A catcall is entirely about reminding you that you are not yours. The purity myth is entirely about reminding you that you are not yours. The fetishization of female purity in a world where catcalls are an acceptable form of communication telegraphs one thing very clearly:
“Women, stop sexualizing yourselves—that’s our job, and you’re taking all the fun out of it.”
The sexualization of women is only appealing if it’s nonconsensual. Otherwise it’s “sluttiness,” and sluttiness is agency and agency is threatening.
“Female ‘Purity’ is Bullshit”, by Lindy West (at jezebel.com)
Hah. I like this.
Wow. There is a lot of good stuff in this one.
(Source: fictional-clue, via misshapenskulllad)
Anon asked: A husband recently had sex with his wife in the early hours of the morning which involved him touching her breasts orally; touching her in the groin area; penetration with his fingers,a sex item and finally with his penis. The couple has in the past had sex during the middle of night before. The wife claimed rape because she didn’t given consent. Unbeknownst to the husband, the wife had taken a pill (sometimes used as a date-rape drug) the night before to sleep better. What’s your take on it?
Answer: My take on it is that he raped her. Just because someone has previously consented to sex in a particular context doesn’t mean they are consenting at another point in time to similar sexual contact. Just because someone is married doesn’t given their partner license to touch their body without consent. IF she wanted to have sexual contact while drugged on a sleeping pill, that would need to have been something they worked out and agreed upon before she was under the influence of said sleeping pill. Since he didn’t have consent from her, this is rape.
Anonymous asked: how do you go about getting an advocate job? im not sure if i should major in political science or communications and then carry on to law school to do something in that criteria. thanks.
I have an undergrad degree in American Studies with an emphasis in social justice. I got my former advocacy job right out of undergrad working with a rape crisis center in San Diego. I think that most humanities/social sciences majors would prepare you for an advocacy job, but part of it is also about your personality and instincts. One good option I would suggest is to consider volunteering through a rape crisis center in whatever capacity you can (many of them have on call volunteer advocates who respond to forensic exams or volunteer hotline positions). You can also explore options through your campus’ resources if there is a women’s center or other space that works on gender violence.
As for the military advocacy job I just got, it required 2 years advocacy experience so regardless of which space you’d like to work, working at a rape crisis center first is probably the best best. Good luck! If you have any other questions, I’m happy to answer them.
As part of my phd work I am going to be studying various sexual assault prevention curricula as a way to understand what kinds of strategies we’re currently employing in the work of sexual assault prevention. That’s where you come in. Do you work at a rape crisis center? Do you have access to the prevention curriculum used there? I’m interested in both knowing what type you use (if it’s a set type available for purchase) or if it’s one that was developed by you or your coworkers where you work? If you can actually email me the materials you use for prevention education that would be amazing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you can’t email me the actual curriculum, knowing more about what you use would be great. And if you could reblog this so it reaches more prevention educators, that would be much appreciated. Thanks!
What kind of world do we live in when young men are so proud of violating unconscious girls that they pass proof around to their friends? It’s the same kind of world in which being labeled a slut comes with such torturous social repercussions that suicide is preferable to enduring them. As a woman named Sara Erdmann so aptly tweeted to me, “I will never understand why it is more shameful to be raped than to be a rapist.”
And yet it is: so much so that young men seem to think there’s nothing wrong with—and maybe something hilarious about—sharing pictures of themselves raping young women. And why not? Their friends will defend them, as they did in Steubenville, tweeting that the young woman was “asking for it” and that the boys were being unfairly targeted.
Women and girls are the ones expected to carry the shame of the sexual crimes perpetrated against them. And that shame is a tremendous load to bear, because once you’re labeled a slut, empathy and compassion go out the window. The word is more than a slur—it’s a designation.
— “In Rape Tragedies, the Shame Is Ours,” my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)
toomanystarstocount asked: Sometimes calling myself a survivor is the only thing that lets me keep going.
I’m so glad that you find such strength from the survivor label. That’s really powerful. I think this again points to the importance of the ability to self label.
hisunknownbrother asked: I'm male 23, my attack happened ten years ago. All this talk about being a survivor annoys me. I am not sure why. I didn't survive anything, I died that day.
(Don't mind if this is public )
The power to self define is really important. I have a hard time with terminology sometimes because some people like to ID as victims or survivors or any number of other things and all of those identities are valid. I generally choose the term “survivor” because it feels the most empowering, but I completely respect that not everyone wants that label or feels like it fits with their experience. Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts.