Tina Petersen, a former MP for Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and current member of the Svendborg City Council, has has been acquitted of racism after posting a photo on her Facebook page in April that compared Muslims to rubbish. “Hehe … Remember to take out the big trash tomorrow ;-)))…” Petersen wrote next to a manipulated photo of a burka-clad Muslim woman and child who were made to resemble the two rubbish bags they are standing next to. The public prosecutor’s office on Funen filed the indictment. Petersen was acquitted by a unanimous decision. “The court found that Petersen had no intention of hurting anyone,” Petersen’s defence lawyer, Jens Bertel Rasmussen, told TV2 Funen. “Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.-
“Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.”
“Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.”
“Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.”
That’s all I got to say…
There is this group of white British feminists that never seem to get enough of taunting and annoying me based on their dislike of my work. This past week has been no exception.
It all started when someone known as Glosswitch wrote an inane piece defending the likes of Helen Lewis and Caitlin Moran against the “mean feminists” who call them out. She name checked me in her piece to make a point about intersectionality. I objected to her using my name or any of my ideas to defend Helen Lewis, someone who, out of the blue and without having any interactions with me, once called me “the worst of a certain strand of feminist blogging”. Glosswitch wrote a schoolyard rant about how her “friends” are unjustly attacked and how “mean feminists” call them out, etc. For this “defense” she appropriated intersectional theory. I vehemently objected to this. I resent the mindless appropriation of theories and ideas created by and for Black women and other Women of Color to perpetuate a white supremacist feminism that actually works to alienate and subjugate us further. When I expressed my vehement disagreement with Glosswitch using these ideas, I became a target. First this:
And then a long series of tweets about how I “oppress” white women and how I “appropriate” white feminism in their experiences of mental health (where this claim comes from is anyone’s guess). My feminism is, apparently, a “hobby horse”. In Glosswitch’s defense came Becca Reilly-Cooper, a Professor of Philosophy at University of Warwick who initiated her “defense” of Glosswitch by asking if I had ever been “sectioned” due to mental health reasons. Again, I have no idea where their obsession with my mental health comes from. When I clearly refused to engage in conversation with her, she labeled me “repulsive”.
These attacks have been going on since Friday. I have requested more than once that they leave me alone just like I ignore all and their work or media presence. However, their Maury Show tactics escalate by the hour. Just like the infamous talk show, these feminists have a long history of transphobia, queerphobia, racism and a predisposition to scandal at the expense of those they perceive to be “beneath them”. They systematically pick on Women of Color and or trans* women to score points with their follow base at our expense. It is a media tactic designed so as not to disturb the status quo but solely for self promotion. This is nothing more than tabloid feminism which, pretty much like its namesake, targets minorities to “make examples” of them and appease a supremacist culture.
Racial Pornographics: A Special Issue of Porn Studies
Edited by Mireille Miller-Young, PhD
Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara
This special issue of Porn Studies will promote a discussion about race in the study of pornography. Race remains an underdeveloped area of research in porn studies, and employing racial analytics to the study of pornography’s historical, representational, market, labor, industrial, and technological production is imperative for the field. Race is crucial for the field because it allows us to think through power relations that function in concert with gender, sexuality, and class, to uncover the historical importance of unequal looking relations, labor relations, and access to media authorship, and to reveal the ways in which desire, sexual and otherwise, is inextricably bound to processes of racialization.
A critical racial optic, moreover, illuminates the interests, desires, and experiences of racialized minorities as they are portrayed in, mobilize, or labor within pornographic fields. This mode of analysis may draw on the theoretical scholarship of critical race scholars, women of color feminists, and queer of color critique as well as on the emerging field of porn studies scholarship to think through the fantasies, energies, connectivities, pleasures, and power relations embedded in racial pornographies. Another function of a racial optics is to expose the rise of colorblindness or postracial ideologies in popular media discourses and academic theories about pornography, even as race is ever more salient to labor, economic, political, and looking relations within adult industries in a neoliberal era.
In addition, this special issue of Porn Studies will highlight research that launches pornographics as a framework for examining cultural productions and social relations outside of the genre and industry of pornography. Increasingly, scholars have drawn on pornography as a lens to problematize racial, gender, and sexual discourses, structures, and relations in ways that reveal the utility of pornographics as a mode of cultural inquiry that exceeds the formal confines of adult entertainment industries and networks of particular erotic communities. The goal of this special issue is to read the labor of race in pornography or pornographics, and the labor of pornography or pornographics in race.
Finally, although this is a scholarly journal we welcome essays, interviews, and creative pieces from academics, artists, activists, and adult industry practitioners.
About Porn Studies
New in 2014, Porn Studies is an international, peer-reviewed journal, which publishes original research examining specifically sexual and explicit media forms, their connections to wider media landscapes and their links to the broader spheres of (sex) work across historical periods and national contexts.
- Race or racial minorities in pornographic images
- Race or racial minorities in adult entertainment labor, racialized sex work
- Deployments of racialized discourses in porn or discussions of porn
- Colorblindness and postracial ideologies in porn or discussions of porn
- Race in the production, distribution, or consumption of porn media technologies
- Race or racial minorities in pornographic aesthetics or art
- Racial discourses in antiporn or sex positive feminist approaches to pornography
- Histories of race or racial minorities in pornography or pornographic cultural production
- Ethnopornography and race
- Racial or interracial communities in pornography
- Race in global, transnational, or diasporic pornographies
- Racial fetishism
- Race and disability politics in pornography
- Race and BDSM in pornography
- Queer and feminist approaches to race and racism in pornography
- Racial politics in porn activism, health issues, and legal concerns
- Race and obscenity law, censorship, or free speech issues
- Race and class in access to pornography, circulations of explicit media
- Race in pornographic pop culture, sex tapes, viral videos, animation, and gaming
- Race in feminist pornography, queer pornography, trans pornography, and gay porn
- Race pleasure, racial pain, racial disgust, racial desire and other affective domains
- Radical approaches to race or the methodology of racial studies in pornography
The journal special issue will consist of original articles, book and/or film reviews, conference proceedings, photo essays, and a forum or dialogue based interview essay.
- Original articles, approximately 6,000-7,000 words in length (including notes)
- Book or film reviews, approximately 1000-2000 words in length (including notes)
- Conference proceedings or Photo Essay, approximately 1200 to 2000 words in length (including notes)
- Forum pieces, Interviews, or Dialogue/Debate essays, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 words in length (including notes)
Manuscripts are accepted in English, OED spelling and punctuation preferred, including use of single quotation marks. Authors should include 1-5 keywords, 150 word abstract, and a short biographical note. Manuscript preparation instructions for Taylor and Francis publications and Routledge journals can be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=rprn20&page=instructions#.UpOSA42f8sg
- Deadline to Receive Notice of Intent to Submit a Manuscript, 150-200 word Abstract: January 8, 2014
- Deadline to Receive Full Submissions: April 11, 2014
- Expected Publication Date: September 2015
Address questions and submissions to:
Dr. Mireille Miller-Young
Department of Feminist Studies
4631 South Hall
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA
This looks really interesting. Sharing the relevant information for those who might want to submit or follow up the eventual release.
Essex social services have obtained a court order against a woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and for her child to be taken from her womb by caesarean section-
From the article:
A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers.
Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb.
The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown.
The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.
And we thought eugenics were a thing of the past? It hardly ever makes news in Europe but refugee and migrant women are disproportionately affected by similar Social Services involvement regularly. I have spoken with many Women of Color (who will not speak on record for fear of retaliation) who have mentioned similar vigilantism going on in The Netherlands. It usually starts with Dutch neighbors “notifying” Social Services that there is an “unfit” mother (cultural differences can be perceived as signs of “bad motherhood” over here) and it escalates to full blown investigations that go as far as monitoring what children are fed (“ethnic” foods being subjected to special scrutiny under the guise of “nutrition value”). The women I’ve spoken to have mentioned situations like this with family members, friends, acquaintances, etc. It’s one of the reasons communities are kept tight, as usually positive outcomes depend on strong collective reactions to the injustice.
The case involving the Italian woman in the article is extremely unfortunate but I very strongly suspect it’s not as isolated as the news make it appear. The only difference is that when it happens to Women of Color it remains unreported because of victim’s fear and the normalization of violence.
I have covered prior campaigns to rebrand feminism before here; and here are more of my thoughts on the issue at a Stream event hosted by Bitch Magazine. I just came across this other rebranding effort, featured at Fastcompany last month. This one is driven by Elle Magazine and it involves three different ad agencies and Vagenda Mag. From the post:
For its November Issue, Elle UK decided to “Rebrand Feminism,” treating the advancement of women’s rights like a dated product that needs to be dusted off and made cool again. The magazine paired three award-winning ad agencies—Brave, Mother, and Wieden+Kennedy—with three feminist organizations and had them create a series of advertisements aimed at fixing feminism’s supposed image problem.
Usually I wouldn’t bother writing about something that is weeks old and involves a topic I have already said my part about. However, this is one of the posters they are using to “rebrand feminism” and this does merit some commentary:
Again, from the post:
“We wanted to create an ad that made you feel empowered to do something about the pay gap. Thinking about asking someone what they earned made me physically wince. I liked that. It wasn’t another statistic to gloss over; I had to think about whether my male colleagues earned more than me. It also gave people a simple action to do.”
Depending on where you live in the Western world, this “simple action” as she calls it, can get you fired. Now, let me be clear, in the US and in the European Union it is forbidden by law to prevent employees from discussing their salaries with one another. And yet, this prohibition is in many Human Resources’ Employees Manuals and Codes of Conduct. For years I worked at a corporation where, even though I was in The Netherlands, where such clause is not allowed, it was still in our Code of Conduct. Our local Dutch managers knew that they weren’t allowed to enforce it and yet, they used it to threaten us if we complained about pay issues. I knew that, had I been fired for talking about my salary, I could eventually go to court and have them either reinstate me at the job or indemnify me accordingly. However, going to court is not within the realm of possibility for everyone. It costs money and time, two options that are not necessarily available to people who need to pay bills right this moment. Going to court is also cumbersome and requires knowledge of the law and one’s rights, something that not everyone has access to. A poster like the above is likely to hurt working class women the most, who are, in a great number of cases, in lower paid positions depending on their paycheck to support themselves and their families. It again places the onus on individuals to go out and put themselves in harms ways rather than demand corporate wide disclosure through legal action. Rather than promote safety in numbers (to give one such example, through organizing a legal challenge that would force corporations to disclose salaries divided by function and gender to compare the resulting figures), this campaign makes individual women responsible for their own situation. Again, a neoliberal solution based on bootstrapping ourselves out of the pay gap.
Another point worth mentioning: this campaign says nothing about the pay gap faced by Women of Color in regards to White women. “Ask him”? I’d also ask her so that we clearly establish how the corporate game is set up.
When a campaign to “rebrand feminism” is constructed in a way that can potentially hurt the most vulnerable among us, I have to ask the obvious, who needs this rebranding and who is supposed to benefit from it?
Gawker Media has more readers than the top-circulation U.S. magazines-
Last week when Jezebel published the piece about selfies (a topic I won’t get to because more valuable opinions than mine have already been written), people took to Twitter to discuss the issue and further express their stance on selfies. Several former and current Jezebel contributors pointed out that we shouldn’t talk about “Jezebel” but its individual writers (the old “but we are not like that” applied to media analysis). Examples of this calls to engage only with the writer rather than with Jezebel as a whole can be found on this Storify here.
At the link above, a Washington Post analysis of page views and reach for American mainstream media. This volume is far from the implication that we should engage Jezebel in the same way we engage an independent collective blog where there is no editorial policy or corporate overview of the content. Given the volume of page views, you cannot get more mainstream than Gawker owned properties.
Is self-styled revolutionary Russell Brand really just a ‘Brocialist’? Is Lily Allen’s feminist pop-video racist? Is lesbian activist Julie Bindel a ‘Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist’ Is Respect MP George Galloway a ‘rape apologist’? Welcome to the world of ‘intersectionalism’ – or what we used to call sectarianism.
‘My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit’. This was Flavia Dzodan’s angry challenge to a feminist slogan on a placard on a ‘slutwalk’ march, ‘woman is the nigger of the world’. Dzodan did not like the ‘white feminist’ laying claim to her the oppression suffered by women of colour. ‘Am I supposed to ignore the violence that ensued in the N* word discussion?’ Dzodan asked: ‘Am I supposed to overlook its blatant violence in the name of sisterhood?’
Dzodan’s meme ‘intersectional’ was widely taken up amongst radical campaigners and bloggers. Intersectionality seemed to be a way to balance the different claims of oppressed groups. None would be ignored, or folded into the other. Intersectional feminism would not ignore the special problems faced by black women. Nor would anti-racist campaigners ignore sexism. The watchword of intersectionality was that you should ‘check your privilege’ before making any claims.-
James Heartfield’s mischaracterization of my work is not the most offensive part of this piece. That’s just a LOL inducing moment. Truly offensive moments include the wilful ignorance regarding the history behind intersectionality (i.e. the works of the actual feminists and womanists -mostly Black women, who actually created and developed the theories, like Patricia Hill-Collins, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, etc etc etc). Another offensive moment here:
One radical feminist Emma Brandt complained in turn that ‘liberal feminists “weaponize” trans women against radicals’ – meaning that transsexuals were being used by less resolute feminists to undermine the radical feminists’ authority, which was an interesting counter, but a bridge too far along the intersectionality road.
On second thought, the entire thing is one offensive, mind blowing mansplaining clusterfuck.
I’ll now go back to my work “creating memes”. I’m a cat away from changing the world.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. According to a 2013 WHO global study, 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner.
To raise awareness and trigger action to end this global scourge, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The date marks the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic.
The women known as “the Mirabal sisters” were Patricia, Maria and Minerva. They gave their lives resisting the dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. On November 25th, 1960, they were tortured and executed by the regime’s henchmen on Trujillo’s orders. To read more about their lives and histories, check this site.
As a feminist organization, Secular Woman promotes gender equality. We stand against and combat sexism, hate, intolerance, and misogyny. Transgender women are women. Cisgender women are women. We do not, in any way, view the existence of transgender women, genderqueer individuals or transgender men as a threat to the safety of women, female identity, or the goals of feminism. As intersectional feminists we acknowledge the privilege that cisgender people experience. We aim to dismantle the axis of oppression that this represents. Unfortunately, not all who claim the label “feminist” agree with us. They do not represent us and we reject their actions and views as unethical and devoid of reason. We stand in opposition.-
From the petition:
We invite fellow feminists and secularists, as well as others concerned, to proactively affirm the inclusion of all women as women. Condemn the toxic ideologies used to rationalize hate, fear, and discrimination based on gender.
Stand with us in petitioning the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to track the activities of Cathy Brennan’s Gender Identity Watch as a hate group in accordance with SPLC’s stated mission.
If it is safe and possible for you to do, please sign this petition. Brennan will not necessarily stop her terror campaign against trans* women but, at least, if the Southern Poverty Law Center starts monitoring her, her deeds would be much more exposed and counteracted.
We’re fed up with reading the names of so many young trans* women and sadly a few trans* men this year who will never get to experience another birthday. Far too many of them who were killed this year were under the age of 35.
We’re fed up with contemplating the disturbing fact some of the names we’ll be reading during these TDOR memorials hadn’t even made it to age 21 yet.
We’re fed up in the African-American and Latin@ trans* communities of far too many of our people dying and our politicians, clergy and media pundits being cricket chirping silent about it.
We’re fed up with legislative inaction on the human rights laws it’s painfully obvious trans* people need at the local, state and federal levels as a wide range of people from trans exclusionary radical feminists to right-wing politicians gleefully spread disinformation and lies to roll back or retard our progress.
We’re fed up with our people dying and our people choosing suicide over life because you transphobic cisgender haters have made it so hostile and uncomfortable for them to live.
But sadly we’ll probably be gathering next November 20 at locations around the globe to read another 200 plus names of people killed because of anti-transgender violence.
Please click the link to read her post in its entirety. Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Monica Roberts spells out clearly and eloquently why this day exists and it is necessary.
I’m just going to leave this here and slowly, slowly back away.
I am on record as saying that I dislike many of the uses of the expression “rape culture”. Mostly what I dislike is how it’s overused to the point of trivialization and dilution of meaning. I deeply (and I mean, deeply) dislike words like “rapey”. It simultaneously dissolves the gravity of rape and turns the word into a “cutified” neologism that trivializes it. Sexist and/ or misogynist actions can be part of how rape culture asserts itself within our communities but they are not “rapey”. Songs are not “rapey”. They can be offensive. They can advance the normalization of rape culture but your ears or your politics cannot be raped. An email can be threatening and even illegal (if it contains threats, for instance) but your computer will not live with PTSD after receiving it. What I am trying to say is, language evolves and I fully understand the need to come up with new words to describe our realities. However, I am not on board with language use that trivializes the severity of rape.
I am also not onboard with whitewashed and non intersectional approaches to rape culture. Case at hand: London School of Economics (LSE for short). Now, LSE has a long standing history of being awful. Let’s review some of their worst contributions to social science of the past couple of years:
- LSE researcher writes a disgusting diatribe about how Black women are “ugly”
- LSE students play a drinking game called “Nazi Ring of Fire” that required them to “salute the Fuhrer”
- LSE publishes a study about the “myth” of Women’s ‘double shift’ of work and domestic duties claiming women “prefer” low paid jobs to actual careers. Also, women want to “marry up”.
So now, this stronghold of intersectional feminism is back at it again, this time with LSE Law’s Inaugural Event in its ‘Debating Law’ series. The event featured four panelists and if I have to sum it up based on this account published on Feminists @ Law website, it was a victim blaming extravaganza. There were calls to “study the behaviors of victims”; Barbara Hewson, one of the panelists, referred to rape as “an ideology of sexual victimization”; and this gem:
In response to a question about the importance of consent, Hewson said the feminist idea of active or enthusiastic consent turns consent into a failure to take care, and therefore makes rape more about negligence than criminal law.
Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West England, Nazir Afzal was also part of the panel. According to the account, he disagreed with the above remarks and had this to say:
Afzal argued that rape is about control and power rather than sex.
This, this is at the core of my problems with many white feminist analysis of rape culture. This idea that rape is not about sex. The statement above comes from a man so I won’t even engage that context. However, this is a common idea I’ve often seen pushed as an explanation of rape culture. I agree wholeheartedly that rape is about control and power but it is also about sex. It is about sex especially, specifically in how often Women of Color are victims of rape. For the past five hundred years, Women of Color have been seen as simultaneously oversexualized and not human. Black and Latina women have been stereotyped as sexually available and “eager temptresses” whose bodies were supposed to be at the service of male sexuality. When a Latina child like Cherice Morales was denied justice, even in death, it was all about sex (and of course, sex supported by the power afforded by a white supremacist, heteronormative patriarchy). However, to say that rape is never about sex is a disservice to centuries of our histories and the ways our bodies have been commodified and made sexually available. It is a white washed erasure of the normalization of the sexual violence that the women in our communities have had (and continue) to endure on a daily basis. I will not argue that rape is about control and power but we cannot deny the way white supremacy has sexualized our bodies while pushing the idea that we “want it”. During slavery, Black women could not be raped. During the conquista (and in certain parts of South America, even now), indigenous Latin American women could not be raped. The sexual violence was not considered rape because only white women were acknowledged as “human” and hence, only white women could be raped. The sexual violence suffered by Women of Color was merely “sexual availability”. Those rapes were about male sexual gratification; power and control were just the tools to achieve it. That is the history we have to contend with. To deny us the way our bodies have always been at the service of this male gratification is to deny us the possibility of liberation.