Monday, 25 January 2016

One Battle Won, But the War Ain't Over

Editor's note: 
I had meant to post this yesterday, but there was an emergency at the women's shelter where I volunteer, and I had to go help out. Let us not kid ourselves that the law protects women and children from men's violence. 

Funny how people get upset about violence against women when it is committed by "other people". The belief that only "other people" - i.e. scary foreigners, and refugees - sexually harass women, for instance, seems quite widespread and is a never-ending source of wonder to every woman who has ever been present in a public space.

Sexual harassment happens in all kinds of places, and is an activity indulged in by all kinds of men, from all kinds of backgrounds. It rarely raises concern, or causes publicity. Women are expected to put up with a certain amount of violence. It is presumed that men "can't help themselves". The notion that persons of the male sex are impulse-driven beasts who can't control their actions is deeply insulting to all men, but seems common in most cultures.

The Swedish journalist Ivar Arpi expressed his opinion recently, in an editorial in a national newspaper that should be ashamed of itself for publishing such tripe, that men's violence against women is due to genetic programming. So according to Arpi's reasoning, violence against women is "natural". Thus we can all stop our efforts to address the structural and cultural issues that make women subordinate to men, in the happy belief that this is how nature intended things to be.

We would like to know what other phenomena Arpi considers to be caused by biological differences. Men's higher wages? The fact that black American men are more likely to be incarcerated than white ones? The supremacy of the Aryan race? We would dearly love to hear Arpi's thoughts on the matter.

Last time we were sexually harassed, it was in the security check at Copenhagen Airport in September. We're still waiting to hear if the Danish police can be bothered investigating the matter. To be honest they don't seem to be  bothered by the fact that staff at Copenhagen Airport appear to have been systematically subjecting women to sexual violence for years.

Presumably, if we had been attacked by a swarthy man with a foreign-sounding name, not a bog-standard Dane, the police would have put more effort into their legal obligation to investigate crimes. But perhaps we are doing them an injustice. Let us assume, until we know for definite otherwise, that Danish police care deeply about the safety of women. However, we shall continue to warn our female friends and acquaintances to not travel alone through Copenhagen Airport.

Women - to be as safe as possible, always travel with a man! And make sure his ownership of you is clearly displayed, for instance by wearing a wedding ring, or taking his surname.

We had meant, in order to uphold the standards of this blog and make a show of sticking to the topic, to do a feature post on hygiene-related sexual harassment. We had planned to describe, in a humorous vein, all the times we've been sexually harassed in a hygiene-related environment, like for instance public swimming pools. However, thinking about all the times men have got away with harassing us entirely without repercussions turned out to be intensely depressing.

Instead, we've got this charming narrative of dealing with manspreading from Shewee Fiend Friend, that stalwart scion of harden-the-fuck-up-ness. We found it immensely inspiring!

So this guy beside me on the tube is totally invading my personal space with his 17 newspapers 
So I reached out and touched his foot with mine 
Just to see 
While texting you 
And he leaned forward to check right away and was really bothered by my foot infringement

That is a pic of how much of his arm is on my side 
So most 
And that's not when he's changing pages, and it's suddenly ALL of my space 
Anyway, I think I will touch his foot again 
He didn't like it 
It made me a little uncomfortable 
But the huge rolled up newspaper between his legs dropped when I lightly touched his foot the second time 
What a stimulating story! We expressed our admiration of Shewee Fiend Friend in no uncertain terms. She explained that she had moral support: "A friend was egging me on." Here is a screenshot of said friend's encouragement:
We have said it before and we'll say it again: our friends are amazing!
Meanwhile, Tudor Friend sent us this inspirational picture:
An eco-conscious and extremely practical barbecue
It is a hick barbecue! We have never, in all our life, seen anything quite so fabulous, and we are pretty fucking old.
It seems we're all about inspiration and clodhopper escapades today. Here is a picture from Jonny:

Jonny calls this "You sunk my battleship".
The joke "Is that a bottle of rum in your bath, or are you just pleased to see me?" somehow springs to mind.
It is possible that we have posted this picture before, but somehow, one can never get enough pictures of Jonny in the bath.

Let's have a festive video. Let's have this one, which illustrates that
a) there are dudes who are aware that a woman will not necessarily be enthusiastic about him trying to talk to her, however charming he believes he is (many dudes are aware of this. But many are not),
b) there are dudes who give a shit about domestic terrorism - we are here choosing to use Rosie Batty's term domestic terrorism, which is intended to highlight the fact that more people die from domestic violence than terrorism - and are intelligent enough to realise that ending it takes a bit more effort than scratching your armpits and ranting "Not all men", while going prematurely bald. 

Festive video - Sam Hunt, Take Your Time

Related Reading
On Violence Against Women


  1. Ridiculously pleased to see this post. I thought we had seen the last of the Bog Blog. Must have got it wrong.

  2. You may regret those words when our delusions of grandeur go supernova and we implode in a barrage of incoherent ranting, taking everyone with us in a spiral of destruction, bad metaphors and unrestrained use of commas.


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