My name is Alex & I'm a college student currently located in Austin, TX. I'm interested in books, horror films, indie comics, gaming, cute animals & smashing the capitalist patriarchy.
I am a light-skinned WOC, able-bodied, cis.
The only feminism that matters is intersectional.
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Enquiring minds are eager to know what the heck befell a young man who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a group of women in downtown Toronto.
**Trigger Warning: Rape culture, victim blaming - exercise caution before clicking the link or reading further**
After a man - who is alternately referred to as a teenager - in Toronto reported to the police that he had been the victim of a sexual assault at the hands of four women in their thirties, Rosie DiManno thought it would be a good idea to pen one of the most disgusting, victim-blaming, pathetic excuse for an article I have ever had the misfortune of reading. DiManno inexplicably thought it was appropriate to write about a sexual assault using the following phrases:
“Of course, one man’s sexual assault is another man’s sexual fantasy come true.”
Having a fantasy of multiple simultaneous partners is not an invitation to be raped.
Mustn’t be seen to make light of an alleged sexual crime simply because the victim is a male…snickering quotient.”
Excuse me, but I simply don’t see the “snickering quotient” of someone being outnumbered, overpowered, and sexually assaulted. I doubt the millions of victims of sexual assault - victims of all genders - see that either.
“Sexual assault, you say? Lucky guy others say, nudge-nudge, a fivesome and didn’t even have to pay for it.”
Those people are despicable human beings, they are wrong, and they and their boss should probably be promptly fired from the Toronto Star.
“They could be sex molls or sex maulers.”
The fact that they were reported as perpetrators of a sexual assault makes them criminals, actually. What journalism program taught DiManno or any of her superiors that this was okay?
“Some “assaults’’ are merely unwanted touching, annoying for an adult woman but should be slapped down when they occur rather than directed to police.”
This teenager was offered a ride home by these women, and taken instead to an abandoned parking lot and assaulted. If this is something the police should ignore, I’m not sure what their role is in society.
Wanted: Bad girls in black minidresses and stilettos, approach with caution.
Yes, the sexual predators in their thirties are just “girls,” as well as an excellent punchline, according to the Toronto Star.
This isn’t DiManno’s first horrifying and utterly hamfisted attempt at being clever. In January, she came under fire for her disgusting coverage of another sexual assault, and the Star immediately came to her defense. As a result, another victim of sexual assault has been publicly mocked, mere weeks after teenage rape victim Rehteah Parsons tragically took her life after being mocked by her peers.
Women’s rights activists in Britain and the US have accused Facebook of promoting rape and “rape culture” after the social networking site refused to take down pages on which users made jokes and apparent confessions about sexual assault.
They say the material found on the pages is a clear violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions, which bar hateful or threatening content. “This is hate speech,” said Jane Osmond, who has campaigned on behalf of the UK petition. “I find it very disturbing that Facebook don’t appear to see the connection between pages such as this and the prevailing rape culture we have in our society.”
Facebook has refused to take the offending pages down, insisting they are intended to be “a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views”.
Facebook and the people who “like” this type of pages should stop pretending they don’t know that hate speech is not an opinion, it’s an offense. And freedom of speech will never change that.
I recently learned about the SlutWalk, and it’s gotten me thinking a lot about the experiences of certain people in my life with sexual assault and how we can change the cultural norms, mindsets, or attitudes that propagate violence against women.Though I am fully aware that men also experience sexual assault, because I am a woman and I also know that women are more often the victims of – or, rather, survivors of – sexual violence, my focus here is on women.
In the U.S., 1 out of 4 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes, and many are taken advantage of simply because they choose to wear what they want, drink what they want, or socialize in the places and with the people they want. It is incredibly sad to me that we live in a world where making simple choices with the goal of having “fun” opens women up to dangerous situations, whereas men rarely have to wonder about such things as, “If I go drinking with my friends/if I wear this outfit/if I try to have a friendly conversation with this person – is someone going to force themselves upon me sexually?”What’s worse is that many men who commit acts of sexual violence don’t even realize what they’ve done.They’ll have no idea that their actions deeply affected another human being.They won’t be able to understand how a single encounter, a relatively fleeting moment in their lives, will actually stay in that woman’s mind – probably vividly – forever.
The SlutWalk got its start this year in Toronto after a Toronto police officer stated that, in order to avoid being sexually assaulted, “…women should avoid dressing like sluts…”Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis, the founders of SlutWalk, were outraged by this flagrant victim-blaming and decided to organize a march wherein women can come together dressed in whatever manner they please and protest the idea that the way a woman decides to dress can be an invitation for sexual violence – a seeming reality in our culture, and one which men almost never have to take into account when they open their closet doors.The goal of the SlutWalk is twofold:
Raise awareness as to the fact that the decision on the part of the perpetrator to sexually assault a woman is his and his alone – he is actively choosing to commit an act of violence against another human being, a decision that cannot be attributed to the victim of that crime.
Redeem the word “slut” and other derogatory, anti-female terms such that they can no longer be used to tear woman down but, instead, can be owned by women (much like the LGBT community did with the word “queer”).
As Barnett and Jarvis have stated, they are “…tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result…Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence…No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”
The inaugural SlutWalk in Toronto this past April attracted nearly 3,000 participants and has quickly spread to other major cities around the world, such as Washington, D.C. and Dallas.In fact, some people have gone so far as to describe this event as the “…most successful feminist action of the past 20 years,” as it has quickly brought together thousands of people to protest sexual violence and engage in critical discourse regarding the identity of women and male/female gender roles in the 21st century.
The SlutWalks have also been the source of intense criticism.Certain commentators – many of them men – have said that guidance on how to dress is simply “risk management,” even drawing analogies between sexual assault and home invasion:
I have a perfect right to leave my windows open when I nip to the shops for some fags, without being burgled. It doesn’t lessen the guilt of the burglar that I’ve left my window open, or even remotely suggest that I was deserving of being burgled. Just that it was more likely to happen. – Rod Liddle
Despite Liddle’s assertion that a woman’s personal choices do not make her “deserving” of having a sex crime committed against her, according to statistics posted in a British newspaper, a survey taken in London in 2009 showed that:
27% of people believe a woman is responsible for her assaults if she was “flirting”
26% of people believe a woman is responsible for her assaults if she was walking alone in a dark place
17% of people believe a woman is responsible for her assaults if she was dressed in “sexy clothing”
These are incredible statistics.It blows my mind to know that people believe that a women essentially “deserves” to be assaulted simply based on the clothing she wears or the path home she chooses. As Elizabeth Webb, organizer of the SlutWalk Dallas pointed out, “If someone breaks into a house, do you blame the owner for having a house that looks appetizing?”
We the undersigned women of African descent and anti-violence advocates, activists, scholars, organizational and spiritual leaders wish to address the SlutWalk. First, we commend the organizers on their bold and vast mobilization to end the shaming and blaming of sexual assault victims…
Click through for the commentary about “Denim Day” and their “No Excuses” campaign.
#1 SHE WAS WEARING TIGHT JEANS:
In 1999, the Italian High Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans at the time of the assault. The justices stated that the victim must have helped her attacker remove her jeans, from which they inferred consent. People all around the world were outraged. Wearing jeans on this anniversary became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes abotu sexual violence.
#2 SHE WAS ASKING FOR IT:
It is often believed that sexy or suggestive clothing invites wanted male attention, positive or negative. Regardless, wearing revealing clothing does not invite sexual assault. In fact, women and girls have been raped in everything from jeans to business suits to pajamas. This belief reinforces the myth that women and girls invite assault by their clothing choices and shifts the blame for the crime to the victim and away from the perpetrator, where it belongs.
#3 SHE WAS FLIRTING ONLINE:
Teenagers and children have increasingly become targets for predators both online and via mobile devices. Predators today will use social networking sites to contact youth and convince them that the “stranger” is a “friend.”This connection increases the child / teen’s trust in them and interest in sexual relations. Learning about the dangers of internet use and speaking about them openly can help minimize the risks from those who wish to abuse.
#4 SHE WAS HIS STEADY GIRLFRIEND:
One of the most common misconceptions is that most rapes are committed by strangers. In reality, more than 75% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the survivor knew and trusted—such as a teacher, co-worker, relative, friend, or even their steady girlfriend or boyfriend. Just because someone has consented to a sexual act in the past does not give someone the right to assume consent and force or coerce sexual contact.
#5 SHE WAS DRUNK AND PARTYING:
It is commonly believed that because a woman is drinking she somehow invites rape. In most states, it is against the law to have sex with someone who is unable to give legal consent. Coercing or forcing sex without consent is considered rape/sexual violence. If convicted of this crime, a perpetrator would likely have to register as a sex offender.
#6 HE HAD IT COMING:
Male anger and violence is afflicted upon other men and not just women. Rape is a violent act of power and control that damages the victim—male or female. The socialization of men creates immense challenges for them to disclose any type of sexual victimization.
#7 SHE WAS HIS WIFE:
Spousal rape or marital rape is often unreported and overlooked.There is a widely held view that a woman surrenders consent at the time of marriage, and is responsible for satisfying all her husband’s needs and desires in order to be a good wife. The law has been slow to criminalize marital rape, but it is now recognized as a crime in all 50 states.
#8 I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING FOR HER:
Sexual assault is a function of power and control. Frail older persons are often dependent on others for care and can be extremely vulnerable to sexual mistreatment. 96% of sexual abuse of elder persons is committed by a family member or a caretaker. 86% of elder sexual assault victims are women.
#9 THE INTENSITY GOT TO HIM:
Today, there are more women serving in the military than ever before. However, women soldiers who signed up to defend their countries have instead had to defend themselves from assault and rape by their own fellow soldiers and in some cases their commanding officers. The phenomena is not only unique to women, but inclusive of men as well. Military sexual violence has occurred during training, times of peace, and times of war.
#10 SHE HAS SEX FOR MONEY:
Because a sex worker exchanges a sex act for money does not mean that they cannot be raped or deserve to be sexually violated. Someone’s choices in profession, lifestyle, and appearance do not give anyone the right to rape, assault, or otherwise hurt them.
#11 SHE CANNOT HEAR, TALK, OR REPORT:
According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Justice, rates of rape and sexual assault among persons who are deaf or disabled are more than twice that of the general population. Persons who are deaf or have a disibility are also more likely to experience repeated sexual assaults throughout their lifetimes. The perception of vulnerability or inability to report does not give someone the right to force or coerce sexual contact.
#12 RAPE IS NOT PART OF THE SENTENCE:
Every year, more than 100,000 U.S. male and female inmates are sexually abused by other inmates or correctional staff. More often than not, the perpetrators are correctional staff, whose very job it is to keep prisoners safe. When the government removes someone’s liberty, it takes on an absolute responsibility to protect that person’s safety. Rape is not part of the penalty. In the aftermath, most prisoner rape survivors are forced to suffer in silence, too fearful of retaliation and further abuse ever to file a formal report. Rape is an abomination, whether it occurs in jail or in the community.
Reblogging (again?) because this is important, and also I just washed my hands of someone who used almost all of these “excuses.” Including the skinny jeans one.
Sometimes I just do not understand people.
Just as a general “shout-out” to everyone who has been reblogging this and telling your stories… I glance at the notes on this occasionally when it comes up on my dash that someone’s reblogged this, and it means a lot to see people open up and talk about which of these have impacted them… and I think that, as important as the list is, people’s individual stories are just as important (and often more important) than generalized lists. Keep on keepin’ on, everybody.