Trigger warning for sincere victim-blaming and sarcastic discussion of rape.
I’m glad you have identified the cause of the sexual abuse epidemic because you’re so right – if more women were just honest about how much they enjoyed sex with their fathers/brothers/uncles/cousins/abusive-partners and how much they LOVED being forced to have it – then the horrifying rape statistics would virtually, magically disappear.
Massive content warnings for rape, rape apologism, and police rape culture.
So. I don’t really have words, right now. I have a lot of SHITFUCKING SWEAR WORDS but they don’t add up to anything incoherent. My whole body is tensed with anger.
There’s this latest revelation, from 3 News, that Police did have a fucking complaint and they asked her – a 13-year-old – to re-enact the fucking assault with FUCKING DOLLS. And Willie Jackson and John Tamihere are officially scum. And I’m going to be fucking angry about this forever.
If you want to call out RadioLive’s advertisers, Giovanni did the hard yards and has listed them on Twitter:
I’m taking some comfort in the fact that yes, there are the detractors and the victim-blamers and the fucking scumbags who must literally be okay with rape and sexual coercion – but this week we’ve seen a lot more pushback from the side of good, and a lot more people taking that side instead of brushing off the issue.
I’m going to hold on to that.
[Trigger warning for rape and rape apologism]
I wanted to write some satire, but I just don’t have the spoons. I don’t have the sheer mental energy to snark Bob fucking Jones, someone who is only considered relevant because of modern capitalism’s irrational belief that having money means your opinion is worth listening to.
I just can’t deal with a major newspaper printing an article which so perfectly encapsulated rape culture that, were it written by anyone else, would have been assumed to be taking the piss.
Bob Jones has hurt people with this column. Bob Jones has re-victimised people who have survived rape. Bob Jones has basically taken a giant shit on everyone who has been attacked, no matter where or when or how it happened.
Bob Jones has, in a few hundred words, probably obstructed the course of justice, because there’s got to be at least one survivor out there who saw it and was convinced they could never tell anyone because they’d just be told it was their fault.
And the New Zealand Herald has enabled this. It has happily published an attack on all rape victims, and all women, in order to generate pageviews.
Even when the circumstances of someone’s rape are absolutely “legitimate” – it was a stranger, it was during the day, you were wearing a refrigerator box with eyeholes cut into the front – survivors know that whoever they tell, the odds are very, very good that the response won’t be “that’s so fucking terrible, how can I help?”, it will be “But why did you … why didn’t you … what were you …?”
Bob Jones wants you to believe that he’s just being the voice of reason, the rational one, the dude who just tells it like it is. But Bob Jones is actually the voice that tells rape survivors – even survivors of the perfect, legitimate rape – to sit down and shut up and never tell anyone because you won’t be believed and you must have done something to cause it.
And he does it, and the Herald publishes it, for pageviews.
Do you think it’s more evil if he really believes what he’s saying, or not?
Highly-recommended reading on Bob “strangely desperate to deny that certain things count as rape” Jones’ antics:
Tallulah Spankhead at The Lady Garden
Nat Dudley (Dropbox link)
Thomas Lumley at StatsChat
This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 28 April 2013.
So. Another All Black is accused of assaulting his partner. And once again, the rugby establishment is pretending there’s no big deal, and the mainstream media are acting like his mother is some kind of objective witness, like someone who wasn’t there and didn’t see it is in some kind of position to judge the seriousness of the issue because, well, he’s her boy. And an All Black.
The point I want to particularly examine is the idea that it’s OK for Savea to continue playing because, well, his rugby bosses “involved” his partner/victim in the decision.
Like that’s just a casual conversation.
Like there’s no pressure on her to back down, to minimise what happened.
Like there’s no precedents for her to look at and understand that odds are good Savea will walk free even if he’s found to have assaulted her.
Like her mother-in-law hasn’t already undermined her case and set the “she’s just being hysterical he’s a hero” propaganda ball rolling.
Like we haven’t just had a really clear international example of the shit that gets dumped on women assault victims when their attackers are prominent sportspeople with the weight of an entire community’s idolisation on their shoulders.
And like he’s not an All Black, a hero of the nation, whose every sporting achievement has to be shouted from the rooftops.
No no no, this was totally a discussion between equals, with no power dynamics or social pressure on her at all.
It is simply fucking obscene that Steve Tew or whoever else was involved in that decision thought it would be appropriate to (a) put the pressure of that decision on her and (b) exploit her involvement to justify their decision to let him tour.
But then I guess Tew’s words say it all:
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said Ms Rodgers had been involved in the decision to allow him to play.
“After all she was the victim,” he said.
Yeah, after all.
Now, obviously the case is still before the courts and no details have been released, so I’m just going to give this final tip to Julian Savea’s parents: sit down, shut the fuck up, and do some background fucking reading on the screeds of abusers and criminals whose parents thought they were a lovely lad/girl who’d never do anyone any harm.
Yesterday, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. I want to highlight the tweets and posts of US activists of colour who have commented since the acquittal. This isn’t a time for white people to take the mic. Please listen to these people.
LeVar Burton has to teach his son how not to get killed by police.
Even in the aftermath, the narrative is that black people are dangerous and violent. It’s not outrageous to the people who experience it every day. It’s part of a constant policing of their behaviour. It’s terrorism.
Some additional information: In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person. The NAACP has a petition up for the Department of Justice to open a civil case against Zimmerman, and you can support the Trayvon Martin Foundation – which has raised 1/3 of the funds George fucking Zimmerman got.
And here’s a fucking good resource for white people who actually do want to learn.
But as @IdiAuslander says, this isn’t just a US thing. So here’s what I do want to add:
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this trial and how it “couldn’t” happen here. But it did. It did when Bruce Emery chased down Pihema Cameron and stabbed him to death over a tag on a fence. It did when you couldn’t move for people saying “oh well he was a vandal” and acting like Bruce Emery was justified in “being afraid” of the young man he pursued with a knife. When the conspiracy theory was that Pihema Cameron and his friend “lured” Emery into some kind of trap and forced him to start swinging a knife. When our ever-vocal “law and order” advocates excused Emery’s actions because getting graffiti off your fence is so frustrating.
This happened here, New Zealanders. And a white businessman served two years for killing a brown teenager. And we cannot let this shit happen.
(Note: NRT beat me to it. Damn him..)
[Trigger warning: rape, rape culture, victim-blaming]
I was honestly surprised to learn that two of the boys heroes football players men charged in the Steubenville rape case had been convicted (albeit sentenced to paltry terms with the possibility of serving longer).
I was honestly completely unsurprised to read posts about the response to this. Including CNN acting like the real problem was that two promising football careers had been destroyed, people tweeting that the men involved “did what most people in their situation would have done“, that one of the rapists felt the need to apologise for taking pictures and distributing them because “that never should have happened” … but not for actually assaulting her in the first place. Doesn’t that sound a little “sorry I got caught” to you?
I was pleasantly surprised to see Serious Mainstream Media Sources acknowledge that this is rape culture, and that it’s linked to jock/bloke culture, and that it’s not an inherent, natural phenomenon. (It’s not perfect but it’s a start.)
So there’s some hope there.
Rape culture taught these young men that because they were on the football team, they were faultless – and their coach would “fix” anything that happened. Rape culture taught these young men that an unconscious woman’s body was theirs to penetrate. Rape culture taught these young men that they had the right to bargain and plead with their victim because their football careers were more important than acknowledging they violated her. Rape culture means they were tried as juveniles. Rape culture means that even with public video evidence of what happened, their lawyers let them plead not guilty.
Rape culture means that even when it is unequivocally rape – because even a court of law has said so – people will defend these men on Twitter because “they did what most people in their situation would have done.”
Want more? Manboobz is covering the victim-blaming on Twitter. Black Girl Dangerous has a thought-provoking post on why you can feel sorry for Mays and Richmond … but for different reasons. Two more Steubenville teens (young women) have now been arrested for menacing the victim. Mmmm, delicious culture.
Rape Culture 101. I suggest you read it before commenting.
It has recently come to the attention of the recruitment team that employees working within the sensitive claims unit may not be fully aware of the expectations of their role and the unit in general.
Given our unstated practice of never correcting the behaviour of current employees, given this will very likely incite them to leak even more sensitive material to external parties, the [redacted] Committee has determined the following policy:
1. Review current recruitment processes for the sensitive claims unit and institute a holistic end-to-end process for ensuring global best practice is implemented within the recruitment framework
2. Allow natural attrition to gradually downsize the potential risk profile of future incidents through replacing sub-optimal occupants of roles within the unit.
New recruitment procedure
The [redacted] Committee has determined that the following additional steps will be mandated in the recruitment process for the sensitive claims unit. The new process will be in place as of 1 March 2013 notwithstanding current recruitment underway.
1. Candidates will be asked to confirm that they realise they are applying for a role within the sensitive claims unit.
2. Candidates will be asked to explain in their own words the implications of the name “sensitive claims unit”.
3. Candidates will be asked if they understand what “sensitive” means. If a satisfactory answer is given in (2), recruiters may choose to skip this step.
4. Candidates will be placed in a scenario dealing with a medical report submitted relating to a sensitive case. They will be given the options of:
a. Filing the report as provided by the medical practitioner
b. Filing the report as provided by the medical practitioner in the bin
c. Randomly amending the report and making no note of the changes made
d. Deliberately amending the report and making no note of the changes made
e. Spinning round and round in their chair for an hour then go for drinks without locking their workstation.
Only candidates who answer (a) or (e) will be progressed to further stages of the recruitment process.
Then why do we never hear of summer sun-seekers being attacked by rapists in the middle of large sunlit crowds at public squares and parks and beaches? The skimpily covered attractive flesh is there in maximum abundance, but somehow the attacks just don’t happen when there are plenty of surrounding eyewitnesses and CC-TV?
Read the whole of tigtog’s awesome post at Hoyden About Town!
LudditeJourno has fought the good fight once more against the forces of misogyny:
Two women fought off separate attacks from an unidentified man in central Whanganui. Police suspect the attacks were related, as both involved women being targeted from behind, while they were out running.
“It’s clear we have a predator trying to target female joggers,” said Detective Inspector Plod. “We’d like to praise the strength and ingenuity of the two women who successfully stopped potential sexual attacks.”
If only it were so. Our police force’s actual advice is:
“Police are warning the public, females in particular, to take particular care when walking or jogging in the broader CBD area, and encourage they do not head out alone for such activities.
“This approach should continue until positive results are achieved in locating the offender or offenders for these attacks.”
Because, you know, there’s only one or two sexual predators targeting women in the whole of Whanganui. And once the police catch them, sexual assault will be a thing of the past! Hurrah!
Shit like this is why, despite a lot of the issues around its ignoring of intersectionality and the different ways sexuality-policing affects different classes of women,* I’ll be going to Wellington SlutWalk 2.0. It’s not just about the wider societal bullshit. It’s about the fact that in 2012 we still have a police culture which tells women to stay in the kitchen if they know what’s good for them.
*But, I’m going to say again right from the outset, I have zero time for the critiques which are basically “lol how can u reclaim the word slut when u r dressed like sluts, slut”, which (unsurprisingly?) is the main type of criticism noted on the Wikipedia page for SlutWalk – which has one para on the issues raised by some women of colour but conflates it with the usual simplistic “but you can never reclaim bad words!!!!!” critique.
Danyl at Dim Post doesn’t think SlutWalks are necessary or have any point or will change anything or are really serious and omg feminists aren’t a hivemind so it’s all doomed to fail.
In lieu of merely typing *EYEROLL* a few thousand times, some shoutouts to those with the spoons and ability to respond to Danyl without just saying (as I did on Twitter last night) OH THANK YOU, DANYL, NOW YOU’VE PASSED YOUR ALMIGHTY JUDGEMENT ON WHAT FEMINISTS SHOULD BE THINKING, DOING AND WEARING I’M GOING TO JUST GIVE THE WHOLE THING UP SINCE WHAT I WAS REALLY AFTER ALL THIS TIME WAS A MAN TO LAY DOWN THE LAW.
You don’t think the right for women to choose their own clothing is important? What do you think about restrictions on women’s clothing in religious countries? Recently a (conservative) Israeli paper erased two women from a picture – I’m sure you’re familiar with this – they don’t print images of women for, you know, the usual reasons: women are dangerous. Our bodies, our images. The way we dress. Our visibility. These women were pretty conservatively clothed: there is *nothing* women can wear to avoid this! “The right to dress like a slut” doesn’t exactly have a ring to it when you put it that way, no. But the right to be seen? The right to be heard? The right to see and the right to speak? *those* are the rights that the word “slut” is used to curtail.
How shameful I find a particular woman’s outfit is a measure of how fucked up I am, not a measure of anything about her. Just a pity the late-night streets are a smorgasbord of male fucked-up-edness.
I personally avoid skipping the other comments due to victim-blaming, mansplaining and some wonderfully petty Danyl v Russell Brown wank.