What is Consent?


 

Everything You Need to Know About Consent That You Never Learned in Sex Ed

What it looks like, what it sounds like, how to give it, and how to get it

 

Dr. Zhana is an NYC-based sex researcher, writer, and educator who teaches Human Sexuality at NYU. She has a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University, where she studied how different aspects of sexuality are linked to health and well-being.

Over the past couple of years, we have started emphasizing the importance of sexual consent more than ever before in U.S. history. But what often gets left out of these discussions is how exactly you go about the business of obtaining and providing consent in real-life sexual situations. And especially, how to do it without the much-feared “ruining of the mood.”

There’s more than one way to approach consensual sex. The debate is still raging over where exactly the line of consensual sex versus sexual assault should be drawn: Some insist that the old “only no means no” approach is adequate, which is the idea that unless you explicitly say “no,” you are implicitly consenting to whatever is being done to your body. Others argue that we need a new standard of “only yes means yes,” which is the idea that unless you explicitly say “yes,” you are not giving consent. But regardless of where you think the legal lines should be drawn, we can all agree that we want both ourselves and our partners to be enthusiastic about any sexual encounter. That is to say that every sexual encounter is ideally met with enthusiastic consent, rather than a situation where someone feels obligated or pressured to say yes, despite not being totally excited about participating.

There is no single approach for negotiating enthusiastic consent that will work for every person in every situation, but here are some things you can do to ensure that both you and your partner will be happy and comfortable with the physical activity you engage in.

Obtaining Enthusiastic Consent

The person initiating the sexual encounter, or initiating the escalation of sexual intimacy in the sexual encounter has a lot of responsibility in making sure the other person feels safe, comfortable, and is truly enjoying themselves. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining enthusiastic consent.

Avoid partners who are vulnerable

When people are intoxicated, sexually inexperienced, in a new situation, or acting recklessly or immature, their physical and/or mental capacity to make informed sexual decisions is impaired or limited. The more vulnerable they are — and the more vulnerable than you they are — the greater the risk they will feel coerced or regretful the next day. If they are particularly vulnerable (like heavily intoxicated, asleep, unconscious, or not of legal age), they are not legally capable of providing consent, and sex with them is by default sexual assault, no matter how eager they seem.

Establish reciprocal interest before you start thinking about physical touch.

Part of this is the good old art of flirting and building erotic tension: Are they making eye contact, smiling at you, leaning in, chatting excitedly… Don’t just come up to someone out of nowhere and ask them if you can kiss them, or worse, touch them. The other part of this has to do with trying to ensure your partner’s intentions and expectations of the sexual encounter are in line with yours. If you just want a casual hookup, but they are hoping for a relationship, try to find out if they’d be OK with it.

Negotiate consent verbally.

Explicitly asking for permission is the most obvious way to escalate to physical touch, and the one most commonly discussed when enthusiastic consent is brought up: “May I kiss/touch/take your shirt off…” “Is it OK if I ____?” For safest results, it’s good to ask permission for any escalation in intimacy, so a permission to kiss someone is not an automatic permission to touch them below the belt. This is an effective method that is preferred by some people, but it is also the one many people feel is a potential mood-killer.

Luckily, there are other ways to verbally obtain consent. Instead of asking for permission, you can offer your partner something you’d like to do for them. “I would love to kiss you/give you a massage/take your shirt off… Would you like that?” Or, alternatively, you could invite them to do something to/for you: “I’d love a massage. Would you like to give me a back rub?”

Another way to do this is to tell your partner what you plan on doing for/with/to them before you actually do it, an approach known as safe-porting. That gives them a chance to process that info and decide whether they are on board with your ideas. For example, if you’re making out with your clothes on, you can say “I’m gonna slide my hand underneath your shirt…,” then wait for their reaction — verbal or nonverbal — before you decide whether you should actually do it or not.

Establish “blanket consent” ahead of time.

One strategy for people who are more experienced is what sex educator Kenneth Play calls “blanket consent:” Explicitly agreeing on a “only no means no” policy. At some point — either before you start anything physical or after you’ve already obtained consent for a few individual acts — tell your partner something like, “I’d like the freedom to hook up without continually asking permission for each individual act. But consent is really important to me, so I’d like you to tell me if something doesn’t feel good, if you want me to slow down or stop. Does this work for you? Do you feel comfortable saying ‘no’ when you want to say ‘no’? Or would you rather me check in with you more regularly? Totally cool either way.”

This is for people who are more sexually experienced, because it assumes that both partners know exactly what they (don’t) want and are assertive enough to communicate that. While this is an ideal we should all strive to, in reality, many people are not ready for an agreement like this. I would caution against taking a blanket consent approach with partners who are in any way vulnerable (see point #1). Remember that at any point, no matter what you agreed to, you or your partner can say no or change your mind about what you already established.

Negotiate consent nonverbally.

Some people argue that consent must always be verbal, that trying to decipher body language is just too uncertain, too much room for error. Indeed, trying to negotiate consent without any words is riskier: Unlike spoken language, not everybody is good at reading body language, and not everyone is good at “speaking” body language.

That said, there are some partners and some situations where you can successfully negotiate consent nonverbally, but it requires a lot more experience, carefulness, and perceptiveness.

The basic rule is build it up slowly, and get continued, reciprocated, and enthusiastic responses before you escalate to each subsequent intimate act. Like, don’t just grab someone’s butt or thigh right away; start with touch that is noninvasive, like briefly touching their hand, patting their back or arm, lightly grazing their knee with yours (and all of these should come only after you’ve already established basic mutual interest, see point #2). Then, and this is absolutely critical, read their body language (or verbal response) very carefully. Are they responding with a smile, leaning in closer, letting out a little sigh, reciprocating with a similar touch, saying “your hand feels so soft”? If so, that usually means “yes, continue.”

Are they pulling away, freezing in fear, do they seem uncomfortable, or do they not respond in any sort of way? Those are all the nonverbal equivalent of a “no” and you should stop touching them. If their body language is ambiguous, or if you’re not quite sure what it is saying, don’t assume it’s saying what you want it to be saying! Defer to one of the verbal consent options instead. And in general, for best and safest results, combine nonverbal consent with verbal consent options.

Encourage your partner to say “no” (as well as “yes”) at any point.

Regardless of the primary method of obtaining consent you choose to take, you can always add this to the mix. Some time early in the physical encounter, pause for a moment and say something like what author Michael Ellsberg says: “I want you badly, but I’m also committed to you feeling totally safe and comfortable with me. So if anything I do with you makes you feel even slightly uncomfortable, I want you to say ‘Stop’ or ‘Slow down’ immediately and I’ll stop or slow down.”

Err on the side of caution.

If you’re not sure whether your partner is providing enthusiastic consent, err on the side of caution — especially if you’re hooking up with a new partner, or someone more vulnerable than you. General rules of thumb: Only take enthusiastic “yes” (either verbal or nonverbal) as “yes.” Take “no,” “maybe,” and doing nothing all as no; even take a hesitant “yes” as no. If they seem hesitant, give them time and space to make a decision without pressure. Say something like, “You seem hesitant right now, why don’t you think it over and maybe we’ll do that next/some other time.” There will be other opportunities.

Providing Enthusiastic Consent

Most of the conversations around consent revolve around obtaining consent, placing all the responsibility in the hands of the person initiating the action. But in every sexual encounter, each of us has just as much responsibility to provide continuous enthusiastic consent as we have to obtain it. It is important to let your partner know you are really into it — and you have to be completely honest about it. You must own your “yes” as well as your “no.”

Share your intentions and limitations.

What are you looking for in this scenario? If you wouldn’t be hooking up unless this had potential to be more than a hookup, let your partner know. If you wouldn’t be doing this if they had another partner, ask them whether they’re single. Don’t assume that just because you want or don’t want something that the other person is on the same page.

Let your partner know what kind of consent works for you.

And do this before or as soon as things start turning sexual. Are you the kind of person who likes to take things slow, be asked verbally before any escalation of physical closeness, and checked in with often? Tell them that. If you’re new to sex, or with a new partner, this might be the way to go. Or do you prefer the more traditional “only no means no” approach? Say “Feel free to explore my body without asking. I’ll let you know if something is uncomfortable.” But keep in mind, giving people this type of blanket consent carries the responsibility of actually saying “no” when you want them to stop.

Provide continuous positive feedback.

Provide continued “yes” feedback. You can do this verbally, by saying things like “yes,” “that feels good,” “I like that,” and by telling your partner how and where to touch you. Or you can do it nonverbally, by touching your partner, returning their kisses, taking their clothes off, and showing them how and where to touch you.

Learn how to convey “no” effectively and get comfortable doing it.

Saying “no” is not easy; it can be awkward, uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking. But you are your own first line of defense: Research shows there are far more people out there willing to disregard a lack of enthusiastic “yes” than there are people willing to push through a strong “no.” You can say “no” gently (but firmly), either nonverbally (by moving away, moving their hand away) or verbally (e.g., “I’m not interested, thanks for asking,” “I don’t like ______,”). If people aren’t getting more subtle signs, you can move on to saying “no” more forcefully. Doing nothing is NOT a very clear “no.”

Err on the side of caution.

If you’re not sure what you want, err on the side of caution and say “no.” Especially with new partners you don’t know well or when you’re feeling vulnerable. You can always change your mind to a “yes” later.

Keep in mind, there is no one type or form of consent that works for everyone in every situation. Which approach you take will depend on who you are, who your partners are, and what the situation is. Also keep in mind that no one was born knowing how to negotiate these situations. We’re all always learning and improving, and making mistakes. When you screw up, make amends (as much as possible), then learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them. And remember, like with many things in life, practice makes perfect.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).For more resources on sexual assault, visit RAINN, End Rape on Campus, Know Your IX, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

rape, sexual assault, c

Stealthing: A new sex trend that may be rape


 

New Study Documents the Rise of Sex “Trend” Called “Stealthing”

Men are reportedly removing condoms during sex without their partner’s consent.

A new study documents the rise of a particularly disturbing sex trend called “stealthing,” or when a man removes a condom during sex without his partner’s consent. The Huffington Post reports that this study, conducted by Alexandra Brodsky for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, contains interviews with victims of this method, as well as a investigation into the corners of the internet that encourage men to do this to their partners.

Brodsky explained to The HuffPost that she began the study after realizing that several of her friends were “struggling with forms of mistreatment by sexual partners.” The victims in her research all felt violated after having been “stealthed,” but many were unsure of how to report such behavior, or if it constituted as rape. One particular victim in her study described being “stealthed” as “rape-adjacent.”

Incidentally, a man in Switzerland was convicted of rape earlier this year for removing his condom mid-intercourse without the consent of his partner. Dr. Sinead Ring of the University of Kent explained to Broadly that this type of act violates “conditional consent,” meaning: just because someone consents to sex with a condom does not mean they are consenting to sex without a condom. It is so important to know that consent is not a one-time transaction; enthusiastic consent should be clear throughout every step of a sexual encounter.

What’s even more disturbing is the fact that “stealthing” is widely discussed online in some internet circles, and, as Brodsky learned through her research, some men actually encourage one another to practice this behavior. According to the study, there are men who believe they are entitled to “spreading their seed,” and see “stealthing” as a tactic that is within their rights. Brodsky notes that there are message boards online where men give one another “tips” for removing condoms during sex without their partner’s knowledge. “Proponents of ‘stealthing’ root their support in an ideology of male supremacy in which violence is a man’s natural right,” she added.

Brodsky explained that she hopes to provide people with the tools they need to talk about sexual violence more openly, and to seek help when they need it. She explained: “One of my goals with the article, and in proposing a new statute, is to provide a vocabulary and create ways for people to talk about what is a really common experience that just is too often dismissed as just ‘bad sex’ instead of ‘violence.'” The bottom line is that you should never be forced to do something that makes you uncomfortable, and no one should ever make you feel as though you don’t have agency or control of your own body.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). For more resources on sexual assault, visit RAINN, End Rape on Campus, Know Your IX, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

 

 

This is yet another case of men believing they have all the rights, and that women’s lives, rights and opinions are “naturally” subordinate to the man’s — if, indeed, women’s rights exist at all.

THIS is what is meant by “rape culture” – the pervasive, accepted view that men can do anything they want; that women who do not want sex, or unprotected sex, are “teases”; the idea that “boys will be boys” and all women “want it” and that “no” means “maybe” or “yes”.

NO means NO.  Yes means yes AT THAT MOMENT, but does not give a man the right to change the rules part way through, and does not mean that the woman doesn’t have the complete, unconditional right to change her mind at any time for any reason from Yes to NO.

We need to break the rape culture.  To make women as important as men, to ensure that women can say NO and have it honored, every time, without exception, and that, if it is not, the man will face legal consequences, every time without exception.

Overriding the woman’s conditional consent is nothing new. Back in the 80’s, when HIV was first being discovered, and shortly after it was determined to be sexual transmitted, some men were diagnosed as HIV positive.  Because they were angry, bitter and resentful because of this disease, regardless of the source of the infection, some infected men decided to act out their anger and resentment by not telling their partner they were HIV positive, and deciding not to use a condom.  Many women became HIV positive in this way, and the men who did this were found guilty of attempted murder, even in those cases where the partner was not infected.  This “stealthing” is a similar phenomenon — men deciding to extend a woman’s conditional consent into unconditional consent.  It is immoral and should every bit as illegal as traditional rape.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

Women Strike in Argentina after brutal rape and murder of 16-year-old girl


BJSquiggel

Women Strike in Argentina After the Brutal Rape and Murder of a 16-Year-Old Girl

 

Women Strike in Argentina After the Brutal Rape and Murder of a 16-Year-Old Girl

PHOTO OF WOMEN IN MEXICO CITY PROTESTING THE FEMICIDES IN ARGENTINA BY PEDRO PARDO

Argentina has seen 226 femicides in 2016, with 19 in just October alone. Following the news of Lucia Perez’s murder, women gather to protest the ongoing violence against women in the country.

Today, women across Argentina are participating in a national protest against gender-based violence after a 16-year-old girl was drugged, raped, and murdered earlier this month. Prosecutors told media that two drug dealers forced Lucia Perez to consume a large amount of cocaine to incapacitate her, and “impaled her through the anus, causing pain so excruciating that she went into cardiac arrest and died,” The Straits Times reports.

“I know it’s not very professional to say this,” said Maria Isabel Sanchez, lead prosecutor on the case, “but I’m a mother and a woman, and though I’ve seen thousands of cases in my career, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Perez joins a long list of victims of femicide in Argentina. Since her death on October 8, three more women were killed in separate incidents just in Córdoba, Argentina. The naked, strangled body of another woman, 22 years old, was discovered in a box in a vacant lot near Buenos Aires last week.

According to local media, Argentina has seen 226 femicides in 2016 so far, with 19 in the first 17 days of October alone.

In response to these killings, and in particular Perez’s brutal rape and murder, women’s rights organization Ni Una Menos and other groups dubbed today Black Wednesday to mourn those lost, calling for a “women’s strike” to demand an end to the violence and draw attention to the economic disparity between Argentine men and women. According to Economía Feminista, the wage gap between men and women in Argentina is approximately 27 percent; for informal jobs, which one-third of Argentine women have, that figure jumps to 40 percent.

Women were asked to wear black and walk out of their jobs and houses at 1 PM “to be seen, to be heard.” The hashtags #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less),#NosotrasParamos (Women Strike) and #VivasNosQueremos (We Want Ourselves Alive) have united protesters on social media.

In a document addressed to participants, organizers wrote: “Because behind the increase and viciousness of femicide and violence against women, there’s also an enormous economic plot; the lack of women’s autonomy leaves us unprotected when it comes to saying ‘no.’ In consequence, this lack of autonomy turns us into moving targets of trafficking networks or of ‘cheap’ bodies that are used for trafficking and retailing.”

Cassia Roth teaches Latin American history at the University of California-Los Angeles. She says socioeconomic factors influence gender-related violence. “Poverty requires many women to work outside of the home,” she tells Broadly, and when they do, men often feel emasculated because of a long history of “patriarchal gender relations that privilege male power and female submissiveness,” a lot of which has to do with family honor, toxic masculinity and a double sexual standard.

“All of these factors can converge in a patriarchal system that stresses male superiority and which normalizes violence towards women,” she says.

In July, Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced a national plan to lower the rates of violence against women. The plan includes working to change the patriarchal culture by introducing gender violence awareness into school curriculum.

But more needs to be done, Roth says. The protests today reveal a shift away from blaming the victim toward blaming the system, she continues. “This a larger problem and not an individual problem. The onus is not on women; the onus is on changing the way women are viewed in our culture.”

In an interview with Americas Quarterly, Ingrid Beck, one of the founders of Ni Una Menos, calls machismo a global issue. “Well if you look at what’s happening in the US, what [Donald] Trump is saying, to me it speaks to the fact that the problem isn’t just of the countries of Latin America.”

Roth agrees. “This culture is also present in the United States, where victim-blaming for both sexual crimes and domestic violence is still common, and a presidential candidate can be caught on tape talking about sexually assaulting women and pass it off as ‘locker room’ talk.'”

No One Asks to be Raped


Judge Dispels The Myth Of The ‘Perfect’ Rape Victim In Powerful Verdict

“No one asks to be raped.”

 

An illustration from the day in court that Judge Marvin Zuker announced Mustafa Ururyar’s guilty verdict. 

“For much of our history, the ‘good’ rape victim, the ‘credible’ rape victim has been a dead one.”

That’s just one of the many powerful statements Ontario Court Justice Marvin Zuker said in court last week while delivering his verdict in a Canadian university rape case. The judge announced that he found the defendant guilty of sexual assault and proceeded to point out the insidious effects of victim-blaming in his 179-page verdict.

“The myths of rape should be dispelled once and for all,” Judge Zuker read aloud in court last Thursday. “We cannot perpetuate the belief that niceness cannot coexist with violence, evil or deviance, and consequently the nice guy must not be guilty of the alleged offense.”

View image on Twitter

Ururyar found guilty of sexually assaulting York U student Mandi Gray. ” Rape it was” @CityNews

The case, which began in February, involved Mustafa Ururyar and Mandi Gray, two doctoral students at Toronto’s York University. According to The Guardian, the two had been casually dating when Gray went to Ururyar’s apartment one night in January 2015.

As the two made their way back to Ururyar’s apartment, Gray said he became angry and started calling her “a slut” and “needy.” Gray testified that Ururyar forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her later that night.

Ururyar had pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, claiming that he and Gray had engaged in consensual sex on the night in question. According to Judge Zuker’s verdict, Ururyar’s defense repeatedly attacked Gray’s character and attempted to discredit her story throughout the trial.

Judge Zuker was not accepting Ururyar’s “twisted logic,” as he said in his verdict. The judge denounced Ururyar’s defense, calling it all a “fabrication” that is “credible, never,” adding, “I must and do reject his evidence.”

Judge Marvin Zuker

The judge described how traumatizing the defense’s character assassination must have been for Gray and condemned a culture that is so quick to victim-blame:

The court was constantly reminded, told, as if to traumatize the helplessness, the only one we can believe is Mr. Ururyar, because she, she Ms. Gray, cannot remember. What a job and a real bad one, trying to shape the evening. We must not create a culture that suggest we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error.

How can you prove it? You don’t remember. He knows you don’t remember. He is going to write the script and he did. Testimony incomplete, memory loss, etc. etc. And, of course, typically, no dialogue in the story. One full sentence by Ms. Gray? What is it? No power, no voice, defenceless. To listen to Mr. Ururyar paint Ms. Gray as the seductive party animal is nothing short of incomprehensible. He went or tried to go to any length to discredit Ms. Gray, if not invalidate her. Such twisted logic.

… There is no demographic profile that typifies a rapist. There is a danger of stereotyping rapists. When the accused is a friend of the victim and uses that relationship to gain, and then betray the complainant’s trust; there may be a need to be informed in order to recognize and understand the accused’s predatory behaviour. No other crime is looked upon with the degree of blameworthiness, suspicion, and doubt as a rape victim. Victim blaming is unfortunately common and is one of the most significant barriers to justice and offender accountability.

…The responsibility and blame lie with the perpetrator who takes advantage of a vulnerable victim or violates the victim’s trust to commit the crime of sexual assault. Rape is an act of violence and aggression in which the perpetrator uses sex as a weapon to gain power and control over the victim. It is too common to redefine rape as sex and try to capitalize on the mistaken believe that rape is an act of passion that is primarily sexually motivated, It is important to draw the legal and common sense distinction between rape and sex… There is no situation in which an individual cannot control his/her sexual urges.

Towards the end of his statement, Judge Zuker clarified  what consent really means and why a survivor’s actions before the assault should never be used to excuse rape.

“Without consent, ‘no’ means ‘no,’ no matter what the situation or circumstances,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if the victim was drinking, out at night alone, sexually exploited, on a date with the perpetrator, or how the victim was dressed. No one asks to be raped.”

In his verdict, the judge actually underlined that last sentence (on page 172 in the embedded statement below).

The same day Judge Zuker read his verdict, Gray released a public statement in response to Zuker’s powerful words. “I am tired of people talking to me like I won some sort of rape lottery because the legal system did what it is supposed to do,” Gray wrote.

In a conversation with reporters after the hearing, Gray called the verdict a “huge victory,” but added that Zuker’s statements can’t undo the trauma she’s endured.

“I think it’s massive, these statements,” Gray said. “But, I mean, these statements don’t un-rape me, first of all, and nor does it erase the process that I’ve had to go through.”

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I decided to publish another blog today because this Canadian judge has the courage and the strength to what three American judges have not done. He has not punished the victim for her own rape. He has stated for the record that No means No. Our judges slapped the hands of the convicted rapist and let them off without jail time.

 

American men, there is no reason for you to violate a woman. No does mean no. Rape has to do with power and control and not really sex. What kind of man can’t control himself? Once again, we see here in America that there is no respect for women, no consideration for their feelings…It is a War on Women.

 

Congratulations to our Northern neighbors. Hats off to the judge who is man enough to follow the law and do what is right.

 

Namaste

Barbara

Convicted Rapist receives no time


 Convicted Rapist Austin Wilkerson Receives No Prison Time — Even Less Than Stanford Rapist

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If you are a regular reader, you will notice that this is the second rapist who has been found guilty yet has not been required to do any prison time. Speaking as a woman, community service and/or probation is not justice for having someone putting himself inside your body and using you and discarding you as if you were yesterday’s newspaper. Rape is a horrible crime of power and control. There should be a long prison sentence for the perpetrator. I hope we don’t see more of this trend.

Namaste,

Barbara

Three jailed for India mother and daughter gang rape


 

 

 

Three jailed for India mother and daughter gang rape

a protester against rape in IndiaImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe incident has caused outrage across the country, and raised questions about police efficiency

Three men suspected of participating in the gang rape of a woman and her teenage daughter have been sent to jail for 14 days as investigations continue.

The two were dragged out of a car by a group of men along a highway between Noida, a Delhi suburb, and Kanpur city on Friday, reports said.

Three male relatives travelling with them were assaulted and tied up.

The incident has caused outrage across the country and raised questions about police efficiency.

Some of the victims alleged that they got no response from the official helpline number.

One of the men who was attacked told the Hindustan Times newspaper that the line had been continually busy and that when they finally got through, the officer at the other end of the line had “repeatedly asked questions instead of rescuing the family”.

Family members also alleged that a police van had driven past the field in Bulandshahr area where the incident took place, but had not stopped.

Senior police officer Sujeet Pandey told BBC Hindi on Monday that the three men, who were arrested on Sunday, were remanded in prison after they were identified by their victims.

Three more men were detained today, he added.

The Uttar Pradesh state government has suspended seven policemen in connection with the incident and set up a 300-member taskforce to investigate the incident.

The family was also robbed of money, jewelry and their mobile phones.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

However, brutal sexual attacks against women and children continue to be reported across the country.

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My heart aches for the fact that there has been another rape. Actually, there have been thousands world wide today, but this one was a mother and daughter. This just seems heinous to me. World leaders need to recognize that crimes against women are serious. Rape is a crime where a woman body in invaded, ravaged and desecrated. Rape should be almost as serious as murder. Rape kills a part of a woman and it can never be replaced.

 

The Pope says that the world is at war, not a religious war, but war. I say there is a war against women and minorities going on.I am anti war, but we have to punish people who attack events and groups of people severely. We need to punish rapists very severely because they can not stop their behavior. They feel no remorse and should be shut away for the rest of their lives.

 

There are too many people in prison for minor charges serving long sentences and rapists getting out in a couple of weeks. The is backwards. This needs to be straightened out. We need to protect citizens, especially women and children. We need to prevent an all out war.

 

“We regard our living together not as an unfortunate mishap

warranting endless competition among us

but as a deliberate act of God

to make us a community of brothers and sisters

jointly involved in the quest for a composite answer

to the varied problems of life.”

—Steven Biko

U.S. Military Accused of Punishing Sexual Assault Victims in New Human Rights Report


First women couldn’t be in the military because it was too “tempting” to have women on military bases.  Next, we could have women in the military, but they could only do non-combat duty.  Now, women in the military can be in combat.

As a pacifist, I don’t want any of this; I’ve always been a pacifist and I’m sure I will die a pacifist.  As a feminist, however, I support a woman’s right to choose what do with her life, and that includes military service.

What disturbs me about women in the military isn’t that they want to go and serve their country, or that they want to be able to fight for their country; it is the fact that sex, once again, is being used as an excuse for harassment, molestation and rape.

For thousands of years, males — i.e. Adam and all non-feminist men after — have used the excuse “she made me do it”.  There is not a legitimate reason, ever, to sexual molest, rape, attack or violate a woman.  In actuality, these things have to do with power and control, not with sex.

The military is the American bastion of male power and control.  The good old boys are going to have to suck it up and get a grip on themselves; they need to realize that the only thing they have legitimate power and control over is themselves, and begin to act accordingly.

 US Military Accused of Punishing Sexual Assault Victims in New Human Rights Watch Report

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