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Full Version: What the F@%&?! And more feminist outrage...
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So . . . nobody has anything to say about PA's shooting spree hate crime? Because that's what it was. I find it interesting that the three innocent women that died? Were all women that Sodini would have deemed too old for him to date. Loser pig.
I just read about it on Jezebel. I had not heard about it anywhere else. I'm surprised I didn't see anything about it on CNN (that's my closest source to big American news stories). It sounds very reminiscent of the Polytechnique massacre that happened in Montreal in '89.
I posted it as soon as it was breaking news. As soon as I read the words LA Fitness & gunman I knew it was some wackadoo that was specifically shooting up women. I've read his blog, seen his videos, & the videos of the TFL guys & it scares the ever living crap out of me.
I don't know where I've been that I totally missed this story.
I saw it on the news, but the story was short and it was only broadcasted for 1 day. don't these things usually get more publicity? I also found it weird that the newscast made no attempt to point out that it seemed like violence targeted specifically at women.
so i don't know where else this fits, but i have a feminist quandry.

i share an office with 4 other males. one is a friend, the other 3 are new, but likable acquaintances. before the new 3 came in, it was unspoken room manners that if one person ran downstairs to get coffee, etc., he/she would ask the others if they needed anything. sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't.

now when i run downstairs for coffee, i ask if anyone needs anything. the same two always want coffee and always pay for it themselves. but they take me up on it every time.

of course, i know *i* asked. but i'm wondering if i shouldn't. we're all the same type of professionals, and those 2 are only *slightly* more senior than i am. but i feel that since i'm the only skirt in the room, that bringing coffee back for the "menfolk" somewhat reinforces a subservient role. it's along the lines of the advice from some business women who say "never bake for coworkers" because it gives the impression that playing susie homemaker undermines your business achievements and blurs the role of the woman in the workplace.

i'm offering because i'm going to get coffee for myself anyway, and it's no hassle. they pay. and they never ASK me to go get them coffee, nor expect it (not yet--and i don't think they would).

but something just doesn't sit right with me. i'm thinking of not doing it anymore.

is my feminist brain overthinking this? or underthinking it?
When they go get coffee, do they offer to get you some? When you get up to go, do they ever offer to go get the coffee instead? If this is a daily thing, they should really be offering by now, and if they don't ever return the favour, no wonder it doesn't sit right with you. I'd stop doing it, mainly just because it's kind of rude of them. I usually don't think about the little things like that, especially if I am not the senoir staff person anyways, but you're probably right, and I wonder if that's why they aren't returning the favour? Hmmm.
QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Aug 17 2009, 06:54 PM) *
it's along the lines of the advice from some business women who say "never bake for coworkers" because it gives the impression that playing susie homemaker undermines your business achievements and blurs the role of the woman in the workplace.

wow. i never heard of that saying. it makes me think of working girl for some reason.

having worked in a hospital setting, it seemed like the male employees (both doctors, nurses, fellow counselors or social workers) really followed suite with bringing food for others or asking if any of us needed anything when going to the cafeteria. i can understand your frustration. if it makes you uncomfortable, then i wouldn't ask them anymore. i would probably keep getting asking if anyone needs anything 'cause that's just the way i am and would like to be treated the same. i did mention to one of my fellow interns (he was the only male) that he needed to contribute to the food bringing in stuff which he did. he seemed to follow our lead in contributing for future gatherings. plus, he totally surprised me when he took the lead to organize getting a gift for one of our former interns.
I would just cut down on how often you offer to get them something. Not cut it out completely but maybe only do it once a week or so.
I think that'd be annoying if they were all female, too.

I agree with ccg - you don't need to offer every time. They won't mind, and it's not worth feeling uncomfortable.

Could you outlast them on the coffee craving and force one of them to go downstairs instead?
Don't submit to my sexual whims wife, & you get to starve.
Don't even get me started on the current Afghan government.

It's like they should be given a hand because the rape law was repealed but this portion was kept in. All in the name of "progress".
When they go get coffee, do they offer to get you some? When you get up to go, do they ever offer to go get the coffee instead? If this is a daily thing, they should really be offering by now, and if they don't ever return the favour, no wonder it doesn't sit right with you.

angie, i think you articulated it. i've been busy and haven't been around my desk much, but they've never offered to pick anything up for anyone if they were on their way out. i guess i just assumed they'd follow my lead/tradition/what we've always done in the room and offer at some point. ::shrug:: i don't think i'm going to offer anymore.

persi, you make a good point. i think if two slightly senior female collagues had consistently taken me up, i think i'd still be annoyed, but without the sociologic implications.

having worked in a hospital setting, it seemed like the male employees (both doctors, nurses, fellow counselors or social workers) really followed suite with bringing food for others or asking if any of us needed anything when going to the cafeteria...i would probably keep getting asking if anyone needs anything 'cause that's just the way i am and would like to be treated the same.

and star, i'm right there with ya; it is a sort of a baseline in a hospital setting. although, paradoxically, i *do* bake upon occasion for my cohort (senior and junior in-the-same-boat colleagues), because i like to bake, people have done it before, and i don't exactly want 3 dozen cookies hanging around my house. for some reason, this act doesn't bother me in the same way. i can't explain that, either.

and to re-rail the thread, fuck the Taliban.

QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Aug 18 2009, 06:49 PM) *
and to re-rail the thread, fuck the Taliban.

It's not the Taliban, remember? These are the people that the US guv'ment helped put in charge to replace the Taliban. Women in that part of the world are damned if they do, damned if they don't.
yeah i know, but all the forces of evil in afghanistan seem kind of faceless, so i'm holding the taliban as the modern origin of recent shitheadery.
Fucking PETA. I really wish they would stop exploiting women's bodies in order to gain attention for animal rights. I saw a picture in today's Chicago Sun Times (I couldn't find the pic online) of a woman wearing a bikini made out of lettuce (one out of a couple of lettuce ladies) demonstrating in front of the Thompson Center. In the background of the pic, there are 3 men and guess where their eyes are diverted at...

Fucking PETA. As a vegetarian, I do not want to be associated with you.
I don't know star. Did you see there efforts to Save The Wales? They mean well. I'm sure of it. dry.gif
Ugh, PETA is the absolute worst. They have fully bought into the idea that sex sells and they use extreme tactics to try to force people to become vegetarian. At one point I didn't eat meat but I still didn't support their views. Also, it's possible to be vegetarian AND fat.

Also, they kill animals. *

* I realize that sounds like a really brazen statement to make but PETA basically promised peole who were no longer able to take care of their pets that they would find a good home for the animals. Instead most of the animals were killed. From what I've heard, the average euthanasia rate in shelters is 60% compared to PETA's 90% rate. Also, they dumped the bodies into some random business's dumpster.
I also heard that about PETA. They have a euthanizomobile, similar to the lobotomobile. They just drive around euthanizing animals instead of placing them in homes. I saw that whale ad a while ago.

And really, really what is sooooo horrible about euthanizing an animal in a humane way? The vet sticks a needle in the animal and it just goes to sleep, it's very peaceful and fast. These peta people make my head hurt.
The Onion video on PETA

As with many other things from The Onion, I have to blink twice and remind myself that it's not real. But as with many other things from the Onion, it's based so much on reality its just as scary as it is funny.
9 states allow insurance companies to consider domestic violence a pre-existing condition, and use that to deny insurance claims.

My mind boggles. People ask me how I like living in the US and I always tell them I want to come home to Canada some day because I fucking hate living in a place where shit like this is considered an acceptable cost of "I don't want any risk to changes in MY really good health insurance" by so many of its citizens.

Angry angry angry.
great. way to make the victim into the one at fault. and great way to get people to report domestic abuse. that just makes me ill.

QUOTE(zoya @ Sep 15 2009, 09:17 AM) *
great. way to make the victim into the one at fault. and great way to get people to report domestic abuse. that just makes me ill.

Here in Ohio we have yet another way of making victims of DV feel super special. A number of women who fled from their abusive partners had their children put into foster care until they completed mandatory domestic violence ed. classes. No, this was not for the women who were staying/going back to the abusive spouse, but the ones WHO HAD ALREADY LEFT. Of course, this only happens to the women who are economically impaired and have to use homeless shelters/battered women's shelters to escape. (The same ones who can't hire private attorneys to protect them from this type of idiocy and discrimination). One more reason for women living in poverty NOT to reach out and ask for help. I almost wouldn't have believed this one if I hadn't talked to so many women over the years who experienced it. What mother wouldn't do anything to avoid having her kids put into foster care with strangers?? And then , having to live under the thumb of Children's Services for an unspecified amount of time. I don't know if this happens all over Ohio or just here in Columbus.
I wasn't sure if I should post this here because it's not news but last night my school had a screening of Polytechnique, the film about the 1989 shooting at Polytechnique engineering school. I don't know how many Americans know about this. The shooter was a 25 year old guy who felt that feminists were responsible for all of his unhappiness in life. He decided to shoot up Polytechnique even though he didn't attend it. Women only made up about 14% of the students there. He went to one of the classrooms and made the men and women separate and then shot all of the women. In total he shot 28 people, killing 14 and then killed himself.

The film was hard to watch but not as bad as I expected. However, today one of my profs mentioned engineering today and immediately my mind went back to the movie and I felt upset. I didn't have to leave the classroom or anything but I felt like I could have cried if I was alone. The whole situation enrages me, just that pure hatred against women. Before the movie started there were some speakers and one of them gave the statistic that 85% of women who are murdered are killed by a partner as opposed to a stranger or random person.

If anyone wants more info about the massacre go here.
Barbie's ankles are "too fat". Um, suck it, Mr. Louboutin. Funny how the woman that I think of when I think of your over-priced, red-soled bullshit shoes? Yeah, is a woman that is in constant struggle with her weight despite the fact that she is the richest, most powerful woman in the world: OPRAH.
Hmm, I suddenly have a new appreciation for the foot problems that make most designer fancy shoes totally unwearable for me. Of course it makes any attempt at a Lebouton boycott pointless for me.
The other day I heard that Karl Lagerfeld said that no one like to look at curvy women. I guess my g/f just closes his eyes while we have sex then?
Oh, those wacky fashion designers...
real derby drama in my town.
the law is not on the victim's side, and it really split the team.
That's so sad and f-ed up, nickclick. Doesn't look like the league is a member of the WFTDA- I wonder if they were, if they'd step in and present other options. I'm still a little confused why the rink terminated their contract with the team. Why do they care if the woman who was stalked was on the team?
yeah, the story seems to have a few holes. i didn't attend saturday's bout, but i'll be following the action nonetheless.
sorry for double-post, but whaaaaat the f, racist judge?

has this guy been frozen since 1960? cool that the couple is talking about it and fighting it.
I had a few people in my dorm room when the boyfriend of a friend of mine takes my statistic (3 out of 5 women are raped) and proceeds to tell me that the statistic doesn't take into account girls that party. I asked him if that made a difference whether you can call it rape or not. He said "there's just a difference." He's an ignorant frat boy and I told him so. Now I'm still pretty upset about it.
Ugh, 12%, that's so sad. This is what is meant by "rape culture"; teaching people that it's okay because she's __________ (a slut, she parties, she dresses like she wants it, she knew the guy, etc etc etc).
That is blatant blaming the victim. He just basically said that girls who party are asking for it. I would have responded to him by asking what if there is a little girl who happens to be at this party. If she is raped was she asking for it by being at a party?
I remember when I was in my senior year of high school we had a public health nurse come in and talk to us about date rape. We watched a fictional movie where a girl was at a party and was drugged and raped by a guy. The film was made to make us all think (obviously) about the situation that she put herself in by going to the party knowing there would be frat guys there and she was drinking and dressed a little more provacatively than usual.

Well, this one girl in my class (a very straight-laced, straight-A, student council, etc. girl) said that the girl in the film deserved exactly what she got because of what she had done at the party (as mentioned above) and I honestly couldn't believe it - nor could my best male friend, who was also in the class. Keep in mind that this boy had always been incredibly outspoken and pretty much loathed at my school because of it, so he didn't hold back and neither did I - I have to say it was one of my highlights of that year because we just lit into her while the other students in the room watched in horror. This girl had never been to a party in her life - had never even had a drink or anything - and had no idea what she was talking about. To have a woman say that about another woman is just horrible. No one ever, ever, ever deserves to be raped. Just because a girl wants to dress in revealing clothing or have a drink or walk home alone at two in the morning doesn't mean she deserves whatever she gets. They may not be smart decisions in some situations, but that doesn't mean it's deserved. It's disgusting that someone could think that way and I don't normally take pleasure in making someone feel like shit, but it did feel awesome to say what I said to her and I think it really made her reconsider her argument.

Sorry for the rant. I've been very fortunate - I've never been raped - but it is still an issue that really makes me angry. I am a very "my body, myself" kind of person and I would rather die than be violated in any way (this isn't meant to sound dramatic because I mean it with all sincerity). I can't even imagine that some people can justify it. It just makes me sick.
okay, so i didn't know what thread to put this in, but something disturbing happened to me the other night. i'll try to keep it to-the-point:

i was out at a bar after a work function (out of state, in a small town) the other night with a work person i had just met. we were at a pub-like place, and still in our work clothes. we were at the bar, and having a nice conversation, when 4 or 5 guys sat down next to my companion and in my line of sight. as i'm talking to him, i realize that one or two would look over, then three, until all 5 were staring--and i mean *staring*, basically leering--at us. it was like a pack of wolves. and this went on for like 10 minutes, with us first ignoring them. i went to the bathroom, and apparently my companion said something to them, along the lines of, "what's going on/what's the deal," and they just kind of sat there like zombies. so i come back from the bathroom, and we leave because i felt horribly uncomfortable. so we go to another bar down the street.

we go to the next bar, it's a little dive-y, but it's nice, and we start chatting up some locals who were real nice, and we say, yeah we were at another bar, and there were some unsavory characters there. the locals were real nice and said, "yeah that's how it is in a small town, seme rats get their kicks out of intimidating or harassing out-of-towners". so we're having a good time, playing pool with the new people, and i go to the bar to get a few drinks.

i turn around with the drinks, and i see two of the pack from the first bar right behind me, doing their staring schtick. i'm about fed up, so i went up to them. i say in the most sweet (and vaguely sarcastic tone), "hello, is there something you want to say to me?" one goes, "no, nothing" and the other seriously goes, "DON'T TALK TO ME, DON'T TALK TO ME, don't flatter yourself!" and he's getting closer, so i try to diffuse that and lightly touch his shoulder and go, "are you sure?" and he's like, "don't touch me! don't touch me!" by this time all the other pack is around. the other dudes are like, "no, don't listen to him, he's just an ass 'cos you're seriously the hottest chick in here and he doesn't know how to act." to which assfuck responds, "don't fucking flatter yourself! my wife is 100 times hotter than you!" and i'm just looking at him with an eyebrow raised and grinning, b/c it's just getting ridiculous. i'm like, that's great, good for you. the other dudes are like, "yeah we just don't know why you're with that loser, your boyfriend thinks he's fucking superman, and you shouldn't be with him."

this is going nowhere, so i say, "is that all you had to say? because i'm going to go play pool now. you gentleman have a good evening," i say, and smile, and go across the room.

about 10 minutes later, they get into a bar fight with some other local patrons and get kicked out.

i'm having mixed emotions about this:

1. i seriously, for the first time in my life, thought i was going to get raped. and then i sort of had this weird thought like, well if at 28 this is the first time i felt threatened, then i'm sitting ok compared to other US women (how fukt is that??)
2. i'm so glad i called them out, come what may. after that i sort of shook my head and told my companion they're just kittens playing cougar. that is, a bunch of fucked up little boys finding power in numbers.
3. i feel violated and anxious. i wish i didn't.

AND AND AND, the most ironic denoument, my companion at the end of the night when we were going our separate ways said, "hey, do i get a kiss for defending your honor?"

um. NO.
and right now, that request puts you just a few notches under the douches in the bar.

didn't mean to hog a political-esque thread, but this has been just chewing at me all weekend, and i thought if i wrote it down, i could better pinpoint what i was feeling.

i guess i'm angry now.
QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Oct 25 2009, 12:09 PM) *
didn't mean to hog a political-esque thread, but this has been just chewing at me all weekend, and i thought if i wrote it down, i could better pinpoint what i was feeling.

i guess i'm angry now.

are you having angry, stabby feelings? i like angry, stabby cocl! wink.gif

in all seriousness, i'm glad you are safe. good for you for standing up for yourself. (((cocl)))
cocl, back in the summer when I had to deal with the creepy security guard at my building I had a lot of the same feelings. First I kept thinking, "Well, I'm 24 and at least I've gone this long without feeling seriously threatened." And it kind of pissed me off that I even thought that. But moreso, I felt pissed off that some idiot could make me feel threatened and unsafe and insecure.

Those guys sound like total freaks. I wouldn't even know how to deal with that kind of situation. I'm glad you were assertive.
ugh what fools. (((cocl))) good job confronting them but not giving them the satisfaction of their attention. in the few less-icky bar sitations where that's happened to me or my friends, i usually just ignore and stew about it later. even when you know they are the losers, and that you are not the only victim of their loseriness, it still feels quite violating. are women brought up to expect this, just roll our eyes and think - oh those crazy boys?
Cocl, those guys sound like assholes. Way to confront them, it can be scary. Women are totally brought up to expect that kind of behaviour and men are brought up to think it's appropriate to leer at women like that, like it's a compliment.

I recently explained to my partner how upsetting it is for me when I'm catcalled or out somewhere and someone is leering at me. It makes me feel really unsafe and the same thoughts that you had, cocl, go through my mind (are they gonna rape me? where are the exits? who can I call for help?) It really freaked out paperboy when I explained how scary it could be. The really scary thing is how many people think it's just funny. When my older brother was 19 he told me how him and his friend sat in the parking lot of a fast food place while this girl was closing it down for the night. They said they sat there and stared at her to freak her out and she kept looking at the window and talking on the phone. They thought it was really funny when a car pulled up right in front of the entrance and she ran out as quick as she could. That really pissed me off and I told him the same thing - she was probably legitimately terrified, meanwhile my idiot brother and his friend think it's hilarious. I think they're lucky the cops didn't show up.
wow... where I come from, that would not be considered typical dumb male behaviour, it would be considered criminal harassment. It's dumb male behaviour when ONE drunk guy won't stop trying to get your attention at the bar, and you have to say "no" multiple times. When a large group of guys follows you from one bar to another, stare and stalk rather than coming up and trying to have a conversation, and then physically intimidate you as a group... I don't know anyone who would just roll their eyes at that. That's dangerous, harassing behaviour, end of story. Good for you cocl, I would have torn them a new one and possibly got myself in a lot of trouble later, I think your method may have been better.

I can't believe your work friend thought that comment was in any way appropriate, even as a joke. Who the hell would want to fool around after a situation like that? Also, it's not like he did all that much to help out.. Although I've always appreciated when my boyfriend lets me take care of myself in creepy bar situations (and not just because I looove to lay into assholes and tell them to f off), because I think it's worse when the guy you're with tries to jump in, fights become more likely, and then it also gives the impression that you are helpless and can't defend yourself.

Ketto, your brother is even luckier that whoever showed up in that car didn't get out and beat the living shit out of him. What a stupid thing to do, never mind the harassment part.

I was going to say that I don't find cat-calling threatening, but now that I think about it, I have been in some situations where it did scare me, mostly when I was staying in a work camp up north.. the girls I worked with had to put up with a lot of leering and stalking behaviour, and I always told them to confront the men who did it or report things to security if necessary. I was always so amazed by that fact that I was the only girl of a crew with seven girls, who actually did report things to security. Even when guys 30 years older than them were giving them flowers, or inviting them to have drinks in their rooms, they wouldn't even ask the guys to stop. WTF? Why don't some girls stand up for themselves?

I can't believe anyone would, in this day and age, admit to thinking that any girl might deserve to be raped. That's just sick. The fact is that MEN rape women. They are the ones committing the act, not the women, so how on earth could you possibly find a way to blame women for it? It just doesn't make sense. Now, there are smart things you can and should do to avoid becoming a victim, but even those things won't always protect you, and honestly, the fact that women still have to take these precautions, like not being out alone after dark, is very, very sad.
I posted this article on FB recently that I think relates perfectly to this discussion.

I don't think most men get what it's like to walk around in this world constantly aware that you're potential prey.
This discussion actually makes me think of a quote from The L Word. I didn't watch the show, but I happened to see this one scene a few years ago and it really resonated with me:

"What I want is for you to write ‘fuck me’ on your chest. Write it! Do it! And then I want you to walk out that door, and I want you to walk down the street. And anybody that wants to fuck you, say ‘Sure, sure, no problem.’ And when they do, you have to say ‘Thank you very, very much’ and make sure that you have a smile on your face. And then, you stupid fucking coward, you’re gonna know what it feels like to be a woman!"
-Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner) – The L Word – s02e11
I posted that on another site after I saw it on FB. There were certain men on the site that didn't understand what it was to be a piece of meat, of being public property, of being a statistic that says one person will be sexually assaulted every two minutes. They chalk it up to civility, common human decency, everybody deserves to be treated with respect. Uh, no. If you make me uncomfortable, if I hear klaxons, if you make my stomach clench? I have every right to ignore your ass whether your intent is honorable or not. Whether I know you or not. My priority is protecting me, not your feelings.
oh wow, what a great article! I especially love the part that says, women have the right to ignore your annoying advances. We don't need an excuse, it doesn't matter if you're charming or cute or funny.. you are not entitled to invade MY privacy just to try to get my attention, even if it's only for 15 seconds. And I'm not uptight, rude, or bitchy for ignoring you. Ahh, the god old days of taking public transport.

The comment made further down the page is also very good:

I have a terrible feeling that many, many rapists are men who would NEVER haul a strange woman into the woods, but who think that if they shelled out the big bucks for dinner and a show, someone owes them. Or that women who are too drunk to resist are awesome good fun. Or that once she’s come home with him, well, that’s one big yes, amirite?

ugh, gives me the creepy crawlies!
ketto, that is the best fucking quote ever.

polly, i remember reading that article along the way; i just re-read it and it's even more awesome than i remember.

the whole situation probably seems trivial to the likes of those who believe in "grey rape", or those who only define assault as someone crying and screaming, like the people angie describes below. but when we left that first bar, i was primed to swipe off my stilletos, one, so that i could run if i had to, and two, so i could use the heel for defense. to those men and wishy-washy women who make compromises when it comes to women's safety, you tell me the last time you had to consciously think like that.

i felt so relieved after writing that below; i had about a 3 minute emotional breakdown, then it was like the clouds parted and i didn't concern myself with it the rest of the day.

frickin' NJ....
frickin' maine...
Wow, I am late coming into this but what an amazing article, polly! It was a really, really good read and brings to light some things I've known but never really thought about, you know? As a woman, of course I am going to be mindful of what can happen to me in the everyday world, but for some reason it never crossed my mind that most men would not think about this. That they don't have to make sure they don't listen to their iPods or have their keys in their hand ready to strike just in case something happens while out walking at night (yes, I do both of these). I'm definitely going to post the article to my FB as well tonight after I get home from work. I think a lot of women would really appreciate the read - but the sad thing is, I immediately thought that I don't know any men in my life that would look at it - any straight men, anyway.

Also - the quote from The L Word is dead on, too. Lately (since I've become single again especially) I've found that I'm being more objectified by the men in my life, and it's really not appreciated.
This enrages me. We have a bill here (bill C 68) that requires long guns to be registered. Recently a motion was passed that they should decriminalize portions of the bill so that rather than the person violating the bill getting a criminal record they would just get a measly fine.

The thing is, this bill was created after the 1989 Polytechnique massacre when a gunman entered the school and specifically shot at women while saying that he hated feminists. I can't put it into better words than what my friend said: we are witnessing the dismantling of the Canadian gun control law called "a monument to the memory of the victims of the Polytechnique tragedy".

Supposedly they are doing this because a lot of rural Canadians think that the law is unfair and that it violates their rights and freedoms. Well FUCK YOU! Sure, most Canadians with long guns will just use them for hunting or whatever. But for the one person who might be insane and decide to shoot up a school or a mall or whatever, well this is why we need the gun registry!

I see nothing wrong with expecting people to be accountable for their guns! Fuck, it's like we're going backwards.

QUOTE(candycane_girl @ Nov 14 2009, 06:23 AM) *

I see nothing wrong with expecting people to be accountable for their guns!

I agree, CC_girl - I am a staunch gun-legal advocate.... HOWEVER, I see nothing wrong with people having to register their guns, or waiting periods while background checks are done.

in fact - I really, really wish that people who wanted to purchase guns had to take a gun-safety course, and get some sort of license. You have to have a license to drive a car, and yet you don't have to have a license to own a firearm. You don't even have to know how to correctly use it, or store it. I think that's insanity.
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