About Polly

Polly is a filipina feminist who spends the majority of her time in the community, advocating for migrants and tauiwi women and for those who have survived sexual and domestic violence. She believes firmly that there is no place in this world for slut shaming, rape culture, systemic inequality or generally being a shithead. Professionally she works in community development, policy, funding, project management and lobbying but personally she has a fond appreciation for cats, swears, beautiful food, red wine and bad dates.

Thoughts about My Boner

Image

(source)

This is a guest post from a friend that often visits the Superfox Flat and in response to this article.

***Trigger warning*** Please be careful with this article.

I guess girls will never understand how HARD boys have it.

Frankly, when that little attention seeking mini-me wants to defy gravity, it defies it. No pissing around…it defies gravity. There is nothing you can do about it but to hope like shit that your boss doesn’t call you over from his desk, as standing up in such circumstances requires a high-risk radar and manoeuvring to hide that gravity defying mini-me.

Forgive the crassness – I’m trying to get your attention to that region, platonically and intellectually. And no, this isn’t a research essay on the ‘average size’ based racial categories either… It’s about my boner and thoughts of sexual assault.

I came across a news article this morning, reporting on the Indonesian Religious Affairs minister announcement that mini skirts are indeed pornographic.

“There have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently and this is because women aren’t wearing appropriate clothes”.

“You know what men are like. Provocative clothing will make them do things”

I really haven’t had much experience with Indonesian culture. So (although disturbed) I put these comments aside as ‘their problem’. As the predominant religion in Indonesia is Muslim, I also had a convenient excuse to distance myself from ‘them’, those crazy fundamental Muslims.

I thought about this article more today, and began to ponder – are these concepts, this way of thinking THAT foreign to New Zealand society?

After thinking about Slutwalk 2011 and my experiences with it, I’ve realised it is not at all a foreign concept to us at all.

“Girls’ clothing doesn’t just come with a price tag, but also with an invitations for rapists. The sluttier her outfit is, the more effective her invitation is in attracting the rapists”…

Believe it or not, this is real life discourse. This is how some people in our society (through the wonders of facebook) view survivors of rape or sexual assault.

I felt like I was hitting a wall, a great wall of ignorance The words “for fuck sake” never felt so appropriate.

As I got involved more and more in these discussions on the Slutwalk Aotearoa facebook, I started noticing that there was a very little attention paid to the role of men. It was bizarre – this discourse of victim blaming was shifting the responsibility from the rapist to the victim. It was so forceful in doing so, that it created this bizarre other universe where the person who commits sexual assault is just a guy who really didn’t have the choice….

That was that moment for me, that light bulb moment.

That great wall of ignorance that I keep hitting was a boner.

The thing is…no pun intended, but in a nutshell, IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S YOUR BONER. It gets fucks with your head enough and makes you do these awful things.

Sadly, I think this is the thesis of the social discourse surrounding victim blaming.

My boner fucks me off a lot of times with his selfish attention seeking antics. I am a guy, a son, a brother, a friend (and a shit driver) and who gets a boner from time to time but this doesn’t make me a rapist. Her thigh and breasts/his thighs and pecs, do not carry around invitations for me to rape.

Victim blaming strips victims’ dignity, rights and potential.

Victim blaming leads people to think that rape happens only to those who make themselves vulnerable.

Victim blaming misinforms by making rape about the fulfilment of sexual urges.

Not only that, but also it reduces men down to nothing but potential rapists.

On Religion and Feminism

*This post is cross posted from here. Below is an awesome reply from another one of The Superfoxes. Enjoy!

It’s a bloody long post over at Ms Naughty Porn for Women Blog but it’s a REAAALLY good one.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my identification as a Catholic and as a feminist.
Can the two co-exist or do you have to compromise some/all of your beliefs for them to fit?

It’s been an age since I’ve practiced Catholicism but still identify with many of the core beliefs of the religion (compassion, mercy, loving one another) other parts unfortunately make my stomach churn (sexual assault committed by priests and covered up, original sin, the ban on gay marriage, the church’s stance on abortion/contraception/sex before marriage…..) – at the end of the day though, I can’t help but feel that being a Catholic has shaped me into the woman I am proud to be now.

This article was a challenging read – still mulling it over.

“To me, viewing these texts as infallible guides to living a good life in the 21st century is lunacy. We have had the enlightenment since those texts were created. We’ve had the theory of evolution. We’ve had all the various new ideas and philosophies of the last 300 years which has shaped how we view ourselves and what makes for a good person and a good life. To say a dusty old Bronze/Iron/Dark Age book is morally superior to the wealth of secular, rational modern thought doesn’t make sense. Especially when that book goes out of its way to say women are inferior.

And this is why I think religion and feminism are essentially opposing philosophies.”

Check it here

— IN REPLY —

I went to a Catholic school (the same one as the original poster actually!) I don’t really know why I went there; I don’t, and have never, identified with any sort of religion or faith.

I realise that this may make me badly-placed to answer the questions that the OP has raised but having spent five years at school with some wonderful young women that do identify as Catholic is also probably what has stopped me from automatically giving a militant “WHAT?! OF COURSE CATHOLICS CAN’T CALL THEMSELVES FEMINISTS!” response.

I’m not at all uncomfortable saying I detest the institution of the Catholic Church. From the infamous (sexual violence against young people, their views on reproductive rights for women, perpetuating the AIDS crisis in Africa) right down to my own personal interactions with the Church, the core of what I believe in and am has never failed to be undermined by it.
Two of my earliest memories of experiencing what I realised was feminist thought come from highschool: firstly when our principal told an assembly of thirteen and fourteen year olds not to wear short skirts to our school dance because it meant we wanted to and probably would have sex, and secondly enduring the years of “sexual education” (part of the religion rather than health curriculum) which denied that what I felt in the way of sexual orientation had any legitimate existence at all.

Despite this, most of the young women I went through my highschool years don’t subscribe to this thinking and I know for a fact many of the people who taught me didn’t. Although couldn’t call myself both Catholic and a feminist, I don’t understand the experience of personal comfort that can come from faith that these people obviously found in belonging to that community.

While I don’t understand, I do acknowledge that several close friends and people I really respect do find comfort in their faith. When that faith is Catholic, they’re not defined by the Church as an institution. I know that their core beliefs about our bodies as women are the same as mine, and despite all its (for want of a better word) sins I don’t believe their association with the Catholic Church makes their beliefs any less sincere.

That said, I still know I could never do it.

Thoughts?