Just think how silly it looks when guys are made to do what women in advertising are made to do…all the fucking time.
Just think how silly it looks when guys are made to do what women in advertising are made to do…all the fucking time.
Looks like Honduras is slated to get a Cristina Fernández of its own, at least if polls hold true:
Honduran ex-foreign minister Patricia Rodas predicted the victory of candidate Xiomara Castro de Zelaya in the presidential elections of next November, in spite of threats and violence in the Central American country.
“On November 24, we will reverse the coup d’état,” affirmed the director of the Libertad y Refundación party (Libre), which has put forward the wife of former president Manuel Zelaya, ousted in 2009, as their candidate.
Rodas celebrated the decision of the Working Group of the São Paulo Forum, which, during a meeting in the Brazilian city, had decided to accompany the progressive and leftist forces in Honduras during the coming elections.
“In the months to come, we will start a campaign with terrible difficulties, permanent threats, and an escalation in violence and murder,” Rodas said.
Rodas stated that Honduras has become the most insecure country in the world, “by combining insecurity and repression with no clear borders.”
“We have to confront the right-wing’s fear of the return of the people to power, to rebuild what they tried to destroy with the coup,” Rodas said.
The convoking of a Constituent Assembly to write a new constitution is one of the principal proposals of the Libre Party, Rodas said.
She added that even now, there are still institutions in Honduras operating under colonial concepts. She stated that with the candidacy of Xiomara Castro, a process of profound changes will begin in that Central American land.
A Paradigma poll, conducted yesterday in Tegucigalpa, put the former first lady and now presidential candidate at the head of electoral preferences.
Honduras has the highest murder rates in Latin America, and the coup d’état made that problem what it is today. You might hear a lot of bleating and blatting about Venezuela, but Honduras has higher per-capita murder rates by far. And if you’ve heard about that, you obviously didn’t get it from your mainstream media, either. Their stated objective, as far as Honduras goes, is to promote the coup and cover up its abuses, and paint Manuel Zelaya as the baddie in the whole sorry affair.
So it’s no secret why Xiomara Castro already enjoys great popularity going in. Her husband started a progressive program for the country, ushering Honduras into the beneficial ALBA alliance, and at the time of the coup, things were just getting underway for the constitutional rewrite that he had promised during his own election campaign. Had it not been for the coup, Honduras would have had a new, democratic constitution four years ago. And now, it’s getting the chance to do it again.
Adelante, adelante, la lucha es constante…
“Sometimes, I would rather talk with laborers and bricklayers than with those stupid people who are called ‘cultured’.”
Me too, Frida…me too.
It has recently come to my attention that another friend, a progressive blogger, has become the target of a cyberstalker. The culprit: you, her (former) collaborator.
Now, I should state in advance that I did not see the blog entries (she tells me there were two) in which you started blaming women and feminism for all your current problems. She deleted them because they were so ugly that she could have gotten into trouble with her supervisors at work.
But you, rather than understanding her legitimate concerns, decided to step up your attacks. Now, not content to blame women and feminists in general, you seem to have fixated on her in particular as the cause of all your woes. You have repeatedly blocked her on Twitter, only to harass her afresh under new handles, but with the same old bizarre accusations. I haven’t been on the tweeter myself that much lately, so I missed all that.
However, I have seen your latest entry on your own (formerly deleted, now resurrected) blog, in which you go on to trash her and claim that she’s the reason you’re mentally ill, you’ve gone through more than $100,000 of your savings, and you’re just a few thousand more away from landing on the street. You seem to think it’s her fault that you are sick, broke, and can’t get laid (your words). Or is it the fault of feminism? Either way, your barely coherent rant appalled me, and I will not link to it; in your shoes, I would delete it and refrain from blogging for the time being, as such defamatory rambling could only hurt you in your efforts to rebuild your life. That is why I am not addressing you here by name.
I don’t know what it’s like to lose $100,000 in savings, as I have never been able to accumulate anywhere near that much. I do, however, know what it’s like to be depressed. I’ve been lucky; thanks to good self-care and daily doses of Vitamin B complex, I haven’t had a relapse in nearly 20 years. If you cannot afford a shrink, at least spend a few dollars on vitamins; they can’t hurt you, and who knows how much they will help? All I know is that they lifted the pall from my own mind and enabled me to function fully as a human being again. Before that, I was much like you: paranoid, irrational, all too willing to blame everyone and everything else, and unable to take responsibility for myself. I couldn’t see past the end of my nose, and I was forever flailing about in a grey fog of pain and exhaustion. The things I did when I was sick still make me blanch with humiliation to this day, nearly 20 years after the fact. And I deeply regret the things I was not well enough to do, too.
That’s why I advise you, as your friend, to cease and desist from tweeting, blogging, and online ranting. Back when I was sick, I didn’t have recourse to any of those things, and it’s a good thing I didn’t; I could so easily have cyberstalked the former boyfriend who wronged me, too. I am grateful that it never came to that, because what with the ol’ Google Cache, those things could have come back forever to haunt me. Luckily, Google was not yet a “thing” back then.
You can ill afford to be sued for defamation of character, and should you find yourself in the position of applying for a job, the last thing you want is for your prospective employer to run an online search on you and find that you wrote all sorts of nasty, ugly things about a woman you wrongly blamed for all your woes while you were sick. I think you know that, since I’m told that you deleted your old blog, where you first started spewing these spurious accusations. In your shoes, I’d delete your new one too, since carrying on in the same vein is self-destructive and counter-productive.
If you are not seeing a psychologist already, start now. Write your thoughts in a paper journal, not a blog, so that there is no electronic record of your worst moments. Share this journal with your therapist if asked to do so. Use it to reorganize yourself and reorient yourself mentally, because if what our friend told me is true, you have gotten very badly disoriented.
As for what you said about feminism turning women into abusers, that is straight-up MRA bullshit and you ought to know it. You say you grew up as the only male in an otherwise all-female household; therefore, you have no excuses for spewing such a load of misogyny. Being the guy who grew up surrounded by women, and presumably more sensitive to their issues, does not excuse it. It means, on the contrary, that you, of all men, should know better than to go tarring women with a broad brush of blame.
So why did you do it, then? Because you had a bad female boss? Because you had a couple of them? Listen, my friend, so did I. I don’t blame feminism for them; I blame THEM for them. And I blame another ism, too: CAPITALISM, which rewards psychopathy in the ruling classes, particularly corporate bosses. Profit is not only unpaid wages that should accrue to the worker, it is the reward of corporate psychopathy; you know this, and I know this. I’ve also had some seriously dickish male bosses, for what this is worth. But you won’t hear me going off on a man-hating tangent because of them. I know that dickishness is a depressingly common trait of the boss class, not males in general. And dickishness, in this context, knows no gender.
Feminism is not your foe; it is your ally, and at this time, you are obviously in no fit state to realize it. After all, it is not about female supremacy, reverse sexism, or penis-bashing as you seem to think; it is plainly and simply about social equality, and human rights for all.
Right now you seem to feel that you have been denied a fair share of something; I’m not sure exactly what you expected, but you sound to me like you have jumped the rails of reason. I am not so much afraid OF you as FOR you. I worry that you might hurt yourself.
Assuming that one day you will be well enough to work again, and that the odds are roughly 50-50 that you will be working for a female employer, again, I advise you to delete that blog. It can only hurt your prospects, and it can only embarrass you when you are well enough to look back and regret the damage you have done. The fellow blogger at whom you have aimed your ire deserves better than that, and so do you.
“Oh, you’re still doing feminism?” Yes. Yes, she is. Because the world is still doing sexism.
Traci Lords makes a connection that the media have by and large (and, in my opinion, quite willfully) missed. Actually, several connections. One, the connection between rape and prostitution (and porn, which is also tied to prostitution). She says the fact that she was raped in her hometown — Steubenville, Ohio, near the West Virginia border — is “absolutely the reason” she ended up on the streets, prostituted, and later, “starring” in porn while still under 18. The report doesn’t elaborate, but the reason isn’t hard to guess: Rape degrades, it inflicts a sense of being less of a person than those who raped you. When you’re already beaten down in mind, and constantly reminded of what happened by the fact that you have to see these same smug, hypocritical people every day, the only escape is often to run away to the big city streets. And those streets can be motherfucking MEAN. You do whatever you must to survive. And for many runaway girls, that’s spelled prostitution. Which, by its very nature, often repeats and reinforces the initial trauma of the rape.
Another connection: the fact that small towns where jocks enjoy a special, elevated status (especially in such heavily commercialized team sports as football) are NOT “great places to raise a kid”. They are actually places where bullying, beatings, sexual assaults, pedophilia, and even gang rapes happen all the time, but are rarely ever brought to the light of day. This is because the guys who commit the crime are lionized not merely in spite of, but sometimes BECAUSE of what they do to girls. It’s a sexist culture, where jocks are elevated and girls are relegated to second-place status. You get to bask in the reflected glory of the jocks if you’re a cheerleader and/or girlfriend of a jock, but that’s about it. It’s all about the guys, in the end. And the whole town, its authorities, its police, its lawyers and judges, will move heaven and earth to shield the perpetrators from anything that might damage their “bright futures” playing commercial football…and perpetuating the jock brand of rape culture.
And this is the Steubenville culture that has Traci Lords so angry and outraged still, so many years after what happened to her. In fact, this is the culture of small-town USA, period. All the old prejudices and hypocrisies are still firmly in place. The only thing that’s different here is that the “clean-cut” mask slipped, and someone got caught. That’s what bugged me about the sobby courtroom performance of those two guys. One of them expressed sorrow, not for what he had done, but for the fact that pictures got taken of it and circulated. He had no apparent remorse for the rape part, because rape is a jock’s entitlement; his regret was only for being indiscreet about it. His life won’t be ruined because he committed rape; it will be put on hold for a few short years because he was caught in the act by a camera.
The media, too, must bear a share of the blame for the perpetuation of this small-town jock rape culture. Aren’t they the ones constantly selling the wholesome image of the small town, the great place to raise kids, the golden jocks, the big fucking lie? Of course they are. And even now, those faithful crapaganda mills are churning out the rape apologia. On CNN, they’re all boo-hoo for the poor maligned boys, and not one word for the abused girl. FUX Snooze? Well, they did devote a few words to her; they divulged her identity, so she could be harassed and bullied still further. Maybe they’re hoping she’ll kill herself, to save the honor of the jocks. Blood expunges shit-stains, does it not?
Traci Lords has every right to be angry, because nothing’s really changed. Sure, two guys are going to jail and are going to be labelled sex offenders. Sure, their careers are going to be curtailed, at least where sports are concerned. Sure, they’re probably not going to get football scholarships; colleges will be passing them by for cleaner candidates, and they’re just going to have to work harder for an education, if they want one. They can’t rely on their jock passes anymore. In short, they’re just gonna have to live like all the rest of us unathletic commoners. But…cry me a fucking river! They are not going to end up on the streets, prostituted and acting in pornos, being degraded and subjugated for the delectation of other dudes. That’s for girls.
After all, that’s what happened to Traci Lords. She got singled out, assaulted, branded with a scarlet letter in her teens. She is still living with her trauma after all these years. The girl in this case will have to live with the same. She will deal, day to day, with everything that happened to her against her will being called a “cognitive choice” on her part. Never mind that she couldn’t say no because she was too bombed to say anything. And that the reason she was bombed is that she was set up for it in advance, called a slut and a whore ahead of time and then drugged without her knowledge, by those same guys who are now trying to make like it was all just a moment of weakness and poor judgment and blah blah blah. It was not. It was planned and premeditated on THEIR part, and yet she is the one bearing the burden for it.
Meanwhile, these guys are still getting the tragic hero’s treatment in the media. They weren’t even tried in adult court. They’ll probably brag about their juvenile delinquency raps 20 years from now.
Poor misunderstood babies, how dare we slap them on the wrist?
Why are these Bolivian women smiling? Because this Women’s Day, their president showed that he takes gender-based violence seriously:
On Saturday, in the southwestern department of Potosí, the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, promulgated the Integral Law to guarantee women a life free of violence. The legal measure was supported by organizations defending gender equality.
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Betty Tejara, said that the measure establishes a prison term of 30 years without parole for those who commit femicide, defined as the murder of a woman for reasons of hatred or disrespect of her female condition.
The law also sets out eight years’ prison for those who commit homicide out of violent emotion, meaning persons who take the life of an elder, a descendent, spouse or cohabitant, without the implication of femicide.
Tejara emphasized that all the offences established under the Law are considered “public actions”.
She explained that the law’s objective is to establish mechanisms, measures and integral policies of prevention, attention, protection and reparation for women in violent situations, as well as prosecution for aggressors.
To enforce the law, the Government of Bolivia established the creation of Public Courts against violence against women and Material Magistratures and a Division for Crimes of Violence Against Women in the National Police.
According to the latest figures published by the National Institute of Statistics and the Vice-Ministry for Equal Opportunities, nine out of every 10 Bolivian women are victims of some sort of violence.
The Centre for Information and Development of Women (CIDEM) stated that as of 2009, 403 femicides have been recorded, 21 of them in the first months of 2013, and 218 murders of women as a result of citizen insecurity and other causes.
The promulgation of the law was originally slated for the evening of International Women’s Day, but had to be delayed so that President Evo Morales could travel to Venezuela to participate in memorial services for the late president, Hugo Chávez.
Nine out of ten women will be victims of violence in Bolivia at some point in their lives. That is a shocking statistic, and it speaks to the need for development…not only in terms of material goods (although an overwhelming majority of Bolivians ARE impoverished, and most of the violence does indeed break down along class lines), but also a crying need for legal measures against sexism itself. This law was long overdue, as laws against racism and human exploitation in general have been in Bolivia.
I have no doubt that violence against women has long been taken for granted and normalized there for the same reasons as racialized abuses against the indigenous have been. So far, the only protection appears to have been the privilege that comes of having white skin and plenty of money and property. Most Bolivians don’t have all that, so gendered and racialized violence are commonplace, and heartbreakingly so.
It doesn’t surprise me, either, that it’s taken this long to address the matter; for five centuries, this problem has been waved off as unimportant. Or that it’s taken an indigenous president, who governs with heavy input from social movements, to make the changes necessary. One too often has to have been a victim of discrimination to see the need to end it, and one needs the input of those who have experience and understanding of the laws (or lack of laws) to make the legislative changes that will reshape what society deems acceptable. Evo was once beaten within an inch of his life and left for dead when he was the leader of a coca-growers’ union in the Chaparé, and he has lifelong experience of racism and discrimination behind him. His connection to the many social justice movements of Bolivia (including the female coca-growers’ unions of the Chaparé) is another factor in his political development, and has undoubtedly helped him to see the need for laws such as this one.
Evo Morales is very much the president of the poor and downtrodden. Thanks to this law, he is now the champion of the Bolivian women, as well. May it pay off in great social change for all of Bolivia.