[Discussion] Feminism and social justice, plus FAQ!

This thread is for discussing feminist issues--from the narrow meaning (a movement for social justice in terms of gender equality) to the broader meaning (a movement for social justice, period), and from the scope of issues in gaming and geek culture to kyriarchy in general.

Basic questions are allowed here for now, we will split out a Q&A thread should it become necessary.

GJ everyone.

GJ. Men are the best.

Prederick wrote:

The US Gymnastics & Larry Nassar story has been shamefully under-covered in the media, for my money.

I truly do not see any way forward for USAG other than, as Aly Raisman suggested, burning the whole damn thing down and starting again. (If you haven't taken the time to listen to Raisman's victim impact statement, do so.)

Couldn't agree more, and as the first to step up and challenge Nassar everyone should remember the name Rachel Denhollander.
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/...

Trophy Husband wrote:
Prederick wrote:

The US Gymnastics & Larry Nassar story has been shamefully under-covered in the media, for my money.

I truly do not see any way forward for USAG other than, as Aly Raisman suggested, burning the whole damn thing down and starting again. (If you haven't taken the time to listen to Raisman's victim impact statement, do so.)

Couldn't agree more, and as the first to step up and challenge Nassar everyone should remember the name Rachel Denhollander.
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/...

And let's not forget the judge, and all her MRA detractors.

I heard a very sad interview with Rachel Denhollander on NPR a few nights ago. She said one of the things that gets repeated over and over again in these cases of long-standing sexual abuse: Nasser's behavior was an open secret in USAG, but no one knew what to do about it. His victims believed that what he was doing wasn't inappropriate because otherwise he wouldn't be allowed near them. Coaches were warned about him by his victims, but they continued to refer girls to him anyway, because they weren't sure what to do with the information or where else to send them.

One of the things I've kept trying to bring up with these stories coming out in the last year is this: women talk to each other, and warn each other about these men, but the structures of power and the surrounding culture make it so that's best that can be done. For decades, it has been better to work to privately shield and warn away other women from these men than to go to the authorities. In every community, there are creeps and abusers, and in every community, women know who they are and try to help each other. These guys don't operate in secret.

Internalize this: there were girls as young as 8 or 9 being referred to Nasser for care, and the best course of action for decades to try to protect those girls were private warnings, because going to the authorities to protect nine-year-old girls from being sexually molested would make things worse for everyone except the abuser. It's a story out of a f*cking dystopian novel, but it happens every god damn day.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

One of the things I've kept trying to bring up with these stories coming out in the last year is this: women talk to each other, and warn each other about these men, but the structures of power and the surrounding culture make it so that's best that can be done. For decades, it has been better to work to privately shield and warn away other women from these men than to go to the authorities. In every community, there are creeps and abusers, and in every community, women know who they are and try to help each other. These guys don't operate in secret.

This hit home for me a couple years ago when news came out that my wife's middle school art teacher had been disciplined and removed for inappropriate sexual behavior. My wife shared with us that everyone knew at the time, and even her older brother had warned her to stay away from him. Once, she was asked to stay after school alone with him to make up an assignment and she wisely refused. I guess justice was finally served... 25 years later.

RNC Finance Chair Steve Wynn Accused Of Decades Of Sexual Misconduct

Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn has been accused of a decades-long pattern of sexual harassment and abuse toward workers at his casinos, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal.

Dozens of current and former employees at Wynn’s gambling establishments told the Journal they had experienced or witnessed chronic abuse by the billionaire, who was named finance chairman for the Republican National Convention last year.

Having a gambling mogul as your finance chairman seems like a bad move.

NathanialG wrote:

Having a gambling mogul as your finance chairman seems like a bad move.

Well they can get a new one now that they have to elect this one to office.

Prederick wrote:

The US Gymnastics & Larry Nassar story has been shamefully under-covered in the media, for my money.

I truly do not see any way forward for USAG other than, as Aly Raisman suggested, burning the whole damn thing down and starting again. (If you haven't taken the time to listen to Raisman's victim impact statement, do so.)

This appears to be mushrooming at Michigan State quite significantly.

Meanwhile....

The Stereotype That Women On Twitch Are 'Asking For It'

For five years, there’s been a line drawn in the sands of Twitch’s ever-expanding livestreaming enterprise, which has grown to encompass over 2 million channels. For some, the cultural divide goes like this: there are so-called “real gamers,” whose trick shots, head shots or strategic mastery endear them to real gaming connoisseurs, and, over yonder, there are “boobie streamers.” The supposed business model of these so-called “boobie streamers” is to sit pretty and solicit compliments from fans or insults from trolls in exchange for subscription money. Dressed up, made-up and maybe in a push-up bra, they while away time in front of a camera for as long as they can before streaming a few minutes of the game designated in their video description. They are considered “fake” gamers.

Beyond the fact that "boobie streamer" by and large refers to a woman who commits the cardinal sin of streaming while having breasts, I am always interested in this part:

As recently as last November, a streamer named Trainwreck went on a hateful rant about the “sluts that are coming into our community, taking the money, taking the subs.”

Yes, I too remember when those she-devils and jezebels at the Gentlemen's Club bamboozled me into giving them money, using, of all things, their physical attractiveness to do so! An outrage I say! An outrage for which I bear absolutely no responsibility, despite the fact that I DECIDED TO GIVE THEM THE MONEY because obviously, in the face of their feminine wiles, a poor, soft-minded sop such as myself and all of my fellow gents are entirely without defense.

(I will place a $200 bet that the aforementioned streamer who thinks that women are somehow hoodwinking and misleading poor men, unable to control their ardor into paying them likes to beat the drum about "personal responsibility" on many, many other subjects, probably including drug addiction.)

Why I think I will never use a webcam on Twitch: exhibit Z.

So I was coming home and after I said goodbye and parted from my (male) friend, I had the distinct impression that I was being followed in the metro station's corridors. The guy had been waiting at the intersection where my friend and I parted, I'd assumed he was waiting for someone, but he left when I left. Sped up when I sped up. This lasted for three minutes, but that feels like an eternity. As I was nearing the exit leading aboveground and ultimately home, my mind was already racing with my options (Buzzfeed France article, 73 things many women do to feel safe when they're out in public). I suddenly changed direction, right into an inspector (yup, they're checking passes and tickets at 11pm on a Friday!). He thought I'd looked suspicious because of my change in direction. Then I told him I thought I was being followed as I handed my pass, and he immediately went into "ally mode" and I was so grateful. Stayed with me as the other guy left, asked if I was okay, if I wanted to call someone. Didn't brush me off or tell me I was crazy or imagining things (and maybe I was imagining it, who knows).
I was so shaken, I don't feel I properly thanked him. Tweeted to the transit authority, but I guess the chances of it getting back to him are slim. Still, virtual cookie for him.

The female price of male pleasure
(Lili Loofburrow, The Week, 2018-01-25)

The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears.

When Babe.net published a pseudonymous woman's account of a difficult encounter with Aziz Ansari that made her cry, the internet exploded with "takes" arguing that the #MeToo movement had finally gone too far. "Grace," the 23-year-old woman, was not an employee of Ansari's, meaning there were no workplace dynamics. Her repeated objections and pleas that they "slow down" were all well and good, but they did not square with the fact that she eventually gave Ansari oral sex. Finally, crucially, she was free to leave.

Why didn't she just get out of there as soon as she felt uncomfortable? many people explicitly or implicitly asked.

It's a rich question, and there are plenty of possible answers. But if you're asking in good faith, if you really want to think through why someone might have acted as she did, the most important one is this: Women are enculturated to be uncomfortable most of the time. And to ignore their discomfort.

This is so baked into our society I feel like we forget it's there. To steal from David Foster Wallace, this is the water we swim in.

...

Prederick wrote:
Prederick wrote:

The US Gymnastics & Larry Nassar story has been shamefully under-covered in the media, for my money.

I truly do not see any way forward for USAG other than, as Aly Raisman suggested, burning the whole damn thing down and starting again. (If you haven't taken the time to listen to Raisman's victim impact statement, do so.)

This appears to be mushrooming at Michigan State quite significantly.

The USOC has also called for the resignations of all the directors of USA Gymnastics.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Prederick wrote:
Prederick wrote:

The US Gymnastics & Larry Nassar story has been shamefully under-covered in the media, for my money.

I truly do not see any way forward for USAG other than, as Aly Raisman suggested, burning the whole damn thing down and starting again. (If you haven't taken the time to listen to Raisman's victim impact statement, do so.)

This appears to be mushrooming at Michigan State quite significantly.

The USOC has also called for the resignations of all the directors of USA Gymnastics.

Looks like it's happening. Good riddance.

There are plenty of unneeded reboots, but I'm pretty excited about this one. CBS is bringing back Murphy Brown for a 13 episode run. My hope is that it is strong voice, and not just lazy attempt to latch on to the current political climate.

NBC News: 'Murphy Brown' returns 20 years later to a culture the feminist icon helped create

Sometimes, because I'm old, I forget that many don't know about some of these seminal shows from a time before the internet, let alone social media. I ran into that when someone called One Day At a Time some show from the 70's, a show that featured the first divorced woman as the lead of a TV show, which had a huge impact on culture.

Murphy Brown was similar, with a strong single woman as the lead, which led to its seminal moment.

In the middle of its run, the series provoked a bitter national debate over single motherhood when Brown, extremely competent and proudly single, gave birth to a baby boy and opted to raise him on her own.

The day after the episode aired, Vice President Dan Quayle blasted the show for supposedly helping to fuel the “breakdown of family structure.”

“Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong,” Quayle said in a May 1992 speech, which was ostensibly about the Los Angeles riots. “Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this.

“It doesn’t help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown, a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice,” the former vice president said.

“Murphy Brown” fired back in its fifth-season premiere, depicting its protagonist listening to the speech and musing: “Perhaps it’s time for the vice president to expand his definition and recognize that, whether by choice or circumstance, families come in all shapes and sizes.”

The feud between Quayle and Bergen’s primetime alter ego dominated headlines at the height of President George H.W. Bush’s re-election campaign. Bush went on to lose the election to Bill Clinton that November.

“It’s hard to overstate how huge a deal that was in American culture,” Press said. “[Quayle] demonized a fictional character for being representative of the downfall of American family values!”

Thompson, the pop culture professor, said he screens that episode in his class on the history of television.

“It’s right up there with Ellen’s coming out episode,” he said.

Throw in its strong message about the importance of journalism, and this really is the right time to bring the show back. I hope it lives up to the moment.

New domestic abuse law 'could change Scotland'

A bill to criminalise psychological domestic abuse has been passed, with some campaigners saying it "could change Scotland forever".

The Domestic Abuse bill, which has wide backing, creates a specific offence of "abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner".

This includes psychological abuse such as coercive and controlling behaviour as well as violence.

The new legislation says abusive behaviour is:

Behaviour that is violent, threatening or intimidating

Behaviour whose purpose is one of the following:

making a partner dependent or subordinate
isolating a partner from friends, relatives or other sources of support
controlling, regulating or monitoring a partner's day-to-day activities
depriving a partner of, or restricting, freedom of action
frightening, humiliating, degrading or punishing a partner.
The offence is aggravated if any of the behaviour is directed at a child or witnessed by them.

Ms Scott said it was the first bill in the world to create a way of "victimless prosecution".

She said: "It does not blame women and it does not mean women have to come into court and prove how harmed they have been by the abuse.

"In fact it is all structured in looking at the behaviour of the perpetrator and asking 'would a reasonable person think that this could be harmful?'."

This Is Why Uma Thurman is Angry (NY Times)
At long last, Uma Thurnam speaks, and it’s even more chilling than you’d expect.

CW: rape, sexual abuse, willfully putting others at risk

Cross posted from the loathe thread that fits here too. Current loathe: one project manager, who when announcing everyone on the conference call, refers to everyone else by first name yet calls me "Miss Kelley" every freaking time. Yes I'm the only female. But that shouldn't make male the default and me the exception. Also, I'm Mrs or Ms. I'm not a little girl.

Miss Kelley if you're nasty?

Start calling him Young Master Jimmy (or whatever his name is) in response.

Somehow I don't think calling someone master will make me feel less diminished.

Ugh. Those sorts of situations are so freaking terrible. You only really have the choice between remaining silent, publicly correcting him, or privately asking him to stop. And each of those is absolutely awful in a different way. :l

Hypatian wrote:

Ugh. Those sorts of situations are so freaking terrible. You only really have the choice between remaining silent, publicly correcting him, or privately asking him to stop. And each of those is absolutely awful in a different way. :l

Exactly. So instead I come here to whine about it without worry of backlash.

Are there any allies available to bring it up, privately, as a "I noticed you only use 'Miss' when referring to Kelley; why is that?"

(I reread my post and feel like I'm coming off with a simplistic answer... real life isn't as clean as a forum post could ever be. I sympathize with you, but I'm probably the last guy to be giving advice. I'm sorry you have to deal with that.)

I hope that I can "be that guy" in my workplace.

I haven't chosen to make a deal about it because I am in the south and it's not a particularly progressive company and I'm positive the only reaction I would get from anyone is that I'm being mean or trying to cause trouble. The social politics here are not great for many reasons and too often finger pointing and/or sabotaging others to keep attention off their own failings. it's an exhausting atmosphere.

Just to lighten the mood:
A Message from Women Everywhere

Yellek wrote:

I haven't chosen to make a deal about it because I am in the south and it's not a particularly progressive company and I'm positive the only reaction I would get from anyone is that I'm being mean or trying to cause trouble. The social politics here are not great for many reasons and too often finger pointing and/or sabotaging others to keep attention off their own failings. it's an exhausting atmosphere.

Or you'd be told that you're too sensitive.

I've lived in the South most of my life, although I'm not "from" here. It is another country.

Yellek wrote:

Just to lighten the mood:
A Message from Women Everywhere

Clitterati is my new band name. Tour dates (with c*ntessa) TBD.

Spoiler:

"c*ntessa" is a real band, with Freyja doing lead vocals.