Izzy award

Info on nominating your favorite writer in independent media (you’ve only got until Jan. 12th!):

Izzy award

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Be a man or write like one

The Washington Post printed this op-ed in today’s edition (woo-hoo, here’s our 15% of the op-ed pie!):

The key to literary success? Be a man — or write like one.

This fall, Publishers Weekly named the top 100 books of 2009. How many female writers were in the top 10? Zero. How many on the entire list? Twenty-nine.

In my grad school thesis, written at 23, you’ll find young men coming of age, old men haunted by war, Oedipus complexes galore. If I’d learned nothing else, it was this: If you want to be a great writer, be a man. If you can’t be a man, write like one.

I couldn’t even read the comment section – which I often do – for fear of the scathing comments. I’ll appreciate this for what it is – an honest look at bias in a section often dominated by men (op-eds) in one of the most widely-read papers in the country. Yeah!

On a related note, here’s a few posts about a woman who posed as a male blogger – and earned more money:

Man with pen is actually a woman

If I had been a god and not a goddess

James Chartrand’s constructed masculinity goes far beyond the pen name

Sexual abuse in the military

Here’s a great article in the New York Times about sexual abuse in the military –

A Peril in War Zones – Sexual abuse by fellow G.I.’s

Here are some quotes from the article:

“A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” Representative Jane Harman, a Democrat from California, said at a Congressional hearing this year…

Captain White said she had feared coming forward, despite having become increasingly despondent and suffered panic attacks, because she was wary of she-said-he-said recriminations that would reverberate through the tightknit military world and disrupt the mission. Despite the military’s stated “zero tolerance” for abuse or harassment, she had no confidence her case would be taken seriously and so tried to cope on her own, Captain White said.

At least 10 percent of the victims in the last year were men, a reality that the Pentagon’s task force said the armed services had done practically nothing to address in terms of counseling, treatment and prosecution.

The military can no more eradicate sexual abuse than can society in general, but soldiers, officers and experts acknowledge that it is particularly harmful when soldiers are in combat zones, affecting not only the victims but also, as the military relies more than ever on women when the nation goes to war, the mission.

If they want to, the women can now seek medical treatment and counseling without setting off a criminal investigation. And all the services have started educational programs to address aspects of a hierarchical warrior culture that some say contributes to hostility toward women.

Domestic violence deniers

Here’s a great article by Corey Pein in the Santa Fe Reporter. I’ve often asked, is she a liar or is he a denier? The stereoptype that women lie for malicious reasons is deeply embedded in our society (and certainly the Fathers Rights groups capitalize on this).  How many know that denial is the trademark of an abuser? Why do we minimize a couple’s conflict into a “he said/she said” when the repurcussions of the conflict can end in permanent injury or even death?

Many in the Fathers Rights groups mimic abusers – they minimize, rationalize or call domestic violence mutual. They use research that is based on self report to call attention to female-initiated violence. The data they use does not capture the context of abuse (was it self defense, for example) nor does it capture severe abuse, violence during separation (the highest point of danger for women), or homicide. Females do use what’s called Common Couple Violence – throwing things, hitting, slapping. Females, however, are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed by their partner than males are.

The Fathers Rights groups also claim women are more likely to abuse their children. This data, actually, is based on households – including those led by single mothers. When males and females are compared equally, males are more likely to commit child abuse – and again, it is more severe and fatal. Men are more likely to kill babies in shaken baby syndrome. They are also overwhelmingly the ones to commit child sexual abuse. I do not deny women abuse children – I simply believe facts should be used – not propaganda like that coming from the angry men that make up the Fathers Rights groups. It’s not constructive.

They also attack the Violence Against Women Act. Funny, because VAWA’s biggest success is probably that the rate of women killing men has gone down drastically. Why? Because these women, many of whom were abused, can go to a shelter rather than kill their abuser. They also want to limit restraining orders and punish women for false allegations (which means not producing enough witnesses or evidence).  They’ve sued shelters and stopped funding for pro-bono legal help for women.

It’s clear what their agenda is: remove protection for women and children. Until they acknowledge the seriousness of domestic violence, we will be at a stalemate. They will be angrily chipping away at safety measures for women and children. We will be left, with the few resources we do have, to clutching the few measures we do have that protect us from domestic harm. Domestic violence has only been recognized publicly for 4 decades – laws, especially regarding marital rape, are still evolving. At its infancy, it’s being attacked.   

Man up by Corey Pein

Badvertising

It’s been a busy week for bad ads.

Here’s a “men wear the pants” ad from Dockers:

Dockers

Here’s 2 posts relating to the Docker’s ad:

Bitch

Echidne of the Snakes

Step away from the salad and get your hands dirty? Is that really the message Dockers wants to send men. Um, salad bars will be way more helpful than slamming back some beers, smoking he-man Marlboro reds and eating wings at Hooters anyday! Men suffer from heart attacks, suicide, shorter life spans and violence — all due in some form or another from masculinity roles! Is that what Dockers wants for men? (I’m afraid to know what it wants for women.)

And here’s another bad ad from Burger King:

Burger King

And…PETA is looking for an African American or mixed race actor for there next video, exploiting women:

craigslist

Here’s their video from last year, in which a woman takes off her clothes – for what? – to protest animal cruelity, of course! There doesn’t have to be a link with female nudity, does there?

State of the Union Undress

What I want to know is: Where is the People for the Ethical Treatment of WOMEN?!