It’s on us to go beyond ‘It’s On Us’

its-us-obama

(Photo credit: Larry Downing/Reuters)

“Identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.

If you see something, intervene in any way you can.

If something looks like a bad situation, it probably is.

Get someone to help if you see something.

Get in the way by creating a distraction.”

The White House’s flashy new bystander intervention campaign, It’s On Us, makes sexual assault sound a lot like a bad thunderstorm — unfortunate, inevitable, striking seemingly out of nowhere, and devoid of human agents. The solution, then, is easy and comfortable: “Identify situations in which [a-tornado-I-mean-sexual-assault] may occur” and guide your friend to safety; remember: “If something looks like a bad situation, it probably is.”

Gender-based violence is not like the weather. It has direct, immediate human agents and is structural and systemic at its core. But the new campaign de-politicizes and de-genders sexual assault, portraying it as an easy-to-avoid problem solely between individuals, and making perpetrators out to be vague “someones” who do “something” to other “someones.” In reality, perpetrators are disproportionately likely to be men and their victims are disproportionately likely to be women (particularly queer and trans women, women of color, and women with disabilities), queer men, and gender non-conforming folks.  Read More »

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Emma Watson calls on men to make gender equality their issue too

As a member of the Harry Potter generation, it made me more emotional than I care to admit to see Hermione Granger Emma Watson call for the world to unite to defeat Voldemort gender inequality.

Watson, who is the newest U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, spoke at the UN this weekend to launch the “HeForShe” campaign,” which aims to mobilize men and boys as advocates for ending gender inequality. She extended “a formal invitation” to men to make gender equality their issue too. Read More »

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The Feministing Five: Sarah Deer

Sarah Deer, Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. - See more at: http://www.macfound.org/fellows/912/#sthash.5fyuMB1Y.dpuf

Sarah Deer, Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Professor Sarah Deer is one of the newest MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows who were announced earlier this week. She is an incredible legal scholar and community advocate for Native women’s safety and health. Sarah is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and teaches at William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota.

Native American women living on reservations face one of the highest per capita rates of violent crime in the world, but are often left with horribly insufficient means of justice. Tribal courts are impeded by limited jurisdictional powers and authority, and lack of resources; and as such, it is very difficult to prosecute those who commit these horrible crimes.  Read More »

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Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet

The White House unveiled their new “It’s On Us” sexual assault prevention campaign today. We’ll have more coverage next week.

Terrible Oklahoma state Rep says Muslims are a “cancer that must be cut out of the American society.”

“We talk about a glass ceiling? These women don’t even have a secure floor.” – Hillary Clinton

10 stupid arguments people use to defend comic book sexism.

Some lessons on the realities of domestic violence we can take from the allegations against the NFL’s Jonathan Dwyer.

Fuck everything about this.

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How about everyone who isn’t a black woman just stops writing about black women

1405420835shonda rhimesAfter reading the New York Times story about television producing mogul Shonda Rhimes that starts by saying “When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,’” I have a modest proposal. No one who isn’t a black woman should be allowed to write about the cultural products created by black women.

Not a forever moratorium, but at least, I don’t know, a couple decades. And this isn’t to say there aren’t talented, non-black woman cultural critics who have done good work around the music, art, film, and television produced by and centering black women. Slate has a decent piece up about “Clair Huxtable, feminist hero” written by someone who isn’t a black woman. Kudos to them. I stand by my proposal.  Read More »

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