To my mother, a photo is not a photo unless it’s printed. She doesn’t understand how I can be so famous when I hardly print my pictures.
As a self-declared African male feminist, I will be celebrating some phenomenal women I have met across the continent on BBC, and I do hope to start with this amazing woman.
Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah @africashowboy (at Acquah’s Residence, Kokrobite)
Posts tagged feminism
I spent almost 10 hours on trains on Tuesday. I am adverse to train travel after commuting from Leeds to Manchester for 9 months in 2010/2011 because some
one man always touched me. I was outspoken to my Uni colleagues, many of which responded: ‘This never happens to me; are you sure?’ Reflected in ‘10 common comments on feminist blogposts - and my responses' on the Guardian today:
You can keep trying to suggest the problem isn’t really there because you haven’t seen it, but there’s a pesky amount of evidence to the contrary. Wouldn’t it be easier just to believe us?
I was, again, outspoken about the touching and harassment I experienced on Tuesday to a female colleague, someone I consider to be a feminist. She responded by suggesting there’s just ‘something about [me]’ that attracts creepsters, maybe pheromones… As I walked home, I considered this. Maybe, I exude vulnerability. Maybe creepsters have an innate sense for humans who have been harassed, abused, and raped and find it convenient to continue the cycles of gender-based abuse suffered by ‘vulnerable’ people.
I was victim-blaming myself… and so had my feminist colleague. The sheer frequency with which these incidences occur to me must mean it’s something about ME, not society, that sees me continually enduring this abuse. I’m (often) blonde or have brightly coloured hair; I have an arm of tattoos; I make eye contact with other humans… but none of this translates that I deserve to be harassed, abused, or raped. It never has. Rather more so, the issue is reflected in a quote from dapperandspiffing:
“Certainly there’s something wretched and hateful about gentlemen scrutinizing and inspecting women. Their eyes stroll boldly and disrespectfully about the peripheries of the female person, thereby performing something neither wise nor beneficial but rather destructive, for there’s no love in it… .”
— Rober Walser, The Robber (1925) (translation by Susan Bernofsky, 2000)
And today we have the reaction to Cee-Lo Green’s comment on what constitutes rape. I was date-raped when I was 17. I collapsed, and my ‘brother’s’ army mate began to rape me before the drug afforded me the luxury of unconsciousness. So, Cee-Lo, does that count as rape?
The point is, harassment, abuse, or rape exist whether society, colleagues, or Cee-Lo acknowledge it. They exist, and they affect us like the weight of a dorm mattress whether our perpetrators intended it as harassment, abuse, or rape (H/T: jessicavalenti). The men who touch me on (or off) the train, who harass/stalk me in public/private, who rape me aren’t giving me a compliment; they aren’t just ‘being boys’; they are expressing what they perceive as their right over my existence. Which brings me back around to (part of) a gif set ceborgia reblogged:
This post is to increase awareness that the problem of gender-based abuse is a societal problem that stems from the sense of entitlement people, and particularly, men, feel towards their world.
Today, being Thursday, 28 August 2014.
I’ve got something to cheer all the feminists up.
All FIVE Manchester Politics Senior Teaching Assistants for the entire ACADEMIC YEAR are female … and feminists.
And that’s pretty damn epic. Let’s celebrate!
I’m appreciative that young men [like the ones who created the “anti-rape” nail polish] want to curb sexual assault, but anything that puts the onus on women to “discreetly” keep from being raped misses the point. We should be trying to stop rape, not just individually avoid it.
If it were truly that simple, previous iterations of this same concept would have worked. Remember “anti-rape underwear”? Or the truly terrifying “Rapex” – a female condom that would insert tiny hooks into an assailant’s penis? You can’t really expect women to wear modern chastity belts or a real-life vagina dentata in order to be safe. That’s not trying to stop rape - it’s essentially arguing that some people getting raped is inevitable.
Even if a woman were to wear special nail polish or anti-rape underwear, or if she listens to common – but misplaced – advice about not getting drunk and always walking home in a group, all she’s supposedly ensuring is that she won’t be attacked. (And even then it’s not real security, because women who do all the “right” things get raped too) What about the girl at the same party who decided to have a few drinks that night? “So long as it isn’t me” isn’t an effective strategy to end rape.
My latest at the Guardian US, Why is it easier to invent anti-rape nail polish than find a way to stop rapists? (via jessicavalenti)
I’m loving following jessicavalenti on tumblr.
Yesterday I asked my female colleague, do you ever think: ‘If something horrid were to happen to me, how much it would put me back in my PhD; instead of, you know, just how awful it would be in general?’ She replied: ‘I think about it all the time; like if I got raped, it would be worse for my PhD than for me as a person.’
Sexual violence is like an onion; just when you think you understand the complexity … there’s another layer.
What I would like to do post-doc: identify barriers in market access for female entrepreneurs and provide technical training to lobby to national governments for improved market access, including heightened political and civil rights.
The first woman has been appointed to command a United Nations peacekeeping force – a Norwegian general who has served in Lebanon, the first Gulf war, Bosnia and Afghanistan.
[Major General Kristin Lund] told the Associated Press she was proud to crack the glass ceiling in UN peacekeeping. “I think it’s time, and I think it’s important that other women see that it’s possible also in the UN system to get up in the military hierarchy to become a force commander.”
She said that was where she fell in love with the UN and learned that “maybe the most important weapon that you have is communication and to build relations”.
Photo: Xinhua /Landov/Barcroft Media
Text: AP at the Guardian
I’m a romantic love junkie just like the rest of you.
A quote of excellence from Betty Dodson on masturbation, feminism, and romantic love.
To be followed by:
Women tell me they worry their fantasies aren’t feminist enough. I tell them: ‘Honey, the dirtier and nastier, the better.’ I have a Rolodex, a whole series. My fantasies are so dirty, they’d put me away.
It’s a myth that street harassment is just a bit of harmless fun. It’s about about power and control – and, as I know from personal experience, can so easily turn to violence
Laura Bates: Women should not accept street harassment as ‘just a compliment’ (via guardian)
This quick read helps me express and better understand why I developed such fear and anxiety when leaving my flat after street harassment turned physical.