We expect the French to push the boundaries of art. Anyone who saw the crazy costumes at the closing ceremonies for the 1992 Winter Olympics at Albertville can attest to that. Add to that the high esteem they hold Jerry Lewis in, their freaky love of creepy mimes, and Maurice Chevalier and you have a pretty weird and strange artistic bent on display.
Now, though, we have moved from creepy and weird into sick and unconscionable. French Vogue now gives us kindergartners as sexy models. (Warning: the image at this link is disturbing, at least to me and probably every other parent on the planet) Their reasoning?
“What makeup at what age? What makeup does one wear at 13? What about at 70? Obviously not like one does at 20.”
WFT! Ok, girls are starting to wear makeup young these days. My 12 year old has been wearing it regularly for at least a year. Showing us sexed up pubescent girls is not the way to show the best use of makeup. How about just some head shots of these girls? Why in the world would anyone, beside a pedophile, think to dress these girls like sexy models or starlets?
This is disgusting and morally indefensible. This is just one more example of the media promoting unrealistic female body images we well as grossly inappropriate sexual ideals for young girls.
I just hope the majority of French citizens are as shocked and outraged as I am.
(Thanks to Amanda Marcotte for tweeting this.)
A criminal complaint has been filed against the owners of The Manhood Academy. This taken from one of the sites of my friend who is the one who has filed the complaint (Please excuse the profanity used by the people from The Manhood Academy, I don’t think the know how to talk civily:
The response received from you is nothing short of a direct threat, and has been treated accordingly.
Your response – for the public record –
[quoting me back to me]
Yep, that is what I said. You came HERE to THIS page and lifted images of MY child without MY EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF DISPARAGEMENT. And I called you on it. You are welcome to visit MY page at any time. YOUR website is LIKEWISE public. No imagery that is copyrighted by you was pilfered. Your “tutorial” eBook is, by your own words, FREE TO THE PUBLIC. And even with that, you were duly CITED as is expected under the terms of copyright laws. Further YOUR organization is SEEKING PROFIT. Mine is NOT.
“basically this crazy cunt is complaining about PUBLIC PICTURES, SHE PUBLICLY POSTED to gain attention for herself. never mind the fact that this hypocritical cunt is POSTING IMAGES FROM OUR SITE WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION. so she feels she can break the law with impunity because feminism told her that all legal consequences fall on the shoulders of MEN–just as we stated in our ebook. this is a perfect textbook example of that.”
<image of a lolzcat/icanhazcheezburger>
[quoting me back to me "Next up...I'm ignoring the vast majority of your "retort"]
<image of cutekitteh>
“OF FUCKING COURSE you’re ignoring it. you don’t have the mental capacity to debate us. no feminist does.
and if you can’t silence us through intellectual debate, the next best thing is to CRIMINALIZE US for daring to speak out publicly against the hypocritical gender policies of feminism.”
[quoting me back to me "Lastly, I will be in contact with your website's ISP for violations of copyright laws where I and my children are concerned. I don't rightly care that you "gentlemen" are misogynistic jerks with no self-awareness -- the blind leading the stupid, quite frankly. You all are free to believe whatever you choose. However, where you step beyond that right of personal conviction into infringing onto the rights of another? That is where the line is drawn."]
“yes, you’ve PUBLICLY POSTED YOUR PICTURES ON A PUBLIC FORUM, ALONG WITH THIS INFANT WHO YOU CLAIM TO CARE ABOUT PROTECTING THE IDENTITY OF–LOL–and suddenly you’re becoming self-righteous about people seeing you? typical feminist hypocrisy. meanwhile you have NO PROBLEMS violating copyright claims when it concerns OUR WEBSITE.
make sure you IMMEDIATELY remove any content you posted from this site. you don’t have our permission to use it, you crazy cunt.”
There is nothing I need to remove since nothing I have put up is in copyright violation – as you have said what you have posted is free public content – and you seek PROFIT for your SERVICES outside of the state of California. Again, HUGE difference.
[quoting me back to me: "Update: Letter has been sent - both to the ISP and to the LAPD. In reviewing the content more closely and upon consulting with some professionals in areas of law and criminal behavior, I learned that what is transpiring in that website is actually against the law. Usage of my images is minor, comparatively. So...the letter has been duly sent - and I'm posting this publicly so that nobody can claim "entrapment" or "surprise" by my notifying not only the ISP, but the legal authorities regarding what amounts to a HATE GROUP.
<image of cute kitteh again>
“just as we told you men–YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS are being threatened by crazy feminist cunts like this.
we warned you: feminists will always try to CRIMINALIZE FREE SPEECH. it’s the only way they can silence the opposition. in a feminists’s delusional mind, your MALE perspective amounts to “HATE SPEECH.” anything you say that STANDS AGAINST the entitlement mentality of feminism WILL BE CRIMINALIZED. in a feminist’s delusional mind, you are no different than Hitler, the KKK, islamic terrorists, etc.”
<image of Adolf Hitler; image of KKK; image of Middle Eastern terrorists>
“dear feminist cunt,
you are NO LONGER ALLOWED to post on this site. if you continue to stalk us and post “hateful” content, we will consider it CRIMINAL HARASSMENT and be contacting your ISP and local authorities regarding your “HATE SPEECH.”
[as we've always stated, feminists love to have their cake and eat it too; they want the protection of the law when it suits their selfish interests, yet they have no problem violating the law.]“
As is typical with people who try to spin truth, Professor Plum has confused what he has done (illegal) with what I have done (legal)…and has tried a blatant and direct threat this time.
Of course, I responded – especially since he pilfered images of MINE to use in a denigrative fashion against me – which he is NOW trying to construe as “stalking”
“Actually, I posted no images of your website. I stayed within the law by quoting and giving credit back to authorship. Specifically.
What I do in an art site that is nothing to do with your page here is not open for your discretion to post anywhere.
Further, your weak attempts at intimidation and pressure of silencing someone who exposes your “Academy” for the hate group that it is only brings forth a letter to the proper authorities – in this case, the LAPD. You took images from my page. Images that I own the copyrights for. For disparagement and insulting purposes.
You do not have that authority or that right. And you have been thusly reported.
You don’t like that? That’s your problem, not mine.
We’re through here. Blither on all you like…but every single comment you make is saved for documentation and reporting purposes. I don’t stoop to the level of abusers through tactics of insidious and implicit intimidation. I simply handle these matters through appropriate legal channels.
Now then. This is being filed as a direct police report to the Los Angeles Police Department – not a cc’d email, though the ISP will be notified as well.
My last post was about The Manhood Academy. My friend did a lot of research into the Manhood Academy’s history. They have , as of 2010, rebranded themselves as a Men’s Rights group. Before that, the sight was apparently locked down as of 2008, likely for their blatant promotion of hate and abuse toward women. Read her findings here.
I’ve written recently about the Manhood Academy site, here and here. Besides the fact that they refuse to allow comments critical of their site, they have now resorted to personal attacks and threats against one of the commenters and my good friend. They have apparently tracked back to one of her accounts and lifted a few of her images -INCLUDING one of her infant son!! They posted these pictures in a personal attack in the comments section of their blog. Out of respect for her, I am not going to post a link to that.
Who are The Manhood Academy?
According to their web site, the Manhood Academy:
Manhood Academy is the first worldwide male educational center specifically designed to train men in social competence.
They offer a free e-book entitled, The Principles of Social Competence. Here is are a few quotes from the free, online book:
Relationships give women the opportunity to depend on men (for protection, affection, stability, security, provision, etc.). They also give men the opportunity to depend on women (for sex, companionship, children, support, etc.).
Relationships give women the opportunity to depend on men (for protection, affection, stability, security, provision, etc.). They also give men the opportunity to depend on women (for sex, companionship, children, support, etc.).
Instead of forming healthy relationships with authoritative men, today’s women are ushered into a dysfunctional relationship with the State; police offer protection, courts offers social support, a welfare system provides food and shelter, the media provides approval, business careers provide an illusion of self-sufficiency, fertility clinics provide children, and prescription drugs provide instant pleasure. By usurping the function of men, the State undermines the potential for healthy relationships between men and women.
Ironically, the State’s own dysfunctional authority cannot meet the needs of women. While police and the judicial system work to deter crime, they can do nothing to teach women how to dress appropriately in public or prevent women from creating dangerous situations for themselves.
Giving women independent rights to childbirth will never solve the problem of overcrowded prisons created by single mothers. The state’s inability to exercise proper authority over women results in a thoroughly unsatisfying relationship.
There is more, much more, all in the same vein. It is nothing but a load of misogynistic hate thinly disguised as a self-help guide for men who want to be more successful with women. It does nothing but perpetuate the idea of male privilege that has sadly existed for thousands of years.
These are a bunch of emasculated men who, instead of looking to themselves for the causes of their feelings of inadequacy, have to blame women and the society that protects women’s rights.
The brief research I’ve done in looking through the leaders’ comments and those of their “students’ show utter contempt for women and for the men who support women. Their language is crass, sexist and juvenile. When a conversation between one of the “professors”, Professor Plumb and a student include the following line, “I’ll only jizz on her breasts”, you can be sure that this is site is nothing more than a place where a bunch of self-emasculated, misogynistic, hate-perpetuating jerks get together to commiserate how none of them can get laid. I wonder why that is!
I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine who has been having a confrontation with a couple of, what I can only call misogynistic douche bags, from the Manhood Academy site. We were talking about people who call themselves anti-feminists and that got me to thinking about labeling yourself “anti” anything.
I have a real problem with people and groups who are “anti” anything. I prefer people and groups who are “pro” things because not it is only more positive, but it is more truthful (ok I am sure you can think of things like pro-baby eating, but that’s just being silly!). Calling yourself anti-feminist is disingenuous; by rights they should be calling themselves pro-female bigotry and pro-sexual inequality, because that is the reality of their beliefs.
If we start referring to people and groups who call themselves “anti” whatever as “pro” what they really are about, I think it would help clarify things and force these people to defend their real beliefs, which are most often indefensible.
Take for example, since we’ve already mentioned it, anti-feminists. They try to portray feminists as man hating, sex despising fanatics, which is far from the reality. If we start calling them pro-sexual inequality or pro-male domination, then they are suddenly forced to defend these positions.
When we can reframe the argument so that the reality of peoples views and beliefs becomes obvious, then we are calling these misogynists for what they really are; woman hating, insecure fear mongers.
My dear friend at pros/e/yes wrote a humorous blog post about a couple of total yahoos filled with male priviliobes. I’m going to quote her post in it’s entirety and then give my response.
There’s this website called the “Manhood Academy” ~ the title evokes imagery of various things like little boys in their tighty-whities pretending they’re men in loincloths, painting themselves in ketchup and dancing around a trashcan bonfire, pounding their baseball bats in the ground and beating their chests to the soundtrack of “Lord of the Flies”…*laughing*
…or of poorly written Harlequin novels in reverse…instead of heaving honey-nectared breasts & throbbing organs, we have a group of lonely, desperate pimply-faced boys living in their parents’ homes fantasizing that their “manhoods” are anything more than the shriveled up puny stacks of dimes that they really are. Of course, while their slappin’ that ol’ salami around, they’re imagining that their dicks are as huge and intimidating as a rhinoceros horns…and in the words of one of the cute little apes, getting off on “a chick’s shaved taco”…oh yeah, I’m ready to cream myself, reading that bit of hot sexy talk.
Yeah, these two boardheads, who call themselves “Dr. LeDice” and “Professor Plum” created this “Academy” to train men how to reclaim their “lost” masculinity. For some strange reason, I keep wanting to call “Dr.” LeDice…DeLice…but I’m sure that minor nitpicky detail would not go over very well with a man of his…*ahem*…stature. As for Prof. Plum, who has a brain about the size of a raisin, has underdeveloped critical thinking skills and an over-developed ego. He behaves as though he truly believes that ad hominem is legitimate debate.
I even got called a cunt. *pats self on back* Been a while since I had a threatened little boy react with that particular word.
He didn’t much seem to like that I asked him for citations and references to back up his assertions. He even tried to turn it around and asked me to present mine…*chortling merrily*…and of course, here I’m being VERY kind. When I say he “asked me”, it wasn’t quite so well-mannered… XD
He. Created a public website. He. Claims to be all about helping men…presumably to get them laid. He. Makes all kinds of assertions about feminism without citation.
I asked him to back them up.
He told me that the sheeple-cave website is a veritable gold mine of references and whathaveyou.
Professor Prune, it’s not on me to cite you. It’s on YOU to cite you. As a passing, casual observer – a tourist, if you will – there is no call for me to cite myself if I challenge something you’ve claimed is published online to help “everyone”… That’d be like a prosecutor asserting a defendant prove his own innocence. Doesn’t work that way, Snowflake. The burden of proof is on the person making all the nonsensical claims – or in this case, YOU.
And of course the sheeple who want to believe they’re “men”…buy it. Professor Prune has them convinced he’s walking on water, when in fact all he’s doing is splashing around in the shallow end. Poor kid. His mommy must not have breastfed him as a baby.
*still laughing* What a Magoo.
Can hardly wait to see what they say next.
And my response:
Oh. My. God. What a couple of pathetic losers! These guys have no idea what being a man means. First off, being a man means not needing training in being a man! Geessh!
Why so many men seem so threatened by “feminists” is beyond me. Being a man means being able to have a real conversation with a woman as if she were a (gasp!) real person, with a brain and feelings and shit like that.
I would like to hold training for men on how to be real men. I’d teach them that the world doesn’t revolve around their cocks. I’d show them that a woman is a human being who you can actually talk to about, well, anything. I’d let them know that it takes a hell of a lot more than just a cock (and not even a really large one, any ‘ol size will do) to please a woman. I could write a book about this stuff, but I really don’t want to. I’m too busy trying to point out all the asshole men who feel that their dicks give them some special kind of privilege and the ways they try to hold women back in every aspect of life.
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading the “Manhood Academy” site yet. I think I’ll need to make sure I’m physically gaged and subdued so that I don’t start growling, barking and gnawing on the furniture as I am wont to do when I encounter complete and utter idiocy of the sexist kind.
I’ll be writing more in-depth about this very soon, once I’ve amply sedated myself so that I can read the writings of Drs. Dumb and Dumber without suffering a bout of apoplexy.
Medical experts condemned the sales pitch being used, which they said was a “cynical” attempt to encourage secrecy in relationships.
Dr Allan Pacey, a fertility lecturer at the University of Sheffield said: “This seems really sad – it looks like a worrying and cynical attempt to trade on dishonesty and deceit.
“Of course women have to be able to control their fertility, but in a relationship people need to be able to have conversations about this kind of thing – taking a step like this behind a partner’s back is so dysfunctional, and if women are doing it just so they can sleep around, they are leaving their partner at all sorts of risks. Ethically, this is a huge can of worms.”
He said some women who chose to have the operation in secret because their culture or religion opposed the use of contraception, could end up suffering ill-consequences if they mysteriously stopped producing children.
Ann Furedi, chief executive of British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “I do think this is pretty cynical. It’s really important when women are making a decision like this that it is very carefully considered – for most of them that means a conversation and coming to a shared view with their partner.
“I can understand why some women might not want to discuss this but I would be very cautious of promoting that as a specific benefit of any treatment.”
Roger Vadim was a French director known for starting the career of Brigitte Bardot, whom he married. He was also married to Jane Fonda and Catherine Deneuve .
According to this article on cracked.com, he ditched his lover Catherine Deneuve when “my shy adolescent had blossomed out into a hard-headed woman ruthlessly in control of her own life,” as he put it. The whole point of Brigitte Bardot as a sex symbol was the natural, unabashed charisma she exuded as a confident woman, but it didn’t do anything for Vadim, who said, “From the moment I liberated her … the moment I showed her how to be truly herself, our marriage was all downhill.”
This is another example of male privilege. Here, the man tries to assume control over the woman by “liberating” her.
There are two main pieces of douchebagery going on here.
The first is that this cretin has the arrogance to assume that he somehow caused the “blossoming” and personal growth of his wives, when in all likelihood, they simply matured naturally (they were fairly young when they married him, after all).
The second, and this is the really despicable act here, is that once they had become their own person, or in his eyes, stopped deferring and relying on him so much, he completely lost interest in them.
To the sanctimonious Mr. Vadim, his wives were conquests, pure and simple. Everything about these women only had value to him as long as he was able to see himself reflected in their actions and affections. Once they became “truly themselves”, and were able to control their lives, it was, for him, all downhill.
This kind of sense of privilege is more than just the plain, ingrained male priviliobes (a unit of privilege that I just made up that is similar to a microbe in that in infects the host). There is also a large amount of ego to be contended with here. I haven’t read anything about Roger Vadim except what I read on cracked.com and wikipedia.com, but I suspect that he was a ripe asshole in his other dealings with his fellow humans. Unfortunately, while you might be able to educate men to recognize their male priviliobes in order to help them rid themselves of them, being an asshole is a lot harder to cure, taking a willingness to admit you are an asshole and years of therapy.
I can only hope that his ex-wives were able to figure out that it was themselves, not him, that lead to their own growth as persons.
I read a couple of interesting blog entries here, here and here, about the current news item about Julian Assange being indicted for rape in Sweden. The whole case seems to center the idea of withdrawn consent. The sketchy details are these:
On one occasion he agreed to use a condom while having sex with a women, but it wasn’t until they were done that she realized that he didn’t’ wear one. In the other case, he wore a condom, which broke during intercourse. The woman asked him to stop when it broke, but he continued the sex act to its conclusion.
In Sweden, the law basically says that if consent is withdrawn at any time, the the person continues, that constitutes sexual assault.
To me, this is a given. I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly not get this. But, to my astonishment, it seems that most states in the U.S. do not have any kind of laws that deal with withdrawn consent. Apparently, most states still focus on the use of force in determining if rape occurred. WTF!?
If I am kick boxing with someone and half way through, I tell him to stop, but he continues to wail on my ass, I’m pretty sure that would constitute assault in most jurisdictions. Why should sex be any different. It is an, like kickboxing, an act that two people consensually engage in, but when one person withdraws their consent and says, “Stop!”, then the other person should stop. This is a basic of civilized human interaction.
It is horrifying and unacceptable that any woman should ever need to worry about a man not stopping a sex act if she tells him to. That any man would continue when told to stop is reprehensible beyond words and that man should be charged with sexual assault at the least, and really should be charged with rape, pure and simple. What part of “no means no” don’t these guys get?
This all goes back to this socially ingrained sense of male privilege that permeates society. It is a throw back to patriarchal societies that sprung up thousands of years ago and even back then there was no justification for it. If you had a penis, you were golden, if you didn’t, you were chattel. It was total and complete utter bullshit then and it still is now.
As long as the laws allow a man to have sex against her will, regardless of if she originally gave consent when they started, we will coninue to tolerate the intolerable. Laws that clearly define that, “no means no”, must be passed and penalties for breaking those laws must be harsh. Next to murder, sexual assault and abuse is the most heinous crime imaginable. Men need to realize that they will lose their freedom for a long time if they don’t stop when they hear “stop”.
It’s time to move beyond sensitivity classes and make sure that 50% of the population knows it can’t just impose their will on the other 50% without serious consequences
I was at a party a week or so ago after the first night of Skepticon. I was talking to Amanda Marcotte I told her that I consider myself a radical feminist. She asked me what I meant by that. It was a great question which I think I answered somewhat to her satisfaction, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since and I don’t think I answered it to my satisfaction.
If I am going to go around calling myself a feminist, especially a radical one, I need to be able to explain exactly what I mean by that. I know what I feel. I have always believed that women are equal to and just as valid as any man. But there is so much more to it than that. And the key, I think, is found in the often homicidal outrage I feel when I read about the innumerable, degrading, heart wrenching stories about women the world over who exist in virtual servitude. Those who have no control over their education, reproduction, their own bodies or even their own thoughts.
But that outrage isn’t reserved just for the obvious, glaring examples found in places like Saudi Arabia, or Eastern Europe, or Africa. The outrage is equally strong when I read about the everyday events that most woman in this world have to deal with. The sexists comments, the leers, the condescending attitudes from men who, for no other reason than that they were born with a penis, feel they have privileges over all the women in their lives.
There are so many examples to draw from and all are equally enraging to me. The parents who kill girl infants because they aren’t boys. The parents who believe that girls are property to be sold into marriage, or worse. The parents who refuse to educate their daughters. The men who believe that the women in their lives are property to be traded or controlled.
Add to this the insult that others, mostly men who are priests, pastors, doctors and lawmakers, vie for control of a woman’s body. The hypocrisy of this has started to become clear in the uproar over TSA body searches of passengers. Only when a man is suddenly forced to surrender control of his privates to other does he suddenly feel the anger and degradation that millions of women feel every day. This point must not be lost in the ongoing debate of the TSA policy as it speaks loud and clear to the indignities that all woman are expected to endure.
Then there are the little things, innumerable, that degrade and belittle women every day. Being expected to cook or do housework or take on the brunt of child care. To be a sexual plaything at the beck and call of her husband or boyfriend. These expectations are prevalent and real in the lives of many upon many woman the world over.
It is the idea of male privilege that has been promulgated for thousands of years to the point that entire religions have been constructed around the idea that women are just one more possession given to men by their god. They hold up their scriptures that they, themselves have written, as proof of their superiority.
The fear of woman runs deep in the privileged male psyche. Fear of impotence; fear of loss of power, fear of death. All this and more does the privileged male fear, and when he sees his obvious equal in woman, he convinces himself that she is the cause of all his misfortune.
I was lucky growing up. My father always treated every women with respect. I never once heard him say anything that could have been taken as derogatory toward women, unlike almost all of my friends’ fathers did. He treated my mother with the utmost respect, even when she didn’t deserve it. I never did ask him about his views about woman’s equality. It just wasn’t something that came up. All I have is his example and that speak volumes.
What can I do about this? There are several this I can and have done. I have raised my daughter, who is 12 now, to be a strong, self-confident young woman. She doesn’t take any shit from anyone and openly mocks anyone who dares to try to tell her she can do something because she is a girl. I take great pride in her strength and confidence, know that I have helped shape that.
I have raised my son, who is 16, to respect women and treat them as his equals. While we haven’t talked about it much, I have yet to see him do or hear him say anything bad about a woman solely because she is female.
In my conversations with others, I never let a sexist word or action go unanswered.
I am a feminist because I believe in the true equality of woman to men, not just in words, but in deeds, and that these rights must be written into our laws and all of our institutions. I am a feminist because I reject the idea of male privilege where ever it may show its self. I am a feminist because I reject every aspect of our society, no matter how minor or mundane, that perpetuates the lie of male privilege. Finally, I am a radical feminist because I refuse to stand still and stay silent while even a single woman in this world is marginalized, insulted, abused or denigrated. I will speak out, loudly and forcefully, against every outrage against women large and small.
None of this is new to me, but my decision to take an active part in fighting against sexism and inequality is. I won’t be silent any longer. From here on out, the focus of the blog is going to shift somewhat. In addition to my railing against the evils of religion and magical thinking, expect to see a much greater focus on feminism. I may get less than 100 hits a day, but if I can get my message out to even one person a week, that will make all my effort worth it.