Despite endless work by anti-sexual violence activists trying to change the narrative, the myth persists that rapists —at least so-called “date rapists” — are men who got a little out of control with lust one night and accidentally went too far. It doesn’t help that this is the story that we usually hear on those very rare occasions when rapists tell their side of the story, usually to escape social consequences or even jail.
But recently a self-identified rapist went on Reddit and, for whatever reason, told a story that social research shows is much closer to the truth: Rapists rape because they like to rape. They aren’t confused about consent, nor are they overcome by lust. The pleasure is from the act of overpowering a woman and making her submit against her will. Keep reading »
A recent segment on NPR about the rehabilitation of Chris Brown’s career is cause for alarm. No, not because we should care about Chris Brown’s career as a pop singer — but because his young (mostly female) fans, as fervent as ever, continue to support him not only as an artist but as a person.
After his brutal beating of his then girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, one would hope that young people would place responsibility for the violence squarely on Chris Brown. But that’s not the case. Brown’s young, female fans, who continue to support him, blamed Rihanna then and still blame her now for the violence he inflicted upon her. One young fan interviewed by NPR outside of one of Brown’s recent concerts said of the incident, “Obviously she played a part in getting beat, or whatever … However you want to put it.” Keep reading »
If you write for a living — especially opinion writing, and especially as a feminist — you set yourself up for criticism. You really have no control over how others respond to your work, other than choosing not to write it. By attaching your name to your views, you put yourself in the position to be agreed with, judged, lauded, mocked, quoted reverently, misinterpreted, called somebody others “must read”, called crazy or ugly or both. I’ve experienced all these things at some point in my career.
It sucks, though, when the worst of those experiences happen from within the feminist community. Keep reading »
I was a virgin until a month before my 21st birthday. I was on my second date with a guy named Craig, a 20-something blond surfer type who got my number after I made him a chai tea to go at the coffee shop in his neighborhood where I worked. I was lying on his bed and the Best of Willie Nelson was playing on his CD player. He had a tapestry hanging on the ceiling and there was a poster for the critically un-acclaimed jam band, The String Cheese Incident, on the wall. I felt him enter me and it hurt like hell, but I was flying high on the notion that I had finally conquered two fears — the fear of having sex and the fear that I never would. Afterwards, I was a little embarrassed by the spotting of blood on his sheets — should I offer to wash them? — but I still couldn’t contain my excitement. Keep reading »
Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board is under fire for a new PSA campaign called Control Tonight, which critics say puts the onus on women for “not getting raped” while drunk and is blaming the victim. The ad in question depicts a woman’s bare legs on what looks like a tiled bathroom floor with her panties pulled down to her ankles and the text reads:
02:19 a.m SHE DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT, BUT SHE COULDN’T SAY NO.
When your friends drink, they can end up making bad decisions. Like going home with someone they don’t know very well.
Decisions like that leave them vulnerable to dangers like date rape. Help your friends stay in control and stay safe. Keep reading »
A gift from me to you, A Handy-Dandy Guide On Things Not To Do If You’re A Cop — Or Anyone — Talking To Women About Sexual Assault When A Serial Rapist Is Afoot:
- Suggest that wearing a skirt, shorts, or dress is just asking for it.
- That’s it.
Unfortunately, the NYPD did not get that memo. Women in areas of Brooklyn — which has been ground zero for a serial rapist/groper throughout the spring, summer and fall — report that NYPD officers have stopped them on the street and offered unsolicited victim-blaming sartorial advice. One 25-year-old who identified herself as Lauren to the Wall Street Journalsaid she was stopped by a cop while wearing shorts. “He pointed at my outfit and said, ‘Don’t you think your shorts are a little short?’” Lauren told the WSJ. “He pointed at [other women's] dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin. He said that such clothing could make the suspect think he had ‘easy access.’”
Oh, for f**k’s sake.
Keep reading »
Peter Hitchens’ brother is writer Christopher Hitchens (who penned the book “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”), so it should come as no surprise that mouthy, attention-grabbing runs in the family. Peter Hitchens just wrote an opinion piece in London’s Daily Mail entitled “How The Left Censored The Blindingly Obvious Truth About Rape”. That “truth”, Hitchens says, is that, “women who get drunk are more likely to be raped than women who do not get drunk” and “a rape victim who was drunk deserves less sympathy.” Keep reading »