Original Essay: The Not Rape Epidemic *Trigger Warning* Latoya’s Note: So, as promised, here’s the original version of the essay that appears in Yes Means Yes. If you see this popping up in your reader, I do not recommend you read it at work. Rape is only four letters, one small syllable, and yet it is one of the hardest words to coax from your lips when you need it most. Entering our teenage years in the sex saturated ’90s, my friends and I knew tons about rape. Yes, we learned a lot about rape. What we were not prepared for was everything else. Not rape was all those other little things that we experienced everyday and struggled to learn how to deal with those situations. When I was twelve, my best friend at the time had met a guy and lied to him about her age. Another friend of mine friend shocked me one day after a guy (man really) walked past us and she broke down into a sobbing heap where we stood. Later, I found out that she was at school when she met her future abuser/baby daddy. “I can do whatever I want to you.”
Lady Robots: The Shape of Things to Come On So, here's another story for you. It's grimmer than the last one, but we tell it almost as often. It goes like this: She's perfect. She's perfect because we made her perfect; because everything about her is entirely within our control. She's your long-lost love, your new and improved wife; she's the girl you never got over, or the girl you could never have. The fear of robots is the fear of the twentieth century. For one thing, we have to include them because people will seriously not stop making sexy robot girls. “She can’t vacuum, she can’t cook but she can do almost anything else if you know what I mean,” said Douglas Hines of Roxxxy. The fembot, and the weird but unignorable demand for it, so precisely encapsulates the worst fears of women that it's maybe inevitable that women are finding ways to rewrite and inhabit her. Let's start with one of the first robot girls on film: The central character in Fritz Lang's Metropolis. But the hot robot villain keeps coming back.
Come for the Pizza, Stay for the Deconstruction of Masculinity One Thursday last month, during the lunch hour at H.D. Woodson Senior High School, half a dozen teenage boys have gathered to eat pizza and talk about hollering at women. “From where I come from, you holler at a girl,” one student tells the group. “A girl can’t be too upset when a guy is paying attention to her.” “It depends on the type of girl and whether she has respect for herself,” another says. “Some girls will say, stop. “But what if it’s hot out?” “What if all her other shorts are dirty? Getting teenage boys to engage in gender theory can require a soft approach. Griffin facilitates two MOST club meetings a day at nine different DCPS schools. Thus Griffin has become accustomed to addressing thorny concepts in abbreviated time frames. Griffin doesn’t just stroll into D.C. public schools with a pizza and start engaging boys on topics like rape. In order to illustrate what that means, Griffin performs an exercise he calls “The Real Man.” Photo via Darrow Montgomery
being a mother isnt always a choice, not yet. i was pro choice before i became pregnant, but it was being pregnant for ten months that made me proclaim, loudly, to anyone who would listen: i am so pro-abortion because no one, and i mean no one, should have to be pregnant if they dont want to! anyone who thinks that adoption is an alternative to an abortion is nuts, it totally ignores that you have to be fucking pregnant for a fucking year first. in the eastern congo, rape is used as a primary weapon of war. and women are kidnapped and raped for months until they become pregnant, then they are set free in the mountainous jungle. abortion is illegal in this country. and i talked with methodist christian ladies who were working day and night to be able to provide the morning after pill for every woman they can in their region. the work they do is but a drop in the bucket. they never have enough supplies. i saw the lilith plan in a vision one night as i was meditating. and am slowly working to make it a reality.
When Does Life Begin Another anti-abortion law is about to go into effect in Missouri. Once again, a state legislature thinks it can settle a question that no philosopher, lawyer scientist or other expert has ever been able to figure out. “The life of each human being begins at conception,” according to Senate Bill 793, which will add new regulations to the state’s 24-hour informed consent law for abortions. “Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.” Those words will be displayed “prominently” on brochures that abortion providers will be required to hand out to every woman seeking the procedure, reports StLouisToday.com The site adds that providers will need to display that information even if they don’t agree with the “Christian position.” No other human being is required to risk their life for another. In large part, legislators and priests, in fact most of us, never think about what we consider “natural” or “normal” in terms of women and gestation.
And Now, I Scream Because That's What Girls Do I’m afraid today’s gonna be a rant. It all started because of a blog post I read yesterday, about stereo-typing gender in novels. And then got sort of nudged on its way by a book I was reading last night. And then my annoyance and rant was finally solidified this morning when I was hunting for Legos for my daughter’s birthday. I’ll spare you the agony of my thought processes and instead sum up the thesis that all three of these things were putting forth: men and women are inherently different. Different enough to want drastically different things out of life. As an author, I write people who are not like me all the time. But I have to tell you, I don’t think that merely crossing the gender divide is enough to make me trade my writer pogo stick for a jet plane. Bu they’re in reviews, in product placement, everywhere. The thing is this: yes, there are some physiological differences between men and women. And the thing is, so many teens I know don’t question these attitudes.
Ask Moxie: A Letter To My Sons About Stopping Rape Dear Boys, Some really horrible things happened to someone who could be one of your friends, and it was done by some people who could be your friends. You're 11 and almost-8 now, so the incident that made me write this letter isn't something you've heard about, but this stuff keeps happening, unfortunately. So I need to talk to you about it. First of all, I know we talk all the time about how special your bodies are, and how you’re the only one who gets to decide what to do with your body. And we talk all the time about making sure that if you’re touching someone else that they want you to be touching them. Now I’m going to talk about sex. This is what I want you to wait for. If you’re ever in a situation in which someone is asking you for it and you don’t want to have sex with that person, don’t do it. This letter is almost over but this next part is super-important: Not everyone you know has been taught all the stuff we’ve talked about. Here’s how you should step in: 1. 2. 3. 4. Love,
This is a Post About Literary Rape I’ve been a reading machine in the past eighteen days. In fact, I’ve read five novels, across five different genres. One was young adult literary, one was young adult genre, one was an adult literary, and two were adult contemporary fantasies.* All five featured the main female character getting raped. By the time I got to book number five, I was so weary, so emotionally drained, so angry. I galloped over to Facebook and told the world how angry I was. What I want is for there to be less gratuitous literary rape. I’m not talking about books like Speak. And that starts to feel a lot less like realism and more like a malingering culture of women as victims. Yes. Now, on Facebook and Twitter, people said “but then you’d complain about rape and violence against women being under-represented in fiction.” I want to know why this is an easy fall-back, rape. Is it? So what I’m saying is: yes, write about rape. World, we need to talk. *No, I’m not going to tell you what they were. **Oh, wow.
Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds A friend of mine is a physician who wants to speak about transvaginal ultrasounds but whose position makes it precarious to speak publicly about it. So I’m letting this doctor borrow my site for an entry to speak anonymously on the matter. Obviously, I will vouch for the doctor being a doctor and being qualified to speak on the subject. Update, 9:14pm: This post is being linked to far and wide, so we’re getting lots of new readers and commenters. Update: 12:13am, 3/21: I’m going to bed, so I turned off the comments for the night. Update: 1pm, 3/21: As a head’s up to people, at 8pm eastern time tonight, I will turning off the comments for this thread permanently. Update: 8pm, 3/21: Comment thread is now closed. Right. I’m speaking, of course, about the required-transvaginal-ultrasound thing that seems to be the flavor-of-the-month in politics. I do not care what your personal politics are. Fellow physicians, once again we are being used as tools to screw people over. 1) Just don’t comply.
The Pathology of Normal | Manolo for the Big Girl Trigger warning: If frank discussion of eating disorders and disordered eating may be triggering to you, this would be a good time to move along. Your well-being is way too important to ignore. If you own a television, radio, or computer with internet access, if you read a magazine or newspaper, if you see billboards along the highway or advertising stickers in restaurant bathrooms or receive junk mail, you’ve seen the messages: eating is bad, food is the enemy, and hunger is the weapon your body uses to force you to eat. Yoplait has a series of commercials where people find that eating a tiny amount of artificially flavored, fat-free yogurt is precisely the same as eating a slice of Boston cream pie or Black Forest cake. Campbell’s soup touts its diet line by assuring us that it’s ‘naturally satisfying’ to fit into our clothes. The ‘and of course the only way that will happen is if you stop eating’ is deafeningly silent. What do all of these images have in common?
For Every Girl... I first saw this poster when I was a first-year staff member at a summer camp in my staff notebook. Before each summer, every staff member comes a week early to talk about procedures and child development. This poster definitely spoke to me and in each of my 4 years as a staff member, I have always been happy when we turned to that page. I saw this poster again in one of my favorite professor's offices last year when I went to go talk to her about peer-teaching for her in one of her classes (which I did), and we both talked about how much we liked it. One of my favorite things about this poster is that it is a reminder that whatever children are showing us might not be what they're feeling.
Re-Framing Menstruation In a humorous article, Gloria Steinem asked, “What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?” Men, she asserted, would re-frame menstruation as a “enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event” about which they would brag (“about how long and how much”). She writes: Street guys would brag (“I’m a three pad man”) or answer praise from a buddy (“Man, you lookin’ good!”) by giving fives and saying, “Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!” …Military men, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve in the Army (“you have to give blood to take blood”), occupy political office (“can women be aggressive without that steadfast cycle governed by the planet Mars?”) Perhaps in homage to this article, an artist developed an installation titled “Menstruation Skateboards” for the Secession Museum in Austria, sent in by Zainab K. The t-shirts state it plainly: UPDATE!
A Reason to Believe in Feminism Feminism | Posted by Anonymous on 09/7/2010 I have for you a tale of feminism in its physical manifestation. It was only weeks ago that I, a nineteen-year-old girl, sat at a window seat on a bus swindling its way down a road in the city one night. Ere long I felt another’s presence, and turned to find a beefy drunkard leering at me as he stumbled to sit by my side. ‘How ya going, alright?’ ‘’Ow old are ya, love?’ Next I felt his fingers clumsily grasping at my hair; he was gazing at me, trying to fix his unstable vision on my face. A woman, quite small, and no older than thirty, had wrenched the drunkard from me and was standing over him, striking blow upon blow, as I sat there sobbing. Of course I didn’t; and the woman, having instructed the male bus driver to continue on his route, sat next to me with her arm around me and I cried into her shoulder. I guess my tears were partially due to overthinking; what if this incident hadn’t been on a bus? Loading ... Leave a Reply