urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I obviously haven't been keeping up too well, but here's an interesting one from my inbox: Clarence Thomas: It's time for YOU to apologize to Anita Hill.
Her agenda in approaching Anita Hill with her outrageous request is unclear. But it's yet another example of brazen attempts by Tea Party adherents to rewrite history and claim victimhood for the powerful even as they launch attack after attack on minority groups -- be they women, gays, African Americans, or immigrants.

We shouldn't ignore this bizarre incident. We should accept Virginia Thomas' challenge and defend history as we know it.

I was 15 or 16 when the original mess came to light, and was appalled then. Not that I'd been laboring under the impression that things were fair before that--hell, I was dealing with frequently sexualized bullying on a daily basis--but it really helped bring home that no matter what level of dominant-culture-defined success you reach as a woman in our society, you still get to deal with special levels of condoned hatefulness. Not to mention Long Dong Silver (which the kiddie bullies picked right up on). And if you make any fuss, you're going to get humiliated and painted as a liar.

It's bad enough when prospective Supreme Court justices aren't expected to act any better than evilminded 15-year-old bullies (gee, wonder where they learned it?!)--and when this kind of behavior is tolerated/encouraged from anybody. Further harassing the wronged party 20 years later? Truly unbelievable. The sociopathy continues to astound.

NY Times article: Clarence Thomas’s Wife Asks Anita Hill for Apology

From 2001: The return of Long Dong Silver, in which a writer hired to prop up Clarence Thomas admits he was making stuff up, and:
"...Hill’s version of events was more truthful than Thomas’s after all.” He acknowledges that he had become “a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine.”.

Not that the other major party doesn't have its own sleaze machine going, but that's not the one under scrutiny here. *shakes head*
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Oh my. I totally lost track of what I was initially looking for when Google landed me at Adventure Network; I think it was some kind of gear review. It looked like a bad enough sign that the main navigation bar had choices such as "Camping", "First Aid", and "Women"--which kinda distracted me--but then I clicked through to the gem that is Travel Tips and Safety Hints (in the "Women" section, of course). It was even further OTT than I was expecting.

Apparently, if you're doing wilderness travel in the U.S., among other things, you should:
Dress conservatively. Be confident among strangers. Don’t invite trouble by flirting or appearing frightened.

That's all one item. That came across as particularly bizarre in context, since in the usual versions of the men as hungry bears approach, not-so-"conservative" dress involves items like short skirts and low-cut tops, which are not really compatible with wilderness settings in the first place. Don't wear bright colors or it'll be like a red flag in front of a, erm, hungry bear? Not than anything is likely to be right. I also find it interesting how flirting and appearing frightened are mentioned in the same sentence, set up in opposition to being confident.

Real hungry bears do get one mention in that section, at least. But it's less important to know to, say, check your boots and sleeping bag for creepy crawlies full of neurotoxic venom than it is to avoid camping where other sounds might drown out human footsteps.

Then there's the advice for travelling abroad, which also includes--you guessed it--dressing conservatively and not flirting with strange men. We should also remember that "A lone female with lots of luggage invites attention, and not always welcome attention!". There's a big long list of similar, presumably because those foreigners are extra-super scary.

Yeah, it's nigh impossible to avoid this kind of fearmongering crap, but it struck me as particularly screwed-up in the context of "outdoors enthusiasts and the adventure-focused". While "traveling alone or with another female companion can be a very rewarding and exciting venture", it sounds a lot more appealing to lock yourself in your own bathroom with a can of pepper spray and a butcher knife. Which is kinda the point, but it continues to piss me off.

Obligatory link to one version of Sexual assault prevention tips guaranteed to work. I'd have to add "When you see a fellow hiker, remember not to assault and/or murder them."

September 2011

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