The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.
Today I watched Britain’s Sex Gangs, a harrowing and disturbing but clear look at the subject of groups of men grooming young girls and leading them into a life of gang rape and sexual abuse. It’s not an easy thing to watch, but aside from a few high profile convictions here and there, it’s not an easy thing to hear about unless you go looking for the information. It’s horrible, but there are a few key facts:
1. There’s always some sort of “but why don’t the parents know what’s happening to this young girl,” question, a “how do they meet these guys in the first place, they shouldn’t be out late,” debate, and of course, in almost every conversation, someone brings up the clothes the girls wear as an issue, whether a direct reason or a, “well of course it doesn’t mean they’re asking for it, BUT…”
2. There’s a racial issue to it, because investigations show that a high proportion of these gangs are made up of Pakistani British men.
3. Groups like the EDL and BNP have hijacked the issue and made it entirely about race and in fact taken it away from a focus on the victims themselves, and have made it even more difficult to talk about because of the association with stirring racial hatred. (And proven themselves even more disgusting in doing so.)
#mary shelley #this quote though #it’s all kinds of wonderful #hey remember that time one asswipe was like you have 30 seconds to name something invented by a woman… #…and Mary was like SCIENCE FICTION MOTHERFUCKERS #that was awesome #thanks Mary Shelley (via snappily)
And the next time someone starts claiming that teenage girls have ruined the horror genre with romance or whatever you can be like, hey dicksmack, teenage girls and romance built your genre so sit the fuck down.
I don’t want to be a feminist anymore. Like a five-year-old, I want to close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, stomp my feet on the floor and scream “No! No, you cannot make me, I won’t, leave me alone!” I am, simply put, too tired. So very, very tired.
I am tired of fighting with my friends. I am tired of arguing that someone groping and slapping my butt isn’t “what I have to expect”, just because I’m at a bar, and the one attacking my butt has a drink in the other hand. I am tired of hearing “boys will be boys” and “when you’re dressed like that …” and “that’s just what guys do”. I am tired of trying to drown those sentiments in loud, repetitive no’s, screamed over and over again, till my throat is sore and my voice weak – just to hear them repeated, as soon as exhaustion threatens to silence me.
I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of seeing someone writing something offensive, sexist, racist, ageist, ableist, somewhere online. I am tired of seeing those writings getting likes and lol’s, and SO TRUE’s. I am tired of being consumed by confusion and anger, typing, typing, typing and typing a seemingly endless response, including research, links and statistics, and then hesitate clicking “submit”. I am tired of knowing that I hesitate because I am afraid of the flood of responses that will come. I am tired of knowing that I will be bombarded with lighten up’s, stop whining’s and get a sense of humor’s for so long, that I will start to wonder if I am indeed wound up too tight, a nagger and humorless. I am tired of the fact that I’m afraid of being called a cunt, even though I don’t find genitalia insulting or demeaning.