This conversation about the rape scene in Game of Thrones has made all the gross men with their gross opinions come out of the woodwork.
I tried going to the subreddit earlier to see if there was any critical discussion going on about this, and it was just a bunch of dudes lamenting about how the conversation is stupid and irrelevant, and let’s move on. Pretty easy things to say for people who have never feared rape and have no stake in what’s being talked about.
If you’ve spent any time having conversations about consent, you’ll probably have encountered the following question: ‘Is it rape if somebody has sex while drunk?’ Now, when men used to ask me this kind of question, the conversation requests I actually used to hear were, ‘I have sex with drunk people, or can imagine myself doing so; I want you to tell me that I’m not a rapist’ and/or ‘I like the pressure that alcohol allows me to put on people’s consent and I’m seeking social approval for this tactic.’
Have you ever heard the phrase cockblocking? You know, you’re at a bar, talking to a girl, and what happens? Her less attractive friend comes over and ruins everything. Cockblock. Well I have to tell you something guys: I have been the less attractive friend, and you were NOT cockblocked. I was following orders from my better-looking friend that she did not wanna fuck you. …Girls have two signals for their friends: ‘I’m gonna fuck him’ and ‘HELP.’
Amy Schumer [x] (via rashaka)
The number of “get me out of here” tactics women have developed and shared to help each other escape from overly-insistent-to-borderline-predatory dudes in public places should probably be enough evidence of the existence of rape culture all on its own.
I especially like how, in the majority of cases, you don’t have to verbally communicate what your signals are to other women. I’ve had women I didn’t even know come save me. Literally every woman recognizes the “Dear god, help me” facial expression, and knows exactly what they should do. We don’t get a handbook for this. We don’t have a sit-down nail polish party where we talk about a standardized woman code for preventing creepers. It’s just part of being a woman.
BUT LOL RAPE CULTURE DOESN’T EXIST.
Yup. I’ve definitely taken strangers by the arm and pulled her aside to go, “Oh my GOD it’s you! How ARE YOU?!? It’s been so long!” and then been like “hey I could overhear that guy who wouldn’t leave you alone so I figured I’d give you an out” and then see their VISIBLY RELIEVED expressions. This is part of girl code, because rape culture is that pervasive.
I once had a girl sit on my lap and say “hey baby” after she witnessed a guy (who was easily 20+ years older than me) hitting on me and harassing me for my number even after I told him I was taken. After he got up and left she asked if I was okay. I couldn’t thank her enough times, I even bought her a drink.
We have done this. In fact, we are this. Because we are asexual and we don’t like alcohol so we never drink, we have gone with friends to parties/places where our sole job was to keep an eye out for everyone and be the permanent ‘aggressive man-sheild.’ Not one of our female friends has ever questioned this or found it all strange. In fact, often once they realized we were willing to do it, it would be pre-arranged. Every guy friend we ever did this in front of or tried to explain to looked flabbergasted. They had no idea that this was a) an intentional thing, b) a planned ahead thing, or c) universal.
Rape culture is the fact that every woman understands this. Male privilege is the fact that no guy on earth seems to know or understand.
I’ve been asked to pretend to be my friend’s girlfriend every time we go out at night, just because she wears clothes that show off her curves and guys won’t leave her alone. They only back off when I put my arm around her and act as if we’re together romantically, and sometimes not even then.
i once ran interference for a friend, only to receive the unwanted advances myself. he wouldn’t back off until my (male) friend literally wrapped me up in his arms and acted as if he was my S.O.
It happens online too. A guy I know started Facebook-stalking me after a recent interaction, and my roommate immediately got on Facebook and told him she was my girlfriend. He thankfully backed off after that.
I can’t count the number of times I have pretended to be somebody’s girlfriend or sister in a bar when a guy wouldn’t leave her alone. Both with friends and strangers.
After reading these, I feel like taking a shower. Because I’m the designated driver pretty much every time, not being a big fan of alcohol, but I rarely, if ever, intervene. And yeah, I’m small and pretty physically weak, but I could put my foot down verbally if it came down to it. I’m just too scared.
You’re probably scared of confronting the guys. And you should be. That’s what this whole post is about. Rape culture is so prevalent and socially accepted as the rule of the land that if someone confronts a guy and tells him directly to back off, someone is getting hurt. That’s why all of the testimonies here are examples of how to deflect. How women all learn methods of pulling a woman away from a situation with a guy who isn’t allowing her to say no, by making up some lie that will get the guy to let her go without sending him into a rage and deciding to teach you both a lesson about knowing your place and submitting to rape culture. Men are dangerous in these situations because all of society backs them up as just a nice guy who deserves a chance, and vilifies any woman who refuses to give him a chance. Women are not allowed to say no. So other women have to rescue the women saying no and pull them away with some made up excuse. Otherwise the situation will escalate and the ones who get hurt are always the women.
Women absolutely have to learn rescue tactics for each other, but it’s kind of funny how we describe really obvious facial expressions and body language as “secret signals.” The reality is that women telegraph disinterest in these aggressive men, making it super obvious, but men choose to ignore it. Total strangers who are just sitting nearby or happen to glance their way will be able to see that the woman isn’t interested, but the guy making the advances is somehow oblivious? Unlikely.
this is why I hate when in discussions of sexual assault people always have to derail them to talk about men. whether it’s MRAs bringing up male survivors to downplay the stories of female survivors or average men bringing up their lay theories and fudged statistics of false accusations, they generally seek to downplay rape culture and further marginalize female survivors of sexual assault - not to help survivors of any gender.
there is a reason why men care a lot less about sexual assault than women, on average. they are far less likely to be sexually assaulted than women and many of them can imagine themselves in the position of the perpetrator more than that of victims. of course, this is in spite of the fact that they are much more likely to be sexually assaulted than to be falsely accused of sexual assault.
they are more likely to fear that their actions will result in them being accused of sexual assault (in a situation that they didn’t perceive to be sexual assault) than they are of being sexually assaulted.
You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.
If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary man with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”
On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.
The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.
There’s a man with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after the date, he sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed him back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single date. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Does he still e-mail?
Yeah. He does. About every two weeks.
This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.
So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.
For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.
an excerpt from Phaedra Starling’s “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” (via lostgrrrls)
HOLY FUCK THE TRUTH.
Can every one of my male followers read this? And please, before you get defensive (“I would never rape anyone!”) keep in mind, women being afraid of Shrodinger’s Rapists (oh my god i still can’t get over the encompassing brilliance of this phrase) is a conditioned, learned response from being immersed in rape culture and the evolution of sexism and sexual violence in our society from the day we’re born. And unfortunately, it’s very difficult to unlearn without the efforts of all genders to dismantle it. Which is where you come in.
Literally crying from the truth in this. Also:
Imagine a friend asks you to play a game of Russian roulette. Serious Russian roulette, with a six-shooter and a single bullet. If you say no because you don’t want to die, is it appropriate for your friend to object by arguing, “What, do you think all of the chambers are loaded?” Of course not, because that’s not the point, is it? The point is that one of them is loaded, so each turn of the game you play could potentially kill you. (source:
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!!!
Thus far, my sorors and I have been working hard to spread the word, from our “Teal Tuesdays” (teal is the official color for the commemorative month), to sharing statistics and facts with the student body, to our whiteboard campaign. It was great to see my peers willingly join in and express themselves, as we worked to raise awareness about SAAM. :)
This is just a few of the MANY photos we have taken, posted, and shared…and from what I’ve been informed, our movement has been picked up by the Deltas and our sorors at Bethune-Cookman University, as well.
Service…gotta love it!
“It’s like everyone gets raped,” says one victim. “The military’s like a big rape cult.”
The Rape of Petty Officer Blumer »
Inside the military’s culture of sexual abuse, denial and cover-up.
While bigots in the U.S. debate whether or not female soldiers are ready to withstand the demands of a war zone, the reality is that women in the military have been operating for years within one of the biggest war zones in the world — the US military.
For what else besides a “war zone” can one call this eminently-hostile environment, in which sexual violence and threats of abuse and death are a daily fact of life?
This is also why it is so utterly despicable when the US media uncritically parrot the narrative that the US military is the only force standing between the women of Afghanistan and the barbarian hordes waiting to rape and murder them. There is no horde of barbarians anywhere in the world more saturated in a culture of rape and murder than the US military (a point which has been made by many Afghan feminist freedom fighters).
Everyone check out The Invisible War on Netflix.
In Vietnam, the U.S Military Command made rape ‘socially acceptable’ in fact, it was unwritten, but clear policy. When GIs were encouraged to rape Vietnamese women and girls (and they were sometimes advised to “search” women “with their penises”) a weapon of mass political terrorism was forged. Since the Vietnamese women were distinguished by their heroic contributions to their people’s liberation struggle, the military retaliation specifically suited for them was rape. While women were hardly immune to the violence inflicted on men, they were especially singled out as victims of terrorism by a sexist military force governed by the principle that was exclusively a man’s affair.
“I saw one case where a woman was shot by a sniper, one of our snipers” a GI said.
“When we got up to her she was asking for water. And the lieutenant said to kill her. So he ripped her clothes, they stabbed her in both breasts, they spread her eagle and shoved an E tool (entrenching) up her vagina. And then they took that out and used a tree limb and she was shot”
In the same way that rape was an institutionalized ingredient of aggression carried out against the Vietnamese people, designed to intimidate and terrorize the women, slave owners encouraged the terroristic use of rape to put Black women in their place. If Black women had achieved a sense of their own strength and a strong urge to resist, the violent sexual assaults —so the slaveholders might have reasoned— would remind the women of their essential and inalterable femaleness. In the male supremacist vision of the period, this meant passivity, acquiescence and weakness.