Causes & Conviction

Having already admitted to being a big def poetry fan I would like to share these two performances. The message behind them is not one directly connected with sexual assault but instead learning to find a cause to get behind and doing it with such conviction that people can’t ignore you. Definitely a message Oprah can get behind 🙂

Marty McConnell- “Give me one good reason to die”

Let’s continue to be the “Change Generation” that we dream to be; we already have passion, now we must give our passion, purpose.
“Give me a god, give me a rallying cry, give me ONE good reason to die.”

Taylor Mali- “Like, Ya know?”
We must learn to “say what we we believe in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which we believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker it is not enough these days to simply ‘Question Authority.” You’ve got to speak with it to.”

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Mixed Messages

“1 in 4 women in college today has been the victim of rape, and nearly 90% of them knew their rapist.” – I Never Called It Rape, Robin Warshaw

Another way of stating this is- a significant number of men are responsible for raping one out of every four women in college.

This restating is  important because if we are to enact change we must be able to clearly define the situation we are addressing. These men do not simply lose control of their lust and rape women, by the same standard it is not okay if a man simply loses control of his anger and beats his wife.

Rapists cannot be thrown into a certain typecast nor do their have “rapist” tatooed across their cheek, yet our news media continues to blame women for the assault.

From the Toronto police officer who said that if women don’t want to be raped they should avoid “dressing like sluts” to the journalist at The New York Times who blamed an 11-year-old girl for being gang-raped in Cleveland, Tex., victim-blaming is rampant in our society’s discourse about sexual assault.

Philadelphia’s Broad Street Review editor, Dan Rottenberg, suggested (and later apologized for doing so) that if journalist Laura Logan didn’t want to be gang-raped in Egypt, she shouldn’t have posed for pictures that revealed her cleavage.

In a spectacular twist of logic, English lawyer Nick Freeman claimed that women who dress provocatively “victimize men.” He surpassed the usual victim-blaming by asserting that perpetrators are actually victims of female sexuality.

MIXED CONVERSATIONS

Women are often told to prevent rape from happening by walking in pairs at night, dressing conservatively and avoiding sketchy men.

Men are told it’s a women’s issue.

The media tells men that being masculine and being violent go hand in hand. The language around rape is either it is never talked about or made into a joke. In the past 3 weeks I keep seeing facebook posts that say:

This final is totally going to rape me.”

I just got raped by last essay.”

When will this final stop raping me and decide to buy me a drink.”

MEN AS ALLIES

Male allies have a crucial part to play in raising awareness and offering positive examples of compassion and courage. To repair gender violence we need a partnership of leadership by both men and women who value women’s lives. As a community, we need to offer role models of powerful, non-violent masculinity and we must be able to openly address the relationship between sexism and gender violence. True power is taking care of the marginalized groups in society, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Sex, Language and Power

Below are lots and lots of examples where language fails us and takes on a meaning we may not fully realize or understand. It is important to realize that metaphors in communication are often linked to actions; in the same way we have evolved past some phrases or simply became aware of the negative effects our language has on people, we can avoid sexual violence and other harmful traps.

This text is from-  “Reforging Relationships: intimacy without violence” by David Frazee and Suzanne O’Brien

Status/Objectification

SEX IS ACHIEVEMENT

I’d like to make it with her.
He’s successful with women.
I went all the way with her.
I didn’t get anywhere with her.

SEX IS PERFORMANCE

You were great last night.
I got rave reviews in bed.
He’s good in bed.
She’s a good screw.

WOMEN ARE OBJECTS

She’s a cute thing.
Take off your clothes and show me your stuff.
How would you like a little bit of that?
She likes to flaunt it.
He played her like a violin.

WOMEN ARE ANIMALS

She works like a Playboy bunny.
She’s real foxy.
Let’s see if we can shoot some squirrel (or beaver.)
She’s really a dog.
What a bitch!

WOMEN ARE CHILDREN

Do you like the girls at the office?
Janice is our playmate of the month!
Hey, baby!

SEX IS FOOD:

She was the best piece of ass I ever had.
What a dish!

WOMEN ARE THEIR GENITALS

She’s a cunt.

MEN ARE THEIR GENITALS

He’s been a real dick lately.
What a cock.

A PENIS’ LENGTH is MANLINESS

He’s hung like a bear.
He couldn’t please anyone with that thing.
He’s more man than she can handle.
She’s not ready for my hot beef insertion.

A SEXUALLY ACTIVE WOMAN IS BAD:

What a slut.
She’s a little tramp.
She’ll spread for the break.

A SEXUALLY ACTIVE MAN IS GOOD

Boy is he a stud.
He’s a player.
He’s a master of the bedroom.

Dominance/Power

SEX IS A HUNT, A CONQUEST

I’m going to go out and get a piece of ass tonight.
They’re going cock hunting.
He’s looking for a good fuck.
He tamed her.

SEX IS BEING SERVICE BY A WOMAN

She wouldn’t put out for me.
She did it for him but she wouldn’t do it for me.
Last night she gave me a blow job.
She knows how to please me.

SEX IS INSTRUCTION

I know how to show a woman a good time.
You could learn a lot fom me, baby.
I could teach her a thing or two.

SEX IS TRIUMPH

I really put it to her!
I really stuck it to her!

SEX IS TRIUMPH THROUGH INFLICTING PLEASURE

Boy, did I make her moan!
I got her so hot she could hardly stand it!
She was in such heat she was begging for it.

SEX IS MADNESS

I’m wild with desire.
Every time I look at a woman I go crazy.

SEXUAL FEELING IS ELECTRICITY/FLUIDS CONTROLLED BY A WOMAN:

She turns me on.
She really got my juices flowing.
One look at her and I’m all stirred up.

FLIRTING/FOREPLAY IS ASKING FOR INTERCOURSE

She really wants it.
She’s hot for you.
She’s just asking for it.

SEX IS A POWER WOMEN HAVE OVER MEN

She’s just a cock teaser.
If she wouldn’t give it to him, why did she lead him on.
Women can have it any time they want it.

Possession/Control

SEX IS A COMMODITY

I’ve never had to pay for pussy.
Why should a man rape if he can get it for free?
She wouldn’t give me any.
He’s not one to let an opportunity pass him by.
You got her used.
She owed it to me.

VIRGINITY IS A COMMODITY

She lost it to him.
She’s damaged goods.
I’m saving it for my husband.

 

SEX IS POSSESSION

I’d like to have her for a night.
I bet I could get her if I tried.
I want him to have me.

Hostility/aggression

SEX IS A SPORT:

I hope I score tonight.
I struck out with her.
I reached second base with her.
He made a pass at her.
He’s playing the field.

SEX IS A AMBLING GAME

If you play your cards right, you’ll score.
Your best bet is not to come on too strong.

SEX IS WAR

I tried to get her into bed but got shot down.
If I can wear down her resistance, I’ll score.
He’s always hitting on women.
She ignored his sexual advances.

SEX IS THEFT

She’s good snatch.
If she won’t give it, I’m going to take it.
He’s robbing the cradle.
I’d like to cop some ass.

SEX IS HITTING A WOMAN’S GENITALS

I’d like to bang her box.

MASTURBATION IS HITTING ONES OWN GENITALS

I beat my meat last night.
I like to whack off.

IMPREGNATION IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE

He knocked her up.

A PENIS IS A GUN; SPERM IS AMMUNITION

He shot his load into her.

SEX IS AGGRESSIVE DEGRADATION

I’d like to screw her.
I want to fuck her.


Still I Rise- Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is my favorite poet, so obviously I  really enjoy sharing her work any opportunity I can get. I love this poem’s message about the perseverance of the human spirit and our ability to rise. Not to mention she is just such a character, it is hard not loving her.

Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou b. 1928 Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Oprah Tells Her Sexual Assault Story

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

On November 10, 1986, while doing a show about sexual assault survivors and their molesters, Oprah revealed to her audience that she was raped by a relative when she was 9 years old.

A clip from The Oprah Show where she reveals her experience with sexual asault:

Oprah Sheds Some Light

Oprah has let her own light shine, and simultaneously has given other people permission to shine themselves. She has liberated others from their own fear, she has liberated ME from my own fear. My experiences are not the ball and chain around my ankle but the wind at my back, pushing me towards greatness. There’s a quote from Rocky Balboa

“… if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you?”

So, as we go through life, I believe it is important to be reminded that the world is going to keep taking hits at you, but its the ability to get hit and keep moving forward that defines a person’s character. We cannot continue pointing fingers at someone to blame, because that is no way to go through life.

Oprah has used her traumatic experience to better the world for others. The wind at her back has led her to become an advocate for sexual abuse survivors and devote hundreds of shows to the topic. These shows have helped put child predators behind bars, raised parent’s awarness and given countless victims a voice.

How will you show the world how great YOU are?


“Grey Matter” by Kelly Tsai

I’ve always found def poetry can capture real life in a completely new way. Access to def poetry is one my favorite things about Youtube.com and I encourage you to check some of them out when you get a free minute or two. Please enjoy this powerful video and take a minute to think about the moments you are stricken dumb, when life becomes a little bit too real, and think about the way they stick with you and cause you to think.


The Profile of a College Rapist

The Situation

Rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today. Researchers believe that college rape prevention programs are insufficient. I do not at ALL wish to suggest that the they are not making a difference, personally I felt extremely supported by my university and the resources they offered. The situation I fear is that a strong emphasis on the problem will be denied by college administration who fear that it will discourage potential students and their parents from attending their school on the presumption that rape occurs more often at their college than others.

Common Assumption

The common assumptions maintained by our society on college rape situations are:

  1. That the rapist made a one-time, bad decision.Psychologist David Lisak has conducted research that directly opposes this view. “They are very forthcoming,” he says. “In fact, they are eager to talk about their experiences. They’re quite narcissistic as a group — the offenders — and they view this as an opportunity, essentially, to brag.”

    Lisak found,  over a 20-year period, asking some 2,000 men in college questions like this: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they did not want to, because they were too intoxicated [on alcohol or drugs] to resist your sexual advances?”

    Or: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with an adult when they didn’t want to because you used physical force [twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.] if they didn’t cooperate?”

    About 1 in 16 men answered “yes” to these or similar questions.

    And these dudes who admit to having sex with people against their will?
    They don’t define what they did as “rape.”

    What Lisak found was that students who commit rape on a college campus are pretty much like rapists in prison. In both groups, many are serial rapists. On college campuses, repeat predators account for 9 out of every 10 rapes.

  2. The “alleged” rape victims are just girls who regret the decisions they made the night before.

    The distinction must be acknowledged that rape survivors are women who have been sought out by their rapist. He/she seeks out situations where they know they can find targets who will be less able to defend themselves. Similar to muggers robbing old ladies  — the age of the old ladies isn’t incidental. A rapist is pathological with or without booze, and would be a menace even without alcohol. But it is important to recognize that some rapists do purposely use drugs to incapacitate their victims.That line about how young women go out and get drunk and then regret their choices later? That is used all the time both to justify sexual assault and to warn women of the dangers of leaving the house to socialize. Drinking, of course, will not get you raped, we are only in danger if a rapist is in our presence; guys who commit rape do it with complete intent. Majority of women who are sexually assaulted are committed by people the survivor knows.

  3. The girls were “asking for it”Woman always hear these same ideas: Don’t go out at night by yourself, don’t walk down a dark alley, don’t drink too much. I don’t have any actual statistics on this, but my bet is that the woman who is raped by the stranger who jumps out of the bushes is more likely to report the rape than the woman who is raped at a party by the dude in her Bio class, especially if she was drinking. Men who rape on campuses are repeat offenders largely because they can get away with it. The language and ideas around sexual assault assumes that women must take self-protective steps, and if they are raped then they must have done something wrong. This thought ties directly into self-blame and re-victimization by society.So often I was told, “well at least you can learn something from this incident” or “now you know not to drink alcohol around your friends.” With a clear majority of men being the attackers in rape scenarios one would logically conclude that men would take some of the blame, but alas society has decided otherwise. —- Shout out to Men Against Rape and other similar groups

Common Types of Acquaintance Rape

Almost all women are fearful of the man behind the bushes are we are walking to class, it is very important to note that 90 percent of college rapes are acquaintance rape. The subcategories that are commonly used in analysis are:

  • party rape (can also include gang rape);
  • date rape (usually takes place in the victim’s or offender’s residence or in a car after the date);
  • rape in a non-party and non-date situation (e.g., while studying together);
  • rape by a former intimate; and
  • rape by a current intimate.

Temporal Problems

College students are the most vulnerable to rape during the first few weeks of the freshman In fact, the first few days of the freshman year are the riskiest, limiting the value of any rape prevention programs that begin after that. Research has shown that rapes of college women tend to occur after 6 p.m., and the majority occur after midnight.

Victim Injuries

Only 20 percent of college rape victims have additional injuries, most often bruises, black eyes, cuts, swelling, or chipped teeth. Thus, investigative practices should be modified to obtain more subtle evidence of lack of consent, rather than just use of force.

Victim Resistance

Slightly more than 50 percent of college rape and attempted rape victims use force against their assailant, and 50 percent tell the person to stop. Most victims try to stop a rape by doing one of the following: using force, telling the assailant to stop, screaming, begging, or running away.

Since many victims are acquainted with their assailants it is also common to freeze out of shock or fear because of the sudden attack. Your freezing does not mean you give consent.

Psychological Harm to Victims

Acquaintance rape victims suffer the same psychological harms as stranger-rape victims: shock, humiliation, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, loss of self-esteem, social isolation, anger, distrust of others, fear of AIDS, guilt, and sexual dysfunction. College acquaintance rape victims face additional consequences. Many drop out of school because, if they stay, they might regularly face their attacker in class, in their dorm, in the dining hall, or at campus functions and events. Since most victims do not report, colleges cannot intervene to protect them from reencountering their attackers.