of feminism in tossing the world on its head, and jump on with things that contradict it – same in the 70s pageants.

  63. yttik

    Something to keep in mind is that slender white women are a bit like those domestic turkeys right before Thanksgiving. When you are a commodity, being desirable is not always a blessing.

  64. Jill

    I do not wish to put words in Oaktown’s mouth, but I believe that some of you are missing her point. She’s saying that this kind of white-girl objectification, as unpleasant it is, would actually be a step up for women of color.

  65. birkwearingblamer

    I’m going to put this bluntly so that Felicity gets it. If a black woman is raped, the white men think what’s the big deal because she’s an over-sexed ho anyway. The status of black women is less than property, which is the status that white women who are properly attached to a man achieve. In fact, a black child or woman is probably more likely to get sexually assaulted because of the hyper-sexualized animal stereotype. Now, add the fact that the media ignores the dead, missing, black, female bodies. Wouldn’t you prefer the protected property status over that? Self-preservation dictates that you would.

    Notice that in the cases like the Holloway case, the crux of the story is that a wealthy, white male is seeking to find his pure daughter (i.e., woman = property) and spares no expense or efforts to do so. The story suddenly is elevated to be of interest to successful white men who presumably can relate to the aggrieved dude.

  66. yttik

    “this kind of white-girl objectification..would actually be a step up for women of color.”

    Understood, but in disagreement and believing that this is a myth that has benefited the patriarchy. Given the choice between being a beauty compliant, slender white girl or a woman who is viewed as scary and sub human and unworthy of protection, I would deliberately choose the scary and subhuman role. Being the desirable commodity causes you to go nuts, shave your head, attempt suicide, etc, like we see the young girls in Hollywood do.

  67. goldengirl

    @yttik

    Given the choice, I personally would rather go crazy and shave my head than be kidnapped and murdered with no hope of rescue.

  68. Felicity

    Going a bit far really. Raped and dead is the worst case scenario compared with the every- day 24/7 scenario of objectification. Ask the question to men of course. Which position they’d like to choose between an innocent- and- desirable, and scary-puts-up-defence-but -not- so desirable : which position they give to the people they hate, and which they keep to themselves?

    Point being, in a way these so- called ‘monstrous’ women get the same respect shown men. Neither are men rescued, a con of privilege you could say but something they’d rather be, than be subjected to the crap they subject to the group they hate most of all, ‘young pretty women’.

  69. Felicity

    Being blunt myself, I’d say it’s the jealousy that comes with not being an object. The status is seen with rose- tinted spectacles with the bombarding messages of the patriarchy (that an object is good and the only way to be for a woman).

    It’s sad to see women debating about who is most put-upon for not having ‘rescue-me’ as a label to live by, which ruins so much else in our lives. We’re playing right into P’s hands: aim to be the ideal, problems get solved. Feminists should try to get rid of this idea, not impliment it by squabbling over who has the most white knight appeal when it’s needed.

  70. Hedgepig

    Anyway, the idea that pretty young white girls are protected by the patriarchal system is utter shite. A dear friend of mine was viciously sexually abused by her white, respectable father for her entire childhood and no one intervened. Hey, he was a respectable white man, no one was going to intrude on his property to rescue his property from her/its owner. And you couldn’t get anyone whiter, prettier or younger than this girl. Being considered property is only beneficial if your owner is benevolent.

  71. Cee

    Well, that article by Kara Feldman I referenced pretty much encompasses my perspective – but because (as you admit) white women really can’t imagine what it’s like for women of color – specifically black women – in everyday life, consider this “UM” expounded!

    By now, Lullabee and Oaktown Girl have put forth what I’d intended, so I’ll just add some points I’ve yet to see posted.

    What Felicity and others may be missing here is the fact that just because we’re not “protected” does NOT mean we are not objectified. If anything, the dehumanization of WoC as hypersexual inhumans ensures that we are objectified even more – just not necessarily in a glamorously public, Mad Ave fashion. Of course we don’t envy white women given that we ALL suffer under the fucked up auspices of patriarchy – but (and this goes back to your “insouciant allusion” Jill) white women aren’t at the bottom of any heap in this world; they have the vast privilege of being white, see.

    I can’t articulate it better than Renee of “Womanist Musings”:
    I am not an animal at a petting zoo. I will not be your path to the exotic. Even worse than the ones that ask, are those that assume that they have right to touch me without permission. I believe that part of this urge stems from the fact that black women like so many other WOC, have historically been denied even the smallest forms of bodily autonomy… The black female slave at anytime could be forced to disrobe for the pleasure of her owners.

    It’s a toxic assumption that just because women of color are marketed as less desirable doesn’t mean that we’re not being taken less advantage of; the opposite is true.

    En fin: junk-hoofing is mad funny, just not only when the white girls do it.

  72. Jill

    “It’s a toxic assumption that just because women of color are marketed as less desirable doesn’t mean that we’re not being taken less advantage of; the opposite is true.”

    It would have to be that way, wouldn’t it, given the bizarro-world social physics of patriarchy.

  73. Cee

    Anyway, the idea that pretty young white girls are protected by the patriarchal system is utter shite.

    Do you then deny that white girls possess privilege in relation to women of color?

    It’s interesting, as Asian girls are so often marketed as possessing the qualities of femininity even surpassing those of white girls, yet this affords them none of the latter’s privilege.

    And sure, Asians get chosen for “model minority” status in many Western countries, but I can’t count the number of times that white feminist colleagues, friends and acquaintances have hesitated to even say “African-American” to me, yet then make some snotty reference to other women of color, particularly Asians – and in this the “model minority” model really comes in handy, i.e., “well we don’t have to be afraid of or apologetic to them, so thank god we can disrespect them cause dammit I’m tired of pussyfooting around all these colored folk!”

  74. slythwolf

    Tacqueaux, do not credit me with the “hoof him in the junk” meme. That one belongs to pheenobarbidoll.

  75. Hedgepig

    Cee, no I don’t deny that white women possess privilege in relation to women of colour. The male owners/abusers of white women (i.e. relatives, not the scary stranger psycho kidnappers who make the headlines and are statistically much rarer) are often in a higher socio-economic bracket than the male owners/abusers of women of colour. Other privileges white women have stem from their being white, not from being white women. I stand by my claim that the patriarchal system does not protect white women.

  76. Notorious Ph.D.

    This is a thought-provoking discussion. So, if we mix patriarchy with racism and white privilege, we get the following two premises:

    1. White women are assumed to be property (or potential property) until proven to be skanky hos with no right to “protection”; and

    2. Black and Latina women are assumed to be skanky hos with no right to male “protection,” until if and when they can prove themselves to be property (or potential property).

    I note the absence of a “full humanity” option in either of these premises.

  77. Notorious Ph.D.

    I hit the “blame” button too soon. Please append a hearty “I blame the patriarchy” to my final sentence.

  78. Cee

    Well hell, and here I was just “squabbling” for a piece of the nut-busting comedy gold Jill broke down.

    Seriously though – oftentimes when we try to raise the issues of women who do not happen to possess white privilege, our statements get disdained as poor misconceptions (as if the glaring ignorance of SOME whites were hard to miss) or petty “jealousy” of white females, which of course is then used to paint us as “part of the problem.”

    These assumptions indicate why women of color are rarely made welcome in feminist movements (beyond the politest of marginalization, of course).

    Dismissing the extreme and complex dehumanization of WoC as a mere beauty contest between “pretty” whites versus blacks, on top of calling attention drawn to that dehumanization as “contradictory” to feminism, is despicably entitled.

    I don’t covet whiteness any more than I covet maleness. Them’s kind of the problems in the first place.

    By the by, WoC doesn’t just mean skeeerrry black folk – heck, let’s include “fiery” Hispanic women and “submissive” Asian women!…for a start. What about Native American women? Rape tourism, anybody?

    I say this because white privilege dictates that by addressing whatever minority that happens to occupy the perceived lowest rung on the racial totem pole in a given context, ALL other minorities are subsequently taken care of – race relations made E-Z!

    Among the reasons I’m a fan of IBTP is that rather than toe ye olde ‘EWWWW you got your other issues in my feminism!’, Twisty can actually pay heed to the radical notion that nonwhite women are women (and people) too. As for this comments section – I don’t mind delving into intersectionality, but this shit is getting remedial. Done.

  79. yttik

    “..oftentimes when we try to raise the issues of women who do not happen to possess white privilege, our statements get disdained as poor misconceptions”

    Not at all, not a misconception. It’s simply that the concept of privilege among the bottom classes has served the patriarchy so well. Women of color and women who don’t meet the commodity standards begin putting chemicals in their hair as children, starve and torture themselves, try to comply to this ideal that will allegedly bring them more privilege. (More privilege being a pipe dream. Once you attain patriarchal approval, you’re still just a commodity. Worse, you’re a commodity everyone wants to prey upon.) Young girls grow up with this idea that if they just look white enough, act white enough, comply to the demands of commodity standards, they’ll have some form of safety. It doesn’t exist. Some even recognize the danger of achieving commodity status and pack on pounds, wear baggy clothes, try to make themselves less appealing in a quest for safety.

    These concepts of privilege also serve to keep women divided. You can hear the resentment in this thread, spending an entire childhood as a sexual abuse victim and then hearing about so called privilege doesn’t sit well. Or being kidnapped and murdered, but the consolation prize of privilege is some media coverage of your death.

    I understand the bias, I live the bias. I just want us to delve deeper, to question who really benefits when we map this hierarchy of privilege.

  80. C'estMoi

    Beyond the humor aspect, has anyone really considered what these kicks really were from a legal perspective? This young women targeted men because of their gender and committed assault and battery. These were hate crimes. Though the majority of the injurious violence may be committed by men, how are we all going to feel when/if she’s prosecuted for the crimes she’s committed? Moreover, how are we all going to feel if she escapes her deserved charge because of her gender?

  81. birkwearingblamer

    I’m one of the white women who was repeatedly raped by my own father trough out my childhood. No rescued me from my white, “respectable” father either. If I had been black and “rescued,” I would have been put in an under-funded, overwhelmed child protection agency. That agency would have placed me with adults, who took a foster care child for the cash, and I would likely have been victimized again. I’ve heard the horror stories from other women. Am I grateful that I was white and not “rescued.” You better believe it!

    As a white child, even one that was abused, I lived in a safer, “more respectable ” neighborhood and attended a better school. People expected more out of me and encouraged me to go to college. In short, I had all of the white privilege that exists in the U.S. Yea, I could be bitter and moan about how no one saved me, but I see that I had advantages that were not afforded to people of color. I’m resilient and I made the most of every advantage. My life would have been much different but for the color of my skin. My children continue to benefit from the advantages that I had/have. Try re-examining you life through a different lens.

  82. Isabel

    “nyway, the idea that pretty young white girls are protected by the patriarchal system is utter shite. ”

    I’m glad this was finally pointed out.

    The media “concern” is simply prurient interest, and a tool to keep women in their place, as we all know.

    How is being raped and killed and people getting off on hearing and endlessly rehashing all the details, and using your story to reinforce a patriarchy supporting narrative ot two, a step up from just being raped and killed?

    And do people out there really think there is a public outpouring of concern for every missing white woman, even young and pretty ones?

  83. speedbudget

    In my neck of the woods, the public outpouring is one of, you guessed it, disdain for the women who get themselves kidnapped, raped, and murdered. You know. Cause she should have been doing whatever it is women should do to avoid getting kidnapped, raped, and tortured by the perpetrators of crimes everywhere.

    The media tends to use these stories as object lessons for us ladybrain holders. The commentary on news programs is all about how to keep yourself safe, not about the perpetrators and how men have some responsibility for the violence.

    Privilege? I guess, if you call being an object lesson in oppression privilege.

  84. Felicity

    Look what the media attention does to white women, with one Amanda Knox painted as ‘Foxy Knoxy’ and as a single killer where three people are convicted. She seems to have been given an extra year in prison for being a woman. I’d have to agree with Isabel, the sensationalist media interest with pretty young white women, murderers or victim, is creepy at best, and a symptom of hate not concern.

  85. Blamer of color

    Wow. Apparently there’s a considerable number of (white) people here who stand to benefit from the following:

    …comments like “women of all races and classes” [gives] a nod to the idea of inclusion, but what it really amounts to is, “When you complain about racism in the feminist community, you cause divisions. So shut up and don’t complain.” We wrap ourselves up in all these cries for unity as if the division itself were the root of the problem. As if the problem is women of color having a problem with racism, and *not* the racism itself. It’s a way to sideline the issue of racism and shift the blame to the WoC who point it out. That way we never have to address it and actually fix it.

    I’m sick of seeing white women dismiss the concerns of women of color. I’m sick of our self-righteous claims of inclusivity while we marginalize the voices of women of color when they speak out. We marginalize them if they do it with anger, or do it in the wrong way, or do it while disagreeing with us, or #%$@cking do it at all. I’m sick of us exercising our white privilege and then accusing our sisters of color of causing divisiveness when they refuse to submit to our racism. Mostly it’s unintentional racism by white women who want to believe that we are saving the world. But we are not. We’re oppressing and silencing the very people we talk so eloquently about being allies with.

    We are the enemy and the oppressors of WoC. Do you realize how wrong, how screwed up, and how profoundly anti-feminist that is?

  86. Jill

    As Blamer of color notes, when feminists of whiteness exercise white feminist privilege, even when we don’t intend to, it is experienced by feminists of color as racism.

    One thing I have learned from doing this blog lo these past 5 years is that when a reasonable person tells you you’re oppressin’em, you’re oppressin’em. The only rational course of action is a) to stop being defensive and b) to cop to it, already. Because if you’re white, it is a foregone conclusion that your whiteness accrues benefits not offered to anyone else, and that these benefits will often be invisible to you. A foregone conclusion, I tell you.

    Suspect this whenever the “Dear god, what about the white chicks?” motif shows up in a comments thread.

  87. jezebella

    C’estmoi, you are framing this as a hate crime, but there is *no evidence whatsoever* of the nut-kicker’s motivation, or even that there really is only one woman serially nut-kicking. Your assumptions are invalid.

  88. Isabel

    BoC,

    How does referring to the media attention given to specific missing women* as a potential ‘step up’ for other women and a sign of ‘caring’ equate to ‘complaining about racism?’

    And how does arguing that this attention is not expressing true concern equate to ‘dismissing your concerns?’ Who is being marginalized, and how? It seems like you are the one who does not want to engage in the discussion.

    I would expect a difference in how crimes against white women are handled, on a par with other crimes affecting whites esp. in white neighborhoods, but this is not what is being argued. The women in these missing female media stories are usually pretty much accepted as dead from the beginning. No one is being saved, valued, or cared about. However, a lot of money is being made by the various media reporting, and later fictionalizing or producing documentaries about, these crimes. The idea that this morbid fascination translates to some sort of protective advantage for white women and is evidence of genuine caring about the safety of white women was surprising to encounter on a feminist blog.

    I argued the same point in a completely different context on another blog not long ago. It was in reference to the Glen Beck parody web site called something like “Glen Beck Hasn’t Denied Raping and Killing a Young Girl in 1977.” Others (mostly white males it seemed) were insisting that that particular example of a made-up crime was used because it’s ‘the most heinous crime imaginable’ – Yeah right.

    * NOT all white women, not by a long shot. And not always white. There are many elements required to set off a media circus, so including only ‘white’ in the descriptor of the phenomenon is misleading.

  89. Maren

    @yttik

    “I just want us to delve deeper, to question who really benefits when we map this hierarchy of privilege.”

    Well…the women who have less privilege? I get the fear of dividing allies. But it’s perversely un-feminist to say that white women overcoming our innate racism isn’t just as important as white men doing it, since it hurts the WOC on the receiving end either way. We’re all working and waiting for the end of patriarchy, however you define that event — seems like we might as well work on eliminating racism in our own ranks while we’re waiting.

  90. Comrade PhysioProf

    The idea that this morbid fascination translates to some sort of protective advantage for white women and is evidence of genuine caring about the safety of white women was surprising to encounter on a feminist blog.

    That isn’t the idea being expressed. The idea being expressed is that in comparison to disappearing white women, disappearing women of color aren’t even on the fucking radar. This is a reflection of white privilege.

  91. Felicity

    Okay this is a last post on this, promise! But it is clearly a morbid fascination, coming from the same missogyny that leads to beauty contests.

    WoC, this is an issue of racism, not feminism. Feminism and racism can always be linked but not when they directly oppose in the sense – ‘I want a peice of your object’iness. I want the morbid fascination and to be a peice of meat at a beauty contest.’ You have a right! But this is not imo a feminist topic of discussion. There are other ways to be privileged, than aiming to be an objectified woman. It’s only something to aim for in the eyes of the patriarchy, not a radfem blog. This ‘progress’ talk to even get the sexism aimed at white girls is silly, and was disrespecting the severe sexism we face.

  92. yttik

    “I just want us to delve deeper, to question who really benefits when we map this hierarchy of privilege.” Well…the women who have less privilege?

    Yes Maren one would hope, but all to often what really happens is that young girls simply grow up believing that white means beautiful, rich, successful, safe. Se we spend half our lives torturing ourselves in a quest for membership to a group that doesn’t even exist.

  93. Isabel

    “our innate racism ”

    Our what?

    CPP,

    Most missing white women are not on the fucking radar either.

    And actually there was a specific comment earlier regarding concern – ‘at least someone cares about the white women’ – the reality being they don’t care.

  94. Felicity

    To amend – ‘the *type* of severe sexism we face’, we all get our share of severe sexism.

  95. Frumious B.

    @Felicity:

    ‘I want a peice of your object’iness. I want the morbid fascination and to be a peice of meat at a beauty contest.’

    Pointing out that having these things would constitute a step up is not the same as wanting these things.

  96. Maren

    I’m sorry, yttik, I don’t think I’m following your argument — I don’t believe that gauging everyone’s individual levels of privilege necessarily leads to dismissing the oppression those with the most privilege still suffer. I say “I’ve broken my ankle”; a WoC says “I’ve broken my leg and it’s also on fire — just a broken ankle would be great!” It doesn’t mean that everyone’s ready to settle for broken ankles, or that they’re considered desirable now, but when I complain about the pain I’m feeling, I can see that she’s in more pain. And I acknowledge that, and know that it makes a difference.

    I think what feels most important in the situation is that I, a woman, look at another woman, and see the different ways she’s been affected by the same oppressive forces I have (broken ankle/broken leg), plus the whole extra world of oppression she’s experiencing outside of gender relations that I have no context for (leg on fire). There’s nothing wrong with asserting that just being a white woman doesn’t eliminate all the difficulties with being a woman in society, because let’s definitely not lower our standards, but I don’t understand the kneejerk impulse to diminish or deny the entirely separate and additional oppression that women of color suffer. The only way that the racism issue can divide feminist allies is if we let it.

  97. Blamer of color

    BoC,

    How does referring to the media attention given to specific missing women* as a potential ’step up’ for other women and a sign of ‘caring’ equate to ‘complaining about racism?’

    And how does arguing that this attention is not expressing true concern equate to ‘dismissing your concerns?’ Who is being marginalized, and how? It seems like you are the one who does not want to engage in the discussion.

    Isabel,

    Wrong woman of color. You want to address that other one over there.

    While you’re telling us apart, maybe you can also check Jill’s action plan.

  98. birkwearingblamer

    If a WOC says that she is experiencing racism, then she is experiencing racism. White women don’t get to define racism, just like men don’t get to define sexism.

    Black Children Missing in Alarming Numbers:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5393141

  99. yttik

    There’s two separate issues here. Of course racism and privilege exist. Of course women of color should speak of their experiences and be heard. Of course white women should listen and understand how privilege works. And yes, empathy is important.

    Then there are the politics, the cultural design. Intentional or not, when we speak of privilege in a way that portrays being a white woman as being desirable, we send a message to young girls that if they just conform better, alter their appearance, strive to be more like the desired commodity, all will be well. That’s a myth that has done tremendous damage.

    There’s also a power issue at play. When we say, I know her pain is so much worse, no we don’t. We’re making an assumption based on someone’s minority status. As someone else pointed out, I went to the best schools, I avoided the foster care system. Well how is that supposed to make someone feel? That as a minority they must have gone to crappy schools and been dumped in the foster care system?

    There is no criticism intended here, just a wish that we would delve deeper then our standard responses and start questioning everything we thing we know to be true.

  100. Blamer of color

    Yttik,

    As a former foster kid who was stuck in a shitty school, for which I am not ashamed (cheers for your concern though), I’ll thank you to entertain the notion that WoC can actually see for ourselves when a white woman is coming from a place of honesty and compassion (like birkwearingblamer) versus a place of denial, disingenuousness and presumption.

  101. yttik

    I am a former foster child who was stuck in a crappy school when I attended at all, who comes from a place where we don’t even report missing children let alone get them media coverage. Thanks for playing oppression Olympics with me. Does somebody get a gold medal at the end of this dance?

  102. Felicity

    Frumious B

    R.e Oppression olympics, no oppression should ever be a ‘step up’, it’s all bad right? I agree, that we should look deeper than colour – there are a million other factors including mental health, cultural attitudes in this day and age. Who says white female oppression is a step up from anything elsse? We don’t know enough, whether whites being in the spotlight of the media- aka, most sexism, is a ‘step- up’, how that competes with being a person of colour generally. It’s all depressing, but a lot has changed recently with the backlash, served by the media, which focuses on white women. I agree with yttick we should definitely not be limiting discussion by giving standard answers. White women seem to get a lot of crap served by the patriarchy by being the ‘main focus’ of everything. Can I say that? Knowing I’m not a racist and have more black friends than white?

  103. Blamer of color

    Yttik, because you purposefully and/or pitiably miss the most basic understanding of intersectionality for WoC, keep painting yourself as a shining beacon of world weary intellect in a dark sea of brainwashed, bitter hood rats.

  104. Jill

    “White women seem to get a lot of crap served by the patriarchy by being the ‘main focus’ of everything. Can I say that? Knowing I’m not a racist and have more black friends than white?”

    Oh, dear.

    The point you are trying to make — that in our society, the default woman is white, yet by being less oppressed, white women are somehow more oppressed — doesn’t make any sense. Attempting to argue this point on the strength of the fact that you personally know some black people — apart from its being a pretty hoary and insulting old cliché — doesn’t make any sense, either. The society you keep is irrelevant to the experiences of women of color, both in real life and on white feminist blogs. And anyway, even racists can have black friends.

  105. Isabel

    BoC,

    I don’t follow unexplained links, sorry, or do reading assignments for hostile strangers who seem to be trying to paint me as a racist for pointing out that the media obsession with missing, raped, and murdered light skinned women is NOT about genuine caring and a desire to protect them, or because they are considered more worthy of protection.

    I was in fact referring to the quote in yes, YOUR post. If not to make a point relevant to this conversation then your purpose in doing so was- what? I assumed you were referring to the ealier remarks made on this thread with your quoted reference to ‘complaining about racism.’ as that’s what led to the discussion of the missing white woman and white privilege etc. – if not, what ‘complaining about racism that was being dismissed’ were you referring to?

    And it’s fascinating to hear that, based on a few internet posts, you can read white women’s minds and see right through to their true motivations! Amazing!

  106. nails

    All the white woman kidnapping/murder coverage is a huge component of making whiteness a default. The clips of person after person going “I never thought this could happen here, to our family!” is proof of it. There is a huge class element to this as well, but it implies that the violence and abuse of women of color is somehow everyday or expected. Its a given. Barf.

    On the other hand, it enforces gender stereotypes that apply to white women only; like being submissive/pretty/not a skank will increase your standing in society. Shit like this depoliticizes both groups of people, making it seem like if you are a white woman and follow the rules (as in supporting white dude domination of everything) that society will actually give a shit about you. It also makes it seem like if you are a person of color you won’t ever have worth, no matter what you do. White women who aren’t attractive or rich enough (see:most) are not likely to get the kind of holloway coverage that we are talking about, but they still enjoy plenty of white privilege; I would imagine that the police take white peoples kidnappings more seriously in general. The give a shit about the victims is an illusion.

    The compounding of this kind of thing on top of other experiences for women of color makes it unique for them. The expectation that people of color aren’t as smart or hard working is probably a painful addition to this particular, gendered declaration of the worthlessness of a group of people by the dominant culture.

    On another non this post specific note, have any of you imagined how hard it would be to understand sexism if you weren’t a woman? Having never actually experienced it, and having an endless supply of easy reasons to not understand it? Being able to choose to ignore it? Scoring a shit ton of privilege from not looking? I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for em (soooo far from it), I am just saying that it is very much the same for me and whiteness. I suck at understanding racism because I do not experience it. I do not notice it as often as it happens in front of me, but I fucking try. I try by listening to people of color who have something to say about their oppression and whiteness, and accepting that despite my best efforts I can end up contributing to some seriously bad shit with my white privilege. People of color are an invaluable resource in understanding racism, we need to listen dammit. Really try to understand what they have to say. I am continually sickened by the lack of give a shit from some radical feminists about racism; do you guys not understand that your white privilege is a form of dominance and authority over others? It is another power structure that needs to be dismantled by feminists. I seriously reccomend reading some bell hooks to get a better handle on how capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy interact and aren’t exactly separate entities. I have been through an awful lot of shit because of being born a woman, but I am comfortable admitting that I don’t understand *every* kind of oppression by being a woman. This seems to be the barrier I face when white feminists are not receptive to the idea that they may be experiencing privilege in addition to oppression. The shittiest reality of this whole thing is that when white people care about racism, it counts a lot more to the dominant culture. Being a white person who is an ally for people of color is important, their experiences are devalued and silenced by default. We all know the value of a place like IBTP for voicing things we cannot usually voice in our lives, but I sadly see this place turn hostile to people of color and trans people from time to time. Having a space where we can all talk about our experiences and understand each other would be so amazing if it was more inclusive. We can all make it happen if we try!

    Thanks for your posts, blamer of color. This conversation should have happened without you, but I am not sure it would have.

  107. Blamer of color

    @ Isabel: Aww, don’t get it twisted. Not all white women in every given context. Just the sanctimonious ones who remain in desperate, self-serving denial of their racial privilege.

    It’s not as if their entitlement and condescension to WoC were particularly hard to miss.

    And you were quoting phrases verbatim from that other woman’s post, not mine, but keep on keeping on I suppose. Also like how you’re trying to conflate the possession of white privilege with having light skin. What in hell are some of those Asians complaining about, anyway?!

    @Nails: Thanks. I find that in discussions with white feminists who are anti-racist (or at least making the effort to be), this piece does a job of articulating realities for them that they can often only ponder as abstracts. ‘Tis yet another letter to white feminists by a white feminist, the latter sadly ensuring greater popularity as you probably well understand.

    I recommend “On Prisons, Borders, Safety, and Privilege: An Open Letter to White Feminists” to anyone with a passing interest in the lives of us hostile, colored strangers crazily hellbent on tarring all the nice white ladies out there!

  108. agasaya

    Perhaps it might get us back on track to realize why it is that missing white women have their pictures on flyers. That is because their white male owners have more clout with law enforcement. Cops will look for missing white women and attempt to find their killers as long as some white male is missing the victim. The white woman retains some of the privilege of the white male by association – once gone from the scene. The male is the true victim in such a case who wants his woman returned to him.

    That privilege by association doesn’t often extend to abused or threatened white women since no one would want to end the male abuser’s rights – one reason why shelters tend to be filled with women of all ethnicities.

    The media gets ahead by publicizing the deaths/kidnappings which increases white fears of crime. That leads to increased viewing and advertising dollars etc. Also, it leads to increased law enforcement budgets in white areas – again to please white males that someone will look out for their property.

    Always comes back to males and money.

  109. Katherine

    Thank you, Blamer of color, for posting the link to that article.

  110. Felicity

    Hey, I just wanted to apologise for any offence caused. I was trying to make a point and being ignorant.

  111. Finisterre

    Blamer of color and others have made their point with excellent arguments, and I’d just like to illustrate it with an example.

    “Who says white female oppression is a step up from anything elsse? ”

    In my dealings with the (mostly white male) police, I have experienced my oppression as having to play the submissive female while listening to patronising ‘fatherly’ lectures. Were I a woman of colour, I would not have that option, as the police tend to employ the full range of ‘strong, animal’ stereotypes in dealing with them. I would be far more likely to experience my oppression as being arrested or aggressively disbelieved. Some forms of oppression have worse results than others, clearly.

    As a white female, I have both race and, to an extent, class privilege. I am sorry that this is the case, and I think the least one can do is acknowledge it, especially when it’s pointed out by WOC.

  112. Kali

    I’m a woman of color but I find it extremely frustrating when a discussion about sexism is derailed and side-tracked by some women of color into a discussion about racism with the White Woman as the enemy. The patriarchy is our enemy. Focus on the patriarchy instead of trying to minimize the oppression of white women by comparing it to the oppression of black women.

    And I agree with Isabel and yttik. The prurient media coverage of raped and murdered white women is not a step up from the non-existent media coverage of raped and murdered non-white women. To call this prurient media coverage “protection” is insulting and denies the gross misogyny of this coverage. A male colleague (chinese-american) calls the female white victims whose bodies the media salivates over as “blonde bimbos”. Frankly, if I was raped and murdered, I would rather be ignored by the media than be made into porn for the likes of this male colleague of mine.

  113. Jezebella

    I think Agasaya hit the nail on the nose. The real crime in the eyes of the media is the violation of the property rights of some white dude, be it husband or father. A woman without a “respectable” white man to claim his property rights (perhaps she’s poor and white, a woman of color, a lesbian, a sex-worker, etc.) gets ignored by the media and, more importantly, by the police.

  114. birkwearingblamer

    Isabel and yttick, the fallacy in your argument is that acknowledging that WOC are oppressed by racism lessens the seriousness of the sexism experienced by white women. I can acknowledge that I have white privilege *without* diminishing the seriousness of the misogyny that I have suffered. All women are allies in the patriarchy if we chose to be.

  115. Blamer of color

    “Missing White Women syndrome” was just part of the broader issue of the demonization and invisibility of WoC. Therefore claiming that all this talk about our token outposts in feminism is somehow “off-track” is a display of internalized privilege, once again focusing exclusively on white women at the expense of WoC.

    White privilege maintains a debilitating chokehold on the feminist movement; the fact that those who seek to free it of such so often have their statements whitewashed as “derailing” is obnoxiously insidious and oppressive.

  116. Kali

    Blamer of color, are you suggesting that I, a woman of color, have somehow internalized white privilege? What I see happening (e.g. the demonization of Hillary Clinton and Palin in 2008) is that *some* women of color want to prioritize racism over sexism in all feminist discussions and call white women racists if they don’t agree to this prioritization in feminist discussions.

  117. Blamer of color

    Actually I was referring to Agasaya’s admonition to “get back on track,” which was privileged but to be fair, perhaps unwittingly so. Hard to fight an enemy that’s stationed outposts in all our heads, right?

    But come to think of it! Based upon your own statements, including your accusation that this discussion was “trying to minimize the oppression of white women by comparing it to the oppression of black women” (assuming we’re all black, right) – yeah, looks like you’ve internalized white privilege up the wazoo.

  118. Blamer of color

    And internalization is not to be confused with possession.

  119. Frumious B.

    @Felicity:
    R.e Oppression olympics, no oppression should ever be a ’step up’, it’s all bad right?

    It’s all bad, right. Unfortunately, some oppressions *are* a step up. I experience gender-based oppression, but I thank dog regularly that that’s the only type of oppression I face (sorry, folks. I know that constitutes waving my privilege in your face. I don’t mean it that way, honest.) I think it’s insulting to equate gender-based oppression with the combination of gender- and race-based oppression or gender- and class- based oppression that some women experience. It’s offensive to me when the men at work bitch about their problems when I have all the same problems AND I’m friggin’ female. Recognizing that some people have it worse than others is not the same as playing Oppression Olympics. Asking people to recognize that some folks have it worse than others is called asking people to recognize their own privilege and other’s lack.

  120. Kali

    Recognizing that some people have it worse than others is not the same as playing Oppression Olympics.

    Normally I would agree but consider the context here. Women are being called racist because they don’t agree that being pornified after being raped and murdered is a step up from being ignored after being raped and murdered. Even women of color who don’t agree with this charge of racism (e.g. me) are being called racist because we don’t agree. In the meantime the men who do the raping and murdering are forgotten and the patriarchy is happy because the anger is re-directed to that popular scapegoat, the white woman.

    The larger context is the popular national pastime of hating on white women. The most hated celebrities are white women. The most hated politicians are white women. The most hated talking heads are white women. The large number of men who are screwing over the world are bypassed to focus the attack on the few white women who are in power. They are the culture’s acceptable hate receptacles.

  121. Isabel

    Thank you Kali – I am so upset about all the accusations thrown at me in this thread I have not even been able to respond. Goddamn it BoC for the last time, I did NOT confuse you with that “other women of color!” And now I’m “refusing to acknowledge my white privilege”WTF?? oh yeah THAT’S the problem. And now I see Twisty’s message I missed earlier – if a WoC says I’m being racist, I’m being racist! Great!

  122. Kali

    Based upon your own statements, including your accusation that this discussion was “trying to minimize the oppression of white women by comparing it to the oppression of black women” (assuming we’re all black, right) – yeah, looks like you’ve internalized white privilege up the wazoo.

    You’ve chosen to interpret the quoted statement in the worst possible way. When one wants to make X look small, one technique is to put it next to Y which is bigger. In the quoted statement I am assuming that the oppression of black women is *bigger*. I am *not* suggesting that it is trivial.

  123. Jenni

    The only thing funnier than the article was the reaction of my fellow forum posters when I said something very similar to what blamer Amanda said here. I reacted sarcastically speculating on the fellow’s attire and part of town he was in at the time of attack. Like flies on shit the men jumped at the comment chastising me for my sarcasm in the face of their “real pain.” One poster reminded me that “Noone deserves having his balls shoved into his abdomen. Just like you don’t deserve my fist through your face.” Another informed me, “This is a brutal, violent, and very criminal assault with intent to cause serious bodily harm – and a perpetrator that has formed a habit of committing this same crime on a series of strangers, making her just as much a threat to public safety as an armed robber or, yes, a serial rapist.” That is true comedy gold there. One day when I am a veteran blamer perhaps I will be too jaded to enjoy such but for now they are still really funny.

    “White women can’t even imagine what’s it’s like going through everyday life being seen as “scary” and totally unworthy of even Dude Nation’s “protection”. It would be cultural progress for Black women to NOT be at the “top of the Scariness heap” and worthy of “protection”.”

    The only thing white women can do as moderately close to being unprotected as black women is be really fat. They won’t even bother with the rape kit for you or allow you to file charges without threats of what will happen to you when they find out you lied. Because after all, fat women are never ever attacked in any way, doncha know.

  124. Amananta

    As the nasty codicil to the entire “Missing White Woman” syndrome thing, one notes the misogyny evidenced even by those who complained about it most, those being – liberal white men. Did they come up with the sarcastically named theme out of any true concern for the missing Women of Color who’s murders go largely unreported? No – they were complaining that even white women’s kidnappings and murders were being covered, because they were displacing “real news”. You know, news about older white men in power. IMPORTANT stuff.

    Then they use it – quite well, to judge by this thread – to pit women against each other. I think it’s important to remember it isn’t women of any color kidnapping and raping and murdering other women, 99% of the time. Nor is it women in charge of the media reporting this. That being said white women need to listen to the pain women of color express when they talk about how devalued they feel by this, even though that pedestal we’re put on (so long as we are young, conventionally beautiful, and behave) is a trap. It’s a trap – but it’s still a pedestal. Consider how many upper class white women live a caged life rather than risk stepping off it. Life on the pedestal sucks. life off it sucks more. We know who to blame. Right?

  125. Amananta

    …whose. not who’s. Argh.

  126. Isabel

    “That being said white women need to listen to the pain women of color express when they talk about how devalued they feel by this,”

    Do upper-class white women “need” to listen to the pain of lower-class white women also? You know, those trashy sluts who live in trailers and work as waitresses and who also disappear anonymously. Shall we listen to their pain also? Or just women of color?

    Do you really think lower class white women are put on a pedestal by men in power? Perhaps if they’re fantastically beautiful, striving and conniving, there’s a slim chance it might happen. But that goes for WoC also.

    (yeah I know I said I was done with this-what can I say? This class-blindness is so maddening).

  127. Jill

    This is all outrageous and very maddening.

    Isabel, if what you want is an official blamer acknowledgment that poor white women experience an advocacy gap when compared to more affluent white women, consider it done. But nobody’s gonna say with a straight face that racism doesn’t compound the adversities associated with poverty.

    Now, back to groin-kicking.

  128. Zas

    This is why it’s better being a white woman who’s missing than a black one: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-05-06/news/missing-in-action/full

    At least the cops will look for you. If someone doesn’t want to read the link, these quotes sum it up:

    “While detectives were offering reasons why they couldn’t start an investigation, she spent nearly four days chained up in a basement only a few blocks from her home. She was repeatedly raped and tortured by two young psychopaths who eventually beat her to death on the day that the police grudgingly started searching for her. Her family’s amateur investigation found her before the police did.
    Besides her grief, Elle Carmichael was disgusted. The story of Svetlana Aronov was fresh in her mind. Less than two months before Romona Moore vanished in Canarsie, Svetlana Aronov, the white wife of a doctor, went missing on the Upper East Side.

    The day after Aronov vanished, police launched a massive search for her and the cocker spaniel, Bim, she had taken for a walk. The NYPD called a press conference, assigned two dozen detectives to the case full-time, and went door to door, passing out flyers with pictures of Aronov and Bim on them. The cops traced the Aronovs’ phone and bank records and analyzed surveillance tape gathered from stores and apartment buildings near her home. A police van emblazoned with the department’s 800 tip-line number drove around her neighborhood, blaring details of her disappearance over a loudspeaker. A letter was sent to rare-books dealers, a business the Aronovs dabbled in. Detectives reportedly even consulted a psychic.”

    See the difference?

  129. Zas

    This is why it’s better being a white woman who’s missing than a black one: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-05-06/news/missing-in-action/full

    At least the cops will look for you. If someone doesn’t want to read the link, these quotes sum it up:

    “While detectives were offering reasons why they couldn’t start an investigation, she spent nearly four days chained up in a basement only a few blocks from her home. She was repeatedly raped and tortured by two young psychopaths who eventually beat her to death on the day that the police grudgingly started searching for her. Her family’s amateur investigation found her before the police did.
    Besides her grief, Elle Carmichael was disgusted. The story of Svetlana Aronov was fresh in her mind. Less than two months before Romona Moore vanished in Canarsie, Svetlana Aronov, the white wife of a doctor, went missing on the Upper East Side.

    The day after Aronov vanished, police launched a massive search for her and the cocker spaniel, Bim, she had taken for a walk. The NYPD called a press conference, assigned two dozen detectives to the case full-time, and went door to door, passing out flyers with pictures of Aronov and Bim on them. The cops traced the Aronovs’ phone and bank records and analyzed surveillance tape gathered from stores and apartment buildings near her home. A police van emblazoned with the department’s 800 tip-line number drove around her neighborhood, blaring details of her disappearance over a loudspeaker. A letter was sent to rare-books dealers, a business the Aronovs dabbled in. Detectives reportedly even consulted a psychic.”

    See the difference?

  130. Isabel

    Jill,

    I didn’t say it either. That is totally beside the point.

    My complaint was about using “white women” and “upper-middle class young, pretty conventional white women” interchangeably.

    I just heard a white woman referred to on a nationally syndicated radio show as “a piece of trailer trash.”

    An “advocacy gap”?

    Yes, I know discussion of classism is so boring. It’s nothing compared to racism.

  131. Isabel

    “See the difference?”

    Canarsie=working class neighborhood way out in Brooklyn at the end of the subway line.

    Vs.

    Doctor’s wife on the Upper East Side.

  132. Zas

    Of course there is a *intersection* between classism and racism. But if you’re trying to claim that it’s all about class, well, you’re wrong there. Laci Peterson was given massive media coverage, Google her name and 148,000 hits come up. She was a substitute school teacher. Her husband was a fertilizer salesman. They weren’t exactly rolling in money.

    You’re playing Oppression Olympics, with class being the worst offender.

    That comment of mine (sorry for the double post) was in reference to the claim that fetishization of missing white women was just as bad as being ignored. I’m just pointing out that *at least* the cops will look for you if you’re white.

  133. Isabel

    “trying to claim that it’s all about class”

    Trying to bring class into the discussion=trying to claim nothing else exists?

    “You’re playing Oppression Olympics, with class being the worst offender.”

    Where did I say it was the worst offender? How did saying we should not ignore something turn into me saying it’s the WORST thing ever? How do you get that?

    Which is worse – to be considered an angry sex-crazed animal or a pathetic slutty piece of trash? How does someone decide something like that, and why would they even want to?

    It seems it’s YOU who are saying it’s all about race. When I counter that class should not be ignored, as it generally is, I’m accused of saying that it’s a BIGGER issue or the ONLY issue.

    Why do we have to decide which is the worse thing? Wouldn’t THAT be playing oppression olympics? Actually, the last election finally convinced me that being born female is the worst thing, but that’s just my personal opinion, which no one has actually asked for.

    Do you really believe that if a poor white “trash” woman goes missing the police will look for her (and her little dog too) and the media will tearfully report it? Or an old white widow? Or an ugly white lesbian? Why do you lump all white people into one category? Are we all alike to you?

    Lacie and Scot Peterson were an extremely photogenic young couple living beyond their means (not some shabby Canarsians) and she was about to give birth to their first child when she disappeared, among many other iconic elements to the story. And, most importantly to this discussion, we all knew, as the police did, that she was dead from the first report.

  134. Jezebella

    It is not playing “oppression olympics” to point out that class is also a factor in the way our culture responds to crimes against women. Gender, race, class, age, fuckability, the status of one’s male associates and relatives, and sexuality all factor into whether a woman’s death is news or not.

    Being more newsworthy is only rarely of any benefit to the victim. Rarely is better than never. That said, of all the women raped, kidnapped, and/or murdered by men in the last, say, five years, we can probably among us only name a handful. Laci Peterson’s newsworthiness did not save her life. Mrs. Dr. Aranov was one of the few lucky ones, yes, but we should all be so lucky.

  135. pheenobarbidoll

    White or black, you exist for men to decide if they want to protect you or not. Everyone else NOT in the top 2 races that anyone gives a shit about don’t even get brought up. Many WOC only exist in the past, with cowboys and the wild west.

    So no one even brings it into the debate. Ive long since understood there are only 2 races in America, with Asians getting honorable mention.

    Indians, well we died out once people stopped riding horses for transportation.

  136. Amananta

    Well, I’m not upper class myself. And while the overwhelming majority of poor women are seen as having suspect morals, white women who aren’t wealthy still get to be seen as “good girls” if they play the game and make a really big deal about being religious and keeping their legs shut. *cue puking noises*

  137. Isabel

    “white women who aren’t wealthy still get to be seen as “good girls” if they play the game and make a really big deal about being religious and keeping their legs shut.”

    Slightly outdated advice, wouldn’t you say?

    Sorry to be posting here again, but I wanted to reply to something on the related ‘rape prevention’ thread. Feral stated “While it is imperative to note that the majority of economically disadvantaged women are women of color…” – this is common misconception if it is a reference to the US.

    While WOC are more likely to be economically disadvantaged than whites, because it is a white majority country if you include people up to the lowest end of the lower-middle class (non-college educated, female-headed households, etc, who are really struggling for basic survival in today’s economy) my understanding is whites will definitely be in the majority.

    Even among those living below the official poverty line, based on Wikipedia (sorry, no time to do a full analysis) even when lumping all non-whites together there is only a very slight majority over whites (approx 19 million vs 18 million), and this slim majority is only reached by including Hispanics of all races (presumably this includes white Hispanics) in the non-white category. The numbers of black and white children living below the poverty line in the US are about equal (approx 4 million each).

    The unequal RATES are incredibly unfair of course (and yes definitely racist in case anyone still thinks I am a racism denier!), but they shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore, or even deny the existence of, the largest group of economically disadvantaged because of their race.

  138. mayya

    My favorite part is that he doesn’t want a stranger to determine whether or not he will have children. I can’t even imagine what having that concern might be like.

  139. Valerie M

    @ Isabel

    ‘Although whites make up 2/3 of the US population, the majority of those living under the poverty line are POC.’

    There, fixed that for you.

  140. Isabel

    @ Isabel

    ‘Although whites make up 2/3 of the US population, the majority of those living under the poverty line are POC.’

    There, fixed that for you.”

    Actually, if ‘hispanics of all races’ means white hispanics are included, as I assume it does, the slim majority would be on the white side.

    Anyway Feral’s comment was in reference to the ‘economically disadvantaged’ not those under the official poverty line.

    What is your point anyway? That only poverty rates should be considered? And we should ignore disadvantaged whites, who are in the majority? Maybe we should just mock them ceaselessly in the media and even blame them for all the ills of society. Fucking rednecks they don’t get it. Not like the nice educated white people on the coasts.

  141. Valerie M

    Isabel your comment is racist and almost MRA-like. You seem completely unaware of what women of colour are facing – but then even having the choice to remain in ignorance is a function of your white privilege.

    You have some reading to do. I’d suggest starting here:

    http: //www.feminist-reprise.org/docs/fryewhite1.htm

  142. Isabel

    “You have some reading to do.”

    As do you. Let me know if you would like some suggestions.

    MRA – are you serious? Wait – don’t answer that!

  143. Isabel

    I was just stunned to discover that Comrade Physioprof and Jill have launched an attack on me on another website for bringing the class issue into this discussion (see ‘Loon Alert’ pingback below).

    It is a really disheartening discovery, but at the same time I appreciate the comments from the people here who have gotten what I was trying to express. That is a first for me in the blog-o-sphere, so I will take heart in that at least.

  144. Comrade PhysioProf

    No one “launched an attack” on you. We just “laughed our asses off” at you. If you can’t tell the difference, maybe the Internet’s not for you.

  145. Isabel

    Un-fucking-believable.

    You are laughing your asses off and making “trailer” jokes about me because I am standing up for poor white women?

    How this is funny is beyond my comprehension.

    This is hardly “advanced blaming” – it’s advanced scapegoating.

    Amazing that attempts to discuss class oppression withing the white “race” brings out this level of hostility privileged whites like PP and Jill, but perhaps I am being naive.

    Some people around here need to examine their class privilege. I can suggest some readings for you.

  146. Comrade PhysioProf

    Isabel, if you are not satisfied with the direction of the discussion here, you do know that you are perfectly entitled to initiate your own forum for discussion of topics that are more to your liking at any of a number of available free services, such as Blogspot and WordPress, right?

  147. Amananta

    ““white women who aren’t wealthy still get to be seen as “good girls” if they play the game and make a really big deal about being religious and keeping their legs shut.”

    Slightly outdated advice, wouldn’t you say?”

    I am now utterly confused. First of all, it wasn’t advice, but a statement of the reality I’ve experienced my entire life, and I’m under 40, so I don’t think its “outdated, no. Most of my family still thinks this way, in 2009.
    I am perplexed as to why you think I am *ignoring* class. I am acknowledging class but saying it does not balance out somehow against white privilege. Besides, if you are a woman of color, AND poor, you get to have all THREE types of discrimination used against you – sexism, racism AND classism. Perhaps you do not mean to be sounding like this but it seems as though you are trying to say poor white women are somehow less privileged than poor black women, and that does fit the term generally called “Oppression Olympics”. I’ve seen other poor white women exhibit gross, blatant racism against black women and expect me to go along with them and commiserate.
    This all sounds suspiciously like men who get angry about feminism and start pointing out the problems of blue collar men and how powerless they are and how they can’t have privilege over women because they aren’t in a suit. Somehow the reality that working class women have the SAME oppressions as working class men PLUS the added burden of sexism just cannot register with them. I see this happening here too.

  148. Isabel

    “it seems as though you are trying to say”

    “This all sounds suspiciously like ”

    It is really interesting that you (like most people around here) are unable to simply focus on what I ACTUALLY said.

    There’s something downright suspicious about that!

    Perhaps Twisty will have one of her trusty entitled upper-class white male buddies fix the problem (you know by harrassing and attempting to humiliate me) because of course she is unable to, being a mere woman and all. Thank the Lord for good men like See Pee-pee, who are willing to patrol all the feminist blogs rooting out posters who do not express themselves in the approved fashion.

    But you can rest assured that Twisty will stand by her man friend and continue to make “trailer” jokes at my expense. In case you didn’t know, that is code for “white trash.” Us poor white women are so lucky to be chosen as scapegoats for the rest of society!

    In conclusion, it seems suspiciously like what you are trying to say is that all white people are similarly privileged, and that they are all lording it over all “people of color” which is, well wrong. Where is this thinking getting you?

  149. Isabel

    “maybe the Internet’s not for you”

    “Isabel, if you are not satisfied with the direction of the discussion here…..”

    Pee Pee, your entitled roots are showing. Do you havce any idea how offensively condescending and inappropriate your tone is on a feminist blog? And why do I seem to be the only person here aware of this?

    You’ve been told this before – your White Knight fantasies are ANTI-feminist.

    And if you were not aware, See Pee-pee, YOU HAVE YOUR OWN FUCKING BLOG.

  150. Valerie M

    Pee Pee, your entitled roots are showing. Do you havce any idea how offensively condescending and inappropriate your tone is on a feminist blog? And why do I seem to be the only person here aware of this?

    You are not the only one. Many others have expressed their dissatisfaction with PP’s constant reminders that he’s watching! us at all times. Jill is happy to let him stay and it’s Jill’s blog.

    None of that negates the racism in your comments though, nor does it change the fact that nobody here said class is not a major factor in oppression.

  151. Isabel

    “None of that negates the racism in your comments though”

    This is a major charge to make against another poster, yet you refuse to defend your accusation. What was racist? If it turns out to be a misunderstanding, I would at least be able to address your concerns.

    ” nor does it change the fact that nobody here said class is not a major factor in oppression.”

    Yet just bringing uo caused a ruckus and led to a lot of hyperbolic (and false) accusations. Why?

    As far as PP is concerned, I hope everyone has followed the link and noted that I am not the only one of Jill’s posters to get the “treatment” over at his specially created blog for the purpose.

  152. Isabel

    Sorry for all the typos lately. I just don’t see them when I review my comments- I do have some slight neurological issues with words and letters but I am usually able to do okay with writing at least. Must be all my recent agitation. I will try to review more carefully. And buy some weed, and chill out.

  153. Imaginary

    Being a womyn is like being fed broken glass your entire life. Then, when you mercifully croak, if you were a white womyn, you get a cookie after death (ie. people actually give a shit about you) but if you weren’t, no one cares. The cookie is probably small consolation for the dead white womyn, but other, alive, white womin at the very least see that if they die horribly, there will be a police investigation and perhaps a lovely montage on the news. But what do I know? I’m white, young, and deranged so I could be completely off the mark. Regardless, IBTP!

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