I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

24 October 2012

The Girl Effect, part 9b

Tarquin and Lucretia, painting by
Jan Sanders van Hemessen
Wikipedia Commons

Rape Culture.

In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

This is what it means when people say that sexism and violence against women are “naturalized.” It means that people in our current society believe these attitudes and actions always have been, and always will be."
Force: Upsetting Rape Culture

You may find this PDF on Rape Culture helpful as well.  Please watch these two videos and consider carefully what they have to say.

Rape Culture is a worldwide epidemic. It is not a first world only issue. It is an issue of every single culture on this earth that is transitioning from a patriarchal culture. The basics are that women ask for what ills happen to them. Being beaten, verbally abused, raped, or killed because of how they dress.

According to Wikipedia, " Rape culture is also closely related to slut-shaming and victim blaming, where rape victims are considered at fault for being raped, and it is argued that this connection is due to the presence of a culture that shames all female sexuality."
Wiki goes on further to say: "Although much of its early use as a theory to explain the occurrence of rape and domestic violence was focused on the rape of women, rape culture has been described as detrimental to men as well as women. Some writers and speakers, such as Jackson Katz, Michael Kimmel, and Don McPherson, have said that it is intrinsically linked to gender roles that limit male self-expression and cause psychological harm to men.[31]"

This is rape culture: a man who facilitates and encourages the violation of consent and privacy for women all over the world becomes a martyr, victim and hero rather than an ostracized sleazeball.
Women are told, once again, that they are public property, that their right to bodily autonomy doesn’t even extend to our daily commute.
The takeaway from this, for many women, is that we cannot expect that even the “perfectly normal” men around us to respect our right to bodily autonomy. We cannot expect that even people we think we know still respect us as women.
Dianna E. Anderson, Faith and Feminism: Rape Culture: The Monster You Can’t See

Issues stemming from this "rape culture" is what spurred on the "SlutWalk" and "Boobquake" phenomenon.

Before I go any further, I have a couple other videos for you to think about.

I hear a lot of talk lately about the injustices of women while taking public transport in some countries. Some are taking it a step further and creating women's only busses or wagons on the train, or help lines, CCTV and police to help out.

Just recently, another reporter was assaulted while reporting from Tahir Square. She is not the first, and she very likely will also not be the last.

The reason likely is that she is dressed in Western style, she's wearing "racy" clothing, and women who do so, should expect what comes to them.

Honestly, it never matters what a man wears. He will never be touched by a woman unless it is wanted touch.

Why is it, if a woman goes somewhere in the public sphere, her dress is open for commentary, and she may be touched?
Is this something endemic to society as a whole, or is this possibly a symptom of a much bigger problem?

I'll leave you with these last thoughts:
"Catcalls, sexually explicit comments, sexist remarks, groping, leering, stalking, public masturbation, and assault. Most women (more than 80% worldwide) and LGBQT folks will face gender-based street harassment at some point in their life. Street harassment limits people's mobility and access to public spaces. It is a form of gender violence and it's a human rights violation. It needs to stop."Stop Street Harassment

"Street harassment teaches us to be silent, but we aren’t listening. We don’t put up with harassment in the home, at work, or at school. And now we aren’t putting up with it in the street, either. By holla’ing back you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is sharable. You change the power dynamic by flipping the lens off of you ..."

- Hollaback!
"We realize that some women do not consider to be harassment what we consider to be harassment. While we recognize every woman's right to define for herself what she considers "harassment," we are cognizant of the fact that all women are continually being intimidated into "playing along to get along," as well as being constantly pressured to prove--even to ourselves--that we are "attractive." We do not forget that this is a game in which men set the terms and women are punished if we do not comply."
- The Street Harassment Project

"For more than a decade, HOTGIRLS has implemented programs that reflect our belief that young women and girls are capable of creating positive changes in their lives and communities.  ...We have implemented leadership development programs that have empowered young women and girls to take collective strategic action in their communities to address issues of concern to them such as gender-based violence, street harassment, HIV/AIDS and images of women and girls in the media.... "
- Helping Our Teen Girls

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. I'll take a moment to point out that while the reporter in Tahrir may have been targeted because she was a Westerner, studies done in Egypt show that women who are modestly dressed for the culture, even down to an ultra-conservative niqab (veil covering the face), face even MORE sexual harassment than women who are wearing Western dress.