Category Archives: Abuse, rape, and domestic violence

Brian Ashcraft, let me do your homework for you

In Kotaku’s grand tradition of shoddy reporting and lack of any decent research, Brian Ashcraft has written an impassioned but so supremely hypocritical article on the RapeLay controversy (link roundup) that I felt compelled to briefly bring this blog temporary … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Japan, Pornography, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Evil -ism's, Video Games | 11 Comments

Reflecting on the murder of Melissa Batten

Melissa Batten was a Software Development Engineer for the XBox team. Before that she was a Harvard-educated lawyer who worked as a public defender, handling domestic violence cases, in North Carolina. She was also a victim of domestic violence (DV). … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Video Games | 10 Comments

Suggested Actions for White Feminist Allies from Katie

On my blog, I had just linked to an excellent and common example by BrownFemiPower of white women getting credit for helping women at large when they’ve actually done a lot of harm to women. How did they do this … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Classism, Discrimination, Eradicating Divisive Discourse, Feminism, Gender issues, Multiculturalism, Privilege, Privilege in Action, Racism, The Evil -ism's, USA, World | 4 Comments

Can we stop misrepresenting our own movement?

So, Feministing is soliciting submissions for a new book called Yes Means Yes! (hat tip: feminist_writer LJ community). The book aims to brainstorm constructive ways that a more positive attitude towards sexuality, especially female sexuality, can help dismantle rape culture: … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Eradicating Divisive Discourse, Feminism, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics | 71 Comments

Lakota Sioux women's shelter needs help

All text from the Pretty Bird Woman House blog.

In May of this year, the progressive netroots pulled together to save a tiny women’s shelter on a Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota. Thanks to over 680 strangers who donated a combined $27,000, Pretty Bird Woman House was able to keep its doors open for the duration and provide emergency shelter for 188 women and 132 children.

But just last month thieves broke into Pretty Bird Woman House – literally smashing holes through the walls. They stole the computers, teh television, clothing, toiletries – all donated. Then arsonists set fire to the building.

Pretty Bird Woman House remains open, without a house, in an unheated, donated office. The tribal council has done all it can afford to do. Without a house, this sanctuary will die.

Pretty Bird Woman House needs another netroots miracle to survive. There is so much in the world we are powerless over. For Pretty Bird Woman House you can make a difference, make the world a better place, right here, right now, today.

Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Racism, The Internet is Serious Business | 3 Comments

"Prostitute" does not mean "worthless"

Jeffrey McKee was convicted of raping two women, but received a lighter prison sentence because his victims were prostitutes.

Luckily, there are people in the Washington state judicial system who aren’t total fuckwits.

Read the article for the full story, but here are a few notable quotes that illustrate the persistent sexism and victim-blaming in public attitudes towards sexual violence. Sure, society says, we’ll protect the victims of rape – but only if you’re the right kind of victim. Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Feminism, Gender Caste | 7 Comments

Replace "scantily clad woman" with "game designer"…

The Late Show handles the controversy over Night Trap by creating a snarky “game” where the game designer gets attacked by dogs. Unfortunately the game designer was not featured in a speedo, nor were the dogs zombie dogs. Although, really, … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, The Evil -ism's, Video Games | 3 Comments

Preventative measures against violence [Women and Violence, Part 9]

[This is the final part of my series on Women and Violence, which I wrote as a project for a Women Studies course I took this quarter. For an explanation and information on my intentions with this series, please see the introduction.]

I realize that a quarter-long series of articles about violence against women can be depressing, and I’d like to end this on an optimistic note.

Unfortunately, I don’t have The Solution to violence against women. Even I don’t have delusions of being that wise. ;) But – and here I’m engaging in a bit of hubris – I believe in the power of language to educate and agitate for change. That’s one of the reasons I chose to undertake this project, and why I choose to blog in general. Writing and dialoguing is important. It’s powerful. It’s consciousness raising in cyberspace. Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Eradicating Divisive Discourse, Feminism, Women and Violence | 4 Comments

Voice and silence [Women and Violence, Part 8]

[This is part of my series on Women and Violence, which I am writing as a project for a Women Studies course I’m taking. For an explanation and information on my intentions with this series, please see the introduction.]

In “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action,” Audre Lorde writes the following description of her thought process when faced with a potential diagnosis of cancer:

[…] and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or had only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else’s words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength.

I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.” (41)

Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Feminism, Gender Caste, Women and Violence | 3 Comments

Policing women through violence [Women and Violence, Part 7]

[This is part of my series on Women and Violence, which I am writing as a project for a Women Studies course I’m taking. For an explanation and information on my intentions with this series, please see the introduction.]

In an article titled “‘Femininity’ and women’s silence in response to sexual harassment and coercion,” Kathleen V. Cairns describes how harassment of women functions as a method of social control over women’s behavior:

[O]vert practices include the public, ritual shaming of women in the form of catcalls, lewd remarks and so on which serves to demonstrate the fact that ‘any man or group of men feels entitled not only to pass judgement on any woman walking along minding her own business, but also to announce it to her‘ [Kotzin 1993: 167]

[…]

In patriarchy, women are taught to accept that their femaleness, their simple presence, are responsible for men’s behavior towards them […] It becomes women’s responsibility to police themselves, to keep their dress, comportment and presence within approved limits to avoid ‘provoking’ harassment. (96-7).

This dynamic – of men acting with impunity to judge women, and women shouldering the blame for men’s actions towards them – can be applied to other forms of gender violence as well. What it comes down to is the way that negative reactions from men – or even the anticipation of those reactions – function to police women in everything from their appearance to their behavior. Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Feminism, The Beauty Myth, Women and Violence | 4 Comments