Monday night round-up
Jess McCabe // 4 January 2010
Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker posts that a former police director general SPS Rathore has been sentenced to six months in prison and a fine, after being found guilty of molesting Ruchika, then aged 14, 19 years ago. 16 years ago, Ruchika committed suicide:
Two weeks after an inquiry report indicted Rathore, Ruchika had been expelled from school. (where Rathore’s daughter also studied) [link1] [Link 2]. Her family was harassed. Her father lost his job. Her brother Ashu was detained on false charges of theft. [Link]. The molester then around 47, was promoted and allegedly protected by politicians [Link].
Now he has been given 6 months RI and one thousand rupees fine. He was immediately out on bail. and seeing him smile Ruchika’s father says he wept for the first time
David Cameron has promised all-women shortlists for selection of potential Tory MPs next election – but the Guardian reports ‘grassroots’ Conservatives are not receptive to this idea.
Oh how surprising.
The relationship between the party and its grassroots is particularly bruised after the attempted deselection of Liz Truss in Norfolk when it emerged she had been involved in an extramarital affair, even though she said this had already been made public.
Truss won the support of David Cameron, but the local party were unhappy and the attempt to shore her up was perceived as the centre of the party being heavy-handed with smaller associations. She was eventually chosen as prospective candidate for South West Norfolk after a motion to deselect her was defeated.
The end of one year, the start of another prompts journalists everywhere to put together top 10 lists. Feminist Peace Network’s list of lists shows how often they end up made up entirely or predominantly of men.
Does being white, young, slim and attractive put Lady GaGa in a “safety zone”, which makes it possible for her to be “not at all worried about looking ridiculous or hideous”, as a quote about her in the New York Times put it? very filled with dreams considers:
i feel like there are limits, maybe, to how “hideous” an extremely skinny blonde white girl can be considered. and this isn’t a critique of gaga herself because it’s true that she for the most part can’t help these things and shouldn’t (though: she did recently say in an interview that she doesn’t eat, make of that what you will). but i see this argument thrown around a lot and i don’t buy it, because she’s still in that safety zone.
or to put it another way: picture a fat woman, or a black woman, or a Latina woman, or a fat black Latina woman, doing ANYTHING that lady gaga has ever done, and tell me people would still be talking about her as some kind of subversive artiste. tell me she would have gotten a recording contract. tell me 95% of the commentary about her outside maybe the feminist blogosphere wouldn’t be ridicule or disgust. for the exact same actions.
Charlotte at Subtext unpicks some research reported as “proving” the G-Spot doesn’t exist, but actually “rather than any physical inspections for the spot, the researchers simply asked women to subjectively answer as to if they thought they had one”.
The Times reaches for new and patronising ways to describe women who run their own start-up businesses, including “fempreneur”, “femterprise” and “domestecutives”. Via Jezebel, who aptly illustrates with the poster for 9-to-5.
Over at Carnal Nation, Sinclair asks ‘Can men wear skirts?’ in a piece aboutthe policing of masculinity:
Of course, we do teach our boys that they will succeed—we ingrain young men with the notion that they are capable, strong, go-getters, powerful. But do we tell them they can wear skirts? Do we tell them they can bake and sew and drink sweet cranberry vanilla vodka drinks, if they wish? We police masculine actions so strongly that masculine folks are forever reaching to be a “real man” (or a “real butch”), and that restraint holds us back.
For anything to be a real choice, both options have to be equally plausible and equally acceptable. As long as it is not an option for men to have “unmanly” interests and hobbies, choosing not to have those particular hobbies is not a choice, it is dictated. It is mandated. It is required. These things are not required by any particularly formal process—it isn’t as though they revoke your driver’s license when you reach a certain number of manly demerits. But the consequences are hard, and they are done through social policing—friends, family, lovers, strangers, coworkers. Most of us are way too eager to step in and make us feel bad about our choice when we’ve stepped outside of our appropriate gender identity.
Finally, Aqueduct Press has had its authors hard at work cataloguing their year in reading, listening and watching pleasure. Here’s their index of all the posts, including Nisi Shawl and Vandana Singh.