The good news from Will’s very bad, no-good column is that anti-rape activism is clearly having a profound effect on the culture. The rape-apologist backlash – sadly, Will is hardly alone in his ignorance – is in full effect precisely because feminist language and recommendations around sexual assault are being taken seriously by the White House, the media and (hopefully, soon) schools as well. For people like Will – misogynists who believe rape is about “ambiguities” rather than violence – this shift also represents a win for feminists more generally.
Today, if you argue that women who drink or who dared to have past consensual sexual encounters are somehow un-rapeable, you will get taken to task. There’s much work to be, for sure – victim-blaming is still much the norm in some circles – but gone are the days when you could say something stupid and sexist and it would go unnoticed or applauded. I’m sure that this change in what’s socially acceptable terrifies Will and his cohort because it upends everything they believe about women, sex and consent – and it reveals them for the dinosaurs that they are.
I’m willing to bet that Will has an inbox full of emails from rape survivors (no, no scare quotes necessary) who are educating him on exactly the kind of perks they got if they came forward. I doubt these people’s stories will change his mind, but I do know they’re changing the country.
And for original content, this screenshot of my #safetytipsforladies tweet I posted last year has almost 25,000 notes.
Given that all the posts that seem to resonate most are feminist themed, it stands to reason that a fair percentage of my followers are likely women or nonbinary.
What’s funny is I never figured on women following me. For a good chunk of my life I was frightened by women, many of whom acted threatened by me because of some imagined competition for their man.
But all that aside, I’m super hopeful and excited for the younger generations who are coming of age in this atmosphere of tearing down rape culture and male entitlement and white supremacy and all that.
Hell, I’m even hopeful for the older generations, many members of whom are letting go of lifetime prejudices in favor of more compassionate and informed worldviews.
But seriously though, this is a Thing. Like universal seatbelt wearing. Not littering. Not smoking inside. Mass incarceration. Widespread cultural change that seemed bizarre when I was a kid growing up in the seventies now just seems “natural” or the “way it’s always been”.
And soon, very soon, our culture is going to have a new “natural” way to look at rape, one that doesn’t view it as the inevitable consequence of being feminine or powerless. Even now it seems inconceivable that this near future societal definition could treat rape (and sexual assault) seriously, like a real crime, with real consequences, but a tiny little part of me is reaching for that light, that flicker of hope that we really are on that path, that that’s our destination, and that together, we’ll make it there.
"THIS PICTURE WILL NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT I STILL NEED FEMINISM AND I’M GOING TO REALLY, REALLY TELL YOU WHY":
-Because I got called a whore for wearing a short plaid skirt when I was 10
-and because when Nujood Ali from Yemen was 10 she got divorced
-Because black girls’ names became my classmates’ favorite “joke” when I was 11
-and because when an 11-year-old girl in Texas was raped by 18 men the New York Times wrote of how the girl “dressed older than her age”
-Because I started counting calories when I was 14
-and because when Malala Yousafzai was 14 she was shot in the head for trying to go to school
-Because I heard a boy greet a girl with “hey slut” today at age 16 -and because when a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio was filmed being raped by two boys at a party while unconscious the CNN reporters talked about how tragic it was because the rapists had such bright futures as athletes
-Because I will have to watch my drink at all bars and parties when I am 22
-and because when CeCe McDonald was 22 she was sentenced to 41 months in prison for defending herself against a man who screamed transphobic, racist insults at her and then slashed her face with a bottle
-Because no matter what age I am the biggest threat to men will still be heart disease, and the biggest threat to women will still be men.
-Because it is not just about me, because it is not just about anger, because it is not just a JOKE, because it is not just about “hating men,” because it is not just about girls with vaginas, because it is not just about ending “slut”, because it is not just about white straight girls in Rookie magazine, because it is not just about writing on backs, because it is not just about the fact that gay men are “fags” but lesbians are “hot,” because it is not just about pictures of thin white girls being the only google image results for the search phrase “beautiful women”, because it is not just about writing signs, because it is not just about what she was wearing or how many times she said yes before she changed her answer to no, because misogyny is not just about one thing and feminism is not just about one thing and it is not just “a trend” and it will not “happen” in just one way.
-And because yes. It is about equality for EVERYONE, but first and foremost it needs to be about equality for girls, because they are not treated equally to men, in every single sense, and you are not going to take feminism away from me and call me bossy/hostile/aggressive and make this about yourself or make it into a joke, because truth be told, I’m not joking and I’m tired of explaining. If you want to call yourself a feminist, you work hard to spread feminism, you do not turn this into a contest of whose struggle is greater and constantly demand to know what you can get out of feminism personally. Feminism is not just about you, or me, it is about everyone. If you’re male and you’re tired of men being stereotyped as hyper-masculine, soulless, sexist, inherent leader-tyrant creatures, then go out and prove the patriarchy wrong and fight for girls, like someone with a soul who believes in equality would. Then, yes, feminism will be about everyone.
As Noam Chomsky once pointed out for Z Magazine, old media types from the institutional bodies like American Enterprise Institute tend to regurgitate the same ideas with a reliability that is equally impressive and infuriating. While assuring the public that rape is a terrible crime, writers like Caroline Kitchens and Heather McDonald of right-wing think tank The Manhattan Institute try to claim that feminists have blown this whole rape culture thing way out of proportion.
Apparently, many women disagree. On Tuesday there were more than 1 million responses on the #RapeCultureIsWhen hashtag started by a frustrated Zerlina Maxwell in response to these right-wing narratives.
These infogifs are provided RIGHTS-FREE for noncommercial purposes. Repost them anywhere. In fact, repost them EVERYWHERE. No need to credit. Link to the L&M study if possible.
Knowledge is a seed; sow it.
Reblogging because I mentioned this study in a post the other day and someone reblogged & replied insinuating that I’d made it up, but I didn’t have the citation on hand right then. As I said then: rape culture is what teaches rapists that they aren’t rapists.
^ bolded for emphasis
“rape culture is what teaches rapists that they aren’t rapists.”
Looking at a sleeping man’s hard on makes you wonder how that would work in a world where men were the default objects of rape culture and victim blaming.
"But look at that slut! Even passed out you can tell he wants it… He should have worn a chastity device if he didn’t want people to touch his junk while he sleeps. Or bound that shit up. You know any guy who doesn’t wrap is asking for it."
"It’s like being presented with a sirloin steak and being told you can’t eat it."
I presented my two dogs with an actual sirloin steak, then told them no.
Woofles didn’t even approach it when I set it down, as I hadn’t told him it was okay to do so. Quinn approached it, completely ready to take it from the plate (as her manners are not yet as good as Woofles’ manners), was told no, and immediately backed off.
When Woofles heard the no, he turned away as well because he knew that steak was not for him to eat.
Notice how they didn’t ‘argue’, didn’t take it anyway, didn’t get aggressive, didn’t beg, or didn’t try to somehow persuade me that they should be able to have it.
They were told no, they backed off.
So, essentially, if you use that analogy to excuse rape, you’re saying you have less self control and fewer basic social manners than my two dogs.
That also probably means you should be neutered and kept on a leash.
How in the living fuck does this not have more notes?
Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, “I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her”?
Or when you told your son, “A woman’s virginity isn’t a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn’t earn you a point”?
How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that “a woman doesn’t have to be fighting you and you don’t have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can’t legally consent, NOT that she’s an easy score.”
Or maybe you recall sharing my personal favorite, “Your sexual experiences don’t dictate your worth just like a woman’s sexual experiences don’t dictate hers.”
Last but not least, do you remember calling your son out when you discovered he was using the word “slut” liberally? Or when you overheard him talking about some girl from school as if she were more of a conquest than a person?
I want you to consider these conversations and then ask yourself why you don’t remember them. The likely reason is because you didn’t have them. In fact, most parents haven’t had them.
I have gotten one question repeatedly from young men. These are guys who liked the book, but they are honestly confused. They ask me why Melinda was so upset about being raped.
The first dozen times I heard this, I was horrified. But I heard it over and over again. I realized that many young men are not being taught the impact that sexual assault has on a woman. They are inundated by sexual imagery in the media, and often come to the (incorrect) conclusion that having sex is not a big deal. This, no doubt, is why the number of sexual assaults is so high.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak, on the question “Have any readers ever asked questions that shocked you?”
Read that again. Read it again, and again, and again. Over and over guys have asked her why Melinda was so upset about being raped. This is a girl who went to a party with friends. She was thirteen. She had a drink, because everyone else was. And a senior held her down and raped her while she was too drunk to get away.
And guys don’t understand why she was upset.
Read that again and then come back and tell me again why I should just shut up and take a joke when a comedian blows off rape as a big deal, or women’s bodies are casually treated as commodities in media. Remind me why I shouldn’t care about the very real harm that society’s treatment of women and sexual assault does.
YES. THIS. And this is exactly why I personally think it’s important to be talking to boys about these things at an early age. I know it’s an unpopular way of speaking my opinion, but when society teaches men one thing their whole lives, and they act off of certain assumptions, it’s no wonder they seem blind-sided when they get themselves in trouble.
We shouldn’t want men to be tricked into fucking up and somehow committing a sexual abuse against us, we should want them to know as early as possible how their actions affect REAL women and the ways those women are subsequently treated by society.
It’s not enough to teach women how to stand up and protect themselves, you NEED to teach boys exactly why that behavior is wrong and how to recognize the ways society is tricking them.
I am so grateful for this book, and the film of it. One night when I couldn’t sleep because I was having night terrors about a month after being raped, I stumbled across the movie while channel-surfing. It might have saved my life. A lot of things saved my life that first year.
Here’s the thing about the quote: this is not unusual. Look at Steubenville. Look at all the stories about rape in the last year, the last five years, the last decade: The concern is for the ruined lives of men who violate women. The blame is constantly shifted to women. Constantly. These boys don’t understand why Melinda is upset because they are constantly taught that they are entitled to women’s bodies and that women who are raped are always in some way at fault. They are not taught that explicit consent and capacity for consent are necessary. This is why they don’t understand. That should horrify all of us.
Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha made the remark Tuesday during a conference about illegal sports betting and the need to legalize gambling. The CBI, the country’s premier investigative agency, is India’s equivalent of the FBI.
Sinha said at the conference that if the state could not stop gambling, it could at least make some revenue by legalizing it.
"If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying, ‘If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it,’" he said.
“Bodily autonomy isn’t only about sex. My youngest brother has a lot of allergies. No, a lot of allergies. They’ve gotten a little better with age and medication, but time was, even smelling milk or eggs or walnuts or cherries or any of a dozen other things would land him in intensive care. I’d come home from school and oops, there’d be a note on the table saying my family was at the hospital again. People didn’t understand that. Still don’t. “Milk allergy? Oh, you must mean lactose intolerance. There are pills for that now, here, have a cupcake — “ and then it’s another emergency shot of epinephrine to the leg. So I don’t have much tolerance for people who say, “Here, put this in your mouth. I know better than you what goes in it.””