Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Slut-Shaming, Rape Culture, And Sexism Against Men.

Over the past few years, growing older from a girl, through puberty, and slowly becoming what I believe (but don't hold me to it...) is a woman, I've noticed a few things, things I'd like to talk about, because they need to be talked about. -Please note, growing older does not always mean growing up.

Slut-Shaming

In our culture words are thrown around and we never consider their value, or the effects they have, we're told from the youngest age that 'sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never hurt us.' and then as we age we're told that 'actually yes, words can hurt you, SPEAK OUT AGAINST BULLYING' and then later on we're told 'You might not like what we're saying, but you sure as shit better not start complaining about it.' because apparently that's 'whiny' and 'attention seeking'. 

So what are we supposed to believe? 

Well, I can't speak for everyone, certainly not, but I can speak for myself, loud and clear, when I say that when something is said to you, that is unfair, offensive, discriminatory, racist, sexist, homophobic (you get the idea, basically... not good.) you have every right to fight back. I'm not talking "Oh they disagreed with you on what restaurant is nicest, or they liked a show or movie you didn't." I'm talking legitimately offensive, disgusting things, things that attempt to make you feel like less of a person, things that imply you are less important or something to be hated just for being the way that you look, sound, feel, act, dress, and just the way you are.


(Now, I want to say ahead of time, this won't be a "DOWN WITH THE MEN" blog post. Far from it. If anything, I'd like to highlight the fact that men do have to deal with a lot of shit women deal with and are expected to "take it like a man.") 

Right, that out of the way, let's continue... I saw a video that a girl made on youtube calling out the behaviour of a fucked up commenter, who commented all sorts of shit about her, sexist, threatening, creepy comments but a lot of what he said was to do with the fact that in the video she was wearing a bikini top, and that this made her a slut... She rightfully defended herself about this.. but what bothered me in the video slightly more than the terrifying reality that this weird ass nutjob existed, was the fact that in the video she says "I'm not a slut, but I am aware there are sluts out there, you can't get away from the fact that there are sluts everywhere." 

Now by sluts, I can immediately make the assumption she means...


and


or


The dictionary definition of the word slut is as follows: 

"A person, especially a woman, considered sexually promiscuous."

For some reason, we as a society, men and women, have this idea that women who have casual sex, or are a bit of a flirt, or who don't like to settle down, and prefer to just have no strings attached sex from time to time are somehow lesser beings. You rarely hear the phrase 'slut' thrown at a man (though I am aware that the term 'man whore' has been used, but everyone knows it is not as popular as 'slut' is when used towards women.) We have this concept that strippers, or prostitutes, women who have casual sex, or just women who dress 'provocatively' (though this phrase is of course, subjective.) are some how unimportant, stupid, empty headed blobs of carbon that wander around this earth making it a worse place to be, just by being. 

Of course that's a very stupid thing to assume. 

Personally, I have nothing against girls who have casual sex, in fact sometimes I envy them, not because I want to have casual sex, but because they are confident enough to ask for no strings attached sex, they don't feel as though they simply must have a boyfriend, or be married by 25, they just go about their lives, they have casual sex as and when the opportunity they feel like taking arises, and they just carry on again, unhindered by societies judgements. These women have done nothing wrong (provided of course that their casual sex isn't part of some affair or attempt to split an otherwise happy couple apart) so why do we insult them with such a derogatory term?

So why is it that this is such a bad thing? I don't want to have casual sex, not because I think it demeans women, or because I don't think men deserve my vagina 'casually' or even because i'm waiting for 'Mr Right', but because I just don't want to. I don't feel comfortable with sex at all at the moment, and maybe, that'll change, or maybe it won't, but regardless of what happens, whether I grow old and die having had a mile long string of sexual partners, or having never slept with anyone at all, it still won't change my character, it still won't change who I am, and it still won't make me more or less of a person based on the number of sexual partners I've had. 

Why is that women who have casual sex are viewed as sluts, and men who have casual sex aren't really viewed as anything.

I'm not trying to throw out a line of "OH MEN ARE SUCH PIGS." because I don't believe that. I don't believe that men will ruin the world. I believe there are inequalities towards women women, that men don't have to deal with that need to be corrected (and equally, I feel there is the opposite, but I will get to that, promise!)

It is getting to the point where even this girl on youtube, who is openly fighting out against sexism, is also then digging herself back into the hole she was trying to climb out of, by openly calling girls out on being 'sluts'.

Women who strip are not lesser people. Prostitutes are not lesser people. Women who dress 'provocatively' are not lesser people. Women who have casual sex are not lesser people.

Slut-Shaming is the act of telling a woman she is of less value because of how she dresses, how many people she sleeps with, and what she does with her body. 

Male strippers are not called sluts, men who sleep around a lot are not viewed as lesser beings. Men who walk around showing a lot of skin are not considered disgusting.

Once again, i'd like to point out that I am not blaming men for this, I am blaming societies attitudes towards such situations for this... because as demonstrated, there are many girls out there that frequently talk badly of other girls just because they prefer to have casual sex, I am not saying that I am exempt from this, because at some point or another, most people have heard of someone's 'reputation' and said or thought nasty things about them, because it is just the way we are taught to think, but my question to society, is why? Why do we think this way, why is it only now that the apparentness and unfairness of 'Slut-Shaming' is coming to light, and will it really make a difference in helping drop the 'slut' name?

Slut-Shaming demeans the people you use it against. Women who do those things are not lesser people and they are not sluts. Take notes.

Rape Culture

This is a big'un, so get comfy, if you're not already.

I have met people that claim rape culture is a myth, and that it is just something that 'Angry, Hippy Feminsists Who Grow Minges and Armit Hair Made Up To Blame Men For.' 

Let me just clarify, I do not blame men for rape culture, I do not place the existence of rape culture entirely on the male population. Rape culture is just that, a culture, something that exists in our society, amongst men and women. Rape culture is the reason behind slut-shaming on women by other women. Rape culture is when women aren't sure if it was rape because it was their husbands, so it was consensual, right? Rape culture is the reason men are too ashamed to admit they've been raped, for fear they won't be seen as 'a real man' any more.

Rape Culture is something that exists because we are still so unaware of it's existence, and so unaware of the effects it has.

Let me just run some statistics by you (Note some of these may not be 100% accurate due to the fact that many rape and sexual abuse cases go unreported, making it hard to get an exact number.)
  • 1 in every 6 women are the victims of attempted or completed rape.
  • 1 in every 4 women are the victims of sexual assault (what classes as sexual assault I will cover shortly.)
  • In 2003, 9 out of 10 rape victims were female.
  • Rape differs based on race, for example: 
    • White women: 17%
    • Black women: 18.8%
    • Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%
    • American Indian/Alaskan women: 33.1%
    • Mixed race women: 24.4%
  • 1 in 33 men (based only on an american study and therefore not applicable to all cultures) have experienced attempted or completed rape
  • However on a large scale study done in 2003, 1 in 10 rape victims were male
  • 15% of the rape victim population are under 12
    • 29% are 12-17
    • 44% are under 18
    • 80% are under 30
    • 12-34 are the highest risk years
    • However girls aged between 14 and 19 are 4 times more likely than to be the victim of attempted or successful rape and/or sexual assault.
  • 18% of girls aged between 10-18 have said they were sexually abused, and 8% of boys between this age had also said the same.
  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted, not accounting for all the non-reported assaults.
  • Out of every 100 rapes, it is estimated only 46 are ever reported.
  • 2 out of every 3 rapes were committed by someone who knew the victim. 73% are by a non-stranger, 38% are by a friend or acquaintance, 28% are intimate to the victim, such as a partner, and 7% are blood relatives.

You begin to get the idea. 

So with these staggering facts, and rape being a very real and very frequent occurrence, why is rape treated (not by everyone, let me add.) so casually, like a small issue? A trivial problem in fact.

When I was younger, in high school and year 10/11 maybe, I remembered hearing the word rape used a lot, but never in a serious sense. It was used only jokingly, which of course, is where the process of desensitising us to the true seriousness of rape begins. The word rape was thrown back and forth playfully, similarly to the way the phrase "that's gay." was used to describe something as being bad (admit it, most of us have done it when we were younger, not realising it's repercussions, or who we may be offending by using a sexuality as a slur.) 

Often the phrase "RAPE!" was used when someone hugged you when you weren't expecting it, and equally, the idea of rape was used as a joke, I remember someone saying they were going to rape someone whilst acting out a character. Of course this wasn't a literal sense, but it made everyone, including myself at the time, laugh, because the combination of a funny character, and other funny things he'd said, made him easy to laugh at, and because our minds, not sensitive to the real concept of rape, found it easy to assimilate both rape and humour into the same category. 

Everyone knows the phrase "It's not rape if you say surprise first." I mean, of course, it still is. Of fucking course it is. The 'SURPRISE' doesn't count as a consent slip, and we all know this, and yet at the time, it was something we all found funny, or mostly anyway, and we never really knew why. As a result, we're desensitised to this concept of rape being a bad thing. 

It's not just this, it's many other things that excuse rapist behaviour.

For example... teaching women that rape is their fault because 'You shouldn't expect any less, dressed like that.' 'Well what do you expect, you were drunk, and all over him.'and 'You should have learnt self defence then.' We constantly teach young girls the message of "DON'T GET RAPED." But less frequently teach young boys "DON'T RAPE." So as a consequence, we are left with a society that condones rapists. Whilst I'm not saying every man is going to then go out and rape because they are not taught otherwise, I am saying that the likelihood of rapists going forth and raping, without even realising what they are doing is rape increases so much. Whilst a man may see a girl who was too drunk to say yes, she will later see herself as a girl too drunk to say no. Whilst a man who has slept with his girlfriend before may see her as being okay with sleeping with him again, she may see herself as being not wanting to sleep with him, but being emotionally guilt-tripped into doing it against her will, or worse, she may even view it as being not rape, because they're going out, they've done it before, so he has the right to.

We are told that if a girl dresses provocatively, she is asking for it, I can back this up with experience.

I have been out before, dressed in clothing that was not even what most would consider provocative, I have been out in dresses, corset styled tops, high heels, tight jeans, shorts and skirts, as well as just your ordinary run of the mill 'boring' clothing. But I have never done so to attract attention from people, I have never done so because I wanted to get laid. I have never done so to tease or entice guys, or make them want to fuck me. 

I have gone out in clothes that have flattered my figure, or made me look attractive, and there have been men that have taken it upon themselves to assume this means I want their dick, I have been inappropriately touched on more than one occasion, often by strangers passing who think that is just acceptable. I have been leered at openly and had derogatory comments made by men and even women because of it. I would like to clarify, that there is nothing wrong with looking at someone you find attractive, everyone, everyone has a bit of a perv on someone from time to time, but there is a difference between a quick glance at someone attractive subtly, and an all out leering session intended to make the victim very aware that they are being looked at. 

People have assumed for no reason at all, that I want all the dicks in all the land. People assume I dress however I dress that day to please them, and that if I am lucky, they will whip their cocks out onto my god damn face, and I will have the privilege to be in it's presence.

If I'm being perfectly honest, these days, I don't really look at someone and decide 'I WANT TO FUCK YOU RIGHT NOW.' The idea of sex just kinds of weirds me out (as previously mentioned) and I can currently function pretty fucking well without it. So anything I do, or wear, is primarily for me and me alone.

I don't want a relationship right now, I'm not looking for some casual sex, I'm looking for friends and just some fun stuff to do that doesn't involve sex. I'm not saying I will never have sex ever ever ever ever for as long as I live, but just right now, sex doesn't interest me. So I despise it when people assume that if I dress up nicely, or want to look good, it's because I'm seeking the approval of others, and looking for the dick. I'm not, I dress nicely because looking nice makes me feel nice, and that's fucking nice. Okay? I have no ulterior motive, and even if I do, it is still not anyone's right to just come up and slap my fucking arse like they own it. 

MY ARSE. DON'T TOUCH IT WITHOUT PERMISSION.

...

But in seriousness now. This idea of "SHE DRESSES LIKE A SLUT (see Slut-Shaming...) SHE'S ASKING FOR IT." is bullshit. 

Is all I have to say to that.

It doesn't matter what the situation, 'No means No'.

A person is not anyone else's property but their own, and trying to treat someone like that is disgusting. 

No one has the right to decide they can just have their way with someone else against their will. Male or Female, rape is fucking wrong.

And no, I know i'm not going to change the world, or societies views through my blog, but if someone reads this and realises that societies attitudes are not okay, just one person, then maybe I'll have done something.

It's still rape if their married, or have slept together before. It's still rape if one partner consents, but then changes their mind and the other partner refuses to stop. It's still rape if they're too drunk to say yes. It's still rape if they doesn't say no verbally, but physically tries to stop it. It is always rape unless the other person consents. 

There is no justification for rape. There is no 'Oh but they were too drunk to realise what was happening' excuse, there is not a 'But we've done it before, so why would it matter' card, there is no 'They didn't say yes but they didn't say no either' way out, and there is certainly no 'They were asking for it' bullshit.

It also is a big issue when someone has been raped, and should be treated as a real problem, and handled with sensitivity. It is not a shameful thing, or anything to feel guilty for if you have been raped. Men do get raped too, and it is not 'un-masculine' of them, and it is just as important that it is reported, and also it is important that male rapes are something we are aware of, because otherwise they will become, just as female rapes have become, acceptable. 

There is no excuse for rape. There is no excuse for victim blaming. There is no excuse for defending rapists, and there is no excuse for accepting rape culture to fit in when you know it is wrong.

Sexism Against Men

Please don't think that because this section is last that it is any less important, I just like to put the longest titled section at the end of the three tier titles, if you look back at my previous '3 point blogs' you'll notice that it's most likely similar there too :') Right... on we go!

I rant a lot about inequalities and unfair treatment towards women, and I know that 'Feminist' is often viewed as a dirty word, and that people don't like to refer to themselves as one, or recoil slightly upon hearing it, and the reason for this is that the general stereotype of a feminist is that they are all hairy lesbian women who hate men forever and want to live in a world without them. 

Of course this isn't the case, for the most part, feminists just attempt to bring to the light some of the inequalities women suffer (such as the whole teaching 'don't get raped' to girls but not 'don't rape' to boys, among others.)

I count myself as a feminist, because in essence, all feminism is, is the desire for a woman to be a man's equal, that does not mean I think men have it ultimately easy. There are lots of attitudes towards men that can do with changing. 

For example, there's the idea that women are their own bosses, they don't need men to tell them what to do, or who they are any more, they can't be owned by men like they used to be. They can get jobs and earn money and do what men can do, which of course is great...

However... in this world of strong independent women, there is still this concept of male to female chivalry, the idea that men must pay for the entire date, buy her anything she wants, and do as she pleases, because she's the lady, and he must be the gentleman. 

Whilst there is nothing wrong with nice surprises and kind gestures in relationships, I see absolutely nothing wrong with sharing the bill half and half, women sending men flowers, women opening doors for men, men and women sending each other small gifts for the hell of it. It's all good!

However it's not good when a woman who considers herself to be a feminist, and fight for free rights, still wants her dates and dresses and diamonds paid for entirely by her man. I think there's a lot wrong with that.

Equally, this video makes a valid point (except when he discusses feminists, because it's obvious he's only really been in contact with the fucking crazy ones, which sucks, but who knows, hopefully he'll meet some normal ones xD)

There are scenarios in which women have acted out against men and been praised where men would have been hated.

The example of the shop keeper who held her robber hostage for 3 days as a sex slave... 

First. How did she even manage to hold together her sanity long enough to get a job in a shop...?

Secondly, I agree with what he's saying, it's wrong, she raped this man for three days. Okay I don't condone burglary, and I applaud her ability to defend herself and subdue him to protect her shop, but it should have stopped there, she should have subdued him, and called the police to come and deal with him, not rape him over a period of three days. Yet as a society we applaud this behaviour because she's a 'strong and empowered woman.' but if a man did this, you know he would be thrown in jail.

That is another thing, people assume that men are 'always up for it' any time of the day or night, because 'they're men, they eat, they sleep, they shit and they fuck.' people make this assumption that men are stupid fucking creatures with no thoughts beyond "GIVE ME THA ASS."

With this assumption of 'All men always want sex, all the time.' it is easy to see how the concept of female to male rape is so easily ignored, because lots of other men see it as not really a rape because 'he should just be happy he's getting laid.' and lots of other women think a man can only be raped if he's sexually attracted to the rapist... of course that's about as true as the theory that women can't orgasm during rape, or that women can't get pregnant from a rapist attack. It is diminished as a real rape then. Men who are raped by women are often not taken seriously, but it should not be the case. More awareness must be raised about this. 

The fact that that woman was praised for cutting off her husbands penis because he divorced her... I am still in awe at that... like how did no one stop and think "This isn't funny, this is a mentally disturbed woman, and a man who might not ever get the use of his penis again, he may never have sex again, may never urinate properly again, and will probably never have children again, if at all." What was worse, was the fact that not only did people find it funny, they applauded her for her actions, as though it were somehow empowering to women! If he had attacked her and tried to rape her, this may have made more sense, but all he really did was divorce her, probably because she was a fucking nut case.

I mean, I read an article about a woman who was raped, and then forced to give oral, and so when he put his penis in her mouth she bit it off... which is complete fair in my opinion, because if you are going to misuse your genitals to harm other people, then you should no longer get the use of them, the woman never saw it as a sign of 'empowering women' she saw it as a sign of self defence... but the fact that this other woman only did it because her husband divorced her, completely not cool.

The sorts of women that do these things, and the kinds of women that applaud them, are the ones that give feminism a bad name, they are the ones that make all women look like double standard setting bitches, that make us look like we're only in it for a battle of the sexes. 

To those women, I gladly give you a gigantic 

FUCK OFF AND RE-EVALUATE YOUR FUCKING LIFE PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

I admit, openly, there are many things that are unfair towards men, many, and that if we are going to try to fight for equality for women, we can't do that without ensuring all the standards on the male side are equally matched to ours too, but I still stand by my statement made entirely from observing facts, other peoples stories and my own real life experiences...

Although we need to fight for male equality too, there is still arguably a lot more that needs to be dealt with on the female side.

I am not saying of course, that we take priority, but I think at least a large dent needs to be made into the amount of things that need to be fixed from the female point of view... of course the beauty of exposure via the internet, and other mediums, is that we can do both.

We can expose both the male and female inequalities and strive to correct both alongside each other, rather than focus on just the women, then move onto the men, just because it appears as though there is more to do on the behalf of women. 

A final disclaimer, is that these, of course, are all only my opinions (minus the statistics, that shit is legit!) and if you think I have missed anything important, or wish to add anything, discuss anything, or if i've at all said anything that may have offended or been disrespectful in any way, please let me know. Knowledge is everything these days, and even those who try their hardest not to be, can still be ignorant to certain things at certain times. 

(I understand also, i've no statistics on rape involving transgender people, or people not of a typically 'white middle class straight' stereotype, I am going based only on the facts I could find, but if you have any others, please, please let me know and I can add them :D Thank you in advance if you do!)


If you read all of this, thank you for reading, leave any comments you wish below, speak out against Slut-Shaming, Rape Culture and Sexism (against anyone, it's all bad shit yo.) Thank you for reading, have a nice day! 

Hayley (:


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