In the late afternoon of December 6, 1989, an angry young man with a semi-automatic rifle walked into the registrar’s office at École Polytechnique, the University of Montréal’s engineering school. After twenty minutes, 14 women lay dead, and 14 others, mostly women, were injured. He had compiled a hit list of 19 other women he wanted to murder. Journalist and prominent feminist Francine Pelletier learned that she was one of them.
“Please note that I am committing suicide today,” Lepine wrote, “not because of financial reasons, but because of political ones. I have decided to send ad patres [“to their ancestors”] the feminists who have always ruined my life.”
Source: Meghan Murphy – Feminism 2020 –
The Alan Jones Breakfast Show on 2GB has lost about half of its advertising revenue after a boycott over the radio host’s comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
According to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald, sources close to the commercial dealings of the station have said that on an annual basis, the boycott could cost the show about $6 million in advertising. The top-rating show typically brings in $12 million a year.
Jones has faced major commercial backlash since he used violent language towards Jacinda Ardern in August. On his popular breakfast program, Jones said that the New Zealand Prime Minister should have a sock shoved down her throat and that she needed a “backhander”.
As the Medusa myth is retold in a patriarchal and male-dominated society, the fact that she was a victim of rape is overshadowed by her terrifying appearance and ability to turn men into stone. This retelling sweeps the original violence against Medusa under the rug to center the violence she commits against men.
Medusa’s name derives from an ancient Greek verb that means “to protect and guard,” which may be a nod to Athena’s attempt to guard and protect Medusa from further abuse at the hands of Poseidon and other men. Athena’s curse was not a punishment for Medusa, but a punishment for the gods and men who intended to harm her. After all, Athena gave Medusa the ultimate power against men: the power to both punish and avoid the male gaze regardless of the rank or status of the man daring to look at her.
Like the other women in these myths, the Sirens have been demonized over time. The Sirens are often described as temptresses who used their song to lure sailors to their drowning deaths, but they were actually a group of girls who lost their companion, Persephone, after she was abducted and raped by Hades. . . . Retold in patriarchy, the story of the Sirens changes to fit its values—instead of illustrating loss and grief in female friendships, the story becomes a cautionary tale of the dangerous, tempting trickery of female seduction.
Douglas Murray, in his recent book The Madness of Crowds talks about this exact phenomenon, where certain identity groups are presumed to all think the same – and heaven help anyone in that group who holds a different view. This idea has reached such insane heights that it was declared that Peter Thiel, who is a gay man, when he came out in support of Trump, (and I quote) “might sleep with other men but in no other way is he gay”. Clearly I missed the memo on the new definition of what being a gay man means. Likewise with Kanye West after he donned a MAGA hat – he was no longer black. Now I don’t know if anyone has seen an image of Kanye West lately, but the notion that he is no longer black is absurd! And finally Germaine Greer, banned from the Feminist Club by some for asserting that men who identify as women are pretend women. If Germaine Greer isn’t a feminist, who is? . . .
Plenty of Maori women disagree with the suggestion that if you don’t conform to a particular gender stereotype, then by virtue of that, you are literally the opposite sex. By claiming that a group like Speak Up For Women is ‘white feminism’, they erase Maori women – and many others might I add. As I said, all in the name of tolerance and inclusion and peace and harmony. . . .
In closing, I’d like to share another story I came across in the USA, which involves Abraham Lincoln. He was faced with a thorny issue, and in order to illustrate his point, he asked how many legs a calf has? Some recollections have him asking how many legs a dog has. Obviously, the answer he was given was four. Lincoln continued, and asked how many legs a calf would have if we called the tail a leg. “Five,” came the answer from the respondent, confident in their ability to do simple addition. “No,” Lincoln replied. “Calling the tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg.”
Dressing in traditionally feminine outfits (dresses, heels, makeup, etc) is a choice that only men can actually freely make. Men do not face oppression for refusing to adhere to femininity, women do. Women are still persecuted at work and home for not presenting feminine enough. One survey found that more than half of employers would be less likely to hire a woman who didn’t wear makeup, and admitted it would also have a detrimental effect on her promotion prospects.
Donning the shackles of another’s oppression for fun is the very height of privilege.
A Mighty Girl’s top picks of children’s books about real-life women of science and fictional stories about girls who love science!
The stated goal of activists who push for “gender-neutral language” when discussing female reproduction is to be inclusive of “nonbinary” or trans-identifying females. Yet, it is clear that this is just a continuation of Men’s Right’s Activism to erode the rights of women and girls and hide the sexualized violence that we face because of our biology. Watching women’s organizations cave to this bullying is heartbreaking, a reminder that our “freedom” only comes at the will of men.
Instead of talking about the material realities of women’s oppression, and feminism as a social movement for the liberation of all women, mainstream representations have become stuck on feminism as the expression of an individual identity.
Of course, feminists have long critiqued high-heels and beauty practices as harmful to women. In asserting that the personal is political, feminists continue to challenge even the most intimate aspects of our lives — from the social construction of sexuality and our sexual desires, to the question of what these even mean in a culture infused with sexual violence. But all of these critiques recognise how, given the unequal power dynamics of white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy, women are culturally coerced into subordinating practices, and some groups of women more than others. The point is to challenge the structures, and name the perpetrators, not to blame individual women.
I hope it’s possible to reclaim a truly progressive feminist politics. One that puts women, and ending the oppression of women, at the centre while still being unapologetically of the left, proudly anti-capitalist and avowedly anti-racist. One that isn’t about elevating individual choices for some, over the liberation of all. But the only way back to this kind of feminist politics is to focus on structures of power and inequality rather than individualised identities.