That's right boys and girls, I'm talking about feminism, when did it become such a bad thing to be a feminist. Hearing "I'm not a feminist but..." makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Feminism is about choice for woman, wanting equal pay for equal work, living a life free from domestic and sexual abuse. It is not about hating men (I love men) and being militant and burning bras etc.
I was reading Mark Allen's blog before (about rape prevention) and it really pissed me off. It is the exact reason why it makes feminist's nervous when martial artists run self defence courses. Not because they don't know their stuff when it comes to physical defence but because many - but not all, some have a good awareness and analysis - lack any gender analysis or awareness of the attitudes and constructs in society that keep women unsafe. It is a complex issue to blog about so I am just going to insert an earlier blog of mine (from a myspace bulletin) that I feel sums the issue up quite nice...
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape.
Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all.
instead of that bullshit, how about:
if a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
if a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
if a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
if a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
if a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
if a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
if a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
if a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
if a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
if a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
if a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
if a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
if a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
if your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
if your step-daughter is watching tv, don't rape her.
if you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
if your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not.
if your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
if your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.
tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.
don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.
Update: Mark has removed the entry as he wants to think about the issue more and of course he did not mean any harm by his comments. I am certain he meant well by the blog. I just get tired of the advice given to women that restricts our behaviour but not that of men (men are not advised to not get drunk at parties). It also ultimately ends up being used to apportion blame to women survivors/victims of sexual assault. Women have been taking varying degrees (from all to some) of responsiblity for sexual abuse for centuaries and it does not keep us safe, it merely removes focus from perpetrators. At the end of the day it does not matter what women do and don't do, if there were no rapists there would be no rape.
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