Frank Maloney is not a ‘butterfly’. He is a violent man.

Frank Maloney has a history of domestic violence. Quite a few people seem keen to forget this fact in their rush to deify him since transitioning. Today’s erasure of male violence comes from Polly Toynbee in her article ‘Here’s why feminism must embrace transpeople’:

there was also the jolt of a macho boxing promoter emerging like a butterfly as Kellie Maloney.

Granted, anyone who refers to political disagreements between women as ‘catfights’ isn’t exactly practising feminism, but completely erasing Maloney’s history of violence is inherently anti-woman. Transitioning does not magically make one a better person. And, it helps no one to pretend it does.

 

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.

Mrs Doubtfire is Patriarchy in Action.

I have always hated the film Mrs Doubtfire as I thought it was creepy. As a teenager, I never understood how a useless father who lost custody of his children in the divorce due to his useless, incompetent and lazy parenting. Hell, even the editors at Wikipedia – who are not known for their feminist analysis – get that this a film about a pathetic man:

His wife, Miranda (Sally Field), considers him irresponsible and immature, and their marriage is on the rocks. When Daniel throws Chris a birthday party despite his bad report card, Miranda loses her temper and asks for a divorce. At their first custody hearing, the judge provisionally grants Miranda custody of the children, as Daniel has neither a suitable residence nor a steady job.

The entire premise of the film is that the character of Daniel Hillard, played by Robin Williams, is a dickhead. This isn’t a loveable film about a man supporting his ex-partner and children. This is a man who had a temper tantrum at being held accountable for his piss-poor fathering and instead of taking responsibility for the consequences of his behaviour, he chose to lie to his children and ex-partner by dressing up as a female housekeeper. The idea that his ex-partner Miranda is too stupid to notice that her new “housekeeper” is, in fact, her ex-husband in drag demonstrates a remarkable lack of belief in women’s intelligence.

My analysis as a teenager wasn’t feminist. It was just disbelief that a useless father could miraculously become a better one overnight. You don’t need to be a feminist to look at the fathers of all your friends – who have little to no contact and commit financial abuse of their children by their refusal to pay maintenance – to understand that whitewashing a man’s laziness helps no one. The ending of the film is all about evil women and nasty judges punishing men for being useless and the children being devastated at their father being removed from their lives. Miranda got full custody of the children because the father REPEATEDLY lied to her, the children and the judge. Having a steady job and a permanent address does not undo years of piss-poor parenting and lies. The premise of the film is that children are men’s possessions and it doesn’t matter how shit a parent they are, the children will be harmed by being parented properly by their mother. The fact that evidence points out the exact opposite of this is always ignored, even with an abusive father, because father’s rights are always more important than the health and wellbeing of the children involved.

I haven’t seen Mrs Doubtfire in years  and it wasn’t until I saw this shared on Facebook that I realized the subtext of the film that I had been missing for years:

Angela LeeI was just telling Jitana that Mrs. Doubtfire was a tribute to domestic violence and stalking. Yup, one of the most famous comedies in fact romanticizes IPV stalking. Women are always the joke.

I hadn’t even realized that this film was about stalking and intimate partner violence. I had always focused on the relationship with the children. The stalking of the mother and the wearing down of her boundaries is classic abusive behaviour. Being “jealous” of Miranda’s relationship with a new man isn’t the behaviour of a good man – it’s the behaviour of an abusive man who believes his ex-wife is also his possession. Daniel has no right to interfere with his ex-wife’s new relationships. He has no right to stalk her and he has no right to manipulate her. Lying to Miranda and the children about who he is isn’t a funny movie plot. It’s the creepy behaviour of a classically abusive man.

We need to stop pretending these kinds of films are just a bit of fun. They reinforce male ownership of children, stalking as appropriate behaviour for men and rewarding men for not being assholes. Children aren’t rewards. And, a lifetime of piss-poor parenting and irresponsible behaviour cannot be overcome by lying to your children.

Anthony Kiedis: Moving from Sexiest Rocker to Creepy Old Man

A friend sent me a link to these images because they know I’m a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Apparently, they are from the Russian version of Vogue and are supposed to be a fashion shoot. You know, if you think soft porn constitutes a fashion shoot; as most of the fashion industry seems to believe. Normally, I’d ignore the images and wonder about whether or not Anthony’s considered therapy for his quite serious inability to date a woman over the age of 21 but these images are just, well, creepy.

Here we have “woman with breasts” shocker.

And, here we have “creepy old man with naked women” 

I’m really going to have to bin all of my RHCP albums, aren’t I?  

(sighs)

Jimmy Savile Did Not "Groom the Nation"

I thought this was obvious. I didn’t think it was something that feminists would have to start shouting from the rooftops:

Met Commander Peter Spindler was correct when he called Savile a “predatory, serial sex offender”.


Spindler was wrong about Savile ‘grooming the nation”.

Jimmy Savile did NOT groom the nation.

Millions of people had no idea he was predatory, serial sex offender.

But, people did know.

We know they knew because Savile was not allowed to be involved in Children in Need.

We know people knew because they have been telling us they knew.


We know the police and CPS were aware because people told them.

Jimmy Savile did not groom the nation. He was allowed to continue abusing because he was a ‘celebrity’. Pretending that he “groomed the nation” allows those who knew to minimise and obfuscate their guilt. Those who knew and did nothing are guilty of helping Savile in sexually assaulting hundreds of children and adults. I say hundreds but we will never know how many.


The term “grooming the nation” only serves to silence victims. It serves those predatory, serial sex offenders who are still harming people. It makes Jimmy Savile a one-off case that will never be repeated. 

But, Jimmy Savile isn’t the only one. He will never be the only one. 

“Grooming the Nation” is about making bystanders feel better about having done absolutely nothing to protect vulnerable children and adults from a serial sex offender.

It not only absolved bystanders of responsibility; it gives them a space to be feted and petted in the press by journalists unwilling to look too closely at their own responsibility for reinforcing rape culture.

Jimmy Savile was a predatory, serial sex offender because people stood by and did nothing to stop him

How many other men are there today harming children and other adults safe in the knowledge that those around know and will do nothing to stop them?

(A longer version of this piece has been published by the Huffington Post)

Hugo Schwyzer is Not a Feminist

Normally, I’m not one for telling people whether or not they can self-define as feminists. I think it’s rude and pointless. We all come to feminism from different perspectives and are all at different points of our feminist journey. It’s counter-productive to insist on the right to label, or not, others. That said, there some pretty basic tenets of feminism that aren’t negotiable. Perpetrators of domestic violence, rape and other forms of MVAW aren’t feminists. I do think it is possible for men who express anti-feminist statements to change. I don’t think violent men can change enough to ever be feminists.

This is why I am genuinely perplexed by the fawning that Hugo Schwyzer receives. He has consistently minimised his history of violence against women. Schwyzer writes of being an “accidental rapist” and “accidentally endangering” a former partner in a murder-suicide attempt.

I have no time for men who seek to minimise their personal history of MVAW by claiming personality disorders or drug addiction. Being a feminist means taking responsibility for one’s actions and the consequences therein. Claiming that an episode of MVAW was “drug-fuelled” isn’t taking responsibility. It is minimising one’s responsibility. There is a huge difference between the statements “I am a recovering drug addict but my addiction does not minimise my culpability for the violence I committed” and “it was accidental VAW because I was stoned”. 

One is forgivable because it involves genuine remorse. The other is not. 

Real male feminist/ feminist allies get this. They understand that their behaviour has no excuse, that it would remain unforgivable for many women and they don’t insist on trying to get women to forgive them. They take responsibility for their actions and words quietly and without requiring cookies and blowjobs for being good boys.

Hugo Schwyzer needs to start listening to women. He needs to start acknowledging that there are valid reasons that women find him frightening and then he needs to stop trying to intimidate them into silence. When he stops trying to silence women, I might be willing to engage with his work. As long as he continues to embrace the silencing of women who disagree with him, Schwyzer will never be a feminist.

And, let’s be realistic here, if Mike Tyson, who has a similar history of domestic violence and rape, were to start referring to himself as a feminist whilst blithering on about hegemonic masculinity, no feminists would be lining up behind him to stroke his ego and insist on his admittance to feminist spaces. We’d be laughing our asses off at him. Schwyzer is allowed in because he’s white. That’s a huge problem that white feminists need to address because we are silencing our sisters by allowing Schwyzer to continue pontificating as if he were the Messiah of Feminism.


Eat Battery Farmed Chickens and Save Women: Challenging PETA’s Reinforcement of Rape Culture


I know that this flies in the face of common sense and compassion but bear with me here. PETA’s campaigns are based on the idea that the objectification, sexualisation, and torture of women’s bodies are a great way to raise awareness of animal rights. They glamorise, romanticise and eroticise Violence against Women because they refuse to either acknowledge the construction of “woman as object” within the Patriarchy, or take responsibility for the harm they cause to women by their campaigns. PETA usually uses the bodies of young, thin, blonde, white women as a canvas for their protest. Whilst their protests garner public attention, it isn’t because people are interested in animal rights. PETA have become a spectacle; their message lost in medium of their protest. PETA also seem to have completely forgotten what exactly they have been campaigning for and instead have become obsessed with out-porning the porn industry in their objectification of tortured women’s bodies.

PETA’s newest campaign is called “Fur Trim is Unattractive” and it has been getting considerable amount of press for both the level of misogyny and the generalised nincompoopery within it. It isn’t a new campaign though. It is yet another recycled campaign designed to shock; despite being neither original nor interesting. It’s the normal “women with pubic hair are unfuckable” motif, as evidenced by the entire porn industry. One would have thought that an organisation who campaigns against the cosmetic industry’s animal testing practises might be aware of the links between pornography, the fashion-beauty complex, and the unnecessary torture of animals. One would be wrong. The very last thing PETA is, is self-aware. Nor do they care that they are supposedly campaigning to prevent the torture of animals by financially profiting from the torturing the bodies of vulnerable women in porn.

Whilst it is undoubtedly unpleasant, the “Fur is Unattractive” campaign is actually rather tame for PETA. Over the past few years, their campaigns and street protests have become increasingly violent and quite deliberate in their use of Violence against Women. They are no longer content with using the bodies of naked women or even carving up women’s bodies as if we were meat. This year alone they have had one advertisement, developed for the Superbowl, banned for having women simulate sex with vegetables; an ad which was only marginally less offensive from Voina’s ‘protest’ art involving women having sex with frozen chickens. Their second ad campaign this year, entitled ‘Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me’, should have been called An Ode to Violence Against Women: The Romance Period. It features a physically and sexually assaulted woman wearing a neck brace and covered in bruises because her boyfriend, newly vegan, has pounded her in every way possible. Apparently some of the unfortunate consequences of veganism and the subsequent “mind-blowing intercourse” are “sex injuries such as whiplash, pulled muscles, rug burn, and even a dislocated hip.” That isn’t sex. It is rape.

A third campaign developed this year to celebrate World Vegan Day involves a large number of men gyrating, in increasingly more violent ways, with vegetables in place of their penis. Surprisingly, nothing makes me want to give up bacon like a Dude with a cucumber for a penis, or so I’m lead to believe. I’m not entirely sure what PETA was aiming for with this but this is pretty much the definition of creepy:

“A cucumber has never looked so good – or so wicked. In honour of World Vegan Day, watch this spicy video that gives a wink to the sexual health benefits of going vegan by showcasing men enthusiastically and proudly showing off some healthy protrusions from their trousers.”

PETA have pretty much become a parody of themselves. It would be amusing if it weren’t for their constant perpetuation and perpetration of rape culture.

So, I say we start eating battery-farmed chickens to raise awareness of the objectification, sexualisation and torture of women’s bodies. After all, PETA doesn’t care how it raises awareness or who funds its campaigns, so why should feminists? PETA have gone so far as to develop their own porn channel to supposedly raise awareness of the abuse of animals. You don’t see feminist groups raising funds by offering to kill rabbits live on the web; perhaps we should.

I believe PETA’s advertising campaigns buy into the hyper-sexualised and hyper-masculinised culture in which women are treated as no more than Patriarchal fucktoys. PETA support, perpetuate, and perpetrate rape culture.

So, if PETA wants to reduce the discourse on animal cruelty to simply objectifying women as an advertising tool and encouraging rape culture, I’m going to start buying battery-farmed chickens.