It’s WrestleMania season and Chyna’s been blackballed from being inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame yet again. I’m wrote about her audacity to have a sexuality separate from the one WWE deems acceptable.
The Nina Simone biopic is a racist issue. [The Atlantic]
Is Justin Bieber an introvert? [Mel Magazine]
Image source unknown.
We need both Jessica Jones and Supergirl. [Comics Alliance]
“We need to make more white people uncomfortable. We need to make white people uncomfortable more of the time. We need to decentre whiteness so living in a diverse world does not equal discomfort for anyone. It takes white people literally one second of not seeing themselves reflected for them to mount a campaign against the world claiming they have been victimised. Yet, white people have been demanding people of colour identify through whiteness for centuries.” [Kevin Allred]
You don’t have to be a monster to hate women. [HuffPo Women]
ICYMI: I assert that TERFS and SWERFS aren’t radical feminists.
Gay male misogyny: “To assert you love dick doesn’t mean you have to feign disgust at women and their bodies.” [Broadly]
“Why Writers Run.” [The Atlantic]
And before you go blaming his frequent sex with porn stars for his status, adult performers are one of the most tested populations on the planet and can’t perform if they have a positive test. [Vocativ]
In entertainment, the American dream is Latino. [Vulture]
Could there ever be a same-sex Disney couple? Beauty & the Beast’s Bell and The Hunchback of Notre Dame‘s Esmeralda would make the hottest lesbian power couple EVER. [Mic]
Can we stop talking about The Muppets having sex because, you know, they’re Muppets? [The Cut]
In the wake of Chris Brown’s visa being denied for his Australian tour, it’s important to understand why black male artists are the only violent artists we decry for abusing women. [Noisey]
Planned Parenthood don’t “kill babies”, they save women’s lives. And their vaginas. [Al Jazeera]
The mansplanation of Taylor Swift’s 1989. [New Statesman]
The double edged sword that is Ryan Murphy: he creates roles for minorities in his myriad works but in turn reviles them. [HuffPo]
ICYMI: How allegations of sexual assault against powerful men by the “wrong kinds of women” go unheard, in regards to Bill Cosby, Hugh Hefner and the publication of Hefner’s former partner and Girls Next Door star Holly Madison’s memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole.
Have all fictional women on TV been raped? [Batty Mamzelle]
Calling out racism is great, but we need to be mindful that we aren’t perpetuating stereotypes and speaking for minorities when we stand up for them. [Daily Life]
Why are Aussies so shit at dating? [Spook Magazine]
Is working on your art while your partner supports you anti-feminist? [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]
Measuring the success of podcasts. I’m actually the host of Outback Championship Wrestling’s first podcast, launching today, featuring interviews with former World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Champion Alberto El Patron and former WWE Superstar and current TNA star Mr. Ken Anderson. I am under the impression that it’s the first woman-hosted wrestling podcast apart from Renee Young’s 30 Years of WrestleMania podcast last year. So even if you don’t like wrestling, head on over to support a sister. [Columbia Journalism Review, YouTube]
I also recapped last Friday’s show, featuring the abovementioned wrestlers as well as Drew Galloway, Ricardo Rodriguez, Scotty Too Hotty and Gangrel. [Outback Championship Wrestling]
The cinematic history of Cinderella. [NPR Monkey See]
Next-generation feminist blogs you should be reading. [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]
Gloria Steinem on Mary McCarthy’s The Group. [Reading Our Way to the Revolution]
Men don’t trust women because emotions. [Daily Life]
As The Hoopla folds and MamaMia‘s Debrief Daily and News Ltd’s RendezView launch, here are some headline ideas in case they run out. [Junkee]
“He Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown”: the 128 rap songs her name has made a cameo in. [The Cut]
“Why Don’t Men Read Books By Women?” [Feministing]
Disability is a feminist issue that’s just not getting enough attention. [Disability & Representation]
In honour of International Women’s Day and Roxane Gay’s book, Bad Feminist, which I’m going to hear her speak about tonight, I wonder whether I’m a “bad feminist” for asserting that women can be misogynists, too.
I could be accused of being a “bad feminist” for the assertion I’m about to make. After all, feminists are supposed to support all women, right? Even women doing unfeminist things, like Sarah Palin, or women in traditionally male dominated industries, like Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, and who throw feminism under the bus.
But in my experience women can be misogynists, too. And as I write this I’m thinking of one woman in particular.
A few years ago, one of my closest male friends started dating someone new. My friend later relayed to me that upon stalking his Facebook, as you do, said new paramour stumbled upon several photos of the two of us. Most of them were taken at costume parties or clubs, so my feminine façade was amplified perhaps more than usual. We were probably standing pretty close together in the photos, too, and our natural affection for each other would be evident. This led her to ask about me, “Who’s that slut?”
At first I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I wrote on my blog at the time that I could see where she was coming from: her insecurity at her date’s close relationship with a woman she didn’t know manifested itself as slut-shaming. It was slut-shaming as a defense mechanism, if you will.
Presently, that woman has now become a colleague; not someone I work with directly, but who has contact with many people I do both professionally and outside of work. Through this network I’ve come to find that it isn’t just me she’s made libelous comments about but many a female coworker who happens to fit the conventionally feminine and attractive mould.
I don’t know exactly what was said about these other women, but I’m pretty sure it was as unwarranted as what she said about me (although I am loathe to defend myself against her name-calling as that implies that some women are sluts and others aren’t). One of the women is ditzily endearing and while I don’t really know the other, she seems pleasant despite her bitchy resting face.
The first comment about me could be chalked up to the green-eyed monster rearing its head, but when such behavior begins to occur on a regular basis, it’s hard not to wonder whether this woman is actually a misogynist.
It could be that she thinks she’s “not like other girls”, which is inherently misogynistic; she doesn’t buy into feminine conventions that she implies other women do, and she’s “one of the boys”. Like Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s Cool Girl screed, or as Reign actress Caitlin Stasey tweeted, being “‘One of the guys’ implies that to resemble any kind of man is better than actually being any kind of woman.” But the very fact that she’s engaging in the stereotypical feminine act of “backstabbing” makes her just like these “other” women, no?
Whatever the case, though, this woman has serious other-women-problems. And if we can accept that men can be feminists, it would stand to reason that women can be misogynists, right?
Related: Slut-Shaming as Defence Mechanism.
50 Shades of Grey‘s tampon scene could have been an opportunity to demystify period sex but instead it was cut from the film. At least it’s not going to be an exact recreation of the book’s version, which has major boundary issues. That goes for the whole book, really. [Daily Dot]
Race in the political world of Scandal. [Bitch Flicks]
When gay men engage in sexism and misogyny. [The Advocate]
Lindy West confronts the troll who apologised to her for impersonating her dead dad. [This American Life]
2014 has been the year of the stalker, wouldn’t you say?
Let me count the ways.
In May this year, college student, men’s rights enthusiast and “involuntary celibate” Elliot Rodger shot dead three students at the Isla Vista campus of the University of California and murdered three more in his apartment before turning the gun on himself in an attack meant to target “blonde sluts” who wouldn’t sleep with him. We know this because of the video and written manifestos he left bemoaning his virgin status, fixating particularly on girls from his past who rebuffed him. (This is a frightening trend we can see in the stabbing death of a high school girl who said no to a prom invitation and the shooting killing of a Detroit woman who wouldn’t give her assailant her phone number. And for all you MRAs out there, male entitlement to women’s bodies doesn’t just hurt women: a man was stabbed nine times for defending his girlfriend against street harassment.)
In the fictional world, Orange is the New Black’s second season revealed the extent of inmate Lorna Morello’s crimes, including the stalking of her oft-discussed “fiancé” “Chris-tuh-phuh”, with whom Morello only went on one date in reality. This revelation was one of the more shocking storylines on the show, but on the whole it painted the perpetrator in a sympathetic light as opposed to a potentially dangerous criminal.
Robin Thicke presented a good case for being named the biggest sexist of 2013, and this year he solidified that title by producing an entire album dedicated to the stalking of his estranged wife, Paula Patton. The album failed at “Get[ting] Her Back”, the title of the lead track, and it also failed to make a dent in the charts, selling just 54 copies in Australia alone.
The young adult book blogging community didn’t escape unscathed, either, with author Kathleen Hale thinking she could publish an account of her stalking of a book blogger who gave her a bad review and not see ramifications.
And back to reality: gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel a talk at Utah State University earlier this year when organisers wouldn’t do anything about the bomb threat she was sent should her seminar go ahead. Just today, she posted this snapshot of a cyber threat she received on Twitter.
Anti-street harassment organization Hollacback! attempted to shine a light on just what women go through every day while going about their lives in public. While many of the 108 incidences of harassment caught on camera over a 10-hour period of walking alone in New York City couldn’t be classified as stalking, one of the men did follow volunteer Shoshana Roberts for several minutes despite her giving him no indication that she was into it.
But stalking is nothing new: the focus on it in the media this year doesn’t mean it’s a novel phenomenon. Victims of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault and murder are a testament to that (As of 12th November, 2014, 61 women had been murdered by their intimate partners in Australia this year. The murder-suicide of an estranged Deer Park couple yesterday only adds to that unacceptable number.) It is interesting that 2014 has been smattered with high-profile (albeit sometimes fictional) cases of stalking.
In Australia, one in ten people will be stalked, with women making up 75% of victims. As with sexual and physical violence, most stalking is likely perpetrated by a person known to the victim, with 76% of women in the U.S. who die by the hands of their intimate partners having also been stalked by them. Still in the U.S., according to Colorado State University, those who identify as LGBTQ* were twice as likely to experience cyberstalking and harassment on campus, while non-white women also experienced a higher likelihood of stalking in general. And people with disabilities also experience a higher likelihood of victimisation across the board. While Hollaback!’s video was an important one, it failed at showing marginalised women’s experiences as evidenced in the statistics (which is why this video about the harassment experienced by women of colour in New York City is an important next step).
I don’t think the up-tick of stalking in news stories and fictional representations (Gone Girl’s Desi Collings is another example of this) is indicative of an increase in violence against women, I think it’s more representative of the fact that we’re finally starting to give a shit about violence against women. The deluge of allegations against Bill Cosby (though the general public’s response has left much to be desired, with the majority of people willing to believe one man in power over dozens of women with scarily similar stories and not a whole lot to gain) and the ousting of “dating coach” Julian Blanc from many countries, including Australia, on his tour of pick up artistry are evidence of this. We’ve still got a long way to go, baby, especially when it comes to non-white, middle class women, but respect for and recognition of women is gaining strides baby steps in 2014.
So 2014 is the year of the stalker not because stalking is becoming more prevalent but because police reports, news stories and fictional representations are moving into focus.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit http://www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Related: Gone Girls & Nice Guys.