What’s Current: Jian Ghomeshi’s second sexual assault trial will not go ahead in June


Jian Ghomeshi will avoid his second sex assault trial by signing peace bond. The Crown is expected to drop criminal charges if he agrees to conditions.

bell hooks offers both criticism and praise of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.”

“Even though Beyoncé and her creative collaborators make use of the powerful voice and words of Malcolm X to emphasize the lack of respect for black womanhood, simply showcasing beautiful black bodies does not create a just culture of optimal well being where black females can become fully self-actualized and be truly respected.

Honoring the self, loving our bodies, is an appropriate stage in the construction of healthy self-esteem. This aspect of Lemonade is affirming. Certainly, to witness Miss Hattie, the 90-year-old grandmother of Jay-Z, give her personal testimony that she has survived by taking the lemons life handed her and making lemonade is awesome. All the references to honoring our ancestors and elders in Lemonade inspire. However, concluding this narrative of hurt and betrayal with caring images of family and home do not serve as adequate ways to reconcile and heal trauma.”

Janet Mock accuses bell hooks of “femmephobia”

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou trends on Twitter with women sharing instances of non-physical abuse from male partners.

Jonah Mix has this weird thing called a “moral problem” with prostitution. He responds to the New York Times’ recent pro-prostitution piece by Emily Bazelon:

“Apparently, to Emily Bazelon, a law that recognizes an activity as harmful and seeks to curtail it is no more than ‘a weapon of moral disapproval.’ Why such a dismissive title doesn’t apply to every law, I’m not exactly sure – can anyone point me towards the governments forbidding things they consider morally upstanding and commendable?… Maybe I’m missing something that will be clarified in Bazelon’s upcoming op-ed, where she denounces laws banning unlicensed dentistry as ‘weapons of moral disapproval’ against black-market root canals.”

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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  • lk

    Wait, is femmephobia now a thing?! I’ve never even heard that before…..I guess if you criticize anything or anyone, you have some kind of phobia…

    Bell hooks is amazing and her essay contains logical, rational criticisms.

    I love this part : [Beyonce’s] vision of feminism does not call for an end to patriarchal domination. It’s all about insisting on equal rights for men and women. In the world of fantasy feminism, there are no class, sex, and race hierarchies that breakdown simplified categories of women and men, no call to challenge and change systems of domination, no emphasis on intersectionality. In such a simplified worldview, women gaining the freedom to be like men can be seen as powerful. But it is a false construction of power as so many men, especially black men, do not possess actual power. And indeed, it is clear that black male cruelty and violence towards black women is a direct outcome of patriarchal exploitation and oppression.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Please do not let the liberal feminist/queer theory/third wave internet trick you into believing “femmephobia” is a real thing!

  • Raquel Rosario Sánchez

    Feminism is a moral issue. Oppression is a moral issue. Discrimination is a moral issue.

    Out of all the arguments that people make in favor of the sex industry, this idea that “people critical of the sex industry are participating in a moral panic/moral judgement” is by and large the stupidest. Feminism is the radical notion that women and girls experiences are devalued, commodified and exploited under a patriarchal system… AND THAT THIS IS WRONG. Therefore, here is a social, political and cultural movement meant to dismantle this systemic oppression. You need a distinction between right and wrong for all social justice movements, by definition.

    Without a moral claim, we can look at any issue of discrimination, exploitation and abuse, scoff and think “so what?” or “who cares?” It is upon the indignation and the outrage that these oppression exist in the first place that social justice movements are based on. There would be no social justice without a strong moral and principled determination to address oppression and privilege. A feminism without morality is… some sort of market-based supra-structure that dehumanizes the lives of girls and women without objection. Like, um… what is it called? …what’s that thing? Oh, that’s right: just like patriarchy intended it to be.

    Ugh! Between the “free sex is an entitlement” that should be paid for (https://twitter.com/MeghanEMurphy/status/729841629377363968), the femmephobia accusations against a woman for daring to critique the socialization of women into standards of femininity and… whatever this “moral judgement” ridiculousness is, I am just gonna call it a week. You can find me watching nature shows… and moralizing about the dearth of women in the nature/science documentary industry.

  • The latest Ghomeshi news is making me so angry. The Canadian justice system is utterly failing sexual assault victims. This bastard is getting off scot-free … again.

  • melissa

    “femmephobia”…oh god, please tell me this isn’t going to become a thing now(or has it already been a thing and i didn’t even notice). notice how these kinds of words lately always have the sole purpose of shutting down the conversation, or voicing any disagreement or criticism at all? are libfems incapable of arguing anymore without accusing the other side with some kind of imaginary phobia or intolerance?

    • Rocio

      I am so happy to see numerous Black women responded and defended hooks and told Mock’s readers that nah hooks is not against feminine women she just questions why there’s so much reward for famous women being feminine.

  • Tangelo

    Jonah Mix is spot on, again.

    JM: “Of course I have a fucking moral problem with prostitution. I think buying sex is wrong. It’s bad. It’s not okay. It’s unacceptable, reprehensible, indefensible, shameful, disgraceful, appalling, and every other word the Left has banned for fear of “moralizing.”

    Why is this something the “progressive” left have an issue with?

    JM: “Left-wing men have cordoned off sex from ethics because ethics is, at its heart, a search for rules that transcend desire. Most of them don’t desire to run a Fortune 500 company, or dig an oil well, or invade another country, so they don’t mind prescriptions on behavior that restrict those things. But many, many men on the Left want to fuck female strangers, or want the power that comes from knowing those fucks are an option. No wonder, then, so many oppose “moralizing” around sex.”

    How can people be so heartless? How can people be so cruel?
    Easy to be hard, easy to be cold.
    And especially (men) who care about strangers, who care about evil and social injustice.
    Do you only care about (what suits your dicks)? How about a (hurting woman)?

    (Apologies to one of the best songs and greatest voices of the era, Easy to be Hard from Hair).

  • Rachael

    I’ve been reading this blog for a few weeks now and I just wanted to say hello. Figure this post is as good as any. I’ve always identified as being a feminist but I’ve felt isolated for a long time in some of the views I hold (anti-porn, anti-sex work, anti-objectification of women in media etc.) Stumbling across this blog was like coming home. It makes me so happy to know there are other women out there who feel the same way I do. I’m sick of this faux-feminism floating around, I’m sick of this liberal feminism bullshit about how I’m stuck up or a prude if I don’t think my SO should go to strip clubs.

    I’m just trying to reconcile everything at the moment, I think. It’s a sad, depressing realisation to try to come to terms with the sheer extent and gravity of misogyny and oppression in the world we are living in – and it seems like my peers, on the whole, are doing a whole load of self-oppression and labelling it as empowerment. Way to save the guys some time, right?

    I’m very lucky in that I have a (male) partner who doesn’t watch porn (never has), has never been in a strip club (and never has had any desire to do so) and regularly talks to other men in his workplace about the scale of the issues we are facing with popular media and advertising. And yet still – he’s a white male who has grown up mostly blind to the scale of the problems. As I’ve been educating myself on feminism, and lately reading this blog, I’ve been bringing various topics up with him in conversation, and it’s been tough to see how little notice he has previously given this (and he’s one of the good ones) and how much he is struggling with seeing exactly how bad it is in his hobby of choice (video games). And yet still…still…I feel lonely that he doesn’t get it, lonely he hasn’t grown up with it, and lonely that his desire to play specific games holds weight in his head against his morals. I’m guessing I’m not the only woman reading this blog who has had similar struggles about reconciling this sort of thing when it comes to loving a heterosexual male. Any advice?

    Hope to be able to engage with some of you as I read more posts. Megan – this blog is amazing. Thank you so much for this.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Welcome, Rachael! Many of us can relate to what you are feeling… With regard to your partner, I’m not sure what advice to offer, though I get it… Even the ‘good’ men were still raised as males are in a patriarchal culture and my experience shows that they will never fully ‘get it’. I just constantly struggle with being in intimate relationships with men. Certainly I talk to my partner about all of this and he does listen and try to understand and make changes, but it’s frustrating anyway, just dealing with someone who has experienced male privilege all their life.

  • will

    The use of the term/suffix “phobia” is a manipulative dishonest strategy that preys on ignorance in the same way the Fox news and their Frankenstein’s Monster, Donald Trump does.

    Merriam-Webster defines phobia as “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation”.

    There is nothing inexplicable about critiques of mandatory femininity or the of sex industry. These critiques have been explained very clearly in the most rational of terms. Calling the people who articulate these critiques “phobic” is a cheap and underhanded way to remove attention from the rationale for these positions. The success of these tactics, like the rise of Trump, is dismaying in the extreme.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    I’m disgusted that the CBC continually allowed these women to be ripped apart in their comments sections. They don’t allow comments on other “sensitive” topics but anytime women are concerned, it seems it’s fair game for MRA’s to have a pity party in the comments and CBC mods allow completely disgusting comments to stand.