TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of rape culture and rape apologism in commentary, very explicit recounting of personal sexual violence in the video, and similar recounts in the links
No matter your opinion on Obama’s foreign policy or Romney’s economic plan, now that the presidential election has come to an end, one thing I would hope anyone reading this blog would be happy about is that rape-apologists Joe Walsh, Richard Mourdock and Todd Aiken have been voted out of their House of Representative and Senate seats.
I would like to believe this means that our year of “legitimate rape,” “honest rape,” “forcible rape” and basically any “[descriptive qualifier] rape” is finally over, but let’s get real: rape culture and victim-blaming have existed for a long time, and these are not the only awful public statements politicians and public figures have made about rape.
I know it’s disheartening. I know that it’s really easy to feel burnt out, particularly when we hear the same rape-apologist bullshit again and again and again.
Here is the good news.
More and more people are breaking the silence around sexual violence.
Angel Haze is one survivor who has made her story heard in this amazing, brutally honest new track. In it, she relates her story of sexual violence and abuse, how the indifference of others aided her abusers, and how, over time, she has emerged triumphant from her fear and shame.
Stories like hers are important, and the fact that people can share them, and that we are listening shows that while we still have a long way to go, we are creating change.
For a better, more in-depth article about Angel Haze and how rap can help end rape culture, I definitely recommend this article in The Atlantic.
Haven’t done one of these in a while, so for this weekend, let’s go back in time to 1993 with Salt-n-Pepa’s None of Your Business.
I chose this song for this weekend because it astonishes me just how relevant this song still is.
Sometimes strangers think they have a right to comment on your body and your choices. They forget that you’re an adult capable of making your own decisions. They disapprove of your tattoos, your weight, the length of your skirt, the number of times you go out, the number of people you have sex with- and for some reason, they think that means that you no longer deserve privacy or respect.
Obviously, this is nonsense. Respect isn’t just for people you deem ‘respectable.’
So this weekend? Go wild. Drink, party, have one night stands or stay at home and have a Lord of the Rings marathon. Some people may not approve of your choices, but forget ’em. It’s none of their business.
Everyone knows a guy like this. The one you go on one date with, and he already starts spouting off about true love. The one who texts you constantly even though you never reply back. The one who calls you a bitch for rejecting them, and claims no one likes ‘nice guys’ anymore because they believe a date, a kiss, or giving them your phone number means they’re entitled to more.
What does this have to do with street harassment? The person who continues to try to chat you up even when you’re obviously uninterested is the same as the person who Even if the latter seems nice (after all, you decided to date him!), he is not a nice person.
Don’t tolerate people who won’t understand or respect your boundaries. Don’t feel pressured to give up more of your time or energy to someone because they have a false sense of entitlement. You don’t owe them anything.
Happy Monday, y’all. Getting up and going out into the world can be a drag, but having an epic theme song like Tomoyasu Hotei’s Battle Without Honor or Humanity often helps. Is it a bit much? Well hey, who said public transport isn’t a battle?
That’s not to say that we advocate taking Gogo Yubari’s approach to addressing creeps, but there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasy, especially when cutting off his hand would teach him not to keep trying to place it on your leg.
We know how much it can suck walking through public places where you’ve been harassed before. Having certain songs playing while you walk always help- it’s like having your own bad ass theme song follow you around.
Hardcore Girls is my personal favourite at the moment- it’s all about reclaiming public places and strutting your stuff regardless of the disrespectful assholes trying to bring down your game. Turn up the volume; drown out the creeps.