Today I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn't even taken a shower, and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn out black oversized jacket to cover myself with even though it is warm outside. I have made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what I felt a male would want to see. I want to disappear.
But no matter how much evil I see, I think it’s important for everyone to understand that there is much more light than darkness.
Making someone feel obligated, pressured or forced into doing something of a sexual nature that they don't want to is sexual coercion. This includes persistent attempts at sexual contact when the person has already refused you. Nobody owes you sex, ever; and no means no, always.
The reactionary of any kind condemns sexual pleasure because it stimulates and repulses him at the same time. He is unable to solve the conflict within him between sexual demands and moralistic inhibitions. The revolutionary refutes the perverse, unhealthy kind of pleasure, because it is not his kind of pleasure, because it is not the sexuality of the future, but the sexuality which results from the conflict between instinct and morals, the sexuality of authoritarian society, a debased, smutty, pathological sexuality.
Women could probably be trained quite easily to see men first as sexual things. If girls never experienced sexual violence; if a girl's only window on male sexuality were a stream of easily available, well-lit, cheap images of boys slightly older than herself, in their late teens, smiling encouragingly and revealing cuddly erect penises the color of roses or mocha, she might well look at, masturbate to, and, as an adult, need beauty pornography based on the bodies of men. And if those initiating penises were represented to the girl as pneumatically erectible, swerving neither left nor right, tasting of cinnamon or forest berries, innocent of random hairs, and ever ready; if they were presented alongside their measurements, length, and circumference to the quarter inch; if they seemed to be available to her with no troublesome personality attached; if her sweet pleasure seemed to be the only reason for them to exist--then a real young man would probably approach the young woman's bed with, to say the least, a failing heart.
What are other women really thinking, feeling, experiencing, when they slip away from the gaze and culture of men?
Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men's eyes when deciding what provokes it.
A man is unlikely to be brought within earshot of women as they judge men's appearance, height, muscle tone, sexual technique, penis size, personal grooming, or taste in clothes--all of which we do. The fact is that women are able to view men just as men view women, as objects for sexual and aesthetic evaluation; we too are effortlessly able to choose the male ideal from a lineup and if we could have male beauty as well as everything else, most of us would not say no. But so what? Given all that, women make the choice, by and large, to take men as human beings first.
Beauty and sexuality are both commonly misunderstood as some transcendent inevitable fact; falsely interlocking the two makes it seem doubly true that a woman must be beautiful to be sexual. That of course is not true at all. The definitions of both beautiful and sexual constantly change to serve the social order, and the connection between the two is a recent invention.
The maturing of a woman who has continued to grow is a beautiful thing to behold.Or, if your ad revenue or your seven-figure salary or your privileged sexual status depend on it, it is an operable condition.
Self-denial can lock women into a smug and critical condescension to other, less devout women.According to Appel, cult members develop...an attitude of moral superiority, a contempt for secular laws, rigidity of thought, and the diminution of regard for the individual. A premium is placed on conformity to the cult group; deviation is penalized. Beauty is derivative; conforming to the Iron Maiden [an intrinsically unattainable standard of beauty that is then used to punish women physically and psychologically for failure to achieve and conform to it] is beautiful. The aim of beauty thinking, about weight or age, is rigid female thought. Cult members are urged to sever all ties with the past: I destroyed all my fat photographs!; It's a new me!
The surgeons are playing on the myth's double standard for the function of the body. A man's thigh is for walking, but a woman's is for walking and looking beautiful. If women can walk but believe our limbs look wrong, we feel that our bodies cannot do what they are meant to do; we feel as genuinely deformed and disabled as the unwilling Victorian hypochondriac felt ill.
In a sexual double standard as to who receives consumer protection, it seems that if what you do is done to women in the name of beauty, you may do what you like. It is illegal to claim that something grows hair, or makes you taller, or restores virility, if it does not. It is difficult to imagine that the baldness remedy Minoxidil would be on the market if it had killed nine French and at least eleven American men. In contrast, the long-term effects of Retin-A are still unknown--Dr. Stuart Yusps of the National Cancer Institute refers to its prescription as a human experiment--and the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it yet dermatologists are prescribing it to women at a revenue of over $150 million a year.
The surgeons' market is imaginary, since there is nothing wrong with women's faces or bodies that social change won't cure; so the surgeons depend for their income on warping female self-perception and multiplying female self-hatred.
Where woman do not fit the Iron Maiden [societal expectations/assumptions about women's bodies], we are now being called monstrous, and the Iron Maiden is exactly that which no woman fits, or fits forever. A woman is being asked to feel like a monster now though she is whole and fully physically functional. The surgeons are playing on the myth's double standard for the function of the body. A man's thigh is for walking, but a woman's is for walking and looking beautiful. If women can walk but believe our limbs look wrong, we feel that our bodies cannot do what they are meant to do; we feel as genuinely deformed and disabled as the unwilling Victorian hypochondriac felt ill.
Sexual satisfaction eases the stranglehold of materialism, since status symbols no longer look sexual, but irrelevant. Product lust weakens where emotional and sexual lust intensifies. The price we pay for artificially buoying up this market is our heart's desire. The beauty myth keeps a gap of fantasy between men and women. That gap is made with mirrors; no law of nature supports it. It keeps us spending vast sums of money and looking distractedly around us, but its smoke and reflection interfere with our freedom to be sexually ourselves.
Spokespeople sell women the Iron Maiden and name her Health: if public discourse were really concerned with women's health, it would turn angrily upon this aspect of the beauty myth.
How many rapes occurred inside the walls of the main camp of Ravensbrück is hard to put a figure to: so many of the victims—already, as Ilse Heinrich said, half dead—did not survive long enough after the war to talk about it. While many older Soviet women were reluctant to talk of the rape, younger survivors feel less restraint today. Nadia Vasilyeva was one of the Red Army nurses who were cornered by the Germans on the cliffs of the Crimea. Three years later in Neustrelitz, northwest of Ravensbrück, she and scores of other Red Army women were cornered again, this time by their own Soviet liberators intent on mass rape. Other women make no excuses for the Soviet rapists. ‘They were demanding payment for liberation,’ said Ilena Barsukova. ‘The Germans never raped the prisoners because we were Russian swine, but our own soldiers raped us. We were disgusted that they behaved like this. Stalin had said that no soldiers should be taken prisoner, so they felt they could treat us like dirt.’Like the Russians, Polish survivors were also reluctant for many years to talk of Red Army rape. ‘We were terrified by our Russian liberators,’ said Krystyna Zając. ‘But we could not talk about it later because of the communists who had by then taken over in Poland.’ Nevertheless, Poles, Yugoslavs, Czechs and French survivors all left accounts of being raped as soon as they reached the Soviet lines. They talked of being ‘hunted down’, ‘captured’ or ‘cornered’ and then raped.In her memoirs Wanda Wojtasik, one of the rabbits, says it was impossible to encounter a single Russian without being raped. As she, Krysia and their Lublin friends tried to head east towards their home, they were attacked at every turn. Sometimes the approach would begin with romantic overtures from ‘handsome men’, but these approaches soon degenerated into harassment and then rape. Wanda did not say she was raped herself, but describes episodes where soldiers pounced on friends, or attacked them in houses where they sheltered, or dragged women off behind trees, who then reappeared sobbing and screaming. ‘After a while we never accepted lifts and didn’t dare go near any villages, and when we slept someone always stood watch.
John was still making comments regarding violent things that he shouldn't, but I hoped he was just being a big mouth. Nobody was going to listen to me anyway.
He told me that if I hung up, he'd do it. He would commit suicide. He told me that if I called the cops he would kill every single one of them and I knew that he had the potential and the means to do it
No amount of me trying to explain myself was doing any good. I didn't even know what was going on inside of me, so how could I have explained it to them?
It is not a single crime when a child is photographed while sexually assaulted (raped.) It is a life time crime that should have life time punishments attached to it. If the surviving child is, more often than not, going to suffer for life for the crime(s) committed against them, shouldn't the pedophiles suffer just as long? If it often takes decades for survivors to come to terms with exactly how much damage was caused to them, why are there time limits for prosecution?
The story of my birth that my mother told me went like this: When you were coming out I wasn't ready yet and neither was the nurse. The nurse tried to push you back in, but I shit on the table and when you came out, you landed in my shit.If there ever was a way to sum things up, the story of my birth was it.
... in practice the standard for what constitutes rape is set not at the level of women's experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men.
Are you gay, Cherie? Me, No… I’m not anything… I-I mean I prefer not to indulge, I stammered.“Really... how do you mean?”Well love has been an elusive story, like a fairytale adults tell children but I have never known any of it to be true. In reality it reminds me of religion. I am not sure God is real either, if God is real why do so many innocents suffer?Innocents suffer because it is their destiny to suffer.What? What does that mean?” I’m annoyed.God has nothing to do with it. We are born into this world to experience all that is not God-like, so we can then be inspired to reach for higher spiritual goals.I have never thought of it that way before. If that is so then I must be preparing for sainthood. Am I to think that all of my suffering as a child has been to prepare me for greatness?
I can line up these moments of violence, precariously as dominoes. Sometimes I worry they will all fall; knocking each other down, knocking me down. Sometimes they do. Violence left me hollow. It left me enraged. It left me desperately needing to leave a body I couldn't trust. But most frustrating of all, violence left me too wounded to claim the space I needed in order to find fulfillment in the arms, heart, and body of a queer relationship.
Self respect by definition is a confidence and pride in knowing that your behaviour is both honorable and dignified. When you harass or vilify someone, you not only disrespect them, but yourself also.Street harassment, sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based violence and racism, are all acts committed by a person who in fact has no self respect. -Respect yourself by respecting others.
Some writers have even argued that it may be possible to wean sex offenders away from their criminal activities through the use of pornography - with pornography acting as a substitute for sexual acts rather than a stimulant. This ties in with the argument that the pro-censorship lobby fails to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and to recognise that many people - including feminists! - can behave in perfectly decent, moral and non-abusive ways whilst enjoying `politically incorrect’ sexual fantasies. The assumption that fantasy leads to crimes of abuse is both highly contentious and inevitably seems to ‘criminalise’ sexual fantasy. Moreover, the argument that exposure to pornography causes men to act in a violent or abusive way towards women is surely undermined by even a casual look at human history and at the contemporary world.
He was about to cross a point of no return. The place separating him from the imaginary line in the sand. The one society demanded no one cross. He crossed the point on many occasions. This would be different. This could land him in prison or the electric chair. The prospect filled him with sexual energy he normally lacked
The fact is, rape is utterly commonplace in all our cultures. It is part of the fabric of everyday life, yet we all act as if it’s something shocking and extraordinary whenever it hits the headlines. We remain silent, and so we condone it…Until rape, and the structures – sexism, inequality, tradition – that make it possible, are part of our dinner-table conversation with the next generation, it will continue. Is it polite and comfortable to talk about it? No. Must we anyway? Yes.”‘To protect our children, we must talk to them about rape
When a stranger on the street makes a sexual comment, he is making a private assessment of me public. And though I’ve never been seriously worried that I would be attacked, it does make me feel unguarded, unprotected. Regardless of his motive, the stranger on the street makes an assumption based on my physique: He presumes I might be receptive to his unpoetic, unsolicited comments. (Would he allow a friend to say “Nice tits” to his mother? His sister? His daughter?) And although I should know better, I, too, equate my body with my soul and the result, at least sometimes, is a deep shame of both. Rape is a thousand times worse: The ultimate theft of self-control, it often leads to a breakdown in the victim’s sense of self-worth. Girls who are molested, for instance, often go on to engage in risky behavior—having intercourse at an early age, not using contraception, smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. This behavior, it seems to me, is at least in part because their self-perception as autonomous, worthy human beings in control of their environment has been taken from them.
Just one person. It really honestly just takes one positive person. One positive person can help you. And that can go a long, long way. - Alexis
An engaging examination of a painful subject, with a focus on healing and forgiveness. - Kirkus Review
Some of the most effective segments are interviews with various staff members, including Aila, who works for the center’s legal department. She explains the difficulties of rape prosecution, concluding that “only the survivor” can truly define justice. - Kirkus Review
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and you have been blamed, or fear that you may be blamed, I just want you to understand this: You are not to blame. There is nothing you did to make someone hurt you, nor is there anything you could have done differently to prevent or stop it.
Always know there are friends somewhere rooting for you. There are people you don’t know, always praying for you and lifting you before God. - Jenee, from To the Survivors.
I think I just said it, but I think it’s worth repeating. They gave me hope that there is good in the world out there. There really is. It really does exist. Regardless of how bad things can be, and how down on your luck you can be, or how bad your trust is broken when it comes to warming up to people and all that stuff, I know that there’s people out there that genuinely wanna help. Putting yourself in that position is a huge step, and it’s a very risky and fragile step, but it’s also a step that needs to be taken because there is help. And you can get through something like this. You really can. - Jim, from To the Survivors