T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 39174
posted 12-16-2009 07:39 AM
What were you formally taught about rape, and where did you learn it? Who have you spoken to about rape? Did your parents ever talk to you about rape? Was the topic part of any formal sex education you got in school? Have you ever attended or instructed a seminar on rape? Was it compulsory or voluntary? Men: Have you ever participated in a spontaneous conversation among men about rape? Do you know male survivors? Do you know men who have admitted to sexual assault and/or harassment? Rape culture drums into women that they are responsible for men's behaviour: girls don't wear this, don't wear your hair like that, don't walk alone, don't walk at night, etc. All these things which fundermentally hold women responsible if they are sexually assaulted or experience violence. 'No means no' shouldn't mean "women speak up if you're uncomfortable", it should mean "just don't that! it's unacceptable". In my eyes, unless hundreds of women daily are recklessly irresponsible, the only similarity their share is having the misfortune of being in the same place as a rapist.
Member # 3
posted 12-16-2009 05:22 PM
(Just FYI, I see this, but given my generational differences, I'm staying moot for now b/c my guess is my experiences may be radically different than most of our users have been.
But if you want that input, too, just holler and I'm glad to give it.)
Member # 44381
posted 12-16-2009 05:44 PM
Thinking about this, I can't remember ever having any kind of information given in school about rape and sexual assault. I'm pretty sure we were given general advice along the lines of 'don't go into dark alleyways, always watch your drink so no-one can spike it' and so on, but nothing more. Mind you, at my school the non-traditional-subject education (sex education, information about how to deal with finances, info about drugs and so on) was pretty much non-existent.
I don't think my parents ever talked to me about it either, beyond those same 'how to be safe'-type messages, which, while good general advice, always focus on the idea of 'avoiding being raped', as if that were in your control. I'd really love it if in schools people were taught about bodily integrity and their right to be safe *without* all this emphasis on 'what you should do to avoid being raped'. An exploration of why we have such a rape culture would also probably make young people think about it a lot more. When I clicked through to this article http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2009/12/15/10_surefire_ways_to_prevent_sexual_assault even though I've read things like it before, it actually made me do a bit of a double-take that it was not focussing on 'how to avoid being raped'. It's just so unusual to see. Apart from on sites like this (and at feminist events/spaces), I have never seen or heard any discussion of rape which doesn't somewhere involve 'don't go down dark alleys. don't do this or that.' In non-feminist spaces, it always seems to come back to that.
Member # 39174
posted 12-16-2009 08:28 PM
Hi Heather, you're welcome to contribute:)
Treetops, from what i've read, your experiences are the norm. I told my gfs the other day about how i've been thinking about these topics and they were surprised at the realisation that yea, education about rapes holds women responsible and very little emphasis is placed on men and their actions. Also i agree this this here so hard: "I'd really love it if in schools people were taught about bodily integrity and their right to be safe *without* all this emphasis on 'what you should do to avoid being raped'. An exploration of why we have such a rape culture would also probably make young people think about it a lot more."
Member # 41699
posted 12-16-2009 08:28 PM
I agree with treetops, any kind of education we really seemed to get is the "how to avoid being raped" thing which is just... pretty dumb. I don't even remember them saying a word about rape or sexual assault in any formal lessons, despite other areas of sex ed being pretty freaking good and open-minded.
I think it would have a real impact if they started teaching about rape culture, the real details of what consent looks like, more than just the "no means no", in the school curriculum at the same time they started teaching other sex ed stuff. I think if they started doing that, next generations will begin to shake off the rape culture and maybe we'd start to see some real progress.