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Dec 06 2009

I got yer rape prevention email forward right here

Gas Pumper

It was on a recent comment thread that the subject of racial bias in abduction reportage popped up. I allude to the phenomenon where a white woman and a black woman may be kidnaped on the same day, but the news media only get overwrought about the white girl. The socio-pathology underlying the phenomenon is said to be that, for a given kidnap/murder, the depth of responding media prurience correlates precisely with the abductee’s sex and social status.

As an aside, let us please observe a moment of silence for how fucking educational this blog is. I had always informally thought of the aforementioned phenomenon as Natalee Hollowayism. Come to find out it’s an official syndrome. It’s called, in fact, Missing White Woman Syndrome. I read all about it in Wikipedia. Speaking of Wikipedia, here’s a kind of funny example of Wikipedian copy-editing gone awry:

“Described as ‘bright and beautiful,’ Huston’s remains were found more than a year later.”

But I digress.

No, wait, I feel another digression coming on. While I’m on the subject of race bias, an anecdote:

Austin’s swankiest second-hand store is a joint called Uncommon Objects. This shop, located on trendy South Congress on the event horizon of an irony wormhole, is jammed to the joists with quirky, overpriced mid-20th century bric-a-brac and weird-ass shit running the gamut from cheezy to creepy: huge pink vulvateen ceramic ashtrays, disfigured and disembodied rubber baby-doll heads, rusty old dental instruments, frayed Masonic tapestries embroidered with sinister symbols, etc. I go a-rummaging there whenever I’m in the market for a Mason jar full of petrified sugar cubes ca. 1953, or a disintegrating antique leather baby shoe, or, as was the case yesterday when I adjourned thither for a quick rootle, a heartwarming gift for my sidekick Stingray (see the chic and elegant plastic brooch pictured above; although for some reason, she failed to warm to it in the enthusiastic manner I had anticipated).

Anyway, I had just finished examining a disturbing, moldy-looking object labeled “FAKE HAM $45″ when I espied a faded 8 x 10 portrait of a young couple in love. The label said, “PHOTO OF BLACK COUPLE $16.50.”

Because I am an advanced patriarchy-blamer and world-famous sleuth, I immediately looked for, and detected, a similar photo of a white couple. You’ll never believe it! The sticker on this photograph did not say “PHOTO OF WHITE COUPLE $16.50.” It said “ROMANTIC PHOTO, $30.”

So there ya go.

Onward. In the comments thread to which I allude above, blamer Speedbudget observes, with respect to the idea that media coverage of women’s abductions reflects what blamer Isabel sneeringly refers to as “a public outpouring of concern:”

“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 [I would say "all" -- Ed.] responsibility for the violence.”

Coincidentally, I recently received, from blamer frootloopz, an email on a totally related subject. The email contained a satiric regendering of one of those “scaremongering emails that people forward to me from ‘An Othershire Police Constabulary’ about how I shouldn’t go out at night, shouldn’t drink alcohol, shouldn’t do this, shouldn’t do that etc.” For the edification of the cosmos, I reproduce (a slightly modified version of) it here.

___________________________________________

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.

2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.

3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to assault her.

4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t assault her. You know what? Don’t even ogle her.

5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not assault her.

6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or assault her.

7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.

8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from assaulting women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when in public.

9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to assault a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.

10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.

Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be assaulting her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.

______________________________

Forward this, along with $1, to everyone you know, and soon you will be a millionaire!

96 comments

7 pings

  1. speedbudget

    Well, there’s an example of patriarchal brainwashing right there in my comment. For goodness sake. “Some.” Pshaw.

    This is all outrageous and very maddening,

    Speedy

  2. Comrade PhysioProf

    “Described as ‘bright and beautiful,’ Huston’s remains were found more than a year later.”

    /facepalm

  3. rootlesscosmo

    on the event horizon of an irony wormhole

    It’s still a few weeks to the end of the year but surely we all know who’ll get the coveted Dorothy Parker Award for Phrase-Turning (a bronze margarita-shaped paperweight, or weapon) for 2009.

  4. Karen

    That revised list of Prevention Tips needs to be posted in LARGE print in multiple locations at the university I attended. At one point the attacks became so prevalent that the students had dubbed Spicer St. “Rape Street”.

  5. Pinko Punko

    I detect a regularization of the periodicity of IBTP content- I wonder if the LHC is actually producing obstreperal particles instead of the “God” particle? Although I suspect that according to the dominant paradigm that will end up just being proposed to be a schlong quark or a ball boson.

  6. Frumious B.

    I have seen that list many times, but I like the Jill version the best.

    @Pinko Punko: If you are looking for a quantum of Patriarchy, it’s known as the Hardon.

  7. wiggles

    Yeah but the problem with those rape prevention tips is that they operate on the assumption that all men are potential rapists. They also fail to police women’s behavior by instilling fear, and if not for that, what’s the point of having rape in the first place?

    (you all don’t know me very well, so I should probably clarify that the above is sarcasm)

  8. Kelsey B.

    wiggles – It is a testament to the sad state of the internet that I read the first sentence of your comment and thought that you were completely in earnest. Sigh.

  9. yttik

    (you all don’t know me very well, so I should probably clarify that the above is sarcasm)

    Much gratitude for your clarification. That’s some dry wit there, something far too many others say in complete earnestness.

  10. Medbh

    In October I was assaulted by a man walking towards me on the busiest street here in Dublin.
    When I recounted the incident on the phone to my mother in the U.S., she demanded to know why I was walking alone after dark.
    It was 8:20pm.
    Verily, I was asking to have some dude shove his forearm against my chin and run me into the storefront, just by the cheek of being at large after sundown.
    What was I thinking?

  11. Jill

    Crikey, Medbh!

  12. liberality

    This country runs on victim blaming so I’m not surprised Medbh. But remember, you are not at fault-you did nothing wrong-and it is the creep who assaulted you who is breaking the law. You deserve safety as much as the next human being.

  13. Shelby

    Snap! Medbh. After I had been beaten a striking shade of purple by the fruit and nut job who purportedly lurrrrved me, for daring to have shandies with the kids from uni after our exams, my mother was recounting the incident to my sister and ended the story with, It’s terrible. She didn’t even deserve it.”

  14. mearl

    Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work = comedic gold.

    Does anyone have any more suggestions for a “How Not To Get Hoofed in the Dudely Junk While Living in B.C.” Tip List?

    So far, I’ve got these tips for dudes who are scared for the integrity of their junk:

    BE AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING HOOFED IN THE JUNK. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.

    1.Don’t leave the house alone after dark. Ever. You’re asking for it.

    2.If you MUST leave the house after dark, go out with a buddy or in a group. That way if you get attacked by a junk-hoofer, there is a chance she might go after someone else’s junk, not yours.

    3.Don’t wear anything provocative like jogging shorts or soft pants. Keep a jockstrap on at all times.

    4.Walk confidently, stay in well-lit and well-populated areas, be aware of your surroundings, and make eye contact with any females you pass to let them know you’ve seen them. Junk-hoofers tend to target dudes who are isolated and who look weak, confused, or lost.

    5.Call a dude friend or your parents and let them know where you’ll be and for how long. That way, if you don’t contact them again within the arranged time frame, they can assume you might have been hoofed in the junk and could very well be lying on a sidewalk somewhere with your testicles up in your abdomen.

    6.YOU are responsible for your own safety. Call your local police department or junk-hoofing crisis center and set up a schedule for a Law Enforcement Officer to speak to your employees or neighbors.

    7.Hold your murse close, not dangling, and keep it in front of your junk.

    8.Keep car doors locked at all times. While walking to your car, look under car. Before entering your car,look into the back seat and on floor board: females are often smaller in stature and can hide easily in any of these places waiting to hoof you in the junk. Always have your keys ready to unlock the car door and enter without delay. Never walk across the parking lot digging in your murse for your keys; have them in your hand before leaving the building.

    9.When you return home, have your door key ready so that you can enter without delay.

    10.Flee if you are in a potential junk-hoofing situation. Yell or scream to attract attention. Carry a whistle that will make a loud noise.

    11.Engage in passive or active resistance. Passive resistance is to think and talk your way out of a situation. Active resistance is to react immediately to startle the junk-hoofer. Use any available item (AXE BODY SPRAY, KEYS, MURSE) as a weapon.

    IF YOU ARE HOOFED IN THE JUNK:

    The Sheriff’s Department can only arrest a junk-hoofer if they are made aware of the offense. If you are hoofed in the junk, call 911 or the Police or Sheriff’s Department IMMEDIATELY.

    DON’T CHANGE CLOTHES OR TAKE A BATH OR SHOWER and do NOT EAT or SMOKE or CHEW GUM. All physical evidence, including shoe imprint, hair, blood types, and scrapings of shoe materials from the victim’s groin area are used in court. Avoid using the bathroom prior to the exam if possible. Be sure to fill out a junk-hoofing kit, which you can be sure will sit in the police office for years unentered into the police database since they are so backed up with the amount of junk-hoofings that occur every year.

    Finally, remember this to practice being observant so that, if your junk is hoofed, you will be able to remember and identify the assailant. You may follow the advice and safety tips recommended and still find yourself confronted by a hoofer. If it happens, you will have only seconds to decide your method of defense, so you must prepare mentally for the possibility of a junk-hoofing happening to you.

    Addendum from Mearl: Please don’t be so silly as to expect that junk-hoofing will ever get listed as a “hate crime” despite the fact that statistics show 1 in 4 men will be hoofed at some time in his life. The prevalence of false junk-hoofing accusations and overwhelming evidence that the accuser actually wanted to be hoofed, or is just trying to exploit the more economically advantaged accused, results in more than 80% of hoofing cases to be abandoned before even reaching court. It’s just the way things go, boys. Suck it up.

  15. Jane Q Public

    This is great. The chain emails that are sent to me via well- meaning relatives about how to keep myself safe anger me more than scare me. I tend to think those sort of scare tactics in the guise of concern are more about keeping us ladies in line over actual concern.

    I also believe the same is true regarding the vast umbrella of the cult of motherhood and the absolute terror all mothers live in over not doing the exact right thing for their children because if they don’t do it, Junior will be fucked for life and it will be all Mommy’s fault. Over course, the exact right thing is ever changing, so no one can ever get it right.

    Much like the ever changing rules of Mommy-hood, there are ever changing guidelines for what a woman must do to avoid getting raped. This list just keeps growing and growing. Thank you for posting a list that is guaranteed to actually work if the techniques are applied correctly.

    I’m tired of the big bad patriarchy trying to keep me tap dancing on my toes just so I can live my life how they think I should: scared shitless.

  16. Cathy

    Mearl! How can anyone think feminists don’t have a sense of humor after that? I’m still chuckling at the image of a shoe imprint (stiletto) needed for evidence. And at lawyers saying, “It was consensual. He gave her permission to hoof him, but then changed his mind.”

    I wish they had to refer to us as “hoofers” instead of “heifers” or “hos.”

  17. Shelby

    mearl

    “Yell or scream to attract attention”

    But don’t yell “hoofer!”. Yelling “fire!” is more likely to bring help.

  18. wiggles

    Thanks, mearl. If dudes don’t apply your common-sense safety precautions, they have no one but themselves to blame if they go and get their junk hoofed.

  19. Sandi

    Merl: that was just beautiful. Oh, thank you.

  20. Sandi

    Mearl: curses! a typo! I do heartily apologize.

  21. slythwolf

    “Described as ‘bright and beautiful,’ Huston’s remains were found more than a year later.”

    Oh, Wikipedia. You make me [sic].

  22. Cathy

    “But don’t yell “hoofer!”. Yelling “fire!” is more likely to bring help.”

    But yelling, “Hoofer!” might attract voyeuristic onlookers. There may even be some feminazis cheering the hoofer on. Don’t expect anyone to call for help, though. Fucking gigolo was asking for it, going out without an escort.

  23. Notorious Ph.D.

    One of the first IBtP posts I ever read was from (I think) 2007, on the issue of Rape Spam. After wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes, and thinking, “Oh, but that’s some of the best feminist prose I’ve read lately,” I immediately bookmarked this site, and have been hanging around ever since.

    Could you post a link to this? You’ve gained so many new readers since then, and I’d hate to think of them missing out on this.

    And Mearl: I think I love you.

  24. Notorious Ph.D.

    Found it! From the IBtP archives:

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2005/07/16/rape-spam/

  25. mearl

    I actually paraphrased that whole thing from some “Sexual Assault Prevention Tips” on a police website.

    Shelby: yep, forgot that one. Bystanders are more likely to lend a hand in a fire than in a situation where a dude is getting his junk hoofed.

    I also forgot to add that if the victim is a mainstream-approved handsome white male from an upper-middle-class family, in his teens or early twenties, he can expect that the media will plaster his story everywhere and that letters of sympathy will pour in from Reader’s Digest subscribers and church congregations in all corners of the continent.

    If he is an unattractive or older male, a disadvantaged male, a homosexual male, a male of colour, or any combination of the above, the press won’t give a flying fuck. Unless of course he’s a stripper or sex worker, and then it will be reported upon as an “shock piece” for that large portion of the female audience who considers stories like this titillating to read about (especially after they’ve been ogling the bottomless page 3 boys). It would also serve the interests of the average law-abiding, church-going, stand-up dude who can shake his head in disgust and agree with his buddies that “the stupid slut deserved that hoofing, and he’s probably lying about it anyway.” Any press report on this sort of case would continually refer to the “alleged” hoofer.

  26. katrina

    Jill, you’ve given me another dangling participle for my list (which exists because students’ eyes glaze over if I talk about a participle modifying a word other than the word intended, not because I’m a pedantic bore, even though I am one).
    Until today, my favourite was this one, from the Observer: “Covered in discarded mountaineering detritus and suffering under thousands of tourists’ boots every year, environmental groups are to launch a push for a radical solution — the temporary closure of the world’s highest mountain.”
    But the one with the bright and beautiful remains is better.

    You all have worked your magic and made me smile while reading about victim blaming, which normally has me feeling impotent and furious. Now could you work that magic on the story of the differently labelled photos?

  27. norbizness

    According to the 3/5ths rule, that photo of the black couple should have cost $18, not $16.50. Uncommon Objects needs to put one of their best disinterested clerks on one of their vintage adding machines for further Constitutional calculations.

  28. PandanCat

    mearl, that was freakin’ brilliant. I’m going to print that out and keep it in my desk for when I’m feeling down.

  29. RKMK

    Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

    Brilliance. Sheer brilliance.

  30. Phil Brown-Wilusz

    Hey all,
    I have to say that I don’t find as much humor in the list of rape prevention methods as was intended. As a straight men who is committed to ending patriarchy these are exactly the kinds of messages that men need to hear. Unfortunately these messages are not delivered by men’s fathers, friends, teachers or anyone else for that matter. If men stood up and told each other every number on that list and were taken seriously in doing so, the effect would be enormous. So I blame the patriarchy for keeping a message like this confined to the realm of satire and not something that we actively are teaching our sons and each other.
    Phil :)

  31. Pinko Punko

    frumious!!!!!!!

    I meant to comment about the poor guy that got is nut busted in Canada that Jill could have extended the satire to some hand-wringing worrying about maybe it was what he was wearing or maybe it was dark. Maybe that would have been too on the nose.

  32. akeeyu

    I think I would like those tips on a t-shirt.

  33. Hedgepig

    “I also forgot to add that if the victim is a mainstream-approved handsome white male from an upper-middle-class family, in his teens or early twenties, he can expect that the media will plaster his story everywhere and that letters of sympathy will pour in from Reader’s Digest subscribers and church congregations in all corners of the continent.”

    Sorry to rain on the second-most light-hearted thread active at IBTP today, but this bit just ain’t right. From whence did this odious meme that white, middle class rape victims get care and sympathy from society emerge?

  34. Jan

    An anti-rape buddy system for the guys who rape gals in all the dude nations; great idea.

    Meanwhile, funny though it is (and humor is healing), as a woman raped by a man (who escaped prosecution) and also as the mother of an adult daughter thinking about a legal career, today when I passed along the funny link to her by email, I added this serious commentary:

    [About your interest in an internship for the ACLU against the death penalty] Whenever rapist-murderer A is on death row (usually somebody with a long rap sheet if not multiple convictions for violence against women) and then rapist-murderer B confesses (for law-enforcement system reasons not entirely transparent) to the particular rape-murder on which A is incarcerated and as well confesses to other killing, on which he was caught red-handed, as part of a life-sentence (no death) plea deal, and/or DNA testing (not entirely accurate as evidence) clears A — then A will get released from the death-penalty conviction with global media reportage slanted to make rape convictions, per se, seem like a bad thing for those men idealized as having been falsely accused.

    The social “meme” of “men falsely accused of rape” then perpetuates itself as a social actuality to reduce the legal resources spent on rape investigations and prosecutions, further harming women as a gender class, no matter what the legal advances to women “on the law books” appear to be.

    The elimination of the death penalty might remove this drama and unfairness to women in the actual practice of the system of so-called “justice” regarding rape (whether or not a particular man murders a woman after he has raped her).

    Because only about 6% of rapes get reported any way (the victim-blaming social sanctions against women being so profound), and far fewer rapists are ever brought to “justice,” the death penalty in the A/B example above works further to erode legal protections for women against men who rape.

    Now if only the “God” of the godbags would smite the rapist bastards. But “He” rather approved men raping women in the Old Testament “scriptures” Christianity chose to inherit from Judaism. Hug one of Mother Nature’s trees today, anyone?

  35. birkwearingblamer

    12. You are most likely to be hoofed in the junk by an intimate partner. Contact your local hoofed in the junk shelter to make a plan for leaving. Be sure not to leave evidence of contact with the hoofed in the junk shelter on your phone or computer. Gather important documents in a hiding place and absolutely do not let your hoof junker discover your plans. Go to your local hoofed in the junk shelter. Gather evidence for a protective order against your junk hoofer. You will need photographic evidence of your testicles in your abdomen (which a female judge will view) and testimony from other witnesses (preferably females with whom you have no personal relationship) to obtain an protective order. With a protective order, the police may arrest your hoof junker when she shows up to hoof you in the junk again. You must wait for your hoof junker to try to hoof junk you before she can be arrested.

  36. goblinbee

    Notorious Ph.D., thanks for that link.
    My, I had a good laugh!

  37. feral

    akeeyu, I second the T-shirt idea. Jill, thanks for this post! If I have to sit through one more class discussion during which students sincerely suggest that women shouldn’t report rapes which occur while drinking because, hey, your-memory-could-be-clouded-and-who-knows-what-REALLY-happened or read one more “How to Avoid Sexual Assault During Your Spring Break” pamphlet, I may rip my own eyes out. Funny how these guidelines never suggest getting a concealed weapon permit and packing heat. Silly me, but I think I should be able to get absolutely shit-faced without someone raping me.

  38. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Feral, you should be able to get shit-faced after dark and walk down the middle of the street wearing nothing but a smile without someone raping you.

  39. speedbudget

    I made the mistake of watching “Cops” last night. Usually, this isn’t that much of a problem. It’s background noise with the occasional foray into civil liberties trampling, but that’s par for the course anymore. The problem last night was it was “Cops — MARDI GRAS!!!!!!!”

    Talk about a pit of patriarchy. The women who were flashing or walking around topless were given many stern talking-tos, usually about how “You shouldn’t do that. You will get groped. Do you really want to get groped?” The women were shamed and made to feel dirty and bad. Meanwhile, the gropers, the ones actually assaulting said women, were given nary a talking-to.

    They actually did grab one guy because he got a “little too rough” with one of the women flashing. They only arrested him because he resisted. I thought the most honest moment of all was when he was handcuffed getting ready to get in the paddy wagon and said, “I’m sorry now.”

    I had to turn it off. I couldn’t take one more cop talking about how the women are responsible for the men keeping their hands off of them.

    Rape culture is so clear when you see it laid out like that.

  40. StillWater

    Normally I don’t hate my self enough to watch TV but someone had it on when I was in the kitchen cooking my meal. It showed a woman wandering panic stricken around a parking lot because she had lost her car. Luckily she had a little gadget that “Points the way to safety!” … her car. I was stunned into silence by the commercial, was hoping it was fake right up till I saw the $119 price tag at the end. There were so many things wrong with it but what was really struck me as odd was.. how would finding her car prevent a man from coming after her in the first place?

  41. procrastinatrix

    The original “reverse” list, at the original author’s blog, if anyone’s interested. Good to attribute these things. I enjoyed Jill’s modifications too.

    http://feminally.tumblr.com/post/168208983/sexual-assault-prevention-tips-guaranteed-to-work

    Phil–I posted the link above on FaceBook, and asked any of my connections who work with boys and young men to pass it on. I’m linked to a pretty small bunch of people on FB, but it’s a small gesture and those tend to add up. If you’d like to see these points discussed with men, then I humbly suggest you pass them on to your personal and professional circle too.

  42. octopod

    Hedgepig: “From whence did this odious meme that white, middle class rape victims get care and sympathy from society emerge?”

    From, I think, the experience of non-white, non-middle class rape victims. The disaster area is always slightly less scorched and irradiated on the other side of the fence.

  43. Jezebella

    Octopod, how is it that non-white, non-middle class women can be certain of what white middle-class rape victims experience? None of us know what the disaster really feels like for each woman. It’s completely unfair to suggest that you can tell what one victim’s experience was from outside of her head, based only on her race and socioeconomic status. It’s not the “experience of non-white non-middle class rape victims,” it’s the “assumptions” of said people. If a white middle-class woman can’t tell you what *your* experience was like on a disaster scale of 1 to 100, you can’t tell HER what hers was like. Dig?

  44. Isabel

    As a white woman from a working class background, why am I feeling invisible in these discussions? Is it really useful to assume all white women are upper-middle class when only a minority are?

  45. birkwearingblamer

    Acknowledging that WOC are oppressed by racism does *not* lessen the seriousness of the sexism experienced by all women.

  46. Magdalena

    procrastinatrix,

    Thanks for the link to the list. I’ve passed it along via Twitter, where hopefully people will read it and pass it on to others. I think you’re right that these sorts of gestures add up.

  47. yttik

    “Acknowledging that WOC are oppressed by racism does *not* lessen the seriousness of the sexism experienced by all women.”

    True, but in the context that it keeps getting brought up, it feels dismissive, as in, “stop your whining, others suffer more.”

    Also, the presumption that being a non white victim automatically means you have suffered all these additional atrocities begins to feel a bit like pity, pity being a rather demeaning thing that robs someone of power.

  48. birkwearingblamer

    Not pity–empathy. I trust that WOC can deal with genuine empathy without diminishing their human dignity. Often what people need is to have their experiences and feelings validated. Does it harm you to validate the truth of another person’s reality?

  49. mayya

    “the event horizon of an irony wormhole”

    Thank you.

  50. Isabel

    Twisty,

    Why was my comment requesting we remember most white women are not upper-middle class (the default assumption) pulled? Comments accusing other commenters of racism left and right are fine though? But bringing up the issue of class is taboo? As Hedgepig points out above, it’s a huge part of the picture.

  51. Jill

    “Why was my comment requesting we remember most white women are not upper-middle class (the default assumption) pulled? Comments accusing other commenters of racism left and right are fine though? But bringing up the issue of class is taboo? As Hedgepig points out above, it’s a huge part of the picture.”

    For crissake, your comment was not “pulled.” It was apparently sent to moderation by an entirely automated process while I was out living my actual life. Please read the FAQ, esp. this for more information on the customer service blamers can typically expect from me.

  52. yttik

    “Does it harm you to validate the truth of another person’s reality?”

    Not at all. Let’s be kind to each other and try to empathize as much as possible.

    What harms me is when assumptions are made, such as the myth that white woman equals middle class or that being a woman of color means poverty, bad schools, etc. People are individuals and should be allowed to speak of their experiences without us having all these preconceived notions based on skin color or even economic status.

  53. Cranky Old Coot

    “huge pink vulvateen ceramic ashtrays” vulvateen-Jill would you be willing to autograph my copy of the OED that first appears in?

  54. Isabel

    Well, okay. I don’t understand how moderation works I guess. When I looked hours after I had posted mine, there were quite a few new messages so I assumed you’d looked them over. Why would only some go into moderation? I did post on the other thread so maybe that was why. Anyway, sorry. There is so much hostility here it must be making me paranoid.

  55. procrastinatrix

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality

    Smarter women than I have remarked that trying to decide whose personal experiences are more painful than someone else’s, or what type of oppression is worse than others, is an unhelpful form of “oppression olympics”, which distracts from listening to each other’s lived experience and focusing on supporting each other and working for social change.

    It’s a pretty well established fact that all white women in the US, from any class, benefit socially from privilege which all non-white women do not. Saying that isn’t the same as saying that white women aren’t oppressed in other ways, nor that white women and non-white women aren’t oppressed in some of the same ways.

  56. Cee

    Arguing that we should forgo discussion and strong awareness of the intersectionality of gender with race and class in favor of being “individuals” is a pious way of saying “sit down and shut up.”

    Individuality is truly fan-dabby-dozy! But when cited to deny the pervasive influence of oppressive social constructs? That’s some freeze-dried, vacuum-bagged MRA bullshit right there.

  57. yttik

    “sit down and shut up.”

    Give me a bloody break! We’re discussing a hypothetical white male victim of a hoofer. Some commentators have not liked the implication that being white means your will automatically receive sympathy and compassion from society when you are raped. It is you who are denying women’s experiences and doing a lot of name calling in the process.

    However, thanks for the comedy. I will now take my racist, MRA loving self and go inform people I suffer from white privilege. Trust me, they’ll get a kick out of that one.

  58. speedbudget

    To be fair, the white male victims of the rape victim going to the police is given tons and tons of sympathy by everyone involved. So there is that.

  59. notalady

    “To be fair, the white male victims of the rape victim going to the police is given tons and tons of sympathy by everyone involved. So there is that.”

    Unless they “appear” to be gay.

  60. wiggles

    speedbudget
    December 9, 2009 at 6:38 am

    To be fair, the white male victims of the rape victim going to the police is given tons and tons of sympathy by everyone involved. So there is that.

    Well it is their reputations at stake.

  61. Isabel

    “It’s a pretty well established fact that all white women in the US, from any class, benefit socially from privilege which all non-white women do not. Saying that”

    I don’t think anyone has denied this, although saying poor white women benefit from any social privilege has an odd sound to the ear of a poor white woman. Somehow she has a better start in life than an upper class WoC. Okay. Of course, what is meant may be “all other things being equal” but that is not how it is usually stated.

    It’s frustrating that the default white woman is nearly always upper-middle class, as if the two went hand-in-hand. Working class and lower middle class white women are no better represented in social and feminist movements, or in the academic and social progessive blogosphere, than WoC are in my experience (even though they are in the majority in the society). And yes scream at me all you want, but lower class white women have things in common with WoC (of all classes) that upper class white women do not.

  62. birkwearingblamer

    Was there a specific comment that implied that all white women are “upper class?” I didn’t see one. Maybe you could direct me to a comment to which you are referring. It’s possible that I missed something.

    It seems like you have a lot of anger at the oligarchy, which is getting misplaced against WOC. You have every right to be angry about the oligarchy, particularly in light of the current economic crisis and financial barrons’ political clout. This anger does not need to be directed at WOC, who are our allies in that fight. It’s all part and parcel of the patriarchy, which thrives on us fighting among ourselves.

  63. Isabel

    Now I’m angry at WoC??????? The surprises just keep coming.

    It’s impossible to bring class into any conversation of sexism or racism. I’ve tried a number of times with zero success. They are the big two. Bringing up class always leads to these bizarre, condescending lectures (it seems you have a lot of anger…), reading assignments, useful links (you might want to start here as a way of learning about your white privilege…), etc.

    Oh well, as usual I give up. But I’m not buying the validity of any argument that ignores, or simply gives superficial lip service, to class.

    I enjoyed the creative lists though, and plan to use them!

  64. mearl

    Hedgepig, I know that society doesn’t give a crap about any rape victims, really, I’m just inferring from a lot of things I’ve seen in the press, such as when the Elizabeth Smarts of the world disappear and everyone goes nuts about it for months vs. multiple disappearance and sexual assaults on WoC that only get reported on as “special interest” pieces (like after 30 or more aboriginal women go missing or are found raped and murdered around these parts in Canada, and this doesn’t even get reported on until several rights groups have lobbied for the press to take notice).

    I’m also making up a hypothetical parallel to the series melodrama bullshit that Jill refers to when she writes about CSI and the theme of sex-crime murders or prostitute murders, etc. that never seem to feature who REALLY does sex work because it just ain’t glamorous enough for the mainstream audiences to bother with.

    Lots of women have written about the absence of press coverage on WoC when men rape them compared with the “OMG, poor thing!” when a “mainstream-attractive, celebrity, or rich(er)” woman of any stripe is raped or attacked.That’s why I threw in the bit about it only being interesting if it’s of sexual interest to male readers/viewers. If that’s not the case in real life anymore, then my apologies for being glib.

  65. Cee

    You’re most welcome, I’m gratified that my advocating awareness of intersectionality is so easily dismissed by you as a comedy routine.

    Wow, that certainly is a more openly oppressive (not to mention played out and racially charged) tactic than the previous bullshit.

    White privilege does NOT necessarily amount to racism – just look at Twisty and Birkwearingblamer. Look at all the white feminists who actually acknowledge the “invisible” systemic abuse and exploitation of WoC, pleading “please please…please, my fellow white feminists, quit goddamn fucking up.”

    If you’re white, you have privilege. If you’re male, you have privilege. Does this mean that you’re immune to abuse and injustice in this world, that it’s not atrocious when they inevitably target you? Of course not! No one has argued that – well, except for those who are trying to undermine WoC via exaggeration.

    Aforementioned “fucking up” has given rise to WoC rejecting – or more accurately, being rejected by – Feminism and embracing Womanism.

  66. Hedgepig

    mearl, thanks for addressing that. I still have to disagree, though, that rape victims are ever greeted by a chorus of “poor thing” in the media or in society. Regardless of colour or socioeconomic status when a women gets raped the response is “what was she doing to bring that on herself?”.

  67. Cathy

    Mearl, you and Jill think alike. Your style is top notch.

    Hedgepig, I can think of a couple of examples of pretty, white college students who were missing and people knew some creep raped and possibly murdered them. Pictures of the pretty young women were posted around town, and people spoke of hoping the cops caught the creep.

    Most of the time, the response is just as you described. But in these examples, people did seem to think, “Poor thing.” Maybe they were just empathizing with the white guy who got his beautiful property abducted (stolen).

  68. iiii

    ‘Raped’ vs. ‘went missing’ is the key there – a photogenic white woman with a photogenic middle class family may get press attention if she disappears completely. Not always. Blondness helps.

    A victim who is present, able to be interviewed, and alleging rape will be ignored or blamed.

  69. Hedgepig

    iiii, spot on. Even the P has trouble convincing everyone that women actually want to get kidnapped and murdered.

  70. Unree

    Plus there’s the talking thing that accompanies any woman who says she was raped. She’s not only talking, which is bad enough, but talking in a way that threatens d00dz as a group or one particular accused individual. A disappeared woman, however, deserves the prize of fame because she stays fetchingly silent. If/when they are found, these women tend to lose their favorable public attention or get treated as odd leftovers.

  71. speedbudget

    What about the woman they found living in the man’s backyard after being kidnapped and held there for decades? Everyone was blaming her, saying she should have tried harder to get away.

    So the rules for media and social empathy in case of violent attack are:

    1. You must be a “white-bread” American woman, preferably in late teens to early twenties, preferably of upper-middle to upper class.
    2. You must be one of those “she was so perfect and wonderful and lovely” women. No alternative lifestyles, please!
    3. You must be kidnapped, since getting raped is so distasteful.
    4. You must remain kidnapped forever, the better to pin everyone’s social and sexual fantasies on you.
    5. Your other option is to be found dead, since being found raped is so distasteful.

    This is just a working list.

  72. nails

    The women who earn the sympathy of society for their rapes (by race/class/whatever) aren’t earning real caring or support. The response is only superficially more pleasant.

    They are mourning the loss of what they thought was important about her; namely some kind of sexual purity. This can be assumed virginity or one man’s sacred ownership over her sexuality via marriage (before that its somewhat considered her dad’s). They are sad that her value as an object has been reduced, having been used/borrowed by someone other than the authorized owner. It also demonizes men who decide to rape the ideal (submissive/quiet/patriarchy supporting) women of society. They should stick to raping the underclass of society; it is a very good way to make a submissive nurture bot lifestyle seem bearable as well, and raping a women you wouldn’t marry someday is more understandable to a lot of em. Either way, women remain objects that exist only for dude satisfaction and never reach the level of being totally human.
    This is the kind of crazy rationalizing dudes need in order to feel angry about someone raping their wife/mother/daughter, but to feel ok with other women getting raped.

    I am not saying that this is worse than having no one give a shit about your rape. I am just pointing out how insincere that sort of “kindness” really is. I have noticed that privileges combine with femaleness in interesting ways in a patriarchy. A lot of the time the privilege is just having a different brand of the same aggression thrown your way, its just idealized to the point of being considered a good thing by default. Like when being harassed by random people is considered a good thing for the beauty 2K compliant. Or when women are infantilized and controlled by dudes and told its really just ‘romance’, and how nice that kind of shit is. I am sure we could all go on and on with examples of that kind of thing.

  73. octopod

    Jezebella, I apologise; the word “experience” was ill-chosen. I meant “observations”.

  74. Rogue Spinster

    I am that blotchy pink that passes for white, and I do have privelege. But from my personal experience of being raped, I can assert that sympathy and concern was most assuredly NOT the default response a white middle class woman receives.

  75. Zas

    Wow.

    Someone up thread said that they would rather be a woman of color than a white woman. That just reeks of unexamined privilege. It’s like a man waltzing in and saying that he’d rather be a woman in this patriarchal society. He has *no idea* what women go through everyday or how hellish life would be as a woman in the patriarchy.

    All this talk about how it’s actually worse for white women than WoC is rather stunning. It’s MRA equivalent for race. How is it that someone who has to deal with multiple oppressions is more liberated than someone who only has to deal with one? Where is this Orwellian talk coming from?

    Also, RE white women being ‘desired’ more and therefore worse off than women of color, here’s a breakdown:

    Lifetime rate of rape /attempted rape for women by race:

    * All women: 17.6%
    * White women: 17.7%
    * Black women: 18.8%
    * Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%
    * American Indian/Alaskan women: 34.1%
    * Mixed race women: 24.4%

    I’m not sure if that’s what the poster meant by being ‘desired’ (obviously rape has *nothing* to do with sex, it’s about power).

  76. feral

    My understanding of intersectionality is that it demonstrates matrices/layers of oppression, not just abstract, blanket oppression. While it is imperative to note that the majority of economically disadvantaged women are women of color and that white women do enjoy a significant degree of racial privilege and economic privilege, it is perfectly reasonable to object to classification of all white women as upper-middle class or upper class. It seems to me that Isabel understands intersectionality well, and I can’t see where she is directing anger at women of color; to point out that an upper class woman of color is in a situation of economic privilege in comparison to an uneducated (or even educated) white woman is, in my understanding of the theory, an intersectional approach. Suggesting that economic privilege is also a significant factor is not overlooking the racial oppression of women of color. Just to clarify my position, I agree that feminists have greatly fucked up in ignoring racial oppression and denying women of color full and equal status in the movement, but mainstream feminism has also generally ignored class oppression and excluded poor white women as well. Mainstream feminism also seriously downplays the contributions of lesbian feminists. This is why I’ve always thought that socialist-feminism has historically handled these issues better in comparison with liberal feminism.

  77. feral

    Oh goodness, I should have more closely edited that! I meant to say “to point out that an upper class woman of color is in a situation of economic privilege in comparison to an uneducated (or even educated) white working-class woman.”

  78. yttik

    In the other thread, Amananta nailed it.

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2009/12/03/spinster-aunt-explains-comedy/#comments

    What gets my cankles swelling is that the theory of Missing White Women is a recent political term created by liberal dudes, not out of concern for women of color, but as a complaint about the media that was refusing to cover what they thought was “real” news, “important” news. “Why are you covering all these stupid missing white women?”, was the theme for months. It simply bites to hear women pick up this term and run with it, to use it as evidence of how much compassion white women as victims are shown.

    Where I live there is currently an investigation going on 25 years after the fact. Two white women and five children were murdered and not only did they receive no media coverage, nobody even bothered to file a police report. It was simply presumed that men had tired of them and it was simply presumed that the police would offer no justice. Why bother to even report them missing? Everybody knows what happened and nobody will do a thing about it anyway. A valid complaint since 25 years later I am still forced to cross the street when I see the perpetrators smugly approaching with their new wives and children.

  79. Jesse Gilsinger

    Well, my curiosity has been satisfied in the most unusual way.

  80. feral

    Zas, I may have missed the comment to which you are referring. Who stated that they would rather be a white woman than a woman of color?

  81. Jill

    Jesse Gilsinger, email me at once.

  82. Zas

    Ah, I’m sorry, the quote I was referring to was from the comedy thread.

    Here’s the person I commented on:

    “yttik
    December 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    “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.”

    Sorry, I was tired and sleepy from finals when I posted that.

  83. nails

    “I’m not sure if that’s what the poster meant by being ‘desired’ (obviously rape has *nothing* to do with sex, it’s about power).”

    If this is in response to me, I said that white women are considered more valuable as OBJECTS, and that it is a tool to keep women with more social power (white, upper class ladies) from being as politically active. We all fit into a sub human category via gender. I also kind of resent the idea that being white means people care about your rape; its just not the truth. The police treat white girls like shit if they have been drinking or aren’t upper class or were raped by a husband or boyfriend or weren’t virgins to begin with or dressed wrong or whatever. It is about more than ONLY race (as in it is also about race). Even people ‘caring’ about your rape doesn’t mean anyone really cares because it is violence performed against an actual human being. it is still a property crime; that is when it is ‘serious’.

    Annnd I didn’t see anyone say they would rather be a WoC anywhere. I never even implied that anyone would. Ignore if this wasn’t about my post, but I got a feeling that it is.

  84. Sasha, CA

    It simply bites to hear women pick up this term and run with it, to use it as evidence of how much compassion white women as victims are shown.

    Couldn’t agree more. I *despise* the term “Missing White Women Syndrome.” Fact is that girls and women of all races “go missing” (become victims of male violence) every single day and the vast majority of these cases will receive neither attention nor sympathy from the media/society. There is a tiny minority of cases involving a certain type of victim (upper middle or upper class, from a “good” family, conventionally attractive, young, hetero, not involved with drugs or other “unsavory” elements) that receive a disproportionate share of attention (though even the coverage of these disappearances/murders often has a “cautionary tale” aspect to it that borders on victim-blaming). And while it’s true that most of the women in that tiny subgroup of victims are white, being white is not the defining characteristic of the group. There have been a few cases involving WOC that also got a ton of media attention (the victims were — of course — wealthy, educated, beautiful, young, hetero, and “respectable”), while the majority of disappearances involving white women — like the majority of disappearances involving women of all races — receive very little, if any, media attention.

    The saddest part of the “Missing White Women Syndrome” idiocy is that all too often the supposed progressives who claim to be fed up with the media’s disproportionate coverage of some women’s disappearances take out their frustration not on the media, but the victims. It ain’t Natalie Holloway’s fault that the media has decided to make a big deal out of her disappearance while ignoring others, but from the way some fauxgressives (mainly dudes, but still) talk about her, you’d think Natalie was personally responsible for depriving WOC victims of media attention. Here’s a young woman who was most likely raped and murdered, and I’ve heard supposed progressives make fun of her and pretty much blame her for whatever it is that happened to her (’cause, you know, she was just one of those dumb, sheltered white women).

  85. Hedgepig

    There’s a few straw man arguments accumulating in this and the comedy thread, unfortunately. For instance, this doozie: “All this talk about how it’s actually worse for white women than for WoC..”

    No one has said the patriarchy is worse for white women than for women of colour! Disagreeing with the claim that patriarchy values white women and provides them with protection from harm is a far cry from claiming that they have it worse than women of colour.

  86. yttik

    Zas, you are misunderstanding. I am not a slender white girl. There’s nothing wrong with slender white girls, it’s just not as desirable a position as we sometimes imagine, once you become familiar with the job description. And I have to laugh here, because I am certainly not reeking in unexamined privilege by stating that.

  87. Zas

    Well, with the straw man agrument:

    “yttik
    December 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    “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.”

    And

    “Felicity
    December 4, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    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’.”

    To me, “Point being, in a way these so- called ‘monstrous’ women get the same respect shown men.” implies it’s better off being a scary WoC than a white woman. Of course, the first comment outright states it.

    My reading of these comments is that it is better to be a woman of color than a white woman. Of course, I could be reading them wrong.

    Nails- of course it is more than about race. It’s always about more than one thing.

    “The police treat white girls like shit if they have been drinking or aren’t upper class or were raped by a husband or boyfriend or weren’t virgins to begin with or dressed wrong or whatever.”

    How is it that everyone seems to understand that classism and sexism plays a part but not racism?

    It sucks for all women. All women are treated like shit. I’ve never tried to claim otherwise.

  88. Zas

    Nails-

    I never claimed that being white means that people care about your rape. I fully realize that no one gives a damn about raped women unless it is a woman that belongs to them (sister, mother, daughter ect).

    I just confused as to what you meant by desired and I have to admit, I still am a little foggy.

  89. mearl

    Hedgepig, you said, “I still have to disagree, though, that rape victims are ever greeted by a chorus of “poor thing” in the media or in society. Regardless of colour or socioeconomic status when a women gets raped the response is “what was she doing to bring that on herself?”

    Too right; good point.

    Speedbudget, your list is spot-on.

    Cathy: thanks for the compliment, but I don’t even come close to Jill in style, philosophy, OR sense of humour. That honour goes to the Reverend B. Dagger Lee.

    And to Sasha, I heartily agree that it’s the P-controlled media causing the problems in coverage. I don’t blame anybody for being white, having something horrid happen to her, and getting more press coverage: it’s the power strata’s obsession (and assumption that society shares this obsession) with certain “categories” of women that makes me ill.

  90. birkwearingblamer

    In my experience, the only sympathy and support that rape survivors get is from other rape survivors. There are so many of us.

    I don’t agree that men hate young women the most. Women middle age and beyond become invisible. Older women aren’t even worth notice unless men are ridiculing them . One might think that’s better than the lewd objectification previously experienced but it’s dehumanizing. It’s safe to say that men hate all women in different ways.

  91. Rikibeth

    Raveonettes reference FTW.

  92. veganrampage

    “Black and Missing But Not Forgotten.”

    http://blog.blackandmissing.org/

    Doesn’t get much traffic, but no surprise there. The site is right next to IBTP on my Google Reader.

    In “Black Robes, White Justice” Bruce M. Wright, my life-long friend and esteemed NY State Supreme Court jurist and Criminal Court judge (aka Turn ‘em Loose Bruce)describes the default privilege of “white passport skin”. I remind myself of my passport almost everyday. It’s a hell of a great read, an inside look into Amerika’s injustice system.

    The NYPD, with their notorious race based police brutality and savage unwarranted capricious murders of PoC that continues to this day hated his veritable guts. Bruce considered this to be a badge of honor. He was also an out-spoken feminist, and ruled accordingly from the bench. A man in power who was a consistent friend to those in the rape class, even women without money. Twas something to behold!

    He performed my wedding ceremony, but I can’t hold my own idiocy against him. We who are of sound mind miss you Bruce!

    The world is just that much colder and nastier since he died.

    Hedgepig, as per your usual remarks- yes, yes, and yes!

  93. Jezebella

    http://www.whataboutourdaughters.com has a similar mission: reporting on crimes against black women, especially black girls, the kind that are underreported in the mainstream media.

  94. Seda

    I liked your list, so copied and posted it on my blog, with minor changes. Nice job!

  95. Justin

    This was something I began taking notice of back in ’96/97 when the Ramsey girl was murdered and we had to discuss it every single day in class. People got offended because I told them the only reason the little girl was in the news was due to the fact she was 1) White, 2) Female, and 3) Attractive.

  96. Nicmar

    Mearl: I am crying tears of laughter here. Whilst emitting uncontrollable high-pitched giggles, random woops and claps. My God, I haven’t laughed this hard in ages. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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