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Posts Tagged ‘rape’

hey ppl!!!!!!!!!!! it’s may!! may is upon us! and the last post was in feb. woah.

looka this: slutwalk

in other news, i used to be this awesome person. WHAT HAPPENED??!??! i have a super corporate jobbbbbb wowowow. and i feel like i can’t even call myself a feminist because i don’t think about feminism. or anything. i, like, struggle to have thoughts about anything. yesterday went to a used sorta radical-benty bookstore w/ bejai and realized there was not a single topic in which i was interested. yikes…

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–we are women” : an article by amanda kijera.

The United Nations, western women’s organizations and the Haitian government must immediately provide women in Haiti with the funding that they need to build domestic violence and rape crisis centers. Stop dividing Black families by distributing solely to women, which only exaggerates male resentment and frustration in Haiti. Provide both women and men with job training programs that would allow for self-sufficiency as opposed to continued dependency on whites. Lastly, admit that the issue of racial integration might still need addressing on an international level, and then find a way to address it!

so i have a special research interest in haiti, in case y’all didn’t already know. i found this article to be really engaging, stupendously interesting. i feel so confused by this! i feel confused by one of the responses to the above:

How is it possible, after being the victim of a brutal rape, to absolve the perpetrator of guilt and point the finger at men of another color who are nowhere near one’s body? This projection is absolutely stunning and self-defeating.

The man who committed this crime committed it for his reason and his alone. Without holding him to account, what hope of change is there? If a person cannot own his behavior, he cannot change it.

This sort of rationalization would absolve white slave owners, by the way. They were simply victims of cultural thinking at the time. And the patriarchy? A remnant of twisted religious extremism.

No one would be responsible for any action at any time, anywhere. There is, after all, a context for every crime.

At the root of this absolution is a desire to push personal responsibility on the collective. Unfortunately, the collective was not in that room that night. One man raped one woman.

oh dear. what now? what is this now. why am i so confused? can anyone please tell me what is going on, and who should do what, and why? and how this fits into all of it?

Melissa’s words are so incredibly powerful, and I can’t make that point any better than she can. This is not about the “global hierarchy”. Every person has control over their actions. Amanda’s rapist is no different. Her response is astounding to most – how could she possibly blame the status of the black man in the world society for this? How was the man that beat her and abused her not at fault? We’re right to question that.

oh, i miss Bq, i want Bq to tell me how to think about this real bad!

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The tagline is "Every rose has its thorns." eheh heh heh?

So I just watched the movie Teeth. This is one rich film for a feminist. I highly recommend watching it. If you want to watch it before I give away the plot, I know you can find it for free at Surfthechannel… or you could, like, pay to watch it. Not like I did, but I’m all for that. SO now, DON’T READ FURTHER.

Okay, spoilers commence here. And, another warning: I’m gonna be talking about rape and sexual assault so, TRIGGER WARNING. This is how I saw the movie.

Teeth is the story of girl in high school who is a teenage advocate for The Promise Ring and boils in her repressed sexuality. She meets a guy at one of her speeches about the values of abstinence and immediately they hit it off–they have that special something. This girl lives at home with her mom, dad, and step-brother (?) who is basically the most misogynistic, horrible, sexual-assault-y dude ever. Her parents seem to be, like, the sweetest people everrr. So, after a particularly disgusting encounter with her brother which ends with him saying something like “you know who you’ve been saving yourself for, all this abstinence bullshit… you want me” the girl storms out of her house and decides that she’s gonna risk her “purity” and go out to the swimming hole with cute guy she met at the abstinence meeting. They dive into the water and (arguably) it’s adorable and romantic and I couldn’t help but want them to get some cause hey, they’re both just so darn conflicted and repressed. They kiss and feel guilty… kiss and feel guilty… then the girl swims further down the swimming hole into the cave where it’s rumored that kids “…you know” (subtext: have the sex). She climbs up onto a ledge in the cave where someone had already laid down a sleeping bag. Oh dear. Boy swims after her but she tells him not to come up there. He says “I’m freezing” in the water and climbs up anyway. They sit together and it’s still cute cause they don’t want to make moves but they can’t seem to help themselves and they get to kissing and touching and mounting. Then the girl stops them and says, “let’s go back down.” The guy says okay. BUT SUDDENLY. He mounts her again and starts pulling off his underwear saying things like “let me just try this” and then shouting at her, “I haven’t jerked off since Easter!” and she repeatedly says “NO! I’m SAYING NO!” It is horrifying transition from cutesy first love to a full-on THIS IS RAPE scene. After about a minute of wrestling and violence, the boy ultimately penetrates her. Then we hear a slicing kind of noise. The boy screams and, with difficulty, pulls himself free, gushing blood. A large portion of his penis drops to the rocky ground. He continues crying/screaming and jumps back into the water. This girl has teeth in her vagina (“vagina dentata”) that are apparently activated by non-consensual penetration.

So if that gives you an idea of what the movie is like… I’m gonna skip around through the rest of the things that I found interesting/disturbing/questionable about the movie.

Every male character besides the rather sweet papa turns out to just want to rape our protagonist. After the incident at the water hole, the girl goes to the gynecologist, who, after examining her, gives a furtive glance and seemingly decides that, since she’s never been to the gyno before, she won’t mind if he lubes up his hand and starts fisting her. She is severely uncomfortable, says so, and after a few thrusts, we hear the slicing noise. The gyno shrieks, four fingers fall to the floor, and as the girl escapes the room, the gyno starts screaming “VAGINA DENTATA! VAGINA DENTATA!” After this, the girl approaches another “nice guy” from school who proceeds to drug her and coerce into having sex, but she’s too drugged to feel threatened (thus, no castration this time). She has sex with him and they both smile and they both orgasm and it almost seems nice if it wasn’t that HE RAPED HER. She wakes up the next morning, has more sex with him, but, mid-thrusting, this guy answers his phone and he says “Hey. Yeah, doing it riiiight now. She’s right here.” He looks at her and says, “Say something.” She is disgusted, says, “no.” and asks him what’s going on. He tells her he made a bet with his friends over whether he could fuck her. After a few more words exchanged, he shrieks and, once again, a penis is severed. There is one more instance of this. Then an implied one in the end of the film. I will say that, from my point of view (and as far as I could see on other reviews of the movie), every person dismembered by the vagina dentata seemed to really “deserve” what they got–the penetrators were rendered utterly detestable.

I wonder about the “female empowerment” of the vagina dentata concept, when obviously any woman put in those situations in our world does not have this power over the penetrator. However, is the fear and discomfort that this film provokes in (reportedly) many penetrators an empowerment in some way? That maybe more people will think twice before they just compulsively penetrate?

I wonder about the genre of this movie and how it excuses certain plot points. For example, as a horror movie, I could say something like, “well, in most horror movies, women are disgustingly shallow characters and are nearly always humiliated in a graphically sexual/violent way, so it’s cool that this one is turning the tables.” And thus I justify the feminist goal of this movie. BUT this is a movie about the oft-ignored topic of rape, and the even more ignored topic of female defense against rape. Are women, as targets of the rapes portrayed, supposed to take heart in that there’s one story about a girl who has the magical power to exact justice on her rapist? What is valuable about this story to feminists and/or rape victims? Is this movie really made for these people? Or is this another kind of band-aid movie… a movie that makes everyone feel good about rape because, in this case, justice was served? I’m torn. I hated the rape scenes, but I learned, through the movie, to start feeling okay about them because I knew those fuckers were about to get their dicks handed to them.

I’m starting to hate feel-good movies.

There is also the sort of subplot about abstinence education. This is perhaps the most intellectually stimulating part of the movie. Our protagonist goes to a school where the sex-ed teacher cannot even bear to say the word “vagina” and the school textbooks have huge stickers pasted over the anatomical drawings of vaginas. It is made very clear that this is a misogynist community. What is the value of having a rather campy horror movie with pretty clear implications that abstinence-only sex education is, at best, painfully ironic? Afterall, the protagonist starts out as a fairly confident spokesperson for The Promise Ring.

So, after this long-ass post, do y’all have any thoughts?

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this is hardly a news flash but jaxiefriend shared it with me and i wanted to refresh our collective memory…

Lisak started with a simple observation. Most of what we know about men who commit rape comes from studying the ones who are in prison. But most rapes are never reported or prosecuted. So Lisak, at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, set out to find and interview men he calls “undetected rapists.” Those are men who’ve committed sexual assault, but have never been charged or convicted.

He found them by, over a 20-year period, asking some 2,000 men in college questions like this: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they did not want to, because they were too intoxicated [on alcohol or drugs] to resist your sexual advances?”

Or: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with an adult when they didn’t want to because you used physical force [twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.] if they didn’t cooperate?”

About 1 in 16 men answered “yes” to these or similar questions.

not that i want weapons to be involved but this makes me sickkk. i will speak for myself and only myself here when i say that debilitating your opponent to the point of unconsciousness nauseates me in a very specific way that makes this tactic as unforgivable (to me) as violence.

“The basic weapon is alcohol,” the psychologist says. “If you can get a victim intoxicated to the point where she’s coming in and out of consciousness, or she’s unconscious — and that is a very, very common scenario — then why would you need a weapon? Why would you need a knife or a gun?”

now this is the tricky icky part. im all up for forcing accountability where its due (am i? tbd). but i think perhaps wholesale incarceration (a word/concept that bears more than a passing resemblance to the word/concept “castration) (it makes me feel so weird that i just noticed that) (because what im NOT trying to do is equate worth/freedom with masculinity/manliness/testes)…where were we. oh yes. perhaps wholesale incarceration of sex offenders is not the right answer? in fact, it definitely isnt. though anecdotally everyone ive talked to about rape supports this punitive tactic. DISCUSS.

But Lisak, the psychologist, says schools put too much faith in teachable moments, when they ought to treat sexual assault as a criminal matter. “These are clearly not individuals who are simply in need of a little extra education about proper communication with the opposite sex,” he says. “These are predators.”

i hope that they are changing names for privacy…this below is so typical it almost makes me yawn. almost.

At Texas A&M, Elton Yarbrough was a promising student. Then he was linked to five rapes.

The first woman went to the student health center. She says that as staffers did a rape examination, one asked, “Well, were you drunk?” The woman felt she was being blamed.

what to do?!?! i think an important strategy to combat rape in a rape-culture is of rhetorical variety. say “he raped her” not “she was raped.” etc. or should we?!?! i know that passive grammar absolves rapist of rape-guilt but does it psychologically protect rape-ee in some way? DISCUSS.

another thing: should i have tagged “men” in this post? i did. DISCUSS.

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another post about rape–a really great, analytical post by a prolific blogger on wordpress. thanks to jlu for sharing!

The way men and women interact on a daily basis is the way they interact when rape occurs. The social dynamics we see at play between men and women are the same social dynamics that cause men to feel rape is okay, and women to feel they have no right to object. And if you accept those social interactions as normal and appropriate in your day to day life, there is absolutely no reason you should be shocked that rape occurs without screaming, without fighting, without bruising, without provocation, and without prosecution. Behavior exists on a continuum. Rape doesn’t inhabit its own little corner of the world, where everything is suddenly all different now. The behavior you accept today is the behavior that becomes rape tomorrow. And you very well might accept it then, too.

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Classic victim-blaming

Did you get raped? It must have been your fault!

Petition to get the above columnist to take back this stupid shit and amend it.

Article explaining how Amy Dickinson is quite the dickinson.

upset, but not surprised. thanks to jaxie, friend and new visitor to our blog, for sharing.

question: what does it mean for a woman, rather than a man, to write this victim-blaming column?

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Sixteen Candles

A few nights ago I sat down with my whole family to watch a movie: Sixteen Candles directed by John Hughes (who also gave us Home Alone and the Breakfast Club)

I don’t know what it was about this PG rated “sweet and funny” (Roger Ebert) teen classic; maybe it was the fact that when it came time for “the geek” to rape the beautiful, passed out prom queen, nobody gave it a second thought.  That when the “jock but actually a really nice guy” character says “I can get a piece of ass anytime I want. Shit, I’ve got Caroline in the bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her ten different ways if I wanted to,” it’s taken as a sign of his great maturity and sweetness that he doesn’t in fact violate her “ten different ways”  …rather than a sign that he isn’t a rapist and a criminal. That aforementioned Carolina clearly deserves to be raped, after all, she’s a beautiful cheerleader, and it’s about time the tables turned!

I won’t even go into the racism; suffice to say there is a foreign exchange student from China named Long Duck Dong.

If this is a PG rated classic, the kind of movie we show to twelve year olds, the kind of movie a whole family watches together on thanksgiving, the kind of sweet nostalgic movie taken as the antithesis of the violent, misogynistic, torture porn and regular porn and all the other garbage my mom finds so offensive…and it’s blatantly endorsing sexual abuse.

Well, I guess I already knew we lived in a rape culture…

Thoughts?

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