Archive | Ah, misogyny – always a pleasure. RSS feed for this section

Two Ouzo-Sprite, Please.

13 Oct

Actually, just one. Because, as I’ve learned during my latest grrrl holiday: that stuff might make Nadia happy, but, for me, just the smell is an excellent throwing up agent. To be honest, I’ll just have any kind of drink that will make this white supremacist patriarchy end faster, really. Thanks!

So, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged – about anything, really. That’s partially work related, partially related to the mere fact that I sometimes get the sense that I’ve basically said what I wanted to say. Many times. Without any impact, naturally. And there’s not much to add. Except for a link to 2011, perhaps.

kNadia and I mused on whether we should just start doing battle rap and self-centered podcasts instead – “Arab and Afrob Talk About Stuff,” for example. Battle raps indeed seem like the appropriate answer to most of my recent political online communication – this would be the adequate substance level. And that, again, is no only due to the fact that people react absurdly to what feminist bloggers write, but to the fact that feminist bloggers write at all.

When I started this blog, my intention was to make it about pop culture and gender – a fun, pink, neon, silly place where I do the stuff I like and people who like it, too, can come in and participate. Only a few months later, Sady Doyle’s piece about having been a much more cheerful person when first entering the bloggosphere really spoke to me; she followed it up with her analysis of the reactions to women_feminist bloggers with the #MenCallMeThings campaign shortly thereafter. For me, #MenCallMeThings was a nice addition to #WhitesCallMeThings – not that the two don’t frequently overlap.

Overestimating social progress (and/or people’s willingness to evolve past… uh, the social ideals of the Fifties, really?) was pretty much my crucial mistake. Underestimating the viciousness of people who think there are people and then there are women* was another one; the determination of people (predominantly white, heterosexual cis men) whose only purpose in life seems to be to make other people as downtrodden and miserable as possible to be able to continue feeling (and being treated) superior. Who knew?!

This isn’t the internet’s fault. Rather, this medium seems to allow for the concentration of said misogynists (and racists, and heterosexists,…) into a single ball (oh, ze pun) of awfulness, served on a silver platter, day in, day out. It is exhausting as a mirror of social reality. And never was my contempt clearer than now, after having taken a longer break from it. The sad thing is: getting digitally spat on everyday becomes a sort of routine. And I only realized just how routine it is after having taken a step back. Now, I do not feel re-vitalized to jump back in, however, but rather motivated to step further back.

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Im Sektenbunker brennt noch Licht.

30 Oct

Nils (“erlehmann”) studiert Philosophie in Berlin. Und Informatik. Nebenbei bloggt er noch – alles für “nachhaltige Entwicklungen im Bereich Technik und Gesellschaft, d. h. für Freiheit” (naja, die Freiheit von Software und Standards). Was Nils dabei erlernt hat, ist “Godwin’s Law.” Darüber hat er vielleicht auf Wikipedia gelesen (und dahin verlinkt er gerne).

Umso länger eine (Internet-)Debatte andauert, desto wahrscheinlicher wird ein Hitler- oder Nazi­vergleich hervor­gebracht, so ungefähr. Nils fand das super, und hat das gleich gemacht; die Debatte um Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) dauert ja immer­hin auch schon sechs Wochen, da wird’s mal höchste Zeit für einen der selbst­er­klärten Anti­rassist_innen, CWS-Verteidiger_innen Hitler gleich­zu­setzen und People of Color (PoC) mit gehängten Wehr­machts­generälen zu ver­gleichen.

Nils findet nämlich, dass die ganze Debatte viel zu “emotional” sei. Wenn man ein Problem habe mit gruppen­be­zo­gener Menschen­feind­lich­keit, dann könne man diese schließ­lich auch kritiklos ab­lehnen. Und wenn PoC durch Ras­sismus systema­tisch dis­kriminiert werden, recht­fertigt das natürlich keine Wut oder Frustration. Das sind wieder diese “Emotionen,” und die kann man im Bereich der “ernsten Themen” wie “Technik und Gesellschaft” und “Freiheit” nicht ge­brauchen. Was bilden sich diese PoC denn ei­gent­lich ein? Nett sein. Nett sein! Nicht so viel Antirassismus auf einmal, das klingt so böse in den Ohren derjenigen, die gerade erst gelernt haben, dass es keine biologische Grundlage für “Rassen” gibt.

Er schlägt deshalb vor, Rassismus nicht mehr so emotional Rassismus zu nennen, sondern mal ein bisschen “nüchtern” zu werden. Um “All­tags­rassismus” zu ver­anschau­lichen, hat er nämlich was: ein Video! Es geht um eine HP-Gesichtserkennungs-Software, die nur Gesichter weißer Menschen zu lesen vermag. Das ist doch mal ein gutes Beispiel – das hat vor ihm noch niemand gemacht! Nüchtern­heit, hier ist sie! Warum wird sein Bei­spiel eigentlich nicht genannt, wenn man über Critical Whiteness Studies redet? Oh, wurde es? Wieder­holt? Als eines von Hunderten?  Es gibt CWS nicht erst seit Juli? Ja huch… Egal, es ist nicht so emotional hier, wenn man was zum Angucken hat, und schließlich hat jemand “Soft­ware” gesagt. Be­trof­fene sollten nicht mehr so viel reden über Dis­kriminierung – das ist immer alles so aufgeregt. Nils macht das nervös.

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The Permanent Fight For Reproductive Rights.

21 Sep

[This post is the English version of the one that has been written for “Mädchenmannschaft”  here (in german).]

Embryos are US citizens and citizens of the state in which they reside. They are entitled to the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; and no state is allowed to deprive them life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny them the equal protection of the laws.

If US Republicans had their way, this would soon be a constitutional reality in the States: the platform, on which the GOP decided a couple of weeks ago in Tampa, includes a so-called “human life” amendment that aims at defining fertilized eggs as actual “unborn children.” The GOP seeks to extend the civil rights defined in the 14th amendment for actual US citizens to blastocysts – a plan that isn’t news and has failed in Mississippi in 2011. Whereas the “personhood” amendment in the Magnolia State had been unconstitutional anyway (thanks to Roe v. Wade), the GOP is now actively trying to change the game by changing the federal constitution.

Ever since the US Supreme Court has legalised abortion when classifying it a matter or privacy and civil rights in Roe V. Wade in 1973, abortion is – in theory – legitimate up until a fetus’ viability. De facto, due to a multitude of additional regulations, abortions in the US are mostly performed until the 12th week of a pregnancy. The “human rights” amendment that has now been officially introduced, however, is just the highlight of Christian fundamentalists’ long-haul campaign to erode the Supreme Court’s verdict, and this campaign has been quite creative: conservatives (within and outside of official political structures) have sought to limit women’s* access to abortion clinics or even contraceptives like the “morning after pill,” they erected additional barriers by introducing mandatory counselling, unnecessary medical procedures (such as transvaginal ultrasounds) or waiting periods, tried (and, at times, succeeded) to cut funds to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, and threatened or even murdered doctors and medical staff who performed abortions.

Given these blatant intimidation and punishment tactics towards people who seek abortions in the US, people in Europe seem to often overlook the obvious. For example: the mere fact that abortion isn’t even legal in germany.

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Excuse Me, Your Misogyny Is Showing.

20 Aug

[Content Note: rape culture]

Ah, rape culture – alive and thriving. Not only is Julian Assange encouraged to continue his charade of “Who’s the bigger victim? Me (white, cis, het, popular dude who has been fighting being questioned in evil Sweden about the sexual assault and rape I might have committed for almost two years now, and who has been able to gain political asylum from a free-media-despising state after having lived in their embassy for two months to circumvent my impending extradition) or the CIA-honeytrap b*tches? See, that’s me waving from their balcony yesterday! Just ask millions of loyal followers who agree that this was just a dirty trick against my penis’ integrity, and even if it wasn’t, my penis is still more important than those honeytraps’ sensitivities, because it is attached to a white man, and I’ve done other things in the past and, therefore, could never commit a crime. Also, I’m amazing, like, whoa…”

Now people have to listen to U.S. Senate (Tea Party) candidate, Todd Akin from Missouri, and his very peculiar theories on rape, abortions and biology:

Yes, it is: Tea Party biology for comic relief. Except that it’s not funny, because people like Akin are not only granted a public forum to spew out their theories of misogynistic absurdity, but actually have a shot at gaining a seat in a legislative body that, with Roe v. Wade under ever increasing threat, can and will try short of everything to make access to abortion, birth control, women’s health care and support structures for rape survivors virtually impossible; thanks to this kind of reasoning.

Whereas people with a minimal understanding of human biology and basic common decency would agree that forced pregnancies and forced birth are anathema to women’s* human and civil rights, and that (further) legislating women’s* bodies to a point where every sense of bodily autonomy and integrity has vanished is a mere testimony to underlying currents of misogynistic impulses to (re)gain control over a specific part of the population, even the most hardcore right-winger usually backs down on forcing women* to give birth in the cases of rape, incest, or an immediate danger to a woman’s* life.  Akin, however, represents a truly disturbing fraction of forced-birthers (…”pro life” – my ass) – that includes Sarah Palin, by the way – who think that a blastocyst trumps a woman’s life, bodily integrity, physical and emotional health, and right to be acknowledged as a full human being. Incidentally, this way of thinking goes hand in hand with a hate for everything of importance for women’s* health and an obsession with finding ways to talk yourself out of biological processes by simultaneously loading banalities of nature and aspects of developing life with existential meaning and aggressively ignoring others.

Akin takes the cake, however, by stating that, in the most dire circumstances (as doctors have allegedly told him), women’s bodies had the ability to “shut down” pregnancies. How exactly women* stop fertilization or nidation or meiosis, be it through chaste willpower or evil slut magic or by sucking your stomach in really hard, Akin does not explain. And how could he? It is biology for misogynistic assholes, who believe that women* are actually so dangerous and mysterious in terms of reproductive rights, at least, that no matter what you throw at them, they will still find a way to manipulate (…dammit). Here it works to everyone’s advantage, though, because if a rape survivor becomes pregnant after the sexual assault, it is actually her own fault. Not only has she already proven that her will power to fight off rape like a true lady (i.e., “legitimate rape”, as Akin calls it – more on that in a second) was just not high enough, she has now also failed to initiate the “pregnancy shut down” processes of true rape survivors, and must, therefore, have called her fate upon herself; and, in any case, does not deserve anything that right-wing assholes like him define as abortion (yes, that includes the morning-after-pill).

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Back To Shouting, Then.

8 Jul

One of the dangers of social media tools is that you’re always up to date, and this makes my particular decisions whether or not to be witness to yet another incidence of failure rather difficult. Discovering this morning that the public radio broadcasting company, Deutschlandradio Wissen, had decided on a round table, discussing an unorganized array of video games, cultural impact and sexism, and yet, did not have a single “expert” there who wasn’t a self-identified man*, this Saturday morning started out rather troublesome.

Many things were wrong with this “round table” and the fact that three men* kept musing on about what Women* (TM) really wanted in video games or what Feminists (TM) might have to say about sexism was just the most ironic part. The fact that a representative of this radio station felt the need to answer my twittered criticism by saying that if I didn’t like it, I should read newspapers or blogs instead and they thought it was a good show (surprise!), was also just another example of how alleged “professionals” deal with people who criticize their pseudo-“artistic freedom” (when this artistic freedom is nothing less than the marginalization of certain people) in germany. Not even the l**e [I apologize for using ableist language – thank you for pointing it out, zweisatz!] bad  excuse that the radio station simply couldn’t find any women* competent enough for this debate, that shit happens and that we should all calm the fuck down was particularly exciting. [Check out Femgeeks for their reaction!]

What annoyed me the most, yet again, was the publicly spoken white privilege and its subsequent defense. Two quotes were particularly sharp, namely – when (rightly) aiming at criticizing the white-man-default of video games – the continued talk of “people of other skin colors” (other meaning not white, as was the guests’ unspoken agreement, because white universality is awesome), and the half-sentence about the irritation of being prompted to battle against “Taiwanese 15 year-olds” when logging on a game.

Most people who have heard a thing or two about white privilege and racism probably understand what my problem is with this. Hints: whiteness as default and its constant reproduction, racialized clichés about “ethnic” groups, general dumbassery.

And, as it was to be expected, this was just too much for some people on Twitter. As this post might come across as putting the boot in with more than 140 spaces, let me just say that: 1. Totally. 2. Ben is just a wonderful example for a line of argument and behavior that is typical for some people.

So… Ben showed up! Male, atheist, non-smoker, and self-declared debater who thought that I read “too much into” the whole thing, and that finding racism wherever I can was my personal “wishful thinking”. Yes, he apparently believes I actively hope for discrimination, because I’m hooked on that sucker like no tomorrow. I am, actually, but not in the way Ben thinks… The “debate” rapidly worsened, because Ben was determined to show that the “context” of white privileged expressions (such as “other-coloreds”, or complaining about those videogame crazed Asians, amirite?!) is crucial, and posed investigative, multi-layered questions: if I always thought that racist language was a sign of racism, what about oral presentations about racism that are critical of racism by pointing out racist language, are they racist too…? Huh? Huh?!

I tried. Honestly. Because once in a blue moon, I think that debating people might help, and I shouldn’t virtually shout at them right away. So, I tried. I tried to explain that racist stereotypes are racist. That racist language is racist. That having three white dudes debate whether women* like a good rape background story in Tomb Raider is a really bad idea. But Ben kept asking for evidence!1! of where the actual racism or sexism lie in these words and interactions.

Not being convincing enough, he called me a “child”, accused me of trying to read between the lines (of “other skin-colored people”, because that’s such a subtle innuendo…), of being a coward and telling me that he totally believes in structural racism and sexism, but that he doesn’t want me to bring it up so much when talking to him, because he sees me as a human being, not as a woman* (yes, I had to chuckle – this sums the sexism issue up, basically…), and that I didn’t even know him, so I shouldn’t be so mean. He just doesn’t think that racist stereotypes and racist language mean racism, because context.

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