Why Misogyny Should Not Be a Crime

I feel divided about the news that Nottinghamshire, UK, police will start treating misogynist acts as hate crimes. I’ve noticed that glaring absence of the inclusion of misogyny in our current US hate crime legislation. I know the omission is deliberate, because misogyny is such a daily indulgence for men that they would never support classifying misogynistic acts as hate crimes.
 
BUT I also do not support any measure that extends the reach of the state into our personal lives, and that creates any new crimes. The effect is just that more people will end up in the prison-industrial complex, and I guarantee you, men will NOT learn how to treat women like humans in prison.
 
Also, who do you honestly think will suffer consequences under such a law? We all know it will be the poor, the mentally ill, and people of color who will be targeted.
 
We also know that in the US, unlike the UK, hate crimes laws go both ways. There have actually been Black people charged with hate crimes against whites, and queer people charged with hate crimes against straights. The law is used to protect the status quo, not disrupt it, and so all the groups who traditionally could count on the justice system to side with them will continue to experience that privilege. That would look like men accusing women of a gender-based hate crime if they speak the truth of their experiences under patriarchy.
 
So yeah, I wish misogyny, sexual harassment, and sexual assault were taken more seriously. But I don’t want or expect state violence to be the appropriate means to that end.
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Queer Masculinity and Misogyny

I am so happy the insightful and brilliant writer Katie Barnes took on this topic in her article On Queered Masculinity and Misogyny for Feministing. In a lot of queer spaces you can’t talk about this because masculine women and other masc-presenting people assigned female at birth are more visibly queer than femme women. So they get more shit from straights, but they get more recognition and celebration amongst queers for that visibility. Double-edged and confusing sword there.

Because of that visible queerness, for which they are oppressed, it feels like we can’t talk about the way some queer masculinity uses misogyny to prop itself up. This Is How To Be Masculine. This Is What You Do. You need to denigrate, sexualize, objectify, condescend to, trivialize and mock femininity. The outside world may oppress you, but in your queer world, you can now oppress femmes and get your power back.

Here is what Barnes experienced:

It became more important for me to be read as masculine, and so I performed masculinity in the ways that I had been taught through media, my friends, and my family. I would often open doors for women, offer to carry items for them, and openly objectify women with my father and brother, because I was one of the bros after all and this was what bros did.

She goes on to own up to other excellent examples from her own experiences, which she takes apart and examines with excellent self-reflection.

I guess this kind of critique could sound like tired old critiques of the butch-femme dynamic. I don’t want to do that. I am not critiquing anyone’s gender identity or presentation or roles, because FREEDOM & Taste The Rainbow. So no, I am not trying to rehash old bashes of butch-femme identity. Also there is no need for #NotAllMascQueers. No need.

I am just saying queer masc misogyny is still misogyny, it is still patriarchal and male-supremacist, and it still hurts women and femmes. End transmission.

MISANDRY: my definition

Misandry is like “reverse racism”… an intellectual concept for an imaginary society where men (in this case) are actually oppressed by a centuries-old birth-privilege gained and used only by women to dominate government, industry, and society. Since this is an imaginary society with no real world application, I have only encountered this word on frothing MRA websites or jokingly among women who have been victims of men’s rape or other gender-based violence.

Wikipedia has a good article on the word.

Misandry

Male Senator from Wisconsin Is Expert On Women’s Natural Stupidity & Sneakiness

Wisconsin State Senator Glenn GrothmanWisconsin state senator Glenn Grothman is an unusually intelligent man. And we both know that men are usually intelligent.

How intelligent is he? Let me count the ways.

1. He authored a bill to label single parenthood “a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” 31% of children in his state live in single parent homes.

2. He blames single parenthood on “the choice of the women”.

3. He identifies the government of making the “single motherhood lifestyle” desirable. (What about single fathers? Well, they’re men, so there’s no need to criticize them.)

4. He illuminates that women actually don’t have unplanned pregnancies. They just lie and say the pregnancies were unplanned. Because they’re women. Lying’s what they do.

5. He draws the fine line that women are dumb enough not to know that it’s hard to be a single parent, but smart enough to have a country-wide conspiracy to lie about their covertly-planned unplanned pregnancies for reasons that they have as of yet not revealed. No word yet on single fathers or the baby daddies of these nefarious single mothers. Which is probably because these smart-stupid single ladies have found a way to reproduce that doesn’t even involve men, meaning that we are only a short journey away from a dystopian future of feminazi fascism and male slavery.

Why do I think I hear the infamous welfare queen lurking behind his words?

Conservatives Scared of Imagined “Terrorist Transvestites”

Rob Long, at the Wall Street Journal, is concerned that the world may no longer be able to protect itself from terrorist transvestites.

His hilarious fear stems from a UN report notable for its nuance and sensitivity towards people who find themselves marginalized due to their gender expression.

Martin Scheinin, UN Special Rapporteur, wrote a report for the UN General Assembly titled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism”.

In it, he makes ‘controversial’ statements like:

Gender is not synonymous with women but rather encompasses the social constructions that underlie how women’s and men’s roles, functions and responsibilities, including in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, are defined and understood. This report will therefore identify the gendered impact of counter-terrorism measures both on women and men, as well as the rights of persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. As a social construct, gender is also informed by, and intersects with, various other means by which roles, functions and responsibilities are perceived and practiced, such as race, ethnicity, culture, religion and class. Consequently, gender is not static; it is changeable over time and across contexts. Understanding gender as a social and shifting construct rather than as a biological and fixed category is important because it helps to identify the complex and inter-related gender-based human rights violations caused by counterterrorism measures; to understand the underlying causes of these violations; and to design strategies for countering terrorism that are truly non-discriminatory and inclusive of all actors.

Continue reading

State Sanctioned Misogyny Quite Popular in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a wretched track record when it comes to women’s bodily autonomy. I have written about the law requiring doctors to show them “the baby” on their ultrasound, the law forcing extra medical penetration on women seeking abortion, and the fact that OK allows health insurance agencies to deny medical coverage to women who have been victims of domestic violence.

Anyways, get ready for more of the same.

As of November 1, doctors in Oklahoma will be compelled — under penalty of criminal prosecution — to post the details of each abortion they perform online. Among the details to be posted for every abortion is the patient’s age, marital status and race; her financial condition; her education; and the total number of her previous pregnancies.

This amazing piece of law-making is called the Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act. Women must answer 37 personal questions about themselves that would, though names won’t be posted, make it easy to identify many of the women who get abortions in Oklahoma.

No reason. Oklahoma just wants to know. Or wait, no, that’s not right, Oklahoma is Just Doing It For Women’s Own Good. Because women benefit by… uh… alright, I can’t find even a facetious reason for Oklahoma to do this.

We have two men to thank for this “common-sense legislation” (their term): Republican Senator Todd Lamb and Republican Representative Dan Sullivan.
Todd LambDan Sullivan

You can contact Mr. Lamb here.

You can contact Mr. Sullivan here.

Mike the Mad Biologist has an excellent suggestion: “Why don’t we just tattoo a Scarlett “A” on their foreheads?”

Thank the Lord two women are suing the state, Lora Joyce Davis and former state Rep. Wanda Jo Stapleton, with the help of the Center for Reproductive Rights. I’m sure CRR could use your support right now.

Rachel Maddow recently did a show on this very issue.

Pennsylvania-Style Misogyny

Hey, haven’t had enough woman-hating in your day?  How about a little tried-and-true misogyny, NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) style, thoughtfully published in a major (relatively-speaking) Wilkes-Barre, PA newspaper called the Times Leader:

James HolevaThink of the cash your parents are laying down for your “education” as an unlimited account to the Bunny Ranch. If you have trouble charming chicks, that means it’s time for a little sorostitution. You won’t have to worry about c–k blocking yourself with meaningless chit-chat in the presence of sorority girls. They’re usually too wasted to require any sort of legitimate connection.

…All sororities invite a few less attractive girls to pledge in order to make the hotties feel better about themselves. The Ugly Sister will be available and vulnerable.

Written by someone named James Holeva. AH! His name is uncomfortably similar to mine. If you, ahem, enjoyed his article, he invites you to contact him at his facebook page.  If Facebook is accurate, you can see him depicted on the right.

I’m kind of in shock that a legitimate newspaper published that bullshit.  Not okay.  If you want to contact the Times Leader, you can do so here.

Female Afghani MPs Fight Religious Oppression

“These people use Sharia and Islam as an instrument to weaken women’s rights,” says lawmaker [Shinkai] Karokhel.

“In no country in the world can you find spiritual leaders holding such power over a parliament,” says [MP Fatima] Narzari.

Using religion to consolidate your power and oppressing women to control society? These warlord MPs are so original.

Whenever lawmaker Fatima Nazari rose to speak, she says the parliament’s chair snubbed her. Whenever one of her female colleagues made a suggestion, it was brushed aside.

…So Nazari, who represents Kabul province, and almost all other female Afghan MPs banded together and proposed a resolution, asking parliament’s leadership to stop the discrimination. It was ignored.

Female lawmakers say that they are still largely excluded from the political process in Afghanistan, where widespread religious fundamentalism and deep-seated cultural conservatism still pose big challenges to women’s advancement.

…Due to strong international pressure, Afghanistan has one of the highest percentages of female lawmakers in the world. The Afghan constitution mandates that two seats in every province be set aside for women, meaning that 64 of the 249 lawmakers, or more than a quarter, are female.

I am impressed with these women, who surely are at some personal risk for daring to speak out against warlords and religious extremists. I hope that over time, by supporting one another and banding together against the misogynist MPs, they are able to gain a louder voice and get some of the tasks done that they deem important. Read the rest at Anand Gopal Global Dispatches