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Dec 29 2012

Epiphenomenal

Laura Bates of Everyday Sexism gives us some more everyday sexism.

Meanwhile, this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival made headlines for featuring a high number of jokes about rape and domestic violence. Such “jokes” are also endemic online.“We must wake up to the way that social media enables and magnifies abuse and harassment of women,” Ms Dustin says. The popular social news website Reddit has entire categories dedicated to “raping women”, “hot rape stories”, and “choke a bitch”. And an article on the student website UniLad in January said: “Eighty-five per cent of rape cases go unreported. That seems to be fairly good odds.”

Yes but those are just tropes and tropes don’t matter and besides “tropes” is a big stuck-up fancy intellectual showoffy conceited arrogant word that only a bitch would use because bitches are so arrogant and bitchy, plus they all stole it from Anita Sarkeesian because nobody ever used it before she did.

Jacqui Hunt, of Equality Now, says: “We absorb messages from all around us every day, so what some might dismiss as harmless banter takes on a completely different quality when it forms part of a general culture of demeaning, pejorative and prejudicial reporting on women.”

Noooooooo. That can’t be right. That implies that tropes matter and everybody knows that tropes don’t matter. Messages don’t matter, culture doesn’t matter, stereotypes don’t matter, nothing like that matters. That stuff is all non-physical, and nothing non-physical matters. What are you, some kind of crazy dualist or something? You think ideas matter? Ha! I laugh in your face. Ideas don’t matter. Only a punch in the face matters. Anything short of a punch in the face is totally inert* and harmless.

In fact, these jokes and media slurs could even be having an impact on rape conviction rates. Alison Saunders, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, told The Guardian this year that widespread “myths and stereotypes” about rape victims may give jurors “preconceived ideas” that could affect their decisions in court. When victims were “demonised in the media”, she said, “you can see how juries would bring their preconceptions to bear”.

Nope nope nope nope. Can’t be true. Can’t possibly happen. Juries never pay any attention, their whole lives, to intangible things like jokes and media slurs. That’s why there’s never any need to sequester them and make sure they don’t see any tv or newspapers. Myths and stereotypes make no difference to anything ever.

It will not be easy to tackle such deeply ingrained ideas. “We need nothing short of a revolution in our approach to sexual violence,” Ms Dustin says. But although the attitudes revealed have been worrying, the fact that such stories have been so prevalent in the media this year is a sign of progress, she believes. “The scale of revelations about abuse of women and girls in the Jimmy Savile case may have begun to turn the tide.”

As awareness grows, says Ms Diamandopoulos: “We have to get together as women … to grow the seeds of the fightback, which has already started, with organisations such as Rape Crisis, Object, Everyday Sexism, Mumsnet and others. Together, women have moved mountains before – we can do it again.”

Pfffffffff. Ideas – attitudes – stories – revelations – awareness. Come on – none of that makes any difference to anything! When has an idea ever made anything happen?

People are so silly.

*Oh I’m sorry, I used the word “inert.” That’s one of those words like “trope,” probably – too big and fancy for a good honest person to use, and just a way of trying to emasculate decent men.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Argle Bargle

    “tropes” is a big stuck-up fancy intellectual showoffy conceited arrogant word that only a bitch would use because bitches are so arrogant and bitchy, plus they all stole it from Anita Sarkeesian because nobody ever used it before she did.

    This will be news to the infamous TV Tropes website.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Ya it was news to me, too. “Tropes”? That’s a big fancy stuck-up word that normal people don’t know? I did not know that.

  3. 3
    oolon

    I have to admit that somehow I’d managed to miss what a trope was, Anita Sarkeesian intro’d me too, but then I Googled it and discovered it had been around quite a while… I’m now addicted to tvtropes.com thanks to Rodney so my education continues.

    The whole attacking people for being the intellekshewal kitteh, is a bit anti-intellectual for the atheist-sceptic scene surely? I’m not surprised at Franc/Towelie having a go on Joe’s comment section or the pitters in Als but I thought Al himself to be a pretty erudite fella and would be above that.

    I reckon I can out do you tho as ironically I got called a pseud for using the word “highfallutin” because they basically didn’t know what it meant and wanted to attack. I pointed out that I got it from watching “The Beverly HillBillies”, not exactly arthouse drama, and anyone that uses the word “pseud” should not throw stones in their glass house. As an attack saying your opponent is too clever for their own good is rarely likely to work outside the school yard.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh Towel is hoggle? I can’t keep track of all his masks.

    I once would have thought Al would be above any of this, but no longer. He’s not above anything.

  5. 5
    briane

    Ya it was news to me, too. “Tropes”? That’s a big fancy stuck-up word that normal people don’t know? I did not know that.

    They’d say it’s because you’re not normal. In the the pejorative sense. I think that you’re not normal in the superlative sense. But I must be abnormal, in that I heard of tropes years ago on rd.net upon which highfalutin philosophers spoke of trope-nominalism and ‘not shouting fire in a theatre’ being a standard trope in free-speech talk. It’s even possible that I’d heard the word before then…..and tvtropes is a cool site. I didn’t realize how many movies are the mighty-whitey trope.

  6. 6
    raymoscow

    Using big words is simply not fair to the opposition.

  7. 7
    briane

    All that book larnin dun made y’all uppity.

  8. 8
    sheila

    Using big words is simply not fair to the opposition.

    Ophelia uses far worse things than big words. She also uses facts and logic.

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