It's simple: criminalize revenge porn, or let men punish women they don't like

Maybe. Yet (1) criminal justice penalties do not serve as a deterrent against illegal activity and (2) it’s further use of the criminal justice system to deal with social problems, rather than addressing the “causes” of said problems. It’s an ideal feminist notion, always, that we could address misogyny and the despicable treatment of women and girls rather than resorting to legal measures to simply control them.

On the

Parting from someone you love is never easy. It often means watching the affection and intimacy you once shared turn into bitterness and resentment. It often means sorting out who sees the children when, who lives where, and who gets what.

Now imagine that in addition to all that sorrow and chaos, you discover that the person you once loved and trusted has taken your most intimate, vulnerable moments and turned them into sexual entertainment for strangers.

With the click of a button, an intimate photo of you can be uploaded to a website where thousands of people can view it and hundreds of others can share it. In a matter of days, that image can dominate the first several pages of search engine results for your name. It can be sent to your family, your employer, your co-workers, and your peers. [Rest.]


When men imagine a female uprising, they imagine a world in which women rule men as men have ruled women.
Sally Kempton
There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
A disproportionate focus on the way men’s lives are affected by rape accusations has an important role to play in rape culture. It reverses the power dynamics, positioning accusers as aggressors. Suddenly it is no longer the alleged crime, but its reporting that is the act of violence. It increases the pressure on victims who might already feel intimidated, asking “are you sure you want to make such a fuss? Are you aware of the damage you’ll do? Haven’t you got enough shame to deal with already?” It’s another form of victim blaming and it’s another way in which victims are seen as less than human, faceless objects in relation to which potential perpetrators have the right to define themselves again and again.
She knew that girls were lesser beings. Her mother’s voice whispered that she had been a son and heir.
The Painted Bridge, Wendy Wallace
On the contrary. You are suffering from hysteria. Most of your sex do, at some time in their lives.
The Painted Bridge, Wendy Wallace
i need feminism… 
pinterest (feimineach)

i need feminism…

pinterest (feimineach)

Domestic violence causes more death and disability amongst women aged between sixteen and forty-four than cancer or traffic accidents. Yet front-page headlines of an epidemic are nowhere to be seen. Girls and women are taught it is their daily responsibility to mitigate the threat of rape by being careful what they drink and not walking home alone at night - as if shielding their body from the natural elements. Yet when the threat materialises and the perpetrator comes into frame, he is portrayed as an unnatural being, a beast or a stranger; else the victim herself is implicated and the rape denied. And while the UK government is able to predict that 100,000 women will be raped each year in Britain - equivalent to 2,000 women a week - only 6.5 per cent of those that are reported to the police end in the conviction of a perpetrator, and there is little public discussion and the aspects of our culture that encourage so many men to choose to rape women.
The Equality Illusion, Kat Banyard

What is the prison industrial complex?

The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is a term used to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems.

The Prison Industrial Complex is not just prisons themselves, it is a mutually reinforcing web of relationships, between and not limited to, for example, prisons, the probation service, the police, the courts, all the companies that profit from transporting, feeding and exploiting prisoners.

On downsizingcriminaljustice (which is a blog you should follow, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, by the way).


Yarl’s Wood: Immigration is a Feminist Issue

Very good piece on tokenfeminist about what should be an issue of feminist concern.

Last week Rashida Manjoo, a special rapporteur for the UN, stated that the UK has an in-your-face boys’ club sexist culture that is unlike that of any other country. She made the comments after visiting the UK to investigate the issue of violence against women. Unsurprisingly, there was a highly defensive backlash to the notion that the UK is more sexist than other countries, as there often is when anyone points out the blatant misogyny that occurs in this country every day. This culminated in The Guardian hosting the most pointless internet poll of all time, as they asked UK citizens whether or not they thought their own country was more sexist than other countries, without even asking them their age, gender, ethnicity or whether they had ever visited another country.

The most worrying part of Manjoo’s report related to Yarl’s Wood, a detention centre for female asylum seekers in Bedfordshire. The pictures and quotations on their site might lead you to believe that Yarl’s Wood is a supportive, happy place that really cares about its inmates residents. However, the reality is quite different. According to a report by Women for Refugee Women, 93% of the women detained at Yarl’s Wood are depressed and over half have suicidal thoughts. They do not receive adequate health care, a shortcoming which undoubtedly contributed to the death of 40-year-old Christine Case last month. She died of a heart attack after complaining of chest pains for several days.

This appalling treatment is not only a feminist issue because it is women that are detained at Yarl’s Wood. It is also a feminist issue because of the experiences they have had before they arrive there. Over 85% of the women have been raped or tortured in their home countries and almost all are now guarded by male staff. The majority say that this makes them uncomfortable, which is understandable when you consider that some were raped by prison guards. One woman had fled Uganda after being raped by guards and was on suicide watch at Yarl’s Wood, where a male guard watched her even when she was on the toilet. [Rest.]


It’s not a one-way street. It’s a spaghetti junction. But while it is interesting and informative to digest Sandberg’s learning, we also need to broaden the perspective. Sandberg has already “made it”. Perhaps we should listen more attentively to those on the bottom rung, because they’re the ones who need the assistance. Our obsession with the Rising Star, or the Leader, sidelines the “others”. And it fosters a crude belief that if one woman can “make it” on the basis of their own individual initiative, then that is the case for all. But that’s an individualistic approach, not a collective one.
Una Mullally on the Irish Times.

You don’t only get photographed when you’re eating

I missed WWEOT’s Tony Burke on the Today programme (praise the gods). (That’s the founder of the Women Who Eat on Tubes photoblog, for those of you who have not had the misfortune of hearing of it.) The line is that taking pictures of women eating on tubes (eating! the hideous fatties! disgusting!) is not sexist or invasive or threatening but, rather, it’s an “observational study”, “something artistic”. Feminist Times tells us more about “creep shots” and a reasonable expectation of privacy. There’s a wider issue here, too, of using the law to regulate/ address social issues. More on that over the next few days.


Creep shots are so common on public transport that even I, someone who avoids the tube as much as I can, have seen two men take pictures of women’s cleavages on the underground. The first time I was struck dumb in shock; the second time I saw the man take the picture from an adjoining carriage, and when I knocked on the window to tell him to stop he ran. I’m not quite sure what I’d do if I saw it happen for a third time. Stand up and shout “he’s taking a picture of your breasts”? Tell him he’s gross? Perform a citizen’s arrest?

Just like WWEOT there are creep shot Tumblrs, but google #creepshot and you should get a pretty good idea of how endemic this is – just put it into the search bar in Twitter now. Many of the photos are taken in restaurants, supermarkets, on the beach. Women and girls bending over, sunbathing, photos taken from under tables.

Here’s the rub. It’s technically legal to photograph someone without their consent, and of course it’s in our interest to be able to take photos of strangers in public places. It means taking pictures at the Great Wall of China, Eiffel Tower or other packed places we want to take pictures of, which are full of tourists, is not going to land us in court. It also means reporters can go to war zones and disaster scenes or places of public interest and document; something Burke alluded his project did. [Rest.]


[quick break]

Easter break break from blogging. Enjoy a few days off, if you’re taking some.

Rape and death threats are all too common in feminist circles, just ask Laura Bates

In the first month of the Everyday Sexism project Bates received up to 200 messages a day threatening her with rape and murder. No-one has yet been charged in relation to any of these threats.

On the Conversation:

From jokes to rape, there have been nearly 60,000 posts by women recounting their experiences of sexism and sexist violence since journalist and feminist Laura Bates launched her Everyday Sexism project in April 2012. Now the material has been collected for the first time in a book of the same name.

I’ve been familiar with the project for some time. Yet the sheer pervasiveness and repetitiveness which emerges when the material is presented in book form, accompanied by Bates’ clear, angry, witty, feminist commentary, is refreshing, depressing and enraging. [Rest.]

[Rape culture] is, simply put, a culture which makes violence against women appear normal. This normalization of violence against women consequently leads to a myriad of things whereby the violence against women becomes accepted, even encouraged, and people therefore have the tendency to blame the victim of the violence (the woman) before they blame the perpetrator of the violence (the man). In short, this all fosters an environment for which rape, the worst act of violence against women (with the possible exception of murder), can occur.