wonderful! this goes back to a conversation i was having with a friend who lives on a college campus. why do so many things tell women how to “prevent” being raped? men can stop [most] rape. it’s not about what a woman wears, or how she looks, or if she’s a virgin or not. here’s a crazy concept: you have no “right” to any part of another person’s body. not to see it, not to touch it, not to do anything to them or their body that they have not consented to.
Screw that. I put together a sheet of my own from various other sources to distribute to my classmates tomorrow. I would have liked to include a lot more information, but printing stuff costs money (specifically, my limited funds). With some careful formatting and double-sided printing, the text will fit onto one sheet of paper. I copy/pasted this from Word, so the format and bullet-points may look wonky, but you’re welcome to copy/paste/print this for your own means. Here we go:
What’s wrong with suggesting that women take precautions to prevent being raped?
It’s wrong because it puts the onus on women not to get themselves raped, rather than on men not to do the raping; in short, it blames the victim. (Finally Feminism 101)
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn’t have long hair and women shouldn’t wear short skirts. Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. Hell, they shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about:
If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
If a woman is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don’t rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.
If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend.
If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.
Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.
Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.
Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl.
Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself. (Men Can Stop Rape)
In case you aren’t sure how to avoid raping, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself:
© How do you define consent? Have you ever talked about consent with your partner(s) or friends?
© Do you think it is the other person’s responsibility to say something if they aren’t into what you’re doing? How might someone express that what is happening is not OK? Do you think it is possible to misinterpret silence for consent? Do you think silence is consent?
© Do you check in as things progress or do you assume the original consent means everything is OK? If someone consents to one thing, do you assume everything else is OK or do you ask before taking things to a different level? Do you think consent can be withdrawn after it’s been given?
© Do you pursue someone sexually even after they have said they just want to be friends? Do you assume that if someone is affectionate they are probably sexually interested in you? Are you clear about your own intentions?
© Have you ever tried to talk someone into doing something they showed hesitancy about?
© If someone is promiscuous, do you think it’s less important to get consent?
© Do you ever try to get yourself into situations that give you an excuse for touching someone you think would say no if you asked? (i.e., Dancing, getting drunk around them, falling asleep next to them.)
© Do you ever feel obligated to have sex? Do you ever feel obligated to initiate sex? Do you ever try and make bargains? (i.e., “If you let me______, I’ll do ______for you?”)
© Do you feel like being in a relationship with someone means that they have an obligation to have sex with you? What if they want to abstain from sex? Do you whine or threaten if you’re not having the amount of sex or kind of sex that you want?
© Do you think it’s OK to initiate something sexual with someone who’s sleeping? What if the person is your partner?
© Have you been sexual with people when you were drunk or when they were drunk? Do you seek consent the same way when you are drunk as when you’re sober?
© Do you initiate conversations about safe sex and birth control applicably? Do you think saying something as vague as “I’ve been tested recently” is enough?
© Do you think if a person has a body that can get pregnant, it’s up to that person to provide birth control? Do you complain or refuse safe sex or the type of birth control your partner wants to use because it reduces your pleasure?
© Do you think only men abuse? Do you think that in a relationship between people of the same gender, only the one who is more “manly” abuses?
You may want to keep in mind that rapists are often not strangers.
© 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
© 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
© 28% are an intimate.
© 7% are a relative.
Rapists are rarely hiding in the bushes. More than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.
© 4 in 10 take place at the victim’s home.
© 2 in 10 take place at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.
© 1 in 12 takes place in a parking garage.
© The average age of a rapist is 31 years old.
© 52% are white.
© 22% of imprisoned rapists report that they are married.
© In 1 in 3 sexual assaults, the perpetrator was intoxicated — 30% with alcohol, 4% with drugs.
© In 2001, 11% of rapes involved the use of a weapon.
© 84% of victims reported the use of physical force only.
Rapists rarely serve time in jail for their crimes. 60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police, according to a statistical average of the past 5 years. Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail. (Rape Abuse & Incest National Network)
Via a MS ACLU Press Release:
Mississippi School Agrees To Revise Policy And Pay Damages To Lesbian Teenager Denied Chance To Attend Prom
Agreement Marks First School Policy Protecting LGBT Students In Mississippi
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2010
Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project, email@example.com
Brent Cox, ACLU of Mississippi, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABERDEEN, MS – Itawamba County School District officials agreed to have a judgment entered against them in the case of a recent high school graduate who sued her school for canceling the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend. The agreement ends a precedent-setting lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 18-year-old Constance McMillen, who suffered humiliation and harassment after parents, students and school officials executed a cruel plan to put on a “decoy” prom for her while the rest of her classmates were at a private prom 30 miles away.
“I’m so glad this is all over. I won’t ever get my prom back, but it’s worth it if it changes things at my school,” said McMillen, who was harassed so badly by students blaming her for the prom cancellation that she had to transfer to another high school to finish her senior year. “I hope this means that in the future students at my school will be treated fairly. I know there are students and teachers who want to start a gay-straight alliance club, and they should be able to do that without being treated like I was by the school.”
As set forth in documents filed in court today, school officials agreed to implement a policy banning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the first policy to do so at a public school in the state of Mississippi. The school also agreed to pay McMillen $35,000 in damages and pay for McMillen’s attorneys’ fees.
“Constance went through a great deal of harassment and humiliation simply for standing up for her rights, and she should be proud of what she has accomplished,” said Christine P. Sun, senior counsel with the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project. “Thanks to her bravery, we now not only have a federal court precedent that can be used to protect the rights of students all over the country to bring the date they want to their proms, but we also have the first school anti-discrimination policy of its kind in Mississippi.”
In addition to today’s legal judgment against the school, an earlier ruling in the case set an important precedent that will help prevent other students from suffering the kind of discrimination McMillen experienced. In March, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi issued a ruling in McMillen’s case that school officials violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights when it canceled the high school prom rather than let McMillen attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.
“We’re pleased that the school district agreed to be held liable for violating Constance’s rights. Now Constance can move on with her life and Itawamba school officials can show the world that they have learned a lesson about equal treatment for all students,” said Kristy L. Bennett, co-counsel on McMillen’s case. “This has been about much more than just the prom all along – it’s about all of our young people deserving to be treated fairly by the schools we trust to take care of them.”
After IAHS’s original prom date was canceled by school officials in response to McMillen’s request that she be allowed to bring her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo, parents organized a private prom at which district officials told a federal judge McMillen and her date would be welcome. That private prom was then canceled as well, allegedly because parents did not want to allow McMillen to attend, instead organizing a “decoy” prom for McMillen and her date and another prom for the rest of the class. McMillen and her date then attended the event the school had told her was “the prom for juniors and seniors” on April 2, where they found only seven other students attending. Principal Trae Wiygul and several school staff members were supervising that event while most of McMillen’s classmates were at the other prom in Evergreen, Mississippi.
“We hope this judgment sends a message to schools that they cannot get away with discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. LGBT youth just want to be treated like their peers and do all the normal high school things, like going to the prom with the date they choose,” said Bear Atwood, Interim Legal Director at the ACLU of Mississippi. “We’re very proud of Constance for standing up not just for her rights but the rights of LGBT students everywhere.”
McMillen is represented by Sun, Bennett and Atwood, as well as by Norman C. Simon, Joshua Glick and Jason Moff of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, and Alysson Mills of New Orleans.
The case name is Constance McMillen v. Itawamba County School District, et al. Additional information is available at www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/fulton-ms-prom-discrimination. There is also a Facebook group for people who want to support McMillen, “Let Constance Bring Her Girlfriend to the Prom,” at www.facebook.com/pages/Let-Constance-Take-Her-Girlfriend-to-Prom/357686784817.
from comments and reblogs, people have stuff to say about whoopi’s comments on mel/oksana today on the view.
i don’t think that the clip is really the issue. it may make it appear that whoopi is on “team mel” whether or not the comments taken out of context make it look like she supports mel, when she doesn’t, isn’t the point. the point is that whoopi goldberg, or anyone else for that matter, has no right to speculate on the actions of a woman who has clearly been abused by her intimate partner. this shifts the focus from the horrible, disgusting, inexcusable rage of mel gibson and instead focuses on the person that rage was directed at. it makes us forget that no person should be spoken to that way, even if they are a gold-digging liar; even if they hoped to bring him into the public eye negatively by releasing the tape.
it is of absolutely no matter whether she gave the tape to the police prior to releasing it publicly. no one, not whoopi goldberg, not me or you, has any idea what this woman has been through, and cannot comment on her mindset. i doubt anyone who has been abused and spoken to that way would be thinking clearly.
when people say things like whoopi said, it distracts us from the fact that no one, even if they had married mel gibson for money or fame, deserves to be abused physically or verbally. the focus needs to stay firmly on mel and his inexcusable actions. can you tell me anything that you believe deserves that type of verbal abuse?
after NOW issued their Hall of Shame call-out of the HBO show True Blood, i started thinking about the show and its depiction of women. for those that know me, it’s of little surprise that i like the show. i have always been a big fan of vampires; my common handle around the internet is “lady lamia” which is vampire related (it’s my permanent facebook url, rather than my name!) and my first tattoo was the name “lamia” with a tiny drop of blood coming from it. yes, for as long as i can remember i have been a big fan of vampires, and the supernatural in general.
i’m a huge buffy the vampire slayer fan. i watch the vampire diaries on the WB not because it’s that good but because as a kid LJ Smith was one of my favorite writers; the show is based on her vampires diaries trilogy. actually, “lamia” is because of LJ Smith as well. what i always liked about LJ’s books (i still own each and every one of them) was that her female characters were strong, complicated and real. they were teenage girls that a teenage girl could truly identify with. long before the edward/jacob bullshit, she had a female protagonist that never betrayed her boyfriend for the sexy supernatural dude that kidnapped her and all her friends because he had to have her. at the age of twelve, i was thinking “ditch the nice boyfriend and live with the sexy demon that kidnapped and stalked you!” but i understand at the age of thirty why it’s so important that the character never did. LJ’s young women were strong and smart; they fought their own fights and they usually saved the guys.
when i watched True Blood for the first time, i understood what all the buzz was about. the show, it seemed to me, was a brilliant analogy for being gay in America. vampires had “come out of the coffin”, they were trying to pass the vampire rights amendment, and they couldn’t marry. how fresh and great was this?! then on my vacation road trip two weeks ago, i began listening to the books on mp3. aside from hating charlain harris’ horrible writing: “Eric laid eggs in the car.” really? i realized that i really did not like the character Sookie. she seemed strong watching True Blood, but in the books Sookie is just a simple country girl who wants simple things. she loves romance novels, she wasn’t very good in school (but that was because of the telepathy…), and she really likes the attention of all these supernatural men. she’s pathetically wooed by the smallest gestures, she’s in love with bill who in the books is clearly not a nice guy - or vampire - and she can barely resist the attentions of eric who in the books is even more blatantly sexual and disrespectful in his pursuit of her.
after listening to the first four books in the series, i was pretty sure that True Blood was much, much better than the books. perhaps it is, writing-wise, but when it comes to the portrayal of female characters it is still sadly and pretty obviously misogynistic if you pay any attention at all to it. here’s my breakdown of the True Blood characters, given a little thought.
- Sookie - the protagonist. she’d probably prefer to be called “heroine”. Sookie is devoted to the men in her life, most notably her boyfriend bill, the vampire and her brother jason who is a womanizer. True Blood sookie is much stronger than the sookie of the books, but she is still lifeless without bill and the other vampires. sookie has no hobbies, she is a barmaid who didn’t date until she met bill, because she can read her date’s minds if they are human. she was a virgin before bill. in the books, sookie likes to read and that is her escape, but the show doesn’t reference this at all. sookie worries about how bill would like her to dress for his vampire friends, puts herself in situations she considers to be dangerous and that she doesn’t want to be in for bill and his friends, and book sookie is brutally raped by boyfriend bill not once but twice in four books. the show glossed over the first rape scene, we will see if season 3 is going to reference/show the second one.
- Tara - a major player in the show, book tara is not much of a character. (truthfully, none of the characters in the book are very developed.) True Blood Tara is a stereotypical angry black woman who can’t hold down a job because she can’t keep her sassy mouth shut. in the show, tara’s tough facade is just hiding the fact that she is a scared, lonely woman who really just wants love. she pays to have a fake exorcism with money that she borrows from her boss, sam, whom she later beds. she then falls under the spell of a supernatural creature who forces her and everyone else in the town to have sex as part of a pagan ritual. when her “boyfriend” eggs realizes he has done things he can’t live with and dies, she tries to kill herself because eggs was the only bright spot in her otherwise sad, depressing life. where we are at now in the show, tara has sex with a vampire, even though she does not like vampires, and then is “glamored” aka controlled by him.
apparently, human women are just going to be controlled by men but
that’s ok because those men are vampires.
- Pam - well, at first glance it seems like pam is going to be the one female, albeit vampire, character who actually has some strength and personality outside of men. she’s a lesbian afterall. however, pam is subservient to eric, but that’s ok because he’s her “maker” and when someone is made vampire by another they have to do that vampire’s bidding.
- Jessica - jessica is a hot mess who is just getting messier. an innocent girl made vampire by bill, without his guidance she’s pushing away the man that loves her and killing humans by accident.
- Lorena - the bitch “maker” of bill. it seems at first that in an odd way she is feminist, she kills men that would rape her back in the civil war era, she makes bill a vampire because he was the first man that respected her. lorena is a blood thirsty vampire who cares nothing for human life and the little spark of humanity left in bill eventually forces him to spurn her. why didn’t the just call her jezebel? overkill? read NOW’s hall of shame entry for a bit more on lorena if you aren’t familiar.
- Arlene - the only other major multi-season female is sookie’s coworker arlene, a mother who has been married several times, most recently to a serial killer who murdered sookie’s grandmother, tried to murder sookie, and tried to frame sookie’s brother jason for those murders.
sure, we have encountered some other female characters on true blood. there was gran, sookie’s grandmother and probably the only redeeming female character of the bunch, but she was murdered in season one. there was the mythical supernatural creature that thrived on chaos and forced humans to have sex as part of a pagan ritual in her single-minded madness to summon her male god. there was the shape-shifter who served the maynad (s/p?) who seduced sam as part of a plot, she was rather bland and uninteresting besides the seduction and shape-shifting. jason’s vampire blood addicted, hippie, homicidal girlfriend was around for a while, forcing him to kidnap and hold a vampire captive against his conscience. there were the women that were murdered in season one because they had sex with vampires, most notably the one that videotaped herself having sex with a vampire and then pretending to die during (recorded) s&m sex with jason. there’s mrs. fortenberry who is a stereotypical old southern busy-body, who smothers her adult son and is prejudiced against vampires.
i may be forgetting a character or two, but i doubt they’re going to have much redeeming quality at all. yes, when we look closely at True Blood, it’s hard to find the same fun escapism there after really paying attention to what we are seeing. True Blood is a boys club; the boys may not be that great, but they are calling the shots and the women either find their personality through them or have no personality at all.
Let’s break it down:
A prominent female has said she does not support the 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote, and that if it were being considered today she would vote against it.
HOW WOULD SHE DO THAT, PRAY TELL?!?