Thursday, March 26, 2015

Asking For It?

Since at least the 16th Century (or as far back as any of us care to know) there are plenty of famous women that have argued men and women were equal. Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820) is one I read recently. Back then women were tired of being called weak. What are we tired of being called now? Crazy. Bitchy. Slutty. It's often all at the same time too. When did it go from “Ladies First” to “Asking for It”?

Courtney Fraser wrote an article for the California Law Review (From “Ladies First” to “Asking for It”: Benevolent Sexism in the Maintenance of Rape Culture)  and it’s long as hell, but a worthwhile read. She writes: “While the link between rape and misogyny is obvious, the role of ostensibly benevolent sexism in sexual violence is less intuitive because many see the effects of this modern chivalry as beneficial to women.”
I don’t even know what that means. She also writes that people treat rape “at the ‘incident’ level rather than as a systemic problem and directing attention to the point after the assault.”

Go ahead and laugh at me for this next segment, but I need an example and it’s the only one I can think of that someone else hasn’t already thought of. I'm allergic to milk and I love Starbucks. Soy frappaccinos have become my new favorite thing – The soy actually makes them sweeter. However, milk substitutes are more expensive. I get it because they're harder to come by, but I'm being charged for having an allergy to milk. You know, I totally chose to be allergic to milk. The same way gay people “chose” to be gay. The same way women “chose” to get raped by wearing revealing clothing or flirting. Seriously? “Asking for it”? When did this become a phrase? Am I asking to have diarrhea later if I chose to not pay extra for soy milk? Absolutely not. No one ever asks to be raped. First of all, rape is sex against your will. Simple as that – Y U NO UNDERSTAND??? Why would anyone want to have sex against their will? 

I’ll give you a hint: They don’t.

Think of the most revolting jerk you know, male or female. Now imagine them forcing you to do stuff. Makes you queasy right? Or think of someone you like making you do something you don't like or aren't ready for. Maybe it's too early in the relationship, maybe you hate giving/receiving that specific act. That thought make you angry? It should. That's the worst part. Someone you like and trust just committed a horrible hate crime against you. 

Just because I pay extra to accommodate my allergy doesn't mean I enjoy having an allergy. Just because a woman wears a low cut top doesn't mean she wants you to cop a feel. 

As we all know, this rape culture stems from sexism. “ ‘Ambivalent sexism’ refers to the combination of hostile sexism and so-called benevolent sexism — two categories of justifications for gender inequality. Hostile sexism is defined as ‘an adversarial view of gender relations in which women are perceived as seeking to control men, whether through sexuality or feminist ideology.’ Benevolent sexism refers to ‘characterizing women as pure creatures who ought to be protected, supported, and adored and whose love is necessary to make a man complete’ ” (Fraser). Both are completely ridiculous.

To which this guy responds epically:

That’s really what a (common) rapist is: someone who hates women. Rape is never about sex, it’s about power and control.

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