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Sunday, 30 December 2012

By: Liberate Zealot
Content Warning: Discussions of intimate partner violence and domestic abuse

Recently several feminist areas I frequent have been discussing male violence and domestic abuse/intimate partner abuse. Which has called to mind my own experiences with, and education of, abusive relationships.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Babe, is this Sexist?

We have already done one post about sexist Holiday gifts, but there is such a cornucopia of them, it is hard to stick to just one!  Here are just two more example which came up after only a few seconds browsing on

Babe Magnet

So, the way to attract women is to think of them as metal objects, maybe robots.  Seems like a surefire plan to get someone with a brain of their own.  But maybe that is the point *sigh*

Control A Woman Remote Control

Of course, once you've got her, you can just treat her like a controllable object, just like your TV.  Unless, obviously, football's on then, she is second rate to the plasma set.

Here's to a continual increase in sexism and othering of the opposite sex.  Crappy New Year!!

Check out the Babe, is this Sexist Masterpost to see all the installments

Monday, 17 December 2012

Babe, is this Sexist?

It's the new installment of Babe, is this Sexist? for the Holiday/Gift Giving Season, and this one is about a novelty gift.

Oh yay, stress relievers that involve squeezing scantily clad women who then scream "in pain" obviously this is in no way sexist.  Except, wait, it totally, really, 100% is sexist!

The idea that violence against women relieves men's stress is just horrible. As is the objectification and sexualization of women inherent in this gift. The fact that these were one of the first images I found upon searching "novelty gifts for men" on Google, is also really gross.

We'll do at least one more segment of Babe, is this Sexist? for the Holiday/Gift Giving Season. Make recommendations for other Holiday/Gift Giving specific options for the next installment of "Babe, is this Sexist?" in the comments here, or on the F.A.R. facebook page.

Go to the Babe, Is This Sexist Masterpost

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Mental Health: Talk About It.

By:  Sweet Jane St. ClairI've ignored much of the internet this weekend because of how upsetting all of the events related to Friday's horrific tragedy are. I've tried to form an opinion over what's been going on. Here's the best I can come up with.

I grew up in a house with guns. A lot of guns, actually. I learned how to use them, maintain them, and clean them properly. My dad taught me how to make bullets in our garage. I remember helping him from a very young age. I plan on keeping guns when I have my own place some day. I've never turned a gun on any person, and never plan to. As such, guns are clearly not the only issue at play here.

On top of this, however, my mother in particular taught me how mental illness is a serious issue that gets ignored. People with mental illnesses are invisible in our society, and the services available to them are poorly funded and few at best. My parents volunteered with one of these services in our home town. They taught me what is important in life. Care. It is really easy right now to talk about gun control, and I won't pretend it's not an important topic. But please, please, please, take some time today to think about how you can help to improve the state of mental health care for the people around you. If we as a nation and as a broader society spend as much time *talking* about mental illness and services for mental illness as openly and as often as we talk about gun control, we may see an improvement in the lives of so many people around us.

So yes, please talk about the victims. Please remember them. Respect their families and the grief they are dealing with and will deal with for the rest of their lives. But I can't agree with further making mental illness invisible. We make mental illness invisible by boiling this horrific tragedy down to an issue of gun control, the Second Amendment, or the Long Gun Registry. We make mental illness invisible by projecting our own mental state onto others without knowing theirs, assuming they would make the same choice as you, or assuming you would ever be in the same position as them with the mental state that you possess. We make mental illness invisible through individual pathology while neglecting the systemic criticism necessary to destroy the stigma, and improve/multiply services and awareness around mental health. We make mental illness invisible by ignoring the fact that there are mentally ill people who do things that hurt. I've seen so many "motivational posters" that use images of people with disabilities - mental or physical - talking about overcoming challenges, always remaining positive, what beautiful people these are, and other such stereotypes. Disability and mental illness do not exist only when they are convenient to post about on your status in a way that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about yourself. It exists when it sucks, when it hurts, and when it damages. The point is, it exists. We need to treat it that way.

Feel free to dissect or denounce my argument here, or elsewhere, and everywhere. Hang me out to dry if you would like. But please, talk about it. Talk about it often, loudly, and critically. While you do that, here's how you can get involved in some of the services around you:

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Babe, Is This Sexist?

The next couple installments of Babe, Is This Sexist takes a look at advertising specific to the Holiday/Gift Giving Season.  This one has to do with a recent, and recently pulled Virgin Mobile Ad.

And FUCK YES THIS IS SEXIST!  I really hope I don't need to explain why an ad referencing sexual assault  as part of the "Gift of Christmas Surprise" is super sexist.

Twitter quickly took to calling Virgin Mobile out, with Richard Branson (owns the Virgin Brand but not the US Virgin Mobile Company) joining in.  Understandably the website quickly pulled the ad and offered an apology.  Supposedly they had an external group doing advertising that didn't seek the company's permission before posting the image.

But seriously how does this get green lighted by any professional organization.  Seriously, did no one think maybe they shouldn't make a rape joke on their Advent Calender?

Make recommendations for other Holiday/Gift Giving specific options for the next installment of "Babe, is this Sexist?" in the comments here, or on the F.A.R. facebook page.

Go to the Babe, Is This Sexist Masterpost

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Signs of Abuse used to Victim Blame Kasandra Perkins

By: Liberate Zealot
Content Warning: Discussions of domestic violence and murder

The victim blaming surrounding the murder of Kasandra Perkins and the abuser Jovan Belcher makes me sick. People present the accounts of the night before the murder and portray Kasandra Perkins as "instigating" or a "catalyst" while Jovan Belcher just "snapped" or wasn't in his right mind because of a concussion, and I am horrified.  Because when I read the accounts I see a very standard part of abusive relationships.