In response to the Steubenville, Ohio teen rape case, West Virginia U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld is launching a program to teach high school athletes not to post evidence of rape online.
It’s called “Project Future,” and his goal is to teach teens how to avoid getting in trouble with the law by using cell phones, cameras, and social media “responsibly.” Instead of teaching teens not to rape, the U.S. Attorney wants to teach them not to get caught.
This is rape culture at work: The very people who are in charge of enforcing our laws look at a cruel, brutal attack on a young girl and think, “If only the teens hadn’t posted photographic evidence online.”
THIS IS INFURIATING! THIS MAKES ME WANT TO SCREAM!
I spend my days with adolescents and they want to know how to do things correctly. When we had a day where we talked about predators I got questions like “Can boys be raped too?” and “How do you know if the other person is consenting?” They want the answers. They want to be good people. Instead of meeting their needs we’re doing this shit. This is infuriating!
“Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately.”—
As a teacher, I give girls what I hope is a lot of attention. I don’t know if I give girls their fair share, but I aspire to, especially after noticing that boys are willing to use their greater share of teachers’ attention to get girls who they feel aren’t being quiet and docile enough punished. I have therefore acquired a reputation for “caring more about the girls.” This has had two marked results: Some straight boys have gotten more hostile toward me, and most girls have gotten more confident around me. This makes me think I’m doing something right.
Longer thoughts on how this phenomenon relates to sexual harassment in classrooms, if you’re interested: The girls figured out I won’t report them if they hit boys who are sexually harassing them, I’ll only report the boys. This led to an increase in how often girls got the last word and boys got smacked in my classes, and, also, to a DECREASE IN HOW OFTEN GIRLS GOT SEXUALLY HARASSED. The sexual harassers seem to have been depending on the sort of “equal blame” and “retaliation is never warranted” and “don’t hurt others’ feelings” perspectives so many schools try to instill in kids; the sexual harassers were usually the ones bringing me into the situation by saying, “Miss, she hit me! You should write her up!” Once they figured out I was only ever going to respond, “If you don’t treat girls like that, they won’t hit you,” the girls got more confident and the sexual harassers largely shut the fuck up.
In schools, fighting against sexual harassment is often punished exactly the same as, or more severely than, sexual harassment — a lot of discipline codes make no distinction between violence and violence in self-defence, and violence is ALWAYS the highest level of disciplinary infraction, whereas verbal sexual harassment rarely is. Sexual harassers, at least in the schools I’ve been in, rely heavily on GETTING GIRLS IN TROUBLE WITH HIGHER AUTHORITIES as a strategy of harassment — creating an external punishment that penalises girls for and therefore discourages girls from fighting back. Sexual harassers are willing to use their greater share of floorspace to ask to get girls who won’t date them punished. By and large, teachers do punish those girls when they swear or hit. Schools condition girls to ignore sexual harassment by punishing them when they speak up or fight back instead.
Once the sexual harassers in my classes understood that girls wouldn’t be punished for rejecting them, they backed off around me. And there started to be a flip in what conversations I get called into — girls are telling me when boys are being nasty (too loud and dominant), instead of boys telling me when girls are being uncooperative (louder and more dominant than boys think they should be).
“Submission is born from strength
Fed by trust and
Kept with respect”—I don’t know where this quote came from but someone said it to me and Really worth sharing. So with permission…. (via lets-talk-about-umm)
For my guys who submit to me out of trust and respect. I love you both more than you know.
There is no one standard approach that works for everyone in terms of expressing love, and we’re all in a constant state of flux in terms of where we are with our personal growth, our desire to reach out or withdraw, and our intimate relationships.
The term polyamory, however, seems to describe an attitude rather than a set of behaviors, and for that reason I have found that I’m comfortable with it. It emphasizes the way an individual thinks and feels rather than a prescribed way of behaving, allowing the freedom for each to find their own way of expressing the love that they feel…
But I’m also a romantic at heart, something I know isn’t true of everyone—although there are plenty of us in the world. Not the roses-and-chocolates type of romantic. No, I’m the more dangerous, intense kind—the romantic who longs to merge body and soul with the beloved and swear eternal fidelity. Part of me has always wanted that deeper, longer, journey with another, where you learn to weather the storms together, share the joys, understand each-other deeply and grow together. I’ve always valued that journey of expressing and deepening love through a shared commitment with a significant other. I’m drawn to that ‘deep dive’ into the chaotic—yet constant—world of long-term intimacy.
And so, in my world, these two forces have to co-exist—my ability to love openly and freely, and my desire for that deeper journey… Polyamorous monogamy?…
A few years ago the description would have been different, as I’m sure it may well be in the future again, depending on how my road through life twists and turns. My heart is definitely polyamorous but my choices about how to express that nature is colored by the others I exchange love with, and my journeys with them. Not everyone wants to share love in a demonstrative or sexual way, for many reasons. And there are times when it doesn’t feel right for me to do so either. And then there are times when it seems to be exactly what the moment is asking of me and what fits with my circumstances.
i mean if we accept that feminism is ultimately about dismantling racism, sexism, capitalism, cissupremacy, ableism and all the interlocking power structures they generate, then fuck which of us is 100% feminist 100% of the time? i know i’m not. I love romance…
Love this! We’re human. Do the best you can. Apologize and fix your shit when you need to, then move on with life.
17% of cardiac surgeons are women, 17% of tenured professors are women. It just goes on and on. And isn’t that strange that that’s also the percentage of women in crowd scenes in movies? What if we’re actually training people to see that ratio as normal so that when you’re an adult, you don’t notice?
…We just heard a fascinating and disturbing study where they looked at the ratio of men and women in groups. And they found that if there’s 17% women, the men in the group think it’s 50-50. And if there’s 33% women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.
“Telling every woman to get a gun is not rape prevention. The reality is that we need to be changing how we train and teach young men. We need to teach them to see women as human beings and respect their bodily autonomy. We need to teach them about consent and to hold themselves accountable.”—
She received rape threats for telling men not to rape women, as a survivor herself. If that isn’t indicative of how badly we need to fix our rape culture and end victim blaming, then I don’t know what is.