Archive | March 2012

How many times do we have to tell you, VICTIMS AREN’T TO BLAME

I watch a lot of The Young Turks. I’m never sure if that’s a good thing or not. A few months ago they started a new channel called TYT University, which features stories and tips for students in university or high school students thinking about university. In general it’s a pretty good channel, but a week ago they posted up a 2-part series which made me quite upset.

TW for sexual assault/rape/misogyny for everything below:

They basically took chain mails I’ve been getting for years and posted them in video form. All of the shitty advice that tells women what to do not to get raped. I decided to post a  comment on the second video, and thankfully others had posted similar comments:

Or how about, start teaching men that women are humans and that rape is wrong? How about working to get the conviction rate for rape up to the point that they’ll start believing it? How about we get police officers to start taking sexual assault charges seriously? This would do more to prevent sexual assault than telling women what to do/not to do.

Someone commented and criticised me for not saying men get raped and women can be perpetrators of sexual assault. I completely understand that and I apologised and still do apologise for that, and in general speaking in binary language. Any person of any gender can rape and be raped.

But then they kept going with the red herring. False rape allegations.

…putting laws in place that get women who have clearly made false rape allegation sentenced for the same amount of years as their wouldbe victims would have been given or how about considering the fact that is take an exceptional fucked-up person to forceably have sexual intercourse with another person against their will,something which they’d probably do despite being educated to respect others.

This is a red herring, because false rape allegations are no higher than false allegations for other violent crimes, commonly estimated at about 2%. So 98% of allegations are truth, and those are only those who report. If women who didn’t report started reporting, I’m sure the percentage of ‘false rape’ would drop under 1%.

Whether or not some women do make false rape allegations, this distracts us from the reality that only 6% of rape charges are convicted. That’s disgustingly low. A very low percentage of people report rape for fear of not being taken seriously, or because they don’t think there is enough evidence against the rapist. Or sincerely being scared. For many reasons other than that. It’s such a complicated issue.

I take offense to the word ‘rape’ not being used by the commenter. Instead they use ‘forceably have sexual intercourse with another person against their will’. It’s as if either this person is scared to say rape, or they don’t fully understand the meaning of this. Furthermore this person does not understand that this isn’t a ‘mad or bad’ argument. Either the rapist is crazy or the rapist is a horrible horrible person. Now, of course, the rapist IS a horrible horrible person, but we also have to understand the culture in which they live, and they are victims of that culture. Not at all should we show any sympathy towards them, but an understanding of how rape culture skews the minds of everyone around it would lead us to the conclusion that, under other contexts, these people might not be the people they are.

Which is why ‘teaching people not to rape’ is so important. Rape culture needs to be dismantled.

* Just found out this person is an MRA, or figuring they are because they linked me to an MRA video. Loser. I thought I was engaging with someone who could be debated, but I’d rather not be called a ‘bimbotic bitch’ like they did to another woman who disagreed with them.

You like feminism, but you’re no feminist

There’s a person who I’m friends with in my sociology course who, at any chance, will write their assessments about feminism. They really like feminism; they seem semi-convinced too. But their feminism is lacking in substance.

I have an issue with people who take sociology as their degree but do not take it seriously. They hear the lessons, they do relatively well in the assessments, but they don’t believe it enough to apply it to their lives. I’ve heard ‘how can  you be gay?’ countless times from students. When I write and tweet about feminist issues I’m an exception to the rule that young people don’t care.

They don’t care. Not enough to change their attitudes about their bodies, about other people’s bodies. They still shame others for their sexualities. Still read Cosmopolitan like it’s a holy text. This isn’t feminism.

You talk about heteronormativity, rape, the beauty myth, but you don’t believe it. If you did, you would live it. You would stop shaming yourself. You would start trying to love yourself for who you are. You wouldn’t just be engaging with feminism in theory, you’d be engaging with feminism in daily life.

I don’t know why so many people waste their time and money doing sociology if they’re not ready to critically engage with it. They just want to be spoon-fed, and it makes the experiences of those who actually find it enjoyable, less enriching than it really can be.

I know this is a rant entry, and normally I do like to be more detached, and less about my own life (though I do post some experiences, but normally far after the fact).