“The only reason we have slut shaming is because people are still used to the idea of sex for procreation. But is that even still a thing? I’m pretty sure people are having sex because it is awesome. This is, I think, why some folks are afraid of gay sex: because it is purely recreational and doesn’t lead to anything. And yet, slut shaming doesn’t always come from conservatives for procreation and do-gooders: it comes from people like me, too, who freaked out when my friend told me how many sexual partners he’s had. Or the time my eyes got big when I had dinner with a famous queer theorist who told me he’s had sex with over 5,000 people in his life.”
“By dismissing the idea of rape culture (and setting it up as mutually exclusive with holding perpetrators responsible for their actions), RAINN disregards years of activism and advocacy that has demanded acknowledgement of the role of sexual violence in maintaining patriarchy, white supremacy, and colonization. Rape culture is not just the pervasive undercurrents in media and society that teach men that they are entitled to women’s bodies. It is also the legacy and current reality of rape being used to oppress marginalized racial groups, particularly black Americans and immigrants; and as a tool in the colonization of native peoples in the Americas. This is not a “small percentage.”
RAINN’s recommendations outrageously call on campuses to partner with local law enforcement in all cases of sexual violence. They utilize an analogy that equates not reporting sexual violence to law enforcement with not reporting murder. Murder and sexual assault are both serious acts of violence, and they are also really different. In cases of sexual violence, there is a survivor, who continues to live with the trauma of the event, and also is more likely than not to have some sort of continuing relationship with the assailant. Rape culture also creates circumstances that mean the survivor is likely to be blamed for their own assault unless it fits into a specific narrative that law enforcement are familiar with and sympathetic to. Though many murders also go unsolved, there are fewer circumstances in which murder victims are blamed for their own deaths. It’s also important to note that immediately deferring to law enforcement can also be disempowering and retraumatizing to the survivor, and can create dangerous situations for the survivor later in the case that the system doesn’t intervene (which is likely. Because rape culture).
By dismissing rape culture and then, as RAINN’s recommendations do, evoking the criminal justice system as the only and most important solution to ending rape, RAINN both obscures the fact that sexual violence is pervasive throughout the criminal justice system, and cuts off the potential for alternatives, like transformative justice solutions. Devoting resources to developing transformative justice solutions is important, because they don’t require the engagement with the criminal justice system, which at the moment, is often the only option survivors have to make the immediate violence stop. The criminal justice system is unsafe for everybody within it, and is also much less likely to be useful or safe for people who are members of communities of color, queer and trans* communities, or any survivor who does not want to see their assailant behind bars, which is a reality for many people for a variety of reasons. Immediately deferring issues of sexual violence to law enforcement solutions does not end sexual violence; it limits options for survivors and can deter survivors from seeking support, in which cases the violence is more likely to continue.”
“True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality. A group that is made up of 50% women is perceived as being mostly women. A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.”
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part.”