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The Age of the Bitch.

Written By: - Date published: 3:03 pm, October 17th, 2016 - 113 comments
Categories: activism, feminism, gender, Politics, sexism, Social issues - Tags: , , , ,

Vonny Moyes is an arts journalist and social activist. She’s a weekly columnist in The National, regular commentator and head of digital communications for an environment agency

There are lots of things going on in the world right now, but it feels rather like we’ve been flipped inside out. There has been a lot to get mad about for quite some time, but this week The Bucket of Ignorance truly hath runneth over with grade-A sexist bunk. The fact that the negative stereotypes of the gender binary intersect with everything – politics, sport, journalism and beyond – mean that they are impossible to ignore. Now seems like a prudent point to stop and cogitate on the absurdity of where we find ourselves, as a supposedly advanced civilisation. If you want to quickly take the temperature of the current conversation, just type Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton into any social media platform. If you need something a little closer to home, try Ched Evans, and marvel at the number of men offering to rape women as punishment. This sort of on-the-sleeve vitriol has become normal.

Yet this – the sexual assault stuff – is the only thing so far that seems to have dented the Trump train in any way. Why? Because enough of us have reach the tipping point. This is one feather too many on the scale. For a lot of us, 2016 is the year the passivity bandwidth has maxed out. The year the patience well has run dry. We’re finally finding our ovaries and saying “this is not okay”. And yes, we really have to say this out loud, because even though it’s blindingly obvious to every woman out there, people still think calling it a joke vindicates it in some way. A prime example from just last week was Everyday Sexism’s Laura Bates having to underline to Radio 4’s Justin Webb (from 2:54:09 or shorter snippet here) the danger of conflating sexual assault with compliments.

I’m done with speaking out being an added-extra. I’m done with hidden feminism. I’m finished with being the plainclothes officer who only flashes the badge when it counts. I hope you’ll consider doing the same. Right now it counts. Society tells us to be quiet and pliant. We laugh off the dude that stands too close to us. We don’t smack away the wandering digits of the creepy guy on the bus. Instead of finding our voices, we freeze and accept, and feel dirty afterwards.

Enough.

This is bigger than us. We know feminism isn’t just for women, but we need to keep saying this aloud until it’s crystal clear. The fortification of the gender binary hurts all of us. It’s about freeing everyone from the expectations and inequalities of each, and creating the freedom to be yourself – despite what society tells you you should be because of your assigned gender.

This week I heard a brilliant phrase. Cheryl Strayed, the award-winning American author, described this growing refusal to comply as “The Age of The Bitch”. How perfect is that? This dismantling of the need to be liked that bridles us to keeping things palatable for others is what we need to embrace.

So ladies, it’s time to unhook ourselves from that conditioning. Your voices of dissent are needed more than ever, because it’s about to get worse. Now is the time for us to take action that will shape the future.

As The Atlantic’s Michelle Cottle points out, however the US election goes, it’ll open the floodgates of misogyny that will reverberate far beyond politics, and far beyond the US. If Hillary Clinton wins, we all know the sort of language that will colour the political grievances. And if Trump wins, we have a man in the highest and perhaps most visible office in the world saying it’s okay to assault women.

Today I called something sexist bullshit in the street, much louder than a whisper, and you know what? The sky didn’t fall on my head. And what’s even better, it felt honest and real. So let’s be loud. Let’s be abrasive. Let’s dig our heels in and be that bitch.

113 comments on “The Age of the Bitch. ”

  1. One Two 1

    There are many issues requiring ‘progression’

    The level of conversation, personal understanding and awareness necessary are at levels beyond where the tipping point appears to be at, or is being shown to be at

    Using the US election as any sort of catalyst is to be so far from the mark it only serves to illustrate how far these sorts of issues are from ‘progression’

    While certain factions of humanity are mass murdering other human beings, enslaving them, trafficing them and poisoning the planet to keep the fake ‘privilaged’ constucts alive…

    Focusing on this issue could be described as ‘clapping at thunder’

    The level of interconnectedness of the major issues facing humanity appears to be unnoticed

    Due tothe interconnectedness, major issues need to be approached holistically

    • weka 1.1

      I think the point of the article is to say that women (and feminists) are no longer willing to be told to put their issues, values and politics at the back of the queue (or further down the queue).

      Sexism, misogyny and rape culture underpin and go hand in hand with war, slavery, trafficking, and destruction of the planet. Some of us can address those things simultaneously because our political analysis enables that.

      • Manuka AOR 1.1.1

        Sexism, misogyny and rape culture underpin and go hand in hand with war, slavery, trafficking, and destruction of the planet.

        Yes.

      • xanthe 1.1.2

        divisive self promotion

        • Bill 1.1.2.1

          I really hope that comment isn’t just a case of dismissing the author’s entire analysis and argument through the usual avenue of ad hom bullshit.

          But since I’m really fucking thick and can’t seem to see what else it might be, you’re going to explain and then we’ll all move along or you’re going to remove yourself the fuck off of this thread.

          • xanthe 1.1.2.1.1

            bill as you will see further down I am actually expressing an opinion about the helpfullness of specific arguments in fact I strongly agree with weka’s next post as i have indicated. I would ask you to accept this as a comment on the argument made, If you can sprare the time from policing this thread you might like to look at the two posts from weka that i have responded to and consider how the content of those posts differ, you may not agree with me but these are my genuine opinions on the arguments made, not ad hominums.

            • Bill 1.1.2.1.1.1

              So what’s the divisive self promotion?

              • xanthe

                “Sexism, misogyny and rape culture underpin and go hand in hand with war, slavery, trafficking, and destruction of the planet” …. sometimes sometimes not … gross oversimplification

                “Some of us can address those things simultaneously because our political analysis enables that”…… self promotion.. superiority

                Actually Weka addresses the same concern from a slightly different angle
                Read the post from weka that follows this one for comparison

                • weka

                  “Some of us can address those things simultaneously because our political analysis enables that”…… self promotion.. superiority

                  Ironically, it was a reference to the people who think that identity politics damages the cause and who in my experience have a poor understanding of what identity politics says or does. Hence the people that have an analysis of identity politics (as opposed to the ones who don’t/can’t) have an extra set of tools that the ones who don’t/can’t don’t have. Feel free to argue against that by all means, but try and do it without simply using ad homs.

                  • xanthe

                    As someone who has lived through identity politics my understanding of what it is /does is just as valid as yours. I only have your assertion that you posses some analysis that I dont/cant have that will somehow invalidate my experience. On the face of it is is simply a declaration of superiority. which is an ad hominum argument! !! if you can convince me otherwise without the ad hom. go for it

                    • Bill

                      Read this before you make any further comment xanthe 😉

                      intersections

                      And your future comments better have some substance and relevance in place of slogans, wind-up and innuendo or you’ll be running the risk of being gone.

                    • weka

                      “I only have your assertion that you posses some analysis that I dont/cant have that will somehow invalidate my experience.”

                      If the cap doesn’t fit, then don’t wear it. But stop reacting as if what I said was about you if it wasn’t. If you have an analysis of identity politics that helps you understand the post, and enables you to work with identity politics and issues like war, slavery, environmental destruction, all power to you.

                    • xanthe

                      yup my analysis since you ask is that identity politics is hindering action against war, slavery, and environmental destruction. you asked for my honest opinion and that is it. based on many years of pacificism and environmental activism. you may not agree but there it is and i have come by it honestly.

                    • weka

                      In which case we are talking about different things. You don’t have an analysis of identity politics that allows you to work with identity politics and war/environmentalism at the same time. By your own admission you have the opposite.

                    • xanthe

                      Thats right and i only have your assertion that “Some of us can address those things simultaneously because our political analysis enables that” (returning to the beginning of this rhetorical circle) to suggst otherwise. If you are arguing that somehow i am incabable of understanding your analysis then thats an argument of prejudice and you are on your own. If on the other hand you are arguing that my experience of identity politics is flawed, and it will/has improved the situation vs war,slavery, and environmental destruction then lets hear and discuss (politely and respectfully!) it

                • Bill

                  Stuff’s interconnected. Saying that hasn’t anything to do with ‘divisive self promotion’ or ‘superiority’.

                  That Weka said it and you condemn it before picking up on another comment by Weka to supposedly back up your condemnation of Weka’s original comment tells me this exchange ends now.

                • Manuka AOR

                  xanthe: “Sexism, misogyny and rape culture underpin and go hand in hand with war, slavery, trafficking, and destruction of the planet” …. sometimes sometimes not

                  When ‘not’? (a real-world example)

                  • xanthe

                    money……power……. oil,

                    the argument for “go hand in hand” is probably very hard to refute!
                    “underpin” however is a completely different case, Oil, OIL, OIL, Money, Money, Power, Power, Ego ( getting closer)

                    I am not interested in (unfair!) word games here if you want to show how a majority of the “real word” conflicts are “underpinned” by “Sexism, misogyny and rape culture” go for it. otherwise I am happy to just leave it as my opinion against yours and let others make their own minds up

                    • Manuka AOR

                      the argument for “go hand in hand” is probably very hard to refute!

                      exactly.

                    • Manuka AOR

                      if you want to show how a majority of the “real word” conflicts are “underpinned” by “Sexism, misogyny and rape culture” go for it.

                      Just imagine… that every male vanished off the planet for a time. Would wars continue? In their present form?

                    • weka

                      I am not interested in (unfair!) word games here if you want to show how a majority of the “real word” conflicts are “underpinned” by “Sexism, misogyny and rape culture” go for it.

                      If you are genuinely interested in what I meant, it’s the theory that the patriarchy underpins Western society’s domination structure, and is intent on enforcing control heirarchies against all beings. Hence war, slavery and the destruction of the planet (power, money, etc). You can substitute kyriarchy for patriarchy if you like.

                    • xanthe

                      substituting kyiarchy works fine for me, totally agree….. and its about not applying the same ethical set in dealing with “the others” patriarchy is a subset of kyiarchy not an equivelent, Be that as it may the question that can be asked of any action is this..

                      Does this action seek to undermine the patriarchy…. or
                      Does this action seek to elevate women to the patriarchy

                      or in terms of the kyiarchy
                      do we want to do away with opression.. or
                      do we seek to join the oppressors.

                      that is the question I ask myself when I hear polemic

                    • weka

                      Actually in terms of what I was talking about patriarchy and kyriarchy are interchangeable concepts (hence my suggestion). But seeing as how you’re not actually interested in what I meant, I can see why you reinterpreted that.

                      If by action you mean the article in the post, I would say that she is levelling the playing field rather than wanting to make women the top dog in the patriarchy.

  2. weka 2

    Today I called something sexist bullshit in the street, much louder than a whisper, and you know what? The sky didn’t fall on my head. And what’s even better, it felt honest and real. So let’s be loud. Let’s be abrasive. Let’s dig our heels in and be that bitch.

    Yes. And, what happens to the more vulnerable people who do have the sky fall in on their head?

    Plus, at some point we have to get past the shouty and find ways to cooperate. We also need to acknowledge all the voices that won’t be heard while the shouting is going on.

  3. weka 3

    For those that haven’t seen it, here’s Michelle Obama’s speech, video and transcript, but the video is worth the watch. Later on she gets to the pro-Clinton stuff, but the first half is the First Lady of the United States standing up and saying this is rape culture and it has to end. I don’t think we can overestimate how important this moment in time is.

    “Enough is enough”

    This is not politics as usual.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/14/michelle-obama-speech-transcript-donald-trump

    • One Two 3.1

      I can’t find Michelles speech which condemns the US foreign policy which her ‘nobel peace prize’ husband has unilaterally implemented using drone and military strikes which have murdered countless human beings

      M Obamas speech targetting the ‘entertainment’ industry responsible for the sexualization of young human beings along with the gratuitous violence on small and big screen…

      Can’t find that one either

      Michelle Obama is the WRONG messenger!

      [Yes, it jars to hear Michelle Obama talk of an expectation for ‘basic human decency’ to be exhibited by people in high office when her husband has been responsible for a drone programme that has deliberately targetted and killed US citizens among others. However, hypocricy from high places is not the topic of the post.] – Bill

      • weka 3.1.1

        By that argument the only people who should speak out about rape culture are those who are politically perfect according to your values, which automatically rules out anyone in a position of power in a Western democracy. How very convenient.

        Meanwhile, one of the most powerful women on the planet speaks out strongly at a potent time, against rape culture, and your response isn’t to look at what she said and the influence it might have and the good it might do. Instead you attempt to undermine that influence by saying that she is invalid as a messenger because the very position of power she has inherently means she is somehow bad. You do get that no-one could be First Lady without supporting the US war machine right? It’s in the job description.

        I’ll also note that your opening comment in this thread appears to be dismissing identity politics and then you criticise Michelle Obama for not paying attention to your identity politics. That makes you a hypocrite and doubly so for trying to undermine her message on the basis that she is one too. We’re all hypocrites politically, no need to write everything off on the basis of that.

        • Macro 3.1.1.1

          I must say I am rather bemused with all the tit for tatting that goes on in these “discussions”. I heartily endorse the sentiments expressed by the writer of this post, the speech of Michelle Obama, and all the other women, from both the left and the right, who are now standing up and saying “Enough is Enough”. There are some men who “get it”. I’m 70 and I “get it” but there are many men, and some women, who don’t.

          The fortification of the gender binary hurts all of us. It’s about freeing everyone from the expectations and inequalities of each, and creating the freedom to be yourself – despite what society tells you you should be because of your assigned gender.

          Amen to that.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            “I must say I am rather bemused with all the tit for tatting that goes on in these “discussions”

            Myself, I find it tedious /shrug. I’d rather be writing posts.

            Always grateful for the men willing to speak up about sexism 🙂

          • One Two 3.1.1.1.2

            I find superficial discussions and posts on deeply complex issues to be the problem

            Then some comment as though the superficial discussions are in some way helping. They’re not!

            ‘Getting it’ is subjective ,Macro…

        • One Two 3.1.1.2

          Looks like you have put your own views onto my comment, Weka

          I dismiss the notion of identity politics outright and am not interested in whatever it is alleged to represent (that is correct)

          It appears to be a devicive mechanism used on cue

          The M Obama speech was pure political opportunism as illustrated by the merged themes in the single speech. Its the most cynical kind of reality tv show …divide and conquer at its finest

          So if the platform and the messenger are contrived and tainted, then the message is also tainted with the dishonest energy it was deliverd with

          False idols delivering ‘words’ with forked tongues

          Politics has no place in genuine solutions because the solutions exist at local grass roots level within humanity

          Politics walked away from humanity some time the past and are a hindrance to progress. Nothing more

          • weka 3.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, that all just sounds like a justification for not having to do anything about sexism, misogyny or rape culture.

            Politics exists at all levels of society including the grass roots. I also believe that true change happens at the grass roots, and I have seen many good changes happen around gender, ethnicity, queer culture etc at that level too. It’s a shame that you think those things are to be dismissed.

            • One Two 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah, that all just sounds like a justification for not having to do anything about sexism, misogyny or rape culture

              Except that’s not what it was, Weka

              Local grass roots ‘politics’ is nothing to resemble the national, international politics of contrived staged managed deceit I’m referring to..

              That we’re talking about the Obama speech should have established the levels of differentiation where I interperet ‘genuine’ or ‘fake’

              • weka

                You’ve already dismissed the notion of identity politics outright, not just at a national level. Like I said, it all just sounds like a justification for not having to deal with those issues.

    • Manuka AOR 3.2

      @ weka: I don’t think we can overestimate how important this moment in time is.

      I agree! (While reading/ writing this, radio NZ is having discussion of the same subject in the background. And the discussion was on another station this a.m.)

  4. Bill 4

    MODERATION NOTE

    Any comments dragging this thread into some back and forth about US presidential candidates in lieu of addressing the current widespread reaction to misogyny will be deleted and the submitter of the comment banned

  5. Siobhan 5

    If the author wishes to ‘unhook herself’ from the need to be liked, my advice would be ‘stop taking pouty selfies’.

    • Bill 5.1

      First up, where does the author indicate that she has a need to be liked and wishes to not have that need?

      Secondly, what pouty selfies and if pouty selfies, so fucking what?

      • Gabby 5.1.1

        Fucking about fucking time she fucking stopped fucking being so fucking gutless, eh Bill. Fuck.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          Who’s doing what that’s gutless? And do you have any contribution or thoughts on the post’s topic?

          An explanation in response to the the first question and comments that show an ability to engage in response to the second question – those things would be nice.

      • Siobhan 5.1.2

        “This dismantling of the need to be liked that bridles us”. It’s pretty much the subtext of the whole article.

        The pouty selfies would be fine if it was just ‘her thing’…the problem I have with pouty selfies from other women is the mysterious fact that so many females present themselves this way. It seems to be almost compulsory.
        So there is no way you can do that and at the same time present a feminist message against objectifying women and making women conform to stereotypes.

        • weka 5.1.2.1

          I don’t know what pouty selfies you are referring to, either specifically with Moyes, or with women in general. I suspect that there are others here who also don’t know. Perhaps you could put up some links so we can understand what you mean.

        • Bill 5.1.2.2

          Are you saying the words and thoughts of a woman don’t really count until she ascribes to or reflects some ‘acceptable’ face of feminism…a physically fashionable or anti-fashionable or whatever image?

          And in Vonny Moyes’s case, that just by having a twitter account picture that you reckon’s ‘pouty’, she’s not allowed to speak up or speak out…or maybe not ‘not allowed’, but that if she does, it will somehow properly be taken much less seriously than if she had a different twitter account photo? Even if the exact same words were written? The same observations made? The same arguments put forward?

          And as an afterthought – don’t men also tend to put cliched pictures/poses out there? Do we judge what they have to say based on their photographs?

          What about Michelle Obama? Assuming she doesn’t have ‘pouty’ selfies that would count against her, she speaks from the heady heights afforded her by embracing the power structures of patriarchy. Has she a right to speak and for her words to be taken seriously?

          • Adrian Thornton 5.1.2.2.1

            Where on earth did I say she is not allowed to speak out?? And ofcourse she can be as sexy as she wants..AGAIN here is my explanation of the anti sexy pouty thing.

            .”The pouty selfies would be fine if it was just ‘her thing’…the problem I have with pouty selfies from other women is the mysterious fact that so many females present themselves this way. It seems to be almost compulsory.
            So there is no way you can do that and at the same time present a feminist message against objectifying women and making women conform to stereotypes.

            As the mother of a 20 year old girl I know that to not have a pouty selfie on line is, well, inconceivable. If it was just a matter of some girls being sexy, that would be fine, and you can be a sexy as f*ck feminist. But if everyone is doing it…c’mon, its societal pressure to conform. And it’s not ‘being a Bitch’ (in the positive sense), just because you have a piercing.”

            And yes, when we put pictures on the internet to represent ourselves, like selfies, (As opposed to random photos) then of course they become part of the image/message.
            And yes, same goes for men.

            ****If someone put out a picture of themselves as Rambo, then said, I stand against aggressive male stereotypes…well I’d think they were talking crap.***

            • Bill 5.1.2.2.1.1

              K.. I think that’s clear enough. You reckon she’s talking crap because of how she looks in her twitter account profile picture.

              So all of her anger and rage in the article towards the misogynistic b/s that’s flowing about the show these days is dismissable. And anyway piercings.

    • Anno1701 5.2

      “stop taking pouty selfies’.”

      WTF…??

    • Garibaldi 5.3

      Good on you Siobhan. Pouty selfies are the equivalent of ‘strutting your stuff’.

      • Bill 5.3.1

        Is there any connection between ‘pouty selfies’ and/or ‘strutting your stuff’ and the observations or points made by the author?

        Is the suggestion being made that a person who might take ‘pouty selfies’; or a person who might be viewed as ‘strutting their stuff’ in some way or other, ought to have whatever they’re saying dismissed?

        Because…wow.

        And if that suggestion is being made and if it’s expected to be taken seriously, does the same type of evaluation apply to men? If it does, why? If it doesn’t, why are you applying it to women?

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1

          As for the selfie, I imagine Siobahn googled and took a look at Vonny Moyes’ twitter account.

          https://twitter.com/vonny_bravo?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

          The post asks women to “dig their heels in”, “get honest”, “get real”, quit trying to be liked and to go ahead and “be that bitch”. From my casual observation, Siobahn was simply commenting as recommended.

          • Bill 5.3.1.1.1

            And there’s a connection between a selfie and what was written….how?

            About these quotes btw.

            “Let’s dig our heels in and be that bitch.” – that’s a direct quote.

            “…it felt honest and real.” – that’s a direct quote.

            Your quotations aren’t quotations at all, but more words ripped out of context and thrown back down with a twist put on them and their intent.

            The only bit about being liked or not liked that I can see is in reference to social conditioning where she writes…”That subtle from-birth training to adhere to cultural and social norms. Be deferential. Be polite. Do your best to be liked.

            Or did I read it too quickly and miss these things you claim the article says?

            I’ll give you the answer CV. No. I fucking didn’t.

            As I’ve said to others. Either comment (honestly) on the substance of the post (preferably intelligently) or take yourself away to the fuck somewhere else.

        • weka 5.3.1.2

          I can’t tell if Garibaldi is being sarcastic or not.

          • Bill 5.3.1.2.1

            Yeah well, given the topic and the bad history of it hereabouts , the inadequacy of the written word when it comes to nuance and the ability to indicate sarcasm with a simple sarc or whatever…

    • Corokia 5.4

      What do selfies of any sort have to do with this Siobhan? I’m interpreting the post as it’s time to stop quietly ignoring the sexist shit and speak out about it.

      • Siobhan 5.4.2

        Hi Corokia. And everyone I may have offended.
        The pouty selfies would be fine if it was just ‘her thing’…the problem I have with pouty selfies from other women is the mysterious fact that so many females present themselves this way. It seems to be almost compulsory.
        So there is no way you can do that and at the same time present a feminist message against objectifying women and making women conform to stereotypes.

        As the mother of a 20 year old girl I know that to not have a pouty selfie on line is, well, inconceivable. If it was just a matter of some girls being sexy, that would be fine, and you can be a sexy as f*ck feminist. But if everyone is doing it…c’mon, its societal pressure to conform. And it’s not ‘being a Bitch’ (in the positive sense), just because you have a piercing.

        • corokia 5.4.2.1

          I’m not offended, but I do object to the idea that following a fashionable trend thus somehow devalues what a woman has to say.

          I also have daughters (18 & 20) and don’t expect them to have to wear dungarees and avoid mascara to be taken seriously. I thought we’d moved on from that.

    • miravox 5.5

      “my advice would be ‘stop taking pouty selfies’.”

      I’m quite interested to know how you think the author of this piece should look. If you’d like to expand on your advice and provide a little example for her I, for one, am all eyes.

    • If the author wishes to ‘unhook herself’ from the need to be liked, my advice would be ‘stop taking pouty selfies’.

      Wow. You, on the other hand, have very successfully unhooked yourself from the need to be liked, just by writing that comment.

    • The New Student 5.7

      Yeah I’ve never felt the need to take duck face posed selfies. There’s no need.

  6. Gangnam Style 6

    The age of the bitch, wonderful stuff, I understand what she is saying & totally support women being utterly pissed off.

  7. adam 7

    I’ve seen the misogynist crap slowly make a comeback over these last few years. Susan Faludi was right, there is a backlash at letting 50% reach their full potential, and it’s gathering steam. We can stop it, only by our actions.

    Emma Goldman said this almost a hundred years ago, we still have some way to go.

    “The higher mental development of woman, the less possible it is for her to meet a congenial male who will see in her, not only sex, but also the human being, the friend, the comrade and strong individuality, who cannot and ought not lose a single trait of her character.”

  8. corokia 8

    Speaking out about the blatant sexism of the likes of Trump tends to go down ok, usually no one tells you that you are over-reacting.
    I find it’s responding to the little put downs, the stereotyping etc that provokes the backlash from indignant men who then generally go on to tell me that I lack a sense of humour and/ or are being too sensitive.

    • Manuka AOR 8.1

      I think, .. you have to find a way to teach them to fully respect you. The “little put downs” have a nasty way of growing into something more vicious over time, unless they’re checked asap.

      • corokia 8.1.1

        “I think, .. you have to find a way to teach them to fully respect you.”
        Oh- so I’M not doing something properly??
        I’m supposed to teach them?

        • Manuka AOR 8.1.1.1

          Who else is going to?

          • corokia 8.1.1.1.1

            So following your logic….. sexist comments about women are the fault of women because we haven’t taught men to fully respect us?

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Men just have to cut the crap Manuka AOR. It’s as simple as that. I say “simple”, but it seems more than just a = few are irredeemable losses.

            • Manuka AOR 8.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m not talking about online interactions. That is a whole other dimension.

              In normal daily life, – it is not a question of “fault”, unless or until it becomes obviously abusive. Just saying that it is up to the individual to set their own limits. … whatever their gender, ethnicity, apparent social status etc

              • Corokia

                Regarding the women groped by Trump, in real life, was the problem there that they didn’t ” set their own limits”?
                Are you male or female Manuka AOL? Because I’m reading you as an apologist for sexist behaviour by men.

                • Manuka AOR

                  You started a flame war that had to be moved to OM. You find a way to take personal offense at every reply I have given. You also try to elicit personal information from me. There’s a word for that, and it applies regardless of whether you’re male, female, trans, bot or anything else.

              • miravox

                “Just saying that it is up to the individual to set their own limits.”

                Fair call.

                In that spirit, the next introduction I’m part of, I will respond to as follows:

                Given that this event is a formal/informal business/social gathering, or we are on the bus, and you are a stranger/colleague/acquaintance/friend/family and we are in NZ/Europe/Japan/US (etc.)

                I am quite happy for you to acknowledge me with a handshake/air kiss/small bow/fist bump/bear hug, or a nod of the head (or other cultural or situationally appropriate acknowledgement).

                But please, in all circumstances, I respectfully request that you do not kiss my mouth, use your tongue or touch my breasts, whatever your age/gender/ethnicity/culture/position of power orweal th.

                Please, do not put any part of your body, including your hands, on the lower half of my body* – including, but not limited to my groin/crotch/pussy or however else you choose to define a woman’s ‘lady parts’ and backside/arse/ass etc.

                *People under 4 years old are probably excepted in this one, given that a knee is closer to their reach than a shoulder and they haven’t been alive long enough to understand and respect appropriate situational, social and cultural boundaries.

                Oh, and please don’t call me Kitten.

                On the other hand, the person meeting me could just not kiss, tongue or touch in a sexual manner unless already an intimate partner.

                • RedLogix

                  Exactly. All men need to learn to stop approaching women sexually. The idea that it is up to men to make the ‘first move’ is misogynist crap and as Michelle Obama so eloquently stated, it needs to stop.

                  • miravox

                    “All men need to learn to stop approaching women sexually.”

                    True, but written specifically for people who see nothing much wrong with the Trump revelations, or who think the recipients of this sort of attention have some responsibility for it – It’s not as if you’d know how someone you’re just being introduced to will behave.

                    It shouldn’t be too much of a task for anyone to show a little consideration and respect and not treat a person as a sexual object, regardless of gender.

                    Not surprisingly, people who are a bit polite are such easy marks for the Trumps of this world. No wonder they think about getting a little shouty sometimes.

      • corokia 8.1.2

        Actually its online that I get the a response exactly because I DO sometimes react to the smaller/ subtle stuff precisely because I am trying to respond to the little putdowns.

  9. One Two 9

    “The age of the bitch” how perfect is that?

    From an engagement perspective I would say it’s abysmal. Along with ‘ fortification of gender binary…’

    Superficial sloganeering is not what’s required, neither are ‘false idols’ who seek to position themselves as enablers of ‘change’

    ‘Empowerment’ is incredibly complex to articulate , educate or breed through generational transition and progression

    These issues are complex due to the lack of transparency and understanding of ‘who we are’ and ‘what we are’. Our speices overwhelming have little understanding of recent history let alone acient times. But then again the history of our speicies is ‘sold and told’ as a collection of stories more used to entrench division

    Like an onion the layers of each and every human beings nature, nurture and cultural influences must be stripped bare, analyzed, assessed and reassembled

    How does this happen and at what levels stand most likely to be effective

    Micro, local family unit including extended family, friends and whanau will most often be the critical influencing environments

    Where ‘conditioning’ occurs due to “assigned gender” is the at the gound level where the most effective forms of change stand the best chance of success in the long term

    The macro influences absolutely impact the micro which is immensely challenging and can be terribly detrimental on the development on young human beings and the environments both physical and cerebral in which they are born..

    Being the ‘voices of dissent’ (taken at face value) will not lead to genuine outcomes it sounds only as a hollow call to ‘action’

    Being examples of positive actions and messaging at a ‘local’ level would be more effective, in my opinion

    Family, friends, whanau

    • McFlock 9.1

      “A formless void expresses ephemeral brightness”

      In other words, your poor composition inhibits the communication of your message.

      In general, feeling empowered and capable of taking personal action preceds being able to choose whether this is in the form of “sloganeering” and whatever you were on about.

      • One Two 9.1.1

        The message went past you but you felt empowered enough to throw an insult

        Low level…

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          what’s that whining sound? Oh, it’s a mosquito with pretensions operating on its higher frequency…

          If you didn’t want to communicate your message, why write it?

          “Evolution is the foundation of intricate brains” _

  10. mauī 10

    I was just watching the Seven Shite program and they had a thing on New Zealand’s first all female pilot crew. The reporter asked what comments have the crew had from the public and one lady said they were asked once if they were in dressup costumes.

    There must be certain industries where women have had to laugh off these kind of undermining comments throughout their careers I would imagine. You could liken it to a form of bullying.

    • weka 10.1

      I can only imagine (shouldn’t they be air hostesses? 😉 ).

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Well, the appropriate gender neutral phrase is “flight attendant” to ensure that male employees are not descriminated against by the terminology 😉

  11. vto 11

    Good luck

    There is a lot of shouting in the world today so you may as well join in and get dismissed along with the rest

    • miravox 11.1

      “There is a lot of shouting in the world today so you may as well join in and get dismissed along with the rest”

      You have a point there vto. Although sometimes warranted, talking out loud doesn’t have to be bitchy or shouty. As Michelle Obama so eloquently demonstrated.

  12. Aaron 12

    getting away from the need to be liked is an incredible thing, I recommend it to everyone eveywhere.

  13. keepcalmcarryon 13

    Manuka AOR …
    17 October 2016 at 7:24 pm
    “Just imagine… that every male vanished off the planet for a time. Would wars continue? In their present form?”

    Hmm. Its interesting you didnt put just some men, or even certain men but every male (children included), Manuka.
    This is the “all men are rapists” bullshit again, noteably not pulled up by moderation on this thread.
    The answer to the offensively sexist question posed, is of course yes. Conflict is part of human nature.

    • Bill 13.1

      It was a straightforward hypothetical. Did the question offend your poor wee sensibilities? Did it make you feel you had to lash out in a stupid, sincerely insincere and defensive fashion? Maybe make a bullshit allegation into the bargain? And then (really fucking stupidly!) question moderation?

      That would be an affirmative on all of the above.

      How about if the question was “What if all the people who are men, grew up and became people?” That better?

      • keepcalmcarryon 13.1.1

        Its certainly an offensive question, I dont believe I said I was personally offended, just interested. As I am in your response Bill.
        A man imagining the world a better place with no women would certainly be branded a misogynist.
        There are layers of irony here for you and the internet to judge for themselves- particularly if you re-read your own post.

        • weka 13.1.1.1

          I didn’t take it as Manuka advocating that removing all men was a good thing. I took it in context thus,

          if you want to show how a majority of the “real word” conflicts are “underpinned” by “Sexism, misogyny and rape culture” go for it.

          Just imagine… that every male vanished off the planet for a time. Would wars continue? In their present form?

          So the idea of every male vanishing was used to illustrate that war is a gendered issue. You can of course disagree with that, but better not to use someone’s words against an argument they didn’t actually make.

          I’m pretty sure you don’t know the original context of “all men are rapists” either.

          Handy couple of straw men though.

          • keepcalmcarryon 13.1.1.1.1

            I’d prefer the term ” straw people” 🙂 and no there arent any in my post.
            Do you see where you are wrong, Weka? Had Manuka meant it was a (male) “gendered” issue (men more likely to cause a war or some such gentle assertion) then why was it necessary to postulate the removal of ALL men as being necessary to cease all wars. By direct implication all men must be suspect?
            Some highly emotive and gendered responses going off around here thats for sure, proof positive that conflict is not gender specific 🙂

            • weka 13.1.1.1.1.1

              It was a device to put a proposition. If you want to make it into something else, that’s on you.

            • corokia 13.1.1.1.1.2

              “Some highly emotive and gendered responses”
              Yeah when women speak out some man usually comes along and calls us emotional.
              We’re used to that one.

              • keepcalmcarryon

                I dont see men (sorry, males) and women here abouts, i dont know you. I also mentioned above that conflict is not gender specific, but yes now in your above post we do have a straw person!

          • Manuka AOR 13.1.1.1.2

            So the idea of every male vanishing was used to illustrate that war is a gendered issue.
            Thanks weka, and I still think it is – in its present apocalyptic form anyway.

        • Bill 13.1.1.2

          It was offensive but I wasn’t offended… get tae fuck with your bullshit.

      • vto 13.1.2

        “How about if the question was “What if all the people who are men, grew up and became people?” That better?”

        I don’t know what planet’s tangent you are flying along Bill but you come across like a bitch

        I guess that’s the aim now

        child

        • Bill 13.1.2.1

          How do you view people? How do you view men and women? Differently? The same?

          How do you view men when your lens or framing of yourself is that of a man? How do you view women when holding that perception of yourself? Where did that framing come from? Why was it adopted? What impacts does it have?

          How would you view others if you abandoned that framing and viewed others from a principal or primary perception of yourself as a person? What would you have to reject in order to hold that perspective?

          How would others view you in that case? What pressures would society bring to bear in order that you conformed or re-conformed to social and/or cultural notions of maleness?

          Like the post’s article says, The fortification of the gender binary hurts all of us. It’s about freeing everyone from the expectations and inequalities of each, and creating the freedom to be yourself – despite what society tells you you should be because of your assigned gender.

          It’s not an easy row to hoe.

    • mikes 13.2

      ” Conflict is part of human nature.”

      Where did you hear that one?

      War is certainly not human nature, nobody is born wanting to go out and kill other people, it is learned behaviour.

      I do agree however that in an all female world wars would still continue

      • keepcalmcarryon 13.2.1

        “”conflict is part of human nature” Where did you hear that one”

        R.J. Rummel: “Is social conflict, then, inevitable? Yes, insofar as we participate in a society, we must establish a balance with others. This is not an empirical statement, as “all history has seen conflict; therefore we must conflict.” I am not committing the fallacy of establishing a universal on the basis of empirical knowledge conditioned by time and place (see Popper, 1964). Rather, I am arguing from our human essence and the nature of our societies. Conflict is intrinsic to being a human among humans. It is a social necessity. “

      • Manuka AOR 13.2.2

        in an all female world wars would still continue

        Maybe so, but the world would be very different.

        To illustrate, if we go back a century or so and remove all males from, say, the years 1935 -45, for example. Or even just remove all the males from Adolf’s war cabinet.

        Similarly for most of today’s warring parties. Remove the males and you don’t have many still there.

  14. Amelia Roster 14

    The days of quietly ignoring sexist remarks are long gone. It is about time we take a collective stand against this sexist bullshit and let our inner “bitch” free.

    • Lara 14.1

      I agree, and I’m old enough to have the confidence to stand up for myself. I genuinely don’t give one fuck what sexist men think of me, in fact I’d rather they dislike me.

      However, I have learned recently to my distress that when directly confronted by a man saying or doing sexist things to me I freeze.

      That primal part of the brain (the brainstem) in me chooses freeze. Every time to date. And it’s just something which is incredibly hard to change, not sure it’s even possible.

      This in my case may be due to childhood abuse. While I’m trying to overcome it, I am finding it the hardest thing in my life ever.

      So for those of us who just freeze, I would like to politely request that the rest of those don’t start blaming us for the sexist crap we get. No “why didn’t you call it out / shout out / push away?”

      How about we recognise that some people freeze when faced with a threat, that it’s a natural response, and we support them.

      • Corokia 14.1.1

        Well said Lara!
        The blame for sexist behaviour/ language lies firmly with the person doing/saying it. Expecting those at whom it is directed to stop it from happening by “setting limits” or whatever, is ridiculous and just plain ignorant.

        • Lara 14.1.1.1

          Exactly.

          And it prevents us from addressing the cause of the behaviour. Which is those who engage in it and the aspects of our culture which effectively condone it.

          It’s a continuum. From sexist language and behaviour (which women engage in too to a disturbingly large degree!) to public groping, flashing, leering, catcalling, sexual assault and rape.

          I learned when I was teaching that I had to come down hard on all bad behaviour in the classroom. To ignore the smaller behaviours was to effectively condone it. The line had to be clear and consistently enforced. Teenagers like to push it all the time, so the enforcement never ended. But did become easier over time as they learned exactly where the line was. Their behaviour improved and then real learning could happen.

          Society is the same I think. It’s like a giant classroom. We have culture and common behaviours, and we have common values. Currently we allow too much domestic violence and sexual assault, we often don’t take complaints of victims seriously.

          Culture can change over time. NZ certainly could change from a relatively violent culture to a relatively non violent one.

          There’s a great example here about baboon culture changing from violent to non violent. The change happened and they remained non violent for over 20 years.

          Now, if baboons can do it I would argue so can we.

          To say otherwise is to say were worse than baboons.

          • Lara 14.1.1.1.1

            I was always quite distressed to see my female students calling each other “bithes” and “ho’s”. I asked them if they knew where that word “Ho” came from. They didn’t!

            I told them. They just didn’t seem to care.

            It looked to me like they were aping American hip-hop culture. Ugh.

  15. One Two 15

    Note to mods..

    Ive posted 2 comments on this thread which seemed to vanish when published

    Perhaps in the holding pen?

    Thanks

    [lprent: As far as I can see you are going direct into spam. It doesn’t look like any person put you there. So far I haven’t bothered to find out why why the automatic systems think that is where you belong. Should I look?

    I’ll pass these through as approved with probation. ]

  16. Mrs Brillo 16

    I’ve been challenging sexism for over 60 years now, and I have found that this is an action that brings a degree of respect with it in the long run, even if the sexist’s short term response is pouty or aggressive. Just stick to your guns and be fair.

    It does not make you popular, that’s true, but then that is irrelevant unless you are running for elected office. The people that like you, feminism and all, are the ones you would really want to be liked and respected by anyway. Mr Brillo is with me 100% on this.

    So now I am an old lady and have run out of patience as well as time, and still have not developed any inclination to be docile Mrs Smiley or quiet Ms Enabler. The insults keep coming, and I keep batting them away, online now. (One person on this site called me an excellent troll smiter.)

    Ladies, don’t give those trolls a centimetre. Call them as you see them. Your self respect is something you will have to live with a lot longer than you will the approval of dimwits.

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