Posts tagged Gender

Riots and gender

From Suzie at Echnidne of the Snakes. Reposted without further comment, to elicit thought and conversation.

Riots & gender

Large-scale violence rarely triggers a public discussion of gender, even though men and boys are the majority of perpetrators. Consider last week’s mayhem in Britain: Although some women participated, most of those involved have been young men from poor areas, the Guardian reported.

The civil liberties of male suspects are being discussed, and for good reason — some sentences sound absurd. But what about the rights of women who wanted to go about their business, without ending up in a mob of angry men? The threat of male violence restricts the lives of women, but people have become so accustomed to it that it often goes unquestioned.

Concepts of masculinity play a large role. A man may get respect through violence, or with the right consumer goods. After all, marketing tells us how men should look and what stuff they need. But it does the same for women, and we’re not nearly as likely to break a store window to get what we want or to gain respect. . . .

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in Woolwich. But the Guardian points out that it happened after the riots there, not during, as had been first reported. Now we are free to ignore it, just like most rapes, which get no political analysis.

Next time a girl or woman gets raped, why don’t women take to the streets and smash any business that caters to men? Oh, never mind, men would strike back harder, just like British authorities are upping the sentences for the rioters.

Most conservatives consider those who stole and/or destroyed property as criminals. In response, Naomi Klein writes about the riots as political. When people in politics and business loot their own countries and others, Klein says, you can expect those hit hardest to hit back. She calls this physics, but it appears to be a physics of men, since the highest authorities are predominantly men. How do we change society so that men aren’t hurting us from above and below?

. . . Unlike gender, there has been much discussion of race and ethnicity in regard to the riots. The Guardian reported that people of all races and ethnicities participated, while some white conservatives are blaming blacks and/or Muslims. There needs to be an examination of culture as it intersects with gender. For example, will street crime lead to greater restrictions for some women?

Why is it so easy to see class, race and ethnicity but not gender?

— Suzie, Riots and Gender, at Echidne of the Snakes

Monday Lazy Linking

  • Another Isolated Incident. Radley Balko, Gangsters in Blue (2010-10-16). Montgomery, Alabama: “They could have at least apologized,” says LaKisha Dixon. She just wants to hear Montgomery police officers say they’re sorry. Last month, officers entered her home without even knocking on the door. Dixon and two children were inside. “It was three tall men with masks on and big... (Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)

  • On the Ground Floor… James Tuttle, On ALLiance (2010-10-17). Dear Friends, Fellow Workers and ALLies, A grand opportunity present’s itself.  We have the ability to aid a rising Anarcho-Star.  Anna O. Morgenstern of C4SS.org and Tranarchism blog spot (and soon ALLiance Journal) fame is pursuing two literary projects, one fictional and the other non-fictional.  At this time, and until... (Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)

  • The Real IP Pirates. Stephan Kinsella, Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (2010-10-16). It’s bad enough that IP advocates dishonestly use the word “theft” to describe use of your own property in contravention of a monopoly issued by the state. (After all, as Nina Paley reminds us, copying is not theft; when you use information to guide your action or configure your own... (Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)

  • “Princess Boy”: Addressing Children’s Gender Non-Conformity. Sociological Images (2010-10-18). The important thing about this is a pair of fundamentally decent parents and a group of adults realizing that the only "issue" here is an issue with their own anxieties, which they are perfectly capable of overcoming. And thank goodness for that. Because of course there is no problem with Dyson; other than being weirded out by being put in front of a crowd of strangers for a teevee show, he is obviously happy as a clam. Not with being "non-conformant" (who the hell are these Genital Correctness busybodies that we're supposed to " "conform" to? and why should we care what those assholes think?) but rather with just being his own self. The people who deserve a label are the power-freaking Genital Correctness Busybody Brigade, whose obsession with conformity and anxieties about sex-class drive them to treat little kids like crap for wanting to wear pretty things, or for playing games that they enjoy. Thank goodness they are absent from this conversation; it makes me feel that much better about the world. (Linked Monday 2010-10-18.)

The Genital Correctness Medical Mutilation Brigade

What is the right size for a clitoris? Pharyngula (2010-06-30):

I don't know. They seem to come in a range of sizes; when they're as large as a small male penis, I suppose it might be unexpected, perhaps a little confusing, perhaps a little ambiguous to people intolerant of the idea that the human form is found in intermediate shapes....

Dr. Dix Poppas has attracted special notoriety for his sexually abusive experiments on the girls that he sexually mutilates. Of course, the more basic issue here is the non-consensual surgical sexual mutilation forced on girls by doctors and anxious parents, in the name of patriarchal Genital Correctness exercised at the point of a scalpel. Which is alarmingly common, and a far wider problem than the special case of Dr. Dix Poppas. There's every reason to say something about the special awfulness of this child rapist in scrubs; but the notion that mutilating girls' clitorises for seeming "too big" (for what purpose?) to adult observers could ever possibly be ethical medicine -- rather than what it is, pointless medical torture in the service of carving patriarchy into a girl's skin and flesh.

Monday Lazy Linking