The Rapist In Our Minds
You’ve probably heard Rose McGowan’s powerful speech to The Women’s Convention of Detroit, which included these words:
Hollywood may seem like it’s an isolated thing, but it is not. It is the messaging system for your mind. It is the mirror that you’re given to look into…
[Movies are] told through 96 percent males in the Directors’ Guild of America… We are given one view. And I know the men behind that view. And they should not be in your mind and they should not be in my mind. It’s time to clean house.
This comes in response to accusations of sexual abuse by Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, and others.
Media reflects and reinforces culture
Media reflects, reinforces, and helps to create the larger culture.
And our media is filled with the objectification of women and sexual violence against them. A few years ago several shows I watched routinely called women bitches, too.
It’s behavior that is still normalized even though it shouldn’t seem normal at all.
Yet against accusations of Weinstein’s assaults fashion designer Donna Karan blamed women for what they wear — ironic since she designs what they wear.
She’s not alone. I’m sure we’ve all heard people (both female and male) blame women too.
In some places where women are expected to be even more covered up than they are here, a girl may be blamed for being sexually assaulted because a bit of hair fell from her head covering, or perhaps her long skirt revealed a bit of ankle. And who could resist?
We are gradually moving away from such notions, but protecting rapists and blaming girls and women for being assaulted is still far too common.
Blaming women for being victimized creates patriarchy
Blaming women for being victimized only makes sense in a patriarchy. (“Patriarchy” and “men” are two different things. Patriarchy is a system that privileges men over women.)
Sexual assault and blaming women for being victims of this crime both help to uphold patriarchy:
First, women’s bodies are degraded and overpowered by men, which is meant to give men a sense of power and superiority. Even though the disgusting behavior is sub-human.
Next, blame women for been assaulted, leaving them further disempowered and further degraded.
Yes, we must clean house as Ms. McGowan says. In Hollywood and in our own minds.
Posted on November 1, 2017, in rape and sexual assault and tagged Donna Karan, Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood, patriarchy, Rose McGowan, sexual assault, victim-blaming. Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.