Q.) What’s your beef with the content on some of those subreddits? It can’t be that bad, right?A.) Wrong. I’ll show you why after the break line. But first, I must place a *Severe Trigger Warning (graphic, explicit, and just plain upsetting content/imagery)* for the rest of this pending post.
- Bell Hooks, Feminism is for Everybody, page 1
Because so many aspects of our culture normalize rape on a subconscious level.
Because Kansas and Arizona pass bills that allows the beliefs of a doctor or pharmacist to trump the health of a woman. And because fetuses are becoming increasingly more important than the woman carrying them.
Because a state representative can compare a woman giving birth to livestock.
Because legislature that criminalizes pregnancy and abortion are being forced into discussion again and again.
Because the rest of the world wants to know why American women aren’t angrier.
Because of bills that limit the time frame of my choices.
Because for some reason, religion is a legitimate reason to interfere in my uterus.
Because the Protect Life Act even exists.
Because women who miscarry or lose their babies are being charged with murder.
Because a woman who tried to commit suicide while pregnant was jailed and charged with feticide.
Because ectogenesis technology could further remove birthing rights from a mother.
Because programs like this even have to exist.
Because birth control is suddenly a religious issue. Because women can be fired for using birth control as a contraceptive. Because the benefits of no-cost or inexpensive birth control are overlooked. Because ignorance necessitates posts like this.
Because again and again, organizations like the Medicaid Woman’s Health Program are seen as unnecessary. Because even the Susan G. Komen Foundation tried to stop funding Planned Parenthood. And if you think we’re past that, think again.
Because America ranks among a very small number of countries that don’t have paid, mandatory pregnancy leave. In fact, women routinely get forced out of their jobs for being pregnant.
Because public discourse from men like Rush Limbaugh is insulting and misogynistic and goes mostly unpunished.
Because the U.S. Military has some of the highest rape rates and most reprehensible policies for dealing with them.
Because women are bitches for saying no and sluts for saying yes. Because we are valued by how many or few cocks have been in our vaginas.
Because this is normal.
Because I don’t know a single woman who has not been harassed, derided, assaulted. Because I know many women and girls who have been raped. Because I’ve seen the long term, life long repercussions of sexual abuse.
Don’t tell me there isn’t a war on women. And don’t tell me the economy is more important than this. This barely scratches the surface.
Repeat after Soraya Chemaly: I am a woman and I have these human rights. The right to life. The right to privacy. The right to freedom. The right to bodily integrity. The right to decide when and how I reproduce.
Long read but seriously worth the read.
Filing this under: things to read whenever I start to feel uninspired / misguided.
- Monica Ali
While white women were trying to gain equal treatment to white men, Sojourner Truth was asking “Ain’t I A Woman?. ” She was trying to gain at least a sliver of the level of respect and dignity afforded the to the white woman, a piece of the same treatment they were trying to upgrade from.
She wasn’t a woman. Because she wasn’t even seen as a human.
And that’s all I have to say concerning white women and their oh so precious feminism.
August 23, 2009
In “If Men Could Menstruate,” Gloria Steinem makes the persuasive argument that “Whatever a ‘superior’ group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever an ‘inferior’ group has will be used to justify its plight.”
For too long the definition of racism has been a fight between white and black manhood or “who’s the bigger man”, so to speak. We’ve trivialized the existence of gender between both groups of men in favor for discussion of the “bigger issue”.
This has historically enabled white female supremacy—the most unchallenged form of white supremacy—to escape any critical thought.
What if suddenly, instantly, the power of white femininity were transferred to black women?
The answer is clear: Black women would represent value, purity; and based on their natural traits would be worthy of protection and instantly become the objects of universal desire. White women would represent the opposite.
“Beauty tar potion” would become globally popular to get the “black look.” “Dove” would be replaced with a black soap called “Raven” to help exfoliate the skin and bring out subtle hints of melanin.
White female features would be declared violent. Their “jagged” thin lips, “knife sharp” noses, and “harsh” jaw lines would be nature’s way of expressing why men have a natural preference for the soft features of black women. Soft lips, soft cheekbones, and soft, round noses would be proof of natural femininity. Full, pink lips and large, dark eyes would become associated with virginal black girls whose purity must not be compromised. Black female features would thus be said to represent youth.
Straight, blond hair would be considered “wild and unruly” because when the wind blew, it did not stay in place. Women with naturally straight hair would hide their “unruly” and “wild” stick-straight hair in public. The desire for “lightweight hair” that defied gravity would permanently end the use of blow dryers. Keeping one’s natural blond hair wild and straight would become indicative of a political statement.
The anti-aging properties of black female skin combined with soft, curvy bodies would be proof of the overall reproductive health of black women. Scientists would argue that black women were naturally preferred as long term mates and mothers because they were “healthier.” Men’s attraction to women is based on overall health and fertility, after all.
Suddenly, biracial women would be “in” because the hard features of white women wouldn’t prevent the fragile genes of “black beauty” from peeking through. Men would suddenly have the desire to date “ethnic,” non-black women since they would look “closer to black” than blond women—at least they wouldn’t look like white women.
Statistics would equate the fact that white women make up the majority with their “overpowering” and “strong” population. This would be proof that they could handle unsafe neighborhoods. The “strong culture” they would have created amongst themselves would enable them to withstand their lack of protection from predators and criminals. Statisticians would argue that men were attracted to black women innately because they made up a small percentage of the population. “We tend to value what is rare,” they might say.
Men would proclaim that white women deserve sexual objectification because “flat buttocks” allow for deeper penetration. In ghettos across America, men would stand on street corners and yell “Damn! You got a flat ass!” to remind white women of their sexual status in society.
Upper class women would be afraid that their “asses looked flat” since it would represent animalistic and sexual deviance, like white women. Black women’s buttocks, said to protrude farther from the body, would prove that their natural vulnerability made them “less equipped” to handle hardcore sex and rape like white women could.
“I need a strong white woman!” would become a popular “empowering” slogan for exploitative men who rationalized the emotional, financial, and sexual overburdening of white women.
Overweight white nannies would become the “acceptable white women” in popular culture as they do not pose a threat to black female superiority and privilege. Conventionally attractive white women would serve as a sexual threat to black women for single-handedly breaking down the beauty hierarchy.
Hip hop videos would feature men throwing money at “white bitches” bent over in front of the camera to showcase their white asses, eager for deep penetration. Entire songs would be devoted to hatred of “white gold digging bitches” who believed that they were entitled to the financial security in marriage to which black women were entitled. “Penetrable white asses” and “pale-faced hoes” would become the cash commodity for selling entire musical genres.
White women’s “hard” bodies would be deemed more “capable” of fighting off sexual attackers, while the soft curves of black female bodies would become worthy of police protection. White women, despite being at high risk of being victimized by violence and sexual crimes, would not “need” police protection.
Movies would feature black women as the main objects of men’s desire across racial lines while stereotypes of evil, bitter, and oversexed white women would further prove why men of all races simply did not prefer blonds. “We can’t help those to whom we’re attracted,” men would say. “Preference” would become an unconcealed acceptance of discrimination against white women. White women’s anger towards and sadness about the status quo would show their unreasonable jealousy of the innate superiority of black women.
Republicans would ban abortions to protect the virtue of pure, black motherhood and liberals would advocate increasing the number of abortion clinics in “low income” neighborhoods where white women would be the majority. Liberals would claim that white women had “culturally” approved of sexual objectification and were “safe enough” without outside help since they were warned not to touch “in-group issues” with a ten foot pole.
And so on and so forth.
The most important reality is that black feminists would eventually grow tired of being seen as innocent and vulnerable in patriarchy and would fight to erase the commodity of black femininity. “The innocent, submissive, and vulnerable representation of women is what puts us in danger. The rigid category of femininity has contributed to our oppression,” they might argue.
In the back of every black feminist movement we would hear the quiet and dignified pleas of radical white feminists. “But, we do not represent femininity. We are considered strong, incapable of feeling pain, and sexually deviant—but all this has done is increase our likelihood of being in danger. And aren’t we women too?”
As Gloria Steinem wrote, “In short, the characteristics of the powerful, whatever they may be, are thought to be better than the characteristics of the powerless - and logic has nothing to do with it.”
What remains universally evident is that the many justifications for power and privilege are always inherent, always scientific, and always permeate society to the point that they remain deeply buried within our collective consciousness.
Until someone challenges them.
I got this in an email 2yrs ago and I still have it.
- Ariel Levy, Foreward, Intercourse
I’m enough of a feminist to want equal rights for all genders, but not enough to believe that all men are dogs. There’s some bitchy women out there that hurt some of the nicest men. Hell, I’ve been one.