Every few months, a new product to help women avoid rape hits the market. This week’s is an innovative new nail polish that can identify the presence of drugs when dipped in a drink.
Considering that conservative estimates put the percentage of American women who’ve suffered sexual assault between 20%-25%, there’s huge market potential for this product. Of course, there is the fact that roofies, a nickname derived from the sedative Rohypnol, are less commonly used by serial predators than alcohol itself. A 2007 National Institute of Justice studyfound that only 2.4% of sexually assaultedfemale undergraduates were either certain or thought that they’d been drugged. On the other hand, studies conducted on college campuses show that alcohol is involved in anywhere between 50%-90% of sexual assaults. It is the weapon of choice, as expert David Lisak puts it.
I don’t want to dip my nails into a drink. Or stop wearing my hair in a ponytail. Or start wearing hairy tights. Before I die, I’d like to not have to ask a man to walk me home at night. Cool new nail polish is just the latest in way for us to adapt to rape.
At the same time, the topic of avoiding rape for men is usually just a bad joke. What do men do if they want to avoid rape? “Stay out of jail.” The sick irony of this joke is that it’s true. In reality, the only place where male adults in the U.S. come close to facing the same level of risk for rape as women is in jail. Even then, women inmates face twice the risk. But that bad joke perpetuates a rape myth. Most men who have experienced rape, reported at 1 out of 71, are assaulted as boys. But what does it say that women’s day-to-day reality of “staying safe” is thought to be comparable to the plight of men in jail?
Despite everything we are trained to do, we can’t change the one thing that matters the most: the fact of our femaleness.
- The most highly ranked risk factor for being raped is being a female.
- Girls and young women below the age of 30 make up more than 80% of rape victims, regardless of what they wear, what they drink or where they walk.
- While women can and do rape boys, girls and women are raped by men in an overwhelming number of cases. (Men are also the primary offenders in the rape of boys.)
And yet, in the popular commodification of sexual assault, there are no deodorants rapists can wear that stain their armpits with indelible ink when they’re about to rape someone. Or binding underwear that makes it impossible for them to whip out a weaponized John Thomas. Or electrified jock straps.
According to the CDC, in the United States nearly one in five women reports having been raped or experiencing an attempted rape at some point. One in four suffer violence at the hands of an intimate partner. One in six women report being stalked. This level of violence is terrorism.
The safety gap between men and women is real and the basis for heightened violence against people who violate binary gender norms[SC1] . Women and non-gender conforming people live with fear in ways that men, particularly those who present as straight men, find hard to fathom. Women have heightened awareness of stranger dangers related to sexual assault, even if the chances they are assaulted by an acquaintance or partner are higher. All women change their lives, at great cost, because of threats to their physical safety that are largely tied to the fear of rape.
Every time we focus on making girls and women individually responsible for avoiding rape, we lose the opportunity to address the systemic root problem that our mainstream culture grows rapists like weeds and institutional tolerance for the crime persists.If a fraction of the money being spent to produce and market products like these made its way to funding the elimination of hundreds of thousands of backlogged rape kits in this country we would substantively increase the prevention of rape at the hands of easily identified serial rapists, who are responsible for more than 90% of assaults.
Basically, this ^rape rape culture ugh feminism soraya chemaly
If you’ve ever read erotic fanfiction (and you’re seeing this on tumblr, so I’m assuming you have), you’re gonna want to watch + reblog this poem by brennatwohy about the merits of learning about sex from three-dimensional, well rounded characters who exist beyond their ability to fuck.
It is seriously so good. Next time someone gives me the judgey face for reading fanfiction, I’m just gonna drop this link in their face and walk away like BAM.fanfiction harry potter sex rape culture feminism my upworthy posts
Is it any wonder that when those young geeks and nerds grow up, they don’t become an empathetic and enlightened new breed of men, but rather, even worse incarnations of those who bullied them?
Just go check out the tech, comic book, and video game industries.
The intention behind those messages—that intelligence and hard work are valued more by your peers as adults than as children, that you can grow out of your awkwardness and into a person people love, that the meanness displayed by bullies gets old and that kindness becomes valued (and if these kids are being told this at the same age I was, it’s before bitterness sets in and the kindness turns sour and fake and becomes a tool, at the time when we should be learning that we aren’t entitled to others’ affection so that our gap in understanding doesn’t turn toxic as it inevitably does if we aren’t set right)—is good, but it needs to be communicated in a way where that comes through instead of the message, “You are better than everyone around you and you will get what you deserve, including being granted a woman who fits into your adolescent power fantasy.”
We should be telling these boys, “If you build on what’s good about you and try not to get bitter, as you get older, you’ll be more likely to find people who appreciate what you have to offer,” not, “You are entitled to money, power, and sex, and you will get those things by virtue of your personal brand of greatness.”
Damn, Stevie just fuckin nailed it.
"How can we stop rape if we’re not even willing to call it what it is?"jessica valenti rape culture tw: rape
A rape victim in Cowlitz County, Washington was arrested last week, to help prosecutors prove their case against her alleged assailants.
tw: rape rape culture nope
I’d like you to remember the last time you found it difficult to give an explicit “no” to somebody in a non-sexual context. Maybe they asked you to do them a favour, or to join them for a drink. Did you speak up and say, outright, “No?” Did you apologise for your “no?” Did you qualify it and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t make it today?” If you gave an outright “no,” what privileged positions do you occupy in society, and how does your answer differ from the answers of people occupying more marginalised positions?
This form of refusal was analysed in 1999 by Kitzinger and Frith (K&F) in Just Say No? The Use of Conversation Analysis in Developing a Feminist Perspective on Sexual Refusal. Despite the seeming ambiguity in question/refusal acts like, “We were wondering if you wanted to come over Saturday for dinner,” “Well, uhh, it’d be great but we promised Carol already,” they are widely understood by the participants as straightforward refusals.
K&F conclude by saying that, “For men to claim [in a sexual context] that they do not ‘understand’ such refusals to be refusals (because, for example, they do not include the word ‘no’) is to lay claim to an astounding and implausible ignorance of normative conversational patterns.”"
This is a really interesting application of conversation analysis, an approach to interpersonal interaction, which is used across linguistics, sociology, anthropology, speech-communication and psychology.
rape culture statistics
A man is 631 times more likely to become an NFL player than to be falsely accused of rape.
"We end on a serious note. Because 1 in 33 men will be raped in his lifetime, men are 82,000x more likely to be raped than falsely accused of rape. It seems many of us would do well to pay more attention to how rape culture affects us all than be paranoid about false accusers.”
that last paragraph