STFU, Rape Culture!

A word of warning: This blog discusses the various ways in which our culture excuses, normalizes, and sometimes condones rape, sexual assault, and other potentially graphic topics. Please be aware that posts may be upsetting or triggering.
Recent Tweets @STFURapeCulture

Anon asked:

My understanding is that “real” consent to sex involves being fully informed. If a partner lies to you about their # of partners, tells you they normally use condoms but then you find out they lied, tells you they’re single but are actually in a relationship, etc.- is it possible to really consent to sex with them? Because they’ve lied to you, so how could your consent be fully informed? And if you can’t properly consent because you’re not fully informed does that make it a form of sexual abuse?
Well, legally, very few places have these kind of rape by fraud/deception laws in place. And probably none of them would include the situations you’ve mentioned. What we ethically consider to be rape is a different matter… My personal thought would be that if a person wouldn’t choose to have sex with you if they knew the truth, then there’s a basis for calling it rape.

Story of my sister. DA in my county told us we didn’t have a case because we were past the “4 month statute of limitations for a minor” and my sister was drinking at the party she was raped at before she was “allegedly” drugged. Still, she’s a pretty awesome girl with a story to tell in hopes of helping other victims and educating her peers. 

STFURC: Very awesome!! :)

Anon said:

Recently I have been sexually assaulted myself, I was at a party and I was heavily intoxicated and a boy who I thought was a friend took advantage of my vulnerable situation and started to touch me in inappropriate places but I was unable to physically stop him, I told him to stop it it was hard because I was under the influence of alcohol. I’ve been upset since and i just need to talk to somebody who has been in a similar situation. I’m a 16 year old girl and I’m just searching for support/help

Anyone out there who can chat with anon?

Anon asked:

It’s been 3 years since I ended a relationship with the man who raped me. I’m now with an incredible guy and we’re planning our wedding, but I still can’t stop thinking of the other guy, who is still out there, possibly hurting other women. It kills me there will never be justice, and I wake up most days hurting and feeling sick over it. I can’t talk to my fiance about this, and I don’t think many people would understand, except maybe my therapist. Why can’t I just be happy in my new life?

Someone hurt you, and that someone was (I presume) a person you cared for and trusted. It’s no wonder you still think about it and it still hurts you. Good things happening doesn’t cancel out the bad things. Have you and your therapist discussed it before?

Anon said:

I’m sorry, I don’t know what trigger warnings to use for this, so I hope I don’t trigger you or anything. I just need to know what to call this, because I’m tired of being so confused about it and feeling so guilty because other people go through a lot worse than what happened to me. And if things in this message don’t really make a lot of sense, it’s because of my dissociation. Talking about this sets it off really badly, so I try and avoid talking about it. I was 15 and he was 18+. I was home alone one night and the door knocked at around 11pm. I was kinda scared, because it was unusual for our door to knock so late at night, so I just ignored it and hoped they would go away. Well anyway, he eventually just opened the front door and walked into my house. He was a (not very close) friend of my brother’s and had been one of my friends even, but I hadn’t seen him in years so it took me a while to recognize him. I was pretending to be asleep on the couch, and he sat down by my feet. He laid down next to me, practically on top of me, and then kept kissing me even though I didn’t want him to. I didn’t stop him or anything, I just froze, I was so shocked. At one point he put his hand over the front of my jeans but I quickly jumped away and said “No!” and he said “I wasn’t going to do anything”. He was definitely drunk, or off his head on drugs, or both, and I didn’t know what to do. For some reason I laid back down on the couch next to him and he kissed me again. I keep forgetting some bits, I remember him grabbing at me in the kitchen, but I do know that no clothes ever came off and he wasn’t violent or anything. Eventually I got him to leave by telling him that he should go, and he did. Afterwards, I went upstairs to my room and cried for hours. I just don’t know what to call this, and I always feel like I’m making a big deal out of nothing. After all, I wasn’t raped or anything, and he didn’t hit me or hurt me. But I’ve never been able to forget it or let go of it, and I’ve only ever mentioned it to one person (a mental health worker) and I flipped out so bad that I was shaking and couldn’t focus on anything. I feel like I can’t even talk about it out loud, because it just triggers my dissociation and makes me feel horribly messed up. The same goes for whenever I hear his name really. I just need to know, what do I call what happened to me? Am I making a big deal out of nothing? I’m really sorry if this doesn’t make sense, but thank you for reading it anyway. You are a really wonderful person for running this blog and helping people the way you do, so thanks.

No, you aren’t making a big deal out of nothing. You were 15, and a man you didn’t know very well came into your house without permission and touched you when he thought you were unconscious. That’s sexual assault. It doesn’t have to be violent to be sexual assault!
Asker Anonymous Asks:
I keep seeing people saying not to watch Fox News and bring up how they report rape as the reason. But what about CNN and how they treated the Steubenville Rapists? Whining about those little monsters' "ruined careers" instead of calling them the names they deserve to be called. Why is no one saying "Don't let your kids watch CNN"? Seems to me that when it comes to rape, both liberal & conservative newspeople are morons.
stfurapeculture stfurapeculture Said:

Most mainstream media covers rape in crappy ways, but that’s not the only reason not to watch Fox News. Also ableist language is uncool.

Some people will say that it’s unfair to do that, to simply take the survivor’s word, to say things about people without due process. Well, due process is for the government, to limit their power to lock people up or take their property. You don’t owe people due process when you decide whether to be friends with them. You don’t have to have a hearing and invite them to bring a lawyer to decide whether to invite them to a party. And let’s be honest, most of us repeat things that one person we know did to another person we know based on nothing more than that one participant told us and we believe them. We do it all the time, it’s part of social interaction. So if you want to do something, take the label, plant it on the missing stair in your social circle, and make it stick.

This video is not romantic. It is an attempt by Thicke to use his huge public platform to manipulate and shame his wife into getting back together with him. Now, if she says no, she becomes the bad guy, and he becomes the victim. In fact, he’s already making himself out to be the victim – between his sad I’m-so-awful-and-pathetic texts, and the fact that his face is cut and bloody in the video, he’s doing his best to come off as the poor, heartbroken, sensitive man who’s been left by his mean, unrelenting wife. Sure he may have done some things that contributed to the breakup, but look how sorry he is. Look how willing to make amends. How could she be so cold and hard? And what about their children, don’t they deserve to have their father around?

What Robin Thicke is doing is trying to coerce his wife into coming back to him, by publicly shaming and humiliating her. I have no idea whether the texts in the video were actually from her (though I really, really hope that they’re not), but it doesn’t really matter, because he’s presenting them as hers. He is, as @middle_ladle said on twitter, punishing her for leaving him quietly. He’s exposing her to the world, looking for sympathy. He’s making it harder and hard for her to say no.

Robin Thicke and the Dynamics of Abuse - The Bell Jar (via sketchyblondes)

(via asfadedasmyjeans)

Someone submitted this video to me—and anon, this is the first time I’ve seen it. Don’t be fooled by the title. This is a very moving account of rape culture.

scrapuru:

I would like to bring this information to everyone’s attention.
Two different patients, both female, were sexually assaulted by a male patient at Skyline Medical Center: Madison campus. The hospital is for mental patients and is located on 500 Hospital Drive
Madison, TN 37115.

In both cases, the male patient entered the female patients’ rooms and assaulted them.

In both cases, the female patient has filed a lawsuit against the hospital for the rapes. Skyline has denied any wrongdoing or attempts to cover up what happened to these women. They also refuse to apologize or offer any kind of compensation for the pain and suffering these women have gone through as a result of Skyline’s negligence. Nursing staff are supposed to keep watch on all mental patients and patients are not supposed to enter the room of another patient. The doors to patient rooms are never supposed to be closed. The door was closed in both cases.

The first lawsuit is McCall Brister v HCA Health Services (The parent company of Skyline Medical Center)
Trial court 2010C86

The second lawsuit has not gone to trial yet. It is Jennifer Johnson v HCA Health Services
Civil Action No. 12C5163

In both cases, the male patients were not punished or arrested. No rape kits were performed. The female patients were not examined or tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

In the case of Jennifer Johnson, the female patient immediately reported her rape to nursing staff at Skyline Madison Campus. One nurse, Pamela Mitchell, R.N., told Ms. Johnson that they decided that it was not rape but was instead “nonconsensual sex”. Her exact words. Pamela told Ms. Johnson that they had “taken cared of it” and that they “did not need to talk about it anymore.” Ms. Johnson tried to discuss the rape with others but was instructed by the unit therapist, Debbie Waddell (Debbie.Waddell@ HCAHealthcare.com) to stop talking about it. Debbie would repeat “we’re not talking about that right now” when Ms. Johnson tried to discuss the rape.

These are not the only cases of female patients being raped in hospitals and having it covered up. But justice is rarely served and many of these women suffer not only from their rape but from being told to forget about it, to keep silent about it. And because they are mental patients they are more vulnerable to judgment and being taken advantage of.

Please help spread awareness of what happened to these women. Families send their loved ones to the Skyline Madison Campus in Nashville expecting the hospital staff to look after them. Not only does the staff fail to properly supervise the patients in order to prevent nonconsensual sexual contact, but when something goes wrong they sweep it under the rug and the patients suffer because of it.

harmonycampaign:

Hello lovely people,

I am Emily and I am the founder of The Harmony Campaign, a new non-profit organisation based in Wales, UK.  

The aim of Harmony Campaign is to promote the importance of consent.  The ultimate goal is to eradicate sexual assault completely, because everyone will be taught from a very young age to check for consent in every sexual situation.  This is very, very important to me and I know it is to many of you too.

So, I’m asking for your help.  Harmony is brand new, and I am not a wealthy person (as I work in the third sector).  I wish I had enough money to sink into Harmony to help it take off but I don’t so I’m asking for your help.

I have designed some pretty cool slogans and stuff them on some CafePress gear - not the most ideal way to fundraise, I know, but hey.  Every item that is bought from the shop means money in the pockets of the Harmony Campaign.

It’s here: www.cafepress.co.uk/harmonycampaign

But I realise that (like me) not everyone has a whole lot of money, so to get us started, Harmony Campaign is holding a competition!  We will be giving away three items, and the winners get to choose the design they want (click on the link above to see available designs).

  • First prize: t-shirt
  • Second prize: tote bag
  • Third prize: keyring or bumper sticker

To enter, follow us on Tumblr (www.harmonycampaign.tumblr.com) and reblog this post.  

The winners will be chosen at random.  One reblog = one entry.  You can enter from any country, not just the UK.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter and Facebook too, and get shopping!

Love
Emily
Founder, The Harmony Campaign

EDIT: the winners will be chosen on July 15th.

I talk. A lot. My mouth runs like clockwork- 24/7.

We can grab a drink and catch a sport’s game. I’ll keep up with your statistics, predictions and banter.

I have no problem debating politics with anyone who swears not to end up hurling something at my head.

Book lover? Let’s head down to the local coffee shop and chat up the latest novel.

TV fanatic? I’m a Shondaland junkie.

Gossip? Sit next to me.

Yeah, after 20 years of practice, I feel confident enough with my verbal skills to host a talk show and give Oprah a run for her money. 
(Okay, that might be pushing it.)

But it was in one of those rare moments when I was giving my vocal chords a rest and doing pretty much what I’m doing right now sitting outside, headphones in my ear, dazing off and letting my mind wander that I couldn’t help but do what I imagine most people my age do…

Over-analyze life.

And it was during this one particular, oh-so-fun, self-therapy session that it occurred to me that I am, in fact, probably not the world’s greatest talker.

I mean, sure, I may talk plenty.

But do I really say anything?

That is what matters isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not under the impression that every comment that pops out of my mouth has to be Pulitzer-worthy. But it would be nice to know that at least 10% of the crap that I spew serves some commendable purpose.

Have you ever seen someone make a speech?

Have you ever really watched them? Listened to them?

One person standing up in front of a crowd, inspiring them with some motivational “things need to change” sermon.

They’ll stand up there and open up about something personal or taboo for the greater good.

They have that mesmerizing look of courage and determination in their eyes.

Their fist swings with confidence and power.

Every syllable is clearly annunciated and spoken with such volume and certainty that each word cuts through you like a knife.

And I don’t just mean the President or key speakers at a conference or something like that.

I’m talking everyday blokes.

Activists.

Protesters.

Those lionhearted individuals who stand up on tables in the middle of a park or on the steps of a capital building and make themselves heard.

Some think it’s crazy.

I think it’s brilliant.

I was raped.

Sorry, I didn’t really know a fancy or clever way to lead into that. So I just decided to spring it on you the same way the assault was sprung on me.

Like so many others, I’ve stayed quiet.

No cops. No counseling.

My parents don’t know. Most of my friends don’t know.

This has been an experience in which my supposedly unstoppable verbal skills have failed me.

I’m not going to sit here and list off percentages or statistics. I’m not going to preach some “real men don’t rape” motto or complain about the justice system and the politicians who play on that playground. 
(I’ll save that for another time)

Because really this is so much more than numbers, catchy slogans, or assholes saying my vagina can reject whatever I decide I don’t want in there.

No, this is about me.

About all survivors.

About all of us having a right to feel safe in the world we live in.

So, why don’t we all speak up?

I ask myself that quite often.

A friend of mine one time asked me that very question. 
“Why can’t you just tell your family?”

"They couldn’t handle it," I said. "It would be too much."

That’s a lie.

I guess it’s partially true, I’d hate to put all of this on them.


But, I know when I answered with that I was just making an excuse¾ one of many that I’ve made for myself over the past two years.

Truth is, on nights when I can’t sleep; when I have images haunting me and silenced sobs burning the back of my throat, I’ve wanted nothing more than to wake everyone up and make them stay up and suffer with me.

I have this idyllic idea of someone making me hot chocolate, squeezing my hand so hard that the physical pain distracts me from the emotional one, while we watch some laughable straight-to-DVD horror movie on Netflix.

Sounds perfect.

So then, why?

Why can’t I, as John Mayer would put it, say what I need to say?

Maybe it’s shame. I do feel shame.

I’m ashamed of feeling ashamed.

I’ve seen enough Lifetime movies and have read enough ‘survivor empowerment’ pamphlets to know better than to feel ashamed about this. None of this was my fault. Bla bla bla.

Nonetheless, I do feel that overpowering sensation of shame and failure.

Mostly of how I handled it. Even how I currently handle it.

I’m disappointed that it’s been two years and I’m still this mess of a person. 
I’m angry that I didn’t go to the cops and get the evidence collected and help put this bastard behind bars. I hate myself for knowing that because of me and my lack of bravery, this poor excuse of a man is out there possibly hurting others the way he hurt me. I didn’t save those women. I feel like I’m as much to blame as he is.

Would telling people take those feelings away? Doubt it. I’ll probably have to live with this guilt for the rest of my life.

I can’t even describe how much that scares me.

Then there’s the lack of validation.

What if nobody believes me?

This is probably one of my lesser concerns because people who know me know that I’m pretty honest. Sometimes too honest. Besides, what would I have to gain by making this all up? 
But, still. Having someone look me in the eye, after pouring my heart out to them, and saying they don’t believe me would be pretty devastating.

Even more than that, probably my biggest fear, and the one that is unavoidable: I’m going to sit with someone, cry to them, take my mask off and show them a side of me that most people don’t even know exists, share with them these horrific, traumatic details that plague my mind day in and day out and…

the clock isn’t going to stop ticking.

The world isn’t going to stop spinning.

That person’s life isn’t going to come to a standstill.

Not the way mine has.

What if I put myself through this terrifying, nerve-wracking conversation, and let my walls come crumbling down, only to get a look of pity, an awkward hug and a half-hearted, “I’m here for you.” That’s it.

I don’t know what I expect, or what I want from people. But, I know that that would kill me.

The fact that they’ll go on with their day like nothing’s changed while I remained trapped in this black hole of numbness just leaves me with this pang of envy and betrayal that I know I shouldn’t have, but I have it just the same.

Will they understand how hard this has been on me?

Will they get that just the very idea of sharing all of this takes this unimaginable toll on me?

Opening up is not my forte. Trusting someone with this is hard for me.

The idea of them giving up on me… walking away like I’m some damaged, lost cause… makes me sick to my stomach.

I can’t expect them to check up on me every day or to sit with me when I’m drunk and vulnerable and need a shoulder to cry on. I can’t expect them to be there at 2AM, preferably with a big ol’ pizza, when I can’t sleep and all I want is to be held.

And stupidly, I’ll take that lack of dedication as a lack of concern and will push them away… which is ridiculous and doesn’t make sense, but none of this makes sense now does it?

I have spent the last two years trying to figure all of this out. Decipher my emotions. Understand why I’m so irrational. Make sense of this senselessness.

And I can’t.

And that’s terrifying.

A part of me is gone, Dead.

I’m hurting.

I’m lonely.

Some days I just want to hide.

I’m tired of plastering a fake smile on my face on days when I just feel like crying.

I’m pissed that no one notices something is wrong with me.

And then when someone does ask why I’ve changed so much, I get offended.

I won’t let myself get attached to people anymore. 
I can hardly be intimate.

I can’t let myself fall in love with someone.

I’ve been swallowed up by this big ball of hatred, resentment and grief.

And I’m not telling you all of this to gain your sympathy. That’s not my goal. 

All I’m asking is that while you read this, you let it sink in. 
Don’t just skim through these lines.

Try to imagine going through something like this. Living with it. Day after day. Night after night. Alone.

I don’t expect you to completely understand. 
Hell, I don’t even completely understand.

But rape has been on the news and shown up on TV shows and movies so often anymore that even though I think the exposure is fantastic, I also think we’ve grown to just accept that it happens. Like it’s a hurricane. A natural disaster. Shitty. But, eh, they’re just one of those unfair things that happen in this wonderful world of ours. We’ve grown disgustingly accustomed to this malicious crime being a daily happening.

That’s bullshit. We can’t just shake our heads and say ‘too bad’ whenever we hear about a sexual assault case in the headlines. You know what?

Imagine some monster pinning you against the wall telling you that you want it; that you’re wet and ready for him.

Imagine him shoving your pants down, ignoring your cries and pleas for him to stop.

His mouth sucking on your neck. On your chest.

His hands all over you. Groping. Rubbing. Pinching. 
Him dragging an old nail he found in the wall across your arm, drawing blood, because you refused to hold eye contact with him.

Then he doesn’t let you leave the room while he paces, all the while talking to you like this whole ordeal is normal, like this is all a good time, and he’s ready to go again.

Right before he left, he told me that it was nice to meet me.

That this was fun.

This all happened during the day, by the way.

In a not so private place.

Not in a dark alley or in a bar parking lot.

It wasn’t a predictable scene from a scary movie, but it still became my horror story.

Is that sinking in?

Can you feel it?

Those stomach pains?

That pang in your chest?

The lump in the back of your throat?

I live with that.

Afterward, I cleaned up in a nearby bathroom, grabbed a coffee, and went home.

That’s it.

I was alone. In every way a person can be alone. Still am.

And it’s an insufferable pain that I wish on no one.

Sometimes, I wish he killed me.

Other days, I am so utterly grateful to be alive. I smile without force. I have a good laugh with friends. I bask in the sun and am just so damn thankful to be here. To have survived. To be able to write this all down.

Some weren’t as lucky.

And I’m well aware that this isn’t the best written thing in the world.

After all, I didn’t plan on writing this today. I didn’t think it out.

Maybe only five people will ever read it.

But in my own way, this is me standing on a table in the middle of the park.

Or swinging my fist on the steps of the capital building.

This is me telling you that the trauma of being raped doesn’t go away after that day. Or after a month. Or even a year.

It stays with you. It becomes a part of you. It’s a lifelong battle, and although I’m not exactly happy with how I handle all of this, I am sort of proud.

Like it or not, I dealt with this on my own. I hug myself on my bad nights. I comfort myself remind myself that everything is going to be okay. It’s going to get better.

I hold my head up every day and fight.

That man took a lot from me.

But I’m still here. I’m not giving up.

I’m going into battle for all of us.

This is me trying to regain control of my life.

And through this I hope to reach out to others who have been on this hell roller coaster and say that you have the right to feel every senseless, crazy, shitty emotion that you’re feeling. I get it. I understand. I’m here with you.

You, though it feels like it, are not alone.

We all need to stand together now.

Folks, don’t look at survivors as just another statistic or nameless victim to an anticipated crime.

Stop looking at rape like something that just happens.

Share your outrage!
We’re people! Daughters. Siblings, Spouses. Friends.

Give us love. Give us support. Stand by us. Do your part. Give a voice back to the voiceless.

And hey, spread this around…

Maybe. Just maybe. You can help me remember how to utilize these fabulous verbal skills of mine.

Sending you all love, peace, strength, the courage to battle whatever obstacles may come your way, and the invaluable ability to look past the horror and see the beauty in the world.

Stay safe, friends.

Please visit www.rainn.org for more information on sexual assault or to reach out for help.

—Submitted by anon

Anon asked:

I have a question thats very important to me. When i was 14 some boy who was physically abusing me forced me to do a lot of things i really didnt want to do. We didnt have sex but we did practically everything else. I was resistant the whole time and tried to fight as much as i can but honestly had no chance. I left with a few minor injuries and im 18 now and still traumatized by the whole experience. I just wanted an honest opinion.. was i raped even though we didnt actually have sex?

Yes. I can’t speak to the legal side because different locations use different terms to capture sexual assault/rape as a crime. But what happened to you was rape, and it would definitely qualify as a crime also.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Is it OK if I submit my general story of how I was raped? Nothing detailed. Just to kind of reach out to others.
stfurapeculture stfurapeculture Said:

Of course. :)

objectifiant:

mediamattersforamerica:

Here’s why it’s a terrible idea to let your kids watch Fox News.
While commenting on a female perpetrator fleeing to Canada after committing statutory rape, a Fox correspondent said this:
"If you’re a sixteen-year-old kid and you have sex with your best friend’s mom you usually get high-fives."
And Jesse Watters didn’t stop there.
"She’s not that attractive so you might not have that kind of reception … She’s not Debra Lafave.” 
This isn’t the first time a man on Fox’s Outnumbered downplayed the seriousness of statutory rape. For reference, see: Tucker Carlson, who told America to "lighten up" on the crime and said that men understand that sexual harassment from a female teacher is the "greatest thing that ever happened." A month later he attacked a kid for reporting statutory rape as "whiny."
We’re seeing a trend here, and it’s Fox’s glorification of crimes against America’s youth. This is especially problematic when an estimated 1 in 6 men go through unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before they turn 18.
How rape culture handles male victims.

objectifiant:

mediamattersforamerica:

Here’s why it’s a terrible idea to let your kids watch Fox News.

While commenting on a female perpetrator fleeing to Canada after committing statutory rape, a Fox correspondent said this:

"If you’re a sixteen-year-old kid and you have sex with your best friend’s mom you usually get high-fives."

And Jesse Watters didn’t stop there.

"She’s not that attractive so you might not have that kind of reception … She’s not Debra Lafave.” 

This isn’t the first time a man on Fox’s Outnumbered downplayed the seriousness of statutory rape. For reference, see: Tucker Carlson, who told America to "lighten up" on the crime and said that men understand that sexual harassment from a female teacher is the "greatest thing that ever happened." A month later he attacked a kid for reporting statutory rape as "whiny."

We’re seeing a trend here, and it’s Fox’s glorification of crimes against America’s youth. This is especially problematic when an estimated 1 in 6 men go through unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before they turn 18.

How rape culture handles male victims.