Posts Tagged victim-blaming

The Language of Possession

Ed. note: This is a guest post by Jeanann Verlee. Jeanann is an author, performance poet, editor, and former punk rocker based in New York City.

The possession of bodies is a trickle-down, systemic problem that has rendered much of our population with what amounts to, and arguably is, PTSD. Brown bodies have been possessed by white bodies. Female bodies possessed by male bodies. Brown female bodies possessed by all other bodies combined. I’m speaking of course in the obvious way of the once-legal actual ownership of others’ bodies—but also the latent way in which this possessiveness is rooted in our language. In our body language. In the way our mouths shape the words. Damn well into the enamel of our ...

Ed. note: This is a guest post by Jeanann Verlee. Jeanann is an author, performance poet, editor, and former punk rocker based in New York City.

The possession of bodies is a trickle-down, systemic problem that has rendered ...

Media manages to make Senator Gillibrand’s teachable moment about sexism all about her mistakes

The media never ceases to amaze me. Its victim-blaming knows no bounds. Whether its Ray Rice’s then-fiancé who got herself attacked by not taking the stairs, or female celebrities responsible for getting hacked because they had naked photographs of themselves, the women who are assaulted and/or violated are always the focus.

This victim-shaming is so egalitarian and so equal-opportunity, it applies to extremely powerful people — like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Yet again, as Senator Gillibrand tries to raise the issue of sexism within the Senate, the media responds by blaming her for the way she’s doing it. Because… it’s a Tuesday. 

The media never ceases to amaze me. Its victim-blaming knows no bounds. Whether its Ray Rice’s then-fiancé who got herself attacked by not taking the stairs, or female celebrities responsible for getting hacked because ...

Do you know your Nose Punching Limit?

“Without making the victims responsible for what happens, one of the groups that have to be trained not to drink in excess are women. They need to be in a position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave. And so part of the problem is you have men who take advantage of women who drink too much and there are women who drink too much. And we need to educate our daughters and our children in that regard.”

— Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus and current Professor of Public Service at George Washington University

Got that, ladies? You need to remain sober enough at all times to be capable of punching a dude in the nose. ...

“Without making the victims responsible for what happens, one of the groups that have to be trained not to drink in excess are women. They need to be in a position to punch the guys in ...

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Some questions about Undercover Colors anti-rape nail polish

Thanks to four male college students from North Carolina State University, you may soon be able to buy some nail polish that detects date rape drugs to go with your anti-rape underwear. Throw in your rape whistle and pepper spray camera, and you might be able to delude yourself into believing you’re 100% safe from sexual violence.

The students came up with the idea because they’ve all personally known someone who’s experienced sexual assault, and I applaud their desire to put their engineering skills toward combating rape. But after reading Undercover Colors’ product description, I have a few questions…

In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That’s almost one ...

Thanks to four male college students from North Carolina State University, you may soon be able to buy some nail polish that detects date rape drugs to go with your anti-rape underwear. Throw in ...

Renisha McBride’s killer is convicted — and the AP blames the victim

Yesterday, Theodore Wafer, the man who shot Renisha McBride, was found guilty on all three charge brought against him, including second degree murder. There was no question that Wafer killed McBride, who knocked on his door after surviving a car crash. The defendant claimed, though, that the shooting was self-defense: Wafer insisted he thought McBride, who was not armed, was trying to break into his house because (he claims) she knocked very loudly.

The jury didn’t buy it. Cheering on a prison sentence is always an uncomfortable position, but it’s hard not to take some small amount of comfort when a system can at least recognize one form of overlooked violence, if not its own. ...

Yesterday, Theodore Wafer, the man who shot Renisha McBride, was found guilty on all three charge brought against him, including second degree murder. There was no question that Wafer killed McBride, who knocked ...

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Victim-blaming anti-drinking posters in the UK get edited

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is facing a backlash for posters from an anti-drinking campaign called “Know Your Limits” that ran several years ago and still pepper college and hospital walls. A petition calling the posters “a blatant and appalling case of victim-blaming, putting the onus on the victim rather than the perpetrator” has gotten over 100,000 signatures. But since NHS insists there’s nothing they can do since the campaign is over, I’m liking this more direct approach taken by British blogger @neverjessie even more.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is facing a backlash for posters from an anti-drinking campaign called “Know Your Limits” that ran several years ago and still pepper college and hospital walls. A petition calling the posters “a blatant and ...

Why do we still insist women share responsibility for “provoking” their abuse?

There’s a particular kind of irony when Whoopi Goldberg, who 29 years ago starred in a film that featured intergenerational domestic violence, makes comments in support of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith regarding the very lenient two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice for knocking his then fiancee unconscious and dragging her into an elevator.

On Monday, Goldberg offered her two cents: “If you make the choice as a woman who’s 4 foot 3 and you decide to hit a guy who’s 6 feet tall and you’re the last thing he wants to deal with that day and he hits you back, you cannot be surprised!” Then added, “I know I’m going ...

There’s a particular kind of irony when Whoopi Goldberg, who 29 years ago starred in a film that featured intergenerational domestic violence, makes comments in support of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith ...

“Stop asking people’s clothing to have sex with you, and start asking people.”

As we well know, there are several things that women can do to avoid sexual assault. Get married, buy special anti-rape underwear, and, perhaps most commonly, wear more clothing. Because clearly someone’s clothing communicates everything you need to know about their willingness to have sex.

In this video, slam poet Anna Binkovitz imagines a dystopian world in which all our intentions were based only on our sartorial choices and makes a novel suggestion: “Stop asking people’s clothing to have sex with you, and start asking people.” An intriguing idea! 

As we well know, there are several things that women can do to avoid sexual assault. Get married, buy special anti-rape underwear, and, perhaps most commonly, wear more clothing. Because clearly ...

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