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Challenge misogyny everywhere


blutarsky
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Posting as I think this is a fucking important topic. Whether at a festival, Glastonbury, or anywhere, misogyny should be challenged. Thankfully it is generally in short supply at Glastonbury. 

I was at a wedding tonight and while stood with 2 women I overheard the groom (forces) say “you’re not a man until you’ve banged a woman out - they teach you that in basic”. This was in the context of giving his friend advice about his ‘crazy’ girlfriend. 

The women I was with were visibly appalled but also visibly cowed and said nothing. They just wanted to leave. I challenged it by saying “I don’t agree with that and you shouldn’t say it.” Of a group of 6-7 men one said they agreed with me, the rest restated it. 

The women I was with left and took me with them. I decided to go back and challenge it again.
I was told it was banter. They didn’t mean it.

Maybe they didn’t, but someone heard it and it was justification for their own violence against women. Some people heard it and were scared by it. Some people may have heard or and now think that’s an acceptable thing to joke about. Hopefully my interjection means some people heard it and will reflect that violence against women, or violence of any kind, isn’t acceptable. 
 
We all need to tackle this sort of misogynistic bullshit. The women I was with shouldn’t have felt cowed. They shouldn’t have been grateful that I, a white man, acted as their white knight. Sadly it is only through men challenging men that we will probably see progress.

Challenge misogyny everywhere. 💪🏻 

Edited by blutarsky
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What a sad story in which should have been a  night of coming together and celebrations. No excuse for the sheer ignorance and stupidity displayed. Well done for challenging, and not letting it go, hopefully enough people witnessed to realise that the groom and some of his associates are tits. Fuckin neanderthal behaviour, no room for it, ever. 

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Reminds me of an occasion at a festival about a decade ago. One of my mates used to be a Para and some of his Para mates came to the festival. The way they treated women shocked even me. They were treated literally like objects for them to play with and they were expecting the women to just fall in line and go along with it. 
 

Literal animals. Did I challenge them? No. I prefer to keep my head in place on top of my neck. These guys were literal trained killers. I know my limit. 
 

One of them was removed from the festival at some point. I wasn’t there to witness it but I imagine it would have taken quite a number of security staff. 

Edited by squirrelarmy
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Absolutely the culture that leads to things like brutal murders and horrific rapes is started by small things and having nobody say they are wrong when they are challenged. I say this to people all the time it's not enough to disagree but say nothing because it doesn't really affect you because that's what enables this shit. It's time to call out the small acts of misogyny and start dismantling this culture for future generations. 

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2 hours ago, squirrelarmy said:

Reminds me of an occasion at a festival about a decade ago. One of my mates used to be a Para and some of his Para mates came to the festival. The way they treated women shocked even me. They were treated literally like objects for them to play with and they were expecting the women to just fall in line and go along with it. 
 

Literal animals. Did I challenge them? No. I prefer to keep my head in place on top of my neck. These guys were literal trained killers. I know my limit. 
 

One of them was removed from the festival at some point. I wasn’t there to witness it but I imagine it would have taken quite a number of security staff. 

This is the thing about military training - its designed to turn people into ruthless, thoughtless killers, who do as they're told and don't have any empathy in case that effects their ability to carry out their orders. Good soldiers don't make for good people, because the point of their training is exactly that. 

We can't then be surprised when people leave the military and are massive unthinking unfeeling arseholes.

A mate of mine joined the navy a few years back, and he said pretty early on in basic training there's a fair bit of indoctrination towards 'others' - gypsies, minorities, asylum seekers - as not contributing, not really being part of society. That kind of ideology stands out to me, as a pretty leftist 'love all' type, but it's at odds with my already formed societal suppositions. If they're taking on board young 18yr olds, and filling their heads with all sorts of 'different isn't good, don't feel bad about sinking a bullet into them' ideas, then well . . . that's just hideous. 

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Bravo @blutarsky

I have been dwelling on this kind of thing recently, and not just misogyny as displayed here, but racism, homophobia, transphobia, the lot.

What it comes down to, I think, is this. we live in a misogynistic (or racist, or homophobic etc) culture. The very fabric of our society is inherently biased against whole groups of people. We all participate in this culture, and I think we need to ask ourselves "what is my contribution to this culture?" Is turning a blind eye to misogyny or racism going to improve the culture, or is it re-enforcing it. I 100% believe the latter. 

I have been involved in similar disagreements with people I know (erm... friends I guess) and one of the responses I get is "I'm not a racist," or "____ is not a misogynist". As soon as you call out the behaviour, people become incredibly defensive. But I take pains to never label a person as a misogynist - I just label the behaviour as misogynist. And furthermore, quite a lot of racist / misogynist behaviour comes from a benign place - the perpetrator doesn't hold ill will to the minority, but they have been so conditioned by the culture that they don't realise they are re-enforcing this culture. It will be the small stuff like "what's wrong with saying 'White Lives Matter' - I'm not even talking about black people." or just using "gay" as a pejorative. And then you get white people defining what racism is, men defining misogyny, straight people defining homophobia. I get that this comes from a defensive place but it needs to be called out. And us white, male, straight people need to listen to minorities when they tell us their experience. We need to listen and understand our place in the culture we share, and understand how our actions shape it.

That became a bit of a rant, didn't it...?

As an aside I'm happy to say I've never heard  the phrase "banged a woman out" before. I'm not really sure what it means, but the context speaks volumes. Gross.

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On the military stuff, yes its a toxic environment, you're bombarded with this kind of behaviour from week 1 day 1, at an age where you're impressionable and not in a position to question.

However, from my experience, I joined knowing right from wrong and how to treat all people. I did witness unbelievable attitudes throughout my career, often from individuals in a position of rank and authority. That said, I always challenged where I felt I was able to. I have long since left and worked in civvy Street for the past 14 years, I still come across the same society prejudices, living in deepest darkest devon doesn't help, a primarily older white demographic (my dads 'opinions' are a casing point - I don't like him much). 

The phrase 'banged a woman out' implies that a person has hit and knocked out a woman, tough guy words eh.

In case you're wondering, I served Royal Navy 82 - 07, I like to think it didn't turn me into an institutionalised arsehole as I know right from wrong. 

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1 hour ago, maelzoid said:

Bravo @blutarsky

I have been dwelling on this kind of thing recently, and not just misogyny as displayed here, but racism, homophobia, transphobia, the lot.

What it comes down to, I think, is this. we live in a misogynistic (or racist, or homophobic etc) culture. The very fabric of our society is inherently biased against whole groups of people. We all participate in this culture, and I think we need to ask ourselves "what is my contribution to this culture?" Is turning a blind eye to misogyny or racism going to improve the culture, or is it re-enforcing it. I 100% believe the latter. 

I have been involved in similar disagreements with people I know (erm... friends I guess) and one of the responses I get is "I'm not a racist," or "____ is not a misogynist". As soon as you call out the behaviour, people become incredibly defensive. But I take pains to never label a person as a misogynist - I just label the behaviour as misogynist. And furthermore, quite a lot of racist / misogynist behaviour comes from a benign place - the perpetrator doesn't hold ill will to the minority, but they have been so conditioned by the culture that they don't realise they are re-enforcing this culture. It will be the small stuff like "what's wrong with saying 'White Lives Matter' - I'm not even talking about black people." or just using "gay" as a pejorative. And then you get white people defining what racism is, men defining misogyny, straight people defining homophobia. I get that this comes from a defensive place but it needs to be called out. And us white, male, straight people need to listen to minorities when they tell us their experience. We need to listen and understand our place in the culture we share, and understand how our actions shape it.

That became a bit of a rant, didn't it...?

As an aside I'm happy to say I've never heard  the phrase "banged a woman out" before. I'm not really sure what it means, but the context speaks volumes. Gross.

This speech for me is one I think applies as much to sexism, classism and racism as homophobia. It's very powerfully put and it does show that it is societal. I have heard women say some incredibly sexist things, gay people say homophobic things. 

We live in a society that has been designed around keeping power for rich, white men and anything that exists to challenge that is still considered quite revolutionary. We make small amounts of progress in every generation but we still have a long, long way to go. Ever since I heard this speech I accept that I am racist, sexist, classist and homophobic but the difference is I am doing my best to change it. Society has shaped all our attitudes. We have so much stuff that needs to be unlearned. 

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34 minutes ago, gigpusher said:

We live in a society that has been designed around keeping power for rich, white men and anything that exists to challenge that is still considered quite revolutionary. 

It's worth remembering what society was like two hundred years ago in terms of this. And what great revolutions have occurred to change it? Women's suffrage, and a few other law changes, but in societal terms, not much. It's been a too-slow move towards greater acceptance. 

Of course our culture is misogynistic, homophobic and racist, if this the legacy it's built upon.

Edited by maelzoid
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9 minutes ago, Gilgamesh69 said:

The question is /how/ to challenge it. Too many will brush it off and just call you a snowflake if you call them up on their bullshit

Maybe they will but if enough people do the challenging then they at least have to start acknowledging their views are not automatically right. They won't feel emboldened and will think twice before doing this stuff again. 

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I largely agree with oneeye and the general sentiment on this thread.  That is appalling Blutarsky but I have to clarify that I served 22 years largely embedded with some challenging units including Special Forces (from several countries) and nobody teaches anyone to "bang women out in basic".

Seriously, if we both attend Glastonbury in 2022 we should spend a few hours chatting through it all.  I find it quite cathartic and it helps with my PTSD.  I am meant to be working so will need to keep an eye off this thread as I will lose the afternoon but some initial thoughts.

The front line Army units in particular have always aimed to recruit inner city fighting aged males and harnessed that aggression in a uniform.  They make the best killers which is what the Army is after.

They do not want to someone to question why when they ask them to bayonet charge.  They want the person to run into someone at full pelt and stick them through the rib cage.  The training for this cannot be done in anyway other than to desensitise and brutalise.

Military people do not bond on the parade square.  They bond in the boozer fighting other people.  The military used to recruit into specific geographic regiments.  The kings were Manc's and Scouser's in the same regiment.  Basically United, City, Liverpool and Everton Hooligans in uniform.  Not only did they fight wherever they went, they robbed the place also.

This kind of activity has happened for hundreds of years but only now does wider society discuss things like this because of the information we have available to us.  My grandfather was evacuated from France as part of the British Expeditionary Force at the start of WWII.  They got absolutely smashed to pieces. He then went back through Normandy in 1944 and assisted with concentration camp liberation.  He never really talked about it and took most of the secrets to his grave. And neither were people very aware of the inner secrets of combat and they certainly did not debate the rights and wrongs.

When I spoke to the old concierge of the factory I worked in when looking to join up in 1990, he was delighted and said he would bring me some pictures in from his time in the war.  He brought some pictures in the next day holding the severed heads of a German Tank Crew! I was speechless.

I raise these different points from very different eras to try highlight that the people that are expected to do the worst of the fighting are trained to kill people and do it without question.  This comes at a cost and we all bare the scars if we spent a period of our lives doing this.  I do and always will.  

People join up for different reasons.  I joined as I needed to get out of the later 80s Manchester raves and do something with my life and in that respect, it really did help me regain my life.  I worked hard and came out with a couple of degrees and a second career and loving family but jeez, I know so many people who did not make it or did make it but could not live with the demons.

Armed combat is exhilarating, terrifying, brutal, deadly, life altering and many many other things but until we find the day where we can live happily as a species across the globe, there will always be a need for people like us.  I don’t like to type that but it’s a fact.

One last thought.  Some of most abhorrent, deplorable, misogynistic and unforgivable behaviour I have seen in public drinking situations has been from "rugby lads".  None of them military.  

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That’s bloody amazing @gigpusher thank you for sharing that.  People never quite understand that gay people can be homophobic and she explains it bloody marvellously. 

All we can do is keep calling out unacceptable human behaviour in all its forms, including our own thoughts. 

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5 minutes ago, Jay Pee said:

One last thought.  Some of most abhorrent, deplorable, misogynistic and unforgivable behaviour I have seen in public drinking situations has been from "rugby lads".  None of them military.  

Oh misogyny comes from everywhere. As we saw recently the police themselves have a bad record when it comes to domestic violence etc. Sadly positions of power tend to attract people who are the worst people to have in positions of power. 

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2 hours ago, Haan said:

If you haven't seen Daniel Sloss's X special, I highly recommend it.

Claire is Not a Bear — Daniel Sloss x

That's really important.  When I was a teenager, my group of mates (including me) said lots of awful things "ironically".  Which meant that it didn't count of course.  But after a while, I got sick of it and stopped because I took the position of "walks like a c**t, talks like a c**t - hang on, we're all being c**ts". 

So I packed it in and started telling my mates to stop being so c**ty.

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2 minutes ago, stuartbert two hats said:

That's really important.  When I was a teenager, my group of mates (including me) said lots of awful things "ironically".  Which meant that it didn't count of course.  But after a while, I got sick of it and stopped because I took the position of "walks like a c**t, talks like a c**t - hang on, we're all being c**ts". 

So I packed it in and started telling my mates to stop being so c**ty.

 

Yeah I empathise with this a lot. I said some stupid shite as a little bastard thinking I was being a 'lad', or that what I was saying was 'ironic'. I've always considered myself a pretty strong feminist and for some reason thought that gave me free-reign to say twattish things.

 

 

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Just now, Alex DeLarge said:

 

Yeah I empathise with this a lot. I said some stupid shite as a little bastard thinking I was being a 'lad', or that what I was saying was 'ironic'. I've always considered myself a pretty strong feminist and for some reason thought that gave me free-reign to say twattish things.

 

 

My instinct when hearing about people saying or doing awful things is always to think "but not me".  And maybe I don't now, but it took deliberate effort not to be a twat.

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1 minute ago, stuartbert two hats said:

My instinct when hearing about people saying or doing awful things is always to think "but not me".  And maybe I don't now, but it took deliberate effort not to be a twat.

Good point. I realised this too and felt like such a dickhead afterwards.

What strikes me - is how easy it is to laugh off nasty comments if they're made by a mate. You may think you know somebody, but it's very rare someone will outright tell you that they hate women or that they abuse women. A lot of dangerous men hide their violence in plain sight, 'oh my friend laughed off when I said I'd give my girlfriend a slap for calling me at work', 'my brother shook his head jokingly when I slapped a girls arse in a nightclub'. They use these little events to test the waters, to re-enforce to themselves that their behaviour is acceptable.

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I won't be linking to it, but there's certain extremely toxic thread/s on one of the boards here that is filled with grim, underlying misogyny too. The very nature of festivals are that they're inclusive and everyone is equal and there for the same reasons, and so it should be reflected on here as well, regardless of what the topic of the thread is, and we need to self-police that amongst ourselves.

Edited by jannybruck
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1 hour ago, maelzoid said:

^ What a great speech. Thanks for sharing.

 

56 minutes ago, stuie said:

That’s bloody amazing @gigpusher thank you for sharing that.  People never quite understand that gay people can be homophobic and she explains it bloody marvellously. 

All we can do is keep calling out unacceptable human behaviour in all its forms, including our own thoughts. 

Made a big impact on me when I first heard it. I think accepting that you are homophobic/racist/sexist/classist/ableist and trying to change is actually a better starting point. I really make an effort to read, listen and watch voices different to mine. I may not like every hip hop/rap/grime album for example but I will at least listen to it before judging it these days and I have found that actually I do really like some stuff from those genres. 

There's one thing I pointed out to my husband about 10 years ago and now that he has seen it he can't unsee it and it is the way his entire family treat his nieces vs how they treat another family members sons of the exact same age. His nieces walk in the door and straight away they are told how pretty they are, how lovely what dress their wearing is and the boys get What you been up to? How's rugby etc. ie from being tiny the girls have been told that is what valued about them is what they look like and the boys that what they do is important. If you asked every member of my husband's family if they think they are sexist they would say no. To me the evidence suggests otherwise. As I am a bit of a contrarian I always tell the boys how smart they look and ask the girls what they've been up to. 

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14 minutes ago, jannybruck said:

I won't be linking to it, but there's certain extremely toxic thread/s on one of the boards here that is filled with grim, underlying misogyny too. The very nature of festivals are that they're inclusive and everyone is equal and there for the same reasons, and so it should be reflected on here as well, regardless of what the topic of the thread is, and we need to self-police that amongst ourselves.

Don't think I have seen it but yes absolutely call it out. If I do see anything I do call it out. 

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19 minutes ago, jannybruck said:

I won't be linking to it, but there's certain extremely toxic thread/s on one of the boards here that is filled with grim, underlying misogyny too. The very nature of festivals are that they're inclusive and everyone is equal and there for the same reasons, and so it should be reflected on here as well, regardless of what the topic of the thread is, and we need to self-police that amongst ourselves.

The van?

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