I’ve recently discovered the brilliant and hilarious work of Leigh Anne Jasheway.
Her’s a great starting point: “20 Headlines from an Alternate Universe“
But take a look through (ALL OF) her other posts!
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men is a must-read.
(And although she soft-pedals this, surely the persistent failure to consider women is evidence of what they think of us: we’re unimportant, we’re not worth consideration. Or perhaps it’s simply evidence of their persistent failure to consider anyone but themselves. Either way …)
“Around 13,000 males are in prison for sexual offences compared to fewer than 150 females. “
(according to a post at https://fairplayforwomen.com/stop-misreporting-sex/ about England and Wales)
Says a lot, doesn’t it.
“One TIM actually tried to explain that as someone truly dysphoric, he’d NEVER want to be on a girl’s team. Beating them all and crushing them with ease would only underline his male body, not validate his feminine identity. Mr. Be Kind didn’t understand this and asked why he wouldn’t want to be on a team with girls who shared his “gender identity” and the TIM added that he’d feel ashamed for cheating girls, especially with his male body. And that’s a very good point- I don’t believe that men who enter women’s sports are dysphoric in the least. They’re very happy with their male bodies.”
“If having children and grandchildren is so universally rewarding, why is it selfish to deny oneself the pleasure of parenting? If, on the other hand, bringing up children is an arduous task … why do [people] feel sorry for people who don’t do it”? (88)
“… the real objection to women who decide not to have children …: if women don’t conform to the expected pattern — if, crucially, they aren’t all looking after children for at least part of their adult lives — what else might they do? Pursue their own interests? Compete with men? …” (90)
“… have you ever seen a headline announcement that ‘working dads are blamed for children’s failures’? … (107)
“From no longer having to worry about being attacked on my way home at night, to being taken seriously when I talk (just because everyone assumes I was born with a penis), life’s a breeze compared to when I was living as female.” Why are trans men always left out of the conversation?
“It wasn’t that I wanted to be a boy – I just didn’t want to be a woman. I wanted to be neutral and do whatever I wanted.” https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51806011
World, see that? That’s how shitty women are treated in our fucking sexist society. It’s so bad, young women would rather get a sex change.
“Over and over again, men who were raised and socialized as female described all the ways they were treated differently as soon as the world perceived them as male. They gained professional respect, but lost intimacy. They exuded authority, but caused fear. From courtrooms to playgrounds to prisons to train stations, at work and at home, with friends and alone, trans men reiterated how fundamentally different it is to experience the world as a man.
“Many trans men I spoke with said they had no idea how rough women at work had it until they transitioned. As soon as they came out as men, they found their missteps minimized and their successes amplified. Often, they say, their words carried more weight: They seemed to gain authority and professional respect overnight. They also saw confirmation of the sexist attitudes they had long suspected: They recalled hearing female colleagues belittled by male bosses, or female job applicants called names.
“James Gardner is a newscaster in Victoria, Canada, who had been reading the news as Sheila Gardner for almost three decades before he transitioned at 54. As soon as he began hosting as a man, he stopped getting as many calls from men pointing out tiny errors. ‘It was always male callers to Sheila saying I had screwed up my grammar, correcting me,’ he says. ‘I don’t get as many calls to James correcting me. I’m the same person, but the men are less critical of James.’
“Dana Delgardo is a family nurse practitioner and Air Force captain who transitioned three years ago. Since his transition, he’s noticed that his female patients are less open with him about their sexual behavior, but his bosses give him more responsibility. ‘All of a sudden, I’m the golden child,’ he says. ‘I have been with this company for 6 years, no ever recommended me for management. Now I’m put into a managerial position where I could possibly be a regional director.’
“Trans women have long observed the flip side of this reality. Joan Roughgarden, a professor emerita of biology at Stanford and a transgender woman, says it became much more difficult to publish her work when she was writing under a female name. ‘When I would write a paper and submit it to a journal it would be almost automatically accepted,’ she said of the time when she had a man’s name. ‘But after I transitioned, all of a sudden papers were running into more trouble, grant proposals were running into more trouble, the whole thing was getting more difficult.’
We’ve been saying all this for centuries. (I hope y’all will fight like hell to change this, rather than just bask in your new privilege. I hope you’re calling out your new buddies …)
Sometimes I feel like I haven’t grown up at all. I didn’t get married; I didn’t have kids; I didn’t fall into any kind of career path. Basically, I’m still doing what I did in my twenties: reading, writing, thinking, listening to music, and running/walking through the forest. In short, my passions haven’t changed.
But then I listened to the ‘best of’ CDs that I made a few years ago from the hundreds of 45s and LPs I’ve purchased over the years.
And discovered how much I have matured. Or at least changed. It’s impossible to listen to any of the songs I once loved, often with an obsessive addiction (I still make great use of the ‘repeat’ mode on my CD players) (great invention, that!), in quite the same way as I once did.
Was I ever that innocent? That naïve, that young? That stupid?
Gallery’s “It’s so nice to be with you”, James Taylor’s “You’ve got a friend”, Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water”, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Seals and Croft, Chicago, Bread, The Commodores …
Or were men really better people then?
If so, what the hell happened? Where did all the good guys go? How is it we’re on the brink of extinction, what with our dependence on oil and meat, our irresponsible treatment of our water and forests … How is it that the internet has enabled the pornification of sex, the ‘entitled male’ … All those good men are now in their 60s. So they would have been the CEOs and board members that have led us down this awful path …
“Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me, Twice on the pipe if the answer is no.”
See? See how easy it is to ensure consent? Do you see how the guy doesn’t just assume he’s entitled to sex? And are you guessing that if she knocks twice on the pipe, he’s not going to go kill her because— because she doesn’t want him?
And “Tie a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree, it’s been three long years, do you still want me …”
And “If you want my body and you think I’m sexy, come on sugar let me know!”
See? He doesn’t assume. He waits for her to show some interest, some willingness …
(“Give me a dime so I can phone my mother”? What? She doesn’t have a dime on her? Well, okay, still. At least she’s calling her mother to let her know.)
It’s a good thing I didn’t process the end of “1, 2, 3, Red Light”—”1, 2, 3, red light won’t stop me”—all I heard was “1, 2, 3, red light” over and over (it’s pretty much every second line in the song): a young woman is say ‘no’ to what we would have called ‘going all the way’.
“If her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal, if her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel … “
So, what, rich women have to wined and dined first, but poor women are okay to rape?
“We’re not bad people … but we do as we please.”
Um, yeah, if you do as you please, without regard for other people, you are bad people. Sing along with me, dee-dee dee-dee dee.
“Don’t ya love her madly, wanna be her daddy.”
Don’t ya wanna be in a position of authority over her, maybe engage in a little incest?
“Go away, little girl …”
Little girl? Yes, let’s double the diminutives, make sure she knows her place.
“I’m not supposed to be alone with you.”
Then you go away! Don’t foist the responsibility on her! (Especially if she really is a little girl.)
“You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful, and you’re mine.”
Given that the man singing it isn’t also sixteen, or even seventeen or eighteen…
“You’re my baby” emphasizes the point.
(Baby, baby, baby—why do so many love songs call the loved one baby? Though it’s not just men calling women ‘baby’ … Perhaps it’s because love involves looking after, and we associate looking after with looking after babies? Pity. That love has to infantalize the loved one.)
“You’re my pet.”
“Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line, better run, girl, you’re much too young, girl …”
At least he recognizes that his love for her is out of line. (Though again, he tells her to leave. Puts the responsibility on her.)
And oh my god, this: “Brown sugar how come you taste so good, now? … just like a young girl should, now … just like a black girl should.”
Racist sexist pedophilist. And we made him a rock star.
And this: “She stood there laughing, I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more.”
Atwood. Men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them.
“Brandy, you’re a fine girl … When he told his sailor stories, She could feel the ocean fall and rise, She saw its ragin’ glory …”
So why doesn’t she become a sailor? Sounds like she’s in love with the ocean at least as much as with the sailor who left. Sounds like she’d rather be out there than in some bar serving whiskey and wine all night. (Unless she’d be raped by the crew every day …)
“We’ll see the world through my Harley.”
Why can’t she get her own Harley?
“Having my baby.”
My baby? MY baby??
“What a lovely way of saying how much you love me.”
What? What? The woman’s an idiot if that’s why she’s pregnant, if that’s why she’s going to go through labour, if that’s why she’s going to give up her life for twenty years to look after another human being. (And if her face is glowing, that’s just the oxytocin.)
And yet, and yet …
So many songs from the 60s and 70s are sexy in a warm or sensual way: “Make It With You”, “The Air that I Breathe”, Barry White …
So many celebrate friendship, not sex: “I’ll be There”, “United we Stand”, “You’ve Got a Friend”, “You are the Sunshine of my Life” …
So many are just joyful: “Saturday in the Park”, “Dancin’ in the Moonlight”, “Me and You and a Dog named Boo” …
Many are impressively honest: “Neither One of Us”, “Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend”, “Rock me gently … I have never been loved like this before …” (by a woman on top? or is he a virgin? either way …), “Everybody plays the fool some time…” “Billy, don’t be a hero …” “All by myself” …
Many are introspective, thoughtful, insightful: “I learned the truth at seventeen, that love was meant for beauty queens …”, “Taxi”, “Father and Son” …
And many are simply outstanding: “War”, “I will survive” …
Jeannie C. Riley’s “Harper Valley, P. T. A.” showed us that a woman, a mom, can be a bad-ass.
Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” surely influenced by decision to get a bike and head out on the highway …
Elvis Presley’s “In the Ghetto”—sure, okay, he probably never gave a cent to that kid in the ghetto, but still, that such a song was out there …
Joe Cocker’s “With a little help from my friends”, Donovan, Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin, The Moody Blues, The Eagles …
The Beatles—”You say you want a revolution, well, you know we all want to change the world … But when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out”…
How did we get from there to … Eminem and XXXTentacion?