And I have never subscribed to Mr. Taranto’s bizarre and deeply out of touch understanding of sexual assault as somehow being a two-way street between a victim and an assailant.
Mr. Taranto’s arguments contribute to an environment that purposely places blame in all the wrong places, and has made the current culture and status quo an obstruction to sorely needed change.
There is no information on how to report a sexual assault and seemingly no one competent enough to handle the situation when someone figures out how. To be honest, I feel more violated by the way Disney treated me than I feel from being raped, and I’m worried for every other person that has been in my situation.
I’m tired of seeing debate on this. Prostitutes and sex workers of other kinds sell a service. If you purchase that service, you are a customer. If you, without consent, abuse their rights as a human, that is not tantamount to theft. It’s a human rights abuse. If you punch a boxer, you aren’t stealing their time as a professional to see their reaction. You are assaulting them, and the law will recognize this and punish you accordingly. Rape of prostitutes, however, is a much more serious and common abuse, and it is significantly less punished by law enforcement and societally regarded as a non-issue. I’m a martial artist. Compared to the average person, I am much more mentally prepared for the possibility of a physical attack. It is the milieu I immerse myself in. That doesn’t mean I want to be attacked, or that it would be ok to attack me, and no one would ever make that logical leap. Prostitutes, while also more mentally prepared for the very real possibility they may be raped, are no more deserving of rape than I am of being assaulted. A non-consensual assault against a person, regardless of profession or mental preparation for attack, is clearly still a human rights abuse and the equivalent of assault, not theft. Stop debating this shit.
In some ways this [incident at the Killer Instinct demo] wasn’t a big deal. The banter was tasteless, and we don’t know how the decision was made as to who would go up against the producer on stage. What makes this a big deal isn’t the fact that it happened, but that it’s indicative of a larger cancer eating away at the gaming community (and, to be fair, many other geek communities, but it seems most horrible in gaming). This, basically, is what institutionalized misogyny looks like.
‘The fact is, rape is utterly commonplace in all our cultures. It is part of the fabric of everyday life, yet we all act as if it’s something shocking and extraordinary whenever it hits the headlines. We remain silent, and so we condone it…Until rape, and the structures – sexism, inequality, tradition – that make it possible, are part of our dinner-table conversation with the next generation, it will continue. Is it polite and comfortable to talk about it? No. Must we anyway? Yes.’
But the absence of a ‘no’ is not the same thing as the presence of a ‘yes.’ And until American culture and law frames sexual consent as proactively, enthusiastically given, there will be no justice for rape victims. It’s time for the U.S. to lose the “no means no” model for understanding sexual assault and focus on “only yes means yes” instead.
What does it tell the parents of the next girl who dumps vodka into slushed ice and heads out to a high school party? There were many last weekend and there will be many this weekend, and no amount of warning them will entirely change that. If you didn’t drink to get drunk in high school, you had friends who did, and so did we all. That’s not an offense deserving of rape. That’s not behavior that causes rape. If this girl got staggering, vomiting drunk with a different group of people — say, with the boy I hope my son grows up to be — she would have found herself delivered to her parents’ door with a blanket over the vomit-stained shirt. “Mr. Doe, I’m sorry to wake you, but your daughter had quite a bit to drink and passed out at the party, and the folks she came with were not taking care of her, so we brought her home. We couldn’t find her phone …” Isn’t that what we expect of our young men? The reason that, instead of a ride home, she got sexually assaulted, filmed and mocked was because the people around her failed a basic test of moral fiber. The bystanders failed to intervene, and the peripheral participants failed to walk away, and Mays and Richmond failed even the baseline legal tests. They sexually penetrated a girl who was so inebriated that she didn’t understand or participate in what they were doing to her.
What you told that next girl and her parents is that even if what happened to their daughter is a crime, even if it is prosecuted and proved, you’re still on the side of the rapists.
[TW: Violence] “What can men do? Men do not just need to stop being violent. The vast majority of men are not violent. But men do need to stop being silent. Calling violence against women, whether street harassment or sexual harassment or rape or murder, a ‘women’s issue’ allows men to ignore it as if we have no responsibility for it or stake in ending it. We all have grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends and colleagues. Our lives are inextricably interwoven; women’s issues of safety and equality directly affect our lives as men. Beyond that, women are humans, with the same rights to safety and freedom as men. It is therefore our moral responsibility to not remain silent or passively on the sidelines, but to be actively engaged in confronting this problem in every corner of homes, communities, and societies.”
Former NFL quarterback Don McPherson
That’s at least the conclusion This Week in Blackness’ Elon James White came to on Tuesday’s show. What the University of North Carolina did? Well. they charged a female student with an honor code violation – because she spoke about her rape. She never even named her rapist, but spoke about her rape with the university newspaper. Now the young woman is being charged for violating the following part of the school’s honor code:
Disruptive or intimidating behavior that willfully abuses, disparages, or otherwise interferes with another … so as to adversely affect their academic pursuits, opportunities for University employment, participation in University-sponsored extracurricular activities, or opportunities to benefit from other aspects of University Life.
Yeah. Rape culture at it’s worst.
If you have the stomach for it, I can recommend the Wednesday episode of This Week in Blackness Radio (#twib) for commentary on the horrifying Steubenville rape case. Major trigger warning, because they discuss it – and play a part of one of the videos. They make the point that the case is horrifying (and not rare) – but the teenagers talking about it (on tape) are disconnected in a horrifying way: They knew what happend, probably knew the girl, but did not talk about her as a person. Which is especially horrifying. The discussion starts about 31 min. in.
I wrote horrifying a lot. Probably because I am too horrified to write anything else on this.