Category Archives: Rape Culture

Neutral Evil: The Problem With Refusing To Decide

Some ideas are powerful in human history, and keep coming up from people with very different belief systems in very different times and places:

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”

Elie Wiesel, Night

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that…

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Social Media: The Unsafety Net

Must read article in The Atlantic.

Excerpt:

In December 2012, an Icelandic woman named Thorlaug Agustsdottir discovered a Facebook group called “Men are better than women.” One image she found there, Thorlaug wrote to us this summer in an email, “was of a young woman naked chained to pipes or an oven in what looked like a concrete basement, all bruised and bloody. She looked with a horrible broken look at whoever was taking the pic of her curled up naked.” Thorlaug wrote an outraged post about it on her own Facebook page.

Before long, a user at “Men are better than women” posted an image of Thorlaug’s face, altered to appear bloody and bruised. Under the image, someone commented, “Women are like grass, they need to be beaten/cut regularly.” Another wrote: “You just need to be raped.” Thorlaug reported the image and comments to Facebook and requested that the site remove them.

“We reviewed the photo you reported,” came Facebook’s auto reply, “but found it does not violate Facebook’s Community Standards on hate speech, which includes posts or photos that attack a person based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition.”

Instead, the Facebook screeners labeled the content “Controversial Humor.” Thorlaug saw nothing funny about it. She worried the threats were real.

Read more.

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Frat Loses Charter for Promoting Rape

…that’s the least that should happen…

Excerpt:

The Texas Tech chapter of the international fraternity Phi Delta Theta is being stripped of its charter following controversy over a party last month that included a banner reading “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal.”

Read the entire article

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Jennifer Lawrence Does Not Owe Us

As people react to the Jennifer Lawrence Vanity Fair article that I blogged about yesterday, I’ve noticed a troubling theme.  People have not quite criticized her — I’m mostly talking about comment sections and social media and I’m not going to linkfarm that — for the sexually provocative photos that accompany the article, but sort […]

http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/jennifer-lawrence-does-not-owe-us/

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Jennifer Lawrence Says Don’t Look At The Pictures

I agree. If you looked, you are complicit in a sex crime. Period.

Vanity Fair has an interview out wherein Jennifer Lawrence addresses the stolen nude photos.  She says that it was a sex crime, and she addressed the complicity of everyone who looks:

“Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame. Even people who I know and love say, ‘Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures.’ I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body.”

Here’s how I look at it.  I imagine she was my neighbor, my friend, and she came and knocked on my door and told me that her account was hacked and someone might send me nude photos, and would I please delete them and not look at them.  Would I really look at them anyway?  No, I wouldn’t, and so I didn’t.  Some…

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About Nungesser: The Man Emma Sulkowicz Reported For Rape

Yet another rape cover-up.
Surprise, surprise.

I already wrote about Emma Sulkowicz.  She reported a man to Columbia University for raping her, but the panel cleared him.  She went to the police, but they treated her poorly and did nothing.  Then she formulated a performance art piece, Carry That Weight, which has been widely covered and has received a great deal of support both within and without the university.

Her parents wrote a letter identifying the man she reported, and shedding significant additional light:  the same man, Jean-Paul Nungesser, was previously adjudicated responsible in an incident of violence sexual assault against a different female student, following her to her room and shoving her inside.  And Emma Sulkowics made her decision to report him after learning from other women about incidents indicating that his behavior was part of a pattern.  Here’s one thing they say:

3) The fact that Nungesser had previously been found “responsible”…

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Stalking Via Technology

Beware. If you are in an abusive relationship or have been in the past, take special precautions and check your personal devices to ensure the abusive party isn’t stalking you and continuing to terrorize you through the use of technology.

Excerpt:

…there’s another kind of privacy concern that is a lot more intimate. You could call it Little Brother, though it’s really more like husbands and wives, lovers and exes who secretly watch their partners — from a distance. They are cyberstalking — using digital tools that are a lot cheaper than hiring a private detective.

NPR investigated these tools, also known as spyware, and spoke with domestic violence counselors and survivors around the country. We found that cyberstalking is now a standard part of domestic abuse in the U.S.

Digital Detox At The Shelter

Before we get into how spyware works, let’s visit a place that’s been transformed by it: a domestic violence shelter — a safe house for mostly women and children. It’s run by a group called Next Door, and it’s somewhere in the heart of Silicon Valley. I can’t tell you exactly where because its location is a secret. (I had to sign an agreement to be let in.)

While the kids are playing with dominoes in the living room, counselor Rosa Navarro takes the newest arrival — a woman who has a little boy — into a quiet office for intake.

And that intake includes digital detox.

Read more in the full article.

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It’s Not Enough, But It’s a Great Start

Excellent article.

Whereas I can see McEwan’s point that we’re shifting from victim blaming to bystander blaming, I do think that promoting bystander intervention is a positive step to put an end to rape culture and thereby an end to the prevalence of sexual assault.

Certainly the rapist is the only one ultimately responsible for their actions, for their choice violate another human being; however, peer pressure and a community unwilling to accept such misogynistic and aggressive behavior in the early stages will go a long way to deterring rapists.
Some of the arguments against bystander response is that it’s dangerous for the bystander, which I can see in extreme circumstances if physical violence is the case, but on the other hand, so much of this happens and perpetrators are supported way before the defining moment sexual assault.

Once we stop accepting misogynistic speech, rape jokes, and objectifying other human beings, once we put an end to the idea that one person is entitled sexually to another, once we firmly reject the notion that a woman was “asking for it,” and we do this with every action, word, and thought, that’s when rape culture will begin to end.

To change our culture, it is most certainly on us. #ItsOnUs

Read The Nation article to which I am referring, here.

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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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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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