Tag Archives: misogyny

I Pity the ‘Foo…

Have we all heard about poor old Redfoo? For those that don’t know, he was part of dance music group LMFAO, he’s on The X-Factor and has really big hair.

That pretty well sums up all I knew of him until this week when, in the wake of the Julien Blanc saga, he and his mates released a new song which was immediately dubbed the most sexist song of the year.

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I watched the clip here to see what all the fuss was about.

I have to say, at first, I was horrified. I mean, it would appear that a bunch of girls go to a party, refuse to drink alcohol (because literally, they can’t!) and dance and do “girl on girl” and get told to shut the fuck up. As the video progresses, Play-N-Skillz ft Redfoo, Lil Jon and Enertia McFly and the other party-goers surround this group of women and kinda force their dance moves on them. As each women succumbs to what can only be described as physical peer pressure, their clothing seems to shrink and appears smaller and tighter. Weird. It’s almost like when they succumb to the pressure to drink, dance and go girl-on-girl it makes them…sexier? At one point a woman or two ends up falling or being half-dragged or pushed into a wading pool,  and they spend some time gyrating around in the water with clothes falling off a bit while someone- possibly Redfoo himself?- appears to videoing them on a mobile phone and accessing a website called “Red Tube” (don’t Google that one at work- imagine a YouTube for…erm…adults) presumably to upload a video.

Then there are the lyrics. Here are some of Redfoo’s bits:

You got a big ol’ butt
I can tell by the way you’re walkin’
But you annoying me… ‘cause you’re talkin’ (STFU!)

and 

I said jump on the pole
I didn’t need your opinion
Gurrrrl I’m sippin’ on this drink
I’m tryna see what you got
Not tryna hear what you think

And the rest of the song is basically guys yelling at women to shut the fuck up when they don’t want to do something. It appears to be an exercise in pressuring women to conform to what these men want; wild girls who drink and perform sexual acts and dress revealingly but don’t express individual opinions or thoughts. So you can probably see why I felt the way I did when I watched it.

Thankfully, Redfoo jumped on twitter and cleared the WHOLE thing up.

See, we have it all wrong. We all purposely misinterpreted the clip and the song to support our agenda. You know, the whole rape culture, misogyny thing we’re all harping on about for no apparent reason.

We just jumped on this song and CHOSE to see it as a group of women being pressured to drink, dance and do “girl-on-girl” as if it were a party trick. It might seem as if it’s a group of men shouting at women to shut the fuck up when they aren’t compliant. It looks like women being forcefully sexualised. But really, Redfoo and Co are the victims here.

Oh! Well, that’s okay then!

He has great respect for women. It’s true, I mean, look at the “artwork” with his single “New Thang” (note the camera on his forehead):

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See? It’s SATIRE. If you’re offended it’s because you DON’T GET IT. It’s not because it’s offensive! At the time of writing this, over 16 thousand people have signed a petition to remove Redfoo as a judge on The X Factor. That’s over 16,000 people who don’t get it.

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Image Source Redfoo (above): a man of wit so subtle that more than 16,000 people don’t get the joke.

For those of us that just don’t get this particular brand of “satire”, you should check out this modified cover of “Literally I Can’t”. It was rewritten and performed by Melbourne art rock band, The Stiffys. Don’t let the band name put you off- this is LITERALLY  the best thing to come out of this debacle:

The petition to remove Redfoo from The X Factor was launched by Collective Shout, who campaign against the objectification and sexualisation of women and girls in media, advertising and popular culture. Here is what they had to say:

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He has since posted this fauxpology on Facebook:

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This song is meant to unite people through laughter, dance and celebration? Yeah, no. As a woman, I can categorically state that there is nothing unifying about being told to shut the fuck up. I listened to the song. I watched the video. I wasn’t laughing. It didn’t feel like a celebration. Like the women in the video, I didn’t want to dance, either. 

Obviously, it’s up to Channel 7 to decide whether or not they still want this guy on their show. I wonder if losing a job would push the point home?

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Have a laugh on me</div
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Women against Feminism- Why is this even a thing?

This is a collection of young women taking selfies with bits of paper proclaiming the reasons why they don’t need the very thing that has allowed them, among other things, the freedom to express their views. It’s not the only website dedicated to the idea.

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I’d love to address each and every post on this website. I’d like to write to each of these (mostly) young women who’ve submitted a picture. I don’t want to verbally bash them for their views; I’d like to open a dialogue and ask them what they think feminism is. Because as far as I can tell- they don’t really know.

“I don’t need feminism because I don’t want my daughters growing up around slutty feminists”

Really? Gosh, I do. “Slutty” isn’t contagious and is a pretty subjective term and really- a woman who has sex with whoever she wants to is okay by me. Who am I to tell anyone how they can use their body? A woman who isn’t afraid to openly reject society’s rule that says women who sleep around are “slutty” but men who do the same are just doing what men do- yeah, I’m fine raising my daughters around women like that. I want my daughters to grow up and have healthy, fantastic sex lives. I want them to do so safely, of course, and confidently. What I don’t want is for them feel inhibited by a society that shames women for enjoying their sexuality. So, “slutty feminists”, come at me! I need you to influence my kids!

“I don’t need feminism because I want my children to respect women and men”

Yep. Nope. Hang on, what? Ok this is one of those times where you can see the young lady behind this comment isn’t very informed about feminism. I’m not all that good about remembering the goals of each wave of feminism but I’m pretty damn sure that “not respecting men and/or women” isn’t  on the list.  Feminism recognises that for equality to be achieved, women must be given the same rights, opportunities and advantages that men already have. Disrespecting anyone on the basis of gender goes against this core belief.

“I don’t need feminism because it’s hurting men and not helping women”

In America, the FBI had to how to considerable pressure to change the definition of rape so that it also encompassed male victims.  Feminists did that. 

These days, men are able to be the stay-home parent or to work different hours around their partners, allowing them to be hands on parents. There is even such a thing as paternity leave. Thanks, Feminism.

There are other examples but the key point is that feminism rejects the common stereotypes placed on men in a patriarchal society and allows men to move away from arbitrary gender roles, which seems pretty beneficial to me, both to men and to women. I can honestly say I don’t understand how this does not help women.

“Children are dying every day because their parents can’t afford treatment- tell me again about your birth control crisis #priorities #idontneedfeminism”

I could be facetious and point out that denying women birth control may well lead to more children whose parents can’t afford to adequately care for them but the simple fact here that this is nothing but a Strawman argument. Feminists don’t want children to die for the sake of accessing birth control.

“I don’t need feminism because I love being true women![sic] I love cook[sic] for my men and clean[sic] house! #truewomen”

Well, forgive me for being a great, big fake woman. I freaking hate cleaning. I love cooking but there are times I don’t cook purely because I don’t want to clean up afterwards. Seriously, one of the bonuses of marriage (well, my marriage) is the deal we have- if I cook, he does the clean up. The general cleaning we ignore for as long as possible, or bribe the kids to do some of it and split the rest. I thought that’s what everyone did, but apparently not. If you really like to clean and cook for your men, then be my guest. Seriously, if cleaning and cooking floats your boat, you should go for it. 

You can still be a feminist who believes men and women should have equal rights and opportunities while you indulge your passion for cooking and cleaning for your men. You can even not like those things and still be  #truewomen because I don’t think womanhood is dictated by how much you like to cook and clean and more than feminism is defined by how little housework you do.

“I am against Modern Western feminism because the pay gap is a myth, the war on rape culture is moot because good men don’t rape and bad men don’t care and disarming women doesn’t help. Modern feminists care more about…Slut Shame than the rape and murder of Muslim women every day”

Hmmm. The Gender Pay Gap in Australia isn’t a myth. On average, women earn 17.5% less than their male counterparts here.

The war on rape culture is moot because good men don’t rape. That doesn’t add up. I can think of a few examples here but the one that immediately springs to mind is those two young up and coming football players and good students that raped that young woman in Steubenville, Ohio. Only bad men commit rape, right? So why was it that reporters on CNN and many others appeared to support them, openly sympathising with and grieving for these young men who were convicted of raping a young woman based on numerous photos and posts to social media depicting the various assaults they made on her. They wondered openly at the impact on their lives from being placed on the sex offender register without any thought for the lasting impact on the life of the victim. The people of Steubenville were divided by the case, with many blaming the victim for her attack. That right there is Rape Culture and it is anything but a moot point.

Modern feminists care about slut shaming because we are sick and tired of being told how we can and cannot use our bodies and being told that to embrace our sexuality is shameful. Caring about slut shaming does not preclude one from also caring about the rape and murder of Muslim women. In fact, I’m not keen on the rape and murder of any woman. Or anyone else, for that matter. The issue of women’s roles in a Muslim society is a varied and complex one and while there are certainly valid concerns within some facets of Islam there are also growing numbers of Muslim women at the forefront of their own feminist movement.

“I don’t need modern feminism because I…Don’t need others to fight my battles for me…Believe in earning things for myself…Believe in proving I am worthy of what I want and not expecting them to be handed to me because I feel entitled.”

It’s great that this woman feels empowered enough to fight her own battles. Where did that empowerment come from?

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I don’t know anything about the author of these comments. I don’t know what issues she has faced in her life. What I do know is that there are big issues facing women in our society; from the Gender Pay Gap to a culture of victim blaming and discrimination- none of these are issues I’d like to take on by myself.

Feminism isn’t about special entitlements for women- it’s about having the same entitlements as men.

“I don’t need feminism B/C men are not our enemy. They are our fathers, sons + brothers. Belittling them helps no one.”

Men as a group should absolutely not be regarded enemies and belittling them does not help anyone. I absolutely agree with that. Belittling men and making them the enemy is something that the patriarchy does extremely well. Pigeon-holing men into narrow definitions of masculinity, blaming poor behaviour or habits on being male, expecting men to be incompetent in areas like care-giving or cleaning and mistreating men who don’t conform to these stereotypes are actions that are harmful to everyone. Feminism does benefit men- it’s misandry, the hatred, contempt and sometimes desired subjugation of men, that regards men as the enemy and seeks to belittle.

Does the feminist movement need to take responsibility for this backlash against feminism? Are some feminists too vocal, taking things too far? I don’t know for certain, but I really don’t think so. Feminism is still needed and still relevant.  Feminism, like anything else, has been misused and corrupted by people seeking their own ends. There is a minority claiming to be feminists while pushing an agenda that is thinly disguised (if at all) misandry. There are also vocal men’s rights groups who misrepresent feminism and identify it as a hateful and damaging movement. It’s important to understand what feminism is before rejecting it; it’s important to acknowledge where the rights and privileges we enjoy today have come from. It’s not about hairy legs and man hating. It’s not about refusing to cook or demanding special privileges. 

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I’m linking up with Musings of the Misguided

for The Lounge


Digital Parents Blog Carnival

– See more at: http://digitalparents.com.au/page/blog-carnival#sthash.GLrUKVjA.dpuf

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Anyone but Abbott

The election has come and gone, leaving the Liberal Coalition in power. Since then, PM Abbott and co have formed an interesting cabinet, removing key portfolios, amalgamating others and forming the new and dubiously titled “Border Protection” one- but that is a whole other post.
This cabinet contains exactly one woman. Other parties and governments around the world manage to include more females. Is it that there are no other women qualified for this position within the Liberal Party? I can think of a few off the top of my head so surely this is not the case. Suffice to say, this cabinet is hardly representative of the community it would govern and this is a real shame, and an embarrassment.

Even Lord Voldemort’s “cabinet” had more women than Abbott’s cabinet.

Tony Abbott himself has taken on the portfolio of Women’s Issues. I am sorry to say it, but almost anyone would be better qualified. A vagina is certainly not essential to the position, though it would be an excellent start. PM Abbott has proved himself, over and over, to be out of touch with Australian women. The following quotes from the man himself speak volumes on their own:

What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up.Sydney Morning Herald (February 9, 2010)
I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.– Quoted in “FOUR CORNERS” on www.abc.net.au (15/03/2010)
The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.- Quoted in [1] “RATE OF ABORTION HIGHLIGHTS OUR MORAL FAILINGS” on www.tonyabbott.com.au (Wednesday, 17 March 2004)]
I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak.- Panel discussion “Religion, Sex and Politics” on www.abc.com.au (19 March 2009)
Abortion is the easy way out. It’s hardly surprising that people should choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations.– Quoted in “Rate of abortion high-lights our moral failings” on www.tonyabbott.com.au (17 March 2004)
I think I would say to my daughters if they were to ask me this question… it [their virginity] is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving and don’t give it to someone lightly, that’s what I would say.– Quoted in “Hypocrite Abbott panned for Virginity Stance” (27 Jan 2010)
While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it’s inevitable and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework– Quoted in “Rudd hands PM a crucial lifeline” (6 August 2010)
I want to make it clear that I do not judge or condemn any woman who has had an abortion, but every abortion is a tragedy and up to 100,000 abortions a year is this generation’s legacy of unutterable shame.- Abbott to parliament in February 2006 (Four corners transcript of speech)

Got all that, ladies? Your power bills are up because you have to iron- it’s inevitable. Try to understand that. It’s not Tony Abbott’s fault.
Also, you just don’t have the aptitude and ability that men do. That means you are dumber and less useful. Feeling like a valued member of society yet? You should. We need more physios and housewives like you!
Sex is not yours to withhold either. Not really. I mean, your virginity is a precious gift and you shouldn’t give it away to just anyone, but if someone really wants to have sex with you, you should remember that it’s not really your right to say no. So if you have sex with someone after realising that it’s not your right to withhold sex, and then find yourself in that awkward position known as pregnancy- well, you CAN get an abortion. I mean, Tony Abbott certainly won’t judge or condemn you. He will just say you’re doing it for your convenience and that you’re contributing to a legacy of unutterable shame because abortions are tragedies. But he’s totes not judging or condemning you, ok?

Putting aside all these telling comments for just a moment- lets look at one of the other reasons Tony Abbott should not be in charge of women’s issues- he’s proven himself to be sexist. His sexist treatment of former PM Julia Gillard is well documented. Her now legendary speech in parliament addressing his misogynist and sexist behaviour was not a bolt from the blue, it was the culmination of long term sexist and poor behaviour on his part and addressed specific incidences of sexist and misogynist behaviour.

This man would look after women’s affairs?

Click here to see Julia Gillard’s speech detailing Tony Abbott’s sexist and misogynist behaviour.

So what can we do? Probably not very much. Get back to the ironing, I suppose.

No.

I just remembered, we have the Internet! Sure, our National Broadband Network might be on hold, but we can still work with what we have. So why not sign my petition? Will it make PM Abbott give the portfolio to someone better suited? I don’t know. But it may well at least let him know that he’s further alienating a significant proportion of the population that he hopes will keep him in government. And if he has even half a brain, he needs to take note of that. I don’t expect him to be a genius, after all, “No one,however smart, however well-educated, however experienced … is the suppository of all wisdom” But I do think enough people letting him know that they aren’t happy with something he is doing might help to bring about change.

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Hello!

Thanks for stopping by!

So, this is my new website. You may be wondering why I am apparently a member of the Handbag Mafia. I am too. I’m not actually entirely sure what it is, and I’m now having a slight mental freak out in case it’s something really offensive. Basically, it is a term I came across when (amusingly) googling myself. I found a fabulous story about myself and my “Lactivists’ Handbag Mafia” on a misogynistic website purporting to publish “What Men Are Saying About Women”. The article I featured in -photo and all- was pretty inaccurate and contained some appalling grammar and although I’m sure it was supposed to offend, I actually found it hysterically funny. You can read it here. The term “Handbag Mafia” kind of grew on me, despite my not having any links to organised crime of any sort. I do, however, own several handbags.

So anyway, welcome to my blog! I plan on posting ALL my views on here. Or at least, maybe, say, 5 of them? I’m not sure. But my first one will be about breastfeeding in public. And then I promise to shut the hell up about it and talk about something else. For a bit.

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