QotD: “Man who has to inform police before having sex loses bid to have order lifted”

A man fighting an order under which he must give police 24 hours’ notice before having sex with a new partner has lost his legal battle to have the restriction lifted. John O’Neill, a 45-year-old IT consultant, could face up to five years in prison if he fails to comply with the unprecedented order.

O’Neill was cleared of raping a woman last year, but in a rare move, the judge told the Crown Prosecution Service he still considered him to be dangerous. He was subsequently placed on an interim sexual risk order (SRO), making him the first person in the UK obliged to give police notice before he could have sex. Following the ruling, O’Neill went on television to say his life had been ruined.

On Friday, he lost his case after police successfully argued that he posed a risk to the public. Describing him as an attention seeker, the district judge Adrian Lower said: “I have found Mr O’Neill to be a vain, manipulative and grandstanding individual who sought to persuade me that black is white and used the valuable time of professionals to describe sexual fantasies he may or may not have. There is a narcissistic streak to Mr O’Neill, who does trouble me in terms of further contact he may have with other people.”

Lower did, however, query the terms of the order, and said they would be revisited, as in their current form they were “wholly disproportionate and frankly unpoliceable”.

During the hearing, it was alleged that in 2014 O’Neill had made a series of worrying confessions to his GP and a psychiatric nurse, including the choking of a woman unconscious, that he had thought “a lot” about killing her, and that he needed women “to be scared, or I don’t respond”.

York magistrates court heard that despite O’Neill being cleared of rape at Teesside crown court in November, the judge in the original trial, Simon Bourne-Arton, said after the jury was dismissed: “Please could you inform the authorities that although this man has been acquitted, it is my judgment that he is a very dangerous individual.”

North Yorkshire police then applied for the order on the basis of comments the single father-of-two allegedly made in 2014. O’Neill, who says he is unable to work because of the terms of the order and has been living rough in a wood outside York, claims his words were misunderstood.

The police began their case with statements from a community psychiatric nurse, Kevin Holmes, who had meetings with O’Neill in 2014. In a statement read to court he said O’Neill told him he was having sexually violent thoughts that continued all day. He also allegedly told Holmes he got into fights deliberately so that he would be beaten up and injured.

Holmes said: “He said he had been sexually violent towards girlfriends and he was not sure whether they consented. He had stopped asking girlfriends if they consented to sex over the last 12 months.”

The court was told O’Neill’s sexually violent thoughts dated back to his teenage years. The court also heard that his GP, Dr Miriam Hodgson, had made notes in which she recorded that his “sex life has become violent … [he] has been seeking out increasingly extreme sexual experiences”. She wrote: “Thinks he may have raped someone – it went further than she expected.”

O’Neill said he was being penalised because of his interest in sado-masochism (S&M) and visits to fetish clubs. He said he had discussed S&M with his GP and Holmes in relation to his mental state, and that they had misunderstood what he was telling them. He also said the SRO had had a devastating effect on his personal life.

O’Neill’s identity was made public earlier this year after an order protecting his anonymity was lifted. In June he threatened to go on hunger strike in protest at the order.

SROs can be applied to any individual who police believe poses a risk of sexual harm, even if they have never been convicted of a crime. O’Neill said he was amazed that the police sought one after his acquittal. Lower, however, rejected his defence and said both Hodgson and Holmes had recorded accurate notes from their meetings with him.

The new terms of O’Neill’s order, which also contains restrictions on his use of the internet and mobile phones and requires him to inform police of any change of address, will be agreed on 22 September.

After the hearing O’Neill said: “It looks as though I may be able to get my life back after this. I’m still concerned about what the terms of the order will be and I’m very disappointed that the court decided it needed to continue. But it looks as though I will be able to work again, and because of that I may be able to find a home again.”

North Yorkshire police said: “The judge has made it very clear that he believes Mr O’Neill poses a risk of sexual harm, and that it is right to have an order against him in place. We will work with the courts to agree suitable prohibitions that will protect the public from the risk Mr O’Neill poses.”


QotD: “‘Sordid’ adverts offer homeless women free accommodation in exchange for sex”

A man has posted an online ad calling on “stunning” homeless women to get in touch so he can give them shelter — in return for sex.

The advertisement is one of hundreds listed on the notorious buy-and-sell site Craigslist that a charity has said aim to “exploit” vulnerable women.

Dozens of ads in London openly state that homeless women or female students looking for accommodation can pay with their bodies.

One post said a female student could act as a “resource” in return for free digs.

Another individual said: “If there is any homeless single stunning females who are out there seeking to save or seeking to be rehoused by a friendly genuine white British guy then look no further.

“I offer a genuine offer to any young single hot sexy female of any nationality or culture to house share with me free rent free.”

UK homeless charity Shelter said the “sordid” adverts were a “dangerous attempt to establish deeply exploitative relationships off the back of homelessness”.

It says the UK’s worsening housing crisis could lead to more homeless women becoming sex slaves in return for a bed.

“Women are being asked to enter a space which is entirely controlled by someone else, a person who always has the right to be there, who can say who else can enter the property and on whom they are entirely dependent for shelter,” a charity spokesman said.

“This is the vile exploitation proposed by these adverts: that women who feel they have no choice enter an arrangement where they feel they never have the choice to say ‘no’.”

Craigslist is often used for less traditional transactions.

Prostitutes and drug dealers often promote their services on the classifieds site.

More than 3500 people are sleeping rough every night in England according to the latest government figures.

High house prices and longer council home waiting lists have caused that number to roughly double since 2010.

From news.com.au

QotD: “Students from 71 Australian schools targeted by sick pornography ring”

More than 70 Australian schools are targets for a perverse pornography ring of teen boys and young men secretly swapping and exchanging graphic sexual images of female students and other nonconsenting women.

News.com.au can reveal more than 2000 images have been posted or traded by Australian members since the group began operating in December last year.

Young men use the site to nominate the specific high school or region they are phishing for nude photos from, along with the full names of girls they are “hunting”. Hundreds of individual names have appeared on “wanted” lists, including the names of sisters and entire high school friendship circles.

Once a girl’s name appears on a list, other members of the group then “contribute” by posting identifying information about the intended victim, such as her full name, face, school, home address, and phone number, along with directives like “Go get her boys!”

Any “wins” (a colloquial term referring to nude photos) of the nominated target are then uploaded or offered in exchange for a trade. Some targets are so sought after that “bounties” have been offered for any user who can post a “win”.

In one case, one user offered to trade up to 300 nude images of other victims, in exchange for a single nude photo of the one girl he was currently tracking. Another user said he had been trying to unearth nude images of a particular victim for more than five years.

Here are just a few of the thousands of comments from the site*:

“Anyone have any Wenona wins?”

“Anyone have any Saint Clare Year 12 wins?”

“I’ve got heaps of Miami High girls. Kik me if you wanna trade!”

“I ripped these from a computer I was asked to fix a few years ago.”

“Who has nudes of this bitch? I hear she throws it around!”

“I’ll [upload] all [the nudes] I have if people start looking for Hunter Valley, Newcastle or Port Macquarie girls, or any hot sluts”.

“I’m posting pretty much all the hottest little teens I have. All high quality images from Maitland, Newcastle, Cessnock, Rutherford etc.”

“I have a fair few of ***** ****** including a few box shots of her.”

“What do you want for the **** * wins bro?”

“I’ll pay good money to see the rig under **** *******, anyone have any of her?”

“Any **** *****? I’ve hear she sucks d**ks”.

“Let’s make this huge!”

So far thousands of explicit, nude images of teen girls and young women have been uploaded or traded on the swap-meet site. Some high school girls are pictured performing sexual acts while wearing their school uniform. Other images on the site include graphic close-ups of victim’s genitalia and breasts, and photos of young women engaged in penetrative sexual acts.

The site has been reported numerous times to police for child pornography, but so far they say they are unable to act because the site is hosted overseas.

Since its creation, multiple victims have also posted on the site, pleading with the young men to remove their images. Their requests are mostly ignored, laughed at, or in some cases, men retaliate by calling on their “bros” to unearth and upload even more images of the victim.

One young woman who begged for images of her friend to be removed, then had her own name added to the wanted hit-list as punishment.

Another young woman who stated that some of the victims might be “suicidal” was told that it was her fault for behaving like a “slut”, and that her images now belonged “to the internet”.

Most victims, however, appear to have no idea they are even on the site. Users of the site have deliberately tried to conceal their activities from victims by writing the names of targets in a simple code which prevents the girls from searching their own names. “Ellie”, for example, might be written as 3ll13, or “Amanda” as @m@nd@.

School names are also written in code to prevent high schools from detecting that their students are being targeted.

Yet a review of the site has found that at least 70 Australian school names have been mentioned by users requesting “wins” of current or recently graduated students.

In total the site mentions 28 high schools in NSW, 18 in Queensland, 15 in Victoria, five in the ACT, two in South Australia and two in Tasmania.

The site also encourages users to post their “wins” based on location, so that men and boys can study nude images of girls and women who they might know in real life. The site has at least 55 distinct individual threads organised by regions in Australia from urban hubs like Ryde in Sydney to regional centres such as Orange and Cessnock.

The discovery of the website follows a number of recent related scandals involving students at Brighton Grammar, Melbourne Grammar and St Michael’s Grammar School in Melbourne.

Users on this swap-meet website have also picked up on the media coverage of those scandals and have sought to uncover the original images which appeared on the Brighton Grammar “Young Sluts” Instagram account.

One website user, who admits to being a former Brighton Grammar student, comments that he finds the matter — including the exploitation of primary school girls — hilariously entertaining.

Sharna Bremner from End Rape on Campus says she felt “physically sick when [she] learned of the website and its contents”.

“These boys and men are behaving like a pack of hyenas hunting their prey, and then sharing the spoils with the rest of the group,” she said.

“They’re reducing girls to objects and trophies to be traded like nothing more than swap-cards in the playground”.

Ms Bremner says that charges should be laid against those responsible and that the mentality of these men closely mirrors that of a rapist.

“There are already plenty of consensual adult nude images online that are easily accessible. But these boys and men are not interested in that, because it’s not the nudity alone that they are after,” she said.

“What they are getting off on is the very fact that these images are not consensual and that the victims have no idea they are being exploited.”

Ms Bremner also notes that the users are not searching or categorising the images based on particular physical preferences or fetishes, such as a desire for “big boobs, or blondes, or redheads or whatever”.

“They are hunting women and girls who live in their area and sorting them according to geography. It’s the idea of proximity and accessibility that is considered arousing.

“The thrill is not just that they might see the girl who sits next to them in maths class, it’s also that they can put in an order for the girl from maths class. What these boys are really getting off on is the sense of power they feel over these girls, and the idea that they can own and obtain them like objects.”

Ms Bremner says that she can “absolutely see this [website] leading to acquaintance rape.”

“If you’re a young guy who has been told by your peers that getting images without consent is a good thing, that it gets you pats on the back, then just imagine the accolades you’ll get for physically taking advantage of a girl.”

“This group doesn’t just normalise the idea that consent is irrelevant and doesn’t matter, it actively encourages boys to ignore and violate consent.”

The NSW Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett says that it “is a criminal offence to take, transmit or possess images that are considered child pornography”.

“This also applies to teenagers, who are reminded that the dissemination of any material depicting nudity or sexual activity involving young people could constitute a criminal offence,” she said.

“They should be aware they could be arrested and charged and, if convicted, end up with a criminal record.”

Police are encouraging any victims to come forward and report it.

From news.com.au

Found via Feminist Current, with the comment “Despite the fact that these young men have the massive Internet porn machine at their fingertips, they specifically seek to violate these girls, as their unwillingness is central to the appeal.” I will also add that Australia is a country with a patchwork of legalised and decriminalised prostitution.

QotD: “Refugees in Greek camps targeted by mafia gangs”

Fresh evidence is emerging that refugees stranded in camps across Greece are falling victim to rising levels of vice peddled by mafia gangs who see the entrapped migrants as perfect prey for prostitution, drug trafficking and human smuggling.

Details of the alarming conditions present in many of the facilities comes as the Greek government – facing criticism after the Observer’s exposé of sexual abuse in camps last week – announced urgent measures to deal with the crisis. A further four refugee centres, it said, would be set up in a bid to improve severe overcrowding, a major source of tensions in the camps.

Aid workers say an estimated 58,000 migrants and asylum seekers in Greece are increasingly being targeted by Greek and Albanian mafias. Tales of criminals infiltrating camps to recruit vulnerable women and men are legion.

“If nothing is done to improve the lifestyle of these refugees and to use their time more productively, I see a major disaster,” warned Nesrin Abaza, an American aid worker volunteering at the first privately funded camp known as Elpida (Greek for hope) outside Thessaloniki. “These camps are a fertile breeding ground for terrorism, gangs and violence. It seems like the world has forgotten about them. They are not headline news any more, so therefore they do not exist … but the neglect will show its ugly head.”

With an estimated 55 centres nationwide – including “hotspots” on the Aegean islands within view of Turkey – Greece has effectively become a huge holding pen for refugees since EU and Balkan countries closed their borders to shut them out earlier this year.

In private, many Greek officials express alarm that numbers are growing amid worrying signs that the five-month-old deal signed between Ankara and the EU to keep the flows in check is on the verge of collapse.

Although nowhere near the level of last summer – when at its height 10,000 people streamed into Lesbos in a day – arrivals have risen visibly since last month’s failed coup in Turkey. In the 24-hour period between Thursday and Friday some 261 migrants and refugees – nearly double the normal number – were picked up on islands.

Unable to move on, frustration has mounted among the thousands now stuck in limbo. On the back of uncertainty and anger over delayed asylum processes, marooned migrants say they have become sitting ducks for criminals as they move in. “I never knew a thing about drugs and now I am doing drugs,” said a 17-year-old Syrian youth detained in a camp that stands in a defunct Softex toilet-roll factory on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. “This camp is horrid. We live like animals in tents in burning heat.”

Drugs, he ventured, had become the central cause for violence, with brawls erupting frequently. “The Greek and Albanian mafia come here and push the drugs,” he explained conceding that he financed his own habit by illicitly sneaking into Macedonia, where he bought cartons of cigarettes to sell in the camp. “The police are non-existent. They see drugs, stabbing, fighting and do nothing. They do not care. The world does not care.”

The testimony, which is backed up by human rights groups that have deplored the appalling conditions in Greek detention centres, comes after the EU released €83m (£71.8m) in April to improve living conditions for refugees stranded in the country. The UN refugee agency, the International Federation of the Red Cross and six international NGOs were given the bulk of the funding. Greece by then had already received €181m to help deal with the crisis from Brussels.

Announcing the emergency support, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, claimed the assistance was “a concrete example of how the EU delivers on the challenges Europe faces”.

“We have to restore dignified living conditions for refugees and migrants in Europe as swiftly as possible,” he said.

But four months later, as allegations of sexual abuse and criminal activity envelop the camps, questions are mounting over whether the money was properly administered. In addition to bad sanitary conditions and lack of police protection, the latest revelations have shone a light on whether the humanitarian system is working at all.

“There is no emphasis on humanity, it is all about numbers,” Amed Khan, a financier turned philanthropist who funded Elpida, told the Observer. Elpida, also established in a former factory near Thessaloniki, has a tea room and yoga centre and, seeing itself as a pioneering initiative, encourages refugees to regard it as a home. In the month since the camp opened its doors, it has won plaudits for being the most humane refugee centre in Greece.

“Nobody is using money here efficiently or effectively,” lamented Khan. “The humanitarian system is the same one that has been in place since the second world war, it lacks intellectual flexibility and is totally broken. The real question to be asked is, has the aid that has been given been appropriately utilised?”

From the Observer (which I am pleased to note is still managing not to call raped women and children ‘workers’)

QotD: “Coming out as ‘non-binary’ throws other women under the bus”

The cool thing for “feminist” writers to do lately is “come out” as “non-binary” or “genderqueer.” These women claim to be non-binary based on the premise that they have complex inner lives and don’t identify with every aspect of their social subordination through femininity.

Laurie Penny says she felt trapped in her female body as it developed sexually objectified breasts and curves as a teen. Jack Monroe recounts going through childhood photos that revealed she didn’t always wear explicitly feminine clothing: “Me, aged seven, in a baseball cap and jeans. Me, aged twelve, with a one-inch crop all over my head. Me, aged thirteen, insisting on wearing trousers to school like my friend Z.” Good Housekeeping’s beauty editor, Sam Escobar, recently published a shallow account of her non-binary status, explaining that she was “not exclusively attracted to boys” and sometimes “watched straight porn… from the male perspective.”

If these supposed indications of non-binary status sound to you like extremely mundane experiences common to a vast number of women, you would be correct. This is because non-binary identity is essentially devoid of meaning.

Some common narratives conveyed by “non-binary” women include: “I always liked having short hair,” “I don’t like being subjected to sexual violence,” “I feel uncomfortable in my female body.” Often being non-binary is defined by superficial choices that aren’t viewed as stereotypically “feminine.” However, even those choices seem to not be a requirement for non-binary status, as exemplified by Escobar, who looks as “feminine” as any woman.

Unlike some categorizations popular within queer ideology (“trans, “femme,” “genderfluid”), non-binary is less an “identification” than it is a “dis-identification.” Non-binary status is defined based on what it is not: “I am not a member of the subhuman class known as women. I am not the thing to be fucked.”

A woman coming out as “non-binary” is a non-statement that declares nothing but common loathing of the female class. Is the alternative to a “non-binary” woman a “binary” woman? And what does that mean? That we all love our bodies and have managed not to internalize the male gaze? That we are all fully at ease with the gendered stereotypes placed on us? The non-binary declaration is a slap in the face to all women, who, if they haven’t come out as “genderqueer,” presumably possess an internal essence perfectly in-line with the misogynistic parody of womanhood created by patriarchy.

Unlike second-wave feminists, who advocated for women to unite collectively under the banner of feminism, queer theorist Judith Butler touted “disidentification” as a politically progressive act. In 1993, Butler argued that women should “collectively disidentify” with other members of the female sex as a means to “queer” the category of sex itself. Over 20 years later, Butler’s vision has come to eerie fruition, as women proudly proclaim they have nothing in common with other females.

Butler’s bizarre, seemingly-antifeminist political prescriptions make sense in the context of her wider political project. In her two main works on gender theory, Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter, Butler theorizes that gender is not oppressive due to the sexist, hierarchical stereotypes attached to masculinity and femininity, but because of its binary nature, which she says “violently excludes” those who fall outside the “margins” of the gender binary. For Butler, homosexuality can be equally as “exclusionary” and in need of “deconstruction” as heterosexuality, as both are binary terms that “cruelly erase” other sexualities, such as bisexuality. Butler’s overarching political aim is to render marginalization impossible by making all social categories “inclusive.” This appears to have been achieved in a way, today, as we see the melding together of all categories of sexual orientation into the amorphous “queer.” (Oddly, oppression still exists, despite this magical rewording.)

The recent trend of declaring oneself “non-binary” seems to be another victory for Butlerian queer politics, wherein social reality has lost definitional shape and blurred into a mass of individuals who are supposedly “not men and not women.”

Butler is focused on eliminating marginalization for “non-normative” identities (which could theoretically include anyone from BDSM practitioners to pedophiles), not specifically women. She argues that the category of “woman” itself must be deconstructed, as it excludes other individuals who aren’t women (aka males). Since Butler is not concerned with the liberation of women in particular, the fact that women disidentifying with one another is likely to impede feminist efforts doesn’t bother her. But despite Butler’s admission that her politics are not specifically concerned with female liberation, many women still declare their non-binary disidentification to be a feminist act.

Penny at least acknowledges that disidentification with women clashes with feminist politics, but attempts to resolve this by saying she still “identifies, politically, as a woman.” This is paradoxical, as Penny’s non-binary declaration is not merely a neutral personal expression of her individuality, but already saturated with a certain political ideology. In this ideology, when a woman bristles under the boot of patriarchy — exemplified in the way Penny hated her female body during puberty and painfully felt pressured to conform to standards of femininity — this discomfort is seen not as a natural reaction to the unjust imposition of power, but rather as an indication that a woman is not a woman at all.

If discomfort in the female social position means a woman is “non-binary,” then what does it mean for all the women who don’t declare themselves “genderqueer?” Are they always a-ok with their lives under patriarchy? Do they never feel restrained by the narrow confines of femininity? Few people, if any, align perfectly with one end of the gender binary or the other, so, as Rebecca Reilly-Cooper argues, “If gender really is a spectrum, doesn’t this mean that every individual alive is non-binary, by definition?”

Escobar notes that she “identified considerably with men,” which is completely unsurprising, considering our culture is almost entirely dominated by the male perspective. Our literature and films feature mostly male characters who are the heroes, villains, and rogues, while most female characters appear only in relation to those males: the love-interest, wife, or mother. Feeling such intense alienation (combined with the trauma of rape), it makes sense that Escobar would experience depression, eating disorders, and body dysmorphia.

But she makes no such connections between her experiences and patriarchal power, instead implying that her unhappiness and alienation were due to not yet having realized her “difficult-to-name” uniqueness she describes as “non-binary.” (Penny similarly attributes her struggle to growing up in “a time before Tumblr when very few teenagers were talking about being genderqueer or transmasculine.” The horror!)

What this assumes is that structural power will disappear when women realize their unhappiness under patriarchy is only due to a personal oddity or defect. The ideology behind “non-binary” exemplifies the liberal concept of the social contract (that is, the idea that individuals living under state power are assumed to consent to that power, otherwise they would simply choose to relocate.) When being narrowly defined by sexist stereotypes is positioned as a state one can simply reject, voluntarily, women who don’t choose to opt out of gender are positioned as therefore consenting to that power.

I can think of nothing more anti-feminist than an ideology that precludes the possibility of identifying and confronting patriarchal power, and instead individualizes oppression as though it is a “personal choice.” Penny argues that she is still a feminist, and any obligation for women to identify with other women, “politically or otherwise,” constitutes “fucked up and bullshit” “identity policing.” But feminism is not a matter of personal identity. Just like feeling pain under patriarchy is not a result of individual women’s quirks. Unfortunately, we can’t come out as “human beings” in order to convince men to treat us like equals. So please, spare us your insulting insinuations that we can identify (or “disindentify”) our way out of structural oppression. We’ll be trying to build a political movement with the specific aim of female liberation, in the meantime.

Susan Cox, Feminist Current

QotD: “Not forth waving but drowning”

So there you have it. Doubtless Kim will still have her unsolicited intellectual backers among those who think they wish to create a better world for women and girls, but are really just useful idiots. I never quite remember how this one goes exactly, but I think I’m on the right lines if I explain to you that Kim is owning her own reality or something? And her truth? She is owning her own truth. I think she is also telling her own truth, and that is an inherently feminist act, even if it is by the medium of arse snaps. Above all, she is a successful businesswoman – an achievement apparently so unique and ultra-modern that the nature of the product is a sublime irrelevance.

Of course, there will be some of you old-fashioned worrywarts out there who feel they can only regard Kim as a highly paid shill for Big Sexting, a role for which she is perfectly suited given her defining characteristic is a relentlessly mercenary form of sub-clinical narcissism. And you might even have concerns about that, given that a huge percentage of her fanbase is impressionable teens.

But listen: what you need to understand is that there really is no material, blindingly obvious difference between when Kim’s taking selfies for wider consumption in her $3m bathroom and when your 13-year-old daughter’s doing it in yours. Or, indeed, it’s being done by a 13-year-old girl you don’t even know, whose entire street is worth very much less than $3m. As the Kim she looks up to would doubtless explain, that kid is Owning Her Own Reality. Anyone using her body in this way is living her truth, and the mere act of sexting effectively puts them in control of their own personal media empire. Right now its sole output is pictures of their tits sent to some teenage boy who really doesn’t understand the stakes, but hey. We all have to start somewhere on the ladder, right? They are owning their own truth and their own reality. What need have they of labels such as feminist, daughter, or even woman? Come to that, what need have any of us of labels, except perhaps Yeezy Fall 2016?

Any starter feminists who want to get in touch and put me right on this stuff are advised I have a special file for that correspondence which is simply entitled: NOT FOURTH WAVING BUT DROWNING.

Marina Hyde

QotD: “Is slavery a human rights abuse or a sexual thrill? Of what use is a social change movement that can’t decide?”

The triumph of the pornographers is a victory of power over justice, cruelty over empathy, and profits over human rights. I could make that statement about Walmart or McDonalds and progressives would eagerly agree. We all understand that Walmart destroys local economies, a relentless impoverishing of communities across the US that is now almost complete. It also depends on near-slave conditions for workers in China to produce the mountains of cheap crap that Walmart sells. And ultimately the endless growth model of capitalism is destroying the world. Nobody on the left claims that the cheap crap that Walmart produces equals freedom. Nobody defends Walmart by saying that the workers, American or Chinese, want to work there. Leftists understand that people do what they have to for survival, that any job is better than no job, and that minimum wage and no benefits are cause for a revolution, not a defense of those very conditions. Likewise McDonalds. No one defends what McDonalds does to animals, to the earth, to workers, to human health and human community by pointing out that the people standing over the boiling grease consented to sweat all day or that hog farmers voluntarily signed contracts that barely return a living. The issue does not turn on consent, but on the social impacts of injustice and hierarchy, on how corporations are essentially weapons of mass destruction. Focusing on the moment of individual choice will get us nowhere.

The problem is the material conditions that make going blind in a silicon chip factory in Taiwan the best option for some people. Those people are living beings. Leftists lay claim to human rights as our bedrock and our north star: we know that that Taiwanese woman is not different from us in any way that matters, and if going blind for pennies and no bathroom breaks was our best option, we would be in grim circumstances.

And the woman enduring two penises shoved up her anus? This is not an exaggeration or “focusing on the worst,” as feminists are often accused of doing. “Double-anal” is now standard fare in gonzo porn, the porn made possible by the Internet, the porn with no pretense of a plot, the porn that men overwhelmingly prefer. That woman, just like the woman assembling computers, is likely to suffer permanent physical damage. In fact, the average woman in gonzo porn can only last three months before her body gives out, so punishing are the required sex acts. Anyone with a conscience instead of a hard-on would know that just by looking. If you spend a few minutes looking at it — not masturbating to it, but actually looking at it — you may have to agree with Robert Jensen that pornography is “what the end of the world looks like”:

By that I don’t mean that pornography is going to bring about the end of the world; I don’t have apocalyptic delusions. Nor do I mean that of all the social problems we face, pornography is the most threatening. Instead, I want to suggest that if we have the courage to look honestly at contemporary pornography, we get a glimpse — in a very visceral, powerful fashion — of the consequences of the oppressive systems in which we live. Pornography is what the end will look like if we don’t reverse the pathological course that we are on in this patriarchal, white-supremacist, predatory corporate-capitalist society… Imagine a world in which empathy, compassion, and solidarity — the things that make decent human society possible — are finally and completely overwhelmed by a self-centered, emotionally detached pleasure-seeking. Imagine those values playing out in a society structured by multiple hierarchies in which a domination/subordination dynamic shapes most relationships and interaction… [E]very year my sense of despair deepens over the direction in which pornography and our pornographic culture is heading. That despair is rooted not in the reality that lots of people can be cruel, or that some number of them knowingly take pleasure in that cruelty. Humans have always had to deal with that aspect of our psychology. But what happens when people can no longer see the cruelty, when the pleasure in cruelty has been so normalized that it is rendered invisible to so many? And what happens when for some considerable part of the male population of our society, that cruelty becomes a routine part of sexuality, defining the most intimate parts of our lives?

All leftists need to do is connect the dots, the same way we do in every other instance of oppression. The material conditions that men as a class create (the word is patriarchy) mean that in the US battering is the most commonly committed violent crime: that’s men beating up women. Men rape one in three women and sexually abuse one in four girls before the age of 14. The number one perpetrator of childhood sexual abuse is called “Dad.” Andrea Dworkin, one of the bravest women of all time, understood that this was systematic, not personal. She saw that rape, battering, incest, prostitution, and reproductive exploitation all worked together to create a “barricade of sexual terrorism” inside which all women are forced to live. Our job as feminists and members of a culture of resistance is not to learn to eroticize those acts; our task is to bring that wall down.

In fact, the right and left together make a cozy little world that entombs women in conditions of subservience and violence. Critiquing male supremacist sexuality will bring charges of being a censor and a right-wing anti-fun prude. But seen from the perspective of women, the right and the left create a seamless hegemony.

Gail Dines writes, “When I critique McDonalds, no one calls me anti-food.” People understand that what is being critiqued is a set of unjust social relations — with economic, political, and ideological components — that create more of the same. McDonalds does not produce generic food. It manufactures an industrial capitalist product for profit. The pornographers are no different. The pornographers have built a $100 billion a year industry, selling not just sex as a commodity, which would be horrible enough for our collective humanity, but sexual cruelty. This is the deep heart of patriarchy, the place where leftists fear to tread: male supremacy takes acts of oppression and turns them into sex. Could there be a more powerful reward than orgasm?

And since it feels so visceral, such practices are defended (in the rare instance that a feminist is able to demand a defense) as “natural.” Even when wrapped in racism, many on the left refuse to see the oppression in pornography. Little Latina Sluts or Pimp My Black Teen provoke not outrage, but sexual pleasure for the men consuming such material. A sexuality based on eroticizing dehumanization, domination, and hierarchy will gravitate to other hierarchies, and find a wealth of material in racism. What it will never do is build an egalitarian world of care and respect, the world that the left claims to want.

On a global scale, the naked female body — too thin to bear live young and often too young as well — is for sale everywhere, as the defining image of the age, and as a brutal reality: women and girls are now the number one product for sale on the global black market. Indeed, there are entire countries balancing their budgets on the sale of women. Is slavery a human rights abuse or a sexual thrill? Of what use is a social change movement that can’t decide?

We need to stake our claim as the people who care about freedom, not the freedom to abuse, exploit, and dehumanize, but freedom from being demeaned and violated, and from a cultural celebration of that violation.

Lierre Keith, Feminist Current, full article here

QotD: “what was considered anti-feminist beliefs a couple years ago is considered feminist now”

do you ever notice how like.. what was considered anti-feminist beliefs a couple years ago is considered feminist now. i saw a post today that was like “there is no such thing as socialization, everyone is raised and treated and taught the same and chooses what applies to them” and it has like 50k notes and is considered “intersectional feminism” when like that exact thing is just a classic anti-feminist argument. There’s really an endless amount of examples of anti-feminism being pushed as feminism. I mean mainstream feminism is very little more than taking anti-feminism and sprinkling a bit of feminist buzzwords on it. I feel like there is really no hope for feminism anymore since actual feminism (as in a movement against patriarchy, rather than a movement in favor of patriarchy with just a slight twist that it is today) has been taken over and destroyed. It all just feels so hopeless. It would be better if feminism was just a very small group of women who are actually against patriarchy, rather than the misogynist pile of crap that it is today.

Trans people: “the concept of socialization is bullshit, stop”

You: “what kind of anti-feminist shit????”

If we were all socialised the same we wouldn’t need feminism… men and women would be treated the same, and viewed as equal. Lying and saying it’s not true allows women to be negatively socialised without consequence.

*socialization* is not responsible for social inequality, and in fact its quite the opposite, NO ONE is *socialized* the same, making this shitty concept useless

socialization is a well documented thing, men and women are treated differently, they are raised differently, they are seen differently, and they act differently as a result. Sex and race socialization are actual things, we are not wired to act differently, to have different interests, to think differently, to feel differently. Men don’t oppress women because they are biologically wired to do so. Whites are not biologically wired to think of themselves of superior and oppress non-white people. It literally makes no sense to pretend that socialization doesn’t exist, it only serves to protect white supremacist patriarchy by denying it’s existence.

except it doesnt work the way transphobes want it to

yall want to think men are raised like Y and women like X and that trans people must fall under either X or Y regardless of their gender

this binarist way of thinking is ridiculous

men are raised one way and women are raised another. this is just a simple fact. A trans person who is of the male sex would have been raised and socialized as a male until they transitioned, a trans person who is of the female sex would have been raised and socialized as female until they transitioned. An intersex person would have been raised and socialized as the sex they were assigned. Socialization has nothing to do with how you feel on the inside or how you personally identify it has to do with how other people see & treat you. Socialization isn’t a conscious thing that you either accept or reject either, socialization is subtle and effects you without you being aware of it, especially if you are male (or white), you just assume the way you are treated is normal, because you’ve been socialized to not empathize or acknowledge the mistreatment of those you oppress. You can’t just say “oh thats a binarist way of thinking” when society is binarist and socialization i enforced by society. like what is the point of denying reality other than to protect an oppressive society and continue sex/race oppression

again: this binarist way of thinking is ridiculous and is exactly why people wont take your concept of socialization seriously

people are raised in many different ways, if socialization worked like you want it to, everyone would have one of two personalities, but that isnt the case, women are raised in many different ways, men are raised in many different ways, intersex people are raised in many different ways, trans people are raised in many different ways

jesus christ we are not talking about individual personalities. If you go your way then you can’t say anyone is privileged or oppressed either, because no one has 100% the same experiences. I mean you either accept socialized behavior or you think that behavior is biological, or that every single person on earth is an individual who has no effect on anyone else and is not effected by anyone else, and therefor any acts of violence against them is just an individual act that has nothing to do with anything. I mean you either think oppression and oppressors exist or you think male violence and white supremacy are innate, or you think they don’t exist and all cases of male/white supremacist violence are invididual cases that has nothing to do with society or other people in that class. honestly please develop some class analyst, this conversation is pointless and a waste of time if you refuse to acknowledge that oppression exists and that classes of people have shared experiences and shared traits that are enforced on to them.

Just so happens that I dont need a faulty binarist concept of socialization for the concept of privilege to exist

“we arent talking individuals” no you are throwing all women in one category and all men in another and trans/intersex people into either

women are a class of people, men are a class of people, class analysis requires acknowledgement of people as a class, talking about oppression and privilege also requires acknowledgement of classes of people. You literally cannot talk about things like male violence without acknowledging socialization, or of women as a class of people, or else it just becomes one individual man being violent against an individual woman for no reason that isn’t connected to other acts of violence committed by other individual men against other individual women because everyone is an individual uneffected by anything.

how does oppression even work if not with socialization? why are men violent? why are whites violent? what puts men in to the category of oppressor? what makes all white people racist? what makes men oppress women? what makes white people oppress non-white people? what makes boys misogynists? what makes white kids racists? why is femininity pushed on girls? why do boys think they are superior to girls? why do whites think they are superior to non-white people? why do boys have higher confidence than girls? why do white kids have higher confidence? why do boys speak more in school than girls?why do whites speak more in school? why is the speech pattern different for girls and boys? why are girls far more concerned with appearance than boys? why do non-white children think whites are more attractive than them? why don’t girls have the same rates of violence as boys? If girls & boys, white people & non-white people are all treated the same and socialization doesn’t exist, then how do you explain socializaed behavior? how do you explain oppressor classes? if everyone is an individual unaffected by society then how do you have oppressed classes? privileged classes? why are girls oppressed from birth and trained in to compliance? why are boys, no matter how equally they are raised by their parents, still misogynists before they even start school? how can you explain class behavior without socialization? how can you pretend that raising girls & boys differently has no effect on them?

I am done with this conversation, just things for you to think about.

except, you know, not once dis I say the problem is based on individuals, but rather that your concept of socialization is flawed, very flawed

Why? Because you keep looking at it in a binary way, as if all men were raised the same and all women raised the same and people who arent either must also be raised in one of those two ways

You asked me questions, I ask you questions: why are so many cis women transphobes? Why are there cis women who want to fight transphobia? Why are there women who are against feminism? Why are there white people who acknowledged their privileged and want to fight racism when there are many more who deny their privileged and uphold racism?

Why are there men who support feminism when most are against it?

heres the gist of it: priviledged isnt tied to *socialization*, regardless of how a white kid was raised they are white, regardless of how a cis man was raised he is still a cis man, but what they do with that privilege, is up to the individual

then comes trans people, by your logic they are socialized as either male or female, as if thats how trans people felt like lmao, as if we perfectly fit the label of cis man/woman until the day we start transitioning

well, yeah? how would anyone know a baby was going to be trans in the future to treat them as trans as a baby rather than as their sex? like wtf are you even saying?

also like lol you didn’t answer a single one of my questions (for obvious reasons, you know the answers). But Ill answer your questions, we are all socialized to reject gender non-conformity, because gender conformity is key to keeping women compliant as the oppressed class and men as the violent oppressor class, the oppression of gender non-conforming people is directly tied to patriarchal socialization.

Women, again, are socialized against each other, in order to remain compliant, in order to be easily dominated we must be kept from uniting together, sharing our experiences, realizing our shared oppression, how does anti-feminist go against patriarchal socialization? it’s right in line with it. To become feminists women go through a massive amount of learning and unlearning of our socialization.

I’ve never met a white person or a man who wasn’t in some way a racist or a misogynist, and this definitely includes “anti-racist” whites and “pro-feminist” men. Let’s just pretend that these anti-racist whites & pro-feminist men are 100% totally not misogynists or racists, they had to unlearn their racism & misogyny to get to that point. Because of socialization racism/misogyny IS their default, and they have to unlearn it. Having privilege IS A FORM OF SOCIALIZATION. You literally cannot think privilege exists if you don’t think socialization exists, they are inseparable concepts! Male privilege for example, being taught as a baby boy that you are better, smarter, stronger, more deserving, etc etc, is a form of socialization that effects who you are as a person, the way you think, the way you act, the way you see the world, the privilege of being unaware of the oppression girls face is a form of socialization, you are socialized to ignore the plight of women! PRIVILEGE IS A SOCIALIZATION! I really don’t know how many other ways this can be said for you to understand.

If your way of thinking was correct than by default men would be feminists & whites would be anti-racists and there would be no reason for them to be put in oppressor classes, they would simply be white/male and that wouldn’t mean anything in terms of oppression or privilege. If there was no socialization then there would be no privilege or oppressed classes, just a few individuals who are racist or misogynist, there would be no social power behind it, or an entire system.

Pomeranian Privilege, who deserves a medal for tackling this genderist bullshit!

QotD: “Ok, twice-women”

Ok, twice-women: take all the princesses and bras and easter dresses and Barbies of the world you want. Don’t forget the high heels, nail polish, depilation, strict diets, sexual objectification, plastic surgery, genital mutilations, exclusive care of children, lower wages and unpaid domestic work, please.

If you could secure it to be just for yourselves, the women-more-women-than-women (like the washing-powder-that-washes-white-clothes-whiter-than-white), it would be a glorious day of liberation for the only-once-women.

We would be at last free from all this oppressive feminine shit we’re stuffed down the throat with since the day we’re born. We would be at last free from this debilitating brainwashing imposed on our malleable minds as soon as our wombs are guessed in our mothers’ wombs.

I can’t wait for this wonderful day when only-once-women will be at last given the right to be simply humans.


(found via the Bewilderness)

QotD: “Chemical castration of sex offenders in Turkey condemned by women’s groups”

Women’s rights groups, lawyers and doctorshave condemned Turkey’s decision to introduce a mandatory chemical castration programme for convicted sex offenders, arguing the treatment does not address the underlying reasons for widespread violence against women, and that bodily punishment will instead lead to increased abuse.

Özgül Kaptan, director of the Women’s Solidarity Foundation (Kadav), has condemned the law – which came into effect on 26 July, at a time of extended legislative powers – as misguided.

“It’s a very bad and dangerous decision,” she said. “The law reduces crimes related to sexual abuse and rape to the one offending individual and to that individual’s body, which disregards the systemic problem of why so many men in Turkey commit these crimes or are violent against women.

“Men are taught to think that they have a right over women. We need to change ideas about gender equality and masculinity. What we really need is a change of attitude, of education. That cannot be done by passing such a law, or overnight.”

Reliable data on violence against women in Turkey is hard to come by, and many cases go entirely unreported. According to the independent Turkish press organisation Bianet, 284 women were killed in Turkey in 2015. In 77% of cases, the murderer was the victim’s husband or partner, or a male relative. At least 133 women were raped, and 42% of the victims were under the age of 18.

“Crimes related to sex offending have much more to do with power and domination than with sex and the sexual drive of the offender. And there are many different ways of physical and psychological abuse,” Kaptan said.

Chemical castration involves the administration of libido-reducing drugs and, unlike physical castration, the effects are reversible. However, health experts have pointed out that the long-term use of some drugs used in chemical castration may lead to serious and permanent side-effects, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Turkey joins a small group of countries that have legalised the punishment, including most recently Indonesia, as well as Poland, Russia and some states in the US. Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark have introduced voluntary use of the measure. According to research from Scandinavia, reoffending rates have dropped from 40% to between zero and 5%.

However, the new Turkish law does not seek the consent of the offender. Instead, the decision to administer treatment will be made by a court. An offender risks greater punishment should he fail to continue the treatment.

Kaptan argued that mandatory chemical castration was an inhumane punishment comparable to the death penalty.

“Violence will create only more violence. In that sense it should be talked about in the same way as we talk about the death penalty,” she said. “We oppose all corporal punishment, because it violates the bodily integrity and the human rights of a person.”

The controversial move came during Turkey’s three-month state of emergency, which allows the government to bypass parliament and pass laws and regulations virtually unopposed. Regulations introduced during the state of emergency, imposed after the attempted coup of 15 July, cannot be appealed.

“The AKP [the ruling Justice and Development party] profited from the current chaos in the country flowing the coup attempt,” Kaptan said. “They seized the opportunity to introduce this law, which under normal circumstances would have been opposed very strongly.”

Mandatory drug treatment for sex offenders has been discussed before in Turkey. In 2011, female AKP deputies suggested chemical castration after a 17-year-old girl was murdered by her boyfriend. The discussion regained momentum in 2015 following the killing and attempted rape of Özgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old university student. Each time, the idea was harshly criticised and subsequently dropped.

“Chemical castration is a punishment that will merely assuage the victim’s immediate wish for revenge,” warned lawyer Canan Arin. “It will not address the underlying problems. Sexual abuse is not only committed because of a man’s genitals. Sexuality and male-female relationships in Turkey are not healthy.”

Referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 2014 comments that men and women could not be equal because such a notion would “go against the laws of nature”, Arin asked: “If the government propagates such views, how are things supposed to change for the better?”

Both Kaptan and Arin underlined that Turkey’s existing laws were sufficient to deal with violence against women. In 2012, after the government enacted new legislation to prevent domestic violence, Turkey became the first country to ratify a Council of Europe treaty on violence against women, and the AKP government has promised to intensify its fight against rape and sexual assault.

But so far, little has changed. Women’s rights groups point out that legal measures have repeatedly fallen short, and that convicted sex offenders and those guilty of abuse and violence against women still benefit from courts reducing sentences for “good behaviour”, encouraging the public to see their offences as trivial. Arin also said that women who flagged up potential offenders to the police often did not receive the necessary protection.

“It would be enough if the police and the courts would do their jobs properly,” the lawyer said. “The existing legislation would be enough to deal with offenders, but these laws are often simply not being applied.”

There have not yet been any convictions on the basis of the new regulation, but Kaptan feared that once it happens, women will again be the ones to suffer.

“We fear that the victims will be blamed as being responsible for such an “attempt” on masculinity. Instead of bringing a solution, this new law will only further increase violence against women.”



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 429 other followers