The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Linky Love - Volume 8

Standard intro - if you have a post of your own, or some else's, that you'd like to highlight please feel free to add it in comments, or to discuss the above posts, or indeed most anything else.

High number of posts about sexism and the like in this volume, because of International Women's Day on March 8th. In the USA this was of course our March 9th, and it was dubbed Blog Against Sexism Day.

Alas (a blog) - Fear - Maia (who has also posted this at Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty) tells the story of what happened to her after the Wellington IWD protest, sadly an everyday tale of the fear women face walking alone at night.

Auckland's Burning - What drugs are the socialists on? (And why don't they share?) - John's message about climate change to the socialists? No having of cake and eating it too.

blogging it real - A que cono esta Bush? - Bobert asks why the hell has George W headed down to Latin America when only bad things can happen? (Apologies for mangling the title of Bobert's post, I don't know how to insert the correct grammatical letters).

Feministe - Hi, I'm Jill, and scummy law school sleazebags have gone after me too - This one will have you outraged within seconds. Or at least it should.

Hear Me Roar - In-depth Look at Rape - Tobes particularly examines a startlingly long list of movies that perpetuate the myth of the high frequency of women making false rape accusations.
Ilyka Damen - "We Don't Go For That Sexism 'Round These Parts" - gennimcmahon outlines her first memory of experiencing sexism and asks readers to contribute theirs. A fascinating comment thread.

Ilyka Damen - Early Registration - Ilyka examines the birth of her feminism, and the realisation she had in her late teens courtesy of a Cover Girl eyeshadow trio, in the staff restroom at MacDonalds.

Joe Hendren - Rickards case raises real issues with jury trials in New Zealand - Joe gives us his thoughts on the police rape trials, and the surrounding legal issues.

Kiwiblog - How to delay a bill - David Farrar explains the various delaying tactics those in Opposition can use, in the context of the debate on the repeal of s59 of the Crimes Act.

Kiwi Herald - Kiwi Mums and Dads Get In Last Few Slaps - John reports on the trend in Moenui, ahead of Sue Bradford's bill to repeal s59 becoming law.

Liberation - 2008 NZ election likely to be fought on the environment - Bryce Edwards postulates that our 2008 Bunfight will go a similar way to politics in the UK at the moment, namely end up focused on a fight about how to beat climate change.

Maramatanga - Field's path to re-election - Maramatanga looks at Taito Philip Field, Labour, and Mangere, and the possibilities for a new Pacific Island or family values to evolve from the mess.

No Right Turn - The section 59 debate - Idiot/Savant covers the Parliamentary debate(s) over the committee stage of the repeal of s59, doing his bit for enlightening us all on the creation of law.

Pandagon - I Like My Sexism Like I Like My Hardwood Floors: Deeply Ingrained - Auguste writes about his evolution away from sexism and towards enlightenment.

Ranting off the ROK - Ranting in Laos: Planes, Plains and Phonsavan - stef has left Korea and is travelling home via as many other Asian countries as she can shoe-horn in. In this post she writes about Laos, with pics!

Secret Passage - Corned Beef, dognuts and representing the Western Springs - Robyn reports colourfully on her visit to the Pasifika Festival.

Smell the Magic Kitty - Lindey Lohan upskirt, Britney crotch shots - Yes, I know, you can't believe you just read that on this blog. Bear with me; click through, and then mouse over the hot links...

Tales from the Reading Room - Atwood & Tolstoy - litlove covers The Handmaid's Tale and Anna Karenina, with some very interesting feminist observations.

Previous volumes of Linky Love can be found in their own shiny category.


Make Tea Not War said...

Ack...arrogant scummy law school sleaze bags. They give law students a bad name. In what Universe do they think that kind of behaviour is acceptable? I really hope what goes around eventually comes around.

If you want to be more angry here's another

Span said...

If it's going to make me mad then I think it's going to have to wait until hometime...

aotea said...

"Maia tells the story of what happened to her after the Wellington IWD protest, sadly an everyday tale of the fear women face walking alone at night."

For God's sake, grow up. Sadly? Boo hoo.

"John tells the story of what happened to him after he climbed up a power pole and grabbed the live wires, sadly an everyday tale of the electricity we face when climbing power poles in this country. Mary tells the story of what happened to her after she crossed railway lines without looking both ways, sadly an everyday tale of what happens to the human body when struck at great speed by several hundred tons of steel and iconic crockery."

It's quite simple, girls. Use common sense and don't walk around alone at night. Shouldn't be too hard, even for the blondes among you.

Span said...

So aotea, you think it's ok that roughly half the population can't walk around at night?

How is there something wrong with women if it isn't safe for them to do what men do?

aotea said...

Wah! Poke Span and she squeals.

No, I think it's sad if roughly half the population can't walk around at night (I'd love to know how you got that stat). But no one can if they choose to be worried about the tiny risk of encountering one of the few people who think it's all right to do whatever it is that concerns you. We're all at risk from psychopaths, rapists, murderers, speeding vehicles, bus accidents, twisters, sharks, etc, etc. But it doesn't make a person with a clitoris any more special than a person without one.

morgue said...

Aotea trolling attempt = teh lamez0r

Span said...

Aotea said:
"It's quite simple, girls. Use common sense and don't walk around alone at night."

For your edification aotea, women make up roughly half the population, and you said yourself that we should use "common sense" and not walk alone at night...

Yes it could be argued that it isn't entirely rational to be afeared of walking alone at night (in which case why do you advise women not to do it?) on the basis that you are much more likely to be attacked by someone you know than by a stranger.

But given that common perceptions about rape include that women ask for rape by walking alone at night, wearing short skirts, being drunk, etc, maybe this isn't such an irrational fear after all?

I also do a good line in whining btw. Thanks for the moral support morgue!

aotea said...

Wait on, I couldn't give a *#$^ how many women walk and where and when and who with. Walk, don't walk, crawl if you want.

And who exactly is telling you they think that women ask for it by walking alone at night? Exactly where and in what century did that opinion poll occur?

All I am saying is that don't expect pity if your whine includes things like "I have a uterus and I can't walk alone at night". It's got nothing to do with being female. It's got everything to do with being a cowardly, paranoid female.

And I don't know - do rapists go for easy targets? A short skirt would make the process quicker and easier for your average asshole than a strong pair of combat trousers. Add some stompy boots and what have you got to worry about?

Therefore, perhaps it is not altogether unreasonable to suggest that wearing a short skirt is a silly thing to do if you want to walk around alone at night. Leaving a window open when you go away on holiday is also a silly thing to do, so - sadly - we will have to forego that right.

So is there really any difference between an open window and a short skirt? Who's asking for it, who's not, and why?

Anonymous said...

Behold Aotea, apologist-of-the-week!

Stompy boots! How could we not have known that, all this time. Sheesh, we women really are silly, aren't we! NOT!

Men should just stop raping women. And men should be talking to other men about that, about how men should stop raping women. Plain and simple, really. Stop raping us, and otherwise behaving toward us like we are prey to be threatened and hunted down and used in whatever way men please. And, for goodness sake, apologist(s), don't even think about beginning to 'whine' about the infinitesimal number of men (compared to numbers of women) who are subjected to sexual assault. But did those boys and men forget their kicky boots that day, I wonder? Or maybe men, by far the vast, vast majority of perpetrators of sexual and other violent assualt, should just stop raping and otherwise assaulting folks who were simply going about their lives.

DO NOT keep telling us not to act like prey. We haven't asked to be treated like prey, ever! Men have positioned us as such since forever, by owning us (literally in times past) and even now we're still second class human beings, as even those of us who do everything in our power to live and act like first class, card carrying human beings will find out sooner or later as we slam or are slammed up against the brick walls that are the socially predominant male attitudes toward us collectively.

One day, if men don't stop raping us and otherwise violating our humanity, I predict Solanas-like activism. How'd that be for escalation of the violent status quo? "Real men" love a really good war, don't they - one in which the adversary is truly worthy. Massacres, because we really have no way to identify guilty or likely rapists, would have to be the order of the day though. Bloodthirsty enough for you, Aotea?

Ach, probably given you a hard-on, eh? After all, it's only those into violence in all and any of its forms that recommend the 'defensive' strategies that are war-like in and of themselves...

aotea said...

Yikes! I really tickled the mad feminist ranter, didn't I?

You don't seem to get it. It is quite simple. I will tell you again in Very Small Words.

If you do not want to be raped, do not do things like walk alone at night in short skirts.

Returning to Slightly Bigger Words for a moment, this has absolutely nothing to do with men versus women or whether anyone advocates violence against women or anyone else. This is just about being sensible. Women who do not walk around alone at night wearing short skirts tend not to get raped. Homeowners who lock their houses tend not to get burgled. Children who dress warmly in winter tend not to get colds.


morgue said...

A woman is equivalent to a house with tempting valuables inside!

(Unflattering clothes are equivalent to a good lock and alarm system on those tempting valuables!)

Also, when a woman does not dress appropriately, both rapes and colds can be expected to occur!


aotea said...

I generally find short skirts are most unflattering on those who choose to wear them. It doesn't matter how attractive or otherwise a piece of clothing (or a lock) might be. But short skirts are easier to get into than trousers.

I love the way you always manage to be unnecessarily facetious and complicated about what is really quite a simple concept.

But rape is a political issue! Rape defines the great male hegemony oppressing women all over the world and all through time! Rape is a symbol of the destruction of the great mother goddess, the weakening of womyn power and the domination of evil patriarchy!

Yeah, I'm sure that's what Joseph Thompson and Malcolm Rewa would say if you asked them...

Span said...

Aotea, I think I'm going to have to call you troll. If you're going to continue commenting here then please consider doing so in a more sociable manner (i.e. less abusive and less assumptive).

Kindly consider returning to my blog with an open mind, possibly after you've undertaken some physical exercise to work out your agression, and read a few of my previous posts on rape:
There are more posts on the same subject in the Rape and Other Violence category linked from the bottom of the Linky Love 8 post.

Be aware that when you comment here on rape the comments you make may be read by women (and men for that matter) who have in fact been raped or abused, and that they may find the way you express yourself (if not also your actual views) highly offensive.

It would be nice if you could debate more pleasantly in future, for all of our sakes.

aotea said...

Yes, I am being provocative. It was an attempt to get you to take your purple-coloured glasses off and look at the issue of rape in a different way. It seems I have failed.

There is a difference between being provocative and being offensive. Tell me: should I have been offended by being told that I would have a hard-on after discussing rape? (Pretty uncomfortable for my clitoris - don't know about yours.) Now that's assumptive for you.

I don't care if people find my views offensive. I sometimes find theirs offensive too. I object to being labelled a victim just because I was born female. I object to having my passivity assumed. I object to being told what to do, say or fuck. I object to being told that just because I do not wear my abuse on my sleeve, I have no right to an opinion (between the ages of 5 and 8 I was raped on a regular basis by a neighbour). I find all of these things offensive.

Be strong. Feel strong. Act strong. Patriarchy exists only if you let it.

morgue said...

Gosh, Aotea's a woman now? That wasn't the case a few comments back.

"...even for the blondes among you."

Nice response, Span.

Span said...

From what aotea has already written they could be a woman, and I tend to take commenters at face value, so I'm not going to question that.

One thing I've been grappling with recently, since I went on the International Women's Day march on the 8th, is my need to elevate my consideration of rape issues above victimhood, so you are right there at least aotea. Evolution takes time with me, and I'm slowly getting away from that mindset I hope.

But I fail to see how advising women not to walk alone at night is rejecting being a victim?

I don't think you have no right to an opinion because you don't wear your abuse on your sleeve, far from it. I tend to have the attitude that harm against one is harm against all, and I certainly haven't shirked from sharing my views on rape and abuse although I've been fortunate not to experience it directly. I know that I have been strongly influenced by its impact on others I love and I also possess a vivid imagination that makes rape and violence all too real to me.

While I don't think patriarchy is something that only exists in my head, I do agree with your exhortation to strength.

(PS, why purple-coloured glasses? Just wondering if there is a reason you chose purple?)

stef said...

I'm not shoe-horning in Asian countries. Thus far I have only visited 7 Asian destinations and have so far not stepped foot in 'the big one' - China.

aotea said...

I'm really sorry you're so slow, Span. You seemed quite intelligent on some other levels.

I am not advising women to do anything. As far as I am concerned, walk where, when and how you like, with whomever you like. But don't tell me that the world is a terrible and unfair and patriarchal and torturous place for wimmen just because some wimmen feel they can't walk alone at night (in case they get attacked or raped or spoken to by a friendly neighbour, I can only assume).

A woman walking alone at night is no different to a child walking in the rain without a coat on or an old lady crossing the road without looking both ways. It carries some risk and may result in death or injury - sadly. But it has absolutely nothing to do with feminism or taking back the night or politics or dominating males. And I am no more special than anyone else just because I may have a uterus or a penis or just because I may have been abused or raped in the past. I certainly do not need wimmen out on the streets waving placards on my behalf.

Do you get my point yet?

And isn't purple the feminist colour? Perhaps I should have added white and green stripes...

Span said...

Aotea, I do get your point, I just don't agree with it.

I don't think that women deserve or ask for rape by walking alone at night - which is what I feel that you are arguing when you equate walking along at night and getting attacked with failing to wrap up warm and catching a cold (and actually you catch a cold from other people with colds, not from being cold).

As for women out there on the streets on "your" behalf - I wasn't out there for you (I didn't even know you existed), I was out there for myself and for the women I know personally who have been raped or fear rape. You can rest assured that you never crossed my mind.

I suppose purple is the feminist colour, I hadn't really thought about it much. Now I'm curious about what the white and green are for!

Span said...

stef, I didn't mean shoe-horning in a negative sense at all. I see you are in Vietnam now, sorry you didn't enjoy Halong Bay!

aotea said...

Lordy - I thought all good feminists knew that green, purple and white were the traditional colours of the WSPU.

And I'm sorry but I still don't get your point. Walking alone at night may or may not result in injury or death. People should choose to do it or not with that risk in mind. I am NOT (repeat: NOT) saying that anyone who does happen to get attacked or killed while walking alone at night deserves or asks for it. I'm just saying that there was a risk factor that could have been taken into account and mitigated (such as taking another person, taking a weapon, learning karate or even not walking alone at night in the first place). Why politicise it?

I am glad that you have decided to take my opinions seriously. I did not appreciate being called a troll. I would really like to understand why taking reasonable measures to avoid the risk of getting attacked is any different from taking reasonable measures to avoid the risk of anything else bad happening. It's no different just because it is usually a man attacking a woman. All I can see is a great mass of "feminism" and "rights" and "politics" clouding the issue.

Josh said...

I think the difference is that catching a cold or getting electrcuted by touching a live wire without protective gear is a necessary fact of nature. Being the victim of an assault or burglary isn't - it's the result of the contingent actions of a human being. We can't change nature, but we can change how people behave (to an extent), and politics is how that usually happens.

Saying "you should be able to stick a fork into a power socket without getting fried" is just denial of reality -- saying "a woman should be able to walk wherever and whenever she wants without being assaulted" (or "a person should be able to leave their house unlocked and not get burgeled") isn't. Maybe it's idealism (I can't imagine we'll ever be rid of crime and violence), but it is something we can actively work towards.

aotea said...

I do understand. Thank you for explaining that so clearly. Although I don't quite agree with you, I can see where you're coming from without the hysteria and occasional man-bashing. Not all men are horrible and not all men should be made to feel responsible for what other men do, just the same as not all women should feel like victims. Why is it that this sometimes becomes a men versus women issue?

Span said...

Thanks Josh for your clear explanation, that is what I was trying to get at and I'm glad you succeeded where I had failed!

Perhaps one of the reasons I am so defensive about this is that I am a bit sick of being told (on blog and off) that women shouldn't walk alone at night if they don't want to get attacked. That appeared to be what you were saying in your first comment aotea, although I can see from your subsequent ones that how I took it wasn't quite how you meant it.

Yes I fervently agree that not all men are horrible - some of my best friends are men, and I know many men who abhor rape as much as I do.

But I also know (or rather have known in most cases) men who have raped but don't see it as rape. Until these men, and others like them, start facing up to their actions and their true impact I fear that we won't be able to make a big dent in the number of rapes.

Ok, I've ranted enough already in this comment, back to work!