The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.
“I think the reports of my survival may be exaggerated. I’m in Babo Amr. Sickening, trying to understand how the world can stand by and I should be hardened by now. Watched a baby die today. Shrapnel, doctors could do nothing. His little tummy just heaved and heaved until it stopped. Feeling helpless. As well as cold! Will keep trying to get out the information.”—Slain reporter Marie Colvin’s last dispatch, posted to a Facebook group for conflict journalists and rights reporters. She was killed this morning in a mortar attack. (via newsweek)
“I’m happy to use the word “brand,” but listen, I’m doing a lot of things: I’m doing a comic book, I’m writing for Treme, I’m making two television shows, publishing books. I do these things because they’re fun, and interesting, and because 12 years ago I had no opportunities to do anything. It bothers me when people say I’m “expanding the brand.” You expand the brand so you can land a Pepsi-Cola commercial. You haven’t seen me endorsing any products yet, though I am asked. I’m doing it ’cause it’s fun. What happens when things become not interesting? Then it’s a job. I had a job for years, I know what it’s like to show up every day and do the same thing the same way. I don’t know how Howie Mandel gets up in the morning. I don’t ever want to be that.”—
“Male privilege has been with us for — how long? Ten thousand years? A hundred thousand? Contraception, in the mere blink of an eye in historical terms, toppled the core rationale that justified that entire system. And now, every aspect of human society is frantically racing to catch up with that stunning fact. Everything will have to change in response to this — families, business, religion, politics, economics…everything.”—
Sara Robinson, on “Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now”
“No, we weren’t lovers, but in a way we had opened ourselves to each other even more deeply than lovers do. The thought caused me a good deal of grief. What a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for - and to do it so unconsciously.”—Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (via strangerssurvive)
“a t-shirt i bought in a vintage store in japan that’s got two fried eggs on the boobs. i just love it. i wear it constantly—everyone’s like, ‘you should change outfits!’ and i’m like, ‘no! egg boobs!’”—the ting tings’ katie white on her favorite item of clothing (via sarazucker)
“I want you sleepy-eyed in the morning, waking at my side like a warm summer sky, born from so much softness the horizon cries every time nightfall comes to take you. Let me also say: I want to make you sandwiches. And soup. And peanut butter cookies.”—Andrea Gibson (via shanito)
“Then, at that midway point of the show, insult was added to the perceived injury as the award for Best R&B Performance was presented. The category had an unusually strong group of nominees this year: Ledisi is a singular voice, and while nominated in prior years she hasn’t yet won a much deserved Grammy. Kelly Price swept the SoulTracks awards in December for good reason: Her self-titled album was simply glorious. Former teen star El DeBarge received a welcome Second Chance in the past year with the redemptive album of the same name. And R. Kelly threw his longtime critics (including me) a curve by showing he had the talent to make memorable music even on someone else’s turf. Oh yes, and there was also Chris Brown, whose nomination in the category was like the old Sesame Street song “One of these things is not like the others.” While a fine dancer, as a vocal artist he is not in the same league as Ledisi, Price or DeBarge, nor was his album in any way properly categorized with the others. But soul fans let the odd nomination grouping roll right off us, because, of course, there was no way Brown would win…until he did. The response in Twitterland was swift and furious. And while everyone has his or her own tastes, thousands of postings wondered aloud under what critical criteria could this result happen, except a simple adoption of the Soundscan sales numbers.”—Chris Rizik: The 2012 Grammy Awards were a step backward for soul music | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews (via npr)
I am sorry our culture has treated women so poorly for so long that suffering abuse to receive celebrity attention seems like a fair and reasonable trade. We have failed you, utterly.
We failed you when Chris Brown received a slap on the wrist for his crime and was subsequently allowed to perform at the 2012 Grammy’s not once but twice. We failed you when he was awarded R & B Album of the Year at that same ceremony. This is not to say he has no right to move on from his crime but he has demonstrated not one ounce of contrition. Instead, he has flagrantly reveled in his bad boy persona and taunted the public at every turn. He’s young and troubled but that’s an explanation for his behavior, not an excuse.
We failed you when Charlie Sheen was allowed and eagerly encouraged to continue to star in movies and have a hit television show that basically printed him money after he shot Kelly Preston “accidentally” and he hit a UCLA student in the head when she wouldn’t have sex with him and he threatened to kill his ex-wife Denise Richards and he held a knife to his ex-wife Brooke Mueller’s throat. We failed you when Roman Polanski received an Oscar even though he committed a crime so terrible he hasn’t been able to return to the United States for more than thirty years. We failed you when Sean Penn fought violently with Madonna and continued a successful, critically acclaimed career and also received an Oscar.
We fail you every single time a (famous) man treats a woman badly, without legal, professional, or personal consequence.
It is not okay for a guy to hit you. Or threaten to hit you. Or to hit another woman. No matter how hot or famous he is. No matter what he’s done in the past to make you think he’s a good person/a nice guy/respectful of women. No matter what you THINK she did “to deserve it.” IT’S. NOT. OKAY. And I’ll echo this apology: I’m sorry the world has led some of you to believe it is.
“Let’s look a little closely at the correlation between rape and alcohol, for example. That’s not a correlation between female drinking and rape. It’s a correlation between ALL drinking and rape. In fact, studies have shown that it’s more likely that a male rapist has been drinking than that his female victim has. So if we want to raise awareness about the links between drinking and rape, we should start by getting the word out to men (who are, after all, the overwhelmingly majority of rapists) that alcohol is likely to impair their ability to respond appropriately if a sexual partner says no. (This would, not incidentally, be much easier to do if we taught both women and men to seek enthusiastic consent in their partners, not just the absence of “no”.) When was the last time you read about THAT anywhere? When we discuss drinking and rape and neglect to shine the light on men’s drinking, we play into the same victim blaming that makes it so easy for men to rape women in the first place”.”—
Jaclyn Friedman, Defense of going wild or: How I stopped worrying and learned to love pleasure (and how you can too) in Yes Means Yes.