Monday round-up and open thread

// 11 October 2010

Here’s our latest collection of links we haven’t got round to blogging in the past week, feel free to have at ’em and add your own in comments.

Jessica Valenti asks who stole feminism.

V at Feminazery shares her personal day of misogyny.

A review of The Social Network: “Missing from what critics are calling the defining story of our age are female characters who aren’t doting groupies, sexed-up Asians, vengeful sluts, or dumpy, feminist killjoys…”

This post from Shapely Prose has been doing the rounds again, one year on: Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced.

Women bloggers in Afghanistan keep on hitting “Publish” in the face of sexist backlash.

mikkipedia: “There is no such thing as rape culture… because all culture is rape culture.”

Virginia Haussegger argues that feminism has failed in the face of “a totalising ideology [that is] on the march across the world, and it’s anti-women. This is not about religion, piety or virtue. Rather it’s about misogyny and a global war against women.”

Swaziland: hype over male circumcision leaves women vulnerable.

How the UN Refugee Agency can help LGBTI refugees (LGBT Asylum News). And this graphic shows where global refugees flee from and to.

Some dude uses the classic “world peace” excuse to get women to sit on his face (fat women and not-suitably-feminine-enough trans women need not apply). Charming. On so many levels.

The Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women.

“Vag Magazine” wants to put the funny back in feminism. And wear feminist skirts.

Framing violence against women as a public nuisance issue.

Following on from Josephine’s thread last week, the Double X staff ask who gets to be a feminist?

Feminism and Joss Whedon: The Contagion of Misogyny (Meloukhia).

The National Women’s Council of Ireland have criticised Ryanair for using a calendar of their female cabin crew in bikinis to raise money for a disabled children’s charity.

CripChick on Disability History Month in North Carolina: “I want to talk about why disability looks white. I want us to understand how ableism has been leveraged against communities of color with black folks historically being thought of as less capable (therefore fit for slavery) and special education commonly serving as a means of segregating students of color both with and without disabilities.”

Gender Across Borders: Why gay marriage in Argentina is good for women.

Women’s Resource Centre briefing on lesbian, bisexual and trans women’s services in the UK.

The Guardian reports on the increase of eating disorders in women over 30.

How to define a sexist remark.

Comments From You

polly // Posted 12 October 2010 at 7:10 am

I don’t really see how promoting gay marriage benefits women. Civil partnerships in this country only really benefit the more affluent (who can pass on property without inheritance tax and pass on pension rights). Poorer people are worse off under this system, because they lose benefits if they cohabit with a partner. The piece you have linked to makes the assumption that acceptance of gay marriage = increasing liberalism, which can only be a good thing for women, but this just doesn’t stack up.

Marriage is based on an idea of a sexual relationship equalling economic dependence, it’s a deeply conservative idea no matter who the participants are. Gay marriage doesn’t really disrupt that in any way, it just allows lesbians/gay men to be tidied away into neat patriarchally acceptable units. A far more radical step (and much better for women) would be abolishing heterosexual marriage as a legal concept.

Jennifer Drew // Posted 12 October 2010 at 1:18 pm

Feminist Peacenetwork has responded to Virginia Haussegger’s misogynist claim that once again feminists are to blame for men’s continuing global violence against women.

Mustn’t place accountability where it rightly belongs with men must we???

Re: mikkipedia: “There is no such thing as rape culture… because all culture is rape culture.” Ah so only when ‘rape’ is directed at men does violence (sic) suddenly become something which affects us all. However, male sexual violence against women has existed for centuries and the reason it continues to be ignored is because men as a group have not been subjected to sexual violence to the same extent as women. Only when an issue affects men directly does it suddenly become something which affects us all.

News flash – just in – women are not a specialist group we are to be found in all cultures, races, ethnic groups and yes we comprise the majority of the human race not the minority. So the real issue as always is men’s continuing violence against women – not ‘this is an issue which affects us all’ because that is using male-centric definitions. Do not forget only men’s views of the world are relevant and whenever men claim an issue ‘affects us all’ they mean ‘the issue is negatively impacting on us men. Women – you aren’t even human – you just exist to serve men’s needs, men’s interests etc. ‘

Ergo: the issue remains the same male violence against women continues unabated and it is men who are responsible for this – not women and certainly not feminists.

DE // Posted 12 October 2010 at 1:35 pm


your last sentence begs the question, why would it be better for women ?

I don’t see the point of marriage myself ( my partner has mentioned it a couple of times – I’ll mention the ‘patriachally acceptable unit’ to her ) – but matrimonial laws upon divorce do try to provide for a fair splitting of assets, (the same laws now apply to civil partnerships too) unlike the situation with co-habitation where fairness doesn’t come into it.

Jen // Posted 13 October 2010 at 8:14 am

Tending to agree with Polly here, I’m all for abolishing the nuclear family unit as a legal concept in fact. Of course as long as marriage is a legal concept then it has to be equally accessible to all. And of course if two people want to live together and build a partnership then they will need be economically answerable to each other on an equal basis. But there’s a whole baggage of history that comes with the concept of ‘marriage’ that ends up with some very fucked-up situations, particularly when you look at forced marriages, sham marriages and so on: a lot of the most vulnerable women in society find themselves in situations where the only solution seems to be to marry a total stranger at all costs. Getting married of course makes you incredibly vulnerable in many ways (knew someone who did this years ago, had to leave the guy in a hurry three months later when he turned out to be a trafficker, and I mean she had a 13-year-old sister if you can imagine what it could have been like for her!). But a lot of legal rights are attached to marriage (I also don’t think sham marriage in itself is illegal in the UK, but there are all types of things linked to fraud that can apply and it’s generally nastiest for the person in the most vulnerable position). In France though it is illegal and it’s pretty brutal if you get found out, and in many countries you have to prove stuff like ‘matrimonial intention’, which means you have to live with the guy for a number of years. In some cases you might have your benefits cancelled retroactively if you’re found out, which means you would have to give back everything you ever claimed on the basis of your marriage.

I also think gay marriage will only really benefit the most middle-class of gay people. As I said, as long as marriage exists as a legal unit then it should be equally available to all, but yeah, I don’t think it necessarily points to a shiny utopian progressive ideal.

I’m no private law specialist, but I think a good move would be towards partnerships between folks not necessarily predicated on sex / ‘matrimonial intention’. Cause marriage is something a lot of women do for reasons of convenience (if I did it would be however much I liked or respected the partner in question, it would be so destructive to a relationship as far as I’m concerned that convenience is the only thing that could make me do it), as the least worse decision in a limited range of options, but nope, gotta agree with Polly here, it would be better if we had something more egalitarian.

That said, it’s not going to happen overnight, and while marriages are still around and people are still in them or out of them then their needs have to be attended to.

crystal // Posted 14 October 2010 at 5:36 pm

so michelle obama is the number one of forbes most powerful women because she is the wife of the president.

The men in Swaziland are also vulnerable and other men in gay relationships.

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