Rape apologism: you cant get behind it if you’re a survivor

This is an incredibly direct and pointed statement but after reading a variety of articles on rape apologism, this is how I feel:

I don’t think you can be a rape apologist if you’ve been victimized by sexual assault. Once you are raped, you are fully aware of the undefinable grey and hazy lead-up to one of the most lasting and traumatizing experiences. Rape victims are the first to say how their experience has scarred them emotionally, physically, mentally….and yet rape apologism and rape-culture behaviours persist. Should we not listen to the millions of women who are abused each year and trust their experiential perspective on the issue? Rape is rape regardless of the grey area.

I don’t even want to name this person for the sake of his gratification for publicity; however, I will for the sake of citations. Alex Knepper, a student for the American University’s school paper wrote an article on rape apologism, and it published on March 28, 2010. Here’s an especially enraging excerpt:

“Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.”

So in case you didn’t follow, here are the rules about dating and sex according to Knepper: if you go back to his room, you will have sex. By walking into his room you’re not saying that you want to making-out, or explore a bit, or that you’re just looking for a place to fall asleep. No, by walking into his room you have stated that you want to have sex with him. Got it? Good. And don’t even think about crying about it afterwards if you didn’t know the rules.

Instead of tearing him to shreds with explicit words, I’m simply going to say that his statement is one of the most incredibly irrational and ignorant comments I’ve ever heard. I’m also going to point out that in the hypothetical situation in his disgusting guide to dating etiquette, what he failed to mention is that while the girl may be drunk, so isthe guy. Sex is not one-way decision. It does not go like this:

The woman is in charge of decision making in a sexual scenario, because the guy will always sleep with her.

How pathetic. Personally, I have many male friends who would find that statement offensive. They are in control of their sexuality, their urges and their behavaiours. Knepper is portraying an animalistic and prehistoric interpretation of male and female gender roles, in which men are unbearably lustful and testosterone-enraged, and women are submissive, emotional flip-floppers….

…and we all still eat fire-charred meat off the bone, and I spend my afternoon collecting greenery that my children won’t eat anyways. What century does this guy live in?

What Knepper failed to consider is that behind the bedroom door, he has no idea what went on. For instance, the guy’s intoxication level could be too high for him to properly gauge whether his guest is saying yes or no. Someone could have put something in her drink.

So once that door is closed, that’s it? It’s too late?

While I believe that you cannot be a rape survivor and be a rape apologist, I don’t believe that you have to be a survivor to stand up for victim’s rights. Educate yourselves and stand up for the women in your life that are abused every year.

Here’s Knepper’s article: http://bit.ly/alJhtX

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Posted in healing, sex, Uncategorized, womens sexuality

Is sex all we’ve got?

Trend alert: Girls are using their sexuality in order to gain social status.

Is this it? That’s all we’ve got–sex? Our one redeemable selling feature?

According to Dr. Leonard Sax, a family physician and founder of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, girls in middle and high school are experiencing more social pressure and growing ever more broken inside as opposed to their male counterparts. While males their age eat “whole pizzas for dinner and sleep all day,” girls are fixated on not gaining weight, who their dating, and facebook. He states that by servicing, (yes I said servicing,) popular unattached guys, girls look cooler in their peers’ eyes and in turn, gain social status.

What happened to trying to become head cheerleader? Instead, girls are fighting to get popular through sex.

Unfortunately, I don’t see harnessing one’s sexuality as a recent development. Women have been using their sexuality in order to get ahead for years, and its frustrating that this is the way we have to do it. Women used to discover their sexuality in their mid-20’s. But now it’s a younger generation that’s trying figure it all out with limited REAL knowledge, not what they learned from Gossip Girl. My worry is that they don’t understand the power of sex. They’re performing sexual acts. Performance — not their “sexuality.”

Sax states that the reality is that it’s girls that are performing sexual acts on guys… not the other way around. What is wrong with this picture?! There’s no reciprocity. I don’t believe that reciprocity is necessarily the solution, not even for a second, but what frustrates me is that it is just promoting gender inequality, and establishing devalued ideas in girls’ minds. They don’t learn that they have equal right and opportunity to discover their own sexuality; sex becomes something that you do to guys. With this arises the manipulation of what sex is supposed to be about, and as I’ve stated before, sex is an extremely powerful force that can have serious physical and mental repercussions if used for the wrong reasons.

The world of teen sex is grey; there is no black and white. And filled with bullshit.  And there aren’t enough people to help them sort through the massive amounts of information out there and educate themselves.

Here’s a link to Dr. Sax’s interview with Macleans Magazine:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/05/03/gender-expert-leonard-sax-on-the-empty-world-of-girls-impressing-each-other-with-sex-booze-and-facebook—while-parents-opt-out/

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Posted in sex, Uncategorized, womens sexuality

Sex-Ed hits the fan once again.

My heart cringes every time I read an article about the continued failures of sexual education.

Here’s the bottom line as I see it: People are terrified to talk about sex.

My question is “Why?”

I understand that to teach sexual education inherently involves attaching some form of value system, and in here lies an enormous problem. Sex is valuable, its incredibly valuable. It’s an endorphin release, it can bring you closer to your partner, it’s a powerful instinct; it’s a form of human expression. Unfortunately, sex has been abused and artillerized to an unthinkable level. I say “artillerize” and I’ll admit it, I made that word up. What I mean is that what is meant to be a good thing has been transformed into a weapon. Sex has been warped and the outcome is used as a form of oppression, and a method of control. This isn’t a recent development, it’s been occurring for centuries. That brings tears to my eyes.

No wonder people are scared of it. If it’s wrongly used, it can have life-long damages both physical and mental.

In an article from Saturday’s Globe and Mail, Siri Agrell and André Picard wrote about the recent issues regarding sexual education that the provincial government of Ontario is faced with. Agrell and Picard stated that “advocates say sex education is not introducing young children to sexuality, but simply contextualizing information to which most already have been exposed.”

This is a significant point. By agreeing with it,  I can now classified myself as an advocate, but what’s important is that kids are talking about sex. This seems like a ‘Duh” statement, but in a sex-ed class, they’re participating in a monitored conversation where the facts are available… oh my word, they’re learning.

Let them talk, but it’s important to be there when they do. Parents- be adults and teach your children about the realities of sex. If you can’t, then hand over the reigns to someone who is passionate about education. Educators- let’s find a way to communicate kids about the importance of sex, not the fear of it.

Here’s a link to Agrell and Picards article. Give it a read

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/when-it-comes-to-sex-ed-the-kids-arent-all-right/article1545121/#comments

Posted in Uncategorized

first ever.

This is my first blog ever.

It’s a funny feeling, you know? Talking to…you, whoever you are. Not knowing who you are, what you do, where you come from, what your experiences are. I don’t know you, but you are reading my written stream of consciousness, and I think that’s ok.

But in a moment of honesty, the internet seems like a black hole to me. Its vast, open and complex; it’s a constructed reality that runs parallel to real time. It can’t be seen or touched, but it’s ever-present. You can explain where it is, but that’s understood only by an educated few. Despite this vagueness, people access the internet millions of times a day, and some seem to express themselves with a shocking level of honesty.

We’ve gone virtual and we’ll never go back.

So in response to my latest revelation, I’ve decided to give up my Neo-Luddite ways and embrace social media. Blogging is a digital portal to a world of community and conversation and I think I’m ready to make the jump.

Now that I’m actually looking at stuff online, I’ve noticed that blogs have topics. This statement may seem fairly redundant, but what I mean is that those that are successful at what they do have a passion, or a vision.

My vision is to create an online community that is committed to seeing change in the occurrence of sexual violence. It is a reality that cannot be changed alone; there is power in numbers. My intention is not to point fingers or to vilify, but to address a silent epidemic that is out of control.

What I believe to be important is education. When there is new understanding,  overall prevention is possible. And the only way to prevent is to educate. So…I guess we should educate. I’m excited to read your written stream of consciousness and begin a dialogue that I feel passionate about.

I appreciate your readership and look forward to getting to know you as our conversations continue…

Posted in Uncategorized

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