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Why the #slutvote bigot matters: BSkillet’s network, the virgin/whore dichotomy and rape culture

Last night @susiebright tweeted a misogynistic blog rant from Christian Mens’ Defence Network about the slutvote, which Gawker immediately reported. The blog was immediately put on private and BSkillet’s Twitter account deleted. People, me included, started tweeting links to the Google caches of his other blog posts and I found his cached Twitter and Topsy record. UPDATE: Hours later, Jezebel ran the story and after midnight on 9 Nov The Independent ran it too. A few bloggers have blogged about it.

Now, some might ask: Why does this one loony nut matter? Sure, he wants to take the vote away from women, thinks wonen are either sluts or ‘good’ [repressed] women, that sluts get ‘cash and prizes’ for having ‘illegitimate’ children and that blacks are ‘illegitimate’ and lazy. But he’s alone. Outnumbered. Powerless.

The reason why he matters is that throughout the election, daily US politics and the usual UK  politics, the right-wingers never admitted that they are anti-choice or want anstinence education because they want to control womens’ sexuality. They use these tools to enforce the virgin/whore dichtomy – punish the sluts by making them pregnant so they will be stigmatised, which means women will be forced to be repressed, ‘good’ women. It’s a vicious circle. These religious, patriarchal men – and yes, these patriarchal women too [stand up, Nadine Dorries, three-times abortion limiter and abstinence education FOR GIRLS ONLY enforcer] believe in the virgin/whore dichotomy. They believe women are less sexual than men, and if you’re not then you’re deviant – a slut- and must be punished. Their greatest fear is that one day all women will be free to be as slutty as their brothers, fathers and sons. But did Nadine or Jeremy Hunt or Rick Santorum admit this? No. They kept it hidden. But BSkillet81 has happily admitted it for them.

BSkillet is very valuable to the west, and to Scotland as Rhoda Grant’s attempt to make all sexwork a crime in Scotland hovers over us. She is backed up by the lies of well-funded anti-sexwork NGOs such as Turn Off the Red Light and the Ruhama Agency who ran the Magdalene laundries. They are using social media to disseminate their lies.

Never again will we be fooled by politicians’ excuses and lies when they talk about limiting abortion, enforcing abstinence education, limiting the definition of rape, etc.

Another reason why BSkillet is important is that he isn’t alone. There are several sites like his, on which he comments a great deal. I will link to these at the bottom of his post. BSkillet is just one of many who share his views. He is part of a network of Red Pill Ministries bloggers. Others are even more vitriolic than he is. And the comments often compare the “good married woman’s legitimate children” to “the slut’s brood” and “the slut’s bastards”, as well as seemingly believing that all married women are housewives who shoul fear the sluts “opening their legs to lure away a good provider”. (But then the slut would be the good married woman and the married woman, who is now a lone mother, would be a slut?)

BSkillet is also improtant because he gives us an insight into a rapist’s or rape apologist’s mind: the misogyny, the grouping of women into virgins and whores and the victim-blaming that is made possible by this – (‘she was asking for it’.) What he writes seems shocking to us, yet it is all around us. This is merely the cesspool from which rape culture arises. When women are told not to dress a certain way in case they get raped, when Megan Stammers and Amanda Todd were slutshamed, when politicians stigmatise ‘teen pregnancy’ and lone motherhood, when sexworkers become the victims of Reclaim the Night and Rape Crisis Scotland, it is BSkillet’s views which are at the bottom of it.

Perhaps we were so disgusted with BSkillet’s writing because it was like looking into a mirror. When we look at the cached pages, we are seeing the views of rape culture and of many people in our society finally shorn of all gloss, pretence and excuses. We are seeing into Nadine Dorries’ mind, into Rhoda Grant’s prejudices and Rush Limbaugh’s I-don’t-even-know-what. This is what was behind that parliamentary debate last week on abortion limits.

You see, as well as believing that women are naturally less sexual than men and therefore must not be granted equal rights to consume pornography, develop careers in sexwork/porn industry or even sleep around, they simultaneously percieve women as far more sexual than men. BSkillet even thinks it was female sexual desire for Romney as an “alpha male” that would lead Romey to win; when Obama won, he put it down to womens’ sexual lust over a photo of Obama wearing a bomber jacket. So he thinks that womens’ sex drive is so high that it gets in the way of politics. (Which isa Victorian argument trotted out a lot when the Suffragettes and Suffragists were campaigning for the vote). This is what the right-wingers fear – women whose sex drive matches or exceeds that of men. Some right-wingers may know that in societies where women are not repressed, such as the ancient Native Americans, womens’ sex drive does match or even far exceeds that of mem. Women are polyamorous and highly orgasmic. And the right-wingers will do anything to stop us regaining our natural (God-given?) sexuality. They will limit abortion, limit birth control, slutshame rape victims, lone mothers and young families, censor pornography, criminalise sexwork and pervert our childrens’ minds with abstinence indoctrination to stop us rediscovering what nature gave us.

Nadine Dorries and Rush Limbaugh don’t say “I want you not to have access to abortion/contraception/sex education so you will get pregnant and everyone will know you are a slut.” They gloss it over with anti-choice arguments. And when they do, most of us can just about bear to hear it; we engage, we debate. Yet, when these same views are expressed without the savvy gloss and posturing, we laugh in disbelief and gasp in horror. It’s deemed newsworthy enough for Gawker and Jezebel to mock with no attempt at engaging BSkillet. Because we all know that with someone like BSkillet there is no possibility of debate. That to debate. to engage, would be validating his thoughts as worthy of debate. (The same argument against debating with Holocaust deniers has been made by Aussie philosopher Raimond Gaita and others.)

And likewise there should be no debate with Dorries, Hunt, Limbaugh and the others. Obviously, that’s difficult in practical terms and sometimes debate can help people see the truth, help preserve evidence based policy. But in an ideal world their arguments should be recognised as not worthy of debate just as the EDL or KKK’s views, or Creationism or the Flat Earth Society’s views are unworthy of debate.

(First, BSkillet’s email:  b [at] cmd-n.org )

http://www.antifeministtech.info/ (Where we learn that Long-term-relationship sluts are “no more moral” than One night stand sluts. And that the value of a woman is in her hymen. Suggestion for a post: ‘Should sluts drive? Will free movement make them vulnerable to temptation?’ Also, on this site you can vote for your Entitlement Princess of the Month.)

http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/what-husies-want/ What hussies want, by a man who promoted BSkillet’s site on his blog.

http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/the-normalization-of-the-trashy-single-mother/ He now explains how all lone (female) parents are sluts. Comments are even more extreme than the original article.

http://unmaskingfeminism.wordpress.com/category/family/

http://thewomanandthedragon.wordpress.com/tag/goddess-worship/

http://societyofphineas.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/red-pill-ministries/ More about the Red Pill ministries network

http://ukfred.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/43/ Brits can be religious loonies too. Suck on that, Americans.

BSkillet

Topsy/Twitter: http://topsy.com/twitter/bskillet81

Cached Twitter: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ozR_euhF0c8J:https://twitter.com/BSkillet81+BSkillet81&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

Cached blog posts you haven’t seen:

The Put-out vote – an even worse post backing ‘legitimate rape’ as “factually accurate”: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:_8JkcyZErX4J:cmd-n.org/2012/10/26/getting-out-the-put-out-vote/+BSkillet81+put+out+vote&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

Tingles (1) – Why men should lead and women should submit to their husbands. And how women are attention-seeking and never slutshame or judge other women, ever.http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w_pWvW9uTqsJ:cmd-n.org/2012/07/25/the-tyranny-of-tingles-part-1/

Tingles (2) Where we learn that the “proper role of government” is to control womens’ destructive effect on society. Also featuring Eve, Narnia, womens’ “sin natures” and Obama. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:i4WGczt4exwJ:cmd-n.org/2012/07/26/the-tyranny-of-tingles-part-2-daughters-of-eve/

 

If your Christian wife cheats on you: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:jXQVYFZ4-b0J:cmd-n.org/2012/04/06/so-your-christian-wife-cheated-on-you-part-1/+BSkillet81&cd=47&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

Wives should be obedient/women are arrogant: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1a0rc2EPMQIJ:cmd-n.org/2012/05/01/evangelical-american-princess/+BSkillet81&cd=45&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

 

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Struggles with sexism: why we must be specific

Eradicating sexism is difficult because when men and women do the same things, they are interpreted differently – often to the detriment of women. Changing attitudes or portraying women as similar to men doesn’t always solve things. Here are a few examples:

When men are portrayed as dominating, that traditionally meant that women were passive and submissive. But getting more dominant women on TV might not make things much better because when women are dominant they’re seen as bitchy, crazy, mean and agressive.

When men are seen as having an insatiable sex drive, women are meant to be the civilizing influence on them, turning men to the family by witholding sex until marriage. Yet, for some regions the answer may not lie in portraying women as having equal sexual desire – because when female sex drive is acknowledged, it’s used as yet another excuse to control women (not allowing them free movement/driving) and seen as another inherent weakness in women (unable to resist temptation).

When women are percieved as more capable than men, this usually only extends to being better at parenting, organising, personal hygiene and tidiness. This portrayal of womens’ strength only serves to perpetuate the strict gender roles of women’s domesticity and motherhood-as-destiny. It further marginalizes women who are messy, disorganized or uncertain about being mothers. It’s fine for a man to be worried about loss of freedom when the baby arrives or worry about his capability as a father. Likewise, men are expected to be messy and oblivious to skin/hair products, even those for their gender. Thus, portraying women as superior to men may, in some instances, backfire completely as we inadvertently unearth the tired old Victorian ideal.

Therefore, solutions to sexism aren’t always as clear-cut as they seem. I am not advocating that we refrain from certain courses of action, nor that we do certain actions; I am just pointing out that the politics surrounding sexism are complex and that solutions cannot be too generalised. Solutions which work well in the west may backfire in other regions if the message is not more specific and tailored. Marketing images of women as superior to men may also backfire.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Feminism

 

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Why some sexist jokes cause harm and some don’t

Just because I’m a feminist doesn’t mean I believe that ALL sexist jokes cause harm to women.

 

I’m guessing that some feminists left after reading that. For everyone who has stayed on this page, I thank you, and here is why:

Some sexist jokes are too full of hyperbole and carry such controversial or very generalized messages that they have little effect on attitudes to women. For example, “Why did the woman cross the road? Never mind that, what’s she doing out of the kitchen!” is unlikely to significantly affect attitudes because our society does not believe in making all women housewives, and we know that doing so would affect the economy and create many other problems. Also, there is no real threat of men suddenly making all women housewives.

However, “Why do women have boobs? So you’ve got something to look at when you’re talking to them!” is more harmful because women are being objectified by men more than they are being forced by men to be housewives. There is a real threat of such objectification increasing (I blame lad culture, media and advertising more than pornography for reasons I’ll discuss in another post). Also, the message here is more specific and also more subtle: that women are meant to be objectified or that breasts exist for male pleasure.

Lastly, “What did her right leg say to her left leg? Nothing, because they never met!” is even more harmful because slutshaming is rampant and this joke is not only encouraging slutshaming, it itself is a form of slutshaming material. There is a real threat of slutshaming increasing due to the speech and rhetoric of certain politicians, radfems, prolife NGOs and anti-sexwork NGOs. The message is also subtle – that women are not supposed to express their sexuality, and that doing so is deviant and worthy of mockery. Who knows, perhaps this “joke” or something similar was used to bully Amanda Todd in any of the schools she moved away from. It’s a popular joke and has been used to shame and bully girls and women for years now. I dream of a slutopia where this joke would make no sense.

The most dangerous and offensive jokes are the ones that help perpetuate rape culture. Jokes about rape – of either men or women. The only way a rape joke could ever be funny was if the joke was about the rapist and portrayed the rapist as evil, inept, cowardly, etc. The joke should make the audience laugh at the rapist. Sadly I don’t know of any jokes like this. We don’t joke about murder or serious assault, so why do we even joke about rape? That’s a disturbing question right there. I also find objectionable jokes about accidental sex or jokes which do not make clear if it was consensual (“she said ‘that’s not my [object]’. And he said, ‘well that’s not my [object]’.”)

On a personal note, I don’t believe my tolerance of some sexist jokes to be that surprising, given that as someone who’s half Asian I like Asian jokes and the way L;u Kim is drawn in South Park. It’s hilarious to me and my Asian relatives. If racist jokes don’t inspire racial hatred and aren’t used in a hateful way, they’re fine by me; perhaps if South Park didn’t mock white males the most I wouldn’t approve. Family Guy is similar: “I’m standing outside the Park Barrington Hotel because they don’t allow Asians inside.” “When [an Asian guy] comes in I’m going to blindfold him with this dental floss. Nah nah nah nah nah nah, racial slur.” And I think this is absolutely hilarious, because these two shows mock every other race, so why should Asians be exempted? That would just be treating them differently.

And it’s the same with sexism. If we joke about men, gays, alcoholics, vegetarians, Jews, nationalities, race, rich people, poor people, politicians etc, why exempt women? Wouldn’t that be treating women differently?

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Feminism

 

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Social conservatives are stupid, science discovers

It’s official – people with socially conservative attitudes are stupid!

BroadBlogs

Prejudiced people are stupid. That’s not me pre-judging. That’s science.

An article published in the Journal of Psychological Science, and reported in Live Science says children who have low IQs tend to become prejudiced adults who are drawn to socially conservative beliefs that – in turn – encourage prejudice, adherence to hierarchy and authority, and promote resistance to change.

The researchers suggest that low intelligence makes it difficult to grasp the complexity of the world, which could explain the appeal of oversimplifications like, “Poor people are lazy.”

But you also have to wonder if the appeal of prejudice comes partly from a desire to feel like you are better (and smarter?) than someone.

John Dean wrote a book (which he had begun writing with Barry Goldwater just before Goldwater died) called Conservatives Without Conscience. These two conservatives presented a list of characteristics that are common among right-wing authoritarian…

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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Feminism, Religion

 

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