Steaming turds whose Sh!t don’t stink – some housekeeping

So. I have some housekeeping to do here.

I was having a coffee with a semi-old friend of mine who has just got back from living OS. Turns out, her old boyfriend had been so abusive some time ago that she felt she had to go and live in another country just to get away from him and, later, to recover.

turd

turd

I realised, to my chagrin, that he was one of my Facebook friends.

Violence against women and abuse of them is not neutral. Lots of people think they “musn’t intervene”, or “shouldn’t take sides” or that it’s none of their business etc. They feel terrible when they find out that someone they like has done something really wrong.

They say nothing, because what they want to say is yell at them , or ask them why they did it, or why they lied about it. But they pull back because they think the best thing is to say nothing. They think saying nothing but remaining friends with that person will send them the message that they support them but not their behaviour. Or that saying something might make that not nice person suddenly not like them anymore.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. An abusive man is abusive because he thinks deep down it’s okay and the only reason people talk about it being bad is to make everything sound nice. They think that underneath it all, other people also think men have greater rights than women and that they just need to get better at placating women.

So when a nice person stays silent to the abusive man, the abusive man gets the message that in fact, they’re correct – they messed up, and they weren’t good enough at placating the nagging bitch. Or whatever. They don’t know that most men want to be sick if they think about violence against women. They don’t know that many men have arguments with their wives all the time without threatening them or hurting them. They think everyone’s doing it, but they need to get better at covering it up, or come up with better excuses.

So, this acquaintance, and another friend who has supported him by staying silent, have to go. That is two less people on my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. And the world will be better for it. I urge you all to do the same. Get the turds out of your network. Not worth the smell.

Cheers

Jenny

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From Chris Brown’s verified account….it was pretty promptly deleted – Imgur

Sick of Chris Brown and his type. May they go down in a blaze of syphilis or something like that.

From Chris Brown’s verified account….it was pretty promptly deleted – Imgur.

Not sledging, not joking, not expression, not political point-scoring, plain old violence against women

It’s so much part of the landscape that it seems nobody at the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age or anywhere for that matter is calling out about it.

Why is it okay to for Grahame Morris to joke about kicking a woman to death? Why is that funny? Is it funny like the famous Alexander Downer line, ‘the things that batter’?

Why do we go along with the idea that it could, possibly, very likely, be just a bit of fun? For those of you who don’t understand we are calling you on your misogyny, here’s an update by Clementine Ford, just published today, just in time to help you figure out if us feminists really are being wowsers or sour bitches or have gone too far.

I say ‘gone too far’ is saying the Prime Minister should be kicked to death. Who among us would say Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey should be kicked to death?

The headlines in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald claim that Grahame Morris has apologised, so it looks like the story has had its day and everyone’s moving on. A thing that us women are always being told to do, whenever we complain about threats of violence, sexual assaults, etc etc.

The problem is, he hasn’t done anything of the sort. The person who apologised is David Speers, on Morris’ behalf. I can picture how that conversation went:

“Shit, mate, what did you say that for?”
“What? Well she does deserve a bloody big kicking”
“We know that, mate, but you just can’t say things like that”
“OK”

Blokes know it’s not a joke

Girls, don’t swallow that tripe about it just being a bit of fun. The blokes do actually know and understand the impact of their violence. They know it’s not funny. They take it really seriously, when we’re not talking about women.

Just have a look at the weekly AFL tribunal commentary if you’re in any doubt. For example, yesterday The Age was showing this graph. Note that almost 1,000 people had voted. There was extensive coverage of the minutae of striking charges, how much pressure was applied in the strike, who was standing where when it happened. Exhausting stuff.

The Australian also displayed a similar obsession.

But of course we don’t notice anything unusual about this, because it’s footy, and it’s normal. Just like wanting to kick a female political leader to death is normal.

PS Here is an article in Wendy Harmer’s The Hoopla about some of the worst comments about the Prime Minister.

Rape culture v fathers’ rights

Google Ngram viewer

After some inspiration from a guy called Ben Schmidt – who is a historian who specialises in looking at the enormous data sets that have been created since the world started digitising its history, geography, literature and so on – I started exploring the Google Ngram Viewer.

You can see more about Ben’s work here – a more accurate description of the field is ‘digital humanities research’. You can also see a bit of wicked historical geography (or geographical history?) at Spacial Analysis blog. End of digression.

The dataset and the graphing tool available at Google Ngram Viewer represents a ‘big picture’ view of what we think and how we think, which is of course one of my smaller obsessions.

For example, in the gay marriage rights debate, it is often argued by conservatives that legalising gay marriage would mess with an ancient tradition. Yet I suspect that in the thousands of years of human history, most couples have got together, had children, built a house, got on with life and so on without it, so to make marriage sound ‘natural’ or a default position of any kind is not at all accurate. If I could just figure out two approximately equally important phrases that represent ‘married’ and ‘de facto’ (sic, de facto can refer to lots of things) over 200 years, I could do a graph of it right now.

Instead, I made one which compared the phrase ‘rape culture’ with ‘fathers’ rights’ from 1990 to 2000. And this is what it looks like:

To use a music metaphor, it looks like a jaunty little duet. It’s not even a fugue or a call-and-response. It’s two voices a third apart, rising and falling, but mostly rising. So I wondered if that was just a blip, and decided to try ‘rape culture’ against ‘female graduates’. That graph produces another duet, but this time a fifth apart:
There are no controls, so weighting, and absolutely nothing else to tell you that this is some legit piece of research that you should bring up in polite (or even drunken) conversation. However, we now have ways of testing our ideas about things and looking more clearly into the deep pool that is human (literate) culture. We should use it not only for advertising, but also to settle arguments about Downton Abbey.