Blaming the Victim will NEVER solve the problem! We Need to Tell The TRUTH because it Matters!
By Pete Ha
By Pete Ha
By Pete H.
The first time I realized how badly women are beaten, I didn’t know what to do. I had known about it and saw the violence in my home, but I didn’t think it was that important or that bad. What was the big deal? Everyone gets beat up. After all, I believed, why dwell on household violence when there is war? I felt helpless when I heard the stories from women who suffered intimate partner violence. I couldn’t ignore it. Not only were women beaten, they were put down verbally, emotionally and psychologically, which they said was worse than being beaten physically. How could this happen? And how could people not know about it or even talk about it? I studied as much as I could. I became obsessed with “violence against women” as an issue. I took excessive notes on napkins and scrap paper about my thinking about it, about what other people said about it. I sought intervention and I even took notes there. I read many articles about patriarchal violence, read bell hooks and Paul Kivel. Domestic violence has to be done away with! I tried riling people up, to wake up and take action!
This article originally appeared in Revolution Newspaper at Revcom.us
From a reader who works with the movement for revolution and with End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women!
There has been a whole lot of talk and criticism of Miley Cyrus for her performance at the August MTV Video Music Awards. Almost all of the criticism has been directed at her, with little of the criticism directed towards Robin Thicke. Most of the criticism has been that Miley was “indecent,” or a “slut,” or that she was racist in the way that she used Black female dancers. Others are defending her performance by saying that she is just being sexual, and that there was nothing really wrong with her performance. Some of the mainstream freak-out has clearly been amplified by thinly veiled racism over the fact that she “twerked,” while others have accused Miley of wrongly “appropriating Black culture.”
In this piece, I will offer some thinking on the many levels at which this whole incident, including most of the terms of “debate” around it, reveals the need for a culture of revolt against this truly revolting culture. To begin with, while it was far from unique or even the most extreme manifestation in popular culture today, her performance was very much in keeping with a whole culture that degrades and objectifies women, sexuality, and Black people.
But, to simply call Miley a “slut,” without any other content, says much more about how the critic views women and sexuality than it does about Miley Cyrus. And while I realize that many people, even feminists, uphold the use of that term, it most certainly is meant to degrade, not empower, women. And it certainly is not being used in an empowering way in any of the online comments that I’ve seen. Furthermore, the framework of “slut” vs. “good girl” with “good girls” being chaste and virginal is all wrong; the former because of how it degrades women into sex objects, and the latter because it sees women as objects and property.
It was Hillary Clinton who came out and said that abortion is a “tragic” decision for women. Bullshit. You know what is tragic? Forced motherhood! You know what else is tragic? Poverty is tragic. Poverty that prevents a woman from being able to have and care for a child she wants is tragic. Rape is tragic. Pregnancies that result from rape are tragic. Health problems that interfere with a woman’s pregnancy, causing risk to her life or to the fetus are tragic.
Being able to have an abortion to prevent women from being double-penalized by these tragedies, to prevent women from having to foreclose their lives and futures and dreams, to prevent women from being further trapped in poverty or abuse, this is POSITIVE AND LIBERATING!
Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution Newspaper and initiator of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride.
I am not a follower of the television show Law & Order: SVU (Special Victims Unit.) There’s something about the glorified police brutality and the idea of people’s trauma as entertainment that turns my stomach. Then I heard they did an episode called “Legitimate Rape.” The title is a play on the outrageous comments made by Todd Akin, a Republican candidate for a Senate seat in Missouri last August claiming victims of “legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant. I became curious about how they took this on, and figured it was worth watching, just this once.
On March 9th 2013 for International Women’s Day, Stop Patriarchy will be holding a rally at Westlake, in Seattle…but we are not stopping there! We’re going to be protesting several sites that represent the war on women, and how that war is intensifying. The first place we plan to protest is Mars Hill Church…then we will make our presence known in front of the Deja Vu Showgirls strip club/porn store. In between those spots we will be stopping at bus stops to speak out and protest rape and sexual assault. From Delhi to Ohio, and everywhere else, from the global epidemic of rape, to the attacks on abortion rights, from the burkha to the thong…if you are not fighting the war on women, you are condoning it!
Here’s why we plan to go to Mars Hill and Deja Vu Showgirls….while these are presented as opposing forces by opposing sides, they actually have MUCH more in common than most people think. The Christian fascists and the pornographers both enslave women, and they both strip women of their rights, their voices, and their humanity.
Break the Silence ©2007-2013 ~AzFaka
I’ve been thinking lately about the charge that is eventually leveled against anyone that actively fights for women to be treated as human beings. “YOU HATE MEN!!”
Not true. But before I go all into defense mode…let me turn the question: Why is it that men hate women?
Look at the world we live in, and look, honestly, at what this world is like for women. Look at how many women are raped, the majority of the rapes carried out on women by men that they trust, friends even. One of the ones they thought was one of the “good guys.”
Look at how many women are beaten, again mostly by their so-called ‘partners’
by Sunsara Taylor
Reprinted from Revolution newspaper #283 10/28/12
Every day we are told that women have achieved unprecedented equality in this “greatest of all possible countries.” Every day politicians point their fingers at the very real crimes against women in other countries to reinforce the idea that it is so much better here. Every day, the news media and the Democrats bombard us with the horrifically enslaving program of the Christian fascists and the Republican Party to attempt to get us to accept the deadly “status quo” of society’s treatment of women.
But let’s look at the reality of life for women in this so-called “best of all possible worlds.”
On October 21, in Brookfield, Wisconsin, a woman who had been physically abused and terrorized by her estranged husband, a woman who had repeatedly sought police protection and a restraining order, was hunted down at her job and shot dead by him. Not only that, but two other women were murdered by this man and at least four other women were shot and sent to the hospital.
In one morning, the lives of three women were extinguished. For years their families, their children, their loved ones will battle the sorrow and the rage of this loss. Their lives will be haunted by this cruel viciousness and they will never fill the holes left by the theft of these women’s lives.
Four other women were severely injured. For the rest of their lives, they will bear the trauma and the scars of having dared to go to a salon—whether for work or for relaxation—in a world where men feel entitled to murder and punish women with startling regularity. That they had no personal connection to the killer is of no consequence, their crime was simply being female in this world where men are trained to view women as disposable and worthy of punishment.
For everyone else who was present, this day will rival—if not overshadow—all the other memorable days of their lives (the birth of their children, their greatest achievement, etc.) as the one that leaves the most lasting impression. For the rest of their days, they will not only sense in their heads, but they will feel in their bones, the constant force of hatred and violence that rains down on women. The way that all of us are touched at every minute by this war, whether head-on as its primary targets or “merely” as its “collateral damage.”
And all throughout society, women everywhere have been cruelly reminded: you live in a society that has accepted violence and hatred against women as a constant and the murder of women as routine.
So, what was the response to this massacre by the ruling authorities in this “oh-so-greatest-of-all-possible-countries”?
Charlotte, North Carolinians had no idea what was coming for them.
Stop Patriarchy came ready to take on the anti-abortion Christian fundamentalists during the weekend leading up to the Democratic Convention. We arrived Thursday night, with banner and posters in hand, ready to protest the prayer vigil that scheduled to take place in front of the convention center, for “3,300 precious lives lost every day due to abortions.” We felt as though it would also be a great time to celebrate the 3,300 lives of women saved, and allowed to make their own choices. The antis wore shirts with the shape of a fully developed baby in the colors of the American flag. All of them grasping their bibles of course. They were very passive aggressive, saying quick, Christian-y things in our ear as they would pass by like, “God save you.” There was back forth over who could stand closest to the street without stepping into it. That was pretty funny. We were honestly enjoying the festivities; we kept up our chants as the antis attempted to stand in front of us while trying to block our banner with their signs. We got a lot of positivity from onlookers and reporters who were drawn to the scene. We refused to be harrassed by these extremists — one of them even wearing a burlap sack… not kidding.
As they kept pointing to their bible as their argument time and time against abortion, we cited a bible passage which says that women should be stoned to death if they are not virgins before marriage. They stood behind every passage! These people are literally in full belief and compliance with the idea that we should be living in the present as they told us to live over 2,000 years ago. Come on… seriously?
Stop Patriarchy brings Stories from the War Zone to Slut Walk Seattle
from Andrea Strong
Andrea Strong is a Steering Committee Member of End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women.
[Written after reading the letter, “I Still Don’t Call It Rape and the Weight of It Gets Heavier All the Time” from Abigail Lynn.]
Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault. Let me repeat that: Rape is NEVER EVER EVER EVER the fault of the victim. If you were raped, suspect you were raped, or if you were coerced by words or charm or threat, and may not call it rape, but still feel violated, IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT.
We live in a RAPE culture, a culture where people think that rape has to with sex. Rape has little to do with sex; it is about one person controlling another: whether through physical violence, emotional pressure, or leveraging of power or other social capital, to the point where the victim of the rape feels anything from humiliation all the way up to fear for their life as the dominant emotions. Any female, from the age of 6 months to 90 years old, of any nationality, from any walk of life, wearing any kind of clothing, doing any kind of work or activity (sometimes even sleeping in her own bed), is at risk. Any female in any physical environment, at any time of day or night, is at risk. It could happen in her own home, at a college frat party, at her kindergarten playground, at her church or temple, at her job, in her car, on the street, on the bus or subway, etc., etc., etc. The aggressor could be her boyfriend, her teacher, her priest, her husband, her friend, her date, a stranger, her employer, her boss, her client, her co-worker, even her father/brother/uncle/ or other family member, etc., etc.,etc.
This idea that women that get raped somehow asked for it: by their dress, by their behavior, by the work that they do – like prostitution, or pornography, (or babysitting!!), those ideas are wrong. Let me be clear, they are wrong because morally it’s wrong, not to mention ludicrous, to blame a victim of a crime for the crime that someone else committed against them. BUT moreover, those ideas are wrong, meaning that those ideas don’t reflect reality; they don’t accurately describe why rapists rape women.
from Abigail Lynn
[part of our growing collection of Stories from the War Zone]
I was 42 before it really, seriously dawned on me that my first sexual experience was an assault. Even now, in my late 50s, I cannot say that it was rape. Rape is what happens to others; this wasn’t “as bad.” Even as I write about it now I have to soften it, distinguish it from real pain, by calling it an assault.
It was 1970; I had just turned 15.
The whole agenda of anti-choicers makes my stomach turn; their tactics are just so blatanly anti-women. Representative Akin’s recent comments about abortion rights in the case of rape are really telling.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said.“But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”