When did female empowerment become female infantilization? Women once were encouraged to be strong and independent, to brush aside insensitive words and actions and to emerge stronger. But now, politicians, pundits, even celebrities are feeding an outrage machine by telling women they should be offended by anything and everything. The latest example comes from actress Lena Dunham, famous not only for her HBO show “Girls” but also for a 2012 political ad comparing voting for the first time to losing one’s virginity. Last week, Dunham told NPR that the phrase “too much information” — “TMI” for short — is a sexist phrase that “trivializes female experiences.” What Dunham doesn’t appear to realize is that by claiming common phrases are sexist, women are actually being told that they need to be protected from free speech and that they should be offended more often because they are somehow being oppressed by that speech. This reinforces the idea that women are overly fragile and sensitive — an image that feminists supposedly have been fighting for decades.

2

The Great Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic

Starting in Bellingham Seattle in 1954 residents began to notice unexplained pitting on the windshields of their cars.  Over time the problem began to grow as more and more people reported pitting on their windshields, most of which the police determined to be kid vandals with bb guns.  However, by April reports of mysterious pitting began to occur in surrounding neighborhoods.  Within a week isolated reports of windshield damage turned into mass delusion as over 3,000 people filed police reports detailing unexplained windshield pitting.  When the epidemic reached metropolitan Seattle the mass hysteria soon grew out of control.  People by the thousands went to the police and car experts to report every nick, ding, dimple, scratch, or pit that appeared on their windshields.  Wild speculation and theories abounded including secret government radio waves, sand flea eggs, gremlins, and cosmic rays.  Many others claimed that they saw pits and bubbles form right before their eyes. One newspaper even reported that a strange and unknown “gravel-like” substance could be found on roads throughout the city.

On April 15th Sergeant Max Allison of the Seattle police crime laboratory stated that the pitting reports consisted of “5 per cent hoodlum-ism, and 95 per cent public hysteria.” By April 17th reports of phantom windshield pitting had come to an end.  Today scientists and experts blame the incident as a case of “collective delusion”.  Most of the pitting cases were caused by natural forces or wear and tear, but it was only due to media hype that people began noticing windshield damage that they had not noticed before.

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the first thing they teach you in a college-grade journalism class is that modern newscasts are a joke. they’re hysteria. they’re garbage that floats around “neutral standpoints” with people swinging towards the side of the government!! newscasters and article writers are taught that it’s the way to go, because people who write thinkpieces on actual fucking black kids getting fucking murdered get put in the editorial section, in the back, under the toys r us ad.

when that cock said “social media caused hysteria”, he meant “social media was not relying on the corrupt news system which i usually have a stranglehold over, and now that it’s out of my hands and in the hands of the people, i’m the editorial opinion no one wants to read. and that makes me mad.”

god

Wellesley College in Massachusetts has become embroiled in controversy over a statue – an artistic rendition of a sleep-walking man clad in his underwear (shown on the right). Hundreds of frightened students have signed a petition demanding removal of the sculpture because they say it conjures up fears of sexual assault.

Needless to say, the Wellesley protest has attracted ridicule and satire:

  • Charlotte Hays: “The women of Wellesley are getting the vapors over a nearly nude sculpture of a man.”
  • Lenore Skenazy: “Grab the smelling salts, ladies. This is not a prowler, it’s a piece of art.”
  • Christina Hoff Sommers: The controversy over this statue shows how feminism is “inducing fragility, fear, and the very opposite of power…weakness and hysteria.”

The Wellesley incident is one of many across the nation where accusations of “rape culture” are having the effect of polarizing the debate and stripping due process protections from the accused. One Dartmouth administrator went so far as to ask, “Why could we not expel a student based [solely] on an allegation?”

Much of the frenzy can be traced to a White House Council on Women and Girls report that claims one in five women are raped sometime in their lives. But this factoid doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

That’s because many of these “rape” victims were subjected to “attempted,” not “completed” rapes. Of greater concern, nearly half of the “rape” victims were involved in what the report terms “alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.” By that definition, persons who engage in sex after a lively New Year’s Eve celebration or consummate their wedding vows after a round of champagne toasts are rapists and rape victims.

And the report does not account for the problem of false allegations of sexual assault. Nor does the White House paper express concern for men who are forced to have sexual intercourse, even though a recent government survey (NISVS, Tables 2.1 and 2.2) found equal numbers of men and women who are victims of sexual violence each year.

The number of rapes has

fallen dramatically

 since 1979, according to the Department of Justice — see graph on right. Still, sexual assault remains a problem on our campuses.

But inflating the numbers, inducing a state of near-panic, and ignoring the problem of false allegations only serves to waste scarce criminal justice resources and harm the credibility of real victims of sexual assault.

More information:

NaNoWriMo 2014 - A Secret Never Dies - chapter 25

You must lock your room tonight, Charles,” she urges him, her tone has a fringe of hysteria.

"Oh my dear, things surely aren’t that dire. Last night and who would want to hurt an old man like me?"

"Charles, promise me. You are not safe."

He watches her, his eyes serious, his brown knitted closely together.

"You know who did it."

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So far, the nation has settled for the worm’s eye view on police while maintaining an eagle watch for an explosion by black people.
—  Derrick Jackson in The Boston Globe. Hysteria over Ferguson grand jury an indictment of America

I’m getting severely distressed by #ferguson, I’m on the ede of hysteria, my mood is looping and dipping and swinging around and I feel unstable and unsafe

But tomorrow I’ll wake up alive, with no tear has in my lungs, without the fear of being shot

I feel I owe it to #Ferguson to watch and cry and suffer a grain of what em they’re suffering on the front line

#BlackLivesMatter

Tomorrow I will teach tumblr about mass hysteria! Are you guys ready? It’s going to be a nice long analytical essay of how humanity hasn’t changed and never will! If you can understand anything tonight, just understand this. THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE.