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Stop Telling Women To Adapt to Rape


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.

From the moment we are born, girls are told to change: change our clothes, our hair, our belt buckles, our underwearour walks, our commutes, our friends, even our vaginas.

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.
See entire piece here. 

Basically, this ^ 

rape rape culture ugh feminism soraya chemaly

Just gonna put this here because in any discussion about rape this seems to be frequently overlooked and it is sort of fundamental.


Just gonna put this here because in any discussion about rape this seems to be frequently overlooked and it is sort of fundamental.

rape culture rape tw: rape


This is glorious and even thought it doesn’t fit in the range of all the paranormal, creepy and science I usually post, I MUST share

It works like this: You tell Kitestring that you’re in a dangerous place or situation, and give it a time frame of when to check in on you. If you don’t reply back when it checks your status, it’ll alert your emergency contacts with a custom message you set up.

It doesn’t require you to touch anything (like bSafe) or shake your phone (like Nirbhaya) to send the distress signal. Kitestring is smarter, because it doesn’t need an action to alert people, it needs inaction.


I really like the idea of this app and I think it’s very useful and will definitely cut down on response time and I know it will definitely make me feel safer going places alone late at night, but the headline really bothers me. This is not a “prevention” tool. If Kitestring had existed when her friend was being raped, and her friend didn’t respond, that would mean the rape had already been or was in the process of happening. All the app does is ensure your friends know that *something* happened and to get to you quickly in the aftermath to help. I would guess in some cases, your friends would interrupt the crime, but depending on the amount of time it takes you to get to your friend’s location, that’s not necessarily going to be the case. :( 

tw: rape trigger warning rape app

New research shows 0.6% of rape allegations are false.




and for those interested, you can find the report HERE

Just in case any dudebros are unclear on what this means: it means that your buddy who totally just had some bitch trying to ruin his life by accusing him of rape…almost certainly actually did rape her.  

Just keep that in mind.

99.4% are real.

(Source: freyjasdotter)

rape rape culture facts queue
"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."
rape culture rape truth queue

So here’s the real reason that rape jokes are troubled territory -

Because rape victims say so.

They get to say that. They get to feel that way. On this, they get to set the cultural rules.

It’s not about right or wrong, or logic versus emotion, or arguments of over sensitivity or hypocrisy - you have the free speech to make whatever jokes you want or talk about rape in whatever way you feel is illuminating. But they get to be upset about it. And call you on it. And be hurt by it.

But consider this:

You get to not be a rape victim.

They, however, are not afforded that luxury. Ever again.


Chuck Wendig (via vickiexz)

#some real talk

(via austinimus)

rape culture rape chuck wendig rape jokes

What kind of world do we live in when young men are so proud of violating unconscious girls that they pass proof around to their friends? It’s the same kind of world in which being labeled a slut comes with such torturous social repercussions that suicide is preferable to enduring them. As a woman named Sara Erdmann so aptly tweeted to me, “I will never understand why it is more shameful to be raped than to be a rapist.”

And yet it is: so much so that young men seem to think there’s nothing wrong with—and maybe something hilarious about—sharing pictures of themselves raping young women. And why not? Their friends will defend them, as they did in Steubenville, tweeting that the young woman was “asking for it” and that the boys were being unfairly targeted.

Women and girls are the ones expected to carry the shame of the sexual crimes perpetrated against them. And that shame is a tremendous load to bear, because once you’re labeled a slut, empathy and compassion go out the window. The word is more than a slur—it’s a designation.

jessica valenti rape culture rape trigger warning queue

TW: Rape, Rape Culture. The Steubenville Defense Will Center on Date Rape Not Existing

Attorney Walter Madison: “She didn’t affirmatively say no… The person who is the accuser here is silent just as she was that night, and that’s because there was consent.

This is one of the most despicable quotes I’ve ever read.

(Source: thebisweptualbisexual)

steubenville rape culture news rape

New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As 'Tampering With Evidence'

If the writers of this bill consider the fetus a person and therefore worthy of protection under the law…can a person really be “evidence”? Or is the fetus then considered a “witness”? Because I’m pretty sure fetuses can’t swear in on a bible. And if you make a fetus “evidence” then it’s not really a person, is it? It’s a thing.

UGH. People are idiots and this is one of the worst things I have ever heard, ever. Top 5 at least. 

abortion rape law politics wtf people are idiots

Do I even need to tell you to click the gif and watch Stephen Colbert’s brilliant coverage of the latest in a long line of recent GOP rape comments? I do? Okay, click it, dummy!



Do I even need to tell you to click the gif and watch Stephen Colbert’s brilliant coverage of the latest in a long line of recent GOP rape comments? I do? Okay, click it, dummy!


stephen colbert richard mourdock rape politics the colbert report

Todd Akin can’t figure out what an actual apology should look like. Luckily, we’re here to help.Click here to see the original and a bigger version of our remix.


Todd Akin can’t figure out what an actual apology should look like. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Click here to see the original and a bigger version of our remix.

todd akin rape rape culture politics news upworthy original apology upworthy queue