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Because most women learn early that making a fuss, shutting down the inappropriate advances of men, and not 'acting nice' get them punished on a day to day basis.

This is one of the best essays about rape I've ever read, and it certainly backs up some significant decisions I've made about raising Wolfling to be fierce rather than accommodating when her boundaries are violated.

I have a number of women friends who have been raped, all of them by "friends," acquaintances, or a family member. And all the ones who have been willing to talk about it have expressed their feelings of helplessness and inhibition about fighting back, especially if it might "cause a scene."


Thanks to the friend who shared this in a locked post.


None of this is to deny that men also get raped, and the essasy does also address the social conditioning of men to be aggressive, but the author's focus in this particular piece is about women's social conditioning.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
labelleizzy
Dec. 5th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
this was important enough that I've opened the post, so everyone who allegedly reads my blog can see it.

Your explanation/blurb for the link is cogent and well written.
devifemme
Dec. 5th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Very well thought through, and important to get widely distributed. Might I suggest trying to get it published as an op-ed in the NYTimes or WPost? Or a large regional paper, depending where you're from?

Congratulations! The hard first step is done. Keep on it!

Hugs, Justine
oakmouse
Dec. 6th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. This is a picture perfect study of how rapes happen and get excused.
amqu
Dec. 6th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
I can see where being socially trained to be accommodating would be a double betrayal. Not only are you betrayed another person, you are betrayed by the very behavior that you have been praised for previously. You would even feel you had betrayed yourself by passively allowing the situation to continue. Now what? Leaves you paralyzed and not knowing which was is up. If you had fought like a demon, at least you;d know you had done what you could against a more powerful force.

When I was a child, I was in a number of dangerous situations that could have turned into rape, but I always fiercely defended myself. A couple times with people I knew, a couple times with strangers. No one ever trained me to do it or really discussed these things with me. I was generally a people pleaser, and always tried to be nice to everyone, so I don't know what made me different.

Many years ago a friend told me about a neighbor boy who touched her inappropriately. I asked what did she do, and she said nothing, that she was frozen in place and couldn't think to do anything. I remember being shocked at her inaction, but over the years as I grew up and became adult, I realized her reaction was much more common than mine.

Perhaps every girl's education ought to include basic self-defense classes in addition to reading, writing, and arthimetic. It would give her an awareness of what is going on around her and explicit permission to act out when she feels threatened.
wlotus
Dec. 8th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
That is a great post. I'm passing it on.

I prefer fierce, myself. :-)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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