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“Ain’t I a Woman?”

Author:

christiana1

By Christiana Paradis

Meet Fallon Fox: the only transgender professional MMA fighter. Standing at five feet six inches, and 37 years old, Fox has many obstacles in front of her, especially as an MMA fighter. Though 2013 has presented society and the media with several athletes who have come out as LGBT – including professional basketball player, Jason Collins – it is difficult to compare these to Fox. Most athletes were welcomed into the LGBT community and after a couple weeks of headlines all of the buzz died down.

Fox has fought her way to the top because it is what she loves to do; however fans of the sport do not always reciprocate. Internet trolls frequently comment how “manly” Fox looks on promotional pictures and it is not uncommon for Fox to hear comments like “Kick her in the nuts” during matches. Furthermore, commentators were playing songs such as “Dude Looks Like a Lady” before Fox would enter the ring – but this isn’t bullying… bullying is just for kids, right?

Fox fights every day for herself, for her health, but also for respect. She states:

MMA is the most dangerous sport there is for a transgender, with all the body contact, I know that, but it just turned out that I was good at it, you know? You pursue what you’re good at…. I realize that it’s kind of amazing that I hit girls. You’re brought up not to hit girls, that it’s the worst sin, and that’s what I do. But you know, gender is the last thing I think about when I’m fighting. It’s the one situation where I don’t think of gender at all.”

If gender is the last thing Fox is thinking about before she goes into a ring, then why is it the audience’s first? People are paying to watch women get in a cage and fight and that is what Fox does. She delivers what is asked of her, so why do commentators and audiences think they have the right to define her? As GQ states in their article, “Fallon Fox: The Toughest Woman in Sports” Fox is up against multiple oppressions specifically “When you are a transgender athlete, a lesbian transgender athlete, a lesbian transgender athlete who fights women in a cage, a lesbian transgender athlete who fights women in a cage and fathered a daughter, a lesbian transgender athlete who fights women in a cage and fathered a daughter and served as a man in the Navy.”

While I commend GQ for running a story that portrayed Fox honestly and favourably, I have an issue.

  • Why GQ?
  • Why a magazine that markets itself to men?
  • Maybe because it’s an article about MMA, which typically is marketed towards men… but then why wasn’t this article included in the “Women” section that GQ purposely excludes all female related articles to?
  • Also… if all of the other articles about females that GQ writes looks like this:

christiana2

…then what are they subliminally saying about Fox? They’ve portrayed and treated Fox as they feature men and not as they portray women in their magazine. Thus, despite writing an honest piece about Fox’s struggles as a transgender female in MMA they’re still featuring her as a man in their magazine.

Thankfully, Fox is too determined and focused to be bothered with such petty nuances, “I just try not to think about all of the obstacles all at once. I tell myself, you know how to win. Sometimes you get beat up, but you’ve always won.”

New Year’s Resolutions of an Uppity Feminist

Author:

By Yas Necati

How does the new year shape up for a bra-burning, man-hating, sex-loathing feminist? I give you… New Year’s Resolutions of a Women’s Rights Activist:

1. Burn my bra. In fact, burn all my bras. Bras are obviously the main source of my oppression and most dominant factor of a patriarchal society.

2. Burn everyone else’s bras. As bras are so blatantly the source of all evil, I will start on mine, then burn every other bra in the world, to finally achieve an egalitarian society.

3. Burn everything I own that is vaguely feminine. Femininity is a product of the patriarchy so I will seek to abolish it… then again, so is masculinity… let’s disallow both in all sexes!

4. Never again interfere with a single hair on my body. I will grow out ALL my bodily hair, and wherever possible, tie it into plaits.

5. Hate all men. Well this one’s a given. ALL men are the same, clones dominating over us, restricting our womanliness. I will not make contact with a single man in the new year.

6. Refuse to enter another heterosexual relationship… and purge myself of previous ones. Sleeping with the enemy is wrong! Making any contact with the enemy is wrong! I will avoid any intimacy with our enemies in the new year.

7. Become a sex-hating prude. In fact, I will refrain from all relationships. I despise sexualisation in mainstream culture… so I will now simply hate all sex and everything sexual.

8. Lock myself in my room and avoid any further contact with the outside world. As a man-hating, bra-burning, professional anti-sex feminist, I do not wish to have any exposure to the patriarchy. Considering that everything is patriarchal, even the trees, I will never leave the house again and absorb myself in feminist tumblr pages. I will only emerge from this sanctuary rarely, to intimidate innocent men on Twitter and restrict men’s freedom and rights by hurling abuse at them from my window.

Just a note that this post is satire, for any who might be in doubt! If you’d like to read my actual New Year’s Resolutions, please click here. Have a great new year, from all the team at PBG! :-)

5 Reasons to NEVER Read This Article…

Author:

By Christiana Paradis

The article “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with An Eating Disorder” was written to do nothing but hurt and insult. I was really hoping that perhaps it was written satirically; however, even then is it not even remotely appropriate. This article opens with, “Nothing screams white-girl problems louder than a good old-fashioned eating disorder.” First of all, to make the audacious statement that only “white girls” have eating disorders is both culturally insensitive and offensive.

Each and every one of these despicable reasons makes an eating disorder sound like a choice that is something to scoff at and make a joke of. It never once takes into account how dangerous and life-threatening eating disorders can be. Furthermore, presentations like this can have detrimental effects depending on who they are being read by, even if they think it is a joke. A joke should never be made at the expense of someone’s health.

This list goes on to site the following reasons:

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Preventing Sexual Assault

Author:

By Erika Davidoff

Trigger Warning

Jezebel recently featured a great article compiling ad campaigns on rape prevention from police departments across the world. Though some of them have messages that accurately blame rapists for rape, like Canada’s “Don’t Be That Guy” series and Scotland’s “This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me” campaign and website, an alarming amount still imply that it’s women’s responsibility to prevent rape by not drinking too much . While it’s perfectly reasonable for police to launch campaigns warning citizens about the dangers of drinking and impaired judgment during a season where alcohol is particularly plentiful, it’s unfortunate that this message is tainted by victim-blaming and misconception when it comes to rape.

These campaigns also reminded me about the messages regarding sexual assault that are disseminated across my college campus. This was the first year that my school required all incoming freshmen to take an online course on sexual assault, and though I’m not sure what the class told men, I know my women-only section was full of advice on how to avoid rape and prevent dangerous situations from happening. Flyers advertising defence courses for women—often specifically rape defence courses—are also prevalent on campus. I’m not against any of these measures and I think it’s important that women (and men!) watch out for themselves and their friends, especially when alcohol is involved. But it’s unfortunate that on campus I am so frequently reminded of our culture’s general opinion regarding rape—that it is women’s responsibility to protect themselves and prevent themselves from being assaulted. It’s simply rarer to see such messages targeted towards men.

I’m glad that this belief is slowly changing, as evidenced by the new campaigns Jezebel highlighted, and I want to commend the Vancouver Police Department and the Bristol police for their thoughtful campaigns. I hope that others follow suit, and that, eventually, the self-defence courses and rape-prevention advice targeted towards women will become a little less necessary.

posterrape

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