Once upon a time in America only virgins or married women could be raped, people thought. In some places people still think so.
The problem comes from failing to see the world through the eyes of victims.
And so an article from the 1952-53 Yale Law Journal explained that sexual assault is illegal because,
Women’s power to withhold or grant sexual access is an important bargaining weapon… it fosters, and is in turn bolstered by, a masculine pride in the exclusive possession of the sexual object… whose value is enhanced by sole ownership.
Even though this is the crime women most fear, outside of murder. Read the rest of this entry
Police in Salinas, California conducted a home welfare check after three children, ages 8, 5, and 3, didn’t arrive for an unspecified appointment. What they found was gruesome. The isolated children, who were ostensibly being homeschooled, were malnourished and bruised.
But the eight-year-old girl seems to have gotten it worse than her brothers. She was periodically locked in a closet or chained to a wall, 4 feet off the ground. She was sometimes shackled by the ankle, and other times by a collar around her small neck. And starving, she resembled a concentration camp victim. Read the rest of this entry
- Wear clothing that’s hard to remove. (Jumpsuits? Overalls?)
- Wear a hairstyle that’s hard to grab. (So cut off your hair?)
- Wear footwear that can help you get away. (Sneakers?)
After all that, women could end up looking not so attractive. Yet they’re also told that they’re supposed to be attractive. So it’s confusing.
And then there’s this: Read the rest of this entry
In this gender reversal you’ll see things, ranging from a passively obedient man, to a man being dismissed (men shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about important stuff) to sexual harassment and assault.
It all may be more jarring when a man experiences it. Partly because we can grow numb to things we are used to seeing and hearing about. So this video breaks the taken-for-grantedness of it. And, since these things don’t typically affect men, they don’t really have to think about it. Read the rest of this entry
“Hannah” seemed off-kilter.
She was dating a friend of mine in high school. They fought constantly and it was always ups and downs, always on and off.
Her personality swang widely, too. She went from hyper to depressed and back again. And her clothing seemed to fit her depressive mood: sweatpants and t-shirts. Maybe they expressed her sad life. Maybe they made her feel safer, making her invisible. Sometimes she hid in her own bubble, cutting everyone off.
I think she was also a cutter.
She never talked about her family and I wondered why. But over time she opened up to me. She had never felt loved by her mom or dad. Especially her dad. That’s all she said at first. Read the rest of this entry
The word itself suggests evil: baad, the practice of making daughters pay for others’ crimes. A young girl becomes a slave and target for the rage that one family feels toward another. In the end, greater wrongs are committed than the original crime.
Baad is practiced in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The most well-known case is Bibi Aisha whose disfigured face shocked the world on an August 2010 cover of Time.
I used to make fun of feminists because I wanted boys to like me. Back before I met a boy who abused me. Before realizing that I lived in a culture that supported my abuse, and that kept me from questioning it.
TRIGGER WARNING May be triggering for some survivors of sexual violence
At seventeen I met my ex-boyfriend. It was small things at first. He’d put me down and laugh it off.
The first time he raped me I didn’t cry. I was numb. I asked if he realized what he’d done and he had said, matter-of-factly, “All girls get raped at some point.” Read the rest of this entry
Over in Saudi Arabia, women are taking to the streets to drive. It’s actually not illegal for women to operate vehicles in the Kingdom. The country just won’t issue driver’s licenses to them. So these “women drivers” simply get licenses elsewhere.
And some Saudi men give two thumbs-up. Video here.
Or, see this parody of Bob Marley’s classic, “No Woman, No Cry” renamed, No Woman, No Drive,” from Alaa Wardi on YouTube
Trigger Warning: May be triggering for rape victims.
Plenty of people think rape is perpetrated by men who are sick in the head, or men who can’t control their lust for scantily clad women – especially women walking around late at night.
But as most know, rape primarily revolves around power issues. And relatedly, sexual assault is often used to create a sense of manhood and male superiority. The case of Daisy Coleman, who I wrote about recently, helps unveil the evil phenomenon.
Fourteen-year-old Daisy Coleman was raped and left for dead in freezing temperatures. Despite strong evidence, charges were dropped. And, large parts of her community bullied her. Some told her to apologize to men involved in the attack.
What’s wrong with these folks?
I’ll get to that question in a moment. First her story:
Nearly two years ago, Daisy went to spend the night at her 13-year-old friend’s house. The two were sneaking booze and watching scary movies when Daisy texted a 17-year-old friend of her brother’s – a guy her brother had warned her about. She says,