Jun 20 2011

Dude wins by default, plus Open Thread!

Why no post today? I’m trapped — temporarily, I hope — in an alternate universe where it is considered bad form to write blogs when there are other, more tedious things to do (such as evading jury duty, taking care of a sick horse, or spending hours on the phone trying, with a pesky history of cancer, to get some goddam health insurance).

Fortunately, the recent pile of comments in the moderation queue has been liberated at last. For the most part there were no anxious emails demanding to know what had happened to them; I commend you on your patience and restraint. I award each and every one of you a Certificate of Ectoplasm!

Certificate of Ectoplasm

Meanwhile, you know how from time to time I cannot resist sharing the juvenile sputters of the occasional would-be dude commenter? Well, here’s some fan mail from a flounder whose dickish remarks on this amusing old post I was recently obliged to run through the PooPoop-U-Lator*, on accounta he’s a moron. He did not like that I ran his comment through the PooPoop-U-Lator, so he wrote this:

congratulations jill you’ve earned a place for this lot along side fox news for me. more then happy to ramble on, regurgitating the same tired thoughts back and forth between those with the same mindset, but no time to hear responses that don’t stroke your pathetic ego. go ahead run me through whatyouhearwhensomeone otherthenyour sheepleiscommenting-u-later. It just proves me right and you unable to form a coherent retort.

p.s. Thank you jill.
I enjoy that you scrambled my comment, it means I win by default.

Sometimes you almost feel sorry for them.

Anyway, because the last one was so popular, let’s have another open thread, what.

* The PooPoop-U-Lator replaces user-selected words or letters with any user-selected word, thus hilaritizing any bit of text. For example, if I enpoopulate dude’s comment, replacing “I” and “me” with “I’m a stupid prick”, it becomes much more useful:

congratulations jill you’ve earned a place for this lot along side fox news for I’m a stupid prick. more then happy to ramble on, regurgitating the same tired thoughts back and forth between those with the same mindset, but no time to hear responses that don’t stroke your pathetic ego. go ahead run I’m a stupid prick through whatyouhearwhensomeoneotherthenyoursheepleiscommenting-u-later. I’m a stupid prickt just proves I’m a stupid prick right and you unable to form a coherent retort.

p.s. Thank you jill.
I’m a stupid prick enjoy that you scrambled my comment, it means I’m a stupid prick win by default.


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  1. Tehomet

    Is it me, or do that dude’s comments make more sense once run through the PooPoop-U-Lator?

  2. nicolien

    Dudely comments always make more sense once run through the PooPoop-U-Lator, methinks.

  3. speedbudget

    Since it’s an open thread, I’m going to start with this:

    Can we sue for lost wages for sitting in a physician waiting room?

    Also, eye dilation is the suck.

  4. Cycles

    You know what? The other day I commented on a bunch of blogs and nobody directly responded to my precious wonderful insightful posts either. They just kept on talking about whatever they were talking about before I injected my Objective Wisdom. My feelings were kinda hurt until I realized: when nobody responds, you win the thread by default. I did that like 20 times this weekend. Truly, I am the deity of internets.

  5. Owly

    He said “sheeple?” Go easy on him, he must be a teenage Ayn Rand fan.

  6. Owly

    (Not to say that all teenagers are stupid, of course. It’s just that I’m 23 and lots of my peers are either just leaving or still in that phase. I think it’s the ones who don’t grow out of it by their 30s that you really have to watch out for.)

  7. Barbara P

    OK! a request for some feminist parenting advice:

    My daughter is 12 and has very visible armpit hair. She apparently doesn’t really give a shit (wears tank tops, etc), which is awesome, except that I fear that there will be social repercussions for her.

    Please understand: Not only do I not wish to pressure her, but if anything I take pride in her “not giving a shit”. However, I also want her to know what she’s up against, without turning that into a kind of pressure. She tends to be the “last one clued in” type of person (me too, actually). If she does end up being hurt, I would not want at her to look at my lack of warning her to imply that I don’t really care.

    On top of that, she likes to dress in things she thinks are “cute”, like shorts that are extremely short, etc. This is another case where I don’t give a shit what she wears if it’s just with me, but I fear that other people’s patriarchy-poisoned perception of her could hold her back. Again, I’m not sure how to approach the issue (She doesn’t tend to enjoy lectures from mom). I’ve only said no to shorts where her butt was showing “because it’s against school rules”, not knowing quite how to explain WHY a school would have such rules, and not knowing how to manage the situation as she gets older.

    I’m not looking to force my daughter either way, only to inform her of what she’s really choosing so that she’s not blindsided. Thoughts?

  8. Strigophilia

    I have a request for the commenters of IBTP. A year or two ago I read an entry on a really cool feminist blog, discussing a study that was conducted by interviewing convicted rapists about their behaviors, self-conceptions, patterns of thought, that sort of thing. Some salient factoids were that most of them didn’t consider themselves rapists (through some kind of psychological chicanery), they were overwhelmingly serial rapists and they tended to predate on women in bars.

    The study came up in a discussion elsewhere but my Google-fu and bookmarks are totally failing me. I don’t want to ask anyone else to trawl Google for me (since a search on the keywords “convicted rapist interview study” or some such is not, shall we say, full of fun, and it didn’t get me anywhere anyway), but does anybody know what I’m talking about offhand?

    The blog I found it at initially was during Google Buzz’s privacy fail; the author was specifically stalked by her husband thanks to Google Buzz revealing her personal info…but that’s all I can remember about it. I think it was on Blogspot.

    Thanks, y’all, and rock onwards with your bad selves.

  9. Fede

    Reading the enPooPoop-U-Lated dickish remarks was more of a hoot than I expected. Thank you for sharing that excellent hilaritisation technique!

  10. sjaustin

    “It just proves me right and you unable to form a coherent retort.”

    Ha! Such a typical dudely response. He is a dude and therefore so important that he is deserving of a well thought out rebuttal, and if he doesn’t get one, it’s because you were “unable” to give him one. Sorry, pal, “unwilling” is not the same as “unable.” You deserve nothing but the mockery you’re getting.

  11. sjaustin

    Strigophilia, here are a couple of posts about the survey you may be referring to, although I’m not sure they’re exactly what you’re looking for. They’re the ones I happen to have bookmarked.



  12. phio gistic

    Strigophilia you are probably thinking of fugitivus dot net.

    Also David Lisak has done a lot of research on rape, concluding that a relatively small number of predatory serial rapists are responsible for the majority of rapes.

  13. eb

    @Barbara – She’s 12 and in jr. high? I’d say she’s fucked no matter what she does. Getting to 18 without any emotional scars inflicted by one’s peers is next to impossible. I’d say she has a better chance than most if she truly doesn’t care.

    Tell her the truth. If she can’t already do it now, very soon she’ll be capable of having a baby. Yes, she’s your baby, but if your baby can have a baby, she’s old enough to hear the truth. Better coming from you.

    When my son was 12, I found it was all about dropping ‘concrete’ suggestions. Like, “Hey, when you go to the arcade at the mall, keep in mind that 30 year old dude who acts like he’s the coolest guy and wants to be your best friend and wants to buy you stuff – yes, that guy – walk away from him.” And he’d say, “Oookay. Why?” And I’d say, “Because what he really wants is for you to suck his dick. Trust your mother. I would never steer you wrong about these things. Just walk away from him.” Then I’d add the plea to his loyalty, “For me, for your mother, just walk away.” And then I’d get, “Ooooookay.” Then I’d say, “I just want you to be aware.” Then I’d drop the ‘be aware’ advice when I thought it appropriate. Not to nag, just to say ‘hey, there are some fucked up people out there and they are all over the place, just follow your instincts (subliminally placed there by your mother).

    Other than that, there’s not a whole hell of a lot you can do except let her know you love her and she can talk to you about anything if she needs to.

  14. The Nerd

    @Barbara – Be honest. Tell her “there are some people who feel Very Important when telling other people what to do. Some of them are going to tell you that you’re not fully human unless you dress like X. Some of them might even be pretending to be your friend.”

  15. Barbara P

    @eb – It’s not only the dirty old men at the mall that I’m worried about (though obviously that’s bad). It’s also teachers, other parents, other kids, etc. who might (nah, WILL) assume all kinds of shit about her when her REAL self is just a sweet, kind-of dorky clueless kid. I’ve seen the way the label “slut” gets applied, and it’s not necessarily directly related to the girls who engage in the most sexual activity; rather, it’s the girls whom the group chooses to ostracize.

    Also keeping in mind the whole “how could her mother let her wear that”? dynamic, where I easily imagine some “well-intentioned” third party having a “helpful conversation” with her filled with all manner of bullshit. Or where I’m seen as not really paying attention to her dress, so if she gets harassed in school, well, what did I expect? That really bugs me.

    But I also don’t want to be the messenger of patriarchy’s rules. What if I overstate the problem and she ends up capitulating to pressure that doesn’t even actually exist? Ugh.

  16. Blind Horse

    PooPoop-U-Lated Perfection.

    @Barbara – I agree with the hard-truth telling. No matter what, her learning curve is going to suck, you making it a shorter curve is better than peer pressure, etc. making it a sharper curve.

    Poor baby. Glad she has a blamer mom looking out for her. My own egg donor was too oppressed (product of family sexual abuse) to be able to tell me anything. As in no birds and bees, no pre-period prep, nada, zip, zero. My dad bought me my first pads, fachrissake. She had all these crazy notions about how only “bad girls” wore their hair in certain ways; it was nuts. The more I think about it the more my mind boggles. So glad I got to where I am today, among you fine people. Anyhoo.

    Clue her in to the P now, before she stops listening and you have to endure her fun-feminist phase 8 years hence.

  17. Strigophilia

    phio gistic: YES. Thank you, that was the original link. The main article’s up on Feministe. I remembered the blog name as something latin-ending but couldn’t get back to Fugitivus.


  18. IrishUp

    @Strigophilia – just an aside: David Lisak’s work is pointedly NOT on incarcerated rapists, but on NiceGuys(TM). YesMeansYes also has a lot on Lisak’s work. Lisak is the only academic dude I can think of saying that rape is the fault of the rapist and dude enablers.

    Barbara P.; I took the approach of not giving details, per se, but of opening the door for conversation, and setting the stage for the forces at play. At about the same age, I spent some time talking to the kid about how (Patriarchy) Society reads shit into clothes and sends lots of messages, often contradictory, about how and what women wear. That since she was getting boobs and all, the messages were going to include sexuality. I let her know I wasn’t going to say wear this or don’t wear that. I told her that for the next few years (I didn’t want to depress her with years = 10s of years) she’d be doing a lot of figuring out how she wanted to look to the world, what kind of attention she’d get from the world, and how much of a shit she wanted to give about that attention. I said that that was her journey, and that she could talk to me about it any time she had a mind to. But that ultimately all I could do was help, since only she could be *her* growing up. If anyone gave me the “how could you let her…” shit, I just told them it’s her body, and we stopped dressing it for her when she was two.

  19. Kali

    Barbara, when I was that age my mom gave me a very nice way of dealing with insensitive classmates who would make fun of just about anything I did/said/was. She just told me “they say that because they are jealous of you”. Instead of coming home crying every day, I got a sky-high self esteem (sometimes too high).

    Where safety is concerned (as opposed to just dorky, stupid comments from peers), give her the brutal, honest truth.

  20. Cara

    I love how dudes always seem to think a comment thread on a blog is a competitive game where they can “win”. The concept of sharing experiences and learning from others does not seem to compute.

  21. A Ginva

    @Barbara – I don’t have kids, but once in a while go to classrooms full of kids and try to teach feminism.

    I don’t know what your daughter’s awareness about patriarchy is but I usually start by asking questions that will lead them to deconstruct the system of domination by men over women, and understand how femininity and masculinity works for kids – I usually draw a line, put F for female on one side and M on the other, and ask what it means to be a boy or girl. Usually all the f/m stereotypes come up on either side. Then I ask the kids to analyse femininity and masculinity – how masc is dominance and the femin. = submission. Then I show that the characteristics they listed are genders and not sex (can a boy cry? Yes! Can a girl be strong? Yes! So it’s not about sex difference. If so, where does the difference come from? Where do we learn that girls must be pretty and boys tough and dominant? (Kids must think: friends, media, peers, family,etc) Then we discuss the role of socialisation in patriarchy

    So “that’s how society imposes certain roles on girls and boys, but what happens when they slip out of that role? When girls act tough, let their armpit hair grow, and boys cry or are sensitive? Society tries hard to push children back into their respective sex role (how? through insults, peer pressure, violence, culture influence, education, etc).

    Then I ask the kids to think about what they can do against this social pressure – I encourage them to be critical about gender and tell them they don’t have to accept these roles, they’re not a given. And if people pick on you for not conforming to femininity, it’s got nothing to do with you, it just means they’re sexist.

    Don’t if that helps, it seems really messy…

  22. A Ginva

    Argh, that post was totally incoherent, was written really fast. Hope it still makes a little sense. If anything seems wrong in what I wrote, it’s likely I expressed myself badly.

  23. Kea

    I’m not a mother, but I clearly remember being a 12 year old rather like the one under discussion (who cares about the dude, anyway). I resented any suggestions that sounded like instructions on how I should dress or behave, which is what it sounds like when you demonstrate concern for the consequences of her choices. If she wants to change the world, that’s great, so I think the right thing to say is something like, “you know, changing the world is very hard, because many people will stand in your way.”

  24. IrishUp

    “I love how dudes always seem to think a comment thread on a blog is a competitive game where they can ‘win’. ”

    And it’s not just commenting, right? P works by setting up all situations as zero-sum competitions. It’s one of the worst things about doodz, that inability to categorize things except as Winner(s) vs Loser. The post in the link being a particularly gross example. It’s also why doodz are so resistant to any thing that challenges where they’re currently at. If they admit to a flaw or an error or (misogyny) whatever, that means they’ve tangibly LOST SOMETHING.

    Some of the worst arguments I’ve had with doods have been while simply trying to get them to see that the Zero Sum Game is not actually the nature of the universe, but a construct. That’s some sanity killing shit.

  25. Barbara P

    Kea –

    If only she knew what she was getting into, I wouldn’t care. She’s not trying to change the world, nor trying to make any statement. Also, thinking back to the “fun feminism” thread, she’s certainly not choosing to wear short shorts because she sees it as *feminist* or any such thing. She seems to like them because that’s the current style, and/or it’s what she sees on TV.

    I think in horror, though of her potential “fun feminist” leanings 8 years from now as she thinks back to her repressive mother who got all hysterical about “sexay” outfits.

  26. Barbara P

    IrishUp –

    If only people would directly engage me about what she wears, then they’d get an earful. But that’s not how it typically works. Instead, it’s whispers behind your back, or just a general attitude or raised eyebrow.

    I’ve taught sexuality education and it always surprises me how retrograde the kids’ attitudes are when I ask them the question “what exactly is a slut? what makes someone a slut?” (And these are kids with parents who are generally more on the liberal side when it comes to sexual issues.) I got a good sense from them how my daughter might be viewed in Jr. high. And the armpit hair just adds a whole ‘nother pile of scorn. (Though in theory it should poke holes in some of the cognitive dissonance – I mean, she’s obviously not trying to attract male attention.)

    Well, in any case, I appreciate the thoughts on this. At the very least it makes me feel less alone in this struggle.

  27. Kea

    Barbara, in that case she is not like me and I really don’t know what can be done. In fact, my mother was the one trying to dress me in sexier outfits. I only wore shorts in summer because it was bloody hot and because, in those days, it was that or jeans.

  28. niki

    Why not bring your daughter here and give her some choice articles and talk her through them?


    There’s no protecting of the innocence at this point, at 12. The best thing you can do is arm her.

  29. Leanne

    Longtime lurker, first time blamer hopping into the open thread with a story: Being a Gender Studies sophomore in college, I went into my psychology class on the first day all wide-eyed with the hope that I would actually go an entire semester without experiencing the overwhelming urge to let a bitter, mirthless laugh escape my lips. Of course, I should have known better, for the dudebro teacher with his whiteness and maleness and marriedness and nuclear-familiness and here’s-a-picture-of-me-and-my-snowboard-on-my-teacher-website-ness was far more interested in lecturing us about Evo-Psych than the actual neurological stuff we were supposed to be learning. In the first five minutes of class I learned that he was every bit the privilege-denying-dude that I thought he was. However, I also learned something else about him: Blamers, I shit you not. His name was Chad.

    Cue the bitter mirthless laugh of Dudebro irony.

    More in line with the current topic at hand, I was wondering if I could get some help from some advanced Blamers. The last time I tried watching the television with my mother and 15 year old sister, we ended up watching a show about mostly white mostly hetero completely patriarchy compliant teenagers boinking. P-Compliant teen girl 1 tells P-compliant teen girl 2 to go ahead and fuck her boyfriend, because otherwise, he’ll break up with her. At the commercial break I insisted upon reiterating this point to my mother and sister, and posed the question as to why that would be on the show. My mother’s reaction was to roll her eyes and explain in a very mansplainy way (I think her husband taught her how to do it) that Teen Girl 2 did NOT agree to fuck her boyfriend and so everything was okay. My point was not that a fictional character on a show was going to do something I didn’t like, but that this very very very bad advice was being portrayed as ACTUAL relationship advice, which my 15 year old sister might actually act on at some point in her life.

    I guess I’m just wondering how to work around my mother’s patriarchy compliance in order to get some decent ideas into my sister’s head. If I can’t help her out a little bit, then she’s completely screwed.

  30. Comrade PhysioProf

    I love how dudes always seem to think a comment thread on a blog is a competitive game where they can “win”.

    Yeah, thatte shitte totally crackes me the fucke uppe, too. I like to refer to itte as the High-School Debate Team Champeenshippe!

  31. Bushfire

    Well, since this is an open thread, I’m going to ask PhysioProf, why do you always type with special spelling?

    Also, I got the “they’re just jealous of you” explanation from my parents, too. There really is nothing you can say as a parent to help your kids with bullying. I just wish I could go back and talk to my younger self, and tell her that those kids were not at all worth the time anyway.

  32. Schnee

    Open thread, good.

    1. I couldn’t understand that dudely commentator. And I don’t care.

    2. Last week, I walked into the women’s loo at the cultural centre, saw a man standing there, walked straight back out without thinking and checked it was the women’s loo. It was, the man was a woman. I felt bad. She just laughed. I still feel the blush coming on when I think about it.

    3. I need to BTP about this, stamp, vent, shout. My friend’s sister fell in love with a man from Virginia USA, married him and moved from England to be with said dude. Sadly, he turned out to be a total stinking pile of godbaggery.
    When she developed breast cancer, he became abusive towards her, saying how ugly she looked and how useless. In spite of being ugly and useless, he told her he was entitled to have sex with her and just took what she wasn’t offering.
    Then she got sicker still. The cancer wasn’t cured, it went into her bones and brain. Godbagger husband published his own book of crappy Christian poetry, came to the hospital to be even more abusive and he stole what little money and jewellery she had. That’s it, there’s no happy ending, I just wanted to spit about it. Vile piece of shit.

  33. Keira

    Barbara P, I was the opposite of your daughter at 12 – I was doing everything I could to look as totally hawt as possible.

    I remember my mother telling me in a Target changeroom, “Keira, not everything needs to be skin tight!”. That hurt, I felt ashamed and embarrassed and uncared for, and it stayed with me for a long time. From a woman who is relatively feminist.

    I like the suggestions of just giving her the facts, being as neutral as possible about her choices. No expert here, but if it were me, I would want to hear the truth, without any suggestion that she had any reason to feel ashamed of her choices.

  34. cootie twoshoes

    Just last week I successfully identified a cluster of stinkhorn mushrooms. All because I read this here blog.

    I took pictures! I told my friends!

    Life is better with Heartwarming Nature Crap!

  35. minervaK

    My favorite part is that the commenter appears to be laboring under the assumption that commenting on blog posts is a competitive sport.

  36. janna

    Commenter dude: “When you changed my comment to make it more accurate/sensical, I got the attention I so crave, which means I win at commenting on blogs. Now that we’re friends, do you want to come to my second grade graduation on Friday?”

  37. Triste

    Open thread, huh?

    Sounds like an invitation to an anecdote!

    Embarrassing as it is, I just came out of something of a mental breakdown which ended with a night in a hospital psyche ward on suicide watch. I have had good experiences with mental health workers before – when I was younger I worked with some people in an outpatient facility who were very helpful to me – but this was sort of an irritating experience. I think the people working there had honestly just decided that I was a nutjob and nothing I said should be taken into account. When I informed them that my ride was going to be there soon and I needed to see the doctor to get discharged, they acted as though I had just suggested the Martians were about to come and take me back to the Mothership. Lots of nodding and smiling and “Uh-huh, we’ll see about that” sorts of statements from patronizing assholes. The annoying thing about it is that I felt as though I couldn’t really object to their blatant rudeness – after all, since I was there, I was a crazy person, and any perception I had of being treated disrespectfully would be dismissed as more troublemaking craziness from the lunatic brigade.

    It was an unsettling experience, honestly. It bothers me that I was essentially treated like a small child because I had an emotional crisis, as if my emotional problems make me incapable of rational thought. To some extent women in general are subject to this sort of though process – women are “too emotional” to think rationally – but I don’t believe I’ve ever felt it quite so clearly.

    Anyway, I wonder how you guys feel about the mental health industry in general. I am very much split on the issue. My experience with it has been a mix of good and bad, and I don’t quite have a grip on the industry as a whole enough to say if it is, in general, doing more harm or more good.

  38. Nepenthe


    I am so sorry. I hope that you are feeling more stable.

    I was involuntarily detained last year for a little under a week. Every coercive process brought to bear. I explained to them that putting me in locked ward would drive me nuts, since the tool who raped me locked me up too. Why listen to the crazy woman? But no, in order to get out you have to smile and pretend to love the captivity, to smile while having your plate inspected after your dinner (eating disorders ward) and thank the person watching you take a piss. Not start screaming when two intake men loom over you and shove the thermometer in your mouth like a d*ck or when you’re stripped naked and inspected (also a self injury ward). Being yelled at, along with another rape survivor, in front of a group therapy session to take responsibility for what had happened to me, while experiencing a flashback that the therapist induced intentionally. (He said, imagine as vividly as you can the most vulnerable moment of your life… no joke.) (Lest anyone think that this was some horrible throwback, this was a nationally lauded institution in a major American city. Apparently it would have been worse anywhere else.)

    Since my ability to perform any analysis breaks down when it comes to psychiatry, this is what Elana Dykewomon wrote about mental hospitals:

    “Many things are worse than death. One is to fall into the institution’s hands. Another is to come out of a mental hospital submissive, unable to fight back. A third is fighting back in silence. The fourth is breaking the silence and finding the women around you doubtful, accusing, ‘What was wrong with you in the first place if you fell into their hands?’ ” ~Elana Dykewomon. “The Story I Never Write”. Moon Creek Road. Spinsters Ink Books. 2003. pp. 53

    On the other hand, when I take my psychoactive medication, I can concentrate on things other than good places to jump from and I’ve found, after years of searching, a feminist therapist who seems to actually help me instead of making things worse. So, a little of column A, a lot of column P.

  39. Barbara P


    That is just terrible. It’s always so frightening to hear such stories.

    And it’s interesting how mental illness is defined. Shouldn’t that abusive man be considered mentally ill? I mean, he’s certainly a danger to others. Why is being very and upset and needing help an impetus for disrespect, but being cruel and heartless doesn’t? Oh, right. IBTP.

  40. JSK

    A Ginva,

    May I ask in what setting you were allowed to talk patriarchy and feminism with school kids? It’s great that you were able to engage those kids in that discussion, though in my few years as a high school teacher I can’t imagine having “gotten away” with it in my schools.

  41. Lovepug

    @ Barbara P

    I’ve got a 13 year old who also does not want to shave. So far I have not encouraged her. But I get where your thoughts go. Mine go there as well. On the one hand, I’m proud that she’s willing – despite what her friends are doing – to do or not do with her body what’s comfortable for her. On the other, I also know what she’s up against.

    As far as clothes, I have the opposite problem with her. She likes to cover up. Yesterday, in the midst of 95 degree heat, I picked her up from her dad’s and she’s in longs sleeves and pants and wooly socks.

    So, while she doesn’t want to shave, she’s also embarrassed by it.

    I’m starting to reach this point in my parenting where I realize I can no longer shield her from the shit of the world. She’s reached that age where I can no longer create the fairyland for her. This crap is real, and at this point all I can do is prepare her to fight the good fight, give her as much information as she needs, and be the soft place to land when the patriarchy inevitably kicks her ass.

    And I find this all very horrifying. It’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing. It’s a hard situation. Is teaching or encouraging patriarchy compliance to young women a means for their survival or a crushing of their individuality? I have no answer.

  42. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Can I borrow the Poop-PoopUlator for meetings at work?

    It took me until the rip ol’ age of 50 to quit shaving my pits. Because in my part a the country, you can tell a Polish airplane by how it has hair under the wings. And being of Polish descent around here is a laff riot. But then again, it took me until sometime in my 30’s to work out that most ethnic jokes are a) unfunny, and b) interchangeable.

    ComradePhysioProf, you cracke me the fucke uppe.

  43. Cara

    About the 12-year old, maybe one approach could be to buy her a shaver and say something like: “girls your age sometimes want to start using one of these, you can use it or not, as you choose.”

    I’m suggesting this because I’m recalling from my own childhood, that for a year or two I didn’t shave my armpits simply because no-one had told me to, I wasn’t sure how to (don’t laugh!), I didn’t know which kind of shop you would go into to get a shaver, and I didn’t have any money of my own to buy one with. I kind of knew unshaved pits weren’t OK so I just didn’t wear anything sleeveless, it wasn’t a hugely big deal. Obviously your kid could be very different from that, so it may or may not apply.

  44. tinfoil hattie

    Triste and Nepenthe, I’m so sorry for your experiences, both of which sound dreadful. I fear the mental health field views women as crazy to begin with, so you’ve already lost.

    Why on earth wouldn’t women be “crazy”? The world is deliberately set up to make us so.

  45. Jill

    “But no, in order to get out you have to smile and pretend to love the captivity, to smile while having your plate inspected after your dinner (eating disorders ward) and thank the person watching you take a piss. Not start screaming when two intake men loom over you and shove the thermometer in your mouth like a d*ck or when you’re stripped naked and inspected (also a self injury ward).”

    What the fuck? I guess all the smiling is taken as an indicator that you are finally able to take up the mantle of normal feminine compliance again. I have read that it is considered a symptom of mental illness when a woman in a psych ward shows no interest in hair and makeup, and that women are graded on their Beauty2K-compliance in the intake interview. Because a woman who isn’t obsessed with her looks must be nuts, right?


  46. Jill

    To the women agonizing over patriarchal assimilation of their pre-teen daughters: I feel ya. They’re gonna get hurt and it’s gonna kill you to watch it. Truth is the best thing you can do for them now. And whatever you do, don’t judge!

    I often wonder if the first half of my life might have been different if somebody had told me the truth when I was 12. What if my mother had said “you are a member of the low-status sex class in a system where men have higher value than you do, here’s a copy of The Female Eunuch,” instead of “you have bad hair, don’t gain another ounce, don’t have sex until you get married”?

  47. A Ginva

    I do that as part of sexual education sessions at school, usually when someone from the school (often a nurse) decides to organise it because she’s interested in the topic. Otherwise I simply call the school and ask if they’re interested in the workshop, or contact the public service department for education. Though this is in France, I don’t know how it works in the US…

  48. Tigs

    Yah, may I recommend some proto-feminist books for the youngins? My big sister was a women’s studies major and immediately started passing down her intro books to me when I was 14.
    It made a big difference. I was already feministy to begin with, but having the language and a critical frame– and just confirmation that what I thought was totally fcked up was indeed, totally fcked up, was really important.

    This might get me caught in the spamulator, but here is a list of women’s & gender studies syllabi:
    If you look at the intro classes, you can get some intro book recommendations as well as some linked readings.

    This link is to the MIT open courseware for the into Women’s & Gender Studies course–this one’s even got lecture notes!

  49. Triste

    Jill, I can absolutely confirm that lack of interest in appearance is taken as a sign of mental illness. I get harassed about this nearly every time I am in the presence of a shrink – why am I not wearing a bra, why is my hair cut short, why am I not wearing any jewelry or makeup, etc. It’s so goddamn tedious to have to explain over and over again that I don’t actually fucking care about how I look.

    Oh, and the smiling thing, my god. If you express any distaste about the fact that you have no books to read, no internet access, no television, no phone, no pen and paper to write with – it’s just more proof that you are craaaaaaaaaaaaazy! So crazy! A complete goddamn lunatic! You don’t like the hospital food? It’s probably a sign of malignant narcissism! You’d like to wear your own clothes instead of hospital gowns that don’t fit and show your tits off? It’s some sort of obsession, call the doctor! A woman who wants out of the psyche ward had better learn to Stepford Smile fast.

  50. Linden

    My son and daughter are both 8. They have already started to notice the P. I’ve had to field many questions lately: “Why has there never been a woman president?” “Why do people think boys are more important than girls?” “Why was there only one boy at the dance recital?” “Why do women have to do all the work?” “Why do girl gymnasts wear makeup and sparkly leotards, but not boys?” I think they find my generic answers less than explanatory. How can I break it to them gently, but truthfully, about the P?

  51. buttercup

    On the open thread front, I saw an interesting movie the other day called “Female Perversions”. Based on the book by Louise Kaplan. Yes, the book is a scholarly thing and not a novel. It was a fascinating, tense, well-acted movie. It starred Tilda Swinton, who I liked a good deal more before she defended Roman Polanski. But it was a completely feminist movie along with being loaded with righteous blame. I immediately wondered if anyone here had seen it.

  52. FoxTarantella

    “I can absolutely confirm that lack of interest in appearance is taken as a sign of mental illness”

    So, SO damn true.

    On a recent night out to canal street (gay bar/club area) in the UK with my sister I decided not to wear mascara (I never wear make up on nights out anyway)

    My sister actually GLARED at me and said “Do you not want to take care of yourself? Don’t you care about how you’re presented?”

    Take CARE of myself? Am I not a healthy, clean being? The stupidness of such a statement baffles me. And as for the other thing she said, well – I’m so past all that I don’t even care anymore.

  53. Aunti Disestablishmentarian

    I’m starting to think about Feminist / strong female character fiction books to tempt readers of all ages, and indeed all genders.

    Ain’t got much so far, but here we go:

    For the Read-to-me / maybe I can read this myself? set:
    -The Paper Bag Princess
    -The Dot by Peter Reynolds (and anything by him)

    Young readers- young adult (not explicitly feminist, but girls having adventures and doing cool stuff):

    -Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren
    -The Wolves of Willoughby Chase + all books in that series by Joan Aiken
    -Bloody Jack + subsequent books in series by LA Meyer (Girl Pirate!)

    Any suggestions?

  54. buttercup

    Aunti, any of the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett. His Witches series as well. (Wyrd sisters, witches abroad, equal rites in particular)

  55. slade

    I detest those 5 wastes of human flesh that sit on the SCOTUS. The women of Walmart are denied Class Action Status by those wastes of human flesh.

    So I guess I’ll go to the nearest Walmart and poke my thumb through a few filet mignons or other assorted expensive meats.

    I simply want to cost them some $$.

    Women are supposed to just take it.

    I don’t like living in this century. Maybe I would like it better if I lived in France or Germany. It’s all about The Audacity of Austerity.

    I’m sick of it.

    Rant over for now.

  56. Anomic Entropy

    @Barbara P – My oldest daughter is eleven and has been gleefully pursuing puberty for about a year now. But my poor kid is semi-obliged to constantly engage in discussions about any TV she watches, game she plays, and any confusing stuff her friends and teachers say at school. (And damn, have there been some doozies! IMTP!)

    (Aside: She started fighting the system herself by refusing to say the pledge of allegiance. At first I was willing to write notes to teachers and principles because she didn’t want to deal with the conflict when these teachers got upset and tried to override her wishes, but it totally pissed me off because she is not legally required to provide any permissions. This past year, I insisted that she read the law herself and take on any preliminary arguments/explanations. I also told her that if she ended up getting in trouble (as apparently she was threatened with detention, etc.), I would be perfectly happy to go pick her up. I’m proud to say it worked – she did it herself.)

    So anyway, she knows a lot of adult women who shave but many of my friends don’t. When she asked if she could shave I immediately told her she could. I’d buy her a razor. But I was curious about why. We chatted. I bought her a razor. She used it a few times and then decided it wasn’t worth the bother. Same with bras. She wanted a bra. I bought her a few. Sometimes she wears them if it makes her more comfortable.

    Oh, and we deconstruct ads and such together all the time, talking about what is being sold, what social values are being reinforced and which people/groups are profiting, both financially and socially. And she’s constantly amazing me with her insights and bravery. Her thinking is so much clearer than mine was/is. She doesn’t have the same baggage.

    So my point is that your daughter doesn’t have to take on your baggage. You can explain to her what social cues are expressed and how/why society works that way. You can also explain why you disagree and how those issues have shaped your life for good or ill. The more info she has, the better the chances that she’ll make the right decisions for herself.

  57. Anomic Entropy

    Oh, and I meant to mention the clothing thing. My daughter is very tall and looks older than she is, so I sympathize.

    But that’s also an issue that makes me very uncomfortable as, on the one hand, when I see grown men checking out my pre-teen it sends my blood pressure through the roof and I want to tear them apart. On the other hand, it’s completely ridiculous to put the onus on girls to avoid attention at a cost to their own comfort and perferences. There really is no clothing that can deflect unwanted attention. Not even in a manner of degrees — show “too much skin” and you get all the standard pornulated assumptions. OTOH, going to great pains to cover up sparks the interest of the modesty fetishists. So why not just go with what’s comfortable? I do think this is a concept that can be addressed and discussed with kids/teens.

    And since I typo-ed it last time, I’ll say it again: IBTP.

  58. laxsoppa

    Re: fiction recommendations, I totally second buttercup’s Pratchett selection and would like to add Monstrous Regiment by the same author. It’s kinda heavy but as I recall, also full of Blame. Also Terry Pratchett taught me my English.

    I used to love Ursula Le Guin as a teen because in those days they were about the only kid/teen/YA books I could find in the library that weren’t chock full of mascara, boyfriends, and dude-pleasing – if your daughters are into scifi/fantasy at all, Robin Hobb’s work is also entertaining and sufficiently non-dudeliocentric. From a feminist point of view there are definitely problems with all of the works recommended here, but nothing that couldn’t be discussed at a feminist-y book club or something. My knowledge of the YA field is a bit outdated but I hope you’ll find some real gems for your girls!

    And as it is an open thread, how does the Blametariat feel about Hayao Miyazaki’s female characters? I loved Spirited Away and the themes in Princess Mononoke. Mononoke specifically reminds me a little of the stories we along with other Arctic natives have of our people being born out of the marriage of woman and bear. If I had daughters, I’d want them to see those movies.

  59. Keira

    Re: fiction, anything by Judy Horacek is good for small children.
    I think all her protagonists are girls, and one is a monster named growl.

  60. Nolabelfits

    What is especially enraging about the times when grown men would eye up my pre-teen daughters is that they had the damn gall to do it in my presence and act like I was invisible. I went off on a few.

    Its very disheartening watching how our society takes down girls. About the same age that they are learning they are second class citizens, the boys, who formerly thought they were kick-ass admirable friends, are learning how to demean, ridicule and oppress them.

    Fortunately both of mine have ditched the boyfriends, at least for awhile. Yay!

  61. Mortisha

    Laxsoppa, Hayao Miyazaki has done some fantastic work that is passionate, complex and meaningful; it is a great resource for young and older girls and crones like me. I have his entire collection and all the young girls I know regularly borrow it. There is an empowerment motif that runs through a lot of his work. One of the best things though, is his female characters are not up on pedestals but are flawed. It is their self-belief that helps them to learn and grow; they use their brains and their hearts to become fully realised. Awesome.

    All that Disney (ack) P enforcing crap just makes me hurl.

    Nepenthe & Triste, It was terrible to read what you have been through, how fucking depressing. So the only thing learnt is how to ‘game’ the mental health system enough so you can escape into safety? It reminds me of a book “The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease.” It exposes the trend of hospitals particularly in the 1960s to diagnose African Americans with schizophrenia because of their abhorrent to the ruling class “civil rights” ideas.

  62. Bushfire

    YA Books with female leads:
    Harriet the Spy (excellent) (ages 10-13)
    A Wrinkle In Time (old fashioned, but I love it) (ages 10- teen)

    Another Miyazaki film:
    Kiki’s Delivery Service (love it!) (family movie)

    All books by Judy Blume are excellent. In Deenie, a girl who desperately wants to be pretty gets a back brace and learns to live with it, and her classmates (male and female) continue to like her. In Forever (older kids, maybe 15+), two teens decide to have sex and the whole book is positive and non-judgmental about youth sexuality. (Fun fact: Forever is one of the most often stolen books from public libraries!)

  63. vagabondi

    @ janna: do you by any chance live in Key West?

  64. vagabondi

    (I ask not to be nosy but because I’m hoping my sister janna has found her way here.)

  65. janna

    No, I’m not your sister :)

  66. GMM

    For a nice contrast to the dickish commenter in the OP, I’m currently reading an ebook by Joseph Gelfer called The Masculine Conspiracy that is turning out to be quite a good read. He uses ‘conspiracy’ in a tongue-in-cheek way, while still blaming the patriarchy quite nicely: http://masculinityconspiracy.wordpress.com/book-chapters/chapter1a/

    It’s a work in progress, he has the chapters up on his site and welcomes comments.

  67. cootie twoshoes

    How about adult feminist fiction? Preferably on the radical side.

    Laxsoppa mentioned Ursula LaGuin, who I only discovered in my mid-20s but enjoyed nonetheless. Also in sci-fi, I love Octavia Butler and Alice B. Seldon (aka James Tiptree, Jr.).

    What about other genres? I’m suspicious of anything hailed feminist by popular media, due to the fake-out potential.

  68. cootie twoshoes

    Ursula Le Guin, rather.

  69. JSK

    A Ginva-
    Thank you. I wondered if you were in a non-US country and should’ve asked explicitly. I am getting better at remembering the whole Internet isn’t the United States. The “sex ed” I’ve seen in each school I’ve been in was absolutely sad; no awesome eye-opening P-related discussions there, though I certainly can’t speak for other US schools.

    As for decent YA books, the Alanna series (four books) by Tamora Peirce is a good read with an explicitly feminist protagonist. In one of those medieval clone settings that so much fantasy is stuck in, a young girl disguises herself as a boy and becomes a knight and a shaman. There is some romance in the books but it is not the central theme. I would also recommend the more recent three-book Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, in which the female protagonist rejects her place in a society in which everyone is “perfected” by plastic surgery to pursue a fluffy life of partying and superficiality. (I’m 27 and have no kids but I do love reading YA fiction; it’s often much more imaginative than what I find on hand for adults.)

  70. Bushfire

    How about adult feminist fiction? Preferably on the radical side.

    Ok these are all lesbian books, but maybe straight feminists can get around that?

    Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters: A young lesbian makes it on her own in London at the turn of the 20th Century. Has a varied and exciting life that does not involve men.

    Dykes to Watch Out For (comic series) by Alison Bechdel. Although it’s about lesbian lives, it chronicles American politics of the 80s and 90s from a lefty perspective, and includes lots of feminist ideas. It’s also very intelligently written and illustrated, and very entertaining.

    Sexing the Cherry, Written on the Body, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. Kind of po-mo fiction, Sexing the Cherry doesn’t actually have a plot, just a series of themes, which are genderbending, human sexuality and human relations, religion as something to be mocked, etc. Written on the Body is marketed as a “bisexual novel” because you never know the sex of the narrator. The narrator has relationships with men and women, which is beautifully written, and you guess at the sex of the narrator but can never tell. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a young girl growing up in a religious family but can’t follow their rules.

  71. crickets

    Woman on The Edge of Time by Marge Piercy is a great book about feminism, racism, mental health institutions and radical activism, sad and scary at times, the main character is a middle aged Mexican woman who ends up incarcerated in a mental health ward for trying to defend her niece from a pimp, and the sci fi element comes from her glimpses of possible futures. It’s a sad and scary novel at times but can’t recommend it enough. Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith is a good fable, a modern rewrite of the the Greek myth about Iphis and Ianthe – in the Greek myth a girl is brought up as a boy because otherwise she would have been killed (BLAME), and then panics about being discovered on her wedding day. Smith retells the story from a lesbian perspective and also has a strong anti-globalisation/consumerism message – if you like Written on the Body then you’ll probably like Girl Meets Boy too. These books are aimed at adults, but you could give them to teenage girls – I read a lot of adult fiction as a teenager, and enjoyed coming back to it and noticing deeper layers some years later – if your kids like reading then get them hooked on good adult fiction, i reckon!

    For children, what do people think of the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman? The main character is an independent, courageous but flawed young girl, the books are great adventure stories with a strong anti-godbaggery message and also discusses the cruelties practiced on children by adults, the fetishization of young people as “pure” by godbaggists etc. Lyra, the main character, does end up “in love”, but when the books finish she has given up a possible life with love interest and is alone in a garden thinking about the great future she wants to create. For young adults I also love the Mortal Engines series by Phillips Reeve, although these are more adventure stories than feminist books. One of the main characters is a very tough girl called Hester who is tracking down the man who killed her parents and disfigured her. She’s an angry, resourceful female character who doesn’t fit into the beauty mould, although she does end up in a relationship but luckily there are no mushy romance scenes.

  72. Citizen Taqueau

    Cootie twoshoes, I highly recommend ANYTHING by Joanna Russ.

  73. laxsoppa

    Oh! His Dark Materials, how could I forget! And thanks for all the adult (rad)fem literature recommendations. Mostly I seem to reading local newspapers and non-fiction these days on account of the majority of fiction I’ve touched recently being either badly written, extensively patriarchal or both.

    Re: Tipping the Velvet, wasn’t it made into a TV series or a miniseries?

  74. KittyWrangler

    Hi, I’m delurking.

    For YA and adults, check out a graphic novel called “Skim,” about a highschooler at an all-girl school who dabbles in witchcraft (it’s not sci-fi, fantasy or magical realism).

    I also enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver’s “Poisonwood Bible.” It’s about a nuclear family who, after moving to the Congo so the megalomaniacal dad can do mission work, become disillusioned with the patriarchy (which remains unnamed). I don’t know anything about Kingsolver personally, so perhaps she has been jettisoned from the radfem island for some failing or utterance, but I do know that some conservative guy listed her as one of the most dangerous people in America. I also enjoyed her series of essays, “High Tide in Tucson,” which has a few essays on parenting that might be of interest to Barbara P.

    To Barbara P., I sure don’t know how to raise a kid and I am not a parent. But when I was twelve-ish I remained completely silent about shaving until my mother bought me a razor and left it for me to find. I remember being very frustrated that she assumed I was much more innocent and thoughtless than I was (she may remember differently), so maybe your daughter has different opinions than you believe her to have? It’s possible. And finally, I wish my mom had brought up the subject and given me an opening to say what I thought about it. Never discussing it at all made it very difficult to talk about my opinions or even make informed choices in my own mind. We also struggled with the short-shorts/skimpy clothes issue (plus a healthy dose of fat-shaming and P-shaming). We finally agreed that I could wear revealing clothes on top or bottom, but not both (i.e. cannot wear both short-shorts AND tank top). I resented it at the time but I was trying to put myself on display and my mother recognized that doing so was making me feel vulnerable. It wasn’t really my choice since I didn’t understand the implications. So she basically threw out the clothes that were absolutely forbidden, for which I am now thankful. Who knows if this would be a good decision for anyone besides me? Best of luck to you both.

  75. Anomic Entropy

    Tipping the Velvet was made into a BBC movie/miniseries, IIRC. I watched it via Netflix and adored it.

  76. CrowMeris

    For the 10-and-up crowd I highly recommend the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede, especially if you or your daughter like fractured fairy tales. Princess Cimorene leaves home because she’d rather learn fencing than fancy embroidery, and is hired by Kazul, one of the local dragons, as her Librarian. Many adventures ensue, including Cimorene having to rescue princes who mistakenly try to rescue her from the life she chose. Very funny, sometimes punny; these are four great stories about a dragon, her princess, and a host of whacky (and often non-stereotypical) denizens of the Enchanted Forest. My daughter pulls this off the shelf for a lighthearted read from time-to-time, even though she’s 25 now.

  77. Bushfire

    I really love His Dark Materials. I know some teens have gotten into it, but I couldn’t get into it until I was in my 20s. I tried reading it at around 15 or 16 and I guess it was just over my head. Now I love love love the series.

    By the way, in the Amber Spyglass, some of Lyra’s sexuality has been censored in the American edition. For that, I blame godbags.

  78. Ottawa Gardener

    We read the Golden Compass on a family vacation to my little kidlets – 5 and 7 – and they loved it. Not sure exactly what they got out of it but they both adopted ‘demons’ for awhile. They really want us to read the next one in the series.

    @Barbara: I sympathize and am not looking forward to the point where my girls are at that stage. I shave and my girls ask why. I tell them that it isn’t necessary and that I only do it to blend in. Both of them have told me in no uncertain terms that they do not want to take off any of their body hair because they like to be furry.

  79. Barbara P

    Update on the hair question: I did talk to her about it (for as long as she agreed to discuss it, which was not very long*). She hadn’t thought about it much, and thought it was weird and stupid that women “had to shave”. She said “why can’t they (women) just let it grow really long and then cut it and make crafts out of it?” Ha!

    I made it clear that I will not be making her do anything, and it will always be up to her. But at least now she knows that she can talk to me about it any time. And she knows that I see the pressure to conform and don’t agree with it, though I do capitulate to it (since I want to wear sleeveless tops at work and don’t want ostracism).

    Thanks IBTP! Don’t know if this was a life-saving example, but it certainly alleviates stress.

    * I can barely talk to her for 5 minutes about such things before she wants to change the subject to something more fun; I can’t even imagine having her sit down and read this blog. She is just not a book-loving, serious blog-reading, intellectual kind of kid (unlike how I was at 12). While this came as a mild disappointment to me as a parent, I’ve also come to deeply love and appreciate the very positive aspects of her that I could never have anticipated. Makes me wonder the ways feminism can manifest itself aside from reading, writing and talking.

  80. pheenobarbidoll

    For those who watched the Decorah Eagle Cam but haven’t been watching lately-

    All 3 survived and have fledged successfully. They are all flying well, and are all healthy!

  81. JDM

    What’s the best way for a person with a mental illness to speak up for feminism? I’m avoidant with partial schizotypal tendencies and because of this I have serious problems talking to other people. I try to do what I can but I’m worried that I might be doing more harm than good by visibly supporting feminism. I’m stable enough that I’ve held a factory job for the last five years but I’m mostly an object of pity (at best) to most people. I have had a few weird moments at work that has made some look askance at me. I can’t help but wonder if I might be linking feminism to insanity in their minds when I speak out about it.

    On the other hand, I don’t want this to be an excuse to chicken out.

  82. Bushfire

    Well, JDM, I wouldn’t worry about it. People link feminist consciousness to “insanity” even in people who are “sane”. People are going to perceive anything they want.

    As an aside, I really hate the terms sane/insane. Some people labelled “sane” are completely delusional in my opinion, and the whole thing is just an exercise in judging people according to how we think they should behave. Yuck.

  83. Jezebella

    I agree with Bushfire, JDM. Speak your mind, and don’t worry about what impact that has on Feminism and other people’s ideas about it. Of far more importance is doing it if it’s beneficial for *you*.

  84. Sarah C

    Today is World Femininity Day


    Read it and weep:

    “Our Mission: To acknowledge and celebrate femininity by women, for women, for humanity. We believe it is vitally important as women to be encouraged to feel powerful through our femininity as opposed to matching or competing with masculine ways of being to achieve power in our lives whether that be socially, in relationships, family or career.

    “We believe that the more women feel connected to and inspired by their femininity in all cultures across the world the harder it will be to exploit women. We are standing for a world where it is safe to be feminine.”

  85. awhirlinlondon

    Ok, apropos nothing in particular, except really depressing – just back from a week in Cairo – the papers noted a recent poll of Egyptians surveying various approval ratings.

    al-Zawahiri, the new leader of al-Qaeda: 11%
    Barack Obama: 12%

  86. Astraia

    Open thread? I’m a little late, but wanted to share some good news: I now have my very own copy of Shulamith Firestone’s ‘The Dialectic of Sex’ on its way to me. I can’t wait to read it!

  87. Frumious B.

    @Sarah C: My femininity involves leg hair, Physics, and changing my own oil. Men wish they could compete with me. Every day is Femininity Day at Casa Frumious.

  88. GMM

    Just a matter of time before journalist Lara Logan gets blamed for being raped.

    “Dan Rottenberg, editor-in-chief of Philadelphia-based online arts magazine Broad Street Review, posted a letter blaming Logan in part for the sexual violence committed against her — equating her gang rape with ‘getting laid.'”

    “He titled his editor’s note ‘Male Sexual Abuse and Female Naivete.’ Rottenberg says that if women were to act more responsibly, men wouldn’t commit rape.”

    “‘Earth to liberated women: when you display legs, thighs, or cleavage, some liberated men will see it as a sign you feel good about yourself and your sexuality. But most men will see it as a sign you want to get laid.’ Rottenberg ends his column by blaming his neighbor for her attempted rape and the molestation of her daughter. According to him, she invited sexual assault – by cleaning her house wearing a halter-top and shorts.”
    — Quote from The Women’s Media Center.

    They have a petition asking the Broad Street Review to take down the letter from the site here: http://www.change.org/petitions/editor-who-blamed-lara-logan-for-her-gang-rape-must-go

    Now would this constitute hate speech?

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