Posts Tagged ‘misogyny’

Trigger warning: references to violence (including sexual violence) against women

I am sufficiently enraged/inspired enough to post.

I don’t have anything particularly new to say, just a couple of observations to make.

First: why, in this article at the Gruaniad, which is a list of the columnist’s top 10 books about missing persons, are the majority of the missing persons women?

Second: why, on the DVD covers for the Forsyte Saga, does series 1 have the warning “adult themes”, and series 2 have the warning “low level sex scene”, when series 1 includes a scene where a character is raped? (The sex scene – very low level indeed – in series 2 is consensual.)

Cross-posted at Hoyden About Town.

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Guardian headline: “Student becomes new police chief in Mexican town”

SMH headline: “Just 20, young mother becomes Mexican top cop”

The articles themselves are fairly comparable. The Guardian article leads with “She is a petite 20-year-old college student who paints her nails pink, has an infant son and believes in non-violence” – as if those are what matters to the appointment! It then mentions (in the third para) that she is a criminology student (ie something that suggests some relevant qualification), and the fifth para is this:

The town’s mayor, Jose Luis Guerrero, said she was the most qualified of a handful of applicants for a job, which in many parts of Mexico is considered tantamount to a death sentence.
[my emphasis]

I’m not terribly happy about the article’s treatment of this issue:

The appointment has upset some traditionalists – bloggers have asked if there are no men in the state of Chihuahua

I would have been happier had they made it clear that traditionalist clearly equals misogynist, since the suggestion seems to be that any man could do a better job than this specific woman. But look, I agree that appointing a 20 year old student (even if she is a criminology student) does raise some questions, and overall, the Guardian article appears to be a fairly objective treatment of the story.


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I actually wouldn’t have read this SMH article about the release of the iPad were it not for the quote on the link to the story from the front page, which, as it turns out, is also the headline: “Like a gorgeous woman”. I decided to go looking for context. It was worse than I expected:

James Stuart trekked to Seattle from Canada, where, like Australia, the iPad won’t be on sale for another month – too long, in his mind.

“It’s like a gorgeous woman – you just want to touch it,” he said.

And that, people, is rape culture.

I was expecting “It’s like a gorgeous woman – it’s so beautiful” or something like that. That would have been bad enough, constituting objectification and all.

But no, the concept that a gorgeous woman is just there for you (you being a straight man, of course) to touch – what she wants appears to be irrelevant here – well, people, that’s rape culture. Right there.

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The headline:

All men tarred by boorish brush

The summary sentence (the first sentence of the article is substantially the same):

Men who sexually harass women are actually harming their whole gender, a study has found

What the study is about: (more…)

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The SMH has an article about the inquiry into the awful culture on the HMAS Success. The article is headlined, in part, “HMAS Kinky”.

The ABC has a similar story, headlined “Sailors accused of public sex act: inquiry”.

First of all, let’s get something clear: I have no problem with kink. I also have no problem with public sex, providing it’s done in a place where all who might come across it are (1) warned and (2) have a chance to refuse to consent to watching / hearing / otherwise perceiving / observing the public sex.

I do, however, have a problem with rape.


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A Japanese man has married his virtual girlfriend.

I’m not sure what’s worst about this story. The contenders:

(1) The first sentence of the article:

We may occasionally wish our spouses had an “off” switch but a Japanese man will have that luxury full-time…

This sentence assumes that the audience are all (a) male, (b) heterosexual and (c) misogynist.

(2) The fact that the game Love Plus

invites players to pick a girlfriend and then challenges them to woo her by taking her out on “dates” and perform boyfriend duties such as saying “I love you” 100 times…

So, Nintendo also assumes that its target market are all (a) heterosexual, (b) male and (c) interested only in wish-fulfilment game-playing, rather than having an actual relationship with an actual person who is actually not a stereotype of a woman.

(Of course, it could just be that Asher Moses’s description of the game – the game itself may allow you to also choose a boyfriend. Somehow, I doubt it. I’m cynical that way.)

(3) The somewhat condescending comments (the first is “Oh dear”). That condescension says, to me, “look at that poor little [different person], we’re not like that”, and that, to me, pricks up my racism-alert hackles.

And whaddaya know, a couple of comments down there’s a comment which suggests that giving these games to “young Chinese and Indian men” could “stop the population boom”. Yep, that’s racism!

Oh dear, indeed.

I’m not going to go into the marrying-the-game-character thing. I do find it a bit disturbing, and I think that’s because of the implied power imbalance. Which is not so much a problem for the individual game character involved (!), but for what it potentially says about the man’s attitude towards women, and what he wants in a woman. I find that more problematic than the idea that he wants to marry the game character, per se. But I haven’t unpacked it enough to write about it coherently, and I don’t want to fall into the trap of sounding (or being!) condescending or racist by writing about something I don’t really get.

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DUFC logo

Welcome to the 18th Down Under Feminists’ Carnival! (And apologies for the delay.)

This Carnival has an optional caring theme, thanks to Australian Carers’ Week (which was October 18 to October 24). The theme for this year was “Anyone, Anytime, Across Australia”, which I modified to “Anyone, Anytime” for the purposes of the DUFC.

There wasn’t much sent in on theme, so I’ve expanded the DUFC rules just a little.


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Peter Hartcher, the SMH’s international editor (by which I assume they mean editor of international news) is a pretty good columnist. His articles tend to be interesting and thought-provoking. They are about politics, international politics and economics.

So when I saw the headline “Attractive French model bears close watching” on Hartcher’s column today, I assumed that this was a sub-editor’s attempt to get more readers to read Hartcher’s column, and that it was about the French economic model.

I considered not clicking through, in a tiny protest at the headline, but Hartcher’s columns are interesting enough – and I learn enough from them – that I figured I could overlook it this time.

However, here is how Hartcher’s column begins:

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