What Hasn’t Killed You Yet

So this whole Trump, sexual assault thing:

The problem isn’t that a crazy, entitled, abusive shit bag is running for president.

I mean, that’s a true statement. He is.

But I’m sure other shitty people have run for office before.

Surely at least one of them abused someone down the line. Life is long and just because a job is respected doesn’t mean that the people who take it are perfect. They cheat on their spouses, they sneak cigarettes, they own slaves. They’re humans and impacted by their time and place and society just like the rest of us.

The problem (but also maybe the opportunity) in the fact that a crazy, entitled, abusive shit bag is running for president is that we get to see people do the mental aerobics of re-defining sexual assault to suit their needs.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.


I loathe Donald Trump but I’m not really worried he’s going to grab me by the genitals. This is due largely to proximity, and the fact that I’ve never had a problem with the fact that a penis can suffer a lot of pain without irreparable damage.

TWS: But beyond the language, would you characterize the behavior described in that as sexual assault if that behavior actually took place?

JEFF SESSIONS: I don’t characterize that as sexual assault. I think that’s a stretch.


What does scare me is that a significant portion of the population agrees with him.

I’m not worried that DJ Trump himself is going to grope me on the train. I’m worried that he’s broadcasting the inner monologue of someone I’m on a date with, or getting a ride from, or working an overnight with.

[Donald Trump Jr.] went on to say that if women feel harassed by the comments men want to make, they should just leave their jobs. “I’m of the mindset, and I’ll get in trouble… If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, you don’t belong in the workforce,” he said. “You should go maybe teach Kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position. You can’t be negotiating billion-dollar deals if you can’t handle, like you know.” He didn’t elaborate on what he meant by “like you know.”


Someone who now feels additionally justified in their sense of entitlement to my body.

And that’s a valid fear.

It’s something that could actually kill me. Unlike moths.


AR Wear

Maybe you’ve seen this already.

Much like the NYC I’m A Girl subway ad’s I’m loathe to criticize it considering all the good intentions.

But putting that aside this very short article sums up my concerns best.

AR Wear is fundraising to manufacture anti-rape (as in AR) underwear. Here are a few questions we have about the apparel.

  1. AR Wear, if the whole point of your magic anti-rape underwear is that an evil rapist can’t take them off, is it going to take me a really long time to undo all the secret locks if I have pee?

  2. How about if I want to have sex?

  3. How does this protect people who have an intimate relationship with their assailant?

  4. What about all the forms of sexual violence that don’t require removal of underwear?

  5. Do the inventors of this know what sexual violence actually looks like outside of Law and Order?

  6. What is the “thing” mentioned in your motto “offering protection for when things go wrong?”

  7. Where are the rapists in this calculation?

  8. If a predator realizes you’re wearing magic anti-rape underwear, won’t s/he just go find someone who isn’t?

  9. Won’t those people be more likely to be unable to afford magic anti-rape underwear, or have bodies, invisible or mocked in popular imagination, that don’t fit into clothes designed for thin, able-bodied, cis women like your models?

  10. Are these thin, able-bodied, cis women the only kind of people who deserve not to be raped?

  11. When did we forget anti-violence work is a collective, not individualized, effort?

  12. Haven’t we been over this before?

AR Wear is obviously a really specific option for really specific situations. Specifically, it’s a band-aid. A band-aid that comes in one shade. This product is the poster child for a tiny band-aid over a Grey’s Anatomy-level open wound. As feministing suggests, this won’t help anyone not wearing the magic underwear, especially the people who are in intimate relationships, have already taken their pants off, are concerned about oral sexual assault, aren’t a common size, the list goes on.

However, I just can’t stop thinking that if I lived in such a state of fear that someone was going to try to remove my clothing without my consent on a date, then I would never go on a date. God forbid I was a runner; I’d never go on a run.

Basically, if I lived in such a state of fear of my pants being removed without my consent at any given moment I’d be a suicidal hermit. Trigger warning on that I guess then because I’m not even slightly joking.

I get that women need help in the war against sexual assault. I get that this product would probably save some women from some of the agony of some kinds of assaults. And that is a good thing. A line of defense is a good thing.

But once again it holds women accountable for their own assaults, gives them another reason to be blamed when an attacker chooses to attack them. “Why wasn’t she wearing the magic underwear? Well obviously because she wanted to have sex and if she wanted it then it wasn’t really rape.”

I understand the need in our world for this product. And it saddens me greatly.

Though it apparently is necessary, it isn’t the right answer.

The first sentences from AR Wear’s indiegogo page:


Rape is about as wrong as it gets. The only one responsible for a rape is the rapist and AR Wear will not solve the fundamental problem that rape exists in our world. Only by raising awareness and education, as well as bringing rapists to justice, can we all hope to eventually accomplish the goal of eliminating rape as a threat to both women and men. Meanwhile, as long as sexual predators continue to populate our world, AR Wear would like to provide products to women and girls that will offer better protection against some attempted rapes while the work of changing society’s rape culture moves forward.

So the jury is still out. But the jury is very upset.

Bodies, Media, Rape

I Can’t Even, I Just Cant

Dan Savage said the other day on his podcast that a lot of porn is made for people who will never have sex. And that is an interesting lens to look at porn and porn websites through.

Last night as I was perusing some adult online video content *ahem ahem* I was struck by this advertisement on the side of the window.

Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 1.27.08 AM

I consider myself a pro-sex and pro-porn feminist. I consume it, I defend it on the internet, I send it to friends. And yet this kind of ad is what I hate about porn. This advertisement supports rape culture more than the entire James Deen and Princess Donna cannon combined.

Let’s make a list of the things I hate about this ad.

Her bored expression, dutiful, but too passive to be resentful. Yes, If you can believe it the #1 thing I hate about this advertisement is that she isn’t having any fun. At all. Her eyes seem to say ‘god do I hate my job’. We can all agree that many young people learn how sex works from porn. If we’re running with the theory that porn is marketed to people who will never have sex then this kind of woman-hating ad is still awful, but it certainly isn’t as potentially dangerous. And through that dual lens what are we learning here? That sex is something men enjoy and women tolerate for them. Also that this expression isn’t a reason to stop. Such an expression of displeasure in your partner should always be cause to stop (unless previously specified of course). RAPEY.

The mother fucking copy. Excuse my language but “Ugly girls need sex (too).” Seriously? Seriously? I can’t. I can’t even. I’ll do it quickly, like ripping off a band-aid. Suggests that women who by some man are considered ugly should be grateful for whatever attention those men give them regardless of whether the women asked for it. And in instances of rape supports third party claims that it couldn’t have been rape because “how could he have raped you? You aren’t even pretty”. RAPEY RAPEY RAPEY. Suggests that some women are too ugly to deserve love. Suggests that by having sex with an ‘ugly girl’ he is doing her some kind of pity-favor.

Her infantilizing hairdo, Anybody recognize it? Her name was BABY Spice. That’s Baby with a capital BABY.

Her ridiculously impossible Barbie proportions. Because they totally exist in nature [Insert eye roll here].

The fact that it’s actually a .GIF so her head bobs up and down and she blinks. So not only is she there, compelled to suck against her will with the words “Ugly girls need sex (too)” written above her head but she moves so you can’t stop looking at her and hating her and yourself and the porn industry when you really just want to watch some James Deen and go to bed.

Media, Rape

Scorch Some Earth

Alright everybody.  Turn down the lights, it’s movie time!

TMI story: Last summer I had a major candida problem.  You don’t want to know more about it I promise but lets just suffice it to say that my body was flush with yeast.

Now don’t get grossed out guys, you have yeast in your gut too.  We all have some yeast living, feeding, doing it’s misery-inducing parasite shit inside of us.  Ever eaten something and gotten a stomach ache later that night?  Sing a little lullaby to your tummy fungi!

Now here’s the thing.  Some people aren’t bothered by it.  Either the yeast in their particular tummies are weak or their pain tolerance is high or whatever.  Some people are hit hard by it, down for the count (*raises hand*).  It isn’t my fault, it’s just the culture (haha, get it?! I’m hilarious.  If you don’t get that joke go ask someone who was actually required to take science in college.) in my gut.

But here’s the thing, when you cut off the food supply to the yeast and they all die, IT SUCKS.  You don’t feel like you’re getting better, you feel like crap.

It’s like how the flu doesn’t actually give you a fever, your body’s attempt at killing the flu gives you a fever.  Trust me.  Major suckage.  Suckage, comma, major.

But the only way to be free of the impending, smaller daily suckage is to take on the major suckage.

This metaphor made a lot more sense to me when I started writing than it does now but my point is that you can treat your stomachache, and you can treat a rape victim.  And in both cases you should.  But once that is done, then we should burn that mother down.

All the yeast must die, and the rape culture can go the same way too.

So while I’m not apologizing for the idiot-ass-hole-rapist kids in Steubenville, I am saying that nothing is going to change until the rug gets pulled out from under their coaches and the rest of the idiots who taught those kids how best to be idiotic.

And I’m entertaining ideas about how to burn that mother down.  Because I’m tired of hearing this story again and again

Friendship, Media, Rape

Man Is An Island? Really?

If you know me in real life then you probably know that this week has been especially crazy for me and I’ve barely had time for any internetting at all.

In the last few weeks I’ve gotten the three comments below.  I have a history of taking comments that I think are particularly noteworthy and turning them into posts of their own.  So it shouldn’t be such a break with tradition that I present these responses to this post:

As a largely neutral (albeit male) bystander to all this – can I say while I do sympathise with some of the major points of modern feminism I can’t help but feel that the way a lot of advocates go about voicing their concerns (angry, overly aggressive) does little to help further the cause.

I’m going to say something that may be considered controversial here; while I agree that the act of rape is a terrible thing and we should do all that we can to prevent it – why though has there been a feminist backlash against Daniel Tosh who merely joked about it ? This just highlights in my opinion the over-reaction that does the cause little to no favours. Nothing should be off limits; not rape, not pictures of the prophet Mohammed, nothing. The idea of placing restrictions on what is merely articulated (despite offence by some) is deeply unsettling. Humour btw has always has a branch that draws from the morbid in order to get people to think – to sterilise it in order to cater to one group of society is plain wrong.

Heh, interesting how any reply that actually stimulates thought ‘awaits moderation’. But one word responses that just agree with you pass through the net. It’s sad that you can’t facilitate open and fair debate on here – with any criticism of feminism (of which there are some believe it or not) or a point that you personally made just ignored. But hey, your blog your rules I guess. Enjoy your bubble.

Now, it is true that I don’t approve all comments.  I think I’ve trashed a total of 2 comments since I started writing.  Both insinuated that I was just an ugly expletive in need of a good lay.  As there is enough of that rubbish on the internet I think of deleting those comments as taking out the trash, sue me.  Otherwise I approve comments or present them on their own.

When I got these I was overcome with such a heated anger that I knew there had to be a response of some kind but couldn’t think of exactly what to say, which is why I let them sink in my inbox for so long.

So, Man Is An Island, here are the responses you so desperately longed for.

First of all, the first thing I always say to people when they make a generalization about a group (advocates of feminism are angry and overly aggressive) is ‘Are you a part of that group?’  No?  Well, then you have no right to claim that that group is any particular way because you clearly have no first hand knowledge.  I am a member of that group and can tell you that (most of the time) I’m neither of those things.  For example right now I’m in bed in my underwear quite peaceably eating yogurt covered pretzels.  Yum.

I will continue to talk about eating pussy and the necessity of it as a political act. That’s a joke, sort of, but I really, really want to champion women with my comedy. Sexism and misogyny still run rampant in our world and in our culture and it will be the death of us if we don’t seek to counter it in our own lives. So I do focus on women a bit more in my comedy, because I think that destructive sexism is sort of the final frontier in prejudice. It would seem that racism and homophobia are closer to extinction than is sexism.

Rob Delaney (via fleish)

Did that sound angry or overly aggressive?

My second issue with this comment is that it was in regards to a comic strip which showed someone who was trying to be calm and was pushed and pushed until ze got angry.  In my personal opinion the only way to misread that is to do so intentionally.  Everyone gets angry when pushed.  Feminists get pushed until we get angry (probably the same way you would if I belittled a subject you were passionate about for a while) and then pointed to and and taunted “See!  I knew it!  You’re just one of those angry, overly aggressive feminists!”  I won’t even touch on the implicit insinuation that angry women are unattractive, a thing no woman should ever be.

The second comment refers to Daniel Tosh which I thought I made my thoughts clear about here and in a way that more specifically addresses MIAI’s concerns here.  I don’t think people shouldn’t talk about rape.  And talking about a subject often leads to joking about it so I don’t think people shouldn’t make jokes that acknowledge rape as a part of our world.  I just think that rape jokes shouldn’t encourage people (and I happen to know from having a little brother that a good portion of his fans are teenage boys who, to use a very overused word, are impressionable and may just be starting to experience women as lovers and partners.

Humor attracts ‘morbid’ people because people need to work through stuff.  My uncle runs a funeral home and he often tells the story of a funeral where a beloved patriarch died and at the funeral the family sat around telling jokes and doing impressions instead of crying over the casket.  Bad stuff happens and humor helps you through it.  Fact.

However, it’s one thing to make a joke about rape that is really funny and could potentially help someone, and it’s something else entirely to see that someone is offended by your joke and respond by saying to a room full of men and women “Wouldn’t it be really funny if she got raped right now?” because it wouldn’t.  It’s not even a joke really.  And if it were a joke it certainly would not be a joke that contributes positively to the world.

So talk about rape.  Make interesting observations about rape culture in our society and make them funny so people remember them and tell them to their friends and little brothers and encourage thought and consideration.  Daniel Tosh didn’t do any of that so I think his set was in poor taste and he should be educated about what taste is.  I find him to be boring as hell on TV so I don’t think he’s a good comic.  Those are separate issues and neither means I think he should be censored or dragged kicking and screaming from the airwaves.

As for the final accusation.  I’m facilitating open and fair debate right now.  Lay some thoughts on me.  Anyone but Man Is An Island, please.

Media, Politics, Rape

Culturally Relevant Comics

Some awesome lady-comics (and I’m sure some man-comics too) can see the difference between victim-blaming jokes about rape and jokes that critique rape culture.  I think that’s a lot funnier than “Wouldn’t it be funny if she got raped right now?”

Sarah Silverman: We need more rape jokes. We really do. I love that some people applauded that. Needless to say, rape, the most heinous crime imaginable. Seems it’s a comic’s dream, though. Because it seems that when you do rape jokes that like the material is so dangerous and edgy. But the truth is it’s like the safest area to talk about in comedy. Cause who’s going to complain about a rape joke? Rape victims? They don’t even report rape. I mean, they’re traditionally not complainers. Like the worst maybe thing that could happen, and I would feel terrible, is like after a show maybe somebody comes up to you and is like, “Look I’m a victim of rape, and as a victim of rape I just want to say I thought that joke was inappropriate and insensitive and totally my fault and I am so sorry.” That’s right, let’s take them down a notch! They’ve had it too good for too long, am I right? Let’s take back the night back! Obviously not that I need to back track and qualify this, I think you know me by now. Obviously no woman is asking to be raped. I do think there are some women who are asking to be motor boated.[x]

And Sarah can make jokes about rape culture as well as politics with a fresh perspective and in good humor.

Consent, Rape, Sisterhood

Isn’t Rape Hysterical?

There’s been a story running around the internet about a gal going to a comedy club and being the butt of a rape joke by (mediocre at best) comedian Daniel Tosh.  It was reposted on Feministing and by a few of my friends via tumblr.

Honestly, just reading the first person description made my heart race.  I have (and I’m pretty sure every woman has) been in a situation at least once where they felt very afraid for their safety perhaps based on something that can’t quite be defined or defended.

In Yes Means Yes Melyssa Ford, a ‘Video Vixen’ who feels empowered by selling the image of her body as a product tells the following story from the set of a video.

The gal from the Tosh story had this to say

…So Tosh then starts making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc. I don’t know why he was so repetitive about it but I felt provoked because I, for one, DON’T find them funny and never have. So I didnt appreciate Daniel Tosh (or anyone!) telling me I should find them funny. So I yelled out, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!”

I did it because, even though being “disruptive” is against my nature, I felt that sitting there and saying nothing, or leaving quietly, would have been against my values as a person and as a woman. I don’t sit there while someone tells me how I should feel about something as profound and damaging as rape.

After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” [x]

One woman paid to put her body on display (to look at and not touch, mind you) and another paying for entertainment.  One woman in a short skirt and the other I’m imagining in a cardigan and a scrunchie, invisible to Tosh due to spotlight blindness.

And yet both women are subjected to the same taunting.  I think Tosh’s victim sums it up perfectly here:

I should probably add that having to basically flee while Tosh was enthusing about how hilarious it would be if I was gang-raped in that small, claustrophic room was pretty viscerally terrifying and threatening all the same, even if the actual scenario was unlikely to take place. The suggestion of it is violent enough and was meant to put me in my place. (emphasis mine) [x]

It was meant to put every woman, every feminist, and every not-rape-apologist in their place.

Rape isn’t because you’re showing too much skin, it isn’t because you ‘deserve it’.  It’s because we live in a rape culture where this is acceptable behavior.  I don’t want to live there.  I want to change it.

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.

Media, Sexuality

“Oh Right, Patriarchy Exists” of the Day – MPAA Edition

I had a very tame and mild love scene with Jon Hamm. It was like heavy breathing and making out. It was hardly a sex scene… I think that it’s great for this young girl to actually take control of her own sexuality. Well, the MPAA doesn’t like that. They don’t think a girl should ever be in control of her own sexuality because they’re from the Stone Age.

I don’t know what the fuck is going on and I will openly criticize it, happily. So essentially, they got Zack to edit the scene and make it look less like she’s into it. And Zack said he edited it down to the point where it looked like he was taking advantage of her. That’s the only way he could get a PG-13 (rating) and he said, ‘I don’t want to send that message.’ So they cut the scene!

I’m torn. I want an ‘R’ (rating) because we can get a lot of cool scenes into it, but then I like the idea of younger girls being able to see it.

—Emily Browning, on Sucker Punch censoring

Female sexuality killed the dinosaurs.  It causes global warming and earthquakes.  It never refills the ice cube tray and it gave me scabies once.

Need I even comment?

Rape culture is when it’s more acceptable to show a scene (to children no less) of a woman being sexually abused than one of a woman being appropriately and consensually sexual.

I would breathe heavily on him.  Also I’d like to say that in searching for a picture of Jon Hamm and not Don Draper I discovered that Jon Hamm looks bad sometimes.  Like really.  Bad.  Who knew?