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Tag Archives: Women Rights

We’re All Mad Here: Weinstein, Women, and the Language of Lunacy

We’re through the looking glass now. As women all over the world come forward to talk about their experiences of sexual violence, all our old certainties about what was and was not normal are peeling away like dead skin.

It’s not just Hollywood and it’s not just Silicon Valley. It’s not just the White House or Fox News.

It’s everywhere.

It’s happening in the art world and in mainstream political parties. It’s happening in the London radical left and in the Bay Area burner community. It’s happening in academia and in the media and in the legal profession. I recently heard that it was happening in the goddamn Lindy Hop dance scene, which I didn’t even know was a thing. Men with influence and status who have spent years or decades treating their community like an all-you-can-grope sexual-harassment buffet are suddenly being presented with the bill. Names are being named. A lot of women have realized that they were never crazy, that even if they were crazy they were also right all along, and — how shall I put this? — they (we) are pissed.

We’re All Mad Here: Weinstein, Women, and the Language of Lunacy

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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in North America

 

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Let This Flood of Women’s Stories Never Cease

There’s a problem with the way feminism moves forward in reaction to breaking news stories. It brings focus to a single predator, a single incident, and people who haven’t faced the pervasiveness of misogyny can build stories around it about why this was the exception, not the rule. That Harvey Weinstein was typical of liberals or Hollywood, or Roy Moore and Bill O’Reilly were typical of conservatives, that this mass killer with a domestic violence background was typical of veterans or loners or was mentally ill, that case after case is a glitch in the pattern of society, not the pattern itself. But these are the norms, not the abberations. This is a society still permeated and shaped and limited by misogyny, among other afflictions.

Obviously—as we keep having to reassure them, because when we’re talking about our survival we’re supposed to still worry about men feeling comfortable—not all men, but enough to impact virtually all women. And in another way all men, because we’re all warped by living in such a society, and because as Kevin Spacey’s case demonstrates, though men are nearly always the perpetrators, other men and boys are sometimes the victims. Being groomed to be a predator dehumanizes you, as does being groomed to be prey. We need a de-normalization of all that so we can rehumanize ourselves.

https://lithub.com/rebecca-solnit-let-this-flood-of-womens-stories-never-cease/

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in North America

 

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The Horizon of Desire

The first thing you need to understand about consent is that consent is not, strictly speaking, a thing. Not in the same way that teleportation isn’t a thing. Consent is not a thing because it is not an item, nor a possession. Consent is not an object you can hold in your hand. It is not a gift that can be given and then rudely requisitioned. Consent is a state of being. Giving someone your consent — sexually, politically, socially — is a little like giving them your attention. It’s a continuous process. It’s an interaction between two human creatures. I believe that a great many men and boys don’t understand this. I believe that lack of understanding is causing unspeakable trauma for women, men, and everyone else who is sick of how much human sexuality still hurts.We need to talk about what consent really means, and why it matters more, not less, at a time when women’s fundamental rights to bodily autonomy are under attack across the planet, and the Hog-Emperor of Rape Culture is squatting in the White House making your neighborhood pervert look placid. We still get consent all wrong, and we have to try to get it a bit less wrong, for all our sakes.To explain all this, I’m going to have to tell you some stories. They’re true stories, and some of them are rude stories, and I’m telling you now because the rest of this ride might get uncomfortable and I want you to have something to look forward to.

Source: The Horizon of Desire

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Me Too’ Just Gave Society a Conscience

Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug. It smothers the senses of societies that claim to despise sexual predators and yet keep giving them awards and electing them to office. Right now, all over the world, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein accusations, women and girls are coming together in stunning numbers to finally name the men who have been hurting and humiliating them for so long. Resistance to rape culture is going viral. And polite society is expressing a certain amount of skepticism.

Can this really have been happening to so many women and girls? If so, why didn’t they speak out before? Aren’t we all overreacting here? We know there are men like Weinstein, but he’s an outlier, a rare breed of human monster — surely! Of course, we’ve all heard rumors. We all know an old-fashioned guy who gets handsy after a few drinks. But surely, we think, he can’t be an abuser. He’s a colleague, a family member, a friend. Can it really be true?

http://time.com/4987390/me-too-shows-pervasive-sexual-abuse/

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The fall of Harvey Weinstein should be a moment to rethink masculinity

This past week was not a good week for women. In the United States, it was reported that a man who allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl was granted joint custody of the resultant eight-year-old boy being raised by his young mother.Earlier in the week, the severed head and legs of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who disappeared after entering inventor Peter Madsen’s submarine, were discovered near Copenhagen. A hard drive belonging to Madsen, Danish police said, was loaded with videos showing women being decapitated alive.A Swedish model received rape threats for posing in an Adidas advertisement with unshaven legs. The University of Southern California’s dean of medicine was dumped after reports resurfaced that he had sexually harrassed a young medical researcher in 2003. A number of men at liberal publications were revealed to have contacted Milo Yiannopoulos, urging him to attack women – “Please mock this fat feminist,” wrote a senior male staff writer at Vice’s women’s channel, since fired. And, of course, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was described by the New York Times as a serial sexual harasser; his alleged offences, according to a TV journalist, including trapping her in a hallway, where he masturbated until he ejaculated into a potted plant.

Source: The fall of Harvey Weinstein should be a moment to rethink masculinity | Rebecca Solnit | Opinion | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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La casa in cui si combatte la violenza sulle donne

Jasmine ha ventidue anni e due vite. Ha dipinto le pareti della sua stanza di verde e di rosso per ricordarlo: in basso ha disegnato con il pennello una striscia rosso scuro come il suo vestito da sposa. In alto ha dipinto una striscia verde come il giardino della casa dove abita nella sua nuova vita, quella che è cominciata quando è scappata dall’appartamento dove era stata rinchiusa dal marito in una città dell’Italia del nord. Jasmine non è il suo vero nome, ma per ragioni di sicurezza non può rivelare la sua identità.Fa fatica a ricordare i particolari del primo e del secondo tempo della sua storia, ma non dimentica le date: si è sposata due giorni prima del suo diciottesimo compleanno nel 2013. Tre anni dopo – nel 2016 – è entrata per la prima volta a Lucha y siesta, nella periferia est di Roma, un centro antiviolenza e una casa delle donne fuori dai canoni, “un progetto di semiautonomia”, come lo definiscono le operatrici che lo hanno fondato nel 2008. Nel centro sono ospitate una decina di donne italiane e straniere che hanno subìto violenze psicologiche, fisiche o economiche soprattutto dai loro familiari, in particolare dai mariti o dai compagni.Jasmine non conosceva una parola d’italiano quando ha varcato il cancello verde che separa il giardino della casa dalla strada. Poco più di un anno dopo la sua vita è cambiata radicalmente: ha superato la confusione in cui era piombata dopo la fuga da casa, ha imparato l’italiano, ha frequentato un corso professionale e ora lavora in una piccola azienda che prepara sushi per supermercati e ristoranti. Vuole diventare una cuoca: “Mi piace cucinare, ma non sono quasi mai soddisfatta di quello che cucinano gli altri”.

Source: La casa in cui si combatte la violenza sulle donne – Annalisa Camilli – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2017 in European Union

 

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Solo uno stupro, solo una lapidazione

Il corpo martoriato di Noemi Durini, la sedicenne lapidata – è questa la parola giusta, evidentemente presente non solo nel vocabolario del fondamentalismo islamico – dal suo ragazzo diciassettenne in provincia di Lecce, interrompe come un lampo nella notte il delirio di un’opinione pubblica che da settimane si intrattiene sugli stupri, “indigeni” e “stranieri”, come una platea voyeur davanti a un film pornografico. Ci ricorda, quel corpo, che la violenza più violenta, e sovente più definitiva, arriva sulle donne molto più frequentemente da uomini prossimi, per primi quelli che dicono di amarle, che da uomini lontani per razza, religione o cultura. Un fatto, non una fake, che sta scritto in tutte le statistiche, nonché nell’esperienza quotidiana di centinaia di centri antiviolenza sparsi per il paese. Ma si sa che i numeri, nonché l’esperienza, nulla possono sulle psicosi. E dunque il femminicidio di Lecce non placa il delirio dei giornali e degli onniscienti ospiti dei talk che con un occhio piangono sul cadavere di Noemi e con l’altro ridono soddisfatti perché l’archiviazione dello ius soli ci preserverà dall’invasione di interi popoli di stupratori.

Source: Solo uno stupro, solo una lapidazione – Ida Dominijanni – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2017 in European Union

 

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The juju curse that binds trafficked Nigerian women into sex slavery

Every night as dusk falls in Piazza Gastone in the Noce district of Palermo, a tall, imposing Ghanaian woman dressed in traditional west African robes stands before a small congregation sweating in rows of plastic chairs before her.The Pentecostal Church of Odasani has been converted from an old garage in a backstreet into a place of worship, albeit one unrecognised by any formal faith group. But what many of the congregation – largely young Nigerian women – have come for tonight is more than prayer; it is freedom.“Nigerian women come to me for help, they have bad spirits that have been put inside their bodies by people who want to make money from them,” says the self-proclaimed prophetess, as she prepares to start her service.

Source: The juju curse that binds trafficked Nigerian women into sex slavery | Global development | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Africa, European Union

 

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The Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl

It was close to midnight on the coast of Libya, a few miles west of Tripoli. At the water’s edge, armed Libyan smugglers pumped air into thirty-foot rubber dinghies. Some three thousand refugees and migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, silent and barefoot, stood nearby in rows of ten. Oil platforms glowed in the Mediterranean.

The Libyans ordered male migrants to carry the inflated boats into the water, thirty on each side. They waded in and held the boats steady as a smuggler directed other migrants to board, packing them as tightly as possible. People in the center would suffer chemical burns if the fuel leaked and mixed with water. Those straddling the sides could easily fall into the sea. Officially, at least five thousand and ninety-eight migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, but Libya’s coastline is more than a thousand miles long, and nobody knows how many boats sink without ever being seen. Several of the migrants had written phone numbers on their clothes, so that someone could call their families if their bodies washed ashore.

The smugglers knelt in the sand and prayed, then stood up and ordered the migrants to push off. One pointed to the sky. “Look at this star!” he said. “Follow it.” Each boat left with only enough fuel to reach international waters.

In one dinghy, carrying a hundred and fifty people, a Nigerian teen-ager named Blessing started to cry. She had travelled six months to get to this point, and her face was gaunt and her ribs were showing. She wondered if God had visited her mother in dreams and shown her that she was alive. The boat hit swells and people started vomiting. By dawn, Blessing had fainted. The boat was taking on water.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/10/the-desperate-journey-of-a-trafficked-girl

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Africa, Reportages

 

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Women shouldn’t apologise for the pitter-patter of tiny carbon footprints’

Everyone has mummy issues these days – including climate scientists. A recent study made headlines by suggesting that the number-one thing a person can do to reduce their carbon footprint is to have fewer children. Right on cue, a neo-Malthusian chorus seized on the study as another opportunity to shame women for their reproductive choices. Averting climate catastrophe is a collective responsibility – but it’s far more comfortable to blame your mother, or someone else’s, for every social ill.I’ve just crossed the invisible rubicon between the age when you’re shamed and terrified out of the very idea of breeding and the age when you’re coerced and cajoled into it – if you have a uterus, of course. If you don’t, you can pretty much sit back and wait for some woman to do the donkey work of organising your genetic legacy, safe in the knowledge that you’re unlikely to be judged on your reproductive choices. I’m consistently taken aback by the number of men my age and older who speak offhandedly about their “future children”, without having planned in the slightest for the arrival of these notional sprogs – simply assuming that it’ll happen someday, when they’ve had time to dedicate themselves to their life’s work.

Source: Laurie Penny: ‘Women shouldn’t apologise for the pitter-patter of tiny carbon footprints’ | Books | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in Reportages

 

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