Breastfeeding, Stealthing And Acid: How's Your Feminist Rage Today?
How’s your feminist rage today? If you had to give it a level, would you be at Fem Con 4: Mildly Narked, or Fem Con 1: Phoenix, or somewhere in between? Once you’ve established your baseline level, read on and see where it goes…
The Daily Mail published some Very Important News today: a collection of ‘confessions’ from Whisper that promise to reveal what men really think about breastfeeding. To paraphrase, the responses range from ‘I’ll have a go at anyone who gives a breastfeeding mum a hard time because I’m a big tough man,’ to ‘Women’s bodies should be covered at all times in case I get an embarrassing boner,’ to ‘I just don’t understand why they don’t wait until they get home.’ Nowhere is there the actual, correct answer: ‘it’s none of my business. I’m neither a hungry baby nor a woman whose breasts will start spurting milk all over the place if she doesn’t feed her child.’ I would have settled for ‘At least it stops babies crying in public; you can avert your eyes but not your ears.’
If that hasn’t set you off yet, how about this new trend in sex crimes: stealthing. Yes, that’s right, it’s got its own name, and authorities are still trying to figure out how much of a crime it is. Stealthing refers to a man stealthily removing a condom during sex, and then carrying on. As this could obviously result in conception, stealthers tend to only do this with casual partners who probably don’t have their contact details. While it is universally agreed that this is selfish and irresponsible, and a grotesque violation of trust, opinion is divided on whether this constitutes rape or not. Seems fairly simple to me: although a partner has consented to protected sex, they haven’t consented to unprotected sex, and nonconsensual sex is rape. It seems to be in the broader category of sexual assault at the moment, though no-one has yet been convicted for stealthing in the UK. You can read one victim’s story here.
And last but not least, the rise in acid attacks in the UK is, quite frankly, terrifying. Sulphuric acid is the weapon of choice, and there are plans to restrict access to this to prevent future attacks. The horrific injuries sustained by the men and women who are victims of this, are devastating and life-changing. Amidst the horror of the coverage of July 13th’s series of attacks, one story stood out. This piece in the Metro quotes a young man who features in an interview for VICE’s upcoming documentary on the issue:
One of the more shocking revelations by the interviewee, whose voice has been altered and identity not revealed, is the link between acid attacks and women.
The man has been involved in acid attacks before but has not thrown a toxic substance before, but revealed he would.
Shockingly, he also claimed he would use it almost exclusively against women due to the aesthetic and psychological damage of being disfigured that he believes affects women more than men.
He said: ‘If I can get it, then I’ll use it.
‘On a guy I probably wouldn’t, I’d probably do something physical, but on a girl, they love their beauty.
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‘On a guy, if you get scarred, it’s a scar and you show it to your guys, ‘yeah this happened to me, innit. Yeah it’s nothing, it’s nothing’.
‘But when it’s a girl, ‘look at my face’, you know what I’m saying?
‘If I was to use it, nine times out of ten I’ll use it on a girl, honestly.’
Metro, Monday 17th July
How are those rage levels now?
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