We live in a supported rape culture. Really. We do. Regardless of whether or not anyone believes that or not, we do. Plain and simple and no bones about it. No pretty wrapping paper and ribbons. No under the Christmas tree with cookies and cream sweetness. It is a fact. A fact of our every day lives that women and men are blamed for sexual assault that happens to them. Where women are told, do not do this, or do not dress like that or don’t be lesbian, or don’t be gay. Don’t be a woman, don’t me a gay man, don’t be a transvestite, don’t be a transsexual, don’t be an hermaphrodite.
NO. NO. NO!
Rape happens because of Rapists. Sorry. That is it. Rapists Rape. It is not the woman’s fault for walking alone at night because she gets off work late and has no money for transport, and unfortunately has to walk through shitty areas, and some Fucker (‘scuse my french) believes it is his RIGHT to Rape her and hurt her.
It is not the fault of a lesbian women for being raped and murdered to “correct” or “cure” her.
It is not the fault of any “Victim” for some shithead to do that.
No just because you’re wearing a short skirt and fishnet stockings does not mean you’re looking for sex, or asking for some scumbag to touch you and hurt you and rape you. No it is not your fault just because you were having fun and drinking. It is not your fault just because you were at home and got raped by your boyfriend who thought it was his right. It is not your fault because you decided to go to the movies alone.
NO! And the assholes who won’t take NO for an answer can’t say you lead them on. NO!
NO! NO! NO!
This is one of the reasons I stopped buying cosmopolitan magazine. Victim blaming! How a women can prevent herself from being raped. Various issues talk about preventing rape. Not addressing the actual cause of Rape (read Rapists) but telling women that they can actually prevent it from happening by doing or not doing certain things.
I do believe we should be cautious in life. like animals we should watch out for danger. But preventing that danger is another thing. Precautions may not save your life. Sorry. Many women and (often gay or other LGBT) men are raped in the safety of their own home, or office. Was it their fault because they were not being cautious? NO!
What about something that is quite common but too horrible to think about. Children, Babies and Elder’s. They get raped too. Was your daughter’s barbie doll pants and top so provocative that it caused a man to touch her innapropriately, rape her and murder her? Was it your son’s superman outfit? Was it your baby’s little apron? Your gran’s floral overdress? Were they asking for it because they were by themselves, a trusted friend or family member, walking to the shops?
Here is one of the BEST articles I’ve read on Rape Culture that I came across while researching Curative/Corrective rape for part of my thesis which focused on the work of Zanele Muholi(Who through her photography deals with Lesbian lifestyles and violence) and Tracey Rose(Who deals with issues of “colouredness” and classification.)
There are many factors that contribute to Rape culture that I believe the article linked above goes into nicely, and too much to address here.
I know many people hate the “F” word. Not the one that expresses anger and frustration but the one that gets people sweaty under the shirt, that conjures images of bra burners and male haters. That wonderful word that describes my struggles and my actions, and my political (read personal) views. Feminism/Feminist. It makes men uncomfortable because they fear a loss of position and space within our patriarchal culture, it makes women uncomfortable because they have been brainwashed to believe that either we Feminists are radical men haters or that feminism is dead and there is no need for it anymore. All of these accounts are incorrect. I love men, men who treat us with respect, who don’t rape us, who love us, who love their mothers and sisters and girlfriends and lovers and treat them kindly, with equality and respect.
bell hooks said “Under capitalism, patriarchy is structured so that sexism restricts women’s behavior in some realms even as freedom from limitations is allowed in other spheres” (p5 Feminist Theory from Margin to Center.)
bell hooks also stated that feminism is a “struggle to end sexist oppression”. SEXIST oppression. Sexist OPPRESSION. Those words should be read carefully before anyone comes with silly notions that we feminists are only women, and hate men, and burn our bra’s and are extremists who are delusional and who should be supporting “humanism” rather than “feminism”. Most feminists see that there is a relationship between sexism and race, sexism and class, sexism and gender, sexism and sexual orientation. We aren’t fighting for WOMEN, we are fighting for EVERYONE, everyone who suffers under patriarchy/capitalistic systems that oppress. It especially pisses me off when Pagans who have very feminist perspectives say bad things about feminism. It pisses me off even more when pagans specifically ones who are part of the Neo-Wiccan community cannot see essentialism within Wicca and labelling the moon as feminine and sun as masculine, women’s power as passive and men’s power as active. I believe that if one is Neo-Wiccan one should at least acknowledge that. There is a reason I do not see the moon or sun or even earth in terms of gender, and why I really smart at having to classify the tools as masculine or feminine according to supposed “phallicness” and active as opposed to passive nature.
“Perhaps the biggest difficulty with combining Feminism and any form of Wicca-inspired witchcraft is that Wicca is deeply essentialist in how it treats matters of gender” p55 (Traditional and Innovative Trends in Post-Gardnerian Witchcraft- Jon Hanna)
I will not apologise or feel guilty for my views. And this has led me to being called a femi-nazi on some occasions especially when replying on pagan forums. True that second wave feminism was largely itself essentialistic in that it often placed women above men, and held some so called radical views that often neglected race and class. But Third Wave feminism, as it is often termed, fights against essentialism and recognises class, gender, sex, sexual orientation and race as factors of oppression. I think it is time for people to stop blaming the victim, and start rethinking the way in which they think of feminism and struggles against oppressive attitudes and behaviours.
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