"

[P]atriarchy pushes us to put aside our good judgment—particularly when that good judgement is urging us to believe bad things about talented, white men.

I believe, as Roxane Gay does, that people are skeptical of abuse victims because “the truth and pervasiveness of sexual violence around the world is overwhelming. Why would anyone want to face such truth?” I also believe that deep down people know once we start to believe victims en masse—once we take their pain and experience seriously—that everything will have to change. Recognizing the truth about sexual assault and abuse will mean giving up too many sports and movies and songs and artists. It will mean rethinking institutions and families and power dynamics and the way we interact with each other every day. It will be a lot.

And we are lazy.

It’s easier to ignore what we know to be true, and focus on what we wish was. But the more we hold on to the things that make us comfortable and unthinking, the more people will be hurt—and the more growing room we’ll create for monsters.

"

Choosing Comfort Over Truth: What It Means to Defend Woody Allen, my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)

(via zeeblebum)

"In the Times article, the phrase “sexual assault” is used, as is the phrase “the girl had been forced to have sex with several men.” The word “rape” is only used twice and not really in connection with the victim. That is not the careful use of language. Language, in this instance, and far more often than makes sense, is used to buffer our sensibilities from the brutality of rape, from the extraordinary nature of such a crime. Feminist scholars have long called for a rereading of rape. Higgins and Silver note that “the act of rereading rape involves more than listening to silences; it requires restoring rape to the literal, to the body: restoring, that is, the violence—the physical, sexual violation.” I would suggest we need to find new ways, whether in fiction or creative nonfiction or journalism, for not only rereading rape but rewriting rape as well, ways of rewriting that restore the actual violence to these crimes and that make it impossible for men to be excused for committing atrocities and that make it impossible for articles like McKinley’s to be written, to be published, to be considered acceptable.

An eleven-year-old girl was raped by eighteen men. The suspects ranged in age from middle-schoolers to a 27-year-old. There are pictures and videos. Her life will never be the same. The New York Times, however, would like you to worry about those boys, who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. That is not simply the careless language of violence. It is the criminal language of violence."

THE CARELESS LANGUAGE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

BY ROXANE GAY

(via plansfornigel)

(Source: womxxn, via zeeblebum)

"In the Times article, the phrase “sexual assault” is used, as is the phrase “the girl had been forced to have sex with several men.” The word “rape” is only used twice and not really in connection with the victim. That is not the careful use of language. Language, in this instance, and far more often than makes sense, is used to buffer our sensibilities from the brutality of rape, from the extraordinary nature of such a crime. Feminist scholars have long called for a rereading of rape. Higgins and Silver note that “the act of rereading rape involves more than listening to silences; it requires restoring rape to the literal, to the body: restoring, that is, the violence—the physical, sexual violation.” I would suggest we need to find new ways, whether in fiction or creative nonfiction or journalism, for not only rereading rape but rewriting rape as well, ways of rewriting that restore the actual violence to these crimes and that make it impossible for men to be excused for committing atrocities and that make it impossible for articles like McKinley’s to be written, to be published, to be considered acceptable.

An eleven-year-old girl was raped by eighteen men. The suspects ranged in age from middle-schoolers to a 27-year-old. There are pictures and videos. Her life will never be the same. The New York Times, however, would like you to worry about those boys, who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. That is not simply the careless language of violence. It is the criminal language of violence."

THE CARELESS LANGUAGE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

BY ROXANE GAY

(via internetgangstar)

Yet even in this quote the use of passive voice sort of blunts the message she’s trying to convey. “The word “rape” is only used twice and not really in connection with the victim” instead of “The author used the word “rape” only twice and not really in connection with the victim.” “An eleven-year-old girl was raped by eighteen men” instead of “Eighteen men raped an eleven-year-old girl.” It would make her own words stronger if she named the agent in active voice, something I never see in articles or blogs about rape.

(via dragonsupremacy)

(Source: womxxn, via rapeculturerealities)

"

A common belief about rape is that they are the result of an overwhelming sexual urge where the perpetrator loses normal self-control. The reality is that rape and sexual assault are in themselves vicious, violent acts whether or not they are accompanied by other violence, and research shows that the primary motivating factors are anger and the wish to dominate, not sexual desire.


The belief that rape and sexual assault are sexual acts contributes to the idea that the victim may in some way be responsible for the assault. Women and men who have been raped or sexually assaulted may agonise over what it was in their dress or behaviour that led to the attack, a question that would be considered ludicrous in any other violent crime. It is the perpetrator who is responsible for rape and sexual assault, not the victim. People censor their activities in an attempt to avoid being targeted, but this does not prevent people of all ages, in diverse situations, being sexually assaulted or raped.

"

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (via princess-aoife)

(via bematthe)

"For decades, the challenge facing anti-rape activists was to take what is often an intensely private crime—54 percent of sexual assaults are estimated to go unreported—and bring it to national attention as a pervasive crisis. Now that cases regularly crop up in which photos and videos of sexual assaults are circulated on social media, it’s becoming harder to argue that rape is anything but a public scourge. We are all bystanders. We all bear witness."

— Ann Friedman, When Rape Goes Viral (via jessicavalenti)

"If more men spoke up before, during, or after incidents of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse by their peers, they would help to create a climate where the abuse of women—emotional, physical, sexual—would be stigmatized and seen as incompatible with male group norms. That is, a man who engaged in such behavior would lose status among his male peers and forfeit the approval of older males.

Ultimately, this would cause a shift in male culture such that some men’s sexist abuse of women and girls would be regarded—by other men—not only as distasteful but as utterly unacceptable. In this new climate, individuals would be strongly discouraged from acting out in abusive ways because of the anticipated negative consequences: loss of respect, friends, and status, and greater likelihood of facing both legal and non-legal sanctions.

In fact, if men’s violence against women truly carried a significant stigma in male culture, it is possible that most incidents of sexist abuse would never happen. This is because contrary to popular myth, the vast majority of boys and men who assault, harass, and bully girls and women are not sociopaths. They are average guys. Many of them see the sexist treatment of women as normal."

— Jackson Katz, Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help (via wretchedoftheearth)

(via bematthe)

"We live in a country where politicians call rape a “gift from God” and suggest that women regularly lie about being raped. Where a group of young men in high school think so little of sexual assault that they thought it was fine—hilarious, even—to post pictures online of a passed out rape victim, and to live-tweet the rape, joking about the victim being urinated on. We live in a country where media as revered as The New York Times finds it necessary to describe an 11-year-old gang rape victim as “wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.” Where a woman can be fired because her boss finds her “irresistable” and a woman’s rape case falls flat because she isn’t married. It’s time to acknowledge that the rape epidemic in the United States is not just about the crimes themselves, but our own cultural and political willful ignorance. Rape is as American as apple pie—until we own that, nothing will change"

—  America’s Rape Problem: We Refuse to Admit That There Is One | The Nation (via veruca-assault)

(Source: wakeupblackpower, via courtneystoker)

"Rape jokes are not jokes. Woman-hating jokes are not jokes. These guys are telling you what they think. When you laugh along to get their approval, you give them yours."

— Thomas Millar, Meet the Predator  (via jkwithers)

(via loveyourchaos)

"If owning a gun and knowing how to use it worked, the military would be the safest place for a woman. It’s not.

If women covering up their bodies worked, Afghanistan would have a lower rate of sexual assault than Polynesia. It doesn’t.

If not drinking alcohol worked, children would not be raped. They are.

If your advice to a woman to avoid rape is to be the most modestly dressed, soberest and first to go home, you may as well add “so the rapist will choose someone else”.

If your response to hearing a woman has been raped is “she didn’t have to go to that bar/nightclub/party” you are saying that you want bars, nightclubs and parties to have no women in them. Unless you want the women to show up, but wear kaftans and drink orange juice. Good luck selling either of those options to your friends.

Or you could just be honest and say that you don’t want less rape, you want (even) less prosecution of rapists."

A Short Post on Rape Prevention (via noctilucens)

(Source: brutereason, via thefeministpress)

"Young men need to be socialized in such a way that rape is as unthinkable to them as cannibalism."

— Mary Pipher, Clinical Psychologist and Author, Reviving Ophelia (via sunshine-machine)

(via lipstick-feminists)

"[TW: rape culture]
When rapists engage in sex acts without bothering to gain their sex partner’s consent, they are not “accidentally” raping someone. Rapes don’t come from miscommunication. They are not isolated, unpreventable incidents. They are a product of institutionalized, reinforced, life-long privilege. They are the symptoms of a flaw in the rapist’s entire worldview. They are the product of the way the rapist has habitually devalued women, laid claim to the bodies of others, pursued what he wants no matter what—and never thought anything of it because he has never been called on it. That’s not an accident. That’s a system."

Legal Consent, Morning-After Regret, and “Accidental” Rape | Amanda Hess | The Sexist (Washington City Paper)

This is perfect

(via wretchedoftheearth)

(Source: clares-facade, via notesonascandal)

"[TW: rape]
First you’re taught to fear a phantom, a man in black, a man with a knife, a man who’ll pounce in dark alleys. Well-intentioned women—mothers, aunts, teachers—will train you to protect yourself: Don’t wear your hair in a ponytail; it’s easier to grab. Hold your keys in one hand; hold your pepper spray in the other. Avoid dark alleys. When you reach young adulthood, the lessons change. They acquire an undertone of disgust: Don’t drink so much. Don’t wear such short skirts. You’re sending mixed signals; you’re putting yourself at risk. If you follow the advice and it never happens—if you end up one of the three out of four—you can convince yourself that safety is a product of your own making, a reflection of inherent goodness. But if you’re paying attention, you realize something doesn’t add up. Because it keeps happening: to your sisters; to your friends; to little girls and grown women you’ll never meet, in places like Cleveland, Texas; Steubenville, Ohio; New Delhi. Good people, bad people, neutral. It keeps happening in TV shows and novels and movies—they open on the missing girl, the dead girl, the raped girl. If you’re paying attention, you begin to realize that it isn’t happening. It is being done. And you are not safe. You have never been safe. You were born with a bulls-eye on your back. All you have ever been is lucky."

The Female Gaze: SO MUCH PRETTY by Cara Hoffman - review Cara Hoffman’s really amazing, really important novel So Much Pretty at The Female Gaze this month.  (via sssssophie)

(via feminishblog)

"‘The fact is, rape is utterly commonplace in all our cultures. It is part of the fabric of everyday life, yet we all act as if it’s something shocking and extraordinary whenever it hits the headlines. We remain silent, and so we condone it…Until rape, and the structures – sexism, inequality, tradition – that make it possible, are part of our dinner-table conversation with the next generation, it will continue. Is it polite and comfortable to talk about it? No. Must we anyway? Yes.’"

— Desmond Tutu, ‘To protect our children, we must talk to them about rape’ (via guardiancomment)

(Source: Guardian, via catholicaramis)

"

[TW: rape jokes] So here’s the real reason that rape jokes are troubled territory -

Because rape victims say so.

They get to say that. They get to feel that way. On this, they get to set the cultural rules.

It’s not about right or wrong, or logic versus emotion, or arguments of over sensitivity or hypocrisy - you have the free speech to make whatever jokes you want or talk about rape in whatever way you feel is illuminating. But they get to be upset about it. And call you on it. And be hurt by it.

But consider this:

You get to not be a rape victim.

They, however, are not afforded that luxury. Ever again.

"

— Chuck Wendi (via lavenderlabia)

(Source: vickiexz, via feminishblog)

"

If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean bitch”)
it is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy bitch”)
it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up bitch”)
it is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry bitch”)
it is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“bitch got daddy issues”)
it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke bitch”)
it is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill bitch”)
it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid bitch”)

If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.

And we should not be surprised when they behave these ways during attempted or completed rapes.

Women who are taught not to speak up too loudly or too forcefully or too adamantly or too demandingly are not going to shout “NO” at the top of their goddamn lungs just because some guy is getting uncomfortably close.

Women who are taught not to keep arguing are not going to keep saying “NO.”

Women who are taught that their needs and desires are not to be trusted, are fickle and wrong and are not to be interpreted by the woman herself, are not going to know how to argue with “but you liked kissing, I just thought…”

Women who are taught that physical confrontations make them look crazy will not start hitting, kicking, and screaming until it’s too late, if they do at all.

Women who are taught that a display of their emotional state will have them labeled hysterical and crazy (which is how their perception of events will be discounted) will not be willing to run from a room disheveled and screaming and crying.

Women who are taught that certain established boundaries are frowned upon as too rigid and unnecessary are going to find themselves in situations that move further faster before they realize that their first impression was right, and they are in a dangerous room with a dangerous person.

Women who are taught that refusing to flirt back results in an immediately hostile environment will continue to unwillingly and unhappily flirt with somebody who is invading their space and giving them creep alerts.

People wonder why women don’t “fight back,” but they don’t wonder about it when women back down in arguments, are interrupted, purposefully lower and modulate their voices to express less emotion, make obvious signals that they are uninterested in conversation or being in closer physical proximity and are ignored. They don’t wonder about all those daily social interactions in which women are quieter, ignored, or invisible, because those social interactions seem normal. They seem normal to women, and they seem normal to men, because we were all raised in the same cultural pond, drinking the same Kool-Aid.

And then, all of a sudden, when women are raped, all these natural and invisible social interactions become evidence that the woman wasn’t truly raped. Because she didn’t fight back, or yell loudly, or run, or kick, or punch. She let him into her room when it was obvious what he wanted. She flirted with him, she kissed him. She stopped saying no, after a while.

These rules for social interactions that women are taught to obey are more than grease for the patriarchy wheel. Women are taught both that these rules will protect them, and that disobeying these rules results in punishment.

"

http://fugitivus.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/another-post-about-rape-3/

I’ll be posting more portions from this piece; the entire thing was something I read early on in my feminist awakening that made a whole bunch of concepts come crashing into place for me.

(via seebster)

(via wretchedoftheearth)