Blog

On the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, let’s remember what feminism is actually about

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It is also the anniversary of the day when 14 women were shot and killed at École Polytechnique by a gunman who shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!” Clearly December 6 is a day of feminist action. It is a day to challenge male violence against women. It therefore feels appropriate to talk about what feminism actually is and means — what is it we are fighting, precisely, as feminists? I define feminism as a movement to end patriarchy and male violence against women. This definition makes sense and feels obvious to me because without patriarchy there would be no need for feminism and because male violence against women is...
Continue Reading »
Blog

How ‘TERF’ works

Pay attention, if you’re not already neck-deep in the gender wars of online feminism. TERF is an acronym for “Trans Exclusive Radical Feminist” that its users claim is applied purely descriptively. Critics of the term point out that it is not used neutrally, but in all cases pejoratively: TERF is a curse word used solely against women, a version of “bitch” that liberals can feel OK saying. “TERFs” are charged with inciting and inflicting violence against transgender people, despite the fact that violence against transgender people, like all violence, is overwhelmingly committed by men and not by feminists of any stripe. The definition of TERF is extraordinarily loose: what one is supposed to be excluding trans people from is never identified. To state that male and female bodies exist...
Continue Reading »
Podcasts

PODCAST: Soraya Chemaly on Elliot Rodger, PUAHate, and #YesAllWomen

On May 23 in Isla Vista, California, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger murdered six people and wounded 13 more. Rodger had written a 140-page manifesto and produced a number of videos on YouTube outlining his motivation for the attack. He was angry at women. It was discovered that Rodger frequented PUAHate forums which writer, Erin Gloria Ryan, describes as such: PUAHate, as other outlets have discussed, is an offshoot of the Pick Up Artist community populated by men (and, allegedly, women) who believe Pick Up Artistry to be a sham waste of money not because women are more than “targets” and “prey,” but because women are fucking hopeless cunts who can’t be convinced to give nice guys a chance. Women, argue PUAHaters, will only go out with good looking alpha males...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Male entitlement begets male entitlement: On Elliot Rodger, misogyny, and the sex industry

As most of us are now aware, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, son of Hollywood producer Peter Rodger, went on a shooting rampage on Friday night, killing six people and sending seven more to the hospital. Rodger was very clear about the reasoning behind his violence. In a video posted online before the shooting, he says: For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires. All because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, but never to me. I’m 22-years-old and still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl. I’ve been through college, for two and a half years, more than that actually,...
Continue Reading »
Podcasts

PODCAST: Misogyny Re-loaded — An interview with Abigail Bray

In this episode I speak with Abigail Bray, the author of Misogyny Re-loaded, which has been described as “an explosive manifesto against the resurgent sexual fascism of the new world order.” The book addresses things like snuff pornography in “gore culture,” ageism, rape jokes, and the positive thinking movement in order to expose the various ways in which the feminist movement is being systematically weakened and the ways in which women and women’s human rights are under attack. Misogyny Re-loaded is published by Spinifex Press.  Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Feminism is the new misogyny: On ‘Belle Knox feminism’ and the new backlash

This just in from the backlash: everything is feminism’s fault and we are the real woman-haters. You knew that, didn’t you? That it was not men, but women — and not just women, but feminists — who were responsible for things like violence against women and sexual repression. It’s a pretty good trick, actually, because guess who gets off scot-free? Men. Also, oppressive systems of power. With women busy attacking other women for their own oppression, who has time to fight the real enemy? As illogical as it sounds on paper, this phenomenon actually makes a lot of sense. The most obvious explanation for feminist-hating among women (or even among feminists) is that we live in a culture that teaches us to hate women — that it’s acceptable to...
Continue Reading »
Blog

My feminism will reject misogynistic screeds, or it will be bullshit

A number of feminist writers, myself included, were attacked and defamed online (yet again) in an abhorrently hateful and misogynist diatribe today. Many women spoke out, naming the vitriolic words as sexist, ad hominem attacks, professional jealousy, and manipulation. We were called “media whores” and “turds” who had no ethics, humanity, or compassion (an ironic accusation when stated within a completely unethical post maligning female writers and journalists, dehumanizing them, and calling them a bunch of hateful, misogynist names). We were accused of selling out and of the crime of *gasp* being paid for some our work. The author writes: I hate you all Glosswitches, booblediboops , Laurie Pennys, Louise Penningtons, Julie Bindels, Megan Murphys , Michelle Goldbergs and your ilk. The B Classes of white feminism fighting tooth...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Woman-hating by any other name…

There’s this fun thing we’ve been talking about for months and years and decades now, and despite continued conversations and critiques of this behaviour, it rages on… We call it trashing or tearing down or sometimes we call it a witch hunt. And it seems particularly popular in feminist circles. It’s not only a successful way to silence women, but the behaviour is sure to go unchallenged by the masses. (Misogyny never goes out of style!) If you’ve been the focus of said trashing, you’re likely familiar with the ways in which others readily and willfully misrepresent your words, thoughts, arguments, and life in order to silence you and beat you (virtually, verbally, metaphorically) into submission. An odd preoccupation for the “feminist” movement, to be sure. Feminist blogger, Glosswitch...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Man quits watching porn; survives

My good friend Angus decided to stop watching porn a few months ago. Because I am infinitely frustrated by the “all men watch porn” myth, I decided to interview him. Proof! All men don’t watch porn and, if you do, it’s possible to stop. Here’s our conversation: Angus: HI MEGHAN. Meghan: Ok are you ready? Angus: YOU’RE NOT MY REAL MOM. But otherwise, yeah M: Do you remember how old you were when you first started watching porn? A: As with most men of my generation, my first experiences with porn really were the scraps of Playboy and Hustler found in the forests and parks of boyhood. These things were coveted and stashed and revisited as often as possible, and it was tremendously exhilarating to seek out these forbidden...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Sinead O’Connor is (mostly) right about Miley Cyrus. Now let the ageism and sexism begin!

I won’t deny that there were parts of Sinead O’Connor’s viral letter to Miley Cyrus that bothered me. To say that “your body is for you and your boyfriend” irked me a little for heteronormative reasons but also because it seems frame the female body as some kind of private gift only your boyfriend gets access to. For O’Connor to put herself in the position of “mother” to Miley (“it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love”) is also bothersome because, well, simply because one is an older woman, that shouldn’t make a person necessarily a “nurturing” or “mothering” figure (though I get that O’Connor might feel “protective” of Cyrus in some way). I don’t find the woman = mother stereotype to be particularly useful, progressive,...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Justin Timberlake & Robin Thicke: Using their power to keep women down, down, down (NSFW)

For people with so much money, you’d think they could come up with something a little more creative, no? Justin Timberlake’s new video for “Tunnel Vision” is appallingly boring and blatantly sexist, reminding us, once again, that misogyny has gone, and is going nowhere but up. It’s difficult for me to express how much I hate this video. Are we literally moving backwards in this movement? Because between this and Robin Thicke’s latest festival of woman-hating, my feeling that we’re losing ground in many areas of the feminist movement is only solidifying. What is it that people aren’t getting, here? These dudes are literally flaunting the fact that they can get away with whatever kind of sexist fuckery they want, and will continue to be revered, celebrated, adored, and...
Continue Reading »
Podcasts

PODCAST: Collective Shout and Talitha Stone take on the virulent misogyny of Tyler, the Creator

Rapper, Tyler, the Creator’s misogynist lyrics have been called “groundbreaking” and “edgy” by some.Defended on account of being “art” or “satire,” fans of the artist and Odd Future, the hip-hop collective he is a part of, are quick to fire back at those who criticize him. Talitha Stone, member of the feminist activist group, Collective Shout recently became the focus of verbal attacks and threats not only from fans of Tyler, the Creator, but from the artist himself. Stone and Collective Shout have called on the Australian government to revoke Tyler, the Creator’s Visa in order to prevent him from touring the country. In response, the rapper spewed a torrent of verbal abuse about Stone at a recent concert, his fans cheering him on. In this podcast episode, Meghan...
Continue Reading »
Blog

The sweetest revenge (porn): Joe Francis meets karma

Hi karma. Some days you warm my heart. Joe Francis, misogynist extraordinaire and the man who brought us Girls Gone Wild, the soft core porn empire that made millions coercing drunk coeds to flash the camera or even perform sex acts for fun free is trying desperately keep a sex tape of his own from going public. He’s threatening to sue any media outlet that releases the tape; his lawyer saying: “It is not only unfortunate, but it is a crime.” OH REALLY, JOE FRANCIS? REALLY IS IT A CRIME TO RELEASE VIDEOS OF OTHER PEOPLE PERFORMING SEX ACTS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION? IS IT FATHOMABLE THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT LIKE IMAGES OF THEIR NAKED BODIES SHOPPED AROUND ON THE INTERNET? Oh. Ok then. Just so we’re clear, it’s totally fine...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Was Danny Brown sexually assaulted on stage?

This story is pretty all around gross. Trigger warning for grossness, k? Because we’ve yet to hear from Danny Brown on the whole incident, aside from his bragging on Twitter, it’s hard to say exactly how everything went down or what the context was for Brown getting a blow job from a fan, on stage, at a recent show in Minneapolis, MN. The story’s getting a lot of attention, not just because it’s kind of a, let’s say, “salacious” story, but also because rapper, Kitty Pryde, who is on tour with Brown and witnessed the incident, is “mad as hell” that people aren’t calling it “an actual sexual assault.” Some further context (this is an account from someone in the audience): I was right behind the girl and saw...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Men’s Rights Activists advocate for ‘human rights’ with rape and death threats

The latest from A Voice For Men’s “activism” files is a smear campaign against a protester they are calling “Big Red.” “Big Red” (nothing sexist about that name) is a woman who dared to speak out (USING SWEAR WORDS, OH NO) against Men’s Rights Activists’ anti-feminist agenda. For those who are unfamiliar with this situation, earlier in April a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) group called the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) sponsored a lecture at the University of Toronto where there were talks by Janice Fiamengo about how feminism is mean. Specifically, a “mean-spirited bias against men in the humanities.” There were protestors at the event which CAFE says could be heard shouting during the talk. From their website: “Dialogue confronting sexism proceeds while protestors scream to shut down...
Continue Reading »
Blog

INTERVIEW: Meghan Murphy on rape culture, Steubenville, & masculinity

I was a guest on Vancouver Co-op Radio’s The Rational on Tuesday evening talking about rape culture, Steubenville, masculinity and an article I wrote recently: The Steubenville rape case: This is masculinity. Thanks to Riaz Behra, who interviewed me. You can listen to the full interview here:   Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
Continue Reading »
Blog

Why doesn’t anyone talk about unionizing arms manufacturers? On the idea of sex worker unions

This article was originally posted at Manyfesto and has been republished with permission from the author, Emma Quangel. No one proposes ending war by unionizing arms manufacturers. Proposing to end violence against women in the sex trade by unionizing them is likewise untenable. The best way to end violence against women in the sex trade is still to end the sex trade. The unionization strategy is a reformist position – and the position that we would like to live in a world where there is no such thing as prostitution, strip clubs, pornography, while it might seem fantastical, is a revolutionary position and the correct line to have for a leftist who calls herself a feminist. It’s not moralistic hand-wringing to criticize the base assumptions of the military industrial...
Continue Reading »