This is what happens when dumbass ignorant rape-apologist cis men attempt to argue with feminist queer law students.
I’ve been working the feminist beat for years now, and have seen lots and lots of stories about sexual harassment and rape. I have never once seen the victim go without being called a liar. Not once. And that includes a case where there was a video of the assault where the victim was clearly so intoxicated as to be unable to move—some people thought she was dead—and the rapists assaulted her so badly she peed herself. That girl was called a liar and the usual cries of “more evidence needed” were issued, resulting in at least one and possibly two hung juries before they could get a conviction. Women are considered guilty until proven innocent, and the trick is that there’s no level of proof sufficient to win the argument with the “skeptics”.
Our culture starts from the assumption that women’s natural state is lying. How that obvious untruth got so ingrained is hard to really account for, but that’s true of many stereotypes that, no matter how ludicrous they are when you really look at them, are nonetheless widely believed. It’s also cross-cultural, thus the Muslim religious rule about rape not being believable without four male witnesses.
Of course, the problem is that disbelieving accounts of rape and harassment as your initial stance is basically giving permission to rapists and harassers. Most of them know well enough to wait until they’re alone with the target to get aggressive. They know that when both they and the target walk away, the person whose account is given the benefit of the doubt—even past the point of ludicrousness—is theirs.
Not being assaulted is not a privilege to be earned through the judicious application of personal safety strategies. A woman should be able to walk down the street at 4 in the morning in nothing but her socks, blind drunk, without being assaulted, and I, for one, am not going to do anything to imply that she is in any way responsible for her own assault if she fails to Adequately Protect Herself. Men aren’t helpless dick-driven maniacs who can’t help raping a vulnerable woman. It disrespects EVERYONE.
Emily Nagoski. no idea who she is, but i thank her. there is no excuse for rape and anyone who excuses it is insulting both the victim and the rapist. (via rapeisnotajoke)
There are two arguments I’ve noticed
- “Women should prepare themselves better if they don’t want to get raped”
- ALL MEN AREN’T RAPISTS/Its not fair that women accuse me of being a rapist/i get called creepy all the time
So basically we have to prepare ourselves all the time, but if we ever give a man the sense that we view them as a misogynistic/violent threat - that’s unfair
There Is No Excuse.
Italy, 1992. A 45-year-old driving instructor picks up an 18-year-old girl for her first lesson, takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and rapes her. She courageously tells her parents. They help and support her in pressing charges, leading to the perpetrator’s arrest and prosecution. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.
He appeals. The case reaches the Italian Supreme Court, which overturns his sentence and releases him. “Because the victim wore very, very tight jeans,” the Court notes in their decision, “she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”
For people around the world appalled by the way criminal justice systems treat survivors of sexual assault, the judges’ words became a rallying cry. Within hours, the women in Italy’s Parliament organized a protest: they wore jeans to work. Not long after, California’s State Legislature wore jeans to their legislative session. And in April of 1999, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Peace Over Violence held the first official Denim Day in Los Angeles. Denim Day now spans the nation and has grown into a powerful national movement about sexual assault prevention and education. A movement committed to empowerment.
But today, on the eve of Denim Day 2012, the same pernicious myths, misconceptions and victim-blaming attitudes that motivated the first Denim Day persist. Experts agree that these myths contribute heavily to the stark realities of sexual violence in the United States: nearly one in five women will experience sexual assault in her lifetime; most rapes are never reported; and only an estimated 6% of perpetrators ever spend a day in jail.
For proof, look no further than last month’s headlines.
While a 25-year-old woman waited for her ride to work, Michael Pena, an off-duty New York City police officer, approached her, displayed his 9mm pistol, led her across the street to a courtyard and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. Though he was convicted on three counts of predatory sexual assault, the jury deadlocked on the gravest charge: rape. Despite unwavering testimony from the victim, multiple 911 calls from a witness who reported the attack — and evidence that showed three separate acts of oral and anal contact with Mr. Pena’s penis — the jury held out on a rape conviction. Why? Because they doubted her memory — she failed to recall that a car was parked in the driveway Pena led her across — and because when police officers arrived on the scene, she ran towards the male police officer rather than the female officer.
She didn’t remember. She should have behaved differently afterwards. The misconceptions are beyond dismaying, and the rape myths are many. There’s the myth that by wearing a particular piece of clothing, a victim invited a rape, or made it “easy.” “Safety from rapists” focuses on the stranger in the street, with little attention paid to acts perpetrated behind closed doors by those we know and trust. And the burden to alter behavior is placed on the survivor, and not where it belongs: with the way society responds to survivors — and with perpetrators.
The way our society thinks about rape and receives survivors is not only tragic, it’s dangerous. Fearing that they won’t be believed, survivors are less likely to report their rapes, which means rapists stay out of jail, which means they are free to rape again.
Denim Day is about coming together as a community that has no tolerance for sexual violence, a community that commits its resources — intellectual, financial, emotional — to responding differently to survivors and making their healing a priority.
Last year, Denim Day reached 2.6 million participants. Our goal for this year’s 13th Annual Denim Day is to surpass that number. And with our collective voices and commitment, we can. In New York City, for example, a coalition of organizations and agencies has come together to bring Denim Day into schools, streets and beyond to engage both adults and youth with activities and workshops in all five boroughs.
Our goal is to inspire more partnerships that drive this campaign, like the one between Peace Over Violence and Joyful Heart. Our goal is to inspire courageous, transparent, accountable leadership within the many institutions that have failed to acknowledge and respond to sexual violence — schools, corporations, places of worship, families.
Our goal is to inspire you. We hope you will join people across the country tomorrow who will be wearing jeans as a show of their confidence in the power of an enlightened, courageous community that stands together and declares: “There is no excuse for and never an invitation to rape.”
To register as part of the Denim Day community and for more information and materials about Denim Day, visit www.denimdayusa.org and facebook.com/denimdayinlaandusa.
Even though jeans are completely 100% against both of my work’s dress codes, tomorrow I am going to take a very important stand. I am going to wear jeans to work, and when my bosses ask me why, I will tell them, not as a supporter, but as a survivor.
This will be a huge step in my recovery, but tomorrow, I am going to make it known.
In almost every culture around the world, men are rarely taught a realistic fact of life: A woman ’can’ and ‘will’ say no to his requests and demands. Whether we are studying the conservative societies of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Cambodia and Bangladesh, or presumably liberal societies of USA, UK and Australia, men are rarely made to believe that a woman’s autonomy is as valid as that of a man’s. When his ego is bruised, a man’s wrath takes form of a reckless, blind machine of violence devoid of any conscience.
Another factor behind the abundance of acid attacks is stated by Hannah Bloch, writer of ’The Evil that Men Do‘:
“Acid, nitric or hydrochloric, has long been the weapon of retribution for Pakistani men against disloyal, disobedient or overly determined women. One reason is that acid is cheap and readily available.”
However, it is a lot worse when popular figures endorse, even subtly, violence against women. Rhetoric – if wielded effectively enough – is a powerful weapon. A week ago, an Urdu columnist Javed Chaudhry cleverly narrated a hyperbolic version of an acid attack. Whether it was an indirect narration of Khar’s crime against Fakhra or some incident from Southern Punjab, the message was clear:
She “provoked” the man to such heights of brutality.
It says a collective lot about a country when the state becomes indifferent to the malicious and brutal satiation of misogynistic ego, when a woman’s face is no longer just a face but an open target of a man’s animalistic appetite for revenge and dominance.
My article on misogyny in Pakistan and how the mentality that states “She asked for it” continues to grow by leaps and bounds - a lot more vicious in the South of the country where acid is readily available. You can read the entire piece here.
Asking For It: 6%
It is estimated that only 6% of rapes and sexual assaults are actually reported, which is a frightfully low number. I have started a new project aiming to explore the reasons behind this, which started from the #ididnotreport hashtag on twitter - where survivors or rape/sexual abuse tell of their numerous reasons why they didn’t report it to anyone. This is the first series of images - numerous things that victims are told time and time again whenever they do actually report their abuse to someone - be it a friend, parent, family member, stranger or the authorities. We live in a society of rape culture where the victim is almost constantly blamed - told that they drank too much, wore too little, were out too late by themselves, flirted too much, are too “slutty”, are too “frigid”, are making a big deal out of “nothing”, the rapist was their partner so it obviously wasn’t rape because you can’t be raped by someone you’re in a relationship with. The things that victims constantly get told by the media, the people they know, rape “jokes”, songs, the authorities…they are painted on them so that they can never forget. To remind them that it is all “their fault” - if they hadn’t gone there/drank alcohol/wore that skirt/flirted etc, it wouldn’t have happened. Obviously.
I intend to expand on this series of photographs in the near future, and there is a lot more to come from this project, this is only the very starting point. My aim is to bring the idea of rape culture, slut-shaming, and victim-blaming to the attention of more people. To try and examine why 94% of rapes/assaults/abuse are never reported to the police, and to try and make that number decrease.
The male gaze, objectification of female bodies, and victim-blaming
Here is an interesting op-ed, written by a Jewish rabbi, about objectification of women’s bodies and distortions of Jewish law by religious extremists in Israel:
Lechery, Immodesty and the Talmud
By DOV LINZER
Published: January 19, 2012
Is it possible for a religious demand for modesty to be about anything other than men controlling women’s bodies? From recent events in Israel, it would certainly seem that it is not.
Last month, an innocent, modestly dressed 8-year-old girl, Naama Margolese, living in Beit Shemesh, described being spat on and vilified by religious extremists — all men — who believed that she did not dress modestly enough while walking past them to the religious school she attends. And more and more, public buses in Israel are enforcing gender segregation imposed by ultra-Orthodox riders in and near their neighborhoods. Woe to the girl or woman who refuses to move to the back of the bus.
This is part of a larger battle being waged in Israel between the ultra-Orthodox and the rest of Israeli society over women’s place in society, over their very right to have a visible presence and to participate in the public sphere.
What is behind these deeply disturbing events? We are told that they arise from a religious concern about modesty, that women must be covered and sequestered so that men do not have improper sexual thoughts. It seems, then, that a religious tenet that begins with men’s sexual thoughts ends with men controlling women’s bodies.
This is not a problem unique to Judaism. But the Talmud, the basis for Jewish law, offers a perhaps surprising answer: It places the responsibility for controlling men’s licentious thoughts about women squarely on the men.
Put more plainly, the Talmud says: It’s your problem, sir; not hers.
The ultra-Orthodox men in Israel who are exerting control over women claim that they are honoring women. In effect they are saying: We do not treat women as sex objects as you in Western society do. Our women are about more than their bodies, and that is why their bodies must be fully covered.
In fact, though, their actions objectify and hyper-sexualize women. Think about it: By saying that all women must hide their bodies, they are saying that every woman is an object who can stir a man’s sexual thoughts. Thus, every woman who passes their field of vision is sized up on the basis of how much of her body is covered. She is not seen as a complete person, only as a potential inducement to sin.
Of course, once you judge a female human being only through a man’s sexualized imagination, you can turn even a modest 8-year-old girl into a seductress and a prostitute.
At heart, we are talking about a blame-the-victim mentality. It shifts the responsibility of managing a man’s sexual urges from himself to every woman he may or may not encounter. It is a cousin to the mentality behind the claim, “She was asking for it.”
So the responsibility is now on the women. To protect men from their sexual thoughts, women must remove their femininity from their public presence, ridding themselves of even the smallest evidence of their own sexuality.
All of this is done in the name of the Torah and Jewish law.
But it’s actually a complete perversion. The Talmud, the foundation of Jewish law, acknowledges that men can be sexually aroused by women and is indeed concerned with sexual thoughts and activity outside of marriage. But it does not tell women that men’s sexual urges are their responsibility. Rather, both the Talmud and the later codes of Jewish law make that demand of men.
It is forbidden for a man to gaze sexually at a woman, whether beautiful or ugly, married or unmarried, says the Talmud. Later Talmudic rabbis extended this ban even to “her smallest finger” and “her brightly colored clothing — even if they are drying on the wall.”
To make these the woman’s responsibility is to demand that Jewish women cover their hands, and that they not dry their clothes in public. No one has ever said this. At least not yet.
The Talmud tells the religious man, in effect: If you have a problem, you deal with it. It is the male gaze — the way men look at women — that needs to be desexualized, not women in public. The power to make sure men don’t see women as objects of sexual gratification lies within men’s — and only men’s — control.
Jewish tradition teaches men and women alike that they should be modest in their dress. But modesty is not defined by, or even primarily about, how much of one’s body is covered. It is about comportment and behavior. It is about recognizing that one need not be the center of attention. It is about embodying the prophet Micah’s call for modesty: learning “to walk humbly with your God.”
Eight-year-old Naama could teach her attackers a thing or two about modesty.
Dov Linzer, an Orthodox rabbi, is the dean of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
I’m including some select quotes for those of you who don’t want to wade through what amounts to a “Rape is natural and you sluts are all lying about it anyway” apologia. Bonus: It’s all couched in some quite impressive pseudo-intellectual, name-dropping, term-laden jargon:
Rape is fairly simple to understand. Yet even with our understanding the very word has a negative effect on our brains.
See what the author implies with the above? That rape is such a simple act and that our reaction to it might just be excessive.
We can increase the shock value of the word rape by attaching to it another word that in itself is completely innocent. Perhaps a word that in most cases would be seen as positive. How about the word ‘culture’ for instance?
[…]We have done a fairly good job of creating fear so far. We have found a way to take a positive word and attach it to a negative word in order to form a verbal chimera that is considerably more fear inspiring than just the negative word alone. We have also found a method in which to spread this chimera by relying on human’s innate tendency to focus on harmful words.
Because feminists are an evil cabal seeking to consume the world in a frenzy of false fear.
What we need to do next is create a mythology to support our chimera. We can take mundane interactions and attach them to the mythology. We know that friends and associates have a camaraderie that will make them behave in ways that that most would usually consider unethical when it comes to protecting their own in-group. The people in your in-group or clan are to be protected at the expense of outsiders. Naturally there will always be some in these groups that will set aside their moral convictions in order to fabricate an alibi for a member of their in-group. We have seen this behavior all through history. It is ‘us versus them’ mentality, and is a natural extension of evolutionary group survival. We can exploit this natural trait and co-opt it into the mythology by claiming it as part of rape culture. “See how those frat boys are all covering for their guy? Rape culture!”
Of course! Because it’s normal and natural for people to protect their friends. Just because they happen to be rapists, that’s no reason for the bonds of brotherhood to be frayed. There’s nothing insidious about that. It’s normal and natural and feminists need to just lighten up.
The college student that first asks a girl on a date then tries to sway her with sweet talk and pleasant verbal coercion while touching and fondling until rejected and only then resorts to more coercive tactics is not repressing the girl out of hatred or a desire to control her. He is behaving that way because he wants sex. But let us not forget that we are playing the role of villains, so we need to twist this around. We will do this by taking the natural crime out of rape and claim it is an act of control, not sex. This technique works marvelously, as now when anyone points out the obvious fact that rape is rooted in our biology we can scream “You are a rape apologist. Rape culture!”
And again we come back to the salient point here: Rape is a normal and natural reaction to being denied access to an orifice-of-choice and if you tight-ass prudes would just spread your legs and enjoy it, those nice college boys wouldn’t need to get you drunk or drug you in order to get some…and pass you around to their pals.
The women begin to take precautions. These are sensible precautions like everyone takes in order to prevent crime. Common sense precautions like removing the keys from their ignition and locking the car doors in order to help prevent their cars from being stolen. We will tolerate none of that! “Why should we have to change the way we act?”becomes our meme. “Teach the bad rapists to stop raping! Rape culture!” is a perfect way to keep the rapes happening.
Because men always worry about what they’re wearing, where they park, how much they drink, if they have a large and imposing escort to their car…
We have managed to transform an already nasty word into one of terror. We have relied on our own biological nature to make the most of this generated fear. We have rigged the deck to increase rapes by taking more prostitutes out of the picture while convincing women that it is not their duty to take reasonable precautions to protect themselves from rape.
Ah yes, rapists are just normal, horny guys and they’d be more than happy to just pay for sex if there were prostitutes on every corner…(or if you feminazis would just shut up and put out)
This is just a sampling of the many delightful observations contained in the article. Want more? Click the link…And if you really want to be sick, read the comments. The author of this article scares me in a way that seems almost ludicrous given that he is a stranger, far away, who I will never meet. (At least I hope not.)
[Image: An anonymous Tumblr question answered by marxisforbros.
Question: If you had a daughter and she was going to go out to a party with guys drinking would you let her go out looking like a slut?
Answer: If the next generation has sons that are as repulsed by rape as they should be then we won’t need to worry about our daughter’s clothing. Hell, if we just make our generation shift the blame from the victim to the perpetrator and recognize rape as an act of violence rather than a natural hazard then we won’t even notice clothing. In fact the only way that I’ll need to worry about my daughter’s clothing is if society stays this fucked. I’d probably end up doing something incredibly violent to somebody if anything ever happened to one of my loved ones and the system failed them.
So the question becomes: If you had a son and he was going out to a party with girls drinking, would you let him go knowing that one of them could be my daughter and if he ever touched her without her consent I’d kill you?
You focus on raising a son that you can confidently send to a party even if you think that you will die if he inappropriately touches a woman and I’ll focus on raising a daughter full stop.]