Monday, 27 February 2012

"Rape Culture Is A Myth."

I was honestly told this by a man earlier.

I was debating with him on tumblr about the basics of feminism, and I say basics as he knows absolutely nothing about feminism at all, and thinks all feminists want to destroy all men and/or be treated like royalty and never lift a finger.

He claims that women don't do hard manual labour jobs because they're too prim and proper and dainty and weak, not because they often get rejected from these jobs by company employers for that very stigma.

He has only ever had experience with radical feminists and believes that the views of the extremist end of the feminist scale are the views of all feminists the world over. He is saying that if you class yourself as a feminist, you should be prepared to be grouped in with these people and he doesn't care if he's making a huge generalisation.

To which I told him saying that is like saying there's no such thing as genres because all music is the same. Or that Hilter represents the entirety of Germany.

Incredibly small minded.

There are many types of feminists. It's madness to think otherwise... I mean there's Marxist Feminists, who believe sexism towards women and the exploitation of women benefits Capitalism. Liberal Feminists, who strive for equality for women, who want all the same rights that men have without the idea being constantly drummed into our heads that women are lesser beings, or that women are here for men's pleasure. (Most feminists will actually fall under this category, but unfortunately be tagged with the Radical Feminists...) Black Feminists, who claim that it is not only difficult being a woman, and that equality for women is hard to find, but it is even harder if you are a black woman, and there is a lot of truth in this... an example of a woman who has probably said it better than I ever could is comedian Wanda Sykes.

"Isn't it funny that the only time your race or gender is called into question is when you aren't a white man?"

And she's right... and she has it possibly the hardest out of most people, she's a black, gay woman. Her life is probably one of the hardest to lead because it's the most open to discrimination. She's a feminist and just like the rest of us, stands for equality.

Yet this man seems to think that all feminists want is death to all men.

He thinks that rape culture does not exist.

How on earth anyone can make such a ridiculous claim is beyond me.

There is so much supporting evidence to show that rape culture is very apparent. To be honest even things that don't seem connected can be. Men leering at women on the streets, sexual harassment in the workplace, even people slapping the arse of a woman walking by, who was in no way asking for it. I have had that happen twice...

Oddly, one time it was a girl.

I have no idea what even happened there... I was in a pencil skirt, and so maybe my child bearing hips and my ghetto booty were accentuated, but that does not excuse what she did... she still came and slapped me on the arse... and I think if it were to happen now, i'd have gone over to her and given her hell, but in the end I walked away.

The same thing happened with a guy once too and it's so demoralising to be seen as a piece of meat.

There was an article I read about this woman who had been smacked on the arse in the street, you can read it here: http://community.feministing.com/2011/04/18/just-a-smack-on-the-ass-a-tale-of-sexual-assault-vengeance-and-nervous-swearing/

This woman is an utter inspiration and I will be taking a leaf out of her book from now on.

But we accept this as though it is fine, many women would just get on with their day... Now i've been slapped on the ass many a time before, but in almost every one those cases (sadly because I am very, very single.) it has been one of my friends messing about, but the friends that do it are ones that know I will be okay with them doing it because we are at that point in a friendship where I will take it as a silly little thing... and most of the time I will try and get them back, because DAMN. MY ARSE YOU BASTARD. THAT STINGS LIKE A BITCH.... Will come into play.

But on the street... a total stranger. Only a giant shit would do that. If I ever see it happen, or have it happen to me, damn well better bet this bitch won't stay quiet.

It is things like that, amongst the constant photoshop nip and tuck, cut and paste, trim and slim behaviours towards women in the media, and the focusing on one part of the female body rather than a woman as a whole, having to be a certain size, height or weight to be attractive... it's all contributing to the objectification of women, and this contributes to the idea that they are objects, not people, which in turn, makes rape seem more acceptable.

It is not.

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