Posts tagged ‘rape’

December 18, 2010

TSA’s Outrageous Insensitivity

by V

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you know that there’s even more backlash against the TSA’s tactics in keeping our airports safe. “Keeping us safe” sounds like a great thing to be doing. So, how could it be bad? Well, unfortunately, the TSA is taking things too far.

As of yet, many people haven’t had to contend with what many others have already had to endure. That is its outrageous insensitivity to people as human beings. The TSA is forcing people to decide between allowing an anonymous agent to see them naked on camera via their new scanners, or being molested by an “enhanced” pat-down. Many times in full view of the rest of the passengers waiting in line. And, even if you do opt to have the scanner take your naked picture, you are not necessarily exempt from the enhanced pat-downs. Many have gone through these things, then have been pulled aside anyway. Usually, because the scanner picked up something “odd.”

You might think that’s a good thing. After all, that’s what the scanners are for! Well, yes and no. They are used to find anything strange. And the pat-downs are used for the same purpose. However, the way that the TSA does this is increasingly insensitive to people with special needs and circumstances, and agents pretend to be oblivious to the problems they cause.

Such as the example of the man who was a bladder cancer survivor and had to wear a urostomy bag.

Something that the TSA likes to tout is that everyone has the option to take the pat-downs rather than the scanner, and everyone who opts for the pat-downs has the right to ask for a private room to have it done in. However, this man had to ask for that more than once. In fact, when he asked the first time the agents were rude enough to roll their eyes at each other and then had the gall to lie and tell him that they had nowhere to do a private pat-down.

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer.

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November 22, 2010

by V
When the comments first started rolling in, we were still operating under old assumptions and worked from that point. 

Now we’ve reread it critically and realized that what it actually says is not what we originally read it as. That’s our mistake. And it’s our fault for not treating it more responsibly.

We cannot keep this up so long as it has the potential to hurt another reader. However, the comments will remain on the post as taking them down would be dishonest.

Your editors are now taking a break from Subterfuge for the indeterminate future. We thank you for reading and we wish you all the best.

[Update: The editorial  response is here.

Due to points raised by commentators  — for which we thank you — the editors here at Subterfuge are reviewing the post and the editorial process. We have striven to create a space where our contributors can be honest. We acknowledge that we neglected our editorial duties by not ensuring that the facts given in this opinion piece were backed up.We ask that new comments on this piece include recommendations for further reading and study.

A longer and more detailed response is coming.

Please believe us when we say that it has never been our intention to hurt. Mea culpa.

-The Editors, D & F

August 31, 2010

Compiling Analogous Entries: Survivor

by feyruhan

Years, it’s been so many years…  Remembering these entries, I want to put them together, see what the whole looks like: self-motivational speech, confession, and concrete memory.  I have let this haunt me for so long; I’ve made unforeseeable progress, but I’m sure there’s more work that needs doing.  There’s always more work.

337.365 i can't see your hands in front of me tonight,

via Flickr

Need for Words; Need for Silence/ Fall ’06

What you forgot, more than his touch, was their silence.  You buried it deep, you refused to demand their help.

You were young, far too young, but you learned your lesson well.  You learned not to ask, not to expect, their help.  The sarcasm came later.

What you remember is tongue, and point, and lips–not those, the others–and darkness, and clutter.  You forgot silence, you forgot teasing, you even forgot that they had been older and should have told you.  Should have told you!

You learned to plan: you planned to fight.  You planned to put yourself before your sister.  You planned to step before her, put your arms out and say, You shall not pass.  You were prepared to die a second death, if it meant saving someone who was still untouched.

But you never, never, never, thought to grab your sister’s hand run with her.  You never thought to scream.  You never thought to call for help.  What they have done to you; this will take years to fix.  What it will take to unlearn their failure to you; we have hard work ahead of us.

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August 11, 2010

Sixteen Candles Does Not Age Well

by d

ABC Family ran Sixteen Candles a few weeks ago, so I recorded it. I just watched it, and, wow. That is some crap movie right there.

The plot is juvenile, the characters are stereotypical and there’s racism. Oh, and super obnoxious TV kids, why must there always be super obnoxious kids? I admit, it was very amusing in places, but others made my jaw drop. There were plenty of things that just were not funny to me. It alarms me that the whole theater was probably hooting.

So why was this film so popular? What made it a seminal movie of the 1980s? And what impact might it have had on the kids then, and kids now?

Sixteen Candles focuses on Samantha (played by Molly Ringwald), who is turning sixteen in the midst of turmoil. Her sister is getting married, the grandparents are coming to stay, they have to meet the in-laws, oh, and her younger siblings are brats. Her mother can’t even remember to make her lunch, let alone that it’s her birthday. On this same Friday, there’s a dance at school, followed by a senior after-party where everyone goes wild.

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July 21, 2010

A Culture of Rape, and Control

by d

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 PeopleWe 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 20, 2010

Dear Person Whose Search Terms Make Us Sick,

by subterfusex

There are no search suggestions for 'incest.'

Our blog stats tell us that you found us by looking for, “free 13 year old incest.”

Obviously you did not find what you were after on this blog. We assume you landed on D’s post about Sharron Angle’s inability to empathize with anyone who is not her. Under normal circumstances we would consider that punishment enough, but the nature of your search requires a harsher condemnation.

What the fuck, dude?

There is no ambiguity in your search. You are looking for porn, involving a thirteen year old, and incest.

No, really, what the fuck?

(The fact that you want it for free does not improve our opinion of your character.)

We at Subterfuge are typically pro-sexuality. Whatever gets you off, it’s your business–until what gets you off hurts another person, and they are unwilling or unable to give consent. A thirteen year old qualifies as ‘unable to give consent.’ They are in the midst of puberty, without the maturity or breadth of knowledge to understand what is happening to them. Worse, you want incest, which immediately forces us to consider emotional manipulation. Such a young person is at the mercy of older family members, with an ingrained desire to be liked, loved, and accepted. It is not uncommon for those desires, when spurned, will be turned downward and this child may commit abuse against other children. Kids want to explore, and should be given room to in safe ways, but not all exploration is done in good faith. And the people who look for and make porn with such a theme are not acting in good faith.

What titillates you makes us retch. For us, the thirteen year old you mention is not a hot search term, he or she is a person with vulnerabilities that you wish to exploit. That exploitation is part of the kick.

Here is what happens when thirteen year olds are coerced into sex, rape, and incest.

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July 20, 2010

AIDs Progress: A vaginal gel he never has to know about

by d
via Flickr user Evissa

via Flickr user Evissa

The Washington Post is reporting encouraging results about a new product-in-testing. The product is a gel, to be used vaginally, by women who have little control over their sexual health.

In a study of 900 South African women, a gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir reduced the overall chance of infection by 39 percent. In women who used the substance consistently and as directed, the protection was even better: 54 percent.

The findings of the study, which will be described Tuesday at the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna, marks the first success in a 15-year-long search for a method of HIV prevention that can be controlled by women at risk of contracting the disease through sexual intercourse. Short of a vaccine, an effective “vaginal microbicide” has been the most elusive goal in the epidemic.

The fight against AIDs has run up against cultural barriers. Aside from religions like Catholicism forbidding the use of condoms, many regions, particularly in Africa, have long-standing views that make the spread of infection almost inevitable.

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July 13, 2010

She’s not a slut if she didn’t want to do it… at first.

by d

Oh darling, no, we mustn't! Not 'til you put a ring on it!

I was over at F’s earlier, and picked up a book I keep seeing around but haven’t yet bought. It was a romance by Judith McNaught, with one of those mild covers that doesn’t indicate anything vaguely erotic, unless you cought the castle thrusting up through the clouds. As I flipped the pages, my eye landed on tongues and other such things, and I found myself smack dab in the middle of a love scene. As we’re wont to do, I began reading it out loud in a melodramatic voice.

“What,” F demanded, “is so enjoyable about RAPE? All these love scenes are rapes!” (She has read the book.)

“Ah, but you see,” I explained, “it’s to avoid being a slut. She can’t want it. But if he rapes her and she enjoys it, then it’s ok, because she’s not a slut.”

F shook her head in disgust.

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