Me the Living

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13 posts tagged feminism

The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned, and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependant on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire. … Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Woman’s Bible (via cocknbull)

Why is it always something that is “lost”? You don’t “lose” the first time you ride a bike or the first time you swim in the ocean or the first time you drive a car. You don’t “lose” your first kiss. You don’t “lose” the first time you fall in love. They just happen. They’re just life. So why is it that the first time you have sex you’re supposed to have lost something so sacred? Why is it that society acts like girls who have had sex have forever lost this mythical “virginity” and they are no longer as pure and complete as more “wholesome” girls? Because if society acts like having sex makes you lose everything pure and moral about you, it makes you ashamed. Because if women are afraid of their sexuality, you can control them. If you don’t have sex, don’t have sex. If you do have sex, be careful. But don’t act like you’ve lost or kept something based on your decision.

that weird girl who hugs trees and talks to cats: Virginity is so stupid. (via cocknbull)

(via creatorbreakdown)

Essentially, the idea of a “slut” is a myth told to women to keep them in their place. Just as Santa will not actually bring you coal on Christmas if you break a few of the house rules, you will not actually turn into an intrinsically tainted, unpalatable creature if you break one of society’s rules and have sex with one too many men. The word “slut” isn’t a criticism for having too much sex necessarily, but for being a woman: a real, living, breathing woman with quirks, foibles, normal sexual feelings, and personality; and failing to live up to the societal ideal for a woman: the passive, pliable, perpetually innocent, and sexually available Barbie doll.

The Slut Myth (via seancing)

(via creatorbreakdown)

The pope. The cheeky, interfering pope is coming over to Britain and he’s criticised the Equality Bill. He said it’s an infringement of religious freedom. Basically he’s saying he doesn’t like the extension of gay rights and equality for women. That’s what he said, he’s interfering. I don’t think anyone should take any notice of him. Those are the laws of this country… I think the pope should just shut the fuck up.

Sean Lock (via schbank)

(via creatorbreakdown)

Being born a woman is an awful tragedy… Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars - to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording - all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…

Sylvia Plath, on rape culture (via orcrist)

(via jonathan-cunningham)

… [T]he existence of greater crimes does not excuse lesser crimes, and no one has even tried to equate this incident to any of the horrors above. What these situations demand is an appropriate level of response: a man who beats a woman to death has clearly committed an immensely greater crime than a man who harasses a woman in an elevator; let us fit the punishment to the crime. Islamic injustice demands a worldwide campaign of condemnation of the excesses and inhumanity of that religion.

The elevator incident demands…a personal rejection and a woman nicely suggesting to the atheist community that they avoid doing that. And that is what it got. That is all Rebecca Watson did. For those of you who are outraged at that, I ask: which part of her response fills you with fury? That a woman said no, or that a woman has asked men to be more sensitive?

I think reasonable men will be quite capable of both opposing Islamic fundamentalism with vigor and refraining from driving away their godless colleagues with petty harassment, colleagues who may well be even more fervent and dedicated to our common cause of promoting equality all around the world. These are not mutually contradictory actions. They are complementary and necessary. Our goal isn’t to set the bar of equality at a level slightly higher than the situation in Saudi Arabia, or to some point somewhere around the significantly more enlightened (but still not adequate) level in America, but at a point where every woman has the same rights and privileges as every man, where women don’t have to fear being raped, and yes, where women don’t have to face this dismaying, depressing, common situation of seeing their autonomy disrespected and their compatriots rushing to excuse loutish behavior.

PZ Myers (via rev)

(via creatorbreakdown)


How exciting! Fantasy is so fun! You can do anything you want to your universe, because it’s fantasy - which is really great, because you’ve always wanted cats to talk and everyone else to share your distaste of squash. Plus you could have magic! Or not, you know, low-fantasy works too. Maybe it will be another Epic/High fantasy, and surely you’ve got a trilogy in the works, or perhaps you’re writing steam punk…anything your heart desires! This is so fun!

What’s that you say? You say you have a hero in mind? Wonderful! Your hero is a strapping young farmboy? Yes? Well, okay. It’s been done before, but I trust you. He’s an orphan, you say? And the Chosen one? Oh, well alright. (Hey you steampunk novelist. Don’t walk away. I noticed you were writing about a young boy who wants to be an airship mechanic. It’s okay, just keep following along.) There’s a great big evil he must defeat in order to save his town, village, country, or the world? Well yes, there does need to be some antagonism in this story, so I’ll let that go, and of course your big evil needs monster or henchmen or something, and yes, this kid really does need a wiser, more experienced person to hel-he’s a man too?

Well you know it wasn’t uncommon for older men and younger male warriors in training to carry on relationships in certain societ- hmm? Oh they’re not gay? Are you sure?

I suppose. If you really feel that way. I just thought it would be interesting and realistic is all, but let’s get back to your story. So he needs a mentor, because he’s only a farmboy, and this older man actually knows what’s going on, but he can’t explain because…well you can think of why later.

What’s that? Oh! There’s a girl character? Lovely! What’s she like? I’m sure the hero here needs a friend, perhaps, or maybe a sister, or another advisor, and maybe just maybe- oh.

She’s the love interest?

Are you sure?

She’s particularly beautiful. Sweet, giving, and has been eying the hero now that he’s gone through some warrior training, and of course she’s graceful. (Is she an elf?) Oh, you gave her a sword. Well that’s a relief, those monsters/henchmen we tossed out into your world are crawling all over the place and so it’s a good thing to keep- she can’t wield it, can she?

No, no, you gave her a broadsword. Her fingers are soft and smooth like silk, you just described this two pages ago. A swords woman has callouses. And even if youlie about that, or gloss over it, you just gave a petite blonde a broadsword. (Do you know what a broadsword is? Have you ever tried lifting one, and then swinging it around for a half hour? Nevermind, don’t do that. You’ll hurt yourself trying.) She just lost the fight. So the hero could save her.

Let’s do this over again.

Particularly beautiful, blahblahblah, no broadsword. Okay. Good. She can’t fight? Well no, she couldn’t fight, she was trying to wield a broadsword on foot. That’s just not practical. What, you mean she really cannot fight? Well that seems stupid, she needs to do something-embroidery?

She’s going to embroider things? And do what, make the perfect cross stitch?

It’s because she’s a woman?

She’s a woman so she can’t fight, but she likes to embroider-


We’ve gone too far! This is absurd. She lives in a world where danger is at every turn, and the worst she can do is bat her eyelashes and faint? Nevermind her craftiness, it’s not like she gets to use it to stitch wounds on the battlefield.

What do you mean it’s realistic?

This isn’t realistic! How is she alive when you’ve painted a big red target on her back that says “Beautiful noble thing the hero cares about - steal me, I’m helpless to stopping you!”? Well but she’s a woman, and women were supposed to be cooking and cleaning and having children in this time. What time? Whatever do you mean, dear novelist? It’s unrealistic to have her be powerful, she’s a girl!

But this is a fantasy novel! There’s no such thing as having to stick to one time period, and remember, we were so excited to do whatever we wanted to in the world because of this being a fantasy novel and all! But this is like Europe! It was a misogynistic society! There was patriarchy! I am trying to be accurate in my portrayals!


Fine, you know what? You want accuracy. That’s cool. It’s okay to base your world off of stuff in the real world. So that’s why she can’t fight! Why are you arguing with me on this?

Well because maybe it’s why she can’t fight! But maybe it’s not. Let’s just FORGET Europe.  Look at Japan - women in Samurai families could train with weapons in order to defend their homes! that was a patriarchal society, and they still trained those women to fight. Or how about Mongolia? Not only were women in charge of the supplies, home tents, and animals, but they could choose to marry and were supposed to initiate sex. And they could fight or be a battle strategist too! And hey, Genghis Khan actually made selling, kidnapping, and raping women illegal under his rule! Maybe we can avoid implying that all brown people have mandatory rape festivals!

Get this, she doesn’t even have to fight to be powerful! Crazy, huh? A woman wrote the first modern novel, remember? Maybe she’s a novelist, and wrote the equivalent of the Tales of Genji. Maybe she’s a diplomat, some of the Mongolian women acted like that. Or maybe she’s an adviser - a political adviser. Maybe she’s the Queen! She’s not the Queen? Well, maybe she’s running the show behind the scenes. Or she’s a spy. 

Want to hear something even crazier? Not all societies function/ed under the western notion of what equality should be! Sometimes being the woman of the house means a whole hell of a lot because you run the place where people eat, sleep, and live. And the men have a totally different separate function in society that is not greater or lesser in standing. You remember seeing all those reblogs on why its not okay for white girls to run around in Native American war bonnets, right? They’re worn by men who have earned that right in battle, and women generally don’t wear them. They had their own regalia. A lot of non-western/white cultures don’t have the same norms, traditions, domains split between men and women but that doesn’t make it misogynistic or even unequal. Try looking up stuff like dual-sex/dual-gendered systems, female husbands, and matriarchies and patriarchies existing in the same culture or society. Not all cultures function the same way white Europeans do! Remember that when world building.

So your girl could totally be in charge of the household and not be a simpering helpless blonde. That household may put her equal to her husband or the hero who goes out and fights without a domain.

Remember that hero we had at the beginning? He’s now without supplies, transportation, food, a place to live, or any money or support. All he has are weapons. Because the women of your world are in control of the households. Men are warriors. Whoops. He’s not going to get very far without supplies. Now he has to learn to deal in this society by protecting the female domains who keep him supplied and clothed. Maybe he has to take up quests in order to afford the way to defeating the bad guy.

What’s that?

You want to write women who do stuff besides have babies? Awesome.

You still want her to be good at embroidery?

Fine by me. Just fine by me.

What do you do with that farm boy now? Don’t ask me, I don’t have the damnedest idea.

So this is pretty amazing.

(via soniassi-deactivated20120108)

There is a country where the leading cause of death of pregnant women is murder by a partner. In this same country, more than a million women were raped in 2008 and women are much more likely to live in poverty than men. Local laws don’t protect their right to bodily freedom and integrity; some rape laws even state that once a woman initially consents to sex, she doesn’t have the right to change her mind.

You may have caught on by now — yes, I’m talking about the United States.

Jessica Valenti, “Equality begins at home: U.S. lags pathetically behind other nations in some basic rights for women.” (via intoxicatedspirit)


(via creatorbreakdown)

‘That’s life!’ Fuck life. Cancer is life! That’s life, too. You don’t give a fuck about “life” when you use your bacterial scrub and genocide fuckin’ single-celled organisms. You don’t give a fuck about “life” when you’re shoving steak into your mouth. You don’t give a fuck about “life” when you’re going through chemotherapy for your fuckin’ cancer. But all of a sudden, when the life has the potential—the potential—to become a human being ONE DAY, then it’s special. Even though it’s a parasitic organism living off of someone else. If that person doesn’t want to support that life, what business is it of ours to come and say, “No, you have to [give birth]”? Especially given the fact that if that person does have that unwanted child because of state mandate, you think they’re gonna raise that child well, give that child a good life? Then people start talking, “Ooh, adoption! What about adoption?” Our orphanages are fuckin’ filled to the brim! You know how many kids there are in the fuckin’ system? Adoption is not a viable option at this point.

The Amazing Atheist: The Cult of Ron Paul, The Thin Woman (via cocknbull)

(via creatorbreakdown)


So I just got wind of the whole Rebecca Watson incident that happened at the atheist conference in Dublin and the response on PZ Myers’ site regarding the video that she made.

I have to say, I’m disappointed with the comments that Dawkins left:

Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and … yawn … don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so …

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.


I’m basically reiterating points in the Shakesville article, but Dawkins approaches the situation from a privileged, and arguably racist, standpoint. To compare the ‘types’ and ‘extent’ of misogyny and granting some over others the right to be complained about is unfair:

The implication is that women with relative privilege have no reason or right to “complain” as long as there are women who are experiencing something worse somewhere in the world—a truly despicable position given that it creates a justification for continued brutalization of women across the globe. Feminist scolds like Dawkins, who fancy themselves enlightened, recoil with horror at the suggestion that they support the violent oppression of women, and yet they nonetheless reference it at every opportunity they have in order to defend their lack of concern about injustices done to relatively privileged women in their own communities.

- Shakesville

And as “Molls” also noted in the comments, Dawkins continues to passionately fight the institution of religion in the West, even though atheists are being killed for their non-belief in other parts of the world.

On top of that, comparing whole ‘groups’ of women as exclusive, natural entities is problematic; it is racist, and in this case ignores the misogynistic (whether physical or not) and discriminatory experiences of women—with no regards to ‘race’, class, or gender—in America.

In further comments, Dawkins kept calling attention to the fact that this particular incident, or any incident where only words are exchanged do not have the potential to be harmful nor are anything to be concerned about. However, I have no doubt that Dawkins would disagree that “In God We Trust”, sermons, religious texts, and so on, are “just words”.

I’m not especially familiar with issues of feminism within the atheist community, but to see someone like Dawkins, who for the most part I admire, express these ignorant opinions is disheartening. I don’t doubt that many prominent and not-so-prominent atheists are also ignorantly privileged (which I find ironic because you’d think that being atheist would further open up their eyes to issues of privilege). 

Ugh. I just caught up on all of this. Yeah, I have to agree with you, Rev, that Dawkin’s comment was completely unsympathetic, un-called for, and entirely missing the point.

Words at the wrong time, in the wrong situation can seem threatening to a woman (yes, even a privileged white woman in the West) because we live constantly in a society that teaches us it’s OUR responsibility to be cautious of men and not THEIR responsibility not to harm women (or other humans in general). When a man asks a woman to have coffee at 4am in his apartment it is OBVIOUSLY a come on unless the man is absolutely daft and ignorant. Maybe it didn’t seem harmful to him but because she stated she was going to bed and was stuck in the elevator with him it made the situation uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. He could have stopped the elevator when she refused and seriously harmed/taken advantage of her. She, and other women, have to consider these scenarios constantly. It’s shitty and annoying and sad but it’s true.

It’s not a matter of her not being touched or raped  and only hearing words while these people in third world countries are having their genitals mutilated. In fact - those women shouldn’t have even been brought into the conversation. They don’t lessen any suffering she potentially went through or did go through mentally afterward. NO ONE should be put into an uncomfortable situation regardless of how much worse other people may have it.

Try again, Dawkins.

From an early age, boys are fitted with emotional straight-jackets tailored by a restricted code of behavior that falsely defines masculinity. In the context of “stop crying,” “stop those emotions,” and “don’t be a sissy,” we define what it means to “Be a Man!” Adherence to this “boy code” leaves many men dissociated from their feelings and incapable of accessing, naming, sharing, or accepting many of their emotions. When men don’t understand their own emotions it becomes impossible to understand the feelings of another. This creates an “empathy-deficit disorder” that is foundational to America’s epidemic of bullying, dating abuse and gender violence. Boys are taught to be tough, independent, distrusting of other males, and at all cost to avoid anything considered feminine for fear of being associated with women. This leads many men to renounce their common humanity with women so as to experience an emotional disconnect from them. Women often become objects, used to either validate masculine insecurity or satisfy physical needs. When the validation and satisfaction ends, or is infused with anger, control or alcohol, gender violence is often the result.

Joe Ehrmann, former NFL player, from “Men Can Stop Rape” (via loveyourchaos)

(via undercoverinthebay)

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Aaron Sorkin’s writing


Sam: Where’d you get the bathrobe?
C.J.: The gym.
Sam: There are bathrobes at the gym?
C.J.: In the women’s locker room.
Sam: But not the men’s.
C.J.: Yeah.
Sam: Now, that’s outrageous. There’s a thousand men working here and 50 women.
C.J.: Yeah, and it’s the bathrobes that’s outrageous.

- Bartlet’s Third State of the Union

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