Tagged: double standards are double the fun

Blogging while leftwing-and-feminist: the bingo board edition

Blame for this may be entirely laid at the feet of Rhinocrates, NZ Femme and V de Plume.  May it serve you well in future headdesk-worthy “debates” with people who keep insisting they’re our allies, now could we please shut up and let them tell us what we want?

bingo

 

[A bingo board of white-and-purple squares, saying: Wait until we win the election! / That’s not a tier one issue / I know I’m banned but … / We already have laws against discrimination / Boutique Identity Politics / That only helps a tiny minority / Let me explain basic politics to you / Of course we all hate sexism, you oversensitive bitch / Rightwing pundits don’t like that / Stop making personal attacks you bitch / You need counselling / That won’t win votes / FREE SQUARE / I’m on your side! / I’m leaving this conversation!!! / Rights are a zero-sum game / We HAVE to focus on the economy (so shut up) / You can have five minutes / That’s just in your head / I’m leaving this conversation THIS TIME!!! / Let’s just agree to disagree / Silencing white male trolls is censorship / But as a redheaded vegan, I have an identity too! / We’re all just ~people~ / You’re scaring away swing voters]

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A study in blogging while leftwing-and-feminist

Yesterday I made this post, both here and at The Standard. It was born of my frustration with the number of leftwing men who are still complaining about identity politics like they only just learned the phrase, still demanding that 100% of the left’s collective time and thought be about their personal issues, still basically crying like babies who are being asked to share their toys.

And the response pretty much proved my point.

I was told that their actions – which multiple other people had observed and commented on – were “in my head”.  I was told I needed to “get counselling”.  A comment was left here saying:

All fat hags should be neither seen nor heard.

My attempts at moderation – in hardly more aggressive terms than people like lprent normally dole out – were point-blank ignored, and labelled “censorship”.

I was cast as some “other blogger” who was imposing my terrible, bullying will on The Standard, normally such a genteel place.  The irony of that last point is that a mere day earlier, people had rallied around a comment which praised The Standard for being a more rough-and-tumble place.  Somehow it’s different when it’s a sweary woman doing it, isn’t it?

But of course it was really me who was silencing people, by objecting to their insistence that I be silent.

Of course I, and other commenters who agreed with me, needed to have basic democratic politics (“you see, we need to win elections in order to have the power to do things and the right don’t want us to win“) explained to us, because our ladybrains were just too confused.

And the conversation has carried on in other threads where people want to make it very clear that they are the reasonable, thoughtful ones who totally would agree with me if I wasn’t so goshdarned mean.

This is a standard (couldn’t help myself) day in the life of a feminist blogger on a leftwing site.  This is exactly what I tried to explain.  But I guess maybe we need yet another election where Labour’s woolly-headed waffle and stamping down on “identity groups” nets them another three years on the Opposition benches before the boys will listen.

My thanks to karol and weka, who have been allies in this conversation.

So Martyn Bradbury wrote a post about me

And I just want to clear a few things up, if only to establish with some finality that Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury shouldn’t be trusted as far as you can piss facing into an emerald Wellington gale.  Martyn’s post is here, or will be until he deletes it and pretends it never happened.

Martyn’s statement:

QoT left the blog with Nicole Skews

is a lie, and one which I have previously corrected him on .  Coley (which is what people call her when they’re not trying to silence her with the threat of workplace-related drama*) left The Daily Blog on 12 September.  Her side of the tale is here.

I, on the other hand, had stepped down from blogging there on 24 July, with the following email:

Hey man, my post for the week is now with you.

Unfortunately I’m going to have to step back from TDB.  As you’ve probably gathered, things in the meat-world have been pretty rocky for me this year and the past month has just taken all my spoons.
It’s been great though, I really like what you’re achieving and the line-up is awesome – so I know I won’t necessarily be missed *too* badly. 🙂

You’ll want to keep this in mind for a bit further down.  When in later email conversation I corrected him for claiming that my stepping down was due to Coley’s, he stated in an email of 20 September:

My mistake – I thought the 2 events were connected.

Next up.  Martyn’s statement:

QoT’s latest attack is to claim that our desire on TDB to have more female voices is somehow a conspiracy to hide my true intentions of allowing the patriarchy to rule while paying lip service to diversity. She claims the lack of posts by the female bloggers in October is proof of this while I think that is a terrible slap in the face to the women bloggers on this site.

is easily compared with my actual post here – which Martyn does not link to.  Please note:  the statistics are not for October.  They are for the entire running history of The Daily Blog, from February to October 2013, as noted on the post.  I do not accuse Martyn of “allowing the patriarchy to rule”; I say:

With those kind of numbers, you’ve got to ask exactly what is being served by getting more women’s names onto the TDB roster.  Is it women, or is it one guy’s liberal cred?

But Martyn claims that he’s actually the real feminist here:

QoT knows first hand from times she couldn’t get her blog through to us that there are many extra time issues for female bloggers to contend with. Family, work and study all impact on the time commitments people can commit to blogging, every blogger on this site has the ability to post whenever they want above the minimum commitments they agree to.

It’s a nice point, and a very valid one, and yeah, I’m not a perfect employee contributor.  But it struck me as odd that Martyn was suddenly so understanding of the pressures on women and how this might affect their ability to commit regular blog posts, because after I sent that email, back on 24 July, his response was far less accepting.

Martyn, 24 July:

WHOA – Hold up sister – QoT – mate, comrade – hold up.

I was out tonight at backbenchers and I had a couple of guys from out of town who had made the trip in special to watch it and they were raving about you and the impact you have made on their girlfriends in helping them find their voice.

QoT I do not want to lose you – how about this – how about we cut you down from weekly to fortnightly – would that help?

A day later, after I hadn’t responded – remembering that I’d explained life was a bit difficult at the moment.

So would fortnightly take the pressure off you?

Please note that is the entire text of the email.  I explained – very nicely** – that it wasn’t a goer.  He responded:

Doh – those personal things – bloody nuisance those.

I’ll back off for a month and then start gently prodding – you are simply too important a voice to allow quieting my dear QoT – there is genuinely a new generation of women reading your blogs and feeling real power from seeing a woman as staunch and powerful as you front footing it with anyone.

I know how passionate you are so know your personal trauma must be great to pause from blogging. Take time to heal comrade, I’ll hold your line in the fight.

And then a month later, with no further contact from me – and sure, I could have been more forthcoming, but Martyn could also have taking a fucking hint** – the boilerplate reminder emails began again.  And I didn’t want to pick a fight, because I feared that Martyn would be nasty in retaliation.  I think subsequent events bear this out.

But it does seem to suggest that he is not as open-minded about the pressures on women bloggers as he claims, and quite happy to apply it himself.

And finally, Martyn says:

The insinuation that Amanda Kennedy, Christine Rose, Dianne Khan, Jenny Michie, Julie Anne Genter, Julie Fairey, LadyMac, Laila Harre, Latifa Daud, Louisa Wall, Marama Davidson, Moana Mackey, Penny Hulse, Phoebe Fletcher, Professor Jane Kelsey, Rachael Goldsmith, Sue Bradford, Susan St John, Tali Williams and Melissa Ansell-Bridges are somehow puppets being played for deceptive means by myself, Chris Trotter, Selwyn Manning, Frank Macskasy and Wayne Hope is as ludicrous as it is offensive to those women.

It’s very nice to know that he can name all his remaining women bloggers.  But again, it begs a question: if all of these women find my statements offensive and ludicrous, why isn’t Martyn giving them a platform to say so?

The rest of Martyn’s post is a masterclass in sexist double standards and tone argument.  It shouldn’t need saying that the man who refers to me as “Queen of Scorns”, who coined the phrase “Emerald Stormtroopers”, and who categorised what is basically an argument over one comment on a blog as “completely fracturing the Auckland and Wellington left” is probably not the person who should be lamenting the horrors of blog-war.

Martyn is a liar.  If you are dealing with him, screencap everything.  This correspondence is now very much closed.

~
*In an earlier post, Martyn referred to her as “Nicole Skews of [her workplace]”.  This has, like so many things, been silently retconned.

**And let’s all think for a moment about how women are programmed to be nice in order to not antagonise men because they fear being attacked by them.  I don’t think it’s a stretch given the exact post I’m commenting on now.

Daniel Farrell is here to approve your feminism: Episode 2: The Phantom Misandry

So, after all the kerfuffle over yesterday’s post, Daniel Farrell came back to his keyboard to try to retcon his fail a little bit more.  At this point, I have to ask if this whole thing is a marvellous piece of performance art from the Auckland Uni Law Revue performers.  It would make sense for Auckland students to make their sockpuppet a Waikato dude.

I mean, it’s really hard to believe that right here in our own backyard is a dude who takes a faceful of criticism for whinging about “modern feminism” and thinks he’ll calm the storm by saying “I am not against feminism as it should be”.  He thinks it’s going to help, somehow, to say anyone who criticised him is “childish” and “irrational” and then, after making a post in which he specifically attacked a woman for having sex he didn’t approve of, whinge about personal attacks.  

Even his “apology” is troll-perfect:

I would also like to apologise to those who were offended by my comments as they were portrayed.

Daniel Farrell, basically, is a walking illustration of male privilege.  He’s never learned not to shoot his mouth off on a topic he clearly knows nothing about – because his opinions are valid and people have to hear them!  He firmly believes that people must spend more than 10 seconds on his page before commenting on his posts, because HE deserves their attention.  Of course he gets to cast aspersions on other people’s sex lives, especially women who do bad things – but don’t you dare fucking call him a bad name, that’s getting personal!  And childish!

And why shouldn’t he express his opinions about feminism, what about his freedom of speech?

This is not a person who’s ever had the weight of society telling him he’s a lesser creature who shouldn’t cause a fuss.  That’s why he can’t comprehend feminism, or feminist criticism, as anything other than an attack on his very penis.

All I can say is take it away, good folks of Twitter.

Don’t worry, ladies: Daniel Farrell is here to approve your feminism

It all started while I was at work, and had to limit myself to eye-rolling:  Daniel Farrell, one of the Directors of the Waikato Students Union, decided to let us all know that he disagrees with “modern feminism”.

It might pay to clarify at this early stage that Daniel’s definition of “modern feminism” is, um, unique.

But you can’t beat this for logical thinking:

1.  A music video is released which a lot of people find rape-y and gross. (full disclosure:  I have chosen not to watch said video.)

2.  Law students from Auckland University create a gender-flipped version of said video to highlight its misogyny and rapeyness.

3.  Flipped version is taken down from YouTube, original is left up.

4.  People complain about this.

ERGO:  feminists are hypocrites because they complain about objectifying women but are totally okay with objectifying men.

You cannot fucking argue with the man’s logic.  You cannot.  Because it doesn’t exist.

I don’t believe in siccing people’s employers or future employers on to them because of things they’ve posted online.  But you’ve got to ask if Waikato University is going to be happy with this dude’s critical thinking abilities being blamed ascribed to their teaching.

~

… and that’s all I originally wanted to say, when I’d first seen Daniel’s blog post, because, well.  The rest of it was just laughable, wasn’t it?  I mean, we’re talking about someone presuming to pass judgement on feminism who literally sums up the founding ideas of feminism as “initially a movement to stop the “hey, wench, cook me some eggs” of the day. That’s noble enough.” NOBLE ENOUGH.  I’m fucking dying here.  I cannot breathe.

But then, by the time I sat down to write this response, Daniel had – thanks to a heaping of smackdown from Twitter – posted a clarification.  See, he’d written the post in a rush, he’d expressed himself poorly, he just wanted to make it clear that:

There are a lot of people who call themselves feminists who are doing the right thing. They are good people who are simply trying to ensure gender equality. I hope that this is the majority of “feminists”, and I am not referring to them in any way and to any members of that group that thought I was referring to them, I apologise, as that was not my intention. I am referring to one specific type of “feminist” – the militant feminist who goes around saying all males are misogynists simply because they have a penis rather than a vagina. The feminist who goes around saying people who don’t agree with them 100% support things like rape. They are harming the good work that people under the feminist movement do. So when reading this, don’t read it with the pretense that I’m trying to say women are evil or anything silly like that.

Oh, yay!  Despite earlier statements, Daniel doesn’t hate good feminists, he just hates bad feminists, the kind who “say all males are misogynists simply because they have a penis”.  Sadly, he was unable to link to evidence of the existence of any such feminists, and that makes me sad, because I enjoy seeing mythical creatures.  But he’s totally down with feminists “who are doing the right thing”, and shit, ladies, if Daniel Farrell thinks we’re doing the right thing we must be on to something.

The specific little bit about “the feminist who goes around saying people who don’t agree with them 100% support things like rape”?  I suspect that’s connected to this tweet, where no, Daniel, nobody said “disagreeing with me means you support rape”.  But someone did ask why it was more important for you to completely misrepresent anti-rape-culture activism than to actually confront rape culture.

To give Daniel full credit, though, anyone who questions his mighty opinion is silly.  Or irrational.  Or childish.  Anyway, where are his cookies?  He totally didn’t-actually-delete the section where he has a go at sex-shaming feminists who have sex with people (who just coincidentally are not him) in parks.  What a sensitive fucking hero.

~

Other reactions: Dovil and Gin Tears and Creme Brulee

Final pedantic notes:  Daniel has no idea how sex and gender work; and making a throwaway Once Were Warriors reference (LOL BUT IT’S HISTORICAL BECAUSE HE SAID WENCHES, LOL) basically proves any point anyone ever wants to make about his lack of basic empathy.

ETA:  Of course, since drafting THIS post and scheduling it, things got better.  Stay tuned!  Find episode 2 here!

George Zimmerman and Bruce Emery

Yesterday, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.  I want to highlight the tweets and posts of US activists of colour who have commented since the acquittal.  This isn’t a time for white people to take the mic.  Please listen to these people.

Read Brittney Cooper.  Read the letter from 100 young black activists.  Read Trudy.

LeVar Burton has to teach his son how not to get killed by police.

Even in the aftermath, the narrative is that black people are dangerous and violent.  It’s not outrageous to the people who experience it every day.  It’s part of a constant policing of their behaviour.  It’s terrorism.

The racism that created this situation is systemic, and there’s plenty of examples to prove it (I believe this is the case referred to in the second tweet).  Zimmerman didn’t even get manslaughter.

Some additional information: In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person.  The NAACP has a petition up for the Department of Justice to open a civil case against Zimmerman, and you can support the Trayvon Martin Foundation – which has raised 1/3 of the funds George fucking Zimmerman got.

And here’s a fucking good resource for white people who actually do want to learn.

This case isn’t over.

~

But as @IdiAuslander says, this isn’t just a US thing.  So here’s what I do want to add:

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this trial and how it “couldn’t” happen here.  But it did.  It did when Bruce Emery chased down Pihema Cameron and stabbed him to death over a tag on a fence.  It did when you couldn’t move for people saying “oh well he was a vandal” and acting like Bruce Emery was justified in “being afraid” of the young man he pursued with a knife.  When the conspiracy theory was that Pihema Cameron and his friend “lured” Emery into some kind of trap and forced him to start swinging a knife.  When our ever-vocal “law and order” advocates excused Emery’s actions because getting graffiti off your fence is so frustrating.

This happened here, New Zealanders.  And a white businessman served two years for killing a brown teenager.  And we cannot let this shit happen.

(Note: NRT beat me to it.  Damn him..)

Mythbusters team charged with multiple felonies after video evidence comes to light

In shocking news today, the crew of the smash hit Discovery Channel show Mythbusters were arrested in Polk County, Florida, after over 200 hours of graphic video footage was seized by the Sheriff’s office.

This footage is reported to show the team – who have previously passed themselves off as fun-loving larrikins promoting scientific knowledge to a broad audience by scientifically testing myths and urban legends – setting off a series of increasingly devastating explosions, with the estimated damage to property and pig carcasses totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In one video, they appear to test the effectiveness of store-bought ammunition against commuter aircraft.

The Sheriff’s department has also released provocative images of one team member constructing what appears to be a long-range assault cannon using a popular diet soda and candy.

A spokesman said, “We have a zero-tolerance approach to people using chemical reactions to learn more about the wonders of our physical universe.  The Mythbusters’ interest in the rapid expansion of matter, sudden releases of chemical energy, and demonstrating the laws of physics using frozen chickens poses a clear and present threat to the citizens of Polk County.”

~

Except of course that’s not what happened.  What happened was a sixteen-year-old high school student mixed some stuff together in a water bottle to see what would happen.  As hundreds of thousands of sixteen-year-old high school students have done over the course of centuries – that is, those who didn’t tire of such childish things and graduate to making their own fireworks or pipe bombs, or throwing handfuls of potassium into the school pool.

(Best.  Chemistry class.  EVER.)

But this time, when there was a “pop” and the top came off the water bottle, Kiera Wilmot was expelled and arrested on felony weapons charges.

Kiera Wilmot just happens to be a young woman of colour, unlike 90% of the people you see on YouTube making things go “pop” in a similar fashion.

@graceishuman has Storifyed the coverage.  Read it, read up on the school-to-prison pipeline.  Get angry.

Nonsensical Sentencing Trust plays the Obi-Wan card

So, the Nonsensical Sentencing Trust wants to set up an anonymous website criticising the decisions of NZ judges, because any guilty verdict handed down to a poor brown person which doesn’t result in hanging is obviously too lenient.

Naturally, this has caused some consternation among the legal fraternity.

But don’t worry, folks, because the SST has now made it clear:  they do not support vigilantism.

For the sake of your braincells, you may choose to append the famous Jedi maxim, “from a certain point of view” after that sentence.

Because this is the same SST whose leader went on the record to defend a rich white dude who chased down and stabbed to death a 15-year-old for the iniquitous crime of tagging a fence.  What was it you said, Garth?

Emery had to “pay a price for what he did” but the 52-year-old was a “different type of offender”.

“I didn’t think he should have gone to jail,” said Mr McVicar.

“That young offender [Pihema] had been doing graffiti before and Emery had been becoming extremely frustrated with it.

But of course, let’s be sensible.  Clearly, Bruce Emery, who saw two young men tagging his fence, took out a knife, and chased them 300m down a road to confront and kill one of them was not a vigilante.

You have to be wearing a mask to be a vigilante.

But let’s credit the SST with this:  at least they’re straight-up, ethical types who never try to weasel out of previously-made statements which are now politically inconvenient.

“We have never supported or advocated vigilantism and we never will” said Ruth Money of Sensible Sentencing Trust this morning. “Garth McVicar has never said that, I have never said that, and no person speaking on behalf of Sensible Sentencing – as opposed to their own personal view – has ever said that” Ms Money said.

Oops.

Activist dudes: own your shit before it lands you in jail

There’s a pretty scary meta-plot to the Rob Gilchrist story.  And that’s, basically, how the rampant misogyny of otherwise-liberal, otherwise-righteous leftwing dudes, led to Gilchrist being able to continue to spy on progressive and environmental groups in New Zealand despite others pointing out his shadiness.

The people pointing it out?  Oh, right.  Women.

Women like Tove, who got suspicious, and whose privacy was coincidentally breached – that is to say, photos of her just coincidentally ended up on fucking neo-Nazi sites, and just accidentally got mailed to members of the New Zealand Police.  (How’s that cultural transformation coming, by the way?)

And when this was pointed out to other activists?  Gosh, if it doesn’t read like every single character assassination of every single victimised or abused woman in history.  “That’s what he said you’d say.”  “He’s a good guy.”  “Well actually, he said you were the cop.”

What made Rob Gilchrist – the dude who was spying on you all for ten years – more trustworthy than a young woman activist?

Besides, you know, her pesky gender.

Wait, QoT, you horrible manhating radfem, you cry.  You can’t just jump straight to accusations of blatant misogyny and leftwing activism being a total old boys’ club.  Not on just one little accusation (by a WOMAN, too!)

How about this guy?

Sorry, dudebro lefties, but it’s actually not good enough to blithely accept the word of Important Dudes because they are Important Dudes.  You’ve managed to figure this out where traditional economic power structures are involved, but you’re continued to labour (yep, I went there) under the idea that you’re immune from that follower shit.  That it’s different when it’s one of the club doing it.

The boys’ club.

And at the end of the day, who’s suffered for this?  Who’s been ostracised, victimised, forced to completely uproot her life because you scumfucks wouldn’t believe a young woman over Your Mate?

The woman has.  Because it was so fucking easy for you to believe a woman would lie about rape.  Because it was so fucking easy for you to spin some little scenario about how she must be the liar, she must have initiated everything.  In the face of her fervent activism, it was easier to believe she was a neo-Nazi cop than question Your Mate.

You should all be thanking your fucking stars that Rob Gilchrist didn’t provoke you all into comfy jail terms.  And you should be doing a daily fucking penance for letting your sexist jerkoff attitudes prevent you from nailing a spy in your midst sooner.

You should also bear very closely in mind that it was another woman, Rochelle Rees, who finally uncovered his crap.  Stellar fucking work there, dudes.

(Also, even if you seriously want to play the who-me-a-misogynist card, apparently none of you douchebags have watched a single police drama in your entire life.  You know the number one sign of a dirty snitch, people?  It’s being the guy who keeps accusing others of snitching.  Every fucking time.)

The gender pay gap and school performance

Beppie has a great post up at Hoyden About Town about the head-deskingly obvious connection between the increasing gender pay gap and the on-the-surface-contradictory gender school performance gap.

I would hypothesise, quite simply, that boys don’t work as hard at their schoolwork because they don’t have to.

Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  We have a winner.

Oh, I’m not saying individual boys are horrid, lazy, entitled sods.  It may just be, you know, that teachers are well-aware that women will have to work harder and perform better for their entire lives just to be treated somewhat equally to their male counterparts.  It may just be that we still live in a patriarchal society which oppresses women, so some teachers push their girl students harder because they know what challenges they’re going to face in later life (like getting fired because their boss can’t take responsibility for his own brain.)

What struck me as well, though, is what this contradiction then means for the typical, semi-regular “oh noes, boys aren’t doing so well at school, what’s wrong???” handwringing.

Because obviously, boys’ lesser academic performance in school isn’t really hurting them that badly, in the grand scheme of things.  It’s not like we can say “shit, boys are doing less well at school, so they’re not getting into university or high-paid jobs!!!” because that simply isn’t the case.

Maybe it’s as callous as this:  boys doing less well at school is a problem because it highlights, as Beppie shows, just how bad the gender gap in employment is.  It shows categorically that men continuing to sit at the top table more and get paid the big bucks more is not down to superior performance nor training.

Of course, patriarchy can’t allow this kind of clear evidence of its existence to sit out there for all to see; so any minute now I’m sure there’ll be wall-to-wall coverage of another “study” proving that women, despite our apparent intelligence, are just self-absorbed baby-making factories who can’t commit to proper careers.

Purely coincidentally, you understand.