Elizabeth Short Autopsy Findings

On January 15, 1947, a woman walking with her daughter stumbled upon the badly mutilated corpse of a young woman lying beside the footpath. Naked, the corpse had been bisected at the waist, drained of blood, and scrubbed clean. Soon identified as twenty-two year old Elizabeth Short, the injuries to the body were so extensive it was impossible to determine if any particular injury killed her. Here are some interesting findings from her autopsy report:

- Trunk entirely severed with a single incision, parallel to the navel

- deep vertical cut on pubic area, mimicking a hysterectomy (womb intact)

- Inner thigh deeply gouged, lacerated; small chunk of flesh removed.

- Pubic hair clipped and inserted forcibly into anus. Anal rape by foreign object - no sperm detected.

- Intestines and lower organs had been removed after the trunk was severed; found under buttocks, still attached.

- Both breasts had been gouged with the tip of a knife and her right breast had been almost entirely removed.

- Her mouth had been slashed at either side whilst she was still alive; most of her teeth had been broken by a blunt instrument, possibly a baseball bat.

Elizabeth Short’s murder remains unsolved


“Hasn’t he suffered enough? My vote is yes. He has. I mean, Jason assaulted Evelyn, Evelyn assaulted him back; that sounds fair to me. Sounds like justice at work. To be just… It has to be fair, and that’s what Ms. Rivers asserts. You know, I can’t really disagree with that. In purely pound of flesh terms, Mr. Karr certainly gave up a hell of a lot more than he got. Fair? Not a chance.

To be totally fair, you should given Jason one of Evelyn’s breasts, an arm maybe. That’s only fair, and as we have now decided, that means it’s just. Jason Karr forcibly raped Evelyn Bundy when she was little more than a child, but to tack a prison sentence on Mr. Karrs’ already gargantuan suffering would tip the balance of justice in Ms. Bundy’s favor and hey, there’s no way that’s fair so there’s no way that’s just.

A man, whose store burns down, rushes out, buys some gasoline, a book of matches and sets the house of the arsonist on fire. Hey it’s fair, so that means it’s just.

A man, whose children had been murdered, buys a gun and splatters the brains of the killers’ children all over their bedroom walls. It’s fair. It’s just.

Why bother with cops or courts? If it’s fair, it has to be just.

Let the blood flow on the streets, I say.

Oh wait, you don’t like it? I say get a bigger pair of boots.

I wonder whether my silence about anti-Semitism has been warranted. I wonder if my movement partners truly will abandon me if I challenge them in this, or find the weakest examples and pick them apart in order to argue that the pattern itself does not exist. I wonder if they’ll reject me as an apologist for Israeli violence. […] Or maybe my fear is just paranoia, an outdated defense mechanism handed down from my Savta, a fear and vigilance learned by Jewish bodies over literally thousands of years to protect us from the next crusade or pogrom or gulag or blacklist or cattle-car that we assume is surely just around the corner.

Alongside the fear, I find myself hesitating to speak out about these issues amidst such grief, mourning and resistance — a moment of such heightened crisis for so many people and groups. And at the same time, this is the world we live in, so there will never be a good time, and I will have to trust my friends to see that this is meant not to take away, but to make us stronger and more connected.

And then, alongside that, there is a deep resentment that we Jews, whose ancestors have been forcibly converted, raped, tortured, slaughtered, and chased across the globe for literally thousands of years, still have to prove that people hate us and that there are systems in place to ensure it. But my friends are worth convincing, and capable of transforming, and we need each other.

Throughout the dozen earlier drafts of this piece, I wrote: “My friends are not anti-Semitic, but…” I know my friends don’t believe in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I know they think anti-Semitism is wrong. And I know with every fiber of my being that they would defend me and my family if they believed anti-Semitism was a real threat. But I know, too, that their disbelief is part of the very fabric of anti-Semitism. I know that, in another time and place not far from here, it was a similar disbelief that made possible the wiping away of my tribe, the orphaning of my Savta, the chopping down of my family tree. Silence, perhaps more than the careless repetition of ignorant ideas, is fundamental to this system, perhaps to every system of oppression.

Being ignored or dismissed is not an experience unique to Jews; women, queer folks, people of color, working class folks, and other marginalized groups are always disbelieved, always have to fight like hell to be heard, understood, and supported. I know this to be true because I have been, many times in my life, the one unwilling to do the listening and transforming. And so it occurs to me finally that of course my friends are anti-Semitic. Not in any vulgar or intentional way, merely in the way that we are all shaped by the systems around us until we do the work of uprooting them — in the same way that I carried racism and sexism in my every mannerism until folks helped me practice something different instead (or in the way that I still do carry those values around with me, because such things are burrowed deep into our bodies and the work of unlearning them is perhaps as long as our lives).

Yes, my friends are anti-Semitic. Now the challenge: To convince them that anti-Semitism even still exists, that it is hurting all of us, and that it can be undone.

“Toward the Next Jewish Rebellion: Facing Anti-Semitism and Assimilation in the Movement”

cinder-is-gay  asked:

Terfs like yourself aren't feminists. You just echo the misogynistic rhetoric that women are walking vaginas

If you think recognizing a person as female, with all the biological and social baggage that comes with that, and that acknowledging that female oppression comes from patriarchal control over our bodies in order to control our reproductive abilities, is “seeing women as walking vaginas”, you’ve completely failed in your feminist analysis. I can’t help your critical thinking, all I can do is keep applying my critical skills to material reality and lived experiences.

If saying a woman has a vulva “reduces” her in any way to you, it seems to me that you are the misogynist, not me. Women are whole and complete beings, often taken advantage of, raped, forcibly impregnated, maligned for not having children or for having them, and treated like our bodies are methods of validation or prizes to be won. Recognizing that female bodies like mine exist and that we have commonalities is hardly reductive and hardly takes away from our personhood, unless you believe that a vagina (and notice how you only refer to the portion of our genitalia that can be penetrated? How reductive) is somehow demeaning.

You can think whatever you like. It’s just fundamentally useless to female liberation. I hope that your strengths and interests are elsewhere.


Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Summary: Set in a future dystopian United States, the town of Santa Olivia is a desert war zone where citizens have no rights. Loup Garron is the daughter of a genetically modified father who was bred by the US military as a weapon, who her powers to avenge the town, masquerading as their patron saint, Santa Olivia.

Thoughts: This is your typical dystopian, genetically-modified werewolf boxing story about a lesbian Latina boxer and her bi girlfriend. It starts a little slow, but the plot picks up towards the middle when Loup and Pilar start to fall for each other and Loup’s boxing career begins.

Warnings: Proceed with caution ⚠️

Forcible rape tw, consensual m/f and f/f sex scenes (*details and spoilers below)

Keep reading

sometimes i Just want to cry over the billions of women in our history who died in childbirth, young or not, who were abducted, who were married forcibly, who were raped and beaten, who bore children they didn’t want, who bore children they loved and couldn’t protect, who had to see their daughters experience the same fate, who were only ever destined to serve men, who may have had a hundred things to offer the world but had their lives cut short by cruelty, who were smart and therefore a threat to society, who were burned alive at the stake without justice

and most of all those women who never got to see the progress their deaths may have contributed to. all that’s left is a page in a probably forgotten history book

but we are still fucking thought of as lesser and it hurts to get reminded of it


Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Thoughts: An epic, heartbreaking Greek mythology love story and a stunning listen on audiobook.

Summary: Greece in the age of heroes. Ptroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Warnings: Proceed with caution ⚠️

Forcible rape tw, coerced rape tw, war/human sacrifice (*details/spoilers below)

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

This coercion bullshit is exactly why know one takes you bitches seriously. Innocent men can get their life fuck up because women like you are mentally unstable. Someone saying you like it rough isn't even rape by your fuck up standards,you admittedly followed that up with yes you can rape too doesn't mean it was. Most likely he probably laughs about it,about the stupid lesbian who let him hit. As oppose to going out and raping lesbians,though if he did it be your fault.

I don’t know if you have the ability to understand this, but I’m a real person. Today I got up, I had some tea to settle my stomach, I chatted with a friend. I have a real life that I live. This isn’t some bot here, or some case study. I come on here because people ask me for help and that is something that matters to me. What you’re talking about is my real experience and my real life, which I share because I think that conversations about those things help others feel like they aren’t alone. If you want to call me a stupid bitch for that, and defend someone you know nothing about based on my description of pain, that speaks to something deeply wrong inside of you, something truly twisted and sick. You should remove yourself from the company of others until you’ve been through some very serious therapy.

What you’re discussing is an experience I haven’t been able to name, something that happened in the wake of my forcible rape. If you’re attempting to insult me by calling me mentally unstable, I wouldn’t contest that I was mentally unstable in the wake of my rape. That’s a normal and common experience of trauma, and people have a multitude of responses to trauma that I dont think they should be blamed for.

You’re right, I’m sure that man laughs about how stupid I am. That doesn’t make me stupid, it makes me someone who felt taken advantage of in the wake of trauma, and it makes him someone who thought it was okay to have sex with someone who cried the whole time and didn’t move and that’s okay to laugh at. If a man thinks that is okay, you can make all the arguments you like about whether or not they are a rapist, but you can’t argue that they are a good person. That’s not someone that I would consider an “innocent man”, personally. 

But no matter what he does, it will never be my fault. I am not responsible if a man rapes someone. He is responsible. That is his crime.

Your defensiveness on this tells me that me describing the ways that I broke and attempted to punish myself while I felt broken struck a chord with your experience. Something doesn’t have to be rape to be incredibly painful and traumatic, and I have no doubt that you have traumatized someone. In fact, the only reason I’m responding to this is because I have no doubt that other women have faced this blaming, disgusting, and sanctimonious response to their experiences.

There is value in conversation about what is rape, what is traumatic but not necesarily rape, what is coercion, what is taking advantage of vulnerability. Obviously you have nothing to add to those conversations other than hate and vitriol. 

If reading me speaking about my experiences made you decide to come here to call me a bitch, stupid, and responsible for the possible rapes of other lesbians, you’re a really sick person. And gosh do you hurt us. I feel so sorry for the women in your life.

netflix-and-anxiety  asked:

Hi, I have a question. If I'm a trans guy who passes in society, don't I have the same male privilege as cis dudes? Because you can safely assume that the Starbucks barista or some cashier doesn't know what's in my pants, and will most likely treat me as the man I am. Also, what is your opinion on trans men who like men calling themselves gay? If someone who doesn't know I'm trans asks, why would I out myself? I'd rather just say I'm gay and like men, don't you think?

Please know two things before I answer this: First, this blog is in semi-hiatus and if this is an old ask I apologize for not getting to it before now. Secondly, this is not a personal or discussion-type blog. I’ll answer this, but I won’t respond to further inquiries; don’t worry, I’m sure someone else will offer perspective. OK.

If I’m a trans guy who passes in society, don’t I have the same male privilege as cis dudes? Because you can safely assume that the Starbucks barista or some cashier doesn’t know what’s in my pants, and will most likely treat me as the man I am.

No, you wouldn’t. Lets forget appearances for a second. I mean, hell, I’m a woman who’s gnc sometimes and when I get mistaken for male on public transportation, I feel safer. All that male privilege, right? Yet I’m still biologically female. I can still be forcibly impregnated though rape. Many medications aren’t tested on biological females so I have no clue how they might affect me. I’m a 25 year old woman who’s been telling her obgyn that I don’t want children for 6 years and I still can’t get my tubes tied, while my male friends can get vasectomies much younger. Biology does matter, and occasional treatment as male doesn’t erase misogyny. People who see you in passing may treat you as male. Others will treat you like the biological female that you are. 

Also, what is your opinion on trans men who like men calling themselves gay? If someone who doesn’t know I’m trans asks, why would I out myself? I’d rather just say I’m gay and like men, don’t you think?

No. Just no. Picture this: A gay man is discovering his sexuality in an era where AIDs is called GRIDS. He is terrified by the supposed consequences of his sexuality. No one is doing anything. People are dying in spades. He grows up and starts to accept that he’s attracted to males and tries to feel that it’s ok. There are conversion therapy camps that would force him to try and be sexually  attracted to biological females. Depending on who he is, they may be part of his life or not. Then one day the time comes where he means someone he likes, someone he perceives as male, and when things get heated he find that the person is in fact, female. He’s not attracted to that person anymore. 

Is he:

1. A transphobe

2. A bisexual man

3. A gay man 

Is this situation not ok because he’s the way he is? Or because someone lied about being biologically male? 


Per the words of a lesbian woman:  It’s not the responsibility of gay people to dissolve the definition of who we are to make another group comfortable

Please don’t forget about the females who are repeatedly raped, forcibly impregnated, and separated from their children so that humans can drink their milk and eat cheese. It is so easy to choose not to support this abuse. There are cruelty-free replacements for everything.

True feminism is not limited to humans.



Studies of slavery both here, in the Caribbean and Brazil highlight the development of a separate group of mulattos. Degler focuses on the history of differing developments of slavery and race relations between the U.S. and Brazil, counterpoising the rigid racial segregation practiced here, in opposition to the “mulatto escape-hatch” provided in Brazil. (Deglar, 1971) However he fails to appreciate that we had our own mulatto escape hatch here as well. Brazil’s allowed for an escape into the greater (whiter) society, whereas ours propelled the mulatto to the top of the black heap, trapped in a world where one drop of black blood defines you as black ad infinitum.

Marvin Harris coined the term hypodescent to describe the “one drop rule”, the racial classification of a person with perhaps one black great-grand parent as black in the United States. That same person in Brazil, or the Hispanic Caribbean, would be legally, and perhaps socially white, regardless of color or class. (Harris, 1964) In countries like Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico, where many of the poor are also black, the three-tiered color/class structure has repressed any struggle based on race, and in fact many members of the ruling and middle classes deny vociferously that there are any racial problems, attributing stratification to class alone.

Historically, the only part of the United States that operated under the three-tiered system was Louisiana, since it was colonized and settled first by the French and Spanish. Louisiana developed the first, and most wealthy colored aristocracy in the United States. Because Louisiana was colonized by the French, a “tripartite legal distinction emerged”; whites, African slaves, and free people of color or gens de couleur libre. These free coloreds were the products of sexual liaisons between white planters and slave women initially, but generations of crossing sexual lines created not only mulattos (half-white), but also quadroons (one fourth white), octoroons (one eighth white), and mustees(one sixteenth white). Called “colored creoles” to make a distinction between these mixed-race persons and those white Frenchmen and women born in the colonies, the free persons of color in Louisiana enjoyed an economic freedom and an opportunity for education denied to other mixed-race slaves or free Negroes in the rest of the South. (Dominguez, 1986)

Eugene Genovese traces the source of the free Negro population primarily to the practice of miscegenation on southern plantations. “Throughout the history of the slave regime there were planters who openly or surreptitiously accepted responsibility for the paternity of mulattos, educated them, freed them and when manumission became difficult, made special provisions for their care.” (Genovese, 1976:416) He goes on to argue that though there was some division of blacks by color during slavery (house Negro versus field Negro) “Hostility was only directed at those mulattos who claimed and received privileges based on their color and relationship to the white family and who put on airs in the quarters.” (Genovese, 1976:430) He points out that mulattos were unable to build for themselves a totally separate caste, such as the one that existed in Saint-Domingue (Haiti), or Jamaica, given the existence of only two legal categories in the U.S. - black or white. Therefore during reconstruction when mulattos sought political power, their fates were tied to those of their darker brethren, for they needed “black” voting power. However he points out that “the leadership that emerged after the war had a disproportionate share of mulattos because the better educated Northern and free Negroes and privileged town slaves were in a better position to step out front.” (Genovese, 1976:430)

E. Franklin Frazier lists the demographic ratio of mulatto to black as 600,000 out of a total black population of 4.5 million in 1860. “They were the product of forcible rape, coercion due to power relationships, or voluntary surrender on the part of black women.” Though he admits that mutual attraction was possible, he states that “the prestige of the white race was often sufficient to secure compliance on their part.” (Frazier 1962:116)

Read More:

Why Dairy?

If you think vegans are emotional or angry:

You obviously have never seen the emotional breakdown of a mother cow as her baby is being ripped away from her to be slaughtered. Rather than letting newborn calves live and drink their mother’s milk, dairy farms kill the male calves and grant the female calves the same fate as their mother (forced impregnation over and over until death).


The dairy industry cannot profit from baby bulls (male cows) since they do not produce milk. It is more profitable to slaughter them as newborns rather than let them live.

Like all mammals, cows only produce milk for their calves. Female cows are forcibly impregnated (raped) by humans with bull semen to start milk production. When their milk production slows, the forced impregnation process starts again. This lasts for about 7 years until the cow dies from exhaustion or is slaughtered for no longer being profitable. This way of living shortens their life to 1/3 of their potential longevity.

None of this has to happen. This can all stop. Please cut dairy out of your diet.

Allowing rape to become acceptable

Brock Turner will be released on Friday after serving 3 months in jail after being charged with 3 different felonies, including forcible rape. Let’s look at the exact definition of that particular charge.

“Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent.”

That is the legal, technical definition. However, the effects said felony leaves on victims is something no definition can encompass.

Rape survivors are left to battle, PTSD, paranoia, anxiety, depression and sometimes, devastatingly, end up committing suicide. And a huge reason why these problems occur is because of the state of our justice system.

Rape has become a non legitimate or questionable crime. I was broken hearted hearing what had happened to Brock Turners victim. I was broken hearted by the fact his mug shot was protected by the Santa Clarita authorities. I was broken hearted by the graphic retelling of the crime by Brock Turners victim, but was blown away by her strength and bravery in reliving such horrible memories. I was broken-hearted by the disrespect and disregard shown to Brock Turners actions from the public. And finally, I was shattered over the sentence Judge Persky so callously laid down on him. A mere 6 months of jail time when the sentence he could have, should have gotten was 14 years. Then my sadness mixed into anger when I read the horrendously glib and insensitive letter written by Brock Turners father to the courts. In light of the recent injustices I can’t seem to spend 1 day not reading about a story just like this. And I’m fucking sick to death of it.

Although men as well can and do become the victims of rape, which is something to never be taken lightly nor is it easier for them to deal with because they’re men, the majority of rapes are committed against women. And these college athletes are all young men… Young men raping women. Young men at prestigious universities who come from wealthy families. Young men who are educated. This shows a pattern. A pattern that the justice system is letting become the norm.

That women are irrational, over dramatic or clouded by hormones and aren’t really sure if they were assaulted. And that as long as you look like and come from a similar background to Brock Turner, you’ll get a little time out. Then you’re free to go.

We are conditioning assailants to believe they are victims for being punished for their offenses and conditioning women to believe they are to blame, whether it be because of the length of their skirt, amount of makeup they wear, how much they had to drink, their past sexual encounters, what time it was and ultimately what they did wrong. AND IT ISNT CHANGING. I don’t get it.

Judge Persky, what if your house was robbed? Would you say to yourself “well I guess I shouldn’t have left the house”. You would fight for what was done to you. Your complete disregard for this whole situation will contribute to the re cycle of rape culture.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

I urge all of you to post whatever you can, to sign whatever petitions you find, do whatever you possibly can because this doesn’t seem to be changing and until it does we need to keep speaking out and keep trying.

I hope one day, we get to a point where rapists won’t be treated like athletes who just got a little rowdy… I hope they’ll be treated like rapists. As disheartening as this outcome is, please remember the words of the woman Brock Turner raped:

“And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, "Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.“

Do not get discouraged, do not stop fighting, because if we do we WILL allow rape to become acceptable.

anonymous asked:

Tell me about sweet pool.

Alright let me break this literal shitfest down for you. You’ll have to forgive me. I played Sweet Pool when it was first released and haven’t touched it since, so my synopsis might be a tad inaccurate.

See this pretty motherfucker right here? His name is Youji and although he may look 35, he’s actually a high school student who has trouble fitting in with the crowd. It could be because he’s quiet, socially withdrawn, and constantly getting sick. Or, you know, it could be bECAUSE HE IS THE HOST BODY OF AN ALIEN. AND NOT JUST ANY ALIEN, MIND YOU, NO, A FEMALE ALIEN WHO GIVES BIRTH TO SENTIENT MEAT MONSTERS OUT OF HIS ANUS ON A REGULAR BASIS

I shit you not, that is the overarching plot point for this game: Youji shits alien meat babies.

His ‘seme’ in most endings and the main love interest for Youji is this blonde brick wall who is essentially as interesting as one including maybe a bag of rocks, if I’m being generous.

His name is Tetsuo and yeah he looks like delicious man candy, but if you’re normal, you won’t think so after he rapes Youji multiple times. He’s the “ultimate male” of whatever these weird aliens are and because of that, when ever he shows up in Youji’s life, he makes Youji’s hormones do crazy backflips, causing him to jerk off in the middle of the science lab and in a bathtub full of blood and other such nonsense. 

He’s who Youji ends up with in 4/6 of the endings. And may I also say that this game HAS NO GOOD ENDINGS AND NO ROUTE THAT DOES NOT FEATURE SOME SORT OF FORCIBLE RAPE.

Speaking of horrible things, enter the character that literally gave me nightmares

This awful fucker is Zenya and he is cRAZY PSYCHO BONKERS AND ALSO SUPPOSEDLY IN HIGH SCHOOL. He has some butler/servant who is also his lover I guess but I didn’t pay much attention so yeah. I think they both die in most of the endings. Zenya is constantly trying to rape Youji and gets really fucking obsessed with him to a point where it freaked me the fuck out let me tell you. He kidnaps both Youji and Tetsuo and tries to force them to rape each other or something so he can have a purebred meat monster or something. He’s also a “male” of these aliens, but he sucks at it or something idk.

Speaking of obsessions, here’s Nitro’s typical “friendzone” character

This is Makoto— he’s Youji’s….”friend” that later realizes how incredibly gay he is for Youji. So gay, in fact, that he gets really super jealous of Tetsuo to a point where he threatens to slit Youji’s neck with a box cutter if he refuses to put out for him. Turns out that Youji shitting meat monsters means he’s in heat or something, and when that happens, he gives off these pheromones that brings all the boys to the yard. Makoto falls victim to the booty and in one ending actually fucking EATS YOUJI ALIVE OH NOOO.

There are only 3 men that Youji can end up with and they all rape him (or worse) at some point or another. Turns out the meat monsters are the “lost souls of people who didn’t believe in god” or some shit and are the central focus of this doomsday cult lead by Zenya’s dad who want to appease the big Master Meat God by making the “ultimate female” and “ultimate male” (ie, Youji and Tetsuo) fuck so they can make a purebred meat baby. 


And I will leave you with the official collector’s figure released for Sweet Pool of Youji shitting meat in the most flattering position ever. Because it’s a thing that sadly does not get talked about enough.


turtleshroom  asked:

If a SOLDIER can be held down and forcibly raped, he's no soldier unless his girlfriend is an Amazon. Women can easily date rape and drug men and do them, and force rape a child, but the idea that a woman can hold down a grown man is absurd.

Did you miss the part where he said that he didn’t fightback much because he knew that she would cry abuse and he would hang for it?

The Surveillance of Women's Political Consciousness

Surveillance of women’s political consciousness is a key objective of the patriarchal backlash, which manifests itself through male demands for inclusion into women’s spaces. One need only look at all those organisations that have men within them to see how collusive and compromised such organisations become within a short space of time. Often these men take over the most critical elements within the organisation, often the control over finances and the publications section, imposing a male voice over the views and knowledge that women bring to the public. We know that voice and the visibilisation of women’s experiences are foundation stones of the Women’s Movement saying what we know and want is so very central to our agenda and our freedom. Why therefore are some women’s organisations handing over their newsletters and documentation sections to males who gladly ‘speak on their behalf.’ Have we not demanded the right to speak for ourselves and used this facility to debunk the myths and stereotypes that still characterise the male media. Yet some women see no political threat with having a male, one of those ‘nice’ ones, occupying the status of knowledge processor in their organisations.

Within the language of compromise, such organisations are conforming to ‘gender mainstreaming’ which basically re-inforces the welfarist tendencies within women’s activism through the de-politicisation of women’s agency in the public.

Gender becomes an empty notion, without any relationship to power and contestation, and women are told to consider the interests of boys and men in the same breath as they attempt to bridge the yawning gap between themselves and males across time and space. The de-politicisation of women’s struggles lies at the heart of the demand to include males in women’s political spaces, because it is clear to males (as well as to conservative females, most of whom predominate in the Women’s Movement across the globe) that by occupying a political space in the public which women have crafted and marked as their own, women become radical and develop a consciousness of themselves and their rights. This is a threat to the privilege and interests of males in all patriarchal societies.

For me, this is the core of the matter. When women occupy public spaces as persons who understand that for millennia they have been denied their inalienable rights as human beings, they begin to demand the restitution of those rights through the creation of structures within which they situate financial, technical and intellectual resources.

When women become articulate about who they are sexually and cast off the old patriarchal myths about what a woman can be and what she is not allowed to become, women become powerful and acquire the ability to say no to violence; no to unpaid labour; no to exploitation and discrimination in the name of cultural preservation. Women become persons who relate to the state in new and challenging ways, no longer waiting for men in the state to dole out a few “favours” in the name of benevolent dictatorship.

Such women become autonomous and their Movement becomes a force for the transformation of oppressive relations of power in both the public and the private spheres.

Such women are a danger to all males, regardless of how some men define themselves. Therefore, women’s spaces as politicised spaces must be occupied under the guise of “inclusion” and those women who resist such surveillance are accused of being man-haters and of acting in “exclusionary” ways the same old story we have heard for centuries. When women first demanded the right to be free, to have access to education (not even equal access, just access to the collective knowledge of their respective societies), they were accused of hating men. Those of us who have refused to be ritualised and owned by men through heterosexual marriage, and who have sometimes gone on to love other women, are marked as “heretics” and man-haters. The tarring of women with the brush of heterosexist vitriol is well-known and most women fear it because it is a harsh and ruthless brush that marks a woman for the rest of her life as Other and Dangerous.

But we have learnt along the long road of our struggle for freedom, that compromising only takes us back even further than where we started. So we must hold on to our spaces because they are the only living spaces that we have and can own as women in these deeply woman-hating, patriarchal societies we continue to live in at the present time.

If men want to engage in gendered politics, let them set up their own structures and create a new political discourse on democracy and equality with those who live in their societies. As politically conscious women well know, men have a lot of work to do on themselves. While a helping hand is always useful, the old saying that charity begins at home applies moreso today to men than ever before. Men must clean out their patriarchal household as men, first, and get themselves a new identity one that does not depend on owning women; on buying and selling women; on raping, forcibly occupying, and pillaging the bodies of women or on plundering women’s minds so that they can prove to each other that they are real men. Men need to develop a political ideology that does not require that men exclude women from the institutions that we too have built and which belong to us as much as they belong to all who live in our societies.

That is where I stand as a radical African feminist on the sacred spaces we have carved out, often with our very lives, and I am not prepared to share them with any man, as long as males continue to be privileged by patriarchy.

Patricia McFadden is a radical African Feminist/Scholar, born in Swaziland almost 50 years ago. She lives and works in Zimbabwe as well as at the level of the regional and global women’s movement (She considers the Women’s Movement her home). She works particularly in conceptualising gender within the African context; making the distinction between Gender as a construct and Feminism as a political ideology/stance. She also works in Sexuality and Reproductive Rights/Health, and more recently she has been focusing on issues of citizenship and relations of property between African women and the state.