On Friday, the last day of term, my colleague and I ran a workshop with our Yr 10 and 11 girl students (aged 15-17 yrs old). We looked at the objectification of girls and women through the media and ran lots of workshops to help them navigate through the tripe they’re being fed, looked at what is beautiful (them – exactly as they are) and how to be a voice in this saturating, hyper-sexualised society.

The boys, of the same year groups, were in a separate location,  journeying through the harms of pornography and participating in workshops to help them with all the issues they face as young men. They are also being fed false ideals about what it’s like to be a ‘real man’ and are also in strife. The wonderful feedback I got from this workshop is that the boys drew up a contract, their words, as to how they were going to treat women and they all signed it.

Fantastic.

The dynamic psychologist and teacher, Collett Smart of FamilySmart (and who was one of the original board members of Collective Shout) came to talk to both the boys and the girls together. She reinforced a lot of what we had covered up until lunch…and more.

It was such an inspiring day, that I’m still a little giddy from how good it felt to run a part of it.

I was up first and for an hour or so I covered what the girls are being sold by the media – more importantly, how they’re being represented and whether they were happy with it. My aim was to incite discussion and reinforce some Media Literacy with them.

To start off with, I asked them what characteristics we had that made us women. Two interesting things came out of this.
1. The first few characteristics were physical – boobs, curvy, vagina.
2. When I steered them towards non-physical, they came up with some beautiful ones, like compassionate and strong – but I was the one who wrote up intelligent (with lots of arrows pointing towards it).

From this point I launched in to a visual smorgasbord of examples of how women are represented in the media today. Basically one way – hyper-sexualised and objectified.

But it’s not just about ads, shows, movies etc – it’s also important to discuss the effect and consequences of a saturated paradigm, like our current one.

Objectification is the issue. What the girls needed to understand is that once you are seen as an object, anything can be done to you without remorse.
It’s a complete disconnect and is why the argument, “That could have been your sister” (for example) doesn’t work. Their sister is their sister, whom they love. An object is an object.

As Collett later told them (and the boys) – the Porn Industry now has to compete with the Porn Culture of our media. The images looked at in the dirty magazines of yesteryear, are now on billboards selling sunglasses/jeans etc.
So in order to keep their addicted masses, mainstream porn has to be bigger and far more violent. Women’s bodies are the commodity; bodies which only last between three to six months, before they’re tossed aside. Broken.

I showed the girls the following clip from Canada which covers a lot of what I wanted to discuss:

Notice how ludicrous it is to have the men portrayed that way?
We can’t do anything else but laugh about it because it’s not a reality for them – although they do have their own fair share of issues.

We watched the following Lynx ad by Unilever, being discussed in the States. The reason I showed this clip is because there is one female panelist in a studio full of men. Watch their reactions (nothing surprising).

What’s interesting here is mainly the woman’s take on it. It seems like everyone agrees – if it makes money it’s OK.
And the men’s reactions? Well, nothing out of the ordinary. Does that mean that we are also desensitised – seeing ‘boys just being boys’?

This led me to discuss the  Porn Culture which surrounds us and how that’s become the ‘fashion’ now. I showed them more clips and what it means to them. I discussed this concept in my penultimate post: The fine line. A chat with teens.

I could have talked about this FOREVER, but time was short. I finished with the trailer for Missrepresentation – the wonderful documentary I hosted a screening of last year – which perfectly encapsulates the serious issue of our gender’s representation in the media.

My colleague then tackled, What is Beautiful?
We looked at photoshopped images and got the girls to do an activity, where they put stickers on each others’ backs with positive phrases about their characteristics.
They loved it.

We talked in groups about some possible party scenarios, looked at sexuality and relationships and finally encouraged them to be a voice – to call out injustices and be a sisterhood to each other.

After lunch the boys and girls came together to listen to Collett Smart.

She discussed issues such as the truly damaging effects of child pageants on young girls (affirming from a very tender age that the only validation a girl can have is through her looks) through to hearing the tragic story of a teen girl who survived a rape.

She reaffirmed many of the issues we had discussed with the girls earlier in the day, which gave those messages more strength – Yay!
But there was one important point that Collett made, that stayed with me – it resonated:

She said the path toward a better social existence between girls and boys; women and men – is mutual respect. There seems to be a huge portion of the responsibility laid on boys and men to respect women, but women and girls also need to respect men.

Bang.

Question #155: Are women truly respecting men in this hyper-sexualised, porn culture?

It’s a tough question, but we need to step back and look at this through a balanced perspective.
Both genders play a role in perpetuating a state of existence.
Both men and women. Boys and girls.

Something to ponder.

At the end of this day, I hoped our girls left feeling a little more empowered about their whole selves – not just what they look like – and will become more united as women to cultivate that word – RESPECT – in themselves and those around them.

So it was no surprise that I actually cried a little when I saw the following messages from some of the girls, on my Questions for Women Facebook Page:

“Hey Miss,
I just want to thank you and Miss Fitzgerald for your talk today. I honestly feel so empowered to change the society we live in. I feel so much better about myself and I really want to make a difference in the world. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the world we live in. Hearing what people had to say about me in the sticker activity made me feel so good about myself. To know that people like me for something more than my looks is amazing. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. xx”

“Thanks so much ms. You really are an inspiration xxx”

“MISS ! thank you so much for today ! It really made me think twice about what i do now and the way i see my self. you are a true inspiration and we’re all so lucky and grateful to have you at our school.”

“Thanks so much for today miss! It gave us such a great message in a very fun way. It was really eye opening to many of the girls and it was really good to realise we all empowered each other as women. We love you miss!”

“We’re so lucky to be surrounded by such empowering women!”

My message to these girls was:
“May your love, intelligence, strength and compassion be what shines through and gives you true validation. That’s what makes you beautiful.
You’re all necessary and needed just the way you are. xxx”

I wish I could do this every day. My soul feels full and alive.

Deep Breath

x

sisterhood

In my Drama class recently – boys and girls aged approx. 16 – we were discussing Absurd Theatre.

This type of theatre looks at the existentialist view that we are born from nothing; live a fairly meaningless life, in the big scheme of things; attach importance to pockets of our lives (as we are ‘educated’ to do, by our surroundings) and then die – back to nothingness.

The world keeps turning. You made no real difference. It’s all quite absurd.

This is not to say that it is a life devoid of faith because with the existentialist perspective, there is also a sense of hope.

My students and I began to contemplate the issues and topics that encompass our current paradigm. I asked them to metaphorically take a giant step out of our existence and then look through the eyes of, let’s say, aliens studying human behaviour.

What would they see?
I wanted them to think rationally and not emotionally.

The issue of female representation came up – especially in terms of the fashion – and as the discussion unfolded, one girl asked what was so wrong with girls wanting to feel good through the attention they receive.

I replied, “Nothing…but…”

This is the point where it always gets tricky for me because my current opinion on what I’m seeing tears me in two opposing directions – and if it pulls me, a 43 year old woman, in this way – how in hell are these young, developing minds supposed to make heads or tails of it?

1. I believe women should wear what they want.

I was raised to believe that it’s good to show off your best assets. I have pretty good legs, for example, and I used to wear shortish skirts. I still wear skinny-type pants because they work best for my body shape. Of course, I wear pants of varying widths too – as well as skirts of different lengths.

The point is that we always dedicated a certain amount of time to creating a look that suited us and made us feel good about ourselves. Maybe it made a statement or it was simply following the fashion; no different to today, I suppose…

2. BUT when what is fashionable, emulates porn culture – we have a completely different kettle of fish.

Don’t we?

Growing up in the 80s meant there were various fads throughout the decade. I remember there was a pastel stage; a flouro one; we wore studded belts (as well as ones that wrapped around the waist twice over – flashy!); hair of different lengths and cuts; tube skirts; shoulder pads; goths; mods; punks…and the list goes on. Even in the 90s, there was grunge to add to the mix.

This is me at the dance – with boys! – aged 14. When your stunned expression lapses as to how much of a dag I was (yes, that’s a white ribbon in my hair), check out the background – pinafore dresses and a boy straight off the set of Miami Vice.

Truth is, we may have been dagga, but we thought we were SO cool. How could we not be, with such a variety of looks in one decade? 

Year 9 dance

Today, however, is quite a different story – there is only one fad: Hot ‘n Sexy and no age seems out of reach. The monumental difference today is the hypersexualised pre-teen that’s starting to flood the ‘market’.
(Sadly, one of the most used search engine terms that gets certain unsavoury and predatory people to my blog, is ‘12 year old sluts.’
Young and fresh out of Primary School – these girls are in high demand.)

I discussed the conundrum of this current fashion with the students to see if they could discern the fine line – that it’s virtually a ‘Catch-22′ situation. If, on one hand, girls wear hypersexualised outfits and allude to also behave in said manner as well, they are participating in the spread of porn culture – a culture created, predominantly, for male satisfaction. BUT at the same time, if we go around preaching to women about what they should and shouldn’t wear, it reeks of control and takes away a female’s agency to do as she pleases – the same way a man is permitted.

In other words, inequality.

This is crippling. Women – and now, very young girls – are being driven crazy with this and I can see that this paradigm, one that is so obsessed with sex and selling the female body (only) to make billions of dollars, is winning.

To wear, or not to wear – that is the question.

Question #153: Isn’t that absurd?

Deep Breath

 

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?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking – pondering – reflecting – over the last few days.

I’m feeling quite disillusioned (on a grand scale) but it’s not upsetting me…I just want to figure out what the next step is. There’s an aimlessness to my thoughts.

I know, through social media, that there is A HUGE amount of us standing up and voicing our objections to things that seem ludicrous to be even out there in the first place – but they’re flatly being ignored.

A few days ago it was about the hateful and violent images and memes that Facebook allow to remain online – despite protest – and then the latest atrocity being the adult club billboard in front of a boys’ school that the Advertising Standards Board has deemed appropriate to keep up – despite protest – grooming our future’s sexual tastes.

I won’t go on because the list is literally endless and too dispiriting.

Many of us have written and complained, but to little or no avail. There have been some small victories but it’s not on the scale necessary to bring about change.

So today I found myself thinking – what’s the point? (bad of me, I know)

Today I had a hectic afternoon in the car driving up and down, picking up and dropping off etc. when I heard the following song for the second time on Triple J. The first time I only caught the end of it and what attracted me was the divine voice and music – today, however, when I heard it in full, I listened to the lyrics.

The song is ‘God-Fearing’ by Sarah Blasko, from the album, I Awake.

You’ve got a nerve, you know you make me hate
One thing I’ve learned, you try to take away
I’m not beaten down, I won’t behave
Just listen this once or you will rue this day

You have no respect
For me tonight if you’re not listening
It might be unkind but it might be right
But you’re not listening

Set them up, knock them down
Cast them left, cast them right
God-fearing tonight

Biting my lip and holding my tongue
Was the most stupid thing that I’ve ever done 
Got carried away, let myself down
I’ll shoulder that blame if you’ll admit what you’ve done

You have no respect
For me tonight if you’re not listening
It might be unkind but it might be right
But you’re not listening

Set them up, knock them down
Cast them left, cast them right
God-fearing tonight

I adore this song. It resonates so strongly with how I feel.
Completely frustrated that I – WE – are not being listened to. Not respected. Second-class.
The lines I put in bold are the standouts for me (and I love that she sings them looking straight at us in the video).

I played it to my 10-year-old daughter in the car. It was just the two of us.

I’m in her ear about certain topics – I have to be.
After all…we live in a society which allows porn billboards to go up in front of schools. I have to prepare her.
So we talked about the lyrics  of this song – about not keeping quiet when the wrong thing is being done and that responsibility needs to be taken by the parties that do wrong, for change to happen.

I parked the car in the driveway and we just sat there listening to the magical sound of the violins (we both love them) waiting for the song to end before getting out.

As we got out of the car, she said to me:

“I want to thank you for raising me the way you are…helping me…(paused)…I don’t know how to explain it.”

I said, “You just did,” and gave her the biggest, massivest bear hug.
Lump in throat; heart swell…you know.

All this from one song – so I thought I’d share it.

Question #148: Feeling inspired (and equally indignant) to use that voice of yours?

Deep Breath

x

Sarah Blasko

Sarah Blasko

I’ll be brief.

This petition has come up and it’s important you sign it. It’s to the Advertising Standards Board:

Stop Sex Industry Billboards Outside Schools

This is the billboard:

gEKeRGLIfoybclD-556x313-noPad

So – not only did someone approve this decision – placing an adult club BILLBOARD in front of a boys’ school in Brisbane – it was also complained about and the complaint was rejected.

In front of a boys’ school. Please.
As Verina Rallings wrote – it’s a type of grooming. And it is.

So I ask you:

Why do we even bother with the magic of Christmas?

Going to all that effort to create this fictitious world of wonderment…

What for?

We’re living in a world where the drive to make money has deadened our senses – opening the door to a seedy, underbelly lifestyle and normalising it.

Where did Santa go?

What happens when the belief in Santa ends – at 9 – 10 – 5 years of age?

Shall we dress our girls in denim undies (oh, sorry – ‘shorts’) and teach them how to act in a hyper-sexualised manner, for guys’ approval, with a low-cut top to boot?
How about our boys? Shall we encourage them to learn how to successfully land a bitch whose gagging for it?

If the answer for you is ‘No’, then speak up and show your indignation!
Billboards like this are powerfully promoting a representation of reality that is unbalanced.

I can’t believe we are actually allowing this subliminal coercion of our kids’ minds; rendering their ability to formulate a balanced reality, impotent.

WE have to be the stronger voice in our youth’s ears, not theirs.
Theirs is solely about making a buck…and it’s plastered all around us.

Doesn’t that infuriate you?

Well it makes me livid and disappointed at what we’re becoming.

Please sign the petition. x

Stop Sex Industry Billboards Outside Schools

Deep Breath.

Dr Caroline Heldman (who appeared in Missrepresentation) spoke at the TEDx Youth Conference, for twelve or so minutes – without pause. Amazing.

It’s a bloody brilliant presentation that encapsulates everything that is wrong with our current paradigm – delivered with clear-cut explanations, facts, research and solutions.

She looks at what sexual objectification is and whether it’s empowering.

An absolutely fantastic and succinct discourse.

Question #140: So, ladies – are we going to put an end to this self-destructive behaviour, once and for all?

Deep Breath.

x

27

Rape Culture #3

January 3, 2013

A cell within the group Anonymous, called ‘Knight Sec’ decided to be a voice against the injustice that came of the gang rape of an unconscious, 16 year old girl in Ohio, by members of a football team – who also documented it all. She was unconscious because she was

“intentionally drugged with a ‘date-rape’ intoxicant.”

The community, police and justice system, that rallied behind theses boys (widely known by their nickname, ‘The Rape Crew’) and swept it all under the carpet, were given until the end of 2012 to come forward and apologise – make things right – otherwise Anonymous was going to publish the information they had gathered.

No-one apologised.

So here is the report that was leaked to the public on the 1st Jan.

It includes the following video footage of the boys admitting to the rape.
*WARNING: This Video Is Extremely Disturbing – Viewer Discretion Is Advised.

Michael Colin Nodianos Admiting To Rape from Commander X on Vimeo.

I only have one question (it would be great if guys help me out here with some insight):

Question #129: Knowing what WE were like as teens – is this type of guy more common now?

What terrifies me most is not what they did to her (although it literally makes my stomach somersault and heart ache), it’s what they think of her – as they laugh…and laugh…and laugh…

In this case, these men flaunted their misogyny through sadistic rape and even urinated on this poor girl – who is ruined for life. But this deplorable attitude can manifest in a number of different ways – domestic violence, forced prostitution etc – and it’s seeping through globally.

* Afgan girl shot in the head for ‘being a prostitute’ in front of a cheering crowd of Taliban men who were fighting over her – DIED.

* Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head for wanting an education – LIVED.

* Indian girl’s horrific gang rape – DIED.

* This girl – intentionally drugged, sodomised, urinated on, dragged unconscious from party to party – LIVED.

Etc…etc…etc…

And, of course, these are just the ones we hear about – 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

I want my daughters to be able to go out and confidently participate in this world – but it chills me to think that these guys are out there.

So – is it worse than before?

Guys/Men? Thoughts?

Deep Breath.

x

PS There are no words to describe what I feel about the guy in the video – making joke, after joke, after joke. Just the manner in which he says the same type of thing over and over again, fills me with a strong and uncharacteristic desire, to smack his smug and idiotic face out. The cameraman laughing at all his jokes and egging him to keep going, would be next.
The following is what he wrote on Twitter:

1473163342

Two women left great comments, in response to the previous post about Rape Culture.

I would like to address two of the points made by these women.

1. lamehousewife was suggesting that the ad on the bus is a reflection of the type of women the priest was talking about.

I agree.

Throughout my posts, I have always made a strong point (I hope) on the massive contribution women are making to the problems they face in this patriarchal society. Ads, like the one on the back of the bus, can only exist with a woman’s consent.

Without women agreeing to normalise this hyper-sexualised, fickle, fake image of womanhood – we have little chance of attaining any sort of equality amongst this man’s world.

However, I AM about balance and the point of my last post was simply that the solution/solving conversations that make the papers, are about what women have to do to stop the Rape Culture.

But what about the guys/men? The ones COMMITTING the crime?

The CRIME.

Most of the time, it has nothing to do with what a woman wears. A lot of the time it can be a family member, raping a daughter/niece…or she didn’t do as she was told…or she looks like his mother and he hates his mother…etc. etc. etc.

I’m sure I (we) could find a gazillion reasons why so many men rape women…but the only common denominator, is that it’s men inflicting violence against women on an unprecedented and global scale.

As I said in my response, there is currently heated discussion at the prevalence of males being behind mass shootings, like the recent ones in the United States. Well, this is MORE prevalent…and also inflicted by men.

Where’s the article on that in mainstream media?

Where are the mental health programs for them? Or is it simply too many men?

More importantly:

Question #128: How are our boys being taught NOT to think of women as useless (except for one thing) and ‘gagging-for-it’?

If we’re not implementing the above, then we are simply stepping aside and allowing the Rape Culture to perpetuate.

You can get it on a t-shirt (this one’s a tame one):

images

Or in a meme:

gt+highschool+girls+they+say+that+they+aren+t+sluts+but+_b4f283e7d2096a3d01adf6118919d190

You get the idea…

2. Kate left a fantastic comment which hits the nail on the head; looking at this from another angle. A part of what she wrote was the following:

“I long for the time women regain their worth, their subtle and centred power, and this can’t happen by drinking as much as men or lowering our sexual standards by removing our sense of love and care and giving, or by trying to ‘be’ like men. We are depth that are women! Yet we seem to be under the stupidity of unawakened ideals that put us ‘beneath’ another gender.”

Exactly, right?

We simply can’t allow ourselves to believe what’s said about us or how we’re portrayed. We are actually short-changing the fantastic, awesome wonderfulness that it is to be a woman and short-changing what we can offer – together with men.

Finally, another reader left the following YouTube clip. It was posted online only a few months ago and it’s your regular, fit, young man giving out some advice to ‘the brotherhood’ about women.
Some of the language used may offend some women.

And this is the type of guy that’s out there…

It’s not all of them – no – but they’re what’s in fashion now.

Any alarm bells ringing yet?

Thank you so much for all the engaging and insightful comments and calm discussion. Keep them coming!

Man or woman.

Deep Breath.

x

Sorry for the heavy title, but a few articles popped up today, that have me incensed…again.

Why? Because the current reign of our ever-present Rape Culture, seeping into every crevice, is simply infuriating me.

The definition of Rape Culture from upsettingrapeculture.com, writes the following:

WHAT IS RAPE CULTURE?
In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

This is what it means when people say that sexism and violence against women are “naturalised.” It means that people in our current society believe these attitudes and actions always have been, and always will be.

Just the way things areJust are.

Question #126: Isn’t that the general reason/excuse for indifference?

Infuriating.

I started this post today after I saw the following article regarding the comments made by a Catholic Priest – Father Piero Corsi – in Italy:

Italians outraged by priest’s claim that women bring violence on themselves.

“The title of message was ‘Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?’

“Father Piero Corsi said scantily dressed women bring out the worst instincts in men and cause violence or sexual abuse. He claimed women end up exacerbating tensions by ‘leaving children to themselves, having filthy houses, serving cold meals, buying fast food and providing dirty clothes.’ “

331582

Great.

When will ‘the worst instincts in men’ be what attains the pressure from society to change?

No, no, no. It’s us – women. WE have to change…how we dress, how we act, what we say…

But…really…is that what the men in the church (and men in general maybe?) feel is the actual solution?

Will rape and violence against women cease to exist if we stopped wearing plunging necklines?…and stopped providing dirty clothes…and serving cold meals (is that a cold heart too?)…and…and…and…

We all know the answer to that is no.

Hence, we have a Rape Culture.

And yet, if all the rational people think that what’s happening is going down a dark, violent and septic alley, why are we not seeing anything being implemented to stop the continuing, harrowing statistics?

Now I have an even heavier heart due to reading that the poor girl who was gang raped in India, has just died from her injuries.

The following article was a response to the Indian girl’s rape itself, telling women they should carry chilli powder to throw in the eyes of their attacker and not go out at night.

How to prevent sexual assault (no chilli powder required)

Again, GREAT! Anything else for women to do?

This article does have a wonderful list of tips, however, that should actually be used to encourage a change. Tongue-in-cheek – yes – but you get what it’s saying:

Anne Bartow’s Sexual Assault Prevention Tips

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behaviour.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “by accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Here’s an idea: How about it’s NOT women who attempt to stop things, from a defence position; not being allowed to be themselves.

How about governments intervene from a ‘childhood educational angle’?

Tone down the amount of imagery that’s EVERYWHERE, like this:

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I pulled up behind this bus when it was stopped. This is the moving billboard, distracting everyone who’s driving. And where’s the filter for all the developing brains who are taking it all in?

Woman=gagging for it (look at the image)=looove sex=rape.

Question #127: How about implementing a new program in schools? Australian National Curriculum?

We need something. Anything.

Deep Breath.

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If you have – you MUST read the following article.

If you haven’t – you MUST read the following article.

It’s so well written and clear. I think it succinctly hits the nail on the head – so this one’s a bit of a Feminist Shout Out #6 to you ladies.

50 Shades of Abuse

I would LOVE to hear from those of you who liked the novel and what it was that appealed to you (no judgement, whatsoever – just honestly curious).

Have you changed your mind, now that you read this article?

Question # 120: Is it just another step in our conditioning?

Let me know what you think.

Deep Breath.

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