11 Comments

  1. Pingback: Swingers, Feminism and Social Constructivism – Irene Ogrizek

  2. Whyaxye says

    “So the economic argument that social constructionist often assert—that women participate in the sex trade out of need—simply didn’t apply. In fact, over time I saw that it was not a question of economic need, but of economic desire, and that desire made it easy for some women to trade a private part of themselves for money.”

    Excellent point. And don’t forget that there might also have been other forms of desire – for edginess, pushing the boundaries, and for social acceptability – which are also very far from the “material poverty” argument.

    Overall this is an insightful and timely article – thank you.

  3. So your first point is about the fact that women in sex work isn’t always about economic need. Fair enough. But then you jump to a bunch of hard cases in Toronto – whats the context? Did these cases end up as false accusations? If they did, what do you surmise is their motivation? Why accuse a man of sexual assault?
    You make a point about Hynde’s story and how it was badly received – but while she should certainly be able to tell her story, I find it difficult to agree that she should ‘take responsibility’. Do women in those situations blame themselves? Probably. Is it anticipated? Definitely. But what feminism is fighting is the notion that ‘it should be anticipated’ – in the sense that hey, dangerous men exist and if I hand out with them, well then what was I expecting? Why is it not possible to demand that no, being a rapist should not be the expected mode of certain groups of men?

    • There were three notable trials in Toronto: the trial of broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, the notorious “Twitter Trial” of Gregory Alan Elliott, and the rape trial of Mustafa Ururyar. Ghomeshi and Elliott were exonerated and Ururyar’s case is awaiting the outcome of an appeal. There was also, in Vancouver and more latterly, the firing of Canadian novelist Steven Galloway from the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing program. Galloway was accused of sexual assault and, although his accusers did not take him to court, a judge was asked to conduct an independent inquiry. She found that all the criminal accusations against Galloway were unfounded. (However, she did determine that he had had a 2-year, consensual sexual relationship with the main complainant, who herself was in a long term relationship at the time of the affair. Galloway never denied the affair, by the way.) I’ve written about all of these cases.

    • Well said. And the ‘it should be anticipated’ argument is always made in hindsight. Rape victims are blamed for drinking, what they wear, being alone, what time they were out, accepting a spiked drink, hanging out with dangerous men, etc etc etc. But nobody criticises a woman for not being teetotal, for going out, and so on. It’s expected for women to socialise and have friends. In fact, staying in all the time, never socialising and having no friends is not accepted and is certainly not the norm. So these behaviours are socially mandated- until the woman gets raped. Then she is criticised for following the norm.

    • When you put yourself in bad situations you increase the odds of bad things happening. No amount of whining, cajoling, or hashtagging will change this fact. Hynde realizes this. You don’t but that doesn’t make it one iota less true.

  4. Here is the States, the most dramatic illustration of Irene Ogrizek’s argument was the trial of Stanford freshman Brock Turner’s trial a year ago which bears all the features of a witch hunt. Brock is the one who got screwed, being seduced by an older woman who then wouldn’t take responsibility for creating the seduction.

    • This previous comment was posted by mistake. It is meant to go with the article on feminism and responsibility. There doesn’t appear to be a delete button.

  5. This article lists a lot of self-contradictory and seemingly unrelated points.

    1. My friend tricked me into going to a sex party.
    2. Women (gasp) enjoy sex just as much as men [perhaps an attempt at disproving the radical feminist/social conservative myth that all sex work is trafficking, for which I commend you]
    3. Having said that women have agency, and thereby suggesting that biological constructionism and strict gender roles are not real, the article then seems to end and become the start of a completely different article in which you cast vague aspersions on the testimony of alleged rape victims, without giving any details or explaining why you don’t believe them.
    6. You then seem to suggest that it is (female) rape victims’ fault if they are raped (by males).
    7. After making this point- which is victim-blaming without even the semblance of an ‘argument’ to ‘support’ it, you then seem to negate your previous assertions, saying that Hynde’s words were taken out of context and that the juries who acquitted the rapists you mentioned earlier may have done so out of class jealousy against the women whom you now seem to present as telling the truth after all.
    8. I agree with your conclusion- despite vastly different rates of crime between the sexes, women are generally just as aggressive as men and yes, as fascinating. However the conclusion doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the essay. Nothing you have written suggests women are bad or fascinating. With the Norway thing, you’re apparently suggesting that gender exists and perhaps also then biological determinism. With your expat experience you seem to argue against this point, saying that at least in regard to sex, women are just as sexually driven as men and have agency. The rest is arguing, by alternate turns, for and against believing rape accusers’ testimony in certain Canadian court cases.

    I honestly couldn’t follow this and I find parts of it offensive, for example discounting rape victims’ testimonies without any reason. (Had you provided reasons, that might be different).

Leave a Reply