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Posts Tagged ‘sexism’

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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Black-on-white silhouette of an apparently female figure in a top hat, with the words in white: 2012 Australian Women Writers Challenge (and the url australianwomenwriters.com at the bottom)
We of the Never Never by Jeannie Gunn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads

An Australian classic. Depicts the enduring hardships of life in the Australian outback and the battles against sexist and racial prejudices.

My review

One of the things I tried to do for this challenge was to read a number of books I have been meaning to read for some time. We of the Never Never was one such book. Because it is an Australian classic from the early 20th century, I expected to find parts of it confronting, and in that, I was not disappointed.

A quick precis: the book is a memoir of the author’s first year on the Elsey, a station in the Northern Territory, several days’ journey (by the modes of transport then available) from Katherine. She is there because she has just married the Elsey’s manager, referred to in the book as “the Maluka” (this is later explained to be a name given to him by the Aboriginal people they have contact with and is, at least, so the author tells us, untranslateable). She is the only non-Aboriginal woman on the Elsey. She tells the story of her journey from Darwin to the Elsey early in the Wet season, and goes on to narrate other episodes, including staffing difficulties, the completion of the homestead and trips out on the station.

(more…)

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A tale of two legal systems.

In each legal system, there is a woman has been sexually assaulted.

Each woman is subjected to some sort of abuse by the person who is supposed to be prosecuting the sexual assault.

The similarities end there.

(more…)

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caitlinate at The Dawn Chorus has a bonza (or something) collection of quotes from Tony Abbott, just to remind you of all the odious things he’s said over the years.

Here’s a sample:

Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy approaching the scale (say) of Aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years less than that of the general community?
– From Tony Abbott’s speech to the Adelaide University Democratic Club ib 16 March 2004 (NB: link is a PDF; quote is at the top of page 6) (NB2: he put it in writing, so it’s not just something he said “in the heat of discussion” – rather, it must be taken to be an “absolutely calm, considered, prepared and scripted” remark!)

I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak
– From Q&A, 19 March 2009

Misogyny, racism, general douchery. What more could you want?

(yep, that’s sarcasm)

Well, even if you don’t think you want more, go read caitlinate’s post to remind yourself of how odious Tony Abbott really is.

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As I understand it, the rationale for the much discussed burqa ban (recently instituted in France, but also considered elsewhere, as the linked posts and many, many others discuss) is to prevent people hiding their faces because hiding one’s face while talking in person inhibits communication.

That’s as may be. I accept that it is slightly off-putting to speak to someone when you can’t see hir face and in a situation where you would normally be able to see hir face. But I have two points to make. First we do speak to people all the time without being able to see their faces – on the telephone. This has not exactly caused a breakdown in society.*

Secondly, if you are concerned that the wearing of the burqa reduces your ability to communicate, why is the rational reaction to say “well you can’t come and see me at all?” That is the reaction of one Conservative MP in the UK.

Then again, I suppose that party is not known for logical or rational reactions when it comes to prejudice.

* Although having said that, research published in 2004 by researchers at Cornell (I couldn’t find any link to the actual paper, but the names of the researchers are Hancock, Ritchie and Thom-Santelli) did show that people were more likely to lie over the telephone than face-to-face or in an email. Still, my point holds (ie: no breakdown in society), especially since it’s not necessarily clear why people are more likely to lie over the telephone – it could be due to the difference in the psychological effect of someone’s actual presence as well as simply eye contact.

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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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