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Outside the Sex-Negative Box

Mae West: "When I'm good I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better."

Mae West: “When I’m good I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better.”

Girls who lack desire are good girls?

Pretty much all of my students have witnessed slut-shaming in high school, and many have experienced it.

Or just listen to the radio and you’ll hear desiring girls insulted as “hoes.”

Because apparently, a girl with desire is a bad girl.

Some young women even defend their virtue after being raped by explaining that they felt no desire. Like Audrie and Daisy: Read the rest of this entry

When Rapists are Heroes

Audrie Pott of Saratoga, CA

Audrie Pott of Saratoga, CA

A boy from a Pakistani tribal region was accused of a crime. In retribution, the local Council sentenced his sister to be gang raped. As though these rapists would be the heroes of justice.

As Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times:

As members of the high status tribe danced in joy, four men stripped her naked and took turns raping her. Then they forced her to walk home naked in front of 300 villagers.

Her next duty was clear: commit suicide to rid herself and her family of the stigma of being raped.

But instead, she accused her attackers, propounding the shocking notion that shame lies in raping, rather than in being raped.

When I tell this story my students are shocked. Of course the shame lies in raping.

But right here in America too many think otherwise.

A bevy of reports have been telling the same story: young high school men sexually assault a young woman, take pictures and share them to brag about their conquest as she is belittled and blamed. Rape is something to brag about. Rape makes the young men heroes.

That’s what happened to 15-year-old Audrie Pott of Saratoga, California who was gang raped not too far from my home. After passing out from drinking at a party she woke up to find that her body was covered with humiliating messages scribbled in black magic marker:

She woke up with her shorts off and arrows, circles and nasty comments scrawled on her body. The left side of her face was colored black.

Arrows pointed to her genitals. Scribbles on her breast proclaimed, “(blank) was here.”

One suspect told investigators that he thought it was funny to draw all over her.

She later heard rumors that football players had sexually assaulted her and taken pictures, which they shared with friends and most of the football team. She had seen students at her high school crowding around the cell phone of one of the boys.

Eight days later Audrie hung herself in her bathroom. A note she left read:

My life is ruined. I can’t do anything to fix it. I just want this to go away. My life is over. The people I thought I could trust f-ed me over and then tried to lie to cover it up. I have a reputation for a night I don’t even remember and the whole school knows.

Rapists are heroes and a victim takes her life. Sounds a lot like tribal Pakistan.

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