Can We Stop Pretending That Rape Culture Is OPP?
Or new, or in any way rare? Please? Can we please do that so I am not forced to school people up daily on what it is like to be female in fucking life? Pretty please?
I’d like to pause here and point out that if you got the reference in the title then you are old like me.
It’s been a bad week for basic human functions in terms of women and equality.
First the Steubenville rape case continued, which just left the residue of horribleness and hate all over. Eventually they were found guilty so yay, but as a result stuff like this happened.
There are a bunch more along those lines.
And then some people started threatening the victim. Fortunately, the were exceptionally stupid people and they got really, extra caught right away. And arrested. Because they deserved it.
How many ways do you need it explained people? Nothing on the internet is private.
Case in point, this week we learned of another case, this time in Connecticut. The victims (yes, plural.) are 13. Keep that information in the front of your mind. They’re 13. Both of the accused are 18-years-old.
Two 18-year-olds are accused of raping multiple 13-year-olds and the response from the school and certain members of the community is what?
According to the Register Citizen, whose reporter Jessica Glenza collected social network posts related to he case, dozens of athletes and Torrington High School students have taunted one of the victims on social media sites. She was called a “whore,” criticized for “snitching” and accused of “ruining the lives” of the players.
Oh yeah, that happened.
As I’ve outlined in the past, in America, the physical integrity of children is generally considered less important than maintaining a winning football program. And, you know, the males. They’re important. Not the victims, who are generally female.
And today I read about this. The basics of the story are as follows:
A woman named Adria Richards went to a conference where she heard a number of sexist jokes. This conference specifically bills itself under the motto
Change the future – education, outreach, politeness, respect, tenacity and vision
Keep that in mind.
Her final straw was hearing two men make yet more sexist innuendo during the closing speech. Specifically, they were making sexist jokes during the portion of the closing speech which was lauding the con’s efforts towards outreach to women and girls, specifically their con rules on harassment. In the words of Ms. Richards;
I was going to let it go. It had been a long week. A long month. I’d been on the road since mid February attending and speaking at conferences. PyCon was my 5th and final conference before heading home.
I know it’s important to pick my battles.
I know I don’t have to be a hero in every situation.
Sometimes I just want to go to a conference and be a geek.
Jesse was on the main stage with thousands of people sitting in the audience. He was talking about helping the next generation learn to program and how happy PyCon was with the Young Coders workshop (which I volunteered at). He was mentioning that the PyLadies auction had raised $10,000 in a single night and the funds would be used the funds for their initiatives.
I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.
I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.
I calculated my next steps. I knew there wasn’t a lot of time and the closing session would be wrapping up. I considered:
The type of event
The size of the audience
How the conference had emphasized their Code of Conduct
What I knew about the community and their diversity initiatives
How to address this issue effectively and not disrupt the main stage
So, you know, that makes sense.
Ms. Richards tweeted the photo and specifically tweeted the con organizers to let them know what was happening. The men in question were pulled aside and spoken to. According to some reports, the men and Ms. Richards talked later and things were largely resolved.
Later, as a direct result of his actions, one of the men who made the sexist comments was fired.
Naturally, there’s been a buttload of backlash. Twitter went insane, there were denial of service attacks against Ms. Richards’ personal blog and her employer and as a result she was also fired. Oh yes, that happened.
I do want to examine the continuing aftermath, however. This is the latest and it neatly sums up the entire hate that is being thrown toward Richards. Just for the record, that hate included death threats and racial epithets. So that was exciting and totally expected.
Check it. This is an attempt to raise money run by an admitted rapist.
Feminism has caused some serious changes to our culture, to our society, and to our lives.
Yes, yes it has and you know what? THOSE CHANGES ARE FUCKING GREAT! Yay changes! You know, from any sane perspective. However, the “men’s rights movement,” is not a sane perspective. I say again, admitted rapist.
Here’s the two questions that I’ve seen asked most often in the conversation about this incident and the aftermath. “Why didn’t she just say something to them?” and “Why should men have to walk on eggshells with everything they say?”
OK, well first of all, perhaps she was concerned about becoming a bigger target. That’s one of the super fun time catch-22s of sexism. Speaking up OFTEN not only makes things worse but takes them to the next level. Please understand, by next level I mean the level of overt threats and physical violence and frankly, women shouldn’t have to risk themselves in order to let someone know that the sex joke they just made was offensive.
The default position should not be “women need to speak up and possibly put themselves at risk.” Instead, the default position should be “people don’t say stupid ass things.”
As to the second question, why should men have to walk on eggshells? I don’t know, equality? Because women live on fucking eggshells. Most women exist in a constant state of “what if I say the wrong thing?” Trust me, it isn’t fun. Why, again, I will point out that sometimes the consequences of being a female and doing anything at all are violence and threats.
Now no one wants the results of men’s stupid comment to be violence and threats. However, the result of their stupid, offensive comments should be some sort of tangible consequences. And that’s exactly what happened in this case. Further, people really need to get with the concept of consequences. The guys said something stupid. As a result they were disciplined. Welcome to adulthood. But this is the thing that the people decrying Ms. Richards keep harping on. These men did something dumb and they caught the consequences. And somehow that is a problem. Because, feminism has made changes to our society.
It’s utter bullshit. And we need to keep calling it out as such or it’s never gonna change.