Thursday, August 23, 2007

Feminism Vs. The Real World


There is a video clip on redtube entitled "How to shut up an Annoying Woman."
A blond, big-breasted woman starts talking about porn stars getting no respect and how hard they work and then a guy comes and shoves his cock in her mouth.

It was posted on a forum I was part of at uni (its a pretty active social forum with varying degrees of intelligent discussion.)

Excerpts from the forums were then posted on facebook where they garnered comments.


FEMALE 1: you all disgust me.
MALE 1: I'm pretty sure someone posted this ages ago, still funny
FEMALE 1: only if you're sick.

FEMALE 2 (ME): you actually disgust me.
I know you all think its a joke, but do have any idea how offensive that video is? The concept of using sex in an aggressive fashion in order to control and subjugate a woman is disgusting. It’s the height of chauvinism and it’s a completely uneducated and egotistical notion. The fact that it’s designed to be comical just makes the whole thing worse.

MALE 2: How do you know if a woman is going to say something smart? She starts off her sentence with "A man once told me..."

MALE 3: In the beginning, God created the earth and rested.
Then God created Man and rested.
Then God created Woman.
Since then, neither God nor Man has rested

FEMALE 3: you obviously have no comeback to what female 2 has said so have resorted to immature, stupid woman jokes that aren't humorous nor intelligent.
Maybe one day when you're 35, single and desperately lonely you'll look back and wish you'd had a little bit more respect for women, rather than acting like immature, ignorant, chauvinistic assholes.
For a group of people who are supposed to be intelligent and educated, it makes me sick that in 2007 you still think a video like that is funny.

MALE 1: if you can’t tell the difference between a joke and reality then you will end up as a 35 yo loser... if you understand the difference; you can laugh about it (i.e. cos its not your actual opinion/state of mind)

MALE 4: well guys we all should just hang our heads in shame and weep quietly at the faith of the cute models that are forced by men magazines to pose nude and sound dumb.
Shame, shame, shame.

FEMALE 2 (ME): see and this is where you once again completely miss the point.

If society (white male dominated society) finds jokes that degrade women acceptable then it is condoning the degradation of women as a sex. And yes I can tell the difference between a joke and a serious comment, but I find that you make neither, only offensive remarks that contain no actual opinions or facts.

And maybe I choose to take offence to your immature behavior (and I'm not addressing specific guy anymore) but that is my decision and I would rather take a stand on what I believe in than drink too much beer and just continue to let an unequal society continue with no opposition.

As for cute models who act dumb, if men didn’t, and hadn’t for thousands of years, insist that they have a physical and mental need for sex that is both instinctive and undeniable in its nature then there would be no need for the sex industry to exist in the first place. It is only because men (and I use the term as a collective, encompassing not individuals but men as a group and power across time) refuse the idea that women are not required to service them both visually and physically that it is impossible to eliminate the concept.

I do not deny that other women are involved in the degradation and repression of their own sex, but you have to look at history and realize that there has never been a time when men have not been in power and therefore shaped the ideals and values of the time, therefore creating and enforcing the social norm to which both sexes adhere to.

FEMALE 4:i have no words. You make me sick and appalled


FEMALE 1: I'm questioning my friendship with a lot of people right now.

FEMALE 5: one word. snap. Well actually I have a lot more words. Nicely done female 2!!! Think you should be the lawyer not me. And nicely backed up by female 3. Tag team!!! booya!!

FEMALE 6: well this exact attitude is why last year on random event a girl had to pretend she was molested before anyone would listen to her about how threatened she felt. And the fact that most of the people were more worried about getting in hot water with the law than her repulses me. Some of you may have noticed I don't hang around as much. I still think the events are awesome and the people mostly good value but I have never found these "jokes" amusing.

Oh and the reason most of the men in the members don't understand how offensive it is because they are mostly under 30 white males... the least discriminated group

FEMALE 4: yes there was a point made about the status quo. I’m glad u posted this here female 2 where intelligent people can discuss how offended they are by it. There have been more things said and I am currently feeling victimized on those forums. It is particularly upsetting when another girl tries to offend it.
Someone actually posted:
Its not rape if the woman wont shut up
I am disgusted and very upset by the comments floating around those forums at the moment and am glad there is at leas support somewhere

FEMALE 2 (ME): I just read the rest of the topic and I don’t even know what to say. I'm speechless. And when find out who female 8 is I'm going to bin smack her. And then I'm going to introduce her to male 8. punishment enough.

Dammit, I was a in a good mood, and now I'm angry and upset all over again.

When you start studying this kind of stuff and you're around people all the time who are actively involved in feminism it becomes so hard to just laugh stuff off. Its totally infiltrated my life, and I'm not sure how well I'm going to cope with the general group anymore.

The random event situation was a disgrace and a perfect example of the boys (and girls) in the group having no idea where the boundaries are. All the older guys set a terrible example and because we're comfortable with it we encourage it. When the younger guys copy them and the jaffy girls are used to the way they act, not to mention strong enough or comfortable enough with them to tell them when they’re crossing the line everything just turns pear shaped.

It really bothers me that they don’t even want to try and understand the arguments. Do they feel threatened? Do they take it as a personal attack?

I'm taking copies of all the conversations about it to my next gender tute; I really need a room full of people, and particularly the guys supporting the arguments. Or at least intelligent discussion of its flaws.


FEMALE 7: firstly, for those of you who had balls, or perhaps plain ignorance to find that funny, and then admit it in public, don't expect me to speak to you in public again. In fact, you fuckers better watch your backs because you never know when some hairy-legged sheila minion might ambush you with a giant silicone phallus and stick it in the hole that all of this unbelievably sadistic and inane garbage is pouring forth from.

Secondly, let me say with my own peculiar burst of militant spittle, you make me sick and ashamed. That video shows a woman (and lets remember women are people) being physically and sexually assaulted. It is a woman being physically and sexually assaulted. I believe someone said that 'this isn't real' or, 'I would never actually do this in real life"
In what imaginary realm do you think that video was filmed assholes? That is not CGI or animation, that is actually happening to someone.

And as for this 'why can't you just laugh it off, it's funny', I have news for you people. That shit is someone's pain, humiliation, embarrassment, sexual violation and subjugation. It is not, nor will it ever be funny.
In fact, the only pricks who have the audacity to find something like that funny are those who view the world with an essentially sadistic (or masochistic if you're a female) gaze. And I thank god that my sister, and the other girls who posted as they did cannot find it in themselves to laugh at sexualized violence.

Get some fucking therapy you twisted shitheads.

MALE 4: I found the video pretty disturbing.

As for the constant feminist rants about how men have forced women into the situation they are in now, I find that disturbing too. Much less disturbing than this video though. As has been said, the video shows sexual assault - whether it was acted out is beside the point, it's sick

FEMALE 8: Apart from the fact that it was CLEARLY set up cause you can tell she's waiting for it and she repeats herself and whatever...I think it was funny...and I have a least I'm pretty sure that’s what it is. Who cares? If they think its funny, let them laugh. I did. It's not like you being mad about it is going to stop that girl having a cock shoved in her face...I think you guys spend too much time being angry.

Girls if you don't like it then don't watch it. What I find offensive is the serves you are giving. Go and get your arts degree in post modern eroticfembomumbopoliticoeq
and then remember that we with cocks can't give birth. stop asking for equality, what you want is to not be behind, not equal.

FEMALE 8: On prostitution, as far as the sex industry being created because of men, yeah that may be true, but its cause women worked out they could charge for it and men would actually pay...Who is exploiting who? If they had such a HUGE problem with it, they wouldn't do it. I could be making tonnes of money swinging myself around a pole with nipple tassles or lying on my back for a living.... but I don’t really feel like it, therefore I earn crap money at a crap job and cant fund a coke habit...but hey, life goes on.
P.S. As if she couldn't see some dude walking towards her with no pants on...what did she think he was going to do?

MALE 4: by saying that women have no choice in their "current situation", you're perpetuating the problems.
Nowadays, you cannot blame men for the equality situation, because both men and women are a part of society, to the same degree, and we all influence the fate of either gender. You could blame men in the past, because they made up "society" (power) but at the moment power is equal, believe it or not.

FEMALE 9: a guy told me this awful joke, chauvinistic prick that he is...
What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?
Nothing. She's been told twice.

FEMALE 4: what is this constant bullshit about 'blaming men'? No one is saying this, once again if you'd actually look at the intelligent remarks some ppl had made. It is not about blaming men; it is the actual system of patriarchy and oppression.
You cannot tell me after watching a woman sexually assaulted on that video that everything is great and the sexes are equal. The fact that the majority of society are not disgusted by this and actually think its funny is at least one reason that education needs to happen, to bring about change. This is what we're saying, so stop saying we're blaming anyone that is such a naive statement, or excuse.

MALE 4: Guys, seriously. Men and women are NOT equal. We never have been and we probably never will be, but at some point, you really just have to get over it. I think you guys seriously just need to stop ranting and wasting everybody’s time. Welcome to the real world. It is full of people with different beliefs and morals and ideas. Shit happens that upsets people and offends them, but you can’t go nuts every time something like this happens. The world is not going to change and become a happy place full of sunshine just because you aren't happy. Sometimes you just have to put up with it, if things offend you, don't look at them. Quite simple really. You are offending me with your incessant ranting and attacks on everybody else just because you don't agree. We aren't bad people because we hold a different opinion.

RANDOM: it's not rape if the woman won't shut up!

MALE 5: female 4, go get laid
I find your posts annoyingly offensive and antagonistic.
Your suggestion that this video goes so far towards degrading all women and reinforcing oppression completely undermines what the women's movement set to achieve. If you want to be taken seriously then harden the fuck up. I’ve heard you laugh at racist jokes, but suddenly a staged video involving a CONSENTING actress is too much! I’m saddened by your inability to distinguish poor humour and reality.
Now get back in the kitchen.

FEMALE 10: First of all, things of pornographic nature should not be on this forum. Secondly, the majority of girls who have posted have found it offensive and insulting and therefore it shouldn't matter if you find it funny, it should be removed because there are people who are getting upset about it. If it was a video of racist related violence there wouldn't have been this much discussion before it was removed. The thing that I find most upsetting is not the video but the way that people have responded to some people finding it upsetting. We all have the right to an opinion, but if more than one person is this upset about it then maybe people should stop with the ridiculous jokes. You say that we're being antagonistic, but what do you think the jokes and comments are achieving?

FEMALE 11: male 4 had a point, society is as equal is as possible between two very different types of people.

There is porn out there that shows every sick, twisted, sexist, perverted sexual act that exists. Because men and women are different, and their tastes in porn are different (as is their taste for porn at all - men are more likely to watch it) there's not an even spread of all the different kinds... this doesn't mean that there is a fundamental flaw in society and that we need to burn our bras and go on a feminist crusade


FEMALE 4: here here. When I end up in tears because male 5 tells ME that I’m jamming stuff down their throats it really makes me ashamed of ppl who I thought were my friends. It would be an intelligent debate if any of them knew what they were talking about? I miss gender tutes, and intelligent conversation dammit!

FEMALE 12: Sometimes I wish I had done arts, because if I’d been taught the feminist viewpoint I don't think I’d be the person I am today, and I don't think I’d put up with the people I put up with right now. I really wish I could add an intelligent comment to this, but anything I have to say has already been said. I'm pretty sure I have seen that video, and I think it is staged. If it was real there would be no laughing at all. But as a set up, I just see a woman comfortable enough with herself and her position in life to degrade herself for humour. I am unsure of how right that is, I haven't given it a lot of thought and I wont pretend to know exactly where I stand on it, but I don’t think it's that bad as long as she was consenting and she saw the humor in it. If I am proved wrong and it is proved to be a real video of an unsuspecting woman, then I completely change my opinion. I don't know guys, I’m really interested to read your viewpoints though, so keep posting. Interesting ♥
Oh, random funny/feminist story that sort of fits in this topic - Once I was with a guy, and I was giving him a blowjob, and he cockslapped me. Seriously. He didn't do it as a joke, I could see it in his face, he was seriously enjoying my cheek being slapped with his cock. So I looked incredulously at him and said, "Excuse me?" and he laughed and said "what?" as if he didn't think I’d have a problem with it. Unbelievable. So I got up, got dressed and left. Told him to have fun with his hand. He couldn’t believe I was actually leaving, what an idiot. Anyway, I’ve spoken enough.

FEMALE 8: I'm not pro degradation of women. I've given up caring, and you can smack me all you want, I still don’t agree with you and think this was entirely unnecessary.... as for male 5, I don't appreciate that comment either and think you should watch what you say before you make this personal.
Might I also add, that I thought people would have moved past this sort of internet based bitching in high school. Obviously I was sadly mistaken. In future, if you dislike the things you find on the forums, perhaps you'd be better to stick to your own. This was never a personal attack on my behalf, I just really didn’t appreciate you guys telling me and people I consider to be my friends that they are bad people because they don’t share your opinion. None of us seriously condone sexual assault or violence against women and I'm mildly shocked that you appear to think otherwise.

MALE 5: No one was on a street corner, putting it in your face. After first offense you could have just left that thread alone but you kept going back. You're all big enough an ugly enough to look after yourselves.

FEMALE 8: I keep reading new bits I haven’t read before so excuse the four message long rant, but I understand what you guys are saying about it's not so much the video, its how you were upset about it and people were making jokes and how you think that means they don’t respect you, but that’s not entirely the case. I respect each and every one of you, and I respect the fact that this offends you, but like I said earlier, some people are offended, some people laugh about it. You can't wrap everybody in cotton wool and take away everything that offends people in life.
That’s not how the world works and I'm sorry, but you will be sorely disappointed if you think otherwise. I'm sorry that you guys were offended as I'm sure that was not the intention when the video was originally posted, but I stand my ground in saying that the personal attacks on the people who didn't share your view were unnecessary. I'm not saying some of the jokes and whatnot were appropriate either, but in future, if something seriously offends you, rather than trying to label everyone who doesn't agree with you as a bad person, perhaps merely avoid the situation or thing that offends you...

FEMALE 10:Seeing as none of us uni people really know each other and our histories that well, I don't think any of us should have to explain ourselves as to why we do or don't find this offensive. We all have our reasons and some people may be more sensitive about it than others. This should mean that we should all be more sensitive to the fact that someone may be incredibly upset...

FEMALE 8: I'm not saying you should have to explain your reasons and I have stated that (and I do actually mean this) I am sorry that some people were offended. I don't feel the need to apologize seeing as I didn't post it in the first place, but like I said, you can't wrap everybody in cotton wool and stage an intervention every time somebody is offended by something. I'm offended by the fact that you chose to insult male 5, but I'm not starting a new thread trying to wage a war over that.

FEMALE 10: As I said nothing about male 5, I will bring out the 10-foot pole for that one, but thank you female 8. And I mean that too.


MALE 5: btw I posted "it's not rape if she won't shut up"
It’s part of an extensive list that will never be used including:
"It’s not rape it's surprise sex"

In a similar vein
"They’re not crabs, they're pubic friends"

For those of you who are offended there is an extensive list about a guy in the office, if you've laughed at that you're going to hell with me.

FEMALE 8: I'm not fighting over him, merely sticking up for him because I think female 2’s comment
'And when find out who she is I'm going to bin smack her. And then I'm going to introduce her to male 5 punishment enough'
Was uncalled for. I'm not particularly worried about getting smacked, but the bagging my non-boyfriend did kind of piss me for female 12, I think you're hilarious.
'I guess if I could have picked one person to have been pro sexual degradation for women it'd be the person sleeping with male 5. LOL ♥'
Whilst I still maintain that I'm no pro sexual degradation for women, I'll still pay that point. It's pretty funny.

FEMALE 10: Yes male 5, I am well aware of the domestic violence and rape issues against men. I have researched it quite a bit. I'm glad that you're one of the few men that acknowledge that it's a problem, as most don't seem to believe it's true.

FEMALE 6: Not quite sure male 5 posted this... seems to agree with everyone else....

Even if it does focus on women’s violence towards men we are not just saying men against women but everyone...

It says...

"In making the world safe for children, we must say no to all violence, whether comedic or serious. If you're not part of the solution to stop violence in all forms, then YOU are the problem"

MALE 5: so now that I’ve got some cred.

The fact that many have not recoiled when viewing the video I don't believe is correlated to a person's lack of respect for women or a denial of the real world issues. I think it’s largely due to our ability to switch off when watching TV; we have been desensitized to violence. If you want a real gauge of what people really think then enough with the inflammatory posts supposing that we are all monsters. I'm sure if I mention the video of the underage, impaired girl out west who was sexual humiliated, harassed etc you will find everyone reacts with disgust. We don't find that acceptable in real life. Just because we had a bit of a giggle at the "how to shut a woman up" video is not a basis for the demonisation that has occurred.

On a completely different note, why have I been singled out?
I can be quite open, sure. But you all know that. If a girl consents to have fun with me it is at her own informed risk. Problem?

FEMALE 6: but from the same link you post it says that young children who grow up with this "comedy" cannot distinguish what is alright or not. Was it not young males who had grown up with this attitude in the media that committed the crimes against this girl? If we show these things as acceptable in "comedic" situations there will always be a certain amount of people that will perpetuate this in "real life". Real life has been blurred with all the technology around.

And I personally don't think it was right of people to target male 5 because he is one of many who hold a different point of view. But I can understand someone got really upset and went over the line

FEMALE 10: Some of us are however not desensitized to violence, whether it be sexual or not. I grew up without TV until I was 13 and I still have trouble dealing with TV and movie violence. I know I'm a minority, but still. Just because we're desensitized doesn't mean we should condone it.

MALE 5: female 6 you are right about the effects of the media in the development of young minds and from this we can extend the debate to the roles of parents and the degradation of the family unit.

The girl on random event; boy who cried wolf. I don't think it's surprising that blokes would worry about the legal consequences, that mud sticks. I'm happy to say I was nothing to do with it :D. I wonder what would have happened if a bloke felt victimized... where's all that equality when you need it. I’m not condoning anything just pointing out hypocrisies.

Heneway, hopefully everyone is growing a bit. If you find something offensive have the good sense to turn it off. The shit that went on the forums was disgusting. Perhaps instead of going on the offensive people could say, "hey, look, I know its meant to be a laugh but in reality the sexual objectification of women is wrong" blah blah blah and get people to have a think. Just launching in really didn't achieve much.

What I’d like to see gone in the next few days is all the shit here, I think people should have a chance to read it but keeping this record of particularly because of the connections to names would be unwise. A lot of views have not been clearly presented or mangled and if that should have repercussions for anyone that would be unfortunate.

I definitely see the educational value in discussing reactions to the video in a relevant class but in the end we are all friends, I don't think anyone really wants to defame another unnecessarily.

I found comments about me specifically to be particularly offensive, and misleading. I’m sure the hurt wasn't intended but the fact is I’ve been taken out of context and someone who doesn't know me could easily form an opinion of me that does not reflect who I am.

So like I said, hopefully all these posts should be gone in a day or two. We’ve all learned I’m sure and we don't need this unpleasant reminder.

FEMALE 2 (ME): firstly, I don’t need permission to reproduce this stuff. The forums are public and everyone posted under their own names knowingly. Now that the admin has deleted it I am going to make the names of the people involved and the forums anonymous, but I have no intention of deleting it. If you want to delete your own comments go right ahead.

(Obviously) I didn’t realize she was female 8 but it still doesn’t change my opinion about what she said. I like female 8, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed by the things she said.

I never intended for my comments about the video to be a personal attack, I merely wanted to express my disgust in general and share some alternative views, yes I was fairly forceful but I didn’t think, perhaps wrongly, that anyone in our general crowd was the type to be offended by strong language. As for the post by my sister, I'm not copping the blame for that, we are not one person.

I posted this on facebook because a bunch of my non-uni friends wanted to see it and discuss it. And they have been, via the message function.

The 'bin smacking' comment is obviously a joke, I never intended to physically hurt female 8, but expressing my frustration in terms of threats was a mistake and I'm sorry if it upset you female 8. The joke about introducing you to male 5, whilst turning out to be hilariously ironic, was also uncalled for, although I make no apology to male 5. You 'humorously' slag off people every day without any thought for their feelings and you have never shown any offense at the general 'cunt' jokes and other swipes that people take so I don’t see any reason why you would take particular offence to this one. If people being rude to you and generally using you as a slag pile upsets you then express it, and if you don’t, then don’t expect anyone, including me to stop, because the jokes are funny and no one realizes that you are anything more than amused by them.

What I don’t understand, and another reason why I wanted to move the topic to facebook is why everyone insists on making this into who’s 'offended' about what and who has the right to be. I wanted (and received, in the other conversations about it) intelligent discussion (if somewhat heated) about the perspectives and ideas presented in the excerpt and what shapes these views.

When I say that I'm offended at the very start of the topic I mean I'm offended by the nature of material and I'm upset by the response it provoked. This does not mean that the boys have personally offended me, on the contrary I'm well aware of the type of people I surround myself with at uni and I could have predicted their reaction. And despite the fact that I know they’re not going to take it seriously I feel compelled to present an alternative perspective because its something I feel strongly about and I would like it if the people who I consider my friends were interested enough in my views to read it and actually try and understand the arguments involved.

The generally immature response did nothing more than disappoint me and make me want to try harder to present the views.

While it definitely upsets me that so many of the posters either did not understand or took a different standpoint, that is only because I feel frustrated about the situation and it saddens me that a group of people who claim to be educated, intelligent and accepting and open, feel that way. Not because I took personal offense at their comments.

Having said that, I think it is ridiculous to say that if I am offended by it I should ignore it and stay away. If everyone did that there would be no change. If something you believe it is attacked then you should stand up for it and do your best to create the changes that you desire.

And if every woman (and man) believed that "Men and women are NOT equal. We never have been and we probably never will be, but at some point, you really just have to get over it " then there would never have been any kind of feminist advancement and women would still be simply the property of men.

In terms of sexist jokes:
I find a lot of the sexist jokes funny. I don’t think it is helpful to make humor about a topic taboo, or to take things without a grain of salt. I don’t mind Matt’s inane kitchen jokes, but when sexualized violence is portrayed in a comical manner it really pisses me off. Read above discussion about violence in the media etc. its not the fact that watching it makes people copy it, its about society maintaining that acts of violence and degradation of women are acceptable and therefore continuing the ideas that the sexes are unequal.

Feminism is not the only movement that proposes sexual equality, there is also a masculist movement, and it does in fact exist at uni. I know the judges put the reading group on their as a joke, but they didn’t realize that it actually exists.

The thing about masculists is that they’re usually the same people as the feminists, if you read the literature and think about the ideas you'll realize that neither movement can achieve its goals without the success of the other. They are not opposed. The reason masculism is not as widely supported or publicized is because the reality of the inequality of the sexes currently affects women in a more 'serious' way. Rape of women and domestic violence and eating disorders (and pretty much all the evil in world ;) ) are a much more frequent occurrence than the issues that that men face as an inequal sex.

End rant.

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