Chris Brown won’t let us forget: Domestic violence is okay if you’re hot

Trigger warning for domestic violence

Sasha Pasulka of HelloGiggles said it best: “I’m not okay with Chris Brown performing at the Grammys and I’m not sure why you are.” She points out that the popular response to Chris Brown’s beating of Rihanna was beyond disappointing, with fans and celebrities alike falling back on “No one knows exactly what happened” and “It takes two to tango” and “He’s such a great guy; he never would have done something like that unprovoked.” Ultimately, he plead guilty to felony assault (to break that down: he was guilty of assault, and he said so himself), and then his next album sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week.

Jump forward three years, he was invited to perform at the Grammys (because the music industry appears to be okay with it). Because, says Grammys producer Ken Erlich, people deserve a second chance. And he hasn’t performed at the Grammys for two whole years now. And “we were the victim of what happened.”

We were the victim. Of “what happened.” The fella slipped up, and can’t hold it against him, and if you haven’t forgiven a man for severely beating you after three whole years, you’re kind of unreasonable.

But that was last night. That was Hollywood’s reaction. This morning, it’s the fans’ reaction, which appears to be: Chris Brown is so hot, it would be okay if he beat me.

It would be awesome if he beat me.

All quotes are both [sic] and sickening.

Call me crazy buttttttttt I would let Chris Brown beat me up anyyyy day

Everyone shut up about Chris brown being a woman beater… Shiiiittt he can beat me up all night if he wants.

Chris brown… Please beat me ;)

I don’t know why Rihanna complained. Chris Brown could beat me anytime he wanted to.

I’d let chris brown punch me in the face

ok not gonna lie i’d let chris brown beat the eff out of me

Chris Brown could serenade me and then punch me in the eye. I’m down for it.

Dude, Chris brown can punch me in the face as much as he wants to, just as long as he kisses it (:

This is why we should still be upset. This is why we can’t just let it go. Because girls and women don’t just see his violent assault as a non-issue–they see it as a joke. Regardless of whether he ever beats a woman again or whether he feels really, really bad about what he did (of which we have yet to see evidence), if the response from anyone is “It’s okay if he’s hot,” it means we as a society have a lot more work to do. If the response is, “LOL domestic violence is so funny,” I have no idea where to even start.

(Incidentally, Brown ended up taking home a Grammy for his most recent album, “F.A.M.E.” “Forgiving All My Enemies.” How generous of him. His own response, via Twitter: “People who make mistakes and learn from them are ROLE MODELS too. Im just happy to inspire growth and positivity, #TEAMBREEZYdidit” It would appear that he’s since removed the tweet.)

This entry was posted in Celebrity, Domestic Violence, Entertainment, Music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

219 Responses to Chris Brown won’t let us forget: Domestic violence is okay if you’re hot

  1. Celina says:

    I hate this world.

  2. Andie says:

    Chris Brown? Fuck that guy. Seriously, FUCK THAT GUY.

    #rage

  3. Marissa says:

    There is something severely wrong with this. Why is Chris Brown getting all the sympathy when he was the one who committed the crime. Poor Rihanna had to sit through an entire evening with the man who beat her, that’s who we should feel sorry for.

  4. L says:

    Remember all of those people applauding Roman Polanski at what ever back patting awards show it was? Noblesse without the oblige.

    Someone who wrote about the media kissing up to Mike Tyson after his imprisonment for rape said it well — if you’re rich and famous, it appears you can be wicked enough to be sent to prison (and these days, reality TV) but not so wicked as to be sent back to the working class and general ostracism.

  5. Celina says:

    I noticed some of their pages are gone now, and the others are delighting in the attention.

  6. Carol says:

    This is sad but not suprising. I think I can see where it’s coming from. All the women posting comments like this seem to be no more than 22 years old. I am assuming they have never experienced domestic violence (or are in denial about it). They have grown up in a culture which debases women, a culture which promotes humor about all kinds of violence including abuse and rape as hip and “edgy,” a culture which encourages outrageous statements on the internet since they can be done without having to face the people they are hurting. They are all mostly white, a fact I will leave to your own conclusions about how women of color are devalued.

  7. Emily says:

    Chris Brown and all his apologists can honestly and truly go fuck themselves.

  8. elena says:

    I got in an argument with a friend of mine who said that it’s not really a big deal that gender roles are constantly reinforced by the media, and that portraying fucked up behavior as normal isn’t really toxic.

    I want to shove these twitter comments in the face of everyone who states that.

    The unfortunate thing is that most people genuinely don’t believe that letting Chris Brown at the Grammy’s is a big deal. And the moment we start getting fired up and try to argue with that misconception, is the moment the other person becomes really defensive, and it becomes almost impossible for them to listen.

    I’m really just stumped as to how to go about arguing this case to someone who doesn’t know very much about feminism, without getting too emotional so the other person doesn’t shut down and just label you “an angry feminist” without taking the time to try to think. I’ve managed to convert my boyfriend through talking calmly and openly, but not being so passionate that he shut down at first. Now he’s as passionate about it as I am.

    Not to derail in any way, but it is an interesting problem; what would we say to some of these people posting these twitter comments, to try to show them how messed up what they’re saying is? Anger only shuts people down.

  9. i was in the room feeling gross and wrong while the jerk accepted an award. I was thankfully out getting dinner while he performed. I should have grabbed my phone, left the room, and watched/read something elsewhere; my partner sat through the shitshow up to Adele’s performance, which may have been the only reason she wanted to watch at all.

    Worth noting: the complete silence regarding violence against women during a show reconfigured around the death of a woman who was herself a survivor of violence inflicted by her then-partner, a music celebrity himself. I can only guess how many other abusers were sitting in the audience, secure in the knowledge that their peers and fans won’t hold them accountable for their abusive acts.

  10. Bronstein says:

    Marissa,

    I’ve been reading that Rihanna is secretly back together with Chris Brown. They’ve been sending lovey-dovey tweets to each other and they spent four hours locked up in his dressing room together during Grammy rehearsals. If true, this seriously undercuts any sympathy I feel for her. He’s vile and she’s an idiot.

    I should say that I feel nothing but sympathy for women who feel unable to leave their abusers because they are afraid for their lives, their future financial situation or their children. Rihanna has none of these problems. And considering the fact that she’s a public figure and a role model for young girls, treating domestic abuse so cavalierly is extremely irresponsible. It only encourages the kind of bullshit dismissal of the problem you see in those tweets. I’ve already written of Brown as a worthless human being. For a while, I admired the way Rihanna was handling the aftermath. Now I’m very disappointed.

  11. Georgie says:

    I think that the more pertinent issue here is Brown’s inclusion/triumph at the Grammy’s. I think that we all agree that Brown shouldn’t have this level of success on such a public platform. But I think if we want to have a full on influence on society we need to state exactly what we want and explain why rather than just saying ‘fuck him’/ ‘fuck his fans’ or w/e.
    Some questions: what happens to prominent domestic violence perpetrators confess and do their court ordered punishment? Are they exiled forever? (that is a serious and non-rhetorical q. btw I’m not being facetious) If not, then how long do we give them?
    If Rihanna herself has moved on what is our mandate for this exile?

    Also the generalisation of ‘girls and women see it [domestic violence] as a joke’ I find to be wide off the mark. 25 idiots on twitter is not indicative of society on the whole. Many people seem to be uncomfortable with Brown’s reappearance but the problem is that people are not (understandably) stating exactly what they want to happen so these things are allowed to continue unchecked.

  12. Angel H. says:

    I should say that I feel nothing but sympathy for women who feel unable to leave their abusers because they are afraid for their lives, their future financial situation or their children. Rihanna has none of these problems.

    Fame has never stopped anyone from being killed by an abuser.

  13. Caperton says:

    Aaand now is the part where I’m unfortunately obliged to remind the commentariat that victim-blaming is not appropriate and that my delete-finger has a hair trigger around such subjects.

  14. Raincitygirl says:

    I should say that I feel nothing but sympathy for women who feel unable to leave their abusers because they are afraid for their lives, their future financial situation or their children. Rihanna has none of these problems. And considering the fact that she’s a public figure and a role model for young girls, treating domestic abuse so cavalierly is extremely irresponsible. It only encourages the kind of bullshit dismissal of the problem you see in those tweets. I’ve already written of Brown as a worthless human being. For a while, I admired the way Rihanna was handling the aftermath. Now I’m very disappointed.

    Wow. I’d love to say something scathing right now, but I’m pretty much stuck on “fuck you.”

    Signed, a survivor of domestic abuse.

  15. Adaquinn says:

    It seems to me that we are very welling to forgive MEN who are famous for screwing up. When a woman does something boneheaded or illegal she’s pretty much posted up as a warning. “This is what happens to women who deserve it” I can’t think up of a single famous woman who’s been in serious legal trouble and rebounded from it completely.

    Roman Polanski and Chris Brown couldn’t be further from one another, other than they are both rich men who’ve gotten away with hurting women.

  16. Marle says:

    Whether or not Rihanna talks to him because she’s afraid of him or not, the fact is that it’s hard to deal when you love someone who’s an abuser. Especially if others seem to think he’s just fine, and there are plenty in our society who do. Starting with whoever let him be on the fucking grammy’s in the first place. The judgement needs to go on Chris Brown and not on someone he beat up.

  17. Carol says:

    Bronstein,
    If you knew even a little bit about the tremendous amount of societal pressure exerted on victims to forgive their abuser, you wouldn’t be calling Rhianna an idiot. Of course it’s disappointing to see a woman return to her abuser (if in fact that is what’s happening; these reports all seem to come from gossip sites). But abusers and those who support him are extremely good at playing the “But I’ve worked so hard to reform!” card, the abuse victim is seen as completely mean and cold-hearted and plain unfair not to give that person another chance.
    Such arguments are often based on implying that such forgiveness is not repeated victimization–that in fact, it’s the opposite–the victim is hurting HERSELF by staying so angry and (god forbid) “victimized.”
    In addition, it is seen as the victim’s responsibility to reward such rehabilitation efforts, lest the abuser slip back to his old ways.
    The effect of these arguments which come not only from the abuser but your friends and family, can wear you down. You don’t have to be an idiot to give in to them.

  18. Angel H. says:

    Beautiful comment at Racialicious:

    Val

    Had Chris Brown assaulted Taylor Swift he’d be working at Mickey D’s now.

  19. Patu says:

    What the FUCK, Bronstein? What kind of victim blaming crap are you spewing and how can you possibly think that is ok?

    Women leave their abusers on average SEVEN times before managing to break away for good. Abuse isn’t just physical; it’s mental as well. If abusers didn’t form a psychological hold over their victims, no one would stick around to be abused. How dare you be surprised that a victim is responding exactly how victims do?

    And for that matter, how dare you call an award winning singer and performer, a young woman has achieved so much in her life already, worthless? The only things worthless about your comment are your bullshit opinions

  20. Alice says:

    What the fuck is wrong with some people? I can’t even begin to comprehend the horrifying idea of abuse as something desirable or hot. Like, what? What kind of reasoning went in to those comments?

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  22. Brent says:

    “Had Chris Brown assaulted Taylor Swift he’d be working at Mickey D’s now. ”

    Actually, had Chris brown assaulted Taylor Swift, he would be locked up under the jail. That, of course, brings up another set of issues.
    One topic at a time please.

  23. Angel H. says:

    One topic at a time please.

    Uh, no. You can’t divorce race from the conversation because the conversation is about a Black man assaulting a Black woman.

  24. shelly says:

    I’ve had similar thoughts in regards to race: What if Chris Brown assaulted a white woman? Or what if Rhianna herself was white? How would that scenario have played out up to this point?

    On the other hand, someone like Steelers QB Ben Rothlisberger can sexually assault another woman and come back to the NFL like nothing happened… and he’s white.

    I think the heart of it all is that society as a whole has become too desensitized to this sort of thing. Which is pretty damn awful.

  25. Brent says:

    Actually, I believe the topic here was whether Chris Brown should have been invited to perform at the Grammy’s and the troubling nature of the reaction of so many young women to said performance (specifically, comments like “I’d let chris brown punch me in the face”).

    Believe me, I understand what you are talking about. In fact, I thought my post made that pretty clear by recognizing that an assault against Ms. Swift would have brought a much harsher punishment.

    My only point was that we cant have a cogent and helpful conversation about every problem we have at the same time. It quickly spirals out of control and you lose the initial topic (which here had to do with some really disturbing comments made by some young women after the grammys). To turn this into a conversation about race and domestic violence would do nothing to further that conversation.

    In my opinion, it is not somehow disrepectful of one troubling scenario to have a discrete, respectful conversation about a related but separate issue.

  26. Pingback: Crazy Talk: I’d Let Chris Brown Beat Me |

  27. Safiya Outlines says:

    Victim blaming and man/whitesplaning in the space of 25 comments, is it too early to call house?

  28. Ana says:

    I agree that race cannot be overlooked in this case. I’ll give you a recent example, one that surprisingly none here mentioned – Charlie Sheen. Unlike Brown who has one (recorded) case of domestic abuse under his belt, Charlie Sheen has numerous. And yet, Charlie Sheen’s abuse of women is often laughed off as simply ‘boys being boys’, and Charlie Sheen is treated as THE American boy.
    In both cases, I believe that the abusers are so easily forgiven because of who their victims are – a black woman in CB case, and various porn stars, escorts and women engaged in some sort of sex work in CS cases. Those are women that just don’t matter.
    However, I believe that Chris Brown and his crime are talked about (as it should be) because he is black and because Rhianna is a good girl. Charlie Sheen is a White Rich Famous Male, his victims are mostly sex workers and his crimes (multiple) are either joked about or not talked about.
    Race is an issue that cannot be ignored.

  29. Caperton says:

    In my opinion, it is not somehow disrepectful of one troubling scenario to have a discrete, respectful conversation about a related but separate issue.

    Correct. Since race is a related and non-separate issue, further conversation about it is perfectly respectful.

  30. Yan says:

    Thank you for articulating why I was repulsed last night. I was having trouble with it.

  31. Brent says:

    Interesting, because I never said it was disrespectful for someone to discuss race in the context of sexual assault.

    The issue I pointed out was that we were losing the extremely valid points raised by the article and talking about something else. The issue of race and sexual assault is separate from what article was originally about, i.e., Chris brown at the Grammys and these young women’s comments about him. Race is certainly no less valid a topic, but it is a separate topic from that which the article sought to bring to the fore. Which…as exemplified by this back and forth, is exactly what has happened.

    It would be nice to be able to have discrete conversations about issues without the conversation always veering into different topics. The idea that young women feel that it is OK to post on twitter that they would let Chris Brown beat them (in jest or otherwise) is disturbing irrespective of race. However, that topic – the topic that the article is focused on – has been lost in the shuffle and there are very few substantive comments on something that should be troubling to us all.

  32. Alexandra says:

    I am just as disgusted as you are about Brown’s appearance at the Grammys, but I just want to seriously ask – as someone who came out in a previous post as a BDSM submissive, don’t you think that the women posting “he can beat me up anytime” can just be women who are “kinky like that”, but are perhaps too young or inexperienced to tell the difference between BDSM and abuse?

  33. Andie says:

    Ugh.. So I was looking up related stories to see how other celebs have come out of these kinds of scandals and did you know Brown collaborated on a song with Axl Rose? There’s some pretty disgusting irony for you. Two woman-beating peas in a fucking pod, those two. Ugh.

  34. Alexandra says:

    Oh, sorry, that was Jill, not you. But just the same.

  35. Andie says:

    Brent, you don’t think that the way race plays into this should alo be troubling to us all? Because I definitely think it should trouble us all.

    Conversations veer, and evolve. Deal with it.

  36. Ana says:

    The idea that young women feel that it is OK to post on twitter that they would let Chris Brown beat them (in jest or otherwise) is disturbing irrespective of race.

    It is disturbing irrespective of anything, however, can we ignore the fact that a great number of girls sending those tweets were white? Maybe they think Brown’s victim deserved it (being a black girl) or that he would be slightly gentler (maybe just a light spanking) with them (being white girls). Isn’t it something that should be explored?

    Also, would we be discussing Chris Brown 3 years later, or at all, had Rhianna been ‘just’ one of the (black) dancing girls in the video? And as several pointed out, had it been Taylor Swift, Chris Brown would have probably ended up in jail.

  37. ChristieLea says:

    May I cosign with raincitygirl here, too. Surely, if you’ve spent enough time on this site, you’d know better than to drop the “why didn’t she just leave/why did she go back, then?” bomb!

    -Another domestic assault survivor

  38. Brent says:

    Andie = of course it is a concern to us all. Who said it wasnt.

    Again, the only point was that if we superficially address everything in a wide ranging but unfocused conversation, we never get very far. It is a sad phenomenon. Would be interesting to have substantive conversation. You are obviously not interested in that.

    You are right though, conversations do veer and evolve. Just not always for the better. Case and point.

    After all the substance about these girls, and what they are saying, and how it reflects on the values we are imparting, you come up with “deal with it.” Not exactly the conversation starter I was looking for.

  39. Andie says:

    Sorry dude, but you don’t get to come in and dictate what you think is worthy conversation or interesting to you. Others have already agreed that the racial aspect of the case is indeed an important thing to talk about… And guess what? We can talk about the race issue AND we can talk about the problems with the twitter response to all of this. Most of us are capable of hashing out the different ways this all intersects.

    But it’s pretty fucking presumptuous to come into a thread and declare that someone bringing up what is actuallt a pretty fucking important aspect of this case isn’t contributing to the conversation in a way that YOU see fit.

  40. konkonsn says:

    Brent – it seems you would like this conversation to go your way and only your way. There seems to be only one way to have a conversation in your mind.

    I want to point something out: threads often do have multiple conversations going on at the same time. If you are uninterested in the conversation going on around you, I suggest you start your own conversation and let it happen as you please. No need to try and steer us all into the only conversation you want to be having (seriously, like, I’m imaging you as a sheep dog or rancher attempting to get us all in this pen of sorts).

  41. Chataya says:

    Someone on my Tumblr feed pointed out that Janet Jackson was banned from the Grammy’s due to her nip slip at the Superbowl halftime show, but they had a huge fucking party for Chris Brown, you know, the one who actually hurt someone.

    The Executive Producer of the Grammy’s had this to say about his return:

    Explaining the decision to allow Brown back on the show, Ehrlich told ABC News Radio, “I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.”

    Apparently Brown couldn’t be near Rihanna due to his probation, even at events. He put his girlfriend in the hospital and the Grammy’s were the victims.

    • Jill says:

      Someone on my Tumblr feed pointed out that Janet Jackson was banned from the Grammy’s due to her nip slip at the Superbowl halftime show

      Wait SERIOUSLY?

  42. Argenti Aertheri says:

    Also Brent, are you arguing with Caperton, the thread moderator? I mean, you’re generally wrong, for all the reasons already noted, but arguing with a mod is just silliness, they get mod-hats for a reason.

    I am just as disgusted as you are about Brown’s appearance at the Grammys, but I just want to seriously ask – as someone who came out in a previous post as a BDSM submissive, don’t you think that the women posting “he can beat me up anytime” can just be women who are “kinky like that”, but are perhaps too young or inexperienced to tell the difference between BDSM and abuse?

    Maybe? Kind of can’t believe I’m saying this, but I hope they just (just!) think that being beaten by a famous man would make them famous — I think the weird desire to say he can beat them is more about how American culture views fame than about being hit. Or maybe I just need to believe that not to be horribly sickened by those comments…

    And speaking of sickening comments, I’d like to cosign with Raincitygirl and ChristieLea
    — another survivor of domestic violence

  43. Chataya says:

    Jill: She was banned from the ’04 Grammy’s for sure, there are a ton of links about it on Google, but I don’t think it was a permanent ban. They demanded an apology, which Timberlake gave but Janet refused.

  44. Andie says:

    Re: kink. I’d like to give people enough credit to know the difference between being assaulted and engaging in consensual BDSM.

    Maybe a few of the twitter posters are inclined toward BDSM but it seems against the odds that they all would be.

  45. WitchWolf says:

    This makes me so angry– I can’t even writing anything that will …..

  46. EG says:

    Charlie Sheen is a White Rich Famous Male, his victims are mostly sex workers

    Didn’t he also assault both of his ex-wives as well? I don’t want to look it up because the thought of what I’ll get by googling “Charlie Sheen” is too stomach-churning.

    I’m not too sure that Chris Brown would be in jail or ostracized if he had beaten up a white girl–as long as it was a white girl whom he was dating. Because that’s what happens to slutty white chicks who spread their legs for those men, you know. I’m trying to think of a situation. Wasn’t the woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape white? And she was roundly attacked as a lying attention-whore, if I’m recalling correctly. Rape is not the same thing as physical abuse in an on-going relationship, but it’s the nearest parallel I can think of right now.

  47. Angel H. says:

    What about Seal and Heidi Klum? There was a rumor that he had a bad temper and all of the tabloids ran with it. She hasn’t come out publicly to say anything more than “Thank you all for your support”.

  48. Killermartinis says:

    konkonsn-

    My activism is thanking the rational and assertive. You don’t seem to see the need to add anger and spite to disagreement in this thread, and yet you still manage to win the argument.

    Thanks.

  49. EG says:

    Meh, my father has a terrible temper. There’s a world between that and beating the crap out of someone.

  50. Ana says:

    Didn’t he also assault both of his ex-wives as well? I don’t want to look it up because the thought of what I’ll get by googling “Charlie Sheen” is too stomach-churning.

    Yes, but both his ex-wives never had the good girl image in the way that Rhianna had in 2009, and they both often (if not exclusively) played extremely sexualized characters in films and TV. I just mentioned the majority of his victims (and there are many).

    I mentioned Taylor Swift because she has an image of a good girl, just like Rhianna in 2009. I think that the predominant sentiment would be ‘We have to protect our women (white) from them (black men); we can’t stop them from dating them (‘cos we’re no longer racists), but we can do this’, rather than blame TS.

    The woman who accused Bryant of rape was white, but she was a young, poor, hotel worker, and that was used against her in the most vile ways. She was accused of being just a gold-digger and the like. And with this, in comes another issue – class.

    Mostly, what I’m trying to stress out is that there are women who matter less when it comes to domestic abuse (poor, non-white, immigrant, sex-workers etc) and men who matter more (white, rich, popular etc). Nobody is safe from domestic abuse, but because some cases (because of who the victim is i.e. who the abuser is) go so publicly unpunished (Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen etc) it creates an environment of victim blaming and abuse denial. As an example I bring you tweets from a couple of hour ago (both from the same user – female):

    rihannas a dumb ho

    why does everyone alive suddenly care what chris brown did an eternity ago

  51. Angel H. says:

    Meh, my father has a terrible temper. There’s a world between that and beating the crap out of someone.

    True, but your dad wasn’t a celebrity.

    If those are the stories they run based on a rumor, I wonder how it would be if Heidi confirmed it.

  52. Lori says:

    As a former victim of domestic violence, I have one observation: violence begets violence. It is my opinion that NO ONE has the right to lay a finger on another person. This feeling extends to the “spanking” of children in the name of discipline. I was physically disciplined as a child, and all it taught me was that people who are bigger and stronger have all the control in any given relationship. Fuck that. Whether you are two or twenty or thirty or forty or whatever, no one should have that kind of control over you. For any woman, or man for that matter, to accept any kind of abuse is totally unacceptable. And for society to tacitally accept this behavior by rewarding Chris Brown or Mel Gibson or Cobe Bryant or whoever in any way is in my eyes contributing to the problem. Just saying.

  53. EG says:

    Right, my dad wasn’t a celebrity, but I just read the articles at the first four links, and not one intimated that his temper took the form of abuse or violence, and at least two spent as much time discussing the tension created by Klum’s recent career success. There are lots of ways to have a bad temper that don’t involve abuse or violence.

  54. Kea says:

    Like the bible predicted: the Beast is Man.

  55. GirlJanitor says:

    It’s my honest belief that the twitter posts result from girls and women who are a product of the current social atmosphere. It’s a defense mechanism. It’s like women who laugh at and make rape jokes, victim-blame other women, and try to prove they are “one of the boys”…I know, because I was one.
    Also a survivor of domestic violence.
    Lastly, I cry bullshit without cease on anyone who wants to separate conversations about feminism from conversations about race. That’s a separation that has gone on for far too long and has far too many tangible and real world consequences.

  56. LotusBen says:

    I get that people think jokes about domestic violence or rape are funny because they are supposed to be “shocking” because they go against social “taboos” and are “risque” and “offensive.” But when will people understand that it’s not going against a taboo when everyone is fucking doing it. Jokes about brutalizing women are not taboo, they are the norm. Especially lately, with the rise of internet trash culture. They are not shocking. They are just despicable: ethically and comedically and creatively bankrupt. I hate that these people think that by telling these horrible jokes they are being subversive when, in fact, they are being conformist. These sexist jokes are the 21st century equivalent of “what do you do when your dish washer isn’t working?” Listen to this Twitter-ites: your jokes are as BLAND as mayonnaise or Simon Cowell on American Idol. You are not funny, and your jokes are boring, reprehensible, and reinforce patriarchy.

  57. Azalea says:

    RE: Kobe Bryant

    Thats different, the reason he didnt catch much flak is because his victim had the DNA of three other men in her underwear. You know the idea, if you had sex at 1pm it isnt possible for you to be raped later that day.

    RE: Janet Jackson

    Why should she apologize for something that wasnt her fault? Oh yea, its routine that black women apologize for everything.

    RE: Chris Brown

    I knew it was a matter of time before he was celebrated again, We all know this story, talented man fallas from grace, talented man apologizes talented man works talent to get back into the big wigs good graces, it works.

  58. Tony_ says:

    People say “get over it” to this kind of stuff, and then turn around and lament the continuation of domestic violence in our society. It’s not just about Chris Brown and Rihanna. It’s not just about giving him a “second chance.” It’s not just about what industry professionals think of him. It’s about how we treat domestic violence as a society in a systemic way, the fact that we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing for this long and it doesn’t seem to be having much impact on the incidence of domestic violence, doesn’t seem to be ending the plague. And then we send this message, which further normalizes it in a dramatic way? Anyone who thinks that “society” is doing everything it can to prevent and end this kind of abuse has lost their legs to stand on after this.

  59. damigiana says:

    Just wanted to add that being famous, successful, European, and white, doesn’t protect you from dying of domestic violence.

    Her killer was sentenced to eight years, and got out after four for good behavior.

  60. ginmar says:

    Taylor Swift’s marketed as the ultimate good girl—and let’s face it, there’d be a really interesting backlash against that charge, too. One of the oldest forms of sexism is the belief in womens’ innate whoreishness; any woman who’s not a virgin is a whore, and even the virgin is just one step away from it. That’s it, that’s all, those are your options.

    Swift herself has done some nasty slut shaming in at least one of her videos. In her marketing, at least, she’s aimed at a whole different market than Rihanna. Rihanna’s marketed more as a sexy independent woman, but I wonder how much of that is combating the attack by Brown? Because it’s not enough that she was victimized, people have to make her some kind of object lesson as well. Anybody else remember how there was talk about how some of her corporate contracts should drop her for being a bad role model? You can’t win. Sexy women are seen as damned near being untrustworthy, because sex is where sexism claims all of womens’ virtue lies. You’re either/or to the patriarchy—-and if you’re ‘or’, then nobody feels sympathy for you. It seems that even in the case of a horrible attack, all the offender has to do is cultivate some superficial charm and people will respond not by thinking, “I never knew he was such an asshole,” but with, “She must have done something to him to turn him into such an asshole, because he seems nice to me/I like him/whatever excuse will do.” That’s an awfully long reach to blame the victim, but Brown’s fans are absolutely double-jointed.

    The victim-bashing of Rihanna—number 11 is actually pretty mild compared to what I’ve seen—–is horrifying and seemingly unrelenting. People have decided that in a choice between a man of color who’s admitted he attacked a much smaller woman of color—and his victim, that the person who matters is the man. He’s like Schwyzer’s younger brother. People have stated, flat out, that Brown is such a nice guy (how do they know this? telepathy?) that she must have done something to provoke him, that those ‘Barbadan women are crazy’—and that’s the version I can type without making myself sick—and worst of all, somehow, are the ones who go around flatly stating lies as truth, “Now, now, Rihanna has admitted she tried to gouge his eyes out/slapped him/hit him/whatever variation” the speaker thinks justifies Brown’s horrible attack on her. Nobody likes to mention how much smaller she is than him, and how words do not equal violent acts, but in fact are an escalation. Apparently, a woman arguing with a man is such an attack on his person that people feel that a beatdown is the appropriate response. Oh, and anybody who says piously that ‘men are taught they can’t hit a woman and that’s unfair’ is missing out on the fact that while a strange guy attacking a woman he doesn’t know might—just maybe—-be frowned upon, a guy who’s disciplining his troublesome woman is performing a public service. The idea that men get taught to never hit a woman is utterly idiotic and wishful thinking at best, because whenever a man does hit a woman he knows the intimate relationship means he owns her—and she’s his to do what he wants with. Stranger danger cases are the ones that everybody likes, probably because then they can assure themselves they’re not sexist.

    If Rihanna had been the less famous of the two she’d have been accused of gold digging as well.

    And the reason women go back to abusers is because it takes an average of seven times to leave an abuser. It’s not like she’ll get a lot of support from the outside world, will she? At least he’s a known quantity. People do not like victims, period. They fear turning into them, and so the victims get sacrificed to preserve their own mental blindness. Victimizers know all this.

  61. ginmar says:

    Did the Kobe Bryant victim actually have different semen in her underwear, or did the defense just say she did? Besides, Bryant basically admitted the victim was right. “I can understand why she’d feel that way,” is not a ringing assertion of innocence. If she’d been a guy who’d had sex with two women in a short period of time the response would have been, “You dawg, you!” She got attacked for basically not changing her panties, and because people don’t understand how a vagina works. It’s only rape, girls, if you’re as pure as the driven snow; otherwise you’re ground chuck posing as steak, because rape only happens to good girls.

    #47: I know Sheen shot Kelly Preston, but this was twenty years ago, and I just found out about it. They weren’t so good on reporting this stuff that long ago. He did all this shit to women, and nobody gave a shit until he offended a white dude. Same thing with Gibson. People were outraged at his anti-Semitism but sexism? More important things to worry about. I’m surprised nobody justified his sexist remarks as compliments or something.

    As for whether Brown would have faced a more severe penalty for assaulting a white woman, I think the first response would be, “She’s lying.” Racists have some shockingly ignorant beliefs, but for one thing, they believe that a white woman who willingly (!) goes out with black men has had her value permanently damaged. (I’ve seen people argue that once a woman has had a black child, all her subsequent children will be black no matter the race (for lack of a better term) of the man she’s actually with at the time. ) Therefore, any woman who comes forward is a gold digger because she must figure the loss of reputation—-even a rich black guy’s association is damaging—is offset by the money she hopes to scam. So the myth is twofold against her. Maybe you could add a third: shamelessness. A raped woman should be ashamed. Hell, not so far back, rape victims (or women who were ‘ruined’) had one option as far as the general public was concerned: suicide. Tragic heroines who killed themselves after rapes tied up everything in a neat bow all through Nineteenth Century literature. Not only did the shame hurt her, it hurt her family, too.

    I need to work in a sarcastic reference to the Taliban and the concept of honor killings, but I’ve used up every last bit of sarcasm I have for today, and it’s the only thing keeping me from banging my head against the wall.

  62. When I saw the copied twitter feed on Buzzfeed.com this morning, I had no words. Thankfully, I later found them and wrote “Hot (enough to beat you) or Not?”

    As for commenting here, in a thread, on something like this, I just can’t. I have no idea what to say. My reaction is inside, physical. Sick.

  63. Politicalguineapig says:

    Well what did we expect, really? Chris Brown, Axl Rose, Charlie Sheen and Rothlisberger have a huge fanbase of misogynist men and self-hating women.

    Georgie: Abusers don’t change. Ever. Even if they’ve been “punished.” They’re just plain incapable of change and should never be believed and forgiven.

  64. Denise Williams says:

    Does anyone remember Ozzie Osbourne? Remember how he beat his wife Sharon almost to death and put her in the hospital. He went on to be a Reality TV star and an american icon? Why does he get to reinvent himself, but Chris Brown has to go work at Mc Donalds?

    It is a horrible shame what happened, but why does he have to forever be the poster child for domestic violence?

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  66. valentifan69 says:

    “Ugh.. So I was looking up related stories to see how other celebs have come out of these kinds of scandals and did you know Brown collaborated on a song with Axl Rose?”

    Yesh. It’s a bit more complicated than people siding with the celebrity guy all the time though – interesting to think about how Ike Turner fits into it?

  67. EG says:

    Meh. One exception does not undo a rule, and it’s not like Ike Turner was ever imprisoned for his abuse of Tina (he went to jail for cocaine, though, because that’s important, and his final two albums were quite well-received. Clearly, people were still happy to work with him and take his calls. Also…ugh:

    “In a 1985 interview Turner admitted, “Yeah I hit her, but I didn’t hit her more than the average guy beats his wife…If she says I abused her, maybe I did.”[13] In his 2001 autobiography he worded this slightly differently; “Sure, I’ve slapped Tina… There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I have never beat her.””

    From Wikipedia.

  68. ginmar says:

    Yeah, he’s reallyremorseful, you guize.

    And it looks like being accepted makes him feel, duh, that he can do whatever he wants and it’s just haters.


    Calvin
    @aurosan
    Follow
    Spoken like a mature role model. RT @chrisbrown HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate FUCK OFF!

  69. Andie says:

    It’s pretty bad when even Fox News is calling you out on being a dirtbag.

  70. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    War on women = war on US = Treason.

    We need a universal deep breathing puberty ritual to abreact birth memories whence comes sexism – fear of death in birth process projected onto women and acting like a survival instinct. Google rebirthing breathwork by Wikipedia for summary. Many women and children do and have died in birth so the fear is existential.

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  72. Politicalguineapig says:

    Astrea: Wrong thread. Also, whut?

  73. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    PoliticalGuineaPig Abolish sexism by deep breathing Abolish domestic violence

  74. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Abolish Sexism Abolish domestic violence

  75. Chataya says:

    Abolish sexism by deep breathing

    Do you hear that, Feministe? We can finally stop all this fighting for our rights nonsense. It turns out the secret is really good breath work.

    Seriously, what?

  76. Donna L says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebirthing-breathwork

    See, if only Chris Brown had done his rebirthing breathwork properly, he’d recover his cellular memories of hurting his Mommy when he was born, and wouldn’t need to act out on that memory by hurting women anymore.

  77. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebirthing-breathwork Do YOU know where sexism root of all Injustice comes from if not birth trauma?

  78. Andie says:

    Um.. No? Pretty sure birth trauma isn’t the root of sexism…people a) aren’t born sexist, they are socialized into it, and b) why would birth trauma affect males and females differently into different roles and c) why am I arguing… I just… I can’t even.

    You can’t woo woo your way out of it. Please stop spamming now k?

  79. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Deep breathing accesses subconscious mind where birth memories and other inner demons are stored and brings those thoughts to the conscious mind to remove their subliminal influence.

  80. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Andi, Who socialized first sexists to be sexist when it is an anti-survival behavior? Women who think it’s ok for Chris Brown to abuse them have internalized sexism. Have you studied birth trauma?

  81. debbie says:

    I’m undecided as to whether Astraea’s comments are performance art/social experiment or if she’ just trolling.

  82. Argenti Aertheri says:

    maybe a bit of both?

  83. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    I’m trying to share something I’ve learned after years of study.

  84. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Do any of my detractors have a better explanation for where the insanity of sexism comes from?

  85. LotusBen says:

    Ah yes, the old “if you can’t explain it, then my explanation is automatically right” canard that is favored by people the world over believe in implausible bullshit.

  86. debbie says:

    Obviously if I cannot explain the origins of the complex system of social, political, and economic relations that make up patriarchy/kyriarchy, the answer must be birth trauma. Thanks for clearing that up, Astraea!

  87. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    No, Lotus Ben, I’m willing to entertain a different idea but I have spent a long time studying this and this is the best explanation I have come across.

    Donna L explained the process succinctly.

  88. Donna L says:

    Why, yes, it made so much instinctive sense to me that I grasped it instantly, It’s my new Theory of Everything.

  89. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    debbie, I found an answer that explained the complex origins for me and I am trying to share that with other seekers, that is all.

  90. Dao says:

    Do any of my detractors have a better explanation for where the insanity of sexism comes from?

    Ableism is not helping your hypothesis.

  91. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    What kind of proof do you people require?

  92. Argenti Aertheri says:

    What kind of proof do you people require?

    Peer reviewed studies always help (unlike ableism, that really doesn’t)

  93. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Argenti, How about many books, internet articles by doctors and others, and religions, and personal experience?

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  96. Politicalguineapig says:

    Astrea: Somehow, I doubt these ‘doctors’ actually have a doctorate; or if they do, it’s in a totally different discipline, unrelated to psychology. Simple answers to why people behave they do are always wrong. We are complex animals, and we build complex systems.
    Sexism is learned, not inborn. Infants do not carry memories forward from their first year of life; the things children learn from their first four years onward dictate their beliefs and outlook on life. Children copy what they see from their parents and the general society. As they grow up, they learn the rules of society, and some learn how to break those rules and get away with it. This is the short explanation; I’ll leave the long version to older and wiser heads.

    Also, DonnaL and Debbie were being sarcastic, in case you didn’t realize it.

  97. librarygoose says:

    Who socialized first sexists to be sexist

    Q: Who put the bop in the bop-shu-bop-shu-bop?

    A: The same who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong.

  98. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    You people sound like you approve of domestic violence.

  99. librarygoose says:

    You people sound like you approve of domestic violence.

    Yes, because we don’t believe that breathing will fix everything, we obviously approve of domestic violence. You really fucking sound like you’re a troll.

  100. PrettyAmiable says:

    Y’all must know this person is trolling, right? Come the fuck on. “Astraea Goddess of Justice”? Birth trauma? “I saw it on wikipedia this one time.”

    Kind of weak, if you ask me.

  101. librarygoose says:

    Y’all must know this person is trolling, right?

    But it’s fun!

    How about my brother, who could use a huge dose of privilege gazing (or being hit with a rolled up news paper and being told “Yes, I’ve heard that stance before, from people called assholes.” ) But who has some pretty severe asthma? I really don’t think making him fuck around with his breathing will help him.

  102. Argenti Aertheri says:

    Somehow, I doubt these ‘doctors’ actually have a doctorate; or if they do, it’s in a totally different discipline, unrelated to psychology.

    Rita: You are a medical doctor, aren’t you? You haven’t just got a degree in cheesemaking or something?
    The Doctor: No! Well both actually.

    now I’m going to bed, have fun with the troll

  103. Politicalguineapig says:

    Astrea: I do not approve of domestic violence. I approve of useful things, and this rebreathing/rebirthing crap sounds like one of the most useless things ever.

    PrettyAmiable: I second Library Goose’s statement. This is fun.

    LibraryGoose: Next time you encounter your brother, I suggest you do smack him with the rolled-up newspaper. It might actually work.

  104. Politicalguineapig says:

    Argenti: I actually know someone with a degree in cheesemaking. I don’t think a doctorate is available, though.

  105. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Have any of you ever heard of chi, prana, pneuma, spirit, yoga, meditation, abreaction, or catharsis?

  106. Donna L says:

    Yes, and not a single damn one of them constitutes evidence for the ludicrous, crackpot notion that people “remember” their “birth trauma,” in their brains, their cells (!), or anyplace else, let alone that that memory somehow causes, by some unexplained mechanism, some unknown percentage of babies assigned male at birth to abuse women. (Because, I guess, babies assigned female at birth don’t suffer birth trauma.)

    What about babies who don’t suffer pain at birth, as when they’re born via C-section? They never grow up to become abusers of women? (My son was born by C-section, and he certainly looked annoyed and disgruntled to have been dislodged from his home, but he clearly wasn’t in pain of any kind.)

    And have you ever spent time around a little baby, for God’s sake? Most of the time, they can’t even remember their toes from one day to the next, let alone their passage through the birth canal.

    You’ve made your so-called point over and over again. Maybe you should leave now and go someplace where people are more receptive to your viewpoint.

  107. Argenti Aertheri says:

    Politicalguineapig — lol, I’d posted that as a half-asleep joke, but, as this is way more fun than engaging the breathing stuff — it’s a Doctor Who quote, so maybe he got his doctorate in the far future? Though…even a degree in cheesemaking sounds tasty, hope your friend shares.

    And Donna, that part about babies and their toes — so true! and so cute.

    (should I stop posting comments that aren’t on topic? or is this thread derailed beyond hope at this point?)

  108. Chiara says:

    I know people probably don’t want to go here… But don’t you think that guys that are a bit aggressive – not outright abusive, but a guy who’s going to take control and shut you up when you talk crap – are just way more attractive? I mean the thought of a guy being physically violent to a woman against her will is repulsive to me. But I really wouldn’t mind a guy getting a little bit rough with me, as long as I was still in control – though he wouldn’t know that.

    In college I had some great guy friends who were genuinely nice people, good listeners, and so on… Some who seemed almost feminist. But I was never attracted to them in any way. If I went out with any of them I’d feel like I was in a same-sex relationship or something. I wanted the guy who was aggressive. The guy who was a jerk. The guy for whom feminism is the punch line of a joke.

  109. Andie says:

    I wanted the guy who was aggressive. The guy who was a jerk. The guy for whom feminism is the punch line of a joke.

    Um. No. You can, if you want if that’s your thing. But I’d rather someone who can argue rationally with me, rather than ‘shut me up when I talk crap’… especially since I try to make a point to talk as little crap as possible.

  110. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Are any of you Christians?

  111. librarygoose says:

    Are any of you Christians?

    Nope! Proud atheist. Please, keep trolling, I kinda want to see where this is going.

  112. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Jesus said, “Ye must be born again in water and breath.”

  113. librarygoose says:

    Meh, don’t care.

  114. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    And Donna L explained in sarcasm and denial how it works.

  115. QLH says:

    guys that are a bit aggressive – not outright abusive, but a guy who’s going to take control and shut you up when you talk crap – are just way more attractive? I mean the thought of a guy being physically violent to a woman against her will is repulsive to me. But I really wouldn’t mind a guy getting a little bit rough with me, as long as I was still in control – though he wouldn’t know that.

    Chris Brown was not “a bit aggressive.” Chris Brown was “outright abusive.” Chris Brown was “physically violent” with a woman “against her will.” Chris Brown was the one “still in control” and he “knew that.”

    What you’re describing is *not* the situation under discussion. The women and girls responding to Chris Brown with “I want him to beat me” are conflating the two, and that is a problem.

    Aggressive men = sexyfuntimes is not the same as domestic violence = sexyfuntimes. Popular media conflates the two all of the time, and “I want Chris Brown to beat me up” is not the same statement as “I want a guy who’s a little rough while I’m secretly still in control.”

  116. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again in water and breath.”

    what? no he didn’t. that’s not even a thing.

  117. thinksnake says:

    Jesus said, “Ye must be born again in water and breath.”

    … and?
    Strikes me as somewhat strange for you to have switched from talking about yoga and chi to spouting the bible. Also, naming yourself as a Goddess maybe isn’t quite so good for an apparently quick convert.

  118. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    All religions are true; they’re just not all good.

  119. Politicalguineapig says:

    Argenti: I thought it was from Dr. Who. I’ll have to ask my dad about that- he knows the guy better than I do. If you’re interested, Dad’s friend got the degree from the University of River Falls in Wisconsin (natch.) There might be other programs in other states, but that’s the only one I know about.

    Astrea: Typical woo. I think you’ve missed the point of religion. Religion is about blood, hatred and sacrifice, not love and kittens and rainbows. Also, religions aren’t buffets. I think there’s a commandment against mixing and matching.

    Chiara: I can kinda see where you’re coming from. I’d personally like to meet a guy who would enjoy sparring with me. (Which is actually a long way from domestic abuse, as both parties have to be in control of themselves.)

  120. Donna L says:

    I’m begging one of the moderators to save us all further torture and end this. Please?

  121. PrettyAmiable says:

    If all religions are true, you’re definitely going to hell. Go think about that for a while. I assume the inevitability of hell is what drives your present day insufferability. It might be true, because some guy put that in a wikipedia article about grass growing.

  122. Caperton says:

    Wow. Super Derail has gotten super derailing. It’s time to get back on topic.

    I think the question of “aggressive” guys, however you choose to characterize that, is a good one. “Chicks always go for the bad boys” is a preferred trope of the Nice Guy™, and women obviously continue to be attracted to Chris Brown despite his very public violent past.

    Personally, I do dig a guy who has it together. The Boy is both physically and intellectually imposing, and it’s nice to be with someone who is capable of holding up his end of a conversation or a heavy sofa. But there’s never been any point at which I’ve felt unsafe or out of control. While our debates will, on occasion, get rather passionate, our personal discussions have never been shouty or demeaning. In preferring a more “aggressive” guy, I’m looking not for someone to shut me up but for someone to keep up with me. Being a “jerk” isn’t on the table, because he still has to respect me–part of that is just respecting me enough to trust that I can handle myself physically and intellectually.

    But as QLH pointed out, “a little aggressive” and “beating the crap out of your girlfriend” are two entirely different things, and the women who romanticize him for the former are actually missing out on the danger of the latter. So frequently, when we talk about respectful relationships, we leave a big gulf between the “sensitive, good listener” and the “seven out of ten checks on the checklist” that doesn’t offer any guidance for people whose preference lies more toward the middle, where philosophical debates sometimes need safewords. It can make it hard to draw that line between abusive and assertive.

    (Although Chiara, identifying your genuinely nice guy friends as basically women isn’t cool on a number of levels.)

  123. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    PoliticalGuineaPig I said all religions are not good, i.e. Islamo-Christo-Judaic ones which worship the Father God of war/death/genocide/misogyny/money/pedophilia. Archeology demonstrates that most Goddess worshiping religions were more peaceful. Study of world religions, not just one, gives one a different perspective.

  124. EG says:

    Archeology demonstrates that most Goddess worshiping religions were more peaceful.

    Like…Ancient Rome?

    Or did you mean those religions that worshipped one supreme mother goddess? Those religions for whose existence no evidence has ever actually been demonstrated?

  125. Politicalguineapig says:

    Astrea: *wipes tear of laughter from eye.* You’re joking, right? Does the name “Kali” ring a bell? Astarte/Ishtar? Cybele? Isis? The Morrigan? I *have* studied world religions- you’re the one who needs to do her research. I assure you, goddesses could be just as mean-spirited, vengeful and warlike as any god. Cybele’s priests castrated themselves; Kali was/is a goddess of war and fear, Ishtar and Morrigan were war and fertility goddesses.
    I don’t think goddess worship determines whether a society is peaceful or not. It doesn’t over-write the basic human programming, which is that of a vicious, too-clever for-it’s own good animal. Yes, some social environments are toxic to women, but that’s a bug in the social environment, not an indictment of the dominant religion. I’ll restate what I said above: simple answers to complex questions are always wrong.

  126. DonnaL says:

    ^
    Shh! Don’t tell that to the late Marija Gimbutas. It’s too bad there’s substantial tangible evidence of hill forts and weapons and preferential male burials all over Europe, from exactly the time-period when the Goddess was supposed to be ascendant.

  127. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    “War: A primary patriarchal contribution to culture, almost entirely absent from the matriarchal societies of the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages.” From The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker.

  128. DonnaL says:

    ^

    A truly reputable source!

  129. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Why are you people so hostile to something that doesn’t fit into your preconceived notions?

  130. Politicalguineapig says:

    Read some real history, ma’am! Also, might I suggest some biology texts? Humans aren’t the only species to make war on each other; see chimpanzees and ants. War happens regardless of the society’s theology. (God, I hate new agers.)

  131. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Birth trauma causes sexism; sexism causes all Injustice; deep breathing abreacts birth trauma by accessing subconscious false beliefs.

  132. LC says:

    Birth trauma causes sexism; sexism causes all Injustice; deep breathing abreacts birth trauma by accessing subconscious false beliefs.

    So do we go with argument from ignorance or begging the question here?

  133. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    I’ll tell you what: deep breathe and then get back to me because you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  134. LotusBen says:

    Hi Astraea. You’ve got some interesting theories. I have a question. It sounds like you’re that saying the matriarchal societies of the Neolithic were completely peaceful and free of sexism. And you’re also saying that all sexism is caused by birth trauma. So, I guess when babies were born in Neolithic matriarchies they never experienced any pain or other trauma? How does that work? Or were the sort of breathing exercises you advocate institutionalized throughout the Neolithic so even though the babies experienced the initial trauma they were able to emotionally process it through deep breathing and therefore never become rapists or warmongers later in life? I’m curious to know how this all fits together for you.

  135. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    LotusBen, Genetics is cumulative.

  136. Angel H. says:

    I’ll tell you what: deep breathe and then get back to me because you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Pfft….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    OMG! I needed a good laugh. Thanks for that!

  137. Politicalguineapig says:

    Astrea: Why are you people so hostile to something that doesn’t fit into your preconceived notions?

    Possibly because you’re advancing nonsensical theories, based off sources that are problematic or discredited?

  138. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Why are you people so hostile if we’re only discussing an IDEA that you obviously don’t know and I am trying to share?

  139. LC says:

    LotusBen, Genetics is cumulative.

    How is that an answer?

  140. DonnaL says:

    Because it’s a worthless idea and a fraud, and doesn’t belong here. It’s about on level with the efficacy of medieval English touch pieces curing scrofula. This is pretty much a reality-based blog. Save it for your New Agey friends.

    Not to mention that it’s fundamentally gender-essentialist in the worst kind of 1970’s way, and is almost certainly transphobic.

  141. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    LC After many generations of birth trauma with which God cursed Eve along with patriarchy in Genesis, people’s subconscious became filled with fear of death in the birth process projected on to women, which men, externalizing, and women, internalizing, began to act on.

  142. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    You people are so smart. Tell me where sexism comes from. Explain burkas and Chinese foot binding and female genital mutilation and circumcision and unequal pay and serial killers of prostitutes and Chris Brown’s domestic violence to me.

  143. Angel H. says:

    LC After many generations of birth trauma with which God cursed Eve along with patriarchy in Genesis, people’s subconscious became filled with fear of death in the birth process projected on to women, which men, externalizing, and women, internalizing, began to act on.

    If you aren’t Christian, then why are you trying to use it to justify your nonsense? Especially when the group you’re trying to reach are predominately non-Christian?

    And by the way:

    Birth trauma causes sexism; sexism causes all Injustice; deep breathing abreacts birth trauma by accessing subconscious false beliefs.

    Do me a favor and think up how racism, ableism, transphobia, and homophobia fits into all that. While you’re scratching your head, I’ll go make some popcorn. Excuse me.

    Don’t start without me!

  144. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Angel H Have you read about fractals? All -isms are fractals of sexism.

    All religions are True; they’re just not all good.

  145. Argenti Aertheri says:

    …but transphobia is just sexism in disguise! Wonder what Astraea thinks the roots of racism are though… (that’s snark btw, if that wasn’t obvious, I’m fairly sure her views on transphobia would indeed be pretty transphobic)

    And Astraea, if genetics, and birth trauma, are cumulative, does that mean the kids of people who follow this theory won’t be sexist? Having had that genetic legacy “cured” and all?

    Also, Isis was a neolithic goddess btw. Or at the least, her origins are predynastic, and “the Predynastic Period is traditionally equivalent to the Neolithic period” (wiki) — or does that book you cited claim predynastic Egypt was a totally peaceful place?

    Nice goddess list there PGP, I’m just picking Isis because she’s got the easiest written history to track down, I really love the idea of Kali as a peaceful goddess though.

  146. Angel H. says:

    Angel H Have you read about fractals? All -isms are fractals of sexism.

    Citation needed.

    All religions are True

    Citation needed.

    Don’t worry. The corn’s still popping. You have time.

  147. Angel H. says:

    …but transphobia is just sexism in disguise!

    Shh! No helping!

  148. EG says:

    After many generations of birth trauma with which God cursed Eve along with patriarchy in Genesis, people’s subconscious became filled with fear of death in the birth process projected on to women, which men, externalizing, and women, internalizing, began to act on.

    That’s…not how genetics works. On any level. At all.

    And can the “all other oppressions are fractals of sexism.” It’s no more convincing than a Marxist saying that all oppressions besides class exploitation are mere smokescreens created by the ruling class to maintain power.

    Your idea is not only absurd, but there is no evidence whatsoever that backs it up. There is no evidence for peaceful, matriarchal, goddess-worshipping cultures. None. There is no evidence that birth trauma causes misogyny. None. You are receiving exactly the level of derision and hostility that the idea merits.

  149. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Can any of you tell me where sexism comes from?

  150. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Where do burkas come from?

  151. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Where does violence against women like Chris Brown come from?

  152. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Where do male and female circumcisions come from?

  153. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Explain Chinese foot binding to me.

  154. Angel H. says:

    Can any of you tell me where sexism comes from?

    If you had just asked this instead throwing around notions about breathing curing the world, you probably wouldn’t be taking as much heat as you are now.

    Where do burkas come from?

    There is this awesome thing called Google on something called the World Wide Web. It’s pretty new, but I’ve heard some things about it. You might wanna check it out.

    Where does violence against women like Chris Brown come from?

    Um…citation needed?

    Where do male and female circumcisions come from?

    Why is the sky blue? Where does the Easter Bunny come from? Why does my back hurt?

    Why is this so much fun?

  155. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Well, I thought I knew. But you people are so smart, tell me the Truth

  156. Angel H. says:

    D’oh! Curse you slippery fingers! Correction:

    Where does violence against women like Chris Browncome from?

    Um…citation needed?

  157. EG says:

    You’re right, of course. The only possible answer to any question that otherwise cannot (yet) be answered is birth trauma and deep breathing.

    Where do black holes lead? Birth trauma and deep breathing.

    What color were the dinosaurs? Birth trauma and deep breathing.

    Will the world end in 2012? Birth trauma and deep breathing.

    See how easy it is if you just accept evidence-less nonsense?

  158. trees says:

    @Astraea Goddess of Justice

    Can any of you tell me where sexism comes from?

    Where do burkas come from?

    Where does violence against women like Chris Brown come from?

    Where do male and female circumcisions come from?

    Explain Chinese foot binding to me.

    Why is Birth Trauma, of all things, the only plausible explanation. If only life were as simple as this; we should be so lucky.

  159. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    I hope you’re having fun because none of you are nice people.

  160. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    And you can’t answer the questions, either.

  161. EG says:

    To be honest, if I were going to accept evidence-less nonsense, I’m really spoiled for choice, and “birth trauma and deep breathing” wouldn’t make even my top ten. It would be down at the bottom along with other such boring, unimaginative things as “God says so.”

    I’d go for something much more interesting. Something like…oh, I don’t know…those items that we think of as inanimate, like ballpoint pens and earrings and suchlike are actually highly advanced tracking and manipulative devices placed on us by far-future versions of human beings in order to best manipulate the development of Earth and human civilization so as to create the best of all worlds for themselves to live in at some future date.

    Either that, or “because of an evil spell.”

    What?

    I like magic spells.

  162. Angel H. says:

    Damn. Still didn’t work. Oh well.

    Well, I thought I knew. But you people are so smart, tell me the Truth

    It’s because people are assholes. Sexism isn’t the only kind of oppression out there, and sexism being the cause of all the world’s injustice is just so much bullshit, that it’s funking up my monitor. “Want to cure mysogyny? Just breathe.” “Rights being violated? Just breathe.” “Klansmen burning down your home? Just breathe.” “Grandpa getting lynched? Just breathe.”

  163. Angel H. says:

    I hope you’re having fun because none of you are nice people.

    Oh, pooh. My one goal in life was to be nice to Random Stranger on the Internet. Gosh darnit.

    And you can’t answer the questions, either.

    So you admit you were wrong and you don’t know the answer?

  164. EG says:

    I hope you’re having fun because none of you are nice people.

    Your wish is granted. I never claimed to be nice, but I do like to have fun.

  165. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Trees, a puberty ritual of deep breathing is that simple.

  166. librarygoose says:

    Where does violence against women like Chris Brown come from?

    Oh! You’re just extremely confused. Chris Brown is the one who perpetrated the violence. Poor you, you must be all turned around.

    Bad question is worded badly.

  167. Argenti Aertheri says:

    Astraea, I’m perfectly nice to people who don’t try to act like they know the answer to the meaning of life….too much experience with exactly the sort of man you seem to think just needs to breathe, it’s taught me what being nice gets me — treated like a door mat. I suspect that’s not just me.

    Also, the origins of Chinese foot binding are a huge question mark, the only thing that seems clear is that it was a sign of class — that it was a marker of the elite, that only they could afford to have half their members unable to work. So that one’s classism and sexism. And female circumcision originated under the Egyptian Pharaohs…who worshiped Isis…. — and I haven’t a clue where to begin on trying to make sense of how male circumcision is rooted in birth trauma. (Though logic would say that if women are so worried about dying in childbirth as to internalize the fear of that to mean….something….that results in dangerous sexist practices….female circumcision, with the increased dangers of childbirth wouldn’t have been on the list of practices)

    Yeah it’s not that we’re mean, it’s that you don’t make sense, and then reply with one line answers that make less sense. And we’re laughing at you, that’s way nicer than we could be. It looks like the worst you’ve been called is “absurd” and that’s kinda a factual statement, not an insult.

    Where does the Easter Bunny come from?

    Can you answer that one? because that’s also a cultural practice with difficult to explain roots (I realize it was a joke Angel H., but it cuts to the root of Astraea’s questions so nicely — and please pass that popcorn?)

  168. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    librarygoose Violence like Chris Brown’s against women. Happy now?

  169. Argenti Aertheri says:

    I have to stop actually responding, if only because the rest of you type faster!

  170. Argenti Aertheri says:

    Trees, a puberty ritual of deep breathing is that simple.

    …did you just imply no one is violated before puberty? Though, I still can’t work out how this theory even remotely helps the victims of sexism, so I’m not sure that question matters….

  171. EG says:

    Can you answer that one? because that’s also a cultural practice with difficult to explain roots

    Off-topic, I always understood it to be about fertility rituals associated with springtime, with the rabbit/hare as a long-standing symbol of fertility as are, of course, eggs. It’s one of the traditions Christianity co-opted in an effort to appeal to people who enjoy having fun.

  172. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Proponents [of rebirthing breathwork] estimate that, since 1974, more than ten million people worldwide have learned the process, with more than one hundred thousand people completing practitioner training. It became a popular alternative treatment system in the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy Israel, Spain, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

  173. Chiara says:

    I think the Easter bunny thing comes from the whole egg thing.

  174. Angel H. says:
    Where does the Easter Bunny come from?

    Can you answer that one? because that’s also a cultural practice with difficult to explain roots (I realize it was a joke Angel H., but it cuts to the root of Astraea’s questions so nicely — and please pass that popcorn?)

    Passes popcorn.. Sorry. Might be a little burnt. ^_^

    Anyway, according to this, it was another pagan ritual appropriated by Christians. Hmm. I always wondered how we connected “resurrection of Christ” to “bunny laying pretty eggs in your basket”.

  175. Argenti Aertheri says:

    I think by Astraea’s questions though we need to figure out who first thought an egg would make for a good holiday…and EG, it’s as on topic as rebirthing is, no? — does this thread even still have an “on topic”?

    Astraea, surely, with 10 million+ practitioners, there’s some study somewhere on whether they’re actually less sexist than the rest of the population? That’s the citation I’d like to see. I’m sure they do feel better about themselves afterwards, I don’t think anyone here was questioning the placebo effect — are they *actually* less violent, sexist, racist, anything? (I’d much prefer studies that accounted for practitioners self-selecting to perform the rebirth breathing, or at least a matched-pairs design, such that there isn’t a comparison of people who were already pacifists to people in the general population)

  176. Angel H. says:

    Proponents [of rebirthing breathwork] estimate that, since 1974, more than ten million people worldwide have learned the process, with more than one hundred thousand people completing practitioner training. It became a popular alternative treatment system in the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy Israel, Spain, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

    And now you’re quoting directly from the Wiki article you posted earlier without even citing it.

    That’s just lazy.

  177. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Argenti Aertheri Fair enough. I don’t know other than what I’ve read and experienced.

  178. Angel H. says:

    If humans had hatched from eggs outside of the womb, would we have experienced birth trauma?

    ….

    WHOOSH!! I just blew your mind!

  179. trees says:

    @Astraea Goddess of Justice

    Trees, a puberty ritual of deep breathing is that simple.

    I’m having a really difficult time understanding your views. I have no idea what this statement means. You mentioned Barbara G. Walker’s Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, and I love her knitting books and I have enjoyed some of her feminist writing, but are there any other sources that you would recommend? Did Walker originate this notion?

  180. shfree says:

    Breathing, really? That’s all that’s needed to cure societies’ ills? And birth trauma is what causes them in the first place? You know, I’ve been out of school less than than one year, and if I was required to cite the sources of every damn thing I pulled for ever scrap of information I pulled, (Did I cite one specific illuminated capital letter from a manuscript in an art history paper I wrote, and cite it properly? Yes, yes I did.) some huge sweeping statements like that should at LEAST get a link beyond wikipedia. And I’m going to be a spoiled princess, and refuse to google shit. If you want to feed people things you recognize as truths that are not part of common experience, give us research.

  181. Argenti Aertheri says:

    If humans had hatched from eggs outside of the womb, would we have experienced birth trauma?

    ….

    WHOOSH!! I just blew your mind!

    Yes, yes you did…can I be a dragon then? And thank you for the popcorn, I’ll just eat around the burnt bits ^.^

  182. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Trees The Women’s History of the World by Rosalind Miles, Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths I and II, Dictionary of Classical Mythology by J.E. Zimmerman, The Trauma of Birth by Otto Rank, Rebirthing in the New Age by Leonard Orr and Sondra Ray…It was not Walker’s idea; it was Rank’s idea that birth trauma had an effect on human psychology; it was Orr’s to deep breathe to abreact birth trauma; it was mine to deep breathe to release sexism from the subconscious mind by deep breathing. I added puberty because it is old enough to comprehend the Words., thoughts, and emotions which surface from deep breathing.

    “If I have told you Earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” John 3:12

  183. librarygoose says:

    “If I have told you Earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” John 3:12

    If he had some proof or a peer reviewed study to quote, then maybe I’d be less skeptical. Same goes for you.

  184. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Eye-witness testimony is admissible in a Court of Law.

  185. librarygoose says:

    Eye-witness testimony is admissible in a Court of Law.

    But not in science. Unless a thing is repeatable, it’s pretty hard to prove.

  186. trees says:

    181
    Astraea Goddess of Justice 2.18.2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Trees The Women’s History of the World by Rosalind Miles, Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths I and II, Dictionary of Classical Mythology by J.E. Zimmerman, The Trauma of Birth by Otto Rank, Rebirthing in the New Age by Leonard Orr and Sondra Ray…It was not Walker’s idea; it was Rank’s idea that birth trauma had an effect on human psychology; it was Orr’s to deep breathe to abreact birth trauma; it was mine to deep breathe to release sexism from the subconscious mind by deep breathing. I added puberty because it is old enough to comprehend the Words., thoughts, and emotions which surface from deep breathing.

    “If I have told you Earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” John 3:12

    Thanks a lot for those references. I am familiar with the titles covering Greek and Roman mythology, and understand that birth trauma is an area of investigation in psychology. What I don’t understand is the connection to the long and ugly human history of misogyny. That seems like a leap in logic and impossible to prove or disprove.

    it was mine to deep breathe to release sexism from the subconscious mind by deep breathing

    That sounds great if you have had success with this method, but how do you go from this to birth trauma being the source of sexism?

  187. EG says:

    “If I have told you Earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” John 3:12

    Evidence.

    But you should know that quoting the Bible is not at convincing when it comes to getting non-Christians to believe you. Not only am I an atheist, but I am also a Jew, and we are, as you may remember, a stiff-necked people. We didn’t believe Jesus, we didn’t believe John, Otto Rank (ne Rosenfeld) was one of us and he was a skeptic who wrote his own commandments, including “Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife because there are plenty of others,” so it sounds to me like he didn’t believe in the Hebrew god either. I see no reason to compromise that admirable tradition when it comes to evidence-less nonsense claiming to be the origin of misogyny.

  188. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    I’ll tell you what: all you naysayers practice deep breathing two hours a week for six months and then give me your opinion because until then you don’t know what you’re talking about. Do your own scientific experiment because until then you won’t believe.

  189. EG says:

    Eye-witness testimony is admissible in a Court of Law.

    So you saw birth trauma causing misogyny, and then you saw misogyny being dispelled by deep breathing? Given that two out of those three things are not actually visible entities, that’s a neat trick.

  190. EG says:

    all you naysayers practice deep breathing two hours a week for six months and then give me your opinion because until then you don’t know what you’re talking about. Do your own scientific experiment because until then you won’t believe.

    Define deep breathing. Define what end results we’re supposed to see. Explain how those results will be assessed. Provide me with a control group and a deep breathing group.

    Oh, did I forget to mention that as an asthmatic who went untreated until my mid-twenties I developed diaphragmatic breathing on my own as a way of coping with tightness in my chest? And that, since being properly medicated, I am highly attuned to when I am able to take deep breaths and when I am not? I can assure you, I breathe deeply for far more than two hours a week.

  191. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Trees, I believe that pain, sorrow, and the risk of death in childbirth creates fear of death from women in childbirth. That fear is later projected onto women by both women who internalize and men who externalize that fear from birth or pregnancy, acting as a survival instinct. That leads to irrational, anti-survival sexism which leads to other -isms as the fractal is a universal equation of creation.

  192. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    What explanations do all you people have?

  193. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    EG do you deep breathe for spiritual reasons or just physical? Focusing on breath for spiritual reasons may be different.

  194. trees says:

    190
    Astraea Goddess of Justice 2.18.2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Trees, I believe that pain, sorrow, and the risk of death in childbirth creates fear of death from women in childbirth. That fear is later projected onto women by both women who internalize and men who externalize that fear from birth or pregnancy, acting as a survival instinct. That leads to irrational, anti-survival sexism which leads to other -isms as the fractal is a universal equation of creation.

    Wow, thanks for breaking that down for me. This is a very different worldview from my own so thank you for sharing your perspective. I imagine that our different outlooks are shaped by very different backgrounds and life experiences. I can’t imagine your ideas working for me in my life as they seem to require a strong element of belief in the underlying premise (birth trauma as origin of misogyny) and faith (in the efficacy of deep breathing as the treatment) that I simple don’t have. But again, I’m happy to know that this is working for you. How do you know when it’s working, are there tangible changes that you can point to, are there any anecdotal success stories from the 10 million+ practitioners?

  195. Angel H. says:

    What explanations do all you people have?

    Dinosaur farts.

    Now, wait a minute. Hear me out:

    Y’see, dinosaur farts stunk up the atmosphere so much that the giant comet that exterminated them was actually a little pebble that burned during entry and lit everything up like a match. The stench from burnt dino booty upset our mammalian ancestors so much that the males began to beat their mates out of stinky frustration.

    Thus sexism was born.

    The end.

  196. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    Trees, I’ve read a lot to give me anecdotal evidence and practiced it to give me personal experience. I no longer blame men for sexism as a Feminist. And that is something for me.

  197. Matt says:

    This is so sad! Astraea JUST BARELY missed FNTT. So close Astraea!

  198. librarygoose says:

    EG do you deep breathe for spiritual reasons or just physical? Focusing on breath for spiritual reasons may be different.

    What about the whole atheism thing? Not to lump EG with me, but as an atheist I would get nothing out of “spiritual” breathing. I have no spirit, just me walking around and breathing all tangible-like. Your tying this to Christianity and Eve is what makes me laugh. Saying that trauma from birth effects people later in life, I can wrap my head around. Saying that trauma originating from eve and staying in genetic memory is at all even a thing I should consider briefly? Nah.

  199. Astraea Goddess of Justice says:

    DNA people admit they don’t know what most of DNA is. What if it psychology as I assert?

  200. librarygoose says:

    Memories cannot be coded into DNA, your Lamarkian assertions are absurd.

  201. DonnaL says:

    I’m sure deep breathing can be beneficial to people for all sorts of reasons. But as a cure for sexism? Please.

    There is no idea so preposterous that it can’t create a following. There are people who believe that high colonics are similarly efficacious. Once upon a time, William Reich’s Orgone had its moments as a theory of everything. If you want to make these ideas the basis of your religious beliefs, go ahead. It’s no more absurd than most other religious concepts. But let’s not pretend that there’s anything scientific about it. The “cellular memory” aspect reminds me a little of the equally preposterous concept of homeopathy, which is based on the idea that even if an active ingredient is diluted in water to the extent that the amount left is the equivalent of a single molecule in a sphere 130 light years across, the water retains a “memory” of the ingredient, allowing it to effect a cure. This is no better.

    By the way, I shudder to think how gay men, lesbians, and trans people fit into Astraea’s theory. This is not a question to her; I really don’t want to know.

  202. debbie says:

    DNA people admit they don’t know what most of DNA is. What if it psychology as I assert?

    Psychology is the study of the mind. How could DNA be made up of the study of the mind?

  203. Politicalguineapig says:

    Argenti: Heh, thanks. The only reason I didn’t list Isis was that war wasn’t one of her attributes. She does kick ass, though. And I probably should’ve listed Athena, though she was kind of a suck-up.
    As for the humans-hatching-from-eggs scenario? I watched an anime that postulated that (actually, it was humans being born from trees) and things seemed pretty much the same as this world, if not nastier. The heroine narrowly escaped being sold into sex slavery by another woman. So, yeah, same old crap, different origin.

    Astrea: Sexism comes from the greater society. If men and women are conditioned for certain roles by their parents and teachers, they will internalize those ideas. Infants don’t remember anything from their first year of life, and DNA doesn’t carry memories as we know them. Heck, I read an article today suggesting that most people are missing about 20 genes-so DNA has pretty lousy memory while it’s carrying out it’s normal function. We’d have species wide dementia if DNA was totally responsible for memory.

    As for the deep breathing? Nope. I figure I’ve had at least a month this winter where I wasn’t able to breathe at all, due to various illnesses. (Usually I’m pretty healthy, I just got walloped this season.) And as you might’ve guessed, I’m not real into the whole peace and love scene. I believe in developing skills so I can defend myself, not in trusting magical thinking. If you’re complaining about disrespect, consider that you get what you give around here.

    Expecting us to swallow whole the internet nonsense you’ve put up here isn’t very respectful.

  204. Caperton says:

    I just approved a whole slew of off-topic comments because I’m generous. Further off-topic comments will just be deleted. Back on topic, please.

  205. So, that Chris Brown. What a dick, amirite?

  206. Argenti Aertheri says:

    So, that Chris Brown. What a dick, amirite?

    Are you ever! so much so he made postsecret this week, with some other real winners — that’s probably better suited to the shit list, but that post hasn’t gone to hell in a handbasket.

  207. flightless says:

    Well, this thread made me short of breath, thank you all for the LOLs!

    But on the original topic — I do think that the conflation of sexy-aggressive (consensual) with criminal-violent (nonconsensual) may be one key to that whole Twitter horror-show. Liking rough play is not an invitation to be brutalized, but our society is so freaked out by & distrustful of consensual BDSM — as well as being so wedded to the old bodice-ripper/James Bond malarkey about women’s token resistance needing to be overpowered — that it can’t tell the difference, or often wilfully muddies the waters. (I need a few deep breaths now!)

  208. Sarah Harper says:

    These twitter posts are exhibit A on why we need more out and proud feminists on the kink scene.

    The ugly truth is that while there are many BDSM practitioners who respect women, there’s also plenty of the gender-essentialist variety. As in: not “I’m a guy who happens to like dominating women,” but, “I’m a REAL MAN (meaning dom) looking for a REAL WOMAN (meaning sub).” This toxic conflation of the separate ideas of masculinity, aggression and superiority to women is not only silencing to dominant females, sub males, and switches of both genders, but is a disaster for submissive and masochistic women.

    Take a young woman just starting to realize she’s into being handled roughly in bed, who as a result of her kink finds herself attracted to those with the common signifiers of capacity for violence: macho guys, “thugs”, military guys etc. The messages she first receives from fellow kinksters can help determine whether she holds out for someone who listens to and respects her, or whether she swallows the idea that controlling/sexist/abusive behavior is a “natural” attendant to the aggressiveness she needs so badly in her partners.

    Me, I like aggressive people of both genders, and like doing consensual violence with them. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to find this trait in a guy who is also a feminist and a good listener. But I also can see how the conflation of BDSM with a larger patriarchal narrative can make it harder for kinky women to leave their abusive partners–I wouldn’t be surprised if this played a part in the Rihanna-Chris Brown debacle too, given that she has a single out with lyrics about being into “whip and chains”.

  209. Politicalguineapig says:

    Sarah- good point. Also, did you see Rihanna’s outfit for SNL? Practically screamed ‘I’m into kinky stuff.’ For those who didn’t see it, the outfit in question was kinda ‘knight in armor meets dance club.’

  210. flightless says:

    Take a young woman just starting to realize she’s into being handled roughly in bed, who as a result of her kink finds herself attracted to those with the common signifiers of capacity for violence: macho guys, “thugs”, military guys etc. The messages she first receives from fellow kinksters can help determine whether she holds out for someone who listens to and respects her, or whether she swallows the idea that controlling/sexist/abusive behavior is a “natural” attendant to the aggressiveness she needs so badly in her partners.

    THIS.

    Yes, Rihanna has acknowledged in Rolling Stone that she likes rough play/being spanked… that does NOT revoke her consent.

  211. flightless says:

    (I’m not sure I phrased that right, re: “revoking consent,” but liking rough sex doesn’t mean deserving assault & battery, any more than having had sex at all means implicit consent to a trans-vaginal probe, in that other thread! But that is such a common, horrid perspective in our culture, about BDSM and violence: yet another version of “she was asking for it.”)

  212. Caperton says:

    I hesitate to connect a violent assault like this to Rihanna’s affection for spanking and vinyl hot pants. She wasn’t injured in a BDSM scene gone out of control–Chris Brown beat her face in. While the discussion of sexy-aggressive, and looking for a “bad boy” and ending up with a bad person, may well apply here, I don’t really see any level of kink leading naturally to being beaten in a moving car by a screaming man.

    This is not to say that a guy who’s into BDSM can’t choke his girlfriend unconscious and threaten to kill her, but without data, I wouldn’t be able to assert that a guy in BDSM would be more likely to do so. I just think that trying to make a link between liking it rough and getting beaten bloody in an argument is a tenuous one and could lead to victim-blaming if we’re not careful.

  213. Angel H. says:

    http://www.scoop.it/t/breathwork?page=1

    Banhammer, please? This is getting pathetic.

  214. Caperton says:

    Banned for not following directions and for kind-of spamming and for generally being annoying. Y’all, I hate banning. Please everyone don’t do stuff to get banned.

  215. flightless says:

    Right — NOT that there is an actual link between liking it rough and getting battered — but that Society[TM] tends to victim-blame in that exact way, and that sometimes we internalize those pernicious messages.

  216. Yeah, flightless, I see what your saying. It’s like the “consent to one thing one time means consent all the time” argument that some people use to say that married women or prostitutes can’t be raped. “Well she wanted to be spanked for pleasure so how was he supposed to know he shouldn’t beat the crap out of her during a fight?” Or something equally convoluted.

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