Tag Archives: violence against women

The Quest for Equality: Myth and Reality

Male and Female

Male and Female

Violence against women has been on my mind a lot lately. High-profile cases such as Chris Brown’s alleged beating of his girlfriend, Rihanna, and New York State Senator Hiram Montserrate’s alleged assault on his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, not to mention the not-as-well-known uptick in incidences of female genital mutilation in Great Britain, added to the astonishing figure of 130 million living women who have been permanently scarred by this horrifying procedure, plus the fact that one out of every three women has been sexually or physically abused in the course of her life, well…let’s just say I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

True to my Virgoan nature, I have been trying to analyze why this keeps happening to women. Why are statistics like this accepted and acceptable?

My theory is that there are two main factors involved. One is our society’s desire to blame the victim for her situation; a desire which has been newly energized by our Reagan-loving President, Barack Obama. I wrote about this epidemic of victim-blaming some time ago, here. But the second factor is one I haven’t articulated before: the myth of female physical equality.

I understand that feminism historically has striven to balance the two sexes by using many different tactics. One such tactic is to claim that women are equal to men in every single way. Forgive me if I lose my feminist creds here, but I find this idea to be laughable, and perhaps harmful.  Nonetheless, it has taken hold of our imaginations. After all, isn’t it fun to watch a taut and toned, 100-pound Alyssa Milano kick 200-pound demon ass on “Charmed?” (She never even messes up her hair, or gets a scratch on that rock-hard abdomen, or twists her ankle in the five-inch platforms she wears!) But in reality, how likely is it that a woman can actually beat the hell out of a man who is really fighting back? And if she can’t do that, then how can she be equal to a man in every way?

I’ll tell you something. I was a student of karate for a year and a half. When my Shihan told me that in order to advance in the dojo, I needed to join the Friday night fighting class, at which time I’d have to fight large, muscular black belts and possibly break limbs, I looked at him, rolled my eyes, and quit. I know my own limitations.

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Burn It Down, Women

I dare you to watch this and not be shocked, humiliated and enraged. Via Partizane and Gabnet.

This is what the victory of Barack Obama means for women: We are all fair game. It’s fine to advocate violence against Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, over and over and over. You can win a national election by doing that, no matter how unqualified and corrupt you are. It’s also fine for Obama’s chief speechwriter to feign date rape against Hillary Clinton and not only keep his privileged position in the Administration, but to write the inaugural speech.



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Happy Hanukkah!

May your menorah be bright and your days be full of peace.

Come Light The Menorah

Come Light The Menorah

Please continue to keep Betty Jean Kling and her family in your thoughts and prayers. Louisa is doing better, but her prognosis is not great.

And please, sign the petition to keep Caroline Kennedy from inheriting Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.

What If It Were a Man?

A beloved member of the PUMA family, Betty Jean Kling, has suffered a terrible tragedy. Her two daughters are clinging to life today. One daughter (Denise) is critically ill with cancer, and the other (Louisa) was shot in the face by Denise’s abusive husband. It’s a shocking and tragic thing that has happened to Betty Jean and her family, and we all send her our thoughts and prayers and hope that she has the strength to get through this terrible time.

One of the most upsetting things about what happened is that prior to coming to her home and trying to kill her, Denise’s husband, knowing she was trying to divorce him and leave him for good, had attacked her with a hammer. He had hit her in the head with it. For this attempted murder, did he get 5 years? 10 years? 15 years in jail?

No. He got three months.

He hit his wife in the head with a HAMMER and got THREE MONTHS IN JAIL.

What if this man had hit a man in the head with a hammer? Do we have any reservations about saying that the sentence would have been much harsher if the judge had not seen this crime through the filter of “domestic violence?”

Are women people in America? Or are they chattel, property of their husbands?

The next time you see a tragedy that has happened to a woman, I hope you will do this mental exercise and think, “What if it were a man?”

I know I will.

The Song of Our New ObamaNation: The Bitch Deserved It

Our New ObamaNation

Our New ObamaNation

Most people in this country do not know how explicitly misogynistic Barack Obama’s campaign was. They don’t have time to sit at the computer and read The Daily Kos, or Talking Points Memo, or The Huffington Post. They didn’t read the vile, endless hatred spewed at women by Obama’s supporters. They believe the lovely stories spun by the corporate media: that Obama was saintly and above all negativity and “unifying,” while his opponents rolled around in dirt. And even when Obama or his surrogates did or said something overtly misogynistic, the media either did not cover it, or excused it.

After all, the bitch deserved it. 

As for Obama’s followers, they refused to admit that his sexist language against Clinton and Palin was intentional. Oh really? Then why didn’t he apologize for it? That’s what a smart political operative does when his words are “misinterpreted” to be offensive to a particular group of people.

There is no logical answer to this question, except that yes, he did flip Hillary off, he did mean to call Sarah Palin a pig, he did intend to slam Hillary when he took the stage after a primary victory to the song “99 Problems (And a Bitch Ain’t One)”, and he did mean to use Clinton’s femaleness against her when he called her “likeable enough” and said she was “periodically down” with her “claws” coming out.

But logic has been in short supply when discussing this election. Over and over again, we women have been told not to believe our lying eyes and ears, to participate in our own marginalization “for the good of the country.” Well, some of us realized that the election of Barack Obama would legitimize the use of misogyny as a tactic against any woman who dared to challenge the entrenched patriarchy in America. And try as we might, we just couldn’t be excited about taking the country in that direction.

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So Much For Freedom of Speech, Ladies

UPDATE from Vixen in comments: It seems that the police are now saying that the woman who claimed to be attacked for her McCain bumper sticker made up her story. Still no retraction from CNN as of this moment.

Sadly, however, we have other, more reliable examples of violence against men and women from overly “committed” Obama supporters. I listed a couple of them below, as does Joseph Cannon.

The reason this story was believable, and that CNN reported it and both candidates issued public statements regarding it, is because this type of attack has already happened. I repeat my call to all the presidential candidates to make a joint GENERAL advertisement explicitly condemning ALL violence for political reasons.


I guess this bitch deserved it to be beaten in the face for supporting McCain. And I suppose Jay-Z was just being “cool” when he dedicated his “99 Problems” song to Governor Sarah Palin. For people who are supposedly “pro-choice,” Obama supporters don’t seem to think choosing McPalin is a valid one.

I ask again, what ever happened to the words “I agree to disagree with you?” When did it not become okay to support one candidate over another? What is this insanity that has seized America, causing people to beat each other up because they disagree politically? Why are people losing friends and family over public figures like McCain and Obama?

The abusive verbal misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin and their supporters during this election has begun to take physical form. Why do Obama and McCain, and their running mates, not step up together to denounce this violence in the strongest possible general terms? Do they not hear the threats of riots on Election Day? Do they not realize that violence against women is not a partisan issue?

If I were Obama and McCain, I would make a joint commercial with their running mates, telling America that no matter how strongly you feel about this election, expressing your feelings through physical violence is completely unacceptable. I fear nothing else will stem this tide, and even now, it may be too late.

In the meantime, in this charged environment, I caution my sisters to be careful about declaring yourselves. The only protest you need to make is in the voting booth. Thank goodness, we are all still safe and secret there; at least, for now.