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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Number of posts: 31,468

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Privilege = shit you don't have to put up with

People are making a lot of assumptions about what they think people mean when they say "white privilege." It doesn't mean you don't face hardships in life, that you can be judged or race alone, or that your class, gender, and sexuality doesn't matter. All it means is that those of us are white don't have to put up with shit that people of color face everyday.

If I had been wearing a hoodie and walking through that gated community in Florida, Zimmerman wouldn't have feared I was a burglar or represented a danger to him. He would have seen me as a harmless person out for a walk because I am white (and female), and he wouldn't have followed or killed me. If a cop pulls me over, it's because I've been speeding, have expired tags, or made some other moving violation, not because he doesn't believe I could actually own my car. Virtually all African American men have been pulled over by cops simply because they are black, even when they have committed no violation. Those are two examples of shit I don't have to put up with as a white person.

As a straight person, I don't have to worry about having the crap beaten out of me because I kiss someone on the street. I can marry in any state in the union, and that marriage will be recognized everywhere. LGBT Americans face obstacles in both instances--shit I don't have to put up with.

As a middle-class person, there is shit I don't have to put up with (shit I had to put up with when I was poor). I can buy food when I need it. My electricity isn't turned off. I have a place to live. Poor people have to put up with way more shit just to get by every day, while rich people don't have to worry about bills and retirement like I do. I am more privileged that some in terms of class but less privileged than others.

As a woman, there is shit I put up with that men don't. I have a lack of certain privileges as a consequence of my gender. So while I am privileged in terms of race and sexuality, I face some obstacles from sexism.

That I carry privilege in certain areas of life doesn't mean I can't express my views or that people are judging me exclusively on my race. It doesn't mean I am the bad guy, personally responsible for an entire history of oppression. It just means there is shit as a straight, white person that I don't have to put up with.

RadFem Joe Biden

"Radfem" has become a catch all phrase to describe feminists some members on DU don't like. Its use generally bears no ideological distinction. However in recent days a couple of members have offered their definitions of what these awful radfems are: They are "loud" and "like all extremists, hog the publicity." Another member insisted they "beat people over the head with rape culture."

Enter the Vice President of these United States, Joe Biden. Like a good "radfem," Joe is loud and talking about rape culture.

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden used some dramatic anecdotes on Tuesday to urge colleges and universities to do more to prevent rape and sexual assault on their campuses.

Unveiling a White House report with recommendations on what campuses can do to address the issue, Biden said frequently the assailant is someone known to the victim. He told an example involving a young woman who was pulled into a dorm room and raped by a man that she knew.

"No man has a right under any circumstance other than self defense, no man has a right ever to raise his hand to a woman, period, end of story. It is assault, if they do," said Biden. "To get that through to our daughters, and our sisters, and our friends, is still such a culturally difficult thing to do."

"I can't say often enough it doesn't matter what coat she was wearing, whether she drank too much, whether it was in the back of a car, in her room, on the street, it does not matter. It does not matter if she initially said yes and changed her mind and said no. No means no, wherever it is stated," said Biden.

Video at link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/29/joe-biden-sexual-assault_n_5235811.html

The federal government has authority over this matter through Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. Rape is indeed a Civil Rights issue, and colleges and universities have been investigated and sanctioned for violating students' (largely but not exclusively women) civil rights by failing to prevent and adequately investigate sexual assault.

Thank you, Vice President Biden, for discussing issues some here insist are not "political" or important enough to merit public attention.

You denounced all isms

which I took to mean concern about racism, sexism, and all forms of bigotry. Naturally you have to reduce it all to sex because what else could possibly matter? Equal pay for equal work, an end to rape culture and hate crimes, and end to discrimination in employment, and a racist death penalty and penal system that disproportionately targets African Americans, or marriage equal for LGBT citizens. Those are all "isms" that you insist reasonable people have "moved away from." No, reasonable people have not. Some white men and their female allies who can't be bothered to concern themselves with the lives of anyone but themselves have moved away from it. For people who care about the society they live in, sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism are still issues of great concern.

There is a resurgence in bigotry and denial is key to its maintenance. We saw a very clear demonstration of that with the recently banned Vashta Neranda. He began by insisting that he had never seen social messaging teaching women to cater to male egos and concluded by wishing for Seabeyond to be raped and killed. Both positions exist on a continuum of sexism and misogyny. In some ways, denial is worse because it refuses to even allow the issue of inequality to be addressed. That someone who makes such denials also manifested intense hatred for women was not surprising to me. Both attitudes are part in parcel of maintaining privilege of men and subordination of women.

The fact is, you wouldn't give a shit about this woman if she hadn't denounced feminism. I seriously doubt anyone here knows anything else about her, and certainly not her views on monogamy. Nor can I think of a reason why anyone would give a shit. The argument here was in opposition to feminism. For you to try to distract your hostility toward "isms" with some appeal to sexual liberty is weak. Even if libertinism were the same as liberalism, which it is not, it is not the subject of this thread. Her position is right-wing because to denounce feminism is to oppose human equality. That she defends herself as valuable by saying she is 50 percent male shows that she has internalized misogyny, which is indeed sad. I get that guys of a certain political persuasion prefer women who keep themselves to fields like entertainment and pornography that compete with men in no way, but the fact is the world is full of highly-educated and accomplished women. They are in those positions because of the "isms" you so malign. Unfortunately, too many Americans are ignorant of the history of their own nation to understand something so basic, and that clearly includes this starlet and those who share her views.

That you denounce "isms" while using an avatar of MLK is particularly I can't even begin to fathom what that is about.

What one speaks out against speaks volumes

as does what one doesn't, such as threats of rape and death against a feminist. That poster above denounced all feminism as well as other "isms," which means concerns about racism and other forms of bigotry. His statement was not simply against a particular person or handful of women you have decided to dislike. Yet you regularly choose to speak out against other women and reinforce posts like the one above condemning all "isms." I don't know if you share that person's disdain for movements addressing racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry, or if personal animus means more to you than principal. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter because the action is the same. We are what we do, and you have made your values perfectly clear.

"Loud": because women are to be seen and not heard. How is one even loud on a message board? What a concept. It really is awful when women believe they have a right to speak their mind without first seeking approval from men (and I hesitate to use that term because the vast majority of men on this site have made clear they stand in support of the feminists you so dislike. http://www.democraticunderground.com/125538236
There are a few men and women who see the world differently from most liberals, as is their right, but they are far from representative of liberals, progressives, the Democratic Party or the American public more broadly. Amazingly, most people don't think women have a responsibility to be quiet. Imagine that.)

Leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder by baby's father

Man tried to hire pizza delivery driver to poison his pregnant girlfriend with ricin

An Oklahoma man stands accused of trying to poison his pregnant girlfriend with deadly ricin after taking the idea from an award-winning television show.

Preston Rhoads, 30, of Oklahoma City, is behind bars without bail after trying to convince a friend to act as a pizza delivery driver to poison the unnamed woman – he refused and instead turned Rhoads into the police.

Rhoads told the friend he extracted the toxic substance from castor beans after downloading a poison manual from the internet, an affidavit cited by News 9 said. The man told police he got the idea from ‘Breaking Bad.’

The former co-worker agreed to meet April 9, and Rhoads revealed that he wanted the other individual to use the poison to kill the unborn fetus, authorities said, according to The Oklahoman.

He then handed the unidentified would-be accomplice a vial of ricin, authorities said.

‘Rhoads stated that if the girlfriend were to die in the process, Rhoades is okay with the result,’ the affidavit said, according to the paper.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2612750/Man-tried-hire-pizza-delivery-driver-poison-pregnant-girlfriend-ricin.html#ixzz30tHsgb9B

I found several other recent stories of men who had killed their pregnant girlfriends. Today a Texas man was sentenced to life without parole for killing his pregnant girlfriend. A couple of days ago a man suspected of killing his pregnant girlfriend committed suicide, while the Huffington post covered a story of a man in China who set off a bomb to kill his pregnant girlfriend.

If people are going to insist on viewing women through the most extreme examples of those who "trap" men by getting pregnant, it's only fair to examine the most extreme responses to pregnancy. I, however, do not interpret this to mean all or most men are murderers, anymore than all or most women trick men into getting married. The point is that extremes are just that, extremes. They are not the norm.

Edit: Headline changed on request.

The fact we are even discussing this

demonstrates how far removed we are from standards of morality as seen by the rest of the world. I've done some research on the death penalty in Brazil, which was abolished soon after the abolition of slavery in 1888. It was used primarily for slaves who killed their masters, and 19th century jurists saw it as a stain on the reputation of Brazil as a civilized nation. That was 140 yrs ago. The US still hasn't reached that level.

The guillotine was seen as more humane at the time of the French Revolution. Its association with the Reign of Terror is not easily forgotten. Besides, who wants to pick up the heads and clean up the blood? I see no way that SCOTUS would ever approve such a method as in keeping with the 8th Amendment (which in my view the death penalty itself violates.)

People who justify the death penalty by pointing to the atrocity of the crimes of the condemned miss the point. Our penal system and forms of punishment reflect who we are as a society. Ours is among the worst in the world--one of only a handful of countries that still uses the death penalty, the highest prison population in the world, and atrocious conditions within prisons. It can hardly be a surprise that we are among the most violent societies on earth (measured through the homicide rate and our state of perpetual war) when we as a people are comfortable with state-sanctioned death. Violence begets violence, and the US has become highly adept at perpetuating it.

(Someone will come along and say violent crime rates are down. That is result of demographic factors, not because the death penalty functions as a deterrent).

Sweden is NOT the same as the US.


Your point about Sweden is demonstrably false. The gender gap is not the same. Sweden ranks number 4 on the gender gap index and the US 23rd. Political participation is a different category from economic participation. Some countries rank more highly in some categories than others. Neither the US nor Sweden ranks highly in wage equality, 75 for Sweden and 64 for the US, but that means there are 63 countries that rank better than the US on wage equality. http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2013/#=

I see this post as an attempt to point to Sweden to insist there is something inevitable about inequality. Arguing that structural inequality is somehow natural or inevitable is really the worst sort of sexism, so it's not surprising that the article refers to the Obama administration's having the audacity to concern itself with ending discrimination in pay as "demagoguery." The Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum shows that the discrepancy is not as bad in many other countries. The excuses sited are in fact manifestations of sexism. Jobs that women predominate in are paid poorly, and as more women enter a profession the wages decline. The other factors listed are also examples of ways in which women are penalized for being women. That women give birth to children is a biological fact. That women disproportionately are responsible for the care of those children is a result of sexism.

The fact is there are a few invested in the oppression of the many, and that includes women. That commitment to keeping women subservient is evident in the argument that--even in the face of this kind of rampant structural inequality--feminists are responsible for fighting for the rights of men rather than women. Their sense of entitlement is so profound, they deny any legitimacy in women's activism on their own behalf. The argument that feminists fail in not fighting for the rights of men shows that they see women as duty bound to serve men.

Some are so committed to male dominance, as soon as a historically oppressed group starts to do well, like girls in schools, they insist something is wrong. Boys should do better simply by virtue of being male. That boys and men don't outperform girls on an even playing field is, for these reactionaries, the fault of feminists. Yet if MRAs really cared about boys' falling behind academically, they could set up volunteer tutoring programs, afterschool homework groups, etc. Instead, MRAs are more concerned with blaming feminism, and they really don't give a rats ass about academic achievement, least of all their own.

You chose to respond to an article about the release of a man who had raped 40 women

by talking about prison crowding. I posted your response in full, along with the link. No twisting is necessary. Your words speak for themselves.

You haven't addressed any of the arguments I raised or questions about your initial or subsequent post. You move from one lame excuse to another. I never said rape was only a problem in America. Sweden is just now beginning to take rape seriously. Yet here you are arguing that jail isn't the solution for rape. That is the most repulsive statement that reveals profound disregard for victims of one of the most comment violent crimes. If rapists in this country went to jail for two years for each count, it would be a miracle. That would have resulted in a term of 80 yrs for the released California serial rapist. Most rapists, however, never see prosecution at all, and if they are convicted misogynist judges let them off, going so far as to blame 11 year old rape victims for seducing 40 yr old men. That is the fruit of the rape culture you insist doesn't exist or somehow makes "excuses." (the absurd lack of reasoning in such a claim defies comprehension).

Prison isn't the answer for rape? It hasn't been tried. How the fuck would you know if it's the answer? Is it the answer for women who make false rape accusations? Is it the answer for women who kill men? Or should they be left unprosecuted as well? We all know your answer to that.

If jail isn't the answer, what is? Legalize rape? Deprive human beings, mainly women, of the basic right to determine who they have sexual relations with?

Few rapists ever go to jail, so to argue prison isn't the answer is like saying rape isn't a crime. We aren't talking about a public health issue like drugs. These are violent felons. To suggest they shouldn't go to jail reveals a complete disregard for the lives of their victims and public safety more broadly.

You lament the fact that women don't face jail terms as long as men, when the fact is their crimes are less likely to be violent. Prison isn't the answer for violent felons. Instead, you whine that women aren't imprisoned for longer periods of time for NON VIOLENT crimes. You insist some sort of parity in prison terms based on gender rather than the severity of crime. That is not a rational argument.

It is perfectly clear that the last thing you care about equality, Your entire argument is built around increasing inequality, on disregarding women's lives and letting men get off for violent crimes, on establishing some sort of statistical parity between non-violent criminals and violent felons just because the latter are more often men and the former more often women. That is not equality. That is punishing women for being women.

Southern Poverty Law Center on MRA lies about women

Misogynists in the men’s and fathers’ rights movements have developed a set of claims about women to support their depictions of them as violent liars and manipulators of men. Some suggest that women attack men, even sexually, just as much as men attack women. Others claim that vast numbers of reported rapes of women, as much as half or even more, are fabrications designed to destroy men they don’t like or to gain the upper hand in contested custody cases. What follows is a brief look at some of these claims and what the best science really shows. . . .

THE CLAIM In another effort to show that men are discriminated against, many men’s rights activists assert that women attack men just as much as men attack women, if not more. The website MensActivism.org is one of many that criticizes what it characterizes as “the myth that women are less violent than men.”

THE REALITY Men’s rights groups often cite the work of Deborah Capaldi, a researcher with the Oregon Learning Center, to back their claim. Capaldi did find that women sometimes initiate partner violence, although women involved in mutually aggressive partner relationships were more likely to suffer severe injuries than the men. But Capaldi studied only a very particular subset of the population — at-risk youth — rather than women in general, invalidating any claim that her findings applied generally. In fact, the 2000 Department of Justice study found that violence against both women and men is predominantly male violence. Nine in 10 women (91.9%) who were physically assaulted since the age of 18 were attacked by a male, while about one in seven male assault victims (14.2%) were victimized by females. Similarly, all female rape victims in the study were attacked by a male, while about a third of male victims (35.8%) were raped by a female.

THE CLAIM Close to half or even more of the sexual assaults reported by women never occurred. Versions of this claim are a mainstay of sites like Register-Her.com, which specializes in vilifying women who allegedly lie about being raped. Such claims are also sometimes made by men involved in court custody battles.

THE REALITY This claim, which has gained some credence in recent years, is largely based on a 1994 article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior by Eugene Kanin that found that 41% of rape allegations in his study were “false.” But Kanin’s methodology has been widely criticized, and his results do not accord with most other findings. Kanin researched only one unnamed Midwestern town, and he did not spell out the criteria police used to decide an allegation was false. The town also polygraphed or threatened to polygraph all alleged victims, a now-discredited practice that is known to cause many women to drop their complaint even when it is true. In fact, most studies that suggest high rates of false accusations make a key mistake — equating reports described by police as “unfounded” with those that are false. The truth is that unfounded reports very often include those for which no corroborating evidence could be found or where the victim was deemed an unreliable witness (often because of drug or alcohol use or because of prior sexual contact with the attacker). They also include those cases where women recant their accusations, often because of a fear of reprisal, a distrust of the legal system or embarrassment because drugs or alcohol were involved. The best studies, where the rape allegations have been studied in detail, suggest a rate of false reports of somewhere between 2% and 10%. The most comprehensive study, conducted by the British Home Office in 2005, found a rate of 2.5% for false accusations of rape. The best U.S. investigation, the 2008 “Making a Difference” study, found a 6.8% rate.


We've seen a lot of these arguments around. It's important to know that they are generated by right-wing hate groups dedicated to attacking the civil rights of half of the population. It's important to call these arguments out for exactly what they are: Extremist right-wing hate.

6 Things We Lose From Objectifying Women (and Men)

One of the more irritating things I see is that seemingly sentient beings continue to conflate opposition to objectification with not liking sex. In the past I have expressed bewilderment that some have such trouble distinguishing the output of capitalist media from their own sex lives. Who besides John Legend and their other SOs are having sex with the SI cover models? No one on DU, and even John isn't having sex with the magazine image. He has sex with his partner, a real life breathing woman, Chrissy Teigen, not her retouched image as sold by Time Warner. In fact, there is a pretty good chance if you're spending a lot of time looking at girly mags and watching porn, you're probably not having much sex. Aside from the bizarre discontent in the poor folks who can't tell if they are actually touching another human being or looking at two dimensional images, objectification carries other downsides, as author Neal Samudre observes.

One of the worst fears I have for my future children is that they will grow up in a culture where beauty has a shallow definition. Today, we seem so at peace as we continue to objectify women (and men to a lesser degree) on a daily basis. I'm terrified this culture will continue for my children, and one day they'll dishonor the beautiful people around them, just because they're not dancing naked in front of them.

I don't want my future children to grow up like this. I don't believe any of us do. So why don't we stop it in its tracks today?

Maybe the reason sexual objectification still occurs today is because we're not thinking of the cost we'll have to pay for it tomorrow.

It's difficult to think about tomorrow, but if we go through life with blinders towards the repercussions of our current actions, we'll only taint our future culture.

So, I'm doing something new every time I encounter sexual objectification in mainstream music videos, commercials or advertisements. Instead of writing off the objectification of women and men, I think about everything we have to lose from perpetuating this culture


On his list:

1. Good Art

2. Sensitivity to Beauty

Sometimes, I believe we are numb to what true beauty is. It's not being looked at and craved after for only a moment; it's seeing the heart and essence of a person draped in their natural wonder.

If we continue to objectify women and men, we'll lose our ability to recognize true beauty when we see it.

3. Rational Reasoning
4. Realistic Expectations
5. Respect
6. A Culture of Freedom
We pride ourselves on being a country of complete freedom when ironically, that freedom is mocked in our own advertising. We oddly perpetuate a culture where equality is subtly stepped on by how we picture men and women

The idea that freedom is linked to capitalist commerce in images of female bodies strikes me as having a great deal in common with the notion that money equals freedom of speech. How can people who denounce the link between money and freedom in political speech insist their own freedom is bound up in the profits generated by capitalist media culture that reduces the human body to profit-based commodities, at the expense of the real freedom that comes from equality and respect for our fellow citizens, regardless of gender? You aren't arguing for your own freedom is defending media images of women. Instead, you arguing on behalf of the profits of media conglomerates like Time Warner, News Corp, and other multinational corporations that depend on objectified images to amass hundreds of billions of dollars of profit over the rights of your fellow citizens and women in particular. In so doing, you feed into the notion that money equals free speech.
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