I was one of several guests on a radio show in Baltimore on Friday. The topic of the show was apparently going to be about sex education and social justice, but turned out to be more like fear-mongering and a whole lot of projections around teen sexuality mixed with focus on parents and teen sexuality.
One of the most troubling things was a statement that rape survivors "compulsively have sex."
This is a very common stereotype. It's one that can be incredibly damaging in several ways. It's also one which has long since been dismantled by rape survivors, people who work in the field as advocates for survivors and educators about rape.
I was watching a debate about sex education today, one rife with a lot of ludicrous statements, but the statement that quality sex education could not possibly help prevent sexual abuse stuck with me. It was all the more infuriating as someone who knows too well that a lack of knowledge about bodies and sex, and a lack of information about sexual consent and autonomy are some of the hugest reasons why sexual abuse is so prevalent.
This morning, I picked up my mother's copy of “Brigitte”, a German woman's magazine geared at women between 30 and 50. I often borrow the magazine from her, because it tends to have pretty interesting articles. More recently, I've declared myself an out-and-out fan after Brigitte became the first magazine to stop using professional models for their photo spreads.
However, what caught my eye today was one of the titles on the cover: “The sex I didn't want – Confessions from a Gray Area”. In my mind, I immediately flashed to the infamous Cosmopolitan article by Laura Sessions Stepp ( A New Kind of Date Rape ). With a funny feeling in my stomach, I flipped to the article.
We're pleased to host the 8th edition of the newly reborn Feminist Carnival! In the spirit of rebirth, and in alignment with the readers and mission of Scarleteen, this round puts its focus on young feminist bloggers and feminist issues particularly pertinent to younger women.
I was raped about seven months ago and my vagina hasn't felt the same ever since: it has felt more open. My boyfriend and I just started having sex about a month ago. I asked him if I felt loose, because ever since the incident I haven't felt good about my vagina. He said that I am definitely not tight. I looked at my vagina with a mirror and noticed that the opening isn't completely closed....
I am in an extremely confused state right now. I'm almost in the state of breaking down too and I just cannot accept the irresponsible fact that my boyfriend has raped a family member and a girlfriend's sister before who were both kids. It happened two years ago. He told me with all out honesty yesterday about it all since he didn't want to hide it from me as I am his girlfriend....
I'd like to direct this question to Hanne Blank. I am Chassidishe, (I know, I shouldn't be on the internet) but needed to find something out that I can't ask my Rav (or anyone on Askmoses for that matter, especially since I know quite a few of their scholars). Does a person say Mazal Tov to an unwed mother? Jewish, maybe not frum, or even worse, a teen mother (again Jewish, VERY FRUM...)?...