Question #152: If not now – WHEN?

March 22, 2013

I heard this question asked twice in one day, from two different people, about two different issues.

I think it’s the crux of it all – the question we must seriously ponder and decide when we ‘cross the line’.

Is there a line?

There has been a growing voice emerging and gradually escalating – standing up for the preservation of some basic, bloody principles. Fundamentals.

But there also seems to be a surge in bad, malicious, callous behaviour that’s infecting our culture – like bad apples rotting the barrel.

I don’t know…is it a backlash?

If we look at the current, abhorrent issue of the rape culture we now seem to inhabit, then we need look no further than the Steubenville rape case in the States. *Trigger Warning*

Why this case? Because it’s the first biggie since India. This was the test to see if we changed – even a bit.

We failed. In fact, I feel like we regressed.

The two boys on trial were found guilty of rape – one will serve a minimum of one year and the other, two (an extra year for taking nude photos of a minor and circulating them).

The discussion has been fierce on both sides – but I have to say that I am quite dumbfounded at the reactions to this case.

This girl was stripped naked, raped repeatedly, sodomised and urinated on (tweets support this) – carried around from party to party by the wrists and ankles – whilst unconscious. These boys went a step further by documenting the ordeal by filming, taking photos and tweeting about it.

There is the video where one of the bystanders who watched his mates, laughs about the girl’s  horrifying experience, for 12 minutes and discusses what was done to her – you can see it here. *Extreme Trigger Warning*
(Notice the rifle on the floor by this guy? What a frightening combination.)

And yet, there is an enormous, insurmountable number of people who still think it’s her fault. Blaming the victim. One man went so far as to write the following post over his ‘outrage’ that the rapists were put on a Sexual Offender Registry:

Why don’t we have a Dumb Fucking Whore Registry. Now that would be justice.

Just the title. Speechless. I’m so offended by it.

Why aren’t ALL women offended by this?

Many of the comments left on this post sing a familiar tune – supporting the author’s stance of the girl pretty much ‘asking for it’ – male and female alike – including that she wasn’t raped at all – just digitally penetrated. Saying she shouldn’t have gone out, shouldn’t have gotten drunk, shouldn’t have…etc.

This girl’s human rights were violently and devastatingly ripped from her.
She will never be able to form a healthy relationship with a man, she may have sustained physical injury – like not being able to have a baby, caught a disease and she’s still a child. She’s a minor and has already endured such a horribly degrading, violent and humiliating experience. Never, EVER to be forgotten.

They will do a year or two in juvenile detention. Come out and either rape again – more bad for us – or come out changed men. If that’s the case – great, they gets a second chance.

What about her?

Why should they get a second chance?

So how bad does a rape – or anything for that matter – have to be, before society snaps out of its coma and starts to take action?

Well, I see one of two solutions for our rape culture:

1. Women actually do as they’re told and stay home. They don’t go out. Stay indoors. And if you do go out, cover up so as not to provoke. Don’t smile sending mixed messages that you ‘want it’. There’s only one problem with that…many, many girls and women are raped at home. It’s a tricky one.

2. We hone in on the source of the problem:

Question #153: Why are there so many more men like this?

It may not be you – but if it’s not, you can’t deny –  it’s like a war out there.

Isn’t anyone hearing what’s being shouted? Or is everyone simply turning a deaf ear?

There’s only ONE significant change – I believe – in all our social existence.

PORN.

Yes, it’s always been around but now it’s saturating –  the availability of it – the actual advertising of it, regardless of location – like the local newsagent for families; TV – and what eyes are watching. REGARDLESS.

Women are advertised as whores (I’m sorry for the word – but it resonates best) to both our sons and daughters – look around at the effects this is having on both genders.
Life is imitating art.

163802-lee-jeans-billboard[1]

Quite unavoidable, isn’t it?

Is this the world you want?
Its consequences are happening now, to a lot of people. Around the globe. And it’s escalating.

This is bad.

Yet we find it hard to punish and say ‘No’. We give more and more chances – until when?

Seriously.

So I’ll ask again: If not now – WHEN?

Deep Breath

x

PS – I really do want to talk about this. Good guys – any ideas?

My local newsagent located the hard core porn magazines at the very front of the side shelf of his shop. If you send your kid down to buy you the paper – from where the papers are, you can see a magazine on the flat section of the shelf, with a fully naked woman on the cover, sitting on a pushbike.
I challenged him, very politely, saying if he had to have them at all, they should be at the back of the shop. It’s all still there.

What are your suggestions?

4 Responses to “Question #152: If not now – WHEN?”

  1. Verina said

    agreed..
    I have taken so many deep breaths I feel like I am on constant oxygen!!

  2. Roxi said

    I absolutely agree! and I also think that besides fighting against it, we need to fight FOR promoting healthy, mutually respectful relationships AND real self-esteem classes/courses/whatever to women! we are ALL injured, as females, and males, after all, by all these acts of pure cruelty, selfishness and mindlessness! It is unbelievable that they are still happening…

    • questionsforwomen said

      I love that – yes we do have to promote the positive too!
      In a few weeks, a colleague and I are running a workshop with our Yr 10 and 11 girls, doing just that. We’re going to look at what the culture is providing them, how to navigate through it and some positive messages for them. The boys will also be getting a workshop.
      You are absolutely right – we are all injured by it.
      I think it’s happening more as a backlash to the louder voice we’re hearing – like ours.
      Strength to us all.
      x

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