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“Put rapists on trial, not women.”
(Via Rachelle Janice on facebook)
Tell Yale to Discipline Fraternity for Pro-Rape Chant (follow link to sign the petition).
“No means yes. Yes means anal!” What is this alarming pro-rape statement?
Why, it the little ditty that Yale Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity pledges chanted on Wednesday as they marched around Old Campus, where most first-years are housed. That means lots of 18-year-old women embarking on their first term of university life.
Other chants included “Fucking sluts” and “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I fuck dead women, and fill them with my semen.” This isn’t the first time Yale has had this kind of misogynistic incident; in fact, it’s not even the first time the “no means yes” chant has been used.
The fraternity is engaging in a discussion about sexual violence with the Women’s Center, but this isn’t enough. With one in four college women victims or rape or attempted assault during their time on campus, this is too serious an issue to let slide by without disciplinary action.
Via: Jennifer McAdoo
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after NOW issued their Hall of Shame call-out of the HBO show True Blood, i started thinking about the show and its depiction of women. for those that know me, it’s of little surprise that i like the show. i have always been a big fan of vampires; my common handle around the internet is “lady lamia” which is vampire related (it’s my permanent facebook url, rather than my name!) and my first tattoo was the name “lamia” with a tiny drop of blood coming from it. yes, for as long as i can remember i have been a big fan of vampires, and the supernatural in general.
i’m a huge buffy the vampire slayer fan. i watch the vampire diaries on the WB not because it’s that good but because as a kid LJ Smith was one of my favorite writers; the show is based on her vampires diaries trilogy. actually, “lamia” is because of LJ Smith as well. what i always liked about LJ’s books (i still own each and every one of them) was that her female characters were strong, complicated and real. they were teenage girls that a teenage girl could truly identify with. long before the edward/jacob bullshit, she had a female protagonist that never betrayed her boyfriend for the sexy supernatural dude that kidnapped her and all her friends because he had to have her. at the age of twelve, i was thinking “ditch the nice boyfriend and live with the sexy demon that kidnapped and stalked you!” but i understand at the age of thirty why it’s so important that the character never did. LJ’s young women were strong and smart; they fought their own fights and they usually saved the guys.
when i watched True Blood for the first time, i understood what all the buzz was about. the show, it seemed to me, was a brilliant analogy for being gay in America. vampires had “come out of the coffin”, they were trying to pass the vampire rights amendment, and they couldn’t marry. how fresh and great was this?! then on my vacation road trip two weeks ago, i began listening to the books on mp3. aside from hating charlain harris’ horrible writing: “Eric laid eggs in the car.” really? i realized that i really did not like the character Sookie. she seemed strong watching True Blood, but in the books Sookie is just a simple country girl who wants simple things. she loves romance novels, she wasn’t very good in school (but that was because of the telepathy…), and she really likes the attention of all these supernatural men. she’s pathetically wooed by the smallest gestures, she’s in love with bill who in the books is clearly not a nice guy - or vampire - and she can barely resist the attentions of eric who in the books is even more blatantly sexual and disrespectful in his pursuit of her.
after listening to the first four books in the series, i was pretty sure that True Blood was much, much better than the books. perhaps it is, writing-wise, but when it comes to the portrayal of female characters it is still sadly and pretty obviously misogynistic if you pay any attention at all to it. here’s my breakdown of the True Blood characters, given a little thought.
apparently, human women are just going to be controlled by men but
that’s ok because those men are vampires.
sure, we have encountered some other female characters on true blood. there was gran, sookie’s grandmother and probably the only redeeming female character of the bunch, but she was murdered in season one. there was the mythical supernatural creature that thrived on chaos and forced humans to have sex as part of a pagan ritual in her single-minded madness to summon her male god. there was the shape-shifter who served the maynad (s/p?) who seduced sam as part of a plot, she was rather bland and uninteresting besides the seduction and shape-shifting. jason’s vampire blood addicted, hippie, homicidal girlfriend was around for a while, forcing him to kidnap and hold a vampire captive against his conscience. there were the women that were murdered in season one because they had sex with vampires, most notably the one that videotaped herself having sex with a vampire and then pretending to die during (recorded) s&m sex with jason. there’s mrs. fortenberry who is a stereotypical old southern busy-body, who smothers her adult son and is prejudiced against vampires.
i may be forgetting a character or two, but i doubt they’re going to have much redeeming quality at all. yes, when we look closely at True Blood, it’s hard to find the same fun escapism there after really paying attention to what we are seeing. True Blood is a boys club; the boys may not be that great, but they are calling the shots and the women either find their personality through them or have no personality at all.
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Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.
there are a few things that i am very passionate about. feminism is obviously one of them. i’m also passionate about lgbtq equality, activism, fashion, and food. yes, i am a foodie. i realize that there’s a pretty big foodie backlash growing on the internet, but i love food: i love to cook, i love to eat, and i love to talk about great food.
many times, activism, feminism, and being a foodie - more importantly being someone who advocates a return to eating that involves foods that are not processed and/or foods that are healthy - don’t collide. they do however collide in the case of jamie oliver’s food revolution.
i first heard about the “food revolution” when someone posted a note on facebook about the episode where jamie makes “chicken nuggets” for the kids. if you haven’t seen that segment, i highly recommend it. i don’t have cable tv, and i watch the things i do watch online, but i sought out the episodes of food revolution on hulu.com. i was excited about the concept of food revolution. it’s not really that difficult to change the way that we eat, if we plan ahead. yes, it’s infinitely easier to drive through a fast food restaurant than it is to go to the grocery store, shop, and prepare a meal at home - but it’s evident that convenience has a cost that is much too high for us to pay.
i blogged about the way we eat in america, and posted a breakdown of what’s in mcdonald’s fries on my website but this post is not about food. this post is about “the girls”. as i watched the chicken nugget episode in its entirety, i immediately noticed that jamie was referring to the public elementary school’s lunch cooks as “girls” and frankly, i found it offensive. the women that he was talking to and about were women, some of whom might be old enough to be his mother. why was he calling them girls? i tweeted something about this, and my twitter feed updates my facebook status. immediately i met with resistance on calling out this behavior. “jamie seems like a sweet sensitive guy. he means no harm!” was the general attitude of the comments. now we are on episode six of the food revolution, and his continual referring to the lunch cooks as “girls” hasn’t ceased to offend me.
the truth is, jamie oliver may very well be a sweet sensitive guy. i believe in what he’s doing. i believe that we need to change the way we eat in america; the way we think about food; and the way that we allow corporations to blind us to the reality about factory farms and that french fries are way more than just potatoes, salt and oil. i don’t however think that just because he’s doing something important we should excuse behavior that is misogynistic, even inadvertently so! if you watch the episodes, you’ll notice that never once does he refer to rod, the local DJ as a “boy”. i’m not saying that he’s intentionally being condescending, but just because it’s unintentional and he’s a nice person, that doesn’t make it ok.
what happened to a society that respected its elders? what happened to the archetype of the crone as a wise woman that we hoped to age to be? now she’s evil and passing out poisoned apples. now she’s airbrushed in an olay regenerist commercial desperately hoping she passes for fifty. wtf has happened, feminists? every time oliver says “girls” i keep expecting alice - the feisty anti-heroine - to go “girl? i was chopping potatoes before you were out of diapers boy!” i find it disheartening that we live in a time where we have completely rejected the notion that a woman has any worth after the age of thirty; or twenty? i find it absurd that we forget that wisdom comes from age and experience. are only men allowed to be older and wiser in america now? i find it ridiculous that we discount the lessons of the crone, distressed or afraid to become her, when we are all going to get older and we should respect that each portion of life is a stage that deserves celebration.
every time jamie oliver calls those women “girls” he discounts her wisdom, her unique experience, and her worth as a productive member of society. whatever his intention, he is being disrespectful. whether it is malicious or not really doesn’t matter - ignorance is no excuse - and if it makes me an angry feminist who stirs shit up to say so, well, i was already an angry feminist that stirs shit up :) and at 29, i’m a long way beyond being a girl.
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last spring MS NOW did a six week social justice themed film series here in jackson. i had the opportunity to watch many films that moved me in one way or another. it’s hard to choose which one effected me the most, as they dealt with issues like race, rape, abortion, lgbt families, and ex-gay therapy.
one film we chose not to show until we could have a much larger panel discussion was this one, dreamworlds 3. i have shared this clip many times other places. although it is only five minutes long, you will feel like it is much longer because of the impact it has. it’s NSFW, and it may contain triggering images.
this is a film that every person should see. it goes so far beyond the way that women are portrayed in music videos. watch and leave me a comment. what do you think of it? how does it make you feel?