TW: Discussion of rape and rape culture (and brief discussion of racism/murder)
I was on my way back to DC after visiting my family for Christmas. A college aged girl in front of me was on the phone with her father. “I raped my econ exam. Like, took it out back and had my way with it.” I was stunned. Are we using the word “rape” to describe something good now? Like, I did something worthy of pride, so I shall describe my actions as having committed this horrible act?
I am a gamer, specifically League of Legends. I am on a personal crusade to educate people why they shouldn’t use it to describe anything in the game as “rape.” No, there is no way in this game for one character to force him or herself upon another character, so no, rape cannot happen here. Telling people that they “raped” you or you “raped” them or calling on your team to “rape” someone else trivializes and normalizes the act.
I was reading the comments in the article on Nicki Minaj and her use of the phrase “I’m raping you.” Defenses are there, such as “she doesn’t mean RAPE, she’s saying she’s empowered and has more power than men!” THATZ STILL NOT OKAY. It is still taking rape and turning it into something positive that someone can do while there are still people out there who are victims of this horribly violent crime EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I don’t want someone taking what was done to me and turning it into a display of THEIR power. That’s not empowering to me. That’s not empowering to the millions of survivors out there.
Rape culture is perpetuated by the idea that this type of language is okay. It takes something that is horrible and violent and incredibly triggering for many people and makes it just another verb. It takes the horrible and traumatic experiences of myself and so, so many others and turns it into a taunt. Or worse, something positive that you can do.
We’ve all heard arguments: “does that mean that we shouldn’t say that I murdered that? Should we not say I killed it? That’s a violent crime too!” The difference is: we don’t live in a culture and society that blames murder victims.* We don’t live in a society where the clothing, sexual history, or levels of intoxication are endlessly speculated on as factors
Women especially walk around every day knowing that rape is an ever present threat. I was raped by my best friend because I was drunk. A person told me that I needed to choose my friends better. Another asked if it was REALLY rape because I was drunk. I didn’t call it rape because I felt so guilty about it and complicit in it until another friend pointed out that I was so drunk that I couldn’t stand. I didn’t say “no,” but I did say “this isn’t a good idea.” Repeatedly. I couldn’t talk to or face the person after. Two years later, I still avoid anywhere I know he will be. That’s not a drunken mistake. That’s rape.
So no, taking “rape” and making it something positive or just another verb is not okay. It takes a fun hobby for me (gaming) and turns it into a constant threat of being triggered. It shows me how much people still don’t take my experience seriously. It is not empowering. It is rape culture.
*Unless, of course, you are a young black man. Then your killer was just “defending himself and standing his ground.” Or it was just another consequence of “gang violence” or “thugs being thugs.”
Short List of Male Celebrities that beat and/or rape women.
- Charlie Sheen
- Sean Connery
- Gary Oldman
- David Hasselhoff
- Mel Gibson
- Michael Fassbender
- Nicholas Cage
- Gary Busey
- Bill Murray
- Alec Baldwin
- Phil Hartman
- Tommy Lee
- Josh Brolin
- Sean Penn
- Woody Allen
- Roman Polanski
- Axl Rose
- Sonny Bono
- John Lennon
- Sean Bean
- Elvis Presley
- Kelsey Grammar
- Rob Lowe
- Chris Brown
Who Tumblr/Internet/Society cares about when they beat/rape women:
- Chris Brown
it’s cause he’s black . let’s be honest .
Anonymous asked: I want to make a post about my rapist. He was never brought to justice and my university deemed his actions not in violation of policy. I want to post his picture, the city he lives in, and where he works so others know he is a violent rapist and is not behind bars. Because he was not formally charged, could I be charged with defamation if I were to do this? Any information would help, thanks.
First of all, I am so sorry that happened to you, and that he’s walking free.
I don’t actually know the answer to that question - lawyer and law school tumblrs, can you give anon some advice???
The thing about Dylan Farrow’s open letteraccusing her father, Woody Allen, of sexual abuse is: There was not much really new about it. It was new that Dylan Farrow herself was signing her name to the accusations, but Vanity Fair had covered the case, in grim detail, more than two decades ago.
So the current crisis over how people are supposed to feel about Woody Allen is on some level odd. Woody Allen’s status as an accused child molester has been a matter of public record since before Manhattan Murder Mystery came out. Anyone who didn’t think about it before now had chosen not to think about it.
Not thinking about it is a popular and powerful choice. Which brings up another beloved American funnyman, Bill Cosby. Who doesn’t love Bill Cosby? I grew up watching Fat Albertand eating Jell-O Pudding Pops, which is a cliché, but Bill Cosby is the creator of some of our most warming and affirming clichés. He is charming and iconic, one of the most culturally important and successful comedians ever, an elder statesman of the entertainment industry.
He’s also someone who has been accused by multiple women of drugging them and sexually assaulting them. Here is one of his accusers, describing an incident:
Well, there were a number of people at the table, friends of his, and he said to me, yes, you do seem ill, you’re slightly feverish, would you like to have some Contact? You know, the cold medicine. And I thought, why not, can’t hurt. So he went into some sort of office area at the back of the restaurant and he produced two capsules in his hand. I thought nothing of it and I took the capsules. In about, I don’t know, 20 to 30 minutes I felt great and then about 10 minutes after that I was almost literally face down on the table of this restaurant…
He said, “Oh my, you must be more ill then we believed. I totally lost motor control; I was almost unable to hold my head up. I was very, very, very stoned. He took me into my apartment and then very helpfully and nicely was prepared to take off my clothes and help me into bed and pet me, and that’s how the actual assault began.
She recounted this in an on-camera interview, under her own name, with Matt Lauer of theToday show, on February 10, 2005. The assault had allegedly happened back in the 1970s, but she said she had decided to come forward because another woman had accused Cosby of committing a similar assault in January of 2004.
That woman, in a lawsuit, said that Cosby offered her three pills of what he claimed was “herbal medication, which would help her relax,” and insisted she take all three:
When Plaintiff advised Defendant she did not feel well, Defendant led Plaintiff to a sofa, because she could not walk on her own, where he laid her down, under the guise of “helping” her.
Subsequently, Defendant positioned himself behind Plaintiff on the sofa, touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand, and digitally penetrated her.
Plaintiff remained in a semi-conscious state throughout the time of this ordeal.
At no time was Plaintiff capable of consent after the pills affected her, and at no time did she consent to Defendant’s acts.
Lawyers for the woman filed a motion stating that they intended to call as witnesses the woman who’d given the Today show interview and nine separate Jane Does, from seven different states. Eventually the list grew to a reported 13 accusers. Two more of them put their names on the record, giving interviews to Philadelphia Magazine and later to People. Philadelphiasummarized one of their stories:
They started an affair that lasted about six months. Cosby ended it without explanation. Then he called her one night in Denver, where she lived; they met backstage at a nightclub there, where he was performing. He said, “Here’s your favorite coffee, something I made, to relax you.” She drank it and soon began to feel woozy. Several hours later, she woke up in the backseat of her car, alone. She didn’t know what had happened. Her clothes were a mess, her bra undone. Security guards came and said Cosby told them to get her home. She confronted him at his hotel. “You just had too much to drink,” he told her.
The other accuser initially withheld the details of her story because of the pending lawsuit. Cosby ended up settling the suit, with the plaintiff agreeing not to discuss it further, after which the prospective witness went ahead and told her story to the magazines. Here’s People's account, using her name, Barbara Bowman:
It was in a hotel in Reno, claims Bowman, that Cosby assaulted her one night in 1986. “He took my hand and his hand over it, and he masturbated with his hand over my hand,” says Bowman, who, although terrified, kept quiet about the incident and continued as Cosby’s protégé because, she says, “Who’s gonna believe this? He was a powerful man. He was like the president.” Before long she was alone with Cosby again in his Manhattan townhouse; she was given a glass of red wine, and “the next thing I know, I’m sick and I’m nauseous and I’m delusional and I’m limp and … I can’t think straight…. And I just came to, and I’m wearing a [men’s] T-shirt that wasn’t mine, and he was in a white robe.”
A month or two later, she was in Atlantic City and says she was given another glass of red wine and felt “completely doped up again.” Confused, Bowman somehow made it back to her room, but the next day Cosby summoned her to his suite. After she arrived, Bowman says, Cosby “threw me on the bed and braced his arm under my neck so I couldn’t move my head, and he started trying to take his clothes off. I remember all the clinking of his belt buckle. And he was trying to take my pants down, and I was trying to keep them on.” Bowman says that not long after she resisted the assault, Cosby cut off contact with her and had her escorted to the airport for a flight back to Denver.
To reiterate: This was in People magazine, published nationwide in December 2006. Four women said publicly, in major media outlets, that Bill Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them. This coverage was more recent and possibly more prominent that the coverage of the abuse allegations against Woody Allen.
And? Basically nobody wanted to live in a world where Bill Cosby was a sexual predator. It was too much to handle. The original Philadelphia Magazine story set off his accusers’ testimony in italicized interludes, between long sections about the more digestible controversies around Cosby’s lecture tour denouncing black cultural pathology. The usually unflinching Ta-Nehisi Coates, in an otherwise comprehensive 2008 Atlantic essay on the context and politics of Cosby’s performance as a public moral scold, dropped a sentence about the lawsuit settlement and its accompanying accusations into parentheses near the end.
Conceptually, it was the sensible way to deal with it. No one was talking about it anymore. The whole thing had been, and it remained, something walled off from our collective understanding of Bill Cosby.
With shocking speed, it was effectively forgotten. When the subject came up today, more than half the Gawker staff had no memory of any sexual allegations against Bill Cosby. In 2009, Cosby was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for his distinguished achievements in humor. In 2010, he was honored with the Marian Anderson Award, for “critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way, either through their work or their support for an important cause.” In 2011, the Marian Anderson Award went to Mia Farrow.
I remember reading about this…..
Fuck Bill Cosby
I feel like my entire life has been shattered and destroyed. Oh my God.