"They don’t “accidentally” rape women. They don’t “misread the signals”. Every day, men who pretend that they are incapable of telling that women don’t want them to penetrate their bodies, read hundreds of social signals expertly. They know when to joke about with the boss; when to back down gracefully in a meeting without losing face; when to negotiate hard and when to keep some back for the next deal; they know when to banter with their colleagues and when to be professional. They know when to slap down someone in a pub or a club or on a train and when that would be dangerous – most men, like most women, are very, very good at negotiating social signals."

http://aroomofourown.org/the-reason-so-many-rapists-get-off-is-because-there-is-a-grey-area/ 

(via silence-andothersounds)

(Source: evilfeminist, via survivorsupport)

missvoltairine:

letstalkaboutrape:

riotsnotdiets:

Check out this awesome project we’re working on — a tumblr for caregivers to share their stories through personal photographs. Please follow and reblog if you see anything that strikes a chord, and if you know any caregivers please encourage them to submit at http://www.throughacaregiverseyes.com/submit!

This is a project I’m coordinating at my job! It’s a really powerful project and I’d love to see more caregivers submit photos and help spread these important images around. Thanks!

I really hope you are vetting submissions to make sure that the people submitting photos are actively seeking the permission of the subjects of these photos to have their images spread around on the internet. Just because someone is disabled does not mean they won’t have an opinion about abled people using their images without their consent. I see a lot of inspiration porn-type stuff and sketchy representation of disabled people just on the first page and like… I think it’s good to talk about how “pink collar” professions like caregivers and nurses etc are undervalued, but it’s just as important that those conversations happen in ways that don’t dehumanize and condescend to and encourage negative stereotypes of disabled people (“disabled people are a burden on families” etc). 

Thanks for your comments. You’re right that consent is incredibly important in a project like this and that’s something that we’re working on actively to make sure it happens. The goal of this project is to demonize cuts that are being proposed by the governor’s budget in California to the homecare program that supports caregivers and the seniors and people with disabilities they care for (many of whom are their own family members). These cuts have the potential to be really devastating to a lot of families. It’s our goal that seeing images of the reality of caregivers’ lives and the lives of people they care for will humanize them for some legislators who might otherwise think about them as budget numbers on a page waiting to be slashed.

riotsnotdiets:

Check out this awesome project we’re working on — a tumblr for caregivers to share their stories through personal photographs. Please follow and reblog if you see anything that strikes a chord, and if you know any caregivers please encourage them to submit at http://www.throughacaregiverseyes.com/submit!

This is a project I’m coordinating at my job! It’s a really powerful project and I’d love to see more caregivers submit photos and help spread these important images around. Thanks!

otomehimechan:

constant-continuum:

drakewinzz:

dolliecrave:

Pass this on Tumblr

This is actually pretty important

very important information

i’m not even american, but this might help ppl

I’m not sure where this is from, but these kinds of things vary widely from state to state and even from city to city. Be extremely cautious if you’re interested in having an exam without the police being notified. In my experience in CA, doctors are legally required to report to the police if someone comes in who has been raped. In San Diego, the non-investigative report (where someone can get a forensic exam without triggering an investigation) happens when a survivor calls the local hotline and the hotline contacts the forensic exam facility. 
Bottom line: If you want to have an exam without it being reported to police, you’re better off calling your local rape crisis center hotline to find out about local protocols. I would hate for someone to see this, go to a hospital, and then end up having to report to police against their will.

otomehimechan:

constant-continuum:

drakewinzz:

dolliecrave:

Pass this on Tumblr

This is actually pretty important

very important information

i’m not even american, but this might help ppl

I’m not sure where this is from, but these kinds of things vary widely from state to state and even from city to city. Be extremely cautious if you’re interested in having an exam without the police being notified. In my experience in CA, doctors are legally required to report to the police if someone comes in who has been raped. In San Diego, the non-investigative report (where someone can get a forensic exam without triggering an investigation) happens when a survivor calls the local hotline and the hotline contacts the forensic exam facility.

Bottom line: If you want to have an exam without it being reported to police, you’re better off calling your local rape crisis center hotline to find out about local protocols. I would hate for someone to see this, go to a hospital, and then end up having to report to police against their will.

(via webelieveyou)

Anonymous asked: Youre my hero

Well thank you <3

Anonymous asked: If I told you my story, could you give me your opinion on if its rape? do you do that? Or know someone who does?

I can certainly do that. There are legal definitions and my work in advocacy and on the hotline has exposed me to a lot of narratives of rape and sexual assault. I also strongly believe in the power of people to self-define their experiences. Feel free to inbox me here or email me at letstalkaboutrape@gmail.com

Anonymous asked: Just found your tumblr from the ~letstalkaboutrape. tumblr. com/post/8899708445/resources-for-male-survivors~ posting ...I'm not sure if you had shared Shepherds Counseling Services as a resource for sexual survivors and their loved ones in the Seattle area yet, but the male survivors groups and support groups for significant others may be extremely helpful for many. Personally, they saved my relationship. More cities need programs like this. ~shepherdstherapy. org/~

For my Seattle area followers! I checked out their website and it looks really great. Thanks for sharing, anon!

(trigger warning: rape) Friend dynamics after sexual assault

Anon asked: I was sexually abused by a now-ex boyfriend over the summer and since then, my closest friend, who is male, has been incredibly respectful. We’ve been taking things slow (I was initially uncomfortable being alone with him), he’s encouraged me to start counselling, regularly checks on me to make sure I’m feeling okay, etc. The problem is that when he’s this sensitive to my feelings, it makes me feel like more of a victim. Yet, when people are insensitive, I feel just as terrible. Is that normal?

Answer: Quite honestly, I believe that all ways that people who have experienced sexual violence respond in the aftermath and as they heal are completely legitimate, understandable, and “normal” (though I usually use the word “common” in place of “normal”).

It makes a lot of sense to me why you’d be feeling this way about your friend’s behavior toward you. On the one hand, when you’re healing from a sexual assault, you need people around you to be sensitive to your feelings and it’s really great that you have a friend who is so aware of your needs. On the other hand, when you experience a sexual assault, your power is taken away from you in the moment/s of the assault/s and a big part of healing is regaining your power. On top of that, you suddenly have this identity of “victim” put on you and that may not be a label with which you feel comfortable. That’s then another moment where your power is stripped because you no longer have the power to self-identify and that identity category that’s been put on you reminds you of your trauma. I’ve heard from a lot of survivors that all they want is to be “back to normal” after experiencing a sexual assault. And having someone constantly checking on you can be a reminder that your life is different right now.

So to answer your question simply: it’s completely understandable that you’d be feeling this tension between appreciating your friend’s sensitivity and also feeling like his actions are hurting you. And that’s a tough situation because how do you resolve it? It sounds to me like you are recognizing that he’s meeting a need you have but it’s hard for you because the need he’s meeting brings up feelings you have about feeling like a victim which is a word that is loaded in different ways for different people and clearly feels negative to you.

Do you think there is a way that he could check in on you and be sensitive to your needs in a way that might feel better to you? If you think that his actions don’t need to change, is there anything you feel like you can do to think about what it means to you to feel like a victim? Have you thought about the label “survivor” which some people feel is more empowering? What might it feel like to frame his sensitivity to you through a lens of feeling like a survivor instead of a victim? I don’t really have the answers to these questions and I don’t think the answers to them are simple. I also don’t think you’re obligated to do any of this work if you aren’t in a space to want to do it. But I honor that you’re struggling with questions that don’t have clear-cut answers and I hope that some of this is useful to you.

"Rape culture means more than a culture in which rape is routine. Rape culture involves the systematic silencing of victims even as women and children are instructed to behave like potential victims at all times. In order to preserve rape culture, society at large has to believe two different things at once. Firstly, that women and children lie about rape, but that they should also act as if rape will be the result if they get into a strange car, walk down a strange street or wear a sexy outfit. Secondly, if it happens, it’s their own fool fault for not respecting the unwritten rules.

This paradox involves significant mental gymnastics. But as more and more people come forward with accusations, as the pattern of historical and ongoing abuse of power becomes harder to ignore, the paradox gets harder to maintain. We are faced with two alternatives: either women and children are lying about rape on an industrial, organised scale, or rape and sexual abuse are endemic in this society, and have been for centuries. Facing up to the reality of the latter is a painful prospect."

The way we talk about rape and abuse is changing (via brutereason)

(via thisisrapeculture)

(TW: rape) Talking with men about rape

Anon asked: I’m here because I’m looking for advice about how to talk about rape with men. I was the only woman out with a group of my male friends. They joked about rape until my discomfort caused them to ask me my opinions and attempt to make weaker arguments of their own. I’d say I’m well-read on the issue, but I wasn’t prepared for how insensitive and blind these men were to the reality of rape (one even asked why I was offended because I wasn’t a victim, then apologized since he didn’t know if I was).

Answer: Oh anon, I feel this question so hard. As women who are committed to having conversations about rape while living in a rape culture, it’s unfortunately inevitable that we all find ourselves in the situation you described above. And it’s really jarring when it’s a group of men you consider to be friends because their attitudes are so hurtful and dangerous. One of my thoughts is that people don’t realize that by putting forth those kinds of attitudes, they are contributing to an environment that is permissive of rape. People often think that their attitudes and jokes exist in a vaccuum so when you point out that while they may not be rapists themselves, the things they are saying right now contribute to a culture that empowers rapists and hurts survivors. That sometimes gets them thinking.

I reached out to some male friends who do anti-rape activist work to get their perspectives on it and my friend Ben had the following to say which captures my thoughts and feelings on the matter pretty beautifully:

"In my experience, it is fairly common for us men to view the world as place where we are free to say whatever we want, whenever we want, with no consideration for how those words are going to affect anyone else around us. It is so common an experience for us that we tend to forget that it is not like that for everyone. Because of that, getting called out on sensitive topics, or even asked to join in conversations about them can be tricky for us. We have not trained ourselves how to enter into these kinds of discussions with the goal of establishing respectful understanding of the topic and how it affects the world around us. This is a tragedy for that world around us, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Obviously, the resources for this training exist, because with respectful understand is how we expect everyone else in the world to respond to the sensitive issues that we call attention to. I see a lot of men, myself included, value and reward the ability to assert opinions over the ability to understand them. When we spend time trying to change those communication patterns, it often makes us feel like we are working against our own personal ability to succeed in a world that appears to lavish out rewards on the men capable of asserting their power over others.

There are a lot of difficulties in getting men to talk seriously about rape, and I can only listen to and try to imagine the difficulties in finding oneself in the position of having to be the woman who talks to men about rape. I think safety and personal comfort levels are primary considerations that no one should be made to feel like they have to disregard in the service of trying to end rape. This is a seriously dangerous issue to discuss with men, and it is ok to recognize the dangers that exists as a part of the process of developing our strategies for challenging rape culture. 
There are not many details provided about the situation you found yourself in, and I do not want to be making any assumptions about you or the men you were trying to address, but it sounds like a very typical situation for people working against rape culture to find ourselves in: trying to talk about these issues as a reaction to rape affirming behavior in a situation where no one else present identifies that behavior as messed up. This is the most difficult scenario to be working from and it is unsurprising that we find ourselves feeling like we failed to handle these situations well when they are the only times we try to address the issue. Men and their reactions to rape vary widely and I do not have good universal advice for trying to talk to men about rape in difficult circumstances, except that it takes a massive amount of courage to speak up, and in doing so, you have my utmost respect. It is also important to acknowledge that there are other equally viable and important ways to undermine rape culture in these kinds of situations than direct confrontation, especially when we are alone. Because our strategy for preventing rape cannot be to rely on everyone having the courage to be a hero all the time (I highly recommend learning about bystander intervention for helping develop broader tactics for handling these situations).
The advice I do think could be most helpful is to see the future opportunities for change in the situations that feel like frustrating defeats. These are your friends. You saw how they reacted as a group. But you might also know them well enough individually to have future inroads. Maybe continuing the conversation later with one or two of them will help you develop a group that can become your allies in the future conversations that you have about the topic, and even carry the conversation on when you are not around. Then it will not just be that one time a woman talked to us men about rape, but a continuing conversation that men are having about rape and its impact on the people around us.”
To sum it up, challenging rape culture is incredibly difficult. Especially in a group full of men as the only woman. Make sure that your physical and emotional safety is the most important consideration in the kinds of actions you will take. Remember that they have learned these attitudes and ways of being/communicating over decades and one conversation isn’t likely going to get them to see the light. If you want to invest time into trying to get them to reconsider their attitudes, that is your choice. But also, remember that if you decide you don’t want to be friends with these people over their attitudes toward rape and their unwillingness to hear you, that’s a totally legitimate choice.
Do other people have thoughts and suggestions for this anon?