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.
@4 months ago with 122727 notes
#sexual assault #sexual harasment #misogyny #text
[TW: Rape, Sexual Violence]
“we are here to tell her that women have every right to be adventurous. We will be adventurous. We will be reckless. We will be rash. We will do nothing for our safety. Don’t you dare tell us how to dress, when to go out at night, in the day, or how to walk or how many escorts we need! I am saying this because I feel that the word ‘safety’ with regard to women has been used far too much — all us women know what this ‘safety’ refers to, we have heard our parents use it, we have heard our communities, our principals, our wardens use it. Women know what ‘safety’ refers to. It means – You behave yourself. You get back into the house. You don’t dress in a particular way. Do not live by your freedom, and this means that you are safe. A whole range of patriarchal laws and institutions tell us what to do in the guise of keeping us ‘safe’. We reject this entire notion. We don’t want it.”
@1 year ago with 548 notes
#tw: rape #sexual assault #India
Kavita Krishnan, secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA),
Following the bestial sexual attack on a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi, the capital, along with other cities across the country, has seen numerous protests demanding justice not just for the survivor, but better laws and stringent action against sexual offenders per se. When on Wednesday 19 December students and protesters marched towards the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s house, the police tried to ward them off with water cannons.
(Source: tehelka.com, via iamthecrime)
Tw: Rape, victim blaming
Zobel changed the names for his movie and set it in a fictional “Chick-Wich” restaurant in Ohio. But he said in several interviews with online publications that it was based on the Bullitt County case and that the “weirder and yuckier the things in our movie, the more likely it is that they really happened.”
Ogborn, who won a $6.1 million jury verdict against McDonald’s that was later settled for an undisclosed sum, has since married and had a child. She didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Stewart’s lawyer, Steve Romines, said his client hadn’t known about the movie.
McDonald’s corporate spokesman, William Whitman, didn’t respond to a request for comment and neither did its Louisville lawyer, Margaret Keane.
Legal experts, including Bill Hollander, an intellectual property lawyer who is managing partner of the Louisville firm of Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, said filmmakers may fictionalize someone’s life story without their consent, although they could be sued for defamation or invasion of privacy if they knowingly or recklessly get the facts wrong.
Jennifer Rothman, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who has worked in the movie industry, said filmmakers customarily buy story rights from a subject to avoid subsequent litigation and criticism.
In an interview on New York Magazine’s entertainment website “Vulture,” Zobel admits that his movie, which isn’t rated, is challenging to watch, even for him. “It’s not for everybody.”
He said he didn’t make it just for controversy but knew it would bother some people.
“So beat me up,” he said. “I am not going to apologize.”
He has described the film as about “the danger of letting go of one’s own common-sense belief system and giving it over to authority. I think that happens all the time, and the consequences, like in this movie, are huge.”
Ogborn’s character is played by actress Dreama Walker, who has appeared in the teen TV drama “Gossip Girl” and played Clint Eastwood’s granddaughter in the movie “Gran Torino.”
The Courier-Journal was told that Walker wasn’t available for an interview. But she told a Los Angeles Times movie blogger that she studied transcripts and interviews from the McDonald’s case to get her part right.
“My whole thing for playing the character was that she wasn’t an idiot,” she said. “She was just really young, very naive and was in these high-stakes circumstances where she thought she was going to lose her job if she didn’t do as she was told.
“We all think we would react in a certain way, react boldly,” Walker said. “Sometimes that’s not really the case at all.”
Oldfather said Ogborn is trying to put her ordeal behind her and most likely will never see “Compliance.”
“My feeling is the last thing she would ever want to do is watch a movie about something that was hell for her,” Oldfather said.
The perverse tale of blind obedience to authority first unfolded eight years ago in a McDonald’s restaurant in Mount Washington, Ky., just south of Louisville, when an 18-year-old employee was subjected to a humiliating strip search orchestrated by a prank caller pretending to be a cop.
Now it may be coming to a theater near you.
“Compliance,” a movie based on the McDonald’s strip-search hoax case, premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and has been acquired by a major distributor, which expects to release it this summer.
Dozens of film-goers walked out of the debut and hecklers later screamed at director Craig Zobel that his 90-minute film was exploitative and misogynistic.
“Rape is not entertainment,” one of them yelled at a question-and-answer session with the director.
But critics generally have raved about the movie, which includes scenes with nudity and degradation.
Hollywood Reporter called it “a suspenseful psychological drama for viewers prepared to tolerate its extremes,” while bestmoviesevernews.com said it “works wonderfully as a horror suspense film without any gore or blood.”
“So beat me up,” he said. “I am not going to apologize.”
You sir are a huge asshole. He doesn’t care about what really happened, he’s just exploiting the situation and making money out of it.
Seriously fuck whoever thought this was a good idea, fuck the person who didn’t ask for the victim her consent to make this movie and not getting the facts right, fuck anyone who supports this fucking asshole and this movie.
@2 years ago with 2 notes
#rape #sexual assault #rape culture
Man Convicted Of Sexual Assault For Sabotaging Girlfriend’s Condoms
@2 years ago with 86 notes
#canada #news #sexual assault
A Nova Scotia man who poked holes in his girlfriend’s condoms in hopes of impregnating her and thus saving their relationship has been convicted of sexual assault.
According to CBC, Craig Jaret Hutchinson had been dating his girlfriend for a few months when she started to talk about breaking up. He “thought if she got pregnant, their relationship would be saved,” so he used a pin to puncture all her condoms. Turns out, she did get pregnant. But then he told her what he’d done, and instead of joining him in the familial bliss he’d hoped for, she called the cops.
Now Hutchison has been found guilty of sexual assault, but not of a more serious charge of aggravated sexual assault. For that, the prosecution would have had to prove that he’d endangered his girlfriend’s life. It actually sounds like he may have — the woman had an abortion, after which she developed an infection, and in any case, pregnancy carries some major risks that nobody should have to shoulder without her consent. And for anyone who thinks baby-hungry women are the only people poking holes in condoms, this case is a reminder that pregnancy coercion is a real and serious form of abuse that can be perpetrated by men too.
"Turns out, she did get pregnant. But then he told her what he’d done, and instead of joining him in the familial bliss he’d hoped for, she called the cops."
I can’t believe that guy thought she would be happy to receive such incredibly creepy news that he’s the one who sabotaged those condoms and got her pregnant while she didn’t want a baby. Wtf.
Using a child to ‘save’ a relationship is not okay.