Just one more way the government wants to regulate your body

Here’s an interesting article on how a state senate  passed a bill to ban certain body peircing and tattoos. While this bill affects women and men alike, it shows how the government takes a patriarchal stance on how to regulate the bodies of men, women and people of color, which this country has a long history about.

What do you think?

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Petition: Ban Rapists from suing their impregnated victims for custody

Please sign this petition: It’s really important that we start making a shift in our society to protect the victims of rape no matter what and this petition is a really great step, all you have to do is make an account and click a button to sign.

Sam

Government forcible removes baby FROM THE WOMB

I find this story EXTREMELY problematic. An Italian woman living in the UK who was suffering from bipolar disorder was institutionalized, had a forced cescarian section to remove her baby, and then social services took her child. So… apparently, if you visit the UK and become ill, the government has the right to steal your baby, straight from your womb. As if people with disabilities didn’t have enough of their reproductive rights taken away in the past two hundred years (through forced sterilization as well as it being illegal for some with mental disabilities to marry), it’s extremely disheartening to see that it’s still occurring. The worse part I think is the fact that social services put the baby with a British family, instead of sending it to live with it’s extended family in Italy and that even though the mother is of good mental health now, they refuse to give her back her baby. ‘

Despite the fact that she may have had a mental break, the women should NOT have been forced to have the baby delivered. She should have been institutionalized and kept safe until she either a. had the baby or b. was of stable mind. The baby should have been given to it’s biological extended family in Italy, not a foster family in Britain and WHEN the mother was mentally stable, she should have gotten her baby back.

So many legal violations, how does crap like this happen?

Oh the Patriarchy: Things Guys Want YOU to Know

This list makes my blood boil. Besides the large amount of contradictions within the list, most of these things are pretty patriarchal and make me disgusted by the gender norms that surround relationships. Let me just give you a few of my favorites:

#3: “Guys tend to get serious with their relationship and become too possessive. Better watch out girls”

Oh. Ok. So I should become an object that is owned by my significant other if I choose to be in a relationship. Got it. Also you have a right to you know, decide who I go out with and when. You can decide what I get to do. Sounds kind of like an abusive spouse. I’m gonna have to pass.

#10. A guy who likes you wants to be the only guy you talk to.

Again with this controlling and abusive spouse thing. I’m really sorry that you’re insecure with your relationship but you probably should get over the fact that the women in your life interacts with and are friends with males. You also shouldn’t control who your girlfriend talks with or is friends with.

But apparently: #29. Guys may be flirting around all day but before they go to sleep, they always think about the girl they truly care about.

So you can you know, talk to any girl you want to, flirt with her, text her you know whatever, but if I interact with a male you get upset. Hmmm… something doesn’t seem right…

Also… #18. Guys like porn!

So you can watch other girls having sex… but I can’t talk with another male or you get you’re panties in a knot. There’s so many double standards in this list, I can’t deal.

#4. The biggest turn on for guys are the girls who workout. However: #36. No matter how much guys talk about hotness or sex appeal, personality is key.

I really don’t know which is most important to guys…. Because two separate points say completely different things. Maybe you should make up your mind.

But apparently.. #13. Guys don’t care about how gorgeous you are, it’s goodbye, adios, and sayonara if you’re being a bitch.

Oh…. so you can pretty much do whatever you want, with whatever girl you want. But if I get upset about, you know, any of that, you will break up with me. You know what, it’s ok. I’ll probably break up with you first because that’s ridiculous.

#20. “The game is on” will be considered an acceptable excuse to postpone any serious conversations.

I feel like one doesn’t need an explantation. But I think it’s pretty problematic that you would put a dumb sporting event over the women you care about sooooo much that you’re ridiculously possessive over her. Since when is a game that EVERY sports network will be cover for the next day and a half with replays more important then the lovely lady in your life?

#21. Cooking makes a girl all the more attractive.

 Aw yes, I was waiting for the traditional gender norms to take place on this list. Yes, because you know, a women is only worth something if she can make something in the kitchen. Ugh.

#22. You can’t get mad if your guy refuses to hook up your “ugly friend” with one of his good-looking friends.

Wait, I thought personality (#36) was the only thing that REALLY mattered. No? Well, I probably should dump you for being superficial, and my friend is probably better off. And I don’t know about you, but every one of my girlfriends is gorgeous for her own reasons. You’re a pig for judging her.

#23. Nothing you will ever do will entitle you to operate the remote control, unless operating means handing it to him.

Oh really? Because I happen to have lady parts, I am not entitled to choose what we may watch sometimes? That seems pretty fair. Except not in a million years.

#24. The only thing left to be said after sex is “goodnight.”

Oh right, because you know, my only job as a woman is to serve you and be your sex object. Please go back to the 1950’s with your views on relationships.

#27. Guys’ night outs are sacred events. If you ask any question about it, you’ll be castigated.

Again, you can control who I hang out with and what I do but if I ask questions I’m the one on trial. This. is. disgusting.

Last one, but really the biggest one. #28. Believe it or not, 99.5% of the time men honestly don’t mean to hurt you.

Sure, that may be the case, but don’t you think you should try to change your behavior if it becomes a reoccurring problem? Maybe you should listen to the woman you care about and realize how your EVERYDAY behaviors are pretty messed up and you should do something out of the ordinary to make her happy and feel better.

“She’s Famous, she’s asking for it”

I had a bit of a heated discussion with one of my followers dealing with my critique of the discourse used to refer to Miley’s VMA performance. I think the biggest problem I had with this discussion was that my follower said “She’s famous, when she acts like that she’s asking to get criticized.”  I think this is a flawed idea. The reason she’s getting criticized in the status quo is because of the patriarchal views of how a woman should act toward her sexuality. The traditional view is a women should not be sexual in anyway; she should be virginal and pure. When young people grow up in Hollywood, you get a double standard of men acting more sexual with little to no criticism and women who are ostracized for showing their sexuality.

So let’s look at few examples of how this double standard affect the young men and women who group up in the public eye:

Justin Timberlake was in NSYNC for most of his teenage years. When he went solo, many of his songs were about sex, and his music videos and performances were provocative. Take one of his new songs Suit and Tie. Verse one starts off: “I can’t wait ’til I get you on the floor, good-looking/ Going hot, so hot, just like an oven/ And I’ll burn myself, but just had to touch it/ But it’s so fine and it’s all mine”. Just wait! Verse 2 gets even better: “Stop, let me get a good look at it/ Oh, so thick, now I know why they call it a fatty/ And aww, shit’s so sick, got a hit and picked up a habit/ But that’s alright, cause you’re all mine/ Awww, go on and show ’em who you call “Daddy”/ I guess they’re just mad cause girl, they wish they had it”. If people want to criticize Miley about being a poor role model, why don’t we call JT out on his musical lyrics, that were played all over the top 20 stations all summer. I was at a family summer festival this summer with young children and this song was played. Why don’t we make a commotion over having the young men in our society exposed to music objectifying women? Why do we consider it completely normal that man can talk about wanting to have sex with a women? Oh that’s right, Justin Timberlake is a man, so he can be a sexual being in our society. I have looked everywhere on the internet. No one has criticized JT for his sexual lyrics or provocative performances. Just another double standard that skates by the public eye, something the most people realize exists and/or don’t question.

I’ve already talked about Miley’s situation. If you didn’t catch my blog post on it, check it out here. There’s also the example of how Robin Thicke’s sexually degrading song, that he wrote explicitly to be degrading to women, didn’t get massive media attention. People are making him to be a victim of Miley’s harlot ways, subjecting a married man to provocative dance, as if he has no say in what happened during the performance. Another double standard.

I could name countless other women affected by this: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Amanda Bynes, the list goes on and one about female child stars who grow up in the public eye and are criticized for doing what most young women end up doing as well, just out of the public eye. Young women go to college and they act on their new found freedom and sexuality. Ladies, how many of you have gone to a party and done one of the following: make out with someone, twerk to your heart’s content, grind with someone on the dance floor, or go home with someone you met. I’ve done it and I know other girls have done it to. ALL of those things are ok- you’re expressing your natural sexuality and don’t let someone tell you otherwise. Miley is doing the same thing, just in a public setting. Only by confronting this patriarchal view of a woman’s sexuality can we actually make a societal change to ignore the double standards.

Do you agree or disagree?

Sam

He’s assertive, she’s a bitch

I’ve spent the weekend at a debate tournament in Atlanta, GA. I was listening to people talk about debates and someone said, “I hate those girls that are really nice before rounds and then get bitchy during the debate.” It’s statements like that the completely infuriate me, mainly because this is a huge double standard when it comes to debate and life in general I believe. Men can be aggressive in a debate and people thing they’re a good debater. If women are aggressive, she’s being a bitch. I’m going to admit something- I’m an aggressive debater, sorry not sorry.  I stand my ground and I’m not going to be pushed around in a debate. Many people think this is a negative quality in a women. In fact, many people think a woman should shut up and keep her mouth shut– if she isn’t she’s a bitch.

Let me tell you the worst comment that has been said to be about how I’m an assertive debater. My opponent last year, after facing me a few times, asked “Sam, you’ve made someone cry in rounds before, right?” I was shocked and pretty insulted by this comment– the reason I was asked this is because I am a women and I’m assertive. If I was a male, no one would have questioned how I act in a debate. Patriarchy at its finest.

This hurts women in a few ways:

1. It hurts us in the workplace. You have to be assertive now a days in the work force. There are more people in most feels than there are jobs. If you want to rise to the top, you’re going to have to push for it. However, men who are assertive are seen as driven and are given a pat on the back, a promotion, a better title, a raise, or a mixture of those options. Sadly it’s not the same for women. Women are can go one of two routes in the workforce. We won’t be assertive because that’s how our parents, teachers, mentors and society have conditioned us. We should be nice, quiet and reserved and good things will come to us. We also could be assertive but most likely will be reprimanded for it because we look bitchy and pushy.

2. It hurts us in academic spaces. If we speak our minds, we look like a know-it-all and pushy. That’s one reason why men refer to smart, assertive, and intimidating women as a bitch. It just encourages young women to sometimes “play dumb”– we all have either encountered this or have done this. I think a good example is Cady from Mean Girls. She plays dumb so she isn’t intimidating to Aaron, that way he will like her because god forbid that she be perceived as intelligent.

The reason I have a few problems with the word bitch in these contexts.

First, I’m think it’s important to know the origin of the words you use. I think knowing why words came about is pretty important in order to stop re-entrenching oppressive and dominating language and behavior. So let’s get a small history lesson on the word bitch. The word bitch emerged in the 12th century from the word “bicche” to refer to a female dog. However, referring to a woman as a female dog predates the origin of the word bitch. In Ancient Greece and Rome is was a sexist term to compare women to a dog in heat. In the Dark Ages men used it to suppress the common belief that femininity was sacred.  This is also when the insult “son of a bitch” emerged to ridicule pagans who worshiped Diana, the goddess of the hunt. That phrase then evolved to mean an insult to a horrible man. So during the Dark Ages, the term was used to insult men, by either referring to him as a woman or equating him with a dirty female animal. However in the 18th century, we began insulting women once again with the word bitch and it was used so much it began forced it’s original meaning (female dog) out of usage. At the beginning of the 20th century, the word began to refer to obscenity– the worst meaning of the word at this point in time was referring to a woman as a whore. The next real rise in the word was in the 1920’s after women got the right to vote. Then the word popped up again in popularity after World War 2 and women weren’t needed to hold down the home front. During the 3rd wave of feminism, feminists tried to reclaim the word and have control over it’s meaning.

Second, men (not all) use the word to put down women, to dominate them, to ensure their privilege. And I think this is a real problem. I don’t think a lot of people understand this is what it does but they use the word to dismiss a women, despite her intelligence, despite her accomplishments, if she is intimidating then it’s one of the first words that comes to mind and probably is what they refer to her as. And I think it is critical that we try and remove this concept and idea of women out of our culture and society. It will remove this double standard how how men are expected to be an assertive, authoritative figure and women need to be a damsel in distress: quiet, reserved, and polite, keeping her comments to herself.

Let me know if you agree or disagree,

Sam

*Disclaimer– I don’t think that every time that someone uses the word bitch this is what they mean intentionally. I personally believe that men using this word toward women has historically served a purpose which has perpetuated that same meaning to our culture and discourse today.