[TW: Rape] That’s at the core of a lot of this, the idea that if we make rape of unconscious people a crime, then there’s no “consequences” to girls drinking a lot/being “slutty”/etc… Rape as corrective tool is at the heart of a lot of rape culture attitudes, including that prisoners deserve to be raped, rape to punish/fix queer people (“rape you straight”, etc), rape as a tool of torture, rape as part of “hazing,” and that women who are “bad” (sex workers, “slutty,” drink a lot, wear few clothes, etc.) deserve “consequences” for their behavior. Behind a lot of rape apologia is the undercurrent of “but if we stop this, how will these people get punished for acting against how I think they should?”

Part of the refusal to focus the responsibility and agency of committing the crime on the rapists (“what do you expect would happen?” as if the rapists are like a force of nature) is that these people DO think she deserved to be punished for her behaviour that they disapprove of, and they LIKE the idea that there are other people who will punish her for it. They WANT rape to be something that “just happens” to you if you’re bad, or go to jail, or whatever, rather than focusing on who does it, because if you do the latter, you might stop it, and if you stop it, then there’s no punishment…

Rape apologists believe that women acting a certain way is something that should be “corrected.” They just don’t want to be the ones to do it, but it’s useful to them if others “fix” the problem for them. So, it’s useful to them if homophobes believe that killing somebody is self defense because of “gay panic,” or men believe that raping an unconscious woman is something they can’t (and therefore don’t need to) control. It allows them to have something “uncontrollable” to threaten people with, and put the onus on the victim to avoid getting killed/raped rather than on the perpetrator, because in the victim-blaming narrative, there isn’t one. The rapist is like the wind, and the victim is a person who built their house poorly.

And that’s why people also are defending the rapists and acting as if it’s unfair for them to be convicted of a crime, because they believe these people weren’t wrong, that without them, how would this girl be punished? What would be the consequences of her drinking too much as a girl without the rapists? How could you threaten women to behave in our society if there isn’t a threat of rape? These guys were just enacting the “consequences” that they wanted her to face for being a girl and drinking too much.

The rapist as force of nature, rather than human being responsible for choosing to assault somebody, is really important to rape culture, to rape as corrective social tool, and a way to control women’s behaviour. In a way, these rape apologists aren’t wrong when they claim they aren’t blaming her for being raped because in order to blame her, you’d have to think her rape was wrong in the first place. And to them, it wasn’t, because to them, she’s the one that did something wrong. She’s the one that partied, drank, and flirted as a girl. She deserved punishment. To them, the rape wasn’t wrong. It was justice.

Let me tell you some things.

I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.

First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?

Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?

End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?

You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?

And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)

In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!

Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?

“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.

(Source: clickthefrog, via iamlittlei)

The White Beauty Myth

spacejam:

Important (though with a slightly misleading title!).

Also: Lupita Nyong’o is awesome and inspiring, but that she’s one of the only people we point to as a representation of of dark-skinned beauty in the media should be a red flag - she should be one of MANY people we point to. The same way Reagan made “model minorities” out of Asian-immigrant employees in the 80s in order to say, “See? We’re not racist. We totally think Asian people are a great minority!”, we can’t make Lupita Nyong’o the “model minority” of WOC in the media to say, “See? We’re not racist. We totally represent dark-skinned WOC!” We can’t expect her to break the system alone.

This.

My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and—cod help me—Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.

And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie.

I want to mourn the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, and I want to question why the deaths of Renisha McBride and Islan Nettles and Kathryn Johnston haven’t gotten similar traction. Why the beating of Marlene Pinnock isn’t on all of our lips. Why the nation is not familiar with the names of Stephanie Maldonado, or of Ersula Ore. And how many women’s names do we not know because they don’t dare come forward? Because the violence they experience at the hands of the police is sexual, and the shame and stigma around sexual violence silences them?

"My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”

whitethornwolf:

A moment of silence for the fictional wives who died to justify the protagonist’s chronic manpain

Boom.

(Source: wardenblues-inactive, via badassladyknight)

I don’t consider myself a feminist, I prefer to call myself a humanist or an egalitarian.
Surprise, surprise.

Surprise, surprise.

(Source: sonofbaldwin, via mangocupcakes)

Let’s examine a traditionally male-dominated role that is very well-respected, and well-paid, in many parts of the world — that of a doctor. In the UK, it is listed as one of the top ten lucrative careers, and the average annual income of a family doctor in the US is well into six figures. It also confers on you significant social status, and a common stereotype in Asian communities is of parents encouraging their children to become doctors.

One of my lecturers at university once presented us with this thought exercise: why are doctors so highly paid, and so well-respected? Our answers were predictable. Because they save lives, their skills are extremely important, and it takes years and years of education to become one. All sound, logical reasons. But these traits that doctors possess are universal. So why is it, she asked, that doctors in Russia are so lowly paid? Making less than £7,500 a year, it is one of the lowest paid professions in Russia, and poorly respected at that. Why is this?

The answer is crushingly, breathtakingly simple. In Russia, the majority of doctors are women. Here’s a quote from Carol Schmidt, a geriatric nurse practitioner who toured medical facilities in Moscow: “Their status and pay are more like our blue-collar workers, even though they require about the same amount of training as the American doctor… medical practice is stereotyped as a caring vocation ‘naturally suited‘ to women, [which puts it at] a second-class level in the Soviet psyche.”

What this illustrates perfectly is this — women are not devalued in the job market because women’s work is seen to have little value. It is the other way round. Women’s work is devalued in the job market because women are seen to have little value.
Fuck you, American Apparel.

Fuck you, American Apparel.

Abortion is often framed as a mercy bestowed upon a woman who has committed the “crime” of having had sex. Mercy is something that someone else grants you, however, and not something you can simply decide for yourself that you deserve. That’s what people are stabbing at when they say they don’t want women to use abortion “as birth control.” The fear is that a woman might get an abortion without feeling remorseful or may, gasp, even feel like she’s entitled to it without having to apologize or grovel. Basically, people are uneasy with leaving the decision of whether or not an abortion is deserved to the woman seeking it herself. What a lot of people in the gray area between pro- and anti-choice want is for women to have to justify themselves in order to get abortions, even if it’s something as simple as making women feel ashamed of themselves for what they supposedly did wrong.

The problem with that, beyond the inherent sexism of it, is that there’s no real legal way to make women justify themselves, besides maybe making them sign a piece of paper that says, “I’m sorry I was a naughty girl who had sex. Can I please have my abortion now?” Roe v Wade sets things like time limits and Planned Parenthood v Casey says that there can be no “undue burden” to access, but the court decisions that shape abortion law don’t speak to “good” vs. “bad” reasons to have abortions, and for good reason. Abortion is medical treatment. It goes against basic medical ethics to require a patient to argue their moral worth before they are permitted access to health care they require.

we're screw-ups. I'm a screw-up and I plan to be a screw-up until my late 20s, maybe even my early 30s.

25-year-old east coast women's college graduate with a laptop and no original thoughts.

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spending all day every day watching movies and television.