Oh, Evil Cleavage!

Michael Reagan has decided, in his defense of one Mr. O’Reilly, to focus on … cleavage! Surprised, right? C’mon, no one ever could have guessed that one, no, no. The sheer nerve of women, existing with those inconveniently placed bumps, let alone wearing something low cut. Oooh, the evil.

Conservative commentator Michael Reagan, the son of former president Ronald Reagan, defended Bill O’Reilly this morning over claims that the recently fired Fox News host sexually harassed women.

Reagan, a contributor to the conservative outlet Newsmax, shared posts on Facebook and Twitter insisting that if women wear “low cut dresses,” then men should consider suing “for sexual arousal”

There was a link to that tweet, I removed it as the tweet in question is now gone. It would seem Mr. Reagan got some feedback on that one which he didn’t like.

“If women are going to wear low cut dresses that show cleavage don’t be harassed when we men look. Or shld we sue for sexual arousal?”

Oh, so that’s how it works, women just have to decide we aren’t harassed. Ever. Then everything will be okely dokely!

Another deleted Tweet stated:

Hot Choclare used to be a compliment on your looks today it is called sexual harassment..@oreillyfactor

— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) April 21, 2017

It’s been replaced with this one:

If someone calls u brown sugar because u are in their eyes gorgeous and blk.2 them it’s a compliment 2 U it’s harrassment, then tell them.

Oh, the denseness of someone who absolutely refuses to get the point. What you think about anyone’s appearance, and how it affects your boner has no place at all in any relationship other than a mutually intimate one.

Via RWW.

The Joy of Housing.

Rick Steves gets a hug.

Ricks Steves, author, and well known television travel guru, has his own idea of investing, and that investment hasn’t just grown over the years, it’s helped a tremendous amount of people.

Travel guide guru Rick Steves just gave a $4 million apartment complex to homeless women and kids who need housing.

Steves realized, early on, the importance of affordable housing, during his travel adventures (how else?) as a young man in Europe.

[…]

Twenty years ago, he devised a scheme where he could put my retirement savings not into a bank to get interest, but into cheap apartments that could house struggling neighbors.

“I would retain my capital, my equity would grow as the apartment complex appreciated,” Steves explained on his travel blog. “Rather than collecting rent, my “income” would be the joy of housing otherwise desperate people. I found this a creative, compassionate and more enlightened way to “invest” while retaining my long-term security.”

The 24-unit apartment complex became began housing single moms who were recovering from drug addiction and were now ready to get custody of their children back.

“Imagine the joy of knowing that I could provide a simple two-bedroom apartment for a mom and her kids as she fought to get her life back on track.”

There’s a nice little glow. Steves has now given the complex over to the Y.

Via Raw Story.

Sunday Facepalm: Beastly!

Kevin Swanson is being rather beastly over Beauty and the Beast, and for a different reason than the standard Christian zealot reason of “gay character”. Swanson is concerned with the promotion of inter-species breeding. Yep. Obviously, Mr. Swanson’s knowledge of how that whole breeding business works is deficient, but let’s take a look at La Belle et la Bête by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in 1740. The original work was more in line with a novella than a brief tale, and it was for adults, not children.

Villeneuve’s work is more novella than simple tale with its elaborate prose and numerous details, including stories told within stories. Her narrative is far from complete upon the Beast’s transformation into a man. Then we meet his mother and learn his backstory as well as Beauty’s own hidden history, for she is not the true daughter of a merchant, but a princess in disguise herself. All of this combines into an elaborate literary creation, not a traditionally truncated folktale. Villeneuve imagined new material, uniquely her own, while incorporating traditional folklore elements, many of which exist in the version we are most familiar with today. She writes about romantic love and marriage while exploring themes like women’s marital rights, although those themes are somewhat hidden in most English translations of the tale.

Two different English translations of Villeneuve’s tale are presented in this collection. The first one, by Ernest Dowson, was first published in 1908. It is one of the most accurate translations of Villeneuve’s content into English, including elements often changed or omitted in other translations. However, Dowson’s language is less ornate than Villeneuve’s and doesn’t capture the same essence as another favored translation, one by J. R. Planché, first published in 1858.

Planché’s translation includes footnotes by the present editor to show where he modified the text, changes he briefly touches upon in his comments to his Victorian audience. The changes, although small, are far from minor for they change an essential element of the tale. Instead of asking Beauty to marry him each night—a familiar refrain in modern versions of the story—the Beast asks Beauty, “May I sleep with you tonight?”

The question, while risqué, is not merely suggestive or erotic. It implies control and choice for Beauty over her own body and sexuality, something that was not legally hers or that of any woman who was handed over as property in marriage to a husband in centuries past. The Beast is no true beast since he never forces his physical desires upon her despite any rights implied by her presence in his home in what today may be considered a common law marriage, although the construct didn’t exist in Villeneuve’s time.

Another important change is in the Beast’s transformation scene. Beauty finally agrees to sleep with the Beast and marry him in the original Villeneuve. The Beast then sleeps beside her during the night, although no other activities beyond Beauty’s mysterious dreams are described. When she awakens the next morning, a man—one whom she has come to love in her dreams—is sleeping beside her instead of the Beast.

That, and more is from SurLaLune Fairytales. All of the above elevates the tale considerably from the versions which are familiar today, and it’s easy enough to figure out why Disney certainly wouldn’t touch upon such complexities. The Disney version is a simplified tale of love, with the requisite lesson about how appearances are not what matters, don’t judge a book by its cover, and so on. For Mr. Swanson, that’s quite bad enough, as somehow or another, along with the horrible effort to ‘homosexualize’ whole generations, claims the movie promotes ‘Inter-Species Breeding’, oh, the horror!

Swanson said that the movie was an “insidious” effort to “homosexualize the next generation of eight and ten-year-old kids” and ensure that they are “indoctrinated into the homosexual lifestyle.”

“This is how revolutions take place,” he said. “You are in the middle of a cultural revolution in the United States of America. No, this is not the cultural revolution that Mao Tse-tung brought to China; this is a different kind of cultural revolution, but I’m going to say it’s just about as dangerous … though a bit more insidious.”

Oooh, look at that nicely done twist into communism. You can’t have the gay without the commie in the christian version of the gay agenda. From what I understand, a minor character in the movie has a crush on his mean boss. This is hardly a gay version of Beauty and the Beast. (As the commonly known tale has little to do with the original these days, that would be a fun movie!) It’s not as though the current flick has become mandatory, and all people must have their eyelids taped open and have no choice but to watch it.

Even worse, Swanson said, the film is promoting inter-species breeding, which he said Hollywood has been pushing since the days of Star Trek.

“Christians, I don’t believe, can allow for this,” Swanson stated. “Humans are made in the image of God. Humans are assigned a spouse which happens to be a member of the opposite sex. Friends, God’s law forbids it … Christians should not allow for this, man. We cannot allow for humans to interbreed with other species. It’s just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s confusion, it’s unnatural.”

“We are in some of the most radical, most anti-biblical, the most immoral, the most unethical, the most wicked sexual environment that the world has ever known, right now,” he warned.

Star Trek? Oh my. Does the not very thoughtful Mr. Swanson not know that we don’t have a federation, starships, or zillions of extraterrestials around to get sexy with? Yes, I had one hell of a crush on Mr. Spock when I was 9 years old, it was those ears. Unfortunately for me, there weren’t any neato trips to Vulcan happening. Given the limitations of television back then, and the lack of imagination now, most all the aliens pictured were suitably humanoid, barely distinguishable from the bog standard human. Even so, there’s no inter-species breeding going on in the Star Trek sense.

Humans are assigned a spouse? So all that dating stuff is not necessary? You had better let people know where the ticket center is, so they can grab their god ticket and see who has been all lined up for them. I think the only confusion going on here is in the mind of Mr. Swanson, a steamy mess of muddle. After all, there really isn’t a beast in Beauty and the Beast, he’s a prince in disguise, remember? A human type prince. Everyone gets all human prior to the happily married business.

Via RWW.

And we have a bonus facepalm today, in the form of Rick Wiles, who is now officially unhappy with the Tiny Tyrant over the Syria bombing. Mr. Wiles has now decided that the evil is in the form of Ms. Kushner and her husband:

Wiles went on to compare Ivanka with the daughter of Herod who, in Matthew 14, convinced her father to behead John the Baptist.

“That’s who I think Ivanka Trump is,” Wiles said. “She’s a Kabbala practicing, evil woman whispering evil things in the ear of her father. She’s going to the grave site of an old dead Kabbala practitioner and getting spirits telling her what to do … We have to pray against witchcraft in high places, witchcraft that plans to kill millions of people. … [Ivanka and Jared] are cleaning out the White House to surround President Trump with their Kabbala practitioners, and the only advice he is going to get will be from people who are evil. And the church is letting this happen.”

Oh my, now it’s a Jewish witch in the white house! I think it’s wars and bombs which are killing people, and it’s the Tiny Tyrant’s notion that it’s his military and his toys that are the actual problem.

Via RWW.

Friendship Benches.

Like many simple ideas, friendship benches and grandmothers is an absolutely brilliant one. Zimbabwe has a wealth of people suffering ills, much like every place else on the planet. Mental and emotional difficulties and struggles are stigmatized all over the world, and even when there are abundant resources, many people won’t reach out because of that stigma. Most places don’t have abundant resources, but they do have troubled people who do not want to be stigmatized. So, what to do? There’s a small program in parts of Zimbabwe, where older women receive training, and they spend time on the friendship benches, where people can come and talk them, and be listened to, which I feel is a cure for a great many ills. Most people simply don’t listen, and often, even when someone does, they get awkward and embarrassed because they can’t fix a person’s problem. What gets missed much of the time is that people aren’t necessarily looking for a fix, they simply need someone to listen, someone to care. The Grandmothers are also happy, because they feel needed, rather than lonely and neglected. Friendship benches are an idea which needs to be widespread, all over the world.

The therapy room is a patch of waste ground, and the therapist’s couch a wooden bench under a tree. The therapist is an elderly Zimbabwean woman, in a long brown dress and headscarf.

Her patients call her “Grandmother” when they come along to sit on her bench and discuss their feelings, their depression or other mental health issues.

[…]

The benches are a safe place for people struggling with depression, which in the Shona language is called kufungisisa, “thinking too much”.

It is a world away from conventional approaches to mental healthcare, but the Friendship Bench project has changed the lives of an estimated 27,000 Zimbabweans suffering from depression and other mental disorders.

The grandmothers, all of whom are trained to improve a patient’s ability to cope with mental stress, listen and nod, offering only an occasional word of encouragement.

[…]

“When they first get to the bench, we use an intervention which we call kuvhura pfungwa [opening of the mind]. They sit and talk about their problems. Through that process, the grandmothers enable that patient to select a specific problem to focus on, and they help them through it,” he says.

Through at least six one-on-one sessions with the health workers, the patients are encouraged to speak about their problems and their mental illness.

Traditionally, elderly women play the role of counsellor for younger members of the community. On the bench, however, the grandmothers listen more, and lecture less.

“We used to talk a lot, ‘Do this, do that’. But now we ask them to open up, open their minds and hearts,” says Sheba Khumalo, a grandmother.

The Guardian has the full story.

Trying to Kill Planned Parenthood.

In this Sept. 9, 2015, file photo, Planned Parenthood supporters rally for women’s access to reproductive health care on “National Pink Out Day’’ at Los Angeles City Hall. CREDIT: AP Photo/Nick Ut, File.

Yesterday, the Tiny Tyrant made a move to allow states to punish Planned Parenthood, and people at large, by allowing them to withhold federal funds. This is going to do a great deal of harm, especially in the more regressive states, of which there are too many. This is a direct hit on Title X, which is a devastating blow to healthcare, which the rethugs are all happy about, as they couldn’t come out and just repeal. As usual, poorer people and women will be suffering the most under this new move.

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Thursday that would allow states to withhold federal money for family planning services, such as birth control, from Planned Parenthood clinics and other women’s health centers.

The bill is a repeal of an Obama-era regulation that said states couldn’t withhold Title X funding, which covers family planning and preventative care, from organizations just because those organizations also provide abortion care. This bill would roll back that protection, emboldening states to try to restrict such funding.

The Senate passed the bill 51–50 in March, with Vice President Pence casting the tie breaking vote.

Four million people with low incomes rely on Title X for preventative health care. Roughly 1.5 million receive their Title X care at Planned Parenthood.

In practice, what this bill does is open the door for states to restrict these people from choosing certain health care providers — which may be, in many cases, the only health care provider nearby, the one they trust, or the only one that they can afford.

While the bill does not defund Planned Parenthood directly, it is part of a wider GOP attack on the women’s health provider — and will likely encourage further efforts to cut federal funding off from Planned Parenthood.

It is already legally prohibited to use federal funds for abortion care, thanks to the Hyde Amendment. Currently, Planned Parenthood gets federal funding through programs like Title X and Medicaid, which cover STD testing, cancer screenings, birth control access, and other health needs for people who wouldn’t be able to afford them.

In reality, federally defunding Planned Parenthood — as the GOP proposed to do in their failed health care bill  — actually means preventing people who rely on it from accessing health care. And while anti-Planned Parenthood politicians argue that people can go elsewhere, for many low-income and rural women and men, Planned Parenthood clinics are their only option.

Think Progress has the full story.

Bull vs Girl.

Arturo Di Modica holds a model of his Charging Bull sculpture during a news conference Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in New York. CREDIT: AP Photo/Craig Ruttle.

The artist of the Charging Bull sculpture wants the ‘fearless girl’ removed, and so do I.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Di Modica’s attorney Norman Siegel argued that Fearless Girl infringes on Di Modica’s artistic copyright by “changing the creative dynamic” of his original work and ask that it be removed and placed elsewhere in the city:

“Very simply, we request, respectfully, that the Fearless Girl statue be removed. We’re not asking it to be banned… Gender equality is a very serious, substantial issue. It’s permeated throughout our society. For years, civil rights people have fought for gender equality… So that’s a real issue. None of us here today are in any way not proponents of gender equality. But there are issues of copyright and trademark that needed to be and still need to be addressed. So, remove her and place her somewhere else in the city.”

[…]

Fearless Girl is cloying, corporate feminism sponsored by a company that only has three women on its fourteen person board of directors. Only 28 percent of State Street’s senior vice-presidents are women, as are a measly 23 percent of executive vice-presidents. In defense of those stats, the company’s head of public relations told the Huffington Post that those numbers are “better than zero.” Can’t argue with that kind of logic. Who says women are bad at math?

So Fearless Girl is a cutesy signifier that signifies nothing, an accessory for selfies. She doesn’t challenge any preconceived notions about what girls can do or be; girls have long worn skirts and ponytails and played outside. Fearless girls are adored and celebrated in literature, popular culture, and life. It’s once girls become women that all their ambition scans as irritating instead of spunky, as off-putting instead of endearing. The same society that roots for ambition in girls is one that that socially, professionally, and politically punishes ambition in the women those girls will become. It’s women, not girls, who have pesky needs and opinions and goals and sex drives and reproductive organs that make their ambition too problematic to accept.

Oh, I could not possibly agree more. That girl irritated the hell out of me from the start. What, exactly is radical about a young girl in a dress? The image itself is stock straight out of the 1950s, ponytail and flared skirt. Might as well have done her up in a poodle skirt. That aside, my major problem with it was that it was a girl. The protests, the marches, they were about women. Adult women, who in the United States, are still treated as barely above chattel, and who every single day, face a fight over their right to live with the full rights accorded to men. Do we have bodily autonomy? No. Are we paid equal wages? No. Is violence against women taken seriously? No. Is there widespread parental leave and accommodation? No. Are male parents treated the same as female parents? No. Is harassment taken seriously? No. And on it goes. You can idealize girls all you like, you can tell girls they can do anything they like, but what is the point of that when they run smack into the reality of being a woman? And what about the actual reality of growing up girl? It’s not all sweet, rosy, and flying high with ambition as represented. Young girls hit the wall of rooted misogyny very early. Just ask any parent. Parents of boys are just as challenged, as they watch their sons absorbing deep rooted toxic sexism and toxic masculinity. It’s a constant fight, and it’s not one which will get any easier unless we tackle these issues head on, clear-eyed, with a focus on reality.

I don’t really care why the “fearless” girl is removed, as long as she is, and I do take Mr. Di Modica’s point. His art work should not have to suffer at the whim of a piece of marketing fluff straight out of the 1950s. Go away, fearless girl. Give me a call when you’re all grown up.

Full story at Think Progress.

NC: Gay Marriage Ban.

North Carolina is going after a gay marriage ban now. I expect we’re going to be seeing this move all over the place, as a lot of rethugs and Christians are now convinced they can kill same sex marriage everywhere now that they broke all the rules to get Gorsuch on the court. Right now, it doesn’t look it did much good to oust McCrory.

Raleigh, N.C. — A bill filed Tuesday in the state House would outlaw same-sex marriage in North Carolina and refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

According to House Bill 780, the state would declare that the federal government is not legally authorized to regulate marriage. Therefore, the state’s 2012 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage would remain in effect.

The proposal presumes that the state could simply refuse to recognize the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. According to the bill, that ruling “exceeds the authority of the Court relative to the decree of Almighty God that ‘a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24, ESV) and abrogates the clear meaning and understanding of marriage in all societies throughout prior history.”

The bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, is a Christian minister. He refused to comment on the legislation he filed.

The bill’s second sponsor, Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, first denied that the bill would outlaw same-sex marriage in the state, then said that, since the constitutional amendment remains on the books despite the Supreme Court ruling, state lawmakers should “do something about it.” He declined to say what action that should be, and he turned down an interview request, accusing reporters of misrepresenting his positions in earlier stories.

Well, there’s rabid Christians for you – their uptight view of things, based on their particular book of psychopathic myths, everyone must comply! I have one simple answer to that one: Fuck No. It would be past nice if Christians would figure out, once and for all, that not everyone believes the same shit they do.

Full story at WRAL.

Acts of Defiance.

Image: Charlotte Cooper, CC-BY.

Maryland is leading an action which is poised to be picked up by lawmakers across the country. The federal de-funding of Planned Parenthood clinics is not sitting well with constituents far and wide, and they are making their voices known.

Every dollar that the Trump administration takes away from Planned Parenthood in Maryland will be replaced by state funds (about $2.7M), which will save about $6 for every dollar it puts in, because when women are in charge of their own fertility, they don’t end up raising kids they can’t afford.

State lawmakers across the USA are planning to follow suit. Maryland’s Republican state governor Larry Hogan didn’t even try to veto the bill, having seen what happened when federal Republicans tried to take away health care — and women are disproportionately willing to rise up to fight for their rights.

Boing Boing has the story.

Troll in the Dungeon, Er, Crossdressers in the Building!

Karen Kipgen, Page Program Supervisor for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, sent out a Capitol-wide email warning members and their staff of “crossdressers in the building.”

The Page Program is for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors seeking to serve in the House to help elected officials.

Several sources sent Raw Story photos of the email of Kipgen’s warning.

“As per the Speaker’s office, Pages are being allowed access to the ladies restroom across from 401, for today. Again, there are cross-dressers in the building.”

[…]

The state’s LGBT organization Oklahomans for Equality, as well as Planned Parenthood and other HIV/AIDS advocacy groups, were visiting the Capitol as part of an education advocacy day.

[…]

“I’m with about 70 traumatized students right now,” Toby Jenkins, Oklahoman’s for Equality executive director, told Raw Story over the phone. He explained that they went to the House Speaker Charles McCall’s office with questions about the email but that the Speaker refused to meet with them. He did tell them that the email did not come from the Speaker’s office and that they’re investigating whose office sent the email.

Way to be a nasty asshole, Oklahoma. (#NotAllOklahomans, I know. You need to hold these willfully ignorant assholes to the fire.) Via Raw Story.

Give God His Rainbow Back! Now!

Worst example of cultural appropriation ever: LGBTs stole the rainbow from God. It’s his. He invented it. Gen. 9:11-17. Give it back.

People have been making nonstop fun of Mr. Fischer for his indignant tweet, but rather than just letting it slide, he’s back, with a double down demand.

“The rainbow is God’s,” Fischer said. “God invented the rainbow—look at Genesis 9:11-17—He invented it, it’s His thing, He put it in the sky as a promise that he would never again destroy the earth through a flood. Are you listening Al Gore? Al Gore, you do not need to worry about the planet being destroyed by floodwaters. Why? Because God has put His rainbow in the sky to let you and everybody else know, ‘I’m never going to do that again.’”

The LGBTQ community, Fischer warned, “is using something that doesn’t belong to you. That’s cultural appropriation … You’ve culturally appropriated something that doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to God, it’s His idea and you need to give it back.”

The first thought here is how any being so utterly weak as to not be able to retake a rainbow, well why bother with it? Apparently, it never bothers Christians that they simultaneously exalt the might of Jehovah, and his absolute weakness. Also, Jehovah is a latecomer in the god business, and a fair amount of the old testament stories are lifted from earlier peoples and their mythologies, so there’s no reason to think ol’ Jehovah had a lock on a rainbow. There is the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which the OT writers shamelessly stole from when hammering out Genesis. What about the Bifrost? That’s a whole rainbow bridge, from Asgard to Midgard, which would kind of put Jehovah’s measly rainbow to shame, yeah? What about Cuchavira, god of the rainbow? How about the Greek Goddess Iris, who is the personification of the rainbow, a messenger, and the link between the gods and humanity? Iris had long been in business before your sorry god was dreamed up, so that weak god of yours loses this one. There are plenty of other rainbow ties to various mythologies as well.

You also lose the whole “you can’t have a rainbow flag!” tantrum, too. Rainbow flags are not new, have been used for centuries. So, about that cultural appropriation business…of all people, Christians need to shut the fuck up about cultural appropriation of any kind, seriously, because the list of your crimes in that category are damn near endless.

Via RWW.

A Few Words from Alan Cumming…

#ArtAgainstHate PLEASE SHARE by reposting, or volunteer if you would like to partake in this project. Help build a community with us by raising awareness of the bullying this administration is enabling. Find empowerment in the words they call you. In these chaotic times it’s easy to lose grasp of hope for this troubled country. Yet if we open our hearts and our minds to the lush array of souls and energy that surround us every day we can find common ground. And if we advocate others to try their best to learn just one positive thing about that person who may seem so alien on the surface, perhaps we all will discover that beneath the masks that we hide behind are actually more similarities than differences. And one by one, may we shed these words of hate that are spawned by fear of the unknown. #Model: @alancummingsnaps #Photographers: @StevenTrumon & @GINGERB3ARDMAN #MAKEUP: @makeupartbynoel #Retouch Collab: @shinehorovits #ArtistsAgainstTyranny #SpreadTheWord #LoveTrumpsHate #AmericaTheBeautiful #UnitedNotDivided

A post shared by Alan Cumming (@alancummingsnaps) on

#ArtAgainstHate PLEASE SHARE by reposting, or volunteer if you would like to partake in this project. Help build a community with us by raising awareness of the bullying this administration is enabling. Find empowerment in the words they call you. In these chaotic times it’s easy to lose grasp of hope for this troubled country. Yet if we open our hearts and our minds to the lush array of souls and energy that surround us every day we can find common ground. And if we advocate others to try their best to learn just one positive thing about that person who may seem so alien on the surface, perhaps we all will discover that beneath the mask we hide behind are actually more similarities than differences. And one by one, may we shed these words of hate that are spawned by fear of the unknown.

Source.

The Penis Seat.

Men using Mexico City’s metro trains got a shock when they sat down on a seat featuring a lifelike penis.

Campaigners against sexual violence placed the seat, which is moulded in the shape of a male body – complete with genitals, on public transport in a drive designed to show men the difficulties women face every day.

A note on the floor in front of the seat read: “It’s uncomfortable to sit here, but that’s nothing compared to the sexual violence suffered by women on their commute.”

A video promoting the stunt has been watched some 800,000 times on YouTube and is part of a UN Women campaign, alongside the Mexico City government, to tackle the problem of sexual assault.

In it, men can be seen leaping straight back up after trying to sit in the seat. Bemused, confused and disgusted expressions are seen on passengers’ faces as they catch sight of the moulding.

Mexico City moved in 2000 to make the first three carriages of metro trains women-only all day because of a surge in complaints about harassment, but it appears the problem remains.

This is a great idea, because it drives home the problem of harassment in a very real way, not only with the seat, but as you can see later in the video, the camera screens at the station were focusing in on men’s arses, much to their consternation and alarm. As a woman, it’s quite easy to laugh about the reaction of the men, because we spend whole lifetimes putting up with such shit, and it is always a difficult task to get the depth of the problem through to men. Here’s hoping this campaign does get more men to understand.

Holly Kearl, founder of the Stop Street Harassment campaign in the US, told the BBC: “Too often initiatives around women’s safety focus on what women should or should not do, so it is refreshing to see a creative campaign aimed at men.”

On YouTube, the reaction was not universally positive.

One angry male commenter condemned the video as “misandrist” and said it accused an “entire gender” over the actions of an “idiotic and uneducated percentage”.

A woman wrote under the video: “These misandrist campaigns make me angry. To other women I say, ‘Don’t you have sons, fathers or partners? Do you agree with generalising and demonising the male sex in this way?’”

As there has been little done to diminish centuries worth of generalising and demonising women, I’d say when that sort of shit stops, we can stop targeting those who commit the highest levels of harassment. Why is is alright to continue on with the “don’t do this! don’t do that!” garbage women and girls get from day one? Why is it not alright to target harassers and rapists? Those campaigns actually work. And the standard disclaimer: No, not all men harass, assault, or rape. All men do know other men who do those things. All men know other men who are sexist assholes, who tell very nasty jokes about women, who complain constantly about how evil women are, so it’s okay to do this or that, and so on. And the probability is very high that most men don’t tackle all those other men about that sort of stuff. Until men stand up to other men, we won’t get far.

Full story here.