You’re STILL Telling Me Rape Culture Doesn’t Exist?

TRIGGER WARNING:

The following includes discussions that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

If you came here expecting some kind of calm, patient, even-keeled commentary, you should probably leave now.

I am PISSED. IRATE. ENRAGED. LIVID.

I am angry because just a few weeks after the Steubenville boys were sentenced, I had to read this:

And so, when the Twitter posts brought national condemnation to this old mill town, the principal of Torrington High School decided it was time to appeal to her students’ better natures.

In her note on March 22, the principal, Joanne R. Creedon, urged the students to “get that spotlight on the good.” Among other student-sponsored good deeds, she wrote, the Interact Club was holding a dodgeball tournament for charity that Friday. “Come out for one of these events, have fun, and show everyone what T.H.S. is really about,” she wrote.

The dodgeball tournament seemed to go off without a hitch. But the next Monday, the winning team appeared in a picture on the front page of The Register Citizen, the local newspaper — grinning, and extending their fingers in 2’s and 1’s, for the “21” on the football jersey of one of the accused players, Edgar Gonzalez, who remains in jail.

The paper had found the photo on Instagram. Someone had posted it with a label: #FreeEdgar.

Think I’m kidding? This is the picture in question:

#freeedgar3

You need to read the full original piece in The Register Citizen by Jessica Glenza.

You still want to tell me we don’t have a problem with rape culture?

#freeedgar tweets

You really want to tell me we don’t have a problem with rape culture?

#freeedgar2

No? Still not convinced? Here’s a bunch from the original article:

#freeedgar originals #freeedgar10 #freeedgar9 #freeedgar8 #freeedgar7 #freeedgar6

THESE ARE CHILDREN.
THEY LEARNED THIS FROM SOMEWHERE.
THEY WERE NOT BORN THINKING IT’S OK TO HATE AND JUDGE AND BLAME A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL FOR HER OWN SEXUAL ASSAULT.

AND IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING –

YES, THIS IS WHAT RAPE CULTURE LOOKS LIKE.

Maybe they learned it from rappers who think it’s ok to sing in jest about date rape and then “apologize” by saying he didn’t say the word rape.

Maybe they learned it from college professors who think it’s cool to lecture on how rape is probably ok if she doesn’t remember it.

Maybe they learned it from the military, which thinks it’s alright to overturn the findings of a judicial procedure with no requirement for legal basis, and keep someone convicted of rape on the payroll.

Maybe they learned it because parents are not having the conversations they need should with their kids. 

Don’t tell me, “but it’s not my kid.” Because odds are, it is. Maybe they aren’t cracking rape jokes, but they aren’t standing up to them either, and that’s where the change begins. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe your kid is a shining example for everyone else. Either way, have the conversation, because I doubt the parents in Torrington or Steubenville thought their kids were participating in this crap, either.

So yeah, I’m angry. And you should be, too. Start talking.

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47 comments

  1. Ah, such a good post, this is so true!!!!!! Aaah makes me so angry.

    I recently wrote a blog post reacting to the horrific article Jack Rivlin wrote (featured on the blogs section of The Telegraph online) about how things like lad banter and rape jokes have nothing to do with girls getting raped……….
    http://gingertallandawkward.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/perfectly-innocent-sexist-banter-and-abusive-lad-culture/

    I’d love to know what you think!!
    x x x

  2. You trivialize the term “rape” when you use it to describe forcible rape and statutory rape. While an 18 year-old having consensual sex with a 13 year-old is a bad thing, it is many rungs down on the badness ladder from forcible rape or what happened in Steubenville.

    1. Consent? There was consent? Consent must be informed. That’s not even close to possible in a 13 year old CHILD in a power spread with an 18 year old local sports hero.

      More importantly, neither you, nor I, nor really anyone else in the conversation, can testify to the emotional capabilities or mental state of the 13 year old, or the dynamics of their private interactions with the 18 year old men.

      What we do know is that (structural and execution issues of the law aside), age of consent laws are put in place because of the vulnerability of the age group to manipulation. What we do know is that the girls were only 13. At that age, no one is equipped to handle the isolation associated with socially unacceptable relational experiences, the accompanying shame, and the fear of discovery. Further, even if initially enthused, a minor may change their mind and feel too intimidated to stop the activity, whether that be before or during the initial encounter, or in reference to subsequent encounters. Fear of punishment or judgment may prompt a minor to continue to meet established expectation of interaction. As adults, now, that may seem like a piss poor excuse. But it’s not a uniquely youth-based problem in the context of intimate partner violence; victims of acquaintance rape, spousal rape and date rape frequently experience the same struggles.

      Both lack of emotional maturity and experience in a minor indicate an inability to provide informed initial consent, and the inherent psychological structure of the power differential involved in a 13 year old having sex with an 18 year old makes full consent questionable at best, which is WHY we establish an age of consent to begin with. There’s more literature and analysis on the matter, of course. The point I’m trying to make is that discussion of “circumstances” as a mitigating factor – despite our inability to know the student’s capability for consent and in spite of the reasons these laws exist to begin with – is where we once again project blame back onto the victim, and that’s not only harmful in this situation, but sends a message to other victims that we see their suffering as invalid.

      Further, this statement assumes a very narrow interpretation of the term “force.” Force is not just something that leaves bruises and lacerations. Pigeon-holing discussions of rape with this term has helped some very public and misguided politicians make some very stupid and rape culture perpetuating comments.

  3. There is a lot of talk about rape culture. I would like to know what this exactly means.

    I am a rape victim. I would have liked to see the rapist prosecuted. But I don’t need to see him jailed.

    And I guess that, even for rapists, there will be people who still love them? Like their mothers or children? I think that that’s OK.

    What would be good is if there were not understanding for victims.

      1. True, but if you love someone, you could be wishing for him to be out of jail?

        I still don’t see what rape culture really describes.

      2. If you’re wishing for them to not face the consequences for their crimes, you’re making excuses.

        Rape culture is probably best defined as a set of socially accepted beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes which contribute to the trivialization of a survivor’s experience, make light of or rationalize sexually violent behavior, and perpetuate the negative effects suffered by both individuals and communities as a result. This is typically made manifest in elements of pop culture, marketing, legal definitions and practices, and interpersonal interactions.

        I’ve written several posts on the subject, if you’d care to peruse the blog. This one may be a helpful starting point: https://rantagainsttherandom.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/how-to-talk-to-a-skeptic-about-rape-culture/

  4. I don’t think that you are making excuses if you are wishing them not to be in jail.

    My rapist didn’t even get a sentence. And for me, reporting the rape to the police would have been easier, if there was an option like “pay fine”.

    I do believe that there is lots of victim blaming. I heard a lot of those. But is it the same as culture?

    Rape culture sounds like “most people love rape”.

    1. If you’re not excusing the crime, the proper sentiment to express would be that you wish they had not made the choices they did. It is not to say they should not face consequences for their choices. For people to dismiss the victim in favor of expressing sympathy for the assailant? Not ok.

      And I cover that issue in the post I linked to, but it really has nothing to do with people “loving” rape. It usually has very little to do with intention. It has to do with tolerating speech and behaviors which discourage victims from coming forward, or make them feel like it’s their fault, make it seem like it’s not a big deal. That doesn’t mean someone loves rape, but it does mean they’re accepting actions which make the situation worse.

      I want to be really clear about this, though – I’m very sorry that you experienced what you did, and I pass no judgement on your choices. No one should have to make those choices to begin with.

      1. Please read what I’ve written. I said that I wish that the victim gets unterstanding (that’s the part with “victim blaming”).
        I am talking about the phrase “rape culture” – culture sounds like, Americans love barbecue, Japanese take off their shoes at home, Germans eat lots of potatoes. So “rape culture” sounds for me like “we all love rape!”
        And while I see a lot of problems concerning rape, I am not seeing that people love rape als a culture.
        The thing is – I didn’t have a lot of choice. The only decision I could make was – do I report it to the police or don’t I? I don’t decide what happens to the rapist, the court does that. And it’s either he gets jailed or he gets acquitted. And if I had had the choice to say “he should be fined” then it would have been a lot easier for me to make the decision.

  5. Reading the comments from those kids, containing pejorative language and semantic dehumanization, shows how the inferior status of females is still ingrained in our culture. Even the teenage girls show little regard for their own gender. You are absolutely right — it’s learned behavior. Rape centers across the country urge men and women to stop using pejorative/derogatory language towards females because it perpetuates sexual violence.

    Here’s a comment from a young man from the website “Men Can Stop Rape”: “I have noticed that I have become more likely to voice my opinion about something that bothers me. For example, when my friends use derogatory language in reference to women, I take the time to tell them, “Hey man that’s not cool and I don’t want you to talk like that around me. I am serious I don’t like to hear that.”
    http://www.mencanstoprape.org/Stories-Profiles-Testimonials-Campus-MOST/

    We need more young men like him.

    An extensive study from William Brennan, Ph.D, (“Female Objects of Semantic Dehumanization and Violence”) states:

    “Now and throughout history, pejorative language has played a major role in the longstanding victimization of women. The most comprehensive explanation is the centrality of patriarchal ideology. Because the concept of patriarchy is based on the notion of male superiority, it could well serve as a foundation for the many theories that attempt to account for the deplorable treatment of women insofar as the belief in male supremacy is a major precondition for perpetuating many types of oppression against females

    Down through the ages, women have been persistently portrayed as a subpar species,

    […the ideology of male supremacy is so deeply ingrained in many societies and cultures that it cannot help but have a profound impact on how men view and therefore treat women. The derogatory language in turn functions to solidify the ideology. This in effect sets in motion a vicious self-perpetuating cycle in which ideology and terminology continually reinforce one another. Once unleashed, the degrading rhetoric furnishes a convenient excuse for the commission of violence upon the targets of the rhetoric.
    http://neuroresearchproject.com/2012/06/23/the-invisible-war-of-dehumanization/

    —————————

    Lauren, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Bottom line—rape culture will not go away until deeply ingrained perceptions about females go away.

    “The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities. We should regard female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness.” ~Aristotle

    “Also, as regards male and female, the former is superior, the latter is inferior, the male is ruler, the female is subject” (Politics Bk. 1, Ch. 4)” ~Aristotle

  6. I am just thinking, that a lot more people would listen, if the wording was not “rape culture” but something else which descreibes the problem a bit more precisely e.g. “rape justification culture”.

    I mean, I am a rape victim, I’ve gone through a lot, I know a lot about rape, and I still don’t understand or like the wording “rape culture”.

    People who side with rapists rather than with victims are of course no help for ending rape, but they are not raping themselves.

    1. I’ve heard this quite a bit, and I’m not unsympathetic to the perspective, but I tend to disagree for two reasons. The first is the importance of establishing common understanding; recognition has started to build for the term “rape culture” and changing it at this point may only facilitate further confusion. Second, the term’s inflammatory construction draws people into the conversation, either because they’re offended by what they think it means, or the power of its simplicity resonates with them. Either way, it opens the door to conversation, which is a critical aspect of spreading awareness and changing behaviors.

      1. Recognition of the term “Rape Culture” has started to build. But is this really a good thing? Your handling of the topic is top notch. You are calm, rational, and thorough. You are gender neutral in your identification of the problem. You include men that are victims and women that are rapists. You and your thoughts on Rape Culture are not problematic. I disagree that it’s useful, but we are both rational adults capable of really listening in a respectful way and presenting counter arguments. You treat men with the respect they deserve (the same respect you give women). Your voice, your respect, your balance is the smaller voice in discussions of “Rape Culture”

        “The horrors of male sexuality”, and “Men violating women” are much more common and harmful. This is what “Rape Culture” is coming to mean, and it’s not getting better. The problem does need to be addressed. Using language poisoned by hateful bigots and gender ideologues won’t fix anything, only make new problems.

      2. I appreciate the compliment, and I recognize and appreciate the problems we face in terms of gender on this subject, but again, I’m not sure the solution is to cut out people who display problematic tendencies. The better option, it seems, would be to use the opportunity to engage them on the subject. We can use all the allies we can get.

      3. I don’t know. I can’t really talk to people who say it’s just rape culture, because it feels like to talking to people in parallel universe.

        I don’t think it is cúlture, when I get told that I could have fought him off, if I didn’t want it.

        And I don’t think that telling these people “we have rape culture” helps. And telling people who don’t blame victims that “we have rape culture and you are part of it” don’t help either.

      4. From my experience, the conversation takes place in the form:

        “Ah, so you say that you are a rape victim? You must be a feminist who wants to prove to the world that men are evil and rapists, and that we have rape culture! You are being unfair to men” (and the thing is, I’ve never argued againt men in generell nor said that everybody in the country is raping, and I don’t even like the term rape culture myself, and I am not a feminist – I just had the unfortune to become a rape victim and make the experience that I have made).

        And from feminists, I hear “So you don’t believe in rape culture? You must then be excusing the rapists, you must be an anti-feminist, and that makes you as bad as a rapist!”

        That doesn’t help me one bit. I just feel blamed once more. So rape victims get blamed for not liking the wording rape culture, and they get told to shut up because they are as bad as rapists. That what the term does with me. And most people are not willing to go into discussion about that aspect.

      5. I’m going to respond to both your recent comments in one place. I think a lot of your frustration has come from bad experiences and a specific understanding of what rape culture is, both of which make your perspective perfectly understandable.

        I want to start by saying I don’t think you’re a bad person or anti-feminist or rape culture perpetuating because we’re having this conversation. I think that makes you brave and insightful. I’m not trying to exclude your perspective. I’m trying to engage with it.

        It’s important to remember that rape culture is not about hating men or thinking they’re all evil. It’s about bringing light to problematic attitudes and behaviors which make survivors feel responsible for their own suffering, and make the sexually violent behaviors of others seem rational or humorous.

        People who do perpetuate those problematic ideas are not necessarily bad people. They’re just people who may not realize the consequences of their choices. When we talk about rape culture, we’re asking people to reflect critically on those choices.

        You are correct. You were not raped because of rape culture. You were raped because of the decisions made by your assailant. The blame is squarely on their shoulders. But there were likely cultural elements which led to those decisions, and there were cultural elements which have contributed to your experiences since, including being made to feel judged for your decisions in the aftermath. That’s not ok.

        I am sorry that I have not been able to effectively convey these ideas to you thus far, and hope that this engagement will encourage you to continue following along and continue thinking about the issues. We may disagree on the utility of the label, but I have a feeling we agree on a lot more. I don’t doubt that you’d find a crude joke about rape unfunny, and I don’t doubt that you’d probably have a problem with someone slut shaming a survivor. I hope you’d be willing to stand up to it. But recognition of problematic behavior is the first step, so I’ll take the areas where we can agree for now.

        And I feel like you might be more of a feminist than you think, too. Feminism isn’t about hating men. Are there feminists who hate men? Yes. Are they a majority? No. Feminism, over time, has evolved to a point where most (not all) believe that we should treat people equally, regardless of gender. It’s not about putting one gender over another; it’s about encouraging a world where gender is not the deciding factor in how your life unfolds. Food for thought.

        Most importantly though, I hope you keep talking. It’s only by engaging a variety of perspectives on the topic that these problematic behaviors and attitudes – whether we call them rape culture elements or not – will become less prevalent. Thanks again for sharing.

      6. Allies are important. Who you regect as an ally is every bit as important as who you except as an ally. People advocating for racial equality have this same line to walk. The Black Panthers need to be excluded from equality talk every bit as much as the KKK. How affective do you think MLK’s I have a dream speech would have been if it was preceded by Malcolm X screaming “Black Power” and “Kill Whitey”. Had MLK agreed to share a stage with Malcolm X, everything that MLK said would have been overshadowed and ignored in favor of reporting on the hate and bigotry of Malcolm X.

        You sharing the stage of “Feminism” and using the language of “Rape Culture” Would be like MLK sharing a stage with Malcolm X, and referring the the establishment as “Whitey”

      7. To begin with, I’m not going to put people who disagree on framing and approach into the same category as a man who thought we should use violence to combat racism. Part of this is just because that analogy is really extreme, but part of it is because doing so shuts down the lines of communication. We don’t solve problems by ignoring them. I would much rather have a 5 hour long debate with someone about an idea in a respectful and even-keeled manner than just tell them they’re wrong. The former option provides an opportunity for learning and growth; the latter leaves us with the status quo. Given the chance, I’ll opt for a risk of progress in most cases.

        Further, I feel like your characterization of feminism may be a bit off, but that may just be my reading of your comment, so forgive me if I’m misinterpreting your intent. Are there feminists who hate men? Sure. Are they a majority? Not even close. Feminism today has become about encouraging a world where gender does not indicate outcome – where our lives are not necessarily shaped by our gender. It’s not about putting one gender over another. The rhetoric has become more inclusive overtime (perhaps an inevitable consequence of intersectionality). Characterizing feminism by pockets of more extreme views does nothing to help these conversations. If anything, it muddles the quest for clarity.

      8. There are people that disagree on framing and approach. I am one of them. I think that your framing and approach is wrong, and it’s worth talking about. These are not the people that need to be excluded. People with different perspectives, ideas and thoughts need to be included. Conversations with them can be very productive. This is why I’m talking with you, different framing and approaches.

        There are feminists that are calling for truly violent, hateful, sexist bigotry to be enforced by law. The clearest example, but far from the only example, is Valeri Selinous and the SCUM manifesto. She advocated murdering all men, well 90% of men, keeping the remaining 10% as sex slaves. I do understand that these people are a very small minority. There are Millions of feminists and thousands of Bigots.

        Malcolm X and MLK is a good comparison. The Black panthers never got membership in the thousands. It was hundreds of hate filled bigots. MLK and his peaceful protests drew many thousands, tens of thousands of people. Had MLK embraced Malcom X as a “civil rights advocate” and agreed to use the language Malcolm X constructed, MLK’s message would have been lost.

        This is one big problem with feminism. It has let in the Malcolm Xs of “Women’s Rights” I’m not characterizing feminism by pockets of more extreme views. Feminism does in fact include the most extreme views. What is muddying the water is not my inclusion of the views, but that they are included in feminism. What is muddying the water is not my more comprehensive view of feminism, but you using the title “feminist”. You are sharing the stage with people calling for the murder of all men, the castration of boys and other horrible things. These are a very small minority to be sure, but they are also very very loud. It’s to late to kick them off the stage, so you really should find another stage not polluted by the filth.

        To tie this back in with the post. The words “Rape Culture” are the words of the hate filled bigots. You talking about “Rape Culture” is like listening to MLK talk about “Whitey”

        I very much agree that there are clarity issues. I don’t think the problem is on my end, but of course I think I’m right. I’m very glad that you are a reasonalbe enough person to engage in meaningful conversation.

      9. I suppose our differences come from perspective. I see most ideology in terms of a spectrum.

        For instance, are there KKK members that claim they are Republican? Yes. Does that make all Republicans members of the KKK? No. Is it possible for a KKK member to espouse certain beliefs found in the Republican platform AND racist ideology? Yes. Can we control whether or not KKK members describe themselves as Republicans? No. Does that make Republican ideology inherently bad? No. Can Republicans criticize racist behavior and language without imploding their own party? One would certainly hope so.

        Similarly, there are individuals who describe themselves as feminists and embrace problematic or dangerous ideas. We cannot control the fact that they call themselves feminists anymore than we can control the weather. That does not mean the term “feminist” is bad, or that all feminists support the problematic ideas in discussion. There are individuals who describe rape culture through a very narrow lens, and their rhetoric can encourage violence or exclusion that most people working against rape culture would reject. That does not make the term “rape culture” inherently bad.

        I suppose we will have to agree to disagree in some ways. I just believe inclusive engagement is a better way to change hearts and minds than exclusion is. Even if I never change the mind of the person I’m engaging with, if our conversation spurs someone else to reflect on their own beliefs and behaviors, the conversation has value.

      10. It’s not a question of how they label them self. It’s how you label them. In your opinion, is Salinas a feminist? If no, have you denounced her use of the label (not necessarily her specifically, but anyone pushing hate under the banner of feminism)? If yes, do you really want to be in the same club as someone advocating keeping sex slaves?

        On inclusion. You can include me OR your can include her. You will exclude someone. I’m not joining a club where members are allowed to advocate keeping sex slaves.

        I can agree to disagree on “Rape Culture” so long as you see that I have a valid point that you just disagree on.

  7. I completely agree with you. Rape culture will continue to exist until the public is educated. The majority of the problem is that children are being raised to look down on certain people whether it is from the way they dress, where they live or what have you. If a girl wears a skirt that is deemed too short, she is deemed as “asking for it”. If a boy looks the wrong way “he wanted it”. Because it is not just females who are raped, males are too but they have even more social stigma against them due to their gender.

    As a former victim of rape (I use former because I refuse to let it ruin my life anymore) I feel very strongly about this subject and I honestly believe that you are doing an amazing job of educating the public with your posts. The world needs more people like you who stand up for what they believe in.

  8. A woman was kidnapped brutally assaulted and gang raped by four men.

    You’d think the college officials would find that information important to pass along to its student body?

    “But officials said that, as it happened away from campus, they were not required to notify students.”

    REQUIRED? Where is the instinct to protect the student body of the Le Salle University campus? Why don’t they understand by now, that not telling, is nearly the same thing as hiding? Guess they think NIMBY?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/cops-hunt-4-men-gang-raped-philly-student-article-1.1308456

  9. @Lauren I think that as far as the situation concerning the issue of rape is concerned, we agree on almost everything except the label “rape culture”. And my experience is that a lot of people (who disagree that there is a “rape culture”) would agree with you contentwise. I just think that it’s sad that these peole get labelled as rape-supporters, just because they don’t agree with the label “rape culture”, and that they turn away offended, that it is an exaggerated manipulative propaganda of feminists.

    I’d rather talk to people about the content rather than juggle with the label.

    And no, I don’t see myself as a feminist – how can I see myself as a feminist, after being called rape-supporter by feminists? I mean you were one of the few feminists, who listened to me. And I don’t really have interest in all topics that feminists are (required to be) interested in, such as equal-pay or female quota.

    But I do talk a lot about what rape is, how rape victims are not getting justice, how society needs to combat rape.

    And in my opinion, ending rape is not a female issue or a feminist issue, it’s a society issue, it’s human issue – because it affects everyone, and not only in the sense that boys can get raped too.

    The husband of an assualted woman, the children of an assaulted mother, the collegue of an assualted employee, the friends of a victim… they all are affected in one way or other.

    1. @Cle. It bothers me so much when women who eat at the table set by feminists, on plates purchased by feminists, able to afford better linens because of feminists, hate feminists.

      When did feminism become a swear? When men fearing losing power made it one. And women decided to buy into it? Divide and conquer, It’s been used against women for years. But I guess that’s my feminism showing. You really don’t care if you make less $ than men doing the same job? Really? I find that so unfathomable, I almost find it disingenuous.

      When breaking into someone’s facebook account is lightly and in fun called “fraping”, we live in a rape culture. http://facebookcraze.com/tag/facebook-rape/

      1. Aha, so if I get raped and go through hell, I eat at the table set by feminists.

        If that’s the way feminists talk to me, I certainly refuse to be seen as a feminist.

        I make the same money as men doing the same job. Only that nobody gave me a job after getting raped and I had to build up my business by myself.

      2. I want to be really clear – nothing, and least of all no ideology – justifies what happened to you. And no one, regardless of what term precedes the “ist” end on the description, is justified in judging you for the ways in which you’ve coped with your trauma. Having interacted with The Ornamental Life before, I doubt very much that this was the message being attempted. It has less to do with you, as an individual, and more to do with a broader commentary on how people interact with feminist ideals and work, and the label itself.

        I am elated that you are paid fairly. I think the point The Ornamental Life is trying to make is that this equal pay is only possible because of decades of advocacy on your behalf by feminists who believed equal pay was important. There are also a lot of women out there who are not as fortunate, and that’s why we continue to fight. It can just be frustrating to engage with individuals who benefit from the work of feminists and their ideas, and agree on many counts with the ideology, but reject the label for some reason. In your instance, it’s been unfortunate interactions with feminists who did not display patience or understanding or empathy – deficiencies deplorable in any person, feminist or not. Again, I’m very sorry you had to endure that.

  10. Considering the most common criticism I hear about feminism is that it’s all about demonising men, I find this comment particularly interesting:

    “Young girls acting like whores there’s no punishment for that young men acting like boys is a sentence”

    Setting aside the crap of implying she was “acting like a whore,” I can’t help but feel somewhat demonised by the comment. Raping a young girl is “acting like [a boy]”? Ex-fucking-cuse me, mate, but rape has never been in my nature, and I find the suggestion that it’s just basic male behaviour deeply offensive. Funny, though, that it’s the supposedly pro-male comments that paint us in the most revolting light. I see it from “men’s rights” activists all the time. It’s staggering how casually they perform the act they complain so bitterly about from feminists, who so rarely actually do so.

  11. I am payed fairly, because I set the price myself, because I am self-employed.

    And I am self-empolyed because I could not find an employer, as I am working in the same field as the rapist (and since he is more infuencial, people didn’t want to offend hin), and as I could not work regular office hours because of my injuries (I can get good work done, if I can pace myself and work when I am feeling OK).

    I didn’t get any compensations for the rape, and as a self-employed, I don’t have any social benefits or securities. I even had to pay lots of doctors’ bills myself. But that was only the way to survive. I sometimes worked from the hospital bed.

    So I can’t get interested in equal pay – I have other worries, and equal pay doesn’t help. My problems are directly rape-related, and how societies treat victims.

    1. Cle, I am sorry for what I said to you. I meant it as a global statement not towards your very specific case. I understand what you are saying here and clearly you have been thru the mill. I am disabled due to multiple gangs rapes that occurred during my early childhood. I was also raped by a “co-patient” in a psychiatric hospital when I was admitted for feeling suicidal. I know the tole these things can take. I understand your feelings and I am not wanting to make you feel defensive or more pained.

      I appreciate Lauren trying to explain what I was trying to say. Hopefully, she did a better job at it than I. I interpreted what you said based on my own quick bias and after reading so many posts where the word feminism is used as a curse. So many have worked so hard for the female masses. All women who do make a decent living eat from the same table.

      I was a nurse. As an RN, I made $5/hour when I was injured early in my career. Male nurses were a new phenomenon and were hired in at twice my salary. In my nursing school, my class was the first to graduate a male nurse. It was 1975. Interestingly enough, it was men becoming nurses that boosted the salary of all nurses in the end. Movement happens in many ways. But still, it took women, feminists, to say “you can’t pay male nurses more!”

      I know too many women who do not get paid what they are worth. Especially, the working disabled. Truthfully, I run a small home-based business as well to supplement my SSDI. The trauma I went through in my very young years has made it nearly impossible to be alone in a room with a male. I have trouble even defining my worth. I undervalue my work. period. all the time. There was a time when I was so unable to define my worth, I worked for people and at the end said “pay me what it is worth to you.” That seems so pathetic now that I have moved on in my healing and have some semblance of self-respect.

      I still can’t be alone in a room with a male. Esp. a male dr. a male dentist. a male client. It’s hard to make a living when I can only interact with half the world safely. I don’t know how to heal that. I don’t even try anymore. I accept it’s just part of who I am. I don’t go to appointments alone. I meet males in restaurants etc. if I need to interact with them.

      I get it. I know how rape can affect a life. Although it’s very sad that he has wielded more power than you and you ended up in the employment situation you are in as well as the multiple medical issues and financial hardships, I’m glad you are a survivor. With life at it’s worst, you seem to have figured it out. I know it was hard for you. I read your words and felt the emotion and pain behind them. I did not mean to add to your pain. I truly did not.

      I respect all people who can walk through the fire and live life even if a little bit scorched. I do know the fired burned you. and for that, and all you have been through, I am sorry. be.

  12. Thank you for being angry, and thank you for writing and sharing this. If more people were angry at this mindset, we could focus on teaching the next generation that rape is rape, not ifs or buts about it.

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