Men who want to flirt with women have to realize: Women live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety. It’s like having a mild case of hay fever that never goes away. It’s not debilitating. You’re not weak. You’re not afraid. You just suck it up and get on with your life. It’s nothing that’s going to stop you from making discoveries, or climbing mountains, or falling in love. Sometimes you can almost forget about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, subtly sucking your energy. You learn to avoid situations that make it worse and seek out conditions that make it better.
If a female stranger is wary around you, it is not because she suspects you are a rapist, or that all men are rapists. It’s because a general level of circumspection is what vigilance requires. Don’t take it personally.
If this frustrates you, try to remember that women are blamed for lapsed vigilance. If a woman does get raped, everyone rushes to see where she let her guard down. Was she drinking? Was she alone? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go to a strange man’s room for coffee at 4am?
A woman must be seen to be vigilant as well as be vigilant. If she is deemed insufficiently vigilant, she will be at least partly blamed for any sexual violence that befalls her. If she’s regarded as downright reckless, that “evidence” can be used to completely exonerate her rapist. If it comes down to a he said/she said dispute over whether sex was consensual, as so many rape cases do, the dispute becomes a referendum on whether the woman seems like the sort of reckless person who would have sex with a stranger.
If a woman does go back to a strange man’s hotel room at 4am, even if she only wants a coffee and conversation, she’s more or less given him the power to rape her. No jury is going to believe she went up there for anything but sex. So, don’t be surprised if a stranger reacts badly to that suggestion.”
I wish I didn’t need to reblog stuff like this. I wish people *got it*. But judging from the ridiculous response to these posts, stuff like this clearly still needs to be repeated.
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a tea party activist that’s appeared several times on Fox News, and founder of an organization where Sean Hannity serves as an advisory board member, said in a sermon recently published to YouTube that America’s greatest mistake was allowing women the right to vote, adding that back in “the good old days, men knew that women are crazy and they knew how to deal with them.”
I can’t even.
ALL THE AWARDS TO MATTHEW PERRY
Keep it up, Pat.
Oh good, I was somewhat confused on what I was supposed to do. Thanks for clearing that up, Pat.
As long as women’s natural body hair is called disgusting and inappropriate while men’s isn’t, I am a feminist.
As long as I can’t watch an episode of a popular sitcom without having to sit through multiple sexist comments or “jokes”, I am a feminist.
As long as women have to face the rational fear of being sexually assaulted every time they walk home past dark while men don’t, I am a feminist.
As long as misogyny exists in any country in this world, I am a feminist.
As long as women are being raped, then stoned to death or forced to marry their rapist, I am a feminist.
As long as companies promote men to manager when there are women who are equally as or better qualified, because they find that men look more authoritative, I am a feminist.
As long as women (her choice of clothes, her friendly nature, her weakness, her choice to drink alcohol) get blamed when men rape them, I am a feminist.
As long women’s opinions on online social networks are dismissed with phrases like “tits or gtfo”, “get back to the kitchen”, “are you pms’ing?”, I am a feminist.
As long as dressing like a women is degrading for men and as long as men are insulted with phrases like “you throw like a woman”, clearly implying that being like a woman is shameful, I am a feminist.
As long as both men are women are expected to work, but taking care of children and the household are still largely considered a woman’s job, I am a feminist.
As long as boys and girls are treated differently, expected to act differently, and surrounded by different toys and colours from the day they are born, I am a feminist.
As long as topless women aren’t allowed in public unless they’re one the cover of a men’s magazine, I am a feminist.
As long as women who have sex frequently are generally told they are “sluts”, “lacking self-respect” and “lacking morals” by both men and women, while men who frequently have sex are “just being men” and it’s “natural for them”, I am a feminist.
As long as there are places where women have to pay more for health insurance than men, I am a feminist.
As long as men experience situations with equal gender representation as female-dominated, and don’t consider a group discussion equal unless there are significantly more men then women participants (as has been proven), I am a feminist.
As long as there are men who think it’s their wife or girlfriend’s duty to have sex with him whenever he wants, I am a feminist.
As long as the word feminism (“the movement aimed at equal rights for women”) has a negative connotation, I am a feminist.
As long as misogynist people exist, I am a feminist.
Since the mid-March madness of those senate judiciary Republicans who voted no on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it would extend a few more U-visas to abused immigrant women, cover people in same-sex relationships and enhance funding for community-based programs that directly address people of color, I’ve been suffering from an acute case of cognitive dissonance.
I don’t think any sane person could argue that since it passed in 1994, VAWA hasn’t done a lot of good. It has indeed funded and facilitated the work of thousands of people who shelter, counsel, advise and advocate for victims of intimate partner violence. Its most recent iteration addresses sexual violence, a necessary step given the prevalence of this form of harm. I also believe that VAWA represents and seeds a cultural shift away from the blatant acceptance of violence against women. Without a VAWA,Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) wouldn’t stand on the House floor and talk about how she’d been sexually abused, raped and beaten. She wouldn’t have declared that “violence against women in this country is not levied against just Democrats but Republicans as well. Not blacks or whites or Hispanics but against native people as well. Not just Christians or Muslims and Jews but non-religious people—atheists. Not just rich people or poor people but middle-class people. And not just against heterosexual women but homosexual couples. It knows no gender. It knows no ethnicity. It knows nothing. And I’ll tell you: violence against women is as American as apple pie.”
Still, I have to say that in its funding and implementation, this (previously) bipartisan legislation has also made law enforcement its priority—a scary prospect for the systematically criminalized massive that includes black and brown, poor, undocumented and LGBT folks.
Back in 2000 before radical conservatives successfully soaked the media, public and legislative bodies in tea,Angela Davis laid out some still-essential, still-relevant theoretical questions about VAWA:
On the one hand, we should applaud the courageous efforts of the many activists who are responsible for a new popular consciousness of violence against women, for a range of legal remedies, and for a network of shelters, crisis centers, and other sites where survivors are able to find support. But on the other hand, uncritical reliance on the government has resulted in serious problems. I suggest that we focus our thinking on this contradiction: Can a state that is thoroughly infused with racism, male dominance, class-bias, and homophobia and that constructs itself in and through violence act to minimize violence in the lives of women? Should we rely on the state as the answer to the problem of violence against women? …
The major strategy relied on by the women’s anti-violence movement of criminalizing violence against women will not put an end to violence against women—just as imprisonment has not put an end to “crime” in general.
I should say that this is one of the most vexing issues confronting feminists today. On the one hand, it is necessary to create legal remedies for women who are survivors of violence. But on the other hand, when the remedies rely on punishment within institutions that further promote violence—against women and men, how do we work with this contradiction?
If you aren’t a fan of Patrick Stewart (Captain Jon Luc Picard of STNG), this might make you ask yourself why not?
“Our house was small, and when you grow up with domestic violence in a confined space you learn to gauge, very precisely, the temperature of situations. I knew exactly when the shouting was done and a hand was about to be raised – I also knew exactly when to insert a small body between the fist and her face, a skill no child should ever have to learn. Curiously, I never felt fear for myself and he never struck me, an odd moral imposition that would not allow him to strike a child. The situation was barely tolerable: I witnessed terrible things, which I knew were wrong, but there was nowhere to go for help. Worse, there were those who condoned the abuse. I heard police or ambulance men, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.” ~Patrick Stewart
By: Independence House, Inc. Hyannis, MA
Please share this.
Gloria Steinem [x]
Of course, the people who wrote it are vowing to bring it back and continue protecting the endangered religious freedom of your boss re: your ovaries, but hey, a victory for now.
“I keep saying I won’t let myself be put at the mercy of a political party that caters to fundamentalist Christians who believe husbands should control their wives,” said Seattle attorney Connie York, explaining the difficulty of voting against a GOP presidential candidate who talks tough about shutting down Planned Parenthood cancer-screening and prenatal-care centers. “Then I step into the voting booth, draw the curtain, and…and it’s just so fucking hot, I can’t say no.”
Added York, “There’s something about pulling the lever for a man who would force you to die for the sake of saving a fetus that makes you feel like you’re doing something a little bit naughty, you know?”