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rape
Posts

  • The Joke’s on You Bill Cosby

    I generally don’t watch award shows because they’re a painful reminder that I’m sitting on my couch at home, instead of sitting in the front row, waiting for my name to be called. The only award I ever received was for a drinking game while on spring break. I don’t even remember “winning” because I blacked out. Yet I did watch the introduction to the Golden Globe’s this week, hoping Amy Poehler and Tina Fey would say some funny shit and I’d forget about myself for a few moments.

    The crescendo of their banter culminated in a nearly flawless joke about Bill Cosby. It had the perfect set up, impeccable impressions, and was just provocative enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Although Bill Cosby has done nothing to laugh about, making a joke about his actions is an almost perfect revenge, ie using his craft to humiliate him and doing so with actual quality humor.

    There are so many disturbing elements about the Cosby saga. He could have had sex with a variety of women simply because he was rich and famous. The drugging and raping is obviously symptomatic of his desires to have power and dominance over their unconscious bodies. He wanted absolute control and for them to be completely passive recipients.

    I cannot relate to Cosby at all. If I were going to drug a guy, it would be so he wouldn’t try to have sex with me. I would prop his body up next to me on the couch to watch Netflix. Maybe I would use his hands to wash all my dishes…you know, so mine didn’t get all dry and cracked. When he woke up in the morning and look at his chapped fingers, he’d be like “Nooooo. What happened?”

    I find the Cosby story especially depressing when I consider how he had absolutely no interest in the humanity of these women. The more common manifestation of this mentality is when a guy pumps a woman like a rabid rabbit, attempting to fill her with his manhood but doesn’t give a care about her pleasure. Of course many men have evolved beyond this behavior, but many haven’t. When a woman brings sleeps with a guy for the first time, she never knows what to expect. The disappointment is severe when she feels like a filling station rather than a human with feelings and desires.

    “Rape culture” is a daunting problem to solve. There isn’t a simple solution like “just don’t rape girls and women.” As horrific as Bill Cosby’s acts of violence are, I’m grateful it is pushing us to face and address the rampant reality of sexual assault.

    To address any confusion that still lingers around rape, I think the primary concept to consider is “enthusiastic consent.” Mutual attraction and interest is what makes amazing sex amazing. I am willing to bet that the worst sex of your life was because you or your partner wasn’t that into it. Perhaps it was something that happened to avoid an awkward. Who wants to have crappy, apathetic sex? With the endless amount of pleasure tools available, it would be such a waste of time. If we can teach and encourage each other to express and look for genuine eagerness from prospective partners, then perhaps we will take the crucial step towards an authentic sex positive society.

    bill-cosby-blog

    January 12, 2015 • Current Events, Musings • Views: 1379

  • Do Hidden Cameras and Dumb Tweets Help Stop Violence Against Women?

    Sometimes I ask myself, “What is going to stop men from raping women or beating them within inches of their lives?” And by sometimes I mean every time I read an article about a crime against a woman – which is daily.

    Even though men are the ones who are often perpetrating these offenses, I don’t think blaming them is the answer. There will never be any true systemic change regarding the way women are treated if the polarity between the genders continues. Men are not exclusively the enemy, and women and are not exclusively the victims. We all suffer from a culture of abuse and violence. What varies is how we choose to internalize it, and the bodies we have to externalize it.

    Yet as much as I can acknowledge the challenge of understanding one’s masculinity in modern times, I am still like come on guys… can’t we just not rape and beat women?

    One way to force people to acknowledge the ugliness of brutality towards women is accountability. Not that I am condoning a society run by Big Brother, but the fact that privacy is now something you need to seek means people are essentially more liable for their actions. I am not just talking about hidden cameras, but also the ways in which we publicize ourselves through social media.

    When you are being watched, you will be held up to a different standard.

    Let’s take for example how musician CeeLo Green tweeted a remark that said rape is only rape if the woman is conscious. “”If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH implies consent.” He also added “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”

    What?? No Ceelo… just NO! I used to love you in Goodie Mob! You were the best judge on The Voice!  You look like an oompa loompa Why did you do that??!!

    An added dimension to Ceelo’s remark is that a woman recently accused him of slipping her ecstasy without her consent – but the charges were eventually dropped. So this statement carries an extra sinister element because of that context. Green’s lawyer argued the two had “consensual relations,” despite the woman’s claim that she woke up in bed next to Green and was unsure of what happened the night before. Ummmmmm… after reading that tweet I think you gave her the ecstasy Ceelo, and I am pretty the charges shouldn’t have been dropped!!!!

    Since his words were recorded in the public domain – there were consequences.  Ceelo was pulled from performances, and his TV show was cancelled. Similar to what happened with the leaked video of Ray Rice abusing his girlfriend. It was one thing to hear about Rice beating her up, but it was another thing to see him punch her in the head and then nonchalantly drag her limp body out of the elevator. Hearing this news got Rice a suspension, but seeing him to do it got Rice kicked off the team.

    That is progress!

    Even though I feel happy there is an effort towards justice, I do cringe regarding the racial aspect of these cases because they both involve black men. I am glad these guys are paying for what they did despite the fact they are rich enough to hire the best lawyers, but they are still black enough to be seen as guilty. There are many white men from frat boy culture who act just as abhorrently, yet are not made into public examples because of the race/class privilege.

    When you live in a political system that thrives on domination and power over others, you are going to be psychologically corrupted. Yet even though there are relevant and potent influences outside of us, we still have the capacity to make different choices. We can reject the system by questioning it. The more we talk about these issues, even to the point of obsession, the more it will persuade people to analyze their own participation in it.

    That is why these public cases are so important. That is why women coming forward to report abuse is so meaningful. Because without the transparency, there will be no motivating force towards change.

    rice-ceelo-blog-(i)

    September 8, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 3497

  • Turning Rape Into Art

    A Columbia student, Emma Sulkowicz, has taken the experience of her rape and turned it into a performance art piece. She has vowed to carry a mattress everywhere she goes as long as she is forced to attend the same school as her rapist. The mattress is meaningful not only as a metaphor for the burden she must carry, but also signifies the actual object where here rape occurred – in her dorm room bed.

    This is the second time I have heard of a young woman transforming her experience of rape into art. The other was Jessie Kahnweiller who made a video satirical called “meet my rapist,” where she runs into her rapist at the farmers market and then starts stalking him, much like the memory of the rape stalks her. The rapist then becomes Jesse’s shadow, and haunts her in every situation as she tries to continue living a normal life. With both these women the message is clear – if you have been raped, the rape doesn’t disappear after the actual act is completed, but it follows you as this abysmal load you are forced haul around everywhere you go.

    Sex is a huge part of relationships, intimacy, and adulthood. When you have lived through an act that taints your connection to sex, then you can never go back to your pre-rape attitude towards it. You instead have to rediscover your sexuality post trauma, which has to be incredibly challenging. I am sure that people who have been raped want to get “over it” or “move on” with their lives, but how could you not be reminded of the incident every time you are at your most vulnerable – in the bedroom with someone else about to enter your body.

    The fact that these women are expressing their pain through art is pretty remarkable. Watching someone struggle with a mattress is so pedestrian that it is in a way more relatable then trying to understand what it feels like to be raped. It contextualizes the experience so that people who haven’t been raped can viscerally connect to the emotions behind the aftermath. People who haven’t been raped need to understand the plight of those that have. How else are we going to stop rape until everyone has some sort of emotional understanding of the brutality, and feels the same impassioned need to do something about it.

    But it does make me wonder about the guys who are doing the raping? How do they feel about that same memory? Powerful? Guilty? Remorseful? Or maybe even worse … do they not think of it at all?

    rape-art-blog-(i)

    September 3, 2014 • Current Events, Women's Business • Views: 2282