The Violent Xenophobic Racism in Ireland
At 9pm last Tuesday, 44-year-old Chinese doctor, Wu Youzhong, went to investigate the sound of breaking glass outside his home in Coleraine, County Londonderry, in Ireland. When he arrived at his front door, he saw that the window had been smashed. An intruder then attacked him so violently that he had to be admitted to hospital for several days, and required consultation from an eye specialist. Dr Wu’s wife, Luo Ruoyin, said, “I heard he was just screaming in pain and I was scared. He was just holding his head and covering his eyes and blood was just running down everywhere.” The police are treating the attack as racially motivated; the couple, who have a two-year-old daughter, are reported to be intending to move away from the area.
The Chinese community in Ireland has long been a target of racial discrimination. Anna Lo, an Alliance Party politician born in Hong Kong who was elected to the Ireland Assembly in 2007, was the first politician from an ethnic minority at national level in Ireland, as well as the first East Asian to be elected anywhere in Britain. Her campaign was dogged by violent racism – including death threats – to the extent that she had to carry a panic alarm as a precaution. One far-Right website published pornographic images of Chinese women, alongside derogatory references to Anna Lo. “People from ethnic minorities are very frightened,” she said. “I have never seen ethnic minorities so fearful in Ireland.”
the crumbling myth of white supremacy. white supremacy is violent. white supremacy is destructive. white supremacy is pervasive. white supremacy kills.
"but what about the irish? the irish are the blacks of europe!!"
Women in the west get told that they have equality now, or at least equality of opportunity. But that the equality must not interfere with sex. Sex in the west has not changed with the advances women have made towards equality. With the massive legalised sex industry based upon the eroticised subordination of women, sexualised inequality has become more and more entrenched in the economies of countries all over the world and institutionalised. Sex, the pornographers and queer theorists argue, is sexy precisely and only because it is about the excitement of power difference. Those feminists who have campaigned against pornography and prostitution are accused of spoiling the fun and being anti-sex. This shows how entrenched is the notion that there can be no sexuality of equality. Unfortunately, I suggest, whilst what is seen as fun, sex and even love, is created out of the excitement of women’s inequality, no real equality or freedom for women is possible. If the future still holds prostitution and sadomasochim then it does not hold women’s freedom.
— Sheila Jeffreys, The Eroticism of (In)Equality
The conservative view of prostitution is to blame women and girls for their alleged choice to be in prostitution; the liberal view is to romanticize women’s ‘choice’ as self-determination and use it to normalize prostitution as ‘sex work.’ Both succumb to the belief that whatever happens to a woman in prostitution is normal because it’s her choice. Both these views have facilitated the expansion of sexual slavery in many parts of the globe and the extensive ways in which women themselves become ‘goods and services’ – as prostituted women, as trafficked instruments of exchange, as objects of sex tourism, and as indentured domestic workers who are often sexually exploited as well.
— Janice Raymond, Not A Choice, Not A Job: Exposing the Myths About Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade
According to Fredrickson and Roberts (1997), the cultural practice of sexual objectification leads to self-objectification, which turns into self-surveillance, causing psychological consequences and mental health risks in victims. Sexual objectification means that women are widely seen as sex objects for male sexual pleasure. This objectification occurs in two areas: (1) interpersonal or social encounters, and (2) media exposure. “Interpersonal or social encounters include catcalls, checking out/ staring at, or gazing at women’s bodies, sexual comments, and harassment. Media exposure spotlights women’s bodies and body parts while depicting women as the target of a non-reciprocated male gaze” (Calogero, Tantleff-Dunn, & Thompson, 2011, p. 6). …
Growing up, women are socialized to act and respond to situations in certain ways, defined by gender roles. These roles help shape a woman’s characteristics so she can be accepted as “normal” by the society in which she lives. Women are then socialized to accept the less invasive forms of sexualization as normal and perhaps even desirable, indicators that they are fulfilling expected social norms (Smolak and Murnen, 2011). According to MacKinnon (1989), “Men have been conditioned to find women’s subordination sexy, and women have been conditioned to find a particular male version of female sexuality as erotic — one in which they are defined from a male point of view” (p. 140). Being defined from a male point of view can lead to consequences that lead to self-objectification.
Female self-objectification has many consequences, including eating disorders, which are associated with depression. According to National Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (2013), up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. … data show that 47% of girls in the 5th-12th grade report wanting to lose weight because they compare themselves to idealized magazine photographs, and 69% of girls in the 5th-12th grade report that such images influence their idea of a “perfect” body shape (Eating, 2013). …
Self-Objectification refers to the process by which women come to internalize and accept the beliefs that society projects upon them. Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) suggest that to some degree girls and women come to view themselves as sexual objects, leading them to “form a self-consciousness characterized by habitual monitoring of the body’s outward appearance” (p.180). Fredrick and Roberts write that “as many girls and women internalize the culture’s practices of objectification and habitually monitor their bodies’ appearance … a disruption in the flow of consciousness permeates a host of emotional, motivational and attentional states” (p. 196).
Franzoi (1995) writes that “there are two basic ways of thinking about one’s body that have a particular relevance to a discussion of gender differences in body esteem. One way is to view the body as an object of discrete parts that others aesthetically evaluate, and the other is to conceptualize it as a dynamic process where function is of greater consequence” (Franzoi, 1995, p. 417). The vast majority of people tend to view the female body in terms of its form, rather than function, and “it is this aspect of the physical self that influences people’s first impressions and forms the basis for the physical attractiveness stereotype” (Franzoi, 1995, p. 417).
The word objectification smacks of 1970s feminism and outdated ideology. Yet interestingly, it tumbles unbidden out of men’s mouths while discussing pornography; even porn’s biggest fans readily admit that pornography treats women as objects. As an act of pure visualization, pornography legitimates, accentuates, and provokes men’s emphasis on the visual - whether they have a biological predilection toward such behavior or not.
Because pornography involves looking at women but not interacting with them, it elevates the physical while ignoring or trivializing all other aspects of the woman. A woman is literally reduced to her body parts and sexual behavior. Not surprisingly, half of Americans say pornography is demeaning toward women, according to the 2004 Pornified/Harris poll conducted for this book. Women are far more likely to believe this - 58 percent compared with 37 percent of men. Only 20 percent of women - and 34 percent of men - think pornography is not demeaning.
Pornified: How pornography is transforming our lives, our relationships, and our families by Pamela Paul, p. 80
“Sex-positive feminism,” as a movement, has as its objective to remove sexuality from the realm of feminist systemic criticism. It is therefore anti-feminist in practice, despite its proponents’ general commitment to feminism. It says that any issue which they deem sexual in nature, be it actual sex, BDSM, pornography or prostitution, must not be analyzed or criticized. Instead, they contend, we should fall back to the “default” position that “consent is the standard of morality.”
Sex-negativity, therefore, means opposition to this stance: that sexuality must be subject to systemic criticism like everything else, and that woman-hating in sexual areas must not be given a free pass. It is nothing more than the consistent application of feminist principles to actual sex, BDSM, consent in sex, pornography and prostitution. It is nothing more than the proposition that sex is affected by patriarchal norms.
In the meantime, young women are still left to negotiate sexual encounters based on a model in which the central aim is still first and foremost to satisfy male sexual desires. The new politics of choice have thus had the cumulative effect of making young women’s continued experiences of sexual pressure, coercion and violence increasingly difficult both to name at an individual level and to subject to concerted political action at a societal level.
In this post-feminist context it has become difficult to be openly critical of sexual mores (even those regarding consent and sexual violence) without being labelled anti-choice, anti-sex and seen as rejecting the very sexual freedoms that feminism fought to achieve. This in turn demonstrates how fields of interaction can indeed be re-moulded (as feminist adaptations of Bourdieu have suggested). However, in this particular case it is a re-packaging of old gender norms within a rhetoric of choice that both resists any substantive challenge to the underlying gender structure and obscures the persistent operation of male power and dominance within sexual encounters that continues to exist
Anastasia Powell, Sex, Power, and Consent
We are unalterably opposed to the presentation of the female body being stripped, bound, raped, tortured, mutilated, and murdered in the name of commercial entertainment and free speech.
— Susan Brownmiller
[tw* rape/advisory: rape apologism/victim-blaming]
There is one message basic to all kinds of pornography from the sludge that we see all around us, to the artsy-fartsy pornography that the intellectuals call erotica, to the under-the-counter kiddie porn, to the slick, glossy men’s “entertainment” magazines. The one message that is carried in all pornography all the time is this: she wants it; she wants to be beaten; she wants to be forced; she wants to be raped; she wants to be brutalized; she wants to be hurt. This is the premise, the first principle, of all pornography. She wants these despicable things done to her. She likes it. She likes to be hit and she likes to be hurt and she likes to be forced. Meanwhile, all across this country, women and young girls are being raped and beaten and forced and brutalized and hurt.
The police believe they wanted it. Most of the people around them believe they wanted it. “And what did you do to provoke him? ” the battered wife is asked over and over again when finally she dares to ask for help or for protection. “Did you like it? ” the police ask the rape victim. “Admit that something in you wanted it, ” the psychiatrist urges. “It was the energy you gave out, ” says the guru. Adult men claim that their own daughters who are eight years old or ten years old or thirteen years old led them on.
The belief is that the female wants to be hurt. The belief is that the female likes to be forced. The proof that she wants it is everywhere: the way she dresses; the way she walks; the way she talks; the way she sits; the way she stands; she was out after dark; she invited a male friend into her house; she said hello to a male neighbor; she opened the door; she looked at a man; a man asked her what time it was and she told him; she sat on her father’s lap; she asked her father a question about sex; she got into a car with a man; she got into a car with her best friend’s father or her uncle or her teacher; she flirted; she got married; she had sex once with a man and said no the next time; she is not a virgin; she talks with men; she talks with her father; she went to a movie alone; she took a walk alone; she went shopping alone; she smiled; she is home alone, asleep, the man breaks in, and still, the question is asked, “Did you like it? Did you leave the window open just hoping that someone would pop on through? Do you always sleep without any clothes on? Did you have an orgasm?”
Her body is bruised, she is torn and hurt, and still the question persists: did you provoke it? did you like it? is this what you really wanted all along? is this what you were waiting for and hoping for and dreaming of? You keep saying no. Try proving no. Those bruises? Women like to be roughed up a bit. What did you do to lead him on? How did you provoke him? Did you like it?
A boyfriend or a husband or one’s parents or even sometimes a female lover will believe that she could have fought him off— if she had really wanted to. She must have really wanted it— if it happened. What was it she wanted? She wanted the force, the hurt, the harm, the pain, the humiliation. Why did she want it? Because she is female and females always provoke it, always want it, always like it.
…Men believe the pornography, in which the women always want it. Men believe the pornography, in which women resist and say no only so that men will force them and use more and more force and more and more brutality. To this day, men believe the pornography and men do not believe the women who say no.
Some people say that pornography is only fantasy. What part of it is fantasy? Women are beaten and raped and forced and whipped and held captive. The violence depicted is true. The acts of violence depicted in pornography are real acts committed against real women and real female children. The fantasy is that women want to be abused.
…[W]e women do not want it, not today, not tomorrow, not yesterday. We never will want it and we never have wanted it. The prostitute does not want to be forced and hurt. The homemaker does not want to be forced and hurt. The lesbian does not want to be forced and hurt. The young girl does not want to be forced and hurt.
And because everywhere in this country, daily, thousands of women and young girls are being brutalized— and this is not fantasy— every day women and young girls are being raped and beaten and forced— we will never again accept any depiction of us that has as its first principle, its first premise, that we want to be abused, that we enjoy being hurt, that we like being forced.
In the subordination of women, inequality itself is sexualized: made into the experience of sexual pleasure, essential to sexual desire. Pornography is the material means of sexualizing inequality; and that is why pornography is a central practice in the subordination of women.
Andrea Dworkin in Robert Jensen’s Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity