Two weeks ago a man in France was arrested for raping his daughter. She’d gone to her school counselor and then the police, but they needed “hard evidence.” So, she videotaped her next assault. Her father was eventually arrested. His attorney explained, “There was a period when he was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce. He insists that these acts did not stretch back further than three or four months. His daughter says longer. But everyone should be very careful in what they say.” Because, really, even despite her seeking help, her testimony, her bravery in setting up a webcam to film her father raping her, you really can’t believe what the girl says, can you?
Everyone “knows” this. Even children.
Three years ago, in fly-on-the-wall fashion of parent drivers everywhere, I listened while a 14-year-old girl in the back seat of my car described how angry she was that her parents had stopped allowing her to walk home alone just because a girl in her neighborhood “claimed she was raped.” When I asked her if there was any reason to think the girl’s story was not true, she said, “Girls lie about rape all the time.”
She didn’t know the person, she just assumed she was lying.
No one says, “You can’t trust women,” but distrust them we do. College students surveyed revealed that they think up to 50% of their female peers lie when they accuse someone of rape, despite wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies that show the incident of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range, pretty much the same as false claims for other crimes. As late as 2003, people jokingly (wink, wink) referred to Philadelphia’s sex crimes unit as “the lying bitch unit.” If an 11-year-old girl told an adult that her father took out a Craigslist ad to find someone to beat and rape her while he watched, as recently actually occurred, what do you think the response would be? Would she need to provide a videotape after the fact?
It goes way beyond sexual assault as well. That’s just the most likely and obvious demonstration of “women are born to lie” myths. Women’s credibility is questioned in the workplace, in courts, by law enforcement, indoctors’ offices, and in our political system. People don’t trust women to be bosses, or pilots, or employees. Pakistan’s controversial Hudood Ordinance still requires a female rape victim to procure four male witnesses to her rape or risk prosecution for adultery. In August, a survey of managers in the United States revealed that they overwhelmingly distrust women who request flextime. It’s notable, of course, that women are trusted to be mothers—the largest pool of undervalued, unpaid, economically crucial labor.
Pop culture and art are just the cherry on the top of the icing on a huge cake. The United States is among the most religious of all countries in the industrialized world. So, while some people wring their hands over hip hop, I’m more worried about how men like Rick Santorum and Ken Cuccinelli explain to their daughters why they can’t be priests. I know that there is hip hop that exceeds the bounds of taste and is sodden with misogyny. But, people seem to think that those manifestations of hatred are outside of the mainstream when, in reality, it’s just more of the same set to great beats. Hip hop has nothing on religious misogyny and its political expression.
An entire political party’s “social policy” agenda is being pursued under a rubric that insists women need “permission slips” and “waiting periods.” The recent shutdown? Conservatives holding the country hostage because they want to add anti-abortion “conscience clause” language to legislation. Whose consciences are we talking about? All the morally incompetent and untrustworthy men who need abortions?
It’s no exaggeration to say that distrust of women is the driving force of the “social issues” agenda of the Republican Party. From food stamps and “legitimate rape,” to violence against women and immigration policy. “We need to target the mother. Call it sexist, but that’s the way nature made it,” explained the man who penned Arizona’s immigration law. “Men don’t drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do.” I could do this ad infinitum.
I watched The Invisible War (which is about rape within the military) today and one woman talking about her rape said that she reported it to a higher-up and he asked her if she was joking, because she was the second girl in a short amount of time to report a rape. “are you two in cahoots?”
rape culture is portraying sexually active 12 year olds on talk shows as sluts instead of wondering who the fuck is having sex with 12 year olds
it sucks that we live in a world where men are fuckin heroes for not taking advantage of women.
"what a great guy for not trying to sleep with her while she was extremely intoxicated" wow what an amazing dude, having simple human decency
The sexual violence against the enslaved woman Patsy reminds us that slavery lays in the DNA of rape culture
I’m so upset. There’s what I would call somewhat of a social phenomena going on these days when it comes to celebrity fashion photographer Terry Richardson and his growing fame. Although most people say things along the lines of “isn’t he a rapist?” or “that’s the photographer you have to blow, right?” at the mention of his name, we usually just answer “Yup, that’s him!” and the conversation ends there. It’s truly bizarre that we all turn the blind eye, and it’s a perfect example of how your surroundings can change how people view your behavior. Any other serial rapist that has been exposed by several victims as publicly as Terry Richardson has been convicted and sent to jail, with few exceptions. Richardson however, seems to be getting richer and more famous with every shoot (therefore sexual assault) that he does.
UK lawyer Barbara Hewson attacks victims in a debate on sex assault
Kurt Cobain talking in November 1991 about the background behind the song ‘Polly’ (via batsypayne)
From Grace Brown’s Project Unbreakable , an online platform that strives to “increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault.” Trigger warning for sexual assault.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.