According to Dear Prudie: Ladies, stop letting yourself get raped.

Slate & WashingtonPost.com Weekly’s Emily Yoffe is on hand to slut shame you about your date rape:

Q. Friend Has Revised One-Night Stand Story:A friend recently called me and said she had a one-night stand after drinking too much. She was beating herself up over drinking too much and going home with a guy she met at a bar. I reassured her that everyone makes mistakes and didn’t think much more of the account. However, since then, she has told many people that she was a victim of date-rape—that the guy must have put something into her drink . She spoke to a rape crisis line, and they said even if she was drunk, she couldn’t have given consent so she was a victim of rape. She now wants to press charges—she has the guy’s business card. I have seen her very intoxicated on previous occasions, to the point she doesn’t remember anything the next day. I’m not sure on what my response should be at this point. Pretend she never told me the original story?

A. Dear Prudie: Trying to ruin someone else’s life is a poor way to address one’s alcohol and self-control problems. Since her first version of the story is that she was ashamed of her behavior, and since you have seen her knee-walking drunk on other occasions, it sounds as if she wants to punish the guy at the bar for her own poor choices. Yes, I agree that men should not have sex with drunk women they don’t know. But I think cases like the one you are describing here—in the absence of any evidence she was drugged—where someone voluntarily goes home with a stranger in order to have a sexual encounter, makes it that much harder for women who are assaulted to bring charges. Talk to your friend. Tell her that she needs to think very long and hard about filing a criminal complaint against this guy if there’s any way her behavior could be construed to be consensual. Say you understand her shame, but you’re concerned about her drinking, and if she addresses that, she won’t find herself in such painful situations.

If you ever needed a classic example of ways rape culture is insidious, here you go. This has stopped being about the victim, who was date raped (and is dealing with the shame socialized in that situation) and become about how her actions in trying to get justice, trying to deal, confiding in her friend, become about the rapist. Suddenly, it’s the rapist’s reputation you have to think about, it’s their life that matters, their peace of mind. Add to that, the victim’s behavior is somehow a justifiable part of her possibly have being raped? As if her drinking is an automatic signal putting out “YES PLEASE RAPE ME!”.

Here’s the bottom line. No matter the situation, there is no justification or excuse for rape. A rape is a rape. There is no better or worse rape. There is rape. And it must be stopped or prosecuted when it happens. More than that, how about we teach DON’T RAPE instead of what this kind of advice puts out.

Slut shaming, victim blaming.

I see what you did there Prudie.

 

 

rec: Sherlock – ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ or The Fall of Irene Adler

Sherlock – 'A Scandal in Belgravia' or The Fall of Irene Adler.

tv: Underbelly Razor

Underbelly: Razor (Wikipedia blurb):-

Underbelly: Razor is a 13-part Australian television mini-series detailing real events that occurred in Sydney between 1927 and 1936. The series depicts the “razor gangs” who controlled the city’s underworld during the era and the violent war between the two “vice queen” powers, Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh.

It was pretty easy to get me into it, I mean, you’ve got a show about women, led by women, who actually existed, and I’m a shamelessly easy hook.

However, it’s as triggery as all get out and hard to watch most of the time.

Are the women as fierce and awesome? Yes. Very much so. Would I recommend it? Well that depends, how much are you willing to put up with for a show with awesome women who are smart, quick, and dangerous?

Things to hate right at the start of the series:

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

1) Introducing Tillie’s business, brothels, one of the prostitutes in the house gets pregnant (not for the first time according to her and she looks appropriately apprehensive about it). Turns out she’s not apprehensive because she’ll have to deal with not being able to work but because her boss takes her outside and has her repeatedly punched in the stomach to induce a miscarriage.

2) Tillie’s lover/boyfriend/lackey is a domestic abuser. He cheated on her in this episode, she called him on it and he beat her. The next day, she confronted the woman he cheated on her with, one of the girls in her house, and threatened her while making it clear that it wasn’t her lover’s fault. So there’s that psychological mindfuckery that comes with domestic abuse.

3) A bit unbelievably, there’s only one POC, a black man who apparently goes by the name of n****. Yeah.

4) Antisemitism; a local crime thug known as Phil the Jew, and his Jewishness is called up as a derogatory attribute pretty constantly.

5) There’s a thug called the midnight raper who’s apparently discovered a penchant for slicing up women in the middle of the night, just for kicks.

And all that’s just in the first two intro, get to know your players, episodes.

I’m hooked by the female characterization. There’s a woman who’s not penalized for having sex how and when she wants to, a woman who’s had to deal with rampant sexism to become a respected officer of the law, and two crime queens with major personalities. So I kept watching.

By the end of the show, I wasn’t as angry at myself for putting up with as I thought I would be. I need to examine whether that’s a matter of being deadened/slowly numbed to all that was wrong (this is the problem with marathoning through a show).

1) We finally had some more POC – I will forever blame the writers for waiting till the last episode to include more (even just token) characters.

2) Tilly and Kate seemed to have come to some odd little understanding at gunpoint. She also seemed to have gotten rid of her abusive husband down the road.

3) Forever annoyed at the side-eye constantly thrown to Lillian Armfield (the only female officer) for being single. I also highly doubt that she was just devoid of any life outside her work life, despite her dedication to her job. Would have loved to see more of how she navigated gender and straight relationships (she seems to feel very strongly about identifying as straight when confronted with a different possibility). However, her politics on rape were refreshing to see on tv: consent can be revoked even if consent has been given. Fuck yes! Now can we hammer this in again and again on more media, please?

4) There was a canon lesbian! I didn’t expect them to even bother (yes, I’m cynical) who tried to hit on Officer Armfield but was unfortunately rebuffed; she ended up marrying one of the male cops. That’s a matter of the time period though, so I won’t fault the writers too much.

5) Nellie. Oh, Nellie, this lady here is fascinating to watch. Like a train wreck is fascinating to watch. However, she owns it even as she fools other men into thinking that they can posses her. Her sexual politics were extremely fascinating to watch. There was a side of how problematic it was that she got involved with men who ultimately wanted to own her, but I appreciated the bits where she got to express who she was sexually. She wanted sex, as many times as she wanted it and she wanted it kinky.

In the end this show had some truly complex and VIBRANT female characters; from the crime queens to the ladies working the streets and houses and salons. The women had their own mind, the queens showed incredible agency, and they knew it and made sure everyone else knew it. Even with their less than great decisions I love that it didn’t vilify them for their weaknesses or their strengths.

The show was also flawed, very much so.

Take all compliments and criticisms with a grain of salt, and all that.

lock your car door, lock your legs and omg i hate this metaphor but let’s indulge (mostly copy/pasted off my tumblr)

anon asks:

we tell people to lock their cars so their cars don’t get stolen. why is this okay but not telling women to learn how to defend themselves?

becauseiamawoman responds:

Nobody is saying that women (and all people for that matter) shouldn’t be taught how to defend themselves. What people are saying that is people should be taught that rape is not acceptable and not to do it instead of preparing women who may be attacked.

A bit on rape culture:

If you leave your car unlocked, and your car gets stolen, the justice system will still acknowledge that as a crime.

If you drink/wear something considered ‘slutty’/know your rapist, and you are raped, the justice system will rip you apart.

The onus of “don’t get raped” has been placed on women (regardless of the fact that it’s more effective to teach “don’t rape”, regardless of the fact that it’s not only women who get raped).

That’s why I get annoyed at all these “tips” women are given on surviving. Even as I acknowledge that we live in the world of Schrodinger’s Rapist.

But really, this comparison of women getting raped because they didn’t prevent it and cars being left unlocked needs to stop.

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