Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault.
- Reblogged from feministriots
Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault.
A post I co-authored with Dr Buddhini Samarasinghe and Professor Rajini Rao has just been published on the science website, Nature.com. We address the false idea that girls are fundamentally inferior to boys at science due to our biological capabilities. We examine how gender stereotypes negatively impact women’s careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Gender stereotypes are perpetuated through the stories we tell children as soon as they’re born. We show how children in Prep and Grade 1 tend to draw scientists in gender-neutral ways, but by Grade 2 onwards, they start drawing White men in lab coats. By Grade 5 the stereotype that only White men are scientists has taken hold. The stereotype is both gendered and racial, as research shows that even minorities tend to draw White men, thus affecting diversity in science on multiple levels.
This stereotype is used in other ways by teachers, parents, the media and by other figures of authority to force girls to consider that maybe they’re not fit to do science. This is known as the “leaky pipeline,” with studies showing how girls and women leave STEM at various stages of their education and careers due to the cultural pressures and institutional obstacles they face.
It is imperative that those of us committed to equality and diversity collaborate with scientists from other fields in order to make progress. We can’t take for granted that our colleagues will eventually come to see the damage done by biological arguments. We can’t simply leave girls to navigate gender stereotypes on their own. We can’t rely on women being “more confident” and assertive when faced with discrimination, as research shows these individual approaches don’t work.
Read our article including the empirical evidence on the Nature website: http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscience/2014/09/04/nature-vs-nurture-girls-and-stem
“Allyship is not supposed to look like this, folks. It’s not supposed to be about you. It’s not supposed to be about your feelings. It’s not supposed to be a way of glorifying yourself at the expense of the folks you claim to be an ally to. It’s not supposed to be a performance. It’s supposed to be a way of living your life that doesn’t reinforce the same oppressive behaviors you’re claiming to be against. It’s supposed to be about you doing the following things:1. shutting up and listening2. educating yourself (you could start with the thousands of books and websites that already exist and are chock full of damn near everything anyone needs to know about most systems and practices of oppression)3. when it’s time to talk, not talking over the people you claim to be in solidarity with4. accepting feedback/criticism about how your “allyship” is causing more harm than good without whitesplaining/mansplaining/whateversplaining5. shutting up and listening some more6. supporting groups, projects, orgs, etc. run by and for marginalized people so our voices get to be the loudest on the issues that effect us7. not expecting marginalized people to provide emotional labor for you”
You can do it, it’s exciting… it’s understanding the universe and it’s being connected to the universe and making the world a better place.
- Candy Torres, Engineer.
What are you doing to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing? Spend it with us at STEM Women, and a veteran woman engineer of the space program! In 8 hours, we’ll be talking with Candy Torres, a Puerto Rican engineer who went from being one of only 10 women in her astrophysics classes at Rutgers University, to getting a job at Princeton University to work on the Copernicus OAO-3C Satellite and later, as a software programmer for NASA.
Candy was a STEM trailblazer from an early age. She had a firm dream to join the space program, but she encountered much push-back from her family and friends in the Bronx, where she was born. Latina women were simply not meant to have a career in STEM, or so she was told, let alone dream of contributing to the space race.
At age 14, Candy joined the Civil Air Patrol and she was flying a plane before she could drive. She encountered sexism early on, however, when she learned that girl cadets were not allowed to participate in some training sessions. She tells CNN: “We were supposed to go find a businessman who was lost in the woods, but the girls were not allowed.”
This attitude continued. At university in the 1970s, her classmates were less than welcoming of women. She tells CNN: “They were definitely not happy about having women in the class… I didn’t have any kind of support system. I didn’t get to know any of the other women, and the guys basically ignored me.”
Overcoming exclusion based on her gender and ethnicity, Candy would go on to use her computer programming skills to organise files for NASA. She later went on to work at Johnson Space Centre on software for the Space Shuttle as well as the International Space Station. She worked on various other space programs over the years, such as human factors.
Candy has been featured in various high-profile publications like The Atlantic, where she noted: "People don’t realize how many thousands of us worked on these programs… I loved being part of something big, and I knew that I had worked hard to be there."
Candy has continued her work in recent years by educating the public on space history, and supporting the inclusion of minority women in space programs. She is passionate about encouraging Latino youth to pursue engineering and science. She tells Latino USA that her message to Latina and other minority women is about being passionate, curious and tenacious.
Join us as we chat to Candy about her amazing journey through various space programs, and hear her advice for young girls and women who want to follow in her footsteps. We’ll be live on Sunday 20th July 2014 at 2.30 PM Pacific/ 10.30 PM UK or Monday 7.30 AM Australian EST. Check out our Event page for more details, including a link to our YouTube video if you want to catch up later.
Twilight: Eclipse p. 331 (Bella and Jacob’s first kiss)
This is rape culture.
Young women are taught to think of this passage - which describes sexual assault - as erotic. Young men are taught to force their will on young women, regardless of any (non)verbal cues, because sex is conquest and women are objects - not something to be done between two consenting individuals because it’s pleasurable for both people.
The most frightening thing about this excerpt is that many survivors of sexual assault who have disclosed to me describe stories that sound exactly like this one.
tumblr user clockward submitted this to us. read at your leisure.
The lines before that:
He still had my chin—his fingers holding too tight, till it hurt—and I saw the resolve form abruptly in his eyes.
“N—-” I started to object, but it was too late.
And after he assaulted her she punched him in the face but due to his “super human strength” she broke her hand, said “Don’t touch me!” and then:
“Just let me drive you home,” Jacob insisted. Unbelievably, he had the nerve to wrap his arm around my waist.
I jerked away from him.
When he got in the driver’s side, he was whistling.
AND THEN while he was driving:
“…There is so much I can give you that he can’t. I’ll bet he couldn’t even kiss you like that—-because he would hurt you. I would never, never hurt you, Bella.”
I held up my injured hand.
He sighed. “That wasn’t my fault. You should have known better.”
He grinned over at me. “You kissed me back.”
I gasped, unthinkingly balling my hands up into fists again, hissing when my broken hand reacted.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“I did not.”
“I think I can tell the difference.”
“Obviously you can’t——that was not kissing back, that was trying to get you the hell off me, you idi*t.”
He laughed a low, throaty laugh. “Touchy. Almost overly defensive, I would say.
I took a deep breath. There was no point in arguing with him; he would twist anything I said.
Then when she gets home, to where her father, Charlie, the police officer, is:
“Why did she hit you?”
“Because I kissed her,” Jacob said, unashamed.
“Good for you, kid,” Charlie congratulated him.
I didn’t read the citation first. I read the quote. I thought I was reading a woman’s account of how she was about to be raped, not a fucking passage from a romance novel.
This is astonishing. And I am almost never astonished by rape culture anymore.
#yesallwomen I did a standup show at isla vista UCSB one week to the day before the guy shot up the town. There was shock and the guy’s crazy “reasoning” came out and women EVERYWHERE just started pointing out the obvious things that women live with that men don’t and haven’t even thought about. The hundreds of decent men I know, personally, are shocked and made aware of these things. They are sad about what they are learning, but they are learning it. There are millions of decent men, who I don’t know, who are learning these things and talking about how to help make everyone’s experience slightly better.
And there are the guys who can’t hear it. Which, when no one is attacking them specifically, there are only a couple reasons a person couldn’t acknowledge a common experience that is being shared from millions of women.
There are amazing things being pointed out that are just a part of a regular day in being a human female. I don’t think about it much, it’s all automatic now. The examples listed are great, but I was reminded of the low level, constant awareness of my surroundings, constant placating of some men, constant ignoring of sexual comments from some men, and a constant answering of inappropriate questions at work and in social situations about relationships, plans for relationships, children, sex and wardrobe choices.
#yesallwomen isn’t about OTHER discussions that need to be had…gun safety and mental illness. (We are living in the first 40 pages of Watership Down here, folks).
#yesallwomen means; Every woman. Your mom, your sister, your girlfriend, the lady at Starbucks. Women wearing clothes, women not wearing clothes. Women covered because of conservative religious beliefs and an eleven year old girl wearing her brother’s football jersey. And, yes, even me. I’m not Helen of Troy over here. I’ve never been the woman that nations fight wars about. I’ve looked like some version of what I look like now since I was 16. track 3: “If you miss YOUR mom, I’ll hug you.” I’m no tiny, fairy beauty that infuriates a particular kind of man into feeling that women are “teases” and “bitches.” But I, too, have been belittled verbally and physically attacked for no other reason I can think of except that I’m the woman standing in front of these guys.
I worked three summers in a gay resort town of Provincetown, MA at a footlong hotdog stand (1989joke: “put a condiment on that” killed with drunk gay guys). We had two 15 yr old guys filling the sodas and they had grown up in p-town. They hated gay guys. Because there are some gay guys who treat men like some straight guys treat women. Hitting on them, trying to flirt when it’s clear that it isn’t working. The women who worked at the hotdog stand explained to these young men that that’s how women live their lives.
I do a bit on my new album (“98% of Men” out last month and available from amazon and iTunes ;) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IV8K7C4/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk11) about how I know the majority of the people on this planet are good (and 2% of the people, men and women, are broken… so live a little defensively, but not crazy defensive, like Nancy Grace wants you to). I’ve “not been killed” a half dozen times by guys that were annoyed but took no as a complete sentence. But there is no award for not being horrible. Because you took no for an answer, because you didn’t rape someone, because you didn’t shake your baby when it wouldn’t shut up isn’t a reason to have a trophy made.
So when I heard what some men are saying, I was confused. I was confused at the men that ARE taking these comments personally… saying that, because women are pointing out how their lives exist, that “women hate all men.” Then these gentlemen also insist that a specific statement such as “a man that kills women hates women” is “too sweeping.” I have thought about all of this as I’ve watched the conversation wash over me. And I have a theory about where it’s coming from:
The guys that take all these things as personal attacks; “you’re lumping us all together” you’re insisting on “collective guilt,” feel attacked because they FEEL guilty - EVEN IF THEY’VE DONE NOTHING.
1. There are men that feel they SHOULD have been doing something and are mad at their own lack of Superpowers.
2. Worse, there are men that HAVE done something…if only creep on women … and feel like they’re being called on it. And they are. This is a call to stop it. Just…stop it. It’s not okay. It’s not funny. It’s not effective. It’s bad. Stop it.
3. Or, and this could be anyone of us, and it takes a grown adult of any gender to admit it, there are men that have stood by.
I am not the hero of this story. I’ve stood by. I’ve let men say things to other women around me…and not spoke up. I’ve let racism be spoken around me and not spoke up. I’ve let people be mean to their kids…smacking an ear in public mean…and said nothing. Hell, I’ve let men say and elbow squeeze ME and not said anything.
I’ve stood by. I once didn’t help a man who was a. Either being mugged or b. Using the words, “someone’s chasing me” as a ploy to get into a locked corridor I was in. I’ll never know if that guy got hurt because I couldn’t trust enough to help him…but I was scared it was a ploy to get into the safety of the apartment I was house sitting at 12:30am in NYC. I know, in my head, that I made the choice to make sure I was safe. But I still feel like I was a coward. And I still think about it.
But sometimes I’m afraid of the confrontation. Of the argument. Of not having the words or the physical strength to back up my convictions. I hate getting hit. But, sometimes, I still think I’m going to get hit. And no one has hit me in years. And I’ve only had to get walked to my car after a show twice in the last ten years. So, these are residual fears that still affect my life. I’ve made peace with the fact that I have been cowardly in the past. And I’ve realized that I will not always be brave. But, dammit, I try.
The way I live now is not from a place of guilt but from a place of responsibility. We all, as people taking part in our collective social contract, have a responsibility to each other. Each to our abilities and willingness to find the courage to stand up to …whatever you want to call them; bullies, crazies (both male and female) or the clinically insane …I call them assholes. I don’t do it every time, even now. It’s the kind of thing that takes practice; for me, I have to practice not BEING an asshole, as well as not allowing it AROUND me. I have to remind myself that standing up to assholes is a confrontation I do not want to have but I have to find the willingness to have. And I’m still judgmental and snappish and, so, not a fucking saint either. So I’ve got plenty of work to do. But I work on being willing to do that work.
Maybe it’s because I do standup and the underdog is always the hero in my eyes. The person to whom no tout in the world would suggest you put your money on… Women, Children, various non-white ethnic groups, the handicapped, the insane, the homeless…even a white guy with a shitty haircut…these are the people that comedy comes from, in my life.
Fish don’t think about water, they just live their lives in it. So this hashtag thing just reminds us, to each other, that we aren’t alone, or crazy for not being cool with it. And everyone’s life is in a water we can’t know, without comedy. Comedy gives us a glimpse into other waters. Other people’s families, other people’s jobs, other people’s lives. It takes us all swimming in a lake of Native American rage or an Arkansas off-the-grid lifestyle. (What are those people hiding from?) When a comedian or a book or a show reveals to me a world I have never thought about or realized existed …I am briefly ashamed that I never saw it, and then I laugh. At all of us.
Let’s all work on telling assholes to shut up as well as not being assholes ourselves.
"Not Yours" by Heather Freeman
A woman’s body belongs to herself and herself alone. This pro-choice, pro-woman art piece strives to drive this point home as firmly and diversely as possible. 50% of the proceeds will go to the National Network of Abortion Funds.
"Your discomfort is not worth my life." FTW
My FEMINIST cartoon and commentary today “How to Sound Feminist But Remain Sexist”:
[Image] Sign says, “Everyone Welcome,” but the entrance to a building is shaped like the “male” symbol, while the “women” symbols stand outside, unable to fit.
"19-year-old activist, identified only as Amina, posted on the Femen-Tunisian Facebook page a topless picture of herself with the words "F**k your morals" written across her chest.
Another controversial image followed, of the woman smoking a cigarette, baring her breasts, with the Arabic written across her chest: “My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honor”.”
Ignorant dicks are threatening her with death by stoning. Sign the petition below.
“As a Muslim feminist woman of color, I cannot relate to Slutwalks as it caters mostly to the definition of emancipation set by white women. Slutwalks deviate in terms of delivering the message against sexual assault. It turns a blind eye to women of cultures where flimsy clothes don’t necessarily lead to rapes. Muslim women get raped too. Nassim Elbardouh is right. “Do Not Rape” Walk sounds better. This isn’t to say that I don’t support Slutwalks. I simply can’t relate to a liberating movement that does not liberate nor acknowledge me. Western feminism, despite its undeniable achievements, still perpetuates the image of a white woman as the liberated one. If these feminists do claim to represent all women, they need to understand the dynamics of the cultures other women hail from. Don’t care if you’re wearing a thong or burka, no one has the right to rape you. Burka clad brown Muslim women get raped too. Represent us. I want a movement that represents me regardless of my color and creed. End victim blaming and rape culture by representing everyone.”
“We’ll never know why Funke ultimately decided to take her own life. But framing Funke’s decision to end her own life as a consequence of her career as a sex worker, rather than her lifelong depression or the relentless slut-shaming and harassment she faced on social media, does a huge disservice not only to Funke’s legacy, but to the millions of women who are similarly shamed and harassed online every day.”
This is so so so important. The school’s unwillingness to take ANY responsibility is vile. They’re more concerned with getting off scot-free than admitting their student body needs a reeducation on empathy and rampant, disgusting sexism. That’s why these high schools continue to be breeding grounds for this kind of bullying. Because the people in charge don’t move a muscle to stop it.
[Image text] INTERVIEWER: In every one of your novels we find a female character who is misled by false notions and who is threatened by madness.
DE BEAUVOIR: Lots of modern women are like that. Women are obliged to play at being what they aren’t, to play, for example, at being great courtesans, to fake their personalities. They’re on the brink of neurosis. I feel very sympathetic toward women of that type. They interest me more than the well-balanced housewife and mother. There are, of course, women who interest me even more, those who are both true and independent, who work and create.