May. 9, 2013
Here’s another example of women being treated like walking incubators and being asked to sacrifice their well-being for the sake of hypothetical babies:
Because half of pregnancies are unplanned, drugs that have serious side effects for pregnant women or their unborn children, such as antidepressants, should not be given to women who could become pregnant, Professor Louise Howard said.
She said: “If drugs are contraindicated during pregnancy then it is best that they are avoided in women of reproductive age in general – because 50pc of pregnancies are unplanned.
“That’s just life, we know women will get pregnant when they haven’t intended to, so it’s important to avoid particular drugs.”
It’s disturbing that someone who’s “head of section of women’s mental health at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London” is suggesting that all women be treated as ‘pre-pregnant’ by doctors. Why not recommend that doctors warn female patients against taking any medication (or doing anything at all) that might potentially harm a hypothetical fetus?
if you are able to get pregnant you should never leave the house or do anything until you are pregnant, at which point you should continue never leaving the house or doing anything until the child is an adult
Wow this is disgusting
May. 1, 2013
Daniel Lockwood, an expert on prison rape, has posited that sexual aggression in prison can be traced to men’s sexist attitudes toward women, which, in prison, translate into a bias against men placed in female roles.
Apr. 30, 2013
The Branks, also sometimes called Dame’s Bridle, or Scold’s Bridle comprised of a metal facial mask and spiked mouth depressor that was implemented on housewives up until the 19th century. Sometimes called “A scold’s bridle”, as well as “brank’s bridle” was a punishment device used on women, as a form of torture and public humiliation. It was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. The bridle-bit (or curb-plate) was about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. The “curb-plate” was frequently studded with spikes, so that if the tongue moved, it inflicted pain and made speaking impossible. Many men sustained in this “husband’s right” to “handle his wife”, and to use salutary restraints in any case of “misbehavior” without the intervention of what some court records of 1824 referred to as “vexatious prosecutions.” Generally a husband would need only to accuse his wife of disagreeing with his decisions, at which the Branks could be applied. The woman would then be paraded through the streets, or chained to the market cross where she was exposed to public ridicule. Wives that were seen as witches, shrews, gossips, nags and scolds, were forced to wear a brank’s bridle, which had been locked on the head of the woman and sometimes had a ring and chain attached to it as a leash so her husband could parade her around town and the town’s people could scold her and treat her with contempt; at times smearing excrement on her and beating her, sometimes to death.
Sometimes when folks say this miss the good ol days..I have a real hard time understanding what the fuck you mean. Nostalgia my asshole…
Apr. 29, 2013
Tennessee state representative accuses Humane Society of “Tape and Rape”
Just when we thought public officials were done making flagrant misstatements about rape, they’ve gone and done it again. The latest: this ag-gag proponent in the Tennessee legislature compares animal activists to child sex traffickers and rapists. Here’s the heinous e-mail, printed in full courtesy of the Tennessean:
From: Andy Holt [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 11:26 PM
To: Kayci McLeod
Cc: Andy Holt
Subject: RE: Please Oppose HB 1191
I am extremely pleased that we were able to pass HB 1191 today to help protect livestock in Tennessee from suffering months of needless investigation that propagandist groups of radical animal activists, like your fraudulent and reprehensibly disgusting organization of maligned animal abuse profiteering corporatists, who are intent on using animals the same way human-traffickers use 17 year old women. You work for a pathetic excuse for an organization and a pathetic group of sensationalists who seek to profit from animal abuse. I am glad, as an aside, that we have limited your preferred fund-raising methods here in the state of Tennessee; a method that I refer to as “tape and rape.” Best wishes for the failure of your organization and it’s true intent.
State Representative—District 76
Weakley & Northern Carroll Counties
205 War Memorial Building
301 6th Ave. North
Nashville, TN 37243
In light of all the horrible acts large and small perpetrated by misguided individuals and corporations who profit from animal suffering (this guy’s a hog farmer as well as legislator—talk about a multi-taskhole!), more and more people are realizing how important it is that we can take animal abusers to task by exposing cruelty towards animals through investigations. Even the New York Times knows what’s up! Whether or not you’re not from Tennessee, please feel free to e-mail this man until the cows come home.
Apr. 29, 2013
Misogynists in the men’s and fathers’ rights movements have developed a set of claims about women to support their depictions of them as violent liars and manipulators of men. Some suggest that women attack men, even sexually, just as much as men attack women. Others claim that vast numbers of reported rapes of women, as much as half or even more, are fabrications designed to destroy men they don’t like or to gain the upper hand in contested custody cases. What follows is a brief look at some of these claims and what the best science really shows.
THE CLAIM Men’s rights activists often insist that men are victimized by sex crimes and abuse just as much as women are, if not more. This assertion is meant to support their contention that the courts and laws outrageously favor women.
THE REALITY A major 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control thoroughly debunks such claims. Nearly one in five American women (18.3%), the study found, have been raped; the comparable number for men is one in 71 (1.4%). Not only that, but more than half (51.1%) of female victims reported that their rapist was an intimate partner — a current or former spouse or boyfriend, or a date. According to a 2000 study by the Department of Justice, female rape victims were also about twice as likely as male rape victims to be injured during an assault (31.5% versus 16.5%), even though many women do not physically resist their attackers for fear of injury. Overall, the studies found, most violence of all kinds against women (64%) came from current or former intimate partners, while that is true for only about one-sixth (16.2%) of men. Women were also far more likely to be stalked than men (16.2% versus 5.2%), and two-thirds of women’s stalkers (66.2%) were current or former intimate partners, compared to four in 10 for men (41.4%). A 2005 Department of Justice study also found that between 1998 and 2002, 84% of spousal abuse victims were female, as were 86% of victims of abuse at the hands of a dating partner. Males made up 83% of all spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers.
THE CLAIM In another effort to show that men are discriminated against, many men’s rights activists assert that women attack men just as much as men attack women, if not more. The website MensActivism.org is one of many that criticizes what it characterizes as “the myth that women are less violent than men.”
THE REALITY Men’s rights groups often cite the work of Deborah Capaldi, a researcher with the Oregon Learning Center, to back their claim. Capaldi did find that women sometimes initiate partner violence, although women involved in mutually aggressive partner relationships were more likely to suffer severe injuries than the men. But Capaldi studied only a very particular subset of the population — at-risk youth — rather than women in general, invalidating any claim that her findings applied generally. In fact, the 2000 Department of Justice study found that violence against both women and men is predominantly male violence. Nine in 10 women (91.9%) who were physically assaulted since the age of 18 were attacked by a male, while about one in seven male assault victims (14.2%) were victimized by females. Similarly, all female rape victims in the study were attacked by a male, while about a third of male victims (35.8%) were raped by a female.
THE CLAIM Close to half or even more of the sexual assaults reported by women never occurred. Versions of this claim are a mainstay of sites like Register-Her.com, which specializes in vilifying women who allegedly lie about being raped. Such claims are also sometimes made by men involved in court custody battles.
THE REALITY This claim, which has gained some credence in recent years, is largely based on a 1994 article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior by Eugene Kanin that found that 41% of rape allegations in his study were “false.” But Kanin’s methodology has been widely criticized, and his results do not accord with most other findings. Kanin researched only one unnamed Midwestern town, and he did not spell out the criteria police used to decide an allegation was false. The town also polygraphed or threatened to polygraph all alleged victims, a now-discredited practice that is known to cause many women to drop their complaint even when it is true. In fact, most studies that suggest high rates of false accusations make a key mistake — equating reports described by police as “unfounded” with those that are false. The truth is that unfounded reports very often include those for which no corroborating evidence could be found or where the victim was deemed an unreliable witness (often because of drug or alcohol use or because of prior sexual contact with the attacker). They also include those cases where women recant their accusations, often because of a fear of reprisal, a distrust of the legal system or embarrassment because drugs or alcohol were involved. The best studies, where the rape allegations have been studied in detail, suggest a rate of false reports of somewhere between 2% and 10%. The most comprehensive study, conducted by the British Home Office in 2005, found a rate of 2.5% for false accusations of rape. The best U.S. investigation, the 2008 “Making a Difference” study, found a 6.8% rate.
(Source: militantbyexistence, via brazilianveganfeminist)
Apr. 28, 2013
I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?
Apr. 19, 2013
Organic Eden Foods’ quiet right-wing agenda - A crunchy, natural food company marketed to liberals sues to stop covering employees’ contraception. ‘Eden Foods’ says of birth control that “these procedures almost always involve immoral & unnatural practices.”
(Salon) - The slogan for Eden Foods, which describes itself as the “oldest natural and organic food company in North America,” is “creation and maintenance of purity in food.” Its CEO and founder, Michael Potter, has been prominent in debates over labeling of organic food and GMOs. But the company has been quietly seeking in court another form of purity — to Catholic doctrine about sex being solely for procreation. That goes not just for Potter, but for all 128 of his employees.
That is, Eden Foods — an organic food company with no shortage of liberal customers — has quietly pursued a decidedly right-wing agenda, suing the Obama administration for exemption from the mandate to cover contraception for its employees under the Affordable Care Act. In court filings, Eden Foods, represented by the conservative Thomas More Law Center, alleges that its rights have been violated under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.
This shit needs to go viral.
Apr. 19, 2013
(TW: Rape, Domestic Abuse)
There are no acts of violence that are purely personal or isolated. As a function of oppression, violence follows a social structure and purpose. This is why I find it so upsetting when accusations of violence are dismissed or at best treated as isolated, interpersonal incidents.
Last month I received the following cancellation notice for an event that was supposed to take place at Bluestockings, a bookstore and activists center in New York City:
Wednesday, February 23rd @ Cancelled
Reading: Nick Cooney “Change Of Heart”
Tonight’s event with Nick Cooney has been cancelled by Bluestockings. This is unusual. We’ve taken this action because we’ve become aware of plans to disrupt his talk by folks who strongly object to his presence at Bluestockings.
Bluestockings is service to truth, and our mission aims us toward participatory movement building for a more just world. However, Bluestockings has neither the mission nor the ability to mediate specific interpersonal conflicts within the greater activist community. Bluestockings is not a party to this dispute and cannot referee it. As such, we have cancelled this reading because we are unwilling to knowingly put visitors and attendees in the middle of this conflict.
We apologize for this late notice of cancellation.
This cancellation notice does more to obscure the reasons the event was canceled than anything else. At the time the event was to take place, fliers stating the following where given to people who attempted to attend the canceled event:
Nick Cooney: Abuser of Animals and Women
Nick Cooney has an ugly history of violence against women, including instances of physical, sexual and emotional violence against partners in relationships and other activists. These assaults have come in the form of sexual coercion and bullying, emotional manipulation and intimidation. At least four women have reported experiencing abuse by Cooney. Furthermore, Cooney has also threatened to harm women’s companion animals in an attempt to intimidate and control both partners and other women in the activist community. When these issues first came to light, a formal attempt to start an accountability process to get him to confront his actions, take responsibility for the damage he’s done, and change his behavior was undertaken. Nick refused to cooperate with this process. Since that time, Cooney has used slander, denial, misrepresentation, and flat out lies in an attempt to escape responsibility for his actions.
Bluestockings canceled today’s event upon learning of these past abuses from allies of an abuse survivor who provided a detailed account of abuse by Nick, as well as multiple statement[s] corroborating her claims by individuals involved in the failed attempt to organize an accountability process.
Until Nick Cooney has a change of heart and agrees to take the steps outlined by the accountability process he failed to complete in Boston, people who care about stopping abuse should:
- Not buy or endorse his book.
- Not organize or promote speaking events for him.
- Either refuse to attend his speaking events or challenge him at these events to be accountable for his actions.
For more information or to report abuse by Nick Cooney email email@example.com.
My intention in posting this is not to condemn or attack Cooney, rather I want to focus here on the ways in which accusations of violence are (mis)handled and/or (not) addressed within activist communities.
Violence Disrupts Our Communities
The accusations in the flier, whether true or not, are extremely serious, yet in the cancellation notice, Bluestockings goes to great lengths not to acknowledge those accusations at all. So while the cancellation makes it sound as if Cooney’s presence is being “disrupted” for… who knows what, the flier clearly focuses on accusations of physical, sexual and emotional violence against women.
I think the (mis)framing of accusations of violence against women as a disruption makes a strong statement in and of itself. It suggests that women (and others who are targets of violence in their activist communities) should shut up and stay quiet so as not to be divisive thereby disrupting important activism. For Bluestockings it’s apparently the accusations of violence that are disruptive, as if violence within activist communities isn’t a disruption of both activism and activists’ lives. This reproduces within activist communities the institutional support that allows perpetrators of violence to thrive, and does so at the expense of survivors of the violence being perpetrated.
The Interpersonal is Political
Bluestockings describes the accusations of violence an “interpersonal conflict.” It’s a sad irony when a supposedly feminist bookstore denies how the personal is political, especially with regard to accusation of violence against women. Violence within activist communities is a collective and political issue and needs to be framed as such.
Given the bookstores’ (mis)framing of this issue, I find it hard to believe that Bluestockings is sincerely concerned with “service to truth” or anything like “participatory movement building for a more just world.” When violence against women and other oppressed groups in activist communities is dismissed as an interpersonal issue, it simply reinforces the structural oppression that targets those groups. The cancellation is a failure to acknowledge how violence works to control and limit certain groups’ participation within activist communities while privileging others. As Kimberlé Crenshaw points out, “This movement inadvertently participates in exclusionary politics because some of us fail to comprehend the anti-violence movement as an anti-oppression movement.”
Our Community is a Collective
By stating that Bluestockings is “unwilling to knowingly put visitors and attendees in the middle of this conflict” the bookstore is actively depoliticizing violence within activists communities. The claim that any of us are not involved in the social dynamics of violence that take place within activist communities denies the very reality of those structures of oppression under which we all live. It is privilege that enables some of us to sit on the sidelines while others are the targets of violence and oppression within our communities.
Refusing to involve ourselves and others in addressing violence in our communities supports the status quo. Ultimately we are all involved whether we like it or not. Those of us who have been targets of violence within activist communities know this perhaps better than most.
For instance, where do you think a position like the one Bluestockings has taken leaves survivors after we have been the target of violence? Basically this mean our so-called “community” collectively turns its back on us when we need them most with the claim they’re simply not involved. Consider the way this works to institutionalize the isolation and exclusion of survivors of violence while securing the inclusion and privileges of perpetrators of that violence.
Confronting Violence Within Our Communities
Before accusations of violence can even be considered as valid or not, there needs to be a means of supporting survivors to come forward and a process for the community to hold perpetrators accountable. Regardless of whether Cooney did or didn’t do what the flier is accusing him of, the (mis)framing of the cancellation by Bluestockings helps perpetuate a social structure that privileges perpetrators and furthers the oppressions of those of us who are the targets of violence. I believe Bluestockings’ notice of cancellation and refusal to take seriously accusations of violence within the activist communities that it serves, ultimately represents the cancellation of the possibility of developing an accountability process and support for survivors.
Violence within activist communities needs to be seen as something that affects those communities collectively and understood in terms of the social structures under which it is perpetuated. We fail to do this when we treat violence within activist communities as isolated, interpersonal conflicts of “he said, she said.” In other words, when we don’t understand violence within our communities as an anti-oppression issue, we help facilitate the perpetuation of violence against certain groups of people within our communities.
Apr. 19, 2013
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29. [Wiki]
Awesome women in history.
I can’t explain how much I love rulebreaking, society changing, progressive women.
Wow, this was as recently as the 70’s. Seeing this posts makes me have a whole new perspective on knowing my parents ran many marathons together in the 70’s-80’s. I wonder if my mother ever experienced something like this. If she did, she never told me.
(Source: sabino, via thatvegancosplayer)
Apr. 15, 2013
TW: domestic violence
You can stop pretending that guns protect women now.
New York Times:
Early last year, after a series of frightening encounters with her former husband, Stephanie Holten went to court in Spokane, Wash., to obtain a temporary order for protection.
Her former husband, Corey Holten, threatened to put a gun in her mouth and pull the trigger, she wrote in her petition. He also said he would “put a cap” in her if her new boyfriend “gets near my kids.” In neat block letters she wrote, “ He owns guns, I am scared.”
The judge’s order prohibited Mr. Holten from going within two blocks of his former wife’s home and imposed a number of other restrictions. What it did not require him to do was surrender his guns.
About 12 hours after he was served with the order, Mr. Holten was lying in wait when his former wife returned home from a date with their two children in tow. Armed with a small semiautomatic rifle bought several months before, he stepped out of his car and thrust the muzzle into her chest. He directed her inside the house, yelling that he was going to kill her.
What saved Holten was not another gun, but a phone. She dial 911, then hid the phone. “The dispatcher heard Ms. Holten begging for her life and quickly directed officers to the scene,” the report tells us.
“For all its rage and terror, the episode might well have been prevented,” NYT goes on. “Had Mr. Holten lived in one of a handful of states, the protection order would have forced him to relinquish his firearms. But that is not the case in Washington and most of the country, in large part because of the influence of the National Rifle Association and its allies.”
I know that the NRA would argue that Stephanie Holten would’ve been better off had she been armed too. But exchanging gunfire with a lunatic does not guarantee success. And since her kids were present, tragedy would be all that more likely. Gun fanatics live in a fantasy world, informed by action movies, where the “good guy” always comes out on top. But in the real world, criminals aren’t automatically incompetent. Justice is a human construct, not a law of physics. In a gun v. gun confrontation, either party can lose. This is why people with guns are more likely to be shot — if I’m a criminal and someone pulls a gun on me, they’re my primary target. And of course, belief in the “good guys always win” theory promoted by the NRA causes people to take stupid risks.
The fact is that there are people who should not have guns. More guns is not the answer here, fewer guns obviously are. There are situations — and this is one — where meeting the NRA’s definition of “pro-gun” is in reality just pro-crime. Cory Holton is obviously scum. He can live without his guns.
And his ex-wife and kids would stand a better chance of living as well. A woman’s chance of being killed by an abuser increases by 700% if he has access to a firearm. That’s just a fact. And it’s a fact the NRA doesn’t want you to know, because they want to be able to sell guns and ammo to criminals like Stephanie Holton’s stalking, abusive ex-husband.
Apr. 6, 2013
“So much of season three revolved around male community leaders making decisions, leaving the women to be companions at best, and accessories at worst.”
Proof that just because you’re gay, doesn’t mean you’re not a misogynist. Robert Kirkman, I get more and more pissed at you as time goes by.