Status of Chattel

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Refuge Refuge's picture

Unionist wrote:

So Martin and Refuge both agree that hypersexualization contributes to girls dressing sexy which contributes to sexual assault - but it's society's fault, not the girl's fault, so it's ok to say that. Have I got that right?

 

Read my post again, that is not at all what I said. When you switch my "and" for your "which" it changes my post to your meaning, not mine.

Unionist

Refuge wrote:

Unionist wrote:

So Martin and Refuge both agree that hypersexualization contributes to girls dressing sexy which contributes to sexual assault - but it's society's fault, not the girl's fault, so it's ok to say that. Have I got that right?

 

Read my post again, that is not at all what I said. When you switch my "and" for your "which" it changes my post to your meaning, not mine.

Ok, here's what you said (I hope you don't mind my inserting some highlighting):

Quote:
To say that the assault is the girls fault because she dresses sexy is one thing but to say that hypersexualization contributes to girls dressing sexy (which would be addressed on the female side throught enducation and hypersexualization also contributes to sexual assaults - because boys objectify women (which would be addressed on the male side through education) is what I see them as saying.

So tell me Refuge - how does "hypersexualization contributes to sexual assaults"? If it has nothing to do with "girls dressing sexy", why mention that at all?

 

martin dufresne

Is that chip on your shoulder making you uncomfortable, Unionist? Everyone can see the answer to that in the rest of Refuge's sentence. Because it pushes boys to objectify women through the various messages they receive - through porn, beer ads, sexist advertising, peer pressure, etc. - that it's OK, indeed required, to treat girls as sex objects, that they love abuse even if they claim not to, etc. etc. If you disagree with that reading, why not offer an alternative view instead of acting inquisitorial?

 

writer writer's picture

martin, are you going to apologize? Or are you going to leave your smear against me as stands?

 

Nice that you demand of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.

Ghislaine

martin dufresne wrote:

 Because it pushes boys to objectify women through the various messages they receive - through porn, beer ads, sexist advertising, peer pressure, etc. - that it's OK, indeed required, to treat girls as sex objects, that they love abuse even if they claim not to, etc. etc.

 

Very well put, thank you. I would the very important note that the accepted age to view and treat girls as sex objects keeps getting younger and younger, as well as the age at which they being to internalize these sexist messages.

martin dufresne

writer: martin, are you going to apologize? Or are you going to leave your smear against me as stands?

Sorry, but I have no idea of what you are talking about. Please be more explicit.

 

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

Is that chip on your shoulder making you uncomfortable, Unionist?

I thought you were getting civil for a while. I'm sure an additional effort can get you back there.

Quote:
Everyone can see the answer to that in the rest of Refuge's sentence. Because it pushes boys to objectify women through the various messages they receive - through porn, beer ads, sexist advertising, peer pressure, etc. - that it's OK, indeed required, to treat girls as sex objects, that they love abuse even if they claim not to, etc. etc. If you disagree with that reading, why not offer an alternative view instead of acting inquisitorial?

Sure thing. My view is that the commodification and objectification and hypersexualization of women is a real, huge, and serious problem of the society - that it leads not only to assaults but to every kind of discrimination and humiliation and subordination and marginalization of women. And I am very suspicious of suggestions that the principal way of addressing this societal issue is for "us" to "teach" girls how they should dress and what sexual activities they should engage in.

Clear enough?

 

martin dufresne

"for "us" to "teach" girls how they should dress and what sexual activities they should engage in"

You have read the Matane project description (translated above). I don't think that your summation is a fair description of it or of refuge's argument.

 

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

"for "us" to "teach" girls how they should dress and what sexual activities they should engage in"

You have read the Matane project description (translated above). I don't think that your summation is a fair description of it or of refuge's argument.

 

I was not referring to the Matane project - I've already expressed my appreciation for that - and what I wrote is not a "summation" of the project nor is it intended to be. I'm referring to a subtext in some of the posts in this thread. I don't want to personalize this issue. But you asked me to write what I believed rather than interrogating people, so I did. I'll repeat it for utter clarity:

Unionist wrote:
My view is that the commodification and objectification and hypersexualization of women is a real, huge, and serious problem of the society - that it leads not only to assaults but to every kind of discrimination and humiliation and subordination and marginalization of women. And I am very suspicious of suggestions that the principal way of addressing this societal issue is for "us" to "teach" girls how they should dress and what sexual activities they should engage in.

So you see, Martin, if you agree with what I just wrote, then it would be silly to have a dispute over it, no? Likewise with Refuge or Ghislaine or anyone else. If you don't agree, that's fine too. Just let me know why not.

 

writer writer's picture

writer wrote:

martin: Thanks Unionist. I am sorry myself that I lumped you with Anglo Canadians: you deserved better.

 

Well, I could be very rude here, but won't. My criticism is with the language of the Status of Women, as it appears to be in keeping with the Conservative government's subversion of something that was created in the name of equality.

 

Not once have I made claim to know what the project itself was about. But I can smell what the government is doing with this media release from many kilometres away. Thus "Status of Chattel" and no swipe at the Quebec effort.

 

Please, martin, stop with the kneejerk smear. It really isn't constructive.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hey, I have no idea what this thread is about anymore! And it's at 112 posts!

So I'm closing it.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Hey Maysie, thread is still open.

Since it is I just want to clarify my position, Unionist. You are suggesting a causal link between the two problems and I did no such thing.

Problem one ( of many ) of hypersexualization

Girls feel pressured to fit in, to be cool, to be accepted by both other girls and boys by dressing sexy. This is a problem. They need information be able to see what is happening and why so they can choose themselves how they want to dress and not give into peer pressure if they are not comfortable.

Problem two

Boys objectify women and may stop seeing them as people and more as a score on a score card which makes it easier to assault someone if your attitude is they are not really people.

writer writer's picture

It is definitely not about the chosen focus of the first post. And I would be thrilled to bits to see it closed.

Unionist

Ok - so the "dressing sexy" issue is just to encourage girls to have freedom of choice in dress matters - it's not related to the problem of dating violence and sexual assault? If so, that's fine, although I would venture to suggest that not too many resources be poured into a lost cause. When the style of low-slung jeans was pushed at girls, they almost all wore them - to the point where my daughter (the one within the age range at the time) convincingly stated that it was tough to find any other kinds. That style, of course, has now come and gone. Individual freedom in matters of dress among preteens and teens is pretty illusory, and I don't think it's worth fighting.

As for objectification of women - not just by boys, but by everyone - and its nefarious consequences, of course that must be fought, but having some educational programs can only be an adjunct to women winning this battle in the overall society. Girls who see actual women attaining equality and exercising it will be a lot harder to grind down and objectify.

 

remind remind's picture

men and boys objectify women, not everyone else.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Yes, Unionist, that is exactly what I meant. In terms of it being a lost cause, speaking as one of the girls who benefited, learned and became who I am because of a program similar to that I don't think myself or the people I was with was a lost cause. Also the boys that I went to high school with participated in a similar men against violence campaign and it dramatically changed some of their views and I don't think that it was a lost cause.

I have seen and participated in these programs and though it may not make a huge societal impact sometimes the hardest to do - one person at a time - is the best. One of my male friends went on to lead a march and do quite a bit in the men against violence campaign and it all came out of the original program he was involved with.

Writer, why is talking about programs that reach out to teens to teach about hyper sexualism off topic? That is what the program in the original post is about.

writer writer's picture

The original post is about the Conservative government using reactionary language that, I continue to believe, doesn't truly reflect the project.

 

This is now how the program is represented to all Canadians who do not speak French.

 

You don't see this as a problem? You don't see this a marker on the continued decline of the Status of Women?

 

Debating the exact age that an angel can dance on a pin a person can start to fuck is so not what this thread was meant to be.

 

EDITED TO ADD: Strikethrough isn't showing for some reason. In my preview screen "an angel can dance on a pin" has a line through it.

martin dufresne

The original post is about the Conservative government using reactionary language that, I continue to believe, doesn't truly reflect the project.

I think that some of us have spent a lot of energy establishing that the SWC paragraph quoted in the OP was not reactionary but that it summed up a well-founded feminist analysis of a social dynamic - the hypersexualizing of girls - that IS a root cause of dating violence by fashioning boys attitudes and intimidating young women into thinking male power and control are normal. That SWC press release accurately summarized what the Rimouski rape crisis centre and the Regroupement des femmes de Matane are saying, and it's a well-established feminist analysis AFAIK. So I assume you simply disagree with those of us who disagreed with your original assertion.

This is NOT to say that the Cons can be trusted or that SWC is always above board. But could it be that for once, SWC supported a worthy, radical anti-patriarchy project in its own terms, to the point where their press release could quote the project's coordinator verbatim as to her project's focus?

 

writer writer's picture

martin, until you apologize, I'm done corresponding with you.

martin dufresne

I agree that the analogy is imperfect and limited, because girls can supposedly dress differently, but race and racialization are not that easy to modify.

It seems to me you are confounding race and racialization.

remind remind's picture

writer, if you are taking  exception to martin's use of "anglo-Canadians", when he was responding back to unionist, it is in reference to  another post above that one, of his, where he clearly denoted what anglo Canadians he meant, as follows:

Quote:
I am really stunned at the arrogance shown by Anglo-Canadian males here to such a worthy project by front-line Quebec anti-VAW activists.

It is the squished together one.

 

martin dufresne

Well, I'll live with that. If the line that you feel I should apologize about is this one "IF the Toronto Star and the people who have bought its line do not shame SWC away from funding them." I stand by it. I simply disagree with your sense of smell if you reduce the issue to that. And there is a very real risk that SWC will be intimidated away from funding this important grassroots feminist project.

 

 

writer writer's picture

No, it's the slam on anglo-Canadians who could easily have a position that isn't anti-Quebec.

writer writer's picture

remind, I do believe in solidarity. And I don't believe in cartoons.

remind remind's picture

Well  writer, I can't take it personally, as I am not a anglo Canadian male. However, if he had extended it to all anglo-Canadians, I would have.

Am not sure what the cartoon comment means.

martin dufresne

Oh, that...! Of course they could and they can. I am quite ready to apologize for a sloppy generalization on my part. Indeed, Unionist was hurt that I lumped him along with Anglo-Canadians when he has shown himself to be a great Anglo-Quebecois. That quip was certainly the weakest part of my argument. Still, it is significant, isn't it, that many Anglo-Canadians had themselves a hatefest about a Quebecois project whose project description they apparently didn't even bother reading and many of which resist to this day the fact that it contradicts their suspicion. That speaks to a Canada-Quebec divide that I regret but cannot but observe. But there ARE exceptions, so my generalization was wrong, ill-advised and I regret that it hurt you and obscured a more issue-based disagreement that I feel I took great pains to try and wind down.

 

writer writer's picture

Thank you. Meanwhile, I feel like this thread has been wrecked, and is overdue to be put out of its misery.

 

And martin, I disagree with you about the media release and roots. Date rape has been with us for a long, long time, as has incest, harassment and verious other sexualized oppressions. I am glad we now have language for it.

 

remind, by cartoon I was referring to martin's cheap and lazy characterization, for which he has finally apologized after several attempts on my part to get him to address it.

martin dufresne

It helped that you finally identified it. "Anglo-Canadian male" an insult... whodathunk?

writer writer's picture

To beat the dead horse further, I quoted it upfront.

 

Who would have thought?

writer writer's picture

... and also. Cute. It wasn't the anglo-Canadian male part that was the issue, martin.

 

I'm back to deciding I'm through with discussions with you.

remind remind's picture

Quote:
Date rape has been with us for a long, long time, as has incest, harassment and verious other sexualized oppressions. I am glad we now have language for it.

I agree writer, clothing has very little to do with sexual violence against women. The issue resides primarily with men and what they role model to boys. Moreover, men also control, for the most part, the fashion industry.

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

writer wrote:
Debating the exact age that an angel can dance on a pin a person can start to fuck is so not what this thread was meant to be.

EDITED TO ADD: Strikethrough isn't showing for some reason. In my preview screen "an angel can dance on a pin" has a line through it.

Sorry for my confusion -  I took your participation in that thread drift to mean that you wanted to talk about that, not that it was wrecking the thread.

Wilf Day

Maysie wrote:
Wilf Day wrote:
 "the early sexualization of girls is a consequence of the hypersexualization of our society, and that hypersexualization is a factor contributing to sexual assault"

The first part of your sentence is a commonly understood truth, and is a relatively benign truth to admit to, even for conservatives. It is a basic premise that rape crisis centres and women's shelters begin from.

It's the second part, after the comma, that is a problematic connection, and in this case I will say a wrong connection, and one that appears to explicitly blame women for violence done to them. I guess it's associated with social conservatives for that reason.

Factors that contribute to sexual assault are all on the assaulter's side of the table, since it's the assaulter, after all, who is doing the assaulting.

Thanks.

But before this thread finally gets closed, a footnote: that was not "my" sentence. It was the Matane women's group's one-line summary of the conclusions of a two-day workshop of local women held a couple of years ago. And in my mind you are misreading it: they did not say "the early sexualization of girls is a factor contributing to sexual assault," they said "the hypersexualization of our society is a factor contributing to sexual assault."

martin dufresne

Here is my POV FWIW: Delacourt quoted selectively from the SWC press release and did what I feel is a disgusting spin hatchet job to ignore that hypersexualization was something done to young women and that this project was about fighting back. This comes out loud and clear in the full SWC press release. At the very least, it was opportunism to get at the Harperites, at the cost of an important feminist field of advocacy.

But I suspect it's even more than that, i.e. that small l liberals have a huge problem with sexual "liberation" not being really what it is touted to have been. I thank Refuge' for her excellent - and courageous - summation of her own experience of how women get slagged when they dare broach those issues in allegedly progressive environments.

(Edited for syntax)

martin dufresne

It hasn't been mentioned, but I find that the argument around the Matane women's project is quite similar to the usual battle lines between radicals and liberals over prostitution: some deeming it a system to be attacked and some deeming it a personal choice to be given free rein. In both instances, there is a system at work but individuals internalize and act out its directives, so action against it can appear, at a glance, to be action against these individuals, disrespectful of their agency.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Damn, I guess my first close didn't take.

Closing now.

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