Two weeks ago a man in France was arrested for raping his daughter. She’d gone to her school counselor and then the police, but they needed “hard evidence.” So, she videotaped her next assault. Her father was eventually arrested. His attorney explained, “There was a period when he was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce. He insists that these acts did not stretch back further than three or four months. His daughter says longer. But everyone should be very careful in what they say.” Because, really, even despite her seeking help, her testimony, her bravery in setting up a webcam to film her father raping her, you really can’t believe what the girl says, can you?
Everyone “knows” this. Even children.
Three years ago, in fly-on-the-wall fashion of parent drivers everywhere, I listened while a 14-year-old girl in the back seat of my car described how angry she was that her parents had stopped allowing her to walk home alone just because a girl in her neighborhood “claimed she was raped.” When I asked her if there was any reason to think the girl’s story was not true, she said, “Girls lie about rape all the time.” She didn’t know the person, she just assumed she was lying…
No one says, “You can’t trust women,” but distrust them we do. College students surveyed revealed that they think up to 50% of their female peers lie when they accuse someone of rape, despite wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies that show the incident of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range, pretty much the same as false claims for other crimes. As late as 2003, people jokingly (wink, wink) referred to Philadelphia’s sex crimes unit as “the lying bitch unit.” If an 11-year-old girl told an adult that her father took out a Craigslist ad to find someone to beat and rape her while he watched, as recently actually occurred, what do you think the response would be? Would she need to provide a videotape after the fact?
It goes way beyond sexual assault as well. That’s just the most likely and obvious demonstration of “women are born to lie” myths. Women’s credibility is questioned in the workplace, in courts, by law enforcement, in doctors’ offices, and in our political system. People don’t trust women to be bosses, or pilots, or employees. Pakistan’s controversial Hudood Ordinance still requires a female rape victim to procure four male witnesses to her rape or risk prosecution for adultery. In August, a survey of managers in the United States revealed that they overwhelmingly distrust women who request flextime. It’s notable, of course, that women are trusted to be mothers—the largest pool of undervalued, unpaid, economically crucial labor."
it’s finally over!!
Sometimes we forget about the little things in life. We forget how much joy an animal can bring us and then when we die we deal with it by saying, “Oh, it was just a fish I guess,” and move on. My project deals with the ideology that small animals are inferior to traditional pets like cats and dogs. I want to directly challenge anyone who has ever bought a seasonal impulse pet like a rabbit, bought a snake and forgot about it, or bought a hermit crab because they were at the beach and never looked up information on their new animal. I want to challenge you to remember if you treated your small animals the way you would a dog, or a cat. How do we judge a life? Do we judge life and the value of an animal based off of how interactive they are towards us? If we look deep enough, we can see that there are sometimes entire industries based off of mistreating animals. The betta industry, for example, markets that these fish will be happy in small bowls and that they need hardly any care, sometimes the bowls will add you only need to change the water monthly and to feed your betta twice a week. However, there would never be an industry telling us to chain our dogs outside on a 3ft lead and feed it once a week. I want to challenge these industries to begin teaching and educating their consumers that every animal has special needs just as much as a cat and dog, and none deserve less than that quality of attention and research.
This project is dedicated to my rat Trevor, who passed away of old age yesterday, and is photographed as the gray rat.
Special thanks to Marian ( venusdebacon ) who helped me a lot with this project, as well as Athena, Katie, Sam, and Cassie, who let me photograph their animals.
Also, bragging that your fish lived for a year or two in a bowl is fucked up. Thinking you should be allowed to do that same thing to another is even more fucked up. You killed it when it was still young. That’s like bragging about keeping a human baby alive for 6 years.
I love “feeder fish”. I had one and thought they were beautiful. To be honest, if I ever get a fish tank… All I want is single tailed goldfish.
[TW: rape culture, objectification]Hi there, men who want to be feminists. Take a seat. I’ve noticed that you’ve adopted a lot of buzzwords. You think these phrases make you seem enlightened. You think you’re proving your feminist cred.
I’m here to tell you that you’re really, really not.
If you’ve said any of these things, you need to stop, and I’m going to tell you why:
1. “I’m really attracted to strong women.”
Wow, thanks for making female empowerment all about what helps you get your rocks off!
This might come as a shock to you, but women didn’t become “strong” so that you’d find them more attractive. The women’s liberation movement isn’t about turning women into a race of sexy fem-bots who will kick ass and take names in latex catsuits for your enjoyment. It’s about allowing women to express themselves however they like without having to worry about the male gaze.
Besides, who says all women have to be “strong” (whatever that even means)? All human beings have moments of vulnerability. Stop putting women up on a pedestal. That’s kinda what got us into this mess in the first place.
2. “Consent is so sexy.”
No, consent is so necessary.
Again, this is not about what you find hot. Consent is not important because it gets you aroused – consent is important because violating a woman’s bodily autonomy by coercing her into having sex with you is a crime and a denial of her humanity. It’s not about sexiness – it’s about treating women like human beings. This would be like me saying, “getting permission before entering someone’s house is so sexy,” except worse, because you’re talking about a woman’s body here, and the only way you can make consent appealing is apparently by turning it into a fetish. Uncool, dude. Uncool.
3. “Real women have curves!”
Which would make all non-curvy women…figments of their own imaginations, I guess?
I am a skinny bitch. At my heaviest, I was a size 2. And I assure you that this does not make me any less real than women who are bigger than me, or differently shaped.
Body acceptance is about promoting all kinds of healthy body types, not about fetishising some and tearing down others in the process. This is no better than saying real women work out incessantly, or real women say no to that second slice of cake, or real women have D-cups. We’re all real, whether you’re attracted to us or not.
4. “Intelligence is way sexier than looks anyway.”
Again – what the hell is it with men thinking that a woman’s characteristics can only have value if a man finds them arousing?
Some women are intelligent. Some women aren’t. Some women are conventionally beautiful. Some women aren’t. Some women are both of these things. Some women are neither. And none of that matters, because a woman’s worth is not defined by whether or not you can find something about her that’ll make her fuckable in your eyes.
If you need to tear some women down to prop others up, you’re not a feminist.
5. “Men experience that kind of oppression too!”
Just. stop. right. now.
Keep saying this to yourself until it’s engraved upon the inside of your brain: THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Do not walk into a feminist space and start talking about your problems. There are places where you can do that, and those places are known as the entire rest of the world. Literally every other media outlet and soapbox is devoted to men’s problems and things men find important and concerning. Do you really need to bring that into women’s spaces as well?
6. “Personally, I think all women are sexy.”
Personally, I think you’re pretty damn full of yourself if you think all women care what you think of them.
I cannot stress this enough: women do not exist for you to find them attractive. Stop focusing attention on what you find sexy. We don’t care! Either we already have partners or we’re not looking for partners or you’re not our type anyway or we’re not even into dudes and therefore couldn’t give less of a damn whether you think we’re sexy or not. I realise that the world has conditioned you to see everything as a performance played out for the benefit of the male gaze, but if you actually want to be a feminist, you need to drop that right now. You need to drop it yesterday.
7. “Don’t you think more people would listen to you if you weren’t so emotional?”
Here’s some emotion for you: FUCK OFF.
Do you know why women are angry at men? They’re angry because men have systematically perpetuated their depression for centuries. They’re angry because it is men who are predominantly responsible for the rape and murder of women, particularly trans women, sex workers, and women of colour. They’re angry because it is men who control the boardrooms and the bedrooms of the world, because it is men who stop women from being able to access affordable healthcare and education, because it is men who have set up arbitrary standards for ideal womanhood and it is men who punish women who don’t meet those standards.
That anger is valid. That anger is entirely justified. We can and will express it. We have that right. If you’re the kind of guy who says, “well, I was going to be a feminist, but your anger is really off-putting,” you were never an ally anyway – you were just a man looking for a cookie and a pat on the head. And we are alllllll out of cookies, my friend.
And even if you personally have never done any of the things I just mentioned, I really don’t want to hear you say…
8. “But I haven’t done any of those things!”
Congratulations! You’ve managed to behave like a decent human being. Do you want a medal to go with that huge sense of entitlement you seem to have accrued along the way?
I am a privileged person in some ways. As a cisgender woman, I enjoy many privileges that my trans sisters are constantly denied. I have not actively participated in the denial of their rights – in fact, I work as hard as I can to ensure that they can achieve equality – but the fact remains that I’m a member of a privileged group to which they do not belong. When they’re angry at cis people, I know it’s not about me (because, fun fact, not everything is All About Me!). I know their anger is justified. I know they’re not exaggerating their lived experiences. If you want to be a decent ally to women – and if you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you do – you need to shelve that sense of entitlement at the door. The fact that you are not a heinous criminal does not excuse you from being called on your privilege. Learn to sit down, shut up and listen. You might actually learn something.
Speaking of which…
9. “I haven’t witnessed any of what you’re describing.”
Geez, I wonder why. Do you think it might be because…you’re not a woman?
No, you have probably not witnessed street harassment – or you have, but it didn’t register with you the way it registers with the women who are forced to endure it. You may not think you know any rapists (though odds are that you actually do, since statistically speaking, one in sixty American males will commit rape in their lifetimes). You might never have seen a female colleague be passed over for a promotion at work – probably because you weren’t paying attention. Why? Because these aren’t things that affect you.
It’s pretty easy to be blind to the injustices other people face when you never have to face them yourself. That’s kinda how privilege works.
10. “But I just want to help! Why are you picking on me?”
Because if you sincerely want to help, this is all stuff you need to hear.
Did you think this would be easy? Did you think being a feminist was as simple as reading something by Gloria Steinem and not raping women then showing up for your hard-earned participant ribbon? Well, boy howdy, do I have news for you: like every other worthwhile endeavour in life, it’s not that easy. Being a feminist is hard work. It’s even hard work for women! Why do you think you deserve an easy ride?
Being an ally isn’t a title you claim. It’s not who you are – it’s what you do. And if what you do is barge into female spaces and derail conversations so that they’re oriented around the male gaze, if what you do is whine about how you don’t get enough credit for being a decent person, if what you do is baulk when you realise there’s actual workto be done, then you are not doing the work of being an ally. All you are is a hindrance, and one we neither want nor need to put up with.
I’m sorry, fellas, but them’s the breaks. If you want to be a feminist, you need to leave your baggage at the door. You need to go into this with an open mind and a closed mouth and a willingness to be taken down a peg or two at times. This is not your movement – this is our movement, and you will play by our rules or not at all. Don’t be surprised if your self-aggrandising male ally circle-jerks are met with hostility and derision. You’re coming into female spaces, ostensibly to help. So let go of your ego, get rid of your preconceptions and stop making it all about you.
If you want to help, we want you to help us – on our terms, not yours. Take a seat and start taking notes. You have a lot to learn.
The White Apologist: “I’m so, so sorry for what my ancestors did to yours, man! It really breaks me down sometimes thinking about how despicable we were to you guys! Please forgive us!”
The Faux-Humanist: “Stop talking about race. We’re all just human.”
Alright, here’s something funny. These boys in my hall went outside in their undies to take some photos in the snow. Funny, right? They’re trying to get attention and it’s hilarious. Us ladies choose to do the same, we are wearing more clothing, and are doing the exact same poses. We are wearing as much clothing as is acceptable at the pool or the beach, at the gym, etc.
There is a serious double standard here— us girls have gotten responses like:
"What’s the point of being half naked?"
"*ahem* sluts *ahem*"
"What’s wrong with you females?"
Or worse, what my mother said. Her initial shock was apparently because she thought I was in my underwear, but when I told her I was in a swimsuit, she was suddenly happy I was having fun in college.
The idea here is that we are doing the same thing. When arguing this point with one of my hallmates, he said “But men’s bodies aren’t built the same, you don’t see girls getting pumped up over a topless guy, but how many guys do you think are gonna get all crazy over a topless girl?” Seriously? Really? Women don’t need to dress in order to avoid a reaction from men. You’re mad because you can’t control yourself? Men can pose in their undies in the snow without an issue because women aren’t going to go wild over it? Keep it in your pants, that’s your responsibility, not ours.
The double standards are killin’ me.
"Keep it in your pants, that’s your responsibility, not ours." Is literally one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard. Thank you.
can we just appreciate the fact that my best friend, who in the past struggled with an eating disorder, called out my gym teacher bc he says a size 3 for women is “ideal”
(((The average now for women is a size 14)))
thank you. THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
"You need to leave" a teachers first response when they have no idea what the fuck to do or how to handle a situation of being wrong
I’ve seen posts floating around about how you should “always respect your teacher” and this right here proves my point that sometimes teachers do NOT deserve your respect. I’m fucking proud of this girl for calling him out and telling him what bullshit he’s causing. High school is a nesting ground for insecurity and body issues enough.
Or a playstation or a flat screen TV or a newer car, etc and etc. I know people that work under the table for half their pay and get paid on the books for the rest and collect welfare. I know of drug dealers that collect for tax purposes even though they pull in thousands of untaxed money each month dealing. Tell me how I am not supposed to be upset with these people like I am with greedy corporate cronies? I’m not heartless. These people are selfish and unethical.
Except not everyone who has nice things is automatically cheating the system. People are given things as gifts. People buy things and THEN qualify for assistance. People save up for nice things.
You can’t assume what someone’s situation is just by what they own.
We were eating only donated Panera bread, rice, and turnips. My father was sneaking to the various blood banks in town to sell his plasma at twice the rate they allow. My mother was dying due to not having her medicine, which cost well over $1,200 a month after insurance.
My autistic baby brother wanted to do something nice for me.
He worked for months making custom art pieces to sell. He worked up courage despite crippling social anxiety and speech problems to ask the neighbors if he could do chores for them to earn more money - raking the yard, helping clean their house, walking their dogs.
For nine months he carefully hoarded his money in a jar in his bedroom. He counted it every single night and compared it to the cost of what he wanted to get for me for Christmas.
Finally he had enough. He bought me a DS Lite and a pokemon game.
He was so happy.
Until one of our neighbors, a highly conservative jackass, saw me with it outside a couple weeks later. My brother was with me.
The neighbor stormed up and became screaming at us, a pair of teenagers, over how we could be so selfish to spend money on “electronic shit” when we were a family on food stamps. Spittle flying from his lips, cuss words every other second, rage radiating off of him so violently that our father came running out of the house - at a limp, since his spine is broken, which causes him horrific daily pain beyond what I can imagine - to protect us.
My brother was never the same again. There is no happy ending here. That episode in his life changed him permanently and for the past seven years he has almost never left his room and never gone to a friend’s house. He is terrified of the neighbors and believes he is a bad person.
Because of fucking people like you OP.
Because of fuckers who believe that they know what life is like for everyone and have a right to judge.
So fuck you OP. If you know drug dealers, report them, go on and put your ass on the line then. But for fuck’s sake don’t you dare thing you understand what goes on in the life of the people who live in never-ending, grinding poverty. Because you have *no fucking clue* what goes on in the detailed lives of others.
You want to talk selfish? Look in the fucking mirror.