all power to the imagination

i am a radical feminist, writer, and jewelry designer/maker who loves reading, collecting turquoise, and learning new languages.

Posts tagged misogyny

Jun 4

Mar 5

TW for graphic descriptions of extreme violence

feministcurrent:

No, being ‘kinky’ does not grant you minority status

You’ve likely heard about the ‘cannibal cop‘ by now. He was a New York police officer whose wife discovered a website open on his computer displaying a photograph of a dead girl. The officer, Gilberto Valle, had been visiting a ‘fetish sites’ (because murdering women is a ‘fetish’ donchaknow) which “show[ed] women in various stages of forced duress, including one that offered images of women who did not survive.“  There was a cannibalism element to his ‘fetish’ and “the FBI analysis of Valle’s laptop yielded a video of a naked woman hanging over an open flame and screaming in agony.”

The wife, Kathleen Mangan-Valle, said that when she later delved into her husband’s electronic chat history, she found he had been communicating with others about plans to torture and kill women, including herself.

“I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit, and they would have fun watching the blood gush out of me,” she said, sobbing repeatedly through her afternoon on the witness stand.

He has now been charged with “plotting on the Internet to kidnap, rape, kill and cannibalize female victims.”

The Times article asks an interesting question, similar to one I asked back when photos were discovered of an RCMP officer who had been involved in the Pickton investigation that simulated violence against women: “When does a fantasized crime become an actual crime?”

Valle didn’t actually go through with his plans. While the prosecutor argued that the officer was plotting real crimes, Valle’s lawyer claimed it was all just a fantasy. The ‘fantasy’ argument didn’t provide much comfort to Mangan-Valle, who also found conversations about elaborate plots to have friends “raped in front of each other” or burned alive or about “putting women on a spit, and cooking them for 30-minute shifts, so they could be tortured longer.”

These were pretty specific plans for something that was just an innocent fantasy. There is documented negotiation of specific details and a payment upon delivery to a co-conspirator: “Valle insisted upon a price no less than $5,000 and assured CC-2 that Victim-2 would be bound, gagged, and alive when he delivered her.”

There is no doubt that violence against women is sexualized in our culture. But when Ginia Bellefonte published a piece called “Remember Misogyny” in the Times wondering why there was so little concern from feminists about this fetishization of violence against women, Jessica Wakeman responded, in The Frisky, with derision:

“Focusing on the craziness of a couple of mentally ill folks instead of larger systemic injustices seems like a poor use of time,” she argues. “Maybe….cannibals eating women isn’t really feminism’s most pressing problem?” Why so defensive? Visiting fetish sites that feature women being tortured, sometimes to the point of death, seems fairly misogynist to me.

Bellefonte quotes Jane Manning, a former sex-crimes prosecutor and currently the legislative vice president for the National Organization for Women’s New York City chapter, who notes:

“There’s an odd confusion in the feminist movement,” she added. “We’ve all accepted the idea that speech is protected when it’s speech. But that seems to have extended to the notion that there shouldn’t even be social condemnation attached to incredibly horrifying misogynist speech.”

Violence against women continues to be one of the most urgent and pressing issues for the feminist movement today. And I would say that sites that fetishize mudering, raping, and eating women are, in fact, a little more serious than simply “a couple of mentally ill folks” who like to surf the internet and whatever everybody just relaaaax OK? So, a man who fantasizes about hanging his wife from her feet while him and his friends “take turns sexually assaulting her before slitting her throat and cooking her” isn’t misogyny? OK. Got it.

We’re at a place in feminism where we are so desperate to either not be perceived as ‘prudish’ or to defend any and every activity as simply an individual ‘choice’ or behaviour that calling what is clearly misogyny (is there any more literal manifestation of the sexualization of violence against women than fetish sites dedicated to torturing and murdering women?) has become off-limits because it counts as ‘kink’. The desperation to individualize, legitimize, and depoliticize absolutely everything is frightening. Particularly because it seems we are most intent on doing this with relation to anything that could possibly be connected to sexuality.

I get the feeling that we’re not calling this kind of thing out because we don’t want to admit that, sometimes, misogynist ‘fetishes’ aren’t simply ‘fantasy’. They’re actually misogyny.

Now, before the ‘don’t kink-shame me’ folks start railing on me, I will reiterate that, I really don’t much care about whether or not you want to dress up in latex costumes and play silly games in the bedroom. It isn’t particularly interesting. The only people who really care about ‘kink’ are people who care about ‘kink’. So get over the idea that you’re so bad and the rest of the world is just too ‘vanilla’ to get you. You like role-playing, other people don’t. So what. Move on.

That said, there are a couple of issues surrounding ‘kink’ that do concern me. The first is the unwillingness of feminists to call out misogyny when they see it simply because we have to protect the sensitivities of the fetish folks. The second is the delusion that ‘kink’ is an identity that designates ‘kinky people’ as some kind of oppressed minority group. Kink and BDSM can certainly enter misogynist territory and it isn’t your right to force the world to pretend that it doesn’t in order to defend your sex life.

William Saletan pointed out, in an article for Slate, that :

Every article about BDSM now includes the obligatory professional woman who’s secure enough in her feminism to admit she likes to be flogged. It’s great that we’ve come that far, but the message is awkward. While reformers in India battle a culture of rape, Indian BDSM advocates extol the bliss of female masochism. While human rights activists denounce caning and waterboarding, BDSM lecturers teach the joys of caning and waterboarding. Abduction, slavery, humiliation, torture—everything we condemn outside the world of kink is celebrated within it.

Awkward, indeed. The real life rape and torture of real life people isn’t just a sexy game; but when presented as ‘kink’ it becomes innate part of our sexualities, completely divorced from larger culture.

The tricky part follows: “Political advocates for BDSM see themselves as successors to the gay rights movement. They cite Lawrence v. Texas. They call themselves “sexual minorities” and depict kink as a “sexual orientation,” Saletan writes. Get it? If being ‘kinky’ makes you part of some kind of minority group, anything that counts as fetish is off-limits in terms of critical discussion. It can’t be misogynist, I was born this way! It’s sex, not misogyny!

I mostly agree with Saletan’s assessment: “BDSM isn’t an orientation. It’s a lifestyle.” And, for the most part, whether or not you like to play out fantasies or wear leather or do fancy things with ropes or dress up as a sexy nun in order to rebel against your Catholic parents as part of your sex life isn’t something anyone else has a say over. But that really isn’t the point. There is misogyny and violence and abuse that happens as part of BDSM and we should be able to call it for what it is without being accused of attacking a person’s ‘sexual identity’.

The ludicrous notion that this lifestyle should qualify a person for protection under the law,on account of being a part of some kind of oppressed minority group defined by ‘kinkiness’ is an insult to actual minority groups.

This kind of hyperbolized, perverted use of identity politics as a means to stifle feminist discourse and critical thought is a serious detriment to the movement.

We are always asking ourselves “What happened to the momentum?” and “Where are all the young feminists?” Well, I think we’re finding the answer. In the final segment of the recently aired documentary, MAKERS: How Women Made America, a three-hour look at the history and evolution of the women’s movement in the United States, Letty Pogrebin said, of the “Why don’t young women care about feminism?” question: “If they lose their rights, then they will wake up.” And I don’t think she was talking about the right to be spanked.

I supposed once we’ve completely quelled our ability to discuss anything outside individual choice and identity and are forced to discuss all actions and behaviours as neutral and void of context, we’ll truly be free.


Mar 4
“By placing porn use within a cultural context, we can begin to see how powerful it really is. As boys grow up to be men, they are inundated with messages from the media, messages that both objectify women’s bodies and depict women as sex objects who exist for male pleasure. These images are part and parcel of the visual landscape and hence are unavoidable. They come at boys and men from video games, movies, television, ads, and men’s magazines, and they supply them with a narrative about women, men, and sexuality. What porn does is to take these cultural messages about women and present them in a succinct way that leaves little room for multiple interpretations. While there are some media images that can be read in a number of ways (called polysemic in media studies) by different people, gonzo porn, particularly-with its overt contempt for women and incessant story line of how women like to be humiliated and debased-delivers a clear message to men, who have already developed a somewhat pornographic gaze by virtue of being brought up in a society filled with sexist pop culture images.” Gail Dines, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality (via wretchedoftheearth)

(via the-uncensored-she)


Feb 27

Feb 18

Feb 16
“It may well be that some women, as well as plenty of men, will choose their ability to experience a particular form of sexual passion over the desire to be free, but they are not the same thing. Indeed a feminist approach to sex would suggest that women’s freedom cannot be achieved whilst some people who see themselves as radical and progressive place their right to take pleasure from women’s lack of freedom before the task of creating freedom.” Sheila Jeffreys dropping truth bombs in Anticlimax, page 307. Check out her post at radfem hub. (via mississippistreet)

(via radfeminist)


grimefighter:

“How Porn Creates the John: Porn, Trafficking and the Social Construction of Masculinity” by Dr Gail Dines at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, December 19th, 2012.

(via cordeliasrevenge)


Feb 15
radfeminist:

By Amber Supanova

radfeminist:

By Amber Supanova

(via marjchaos)


Feb 11

Feb 7

home-of-amazons:

green-evening:

cumaeansibyl:

coeur-de-porcelaine:

printedvelvet:

heysawbones:

classstrugglebug:

Ex porn star Shelley Lubben catches dumb pornographers RED-HANDED at a porn convention. MUST WATCH VIDEO!

i think i love her

So, this is interesting.

The porn industry is fucked up and slimey and disgusting and gross, but at the same time, Shelley Lubben is completely anti-porn. That’s just as fucked up.

Just because an industry is in need of extreme reform does not mean an entire industry should be illegal. In fact, making these things taboo or outlawing them just creates an even more underground black market for these things. Things don’t go away just because you outlaw them or tell people they’re evil for using them.

So you’re going to completely disregard her reasons to be anti-porn? Which are that women are unsafe and exploited? And you say that being anti-porn for these reasons is just as fucked up as abusing women in the first place? 

wow. 

if a former porn actress can’t have opinions about porn, who can?

aah, who’m I kidding, the answer is probably white dudes

“here’s a long detailed video about the porn industry’s epidemic trafficking of women, particularly very young women, and how within the industry men are advised and encouraged to manipulate and deceive young women to ‘recruit’ them into being ‘models’”

“UH YOU CAN’T BE ANTI-PORN THOUGH THAT’S FUCKED UP!!

A solid, rational, and moral argument in favour of the porn industry does not exist and has never existed.

Bold mine. Everyone should watch this.

(via deathlyglitter)


Jan 31

stfusexists:

feminist-space:

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

darkjez:

thewomanofkleenex:

oldtobegin:

so-treu:

badbitchdiaries:

black-and-white-re-runs:

Oh fuck of you incredibly sexist shitty organization. I’ll eat what ever the fuck I want.

EWW! EGGS ARE DISGUSTING BECAUSE PERIODS ARE DISGUSTING BECAUSE VAGINAS ARE DISGUSTING. VAGINA-HAVERS, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES - FOR EATING CHICKEN PERIODS AND FOR HAVING PERIODS YOURSELVES.

as usual, fuck peta.

I’m so bored of hating PETA. I hate PETA so much.

Also, birds don’t menstruate, because they don’t have uteruses.

What’s more, PETA needs to step up their graphic design game…



As always: shut the fuck up, PETA.

PETA is consistently racist, sexist, and runs kill shelters that put down hundreds of animals every year. Don’t ever give them money. Seriously.

Not that it needs any more evidence, but here is yet another example of the causes of my focused, intense hatred for PETA.

stfusexists:

feminist-space:

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

darkjez:

thewomanofkleenex:

oldtobegin:

so-treu:

badbitchdiaries:

black-and-white-re-runs:

Oh fuck of you incredibly sexist shitty organization. I’ll eat what ever the fuck I want.

EWW! EGGS ARE DISGUSTING BECAUSE PERIODS ARE DISGUSTING BECAUSE VAGINAS ARE DISGUSTING. VAGINA-HAVERS, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES - FOR EATING CHICKEN PERIODS AND FOR HAVING PERIODS YOURSELVES.

as usual, fuck peta.

I’m so bored of hating PETA. I hate PETA so much.

Also, birds don’t menstruate, because they don’t have uteruses.

What’s more, PETA needs to step up their graphic design game…

image

As always: shut the fuck up, PETA.

PETA is consistently racist, sexist, and runs kill shelters that put down hundreds of animals every year. Don’t ever give them money. Seriously.

Not that it needs any more evidence, but here is yet another example of the causes of my focused, intense hatred for PETA.


hardscum:

moonadae:

STOP CALLING WOMEN BITCHES WHEN YOU CALL THEM OUT ON THINGS

IT’S DEGRADING LANGUAGE USED BY MISOGYNISTS AND YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER

ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE A WOMAN YOURSELF.

this post is a very good post

(via radicalfeministquotes)


The Worldwide Movement To Get Men To Wash Their Hands

marjchaos:

nextyearsgirl:

Depending on the study, 25–50% of men don’t wash their hands after urinating. But a solution has been popping up here and there.

image

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image

Time for a rousing chorus of “the patriarchy isn’t real” again?

Look at the woman in the green sweater, standing uncomfortably off to the side.
It is mind-boggling that men don’t see that furnishings that look like hacked up women make public spaces uncomfortable for women.


Jan 27

…Gray does, in many ways, fit the description of a monster. He outweighed Alexander by 100 pounds and is three inches taller. And besides his two arrests for domestic violence, there were his own statements in a deposition in Marissa’s case, in which he admitted, ”’I got five baby mammas, and I put my hands on every last one of them except for one,” that, “the way I was with women … they had to walk on eggshells around me.”

Two of those woman “got hit in the mouth” by Gray because in his own words, they “just wouldn’t shut up.”

On the night of August 1st, Gray admitted to prosecutors that he told Marissa he’d kill her if she ever cheated on him, and that on that night he said to her, “if I can’t have you, nobody going to have you.” He admitted he was “in a rage,” and said he told her that he knew people who could “do his dirt for him” — who could hurt her.

Gray said he blocked her from leaving the bathroom, and when asked if he pushed Alexander into the bathroom door hard enough to crack it, he answered, “probably.” Asked whether he put his hands around her neck, Gray answered “not that particular day.”

Asked whether he put his hands around her neck, Gray answered “not that particular day.”

Asked whether he put his hands around her neck, Gray answered “not that particular day.”

Asked whether he put his hands around her neck, Gray answered “not that particular day.”

Asked whether he put his hands around her neck, Gray answered “not that particular day.”

Asked whether he put his hands around her neck, Gray answered “not that particular day.’

AKA, why I hate this country, this world, and almost everyone in it. The woman he beat is going to jail for 20 years, and he walks free. Because he didn’t have his hands on her neck THAT PARTICULAR DAY. (via n3rdgirl)

(via vegetablearian)


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