Saturday, May 24, 2014

#YesAllWomen

Trigger warning: Sexual violence and everything related to it. 
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Every time there is a heavily publicized act of violence against women just for being women, there is an inevitable backlash of "Hey, come on. Not all men..."

"Not all men are jerks."
"Not all men treat women that way."
"Not all men are violent psychopaths."

And the resounding answer is always: DUH. 

We all know that NOT ALL MEN ARE ______________. We know. But the reason we need to talk about violence against women is because even though not all men are violent psychopaths, all women have to learn the difference between a violent psychopath and a regular guy. 

That's how the #YesAllWomen hashtag started. It tells the story of how every woman has been subjected to the actions of this small, minority group of men. Those who are jerks, those who do treat women that way, and those who are violent psychopaths. 

Hashtag Slacktivism rarely accomplishes anything. In fact, it almost always accomplishes nothing. But in this particular case, it accomplished exactly the thing it set out to accomplish. 

It shared our stories. 

Because every woman has a story about being a victim. Every woman has a story of a time when she needed to decide between fight and flight. The statistics on sexual violence are disturbing, but the biggest problem is that (to some people) they are still shocking. 

There are still people who DON'T BELIEVE THIS IS TRUE. 

There are still people who don't believe that one out of six women 

ONE OUT OF SIX WOMEN 

will be victims of a rape or rape attempt in their lifetime. 

This doesn't take into account any of the other forms of sexual assault. Cat calling is sexual assault. Following a woman, shouting sexual advances at her is sexual assault. Uninvited sexting is sexual assault. Groping is sexual assault. Forced kissing is sexual assault. Sexual intimidation is sexual assault. Sex by coercion is sexual assault.

Most women and girls who experience these attacks never tell anyone. 

In addition to the countless (literally, I cannot count high enough) times I've been cat-called, followed, and groped, I was physically assaulted at the age of nineteen. I was lucky. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, and I felt grateful for my "escape" from my "date" even then. Do you know how many people I've told before now?

Three. 

My husband knows my life, but before I ever told him, I told my parents. I downplayed it to them the night it happened, the night I came home disheveled, crying, and my face covered in angry red marks. "It's not a big deal," I told them. "I don't need to talk about it. I'm fine."

Look at that sentence: 

"It's not a big deal."

And frankly, it isn't. Not technically. It's so common, it's so normal, it's boring. Nobody cares, nobody wants to hear. When I sit in my book club, and there are twenty women in the room, odds are that there are at least two or three others in the room who have experienced worse than what I experienced. That's how not-a-big-deal-it-is. 

But even though these events are so common and normal, there are still people who think they don't even happen. There are people who think women are blowing things out of proportion, or that our fear is unfounded, that it can't possibly happen to anybody in this neighborhood or on this campus. 

BUT IT DOES. 

It happens all the time, and it happens in every city, every town, every college campus, every bar in this country. Nothing protects us from sexual violence. Nothing makes us exempt. 

But something can give us a voice. 

The #YesAllWomen hashtag showed all women everywhere that they are not crazy. They are not alone. They are not "dirty" or "broken" for experiencing these things. Women are not wrong for thinking of their own safety and they are not wrong for trying to protect themselves in mundane situations. 

The #YesAllWomen hashtag showed all men everywhere that this stuff does happen. If you're one of the men who doesn't perpetrate the violence, great. Wonderful. Superb. I'm not being sarcastic when I say: THANK YOU. 

But being not guilty isn't enough. You need to know that this is true. You need to know, when a woman confides in you, tells you the terrible thing that happened in her past, that she's not lying. You need to know that when your girlfriend comes home, trembling with fear because she was followed, her fear is rational. You need to know that this happens, it happens a lot, and we have every reason to be afraid. 

Not All Men are jerks. Not All Men treat women that way. Not All Men are violent psychopaths. 

But all women have lived their lives in fear of sexual violence, or retribution for not being interested. 

#YesAllWomen have dealt with the repercussions of sexual violence. All of us. 
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I didn't create this hashtag, I don't want to take credit for it. It was started by my friend, Kaye, who is seriously wonderful in many ways. This topic surfaced as a result of one particularly heinous act of violence, which was a result of many factors (mental illness playing a big part, I have no doubt), but this topic should be at the forefront of our discussion all the time. This should not be shocking. No one should feel dismissed when their fears are justified.

EDITED TO ADD: This isn't necessary to the point of this post, but I want to be sure everyone knows that my parents disagreed with me. They thought it was a very big deal, and they were 100% on my side. 

68 comments:

  1. This is AWESOME, Gina. Truly. Thank you for writing this.
    Dara

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  2. Thanks for vanquishing Disqus, Gina!

    I've been happily married almost 20 years, but I've still never confided in my husband about the most humiliating sexual experience of my life. I have never told anyone until right this second ... the time I submitted because to fight back would've made it rape. I thought it was my own fault ... and I knew everyone would say I'd put myself in this situation and there was nobody to blame but myself. I was too timid to stand up for myself, and there came a point where I had to pretend I was okay with it or fight back and make it get ugly. I pretended. And I have felt ashamed for it for about 26 years.

    The term "date rape" wasn't coined until long after this happened, and when I heard it, I said to myself, "Oh, so that's what it's called." Obviously, I still don't talk about it because deep down I believe it must have been my fault for allowing it to happen.

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    1. Yes 'date rape' wasn't named for years after I was locked in a room by a man who threw a party and told me I wanted to sleep with him, he knew it even though I didn't etc. On that occasion I put him off until he was exhausted and lost his erection, and let me go. I think he must have told his friends we had sex as my college reputation became good-time-girl rather than prick-tease, lesbian etc. Those were the alternatives.

      The time I did as you did and submitted for the exact same reasons as you was with someone who I innocently believed was taking me to dinner - but had 'left his wallet at home,' we had to fetch it but 'let's just have a drink' in his flat blah blah. I was 18 and have never told anyone to this day. It was 1959.

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    2. Dianne,
      First, I want you to know that you did not "allow" anything to happen. You did not "allow" a man to rape you or coerce you or anything else, anymore than someone "allows" a drunk driver to kill them with a car.

      Second, the way you feel is absolutely normal. The anonymous commenter above went through something very similar, and someone very close to me expressed feeling exactly the same way. She spent years feeling guilty about "letting" herself get raped and impregnated.

      Third, I want to thank you for sharing your story. This is incredibly personal and I'm so grateful that this project has allowed so many victims to speak up and to end their silence, even if it's just to a stranger on the internet.

      Lastly, I want to encourage you to get help. It doesn't matter that your attack happened many years ago, it is never, ever too late to heal. I am by no means an expert in this field, but I do know RAINN has centers all over the US (and international hotlines and forums if you're outside the US). You can visit them here: http://centers.rainn.org/ to get more information about how to get yourself some help and start the road to recovery.

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  3. YES, to all of this. I hate that I have friends, plural, who've been raped. I hate that after a date, when the normal-seeming guy offered me a ride home, I said no because even guys who seem normal can be rapists. I hate that it's so hard to convict rapists and that so many women aren't believed or are encouraged not to report their rapes. I hate that when a rich man is accused of rape, the victim is accused of fabricating the charges to get money- as if someone who wanted to get money illegally would willingly put herself through a long, horrible process where people will hurt her even more. I hate that you endured that assault when you were nineteen, and I thank you for sharing it with the Internet now. And I hate that there are so many men who hate women, or at least don't believe that they deserve respect.

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  4. I love this, you have worded it amazingly and I hope lots of people realise the scale of what is going on. However, why are you 'sure mental health played a role' in that horrible shooting? Stop blaming mental health; studies show people with mental health issues are involved less with the police than healthy people. The only group that isnt would be the people with antisocial personality disorder, but thats so uncommon it can definitely not account for all the horribleness of the past years.

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  5. I love this, you have worded it amazingly and I hope lots of people realise the scale of what is going on. However, why are you 'sure mental health played a role' in that horrible shooting? Stop blaming mental health; studies show people with mental health issues are involved less with the police than healthy people. The only group that isnt would be the people with antisocial personality disorder, but thats so uncommon it can definitely not account for all the horribleness of the past years.

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    1. I feel compelled to point out a couple of things: one, the reason the shooter is being identified as having mental health issues is that authorities have identified it as being a factor in the shootings. Second, your claim that antisocial personality disorder is uncommon is untrue--it affects approximately 10% of the total human population, the same amount estimated to be afflicted with alcoholism or psoriasis. Thirdly, "antisocial personality disorder" is actually a diagnosis commonly used for children and teenagers, not adults, because the personality is not done developing and counselors are reticent to slap a damning label on someone who may only be acting out and may still "grow out" of the behaviors. Lastly, the term generally applied to adults is usually "psychopathic (or sociopathic, to some) personality disorder"--one classic characteristic of which is a marked lack of empathy toward other people, especially concerning their suffering.

      If you take into consideration the shooter's claim that his behavior is justified based upon the superficial reasons he gave, it certainly gives serious credence to the idea that he didn't think much of other peoples' suffering. When he weighed his feelings against those of the number of people who would suffer as a result of his violent actions--my feelings of injustice at being dateless and a virgin versus the grief of the families left behind of those who would die (including his own, as he obviously intended suicide from the beginning as well), the fear and upset that would spread across the locality in the wake of his assault on the community--he obviously believed that what he saw as his own suffering far outweighed the importance of any suffering his actions might cause.

      This appalling narcissism is common to psychopaths, especially in regards to the gender of which the individual is not a member, although the majority of psychopaths--just like the overwhelming majority of people living with any mental illness--do not engage in violent behaviors of any kind, let alone homicide.

      If anything good could ever be said to come of such horrific situations, perhaps it could be that people could use them as a catalyst to educate themselves about why these incidents occur and how to prevent them from happening again. Unfortunately what seems to happen instead is that people act "properly" horrified immediately afterward, go absolutely apeshit for a few days picking a single scapegoat (guns, the mentally ill, lax law enforcement, drugs, whatever personal vendetta they got going on at the time), and then promptly forgetting the whole thing ever happened. . . .until it happens again.

      And which it will continue to do, probably more and more frequently (as we have seen), unless all of us become willing to look at ourselves as individuals and challenge our own ideas that might be contributing to the social climate that seems to encourage these things to happen, rather than looking for someone or something else to blame.

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    2. Well, that is the kicker it's not just one thing that is the cause. Not mental illness, not drugs, accessibility to guns, lax law enforcement and social services, not patriarchy or sexual entitlement or desensitization to violence in the media or our own understanding of sexuality and violence. It's all of those things to some extent and we need to take a long hard look at how to change ourselves rather than play the blame game.

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  6. A big fat A+ of agreement to all of this. Seriously.

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  7. Love the message, but please stop saying "psychopaths," to mean violent misogynists.

    Mentally ill people are NOT more likely to commit crimes than non mentally ill people. http://psychcentral.com/archives/violence.htm. Mentally ill people are more likely to be the victims of crimes. https://www.disability.gov/people-mental-illness-likely-victims-violence/

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    2. While someone who is a violent misogynist is not necessarily a psychopath either figuratively or literally. They most definitely suffer from delusional thinking that makes them less than sane in my book and in need of mental illness treatment. Having anger for another gender while unhealthy is reasonable in some cases considering that person's past experiences. Having hatred for another gender or any human being for that matter that drives one to violence on the other hand is not socially acceptable and should be dealt with.

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  8. Gina, I completely agree. I'd like to emphasize a point. All WOMEN need to believe this. Not believing this makes you less careful and more vulnerable. We need to find a way to teach our girls about this.

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    1. I fear that, as this concept spiraled out of control, people lost sight of that goal: EDUCATE. The point of this was to show that this is normal, we need to protect ourselves, we need to teach the next generation, and we need to be aware. It's not a whining game, it's not a blaming game. It's a "Open your eyes and realize this is the world and it's not going away just because you don't want it to be true." game.

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    2. Agreed, which is why you should put out some links to prevention, education and counseling sites, perhaps? May I suggest rainn.org and csom.org.

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    3. It's sad that we women need to be "aware" and learn preventative measures, when the focus should be on all men learning the proper way to treat women not as sexual objects.

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    4. It's sad that women need to learn preventive measures but that is the reality of the present. Until people put forward solutions in regards to teaching men and women not to use others for sexual exploitation and to dehumanize others as a means to justify that exploitation this problem will not go away. Sexual objectification is hardwired in the primitive brain it's how we deal with that hardwiring and make decisions with our cognitive brains that should be the focus. That is why there should be some healthy debate about what we do about sexual violence not just a "safe space" for people to vent. Finding that balance and setting proper boundaries for that discussion is not my place but the place of the organizers of this blog.

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  9. Thank you for just wording all my thoughts perfectly. I hope this ends up everywhere on social media.

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  10. Thanks for explaining the difference between "not all men" and "all women". Speaking as a straight white man, I have found it superbly difficult to disentangle myself from the illusion that I should be at the center of the conversation; that my frame of reference should be the template for everyone else's experience. When we hear women talk about their experiences, the ingrained impulse is to make sure everyone is looking at their conversation from our point of view. Heck, I'm doing it right now despite being conscious of it, because it's the only way I can think of to tell you that I think you're doing a good job of addressing an important problem. I apologize for that, and I hope you'll let your discussion go on with my comment here passing unremarked, without derailing you.

    We need to be shown, not told, that other people matter just as much as we do, that other opinions exist independent of our input. This article shows that. Speaking for men in general, I thank you.

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    1. It's totally natural to respond to this discussion from your own paradigm. That's okay, and not something you need to feel guilty about, especially when you are aware of it. Use your own perceptions and experiences to relate to others, to understand where they're coming from, and how you would feel in their shoes. You can't literally put yourself in a woman's place, but you can use your own experiences to empathize with them.

      Thank you for being humble enough to listen and to comment. Seeing men participate in this conversation in a positive way has been an overwhelmingly joyful experience.

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    2. So in other words, anything a woman says is gospel because patriarchy and men are never allowed to speak their minds or disagree with anything ever.

      Makes sense if you don't think about it.

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    3. This is not a feminist issue it is health and public safety issue. This is a response to a violent act that affected both men and women. While misogyny may have played into that act it was not the sole cause. While many will try to weave politics into the discussion, politics will only divide or obscure the issue. The realpolitik is that which can be pragmatically done to bring about real change given the reality that we live in and not what we wish or may think that reality is. Approach this from a scientific and inductive logic method not a bunch of philosophical crap that people who never learned how to do anything of real merit filled your head with in college. Vital reason is historical reason but we must not allow history to hold us back from what must be done in the present or the future.

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  11. You are so right. And I especially appreciate you pointing out that sexual assault isn't always just using fists and causing physical harm. My younger sister is a single woman living in DC, and she switches Metro cars about once a week because of unwanted male harassment- sexual innuendoes, physical intimidation through violation of personal space, etc. She is really good-looking, but even still, I am fairly sure her experience is not at all unique. Men don't ever have to experience that. They don't see that.

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  12. It's true...all of us. Thank you for this post.

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  13. All of this is very true. Especially the "I was assaulted, but I don't mention it because in a room of 20 women, the odds are that someone had it worse" part.

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  14. This was amazing and powerful because #YesAllWomen including myself have seen and dealt with it.

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  15. Just this week a 13yo student got to the school I work at crying her eyes out because a man followed her in his car down to the bus stop cat-calling and saying inappropriate things. She's THIRTEEN. To own a car in my country you have to be at least 18, so it wasn't a 'stupid teen' trying to score a girl, it was a freaking grown up man harassing a kid! It took her over an hour, and my offer to walk her home, for her to calm down. I'm also a woman, but I'm well built and very tall so I told her 'I scare all the men away' so she could feel a bit safer. (it worked)
    So thank you! Just like her, I've been through things like these more times than I can count, and it sucks we have to learn how to deal with it instead of teaching men to simply NOT do it.
    It's not flattering to be honked at. We don't appreciate being called pet names by strangers on the street. We don't owe you anything because you were nice to us. And that's all there is to it.

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  16. I am 63 years old. In 1968, my family moved from NY to Rome. Suddenly I was being followed by little bands of Italian men every time I walked down the street; they would catcall and make wet kissing noises. My mom laughed when I told her and said she supposed it was a form of flattery. I was 17 and had never heard the word 'feminist,' but every time it happened I felt humiliated and naked. Once I wheeled around and shouted the only Italian insult I knew. The middle-aged man who'd been smacking his lips at me stared in disapproval and told me a young girl shouldn't use language like that.

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  17. I think you're misstating what Not All Men is an "inevitable backlash" to. It's not a response to heavily publicized acts of violence, it's a response to the sexist generalizations that come out in the wake of those acts. As you say, "We all know that NOT ALL MEN ARE ______________", and yet people continue to generalize about men as if they don't know it.

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  18. Thank you so much for writing this and helping clarify what this is about for all the guys who don't get it. I am sorry for your negative experiences - it is not okay. And this hashtag really does feel refreshingly helpful and necessary for the storytelling aspect in particular amidst a sea of random ineffective ones.

    So good job and keep on
    A dude
    brett fish

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  19. Thank you for writing this, and for all the comments. The next time I hear a guy say any of those things I wont let it pass. And Im sorry for all the times I could have done better but didnt.

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  20. Thoughtful members of Men’s rights group do not aspire to denigrate women but to challenge instances where they perceive inequity between men and women, in the same way feminists or women’s rights groups like to point out the inequity in a society that puts them at a disadvantage to men. Like it or not there are instances of unjust and inequity with respect to both genders and not to just one gender and it would behoove the media and journalists in general to keep this in mind rather than writing essays decrying the omnipresent existence of hate towards women. That is simply not the case.

    And yet we are told at the same time that the reason Elliot Rodger went on a killing rampage was because he hated women. I think it would perhaps be fairer to say that Elliot Rodger hated humanity and women were an incidental desire given the rise of his puberty and his feelings of sexual inadequacy, rather than an abject loathing of women simply because of their very gender.

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2014/05/elliot-rodger-really-kill-cause-misogynist-feminists-fallacies/

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    1. The reason people are saying Rodger hated women is that Rodger said he did, not because others are assuming it was true. His videos on YouTube were (until recently) viewable by the general public and he was not shy about expressing his views about women. He was well past puberty and at the age of 22 was finished with the physical development into his manhood, so citing that as a factor is questionable at best. Based on Rodger's own assertions through his videos and "manifesto" it is more accurate to say that his main targets were the women he believed he should have been with and that his male victims were incidental in the fact that he saw them as inferior "betas" making off with what was rightfully his.

      The other males were merely inferiors, not equal to his own worth, the females were even less than that--mere possessions. And the families of all involved (including his own) were not even worth consideration at all. If one questions the relevance of gender, then not only are these people ignoring the evidence that is right in front of them, but they are ignoring the evidence that experts who study these behaviors have been giving them since humanity first sought to understand how people could do such things.

      It is not an accident that when you look at mass murder and serial murder as a social trend rather than an individual behavior, that power and entitlement are themes that come up again and again. It is also not an accident that individuals who commit multiple murders frequently target those they find sexually attractive--and those they view as rivals.

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  21. I appreciate that you wrote this. People nees to understand that the "one in six" isn't a faceless statistic, it's me. And you. And other real women.

    Rather than men arguing with women about Not All Men, they need to tell each other Don't Be That Guy. They need to form a solution, not deny that the problem exists.

    <3

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  22. YES. 100% yes to all of this. Thank you for writing out exactly what I've been feeling. I've seen a few guys on my Twitter go the 'not all men' route and it's been driving me crazy. No one ever said this was about all men. Ever. But it certainly is about all women. Just last week I was cat called while walking home from the grocery store. It was awful. This stuff happens all the time.

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  23. As a father of three young girls and a feminist I thank you Gina for highlighting violence against women is not acceptable behaviour in society, nor is sitting back and doing nothing if you witness it. And as much as you may not prevent psychopaths, it's men sense of entitlement that needs to be called out as NOT acceptable behaviour. A women should not feel intimidated catching a bus, on a date, after she drinks too much at a party or anywhere period.
    I'm not sure if the men that carry out these acts of sexual violence in all there varying degrees are aware or have empathy for women they attack.
    As a human society in a first world countries we need to educate our sons that it any sexual violence against women is unacceptable and is a crime.

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  24. i tried to put some of my own words to this over here - http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/yesallmen-should-really-pay-attention-to-yesallwomen - would dig it if you have the time to take a look and let me know what you think...

    Thanks again
    love brett fish

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    1. Please go away. You're making a safe space unsafe.

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  26. My fiancée has been sexually assaulted on two separate occasions of which I am aware. The second occurred during our relationship when a friend of ours (former friend) decided she'd been giving him all of the signals. He drank a bunch of liquor to assure that he'd be unable to drive her back home. Alone in the woods she felt unable to say no. I won't go into details but I had thought for longest time they'd been having a consensual affair. That was until I calmed down and let her explain. I had made it about me and not let her deal with her own hurt. I still catch myself... Been making a conscious effort to let her explain things before I insert myself into the "victim" role. I hate that it took that for me to catch myself thinking of her as "my girlfriend" and not as being there for her. I can't help but wonder if I have hurt other friendships by blaming them for their plight... Being a woman should not be a plight!

    Sorry for rambling.

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  27. "There are still people who don't believe that one out of six women will be victims of a rape or rape attempt in their lifetime."

    I would have to say that I am one or those people who don't believe that. Where did you get that information from?

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    2. Because the source given in this article is related to US rape, attempted rape and sexual assault statistics I will just assume this is what you're talking about.

      As of the most recent estimates of the US Census Bureau there are approximately 160,593,450 females in the US. One out of every six would be 26,765,575. So nearly 27 million females that are currently alive in the US will be a rape or attempted rape victim?

      The problem I have with this whole figure is that you've pretty much copied a wikipedia page and the source that is given is from 1998. If one reads the study provided it is clearly largely based on statistics from 1995. That is 19 years ago.

      In 2008 there were 123,010 rapes and attempted rapes including both men and women. If that number is applied to just the 26,765,575 women in the US each women would have to live to be over 200 for it to happen. That is if the rates stay the same.

      http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
      http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cvus0801.pdf

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  28. I was 7yrs old the first time an adult male put his hand down my pants, at 12yrs old I was taken advantage of sexually, by an uncle while I had no one to turn to for help. At age 16, I was on a date with my boyfriend and a strange man pushed me against a wall and forced his tongue into my mouth while I struggled to escape. My boyfriend did nothing to help me escape and blamed me for the incident.

    Yes all women have stories like this, some are worse, some may not be as bad. If the women you know don't trust you enough to tell you their stories maybe you should ask yourself why. It's not because they haven't been raped, molested, groped or been in situations where they feared for their safety so much that they couldn't resist. Honestly, I believe the 1 out of 6 figure is far too low. I'd be willing to bet that it's at least 4 out of 6.

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    2. Thanks for the concern but I'm 43 now, all of this happened a long time ago. Now I'm the loud mouth who makes people uncomfortable talking about my experiences and encouraging others to speak up as much as they can. I've reached the age where I've overcome the social programming to be sweet and nice. Now I enjoy making men feel uncomfortable or threatened when they are acting like entitled asshats, even worse I encourage others to do the same. :D Don't worry about me, I'm just dandy and sharing my own stories like so many others.

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    3. You're blaming the victim. Don't be that guy.

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  29. Thank you for writing this. 14 years ago, and I still think about it almost every day. I hate it when people talk about rape like its a joke. Its a nightmare. And I feel like you, that I was one that got away easy in comparison to others stories. But it is never easy.

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  30. YesAllMen since MEN are victims to who hardly come forward out of fear & live with rape/abuse in secret & hurt just as bad if not more....I seriously hope someone writes an article about trying give men the courage to come forward about being raped/abused...

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    1. Some of this anonymity is a pain in the tail, I'm the one who commented twice (I was 7yrs old the first time an adult male put his hand down my pants,) and (Thanks for the concern but I'm 43 now,). To Cordwainer, I do deeply appreciate your concern for my safety and the links you provided. I sincerely hope that someone else can benefit from the information as I no longer need it. I think the conversation is an important one to have, and I hope other women can feel less isolated by hearing those of us who are sharing our stories. I also think it is very important for men to be able to view the world through our eyes and experiences.

      However, being in a space that is specifically supportive to women and the challenges we face in this world and then having someone bring up 'what about the poor abused menz?' does not engender any particular sympathy from me. If you want to set up a safe place for men to talk about their experiences, I would be supportive of that and even sympathetic. Hijacking this space just feels like an attempt to invalidate my experiences and those of other women, and I for one do not appreciate that.

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    2. I think it is up to the manager of this blog to decide whether a discussion is hijacking this space towards a goal it was not intended for, and she has the right to remove content that she feels does that. I would make the point that any attempts to do so does not invalidate anyone's experience it merely turns this into a center for unnecessary debate, rather than a place to support women's freedom to tell their stories. I would highly encourage that those who feel the urge to make such comments to please take them elsewhere and think about why they feel the urge to make such comments. The comments by Amake are perfectly alright because they highlight his own experience as a man and how they play into the perceptions and actions that reinforce many of the reasons for the problems women face in society because of sexism. Certain anonymous comments made by supporters of Men's Rights Groups and peoples responses to them(mine included) should probably be removed since they do inject political subject matter that is not related to the discussion of this blog. Please, remove these Gina if I do not see them removed within the next 24 hours I will remove my own response to them. Someone has already commented on these as making this space unsafe and that is not what we want. For those males that need to talk about their experiences of abuse and or sexual inequality I believe Dr. Drew Pinsky has links to treatment sites for men.

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  31. Really enjoyed your comments about the #YesAllWomen hashtag. I quoted you in this article about the whole it - http://www.yesallwomenhashtag.com/media-timeline-and-analysis-of-the-yesallwomen-hashtag/.

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  32. Thank you for posting, Gina. Every voice and every story is important.

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  33. Thank you for this post, someone from Twitter linked it and that's why i'm here. I've seen lots of tweets with this hashtag and I'm glad to finally see an explanation with more than 140 characters. This is indeed a very important subject and I agree that education is key.
    One thing stung my eye in your post, and while it's not strictly relevant to the issue, I can't help but mention it: you're talking about a global problem, AND you're on the internet, yet you use the phrase "this country" right in the middle of the article. I have to assume (just like when anyone ever uses "this country" on the internet) that you're referring to the united states, but I hope you understand that my problem is not about having to make this assumption. It's about the fact that this is a global issue. It's not #YesAllAmericanWomen, is it?
    Sorry for the semi-offtopic rant, and thank you for your bravery and standing up for humanity.

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  34. I recently wrote this piece as a guy trying to define 'rape culture' which a lot of people seem to be confused about and a lot of men have strong reactions to without taking time to listen and try understand: http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/im-not-sure-youre-against-that-thing-you-think-youre-against-rape-culture

    and then there was this lament which was a more from-the-heart response to how this #YesAllWomen story affects each one of us: http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/yesallwomen-a-lament

    Strength and love
    brett fish

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