Well, at least one police department is getting it right.
“Whatever we drink, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no.”
“If someone calls you a slut, there’s nothing you can say to refute the claim because it never had any cognitive content anyway. Even virginity is not a defense against alleged sluttiness. Virgins can be sluts if they dress the wrong way, walk the wrong way, or even instill the wrong thoughts in other people. Some people will convict you of sluttitude because your body is the wrong shape, or the right shape. What determines sluttiness? Is it number of partners, or the number of sex acts, or the kind of sex, or whether you enjoy it, or what other people infer about your self-esteem based on what they assume about your sex life? It’s all of the above, or none of the above. Either way, you lose. Maybe it has nothing to do with you at all. Maybe it’s because your accuser is racist or classist and your “sluttiness” is built into some stereotype that was clanking around in their head before they ever met you. If you try to argue that you’re not a slut, you’re implicitly buying into the idea that there are sluts out there. If there’s some criterion that will set you free, that standard will indict someone else—someone with a higher “number,” or shorter skirt, or a later curfew. So we get bogged down in slut/non-slut border skirmishes over a line nobody should have tried to draw in the first place, and we all lose. The only “refutation” is to laugh in your accuser’s face and get on with your life, however you choose to live it. That’s what Slut Walk is about."
“I was wearing jeans and t-shirt, is it my fault too?”
SlutWalk Toronto 2011. My sign.
I had mixed feelings about holding my sign at the SlutWalk. It was the first time I really identified myself as a survivor, because for months I was in denial about being raped in the first place.
I posted a photo of my sign on the SlutWalk facebook site before the walk, and I had someone message me telling me that my sign hit home with them, and if they could use the same sort of sign too. If you google SlutWalk, guaranteed that her photograph will flood the results.
Having someone else there with a similar sign helped. So did meeting P. Her sign said “Boxing Day 1985. 14 years old. Bundled in layers. How did I deserve it?” I wanted to cry as soon as I saw her. She came up to me and gave me a hug. It was the best hug I’ve ever had.
Her hug was the first one I received that day, but it wasn’t the last. Words of encouragement from random strangers included ‘it wasn’t your fault,’ and ‘you’re so brave.’ After a while, I started to believe it. And I held my sign high and I can honestly say that that day was the first day I was okay about what happened.
After that, I started to move on.
Finally, signs directed towards men, not women. Because you know what really prevents rape? NOT RAPING SOMEONE.
Eight percent of college men have either attempted or successfully raped. Thirty percent say they would rape if they could get away with it. When the wording was changed to “force a woman to have sex,” the number jumped to 58%. Worse still, 83.5% argue that “some women look like they are just asking to be raped."
Margo Maine, Ph.D. (Body Wars)
There was a time that, as a person of the male persuasion, seeing this quote made me really mad. It made me mad that women would assume that I was a rapist; it made me mad that rape was becoming ‘my problem’; it made me mad because, frankly, I didn’t think it was true. I think that this is a really common male attitude when confronted with rape statistics- or, at least, it has been in my purely anecdotal experience.
But now, I know there is no excuse for that. Men need to take responsibility and look at these numbers for what they really are, and what they really, truly represent. Men, don’t be mad at the woman who is justifiably wary that more than half of the men she knows could be her potential rapist. Don’t be mad at that there’s someone trying to rain on your fun, privileged parade where rape is something that only happens on Law & Order. Don’t be mad that you can’t accept that rape is way more common than you think. Most of all, don’t be mad at the woman who was raped and is seeking justice and help for her assault just because you thinks she looks like she was ‘asking for it.’
Be mad at the man who waits in the park to prey on the women who have a right to feel safe in their own communities. Be mad at the man who takes advantage of his drunk girlfriend. Be mad at the man who pushes the issue when his wife isn’t in the mood. Be mad at the man who catcalls, who makes unwelcome advances, who cops a feel.
Don’t be angry at the woman who doesn’t entirely trust you. Be angry at the men who have made her feel that way. Don’t be a part of a problem.
Be a part of the solution.
this commentary is so spot on.
To the man who raped me,
I know who you are, but you don’t deserve a name. Giving you a name personifies the monster inside you, because that is all you are.
I know you will say it was my fault. We both did the drugs, I know. We both drank, I know. I will agree with you and your fancy lawyer on both of those counts. I will disagree, however, with the fact that my consistent ‘no’s and removal of your hands from my body meant that I wanted to have sex with you.
I know that you know you are guilty, because the last things you ever said to me were ‘can we talk about this?’ ‘you were sleeping’ and ‘well you didn’t say no.’ But I did. And you know I did. And in my sleep, that very night, I changed. I woke up to the most unimaginable fear and the hardest journey I would ever have to encounter.
I know the stigma and the humiliation that come with being a rape victim. I know the nightmares, the flashbacks and the ‘what-if’s that run through my mind constantly. I blame myself for what happened, you know. I feel that I put myself in that situation, that it could have been prevented. But then I realize that you could have prevented it too. You had a choice.
I know now that I have a choice as well. And I made mine with every ounce of vengeance and anger I have inside of me. I chose to hold you accountable for your actions. To lay charges and live through the ordeal every single day until you are seen for what you really are under the eyes of the law.
I know I am stronger for what you did to me. I know I am a different person for what you did to me. I know I dropped out of my dream program at my dream college because of what you did to me. And I will make for certain, through either jail time or a couple of guys with a baseball bat, that you will face the consequences to your actions.
I know that your two or three years in jail will not make up for what you have done to me. I know that the vision I get when I close my eyes won’t go away anytime soon. You’ll probably even get probation or a fine. I got a life sentence. I have to wake up everyday knowing that I was raped, and knowing that it was you that did it to me.
I know that you will rot in hell, and I know that I will rise above this. You want to know why? Because I am a survivor, not a victim. And even though you took away my safety and security, you can’t take away my fight.
The woman who will ruin you.