Well, there has certainly been a lot going on lately regarding women’s issues. Some good, most of them abhorrent, I want to take a minute to highlight some things that have come to light recently (and not too recently…sorry, I have a full-time job).
To start on a good note, California has busted through some pretty strong walls like a progressive, feminist Cool-Aid man with the advent of SB 967, their new Affirmative Consent Law. This essentially legislates the idea of “Yes Means Yes,” stating that in order for true consent to be given, a verbal “yes” must be given by both parties involved in sexual activity. This was passed as a means to solve the rampant sexual misconduct seen across our nation’s universities. This law also states that, along with a comprehensive rape and molestation prevention program, colleges would be required to help victims of sexual assault seek medical care, counseling, legal assistance and other services.
A lot of criticism has followed SB 967, saying that the law takes it too far. For example, how does one prove that they received a verbal “yes” short of videotaping the experience? My thoughts are that if true consent was given, no proof will be necessary as neither party will be reporting the coupling to the school or the authorities (if anyone even thinks the words “cry rape” I’m going to slap you). Certainly a first, and perhaps the extremity might seem surprising to some, I feel like this is an incredible step in the right direction as the sexual assault problem in our country’s colleges alone is out of control.
Furthermore, the Thomson Reuters Foundation released the first ever global legal resource on street harassment. This document is available to women across the globe in order to help take initiative in stopping street harassment and assault, which until recently has been a grossly unacknowledged issue facing women internationally.
And now for the flip side.
Colorado elections are coming up, and one potential amendment in particular has so many negative implications it is astounding. Proposition 67, the Colorado Definition of Person and Child Initiative, is so sneaky that surprised even me.
As a Colorado resident, this has hit just a little too close to home. While I was at work, a patient came in for her optical needs and began passing out pro Prop 67 literature to the employees and my boss. I took a glance at it, and the grassroots campaign is calling itself “A Voice For Brady.” The story here is that a pregnant woman, Heather Surovik, was hit by a drunk driver and while she survived, the fetus did not. Because Colorado does not have a personhood law in effect, she was unable to prosecute the driver for manslaughter.
I understand how heartbreaking and devastating this must be for the mother – I really do. And I am genuinely sorry for her. However, if this law is passed, abortion will in that case be outlawed in Colorado and the further implications are even more extreme. And therein lies the rub: Any woman who miscarries could potentially be arrested for murder or manslaughter – and it doesn’t stop there. We are facing some of the most draconian restrictions in the country if this passes, and it’s all disguised as a means to bring one woman to justice against a drunk driver.
Please, do not assume I do not care about the woman who lost her child. But this bill, true to the catchphrase coined by the opposition, goes too far. More information here.
And that brings me to newest treat brought to us from our friendly neighborhood MRAs.
I’m sure we all remember oh so fondly the fun we’re having with GamerGate 2014, in which game developer Zoe Quinn was subject to scrutiny, harassment, and even death threats because of allegations made by her ex online that she slept with a game review in exchange for favorable reviews. Sexism being a facet of the gaming industry for years, several women decided to take this issue head-on. One such woman, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency, created The Tropes vs Women in Video Games as a means to highlight some of these issues. No stranger to death threats, she was invited to speak at Utah State University tonight and was forced to cancel the event due to a terrorist threat.
A terrorist threat. A TERRORIST THREAT. Because a man doesn’t like her pointing out sexism in the gaming industry.
Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them. -Margaret Atwood
The link above (which, fair warning, is disturbing to read) sounds eerily reminiscent of the manifesto made by Elliot Roger before he went on a murdering spree. The anonymous man (I believe it is a safe assumption that the this was written by a man due to the language) says that feminists have ruined his life and are ruining the lives of men across the country and he is prepared to kill Anita, the staff, the audience attendees, and anyone else with his bombs and automatic weapons if she is allowed to speak.
I can’t even find the words to use to explain how infuriated I am about this. We have talked, and talked, and talked about how misguided Red Pills and MRAs are and how feminists aren’t out to get men until we are blue in the face. It would seem that these people are simply choosing to believe we are lying, or they are choosing to remain angry.
Gamergaters and MRAs are so entitled that they believe pointing out sexism is oppressive to them, so misguided and selfish that it is justifiable in their minds to threaten a woman with death over a goddamn video game.
I honestly don’t even know what to say.
One small step for women, about three hundred steps back for humankind.
“Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn’t really about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn’t about who can sit and who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale