Articles, ideas etc


This page is for any articles that we’ve come across, any ideas we’ve had, and basically anything else!

Feel free to add comments and let us know if there’s anything you would like on this page.

12th October 2007

Article in the paper about [yet another] man cleared of rape.

Defence advocate Michael Anderson asked why she had not screamed “long and loud”

Unbelievable. Although, sadly, not uncommon.

 

5th October 2007


Here’s a little round up of all the stories that have caught our attention over the last few weeks. Sorry for the *huge* gap, but the march is only a week away so we’ve all been super busy!

Yet again, a judge feels it is fit to comment on what constitutes “real” rape. Read about it here

Shocking. Disgusting. I feel a campaign coming on…

Women’s groups in Turkey attack a new draft constitution, saying it will damage gender equality: click here to read more

Designer Vaginas

Death penalty for homosexuals in Iran (not the point of the article, but a shocking off-hand comment): guardian article

Thoughts on this ‘Size Zero’ ad??

School age girls and self-harm: Scotsman article

14th September 2007

New Research shows news levels of questioning in court regarding sexual history

I’m not sure what’s worse, the report itself, or the comments in the Herald and the Scotsman …either way just shows how legislation alone won’t change how we see rape. If a woman has any kind of sexual history it seems she is deemed “deserving”. It goes back to the idea that rape is social punishment. How many times do the words “deserve it” slip out? Why does anyone deserve anything? When they misbehave, when they are not acting the way they should. We are still talking about women who are not fulfilling their prescribed roles and holders of sex, that women and their chastity is something she should protect, and if someone takes it, its her fault for not protecting it.

12th September 2007

FHM print 14 year old girl’s picture without her consent. More here

As horrified as I am with this, it’s not surprising. FHM maintain they had no reason to believe she hadn’t given consent. If a man sends a picture of a naked woman to a lad’s mag, the assumption is that she has given consent. But has she? Has she given consent to have her picture taken? Has she given her consent to have it then published in a lad’s mag? It horrifies me that they don’t even bother to check, they don’t think that a young woman may either not know that the picture has been sent in, or that she may have been pressured to have the picture taken in the first place. The assumption is that if a male reader sends in pictures of naked women, and girls, that is good enough. By proxy, he has given consent for her. He owns that picture as much as he owns her and that is good enough for them.

Woman kidnapped and tortured by group of white men and women. Read more here.

6th September 2007

SNP Pledge to keep the £3 million Rape Crisis funding, and to work on legislation around drink and rape. Read more here.

In stark contrast, Rape Crisis centres in England and Wales remain on the brink of closure.

22nd August 2007

Women really do prefer pink…

Seriously, this is biological?? I remember being told that in Germany blue is for girls and pink for boys, so whenever this biological rubbish pops up I just think of that.

Wendy Alexander becomes Scottish Labour leader. Read about her here.

The SNP and its donations

There’s a story here about the SNP. The article is more focused on the SNP fundraising, but what I find interesting is that the two people the article mention are Sean Connery and Brian Souter.

Sean Connery once said “To slap a woman is not the cruelest thing you can do to her” and dropped out of a festival event last year for fear of questions around his views on violence against women.

Brian Souter on the other hand, is a member of the evangelical Church of Nazarene and has been known for his support of homophobic laws such as Section 28. There’s more here.

10th August 2007

1 in 20 Scots believe a woman is partially responsible for rape if she is flirting. Read about it here. We say this time and time again; attitudes need to change. We are working to change them. No woman at any time, drunk, wearing a skirt, a low cut top, a burkha, deserves to be raped. March with us!!

9th August 2007

Alleged sexual assault at the Playboy mansion “entertainment”. Yahoo entertainment news features a story about a sexual assault at the Playboy mansion. So anything that combines porn and sexual violence is entertainment. Hmm…

In the Scotsman: Cardiff rapist had an “unhealthy interest in sex”, Judge tells a rapist who exploited a young woman. I wonder when people will start seeing that rape is nothing to do with sex but all about power and control. The very fact that these ideas are perpetuated by those in power, including the recent “chemical castration” consideration by the Home Office, is horrifying. It gives credence to the idea that men cannot “control themselves” and have these “urges” to rape and commit other forms of sexual violence. From that, it also perpetuates the idea that somehow women can prevent it. If a man has “an unhealthy interest in sex” then women can protect themselves from men by not dressing “provocatively”, not drinking, not having sex, not walking alone, basically becoming invisible.

These attitudes then come full circle when the very same people who are spouting this nonsense then speak about the low prosecution rates or the under reporting of victims-ahh!!

7th August 2007

News from the Women’s United Nations Report Network for August

3rd August 2007

Comment in the Guardian about Sue Turton, the police response and women’s invisible harassment.

There are stories here and here about the actor Chris Langham. Langham was convicted of downloading child pornography. The second article is about denial of doing any harm. I remember watching Newsnight a few months ago, where Kirsty Wark was interviewing a convicted paedophiles and a representative from Child Scape about reducing prison sentences for downloading pornography. I just remember watching with more and more horror, and the man attempted to defend child pornography and his absolute belief that “it wasn’t that bad as you weren’t doing any direct harm”. It was shocking. It was a complete denial of the link between supply and demand, and the serious abuse committed by those filming and watching. The power dynamics of child abuse are not depersonalized through e-abuse, in fact they are enhanced. You are watching a child being abused, and in turn are part of that disempowerment and abuse.

I think the prosecution of Langham also highlights that paedophiles and rapists are not your rain-mac weirdo; they’re our comedians, our actors, judges, police, doctors, bin men, cleaners… The list goes on. Maybe Langham, Glitter et al may actually help to infiltrate the cracks in public consciousness about what an abuser is supposed to look like.

Another issue in this case was the charge that Langham had groomed and abused a child until she was 14. However, he was found not guilty. Have the courts, yet again, failed another woman? Have they reduced her charge to lack of evidence? Or is she “not reliable” enough? Who knows, but it’s one of the 93% of cases that hasn’t been proven.

1st August 2007

Sue Turton is “goosed”. An article in the Guardian today talked about Sue Turton, the Channel 4 news reporter, being “goosed”, which was a nice trivial way of saying harassed. Her comments about male reporters and street harassment make me wonder why she didn’t press charges… It is so normalized [to get groped in the street], that even the most vocal of us feel “prudish” to challenge it through the courts. The curse of the 90’s, again, preventing women from speaking out for fear of looking “humourless” or “prudish”. I say 90’s as this was the decade where lad/laddette culture roamed free, and we all laughed along with Men Behaving Badly and the Girly Show – those who didn’t were doomed to a life of un-ironic humourless prudishness. grr.

(Overloaded is a fantastic book for an analysis of the 90’s and its impact on women)

July 24th 2007

40 years out. Channel 4 are currently screening programmes celebrating the 40 year anniversary of legalization of “homosexual acts”. So far, the programmes I’ve caught areHow Gay Sex Changed the WorldandClapham Junction. Clapham Junction was a strange one, on the one hand, a brutal portrayal of how homophobia, stereotypes and “playing it straight” are still present in gay men’s lives, but on the other was the use of these stereotypes to perpetuate the pedophile, the predator, and the promiscuous myth that I imagined a programme such as this would attempt to challenge.

The other issue that has arisen for me is the complete invisibility of lesbians and their experiences. Where are they? What are they saying? Their voices and their stories were completely under-represented, to the point of not existing. A massive oversight of Channel 4, or a conscious decision? How Gay Sex Changed the World briefly touched on the safe gay man in mainstream media, the one who likes shopping and shoes (of which there is an interesting article about in the Independent), but in the main it kept within that remit and again, by not representing women in this apparent chronicle of gay pride and sex, it continued to represent the palatable gay man who has a great sense of style. Just to round it off, the Channel 4 website has a “gay-o-meter”. Bleugh.

July 24th 2007

GENDER EQUALITY YEARS AWAY

Articles in today’s Guardian, Independent, Scotsman and Herald say, in Scotland it may take 200 years to reach gender equity.

July 19th 2007

Jaqui Smith Home Secretary. Read Jaqui Smith’s profile here. There’s been a lot of talk about having not only a female home secretary, but also a female deputy which is fantastic. However, is it enough to balance out the gender ratio in formal politics or do we need something more? The Scottish Parliament has greater gender equity than Westminster, and, unlike Westminster, defines violence against women as gendered. Not only that, but the Scottish Executive has become a real innovator in tackling domestic abuse and looking at the broader violence against women agenda (at least in devolved matters, which are these). However, if the state itself is patriarchal how much difference can women make? Or, is the state is a mechanism of patriarchy? If so, then better ratios should change the shape and actions of the state. Yet, the term “Blair’s Babes” is still in currency (see Jaqui Smith’s profile on the link above), so what does this say about how women are viewed in politics?

“Pregnant Prisoners handcuffed almost up to the point of birth”. Read the Scotsman article here

Alcohol Not an Excuse. Now this could be a good thing. How many times do we hear “I was drunk”, when it comes to domestic abuse, rape and other forms of violence against women. When abusive men excuse their violence by alcohol, or the other favorite “anger management problems”, I always wonder, do they abuse their work mates, their friends, and strangers? Probably not, yet alcohol and their “anger control problems” seem to arise when they are with their partners. Alcohol does not turn someone into a different person, and it should stop being used as an excuse that it does. Alcohol is a quick way of abdicating responsibility for abuse and violent behaviour, it is not the reason it occurs.

Why we need this march:

In some areas of Scotland the rape prosecution rate is LESS THAN 1%

Wednesday 13th June 2007

OH.MY.GOD. Rape, child sexual abuse and incest are NOT products of an over-active libido Dr Reid…Read about John Reid’s “chemical castration”, and “Sarah’s Law” here:

here

and here

Friday 31st May 2007

“Iraqi women the worse for war”. Read more about women in Iraq here

Trafficking conference Bringing together experts in the field of UK trafficking, a conference is being held in London in July (beware-is SUPER expensive!!). Download the programme and / or book online at http://www.capitaconferences.co.uk

Abortion = mass murder?? According to the head of the Scottish Catholic Church it does…

Monday 21st May 2007

Where are the perpetrators? Something very close to our way of thinking, there are so many images of “vulnerable” women in the discourse around rape and sexual violence, but rarely are the perpetrators visible. Read more at the F-Word

Zero Tolerance Awards and Janice Raymond-women in Scotland and prostitution. read about it in this Herald article.

Tuesday 22nd May 2007

On SundayMind Your Fing Languagewas repeated on More4 – a Cutting Edge Documentary looking a swearing in a school in England. What struck me as I was watching it was not that “the c word” is no longer seen as the most offensive word, but also the music that acted as a soundtrack to these teenagers lives. In the USA there’s a lot of work going on around hip hop, race, class and gender, there’s a bit about it here:

http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/3151/context/jounalistofthemonth

http://www.mysistahs.org/features/hiphop.htm

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/48324/

So I was looking for UK based ideas and debates, and there’s THIS from 2006 on the F-Word which is about women in rock, or more to the point, how women are perceived in rock

But overall, there seems to be little continuous discussion around the portrayal of women in music, be they the dancers, performers, writers, or the theme, and what these women’s experiences are. If we want to start challenging the cultural norms that allow men to abuse women, then my thoughts are that we should be talking about music, as much as we talk about pictures, and how the intersections of race, class and sexuality are perceived and exploited by these artists, bands, producers and consumers. I personally don’t buy the “I’m saying it as a character” or “I’m just describing how life is”, as anyone who has the power to be in young men and women’s headphones has an obligation to be aware of their social responsibility.

Sunday 20th May 2007

Women’s rights in post-invasion Iraq from American Ms Magazine

Trouble at the Equal Opportunities Commission? Male employees receive higher wages according to new report. What’s maybe more depressing, are the comments that follow:

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/uk

http://www.guardian.co.uk

Tuesday 15th May 2007

Because I’m a Girl… New report released shows the worldwide discrimination facing girls and young women. Read it right here

Monday 14th May 2007

Guardian domestic abuse story: Interesting piece on new centre in San Diego.

It’s Only a Toy? Children’s toy stockers selling “No 1 Rapist” toys…

http://www.truthaboutrape.com/

Gender Matters – Blog Entry (May 2007):
Article by Dr Helen Jones about the gendered nature of the killings at the university campus in Virginia.

Is it just me or is the Observer woman magazine a little disappointing? Hair removal, beauty tips hmmm… http://observer.guardian.co.uk/woman

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. reclaim  |  September 4, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    The article about the biological basis for men prefering ‘blue’ and women preferring ‘pink’ neglects to mention that when genders were first assigned colours in the early 1900s, it was reversed. The ‘gentle’ colour blue was considered feminine, and the ‘powerful ‘colour of pinkish red was considered masculine.

    Not to mention, the study assumes a causality that isn’t there. Perhaps decades of women and men being socialized to prefer certain colours is the real reason they prefered it during the study. Biological basis indeed. Ugh.

    Reply
  • 2. Georgi Gardiner  |  October 2, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    Please forward this to people who might be interested:

    Hi folks,
    thought you might be interested the Edinburgh PhilSoc Feminism talk/discussion this week:

    “The F-Word”
    Dr Ellie Mason
    “a chance to discuss and debate Approaches to Feminism.”

    Thursday 4th October,
    Starts 6pm, Appleton Tower, Edinburgh

    Hope to see lots of people there 🙂
    Georgi

    http://www.edinburghphilsoc.com
    thephilosophysoceity@gmail.com

    Reply

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