Tag Archives: Patriarchy

Nope, My Short Hair Cut Still Isn’t the Same as Rape Thought Catalog

18 Jun

So Thought Catalog published a post by resident asshat and all around terrible person Gavin McInnes back in March that I thankfully missed because my Facebook feed knows better than to recommend posts entitled “Hey, Ladies! Short Hair Is Rape”, “When Is It OK To Hit A Woman?”, and “Having Kids Turns You Into A Complete Fag”. McInnes relies on radically hateful language to bring in audiences. There is no nuance or thought to what he writes. He writes what he does for pure shock value, which I find funny for someone writing for a blog entitled “Thought Catalog”. He insults and rejects his critics by calling them uneducated plebes. It upsets me because I have seen some really interesting and funny content come from this site, but this has me wanting to leave them forever.

So the post, “Hey, Ladies! Short Hair Is Rape”, was offensive enough. The fact that Thought Catalog kept it up and allowed him to post a follow-up “No, Short Hair Is Not Literally Rape, You F#cking Idiots!” was just depressing. I don’t want to link the posts here because I don’t want this man getting any more attention than he has already received. It really doesn’t surprise me that he is a frequent guest on Fox News. Ugh.

Ok so back to the original post. It is the same type of patriarchal, woman hating, rape culture writing that has been blowing up the web and putting me in an all around bad mood over the past few months. Everyone remember the recent slough of bad posts on rape over at the Washington Post? Here’s a reminder. And here.

The title of the post alone suggests that McInnes has no idea what rape means.

So here, Mr. McInnes, is what I have to say to you.

As a survivor of rape who also has friends and loved ones that are survivors of rape let me just say McInnes, you have no idea what you are talking about. So please shut up. Your post was offensive to those of us who are still dealing with the trauma that we overcame. It undercuts and devalues our experience. And that alone should have been enough to warrant a withdrawal of the post, or at least an apology.

You state that when a woman gets her hair cut short that she is “Saying yes to yourself and no to us(men)” which is fine, according to you, if  “You want to check out of society for a year”. I really don’t even know where to begin with this one. As if saying yes to ourselves is a bad thing? Something that warrants hiding away from society? I myself have my hair shaved down at the moment, but that is neither here nor there. The point is women (and men) cut their hair for various reasons that may or may not have anything to do with what you Mr. McInnes, in your very limited world view find attractive. We are autonomous beings that exist outside of what you find attractive. I personally cut my hair because it’s hot as Hades in New Orleans right now and I am training for my second marathon. Short hair is cool hair.1382801_10152309050728957_652875986_n

Also, I feel sexy as hell.

But I don’t need to explain myself to you. That’s not the point. No one harasses you when you choose to cut your hair, grow it out, decide on a beard, opt in for a goatee. Whereas women and women’s bodies are constantly policed. If I decide not to shave my legs for a month I am making a statement. If I then decide to shave my legs I am making an equally powerful statement. I wear a skirt that is too short? I am a slut, I wear a one-piece bikini, I am a prude. I decide to cut off all of my hair and my upstairs neighbors assume my roommate and I are life-partners (true story). A woman cannot make a decision about her body without someone somewhere having something to say about it. Everything we do is valued only as much as men appreciate it. And that is the problem with a patriarchal culture. Well one of the problems. And only one of the problems with your piece McInnes.

You say that my short hair is “More than unattractive. Its rape” And then you follow up by saying “No, Short Hair Is Not Literally Rape, You F#cking Idiots!”. Well let me begin by saying if you really think your audience is that stupid maybe you should be more clear in your language. But also, yes I understood that you were trying to use rape as hyperbole, as a metaphor here. For what, I am not entirely sure. (By the way, when I said New Orleans is hot as Hades right now that was a simile. And a hyperbole. Just to be clear.)

In a culture where women’s bodies are constantly objectified, where men such as yourself seem to think that they have some kind of claim over them, a post such as this only serves to further the idea that consent is some silly slogan those “crazy feminists” throw around, rather than something that is essential for safe and healthy sexual encounters.

You say the definition of rape is being diluted. Rape is and always will be a lack of consent. Don’t forget that. Sometimes rape is coming home to a husband/boyfriend who believes that because you are his wife/girlfriend he is entitled to sex. Sometimes rape is waking up the next morning naked, bruised, and alone with only the haziest of memories of your assault. Sometimes rape is having a family member tell you that it’s your little secret. Sometimes rape is having your employer tell you no one will believe you. Sometimes rape is a group of men on a crowded train with no one intervening. Sometimes rape is an acquaintance, or friend taking advantage of you on a night out. Sometimes rape is the man your family hired to get you across the border assaulting you night after night because he knows that you can’t do anything. And yes sometimes rape is a stranger in a dark alley with a knife. Not to mention countless other scenarios.

So no Mr. McInnes, we are not diluting the definition of rape, we are trying to help survivors understand that what happened to them is not and never will be ok. We are trying to help them receive the support and help that they deserve without being ostracized or blamed by the very institutions put in place to keep them safe.

Rape is not having sex with a girl with short hair. Don’t disparage this very real issue for the sake of getting hits on your half-wit post. It’s not responsible and it’s not funny. I’m not even going to touch on your horific use of the word tranny or your statement that “(men) aren’t intimidated by anything that has a vagina”. I mean, not right now anyway.

Here are some rape jokes, rape satire that work in case you are interested. Maybe you can learn to be funny? I doubt it.

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The Plight of Mississippi’s Lone Abortion Provider

8 Feb

Since April of last year, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been struggling to stay open. Jackson is the last abortion provider in Mississippi, a state that leads the country in teen birth rates.

In April, Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed in anew law, which states that any doctor performing an abortion in the state is required to have hospital admitting privileges. The clinic has since applied for admitting privileges with seven local hospitals, and been rejected from each and every one. In accordance with state law, healthcare facilities are allowed to refuse medical service on religious grounds.

Image

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/01/mississippis_last_abortion_clinic_hangs_in_the_balance/

The hospitals reportedly rejected requests by these physicians to receive admitting privileges because their medical practice “is inconsistent with this Hospital’s policies and practices as concerns abortion and, in particular, elective abortions” and that admitting them “would lead to both an internal and external disruption of the Hospital’s function and business within this community.”

The clinic, which in 2011 served close to 2,000 patients, the majority of which being low-income and teenage women, received a notice stating that the state health department will revoke its operating license. To put that in perspective, Mississippi had a poverty rate of 22.6 in 2011, and many of these low-income women will have to go to a clinic three hours away over the state line, if the Jackson clinic is forced closed. In addition to transportation costs, childcare, and time-off work, women would have to put up money for hotels to adhere to mandatory 72-hour waiting periods in neighboring states as well as find the money for the $450 procedure itself. This would put an undue burden on these women, effectively making it impossible for them to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

According to Michelle Movahed, the staff attorney for the center, “This unconstitutional law has essentially handed over the fate of Mississippi women’s reproductive health care to hospital administrators.”

In 1981 there were 14 abortion clinics in the state of Mississippi, now the only two physicians providing abortions fly into the state to its only remaining clinic. Systematically closing down the state’s abortion care providers isn’t the only way the state has limited a woman’s ability to choose in Mississippi however.  Due to several prohibitive measures that have been passed in recent years, Mississippi now has the lowest abortion rate in the country at 5%, compared to 19% nationally. In Mississippi abortion clinics, unlike other medical offices, are required to adhere to the same building codes as hospitals. Minors in the state need the consent of both parents before receiving an abortion, and abortions are only legal in clinics up to 16 weeks. Additionally, sonograms must be performed and the patient must be given the opportunity to see the image and listen to the fetal heartbeat. Also all women seeking an abortion in the state must receive counseling from a doctor and then wait 24-hours before the procedure.

And as if all of this weren’t enough, Republican Senator Angela Burks Hill recently sponsored Senate Bill 2795, a bill which would attempt to limit the availability of medications such as mifepristone and misoprostol which induce abortions. The bill would make it illegal for a woman to take the pills seven pills after their last menstruation, despite the fact that most doctors currently prescribe it up to nine weeks. To add insult to injury, the bill will also require a woman to return to her doctor’s office to take the misoprostol instead of her previous option of taking it at home. This would result in four required visits for a woman seeking to end a pregnancy via medication, a requirement that may not be financially feasible for all of Mississippi’s women. On February 5th the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved the measure, which will go to the full senate for more debate. 

Mississippi’s attack on women and on reproductive rights is truly atrocious. Despite being legal in the United States, these proposed measure are essentially making abortion impossible for the low-income women that live there. These measures also unjustly affect low-income women, who will likely be unable to afford trips out of state. Essentially forcing these women to give birth to unwanted children that they may not have the means to support perpetuates a cycle of poverty that can be almost impossible to escape.

Access to birth control and abortion are two of the greatest tools that women have in their arsenal to achieve the same economic freedom as their male counterparts. When women are unable to control when and where they want to start a family, under what circumstances, they are essentially stripped of their abilities to succeed in a job market where they are in constant competition with men who do not face the same challenges. Abortion rights are a women’s issue, they are also a class issue, and a race issue. It’s about the power to choose. When Mississippi, a state with the highest teen pregnancy rate and one of the highest poverty rates, chooses to deny women this fundamental control over their future economic prospects, they are holding women back and keeping them in a state of oppression.

What happens to Mississippi’s last abortion clinic is important for us all. It is a warning, of what could happen if we don’t fight to protect the rights of women everywhere.

cycpyper

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