We are in training from the time we are born to tolerate abuse. That is what being nice means. When they tease us, and chase us, and grab us, and the adults tell us it is because they like us, we are being trained to tolerate abuse. The dominance and submission training starts at a very early age and we are dying from it. Every day.
tehbewilderness (via never-obey)
And people have the nerve to ask why women get into relationships with abusive people
This is why, people. This is why. Stop being complicit in it.
and that is what is so fucking scary we are told to like it… (via freshmouthgoddess)
[[trigger warning: rape]]
In response to the Steubenville, Ohio teen rape case, West Virginia U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld is launching a program to teach high school athletes not to post evidence of rape online.
It’s called “Project Future,” and his goal is to teach teens how to avoid getting in trouble with the law by using cell phones, cameras, and social media “responsibly.” Instead of teaching teens not to rape, the U.S. Attorney wants to teach them not to get caught.
This is rape culture at work: The very people who are in charge of enforcing our laws look at a cruel, brutal attack on a young girl and think, “If only the teens hadn’t posted photographic evidence online.”
The first hitchhiker
I ever picked up
I dropped off in the wrong place.
We were both backpackers –
young, dirty, and foreign.
I was so excited to help,
I didn’t even realize my mistake
until I was too far
to turn around.
I’d left him on a busy overpass –
gray eyes and tired hands
to search for another way out.
The first time I hitchhiked
I kept my three inch knife
clutched in a fist
inside my bag the whole time.
They were the only ones who stopped:
thick set country boys,
dogs barking in the bed
of their black pick up truck.
I was suddenly so grateful
for my baggy clothes –
my unwashed hair –
their harmless questions –
but I never shook the doubt in my gut –
and I didn’t look back when I finally got out.
You could not pay me enough money
to hitchhike in America.
In America, no one looks at you
and everyone stares.
In America, fear is a gender
I am too familiar with.
In America, the street is a river
and all of the men are drowning.
All of the men need you to save them.
All of the men need you.
All of the men have been raised to believe
women are supposed to fuck them.
All of the men expect you to fuck them.
In America, she was asking for it.
In America, I walk with my keys shoved between my knuckles.
All of my retorts burn in the wildfire of my throat.
My eyes are sidewalks.
My body: a used noose.
Every voice is a corner –
a dog fight –
America says, “That poor girl in India –
only in the Third World –
how could six men rape her
and no one do anything?”
In America, I walk down the street
and a boy leans out of his car
to scream “Yo Slut! Pull down your hood!”
In America, I am with my boyfriend
when a man hisses in my ear
so that he and I have a secret.
So that he and I are he and I.
So that I will flinch when the next man
stares for too long.
In America, a man pretended to masturbate on me
during a poetry show
because I was too much talk
and not enough take.
Because my mouth was a siren –
A hive –
Because no one called him
a misogynist after the show but me.
In America, we are taught
to scream the word “FIRE”
if being assaulted because no one
will help us if we yell “RAPE.”
In America, six members
of the high school football team
can show photos of the girl
they pissed on
and no one will do anything.
Their male authority figures will condone it.
Rape is an American Past Time: A National Sport.
In America, she shouldn’t have gotten so sloppy.
In America, boys will be boys.
In America, twenty two elected Senators can oppose
The Violence Against Women Act.
In America, when you type the word “rape”
into Google the first option to pop up
is RAPE JOKES.
In America, my body belongs
to the first person who demeaned it:
the boy who broke up with me
because I wouldn’t have sex with him.
The one who taught me to find something
to burn. To mold. To shrink. To hate –
My worth stolen like a bicycle in the night –
a yellow blur in the dark.
In America, I am always searching
for another way out.
In America, I am always on fire.
I am always on fire.
Carrie Rudzinski (via perfect
You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.
If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary man with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”
On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.
The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.
There’s a man with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after the date, he sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed him back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single date. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Does he still e-mail?
Yeah. He does. About every two weeks.
This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.
So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.
For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.
an excerpt from Phaedra Starling’s “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” (via lostgrrrls)
HOLY FUCK THE TRUTH.
Can every one of my male followers read this? And please, before you get defensive (“I would never rape anyone!”) keep in mind, women being afraid of Shrodinger’s Rapists (oh my god i still can’t get over the encompassing brilliance of this phrase) is a conditioned, learned response from being immersed in rape culture and the evolution of sexism and sexual violence in our society from the day we’re born. And unfortunately, it’s very difficult to unlearn without the efforts of all genders to dismantle it. Which is where you come in.
keep in mind this goes for girls as well. Everyone should read this, and understand it applies to everyone. Not just guys to girls, or girls to guys. It should be the same for anyone. OK?
For months, every morning when my daughter was in preschool, I watched her construct an elaborate castle out of blocks, colorful plastic discs, bits of rope, ribbons and feathers, only to have the same little boy gleefully destroy it within seconds of its completion.
No matter how many times he did it, his parents never swooped in BEFORE the morning’s live 3-D reenactment of “Invasion of AstroMonster.” This is what they’d say repeatedly:
“You know! Boys will be boys!”
“He’s just going through a phase!”
“He’s such a boy! He LOVES destroying things!”
“Oh my god! Girls and boys are SO different!”
“He. Just. Can’t. Help himself!”
I tried to teach my daughter how to stop this from happening. She asked him politely not to do it. We talked about some things she might do. She moved where she built. She stood in his way. She built a stronger foundation to the castle, so that, if he did get to it, she wouldn’t have to rebuild the whole thing. In the meantime, I imagine his parents thinking, “What red-blooded boy wouldn’t knock it down?”
She built a beautiful, glittery castle in a public space.
It was so tempting.
He just couldn’t control himself and, being a boy, had violent inclinations.
She had to keep her building safe.
Her consent didn’t matter. Besides, it’s not like she made a big fuss when he knocked it down. It wasn’t a “legitimate” knocking over if she didn’t throw a tantrum.
His desire — for power, destruction, control, whatever- - was understandable.
Maybe she “shouldn’t have gone to preschool” at all. OR, better if she just kept her building activities to home.
I know it’s a lurid metaphor, but I taught my daughter the preschool block precursor of don’t “get raped” and this child, Boy #1, did not learn the preschool equivalent of “don’t rape.”
Not once did his parents talk to him about invading another person’s space and claiming for his own purposes something that was not his to claim. Respect for her and her work and words was not something he was learning. How much of the boy’s behavior in coming years would be excused in these ways, be calibrated to meet these expectations and enforce the “rules” his parents kept repeating?
There was another boy who, similarly, decided to knock down her castle one day. When he did it his mother took him in hand, explained to him that it was not his to destroy, asked him how he thought my daughter felt after working so hard on her building and walked over with him so he could apologize. That probably wasn’t much fun for him, but he did not do it again.
There was a third child. He was really smart. He asked if he could knock her building down. She, beneficent ruler of all pre-circle-time castle construction, said yes… but only after she was done building it and said it was OK. They worked out a plan together and eventually he started building things with her and they would both knock the thing down with unadulterated joy. You can’t make this stuff up.
Take each of these three boys and consider what he might do when he’s older, say, at college, drunk at a party, mad at an ex-girlfriend who rebuffs him and uses words that she expects will be meaningful and respecte, “No, I don’t want to. Stop. Leave.”
The “overarching attitudinal characteristic” of abusive men is entitlement.
What kind of world do we live in when young men are so proud of violating unconscious girls that they pass proof around to their friends? It’s the same kind of world in which being labeled a slut comes with such torturous social repercussions that suicide is preferable to enduring them. As a woman named Sara Erdmann so aptly tweeted to me, “I will never understand why it is more shameful to be raped than to be a rapist.”
And yet it is: so much so that young men seem to think there’s nothing wrong with—and maybe something hilarious about—sharing pictures of themselves raping young women. And why not? Their friends will defend them, as they did in Steubenville, tweeting that the young woman was “asking for it” and that the boys were being unfairly targeted.
Women and girls are the ones expected to carry the shame of the sexual crimes perpetrated against them. And that shame is a tremendous load to bear, because once you’re labeled a slut, empathy and compassion go out the window. The word is more than a slur—it’s a designation.
My dog understands the word “No,” so how are you going to tell me teenage boys don’t know the difference between rape and consent?
THIS THIS THIS!
not only can dogs be relatively easily trained to recognize the word “no” and the meaning behind it, but dogs are also aware of all the other signals you give off that means STOP THAT.
ever watched dogs play? the way dogs negotiate boundaries, before and in the midst of even the roughest play, is always amazing to me. and most of the time they do it with no vocalizations at all.
every animal knows this. the idea that men are somehow exempt from instinctual knowledge that all social animals have is a lie, thanks to rape culture.
alladis! babies are born knowing. we socialize, beat and argue it away.
Women are socialized to make men feel good. We’re socialized to “let you down easy.” We’re not socialized to say a clear and direct “no.” We’re socialized to speak in hints and boost egos and let people save face. People who don’t respect the social contract (rapists, predators, assholes, pickup artists) are good at taking advantage of this. “No” is something we have to learn. “No” is something we have to earn. In fact, I’d argue that the ability to just say “no” to something, without further comment, apology, explanation, guilt, or thinking about it is one of the great rites of passage in growing up, and when you start saying it and saying it regularly the world often pushes back. And calls you names.
(tw: rape culture) Women, like men, don’t want to believe they actually know rapists. It’s easier to believe the victim is a lying slut than to accept that your friend or relative has such a dark side. And women have an extra reason to blame and shame the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of rape: Doing so helps you convince yourself that you’re safe. Claiming that it’s the victim’s fault for tempting men with her drinking/sexual activity/mini-skirt means telling yourself that as long as you aren’t as “slutty” as the victim, you’ll be OK.
Amanda Marcotte (via genderific
But are we really that surprised that these two young men didn’t think their actions were wrong?
Videos of men running up to women they don’t know just to grab their ass or stomach and run away are played for laughs on shows like Tosh.0. (The show is run by a comedian who garnered tremendous support after he “joked” about a woman in his audience being gang raped.) A “funny” montage of women’s breasts shown at the Oscars included rape scenes. We have handfuls of qualifiers—date, legitimate, forcible, gray—that we throw in front of “rape” because we want to know if an assault was a “real” rape or one of those non-rapes Republican politicians keep talking about.
And it’s not just rape that’s the joke—it’s women. Our very existence is presented to young men as fodder for sex and laughs, our humiliation and pain as goalposts for their masculinity. While mainstream culture fools itself into thinking that Americans take rape seriously, most women know better. We get the joke. We’re just tired of being the punchline.
“And refuse to bow down to it. And refuse to laugh at it. And refuse to excuse it. And refuse to stay silent when it’s happening around you.”
I rarely ever write this personally. But okay.
When I was four, a kid in my neighbourhood took me into his room and pulled down my pants (twice) when I went over to play. I went home, told my mom, and she walked right over to that neighbour’s house, where she and that kid’s mom raised all kinds…
This is incredibly high praise. Thank you for sharing, Mr. Tompkins!
Anne Donahue is really cool and this is an important read.
Isn’t it weird how guys who called themselves “The Rape Crew” and live tweeted/posted about a girl getting raped are suddenly too young and sheltered to know what rape is or to understand that it’s what they were doing/watching/egging on?
The problem isn’t that these people didn’t know what rape is.
The problem is that they thought it was a big joke.
And why wouldn’t they? This is exactly what society teaches us. Rape is a joke. It’s trivial, comparable to suffering an overwhelming defeat in a video game. It’s just something that happens. It’s a natural consequence for the careless and vulnerable, not a crime that has consequences for the perpetrator.
When a man says no in this culture, it’s the end of the discussion. When a woman says no, it’s the beginning of a negotiation.
Gavin De Becker (via dandyions)
When high-status high school athletes commit felonies, especially gang rape– they are surrounded and protected by their fathers, their school administrations and their communities. These out-of-control, rapacious thugs are our school’s heroes — “our guys,” as the gang rapists at Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey were called nearly two decades ago. The players themselves hold to a code of silence, the omerta of sexual assault: No one ever rats out a fellow bro. The parents, the school and the community circle wagons in a culture of protection around the boys.
It’s often the girl herself, and her parents, who are vilified and receive death threats for daring to expose the crime in the first place. Raped boys, too, dare not complain: A few years ago, after rookies on the Mepham High School (Long Island) football team were sodomized with broom handles, golf balls and pine cones in a pre-season hazing ritual, the rookies’ parents got anonymous death threats for standing up for their brutalized sons
VIGILANTES ARE TAGGING EGYPT’S SEXUAL HARASSERS WITH SPRAY PAINT
Despite worldwide publicity and campaigning, the approach to actually solving the sexual harassment epidemic in Egypt has sadly been a pretty apathetic one, with police giving less than a gram of shit about the situation, leaving street perverts to grope away until their hands are content. So it’s perhaps no surprise that anti-harassment groups in Cairo have gone vigilante, taking what’s left of the law into their own hands and patroling the streets to fight the harassment epidemic themselves.
We first heard about “Be A Man,” one of the more radical anti-harassment campaigns, from a story on NPR. The members of the group patroled during the recent Eid al-Adha festival celebrations, armed with cans of black and white spray paint, attacking, pinning down, and scarlet-lettering the shit out of grabbers and gropers with the words “I Am a Harasser.” Mostly men themselves, the activists wore matching fluoro jackets with “Harassment Prevention” scrawled across their backs in Arabic. I spoke to Muhammad Taimoor, leader and founder of the campaign, about their controversial tactics during the festival.
VICE: Hey Muhammad. Can you tell me a little bit about what’s been going on in the past few weeks?
Muhammad Taimoor: Yeah, we’ve been working against harassment with our campaign, “Be a Man.” A big problem here is that women-only carriages on the subway are being invaded by men who are then harassing the women onboard, so we’ve been working against that. It was Eid a couple of weeks ago and we were expecting that would be a particularly bad time for harassment. In the three days of Eid that I participated in, we caught about 300 cases of harassment—that’s 100 every day.
Wow, good job. How do you “catch” these cases?
Our tactics this time were pretty violent—a lot of people were offended because they didn’t like what we were doing. Basically, we attacked the harassers and spray-painted “I Am a Harasser” on anyone we caught in the act. The police weren’t at all supportive of what we were trying to do and they clearly weren’t ready to keep Egyptian women safe during Eid, so we did all the work on our own.
Why did you choose tagging with spray-paint as a tactic?
Because, in our society, a girl blames herself when she gets harassed. When she speaks out to her family about it, they blame her. Sometimes they prevent her from going to school or going outside because they think that sexual harassment is the girl’s problem, not the harasser’s problem. So, when our group attacks the harasser, the girl feels confident in herself. She feels like she was right, she feels like the street is supporting her. She’ll have the confidence to walk in the street without fear and she won’t be afraid to speak out if it happens again.