Reasons to be angry….

// 5 March 2008

1. What happened when Jasmyne Cannick criticised comedian Chuck Knipp?

Well, Knipp responded by superimposing her head on a photo of a porn star. Jasmyne posted the evidence here.

I am a journalist. I am not just a blogger. I work in the real world and not just the virtual one. I have the right to report on and comment on whatever I so choose to without the fear of someone superimposing my face onto the body of a porn star and posting it on their website. And that’s what this is really all about. Defamation of character with malicious intent.

This is about a man, a white man, a white gay man, who dresses up in drag and blackface for other white people, mostly gay, and mimics Black women. This is about the fact that there was a campaign launched against him in 2007 that cost him money with canceled shows. This is about the fact that someone took the time to report on his racist blackface minstrel act and he didn’t like it.

2. What happened when Tamara K Nopper was insulted and then assaulted by a white man on a Southwest Airlines flight?

Was he thrown off the plane, were the police called, did the airline apologise profusely? In a word: no.

Throughout the conversation, Ms. Parker rebuffed practically all of my concerns. For example, when I pointed out that the man had made a comment about my body that I thought was racist and sexist, Ms. Parker responded that she did not know what he meant. I pointed out to her that she did not have to think very hard to imagine what he meant since his comment was fairly explicit. When Ms. Parker continued to emphasize that I had cussed at the man, I asked her if this gave me license to grab, and threaten with another assault anyone on the plane who might cuss at me. Appearing to grow angrier with my appeals to her rationality—which was simply an act of bad faith, or a lie to myself—Ms. Parker repeated that I had cussed at the man. I asked her if she thought that I “brought” being manhandled and threatened “on myself.” She said no. I then told her that I did not need her to lecture me regarding my language since no one was addressing the man who had assaulted me.

It gets worse. Go read the whole thing.

3. What happens if you’re a white woman driving a rental car? You get assaulted by a police officer!

Feminist Law Professors summarises:

from the Albany (New York) Times Union. A 28-year old white woman was pulled over by the police for an alleged traffic violation. The police then searched her car and dialed a stored number on her cellphone. According to the news report, one police officer allegedly searched the woman’s genital area by probing with his hands and he inserted his finger into her vagina. Why? According to the complainant, the police officer allegedly said, “You fit the profile. You’re a white girl in a rental car.”

Why would a police officer probe a woman’s vagina during a routine traffic stop? To humiliate her, to show her who is “boss.” Sex, violence and power are all connected.

4. What happens if you’re the president of Israel, and you get accused of rape? Well, you get to plead guilty to lesser charges and end up with a fine, avoiding the risk of time in jail.

Women’s groups including the national association of rape crisis centres are quoted in their response:

“We wish to express our deep outrage with the Supreme Court decision,” they said in a statement. “Even in our starkest predictions we did not entertain the possibility that the Supreme Court would uphold the plea bargain in such a clear-cut way. It was proven today that there is no justice in Israel; the rule of law is over.”

Comments From You

Lara // Posted 6 March 2008 at 7:03 am

I don’t know what it is but the more I think about it the more I think things are actually getting worse for women. Not only do I have to worry about jerks assaulting me on a plane, with the flight attendants and passengers ignoring the abuse and defending the abuser, being molested out-right by a police officer, then worrying about men in power raping me or women like me and getting away with it. And I bet you anything if that leader was Arab instead of Israeli he wouldn’t be so quickly let off the hook.

The blatant sexism and racism is just absolutely stifling. I just don’t know what else to say…

Virago // Posted 6 March 2008 at 10:42 am

As Lara points out, it often seems that things are getting worse. It’s hard to tell if this is the case, but the most important thing to take from these ridiculous misogynist instances is that they must mobilise the feminist community into action, the groundswell of which we are beginning to see with the ‘Take Back The Night’ marches and other campaigns.

Genevieve // Posted 7 March 2008 at 6:03 pm

Okay, so I’m officially never flying Southwest again. I encourage other American feminists reading here to do the same (pretty sure they only do domestic flights…they might go to Canada or Mexico, but I’m not sure). First the thing back in the fall with the girl who wore the short skirt, then they lost my luggage the one time I flew on their airline, now this–they’re dead in my book.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds