Here’s the fucking thing
I’ve heard/seen several people mention how the Steubenville case should remind us all to speak to our daughters about parties and drinking.
Thing is, we already fucking do that. We’ve been doing it. You think I won’t be a paranoid mom about this shit with my daughter? You think every time she goes out to a party I won’t ask the universe to protect her? We already worry about and lecture our daughters endlessly. By the time our daughters are 16 they’ve already been told what a cruel and dangerous place this world is for them.
Guess what? They still get attacked.
So maybe, just fucking maybe, we should shift the focus to talking to and lecturing our young boys and men in our communities. Maybe they need to hear from their adult male role models and peers that there is never ever a time when they can assume consent or force themselves on a woman. Maybe we need to stop our boys before they walk out the door to that party and say, “You be careful, son. If she doesn’t say “YES” then you leave her the hell alone, you got it?” or maybe “You stick with your friends, son. Make sure you look out for each other. If one of your buddies is thinking about taking advantage of a girl, you help him home, ok?”
Our young women don’t need anymore lectures. They hear them from childhood on up.
Stop blaming your daughters and start educating your fucking sons.
A gang rape happened in Ohio and no one heard about it. A gang rape happened in India and everyone heard about it (as we should). The American media has represented India as a misogynistic country where women need to be constantly wary of the men that surround them. And after that gang rape, large-scale protests blocked the streets and clogged the media. Now, I am in no way saying that rape and domestic violence are not problems in India. As an Indian-American woman who has been to India many times and is incredibly familiar with the culture, I am in no way denying that. Rape, in India, is a serious problem. Rape, especially in lower class areas in India, is an extremely prevalent problem that needs to stop being ignored and taken seriously. Violence against women in India is a serious issue.
But violence against women in America is also a serious problem. Violence against women in South Africa, and Sweden, and Chile, and Thailand, is a serious problem. Violence against women is a serious problem. Period. Full stop. While our media went out representing India as a typical place for these deplorable events to happen, another woman’s similar story went ignored and without subsequent societal action. This country outright refuses to admit that it is a rape culture.
Our media and our country are so obsessed with presenting foreign countries as worse than us or uncivilized or, most importantly, undemocratic, they will blast our radios and timelines and homepages with news of rapes in India, but refuse to acknowledge that the same thing happens here and is happening here.
Anisha Ahuja, Why Does America Pretend it Doesn’t Hate Women? (Feminspire.com)
Yesterday I read an infuriating piece by a Swedish man about International Women’s Day. He seemed to think it was only about women earning equally to men and being represented politically (all of which he referred to as “details”). The only time he brought up rape and violence was when he suggested we save “poor little villages of girls” instead of getting riled up over these “details”. Not one word how - on average - one woman dies every week in Sweden due to domestic violence; five women are raped every day, or that children living in poverty continues to increase. Because that only happens in ‘other’, ‘non-western’ countries, apparently.)
Less than a day into the Manti Te’o revelations, we’ve heard more about a fake dead girlfriend of a Notre Dame football player than a real dead girl. Lizzy Seeberg committed suicide, not long after being intimidated by Notre Dame football players for reporting a sexual assault by one of their teammates. A second woman who was taken to the hospital for a rape exam declined to formally accuse another Notre Dame football player after getting a series of bullying texts from players.
I’ve gotten a lot of submissions about different aspects of the gang rape in Steubenville, OH that has become a viral news story. So I thought I would make a master post about what has happened, the rape culture behind it, and how the case has evolved. This is a summary of violent and disgusting behavior, so please be aware before you continue reading.
WHAT HAPPENED: On August 11th, 2012, a party was thrown by Steubenville teenagers, including several members of the beloved high school football team. One of the attendees, a sixteen-year old girl, became heavily intoxicated and passed out. Instead of helping this girl - either by getting her home to a responsible adult, getting her medical attention, or keeping an eye on her vitals - her peers carried her into a bedroom by her hands and feet and raped her. Eventually, it came out that this was not an isolated incident; this girl was talked into going to the parties by a perp’s girlfriend, targeted, drugged, and raped at multiple parties throughout the summer.
The victim was not aware that anything had happened until the day after the August 11th attack, when she saw tweets about and pictures of the incident, and went to her father about it. What happened from there is still being pieced together.
THE COVERUP: It seems that the perps are members of the Big Red High School football team, and high school football is a big deal in Steubenville. At least one of the parties in question is thought to have been held at an assistant coach’s house. Not only is it wholly inappropriate for an adult employed by the school to be hosting students in their house, it is even more inappropriate to allow them to drink underage and assault their peers.
Football is such a huge part of Steubenville that the prosecutor and multiple judges have recused themselves because they personally knew the perpetrators. The case is now being handled by the Ohio state attorney.
After the rape was reported, law enforcement pleas for witnesses to come forward were met with silence. The Tweets, photos, and videos that originally alerted the victim to the events of the previous night were deleted - or so the perps thought.
ANONYMOUS GETS INVOLVED: The Steubenville story was picked up by crime blogger and former Steubenville resident Alex Goddard before it made it to major media outlets. She catalogued the aforementioned Tweets, videos, and photos, which are now being used by police.
Meanwhile, two football players have been charged, while multiple others are suspected and have not been benched. Apparently, the football fans in the town are more invested in the players’ rights than siding with the girl who was drugged and assaulted so horrifically.
The famed hacker group Anonymous did not find this satisfactory. The group hacked into the prosecutor’s office, and published photos, videos, and accounts of the assault that have since been spread across major news networks. It’s unclear how this will impact the trial.
RAPE CULTURE REARS ITS UGLY HEAD: Of course, people are already victim blaming the unconscious minor who was brutally raped by her peers. Just the other day, some douchebag on Twitter described the situation to me as, “rape is bad but that girl showed up for it every week like it was her job in tell her dad found out then there was a problem.” What should be a story about the importance of encouraging teenage witnesses of crime to intervene and come forward, as well as a discussion about the entitlement complexes that led these football players to carefully orchestrate multiple horrific sexual assaults has become for some another excuse to shame a teenager whose greatest crime was giving in to peer pressure and attending parties. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t caved to peer pressure at one time or another, and the punishment for it certainly isn’t rape.
Regardless of what you think of underage drinking or partying, it’s clear that this was a deliberately premeditated crime. It’s also clear that this girl at no time consented, and could not legally consent as she was unconscious. It also bears reminding that the photos and videos taken are child pornography - another felony.
THE LESSON: This is a tragedy that will likely affect this young woman for the rest of her life. Hopefully the perpetrators will all be held accountable for their atrocious actions, and the adults who allowed it to happen will be punished as well. At the very least, they have no business working with children ever again.
But a particularly striking thing about this situation is the fact that the teenagers who witnessed at least some of the events, as well as the videos, photos, and Tweets did nothing. They didn’t tell a teacher, a parent, or a law enforcement officer. They didn’t intervene to try and stop it. They didn’t even say anything to the girl who was assaulted, except apparently through online taunts.
So let this be the message to all teens: if you see something, say something. Drunk, drugged, and/or otherwise incapacitated people CANNOT give consent. Look out for each other, come forward about disturbing things that you see. Err on the side of caution - don’t exacerbate a horrible crime by blaming the victim.
MORE LINKS: For more information, check out these stories about the rape and ongoing investigation:
Local Leaks Tipsters Allege Steubenville Victim Was Drugged
Steubenville High School Students Joke About Rape In Video Leaked By Anonymous
Rape Case Unfolds on Web and Splits City
Rape charges against high school students divide football town of Steubenville, OH
[TW: Rape, Sexual Violence]
“we are here to tell her that women have every right to be adventurous. We will be adventurous. We will be reckless. We will be rash. We will do nothing for our safety. Don’t you dare tell us how to dress, when to go out at night, in the day, or how to walk or how many escorts we need! I am saying this because I feel that the word ‘safety’ with regard to women has been used far too much — all us women know what this ‘safety’ refers to, we have heard our parents use it, we have heard our communities, our principals, our wardens use it. Women know what ‘safety’ refers to. It means – You behave yourself. You get back into the house. You don’t dress in a particular way. Do not live by your freedom, and this means that you are safe. A whole range of patriarchal laws and institutions tell us what to do in the guise of keeping us ‘safe’. We reject this entire notion. We don’t want it.”
Kavita Krishnan, secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA),
Following the bestial sexual attack on a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi, the capital, along with other cities across the country, has seen numerous protests demanding justice not just for the survivor, but better laws and stringent action against sexual offenders per se. When on Wednesday 19 December students and protesters marched towards the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s house, the police tried to ward them off with water cannons.
Obviously it’s not a surprise to anyone on this blog, but seriously - when is this nonsense going to stop already?
here are some blogs on tumblr that also post creepshots
and this took only five minutes to find. tumblr staff, just like reddit staff, doesn’t do much when told about shitty users. if you’re going after reddit’s creepshot contributors, you should also be concerned about all the other places on the internet where it’s happening.
TW: RAPE, MISOGYNY, TRANSPHOBIA, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, SEXUAL ABUSE, ABUSE, ABLEISM, HOMOPHOBIA, RAPE PROMOTION
Reddit Refusing To Remove Popular Subpages That Promote Harmful Behavior
I’m writing in an attempt to bring awareness to a current petition going on trying to enforce Reddit to actually act on their own User Agreement and remove all their pages (subreddits) that do not follow these guidelines.
“You agree not to use any obscene, indecent or offensive language… [material must not be] defamatory, abusive, bullying, harassing, racist, hateful, or violent….further agree not to use any sexually suggestive language…” - taken from Reddits User Agreement
Unfortunately right now Reddit is ignoring their own rules and letting pages like the following exist with little to absolutely no moderation:
These all exist on Reddit~ one of the most popular social networking sites that has had 34 MILLION UNIQUE VISITORS. Reddit gets around 1.8 billion page views every month. These subreddits are not that unknown either. If you go through the top subreddits on Reddit you will find almost every single one of these within the first 10-20 pages. This is simply something that everyone that uses Reddit, including their own moderating team, turn a blind eye too.
Recently one of the most popular subreddits on Reddit “creepshots” that was dedicated to users taking suggestive pictures of woman without their consent and putting it online without their knowledge was taken down. Users of this subreddit were known for posting pictures of underage girls, a teacher was even fired from taking pictures of his students and posting it on creepshots. This subreddit was deleted by the creator of creepshots because someone was blackmailing him and threatening to expose his identity. It was not taken down by Redditors moderators even after all the media backlash and arrests made that have come from Creepshots.
Related reading on the awfulness that existed in creepshots that was allowed to be there by Reddit if you are not convinced by my words alone:Obviously, a lot of bad came from creepshots. Was this all really worth leaving it up for? Can we now learn from creepshots that getting like minded people talking about taking advantage of/raping/and even murdering is only going to lead to worse actions and encouragement of individuals to do harm to others.for more examples of the TERRIBLE BEHAVIOR and related news articles about said behavior on these subreddits please visit: http://predditor.tumblr.com/
An 8-year-old girl camper began swimming near the edge of the pool by me. She was a tiny girl with a bubbly personality, and she was very attached to me. Upon seeing us talking, the boy swam over and started chasing her around the water. It was clear from the way she was trying to get away from him and her screeching that she wanted to be left alone — her body language and tense demeanor should have showed that she was uncomfortable — but if that wasn’t enough of a clue, the “stop” she yelled in protest should have been enough for him to go away.
That’s when it really hit me how serious the situation was. I could immediately picture it escalating. I didn’t see an 8-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy anymore; I saw the two of them as fully grown and matured adults. The girl was still small and skinny, and the boy was large enough to overpower her with little effort. I could see her running away from him, trying to push off his advances in a more sexual situation, but him refusing to believe that she really wanted him to stop. I saw him ignoring her physical protests right along with the verbal ones, convinced she wanted him there. It horrified me.
I reprimanded him immediately, insisting that when someone asks you to stop, it’s important to listen. Almost seconds later, a male counselor standing by the same section of the pool told him not to listen to me and to continue his pursuit of this little girl, despite her obvious protests. Here were two boys, roughly 10 years apart in age, but with the same views on women: that consent doesn’t matter. It’s not a generational thing: this mindset has clearly been ingrained into the public psyche from an early age. How often are we told not to take no for an answer? How often do we see children pestering their parents about getting a new toy until they eventually give in? How often do we hear about a woman’s whims coming with her menstrual cycle? How often do we see on television shows and in movies a woman “changing her mind” about a man who is persistent enough or who just proves himself worthy? The idea that a woman will change her mind is so ingrained that we can’t always recognize it at first.
Please teach your kids, especially your sons, from an early age to respect others space and bodies.
- “To Rape or Not to Rape,” from avoiceformen.com
Is this a piece of good advice on why to not rape women? Is this a Men’s Right’s Activist telling other men that having sex with an inebriated woman is a bad idea for both parties? Is a Men’s Right’s Activist helping fight rape culture?!
Let’s look to the next few lines:
“That atmosphere invites trouble. It is rife for manipulation and entrapment. An upscale bar may give free or low priced drinks to ladies and advertise for men to come and enjoy the company of the self-inebriated. At any of these ladies nights, there could lurk an opportunist willing to be picked up in order to blackmail a well-intentioned male with a rape charge if he doesn’t make her financially happy.”
It’s totes more important to advise men on the dangers of RAPE ACCUSATION versus you know
I find the first part of this quote to be particularly disturbing on it’s own. This guy is saying don’t rape because then you’ll go to jail and your life will be destroyed and no woman is worth that! He doesn’t give a shit that he’s talking about fucking RAPING someone. “Personally, I would not take the risk.” That part makes me fucking shudder.
^This. The first part is just as, if not more disgusting.
That is fucking disgusting. It still doesn’t equate women with human beings, worthy of respect, and THAT’S why you do not want to destroy their life and rape them. It’s telling them not to rape because the girl will tell on you and ruin your life.
Because, even when we’re talking about violent fucking crime here, the man’s reputation is still more important than caring about the person who would be victimized.
“Personally, I would not take the risk.” As if he’s advising someone not to drink expired milk.
i want you guys to stay informed. here are some of the arguments that i edited for a defense attorney who specialized in defending men accused of sexual assault, rape and domestic violence
- these cases work in a peculiar way — the jury won’t be swayed if the lawyer seems to be attacking a victim (especially female). so the defense plays up how smart and well-balanced the woman seems and how helpless and naive the guy is. if you’re cross-examining a woman and ask her nicely about a string of achievements — “you graduated summa cum laude from an ivy league school, correct?” “you started your own business, correct?” “you are in charge of over 40 people at your company, correct?” “if one of your employees behaved inappropriately, you would have no problem reprimanding or firing them, correct?” “a smart woman isn’t likely to stay with a man who beats her every night, right? does that sound right to you?” — the jury ends up having sympathy for her, but believing that she’s too smart (or pretty or accomplished or whatever vein the attorney picks) to let bad things happen to her
- when he cross-examines his own clients he emphasizes that they’re either too morally sound or too confused, “it was just a mistake,” so that sometimes you can admit that there was an altercation but (he tells the jury, shaking his head) you can’t call it rape because that’s too strong
- “victim pretended to be unconscious following alleged rape to avoid answering friend’s questions” - that’s a section heading for a case summary
- “friend did not initially believe explanation” - that’s the heading of the next section. in this particular case, the attorney cross-examined the victim’s friends and got them to admit that she was just a dramatic person, or flustered, pointing to signs that she either lied about this case or chronically lies/exaggerates
- “victim had time to consider her circumstances before accusing client of rape” - she took until the next day to go to the police station, soooo
- point out all the different ways she could have resisted or every possible sign of resistance that wasn’t there — the prosecution will focus on the few signs they have, but the defense can be really smarmy here and list every single way she did not resist
- if the woman was drunk, and the prosecution says she was unable to consent because she was drunk, the defense can call in experts on alcohol absorption and grill them until they admit that there’s a margin of error (“Since it was our contention that the alleged victim had exaggerated her level of intoxication to attract attention, and was not, therefore, too intoxicated to consent to sexual relations, the main goal of this cross-examination is to undermine the credibility of the chemist’s retrograde extrapolation calculations.” that’s a quote from a book i edited)
- and of course the good ol focusing on her sexual history, any flaws she could have, emphasize that these are human flaws and that nobody in this case deserves any punishment
these are very convincing arguments to juries
and that’s why we hesitate to report our sexual assaults and rapes, because “it’s not that big of a deal,” because there’s no way we could “let” that happen to us; because once we get to the police station they ask “what took you so long” and “how could you let that happen to you”; because when you get to the courtroom you’re subjected to this; and the time and the money and “i just want this to be over.” and then…the jury is so easily convinced. they say 1 in 4 women has been sexually assaulted, but i really think it’s more, and i don’t even want to know how many sexual assaults and rapes have happened with absolutely no mention — or even recognition — of them happening (from either party). let alone retribution
Male privilege is this article.
Because we’re supposed to feel sorry for the poor widdle rapist
I don’t know if rape jokes encourage rape culture. I don’t care. You still shouldn’t tell them.
Statistically, if you have told a rape joke to a group of more than five people, one of the people you told it to was a rape survivor, possibly of multiple rapes. They will not necessarily disclose this to you; rape apologism is endemic in society and most rape survivors are cautious about whom they tell. Some may even be too ashamed of their rape to admit it to anyone, or because of rape-minimizing narratives like “men can’t be raped” and “I consented to oral, so I couldn’t have been raped” may not admit it even to themselves. The fact remains: if you’ve told dozens of rape jokes in your life, then you have almost certainly told a joke that minimizes or trivializes rape in front of a survivor.
And if you put as your Facebook status “I totally raped at Halo today” for your two hundred Facebook friends to see, statistically, you have just reminded thirty-three people of one of the worst experiences of their entire lives.
To describe how well you did at a video game.