July 21, 2010
via Flickr user lizhenry
What does it mean to have a ‘rape culture’? Surely that’s exaggerating the situation, hm? It’s not as though rapes are occurring around every street corner.
Miranda at Where Is Your Line has an excellent description:
The “asking for it” myth is so deeply ingrained in our rape culture that it’s become second nature to most of us. Sexual violence is treated as an inevitable consequence of certain behaviors, and, when you think about it, that’s a pretty effective way of maintaining social control over women and other disenfranchised groups. We’re frequently asked to surrender our rights to even the most basic of human freedoms in order to avoid being victimized. Don’t live in that part of the city, you’ll get raped. Never walk alone at night, you’ll get raped. Don’t talk to strangers, wear revealing clothing, leave your doors or windows unlocked, take drugs, drink in excess, take public transportation, travel alone, or sleep around – because you will get raped. The list of don’ts goes on and on, each rule wildly impractical, blatantly inconsistent with actual statistics related to sexual assault, and specifically crafted to distract us from the culpability of rapists. Why do we have entire dossiers on How to Not Get Raped and no guidelines for How to Not Rape People? We need a cultural revolution.
I can just imagine the headlines:
Police warn rapists against crime.
Campus leaders urge students to engage in consensual sex.
Why is that message so absent from discussions of sexual assault? Why focus so much time and energy on training women to avoid danger while men walk around with carte fucking blanche? In thousands of ways, our culture has conditioned us to anticipate rape as a natural consequence of violating social norms. Rape myths serve to keep women out of the public sphere, and rape culture wants you to believe that the only safe place for a woman is her kitchen.
That sounds like our culture, doesn’t it? Whether we are aware of it or not, we alter our behaviors in numerous ways, because we anticipate rape and assault. We accept its presence. To a certain extant, one must always accept that there is risk, and that certain behaviors enhance risk, like driving down the freeway at 100mph.
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July 16, 2010
I recently went from working as a temp at my current job to being shifted to perm with the company itself. That means getting a salary, insurance benefits, paid time off — all of that. I actually got a higher salary than I was expecting, which was awesome. I was literally so excited about it all I could hardly sleep last night, and I have had to cover this smile on my face for over 24 hours now. Except, there is now an issue at hand because of all of this: my boyfriend SB.
I told him yesterday while I was at work that my boss was putting me on the company payroll, and at a higher salary than I expected. I also told him that my boss was going to put me on the insurance plan ASAP as well, when I would have to wait three months, usually. What was his response to all of this? “When do you get your first paycheck?”
No congratulations, no enthusiasm, no happiness for my success – nothing.
Instead, he wants to know the exact day I will be receiving my first salaried paycheck. He doesn’t just ask once – he asks three times. I tell him I wanted to get about $300 in new clothes with my first paycheck, which is certainly doable after I pay the rent and get some food and the like. My boyfriend starts telling me that I should shop at H&M and The Gap because they are cheaper, and to not spend all of my money and be irresponsible. I got incredibly irritated at this. First of all, I have been paying 6/7 of the rent. I buy most of the food. I only get $25 a week from SB for the rent, as well as maybe $30 in food after the normally $60 or $70 in food I buy runs out. Which leaves him with about $185 for himself since he says he makes $240 a week through his temp agency job at a hospital in Brooklyn. When I was working the temp agency thing at my job, I paid 6/7 of the rent like I said, and I would buy the majority of the food as well. Then I had to get my MetroCard. Let’s not forget my doctor’s visits and prescriptions I had to pay for with no insurance. That left me with nothing usually; either that or I had to call my parents and ask for help monetarily. Yet he’s bitching about no money? It really got to me, considering I sacrificed for that.
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July 9, 2010
via Flickr user mdezemery
I decided that my first “real” post would be concerning my relations with members of the male gender. I haven’t exactly had the best exposure to those toting sausage, starting from when my father beat the shit out of me when I was younger, and also telling me that nothing was ever good enough. I would get all A’s in school and not do the typical stupid shit that most my age partook in, but I was still doing something wrong. Certainly that whole experience gave me a great head start in my relationships with men.
Fast forward to late 2008. I was living in Las Vegas and working in a casino (and no, it is not on the Strip, so stop asking) as a cop/floorperson. This casino was stuck in the ’70s and apparently still used its budget from the ’70s, so I pulled double duty. My first day of work I walk on in, and see two guys power washing the outside of the casino. One I noticed in particular. I remember thinking, “Wow, what a mighty fine piece of man meat!” Something just hit me about him, almost like a slap in the face. I remember checking him out whenever I could, asking my co-workers what his name was and what they knew about him, and trying to figure out what nationality he was. One night when one of my co-workers was talking with him, I decided to jump in, and promptly made an ass of myself. That still didn’t deter me. I was damn persistent, which I never have been before. I have always just sat on the sidelines when it came to men. But with JR, I jumped right in. Pretty soon, we started talking pretty frequently, and not long thereafter, we were inseparable at work. He would wait for me to get to work, we’d catch up on our lives over the past 17 hours, talk more when things were slow, hang out on our breaks together, and pretty much always stay near each other the whole time we were working. I remember one day I gave him my phone number. Let me repeat that: I GAVE HIM MY PHONE NUMBER WITHOUT BEING ASKED. I have never done that. And not too long afterwards, I get a text from him. That was it. I’m glad I had unlimited texting and calls because otherwise I would be working to pay my phone bill. He would pick me up from my apartment to go to work (with my crazy roommate, who thought we were an item, getting drunk nearby), and bring me back after I got out and we spent a little time together. Mind you, he left work at 8 AM, and he would come back to work just to pick me up at 11 AM. We got in trouble so much for spending so much time together at work, and we seemed to be quite the hot ticket for gossip at work. I remember even having management look at all of the cameras outside to see if we were leaving together; we played it slick and met a few stores down the road. He made me love going to work, but only just because I got to be near him.
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July 6, 2010
Adrian with Amy's son, John
Another week, another round of craptastic ABC Family programming! My TiVo’s already filling up.
So, Adrian is having the abortion tomorrow. Her father is still opposed, but he seems to have come to his senses by episode’s end. He’s no longer threatening to break the family up. Ben is still waffling about what his role in this should be. HIS father insists that he should go to the clinic. Adrian doesn’t want this (or says she doesn’t), but I know that if I were in her shoes I wouldn’t be keen on the idea, either. They weren’t dating, it was an idiotic one-off thing.
(Perhaps the show’s arguing that idiotic one-off things are how you make mistakes. Amy & Ricky? One time at bandcamp = baby. Mr. & Mrs. Juergens one-off divorce sex = baby. Adrian & Ben = baby. The only ones to escape this pattern are Grace and Jock Boy. But her dad died, so she got her comeuppance. Still waiting on his.)
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