Tagged: how stupid ARE you?

Women react predictably to mainstream social cues: must mean we evolved to be bitches

Yeeeeeeeeah.

The results were depressingly predictable.

“Participants displayed a strong negative reaction to the attractive female when she was dressed provocatively,” said study author Dr Aanchal Sharma.

This research provides support for the innate roots of female conflict.

How?  Same as all evolutionary psychology bullshit: take a bunch of people from the same environment and look at their behaviour then wave your hands like an Underpants Gnome and declare this proves said behaviour is innate, ingrained, evolutionary, so shut up and suck on your inequality because we’ve just provided the perfect excuse not to address it.

I mean, it couldn’t have anything to do with socialisation or dominant memes about That Bitch Who Steals Your Girlfriend or Men Can’t Control Themselves So Blame Other Women For Their Cheating (yes, in dominant-social-paradigm land we’re all hetero, too).  And if “mate-guarding” exists it has to go back to our monkey phase and can’t at all be linked to messages about how being single is the worst thing ever, much less financial dependence necessitating finding a male partner or the concept of compulsory heterosexuality or anything.

Wait, wait, there I go again, just ascribing natural phenomena to insidious magical messages created by some vast conspiracy against women.  I’m going to go relax with some nice popular music

Naomi Madelin: totally *is* fucking kidding us

Well, she finally got back to us, and the only charitable conclusion I can come to is that Naomi Madelin is a seriously bad writer.

The less-charitable conclusion is that she churned out a shallow, nasty piece of “writing” perfectly suited to the Sunday Star-Times (hey, times must be tough for freelance writers), doesn’t understand how the internet works, and thinks she can backpedal out of this.

See, now she’s deigned to reply to anyone on Twitter (though not many of us), the story is that she was just offering a suggestion about how as a society we need to embrace compassion and empathy more.

It’s a lovely message, except for the fact it bears no correlation whatsoever to the piece of shit appearing under her name in print and online.

The most egregious line, about how women need to “give men a chance” by embracing our femininity – a line fairly read by many as saying that women acting unwomanly makes me violent – has blessedly been removed by Stuff, who for once have acted with a modicum of responsibility (though it didn’t stop them republishing the piece in the first place).

But let’s boil down the remainder of the piece for any message about how “women & men” should be more compassionate etc.

  1. Wikipedia says Kwii women aren’t feminine
  2. Women rate themselves as less feminine than men do, and this has absolutely nothing to do with a culture which tells women to judge themselves much more harshly than others
  3. A person selling feminine farmwear thinks women want to wear more feminine farmwear but are nervous of the reaction, and this has absolutely nothing to do with women in traditional male roles having to prove themselves twice as hard to get taken seriously
  4. A professional makeup artist thinks there’s more to femininity – like tolerance and sensitivity.  Madelin thinks these attributes, which she seems to accept as naturally feminine, give women “strength” – oops, no buying into the masculine-as-superior language there!
  5. ForbesWomen’s list includes women who are feminine, but Madelin doesn’t explain how she’s using the term there, they just are and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the pressure on celebrity women to look conventionally attractive as much as possible
  6. Women need to stop “giving the message’ that being male is better.  Yep, that one’s totally all on women.
  7. A guy once saw a woman logger who was very feminine.  This again has nothing to do with the demands on women in men’s roles, and Madelin again does not explain what she means by “femininity”.
  8. People feel uncomfortable with the notion of femininity, but shut up, suffragettes wore long dresses!!!  They didn’t drink beer like you filthy modern ladettes!

Sorry, Ms Madelin.  I’m just seeing a whole lot o’ judging-women-for-Doing-It-Wrong and very fucking little analysis of the causes of violence in our society, much less any kind of critique of masculinity which equally calls on men and women to put aside gender stereotypes and build society anew on a basis of equality and acceptance.

Because, you know, that would’ve been a good article to read.

Principal Ian McKinnon accepts bullying as normal, a joke

[TW for bullying and abuse apologism by authority figures]

Ian McKinnon, principal of Pukekohe High School, has a bit of an integrity problem.*

See, several of his students attacked another of his students, possibly in a sexual manner.

And Ian McKinnon seems to think that there’s a magical line between assault-which-is-just-boys-being-boys and assault-which-is-actually-something-he-actually-has-to-give-a-fuck-about.

“The incident involved a male student who was held by others and who was then assaulted.

“Whilst what took place may well have started out as a joke among a group who knew each other, its outcome was far from that. It was very upsetting for the victim and for a number of students in the area, many of them friends of the victim.”**

Here’s your problem, Ian: you think just ganging up on a guy and pinning him to the ground for the purpose of giving him shit for transferring schools is just a joke amongst a group who knew each other***.

Presumably once possible sexual assault with a weapon is involved, it’s “gone too far”.

And here’s the thing: Ian McKinnon thinks he’s showing no tolerance for this shit.  I mean, the boys involved have been excluded, parents have been informed, what else has a guy got to do?

“Nobody condones this sort of behaviour or any type of physical assaults and it’s hugely upsetting when people have to witness it, and they were upset about it.

“Kids just don’t know when to stop with some of their behaviours.”

Oh, that’s right.  We could take one fucking minute to wonder why some kids “just don’t know when to stop”.  Or, hang on, we could look at the fact that their principal is explicitly saying that the beginning of this assault was just a joke, that the problem was that things like cornering another kid behind the gym and pinning him to the ground went too far.

And then we could pinpoint pretty clearly that the problem is that Ian McKinnon, right there, shows he condone bullying and violence against other students.  Until the police get involved, and then it’s totes bad, mmkay.

~

*The Granny Herald also has an integrity problem for giving that article a headline analogous to “Bluebeard’s wife killed for being a nosy bitch”
**Bonus dickpoints for focusing on how upsetting it is for the witnesses, not the victim, Ian.
***Of course they fucking know each other, Ian, they go to school together.

Are you fucking kidding me Naomi Madelin

Unbelievable quote of the day:

Eighty-four per cent of people arrested for family violence are men. Half of all violent crime in New Zealand is family violence. The statistics go on. Perhaps the way to give men a chance is for women to appreciate their own femininity more.

The rationale being, apparently, that women trying to be more masculine are the ones “sending the message” that being manly is better … because violence is an inherent part of manliness (and remember, it’s us nasty unshaven feminists who hate men, right) and what the fuck am I even reading.

Oh, right.  I’m reading an SST article by a freelance writer who starts off acting outraged about something Wikipedia says (unfortunately, said quote cannot be verified by Google), then insists femininity isn’t just about wearing frocks, it’s about how we carry ourselves, and seriously seems to think that women choose to deny their inner need for frills in a complete absence of dominant culture which might, you know, treat men as the default, the norm, the aspirational.

I don’t know where to start, but I know where Naomi Madelin could’ve fucking started:  a basic Google search for some feminism 101 blogging on masculinity and the construction of gender, looking up the notion of high femme or the active and long-standing debate about traditional femininity and feminism, picking up the OED, or, I know, having a fucking clue about something before she churned out an erratic, incoherent attack-piece yet again laying the fault for all the world’s ills on stupid, silly women.

Queer the Night: Can’t make this transphobic shit up

[Trigger warnings: transphobia, misgendering, tone argument, general shittiness and major Nice White Cis Feminist fail]

[On teh criticisms of pseudonymous posting and the big fucking issues with “real names” I recommend this post by Scarlet Sorceress.]

So.

Queer the Night was held this week in Wellington, and by all accounts was considered a success.

And I’m kinda glad that this means that my little rant right here is after the event and thus I can’t be accused of harshing nice baby activists’ squees with my meanie pseudonymous criticism.

Because … wow.  Gather round with some stiff damn drinks, kiddies, this is going to be rough, and in case you skipped the top, potentially very triggering.

The Hand Mirror hosted a guest post from the organisers.

Scarlet Sorceress pointed out in comments that there was a lot of talk about heterocentricity … but (shades of IDAHO, anyone?) ciscentricity wasn’t mentioned.

At which point a commenter claiming to be one of the QtN organisers decided to, um … well, fuck up as no up has ever previously been fucked:

Will you please give the organisers a break! Jesus…they are the least transphobic/homophobic/bigoted people on the planet,

Why am I reminded of Donald Trump?  Oh right, because “I’m the least” tops even “some of my best friends are” for massive incoming fail warning signs.

So they missed out an academic term for people’s views about binary gender, so frickin what??

I mean come on, they’re only organising a Queer the Night march!  They can’t be expected to have even the vaguest fucking understanding of pretty fucking basic terminology!!!  What do you mean, this is about people’s fucking identities, nah, it’s just about “views on binary gender”!  Not something people live every fucking day!

I’m pretty sure we all agree that gender binary is fake & stupid and hurts trans and non trans people alike.

Fake and stupid.  Fake.  And.  Stupid.  Yeah, when I think of the gender binary I definitely reach for “fake and stupid”, not “manufactured” or “coercive” or “harmful”.

heteronormativity implicitly includes a prejudice to 2 binary genders.

Um, if that sentence ended with “to 2 binary genders fucking” you might have a point.  But it doesn’t, so you don’t, George, and maybe the fact that you’re arguing with a heterosexual trans woman who just kinda stated that she felt excluded by your language might have provided a clue on that one.

So why make a fuss over a bunch of ordinary people with the best of intentions missing out a specialised academic termand worse, accuse them of being transphobic.

TRI

-FUCKING-

FECTA!

You see, George et al are just normal people.  Unlike the trans woman George is arguing with, one presumes?  And their intent is magical.  And accusing a person of being transphobic is like nearly as terribly as calling a white person a racist, don’t you know?

But if you though George was already investigating genetic modification for the purposes of finding yet another foot to fit in her mouth …

You want a safe space? Then stop bullying people and being an “internet tough guy” online

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN AND ALL OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE, GEORGE HAS FOUND ANOTHER FOOT.

But it’s all totally okay because hey, George is a woman who just always uses “guy” as a gender neutral term and “tough guy” is just a phrase, dude and tee hee see she can play the “don’t misgender me man, lol” game too, bless, and anyway stop alienating your allies by being such Nazis.

I seriously wish I was making this shit up.

You might think this kind of shit is something that The Hand Mirror team would want to put a lid on,feminist blog and all, multiple trans women pitching in in the comments  … but LudditeJourno reckons that actually none of the criticism counts as long as other trans folk turn up at the march and here’s what Julie had to say in closing at time of writing:

Acid Queen, you have been asked to stop commenting on this thread, looks to me like you are deliberately trying to inflame things, as you have done here before. ANY further comments from you on this thread will be deleted. You’ve said you have nothing further to say anyway so that shouldn’t be hard.
George & Kassie, it’s really useful to have the perspective of the main organizers in this discussion. It can’t have been easy to contribute here and I appreciate the effort. I will now be closing comments on this thread.

Yeah, thanks George, for being plainly fucking abusive towards trans women on The Hand Mirror, and thanks, Kassie, for not actually engaging with George’s shit but instead basically implying that you can’t be bothered identifying and educating yourself about transphobia unless the trans women hold your hand.  It’s been a nice insight into everyone involved.

ETA:  Octavia has a badass post up calling on The Hand Mirror to actually become a safe space for trans* people.

An idea whose time does not in fact exist

Even my capacity for creative blasphemous vulgarity is stretched by the return of the bride of the son of the fucking Wellywood sign.

Danyl is taking the easy bet on immediate and repeated vandalism by the coolest little capital’s pissed-off citizens; Zetetic looks back on how much The Standardites hated it the first time round.  I’m not picking much has changed.

But seriously.  Fuck this shit.  Bring on the Rapture.

Don’t worry, boys, Virginia Larson isn’t like those other bitches

Following my initial “oh gods this is going to be hilarious” vibe on seeing the cover of the most recent North and South, I got a whole three columns in and I’m just bored.

Virigina Larson is a woman, you see.  And as a woman, because she cannot allow you to forget she’s a woman, right, a womanly, womanish woman, she has virtuously thrown herself into the line of fire between nasty evil feminists and our eternal foes, Poor Innocent Men.

Virginia Larson, being a woman, you see, thinks as a woman that we don’t say awesome shit about guys enough.  Or possibly that we don’t acknowledge men’s innate superiority enough, or possibly that we don’t own up to how we as a society socialise men into being superior self-sacrificers.  It’s not actually that clear what her point is, but I think it can be summed up as:

Virginia Larson is a cool chick, guys.  She’s not like other women, she loves men.

As a bit of a sidenote, part of my boredom possibly stems from the fact that I’m a geek.  I’m a gamer.  And I’m a woman.  And Virginia Larson is by no means the first woman I have seen try to gain credit on the male-dominated, male-controlled social status ladder by bagging other women and trying to fluff men’s egos.

The main difference is that Virginia Larson is getting a cover story on a national magazine to proclaim her own man-loving awesomeness, and that since she’s the editor clearly no one’s had the spine to say “um, Virginia, your article is unfocused, incoherent and really just a bit shit, love.”

Tell you what, I’m willing to take that bullet, just like Saint Virginia has taken our evil feminist bullets for Brave Selfless Men.

Virginia,

You’re not a misogynist collaborator in the oppression of women because you *dared* to write an article praising men.  You’re a misogynist collaborator in the oppression of women because you promote aren’t-women-silly stereotypes and act as though all women are Julia Roberts in a movie, and not Erin Kickass Brockovich, in the first fucking paragraph of your “article”:

No matter that all of [my women friends] are married to good men who trudge off to work every day, love their kids, clear the gutters and seem unlikely to suddenly declare they need a year of “to find themselves.”

You aren’t antifeminist because you challenged some Evil Feminist Conspiracy by putting a tender picture of a firefighter holding a baby on the cover.  You’re antifeminist because your publication even *underlined* the subtitle, “A woman’s view” as though that actually means anything, as though you get to speak for all women, as though one woman saying “hey men are kind of cool” will absolutely shake your mythical Feminist Monolith to its core.

You aren’t wilfully fucking clueless and a bad journalist to boot because Feminists Can’t Handle The Truth and there’s some evil Women’s Committee which will censure you at their next caucus for Challenging The Party Line.  You’re wilfully fucking clueless and a bad journalist to boot because you write crap like this:

“So, at the risk of digging myself into the sisterhood’s hole of no return – could this explain why men earn more than women?  Because they work longer hours at more dangerous and unpleasant jobs?  Because they’re more likely to accept the night shifts, hard shifts and postings to Afghanistan or Antarctica?  Because men get sought-after degrees … while women get degrees in art history or media studies?”

… and apparently it doesn’t cross your mind at all to wonder if women have been restricted from higher-paying/dangerous/manual jobs, if women who do take up those jobs have faced horrific harassment, if women might be the ones expected to do the bulk of childcaring which kinda precludes nightshift work (and many women have to do it anyway and then get shit for Abandoning Their Motherly Duties), if women are told, bluntly, plainly, constantly, that they aren’t smart enough to do Real Science or if Real Science and getting posted to Afghanistan might also conflict with the fact that a shit-tonne of men, despite, how did you put it, “lov[ing] their kids”, still expect their wives to do the school pickups and grocery shopping and think of spending a weekend together with the kids as “babysitting”?

You aren’t a shit writer because you like men, Virgina.  You’re a shit writer because you demand having your cake and eating it too.  Remind me, are boys just “naturally” “full of fizz”, or are men “socialised” to “be disposable”?  Because you don’t actually get to argue that (a) societies force men to be An Selfless Hero AND (b) men are just naturally more heroic than those dumb bitches who think they need to “find themselves”.

But I can’t really get angry at you, Virginia.  This is just garden-variety misogyny peddled to increase your own value to the patriarchy.  It’s a survival tactic many women have employed.  Please, don’t mistake my contempt as “offence” or “oversensitivity”: for all the promise of your wanky little cover, your desperate pandering to the privileged wankers who read North & South is just another dying scream from a gradually fading system of oppression.

Really, you’ve just given me hope.  Because when mainstream magazines have to publish crap like this to try to reinforce the status quo, we must be doing something right.

Quickhit: Police PR department outdo selves in incompetence

Remember this wonderfully shite piece of publicity-stunt-gone-wrong with side order of gee-who-would-have-thought-we-had-a-bad/oblivious-police-rape-culture?  Well, it turns out we were all wrong and actually it was a total success.

AnneE has the goods over at The Hand Mirror:

First sentence: “A sexist police recruitment advertisement which was quickly axed has been wildly successful – attracting record numbers of potential recruits.” Notice the addition of the word “potential” – not quite the same thing as actual recruits.

Near the end of the report it turns out that this “success” claim is based on a briefing from police public affairs general manager Michael Player to Judith Collins.

You see, they ran a campaign which caused significant online outrage and quite coincidentally a lot of people visited the relevant website, obviously to sign up, and not for any seeing-what-all-the-fuss-was-about looking-for-contact-details-to-write-complaint-emails reasons.  At all.

And if you believe that, they have a whole “no more culture of raping vulnerable young women” bridge to sell you.

Literary analogy fail: caucus race edition

So Hilary Calvert said a stupid thing.  A really, really stupid thing in a series of stupid things.

I just want to throw my postgrad-English thought into the ring, on the subject of making literary references.

Because on the one hand sure, we literature nerds can get a bit bloody pedantic about our sources and quotes and canon.

But on the other … why use a literary reference at all?  Because sometimes they can be really powerful.  They can make your point really quickly, or with real impact – for those who get the reference.  They can also basically work as dogwhistles to your chosen audience – I’m yet to be outed as the true geek I am on either my pseudonym or blog title, but I know someone’s going to come along one day and praise my evident broad-church geekery.

Here’s the downside, Calvert.  You fuck up a reference to Through the Looking Glass and oh my how the literary pedants rolled their eyes.  But maybe you hope that the people who don’t get the reference won’t care.  Problem?  Your reference has no impact on them because they don’t get it.

[I’ll admit that there’s probably votes in anti-intellectuals who rebel against the pedants and their disgusting knowing of facts … but I’d assume they’re already voting Act.]

But then Calvert has stepped in to replace David Garrett, the identity-thieving sexually-harassing MP who thought it would be a sick burn to correct Kennedy Graham’s Latin pronunciation.

Please, Gods, let Epsom go true blue in November.