The Dude who publicly humiliated the child is the Biggest Areshole in this story

So, a kid went to The Tate Modern and climbed on a really, really, really expensive statue. The parents weren’t overly concerned so some Dude posted a video of this Most Horrific Event ever in a bid to uncover the identity of the horrible child and their nasty parents.

Now, I’ve got no idea what actually happened. If the parents did encourage their nine year old to climb the statue, then they are nincompoops with very bad manners. Regardless of whether or not the child climbed of her own volition or was encouraged by the parents, posting the video online in a bid to identify them is even more appalling. It’s nasty, vindictive and cruel. Children have the right to grow up and make mistakes without some asshole posting video online in order to name them.

Yeah, the parents aren’t exactly sympathetic characters. FGS, 9 year old aren’t ‘anti-establishment’ and suggestions that climbing over-priced art makes one ‘anti-establishment’ is beyond ridiculous.

But, seriously, posting a video online for the sole purpose of finding the names of a child to humiliate? That’s beyond poorly behaved children with nincompoops for parents. It’s cruel and vindictive. I’m appalled that anyone could think this was appropriate.

Why I Hate Humanity; Or, Jim Davidson won CBB

Jim Davidson, noted misogynist racist who admits to committing intimate partner violence, has won Celebrity Big Brother. Because, people actually voted for a man who brags about not raping women.

I’m sure tomorrow’s papers will be full of people excusing Davidson’s abusive behaviour and wondering how anyone voted for him. Or, babbling on about the downfall of humanity.

Here’s the thing: if you watched CBB you are complicit in this man winning. It doesn’t matter if you hate Davidson or voted against him, you helped him win by watching the program. Your viewing increased Endemol’s profits. Your viewing is what made them choose such an offensive man to be on the show.

Tomorrow, instead of expressing shock at Davidson winning or expressing faux outrage, make a pledge to stop watching this shit.

Stop watching reality TV.

Stop watching the public humiliation of vulnerable.

Stop pretending you’re better than those who visited Bedlam or circus freak shows.

Reality TV is nothing more than abuse as entertainment.

If you’re angry at Davidson winning, ask why you chose to watch.

Why did you want to watch an abusive man abuse women?

Davidson didn’t win because a gaggle of racist misogynists voted for him. He won because normal people think public humiliation is entertainment.

Reason #3456 that I am Feminist: Because Beyonce is a “Whore”

At least, that’s a headline the Metro is running today with the complaints from parents about Beyonce’s “inappropriate” behaviour on stage at the Grammys. Now, I’ve not actually bothered to watch the Grammys. I don’t watch any awards shows because they are almost always rich white dudes congratulating each other on being rich white dudes. They’re on my list of things which need to be destroyed come the Revolution.

I am in a fucking rage about this headline in the Metro:

BfDfQM3IQAAcIZx(image from @samuelpalin)

I’m not going to bother reading the article because the headline is deeply inappropriate. If the Metro wanted to run a discussion on the appropriateness of Beyonce’s performance before the watershed (in the US), then by all means go for it. I’m going to question the parenting of adults who think the Grammys are appropriate for small children. The Grammys’ have never been small child friendly. Why anyone would think different is beyond me.

So, Beyonce is a “whore” for her performance. I don’t see the Metro labelling her husband (the dude in the photo with her) a whore. I doubt very much the parents in the Metro article care about what her husband did or did not do.

This headline is pure misogyny (and racism) and is why I am a feminist.

No woman is a whore. Ever.

 

UPDATE: it turns out the article is actually worse than I thought. Lynn Schreiber has informed me that the story was clearly decided before tweets were found to defend it. So, a journalist has manufactured the ‘Beyonce is a whore’ statement without having evidence first.

It’s just not that simple: Consent, Coercion and the Reality of Male Violence

I read the New Statesman’s current “guide to sexual consent” written by pornography actress Stoya with interest. It was an interesting angle on consent but I wouldn’t want Stoya in a classroom teaching my child about sex and consent and not because of her employment. I wouldn’t want Stoya teaching my child about consent because her guide is far too simplistic. It fails to acknowledge the reality of coercion within relationships. It doesn’t account for asexuality or trauma.

Stoya has started from the position that sex is something everyone wants and should be having. In our culture, that inevitably means PIV (penis-in-vagina). If we want to start talking about consent, we need to start with babies teaching them bodily autonomy. We need to teach children that no one has the right to touch them without permission and that this includes being forced to kiss Grandad’s cheek, having their hair pulled by a classmate or being tickled. We need to start from the position that PIV is not sex and that it is not necessary to have PIV or PIA to have sex. Until we start teaching both of these, the construct of consent for sex remains focused solely on the male orgasm.

Stoya also seems to be starting from the position that a sexual partner will immediately respect a woman’s desire to stop, without consequence. This is simply not the reality in which many sexual relationships take place. Women are frequently placed in a position where refusing or changing their mind isn’t possible. Or, told that they are required to sexually service a male partner or it will be their fault if he has an affair. Dr Pamela Stephenson, who is the Guardian’s sexual relationships expert, recently told a woman that it was her duty to have PIV even if she didn’t like it or it hurt (brilliantly deconstructed by Ann Tagonist here). Victims of sexual violence who choose not to have PIV are told that there is something wrong with them.  Of course, men who insist on PIV with a female partner even when it causes her physical pain are not labelled weird or wrong. Men deserve PIV and its women’s duty to perform, even through physical pain.

I would have labeled Stoya as naive had it not been for these last two points:

7. If your sexual partner(s) express a limit or ask for something to stop and you do not respect it, you are stepping onto a scale that ranges from “jerk” to “full-on rapist”. Personally, I don’t want to be on that scale at all, and I don’t want to engage in sexual activity with anyone who does hang out on that scale.

8. If one of your sexual partners steps on to the jerk-to-full-on rapist scale, call them out on it. You have the right to end the sexual activity you are engaged in and to decline sexual activity with them in the future.

I’m at a loss for words here. No one should be forced to tolerate a jerk but insisting that it’s women’s responsibility to call out a sexual partner is quite dangerous and victim blaming. Sometimes women simply aren’t in a position to say no or to call out a partner. Making statements like this demonstrates a lack of understanding of the reality of sexual and domestic violence because it implies that women who don’t call out their partners are somehow at fault.

We need to start teaching consent to children but we need to acknowledge the reality of male violence and coercion. Consent isn’t as simple as yes and no; not when girls are raised from infancy to believe that their role is to be fucktoys for men.

Stan Collymore: On Twitter Abuse, Racism and Domestic Violence

I am rather concerned about the reporting of the racist abuse Stan Collymore has received. There is a lot of discussion of the racist abuse without mentioning his history of domestic violence. There is also a remarkable lack of awareness and mentions of the fact that women of colour receive both misogynistic and racist abuse. The racist abuse Collymore has received has to be contextualised and we must mention the abuse that women, especially women of colour, have received with very little response by Twitter.

It is possible to be both a victim and a perpetrator. Being a victim of racist abuse does not negate Collymore’s responsibility for the violence he has perpetrated. It is complicated but not impossible to report sensitively acknowledging all the abusive tweets which are sent out daily.

Is Bjarne Melgaard ‘s chair racist?

Yes.

And, if you can’t see this, you need to learn some fucking history.

Because there is genuinely no other possible answer to this question. The image is racist and sexist. He can babble on about whatever it is he think’s he criticising but, fundamentally, this image is racist and misogynist. The original art piece Bjarne Melgaard claimed to be whatever-the-fuck-artists-think-they-are-doing-when-they-are-mostly-being-assholes is based on a piece by Allen Jones. Which was also deeply misogynistic.

Make no mistake neither piece is anything but the same old objectification of women that is replicated time and time again. It isn’t new. It isn’t exciting. It’s just the same old drivel by pretentious white dudes pretending they aren’t dickheads.

Melgaard’s just gone and added racism to the charge of misogyny with this image.

And, for fuck’s sake, Dasha Zhukova is a successful woman in her own right; not the possession of a man just because he’s a billionaire. If you’re going to write criticisms about the misogyny and racism of Melgaard’s work, start with not referring to Zhukova as a possession. After all, these types of racist and misogynist drivel wouldn’t pass as “art” if men stopped thinking about women as possessions.

I could rant for hours about this but there is only one answer to the question: Is Bjarne Melgaard ‘s chair racist? If you can’t see it, then you’re probably racist.

Child Eyes UK: Still not listening

I wrote 2 quick responses to the hashtag #rapemags used by Child Eyes UK which I submitted to the campaign group Ending Victimisation and Blame (Everyday Victim Blaming)

Child Eyes UK have responded to my two post by adding 3 more FAQs to my website, one of which still fails to understand the point of the complaint.

FAQ 1.  Should you use the hashtag #rapemags, we think it is triggering?

We sincerely apologise to any people who are triggered by the word rape or #rapemags. This is not our intention. We have the support of Rape Crisis England and Wales and would not have used the term if they felt it was not appropriate. We believe it is important in the context of the campaign to use the word rape as this is what we are campaigning about. The term “mags” is not meant to trivialise rape experience it is an abbreviation of magazines for use on Twitter. The term also highlights the way women’s mags sensationalise rape which is hugely inappropriate for children.

Considering their first response to the statement “we find the tag triggering” was :  “Sorry but we’re not going to stop using word ‘rape’ because it is triggering in a context helping stop sensationalist mags “, I’m going to question the level of support they have had. I find it highly doubtful that Rape Crisis England and Wales was asked their opinion of the tag before it was used and they most certainly would not support the outright dismissal of the feelings of a victim of rape. Child Eyes UK’s failure to understand the harm they did to a survivor with that tweet demonstrates their lack of understanding of sexual violence and it does make me question their campaign.

2. The magazines sensationalise rape. Aren’t you doing the same by using the term #rapemags?

The magazines sensationalise rape. We are campaigning against the magazines being exposed to children. Using the word rape within the context of a salacious magazine is not the same as using it within a very serious campaign against its sensationalisation being exposed to children. We have to use the word rape to campaign against its sensationalisation damaging children, otherwise it wouldn’t make sense or be effective.

Actually, you do not have to use the word rape unless you are campaigning against the way rape is written about within the magazines. You are campaigning against the sensationalised language of the magazines where children can read them. You could have easily used the term #endtabloidmags and your campaign would still have made sense without triggering survivors. It would have also encompassed more of your campaign goals.  You deliberately chose #rapemags because it was salacious. Not because it was accurate.

3. You are not experts in rape or have training in this area. You should not be campaigning about it.

No we are not experts in rape and we don’t have training. However we are all parents and we feel we have the right to voice our concerns about what our children are being exposed to and campaign to have this addressed. We are not campaigning to ban the magazines or about the content of the magazines. We are simply campaigning for retailers to display these titles appropriately in areas frequented by children.

You do need to have training in running a campaign like this. It isn’t like No More Page 3 or Let Toys be Toys which doesn’t require specialist knowledge. You are running a campaign on the sensationalisation of sexual violence in the media. You need to understand what it is before you can campaign against it. And, no, being a mother doesn’t imbue you with mystical knowledge.

The Obsession with perfection is violence against women

I love Jean Kilbourne. I can’t even remember when I first saw her work. I think it was in high school on a field trip to Toronto when we saw one of her recorded speeches. It does matter how many times I read her or watch her videos online.

The Obsession with perfection is violence against women: it is part of a continuum of male violence which teaches women that we simply aren’t good enough unless we pass the patriarchal fuckability test, which is impossible.

It’s well worth checking out some of her other videos:

Killing us Softly 3:

 

 

And, If you haven’t seen Miss Representation yet, do so now:

 

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