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The Careless Language Of Sexual Violence

The Careless Language Of Sexual Violence
There are crimes and then there are crimes and then there are atrocities. These are, I suppose, matters of scale. I read an article in the New York Times about an eleven-year old girl who was gang raped by eighteen men in Cleveland, Texas. The levels of horror to this story are many, from the victim’s age to what is known about what happened to her, to the number of attackers, to the public response in that town, to how it is being reported. There is video of the attack too, because this is the future. The unspeakable will be televised. The Times article was entitled, “Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town,” as if the victim in question was the town itself. The overall tone of the article was what a shame it all was, how so many lives were affected by this one terrible event. We live in a culture that is very permissive where rape is concerned. Every other movie aired on Lifetime or Lifetime Movie Network features some kind of violence against women. I am trying to connect my ideas here.

Related:  Culture du viol

Shifting Cultural Sensibilities and Valentine’s Pleas by Lisa Wade, PhD, Feb 13, 2013, at 11:30 am Originally posted in 2011. Re-posted in honor of the holiday. I recently posted a vintage cartoon featuring men showering. Today, in the context of “don’t drop the soap” jokes, it seems obviously homo-erotic (or -threatening). At the time, however, it likely didn’t because homosexuality didn’t hold such a central place in our collective imagination. What Did Ashley Judd Mean By “Rape Culture”? When Ashley Judd controversially wrote about “rape culture” in her recent memoir, it was not hyperbole. Judd’s argument is that sexism and male privilege are maintained through the incessant sexualization of girls and women. And this inequality is not just about psychological trauma, it is “the root cause of poverty and suffering around the world.” Connections between the supposedly private spheres of sex and intimacy and the public sphere of economic inequality are fundamental to feminist theory: the personal is political.

Every Street Should Be a Safe Space Whether it's getting catcalled or being told to smile, almost every woman deals with street harassment. But it took until this summer to stage the first-ever international conference on street harassment, which took place over the weekend of July 25th at New York University. Grassroots anti-street-harassment group Hollaback organized the event, welcoming community organizers, nonprofit members, and just plain angry folks to share histories and to air out grievances about everyday sexual harassment. It's clear that at the end of the event that street harassment is all about ownership of space. Writer Tanisha Love Ramirez, for example, lamented the social anxiety she's developed over the years, dealing with street harassment so often she became a recluse and stayed in the one space she knew she could control: "I didn't want to go to the store, I didn't want to go out and buy food… and I wouldn't even go out with my friends or my own little brother. It just got so bad."

How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape By Ian Millhiser on August 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm "How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape" Earlier today, Missouri U.S. Five problems with Dr. Phil’s tweet Trigger warning: discussion of sexual violence and rape apologism. Last night, Dr. Phil sent out a quickly deleted — but more quickly screen-grabbed — tweet about sexual violence and alcohol. “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused.” The Official Guide to Legitimate Rape For what it's worth, I do think "gray rape" is a valid concept. Consent is often a complicated issue and miscommunications, particularly between young people, do occur. And, yes, nobody should ever be engaging in any type of sex where the consent is not 100% clear to them, but it does happen that well-meaning people do stupid things that shouldn't legally be considered rape.

From the Mouths of Rapists: The Lyrics of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines Trigger warning: Graphic descriptions of sexual assault. Note: The opinions expressed in this post belong to Sezin Koehler alone and should not be attributed to anyone involved with Project Unbreakable. Robin Thicke’s summer hit Blurred Lines addresses what he considers to be sounds like a grey area between consensual sex and assault. The images in this post place the song into a real-life context. They are from Project Unbreakable, an online photo essay exhibit, and feature images of women and men holding signs with sentences that their rapist said before, during, or after their assault. Let’s begin.

CHVRCHES on the Internet: Stop the Misogyny CHVRCHES' singer is stricking back against the glut of sexist messages the Glaswegian band regularly receives via social networking and online comment threads. Lauren Mayberry, who holds a Masters in journalism, has written an editorial for The Guardian in which she calls out the atrocious behavior she's witnessed on the Internet since the group launched in October 2011. "I am in a band that was born on the internet," she begins, explaining that she and her bandmates Iain Cook and Martin Doherty field their fan interactions personally because "the blogosphere and social networks have arguably been the key reasons anyone knows about us at all." But the good comes with a whole heaping lot of bad, she reveals. "Last week, I posted a screengrab of one of the many inappropriate messages sent to the band's social networks every day," Mayberry writes, referencing a solicitous message she shared on Facebook.