Posts Tagged: harassment

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When I was seventeen and preparing to leave for university, my mother’s only brother saw fit to give me some advice.
“Just don’t be an idiot, kid,” he told me, “and don’t ever forget that boys and girls can never just be friends.”
I laughed and answered, “I’m not too worried. And I don’t really think all guys are like that.”

When I was eighteen and the third annual advent of the common cold was rolling through residence like a pestilent fog, a friend texted me asking if there was anything he could do to help.
I told him that if he could bring me up some vitamin water that would be great, if it wasn’t too much trouble.
That semester I learned that human skin cells replace themselves every three to five weeks. I hoped that in a month, maybe I’d stop feeling the echoes of his touch; maybe my new skin would feel cleaner.
It didn’t. But I stood by what I said. Not all guys are like that.

When I was nineteen and my roommate decided the only way to celebrate the end of midterms was to get wasted at a club, I humoured her.
Four drinks, countless leers and five hands up my skirt later, I informed her I was ready to leave.
“I get why you’re upset,” she told me on the walk home, “but you have to tolerate that sort of thing if you want to have any fun. And really, not all guys are like that.”

(Age nineteen also saw me propositioned for casual sex by no fewer than three different male friends, and while I still believe that guys and girls can indeed be just friends, I was beginning to see my uncle’s point.)

When I was twenty and a stranger that started chatting to me in my usual cafe asked if he could walk with me (since we were going the same way and all), I accepted.
Before we’d even made it three blocks he was pulling me into an alleyway and trying to put his hands up my shirt. “You were staring,” he laughed when I asked what the fuck he was doing (I wasn’t), “I’m just taking pity.”
But not all guys are like that.

I am twenty one and a few days ago a friend and I were walking down the street. A car drove by with the windows down, and a young man stuck his head out and whistled as they passed. I ignored it, carrying on with the conversation.
My friend did not. “Did you know those people?” He asked.
“Not at all,” I answered.
Later when we sat down to eat he got this thoughtful look on his face. When I asked what was wrong he said, “You know not all guys do that kind of thing, right? We’re not all like that.”
As if he were imparting some great profound truth I’d never realized before. My entire life has been turned around, because now I’ve been enlightened: not all guys are like that.

No. Not all guys are. But enough are. Enough that I am uncomfortable when a man sits next to me on the bus. Enough that I will cross to the other side of the street if I see a pack of guys coming my way. Enough that even fleeting eye contact with a male stranger makes my insides crawl with unease. Enough that I cannot feel safe alone in a room with some of my male friends, even ones I’ve known for years. Enough that when I go out past dark for chips or milk or toilet paper, I carry a knife, I wear a coat that obscures my figure, I mimic a man’s gait. Enough that three years later I keep the story of that day to myself, when the only thing that saved me from being raped was a right hook to the jaw and a threat to scream in a crowded dorm, because I know what the response will be.

I live my life with the everburning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experienced a sexual assault, but even a number like that can’t be trusted when we are harassed into silence. I live with the learned instinct, the ingrained compulsion to keep my mouth shut to jeers and catcalls, to swallow my anger at lewd suggestions and crude gestures, to put up my walls against insults and threats. I live in an environment that necessitates armouring myself against it just to get through a day peacefully, and I now view that as normal. I have adapted to extreme circumstances and am told to treat it as baseline. I carry this fear close to my heart, rooted into my bones, and I do so to keep myself unharmed.

So you can tell me that not all guys are like that, and you’d even be right, but that isn’t the issue anymore. My problem is not that I’m unaware of the fact that some guys are perfectly civil, decent, kind—my problem is simply this:

In a world where this cynical overcaution is the only thing that ensures my safety, I’m no longer willing to take the risk.

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- r.d.  (via satdeshret)

(via rapeculturerealities)

Source: elferinge
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likeneelyohara:

Think twice before you harass women (x)

(via zeldaslayer)

Source: likeneelyohara
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deafdumbandblinddrunk:

 

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Sadly, There Has Been Another Version of Steubenville, This Version Is Worse, This Time In Missouri: Small Missouri Town Forces Family Out Of Their Town After Daughter Gets Raped

A horrifying story out of Missouri: A mother was run out of a small town after her daughter blacked out at a party filled with older high school athletes and was left, with clear marks of rape, on the front lawn of her home in freezing weather.

The Kansas City Star details how the small town of Maryville turned against a newly-arrived family after 14-year-old Daisy Coleman reported that an older athlete had sex with her while another older male videotaped, after she was given an alcoholic drink at a party that left her barely able to stand. Her friend, a 13-year-old, was also made to have non-consensual sex.

After a thorough investigation by the local police however, clearly implicating 17-year-old Matthew Barnett in the sexual assault, charges were inexplicably dropped by the prosecuting attorney. Barnett, coincidentally, is the grandson of a prominent former Missouri state representative.

Star reporter Dugan Arnett writes,

Sexual assault cases can be difficult to build because of factors such as a lack of physical evidence or inconsistent statements by witnesses. But by the time his department had concluded its investigation, Sheriff Darren White felt confident the office had put together a case that would “absolutely” result in prosecutions.

“Within four hours, we had obtained a search warrant for the house and executed that,” White told The Star. “We had all of the suspects in custody and had audio/video confessions.

“I would defy the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department to do what we did and get it wrapped up as nicely as we did in that amount of time.”

But no prosecutions ever came. The charges were dropped by the prosecuting attorney who didn’t believe the evidence was strong enough. He dismissed any idea that political influence had anything to do with his decision.
In the meantime, the town had already begun to turn on the Coleman family. Threatening phone calls and online threats were directed at the family. Melinda Coleman had moved to the town with her four children after her husband, a physician, had died in a car accident. She was easily targeted by the community for being an outsider.

The parent of one of the teens at the Barnett house that night was the only one to comment briefly to The Star: “Our boys deserve an apology, and they haven’t gotten it yet.”

In a later interview, Rice [the prosecuting attorney] called it a case of “incorrigible teenagers” drinking alcohol and having sex. “They were doing what they wanted to do, and there weren’t any consequences. And it’s reprehensible. But is it criminal? No.”

Robert Sundell, who represented Barnett, echoed that sentiment: “Just because we don’t like the way teenagers act doesn’t necessarily make it a crime.”

After the charges were dropped, things just got worse for Melinda and Daisy Coleman. Daisy has struggled with depression and attempted suicide. Melinda had to move away from Maryville and back to the town she had lived in with her now-deceased husband. In April, the house in Maryville she still owned burned down under mysterious circumstances.
And Matthew Barnett, the young man accused by Coleman of raping her? He’s attending the University of Central Missouri and apparently having a great time:

In a recent retweet, he expressed his views on women — and their desire for his sexual attentions — this way:

“If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D.”

[Photo courtesy Kansas City Star]

(via floral-princen)

Source: thepoliticalfreakshow
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robotghost:

This past Tuesday, October 1, 2013, a group of over 20 Ole Miss football players and their friends nearly shut down the Theatre department’s performance of The Laramie Project, a play based on the murder of Matthew Shepard, killed for being LGBTQ. The majority of the audience member not only shouted slurs such as “faggot,” and laughed during serious scenes, but photographed members of the audience and verbally harassed the cast members.Ole Miss has made no official statement other than to say, “they’re working on it,” and the Athletics Department will say nothing other than the students “didn’t know they were representing the school.” The only punishment for the students so far has been to apologize, and it was insincerely done.This is hate speech, and my school is doing nothing about it. They did nothing when white students literally ran a black student off of campus by keying KKK signs into his dorm room door & truck, and they are doing nothing now to protect and ensure a safe school environment for their LGBTQ students.Please, if you can share this, do so. Ole Miss has a habit of brushing away the bad things that happen on campus because they’d rather make money and win football games than actually care about their minority students.To voice your concern:Daily Mississippian School Newspaper Email: dmeditor@gmail.com Dean of Students Phone: (662) 915-7248Dean of Students Email: deanst@olemiss.eduAthletics Department Phone: (662) 915-7241

robotghost:

This past Tuesday, October 1, 2013, a group of over 20 Ole Miss football players and their friends nearly shut down the Theatre department’s performance of The Laramie Project, a play based on the murder of Matthew Shepard, killed for being LGBTQ. The majority of the audience member not only shouted slurs such as “faggot,” and laughed during serious scenes, but photographed members of the audience and verbally harassed the cast members.

Ole Miss has made no official statement other than to say, “they’re working on it,” and the Athletics Department will say nothing other than the students “didn’t know they were representing the school.” The only punishment for the students so far has been to apologize, and it was insincerely done.

This is hate speech, and my school is doing nothing about it. They did nothing when white students literally ran a black student off of campus by keying KKK signs into his dorm room door & truck, and they are doing nothing now to protect and ensure a safe school environment for their LGBTQ students.

Please, if you can share this, do so. Ole Miss has a habit of brushing away the bad things that happen on campus because they’d rather make money and win football games than actually care about their minority students.

To voice your concern:

Daily Mississippian School Newspaper Email: dmeditor@gmail.com
Dean of Students Phone: (662) 915-7248
Dean of Students Email: deanst@olemiss.edu
Athletics Department Phone: (662) 915-7241

(via appolsaucy)

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"Being touched by a stranger and told that I was beautiful didn’t make me feel more beautiful; it made me feel unimportant. It made me feel like what I wanted – to go from home to work with a quick stop at Starbucks on the way, without being harassed – didn’t matter. What mattered most was that this man had an opinion about me, so I had to hear it whether I wanted to or not. He wanted to touch me, so I was going to be touched, by a stranger, whether I wanted it or not."

Source: feministing.com
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Personal Experiences with Rape Culture: Harassment via Wikipedia Vandalism

razingcomplacency:

femfreq:

As some of you may know a harassment campaign is being waged against me because of my Tropes vs Women in Video Games project on Kickstarter. This coordinated attack was launched by various online video game forums and has included attempts to get my…

Source: feministfrequency.com
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about the vast amount of things I’m reading today, they are as follows:

  • Addressing the Gendered Dimensions of Harassment and Bullying: What domestic and sexual violence advocates need to know PDF
  • School Bullying Perpetration and Other Childhood Risk Factors as Predictors of Adult Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration PDF
  • Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School HTML
  • Understanding Bullying PDF
  • Talking Points: Sexual Harassment PDF
  • School Bullying & Homophobic Harassment from TrueChild HTML
  • Bullying Among Middle School and High School Students - Massachusetts, 2009 from the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report HTML
  • Are youth-led programs a promising approach in sexual violence prevention? VAWNET blog HTML

If I have time, AKA Other things you lovely people may be somewhat interested in:

  • Special Collection: Sexual Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, or Queer (LGBTIQ) Communities (VAWNET Special Collection of articles and scholarly research) HTML
  • New language, old problem: Sex trafficking of American Indian women and children PDF
  • Changing Perceptions of Sexual Violence Over Time PDF
  • How do I know that the statistics I’m using are credible? VAWnet blog HTML

And there you have it.

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darkjez:

witchsistah:

(TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE) This is Why Women Are Afraid to Tell You No | Polimicks

freshmouthgoddess:

This past Thursday, a group of men started cat-calling/hitting on a group of women in Chicago.  When the women said, no, the men threw bottles and then SHOT at their car as they tried to drive away.  One woman was shot in the shoulder, and the driver took a bottle in the head as she tried to drive off.  Last month in Washington, DC a Transwoman was shot for turning down a man’s request for sex as she sat in her car.  In August a woman in Atlanta was shot for refusing to get in a car with a group of men.  In May of 2010 a young woman was shot in the leg for turning down a man’s advances.

Ok, so that was one googling, which also yielded an article on a woman in Australia who was shot in the thigh after refusing to perform oral sex.  Many people will claim that these are just “isolated” incidents.  But three of those took place in the last two, two and a half months.  That’s not really isolated, in fact, that sounds distinctly like a pattern.

When guys complain about women not giving them a straight answer, this is why.  Granted, these are fairly extreme.  However, on a regular basis women who turn down men, no matter how nicely, are insulted, yelled at, spit on, hit, kicked and knocked to the ground.  Most of these assaults go unreported because women know that the police aren’t going to take them seriously, particularly if they’re dressed at all nicely or “sexy.”

This is why the Schrodinger’s Rapist post resonated with so many women.

“Why are you afraid of women?” I asked a group of men.
“We’re afraid they’ll laugh at us,” replied the men.
“Why are you afraid of men?” I asked a group of women
“We’re afraid they’ll kill us,” replied the woman. -Margaret Atwood

When men ignore our boundaries, try to push or test them, we rightfully feel that they are a bigger risk for pushing even more important, dangerous boundaries, like say, raping or hitting you.

Yeah, I know, a lot of you are out there (if you’ve gotten this far) thinking, “That’s bullshit! I’d never do that!”  And maybe you wouldn’t, but we can’t take that chance.  And when you push boundaries or ignore our “No”s, even about small things,  this puts you higher and higher up on the risk scale.

We can’t take those chances because when we’re raped or assaulted it’s always our fault.  Everyone tells us so.  Every single person who says, “I’d never blame the victim, but if you’re wearing a short skirt, what do you expect?”  Every fucking magazine with their “Ten Things You Can Do to Not Be Raped” articles, that place all the onus on women, and none of it on, oh, the rapists.

How do you not scare women?

Respect their boundaries.  Take no at face value.  As a commenter said over on Pharyngula, you have nothing to lose:  If she meant no, you’ve respected her wishes.  If she meant “pursue me harder” or whatever bullshit, then bullet dodged.  You don’t want to deal with that kind of mind-game playing, anyway.

But in all seriousness, guys, if you ever wonder why women act like their scared of you, read the above links again.

this is basically why i never never make eye contact with men here , why i ignore them always even when they are being nice and why i will never go back to Dagabon ever ….

Yup. No matter how indignant all the Nice GuysTM get about women’s fear of men, the fundamental truth is that we live our entire lives on the defensive because there’s an ever-present danger of rape or assault. 

(via bluntlyblue)

Source: gabrielleabelle
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When my confident, curious, adventurous 12-year-old daughter asked if she could go get ice cream by herself (we live in a city) the first thing that I thought of was how to prepare her to hear:

“Where’s my smile, baby?”
“Wanna go for a ride?”

What if she is surprised? Looks down? Doesn’t give the guy speaking to her the positive response that he seems to think he’s entitled to? What hurtful, explicit things will he then say to put her in her place?

From now on, she’ll have to be on alert. How many times will she have to go out of her way, take longer routes, not go certain places, alter her clothes? Not forget to hold her keys poking through her fingers? Not take certain buses, and pay for a cab instead of taking a metro? Take her lighthearted moods and tuck them away behind earphones and fake phone conversations?

How will it make my daughter feel? Powerless? Angry? Sad? Scared? It’s stressful and depressing to have to acknowledge the underlying threat of violence, especially in a culture that is dedicated to equality for all, a concept predicated on equal and safe access to public space and free speech. Her loss of innocence will have as much to do with the betrayal of this myth of equality and equal access as with understanding her physical vulnerability.

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Source: The Huffington Post
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Steven Greenstreet is the dude behind the Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street tumblr and video. That video has gotten a lot of attention — a lot of women and some dudes have been like “well this is fucked up,” and then some other dudes have been like “I don’t see what the big deal is, boys will be boys and what’s wrong with wanting to meet attractive women at a protest?”

And like I said in my initial post, the deflecting from legitimate concerns, and the fact that the OWS “public” includes a lot of men who think it’s ok to treat women at a protest like we’re there for their visual fulfillment, troubles me. No one is saying, “Don’t find women attractive.” I actually like hot chicks too! No one is saying “Don’t meet hot people at a protest.” People meet people in all kinds of social settings, and that’s great. I met a past boyfriend at a liberal blog conference. Meet away, I say. No one is objecting to dating or hooking up or meeting women or meeting men. No one is objecting to the fact that straight men are attracted to some women (fun fact: straight women are also attracted to some men! So really, no one is pissed about attraction, I promise). What people are pissed about is what Rebecca Traister says:

The larger, simpler argument, outside of consent or permission, is: This video is sexist. It’s an example of women participating in public life — political, professional, social — and having their participation reduced to sexual objectification. That’s what happened here, nothing more, nothing less.

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Source: feministe.us