Author Archives: christinerose

About christinerose

Artist. Misanthrope. Social Justice Warrior. Award-winning author of the Rowan of the Wood YA fantasy series. Needs copious amounts of dark chocolate, frothy mochas, and silent solitude.

Stop Using Perpetrator Logic

This is an excellent article that articulates some of which I am trying to say through this site.

I’m also very pleased to see that the White House is taking a firm stance against sexual assault and promoting the importance of bystander response.

Excerpt:

Simply put, this is perpetrator logic. Perpetrator logic says that the person impacted doesn’t get to say whether something was traumatic. The only opinions that matter are those of the perpetrator and those who defend their actions by writing off some violence as “lesser” than others.

Perpetrator logic claims that rates of sexual violence are exaggerated by feminists who define the term too broadly. After all, defining “rape” so broadly might actually mean that I’m a perpetrator of violence, even if it didn’t look like what I picture a rapist to be.

The impact of perpetrator logic, then, is the silencing of survivors. When you know people won’t believe you or give you the public and private support you need to heal, you’re far less likely to share your experience, even with loved ones.

When you’ll be shamed and questioned, you are far less likely to speak out publicly about sexual violence.

And when you know you’ll be treated like you’re the one who did something wrong within the legal system, you are far less likely to report to the police. And some wonder why rates of reporting are so low!

Collectively, we need to move away from perpetrator logic. We need to move away from that logic which attempts to define for survivors what their experience was, and we need to empower more survivors to find the healing they need.

Here are four important things we need to do in order to abandon perpetrator logic…

1. Understand That Sexual Violence Is a Matrix of Behaviors…

2. Empower Survivors to Name Their Experience…

3. Recognize That Healing is a Spiral…

4. Embrace Survivor-Centered Logic…

Read full article for more great information and detailed explanations of those four things.

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Filed under Hope, Rape Culture

Fraternity Roofie Conspiracy

Read the entire post on Yes Means Yes.

If you want to know what “rape culture” is, it’s a culture where someone could raise this idea and instead of a chill falling over the whole room, the other people either strain to pretend it’s a joke or gleefully join in. If you want to know what “social license to operate” is it’s that the idea that women at fraternity parties are targets to be intoxicated and sexually molested is so powerful that the guy that thought this up not only had friends willing to defend his idea, they agreed to help, and they believed that they would get away with it.

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Filed under Community Response, Misogyny, Rape Culture

Inside the Mind of a Serial Rapist

I remember this Reddit thread from two years ago. In the aftermath of my worst assault, it was both triggering and an eye opener.

He was in reading this thread that I realized that my rapist, all of the men who assaulted me, knew exactly what they were doing. They knew it was wrong. They knew I didn’t want it, and they did it anyway.

This is an excellent article on that thread.

Excerpt.

The thread is a powerful testament to the insidiousness of sexual coercion, and of how damaging to both men and women the culture of silence can be. It’s still expected that nice girls won’t make a fuss. Females are still raised to keep quiet and not make a scene, even when they want say no. They’re raised to keep quiet, even after they’ve been abused. And that’s nowhere more harrowingly clear than in the story of the man who claims to be “a post-colleged age male who raped several girls through use of coercion, alcohol, and other tactics over a course of 3 years.”

Read entire article.

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#ItsOnUs to Stop Sexual Assault

IMG_0116.JPGPowerful hashtag and campaign via The White House.

Similar to the things said on this site as well as much of what Thomas has been saying on the Yes Means Yes Blog for the past several years, it is wonderful to see the White House getting behind bystander response and actively working to change our culturally scripted victim-blaming habits.

Excerpt:

“When violence against women is no longer societally accepted, no longer kept secret; when everyone understands that even one case is too many. That’s when it will change.”

Contrary to what Michael Moore recently said, maybe Obama will leave a strong legacy after all.

The full article here.

The #it’sonus campaign officially started today. Ironic, since it’s my rapist’s birthday.

I hope this is the beginning of the end of rape culture. I hope it brings about a society were rapists can no longer operate, including mine.

Excerpt:

(September 19, 2014) — President Obama today launched It’s On Us, a campaign to reduce rape on college campuses. The president, along with Vice President Joseph Biden, called on students to sign a pledge to commit to helping keep their friends safe.

To survivors of campus sexual assault, President Obama said, “It’s not on you; this is not your fight alone. This is on all of us, every one one of us, to fight campus sexual assault. You are not alone, and we have your back.”

Read more at RAINN and take the pledge.

Join the discussion on Twitter.

More on ItsOnUs.org

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Filed under Community Response, Hope, Rape Culture

Why?

Every time I see an article like this, I wonder why we still question those who seem so pious and popular when someone names them as a perpetrator. I also ask myself why we continue to cover up such horrific crimes.

Excerpt from the New York Times:

ROTHERHAM, England — It started on the bumper cars in the children’s arcade of the local shopping mall. Lucy was 12, and a group of teenage boys, handsome and flirtatious, treated her and her friends to free rides and ice cream after school.

Over time, older men were introduced to the girls, while the boys faded away. Soon they were getting rides in real cars, and were offered vodka and marijuana. One man in particular, a Pakistani twice her age and the leader of the group, flattered her and bought her drinks and even a mobile phone. Lucy liked him.

The rapes started gradually, once a week, then every day: by the war memorial in Clifton Park, in an alley near the bus station, in countless taxis and, once, in an apartment where she was locked naked in a room and had to service half a dozen men lined up outside.

Don’t be tempted to soothe yourself saying, “Well this is in England. Thank goodness it doesn’t happen here.” Because I assure you, it fucking does happen here. More than you will ever care to admit.

Read full article.

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Filed under Community Response, Objectification, Rape Culture

Time For Change

Excerpt:

It’s been four days since the NFL made the decision to suspend Ray Rice indefinitely and the Baltimore Ravens terminated his five-year contract for domestic violence committed against his then-fiancé, as shown in graphic detail in the newly released video of the crime.
Each year in the United States, 12 million women experience domestic violence. That means that on February 15, 2014, the same day as Rice’s assault, this was one of 32,877 instances of abuse. Whether you are picking up the paper, watching the news or following the conversation on Twitter, it’s clear that all of us are searching for how to respond, for language to talk about these crimes, to express our feelings, and for what to do next. What we know for sure: it’s time for change. And we know that change will only come when we all work together.
Let’s start with the facts:
1 in 4 women experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner at some point in their lifetimes. (Source: CDC) Over 15 million children witness violence in their homes each year. Most incidents are never reported to the police.
In most cases, a video doesn’t exist. And it shouldn’t need to. Domestic violence encompasses sexual, emotional, economic and psychological violence. Physical scars are only one part of what survivors may be left with following violence and abuse. More information on the signs and effects of these kinds of abuse can be found here.
Domestic violence is an intentional act. It is rooted in power and control—the desire for one partner to dominate and/or exercise control over their partner. And it’s a learned behavior, meaning that abusers see violence practiced in society, or practice it themselves, and come to understand that it is a means of maintaining power and control.
The reasons someone remains inside of a domestic violence situation are complex—literally life and death. Our focus shouldn’t be on why survivors stay, but why abusers don’t stop their violent behavior. Just because some survivors don’t leave their abusers—or don’t come forward in the first place—doesn’t mean the abuse didn’t happen. Thousands of women die annually from domestic violence, many while attempting to leave the relationship. It is her choice to leave, and only she knows the safest moment to do so. It is our role to support her in this process.
What we can do:
Support survivors. This takes the form of bearing witness to someone’s story, of believing them without judgment. It also takes the form of being an active, engaged community member. Help dispel the myths that blame survivors and excuse perpetrators—myths like she was “asking for it” or that “it’s her fault.” Or that because a victim of domestic violence didn’t leave her abusive partner, that she wasn’t doing everything she knew how to do to be safe.
Learn these facts. Having this knowledge is the foundation. Share it widely. Domestic violence—any kind of violence and abuse—is difficult to talk about, but we still need to break the silence. Nearly 64% of Americans say that if we talk more about domestic violence and sexual assault, it would make it easier to help someone. This is a significant opportunity to open the door to these conversations and turn up the volume.
Join the movement to say NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault. NO MORE is a transformative public awareness campaign that seeks to unite our entire society—advocates, companies, legislators, survivors and the public—around the commitment to end—yes, end—domestic violence and sexual assault. The celebrity-driven PSA campaign provides powerful examples of the victim-blaming myths and excuses we so often hear, and the NO MORE symbol brings recognition to these issues and offers a beacon of hope. Share the campaign.
Engage men to be part of the solution. For the men in our community, we encourage you to stand up and be part of the solution. Take the pledge to say NO MORE and encourage other men to do the same. Talk with men and boys in your life about healthy relationships and the importance of respecting themselves and others, including women and girls. When we don’t speak out against domestic violence, we allow it to continue.
Changing the conversation also means that we must examine how we, as a society, respond to this violence. The Atlantic City police and prosecutor’s response to the Rice case raises questions about how the criminal justice system approaches domestic violence—something the state of New Jersey is currently investigating as part of its review of the case. For their part, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors must treat domestic violence as seriously as other crimes. They must make every effort to ensure survivors’ safety and to hold offenders accountable to the fullest extent possible.
– See more at: http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/blog/time-change-response-ray-rice-assault#sthash.1XY8ixzl.dpuf

Full article.

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Filed under Community Response, Hope, Misogyny, Objectification, Rape Culture

Yes Means Yes Law

This is promising.
Thank you, California.

Excerpt:

Now, the California legislature has sent the governor the first law of its kind designed to reduce assaults.

It’s called the “yes means yes” law.

University of California, Los Angeles senior Savanah Badalich is an advocate for the proposed law. She says she learned “no” is not enough when she was raped by a fellow student.

“I had said ‘no’ numerous times. But after a while, I just stopped saying anything at all,” said Badalich. “I don’t think had I said no nine times versus the eight times that I did, it would have made a difference, so I just stopped talking. And that could technically be used against me without this affirmative consent bill.”

The California bill is unique because it requires “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement” before students have sex. The legislation also says a “lack of resistance or silence cannot be interpreted as a yes.”

Full article.

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Community Boundaries Keep Out Predators

As blogged on Caught in the Cogs

Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of presenting at the Steampunk World’s Fair both as an author and a speaker. I reconnected with many old colleagues and fans, and I daresay made some new ones as well. It was brilliant to be back out there again. I was able to do this because of their anti-harassment policy, and because they take sexual assault seriously (not just pay lip service to it). Their anti-harassment policy and responsibility to the community kept predators out, making the event safer for the rest of us.

Now, I’m not saying that the 2014 Steampunk World’s Fair (SPWF) was completely devoid of predators, but I know for a fact that several known aggressors were either banned or chose not to attend/participate because of the conventions strict anti-harassment policy.

That’s right.

Some self-selected out because they felt uncomfortable about the new policy, and that’s great news for the rest of us. It was a safer event because of the SAFER track.

As one of the central speakers on the SAFER track, I can tell you first hand numerous people approached me to thank me for the SAFER track and the work of The Order of the White Feather. Several. Survivors and supporters of survivors spoke up on how they felt safer. I felt safer, too.

A particular Steampunk Musician has been banned from the event because of his actions after this event in 2011 and his subsequent failure to take responsibility, apologize, and make amends. The Steampunk World’s Fair message is clear: unrepentant offenders aren’t welcome here.

Something else wonderful happened as well. I had it on good authority from a high-ranking staff member of JME, the organization that puts on the Steampunk World’s Fair and Wicked Faire, among others, that most of those who complained the loudest during the Facebook Maelstrom regarding the anti-harassment policy chose not to come.

Good for the rest of us.

One other person in particular who I’ve never met (nor do I care to) stayed away, too. This person is only known to me because the person he chose to rape confided in me about a year ago about what he chose to do. Apparently, this anti-harassment policy scared him. He’s now concerned some of his more questionable-consent encounters might come back to bite him on the ass. Good. He’s also been openly aggressive and wrathful in the presence of several witnesses across geekdom, and I was extremely glad he chose not to attend. I felt safer without him there.

Although I advocate bystander response and giving the benefit of the doubt to the victim rather than the accused, the SPWF created a safer community just by having a clear, firm anti-harassment policy. Those screaming about the loss of liberty apparently were upset that they wouldn’t be able to get away with drunken assault and harassment. They were crying because they couldn’t cross people’s boundaries without being called out for it, so they stayed away.

For the rest of us who attended, our civil liberties and ability to safely express ourselves in cosplay remained intact because those of us who aren’t predators or jerks know that such a policy is meant to keep people safe, and we applaud those efforts.

I’m not saying the 2014 SPWF was harassment-free, or even assault-free, but I do know that instances were greatly reduced at the very least. I didn’t hear of any incident, personally, but I haven’t gotten an official report from the security team either.

I also know that because of the SAFER track and the SPWF’s clear anti-harassment policy, those targeted for such behavior knew they’d be safe to report and they knew they would be believed, and that’s not nothing. It’s considerably more than the rest of our society offers.

Kudos to JME and the Steampunk World’s Fair. As a survivor who had the bulk of her community stolen, since my celebrity assailant is repeatedly heralded as Guest of Honor (even by those who know what he did and what he’s capable of), I’m beyond grateful that SPWF gave me a sliver of my community back. After all these years, I felt the sunshine on my face once again. Countless emerging authors benefitted from my experience in the publishing and marketing trenches, readers were delighted in my tales of how I merge history and fantasy, and, perhaps most importantly, fellow survivors of sexual and domestic violence felt safe, validated, and heard.

Just think, if a strong harassment policy can have such an effect, bystander response and questioning the accused instead of the victim will have an even larger effect. We can stop sexual violence in our communities by taking this *small* steps. By making our communities unsafe for the predators, by clearly standing our ground that they are not welcome, nor will such behavior be tolerated, we can stop rape.

That’s a huge success.

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OWF at Steampunk World’s Fair

To my great honor, Jeff Mach of the Steampunk Word’s Fair asked me to speak in their Consent and Safety Track this year. I’ll be there on Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18th. We’ve got lots of fun and serious things planned.

Here is the OWF schedule:

SATURDAY, MAY 17
– 10am Order of the White Feather Gathering
Join us in solidarity and to make your very own white feather brooch or fascinator. Great crafty fun and camaraderie.

– 7:30pm “No Means No: Responding to Sexual Violence in Our Community” – Speech and Presentation by O. M. Grey on ways we can make our communities safe for everyone but the predators.

– 11pm “yes…Yes…OH, YES!: Embracing Enthusiastic Consent” (18+)
Through scripted role-playing, boundary & expressive exercises, and improv, join O. M. Grey in this fun workshop that will help you ensure all of your sexy times are fully consensal, healthy, and steamy!

SUNDAY, MAY 18
– 3:30pm “Respectful Appreciation and Affection: Consent in Convention Spaces”
Through scripted role-play and improv exercises, explore ways to behave and express affection/appreciation respectfully in convention spaces and in every day life.

I took the liberty of creating pocket cards and an informational gazette for your benefit, both pictured below. Please take one while at the event and pass them around.

20140515-130817.jpg20140515-130513.jpg

Hope to see you there!

-_Q

Olivia M. Grey lives in the cobwebbed corners of her mind writing paranormal romance with a Steampunk twist, like the Amazon Gothic Romance bestseller Avalon Revisited and it’s sequel, of sorts, Avalon Revamped. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies, like SNM Horror Magazine and How the West Was Wicked. Ms. Grey also blogs and podcasts relationship essays covering such topics as alternative lifestyles, deepening intimacy, ending a relationship with love and respect, and other deliciously dark and decadent matters of the heart and soul.

Read more by O. M. Grey on her blog Caught in the Cogs, http://omgrey.wordpress.com

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