Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Our Vermont paper has published some Op-Eds from people bemoaning the fact that people object to the decorations on two of the Burton’s line of snowboards.

The “Love” line feature Playboy bunny images with scantily clad models; the “Primo” line shows people mutilating their own hands into popular cultural hand signs such as the sign for peace and OK.

The OE,s criticized protestors who objected mostly to the Love line and there have been many protests, including local government officials and owners of resorts who are banning the use of these boards on their slopes.

They defended the Love and Primo boards as “freedom of artistic expression”. But many in the community agree more with Michelle Fay, Umbrella's executive director. [Umbrella is a community resource center for women and families that offers support and advocacy for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.]

"Rape culture is fueled by the dehumanizing images of women as objects in porn," she continued. "There is an established connection between consumption of porn and aggression, as well as a sense of sexual entitlement that endangers women and children," Fay said.

Nonsense, to paraphrase the Burton family and their supporters, we have a right to free artistic expression and people should be able to buy these if they want them.”

Burton also reminds Vermonters that it brings in a lot of cash to the State and threatened that if people continued to protest their board, they could go some place else to manufacture them.

Another reason given is that those who oppose the boards are bringing discredit to the State. The Pros in this debate appear to outweigh the Cons.

In fact, their support of the Naked Playboy women boards sound very similar to that expressed by those, who like Columnist Kathleen Parker, defended the misogyny of Obama’s speech writer, Jon Favreau and staff.

Parker claims that the groping and the other perpetrators of indignities on the cut out model depicting Senator Clinton [in a widely circulated picture] was, “harmless male sport.” She opines that they were “young men goofing around.” kparker@kparker.com

Perhaps true but they were also spreading the culture of violence toward women; of hatred of misogyny. A culture that tells young people that it is OK to beat up on women and to degrade them.

The Burlington Free Press front page of 12/14/08 featured a story of three murderers of women.

“One year ago, Howard Godfrey, Brian Rooney and Christopher Williams stood as suspects in three of the most notorious and painful murder cases in recent Vermont memory: two random attacks on young women — one unsolved for 14 years, and a domestic dispute that exploded into a school shooting.

“The suspects now can be called murderers. Their crimes stood out in a state with few homicides each year and even fewer examples of stranger-on-stranger killings:

”• Godfrey, now 62, raped and killed 28-year-old Patricia Scoville in Stowe in 1991, although he evaded capture, and even suspicion, for more than a decade.

”• Rooney, 38, sexually assaulted and strangled University of Vermont senior Michelle Gardner-Quinn, 21, in Richmond in October 2006. She disappeared in downtown Burlington and was missing for a week before hikers discovered her body.

”• Williams, 30, carried out a jealousy-fueled shooting rampage through Essex in August 2006 that left two people dead and two others wounded. Killed were his former girlfriend's mother and a woman who taught with his former girlfriend. His target, whom he never found that day, was a former girlfriend who taught at Essex Elementary School."


It would be a good guess that these three atrocious crimes against women brought or will bring much more discredit to the State than the opposition to misogyny and porno on the slopes of the Green Mountains.


Greenconsciousness said...

You have a wonderful blog -- I am glad you are here!

gendergappers said...

Thank you - glad you are too. I enjoyed your web page.

Crowfoot said...

"harmless male sport"??? dear god, Kathleen Parker. Yes indeed, it IS male sport to take a powerful woman down by sexually degrading/assaulting her (real or feigned the message is the same). However it's not harmless!

good stuff, gendergappers :-)

Anonymous said...


Kathleen Parker and others like her are allowed a voice because they are woman-hating sellouts. No surprise that she sees sexual assault by men on women as "harmless". A woman who viewed herself and other women as human beings would not have a column in the Post or the Times or a spot on MSNBC or CNN.

Gendergappers, thanks for continuing to bring to light the everyday horror of life for women in these United States. I wonder if Vermont has the death penalty? I know when the victims were only women, Washington State thought a plea bargain prison sentence good enough punishment for the cold-blooded murderer of at least 22 women.