What’s Current: openDemocracy not very open to democracy

The modeling industry exploits underage girls who are legally unprotected, overworked, and underpaid.

If a feminist critiques the practice of wearing high-heels, she’s called a femmephobe. If a man does it, he’s given a cookie.

Three Toronto police officers charged with gang rape, released on bail.

“If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them.” Politicians use campus-rape as a reason to pass gun-carrying bill.

Women make up two-thirds of journalism majors, but are credited with only 36 per cent of bylines in print, Internet, and wire news. (What this latest study making the news rounds fails to mention is how often men are the editors of news outlets. They control what is printed and what is censored.)

A French feminist sister reached out to me who works at the Institute for Security and Development Policy, researching on organized crime. She had worked with a colleague to write an article on prostitution in Europe, which was then published at openDemocracy. The article was “unpublished” about a month afterwards, because… well, I guess they just don’t want to be too open, democratic, and “free thinking.” A male editor claimed the article was taken down because it made “tendentious” assertions. Meanwhile, the site has kept numerous articles vilifying work of the abolitionists up, including one by male troll and anti-feminist, Jason Congdon (@elfeministo). Screw this censorship of feminist voices! Here is the article: Legal prostitution in Europe: the shady facade of human trafficking by Aïssata Maïga. Please submit your complaints (and demands for fair coverage of this issue) to Robin Wilson: robin.wilson[at]opendemocracy [dot]net.

"Free thinking," huh...
“Free thinking,” huh…

An American expatriate who fled to the wonderland of Canada, Susan Cox spends most of her time writing, reading, and cooking. Follow her @BLASFEMMEY.

Got a great article you think should be included in What’s Current? Send it to Susan Cox: cox[dot]j[dot]susan[at]gmail[dot]com

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • FrustratedRadFem

    Men are allowed to question women’s choices in a mocking way but if women question the choices, option, context and implications. Femmephobia isn’t a word do they listen to themselves? You can’t add ‘phobia’ to everything you want to have unquestioned. They would be more interesting if they weren’t so invested in beauty practices and stopped getting huffy whenever someone talks about the implications. Why would you want to talk about your eyeliner over women’s condition. They need to sort their priorities out. I think thing that bothers me is not that they wear make up high heels etc. It’s that they hold maintaining beauty practices more important than letting women talk about how it harms us and how it is tied up with women’s status. If it makes you too uncomfortable just ignore it. Basically resort ‘how dare you judge me’ in a world where women are judged by their looks. When you are talking about it as a cultural practice, they can’t seem to get past their personal investment in beauty mandates. So of course their response is childish. I love perfume doesn’t make perfume feminist not everything a woman does is feminist, it’s impossible.

    The police aren’t there to protect women and as usual they get a slap on the wrist if caught. Are they fired from there jobs? Speaking of rapists do men want us to start shooting rapists and abusers? If so they might want to reconsider because their buddies, sons and fathers just might get shot. If a women threatens an attacker with gun what’s her rights. We’ve seen with Marissa Alexander and other owomen the legal system hates when women fight back. It’s like that dickhead who was arguing for catcalling said ‘well why don’t you just shoot him’? You sure dude?

    More censorship against feminists. Where are the free speech supporters? Oh right free speech is for men. Women’s bodies are ‘speech’ in pornography but the words that come fro women aren’t protected. At least we know that we can’t be afforded to speak because if we do then the general population might start changing their minds.

    • Lydia

      I concur with, FrustratedRadFem. Men are given carte blanche to mock, belittle, humiliate, and violate women. They are above reproach. Women who don’t fall in line will suffer. Women who do capitulate to men’s bullshit will also suffer. Divide and conquer, oldest yet most effective trick in the book.

    • susan

      “women’s bodies are ‘speech’ in pornography, but the words that come from women aren’t protected.”

      Soooo true.

      • FrustratedRadFem

        If I wanted express how angry I was at a man body slamming him full force would be violence not speech. So why do men get act out their misogyny physically on real women’s bodies? Andrea Dworkin said that men view women’s speech as violence but fail to see violence if it is sexualised. Men will use argument that women have the ‘right’ to be prostituted and in porn but ignore that men have never denied that ‘opportunity’ the forced women into it and punished women and girls for it but denied it? Nope.

        How come women’s dissent of pornography is considered against free speech. Aren’t we entitled to put forward counter views and critiques available to the general public? The media constantly promotes porn and prostitution yet if feminists want to convince anyone of anything then somehow we are overstepping the boundaries. I think that pro porn/prostitution supporters just want to undermine women every step of the way.