Pussy Riot: whose freedom, whose riot?

Recently there has been lots of noise around the arrest of three members of Pussy Riot, a Russian anarchist female punk band. The media almost unequivocally represented them as the modern heroines of our time, fighting for freedom, democracy, sexual liberation and peace against a dark and ruthless dictatorship (articles are to be found in the NYT, Le Monde. The Guardian, etc.) Feminist groups all over the Western world are sending links and petitions to “free pussy riot”, and demonstrations have even been organised in support of the group by big institutionalised organisations such as “Osez le féminisme” (dare to be a feminist).

Now while I support without ambiguity the liberation of Pussy Riot’s members, it’s worth pausing for a minute to ask ourselves, as radical feminists, what the political dynamics are here. Why would Western media denounce so passionately the repression of feminists in Russia, when it usually only diffuses information that supports male supremacy and patriarchy? Feminism has long disappeared from any malestream media, except when journalists can turn it into male masturbation material, that is pornify either our suffering or our resistance to it. What’s going on here?

Before learning more about the case, the first thing that made me frown was the fact progressives were hailing Pussy Riot as the “new feminists”, despite that their name is fairly insulting to women. It is certainly not apolitical, since we are in a context in which pornography has deeply colonised our movement and the only groups that the media presents as feminist are those that either insult us or reclaim the very instruments of our subordination, that is, male sexual violence, PIV, pornified femininity and all the associated harmful cultural practices. These tactics of destroying the meaning of feminism form part of a general worldwide backlash against women.

I found it suspicious that Pussy Riot was getting so much media attention, even for pseudo feminist standards. You can measure the degree of feminism of an action by how men react to it, and if men collectively cheer and celebrate it, then you can be pretty sure there’s something wrong about it, or that it doesn’t somehow support our liberation from men. And as far as I can recall, even the slutwalks didn’t get as much coverage or public appraisal. What was it that men liked so much about Pussy Riot?

Well, under closer inspection I discovered that the high level of coverage was related to – though indirectly – promoting men’s right to women’s sexual subordination and the pornification of our movement. The arrested women actually form part (and are victims of) a mixed anarchist group called “Voina” (meaning “war”), founded in 2007 by two men called Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaïev, who regularly engage the women in extreme and degrading women-hating pornography as part of their public “political stunts”. Some of Voina’s men have actually already been incarcerated in 2011 for hooliganism – which is punished for 7 years of prison in Russia, but their bail was paid for by an artist named “Banksy” four months after their imprisonment. (More information can be found here and here)

Included in their anti-government actions are a “public orgy” in the national museum of biology in a room full of stuffed bears, where several men anally penetrated their female partners in a position of submission, including one heavily pregnant women, as a metaphor to “bugger/fuck Medvedev”. “Medved” means “bear”, hence all the stuffed bears – this was meant to be symbolic, artistic and revolutionary according to the activists. Here the male anarchists literally used women as dead bodies or receptacles through which to make a political point to other men. Violating women as a means to offend other men is nothing else but an age-old patriarchal mechanism – behind which the intended target are us, for men to bond over our annihilation.

Another planned stunt in the name of “sexual freedom”, inspired by extreme forms of pornography such as zoophilia/ necrophilia, includes a member of Pussy Riot masturbating with a dead chicken in a supermarket under the watch and camera of the anarchist males, after which she inserts the dead chicken entirely into her vagina and hobbles with the chicken inside her out of the supermarket. This is how the male members themselves describe their act of “liberation”:

“How to Snatch a Chicken: A Tale of How One Cunt fed the Whole of the Group Voina… in honor of their hero, a 19th century political philosopher/prisoner, Voina’s president’s wife dubbed “Vacuous Cunt With Inconceivably Huge Tits,” smuggled a chicken out of a grocery store in said “Vacuous Cunt…” [the journalist comments] : First, the troupe searched for a large and fresh enough chicken. Then, the store isles and CCTV cameras were blocked by the members of the group holding up banners with “FUCK WHORING YOURSELF!” smeared on them in I-don’t-want-to-know-what. The blockade allowed Vacuous Cunt to promptly stuff and smuggle the poultry out of the store, which was then presumably cooked and eaten.[1]

The president is presumably Oleg, and the woman in question, apparently his wife – a situation which would qualify as domestic abuse and sexual slavery given the level of violence, women-hatred and humiliation directed at the women involved. The woman is reduced to a corpse to be ‘stuffed’ in the most degrading and insulting way. No woman would desire such things as inserting a dead chicken in her vagina in public were she not under heavy control and terror. Also of note is the fact that one of their children was brought to this stunt, visibly no older than four. Sexual exhibitionism in the presence of children may also qualify as child sexual abuse. How deeply has women-hatred sunk into men’s minds, that they are incapable of imagining a riot without it being a by-the-book copy of a gonzo porn film? Here again, we see men instrumentalising women and using sexual torture of women as a means to communicate a political message (which if not totally vacuous, communicates nothing other than their hatred of women).

Perhaps the most saddening action of all consisted in filming one of the women naked, covered in cockroaches, meant to be understood as “sexy”. The association of women to filth and parasites to be eliminated couldn’t be clearer. This is women-hating, genocidal propaganda at its most dangerous form. Voina’s men give the world to see where women’s place must be, even when fighting against authoritarian regimes: head down, underneath men and fucked by them.

Now what does this mean for us, what can be understood from the media’s silence about Voina’s pornographic exploitation of women, when all the attention is focused on promoting Pussy Riot as our modern heroines? The effect and intent is political. While all the public eyes are set on the Russian representatives of the state and religion as the ultimate fascists, dictators and machos, we are made to forget that the primary oppressors and tyrants of these particular women are the men closest to them, that is, Voina’s men and their use of pornography to demean, oppress and enslave their female comrades. They are their everyday police, the fascists and colonisers breaking the women’s resistance, occupying their souls, sentencing them to public humiliation and subordinating them through sexual abuse. We are made to forget that these women are doubly victimised: first victims of the violence by the men of their own group, they are then punished and held responsible for the abuse committed against them.

By holding Pussy Riot as examples of resistance, being silent about the pornographic violence and denouncing the state and religious authority as the only oppressor, it follows that the media is complicit with the men from Voina. It protects the anarchist’s individual impunity, and more generally, furthers all men’s interest in promoting rape and women-hating propaganda. It also prevents women in general from identifying men’s sexual violence and the harms of the penis as the primary agents of our oppression. It distracts and disgusts women away from feminism. What kind of dignity and respect for our movement can women have if the only models of resistance given to us by the media are those to be seen by millions of men as humiliated, soiled and degraded in this way? Even the most brave and valiant women, who fight bare handed and alone against Putin and the religious authority, must be shown by men to the world as surrendering and conquered.

If we want justice for the women imprisoned and to show true solidarity, we need to not only denounce the injustice by the Russian state, but also denounce the violence by the men from Voina. We need to recognise and openly denounce the pandemic levels of sexual violence present in most male-centric leftist or anarchist activist groups, whereby women are often pimped by the men of the group for pornography or expected to submit to extremely violent or degrading acts in the name of “sexual freedom”. What counts for these men is to fight for men’s total public access to women, especially militant women, because it really serves to put all women back in line. The weapon of mass destruction against women is the penis and this is why all men are focusing on making Putin look bad while they say nothing about the bastards of Voina.

For our sisters, for all women, we need to say out loud that this is not feminism.

— republished with permission from Radfem HUB

[1]http://www.animalnewyork.com/2010/voinas-latest-action-is-fowl/ (Warning! Pornographic still image included in this link.)

SPLC follows up on MRA concerns, finds them ‘ridiculous’ and ‘willfully obtuse’

Today, in what might best be described as a hilariously disinterested gnat-swatting aimed at the tirelessly annoying MRAs generally and Paul Elam specifically, the Southern Poverty Law Center has issued a followup to its earlier expose of the violent Men’s Rights Movement.

Journalist Arthur Goldwag writes for the SPLC’s Hatewatch blog that the inclusion of the MRA movement in the most recent edition of the SPLC’s quarterly publication “The Year in Hate and Extremism” (Issue 45, Spring 2012) “provoked a tremendous response among men’s rights activists (MRAs) and their sympathizers.”

MRAs around the world apparently whined, complained and flooded the SPLC with letters demanding that the SPLC retract its statements, or alternatively, that it also investigate radical feminists as a hate group.  How either action — particularly the latter one — would prove that the MRAs were innocent, legitimate, nonviolent politickers (and didn’t hate women) was not made clear, but one is certainly left with the impression that the MRAs aren’t that smart, or alternatively, that they are well-versed in the political arts of misdirection and sleight of hand.

Or possibly both.

For his followup piece, an investigation into whether the MRAs’ accusations against radical feminists are true — specifically, that there exists a global radical feminist criminal conspiracy to commit worldwide violence against boys and men (all 3.5 billion of them) — Goldwag interviewed Baltimore lesbian activist Cathy Brennan, apparently asking her whether she personally hated men, and what she thought of Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto.

Of course, even if true, individual admissions of man-hating, and what anyone personally believes about one 40-page booklet — even if it’s positive — are not highly probative of radical feminists’ political position, or indicative of radical feminists’ political power and standing to carry out acts of global violence, including gendercide against boys and men.  (Hint: we have no such power or standing.  Because patriarchy.)

Goldwag’s investigation did reveal that some feminists “say hurtful things about men,” and that some feminists do “hate men,” but he ultimately concludes that there is no feminist conspiracy to commit any crime against men, let alone a global conspiracy to commit widespread acts of violence against males — all 3.5 billion of them — as the MRAs had reported in their letters to the SPLC.

Goldwag also noted — correctly — that while the MRAs are fantasizing about imagined or future acts of gendered violence against boys and men, there is a current, existing, real-life war being waged by men against girls and women, or what the Economist has dubbed a “Worldwide War on Baby Girls.”  Global acts of gendercide do exist, but they are perpetrated against girls and women to further patriarchal interests, not against boys and men to further women’s interests.

In the end, Goldwag correctly concludes that to characterize radical feminist dialog — even our private conversations where, presumably, the worst of the worst uncensored man-hating might be found — “as a well-developed plan, as Elam and his colleagues do, is not only ridiculous, it is willfully obtuse.”

Indeed, ridiculous and willfully obtuse would seem to be a fair representation of the MRAs claims about women and feminists, and, surely to the chagrin of the MRAs, the SPLC’s previous statements made about the Men’s Rights Movement were not retracted.

Interestingly, this investigation, such as it was, into the aims of radical feminism and various unrelated radical feminist forums doesn’t even appear to have been important — or revealing — enough of anything to warrant inclusion in the SPLC’s upcoming quarterly publication.  Instead, the article was published on the SPLC’s blog, and will presumably move further and further down the page until it disappears entirely.

Meanwhile, the MRAs have earned what they ultimately received — a prominent expose of their virulent misogyny and acts of egregious violence perpetrated in the name of their movement, permanently documented in an esteemed, real-life publication that will be around forever, which the SPLC expressly stands behind, and which has not been and will not be retracted.

And that, as they say, is that.

Footnote to “teeth-pulling bitch” story: much like the concept of ‘misandry’ itself, the story is false

Revealing what appears to have been an example of global journalistic malpractice — and misogyny — involving some of the world’s most esteemed mainstream news outlets, msnbc.com reported Tuesday that its own basic investigation into the “teeth-pulling ex-girlfriend” story has revealed the story was a hoax.

Apparently, Britain’s Daily Male first printed the story without bothering to perform even cursory fact-checking; regardless, the story was picked up and circulated by Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, MSN, the New York Post, and The New York Daily News and Australia’s Herald Sun and New Zealand Herald among others.

Msnbc.com reports,

when msnbc.com contacted police in Wroclaw, Poland, about the supposed criminal case, a spokesman said they had no record of such an incident.

“Lower Silesia Police Department has not been notified about such an event and is not investigating such a case,” Pawel Petrykowski of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Wroclaw said in an email that was translated into English.

A legal adviser for Poland’s Chamber of Physicians and Dentists, which handles disciplinary matters, said the organization is not investigating and has never investigated any such case, and added that there is no dental practitioner named Anna Maćkowiak listed in Poland’s central register of dentists.

“No information about this kind of misconduct has been provided to the Supreme Chamber,” the legal advisor, Marek Szewczyński, said in an email. “The Supreme Chamber is also not aware of any actions of this kind being taken by the Regional Chamber of Physicians and Dentists in Wroclaw, which would be the competent authority in case of a possible professional misconduct committed by a dental practitioner from Wroclaw.”

[…]

The American Dental Association’s national spokesperson, David Johnson Jr., said the story of Maćkowiak’s revenge was highly improbable — not just as an unprecedented abuse of the doctor-patient relationship but because most dentists are equipped to administer drugs only for conscious sedation dentistry. That would mean the ex-boyfriend would know his teeth were being extracted as it was happening, rather than realizing it after he arrived home.

Why wasn’t this most cursory of fact checking and referencing performed before the story was printed?  Well, when asked that very question, the Daily Male staff writer under whose byline the story was originally written, Simon Tomlinson, said

he does not know where the story came from and distanced himself from it when questioned about its origins.  “I’ve drawn a bit of a blank,” he said in an email. “The (Daily) Mail Foreign Service, which did the piece for the paper, is really just an umbrella term for copy put together from agencies. My news desk isn’t sure where exactly it came from.”

This, after the story was shared more than 75,000 times on Facebook since it was first published on April 27, and after having spawned thousands of misogynistic comments on online news sites none of which have been removed, although most of the online news sources who reported this story have since issued retractions.  Gee, how civil of them.

Interestingly enough, the link to the original story at the Daily Male is now a dead link: they have removed the article entirely rather than print a retraction in the header and leaving the article — and comments — intact, like the other outlets did.  Comments like this from Huff Po:

Women + MAN = LOVE
Women + MAN – Love = Heartache and Pain for you Buddy , because we all know women are some unstable CREATURES .

More-so if I was the judge I would make it a condition of her parole or probation that she must have all of her teeth removed. As well as consficate (sic) ever last thing she owned to pay his multimillion lawsuit and her license removed.

The tone of this article is massively inappropriate. To imply sympathy with this kind of behavior strikes me as incredibly misandric and offensive as a man.  If a male dentist had done this you would be rightfully indignant. Have some class Huffington Post.

That last part made me laugh and laugh.  The tone of the article wasn’t sympathetic enough to the man: the fake, hypothetical man to whom this never happened wasn’t treated kindly enough by Huff Po, demonstrating misandry.  And if the sexes were reversed, the result would have been different.

Indeed, the result probably would have been different: in reality, if a male dentist had allegedly abused a woman this way, it might not have been reported at all.  What news outlet has either the space or a single crap to give to reporting on every egregious abuse, breach of professional ethics, act of sexual violence or human rights violation men perpetrate on women every day?  It never would’ve been reported at all, and would never have had the chance to be picked up and circulated globally.

Even if it were true, it never even would have been reported, let alone circulated globally.  Because there is too much male violence against women to even report.  See how that works?

And of course, if the sexes were reversed, it would have been assumed from the beginning to be a hoax.  If after being fact-checked thoroughly the story checked out and it wasn’t technically a hoax of the journalistic kind, it would’ve still been scrutinized and assumed to be a hoax of the lying-bitch kind, perpetrated by the woman herself, who would have been assumed to have been lying about all of it, including who had done that to her, under what circumstances, and why.

In reality, Huff Po — and the entire global mainstream news industry — demonstrates egregious misogyny here, not misandry, not to mention revealing for the entire world to see that its journalistic ethics are of the bankrupt kind: without demonstrating even the most basic care regarding whether this story was even true, it printed it anyway, and let the entire world believe that a woman had terribly abused a man in a way that was sure to draw the most vile woman-hatred imaginable, and condemnation of women as a sexual class.

In fact, one is left with the impression that this was the goal the entire time.  If it wasn’t “intentional-intentional,” the result — a global orgy of misogynistic woman-bashing and condemnation of women as a sexual class — was foreseeable enough that intent can and should be presumed.

This was intentional.  Which is to be expected, of course, considering that mainstream news reporting is, in actuality, the thinnest of covers for a global misogynistic pro-patriarchal propaganda machine.

If the world were a safe and sane place for women, the global news industry would never recover its credibility after this, but of course it’s not, and it will.  Because credible and male are synonyms, you see.  The global, male-centric mainstream news industry’s “credibility” was never lost and it never will be, any more than an apple can lose its appleness, or a tangerine can cease being tangerine-y.  They will recover.  But we mustn’t ever forget what we are dealing with, when it comes to the global media, and its treatment of us.

As if most of us even could.

Also reported at Radfem-ological Images.

French feminists protest abrogation of anti-sexual harassment law

Men usually make the law for themselves, and apply it at their whim. They especially decide not to apply them when it comes to the laws that were written at feminists’ demand to protect us from male violence.  And when they find out that they can’t skip the law so easily after all, well, one of the guys only has to lift a finger to change it or get rid of it, so to reestablish unconditional impunity.

Since a French law against sexual harassment was passed in 1992 (modeled on the US law that was pushed through by Catharine MacKinnon) the European association against sexual violence against women at work (AVFT)[1], based in Paris, has been relentlessly fighting for the past 20 years to get the law redefined because it didn’t do justice to victims and was almost useless in punishing the abusers. Cases were almost systematically dropped, the law was generally used as a way to downgrade greater crimes or offenses such as rapes or sexual assaults and the imprecision of the law allowed its application to be very restrictive, which made it difficult if not impossible to recognize most of what constituted sexual harassment in the first place (in particular verbal “propositions”, comments on body, demeaning sexualized language, non-verbal actions such as mimicking sexual acts, imposing pornographic images and physical gestures such as touching the hair, legs, waist, or imposing massages, etc.)[2]

Now, former secretary of the state and former MP, Gérard Ducray, after being condemned for sexual harassment in 2011 (in fact a sexual assault downgraded into sexual harassment by the court), unhappy about being punished for what he called “attitudes of seduction”, has appealed the decision of the court and showed up to some of his pals at the constitutional council (C.C.)[3] to demand an immediate abrogation, on the grounds that the imprecision gave way to unjustly condemning “admissible flirting”[4].  His demand was judged serious enough to be transmitted to the C.C. in February 2012.

The AVFT, which intervenes as civil party for hundreds of victims of sexual harassment every year, knows for a fact that the exact opposite is true: the law has been more helpful in protecting the harassers than the victims. Also, Marilyn Baldec, delegate for the AVFT, warned that “the immediate abrogation would result in the nullification of all procedures in course while creating a judicial void for the victims and guaranteeing total impunity for the harassers”.[5]

So, what did the constitutional council decide to do? Well, abrogate the law! The decision took force last Friday, May the 4th.

The clique (er , C.C., aka the “sages”) who stood up like one single man to support their poor persecuted pal: not many women in there.

What a highly specialized, competent judicial European-level organization never achieved in twenty years of lobbying and in the name of thousands if not millions of women, one single man, in less than a year and after being condemned for sexual harassment – managed to abrogate the law, just because he said so. No years of lobbying, no endless demonstrations needed!

Now, although this outcome may have been predictable, you can bet that many of us feminists were furious. This meant a backlash in 20 years in terms of protection of women from male violence at work and also meant sending a grand message of impunity to all harassers and abusers of France.

This is what the news represented for some of the victims who now face an abysmal judicial void: (testimonies collected by the AVFT)[6]:

“We talk about license to kill, well – this is a real license to hunt”

“What’s sage about them apart from the title?”

“What am I going to do now, I’ve lost everything. My harasser is strutting about since this morning, I’ve just understood why, it’s horrible”

“This is revolting”

“I feel emptied; I came to France because I thought women were protected here”

“I’m not revolted, I feel sick, I’ve been fighting 5 years for nothing”.

“I think there are no words to define what this judicial void means to me, we think things evolve at least a bit but then we get a massive slap in the face with this violent backlash, long live France, I’m sorry for myself and for all women”

“This judicial void makes me feel dizzy”

“I’m ashamed of my country”

“It’s as if nothing existed, everything is nullified”

“It can’t be possible!! So then what? Are we clearly saying to men, to bosses etc, come on guys grope me it’s allowed by the law”

“I have a feeling of hate and revolt, it hurts, it’s a whole part of my life that’s going to vanish, I might as well do justice by myself, I had to put up my own business and work for myself so to avoid men, I’m shocked, I don’t know what to say anymore, it really hurts”

“I’m not well, I’m panicking; he must be having fun with his friends right now”

“I was on the verge of suicide”

“All my money has gone in this trial which will be cancelled”

“I imagined him jubilating, it was unbearable”

“It was the end of one hell and the beginning of another”

Immediately after the abrogation, the AVFT and other organizations (World March of Women, Femmes Solidaires and the National Collective for Women’s Rights (CNDF)) called for a demonstration the following day, Saturday March the 5th in Paris at 11 am. Around 300 feminists gathered that morning. Just before the end of the demonstration though, the group was still so full of anger that they decided to march off to the nearest police station to file a complaint against the president of the constitutional council, Jean-Louis Debré, for the motive of deliberately putting victims in danger and disrupting public order. Four women representatives of the organizations went in the police office and meanwhile they could hear the others waiting outside, shouting slogans against rape at the entrance of the police station.

Here’s a video of the women coming out of the police station brandishing a copy of the complaint: it was all very moving (video in French):

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

While as a radical feminist, one can debate as to whether asking men to ‘please stop raping and please write laws so you could stop raping’ is an efficient way to bring down men’s dominance over women, collective acts of revolt that directly attack a powerful man in a powerful institution in the name of thousands of women and against men’s sexual violence are inspiring and invigorating.  It sends the hopeful message that feminism hasn’t completely been requisitioned by men and their slutified, perverse repackaging of patriarchal ideologies they relentlessly promote to women through their media.

Perhaps more importantly, and this is where radical feminism can and should be used to inform any pro-woman political platform, the use of explicit language detailing the horrors men perpetrate on women and the consequences of this to girls and women — and eschewing euphemisms and male-centric issue framing that fail to name the agent of harm — is known to create mutual knowledge, which leads to collective power to challenge dominance.

Together we can confront male power and make it fun, and using the principles of radical feminism, specifically explicit language, we might actually be successful in challenging male supremacy.


[1] http://avft.org/index.php: Association Européenne contre les Violences faites aux Femmes dans le Travail.

[2] http://avft.org/article.php?id_article=627, “Sexual harassment, the law will change”, press release by the AVFT, May 2012

[4] http://www.avft.org/article.php?id_article=623: “sexual harassment: 20 years after the law, the offense could be abrogated”, April 2012, a press release by Marilyn Baldec, delegate for the AVFT.

[5] http://www.avft.org/article.php?id_article=623: “sexual harassment: 20 years after the law, the offense could be abrogated”, April 2012, a press release by Marilyn Baldec, delegate for the AVFT.

[6] http://avft.org/article.php?id_article=631 « the judicial void makes me dizzy: reactions addressed to the AVFT », May the 5th, 2012.

Wronged man encounters language barrier: what to call jilted ex-gf who pulled all his teeth?

It seems as if the word “bitch” has become so overused, it has lost virtually all meaning, leaving the occasional legitimately-wronged man with no words to describe women who actually harm them.  Poor men!

Last week, the Daily Male reported that a dentist sedated her ex-boyfriend and then pulled out every single one of his teeth, after he had unceremoniously dumped her for another woman.  The man appeared at her office in need of emergency dental surgery just days after he had broken up with her; when questioned, she admitted what she did, saying that she had been “unable to detach from her emotions” and now faces jail time as well as professional sanctions from her licensing board.

The man explains,

I knew something was wrong because when I woke up I couldn’t feel any teeth and my jaw was strapped up with bandages.  She told me my mouth was numb and I wouldn’t be able to feel anything for a while and that the bandage was there to protect the gums, but that I would need to see a specialist.

[…]

But when I got home I looked in the mirror and couldn’t f****** believe it. The b**** had emptied my mouth.

Bitch?  Really?

Apparently, there simply are no words in the English language to differentiate women who actually cause harm from any other woman, or a woman who causes subjective or even made-up harm from one who causes objective, actual harm: the same reactionary, misogynistic slurs are used to describe us all.  What differentiates a bitch from a non-bitch seems to be a man’s pleasure or displeasure with any woman’s behavior, regardless of the reasonableness of his response — the word is never descriptive of the woman, or of anything the woman actually did.

What is revealed by this use of equivalent language (e.g. referring to women as “bitches” regardless of context) is that boys and men think of all girls and women in exactly the same way — essentially, as the scum of the earth, and morally and even criminally deficient, and to the maximum degree — no matter what we do or don’t do.

Another interpretation is that men regard all girls and women and our actions and inactions to be irrelevant in the same way — which, in a political sense, happens to be true.  Because patriarchy.

Including, as in this case, when a woman pulls out every single one of his teeth, bandages his head and jaw, and sends him home, violating several laws and rules of professional ethics in the process.

Here, one is left to wonder what this man would’ve called this woman if she would have, in addition to assaulting him, also lied about it, or worse?  Or what words he had been using to describe her before that, when he was simply no longer interested in the relationship because he had found someone else? If he had ever called her a “bitch” previously, that would indicate that he had held her in exactly the same regard before — before she had even done anything objectively harmful or wrong.

But clearly, while it is frequently the case that men think a particular woman — or all women — are “bitches” all or much of the time, this equivalent response is objectively unreasonable.  Indeed, if determinations of reasonableness or credibility were objective, men who call women “bitches” would be determined to have neither; if all women are bitches — and we all are — the pronouncement is meaningless.

Of course, since all men are presumed to be credible, the issue of “credibility” itself is a meaningless pronouncement, when applied to men.  Saying that a man is credible is like saying “an apple is an apple” or describing a tangerine as being tangerine-y.  Under patriarchy, the words are synonymous, and synonyms cannot legitimately be used to define or describe one another.  Red flags should be raised, every time anyone tries.

Just like with the words “woman” and “bitch.”

ETA:  On May 8, 2012, msnbc.com reported that the original story reported by the Daily Male has been revealed to be a hoax.  See here for additional information and links. — Eds.