Tag Archives: rape culture

The Soapbox: Some Good News (Really) About Rape Jokes

Ew.

As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to say RIP Society: French “YouTube comedian” (I know) Remi Baillard recently released a video called “Free Sex,” in which he’s filmed pretending to fuck unsuspecting women in public. Invariably, the women notice Baillard air-humping them and give him dirty looks. And this dumb shit actually has over five and a half million views.

Yes, that’s right. A sketch form of a rape joke — which I can only assume was inspired by “Austin Powers 3,” circa 2002?  — got almost six million hits. I was one of those hits and not only did I not laugh, but I was transported back to 7th grade. You remember 7th grade? It’s a time when the 12-year-old boys were so tiresome and immature that merely walking in front of a group of them would make my eyes roll back into the base of my cerebellum. Keep reading »

DJ Banned After Playing “Blurred Lines” At A North Carolina Bar

Defending "Blurred Lines"
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke
Is the song "rapey"? Read More »
"Blurred" Is Feminist
Robin Thicke Says "Blurred Lines" Is A "Feminist Movement"
... says Robin Thicke, who seems kind of dumb. Read More »
"Blurred Lines" Parody
blurred lines bob filner parody
News station parodies "Blurred Lines" asking Filner to resign. Read More »
blurred lines

A University of North Carolina student’s complaints about the Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines” successfully got a DJ banned from playing a Chapel Hill bar again. Here’s how it went down. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Speak Author Laurie Halse Anderson On RAINN, Rape Culture & Consent

laurie halse anderson

Every year, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, when many of us participate in Take Back The Night speak-outs and marches to raise awareness about sexual violence in our communities. This year, the beloved young adult novelist Laurie Halse Anderson has thrown her support behind a fundraiser for the Rape Abuse And Incest National Network (RAINN), one of the main resources in our country for survivors of sexual violence.

Anderson is the author of Speak, a YA novel about 16-year-old Melinda Sordino, who is raped by a classmate at a house party the summer before 9th grade. Melinda calls 911, and the police break up the party, but she runs before she can tell anyone about the assault. When school begins, Melinda is shunned by her former friends for getting kids in trouble. Eventually, she stops talking almost entirely, grows isolated from her parents and tanks her schoolwork.

But Melinda is also mentored by a fellow outcast, an art teacher. She is able to name what happened to her and find her voice again. Published in 1999 and sadly still relevant in post-Steubenville, Speak explores the post-traumatic stress disorder that survivors suffer after an assault, but also the social ostracization of victims of sexual violence instead of perpetrators.

Throughout April, donations for RAINN will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Speak‘s publisher, Macmillan, in honor of the book’s 15th birthday. I called Laurie Halse Anderson this week and we spoke about the success of her best-selling book, teaching consent to teens, and recent controversial statements made by the president of RAINN about how “rape culture” doesn’t exist. Our conversation begins, after the jump!

Keep reading »

Brad Pitt To Produce Movie About Steubenville & Hacktivist Group Anonymous

brad pitt anonymous
  • Brad Pitt and his producing team have bought the rights to the Rolling Stone article, “Anonymous Vs. Steubenville,” about the online hacktivist group who brought nationwide attention to the sexual assault of a teen girl by members of the Steubenville High School football team. The article focuses on Deric Locstutter, one of the hacktivists within Anonymous, and how he faced jail time for exposing the coverup of the assault, rather than the issues directly pertinent to rape culture. I’m happy to hear the story won’t disappear into history, but I’ll hold off judgment until I see how it’s handled. [Daily Dot]
  • Administrators of a Catholic hospital in Oklahoma have directed all doctors to stop prescribing contraceptives for birth control. I guess everyone needs to lie about having bad cramps now, huh? [The Nation] Keep reading »

Harvard Student Pens Open Letter About The School’s Non-Reaction To Her 2013 Sexual Assault

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  • A Harvard student penned a heartbreaking open letter in the Harvard Crimson newspaper addressed to university administrators about the sexual assault she suffered nine months ago by one of her friends, who continues to live in the same dorm as her. The Harvard administration has reportedly shrugged this student off, claiming it didn’t technically fall under the narrow and outdated sexual assault policy written in the university handbooks. “Dear Harvard: I am writing to let you know that I give up,” the student writes, continuing:

    I will be moving out of my House next semester, if only—quite literally—to save my life. You will no longer receive emails from me, asking for something to be done, pleading for someone to hear me, explaining how my grades are melting and how I have developed a mental illness as a result of your inaction. My assailant will remain unpunished, and life on this campus will continue its course as if nothing had happened. Today, Harvard, I am writing to let you know that you have won.

    Gee, where have we heard this story before? [Harvard Crimson]

Keep reading »

Pay Attention: #RapeCultureIsWhen…

Earlier today, Zerlina Maxwell, a feminist writer and political analyst, was inspired to start the Twitter hashtag #RapeCultureIsWhen in response to both TIME magazine and RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) claiming that feminists have overhyped the existence and impact of rape culture.

Last week, RAINN made their recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and for some reason decided to make a point of deemphasizing the impact of rape culture, writing:

In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campus. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important not to lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime.

Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Replacing Sexism With Racism Is Not a Proper Hollaback

street harassment

This post is reprinted from The Huffington Post with the permission of its authors.

What’s the biggest myth about street harassment? That men of color comprise the majority of offenders.

It’s a myth as old as this nation: the idea that Black men are more likely to be sexual predators — especially of white women. Consider D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth Of A Nation,” that builds an entire narrative on the idea of the black brute. From the Scottsboro boys to Emmitt Till, history as well as popular culture, the justice system and virtually all other facets of American society still hold the deeply entrenched notion of Black men as people to be feared.

But the myth doesn’t stop with history. In a recent New York Times article, a White woman living in a mostly Caribbean community (Crown Heights, Brooklyn) gets physically assaulted by a Latino man and wonders if it’s her fault, as if moving into a mostly Caribbean community was the city-dwellers equivalent to “asking for it.” A few years ago, a woman, also writing for The New York Times, reported on her experience doing aid work in the Congo and hearing repeatedly from other European aid workers that sexual harassment, violence, and rape in those areas “is cultural,” instead of, as she duly notes, “a tool of war.” The myth that Black and Latino men are innately sexually aggressive is one that extends beyond our national borders. Keep reading »

Senate Blocks Bid To Change Military’s Change Of Command On Prosecuting Sexual Assault

todays lady news
  • The Senate successfully blocked a spearheaded by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) bill that would change the military’s judicial system by taking sexual assault cases outside of the chain of command and handing it over to military lawyers. Gillibrand was unable to get enough votes to overcome a filibuster of the bill. [The Hill, USA Today]
  • Virginia repealed its ban on oral and anal sex today. [Nerve]
  • If the Girl Scouts are too slutty for you, conservatives have a less promiscuous alternative. [Jezebel] Keep reading »

This Study Hightlights What We Already Knew: Assault Is Never The Victim’s Fault

"Nice Guys" Who Rape
Intent isn't everything, but it does matter. Read More »
Disclosing My Rape
She's started telling guys on the first date that she was once raped. Read More »
Teach Boys Not To Rape
On Steubenville High School and teaching boys not to rape. Read More »

A new study has found that in situations of sexual aggression at bars, most attackers are very clear on the fact that their victims are not consenting. The results made obvious what so many already know: despite claims of misperception, in most cases it is very clear that the attacker’s advances are unwanted by victims. Many attackers purposely seek out women who seem vulnerable or unable to consent, and “she acted like she wanted it” is never, ever an excuse. Keep reading »

Georgia Judge Orders New Trial Because Woman With Down Syndrome “Didn’t Behave Like A Victim”

todays lady news
  • Fayette County, Georgia, judge Christiopher McFadden overturned a jury’s guilty verdict against a man who raped a woman with Down syndrome because she allegedly didn’t behave like a victim. In his ruling, McFadden said the woman — who doctors confirmed had been forcibly raped and who had the perpetrator’s semen in her bed — hadn’t behaved like a victim and the perpetrator had not behaved like someone who had committed “a series of violent crimes.” The perpetrator had been sentenced to 25 years for raping the woman. W.T.F. (*** Thanks to reader Tina for the links!) [Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Citizen News, ABA Journal]
  • On how Lifetime’s reality show “Preachers’ Daughters” shows that everything is wrong with purity culture. [Feministing] Keep reading »
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