Lisa Shannon has a wonderful op-ed about how sexual violence is not “cultural”. Cara at the Curvature unpacks that a little more. I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with something to add, but really, they have said it all, and very well. Please go read!
You may have heard about Rape-aXe, the anti-rape female condom. Many people are calling this a great idea. I do not find it to be a great idea. This is a device that only “works” if you are already being raped. And the inventor is recommending that it be part of a woman’s daily safety ritual - that women should shower, brush their teeth, and insert a bear trap in their vagina in case someone rapes them that day. I find this ludicrous. It also puts all of the responsibility on the woman, and teaches them to live in fear, neither of which is healthy. How about we put that time and energy into social change? Some good posts about why Rape-aXe is an awful idea can be found here, here, here, and here.
Amanda Hess writes about Olivia Munn’s Playboy shoot. No, wait, this is relevant! See, Munn was very clear in her contract about what she would and would not do or show - and the photographer spent the entire shoot attempting to coerce her into doing things she had not consented to. It’s not rape, but it’s absolutely a product of rape culture.
What you should know about this - nonconsensual touch by strangers - is that it happens all the time. I have blogged about that before. It is still true. And unfortunately, that blogger’s correct in that people tend to not yell, not bring attention to it. I’m glad that the convention I’m going to this weekend has a very clear anti-harassment policy and a history of banning people who violate it.
Harriet J. has another great post here, particularly the rape-apologism bits.
I will conclude for now by reminding you that our next volunteer training is in late August, with information and interview sessions August 2 and 11. Click here to apply!