White Ribbon Australia is currently making ‘news’ for all the wrong reasons.
First to come to my attention was Clementine Ford’s most brilliant, and word perfect article in Daily Life, titled “White Ribbon Ambassador Tanveer Ahmed’s dangerous message on domestic violence“, in which she expertly exposes Ahmed’s ’emasculation’ and ‘disenfranchisement’ excuses (for male violence) as the woman-blaming anti-feminism that they truly are. The article in The Australian by Ahmed is unfortunately subscriber-only, but it will be recalled that just a few short weeks ago, that same paper were slammed for the misogynist obituary of writer Colleen McCullough—editorial oversight, my (fat) ass.
Yes, we still very much live in an anti-woman world, where mainstream newspapers can regularly publish misogyny, and think they can get away with it. Is this really the sign that we live in a world of ‘male emasculation’? No, quite the opposite, it shows how far we have to go in societal attitudes towards females.
We feminists expect far better, from males and male organisations that call themselves allies, and especially from non-white males, who will have experienced racism by virtue of their birth race, just as we females experience lifelong misogyny and sexism, by virtue of our birth sex, the sex caste. White Ribbon Australia, if they wish to retain any credibility, need to remove Ahmed as an Ambassador, and disavow his words, in the misogynist rag that is The Australian.
Some background on White Ribbon Campaign:
White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led Campaign to end men’s violence against women.
All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.
Making women’s safety a man’s issue too.
The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces and across the broader community.
Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries.
White Ribbon began in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women), formally becoming a Foundation in 2007.
No mention of male-excusing in the mission statement. And as an autonomous entity organisation set up to end Male Violence Against Women, you are left to your own devices, to educate men and boys, about something any decent human should already know. Except when you fuck it up, then expect to be called out by feminists.
White Ribbon Australia is funded from various streams:
And it is the latter category of Events that next comes to our attention. On the WRCA site, WRCA actively court people and organisations to host fund raising events for the organisation. While this next event does not appear on WRCA’s ‘official’ list of fund raising events, and appears to be by outsiders organising on behalf of WRCA, it is truly a shocker.
This event is a movie screening, in aid of WRCA.
50 Shades of Grey screening: Fundraising Event for White Ribbon
Friday, 13 February 2015 from 6:45 PM to 10:00 PM (AEDT)
South Yarra, VIC
This is a screening of the upcoming movie 50 Shades of Grey, based on the best selling books by E L James.
Curious? Watch the fantasy, discuss the reality.
We have chosen this movie as we feel it is a great conversation starter for what is healthy versus what is abusive in relationships, and we have invited a professional Dominant as a speaker to lead an open discussion at the end of the movie in an adjacent location.
Proceeds raised from this event are going to White Ribbon Australia (www.whiteribbon.org.au), a male-led campaign to end men’s violence against women. Fundraising reg #22135.
Passionfruit, The Sensuality Shop, is a generous sponsor of this event, as they are all about addressing intimacy, sexuality and are keen on raising awareness of violence against women. Passionfruit will be providing some delightful goodies for ticket holders, as well as generous discount vouchers for their store! Please visit our sponsor at their website: passionfruitshop.com.au
Please note that although the movie has been given an official classification of MA(15+) we feel the themes covered are more suited to an adult audience of 18+. We request that all attendees of this event be aged 18 years or older.
Did WRCA seriously authorise this fund raising event in their name? Because, oh-my-god, have you dudes lost the plot in the Elimination of Violence Against Women? It seems so. Surely WRCA can not have missed the stream of feminist criticism on this book/movie, and the years of feminists denouncing BDSM as a form of Male Violence Against Women?
If WRCA have authorised this fund raising, hoping that it slides under the radar for some quick cash, then WRCA are sadly mistaken. It is Dirty Money. Tainted with continued sexual objectification and subjugation of females. Glorifying Violence Against Women as sexual ‘play’.
And no, having a ‘dominatrix’ (I assume, the blurb merely says ‘a dominant’) ‘explain’ how BDSM ‘fantasy’ differs from reality, is seriously perverted as a fund raising exercise. Even the named sponsor, a sex shop, sells BDSM supplies, and has half their website front page taken up with a sexually objectified woman. It is well-known (by feminists at least) that BDSM-lite (the fluffy handcuffs bullshit) is merely the first stage in the erosion of boundaries into full-on BDSM, and many women end up getting trapped in ‘the scene’.
If, on the off-chance, WRCA did not authorise this Dirty Money fund raising event, then you need to get the Victorian Police Fraud Squad to investigate, as well as having your organisation’s name removed from the event page, or pages.
So, White Ribbon Campaign Australia, it is time to seriously clean house. None of this dodgy backdoor funding, none of this loose-cannon male-excusing Ambassador stuff, conduct yourselves with the feminist principles and integrity with which the organisation was started. Radical feminists adhere, as much as possible within personal circumstances, to the principles and ethics of feminism. We expect the same from male allies. Most radical feminists work for nothing, we don’t get paid for what we do, we do it out of commitment for the Liberation of All Women from Male Domination. Most services for battered women probably run on less money than the WRCA educational organisation. And we don’t take Dirty Money.
White Ribbon Campaign Australia—shape up! Or ship out.
ETA: A great post illustrating ’50 abusive moments’ (I am sure just the tip of the iceberg) in the book. This woman blogger deserves a medal for wasting so many hours of her life, to summarise many of the issues, disguised as ‘fantasy’ or ‘love’, but are in fact, all part of VAW.
And finally, an internet meme (from here) that sums up why “50 shades” is all shades of wrong, as far as eliminating violence against women goes:
UPDATE 12 Feb: According to this article, WRCA issued an event number