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Duke Freshman Porn Star Takes Haters To School, and White Feminists Need to Stand Down

This week in the realm of things affecting the lives of people with vaginas, we need to think about everything from a delightful satire of your typical thinly disguised, blustering misogynist, to the horrible death of Loretta Saunders.

by Sarah Ratchford
Mar 4 2014, 6:25pm

This week in the realm of things affecting the lives of people with vaginas, we need to think about everything from a delightful satire of your typical thinly disguised, blustering misogynist, to the horrible death of Loretta Saunders, an Inuk woman researching murdered and missing Aboriginal women. Recently in lady business:

Screencap via the Belle Jar.

Misogynist Manifesto Circulates Internet

Women, have you ever been told to be careful what you wear when you’re going out, in the same tone one would use to admonish another for chain smoking cigarettes in the company of a baby while stuck in a compact vehicle with the windows rolled up? Or to “stop being so hysterical” when getting animated about a project, or in a meeting? Have you ever been asked to explain your politics, only to begin and be smugly interrupted every other sentence?

The Belle Jar just published a “misogynist manifesto,” perfectly drizzled with the hypocrisy of the puffed-chest dude who feels threatened by women. In case you’re dying to feel crazy-eyed rage and the creeping feeling of déjà vu from being talked down to by especially ignorant dudes, here’s an excerpt: “The thing is, if you’re a young girl out drinking and partying with the boys, he’s sure we all know that certain things might happen. Of course any rapist is a terrible person and deserves to be punished, but. Well. Women need to practice risk management, don’t they?”

One of the most troubling things about this is that commenters were fully convinced that a real dude wrote this. You can rest assured that it’s a satire. (I checked.) But it could easily be real, and that is a problem.

Screencap via

Loretta Saunders’ Death: Pay Attention

The day Loretta Saunders passed away, my Facebook newsfeed blew up with the news. Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuk woman from Newfoundland, died last week, and one of her roommates is now facing a murder charge. Her body was found on a stretch of barren, snowy highway near Moncton, New Brunswick.

In no way am I critiquing people for drawing attention to Loretta’s death. What happened to her was sickening, and it was somehow magnified even further by the cruel irony that she was writing her thesis on missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association is saying Loretta’s death should trigger a national inquiry into the hundreds of murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada, whom nobody (particularly the government) seems to care enough about .

People were concerned about Saunders’ death because her story had the added elements of her pregnancy and academic aspirations. If it hadn’t—if she’d been a sex worker of any kind, or a drug user, or even just if she’d been an unpregnant server somewhere, the story wouldn’t have garnered much attention; i.e. it wouldn’t have received as much “play.” People can argue that as much as they’d like, but I’ve worked in enough newsrooms to know it’s the truth.

There are over 800 missing Aboriginal women in Canada right now. How many have you heard of?

Cheryl Maloney, president of the NSNWA, told the CBC: "She wasn't what society expected for a missing aboriginal girl. Canadian society, and especially our prime minister, has been able to ignore the reality of the statistics that are against aboriginal girls.”

The truth is,

a woman is killed by her partner every six days in this country—and those are the statistics we’re sure of. There could easily be more unsolved cases. And Aboriginal women are far more likely to be on the receiving end of violence. We really do need an inquiry, at the very least.

Screencap via.

White Feminists: “It’s Not About You”

This week, I’ve had a number of discussions with various friends about White Feminism, and whether it may or may not be okay for white women to write about and discuss issues faced specifically by women of colour.

The answer is that white women shouldn’t write about shit they know nothing about, and also shouldn’t be rude and talk over those who are talking in the same arena, but who are generally less often heard, and who speak from experience. It doesn’t mean white women should ignore the issues, it just means they should participate in these conversations by listening.

Luckily, I found

this piece by writer Aaminah Khan, who explains it all perfectly, driving home the point about privilege that It’s Not About You. Read it. It’s great. Especially if you tend to get mad about being called a white feminist.

Photo via Michael Toledano.

Yes, We Can (?)

Fellow VICE Canada writer Michael Toledano sent me these shots of an out-of-touch campaign by the Canadian Forces. Ostensibly, the ads are meant to recruit more women to the Forces.

Would this not be better accomplished by not trying to turn them into a stereotypical vision of a Creatine-hopped army bro?

“When I have something to say, people listen,” says “leading seaman” Christa Crocker, apparently. Seaman? I can’t. Look, I see what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to send the message that women are strong, can do anything men can do, and can find empowerment by excelling in a traditionally cismale field. That’s all perfectly fine, but these ads imply that the women are finding fulfillment by enrolling in and conforming to a male-dominated energy, and being obedient within that domain by embodying and operating with a certain degree of recognizable straight maleness. Rosie the Riveter remains more relevant, IMHO. In short, I don’t see how this speaks to women (or anyone, really), and further, it implies that only a certain “type” of woman belongs in the Forces.

All of that is to say, they can’t possibly want to recruit women, and they also did a thoroughly deplorable job on the market research front.

Photo via Facebook.

Duke Porn Star Cusses Out Haters

For those who harbour unexamined hatred of sex work and the porn industry, and who insist on rescuing women in those industries, read this piece by a porn star in her freshman year at Duke. Frat boys started talking shit about her, so she fired back with this. I’ll leave you with a note from her. People ask her whether she’s concerned about being hired after school, given the fact that she works in porn. Her answer:

“I wouldn’t want to work for someone who discriminates against sex workers. I can say definitively that I have never felt more empowered or happy doing anything else. In a world where women are so often robbed of their choice, I am completely in control of my sexuality. As a bisexual woman with many sexual quirks, I feel completely accepted. It is freeing, it is empowering, it is wonderful, it is how the world should be.”

[Ed's note: And she just publicly revealed her identity.]
 

@sarratch

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