What’s Current: Witches plan public hexing of Brett Kavanaugh in Brooklyn

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

  • A group of witches are inviting people to a bookstore in Brooklyn on October 20th to participate in a public hexing of Brett Kavanaugh. The event description explains:

“Please join us for a public hex on Brett Kavanaugh and upon all rapists and the patriarchy which emboldens, rewards and protects them. We will be embracing witchcraft’s true roots as the magik of the poor, the downtrodden and disenfranchised and it’s history as often the only weapon, the only means of exacting justice available to those of us who have been wronged by men just like him.”

  • Under the leadership of Doug Ford, the Ontario conservatives are disbanding an expert panel to end violence against women, which was established by the previous provincial government to advise on policy.
  • India is considering revising laws on sexual harassment in light of women speaking out against abuse in recent weeks. The government is currently weighing different proposals to tackle workplace harassment after women’s rights groups complained that existing laws are inadequate.
  • The Women’s March is being targeted in an elaborate Facebook scam. Networks of Facebook pages that appear to be run by local Women’s March organizers are actually being run from Bangladesh. They are promoting the wrong date for the 2019 Women’s March.
  • An investigation published by the British Medical Journal shows that medical professionals who tested vaginal mesh implants were paid millions by Johnson & Johnson to “come up with even better test results,” leading surgeons to quickly adopt the questionable procedure. Vaginal mesh implants have been revealed to have caused chronic pain, infection, painful sex, and genital tearing in thousands of women.
Meghan McCarty

Meghan McCarty is an undergraduate student and aspiring journalist living in the United States.

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  • OldPolarBear

    There is a scathing documentary on Netflix titled “The Bleeding Edge.” They cover several medical devices, including the mesh implants. There are I think four different segments on four different medical devices. Another one was remote-operated robotic surgery machines; there has been a lot of hype and promotion of them. One problem is aggressively marketing these to hospitals and clinics and then providing almost no training to the doctors and they make ghastly botch-ups. Many of the victims are women and some of the first-person accounts of survivors are horrifying. They do show how a lot of the women started using social media to find other victims and get organized and sue and go to Congress, etc.

    Check out “The Bleeding Edge” on Netflix
    https://www.netflix.com/title/80170862?s=i&trkid=13752289

    • Hanakai

      This is so. Companies are always introducing new expensive technologies and sometimes the doctors do not even read the manufacturer’s specs and recommendations for use before using an implement surgically.

      In the USA, iatrogenic (doctor-caused) mortalities are the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and cancer. The best thing that you can do is take care of yourself, of your body and mind, eat right, exercise, keep a happy mood, listen to your body, and avoid doctor intervention as much as possible. If something goes wrong, consider is something short of surgery can be done to correct the condition.

      Some of the new medical technologies are amazing. I think of Cyberknife, for example. But a lot of new technologies are basically just being tried out, the people are guinea pigs, and sometimes the interventions do a lot of harm. Sometimes a surgery is necessary, say to cut out an operable tumor, and save lives, but surgery shoudl be undertaken with caution, seriously. People die even of simple surgeries: Kanye West’s mom died of a liposuction, Joan Rivers of a facial cosmetic procedure, people die of hemorrhoidectomies.

      There is a Jimmy Buffett song where he sings about attending a convention of surgeons in Florida and the surgeons are getting drunk and talking BS and acting like rutting cocks, and a line in the song goes, “I’ll never let them cut on me.”

      Take care of your health, it is the greatest wealth.

      • therealcie

        I seek out help from modern medicine, but in the end, they are not all-knowing although they tend to behave as if they are. Without insulin, I’d be dead. However, if I’d listened to them and continued to take SSRI’s in spite of the fact that they caused me to become manic and psychotic, I’d either be dead or institutionalized.
        Another current horror that modern medicine likes to inflict on vulnerable people is stomach amputation (aka weight loss surgery.) I have a friend whose wife died because of WLS. I have many online acquaintances with horror stories about what WLS did to their lives, including malnutrition, dumping syndrome, and explosive diarrhea. None of those sound like a good thing.
        Then again, trepanning and thalidomide were great medical breakthroughs which helped many patients.
        Oh…wait.

  • Jani

    I’d love to have your optimism! I fear the world has made me way too cynical.

  • will

    “Men want easy victims who do not fight or give them a hard time and many predators are good at reading who they can intimidate.”

    Absolutely. I was raped and assaulted and harassed when I was younger and at that time I was extremely passive and put all of my energy into being caring and gentle. When a man abused me, I would smile and try to “reach” him – to encourage and nurture his humanity. (Gahhhhhh!) It did not do any good.

    Then I got mad and got a “Do not fuck with me” edge and it made a big difference. Anger and the ability to dismantle what needs dismantling/destruction are also pieces of ourselves that we need to integrate. Ghandi was all well and fine, but that success required that thousands of people be willing to sacrifice their lives to make explicit the violence.

    I’d rather live and fight.

    • FierceMild

      Gahndi didn’t include the best interest of women among his concerns:
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jan/27/mohandas-gandhi-women-india

      • will

        Thank you for the link, FierceMild.

    • unfashionable

      “I’d rather live and fight.”

      Yes! Thank you for this post, will.

      I think you have to be willing to risk your life or bodily integrity if you’re going to resist male violence, whether with violence or nonviolent techniques. It’s partly that willingness that makes us register visually as dangerous or effective. It can discourage them from aggressing in the first place.

      Also, actual competence as a street fighter causes you to look subtly dangerous — and makes you safer. Sometimes simply being feared is the best you can do.

      It’s useful to remember that even if your aggressor is stronger or bigger, he has many vulnerable parts, and unexpected injury or pain will often discourage him — eye, groin, nose, instep, finger (it doesn’t bend backwards without damage), knee (it doesn’t flex sideways without damage). Luckily you have your own weaponizable body parts — teeth, elbows, knees, thumb (good fit for eye), toes and heels (enhanced with appropriate footwear).

      Practice at a martial arts gym will help. Instruction will help. An actual weapon may help.

  • will

    Maybe coming together in collective prayer/intention/hexing can have a positive effect on our own individual ability and willingness to take action. I think it can make us stronger for the fight, but it is not the fight.

  • Marian

    The Wicca code states: Do no harm (An it harm none do what ye will.)

    • FierceMild

      Wiccans aren’t the only ones who hex.

  • DeColonise

    Dogmatic pacifism is dangerous in the sense that it rarely achieves anything.

  • Tobysgirl

    Actually, all those “nasty looking things” look like the floor of my woodlands. You never know what you’ll find out there!

  • Tobysgirl

    My petite Republican aunt also punched someone who tried to sexually assault her and it apparently worked. Men do not expect women to react violently, and rapists want to see fear in your eyes not violence. Your last sentence says it all.

  • therealcie

    Maybe there are enough pissed-off goddesses who will help this hex to work. We can always hope.
    I’m an open minded agnostic who has seen some shit myself. I enjoyed reading your perspective.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      Thanks! I enjoyed your input. I won’t assume the will of any deities, but I know there are many Goddesses and Gods alike who would likely aid in such efforts, yes. The Goddess I follow, I’m certain, is one of those. I’m glad that you’ve seen shit too. That always helps in accepting these things.

  • therealcie
  • Robert Gonzalez

    LMAO I wish. I haven’t done it myself, but I’ve considered it against my own rapist, for instance. I do hear that it can come with a price of some kind to anyone who issues them and that they are never to be taken lightly. It depends on your spiritual belief system, however. Curses were traditionally used by disadvantaged groups, like Blacks in Haiti and in the Old South of the United States, for example. They were also used by indigenous peoples in North and South America. I have some Yaqui tribe relatives that swear by its power. I realize how crazy this all sounds, especially to any Atheists here, but there’s definitely something to “magic.” Some of the recent work I’ve done has actually manifested entities that I could see and feel. It scared the shit out of me and my animals, at first, but you get used to it. It’s nothing like Hollywood likes to paint it.

  • will

    Thank you shy virago. 🙂

    Yes, Ghandi the man is not coherent with Ghandi the myth. Arundhati Roy blows up that mythology in her amazing book Walking With the Comrades. I highly recommend it.

  • will

    Yes, I hear you on walking in public. I have lived in both Toronto and Vancouver. I was actually stalked in Toronto and went through a period of terror when this man was watching my house and including information about my movements and activities when he made his obscene phone calls to me (it was during the Jane Doe rapes in the 1980s).

    Despite that, even then as I do now, I cannot deal with a socially imposed curfew. I’d rather take the risk than feel I live in a cage. It fills me with such rage that I figure, if some male terrorist (the men who harass and assault and kill us in public spaces are terrorists) chooses me as his victim, I will not go down without doing some serious damage to my perpetrator.

  • Tobysgirl

    It sounds to me as though you’re speaking about personal negative experiences (which we have all had, though some have had much, much worse experiences, especially being betrayed within the family). Anger to me is what we experience when someone steps over our boundaries and it is meant to signal to us that we need to exert those boundaries. I don’t believe in being happy and well-adjusted, and it seems that your efforts toward that goal did not succeed. You might like reading Joko, a Buddhist teacher; she is very good about our trying to remake ourselves. I follow her teachings which emphasize being aware of EVERYTHING. In being aware of everything, including everything going on within ourselves, we can grow beyond the limitations imposed on us by our families and society.