I Will Not Stop Fighting

This week I received many more comments on the website and facebook page. While that’s great, a lot of them were negative criticisms of the work I’m doing, questioning the relevance or existence of rape culture, and generally assuming I hate men and think all of them are rapists.

Reading those comments was harder than expected. I knew I’d get criticisms and anti-feminist responses, but they sure did upset me. Interacting with people who think this way about rape culture and feminism is scary. I’m trying to do all this work against our culture’s view of rape and rape survivors, in addition to the work that actually involves crisis work with survivors, and these people go out of their way to try and tell me it doesn’t exist and there’s no point.

I’d like to get something clear about rape culture. It’s not a feminist propaganda term, it’s a real culture that we all live in. Women’s/feminist movements may have coined the term, but that doesn’t mean it’s against men or made up in any way. A huge reason why rape happens is because of where our society stands in terms of gender roles. This isn’t to say that women don’t rape or that men aren’t survivors…they definitely are, but rape is a crime of power and control. And according to our traditional gender roles, men have more power and control than women. Since this doesn’t exclude sex, objectification of women and the fact that many men are encouraged to treat women this way in order to ‘make them a man’ play a large role in why rape is prevalent.

People are encouraged to treat others this way, this behavior is accepted, and most people stand by and let it happen. Hence the rape culture definition of encouraging, perpetuating, and tolerating sexual violence that’s at the top of this website.

So after being a little discouraged yesterday, I woke up today ready to fight. I WILL NOT stop educating, fighting and advocating against such a violent act that affects so many people’s lives, including mine.
As a survivor, I have experienced first hand victim blaming, denial, protection of the rapist, misunderstanding on why it took me “so long to get over it”, shunning from a community of people, and so much more.

This crime is real and still way too common. There has been so much work done by amazing men and women against sexual violence, but it still exists. And as long as rape exists, I will fight my ass off to try and eliminate it.

I read something amazing today that I’d like to share with you all. It’s from the training manual of ICASA (Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault):

 

Because of our record of success, the anti-rape movement has also attracted more than its share of critics who view our rape prevalence numbers as inflated or hype, our services as already more extensive than the real magnitude of rape requires, and our agenda as driven by the objective to change the basic power relationship of men and women. Critics of our movement have no real constituency group. They write for their personal gain – to get on talk shows, to sell books, to have their fifteen seconds of infamy. They sense a controversy that they can foment, even if doing so requires distorting the facts. They know that controversy sells – especially if it is women fighting women! But ultimately they will move on to some other topic because they have no real commitment to the issue of rape and they have no group whose needs impel their efforts. The anti-rape movement derives its strength and persistence from the multitude of survivors, identified and hidden, who know the trauma of rape from their personal experiences and are willing to commit resources of time and money to sustain our efforts. Until rape is eradicated, our movement will continue.

 

This says it all. I just happened to read this today and it’s exactly what I needed.

24 thoughts on “I Will Not Stop Fighting

  1. Your work is cut out for you.. Your “rape culture” is a fabrication. Why do you love fear and hate the successes feminism has achieved?

  2. Rape Culture? Unless I missed the memo where rape is now a lawful activity and there’s rape night at the oasis, there’s no such thing as rape culture.

    Also, the reason you equate rape as being about control is because you’re a woman and for you sex is about control. Women sell sex for profit, they use sex to manipulate, as a reward and so on. Women don’t buy sex from men, it can’t be used as a reward system, ect.

    • Women CAN buy sex from men. All genders can buy sex from all genders. Your comment in an of itself is why rape culture exists and is real. If you think so negatively of it and refuse to contribute to the conversation in a productive way, please stay away from my blog.

  3. can you site the source that proves rape culture is real? according to violence against women, there is weak evidence, but nothing solid yet. What study have you done to prove rape culture exists? I only ask because I would think a feminist journal that specializes in performing studies would have this information before you.

    • No, there is not a specific source. But I live in the world, specifically a city environment where I experience people sexually objectifying others everyday, I see humor about rape – like Daniel Tosh, I see the media’s CONSTANT victim blaming on high profile cases of sexual assault, I see advertising with women that are made to look how society thinks men want them to look. And on top of all of this, I see everyone standing by and letting it happen and tolerating sexual violence. That is rape culture. I don’t need a legal source to activate my beliefs for what I think is right and wrong.

      • So anecdotal evidence at best? And who is this everyone that lets it happen and tolerates sexual violence? My own anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that everyone I know would never be ok with that.

  4. What’s wrong with you people? Why are you arguing about whether or not rape culture is real? Why don’t you do something productive like this person is and try to stop rape instead of being the assholes who want to define it?

    • because most logical and rational people know it does not exist, except in the mind of batshit insane BPD bipolars seeking endless attention.

      • Have you ever met someone who has been raped? Have you met someone who has had all their dignity stripped from them, who has lost trust in everyone around them? Once this has happened you never fully regain who you once were. To hear people like you write off rape culture in such a glib way just drives the knife deeper. I hope you can keep this apparent innocence toward such a horrific event and that you never have to find out just how bad rape culture is in our society. It really becomes noticeable when you start paying attention. Also, the disorder you’re looking for is PTSD.

  5. People who claim rape culture is made up haven’t had, at random, a dozen or so close friends disclose about their experiences of sexual assault. They probably haven’t experienced sexual assault in any form themselves, or if they did, they couldn’t identify it as such. They are unaware of any sexual abuse in their families, or the families of their friends.

    They haven’t seen how a victim of SA is treated by doctors, nurses, police officials and lawyers. They presume the more awful cases of SA that get covered in the media must be exaggerated or biased.

    They claim the evidence all around them is “anecdotal” or “made up” because they’re either blinded by their own privilege or they are so unable to accept the more awful aspects of the real world that they remain willfully ignorant.

    Maybe they’ve never thought about what it’s like to grow up as a woman, being told to be constantly afraid of displaying sexuality for fear it will attract a crazy mugger animal rapist, but also being told they must in some way sexualize their appearance to get ahead in the world or have a voice.

    They’ve most likely never been educated to assess and critique culture in any meaningful way.

    Most importantly, they are more interested in obstructing or aggravating people who are trying to work to change the world for the better.

    • This is very powerful, Becky. Thanks for sharing. I think having gone through it or knowing someone affected by it makes a huge difference. I wish everyone could understand, but unfortunately the ones that do see the world differently.

  6. Considering that there are men everywhere who will beat you to a pulp on the slightest suspicion that you are a rapist, I find the idea that we live in a “rape culture” rather odd.

  7. Melissa McEwan has the best definition of Rape Culture that I’ve ever seen, if you want to use it as a reference. Also, for more research, use Transforming a Rape Culture, the wikipedia entry on Rape culture. I’ve found it always helps to have sources that you can direct critics to. These are some of my best ones.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    I am developing a Resource page at my blog Confessions of a Latte Liberal. Feel free to use my sources.

  8. Pingback: The Part of Running This Campaign I Didn’t Expect | End Rape Culture

  9. Rape, I’m afraid, is just caused by natural aggression. There’s no rape culture to end. All you can do about rape is punish it.

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