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So, to jump the mighty bandwagon that is hopefully trampling this film into the ground, to add my voice to the chorus that is hopefully already drowning out the sounds of the cast and crew of this film protesting ‘but it’s hilarious irony’, I just wanted to say that I will also be boycotting Observe and Report. Any film that suggests that rape is funny, or that it is ‘not actual rape’, is not okay.

And it amazes me that anyone can see it any other way. Surely, a man having sex with a drugged, drunk, unconscious woman is rape? Surely that’s not funny?

But according to the poll over at Huffington Post, 36.74% of voters think

“It’s a JOKE people. Get upset about more important things.”

So instead of simply repeating what has been said hundreds and hundreds of times, I’ll link you all up.

For the advert, and a response that involves quotes from the cast, check Jezabel

For responses to arguments for seeing the film, see The Pursuit of Harpyness

For a video response to Seth Rogan, check Feministing’s video

But if you’re only going to read one of these, READ THIS ONE. It is very powerful, and really gets across the issue here.

I mean, it would make sense, if you’d been raped. But what happened to you wasn’t really rape: it was just that time when a guy fucked you and you didn’t want him to. Rape only happens between strangers; rape only happens when you say no; rape only happens when you say no enough; rape is what happens when you physically fight back, and give him a chance to physically beat the shit out of you or kill you in addition to raping you. Rape only ever happens these ways, we tell ourselves, because that’s how we are able to tell ourselves that rape hardly ever happens.

And when you’re done reading/watching, join the Facebook group but more importantly actually boycott this film. Do not give financial and moral support to people who believe that we ‘should get upset about more important things’ than normalising date rape. People who think that raping a woman is funny. People who think that they can get away with joking about rape. People who, by doing so, help rapists get away with it.

They do not deserve your time, your respect or your money.

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So I haven’t blogged here properly in a while. I’m at that point at the moment where everything seems to be kicking off and so I’m struggling to find the time to write here. But it doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped caring – far from it! I’ve just started to try to be more active in reality as well as the oh-so-wonderful cyberspace, and it’s eating up my time!

The society I mentioned is coming together. We have about 50 people interested on Facebook (within a week), but at the moment it doesn’t look like that many will actually attend meetings. We settled for the name ‘G Soc’ (I was convinced by my friends’ superior persuasion tactics) and I can’t wait to get publicising ๐Ÿ™‚ But we still have to get official society status first, which we’re getting close to now.

We’re having meetings every Wednesday, which are like little discussion groups. It’s fun and really interesting to get different views on things that I have quite a strong stance on. We’re aiming to forge links with Fawcett Devon as well, which should be fun. Aaaand if we get society FUNDING, we’re going to organise trips to Bristol and kick feminist ASS over there ๐Ÿ™‚

Which is what I’m doing this Friday, by the way. It’s the Bristol Reclaim the Night march, and I’m heading over with my one of my best mates to get involved. It’s very exciting! Check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

What else do I have to say? Oh yeah this weekend I’ll have had this blog for ONE YEAR. Crazy. I looked through some of the archives earlier and it was so interesting to see how much I’ve changed and learnt just in the space of a year. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me! And especially to Derek, who really inspired me to get blogging and get involved generally.

On a less positive note, a London Student survey on attitudes about rape is simultaneously upsetting and depressingly inevitable – link – and the number of women raped in the uk annually really shocked me:

The survey also showed a lack of awareness of rape figures – 50 per cent of students did not know how many women are raped in the UK on average in a year, and 15 per cent thought the figure was under 500. […] The actual figure – according to the Fawcett society, who campaign for equality between men and women – is over 47,000. The Home Office recorded 11,648 incidents of โ€˜rape of a femaleโ€™ in 2007//08.

And, to end on something good, have any of you checked out the new Lily Allen album? DO. It’s brilliant and feminist and witty. As you can probably tell, I’ve become a big fan ๐Ÿ™‚ ’22’ stands out quite a lot, as does ‘F**k You’ – listen and enjoy, my dears!

When she was 22 the future looked bright
But she’s nearly 30 now and she’s out every night
I see that look in her face she’s got that look in her eye
She’s thinking how did I get here and wondering why

It’s sad but it’s true how society says
Her life is already over
There’s nothing to do and there’s nothing to say
Til the man of her dreams comes along picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age

She’s got an alright job but it’s not a career
Wherever she thinks about it, it brings her to tears
Cause all she wants is a boyfriend
She gets one-night stands
[ Lily Allen Lyrics are found on http://www.songlyrics.com ]
She’s thinking how did I get here
I’m doing all that I can

It’s sad but it’s true how society says
Her life is already over
There’s nothing to do and there’s nothing to say
Til the man of her dreams comes along picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age

And on that note – adieu…

How can people do this?

In Suffolk on the 14th, a woman was forced into a car and raped. The rapist was in his 60s and had asked for help with heavy bags…

I just can’t understand it. I don’t see why someone can think that that is an ok thing to do, I cannot fathom how someone can justify raping someone. As with the man who raped and tortured the student in Columbia, there is a thought process that these men go through that I cannot begin to comprehend.

I suppose it’s the same with all criminals – it would be strange if you could understand them, understand the reasoning behind their actions. You would have something in common with them. But this isn’t like stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family, this isn’t like bank fraud. This is such a serious, terrible crime, this is a crime against womankind and yet still, so many people, all over the world, can find it in themselves to rape. Can justify it to themselves, can live with themselves having done it. Would do it if they could get away with it (as seen in Malamuth and Check’s research in a uni in the US, where 1/3 of the all male participants said that they would rape if they could get away with it).

Part of me seems to think that if we could understand, maybe we could stop these men. Prevent them from terrorising women, from torturing and raping women.

Ultimately though, I suppose, it comes down to the education of men (because, strangely, it shouldn’t be the case that women have the responsibility of defending themselves, it should be the rapists that are being stopped) and the efficiency of the enforcement of law…

Either way, it’s highly depressing that this is still such a frequent occurrence, not only in our country but all over the world. It’s disgraceful that people think that it’s an ok thing to do, and that women so often get the blame. It’s disgraceful that people think you are making up statistics if you tell them what they don’t want to hear, that a woman can be penalised for what she was wearing or for her relationship history or indeed just for being a woman, it’s disgraceful that there isn’t a bigger effort to prevent this from occurring. It’s disgraceful the amount of men who get away with it, and the amount of women who have to live with the memory of such a horrific experience.

Really, how can we ever be proud of a country where there is so much disgrace?

This, while (sadly) unsurprising, is certainly an interesting read. Women, it would seem, as still seen by 1 in 4 people in Ireland to be partly (if not wholly) responsible for being raped.

As I have said before, I find this idea ridiculous. One of the statistics shows that

38% believe a woman must share some of the blame if she walks through a deserted area.

If someone was walking through a deserted area and was robbed, would they be blamed? While, of course, one should be aware of their own safety, this blaming of the victim is simply unacceptable.

Still, as “dagnymeetsassisi” says, this can also be viewed positively:

” More than 30% think a victim is some way responsible if she flirts with a man or fails to say no clearly. ”

Or, 2/3rds believe a woman is NOT responsible despite flirting…. a commanding majority. How would that figure have looked in the 1970’s?

“37% think a woman who flirts extensively is at least complicit, if not completely in the wrong, if she is the victim of a sex crime.”

63% – again a commanding majority – do not believe the woman is complicit or wrong.

“One in three think a woman is either partly or fully to blame if she wears revealing clothes.”

Two of three do not believe the woman is partly to blame; most respondants, that is.

“38% believe a woman must share some of the blame if she walks through a deserted area.”

Again, 62% do not beleive a woman shares some part of the blame. Most people, in other words.

I’m not sure how far I agree with this, as 1 in 4 is still distressing regardless of the wiser 3 that believe the rapist to be the criminal, not the victim.

Intrigued, as ever, to hear your thoughts.

And on that note – adieu.

This is for Andy and the others who were in creative writing today. And actually, for anyone who happens to be interested…

Today we had a discussion in Creative Writing about rape/the safety of women in England now. I’ve found some links that I think are relevant:

“While they conclude there was some evidence of poor investigation and lack of understanding of the law, the main problem was the culture of scepticism among both the police and prosecutors.” (Second source above)

  • The rape conviction rate for the last couple of years has proven much more difficult to find than I anticipated. I think we may be wrong in saying that it is as low as 2%, I think it is actually more likely that it has remained at 5 or 6%. (This, from 2007, says 5%…) This is still shocking, as the rate has dropped. By 31.4%.
  • This, from 2007, covers a great deal of the issues and inbuilt stereotypes in society RE rape, and discusses both the issues and solutions.

“Judgements about the credibility of charges of rape are often influenced by impressions of the woman’s attractiveness, demeanour, dress and alcohol consumption which are in fact irrelevant to the real issue of consent and the perpetrator’s culpability.”

“Prevalent public attitudes about rape also have a clear influence on the investigation and prosecution of rape cases and at court, and contribute to the low rape conviction rate. Police, prosecutors, judges and, perhaps most importantly, jurors are as likely as any other members of the public to internalise common attitudes about rape, and misconceptions about who are โ€˜real’ rapists and victims.”

  • Responses to the question ‘Why are rape conviction rates so low?’, this January.
  • An incredible performance poet, speaking about rape (in fact, check out her site cos she really is amazing)
  • And finally (as I think I’ll have to continue this another time because I’m getting so tired and depressed), this – it shouldn’t still need to be said, hell it should never have needed to be said, but it is still relevant and a pretty powerful post. Also the source of my title – see the comments.

On a completely unrelated (and yet, as ever, related in some way) point: this guy’s poem is really powerful.

And on that note – adieu.

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and the generations before

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and before that

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and even before that. Nothing seems to change.

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Read an interesting article in the Woman section of the G2, deeply depressing but interesting nonetheless. Especially as the number of ‘gentleman’s’ clubs in Brighton seems to be increasing, which is insane. They should not exist in the first place, but to build more? New ones? It pains me greatly to think that this is seen as acceptable. This, also relevant but from last year, is fascinating but so sad. Ditto with this timewise – it just confirms what is said in both other sites I’ve referenced – that young women are being sexualised.

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On a lighter note, this is promising.

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And, to counter it, as for every piece of good news there is ALWAYS at least 10 pieces of bad news, try this.

Ok, so I was going to link to this article on Feministing about a guy whose brother raped his wife by pretending to be the husband. Disgusting, especially considering the response from the agony aunt who was written to about it. But as I went to pick up the link, I saw something new. The link I have actually given you makes me feel physically sick. Truly, to the bottom of my stomach.

In fact, being the over-emotional-hysterical woman that I am, it makes me cry. That other women can ridicule a woman who has been mutilated…it begs belief. I just have no words to even begin to explain how foul it is to mock a woman for her abuse.

In a supposedly ‘developed’ country, why is it we are faced every day with such disgraceful disregard for women?

. .

It makes me wonder what the point is, really. As I said before – I’m talking bout my generation, but it’s the same for so many generations gone by that one begins to wonder if it’s possible to progress at all.

Perhaps progress is in fact a myth, and all we get is veiled digression. Nothing seems to change.

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And on that note – adieu.

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(But for those who want to depress themselves further about the reality of this shithole we call Earth, here‘s the brother-rape story. And if you want to see whether the earlier link was a one off from jezabel.com, try this. I weep. Especially as sometimes she seems to have something decent to say, too.)

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