Here is an interesting site concerning violence against women:
The Disposable Woman by Anna Holmes
Kudos to the New York Times for getting a conversation started about our apathy towards misogyny.
Here’s the evidence of Sheen’s violence against women:
Our inertia is not for lack of evidence. In 1990, he accidentally shot his fiancée at the time, the actress Kelly Preston, in the arm. (The engagement ended soon after.) In 1994 he was sued by a college student who alleged that he struck her in the head after she declined to have sex with him. (The case was settled out of court.) Two years later, a sex film actress, Brittany Ashland, said she had been thrown to the floor of Mr. Sheen’s Los Angeles house during a fight. (He pleaded no contest and paid a fine.)
In 2006, his wife at the time, the actress Denise Richards, filed a restraining order against him, saying Mr. Sheen had shoved and threatened to kill her. In December 2009, Mr. Sheen’s third wife, Brooke Mueller, a real-estate executive, called 911 after Mr. Sheen held a knife to her throat. (He pleaded guilty and was placed on probation.) Last October, another actress in sex films, Capri Anderson, locked herself in a Plaza Hotel bathroom after Mr. Sheen went on a rampage. (Ms. Anderson filed a criminal complaint but no arrest was made.) And on Tuesday, Ms. Mueller requested a temporary restraining order against her former husband, alleging that he had threatened to cut her head off, “put it in a box and send it to your mom.” (The order was granted, and the couple’s twin sons were quickly removed from his home.) “Lies,” Mr. Sheen told People magazine.
Lies? Why is it the public hates a woman that “slanders” a man’s “reputation” yet allows men to do it – and get away with it, with ease? Holmes, the writer, notes how Sheen is idealized, while the women in his life, who’ve suffered from his abuse, are slandered:
This hasn’t been the case with Mr. Sheen, whose behavior has been repeatedly and affectionately dismissed as the antics of a “bad boy” (see: any news article in the past 20 years), a “rock star” (see: Piers Morgan, again) and a “rebel” (see: Andrea Canning’s “20/20” interview on Tuesday). He has in essence, achieved a sort of folk-hero status; on Wednesday, his just-created Twitter account hit a million followers, setting a Guinness World Record.
But there’s something else at work here: the seeming imperfection of Mr. Sheen’s numerous accusers. The women are of a type, which is to say, highly unsympathetic. Some are sex workers — pornographic film stars and escorts — whose compliance with churlish conduct is assumed to be part of the deal. (For the record: It is not.)
Others, namely Ms. Richards and Ms. Mueller, are less-famous starlets or former “nobodies” whose relationships with Mr. Sheen have been disparaged as purely sexual and transactional. The women reside on a continuum in which injuries are assumed and insults are expected.
“Gold diggers,” “prostitutes” and “sluts” are just some of the epithets lobbed at the women Mr. Sheen has chosen to spend his time with. Andy Cohen, a senior executive at Bravo and a TV star in his own right, referred to the actor’s current companions, Natalie Kenly and Bree Olson, as “whores” on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Tuesday.
I couldn’t even fathom hearing similar epithets from a group of women discussing men – first, it wouldn’t get aired; second, if they did it would be rightfully called a man-hating bitch session, to put it mildly. But slam women, most of whom have been victims of Sheen’s own misogyny, and get worshipped. What does that tell you about the climate we live in?
Objectification and abuse, it follows, is not only an accepted occupational hazard for certain women, but something that men like Mr. Sheen have earned the right to indulge in.
Sheen treats women the way he wants – getting his own way and attacking – verbally and physically – those that dare go against his wishes. His backtalk against his bosses is what brought him such media attention, while his treatment of women has gone virtually unnoticed. Even colleges are asking for him to be their commencement speaker. This would never be acceptable if he treated another group like this – it’s time we treat misogyny with the same contempt as anti-semitism and racism.
Haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but it looks interesting:
The authors suggest that policy responses will be effective only insofar as gendered violence is understood within its social, cultural and political context and if that context is not seen as foreign but rather as part of the new social relations in the immigrant-receiving society. Hence, they argue that honour-related violence needs to be understood not as a “cultural” or “religious” problem that afflicts particular immigrant communities (in this case, often those perceived and represented as Muslim) but as a specific manifestation of the larger problem of violence against women (which concerns all communities, whether immigrant or not) that in the case of immigrant communities is shaped and informed by the immigration experience. Only a contextually specific approach allows for this understanding.
L.Y. Marlow To Be Keynote Speaker at United Nations ‘A Season For Nonviolence’
January 13, 2011 (Washington, D.C.)
L.Y. Marlow will be the Keynote Speaker at the United Nations for the 11th Annual Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Nonviolence 2011 event entitled “Speak Out, Unite, End Violence Against Women.”
The United Nations event is a national educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. The event was inspired by the anniversaries of Mahatma Ghandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and now also honors Cesar Chavez.
The event will be held Wednesday, February 2nd at 1:15pm at the United Nations in New York City and is open to the public. Click here for more information on the event.
Source: Saving Promise
This is bad. Really bad.
If that’s not enough, a behind-the-scenes clip of the video includes a semi-naked dead woman laying spread eagled on a table in front of Rick Ross as he eats a plate of raw meat. It is likely we can expect more brutal images in the full-length video.
The victims in this video are clearly women. Only women. And the men, Kanye West, Rick Ross, and Jay-Z are far from bothered by the female corpses. They seem to enjoy being surrounded by lifeless female bodies, apparent victims of a serial killing.
Source: Adios, Barbie
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I have met with women with faces like Aisha’s in Bangladesh, where lovers or jealous husbands have thrown acid on their faces to scar them for life. I have spoken with women missing limbs because pimps mutilated them in Cambodia. I have heard from Bosnian women whose vaginas have been shredded by soldiers who inserted pointed objects and guns into them. I know women in India whose faces and bodies are a mass of burned flesh because they did not bring enough dowry. And, you don’t have to leave the United States to see such brutality. Last November I met a woman from Tennessee whose ex-husband beat her with an iron rod within an inch of her life — her jaw is shattered, her nose is broken, her left eye does not see.
If the intent of TIME magazine and organizations like Women for Afghan Women was to illuminate the taboo topic of violence against women with this picture — I am all for it. If it ignites a public debate about the silent ongoing war that patriarchy wages against girls and women in their homes, at work places, on the streets, and on army bases — bring it on. If this cover helps us advocate for a U.S. foreign policy that places the dignity and humanity of women at its core — I will be the first to celebrate.
If this country is serious about addressing the root causes of Aisha’s disfigurement — let it make a commitment to non-violence and respect for women a key component of its domestic and foreign policy. Let it help train armies of nurses, teachers, and agricultural workers in Afghanistan. Let it invest in diplomacy and decrease its unmatched military expenditure — currently more than the rest of the world combined. Let it say to its client states, whether Israel, Iraq, or Saudi Arabia, “we will stop providing military aid, if we do not see clear evidence that you are moving to address gender violence and discrimination in your societies.” Let the Senate immediately ratify Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) — the UN Bill of Rights for women. Let the U.S. lead by realizing women’s rights at home before it invades other nations where it can moralize about “tribal” practices.
Ooh, ooh, I know this one! A racist! Right?
Hat’s off to Keli Goff for writing Is it worse to be a racist or a rapist? What Gibson, Brown and Polanski teach us. I was heartsickened to find out Switzerland was letting Polanski go. Ply a 13-year-old with alcohol and drugs, rape her, serve a few days in jail and live the rest of your life as an “icon.” The media and Hollywood may worship Polanski, but the mere mention of his name turns my stomache. Like Goff, I think he’s poo – a disgusting old dirt bag that (well, like the majority of perps who commit violence against women) got off too easy.
The idea that men can commit violence against women and have impunity is not new – but it’s not well-known. One and a half to 3 million women are killed each year by men in this world. Impunity is the #1 reason it continues unabated. Sexual violence during war, rape, domestic violence, honor killings, acid attacks, female genital mutilation, sexual slavery and femicide exist in this world – it receives little media attention – it receives little commitment by governments to take action – it receives little fanfare by societies that deem it inevitable for women and girls to be subjected to violence and abuse by men.
- In the Congo, where atrocity rapes are occuring, I cringe when I realize that there is more stigma to being a rape victim than a rapist.
- In Guatemala, to be initiated into a gang, one must rape and kill a female. Since these youth are new to killing – you can imagine their inexperienced hands wielding a knife – it would be considered more humane to kill bulls in Spain than it would to describe how these young men kill young girls.
- In South Africa, 28% of men have admitted to raping a woman (Yet The Daily Show thought the “news” of finding a racist was more interesting and humorous to finding a rapist – I’m sure they have no idea as to what’s happening to women – why would they afterall? The news is not reporting this).
- In Florida recently, a man killed his ex-wife and targeted 6 women (not men), killing 3 of them. This man shot at 7 women in total. You haven’t heard this story? I’m not surprised.
Here’s some excerpts from Goff’s post:
In Gibson’s case it appears that everyone was so focused on not approving of his so-called “golddigging” girlfriend (whom Gibson accused of extortion) that whether or not he knocked her teeth loose became secondary to whether or not she was trying to possibly turn his knocking her teeth loose to her financial advantage. But the most telling clue regarding where our priorities lie, is that the majority of headlines chronicling Gibson’s downfall in recent weeks, from major publications to small blogs, highlight Gibson’s alleged use of the N-word on tape, not the fact that he appears to be terrorizing a woman with an infant on tape. It’s as though everyone universally had it with Gibson only after tapes initially created to support her allegations of abuse happened to include his use of the N-word.
The Civil Rights movement has helped change society’s mindset about race relations and language – it’s far from perfect, but we have come a long way (baby). We have NOT come a long way in terms of the Violence Against Women movment. We still witness countless injuries and deaths, impunity that protects perps, propaganda about false allegations that severely threatens justice, defenses that protect males and their careers, and apathy from leaders and the public.
So why is it that much of Hollywood is ready to welcome admitted statutory rapist Roman Polanski back with open arms, and much of black Hollywood is arguing that people like myself need to get over it already regarding Chris Brown’s assault on Rhianna? (Note to Polanski and Brown: It might help some of us who think you’re both poo to “get over it” if you were to display an ounce of real remorse over what you did, as opposed to remorse for the inconvenience it has presented to your careers. If you’d like to see how “remorseful” Polanski really is (or rather isn’t) for violating a child, listen to him in his own words in one of his last TV interviews on the matter.)
We all know that Gibson, Brown and Polanski are not the first notable public figures to be accused of abusing a woman, and will not be the last. Besides the countless professional athletes who have been accused of assault, in recent years various elected officials have been accused of everything from choking a woman, to slashing a girlfriend’s face (Click here to view a tally of members of Congress accused of spousal abuse as recently as a few years ago.)
But I guess the silver lining for abusers everywhere is that it looks like unless you use a racial slur while committing abuse you might be okay, career wise.
Yeah, Power to the Perps as I say.
And if you really need another piece of evidence to see how we protect perps and men, in particular, look at the video attached to this article: Dad tosses tot into traffic: Cops An off-duty police officer witnessed the father throwing his 18-month-old infant into traffic. The mother? She sticks up for the dad. Because men can do no wrong? (Oh, wait, that’s contrary to gender stereotypes) Because it would harm his career? (No, that’s contrary to facts). Hmmm. Hell, I don’t know why does she stick up for him? Why would anyone want to offer him impunity?
Hey, check it out: Reporting gender based violence
I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I hope to this weekend.
Rapper Eminem made a music video that debuted last Tuesday. It includes lyrics about Sarah Palin – something about taking her out to dinner and then “nailing” her.
Most of us know that a lot of rap music, not unlike many rock songs, are misogynist in nature. I have nothing to say about misogynist rap songs and the defense of “freedom of speech” or “artistic liberty” as excuses that serve to perpetuate misogyny. Feminism is often high-jacked (calling guns the “great equalizer”) and apparently nowadays we highjack human rights to perpetuate misogyny and violence towards women. No surprise there. We’ll always find excuses until we decide to rip out the roots themselves. But that would be like pulling the carpet from out beneath those that “benefit” from it and considering all the resistance we encounter in society that won’t be happening anytime soon. So it’ll be a slow process, for sure, but one that is worthy of our patience and determination.
What I would like to do, though, is share some excerpts from bell hooks that provides an incredibly insightful look into rap music and the larger dominant culture that permits it, even rewards it. I’ve highlighted some of the sentences that, to me, are the most powerful.
Here’s the full text.
When I counter this demonization of black males by insisting that gangsta rap does not appear in a cultural vacuum, but, rather, is expressive of the cultural crossing, mixings, and engagement of black youth culture with the values, attitudes, and concerns of the white majority, some folks stop listening.
We’re listening, bell. Go on:
It is useful to think of misogyny as a field that must be labored in and maintained both to sustain patriarchy but also to serve as an ideological anti-feminist backlash. And what better group to labor on this “plantation” than young black men.
Indeed, it feels like a field that keeps bearing fruit, year after year. Every other year, the crop may change, but it still yields the same fruit. This field is well-maintained and you wonder, why are we nurturing this? The fruit it bears is rotten to the core.
Without a doubt black males, young and old, must be held politically accountable for their sexism. Yet this critique must always be contextualized or we risk making it appear that the behaviors this thinking supports and condones,–rape, male violence against women, etc.– is a black male thing. And this is what is happening. Young black males are forced to take the “heat” for encouraging, via their music, the hatred of and violence against women that is a central core of patriarchy.
Rap music is bad, but it is but one ‘crop’ in the industry of misogyny. We also have the likes of Jerry Springer, Howard Stern, rock music, porn that involves degradation, violence and drug use (not to mention “facial abuse”), sexual harassments and assaults, etc. – the industry is huge and indeed profitable.
One cannot answer them honestly without placing accountability on larger structures of domination and the individuals (often white, usually male but not always) who are hierarchically placed to maintain and perpetuate the values that uphold these exploitative and oppressive systems. That means taking a critical looking at the politics of hedonistic consumerism, the values of the men and women who produce gangsta rap. It would mean considering the seduction of young black males who find that they can make more money producing lyrics that promote violence, sexism, and misogyny than with any other content. How many disenfranchised black males would not surrender to expressing virulent forms of sexism, if they knew the rewards would be unprecedented material power and fame?
How many males (and females) would not surrender to expressing sexism if they knew the rewards would be material wealth, power, fame…? It shouldn’t even have to be rewarded, but if we up against the money & power sexism earns, how can we make equality and respect attractive and rewarding? It seems so boring in comparison to the bountiful fruits of sexism – nudity, exploitation, domination…
Gangsta rap is part of the anti-feminist backlash that is the rage right now. When young black males labor in the plantations of misogyny and sexism to produce gangsta rap, their right to speak this violence and be materially rewarded is extended to them by white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Far from being an expression of their “manhood,” it is an expression of their own subjugation and humiliation by more powerful, less visible forces of patriarchal gangsterism. They give voice to the brutal raw anger and rage against women that it is taboo for “civilized” adult men to speak. No wonder then that they have the task of tutoring the young, teaching them to eroticize and enjoy the brutal expressions of that rage (teaching them language and acts) before they learn to cloak it in middle-class decorum or Robert Bly style reclaimings of lost manhood. The tragedy for young black males is that they are so easily dunned by a vision of manhood that can only lead to their destruction.
Yet, our feminist critiques of black male sexism fail as meaningful political intervention if they seek to demonize black males, and do not recognize that our revolutionary work is to transform white supremacist capitalist patriarchy in the multiple areas of our lives where it is made manifest, whether in gangsta rap, the black church, or the Clinton administration.
While this was published in 1994, it still holds true today. If we demonize Black men or rap music, we only look at one part of the problem. bell is right – misogyny is larger than that. Ridding the world of misogynist rap music is a step in the right direction, but it is one step of many…