Monday, November 19, 2012

Feminist Protest Art(?)

So, I was walking along a Toronto street last week when an interesting sign caught my eye. I immediately stopped and did a double take and noticed some more interesting signs in the street level window display.  I stood there reading the signs in disbelief.  I had never been so face to face with feminist misandry before (well, at least not since University).  The place appeared to be an artists studio with many work stations with drafting boards and art supplies.  I looked at some other visible stations and some displayed pieces of modern art, but this one was the only one that had political messages. 

I kicked myself for not carrying my smart phone with me, but, I was able to return the following day to snap some photos.  I'll let you judge what the messages mean.  I apologize for the glare, but the lights were out in the basement studio and it was a bright day outside. I did not want to stick around too long with this kind of mad person lurking.

This is the one that initially caught my eye.

This one is the most disturbing.  (Do NOT compliment this woman on her fashion sense).
In case you can't read the other photo.

A lot of  thoughts went through my head.  As a blogger, one that is loosely affiliated with the manosphere, I immediately planned to post the pictures here. I worried, however, that there was some danger in posting these.  What if this sparked a controversy?  It definitely would if a man was saying this about women.  Somehow, this woman feels justified in advocating aggravated sexual assaut, genital mutilation and humiliation for the "crime" of saying, "Hey, you're looking mighty fine."

I decided to email these to an MRA and see what she thought about it.  I have not had a response, so, here I am, posting about my experiences.
The wall was covered in posters.  It looked like a Slut Walk staging area.

Presumably, whoever is responsible, likely thinks of this entire display as "art". The pink punching bag, the baseball bat decorated with glittery stars.  But, anyone can stensil slogans on bristol board.  I guess it takes a feminist art degree to use a heart shape so ironically.

I am lucky that I got these photos when I did, because, the cat calling sign has been removed along with the Kill Your Rapist poster.  Who would have thought that it wasn't a good idea to display threats of murder and assault in a public window?  I don't know why they were taken down, maybe someone complained directly.  I thought of calling the Police myself.  Even though I am a staunch defender of free speech, the messages could be interpreted as an illegal threat.  Even though Canada has strong anti-hate-speech laws, it is hard to imagine that messages with an anti-rape theme would get called to a human rights tribunal, even though, this is the epitome of hate speech.  Besides, they don't look like they have a lot of money.

Today, the posters on the wall are different, but, in some ways, more hateful.
Oh, those awful nice guys are after you.

In a world where you can be arrested for being Shrodinger's Rapist (H/T Neckbeard Chronicles - adieu good sirs), how is one to interpret the messages displayed here, on a busy street with plenty of foot traffic?  When rape can defined as having sex with a woman who's had one drink too many, can this be considered a demand for a legal way to commit murder?

The fact the someone feels justified in making this display is a sign that feminist hatred of men has gone too far.  To the casual observer who might agree that rape justifies murder, if it can stop the rape, these signs might seem harmless or even funny.  To someone who follows the current thinking common and understands the nuances and double-speak, this is highly disturbing.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but if you don't like this art don't look at it and continue on with your day.

Anonymous said...

you saw this work and it made you feel unsafe enough that you wanted to call the police. guess what, that fear is what women/queer/trans* folks have to live with every single day of our lives. So i'm fucking happy that you're scared. maybe if more dudes are scared that they'll get killed if they rape us, they'll think twice before committing rape.

i think the work has done exactly what it intended to, which makes it really good art in my book.

Anonymous said...


B Boutin said...

"...this is the epitome of hate speech." Really? Responding to cat callers with equally aggressive speech is not hate speech. It's putting things in perspective. The fact that this made you stop and think means it's effective. It's made to make you stop in your tracts just as disgusting cat calling, rapists, and vile 'come ons' stop women in their tracks.

Also... it's really tacky to call yourself 'heroic' (in your title) for posting anonymously on the internet. I'm not trying to bash you, but it just makes you look egotistical.

Cul-De-Sac Hero said...

Guess what, making threats is illegal. Anyone who threatens to hurt you for any reason, including your gender, should be thrown in jail. That is why society has invented police, courts and jails. So you are in favour of capital punishment for rape? That is a defensible, political position. You can make a million signs and plaster them all over the city for all I care. But, if you threaten people with direct violence, you are breaking the law. This display is awfully close to that line. When one sign says kill rapists, and the other says that nice guys are rapists, what are we to infer? The catcalling sign is even more directly threatening. My guess is that is why they took it down.

Cul-De-Sac Hero said...

@B Boutin
They are certainly proud misandrists.
The sign is not responding to cat callers at all and if you think that the threat of mutilating someone’s sexual body parts is “equally aggressive” to a cat call then you need to wake up. The sign is threatening horrific, violence for the equivalent of being extremely rude. What if a stranger said, "Hey, that's a nice dress you're wearing?" Could that be considered a cat call? It might be considered rude or make you feel uncomfortable. So, would you be justified in perpetrating aggravated sexual assault?
What if they said that they think your dress is ugly? Is that a cat call? It certainly is rude. Does this rudeness justify violence? I'm perplexed by your perspective. How can you put rape in the same category as cat calling? A rapist is the most loathed human being on the planet, next to a serial killer. A cat caller is just a low-class, rude person. I agree that cat-calling is bad in most situations and should be looked down upon, but it's not in the same league, sport or any other classification as rape.
BTW, Batman, Spiderman and Superman all worked anonymously. One can take a heroic stand on the Internet while still maintaining a separate life in the real-world.

jesus said...

Telling a woman she's pretty is in no way equal to threatening to mutilate someone. You are making a GIANT leap in your comparison. Also, women cat call, ojectify males, physically abuse, rape and sexually abuse too... do you wish for someone to mutilate them?
Read some facts on female perpetrators -they're out there, and they're much more common than feminists want people to believe.

Sailor Venus said...

You're a fucking joke.

Cul-De-Sac Hero said...

Oh yeah? Well, Sailor Moon is a crappy cartoon.

Anonymous said...

dear cul de sac hero: you are a bit lame. these messages are not personal attacks upon you but are a response to real things that many have to deal with. This is called speaking out. If you are not a rapist I see no reason why you should be offended or scared. maybe this says more about you than the artist who made this.

~ a man who is not a rapist

Anonymous said...

Dear False Prophet of Ridiculous Non-Sense who Spawned this Blog,
My name is Pete Smith, and I'm the college art professor who oversees the work being made in this studio. This artist is one of my best students. Your arguments are silly, and the fact that you feel threatened by these gestures is even sillier. The bat-shit-crazy part about it, however, is how your entire existence on the blogosphere proves the ongoing necessity of feminist strategies to promote gender equality and the acceptance of difference. Please stop. You're an embarrassment to the species.

Pete Smith
OCAD University

Sailor Mercury said...

Well, YOU'RE a crappy cartoon!

Cul-De-Sac Hero said...

Pikachu! Thunderbolt!

Anonymous said...

Dear Pete Smith,

How disingenuous does one have to be to label this vile display of "art" as a strategy to "promote gender equality"? It specifically refers to a "dick" as anatomy and states that nice "guys" rape. Given that as a male you have such anatomy and are a guy, does that make you a rapist? A potential rapist?

Let's call this exactly what it is: some sexist pig attributing unacceptable behavior (rape) to a specific gender, promoting horrific acts of violence against that gender for the act of speaking, and calling it art.

That is bigotry and hate speech and in no way can be misconstrued as promoting equality.

If you disagree with that assessment, try a simple litmus test: reverse the genders and then think about whether you would still label it "art".

You sir, are a disgrace to academia.

Sailor Mars said...

First of all, I'm glad Cul-De-Sac Hero greew some balls - even if he had to reply to an authority figure as "Anonymous" because it's pretty clear no one reads your blog. Nice to see you doing something else than bashing on the Sailors.
Anyway, I'm not really about to address everything that Dear Pete Smith Anonymous said except the limitus test comment. It's important to point out that such a test would only be effective if gender equality was present (spoiler alert: it isn't), so thank you for disproving yourself for me.

You sir, should probably get your head out from your ass

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
I think the point of the work, in fact, is more or less your litmus test: these role are reversed every day. Women are raped and abused everyday, everywhere, often by people posing as friends (the "nice guys" in question) often by family. Her work is promoting equality by creating dialogue in the sense that it is often claimed that the playing field has been levelled in a progressive, Western country like Canada - that women have achieved equal rights and status, that these sorts of battles have already been won. Like I alluded to in my previous comment, the blog above more or less single-handedly proves that we haven't come as far as we think. The art work of this student is exceptional, and it is so because it brings these conversations to the fore. It challenges our thinking and forces us to engage with these issues as ongoing concerns.

I think the most disgusting thing about this blog, however, is how it tries to appropriate the language of the genuinely disenfranchised to reinforce the power of the dominant class - the white, suburban, middle class male. Honestly, it makes me feel quite sad.

Pete Smith

Sailor Mars said...

Jesus, DID YOU KNOW that citing an MRA forum as a non-biased source isn't something you can do?
Also, DO YOU KNOW what catcalling even *IS*? (Spoiler alert: you don't, omg, please shut the fuck up already)

Anonymous said...


I hate to burst your bubble here, but males are not the dominant class. The author used the language of the disenfranchised class because males ARE the disenfranchised class. This is true in the US but especially true in Canada apparently.

I just read an interesting article about your "cohabitation" laws up there in Canada, about how a man can end up paying alimony to a woman, or child support for children that are not his, just by living in the same house with a woman for longer than 90 days. If that isn't blatant exploitation I don't know what is. Your government takes the most human of traits, that of seeking a companion, and uses it to institute a macabre form of modern slavery. How progressive and enlightened... tell me, does that match any definition of "equality"?


Anonymous said...

Feminists who are always insisting that they are about "gender justice" or even that they are "humanitarians" had an opportunity to state here that the open misandry, calls to violence and hatred based soley upon ones sex promoted by this "art" did not represent feminism or their views of men. Instead we see the opposite including defense of this "art" by someone claiming to be a "Professor" indeed the very person supervising the student that produced this "art".
All I can say is that I hope the REAL professor reads this blog and presents here a defence of this call to violence that actually makes some sense.
How about this "Professor" - "Feminists incite violence against men - slice off their tits and choke them to death with them" next to that we could put banner saying "Nice women are Feminists" voila - I have succeeded in stereotyping an entire sex as a target for vigilante "justice". Interesting "art" huh?
Now let me say right here I am not actually promoting that my version of this type of "art" - I know how feminists like to wrap themselves in the flag of "victim" with an eagerness that would put a homeless hermit crab to shame. This was a thought experiment but not for you or the student producing this "art". You see I am not so naive to believe that you, your student and supporters are amenable anymore to appeals to things like reason, justice and common decency - no thus is only for those who still have those qualities.

logos said...

Prof. Smith,

I am not a MRA. I am also not a feminist. I am a student of Linguistics, if I must identify myself as something. In my field, we pay a lot of attention to the logic of a statement, the meaning of words in combination, the meaning of words individually, and how the order of those words can change meaning.

As a linguist, I take particular interest in how language is used to accomplish goals. It's sort of like the verbal part of what a sociologist might call Transaction Theory (which some comedians have characterized as exchanging sexual favors for jewelry). When I look at your student's work, I take notice of the meaning of the words and then consider the goal. Honestly, though, it does not take a linguist--or even someone of particularly high level education in any field--to figure the message given. That message is as follows:

Assertion A: Nice guys rape
Assertion B: Rapists should be killed
Conclusion: Nice guys should be killed.

In this society, calling for violence--especially murder--is considered a crime. This is exactly he same crime that groups such as the Ku Klux Klan are guilty of: calling for the murders of a certain class of people based on some ignorant belief about that class. The difference is that the KKK's targets are blacks and jews, instead of all men. That is the ONLY difference. That "art" is hate speech, plain and simple. Considering myself bound by the 1st amendment to the US constitution, I will support your student's right to say such hateful things. However, for you to come out and say that it is NOT hate speech when it very clearly IS is disingenuous and is abetting hate.

As a professor of an institution of higher education, you should know better. Especially as an art professor, I am surprised at you--an artist, and especially a professor, is supposed to be open-minded and able to think outside of any box one might put the artist into. Lastly, as a professor of any field, your job is to foster in your students the intelligence and open-mindedness required to meet new ideas in a position to judge them objectively; encouraging students to further an idea on the grounds of who has what kind of genitals or because it is what your institution has said to do is counter to your job. I have to question your qualification to be a professor.

My last question is in regards to your motive. Assuming that you are a true artist and a good professor, then there are only two explanations for your radical behavior: either you have placed your political agenda in a higher priority than fostering your students' ability to think critically, or you are hoping to curry enough favor with your female students that one of them will have sex with you. So which is it?

Anonymous said...

> Women are raped and abused everyday … that women have achieved equal rights and status … challenges our thinking and forces us to engage with these issues as ongoing concerns.

There is so much wrong, logically, with this comment…

Yes, women are raped everyday. Yes, that is a fact.(1) No, that is not something that is OK.

Some more facts that are not OK:
Every day innocent people are killed in car crashes. (2)
Every day people are mugged and killed in robberies, fights et al. (3)
Every day people die in a work-related accident (4)
Every week someone gets killed in a domestic violence incident (5)

What are we doing about all these facts?

(2) We educate drivers and build safer cars.
(3) We educate people on what is safe behaviour in dangerous environments, how to de-escalate situations and we prosecute violators.
(4) We educate people on how to follow health and safety regulations.
(5) We educate people that this is a problem in our society and create places to help at least some of the victims.
(1) Nobody get’s educated what he or she could do to avoid the situation. Instead we blame an entire gender.

Isn’t that weird, somehow?

Some interesting side facts: most victims of (3) are male. Practically all victims of (4) are male (95%). At least 30% of the victims of (5) are male. Practically 100% of those that find help in any institution afterwards are female.

Tell me more about the privileged gender.

Some more interesting facts that is not OK:
An amazing majority of male sexual predators were mistreated, including sexually, by their mother as a child.
For every 10 women that get raped 15 men get raped, statistically speaking. Literally raped, not metaphorically.
Be very careful how you answer the last fact. "Yes, but they are prisoners"? Wrong, you failed. They are human beings and suffer just as much from the act as any raped woman.
If you say "rape is wrong" you have to include them or be a monster.

What I want to say with all this?
A lot of sh*t happens in our world.
Women being raped is one of them. And noone here claims that women being raped is not real sh*tty.
But it is not in any way worse than the other examples.

All examples are systemic.

"Rape-culture" is no more real that "Accident-culture", "Fight-culture", "Fuck-your-man-over-in-divorce-culture".

>challenges our thinking

I hope you soon find the opportunity to start with it. You will find that burping "all males are bastards" in an artistic way does not help a complicated discourse.
At most it furthers aggression in everyone involved.

And in what way would that be any good?

Anonymous said...

I do not doubt that the post above claiming to be by Prof. Smith actually _is_ by Prof. Smith.

I have had to do with a few handful of art students and art profs in my academia years. Some of them I had respect for, mainly for their energy.

None of them (not one) excelled at logical thinking, calibrating their worldview with observable reality or anything what I would think of as of measurable results.

Practically all of them were very good at finding new or interestingly altered ways of expression and at evoking some reaction, even if it was only "my 6 year old can do that".

If philosophers sit in the top floor of the ivory tower, artists found their place in the attic above them.
Only some of them like to _think_ they mirror reality but making sure they actually do is not a part of the curriculum.
"Evocative" is more important than "true", or given the epistemological problems in that term: "realistic" or "plausible".

In other words, arguing with an artist "It is harmful what you do there" gets the reaction "Good, then its effective. How silly of you to think that could be bad"

In still other words: an Arts prof is not requested to have a more than average knowledge in sociology. So when he is still in the "Since I have never bothered to check, I do believe the teachings of feminism" stage it is no wonder that a Dworkin fl. is his favourite student.*

I consider it proven that you can not really argue with someone subscribing to an ideology. Therefore keep exposing the silliness and danger of feminism and think of the oak in the old german proverb "What does the stately oak care when a sow scratches her hide on its bark"

* "jr." as in junior is masculine, isn't it. So surely it should be "Dworkin filia"?

Anonymous said...

Assertion A: Nice guys rape
Assertion B: Rapists should be killed
Conclusion: Nice guys should be killed.

I'm afraid logos isn't a very good linguist, or logician.

The correct conclusion would be:
Nice guys who rape should be killed.

If Assertion A were All nice guys rape, then you might have a point. Instead, you are merely wrong on the Internet.

Cul-De-Sac Hero said...

The correct conclusion would be:
Nice guys who rape should be killed.

However, nice guys don't rape. They might pretend to be nice, but someone who rapes was never nice to begin with.
The artist is painting "nice guys" as rapists. Using rape, performed by a tiny minority, to slander an entire gender is simply wrong. It's a practice of feminism that has gone on long enough - casting suspicion among women toward men, making regular relations impossible for many.
I knew a girl who carried mace because her parents were so afraid of her being out on her own. The poor thing was so afraid that she wouldn't leave home without it. She had no idea how to relate to men.


Unknown said...

I'm afraid logos isn't a very good linguist, or logician.

The correct conclusion would be:
Nice guys who rape should be killed

You should really evaluate your logic skills, more specifically set theory. The lack of a qualifier identifies a set, complete and whole. Thus "Nice guys rape" is without a qualifier, a statement that ALL nice guys rape. The inverse set, "bad guys" would logically be excluded from this action but social context tells us that this isn't so. "Bad guys" are defined by doing "bad things", among them which is rape.

Thus, the logical conclusion is the RadFem dogma that "All men are rapists".

Thus, "Kill your Rapist" taken in the context of the other work is, "Kill all Men"!

Place the context of the Baseball bat and this is not a statement of fear all women feel, this is a statement of hatred and a call for violence on men!

logos said...

I'm afraid logos isn't a very good linguist, or logician.

The correct conclusion would be: Nice guys who rape should be killed.

If Assertion A were All nice guys rape, then you might have a point. Instead, you are merely wrong on the Internet.

Unknown pretty much summed up why you look like an idiot. You should read Shopenhauer (sp) before trying to use an argument as frail as that.

The other reason why you look like an idiot is because, besides failing to attack my logic in an effective way, you also compeletly ignored the rest of my argument: that such misandrist rhetoric is in character no different from saying such drivel as "all Jews should die." That is hate speech, plain and simple, and no college professor should be allowing that in his classroom, let alone displaying it for the world to see AND ACTUALLY DEFENDING IT.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pete Smith,

I find it very interesting that you use gender comparison, because in my experience, they don't last very long, once i say the following "Every year more men then women die from violence, if we include prison rape, men are raped more then men..."

Once this is said... normally my feminist or white knight resort to victim blaming... " If men are killed, it's because they were violent, verbally abusive, bad person... etc. "

And my personal favourite "Men who are in prison deserve to be punished, good thing if they got raped, men raping another men prove that all men are rapists"

So let's see your logic, men who are killed deserved it... and of course, if big MIKE the one of the few rapist in a prison rape 30 guys per year.... he is the living proof that the 30 raped guys where rapist has well.

You know for a professor, you have just proven that you didn't got in to be intelligent, open minded, or even wise.

You just demonstrated that you got your position, by but kissing the power in place... Congratulation !

Promenade Sur Mars

Anonymous said...

"It definitely would if a man was saying this about women. Somehow, this woman feels justified in advocating aggravated sexual assault, genital mutilation and humiliation for the "crime" of saying, "Hey, you're looking mighty fine." "

Just one of the many examples of how DISTURBING attitudes towards women still are today:

Anonymous said...

Anon, i suppose your also upset at how "disturbing" are the attitdes that can be found online towards jews, blacks, and muslims. I fail to see your point in linking to that blog, as women are hardly the only victims of anonymous bullshit.

Furthermore, a cursory glance at the character of those messages reveals only general insensitivity, which does not stack up to the kind of hate speech the artist produced. While i wouldnt doubt for an instant that such could be found online, that is hardly any kind of justification. As pointed out in another comments thread here, responding to hate or bigotry with more hate and bigotry does not solve the problem or yield any meaningful change. It only encourages more of the same.

Much as the artist likes to claim on her own blog that her work succeeded for opening a dialogue, what she seems willfully ignorant of is that that "dialogue" is only perpetuating exactly what the feminist movement is supposed to be trying to abolish.

Anonymous said...

Nice guys rape.
so what do bad guys do?

Waldo said...

I find it amusing to see somebody advertising themselves as a hero, mr "culdesac hero". You are an idiot buddy.

Do you have any idea what the artist is trying to promote here? Its clearly working. Here you are, all upset because the artist has caught your attention in their own way. It may not be the way you would do it yourself, but that's not for you nor I to decide.

Would I myself create such artwork? No.

Would I present it? Absolutely. It gets people talking, and that is exactly what this artist is trying to promote.

And what's with this "I have two cars" bullshit? Get off your high horse buddy, your making a fool of yourself.
Actually, better yet, keep talking. I enjoy it when people fail miserably.

Anonymous said...

December 1, 2012 2:35 PM wrote: * "jr." as in junior is masculine, isn't it. So surely it should be "Dworkin filia"?

The feminine form of "junior" is "junior". The neuter form is "junius". "Filia" means "daughter", and "Dworkin" would require the genitive case in this construction, so it's better to stick with "junior".

Anyway, onto the "artist's" claim that "nice guys rape":

The "artist" relies on my favorite straw man, "rape culture", to call for dispensing with the notion that only "monsters" rape. But does anybody else think this is a ruse to afford her plausible deniability if ever she should be called to account for trying to incite murderous violence against any man whom the recipient and agent of her message finds sexually unattractive?

Anonymous said...

Waldo, I think you really need to consider this quote from a couple posts above you: " ... responding to hate or bigotry with more hate and bigotry does not solve the problem or yield any meaningful change. It only encourages more of the same. ... that "dialogue" is only perpetuating exactly what the feminist movement is supposed to be trying to abolish."