Tag Archives: rape

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.

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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.

no

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.

real menReal Woman 2

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.

consequences


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.


Why Shia LaBeouf’s Rape Should Be Taken Seriously


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Recently, Shia LaBeouf has come out and said that he was raped. A number of people have made comments along the lines of “Why didn’t he do anything?” and “Did he say ‘no’?” Some have even laughed about it. But this is no joke.

Whether you like LaBeouf as an actor, or think he’s not a very good person, doesn’t matter. Nobody deserves to be raped. And assuming he’s lying or deserved it is victim blaming. Shia LaBeouf is the victim in this case. And he deserves to be treated with the same respect that all victims deserve.

He’s also been accused of lying and attention seeking. That may very well be the case. But does that mean his accusations shouldn’t be taken seriously? Of course not! False rape allegations still only make up 2% of all rape allegations. And this is a serious issue. His accusations should be looked into. He shouldn’t just be brushed off as a liar with no investigation. That’s not how we determine what’s true.

And I can’t help but wonder why people think he would lie about being raped to get attention. Rape victims don’t usually get treated well, and they aren’t often believed, so it’s a good way to get blamed, but not a good way to get any sort of positive attention.

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This is the type of shit women face after being raped. Why would anybody want this kind of attention?

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So why are those feminists so darn grumpy about nail polish?


So many of you are probably aware that some chemists at MIT have invented a nail polish that a person can dip into their drink and detects the date rape drug GHB (gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid) by changing colour. There is some strong indicators from prior attempt to process similar products that they don’t work as they are too sensitive and will change colour when exposed to substances such a milk, and may not even respond to GHB though lets ignore that.

Even assuming that it works this nail polish isn’t the win-win some folks seem to be making out to be. Like most rape prevention items it focuses mostly on the victims rather then he perpetrators and the reasons why the perpetrators commit the crimes.

It’s a stop-gap measure much like a chastity belt, though slightly less problematic and also even less effective (not to mention cost effective). First some people sight number like this could prevent 1% of rapes. First that 1% statistic is probably far too high, why? Because there are well over two dozen relatively (though most are controlled) common substances which can be used a date rape drug (not including alcohol).

This nail polish can probably only detect a single of those compound (maybe, it might detect lots of unintended things). It’s like barricading a house by covering a single window at random and hoping the zombies pick that window. And it does nothing about alcohol you might be drinking and the fact the vast majority of perpetrators are known to the victim (there by passing the trust barrier).

Sure it’s an interesting bit of tech (assuming it works which seem more doubtful then likely), but it’s pretty damn useless because of the above. To even protect the tiny percent of women who will be attacked with GHB we need to have every women wearing it at most social events involving drinking and using it effectively all the time.

Which leads to a particular comment which in large part started off the writing of the reply which lead in turn to this post.

“And lastly, where you definitely miss my point: rape, like murder, will likely never be eradicated from human society. It is at least partly behavioral and you can’t stop that. So while it’s really nice to say “We should just cure the disease,” it’s not realistic and you can’t abandon any other progress just to pursue that.” (I’ll leave him anonymous)

The question isn’t how do we eradicate rape it’s how we prevent (mostly) men from thinking that rape is an acceptable means of exerting power over others, or taking sexual pleasure. The facts as they stand are according to recent CDC studies (here) that an estimated 19.3% of American women will be raped, 43.9% will be exposed to sexual violence, 15.2% will experience being stalked in their life time. These are not numbers to be explained away by some non-existent small percent of bad, but very busy, eggs.

(The male numbers respectively are 1.7%, 23.4%(though some rape numbers are actually in this category so that first number should be higher) 5.7% I suggest people read the report it’s a bit tricky).

Why do I bring this up? Because it seem clear from my experience and reading that a large proportion of rapists don’t even know/acknowledge they are rapists, and don’t understand what consent and rape actually are. That’s part of why stop gap measures like this nail polish are not a real solutions. One because they are not every effective, and two they really are not treating the cause of the problem. Which as far as I can tell is a gross misunderstanding of consent, and a double standard we have with regard to sex and consent and basically all other places where we consider consent as important. such as property, ownership, scientific experiments, medicine and the like. We don’t just assume that, when you haven’t given clear consent, that you’ve in fact given consent to donate your kidney, but many people thing ambiguous consent equal consensual sex, and worse some others think that a no isn’t really a no.

Most feminists, from my understanding, are not saying that the nail polish is awful in and of itself (though I’m sure you can find some if you look, like any opinion), it’s more that it’s pretty damn useless and it’s probable that some woman somewhere is going to get drugged by GHB and someone is going to blame her for not wearing her drug test kit that evening. I hope that’s not the case, but tech like this doesn’t actually even treat the symptoms (overall) let alone the problem, And that’s assuming it works! No matter how neat it might be, it has to be very effective indeed to even be consisted as a useful tool which to inconvenience half the party going population with. And even then do we really want women to have to do another little fucking thing every day just so they are safe from violence?

I suppose the point of all of this is that it isn’t about the nail polish at all, it’s about who we put the burden of rape prevention on. I would like to see everyone, with a particular onus on the education system and the authorities, be responsible for rape prevention. Not just women.

Withteeth


A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Three.


Click to go back to Part 1

Next I will discuss the one part of Godless Cranium’s reply where I felt misrepresented.

Here is the section from his reply where he quoted me saying the following.

Moreover, women are considered public objects in our society, we are allowed to freely and openly critique every physical portion of a women and are often expected to. From their body to their clothing to the way they move and present themselves, even the way they talk. One might say men get this to, but anyone who is honestly looking into the issue will admit that it occurs far more regularly to women. For example; how often do men get cat called, or whistled at? Both women and men judge women largely by their physical traits, which is largely not the case for men. As well, this is not an inequality born of nature, but of culture. There are cultures where the above examples are not the case, yet we are mostly blind to this since we were raised with this often overt sexism all around us and deem it normal and expected.

Withteeth (myself)

He then followed my quote with:

Emphasis is again mine, to show where one sex is minimized in favor of the other.

So because men don’t get cat-called or whistled at as often as women, they’re never critiqued for their physical proportions. Really? …

… Are you saying that popular culture (movies, TV, video games, cartoons, comics, websites etc) are not flooded by good looking men?

Are you saying that sex sells, no matter the gender or sex being portrayed?

In a perfect world, should men or women be valued more if they’re attractive to the opposite sex?

Of course not. But we’re sexual beings and we like to look at the opposite sex. Women do it just like men do. There are also jerks from either sex/gender.

Godless Cranium

I feel this misrepresents what I said, and misrepresents the reality.

I never said objectification of men never happens when asking if men are treated as object to be yelled at and judged purely by their looks, aka catcalling. In fact I implied it occurred to men as well, but not as often. I also didn’t make a statement about how men are not critiqued for their physical proportions, nor did I say anything about media in that section of the post, but allow me to do so now.

Now, I won’t argue your point about people in media in general being full of beautiful people, but I will argue that women and men are still not equal in that regard. Men get much more diversity of representation in the looks department then do women. You don’t need to be super attractive to succeed in media if you’re a man. There are unattractive men in media, and main character of sitcoms are often unattractive men, particularly cartoons (The Simpsons, Family Guy), but the women in these shows are generally very attractive and are often in the position of being far more attractive then the main male character. The reverse is basically never the case, have you ever seen an unattractive women in a TV show in a relationship with an very attractive man? It’s exceedingly rare.

Unattractive men are not that uncommon from the small and large screen, or even games, but unattractive women? You don’t see them in media nearly as often, and you basically never see them as fleshed out characters. And you hardly even see any women as fleshed out characters let alone unattractive women.

There are attractive people in media and, while not all people like looking at attractive people of a different sexes (let’s not be hetero-normative, the media might be, but we don’t need to be), most people like to look at other attractive humans. This is pretty obvious. Though I don’t think that we should judge women (or men, but I’d argue men don’t have this problem) primarily on whether or not we think they are attractive. This Ted talk by Megan Kamerick discusses the representation of women in the media (this one’s good for making you think):

https://www.ted.com/talks/megan_kamerick_women_should_represent_women_in_media#t-299037

And in regards to not caring about physical appearances, I honestly don’t know how the world would be different if it was the case we didn’t care about physical appearances. It could be better, or it could end up not changing anything in the end. I can’t know, but it also isn’t the world we live in, so it is irrelevant to the question of what we should do.

There are jerks everywhere, and I’m all for supporting a culture where men and women don’t have to be sexually harassed in public.

Godless Cranium

I agree with Godless in principle, but I don’t necessarily like framing the issue as both men and women are harassed (equally) in the street. It ignores that women take most of the brunt, and it also isn’t saying who’s doing the harassment. I suspect it’s largely men. I personally haven’t experienced sexual harassment of men in public, but I have experienced multiple times where women have been harassed publicly. Mostly this was when I was younger and I didn’t know I could do anything about it, but I make up for that lack as best as I’m able now.

Feel free to keep saying “I’m all for supporting a culture where men and women don’t have to be sexually harassed in public,” but don’t forget that women are harassed more than men see following links for the proof:

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/statistics-academic-studies/

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/2013/10/31/spookystats-heres-why-street-harassment-is-a-big-deal/

According to these stats, women once again are subjected to the brunt of street harassment as 65%-99% of women reporting having been harassed, and, while 25% of men in the study reported having been harassed, with a higher rate of LGBT men being harassed, there are several study and links to the full report on the Stop Street Harassment site, I’ve included two links for ease of access.

Alright so I need to be very careful and I probable haven’t been as careful as I could be. I definitely don’t mean to ignore men’s issues, and really I’m not. I point them out when I see them, and I understand they are problems. But the point is that anti-feminist sentiment tries to label feminists as man-hating and ignoring men’s right all together. This is what I’m fighting against, and the reality is that women take the brunt of the societal ills I’ve been discussing. While child custody issues, and legal issue surrounding courts giving favorable sentencing to women for no other reason by their gender, is a real issues, why do those two examples occur? I think it’s largely because society view’s women as harmless, kind, caring, and nurturing. While men are ambitious, aggressive, dangerous, and strong. Of course, this sort of sexism will cause misconceptions, and are probably in the vast majority of cases benevolent sexism.

Here’s a video about why violence against women is a men’s issue. This video is useful to tie thing together as we go along through these posts, and points out how both men and women are victim of violence perpetrated by men: something I’ve been glossing over, but that needs to be said. Though over all he hit all the points. Watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8

If we are really going to talk about men’s issues we need to talk about the US justice system, and how men and boys are unfairly locked away, especially those who are economically disadvantaged and who are not white. Talk about how we raise boys to put sex (with women) higher than almost anything, along with being respected and being ever stoic no matter what’s happening.

Here are some resent posts dealing with issue primarily effecting men:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/michael-brown-and-ferguson/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/us-prison-system/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/male-rape-no-laughing-matter/

We need to tackle the problem largely by going after the roots of sexism in society. The shit we learn even as small children. And most of that work is in education, and it’s very hard to educate when there are big powers and other movement’s pushing back hard against this education. We need to teach and encourage men to speak out about all these issues, especially violence against women, which is so often normalized and ignored. I suspect a large reason the movement has been as successful as it has been is due to the fact that feminism is the just thing. Most people understand that equality is the only real just option we have available.

Withteeth

Part 2

Part 4


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