Montag, 30. Dezember 2013

Gender Bender Shmender Lavender

Or: I simply don't understand it.
I admit, i grew up during a time when clothes were made for children. So, upon having them myself I still don't understand the girl-boy rules. Not really.
As you probably know, I do machine embroidery and happily make shirts not only for my kids, but also for my friend's three boys.
So, this is this year's christmas collection:
For the youngest one, age 4
And I admit I happily made one with purple kitties for the gender non-conforming middle child. That kid rocks. He doesn't give a shit about what other people say. He is a sparkling princess for carnival and loves Hello Kitty:
Isn't it cute?
Now, the oldest one is more "traditionally boyish", if by "traditional" you mean fashion that didn't exist 20 years ago. And I chose a combination of designs and colours that simply rocks:
I fell in love with it. Sometimes what you plan in your head doesn't quite turn out the way you thought it would. And sometimes it's better than you ever imagined. This one is the latter case. I was like "I want this soooo much. I would so much love to make it for my children, but probably they wouldn't wear it anyway and then those hours would be wasted".
There's nothing cute about this. It's fierce and bold. 
But I thought it would be worth asking.
Well, if the shirt wasn't blue. And with purple. And pink...
My daughter didn't even allow me to wash out the chalk and the hoop burn.
New favourite shirt. And baby rabbit.
 I still don't understand the rules, but I'm glad she has a new favourite shirt!

Samstag, 23. November 2013

Froebelsterne, for rq

OK, let's get started without me trying to find a nice intro.

1. You need 4 paper strips
They need to be fairly long: 30cm for 1 cm width, 50-60 cm for 2 cm width. Look for quilling of paper ball supplies. They turn out nicest when both sides are coloured, but for the tutorial I used paper with different sides.

2. Fold in half

 3. Cut a point at the end for easier insertion later

4. Hold one strip in your hand, the closed side to the left, "hang" another one over it

5. Turn counter-clockwise, hang the next strip over it.

6. Now with your last strip, go over the right strip and in between the left.

7. Pull tight and flip around so the side that was previously on the bottom is on top now. The strip pointing upward should be on the right.

8. Fold the upper strip down.

9. Fold the other strips clockwise.

10. For the last one you need to insert it in the little "pocket" formed by the first strip and pull tight.

11. Now start with the left hand strip on the top. Fold 90°. Make sure you fold in the right direction.

12. Fold downward, but make sure to leave a little gap.

13. Fold inward to make a point.

14. Now you need to insert the strip under the loop again. This works best if you fold the point backwards a bit.

15. It should look like this now. Turn 90° counterclockwise, rinse and repeat. By turning ityou can always work in the same pattern.

16. Once you folded all 4 sides, flip over again and repeat on this side.

17. When you're done it should look like this.

18. Take the lower strip thats pointing to the right and fold it to the left. This is just to get it out of the way.

19. Take the right strip pointing upward and fold down. Now fold 90° BUT don't make a sharp edge, just pinch it at the centre.

20. Now make a loop and insert the strip under the strip you folded out of the way. You can see which side needs to face upward by the pattern

21. Pull tight, but not too tight so a point forms.

22. Turn clockwise, rinse and repeat. You can see that the strip actually leaves through the point.

23. Once you're done with one side, flip around. You can also leave it like this and stick on a parcel or card. If you go on you need to work in your hand.

24. Done! Almost. Cut away the remaining paper. Traditionally you cut close to the point, but I think it's nicer when working with 2 colours to leave a small margin.

25. You can also make a shooting star. If you've made it flat you can use it as a name tag or place card and write the name on the longer strips.

26. And if you go over the top like me you can make a nice decoration.

Dienstag, 11. Juni 2013

Nice, white, colourblind people

Yesterday in written expression we had to describe a photo.
As detailled as possible. Including the colour of the windowframe the woman was standing in front of.
Something nobody* thought worth mentioning: a white woman.
Because duh, if I** say "woman", of course that means "white woman", right?
If she'd had the audacity to be black I'd surely have mentioned, right?
Because I'm colourblind. I don't see white....

*well, except me.
**Not actually me

Donnerstag, 16. Mai 2013

No, the important things about women ain't their looks....

Don't know how informed you are about German news, but you might have heard that we had a trio of murdering fascists roaming the country for more than 10 years who killed people of Turkish and Greek origin.
The trail against the one surviving member, Beate Zschäpe and some of their accomplices started last week after it had been postponed. Postponing was necessary because there is, of course, a big interest in the media about the trial and not enough space for all the journalists to sit. After all, this is said to be the most important trial in Germany in recent history.
So, what did the media tell us about that first day of trial?

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
Beate Zschäpe, die mit dem Rücken zu den Fotografen steht, ihren Kopf in den Nacken wirft und ihre langen rot-schwarzen Haare schüttelt und schüttelt, als wäre sie auf einer Strandpromenade und nicht in einem Gerichtssaal.
Beate Zschäpe, who has her back turned towards the fotographers, who throws her head back and who shakes and shakes her red-black hair as if she were o a beach promenande and not in a courtroom.

Süddeutsche Zeitung:
  Sie trägt einen schwarzen Hosenanzug und eine helle Bluse. Ihr Aussehen sorgt für Aufsehen. "Mit Ohrringen und Stöckelschuhen ist sie gekommen", schreibt die türkische Zeitung Hürriyet.
She's wearing a black suit and a light blouse. Her look draws attention: "She came with earrings and in high heels" writes the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet

And so on, and so on.
Rejoice ladies. Even when you're a murderous fascist terrorist still nothing will be as important as your looks...

Freitag, 8. März 2013

Oh the sweet victim blaming

Trigger warning, obviously
So, the local radio station pointed me towards Kate Miller-Heidke and her song Sarah. A beautiful, talented voice, a song that chills the bones, well-sung, expressive and oh, so wrong.
The song tells the story of a friend of hers who is the first person narrator of the song. It is the story of two young girls who went to a music festival, deemed to be "safe as safe can be". The age of the girls is not given exactly, but they have to sneak in gin, and they are supposed to be picked up by midnight, so we're dealing with teenagers and I don't think on the upper end of "teen".
While dancing, the friend of the narrator, Sarah, suddenly disappears. The only thing found of her is her dress the next day. She returns two weeks later, not knowing what happened or where she had been.
So we're talking about a horrible crime commited against a child, obviously.
Yet the criminal in this story is invisible. He doesn't get mentioned, it is as if he doesn't exist, as if this whole tragic event isn't solely the fault of one person who decided to abduct and probably rape a child.
Instead, the blame gets put on the girls. The narrator is blamed by the parents, apparently she didn't take enough care of her friend. And she blames herself. "I didn't mean to let you down...I hated when I let you down". How exactly? How was she supposed to know that something horrible would happen the moment she turned around? Weren't they supposed to be "safe as safe can be"? And she blames her friend "but you left me on my own...why didn't you scream, why didn't you shout?"
The idea is clear: There are things the two girls could have done to prevent this from happening. The criminal is like a force of nature whose path you can't change. You can only get out of the way.
I admit that there is the possibility that Kate Miller-Heidke actually tries to show how ridiculous, cruel and stupid it is to put the blame on the victim, to put the onus on girls and women not to get raped. I just don't think that it is coming across like that and not like a "tragic story of two girls where one didn't pay attention and the other didn't scream loud enough.

Montag, 18. Februar 2013

And the flowers and the trees, de Botton part II

So, are you still there?
I know this is getting long. I wished philosophers were more concise. I also wished they wrote less bullshit.
We're on page 3 of the article and we're still talking about the love-killer marriage is.
Sex also has a way of altering and unbalancing our relationship with our household co-manager. Its initiation requires one partner or the other to become vulnerable by revealing what may feel like humiliating sexual needs. We must shift from debating what sort of household appliance to acquire to making the more challenging request, for example, that our spouse should turn over and take on the attitude of a submissive nurse or put on a pair of boots and start calling us names.
I'm still wondering how all of this is tied up with marriage. Surely as somebody who grew up in Switzerland and lives in the UK he should be well aware and comfortable with the fact that nowadays indeed many people don't get married at all. Some of their relationships last, some don't, but on the whole their lives don't seem to be that different from mine. I haven't looked into their bedrooms, of course, but since de Botton sets up his conflict between the "household needs" and the "intimate needs" I don't think it matters much.
Again, it's not my sexual desires and kinks that make me vulnerable towards my husband. It's the fact that I love this person with all my heart and that he could break it easily.
Why should the sexual desires he describes be humiliating? Sure, they require trust and safety with your partner but so does raising a family. It's again de Botton's screwed up perspective on sexuality that shows here, not some objective truth about submissive nurses in leather boots.
Why are bread crumbs in the kitchen bad for sex?
Because they get into your ass when you're fucking on the kitchen counter.
Easy answers for easy questions.
 We tend to forget we are angry with our partner, and hence become anaesthetized, melancholic, and unable to have sex with him or her because the specific incidents that anger us happen so quickly and so invisibly, in such chaotic settings (at the breakfast table, before the school run) that we can't recognize the offense well enough to mount a coherent protest against it
I really wished he could decide himself what it is now. Are we not fucking because of marriage? Because our desires are too humiliating? Because we don't want to force our gross sexuality onto the other? Or because of the stupid breadcrumbs? Hell, it's a wonder that anybody who isn't paid for it even manages fucking once in a while.

 And we frequently don't articulate our anger, even when we do understand it, because the things that offend us can seem so trivial or odd that they would sound ridiculous if spoken aloud: "I am angry with you because you cut the bread in the wrong way." But once we are involved in a relationship, there is no longer any such thing as a minor detail.
In an average week, each partner may be hit by, and in turn fire, dozens of tiny arrows without even realizing it, with the only surface legacies of these wounds being a near imperceptible cooling between the pair and, crucially, the disinclination of one or both to have sex with the other. Sex is a gift that is not easy to hand over once we are annoyed.
Dude, if you're seriously upset about wrongly cut bread you need either more help than any blogpost can give or you need to cut your bread yourself. Again, we have this wonderful thing. It's called communication.  People use it to talk about things and in a working relationship that's the bread and butter. And nonononono again: Sex is not a transaction. How many times do I have to repeat this. You're getting this wrong, wrong, wrong.

Why are hotels metaphysically important?
That's an interesting one. Yeah, why are they?
The walls, beds, comfortably upholstered chairs, room service menus, televisions, and tightly wrapped soaps can do more than answer a taste for luxury. Checking into a hotel room for a night is a solution to long-term sexual stagnation: We can see the erotic side of our partner, which is often closely related to the unchanging environment in which we lead our daily lives. We can blame the stable presence of the carpet and the living room chairs at home for our failure to have more sex: The physical backdrop prevents us from evolving. The furniture insists that we can't change—because it never does.
I guess there's no room (no pun intended) for people who feel intimidated by hotel rooms, why feel actual discomfort by the strange smell of some industrial laundry detergent and who like the comfort of the own home for the safety it offers. Let's not forget the insulting classism here in telling people who might be struggeling to pay the rent (and probably therefore not as interested in sex as before, because some people have actually bigger problems than breadcrumbs) that what they need is to go to a hotel for the night. Especially one with a complimentary fruitbasket. Best hotels I've ever been in had individually wrapped soapbars...
Contrary to all public verdicts on adultery, the lack of any wish whatsoever to stray is irrational and against nature, a heedless disregard for the fleshly reality of our bodies, a denial of the power wielded over our more rational selves by such erotic triggers as high-heeled shoes and crisp shirts, by smooth thighs and muscular calves.
Again, can I meet this Nature person who apparently makes a lot of rules? But it's probably because I'm a woman because she seems to talk again to men only.
But a spouse who gets angry at having been betrayed is evading a basic, tragic truth: No one can be everything to another person. The real fault lies in the ethos of modern marriage, with its insane ambitions and its insistence that our most pressing needs might be solved with the help of only one other person.
Yeah, totally your own fault, bitch. Should have seen it coming. Really, folks can't control themselves, especially when somebody in high heels walks by. Why are you to think that you deserved if not fidelity then at least honesty?
  It is impossible to sleep with someone outside of marriage and not spoil the things we care about inside it. There is no answer to the tensions of marriage.
Citation fucking needed. Open marriages exist, polyamorous marriages exist, couples who engage in multi-partner sex exist. Stop talking to this Nature person and get talking to actual people.

OK, now I clicked on page 4 of the article and I find this:
We could not be fulfilled if we weren't inauthentic some of the time—inauthentic, that is, in relation to such things as our passing desires to throttle our children, poison our spouse, or end our marriage over a dispute about changing a lightbulb. A degree of repression is necessary for both the mental health of our species and the adequate functioning of a decently ordered society. We are chaotic chemical propositions. We should feel grateful for, and protected by, the knowledge that our external circumstances are often out of line with what we feel; it is a sign that we are probably on the right course.
Does this make any sense? It hangs there like a miss-matching body-part put there by an apprentice Igor...
But it also means I'm through, so that's somethink to be grateful for.

The birds and the bees and Alain de Botton

...or how to write very wrong things about sex.
So, Alain de Botton philosophizes about sex. There's nothing wrong about that per sé, many people do and some of them even publically. But it becomes a problem when you write a lot of deeply problematic and very damaging things about sex and dress it up as philosophy and some deep knowledge about human sexuality.
Trigger warning ahead and TMI warning, too.

And that's what de Botton ultimately does in many, many innocently abused words:
Sex, we have been led to believe, is as natural as breathing. But in fact, contends British philosopher Alain de Botton, it is "close to rocket science in complexity." It's not only a powerful force, it's often contrary to many other things we care about. Sex inherently sets up conflicts within us. We crave sex with people we don't know or love. It makes us want to do things that seem immoral or degrading, like slapping someone or being tied up. We feel awkward asking the people we love for the sex acts we really want.
The beginning is problematic already. I don't know how Alain de Botton or the editors who wrote this introductory paasage get through life. Maybe he just gets up in the morning, slips into an elaborately embroidered housegown, makes a cup of tea, gets into his armchair in the library and thinks deeeeeep thoughts all day, but for most people life is full of conflicts. My desire to stay in bed is in conflict with my kids' desire for breakfast AND my college timetable. My desire to spend time with them is in conflict with my desire to get a college degree. Life is hard. Come to think about it, my conflicts about sex are relatively small and easy to solve. Actually, once I stopped worrying too much about my desire to be tied up because it's "degrading", that conflict simply vanished and I could just enjoy it.
In his own opening paragraph he gets actually close to something: how sex and sexual desires are policed in society, how we're only sanctioned to enjoy a narrow range of the full rainbow. And then he loses it. It would have been a better article if he'd stopped there.
Nothing is erotic that isn't also, with the wrong person, revolting, which is precisely what makes erotic moments so intense: At the precise juncture where disgust could be at its height, we find only welcome and permission.
This small part shows what for me seems to be at the root of de Botton's problem: A deep misunderstanding about sex, eroticism and consent. He sees sex as something deeply troublesome as such, where disgust is the norm and eroticis and sexual pleasure as the exception. That's putting the carriage before the horse, if you ask me.
What unfolds between a couple in the bedroom is an act of mutual reconciliation between two secret sexual selves emerging at last from sinful solitude.
WTF? I don't even know what this is supposed to mean. I only see innocent words that are hurting. This sentence makes me want to write an S for style on my screen with a sharpie.
 Why is sex more difficult to talk about in this era, not less?
What makes him think it is? This seems to be the first aera at least in the western world we have finally started to talk about sex. It's the first time we try to break the narrow societally approved norms about sex for real. We talk about sex being more tham making babbies, about homosexuality, kink, everything. That's not easy, but that's due to the narrow definition of sex, not because of sex.
Tame it though we might try, it tends to wreak havoc across our lives; it leads us to destroy our relationships, threatens our productivity, and compels us to stay up too late in nightclubs talking to people whom we don't like but whose exposed midriffs we wish to touch. Our best hope should be for a respectful accommodation with an anarchic and reckless power.
That's bad. That's really bad and I don't mean the horrible things sex makes us do. I mean his view on people being so horribly controlled by sex. And by people he obviously means men, because "exposed midriffs" are pretty much gendered.
 Involuntary physiological reactions such as the wetness of a vagina and the stiffness of a penis are emotionally so satisfying (which means, simultaneously, so erotic) because they signal a kind of approval that lies utterly beyond rational manipulation.
Figleaf on "Bad Men Project" has already written about the seriously problematic and rape-apologist issues with this part, much better than I could, so go there and read it. I want to focus on the "lesser" evil of this passage: Sexual arousal is indeed not easily controlled by willpower. But it's also not tied neatly to "emotional satisfaction" and approval". Our bodies are machines and they react to stimuli. My vagina reacts to the physical stimuli of sitting on a hard chair for a prolonged time. Getting horny towards the end of a lecture is mostly annoying. It has nothing to do with any approval of the lecture or my desire to fuck anybody present. It also doesn't mean that failure to get wet or an erection means disinterest in sex or dissatisfaction. In this world, erectile dysfunction and vagial dryness exist, the latter especially among post-menopausal women. Does that mean we lose the sex-drive with the baby-making ability?
In a world in which fake enthusiasms are rife, in which it is often hard to tell whether people really like us or whether they are being kind to us merely out of a sense of duty, the wet vagina and the stiff penis function as unambiguous agents of sincerity.
Even if all the other stuff weren't a problem, this is another one of de Botton's fails where he mystically ties up sex and stuff. Even if a wet vagina and an erect penis were sincere indicators, they would be sincere indicators of only one thing: a desire to fuck.
 A kiss is pleasurable because of the sensory receptivity of our lips, but a good deal of our excitement has nothing to do with the physical dimension of the act: It stems from the simple realization that someone else likes us quite a lot.
Again I'm asking myself: what planet does this man live on? Do you remember your first kiss? The first real snogging with tongue and spit and inexperienced touching for other body parts? Man it was great. It was also the result of 2 beers and laughing our asses off over some Jehova's Witnesses pamphlets. I never saw the boy again.
What is the lure of sex in the back of an airplane?
Yes, I'd like to know that, too. De Botton gets it almost right again, talking about societally permitted forms of sexuality and the hotness of transgression, but the way this stands so isolated from the rest of his article it leaves questions, mostly "yeah, what?"
Why is "Not tonight, Dear" so destructive?
Stop that gendered crap NOW! I'm pretty sure that de Botton would deny that this phrase has a gendered meaning, but whom are we kidding? One bazillion movies and TV-series have taught us that this sentence is said by the woman. It reinforces the trope that men want sex and women withhold it (remember the naked bellies and the nightclub?)

Logic might suggest that being married or in a long-term relationship must guarantee an end to the anxiety that otherwise dogs attempts by one person to induce another to have sex. But while either kind of union may make sex a constant theoretical option, it will neither legitimate the act nor ease the path toward it. Moreover, against a background of permanent possibility, an unwillingness to have sex may be seen as a far graver violation of the ground rules than a similar impasse in other contexts.
Ground rules? GROUND RULES? What fucking ground rules? Or are these the good old ground rules that women have to say yes whenever their husband asks? Also, please don't project your personal issues onto other people. Seriously, I don't know what his problems are, but most  couples, especially those who have established communication and respect for their partner(s) and their sexuality are perfectly able to deal with "no tonight, Dear".

Why is impotence an achievement?
There are few greater sources of shame for a man, or feelings of rejection for his partner. The real problem with impotence is the blow to the self-esteem of both parties.
I don't know, but didn't somebody just lecture us on how the erection is the only sincere indicator? So, he actually realizes the harm the perpetuation of such bullshit causes and it apparently doesn't make him think twice? Toddlers are better at playing "connect the dot".
Also, the real problem with impotence is that it is often a medical problem that gets ignored because people bullshit about its deep philosophical implication.
 We are grievously mistaken in our interpretation. Impotence is the strangely troublesome fruit of reason and kindness intruding on the free flow of animal impulses, of our new inclination to wonder what another might be feeling and then to identify with his or her potential objections to our invasive or unsatisfactory demands.
 This is de Botton's troublesome view on sex again. To him it seems to be a transaction, something one takes and another one gives instead of something two people mutually enjoy. To the guy who doesn't get it up because he worries about whether his advances are welcome I have one tip: Use your mouth. It's a much better indicator whether your partner wants to be fucked in a certain way than wetness or erections.
All but the least self-aware among us will sometimes be struck by how distasteful our desire for sex can seem to someone else, how peculiar and physically off-putting our flesh may be, and how unwanted our caresses.
Again, this leaves me wondering a lot about de Botton's own mind and history more than it makes me think about sex as such. But I guess that if you're constantly wondering about how groos and disgusting you and your sexuality are it definetly leads to trouble.
What do religions know about sex that we don't?
Probably nothing.
 Only religions still take sex seriously, in the sense of properly respecting its power to turn us away from our priorities. Only religions see it as something potentially dangerous and needing to be guarded against.
Well, we had the male-centric view, now cue in the Eurocentric view. Not all religions and cultures are obsessed about sex. Apparently "religions" in this context means "Abrahamic religions." Other religions and cultures seemed to have had a more fun view on sexuality (I once had the luck to see some of the vases for real. Gorgeous, I tell you, gorgeous.)
  Perhaps only after killing many hours online at can we appreciate that on this one point religions have got it right: Sex and sexual images can overwhelm our higher rational faculties with depressing ease. Religions are often mocked for being prudish, but they wouldn't judge sex to be quite so bad if they didn't also understand that it could be rather wonderful.
Maybe it escaped de Botton, but when the Abrahamic religions laid down their screwed sex rules, youporn hadn't been invented yet. That would be one piece of evidence for some god: a real, straightforward commandment laid down 4.000 bc that says "Thou shalt not watch Youporn". In pseudo King James Bible English. Also, citation fucking needed. It is again this bizarre world de Botton lives in, a world in which we don't understand the very un-sexy reasons for religious rules about sex, the rules that are about power and property, not about fun sexy-times and youporn. And it's again de Botton being unaware of the damage his philosophical wankery causes in the real world. He gives Abrahamic religious ideas and their deep anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-consent nature authority and approval. He does not spend one word on the abuses and hurt caused by religious rules about sexuality, especially not those that deal with the consequences like abortion.
Does marriage ruin sex?
A gradual decline in the intensity and frequency of sex between a married couple is an inevitable fact of biological life, and as such, evidence of deep normality—although the sex-therapy industry has focused most of its efforts on assuring us that marriage should be enlivened by constant desire.
Citation fucking needed. Especially the "inevitable fact of biological life". I'm willing to conceed that at 80 you're probably lacking the stamina you had at 20, but I'm unconvinced that this is triggered by a marriage certificate.
 The qualities demanded of us when we have sex stand in sharp opposition to those we employ in conducting the majority of our other, daily activities.
Again a totally unevidenced opinion. Why and how? Because I don't fucking see it. Empathy, a desire to please, a healthy dose of self-respect, a will to compromise and a will to set boundaries, mutual understanding and affection, those things are the qualities my relationship demands in every. single. aspect. From dinner planning to the holidays.
Marriage tends to involve—if not immediately, then within a few years—the running of a household and the raising of children, tasks that often feel akin to the administration of a small business and call on many of the same skills.
Heteronormative breeder bullshit. Says this hetero mum. Yeah, running a family is hard, that's why I appreciate a good fuck even more.
 Sex, with its contrary emphases on expansiveness, imagination, playfulness, and a loss of control, must by its very nature interrupt this routine of regulation and self-restraint. We avoid sex not because it isn't fun but because its pleasures erode our subsequent capacity to endure the strenuous demands that our domestic arrangements place on us.
As much as this leaves to speculate about de Botton's sex life, it leaves us at least clear that he has never run one of these small-business families with young kids. Because nobody teaches you playfulness and imagination like your kids. And again, who's this "we" who avoids sex then? For me it's actually one of the things that makes me able to "endure" the demands of a busy life. Especially the most important contrast to everyday life, the lack of kids is what makes it so wonderful and important, the ability and opportunity to hang the mummy and daddy coats away for a bit of airing and to slip back into the lover-suits to keep the thing going that was there before the kids came and that we still want to have once the kids are out of the house. Jesus fucking Christ, that man really has a bad view on life and sex.

Teal Deer.
This is only the end of page 2 of de Botton's article and I feel the need to do something naughty now just to make sure I wasn't sucked into complicated de Botton-verse.
It's not all bad, though.
Whenever a young aspiring writer approaches you and asks you "how should I write about sex", you can always show them de Botton's article and tell them "not like that".

Mittwoch, 13. Februar 2013

Warum ich mich über Anne Wizoreks Hatemail freue

Anne Wizorek, Initiatorin des #Aufschreis auf Twitter hat nun damit begonnen das ein oder andere ihrer Hatemail zu tweeten.
Nur mal so zum "Einstieg"

Erst mal: Nein, das ist ganz und gar nicht lustig. Das ist bitterer Ernst und Anne Wizorek hat meine volle Solidarität. So etwas auszuhalten kostet Kraft, ist bedrohlich und definitiv ein Grund warum viele Frauen schon im Voraus die Klappe halten weil sie sich das nicht zumuten wollen.

Und dennoch freue ich mich über sie und über all die obsessiven Trolle im Hashtag.
Ganz einfach, weil jemand der so einen Scheiß schreibt weiß, dass ihm die Felle davonschwimmen.
Weil sie laut, laut schreien aber nichts zu sagen haben. Weil sie verzweifelt zum 5.000 Mal den Scheiß der Autorin der Neuen Rechten Birgit Kelle retweeten müssen weil sie hoffen, dass es dann mehr Sinn ergibt oder es wenigstens so scheint als hätten sie die Mehrheit auf ihrer Seite.

Weil in den letzte Wochen hundertausende Frauen gemerkt haben, dass sie mit ihren Erlebnissen nicht alleine sind. Dass sie nicht Versagerinnen sind während alle anderen das doch offensichtlich locker wegstecken.

Weil hunderttausende Gespräche stattgefunden haben. Ehepartner, Freunde, Mütter und Söhne, Väter und Töchter, Kolleginnen und Kollegen haben miteinander geredet.
Viele Männer hatten "Aha" Erlebnisse.
"Das passiert also meiner Freundin, wenn sie alleine unterwegs ist "
"So fühlt sich also meine Kollegin wenn ich über ihren Körper und ihr Sexleben lästere"
Und das lässt sich nicht mehr ändern.

Weil "divide et impera" nicht mehr zieht.
Wenn man der Frauenbewegung der 70ern vorwerfen kann, dass sie sich fast ausschließlich um die Probleme der weißen Mittelklassefrauen kümmerte so zieht das nicht mehr. Alle Frauen, alle Schichten, cis und Trans* Frauen haben sich beteiligt. Es war auch der #Aufschrei der "Alphamädchen", der jungen, attraktiven, gut ausgebildeten und meist noch kinderlosen Frauen, die wir bislang immer als "echte, starke Frauen" unter die Nase gerieben bekommen haben. Und weil Rassismus, Homophobie, Trans*phobie und Ableism nicht geduldet wurden.

Weil die Gesellschaft nicht drumrum kam sich damit zu befassen. Es wird kein prä-#Aufschrei Deutschland mehr geben. Niemand kann sich mehr rausreden, man(n) muss Farbe bekennen.

Es bleibt den Sexisten (und Sexistinnen) nur noch der klägliche Versuch eine einzelne Frau mundtot zu machen. Mein großer Respekt an Anne Wizorek für ihren Mut und ihr Durchhaltevermögen. Sie wird noch einen langen Atem haben um das durchzustehen, die Obsession der Hater ist ausdauernd. Deshalb auch meine Bitte an alle UnterstützerInnen: Auch nicht locker lassen.

Freitag, 8. Februar 2013

Forward thinking: What would you tell teenagers about sex?

Inspired by Libby Anne of Love, Joy and Feminism.

6 ways how sex is like food and one way how it totally isn't

1.) Not all food is your favourite food

Not all sexual activities will be your favourite ones. Some will make you overdo, some will put you off quickly, many will be really OK. And once we grow up, we understand that tastes are different and that just because you find eggplant to be dull, and celery to be vomit-inducing, it doesn't mean that people who eat eggplant with celery are bad people. It especially doesn't mean that you have to like something because apparently everybody does. Know your own tastes. You don't let people tell you that you actually like eggplant though you know you don't, so don't let anybody tell you that you really like or need sexual activity X.

2.) It's unfair that we always go to your favourite restaurant

Remember that people have different tastes and that when something is shared there will be compromises. So, you could die for Chinese while your partner thinks it OK but really, really loves the Steakhouse? Well, you can visit those places alternately, or agree on the Pizzeria, or even decide that while you go and have Chinese they go to the Steakhouse.

3.) Making children eat their Brussel sprouts is horrible

Above I talked about compromise. Here I talk about boundaries. No caring person would make you eat something that you really dislike. No caring lover would make you do some sex-act that you don't like. You are totally entitled to no like something and enforce that boundary.

4.) Trying new food is amazing

Or horrible. You never know until you try. Maybe you find out that it's aweful (but remember #1). It's totally OK to leave it on your plate. Maybe it even makes you sick. Stop whatever you're doing then.
Maybe you're not sure if you like it. Some things are an acquired taste. Maybe you want to try them again. You're still allowed to dislike them. And maybe it's awesome and the best thing since sliced bread. Cool. But remember your partner might totally disagree. Don't be an asshole then, remember #3.

5.) Taste changes

I couldn't stand olives as a child, now I love them. I still hate dill, though. And I really can't understand that I once loved Smurf-blue icecream. There's nothing wrong with that and it's totally OK to say "look, I know, I used to like it, but I really don't  do so anymore".

6.) Unsafe food can give you food poisoning, salmonella and Hepatitis A.

Safety first. That means use a condom. Nobody who cares about you would try to trick you into eating unsafe food, nobody who cares about you would try to bully, trick or coerce you into having unsafe sex.

And one way how sex totally isn't like food:

Everybody needs food. Nobody exactly needs sex. If you don't want any, you can simply go without it and there's nothing wrong with that. That can be for days, weeks, months, ever. And your partner really won't die if you don't want to fuck tonight and is an ass if they claim so. Remember #3

Mittwoch, 6. Februar 2013

Noch mehr Fragen, noch mehr Antworten

"Gibt es denn nichts wichtigeres?"
Erst mal Gegenfrage: wenn es so viel Wichtigeres gibt, warum hängst du dann im Aufschrei Hashtag rum? Desweiteren sei zu bemerken, dass wir uns tatsächlich um mehrere Dinge gleichzeitig kümmern können. Nur weil ich gerade was zu Sexismus diskutiere heißt es nicht, dass mir der Umweltschutz plötzlich egal ist. Kannst du das auch? Schön, dann lass mich doch einfach machen.
Und wie bei einem Schreibtisch ist es so, dass man erst mal den ganzen Kleinscheiß wegräumen muss bevor man mit der Arbeit anfangen kann.

"Und Mali?"
Genau, was ist mit Mali? Siehe oben. Geh raus, tu was statt wildfremden Frauen auf die Nerven zu gehen. Bei dem einen oder der anderen hab ich auch ehrlich den Verdacht dass er oder sie nicht wirklich weiß wo Mali eigentlich liegt und worum es eigentlich geht. Aber alles ist recht wenn wir nur nicht von Sexismus hier und jetzt reden müssen.

"In Saudi Arabien haben es die Frauen viel schlimmer!"
Stimmt, und weiter? Ich kann einfach nicht anders als das mit dem versteckten Unterton von "Halt's Maul, wir können auch anders" zu hören. Wie in aller welt bessert sich die Lage von Frauen in Saudi Arabien wenn Frauen hier klaglos Übergriffe hinnehmen? Und wieso soll das irgendwie in Ordnung sein weil es sonstewo schlimmer ist. Geht ihr auch zu jemandem der sich das Bein gebrochen hat und sagt er/sie solle sich nicht so anstellen, andere Leute hätten schließlich Krebs? Oder den Leuten, die gegen die Zerstörung eines Biotops vor der Haustür protestieren dass es in China größere Umweltsauereien gibt?
Frag dich doch mal warum du so unbedingt das Thema wechseln willst.
Gaz abgesehen davon sind Artikel wie der von Frau "mach doch die Bluse zu und verhalte dich nicht wie eine Schlampe" Kelle nicht prinzipiell unterschiedlich wie "eine anständige Frau trägt eine Bhurka und verlässt das Haus nur in Männerbegleitung".

"Das regeln Gesetze"
Uhm, wo sind wir, im Kindergarten? Nein, das menschliche Miteinander regeln Gesetze nur im Extremfall. Und was mir persönlich unangenehm ist oder nicht kann kein Gesetz regeln. Abgesehen davon ist es doch eine ziemlich bittere Sicht auf die Menschen wenn man meint sie bräuchten für jeden Pups ein Gesetz weil sie glauben dass die Leute nicht in der Lage sind sich respektvoll und rücksichtsvoll zu verhalten weil es gut und richtig ist.

"Ihr schadet echten Opfern"
Ich vermisse immer noch die Definition was ein "echtes Opfer" denn ist, wer das bestimmt und wieso ich denen Schade wenn ich über kleinere Dinge rede. Ich empfehle mal auf "" nachzulesen. Dort schreiben Frauen über die verschiedensten Formen von Übergriffen, von der Verbalattacke über Antatschen bis zu Vergewaltigung und Kindesmissbrauch. Und diese Frauen sind offensichtlich der Meinung, dass diese Dinge zusammengehören. Einige der Frauen, die ich kenne die eine absolute Null-Toleranz Linie gegen Sexismus fahren sind die Opfer von jahrelangem Missbrauch und Vergewaltigung.
Eine Rape Culture fängt klein an. Sie fängt bei einer kleinen Grenzüberschreitung an und damit, dass Leute die Frau mit eben solchen Sachen zum Schweigen bringen. Und geht bei größeren weiter, der Frau die als "hysterische Ziege" hingestellt wird weil sie sich gegen den wehrt, der sich in der U-Bahn an ihr reibt. Und endet bei der Frau die vergewaltigt wurde und dann gesagt kriegt sie wäre ja selber Schuld, schließlich habe sie ihn vorher geküsst, sie würde es jetzt nur bereuen, hör mal auf einen unschuldigen Mann zu ruinieren außerdem schadet das echten Opfern.

Dienstag, 5. Februar 2013

Fragen über Fragen. Nochmal zum Aufschrei.

First of all, sorry for my regular readers that this is in German. It's related to the current German debate about sexism. But you're well-read people, you know that stuff anyway.

Soo, und jetzt zum eigentlichen Thema.
Im Zuge der "Aufschrei-Debatte" gab es da doch ein paar Fragen und Argumente, die immer wieder auftauchen. Hier also das Wichtigste nochmal zum ausmalen, ausschneiden und einkleben.

"Ist doch nicht so schlimm was der Brüderle gesagt hat"
Stimmt, im kosmischen Vergleich. Aber nun stelle man sich mal vor was passiert wäre, wenn Westerwelle den Füllstand einer Journalistenunterhose kommentiert hätte. Absolut inakzeptabel? Stimmt, ist nämlich auch nicht in Ordnung. Aber es ist nicht deshalb schlimmer, weil es einem Mann passiert. Ungewollte und unerwünschte sexuelle Anmache ist immer daneben.
Und für die, die jetzt immer noch laut schreien dass das ja was ganz anderes ist:
Homophobie ist die Angst von Männern so behandelt zu werden, wie man sich Frauen gegenüber benimmt.
Denk mal drüber nach.

"Meiner Freundin ist das noch nie passiert / die stört das nicht"
Schön, freut mich für sie. Aber als Gesellschaft setzen wir die Grenzen eigentlich nicht bei dem der die höchste Toleranzschwelle hat. Stell dir vor deine Nachbarn machen Party. Die ganze Nacht. Und du musst morgen früh raus. Wenn du klingelst um ganz freundlich zu fragen ob das auch leiser geht kriegst du zu hören "der Nachbar auf der anderen Seite findet's nicht schlimm".

"Ihr sagt Männer wären schwanzgesteuert!"
Nein, eigentlich nicht. Eigentlich sagen wir das Gegenteil. Wir gehen davon aus, dass Männer ihren Sexualtrieb, ihre Finger und ihr Mundwerk unter Kontrolle haben und dass sie darüber hinaus lernfähig sind. Würden wir tatsächlich glauben ihr wäret schwanzgesteuert würden wir uns die Mühe sparen. Ich diskutiere ja auch nicht mit einem Baby dass es nicht in die Windel kacken soll.
Die die das wirklich denken sind die, von denen ihr glaubt sie wären auf eurer Seite. Die die sagen "Männer sind so!" "Das ist natürlich" "Kühe! Stiere! Ochsen!", DIE glauben ihr könntet euch nicht ändern oder hättet euer Verhalten nicht unter Kontrolle.

"Dann knöpf doch die Bluse zu!"
Siehe "schwanzgesteuert". Das Argument willst du nicht machen, oder?
Aber einfach mal unter uns: Wenn ich mich morgens anziehe denke ich an viele Dinge. An das Wetter, was ich so vorhabe, was eigentlich sauber ist. An Männer allgemein denke ich dabei nicht, and dich im Besonderen schon gar nicht, ich kenn dich ja gar nicht. Ich geh ja auch nicht davon aus, dass du dich morgens für mich rasierst, oder dass du dir extra wegen mir diese schicke Brille gekauft hast. Vermutlich rasierst du dich weil es dir so besser gefällt und die Brille hast du auch für dich gekauft.
Du bist ein großer Junge, du kommst mit meinem Ausschnitt klar.

"Darf ich jetzt Titten etwa nicht mehr gut finden?"
Doch, darfst du. Aber gaz ehrlich, ich bin an deiner Meinung zu dem Thema "meine Titten" nicht interessiert. Siehe oben. Du darfst auch schauen. Aber das ist etwas anderes als starren. Ich bin keine Fleischauslage beim Metzger, kein Objekt, keine käufliche Ware.

"Und Türen aufhalten? Darf ich das auch nicht mehr?"
Doch, unbedingt! Ich bin ein großer Fan von Türen aufhalten. Ich finde es ist der ultimative Weg sich gegenseitig das Leben etwas leichter zu machen. Wer freut sich nicht, wenn er  mit vollgepackten Armen ankommt und jemand die Tür aufhält? Und wer ärgert sich nicht maßlos, wenn einem jemand die Tür vor der Nase zufallen lässt? Sei freundlich zu deinen Mitmenschen, egal welchen Geschlechts. Aber mach nicht so als könne Frau das in der Regel nicht selber. Und bleib vor allem nicht in der Tür stehen so dass sich frau an dir vorbeidrängen muss. Creepy!

"Und Mäntel? Und Stühle? Und...?"
Welche Frau, welcher Mantel, welcher Stuhl? Ich kann jetzt wirklich kein Handbuch für alle Gelegenheiten schreiben. Wie wär's damit: frag einfach die Frau um die es geht. Aber nicht während du ihr gerade den Mantel hinhälst und sie nicht anderes kann als "nein" sagen oder ein Arschloch sein. Die meisten Menschen sind ganz gut in der Lage Situationen einzuschätzen. Und vielleicht lernst du auch die Vorzüge kennen wenn jemand dir deinen schweren Mantel mal hält?

"Ich will keine amerikanischen Verhältnisse wo Männer Angst haben müssen wenn sie mit ner Frau Fahrstuhl fahren!"
Hmmm, ich weiß nicht mit wievielen Amerikanern Herr Niebel so geredet hat.Ich kenn ne ganze Menge und Fahrstuhl fahren scheint dort nach wie vor zu funktionieren. Aber ehrlich gesagt, ich würde auch ganz gerne in Ruhe Fahrstuhl fahren können, ohne mir Gedanken machen zu müssen, oder freundlich sein zu müssen weil aggressives Verhalten nach Ablehnung leider erstens keine Seltenheit ist und ich zweitens nicht wissen kann zu welcher Gruppe du gehörst.

"Darf ich jetzt keine Komplimente mehr machen?"
Erst mal, es gibt Komplimente und Nonplimente.
"Wow, super wie schnell du das geschafft hast" ist ein Kompliment. "Super, ich hätte nie gedacht dass du das so schnell schaffst" sieht nur aus wie ein Kompliment, ist aber keins. Komplimente können schnell Grenzen überschreiten, denn sie können ein Urteil sein über Dinge die dich nichts angehen. Was unter Freunden OK ist kann unter Kollegen mal ganz schnell zu weit gehen, insbesondere wenn auch noch einEr von beiden Macht über den/die andere hat.
Generell: Hör bitte damit auf Frauen unentwegt auf ihr Äußeres zu reduzieren. Wenn du an deiner Kollegin immer nur bemerkst wie sie aussieht heißt das, dass ihre Arbeit nicht erwähnenswert ist. Überleg mal welche Komplimente du deinen Kollegen machst. Wie wär's mal mit "Hey, das neue iPhone? Cool, ist es wirklich besser als das alte?"
Nochmal, du bist ein großer Junge, du kannst das.

"Frauen sind auch sexistisch!"
Stimmt. Entgegen der weitläufigen Meinung ist Sexismus nichts was sich bösartige Menschen im Hinterzimmer ausdenken. Sexismus ist im Grunde nur die Idee dass Männer so sind  und Frauen so, dass man vom Geschlecht einer Person auch ihren Character schließen kann. Und dass das Ganze auch noch in unserer Natur liegt, ganz egal was uns die Geschichte dazu sagt. Wusstest du, dass pink noch vor 100 Jahren die Jungsfarbe war?
Aber traditionell stellen sexistische Ideen Männer über Frauen. Grob gesagt schaden Klischees über Männer den Männern, die sich nicht in das alte Rollenverhalten zwängen lassen wollen, während die Klischees über Frauen allen Frauen schaden. Nehmen wir das über Männer und Frauen und Babies. Frauen sind von Natur aus besser sich um Babies zu kümmern, sie haben "Mutterinstinkte". Das schadet kinderfreien Frauen, die irgendwann behandelt werden als wären sie abnormal. Es schadet Frauen mit Kindern, die in die Mama-Rolle gedrängt werden und damit beruflich benachteiligt werden. Es schadet den ganzen tollen Papas deren Kompetenz in Frage gestellt wird. Aber der Vater, der sagt Stinkewindeln wechseln ist die Arbeit seiner Frau (dafür ist er nämlich zu gut)? Kein Problem.

"Frauen können einfach so das Leben von Männern ruinieren. Kachelmann! Strauss-Kahn! Brüderle!"
Um es nochmal ganz klar festzuhalten, Jörg Kachelmann wurde aus Mangel an Beweisen freigesprochen. "Der Vorsitzende Richter Michael Seidling sagte, das Urteil beruhe nicht darauf, dass die Kammer von der Unschuld Kachelmanns oder einer Falschbeschuldigung der Nebenklägerin überzeugt sei." Unser Rechtssystem setzt hohe Maßstäbe für eine Verurteilung. Dafür hat die Beweislage nicht gereicht. Das heißt nicht, dass eine Frau sein Leben mit einer Lüge ruiniert hat.
Über den ganzen Dreck, den Strauss-Kahn am Stecken hat lass ich mich jetzt nicht aus. Die Anschuldigungen des Zimmermädchens waren nicht die ersten und nicht die einzigen gegen ihn. Brüderle hat meines Wissens nach bislang die Vorwürfe nicht bestritten.
Hier kann man sich auch einmal den Stand der wissenschaftlichen Forschung zum Thema "falsche Beschuldigung bei Vergewaltigung" anschauen (Englisch). Das sieht nicht nach "Frauen schreien einfach mal Vergewaltigung und haben gewonnen" aus.
Aber nun schaue man sich auf der anderen Seite einmal an was die Frauen in diesen Situationen durchmachen müssen, nicht zuletzt Laura Himmelreich deren Vorwürfe gar nicht bestritten werden.
Wir leben in einem Land in dem Lehrer 14 jährige Kinder vögeln dürfen. In der ein Mann freigesprochen wird weil sein 15jähriges Opfer sich nicht genug gewehrt hat (Vielleicht sollte die Richterin mal nachlesen dass die Polizei stets empfiehlt sich nicht zu wehren). In der katholische Kliniken Vergewaltigungsopfer abweisen.
Das alles wissen Frauen. Sie überlegen sich 20 mal bevor sie Anzeige erstatten.
Als ein Mann versuchte mich auf einem Parkplatz zu überfallen erklärte mir meine beste Freundin dass es meine Schuld wäre, weil ich da geparkt hätte. Von der Polizei wollte ich mir das nicht auch nochmal anhören, und dann von meiner ganzen Familie, und all meinen Freunden...

So, noch weitere Fragen?

Samstag, 26. Januar 2013

Rape Culture, children's edition

Or, heeeeelp, people are nekkid under their clothes.
I miss the 80's. No, not the weird haircuts and neon colours. I miss the relaxed atmosphere around kids and bodies that was prevalent when I grew up.
Like many adults I love and still cherish some of the TV series and movies I watched back then and since they're often still running now, I enjoy them with my kids. And, of course, there's a lot of new stuff on TV we watch, too.
No, I'm not getting into a "good old times" rant. It's not like everything was better back then, especially not animations, we're talking about the 80's.
But one thing was totally different: There was no panic about naked bodies.
One of the series every kid loved was Vicky the Viking, and when Vicky went for a swim, he was naked. A small boy with a wee tiny boy penis. And well, you'd see kids up to his age run around naked at the public swimming pool, because, you know, small kids.
And then there was Ronia, the robber's daughter. I swear that's 10 billion times better than Twilight. And in the film there's the scene when the chieftain's wife decides that all the robbers need to get clean and their clothes need to get washed, so she chases them out into the snow. Naked. Grown men, on screen, naked, full frontal shots. For kids of 7 years and upwards. Because yeah, it fits the damn plot. The 80's...
Fast forward to 2013 where animations are really much better. Stories, sadly, didn't keep up. And what happens now if there's somebody naked? Either there's always some leaf or piece of furniture in front of the uuhhh, genitals or worse, they're pixeled out. In an animation. Pixeled. Out.
Now, why did I call this "rape culture, kid's edition" and not just "Giliell's little rant about how fabulous the 80's were"?
Because it IS rape culture. From their first contact with media (and on average high school kids nowadays consume about 8h of media), they get told that their bodies are bad and shameful. Never ever look at genitals, even those of a cartoon kid. Never. Ever.
Now, there's only one group of people I can imagine who'll profit from this and it's predators. Because shame is such a powerful lever. Make the kids believe that they did something wrong. You wouldn't want mummy to know that you saw a penis, would you? Because since they're out of their diapers they've been told that you must never ever see one.
Ironically, this hypersexualization of children is the result of people being aware that there are evil bastards out there who rape children. And that's the rape culture I'm talking about. Instead of targeting rapists, society targets children. Hide their genitals, even in drawn cartoon characters, hide them away, teach them stranger danger.
And this doesn't stop once they grow. The idoctrination into "your body and genitals are evil things that need to be hidden away" will be with them when they navigate their own sexuality, their own first encounters. And the rape culture goes on, because hey you wouldn't want anybody to know what a slut you are?

Montag, 14. Januar 2013

Your daily dose of sexism #8

OK, it's not daily, I lied.
Sue me.
Today: Manly man's edition
Sitting in a lecture hall waiting for the lecture to start I heard the people behind me chatting.
Guy A had made some not terribly bad but slightly embarassing mistake so guy B said:
"How did you manage to do that?"
Guy A: "I was doing two things at the same time and since I'm a man I can't do that"
Guy B: "I can do that"
Guy A: "You're not a MAN!"

Sorry, guys, apparently not fucking up makes your dicks fall off.