What’s Current: Naomi Osaka’s victory at US Open marred by sexist treatment of Serena Williams

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • The US Open tournament referee has fined Serena Williams $17,000 over her reactions to the disproportionate and discriminatory calls that may have contributed to her loss in the Grand Slam final to Naomi Osaka. A racist, sexist cartoon about the incident that ran in an Australian newspaper has drawn worldwide condemnation.
  • A male Goldsmiths, University of London lecturer, who professionally goes by both Natacha Kennedy and Mark Hellen, has been revealed as the ringleader of a coordinated effort to blacklist and threaten the employment of female academics who disagree with him on gender identity politics.
  • Gwyn Conger Steinbeck’s newly unearthed memoir describes her husband, the novelist John Steinbeck, as a sadistic womanizer.
  • Over 3,700 Argentinians — mostly women — have applied to be formally disassociated from the Catholic Church because of its campaign to oppose legal abortion in the country.
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) received over 3,000 coat hangers at her office in protest of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • lk

    Re: TIM Mark Helen

    ‘”All the named academics were women.”

    Isn’t that interesting that the academics they focused on reporting were women? I have to wonder if they included biology professors on that list because Im willing to bet that the biology prof are not teaching students that the human race is made up of an infinite number of sexes. And what about classes on human sexuality, lets be sure to fire any teacher who explains to students how humans reproduce (hint: it invovles the evil male/female binary…)

    “Members of the group claimed that the philosophy department of the University of Sussex was “clearly an unsafe environment” because of the presence of Kathleen Stock, a professor who has argued against redefining the category of woman and lesbian to include men.”

    Lol, God knows there is nothing scarier and more dangerous than a female professor/academic calmly stating facts via written and verbal communication.

    TRA’s do not seem to understand that disagreement (especially when supported by actual evidence and silences) is not hatred (nor is it literally killing anyone)..someone writing an academic paper in which they reject that claim that men can become women does not constitute hate speech, by any stretch of the imagination.

    “I have received penis pictures telling me to ‘suck my girl cock’. This is straight-up, aggressive, anti-woman misogyny.”
    I can never not laugh at the phrase girl cock/lady penis: absolute nonsense. Professor Freedman nailed it, transideology masquerades as progressive and open, but its nothing but hatred against women:, shutting women up when we don’t agree, demanding entry into female spaces, demanding that lesbians see biomen as potential romantic partners.

  • Jani

    I was offended by that cartoon on such a visceral level, I can’t put it into words. At less not yet.

    I think there is definitely a prejudice or at least a suspicion of muscular, athletic women but for women of colour there is also this “wild animal” racist stereotype too. Not to mention the “angry” woman prejudice which is ramped up 100x if it’s a black woman. The cartoon is just hideous and completely disrespectful of Serena’s achievements. And FFS, she nearly died in childbirth and yet here she is almost at the top of her game again. Considering all she’s been through, she should be honoured for coming this far, not disrespected by this awful, awful cartoon.

  • Jani

    We don’t all live in the US. Trump is not president of the world.

  • Hekate Jayne

    It doesn’t bother me to be called a terf.

    It is the threats that accompany the word. DIE IN A FIRE, TERF. CHOKE ON MY LADYDICK, TERF. PUNCH A TERF.

    If I had a dime for every time a male called me a name, I would be rich.

    Trannies talk to women like that because they are male. Trannies don’t talk to males like that because a male would punch him or worse.

    Also, women are the recipient of a ton of violence from males. We are not overly sensitive to being called a name. We are sensitive to the very real threat of violence behind it.

    You are blaming women for being sensitive when that is not the issue. But you are male, so of course, you don’t see it. Why would you? You aren’t affected. You never are.

  • Robert Lindsay

    Actually there is a view in Man World that a man who beats his wife is pathetic. He’s a not a man because he is fighting someone who can’t fight back. Bullies are widely hated in Man World, especially by men over 40.

    There is this idea in Man World of “fair fights”, rules for fighting, how an honorable man fights, and pick on someone your own size. A fair fight is man to man, mano a mano. Anything else is pathetic.

    Men who beat women for no good reason violate all of those values of our world.

  • marv

    The cartoon is racist. It presents Ms Williams as an enraged, uncivilized ape. Black people are commonly portrayed as jungle monkeys by self-proclaimed “civilized whites”.

  • marv

    Unequivocally. Wish I could up-vote you more than once.

  • acommentator

    Nobody actually treats them as if they were women, though.

  • Hekate Jayne

    My personal opinion is not to use a weapon.

    The best weapon that I have found is to completely reject our socialization and to make that VERY clear. A male tried to make off with me at a gas station, once, I have told that story before, but the gist of it is that I was aggressive with my body language and tone, and the most important thing was that I made it very clear that I am not afraid to make a scene. I cannot be embarrassed.

    The best courses of action, as you already know, is try not to be alone, be alert and aware, you know, all of the tactics advised to us to avoid male violence (which I just found out recently, are identical to the instructions that were given to soldiers in Vietnam. We are trained to live in a constant, perpetual war zone because OMG MUH PENIS.) But all of that and if a male is going to attempt to hurt you, he is going to do that very thing, no matter how brash, aggressive or proactive we are.

    I was in a restaurant parking lot a week or 2 ago on on off time, it was about 10:30 a.m., it’s a place I go about once weekly. I was carrying a pizza, I was hangry, and I wasn’t paying attention. I got into my low to the ground Toyota and was adjusting my food onto the passenger seat, my left leg hanging out of the car. I hear a male saying “honey” a couple of times, I didnt even realize that he was talking to me and I didn’t see him until he got my attention by screaming HONEY while he was blocking me in, standing over me, one hand on my car door and the other on my roof. I am almost 5 feet 2, 120 pounds. This dude had at least a foot on me, and at least 70 pounds.

    I had 3 or 4 immediate thoughts. The first being DAMN, I really wanted this pizza. The second was the burgers that I had gotten at burger king for my dogs weekly treat were not going to make it to them and then I wondered how long it would take for my husband to realize that something was wrong, we share a car, what would he do, he would be stranded. Every single one of those was from sheer fear.

    Suddenly, I was enraged. All of this was a space of less than 5 seconds. I wasn’t even mad at him, I was mad at myself for allowing myself to walk around as if we aren’t surrounded by fucking predators. I was mad because he knew exactly what he was doing, approaching me in a parking lot, putting his disgusting male hands onto my fucking car while my head was at the level of his dick, in a much lower position and not a soul around. And I was enraged that if a male had been with me, he would not be doing whatever he was doing.

    Toby. I lost my religion. He was calling me honey, and I yelled BACK. UP. And I repeated it loudly and moved to get out of the car, He was so shocked that I wasn’t being demure and dainty, that he did it. Slowly, but still. Then he said something like “damn, girl, I was just going to ask you for a dollar” or something like that. I rolled my eyes and almost laughed. At which point I told him to go and ask a male for money. And then he told me that I was a fucking cunt while I got into my car and left.

    He just wanted money, but I didn’t know that. The last time I gave a male the benefit of a doubt, he sexually assaulted me. But my point is that most of the time, males are cowards. That’s the whole reason that they sneak around, sneak up behind us to grab us, or whatever. The most important thing is to be as aggressive with your tone, your words, your body language, be loud, make it very clear with your voice and actions that you are capable of being very noisy and really inconvenient. Your body and your attitude are your best weapon. The look on their face is hilarious, so, BONUS.

    At any rate, I think that stun guns may be illegal, I definitely wouldn’t go that route, and have you ever sprayed pepper spray? I test sprayed my canister outside, onto the sidewalk, and the 3 of us just standing around were affected by it. If you do use that, test it to make sure it sprays properly and to see if it will affect you.

    Also, with a stun gun, it is electric current. I don’t know this for sure, but if you touch a person with current moving through them, doesn’t it get you, too?

    I carry a nail file. It is pointy. I am small, so to do any damage, I have to be on a dude directly. I can’t get into any trouble for carrying a weapon that way and it’s not likely to be used against me. I am not aiming to kill a male, I am aiming to shock and distract so I can run. I think that a nail file embedded into his neck or thigh or Whatever will buy me 2 or 3 seconds to run. I keep it in my pocket. I got the idea when I left a nail file on the couch and Mr. Jayne sat on it. It went pretty far into his leg, without much force. Also, I may have sharpened the tip a little.

    Have you thought about a gun? I wouldn’t go that route, but some women do, and I don’t blame them.

    • Tobysgirl

      Great reply! Stun guns aren’t illegal where I live or where I would be going. Catalogues list the states they cannot send them to. I have always been the sort of woman you describe physically, which is why I have never been afraid of confronting men when they are getting aggressive with another woman. I am much larger than you are even when I was not fat as I am now. Size does have something to do with it; my mother was 5’2″ and got a lot of shit I have never had to deal with being 4 to 5 inches taller, but my mother was fierce and taught me to be fierce.
      I am so sorry for what you have had to deal with. Where I live, men in public are very nice to me, running to open doors, being generally helpful. Don’t ask me why! I come across as very sweet, very Suzy Sunshine, but can switch in a second to an intimidating persona.
      What you do with the nail file I learned in self-defense class in 1971 to do with keys. Always cross the parking lot to your car with your key grasped in your hand and one key sticking out between your fingers. I always use a cane now and realized that if I ever had to deal with a man in the women’s toilets I’d have to restrain myself from bashing him with it!

    • Tobysgirl

      P.S. My sister’s husband gave her a holster and two six-guns and she carried one of them under her seat when she drove to crafts shows by herself. She also put her long hair up under a man’s hat when she drove alone. But she lived in Kentucky at the time and even her husband was run off the road for driving a furrin truck. My dog(s) have always been my best protection; there’s nothing like a German shepherd in the back seat if one runs into assholes who want to play games on the road.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yeah, I feel like big dogs are the best way to feel safe, alone at home or out alone at night… I live in the city, in a busy area, so don’t feel the need, so much, because I’m surrounded by people I know, and also you can’t really have a big dog in the city/in a small apartment, but it’s a great deterrent to predators. Men won’t even break into an apartment if they know there is a big dog living there.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Dworkin said it best when she said males on the right treat us like garbage because GOD and males on the left do it because NATURE or science. They all hate us for their own uselessness and worthlessness.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I agree they hate it when we stand up for ourselves.

    Males demand that we do one specific thing. Caretaking. Males created femininity, it’s just caretaking. Taking care of “their” house, taking care of “their” kids, taking care of their dirty clothes, their feelings, and most importantly, their sad little dicks.

    When we stand up for ourselves, we aren’t taking proper care of their feefees. Their delicate feefees demand that we never get mad, or say no, or show any discomfort. Because in order for males to be happy, our caretaking must come with a smile.

    Males very narrowly define who we are supposed to be. They can’t imagine us as human. Our humanity doesn’t benefit them. And everything must be about them.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Yes, it’s routine behavior here. I just posted in another thread about how males publicly beat their wives and girlfriends here, and the males will not get involved or help a woman being beaten. That usually happens late at night, and I don’t go out at night, as a rule.

    That incident with the guy getting in front of me in line was 5 or 6 years ago. It’s been a while. He was on a cell phone, too. I waa too afraid to say anything to him, at the time. It would be a very different outcome if he did that to me now, though.

    My MIL lives in NH, I am in the deep South. Since Trump has been in office, these knuckle dragging mouth breathing males are braver. I can actually feel the shift.