Laci Green brilliantly explains the Sam Pepper sexual assault situation.
A Must Watch
That time in which Mamrie, Grace, and Hannah absolutely NAIL it.
A boy sprawled next to me on the bus, elbows out, knee pointing sharp into my thigh.
He frowned at me when I uncrossed my legs, unfolded my hands
and splayed out like boys are taught to: all big, loose limbs.
I made sure to jab him in the side with my pretty little sharp purse.
At first he opened his mouth like I expected him to, but instead of speaking up he sat there, quiet, and took it for the whole bus ride.
Like a girl.
Once, a boy said my anger was cute, and he laughed,
and I remember thinking that I should sit there and take it,
because it isn’t ladylike to cause a scene and girls aren’t supposed to raise their voices.
But then he laughed again and all I saw
was my pretty little sharp nails digging into his cheek
before drawing back and making a horribly unladylike fist.
(my teacher informed me later that there is no ladylike way of making a fist.)
When we were both in the principal’s office twenty minutes later
him with a bloody mouth and cheek, me with skinned knuckles,
I tried to explain in words that I didn’t have yet
that I was tired of having my emotions not taken seriously
just because I’m a girl.
Girls are taught: be small, so boys can be big.
Don’t take up any more space than absolutely necessary.
Be small and smooth with soft edges
and hold in the howling when they touch you and it hurts:
the sandpaper scrape of their body hair that we would be shamed for having,
the greedy hands that press too hard and too often take without asking permission.
Girls are taught: be quiet and unimposing and oh so small
when they heckle you with their big voices from the window of a car,
because it’s rude to scream curse words back at them, and they’d just laugh anyway.
We’re taught to pin on smiles for the boys who jeer at us on the street
who see us as convenient bodies instead of people.
Girls are taught: hush, be hairless and small and soft,
so we sit there and take it and hold in the howling,
pretend to be obedient lapdogs instead of the wolves we are.
We pin pretty little sharp smiles on our faces instead of opening our mouths,
because if we do we get accused of silly women emotions
blowing everything out of proportion with our PMS, we get
condescending pet names and not-so-discreet eyerolls.
Once, I got told I punched like a girl.
I told him, Good. I hope my pretty little sharp rings leave scars.
A lot of my Sex+ babes have been sending me Lily Allen’s new music video “Hard Out Here” and asking for a review. So…here are my half baked thoughts.
Let me start by saying that I love that there are fierce female musicians out there creating content that critiques misogyny in the media. At it’s heart, this song is the shit. It slaps, it’s critical, it’s unapologetic and real. Oh, and it makes fun of Robin Thicke.
Why can’t we have more like this? Plz? Pritty plz? I wish it was more common. And for that, I give Lily Allen mad props.
Howeverrrrrr I am in solidarity with the outcry about some issues with the video. Unfortunately, Lily went by the wayside by objectifying black women (a la miley cyrus and iggie azalea). Again and again we see white women using black women as props — there for ass shaking and adding an edgy/sexy vibe in the background.
If you watch the vid, you’ll notice the black women are hyper-sexualized in a way that Lily herself (and the other white/white passing women) are not.
**5 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SLUT SHAME THIS HALLOWEEN**
1. Calling women sluts/whores/skanks is a form of sexism.
When it comes to costumes, clothing, and sexual behavior, women are judged by a very different rubric than men. When a guy has a lot of sex, he’s a stud. If a woman behaves the same way, she’s a “whore”, “dirty”, “used up”, and doesn’t deserve to be treated with respect. While people may use terms like “manslut” or “manwhore”, the consequences for the “manwhore” are not nearly as extreme. People don’t see him as unworthy of respect. He won’t be degraded, bullied, or have lies and rumors spread about him. His reputation won’t be destroyed. Being a “manwhore” is dismissed as him *~just being a guy~*.
Because slut shame is a result of sexist ideas about what a woman “should” be or is allowed to do/be in the first place, women slut-shaming each other is a form of internalized sexism. This is where a woman believes sexist things about herself and other women. It can be very disruptive and harmful to women’s relationships with each other.
These are some of the ways slut shame is entrenched in sexism.
2. Slut shame limits women’s freedom.
Calling women names and degrading them when they *break the rules* about how a woman is SUPPOSED to dress or behave ensures that women don’t have the same freedom men do. They are not allowed to dress or do what they like…unless they want to pay the price of being bullied or dehumanized for it.
3. Slut shame is one of the ways women compete with each other for male approval.
Slut-shaming creates a divide between women. There are the “slutty stupid ones” with “no self respect” and there are the “proper ladies” who deserve to be treated as human. Instead of building women up and cultivating healthy friendships, slut shame turns women against each other so that the slut-shamer can prove she’s “not like that” and therefore worthy of respect. It puts women into harmful categories based on nothing more than how someone dresses or is perceived by others.
4. Slut shame is a form of bullying.
Girls who break outside the mold of what they are supposed to do/be sexually and are thusly labeled sluts are at a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide. There have been many suicides that started with bullying in the form of slut shame. RIP Felicia Garcia, Amanda Todd, Phoebe Prince, Hope Witsell, Stacey Rambold’s unnamed victim, and all the other young women who have tragically taken their own lives because of the heartlessness and sexism of their peers.
5. Slut shame leads to rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence.
Because people see “sluts” as unworthy of respect, she is therefore not entitled to say no. In this mentality, “sluts” become a target of harassment, assault, and even rape. After the violence, she is then blamed for it. After all, she was just a dumb slut….she asked for it, right?
This Halloween (and always) be a good person. Respect women, respect their choices, and check yourself when you find yourself thinking or saying someone is a slut. It’s a deeply held attitude about women that we all learn from our sexist culture, and it is vital that we all take the time to unlearn it. These attitudes are more vicious and dangerous than they might appear.
A feminism comic I did for my uni’s newspaper. I wish I had a bit more time to work on it, but I’m pleased with how it came out considering the tight deadline!
My friend Jason was telling me that, one day, on a train, he went to change his infant’s diaper. On the way to the bathroom he was told, three times, that he was a great dad.
To be clear…for ensuring that his child wasn’t sitting in her own shit for hours, he was congratulated on how awesome he was. The patriarchy is weird…
And if women get and angry and passionate about issues like these (or anything else for that matter), we are asked if we are on our periods.
WELL IF I AM I WILL JUST BLEED ALL OVER THE PATRIARCHY.
Spread this around, only good can come of it