The Radical Notion

Encouraging women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians

No One Cares September 29, 2009

[Trigger warning]

You know, you can think and write about patriarchy and rape culture and misogyny all day long until you think you’ve really got a handle on it, and all it takes is for someone to come along and give you a swift kick in the pants for everything to go completely to pot and you have to start all over again.

See, here’s the thing. Women are trained to fear rape. A lot. It’s something that women take completely for granted – it’s expected! – but that nobody who hasn’t lived as one can ever fully understand.

Don’t walk alone at night! Don’t get drunk in public places! Don’t wear revealing clothing! Don’t take a drink from someone you don’t know! Take self-defense classes! Walk confidently! Don’t wear your hair in a ponytail! Hold your keys in your fist so as to have a makeshift stabby implement to gouge out your attacker’s eyes! Don’t park next to big vans! Don’t sleep around with a lot of boys!

Yadda yadda yadda. One of the most chilling things we can realize is that rape is every bit as common as we were told it was – if not more – but that doing all those preventative measures really doesn’t do shit. Because by telling women that as long as we follow all of those rules – ALL of them – we’ll be safe, we lull ourselves into a false sense of security. Anxious security, of course, because there’s tension between “I’m not supposed to be drinking in public” and “I’m a grown adult who should have every right to do so”, but as long as we follow all. those. rules to the letter, we’re safe. And every time we hear about somebody who was attacked, a lot of people’s first instinct is to analyze the story and see where she went wrong. Was she drinking? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go home with somebody she’d just met? Well, there you go! Victim-blaming helps those who aren’t victims yet get on with their lives, because as long as you can pinpoint the “rapeable” behaviors, and keep from doing them – ta-da! Of course, not coincidentally, this also feeds right into the patriarchal narrative of women being responsible for men’s sexuality and not having the right to go around living their lives without running the risk of being assaulted, but hey – as long as we can sleep at night, right? (more…)

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Feminism is an uphill battle January 25, 2009

[Trigger warning]

I should know, by now, not to browse Urban Dictionary. It’s like reading YouTube comments or farting around the Focus On The Family website – just plain masochistic (though the latter can be hilarious!). Alas, though – I wanted to see what the currently-accepted definition of “mustache ride” was (note: it was exactly as I suspected) and happened to glance over to the sidebar:

So I also clicked on "mustache party". You would too.

So I also clicked on "mustache party". You would too.

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“Pro-Life” Myth No. 1: You can just give it up for adoption! Problem solved! January 8, 2009

Time for a series on wingnut myths about reproductive rights! Yay!

Every time someone says, “Oh, I don’t think you should be allowed to have an abortion. But just give it up for adoption! It’s just as good for you, and better for your baby!”, I want to punch a hole in the wall. Part of it is the blithe nature in which it’s said, exacerbating the flagrant disregard of what the mother might think is best for her or her baby; part of it is the moralistic, holier-than-thou tone – ironic, in my opinion, because said tone is coming from someone who has made it their business to guilt/force women into bearing unwanted children, and still manages to feel proud and self-satisfied.

My quarrel is not with adoption, per se. My quarrel is with these “pro-lifers” (you know what? I can’t handle putting parentheses around the term each time I use it, and don’t want to get into what the best alternate term would be, so just assume the quotes are there from here on out) who frantically trot out ADOPTION as the best (and only moral) choice for pregnant women who aren’t ready to have a child. Adoption can be a wonderful thing for everyone involved, but to assert that it’s the best choice in all cases, or for all people, is a dramatic misrepresentation of the facts, and insulting to women who choose to have an abortion rather than give their babies up. (more…)