“We were discussing homosexuality because of an allusion to it in the book we were reading, and several boys made comments such as, “That’s disgusting.” We got into the debate and eventually a boy admitted that he was terrified/disgusted when he was once sharing a taxi and the other male passenger made a pass at him. The lightbulb went off. “Oh,” I said. “I get it. See, you are afraid, because for the first time in your life you have found yourself a victim of unwanted sexual advances by someone who has the physical ability to use force against you.” The boy nodded and shuddered visibly.“But,” I continued. “As a woman, you learn to live with that from the time you are fourteen, and it never stops. We live with that fear every day of our lives. Every man walking through the parking garage the same time you are is either just a harmless stranger or a potential rapist. Every time.” The girls in the room nodded, agreeing. The boys seemed genuinely shocked. “So think about that the next time you hit on a girl. Maybe, like you in the taxi, she doesn’t actually want you to.””—
Andrew Sullivan, Homophobia: The fear that another man will treat you like you treat women.
“It’s been less than a month since Dov Charney was ousted as American Apparel’s CEO after numerous accusations of sexual harassment, and now the company has rehired him as a paid “strategic consultant” – and will let him keep his huge salary. It’s also been less than a month since that long magazine profile reminded everyone that photographer Terry Richardson has been accused of multiple sexual assaults (two settled), and he’s still partnering with Playboy magazine on a special 100-page issue – shot entirely by him.
Everyone is always pretty concerned that men accused of sexual misconduct will have their lives ruined, but it looks like these guys aren’t just avoiding the many consequences of those accusations – they’re actually flourishing!
“I repeat: these stereotypes are dangerous. Reducing Asian women into a sexual object is not funny, it is not flattering. It is perilous. We can see this when Asian women are subject to race-targeted sexual violence. The racist nature of the crimes go unrecognized and unpunished, as if there is nothing wrong with choosing a rape victim because she is Asian.
In Spokane, Washington, two white men and a woman specifically hunted random Japanese women in an elaborately planned scheme to kidnap, rape, sodomize, torture and videotape them. Their motivation? According to police reports, the rapists had a sexual “fantasy” and “fixation” about young Japanese women, who they believed were “submissive.” (The very same beliefs so blatantly bandied about by Gawker and some of its readers.)
During a one month period in Autumn 2000, the predators abducted five Japanese exchange students, ranging from age 18 to 20. Motivated by their sexual biases about Asian women, all three used both their bodies and objects to repeatedly rape - vaginally, anally and orally — two of the young women over a seven hour ordeal.
In Spokane, one of the attackers immediately confessed to searching only for Japanese women to torture and rape — and eventually all pled guilty and were convicted. It clearly was a racially-motivated criminal case. The victims also believed they were attacked because of their race, the prosecutor told me.
What is astonishing, however, is that the district attorney failed to bring an additional charge that would have tagged the crimes as motivated by racial bias. The police also neglected to report the crime as a “hate crime,” as demanded by the Justice Department to keep accurate statistics of all bias-driven crimes. Although the attackers all received long sentences, an important opportunity to raise the nation’s consciousness was lost. We, as a society, were told that it’s not a hate crime to rape an Asian woman because of her race.”—Jaemin Kim, Asian Women: Rape and Hate Crimes (via globalpoetics)
So it’s 2014 and I don’t want a flying car, I want people to fucking admit that having an Asian fetish isn’t about fucking aesthetic preferences or fucking loving another culture, it’s about being racist as fuck and thinking that all Asians look alike or that there’s actually such a thing as “Asian culture”
“I’ve experienced firsthand how the “model minority” narrative– this strange tendency to assume that Asians are simply a quiet, high-achieving community tagging along with our white brethren into a melting pot of joy–effectively de-legitimizes our voices in conversations about promoting racial justice. Leaving our voices and experiences out of the fight for racial justice erases our long, often tragic history in this country and homogenizes all Asians into one, high-achieving blob. Leaving us out means turning a blind eye to the fact that 1 in 6 Filipino-Americans and 1 in 4 Korean-Americans are undocumented, that Southeast Asians have the highest high school dropout rates in the country, that Asian American students are the most bullied ethnic group in classrooms, and that Asian women are consistently hypersexualized, objectified, and orientalized via widespread media representations. If you choose not to include us in discussions on racial justice, you are telling us that our struggles don’t matter.”—Linsey Yoo, Racialicious, "Solidarity is for white women and Asian people are funny" (via blackinasia)
I could talk about the PE teacher in my town who was asked to resign due to his harassment of female students, who was then hired as a school bus driver for a rural route with both primary and high school students. I could talk about how, from the age of seven, I refused to wear skirts or dresses, and from the time I entered high school at 10 to when I moved at 16 I always wore bike shorts or CCC shorts under my dress, because he was not particularly subtle about the way he looked at us – and those bus steps are high. I could talk about how this was common knowledge and was never denied by any authority figure we ever raised it with, but rather we were just kind of brushed off. I could talk about how, sometimes, I was the last person on my bus in the afternoon and I was never quite sure if something bad would happen to me, even though for a long time I probably couldn’t have articulated what it was that I feared.
I could talk about how I spent ten years of my childhood believing it was perfectly normal and acceptable for a seven year old child to stop wearing her favourite clothes because a grown man she relies on to get to and from school from a relatively remote location gets a thrill from looking up her skirt.
I could talk about the art teacher at my high school who used to run his hands up and down our backs, right along the spot where your bra sits. Considering most of us were fairly new to wearing bras in the first place, this was a decidedly uncomfortable experience. I could talk about how he used to get just a little too close for comfort in the supply room. Nothing overt, nothing nameable – just enough to make you drag someone else along with you if you needed a fresh piece of paper or you ran out of ink. I could talk about how the odd comment or complaint that was made was completely handwaved, that we were told to be very careful about what we were saying, that we could get someone in a lot of trouble by “starting those kinds of rumours”, and did we really want to be responsible for that?
I could talk about the first time I was made to feel ashamed of my body, at twelve or thirteen, getting into a water fight with my stepfather and uncle in the height of summer. I could talk about my grandmother completely flipping out, talking about how disgusting it was, how grown men should be ashamed of the way they were behaving with a girl. I could talk about how she then spent the next few hours trying to convince me I was being somehow victimised, while I was mostly confused about what had taken place – it took me a long time to work it out. I could talk about the unvoiced but ever-present fear for months afterwards that my grandma would bring it up again, that she would bring it up in the wrong place or to the wrong people and that my uncle, a schoolteacher, would suffer for it.
I could talk about how that destroyed what had been a fantastic relationship with my uncle, and how, ten years later, he still won’t hug me at Christmas.
I could talk about being called a frigid bitch and a slut in the same breath in high school. I could talk about multiple instances of sitting in a big group of friends, hearing someone trying to get into someone else’s pants, starting off sweet enough but quickly descending into emotional manipulation and thinly veiled abuse. I could talk about the time I went off with someone willingly enough and being followed by someone I considered a friend, someone who would not leave no matter how many times I said “no”, who only went away when the person I was with said that he “didn’t feel like sharing”.
I could talk about the family friend who always made me feel a little bit off for no discernible reason. The one who if I was left alone in the room with him, I would always find an excuse to leave. The one time I expressed this, I was told I was being a drama queen, and that I needed to grow up and stop being so precious, that one day I was going to have to deal with people I didn’t like and I might as well get used to it. I could talk about how he never did anything untoward, never gave me any specific reason to feel unsafe – but years after I last saw him, when he was found guilty of four historical sexual assault charges, one of rape and three of indecent assault on girls under twelve, I was, for reasons I still don’t entirely understand, completely unsurprised.
I could talk about my boyfriend justifying his rape of me with “you could have fought me off if you really wanted you, you slut”. I could talk about how, when I tried to tell people, I was told I was being a nasty, spiteful, vindictive bitch. I could talk about how selfish it was of me to say such things, that he’d overcome such a hard life and was going to go on and make something of himself, who the hell was I to try and stand in his way?
I could talk about how my response to being raped was to sleep with anyone and everyone because I rationalised that if I never said no, then no one could force me. I could talk about how I have been told time and time again, by people who should know better, that this is a sign that I wasn’t really raped at all.
I could talk about how, when I finally worked up the courage to make a formal complaint of sexual harassment against my boss, I was asked why I had let it continue for so long, and what I had done to make him think his behaviour would be welcomed.
I could talk about how when a much later boss got me completely wasted at my leaving party, to the point where I couldn’t walk, and fucked me in a back alley, he waited until I was sober the next morning to tell me that he had a pregnant wife, because he heard through the grapevine that I was very strict about not sleeping with married people or straight women, and he thought I should “learn my place” and realise that I’m “not such a high and mighty bitch with a moral high ground after all”.
I could talk about these things, but I very rarely do. Since I was seven years old, I have been told that my body is not my own, that my consent is not my own, that my feelings of discomfort are not my own. I have taught myself to suppress my gut instinct upon meeting people. I have been taught to smile, to be polite, to suck it up if I feel unsafe. When I complain, I have been told I’m being irrational, oversensitive, and selfish. The underlying message is, how dare I try and ascertain any kind of control over my own body?
I should talk about it. But I don’t actually know whether I can.
i get uncomfortable when i see people fawning over old pictures of male politicians who were really hot when they were young, bc that’s a young attractive white guy who decided to go into politics and is now…. an old white male politician
Just realized that the anti-abortion argument has a lot in common with anti-vaccers.
They’re both the products of ignorance, of a wealthy society that modern medicine has insulated from nature, from reality.
One that doesn’t realize anymore that pregnancy kills. Not just childbirth: that pregnancy itself damages your body. That developing fetuses will strip-mine your organs, including your brain. That pregnancy and childbirth with those large brains and skulls is so taxing that female evolution for endurance has been the rate-limiting step on human evolution for intelligence, and we still had a spectacular rate of death in childbirth and death during pregnancy because that level of exertion
was still deadly for a species
that will run hundreds of miles for fun.
The female body exhibits humanity’s physical adaptations more strongly than the male body, our pelvises are different so bone spars don’t go anywhere that’ll make us bleed to death in seconds, our muscle tissue is built from the ground up to be able to power itself for hours, because it needed to be.
Deadly diseases are less common now, so people don’t see that pregnant women, already fighting to survive, have less to fight disease with. They don’t realize that reproduction has always been at the expense of the mother’s body. That it may be a price the mother considers worth paying, but it is one HELL of a price. It is not a free lunch.
And coming up short, not having the strength, means death.
M-preg is impossible because male bodies are not built to survive that shit. Running hundreds of miles sure. Pregnancy? Childbirth? Out of their league. Those adaptations are expensive: men don’t have to be built that strong, so they aren’t.
The Puritans, the Puritans, who thought that sperm had souls, would allow anyone who wanted one to get an abortion, because well duh. Masturbation was evil, abortions weren’t, because masturbation was letting souls never be born for pleasure, while abortion saved lives. None of this ‘oh, damage to every organ in your body isn’t enough medical reason’ - pregnancy was an incredible strain on the body, heavy labor was also an incredible strain on the body, and deadly diseases happened. They believed that it was a woman’s duty to be fruitful and multiply, sure, but that meant picking when it was safest to do deadly shit, otherwise you’d be too dead to reproduce.
And of course modern society ignores that once upon a time, morality meant controlling penises, not just vaginas.
“I can’t accept that. I can’t accept that there was only one black woman in the entire film, who delivered one line and who we never saw again. I can’t accept that the bad guys were Asian and that although in China, Lucy’s roommate says, “I mean, who speaks Chinese? I don’t speak Chinese!” I can’t accept that in Hercules, which I also saw this weekend, there were no people of color except for Dwayne Johnson himself and his mixed-race wife, whose skin was almost alabaster. I can’t accept that she got maybe two lines and was then murdered. I can’t accept that the “primitive tribe” in Hercules consisted of dark-haired men painted heavily, blackish green, to give their skin (head-to-toe) a darker appearance, so the audience could easily differentiate between good and bad guys by the white vs. dark skin. I can’t accept that during the previews, Exodus: Gods and Kings, a story about Moses leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt, where not a single person of color is represented, casts Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton to play Egyptians. I can’t accept that in the preview for Kingsman: The Secret Service, which takes place in London, features a cast of white boys and not a single person of Indian descent, which make up the largest non-white ethnic group in London. I can’t accept that in stories about the end of the world and the apocalypse, that somehow only white people survive. I can’t accept that while my daily life is filled with black and brown women, they are completely absent, erased, when I look at a TV or movie screen.”—Olivia Cole - Lucy: Why I’m Tired of Seeing White People on the Big Screen (via noely-g)
We came back to Gaza one year ago because my mother was extremely ill (totally blind because of diabetes), and with the Rafah border consistently closed it’s impossible to get someone in her condition to Cairo, let alone to Germany.
Since our return, my children are constantly asking questions. Why don’t kids in Gaza have playgrounds? Why do children play in crowded streets? Why don’t their peers have enough food? It breaks my heart to answer these questions, but at least I know how.
Since the war [latest Israeli assault] started, though, I’m stumped more and more often — and the questions are multiplying. What is happening, Mom? Why are they killing children? (Three of their young second young cousins — Ibrahim, Eman, and Asem — died, along with a pregnant woman and four other children, when Israel fired missiles at their multi-family apartment building. No military target was identified.) Will we die, too? Why do they hate us? Don’t they have children?
Am I supposed to tell them that, yes, we could die at any time from an incoming shell? Surely, I shouldn’t tell them about 19 children of the Abu Jamei family who were killed when a missile fired at one person struck them all as they broke the Ramadan fast one recent evening. How can I explain that, yes, the soldiers who have killed so many children often have children of their own? How can I persuade them that fireworks in Germany signify joy and celebration, while “fireworks” in Gaza cause death?
The most painful question they’ve asked me is a response to our neurotic nighttime habits. One night, I make all three sleep in the same bedroom with us, hoping to increase the odds they’ll survive if a shell hits one of the empty rooms in our house. But then the next night, I’ll separate them, thinking that if I divide my children they won’t all die in an attack. (Unless we’re hit by a half-ton bomb, rather than artillery shell, in which case we’ll all be killed, anyway.)
These are the painful contortions I’d wish on no mother anywhere. Yet mothers throughout Gaza make these decisions every night — and live with the consequences of one ill-fated move. But how am I supposed to answer when Maryam asks, “Why do we sleep somewhere different each night?”
My children, as with all children in Gaza, will need therapy following this carnage. Most, of course, will not receive it. They will enter adulthood remembering these days and the soldiers, F-16s and drones that were heedless of their nighttime cries and terror. Their mothers and fathers — unable to guard their children from these horrors — will need psychological help. And grandparents may have it worse of all, since the midnight terror this month feels terribly like the nights nearly seven decades ago when they were expelled from their homes in what became Israel, never to return.