Tag Archives: rape culture

I’m At a Loss


I’ve been finding it difficult to come up with ideas for blog posts, which is why this blog hasn’t been very active lately. As such, I’d like to leave it up to the readers: what would you like us to write about? Would you like to know something specific about our atheism? Do you have an argument that you’d like us to address? Would you like us to discuss a particular book? Do you have any questions about Philosophy, Biology, or History? Would you like to know our stance on a particular feminist issue? Is there something else you’d like us to write on? Let us know in the comment section.


I’m Offended


I recently watched this video by Seth Andrews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQJymMD1zRM. In it he discusses the idea of offense, namely where religion is concerned. I decided to use the video on a post about what offends me. Personally, I don’t think offending people is an inherently bad thing. Everybody gets offended, and everything probably offends someone. However, I do not agree with people who go out of their way to offend others for no other reason to cause offense. A lot of people complain that we have become “too PC,” and I don’t entirely disagree with that. However, a number of the people who make this claim turn around and act offensive for no other reason that to act offensively (or possibly to complain about people being too PC). So let’s talk about offense.

I’m offended by people who feel they have the right to walk up to me in the street and criticize my wardrobe. If you don’t like what I’m wearing, don’t wear it, but don’t tell me how to dress.

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I’m offended by people telling me that I’m confused and don’t understand when I make it clear that I don’t agree with them. My not agreeing with you does not mean that I’m confused, it means that I don’t agree. Can we get passed this patronizing bullshit and have an actual conversation? Maybe then we’ll both learn something.

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I’m offended when people make assumptions about my gender without asking me, and I’m offended when people ask me what my gender is as a means to insult and mock me. Not knowing how to address me is not a bad thing, but don’t be an ass about it.

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I’m offended when people refer to others as “unwomen” or “not men” as a way to differentiate them from “those good men and women.” Who are you to tell someone what their gender is? Yes, real men do rape. Rather than trying to pretend they don’t, how about we deal with the issues that lead those men to rape. Oh, you don’t like feminism? And you think that insulting feminists by calling them “unwomen” is going to win you any points? Congratulations on destroying any possible credibility your opinions could have otherwise had.

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I’m offended when people use the “well you have privilege too” line to try and invalidate some criticism aimed at them. We all have some level of privilege. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to evaluate your own privilege in order to understand why what you said was inappropriate. The other person having privilege doesn’t mean that you get to ignore yours.

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I am offended when people say that it is okay to doubt that a rape victim was raped because everybody else who is the victim of a crime is treated that way too. Really? So if I call the police and tell them my house was broken into, they are going to assume I’m lying until I prove that my house actually was broken into? Because every time my house actually has been broken into, the police took my word for it, took my statement, and said they’d let us know when they learned anything. Should I have been asked what I was wearing when the robbery took place? Or what I did to provoke the thieves? Maybe I should have been blamed for living in a house that would get broken into?

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I’m offended when I’m compared to a murderer. Or, even worse, Hitler. You want to tell me I deserve to go to jail because I made a legal decision that I felt was best for my future and my family? And your going to try and say that you have the right to be offended because people don’t want to see your disgusting pictures everywhere? Attacking me and then playing the “free speech” card is not how you win support.

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I’m offended when people tell me that I can’t be a good person and I deserve to be tortured because I don’t believe in their god.

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I’m offended that it has become easier to spread lies and misinformation than it is to spread scientific understanding and actual facts.

I’m offended that people will accuse me of tainting the groups that I’m apart of because of who I am.

I am offended that my very existence offends people. I’m offended that they feel they have the right to insult me and to try and change me simply because I exist.

I’m offended that people will try and invalidate my experiences by telling me that it’s just my opinion or they haven’t seen what I’m saying happens happen. Skepticism is well and good, but there is a point where your “skepticism” becomes willful ignorance. We cannot know everything with 100% accuracy, in fact, I would argue that we can’t know anything with 100% accuracy, and we can’t ignore things until we know them with 100% accuracy. That’s ridiculous. Let’s try some moderation. If you can accept that the big bang happened without seeing it, you can accept that women get harassed by men when you don’t see it. It’s not like I’m saying god did it.

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I’m offended when people tell me that I will one day know the truth. Again, don’t patronize me. Just because you believe you’re right and I’m wrong doesn’t mean you actually are right. You can still be wrong. Treat me like a human being equal to yourself, not a bumbling lunatic, and maybe we can both learn something.

I’m offended when people accuse all atheists of being offensive because some atheists are offensive (and some people are offended by the very existence of atheists) but then turn around and defend the offensive things that the members of their own group says. If it’s okay for you to offend people by saying “hate the sin, not the sinner,” why is it wrong for me to offend people by saying that the Bible says offensive things? And why are all atheists demonized because some have said that religion should be destroyed, but all Christians aren’t demonized because some have said that gay people should be put to death?

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I’m offended when people try to tell me that if I don’t like being judged based on the words of some of the loudest members of my group, then I should stop them from saying stupid things. Really? You think Richard Dawkins and Thunderf00t give a flying fuck what I have to say? You think that, if I had that kind of power, I wouldn’t be among those voices making my opinions heard? You think that numerous other atheists haven’t already criticized those who make the most noise and say bigoted things? And why does this demand only apply to the groups that you’re not apart of? Why don’t you have the same obligation to police the outspoken bigots in your group? Why can’t I judge you based on what they have said?

As you can see, I’m offended about a large number of things. But I don’t think I have the right to not be offended. I don’t think anyone does. What I do have is the right to call people out for being bigoted assholes. I have the right to tell people why I disagree with them. I have the right to tell people they are bigoted and offensive. I have the right to try and educate them and others. I don’t have the right to shut them up, but they can’t shut me up either.

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How Are My Surveys Going?


I haven’t done an update on my surveys in a while. Here is how I’m doing so far:
Religion Surveys:
This survey deals with various situations that may be considered discrimination towards Atheists:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=vvaqodd0equ2y21474850 – 2%
This survey deals with various situations that may be considered discrimination towards Christians:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=pi387nzvmo8dklc474867 – 2%
This survey looks at whether or not the respondent feels they have been discriminated against for their religion:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=3zolzpi3k1lwc7s470898 – 8%
This survey looks at whether or not people feel that Atheists are discriminated against:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=t2k9uo23mlnmklk470896 – 7%
This survey looks at whether or not people feel that Christians are discriminated against:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=85koff95iqwpme3470893 – 6%
Feminism Surveys:
Situations that may or may not be considered Feminist issues:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=xxiz033c05yo72v472614 – 2%
Are various Feminist causes helpful or hurtful for the Feminist movement?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=i8d3kq6z73ems49471695 – 7%
How do you perceive Feminism?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=4p48z0rwjwooxpf471689 – 6%
Does Feminist have a bad reputation?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=r4t8nurh0tyxvqt470762 – 11%
Please help me out by doing my surveys, if you haven’t already, so that I can write my posts on the responses. And please share my surveys as well.


How Many Kinds of Feminism Are There?


A lot. There are a number of schools of thought within feminism, some of them are better known than others. While there is a misconception that feminism is divided as a result of these various schools, the differences between the schools are differences in methodology and not differences in their end goal. All feminists want equality of the sexes. This has always been the main goal of feminism. But different types of feminism believe that female inequality is caused by different things. Few feminists fit in to only one school of thought.

The different schools are as follows:

Liberal Feminism: Liberal feminists accept the classical liberal notion that all people are inherently rational. Since women are people, women are rational. Liberal feminists believe that it is this rationality that makes women deserving of equal treatment.

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Marxist Feminism: Marxist feminists believe that the inequality suffered by women is caused by capitalism. They believe that eliminating capitalism will bring about equality of the sexes.

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Radical Feminism: Despite popular belief, radical feminism is not the idea that women are better than men. Radical feminists hold to the idea that female biology (our ability to get pregnant) is what causes the inequality we suffer. According to radical feminists, equality of the sexes won’t come until childbirth and child rearing aren’t only the duty of women. Radical feminists also believe that the patriarchy is responsible for this inequality. Patriarchy doesn’t mean that each individual man oppress all women. It means that there is a system of control whereby women and women’s bodies are controlled by men. It’s a systemic problem, not an individual problem.

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Socialist Feminism: Socialist feminism mixes Marxist and Radical feminism. According to socialist feminists, both capitalism and the patriarchy cause the oppression of women. Some socialist feminists believe that capitalism and the patriarchy are one in the same thing. Others believe that they run parallel to each other, both oppressing women, but in different ways.

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Cultural Feminism: Cultural feminists focus on gender, not sex. They believe that it is the behaviours and traits associated with women (nurturing, caring, emotional) that cause women to be oppressed. They tend to accept these traits as real and believe that women should be given equal rights because of these traits. Cultural feminists believe that the compassionate traits of women can only improve society, and can work with the rational traits of men.

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Womanist (Intersectional) Feminism: Womanist theory was developed as an attempt to make feminism more inclusive. Traditionally, feminism focused on the issues faced by middle class white women. However, women of all classes, countries, and ethnicities, as well as women/females within the LGBT community, also suffered as a result of inequality of the sexes, so womanism was born. Womanist theory points out that there is no one cause of oppression, and different women/females have different experiences, so each case of oppression is unique. As such, we must look at the intersections (of various causes of oppression) where oppression occurs. Womanism tries to avoid privileging anyone.

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Postmodern Feminism: Postmodern feminism is a collection of ideas. They avoid grand narratives of explaining oppression. Postmodernist feminists do not believe that there is any one cause of oppression. They also look at language and thought to see how it is masculine centered.

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Third World Feminism: This form of feminism focuses on the problems faced by women in former colonies. Third wold feminists focus on the history of colonialism to determine the causes of women’s oppression.

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Ecofeminism: Ecofeminism focuses on things like pollution that result from racism. For example, they point out how black and Latino communities are more affected by pollution than predominantly white communities. They then look at how women are affected by the racism and the pollution. They look at how women are hired to do certain jobs that are harmful because they can be paid less and are less likely to complain.

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These are not the only feminist theories, but they are some of the best known theories. I hope this helps you understand the various types of feminism. If you would like more information, I would recommend reading Feminism by Sally J. Scholz.

Don’t forget to take my surveys if you haven’t already:

Situations that may or may not be considered Feminist issues:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=xxiz033c05yo72v472614
Are various Feminist causes helpful or hurtful for the Feminist movement?http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=i8d3kq6z73ems49471695
How do you perceive Feminism?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=4p48z0rwjwooxpf471689
Does Feminist have a bad reputation?
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=r4t8nurh0tyxvqt470762


Let’s Talk About Trigger Warnings


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Trigger Warnings make for difficult discussions. Many people think they’re great, but others think they’re a waste of time. Any conversation about trigger warnings can go down hill very fast. And they often lead to people mocking social justice warriors. But I think the discussion is worth having.

I’m not easily triggered. I’ve been through things that would traumatize people without any real lasting affect. As such, I ofter forget to put trigger warnings on my posts. Nonetheless, I think trigger warnings are important. There are people who have gone through a traumatic event, whether recently or years ago, who are easily reminded of their trauma. Sometimes the reminder is bad enough to send them to the hospital. A lot of people say that those who are easily triggered should just get help and stay off the internet. But these people generally are getting help. Many of them see a therapist weekly, or even daily. They are on more medication than most of us could even imagine. Some even find themselves going in and out of psych wards. They are dealing with the trauma, but they will always have the scars. To tell them to get help is presumptuous and dismissive. And, what’s more, it isn’t always possible to just stay off the internet. We rely too much on it as a society. It could be the only way to contact people, it could be the main source of entertainment, or it could be required for work. So to tell someone to just avoid the internet is also presumptuous and dismissive. Especially since a person could do their best to avoid triggers and just happen across one because someone posted something on Facebook, or their was an ad in an article, or because a comment was made in a chat room. Triggers happen, and the person who experiences triggers shouldn’t be blamed or dismissed for having those triggers.

Which is why I believe trigger warnings are necessary. Trigger warnings take no time to put at the top of a post. They let anyone with a potential trigger know that they might want to avoid reading the article, but they don’t prevent anyone from reading them. Whether you experience a trigger or not, you can read posts with trigger warnings. You are in no way inconvenienced. So, if no one is inconvenienced by adding a trigger warning, and no one is inconvenienced by seeing a trigger warning, but someone could actually be harmed by the lack of a trigger warning, isn’t it best to add a trigger warning?

There is an issue with certain people being triggered by the trigger warning, but it seems to me that the trigger would be worse if they were to read the article. It has been suggested that “soft” trigger warnings could be used which go more along the lines of “Trigger Warning: r-word” instead of “Trigger Warning: rape.” I’m not sure how helpful those with triggers will find that, but, so long as people with triggers are requesting trigger warnings, I think it is only fair to add them when necessary.


What Are Feminist Issues?


I have just completed another survey in my Feminism series: http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=xxiz033c05yo72v472614. I intend for this one to be the second last one. This survey is about what issues are considered Feminist issues. It’s longer, but it’s important for my project. Please help me out by completing and sharing my survey. Please note: it comes with a trigger warning because I do discuss rape and abortion.

Here is an update as to how my other Feminist surveys are doing:

http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=i8d3kq6z73ems49471695 – 7%
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=4p48z0rwjwooxpf471689 – 6%
http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=r4t8nurh0tyxvqt470762 – 10%

If you haven’t done any of them, please do so. And please share my surveys. The sooner I get enough results, the sooner I can share my findings. So far they are quite interesting.


The Purity Myth


I am currently reading The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti. I’ll talk more about the actual book in another post. I found this questionnaire at the back of the book. I thought I’d fill it out and share my answers with you. I’d encourage others to do the same, because these questions really do get you thinking about gender assumptions.

How do you define virginity? Where do you think this definition came from?

I don’t. I believe virginity is a social construct. My view of virginity came from my education. Particularity psychology, sociology, and philosophy of gender courses.

How do you think the ethics of passivity affected your life, or how do you see it play out around you?

It affected my life greatly. It affected my life when my school friends stopped wanting to play outside at recess because they were too old to play. It affected my life when the boys wouldn’t play with me because I was a girl, and girls don’t like to play those sorts of things. It affected my life when I was told to sit and behave while the boys weren’t scolded for running around. It affected my life when I felt so much pressure to be perfect that I forgot how to share my emotions, because getting frustrated and not knowing how to do something meant I wasn’t perfect.

What values-other than “purity”-should we be instilling in young women to ensure they grow up to be active moral agents?

We should be teaching them critical thinking skills so that they can figure out what is right and what is wrong. We should be teaching them that they have agency, and they can speak up if they see something wrong. We should be teaching them about consent, and what their options are if someone takes their consent away. We should be teaching them that they are the equals of their male counterparts. We should be teaching them that they don’t have to compete with one another.

Were you brought up to think of female sexuality as somehow dirty? How did it effect you?

Of course. It affected how I viewed my female peers. If they had sex, they were sluts, if they didn’t, they were good. If affected how I saw my own value. It affected my relationship with my male peers, because I was told not to trust them, so I didn’t. It affected my ability to figure out my own sexuality, because I was supposed to push it deep down and pretend it didn’t exist, regardless of whether or not I was straight.

How can we create a more positive vision of women’s sexuality? What about younger women’s sexuality-how can we do the same while not falling into the trap of sexualizing youth?

I think the only way to create a positive image of female sexuality is to create proper equality between men and women. So long as women as seen as the second sex, female sexuality will be seen as secondary to a man’s. That means that male sexuality will be considered normal, but female sexuality will be seen as abnormal.

How can we battle back against mainstream pornography that degrades women while still valuing women’s sexuality and feminist expressions of it?

Make it illegal to make female stars look like they’re younger than 18. Put restrictions on the amount and type of violence that can be shown. Severely restrict rape porn. And improve the stories.

Did you (or does your child) attend abstinence-only classes? What did you think?

No, and my children never will. If I learn that my child’s school is trying to teach them abstinence -only, I will prevent it from continuing however I can.

How can we get word out in our communities and beyond that abstinence-only education teaches more than “don’t have sex”-but sexist gender roles?

I’m still trying to figure out how to convince people that those gender roles actually are sexist.

How do you think the purity myth manifests itself in violence against women?

Women who are raped are accused of asking for it, or being sluts, or lying to excuse a “mistake.” Women who are abused by their spouse are told that they should try to not make him so angry next time, or are blamed for being beaten. Many are asked why they didn’t just leave. All of this buys into the purity myth. Only virgins can be raped, because the rest of us must want it. Good girls don’t get beaten by their spouse because they keep him happy.

In what ways can we use dismantling the purity myth to also fight back against rape culture?

If women aren’t seen as asking for it, then maybe rape cases will be taken more seriously. Maybe more rapists will be convicted and more schools will teach about consent. Maybe if women aren’t seen as sluts for having sex, then it will be more difficult to blame a woman for the violence that happens against her. Maybe if sex isn’t seen as dirty, then people will realize that rape isn’t about sex.

What do you think it means to “be a man”? Do you think that definition is useful, dangerous, etc.?

I think it should mean that one labels oneself a man. But I think it instead means to hide emotions, act tough, and avoid being compared to a woman. I think it is incredibly damaging, because it teaches boys that there is something wrong with being female, and it teaches girls that their value is less than that of the boys.

How do you think masculinity contributes to the purity myth? How have you seen this played out in your own life?

Femininity is seen as the opposite of masculinity. Masculinity is seen as superior. I think that the superiority associated with masculinity contributes to purity, because girls are taught to be submissive to men. They are taught to value masculinity over femininity while being told to be perfectly feminine themselves. Girls are taught that men won’t value them if they aren’t pure.

What are some tangible ways we change the culture of virginity fetish?

Women wear make-up to look younger. Long hair is valued over short hair. Female characters act childish, especially in animations. Female costumes are often made to look childish. Sucking lollipops is sexualized.

Who are some young women in your life who counteract the current notion of apathetic, un-engaged youth?

Like every one I know. The young women in my life care deeply about feminism and LGBT rights. They discuss politics. They care deeply about the society in which we live.
Imagine a world without “purity” and virginity. What does it look like?

Awesome. Men and women would be equals. There would be no glass ceiling. Women wouldn’t be seen as potential mothers first and foremost. Rape culture wouldn’t exist. And everyone could act as masculine or as feminine as they wanted to without fear of negative consequences.

*While I only discussed men and women, this can be applied to people of all genders, and intersex people as well.


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