I've got nothing but love for my fellow feminists out there in the trenches, working to raise money and fund programs and bring meaningful change. But when one of those feminists spits on and stomps all over our core values IN PUBLIC--I absolutely flame up like the Hindenberg. And my righteous feminist fury has been burning bright since last week, when I read this statement in the Los Angeles Times about the prosecution of sexual predator Roman Polanski:
"My personal thoughts are let the guy go," said Peg Yorkin, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "It's bad a person was raped. But that was so many years ago. The guy has been through so much in his life. It's crazy to arrest him now. Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things."
Of all the things I've heard about Roman Polanski, this is the most infuriating. There's the use of passive tense that dehumanizes the victim--"it's bad someone was raped"--and symapthizing with the attacker rather than the victim--"The guy has been through so much in his life."--to the ultimate "rape is no big deal" kiss-off: "Let it go." (For a line-by-line breakdown of all the WRONGNESS in that statement, you can read my "Open Letter to Peg Yorkin"). It's douche-y in a way I'd expect from Fox News. Or Rush Limbaugh. But no, this time the douchery comes from within our own ranks, which makes it all the more disgusting.
Feminists disagree on many things, but the importance of prosecuting rapists and fighting rape culture is not one of them. If the founder and chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation–which funds and refers victims to sexual assault hotlines and survivor resources–makes a public statement like that, she must resign. The FMF later issued a press release, protesting that the comment was Peg Yorkin's "personal opinion" and that Yorkin "wants to make clear she condemns rape."
Yorkin has still not apologized, or repudiated her comments. And, frankly, the mere fact that the chair of the FMF has to clarify her position on rape makes it painfully obvious why Peg Yorkin should not be chair of the FMF.
I'm not the only one who was furious at Peg Yorkin's douche-y betrayal--check out what our sisters at Shakesville, Jezebel and Feministe had to say.
You know what I totally appreciate? Being called out when I am stupid! An exciting incidence of this occurred recently, on my Madonna post, where commenter Crys T notes:
OK, on this point, I get why you're happy to have Madonna around. But it would be nice to see more recognition on the part of Anglo-American feminists on Madonna's extensive history of cultural appropriation. It's not just that she now buys African children (though even I never thought she'd become that monstrous), it's a very long history of exploiting, offending and therefore harming people from cultures that don't have much of a voice in the English-speaking world.
Which is a darn solid point! In that post, I made reference to Madonna's history of cultural appropriation, and that it gave me "serious pause." And then I just kind of breezed on by it like it was no big thing! Because apparently that was the day that I decided to be gross and obviously privileged, SORRY. Madonna's appropriation of other cultures definitely deserves to be addressed and critiqued at length, in its own post. A post such as this one, right here!
Ah, the weekend. A time to unwind and have some fun. This particular weekend, I am in New York for my friends' wedding . And you know what the best way to celebrate a wedding (or any special occasion, really) is, don't you? With LOLz, of course!!!
The first special occasion we're celebrating with LOLz this week is Senator Orrin Hatch's abortion amendments were summarily rejected. He wanted to make sure that "abortions could not be covered by any insurance offered through the planned health-insurance exchanges" and that women who wanted their insurance plans to cover abortions would have to buy additional abortion plans. You know, because everyone likes to plan out their abortions years in advance. At any rate, Hatch was shut down, and this puppeh is pretty happy about it:
As you may know, here at Bitch we're also celebrating our new iTunes channel. Subscribe today! These dogs already did, and look how much fun they're having:
Of course, LOLz aren't just good for celebrating special occasions. They are also good for making fun of things you hate. We hate Men's News Daily because they are total a-holes. (For evidence of said a-hole-ishness, check out this article on why feminists are to blame for unfair rape laws. Yikes.) This cat hates Men's News Daily, too:
I wanted to let readers get the last word on the "Is No Sex Sex-Positive" post--between Bitch, Facebook, Harpyness and e-mails I received, it was clear that everyone had an opinion about not having sex, and why/whether conscious celibacy is an inherently feminist or sex-positive decision. Once again, people thought of aspects to the debate that I hadn't, including discussion of non-intercourse sex acts and asexuality. There was much back-and-forth over what constituted "sex" and "being sexual." What about all that fun non-penetrative stuff? Are you really celibate if you're giving/receiving oral sex? How about mutual masturbation? It was clear we all had just as many opinions about the feminist implications of NOT having sex as we do about the many different ways we have it.
Roman Polanski raped a child. Let's just start right there, because that's the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in "exile" (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never -- poor baby -- being able to return to the U.S.).