America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Man kills pregnant daughter.

Courtesy of CNN: “The India native told police he disliked his son-in-law because he belonged to a lower caste and had married his daughter without his consent.”

Someone confirm this for me, this is America, in 2008, right? If that’s the case, then why are stories like these still happening?

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/01/01/family.dead.ap/index.html

I logged on to CNN this morning to get some stories on the Iowa Cacus, and what do I run across? A story about a father who burned down his daughter’s house because her husband did not ask his permission to marry her.

What the fuck? Firstly, let’s address the crime in itself: since when did it become okay to burn a person because that person upset you? Have we taken domestic violence a step up? Going from beating women to burning them? We’ve talked a lot as of late about how masculinity harms us all – and I disagree. Society’s perception of what masculinity is, is harming women more than they do men. Until a father is burning his son because his daughter did not ask to marry him, then it’s a different story.

Secondly – this guy got upset because, well, his son-in-law did not ask permission to marry his daughter? Are we living in the fucking 1800s? This is a fine example of how the patriarchy and the objectification of women can lead to violence to women. After all, if you see a woman not as a complete person with her own autonomy, but something of an object, to be bought, sold and bartered for, then you can treat them however you want.

The question I have is: if his daughter is so special to him, that he needed to be asked permission to marry her off, then why did he kill her? Isn’t this a case of “if I can’t have you, no one can?”

Thirdly, I’ll tread this lightly: the man who has been charged with this crime is Indian. I’ve said this many times before: it’s not the skin color, but let’s face it, some cultures are more sexist than others. Being of the culture does not automatically make a person sexist, but for certain, the culture does certain promote the practice …

Time and time again – we’ve heard about transnational feminism, and that we have to tread lightly when it comes to people’s cultures. But how the hell do we stand idle and pretend that this shit is okay?



The sexism of Southern Baptists …

You know, I am all for people pursuing their religious beliefs, and practicing their beliefs and living  life as they see fit, but things like these piss the hell out of me.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1203/p20s01-ussc.html?page=2

It’s an article about a Texas university that’s offering classes on “being a good homemaker,” as part of sociology classes – although a Bible college, it’s still pretty disturbing – especially the quote below.

“Feminists are right to be concerned about how this agenda plays out among nominal Southern Baptists,” says Dr. Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia. “But this model works quite well for traditional religious couples. Conservative, Protestant, churchgoing women are happier than other wives, generally, and their work around the home is more appreciated than that of women who are not married to churchgoing, Protestant men.” 

In short, what this class is teaching are the “roles” in which women must have  in the homes – that husbands are the bread winners, and wives are supposed their roles and “submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.” At this divinity college, women are learning to be homemakers, and the majority of the staff members are men. It’s also a theological college, but as the patriarchy would have it, none of the women are allowed to pursuit those divinity degrees. Why? Because God said so. Essentially, these people are saying at men and women have different roles, and it’s not interchangeable – that they’re equal under the eyes of God, but the women must submit to their husbands, and be “discreet, chaste homemakers.”What the fuck? Doesn’t that sound eerily like “separate, but equal?” As we all know, separate but equal isn’t.

 I support religion, and I believe that in the end, people are responsible for their own search of the truth …but when said beliefs and “truths,” are used to push women back into the private sphere, while men are still the movers and shakers of the world, I have a problem with that. I have a problem with treating women like servants, as if they’re not intelligent or capable enough to do the jobs that men have been “assigned” to be the public spheres.

More importantly, it gives men an excuse to not share the division of labor that women endure in the private sphere. Let’s face it – cleaning the toilet, doing laundry and accomplishing the mundane bullshit of life aren’t exactly exciting for most people. Somehow, to claim that women naturally enjoy cleaning toilets is just an insult to them.  

At the end of the day, these Southern Baptists can claim religion as an excuse for their practice, but in truth, I’ll call it what it is: sexist, discriminatory, archaic and misogynistic.Women aren’t objects. They’re people – the same people as men, and should be afforded every opportunity to do what they want, instead of what the patriarchal, religious and sexist institution wants them to do. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sexist and probably an idiot … 



Pet names, women and feminism …

I bring this up because I’ve noticed that it happens a lot – and also, because I find it very annoying and just plain …rude and stupid.

Not only at bars, but I’ve noticed this in just day-to-day life, too. One can blame it on being from the South, and thus there is a certain vernacular that one follows. I am sorry, for your so-called “culture” is not an excuse for putting women down.

What I am talking about is when men refer to women – and often times the more good-looking ones, as “sugar,” “baby,” “honey,” “hottie,” or whatever. Every one of those terms, with the exception of maybe “honey,” is not acceptable, not even in a relationship.

People have names and ought to be recognized as such. When we give name to something, we give it power. Men who refer to these women in said terms are engaging and recognize them not based on their individuality, but rather, the characteristics that they value women for. Yet, without those characteristics, women are devalued, and reduced to less than a human being.

I find it offensive because it takes away the individuality of women. Rather than seeing women as human beings, those people strip to women down to just their bodies, and nothing else.

Just as it’s politically incorrect to refer to one as “the black dude,” or “the fat chick,” it’s also inappropriate for one to refer to a woman or man (but this often times happens to women) based on their sexualities and their “goodies.” This, essentially makes women look like objects, and vehicles for men’s pleasures, rather than as people. It’s as if to say, “the only reason I am addressing you because you are hot.”

If anyone can appreciate a woman’s body, it’s me. But to be truthful, one can appreciate that without being the owner of it. One can do that without reducing women down to a piece of meat. One can do so without taking away the identities of women.

If it’s true that it’s a matter of convenience for some of these people, why is it that a woman is never referred to as “beautiful mind,” or “smart girl,” or whatever else? Why is it that when women are addressed, it always comes down to their bodies?

It bothers me, and I feel like addressing the issue every time I hear it, especially when it’s a stranger talking to a woman. Although “hottie” and such bother me, “baby” bothers me even more. She is not a baby. She is a grown woman with her own thoughts, dreams and mind.

I remember one time, when I was younger and much more tempermental, I was at Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport and a steak stand, and some old guy called the woman serving her “baby.”

I was in uniform then, but turned around and gave him a stern warning – anymore of that shit and I’d shove my fist down his throat. He looked at me, said something about the younger generation being rude, and walked away.

There is more to a woman than her body, and she should be referenced as such – preferably by her name. I remember once, when I was briefly seeing a someone who had really big breasts, a friend referred to her as the “big-titted girl.” I almost punched him. Not out of jealousy, but because there was more to her than her breasts.



Unisex baby showers!
September 7, 2007, 3:57 pm
Filed under: baby showers, Feminism, feminists, gender roles, military, misogyny, patriarchy, sexism, unisex

So, sitting here at work, a co-worker just came in all shocked, screaming “God, do you know what I just found out? They do unisex baby showers now!”

He seemed shocked. “Oh, baby showers as I’ve been taught, are for women. They’d come around and play women games and talk about baby stuff. That stuff’s not for men.”

I really don’t know what to think. Do I confront this guy and ask what “women games” are, or do I let it go, or do I talk to him about gender and social construct? This is the same guy who, a few weeks ago, told another co-worker she could come over and cook for him so she can “practice cooking for [her] husband.”

I confronted him, and he said, “You and your feminist crap. It’s just tradition, Marc.”

It’s funny, because in the military, I see a lot of sexism, but most of it is underlined. Then, I hear these people speak and I want to pull out my hair. It’s too bad I am bald.

 One day, I was outside talking to a few people and when we talked about women, and I made the point: “Isn’t it funny what we do for love when we were in our teens?”

A guy said, “Yeah, they say money is the root of all evils. It’s not money, it’s women.” I nearly smacked him.

 Sometimes, I am glad I am leaving the military. I don’t really know how much of it I can really take really bite my tongue on.

 On a different note, I am leaving for California soon. So, it’s a little vacation. This blog takes a vacation, too – unless I run across something really sexist or misogynistic, then I’ll try to find a computer.

I am wearing my “I (heart) pro-choice girls” shirt on the plane. I just want to see how many dirty looks I get.



Feminism and violence MUST go hand-in-hand

Although I understand that from the many perspectives and schools of thoughts for feminism, violence is often never the answer, I still assert that feminism and violence can indeed go hand-in-hand and we can use violence in a positive way to affect feminism.
 

This, of course, isn’t a very political ideal. It’s more of a social ideal, one in which we must fight fire with fire and hate with hate. 

Consider this: sometimes, the political simply doesn’t work. Sometimes, teaching a person does nothing for that person, and we waste our time. But imagine how a person would react differently if, seeing that person acting in sexist or misogynistic ways, we confront them with verbal violence. If need be, we can also confront them with physical violence – that is, breaking a beer bottle over a guy’s head if he gets grabby, touchy or misogynistic at a party or any other social scenes. 

Too often, we’ve played by the rules as feminists. For us, even in the third wave, peace and love have played a more important role in our activism than anything else. Imagine what would happen if we spoke out against misogyny? The guy who’s touching you too much at the bar? What if you made a scene? Would he continue doing it, or would he actually stop due to embarrassment? What if we all stood up and spoke out against this sort of thing? What if we became the violent ones?  

Sexism is based on the power of control. To fight it, we must seize the power and take back the control. As for now, we know women don’t often feel safe walking the street at night. What if sexists and misogynists all the sudden became the prey rather than the predator? What if rather than being victims, women (and feminists of both genders) start being more violent? We then fight fear with fear. The misogynists and sexists who walk down the street have to be afraid and look over their shoulders for the big, bad feminists.  It’s a Robin Hood kind of attitude, and one that creates a sort of poetic justice. But it works, doesn’t it? Did Lorraina Bobbit’s husband commit anymore acts of abuse? Absolutely not.
 

Sometimes, talking to a person isn’t the answer. In a society that’s based on power and violence, the only way we can solve the problems sometimes is to give someone a swift kick in the ass. This all gives a whole meaning to the compliment I’d like to give my feminist allies, “You are a kick-ass feminist.”Thoughts?