What the what?

Scarlet – I mean CRIMSON – ladies

Posted in What the what? on July 30th, 2010 by steph – 3 Comments

While reading an article on stuff.co.nz about how crimson is the new hot colour, I learnt that, being  the  “busty shape” that I am, I should

…avoid deep V-necks in the colour, which could send the wrong message.

The wrong message? Like…? Oh, I get it. Instead of saying ‘I look good in crimson, and also suit deep v-necks because I’m busty’, it might say that I’m a bit loose and like to show off my goodies. I see what they’re getting at.

“Implicit Consent”, take two

Posted in What the what? on July 29th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on “Implicit Consent”, take two

Apparently some people still don’t get the really simple concept that consenting to one sexual act (or even one non-sexual one) doesn’t equal consent for all sexual acts (or non-sexual acts). It really isn’t that hard a concept to understand, is it?

Does a “slut uniform” come with all items included, or do you have to buy each piece separately?

Posted in What the what? on July 26th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Via The Sexist:

In the US, a university student was denied a rape kit after reporting she was drugged and sexually assaulted at a party. Luckily, we have a concerned citizen to point out the very sensible reason she was denied: stiletto heels! Her rape doesn’t matter because she was wearing stilettos!

You know god-damned well a woman today on a weekend night looks and acts like a prostitute. (tramp stamp/tongue ring/stiletto heels . . . This article is about a woman who wasn’t even sure if she was raped. She thinks she was, but she doesn’t know. The Doctor, who has important things to do, made the decision to turn this woman away. That is his prerogative. I don’t blame him. Imagine if you will, a young woman coming into your clinic, drunk to the gills, stiletto heels, a pound of make-up, dressed like a prostitute, and expecting a rape kit. Too bad! . . . If she is shitfaced and wearing a slut uniform (tramp stamp/tongue ring/nipple piercing/one pound of make-up/stiletto heels) then whatever happens to her is her responsibility.

That skankbag was dressed like a big slutty slut, and was gagging for it but putting all her goodies out on display.

Oh, except for the fact that she actually wasn’t wearing stilettos…..Yeah….

And even if she was, who gives a fuck? What footwear is acceptable? What footwear isn’t slutty enough to prompt rape (which stilettos totes do, y’all), and but also wholesome enough to warrant you getting a rape kit when that non-existent rape (because you wont be wearing slutty shoes) does happen? I’m pretty sure we can rule out any kind of Doc Martens/heavy boots, because that just makes you a lesbian, don’t you know?

Amanda talks about how this case subverts the general script that rape apologists tend to follow:

This is the general script for rape apologists:

1. Isolate a detail about the rape victim—it could be her appearance, her attire, her level of intoxication, her upbringing, her sexual history, or her presence at a particular party—really, anything will do.

2. Decide that that particular detail designates her as a less-than-perfect rape victim.

3. Assert that this rape doesn’t matter because the victim was asking for it / wasn’t taking charge of her own safety / is lying / doesn’t deserve any of the limited amount of the sympathy we extend to “real” victims of rape.

This troll has reversed that script. First, decide that you don’t care about the rape. Then, assume that the rape victim must conform to one of the accepted cultural markers of an “imperfect” victim (short skirt / stiletto heels / sexually promiscuous / had been drinking / has a piercing / in a bad neighborhood / has a tattoo—on the lower back! / wears make-up / and good luck if you’re transgender).

And I think this is an excellent breakdown of how rape apologists roll.

“She knew what she was doing”

Posted in What the what? on July 24th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

From Jezebel.com:

A jury ruled yesterday against a woman who claimed her reputation was damaged after she was featured on a Girls Gone Wild video. What happened was, Jane Doe was dancing in a bar, and someone (another woman in the bar, not one of the crew members, though this obviously doesn’t make it ok) pulled her top down, exposing her breasts to the Girls Gone Wild camera crew. She never signed a consent form to appear on Girls Gone Wild exposing herself (as is procedure), and can be heard on the footage saying “no, no” when asked to show her breasts. So, basically she was assaulted on camera, and yet, when she sued Girls Gone Wild, the jury ruled against her. The jury foreman is quoted as saying

that they figured if she was willing to dance in front of the photographer, she was probably cool with having her breasts on film. They said she gave implicit consent by being at the bar, and by participating in the filming – though she never signed a consent form, and she can be heard on camera saying “no, no” when asked to show her breasts.

I don’t even have any words to describe how horrible this is. Being at a bar and dancing in the presence of the camera crew implies she’s fine with having her top yanked down and her breasts filmed, and then having that film be distributed for people to watch? Fuck. Every single aspect of this is made of wrong. Ignoring her non-consent? Wrong. Yanking her top down? Wrong. Filming her? Wrong. Distributing the film? Wrong. Talking about implicit consent, when actual legal consent procedures are clearly in place for Girls Gone Wild? Wrong. Victim-blaming (especially apparent in this article, with quotes like “she knew what she was doing”)? Wrong. Girls Gone Wild, and the jury, have a lot to answer for. If she wanted to show her breasts on a Girls Gone Wild video, she would have pulled her own top down. So saying she “knew what she was doing” has an added layer of stupid: if she knew what she was doing (being filmed baring her breasts), then why would it take someone else forcibly removing her top for that to happen? Facepalm indeed. (Obviously there are bigger, more obvious problems with the “she knew what she was doing” comment and mentality, such as the glaring, in-your-face victim blaming that places all the responsibility for the incident on her, but I just wanted to add this comment on the stupidly warped logic of it all).

Holy shizzle

Posted in What the what? on July 23rd, 2010 by steph – 5 Comments

500 calories a day? Way to be a thinly disguised starvation diet. Also, with the unlimited coffee you have the recipe for a very dizzy person with kerazy heart palpitations. I feel lighheaded just reading the words ‘500 calories a day’.

What the What??

Posted in New Zealand, What the what? on July 14th, 2010 by steph – 1 Comment

Julie at The Hand Mirror has an excellent take-down of Garth George’s Herald column about Andy Haden. And when I say ‘column’, I mean ‘massive explosion of explicit and overt racism and sexism’.  I can barely form words after reading it, and suggest you check out Julie’s great post because it is well worth your attention. One the excellent points she makes is, if Garth feels that

it also pays to engage the brain before putting the mouth in gear, and to keep some thoughts to oneself except, perhaps, in trusted company.

and so thinks that Andy should have kept these thoughts to himself, then why on earth would Garth himself then spew them out in a public newspaper column?

This is not even the worst of the idiocy in his column, unfortunately. If his goal was to be massively offensive, mission accomplished. I suppose my problem (and Julie’s and every other person who reads his column on hande with horror) is just that I am too PC, right?

God has a plan

Posted in What the what? on July 8th, 2010 by steph – 1 Comment

In the USA, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle recently made comments explaining why she opposes abortion even in the cases of rape and/or incest:

“You know, I’m a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things”

She was given the oppourtunity to explain (or, I suppose, ‘clarify’) her statement, and I think describing rape (or incest, she doesn’t specify exactly what the situations these girls were in) as a “lemon situation” (talk about an understatement!) that can be made into lemonade, is pretty awful.

Additionally, I never quite understand the “God’s plan” perspective; if rape can be part of God’s plan, why can’t abortion also be part of it? If it is about medical interference, then we should probably shut all the hospitals. If it is about ‘ending a life’, then I guess the US should take the death penalty off the table.


Issues of consent

Posted in New Zealand, What the what? on July 7th, 2010 by steph – 6 Comments

I find this worrying.

I mean, it’s always good when someone avoids being charged for a crime they didn’t commit. But the secret filming aspect left a nasty taste in my mouth. I have no problems with people filming themselves having sex; have at it, everyone, do whatever gets you going – as long as all the people involved have consented.

It makes me wonder about the thought process of someone who does something like this; why they don’t seem to respect that something personal and intimate is really not enough of a big deal that the other person involved should know about it or anything silly like that. Of course, possibly the real motivation is some sort of ‘getting off on knowing the other person doesn’t know’ thing, which is still, of course, very problematic. Either way, it seems to be the case that boundaries just don’t exist, or don’t matter. And it says a lot that a guy can feel like it’s ok for him to just do what he wants (tape himself and the woman) without knowing or caring how she might feel about it.

I’m also curious to know whether or not this was the only time he has done something like this. After all, secretly filming someone is, by definition, secret, and the people being filmed aren’t aware it is being done; so who would know if this is the first and only time? It seems like a kind of boundary-crossing, illegal behaviour that comes from a problematic thought process ; and, either not knowing it is wrong, not caring, or thinking one will never be caught are all motivations that could easily lead to repeatedly performing this behaviour.

I find the tone of this article problematic; apparently he must have shown regret and remorse and shown to police he had learned a lesson to be granted diversion. But why the hell does someone feel they are entitled to do something like this in the first place?? I have no intention of tarring all men with the same brush and saying why do men think they are allowed to do this sort of thing. But there are definitely men out there who, when it comes to sex, seem to have a great sense of entitlement. I am very glad his name had been published, and put out there for everyone to see.

On a lighter note, this kind of story would be a great scare tactic for anti-sex conservatives to use: don’t go home with a guy and have dirty, dirty casual sex, because he is probably secretly filming you!

Unacceptable. Full stop.

Posted in New Zealand, What the what? on July 7th, 2010 by steph – 5 Comments

Sometimes I forget, with all our proud espousing of how forward-thinking and progressive we are, that some of the views that are tolerated here in New Zealand are so ridiculously archaic it makes me want to cry. Yes, I know, there will always be a group of crazies and this is no way represents the majority of people and their views. But I find it abhorrent that anyone still thinks this way. I guess I can understand how people can still think like this; someone needs to be blamed when bad things happen, right?

Yes, totally. But where I stop understanding is when the victim-blaming starts. Criminals are responsible for committing crimes.

“I’m of the mind that if women head out on the town with the purpose of being shagged by a sportsman, then they must bear some responsibility for their actions.”

Sure, except for the part where going out with the intention of having sex turns into something completely different: being the victim of a crime. That part puts the responsibility into the hands of the person who committed it.

While I could write endlessly about victim-blaming, slut-shaming, and the notion that apparently women can be held entirely responsible for their actions but men not held responsible at all for theirs, these have been written about much more eloquently before, so I will choose to just focus on what Kerre has to say.

“Treating all women as victims infantilises them. If women want sexual freedom, they must accept sexual responsibility.”

Would she say this about men? If men want sexual freedom (which I imagine they do), they must accept sexual responsibility, i.e. the possibility of being raped or otherwise sexually assaulted? I know this isn’t a new argument (“how would we feel if this was being said about men and not women? Nobody would stand for it!”), but there’s a reason people use it. Apparently we, as women, have to accept a lot of things that aren’t part of the deal that we signed up for (since when was sexual assault part and parcel of sexual freedom?), but the same doesn’t seem to be true for men.

“…aggrieved slapper…” “…drunken trollop…”

Skank! Slut! Whore! Hussy! Woman of ill-repute! Hands up anyone else who is bored with the ‘woman who wants sex getting called names’ thing. And yes, the double-standard regarding wanting and having sex making you awesome (if you are male) or dirty (if you are female), is ridiculous, and it’s existence is something any vaguely tuned-in high-schooler could point out. I suppose a lot of people don’t grow out of the calling-women-sluts stage where a lot of teenagers spend some time.

I acknowledge that she calls these “sleazy and predatory” sportsmen out for being arrogant arses”, but she also claims that any woman out to ‘bag’ a sportsman for a bit of sweet consensual lovin’ shouldn’t be surprised when he takes advantage of her and commits a sexual crime of some sort. I find myself leaping to the defense of the (I’m sure) majority of sportsmen in New Zealand who are decent, normal, non-rapist guys. If I were one of them I would feel pretty awful knowing that expectations are for them to be criminals instead of guys who can have an nice, consensual sexual encounter, or refuse said encounter politely.

Also, in reagrds to her statement “The courts are there to deal with crimes that are alleged to have been committed…” (which goes on to comment on the media and it’s role as an outlet for women who feel wronged but the courts have said ‘oh no, not wronged enough for us’). Even if the woman reports the crime (and reporting rates are not high), rates of acquittal are high. So, it seems the courts may not necessarily deal with the crimes that “…are alleged to have been committed…”.

However, some of the people commenting on the article did give me hope (amongst the ones that inevitably made me quite angry):

“Unwanted sex and sex with someone in a coma (even an alcoholic coma) are rape, always. It doesn’t matter how much of a “slapper” or “trollop” a girl is, it is an act of violence and it is against the law to have sex with them without their consent, it is not an “occupational hazard” that they need to take responsibility for.”

“No means no and if you are comatose you certainly did not say “yes please”.”

Stone age attitudes all of them, falling into the stereotypes that excuse rape by focusing on the woman’s behaviour and not the actions of the man, who rapes because he can. He can claim it’s her fault and so can absolve himself from responsibility for his behaviour, he can say she asked for it, that “no” means “yes”.”

Thank you, sane commenters, for being the voice of reason.