Tag Archives: Rape

…from the mouths of babes?…


WTF?! Yeah, that was my initial reaction. Not in a bad way, though…

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/109573972″>Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism by FCKH8.com</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/fckh8″>FCKH8.com</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Easier to berate kids for using cuss-words than face up to the crushing realities of sexual violence, gender stereotyping and pay inequality. Is this clip effective? Jury’s out on that one; but it’s certainly on-message…

I could pick, but I’m not going to. This is one of those odd occasions – District 9 springs to mind – when po-mo irony kinda works for me.

FCKH8‘s clip landed in my inbox via Upworthy.com




Poetry slams can be pretty hit or miss: there’s always a danger that the message can get lost in or distorted by the medium; that delivery might obfuscate substance, or lack thereof, in that egoistic complicity between performer and audience. Katie Roiphe‘s controversial 1993 tract The Morning After detected shades of this in its postmodern critique of America’s Take Back The Night movement, for example. With that in mind, I still found Pages Matam‘s Piñata (below) both convincing and moving. As we discover at 2.00 this is a subject close to his heart, and it’s heartening to see a man calling out sexism amongst his fellows: it happens too rarely. I’m surely not the only guy guilty at times of keeping his head down for fear of being alienated amongst my peers for not being ‘one of the lads’. I says much about the current state of sex relations that I and others feel that men who do so are still worthy of note, and that men persistently fail to alter their standards of behaviour until another man calls them out on same.

A piñata (little donkey – Mexican), for the uninitiated, is a device featuring in ceremonies and celebrations – commonly associated with Mexico, though thought to date back to ancient China – consisting of a hollow receptacle which is smashed open with sticks to release candy or other treats. It’s not hard to imagine why Matam seized upon it as metaphor for (sexual) violence. For cultural and experiential reasons that might require another whole post – or book – to elaborate on, men seem to be drawn to metaphorical modes of thinking, and nowhere more so than in this subject area, and Matam‘s response to a stranger’s crass proclamation well articulates certain toxic connotations of ‘beauty’ and ‘masculinity’.

Via upworthy.com

Women’s Aid Speech on Cyber-Harassment


Sickening, upsetting and shameful. Words fail me really 😦

Caroline Criado-Perez

Before I begin, I just want to warn you all, that I will be quoting some of the messages I have received. They include offensive language and references to sexual violence, which may be triggering for some.

WAstalking conf

So I’d like to start off by giving you a bit of background into what led up to the harassment I received for over two weeks in July and August, because I think it’s important to see how little it takes to provoke this kind of abuse – it’s important to face up to how much of a problem we still have with widespread misogyny against any woman who dares to use her voice in public.

So some of you may have heard of a campaign I ran from April to July this year, asking the Bank of England to review its decision to have an all-male line-up on banknotes. (note to media, I…

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Mad dogs and servicemen


Few could have remained unmoved by the recent story of a teenaged girl savaged to death by a pack of pedigree dogs in Wigan:

‘Jade (Anderson) is believed to be the ninth child killed in a dog attack since 2005. Her death has intensified pressure on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to speed up changes to dog control legislation. An estimated 210,000 dogs attacks involving people take place each year’ (Independent, March 30, 2013)

Dogs are dangerous. Is this really news? After all, we’ve been here before: many times…


This story about a whistleblower inside the allied military force in Iraq (trigger warning: rape) caught my eye in last week’s Guardian. The infantryman reported to his superiors, details of the so-called Mahmudiyah killings in Iraq in 2007, resulting in the prosecution of specialist Steven Green and several colleagues for rape and murder.

A US soldier was sentenced to 100 years in prison yesterday for one of the worst known cases involving US troops in Iraq – the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl and the killing of her father, mother and sister. The horrific slaying of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and her family happened in Mahmoudiya, around 20 miles south of Baghdad, on March 12 [2007].’

Soldiers are dangerous. Is this really news? After all, we’ve been here before, many times…


The violent deaths of two 14 year-old girls, a half-decade and thousands of miles apart, savaged by a pack of wild animals, conditioned for aggression.

‘Pedigree’ animals are over-represented in attacks on humans. Banning this breed or that breed misses the point: inbreeding is immoral and causes innumerable health problems in animals (including a heightened predisposition to aggression?) but is only seen as problematic when it results on adverse effects to people (as if animals only exist for the convenience, pleasurement and service of humans…) Punishing individual owners misses the point too: highlighting these ‘problem’ cases perversely serves to obscure the systemic nature of the underlying immorality.

Forces and ex-forces personnel are over-represented in violent crime, homelessness, substance abuse and mental-health (including PTSD, Schizophrenia and so-called Gender-Dysphoria) statistics. Proscribing particular acts of violence, or against particular groups misses the point: violence is immoral and is the root cause of innumerable health and social problems in humanity. Making examples of individuals is all well and good, but by presenting their behaviour as aberrant, ultimately serves to obscure the systemic nature of the problem, or even what the problem really is.

A capacity for violence (hu)man and animal, is innate: selectively breeding for it isn’t. How much ‘collateral damage’ must we endure before our military/patriarchal/capitalist (frame it as you will) authorities are forced to confront their immorality?

The elephant


The circumstances around the death of Reeva Steenkamp are shot thru with bitter irony: she was known, amongst other things for her staunch opposition to violence against women and an advocate for self-empowerment. Shortly before her tragic demise, she Tweeted:


In response to South African public outrage over the brutal rape and murder of a 17-year-old: “I woke up in a happy safe home this morning. Not everyone did. Speak out against the rape of individuals in SA (South Africa). RIP Anene Booysen #rape #crime #sayNO.”

On St Valentine’s Day morning Steenkamp had been scheduled to give a motivational speech to school students in Johannesburg. “It was about empowerment and inspiration and what inspires you and how to follow your dreams,” a day that “…should be a day of love for everyone.”

For her, the ‘day of love’, and her life, ended around 4am when she was shot and fatally wounded in a home that, as it turned out wasn’t so ‘happy and safe’. As tragic as that is, the overarching tragedy is that many thousands more incidents of domestic violence, many fatal, never make the news. Despite being an accomplished and respected career woman in her own right, in death she is in danger of being reduced to an appendix to her partner, and killer, Oscar Pistorius. In human terms, his and her ‘celebrity’ changes nothing: a death is a death. But some deaths are more ‘newsworthy’ than others, a fact reflected by the byzantine speculations around cause and effect in the media:

”Roid rage’: why does our desire to triumph blind us to the dangerous side-effects of synthetic androgens?

South African gun culture and the racial divide: why is it “… inconceivable that a hero to so many millions of people would do such a thing.”

And most ludicrous of all, ‘sportsman’s instinct’ (though one can scarcely blame Pistorius‘ father in his attempt to come to terms with the family tragedy)

The simpler explanation is in danger – as so often the case – of getting lost in the mix: Oscar Pistorius is a man. The sad and terrible truth is that we, men, are responsible for the vast majority of crimes, especially crimes of violence. This is not to dismiss the possible significance of Pistorius‘ alleged-steroid use, or of gun-culture; rather to state that whether one is considering the privileged socialization of males, or a much-mooted biological predispostion towards violence, his sex/gender is undoubtedly a factor. Women do employ violence – a fact I can vouch for, having been on the receiving end – but inarguably less frequently towards men, and rarely with such ‘extreme predjudice’. Male violence is such a given, it’s rarely considered remarkable. We rape, we murder, we prosecute wars…

Stories like Savile, and Singh-Pandey, picked up and carried around the world via Twitter remind us that every victim matters, and the public cry of outrage over the latter is heartening: every death, every rape, every beating is deserving of this level of protest. It rarely happens. And in the meantime, the bloodbath continues


The ‘y’ chromosome.

The elephant in the room.


This is happening just up the road from me! Apparently, according to my local authorities, the ‘right’ of men to ‘get laid’ (rape) trumps the rights of women to be protected from violence under the law. Sorry, but that’s just sick. East Sussex County Council is concerned about the rights of the vulnerable? It’s a given that women/girls – and men/boys, come to that – who enter prostitution are amongst the most vulnerable of our citizens. It’s their health and wellbeing we need to be protecting – not the spurious ‘needs/rights’ of a bunch of dirty old men, disabled or not!

Enabling rape in East Sussex