Saturday, May 31, 2008

Caturday Obligatory Cuteness

I am so enamored of my cats that it is pathetic. In my defense, they are the furry overlords of my humble abode, who have so graciously decided to pose for pictures in return for Lap Time and worship.

Napoleon, as you can observe above, is incredibly pink, white, and fluffy. He and his twenty-pound bulk enjoy eating through twenty-five dollars of cat food a month and commandeering my lap whenever he pleases.

Napoleon and his brother, Lil' Guy, impeded my futile attempt at organization cleaning yesterday by distracting me with their awesome fuzziness. After an hour or two of Lap Time this humble peon had to provide catnip as a suitable exchange for permission to dismantle the playground.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Geekin' Out, Like Whoa

I just bought a new Blackberry 8830 World Edition from Alltel today. My old cell phone broke many months ago, and Verizon refused to pay for a new one unless I renewed my contract for an additional two years. No thank you Verizon, your data plans are full of suck.

So I switched to Alltel and their glorious top-of-the-line Blackberry and unlimited data plan. I cannot believe that I lived without my glorious Crackberry for so long. I love it and its dual-band data and voice. I praise its lovely voice dialing that actually works. Alltel, their blazing fast data network, and My Circle minute-saving is full of win and awesome.

As a requirement for my French classes in Quebec this summer, I have to do photo blogging of the city. The camera I got for my sixteenth birthday was clunky, out of date, and had poor battery life. I had no choice but to invest in a new camera. Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LZ6 fit the bill nicely. It was not sleek or slim, but I was willing to compromise for the only camera under $200 without pathetic optical zoom. For $120, 7.2 megapixels and 6x optical zoom made me a very happy geek. The camera has no microphone, and the focusing is wacky if you accidentally put it on the wrong setting, but I am willing to save a couple hundred dollars for the sake of a camera that takes a bit of fiddling to work. In all honesty, I do not give a shit about start-up time, size, megapixels, or brand name. I just want the most optical zoom for the buck. I have Photoshop and basic camera skills for shit's sake, I don't require a camera with a couple hundred dollars worth of contrast-fixing microprocessors. Thank you Panasonic for making a digital camera powerful enough to take good pictures without throwing in $300 worth of bullshit.

Not For Sale

From the European Women's Lobby, a documentary on prostitution, and why full legalization cannot grant women the agency they deserve in three parts:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Like I have said before in the comments section of an earlier post, I do not support the legalization of prostitution because I feel that legal systems would not be interested in women's rights over the market demand or the privacy of the pimp or john. From stories like the D.C. Madam to the normalization of violence against sex workers, it is very clear that the American justice system is not as interested in protecting the extremely vulnerable women in the sex industry as they are demonizing them. With statistics coming out of European countries like Britain's deplorably low rape conviction rate, it looks as if my skepticism for any legal institution is well founded. Like this documentary, I think that the only solution is to criminalize buying sex and decriminalize selling sex like Sweden did. There are hundreds of trafficked women and children in Sweden, compared to the thousands elsewhere. While Sweden's solution is hardly ideal, it seems to be doing a lot of good.

So while I believe that the best policy is always legalization, and I shy away from anything that looks like morality legislation, there are simply too many human rights violations in the market of prostitution that legal systems are not equipped, or willing, to handle. The interest of protecting women from the most grievous harms trumps any right to buy sex. I have never yet seen any argument that is capable of convincing me that the sex trade is so demonstrably important that it must be allowed to flourish even if the majority of women meeting the demand for sex are raped, trafficked, abused, or coerced. As long as we live in a patriarchy unwilling to hold our agency over our own bodies above any wrongly perceived right to abuse, neglect, harm, and fuck, it is shamefully irresponsible to legitimize the deplorable conditions in which the sex trade operates.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Being a Bookworm: Part Four - what do women think of porn?

Paul is an excellent writer. Although, I am slightly disappointed that Pornified is not as theory-heavy as I think the topic of porn demands. That is probably just the Philosophy major in me talking though.

With much enthusiasm, I started the chapter titled "Porn Stars, Lovers, and Wives: How Women See Pornography". I was disappointed, however, that Paul chose to focus more on how women thought of the men in their lives that used pornography rather than the effects of pornography on women that use it. I thought the chapter was too heteronormative and played up the "jealous girlfriend" routine to the point where the cliche began to wear thin. Some highlights of the chapter were:

A human sexuality professor at Stony Brook observes shifting norms:

"Twenty years ago, my female students would say, 'Ugh, that's disgusting,' when I brought up porn in class. The men would guiltily say, 'Yeah, I've used it.' Today, men are much more open about saying they use porn all the time and don't feel any guilt. The women now resemble the old male attitude: they'll sheepishly admit to using it themselves." ... He has mixed feelings about this change. On the positive side, he says, women's embrace of porn seems to reflect increased sexual agency on their part... yet the new attitude strikes him as disturbing. Female fantasies have changed over the years as a result of porn and what Kimmel calls the "masculinization of sex". Compared with ten years ago, women's fantasies are more likely today to include violence, rough sex, strangers, and descriptions of male physical attributes. "Personally, I think that for a woman to construct her sex life like that of a man is a rather impoverished view of liberation".

I wish the chapter also expanded upon the liberalization of porn. Paul claims that the adoption of porn as "hip" has blocked any serious critiques of it. The new version of "sex positivism" seems to view pornography as instrumentally positive and a vehicle of equal opportunity sexuality, even though real porn may be violent and produced by decreasing the agency of its performers. Also, framing the argument in such a way that pornography is equated with erotica makes it easier to pigeon-hole opponents as "anti-sex", although many pornography critics are careful to define erotica as something positive, and fundamentally different.

For instance, the classic feminist Gloria Steinem points out that erotica, based on the word eros (passionate love or yearning for someone else) is about "a mutually pleasurable, sexual expression between people who have enough power to be there by positive choice." The root word of pornography, however, refers to prostitution and is "violence, dominance, and conquest. It is sex being used to reinforce some inequality, or to create one, or to tell us that pain and humiliation are really the same as pleasure."

An oft discussed point in feminism is the ability to be the agent of your own objectification. Paul spends considerable time on the story of Valerie, a woman in her thirties that has used porn since she was twelve. She claims that she can easily tell if her sexual partners watch porn because they are obsessed with "fucking... bright lights on, staring at my body parts, going through the motions". One of her partners wanted sex at least once a day, but never showed an a speck of sensuality and romance. She hypothesizes that he was keeping her at an emotional distance, and using porn as an instrument to facilitate this behavior. What she first found sexy about him, his similarity to the porn stars in her movies, destroyed their relationship.

Paul is careful to never say that women who liken pornography to liberation are wrong. However, she does point out that although sex-positives may view their attitudes as empowering, "the kind of pornography their men are into is all about the men--about their needs and about what they want, not about their women, their relationships, or their families."

Women do internalize porn, according to the poll done for her book; 6 out of 10 women believe porn affects how men expect them to look and behave. Only 15% of women will assuredly say that pornography does not raise men's expectations of women.

Pornography is a "guy's thing". Men still hold the same double standard that sex-positivism was supposed to erase. 6 in 10 men, according to an MSNBC poll, would not like their partners to view pornography unless it was with them. This attitude was shown in one of the "Cosmo Confessions" featured monthly in Cosmopolitan magazine:

Once a month, my boyfriend has a guy's night out with his buddies. Normally, they shoot poll or go to a ball game. But last month, I overheard him making plans to go to a strip club. It really upset me that he didn't bother asking how I felt about his sticking dollar bills in other women's G-strings. Instead of confronting him, I did some investigating and found out that the night he was planning to go to the club happened to be amateur night, which meant that any girl could get on stage and dance. So I called a few girlfriends, and we headed to the club. After a few drinks, I surprised my guy as one of the novice strippers. He was so shocked that he just froze--until I started undressing. Then he jumped on the stage and begged me to come down, promising me he'd never go to a nudie bar again."

Although she never comes right out and states it plainly, pornography is the instrument of a woman's own objectification. The nature of porn is to arouse men with the objectification of women--to reduce the act of sex to an animalistic game of dominance void of emotion. If a piece pornography is not objectifying, chances are that it is erotica. I personally think that it is demonstrably important that we separate erotica from porn so as to tote the positive role of erotica, facilitating the agency of women and emotion in the sex act, and contrast it with the negativity of pornography.

Previous parts of this series: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In a Rape Culture, anyone can be a rape victim or a rapist.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pork and Beans

It is pathetic how incredibly excited I am that Weezer is putting out a new album, and that it seems to be more in touch with their roots than the last awful attempt.

It also helps that their newest single is deliciously catchy. I had fun spotting all the internet stars in their music video.

I'm such a dork.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Help, I'm Talking and I Can't Shuttup!

Do you talk too much in your blog?

On Being a Bookworm: Part Three - what are the effects of porn on men?

I promised in the comments section of my last post that I would cover some of the factual supports to the preposition that porn is damaging to its viewers. The book I am reading, Pornified, devotes an entire forty page chapter to the subject. I wanted to cover a couple of things from the chapter, particularly the factual studies done on porn with interesting results.

1. Violence in Porn

According to a study done by Barron and Kimmel called Sexual Violence in Three Pornographic Media:

25 percent of pornographic magazines showed some form of violence, ranging from verbal aggression to torture and mutilation, compared with 27 percent of pornographic videos. Usenet groups on the Internet depicted violence 42 percent of the time. "We might expect that just as individual consumers of pornography tend to tire of a certain level of explicitness and need more, so, too, would the market, acting as an individual," noted the study's authors. "The more pornography is consumed at one level, the less arousing this material becomes, as the consumer becomes used to the material"... The authors then concluded that as new pornographic technologies emerged, porn would become increasingly violent. That research was conducted in the late 1990s, still the early days of the Internet. (Paul 58-59)

2. Porn and Perceptions of Sexuality

Paul takes a lot of time to consider the very methodical and balanced research that Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillmann did 25 years ago to test how the viewing of pornography impacted the viewer's opinions of various social phenomenons. Modern studies this extensive are not available because most universities will not approve studies that cause any sort of psychological harm to the testing subjects that cannot be cured. Since the effects could not be proven reversible, their studies are probably the most reliable statistical scientific examinations of pornography to date:

80 college students were divided into four test groups. Three groups were shown a variety of short films over a six-week period. The "massive exposure" group was shown six explicitly sexual films per session, about 48 minutes per week or 36 films total. The "intermediate exposure" group was shown three erotic movies and three non-erotic films in all, or about 3 hours of porn over a six-week period. The "no-exposure" group was limited to non-pornographic fare, 36 regular movies with no sexual undertones or content. Finally, the fourth group, the control, was shown no films during the six weeks.

Because the study took place between 1979 and 1980, the films were far tamer than much of today's hardcore fare. All sexual acts were heterosexual and consensual. The acts were confined to oral, anal, and vaginal sex, and none involved coercion or deliberate infliction or reception of pain.

The members of all four groups were asked to estimate the prevalance of certain sexual behaviors in America. Their opinions were solicited on everything from the percentage of sexually active adults to the percentage of Americans performing particular sexual acts. Without exception, the more pornography the subjects had viewed over the six-week period, the more likely they were to believe others to be sexually active and adventurous. For example, the "massive exposure" group believed on average that 67 percent of Americans engaged in oral sex, compared with 34 percent of those who had not been shown any porn. They also believed that more than twice as many adults had anal intercourse than did those who viewed no porn (29 percent verses 12 percent)... they also believed that three in ten Americans engaged in group sex, compared with the one in ten estimated by the no exposure group. Porn viewers also estimated that roughly twice as many people engaged in sadomasochism and bestiality (15% and 12% of all Americans), gross overestimations of actual sexual practices, according to all available data. (Paul 77-78)

3. Porn and Objectification, Misogyny

Paul covers more of the Zillmann-Bryant studies and a modern one at Texas A&M Unversity: and women who were exposed to large amounts of pornography were significantly less likely to want daughters than those who had not. It's not just hardcore porn either. According to a large-scale 1994 report summarizing 81 peer-reviewed studies, most studies (70 percent) on nonaggressive pornography find that exposure to porn has clear negative effects. Gary Brooks, a psychologist who studies pornography at Texas A&M University explains that "softcore porn has a very negative effect on men as well. The problem with it is that it's voyeurism--it teaches men to view women as objects rather than to be in relationships with human beings." According to Brooks, pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships. In other words, porn is inherently self-centered--something a man does by himself, for himself--by using other women as the means to pleasure, as yet another product to consume. (Paul 80)

In the study done for the book:

Half of all Americans think porn is demeaning towards women. Women are far more likely to believe this--58% compared with 37% of men. Only 20% of women, and 34% of men--think porn is not demeaning. (Paul 80)

...while 60 percent of adults aged 59+ believe porn is demeaning towards women, only 35% of Gen-Xers--the most tolerant and often heaviest users--agree. (Paul, p81)

In a study done in 2002 by a professor at Texas Christian University:

...involved heterosexual men who used porn via Internet newsgroups. On average, the respondents looked at five hours and 22 minutes of porn per week. They were divided into three groups: high consumption (6+ hours per week), average (2-5 hours per week) and low (2> hours per week). The study found that the more porn men use, the more likely they are to describe women in sexualized and stereotypically feminine terms. They were also more likely to approve of women in traditionally female occupations and to value men who are more submissive and subordinate to men.(Paul 92)

4. Porn and Diminishing Returns

Paul also postulates that viewing porn, especially for prolonged periods of time, facilitates the need to view more explicit and demeaning porn to get the same thrill. This is supported in the study by James Howard, Myron Reifler, and Clifford Liptzin which is cited in the 1970 federal report on pornography: who were shown pornographic films for 90 minutes a day, five days a week, experienced less sexual arosual and interest in similar materials with the passage of time. What initially thrills eventually titillates, what excites eventually pleases, what pleases eventually satisfies. And satisfaction sooner or later yields to boredom. (Paul 83)

5. Porn and Acceptance of Sexual Violence, Diminishing of Sympathy

Paul cannot provide any sort of evidence that those that view porn are more likely to be rapists or become a rapist (the problem of causation). However, the Zillmann-Bryant study does show that increased exposure to non-violent pornography demonstrably affects how men and women perceive men who rape:

...participants were asked to read a newspaper report about the recent rape of a hitchhiker. The crime was described in the report, but the criminal sentence was not revealed. Students were then asked to recommend a sentence for the convicted rapist. Men who had viewed massive amounts of porn recommended significantly shorter sentences for the man who committed the crime. Men in the "massive exposure" group recommended an average of 50 months' imprisonment for the rapist while while who had not viewed the films recommended 95 months. (By comparison, women suggested 77 months in the massive exposure group and 143 months in the no exposure group). Men who viewed porn were also less likely to support women's causes in general and were about three times less likely to favor the expansion of women's rights.(Paul 89-90)

Pauls says that:

Pornography leaves men desensitized to both outrage and exicitment, leading to an overall diminishment of feeling and eventually to dissatisfaction with the emotional tugs of everyday life. Men find themselves upgraded to the most intense forms of porn, glutting themselves on extreme imagery and outrageous orgasms. Eventually they are left with a confusing mix of supersized expectations about sex and numbed emotions about women. (Paul 90)

Zillmann himself calls this phenonmenon the "satisfaction dilemma of pornography":

What has been labeled "pornotopia" tells [men] what joys they might, could and should experience. As pornography features beautiful bodies in youthful, at times acrobatic, sexual interactions during which nothing short of ecstasy is continually expressed, consumers of such entertainment are readily left with the impression that "others get more" and that whatever they themselves have in their intimate relationships is less than what is should be. This comparison, of which pornography consumers may or may not be fully aware, is bound to foster sexual dissatisfaction or greatly enhance already existing dissatisfaction.

So what?

For one, many have argued that they can separate fiction from fantasy when looking at porn, and that attitudes and expectations portrayed there are not carried over to real women. This supposition is in direct opposition to the entire premise of the multi-billion dollar marketing campaigns running constantly. If humanity was impervious to images and advertising, why would businesses spend so much on it?

The answer is that humanity is not impervious to images and sights, as seen above in various studies. Pornography is much more subtle than advertising. It does not prey upon an unnatural urge for a Mercedes, but the appreciation of human beauty and sexuality. It does not enforce itself with the rush of new purchases, but with the ecstasy of orgasm. Advertising must convince us that we want or need a new car. Pornography just asks that we submit to human sexuality. It taunts us with sexual release without vulnerability. It preys upon cultural stereotypes of women and men and then reinforces them.

And then it succeeds: horribly, subtly, orgasmically, addictively.

Previous parts of this series: Part One, Part Two

Friday, May 23, 2008

On Being a Bookworm, Part Two - why do men look at porn?

Probably the most radical way that being a Feminist impacted my everyday life is that I found myself morally conflicted over my very large stash of porn. After discovering that many people are anti-porn without the usual religious justifications (see: One Angry Girl's website), I found it much easier to throw out my collection without feeling like I was anti-sex or pandering to moral conservatives.

Because pornography is something that used to be such a big part of my life, the first book I picked up at the library happened to be Pamela Paul's Pornified. I hoped the book would help clarify various opinions that I entertained about the adult industry.

Even though I am only fifty or so pages into the book, I can already tell that Paul is an excellent author. Her first chapter frames later arguments in such a way that the conclusion she wants you to make seems natural. She only introduces her radical or controversial premises where the reader should have already entertained them with the presented data. Her writing is manipulative, so to speak, albeit in an admirable fashion.

Through polls and first-hand narratives, Paul identifies various reasons why men view pornography habitually:

  1. As a learning tool - how to get women, interesting sexual practices, anatomy, what turns him on and what does not
  2. Instant gratification - cheap, a way to quickly get aroused and masturbate,
  3. Dissatisfaction - SO will not be adventurous in bed, he is lonely, he wants some variety, SO isn't around, SO is cranky or not attractive
  4. Boredom - it's entertaining, the really disgusting stuff is funny, something to do at work, out of curiosity, a voyeuristic look into someone else's sex life
  5. Insecurities - puts men in power and control always, lets a man look at women he feels he cannot attract in reality, a way to demean women after having to treat them as equals all day, a haven for men, looking at abusive painful situations for attractive women as punishment for not having sex with them, critiquing porn stars to make themselves feel better
  6. Safety - no emotional investment, no chance of rejection, no need to be attractive yourself, no hard to please women

And how they excuse the habit:

  1. Men are beastial, without porn there would be more rape and murder
  2. Men need variety, to sow their oats
  3. Everyone does it unless they are frigid or overly religious
  4. It's an appreciation of beauty

I thought her passage on the porn fantasy was especially poignant:

The women in pornography exist in order to please men, and are therefore willing to do anything. The will dominate or act submissive. They can play dumb or talk back, moan quietly or scream, cry in anger or pleasure. They will accommodate whatever a man wants them to do, be it anal sex, double penetration, or multiple orgasms. The porn star is always responsive; she would never complain about a man being late or taking too long to come... She's easily aroused, naturally and consistently orgasmic, and malleable. She is what he wants her to be. She's a cheerleader, a nurse, a virgin, a teenager, your best friend's mother. She is every woman who was ever out of your league. She's the girl next door, the prom queen, the hot teacher, the supermodel, the celebrity. She is every woman who ever did the rejecting. She used to be a lesbian, she used to be frigid, she used to be a virgin. She is every woman who cannot be had. Now she loves sex, she can't get enough of it; she can't get enough of sex with you. She is every woman who should appreciate you... each encounter begins anew, meeting as welcome strangers and parting with gratitude.

Of all the requirements for enjoyable pornography, men most commonly cite the appearance of a woman's pleasure as key. She has to seem as if she's having fun... she should make the viewer feel that she's doing what she does because she wants to.

"The women in porn tend to act as though the sex act is earth shattering every time, even though realistically speaking, it's not like that all the time," Ethan says. "But it's still fantastic--that enthusiasm really appeals to me." Asked if his wife is enthusiastic about sex he says in a lackluster voice, "yeah, I guess so." But he goes on to say, "the women in porn are just different, though, and that's the appeal. I like the whole innocence vibe of young girls. The tautness of youth, tighter and clearer skin, the bright faces." His wife, Candace is already twenty-nine years old, a good decade past his ideal.

What porn presents is the complete objectification of women. Not only do they exist only as you want them, when you want them, they are always happy to serve you.

If I spent my day looking at pictures of expensive sports cars, nobody would doubt that I would jump at the chance to own one. The same principle applies to men and pornography: what they look at is undoubtedly what they want. However, they don't want a Porn Star--a woman using her body for a paycheck, who is sexually available to anyone with money--they want a monogamous porn star: a woman that is sexually available only to them, who thinks first of their pleasure in bed, asks for nothing in return, and is infinitely grateful for their attention. I do not want the car payments that go along with the sports car. I want nothing of the expensive reality of owning a high-maintenance vehicle. Men who view porn are the same; I surmise that they do not want the sexually empowered porn star, they want someone whose sexuality is dependent on his whims, someone that only exists solely please him. He does not want the porn star, but the character she plays.

View previous parts of this series: Part One

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eww: A Rad Feminist Reads About Johns and Their "Pain", Provides Witty Commentary

In my long look into the sex business, I came across many primary sources on what exactly it is like to be a porn star, a prostitute, or a stripper. I felt connected to the experiences of the women I read. I felt that what they did was so normal and wrongly stigmatized. I could see myself doing what they did, hating doing what they did, and most of all, hating the people that asked them to do it. Part of letting go of my zealous relationship with the Madonna/Whore dichotomy was to stop looking at sex workers as whores, manipulative she-witches, and weak downtrodden sex objects.

What I discovered, however, from reading the first hand account of Johns was anything but empathy. I am a serial monogamist. When the inclination to stray is strong enough, I cash in my chips, break the poor guy's (and one woman's) heart, and engage in sowing my oats without being a lying sack-of-shit cheater. The thought that fucking random people would be fun is not something that I have never entertained. However, I have never understood the point of being self-destructive and letting my libido do the driving, so I do not understand the actual action of cheating.

Perhaps I am a rare and horrible imitation of humanity, but the objectification of a sexual partner does not turn my crank either. Paying someone to mimic an intimate action, which should be a gesture of mutual respect and affection, never occurred to me. I'm not a fucking kind of gal. My bullshit detector runs smoothly. I am not some pathetic slob that invents romance and respect where there is none. Chances are that if you shop for a sexual partner with all the emotion of shopping for a television set, you're not getting the best deal.

So I do not sympathize with the two primary motivations for buying sex: (1) I'm too good for monogamy and (2) sex is all about me, me, ME!

Morality in hand, I delved into Letters From Johns, a blog that features the sexploits of random johns, most of which are men. My knee jerk reaction was a feeling of intense sorrow for all of humanity. As I nit-picked through the various misogynistic woe-is-me confessions , I was struck with the thought, "okay, your intense angst is nice, but what about the other side of the equation -- isn't it quite ridiculous to do all of this introspection without once thinking about the humanity of the woman you just bought?"

Well, one sympathetic John was nice enough to make sure that the Chinese woman he purchased was not trafficked. After, of course, he climaxed. Orgasm before morals, you know:

I like Asian girls (have since I was a teen). I like their skin, their soft features, their hair. I ordered one over in the middle of the day a month ago. I was very horny, and only wanted a little talk before sex, but after fucking her, cumming on her face and helping her clean up, it's always a good time to get to know someone with the remaining part of the hour. She was straight off the boat. With Human Trafficking being the boogie man of the 21st century, I wanted to find out how she came to NYC and this line of work.

Retroactive concern does not work. I am guessing that a guy that will fuck a potential sex slave before he determines whether or not he is raping her is not very nice. The half-assed interest in her personhood does not fool me.

I also really liked the guy who was "Faithful in Every Other Sense of the Word" and very good at authoring horribly ironic titles. His reason for buying sex was not the simplification of an entire culture to attractive things to look at while fucking (see above), but because his wife had the audacity to ask for sexual satisfaction in bed:

I'm happily married, but my wife and I don't have sex nearly as often as we used to before our daughter was born, and unfortunately, it's starting to wear on me. Not only that, but when we do end up having sex, I have to do all the work, get her all worked up and then get to humpin' at her command. It's fine and everything, but sometimes it's nice to have someone focus on me, and my sexual needs and wants, for a change.

You mean like porn, right? Where the other half of the equation is nothing but a place to sheath your uncontrollable prick and tell you how much they love it when you ask them to do demeaning things with no regard for their pleasure. Oh yeah, exactly like that:

The last time I went, I got to have sex with an older (then me, she was about 38. I'm 31) Russian lady, who still occupies a warm place in my heart because she looked me in the eyes as I climaxed and genuinely seemed to be interested in my pleasure. That's what turns me on.

I am guessing that she was faking that interest. Probably because you paid her to, genius. I am also guessing that your wife would be more interested in your pleasure if you were more interested in hers. Reciprocity: it's hot. Random John B wants all the pleasure without the work. I also find it unspeakably pathetic that he is bored with his wife and has affected such a world-weary tone at the tender age of 31.

I also found the woe-is-me letters, from Johns that want our sympathy so badly:

The answer that I have [for seeking prostitutes], and that many others in this website have also provided, is rejection. Rejection, and its close associate, the loneliness that comes after it, leads many of us to believe that we are fundamentally unloveable. And for us, the prospect of trading some of our money for the affection and the satisfaction that an escort, or a masseuse, or a prostitute (you name it) can provide is not just about sex--it's more about safety, the feeling that all you have to do to keep this girl by your side is treat her right and pay her promptly.

My guess if that if you have to pay someone to fake liking you that you are generally unlikable. That is probably not anyone's fault but your own, probably because you really do not care if you are raping a trafficked woman:

My latest experience was with an escort called A. She came from the same South American country I did, a tall, dark-haired girl with a great body. She says she's in town to "learn English," which I doubted, but who cares? For an hour and fifteen minutes, I had someone listen to me wholeheartedly, rub my back, provide me with the ersatz-girlfriend that I crave for but feel that I am unable to attract, and then at the end of it all she even asked for my phone number.

"You will call me again, right?" she asks.

I would like to say that I won't. But my hour with A. felt like water washing my wounds, easing the pain of my brutal loneliness, helping me feel accepted and valued again, a feeling that I haven't felt in many, many months.

Some people say that love is priceless. Well, to those people I say, for two-hundred and seventy Canadian dollars, something quite like it is there for the taking. At least until the hour is done.

If you are such a sorry human being that you equate "something quite like love" to raping a sex slave, then you probably belong in jail or the ninth circle of hell. I am also guessing that people that find nothing more sublime that sticking their dick in a woman/object/rape victim because they are "lonely" should probably remain lonely far far away from me and the rest of civilization. The best word I can use to describe someone that only feel goods about himself because he just raped/fucked a potential trafficked sex worker is criminal. Perhaps that's why nobody wants you, even though you describe yourself as "obedient, fundamentally good man in his 20s".

Those gems came from just the first page. The blog is packed of pages and pages of people justifying the objectification of female, and a few male, prostitutes. The harder they try to make their reasons sound plausible, the sillier and more pathetic they sound. Nothing is more unspeakably disgusting than someone that avoids responsibility for their actions with appeals to their humanity while avoiding the topic of a sex worker's humanity.

If it really needed saying after that long post here it is: I am absolutely and fundamentally against prostitution. I commiserate and have nothing but empathy for those women that choose to make a living doing something so potentially dangerous. However this feeling does not extend to the other end of the equation: the Johns that profit off of the exploitation, objectification, and rape of sex workers.

The aforementioned blog does nothing to foster the sympathy for Johns. Our rage should know no limits for those who excuse death, rape, and misery with hollow excuses.

On Being a Bookworm, Part One

Books are the greatest tool of self-discovery and learning. Although the internet is always the first and last place I go for the most up-to-date feminist theory and news, I have really neglected my bibliomania lately. With the semester over, I thought I would walk myself down to the public library and read some books I have put on my mental "to-do" list ages ago.

My local public library is fantastic. Over three stories filled with the most diverse and interesting books gave me a lot to work from. Here's my book list for those interested:

  1. Refusing to Be a Man - John Stoltenberg
  2. The Beauty Myth - Naomi Wolf
  3. Pornified - Pamela Paul
  4. The Dialectic of Sex - Shulamith Firestone
  5. The Macho Paradox - Jackson Katz
  6. Scapegoat - Andrea Dworkin
  7. The Gate to Women's Country - Sheri S. Tepper

All of the above are non-fiction, except for Tepper's novel. I have read about or part of all of these books in my theory classes, but never in whole. Summer is a great time to rectify my ignorance. As I go through the books in the following weeks, I will try to post particularly striking passages and my reactions to them for the blogosphere's perusal.

Look for part two in this series soon!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Animal Cruelty is Not Sexy

Cross-posted at Female Impersonator

"Sex sells". When it is not selling me pants, sunglasses, bikini waxes, and a fat-complex it is now selling me morality. Take away the message and what is the difference between an ad like this and one like this? The answer is absolutely nothing. Naked women have nothing to do with Levi's pants or vegetarianism. The message, "this lifestyle promoted in this ad is sexy", does not vary between the two ads. The only difference is that one lifestyle is that of buying jeans, and the other is the lifestyle of not eating meat.

We humans must be incredibly stupid to fall for such shoddy marketing. I really have no words for a society that buys cheap body-spray en masse when the half-wit marketing experts at the firm have nothing more to say for their product other than it makes women take off their bras. How does it do that? Nobody knows, simply because there is a cognitive dissonance when I try to compute a reality in which people are convinced to buy a product on the promise of sex that it cannot possibly deliver.

Axe Body Spray is hardly the worst offender. Axe promotes no political agenda other than the dudely enjoyment of foul smelling cologne masking the fact that you have not showered in a week, or the simple-minded pursuit of titties. This ad campaign works, I might say, because the people who would use cheap cologne to excuse not taking a shower would be the kind of dupes to connect buying something with getting laid.

Liberals, however, claim to function on a higher level. Empathetic beings concerned with the plight of life everywhere do not need bared breasts and toned asses to buy, or not buy, a lifestyle.


Guess what bikini models have to do with the suffering of chickens? Absolutely nothing. If PETA really wished to highlight the suffering of animals, they would make their protests horrible, frightening, and sickening. With so shortage of horrifying images of animal suffering (five minutes of googling produced this, this, this, and this) why does PETA, among other organizations, feel the need to sell the idea that animals are suffering for our lifestyle with sex?

Melanie B, from the Spice Girls, would also like you to know that Sex Trafficking is hot. "Get your tits out for trafficking!" an activist asks us. We all know that strippers and prostitutes always get the best side of the law, because society as a whole values their opinions and personhood so much. Making our causes into our pimps and baring it all for a liberal cause, of course, wins the respect of many. It is also very relevant to the discussion at hand. Animal abuse and the unwilling trafficking of sexual slaves in our own country is titillating and sexy.

PETA reminds me of a circa-1970s Al Sharpton, who shot himself and his cause in the foot by involking the ire of New York Jews with some insensitive antisemitic remarks. To this day, Sharpton and his pose of goons continue to give activists a really bad name by various other classy shenanigans such as sexism and rape apology. Of course, the average American can tell you that he or she thinks Sharpton is full of shit. He or she will place Sharpton in the "bat-shit crazy" category alongside PETA. The most damaging person to their causes, obviously, is PETA activists and Sharpton themselves. The average American is not convinced. Thus Sharpton and PETA are unsuccessful.

In contrast, anti-abortion activists continue to get considerably more positive press than PETA. The reason why is not rocket science. Perhaps it is because their ad campaign is so blessedly simple and horrifying. I am firmly and absolutely pro-choice. However, I will say that if I had no opinion on eating meat or abortion, the anti-abortion ad would be significantly more morally compelling than a strip-tease for animal rights.

There are only two rules to good advertising: keep it simple and relevant. The anti-abortion ad is a picture of an abortion, thus it is relevant. It just states, "abortion is bad". The PETA ads, however, are convoluted and self-defeating. Alicia Silverstone with no clothes on does not really have anything to do with my greasy hamburger. The PETA ad asks the viewer to make a connection between nakedness, fur, and animal cruelty. The connection is tenuous, and thus, falls apart. The abortion ad achieves its purpose while the PETA ad does not.

Not only does PETA need to fire its marketing executives, the organization itself is probably the only thing on the planet more self-defeating than Al Sharpton. Commenters will poo-poo my critique all they want, but the fact remains that feminists can be agents of their own oppression especially when they sell their bodies for a cause that has nothing to do with sex. Yes, the woman who climbed into a cage while naked and pregnant in the cold to protest animal cruelty did so consensually. Would she, however, have posed nude if female nudity was not the biggest successful seller of unnecessary over-processed shit on the planet?

In conclusion, I hate PETA, and will continue to do so because:
(a) They utterly fail at marketing
(b) They protest the cruelty of animals with the objectification of the female body
(c) They diminish the horror of their cause with meaningless strip teases
(d) They diminish and poo-poo the objections of activists for other causes
(e) They are the most unintentionally self-parodying group on the face of this Earth

I will not continue to suffer any fools, especially sexist fools that sit on their high-horse naked and defeat feminism's basic tenements in order to diminish the real issue of the objectification of women, and to sexualize the suffering of animals.

Note: As the author of this post, I will delete comments that are trolling and offensive, and ask that all contributors to this tread ignore all those who will attempt to hijack the thread.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Radical Feminist in Exile!

I am sure that many of you can commiserate. Being a feminist, especially an outspoken one, is akin to leprosy. With the dorms closed, I am forced to live with my mother and brother and face the fact that my mother thinks it is perfectly all right to call women bitches, whores, and cunts and lets my brother do so as he pleases.

How do you face the fact that your family hates a cause that is so dear to you? I punched my brother in the face today for calling me a bitch and a whore after I asked him not to. Par for the course for me, because asking him to not play the drums when I'm napping also gets a cunt accusation.

Being in my twenties and stupid, according to my mother, means that I do not get to question her parenting skills. Or lack thereof, when your younger son calls his sister a bitch and a cunt for daring to have a vagina and not doing what he wants you to. Her argument is that men hold the door open for her at work, so she gets to declare my brother a "nice sort of chap" with authorization to call his older sister a cunt whenever he finds it inconvenient to live in a house with people that do not to put up with his noise, bullshit, and foul odor.

I frown highly upon the Oppression Olympics, but I really doubt that a known civil rights activist is expected to keep his or her cool if his or her family members accuse him or her of being a nigger every time they get uppity. I really regret being open with the fact that I do Feminist Advocacy work with a family that feels it necessary to throw it back in my face every time they say something blatantly sexist. Ask me again, mother dear, what it feels like to know that your mother likes your "trustworthy" brother better because his genitals are outies.

Bitch is a slur. It is not the kind of slur "dick" is. Trying to convince my family of that, however, is like talking to a wall. A wall, of course, that you wish you did not love so they could not hurt you with their indifference. Bitch is a historical term that applies to women that act "unwomanly". She defies a man, is out spoken, and wears the pants in the family. She must be a bitch or a whore. "Dick" does not carry with it the same history of oppression. Equating bitch with dick is as absurd as equating nigger with yuppie.

It's called privelege. When you have it, you can't see it. You also cannot pretend that slurs leveled against you have the same sort of affect as someone who works tirelessly for the rights of a disenfranchised group. Someone who happens to be your sister that would never lift a finger against you otherwise.

And so this radical feminist in exile will nurse her bottle of cheap vodka on the couch of her friend's apartment, and try to figure out how to retrieve her toiletries from her mother's abode (yes, the same mother that called me a liar to my face when I tearfully confessed I was raped) without having to face her brother.

I really do not think I am strong enough to face anyone that shares my blood for a week or two without kicking some ass and taking some names. Alcohol and good friends dull the urge to bash faces in. Feminists take note!

Update: Mom called and we had the drunkest sappiest conversation known to human kind. It was sugary and deep and I just used all of my minutes. No word on reconciling with the brother yet. I guess I might have to wait a decade or two for him to get a clue. At least I know now that my mother has got my back, once I explaining myself sans anger and plus slightly slurred sugary declarations of mother-daughter love. I finally feel like she understands the feminism thing. This acceptance is an odd feeling. I need to buy cheap vodka more often.

America's Next Top Model is plus-size, but not really

It should really go without saying that the fat-shaming America's Next Top Model reality show is as close to feminism as Hitler is to Gandhi. In a rare sign of normalcy yesterday, however, the show crowned Whitney Thompson as America's Next Top Model.

Ashamed that they succumbed to the demands of real feminine curves, the world then proceeded to label Thompson "plus size". The model, who confesses that she waivers between size 8 and 10, should be ashamed of her "otherness". No real modeling agency will work with a fatty!

Yet again the media marginalizes the average woman. The beauty ideal is so ridiculous that we label someone who cannot shop in plus-size stores a plus-size model. I must confess that I wear the same size Thompson does, although I am nowhere near as statuesque, blond, or toned. If I wished to swim in my clothes sans a pool and shorten my pants six or more inches, I might be able to shop in a plus-size store.

I have nothing against real plus-size women. Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and unique. However, it is beyond stupid that our culture labels women at a normal weight and average size as "chubby" or "plus-size" while women that are slightly larger than average are ostracized and viewed as barely human.

I am not at all surprised, however, that the original source then links to a story on "weight winners", as crowned by US Magazine. Let us all eat diets devoid of sugar, bread, and fat so we can be as miserable happy as starving beautiful Hayden!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Post-feminism Society" Laughs at Female Objectification

Here in our "post-feminism society", where genders are finally equal in every sense of the word (yes, that is sarcasm), we can comfortably laugh at female bondage and the antiquated notion that your wife is your property at Maybe I am just being a kill-joy, but I thought for something to be satire it required that the targeted audience, men who objectify women, could not view or say it without a shred of irony. I just think it is probably in bad taste to mock something that is not at all historical. Considering that Washington University just handed out an honorary degree to Phyllis Schlafly, the woman who supports marital rape, the view that marriage renders a woman the sexual property of her husband is alive and well even in the ever-praised bastion of gender equality, the Western world.

Eerily, the website reads more like a pedophile's shopping list than the lame attempt at satire it really is. From the profiles:

Katelyn F.
Age: 14
Location: Caribbean

Bride Price: $24,995

Our own Little Mermaid Katie Lynn swims like a fish and isn’t happy unless she’s getting wet! She got her SCUBA ticket at 12 and she can pull more than her weight as crew on any kind of boat or ship. She tells us she’s tired of dry land and that’s she’s looking for a husband who works on, by or in the water.

I suppose I have no sense of humor, being that I do not think that selling young girls into slavery to men is at all funny.

The testimonials, of course, sound familiar:

"Thank God for your site! Our daughter was really nervous walking down the aisle, but she seems okay now and the money we got let us keep our farm and even add on a few acres."

Because selling your daughters to keep afloat is nothing new to real people, in real places, right now:

"We were not so desperate before. Now I have to marry them younger. And all five of them will have to get married if the drought becomes worse. The bride price is 200,000 afghanis. His father came to our house to arrange it. The boy pays in installments. First he paid us 5,000 afghanis, which I used to buy food."

Accusations of shrill feminist aside, my definition of satire lies more along educational lines. Meaning, of course, that the purpose of satire is to educate people how utterly ridiculous the universal phenomenon of objectifying women really is. Piss poor attempts at being clever like the Marry Our Daughter website are, at best, getting a sick laugh out of female objectification without providing any relevant context. At worst, the site operates on the same wavelength as the ubiquitous rape joke, the headlining punch-line of every half-wit comic's cliche repertoire.

New rule: poking fun at stereotypes, especially anything resembling female objectification, is only funny if and only if sexist pigs cannot chuckle along without a shred of irony and self-reflection.

Unread Books Meme

From Eljay, the Unread Books Meme:

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights (thank you Sparknotes)
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick (Junior English teacher taught it without reading it. LOL WUT?)
Ulysses (this fucking book. Grrr)
Madame Bovary (Guh, and I thought the last was bad)
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice (I hate 'love' stories filled with simpering females)
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged (I hate Rand with such passion)
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera (Was too stupid to bear)
Brave New World
The Fountainhead (Rand must die)
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons (plot, what plot?)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables (so long, so good!)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune (too much literary masturbation)
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter (I hate. this. fucking. book.)
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita (had to take shower afterwards, felt dirty)
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (My love affair with Victor Hugo!)
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Mundane Rape

Cross-posted at Female Impersonator

Warning: this post could be a trigger for victims of sexual violence.

In the wake of Amelia's posts on rape and the disgusting spectacle of Johnny Vegas raping a woman onstage in a sorry display of dudely humor, I wanted to share how utterly mundane and common rape is.

A huge misconception is that only the psychologically deviant rape women. In that link, the author claims that it is "staggeringly insensitive" to post fliers around a college campus that read "Man up, get consent". Why? Well, because the "ridiculous idea that rape is not caused by the sociopathic tendencies of individual men, but because men as a whole watch too many Michael Bay films".

The author clearly as never heard of the tabula rasa theory which states that our socialization and upbringing have much more to do with how we interact with the people and the world around us then genetics. Simply put, there is no "rape" gene. Scientists will never pin-point the exact sequence of DNA that makes some men rapists and others "nice guys" because it does not exist.

This fiction of the psychological illness of rapists, similar to the myth of pedophilia, causes the deadly culture of silence that aids and abets sexual assaults, rapes, and other forms of violence against women every day. The patriarchy and its underlying premise that men are not responsible for treating women like pieces of meat baptizes each and every one of us in Dude Culture as young as possible.

For as long as I can remember, I can say that I would rather be maimed and handicapped than ugly. My identity and success in life, because I am a woman, is directly correlated with my ability to titillate and treat myself like the plaything of men. My self worth is boosted every time a man looks me up and down. I wait behind good-looking men in the line of a local fast food joint and wish for them to notice me. My worth is directly tied to my sexuality. I am the Sex Class, I am a woman.

And I was sexually assaulted and raped repeatedly by my first serious boyfriend and the man I lost my virginity to.

Rape is not uncommon. By law, what that asshole did to me was not rape because I cannot prove it. However, I was repeatedly goaded into various sex acts while I feigned sickness or exhaustion to get out of seeing him. After he moved out of the suburbs, and into an adjacent dorm, I would make excuses to have study sessions with my very large and loud male English peer review partner. Seeing him was a nightmare. The sex was awful. I fooled myself by thinking that it was about time I got rid of my virginity anyway (I was 18) and that if I asked him later I would eventually get an orgasm out of the deal. However, if I did not want to kiss, I was groped and fingered through my clothes when he would visit my dorm after his classes. If all I wanted was a massage, I got my bare breasts pawed at for an hour while I pretended I was asleep so that he would go away. He would belittle my opinions, ignore my desires, and take advantage of me whenever he so wished. I was an accessory to his life, I was his masturbation aid. I was not a person.

When I finally broke up with him, he would invite himself along with my friends and hang all over me like I was his possession. I remained silent throughout it all because I thought it that was normal that I was taken advantage of and I did not wish to make a scene or make others uncomfortable. It was my fault that I did not enjoy the sex. I was frigid. I was wrong. I was a whore.

I have never shared this farce of love with anyone. Over two years later, I have not been in a serious relationship with a man due to serious trust issues. Until just recently, I thought that there was something wrong with me. Now I finally know that what he did to me, and what he took away, can never be replaced. It was sexual assault, and if the law was less sexist than it is, my entire relationship was months of rape. I will never see justice because there is no evidence other than my word and my pain.

My ex-boyfriend is not a sociopath. He is a normal college male who wanted some tits to paw at. When breaking up with him, he asked, "does that mean I do not get booby privileges anymore?" He probably has a girlfriend now, who lets him finger her after she feigns a headache to get him to go away. He is a rapist. I am a rape victim. He is a product of a sick society, and I am the victim. I am the loser, because I was born with a vagina and indoctrinated in the ideology that my worth as a person is indistinguishable from my ability to please men.

Women, because of socialization, are raped every day. Why? Because we as a society have placed women in the Sex Class, and by doing so, have furthered the disgusting agenda of rapists the world over. Rape only happens to women that fight it, that are raped by strangers, that have evidence and did not orgasm. I was raped. I never fought it, I knew my rapist and introduced him to my friends and family as my boyfriend. I have no proof other than my hole in my heart where my faith in humanity used to be. My body reminds me of the pain/pleasure that it suffered/enjoyed to this day.

Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women. The only thing insulting about asking men to get consent, not the absence of resistance, is that we have to fucking ask in the first place. I know first hand how rape happens and what a rapist looks like.

I also know what a rape victim looks like. I see her in the mirror every day.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Anonymity and Sexism on the Internet

Cross-posted at Female Impersonator

Anonymity gives people the gall to do and say what they would never think of doing if it had their real face and name attached to it. I suppose I am as guilty as many; I usually avoid frontal head shots in profile pictures or using my very distinctive surname. I like to use this anonymity to say things that I do not have the courage to say, or to say the things that I feel I have no real audience for. After all, no one in my Jewish family really wants to hear any negative thoughts about Palestine, do they? More importantly, anonymity allows me to act the way I wish, instead of how I think that others expect me to act. I am free to share my same-sex relationships here, away from people that know me, because of the judgment that I fear will follow me in my professional pursuits.

This anonymity has allowed me to grow as a person. I can be who I feel like I need to be, and say what I want to say without a fear of consequence. I can stand up for what I believe and what I think and not be just another cog in the machine. I have taken this opportunity to be anonymous with open arms, embraced it, and turned it into a marvelous experience of self-awakening and growth.

However, I increasingly find that this use of anonymity is fairly rare on the internet. In my public face-to-face feminist protests and meetings, very little negativity is said to my face. Most people have tact so instilled in them that they will not say something sexist to a very vocal feminist's face. I am increasingly aware that this does not mean that they do not hold their misogyny very close to their hearts, and perhaps talk about that "bitch of a cunt at that Vagina Monologues table on Senior Lawn" to their friends. Most of all, I am very aware that if given the opportunity of anonymity, the expression of their patriarchy socialization knows no tact.

Anonymous message board postings have ruined my chance at an elected position in our large campus Democratic organization by references to my "feminazi adherence to Hillary Clinton" and the worry that I will "vote with my vagina" in university matters as well.

Myspace bulletins helped drive a high school classmate of mine to a suicide attempt when it was leaked that she was about to prosecute a high school teacher, the coach of the nationally placed soccer team, for sexual assault. Messages like "whore", and "stupid slut, ruining an the life of an important part of our community" were commonplace. The case was dropped, the man who tried to rape an ex-student after plying her with alcohol goes free, and the combination of the injustice, betrayal, and shame land someone I brushed elbows with in Pre-Calculus in the hospital with charcoal and aspirin being bumped out of her stomach.

A political forum I frequent claims that I "give feminists a bad name", urges that I "lighten up and remove that stick from your vagina", or that I should "listen up you cunt". JAP (Jewish American Princess), slut, attention whore, feminazi, Daddy's girl are common slurs and double as argumentative tactics. A large group of seemingly liberal and educated politically-minded people find no fault with attacking a woman for daring to be a feminist in a public space, for having the gall to accuse them and their society of misogyny.

These are only my personal experiences. I do not doubt that most of you have had similar, and perhaps even more serious instances of shaming, assault, insult, harassment, and sabotage by expressing your adherence to women's issues, by not having a penis, or any combination of the above. Once respectable communication outlets and blogs like DailyKos are overrun with bigots and trolls that harass female bloggers. TIME magazine mocks the feminist movement. The lowest of the low,'s random image board (very NSFW), is populated by anonymous users that share rape porn, inform women "[show us your] tits, [or] get the fuck out", and circulate pictures of underage girls with cries to "stick it in her pooper"!

Meanwhile, new studies are showing that sexist jokes, the very kind of low-brow excuse that sexist pigs use when called out on their bigotry, foster discrimination towards women and higher toleration of sexism. Our days are littered with the corpses of thousands objectified and mocked women, and still it seems that nobody seems to grasp that there is some sort of negative consequence for the defense of the patriarchy that masks itself in humor and anonymity.

We have known for a long time that the streets are not safe for women. Public forums do not welcome those that do not adhere to their feminine socialization and titter appealingly at sexist slurs and demeaning groping. Even in our own homes, we are not safe. Not only are women at risk of being assaulted by their brothers, fathers, and husbands, they are verbally assaulted every day under the excuse of the First Amendment and humor and enabled by anonymity in chatrooms, by email, and in social websites.

The internet has allowed me to be who I truly am. However, the internet has also allowed many others the same opportunity, and it seems that they truly are sexist pigs.