Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stuff to Do and Read

A mining company in Ghana wants to expand a mine that will destroy low-income housing and schools. Sign this petition telling the company to consider the rights of the people.

The World Food Program is cutting it's food donations to Darfur in half. Tell your Congressperson to support full funding of food in Darfur.

Urge your lawmakers to end abstinence-only education funding.

Life expectancy for women in poor counties decreases.

Multiple Pap and HPV tests are needed to assess one's risk of getting cervical cancer.

Mammograms are effective for early detection of breast cancer at any age.

Trading sex for net neutrality
. How does prostitution make the Internet any more neutral?

SELF magazine poll shows nearly 2/3 of women are disordered eaters.


Sebatinsky said...

"Trading sex for net neutrality."

You know, as the article pointed out, that that's a joke - an attention grabber - right?

Besides - is there something inherently wrong with prostitution?

FEMily! said...

No, there isn't anything wrong with prostitution inherently. But there is something wrong with using a woman's body to support some other cause. You can promote net neutrality without degrading women. It's very simple. For some reason, people think it's OK and even beneficial to use women to "grab your attention" and promote a cause. They basically use sexism to their advantage. "Screw women! There isn't enough free speech on the Internet!" Or, "Screw women! People are eating cows!" It happens all the time, and it's sexist.

Sebatinsky said...

I would like to point out that this girl isn't some model hired to do this. She's part of a movement, and it is SHE who ran for political office on a similarly farcical platform, and SHE who is now facetiously offering sex for support on this issue.

So "using a woman's body..." as you wrote in your comment is highly misleading. Try "a woman using her own body...." and you'll be closer to the mark.

Let's not pretend that this is something being done TO her.

FEMily! said...

Does she live on another planet where there's no sexism? No patriarchy? Otherwise, she is most definitely a product of a patriarchal society that taught her from the day she was born that her body is a social tool. She didn't come up with the idea that being a sexual object will get people to pay attention. No woman came up with that.

Sebatinsky said...

I was afraid you were going to go in that direction, but I was cautious not to insult you by assuming it.

Frankly, that's one of the worst lines of reasoning I've ever heard. Certainly, we are all products of our particular society, but when that society pushes some individuals toward crime, we don't absolve those individuals of the responsibility of their choice.

In other words, it's an unworkable philosophy to award responsibility for a person's choices to anyone other than that person. Not to mention insulting.
She did, in fact, make that choice, and pretending that it's something that was done to her is both foolish and untenable.

If you need something to feel outraged about, perhaps you could be angry at the success of her attention grabbing stunt.

FEMily! said...

But that choice wasn't independent of our society. Why doesn't Brad Pitt strip to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina? Why is it Alicia Silverstone, Eva Mendes, and Pamela Anderson posing nude for PETA ads and not Ryan Gosling, Casey Afleck, or Alec Baldwin? The thing is, some of those people learned that their bodies can be used as a tool and others didn't. Are you going to tell me that it's a coincidence that the people who learn to get naked to get what they want are women?

I just have a hard time believing that the decision is really one made with much independent thought, because there are way too many environmental factors at play here. I'm not saying she has no responsibility in the matter. She absolutely does. But do you think she would have made that decision if she lived in a society that takes women seriously for what they say and not how beautiful they are? Would a man have come to this decision? Probably not.

Sebatinsky said...

Nobody's saying that our decisions (including hers in this case) are not influenced by the society in which we live.

So, stop sidestepping the issue:

Is she, or is she not the one responsible for her choice?

If she is, then, fine, end of story, she's not hurting anyone.

If it isn't, then we seriously need to reevaluate a criminal justice system that assumes that each person is responsible for their own actions.

FEMily! said...

The quick answer to your question is yes. The more complicated and dissected answer to your question is not really. A woman's decision to use sex to get what she wants is much more loaded than if a man made the same decision.

I don't think she's not hurting anyone. Unfortunately, the actions of any minority (including women) is reflective of all members of that group. It's not her fault that that's the way it is, but I just wish people thought a bit more about how the patriarchy will respond before they act. It's just bad judgment that ends up perpetuating sexism.