Caitlyn Jenner makes Woman’s Hour Power List

Shall we enumerate the ways in which Caitlyn Jenner has helped women:

1. Killed Kim Howe with his car.

2. Failed to financially support his children.

3. Stole his teenage step-daughter’s underwear to wear it around the house.

4. Reinforced neurosexism and heteronormativity with his stance on ‘female brains’ and ‘female souls’.

So, Bruce Jenner makes the list for doing sweet fuck all for women. Fabu-fucking-doodle. Next we’ll see Charlie Sheen on the list for not insulting, denigrating and threatening. one of the mother’s of his children for a period of 24 hours.

 

I made a formal complaint to the BBC here.

Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman who has killed a woman (Kim Howe) through dangerous driving, failed to financially support her children from previous relationships, and who admitted to stealing and wearing her step-daughter’s lingerie has been placed on Women’s Hour Power List. What precisely has Jenner done for women that negate killing a woman, financial child abuse, and stealing her stepdaughter’s lingerie (which in and of itself is deeply creepy)?

Could Woman’s Hour not find any women to place on this list that haven’t committed criminal offences like financial child abuse? Or, not killed anyone recently?

Jenner’s inclusion makes a mockery of the idea of a power list.

Charlie Sheen: Still a misogynistic dickhead shocker

Charlie Sheen, misogynist extraordinaire, who spent Father’s Day tweeting vile abuse at his ex-wife Denise Richards, including this charming poem, is still one of the most popular sitcom actors in Hollywood. This is the War on Women

“open letter to
the
media:
Denise Richards
is a shake down
piece of shit doosh phace
&
worst mom alive!
a despicable charlatan who
sux ISIs
ass!!!!
(and cock)
fuk it

I’m out
©

I have paid that
Klay-Vinnik leaky diaper
over 30 Mil
and she calls me
a DbD!

see u in
court you evil
terrorist sack of landfill rash

bitch couldn’t act
hot in a fire
or
wet in a pool

you should all
hear her acting lessons:
sounds like
dolphins sucking off
Coyotes!!!

this gangster
Sheenius will be
Winning!
Duh!!
really grandma?
I’m the
ARCHITECT OF THE TERM YOU LEAKY AND MALARIA
RIDDLED
PUDDLE OF SHIT STINK DECAY!!

and now I’m
out

last note;
this lab rat
is from a retarded
shit hole named
“Downers Grove”

nothing further your Honor

hash tag
go fuk Sambora some more
you
“Dood thief”

that genius called
me 1000 times to ask
“how can I get the
ass funk to be less,
ass-funky”

the only answer I had
was
to tell him to
“steep” that hedgehog
in bleach…”
twice a day

for a year
fukker whore

and hey Irv;

go fuk yourself pussy
bitch

I am the truth
you are my enemy

try me

I dubble dare ya
skinny boy face

Sir © of the Sheen
is
on
stand by

 

The erasure of lesbians from HIV activism in the 1980s

GayStarNews has just published an article on the consequences of HIV/AIDS to whole families/ communities in the 1980s. This is the most important part of the article which is a direct response to the erasure of lesbian women from HIV/AIDS activism, as well as the unrecognised (and unpaid) they did caring for gay men:

Another Redditor paid tribute to the role of lesbians, calling them ‘every bit as heroic as soldiers on the front lines of any war’.

‘These women walked directly into the fire and through it, and they did not have to. And that they did it even as some of the gay men they took care of treated them with bitchiness, scorn, and contempt.

‘It was, at the time, not at all unusual for gay men to snicker as the bull dyke walked into the bar with her overalls and flannels and fades. Much of the time, it was casual ribbing which they took in stride. But it could also be laced with acid, especially when lesbians began gravitating toward a bar that had until then catered largely to men.

‘When the AIDS crisis struck, it would be many of these same women who would go straight from their jobs during the day to acting as caregivers at night. Because most of them lacked medical degrees, they were generally relegated to the most unpleasant tasks: wiping up puke and shit, cleaning up houses and apartments neglected for weeks and months. But not being directly responsible for medical care also made them the most convenient targets for the devastating anger and rage these men felt – many who’d been abandoned by their own family and friends.

‘These women walked directly into the fire. They came to the aid of gay men even when it was unclear how easily the virus could be transmitted. Transmission via needlestick was still a concern, so they often wore two or three layers of latex gloves to protect themselves, but more than once I saw them, in their haste and frustration, dispense with the gloves so that they could check for fevers, or hold a hand that hung listlessly from the edge of a bed whose sheets they had just laundered.

‘They provided aid, comfort, and medical care to men withering away in hospices, men who’d already lost their lovers and friends to the disease and spent their last months in agony. They’d been abandoned by their own families, and were it not for lesbians – many if not most of them volunteers – they would have suffered alone. And when there was nothing more medicine could do for them and their lungs began to fill with fluid, it was often these same women who’d be left to administer enough morphine to release them, given to them by the doctor who had left the room and would return 15 minutes later to sign the certificate (a common practice at the time).

‘I knew a woman around that time who’d had at one point been making bank in construction. But at the outset of the AIDS crisis she had abandoned her career to pursue nursing instead, and was close to her degree when we were hanging out. She was a big, hearty drinker, and fortunately so was I. We’d been utterly thrashed at a bar once when someone whispered a fairly benign but nonetheless unwelcoming comment about her. Middle fingers were exchanged, and afterwards, furious and indignant, I asked her, Why do you do it? Why did you abandon a career to take care of these assholes who still won’t pay you any respect?

‘She cut me a surprisingly severe look, held it and said, “Honey, because no one else is going to do it.” I remember feeling ashamed after that, because my fury and indignation weren’t going to clean blood and puke off the floor; it wasn’t going to do the shit that needed to get done.

‘HIV killed my friends, took my lover from me, and tore up my life. During that time, I did what I could. But nothing I did then or have ever been called to do in my life puts me anywhere near the example set by the lesbians I knew in the 80s and 90s. I’ve felt obligated to remember what they did, and to make sure other people remember it too.’

Frank Maloney is a perpetrator of domestic violence

Frank Maloney attempted to strangle his then wife Tracey. Maloney also claims to have engaged in emotionally abusive behaviour.

According to the Daily Mail, and Maloney, this isn’t really a big deal because Maloney has since had a gender reassignment surgery and is now known as Kellie.

Maloney has admitted to committing domestic violence but where supposed to feel sympathy as it was a:

“toxic combination of pent-up frustration, anguish over her gender identity and booze had caused Kellie to lunge at 48-year-old Tracey.”

Because those sound nothing like the normal excuses used to minimise responsibility for domestic violence. Anger, alcohol, and mental illness do not cause domestic violence. Men, and domestic violence is nearly always perpetrated by a man, make a choice to engage in emotional and physical abuse.

Maloney is a perpetrator. I don’t care if he’s since undergone gender reassignment surgery. That doesn’t negate his choice to behave abusively.

Maloney made a choice. He should be held legally accountable for those choices; not fawned over by the mainstream media eager to minimise yet another example of domestic violence perpetrated by a celebrity.

Woman banned from breastfeeding due to tattoo

A judge, Matthew Myers, in Australia banned a mother from breastfeeding her 11 month old child due to concerns about her possibly contracting HIV or another blood born virus after getting a tattoo. Thankfully, the ban was overturned by an emergency Appeals Court decision, but the implications of such a decision on women’s bodily autonomy are incalculable.

The risks of transmission of HIV or other blood born viruses from a tattoo at a licensed tattoo parlour are minute. Women are far more likely to contract these viruses from a partner who has sex with other women whilst she is pregnant or breastfeeding. There will never be a call banning men from having sex (or raping) their pregnant or breastfeeding partners in case they pass on a blood born virus. Frankly, the biggest danger to a foetus or a breastfeeding infant is domestic violence perpetrated by the father. The criminal justice system consistently underestimates, minimises and ignores this evidence-based risk to infant and mother health.

Interestingly, all the media coverage I read on this judgment focused on the issue of breastfeeding but there is a much bigger problem than a judge who bans a mother from breastfeeding based on a tattoo. The reason behind the ban was the fact that the mother had been diagnosed with postnatal depression and the judge felt this negated her ability to mother. The judge was looking for an excuse to interfere with mothering. Myers made the suggestion of a ban during a custody hearing. He couldn’t use the mother’s mental health to ban breastfeeding so he used the tattoo instead.

This was a considered attack on a woman’ ability to mother her child using every excuse possible to break the bond with the child. It’s pretty clear this judge believes fathers’ ‘rights’ to own their children supersedes the rights of the child and the mother. A judge who goes out of his way to research the minute risks of breastfeeding to prevent a mother from feeding her child is not someone who should be allowed to proceed over custodial agreements. This judgment had nothing to do with the child’s health and everything to do with the judge’s prejudiced beliefs about mothers with postnatal depression.

Misogyny on the End Austerity March

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This is what misogyny looks like on the left. It’s why so many feminists don’t trust men who claim to be feminists or socialists. We’re all well aware of the misogyny within their ranks and their support for rapists and rape apologists over the safety and bodily integrity of women and children. Julian Assange, George Galloway and the ‘comrade’ in the socialist workers party aren’t aberrations. They reflect the reality of women-hating amongst leftist men: they depend on women’s labour which they consistently undervalue and then they treat women like objects only worth fucking.

And, seriously, what kind of fucked up man takes a sex doll on a public march where it will be seen by children? The kind that don’t give a shit about girls who are being sexually exploited. The kind who participate in the preparation of young girls for sexual abuse (grooming) and the kind who believe girl children can ‘consent’ to sexual acts. I don’t see men supporting an end to austerity. I see sexual predators.

David Aaronovitch, Beatrix Campbell and Conspiracy Theories

It’s fairly safe to say that David Aaronovitch does not like being challenged by women, especially women who actually know what they are talking about – unlike Aaronovitch who was given a huge platform by BBC Radio 4 to propagate myths about the ritual sexual abuse of children:

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 11.59.32

Something of a pot calling the kettle black here since Aaronovitch’s program on ritual abuse neglected to mention a rather impressive amount of peer-reviewed evidence-based research into the reality of ritual abuse, and a number of successful prosecutions of perpetrators in the UK.

Since Aaronovitch seems to think everyone but him is required to disclose their entire life story before being allowed an opinion I obviously have to state that I have met Bea Campbell twice. I chaired a panel Campbell was on at the Nottingham Women’s Conference in 2014, and then said hello to her when she was chairing a panel at the Project Mirabel conference on perpetrator programs in 2015. I also spoke once to Campbell’s current partner Judith Jones on the phone with a query about a project. I’m sure that Aaronovitch, the great destroyer of conspiracy theories, won’t see anything untoward in me questioning his stance on a woman I’ve met twice. If he did, it would scream hypocrisy – a charge I’m sure Aaronovitch is unwilling to accept.

Just putting this out there. For your edification.Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 12.14.00

Obviously, claiming that the only reason women disagree with you is because you have a penis is nothing like a conspiracy theory. Women, after all, are clearly incapable of independent thought and the only reason a large number could be disgusted with Aaronovitch’s program is because of his penis. And, not because he’s ignored a large base of evidence that contradicts his theory – some of which, strangely enough, is also written by men but I haven’t seen Aaronovitch critiquing their credentials with quite such verve.

What I found truly objectionable in Aaronovitch’s complete refusal to recognise that he’s probably not an expert on child sexual abuse (what with his implication that children lie within the program) is that he resorted to a personal attack rather than to engage with the evidence:

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 12.17.29 Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 12.17.39

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 12.21.46

 

Keeping in mind that my personal knowledge of Campbell and Jones extends to knowing their names and the fact that they made a documentary about the ritual abuse case in Nottingham before they were in a relationship.  I don’t know if they were in a relationship when they wrote Stolen Voices (which was removed from publication as the publisher did not have libel insurance) but 30 seconds on google would no doubt find an answer and a series of inaccurate assumptions and a whole host of conspiracy theories from men’s rights extremists – strangely, Aaronovitch seems to have no opinion on these.

I’m struggling to see why Aaronovitch made the accusation in the tweets above since anyone reading online has access to google to check out the credentials of those making political points – including Aaronovitch who has form for minimising child sexual abuse.

I could get all postmodern about objective truth, bias and knowing, but its pretty clear that Aaronovitch isn’t interested in the truth about satanic ritual abuse considering his deflection of any engagement which tries to mention research or criminal prosecutions. I’ve been googling and have yet to find any evidence of Campbell claiming a global conspiracy of satanic child abuse. Writing about 1 of the very few instances of satanic ritual abuse does not make a conspiracy. Making insinuations about the relationship between two women as a way of deflecting critical engagement with your work reeks of lesbophobia.

But, heh, according to Aaronovitch’s theory of relationships, I’m biased for happening to chair a conference where Campbell spoke. I can’t wait to see the disclaimers Aaronovitch will be adding to every single thing he writes or produces for fear of sharing the same Tescos delivery guy makes him biased about a politician.

I highly recommend reading  part one and part two of Campbell’s response to Aaronovitch, as well as the articles by Dr Sarah Nelson (researcher, writer and media commentator on child sexual abuse at Edinburgh University) and journalist Tim Tate who both appeared in the Radio 4 program but feel that Aaronovitch misrepresented them.

And, then ask what historic allegations and prosecutions for ritual sexual abuse of children have to do with current historic allegations of sexual abuse (not ritual abuse) and systemic child sexual exploitation across the UK.

 

EDIT:

End Online Misogyny have written a response to Aaronovitch here. Liz Kelly linked to this 2003 article by Aaronovitch called “Don’t look now: In the sordid world of child abuse, fantasy and reality are perilously intertwined”, which is as horrendously ill-informed and misleading as the title suggests.

 

Bruce Jenner killed a woman

Kim Howe was killed in February of this year when her car was rear-ended by Bruce Jenner and then pushed into oncoming traffic.

Kim Howe is dead because of the actions of Bruce Jenner. It would be nice if some of the hagiographies being written recently would remember that Kim Howe was a real person. That she matters too.

Replicating damaging patriarchal language

If I were to discuss the following, you would assume I was talking about children:

  • If you are friends with her, we can’t be friends
  • I won’t talk to you if you talk to her

Instead, I have seen both of the above stated by feminists of all stripes. I’ve seen monitoring of people’s Facebook friends and monitoring conversations on twitter all used as evidence to discredit other feminists. Failure to conform to rigid rules immediately class a woman as a “bad feminist” who is then shunned, mocked and denigrated.

These are the techniques used:

  • Name calling or insults
  • mocking
  • belittlement
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Ignoring or excluding
  • Isolating
  • Humiliating

There is this assumption that is okay to engage in the above if your cause is ‘right’ or ‘good’. The ‘bad’ feminist must then be reminded daily of their failures and how much they disappoint other women – including ones they have never met for the simple crime of not being unnecessarily rude to someone they disagree with politically.

The resemblance to emotionally abusive behaviour perpetrated by men is so obvious and one that we’re not allowed to talk about. Because it’s apparently worse to point out when someone is mocking and isolating women than it is to engage in such abusive behaviour. Instead, we see insinuations of stupidity and removal of women from Facebook groups for asking questions or having the wrong friend.

I do hold feminists to a higher standard because we should know – whether we are radical, liberal, socialist, materialist or whatever – the statistical likelihood that the woman we are speaking to has experienced male violence and that they are living with trauma. Replicating male patterns of speech and emotionally abusive and bullying behaviour isolates vulnerable women and actively harms others.

We do need to recognise that some of the women who use these patterns are doing so because of the way they have internalised their trauma. We need to be able to challenge these women in a way that will not further traumatise them without allowing this behaviour to continue.

But, we also need to stop accepting this type of bullying as ‘normal’ debate tactics.  Posting private messages on Facebook isn’t appropriate behaviour. It is a silencing tactic: disagree with me and I will publicly shame you. Name calling, mocking and belittlement are extremely damaging to women’s mental health – many of us suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD but that isn’t an excuse to behave abusively to other women.

Isolating women from support networks and their friends is classic behaviour for a perpetrator of domestic violence and yet I see it all the time in online feminist groups: political disagreements used to defend the isolation of women.

We cannot liberate women from male violence if we use the same tactics to attack each other.

* A huge thank you to Cath Andrews who talked through this post with me and raised the issue of ‘failure’

25 Disney Girls Gone Bad: Misogyny run rampant

25 Disney Girls Gone Bad rocked up in my Facebook feed. I went through the pictures assuming that it was all of former Disney actresses in their underwear.

It was.

It also included Demi Lovato twice and claimed that Ashley Tisdale is her own best friend making it fairly obvious that research and editing aren’t priorities for this particular site.

I googled Disney Boys Gone Bad to see if I would discover 8 million pics of Zac Efron in his knickers. Oddly, I found none. Instead, I found numerous articles on male Disney stars arrested for violence against women and girls, robbery, and DUI. It’s worth noting that the Disney ‘girls’ who have been arrested were not arrested for crimes of violence. And, a number of the male stars continued to work, either for Disney or in the entertainment industry, despite having criminal convictions for violence.

An article on ListServe lists Edward Furlong as a (dis)honourable mention for “cocaine addiction; arrested drunkenly trying to free lobsters from a tank”. Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears get first and second place respectively for their substance dependency and mental health worries. ListServe neglects to mention Furlong’s multiple convictions for domestic violence. Being female and ill is a reason to label a woman “Top 10 Child Stars Who’ve Gone Bad”. Domestic violence isn’t even worth mentioning.

The Mirror felt it necessary to include Lee Thompson Young in first position in their article “Disney stars’ downfall: Hit and runs, rehab and jail – the teen stars who went wild”. Thompson Young wasn’t convicted in a hit and run, nor did do a stint in rehab. He killed himself aged 29 having suffered with bipolar disorder.  The women in their list were all there for substance use; most of the men for violence.

Rather than holding male Disney stars accountable for the violence they commit, much of these “child stars gone bad” focus on shaming women for trying to survive in an industry where there only asset is classed as their ability to pass the patriarchal fuckability test. There is no recognition of the continuing failure of Disney to support its young actors throughout their career. There is little recognition that domestic violence is an actual crime. Instead, these articles all focus on shaming women and excusing men.