I posted last week asking people if they knew of some good resources for male victims of sexual assault. Here is the list people came up with:
reblog for signal boost
Tagging so I can find it again if someone needs it
Humorously done but it brings up a very good point about the song. (And I like how the guys immediately reacted, “Wow, dude, that’s not okay.”)
I was looking around for something that gives strategies that men can do to prevent rape and rape culture. Outside of Jackson Katz’s “10 Things Men Can Do To Stop Rape,” I didn’t find anything that was more recent. I put this list together as a handout for the male-identified training. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel with this, but I feel there isn’t anything that is just a quick list of how to interrupt rape culture. Comments, questions, criticisms encouraged.
Male Ally Tips – Things You Can Do Every Day!
Being an ally isn’t just about attending trainings and volunteering with RVA – it’s mostly about the way we carry ourselves on a day-to-day basis. With that in mind, here are some things to be mindful of…
- Watch how much space you take up. Often when we are sitting on the train or bus, men tend to take up more space than women. In some cases, it may be because we are physically bigger than women, but in others it is an unearned (and unnoticed) sense of entitlement. When you ride the train, compare and contrast how much space men take up versus women. Remember that your size can be intimidating.
- Learn to step back… From an early age, boys are encouraged to voice our opinions and to speak when we feel something needs to be said. However, that can lead us to dominate a conversation or meeting. Instead, practice not talking. Let others, particularly female-identified people, speak first. If they have said something you thought about saying, you don’t need to echo it.
- …And to step up! Use your voice for good – when you hear other men telling a sexist joke, or statements that support rape myths, or words that belittle survivors of domestic and sexual violence, interject! You’ll be surprised at how effective (and appreciated!) a statement such as “I really don’t think that (joke/comment/remark) is funny” really is.
- Attend feminist events. If male-identified people are welcomed at the space, show your support by attending talks by feminist authors, film screenings by female filmmakers, and concerts with feminist performers.
- Support feminist media. Go one step further – if we want to put a stop to rape culture, we need to work on dismantling it. Supporting alternatives to mainstream, corporate-owned media is imperative. Get a subscription to Bitch magazine, buy albums of feminist performers and buy tickets to movies that feature strong female leads and/or positive depictions of gender non-conforming folks. As the old saying goes, “money talks”- if companies see these movies doing well they are more likely to continue making them!
- Volunteer! If you have the time, volunteer for a rape crisis or domestic violence center. Men NEED to be doing this work. Most of the time violence is perpetrated, a man is the perpetrator. This is not being anti-male, it’s just being honest. Call your local rape crisis or domestic violence center and find out how you can help. You may not be able to work directly with survivors, but you can do prevention work – which involves talking to other men – and that is equally important.
- Make your space feminist. We don’t want to take up more space than necessary, but rather, to make the space we do take up feminist. If you work in an office, push for a sexual assault 101 training. Hang up posters in your cubicle that are supportive of gender-equality. If you’re a member of a fraternity, do a service project that benefits a local rape crisis or DV center. It’s possible to do this in any space – not just the social work field!
- Be an active bystander. Obviously if we see a sexual assault taking place we should intervene, as anyone would do. However, sexual violence exists on a continuum. Verbal street harassment and groping are also forms of sexual violence, though they are commonly accepted. If you see a man talking to a woman on the train, ask the woman if the man is bothering her. When you see a man taking upskirt pictures on his iPhone, tell him that is not only illegal but wrong. If a man grabs a woman, tell him, in your own words, to leave her alone. Most of these behaviors continue because the men who perpetrate the actions feel justified since they have never had another man call them out on it. Equally important, we want to think of our own safety – intervene if you feel comfortable, but we’re not superheroes, nor do we want to feel that just because we are men we need to be “strong” enough to fix everything. Taking your own safety account is imperative!
- Reflect the type of masculinity you want to see in the world. If we want to break the association of masculinity and violence, we need to portray the type of masculinity we want to see. This means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, being nurturing and supportive of children, taking responsibility for our actions, and apologizing when we’ve hurt someone’s feelings. It also means supporting men who are “outside the gender box,” as well as supporting women and gender non-conforming folks. If we continue to harbor the negative qualities of masculinity, we can’t effectively change it.
- Be accountable. Finally, recognize the ways that you are being oppressive. Always keep yourself in check. Being an ally means being accountable to feminists and to female-identified and gender non-conforming people. Though we may have the best of intentions, it is common to make mistakes. That’s how privilege works, after all – we will always be unlearning sexism. Being an ally is a lifelong process, and you’ve started on the road to making the world a safer place for women and girls (as well as boys and men!). That should be commended. However, we do not deserve praise for doing the work we should be doing; for taking responsibility. Make sure you are self-critical, self-aware, and knowledgeable about your words and actions.
[Trigger warning: rape]
I think it was the Yes Means Yes blog that linked to a study about indirect communication where people were told ‘no’ indirectly in all kinds of social situations, and they understood it as ‘no’ almost all the time. Then those same people are told ‘no’ indirectly in a hypothetical sexual situation, and somehow they don’t understand it, because they’re actually choosing to hear ‘yes.’
Eg, “Wanna go for a drink?” “Eh, I have to be up early tomorrow.” “Some other time, then.” VS “Wanna have sex?” “Eh, I have to be up early tomorrow.” “Cool, I’ll make it quick.”
Labeling that a ‘misunderstanding’ just rationalizes selfishness and entitlement, and can go to some very, very dark places.
1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
2. I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true. (More).
3. If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.
4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.
5. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are. (More).
6. If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.
7. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low. (More).
8. On average, I am taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces much less than my female counterparts are.
9. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.
10. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.
11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent. (More).
12. If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.
13. If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.
14. My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.
15. When I ask to see “the person in charge,” odds are I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.
16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters. (More).
17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.
18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often. (More).
19. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones.
20. I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented.
21. If I’m careless with my financial affairs it won’t be attributed to my sex.
22. If I’m careless with my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.
23. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.
24. Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is no chance that I will be seriously labeled a “slut,” nor is there any male counterpart to “slut-bashing.” (More).
25. I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability. (More).
26. My clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. While I have fewer options, my clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring. (More).
27. The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time. (More).
28. If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. (More).
29. If I’m not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.
30. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.
31. I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)
32. I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “All men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, he.
33. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
34. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
35. The decision to hire me will not be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
36. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.
37. Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
38. If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we’ll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks. (More).
39. If I have children with my girlfriend or wife, I can expect her to do most of the basic childcare such as changing diapers and feeding.
40. If I have children with my wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
41. Assuming I am heterosexual, magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are rarer.
42. In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin than my female counterparts are. (More). If I am fat, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than fat women do. (More).
43. If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover. (More).
45. Sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to me. I do not need to plot my movements through public space in order to avoid being sexually harassed, or to mitigate sexual harassment. (More.)
45. On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.
46. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.
*cis male privilege
I have bolded the ones that I found most relevant (to my own life and experience) and striking.
Back then, when I was growing up, boys gang-banging or gang-raping a girl was a pretty common thing. They called it pulling a train. It didn’t happen to any particular kind of girl. It happened to girls who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The boys talked about it like it was a joke or a game, like they were ‘only’ out to have some ‘fun.’ If a girl was caught on the wrong side of a park or in the wrong territory or on the wrong street, she was a target. It was a common thing back then for boys to downgrade girls and cuss at them in the street. It was common for them to go to bed with girls and talk about them like dogs the next day. It was common for boys to deny they were the fathers of their babies. And it was common for boys to beat girls up and knock them around. And then the girls would get hard too.
‘If the nigga ain’t got no money, I don’t want to be bothered.’
‘If the nigga ain’t got no car, then later for him.’
The more I watched how boys and girls behaved, the more I read and the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that this behavior could be traced directly back to the plantation when slaves were encouraged to take the misery of their lives out on each other instead of on the master. The slave masters taught us we were ugly, less than human, unintelligent, and many of us believed it. Black people became breeding animals: studs and mares. A Black woman was fair game for anyone at any time: the master or a visiting guest or any redneck who desired her. The slave master would order her to have six with this stud, seven with that stud, for the purpose of increasing his stock. She was considered less than a woman. She was a cross between a whore and a workhorse. Black men internalized the white man’s opinion of black women. And, if you ask me, a lot of us still act like we’re back on the plantation with massa pulling the strings"
Male privilege is this article.
Because we’re supposed to feel sorry for the poor widdle rapist
THEY PLEAD GUILTY WHY ARE PEOPLE DEFENDING THEM.
And I have a feeling that this could also be “white male privilege”.
And the article keeps referring to them as ‘boys’. There’s something fucked up about that.
“But it will ruin their future and their reputation!”
MAYBE THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE FUCKING RAPED SOMEONE THEN.
“but it will ruin their future and their reputation”
GOOD. IT FUCKING SHOULD.
The Silent War is a social awareness campaign about rape in South Africa illustrated and designed by Greg Richards.
“As there are six colors in the South African flag I developed six different areas of rape to raise awareness towards. Each poster carries a different colour of the flag. The six areas are: child rape; why men rape; woman’s chance of being raped versus learning to read; South Africa being the rape and HIV capital of the world; women are primitively referred to as fair game by men; and the frequency of rape incidents per day. For each image the person is looking directly at the viewer to create a direct communication of the campaign’s message.” writes Richards.
I’ve heard at least 17 of these…
When you get up all in my face about male sexual assault victims, I always wonder why you never seem to know very much about these men and boys. See, I used to investigate child abuse, and I don’t recall seeing very many men rallying to raise money for, oh, counseling of sexual abuse victims, or rape kit testing, or shelters where those kids and their non-abusive caretakers could stay. You allude vaguely to prison rape, but rarely explore the dynamics that split incarcerated men into victims and perpetrators. You lack empathy with them; you speak of them as a vague, undifferentiated, othered mass, a group that you do not belong to, but that you will nevertheless exploit for emotional appeals. Your discussions of domestic violence are invariably shallow and heterocentric; violence between gay men is not something you really care about. Most importantly, you seem entirely ignorant of the fact that resources for victims only really came about when women got together, protested, raised money, and fought back to help each other. You seem to have no such interest in helping male victims. You are simply angry that we will not permit your gender to seize what we have scraped together and edge women out totally, because you cannot comprehend of any solution to violence that is not more violence.
YES YES OH ZEUS THIS POST ^^^^
Stop Street Harassment: Holly Kearl (via completelymoribund)
YES! SPOT ON!
In Sacramento, a county judge has taken “victim-blaming” to a whole new level, ordering that a rape victim be jailedwhile awaiting the trial of her rapist.
The 17-year-old had failed to appear for two previous court dates to testify against Frank William Rackley, 37, who is accused of abducting and raping her and is believed to be a serial rapist. Judge Lawrence Brown claimed to be “terribly sorry” about the position the young woman is in, but his sympathy didn’t stop him from ordering that she remain in a juvenile detention center until April 23, Rackley’s next trial date.
Rape trials are notoriously traumatic for victims; frequently, the attempts to discredit a rape victim’s credibility and character leads her to feel that she is actually the one on trial. Victims’ fear of further violations they will receive at the hands of the justice system—from inappropriate and irrelevant questions about their sexual histories to accusations that they are simply lying—is undoubtedly one of the many reasons why rape is already one of the most underreported crimes, with only 46 percent reported to police and only a small fraction of those ultimately going to trial. And it is highly likely that fear is precisely what prevented this young victim from showing up for two previous court dates. But rather than striving to create an environment in which she could testify comfortably and safely, Judge Brown decided to take punitive action against her instead.
An effective way to make women to continue afraid to report rape and testify against their abusers.
Sickening. Of course I posted the article on facebook but, as usual, no one gave a damn. Sigh.