Dec 28, 2011

Actual real human women of 2011

In case you haven't caught the brouhaha: the BBC published one of those supposedly humorous (if they were funny) lists of "faces of the year", in which the female face of the December was an animal, and most of the other faces were either brides or rape victims -because hey, one way or another getting fucked is all women are about.

There was a bit of a dust up on Twitter, shall we say. Not, as you might think, because women are humourless harpies who can't take a good natured item about a cute panda; but because many women simultaneously realised that even in a year as serious as 2011, when women worldwide have made enormous strides and gained amazing achievements, the natural instinct is to minimise and belittle those achievements. Or, as is the case here, simply ignore them as if they didn't happen. It's a prime example of the gendercide endemic in our cultural narratives: women are held back by the absence of precedents and role models, and existing precedents and role models are either erased or distorted.

Anyway, it got me thinking, who would be my women of 2011? I was delighted to discover that I can't actually fit them all into a list of just 12, so like on Desert Island Disks, I cheated a bit:

Dec 19, 2011

Why is it victim blaming to talk about rape and drinking?

I posted this a few days ago on a LiveJournal community, in response to a post that generated hundreds of irate comments but seems to have been deleted. In any case, a couple of people asked if they could have a non-locked link to the text, so here it is.

The context, very briefly for non-LJ users, was a post in which someone was defending the position that women should accept responsibility for sexual encounters when they are falling down drunk, rather than "use the blanket excuse" of rape / inability to consent. The discussion that followed fell very much along the lines described below - between those who said drinking has nothing to do with it, and those who took the superficially common sense approach that it does.