Media, Sisterhood

Pop Culture Makes You No Less Feminist

A cool thing via the always awesome LillianLemoning.

Sorry in advance for all the comic sans but it’s worth it.

Just because they’re in the public eye being scrutinized for other qualities doesn’t decrease the awesomeness of their good deeds.

Gender, Relationships

If You Don’t Think I’m Funny Then You Can Leave

Today I was having a discussion with a new friend about how there’s a guy who seems to be trying to impress me with how funny he can be.

I read her our text conversation and she laughed out loud and said “You’re so much funnier than he is!”

And based on the very little I know about this man (less than a dozen text messages), it’s true.  I am funnier than he is.

And it reminded me of a bar I went to last summer.  Or more specifically a drunk ‘comedian’ I met at that bar.

My friend was dating a male model at the time and I enjoyed hanging out with her and watching her cuteness grow exponentially when adjacent to his beautifulness so I went.  They told me they were bringing one of his friends.  This friend was apparently tall, Jewish and funny.  What’s not to love?

This guy may have been a Jew but he was certainly neither tall nor even moderately funny.  What he was, was drunk.  Very drunk.  And I’m sure his drunkenness made him even less funny than I’m sure he naturally is.

And it must be said that knowing a funny man was my setup, I brought my funnybone along too.  And this is what I realized that night.

You don’t have to be the funniest guy in the room for me to like you.  I’ve had plenty of crushes on guys who are quiet in groups.  As long as you make me laugh when we’re alone, then I don’t mind if I have to be the entertaining half of this couple at dinner parties.

I also wouldn’t mind being with the funniest guy in the room.  That would be fun too I’m sure.

The one thing I do know I couldn’t live with is a guy who resented the fact that I was funnier than he was, who clearly felt that he was diminished by my having excellent (if only occasionally so) vocabulary.

I’ve heard it said that men want a woman with a good sense of humor (someone who laughs at his jokes) and women want a man with a good sense of humor (someone who makes her laugh).  This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and I hate it.  

If you don’t laugh at what I find funny then I don’t want to sleep with you.  And if you additionally are embarrassed by having a girlfriend who does funny things that men are commended for on a daily basis then you are dismissed.

Bodies, Confidence, Media

My Body…Finally

You really think everyone looks like that?  Really?

And co-opting the language of loving your body actually does more harm than good, I’m looking at you Victorias Secret.

These ads are a double whammy.  They present with feminist language of self acceptance and empowerment but actually sexualize women and show the only body type we should heart.

Bodies, Confidence, Deviant/Default, Media

Reasons Not To Be Pretty

Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another—physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.
~Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (via kosdetermination)

There’s something I’ve been trying to write for a long time but every time I try it comes out sounding like “OMG, being pretty is just so hard!” and that’s very much not what I want it to be.

In this, her fantastic slap in the face of the media, Judd calls out how criticizing other women based on appearances is an act of violence against ourselves and each other which the patriarchy has taught us is ‘normal’.

We experience brutal criticism. The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others…

Over time, I matured into the understanding that good and bad are equally fanciful interpretations. I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. [x]

While being punished for our aesthetic shortcomings may sting more, Judd makes it clear that being praised for good looks is an equally invalidating.  Prettiness is an equal sacrifice of power.

One thing that this fool did get right is that men are taught that they are owed prettiness from the women around them.   Women have two options; be fodder for his wank-bank or be loathed.

You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.


The longer we allow ourselves to be ruled by this guiding principle, that we must be pretty, we are giving our autonomy to others.  When we think that prettiness will buy the things we want we give others the power to say we aren’t pretty enough and use it as a reason to not give us the things we deserve.

Never underestimate the huge middle finger you are giving to the world when you make peace with your body.

~Frances Lockie

Judd was pretty.  Is it making her happier than the rest of us cretins or is she just as miserably scrutinized as the entire rest of the female population?  I rest my case.

Gender, Media, Sisterhood

Smart People or Sexy People?

There has been some press recently (or not so recently I guess) about whether women are funny.

Two and a Half Men co-creator Lee Aronsohn complains that…well, basically he just makes women feel like our only redeeming qualities are named Tits and Ass:

Enough, ladies. I get it. You have periods. … [W]e’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation.

When in truth about 40% of TV characters are female (and I presume that includes Barney’s one night stands, and the percentage of female writers is even lower than that.

“True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality. A group that is made up of 50% women is perceived as being mostly women. A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.”
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part.”

– Lucy, When Worlds Collide: Fandom and Male Privilege.

So when Smart Actress People are portrayed as Sexy People I can’t help but feel like the message we’re getting is ‘Well, whatever talent you have… you’re still just the sexy people performing your sexiness for me.’  And the fact that they’re smart or funny pales in comparison to how good they can look in a garter belt.

It almost feels deliberately like some guy was intimidated by how smart and funny these talented actresses are and said, ‘let’s make them all naked and vulnerable’.  That’ll be sufficiently humbling.

Not like that’s a new concept.  Being an ‘attractive woman’ for quite some time has meant making yourself appear sufficiently vulnerable, whether it means dressing in nothing but bedsheets or hiding your head behind your shoulder.

Women aren’t just sexy, they aren’t just the sex class.  They’re just as likely to be smart as any man.  They’re just as likely to be funny as any man.

So get over it already.

Deviant/Default, Friendship, Gender, Media, Obedience, Rape, Sex, Sisterhood

Because They Are Not Human And They Are Not The Same As You

An article ran in Jezebel recently that upset a lot of people.  It was called

Can You Tell The Difference Between A Men’s Magazine And A Rapist?

Researchers collected quotes from nudie mags and rapists, mixed them up and asked people which were from magazines and which from rapists.  And people got it wrong.  Here are some examples.

1. There’s a certain way you can tell that a girl wants to have sex . . . The way they dress, they flaunt themselves.

2. Some girls walk around in short-shorts . . . showing their body off . . . It just starts a man thinking that if he gets something like that, what can he do with it?

3. A girl may like anal sex because it makes her feel incredibly naughty and she likes feeling like a dirty slut. If this is the case, you can try all sorts of humiliating acts to help live out her filthy fantasy.

4. Mascara running down the cheeks means they’ve just been crying, and it was probably your fault . . . but you can cheer up the miserable beauty with a bit of the old in and out.

5. What burns me up sometimes about girls is dick-teasers. They lead a man on and then shut him off right there.

6. Filthy talk can be such a turn on for a girl . . . no one wants to be shagged by a mouse . . . A few compliments won’t do any harm either . . . ‘I bet you want it from behind you dirty whore’ . . .

7. You know girls in general are all right. But some of them are bitches . . . The bitches are the type that . . . need to have it stuffed to them hard and heavy.

8. Escorts . . . they know exactly how to turn a man on. I’ve given up on girlfriends. They don’t know how to satisfy me, but escorts do.

9. You’ll find most girls will be reluctant about going to bed with somebody or crawling in the back seat of a car . . . But you can usually seduce them, and they’ll do it willingly.

10. There’s nothing quite like a woman standing in the dock accused of murder in a sex game gone wrong . . . The possibility of murder does bring a certain frisson to the bedroom.

11. Girls ask for it by wearing these mini-skirts and hotpants . . . they’re just displaying their body . . . Whether they realise it or not they’re saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got a beautiful body, and it’s yours if you want it.’

12. You do not want to be caught red-handed . . . go and smash her on a park bench. That used to be my trick.

13. Some women are domineering, but I think it’s more or less the man who should put his foot down. The man is supposed to be the man. If he acts the man, the woman won’t be domineering.

14. I think if a law is passed, there should be a dress code . . . When girls dress in those short skirts and things like that, they’re just asking for it.

15. Girls love being tied up . . . it gives them the chance to be the helpless victim.

16. I think girls are like plasticine, if you warm them up you can do anything you want with them.

With evidence like this I’m always amazed when men don’t understand that the culture we live in hurts women and that the way it talks about/shows sex with women is inherently violent.

There was a post I did a while back that pointed out how the media and advertising dehumanize women

and how that dehumanization along with sexualized violence

leads to violence against them.

What my male friends who insist that “feminism isn’t necessary anymore” don’t realize is that it isn’t laws that are used to oppress women anymore (outside of the birth control debates), it’s media.

And it’s time we fought back.


This Is For My Girls All Around The World

I’m not the biggest fan of Christina Aguilera.  She’s no James Taylor.  But I just heard this song today.

And today I love Miss Chris.

This is what ‘Runs the World’ should be.

Just look at the two songs.

First I’d just like to point out how dynamic and interesting the Aguilera song is compared to Beyonce’s.

Aguilera reminds us that if a guy doesn’t respect you, it’s all the more reason to speak your mind.

This is for my girls all around the world
Who have come across a man that don’t respect your worth
Thinking all women should be seen not heard
So what do we do, girls, shout louder!

And brings attention to the double standard.

If you look back in history
It’s a common double standard of society
The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore.

While Beyonce reminds us that she’s Helen of Troy and can screw a man into doing what she wants.

My persuasion can build a nation
Endless power, the love we can devour
You’ll do anything for me.

I remember a time when Christina was considered the worst role model for your teenage daughter.  But who do you want influencing your child?  The woman who tells her to fight for her rights or the one who tells her to prostitute herself because it’s the only way to ‘endless power’?

Bodies, Deviant/Default, Man Meat

Hey Hot Stuff

Mr. Fox will have this exact hair.
I want to see as many sexualized male bodies as female bodies in the kinky/sex positive community, as an indication that we agree that diversity is beautiful, that we are, in fact, sex positive and at the forefront of challenging “the norm”. I want club nights designing fliers to consider having a variety of male bodies on their images. I want galleries to show men tied up or tying, being spanked, standing tall in their leather boots- and I want these images to not be ones created for the gay male community and then pushed at women. I want to see faces in agony and pleasure. I want to see erect cock. I want to challenge the knee jerk reaction that “female bodies are just more attractive”.

That quote is directly about the kinky community but I love the idea of ‘I want to challenge the knee jerk reaction that “female bodies are just more attractive”.’

Because I don’t know about you, but I disagree with it.

I’ve heard men talk about how they see going down on a woman as radical and political.  Sometimes that’s how I think about enjoying pictures of men. And let me just say that it’s not like these pictures are nearly as racy as still images of women I’ve come across without even trying (although…).

It’s one thing to tell me what I can or can’t look at.  But to tell me what I can or can’t like is patronizing and rude.

Women aren’t just naturally sexier than men.   To say that gives credence to the idea that, like Smurfette, we’re just the sexy version of men and I refuse to believe that.  Women and men are just people that other women and men find sexy.

That’s it.  That’s the anti-patriarchy message for today.  I think you’re hot.

Now try telling me that all those feminists are just man-haters.

And if these pictures aren’t to your taste check here or here or here for some more ‘fantasy research.’

Deviant/Default, Queer, Rape, Rights, Street Harassment

So Long And Thanks For All The Chris

I received a comment on my last post and I thought that rather than letting it linger on a comment thread, I would address some interesting points Chris Willett made.  Here is his comment.  

Why I stand with Dr. Richard Dawkins:

The skeptic community is embroiled in an acrimonious debate concerning whether “Elevator Guy” was obtuse and harmless or sexist and harassing in his overture to Ms. Watson in an elevator in Dublin. When I arrived to this debate, quite late, “Elevator Guy” had been repeatedly insulted and his motives thoroughly debated (in commentary long on assumptions and emotional intensity and short on facts). Some “feminists” derided his actions as sexist and emphasized the potential for sexual assault, citing statistics and research on rape. Others, siding with Dr. Dawkins, argued that this perspective constitutes “hysteria” (admittedly a sexist term) and serves not to elevate women, but to demean men by presupposing that they are all potential rapists. Some “feminists” shot back by accusing their opponents of ignorance on issues of sexism and male privilege.

While I certainly do not doubt or have any desire to minimize the experiences of Ms. Watson and other women who repeatedly receive unwanted sexual advances (and threats), I believe that the entire issue is overblown.

First, I disagree with the notion that this event was unquestionably an act of sexism:

Sexism is the belief (and more importantly, the differential treatment that results from such belief) that one sex is superior to the other. In the American historical context, men have long been (incorrectly, obviously) regarded as superior to women. (Undoubtedly, Christian doctrine played a large part in promoting this view.) It is clearly apparent that “Elevator Guy” dismissed Ms. Watson’s statements concerning her discomfort with unwanted male pursuit and her intent to retire for the evening. He is thus rightly chided for being obtuse, selfish, and disrespectful. Concluding that his actions were sexist, however, requires demonstrating that he disregarded Ms. Watson’s stated intentions because of her sex. While there is certainly a long history of men ignoring women’s preferences concerning sexual advances, I am not convinced that the fact of this history alone is sufficient grounds to state with certainty that “Elevator Guy” is sexist or misogynist.

I also resent the assertion that my position is patently callous or sexist. I recognize that I not only enjoy male privilege, but that I also experience what could be termed “double male privilege” due to my sexual orientation. As a gay man, I do not relate intimately with women and thus am unaware of the personal concerns that they may express only in the privacy of their romantic relationships. Nor must I heed such concerns when pursuing romance, since I pursue men. Nevertheless, I remain unconvinced that merely believing that this issue is overblown makes me (or Dr. Dawkins) ignorant or insensitive concerning issues of sex inequality.

Certainly men must recognize the legitimacy of female discomfort in enclosed spaces. But when some “feminists” suggest that “polite” and “considerate” men decline opportunities to enter an elevator in which a woman stands alone, I do not see an argument promoting respect and equality for women. Instead, I see a rather insulting assertion that women are frightened, helpless, victims-in-waiting unable to defend themselves. This perspective also limits men – presumably even gay ones like me – by implying that a woman’s right to not feel any level of discomfort, whether justified or not, transcends a man’s right to ride in the elevator. This is not equality; this is a reversal of who has privilege.

Second, and much more importantly, I believe that Dr. Dawkins has been unfairly pilloried:

Dr. Dawkins entered the debate shortly after it began, sarcastically comparing the incident to the appalling oppression of women in fundamentalist Islamic societies. I believe he intended to express that the incident hardly merits the attention it has received. After his comment was widely panned, Dr. Dawkins clarified his position, requested additional information, and acknowledged that he could be mistaken. Whatever your opinion of his tone, a close reading of his three comments does not reveal him to be the domineering misogynist he has been made out to be.

But I am no longer chiefly concerned with my ability to convince others of my perspective on whether or not the elevator proposition was sexist. A much more pressing matter is the extreme, divisive reactions that Ms. Watson and some of her supporters have recently posted on Skepchick. In “The Privilege Delusion,” Ms. Watson refers derisively to Dr. Dawkins as a “stinking rich” “wealthy old heterosexual white man,” states that she will boycott his work, and thanks her supporters for “bravely battling [Dawkins] and the hoards of clueless privileged people who didn’t get it.” The open letters to Dr. Dawkins are more severe: “I look forward to watching your legacy crash and burn,” wrote Mindy, who concluded with “you don’t get a second chance.” Another letter opened with “Dear Dick” and accused Dr. Dawkins of making the skeptic community “blatantly unsafe” for women.

Language such as this, dripping with negative emotional reactivity, eclipses the legitimate perspective the writers wish to express, reveals as hypocrites those who have targeted Dr. Dawkins for his tone, and threatens to split apart a movement that already has more than enough challenges. (Dr. Dawkins now faces retribution in the actual press.) Further, the ferociousness of the accusations of sexism and misogyny directed at Dr. Dawkins and others only serves, rightly or wrongly, to provide ammunition to the real “men’s rights activists” out there who believe that feminism is about revenge rather than equality.

We can do better than this. The first responsibility of any skeptic is to be skeptical of his own perspective. That ability, along with a healthy dose of modesty and humility, has been abandoned in recent days. It is long past time to either debate this issue reasonably or simply let it go.

First of all I’d like to point out that in my previous post I never so much as suggested I knew anything about the intentions behind ‘Elevator guy.’  Was he harmless?  Was he harassing?  Who knows?  Who cares?

I don’t care what his intentions were; I have no desire to insult elevator guy.  I just want him to understand how he comes off so that next time he finds a girl ‘interesting’ he’ll remember to take a moment in her shoes and introduce himself in a different setting.  I don’t want to shame him, I just want men to view the world they live in through a womans eyes before approaching one.  I think that would actually fix a lot of things.

In fact we could even say that in this instance Elevator Guy is getting screwed over not by feminism but by patriarchy.  Patriarchy leads to jokes and media which encourages the demeaning of women and the acceptability of rape, which leads to rape and a culture in which all men UNFORTUNATELY must be treated at least a little bit like Schrodinger’s rapist.  Every time I think about this concept I die a little inside, but really it’s because I know that it’s true.

Elevator guy didn’t attack or even touch Watson.  He sounds like he was doing what he thought was right, keeping his hands to himself and speaking politely.  The thing that screams sexism to me is that he wasn’t aware of how the exchange would feel to Rebecca; he had no idea he was Schrodinger’s rapist.  He didn’t know that patriarchy was about to slap him on the behind and then repeatedly in the face all over the internet.

Not all men are rapists.  I know that.  In fact the only women I know who doubt that are the ones who’ve been raped.

A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?

Rapists do.

They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.

Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.

If one in twenty guys is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, really cool guy, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.

But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.

And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed?

That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.

You. The rapist’s comrade.

And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore…

Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.

(Chris, that also goes for racist and homophobic bigotry too)

My argument isn’t that men should stop getting on elevators with women; that isn’t fair at all and would probably be very counterproductive.  My argument is that we should stop teaching girls to live in fear and stop teaching boys that being feared makes them men.  It’s that cycle that’s the problem.

I wish I lived in a world where men could invite me back to their hotel rooms on elevators and I could consider going or not going with no fear.  Imagine it, that would be a fantastic world, but that’s not the world we live in.

So let’s change it.

Instead of saying let’s put up curtains and disallow men from being alone with women so women can feel safe, let’s just stop saying that Chris Brown is an acceptable example of a man.  Let’s change the messages we send our sons so that in the next generation there are only men who you would want your daughter to be on an elevator with.  Then women won’t be afraid and won’t treat future Elevator Guys like Schrodinger’s rapist.  And then maybe they can be invited to hotel rooms and have coffee.  Or other stuff (but I won’t make you think about your future daughter doing that…except I just did, HA!)

I don’t think your position is “patently callous or sexist,” Chris.  I just think you’re not being part of the solution.  And as they say, “if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.”  I don’t want to punish you, I want to recruit you.  I want you to help me create this world where my daughter can have sex with a stranger in a hotel room.  I want future Elevator Guy to get some because my daughter is going to be awesome!

Lastly why, Chris, do you call feminists ‘feminists’?  Do you think they’re fake?

Oh, and also, I do not associate with the skeptic movement.

Abuse, Deviant/Default, Rape, Street Harassment

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Possible trigger warning – rape, assault.

Alright dudes, go with me on this.

Close your eyes (but not really) and imagine that you are living in the world I’m about to describe. In this world there are people who have a third arm in their chests (think Zaphod Beeblebrox from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy).

We’ll call those people Zaphods for short.  So there are two types of humans, Zaphods and Homo sapiens, which we’ll call Homos for short.  You’re a Homo.

Zaphods are potentially dangerous of course, sure.  They’re about 50% (more limb…) more dangerous than you, Homo. They’re bigger and stronger (think Beeblebrox pictured above but 6’7″ and bursting with muscles).  They can be scary, but also nice, attractive, smart, fun; remember they’re human too.

But, from infancy both you and Zaphods have been told, “Zaphods will be Zaphods.  They/you have more testosterone; they/you just need to get that aggression out somewhere.  It’s just nature.”

And little Zaphods are told “Don’t be a sissy.  Don’t cry!  Who cries?  Homo’s cry!  You’re not one of them are you?  Dirty creatures, you know the only thing they’re good for!”

So when you get a little older they start punching your friends at lunch; you’re told to look the other way or you’ll be next, so you do.  And then you get a little older and your friends start telling you stories of being followed out of bars and having their ribs broken in alleys.  So when you’re walking alone at night and there’s a pair of Zaphods walking behind you, you calmly cross to the other side of the street and try not to draw any attention to yourself.

And you know that 1 in 6 Homos have been assaulted by Zaphods.  Your dad told you the story of when he was burglarized and beaten by one back when he lived in New Jersey.  Your college roommate got her arm broken by one at a party.  Last week you read a story about a 13-year-old girl in Texas who was ripped literally limb from limb by 18 Zaphods in a trailer park.  Your neighbor across the way is a Zaphod who goes to your church, then goes home, drinks a martini and beats the kids senseless.

You’ve heard countless stories of innocent situations turning ugly in the seconds.  A nice Zaphod asking to buy a Homo a beer at the pub, then when the Homo says ‘no thanks’ and excuses himself to the bathroom the Zaphod follows him back there and leaves him bloody and bruised on the floor next to the urinals.

You keep getting chain e-mails from your aunts and uncles about how to drink at a party without making yourself a target.  There are pamphlets on campus telling you to never get too drunk, to be careful and carry pepper spray.

But then when you confide in a Zaphod friend that you’re sometimes nervous around other Zaphods he goes off saying, “Don’t judge me based on what happened to a Homo on the other side of the country!  I didn’t do that; besides I bet that Homo was just making the whole thing up.  What self-respecting Zaphod would touch that ugly Homo?  And also, they should stop complaining; there are people starving in Africa, you know!”

And in the small town where that 13-year-old was brutally murdered all her neighbors, Homo and Zaphod alike, are saying “Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?  She dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.”  Blaming the young victim for not being able to prevent 18 grown Zaphods from deciding to kill her.

So now that you’ve lived 21 years hearing the horror stories from family and friends you start to change your habits.  Now that everyone on the news has told you that you’re a victim waiting to happen you don’t go for a run after dark like you want to.  Everyone tells you that you should take a cab to Sam’s party but you can’t afford it so you just stay home instead of seeing your friends.  You stay late at work and have to cross the parking lot alone and you peer around every car; when you pass a van you go out of your way to walk on the side without the big sliding door.  And all the while you can feel your heart in your throat and you’re clutching the pepper spray your mother bought you last year.

Your family and friends and the media tell you over and over again that by being alive you are a potential assault victim and your adrenal glands remember that sick feeling you had when you imagined the pain that little girl in Texas felt.

It gets to the point where just standing on the subway platform with a few Zaphods puts you into fight or flight mode, your stomach churning busily until you’re safely seated, until you realize he’s on the same car as you, and then he’s getting off at the same stop as you, and then he’s exiting through the same door as you; with each passed chance to part ways you sweat a little harder, clutch your jacket a little tighter, pray to god a little truer.

When cops tell you that you’re dressed like you were asking for his attention you wonder,”Who would ask for attention like that?  Who would ask to feel this way?”

Last month Rebecca Watson was propositioned in a hotel elevator at 4 o’clock in the morning and then mentioned on her blog that it made her uncomfortable.  Richard Dawkins replied with the following:

Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so . . .

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.


Richard, please don’t try to pretend that there is only one form of misogyny.  It comes in all shapes and sizes.  In fact a very common one is rich old white men.