Women, You Are Your Looks

Right now the Euro 2013 Games are underway, and women’s soccer is receiving loads of attention. The Swedish soccer team has already played a few games, and a sexist backlash of homophobic comments immediately followed the first match, where Sweden and Denmark tied.

According to The Local, post-match comments on Twitter focused not on the Swedish players’ competence, but rather on their attractiveness. Some comments included, “Women’s football is small breasts, lesbians and short hair” and “Swedish women’s football… lesbian whores is what you are.” Swedish handball coach Andreas Stockenberg also weighed in, writing that “When the Swedish squad in women’s football has dinner with their partners there are 40 women and 4 guys” and that “they can hardly trap a sandbag.” Stockenberg defended his comments by saying that the team received “far too much undeserved media attention.” [Read more...]

When in Doubt, Go for Sexual Abuse

WARNING: This post contains explicit, offensive, and sexual language.

The past week, a lot of people were talking about Chris Brown and his Twitter fight with comedian Jenny Johnson. Brown apparently deleted his Twitter account after sending of a series of sexually implicit and very vulgar tweets to Johnson when she posted a response to one of his tweets.

Brown posted a picture of himself and commented on his Twitter account that he looked old, despite only being 23. Johnson answered (with the assault of Rihanna in mind), “I know! Being a worthless piece of shit can really age a person.” Instead of ignoring her comment or providing a clever answer, Brown went straight for a sexual abuse approach: Take them teeth out when u sucking my dick HOE.” Brown also tweeted that “Mom says hello … she told me not to shart in ur mouth, wanted me to shit right on your retina” and “Don’t run for support now … Lol. Ur a comedic writer!!! If u can take a dick, u can take a joke.”

Brown does not seem to be the most articulate person out there, but it is both offensive and rude (and upsettingly common) to try to shut a woman up by referring to sexual abuse or sexual activity and by making crude sexual comments. It also appears typical to put a woman down by using masculine power and sexual dominance. For example, we know that most men are much physically stronger than most women and therefore the threat of sexual assault is often a real concern to women. Perhaps this is why Brown attempted to scare Johnson with violent and sexual behavior. Since Brown has obviously been violent before the threat becomes more genuine than if he had not.

Photo of Chris Brown shared by flickr user Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer under a creative commons license.

Amy McCarthy Describes the Potential of Online Activism

This month we’ve been spotlighting the Feminists for Choice writers as part of our Feminist Conversations series. I’m personally very grateful for all of the awesome feminists who make up our team. Amy McCarthy has been especially helpful when it comes to our social media presence. Amy helped us figure out how to make our Facebook page more interactive – and she’s always good for some snark on the Twitter.

Find out more about this fabulous Texan and how she has integrated online tools into her feminist activism.

1. When did you first call yourself a feminist? And what influenced that decision?
I think in college. I was on the debate team and hanging out with a bunch of crazy hippies and took a women’s studies class. I really didn’t get more actively interested in feminist causes until I started blogging here, actually. It’s all your fault, Feminists For Choice! When I got involved with social media it became clear that I wanted to use those channels to talk about feminism and issues that affected women. I’ve met a lot of amazing feminists and a lot of terrible trolls through social, but it really has been for the best.

2. How did you get started doing social media work?
Accidentally, actually. I was a nanny and hated my life and nannying and I responded to an ad for a “social media writer” at a local nonprofit. It didn’t pay well, but I learned a lot and got to do some good work. I was sad to leave. I languished at a couple of pretty terrible “social media” jobs for about a year, and then finally started editing/doing social for an online parenting publication. It’s excellent – I get to be 100% pro-woman and pro-child without being political in any way. [Read more...]