Au Lecteur

That’s what she read – May 31

Posted in That's what she read by aulecteur on May 31, 2013

I’m starting this new thing. I’m calling it “That’s what she read,” obviously a clever play on that thing that people say to highlight awkward, not always obvious sexual innuendo. It’s completely appropriate because most of what I read has a feminist bend – and if for some reason if it doesn’t, I’ll add it myself with a wee bit of commentary about why I read this article (or saved it to read later – I’m very busy and important).

This isn’t a thing about books because Lord knows this category would collect dust. It’s news articles and awesome stuff I trip over on the Internet – mostly via my expertly curated Facebook News Feed. Speaking of which, that brings me to my first article.

Misogynist Speech on Facebook – New York Times, May 31

I’ve been watching this story for a week or so. Basically some women got uppity because Facebook is super lax about allowing anti-women content on the site (but is super vigilant about removing content showing women in control of their own bodies like breastfeeding pictures and educational content). There are countless Pages and Groups and thousands of images allowed to remain on Facebook; images that depict women as the victims of rape, abuse and general misogynistic trolling. Women, Action & the Media (WAM) started a call to action focused at Facebook’s advertisers, basically saying to them look how shitty and stupid your brand looks placed next to this vile, degrading, offensive, maddening, hate speech. Is this the brand association you were hoping for when you planned your Facebook advertising campaign and targeted your audience? It wasn’t until frat house Facebook  was at risk of losing ad cash that they acted in the slightest to correct the situation. The situation being that they provide a platform where users are allowed to post shit like actual video of actual people actually being raped (Rehtaeh Parsons, for one). If that’s not the sickest shit, I just don’t know…

There’s a picture with this article that turns my stomach. This is not funny. This is not a joke. This is threatening and intimidating and violent and disrespectful. And if you think there’s anything funny about the idea of foregoing safe, consensual sex in favour of RAPE, don’t lie to yourself, there is something wrong with you and your attitude towards women.

Another article I read ended with “Today, women won the Internet.” Cute take on a meme but that certainly remains to be seen. Facebook is but one giant in a colossal universe – and they were only motivated by the threat of revenue loss, not by any sense of morality. Take it upon yourself, this crusade of moral outrage, and call bullshit on everyday sexism. I’m so sick of this culture of sexism. It’s so fucked up. Women have the right to self-determination, to control their own bodies. This means we can wear what we want, make our own decisions about our reproductive health, decide who we have sex with and how much sex we have, etc.

How can you identify everyday sexism? Reverse the gender roles in any given situation and if a man looks ridiculous doing something, it’s sexist. As an example, here are some “Men-ups.”

These pro-lifers are fine when women die, Salon.com, May 30

I’m as pro-choice as it gets. In this story, a woman in El Salvador is DYING and the Supreme Court decision says that the life of her non-viable fetus is more important to save than her own. The article says “The court placed the life of the anencephalic baby over Beatriz’s life. Justice here does not respect the rights of women.” And that’s it. For me, the abortion issue is not a right-to-life thing, it’s a gender thing. It’s another example of men controlling women’s bodies. When we say Courts, we’re talking about men. When we say the Church, we’re talking about men. I firmly believe: no uterus, no vote. Laws such as this don’t do no one no favours.

A Brave Fan Asks Patrick Stewart A Question He Doesn’t Usually Get And Is Given A Beautiful Answer, Upworthy, May 31

This video of Patrick Stewart was popular today. I finally watched it and was so moved. So moved. His attitude about violence towards women is exactly the message we need to share. He says “It’s in our [men’s] hands to stop violence towards women,” and “Violence is never a choice a man should make.” This puts the onus on men to stop the violence and not women who are often told “you must have done something to provoke him,” as his mother was often told. He explains how he grew up in a home plagued by domestic violence and it wasn’t until later in life that he learned that his father’s actions were a result of the man’s untreated PTSD – called Shell Shock back in the day when men were told to suck it up and be a man. This is an excellent point too – that we need to take care of men too and change the tired stereotype that oppresses and constrains them. <This language is borrowed from the sub-header of the next article.

We need to talk about masculinity, The Guardian, May 16

Do men need to be “men”? What is a man anyway? The article says “domestic and gendered violence always increases during times of high unemployment and social breakdown, because men often find it easier to take their feelings of frustration and powerlessness out on women.” Women and men want the same thing, as the article says, “What men do want, however, is to feel needed, and wanted, and useful, and loved.” It’s a basic human instinct. The “Traditional Male” is the breadwinner and the brave soldier. The “Traditional Female” is barefoot and pregnant. The article goes on to say that there have always been men that didn’t fit into the stereotype (“too poor, too queer, too sensitive, too disabled, too compassionate or simply too clever to submit to whatever model of “masculinity” society relied upon to keep its wars fought and its factories staffed”). For modern societies to thrive in 2013 and beyond, we need to let go of the forms of social control called “Traditional masculinity” and”traditional femininity.” Read this article. It’s a good one.

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One Response

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  1. johnpapagiannakopoulos said, on May 31, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Reblogged this on johnpapagia.


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