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Lovers/Haters: Toronto SlutWalk

8 Apr

Today our Lovers/Haters are related. First, the Hater.

Hater: Const. Michael Sanguinetti

This member of the Toronto Police force had the audacity to speak out loud what many rape victims face every day – he blamed the rape victims at York University for dressing too provocatively. To quote, Sanguinetti said, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Yes, I raged at that comment like any intelligent woman would. The best (read: worst) part? Sanguinetti admitted before saying it that he was told not to say that. How stupid is this guy? The REAL best part was the outpouring retaliation that has come to play as a result…

Lovers: Toronto SlutWalk

SlutWalk is an amazing march that started as a result of our hater’s comments. The march was designed to draw attention to the slut terminology, how women are viewed, and rape culture in general. Students and staff of York University and others in the community are demanding an apology and punishment for dumbass Sanguinetti for his actions. Protesters are also stressing the importance of sexual assault training for police force so that cops are better able to handle any situations appropriately.  I particularly love seeing the signs in some of the photos shown, such as:




Seriously, can we start a SlutWalk here??

Read more:
Toronto march to redefine ‘slut’
Pellett: Women Are Never “Asking for it”
Resistance, Language, and the Toronto SlutWalk
(this sociological article discusses the usage of the word “slut” and the protest in general – very interesting!)

Lovers/Haters: Love, love, love

1 Apr

There are a few lovers I want to acknowledge this week, and to be honest, I didn’t feel like thinking about all of the negativity surrounding women’s rights today. Today we are going to celebrate women!

“Women are not a commodity to be haggled over or bartered with. Their bodies, their reproductive rights are theirs and theirs alone!

The GOP and its allies have no fucking authority over what a woman can and cannot do with their bodies.

Women are not property. Women are not slaves. They are human beings–just as us men are!”

This blog post came through my reproductive rights Google alert today and I almost missed it. Thankfully I read the fine print because it’s a great post! My favorite thing about it? It’s written by a feminist male. I love when feminist males speak up about these kinds of issues! I love my ladies, but I have to admit, sometimes it feels like an us vs. them argument, which not only creates unmovable sides but ignores other genders as well. Check it out – it’s a great rant.

“By simply helping preserve their personal records, we can make sure our veterans have the care they need while supporting justice for assault victims.”

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a bill called the Support for Survivors Act to assist victims of sexual assault in the military. The bill would require the military to keep all evidence of sexual assaults committed on servicemembers instead of destroying them and sweeping the issue under the rug. It may not be much, but it’s certainly a start to acknowledging this consistent issue (which I wrote about here).

“To all the women out there with inconvenient dreams, never stop dreaming and never stop fighting.”

I love this post by Abortion Gang (see the blogroll link as well!). It discusses why she uses birth control and why she would choose to have an abortion if her birth control failed. It’s a wonderful post that discusses that nasty “convenience” claim that anti-choicers love to make.

Any lovers you want to highlight?

Done with the victim blaming

9 Mar

For those of you who haven’t heard, an 11-year old girl was raped by EIGHTEEN men in Cleveland, TX. What’s the reaction? Shock, dismay, care for the innocent victim? Hell, no! Instead, there have been mass amounts of victim blaming. Yes, seriously. For example in the New York Times disturbingly rape-friendly article:

Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands—known as the Quarters—said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

“Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record. “How can you have an 11-year-old child missing down in the Quarters?”

The article also sympathizes the rapists – did I mention there were 18 men? – saying:

The case has rocked this East Texas community to its core and left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions. Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?

….

“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”

THE BOYS HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT??? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK THE GIRL HAS TO LIVE WITH???

Forget about depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual issues, lack of trust, difficulty in relationships, remembering what happened every second of every day – forget that she’s a person because she was asking for it with her slutty makeup and wish to fit in and be liked by people. She didn’t even go to the police (which is VERY common because of the victim blaming backlash that often occurs) – they came to her when a cell phone video started circulating around the community. The only good thing that might come out of this is that maybe this girl will be able to get help to allow her to cope with what happened to her.

To the poor, innocent girl who was a victim – we support you 100%.

Read a decent cover of the story here (FOX, you continue to surprise me!): http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/09/18-arrested-sexual-assaults-11-year-old-texas-girl/

Or here: http://www.themarknews.com/articles/4323-18-texas-men-charged-in-gang-rape-of-11-year-old-girl

And because I’m overwhelming sick of people claiming that we women deserve it when we get raped sadistically by assholes, here’s a clip from The Vagina Monologues for you all.

Rape in the armed forces and Peace Corps

8 Mar

Let me say up front before the complaints start piling in – I support our troops. What I don’t support is the proven number of sexual assault crimes that have been perpetrated against women in the military. Guess what, boys? Women have every right to be in the military if that is their choice, whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like it? Too freaking bad.

Many news stories have released stories about sexual assault in the military in recent months – all of which is disturbing and overwhelmingly disappointing, but not surprising.

First, many service members are suing the Pentagon for turning a blind eye to the sexual assault crimes that happen on a regular basis: Lawsuit claims Pentagon turned blind eye to military rape victims

One woman reports that she was told, “Marines don’t cry” after sharing her story. You know what else Marines don’t do? DISRESPECT THEIR COMRADES.

Another article on the story: Vets seek changes in military’s handling of rape, sexual assault cases

The Star Tribune released an article last December about the rising rates of sexual assault within the military: Women vets’ secret war: Sexual trauma

This is the only thing I’m going to even say about this article:

66,342 female veterans report assaults from 2002 to 2008 — by their band of brothers.

Even more disturbing – and surely an oxymoron – is the shockingly high number of occurrences of sexual assault in the Peace Corps: Peace Corps gang rape: Volunteer says U.S. agency ignored warnings (Jan. 12, 2011)

The post speaks for itself:

More than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted in the last decade while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries.

In some cases, victims say, the Peace Corps has ignored safety concerns and later tried to blame the women who were raped for bringing on the attacks.

“Every day we felt unsafe. And we reported everything, we just kept reporting,” she said in an interview with five other former volunteers who also were rape or sexual assault victims.

“When the decision was made that I was to go to Washington, D.C., I was told to tell volunteers that I was having my wisdom teeth out,” Smochek says.

Between 2000 and 2009, Peace Corps figures show there were 221 rapes or attempted rapes, 147 major sexual attacks and 719 other sexual assaults—defined as unwanted or forced kissing, fondling or groping.

Imagine your daughter  going into the Peace Corps – you’d be proud, right? Now imagine that your daughter is coming out with after this has happened.

How are we supposed to trust that these people are going to protect our country? How are these women supposed to trust that these people will be on their side?

Most importantly – what is happening to change this??

We know it’s rape

1 Feb

It has come to my attention that in the midst of all the tweeting and absolute horror of HR3 that I didn’t blog about it! So just what is going on? H.R. 3 is actually an anti-abortion bill put forth by anti-choicers. It basically bans any federal funding for abortions, and let’s be honest, we knew that was coming. Typical anti-choice crap. And let us just point this quote out:

“When there’s no public subsidy for abortion, the number of abortions drop by about 25 percent,” [Chris] Smith said, citing right-to-life movement research.

Yes, because the women are all taking incredibly dangerous steps to ensure their choices matter, like using hangers or lye. Yay for dropping the abortion count and raising the death count!

But where does rape come into play? In the part where the bill pushers want to make the Hyde Amendment pass. Which is one of the most anti-woman agendas in the history of this country. It redefines rape. H.R. 3 only provides exemptions for coverage if the pregnancy results from “an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest.”

No, it doesn’t matter if you were drugged, if you were date raped, if you had two sips of a drink at a party, if you can’t prove that your dad/brother/uncle/boyfriend/friend/stranger touched you in ANY sexually inappropriate manner. They don’t care. They’re too blinded by their own misguided “mission” to destroy the women of America.

What do we do?

We know what rape is. We know that it’s rape if you’ve been talked to sexually in a way that makes you uncomfortable, if you’ve been touched inappropriately, fondled, or forced to have intercourse. We know that it’s rape if you had a sip to drink, if you were completely drunk, if you were sober. We know that it’s rape if the offender was a stranger, your dad, your brother, your friend, your boyfriend. We know it’s rape when you’re flailing, when you can’t move, when you’re motionless because you’re too scared and shocked to move. We know it’s rape when YOU DON’T CONSENT. Period.

SPEAK OUT! Call your legislators. Make waves on Twitter and Facebook. Do whatever you can to stop this. Because this is truly unthinkable. And it’s out there.

Read the bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3

Sign the petition to speak out against “corrective rape”!

7 Jan

For those of you who don’t know, “corrective rape” is a term used to describe when a heterosexual male rapes a lesbian to “cure” her of her homosexuality. This is UNTHINKABLE! Many women are beaten and/or murdered, get STDs such as AIDS/HIV, or commit suicide as a result. This has become particularly prevalent in South Africa and other nations, but it’s a global problem.

What can you do to help? Sign a petition to eliminate this inhumane  “treatment”! This petition is requesting that South Africa declare “corrective rape” a hate crime and enforce laws to punish those who commit it:
http://www.change.org/petitions/view/south_africa_declare_corrective_rape_a_hate-crime

Also, follow Change.org (a human rights organzation) on Facebook to see updates: http://www.facebook.com/humanrights.change.org

Wait honey, I need to sign this contract first…

4 Apr

Just wow on this one. An article by NEWSLIVE.com.au states that apparently in an independent state of Australia, women should sign a contract before having sex. Huh? What? Why is this? Ohhh, read on…

An Independent state MP has suggested women should sign a contract before having sex in order to prevent men being subject to false rape allegations, News Limited has reported.

In a response to proposed laws making it an offence to continue a sex act with a person who changes their mind about consent, South Australian MP Ann Bressington suggested to Parliament men should carry a sex contract to prevent being accused of rape.

Are you f’ing KIDDING me??? As if it’s not hard enough for women to come forward about being raped, now they have to sign a contract before sex because people think they’re lying??!

Ann Brennington states, “This Bill makes men guilty until proven innocent and they will have no defence.” Okay then, Ann, what are you doing to protect innocent women from being raped??? I agree that people who “cry rape” have absolutely no excuse and are ruining the judicial system for those who actually are violated, and yes, this needs to end somehow…but you’re putting ALL of the blame and fault on the woman and that’s just not right. Worse than that, you’re making it even harder for someone who truly WAS raped to come forward about it. Remember, peeps, 1 in 4 women are raped and only 16% of these rapes get reported – check out possible reasons why women don’t report rape in this undeniably real and honest blog post.

Women are already:
– Subjected to painful rape kits
– Further harassment by the rapist and their supporters
– Mocking by strangers and trusted ones alike
– “Questions” that are more like accusations by police and others

…and by the time it’s all over, they find out the police don’t believe them. Cause we needed another reason to worry.

The ONE good thing about this is that it’s somewhat two-fold…men without a signed contract could be charged with sexual assault. But considering the amount of cases that actually get anywhere now…well, let’s not hold our breath on that one.