Occasionally, Twitter users take on a cause that isn’t just posting pictures of their cats or ruminating on the injustices of waiting in line at Shake Shack. Like today’s hashtag campaign, started by blogger and Twitter-er London Feminist. The #ididnotreport campaign (which definitely comes with a trigger warning for those who have suffered sexual assault or abuse), encourages women to share their stories of sexual assault and the reasons why they may or may not have reported their experiences. Keep reading »
“It was very painful. When I said it was like a rape, that was how it felt to me. I had experienced in my youth being raped, and so I identified with a real act that had been done to me. I didn’t use that word lightly. I had been raped as a child. It was a rape I never told about, so when I experienced this one, I felt the need to express it. … I never reported my real rape, so I felt the need to report this one.”
– Actress Kim Novak spurred a whole lot of eyerolling when she said that the music from her 1958 film “Vertigo,” being used in the Oscar-winning film “The Artist” was like a “rape.” Last month, Novak took out a page in the magazine Variety which read, “I want to report a rape. I feel as if my body – or, at least my body of work – has been violated by the movie, ‘The Artist.’” She was slammed by rape crisis groups who pointed out, uh, it’s not really the same thing. Keep reading »
Thank goodness female lawmakers in Indonesia have their male colleagues to look out for them. These silly women simply thought their outfits were a fashion statement, but little did they know that their “provocative” clothing invited rape. That’s why members of Indonesia’s parliament have drafted rules to ban female lawmakers from wearing miniskirts and other “skimpy clothes” items to work. Said the speaker of the Indonesia’s House of Representatives:
“We know there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently, and this is because women aren’t wearing appropriate clothes. Women wearing inappropriate clothes arouse men, so it needs to be stopped. You know what men are like — provocative clothing will make them do things.”
Thanks, guys! I know how hard it must be not to rape your female colleagues. Really, it’s a wonder women are allowed to work alongside you at all. [AFP]
Fox News contributer Liz Trotta would like to clear up a few things. First of all, when she spoke on the Pentagon’s decision to officially open up more combat positions to women and said women in the military should “expect” to be raped by their male comrades, she “certainly did not” mean all military men. Just most of them! Okay, okay, just some of them. Well, that part isn’t clear either. The point is, men have testosterone, “testosterone rules,” ipso facto, testosterone makes men rape-y. Whatcha gonna do?
But anyway, this discussion is all besides the point. The real focus of our ire here should not be on Liz Trotta, Liz Trotta says. It should be on feminists and The New York Times.
Oh, if only I were making this up. Keep reading »
Violent sexual assaults in the military have increased by 64 percent since 2006, according to a recent Pentagon report. Let me repeat that number: 64 percent.
But few days ago, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta made it clear she doesn’t consider this to be a valid problem. “Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact,” said Trotta, who also dismissed the Pentagon’s new support programs for sexual assault victims as a waste of money: “I thought the mission of the armed forces was to defend and protect us, not the people who are fighting the war.”
Ex-Marine Sarah Albertson is not having it. Albertson, who served as a Security, Governance, and Economics Analyst in the USMC from 2003 to 2008, wrote an open letter responding to Trotta’s inflammatory remarks and has created a Change.org petition calling for Fox News to fire her. Says Albertson: “Nowhere in my enlistment contract, not even in the fine print, did I agree to sexual assault as a part of the job.”
Click here to sign the petition, and read the full text of Albertson’s letter after the jump. Keep reading »
Earlier this week, Anna North, a writer at the women’s blog Jezebel, posted an article about a video uploaded to YouTube which appeared to show, in graphic detail, a woman being gang raped. Just writing that sentence made me shudder, as the thought of someone brutally raping a woman, filming it, and then putting it on the internet for public consumption is horrifying beyond words. The video — titled, in Arabic, “Original video of foreign journalist being raped in Benghazi” — was quickly taken down, but Jezebel rightly wondered who raped this woman, who uploaded the video to the internet, and “will she ever get justice?”
To illustrate their post, North (or someone else at Jezebel) posted four somewhat pixelated screengrabs from the video in which the victim’s identity is obscured, though you can see parts of her mostly naked body. Images of the three men assaulting her are also pixelated, but Jezebel included accompanying captions describing the assault, just incase it wasn’t already abundantly clear that the video depicts a rape in progress. It should go without saying that the crime committed against this woman is sickening and deplorable; but I am also disgusted by Jezebel’s approach to reporting this story — which I will not link to, for this very reason — which is nothing short of callous and exploitative pageview bait. Keep reading »
The issues of male rape and sexual abuse get plenty of sensationalistic air time on “Law & Order: SVU,” but not so much substantive awareness in our day-to-day lives. While it is true that reported sexual abuse of girls and women is far more prevalent than male abuse, I also assume acknowledging or discussing male sexual abuse brings up uncomfortable feelings amongst guys about masculinity and what it means to be a “strong man.” There’s even vicious stereotypes that dog gay guys — who are routinely denigrated as being “not manly enough” — that they must have been sexually abused as kids. In a way, that’s kind of all you need to know about what some (perhaps many) people think of male sexual abuse survivors.
So it makes sense then, from a messaging standpoint, that to reach male victims of sexual abuse, the UK group Survivors UK would address “masculinity” head-on. Their new campaign, which launches this week in time for a rugby tournament in London, features a rugby ball (speared by a nail, I think?) and the slogan: “Real men get raped: and talking about it takes real strength.” Keep reading »
Oh, the bounty that is What Old White Men Think You Should Be Allowed To Do With Your Uterus! This weekend, Republican presidential wannabe Ron Paul sat down with Piers Morgan and, in a departure from his usual “no abortion under any circumstances” position, said he would support abortion if the woman had been raped — but only if it was an honest rape.
Piers Morgan asked Ron Paul if his daughters or granddaughters were raped, if he could actually look them in the eye and tell them they had to carry the pregnancy to term. “If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen,” said Ron Paul, who is also a doctor.
“Honest rape“? Did he actually go there? Oh, yeah, he actually went there. Keep reading »
“Trying to ruin someone else’s life is a poor way to address one’s alcohol and self-control problems.”
This is true. But is this really the most intelligent — to say nothing of compassionate — thing for an advice columnist to say to someone whose friend was possibly date raped?
No, Dear Prudence at Slate.com, it was not.
Keep reading »