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MK Feminist https://megankarius.com Throat-punching the patriarchy since 2011 Sun, 28 Apr 2013 06:37:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.21 24259624 Exposing the Men’s Rights Movement https://megankarius.com/2013/04/28/exposing-the-mens-rights-movement/ https://megankarius.com/2013/04/28/exposing-the-mens-rights-movement/#comments Sun, 28 Apr 2013 06:37:56 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=260 A few months ago I was contacted by a journalism student doing an article on the Men’s Rights Movement in Canada and the U.S.  Having had increased exposure to the MRM due to their recent increased activity in my own city, I was somewhat wary of being contacted out of the blue by someone I had never heard of.  Jaded as I am, I even wondered if I was being trolled by the local MRAs.  Happily, it turns out everything was on the up and up and the article was recently published on The F Word website.  Written by Carly Rhianna Smith, the article is an in-depth and insightful analysis of the current status of the Men’s Rights Movement in North America, as well as their tactics.  It’s definitely worth heading over to The F Word site and taking the time to read the article.

I’m pretty pleased to have been quoted in an article as well.  🙂  Since only a very small portion of my comments are included in the article, I’m posting Carly’s questions and my responses below.

Have you had interactions with MRAs in your community?  What are your strategies for dealing with the tactics of the MRM?

 

1. In your experience with MRAs, what is their approach in arguing their case?

In my experience, their approach is quite reactionary as opposed to pro-active; I find they are more interested in smear campaigns against feminism rather than making a case for issues they think are important to men.  They generally blame feminism for what they consider men’s issues and that ultimately detracts from their arguments.

 2. Do you think they have valid arguments? Why/why not?

Yes and no.  Some of their issues are legitimate; for instance, I’ve heard MRAs talk about things like the lack of attention given to male victims of sexual and domestic violence, the fact that men are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, and the issue of male circumcision (they usually refer to the opposition to male circumcision as “Intactivism”).  These are all important issues and almost all feminists would agree they should be part of a larger social justice movement; however, MRAs tend to argue their case by blaming feminism for these problems, as though feminists are somehow responsible for them or, perversely, should be blamed for not doing enough about them.  I’ve also heard a lot of misinformation from MRAs, which further detracts from the validity of their arguments; for instance, some Men’s Rights posters recently went up in Edmonton that claimed men are the majority of rape victims in our society, but did not provide any source for that supposed statistic.  The only way that statement could come close to being true is if victims of prison rape are included and even then, I’d have to do more research to find out.  Furthermore, they conveniently leave out context and present their information as though feminists have somehow been lying about women being the majority of rape victims in our society.

  3. What brought on the men’s rights movement? What do you perceive their motivation to be?

They are just the latest trend in the ongoing backlash to the gains of the feminist movement we’ve seen in the past few decades.  While individual men may face structural inequality due to other aspects of their identity (race, class, sexual orientation, ability, etc.) they still derive privilege from being male; I think the majority of MRAs are reacting to seeing some of their previously unquestionned privilege eroded and they are threatened by that.

  4. Men’s rights activists have many qualms with the feminist movement. One thing is, the men’s rights movement does not believe that, historically, the scales of power have been tipped away from women, and that society is not, nor has ever been, patriarchal. As a feminist, what would your response to that be?

My response would be that it’s patently untrue.  Historically, and to a large extent in the present day, men still hold the majority of power in social systems and institutions.  Descent and inheritance were (and still are) traced through the male line, women could not own property, could not vote, and were not legally considered persons — they were property of their fathers or husbands.  Women did not have access to education or the opportunity to play sports.  Female infanticide and sex selective abortion to ensure male offspring is still a problem in many parts of the world.  In North America, men hold the majority of positions as CEOs and in political office and women still face a pay gap.  A society in which women are valued less than men, have fewer rights than men, and hold far less of the institutional power compared with men, is a patriarchal society.

 5. On issues such as reproductive rights, one of the men’s rights activists I spoke with said that it was an issue of religious beliefs and not a “war on women.” Do you agree/disagree? Why?

The motivation doesn’t really matter.  Most major religions are historically rooted in patriarchy and misogyny, so that’s not much of a defense.  You can’t separate the issues and say it’s not a war on women because people have misogynystic religious beliefs.  The backlash to reproductive rights comes down to politicians on the right and their supporters wanting to control women’s lives and punish them for having unsanctioned sex.  Since women are the ones who become pregnant, they need to have control over their own bodies and lives.

 6. Have women achieved equal status in society?

That depends how you define “equal status”.  Legally, women have won many victories — we can vote, rape is illegal, we can work outside the home — those things are great and very important, but that doesn’t mean we live in a post-patriarchy and everything is equal now.  We are still seeing attempts to chip away at women’s legal rights (see my response to #5), and there’s still a wage gap.  There are also different types of equality; in addition to legal rights, feminists are fighting for social equality as well.  Rape may be illegal, but it still happens at an alarming rate, the majority of victims are still women, and the majority of perpetrators (regardless of the victim’s gender) are male.  That is not equality.  It is still totally acceptable for media to comment more on a female politician’s appearance than on her political platform.  That is not equality.  The hyper-sexualization of female athletes, slut-shaming, victim-blaming, street harassment — these are all major problems and the list goes on.  That is not what equality looks like, regardless of the gains we’ve made.

 7. Why do you believe feminism is still relevant?

For all of the reasons (and more) listed above.

 8. I asked a men’s rights activist about the over-sexualization of women in the media, the madonna/whore dichotomy, and his thoughts were: it’s not only society’s exploitation of female sexuality, but women exploiting the sexual power they hold over men. I am curious to hear your thoughts on this.

For how often MRAs accuse feminists of misandry, it’s incredibly ironic when they rely on arguments such as this one.  That statement is more insulting to men than anything feminists could come up with.  The whole basis of that argument relies on the belief that men are slaves to their sexual desires and they can’t help but be overcome with lust around women.  It also implies women’s bodies are inherently sexual and must be covered up to avoid “tempting” men.  It is completely infantilizing to men to say women hold some sort of power over them like a magic spell.  Furthermore, that comment completely misses the point and derails your original question.  As I mentioned before, legal and social equality are not the same thing.  It’s very telling to me that women’s legal gains over the last 50 or so years have been accompanied by ever more sexualized images of themselves in media and popular culture.  This is the patriarchy’s way of putting women in their place; it says to women, “You may have gained some legal rights, but for all intents and purposes, you’re still an object and your appearance is your most important feature.”

The madonna/whore dichotomy is another issue entirely; let me know if you need more thoughts on that as well.

9. What would you say to anyone who views feminism as an attack on men’s liberties?

Do some research and learn more about feminism.  Feminists do not now, nor have they ever, stood for attacking men or their rights; criticizing male privilege and the patriarchy is not the same thing as attacking men.  Feminism is about creating equality for all; it’s disingenuous and self-centered for MRAs to paint a movement as diverse as feminism with one broad brush stroke and say it exists to attack men’s liberties.  Feminists are too busy working to gain liberty from oppression for everyone to waste our time attacking men.

 10. Do you think the feminist movement is threatened by the men’s rights movement?

No.  Due to their reactionary nature, Men’s Rights and MRAs wouldn’t exist without feminism.  While they focus on “anti-feminism”, feminists work on creating a more equal and just world by focusing on society’s most marginalised populations.  That will always be relevant and necessary work, regardless of what the MRAs do or don’t do.

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50 Messed Up Expectations https://megankarius.com/2012/09/17/50-messed-up-expectations/ https://megankarius.com/2012/09/17/50-messed-up-expectations/#comments Mon, 17 Sep 2012 06:55:30 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=237 This infographic was recently brough to my attention via one of my feminist facebook groups; after reading the first few points, I just thought it was stupid and unoriginal, but not really worth that much thought.  However, the more I kept reading, the more worthy of my attention it seemed.  By the time I reached the end, I had decided it was actually important enough to merit a blog post.  Perhaps “important” is the wrong word; what I really mean is harmful.  You see, junk like this gets a pass all the time because it’s categorized as “humor” and people who criticize it are told to just stop taking everything so seriously.  Sadly, while the author was likely trying to be funny, he’s also being serious, or he wouldn’t have felt the need to write it in the first place, never mind drone on for fifty points.

The problem here is not that I’m a prude and I’m offended by an article that speaks frankly about sex, nor is it that I just disagree with what the author says.  It’s that he uncritically presents many harmful ideas about how sex between men and women is supposed to happen, thereby helping to normalize these ideas in the larger culture.  This also isn’t a case of “just one guy” saying something stupid, another defense often relied upon to excuse material such as this.  Articles like this one don’t happen in a vacuum — the author was influenced by the media he consumes, his peers, the zeitgeist, and so on; in turn, his work supports, perpetuates, and upholds current popular ideas about heterosexual sex.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems with this article:

First off, the piece is aimed at a heterosexual female audience and the tone is completely insulting.  This is not written by someone who has encountered some unfortunate faux pas in the bedroom and would like to share his perspective with women out there because he genuinely cares about helping people have better sex.  This was written by someone who sounds like he really doesn’t like women and pretty much only sees them as holes to stick his penis in.  Note his use of “pussy”, “sissy”, “bitch”, and “skippy” to address his audience, as well as characterizing all women as “frigid” in the very first point.

Onto specifics!  I’m just going to go point by point (don’t worry — I’m not doing all fifty or we’d all want to off ourselves by the end).

1. Assuming he can get a raging hard on when it suits you. Contrary to popular belief, men can’t just flip a switch and get it up because you decided to stop being frigid. Getting it hard is your job. I suggest you figure it out.

This, along with many other points, communicates the main thrust (no pun intended) of the piece: you (women) are responsible for your pleasure AND his.  If he doesn’t get off, you’re doing something wrong.  If you don’t get off, you’re doing something wrong.  Sex with dudes is about all of the jobs assigned to you and your ability to do them well.

Point number one also relies on the tired stereotype that women are almost never desirous of sex and can generally be counted on to be “frigid”.  The irony of using a stereotype about female sexuality to dismantle another about male sexuality obviously escaped the author.

3. Leaving him responsible for your orgasm. You know what gets you off. Tell him. If you don’t, it’s your own fault when he’s snoozing and you’re all wound up.

On its own, this point isn’t that offensive.  It could be stated with a bit more finesse, but I’m sure that would have detracted from the snarky tone the author obviously thinks is funny.  Regardless, communication is important and both partners should be able to tell the other what feels good to them.  However, keep this “common mistake” in mind while reading point nine . . .

9. Whining when he pushes your head down on his cock instead of stroking your hair. Know why he’s pushing, skippy? Because you aren’t doing it right, and have apparently ignored the other clues he’s given you. Pay attention to the signals that he’s sending you.

Anyone else notice the major double-standard there?  Apparently it’s fine for the guy to send you “clues” and “signals” and it’s your job to interpret them and figure out what he wants.  If he gets a little aggressive and forces your head further down on his dick than is comfortable for you, that’s basically what you deserve.  Maybe we’re supposed to chalk this up to women’s intuition . . . ?  Guys, on the other hand, are apparently just total doofs who need to be told explicitly what they should be doing.  See how these idiotic ideas are insulting to women AND men?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller??

18. Getting your undies in a bunch when he talks dirty. A little fantasy can be fun. If he treats you with respect all the time, you shouldn’t be offended when he calls you his dirty little slut. When he calls you a whore and tells you to cum, it’s his way of showing that he cares if you get off. Stop being a sissy.

So, this is just one of many examples in which women make the “mistake” of having actual preferences in the bedroom.  If you’re uncomfortable with your partner’s dirty talking — too bad.  He treats you respectfully almost all of the time; what more do you want??  High maintenance much?!  Once again, the author prioritizes male pleasure over women’s pleasure, comfort, and safety.  This type of sentiment communicates the idea that what women’s desires aren’t that important, because women aren’t as important as men.  This is a first step on the path to dehumanizing women.  As such, it’s no surprise that the articles becomes even more problematic nearing the end.

The really rapey bits:

21. Being too much of a pussy to tell him what is or isn’t acceptable before you start bumping uglies. Be honest. If he asks if he can poke you in the butt, and you giggle and say NO like it’s an invitation, don’t look surprised when he “accidentally” sticks his cock in your butt.

AND

28. Getting into bed, getting naked, fooling around and then deciding that you just want to cuddle, then getting offended when he doesn’t. It’s your choice to stop, but don’t look all surprised when he’s confused. You got him naked in your bed, what else did you think was going to happen?

How about if someone says no, you listen to what they’re saying, end of story?  No interpreting that “NO” as “sort of yes” or any other excuses.  If you want to and your partner says they don’t, YOU DON’T DO IT. If your partner’s answer to your request confuses you in any way, ask for more clarification.  This is called getting explicit verbal consent.  Maybe your partner is giggling because they were made nervous and/or uncomfortable by your request.  Again, that is not an invitation to do it anyway.

So-called Mistake 28 is so fucked up I can’t even handle it.  This is victim-blaming at its worst.  “Of course a woman has the right to say no!  BUT . . .  insert whatever victim-blaming, rape apology you can think of here.”  When feminists talk about rape culture, this is what we mean.  “What else did you think was going to happen?”  “What did you expect?”  “You tempted him — he couldn’t help it!”  “You got naked with him — that’s an invitation for sex!”  No, nope, no way.  In the scenario described, the female partner consented to getting into bed, consented to getting naked, consented to fooling around, and that’s all.  If you don’t consent to sex because you’re not comfortable with that, in a NON-rape culture, what you should expect is for your partner to respect that decision and back off.  In rape culture, you’re subjected to garbage like this that implies if your male partner pressures you, makes you feel guilty, and/or forces himself on you after you’ve withdrawn consent, you should expect that and it’s your fault for leading him on in the first place.

Of course, this screwed up reasoning only works one way.  Yes, it’s time for yet another DOUBLE STANDARD!  As we just finished covering, Mr. 50 Mistakes thinks women need to learn how to stop making “NO” sound like “YES”; he also thinks it’s okay for guys to “accidentally” penetrate you against your will (NEWSFLASH: THIS IS THE DEFINITION OF RAPE), but the same does not go for women penetrating men.

45. Anything that involves inserting anything into his body that he has not specifically approved beforehand. I don’t care what Cosmo says, some things are simply not pleasant surprises.

Explicit verbal consent seems to be quite important to the author, but only when it applies to male desire and comfort.  This point is actually completely reasonable — you should not insert anything into your partner’s body without their consent.  Right on.  Why on Earth would this only apply to men’s bodies?!?  This should be the standard for all partners, regardless of sex, gender, and orientation.

I can’t handle any more, so I’ll stop there, but I had to respond to this, whether it deserves the attention or not.  Crap like this is harmful and it needs to stop.  We, as a society, need way more education about consent and the definition of rape; my teeny, tiny contribution to that education is to counter bullshit like this when I come across it.  If you would like more information on what you can do to combat sexual violence or you need some resources to pass onto other people, I highly recommend this blog post.

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Genderless Baby Re-Blog https://megankarius.com/2012/04/10/genderless-baby-re-blog/ https://megankarius.com/2012/04/10/genderless-baby-re-blog/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:13:06 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=209 Hey everyone,

A while back I wrote a post called The Amazing Genderless Baby! in which I talked about gender-neutral parenting and parents who choose not to disclose the sex of their child.

The Bitch Magazine website has just published a blog post dealing with the same subject.  In the post, titled “End of Gender: Raising a Ruckus” author Malic White argues that:

The conflation of “sex” and “gender”—the belief in the “biological truth” that those assigned female at birth are “women” and that those assigned male are “men”—is everywhere. Despite Chaz Bono’s widely publicized mantra that “gender is between your ears, not your legs,” the gender police still peek down our pants and up our skirts to determine gender differences.

This belief is what causes many people to argue that gender-neutral parenting is trying to fight biology, and therefore, futile.  As I’ve said before, these parents aren’t trying to eradicate gender — which is why the “genderless baby” claim is false — but rather, allow their children as many options and freedom to express themselves as possible.

Genderless? Not quite . . .

Gender-neutral parenting is about protecting children from being placed in that narrow, confining, little gender box as soon as people know what sex they are.  Referring to children whose parents have been in the media over the last year for their gender-neutral parenting, White states:

The conversation around raising kids like Storm and Sasha accuses parents of assigning their children “genderless” identities. But according to these parents, they’re letting their kids explore a range of options.

Exactly!  I plan to give my (future) kids as many options as possible.

Here to help explain the whole “gender is between your ears” concept a bit more is Laci Green, with an entertaining and informative video.  Enjoy!

 

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The Great LEGO Debate Continued https://megankarius.com/2012/04/07/the-great-lego-debate-continued/ https://megankarius.com/2012/04/07/the-great-lego-debate-continued/#respond Sat, 07 Apr 2012 22:05:57 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=145 Here’s a follow-up to The Great LEGO Debate that I wrote about a couple of months ago.  I don’t really have much more to say on it because Anita Sarkeesian says it all for me.  She’s made two SUPER videos about the entire LEGO controversy, delving into the history of the company and how it’s been marketed, essentially arguing that LEGO created the no-girls-problem in the first place by exclusively marketing to boys.  There’s a lot more to the videos, so I’ll let them speak for themselves.  I’d recommend checking out Anita’s site for more great videos and feminist pop culture critiques.

Part One:

 

And Part Two:

 

What do you think?  Did LEGO create their own problem?

Like this post?  Follow me on Twitter!

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Support Trans Rights in Canada https://megankarius.com/2012/04/03/trans-rights-canada/ https://megankarius.com/2012/04/03/trans-rights-canada/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2012 21:23:38 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=184
Please sign the petition to voice your support for the legal protection of all trans people in Canada.
According to the petition overview:

Right now, in Canada, a country that prides itself on inclusiveness and diversity, it is still legal to discriminate against people for aspects of who they are due to the nature of their birth. Where, it is difficult for them to access housing, healthcare, employment and even protection under the law as the reason for the discrimination is currently not protected.

Bill C-279 seeks to “amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or gender expression, as well as amending the Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression as a recognized group when offences are motivated by bias, prejudice or hate.”

Everyone in this country should be able to feel safe, find housing, and be protected equally under the law. A country is best judged not on the comfort of its most secure and well off, but by how it treats the minority and marginalized citizens.

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5 Excuses David Wong Gives Modern Men to Hate Women https://megankarius.com/2012/04/01/cracked-david-wong-men/ https://megankarius.com/2012/04/01/cracked-david-wong-men/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2012 00:46:35 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=161 Having received 2.3 million hits since being published on March 27th, David Wong’s “5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women” has been catapulted into the Internet hall of fame (at least for a couple weeks).  You’ve probably read it and seen it “liked” on Facebook about a million times.  I read it too.  Knowing Cracked is a humor site, I didn’t have high expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading.  Wong starts off strong, with a humorous, but fairly accurate analysis.  I even found myself nodding my head in agreement while reading.  You see, Mr. Wong seems to have good intentions, but that’s about the only good thing.  Ultimately, this is yet another piece of writing containing harmful ideas about gender inequality that some people will simultaneously try to excuse as ‘just a joke’ while using the ideas contained within it to justify misogynistic behaviour.  So here’s my take on some of the problems with this article.

5.  We Were Told That Society Owed Us a Hot Girl

Wong starts off by discussing what boys and men are taught about women and sex, which is good.  He’s talking about socialization.  Men get these ideas from somewhere; they don’t magically appear out of thin air.  To explain some of the ways we’re socialized, Wong looks to pop culture: “every movie, TV show, novel, comic book, video game, and song we encountered” teach men to feel entitled to sex with a hot woman.  Here, Wong refers to the heteronormative notion that all men are owed a hot girl as a societal contract.  It’s not legally binding, but men get disappointed and pissed off when it’s broken and they don’t end up with hot lady sex whenever they want.

Ok.  This idea has some merit.  There are many guys out there with the maturity to see through this pop culture narrative about women as rewards for men, but it still fuels a lot of low level, insidious misogyny.  Plus 10 points to Mr. Wong for noting that idolizing someone is just another way to dehumanize them.

So far, so good . . .

4.  We’re Trained from Birth to See You as Decoration

It’s at this point that things begin to fall apart.  Wong is on the right track; women are overwhelmingly portrayed as decorative objects rather than human beings everywhere we look.  Images of “hot” women are used to sell everything from cars to fast food.  So I’m on board with the idea that men are socialized to see women as objects.  Here’s where Wong starts to go off the rails; he says — anecdotally — “if there is a fundamental difference between male and female sexuality, it’s this: There are actual occassions where women aren’t thinking about sex.”  So, he makes an ‘if’ statement, rather than an absolute one.  Of course, the rest of the article rests on the premise that this “fundamental difference” does, in fact, exist.

This isn’t a new idea.  Mr. Wong’s entire thesis is based on something known in academic circles as the male sexual drive discourse, which we see circulated in popular culture ad nauseum.  This is the idea that all healthy, normal men have an almost overwhelming desire or need to have sex.  It should be expected that men will go to great lengths to get sex, including paying for it, and, we can deduce, using coercion and/or force.  Wong LOVES this idea, and uses it as the basis for his entire article.

As an example of difference between male and female sexuality, Mr. Wong cites commentors from the Free Republic message board tearing apart Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan for being ‘unattractive’.  Wong asserts, “even in that setting, when judging a female for a position on the highest court in the land, our instinct is still to judge her suitability as a sex partner.”  We have now gone from what men are “taught” to men’s “instincts.”  Keep in mind, Wong also continues to discuss MEN as one homogeneous lump.  The commentors on the Free Republic — commentors Wong assumes are all men — aren’t ‘discussing’ Justice Kagan’s sexual appeal because they are so naturally horny all the time that they can’t help it.  They are doing it because attacking a woman’s sexual appeal, be it too much or not enough, is still considered the greatest insult to her person.  Even in this day and age.  They are doing it to remind women everywhere that no matter what you achieve, you are still a sexual object to be judged by men, for men’s pleasure, first and foremost.  At this point, Wong redeems himself slightly by remarking that women are forced into this requirement to be always attractive and sexy: “the female always has a dual role: to function as a person, and to act as decor.”  Again, this is a great observation, but he gets the reasons behind the behaviour wrong.  It’s not because of men’s raging sex drives and it insults men to claim otherwise.

3.  We Think You’re Conspiring With Our Boners to Ruin Us

This section basically boils down to:

  • Women — they be temptresses!
  • Men — they’re so horny that they masturbate in public!

Oh, and also, men’s sex drives are “completely detached from the rest of the personality”, and “I have no facts, proof, or scientific evidence to back up this claim.”  By now, Wong has gotten completely confused by talking about society, hormones, and evolution as possible causes for men’s boners making them do stupid shit.  That’s okay though, because “nailing down the cause isn’t the point.”  Except when it is.  You see, figuring out where a behaviour originates paves the way to changing that behaviour.  But that’s only important if the problem really is that men’s penises are autonomous horny little devils that conspire with women, against men.

Does this sound incredibly stupid to anyone else?

I must feel that way because I’m a non-sexual, boring woman who just doesn’t understand how truly perverted all men are, all the time!

Wong admits that this weird, irrational feeling that women + penises = male mind control is no excuse for blaming women when it comes to unwanted sexual attention, but concludes (super helpfully) that this is just the way things are.

2.  We Feel Like Manhood Was Stolen From Us at Some Point

Here Mr. Wong tries to educate us women about how all dudes secretly wish they could be amoral womanizers.  And they resent women for not letting them!  Also, more penis-mind-control forcing men to do stuff.  I can’t even go into this any further because it’s just a waste of time.  This insults men, especially those who have no desire to act like Barney Stinson, and is a lazy cop-out.

1.  We Feel Powerless [Extreme Sarcasm Warning]

We have now departed Rational Thought Land.  Please visit again soon.

Women are temptresses!  Who control men with their vaginal super powers!  But their penises also control them (and are in cahoots with the temptresses)!  Men are SO powerless!

Also, “women are various types of food.”  You see, men can’t help wanting to objectify and devour women because we’re not people anyway — just food.  Wong isn’t really critical of this idea or even aware of how problematic this statement is.  Things just get worse and worse until we reach the climax (so to speak) of what is turning out to be Mr. Wong’s own personal version of “Boom! Goes the Dynamite!”   . . . Drum roll please . . . All the shit men have ever done in the history of the world is because of women.  Ta da!

Wait-what?!

Ohhhh right.  Because all men EVER were heterosexual and solely motivated by the potential for sex with impressed ladies!  According to Mr. Wong, even war is ultimately women’s fault.

All those wars we fight? Sure, at the upper levels, in the halls of political power, they have some complicated reasons for wanting some piece of land or access to some resource. But on the ground? Well, let me ask you this — historically, when an army takes over a city, what happens to the women there?

It’s all about you. All of it. All of civilization.

David Wong has just succinctly managed to conflate war rapes and male lust.  As in, men are so attracted to women and constantly horny that they can’t help raping them, even in war time!  Rape isn’t about power and defiling the property of your enemy.  Nope!  It’s because women have  (sexual) power over men and men feel “utterly helpless” and resent us for it.  That’s it.  As Mr. Wong says, “Sorry ladies.”

By the end, we’re right back where we started, which is where we’ve been forever.  It’s still women’s responsibility to be the gatekeepers and keep men’s sexual urges in check because men can’t do it themselves.  If we don’t, it’s pretty much our fault when bad stuff happens to us.  I know Wong claims that that’s a bullshit rape defense, but it’s what his own argument boils down to anyway.  I can’t reiterate enough how much this insult men; men who read this should be angry!  Yes, Cracked is a humor site, but I maintain that you can have an intelligent analysis of misogyny that doesn’t rely on tired stereotypes and still be funny!

Perhaps Mr. Wong should have ended the article with “Sorry guys.  I have zero faith in men’s ability to behave like decent human beings.”  Luckily, we don’t all have such a bleak view of mankind.

 

Related links:

Check out Amanda Marcotte’s awesome response here.

Get Bitch Media’s take here.

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Belvedere Vodka: The New Date-Rape Drug https://megankarius.com/2012/03/23/belvedere-vodka-the-new-date-rape-drug/ https://megankarius.com/2012/03/23/belvedere-vodka-the-new-date-rape-drug/#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 21:29:35 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=158 I have often heard — usually from Men’s Rights Activists and anti-feminists on the Internet — that we western feminists have it so good that we need to make shit up to get offended about.  The “actually-oppressed women in Afghanistan and Iraq” are often invoked in debates as a strategy to silence feminists in the ‘west’.  The person invoking this ‘argument’ usually doesn’t care about the status of women in these other countries but rather, is using them as a debating tactic to prove how great things are here in North America.  While this entire idea is complete bullshit, that’s not what I’m here today to talk about.  While there is a need for global feminism, there are definitely still HUGE problems right here in our own backyard.  If you think rape culture is a myth the feminists made up, think again.

This tweet from Belvedere Vodka has been popping up all over the Internet today.  Many fans on their Facebook page defended the ad, citing humorlessness as the reason anyone would be offended by it.  Indeed, anyone who identifies as feminist is likely used to being told they have no sense or humor, and/or that they’re over-sensitive, and/or that they can’t take a joke.  The list goes on and on and varies depending on the subject at hand.  So, I should be used to it.  But this latest gem really has me scratching my head.

The woman in the ad is visibly frightened and trying to get up.  The man is physically restraining her and laughing while doing so.  The juxtaposition of their expressions is, frankly, horrifying.  The text implies that some women, like the one pictured, don’t “go down” smoothly, but you can still force them if you keep a positive attitude and a bottle of Belvedere close at hand!  Rape culture is so deeply embedded and accepted that people can look at an ad like this one and defend it as a joke.  How is it funny??  At all?  There’s not even a grey area.  They purposefully depicted a frightened woman trying to escape from a man pulling her towards him.  It can’t even be defended with the typical BS about her leading him on or playing hard to get.

And yet.

Belvedere issued an “apology” along the lines of “we’re sorry you were offended and didn’t get our funny joke.”  They then go on to state that they remain advocates of “safe and responsible drinking.”  Cause that was the problem.  Not that they were advocating rape.  Nope.  Just irresponsible drinking.

They have since taken down the original tweet and because their non-apology doesn’t even specify what it’s in reference to, they really haven’t taken responsibility for any of this.  This merits angry letters and a Belvedere boycott.  Feministe was kind enough to provide us all with their contact information, so write away, y’all!

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At Least They’re Fighting Back? https://megankarius.com/2012/03/23/fighting-back/ https://megankarius.com/2012/03/23/fighting-back/#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 18:18:10 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=150 What is happening with our neighbours to the South lately?  Personhood bills, forced transvaginal ultrasounds, 24 hr. wait periods to access abortion (if you can access one at all), and comparing women to livestock.

This just gave me some warm fuzzy feelings. Finally — equal opportunity meddling in people’s reproductive rights!

Here’s a video of one particularly articulate politician, state Senator Nina Turner, handling interview questions about her proposed bill 307.

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I think these proposed bills are a good way for pro-choice politicians to make  a point about how ridiculous and insulting all of this legislation really is, but part of me worries that some people (likely those who support the GOP in the first place) will still miss the point, despite it practically smacking them in the face.  What do you think?  Are the bills related to men’s healthcare an effective response or should I think twice about those warm fuzzies?

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The Ethics of Choice https://megankarius.com/2012/03/09/the-ethics-of-choice/ https://megankarius.com/2012/03/09/the-ethics-of-choice/#respond Sat, 10 Mar 2012 01:34:32 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=140 Women’s reproductive health care has been a hot topic in the media of late.  In the U.S. especially, right wing politicians are working extra-hard to roll back our access to contraception, abortion, cancer screenings, and information.  I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and news articles related to all these topics, but the one I read today really stood out.  It’s not a polarizing opinion piece, written from a position of abstraction, but Mira Ptacin’s beautifully written personal account of making the choice to have a late-term abortion. An excerpt:

“All is lost. All is not lost. This is what I thought as the needle went into my belly during the amniocentesis that immediately followed the ultrasound. It’s what I repeated in my head moments after the amniocentesis as we met with the genetic counselor, Dr. Iglesias, who explained the scientific facts of what may have gone wrong during the baby girl’s development in my womb. We were in his office, and it smelled like lettuce and mayonnaise and the rest of the lunch he had just finished. Dr. Iglesias sketched out the twenty-three chromosomes. They looked like Cheetos. “It could have been chromosome number 3, or 7, or 21, or 23,” he told us, pointing at his drawings with his pen.

“Purely a genetic fluke, nothing you could have done,” said Dr. Iglesias, who then asked for our family medical histories, and our medical histories. He handed us pens. We were confused, shaken, tired. “If it doesn’t die before you deliver it, it will have very serious problems,” he said. “It would likely not achieve consciousness and certainly would not live without some kind of extraordinary intervention.” That’s when I was given three choices: terminate the pregnancy now, do nothing and likely miscarry, or induce and deliver vaginally a baby who will die or be dead. Terminate. Miscarry. Induce.”

It gave me a lot to think about and illustrated how the decision to have an abortion (or not) is never made lightly.  Read the whole piece here.

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Quick Update and Awesome Teenagers https://megankarius.com/2012/01/09/quick-update-and-awesome-teenagers/ https://megankarius.com/2012/01/09/quick-update-and-awesome-teenagers/#respond Tue, 10 Jan 2012 04:45:17 +0000 http://megankarius.com/?p=116 Hey hey.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted in a little while.  I’m taking a bit of break for the better part of January.  Now, naturally, you might be thinking, “How can she take a break?  She just started!”  This is true.  Mine is still a baby blog.  I’m not taking a break because I’m already out of ideas or tired of posting.  I’ve actually been living abroad for the last four months and I am spending January traveling around before I head back to Canada.  I’m staying in hostels, I don’t have my laptop with me, and I don’t have much time to sit on the internet in between all the touristing (yup, that’s a word now).

So.  I am definitely not finished with this blog.  Please continue to check for updates, as I will be blogging regularly again soon.  I’ll be back home by January 27th!

Until then, here’s an awesome 13 year old, talking about slut shaming and rape culture more succinctly and eloquently than most people twice her age.

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