Feminism, Fluff, Sweet Machine

Something reminded me of this recently…

…I can’t imagine what.

As bonus weekend fluff, please enjoy this old chestnut from The Onion: Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement. Excerpt:

“All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business,” said McGowan, who quickly closed the 23.5 percent gender wage gap by “making a few calls to the big boys upstairs.” “In the world of gender identity and empowered female sexuality, it’s all about who you know.”

McGowan, who was selected from a pool of roughly 150 million candidates, made eliminating sexual harassment his first priority before working on securing reproductive rights for women in all 50 states, and promoting healthy body images through an influx of strong, independent female characters in TV, magazines, and film.

“It’s about time,” McGowan said upon returning from a golf game with several “network honchos” in which he brokered a deal to bring a variety of women’s sports to prime-time television. “These ladies should have brought me on years ago.”

51 thoughts on “Something reminded me of this recently…”

  1. “One in every six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.”

    How did the other five escape? That is what I want to know. Maybe they died (very) young, or lived and died alone on desert islands? Nah. Don’t believe it. No way that five out of six women in the western world (and I don’t know about the rest of the world) escape sexual assault, sorry I just don’t believe it.

    Where are these non-assaulted women? Why don’t we hear more from them? I am in London, England. I don’t think our statistics are any better. You should have said “One in every six American women will be admit to having been sexually assaulted in her lifetime.”

    I think it is a very rare women who lives an average lifespan without being sexually assaulted by a man. I can’t think of anyone I know. Not my mother, not my sister, not my daughters.

    Justan Other Victim

  2. Took me a minute, with that 150 million candidate number. Meaning ANY man in the US (and Canada, too, probably), was qualified.

  3. LOL. Nice. But I’m also stumped as to what reminded you of it. Were you cooking something involving onions? Listening to Phillip Glass while staring forlornly at the ceiling? What?

  4. Say, on a completely unrelated topic, this very important advice JUST NOW got stuck in the mod queue and I fear I spamminated the author. By accident, natch. So I bring you this help, which I think will give all of us some much-needed perspective:

    This is a pretty good description of the mindset out there. Yes, there’s rapists there. Yes, there are people who don’t listen. But by the looks of things, this blog is about one frightened female who is angry communicating to other frightened and angry females about the justification they have for their fear and anger.

    Is it wrong? No. But it encourages fear and anger. Or guilt, if you’re a guy. And you know what? Most rapists have huge amount of guilts – so much that they can’t process it, turn it off, and just zone out their conscience.

    So sure, if you want to create a nice safe zone for ranting, great! All power to you. (and yes, I don’t see anything wrong with it, I’m not being sarcastic). But it’s really just encouraging the status quo – which means the situation between men and women.”

    The user’s screen name was one that’s usually given to males. I wonder if he was one of the 150 million applicants? Because he sure has some good ideas!

  5. To commenter Would Rather Not Say — Your comment got stuck in moderation. There’s nothing wrong with it at all, but did you perhaps you mean to post it to the Schrodinger’s Rapist thread? LMK or just try it again. Thanks!

  6. But it encourages fear and anger.

    Gosh, and here I thought it was rapists, harassers, and misogynists encouraging my fear and anger. Thanks for setting me straight!

    eyeroll sprain

  7. Most rapists have huge amount of guilts

    And women like us are just making it harder on them — I never even thought of that! Fuck, we really do need a man in charge, don’t we?

  8. Oh, I know! I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been totes flashing back on all sorts of things from the Internet WayBack Machine! Like:

    I know it must be hard to fathom that a girl doesn’t care what a smart man thinks about the thing that she cares most about in the world, or that there’s a movement that exists that doesn’t much take into consideration what men have to say on the topic. I know I’m supposed to 1) nod thoughtfully as I process your wisdom, asking clarifying questions about your points just in case I don’t immediately understand something you say, and then 2) offer up some powerful and intelligent argument on why feminism is important, and then 3) try to prove my point with examples from women in politics and a few stories about my grandmother, but of course, in the end, 4) concede that yes, you have some very good points that I will certainly think about, and thank you for educating me about feminism and correcting me on those things I didn’t fully understand about women and the world.”


    You’re a d00dly d00d. Everyone around you since birth has been praising you for sharing your thoughts, opining on topics far and wide, and generally taking fucking action!

    You have just visited a feminist blog, have read a post and/or some other comments, and your d00dly opining d00d brain lobe is pulsating like a motherfucker with all sorts of extremely important d00dly things to share with the laydeez.”

    and, of course:

    “I’ve noticed that the men who come on to feminist blogs to argue about how men have rights too and how feminists are woefully misguided about the true nature of women – these men very often have obviously male names. They make it clear, if not within their comments, then with their handles, that they’re men.

    I wonder, if these guys want to actually engage in meaningful dialogue about feminist ideas, as they claim they do, why do they feel the need to make it clear from the get go that they’re men?

    Could it be that they assume from a lifetime of male privilege that they have a right, an obligation even, to interrupt women, announce their manhood, and expect full attention? That any discussion among women is not legitimate until a man is there to guide the conversational journey? That what they say has more weight and is inherently more important that anything a woman has to say? That women joyfully welcome the wisdom of the male perspective on whatever topic is at hand?

    Or are they hoping that the feminists will quickly see that one of the “enemy” is in their midst and then attack whatever he says (because he’s a man, of course, and not because he’s saying ridiculous and ignorant things), thereby giving him all the proof he needs to support his argument that feminists are a bunch of hateful irrational hags that viciously slander the kind-hearted men who only want to help them become better people?”

    I don’t know why though. Must be some cosmic “collective unconscious” thing. Full moon?

  9. Did someone seriously just try to say that everyone here should be more sensitive to the guilt that rapists feel so that they’ll…I dunno, stop being rapists? Not have to pay for therapy? SERIOUSLY?

    I don’t envy whoever is modding these threads right now.

  10. “this blog is about one frightened female who is angry communicating to other frightened and angry females about the justification they have for their fear and anger”

    Frightened? Nah. Angry? Yeah, pretty much. The frustration is strangling me, the stabby pain is punching me in the back of my skull, my blood is boiling, and I want to run down the street barefoot and screaming.

    I wonder if I would still be approached…

    Since I cannot actually get up in the face of the perpetrator(s) who have triggered this whole body reaction of fury and loathing, I think I’ll settle for a drink and maybe a smoke. Then I’ll try to see the humor in the situation. Or not.

  11. Yeah, I don’t think “frightened” is the right word for the feeling I have right now. “Homicidal” might be more accurate other than the fact that, unlike the trollboys, I have some sense of both self restraint and socially appropriate behavior.

  12. Now that’s an ally!

    As for rapist guilt, I imagine that turning themselves in would help. I know when I do something bad I feel a lot guiltier if I get away without punishment.

  13. TO: TROLL
    FROM: ME
    “But it encourages fear and anger. Or guilt, if you’re a guy. And you know what? Most rapists have huge amount of guilts – so much that they can’t process it, turn it off, and just zone out their conscience.”

    First of all, watch your grammar, dude. Second, I’m wondering how you know what is going on in the mind of most rapists. Are you a forensic psychologist? Are you a rapist? Third, if you are correct about the guilt, I guess it means that we ought to “get over” our fear and respond to men with more compassion because if we don’t it’s just perpetuating the cycle, and it’s our job to change interactions between men and women, is it not? Fourth, thank you for sharing your profound wisdom. Perhaps we ought to hire you to run the blog because you obviously know what it is best for us.

  14. Woe is me! I cannot live with the guilt that I feel such guilt over the fact that I have caused guilt in a person who is guilty of guilt.

    The poor poor rapist!! Okay, so someone was raped, but how can you compare tearing someone’s life apart to the gawd-awful guilt that the rapist has been made to feel??!! The psychological and physical pain that was inflicted by the rapist was surely not a crime that fits the punishment of being made to feel GUILT over it??

    Dude… da fuck?

  15. That is so perfect, pity the people who it’s aimed at probably won’t get it.

    … or they will, and blog about it ad nauseam.

  16. I wish those kinds of people would realize that the best way to get rid of the “all men are potential rapists” fear is to, y’know, hate rapists. Because with all the rape jokes, the victim blaming, the slut shaming, the ridiculous overreactions to feminism and any criticism of rape culture, and the whole “Let my penis tell you what it’s like to be a woman!”. . .I’m really not inclined to be forgiving to the random guy who approaches me. Even if he happens to be neuro-atypical.

  17. I do find many of the situations I’ve been in frightening, but this set of threads has stirred a really deep anger and brought up a bunch of shit I thought I’d kicked. It is a really good thing that no one has given me any fuckness on the bus or street the last couple days. And I’m seriously leaving my posts up for awhile before posting, because I’m so furious that I have to make sure I’m coherent, and contributing something rather than just releasing my bile. (Some commenters seem able to release their bile in funny and well-written ways, but I tend to get . . . um . . . less funny and well-written, and more snarly and cruel, and once or twice I’ve found myself writing like people here are my therapists.)

    Also, I don’t know what I find more disturbing: the trolls who completely deny our experiences, or the ones who are all “yeah, that’s absolutely the way it is, but for the sake of all those rapists, please don’t talk about it, because they get all traumatized all over again, and you don’t even KNOW what it’s like dealing with Bob when he’s been reminded of trying to set that one woman on fire, and then Steve has to rehash all the trouble and expense it was to stalk that one chick – I mean, do you *know* how awful it is standing outside and trying to look in windows during mosquito season? And the long distance charges on phone lines these days are outrageous! So, please, ladies, it really would make things better if we could mutually pretend that things are great!”

    (No offense to non-rapists named Bob or Steve.)

  18. Man, RKMK, that first quote is so excellent. Completely spot on.

    Anita, I’ve been riled up/angry/thinking/sad since the xkcd thread too. It’s been a very weird few days.

  19. Anita- please be more sensitive- surely you mean no offense to rapists called Bob and Steve, as well as just the non-rapists? The poor dears are having such a hard time with their guilts. Perhaps we could form some kind of support group for them?

  20. I HATE it when men who claim to be feminists suggest that the feminist movement would be better served by women shutting up and just dealing with discrimination, harassment, or inequality. It’s as if no woman has a right to speak–according to the male feminist–if he does not agree with her on every point.

    A real male feminist (or feminist ally) would try to really understand what women are saying and learn something from it. As I live with one of those, I know what the genuine ally response is like.

  21. So the real reason people are rapists is that they feel so guilty, they just have to shut off their concience to be able to live with themselves. And then that shut-off concience causes them to rape…

    Hey wait a minute, if it was the guilt that made the rapists, what were they feeling guilty about before?

    Oh right, they were feeling guilty because all the evil, insensitive, thoughtless feminists were telling them that it is not ok for them to see women as sexual objects to be used however they want. If we all could just stop demanding to be treated like human beings and complaining about rapists, there wouldn’t be any rape at all, and poor, innocent men wouldn’t be forced into a life of crime by the evil guilt.

    Excuse me, I need to go throw up some more

  22. Katy, I think you misunderstood. I was complimenting Bob and Steve the rapists because they are *SO* conscience stricken that they can barely function. Clearly, they are superior moral beings. I was apologizing to Bob and Steve the non-rapists because they’re taking the easy road – not raping *anyone* and completely dodging all those complicated ethical questions. I’m sure they have their reasons, though, and without knowing them, I don’t want to offend them!

    This afternoon I’m making a nice big donation to Zoning Out Your Consciousness: A Guide for Rapists Unable to Process Their Guilts.

  23. The conversation this week has really been fascinating, in that you really start to see that what women have always known to be a horrible problem (rape and rape culture, even if you’ve never actually been raped) seems to elude so many men so completely, in so many ways, even if they are not *actual* misogynists. It just made me remember a conversation I was having with my sister’s boyfriend, who 99.9% of the time is a really cool, really smart, really empathic guy, but this just made me infuriated. Apparently there was a news item where a Hofstra student had accused four male students of raping her, they were put in jail while they awaited trial, and then suddenly she recanted. My sister’s boyfriend insisted that that must mean they didn’t rape her. (I thought to myself, “Get ready to play bingo!”) I suggested the possibility that they did, but possibly the police, the rapists’ attorneys, maybe even the rapists’ families and just the press coverage in general intimidated her enough to think she wouldn’t be believed in court. (It happens all the time.) My sister’s boyfriend said that it was “highly likely” that they didn’t rape her, because “they were worrying about getting financial aid and now they’re sitting in jail cells and she ruined their lives.” I said that poor people can rape too, and that if they did rape a woman, I do not feel sorry for them because they’re poor. In fact, even if you are poor, I tried to explain, rape is generally the kind of crime that retains some power for you if you are a man, because it’s one thing that a man can hurt a woman with simply because he is a man and she is a woman. (And yes, as we’ve discussed in other threads, women can sometimes rape men, and men sometimes rape other men, etc. etc. but as far as hetero interactions, it’s MUCH easier and more common for a man to rape a woman.) It is not actually sex, I was saying, it is a form of torture that way. My mom piped in and said, “Yeah, why do you think the Serbs raped all those women in Bosnia during that war?” And then- here’s bingo- my sister’s boyfriend said, “Well, that was, like, part of a war, you know, for religious reasons…” And I lost my shit. I was like, “YOU’RE SERIOUSLY STANDING THERE JUSTIFYING RAPE?! AND YOU’RE DATING MY SISTER?!?!?!?!”

    After my mother, my sister and I explained it a little further, he seemed to understand, and agree that even when rape happens, it’s not one of those crimes that can ever be “justified.” But still- a lot of nice guys, who may be actual nice guys, are just so misguided about what rape actually is and actually entails, and that’s what leads them to do these stupid things or make these stupid comments- and then their feelings get all hurt because they ARE nice guys. REALLY. Some guy on another thread mentioned seeing the movie Irreversible and how it really made him see how horrible rape actually is, showing all the violence in graphic detail without eroticizing it. I wish there was some universal way like that that would allow men to somehow actually understand without it being too much of a stretch.

  24. I have a friend (or possibly had a friend) who discovered feminism and feminist blogs fairly recently. Without even really reading any of them he decided that his bloggy contributions were important. And y’know I tried to be supportive and all that.

    But then every time my boyfriend would say something he didn’t agree with (usually joking) he would come to ME and yell at ME about what my boyfriend said and or did. (All the while joking with my boyfriend.) Most recently when I told him that these issues should be addressed with him he said “Well I basically consider you guys the same person… sooo..”

    Oh yeah, that’s TOTALLY feminism.

  25. Isn’t that funny? Or rather, it would be funny if it wasn’t so frustrating and pathetic.

    It’s like, “Look! Of course I know more about feminism and being a woman than you do because I have a DICK you silly bitch!”

  26. Most recently when I told him that these issues should be addressed with him he said “Well I basically consider you guys the same person… sooo..”

    All hail the King of Feminism!

  27. This reminds me of how you should try harder to not be sick, SM. Have you just TRIED not being sick? That’s all it takes.

  28. My husband is still learning some of the gruesome details of my experiences as a female human, and though I’m pretty sure it’s hard for him to picture the level of fear & dehumanization many women experience just on their daily commute…he takes seriously any stories he hears from me or my girlfriends. My FAVOURITE thing about him is that he has never expected a fucking cookie for viewing and treating women as human beings.

    So many times I start to think well of a male friend for his attitudes and then am shocked to realize that on some level he expects to be lauded for practicing basic human decency towards ze laydeez. For example one guy friend commenting that it’s totes easy for him to get laid because he thinks of women as people, and chicks get totally hot for being respected. How’s THAT for confusion?

  29. ^Oh, if only. I try to act like a decent human being because it’s the right thing to do, but if it also helped with my love life that would be a nice bonus.

  30. I didn’t want to add even more comments to the SP Post of Doom, but has there ever been a thread here that went over 1K comments before?


  31. Assuming you’re refering to the Schrodinger thread, it was an important topic addressed and presented in (to me anyway, and obviously many others) a new and clever and approachable way.

  32. SM – interesting. Somewhat sad/ironic as well that it was a post that has a tangential relationship to FA that went over that mark (though the “hey fellow assholes go troll here” thing probably didn’t help).


  33. DRST: Tangential, yes. But all related to the core truth that Women Are Not Merely Decorative Things.

  34. Two other things this week reminded me of this kerfuffle:

    1. A conversation about cycling where someone brought up that women cyclists are more often killed by trucks than are men cyclists. There followed a discussion about what women cyclists should do differently to prevent this. I said something mild about truck drivers, urban planners, and other motorists being possibly part of a solution, and a blokey cyclist told me “Whatever – but you still have to cycle as if everyone else is out to kill you!” OMG HE LIVES IN FEAR WHAT A SAD STATE OF SOCIETY .

    2. I respond to a door-to-door salesman with the phrase “Sorry, I’m not interested” and he shouts back “Really? You’re not interested in saving money?” He and I and whichever marketing person wrote his script all know what “not interested” means – it’s a standard-issue polite rejection – but the rejoinder ignores my politeness and forces me to be blunt (from a woman, blunt =”rude”) in order to get away from a conversation which started with their representative interrupting my evening.

    Gah. This stuff is everywhere.

  35. Classic Onion… I love it!

    Also on our doodly comment ASarah so lovingly saved from the mod queue:
    I’m not sure if I get it (is there really something to “get”) is he saying that feminists make men feel guilty for being men so that they then have to turn off their conscience to get away from the guilt and thus rape?

    OMG! It’s people! Soylent Green is people!

  36. DRST–sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude. I’m just feeling a wee bit guilty for blog-jacking this weekend, and hoping like heck that some of those who came to comment will stay to get the all-around excellence of the HAES concept. (Except for the trolls, who should leave soonest.)

  37. Hey Everybody! I am a longtime Shapeling and I just wanted you to know that I read THE WHOLE THOUSAND COMMENT THREAD, but never made a comment. ANd now I would like a cookie. HA HA HAHA HA just kidding- great thread, wonderful moderation, you all RULE in HEAVEN and HELL, and THANK YOU.

  38. Hey Everybody! I am a longtime Shapeling and I just wanted you to know that I read THE WHOLE THOUSAND COMMENT THREAD, but never made a comment.

    And now I would like a cookie. HA HA HAHA HA just kidding- great thread, wonderful moderation, you all RULE in HEAVEN and HELL, and THANK YOU.

  39. I would like caramel popcorn. Like Poppycock ™, but without the nuts. And I want to be able to make it in quantity, because Poppycock ™ is so expensive. Does anybody have a really good recipe for that? Anybody who does will, in fact, deserve a cookie, but all I will have will be caramel popcorn.

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