Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category
Right-wing rape apologists are pretty good at encouraging men to put themselves in the shoes of those accused of rape — “Can you imagine going home with a girl and then the next morning she regrets it and you’re going to jail?” I find it really helpful to actually think through, fully, an acquaintance-rape scenario as they more typically happen (and here I’ll switch to more gender-neutral terms, since acquaintance-rape is not only men raping women, as it’s often imaged — and again, these descriptions may be triggering). It’s easy to remember that time you had a few beers and also had consensual sex — something that rape apologists try to exploit. But it should be just as easy to remember that time you were hooking up with someone and they said to stop or slow down and of course you did! Or the time you were hooking up with someone and you said to stop or slow down or you just pulled back or moved their hand away and of course they stopped wherever you drew that line, and you didn’t really give it a second thought, because what kind of person hears “stop” or “no” and keeps going anyway?
As an American male who attended college, I can confirm that this sort of sexual paranoia gets pushed on college males quite frequently, leading some to believe that rape is a charge rife with ambiguity. Jill is right, though, in saying this sort of gray area does not exist, and is instead an extremely easy call. For instance, I am absolutely sure every sexual encounter I’ve ever had was consensual. Do I know this because I required my partners to fill out a lengthy questionnaire, or because I paused every thirty seconds to reaffirm consent? Not at all; it’s because every woman I’ve slept with was, at the time, actively trying to fuck me.
Women have used many methods over the course of my life to indicate they are trying to fuck me. They have taken off my clothes. They have taken off their clothes. They have given me oral sex. They have asked for oral sex themselves. They have taken their hand to physically guide my penis into them. After said insertion, they have moved their hips to produce the necessary motion inherent in coitus. They have suggested different positions. They have uttered variations of the phrases “Fuck me!”, “Fuck me there!”, or “Keep fucking me”, all of them awesome. I share this all not to be boastful or salacious (hi, Mom!), but to simply note that it is extremely easy to determine whether a woman is trying to fuck you or not, and that if it’s not blindingly obvious, you’re likely committing rape.
That Knepper sees this as difficult at all makes me question whether he’s ever had a consensual sexual encounter in his entire life. He claims to have a positive view of female sexuality, but thinks that women are so unwilling to ever have sex that they have to be tricked into it. In his view, sex is something men have and women give, an outlook that leads him to concoct a series of playground-like rules to overcome this dynamic:
- Get her back to your room, and you’re home free!
- If she goes to a certain party, she’s already consented by being part of the culture.
- Women are automatically submissive, and thus you can dominate them at any time.
If anyone’s creating rigid rules around sexual encounters here, it’s Alex Knepper, not feminists. The feminist rule is “if both people want to fuck, go for it” while he prefers “If she’s at place A at intoxication level X wearing C and at a flirting level of Y, and if you can get her back to place B, go for it”. He has such little understanding of basic human sexuality that I pity him as much as I despise him.
In any case, Jill’s response is really great, so go ahead and read the whole thing.
Part of the mental illness that is PUMA is the delusion that Sarah Palin is a super-secret liberal. PUMAs hold this belief despite Palin’s stated positions on the issues, her actions as governor of Alaska and mayor of Wasilla, and her lack of any positive record when it comes to gay or women’s rights. To PUMAs, it’s as if simply having a vagina confers all sort of progressive credibility on Gov. Palin, never mind her self-professed status as a right-wing fundamentalist wingnut.
None has been more outspoken in this delusion than Egalia, the proprietor of Tennessee Guerilla Women. So it’s no shock, then, to see Egalia gushing over Palin’s recent pick of Morgan Christen to the Supreme Court of Alaska. Christen is a former board member of Planned Parenthood and seems to be legitimately on the right side of most issues. To Egalia, this is proof positive that Palin really is the pro-choice feminist of the PUMA hivemind’s dreams, and Gov. Palin is somehow owed an apology by those who (correctly) called her pro-life right winger during the campaign.
If this was all there is to the story, that might very well be right. However, Egalia and her PUMA friends are purposely ignoring quite a bit of context to this pick. From the Washington Times writeup (HT: Andrew Sullivan):
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had to make a tough choice in filling a vacant slot on her state’s Supreme Court: Appoint a woman who once served on the board of Planned Parenthood, or risk giving an environmentalist lawyer, also pro-choice on abortion, the chance to become an activist judge.
He admitted, however, that Mrs. Palin was “backed into a corner” by the state’s system for selecting judges, known as the “Missouri Plan.” Alaska’s constitution requires an independent panel to vet and then submit choices to the governor when positions on the court open up. The only names the panel submitted for consideration were Judge Christen and Mr. Smith – neither an obvious conservative choice.
“She didn’t have the ability to go out and pick anyone she wanted,” said Palin communications director Bill McAllister.
So Palin was forced by Alaskan law to choose between a liberal pro-choicer and a liberal pro-choicer and chose a liberal pro-choicer. Egalia wants to give Palin credit for this? Especially when Palin’s own staffer says that Judge Christen would not have been Palin’s pick had she a freer hand?
I’m sure Egalia’s next project is to portray Laura Sessions Stepp as a radical feminist. With a little bit of quote mining and a whole lotta lying, it should be a snap.
I’d like to take slight issue with Shakesville’s William K. Wolfrum, namely that his contention about Hillary Clinton voters skeptical of Barack Obama:
Because at a dedicated progressive and feminist blog where numerous voices and perspectives are presented, I find the accusation that individuals that have not leaped aboard the Barack Obama bandwagon are doing so out of spite to be spiteful in their own way.
And of course this is true…partially. Every Obama skeptic is not a PUMA, nor are all Obama skeptics motivated out of spite. It’s perilous enough to start assigning motives to people whatever their opinion may be, and it’s a weak argumentative tactic, bordering on the ad hominem.
Still, I read this from Riverdaughter and start to think the spite charge has merit, at least in some instances:
She’s anti-choice. Truth: We know what she is but if Obamaphiles insist on calling us post-menopausal, dried up pussies, you shouldn’t be surprised if we are suddenly unsympathetic towards young female Obamaphiles who find themselves unintentionally pregnant. Some of us fought those battles in the 60’s. Some of us took advantage of the battles won in the 70’s and 80’s. Some of us continue to fight in the 90’s and 00’s. But we’re not your parents who are responsible for getting you out of every scrape. YOU are responsible for your own fate. If you don’t like the anti-choice leanings of your next president and vice president, work your ass off for downticket Dems so Republicans can’t ram through any more anti-choice legislation. You’re old enough. Do it yourself. Besides, you female Obamaphiles had a choice in Hillary Clinton who was committed to prtecting your reproductive freedom. Instead, you picked a man who is actively courting evangelical voters and watering down the pro-choice section of the Democratic platform. And you have the nerve to call US dumb?
Riverdaughter feels that women who voted for Obama deserve to have unwanted pregnancies without the option of abortion. Revenge against those who had the temerity to disagree with her is more important to her than political principles she claims to champion. I don’t know how you can describe this as anything other than spiteful.
We defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we endorse her or her politics, but because that’s how feminism works.
So while McEwan upholds her principles, even to protect a political adversary, Riverdaughter would throw hers under the bus if it would adversely affect an Obama-supporting woman. Not all Obama skeptics are PUMAs, nor are all Obama skeptics acting out of spite. Some obviously are, however, and it’s not a lie to say as much.
Part Five in a Continuing Series
Today’s entry in this award-winning series is outsourced to Dana Goldstein.
As I said earlier, Jill over at Feministe responded to my two posts from Wednesday, and she deserves a response. First, I want to say that I was wrong about the abortion study. Reading her take on the studies, as well as re-reading the abstracts (I didn’t read the actual study, as I don’t have a Lancet subscription), I realized that her case was persuasive, and that I too hastily dismissed them. It probably didn’t help that I read Matt’s and Megan’s takes on the study before reading the abstracts, and that probably skewed my initial reading somewhat. That’s not an excuse, however, I should have known better. In any case, I now disavow my original objections to the study and find its conclusions persuasive. Mea culpa.
Second, I want to disagree with Mike and agree with Jill regarding the propriety of her criticizing me when she’s such a bigger fish than I am. Part of the responsibility involved when putting your opinions into a public forum is accepting that those opinions are fair game for criticism, regardless of the traffic of those doing the criticizing. If I didn’t want anyone disagreeing with me, I shouldn’t have put my thoughts on a blog in the first place. Additionally, I’m posting under my full name, so it’s fine to refer to me by it (although I am attempting to foster some mystery as to whether it’s real or not). I’m not sure if Jill was pulling punches or just didn’t notice, but my name isn’t Soberish, the blog’s is.
That all said, I disagree with much of what Jill posted, and to some extent think she gravely misrepresented my positions. Since this could get somewhat lengthy, the rest is below.
Jill at Feministe wrote about both my posts from yesterday, and naturally I feel the need to respond. As it turns out, though, Mike Meginnis has come to my defense and says much of what I was going to say, so I’m just going to point anyone interested over to him. I’ll still have a response up, but not until after work.