Podcasts

PODCAST: FAFIA launches campaign of solidarity with Aboriginal women and girls

Aboriginal women and girls face abnormally high levels of violence and continue to suffer the ongoing effects of colonialism in Canada. Between 2005 and 2010, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) documented the disappearances or murders of 582 Aboriginal women and girls over twenty years, yet the government continues to resist launching a national inquiry. On December 1st, The Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) is launching a solidarity campaign with Aboriginal women and girls in order to highlight the discrimination they face and to put pressure on the government to take real steps to address it. In this episode I speak with Shelagh Day and Cherry Smiley about these issues and about the campaign. Shelagh Day is a women’s rights activist, a nationally recognized human rights expert,...
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The media keeps referring to Ghomeshi’s abuse as ‘non-consensual’ like that’s a thing

Jian Ghomeshi surrendered to the police this morning and was later released on bail following a court appearance in Toronto. He is charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of “overcome resistance — choking.” Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein, says he will be pleading not guilty. His bail was set at $100,000 and as part of his bail conditions he must stay in Ontario with his mother. This is good news. Pessimist that I am, I was convinced he wouldn’t be charged. The police may well have felt pressured to charge Ghomeshi because of the highly public nature of his case and because, really, there’s no one left sticking up for the guy. Even those who initially jumped on the victim-blamey train (But women are such crazy, jealous, bitches! Always...
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PODCAST: Can men be allies in the fight to end violence against women?

What role can men play in the fight to end violence against women? Whether or not men can or should be involved has always been a controversial debate within the feminist movement. Can they be trusted? Does their socialization and male privilege make allyship impossible? Do we even need men in a woman-led movement? It’s a question the feminists have struggled with and continue to struggle with. Often men who claim to be allies turn out to be abusers or simply aim to dominate, unwilling or incapable of seeing the space they take up in the movement. At the same time, there are men who wish to join the fight against patriarchy and men who do work to end male violence against women. In this episode I speak with...
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Julien Blanc is rightfully condemned, but who is willing to confront the global economy of misogyny?

It’s easy to blame a globalized and systemic issue on “a few bad guys.” This is exemplified by cases like “dating advice consultant,” Julien Blanc. Blanc tours the world teaching men “pickup artistry.” He demonstrates the misogyny inherent in the pickup enterprise by teaching other men to use his violent and emotionally abusive techniques in their approach to women. After public outcry condemned his actions, Blanc was kicked out of Australia before he could run his planned seminar in Melbourne. His methods include choking women and pushing their faces into his crotch — behaviour that is typified in pornography. But while Blanc has been rightfully criticized, the institutions that profit from such imagery go unchallenged. Globally, sexist violence has reached epic proportions with one in three women affected. While the...
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Part of the problem: Talking about systemic oppression

Last week I wrote a piece about the Jian Ghomeshi scandal and how it is, in my opinion, an inevitable and direct result of our societal “culture” of predatory misogyny. In doing so, I discounted the notion that it is “not all men” and expressed, rather, my belief that as misogyny is a systemic oppression it is, in fact, all men who are a part of it and who bear both a collective responsibility for it and for fighting with our sisters to end it. While this piece was very favourably received by many women and some men, it also elicited a very strong and very negative reaction from many men, and some women, who objected to it on the inaccurate grounds that it supposedly “blamed” all men for...
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Ghomeshi played the role of a feminist ally, but in private he was fully enmeshed in porn culture

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been interviewed by male journalists who have been clearly antagonistic to my feminist, anti-porn position. I can usually tell within the first five minutes of the interview that these guys are very upset by my argument that porn shapes male sexuality in ways that normalize sexual violence. They often become hostile and insulting, and end up accusing me of being an anti-sex prude who hates men. Because I’ve been on the receiving end of so much hostility from male interviewers, I remember well those who were particularly sympathetic to the feminist view. One who stands out in my mind as a thoughtful interviewer is Jian Ghomeshi, former host of the popular CBC radio show, Q. Ghomeshi had not only given...
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It is ‘all men': Our culture of predatory misogyny

You know how they are telling you that it is “not all men?” That men like Jian Ghomeshi are a terrible exception and if we as men simply stand up and say we are not as bad as that, or that we are not rapists or do not beat “our” girlfriends or that we show that it is not men, generally, who are violent and abusive, but only “bad” men? Well that is bullshit. It is all men. We, collectively, and most commonly as individuals, are responsible for creating the conditions that not only facilitate Ghomeshi, but that ensure he will exist. This is a very uncomfortable and inconvenient truth. It is all men and the society that they produced that allowed a misogynist, alleged serial abuser to rise...
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Fifth woman comes forward with allegations against Jian Ghomeshi

Today on As it Happens, Carol Off spoke with a fifth anonymous woman who claims she was assaulted by former host of Q, Jian Ghomeshi. The woman claims that she went on a couple of dates with Ghomeshi, who she describes as “a charming man.” She says during their early interactions she “did not get any indication that there was anything to worry about,” but while she was in his car, he reached over and grabbed her hair and pulled her head back, “very hard.” She got out of the car and went home, totally confused. She wondered if she “missed something,” having not dated in a while. This is a common experience for women who encounter abusers — we are so totally caught off guard, we question the...
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Jian Ghomeshi’s ‘consent’ defence shows why ‘consent’ isn’t good enough

The CBC announced yesterday that they would be ending their relationship with Jian Ghomeshi, host of cultural affairs radio show Q, and probably the most famous radio host the CBC has ever had. “The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well,” the network said in a statement. Before Ghomeshi himself dropped the bomb of all bombs, via an explanatory post on his Facebook page, it was clear something sketchy was up. It would take something pretty serious in order to fire Ghomeshi. He is widely beloved across Canada and the show, I’m certain, is the most...
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Murderer, Oscar Pistorius, plans to publish book about how he isn’t a murderer

This week in Beyond The Fucking Pale, Oscar Pistorius, the man who murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013, plans to write a book about “his account” -- “his account” being a long list of bald-faced lies. On Thursday,  Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa found Pistorius, 27, guilty of culpable homicide, which means, essentially, she bought that the murder was an accident, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Pistorius claimed he shot Steenkamp four times through the bathroom door because he thought “an intruder” was in there. Pistorius’ history of abusive behaviour is well-documented, as are the indiscrepancies in his version of what happened the night Steenkamp was killed. Now, not only has he gotten away with murder (Pistorius was charged with the equivalent of manslaughter and will...
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Oscar Pistorius knew exactly what he was doing

On Thursday,  Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa found Oscar Pistorius, 27, guilty of culpable homicide, “a vindication for the athlete who vehemently protested his innocence during a trial in South Africa that gripped millions around the world,” reports The Guardian. Last year, on Valentines Day, Pistorius fired four shots through the bathroom door, killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, who was on the other side of the door, locked in the bathroom. “Culpable homicide” is equivalent to a manslaughter charge, meaning that Pistorius will get 15 years max. Max. There is no minimum sentence. It is unlikely Pistorius will serve 15 years. He could be punished with community service and fines. Pistorius got away with murder. He was not charged with murder because Masipa felt “It cannot be said that he...
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On Ray Rice and why it doesn’t matter if she stayed

As many of you are already aware, a new video of Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, surfaced on Monday that showed him punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in the head. In May, a video of Rice dragging her, unconscious, out of the elevator he apparently punched her in, was circulated widely. Back then the Ravens chose to only suspend him for two games and had Palmer and Rice show up at a press conference in order to present an image to the public of everything being a-ok. The Ravens Tweeted: “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” I imagine everyone was very comforted to know that Rice’s now-wife apologized for her own part in being punched in the head....
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Violent ‘alpha male’ & mixed martial arts fighter brutally beats ex-girlfriend; claims he’s ‘cursed’

TW: Graphic descriptions of extreme violence (via Gawker) Some disgusting mixed martial arts fighter named Jon Koppenhaver (aka “War Machine”) apparently showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s house on Friday night, found another man there, who he proceeded to attack, before sending him away and turning his attention towards the woman, Christy Mack. Mack posted a very detailed account of the attack, as well as some photos via her Twitter account: At about 2 am Friday morning, Jon Koppenhaver arrived unannounced to my home in Las Vegas, NV, after he broke up with me in May, he moved out of my house and back to San Diego. When he arrived, he found myself and one other fully clothed and unarmed in the house. Without a single word spoken, he began...
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I want 140 characters which will end rape

So men, what do you want to hear? Not all men are like that? You’re not like those other men? Let’s say I tell you men that you are wonderful, kind, heroic and humble. Will these words of praise stop the girl enslavement called “child marriages?” If women change tactics from demanding the return of girl children stolen in Africa, if instead we engulf men in a cascade of compliments assuring men that we know they are decent and devoted, will men return our generosity by raising the average age a girl enters prostitution out of the early teen years? So men, if it is not flattery you want from women, what are the words you want to hear? What can women say that will cause you to finally...
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Meghan Murphy on Elliot Rodger, misogyny and porn culture

On May 23 in Isla Vista, California, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger murdered six people and wounded 13 more. Rodger, in his blog as well as on Youtube, cited women for not giving him attention, sex and love as motivation for his attack. Most media outlets have talked up what happened as the act of a deranged young man. Yet the tragedy has also prompted a larger conversation about male entitlement in a world where women face escalating threats of rape and violence, not to mention persistent gender disparities in work, education and civil society, each day. Meghan Murphy is a writer and journalist as well as founder and editor of the website Feminist Current. She has written on the killings committed by Elliot Rodger and the misogynist cultural messages we...
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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...
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Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow think making connections between male entitlement and violence against women is ‘self-promotional’

Actor, Seth Rogen and director, Judd Apatow did not react well to a recent column by Washington Post film critic, Ann Hornaday which drew connections between last week’s mass killing in Isla Vista and movies that center around “sexual conquest.” Hornaday writes: For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny). She specifically named Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen’s recently-released film, Neighbors, as an example, saying: How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like ‘Neighbors’ and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of ‘sex and fun and pleasure?’ How many men, raised on a steady diet of...
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