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The real problem with sensationalising misogyny is that misogyny is not sensational.
let me tell you something mcduff,most people that know me say i am a pleasant and nice guy and some of the insults you have directed towards me are very hurtfull and upsetting,this blog is not about me me me it is lauries blog simple as that and if laurie told me to clear off i would respect her wishes, and ok my views and opinions may be wacky and not everybodys tastes but at the end of the day its only a opinion from what you might regard as a chavvy uneducated twat with poor spelling and bad punctuation.after i got convicted for assualting a police bully at the v festival last year my probation officer asked me would you ever use violence again in any situation,i said sure as somebody who hates violence as a end to a means if i seen a woman getting beat up in the street by a man sure i would intervene and lets say teach him a few manners,as for me being a woman hating mysogynist when my girfreind through that vase at me leaving me with a black eye i was not to pleased but at the end of the day i got what i deserved for coming home from the pub drunk demanding she made me curry and chips with a bit of tobiko sauce.so mcduff lets end this feud ok.
when you are driving down a motorway, and the girl you chose to love decides to dig her nails into your sm does test your faith in human nature. Star crossed maybe, but her last husband went completely nuts.
ey, the wimmin, ey?
Christ almighty, get back in the fucking kitchen, all of you.
When you say, about the rapist's viewpoint,
"I'd say it's the most relevant one of all. Why they thought they had a right to rape their victim, why they thought whatever it was counted as consent or that consent didn't matter. What casual, everyday attitudes to women they hold that tied into that."
I think you're totally right. Because nobody, aside from a handful of deranged people, would ever attempt to justify rape. I doubt many rapists would even use the word about themselves, because people justify their actions in all sorts of ways. The fact is that very few people actively think they're doing wrong. They either believe their actions are justified, or else find desperate ways to justify them retrospectively. The discrepancy between their justification of consent and the reality of it is massively important. Why and how do they justify it? What enables that, and what will change it?
It's a banal and obvious truth, but it stands: most people who we'd call evil, or whose actions we'd say are evil, wouldn't understand why. Going back to Larsson, I agree with the point of Laurie's argument, and would probably go further. This is a book that contains the worst serial killer in Europe's history. He is unequivocally and unapologetically Evil with a capital E. He's not a nuanced human being, but a monster designed purely to serve an exciting narrative. For all the author's (undoubted) credentials, the original title and the completely unrelated statistics that pepper the sections, the book is still just an enormously exaggerated fantasy with easily delineated goodies and baddies, and it has nothing much of any intelligence to say about real world misogyny and sexism.
To be honest, I'd imagine the publisher changed the title because, while the original is great, the story inside is actually nowhere near profound enough to justify it. It's a good, old-fashioned mystery-thriller. That's really all it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHAjV7npClc....my tribute to mcduff
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiheVD_PZLw&ob=av2e..a song to wake up echt tee before she falls asleep before the 6pm news on bbc1.sorry you cracked me up when you said that pmsl
"I've never understood this urge to ring-fence rape away from sex. Sex can be used for violent ends, people get off on violence, the whole system of gendered dominance and all the sexiness comes with it has potential violence running all the way through it. Strikes me that anyone who thinks the two are entirely separate doesn't understand either of them."
I don’t recall either myself or McDuff trying to “ring-fence rape away from sex” I already said rape in war time can be motivated by the lack of sex. If you would refrain from persistently posting nonsense and false credits to other posters, the rest of us would not have to correct your lack of comprehension to the obvious and general presumptions of a literate person’s grasp of a posters contribution.
"Please forgvie the previous trolling, that was for solely for my own personal amusement. It should be pointed out, I think, that the po-faced uber-earnest stance of the author and most of the commentators on here is nothing but a gift to anyone with a genuinely misogynistic agenda. It does your cause no good to make it so easily brushed off as the hormonal ravings of some 'milly tant' character IMVHO."
That's a very good try Harry, but if you really want to come across as a pompous arse, try replacing "that was" with "'twas", write IMVHO out in full and maybe a "not unhormonal" in there.
@buckskins & @McDuff
"Rape is not an act of hornyness or sexual desire. Rape is an act of violence. It is also a weapon of war or revenge. There’s a bit more to it than a dude with a boner."
"But it is, in fact, a sexual act. And while there's indeed more to it than mere sex, we shouldn't forget that it is one of the ways in which sex can be used for violence. "
I've never understood this urge to ring-fence rape away from sex. Sex can be used for violent ends, people get off on violence, the whole system of gendered dominance and all the sexiness comes with it has potential violence running all the way through it. Strikes me that anyone who thinks the two are entirely separate doesn't understand either of them.
Talk about a woman with an attitude! What a load of old codswallop. She needs a good spanking!
Women are so cute when they try to ape like they're capable of rational thought. Good girl; now make yourself useful and go iron some shirts!
'I've never understood this urge to ring-fence rape away from sex. Sex can be used for violent ends, people get off on violence, the whole system of gendered dominance and all the sexiness comes with it has potential violence running all the way through it. Strikes me that anyone who thinks the two are entirely separate doesn't understand either of them.'
I agree alex. But it is feminists who have mainly gone on about rape being an act of violence, not sex. But then separating it from domestic violence. Which it often isn't. This false and confused attempt at separating sex and violence then linking them again comes from feminism as much as from anywhere else.
Partly I think because people find it hard to accept that we often enjoy an element of violence in our sex lives, consensually.
"Partly I think because people find it hard to accept that we often enjoy an element of violence in our sex lives, consensually."
Not just consensually though. I think it's hard to accept that, despite the violence, dominance, inequality and injustice that permeate sex, people will accept an oppressive system and grind away happily within it because it's just plain fun to rub your bits together.
It's also hard to accept that even if one party doesn't want or enjoy the (tacitly) violent sex, that it's still sex. For all sex-negative feminists' bluster, they still subscribe to this idea that sex, arousal and sexuality are inherently good things and every boner should be pure and moral. The fact that rape is sex doesn't excuse it in the slightest, or make mutually enjoyable, consensual sex worse by association. It just makes the sliding scale a bit longer.
cant wait to see what lozzys next blog topic wil be about, because this subject has run its course now and is getting bloody tedious,are we still freinds mcduff??
Whooooa there. There's a huge difference between consensual sexual violence and forced sexual violence. The latter is psychotic and as such isn't a matter of differentiating semantics or labelling it a feminist buzz word.
Yeah, and the difference is whether they're consensual or forced. Like I said, sex is a long, long sliding scale, and not all of it is good or should be allowed.
@ gordy & lupo
What's cute is how transparent your need for female attention is. I bet you fantasise about being spanked by your Nanny for being very naughty boys... In fact, I'd probably stake my life on it.
nothing worse than 2 pregnant women presenting the mercury music awards on bbc 2, ahhh what is this obsession with the bbc with heavily pregnant women not only fronting the weather forecastes but now every bloody programme on that station.
Good God - is McDuff a man? I had completely taken it for granted she was a woman.
Maybe you should stop with the 'always the victim of men' mentality.Feminist conspiracy theories are stupid.
Yes but you also said
I think it's hard to accept that, despite the violence, dominance, inequality and injustice that permeate sex, people will accept an oppressive system and grind away happily within it because it's just plain fun to rub your bits together.'
If you think that violence inequality and injustice permeates sex then I don't think you're doing it right.
It's been my experience that the only reason men put us on pedestals is so they can look up our dresses and skirts more easily. I didn't ask you to put me there, and if you try, I'll fight you every inch of the way.
And if we "feel entitled to everything" as you claim, maybe it's from endless years of watching men's behavior, as it's been held up as the only acceptable role model.
And as an addendum, from Laurie's original post
' Most rapists are ordinary men who believe that they are entitled, when drunk, angry or horny, to take violent advantage of women who know and trust them.'
No. They are not 'ordinary men' they are psychotic men - a distinction that seeems to have been lost on some.
Well, there's definitely some inequality involved in gender relations, which I imagine is underpinned by a fair bit of violence, or at least the unspoken threat of it. That won't go away just because you take your clothes off.
Brilliant article. But on the other hand.. lets get freudian here and ask about women who actually fantasize about being raped?
*Disclaimer: I am a woman myself.. this is not a misogynist man talking*
Misogyny is sadly, in some perverse way still portrayed in film and media as being sexy... and up till recently it really was.. ( I'm thinking of actors like Oliver Reed here)..
Much as I may try, I'll never understand women and I'm sure I'm not the only male on here to feel the same way. It does seem to me that it's so much easier to label men (by no means all of them) as more aggressive, violent and even primitive than it is to attach any kind of parallel stereotype to a woman. It's generally accepted that men are physically stronger, so by default they become the 'aggressor'; or in other cultures even the 'oppressor'.
But are men really the stronger sex? Not in a million years, I'd say. Where women have the complete upper hand is in all they do, they are much more able to get their own way with a certain coy look, smile, mood, silence or certain carefully chosen words, they have a unique ability to manipulate men in all kind of situations and we fall for it, time and time again. Perhaps some men just don't know how to deal with it, perhaps its what makes men feel so inferior that they end up asserting their 'superiority' through acts of aggression?
Personally I don't get it, nor do I get how some women love the whole 'I know he's no good for me, but he loves me thing'. I've seen many examples of how some women will go back to men who near on treat them with contempt, they just never see it!
Much as I love women dearly, I'll never ever understand them, that's really all I can say! Well at least I'm being honest.
There is potentially some inequality involved in any relations. My advice? If your relationship has an element of inequality, is underpinned by a fair bit of violence or the unspoken threat of it, then perhapos you shouldn't be in that relationship.
As I said, you are as much a victim as you choose to be.
For any quieter kind of man, even somebody like me who has never had too much to do with women (shyish loner ;) this thread is spine-thrilling to read. So much hatred, so much cruel calculation to fixate and terminate the enemy ('the' man) - that I find one statistic that I have come across (and of which I am obviously a part) very explicable - apparently, there are more and more men (probably 'weak' ones like me) volutarily opting out of the 'relationsship market' - domestic man that is content reaading books and doing his own flat ;) And when I am looking around me I find a lot of those opt-outs. Actually I think its going to become massive in the coming years. And its good. You never get into each others way - no problem. So, Go heroines go - BECOME THE NEW MEN! GO OUT CONQUER THE WORLD - KILL ALL MEN - BECAUSE ALL MEN ARE RAPISTS, aren't they. But PLEASE don't tell me one thing: that conquering and eliminatory hate are male traits.
take that redpen out of your ass crack and behave like a true man,all men are not rapists you cretin, god i am sick of you middle class socalists,what is wrong with you people its just mindbending.
I know tamsinchan, McDuff gives me hope for men on the internet. We even disagree about some things without resorting to name-calling.
"There is potentially some inequality involved in any relations. My advice? If your relationship has an element of inequality, is underpinned by a fair bit of violence or the unspoken threat of it, then perhapos you shouldn't be in that relationship."
I think we're talking at cross purposes. I mean sex in general as a situation, not my own personal life.
"No. They are not 'ordinary men' they are psychotic men - a distinction that seeems to have been lost on some."
Not sure what you mean by 'psychotic' here or above. I suppose you could argue anyone who thinks it's ok to fuck someone against their will is by definition psychotic, but I don't see where that gets us.
Is it not better to assume rapists are otherwise normal people, apart from their repugnant attitude to other people's bodies, and try and work out how that attitude got programmed in there?
Er, not situation, system. Sorry.
Des. "You are as much a victim as you choose to be".
I don't think men or women 'choose' to be victims at all do they? From what I see of it, people fall prey to becoming a victim because something, somewhere deep within makes them feel okay with it, even attracted to the whole victim/aggressor thing. I see a fair number of people amidst domestic violence type situations and I just never get my head around why they stick together. Sometimes, they come to a realisation, but invariably they end up going from one 'bad' relationship to another or just staying in the same one. There doesn't seem to be any choice in it. Is it to do with attraction I ask myself? If it is then I can't see how one has any choice in it all?
' I mean sex in general as a situation, not my own personal life.';
Or System. I think the same advice applies. If anyone feels inequal or degraded in any way against their will in their sex life then they are with the wrong partner.
And yes I'm all for getting to the root of a rapist's problems, much as I would be with a pedophile's. Clearly there is some mental abberation in both. However I can't agree with the tone of the article , and a good deal of Laurie's writing that seems to imply that most men are tarred with the same brush of aggression and mysoginy. It smacks of sloppy journalism and a victim mentality which does femanism no favours.
We also talk a great deal of inequality in the workplace, but I know of a fair number of women who hold down very senior and powerful jobs. When I attend various meetings and so forth, I look at the list of delegates representing their organisations and it often strikes me that there are often far more women than men. Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong in it; the point I make is over whether there really is that much inequality today?
A little too much 'wreck the hoose juice' tonight Stuart? Maybe tomorrow you can articulate your thoughts on what is wrong with pregnant women appearing on TV?
omg ,omg ,omg spare me the sight of pregnant women on the bbc please.what next there bbc producer boyfreinds being paraded with hards ons to prove how virile they are,pregnant women in the media is not only immoral but disgusting it makes me projectile puke.
and i am not drunk.
I think my position is much closer to Quiet Riot Girl than Laurie Penny. Laurie is a good writer and her passion is to be admired. Her incisive comments last week on the labour market were brilliant - save for, IMO, the feminist interpretation. But again I find myself alienated from her overall agenda.
It's very difficult I suppose for a man to judge just how sexist or mysogynistic our society is. But as other commentators have noted the thrust of Laurie's writing tends towards the stereotyping of most if not all men. I do feel as if the concept of 'all men are potential rapists' is not too far from the surface.
What I see in British society is a hell of a lot of unhappiness, and between the sexes a hell of a lot of tension and mistrust. It is deeply depressing. As is the mud slinging between readers which seems to accompany her articles.
I have been fortunate enough to travel to 53 countries so far and I'm not sure there are many countries which have a higher level of bitterness between the sexes as here. Now I cannot support than in any way. I have spent varied amounts of time in those countries and of course have only conversed with very limited numbers of people there. But I always take a keen interest in the societies of the places I visit and try to speak to as many people as I can and ask as many subtle questions as possible.
My own personal philosophy is that if we have real compassionate socialism we don't need feminism. Being a Mancunian I treasure the fight of the Suffragettes and all those women (and men) who came after them in the fight for equal rights.
But I do feel that the concept of 'woman as perpetual victim' has taken root amongst many people in the UK. I personally feel that I have experienced a lot of sexism from women, both at school and in the work place. But it has not lead me to think that all women are 'men haters'. I just think those women who did that were bitter and had issues to resolve. Perhaps that bitterness was caused by men but psychologically you cannot heal yourself by lashing out.
By the same token I am aware that there is real sexism against women and probably a good deal of mysogyny here too. The direction that hardcore porn is taking is pretty worrying for example and I am amazed that a lot of it hasn't been banned.
However I also feel that in legislative terms women are better protected here than in virtually every other country in the world and that for men, in some spheres, we are becoming less so. I sometimes feel very uncomfortable for example being around children in public places. My instinct as a human who likes children is smile at them or make a funny face - but at the back (or rather front) of my mind is the fear that I will be viewed suspiciously.
I wonder to what extent the bitterness and mistrust that I often see exhibited between men and women is not symptomatic of a society where individual wants have got out of control. I think we are all terribly selfish (myself included)- it is encouraged after all by every advert you see and by every 'life-style' article you notice (the banners on MSN when you log out are hard to avoid!).
We expect perfection in every aspect of our lives and we feel insecure when we don't get it. Obviously between men and women this pertains to sex and relationships. The 'stud' is still lauded in popular culture and the porn starlet is forced into our minds. Yet these roles are not compatible with stable fulfilling relationships. People get bored or feel that the other person isn't in their league. Bitterness ensues from the fall-out of this hyper selfish 'romantic' merry-go-round.
What are the main icons/ role models for men and women today? Until recently for women I'd say it was the Sex and the City girls. Four pathologically self-absorbed women living lives that the majority of woman-(or even man)kind could only dream of. Yet they are never happy. For men? I don't know...Footballers? Crass, brainless muppets in thrall to their egos and libido. Men who seem to have enormous pride yet barely have any respect for themselves let alone others.
All behavioural outcomes of an economic system gone wild. A society/ economy based on dissatisfaction cannot be a happy one.
No wo/man is an island.
no comment. go to bed.
i was on sunday night he he,but only had 8 cans of cider tonight.hi etch tee
Did anyone ever investigate if the "Stieg Larsson witnessed a rape story" is true? The only source appears to be that one of his friends relayed the story after Mr. Larsson Died.
Laurie, regarding, "She is so well drawn that one can almost forgive Larsson for having her sleep with the protagonist (an obvious author-insert of the kind normally only found in teenage fan-fiction) for no discernible reason." I too found it somewhat disconcerting (in book one)that Stieg did that. The only reason I can see for its inclusion is to establish a level of trust, even love between Lisbeth and Mikael that allows for what comes in books two and three to feel real or even possible. If Lisbeth does not care for Mikael why would she involve herself any further than the end of book one?
"And yes I'm all for getting to the root of a rapist's problems, much as I would be with a pedophile's. Clearly there is some mental abberation in both."
Not sure what you mean by "abberation". I'd shy away from looking at it in medical or psychiatric terms, or anything that individual. What is it about society that generates rape? Obviously it'd be interesting to see what makes paedophiles fancy children, but I'm far more concerned with what makes them rape them. What is it about our culture that makes people think one person's right to have sex trumps another's right to refuse it?
Also, look at any discussion of rape anywhere, and you'll very rarely see people argue that rape is ok. Hardly anyone actually justifies rape, they just say that this one wasn't rape. They'll find reasons why the victim was to blame, then extrapolate expected it=voluntary risk=consent=not rape. Or they'll assign the victim slut/prostitute status and count that as consent.
Most casual internet misogynists would probably never rape anyone, but they splutter out all kinds of social conventions where desire gets to override refusal. If you look at rapists as abnormal, you make it much harder to work out how their attitudes get normalised.
08 September 2010 at 02:20
Steady on Buckskin. All I was saying was that sex and violence aren't really separable,
and you can't say rape is all about war and revenge
and nothing about horniness and desire.
You don't have to take it personally. Now put the gun down and step away from the internet.
What is it about “Rape is an act of violence” that you fail to understand?
Where did I say “you can't say rape is all about war and revenge and nothing about horniness and desire“?
Did I not conclude my comment with “Rape is more than a dude with a boner” ? and “Rape can be motivated by an absence of women” ?
I take it personal when you persist in misquoting me in an effort to try and dress your comments in credibility when directed at me.
As a self proclaimed Physician I would have thought Psychology
101 would have been a part of your education and internship.
If you honestly think that sex and violence are inseparable I can only conclude you have never been loved. I hope I’m wrong.
so if a man agrees with feminists they think he is a 'woman' and when a woman disagrees with them they call her a 'man' as an insult. as if being a woman is superior to being a man. FFs McDuff I wouldn't accept that!
Today's bumper sticker:
'Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'
new report out today thats been cleverly hidden from the media except the excellent channel 4 news but confirms what i have posted in this blog.1 in 4 men are officialy victims of domestic violence by either there wives or girlfreinds.where are all these mens rights groups comming out batting for us..
Steady on Buckskin. All I was saying was that sex and violence aren't really separable, and you can't say rape is all about war and revenge and nothing about horniness and desire. You don't have to take it personally. Now put the gun down and step away from the internet.
Laurie Penny is a contributing editor to the New Statesman.