Weekly Round-Up and Open Thread

// 28 November 2010

Weekly round up! Let us know if we missed anything in the comments!

Subway flasher picks the wrong woman to mess with (Jezebel)

This trend of young Muslim girls wearing the hijab is disturbing (Guardian)

Reteaching Gender & Sexuality is a message about queer youth action and resilience. The video was generated to contribute additional queer/trans youth voices to the national conversations about queer/trans youth lives. Reteaching Gender & Sexuality intends to steer the conversation beyond the symptom of bullying, to consider systemic issues and deeper beliefs about gender and sexuality that impact queer youth.”

“We’re going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive. “But for those on benefits, there is every incentive. Well, that’s not very sensible.” Comment by Howard Flight, one of the new Tory peers, former MP, former deputy chair of the Conservative party. (BBC)

A woman is raped every 10 minutes; Government pledge up to £3.2million to improve and expand Sexual Assault Referral Centres.

Tickets on sale for raffle to support the Glasgow Women’s Library

Inside a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Guardian)

Menstruating woman falls foul of airport scanner (Boing Boing)

George Osborne to be investigated by Equality Watchdog over cuts (Guardian)

Female boxing legend shot and stabbed – her husband and boxing trainer a suspect (Women Talk Sports)

Since when did rape become funny? (Liberal Conspiracy)

Sarah Palin’s Brand of “Feminism” More Popular With Men Than Women (AlterNet)

Feminists in Mainstream Pornography

“And they waste time debating make-up and boys”: Quotes from BBC Have your Say commenters on a thread about women and politics.

Feminist Coming Out Day

Gender dynamics in Hong Kong (Sociological Images)

Hello Kitty Foetus on Sale

Gender Part Nine – Feminist Travel tips by Kat Banyard (Compass)

The Daily Mail is shocked that girls were involved in student protests

Student video shows mounted police charge on student & child protesters ‘kettled’ in recent London protests (Guardian)

Reports on London’s Reclaim the Night from BicycleSlut

A couple of weeks behind, but I only just discovered it myself: Lisa Ansell’s brilliant speech at the Oxford Gender Equality Forum:

As part of a social policy designed to incentivise marriage, and tackle ‘worklessness’- the coalition have ensured that the ONLY way out of poverty that remains for mothers with young children is a romantic relationship. We are now expected to fuck our way out of poverty… This is an attack on the hardfought changes to traditional gender roles that have made our society better. It is an attack on ALL women, whether they choose to have children or notwhether they are married or not.

Laurie Penny on London’s Erotica festival (New Statesman)

Women Against Cuts – includes details of London protest on Tuesday 30 November

Since things have been a bit grim lately, and chatting to other feminists recently we’re all a bit worried and down. So I’m taking a tip from fellow F Worder Helen G and ending with a video to cheer us all up a bit:

Comments From You

Julianne // Posted 29 November 2010 at 12:39 am

A group of book bloggers are running a project to read one feminist classic a month next year, and I’m fairly sure it hasn’t been mentioned here before: http://feministclassics.wordpress.com/

Anchoredwunderlust // Posted 29 November 2010 at 3:02 am

An anarchist guy brought the daily fail thing to my facebook feed and an ‘oh noes, not the womenz’ title. twas then followed by us joking they are upset they can’t act all ‘handbags at dawn’ when kicking in a police van (and not even in stilettos) that anarchist women are revolting, and that they are all insane and on their periods.

Talking of which, that’s an issue with kettling right? Not being able to pee, change tampons, not wanting to bleed everywhere, and getting toxic shock or whatever it’s called. Never mind loss of iron mixing with lack of water for faintness. So there were pregnant women kettled and charged, probably diabetics, elderly, asthmatics, disabled people of various sorts etc etc who were as unaware of police tactics as most the students there. I don’t know whether the met is so straight and able bodied – centric, or whether they just think it’s a laugh and a great way to get to those they don’t get away so easily with kidney punching and smacking with batons. Now that young children are now acceptable targets at least. Though apparently it’s fair game to charge horses at any members of the public. Could that stress have triggered a miscarriage? Maybe it wasn’t so wise to be there but as stated, most protestors that day had no idea what they were in for and it makes perfect sense to speak out about your future childs education to me. Sorry if anti-state/police comments offend, but I’ll be getting the first hand version this week and I’m curious if it’ll inspire more videos of cops bragging they punched someone or accounts from women being laughed at By them for trying to make a dignified toilet.I’d guess yes. You can wax lyrical about the poor bastard who has to clean up after the civil disobedience, but it’s not down to the demonstrators that there’s 7 hours worth of defacation to clear up. I’d like to say whilst I’m a big fan of ‘violence’ against property, I quite admire the young girls standing up to their peers against the trashing of the police van. Not because it mattered, but because it’s hard to do that and very brave. I think the fact it was stopped by a daisy chain of young girls forming around it is a testament to how terribly violent the attackers supposedly were. You wouldn’t catch the police being put off whatever they were doing about property by a chain of students linking arms for sure!

The scanner thing also pisses me off.

sianushka // Posted 29 November 2010 at 10:18 am

other things

Bristol University feminist conference was a fab success, well done to the organisers and the university’s feminist society.

the bristol city council let down the women of bristol on UN EVAWG day:

http://sianandcrookedrib.blogspot.com/2010/11/bristol-city-council-let-down-women.html

earwicga // Posted 29 November 2010 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for the round up. I feel petty pointing out that a woman isn’t raped every ten minutes. The figures used in the ten minute claim include attempted rape.

Metal_teapot // Posted 29 November 2010 at 3:38 pm

The article on rape jokes reminds me of what a male friend said to me ages ago. He seemed upset that a feminist conference had bad men from a discussion group for people who were raped, not because he didn’t think men should attend BUT that a ban was necessary meant it was deemed likely men would attend even though they knew their presence would make the women uncomfortable.

While the right to free speech (which we don’t fully have in the UK but we can ignore that) is important that doesn’t mean we should say offensive things. I have the right to personally insult everyone I meet, that doesn’t mean I have to do it, or that it is a good idea.

I think that given the comments on the article who explain that rape jokes are essential for human society to continue, although this is a slightly paraphrased summary, it is very important to analyse why rape jokes are funny.

I don’t think it is right to say it is due to shock value or a taboo, as it is a bit too common a joke for that. I wish I had an idea why these jokes were funny and it would be nice if someone who finds them funny would explain. The fact the people who do find them funny are unwilling to do so, suggests it can’t be for a nice reason.

earwicga // Posted 29 November 2010 at 6:09 pm

Alison Clarke of Women’s Views on News has started up a petition to get Suit Supply to ditch it’s disgusting ad campaign – http://www.womensviewsonnews.org/wvon/2010/11/sign-our-petition-against-suit-supplys-shameless-pornographic-images/ – It would be great if we could all sign it and pass it round, as the campaign really is repulsive.

Anna // Posted 1 December 2010 at 12:33 am

metal_teapot: I am a rape survivor (both childhood abuse and later assaults) and I regularly joke about my own experiences/tell rape jokes. Humour is my way of coping. Some jokes I hear are funny, some arent. Some are offensive. Humour has an individual, indefinable quality..

Kit // Posted 1 December 2010 at 8:43 pm

Those comments from the rape jokes link (particularly the one relating it to AIDS/HIV dark humour and how it was needed “to cope”) – what exactly is it folks from a group the rest of us are continually told to “watch out for” so we don’t get raped, coping with? I don’t get it :/

On the “free speech” aspect of it all, I’ve got to be honest, I’m not all that in favour of it. It seems to be more free for a select few than others.

anchoredwunderlust // Posted 2 December 2010 at 3:21 am

@Anna, I dont know how far youd agree, but i think its a common thought that those jokes are owned by the survivors who can say what they want about it to get them through, and their friends who know them, and people more likely to be raped. and also the difference between where being raped is the actual punchline and where its just the subject of the joke. overall though, that post is about whether there should be a warning for those whom a joke can trigger a horrible feeling and nightmares 10 years down the line. i think that appreciates both freedom of speech and peoples different tastes. id rather they werent so popular amongst men really and i get uncomfortable when a woman does it the same way but, really i think the focus is not forcing it on those it affects. people say ‘dont watch it’, but dont watch what? that comedian? that show? panel shows? stand up? comedy in general? entertainment tv? any tv? if you dont know whats coming up then its hard to avoid the shock. it stopped being aimed just at you after the first part btw! its brave to share the experience

nel // Posted 2 December 2010 at 3:17 pm

Am I the only one disgusted by the movie about Meredith Kercher’s death? The case is not over and people want to profit from the horrible tragedy. i used to like Hayden panettiere (the actress playing Amanda Knox) but since she wants to meet the killer and profit from Meredith’s death. it is almost like no one stop to think how this would affect Meredith’s family and friends.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 3 December 2010 at 5:41 pm

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/inconvenient-truths-about-our-evolution-2146994.html more science without much to back it up

Woy of the Wovers // Posted 4 December 2010 at 12:22 pm

@Laurel Dearing

Did you see that Dr Ramachandran wrote an article explaining the evolutionary origin of ‘gentlemen prefer blondes’ as a pisstake.

He made something up, something along the lines of “fairness is an indicator of youth, thus providing a proxy for fertility” and it was swallowed hook line and sinker, and was even cited by an evolutionary pyschologist in her book!

(see his book, Phantoms In The Brain, for details)

Sheila // Posted 5 December 2010 at 4:29 pm

Kit

What are you really asking? Are you seriously asking what it is that rape victims cope with?

Anna, I’m in the same boat and have the same attitude. Humour is a coping strategy. Some things are funny and some or not. I hope you carry on being able to laugh when you can.

Sheila // Posted 5 December 2010 at 4:33 pm

Am I the only person who gets annoyed when I read newspaper headlines saying “Man delivers baby in back of car” or similar which proceed to glorify the role of this man, interviewing him and quoting him saying there was nothing to it. How rare is it even to get an acknowledgement from the woman concerned, or to get the man saying, “No really, it was all my partner’s hard work in the end”. When are we going to get headlines that say “Couple stranded in snow deliver baby by themselves”. Many women have given birth alone without these sorts of headlines.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 6 December 2010 at 3:38 pm

@Woy, no I didn’t know. Ita funny though, because it’s so in line with the rest of the theories! My automatic thought was that many older peoples hair also goes the White-blonde colour in age as well as childrens, so it could work the other way around!

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