Misogyny in the U.S. = a national pandemic.
Sexual violence is a pervasive public health problem in the United States. In December 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Throughout the country, headlines of local and national papers described that rape is more common than previously thought.
Today an article published in on Significance Magazine’s web site, a publication of the American Statistical Association and Royal Statistical Society, compared these rates to those of smoking – 18.3% of women over 18 reported being sexual assaulted in their lifetime while 17.4% of women reported smoking. Let consider this as we set health priorities.
Posts tagged rape culture.
over a 20-year period, asking some 2,000 men in college questions like this: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they did not want to, because they were too intoxicated [on alcohol or drugs] to resist your sexual advances?”, or “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with an adult when they didn’t want to because you used physical force [twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.] if they didn’t cooperate?”
About 1 in 16 men answered “yes” to these or similar questions.
1 in sixteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen are you kidding me
if we got 1 in 16 motherfuckers admitting to raping women on college campuses and are “very forthcoming. In fact, they are eager to talk about their experience”, you better fucking believe tossing out your short skirt and staying in at night isn’t going to keep you safe.
In a survey of 11-14 year-old boys…
- 51% believed that “forced sex” is acceptable if a boy spends a lot of money on a girl
- 31% believed that it would be okay to rape someone with past sexual experience
- 65% believed that sexual assault is okay if dating for more than 6 months
- 87% believed that sexual assault is okay if the perpetrator and victim are married
…aaand in a survey of college males…
- 1 in 12 admitted to committing rape (under the legal definition)
- 35% admitted that they would commit rape under circumstances if they could get away with it
…and in another…
- 43% of college-aged men admitted to using “coercive behavior” such as ignoring a woman’s nonconsent and using physical aggression
[TRIGGER WARNING: misogyny, rape culture]
‘Cause the thing is, you and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…
I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.
But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.
And that guy? Thought you were on his side.
If you haven’t, you might just be that guy.
On 11/29/2010, I sent you an email similar to the one you are about to (hopefully) read yet again. That email had been in regards to you having posted a secret that said “She lied. I never raped her.” I got no reply. This week, you posted a secret that says, “My sister lied about being raped to hide the shame of being a 20-year old virgin.” My mind froze when I saw those words. I was filled with rage, directed partially at the person who had the audacity to write it, but more so at you, a person with such visibility and influence, for having shared it with millions.
I have to admit, I had stopped checking PostSecret after receiving no response to my last email (this is after having been an every-Sunday follower for years), but this week, I was spontaneously compelled to check up on the site. I was so angry upon seeing that secret, I simply exited the page and tried to decide if I should send you another email or not. I came to the conclusion, clearly, that I had to. Please, bear with me here, as I am going to explain again what the problem with these “secrets” are and would appreciate it if you gave what I am saying some thought. This is an issue extremely important to me, and I’m sure an uncountable number of your fans, and it is something that should be important to you.
I spent years reading PostSecret every week, and have no memory of ever seeing a secret of someone admitting they were raped, or admitting they raped someone—not a single one—but I am sure both have been submitted. I won’t question why I haven’t seen these invisible secrets posted (or at least not to my memory), instead I will jump to why it is so despicable to post secrets like the ones aforementioned in the first paragraph—
We live in a rape culture, and this is a culture that transcends all political and social barriers. There is not a place in the world you could step foot where you will not find survivors of rape being blamed for the crime that was committed against them. This is unlike almost any other crime. It is a crime of oppression, power, and injustice and that pulls through the legal system and throughout the minds of everyone that hears or sees the word “rape.” The reason rape is so successfully belittled and brushed under the rug is because of the belief system that permeates throughout our world and the minds of our people. Things like “but what about the men who are falsely accused of rape?!” “What about the girls who make up being raped for attention?!” These are myths. These are not the stories that occur, nor the stories that need to be told.
For every person that “lies” about being raped, wherever that person may be, there are 10,000 people who WERE raped and are being told by their friends, family, judges, lawyers, police, detectives, and doctors that they must be lying, that it must have been a misunderstanding, or they must have been asking for it. Seeing secrets like this posted are going to make it all the more terrifying, all the more misleading, and all the more offensive to those who HAVE been raped, those who DO need a voice, and those whose stories NEED to be told. I know this is a project about controversy, about a shock factor, and about discussion, but none of that was accomplished with this secret. I fear for the impact this secret (and the one from last year) has had on survivors of rape who have suffered and may still be suffering but have not spoken out. For a project so grounded in the basis of empowerment and community, I would expect a better effort to be put into acknowledging the oppressive world we live in, and the fact that some voices need to be heard above others because they have been silenced for so long.
I could go on forever in this email, simply because of how many disgusting ideas were brought up in this one secret, but I will stop for now and hope that anything I said was considered and thought about. You did not share a secret this week, nor a confession, you shared someone speaking on behalf of their sister and perpetuating one of the most cruel and unjust ideals that ruin our societies and the safety of our people. I pray and hope her sister was not actually raped, because there is nothing worse than having those that are supposed to be closest to you disbelieve your story. Rape is not about sex, nor virginity, it always has been and always will be a vicious crime of power committed by every day people disguised as our neighbors and friends.
PS. If you could please, I would love to have an “Email Response” posted on the site under that secret saying the following (since I assume my whole email could never be posted): “I WAS raped, and I hope this secret doesn’t scare anyone away from saying that.” Thank you.
I would love it if anyone else who is enraged by this would send him an email at email@example.com (even just a couple sentences).
On every Sunday, Frank has the access to an Internet soapbox which has the power to reach and touch millions of people. He has the social responsibility to avoid publishing and spreading information and ideas that are bigoted, harmful and oppressive.
This is not saying that the persons who submitted secrets such as the one pictured are liars or fakers; they could be genuine secrets. However the publication of secrets like these fuels oppression, which is the real issue.
I actually find that I think “sex” implies consent, and look at rape as a heinous type of assault, not a sexual act at all.
Two MSU basketball players raped a woman in the dorms then one admitted to it. Their only consequence was that they had to move out of the dorms. This picture is of me and one other woman holding up this banner during Midnight Madness. Two other brave souls had a banner on the other side for a while before some jerk started playing tug or war with them over it. This was taken before we got booed at by 10,000 people and police escorted from the stadium.
A rape culture is a culture of intimidation. It keeps women afraid of being attacked and so it keeps women confined in the range of their behavior. That fear makes a women censor her behavior—her speech, her way of dressing, her actions. It undermines her confidence in her ability to be independent. The necessity to be mindful of one’s behavior at all times is far more than annoying. Women’s lives are unnecessarily constricted.
As a society, this one issue hampers the best efforts of half our population. It costs us heavily in lost initiative and in emotional energy stolen from other, more creative thoughts.
My husband, however, had this to say about it (and I’m paraphrasing): Men don’t like to consider that women may be viewing them as rapists. Jen’s post made it clear that any man, any time, could be viewed as a rapist, no matter what his intentions actually were.
That totally blew my mind. If you’re a man, not for the reason you think. You see, all men look like rapists to women. All of you, all the damn time. If you go out in public and you are a man, a woman has looked at you as a potential rapist. What blew my mind was the idea that men aren’t aware of this. Really, I thought you would be.
Here’s the thing, all women are always aware of the risk of rape. We all know how prevalent rape is. We’re all aware rape can happen to any woman at virtually any time and that no woman is entirely safe anywhere. Men may pass right over an account of a rape, but women do not. So we’ve heard stories of rapes in church bathrooms during services, in stairwells, elevators and parking garages, in changing rooms at department stores, in movie theaters, in cars, in planes, in parks, in airports, in buses, in our homes. We know that old women are raped, toddlers are raped, nuns are raped, pregnant women are raped, everyone is raped.
So, everywhere we go, we can’t help but think This is a place where rape happens. I am not unusually afraid of rape, by the way. This is a normal level of fear for a woman who has not been raped.