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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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Podcasts

PODCAST: ‘Private Violence’ explores the epidemic of domestic abuse

In this episode, Meghan Murphy speaks with Kit Gruelle, who is part of a new documentary called “Private Violence,” which examines the epidemic of domestic violence and follows a number of survivors of abuse and the advocates who support them. This show includes clips from the film which contain descriptions of violence that may upset or trigger some listeners. Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
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On rape culture and what Heather MacDonald doesn’t understand about sexual violence

CBC Radio’s Q with Jian Ghomeshi hosted a debate on the term “rape culture” yesterday, which could have actually been interesting and productive, had producers made better choices in terms of how they framed the conversation. I do consider “rape culture” to be a useful and accurate way of describing the way in which sexual violence has been normalized and sexualized in our culture. There is simply no denying that, when we see male students “joking” about raping female students, as we did recently at the University of Ottawa, when fraternities are untouchable on campus despite the fact that the “Greek scene” is a cesspool of toxic masculinity and sexual violence, when students at Canadian universities participate in “rape chants” during frosh week while fellow students are actually being raped...
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What are our responsibilities in navigating rape culture? On R. Kelly and separating art from life

Can we separate a work of art from the artist who created it? Can we separate artists from themselves? What is our role as consumers of art in relation to rape culture? What is rape culture? You may have asked yourself some of these questions in recent weeks if you read the detailed article on R. Kelly’s history of sexual poaching and abuse of minors or if you saw Woody Allen’s son Ronan Farrow publicly accusing his father, on twitter, of sexually abusing his sister (Allen’s then seven year old daughter). There are many other problematic artists of course (Roman Polanski and Norman Mailer come to mind), but perhaps none so widely loved and heralded by mainstream media as Kelly and Allen, who’ve not only been a permitted to...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Defending battered women on trial: An interview with Elizabeth Sheehy

In this episode, I speak with Elizabeth Sheehy about her new book, which looks at the cases of eleven women who are accused of killing their male partners in self-defense. The book is called: Defending Battered Women on Trial: Lessons From the Transcripts, and it highlights the barriers women face leaving their abusers as well as the legal issues that face battered women on trial for murder. Elizabeth Sheehy is Shirley Greenberg Professor of Women and the Legal Profession in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She is a leading scholar on the legal system’s treatment of battered women in Canada. Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
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Press release: Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry Continue to Fight for the Abolition of Prostitution

As Indigenous women and girls who have experienced centuries of colonial male violence, the decision by The Supreme Court of Canada to strike down the existing prostitution laws comes as no surprise. Our histories, our laws and traditions, and our worldviews have been purposefully omitted from the Supreme Court decision. Once again, not only our voices, but our bodies and our lives have been dismissed as inconsequential. As women and girls indigenous to this land, who have resisted centuries of colonial oppression, we assert our right to our lands, cultures, laws, and body sovereignty. We reject any ruling that interferes with these unalienable rights. We pledge to continue in the proud tradition of our Mothers and Grandmothers and to continue to fight for our children and grandchildren.We are in...
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Elizabeth Pickett reflects on the future implications of Bedford v. Canada before the decision

Before the Bedford case comes down to us from on high on Friday, I have a few reflections. I’ve said since the case came before the courts that I think the timing of the constitutional challenge just couldn’t be worse — not just for all those women (and young men) in the sex exploitation industry — but also for women like Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott who claim to have chosen their life’s work as completely free agents (sometimes it seems they are saying prostituted women are the only truly free agents in the free market world). I say that because in these neoliberal and neoconservative times, I can’t see how even they are going to get what they want. What they want is the complete decriminalization of all...
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On ‘gendered violence’ and remembering the Montreal Massacre

Today is December 6. Twenty four years ago, 14 women were murdered at École Polytechnique in Montreal by a man who shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!” Today is also the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Though some have been commenting on “gendered violence” or “gender-based violence” today, I prefer a more specific description. This is about male violence against women. Indeed, this violence is gendered, but to talk about “gendered violence” is too vague. What this term signifies is fear — and that fear exists with good reason. Feminists are targeted because they name the problem. We target patriarchy, male dominance, female oppression, and male violence against women. Men are threatened by feminism because we refuse to mask the...
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If prostitution isn’t about lonely, undersexed men, what is it about? (Or, Justin Bieber doesn’t need to pay for sex)

Justin Bieber was photographed leaving a Brazilian brothel last weekend. He was covered in bedsheets, which leads us to believe that buying sex still isn’t seen as a completely acceptable pass time (though our friends on team “sex work is work” are doing their very best to change that). It’s not as though the Biebs has a shortage of options in the lady department. In fact, the very next evening, he left the club at 3am with a van load of 30 girls. Whatever. I know you don’t care what Justin Bieber does on weekends. My point is this: Why are we still pretending as though prostitution exists for lonely, socially awkward, undersexed men? The media is in love with the “sex surrogate” story these days. Last year the...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: What way forward to end male violence against women? A talk by Lee Lakeman

Lee Lakeman was the recipient of this year’s Thakore Visiting Scholar Award for her work to end violence against women and to support victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. This year, Lee retired from her position as a collective member at Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and, in May, Lee received an honourary PhD from the University of British Columbia for her contributions to the community. She delivered the Gandhi Commemorative Lecture, entitled What Way Forward to End Male Violence Against Women? at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver on October 3, 2013. Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Rachel Moran on her book: ‘Paid for: My Journey Through Prostitution’

In this episode, Meghan Murphy speaks with Rachel Moran, the author of “Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution.” Rachel worked as a prostitute for 7 years in Ireland, finally managing to get out of the industry at 22. The book describes her experiences as well as breaks down myths and lies perpetuated by pop culture, the media, the sex industry, and even other feminists, about prostitution and is an incredibly powerful and brutally honest read. Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
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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...
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This thing about male victims

This article was originally published on Karen Ingala Smith’s blog and is cross-posted with permission from the author. A couple of weeks ago, The Independent ran an article on male victims of domestic violence. There were some factual inaccuracies in the report along with the use of the statistic that one in three victims of domestic abuse in Britain is male. I challenged these on twitter. I received the response below from a professional referenced in the article But I’m not going to move on. I’d prefer to talk about this statistic because it is unhelpful at best, it is derailing and dangerous at worst. The claim of gender parity in domestic violence, or at least of much less difference than is conventionally believed, is nothing new, in fact...
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