Femmostroppo Reader – November 4, 2009

Items of interest found recently in my RSS feed. What did I miss? Please share what you've been reading (and writing!) in the comments.

  • Let's Get a Few Things Straight, Shall We?
  • – “Don’t get me wrong: I do not, for a second, want to deny or downplay Claudia McClean’s experience here. It shows just how fucked up this heteronormative binary bullshit is. But it’s a problem with the heteronormative binary bullshit, to which some doctors can and do subscribe, too, not a problem with the fact that trans people exist! There’s a difference! And trans people are more aware of said bullshit, and what it means to transgress it, than cis people could ever be!”

  • But It Was Only A Fantasy: North Carolina Opinion Reveals Troubling Exception to the State’s Rape Shield Rule
  • – “The North Carolina law is an explicit expression of distrust of women accusing men of rape. However, women’s rape fantasies (a controversial subject in itself) are not necessarily–or even usually–linked to real-world desires to be raped. The law contributes directly to the “no means yes” stereotype that encourages male aggression and female passivity. It seems particularly outrageous to imagine that women are unable to distinguish these fantasies from reality in such numbers that the issue required legislation. The North Carolina law is unusually invasive because the fantasy provision also allows evidence of sexual history if it pertains to sexual confabulation and fantasy. The existence of the statute implies an authoritative stance on a supposed female predisposition to confuse fantasies of rape with the real thing.”

  • I Get Discussed in Forums
  • – “I share this mess for this reason: Every day, feminist women—some of them fat, some of them survivors of sexual assault—start blogs. This is what they will face. Because of that, every day, feminist women close blogs.

    I will never, ever, argue that women (or men) should tolerate abuse to keep blogging. All of us must do what we need to keep ourselves safe, first and foremost. Always do what is best for you, and if that means locking the door on an internet space and throwing away the key, do it and don’t regret it and don’t feel weak. Taking care of yourself is evidence of strength, and no one should tell you otherwise.”

  • Polanski's victim asks to be left alone
  • – “If you haven’t been raped and sodomized, if you haven’t been called a hooker by Gore Vidal, don’t say you know how she feels. I don’t. That’s why I haven’t named her. And that’s why I’m sick to death of reading editorials saying that this isn’t about her. It’s exactly about her. It’s not about every other rape case in the world, or the system, or some potential slippery slope. It’s about letting the victim have a vote, about allowing someone who has been powerless set the terms herself. It’s about her.”

  • Mary Wollstonecraft wept
  • – “if you have to have surgery and injections to enable your otherwise healthy feet to sustain a day in silly shoes, then perhaps that’s just going a step too far”

  • Sometimes It's Too Late To Say You Aren't A Rape Apologist
  • – “Her definition of what it means to be a boy is nonsense. Boy does not equal being a drunk sexual predator unless adults are teaching boys that’s what they need to be in order to become men. If this is happening then these boys and men need to be avoided until they reject the garbage being fed to them by people like Holmquist.”

  • The conversion of a pro-choice warrior
  • – “Then there is the issue of her claim of pressure to increase the number of abortions performed at the clinic as a way of raking in more dough. That allegation contradicts Planned Parenthood’s guiding mission, which is pregnancy prevention — but more important, it contradicts the fact of the organization’s business: Only 3 percent of all health services provided by Planned Parenthood are abortion. Of course, Johnson knows this as well as anybody. In fact, she cited this very statistic in one of her radio interviews in September.”

  • Feminist Spoons
  • – “I have it when there is a feminist action going on which I am not well enough to get to. I think of little else the whole time I should be there, I berate myself and feel thoroughly miserable. It then doesn’t help when it is implied at a later date that those who did not attend were not committed enough, didn’t care enough, aren’t good enough.”

  • Screaming, Or Not
  • – Shaker Zan sharews her story of pre-emptive silencing – how her conditioning to “not make a fuss” meant that she didn’t scream when surrounded by 3 strange men in a strange country, ans what that means for all of us.

  • Apology forces trans law change – starobserver.com.au
  • – “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been forced to drop its policy prohibiting transgender people from obtaining a passport in their lived-sex to travel abroad for gender re-alignment surgery.”

  • The (not so) Little Things: Rules for My Unborn Son – How (not) to Teach Masculinity
  • – Stephanie notes how twisted it is that a father thinks he needs to explicitly teach his son “don’t be a rapist” and how it is ultimately an example of swimming in rape culture without acknowledging it.

Disclaimer/SotBO: a link here is not necessarily an endorsement of all opinions of the post author(s) either in the particular post or of their writing in general.

Categories: linkfest

Tags: , ,

15 replies

  1. I know we’re already having the “just because you choose it doesn’t make your choice feminist” debate elsewhere, but I have to say the phrase “silly shoes” makes me cringe. Plus the “ZOMG HEALTH!!!” judgement call. There’s a big difference between “check you haven’t torn a ligament” and “like wearing shoes that are uncomfy”.

  2. I read it as laying down a dividing line for where fun/fashion/art shoes become silly – at the point where it requires surgery/injections to walk in them for any length of time.
    Separately, as a lapsed physio, high heels seriously do fuck up your feet in the long term, even if you can sustain wearing them right now. I appreciate the aesthetics of a fancy shoe, but high heels came about as a way for people who had litter-bearers/carriages to show the proles that they didn’t have to walk to get around. Wearing them to walk in will fuck you up, especially if you have a family history of bunions – there’s a reason that so many geriatric women have foot surgery compared to geriatric men, and it makes a huge difference in how long independent living remains a possibility in one’s old age.

  3. But referring to the shoes as “silly” assumes it’s an objective statement, and disparages people who like wearing really high heels. Humans do plenty of things that “fuck them up” physically, but that’s again drawing an “objective” line about health and is exactly the same argument used against fat people to tell them what they should (or more often, should not) eat. Nobody owes staying in perfect health to anybody, or maintaining “natural” feet, or not bleaching their hair because “it’ll dry it out”, or any other number of “harmful” things we do.
    There’s a whole argument to be had about patriarchal beauty standards, about pressure to conform to current fashions, about the lack of attention many shoe companies pay to comfort and wearability. But making it about “health” ties in to too many other types of oppression which actually have bugger all to do with a person being healthy.

    • But referring to the shoes as “silly” assumes it’s an objective statement

      Really? It’s an opinion, surely.

      But making it about “health” ties in to too many other types of oppression which actually have bugger all to do with a person being healthy.

      There I was thinking that oppressive groups were co-opting effective rational health-related criticism for their own nefarious purposes. Casting the rational health-related criticism as the villain seems seriously arse-about.

    • @QoT

      Nobody owes staying in perfect health to anybody, or maintaining “natural” feet, or not bleaching their hair because “it’ll dry it out”, or any other number of “harmful” things we do.

      I have to rush out the door, but this sentence has stuck in my head overnight. I wouldn’t mind exploring it later.

  4. Thanks for the link, Tigtog.

  5. Gore Vidal joins Bob Ellis in the growing pile of supposedly progressive intellectuals whose misogyny is so virulent I will never bother reading them again.

  6. Thank you for the links, Tigtog, and another thanks for continuing to do these round-ups, which I always enjoy.

  7. There are a large number of jobs that require the women in them to wear high heels. I remember when I worked for a while as a cocktail waitress and chose a sports bar because I thought I’d get to wear sneakers. What a hope! I was required to wear 2″ heels and wasn’t allowed to sit down unless it was my break. I can just imagine the bosses telling the workers who complain, “There’s a procedure to help you with that!” Shudder.

  8. That is such good news. What fabulous work by Caitlin and the Shakesville crew.

  9. Thanks for the link! Though, you made my point much more eloquently and concisely!

  10. This has been out for a little bit, but in case anyone missed it, here is Marcia Clark demolishing the claim that the judge in the Polanski case welched on an agreement: The Lost Polanski Transcripts

  11. Thanks for the link love!

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