Sunday, May 19, 2013

Gender and age

I'm experiencing a "what the hell are you saying?" moment, as a friend of mine says that Bonnie Tyler is too old for the rock chick look.

Well, I have a bit of umbrage with that.   Mostly it's that it's not ok for a woman to hate on another for what she wears.   Especially when it's about performance and stage persona.

 Being a part-time LARPer, it's not ok to call out someone else on their costuming. Everyone is trying hard (on a limited budget, in most of our cases), and you have to be brave to go out there and be a character.  Put on an outfit that's not 'you' in order to make the right show and please everyone else taking part.

I really don't think that being a rock star is any different - it's a public persona, and it's a game that everyone is 'playing'.   

Secondly, there's a bit of 'pot calling kettle'.    Would it be ok for me to say, "hey gurl, don't wear that leotard in public, your packing isn't happening today and you have thunder thighs" ?  NO IT FUCKING WOULDN'T.  SO SHUT UP.

(I haven't heard you calling out Lady Gaga for what she wears, so why Bonnie Tyler?  Is Dolly Parton next?)

I feel like there's ageism happening - and when has that been acceptable?
Sexism isn't cool, racism isn't cool, homophobia isn't cool, transphobia isn't cool,  why is ageism happening?

Why is there this inter-sectional phobia ?    How can white women hate sex workers?  How can black people hate trans* people? How can homosexuals hate older people?  

It's not right. It makes me cross. Why aren't we supporting each other?

How would you feel if someone said you shouldn't do you ?  

Whore, faggot, tranny, nigger, cunt: these are words used to hurt us.  We would feel fortunate to achieve old age.  How is it ok to belittle others who reach it?

If you can't say anything nice, check your goddamn privilege - and shut up.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Last night at work I was harassed for my sexual orientation by the Duty Manager at work.

This same man has been eager to know all of the news, developments and everything that isn't his business about my relationship with another woman (who happens to be a workmate as well). He's gay too, so I can understand his curiosity but he's far from professional about it.

This was happening last night, right up until 10pm when it's time to go home - and then he promptly abuses me for "wanting to sign out at the same time as [her]".

Excuse me, but I can want what I like. I didn't ask to sign out at the same time as her (she works a different shift to me anyway), and I wouldn't expect to be allowed to leave at the same time as her. 

 And FYI, this guy had no problem in encouraging her to leave within 10 minutes of me last week and said nothing when she waited up for me last night. (Why he kept her until 10pm when she starts at noon is beyond me, especially when there were other people who started earlier and could have replaced her in the kitchen when she left)

Earlier in the evening after she signed out he asked me "where's the party at tonight?" and I said it was "probably happening without me" - which I didn't get to clarify but he interpreted as something to do with my girlfriend.  In fact, the party I was missing out on was my regular Friday night Pathfinder RPG session with my flatmate and friends.

He also said "she's signed out, sorry" in a very insincere tone. I told him I knew she'd signed out. (She said goodbye to me when she left. Derr.)

He also called me a "freak" - and while I don't know his thought process behind why he said it, the tone was nasty and I may be bisexual or queer, I'm not a freak.

I privately think he's a douchebag, but also that he was taking out his inept managerial skills on me.  I had a complaint from a customer about the behaviour of the bouncer (checking the IDs of the man's underage sons) and I referred the customer to the manager.  The manager's body language (I didn't hear the dialogue, just observed the interaction) was awkward: he was polishing a glass, not making eye contact with the customer and generally getting walked all over.

But whatever, the bouncer was doing his job, customer should lump it but to his face we'd apologise. Yay, another day in customer service.

But to turn around and bully me?  Not fucking on, mate. 

So, if he does it again, I'm taking it to the big boss. He's already bullied one of our staff members into leaving, but I like my job and I don't think it's ok for him to get in between me and my girlfriend.

Ok, rant done.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

violence against women in high fantasy art

The so called "Triumph of Ferocity".
This image has sparked off a debate among players of Magic: The Gathering, some of whom include my friends and acquaintances. It shows a provocatively dressed woman (Liliana Vess) being pinned down by the throat be a hulking man (Garruk) who is about to punch her in the face.

In the story, (the story is extremely important to M:TG fans and the issue of violence against women is hard to separate from the story) Liliana is pretty damn evil, has killed lots of people and has put a terrible curse on Garruk. He's out for revenge.

Does she deserve to be killed? (Does she deserve to be punished?)

Personally, I'd say she deserves to be punished, but not killed.

I've seen people question the sexualisation of the image (ok, wow, are you missing the heaving bosoms, his-knee-between-her-legs and suspenders?), question the "rapey"-ness of it, question thoughtfully (hard to tell with this guy, tbh) can it be depicted in another way and if not, what does that mean for female characters in these franchises...

What the hell is wrong with fantasy art? What's so wrong about fantasy art?

On one hand, there is so fucking much wrong with fantasy art and it's depiction of women and men. And the violence.
But hell, it's fantasy! It's not real!
I guess my umbrage is when you get fans of fantasy art talking about women they don't like as "whores" and "bitches". And when they trivialise the fact that violence against women (glowing spells not required) is a REAL WORLD problem and they're perpetuating rape culture by consuming and validating artwork and themes like the Triumph of Ferocity.

And man, it really fucks me off when they mansplain me and ask me enormous questions that boil down to changing all of rape culture right now. God damn it, I'm just trying to change YOUR mind.

Monday, August 22, 2011

what is this i don't even

DSK sexual assault case to be dropped because Manhattan cops say Diallo lied to them.

Two men accused of luring a teenaged girl to an empty house to sexually assault and film her cleared of all charges.

What the hell. What does this say to women who are rape survivors? Oh by the way, we think you're a liar trying to get money out of a rich man and even if you do go to court, you'll have a trial by media and people are just going to think you're a dirty slut anyway.

That's what it says to me.


Friday, June 24, 2011

NZ Media asking for it.

Well, asking for a blog post.

It occurs to me that Tracey Barnett is a complete twit.


Her latest column at the Herald is titled "SlutWalk confuses rape message".

Ok, so first of all, it should be an anti-rape message. And no, SlutWalk isn't that hard to comprehend.

Rape myth:

If you dress like a slut, you'll get raped. Just by being out in town "dressed like a slut" (which is what, exactly? high heels? tight skirt? showing cleavage? spangles? a combination of the above?), you set yourself up as a target for rape.

Myth busted:

a) This is called victim blaming, and it is bullshit.
b) It doesn't matter what you wear if a man decides he will rape you.
c) Most women are raped in places they felt safe by men they thought they could trust. So there is no real correlation between being out on the town (while dressed like a slut) and being a rape survivor.
(Kudos to Scuba Nurse for reiterating that women who are raped are not victims)

So Tracey Barnett's column this week should be called "the media confuses SlutWalk anti-rape message".

Also, what the hell is a "proud non-slut"? Get off your high horse, Tracey. If you've slept with more than one man, that makes you a complete trollop in the eyes of Islam.

And one more thing:
"I could give a whore's thong over whether the word "slut" should be "reclaimed"."
Um, yeah, grammar fail (I could not care less, vs I could care less, same format), and sex worker prejudice in one fell swoop. Also, "queers" have "reclaimed" the "word" for "themselves", so "why not" "sluts" too? Patronizing much?

So yeah, the NZ Herald are a bunch of ninnies. Situation normal, then.

By contrast, the Dom Post has an article from Deborah Russell which spells out the reasons for SlutWalk perfectly. The comments look like a shitstorm though. Just a heads up.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

murder and victim blaming

Reading this article. Having a think as I go.

The name of the woman who was murdered was Marice McGregor. The man who is accused of killing her is named Dean Richard Mulligan.

"Murder victim met men for sex"

"Yesterday, the defence had three statements from NZDating users who arranged sexual encounters with Ms McGregor, to show she did not always keep the safest company."

Is having sex intrinsically unsafe for women? Or is it just if we arrange a hook up via the internet? Clearly all the other men she met didn't murder her. Just one.

Victim blaming seems to be the first port of call for defence lawyers. Stephen Ross is the defence lawyer for Mulligan...and he's full of shit. It shouldn't matter if Marice McGregor met a hundred men on the internet and cybered with them all. I think the defence, and by association, the media, is just trying to cook up some "slut-who-deserved-it" image of her.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

respect and love

What do you do when the people you love do and say things that you can't respect?

I've had a falling out with my godmother, because I called her on her racism and close-mindedness and she got in the last word by saying "I have lost all respect for you".

I can't help but think that...she didn't really know my thoughts well enough to respect them in the first place! I don't think she could be friends with the people that I am friends with, because she couldn't see them as equal to herself.

It's so hard to talk about the important things like gender and race privilege with someone who is set in their views...more so when they are someone you care about. Those arguments hurt!

But, I think that we probably do have to call people on their bullshit. Regardless of whether they are people we love, or people we love to hate.

I'm learning that my feminism involves sticking up for people. Telling people about privilege and trying to help them to see it and understand it.

I don't think I won the war last night. But I think I won a victory for myself, and my own ability to understand.