Although this documentary is mostly the man telling us information with examples, clips, and pictures, it is interesting and true information that we all see in life and media but that people don't necessarily realize. This topic of violence in men was first introduced to me when I read something…I don't remember what it was and if I was reading it for a class….that said "if men stopped committing violent acts, violence and murder would essentially be wiped out of our society. Some women do kill or hurt, but the percentage is so small that it is insignificant. Men are the ones who perform violent acts."
After I read that, I understood how true it was, and this movie is a reiteration of that statement exactly, but with more evidence. The man talks about how damaging the requirement of this behavior is in order to "be a man" is to the psyche of these men. He compares it with the women's movement, and talks about the backlash that received by men who could not simply accept the progressive change. That comedian makes me sick listening to him…those are EXACTLY the institutional thoughts we need to get rid of. The fact that he makes a living off of a huge audience off of men laughing at digs toward women, calling them whores and bitches, makes it seem okay to treat them that way. I hate that behavior and attitude, even when women call each other women 'bitches' or 'sluts' as terms of endearment….men may learn that behavior and treat you as such if you call each other that! Or the radio show, when the women are disrobing and Howard Stern and the men are sexually insulting them and their bodies. DISGUSTING.
I also thought it was interesting how he examined the newspaper article titles. They are written like "Girl is raped" instead of "Man rapes," with the emphasis on the female victim instead of the male perps. I think just changing that one institutional aspect of the media could be so great for all of society to help realize how apparent this is.
OMG. This website. I can't even comprehend. "Return Of Kings is a blog for heterosexual, masculine men. Women and homosexuals are prohibited from commenting here. They will be immediately banned."
"Women are sluts if they sleep around, but men are not. This fact is due to the biological differences in gender.
A woman’s value is mainly determined by her fertility and beauty. A man’s value is mainly determined by his resources, intellect, and character.
Elimination of traditional gender roles and the promotion of unlimited mating choice in women unleashes their promiscuity and other negative behaviors that block family formation.
Socialism, feminism, and cultural Marxism cause societies to decline because they destroy the family unit, decrease the fertility rate, and require large entitlements that impoverish the state.
WHAT!!!! I can't even comment and express my views because, oh, due to my gender, MY COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED! How rude. And sexist. And disgusting.
One of their articles is "24 Signs She's a Slut." Do you have lots of body hair? Are you not ticklish? Do you have a "slut face"? Congratulations, you must be a slut! http://www.returnofkings.com/16837/24-signs-shes-a-slut Thanks, guys, for telling us more about our sexual activity than we ever could have guessed ourselves.
Thoughts? Comments? Try commenting, and see if it's removed. I dare you.
Hey feminists! My name is Chloe, and I'm a senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. I am interning with CFC this year, so you'll be hearing a lot from me! I concentrate in Women's and Gender Studies (my school has concentrations instead of minors), as well as Latin American and Race/Ethnic Studies, and I major in English and Spanish. Sounds like a lot but there was a lot of overlap in all of those studies, so it worked out well.
How did I become more active in gender equality, you may ask? I have been passionate about equality for as long as I can remember. I became more conscious about what women's studies, gender studies, freedom of sexuality, feminism, etc. are truly about throughout my college education at Olaf. I love learning about all of these topics, and I love asserting myself as a strong, independent woman. I especially love learning about gender in cross-cultural perspectives. I would say I grew up having feminist ideas even though I may not have realized it, just as so many people don't realize they are actually feminists!
To kick off my blog posts, I'd like to discuss the following quote about undocumented female immigrants from Surviving Globalization by Brown Professor and scholar Evenlyn Hu-Dehart:
"Immigrants are not only NOT a drain on the U.S. economy, but an absolute necessity, especially women immigrants, who comprise half or more of new immigrants to the United Sates. Immigrant labor is indispensable for the labor-intensive, service-dependent, restructured economy of the United States, as well as for the resurgent light manufacturing sector, captured at its worst by the image of the garment sweatshop."
So many people believe that immigrants, especially unauthorized ones, are stealing our jobs. These people are often mistaken, and their opinion is often a product of discrimination and racism see Hu-Dehart's article). It's amazing how many women work without authorization here, and for such low wages--I have read so many sources on women in nannying positions or housekeeping work that do not receive legal wages because they are not here legally. They are often coerced into awful work or coerced by life situations in which they have no other choice to work for a rate that provides for only an impoverished life. Some may uphold that these women put themselves in this situation. But if you had to go to a different country, leave your children behind, and work with the risk of losing everything or being subjected to horrible things, sending all your money back home, in order to survive and support your family, what would you do? Do we have a right to judge them when we don't know their personal circumstances or motives? Do we have a right to stereotype them based on what we think we know about undocumented immigrants and their reasons for living in the US without authorization? These are questions that we, as privileged US citizens, need to ask ourselves in order to be conscious of those immigrants' necessary participation in our economy and the hardships they often experience in doing so.
This essay also reminds me of the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls in its discussion of sex work. A campus group called SOLAS (St. Olaf Leaders Abolishing Slavery) screened this film, and it was eye-opening. I was aware of the horrors of sex work and how prevalent it is in our globalized world, but this brought the tragedy to a whole new level. I cannot even fathom what these women and girls and even CHILDREN have to go through. I learned a lot of things that I did not know before, and I thought I was pretty educated on the topic… Women and girls all around the world are forced into sex trafficking by oppressive systems. Each woman interviewed who had been prostituted said that NO WOMAN chooses that. Whether they are abducted, trafficked by their families to bring income into the household (while their fathers sit around drinking and smoking all day--yes, there was factual evidence of this in the documentary), expected to become "nothing more than a whore" by the people in their lives… The images and stories of these females are so tragic. The saddest part is that the makers of the documentary even say themselves how nearly impossible it is to go into this system and "save" these girls. This is the TRAFFICKING and SELLING of HUMAN BEINGS and their BODIES we are talking about here; violence is the essence of this practice, as is exploiting one's vulnerability.
Throughout our globalized world, why are women continuously considered the lesser sex and subjected to such atrocities? I plan on rereading/watching Half the Sky to further learn about this topic, and I suggest we all look more into this issue. The hardships these women go through goes further than so many other pressing issues we face; it is the question of lives, of human beings, and the suffering they endure in order to support their family or to please another human being even as they are hurting. For these women, I will educate myself as much as I can about ways to become more active in fighting trafficking and sexual enslavement. If you feel as I do and want to take action, please read more about the Half the Sky movement and watch the movie Nefarious to learn what you can do to help the cause.
After a traumatic event, such as rape or sexual assault, often victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. I wanted to research how common the disorder is in events like this. This disorder affects nine to fifteen percent of the general population, and close to fifty percent of women who have reported being raped. In the 1989 U.S. Bureau of the Census, the estimated population of U.S. adult women was 96,056,000. Of those women, thirteen percent (12,151,084) women reported experiencing complete rape and fourteen percent reported experiencing other sexual assault (13,755,219). Of those women, sixty percent reported PTSD symptoms after the rape or assault, and twenty-six percent reported long-term symptoms. These alarmingly high numbers show that therapy for PTSD is extremely important.
One of the complications with PTSD is that it can be hard to diagnose because of the similarity in symptoms with other types of anxiety disorders. Although PTSD can be hard to diagnose, it is not a rare disorder among people who has suffered a traumatic event like rape, as many as one half of rape victims may suffer from chronic PTSD (Rothbaum, Astin, and Marsteller, 607). In one study by Edna Foa and Barbara Rothbaum, they found that seventy-six percent of rape victims reported PTSD symptoms at some point within a year after the assault (Foa and Rothbaum, 13). Foa and Rothbaum found that nearly one hundred percent of all rape victims in their study presented with PTSD symptoms soon after the incident, but by six months post-incident it went down to fourty-one percent. Luckily, there are multiple types of treatment for PTSD. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, medication, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are all types of treatment used for PTSD (Smith and Segal). After researching both cognitive-behavioral therapy and EMDR, I have found that cognitive-behavioral therapy elicits a greater response than EMDR therapy, however, both are effective.
After all of my research, it has come clear to me how important it is for people with PTSD to become diagnosed and get treated. It is also important for those suffering from it to know that it is not an uncommon disorder, and that they are not alone. So often after traumatic events like sexual assault or rape, the victims blames themselves and does not confront the psychological effects it has on someone. But the more people learn about the disorder and how treatable it is, the more awareness the public has about the disorder, the more people can confront rape, sexual assault, and the psychological effects of it.
Foa, Edna B., and Barbara Olasov Rothbaum. "Diagnosis and Prevalance of PTSD Following Assault." Treating the trauma of rape: cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD. New York: Guilford, 1998. 8-26. Web. 25 April 2013
Rothbaum, Barbara Olasov, Millie C. Astin, and Fred Marsteller. "Prolonged Exposure Versus Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR) For PTSD Rape Victims." Journal Of Traumatic Stress 18.6 (2005): 607-616. EBSCO MegaFILE. Web. 1 May 2013.
Smith, Melinda, and Jeanne Segal. "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Symptoms, Treatment and Self-Help." Helpguide. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2013.<http://www.helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm>
As I shared in a previous post, I have been reading Colonize This! with fervor and enthusiasm for a couple of weeks now. In my WGSS Senior Seminar, we have discussed extensively the complications of reading this text as a white-identified person; I am not the intended audience as outlined in the essays, nor as defined in most women of color feminisms. However, I struggle with my alienation from these texts, because on emotionally real and visceral levels, they resonate with day-to-day experiences I have had as a feminist, as a student, and as a woman. It is too simple to merely highlight difference or draw a line where my experiences end as a white woman and where theirs begin as women of color; it is also too simple to take advantage of our similarities and shared knowledges as women dealing with similar gender-based oppressions. My professor, Sonita Sarker, assured us that this messy space between camaraderie and respectful distance is okay – and she urged us to consider that while the text may be provoking our acknowledgment of white privilege, it also might be provoking us to engage in a dialogue about whiteness as it is racialized (not as a neutral default or non-race).
So this is my attempt to speak from my position as a white, middle-class, woman, who has to negotiate the everyday experience of these identities while also practicing a feminist perspective. I want to hold myself accountable by acknowledging my privilege, but I don’t want to assume that my experiences of oppression are therefore invalid. I want to live in the mess of what it means to be a feminist, who cannot always combat sexist or racist encounters with a cool wit or charisma; who cannot always muster the courage or energy to confront people who have hurt me; who is not an expert, but a careful listener and deeply sensitive being; who makes mistakes, that I can only promise to try and learn from.
Every week for the past eight months, I have taken the hour-long commute on the 21 westbound bus from Saint Paul to my boyfriend’s house in South Minneapolis. Most of the time (maybe sixty-percent of the time, when it’s not negative blank degrees outside), I genuinely enjoy the unique solitude I find on the bus, surrounded by strangers and a self-consciousness that feels safe to explore in this setting. I find myself thinking more about my class and race privilege on the bus than I do in school sometimes, and more about how I can articulate my feminism in a way that can materialize in real-life benefits for people other than myself. Which sometimes makes getting off the bus, at a stop that is a ten-minute walk from my boyfriend’s home, a rough transition into the depressing realities of my position as a woman. And this is where I hesitate to say, “as a white woman,” but where I NEED to in order to understand how the racialization and sexualization of my body socially construct my identity – via both privilege and discrimination.
I have been catcalled or sexually harassed walking down the street more times than are worth counting; this is not something specific to me, but to all women (street/online harassment are not the focus of my musings here, but there is an abundance of scholarship and personal writings about this issue out there that I encourage everyone to explore). Usually, my tactic for surviving these situations with as much dignity as possible is pure denial; I look ahead, keep a straight face and a quick stride. But some of the most layered, twisted, and confusing harassment I have experienced is from Black men in South Minneapolis, who call me out on my whiteness while degrading and mocking my sex.
I finally got to watch PBS' new documentary charting the women's rights movement in America (thanks PBS for posting the entire 3 hour film online for us to enjoy here). As much as I (someone majoring in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) or anyone else may know about the eruption of second wave feminism in the 1960s and 70s, it is still powerful to reflect on these histories. The film does a great job of featuring countless interviews with men and women, including people involved in organizations that countered feminist movements (pro-life activists, anti-ERA activists, etc). It is impossible to feature every aspect of a social movement, especially one as far-reaching and revolutionary as the women's liberation movement - which affected men, women, children, the economy, popular culture, law, education policies, labor rights, etc. However, I was a bit disappointed with the gentle highlight of women of color and their response to the second wave, which I think could have been better handled; especially considering that these fierce conversations between women of color feminisms and tradtionally white, middle-class feminism are what brought on the third wave. As many others have recognized, I also wish that the film had ventured into the late 1990s up until now, with young feminist movements and their utilization of the Internet (hello!). Perhaps they will continue making segments of "Makers," and continue this story, but for now, here are some articles and reviews that I find critical to the film:
At first glance, the website PINK Loves Consent appears to be genuine. Could it be that Victoria's Secret is actually starting a campaign raising awareness about sexual violence and rape? It sounds too good to be true, and unfortunately it is.
After further inspection of the website, one finds statistics, a page called 'Then and Now' that calls out misogynist underwear slogans that Victoria's Secret puts on panties and displays an alternative slogan, and some suspiciously photo-shopped looking underwear, but the real giveaway that this site is a commentary on Victoria's Secret is the range of women used to model the 'new campaign. On the home page is a curvy African-American woman, and other pages feature plus-sized white women. All of the women on the website are beautiful, of course, but would Victoria's Secret really go so far as to change their slogans, provide education on healthy sex, AND portray an array of body types? Not likely.
It is obvious this website is attempting to bring awareness to some of the issues with Victoria's Secret, such as the unattainable sizes of the models and promotion of rape culture. Perhaps you're wondering, what is this 'rape culture' I keep mentioning. Well, let me explain:
"Rape culture is a concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape."
Some indicators that you may live in a rape culture include: victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape. An example of trivializing rape is rape jokes; rape jokes are not only disrespectful and potentially harmful to victims' feelings, but also communicate a social acceptance of rape as a behavior and may communicate to rapists that their actions are acceptable or even normal. In a rape culture, sexual violence towards women is commonplace and women's bodies are regarded as sexually available by default.
While there is some debate over whether or not America constitutes a rape culture, personally I believe that it doesn't take a whole lot of thought and observation to recognize that it does. Rape culture is a problem because the behaviors that characterize it are correlated with not only increased sexual violence, but also increased racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, and other forms of discrimination.
The Minnesota Women's Consortium is the largest statewide network of women's groups in the nation, currently serving 170 member organizations. The Consortium's purpose is to achieve equality and justice for all women and girls by connecting organizations and individuals that share that goal.