From the Mailbag

Items that are potentially triggering are prefaced with [TW].

[TW] Shaker Silvas sends this amazing collection of photographs of Pakistani women who have been attacked by acid. They are pictures of some of the bravest women on the planet, which is not hyperbole; the strength of these survivors is truly awe-inspiring. Nick Kristof: "Here in Pakistan, I've been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don't matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It's a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region." (I would like to note that I'm both horrified and angry that the attackers are routinely referred to as "boys" in the photo essay.)

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Shaker BrianG emails a heads-up that the Stonewall Family was chosen as WoW's Guild of the Month: "The Stonewall Family, originally started as a single guild – La Familia de Stonewall. It was founded in late 2007 by a handful of friends who had tried other gay/lesbian/bi/transgender and LGBT-friendly raiding guilds... but always felt they were somewhat lost in the shuffle, and never really felt a sense of 'family'. They wanted to start a guild where the social aspects of play and friendships were the most important factor, and where they would be able to avoid any anti-lgbt harassment. From that small group of friends, we have grown to a 'meta-guild' of over 700 members across 5 sub-guilds today."

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[TW] Shaker Kelly forwards two articles from The Guardian: "The first is about the new classes being introduced to schools from ages 5 to 15 discouraging violence, particularly against women. The second is a report from Sara Payne into the treatment of rape victims." The second article, "Police ignore rape allegations if victim has been drinking," is particularly of interest given that Britain has one of the lowest rape conviction rates in the industrialized world and engages in huge amounts of public victim-blaming especially surrounding (female) drinking.

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[TW] Shaker TBJ emails two articles about a murder trial in Oahu in which the victim was a trans woman. Both of them are problematic: This one starts out well, but ends on a positively disastrous note, allowing the murderer's defense attorney to refer to the victim as "him." But it's nowhere near as bad as this one, in which one of the prosecutors is quoted as saying, "It was a tough case in the sense that it involved a more sympathetic defendant than perhaps the victim was," effectively communicating that being a murderer is an improvement on being trans.

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Shaker kat_st sends more fuckery from the Animal Rights Group That Shall Not Be Named: "I saw this pic in the free newspaper distributed on Melbourne's train network, MX, today."

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[TW] Shaker ASDKids2 emails: "A woman was charged with a hate crime for her actions against another woman in a grocery store. The hater passed a Palestinian-American woman in hijab in an aisle, complaining loudly about how Nidal Hasan was, 'from the middle east.' She then followed her victim to the checkout and tried to rip the hijab from her victim's head. It wouldn't budge, causing her entire head to be yanked back. The victim followed the attacker out and presumably got her license plate number, because the cops arrested her shortly thereafter. Tinley Park, where this took place, is a heavily Muslim area (heavily for America, that is), and the cops took it quite seriously. I say hooray for the victim, who had the presence of mind to get the license plate number. My only complaint is to wonder why the attacker was not also charged with assault for the verbal attack and battery for the physical attack."

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Shaker Kathy sends this video of Glenn Beck ruling out a Palin/Beck 2012 presidential ticket:

Beck: First of all, let me rule that out. Uhh, Palin/Beck? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Unidentified Guy: She's far too smart for that.

Beck: No, I was just thinking, what—I'm going to take backseat to a chick?! [laughter; crosstalk] I mean, while you're at it shoot a bear! Make some stew! I'm hungry in here! [laughter]

Unidentified Guy: That's so great.
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Shaker Meg forwards this gobsmacking example of the type of horrendous advice being doled out in advice columns:
Dear Amy: My girlfriend wants to "talk" again. She is currently experiencing her monthly cycle. Can I ask her to wait until this is over? She usually gets a bit worked up and later apologizes. I do not want to come across as inconsiderate. Based on past discussions, I'm sure she wants to talk about our future together. This is important but shouldn't it be done when she is a little more balanced? If you agree, can you offer a caring way to frame this statement of concern to talk at a later time? -- Matt

Dear Matt: You might think: "Let's have this conversation at a time when I don't think your head will spin around and fall off." What you should say is, "I want to talk to you, too, honey -- because this is important. But for now, why don't you enjoy these flowers? Oh, and by the way, have you lost weight?" In short, dodge. Dodge, deflect and duck, if necessary.
There's even more where that came from, like: "You should also talk about her hormonal issues. Many women, myself included, don't quite realize the patterns in our monthly moods until someone else lovingly points them out to us." Wow.

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[TW] Shaker Mark sends the link to this National Bureau of Economic Research working paper abstract (via The Sports Economist) on "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior." Writes Mark: "[The paper] is behind a pay wall, but the gist is 'Controlling for [a number of factors], we find that upset losses by the home [football] team (losses in games that the home team was predicted to win by more than 3 points) lead to an 8 percent increase in police reports of at-home male-on-female intimate partner violence.' The effect seems to increase if the loss is 'frustrating' or 'salient' (no definitions in the abstract)."

Evidence of what people involved in domestic abuse issues know intuitively and anecdotally: Men who abuse generally do so out of a need for control; men who abuse are not people who know how to express their emotions in a healthy way, so they are also more likely to engage in the Patriarchy-approved habit of limiting their expression of emotion to an association with sports; men who become deeply emotionally invested in a football team then feel out of control when their team loses; they are then more likely to abuse in an attempt to regain feelings of control.

File Under: Why feminism (which doesn't demean men for showing their human emotions in a healthy way) is good for everyone.

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