I can’t believe people watch this and call it her having a tantrum, he is clearly torturing and controlling her. I’ve been that girl, you lose it when you’ve been abused so much. She asks him to pull over and he won’t—says it all.
There are female athletes who will be competing at the Olympic Games this summer after undergoing treatment to make them less masculine.
Still others are being secretly investigated for displaying overly manly characteristics, as sport’s highest medical officials attempt to quantify — and regulate — the hormonal difference between male and female athletes.
Caster Semenya, the South African runner who was so fast and muscular that many suspected she was a man, exploded onto the front pages three years ago. She was considered an outlier, a one-time anomaly.
But similar cases are emerging all over the world, and Semenya, who was banned from competition for 11 months while authorities investigated her sex, is back, vying for gold.
Semenya and other women like her face a complex question: Does a female athlete whose body naturally produces unusually high levels of male hormones, allowing them to put on more muscle mass and recover faster, have an “unfair” advantage?
In a move critics call “policing femininity,” recent rule changes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body of track and field, state that for a woman to compete, her testosterone must not exceed the male threshold.
If it does, she must have surgery or receive hormone therapy prescribed by an expert IAAF medical panel and submit to regular monitoring. So far, at least a handful of athletes — the figure is confidential — have been prescribed treatment, but their numbers could increase. Last month, the International Olympic Committee began the approval process to adopt similar rules for the Games.
There’s a lot going on here, but here’s what jumped out at us immediately: Women, particularly women athletes, are constantly told they’re not as strong or fast as men—and now that they’re proving otherwise, they’re being forced to undergo hormone treatments. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that women of color are coming under fire for this more than white women. From the article: “Lindsay Perry, another scientist, says sometimes whole teams of African women are dead ringers for men.” This is a clear example of how we’ve constructed a very particular, very narrow ideal of femininity and womanhood that devalues and casts aside black women in particular.
bolded for emphasis
Here are some real charmers on Facebook. Can I get a signal boost on this shit?
Funny how you don’t read about people wanting to maim, blowtorch, rape male musicians.
Charm City Art Space advertises itself as socially conscientious. Today, it issued a draft statement with the goal of ending debate over claims of sexual misconduct on the part of one of its members. Five women accused one guy of sexually harassing them in separate incidents, including one woman who accused him of having sex with her against her will. Unfortunately for the women, members publicly vetted the question of what happened to them for over six months with several members essentially calling the women liars. As a result, friends of the victims and the victims left the space. The remaining members agreed that, in essence, nothing should happen to the guy. A few people did talk to him about boundary issues.
I don’t feel comfortable calling Charm City Art Space a “safe space.” I am concerned that if one of its popular members sexually assaulted me, that I would be more stigmatized for bringing it up than he would be for violating me. Plus, I don’t want to be a double victim - once as an individual being sexually harassed and then again as a person being alienated by those who fail to listen or, even worse, try to discredit me for refusing to silently be abused.
The above from Ghost Finger. This whole thing makes me sick. It’s notable that on the Charm City Flickr there is not one photo of a woman playing on stage—the only woman pictured at all is someone with an anniversary cake. Their booking page lists sixteen promoters—only two are women.
You’ve got a long way to go, baby.
Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements
Reflecting on the radical organizations and social movements of the 1960s and 1970s provides an important historical context for this discussion. Memoirs by women who were actively involved in these struggles reveal the pervasiveness of tolerance (and in some cases advocacy) of gender violence. Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Elaine Brown, each at different points in their experiences organizing with the Black Panther Party (BPP), cited sexism and the exploitation of women (and their organizing labor) in the BPP as one of their primary reasons for either leaving the group (in the cases of Brown and Shakur) or refusing to ever formally join (in Davis’s case). Although women were often expected to make significant personal sacrifices to support the movement, when women found themselves victimized by male comrades there was no support for them or channels to seek redress. Whether it was BPP organizers ignoring the fact that Eldridge Cleaver beat his wife, noted activist Kathleen Cleaver, men coercing women into sex, or just men treating women organizers as subordinated sexual playthings, the BPP and similar organizations tended not to take seriously the corrosive effects of gender violence on liberation struggle. In many ways, Elaine Brown’s autobiography, A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story, has gone the furthest in laying bare the ugly realities of misogyny in the movement and the various ways in which both men and women reproduced and reinforced male privilege and gender violence in these organizations. Her experience as the only woman to ever lead the BPP did not exempt her from the brutal misogyny of the organization. She recounts being assaulted by various male comrades (including Huey Newton) as well as being beaten and terrorized by Eldridge Cleaver, who threatened to “bury her in Algeria” during a delegation to China. Her biography demonstrates more explicitly than either Davis’s or Shakur’s how the masculinist posturing of the BPP (and by extension many radical organizations at the time) created a culture of violence and misogyny that ultimately proved to be the organization’s undoing.
These narratives demystify the legacy of gender violence of the very organizations that many of us look up to. They demonstrate how misogyny was normalized in these spaces, dismissed as “personal” or not as important as the more serious struggles against racism or class inequality. Gender violence has historically been deeply entrenched in the political practices of the Left and constituted one of the greatest (if largely unacknowledged) threats to the survival of these organizations. However, if we pay attention to the work of Davis, Shakur, Brown, and others, we can avoid the mistakes of the past and create different kinds of political community.
There are more examples—Betty Friedan was an abused woman, something that was either ignored or concealed by her fellow feminists at the time; Mark Rudd, leader of SDS and a later member of the Weather Underground, was known to be, at the very least, a sexual opportunist who used his position in the movement to extract sexual favors from women—until he was called out in Ms. by Jane Alpert. (BTW, why don’t we do more of that?? Seriously, Taylor Swift writing songs about Joe Jonas can’t be the Alpert legacy. Of course, I realize that there are many many reasons women don’t report assaults and abuse, but once something is fairly well known within a community, there should be more shouting than whispering.)
I’m not trying to shift discussion away from the examples cited in the Morris piece but since hers are all PoC, I figured it would be good to point out our fine white misogynists as well. Plus I am obsessed with Mark Rudd. (Morris does talk about white men assaulting women in the context of of social justice work in other parts of the essay—and points out how their privilege makes it even easier for them to get away with it.)
Contemporary progressive politics have been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to gender violence as well—a punk collective in the DC area recently decided to ignore the complaints of several women who had been sexually assaulted by the same guy, and to keep him as a member in good standing.
The only issue I have with Morris’ piece is the emphasis on how these misogynists might be informants. Isn’t it enough that they’re misogynists?