On rape culture

At Shapely Prose there is an article, Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced, written by guest blogger Starling, that has much that is right on the money and should be read far and wide. The sentences that particularly pinged for me are:

Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.

So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.

This may seem such a small thing but it is the crux of so much, granting as much respect for others as one holds for oneself is essential if one wants to be a decent human being. Unfortunately so many still seem to find it necessary to divide the world into “us” and “them” in order to define their own worth.

In the comment thread on this Shapely Prose post I also learnt of UMASS Boston professor, David Lisak, who has done research on the “undetected rapist.” This rape fact sheet he has put together is quite illuminating and well worth reading. Some of the facts may surprise you.

For a detailed description of rape culture check out Rape Culture 101 at Shakesville. Seeing the litany of elements that are rape culture linked together in one post just blows my mind.

Current temperature: here 37F/3C, there 12C/54F

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