Tag Archives: Media

Murray

Im clueless to why I can’t get a tatoo aged 16 with With content given I have to be 18 yet I can learn to drive at 17 and i can gamble and have sex at 16 my mind has been set in this tatoo design for two years and I haven’t thought of changing my mind I wanted it as a symbol of something I have struggled through 16 years epilepsy I want a purple ribbon to show others an to look at an be proud

Kitty

I was on YouTube the other day, & was watching a few vids. I read the comments under one particular one, & some guy had posted a comment with the sentence “rape her raw” in. To be fair (!), he wasn’t talking about a woman, he was talking about an inanimate object (won’t go into specifics about what), but I still thought it was an unacceptable thing to write, & I did find that it was a jarring note in an otherwise very enjoyable vid. Why do people think it’s OK to toss the word ‘rape’ around in such a casual fashion?

R

Whenever I get inspired to stand up and promote feminism and combat sexism from a video or article on social media, I become so downtrodden when I get to the comments sections. There are so many people invalidating the sexism that people face, calling them whiny, complaining that women can’t be pleased, that they need to deal with sexism because now they’re equal. Whenever I come upon these types of comments, I always end up thinking back to my own close relative who holds very similar views. He has set up arguments with me about feminism that I can never “win” because we’re playing by his rules, and my sources don’t matter, my experience or that of my friends doesn’t matter. He thinks that feminism is bs and has gone out of his way to defend actions against women based off a small thing that she was accused of doing, rather than acknowledging how all the hate, harassment, and threats she received were horrible and unacceptable. He could not put himself in my shoes or the shoes a woman who is afraid to be alone with a man. It hurts, that he is unwilling to have a productive, open conversation about these topics. He would rather just use me as a basis to build up his perspective of the world by shooting mine down. Because of all of this, I no longer trust him with any important issue in my life. Things are and will remain superficial at the moment. And considering how we grew up together, this really sucks.

Sarah

The more I look, the more I notice how often people speak as though everyone in the world is male. Ever noticed how many people when driving refer to all other drivers as he even though they can’t see the person clearly enough to tell? “What’s he doing?” “Jesus, I nearly hit him; he needs to look where he’s going!” All animals are “he” if you can’t immediately identify their sex. I tried referring to a spider as “she” just to see how people would respond and predictably they said things like “why ‘she’?” Never mind the fact that if you see a spider in your house it’s most likely female. Everyone and everything is male until proven otherwise. If you call a spider “he,” nobody bats an eyelid. Certain…corners of the internet are particularly awful for erasing women, feminine people and those who are attracted to men. I read one social media site for less than 10 minutes and came across the following: 1) An old riddle: “A beggar’s brother died. But the man who died had no brother. How can this be?” This only works as a riddle because people assume in the first instance that “a beggar” must be a man. 2) A screenshot of a Facebook profile photo showing JUST someone’s tattooed (and not at all hairy) arm. All of the 10+ commenters without exception assume the arm and tattoo belong to a man, even though the person’s name clearly showing in their Facebook profile is Laura. 3) A status about “…I was once swimming around in my dad’s testicles….” I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of these and I have never once seen “when I was an egg…” which would be far more accurate as it’s the egg that gets fertilised and begins to divide thus growing eventually into a person! It’s as if some people can’t fathom the idea that they did not start out as something associated almost exclusively with being male. 4) A joke: “One by one, many of my friends have become interested in men as well as women… I’m just sitting here, watching the world go bi.” Because “the world” consists exclusively of straight men, obviously. 5) “Sharks aren’t that bad. If a dude came into my house uninvited wearing nothing but a Speedo I’d probably attack him too.” Only men get attacked by sharks, you know. Certain sites, for example a lot of Reddit, consist almost exclusively of people speaking as if women don’t exist. It’s weird.

Just another tired woman

An ex-boyfriend said to me “well, male orgasm is life giving, what’s so important about female orgasm?” Quote from ex-boyfriend’s father, who was equally sexist, “women are just from another planet.” This ex-boyfriend constantly gaslighted me, tried to rape me and insulted me on a regular basis which resulted in anxiety, self harm and eating disorders. I know people that told me women shouldn’t vote because they can’t make rational decisions. Another winner of an ex-boyfriend “some women just can’t get off, it’s not like they’re not enjoying it.” He was quoting Savage Love and frankly, what does a gay man know about female orgasm? He had terrible skills, by the way, and erectile issues, both of which I was 110% supportive about, but sure. It’s cool. My father used to compare the size and shape of my ass to my friend’s. He would point out every zit or flaw on my skin. He would point to my bra strap when I first wore one and ask “what’s that? [smirk].” Nearly every man I have ever dated has made comments about pubic hair and gave their unsolicited ideas of how it should be groomed. I am literally sick to death of having to hear what men like. Literally every waking second is like l am just smothered with “What Men Like.” And if you don’t do the things, you risk comments like, ‘when you wear your hair in a bun you look like a boy’ or ‘you look sick’ if I don’t wear makeup or “you dress like a flute player.” And everything is always just not the fault of men. I read an article about a Skype sex scam targeting men and it was literally full of entitlement. Something like, “she is a really beautiful girl. With a girl like this, you lose your head.” It’s the classic “I can’t help myself” story. I read an article about the health benefits of seaweed salad that went something like this: “seaweed salad can help with PMS symptoms. Men rejoice!” That particular article received a nasty-gram, which was completely ignored, I’m sure. Need I even go into the sexism in advertising? Scantily clad women are everywhere for men to ogle. They’re entitled and expected to ogle. Women are expected to take note quietly. It’s madness. We can’t live like this. I can’t live like this. Paranoid about everything. Hoping I can get through everyday under the Male Gaze Radar without comments on my appearance or being forced to hear or see “What Men Like.”

Kitty

The fact that it seems to be more of a travesty for a woman to accuse a man of sex crimes (especially if this man is famous or of high standing in the community, both of which are convenient things to hide behind, & it means that people are more likely to believe them than the accuser, & it also means that they can afford clever lawyers to help them weasel their way out of trouble) than it is for a man to commit a sex crime. Indeed, it seems that the media seems to go out of its way to make rape victims out to be liars with an ulterior motive (usually financial, malicious or publicity-seeking), focus on alleged false allegations, make out that victims are over-reacting & making mountains out of molehills & bewail the fact that the man’s ‘reputation/career’ is now ‘ruined/in tatters’ as a result of the allegations made against him. Little wonder then that rape myths prevail & that conviction rates are rubbish (although a conviction doesn’t necessarily stop people from saying that the accuser was making the whole thing up either, mind you, as the previous sentence shows) if the media is so biased.

Anon

One Christmas morning when I was a little girl, I opened the presents from my stocking and discovered that Father Christmas had left me some interesting treasure. There were squadrons and squadrons of mini toy fighter aeroplanes in one parcel. Each plane in a squadron was the same colour and had the same symbols on the wings. I put them all in neat little groups according to team colour. They looked very boring just sitting on the carpet, so I decided to have a war with them. I pinched my nose and acted like I was talking on a crackly old radio and said: “War has been declared”. I hummed some war time songs I had heard on the TV as the fighter planes took to the skies of my bedroom. I made them have “dog fights” with each other ensuring that in each hand I held a different coloured plane. “Neeaaaaw!” I said making them climb up slowly and steeply dive. I provided all of the cinematic sound effects including the bullets “putt putt putt!”, making sure to empathise the “peeaaaw!” when they “ricocheted” off of the other aeroplane. One male relative used to watch lots of old films about air battles, so I knew what exactly what sounds to provide. “Enemy target in range! Open fire! Roger Juliet Peter 44 degrees west!” I said making up my nonsensical dialogue trying to mimic all the old war films my male relative watched. “Mayday 999!” I shouted: “Pull up! Pull up! Pull up your trousers Alpha Bertie Caesar! Do you read me? I repeat…Do you read the newspaper? Wilco and out.” I let go of the second plane and it plummeted onto the soft carpet. As I sang “The White Cliffs of Dover”, my mother entered my bedroom. She asked: “Oh Merry Christmas. I heard noises coming from your room. What on earth are you doing?” “Having a war,” I said matter of factly: “I haven’t decided which side will win yet. Father Christmas has given me fighter planes from four different countries, so he must have thought it was a good idea for me to have a war with them.” With that, I continued to play air battles and make sound effects. “Why are you making spitting sounds?” asked my mother in a very concerned tone: “It’s very rude to spit.” “Because they’re spitfires spitting out bullets. Putt putt putt Neeaww kaboom!” I said. My mother said: “Please stop. Why can’t you play a nice game instead?” “Because it’s a war. War isn’t always very nice,” I said: “But when it’s all over the victorious pilots will go home and have a big party to celebrate with a scratchy old record player. Everybody will dance. Then someday there will be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover.” “But what happens to the other pilots?” my Mum asked folding her arms with a displeased look. “They escape by parachute, then they get captured by the enemy or they go splat and die when they crash,” I said very immaturely and very insensitively. “That’s not very nice,” said Mum in a horrified tone: “This is a horrible game. Why don’t you play with your nice toys instead?” What did she expect me to do exactly, dress the fighter planes up in dolly clothes? “Father Christmas wanted me to have these war planes,” I said with conviction: “And I’m having fun with them. Thank you.” “I am going to have to have a word with Father Christmas,” said my mother in a dark tone rolling her eyes: “I think he has made a terrible mistake.” With that, she left the room and called out to my male relative. She did not sound happy at all. She sounded very angry and upset. Later on, I got told off by my mother for playing with the toy aeroplanes and was told to never play with them again. I wonder what would have happened if I had been born male instead of female? My male cousin played war games all the time and no one ever complained. I always wished him luck in battle and brought him biscuits and orange squash while he sat in his muddy dug out trench in the garden with a plastic gun. If “little Johnny” plays with toy aeroplanes or toy guns, then he is the pride of the household. If “little Jenny” does this, then well she’s told to stop because people think that girls that play war are mentally disturbed. That’s been my experience anyway. Boys are allowed to play war. It meant that I just played war in secret on my computer instead with video games my male relative bought me. I had pixelated fighter planes, bomber planes and even missiles. I had many tiring and expensive virtual wars. Many pixelated cities were lost. I felt weary and sad because the virtual people in my cities protested the fictional wars. I felt guilty for a while. When I grew bored of that, I even blew up some Martian tanks and space ships. I never told my girl peers that I did this when I invited them round for tea parties. I never talked to any women about my gender atypical hobbies because I didn’t think they would understand. I felt lonely about playing war on my own. I knew it was “wrong”, but I still played. FYI I never joined the Air Force because I am easily scared and get air sick: I just did fantasy wars.

Kitty

I was watching a vid on YouTube just now, which included a scene where a guy couldn’t start his car, so he got out to push it while his girlfriend sat in the driver’s seat & tried to start it. Anyhoo, I read the comments under said vid (big mistake, given some of the posts I’ve read on here about YouTube trolls), & some of the commenters seemed to think it was the guy’s girlfriend’s fault that his car wouldn’t start! I ask you! How on earth was it her fault, for God’s sake?! Was it because she was a female driver? Nobody blamed the guy, whose car it was, & who was behind the wheel before he got out to push, for the fact that it wouldn’t start! Enough with all this ‘women are bad drivers’ BS already- it’s getting really old. I didn’t reply because I didn’t want to feed the trolls or get attacked myself, but it did leave me with a nasty taste in my mouth.

Julie

A male fellow liberal and social worker friend on Facebook posted a meme which read: “Did you know that International Women’s Day was supposed to be held on March 6th, but they couldn’t get ready on time so it was moved to March 8th?” To which I responded: “Did you know that sexist memes like this are the reason we need an International Women’s Day?” My friend replied that he fully supported equal rights for women, but felt as if there should be room for some light humor. Many women agreed with him, and I was roasted as an angry, crazy, humorless bitch.

Anon

As a female, when I have tried to play games and sports in the past, people of all genders have been horrified when I have tried to win by using competitive tactics at these games. During Badminton all girls PE class at secondary school, I remember playing a half court singles game against a female friend of a friend. This girl was very cheerful, pleasant and smiley. I had invited her round for tea before and she had invited me. She liked to wear girly looking clothes and loved to pleasantly chat to people. I knew that I had to gain points in the round robin match because this would affect my final grade. I wanted a good grade in PE so I tried my hardest to win as many points as I could. This of course meant that I had to direct the shuttlecock to places within the court where the girl wasn’t. She served the shuttlecock. I pointed at with my non dominant hand so that it was in my line of sight. With swift and careful aim and intense concentration, I did a smash shot with my racket that deposited the said shuttlecock onto her side of the court right by her feet. She stood there stunned. Her eyes wide with the whites showing, her mouth half open. She was trembling. With some effort she stuttered: “Stop hitting the shuttlecock so hard! Why didn’t you let me hit it back?” Another close friend of mine looked at me, utterly terrified. Her eyes wide. She said: “Please stop hitting the shuttlecock so hard [insert my name here]! You look really scary! Your eyes. What has happened to you?” “Why are you striking warrior poses and glaring at people in the middle of the court?” someone else on the bench asked: “Snap out of it! Earth to [insert my name here]! You’ll take all of our eyes out and bruise us all if you keep hitting the shuttlecock so hard! You’re dangerous! Calm your b*****s down and smile. Stop being so violent! Listen girl. Take some deep relaxing breaths.” “It isn’t a warrior pose, I was just lining my racket up to take aim. I am trying to play badminton. I am trying to win the game,” I said truthfully. “Why are you being mean to her?” Someone else asked: “What did she ever do to you? Why do you glare at people with your eyes like you’re possessed when you walk onto the court? It’s only Badminton for crying out loud! It’s only a game. Stop taking it so f****** seriously! Why are you acting so meanly? This isn’t Kung Fu you know! Why are you being such a bully?” “She is my friend,” I said: “I haven’t hit her or hurt her at all. I aim the shot where she isn’t. I am sorry but this is just how I play badminton when I concentrate. Sorry if my playing offends you, but I am trying my best to get a good grade.” “Stop hitting the shuttlecock over my head where I can’t reach it!” said the girl looking quite upset: “It just isn’t fair that you don’t let me at least hit it back! Why aren’t you letting me hit it back?” “But…” I said exasperatedly. I was now beginning to feel guilty for inadvertently scaring the girl. “You’d better stop hitting the shuttlecock so hard and so high at us or we’ll tell.” someone else said: “You’re being so unreasonable.” Some of these girls would make fun and parody how I stood on the court. They’d say: “Ooh look at my fighting stance! Ooh look into my scary glaring eyes! Ooh look I’m going berserk! Ooh I’m gonna hit somebody hard! Ooh rocket attack shot! Hiyaa!” Weirdly, these girls would congratulate me when I won games and would cheer, but they seemed terrified of me when I stopped smiling and played competitively. They thought I was a threat to them. They called me “violent” and “scary” whenever I did excellent fast shots. I don’t think this would have happened if I had been male in an all boys PE class. Likely some of the boys would have told me to hit even harder and it would have been a non issue. I don’t play badminton any more. I have gained quite a lot of weight and feel depressed. I feel sad that I didn’t have good support growing up in sports and I felt bad for “scaring” my female friends. Perhaps the moral of this story is to offer kids some non competitive options in PE like juggling or Zumba for those kids that just want to have some exercise. That way, those kids who enjoy competing can get on with it. I like non competitive activities too by the way. Juggling would have been fun for me also. Later on, when I was an adult woman, several people offered to play me at chess during a support group. I concentrated intently on winning the games and strategising. Several of the group leaders told me that I should smile more when I played because I was a “sweet girl”. Some people said I was being nasty and mean (after several traps, pawn promotions and queen sacrifices). One of the men swore at me when I took his pieces and claimed I was cheating. I got someone with Scholar’s mate and she looked surprised and said: “Is it really over already? Isn’t there any more?” I was repeatedly told to “play nicely with your friends”, to get “higher self esteem” and to “stop being so miserable” when I played chess. It was annoying as heck. When I had my concentration face on, people thought that I looked “scary” and “miserable”. I don’t hear of many men being told to smile when they play chess. It is a strategic war game. It is a battle of wits between two people. It is about winning and losing. It isn’t like the “okie kokie” or “ring around o roses”. I did a face-palm when two female group leaders told the two men playing “battleships” to “play nicely”. Yes, people should play by the rules, but “nicely”? The game is about sinking your opponent’s ships! Oh dear we’d better not hurt anybody’s feelings by actually being “competitive”. We need to protect their “self esteem” by playing pacifistic battleships where “everybody wins”, nobody loses and no fictional ships sink because that’s “horrible”. I think that’s what those female group leaders would have wanted us to do. They didn’t understand the point of chess or battleships and seemed disturbed when I captured other people’s pieces from the chess board. They thought I was being mean to people when I was trying to win the game. Maybe we should have all just played pass the parcel instead. I mean give me strength! Some people are scared of women who concentrate intensely on winning in sport. People expect women to smile all the time and be “nice”, even during competitive games. Men aren’t expected to smile all the time: they are just expected to play to win and “fight their way to the top”.