A year ago I got to illustrate one of the endings in Ryan North’s brilliant Hamlet choose-your-own-path book To Be or Not To Be. These are all things you may be able to find outside right now (if you can bear to put down this amazing book).
This one deserves a “wow.”
SAGE Publishers is retracting 60 articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control after an investigation revealed a “peer review and citation ring” involving a professor in Taiwan.
A peer review and citation ring?!? That’s the least sexy phrase of all time.
You can tell a girl she’s smart her whole life, encourage her in school, buy her a chemistry set, send her to math camp, help her apply for college scholarships in STEM fields, and she’s still eventually going to walk into a classroom, a lab, or a job interview and have some man dismiss her existence, deny her funding, pass her over for a promotion, or take credit for her work. How about you work on getting those assholes out of power and quit telling me not to call girls pretty.
Trigger warming: extreme violence against women, discussion of murder, suicide, online bullying
As a sexologist, I’ve been writing and educating about sexual double standards for years; the age-old damned if you do, damned if you don’t predicament women face about their sexuality. If you have sex, you won’t be respected, but if you don’t have sex, you still won’t be respected. It’s an impossible paradox. This week, that paradox became deadly. This week women have died for saying yes to sex. And women have died for saying no.
First, earlier this week the story of Alyssa Funke broke. She said yes to sex. And she agreed to film it for other people to enjoy while masturbating, and was paid to do so. When her friends and the internet found out about her porn video, she was harassed so vehemently she committed suicide with a shotgun. She was slut-shamed to death. She’s dead because she said yes to sex, and people (mostly men) tormented her about this fact. They tormented her about her decision the have sex until the point that she believed being dead was a better scenario that dealing with the torment.
BUT THAT WASN’T ENOUGH FOR THEM!
Even though she’s dead, men continue to tweet at her remarks that simultaneously shame her for saying yes to sex, relish her death, and delight in masturbating to her video. The tone I read over and over again was “She filmed herself having sex, so she deserved to die. I enjoyed watching her have sex, but she still deserved to die.”
If some men believe the death penalty should be the punishment women, and women alone, receive for saying yes to sex, they must believe that sex is the worst of crimes, and we should therefore say no to sex. But saying no to sex resulted in women’s deaths this week too. The double standard isn’t just damned if you do, damned if you don’t anymore. It’sdead if you do, dead if you don’t.
A man killed 6 people and wounded 7 others at the University of California Santa Barbara two days ago, shooting into a sorority house, as promised, as "retribution" that since puberty women have denied him the sex and attention that he thought he deserved for being a “gentleman”. Women said no to sex, and now women are dead.
BUT THAT WASN’T ENOUGH FOR THEM!
Men began posting to twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that, well, these women got what they deserved. The tone I read over and over again was “This is what bitches get for denying the guy some pussy. He was a rich, good looking guy, and stuck up selfish prude sluts wouldn’t put out. Let this be a lesson to you ladies, the next time you refuse a man a blow job.”
It is open season on women. If he was black and he drove down the street killing people from his car window, he would have been labelled a “thug”. If he was middle eastern and struck fear into an entire town by murdering strangers as they walked down the street, he would have been labelled a “terrorist”. But he was an affluent, young, white man on a mission to murder women, so he’s just a depressed guy who understandably snapped after being rejected by women for too long.
So what can we do to stop this? We can refuse to participate in policing other people’s sexuality. We can call it out when we see others doing it. We can petition the media to address the misogyny and sexual double standard when discussing these murders. We can talk about it- blog about it, post status updates about it, write school papers about it, talk to friends about it. When it happens online, we can report it.
But we have so much work to do. When I reported to twitter that people were still sending horrific messages to Alyssa Funke, calling her a “whore” and rejoicing in her suicide, twitter informed me that they will not investigate my complaint. Only the person being subjected to the harassment directly can file a report, they told me. Well, Alyssa can’t do that twitter. She’s dead.
Why am I unsurprised at Twitters idiotic response?
Q:i'm not empathizing with the killer nor are his actions justified but you have to admit that this is VERY rare. nobody really loses their temper like that over rejection. i know you hate hearing this but not all men (or people for that matter) are like that.
A friend of mine rejected a guy’s proposal so he beat her unconscious and kept her in his apartment for two days. He threatened her parents that he would kill her and when his parents and authorities got a hold of him, guess what happened to him? Nothing.
A guy yelled at me from a bar balcony to get my attention and when I ignored him, he threw his beer can at me.
A guy at McDonald’s couldn’t pick up on any fucking social cues that I was uncomfortable and intimidated by him. He took my phone, called his number with it so that he had my number. He tried to video chat me several times until I cursed him out and then he stopped.
Another friend of mine refused to have sex with her boyfriend (she was 14. he was 18) so he beat her up. She moved to another country because of him.
Rodger’s case is just some of the very few that are actually reported. It’s sensationalized to the point that people forget that these are daily occurrences. There are thousands of women telling their stories but nobody’s listening, even now.
Six people are dead and the only thing you can say is “not all men are like that.” Get the hell out of my inbox.
- It’s not hard to fathom why so many men tend to assume they are great and that what they have to say is more legitimate. It starts in childhood and never ends. Parents interrupt girls twice as often and hold them to stricter politeness norms. Teachers engage boys, who correctly see disruptive speech as a marker of dominant masculinity, more often and more dynamically than girls.
- For example, male doctors invariably interrupt patients when they speak, especially female patients but patients rarely interrupt doctors in return. Unless the doctor is a woman. When that is the case, she interrupts far less and is herself interrupted more.
- This is also true of senior managers in the workplace. Male bosses are not frequently talked over or stopped by those working for them, especially if they are women; however, female bosses are routinely interrupted by their male subordinates.
- As adults, women’s speech is granted less authority. We aren’t thought of as able critics or as funny.
- Men speak more, more often, and longer than women in mixed groups (classrooms, boardrooms, legislative bodies, expert media commentary and, for obvious reasons religious institutions.)
- Indeed, in male-dominated problem solving groups including boards, committees, and legislatures, men speak 75% more than women, with negative effects on decisions reached. That’s why, as researchers summed up, “Having a seat at the table is not the same as having a voice.”
- Even in movies and television, male actors engage in more disruptive speech and garner twice as much speaking and screen time as their female peers.
- Listserve topics introduced by men have a much higher rate of response.
- On Twitter, people retweet men two times as often as women.
The best part though is that we are socialized to think women talk more. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are hogging the floor when men are actually dominating. Linguists have concluded that much of what is popularly understood about women and men being from different planets, verbally, confuses “women’s language” with “powerless language.”
This preference for what men have to say, supported by men and women both, is a variant on “mansplaining.” The word came out of an article by writer Rebecca Solnit, who explained that the tendency some men have to grant their own speech greater import than a perfectly competent woman’s is not a universal male trait, but the “intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness where some portion of that gender gets stuck.” Solnit’s tipping point experience really did take the cake. She was talking to a man at a cocktail party when he asked her what she did. She replied that she wrote books, and she described her most recent one, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West.The man interrupted her soon after she said the word Muybridge and asked, “And have you heard about the very important Muybridge book that came out this year?” He then waxed on, based on his reading of a review of the book, not even the book itself, until finally a friend said, “That’s her book.” He ignored that friend (also a woman) and she had to say it more than three times before “he went ashen” and walked away. If you are not a woman, ask any woman you know what this is like, because it is not fun and happens to all of us.
Last week as I sat in a cafe, a man in his 60′s stopped to ask me what I was writing. I told him, a book about gender and media and he said, “I went to a conference where someone talked about that a few years ago. I read a paper about it a few years ago. Did you know that car manufacturers use slightly denigrating images of women to sell cars? I’d be happy to help you.” After I suggested, smiling cheerily, that the images were beyond denigrating and definitively injurious to women’s dignity, free speech, and parity in culture he drifted off
In the wake of Larry Summers’ “women can’t do math” controversy several years ago, scientist Ben Barres wrote publicly about his experiences, first as a woman and later in life, as a male. As a female student at MIT, Barbara Barres was told by a professor after solving a particularly difficult math problem, “Your boyfriend must have solved it for you.” When several years after, as Ben Barres, he gave a well-received scientific speech, he overhead a member of the audience say, “His work is much better than his sister’s.” Most notably, he concluded that one of the major benefits of being male was that he could now “even complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man.”
“Stop interrupting me.”
“I just said that.”
“No explanation needed.”
Martin Luther King Jr once related a story that demonstrated just how accurate the Black woman was at assessing her location in the scheme of things and knowing how to handle herself wherever she was. He told us about an older Black woman who had worked for a white woman in Alabama.
First as her laundress, then as her maid, then as her cook and finally as her housekeeper. After 40 years, the Black woman retired but she would go to visit her former employer occasionally. On one visit, her employer had friends over for lunch. When the employer was told the Lilian Taylor was in the kitchen, she sent for her. Lilian went into the livingroom and greeted all the women. Some of whom she had known since their childhoods.
The white woman said Lilian I know you’ve heard of the bus boycott. Lilian said yes ma’am I’ve heard of it. The white woman said, well I want to know, what do you think of it? Are you supporting it? Lilian said no ma’am not one bit. Not one little iota and I won’t let none of mine support it either. The white woman said, I knew you’d be sensible Lilian. I just knew it in my bones. Lilian said yes ma’am I won’t touch that bus boycott.
You know my son took me to live with him and his family. He won’t let me even lift a finger and he works for the power company way across town from our house. I told him, Charles don’t you have anything to do with that bus boycott. You walk to work. Stay all the way out of that bus boycott. And my grandchildren, they go to school all the way over on the East Side. I told them the same thing. Don’t have anything to do with that boycott. You walk to school. And even today, when I wanted to come over and visit you, I got a lady from my church to bring me. I wasn’t going to touch that bus boycott, sure wasn’t.
The room has become quiet and Lilian Taylor said, I know you have plenty help now but do you want me to bring you all some more coffee? She went to the kitchen and was followed by the white woman’s daughter. Who asked her, Lilian why do you treat my Mother like that? Why not just come out and say you support the boycott? Lilian said, honey, when you have your head in the lion’s mouth, you don’t snatch it out. You reach up and tickle him behind his ears and you draw your head out gradually.
Every Black woman in this country has her head in a lion’s mouth.
[Series of texts by @fatnutritionist, which read: “People are mad at me because they ‘work so hard’ to be fit or lose weight. They have told me this explicitly. It implies that they think my rejecting the values they subscribe to can somehow take away the fitness they’ve worked for. That is totally delusional. If you’ve worked hard for fitness, no amount of fat people rejecting stigma can take that away. So this is obviously not actually about fitness, at all. It’s about the other thing they ‘worked hard’ for: social status. They DO think, and they know, that the social status they have worked hard to earn, through ‘fitness,’ can be devalued. It can be devalued if the hierarchy that rewards them is crushed. Crushed by people rejecting stigma. We can’t take away your fitness or whatever weight you’ve lost. But we can devalue those things by destroying fat stigma. So they are afraid of us, and for good reason. If fat people aren’t stigmatized, then there is no more thin privilege. Remember always, fat people: People are afraid of you because you have an awesome power - to destroy the hierarchy. If they were not afraid of losing their place in the hierarchy, they would not come after you so viciously.” All tweets were accompanied by the hashtag, #notyourgoodfatty]
I love the truth bombs Michelle Allison has been dropping on Twitter. She’s a fucking BAMF.
Love this tag! Shoutout to all the good folks making their voices heard. #notyourgoodfatty #twitter
Happy Birthday, Ms Angelo.
So pick it up.
On this day in history In the spring of 1963, activists in Birmingham, Alabama launched one of the most influential campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement: Project C, better known as The Birmingham Campaign.
Mary Bowser, former slave of the Van Lew family, infiltrated the Confederacy by working as a servant in the household of Jefferson Davis. Bowser was assumed to be illiterate, and as a black woman was below suspicion. Practically invisible, she was able to listen to conversations between Confederate officials and read sensitive documents, gathering information that she handed over to the Union.