background preloader

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 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. The casual way in which we deal with rape may begin and end with television and movies where we are inundated with images of sexual and domestic violence. Related:  Culture du violA Room of Her Own...

Roxane Gay is Spelled With One "N" : What Empathy Is So you're tired of hearing about "rape culture"? - Cogent CommentCogent Comment The following includes descriptions, photos, and video that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence. Please be advised. Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.” Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.” Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward . Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.” Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and we later find out that t heir coaches were “joking about it” and “took care of it.” [Note: Initially, there was an image of two young men holding up an unconscious young girl by the arms and legs. Click to zoom. and this:

tim | Impostor Syndrome: Part 1 of 4 This is the first post in a 4-part series about impostor syndrome. I'll be posting one installment per day. "Compare the best of their days With the worst of your days You won't win..." -- Morrissey I can't remember exactly when I first encountered the term "impostor syndrome", but I know I was less than ten years old at the time, and I know where I read about it: a book called The Gifted Kid's Survival Guide. This essay is about my experiences with impostor syndrome. Ideally, I would like to change how historically male-dominated institutions -- specifically in this essay, computer science graduate programs -- try to integrate and welcome women as full participants. Beginnings I didn't go to elementary school, middle school, or high school. That same year -- 1995 -- I started taking classes at U/Mass Boston, and I got access to the Internet. This was, by the way, not that long after I had decided that math and science were tools of the Man and definitely not me. College To be continued!

Steubenville teens are found guilty but rape culture remains alive and well *Trigger warning* Yesterday, the verdict was handed down in the Steubenville rape case. The defendants, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, were found guilty. I feel great relief that I’m not writing about a “not guilt” verdict today. But it’s hard to hold on to that sense of relief–to realize that this ending was the best one possible in this particular case–when the problem is so much bigger. I don’t want to live in a world in which a mainstream media outlet reporting on the verdict barely mentions the victim in their rush to lament the fact that the “promising lives” of the defendants have been ruined and that this “will haunt them for the rest of their lives.” I don’t want to live in a world in which girls are so well-schooled in the consequences they’re sure to face for speaking up about a sexual assault that the victim immediately tried to assure people that she “wasn’t being a slut” and initially didn’t want to name the defendants ”because I knew everyone would just blame me.”

I Am Not Your Wife, Sister or Daughter. I Am A Person. I don’t have to tell you that Steubenville is all over the news. I don’t have to tell you that it’s a fucking joke that Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, the two teenagers convicted of raping a sixteen year old girl, were only sentenced to a combined three years in juvenile prison. Each will serve a year for the rape itself; Mays will serve an additional year for “illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.” I probably don’t even have to tell you that the media treatment of this trial has been a perfect, if utterly sickening, example of rape culture, with its focus on how difficult and painful this event has been for the rapists who raped a sixteen year old girl then bragged about it on social media. And I almost certainly don’t have to tell you that the world is full of seemingly nice, normal people who want to go to bat for the convicted rapists. I don’t have to tell you any of that because it’s all par for the course. You know what, though? Women are not possessions. Like this:

#280: “How do I get rid of my Facebook stalker without being mean about it?” The “H” in Jesus H. Christ stands for Hulk. QUIT FUCKING STALKING PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU. Aw fuck, people. Dear Captain Awkward, For a few months now, I have what would be defined as a “Facebook stalker” – he likes all of my pictures, all of my statuses, all of my photos, all of my comments on other people’s statuses… you get the idea, and it increases with each day. Not only is it infuriating, it’s also creeping me out – it’s reached the point where he likes or comments on something within seconds of my posting it. He’s not a particularly close friend, – in fact, I don’t really know him that well at all – but he’s someone I’ve spent time with in group outings, and all in all, he’s kind of fun to be around – however, in the viral world, he’s not so much fun. Cap’n, what do I do? xo Socially Confused Astronaut Dear Socially Confused: The guy is making you uncomfortable because he is badgering you and territorially pissing in all the corners of your life. *P.S. Like this:

Steubenville and the misplaced sympathy for Jane Doe's rapists | Megan Carpentier The victim in the Steubenville rape case, known in most (but not all) of the media coverage of the case as "Jane Doe", was taught by her rapists, her then-friends and much of her hometown that she doesn't matter. She didn't matter to the boys who made use of her unconscious body to satisfy their own sexual urges and desire for power; she didn't matter to her friends who sided with those boys; and she didn't matter to the football boosters in her hometown, who were unwilling to see their pride in the team tarnished by the actions of two of its players. She learned that a lot of people around her, including some in positions of power, thought that the futures of her rapists were more important than what they'd done to her and what she'd have to learn to live with. It wasn't enough that ABC aired a rosy profile of one of the now-convicted rapists before the trial, emphasizing his happy mood the night of the rape and his football career.

In Rape Tragedies, the Shame Is Ours Rehtaeh Parsons, Audrie Pott: these are victims of sexual violence who didn't survive. A board filled with messages for Audrie Pott, who committed suicide after a sexual assault, is displayed during a news conference Monday, April 15, 2013 in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) It’s been just over a month since two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio, were found guilty of raping an unconscious teenage girl. One of the young men, Trent Mays, was also found guilty of sending pictures of the assault to friends. Since then, the media have been gripped by two more incidents in which young women were gang-raped at parties and had pictures of their attacks distributed on social media. These young women, unlike the victim in Steubenville, did not survive. About the Author Jessica Valenti Jessica Valenti is the author of Why Have Kids? Also by the Author Contributor Jessica Valenti says farewell to The Nation. Audrie Pott was 15. The real shame, in all of this, is ours.

Related: