Seems like every 6 months or so - maybe once a year - there is a debate about rape jokes. Here’s how it goes:
A dude tells jokes about rape or deals with hecklers in way that includes rape. A woman hears these jokes or is the heckler. She publicly states that she is upset or didn’t like the joke or didn’t think it was funny or doesn’t think that particular joke really dealt with the topic seriously. And then the comic somehow takes that feedback & uses it to LOSE HIS MIND.
Other comics get on board & support the comic. For some reason a discussion about censorship breaks out, which really makes no sense since the audience member isn’t really in a position to censor anyone. Dude comics generally support the other dude comic’s right to tell a rape joke, without realizing rights weren’t being questioned, choices were. Chick comics support the dude comic or keep quiet - not wanting to be labeled stupid or bitchy or against their own community. Female audience member is labeled stupid or bitchy & publicly shamed by comics. Everyone moves on.
I personally don’t advocate for any topics being categorically off limits, because OF COURSE I DON’T. I’m a comic. I have talked about rape on stage. I do think, though, that when a comic is in a group of people largely unaffected by a topic, that comic should be able to do some extra work to make their jokes funny, relevant, well thought out. If you are a white comic talking about dealing with racism, or a straight comic talking about being uncomfortable in a gay neighborhood, or a dude talking about rape, you are asking for higher scrutiny.
You also get a greater reward - you get the built in laughs that come with chatting on a taboo topic. And there are plenty of angles on rape that affect dudes more - no one has ever thought I could possibly BE a rapist for instance, which is an angle I have heard dude comics use for huge laughs & it totally worked. There are always new jokes to tell on a topic or new angles to take.
The sitting Congress has the most women of any in history. Artist Emily Nemens is capturing each of them in paint, and using their likenesses in graphics to show how far we still have to go to bring gender equality to Washington.
The women of Congress, in fabulous watercolor infographics
This is awesome. Ladies in the HOUSE. No, really. Record number of ladies in the House!
Get it together, Montana, Idaho, et. al
I had no interest in reading Lean In, because I had seen Sheryl Sandberg’s TedTalk and figured I got her point. I just didn’t like it.
And that point was: women should not scale back their ambition because they might have kids someday. Instead, women should lean in to their careers, because they don’t know if/when they’ll have kids. And also, the world needs more female leaders.
It all seemed annoyingly preachy, like Michael Phelps telling us to train harder at the 400 i.m. without asking, “Hey, do you even want to swim?”
"Being a feminist doesn’t mean suddenly no longer liking problematic things. If you stopped liking everything that was sexist in media and entertainment there would be no media or entertainment left. Being a feminist, to me, is being aware of what it is you’re liking, and of its problematic aspects."
"What makes Hamm different from, say, Anne Hathaway, who had to weather discussion about the appearance of her nipples in her Academy Awards dress, is that Hamm isn’t used to being objectified. He has outrage left to burn, rather than being exhausted by endless appearance-based prying and insane body standards."
~ Conversation I had yesterday: Me: I feel badly for Jon Hamm. His body is being objectified in the same way that we objectify women. It’s not cool either way. Mitch: Yeah. He’s fine. Jon Hamm is going to be okay.
Conversation I had yesterday:
Me: I feel badly for Jon Hamm. His body is being objectified in the same way that we objectify women. It’s not cool either way.
Mitch: Yeah. He’s fine. Jon Hamm is going to be okay.
"Paul Armstrong is looking to hire at ChoreMonster LLC, the Web startup he co-founded in Cincinnati. The ideal candidate will oversee the logistics of a recent move to a new office space, focus on staff morale and keep the organization running on schedule. Or, as he put it on Twitter: “We need an office mom.” The office mom is shorthand for a figure in many offices: the colleague who remembers everyone’s birthdays and brings in cupcakes. She has Advil and tissues in her desk drawer. She knows your significant other is all wrong for you—and will say so."
~ It is complete bullshit that the language we have to describe women - our skills and our competencies - is so limited that we end up being called “Office Mom” and “Work Wife.” Just because I have Advil for you doesn’t mean I’m your Mom, I’m the goddamn boss with enough sense to keep Advil in her desk drawer. And chocolate eggs.
It is complete bullshit that the language we have to describe women - our skills and our competencies - is so limited that we end up being called “Office Mom” and “Work Wife.” Just because I have Advil for you doesn’t mean I’m your Mom, I’m the goddamn boss with enough sense to keep Advil in her desk drawer. And chocolate eggs.
"I rarely ever write this personally. But okay.
When I was four, a kid in my neighbourhood took me into his room and pulled down my pants (twice) when I went over to play. I went home, told my mom, and she walked right over to that neighbour’s house, where she and that kid’s mom raised all kinds of hell, and that boy apologized and received a yelling mixed with a grounding mixed with a “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU” unlike none he had ever known. (Yet in high school he still went around telling everyone about it — which, frankly, is really fucked up.)
When I was five, a boy named Daniel ran up to me and kissed me in line at school, and I hit him. Later that year, a kid named Dennis reached across the floor and grabbed me when we were working on art. Again, I told my parents, and they, together with my teacher, continued the hell raising of a year before. No “boys will be boys,” just pure, “DENNIS, WHAT THE FUCK. NO.” The only thing *I* was told that if someone ever did that again, to tell somebody right away — and more hell-raising would ensue.
I was in grade eight when I went to confession and asked a visiting priest — who I’ve not seen since — what constituted as sex and what did not, and he responded with “Now Anne, I had a boner when you asked those questions, so you need to be careful what you say to boys because your words can make them uncomfortable.” Gross. But also hilarious, if only for the use of the word “boner.”
In grade 12, I worked at a radio station where a DJ asked me repeatedly why girls my age liked giving blow jobs, but not having sex. Where he would come up from behind and start touching my shoulders, and where he’d poke my stomach and say “it’s great that girls your size aren’t ashamed of showing their bodies.” He was going to make me his “assistant” until another DJ (who I will always be grateful to) warned me against it: he had a history of making his “assistants” look up porn, and yes, the station manager knew, but didn’t care. So she told me to quit and to be “the little co-op that could.” So I did, and I helped get him fired, and my co-op teacher probably had never felt so bad for putting anyone in a position like that, ever. (Even though he had no idea.)
Throughout high school, I can’t count how many guys told me not to be a tease, or to dress sexier, and that if I did, good, and also, if we hooked up not to say anything because other girls they were hooking up with would find out, or they were embarrassed. I can’t count the number of times I was inappropriately touched or groped or told it was a compliment to be cat-called. And at the time, I believed that it was, because if men didn’t want me like that, who would want me for anything?
At 17, a guy I worked with told me he liked my nail polish because it made me “look slutty.” The same age, I had 30-year-old guys commenting on my sex life (or lack thereof), and I won’t tell you what they said about the other girls and the nicknames they had for any them.
I also won’t tell you about friends who were assaulted, or friends who were nearly assaulted, or friends who were shamed into doing stuff they weren’t comfortable with, or friends who’ve been drugged. Even now, I have conversations with friends who worry about what “guys expect” even though I am 100% sure never once did we sign contracts that made us indentured anythings. From what I understand, we’re all human beings, and human beings are equals. Except, thanks to rape culture, we’re not.
The fact that my first incidence of being sexualized was when I was four tells us something about our society. In my case, I’ve been lucky to be raised by staunch feminists, but even with my dad and mom’s messages of “YOU DO YOU, GIRL,” I was still smothered by the rape culture that dictates our social values. It took me until I was 25 to really embrace that I didn’t “deserve” anything, and it took me until much more recently to believe it.
Rape culture pits us against each other. But the thing is, some of the most outspoken and disgusted people about the Steubenville trial have been men I look up to and men I am friends with. The women? Well, we’re tough broads — we have to be. The fact that we live under constant threat of sexual harassment/assault/attack gives you a thick skin. Strength and banding together is necessary — we get it, because we don’t have a choice.
Still, men aren’t the enemy — not even close. Even as I write about the years of feeling like shit at the hands of some guys, I know there are so many more who are decent, amazing, wonderful, my future husband (shout-out to Benedict Cumberbatch, if you’re reading this). Our friends, our family, our boyfriends/husbands.
No, the enemy is rape culture. Which makes fuckers seem like the majority, and works to excuse those fuckers because “men have no control over themselves.” That’s unfair, and it’s not true, and it gloriously fucked up. But if it keeps being ingrained into the minds of everyone via the media (here’s looking at you, CNN!), women will be stuck explaining how we were not asking for it, and men will be painted as tortured, fallen heroes just following their instincts.
We’re more than playthings and animals. We have brains, and we have hearts, and we are human beings. Like you, the Steubenville case broke mine, but it also enraged me. And the only way we’ll break free from rape culture is if we finally demand it be torn down. Like someone once said to me, “help through your gifts.” So help through your gifts. And refuse to bow down to it. And refuse to laugh at it. And refuse to excuse it. And refuse to stay silent when it’s happening around you.
We have a chance to not only demand change, but to see it happen. We are seeing it right now. But we are also seeing the fuckers rise up to blame the victim and mourn lost football careers. So even though change is a-brewing, we have a long way to go. But we’re tough broads (this includes you, guys who crave change). We can handle it."
"“We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins… We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers… We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.””"