90 years of women’s suffrage

90 years ago today, The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage in the United States of America.

Well done, Sister Suffragettes.

Women have been able to vote throughout the US for less than 100 years. We still have a long way to go before women enjoy true equality. Some Schoolhouse Rock for those of you who grew up in the 1970’s.

transcript of the video

Continue Reading90 years of women’s suffrage

Question Gender Essentialism

17-month-old Roy Jones brutally murdered for acting like a girl
Strong trigger warning for graphic description of abuse and murder.

17-month-old infant assigned male at birth, Roy Antonio Jones III, was killed by his mother’s boyfriend for acting too much like a girl.

Pedro Jones was babysitting Roy Jones (no biological relation) at the Shinecock Indian Reservation. When the less-than-two-year-old baby failed to fulfill his caretaker’s idea of what a less-than-two-year-old boy should act like, Pedro Jones began beating the infant with closed fists all over his body and then choking him. The child went into cardiac arrest, and later died at the hospital.

Pedro Jones has pled not guilty. He also admitted to abusing his victim in the past:
“I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl…I never struck that kid that hard before. A one-time mistake and I am going to do 20 years…

A tribe spokeswoman said the whole tribe is in mourning, but the child’s grandfather said, “He infiltrated my family through our trust, through the heart of my daughter and then stole the life of her child. I hope the justice system turns around and steals his.”

All human beings are expected to meet certain gender requirements based on their sex assignment at birth – from presentation to personality, expectations based on genitalia are cruelly enforced. Though everyone’s gender presentation and performance is policed and punished, these standards are applied with particular stringency and violence to trans folks.


Continue ReadingQuestion Gender Essentialism

Sex and The City 2 – more thoughts

Garland Grey does an interesting dissection of the problems with Sex and The City 2. The trouble is, if they’d fixed the problems he described, I don’t know that the movie would be watchable. I don’t know that I’d go see it.

And I’m really glad he didn’t attend my wedding, because I’d hate to see what he’d say about it.

Continue ReadingSex and The City 2 – more thoughts

My political daily chuckle

I got a fun little email blast from the DCCC regarding the GOP “Back in the Kitchen” comments they made a few days about about Betty Sutton (I linked to a news story about it here):

Ohio GOP: Put Her Back in the Kitchen
You won’t believe this one. Every once in a while, Republicans say something that makes you wonder what century they’re living in. Or in this case, twice in a while. Days ago, a Republican operative in Ohio actually said take Democratic Congresswoman Betty Sutton “out of the House and put her back in the kitchen.” This comes not long after House Republicans said that Speaker Pelosi should be “put in her place.” GOP Sexism like this needs our strong response.

While I laud their efforts, I have to wonder where these guys were during the 2008 election cycle, when the Democratic party was busy eating it’s own by throwing out remarks like these (and stuff far, far worse) at Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. You know, from inside the supposedly progressive, feminist party.

Pot, I’d like to introduce you to kettle. Have fun talking, boys!

Continue ReadingMy political daily chuckle

links for 2010-04-24

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links for 2010-04-14

  • sounds a lot like the Indianapolis teen who "shot himself" while handcuffed in the back of a police car.
  • The goals of the Girl Scout Research Institute are to originate new projects and initiatives that bolster knowledge about girls, as well as to synthesize the research that exists on the healthy development of girls. These efforts not only support the development of the Girl Scout program but also supply accurate information to educational, not-for-profit, and public policy organizations, parents seeking the best ways to help their daughters, and girls themselves.
  • Interesting article on a culture clash in New York over bike lanes. Choice quote: "But at some point, you don’t get to pull the seniority card when it comes to your religiously-based objections to female use of public space and transportation. And here, the hipsters weren’t making rules for the entire community. They were using a public street, paid for with everyone’s tax dollars, to ride their bikes. I run out of patience for objections to people using public streets because your religion objects to the female form. This isn’t about, “Damn, all these outsiders are coming in and driving up the rental market and now I can’t afford my place” or “I moved here to live in a neighborhood, not to have a bunch of loud bars built on my block.” This is, “I think that my religious belief regarding the appropriateness of women in public should trump the rights of women to move through public space.”
  • Handy list of alternatives to Futura.
  • You'd think that Disney would be the one place where you could take photographs, but not so much. Disney has started harassing photographers with DSLR cameras and accusing them of being terrorists – not because they really think that, but because DSLR photogs are competition for their pricey photography. Congratulations, Disney – I'll never visit one of your resorts.
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links for 2010-04-13

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They come for her jokes, and stay for her epic beatdowns

Sady wins the internet. (with [BONER] jokes!). I’m still trying to figure out how a mansplaining, boner-obsessed, “feminist if it will get me laid” dude came to a site with the word “beatdown” in the title and didn’t think he would get one for patting all the ladies on the head and thanking them for playing “but let me show you how it’s done”-ing the crowd. But thank Grover Cleveland that he did it, because it whipped Sady Doyle into the most hilarious righteous frenzy I’ve ever seen. And he didn’t stop there, either – he proceeded down the list of every item on the Derailing for Dummies list:

“You’re Being Hostile”, “But That Happens To Me Too”, “You’re Being Overemotional”, “Don’t You Have More Important Issues To Think About”, “You’re Not Being Intellectual Enough”, “Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone”, “You’re Not Being A Team Player”, “You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore”, and “You’re Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry” among others (thanks to commenters for assembling that list.)

If you too love the hell out of goofy boner jokes or just want to bring sunshine into your day, please read the whole post but I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the cherry on top:

And now, Freddie? Now, I’m Sady fucking Doyle. Of Tiger fucking Beatdown. Which gets roughly one hundred fucking thousand pageviews per month. And if you don’t like my jokes, motherfucker, then what you can do is, you can just. Fucking. LIVE WITH IT. Because these jokes, this secret little mode of resistance that I developed because I had no other options, have become the way I pay my rent. And neither you nor your various Serious Theory Friends nor God himself nor ANYTHING short of my own unexpected and sudden death in a car accident can fucking stop me. This is maybe self-aggrandizing, but you know what? I’m fine with that. I made myself who I am today, and she’s a pretty fucking great lady to be. And the thing is, if you can work harder than I have, if you can write better than I can, if you can equal or surpass my accomplishment, I’ll aggrandize you, too. God knows I don’t hesitate to sing the praises of people like, I dunno, Choire Sicha or Jessica Valenti or Jill Filipovic or Josh Fruhlinger or Clay Shirky, all of whom have done way better work than I have. But you can’t do even as well as I have, Freddie. Can you? Which is part of this whole deal. You’re not better than me, and it makes you sad.

When I grow up, I wanna be Sady (fucking) Doyle.

Once you’ve laughed your ass off, check out the two epic follow-ups regarding Freddie and his Boners:
Thank You For Subscribing to the Newsletter for the We Don’t Care About Freddie’s Boners Foundation

[BONERS], For Fun and Profit: The Extent To Which You Don’t Care About [BONERS], Revealed!

And if you just haven’t had enough of funny feminism, you know who else is funny, too? I Blame the Patriarchy. Tasty stuff.

Continue ReadingThey come for her jokes, and stay for her epic beatdowns

links for 2010-04-06

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Predator Theory and Rape

Predatory Theory is a very detailed and interesting post on Feministe by Thomas, discussing two detailed recent studies of rapists and violence directed at women.

Lots of new information here that explodes general society ideas about rapists and their methods and motivations. Most rapists go after acquaintances rather than strangers, and most of them are repeat offenders. Most of them are “undetected” and not incarcerated.Instead of attending top outpatient rehab in New Jersey most of them tend to use alcohol and get addicted other intoxicants to disable their intended victims, in a pre-meditated event. They plan and think out their crimes, rather than acting on opportunity or impulse. Many of them consciously try to limit their use of force during a rape if they can to avoid prosecution, but at the same time, these rapists are also responsible for a large chunk of domestic violence and child abuse. Detecting and incarcerating these repeat rapists would drastically reduce the incidents of violence towards women and children in addition to reducing rape.

And it’s not difficult to tell who these men are because their political and cultural beliefs shine a spotlight directly on them:

Many of the motivational factors that were identified in incarcerated rapists have been shown to apply equally to undetected rapists. When compared to men who do not rape, these undetected rapists are measurably more angry at women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic and more antisocial.


Guys with rigid views of gender roles and an axe to grind against women in general are overrepresented among rapists… Guys who seem to hate women … do. If they sound like they don’t like or respect women and see women as impediments to be overcome … they’re telling the truth. That’s what they think, and they will abuse if they think they can get away with it.

The notion that “date rape” occurs because men get a little to inebriated and don’t communicate well is largely untrue.

In the course of 20 years of interviewing these undetected rapists, in both research and forensic settings, it has been possible for me to distill some of the common characteristics of the modus operandi of these sex offenders. These undetected rapists:

  • are extremely adept at identifying “likely” victims, and testing prospective victims’ boundaries;
  • plan and premeditate their attacks, using sophisticated strategies to groom their victims for attack, and to isolate them physically;
  • use “instrumental” not gratuitous violence; they exhibit strong impulse control and use only as much violence as is needed to terrify and coerce their victims into submission;
  • use psychological weapons – power, control, manipulation, and threats – backed up by physical force, and almost never resort to weapons such as knives or guns;
  • use alcohol deliberately to render victims more vulnerable to attack, or completely unconscious.

Thomas has some great suggestions for how to better prevent rape than simply giving women a list of places and behaviors to avoid:

With that in mind, here’s what I think we can do:

(1) Men who inhabit cis- and het- identified social spaces need to listen to women. The women we know will tell us when the men they thought they could trust assaulted them; if and only if they know we won’t stonewall, deny, blame or judge. We need to listen without defending that guy. That guy is more likely than not a recidivist. He has probably done it before. He will probably do it again.

(2) The same men need to listen to other men. The men who rape will all but declare themselves. The guy who says he sees a woman too drunk to know where she is as an opportunity is not joking. Men who rape look for assurance that their social license to operate is in effect; they look for little confirmations that if he takes home the drunkest woman at the party and she says the next day that she said no, that she’ll be blamed and not believed. Choosing not to be part of a rape-supportive environment actually tells the rapist that his behavior has risks, and not everyone will take his side against an accuser.

(3) We need to change the culture of discourse about rape (and I mean all of us). Rapists know that the right combination of factors — alcohol and sex shame, mostly — will keep their victims quiet. Otherwise, they would be identified earlier and have a harder time finding victims. Women need social permission to talk frankly about sexual assault, because the more women can say what happened to them, the more difficult it is for the same man to rape six women without facing legal or even social consequences.

(4) Because the rapists have a fairly well-developed modus operandi, is is possible to spot it and interrupt it. We can look for the tactics and interrupt the routine. We can spot the rapist deliberately getting the woman drunk or angling to get the drunk woman alone in an unfamiliar place, and intervene. A guy offering a drunk woman a ride home may just be offering a ride, but if he is insistent when someone else offers a ride, this ought to raise a flag. If a guy is antagonistic towards women and places a lot of emphasis on sex as scoring or conquest, and he’s violating a woman’s boundaries and trying to end up with her drunk and alone, we don’t have to be sure what he’s doing to be concerned, and to start trying to give her exit ramps from his predatory slide.

Continue ReadingPredator Theory and Rape