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“Dudes too macho to wipe their asses” is apparently a thing

Cats are also absurdly hostile to toilet paper (but at least they do clean their butts on a regular basis)

By David Futrelle

I thought I’d take a moment this Friday evening to signal-boost a very important tweet from film producer Keith Calder on the subject of dudes so wrapped up in their own supposed machoness that they can’t “poop properly” or, even worse, clean up afterwards.

Here’s the tweet.

https://twitter.com/keithcalder/status/918598272243126272

Let us consider each of the three screenshots in turn.

The first one is almost poignant in its innocence, from a Reddit dude who’s been perching on the toilet rim to poop his whole life because he somehow grew up believing that toilet seats are meant only for girls.

The other two (also from Reddit) are a little more disturbing — and disgusting — partly because they involve massive failures in butt hygiene and partly because they feature posts from women who have apparently been putting up with these massive butt hygiene failures from their dudes for a long time.

Also both of the dudes in question refuse to change their ways.

Brace yourself!

I have a number of questions here, not least: how exactly did the author of this post not realize this unpleasant fact about her angry stinky dude BEFORE THEY GOT MARRIED? I’m not trying to blame the victim here but I simply don’t understand how this would even be possible.

Also I hope she has managed to get this abusive shitstain out of her life.

The next story is similarly puzzling:

YES IT IS YES YES AND AGAIN YES.

I can only hope that at least one of these posts is a troll job, if not all of them, but given what I have learned about my fellow men in my years writing this blog I have to admit that they could very well all be true.

DUDES, WIPE YOUR DAMN ASSES.

H/T — Thanks to   on Twitter for alerting me to Calder’s tweet

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kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@PeeVee
Yeah, I got a little teary-eyed reading his proud posts about his son. <3

SpukiKitty
SpukiKitty
2 years ago

@AuntieMameRedux
Welcome to WHTM! I’m new, here, myself….I’m SpukiKitty. I am also a member of FSTDT (Fundies Say The Darndest Things: http://www.fstdt.com/Default.aspx)

Glad that Scildfreja Unnyðnes gave the “Welcome Package”. I was going to do that do but it’s been done (Thank you, bunches, Scildfreja).

And yes! AGGRESSION is a huge part of it. They want to make things as unpleasant for the women as possible. They are sadists who love it when women squirm and are forced into sexytimes with a filthy slob with poopybutt.

********

I wouldn’t sweat about the future of the country or humanity, though. Trump is actually wildly UNPOPULAR and only won due to Russian meddling and The Electoral College.

If the United States….
* Didn’t have the Electoral College.
* Wasn’t full of districts Gerrymandered to favor the GOP.
* Didn’t have a lot of efforts by the GOP to make voting harder for certain (oft young, poor and/or melanin-enriched/DNC-favoring) demographics.
* Didn’t have a huge issue with Voter Apathy (many who could vote just don’t).
….The country would be mostly Blue and Purple!

However; We’re working on this! There is a sizeable “Resistance” and even the GOP and Neo-Fascist bunch is infighting and divided.

The hateful may be seem sizeable and are really loud but they are still a minority. There isn’t more of them, they’re just a LOT more vocal now.

There’s always hope. As long as there’s life, there is hope. Also; Most of the retrograde types are Boomers with a few Gen-Xers tossed-in but a majority of Gen-Xers and most Millennials are mostly Progressive and the ethnic make-up of the country is changing. There’s more Latinxs and Blacks and most of them don’t favor the GOP.

This latest burst of “World-Wide Reactionary Bullcrap” is mainly an “Extinction Burst”….as long as we keep on fighting it, of course.

********

I also have a theory that many (but not all, of course) who favor the Far-Right in Europe are not necessarily embracing Far-Right mores but are doing so in a misguided attempt to keep Europe (at least Western Europe), “Progressive, secular and modern”.

They don’t know any better, know zilch about Islam, only know about the guys blowing up stuff and figure that all those Muslim Immigrants will bring their Conservative social mores as well and influence politics and society into a more sexually and socially uptight place.

I AM NOT EXCUSING EUROPE OR THEIR XENOPHOBIA, MIND YOU, I’m just THEORIZING on why “Far-Right” is suddenly “All-The Rage”.

And, again…. Some European countries have issues with “voter apathy”. Most non-xenophobic types just don’t bother to vote.

I doubt most Europeans are suddenly going “HITLER! FUCK YEAH!”.

Otherwise “modern, progressive” people and societies can be bigoted, too (especially if they’ve always been demographically ‘uniform’).

Educate Europeans about Islam and Muslims, teach against Islamophobia and I’m sure support for Far-Right parties will drop in their appeal. Even the U.K. is having second-thoughts about Brexit and groups like UKIP and BNP are dying.

********

We must not be naive or ignore the groom but we should always stay positive and hopeful, keep a high morale, keep up the good fight and reject alarmism.

AuntieMameRedux
AuntieMameRedux
2 years ago

@Kat the Ambassador – Love your name, btw, anyway, I find myself a little shocked that this:

I’m familiar with the phenomenon of men not attending to basic hygiene because they’re authoritarians. And this:

I’m also familiar with another type of guy who won’t attend to basic hygiene. An ex-boyfriend wasn’t hostile to women or authoritarian. He was lazy, at least about some things, and infatuated with himself. He wanted to be loved “for himself,” without having to make a big effort. In his case, that effort extended to hygiene. Yuck.

are more of a thing than I ever imagined. This was my first experience with such a thing.

@ExSexWorker

Another district heard from – thank you for your bravery. It is a cliché (I don’t know how true) that sex workers absorb a lot of the misogyny, degradation and now it seems poor attention to hygiene that guys don’t take home to their SOs. And these days with choice and sex positive feminism, it is hard to mount an argument about why so much of sex work and pornography still looks like hatred, exploitation and abuse. (Don’t you want women to be able to make choices with/for their bodies? Isn’t that what you are fighting for? Or more aggressively, “What are you, some kind of man/sex hating prude?”) I have no problem with sex or women who choose to be sex workers out of either necessity or vocation. But my heart and reason tell me that when women who aren’t sex workers still don’t own their own bodies, are still daily harassed and raped and otherwise abused that this utopian argument of choice making sex workers completely divorced from the reality of the rest of the culture is just missing the mark in a major way. I’ve also read and watched things that talk about how women are actually treated in these industries for good and ill. It isn’t divorced from the rest of the culture. So, can you tell me how a reasonable argument that addresses both freedom and reality could possibly be mounted?

@SpukiKat

And yes! AGGRESSION is a huge part of it. They want to make things as unpleasant for the women as possible. They are sadists who love it when women squirm and are forced into sexytimes with a filthy slob with poopybutt.

This seemed to be a huge part of it to me, combined with laziness and finally, the thing we never talk about – that men are not trained from childhood to think their bodies are filthy and disgusting and ugly just by nature. They probably don’t have the same fastidious fears that women have about presenting their body to another person in anything less than a pristine state.

As for the rise of populism, racism and fascism in America and Europe, I wasn’t giving into despair – honest, but I see it as part of war cycle. After reading your post though I am hoping that you are right and that if we keep fighting that this will be one of the last times we have to deal with this particular cycle and that we move into the next age. Can you tell me more about the movement? I promised myself, after the nagging certainty I felt all through the campaign that indeed Trump would be president, that I would not be idle – that I would do something. I was following Brand New Congress for a while, but haven’t checked in on their progress. Would love to know.

@Scildfreja

Thank you for the welcome package. I have been reading it and found lots of great stuff!

Thank you also for this:

I’m glad to hear that you’ve kicked your anchor to the curb. That guy sounds like nothing but dead weight to drag you down. I hope he’s no longer in your life and you’re free to do your own thing! I agree that that sort of uncleanliness can certainly be part of an aggression mode. “Aggression” is basically toxic-masculinity-101. Doing things to intentionally frustrate or stymie others is a way little boys are taught to feel good about themselves – they learn that “winning” involves “making other people upset”, and associate with that instead of with, you know, the actual thing they were trying to accomplish. Largely unconscious in adulthood though, really. Everything important is, at least.

He is no longer in my life and will be completely out of it once I manage the divorce. However, I am still recovering from the abuse – financial, verbal, psychological and sexual. I have never been more shocked to see a person I thought I knew change so much the minute the ring was on my finger. I had heard of such things but had never experienced them. I thought I would be safe with an old friend. Thank you so much for your kindness and concern – it really helps.

Z&T
Z&T
2 years ago

@ Auntie Mame Redux,

New here too 🙂 I had some thoughts on your thoughts, – and as usual I am at a loss for words.

I have never encountered any really “unclean” people. Of course I have been single for awhile.

My comrade in elbow bending here, I’m minding her because she was extremely ill – from being bit up from some poisonous bug. Consensus is brown recluse spider.

Her house is spotlessly clean. Believe me, I’ve been there to help clean and inspect, and clean some more, oi. It was clean to begin with. You’ll probably never know exactly what happened. I am a clean person too.

Gross men? I haven’t encountered any. They were passive aggressive in other ways, but gross or dirty – no.

Trying to think of gross things….

Well who doesn’t wipe their arse? Is this here. Seriously?

I will confess that I have traveled the world – but I do not know how to use a “bidet”. And I never pursued it because for my habits, in the am, then I’m going to take a shower anyway, so everything will be clean from that.

Does the bidet like spray things at your bits? And if so, how do you dry it? I’m thinking like, if you’re sitting on a pot, your pants are down around your ankles, and things are spraying the bits, – so how do you get up then, without wet crotch leaking water on pants?

And if there is some kind of “drying” involved – possibly, from some things I’ve seen, well JMHO but this is getting way too complex for me then.

Dump and wipe good. Chances are you’ll be taking a bath or shower after anyway. Otherwise, try to keep clean. There’s the “wipes” too, if you need them.

How do people not know this?
Of course I don’t know what to do with a bidet, either.
Do welcome any advice! Maybe this is something I need. Or maybe don’t need. This is why you seek to learn about things.

And “these guys” – didn’t they get any “potty training”?

Austin Loomis
2 years ago

men are not trained from childhood to think their bodies are filthy and disgusting and ugly just by nature. They probably don’t have the same fastidious fears that women have about presenting their body to another person in anything less than a pristine state.

CW: mention of “positively Lovecraftian” aromas

Maybe more of these guys need to get given a washcloth and a bar of soap by their Secret Santa at a school choir Christmas party. And then told by literally everybody else at the party that it’s because they stink.

Or maybe more of them need to go into the military they’re so happy to praise from a safe distance. I’m reminded of what Paul Riddell wrote (before he finally kicked his writing habit) about those Creatures from the Black Latrine that haunt(ed) so many of our nation’s Friendly Local Comics Shops:

If Cat Piss Man were to […] smell like this in the Army, he’d get a good scrubdown with lye soap and wire brushes. (I had Cat Piss Man’s brother in my Basic Training platoon in the Army, and we finally had to give him a blanket party a la Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket to convince him that bathing and changing clothes were good things, because every other method simply didn’t work.)

(Google “the wrath of cat piss man” or just “cat piss man”, but be warned, the full description is not for the faint of stomach.)

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
2 years ago

@AuntieMameRedux

I have never been more shocked to see a person I thought I knew change so much the minute the ring was on my finger.

You probably already know this, but I feel compelled to point it out for anyone who doesn’t: This is classic abuser behavior. The abuser waits until he thinks that you can’t leave him, because now you’re married or living together or have a child together or maybe just have had a second date — and then he starts to pull shit.

How wonderful that you left this man!

SpukiKitty
SpukiKitty
2 years ago

@AuntieMameRedux
Here’s some resources on folks fighting the Regressive Right in the USA….
https://www.indivisible.org/
https://secure.actblue.com/
https://victoryfund.org/
https://swingleft.org/
http://www.emilyslist.org/

Here’s some old standbys….
https://www.aclu.org/
https://www.splcenter.org/
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/
https://www.glaad.org/

My fave Left-Leaning Progressive news source….
http://www.politicususa.com/

….There’s a bunch of stuff out there.

Don’t forget all those huge protests for Women’s Rights, Black Lives Matter, the accelerated push to take down all those Confederate Monuments and whatnot.

He is no longer in my life and will be completely out of it once I manage the divorce. However, I am still recovering from the abuse – financial, verbal, psychological and sexual. I have never been more shocked to see a person I thought I knew change so much the minute the ring was on my finger. I had heard of such things but had never experienced them. I thought I would be safe with an old friend. Thank you so much for your kindness and concern – it really helps.

Wow! I hope you recover. There needs to be a guide for gals to seek signs that that “sweet” guy isn’t faking it and pulling an abuser bait-and-switch.

ExSexWorker
ExSexWorker
2 years ago

@ellesar

My experience was in the 1990’s in NZ.

It wasn’t all of them by no means, but enough for it to be a trend I noticed.

ExSexWorker
ExSexWorker
2 years ago

@AuntiMameRedux

“And these days with choice and sex positive feminism, it is hard to mount an argument about why so much of sex work and pornography still looks like hatred, exploitation and abuse”

This. This is exactly why I don’t deal anymore with third wave online feminists.

Now, to be fair, not all of my experience was exploitative nor abusive. There was an element that was positive…. in a way. I did feel valued for how I looked, and as a young 20 something woman that was valuable at the time.

But there was an experience which was brutal and traumatic at the end of my “career”. Which ended it.

Like forestry workers are in danger of accidents, sex workers are in danger of sexual assault. And going to the police? Back in the ’90’s anyway, pffft. Worse than a waste of time. Further abuse.

And so now today I am aware of how male centric the porn industry is, and worse how abusive it can be. And it’s apparently a huge portion of the internet, and so there are plenty of men and a fair few women about who regularly view that stuff. Which uses, chews up and spits out so many very young women. Who stay in the industry an average of 3 months, apparently.

So I’m aware of how I as a woman am viewed by so many men in society around me. And my experience tells me how that feels. As a walking bunch of orifices. And that’s not good.

I do not think it’s okay for men to buy access to women’s bodies, and I don’t want to live in such a society. I think a truly equal society would not have this to this extent. And I just can’t even with the feminism that says it was all just my choice, that sex work is just AOK and my experience of abuse and my PTSD from it all is just me, that everyone else is just AOK.

Fuck that.

And, TBH, apart from these very few comments here and now, this is not something I speak about anywhere online. Because to do so is to open myself up to exposure.

So it’s not something I can even speak with online with these bloody feminists. So there are so many voices like mine they don’t hear. And when I try to be oblique, they don’t seem to want to listen.

So thank you to David Futrelle for allowing me to comment here with a fake name 🙂

Shadowplay
Shadowplay
2 years ago

@ExSexWorker

Thank you for that. I appreciate it – you saw what you saw, felt what you felt and did what you did, and that is valid, full stop. No one has the right to ignore or minimise your experiences.

It won’t change until people (not just men, I know women who are just as bad about it):
see sex work itself as nothing to be ashamed of,
see patronizing** sex workers as nothing to be ashamed of,
and see the workers to be actual people and not some sort of vending machine.

Italy and France, for example, are often mentioned as being more sex positive and open culturally than the US or the UK. That is true to an extent – for lovers (mistresses especially, they are still very male-centric). Not so much for actual sex workers who are seen as necessary evils.

** Horrible word, but I can’t think of a better one. Brain’s not working.

adam
adam
2 years ago

I use water, not toilet paper.. like the French. I have a hairy ass and its wayyyyY cleaner. Toilet paper does not work! Makes my butt hole just itch all day. Just ditch toilet paper and reinvent how we use toilets please, they are disgusting right now.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

@PeeVee, @kupo,

Aw, I just went and read Chuck’s tweets about his son’s wedding. Bloody onion fairy has attacked muh eyes…
So glad you mentioned this xx

Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
2 years ago

@ExSexWorker, just so you know, disparaging comments about the amorphous horde of “third wave online feminists” is often a tell for me that someone is a SWERF, a TERF, or an MRA sockpuppet.

Maybe that’s just me.

As for “these bloody feminists” –
Gosh I hope none of them are reading your words and feeling silenced.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

@Croquembouche,

Ta for that, fellow countryperson.
Wasn’t going to wade in; done the sex work, seen the good and the horrible; don’t quite know how to be objective about it. Appreciate your post 🙂

Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
2 years ago

@Mish, I was hesitant to wade in for the complementary reason: not having been there myself, I question my right and qualifications to comment.
Sometimes people silence both bystanders and those directly affected that way. Very economical.

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
2 years ago

Croquembouche, my alarm bells are going off, as well. 😒

Kupo and Mish,

I unapologetically love Chuck Tingle. He’s a national treasure.

KLOWY.

Ellesar
Ellesar
2 years ago

not all of my experience was exploitative nor abusive.

I would say v little for me – but there is the general exploitation that is the sex industry which leaves me negative about it. Hating the industry is not at all about the people within who are not trying to hurt others. It is everything about (mostly) men foisting their darkest fantasies on women and girls ( and not so often men and boys).

My experience was also a long time ago and I wonder how the accepted violence in mainstream porn has changed the average punter. I did not have to cope with any ‘rough treatment’ – and the porn used in the place was a lot of Ron Jeremy and I really don’t remember any rough stuff.

I did meet a few HORRIBLE older women. I am a big assertive woman, but I would not have wanted to get into a fight with any of them (verbal or physical). What I learnt from them was that there are women who benefit from the exploitation of other women and they do not give a shit.

And whilst I did not suffer violence. or see any, there were a lot of stories. And a lot of childhood abuse, substance abuse etc. That was sad and I still remember a lot of what other women shared with me, so long after.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
2 years ago

Croquembouche, my alarm bells are going off, as well.

Ditto.

I’ll leave the sex work debate to people who know what they’re talking about, but the “Choice feminism” insult makes me see red. Shaming and controlling women is shaming and controlling women regardless of who’s doing it, damnit.

Diptych
Diptych
2 years ago

Like forestry workers are in danger of accidents, sex workers are in danger of sexual assault. And going to the police? Back in the ’90’s anyway, pffft. Worse than a waste of time. Further abuse.

I’ll admit up front I’ve got no skin in the game myself, but I’ve seen convincing and apparently well-substantiated arguments that only a policy of decriminalisation/legalisation can serve as the basis for effective legal protection for sex workers – otherwise, any report to the police becomes nothing more than a pretext for a raid; if not against the workers themselves, then against their clients.

Generally, I’d say… in a deeply unequal, violent, patriarchal, unjust society, I’d expect the sex industry – among many others – to have massive, terrible issues. If we abolished every industry where that would the case, I don’t know if we’d have many industries left – and we’d have made a lot of people unemployed, or driven them underground, without having addressed the underlying issues at all.

ExSexWorker
ExSexWorker
2 years ago

“@ExSexWorker, just so you know, disparaging comments about the amorphous horde of “third wave online feminists” is often a tell for me that someone is a SWERF, a TERF, or an MRA sock puppet.”

I’m none of those things.

I’m an actual woman who has actual experience in the sex industry. And who sees third wave feminism as refusing to acknowledge that the sex industry can be harmful to women, couching it all in a language of choice.

And so after some years of trying to engage with third wave feminists, I find myself alienated from the movement.

I consider myself a feminist.

And I know what a SWERF and TERF is. And that’s not what I am.

ExSexWorker
ExSexWorker
2 years ago

Croquembouche

believe me or not, I really don’t give too much of a toss

but your questioning my veracity is yet another example of why I can’t engage online with modern feminists regarding this issue.

here I am, risking exposure, and yet still I get questioned.

I’m done.

Diptych
Diptych
2 years ago

Aw, phooey, and my comment got ignored.

PeeVee the (Tired of the Militant Plasticfaced) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Tired of the Militant Plasticfaced) Sarcastic
2 years ago

Probably because the gratuitous slams to feminists, third wave or otherwise, is going to raise a few eyebrows, Ex Sex.

REALLY unnecessary, especially since you opened with

Okay, so I’m gonna post just this one comment here under a pseudonym for rather obvious reasons.

implying that you’ve commented here before, so we know who you are. And that you’re aware that this is a feminist space.

So, yeah. My alarms are jangling.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

@Diptych

Aw, phooey, and my comment got ignored.

For what it’s worth, I agree completely with your comment.

Ex-Sex Worker & Ellesar both raised valid issues, imho. But Ellesar did it without any sweeping statements about choice/third wave feminism.

Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
2 years ago

ExSexWorker, I’m sorry you don’t feel you can discuss the issue without pre-emptively damning “these bloody feminists” who don’t agree with you.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
2 years ago

@ExSexWorker

I’m not sure why you feel that bashing feminists contributes to the discussion. I was actually paying close attention to what you were saying, but then you decided to tell me what I think about it and I stopped caring.

Regardless of your street cred, you don’t actually get to instruct me on what I think and what my opinion is of sex work. So, if that’s all you came here to do, your voice will certainly not be missed by me.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
2 years ago

The person who apparently doesn’t know what a TERF is described herself as an “actual woman”

Just saying

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@Axe
To be fair, she might mean actual woman as opposed to the sockpuppets we get with female-coded names.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
2 years ago

@kupo
Point taken. Still…

Tho, in fairness, she does, in fact, say she knows what TERFs and SWERFs are. She just rejects the labels. My B. Still…

SpukiKitty
SpukiKitty
2 years ago

I’m one of those “Sex-Positive” feminists that ExSexWorker’s leery of.

Concerning Sex Work; I believe in REFORM not banning.

I agree that a lot of today’s porn is gross and brutal. However; There is also a lot of woman-friendly and “feminist porn” being made.

I don’t think sex stuff should be suppressed. Suppression causes more problems. It’s better to make it legal but heavily regulate and reform it so everyone is safe and healthy.

Porn and Prostitution should require licenses, regulations, ethical guidelines, legal protections for the participants, frequent medical checkups and other safeguards.

Instead of tossing the baby out with the bathwater, get some fresh clean bathwater.

********

That said; I wish ExSexWorker well and hope she finds the healing she needs. Hopefully; with plenty of regulation and safeguards, others won’t experience what ExSexWorker experienced.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

What about amateur porn? If producing that required a license most of it would likely disappear. Perhaps a license should only be needed for commercial production (as defined, say, by the actors being paid employees), and the rules for amateur porn don’t raise a barrier to entry (if no-one’s underage, and everyone consented to distribution of the tape, then no problem).

If it’s the commercial stuff that tends to be exploitative, that would regulate it, increase its costs/barriers to entry, and avoid discouraging its free competition.

AuntieMameRedux
AuntieMameRedux
2 years ago

@Ambassador Kat

Boy, I wish the feminist government in exile really existed. As for the dramatic change that took place once I was married. Yes, now I know that it was a sign of abuse – along with many other things I experienced – gaslighting, triangulation, rage meltdowns around me if not necessarily always directed at me that included screaming and banging on furniture and vitriol. When I complained I was told that I shouldn’t have a problem because those “weren’t about me” – but I was usually the only one there to absorb the poison. So, yes, I have learned a lot about the tactics of manipulation and psychological abuse. What I wish is that there was some way to teach these to young women – they are the ones who need them so badly – and to somehow get across the subtleties and confusion that all of this brings too. So, thank you for pointing it out – this is something that we aren’t taught, along with so many other things.

@ExSexWorker –

I’ve been thinking about you and your response all week. It has haunted me a bit in fact. First, thank you for not jumping all over me for not spouting the third wave feminist line. Somehow, in a twisted, subtle way the rhetoric of ‘choice’ has been coopted by those who wish to harm us and used as a weapon against us – and not just in relation to sex work. In relation to reproductive rights and freedoms that in actual fact include a lot more than the right and ability to terminate a pregnancy. As the great feminist Marilyn French said “Women’s state, status and freedom cannot be addressed unless the fact of her reproductive capacity and all the implications over the course of her life are acknowledged.” Paraphrase rather than absolute quote, but that was more than the gist.

When the ‘choice’ argument has been presented to me, I can sort of acknowledge it intellectually but I have never been able to square it with my heart or my ethics. I have had friends who were sex workers. A couple strippers, a couple escorts and a dominatrix. None of them were unscarred by the experience and none had other choices when they went into sex work. I think the dominatrix thought that this would keep her away from the literal sex and from trauma, but it turned out to be just the opposite. Like you, I am pretty certain that she suffered from ptsd for a long time.

I wish I had something incredibly wise or comforting to say, other than I am here. I am listening. I thought about you all week. This is making me more determined than ever to figure out a way to first understand how choice has somehow been turned into a weapon that seems to mean – well, you chose it so you deserved it. Sorry, but few of us know we are choosing abuse and trauma when we are going in. Than I want to mount a defense that untwists the horrible way this something that was originally a step in the right direction has been turned on women as yet another weapon of shame.

Which brings me finally to the Me too Movement. This has been hitting me hard all week too. Reading other women’s accounts and thinking of my own experience has led me to conclusions and implications that are genuinely disturbing:

1. Many, perhaps even most women report a consistent, pervasive pattern of low level sexual harassment and abuse starting in childhood and continuing across the span of their lives.
2. With these kind of numbers, it is clear that Men We Know and Love are doing this. Maybe most men are careful not to do it to women within their immediate social networks where consequences might find them, but it has to be at least some of the men we know. (People qualified to draw conclusions from the statistics are saying it looks like something like 80 to 90% of women have had at least one instance of sexual assault, abuse, harassment or intimidation.) How do I even begin to look at the men around me? How aware are they? When abusing slightly outside of their social circles, is this a service to other men? The target is softened up for the horror of betrayal by someone we trust to at least observe the social contract?

And with this, how can any woman have self-esteem, self worth, make good choices, even glimpse what her potential might actually be? Honestly this looks like just one arrow in the quiver that systematically breaks women and it has frightened and upset me more than I can tell you. This is another reason why I have been thinking about the things you said all week – because they apply here.

The ROK fools are so certain that women hate men or feminists hate men – but it is so not true. When we have negative feelings it isn’t hate so much as fear and bewilderment.

So, all of this has been swirling around in my head this week with special emphasis on the ‘choices’ of sex work and the people I have known personally. Thank you for your bravery and openness in posting – even if it is behind a pseudonym – no reason to put yourself out there for further abuse. Now I am determined to figure out just how something good – women owning and having choices in reproductive matters – has been twisted into the usual weapon of ‘it’s all your fault and you deserve whatever bad things have happened to you’. I am determined to try and find a way to neutralize that poison.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
2 years ago

@AuntieMameRedux

@Ambassador Kat

Boy, I wish the feminist government in exile really existed.

It’s real. It’s just me and my girl cat — the brains behind the operation — but we have high hopes for the future.

My girl cat was my late mother’s cat. After my mother died, the cat lived with one of my brothers for a while. Our father was an MRA before there was an MRA, as was my brother — who is now dead but who was, in addition to being a proto-MRA, also an alcoholic who couldn’t hold a job and lived with my parents for 20+ years.

By the time I took the girl cat off my brother’s hands, she would try to be stoic but, for her first few years with me, was afraid of lots of things. Crinkly things. Rolled-up magazines. The ironing board. The vacuum cleaner. Etc. Depending on the source of her terror, she would either howl, slash, and run — or just run.

She was also a raging feminist. When my boyfriend would start an argument, she would place herself between the two of us. When I would start an argument, she would leave us alone. Once, when the boy cat got really loud, she swiped and swatted at him: Be quiet! Nowadays, she knows that she doesn’t have to concern herself with our arguments (or most of her other, early sources of fear), so she doesn’t bother, but her politics are still strong.

The feminist government in exile says the future is female. Allies are also welcome.

AuntieMameRedux
AuntieMameRedux
2 years ago

@SpukiKitty

Thank you for the list of links! I am going through them and reading them. Like I said, I promised myself that I can’t just stay idle or only do a little and it is a promise I want to keep.

@Kat – So funny about your girl kitty. I have a household of traumatized cats (they seem to just show up in my backyard sick, injured and desperate) so I know of the fears of cats who have been terrorized – but a lot of them get better with patient care. Cats can be very protective too.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

*long post, apologies in advance*

@AuntieMameRedux

In your response to Ex Sex-Worker, you’ve said a few things that I find troubling, and you seem to be arguing against something/someone without actually specifying up-front.

First, thank you for not jumping all over me for not spouting the third wave feminist line.

Given Ex Sex-Worker’s stated opposition to third-wave feminism, I’m not sure why you felt the need to thank them for this. Plus, “spouting the third wave feminist line” is a disparaging way to put it, to say the least.

In relation to reproductive rights and freedoms that in actual fact include a lot more than the right and ability to terminate a pregnancy.

(followed up with Marilyn French quote that implies “woman” = reproductive capacity). Hm.

So, all of this has been swirling around in my head this week with special emphasis on the ‘choices’ of sex work and the people I have known personally.

Why are there scare quotes around ‘choices’? Choosing something doesn’t mean your choice is perfect, you know. I chose sex work. I chose addiction. I also chose to have my son, and to do my PhD. I chose to legally marry my partner – partly so he could get permanent residency. These choices are complicated and they have differing degrees of ‘bad’ and ‘good’. I’m fairly sure most feminists, including these ‘awful’ third-wave ones, understand this.

something good – women owning and having choices in reproductive matters – has been twisted into the usual weapon of ‘it’s all your fault and you deserve whatever bad things have happened to you’.

Again, who are you talking about here?
Honouring women’s choices doesn’t mean suspending critical judgement (and this includes examining our own choices). And it certainly doesn’t mean “you chose this, therefore whatever happens is on you.”
I’ve seen that view among certain conservatives and alt-righters, but I don’t think that’s who you’re referring to.

(now I’ve typed “choice” and “chose” so many times the words look totally weird dammit)

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
2 years ago

@AuntieMameRedux

I have a household of traumatized cats (they seem to just show up in my backyard sick, injured and desperate) so I know of the fears of cats who have been terrorized – but a lot of them get better with patient care.

Blessings upon you & your kitties.

Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
Croquembouche, extrenely mamal omen
2 years ago

@ Mish, boomerang “thank you, fellow countryperson” for pointing out to AuntieMameRedux that if she truly believes ExSexWorker was railing against anti Third Wavers, she should re-read what ESW actually said.
AMR, since ESW seems to have withdrawn, could you at least point us in the general direction of these (straw?) sex-positive ho-blaming feminists who are dominating the discourse?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
2 years ago

This is making me more determined than ever to figure out a way to first understand how choice has somehow been turned into a weapon that seems to mean – well, you chose it so you deserved it.

That is not how the language of “choice” has ever been presented in my experience before. “Choice feminism” is a term that has always referred to a type of feminism that holds that any choice a woman makes is automatically feminist. “I choose my choice” is the typical way it is (disparagingly) described. It is in this sense that sex work is presented as being feminist, because it is mainly a female profession, and a not-insignificant number of women enter the profession by ostensibly choosing to do so.

There are a lot of problems with this, the most significant of which is the fact that few women (and few people period) make employment decisions in an environment of complete freedom of choice. It’s troubling enough when folks “choose” minimum-wage jobs that are hard on their bodies and minds because no other realistic option exists. It is even more troubling when that “choice” is sex work, which can be orders of magnitude more damaging than flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

There is a robust debate around women’s choices and whether they are presumed feminist, or can/should be criticized. I’m not going to go deeply into it, but I will say that your characterization of that debate is … nonstandard. Who are these people who have said to you that a woman chose sex work and therefore deserves what she gets? That is just-world fallacy nonsense, which is common in the world but not very common amongst feminists in my experience.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

@Croquembouche,
This whole thing is just weird…

@Policy of Madness,

Exactly. Well put.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

Who are these people who have said to you that a woman chose sex work and therefore deserves what she gets?

There was one of them over on Pharyngula the other day but I would argue they’re not a feminist.

Suppiluliuma
Suppiluliuma
2 years ago

These dudebro troglodytes need to learn to hold themselves to the standard of cleanliness set by public women’s restrooms.

AuntieMameRedux
AuntieMameRedux
2 years ago

There are a lot of problems with this, the most significant of which is the fact that few women (and few people period) make employment decisions in an environment of complete freedom of choice. It’s troubling enough when folks “choose” minimum-wage jobs that are hard on their bodies and minds because no other realistic option exists. It is even more troubling when that “choice” is sex work, which can be orders of magnitude more damaging than flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

This is what I mean – and I hear it a lot both reading and anecdotally – talking to people that I meet in various contexts. I don’t agree that making a choice means that you should both have other choices available and have a reasonable degree of certainty what the consequences of that choice are. It is the consequences where I have problems. A lot of the choices that women make, in a place of no reasonable other options, no real idea of what the actual consequences are then get loaded onto their back as their fault when things go badly. Sex work is one of those places, but not the only one by a long shot. Nor is it just women either – people with low cultural capital get blamed for the consequences of their so called choices all of the time. A horrible example, look what the president said recently “He knew what he was signing up for.” And no, I don’t just hear conservatives and that ilk saying this kind of thing. ON the other end of the spectrum the illusion of choice is often treated as if it is actual choice. It is wrong and it bothers me.