Skepchick Quickies 12.7

Skepchick Quickies 12.7
Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

51 Comments

  1. The comic listed is titled Secret Asian Man and usually deals with racial issues, often (though not exclusively) ones that concern Asian-Americans. A few months ago the artist started this storyline, and as the discussion turned to god and atheism and featured several prominent athiests I thought you all would enjoy it.

  2. It will take an extra-strength dose of corgis to brain-bleach after not only reading that article but having someone on facebook argue that It’s not Spencer gifts that hates women, it’s the shirt manufacturers, Spencer’s is just selling what will sell, and people have to make money. Dolla billz y’all.

    Enough corgi cuteness to get the hate off your mind – 40 most influential corgis of 2012, which includes some feel-good articles like the corgi service dog helping an autistic kid.

    • Oh, and also that commenter on facebook was like “Well real oppression of women only happened in the last 200 years, women weren’t oppressed before that, they just had different roles than men, so women haven’t been oppressed for thousands of years.

  3. Regarding the link to the Spencer’s Gifts shirts – here are some more shirts they have, in the women’s section:

    “I have the pussy so I make the rules”
    “Tiny cocks make me giggle”
    “Boys make good pets”
    “I didn’t slap you, I gave your face a high five”
    “Taste the rainbow” (with an arrow pointing down)
    “Mom says never to put small things in my mouth”
    “Big cocks make me smile”
    “Lick me ’til ice cream”
    “Your face makes my pussy dry”
    “Trust no man, fear no bitch”
    “If your dick was as big as your mouth I’d be interested”

    These “objectify” men just as strongly as the other shirts “objectify” women. Does Spencer’s hate men too?

    And no, I’m not saying “what about teh menz” – quite the opposite. I’m pointing out the absurdity of t-shirts implying that a company is misogynist. No one argues that the shirts for women point to Spencer’s promoting misandry, and rightly so. Likewise, the shirts for men don’t make Spencer’s misogynist. In both cases, they’re just crudely humorous shirts likely marketed to the immature “party” crowd.

    • Objectification of *anyone* is problematic, but surely you realize we live in a patriarchy where women are routinely degraded, devalued, and experience violence as a matter of course. It’s not exactly appropriate to compare the two in that way. The shirts you listed do very little to challenge men, but the men’s shirts are very successful in sexualizing women and broadcasting the threat of violence, rape, and subjugation. It’s kinda why when women call men “chauvinist pigs” it has no impact…in fact men embrace the label and use it jokingly–which is what a group in power has the privilege and ability to do.

      All the shirts are disgusting…but we live in a rape culture where women are extremely vulnerable, so the shirts posted in the article are particularly dangerous.

      • I’ve heard stuff about patriarchy and rape culture a lot, but for some reason only ever on the internet or some other form of media. None of the women I’ve talked to in person have ever indicated that they feel threatened by violence or rape from society or in any general sense, nor do they feel any more vulnerable than men. And none of the men I’ve talked to have ever expressed the opinion that violence or rape is excusable (except for violence as a means of self-defense, of course).

        Furthermore, I’d even go so far as to say that we live in an *anti* rape culture – just look at how damaging to one’s reputation even the accusation of being a rapist can be, regardless of whether or not it’s true. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places (but if the very people who make up society is the wrong place, what’s the right place?), but it seems clear to me that society despises rape.

        I realize that this is all anecdotal, but still, I would expect to find at least a few people who fit this idea of patriarchy/rape culture if it really was such a big problem.

        • Please read this site more or google “rape culture feminism 101″. “Victim blaming” is also a good google term to help educate yourself on rape culture.

          • I googled “rape culture feminism 101″ as you suggested, and found this (source: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/rape-culture-101/ )

            “A rape culture is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm.

            In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable as death or taxes. This violence, however, is neither biologically nor divinely ordained. Much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change.”

            This runs counter to the point I made about living in an anti-rape culture, where being even accused of rape damages one’s reputation. How does the stigma that goes along with being a rapist encourage male sexual aggression and support violence towards women? Are there loads of men sitting around just wishing they could be thrown into prison and ostracized by their peers?

            The article I found is quite lengthy, so of course I can’t address all of it in a blog comment. But if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to look at I’d be happy to, as telling me to google something doesn’t do much to drive the conversation forward.

        • “None of the women I’ve talked to in person have ever indicated that they feel threatened by violence or rape from society or in any general sense, nor do they feel any more vulnerable than men.”

          Wow.

          So, what, do you ask every woman you come into content these questions? REALLY? Or are you just making assumptions based on very little information and maybe a small handful of women you once talked to like, one time at that party?

          I mean come the fuck on.

          • *into contact with

            You’re being an MRA asshole.

          • No, of course I don’t literally ask every women I meet about it. But the topic comes up surprisingly often in my circles, as my friends and I enjoy discussing social and political issues.

            And if merely stating what I’ve been told and coming to a conclusion that’s in conflict with your view is enough to make me an “MRA asshole”, well then I guess that’s what I am. But some people here are doing the same thing in reverse – saying that many women report being worried about a pervasive thumbs-up of rape by society, then coming to a conclusion in opposition of mine. Does this make them “feminist assholes”?

          • oh for fuck’s sake.

            you’re not particularly bright, are you?

            “I know these random women. And they TOTALLY AGREE WITH ME! I sweaaar!!!!”

            Is not a fucking argument.

          • This thread reminds me more and more of Monty Python’s “argument clinic” sketch with every post you make. Perhaps you should re-read everything I’ve said so far, because you’ve got it all wrong. I’ll respond to you again when you find the power to do something more than fling insults at me.

          • //I’ll respond to you again when you find the power to do something more than fling insults at me.//

            Because you’re using the reverse scientific method of “Make a conclusion, then find evidence to support it”.

    • None of these shirts come anywhere close to the WTF that is #16 on the original list.

  4. I saw a guy at Costco two days ago wearing a shirt that said “Keep calm and suck my dick.” The “I have given up on life” shirts must have been sold out.

  5. Thanks for posting the Spencers collection…I teach Gender Roles at a major university and showed the shirts to my class for one last hoorah before the end of the semester. Immensely useful for critique on rape culture: how women are devalued, dehumanized, and violence against them is trivialized…but also how men are degraded as well.

    I wish I had known about the shirts that Metalogic found!

  6. Amanda,

    Some of those Spencer’s Gifts Tshirts are really disgusting. All of the ones shown there are pretty disgusting actually. I don’t know why people think they’re funny.

  7. To go along with the Spencer’s shirts YA author Maureen Johnson tweeted this photo of a birthday card for a 13 year old girl today:

    https://twitter.com/maureenjohnson/status/277101859846627328

    it says “You’re 13 Today! If you had a rich boyfriend he’d give you diamonds and rubies. Well maybe next year you will – when you’ve bigger boobies!”

    Lovely. She later tweeted Hallmark indicated it was from their UK division and they were looking into it. Hopefully quickly.

  8. @ metalogic – try this simple test. When you were growing up, were you taught that if you dress a certain way you were at higher risk of being sexually assaulted? Were you ever called a slut for something you wore? Was there a sport you wanted to play but couldn’t because of your gender?

    Now ask those same questions of several of your female friends who feel we live in an equitable world and see how different their answers are from yours.

  9. @punchdrunk:

    That’s quite a lot of reading material. Expect a response sometime in the near future.

    @absinthia:

    I was in fact taught that if I dress “wrong” I might be assaulted – not sexually, but violently. While I’ve never specifically been called a slut because of my clothing choices, I have been called many other names. And while I’ve never wanted to play sports of any kind, I could easily imagine several sports that might be hard for me to get into, such as ballet, figure skating, or (maybe) roller derby.

    Everyone has challenges growing up, but a mere difference in specifics doesn’t point to a bias in favor of men over women. If you can explain why being called a slut by everyone is worse than being called a queer or freak, or why struggling to join a basketball team is worse than struggling to join a figure skating team, then you might have a point.

    • No need for a response. The links I provided are the tip of the iceberg, what I found with a quick Google search.
      I’m not interested in arguing, maybe others here are. Believe whatever you want.
      I’d be shocked if any amount of evidence would be sufficient to convince you, since you seem to believe that women aren’t oppressed. The links are all the good faith effort I’m willing to make.
      I’m not interested in playing around with the flat-earther version of misogyny.

      • I’d be shocked if any amount of evidence would be sufficient to convince you

        Ding ding ding!

  10. @metalogic42 – I am absolutely stunned that you think we live in an “anti-rape” culture. You state that men who are falsely accused of raping women still suffer consequences. How often does this really happen?

    There are hundreds of thousands of rapes in the US every year. Most of these will not get reported, and for those that get reported very few men will see a day of jail. At the trail the behavior of the woman will be front and center, saying it was her fault.

    I mean, look the whole Chris Brown/Rihanna thing. He beat her and not only did he not go to jail, his career was not derailed in the slightest.

    As a final note, please check this out, especially the graphic. Violence against women is very much real.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/a-metaobservation-on-misogyny/

    Although like someone else already stated, it is likely no amount of evidence will change your mind. I just couldn’t let this go.

    • So three people so far think no amount of evidence will ever change my mind. And this is based on…what, exactly? None of you know me. If it’s something I said that makes you think this, cite it and we can discuss that, because I assure you you’re wrong.

      Pascale68, you say that “There are hundreds of thousands of rapes in the US every year. Most of these will not get reported, and for those that get reported very few men will see a day of jail.” But if most of them aren’t being reported, then how do you know they’re happening?

      As for the graphic you linked me to, it does seem shocking at first glance, but there’s a lot of information that seems to be missing:

      - What were the circumstances in which these women were killed by their husbands or boyfriends? Were they accidental deaths or intentional? How many of the men were under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Are any of them cases of self-defense?

      - How many men were killed by their wives or girlfriends? How many women were killed by men other than their husbands or boyfriends, by women, by strangers, etc.?

      - Raw numbers can be misleading. Of course, any number of deaths is a bad thing, but since the title of the graphic implies that there’s a war on women, we need to look at percentages to determine whether this pans out. There are as of this year roughly 300 million people in the U.S., with roughly 50 percent of them being women (so, 150 million). The graphic says 11,766 women killed over roughly a 10 year period, so 1,176 per year average. That means that about 0.0008 percent of the female population is killed by their husbands or boyfriends every year.

      The death rate in the U.S. in 2009 was 8.38 per 1000 persons, so 0.838 percent. It’s probably about the same for men and women. This means that in an average year, there are 1,257,000 women dying of all causes. So the percentage of women deaths which are caused by husband or boyfriend killers is 0.09 percent. That hardly indicates anything which could rightly be called a war.

      • Why in the world would we think you would deny and dismiss any evidence? How wrong we were.

        http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/a-metaobservation-on-misogyny/

      • But if most of them aren’t being reported, then how do you know they’re happening?

        Because unreported means not reported to law enforcement, you fucking tool. It doesn’t mean they don’t seek medical treatment or counseling or talk about it in surveys.

        Quit JAQin off and go educate yourself.

        • I’m not “JAQing off”. Pascale68 did not say “most of these will not get reported to law enforcement”, but rather “most of these will not get reported”. I’m aware that things can be reported in different ways and to different organizations, but you what they say happens when you assume. Hence the question (you fucking tool).

        • Will, as a fucking tool myself, I object to being compared with metalogic. Please refrain from toolist insults.

          But metalogic is indeed JAQing, indeed is the finest example of the art.

          • Will says: Metalogic is JAQing off.
            Metalogic says: No I’m not, and here’s why…
            Jack99 says: Metalogic is too JAQing off!

            Why don’t you address my response to Will, instead of just repeating the point I’ve already responded to?

    • He didn’t bother to read the thread you linked, he’s using the same shit liar arguments as the trolls over there, so I’ll try again.

      I guess I enjoy spitting into the ocean.

  11. It really doesn’t take much effort to find IDV statistics via google, and they are laid out as coldly and clinically as you might want, with all the charts and pie graphs you could need.

    Even a cursory check showed me that the majority of victims are women. My very first google hit for instance:

    http://www.opdv.state.ny.us/statistics/nydata/2009/nys2009data.pdf

    I rarely comment here, as I’m not as erudite or educated as I could be (my brain is lousy at retaining information) but I do know you’d have to willfully ignore a lot of data to believe we live in a society where violence against women was rare or even “equal”.

  12. I didn’t realize that there were no men in ballet or figure skating. Kurt Browning, are you really a woman in disguise? All those pairs and dance figure skaters are really just women partnering up with women dressed as men? I know there are men in ballet (Baryshnikov comes immediately to mind), and I know of no ballet school that forbids men, but I guess there could be some. However, every figure skating club I ever came across was eager for male students. No one would have told you, No you can’t because you’re not the right gender.

    Interesting that you see those as “female only” activities, though. Not sexist at all.

    • Here’s what I said again: “And while I’ve never wanted to play sports of any kind, I could easily imagine several sports that might be hard for me to get into, such as ballet, figure skating, or (maybe) roller derby. ”

      I never said that there are no men in ballet or figure skating. But generally, only those who are fans of these sports think it’s ok for men to participate. Others will often view them as “not real men” or assume they’re homosexual. The people who would have told me no aren’t the coaches or trainers, they’re the people outside the sports.

      “Interesting that you see those as “female only” activities, though. Not sexist at all.”

      I never said that *I* see them as female only activities. Don’t put words in my mouth.

      • No, but you ignored my question – when you were growing up where there sports you couldn’t play because of your gender? And you offered up ballet and figure skating, neither of which would tell you, “No, you can’t play, you’re the wrong gender.”

        So either you think ballet and figure skating are just for women (which they’re not) or you’re trying to equate peer pressure to not participate with organizational leaders telling you that you can’t participate because of your gender (which is NOT the same; I believe that’s called “false equivalence”)

        Can’t you just honestly answer the question?

        • Name a sport which women literally aren’t allowed to play.

          • Before Title IX? Most of them.

            Thanks, feminism!

          • Professional football, rugby and soccer, the three most popular and well paying sports in existence.

          • Try again, f0xhole. There are women’s leagues for all of those.

          • Not in Australia

          • Oh, and going on your ‘women’s leagues exist’ comment, they don’t get nearly the same media coverage or paygrade as the men’s sports.

          • So don’t you dare compare the two. It’s not the same.

          • f0xhole, not in Australia? Really? What about these:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_women%27s_national_rugby_union_team

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_soccer_in_Australia

            http://www.gridironvictoria.com.au/schedule/2012-tgi-fridays-junior-vic-bowl/ and http://www.gridironvictoria.com.au/faqs/ (see third question)

            And bringing up the issue of paygrade and media coverage is shifting the goalposts. The question was whether women can’t play some sports. You offered some examples which I’ve shown to not hold water.

          • None of those are at the same level as the men’s league. And no, comparing paygrade and media is NOT moving the goalposts; I assumed that you meant professional sport in the same way as men since otherwise your question is nonsensical. The fact that women are not full on BANNED from playing sports at all does nothing to diminish the fact that they are banned from playing in the same leagues or an equivalent league.

  13. Ai, this is so pointless! You realise that you are all just the internet to metalogic? None of you has spoken to him in person!

    That is some weapons grade denial right there!

  14. “And none of the men I’ve talked to have ever expressed the opinion that violence or rape is excusable”.

    He’s NEVER talked to a real misogynist then? He doesn’t get out much, does he?

    I’ve talked to plenty. My anecdote beats his anecdote.

  15. “None of the women I’ve talked to in person have ever indicated that they feel threatened by violence or rape from society or in any general sense, nor do they feel any more vulnerable than men. ”

    Once again…

    However, I am unsurprised that none of the women he talks to choose to share their darkest secrets with him.

    • I never said that I’ve never talked to a misogynist. I said I’ve never talked to someone who thought violence or rape is excusable. One can be a misogynist without thinking this, just as one can be a racist without thinking that slavery is a good idea.

      And I’m not sure what the “darkest secrets” comment is about. The key part of what I said was “…from society or in any general sense”. This discussion isn’t about individual threats of rape or violence (which would qualify as “dark secrets” in most cases), it’s about patriarchy/rape culture (which wouldn’t be secret at all, given how much believers in the idea seem to like mentioning it to anyone, even complete strangers).

      • I thought rape was excusable. I did. I seriously considered raping someone once. I didn’t, because it felt really, really, wrong, but I actually thought there was something wrong with me that I felt that way.

        See, I’d heard the message that it was easy to have sex with women if they were intoxicated hundreds of times. I’d never once heard that having sex with someone too drunk to consent was rape. A typical rapist will be more than happy to admit to rape. They just won’t call it rape. Often, their victims won’t either.

        If you want to see some clear evidence of rape culture, the second most obvious way it manifests is in the stories we repeat about rape. It’s very likely that every single story about rape you’ve ever heard fits one of three narratives.

        A woman is violently raped by a stranger.
        A woman is slipped drugs on a date.
        A guy goes to prison and gets raped.

        Statistically speaking, those types of rape are rare and unusual. These are the types of rape that people are talking about when they use phrases like “legitimate rape”. Have you ever heard of a typical rape? A typical rape is perpetrated by someone known to the victim and doesn’t get reported. It’s incredibly common for a victim and her rapist to have friends in common. Sometimes those friends are forced to choose. Often, they aren’t. Many people won’t talk about it with their friends because they don’t want to make waves. Have you ever seen a TV show or a movie where someone made that decision? See, the difference between the rape our culture tells us about is so different from the actual experience of rape that many rape victims don’t even recognize it as rape. I was raped, and I argued that it didn’t count as rape for more than a decade.

        It seems crazy that that could be the reality, but your own experience will corroborate this. Consider what those statistics mean. Not only do you almost certainly know a rape victim, but the guy that did it likely did not get prosecuted. If those ladies actually feel safe pointing the finger at the men in their social circle that raped them, you should know who these guys are.

        It’s very rare for women to submit false reports of rape. I’m willing to bet you’ll have a lot more luck naming those women than you will naming the the rapists in your community.

  16. metalogic42.

    Go talk to your mother or sister (if you have one) about sexism, see what she has to say about it.

    Then come back.

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