When I was seventeen and preparing to leave for university, my mother’s only brother saw fit to give me some advice.
“Just don’t be an idiot, kid,” he told me, “and don’t ever forget that boys and girls can never just be friends.”
I laughed and answered, “I’m not too worried. And I don’t really think all guys are like that.”

When I was eighteen and the third annual advent of the common cold was rolling through residence like a pestilent fog, a friend texted me asking if there was anything he could do to help.
I told him that if he could bring me up some vitamin water that would be great, if it wasn’t too much trouble.
That semester I learned that human skin cells replace themselves every three to five weeks. I hoped that in a month, maybe I’d stop feeling the echoes of his touch; maybe my new skin would feel cleaner.
It didn’t. But I stood by what I said. Not all guys are like that.

When I was nineteen and my roommate decided the only way to celebrate the end of midterms was to get wasted at a club, I humoured her.
Four drinks, countless leers and five hands up my skirt later, I informed her I was ready to leave.
“I get why you’re upset,” she told me on the walk home, “but you have to tolerate that sort of thing if you want to have any fun. And really, not all guys are like that.”

(Age nineteen also saw me propositioned for casual sex by no fewer than three different male friends, and while I still believe that guys and girls can indeed be just friends, I was beginning to see my uncle’s point.)

When I was twenty and a stranger that started chatting to me in my usual cafe asked if he could walk with me (since we were going the same way and all), I accepted.
Before we’d even made it three blocks he was pulling me into an alleyway and trying to put his hands up my shirt. “You were staring,” he laughed when I asked what the fuck he was doing (I wasn’t), “I’m just taking pity.”
But not all guys are like that.

I am twenty one and a few days ago a friend and I were walking down the street. A car drove by with the windows down, and a young man stuck his head out and whistled as they passed. I ignored it, carrying on with the conversation.
My friend did not. “Did you know those people?” He asked.
“Not at all,” I answered.
Later when we sat down to eat he got this thoughtful look on his face. When I asked what was wrong he said, “You know not all guys do that kind of thing, right? We’re not all like that.”
As if he were imparting some great profound truth I’d never realized before. My entire life has been turned around, because now I’ve been enlightened: not all guys are like that.

No. Not all guys are. But enough are. Enough that I am uncomfortable when a man sits next to me on the bus. Enough that I will cross to the other side of the street if I see a pack of guys coming my way. Enough that even fleeting eye contact with a male stranger makes my insides crawl with unease. Enough that I cannot feel safe alone in a room with some of my male friends, even ones I’ve known for years. Enough that when I go out past dark for chips or milk or toilet paper, I carry a knife, I wear a coat that obscures my figure, I mimic a man’s gait. Enough that three years later I keep the story of that day to myself, when the only thing that saved me from being raped was a right hook to the jaw and a threat to scream in a crowded dorm, because I know what the response will be.

I live my life with the everburning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experienced a sexual assault, but even a number like that can’t be trusted when we are harassed into silence. I live with the learned instinct, the ingrained compulsion to keep my mouth shut to jeers and catcalls, to swallow my anger at lewd suggestions and crude gestures, to put up my walls against insults and threats. I live in an environment that necessitates armouring myself against it just to get through a day peacefully, and I now view that as normal. I have adapted to extreme circumstances and am told to treat it as baseline. I carry this fear close to my heart, rooted into my bones, and I do so to keep myself unharmed.

So you can tell me that not all guys are like that, and you’d even be right, but that isn’t the issue anymore. My problem is not that I’m unaware of the fact that some guys are perfectly civil, decent, kind—my problem is simply this:

In a world where this cynical overcaution is the only thing that ensures my safety, I’m no longer willing to take the risk.


— r.d.  (via albinwonderland)

(Source: elferinge, via luzialowe)


[TW: sexual assault] Check out the incredibly important conversation happening on Suey Park’s timeline about the “victim” vs. “survivor” binary in sexual assault rhetoric.

(Source: ethiopienne, via internal-acceptance-movement)


Good question.Credit: Being Liberal


Good question.

Credit: Being Liberal

(via maghrabiyya)


It’s a real demonstration of how women are socialised to be ashamed of sexual violence perpetrated against them, and to internalise blame for said violence, that it’s so hard to use the word rape to describe experiences, because of the image of shameful violation it conjures up, the idea that if you talk about it using that word, it suggests that you’re devalued and a victim perpetually.

I hate using that word publicly to refer to my own experiences. Sometimes I do, because it’s accurate and less sanitised, but it hurts me to use it. It’s bitter on my tongue, and it makes me feel sick to be associated with it.

Women shouldn’t be afraid to use words which describe our experiences and our suffering. It’s a patriarchal construct of language that the most powerful words which give voice to our suffering are given connotations such that we can’t use them to question oppression.

(via maghrabiyya)

Tags: rape culture


To all those who don’t think the rape joke was a problem, or rape jokes are a problem.

I get it, you’re a decent guy. I can even believe it. You’ve never raped anybody. You would NEVER rape anybody. You’re upset that all these feminists are trying to accuse you of doing something or connect you to doing something that, as far as you’re concerned, you’ve never done and would never condone.

And they’ve told you about triggers, and PTSD, and how one in six women is a survivor, and you get it. You do. But you can’t let every time someone gets all upset get in the way of you having a good time, right?

So fine. If all those arguments aren’t going anything for you, let me tell you this. And I tell you this because I genuinely believe you mean it when you say you don’t want to hurt anybody, and you don’t see the harm, and that it’s important to you to do your best to be a decent and good person. And I genuinely believe you when you say you would never associate with a rapist and you think rape really is a very bad thing.

Because this is why I refuse to take rape jokes sitting down-

6% of college age men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act.

6% of Penny Arcade’s target demographic will admit to actually being rapists when asked.

A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?

Rapists do.

They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.

Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.

If one in twenty guys is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, really cool guy, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.

But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.

And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed?

That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.

You. The rapist’s comrade.

And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore…

Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.


Time-Machine (via a comment at shakesville.com)

Single greatest argument about this I have ever heard. 

(via justintheallan)

(via thingsthatverbme)

Tags: rape culture

"If owning a gun and knowing how to use it worked, the military would be the safest place for a woman. It’s not.

If women covering up their bodies worked, Afghanistan would have a lower rate of sexual assault than Polynesia. It doesn’t.

If not drinking alcohol worked, children would not be raped. They are.

If your advice to a woman to avoid rape is to be the most modestly dressed, soberest and first to go home, you may as well add “so the rapist will choose someone else”.

If your response to hearing a woman has been raped is “she didn’t have to go to that bar/nightclub/party” you are saying that you want bars, nightclubs and parties to have no women in them. Unless you want the women to show up, but wear kaftans and drink orange juice. Good luck selling either of those options to your friends.

Or you could just be honest and say that you don’t want less rape, you want (even) less prosecution of rapists."

A Short Post on Rape Prevention (via ceedling)

(via wilde-is-on-mine)

Tags: rape culture



29 Glorious Takedowns of #SafetyTipsForLadies - Buzzfeed

Oh hey, that’s me. And some friends. Interesting.

(Source: heavenrants, via fuckingscreaming)

Tags: rape culture


» a girl gets raped
» she reports her rapists
» she wins the trial against them
» media says that the girl ruined the rapists’ lives
» ????????? ??? ?

(Source: yungfairy, via equalityandthecity)

Tags: rape culture


Literally like the only way most men can think of a woman as a person who shouldn’t be raped and abused is by thinking of her as “someone’s daughter”, “someone’s wife”, “someone’s sister”, etc. They can’t just think of her as a woman unto herself who SHOULD NOT BE RAPED WHETHER OR NOT SHE IS A SINGLE ORPHANED ONLY CHILD, that would be weird. She must belong or be connected to someone in some way in order to be a person worthy of respect.

(via wilde-is-on-mine)

Tags: rape culture

"You’re busy teaching your daughters not to get raped and busy teaching your sons—by encouragement, entitlement, and omission—how to rape."

— Son of Baldwin (via vidavivesinmi)

(Source: sonofbaldwin, via breachbangbloom)

Tags: rape culture





Tags: rape culture

(Source: ninanarwhal, via sapphrikah)

Tags: rape culture

mourning the loss


[TW: rape, harassment] 


we’re busy brainstorming
ways to avoid
harassment and rape
while you hang with your pals
and complain
about the bitch who ignored you
on her way to work
and the slut who gave you the finger
as she got off the bus
and the cunt who said, “no thank you”
with her head down and a lump in her throat.

give us a fucking break
we’re too busy mourning
the loss of our bodies
to reply in kind
to those who’ve taken them.


You do not have right of way over my body. Ever.


Not even if you really, really, really(!) want to have sex with me. 

Not even if you’re a fucking hero/ine.

Not even if you’re famous

Not even if you won every Superbowl for the last decade

Not even if I let everyone else in the room do it.

Not even if I consent to sex and sexual contact for a living.

Not even if you think you’re being nice. 

Not even if you’ve given me a million dollars. 

Not even if you think you have a good reason. 

Not even if you’re a fetus. 

Not even if you have strong feelings about fetuses. 

Not even if your god or gods told you to. 

Not even if we’re married. 

Not even if we’ve been going out for ten years. 

Not even if we have children together. 

Not even if I said ‘yes’ to something else five minutes ago.

Not even if I didn’t say anything.

Not even if I strip all my clothes off and walk naked in front of you. 

Not even if I’m so drunk I can’t see straight.

Not even if I’m dressed that way. Or any way.

Not even if I took every narcotic substance known to humanity in one go.

Not even if you’re a taxpayer. 

Not even if you think I’ll regret it later. 

Not even if you think it’s ugly.

Not even if you think nobody else would want it

Not even if you think it’s for my own good. 

Not even if you carry a badge and a gun.

Not even if you have an ‘M.D.’ after your name.

Not even if there’s a war going on. 

Not EVER. 

When I say “stop”, you fucking well STOP. You put on the brakes and you FUCKING STOP whatever you’re doing. 

As far as my body is concerned, you go only when I say go. And you wait to hear the word “go”. You don’t jump the gun with me or you’re in the wrong. If you don’t hear “yes” or me giving some other positive signal that I consent and agree, you don’t take action.

You tread at my pleasure and my pleasure alone. No one else can give you permission, not society, not your church, not a police officer, not your buddies, not even my silence.

The only thing that gives you permission is my consent. My consent. Nothing else can be substituted for it. It is absolute. I am the land and that is its law.

And if you don’t get that. If you disagree with even an iota of this? You’re participating in rape culture. You’re WHY rape culture is still going strong. You’re why abuse culture is still going strong. You’re the fucking problem.

(via ashlynnbitch)

Tags: rape culture