in one of the zillion new yorker magazines i came home to when i got back to ca, there's an article about human trafficking in moldova. while such trafficking includes men sold into construction work in europe that amounts to indentured servitude, it's mostly about women sold into prostitution. it's fucking mindblowing. but then, when i read another of said stacked magazines, entertainment weekly, and see that grand theft auto 4 gets an A, it all makes sense.
[photo: yeah...not knowing whether to laugh or cry.]
i know GTA is just a fun game to play, but here's a more funner game-- take statements and replace "women" with "black people." eg: "in grand theft auto, you can fuck a black person, and then get extra points by murdering them afterwards." man, now that's an evening spent with playstation that would be worthwhile!
or if you want to play my game on the political spectrum, let's discuss one of my favorite 527s spawned from this election cycle, the anti-Hillary group Citizens United Not Timid (cunt cunt cunt!). now, let's plug it into the game to make it even more hilariouser! how 'bout an anti-obama 527 called National Institute for Government Growing Ever Respected. oh shit, it's the N word y'all! fuck a lot of the C word! (and then be rewarded for killing it afterwards!)
ok, game over. i often tell people that when it comes to identifying with waves of feminism, i'm pretty much a suffragette-- most of my objections with third wave feminism's approach to what amounts to self-objectification, plus a lot more insight that my little brain is not capable of, is expressed ariel levy's "female chauvinist pigs" (read it, ladies and gents!). either way, i am admittedly old school.
the fact remains that, no matter where you fall on the feminist spectrum, we have to remind ourselves that feminism is not a first world problem, nor is it astoundingly complex. you can talk about the madonna effect, vaginal imagery in literature, whether to spell it womyn or wimmin, whatever, but at the end of the day, it comes back to the bumper sticker saying that "feminism is the radical notion that women are people." and in a world where women are depicted in (admittedly addictive) video games as objects one should fuck and kill, can have a valuable and admirable (political) career ignored based on gender, and, most disgustingly, are bought and sold on the black market like pairs of levi's, then that notion is still more radical than it should be.
obviously, my little game doesn't serve to compare the struggles of women and minorities, just to show the level of hatred against women in popular culture to which we've become completely desensitized. when i ran hockey (see photo), i used to tell guys that misogyny is like chlamydia-- a lot of people have it but don't realize until they find themselves checked on it by a doctor. or, in the case of misogyny, by a loud hockey she-commish who wants to know why, in a co-ed league, a grown-ass man has no women on his team (which is why, when you see said photo, you see a bunch of rad ladies [sup, ali! sasha! molly! lady i don't know!] amongst the dudes). so just don't let things like GTA and that hateful 527 go unchecked. because when we get comfortable with those notions, we don't notice where they lead. in the end, it's not just those women in moldova and elsewhere that are robbed of their freedom and their lives; we're all robbed of our humanity.