Wednesday, June 20, 2007

speak not its name!

*Note - sexual assault triggers

Well this is just plain ridiculous. A Nebraska judge bans the word "rape" from his courtroom, along with "sexual assault," "victim," "assailant" and "sexual assault kit."

The result is that the defense and the prosecution are both left to use the same word—sex—to describe either forcible sexual assault, or benign consensual intercourse. As for the jurors, they'll just have to read the witnesses' eyebrows to sort out the difference.

Um, right. How unbelievably awful is this? This judge is forcing the victim to lie, because rape and sex are not the same thing. Rape is not about sex - rape is about power and control. I call bullshit on the "jurors being too emotional" argument put forth here. It's horrible that Bowen had to go through this, on top of everything else.

Furthermore, how's about some more lying and coddling?
And there's another problem underlying Cheuvront's order: Jurors will not be told of it. Not only is the "dangerous" language to be hidden from them, but the fact that it's been hidden will be concealed from them as well. They are not merely too emotional to hear the phrase rape kit. They are also evidently too emotional to know it's been hidden from them in the first place.

In the words of the victim herself:
"This makes women sick, especially the women who have gone through this," Bowen said. "They know the difference between sex and rape. If it was sex, I wouldn't be speaking to you."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

culture jamming yay!

I can't remember where I was directed to this from first, but who cares, it's awesome. A LiveJournal user very awesomely modified those ridiculous Special K ads. Check out the results!

Some of you who know me know that I'm not too fond of bowing to bullshit beauty standards, hence I found this shaving historical timeline interesting. Do pay attention to the entry for World War One, and the fact that
It all began with the May, 1915 edition of Harper's Bazaar magazine that featured a model sporting the latest fashion. She wore a sleeveless evening gown that exposed, for the first time in fashion, her bare shoulders, and her armpits.

A young marketing executive with the Wilkinson Sword Company, who also made razor blades for men, designed a campaign to convince the women of North America that:

(a) Underarm hair was unhygienic (b) It was unfeminine.

In two years, the sales of razor blades doubled as our grandmothers and great grandmothers made themselves conform to this socially constructed gender stereotype. This norm for North American women has been reinforced by several generations of daughters who role-modeled their mothers.

It's all about marketing and social conditioning, as usual.

Also, Colbert mocks people who make such a big deal over name changes:

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm still alive, I swear

Summer is upon us. I've left the SCSU (my term ended almost a month ago) and have drifted into the wonderful world of waiting tables, and when I'm not doing that, sitting on my ass.

Those of you who remember the disaster that was my boyfriend attempting to get new identification, all is well and he has been in Canada since the start of May. Got here while I was away on a retreat and I had a pleasant surprise when I called my mom's house and he answered the phone. Good times.

Some linkage of good reads and things to keep an eye on:

- I'm keeping my eye on this story. The girl's father really freaked me out when I saw him on the news - if you've seen it, you know he was dancing and grinning and waving as he was arrested. I'm waiting to hear more about it before I come up with commentary.

- Jill at Feministe has a good post on reaction to Paris Hilton's jail time. Sexualised insults and attacking women for being sexual, for enjoying sex, presuming that they do and that that's a bad thing, etc., are things that bother me very very much, so when Jill says,
I’ve found a lot of the conversation around the Paris Hilton jailing to be very troubling — people don’t want to see her incarcerated because she broke the law, but because she’s a “stupid bimbo,” a “skanky little whore,” a “stupid bitch,” a “ho,” a “piece of white trash,” a “ignorant cum hole on a stick,” a “fucking whorebag,” a “whinning pussystretched crab infested skank,” a “spoiled cunt,” etc etc.

I'm well inclined to agree.

- Speaking of Feministe, Zuzu has left the blog. I got to meet Zuzu recently and she is pretty darn awesome; believe me, she will be missed.

- Oh my god, ew. Ew ew ew ew ew ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

- Andy and I went to see the new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum on Friday. I have to say I was pretty darn underwhelmed. From the first time I saw the plans for the thing, I was horrified by it. And people were going on and on and on about it once it opened with glorious reviews and beautiful photos and the like, and I knew I was going to give it a chance anyway but... yeah. We went on Friday because that's the cheap night and despite the fact that it took like, five years to build the damn thing, it already looks cheap and beat up inside. Just in the entrance hall there was a bit of masking tape left on a wall, elsewhere I already saw dents in the walls (not to mention footprints on some of the slopes, since people can't seem to READ THE FUCKING SIGNS THAT SAY DON'T CLIMB ON THE WALLS), and in general it just seemed to be... meh. It wasn't brilliant, it wasn't inspiring, it wasn't beautiful, it was pretty darn meh. I am curious to see what it will be like when there's actually stuff in there (on the fifth floor there are already two small exhibits) but it seems like way too much money spent on something that has turned out to be really not that special. Anyway, I did take some pictures of my own, and in the end I stand by my initial proclamation of five years ago, that it's a blight on a beautiful old building. As Andy put it, in a somewhat appalled tone, when looking at it from the angle of that last picture, "It looks like a growth."

- From the Saturday Star, a series of profiles on women presidents, principals and deans at Canada's universities. It's really fascinating, and Mayo Moran, dean of law at U of T, hits the nail on the head when it comes to motherhood and career:
"You look at women in senior levels in the university and most have children that are grown or no children. That's not something that is true of men." Moran, 46, who has a 10-year-old son, adds: "I'm the only one (female dean) who had a son that was little. However, the last dean had four young kids when he became dean and no one mentioned that. It is one of the hurdles that we have to cross."
. Make sure you check out all the links on the sidebar to read these women's stories.

- From TheGoodReverend, a photo quiz: Exercise Equipment or Sex Toy?. I don't remember where I found this but it made me giggle.

- A very good read about the crime half of all humans commit, and the punishment doled out for, Living While Female, at a cat and twenty.

- And finally, one of my favourite bloggers, Jessica Valenti of, was on the Colbert Report last week, and kicked some ass.

I might add more to this later, but right now I am hungry.