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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 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:

The New York Times' Rape-Friendly Reporting From today's New York Times: The police investigation began shortly after Thanksgiving, when an elementary school student alerted a teacher to a lurid cellphone video that included one of her classmates.The video led the police to an abandoned trailer, more evidence and, eventually, to a roundup over the last month of 18 young men and teenage boys on charges of participating in the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in the abandoned trailer home, the authorities said. This story from Cleveland, Texas, is beyond horrifying. Obviously. "Gang Rape of Schoolgirl, and Arrests, Shake Texas Town," the Times article covering the atrocities, is a collection of one perpetrator-excusing, victim-blaming insult after another. The case has rocked this East Texas community to its core and left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions. Hmm. This is the point at which, as the writer's editor, I would send him an email.

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!

The destructive culture of pretty pink princesses Girls the world over often go through a "princess phase," enthralled with anything pink and pretty — most especially the Disney princesses. When it happened to Peggy Orenstein's daughter Daisy, the contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine stepped back to examine the phenomenon. She found that the girlie-girl culture being marketed to little girls was less innocent than it might seem, and can have negative consequences for girls' psychological, social and physical development. Orenstein's exploration took her to Walt Disney World, the American Girl flagship store in New York City and a child beauty pageant. LiveScience: How did you get inspired to write the book? Orenstein: I'm a mother, and I think that when you're an adult, you don't really notice what's going on so much in the world of kids' culture. And so I started to go, 'What is this?' A lot of people were looking at issues of eating disorders or depression, or sexuality or culture, and issues in teenagers.

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:

Reporting on a Gang Rape in East Texas Twitter comments and a smart piece on Jezebel have been astutely criticizing this New York Times piece on the alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in the East Texas town of Cleveland. It’s a horrifying story. We’re told that a schoolgirl was raped by "18 young men and teenage boys" – 18 – in an abandoned trailer filled with "a filthy sofa … a broken stereo and some forlorn Christmas decorations." Can you feel your pulse quickening as you imagine an elementary school kid held down and raped repeatedly in this sordid place? Here’s what Cleveland residents quoted in the Times story did: They speculated about what the girl had done to bring it on herself. Libby Copeland is a writer in New York and a regular Slate contributor. Follow The paper quotes them at face value: Residents "said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. The kindest reading of what makes people blame the victims of rape is fear.

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