Katie Hopkins: Misogyny and Women-Hating 101

According to the Huffington Post, a 14 year old boy called Harvey Cuffe asked Nick Clegg and asked him if he could have Hopkins killed or arrested. Nick Clegg suggested this was a “brilliant question”.

The Huffington Post is under the impression that this is also a great question. Because threatening to kill a woman for having offensive and criminal opinions is completely normal.

Clegg is already on record suggesting that Hopkins would make the best Bond villain, despite telling Cuffe that the best response to Hopkins is to ignore her. I disagree with this: Hopkins article on migrants was a hate crime. But, she wasn’t the only person to commit a hate crime in that incident. The editor of the Sun, which published it, should also be investigated for a hate crime. Every single media outlet that gives Hopkins to spew hatred is responsible for disseminating her opinions.

Hopkins also isn’t the only mainstream figure to hold such views. Hell, Nigel Farage holds similar opinions and he’s on the BBC so often they might as well hire him. Our current government ended rescue services in the Mediterranean to prevent migrants from drowning on over-crowded and unsafe boats. People actually died from this policy but I don’t very much Cuffe would have asked to have the people who voted for these policies killed. Nor, would Clegg have called it a “brilliant question”.

There is no way Cuffe would have asked a politician if he wanted to kill a man who made similar statements. And there are a whole load of men writing horrendously racist shit every single day: Brendan O’Neill, Richard Littlejohn and Milo Yiannopoulos spring to mind. I don’t see exhortations to have them killed or arrested. This is without addressing the misogyny these men also spew.

The very same people blathering on about free speech and #JeSuisCharlieHebdo are the same ones haranguing Hopkins. I have to wonder if the Charlie Hebdo staff were mostly female would we have seen the mass protests in support? Or, if there staff were non-white? Because, I sincerely doubt the Cameron and Clegg would have travelled to Paris for a march in support of the free speech of journalists in Saudi Arabia arrested for being critical of the government. Frankly, I don’t believe they’d celebrate the free speech of journalists and bloggers in the UK who are critical of ConDem policies.

Focusing on Hopkins is an easy scapegoat. It challenges nothing. All Clegg has done is tell a 14 year old boy that it’s acceptable to want to kill women he disagrees with. That’s misogyny. Not a discussion of free speech or an attempt to end systemic racism within UK media.

Katie Hopkins should be investigated for committing a hate crime, as should David Dinsmore and Hopkin’s direct line managers. But, 14 year old boys wanting her killed is as serious a problem as her statements about migrants are.

There is nothing brave about exhorting the death of a woman who writes criminal and offensive statements in the media. It’s just woman-hating 101. And it allows the structures of racism and misogyny to remain in place.

Real bravery would be holding the media accountable for publishing these statements.

Women are worse than men

This is an actual comment submitted by a man to my post on the hypocrisy of left-wing dudebros.

Far worse than the males you condemn are the women who are anti-choice. These women disgust me as I see them as a force for either back alley abortions and the death of so many women or the other alternative–mandatory motherhood.

Here you have it: women who oppose abortion are “far worse” than violent men who rape and kill.

A comment by a man actually proving the point of my post.

Into the Woods: Could have been funny but ended up Mother-hating (Spoilers)

(spoilers)

Into the Woods is meant to be a modern twist on the traditional fairy tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. Their stories are tied together by the Baker and his wife who cannot conceive a child due to a curse placed on their house by the witch next door. They need to find 4 items in three days to lift the curse: a cape as red as blood, corn-silk hair, a white as milk cow and a golden slipper.

This construction of the Baker and ‘his wife’ sets the scene for the whole film. The bumbling baker who can’t remember a simple set of instructions is the hero, whilst his possession-wife is brave, smart, funny, kind and dies. The baker gets everything he wanted in life: 3 children and a maid in Cinderella. His wife is killed. The idea that a ‘good’ family would be so desperate for a child that they would steal from another child is rather bizarre too. At least, the wife steals hair from Rapunzel. The baker, on the other hand, can’t steal from Little Red Riding Hood and returns her cape the moment he steals it. He earns the cape by killing the wolf.

I’m not a fan of the ‘women so desperate for a child they will do anything’ trope. The baker wants a child too but he isn’t punished for his failure to conceive – only his wife. His refusal to acknowledge his wife’s contributions to the marriage are not seen as flaws but the signs of a ‘good’ man.

The representation of women in the film is entirely sexist – all of them have serious character flaws. Little Red Riding Hood is so greedy she steals from the bakery AND eats the treats for her grandmother. Both her mother and grandmother are killed. The original curse on the witch was placed on her by her mother in punishment for failing to notice a thief. The witch curses her neighbours because she’s spiteful and hates her aged body. The original thief is the baker’s father who is forced into it by his pregnant wife (the father runs away but that’s because he’s sad not bad like the women). The witch steals Rapunzel to punish the mother. The baker’s wife dies because of her desire for a child. The woman giant is killed because she seeks justice for the theft of her property and the death of her husband (yes, the giant wants to eat Jack but Jack did steal from him first). Jack’s mother dies because she’s not very bright and thinks her son’s dim too.

Rapunzel and Cinderella are the only two women not ‘punished’ although Cinderella is sentenced to a life time of cleaning up after the baker and raising his children. Rapunzel goes off with the lesser of the two dim princes but without learning about her birth family. They are also not mothers and it is mothers who are classed as deserving of death.

Johnny Depp’s performance as the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood is the most ridiculous part of the film. It isn’t scary but rather creepy in the traditional sense. He stalks the young Red Riding Hood using words like lush. Granted, we know he wants to eat her but actually he appears at the sexual predator common in 80s stranger-danger messages for children. The sexualised imagery in this song is in complete contrast to a film that is obviously aimed at children. Beyond the distressing imagery of an adult man stalking a child with sexualised language, Depp’s performance is pretty much Jack Sparrow and his character from Dark Shadows all rolled into one. As much fun as Sparrow is, he’s already had 4 films – and Dark Shadows is a dreadful mess of drivel.

In contrast, the song ‘Agony’ performed by the two princes was a brilliant piece of satire:

It made them both look as pathetic, whiny and ridiculous as they are (and thank Gaia Cinderella dumped Charming’s arse).

What would have made this a true modern twist would be for the mothers to have survived and lived together. The baker punished for not recognising his wife as a person and Jack and Little Red Riding Hood held accountable for stealing without being killed. Even the witch reacted out of desperation and self-loathing. Her crimes are ones to be pitied. Instead, this is a film where mothers are punished for mothering.

10 reasons why single mums are great in bed.

The Metro is renown for its inability to accurately report on male violence against women and girls. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the article which suggests that Dr. Melvin Morse was justified in waterboarding his step-daughter because he researched near-death experiences in children. That was truly an awe-inspiring piece of journalism. Granted, I’m still slightly perturbed about the fact that their staff can’t tell the difference between bad sex and rape, but that’s only to be expected in a newspaper that thinks sexual violence is entertainment.

Today’s evidence of The Metro’s Misogyny is 10 reasons why single mums are great in bed.

First off we have the: unrealistic, patronising and downright freaking dangerous assumptions about single mothers:

There are plenty of things single mums have mastered the art of – multi-tasking, compromise and patience to name a few.

But it’s not just the ability to breathe deeply and count to ten that they rock at.

When it comes to sex, single mums have got it going on – and it’s got nothing to do with gratitude.

‘Compromise’ being code for doing exactly what their male partner wants regardless of their own pleasure. After all, no one ever talks about men “compromising” during sex. This is always the woman’s job. And, what’s with the obsession with insisting single mothers are still viable fucktoys?

And, they can fuck right off with the patience and ability to count to ten horseshit. Single mothers aren’t Mary Poppins in Ultimo. In the UK, many can’t afford Ultimo since they are living in poverty whilst their ex-partner commits child abuse by refusing to financially support his children. They multi-task because they have NO choice. Multi-tasking and patience don’t exactly come with the new hormones after you push a baby out of your vagina (or after a c-section).

1. Body confidence

When you’ve pushed a human being out of your vagina, suddenly something like a 3-inch stretch mark carries less significance.

Trust me on this one, you don’t want more detail.

I’m so glad that Katy Horwood thinks all single mothers have great body confidence. I’ve never met a woman who was actually confident about their body – never mind women who are juggling work with childrearing without help. But, hey, let’s pretend single mothers don’t actually livein a white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy and are required to pass the Patriarchal Fuckability Test whilst cooking dinner (or shoving chicken nuggets and chips in the oven because they are exhausted).

We also need to be totally honest here – there is a reason the images of single mothers that accompany the article feature young, attractive white women: because even Horwood doesn’t believe fat women can have body confidence. And, we all know that Black single mothers are pretty much the scions of satan walking the earth. There is a reason the term reproductive justice was coined by Black Women and it isn’t because they were worried about looking sexy for random dudes reading the Metro. Being poor is just too tacky to mention. And, we won’t mention disabled mothers. Who wants to fuck them?

2. Appreciation

There’s nothing like Peppa Pig on loop for the last 36 months and daily conversations about the pros and cons of a roller-skating disco party to encourage gentle enquiries about the availability of beds at your local mental health hospital.

If you want your date to cry with joy for just leaving the house, date a single mum – thankful for a parking ticket if it means they can have a conversation with another adult about something other than Disneyland, can you imagine what they’re like in the sack.

Single mothers are so desperate to be fucked that they are grateful for a dude shoving their penis in them. It doesn’t matter how horrible or abusive a man is, single mothers are so desperate for sex they’ll do anything (obviously this doesn’t apply to fat women or lesbians, because they don’t count as the acceptable face of “single mothers”

3. Hot sex and lots of it

Your date gets out once a month and has a babysitter until 10.30pm.

Cinema? Art gallery? Walk along the Thames? LOL.

Single mothers: always gagging for it. You don’t even have to pretend you actually want to date them. They’ll be so desperate they’ll shag you in the backseat of a Mini in a Tescos parking lot.

4. No small talk

And if she’s lucky enough to have a free evening, not only will you get the reverse cowgirl instead of a stroll through Richmond park but you’ll also get the pleasure of some serious zeds after.

If you think you’ve mastered the art of dozing off after a shag, try three nights of unbroken sleep in the last four years.

Let the snooze off begin.

Because, really, who the fuck wants to actually talk to a single mother. You might have to learn their name or something.

5. Condoms

If there is one thing guaranteed to make a woman stringent about birth control, it’s solo child rearing.

The only unexpected surprise she wants from you is the ability to get it up again 10 minutes after your last orgasm.

Gosh, who knew that birth control was TOTALLY the responsibility of the woman? Granted, I’m a single mother so maybe my perception is skewed but don’t men have the penis that the condom goes on? Are they no longer capable of putting one on themselves? Or, saying no to sex without a condom?

6. Wet wipes

Always in a single mum’s handbag. Handy.

Apparently, there’s now a law banning men from buying wet wipes. Who knew?

7. Biological clocks

Tick, tick, tick.

Is the scary sound you will not be hearing from your single mum girlfriend after two months of dating.

Been there, done it… now where were we, ah yes – orgasms.

Cus, it’s not like men’s fertility and the quality of their sperm doesn’t deteriorate with age. Or, men might want to have children. Or, women who don’t want to have children. Or, non-single mothers are so desperate to get pregnant they’ll fuck anyone.

8. They know what they want

When time is precious and adult interaction scarce, suddenly getting things right first time matters a lot.

Forget fumbling sex and not knowing what’s working or not – single mums spell it out.

And without the luxury of Sunday lie-ins and seven day-a-week shag options, single mums make sure it counts – and rarely get headaches.

Single mums never get headaches and women that do: well, they’re just hateful. Who gives a shit about consent when a dick is involved?

Course, if you are still having ‘fumbling sex’ over the age of 21, the problem is you. Not the women you’re dating.

9. Role play

Spending the majority of her waking life barking orders, when it comes to role play in the bedroom, single mums have it wrapped up.

You’ve been a bad boy, straight to bed with no supper!

Ya hear me.

Because women who aren’t single mothers are incapable of expressing their sexual desires. Or, something.

10. But know how to cuddle like a pro too

Just don’t ask for milk.

Because this isn’t creepy at all.

Katy Horwood is supposedly a relationships expert – one steeped in misogyny with a soupçon of racism. Just for funsies.

Dr. Stuart H Russell: a man not afraid to show his racist, misogynistic side

This charming email, from a Dr. Stuart H Russell, explains why rape culture exists: because women are sex-crazed animals and immigrant.s

David Osborne is correct – and I would add that when women revert back to a decent, modest lifestyle amongst the male population, instead of cavorting around like rutting, sex crazed animals, the better for all concerned. Such conduct may well have evolved naturally amongst males but is most certainly alien for females.

Marxism, feminism and the likes of the disgusting feminoids of groups like Vagenda are to blame for increasing levels of misogyny and violence towards women, as are the rising numbers of immigrants pouring into the UK, especially from places like Africa and the Indian sub continent.
That would be this charming Dr. Stuart H Russell. I cannot adequately express my feelings at Dr. Russell choosing to share his wisdom with me.

Apparently, Mary Beard isn’t very bright.

I know. I was a bit shocked too. After all, even the misogynists who edit Wikipedia seem pretty excited about Beard’s accomplishments:

She is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Newnham College, and Royal Academy of Arts professor of ancient literature. She is also the classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, and author of the blog, “A Don’s Life”, which appears in The Times as a regular column. Her frequent media appearances and sometimes-controversial public statements have led to her being described as “Britain’s best-known classicist”

If even they have worked out Prof Mary Beard is actually rather brilliant, you’d think even the nincompoops which inhabit Twitter would notice. But, nope. A whole lot of them have spent the better part of the past two days telling Prof Mary Beard that she’s confused, misunderstood, and that perhaps she just didn’t read the open letter she signed that was published in the Observer this weekend.

The misogynistic arrogance of assuming a woman is incapable of reading a letter and making her own decision to sign is breathtaking. That’s without factoring in the ageism of the responses – or the abusive and threatening language. The fact that Mary Beard is quite obviously far more intelligent than all those nincompoops together is totally by-the-by.

The comments directed at Prof Beard by men & women, including those who claim to be feminists, demonstrate the erasure of older women in our culture. Prof Beard is perhaps the most renowned classist in the UK. Her academic credentials are ones most could only dream of – but, people dismiss her as a silly little woman with piss-poor reading skills and an inability to do research. This is why I signed the open letter.Denigrating women as incapable of independent thought is the patriarchy in action.

13 Of The Worst Mothers Living On This Planet

I must have been having a naive moment when I opened the link to 13 of the Worst Mothers Living On This Planet (clean link). Or, had taken one too many cold pills this morning since I assumed it would be a list of mothers who have killed their children. I wanted to write a comparison of how the media covers child murders committed by mothers versus those committed fathers. It’s not. It’s actually a list of “worst mothers” ever where most are blamed for the behaviour of a man or denigrated for having a mental illness.

Just in case any MRE asshats rock up, I have googled “worst fathers living on the planet”. This is the top five hits on google:

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3 hits refer to animals, 1 refers to a really bad vacation and the last refers to a climate change (I shit you not). Worst fathers on the planet are animals that eat their young – worst mothers are Kris Jenner who signed her kids up to a reality television show.

Now, I’ve never actually watched the Kardashians – or any of its spin-offs – and I’m not a fan of any parent who signs their children up to reality TV. I don’t think parents have the moral right to put their children in the public sphere in a way which is guaranteed to result in them experiencing abuse and harassment. If it is true that Jenner was responsible for releasing the video of her daughter having sex without consent, then she has committed sexual assault. I would absolutely agree that this makes her a bad mother but until I have actual evidence that Jenner did this I’m going to approach any such claims with a grain of salt. After all, the rest of the “13 of the worst mothers living on the planet” list aren’t exactly serial killers, child rapists or violent offenders.

Linda Hogan, Kate Gosselin, Nene Leakes, and Dana Lohan are also on the list because they were involved in reality tv shows. Also, involved in those shows: the fathers – who don’t appear to be on any “shit father” list. Because, hypocrisy.

Also on the list for hypocrisy: Brooke Mueller, Courtney Love, and Kate Moss. How many male celebrities are fathers who have a history of drug use? How many of those fathers are considered “the worst fathers living on the planet”?

Jenner’s daughter Kourtney Kardashian makes it on the list “because of the terrible antics of one of Kourtney’s lovers, Scott Disick”. I had to google Disick having never heard of him but it turns out he’s Kardashian’s long-term partner and father of her three children. There are also rumours that he is an alcoholic and all-around jerk, but I only found those rumours looking at Perez Hilton’s website and Hilton isn’t exactly renown for his attachment to reality. So, we have Kourtney Kardashian as one of the “13 worst mothers living on the planet’ because her partner is a dick. Because that is the definition of a shit mother: reproducing with a jerk. Although, clearly not the definition of a shit father because that is reserved for lions who eat their babies.

I had to google Farrah Abraham and Jenelle Evans both of whom made it on the list because of difficulties they faced following motherhood at age 16 which was broadcast on MTV. Britney Spears makes it on the list for similar reasons: unable to deal with ‘fame’ (read: unrelenting shit from a celebrity obsessed culture which prefers to destroy young women rather than celebrate their accomplishments) and because she is bipolar. All 3 of these women were raised in difficult circumstances – Spears was the main breadwinner for her family and her father still maintains control of her estate effectively infantilising her for life whilst Evans is living with domestic violence. These women are the “worst mothers living on the planet”  not because of what they have done (although all have interacted with the criminal justice system at some point) but because they have not managed to remain Paragons whilst being chased by paparazzi, labelled fat daily, and surrounded by predators interested only in how much money they can squeeze out of them.

Nadya Suleman makes the list for giving birth to octuplets through IVF despite having 3 children already and not being able to financially care for them all. Not a word is made of the fertility specialist who implanted 8 embryos in her womb or the fact that the US lacks both the healthcare and welfare structures to support its own citizens preferring instead to spend billions killing other children around the world. There are issues raised by this case – notably the ethics of the medical profession but they don’t make Suleman “the worst mother living on the planet”.

 The only mother on this list who actually deserves to be on it is the Mom from Futurama. And, she’s a fucking cartoon character.

In the interests of gender parity, I’ve come up with my list of “worst fathers living on the planet”.

In no particular order:

Woody Allen – for marrying his stepdaughter and that tiny issue of child sexual abuse

Charlie Sheen: for multiple accounts of domestic violence and years of substance abuse. After all, if it makes Mueller a bad mother, then it certainly makes Sheen a bad father – and that’s without the small issue of Sheen actually shooting a former girlfriend in the arm.

Andrew Parsons: Call me persnickety, but a man who kills the mother of his child in front of the child is  not a “good father” like the judge claimed.

Every single father who perpetrates domestic and/or sexual violence and abuse.

Every single man who has murdered the mother of his children. Or his children.

Foyles think women are thick as pig shit

Apparently, Foyles think women are too stupid to read books. Because nothing says we respect our customers like this piece of sexist drivel:

Don’t be discouraged if your mothers uses the book you gave her to press flowers. Any reason to open a book is a good one.

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You do have to wonder who is in charge of their advertising since it’s widely recognised that women buy the majority of books – for themselves and for presents for other people. It isn’t really the  best advertising tactic to insult the intelligence of your largest customer base. At least, I wouldn’t have thought so. But, what do I know: I’m only a mother and clearly too dim to have opinions and shit.

<thanks to Julia Hilliard for flagging this up!>

Is sexism still acceptable when racism isn’t?

I’ve seen this sentence used numerous times in the past few weeks in feminist blogs and online discussions and it horrifies me. The idea that racism is no longer acceptable comes from such a place of privilege that I struggle to understand how someone could genuinely believe this. UKIP have increased their membership and won a local election. They dominate the media. The Tories anti-immigration policies are inherently racist and are getting stronger because they are appealing to racist voters. This is with discussing the lack of representation of Black* people in the media and the higher echelons of business and industry. To claim that racism is no longer acceptable is to perpetuate white supremacist culture. It completely erases the experiences of Black people and actively implies they are making shit up when they point out racism. It is an asinine statement to make and those making it need to do some self-reflection on their own racist behaviour.

Setting up racism and sexism as a dichotomy also completely erases the lives of women of colour. It assumes that the experiences of white women with sexism are qualitatively worse than Black men with racism. It ignores the fact that Black women experience both racism and sexism and these cannot be separated. It also completely negates any discussion of class – both within and outwith racism and sexism.

Feminists need to stop using the phrase “why is sexism still acceptable when racism isn’t” and start reflecting on their own participation and privilege within white supremacy culture. We need to challenge women who believe this and we need to start acknowledging that racism and sexism are not separate entities: that they work together and that all white women have privilege over Black women and that poverty does not erase this privilege. An analysis of women as a class requires understanding how classism, racism, misogyny, and lesbophobia work together to oppress all women but that those oppressions are experienced very differently for individual women. Misogyny was the first form of oppression but that does not mean it exists outwith other forms of oppression now – or that there is a hierarchy of oppression.

The theory of intersectionality is important and it needs to be reclaimed from those who have not bothered to read Kimberle Crenshaw’s work.

 

*I’m using Black as a political category with the understanding that racism is experienced differentially within/ outwith specific communities.

Language Does Matter: FGM is not “cissexist”

These four tweets have been appearing in my TL for days.

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The term FGM is not cissexist. Female genital mutilation, as defined by the World Health Organisation,

“includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. … FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

This definition does not even begin to describe the actual practise and consequences of female genital mutilation. The long-term consequences of FGM includes: sterility, difficulty urinating, increased infant and maternal mortality, fistulas, bleeding, and infections. As an organisation, the WHO has serious problems with misogyny, racism, and classism. It replicates capitalist, patriarchal white supremacist controls over women’s bodies, an allegiance to wealthy industrialised nations and far too much investment from pharmaceutical corporations whose whole raison d’être is making money: not helping people.

Yet, even the WHO recognises that FGM is a form of violence against women and girls. It is only performed on girls. We need to be able to name this crime – just as we need to name every other form of violence against women and girls. We will not end violence against women and girls by obfuscating language.

We need to be able to talk about abortion, access to birth control, and all other forms of reproductive justice as women’s issues. We need to recognise and label these as forms of violence against women and girls. We need to be clear that male circumcision is not equivalent to female genital mutilation. It may not be medically necessary and it may cause pain to infant boys, but it does not maim and kill infant boys like the practise of female genital mutilation does. Circumcision does not cause sterility or result in difficulty in urination. It doesn’t kill.

It is not “cissexist” to talk about the biological reality of women’s bodies and the damage done to them within a capitalist-patriarchy. Frankly, even the suggestion that it is “cissexist” demonstrates a fundamental inability to actually understand the reality of lives of women and girls in our world. I am incredibly angry at living in a society in which identity politics have not only erased all political and theoretical understandings of the oppression of women as a class but that we have to see this type of bullshit bandied about as if it’s The Most Important Thing Ever Written. It’s not. It’s just the same women-hating shite that we have to deal with on a daily basis.

The term FGM is not “cissexist” and suggesting that it is is misogyny.