Little Girls Are The Devil

Let’s travel to Locust Grove, GA where men are animals and girls are problems. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself but I’m really pissed about this story. Maddy is an eleven-year-old girl who loves to play football. She’s pretty good at it too; she even made it on her school team. Last season she had four sacks, all of her teammates and coaches wanted her back for next season saying she’s one of the better defensive players…but Maddy won’t be coming back. Maddy is banned from playing football because “boys might start lusting after her”. That’s right, because boys might have impure thoughts Maddy is not allowed to partake in something she loves—or as she put it, “It’s like taking my dream and throwing it in the trash.” Sure, let’s just get rid of the girl—let’s not teach boys that they need to control themselves and have respect for women, or teach them that their every little desire does not need to be fulfilled. God forbid we teach young boys self-control—just get rid of the evil vagina. Oh, I should probably mention that this is a Christian school so clearly sex and the female form is the WORST thing in the world. Really, a vagina is the destroyer of the Universe. I sort of covered this topic in my “Men Aren’t Animals” piece but this now illustrates that point so I’m revisiting it.
Athletic Director Phil Roberts e-mailed 11Alive News a statement saying, “Our official policy is that middle school girls play girl sports and middle school boys play boy sports.” Football is a boys sport—girls don’t play football in the NHL do they? Nope. Girls play with girls and boys play with boys. That is actually a semi-understanable stance when you put it under the guise of “girls can get hurt—these boys don’t know their strength and football is a contact sport” but that’s not the truth. It’s not that “girls play with girls and boys play with boys”. In a closed door meeting with Maddy’s mom, Mr. Roberts had this to say, “In the meeting with the CEO of the school, I was told that the reasons behind it were, one, that the boys were going to start lusting after her, and have impure thoughts about her. And that locker room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear, even though she had a separate locker room from the boys.”
Let me tell Mr. Roberts something—it doesn’t matter if Maddy is on the field playing a game she lvoes and excels at—the boys will still have impure thoughts about her. Want to know why? It’s because they’re 12-year –old boys. They have impure thoughts about everything. They have so many hormones raging through them that anything is sexy. But that doesn’t mean they do anything about it. So why does Maddy have to be banned? Is it because we don’t trust boys to not attack her? Is it because she’s not as tough? She’s just a little girl—she can’t hear bad talk?
Give me a f***ing break. This is the biggest pile of crap I have ever heard. You want to know why we have a rape culture? This is why. We never teach boys that it’s fine to think things—but you don’t always get to do them. We just rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. “Girls are dirty, girls are to subservient, girls do what men tell them to”. Shame on them.



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Rape Jokes At E3 2013: We Have To Be Better Than This

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is when companies showcasing their new games and game systems—the latest innovations in interactive storytelling and entertainment.

If your off-Facebook social media friends are anything like mine, you heard about E3 and you know at least a few people who are obsessed with the new Animal Crossing game (even if they do not yet own it). If you yourself are anything like me, you loved the teaser trailer for Dragon Age III: Inquisition. Hell, it’s narrated by Morrigan (Claudia Black), my favorite companion from Dragon Age: Origins.

Unfortunately, E3 is not always all fun and games. Even though, you know, that is literally what it is supposed to be. Microsoft’s Xbox One, the intended successor to current Xbox games, already had a lot of controversial changes that more or less impaired the way that players could use it (I won’t go into details, but it was just a lot of dickishness and unnecessary hassle). The Playstation 4 presentation wiped the floor with the Xbox One presentation by having lots of benefits, not constantly monitoring everything going on in your living room, and being $100 less expensive than the Xbox One. Sony (the makers of the Playstation consoles) even made a video in which they parodied the proposed complex nonsense that Xbox players would be required to do in order to share, give, or sell used games by making this succinctly brilliant video.

Now, this is all nerd news, but what does it have to do with feminism?

First of all, about half of all gamers are women. Of course, about half of all humans who drink liquids or eat food are women, too, so that’s not really enough. Even though the information that about half of all gamers are women is something that certain misogynists, in and out of the gaming world and nerd culture, refuse to believe.

But the Xbox One’s presentation featured a gameplay demonstration in which two individuals, one male and the other female, played a video game. Demonstrations like these are usually scripted (Microsoft was not exactly going for a genuine effect, as they used a more powerful computer to run the game that was supposedly playing on an Xbox One), though Microsoft has since released an apology statement about the dialogue that occurred, which they claim was spontaneous.

The dialogue? Rape jokes. Not explicit, but very clear. It was not enough that they guy in this demonstration was just “so much better” at playing the game than his female counterpart; he had to follow up his teasing with: “Just let it happen; it’ll be over soon.”

Not appropriate. Ever, really. Even if it was not scripted dialogue, how in the world did Microsoft not say: “Okay, hey, have a good time and don’t, you know, say anything racist or make it so that a transcript of your dialogue sounds like an in-progress sexual assault.” I mean, I understand that we’d all like to assume that no one needs to be told something like that, but you should never take chances with a live demonstration at a major world conference.

Combine that with, well, creepy dudes sexually harassing women at the conference (this should never be “just a given” for any event, including E3), and E3 2013 was not a huge win for women. Apology from Microsoft or no, these are the kinds of misogynistic embarrassments that should not be happening anymore.

E3 is supposed to be about the future. It’s pretty damaging when one of the would-be highlights of the expo is a reminder of one of the worst elements of our present.

 

PS: Microsoft, in addition to apologizing for the rape stuff, has also announced that they are undoing almost all of their controversial user-unfriendly changes. Why? Because E3 was a tremendous failure for them. I’m sure that they wish that they could have a do-over.



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Elizabeth Smart Lives Up To Her Surname

Okay, so the title is a wince-worthy.

You guys remember Elizabeth Smart, right? As a teenager, she was kidnapped from her bedroom as a teenager and held for nine months until she was rescued—about ten years ago (sorry for being super old, but I was also a teenager at the time and I followed the story). She was sexually assaulted during her time in captivity.

Since gaining her freedom, she has done work (starting the The Elizabeth Smart Foundation) to educate children about sex crimes and to use comprehensive sexual education to give young people the vocabulary to recognize when they are being sexually victimized as well as the comfort to report what is happening them without misplaced guilt or shame over having engaged in sexual activity.

Elizabeth Smart has spoken about how she, having been raised in a strict Mormon household, felt deeply ashamed—with a sense of being dirty and used up—after being sexually assaulted by her abductor.

She has spoken about how when individuals raised in sex-shaming environments that praise chastity and virginity become victims of human trafficking, sexual assault and exploitation, and other crimes, they may not only blame themselves for what has happened to them, but actually be less likely to try to escape. What would be the point, then, of escaping, when they and, in their minds, those who know them would no longer see them as valuable or possessing any worth.

People who define a person’s value by what he or she does with his or her own body are shameful—but knowing that their words could discourage someone from fighting to survive is truly horrifying.

Speaking at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, Elizabeth Smart described how, when she had become a victim of sexual assault, the words of one of her teachers within her abstinence-only curriculum haunted her—words in which a teacher compared sex to chewing gum. No one wants to chew gum that has already been chewed.

Awful.

It reminds me of the misogynistic analogy: A key that open many locks is valuable; a lock that can be opened by many keys has no value. Sickening, right?

One of my favorite things that I have ever seen in my life was a reply to that (I do not know the original source, as it is everywhere). Because, well, humans are not locks and they are not keys—you can make an analogy with whichever objects you like if it suits your agenda. For example, the response that I read:

A pencil-sharpener that sharpens many pencils is valuable; a pencil that has been sharpened by many pencil-sharpeners is small and almost useless.

Obviously, neither analogy works for human sexuality because we are not any of those things. Whoever first conceived of the pencil-sharpener analogy was not trying to argue that men and only men should avoid polyamory. It simply points out the absurdity of the keys-and-locks analogy.

I hope that Elizabeth Smart’s efforts are successful—slut-shaming, sex-shaming abstinence-only education does harm to people in so many ways. I would love to live in a world in which children no longer suffer for the sake of politics.

And it would be nice to live in a world in which children were no longer the victims of physical or sexual violence.



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Humanity, I Love You

After the horror of the Boston bombing I didn’t think I could ever believe that humanity was worth it. Really, I just don’t understand how blowing up innocents makes sense to anyone, but then all the stories of people opening their homes to those stranded came out. London had their marathon and they ran with American Flags and with signs that said, “Finish for Boston.” Syria, which has been ravaged by booms and genocides, took a moment to send condolences to Boston.
I saw window washers dress up as Spiderman, Captain America, Batman and the like to clean the windows of a children’s hospital. I was taken aback by how in the face of such tragedy I saw the best of humanity. Instead of breaking me—I was lifted up by the generosity and kindness of the human spirit.
Naturally, it didn’t last long. Bombs went off in Pakistan, earthquakes ruined cities, and a five-year old girl was raped in Indian. She’s not the first child raped, she’s not even the youngest child raped. But this five-year-old gets an article written about her because finally, finally something is going to be done about it.
Last week she was abducted and raped by a neighbor who kept her for three days and then left her for dead. India, like America, has a rape culture. They blame the women, they blame the victim…but how can you blame a five-year-old? What suggestive clothing was she wearing? How did she drink too much? How was her sexual history to blame for this?

The Guardian took aim at the Indian police force, “[O]fficers allegedly initially refused to investigate after the girl, from a working class family, disappeared while playing early in the evening outside her home. She was eventually found by neighbours. When the case was picked up by the local media, the parents were offered 2,000 rupees (£25) to drop the case, relatives of the victim have said.”
By the weekend hundreds of protesters were outside the police headquarters demand that the police chief, that wanted this dropped, be fired. India’s Home Minister has vowed that the officers on duty will be punished.
Once again, in darkness there is light. People will surprise you if you just let them. I don’t know why it takes horrible circumstances for people to take a stand—but maybe one day we’ll all realize that you don’t have to wait for something bad to do some good.



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