Friday, 25 January 2013

No doesn't mean no:

Trigger warning: frank discussion of rape and what really happens when someone who is seen as a woman says no.

No doubt you've read this: (if not, you might want to)

But to get back on subject. I was eleven when my supposedly best friend's brother started coming onto me. He was 12-13.

"No" "No, I don't want to date you" "No, I don't want to have sex with you". I said over and over.

He asked again and again for over four hours. That is what you get when you say No clearly and unequivocally.

Then he attempted to force himself on me at the bottom of the garden. I tore away and ran shaking home. This refusal to hear my no, only stopped when his Grandmother walked in on him sexually assaulting me on another day when I was playing with my best friend, he wasn't supposed to be there but he was and she left me with him, I said no again repeatedly, it didn't matter to him. Of course I was the "whore" and my friend was forbidden to play with me, never mind there were questions that he'd sexually assaulted other children on the street, and he'd been investigated for it.

When I was 16. I told a man twice my age repeatedly at a party that I was not interested in his number, no, I didn't want to go for a ride with him. No, I didn't want to date him on Saturday. He followed me from room to room helped by a female accomplice, who physically dragged me over and shoved me at him even when I hid behind my mother, he forced his number into my hand. I threw it away, and was immediately abused as a "slut" and a "whore".

 A year later, a man tried to get me to get into his car and to go for a drink with him. I said "no", he continued to pestering me to get in and I walked away, I was standing right next to a pub, later he was arrested for rape.

Six months later a male friend of a friend gave me a ride home, suddenly he pulled off into the dark local park and started pestering me to get out of the car and "go for a walk with him". I said "no" again and again, I suspect the only reason I wasn't raped then and there was that he was worried about leaving DNA evidence in the car. Eventually he drove me home in a thunderous mood.

Fast forward another year and two male flatmates of a female friend came up to my flat, their flat was out of food and could they get something to eat? I've always been very soft hearted, so I set about getting them something to eat. Next thing I know while holding the food I gave them, they started pestering me to "judge a penis size contest". I said "No", I said it again, I said it to whining, to wheedling to begging, over and over. The only reason nothing more happened was that someone else knocked on the door.

Then in work one day, a coworker who had previously seemed decent asked me for a blow job, I said "no", he asked again reaching for my chest, I stepped back and said "no", he asked me out, I said "no". Rinse repeat until my Nos were cutting off his each sentence. My boss? Felt it was no big deal that I was pestered and in real danger of being raped in his office.

In a store one day, a worker approached me and asked me out. I said No, he circled around and asked again. I left the store and came back later and complained, he no longer works there.

In a library, a man asked me out, I said No, he kept coming back and asking, the answer remained no. When I left the library, he attempted to follow me home. I managed to lose him. Another man did the same thing while I was in a soup kitchen only a few days later.

A man asked me out in the street, I said "No", his response? "oh your boyfriend won't know!" and repeated demands as a I walked away.

Seeing a specialist, I was asked if I wanted X treatment. I said "no", the male doctor told me to lie down on the table for seemingly an examination, he immediately administered X treatment, leaving me injured and in pain. He could have killed me with that treatment.

Other times I have told people not to touch me explicitly, five minutes later, it has been seemingly forgotten as hands are laid on me. Women and men do this.

I am autistic, I do not engage in polite refusal, if I don't want to date/have sex with/do anything, I will say "no" and mean it. My nos are never heeded, the problem has never been what women do or don't say, it will always be Men's refusal to heed it. Women don't listen as well, but men tend to do it when it comes to consent issues. Men will creep on the boundaries, and keep asking in the face of a clear impossible to misunderstand no. So teaching women to say no does nothing while men refuse to heed it.

The notion that men do not understand a no is bullshit, they understand perfect, they simply do not heed it when they want something, regardless of how clear that no is.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Artists wanted/see me

Social justice isn't the topic of the day, vanity art sites are.

Watch out for this vanity art site. It's like and has a history of being poorly behaved and hiding information from the artists. I first came across them offering jobs at my local job center, these jobs were completely bogus, there was no paying work to be had from them. The jobs adverts were solely for one reason, to gather the personal information of artists in order to spam and solicit us onto what is a pay site.

Their new version:

This site should send up red flags if you are an artist, it's poorly laid out, the fees are concealed and just look how one of their staff acts when in response to advertising artists are less than impressed and feel it looks scammy.

It's how the industry works!

No, no, it's not. You should never have to pay to have your work displayed in most galleries. The notable exceptions are well known juried books such as Expose that feature massive followings and that are regularly ordered by art directors and the like. Artists wanted/see me is not one of these.

(Link: Expose

Expose is a legitimate art book, the fees are upfront and it is worth getting into, it is a big name in digital art and concept art circles, if you are willing to enter pay contests, choose ones with a solid background and following like that. Artists wanted/see me does not have that.)

The See me staff member insults cautious artists.

Because saying that artists bring discredit to their community, lack experience and in particular aren't experienced in professional art is really going to get them to trust you. That's just a way of saying "Well, you're all unprofessional", it's a person attack. If artists wanted/see me was so upfront, it's staff members wouldn't namecall anyone who criticises it.

See me staffer accuses people of being rude.

Totally not defensive, because not defensive people insult others.

Suspect this is a sockpuppet, it talks the same way the staff member does.

There are negative reviews about this site as well, which is probably why art wanted became see me.

Post from a person who entered a contest and did not receive promised rewards.

A former paid user talks about their negative experience with the site.

Paid for an account, the account doesn't work. Tech support refuses to respond.

Basically the way the "contest" works, is that they get $50-$70 membership fee, plus more if more than seven works are submitted by members, from tens of thousands of people. So if 50,000 artists enter? That's a minimum of $2500000 in fees they're taking probably much more since I didn't count all the alternative fees such as the $25 fee that gets the work on the front page. Btw? The space they used for the contest winner was donated free of charge. I'm sure it costs money to run the website and wages, which explains why after making 1.3 million in one years they're supposedly not profitable yet, but it's clear that this company isn't the ultimate exposure unless you have the money to pay all their fees for the most exposure on their site, plus a fan following capable of pushing you to the top, the websites staff are unprofessional, the site itself is full of hidden fees and the company has a history of being less than truthful.

My reccommendation: Avoid like the plague.

Friday, 11 January 2013

I ain't divisive...

Yet again another supposedly pro-minority group decided to throw two thirds of it's membership out in the cold because we have a different gender to the owner or are female bodied. Cos hey sexist shit isn't a problem so long as you defend it and say you found it funny, and tell the rest of us we're humourless for being pissed and offended.

Then followed it up today with posting a demand for "we're all in this together" and "let's work together". Um, no, fuck you.

We aren't all in this together, you fucking prove that when:

You decide that some of us have to leave our gender/race/disability/class/sexuality/any minority at the door in order to be part of a group.

You decide that it's okay to slag off another minority and when members of that minority who share a minority with you tell you that they are offended by said slagging, you paint them as unreasonable.

You decide that we have to put up with wounds from bigotry aimed at our other minorities because said bigotry supports your minority.

Minority groups?

If you want to talk about being all in this together, be all in this together, no more sexist woman hating crap in Gay and Trans circles, no more racism in feminist circles, no more disabilism in feminist/PoC circles.  No more bigotry in our spaces point fucking blank.

Demanding we tolerate this shit, and expecting us to do so is fucking divisive, far beyond the crap such circles complain about.

Friday, 4 January 2013

A different reason does not erase an action:

One of the biggest frustrations I find when it comes to interacting with PoC is the seeming belief or at least what I perceive to be an attitude that white privilege erases one's other marginalisations entirely.

As if somehow white people exist in a proverbial ivory tower far away from intersectionalism. As if we're all somehow straight, rich, able bodied, cis-gendered and male by sheer dint of being white. I have lost count of how many times I've been told "X doesn't happen to you", except it actually does, it just happens for a different reason.

There is a difference between "Your experience of this problem does not happen for X specific reason" and "you don't experience this full stop" said to someone who actually does. I see the latter happen very often.

Recently I was told that I wasn't automatically considered aggressive or dangerous by someone. Indeed I'm not if and only if you only count being considered that way because of your race, my skin doesn't cause society to think I'm aggressive or dangerous. If however you're counting more than race? My Autism and Mental illness often get me deemed aggressive and dangerous. Same stigma, similar treatment, different reason, and often outright erased or ignored by PoC. Same for being female bodied, I'm often deemed "aggressive" because I objected to misogynistic shit, or made a guy baww.

So objectively, I'm treated like a threat, it just isn't because of my skin color.

Let's not forget "You don't get my life at all, but I get yours entirely, know your entire mind, exactly what you experience".

An extension of white privilege makes you into a straight, rich, able bodied, cis-gendered man thing. Let's make it clear, white people don't get what it's like to be people of color. But neither do people of color know exactly what a white person experiences. You can't climb inside my head anymore than I can climb inside yours. So seriously, don't sit there going "you don't know" then try to tell me how my oppressions work, especially fucking not if you're privileged in all the areas I'm not and only a minority in race terms.

Then there's the notion that somehow racism is such a different oppression that doesn't have so much as a lick in common with any others. As if bad behaviour based on entitlement is somehow completely different when it's excused via racism instead of sexism. As if again, intersectionality disappears out of the window when it comes to race. As if other oppressions and racism can never have anything in common ever. As if the suffering of PoC via racism is somehow so much more profound and more serious than anything else, so a minor racist incident is always worse than any other incident resulting from a different type of bigotry regardless of seriousness, as if PoC are always the winners at the oppression Olympics.

I'm not saying they're the same, but there's a definite element of "these things have nothing in common" regardless of if they do. Of course if you try to build bridges and express empathy by pointing out that an issue experienced by PoC and other people have some things in common, you're being racist because trying to empathise is bad or something.

Not to mention, the assumption that if PoC are fighting racism, then apparently perpetuating bigotry against others at the same time is okay. Or even PoC defending themselves from accusations of other isms with "you're racist".

Assumed everyone is NT? Said something dreadfully bigoted and got asked to stop? Are you attacking someone for being disabled? That's okay, the power of "well but they're racist"makes it a okay to say that shit it seems.

There's a difference between "Angry at a racist white person" and "being a bigoted pillock who says things that hurt other minorities and excuses it by complaining someone else was bad".

Seriously, I'm all for being an ally to PoC, but there's some icky stuff that surfaces in PoC communities, not quite as bad as the racism in white feminist communities but still majorly icky.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Good intentions; Not so good.

Quite apart from the awesome Intent, it's fucking magic.

There's another reason the notion of good intentions sucks fucking royally.

Because it tends to treated as a "you don't need to apologise, do better or even consider how fucking awful you were" get out of assholery free card by those who use it on the behalf of friends who fuck up. The refrain "but she/he's well intentioned" has becoming the ringing cry of the friend who thinks it's unfair that racist bigot #345775576 got called out so meanly and they should not made to feel as bad because racist bigot #345775576 was well intentioned.

Of course the same people who utter this refrain often think nothing of tearing down someone they don't know. Seriously, I've seen people have a major go at someone for both bigoted assholery and ignorant excuses, then turn around and use the same ignorant excuses to defend a friend's bigoted assholery on the basis that said friend "has good intentions".

Good intentions are worth about as much as a daydream, they're only entertaining and uplifting for the people who have them. Indeed I'd argue that good intentions are fucking way worse, than bad ones when they're undertaken with ignorance. I personally would rather deal with an asshole hater, they're at least easy to dismiss.

In comparison, everytime I've had to deal with "well intentioned" people? I've ended up wanting to reach through my screen and strangle their clueless asses as they irritate me with their "good intentions" which are usually so "good" that listening to me or considering the obvious harm they do never even crosses their mind.
You rarely will educate a "well intentioned" person into being a valued ally because their "good" intentions and inability to think beyond what they think is best for you makes it an almost impossible task.

There is no end of well intentioned people who screw over minorities by not listening and enacting useless and harmful ideas that we counseled against.

There is no end of well intentioned people who blame minorities for our issues to "help" us get better, whether it be castigating the first nations for drinking problems while ignoring the root cause aka racism and broken treaties, or telling women what to wear for "their own protection".

There is no end of well intentioned people who think that it's a great idea to take the children of minorities away from them for their kid's welfare. Whether it's yanking children from loving first nation homes or from disabled parents, people have been well intentioning their way right into ripping families apart for hundreds of years.

If good intentions yielded nothing but good? We wouldn't have the saying that the road to hell is paved with them. Nobody gives a shit about your intentions people because they do nothing constructive, what we care about is your impact on others.

What matters is your ability to listen, to grow, to learn and to be better.