(TW) Why Rape Myths and Euphemisms are Dangerous
Last week, an Englishman was sentenced to five years in jail for raping a woman while she slept. As the judge put it, “She was a pretty girl who you fancied. You simply could not resist. You had sex with her.” He went on to assure the man, “I do not regard you as a classic rapist.”
The good old “classic rapist,” such a comfort to ignorant judges, untold numbers of campus administrators, and polite society everywhere. Also particularly useful to predatory rapists who continue to act with impunity in the face of myth-making judges. This kind of language enables future rapes and makes us complicit. Its use should disqualify jurists, who, at the very least should be trained in facts before being allowed to sit on benches.
The “classic rapist” is a popular rape myth, like many others involving dark alleys, dark men, bad women, good women, light women, violence, and more. The “classic rapist” is a blunt force example that is easily disproved, since we know in the vast majority of reported rapes the parties know one another—73% are “non-strangers” and 38% are friends or acquaintances.
Most of the time, however, the delivery is more subtle and euphemistic. Consider…
“Had his way with her”
“Forced himself on her”
And, my all time personal favorite: “took liberties.”
Sadly, this judge is not alone. His language and ideas are those of our traditions and popular culture, including the media—the place where words most shape our perceptions and understanding of the world. In the media, there are so many common phrases that convey the everyday sexism of trivializing and hiding rape.
“Bad sexual etiquette”
“Forced to perform oral sex”
“The subject matter”
“A crime of personal injury”
“Assaulted while unconscious”
“Forced to marry”
“Sex with a child”
“Sexual activity deemed…to have lacked consent”
“Forced her to engage in sex acts”
“Seduced the child”
The child “seduced him”
“Taken advantage of”
“Toddler sex case”
“Theft of services”
"Toddler Sex Case"? Who thinks that writing "Toddler" and "Sex Case" makes any sense at all, ever?
All of this happens in an environment where rape is used as a metaphor, is a trending joke theme, and where a judge canban the use of word “rape” (or “sexual assault”) in a rape trial.
In an effort to end rape doublespeak the founders of the website Ending Victimization and Blame (EVB) analyze media to explain how language like this, which, as they put it, succinctly “panders to the belief that men are unable to control themselves.” It is, as Melissa McEwan has also so assiduously detailed for years, all part of the weave and weft of institutionalized rape culture.Consent, a recent and revolutionary idea, is a bitter pill for some people, apparently also in courtrooms.
Courtrooms are where we’d like to think rape myths and sloppy, unhelpful language go to die, but that’s frequently not the case. Instead, in courtrooms, or on college campus adjudication boards, survivors frequently feel instead that they are revictimized or the ones being investigated.
There’s a high chance that my inbox will be populated by “stop word policing” messages as a result of this piece. l’ll stop talking about reality-shaping words when clearing through our national backlog of more than 400,000 rape kits is a priority for society and the annual tally of rape doesn’t result in the undercounting of more than one million rapes. Changing words to #Endrapedoublespeak is a good way to start.
See entire piece at Role Reboot.
Calvin is the most relatable protagonist in the history of anything.
I dont know why this didn’t upload yesterday.
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Happy Independence Day.
Vincent LoGiudice, a Nassau County, New York police officer, pleaded not guilty yesterday to multiple felony assault charges related to his beating, caught on tape, of Kyle Howell, an unarmed 20-year-old, during a traffic stop. Cops initially arrested Howell for assaulting cops and claimed he was trying to ingest a bag of marijuana after they stopped him, but prosecutors dropped the charges. Victims of police brutality are often the target of false charges, but cops are rarely indicted for those same incidents. Not this time; a grand jury decided to indict LoGiudice. Nevertheless, he remains employed by the Nassau County Police Department and enjoys the support of his fellow officers. Via News 12 Long Island:
In a strong show of support, many Nassau County police officers surrounded LoGiudice as he entered the courtroom. A rally supporting him was held after he pleaded not guilty.
"He is absolutely overwhelmed with emotion with the overwhelming support, not only by the entire Nassau County Police Department, but police departments in the region," said LoGiudice’s attorney William Petrillo.
Howell and his family were present in the courtroom during the arraignment.
“It just shows that all these people here are just supporting police brutality,” Howell told News 12.
You can watch surveillance video of the beating here
LTMC: It’s a rare day when a Nassau County grand jury indicts a police officer for charges related to police brutality. Nassau County is one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. The people there are not generally known for being sympathetic to victims of police misconduct. On the other side of the coin, a talented prosecutor can usually convince a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Maybe the Nassau County DA accidentally hired a prosecutor with a conscience who’s not afraid of possibly alienating themselves by indicting cops.
When you look at what constitutes ‘female privilege’ in the eyes of MRAs and MRAs-in-training, you see exactly how ignorant most of them are to real discrimination and fear. In the MRA handbook, female privilege is being able to speak to men without being considered predatory; it’s being able to decide whether or not to continue with a pregnancy (as opposed to having a child forced on you so that a scheming bitch can rob you blind for the next 18 years); it’s being able to have sex with a man and then later change your mind while accusing him of rape; it’s having the right to leave a marriage because the courts will favour you in a custody dispute; it’s receiving the ‘coveted status’ of being a rape survivor on a college campus and all the advantages that come with that.
With the exception of that last one, which is so despicably offensive that it’s almost impossible to believe it was not only printed in the Washington Post but that it was written by a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, all of these examples of ‘female privilege’ seem less indicative of a rising gynarchy poised to crush whimpering men with a gigantic, comfortably shod foot than they do just basic rights that women are entitled to have even though they prevent men from being able to behave exactly as they like.
Women don’t come to life the moment men approach us, and asking that men respect our space and not assume their presence is always or even ever welcome isn’t the equivalent of Stonewall. Similarly, until science can figure out how to make Ivan Reitman’s terrifying vision of the dystopian universe presented in seminal 90s movie ‘Junior’ a reality, it is not ‘female privilege’ for a woman to have the final say over whether or not she grows a fetus inside her for nine months before birthing it and then raising it. And while we’re at it, can we all agree that it’s a curious bit of cognitive dissonance to argue about paying for children you don’t want in one breath while ranting about how the legal system won’t give them to you in the other?
The idea that the fight for gender equality has swung ‘too far’ to the other side is simply ludicrous. One woman is still killed every week in Australia by her partner or ex-partner. The WHO estimates that 30 per cent of women worldwide who have been in a sexual relationship have experienced some form of violence within that partnership. The two issues most integral to that of women’s equality - that of reproductive autonomy and financial independence - are still not considered legally sacrosanct for the overwhelming majority of women in the world today.
And we’ve got men (and some women) complaining that feminism is subjugating men?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The Feminist Mafia is trying to erode men’s rights, and we’ve had some success over the years. Like the right for a man to legally rape his wife. Destroyed that. Or the right of men to determine who rises to political leadership. We nailed that one too. Or how about the right that said women became the physical property of their husbands, husbands who then had the right to commit these women to mental asylums (and frequently did) as a means of securing a divorce, leaving him free to marry another (often younger) woman? Yep, got rid of that.
Peggy Orenstein’s 1994 text ‘Schoolgirls’ included an anecdote which observed that, for many men and boys, equality is perceived as a loss. And it technically is, because any time a disparate system of power is equalised, one side must surrender some privileges. Referring to ‘female privilege’ (particularly in a world where, in some places, it is considered a privilege that girls even be allowed to live) as some kind of nefarious threat to the psychic wellbeing of men isn’t just offensive, it’s also dangerous. It provides a focal point of blame for the frustrations of men who feel they’ve somehow been denied all that was promised to them, and it can have terrifying and often violent ramifications for the women in their lives.
Queen of the Frightbats, Clementine Ford, ‘A Lesson for Men’s Rights Activists on Real Oppression.’
I implore you to go and read the whole article.
Perfect violet Nagasawa.
Handlebars/Stem: Nitto bars and stem
That moment when your heart longs to be far off the grid..
Where would you go?