More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

Archive for the ‘Rape’ Category


Hello! I logged into the email associated with this account to see I’d gotten some pingbacks and that the rape schedule post had garnered a bit of attention. So thanks!

 

No thanks however, to the person commenting on the entry with lots of victim blaming and slut shaming. It was refreshing to post the “not approved” button.

 

In other news, the Republican primary is hilariously awful and my Nana is Catholic and supports Planned Parenthood.  Whoo!

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I’m gonna rehash an oldie but a goodie:

RAPE IS NEVER A WOMAN’S FAULT.

Regardless of what she’s wearing, doing, saying, drinking, or where she is doing any of these things or with whom she is doing them.

IT IS NEVER HER FAULT.

Keshia Cantor was handed a pamphlet explaining to her that her immodest dress may cause her to raped and was responsible for men sinning. Here’s where the news article fails: it goes on to describe Cantor’s dress, asserting she’s a “good girl” who was all covered up while working at her mother’s fast food restaurant. Uhm, hold on.

“Bad girls” don’t deserve to get raped either, and they aren’t responsible for men “sinning.”

So good job,  Clare Golfordo of the Herald Courier press, for covering these sexist, fingerpointing, inaccurate pamphlets, even though you didn’t quittte follow through.

Bad job, society, for needing to know exactly what the girl handed this pamphlet was wearing. I mean, after all,we have to know… what if she deserved it?

Bristol Harold Courier: “Blame the victim: Religious leaflet claims ‘ungodly’ dressed women provoke rape”


That’s what Hillary Clinton called Nujood Ali, a twelve year old Yemeni girl who recently published “I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.”

Married to a 30 year old man at age nine by her father, Nujood was beaten and raped by her “husband” for two months before visiting her family home to see her sister. Her father’s second wife advised her to seek a divorce, and Nujood made her way to the courthouse. After sitting there for half a day, a kindly judge recognized her. Her father and “husband” were taken into custody, and the original judge housed Nujood for the trial. After refusing a judge’s original suggestion of taking a break for up to five years, then returning to the “husband,” Nujood was granted a divorce. Her memoir is now being published in nearly twenty languages, and she is enrolled in elementary school full-time.

There’s another great woman in this story: Shada Nasser, Nujood’s lawyer. The first female lawyer in Yemen, Shada started her career by offering legal services to incarcerated women.

Both women have been honored with multiple awards, though they were barred from attending a ceremony in Vienna, Austria, by the Yemeni government. Follow up stories indicate that Nujood may not be treated well by her family, and suffers from the stigma of divorce and reaching out to Western media.

More about the situation for Yemeni women: there is no minimum marriage age, though husbands are encouraged to wait until the wife is “ready.” Over 65% of women are illiterate, and kidnapping and rape are constant threats. Once married, women must obtain spousal permission for actions that involve leaving their house.

Educate someone on women’s situations in other countries today, please! We have a long way to go in so many countries, including my own.


So, we outlined the idea of a rape schedule. Now, what happens when we don’t follow that rape schedule?

Let’s revisit my roommate: “Who gets in the front seat of a cab?”

When we don’t follow the schedule, we get blamed. We get told it is our fault for walking there, for being drunk, for wearing a skirt, for dressing like a slut, for being easy, for not screaming loud enough, for not knowing better, for any possible thing imaginable. It is our fault that we were assaulted.

Now, let’s try to fix our questions, friends.

Who assaults women? Really, who waits in dark alleyways? Who acts like they’re going to walk a woman home and then turns on her? Who is that violent? Who is that much of a pig? Why would someone think they could do that to someone else?

Those are the questions that should be asked.

So next time you get a safety announcement, or are told about  or read about yet another violent act targeting a woman, stop and think about who you’re going to assign the blame to. Because we’re taught to assign the blame to the victim, people. We’re taught not to ask “what kind of man does that?” but “what kind of woman walks home/wears a skirt/is out at night?” And you know what kind of woman does any and all of those things? You. Me. Our friends, sisters, neighbors, girlfriends, mothers.

Do you know what kind of man does that? I hope not. Hopefully it isn’t our brothers, friends, fathers, and boyfriends. But it has to be someone’s brother, friend, father, or boyfriend. Scary thought, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s why we ask victim blaming questions. Oh yeah, we’re taught to by the patriarchy and all that, we’re taught to hate ourselves and to blame ourselves. But maybe, the idea that we’re hanging out with people who respect women so little is a hard thought to deal with.

Start holding attackers and rapists accountable.

Ask, “What sort of man does that?” or “I don’t want to believe he raped her.” instead of “What sort of woman wears that?” and “I don’t believe her.”

Call people out. “She was so drunk man, when we woke up she freaked out but I was just like, what, you were into it last night after those tequila shots!” or  “She said no, but we’d done it earlier, so whatever! She enjoyed it in the end!” That’s rape. And those are conversations I’ve actually heard while on college campuses.  Call those people out. Make sure you’re safe, but raise awareness. Say, “I’d freak out too.” or “I’d file charges as well.” And if nothing is being done, contact the people at your school/office/community. Say, “I heard about a rape, and I’m concerned.”  If you know the victim, be their friend and steer them towards support systems.

Combat sexism before it gets to rape and assault. Jokes with women hating sentiments, movies that glorify rape, a society that teaches that we’re incapable, among so many other things I won’t even start in on, allow a culture of violence.  Start talking, and start education.

Need more info? Want help finding Support Systems?

http://rapecrisis.com/

http://www.rainn.org

http://www.nsvrc.org/saam


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I first read about the idea of a rape schedule in Full Frontal Feminism, by Jessica Valenti. It came up today, when a campus safety announcement was sent out about a girl sitting in the front of a cab and being sexually assaulted. My roommate immediately launched into the typical “who sits in the front of a cab?! That’s so sketchy! Everyone knows you sit in the back, its basic safety!” Who can blame her? We all do it, its our first response!

Not, “who assaults a woman?!” or even “who assaults a woman while they’re WORKING?! do they really think they can get away with that?” or even “was it a real cab?! that poor woman!”

Nope. The “Who sits in the front of a cab?” response.

The idea of a rape schedule is that women are taught to avoid certain places, do certain things, and have certain habits in order to not get sexually assaulted or raped. We don’t walk alone at night. We walk in well lit places. We take cabs instead of walking four blocks because we’ve been at the bar and aren’t sure we can operate our mace. We carry mace. We wear sensible shoes when in quiet or high crime areas. We do all sorts of things to AVOID BEING RAPED.

Do people understand the significance of this? We have internalized the idea that we are in danger. And, well, we ARE!

Let’s statistic it up for a second:

1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted.

Approximately 73% of victims know their rapists.

(Thanks to RAINN for the stats.)

We are assaulted. And apparently, many of us know the people who assault! And we learn to schedule our lives around them. We learn to schedule our lives around a constant threat, one that isn’t verbalized, one that most men and many women aren’t conscious of, because it is so deeply ingrained in our everyday life. Like my roommate.

How sad is that?

What we do and how we do it is limited because of violence directed AT US. This isn’t a random theft or something, people. This is something that happens because we’re women.

We’ll talk next about how a rape schedule, when not followed, becomes a tool to use against rape victims.

If this post upset you or inspired you, let’s talk about it.

Need help? Have questions? Want more info?

http://www.rainn.org