Archive for the ‘woman-blaming’ Category


Family Courts: Australia

April 11, 2010

I’ve spent the day watching youtube vids and researching the situations of the Family Courts in Australia. I don’t think that I could write anything coherent on the subject… it is just too horrific and disturbing. I’ll let you watch the evidence yourselves.

I saw the real ‘Beth’ speak at a protest in Perth about a year ago. Her story will haunt me always.

We just need to look after these children. This is our duty. It’s my moral obligation as a mother and I believe it is the community’s obligation to start speaking up against this. Kids don’t need to die. Parents don’t need to suicide. This does not need to happen. But the courts need to change the way they’re hearing us. They don’t need to hear hysterical. They need to hear women who are screaming for help. Please help us.

I don’t even know why I’m telling you this again. I mean I’ve told so many people… I’ve told this 1000 times but no one seems to listen to what I have to say… I mean, really listen to what I have to say.

I went to the authoritative bodies that I thought could help my son… who all believed me and they believed my son. But when we got to the Family Law Court I was told that they were under-qualified to give evidence… When we went to the law courts no evidence of my son was listened to… I wasn’t listened to. I was told I was a pathological liar, and a lunatic, for believing my son. All the bodies that are in place to help children and help people in my situation were completely disregarded.

…and we were safe for about 3 months. Then the Federal Police came and they took her and they said… “oh, you’ll get her back in about a month”. That was 10 years ago. They’ve said I’m obsessive and compulsive. I keep writing reports. I keep trying to plead with them and give them evidence and they ignore everything. She’s now self-harming and has been for a long time. And since the age of 6 she’s been sexually abused by her step brother in the presence of her father… that’s family protection in Australia.


Football players are gang rapists

May 15, 2009

At the moment Australia is a little bit upset because yet another football team has been going around gang raping women. They are calling this ‘event’ (as if it only happened one time) a ‘sex scandal’ (as if sex had anything to do with it, unless sex is rape, which, you know, a case could be made for that point). In any case the women who are being raped and seriously harmed by the violence of these men are being sidelined. It is the reputation of the club/player/institution that is being tarnished. It is the sad ruination of a career, the mussing up of a happy family (yeah, like the wife and kids aren’t getting raped as well), etc, etc. My heart bleeds.

What I don’t get is why this is ‘shocking’ news. Men rape women. The more power a man has access to, the more women he has access to rape. Men gang rape women. They coerce, intimidate and force women into sexual submission. Football players are men. Football players have access to a lot of power and hence a lot of women. Football players, like all men, are powerfully attracted to other football players. They see women as their inferiors. As women could never be seen as, or treated as equals, these men primarily bond with each other and their homoerotic games are obvious to anyone who has eyes. Football is just a socially approved way that men show off their love for one another. Gang rape is the sexual extension of men’s homoerotic desire for one another.

So footie players gang-rape teenage girls, well duh!! Of course they do. No one is surprised that they do, in fact they are expected to do so. How else can they express their homosexual desires for each other? How else can they prove their manliness to their team-mates?

Last weekend I flew from Perth to Sydney. It was a 4 and a half hour flight. As I was getting on the plane I noticed a bunch of hulking brutes, all wearing identical t-shirts, standing in the queue to board the flight. From their appearance, I guessed they were a football team. I couldn’t believe the unluck of the situation. The grotesque men had porn magazines stuffed under their arms. Disgusting creatures. I was so worried when boarding that flight. I dreaded that I would be seated next to or near the fuckers and I had no idea how I could deal with that situation. Four and a half hours sitting near a bunch of serial gang rapists.

Thankfully, though I was seated near the gross, disgusting, misshapen creatures, they must have been tired, or too busy group masturbating into their porn mags to make much noise. But the situation really pissed me off. Surely women should have the right to board a plane that does not contain probable rapists. Why do I have to be assaulted by the presence of rapist men, who are blatantly affirming their exulted status as rapists, by carrying around pornographic magazines? This is fucked up, women.

I think there is a very simple solution to the ‘problem’ of the team sport of gang-raping that is so popular as a form of gay male bonding between football players. Mandatory castration of all men who play football and all men who watch football. This would be a quick and easy solution. The violent, woman-hating ‘sport’ will disappear overnight and women will be a little bit safer in this fucked up and dangerous world, full of fucked up and seriously dangerous men.

Football would not exist in a world where women are free and liberated. Nor would the gang rape of teenage girls. Goddess, how I wish, hope, rant, plead and pray for such a world. To all of the many, many women and girls out there who have been raped by football players and their fans, I love you. Thank you for speaking out, for surviving. I hold you in my heart. Your courage is immeasurable. Don’t give up. There are many, many women out here who believe you, who respect you. You are not nothing. You will never be nothing. They are the ones who are nothing.


A Wife-Beater’s View of the World: Our Mrs. Reynolds Part Two

May 2, 2008

*I’ve finally finished the damn thing. I won’t be allowing comments from anyone who is not a radical feminist (or pro-radical feminist) or a lesbian feminist/separatist. Yes, I am pro-censorship. Boohoo.*

Link to Part One

I mentioned in the first post that the most disturbing potential reading of this episode is as a justification and indeed glorification of male violence/terrorism in the home. I left off in the last post talking about the romance between Mal and Jayne. In the following scenes Saffron settles in to her role as a subservient and pleasing wife, with Mal being a happy consumer of her services.

MAL (cont’d)
Well, that is odd.
I just don’t – I’m not one talks about his past. And here you got me…
Does your crew never show interest in your life?
No, they’re, they’re… They just know me well enough to… What about
you? What’s your history?
Not much to say. Life like yours, I fear you’d find mine terrible dull.
Oh, I long for a little dullness. Truth to say, this whole trip is getting to be just a little too interesting.

Touching stuff here. Mal beginning to see Saffron’s resources as an emotionally supportive slave as an addition to her exquisite domestic skills. What makes me even more annoyed about this scene is the fact that Mal, as always, does all the talking, leaving Saffron’s potentially interesting history unexplored. This is typical of stories written by misogynists. They are not interested in women’s stories; women are only there to further understanding of the male characters.

After Saffron dismisses her own history as uninteresting (another tactic of misogynist writers, they create female characters that hate themselves and other women in order to disguise their own misogyny). One obvious example of this in Joss Whedon’s work is in the following scene where Zoe shows herself to be completely unsympathetic to Saffron’s slavery and blames Saffron for her own subjugation.

ZOE (V.O.)
She’s clearly out of her mind.
Well, she’s led a sheltered life.
Did you see the way she grabbed that glass from you?
Every planet’s got its own weird customs. ‘Bout a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese. Goslings. They were juggled.
Of course the man rushes in to defend her…
(huh?) I’m talking about geese.
Captain shouldn’t be baby-sitting a damn groupie. And he knows it.
Okay, when did this become not funny?
When you didn’t turn around and put her ass back down on Triumph where it belongs.
Oh, hey, now it’s even my fault! Is there anything else on your mind I should know about? There’s all sorts of twists and cul-de-sacs, it’s wild.
She’s trouble
I’m getting that.
I’m going to bed.

It goes without saying that I find it highly problematic that women’s oppression is compared with the juggling of geese. What the fuck is with that even? Again, ha ha; women’s oppression = geese juggling. Tehehe.

Sigh. Men are such dicks.

And here we have Zoe blaming women for their own oppression and hating women, presumably for not being as liberated herself. Does that even make any kind of sense? And Wash borrows Mal’s unicorn outfit to ‘defend’ Saffron and her weirdness. See, that is what I just love about male supremacy. Men rape babies, they buy, sell and trade women (real, live, thinking, breathing human beings) as sex, they kill each other, they bash, rape, mutilate, torture us day in and day out, for not being subservient enough, for being too subservient, for being too ugly, for being too beautiful, for not conforming enough, for conforming too much, in short for being born female. And women are the ones who get called crazy and weird.

How the fuck are women supposed to survive what men throw at us and not go a bit crazy? And weird? Well, if hating my sisters, conforming to white male supremacy by being treated as a sex-object and possession by a white man, conforming to white male supremacy by jumping when the white man says jump and calling the white man ‘sir’ is your idea of ‘normal’ womanhood, Mr. Whedon, then I sure am glad that I am ‘weird’. But thankfully I know that your image of Black womanhood ain’t anything like the courageous, resourceful, angry, compassionate, strong, resilient, tireless, flesh and blood reality of my Black sisters.

The next part of the show is one of the most disgusting, heteropatriachal, rapist scenes that I’ve watched. So gross. Saffron shows up in Mal’s cabin completely naked. She surprises him when he comes into his room. She is in Mal’s bed, draped in his sheets, telling Mal that she has made the bed warm for him and made herself ready for him. EWWWWWWWW. I already think I need a bath. Fuck Joss has a filthy mind.

So Mal, still wearing his unicorn suit (though by this stage it is getting a bit tatty) tells her that she has her own room. Saffron is confused believing that, as they are married, they must become ‘one flesh’. EWWWWWW Joss’s words there. So Saffron quotes her planet’s bible at Mal. Remember these words were written by the great feminist Joss Whedon.

I do know my bible, sir. “On the night of their betrothal, the wife shall open to the man, as the furrow to the plough, and he shall work in her, in and again, ’till she bring him to his fall, and rest him then upon the sweat of her breast.”
Whoa. Good bible.
I’m not skilled, sir, nor a pleasure to look upon, but –
Saffron. You’re pleasing. You’re… hell, you’re all kinds of pleasing and it’s been a while… a long damn while since anybody but me took a hold a’my plough so don’t think for a second that I ain’t interested. But you and me, we ain’t married. Just ’cause you got handed to me by some couldn’t pay his debts, don’t make you beholden to me. I keep trying to explain –

Interlude: Joss Whedon’s Guide for Beginners on how to make female submissiveness sexxxxay.
Take one naked, skinny, shortish prone woman. Add one clothed, built, tallish standing man. Insert suggestive, heteropatriarchal, religious reference. Stir.

You know, something similar to this happened to me once. A vulnerable, screwed up (it almost goes without saying that she had been repeatedly raped and otherwise abused by her boyfriend, who dumped her when she stop acquiescing to her own rape), Catholic girl threw herself at me, desperate for self-validation, desperate for someone to love her a cherish her. She was in my bedroom. She pushed me onto the bed and tried to kiss me. How did I respond? I stood up and left the room. Simple.

We were flatmates. I never stopped being there for her emotionally but taking advantage of her vulnerability was NEVER an option. It was not something I could even begin to consider for one very simple reason. I DO NOT FIND FEMALE SUBMISSION AND VULNERABILITY SEXY. It is not sexy, not funny, not feminist, absolutely not ok to ever show female submission and vulnerability as being sexy. It is really, truly awful to see, love and care for women who have had their selfhood all but destroyed and royally screwed with by men. It is really, truly awful to recognise yourself in the pieces of them.

But Joss, the feminist, has his male character hang about pretending that he wants Saffron to leave, clearly hoping that she won’t. The scene culminates with Saffron dropping the sheet, walking over to Mal and kissing him. A kiss that Mal not only allows but quite happily engages in, joking that he will be going to the special hell. Ha. ha.

But then huh? What? Mal falls down unconscious after Saffron kisses him!!!! OH NOES!!!! SAFFRON IS AN EEEEEEEVIL KILLER WOMAN!!!! ARGH!

Who would have thought? A feminist writes a show depicting a victimized, vulnerable woman, who is just pretending and turns out to be an evil killer woman! Ho hum, another woman-hater at work.

Interlude: Feminism: The Joss Whedon Way.
Rote learn the following:
– Women lie. About everything really, but mostly they lie about rape, child abuse, sexual assault and harassment, male violence in the home, male violence in the street etc. Women lie and lie and lie. They can’t help it. They don’t even have a reason for lying, they just do it. It’s biological… and pathological… but still very wrong.

So Saffron wanders off, gets dressed and heads to the bridge where she encounters Wash. She closes the door, and evilly turns Wash on with her wily, feminine pretending.

She turns to him, eyes nearly moist with pleading.

My whole life, I saw nothing but roofs and steeples and the cellar door. Few days I’ll be back to that life and gone from yours. Make this night what it should be. Please…

Her face is inches from his.

SAFFRON (cont’d)
Show me the stars.

They’re practically touching and she moves to kiss him, but he pulls away at the last minute.

do I wish I was somebody else right now. Somebody not married, not madly in love with a beautiful woman who can kill me with her pinky.

Reason number 9623 of why I find the whole Wash/Zoe relationship unconvincing. Wash openly admits that he wishes he could sleep with Saffron a woman who he has just met. He simultaneously believes that he loves Zoe despite the fact that he openly admits to wanting to fuck Saffron. And the primary motivation for him refusing to fuck Saffron does not seem to be because he loves Zoe, it is more because of his life may be in danger if he does. Wow, I really do just love these nice, white husbands. Whatever would women do without all these nice, white men?

Anyway, Joss writes his first remotely feminist bit thus far and Saffron kicks Wash in the head after rolling her eyes at his stupidity. WOOHOO!!!! That’s more like it sister! Now this Saffron IS sexy. Not that sexy is a word I’d use but hey. This Saffron is a woman who kicks fuckwit men in the head and that makes her pretty darn attractive in my book.

Saffron stuffs up the ship’s navigation before heading to one of the shuttles. She encounters Inara along the way. Can’t really be bothered to detail the scene. Suffice to say that Joss chucks in a bit of lesbian pornography for his wanker fans. Ho hum moment number 3948.

Saffron escapes. Inara reveals the hideous truth about Saffron to the others. She acts as though she has had training at the Academy for Companions. Shock, horror. A Companion that uses her ‘skills’ in servility for evil??? Oh noes. She must be stopped.

Jayne brings out Vera, his nice big phallic gun, which turns out to be far better, safer, and more useful than Saffron. Vera saves the day, preventing the crew from dying at the hands of the thieves working with Saffron to steal the Firefly from Mal.

Predictably, Mal hunts Saffron down. The pictures below are screen captured from the show.

Honey… I’m home…

A beat. She knocks his gun aside, it fires as she draws hers but he is in close, they tussle — he wrenches her gun from her hand as they collapse on bed, him on top.

MAL (cont’d)
Looks like you get your wedding night after all.

She pushes him, they go tumbling to the floor but he’s still on top and this time he’s got his gun to her chin. (In the show he holds the gun to her head rather than her chin).

MAL (cont’d)
It’s the first time, darlin’. I think you should be gentle with me.

She lets out a breath, smiles at him unfathomably.

You gonna kill me?
Can you conjure up a terribly compelling reason for me not to?
I didn’t kill you…

Why the act? All the seduction games, the dancing about folk — there has to be an easier way to steal.
You’re assuming the payoff is the point.
I’m not assuming anything at this juncture.

He sits, gun still well on her. She gets up on her elbows, below but facing him.

(smiling sexily) You’re quite a man, Malcolm Reynolds. I’ve waited a long while for someone good enough to take me down.
(also smiles) Saffron… you even think about playing me again I will riddle you
with holes.

Her smile goes. This is the closest we’re gonna get to seeing what’s inside her, and there ain’t much to warm your hands by.

I got one question for you. Just one thing I’d like to know straight up.
Ask me.
What’s your real name?

She looks at him… looks away, considering the question… — and he slams the butt of his gun into her chin, knocking her out cold. He stands, regards her genuinely vulnerable form. Says with a kind of sadness:

MAL (cont’d)
You’d only’ve lied anyhow.

What a way to make violence against women sexy. The scripted description of Saffron in this scene make it abundantly clear that this scene is supposed to titillate. Saffron sits on the bed, pulling on her boots. She is nothing like the girl we’ve seen, much more modern and cool (though she still wears a skirt). Joss making even more porn for his wanker fans.

But perhaps most disturbingly this scene can be read as a justification for male violence in the home. Joss frequently references marriage in the scene, to bring on the funnies of course, having Mal acting like a spurned husband and Saffron the wayward wife. If we read the entire episode using this framework of reference we can see that Joss has constructed a vicious argument in favour of male violence in the domestic sphere.

First up we have the innocent virgin wife. Mal romances the innocent virgin wife, teaching her to be strong and independent, but still ultimately subservient to him, and obedient to his authority. They come to the marital bed and it turns out that she isn’t quite so innocent after all. She transforms from an innocent country girl into a manipulative, callous woman, who is strong, capable and independent. She works for herself and bows to no one, not even Mal, her husband. In fact, she willfully betrays him and uses his faults and weaknesses to get her own way. It is clear that such a woman must be brought down. By any means necessary.

Saffron leaves Mal and Mal tracks her down, invading her home by force as a husband, pushing her to the bed, using his body to pin her down while he lectures her for not conforming to proper feminine womanhood, before slamming his gun in her face. Really very disturbing stuff, all from the mind of a feminist.

The final scene we have an affirmation of proper feminine womanhood, as Mal goes back to the woman he ‘loves’.

… does the vixen live?
If you can call it that. All’s well, I suppose.

This is the typical discourse of misogynists, women fit neatly into the wife/whore dichotomy. Inara is a good woman. Her sexuality is neatly controlled by patriarchal institutions, the Academy, the Guild, her respect for Mal as Captain of the ship. She is comfortably subservient, she services men both sexually and emotionally without complaint and conforms to all the patriarchal rules of her role as both a Companion and a woman. Inara is the good whore: the wife.

Saffron on the other hand uses her ‘skills’ as a woman and as a Companion, for her own gain. She refuses to conform to patriarchal femininity by submitting gracefully to being used as a sexual and domestic slave. She turns men’s weaknesses to her own advantage. And ultimately she mast pay the price for refusing to bow to men. Saffron is the bad wife: the whore.

Inara, as a good wife must, joins with Mal in her condemnation of Saffron, and in doing so, pledges her allegiance to men and male supremacy. Inara is a model for good womanhood, she must view what happened to Saffron as a lesson in the fate afforded to women who attempt to step outside of male controlled strictures of femininity. Inara must turn away from her sisters and towards men, seeking company only with those women, like Kaylee, who also conform to male-approved, male-supremacist notions of femininity.

Blah. I’ll take sisterhood any day. But honestly, if Joss Whedon is a feminist then violence against women is sexy and empowering. Me? I’m taking a stand against Joss Whedon and his wanker fans in pursuit of true liberation for womenkind.

Final part of this series on Firefly:Objects in Space: Black masculinity through the paradigm of whitemale lust.


Me wasting some time

April 2, 2008

So I was called crazy and racist and anti-feminist over on the Feminist SF Blog and for some reason I couldn’t help taking the bait.

Read the rest of this entry ?


The Whedonites Attack

March 26, 2008

A post I made ages ago A Rapist’s View of the World: Joss Whedon and Firefly has been linked to by a Joss Whedon fan site. I can’t figure out where the link is but any way it generated a lot of traffic and many funny comments. I’ve deleted most of them because they were mostly completely pointless attacks but this particular comment was so funny that I had to share.

Fuck you you assuredly ugly bull-dyke. Whedon has done more for women and equality than you ever could. He just stops at equality instead of extending it to the misandrystic matriarchy that you want. You’re just bitter because all the women you fall for leave you as soon as they realize that, despite your looks, you aren’t a man. It’s absurd to expect someone with a military background to not address the Captain as “sir.” I agree that Zeo did not get enough characterization, but it was a large ensemble cast that only lasted for 15 episodes. You can’t expect the entire cast to be completely characterized that fast. I actually can’t read the rest of this no matter how hard I try because I am rendered physically ill by your bigotry and logical fallacies. Go kill yourself and raise the average IQ of the globe substantially.

I feel quite flattered actually. I think I might put that description of myself on my about page. Assuredly ugly bull-dyke. I think it has a nice ring. It suits me.

Anyways, the wonderful interest that the post generated has got me in the mood for writing the second installment of my A Rapist’s View of the World. I’ve written half already and will probably get it finished by the end of the week. Watch this space.


Girlcott Gloria Jeans

March 20, 2008

Mercy Ministries is an evil christian based ‘charity’ group that ‘helps’ young women suffering from male supremacy by dousing them in patriarchal religion and blaming the young women they take in for everything they are struggling with. If a woman has a problem (eating disorder, self-harm, even having been prostituted or abused) she is told that her actual problem is her relationship with god. That she self-harms etc because she is not strong enough to resist the devil, that she is possessed by demons and that she needs to drive them out. If she is incapable of dealing with her problems in this way then she is weak, she has failed the course and she is sent away in disgrace. Gloria Jeans, a coffee shop chain, are their main source of revenue. The ‘charity’ also pressures the young women to sign their welfare benefits over to them. They are associated with the hillsong church movement.

From the Mercy Ministries website:

Mercy Ministries is a national non profit organisation dedicated to providing homes and care for young women suffering the effects of eating disorders, self harm, abuse, depression, unplanned pregnancies and other life controlling issues.

Mercy Ministries is a structured residential based program that provides professional support from psychologists, dieticians, general practitioners, social workers, career counsellors and daily education from program staff to support the young women in our care.

We provide a holistic program that addresses all aspects of a young woman’s well being; physical, spiritual and emotional. Mercy Ministries is a faith based organisation dedicated to the support of young women in crisis.

They prayed to cast Satan from my body


At 21, Naomi Johnson was a young woman with a bright future, halfway through a psychology degree at Edith Cowan University, working part-time and living an independent, social life.

Yet she was plagued by anorexia.

With her family’s modest means and her part-time job there was no way she could afford to admit herself into the one private clinic in Perth that specialised in adults with eating disorders.

They had no private health insurance, and there were no publicly funded services in the state. So after much research Johnson found a link to Mercy Ministries on the internet.

Months passed as she devoted herself to going through the application process, pinning all her hopes on what appeared to be a modern, welcoming facility, backed by medical, psychiatric and dietitian support.

She flew to Sydney, thousands of kilometres away from her family and friends, and entered the live-in program.

Nine months later she was expelled, a devastated, withdrawn child who could not leave her bedroom, let alone her house.

Nine months without medical treatment, nine months without any psychiatric care, nine months of being told she was not a good enough Christian to rid herself of the “demons” that were causing her anorexia and pushing her to self-harm. After being locked away from society for so long, Naomi started to believe them. “I just felt completely hopeless. I thought if Mercy did not want to help me where do I stand now?

“They say they take in the world’s trash, so what happens when you are Mercy trash?”

Two months after she had been expelled from Mercy’s Sydney house (her crime was to smoke a cigarette) Johnson ended up in Royal Perth Hospital’s psychiatric unit. From there she started seeing a psychologist at an outpatient program two to three times a week.

“Even now, three years on, I don’t socialise widely, I don’t work full time, I don’t study full time. Even now there is still a lot of remnants hanging around from my time at Mercy.

“The first psychologist I saw rang and spoke to Mercy. She wrote to them over a period of time, just trying to get answers. They were very evasive; they avoided her calls. Eventually she got some paperwork, some case notes, from them.”

Mercy Ministries made the psychologist sign a waiver that she wouldn’t take these notes to the media before they would release them. Johnson has signed no such waiver and, months ago, she posted her notes on the internet, almost as a warning to other young women considering a stint at Mercy Ministries.

Yet for so long she just wanted to go back to the Sydney house, because they had convinced her that Mercy was the only place that could help her.

“It is difficult to explain, in a logical sense. I know how very wrong the treatment, their program and their approach is, but the wounds are still quite deep, and even though I know that they were wrong, there is still a part of you that just even now wants to be accepted by Mercy.”

In the northern suburbs of Perth, in a large, one-storey home bordered by a well-tended cottage garden, the Johnson family is attempting to pick up the pieces of a life almost cut short by Mercy.

With two fox terriers at her feet and doors and windows shut against the relentless Western Australian heat, Johnson – a small, delicate young woman with a razor sharp mind – unveils a sophisticated, nuanced interpretation of her time in the Sydney house.

Careful and articulate, her struggle with the horror of her descent into despair at the hands of Mercy is only evidenced by the occasional tremor in her hands and voice as she describes her experience. She was sharing the house with 15 other girls and young women, with problems ranging from teenage pregnancies, alcohol and drug abuse, self harm, depression, suicidal thoughts and eating disorders.

“There were girls who had got messed up in the adult sex industry – a real range of problems, some incorporating actual psychiatric illness, others just dealing with messy lives, and the approach to all those problems was the same format,” Johnson says.

Counselling involved working through a white folder containing pre-scripted prayers.

“Most of the staff were current Bible studies or Bible college students, and that is it, if anything. You just cannot play around with mental illness when you do not know what you are doing. Even professionals will acknowledge that it is a huge responsibility working in that field, and that is people who have six years, eight years university study behind them.”

And while there was nothing that was formally termed “exorcism” in the Sydney house, Naomi was forced to stand in front of two counsellors while they prayed and spoke in tongues around her. In her mind, it was an exorcism. “I felt really stupid just standing there – they weren’t helping me with the things going on in my head. I would ask staff for tools on how to cope with the urges to self harm … and the response was: ‘What scriptures are you standing on? Read your Bible.”

Johnson had grown up in a Christian family; her belief in God was not the issue; anorexia and self harm were. “A major sticking point was when they told me I needed to receive the holy Spirit in me and speak in tongues, to raise my hands in worship songs and jump up and down on the spot in fast songs. I told them that I really didn’t understand how jumping up and down to a fast song at church was going to fix the anorexia, and yet that was a big, big sticking point, because it showed I was being resistant, cynical and holding back.”

Her mother, Julie Johnson, watches as she talks, anxious about the effect of her daughter’s decision to tell her story, yet immensely proud of her courage.

“Naomi was very determined to find somewhere that could help her. We didn’t have private health cover, so our resources were limited, so she searched the net and came across Mercy Ministries,” Julie Johnson says.

“It sounded very promising … she went off to Mercy a very positive young lady who finally had some hope that she was going to come back completely free of this eating disorder.”

And the family was excited, too, pleased that there was someone who could help their daughter beat anorexia. “But unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. They gave her hope and told her they would never give up on her but … in the end she got quite distraught that she was never able to please them.”

Johnson sent her parents a letter telling them she was not very well and that she was very confused with the kind of program Mercy Ministries was running.

“I called and spoke to her counsellor in person,” Julie Johnson said. “She told me that Naomi was lying to me, that Naomi was just rebelling … she was making the wrong choices.”

But instead of taking her mother’s concerns on board, the staff punished Naomi for disclosing anything about her time at the Sydney home.

“They told me that what happens in Mercy stays in Mercy, that what happens between the staff and Naomi stays at Mercy. It is not let out to the family,” Julie Johnson said. “We were isolated, we were not involved in her progress at Mercy, we were just excluded and yet we were a family that wanted to be behind her and they wouldn’t allow us to be.”

The situation came to a head when Johnson returned to the Sydney house after spending Christmas with her family in Perth. She was told she had been seen smoking at the airport and that she was being expelled from the program. Naomi phoned her mother in tears, and the staff informed her they were putting her on the next plane back to Perth.

“She was distraught; she was an absolute mess; her life was in danger. I could hear it, she was capable of anything, the anxiety was so extreme … she was just out of control,” Julie Johnson said. “I said to them, ‘There is no way you are going to send her back on her own, she is suicidal. You will deliver her to me at the airport when I can get a flight over’.”

Mrs Johnson flew to Sydney to collect her daughter.

“She went into that place as a young lady and came back to us as a child. She was very confused, like she was 12 or 13. She shut herself in the bedroom and thought she was nothing but evil. Her self-esteem went down. She thought, ‘I may as well die.”‘

Johnson, now 24, and her mother, know how close the end had been.

They sought help, but got exorcism and the Bible

God’s cure for gays lost in sin

WHEN Mercy Ministries says it helps young women with “life-controlling issues”, it means in part that it aims to teach them not to be lesbians.

In line with the Hillsong Church’s strict doctrines teaching that homosexuality is an affliction that can be cured, Mercy Ministries is keen to ensure there is no lesbianism under its roof. It issues “separation contracts” to young women who make friends with each other and prevents any form of physical contact between residents.


White Women and Self-Obsession

January 27, 2008

I am really saddened by the recent events that have happened on the feminist blogosphere, between radical feminists (so-called), whom I mistakenly trusted to do better by their sisters. I am writing this post to address a particular issue that I am having with the white feminist bloggers that have proposed self-flagellation as their method of combating racism. I want to let everyone know that I no longer feel safe in the community of white women who have decided to jump on board the self-flagellation boat. I don’t feel safe when multiracial/biracial women are not allowed to have perspectives on race. I don’t feel safe when the mothers of biracial/multiracial children are not allowed to have perspectives on race. Right now, in the climate of the white feminist blogosphere, I do not feel safe.

And I don’t know what to do about it. I want to tell my white sisters where they can stick their self-flagellation antics. I want to let them know that I no longer feel safe to express myself on their blogs. I want to ask them, while they are doing their clueless white guilt dances, how they could dare do them on the backs of multiracial/biracial women. How they could dare do them on the backs of mothers of multiracial/biracial children. Because it shocks me silly to see these women who should bloody well know better all race to stomp other women into the mud to get points for working on their white privilege.

Not okay.

We are women. We have suffered. We have had our trust betrayed and our loyalties questioned. We suffer from guilt of things we have done, the guilt of things we haven’t done and are blamed for Every. Single. Bad. Thing on the planet. ‘Working’ on white-privilege by promoting guilt, self-flagellation, self-obsession, misdirection (blaming other white women) etc is doing shit all for the rights of people of colour.

I wrote a poem a while ago called Raped Down to Almost White and this quote seems appropriate: my grandmother has the darkest skin but this does not drive a wedge between us./I will say this bond is more than blood and more than skin and you diminish me by trying to deny it.

I don’t know how else to conclude except to say that when you deny Heart’s reality: her sacred bond with her children, you diminish her. You diminish me by making grand statements about people with white skin privilege, assuming that all of us are similarly situated to yourselves. My sacred bond with my grandmother is more than blood and more than skin and I feel as though you are trying to diminish me. Would you deny this as well?

I don’t know. I’m too afraid to ask.

I’m not all that interested in a sisterhood that carries on like this. I’m not interested in a sisterhood which involves itself in denying the lived realities of other women. If you come here onto my blog, please leave your guilt, self-obsession and woman-blaming at the door and let us get on with the revolution.