Evidence Based Truths about Women's Resistance to Sexual Violence

The very idea of resistance is fraught with victim blaming nonsense. No "hot tip" is going to protect you more than "Let's stop raising boys to be rapists." 97% of the people who commit sexual assault are men. Most are young and most are straight. They're the problem.

An emphasis on "Hold your keys in your hand. Take martial arts. Never wear heels." blah blah puts our attention in the wrong place & boils down to "Don't rape me. Rape the other woman instead." So, first of all - Let's stop putting girls & women in rooms with rapists. Period.

And let's talk about what resistance looks like. We live in a culture that puts the onus on women to protect themselves from rape but doesn't even give accurate or helpful information on how to do that. Let's change that.

The burden of telling your story

We are living in the era of TMI, countless personal essays and first person narratives masquerading as news.

I don't think that's a bad thing. But it's definitely a thing. 

And an unfortunate side effect of this new culture is that people assume that privacy = shame. If you're not talking about something publicly, it's because you're riddled with shame. If you're not joining the chorus of people saying #BeenRapedNeverReported or #MeToo, then you've either never experienced sexual violence or you are as sick as your secret. (We can thank AA for that one, too).

This is particularly troubling when you consider that sexual assault victims have notoriously bad boundaries.

Not a popular thing to say, but we gotta real talk about it because folks, I'm tiiiiiiiired. 

Rest in power, Kate

First of all, fuck cancer. Fuck cancer right to hell.

Doctor Kate McInturff is (fuck your past tense) a national treasure. She hates that I call her that and said that it would send Nicholas Cage after her, but it’s true. She is incredible.

It’s hard for me to form a sentence let alone be articulate, but I really want you to know how amazing Kate is because she’d be the last person to tell you herself.

So, between sobs, here it goes:

On being a media source

I've been attending and organizing protests since late 2003. By 2007-2008, I was leading them. 

That means I've spent a solid 15 years talking to the media.

In the last decade, I've averaged 100s of them a year. 

Even though I originally applied to Carleton for journalism and media studies, I hated it and switched to Women's Studies and Canadian Studies. 

I have zero formal media training. Zero.

But practice makes perfect and I've had a lot of practice.

And as any ballerina or stand-up comedian will tell you - making it look easy is a sign of being good at your job.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that views visibility as currency. We think "paying people in exposure" is a legitimate form of payment and we think that every time we see someone in the media, that's a cheque in their pocket.

Nah, babe. Not even close.

This is what being a media source really entails: 

December 6

Today is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Womyn.

It happens on this date to commemorate December 6th, 1989 when 14 university womyn were murdered at school by a man who hated "feminists" and thought that his own rejection from the school was because womyn had taken his place in the STEM program.

Does this sound familiar? 

#FreeKesha

[TRIGGER WARNING: This post talks about violence against womyn. Exercise self-care, folks.]


The law fails womyn. We actively enable abusers.

We've known this for generations but 2K16 seems determined to drive it home.

Bill Cosby is suing. The Jian Ghomeshi trial is a fucking mess.  And now, we're trying to set Kesha free.

We need to #FreeKesha. We need to free all the Keshas, because girl is not alone.

 

But if enduring countless media interviews this year has taught me anything, it's that the average person does not understand abuser dynamics.

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