Thursday, October 16, 2014

this has got to stop

it's that time of year again when i pretend that i don't just talk about myself day in and day out. yup, blog action day. i had kinda sorta forgotten about blog action day this year, but the topic is inequality, and i was planning on writing something about this anyway, so, killing two birds with one stone or what have you.

the inequality i want to discuss is directly related to the patriarchy, violence against women, and rape culture, and can be addressed with a little thing called feminism. i am not going to go into a long rant about this (because i would go on forever and there is actually a specific story i want to discuss today), but i will say that if you claim to not be a feminist, you are one of three things: lying, misunderstanding the meaning of feminism (which is understandable in this world of media misinformation), or an asshole.

i don't know how many of you know anita sarkeesian, but i think i posted about her on my blog before and she's the creator of the video series tropes vs. women. anyway, she was supposed to speak yesterday morning at Utah State University's Center for Women and Gender. a few days before the event, though, several people at the university began getting threats. a utah state student claimed to have "a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs" and threatened to massacre sarkeesian and anyone who showed up for her talk. his threatening email states "feminism has ruined my life and i will have my revenge." it also said that the author "will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America." sarkeesian asked if weapons would be allowed at the talk, and she was told that, according to utah state law regarding the carrying of firearms, if the person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to bring it to the event.

so to recap, the authorities told sarkeesian, who has had multiple death threats because of her line of work (which in and of itself is ridiculous), that despite the fact that there was a credible threat to both her and countless other people (mainly women), a threat which specifically referenced a mass male-on-female attack from the past (the montreal massacre), they wouldn't take the necessary steps to protect these women because it would infringe on people's right to carry weapons. um... what?

we are living in a world where high school football players can videotape themselves raping a drugged classmate, but then she's the bad guy for "ruining their promising football careers." a world where a student kills a girl in his class because she said no when he asked her to prom (she was going with her steady boyfriend, but that shouldn't make a difference) and all the media can talk about is how great of a kid he was and how hard this must be on his parents. uh, the kid brought a knife to school because he knew she would say no, he felt entitled enough to end her life, and it's him and his parents we should be feeling sorry for? how does that make any sense? we are living in a world where the reaction to emma watson calling on men to support feminism was death threats and threats to leak nude photos. a world where women are paid less to do the same job and then fired if they ask for a raise because they are "too aggressive."

but go ahead and listen to the condescending people who tell you that feminism is no longer needed. there's no inequality around here.

(if you're interested, you can find my previous blog action day posts here, here, here, here, and here.)

*Elephant - Damien Rice

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