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We’ll just file this under ‘pages that I need to photocopy and widely distribute’.

Dresscodes

“Rape/revenge is replete in tension and bloody cathartic release; there is terrifying violation, and then there is revenge you can feel good about. The films use women’s trauma to justify stereotypically male pleasures of hyperbolic violence. So Thelma and Louise get to pick up guns and shoot people like they’re in a Western, while Furiosa drag races across the desert and then gets to murder and take the place of the evil patriarch. Rape/revenge fits feminism into male genre narratives that Hollywood can embrace.

furiosa

…rape/revenge films are designed, often quite consciously, to let everyone in the audience experiment with, and experience, different gender roles, whether as trauma, empowerment, or both. That instability leads to a wide range of responses—and perhaps explains why rape/revenge is responsible for both some of the most critically lauded and most viscerally derided films of the last 40 years. For better and worse, the rape/revenge trope reveals how violence squats upon our understanding of gender—and how rarely, and timidly, that is confronted in popular culture.”

   -Excerpts from the article by Noah Berlatsky found on The Establishment.

Disclaimer – This isn’t specifically about *you* white dude whose ‘sensibilities’ are in a tizzy (you’re welcome for the longer version of #NotAllMen).

“Rape was a political crime committed by men against women in order to assert their power. It was an act of terrorism by which, as Susan Brownmiller expressed it, ‘all men keep all women in a state of fear’.

…From this understanding feminists derived the slogan: ‘All men are potential rapists’ which has always brought forth howls of protest from men who wanted to disassociate themselves from rape.

The slogan simply means that if male sexuality is constructed in such a way that men associate sex with aggression then every man is capable of rape. The slogan also means that women are not in a position to know whether the men they meet are likely to rape or not. Some men may feel entirely innocent but it is not possible for women to treat them differently. To a woman in a train carriage or on a street every man is a potential rapist. The judicial system expects her to act on that assumption and will hold her responsible for her own victimisation if she treats a man who subsequently rapes her with ordinary human politeness.”

-Sheila Jeffreys, Anticlimax

   See also:  Schrödinger’s Rapist – A guide for the Men.

 

Sometimes while surfing the web you find passages that are so brutally eloquent that the only acceptable action is to replicate them.   This from the Notes Against Humanity Blog.

 

“I am targeted for rape and other types of sexual violence because I’m perceived as female. The only effective way to protect myself from rape is to not exist in the world while being perceived as female. (And even then, you know, men get raped too.)

Do you have any ideas about how I could do that?

I am patronizingly told that yes, rape culture is a thing, yes, men should be taught not to rape, yes, yes, rape is very very bad and it’s always the rapist’s fault, but

but

but

BUT

shouldn’t we really be giving ladies the tools they need to stay safe in the meantime after all change doesn’t happen immediately and we can’t just tell all men to stop raping and they’ll stop and yes this is unfair but maybe for now you can just keep yourself from getting raped so that we don’t have to feel bad about this?

Okay, I’ll indulge you. What’s your plan? How long am I supposed to appear outside only with an escort, carry pepper spray and keys between my fingers and a gun that I’ve paid money for and been taught how to use and self-defense training in case I can’t access the gun, wear only baggy clothes, refrain from drinking or dancing or consensual sex or anything else untoward? What’s the timeframe here? How long do I have to do this while you do the work of teaching men that I don’t belong to them? How are you going to teach them that? Where are you getting the funding for these programs? Who will teach law enforcement to take rape accusations seriously? Who will teach coaches, religious leaders, politicians, and other powerful men to stop covering this shit up? How are you going to implement mandatory consent-based sex education at all grade levels?

What’s your plan?

How long do I have to live like a prisoner in this world?

Do you know how it feels to be a target?”

 

***Let me preface this post with a handy disclaimer for clarification – When women say that have been abused – I believe them.***

**Update – Lucy DeCoutere speaks of her abusive experience with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC radio’s show The Current – Catch the podcast here.**

 

CBCradioOkay this story broke over the weekend and the major print media involved so far has been the Toronto Star.  In the TS’s words here is what happened

“CBC star Jian Ghomeshi has been fired over “information” the public broadcaster recently received that it says “precludes” it from continuing to employ the 47-year-old host of the popular Q radio show.  Shortly after CBC announced Ghomeshi was out the door on Sunday, Ghomeshi released news that he was launching a $50-million lawsuit claiming “breach of confidence and bad faith” by his employer of almost 14 years. He later followed that up with a Facebook posting saying he has been the target of “harassment, vengeance and demonization.”

Hmm.  Well I think the CBC’s information – having a host that is violent toward women – is probably a good reason for canning the dude.

“Ghomeshi’s statement said that he has been open with the CBC about the allegations. He said the CBC’s decision to fire him came after he voluntarily showed evidence late last week that everything he has done was consensual. Ghomeshi blames a woman he describes as an ex-girlfriend for spreading lies about him and orchestrating a campaign with other women to “smear” him.

The three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent. They allege he struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and that they were verbally abused during and after sex.

A fourth woman, who worked at CBC, said Ghomeshi told her at work: “I want to hate f— you.”

Fascinating.  It would seem that Ghomeshi has the standard defense of blaming and making women responsible for his shitty behaviour down pat.  Might another dodge in the dude’s handbook be that what he does in private (beating women) should have no effect on his job?

“Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks. They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. … But that is my private life. … And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life.”

Ah, but Jian the three women in question all say that you physically attacked them explicitly without their consent – and that boyo – means your private life, your private kinks – are fucking irrelevant to the issue at hand, because attacking people is against the law.

“Early last summer, the Star began looking into allegations by young women of sexual abuse by Ghomeshi over the past two years. The Star conducted detailed interviews with the women, talking to each woman several times. None of the women filed police complaints and none agreed to go on the record. The reasons given for not coming forward publicly include the fear that they would be sued or would be the object of Internet retaliation. (A woman who wrote an account of an encounter with a Canadian radio host believed to be Ghomeshi was subjected to vicious Internet attacks by online readers who said they were supporters of the host.)”

Don't be that guyGo read that paragraph again. You will not find a more clearly defined example of what rape culture is and how it affects women and their choices.

Why didn’t these women just go to the police?  Because often filing a police report and going through the process ends up as nothing more as a re-victimization of an already traumatized individual and no legal censure for the abuser in question.  Plus, now with the shiny new information age, women are targeted for harassment, rape and death threats over social media and email (just take a peek at the abuse women get for daring to speak their mind).   Coming forward just isn’t that easy or cut and dried as people would like to portray.

From the New York Times:

“They [the women Ghomeshi abused]  explain further:

“Each of the women accusing Ghomeshi cite the case of Carla Ciccone as a reason they desire anonymity. Last year Ciccone wrote an article for the website XOJane about a ‘bad date’ with an unidentified, very popular Canadian radio host whom readers speculated to be Ghomeshi.

“In the days that followed, Ciccone received hundreds of abusive messages and threats. An online video calling her a ‘scumbag of the Internet’ has been viewed over 397,000 times.”

In her 2013 XOJane piece, Ms. Ciccone writes that a man she calls Keith, who “has a successful radio show in Canada,” repeatedly tried to touch her when they went to a concert together, even after she asked him to stop.

Those who speak up about sexual harassment or violence have long been subject to public scrutiny and criticism. But an onslaught of online abuse and threats has become a strikingly common response to women’s public statements — see for instance the threats Anita Sarkeesian and others have received when they speak publicly about misogyny in video games.

Brianna Wu, a game developer, details her harassment in an essay at XOJane, describing death and rape threats as well as threats to her career:

“They tried to hack my company financially on Saturday, taking out our company’s assets. They’ve tried to impersonate me on Twitter in an effort to discredit me. They are making burner accounts to send lies about my private life to prominent journalists. They’ve devastated the metacritic users’ score of my game, Revolution 60, lowering it to 0.3 out of 100.”

Yah, soooo..before we get any spirited arguments about “Why didn’t they just go to the police? – the above quote is your answer.  Do you want to face the possibility of ruining your life given the very real chance that your trauma won’t be taken seriously by the authorities?   Can you see how large the disincentive is for women to “go public”.  Again, say hi to what it like to live in a rape culture.

   Heather Malik writing in the Toronto Star elaborates this key point about how rape culture effects women and the reporting of sexual abuse:

“When it comes to redress for suffering a sexual attack, Canadian women might as well be in Saudi Arabia. We whisper among friends and quietly trade stories, or we shut up for our entire careers.

The barriers start with institutional sexism and pile on with the almost impossible burden of proof for acts committed in private, the adulation offered to well-paid and well-connected men, the insulation of a large staff on Ghomeshi’s radio show Q, his hiring of a PR company and a team of libel lawyers, the fact that he claims he is a union member now filing a grievance against the CBC, an army of carefully catered-to fans online, the continuing shock of being physically assaulted, and then one of the worst things of all, the terror of being placed in the online bearpit.”

The stigma for women surrounding sexual assault and battery needs to be removed.  The choice between ruining your life for a slim chance at justice or shutting up about your sexual assault is really no choice at all for women, as this story so vividly illustrates.   Women need protection and support from the legal system and society.  Woman should be able to exercise their human and legal rights without fear of retribution from the misogynistic elements of society that would see their lives ruined for the mere act of speaking the truth about their experiences.

As a long time CBC radio listener, I sincerely hope that Mr.Ghomeshi is not rehired.  Canada is a progressive country and the abusive, anti-woman vibe that surrounds Mr.Ghomeshi has no place on our national radio network.

 

A post that deserves to be amplified.  Thank you BB for your words and your insight.

 

“However, you all would be amazed if you saw the sheer number of men who get ragingly pissed off by this post. For that reason alone I thought that it was worth reposting so today I’m copying it to this new post, just because I think it’ll be alot of fun to visit memory lane.”

 

The Rapist Checklist

Some things to remember…

  1. You are a rapist if you get a girl drunk and have sex with her.

  2. You are a rapist if you find a drunk girl and have sex with her.

  3. You are a rapist if you get yourself drunk and have sex with her. Your drunkeness is no excuse.

  4. If you are BOTH drunk you may still be a rapist.

  5. If she’s alternating between puking her guts out and passing out in the bed then you’re a rapist.

  6. If she’s sleeping and you have sex with her you’re a rapist.

  7. If she’s unconscious and you have sex with her then you’re a rapist.

  8. If she’s taking sleeping pills and doesn’t wake up when you have sex with her then you’re a rapist.

  9. If she is incapacitated in any way and unable to say ‘Yes’ then you’re a rapist.

  10. If you drug her then you’re a rapist.

  11. If you find a drugged girl and have sex with her then you’re a rapist.

  12. If you don’t bother to ask her permission and she says neither ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ then you could be a rapist.

  13. You are a rapist if you ‘nag’ her for sex. Because you manage to ply an eventual ‘yes’ from a weary victim doesn’t mean it’s not rape. You are a rapist.

  14. You are a rapist if you try to circumvent her “No” by talking her into it. She’s not playing hard to get, and, even if she IS it’s not YOUR responsibility to ‘get’ her. You’re still a rapist.

  15. You are a rapist if you manipulate her into sex when she doesn’t otherwise want it. If you say, “If you loved me you’d do X” then you’re a rapist. If you say, “All the other kids are doing it!” then you’re a rapist.

  16. If you threaten her, or act in a way that SHE thinks you’re threatening her then you’re a rapist. If you puff up and get loud and frustrated while trying to ‘talk’ her into sex then you’re a rapist.

  17. You are a rapist if you don’t immediately get your hands off of her when she says ‘no’. You are a rapist if you take your hands off of her and then put them back ON her after 10 minutes and she eventually ‘gives in’ to this tactic.

  18. You are a rapist if you won’t let her sleep peacefully without waking her every 15 minutes asking her for sex. Sleep depravation is a form of torture and YOU are a rapist.

  19. If you’re necking with her and you’re naked and you’ve already gone down on her and she says ‘No’ to sex with you and you have sex with her anyway then you’re a rapist.

  20. If you’re engaged in intercourse and she says ‘No’ at ANY point and you don’t immediately stop then you’re a rapist.

  21. If she said “Yes” to sex with a condom and that condom breaks and you proceed anyway then you’re a rapist.

  22. If she picked you up at a bar looking for sex and then decides that she doesn’t WANT sex and you continue then you’re a rapist.

  23. If she changes her mind at ANY point for ANY reason and you don’t immediately back off or you try to talk her into it and get sex anyway then you’re a rapist.

  24. If you don’t hit her and she says ‘No’ you’re still a rapist.

  25. If you don’t have a knife or a gun or a garrote and she says ‘No’ then you’re still a rapist.

  26. If you’re a friend of hers you can still be a rapist.

  27. If you had sex with her the night before but she doesn’t want morning sex and you pressure her for it anyway then you’re a rapist.

  28. If you’re her husband you can still be a rapist.

  29. If it’s your wedding night and she doesn’t WANT to have sex with you and you force or coerce her anyway then you’re a rapist.

  30. If she’s had sex with you hundreds of times before but doesn’t want to on the 101st time then you’re a rapist.

  31. If you penetrate her anally, orally or digitally against her will then YOU my friend, are ALSO a rapist.

  32. Women do not owe you sex.

  33. Buying her dinner does not entitle you to sex.

  34. Paying her mortgage does not entitle you to sex.

  35. Buying her clothing does not entitle you to sex.

  36. Buying her lingerie does not entitle you to sex. It also doesn’t mean that she has any obligation to wear that lingerie around you.

  37. Spending any amount of money on her does not, ever, entitle you to sex.

  38. Seeing her legs or cleavage does not entitle you to sex.

  39. If she ‘turns you on’ you’re not entitled to sex.

  40. If she has fucked every man in a 10 square mile radius and she doesn’t want to fuck you and you have sex with her anyway, then you’re a rapist.

  41. Her clothing is not a reason for you to rape her. Her LACK of clothing is no reason to rape her. If she’s wearing a thong and pasties you STILL have no right to rape her.

  42. If she’s a prostitute and she says “No” then you’re a rapist.

  43. If she’s a stripper and she says “No” then you’re a rapist. Likewise, if she’s a stripper and she’s been rubbing against your dick all night long and you follow her to her car and have sex with her against her will then you are ALSO a rapist.

  44. If you watch a woman being raped without calling the authorities then you’re as bad as a rapist and you may also be a rapist yourself.

  45. If you don’t fight rape then you accept rape.

  46. If you don’t believe a woman when she says she was raped then you’re encouraging rape.

  47. If you choose to remain friends with a man who raped a woman you are encouraging rape.

  48. If you confess to the authorities that you raped a woman it does not exonerate you. You are not suddenly a model of good behavior.

  49. If you ‘only’ raped one woman, you’re STILL a rapist.

  50. You cannot tell who is a rapist by the way they look. Rapists are your friends, your brothers, your fathers and you won’t know it.

  51. Do not get frustrated with a woman if she doesn’t trust you. SHE already knows that rapists don’t wear signs on their foreheads. Something you think is innocuous SHE may find terrifying.

sadface   This is a post based on a personal experience.  The general topic of the sexist nature of video game culture can be found here.

As of late, I’ve been on a bit of League of Legends binge; a fact the Intransignet One can well attest.  The problem with League of Legends (LoL) is that the competitive aspects of the game makes it very rewarding to win and thus, difficult to not to play.  It is a strategic game based on skillful play and teamwork – it rewards the teams that communicate and work together.  Thus, voice over IP in the competitive stream, provides a definite leg up on those who do not use voice communication.

Ah the glories of voice communication… it exposes one to other gamers with different backgrounds and social experiences and therein lies the problem.  What do you do when one of your teammates, as a part of their regular vocabulary, uses the word ‘rape’ to describe what is happening in game?

As in:  “We are raping hard right now!” as a descriptor of our team doing very well or, “we’re getting raped” when we happen to be losing.

Here is where I pause because I’m stuck and I know I should not be.  Rape is traumatic, horrible crime that should not be normalized in gamer talk.  Yet, when I was confronted with it, I sat passively by and said nothing (tacit acceptance, if you’re keeping score).  There were five people chatting and they noted that those darned Canadians were a quiet polite lot.  Little did they know the social struggle going on within me.

The pressure to accept the normalized use of the word rape was stifling as it would mean, on my behalf, requesting that said individuals please refrain from using that terminology in chat.  I was part of a social group and we were all having fun playing a game – and it would mean harshing that particular mellow.

In hindsight I can see that all the social baggage that prevented me from speaking up was/is utter bullshit.  There is no excuse for not calling out rape culture when it is staring you right in the face, yet I declined to act, thus propagating and encouraging the rape culture that I vigourously campaign against in other facets of my life.

This is a personal failure of integrity and will.  It leaves me feeling disappointed in myself and my culture.

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