Abortion

Violación Legítima, Misoginia Distraída

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Por Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo

julian assange

Héctor Abad FaciolinceHéctor Abad Faciolince escribe una importante columna en el diario colombiano El Espectador, titulada “Assange, ¿el violador de qué?”. Faciolince denuncia la hipocresía del gobierno británico por hacer de cuenta que está persiguiendo a Julian Assange, fundador de Wikileaks, por violación sexual, no por filtrar cientos de miles de cables, memos, documentos y secretos políticos.

Pero Faciolince, aunque sepa mucho sobre delitos políticos internacionales (o por lo menos eso parece) no tiene ni idea de qué está hablando cuando se trata de violación sexual. En sus palabras:

“DICE EL GOBIERNO BRITÁNICO QUE Julian Assange no está siendo perseguido por delitos políticos sino por un delito común, por una agresión sexual en Suecia, donde se acostó dos veces con dos mujeres que  aceptaron dormir con él, las cuales querían acostarse una sola vez y no dos veces, y no sin condón sino con condón.”

No sé si sean ciertos los detalles que relata; no cita nada para respaldarlos. Lo que sí me da asco, rabia, etc., es que diga en tono de burla, “quizo hacer el amor dos veces y no una.” ¿Qué, entonces si una mujer quiso hacer el amor una vez, eso le da derecho al hombre sobre esa mujer, sobre su cuerpo? ¿Le da derecho indefinidamente? ¿O solo esa noche? ¿O la mañana siguiente también? ¿Entonces segun Faciolince la violación sexual marital no existe tampoco, ni lo que en inglés se llama “date rape” y un montón de formas de violación más? Ahí se le salió lo de ignorante a Faciolince– si no sabe nada sobre la violacion sexual, que mejor no escriba sobre eso.

A ver se lo explicamos, porque se está poniendo viejo el chistesito de un montón de viejos explicándole a las mujeres cómo funcionan cosas que les incumben solo a ellas. Si una relación sexual es forzada, es violación, y punto — no importa cuántas veces antes esas dos personas hayan tenido sexo o no, o cuantas veces antes esa mujer haya tenido sexo, etc, etc. — todas esas son maneras de lavarse las manos, y de particularizar la violacion, y así culpar a la víctima. Eso es exactamente lo que esta pasando ahora en Estados Unidos con la controversia del representate Republicano Todd Akin que dijo que las mujeres no pueden quedar embarazadas por violaciones “legitimas”, porque “el cuerpo femenino tiene una manera de apagar todas esas cosas”. ¿Y qué es legitimo, según Akin, o segun Faciolince? La gente se imagina, erroneamente, que los violadores son extraños, violentos, salvajes, que le saltan a uno detras de un arbusto, un callejon, un parqueadero, pero no: 73 porciento de los violadores son conocidos.

Muy decepcionante de un escritor a quien admiraba. Pero no es de extrañarse (para nada); encontrar hombres brillantes en unas areas y en cuanto a “las mujeres”, en cuanto a seres humanos … nada, sin palabras.

Faciolince parece vivir en una burbuja. El problema de salud mundial que hay en este momento por millones de tipos que no quieren ponerse condón es gravisimo! en Africa la barrera que le pone el machismo al sexo con protección  es un problema tenaz, y si no fuera por esas ideas machistas habrian muuuchos menos muertos de SIDA, mortalidad materna y enfermedades venereas en el mundo. Hay un montón de organizaciones y movimientos tratando de educar a los hombres, tratar de que dejen la superstición y piensen racionalmente, pero hasta ahora no ha funcionado tan bien como debería. Entonces están tratando de volver popular el condón femenino, porque a los hombres no les da la gana de ponerselo. Por puro egoismo, por un machismo al que es terriblemente facil seguirle la corriente, porque ese machismo es el fondo y el escenario, la audiencia y los personajes. Si una mujer quiere hacer el amor con condón y no sin condón se la debería felicitar, no humillar. Eso es un ejemplo a seguir. Cuántas, por dios, cuántas mujeres en el mundo piden hacer el amor con condón y al tipo le importa un pito y lo hace como le da la gana? ¿Cuántos embarazos indeseados, que la mujer tendrá que cargar? Señor Faciolince: es el cuerpo de ellas, ellas deciden qué entra y qué sale, y bajo qué condiciones.

Es que en todo este artículo nunca siquiera cita a las mujeres en cuestión, como si su testimonio no valiera nada, a lo Iraní. Eso sí, habla por ellas un montón de veces, pone palabras en sus bocas — hombres hablando por mujeres, dónde se ha visto eso? Los testimonios de esas mujeres deberían ser una de las fuentes principales de información respecto al caso, lo primero que uno viera en los articulos sobre esto. Pero o la prensa entera ha silenciado las voces de estas mujeres, o no pueden hablar por ley. En ambos casos el problema sería el mismo, pero perpetrado por agentes diferentes, no sé si más o menos poderosos.

Estoy de acuerdo con Faciolince en que el caso fue altamente politizado, y que se están pegando de eso para castigar a Assange por Wikileaks –porque normalmente tal vez les importaría un pito. Estoy de acuerdo en que Wikileaks hizo un buen servicio. Pero el culpar a las víctimas de violaciones, burlarseles, pordebajear sus testimonios como unas viejas locas, es injusto, es tipico machismo, y hasta misoginia mal disimulada: “veala, quiere hacer el amor una vez pero no dos veces! Qué risa! Todo el mundo sabe que si uno quiere hacer el amor una vez quiere todas!”

También vale la pena notar que aunque como buen escritor Faciolince normalmente no duda en usar una palabra vulgar, en este caso escoge “hacer el amor”, y lo repite, varias veces, como si regar la palabra “amor” entre tanta misoginia distraída mitigara su violencia. No tenemos ni idea si lo que hizo Assange con esas mujeres tenía algo que ver con el amor. Ni idea. Pero, se está debatiendo una violación y Faciolince tiene el descaro de semejante escogencia tan sesgada de palabras? Orwellianamente cambiar una posible violación a un acto sublime de amor? Le debería dar pena, eso está como de Talibán.

Y como el Talibán, Faciolince y su mentalidad de pertenencia, de exclusión de la mitad de la población y de su experiencia particular en el mundo, está camino a la extinción. Aunque a ratos parezca lo contrario.

The Vatican is Freaking Out Over Feminist Nuns

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Vatican. Russian President Vladimir Putin visi...
Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo: Wikipedia)

By Juliana Jimenez

The NYT reports on the latest Vatican paranoia and subsequent attempts at silencing dissent:

“the Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

Oh, so, Pope Benedict “was in charge of the Vatican’s doctrinal office before he became pope” so now doctrinal issues are forefront? Interesting. The nuns are beginning to challenge (after 2,000 YEARS) “church teachings on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood”? Did not see that coming. So then the Church reprimands them, and is going to launch an investigation? I guess the rich white male privilege industrial complex that is the Church, had to be, once again, protected.

Nick Kristof commented on Facebook:

“The Vatican condemns nuns for being too focused on poverty and social justice?! I must have missed the Biblical text where Jesus warns disciples not to spend too much time with the poor and downtrodden, and instead to focus on opposing abortion and gay rights.”

What he says really highlights the systemic hypocrisy and distortion of what could’ve been, if you look at it objectively, an actual useful manual on how to run your life. I am not religious at all; I’m between atheist, and agnostic and buddhist or something, even though I don’t know what any of those mean. But it really strikes me as an Orwellian distortion on what could’ve been a not that harmful text.

The Vatican’s move is so much like McCarthyism, and yet it’s easy to miss. Does this mean that feminists are to the Church what Communists are to America?

If I would ever become a nun (God forbid), it would be one of these badass ladies.

Feminist Trolls Flood Republican Legislator’s Facebook Pages, and So Can You

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Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas
Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Credit: Wikipedia.

I’ve never been much of an internets troll, that is, until this morning. The new feminist blog on the Washington Post, She the People, reports how thousands of women (and some men) have been posting ironic remarks on Gov. Rick Perry’s Facebook page in protest to his cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, his infamous transvaginal ultrasound bill (Virginia is not the only one, remember!), among other creative tactics in this latest battle on the War on Women.

I thought it was a great idea. I know I should call Congresspeople and Senators when I’m pissed about legislative matters, but I don’t. Very few people do, although that is the most effective way of coming close to influencing anything. But this was different, more familiar, more of this “digital age,” I suppose. The format, too, is different from what a phone call would sound like.

Check out some of these posts, for example, from women asking for menstrual advice on Perry’s page:

“I’m at work and am experiencing the most uncomfortable itch you know where. I know I’m being punished for having a job and not being a wife and mother, but will you still take care of me? I’d like to stop by during my lunch hour.”

But there are other Republican pages that have been left unscathed, as Jezebel kindly reminds us, and we need to do something about it.

Tom Corbett at the McCain rally.
Tom Corbett, Penn. Governor. Credit: Wikipedia.

Take “Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, who helpfully suggested that women who don’t want to look at their pre-abortion ultrasound should “just close their eyes,’” according to Jezebel. Here is what I posted on his Facebook page:

“I know this has nothing to do with this, but being a woman and all, I can’t stop thinking about my lady parts. You suggested women close their eyes when getting a transvaginal ultrasound, or Wand of Light, as we lovingly call it in some places. Do you also close your eyes when getting a mandatory anal probe for unrelated legal medical procedures? What else do you close your eyes for? I’m curious, your advice is so fascinating!”

Or Darrell Issa, the one responsible for the also infamous all-male contraception panel. His page is pretty lonely right now. I think it needs a feminine touch. Here’s my contribution:

“I have a question that is unrelated to this topic, but I can’t find the information anywhere, and I know you’re an expert on this. I do not want to have too many babies, being that I am not rich, and I am ambivalent about whether to use the rhythm method or douching, or if you know of a foolproof prayer for this, that should do it also. Could you put together one of those helpful all-male panels on this? Either wise I could not wrap my head around it.. as for anything complicated I depend on men to tell me what to do. I await a taste of your infinite male wisdom, thanks!”

You can be direct or sarcastic, make them squirm in their seats, or not, but the idea is simply for them to know that we care and we will not vote or stand for this nonsense.

Let’s do this!

Doonesbury Goes Viral

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Starbucks Doonesbury Duke for Prez Cartoon Pla...
Starbucks Doonesbury Duke for Prez Cartoon Playing Cards (Photo credit: andertoons)

Doonesbury Goes Viral

Here is the latest Doonesbury comic strip on the infamous ultrasound bills that has been censored by so many news outlets around the country. Slate, on the other hand seems to be embracing the controversy, and today they post an interview with the creator of the series, Gary B. Trudeau. The Washington Post also has an earlier interview with him.

WaPo: Consider the case of the angry white woman

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Cartoon published in the Melbourne version of ...
Cartoon published in 14/04/1887: "Some foolish people imagine our ladies will neglect their family duties. Quite a mistake. 3 am. That dear good old creature, Mr. Speaker, is kind enough to take the blessed infant while the Hon. Member addresses the house." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WaPo: Consider the case of the angry white woman

From Washington Post, Comment by Juliana Jimenez

This is one amazing article on the intersection of sexism and racism. Damn. Impressed. Goes beyond the reporting.

Some commenters, men of course, were outraged, saying that “there’s not assault on women’s rights.” It’s actually kind of funny that these men go to forums like these, bristling with male entitlement, and end up showing off their willful ignorance. Have they not been following the news? Do these men have any idea what it’s like to not be able to decide when and how you have a baby, a.k.a when your body, your mind and the rest of your life are completely transformed from that moment on? Oh, they don’t? Ok, thought so. Now, shush.

More analysis on this issue to come later.

Why I Hate Women’s Day, or Every Day is Women’s Day

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A 1932 Soviet poster for International Women's Day
A 1932 Soviet poster for International Women’s Day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah, yeah, Happy Women’s Day. I appreciate the thought, but it still feels condescending to me. Limiting appreciating or even noticing an entire group of people to only one day, or to only one month a year (Black History Month, looking at you), seems a bit short-sighted. Though it seems very tolerant and liberal and appreciative, it may in fact be saying that we can dedicate this one day a year to doing this so that we can move on to the other 364 Man Days.

We can of course take advantage of it to highlight causes that are worth fighting. I’ve seen great posts by people on Twitter showing different NGOs that help women, and if people will only donate one day a year to those, then that’s better than no days at all. Maybe they will look at it today, get hooked on it and keep donating. It’s worth the shot.

But we also very much risk losing our souls to mindless cheezyness and pandering. I heard, a year ago, a radio commentator on Colombian radio say “so when you go home today, kiss your wife or girlfriend on her special day”, and everything they talked about that day was very much in the same vein. Well, that is not what Women’s Day should be about, at all. It’s not about doing something that should come natural to you anyway, or doing it in a condescending way: a kiss, a pat on the head, a “Good Girl!”.

It’s about acknowledging that the work that women do is real, that it is important, that they matter. Governments should use this day to demand women quotas in Congresses around the world, to rewrite rape laws, to fucking STOP the insane outlawing of contraception, stop the attacks on abortion rights, stop humiliating women in more creative ways than necessary to bully them out of choosing what they want to do with their bodies.

Nobody talks about maternal mortality, this blight on modern civilization, or the booming sex trafficking industry  – no, people today were all about “women are like flowers”, or whatever. Bu the pressures, the horror that some women go through just to make it alive in this fucked-up patriarchal douchebag world, even just to make a decent, or indecent, 76 cents on the dollar, are very real, and happen every day, not just today, the only day the world fails to notice.

If you want to be inspired by women who are badasses, if you want to do something about this, and really celebrate International Women’s Day as it should be celebrated, go here or read below

‘Semen Personhood’: Fighting Back the GOP’s War on Women

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Republican logo, "GOP"
Image via Wikipedia

By Juliana Jiménez

Yeah, ladies (and men), this is what I’m talking about! What a better way to spend this endless 24 hours of cheesyness that is International Women’s Day than reading about outlawing vasectomies, mandatory rectal exams for guys into Viagra, semen personhood. Yes, Republicans and minions, this is just how ridiculous your own bills are.

Mother Jones reports on several satirical laws that have been introduced in Congress to highlight all the regulating of women’s bodies that has been going on in Congress these days. Why not regulate men’s bodies, men’s sexuality? They are the ones that are always thinking about how to get you to have sex with them, right, everybody knows that? Stereotype? Myth? How come men are always making fun of women for having all these feelings, for not being like them and just having sex and getting over it? That’s right, guys, don’t complain if you are the ones who perpetuate your own negative stereotypes – it comes with the whole package.

Well, apparently it’s men who “want to have all this sex”, in the wise words of Master Cheeseball Rush Limbaugh, so bills that say health insurance should cover Viagra and the like are what we should be talking about. Stephen Colbert started it with his transurethral ultrasounds, but these people took it to another level of awesome.

An excerpt from MJ:

“Oklahoma: When a zygote-personhood bill came before the state Senate, Sen. Constance Johnson penned an amendment declaring that ejaculating anywhere outside a woman’s vagina constitutes ‘an action against an unborn child.’”

Not digging the GOP’s War on Women? March it out of your system, April 28, 2012.

The End of Rush Limbaugh – 45 Advertisers Leave Show

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Rush Limbaugh - Caricature
Rush Limbaugh - Caricature. Credit: DonkeyHotey.

By Juliana Jiménez

UPDATE: As of today, 45 advertisers have dropped Rush Limbaugh’s show, and there might be more in sight, according to the Rachel Maddow Show blog. And as if his lame “apology” wasn’t enough, he keeps burying himself deeper in national contempt by attacking a young author – you guessed, it, a woman – by calling her a

“babe”, an “authorette” and, more broadly, one of “these single white women.”

and then telling his audience,

“What is it with all of these young single white women, overeducated — doesn’t mean intelligent.”

Well, gee, Rush, thanks, overeducated – I’m blushing already. I don’t know what you meant, but I’ll take it as a compliment. At least it’s quite a step up from “slut”, “prostitute” or “feminazi”.

And then Bill Maher started defending him, sort of, saying liberals look petty by not rushing to forgive him, according to Slate. I think he was just getting nervous when the conversation started getting semi-deep and people started to wonder about him calling Sarah Palin a “cunt”. Sorry, Bill, it’s all fair game now.

Women Hold Up Half the Sky

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A 100 years ago, China was probably one of the worst places to be born a woman. They had to go around with bound feet and girls were given names like “Daughter #3″. Today, the situation is different. Female infanticide is a new problem, perhaps a problem of the 20th Century, enabled by ultrasounds that can determine the sex of the fetus and were made illegal to curb female-selective abortions.

But in spite of this, and other obstacles, it is perhaps one of the more equal places for the sexes, ahead of the United States. It was Mao Ze Dong who popularized the saying, “women hold up half the sky,” leaving gender parity as one of the good legacies of Communism in China.

Woman at a monastery in Litang, Sichuan Province
Woman at a monastery in Litang, Sichuan Province

Photostory by Juliana Jiménez

12 Advertisers Drop Rush Limbaugh

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By Juliana Jiménez

UPDATE: According to ThinkProgress, 12 advertisers have dropped Rush Limbaugh, including AOL, in light of his comments AND the outrage that followed.

Rush Limbaugh Cartoon: The face of the Republican Party
Rush Limbaugh cartoon by Ian D. Via Wikipedia.

Let’s be clear: they are not pulling away because of what he said; he has said much worse things about other women, other groups and he is not the only one who does it. Though the advertisers are being hypocritical, I for one I’m glad that this might signal the demise of Rush Limbaugh.

So let’s not all pretend like this is the first time in recent history that either Limbaugh or many, many others have insulted women in misogynistic and self-entitled male-privilege ways. Even Limbaugh himself spoke about this:

“Talk about a double standard,” Limbaugh said. “Rappers can say anything they want about women. It’s called art. And they win awards.”

Conservative radio and talk shows are riddled with misogyny, from Bill O’Reilly to Glenn Beck, even to Bill Maher, who called Sarah Palin a “cunt” — yet he never had to apologize, because nobody was outraged, and his advertisers didn’t start pulling away.