Fucking with Feministing: Squirt-o-Rama, Redux!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 17:26
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Posted by Reina Gattuso

Welcome to Fucking with Feministing, Feministing’s column about all things fucking and fucking-adjacent. Got a question about dildos? We’re on it. Want to explore fun, sexy sex outside of the realm of p-and-v intercourse? All over it, baby. Or maybe you’ve got a totally different question, which you can send in to reina@feministing.com to see answered on national television. Just kidding, it’ll be answered here, on the blog. 

I’m your host, Reina Gattuso, and if I’ve never done the thing you’re asking about, then I’ve at least spent hours looking at Google images of it for research purposes. Plus, our super rad partners (not, like, the physical sexual kind) at the Center for Sex and Culture definitely have the answers you’re looking for. So send me your sexy q’s at reina@feministing.com

And welcome to today’s topic: SQUIRT-O-RAMA, REDUX!

We’ve actually run a satisfying column on squirting already from the lovely and every-sexy Sesali, but the questions about this alluring practice continue to gush forth. The people want to know about squirting — and we’re here for the people.

So let’s revisit the debate and have a handy how-to on how to bring forth your inner fountain!

Today our fabulous reader asks:

What’s the trick with squirting? Does it feel good? Should I aim to learn how to do it because it benefits my sex life or is it something people see in porn and therefore think it’s sexy? Maybe I could learn it, but not if it doesn’t improve the already good sex I’m having.

Squirting probably comes up so much as a topic because in recent years it’s been featured in magazines and the like as one of the great mysteries of human sexuality, alongside the classics: “Can anyone actually suck their own dick?” and “Why am I attracted to Nicolas Cage??”

Is squirting real? Is squirting fake? Is squirting a myth invented to oppress women?

Nah, lots of people say they’ve squirted so it’s definitely real. But sexologists continue to debate the issue. Stirring questions in the realm of squirting include such age-old dilemmas as: Is squirting triggered by stimulating the G spot or is the G spot actually just part of a whole clitoral compound? Is the fluid that comes out of people when they squirt some special squirty-cum or is it just pee? 

Never fear, dear reader, for you are not alone on your journey for answers. For the purposes of writing this column, I am a fellow traveler with you on the squirty path of life. Luckily, our dear friends at the Centre for Sex and Culture are experts on squirting, so we’re in good hands.

So let’s get down to business and, like the rigorous sexy voyagers we are, examine several aspects of the issue. Namely: What exactly is squirting? How do you squirt? And, if I’m not squirting already, am I now obligated to learn the art of the squirt or else I’m a sexual nobody? (Nah.)

A Squirty Controversy

The debate on squirting has divided sexologists, people who work at feminist sex toy shops, and people who wear white coats in pharmaceutical adds for centuries — or at least a few decades.

First, the basics: Squirting, also called “female ejaculation,” is when someone without a penis ejaculates a fluid from their urethra, generally following a lot of G spot stimulation. Of course, because we’re feminists we know that the “female” in “female ejaculation” is misleading, since just ‘cause you don’t have a dick doesn’t mean you’re female.

Researchers have different opinions on squirting, a result of the relative lack of research on female pleasure in general and squirting more specifically. A controversy recently erupted, for example, when a very small study concluded that the fluid ejaculated during squirting is actually urine, a conclusion which the squirting humans of Twitter have vociferously protested.

As far as we know, however, squirting totally exists, results from G spot stimulation, and the ejaculate that results comes from the Skene’s gland. This is a gland located on the upper wall of the vagina, part of the complex known as the “prostata femina,” or “female prostate” (which again, misleading, ‘cause not all people with vaginas are female!). When you get this complex really, really happy, it erupts.

Some of the controversy about this happy organ and its ejaculatory fun, our friend Carol at the Center for Sex and Culture has noted, is because it’s quite possible not all women actually have Skene’s glands. And it’s also possible that some women pee a little during sex. The body is strange and this is all normal and acceptable, so don’t panic!

The Squirty Journey

So, how do you squirt? It’s all about the g spot.

First off, if you’re embarking on a journey to squirt city, remind yourself that sex is not a goal-oriented endeavor and that even if you don’t squirt, you get to touch yourself/have a partner touch you for a long time, which is great in and of itself.

If you care about not getting your sheets wet and you’re feeling optimistic, put down a towel. Also, so that you’re not paranoid about peeing on said towel, pee before you begin.

Now turn yourself on, friend (or recruit an enthusiastic lover to help you). Whatever gets you going. Book, porn, National Treasure parts 1 and 2. Stroke where you want to be stroked. Light a candle like Our Body, Ourselves used to suggest, if you get off on scented candles. Go to town on yourself (clit’s a good idea!).

When you’re super turned on, try meeting the G spot, if you’re not already friends. The G spot is located a couple inches into the vagina, and feels like a ribbed or spongy place on the upper wall. If you can feel it, give it a good press.

Also, remember that everything is chill and that even if you don’t have a moment of G spot revelation where you’re like “IT HATH BEEN FOUND!”, you’re totally normal. For years I thought I had found my G spot until a girlfriend actually stimulated my G spot for the first time. It really can feel like you’ve got to pee, but in a sexy way.

Now is where we get into the sticky part: G spot pressure. Lots of pressure. Use your fingers or use a sex toy; most of all, use your imagination! 

I personally get this far in my squirting journey, feel super pee-tastic, and then get really tense about the pee thing, which totally prevents the squirt thing. So don’t be like me: embrace the pee, listen to Sesali and enjoy the ride!

Pro tip: If you actually do pee at any point in the squirting journey, that’s okay. This is why we have detergent and water to wash sheets. No one will perish tragically from exposure to squirting-adjacent urine and you will get a great sex story out of it.

Go you!

If I’m not already squirting do I have to go and learn squirting or else I’ll be a sexual nobody???

No!

If you are already a squirtin’ diva, that is awesome for you and I hope you are having lots of fun! Go you, human!

If you’re not already squirting like a water gun, but you feel that getting your ejaculation on would be a super fun experience that would up your general sexual hilarity, go for it! Try following the above advice, and hey — let me know if it works.

If you’re not a squirter and you feel that this particular piece of sexual trivia sounds meh/too complicated/or it is just not high on your priority list, you totally never have to read, think, or even utter the word “squirt” again. While we 100% respect the experiences of people who find that squirting is a great part of their sexual existence, we don’t all have to squirt ourselves. To each their very own, baby.

And as to whether porn has misled us as to the reality or desirability of squirting: People sometimes see things performed dramatically for a camera, are turned on by those things, and then want to replicate these things in the home bedroom and maybe even stake their sense of personal satisfaction on whether they can replicate said things. These attempts range from “borderline unrealistic” to “only safe for trained professionals,” depending on the activity. And also, of course, what mainstream pornography often does not adequately display is the wonderful variety of human sexuality.

So if you’re into squirty porn, that’s great, but don’t let it lead you to believe that you’re inadequate if you can’t squirt or can’t release, like, an entire bottle of whipped cream from your genitals. Also, if you find mainstream porn is giving you performance anxiety, might be a good moment to try out queer and feminist alternatives! At the end of the day, just remember that each human body is unique and does different things and that is why being a human is awesome.

Now, dear reader, we have come to the end. I wish you luck on your squirty journey, whatever form it takes. Enjoy, and remember — the journey, not the quantity of fluid ejaculated by your nether regions, is the real succor of life.

We Resist: Day 272

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 12:15
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Trump Is a Terrible President Because He's a Terrible Human Being. And from late yesterday: Trump Muslim Ban Thwarted a Third Time.

Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post: Second Judge Rules Against Latest Travel Ban, Saying Trump's Own Words Show It Was Aimed at Muslims.
A federal judge in Maryland early Wednesday issued a second halt on the latest version of [Donald] Trump's travel ban, asserting that the president's own comments on the campaign trail and on Twitter convinced him that the directive was akin to an unconstitutional Muslim ban.

U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang issued a somewhat less complete halt on the ban than his counterpart in Hawaii did a day earlier, blocking the administration from enforcing the directive only on those who lacked a "bona fide" relationship with a person or entity in the United States, such as family members or some type of professional or other engagement in the United States.

But in some ways, Chuang's ruling was more personally cutting to Trump, as he said the president's own words cast his latest attempt to impose a travel blockade as the "inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban."

Omar Jadwat, who directs of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and represented those suing in Maryland over the ban, said: "Like the two versions before it, [Donald] Trump's latest travel ban is still a Muslim ban at its core. And like the two before it, this one is going down to defeat in the courts."
In other immigration news...


From the linked article at Mic by Emily Singer and Ashley Edwards: "Army recruiters have been told to stop enlisting green card holders into the Army effective immediately, according to an email sent to military recruiters and obtained by Mic, a move that experts say breaks federal law."

And in other military news... Susan McCord at the Augusta Chronicle: Religious Freedom Group Reports Christian Proselytizing Forced on Some Soldiers at Fort Gordon Barbecue. "A religious freedom organization is calling on post leadership at Fort Gordon to take action after some soldiers reported they were forced to undergo fundamentalist Christian proselytizing by an Army chaplain during a Saturday 'spiritual' barbecue. A post official said attendance was voluntary. [Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation] said the soldiers were marched to a Fort Gordon chapel Saturday under belief the event was mandatory. At the chapel, loud Christian rock music played and an Army chaplain tried 'his level best to get them to accept and surrender to his version of the gospel of Jesus Christ,' Weinstein said."

Christian Supremacy has long been an issue in the U.S. military. But previous presidents, unlike Donald Trump, weren't keen to be commander-in-chief of a white nationalist Christian crusade. George W. Bush was bad, and he doesn't hold a tiki torch to Trump. This is very concerning.

* * *

Shannon Vavra at Axios: Poll: 46% Think Media Invent Stories About Trump. "That 46% is largely divided on partisan lines — 76% of Republican voters think media make up stories about Trump while only one in five Democrat voters think that, a Politico and Morning Consult poll shows. Those who strongly approve of Trump's job performance are very likely (85%) to think the media makes up stories."

Because they refuse to listen to the "fake news" media and thus only listen to Trump, who continually tells them that the media is feeding them "fake news," creating a self-reinforcing loop of fuckery.

I mean: Esme Cribb at TPM: Trump Vents on Twitter About 'Fiction Writers,' Democrats, Obamacare. "Donald Trump took to Twitter late Tuesday afternoon to complain about 'fiction writers' at cable networks and 'dying magazines and newspapers.' ...'So much Fake News being put in dying magazines and newspapers,' Trump tweeted. 'Only place worse may be @NBCNews, @CBSNews, @ABC and @CNN. Fiction writers!' It was unclear whether Trump was referring to any particular report of a number published recently that seemed likely to draw his ire."

It doesn't even matter. A specific report, or reporting generally. Either way. Neither. Who cares. The whole objective is to convince his base that the media is lying to them about Trump. And he's been wildly successful in achieving that goal, just by reiterating "fake news" relentlessly.

The target doesn't matter. What matters is making sure that people hear it over and over.

* * *

[Content Note: Disablism] Senator Tammy Duckworth at the Washington Post: Congress Wants to Make Americans with Disabilities Second-Class Citizens Again.
At the signing ceremony [for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990], President George H.W. Bush noted that before the ADA, "tragically, for too many Americans, the blessings of liberty have been limited or even denied. The Civil Rights Act of '64 took a bold step towards righting that wrong. But the stark fact remained that people with disabilities were still victims of segregation and discrimination, and this was intolerable." Bush declared, "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down."

Decades later, the forces of discrimination are working hard to rebuild that wall. Led by the hospitality and retail industries, special interests want to shift the burden of ADA compliance away from business owners and onto individuals with disabilities. They're backing a bill that has already passed the House Judiciary Committee, the so-called ADA Education and Reform Act, which would reward businesses that fail to comply with the law. The bill would allow businesses to wait until they are notified of their failure to meet legal obligations before they even have to start removing barriers that prevent Americans with disabilities from leading independent lives.

This offensive legislation would segregate the disability community, making it the only protected class under civil rights law that must rely on "education" — rather than strong enforcement — to guarantee access to public spaces.

...For decades, from enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through passage of the ADA, Congress has worked to enshrine the principle in law that no American should be denied access to a public space because of who they are, be it their race, nationality, religion, gender, or disability. The ADA Education and Reform Act betrays this bipartisan legacy.
The Republicans don't care about their legacy. All they care about is destruction and winning. At any cost.

* * *

Annie Karni and Josh Dawsey at Politico: Spicer Interviewed by Mueller's Team. "Donald Trump's former press secretary Sean Spicer met with special counsel Robert Mueller's team on Monday for an interview that lasted much of the day, according to multiple people familiar with the meeting. During his sitdown, Spicer was grilled about the firing of former FBI director James Comey and his statements regarding the firing, as well as about Trump's meetings with Russians officials including one with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office, one person familiar with the meeting said." I'm sure Mueller got tons of great info, since Spicer definitely isn't known to be a world-class fucking liar.

Ari Melber, Meredith Mandell, and Mirjam Lablans at NBC News: Putin Rival Ties Kushner Meeting to Kremlin Bankers. "A prominent exiled Russian oligarch said in an exclusive interview with NBC News that he is nearly certain Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to collaborate with the Trump campaign, and that he believes a top Russian banker was not 'acting on his own behalf' when he held a controversial meeting with Jared Kushner last December. The pointed remarks come from a longtime Putin rival, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oil executive who was Russia's richest man before he was imprisoned and exiled by the Kremlin. 'I am almost convinced that Putin's people have tried to influence the U.S. election in some way,' Khodorkovsky told MSNBC's Ari Melber in his first U.S. television interview since Trump took office."

Khodorkovsky estimates the likelihood that Putin tried personally to collude with Donald Trump's campaign to affect the election as a "9 out of 10." I don't guess it needs to be said that he has made these statements at great personal risk. I hope he remains safe.

[CN: White supremacy; nativism; Islamophobia] Benjamin Elgin and Vernon Silver at Bloomberg: Facebook and Google Helped Anti-Refugee Campaign in Swing States. "Unlike Russian efforts to secretly influence the 2016 election via social media, this American-led campaign was aided by direct collaboration with employees of Facebook and Google. They helped target the ads to more efficiently reach the intended audiences, according to internal reports from the ad agency that ran the campaign, as well as five people involved with the efforts. Facebook advertising salespeople, creative advisers, and technical experts competed with sales staff from Alphabet Inc.'s Google for millions in ad dollars from Secure America Now, the conservative, nonprofit advocacy group whose campaign included a mix of anti-Hillary Clinton and anti-Islam messages, the people said."

[CN: Bigotry] Kevin Collier at BuzzFeed: Twitter Was Warned Repeatedly About This Fake Account Run by a Russian Troll Farm and Refused to Take It Down. "Twitter took 11 months to close a Russian troll account that claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party even after that state's real GOP notified the social media company that the account was a fake. The account, @TEN_GOP, was enormously popular, amassing at least 136,000 followers between its creation in November 2015 and when Twitter shut it down in August, according to a snapshot of the account captured by the Internet Archive just before the account was 'permanently suspended.' ...Twitter, already under fire, along with Facebook, for being slow to recognize its role in Russian election meddling, declined to comment. A spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the company does not comment on individual accounts."

Five years ago, if you'd told me that Donald Trump would be president and BuzzFeed would be doing some of the most trenchant reporting on technological espionage, I probably would have just gone ahead and fired myself directly into the sun then.

* * *

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: White House Doc Links Manufacturing Decline to Uptick in Abortions Sans Data. "A document circulated within the White House in September claimed that the demise of the American manufacturing industry has led to an uptick in abortions, divorce, infertility and opioid abuse without offering any evidence, according to a Tuesday report in the Washington Post. ...One unnamed administration official told the Post that the document was distributed to White House staff, while a different administration official said that Cabinet leaders saw the document." Cool.

[CN: Reproductive coercion] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: 'Anti-Choice Fanaticism' in the U.S. Immigration System: The Real Reason Jane Doe's Abortion Request Is Being Denied. "On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a second emergency action on behalf of Jane Doe, an unaccompanied immigrant minor being 'held hostage' by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), after a district court on Wednesday denied a request for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed the teen to access an abortion. ...'The Trump administration's action is shocking — a young woman is essentially being held hostage and forced by federal officials to continue a pregnancy against her will,' said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. 'And this case isn't the only one — nationally, the federal government is obstructing young immigrant women's access to abortion. It's blatantly unconstitutional, not to mention unconscionable.'" Goddammit.

[CN: Homophobia; self-harm; eliminationism] Michael Fitzgerald at Towleroad: Flyers Encouraging LGBT Kids to Commit Suicide Posted at Cleveland State University on Day It Opens LGBT Center. "Fliers were distributed around the Cleveland State University (CSU) on Monday urging LGBT students to commit suicide. Reading 'Follow you fellow f----ts,' the fliers appeared on the same day the school's LGBT center opened. It included statistics of suicide rates in the LGBT community and an illustration of a man with a noose tied around his neck." This, within the context of Donald Trump having "joked" that Mike Pence wants to hang all gays.

The ugliness that this administration has unleashed and empowered. I will never, ever, stop being filthy angry.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

Please Support Shakesville

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 11:00
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of a piggy bank next to a sign reading: 'bi-monthly fundraising reminder'

teaspoon icon This is, for those who have requested it, your bi-monthly reminder to donate to Shakesville and an important fundraiser to keep Shakesville going.

If you value the content and/or community in this space, please consider setting up a subscription or making a one-time contribution.

If you have appreciated being able to tune into Shakesville and/or my Twitter feed for coverage of politics, for deconstruction of the rape culture, for curated news about the Trump administration and/or the resistance, for media analysis, for a safe and image-free space to discuss difficult subjects, for the Fat Fashion or Shaker Gourmet threads, or for whatever else you appreciate at Shakesville, whether it's the moderation, community in the Open Threads, video transcripts, the blogarounds, or anything else, please remember that Shakesville is run exclusively on donations.

I cannot afford to do this full-time for free, but, even if I could, fundraising is also one of the most feminist acts I do here. I ask to be paid for my work because progressive feminist advocacy has value; because women's work has value.

I would certainly be grateful for your support, if you are able to chip in. The donation link is in the sidebar to the right. Or click here.

Thank you to each of you who donates or has donated, whether monthly or as a one-off. I am deeply appreciative. This community couldn't exist without that support, truly. Thank you.

My thanks as well to everyone who contributes to the space in other ways, whether as a contributor, a moderator, a guest writer, a transcriber, and/or as someone who takes the time to send me a note of support and encouragement. (Or cool artwork!) This community couldn't exist without you, either.

Please note that I don't want anyone to feel obliged to contribute financially, especially if money is tight. There is a big enough readership that no one needs to donate if it would be a hardship, and no one should ever feel bad about that. ♥
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

U.S. Special Forces Sgt. La David T. Johnson was killed, along with three other soldiers, on the border of Niger and Mali on October 4. Following 12 days of silence, Donald Trump finally called the fallen soldiers' families.

When he spoke to Johnson's widow, Myeshia Johnson, Rep. Frederica Wilson was with her, and overheard the conversation. She described what happened to CNN's Don Lemon:

LEMON: How is she doing tonight?

WILSON: Oh, she's — she's very distraught. And, ah, we were in the car together, in the limousine, headed to meet the body at the airport, so — I heard what he said, because the phone was on speaker.

LEMON: What did he say?

WILSON: Well, basically, he said, ah, "Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for. But I guess it still hurts."

LEMON: Hmm.

WILSON: That's what he said.

LEMON: The president said to her, uh, "He knew what he signed up for"—

WILSON: "He knew what he was signing up for."

LEMON: "But when it happens, it hurts anyway."

WILSON: Uh-huh.

LEMON: Yeah.

WILSON: So, it's almost as if— This is a young, young woman, who has two children, who is six months pregnant with a third child; she has just lost her husband; she was just told that he cannot have an open casket funeral, which gives her all kinds of nightmares how his body must look, how his face must look; and this is what the President of the United States says to her?!
Let us all take a moment to appreciate the stunning bravery of Rep. Wilson for immediately going public with this callous exchange, despite the fact that she certainly anticipated the blowback she'd get when Trump inevitably called her a liar. Which he has.


Wilson stands by her account, plainly saying "the president evidently is lying, because what I said is true," and noting: "I have proof, too. This man is a sick man."

This story is not over. Because Trump will continue to not give a single shit about this grieving family he's already harmed with his unfathomable callousness.

My condolences to Myeshia Johnson and her children; to the rest of Sgt. La David Johnson's family; to his friends and colleagues. I am so sorry for your loss. And I am so sorry that our despicable president has caused you additional pain.

"He's Harmless"

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 08:30
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

Last night, I published a thread on Twitter about how "he's harmless" has a very particular role in abetting the rape culture. In case you missed it, I turned it into a moment: How "He's Harmless" Functions to Abet Predators.

Although I started out with one specific story of how "he's harmless" has worked in my experience, there have been dozens of times in which I've personally been dismissed that way or seen other women be dismissed that way.

I genuinely hope men will read this and reflect on the times they might have responded to a women's concerns by telling her that the guy about whom she's concerned is "harmless," and what it means to say that to a woman, or women, reporting being harmed.

Question of the Day

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 18:00
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Suggested by Shaker catvoncat: "What are your favorite new fall TV shows?"

The only new show I've watched is Ghosted, which I made a point to check out because it stars two of my favorites: Craig Robinson and Adam Scott. I don't love it so far, but I like it enough to keep giving it a chance.

The Make-Up Thread

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 17:00
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Here is your semi-regular make-up thread, to discuss all things make-up and make-up adjacent.

Do you have a make-up product you'd recommend? Are you looking for the perfect foundation which has remained frustratingly elusive? Need or want to offer make-up tips? Searching for hypoallergenic products? Want to grouse about how you hate make-up? Want to gush about how you love it?

Whatever you like—have at it!

* * *

Deeks and I had a sleepover last weekend, where we had lots o' fun with make-up! Probably our favorite item of the evening was my recently acquired Infallible Paints Metallics Lip Color from L'Oréal in Galactic Foil. GALACTIC FOIL!

image of me modeling metallic red lips, while wearing some goofy '80s sunglasses
Fuck yeah metallic lips!

image of Deeky sitting in my dining room wearing a green face peel and applying the lipstain
Hulk pretty!

(As always, I'm not affiliated with L'Oréal in any way, nor am I getting anything in exchange for this recommendation. I just like the product!)

It's funny how sleepovers when you're in your 40s are basically the same as when you're 13. At least in my house, lol.

Anyway! What's up with you?

* * *

Please note, as always, that advice should be not be offered to an individual person unless they solicit it. Further: This thread is open to everyone—women, men, genderqueer folks. People who are make-up experts, and people who are make-up newbies. Also, because there is a lot of racist language used in discussions of make-up, and in make-up names, please be aware to avoid turns of phrase that are alienating to women of color, like "nude" or "flesh tone" when referring to a peachy or beige color. I realize some recommended products may have names that use these words, so please be considerate about content noting for white supremacist (and/or Orientalist) product naming.

Trump Muslim Ban Thwarted a Third Time

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 15:45
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Islamophobia.]

The White House's attempts to get around court rulings staying their Muslim bans by adding countries that aren't predominantly Muslim didn't work exactly as they'd hoped.

Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post reports:
A federal judge on Tuesday largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing the latest version of the president's controversial travel ban, setting up yet another legal showdown on the extent of the executive branch's powers when it comes to setting immigration policy.

The decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii is sure to be appealed, but for now, it means that the administration cannot restrict the entry of travelers from six of the eight countries that officials said were either unable or unwilling to provide information the U.S. wanted to vet their citizens.

The latest ban was set to fully go into effect in the early morning hours of October 18, barring various types of travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela. Watson's order stops it, at least temporarily, with respect to all the countries except North Korea and Venezuela.

...The measure was only put into effect after an extensive process in which the U.S. negotiated with other countries for information, and the list of countries affected now includes two countries that are not Muslim-majority: Venezuela and North Korea.

Challengers to the ban argue, though, that the additions are mainly symbolic: the ban only affects certain government officials from Venezuela, and very few people actually travel to the U.S. from North Korea each year. They note Trump himself promised a "larger, tougher, and more specific" ban — meaning the new version would have the same legal problems as the prior iterations.
Basically, the ruling is: Nice try, but we ain't buying it, pal. That's good news for now — but this is still far from over.
[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Meg Sri

Last week, the United States’ men’s soccer team lost 2-1 in a World Cup Qualifier to Trinidad and Tobago, the only team below them in the group standings, sending them crashing out of the Men’s World Cup for the first time since 1986 in what some are calling “the worst loss in the history of U.S. Men’s Soccer.” It seems a good a time as any to remember that it was only in April this year that the U.S. women’s too, lost an important fight: the battle to gain equal pay with the men’s team. And it also seems a good time to remember that while the U.S. men comically crashed out of the World Cup, the women won it in 2015.

The deeper one dives, the more embarrassing the record is. The U.S. women’s team’s record in World Cups the past twenty years includes two victories, one second-place finish, and three third-place finishes. The men’s involves one non-qualification, two exits at the Group Stages, two at the Round of 16, and one high of a quarterfinal finish. The women have lost only two Olympic gold medals between 1996 and 2016. The (under-23, but nonetheless) men did not qualify three times in the same period.

The history of U.S. men’s soccer is far from illustrious in general, especially on the international stage. As FiveThirtyEight points out, “In the 1998 World Cup and the 2006 World Cup — the last two on European soil — it combined for one tie and five losses. In 2015, the team was stunned at home in the Gold Cup semifinal by Jamaica, which at the time was ranked 76th in the world by FIFA.” Meanwhile, the women’s team has been characterized by roaring  successes, entertaining play, stimulating victories, and renewed public interest in soccer. They also now bring in more game revenue than men, bringing in $23 million last year, and turned over 3 times as much profit as the men in 2016. U.S. Soccer predicts the same will happen in 2017 for the women — while the men are expected to turn over a loss of $1 million.

In March 2016, five of the U.S. women’s team players filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that U.S. soccer acted discriminatorily in paying its female players less than those on the men’s team. The complaint pointed out some startling figures: women, if they won and including their win bonus, would earn $4,950 per game; the men would earn $5,000 just for showing up (and a whopping $8,166 if they won, rare as that might be). If women won all their games in a year, they’d earn $99,000 — still less than the men’s salary for just showing up and losing every game, at $100,000. And that’s not counting the litany of smaller discriminatory practices: coach flights vs. business class; dangerous artificial turf vs. real fields; and lower per diems and pay for sponsor appearances.

The fight did end in some form of victory in April this year: women’s players got pay raises of over 30%, better bonuses, higher per diems, and other financial benefits. And yet U.S. soccer couldn’t take the final leap and pay a multiple World Cup-winning, tremendously victorious side that is more financially profitable the same amount of money as a mediocre side that crashes out of a World Cup and expects to net a revenue loss.

Last week’s World Cup qualifier loss was a sobering reminder to some soccer fans about systemic problems with U.S. men’s soccer. But to many of us, it is also a sobering reminder to women: you can be twice or thrice as good as men, but you still cannot expect to be treated or paid on par with them.

Header image via

Northern California Wildfires Thread

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 14:30
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Fire; displacement; death.]

Last Friday, I reported that there had been 31 confirmed deaths from the wildfires in California. By yesterday, that number had climbed to 41. Erin McCormick and Julia Carrie Wong at the Guardian report:
The fires have thus far burned over 213,000 acres and destroyed approximately 5,700 structures, according to the state fire agency. Forty people died in last week's flames, making it the deadliest week in California wildfire history. On Monday, another fatality was reported after a driver delivering water to the fire lines was killed when his truck overturned.

About 100 people remain unaccounted for in Sonoma County, where more than 1,700 were at one point listed as missing.

..."The biggest challenge for us is the sheer number of people who need help," said [Sonoma County's newly organized emergency assistance] center's director, Michael Gossman, who is usually an administrator with the county water agency but took on a new role to help with the relief efforts. About 500 fire victims had been served by the center by midday Sunday.

...In all, about one in every 20 homes in the city were wiped out over the past week, a crisis that will only exacerbate an already tight rental market. The city's rents grew 50% over the past five years, the fastest growth in the country, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Zillow data.

But recovery will probably be significantly more challenging for renters and low-income people, especially if they did not have insurance.

Diego Pacheco's family helped him apply for Section 8 housing vouchers and rental assistance, but Rios said that they had been informed it could take months for the applications to be processed. Relief workers also distributed a list of current apartment vacancies in Santa Rosa, but most were renting for $1,200 to $1,600 a month, well above the $700 rent Pacheco paid at the mobile home park.
The fires continue to burn, although a break in the weather, including the possibility of rain, will help with containment. There have been substantial losses, in lives and property, and there is vast and urgent need.

Since yesterday morning, Donald Trump tweeted 11 times, including one retweet. Four of those tweets were about how awesome the stock market is doing; three of those tweets were shit-talking Democrats; two of them were about his appearances; one was about Rep. Tom Marino withdrawing from consideration as Trump's drug czar; and one was about "Crooked Hillary." He did not tweet about the wildfires.

In fact, he has not tweeted about the wildfires at all. Not a single time.

A San Francisco Chronicle editorial asks: "California Burns: Where's the President?"
Trump has offered no more than a few perfunctory words about the Wine Country fires that have left at least 40 dead, consumed thousands of structures, and stretched the physical and mental mettle of the dedicated firefighters and medical professionals to the edge of exhaustion.

On [October 10], before welcoming the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, Trump said he had spoken with Gov. Jerry Brown and that the federal government would stand with the "people of California and be there with you in this time of terrible tragedy and need."

That's it? No talk of visiting California? No expressions of appreciation for the first responders? No condolences for those who lost their lives, or the many more who lost their homes? No recognition or pledges of federal support for the monumental task of rebuilding the neighborhoods and business that were devoured in the fire?

Then again, how much is a Trump pledge worth, anyway? His typically rapid-fire succession of tweets this week included some that seemed to blame Puerto Rico for its post-hurricane financial crisis and a warning that "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

This is a president who views tweets as his primary means of connecting with the people, without the media filter he loathes. Dare we suggest that forcing NFL players to stand for the national anthem — to name one of his recent obsessions — is not a life-and-death situation. The fires are.

And how many times has Trump tweeted about the fires since they were whipped by winds into life-threatening force early Monday: zero.
But he's had time to tweet this: "A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag. 'Stand for Anthem or sit for game!'"

And this: "With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have 'tanked,' in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!"

And this: "My great honor to host the 2017 back-to-back #StanleyCup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins at the WH with FLOTUS today!"

And this: "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!"

And this: "Joining @SeanHannity tonight at 9pmE on @FoxNews. Enjoy!"

And this: "Clips from tax speech and @seanhannity on @foxandfriends now. Have a great day!"

And this: "People are just now starting to find out how dishonest and disgusting (FakeNews) @NBCNews is. Viewers beware. May be worse than even @CNN!"

And this: "Such a wonderful statement from the great @LouDobbs. 'We take up what may be the most accomplished presidency in modern American history.'"

And this:


And ten heaping dumpsters of similar garbage. Because he is an utter disgrace to the office of the presidency and to this nation.

I am so sorry to the residents of California who are being let down by their president on top of what is already a complex and devastating crisis.

As ever, please feel welcome and encouraged to share information, ideas, and resources in comments, and let's keep this an image-free thread. Thanks.

#MeToo: On Trust

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 17:00
[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Maya Dusenbery

#MeToo, of course.

I consider myself exceedingly lucky to have only experienced minor forms of harassment and mostly as an adult, so that its impact on me has felt comparatively very small. But to paraphrase Jessica Valenti, who would I be if I didn’t live in a world of pervasive sexual violence? That’s a question none of us can answer. 

As Mahroh discusses in her piece, there are things to like and dislike about this #MeToo campaign, but I appreciate that it seems to be getting at a few basic things that I think are important for men—since they are the main problem here—to understand:

Literally every woman you interact with has probably had experiences of sexual harassment, assault, and rape, that have been more or less traumatic to her, and you likely don’t know where on that spectrum we fall and how it has shaped us. If you are a person who wants to have any kind of relationships based on mutual trust with women, that should scare you to your core and be something you want to help change—for ethical but also purely self-interested reasons.

Women are affected not just by our own direct experiences but also by those of other women. We talk. We should probably talk more actually, but we clearly talk more to each other about these experiences than we do to you. Maybe you are surprised by all the “me too” posts, but we are probably not. It can, I think, be difficult for those who don’t live it to fully grasp that it’s the cumulative effect of these experiences, individual and collective, big and small—which is visually represented nicely by the stream of posts in our Facebook and Twitter feeds this week—that’s so damaging.

And it’s also this: the perpetual uncertainty about when the “minor” stuff might turn into the “major” stuff, and how the latter gives the former far more power. My own experiences being harassed on midwestern streets and NYC subways are nothing like being raped, of course. But a cat-caller is only scary at all because we don’t know when one might follow us home. And a guy who aggressively pushes for sex wouldn’t make us so queasy if we felt 100 percent sure he’d listen if we said no.

I hope that men see every “me too” post as representing a very good reason—and usually more than one—for all women not to trust men. #YesALLmen because it’s precisely that uncertainty—and the consequent need for constant guardedness—that’s so corrosive. If being distrustful of a whole gender strikes you as terrible and unfair—well, yes, that it absolutely is. It is no way to live but that is the reality that all women are forced to manage in some way.

Sometimes, some of us—the lucky ones whose direct experiences have been minor enough that they haven’t been etched into our very nervous systems—may try to distance ourselves from the collective trauma and delude ourselves into believing that we are immune. That the major stuff only happens to other women or perhaps at the hands of other men. That we are smarter, tougher, more careful. Sometimes, some of us—and I’d count myself in this—may recognize that it’s just a matter of luck (often with a good dose of privilege) but consciously and recklessly choose to trust men anyway because, whatever the risks, being always wary takes a toll on your soul too. Sometimes we are just afraid.

him, though

Image via Liz Plank

One of the valid critiques of the #MeToo trend is that it is focused, as these conversations so often are, on the survivors, rather than the perpetrators and enablers; that it asks women to bear their pain instead of asking men for reflection and accountability. I agree that a turning of the tables is useful here, and while like Mahroh, I’m not sure that this current outpouring will change much, if it does provoke some self-analysis among men, I’d suggest starting here: How does it feel to know you are distrusted because of your gender? What toll does that take on your soul? And how much power are you willing to give up to make that not true?

Header image via

Daily Dose of Cute

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 13:30
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt lying on the floor in front of my desk chair with her front paws crossed politely, looking up at me
Zelda patiently waits for me to return to my desk.
"These posts aren't gonna write themselves, Two-Legs!"

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

We Resist: Day 271

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 12:15
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Weinstein Made Us Pay Attention. What Next?

[Content Note: War on agency] AP/USNWR: Bill Bars UW Employees from Working at Planned Parenthood. "University of Wisconsin employees would no longer be allowed to work part-time at Planned Parenthood under a bill supported by anti-abortion advocates that's up for a public hearing. ...The measure would prohibit UW employees from performing abortions or providing training at facilities where abortions are performed, other than hospitals. It targets an arrangement between Planned Parenthood and UW in which faculty members work part-time at the organization's Madison clinic."

As Eastsidekate, who sent me this item, said (which I'm sharing with her permission): "They're specifically trying to prevent med students and young doctors from obtaining training on reproductive health. There was a bill this Spring prohibiting UW from teaching abortion, this is meant to close the loop."

This is another part of the "chip away at Roe" strategy: Anti-choicers don't need the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade if they render it an empty statute by eroding abortion access the nation. And what better way to erode access to abortion than to make sure no doctors are trained to terminate pregnancies?

This puts me in the mood to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a hundred million years ago during the Bush Era, there was a movement on the feminist blogs to teach women how to perform abortions. And a bunch of people (progressive dudes) were all WHAT A BUNCH OF HYSTERICAL ALARMISTS ALSO YOU ARE TERRIBLE ABORTIONS SHOULD BE DONE BY PROFESSIONALS YOU CREEPS, and we were all, uh, yeah, we agree, but what about when that's not an option? We're planning for that. And people (progressive dudes) were like SHUT UP THIS IS WHY WE HATE FEMINISTS. The end.

Now I'm just an ancient feminist harpy who doesn't know how politics work and you should definitely never listen to me, but I think this is a very compelling case study in how often the most intransigent barriers to feminist work aren't conservatives but progressive men.

It wasn't right-wingers who were raising hell about feminists trying to disseminate information about how to perform abortions. To them, it was just like, of course that's what feminists are doing because they love abortion and are demons.

It was the progressive bros who were SLIPPERYSLOPE!-ing us and telling us that we were the problem with the left and all the usual horseshit, silencing us under the auspices that we were going to "hurt the movement" with our alarmism and extremism, instead of listening to us and understanding that we were sounding alarms with good fucking reason.

Instead of taking us seriously and allying with us, they pushed back against us, doing the work of our opponents. And now here we are. Again.

Way back when, a hundred million years ago, Shakesville used a different commenting system, which is now defunct, and that is sad, because I wish I could link to a thread that reached 500+ comments and was about disseminating abortion instructions and followed this exact dynamic. Aphra_Behn and I were just recalling how TERRIFIC that thread was; some of you longterm readers may remember it, too — as a libertarian dude now famous for his Hillary hatred was a prominent participant.

I literally had progressive dudes screaming at me that I was the reason Bush was reelected because I supported sharing information about how to perform abortions, in the event access was completely eroded in some or all parts of the country.

And now here we are. It turns out that we were not the worst threat to the progressive movement, but ahead of the fucking curve. Again. And the people shouting at us that we were the worst threat to the progressive movement misdirected their energies. Again. And conservatives just marched right on to enact the agenda we were trying to tell you was their agenda in the vacuum of inattention caused by the progressive dudes who are convinced that feminists are their worst enemy. Again.

Whoops.

* * *

Here is a clip of Donald Trump just boasting about his malice (specifically, destroying the Affordable Care Act):

At best you could say it's in its final legs. The premiums are going through the roof; the deductibles are so high that people don't get to use it.

Obamacare is a disgrace to our nation. And we are solving the problem of Obamacare, okay?

Thank you all very much. Thank you.
"Obamacare is a disgrace to our nation" may be the ultimate statement of projection.

* * *

Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump: I've Called 'Virtually' All Gold Star Families. "Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had called 'virtually' every family of service members who have died during his presidency. The White House did not answer TPM's questions about whether 'virtually everybody' included the families of the four Green Berets who were killed in Niger on Oct. 4. On Monday, Trump acknowledged in an impromptu press conference that he had not yet contacted the families, 12 days and counting after the ambush that left their loved ones dead. ...Trump also baselessly accused former President Barack Obama and other former presidents of not calling the loved ones of fallen service members, an accusation that multiple former Obama administration officials swiftly denied." This fucking guy.

Rachel West, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, and Melissa Boteach at the Center for American Progress: This Is How Much Average Americans Will Pay for Trump's Tax Cuts for the 1 Percent. "According to analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, under Trump's plan, the average household in the bottom 99 percent would see its taxes decrease $343 in 2027, the final year of the conventional 10-year budget analysis. Meanwhile, the average household in the top 1 percent would see a tax cut of $207,060 — more than 600 times larger. And while ultrawealthy households would reap huge benefits, by 2027, 1 in 4 households would actually see their taxes increase under Trump's plan."

Jason Zengerle at the New York Times: Rex Tillerson and the Unraveling of the State Department. This whole thing is quite a read, but woo this shit right here:
But building a good rapport with the head of state of his own country has, so far, proved to be beyond Tillerson's formidable abilities. According to some people who are close to Trump, his disappointment with Tillerson is as much personal as it is professional. "Trump originally thought he could have a relationship with Tillerson that's almost social," says one Trump adviser, "the way his relationships are with Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin."

But unlike Trump's commerce and treasury secretaries — plutocrats who, like Trump, are on their third, younger wives — Tillerson, who is 65 and has been married to the same woman for 31 years, has shown little interest in being the president's running buddy; instead of Saturday-night dinners with Trump at his Washington hotel, Tillerson favors trips home to Texas to see his grandchildren or to Colorado to visit his nonagenarian parents.

(The White House, provided a detailed list of questions relating to Tillerson and his relationship with Trump as described in this article, responded with the following official statement: "The president has assembled the most talented cabinet in history and everyone continues to be dedicated towards advancing the president's America First agenda. Anything to the contrary is simply false and comes from unnamed sources who are either out of the loop or unwilling to turn the country around.")
I love (ahem) how that authoritarian garbage is just a parenthetical in the story. The normalization is extraordinary.

Speaking of which, this is such a good observation:


[Content Note: White supremacy] Lois Beckett at the Guardian: Florida Governor Declares State of Emergency Before White Nationalist's Speech. "Governor Rick Scott of Florida has declared a state of emergency ahead of a speech by a white nationalist leader this week at the University of Florida, in order to free up resources to prepare for possible violence. Richard Spencer's speech on Thursday in Gainesville is part of a national campaign to use outrage over racist events on university campuses to draw attention to white nationalist ideas. The tour is also designed keep fringe provocateurs like Spencer in the media spotlight." But one million thinkpieces on how progressive snowflakes are ruining college campuses.

Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed: Outbrain Is Investigating Whether Russian Trolls Used Its Platform for Election Propaganda. "The content recommendation ad network Outbrain, whose clicky content sprawls across the web, is investigating whether Russian ads or other forms of election tampering took place on its service during the 2016 election. Outbrain claims to reach more than 550 million visitors per month via content recommendation modules it places on websites of publishers such as CNN, People, and ESPN. Outbrain is 'currently conducting a thorough investigation specific to election tampering and continue[s] to monitor our index,' the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News."

I'd argue that, at this point, any content network shouldn't be asking "if" Russia used its platform for election influence, but "how."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

The Airport Ritual

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 16:21
[syndicated profile] sociological_images_feed

Posted by Evan Stewart

This weekend I was at the annual conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, where they held a memorial for sociologist Peter Berger. I thought of Berger and Luckmann’s classic The Social Construction of Reality in the airport on the way home. Whenever people say ritual is dying out, or socially constructed things “aren’t real,” I think of airport lines.

There are always two lines, but rarely any separation other than a sign like this. If you’re lucky, you can catch the gate agent making a big show of opening the “general boarding” lane, but everyone ends up at the same scanner right past the sign (usually only a minute or two after the “elite” passengers). From Berger and Luckmann (the Anchor Books paperback edition):

The developing human being not only interrelates with a particular natural environment, but with a specific cultural and social order which is mediated to him by the significant others who have charge of him (p. 48).

The symbolic universe orders and thereby legitimates everyday roles, priorities, and operating procedures…even the most trivial transactions of everyday life may come to be imbued with profound significance (p. 99).

Evan Stewart is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota. You can follow him on Twitter.

(View original at https://thesocietypages.org/socimages)

Discussion Thread: How Are You?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 11:00
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

The news has been incredibly tough and triggering the past couple of weeks. I know a lot of people are overwhelmed, emotionally drained, hitting maximum capacity for processing everything that is happening as well as whatever might be coming up from their own past because what's in the news.

Weinstein, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, the mistreatment of Jemele Hill, wildfires, Mogadishu, Kirkuk, the relentless malice of the Trump administration and the Republican Party... That is not a complete list, by any means. Just some of the things on my mind.

It's a lot.

Anyway. Here's a place to talk about that, if you need to. ♥

Weinstein Made Us Pay Attention. What Next?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 09:45
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Rape culture; descriptions of sexual assault at links.]

Lauren Holly is the latest actor to publicly disclose having been assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. At the link is a description of what happened, which is very similar to stories other women have shared. And then comes this:
After leaving the hotel, Holly went to a previously planned dinner with other Hollywood notables, who, when she explained why she arrived distraught, said that since Weinstein hadn't raped or assaulted her, she should "keep [her] mouth shut because it's Harvey Weinstein."
That, too, is something a number of the now more than 30 women who have reported being assaulted by Weinstein have reported: Being admonished to silence with some variation on that's just who Harvey is.

That so many people were willing to protect him is probably why Weinstein, according to TMZ, believes this entire thing is just a temporary setback: "Our Weinstein sources say he knows he's 'momentarily toxic' but thinks with a little time, writers and actors will seek him out again because of his track record."

That's partly sheer hubris, but it's undoubtedly also partly the fact that Weinstein knows as well as anyone, and better than most, that Hollywood loves a good redemption story. Rape accusations haven't stopped people from working with Roman Polanski or Woody Allen. A rape conviction hasn't stopped people from working with Mike Tyson. The open secret about Louis C.K. isn't stopping people from working with him. The repeated known violence and rumors of even more didn't halt Charlie Sheen's career. And the list goes on. In a direct line to the White House.

If Weinstein doesn't find work again, he will be a notable exception.

It's hard to imagine that after dozens of women have come forward with harrowing stories of being assaulted by Weinstein that there could even be a chance of his working again. But there is.

Because there are powerful men who think he's getting a raw deal.

Because as much as rape apologists love to claim that rape allegations ruin men's lives, they don't — because there are always people keen to make sure that doesn't happen.

And because one of the key facilitators of the rape culture is institutional forgetting.

It's unfathomable that after this moment, in which so many women and men, including stars like Reese Witherspoon and Terry Crews and America Ferrera, have shared stories of having survived sexual abuse in their lives, that things could just go back to "normal." That we could, collectively, just go back to not talking about the scourge of sexual violence that tears through lives and families and communities, leaving (literally) untold wreckage in its wake. That we could just carry on and not do something.

But we have had moments like this before. We have had clarion calls to disclosure, and hashtags, and marches, and days of amplifying the voices of survivors, and days of sustained attention on a prolific predator and his many victims.

We have been here before. Over and over.

Then, inevitably, people's attention drifts to other things. The outrage fades. Survivors just go back to quietly surviving.

The stories about Harvey Weinstein collapse into a tiny factoid that lingers in the back of people's minds. Just another guy who turned about to be a creep that they vaguely recall hearing about once upon a time.

We should do better than that. We must. What comes next has to be different this time.

That depends on all of us resolving to make this matter in a sustained way. Instead of just gawking at the destruction Weinstein caused and then wandering away. Again.
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Hello. I am so tired of Donald Trump. It is an exhaustion like I have never known. If you feel like I do (and I bet you do!), then the opportunity to read something, anything, about someone likeable and admirable is enormously welcome.

And all the better when that someone is Hillary Clinton.

So here are two things to read about Hillary Clinton this morning!

1. Sirena Bergman at the Independent: Last Night, I Saw Hillary Clinton – Every Young Woman I Told Was Excited and Every Middle-Aged Man Asked Why I'd Bother.
In a one-off event at London's Southbank Centre, the doyenne of US politics spoke candidly about everything from those godforsaken emails to how we can fight endemic societal sexism.

She didn't say much you won't already have heard if you've listened to any of the myriad interviews she's been giving while promoting her book about the 2016 election campaign, the poignantly titled What Happened. But in those 90 minutes I spent in the audience, furiously taking notes and revelling in the buzzing atmosphere, I saw for the first time that she shouldn't just have won that election because she was the voters' rightful choice, or because of the sickening alternative that came to be, but because the passion and awe she can inspire with the faintest of smiles or by answering the driest of questions is unparalleled.
2. Sarah Ferguson at ABC News Australia: Hillary Clinton: How Losing to Donald Trump Changed Her.
In loss, Hillary Clinton is more candid than we are accustomed to in politicians.

That doesn't mean a wholesale acceptance of the errors she made, campaigning decisions in the swing states, or her failings as a candidate, but how many politicians at that level have written a sentence like this?

"I have come to terms with the fact that a lot of people — millions and millions of people — decided they just didn't like me. Imagine what that feels like. It hurts. And it's a hard thing to accept. But there's no getting around it," she said.
I like her. I believe I always will.