1. Reason #111: What Jerry Sandusky tells us

    crushedviolets:

    morereasonsyoushouldntfuckkids:

    [trigger warning: child sexual abuse, rape culture, victim blaming]

    Though Friday night’s verdict prompted cheers outside the courtroom, inside, the mother of Victim 6 did not claim victory.

    “Nobody wins. We’ve all lost,” she said before hugging her son.

    [CNN]

    I have a lot of feelings about this case. I don’t know how to properly articulate some of them.

    This case is one of, if not the most, infamous case of child sexual abuse and child rape in my lifetime. It’s a story that is too horrible to believe. But this kind of thing happens every day— maybe not on the same scale, but with horrifying frequency in our world.

    Penn State tells us a lot about rape culture. It tells us a lot about abuse culture. As I’ve said in the past, these things do not happen in a political and cultural vacuum; they happen because the moral and social fabric of an entire society is built in such a way that it can fail people— not just once, but over and over again. It takes a village. There were many times in my life when an adult armed with the right knowledge might have seen through what was happening to me. There were times, later on as a teenager, when I was very direct, but no one did anything. I wrote down that I wanted to kill myself and I showed it to a teacher. I asked for a social worker. I received multiple truancy letters. It takes a village.

    So as I think about this case, and the people who suffered so much for years and years at the hands of Jerry Sandusky, I can only imagine how many times the world failed them. I cannot understand the agony of publicly revealing your story for prime time news pundits to pick apart. I cannot comprehend the frustration and pain involved in taking the witness stand and having your story criticized and attacked.

    I read the grand jury report many months ago. It was terrifying. I had to stop halfway through because I felt myself getting physically ill. But I remember the testimony of the janitor who saw Sandusky abusing a boy— he said that the memory of that haunted and disturbed him more than the years he spent fighting in Vietnam. That is the gravity of what we are dealing with here.

    But despite this desire to call Jerry Sandusky a monster, we have to remember that he is a person, and that people— people whom we think are “good”— can do monstrous things. Jerry Sandusky had many people testify to his “good character”. It takes a village. Joe Paterno let child rape happen, and instead of riots and outrage against him, he had riots in his name. It takes a village. And some of us still refuse to believe that even a priest, a “man of god”, can abuse a boy.

    It takes a village.

    Even now, I am starting to see the jokes about prison rape. It’s a sign of where we still are— we see rape as something that can sometimes be a punishment, instead of as one of the worst possible acts in human existence. We still believe that rape is something that can be doled out to those “deserving” of it, instead of as something that every single person in the world has the right to not have happen to them. We still believe that a person we don’t like deserves to have images of their rape and murder publicly broadcast, and that people who do good things can’t possibly be child rapists or child rapist enablers

    This is the culture we are in— one that has variable beliefs on rape and sexual abuse, many of which contradict one another. It’s not okay to hurt little boys, but what if this case was about 45 counts of rape against women? What if some of those women were promiscuous or had other “deviant” sexuality? What if these boys were men when they were hurt? What if some of these boys, now adults, were convicted criminals? Gay? Transgender? Undocumented? Mentally disabled? Fat? What if they were some combination of all of these? The more “deviant” and “bad” we see a person, the more likely it is that their story is not taken seriously. That we cannot, with 100% certainty, say that Jerry Sandusky in another world would be convicted had his victims not been among one of the most believable, sympathetic groups in our culture— children— says a lot about where we are. And as we know, even little boys have trouble being believed.

    In 90 days, Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced, probably with life in prison. But there are still other Jerry Sanduskys out there, and they have entire villages, entire cities of people behind them, actively ignoring abuse, or subtly covering it up. Some of these people— both the abusers and the abuse enablers— could be our neighbors, our cops, our teachers, or our siblings. There are still Joe Paternos out there, knowingly allowing rape and getting away with it. This is not an aberration in our culture— it is a pattern that is systematically ignored and even encouraged. 

    The end of Jerry Sandusky is not the end of the many millions of other stories out there.

    Perfect commentary on a horrific case. NPR has been triggering the fuck out of me lately with all of the Sandusky coverage. The knowing complicity of so many people combined with the institutional enabling is beyond disturbing. Those poor boys. In a sense, their lives ended with that abuse. What is left for them now? I hope there is a lot of emotional and professional support for them.

    I hope that the attention this story received paves a way for more accountability. I hope people start paying more attention and have the courage to protect the abused. 

     
  2. image: Download

    fuckyeahfeminists:

overratedunderwhelmed:

sanityscraps:

fuckyeahfeminists:

DEAD



Rihanna - feminist icon?

I just kind of lost all respect for her after she got back with Chris Brown. Lack of money/resources, having kids with a partner…those are usually the reasons it’s a lot easier said than done leaving an abuser. But she has money and resources out the ying-yang, no kids with Brown…so she chose to go back to him. 

So I normally do not look at the responses or notes in my blog because it is often a lot to go through or I am just too busy. However, I saw this on my phone and I felt like I had to respond because this is really worrisome logic and I think this is something that needs to be address.
First of all, I chose this screencap because I thought it was kickass that Rihanna used a snarky ass response to some fucking slut-shaming and body policing. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s outfit, but to equate covering one’s body and ‘classing it up’ is just not okay. The media been having fun trying to hate on her and I like that she fought back in her little way. While she herself may not be a feminist (I have no idea if she is or not - and frankly, right now I don’t care), the act of speaking out against that shit can be seen as a feminist act.
Secondly, I think it’s really fucking problematic for us to only find victims/survivors to return to abusers acceptable under certain circumstances. There is more to being in an abusive relationship than economic dependency. The person being abused can be more successful, have more potential for independence, have friends, etc. That does not change the inevitable mental and emotional manipulation that happens to someone abused. Remember, this person loves the individual that has created this terrible trap - even if it isnt physical it is most definitely mental. So there are more reason than just MONEY or CHILDREN for people to stay.
Many couples don’t have children. Many teens end up in abusive relationships and stay. Most of these teens are not economically dependent on their partner, but rather their guardians. Should we judge these teens who go back to abusers because there’s “no reason” to stay or return? No. Fuck that. 
THIS SORT of mentality is what perpetuates this victim-blaming culture where we still hold this disproportional responsibility on the abused to avoid being abused. People lose respect for Rihanna and then Chris Brown is celebrated and the rest of us is told to “move on?”
Fine, say you lose respect for Rihanna. That’s your perogative. But DON’T create this hierarchy of ‘acceptable reasons to stay with your abuser.’ That’s really fucking wrong and that’s personally hurtful - I know what it’s like to be trapped mentally in an abusive relationship. It isn’t just about physical dependency. There’s so much more. And existing in a culture where the abused has to deal with so much more scrutiny not only for being abused, but for their behavior before and after that it is no wonder people feel inclined to stay.
It is so easy to blame yourself - I know I’ve done that and sometimes slip into that mentality today YEARS later, but I can’t IMAGINE how tough it is to have millions of people around the world blaming you, saying your abuser is innocent, etc. It can be so easy to really just give in to one’s feelings and take an easier (at least in the short run) choice to go back.
In the end, I totally know it must be hard for her. I know how hard it is for other survivors. We need to check ourselves when we decide to choose to comment on the decisions of people while in the really fucking hard period of going through a violence relationship. Perhaps I should not be respected for going back to abusers - to people who have bruised me, sent me to the hospital, raped me. But I know deep down I am not to blame and there are a million different reasons and other pressures that make it so hard to leave.
/end rant

    fuckyeahfeminists:

    overratedunderwhelmed:

    sanityscraps:

    fuckyeahfeminists:

    DEAD

    Rihanna - feminist icon?

    I just kind of lost all respect for her after she got back with Chris Brown. Lack of money/resources, having kids with a partner…those are usually the reasons it’s a lot easier said than done leaving an abuser. But she has money and resources out the ying-yang, no kids with Brown…so she chose to go back to him. 

    So I normally do not look at the responses or notes in my blog because it is often a lot to go through or I am just too busy. However, I saw this on my phone and I felt like I had to respond because this is really worrisome logic and I think this is something that needs to be address.

    First of all, I chose this screencap because I thought it was kickass that Rihanna used a snarky ass response to some fucking slut-shaming and body policing. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s outfit, but to equate covering one’s body and ‘classing it up’ is just not okay. The media been having fun trying to hate on her and I like that she fought back in her little way. While she herself may not be a feminist (I have no idea if she is or not - and frankly, right now I don’t care), the act of speaking out against that shit can be seen as a feminist act.

    Secondly, I think it’s really fucking problematic for us to only find victims/survivors to return to abusers acceptable under certain circumstances. There is more to being in an abusive relationship than economic dependency. The person being abused can be more successful, have more potential for independence, have friends, etc. That does not change the inevitable mental and emotional manipulation that happens to someone abused. Remember, this person loves the individual that has created this terrible trap - even if it isnt physical it is most definitely mental. So there are more reason than just MONEY or CHILDREN for people to stay.

    Many couples don’t have children. Many teens end up in abusive relationships and stay. Most of these teens are not economically dependent on their partner, but rather their guardians. Should we judge these teens who go back to abusers because there’s “no reason” to stay or return? No. Fuck that.

    THIS SORT of mentality is what perpetuates this victim-blaming culture where we still hold this disproportional responsibility on the abused to avoid being abused. People lose respect for Rihanna and then Chris Brown is celebrated and the rest of us is told to “move on?”

    Fine, say you lose respect for Rihanna. That’s your perogative. But DON’T create this hierarchy of ‘acceptable reasons to stay with your abuser.’ That’s really fucking wrong and that’s personally hurtful - I know what it’s like to be trapped mentally in an abusive relationship. It isn’t just about physical dependency. There’s so much more. And existing in a culture where the abused has to deal with so much more scrutiny not only for being abused, but for their behavior before and after that it is no wonder people feel inclined to stay.

    It is so easy to blame yourself - I know I’ve done that and sometimes slip into that mentality today YEARS later, but I can’t IMAGINE how tough it is to have millions of people around the world blaming you, saying your abuser is innocent, etc. It can be so easy to really just give in to one’s feelings and take an easier (at least in the short run) choice to go back.

    In the end, I totally know it must be hard for her. I know how hard it is for other survivors. We need to check ourselves when we decide to choose to comment on the decisions of people while in the really fucking hard period of going through a violence relationship. Perhaps I should not be respected for going back to abusers - to people who have bruised me, sent me to the hospital, raped me. But I know deep down I am not to blame and there are a million different reasons and other pressures that make it so hard to leave.

    /end rant

     
  3. dear glee:

    helpimtrappedontheinternet:

    gyzym:

    Once again, and much to my dismay, we have to talk about what happened last night. I have two big problems with what you did with Choke; I have a problem with your narrative, and I have a problem with how you presented it. And the thing is, Glee, the topic of abuse and assault is one that is very close to my heart, so in addition to having problems with what you’ve done, I am also furious in a way I rarely find myself after watching television. In fact, the last time I remember feeling this way is when I watched your horrific butchering of what could have been a very powerful lesbian storyline; something to keep in mind, no? Maybe you should change the name of your show to Rage, since god knows it would be more fitting vis a vis the emotion I so often find myself feeling when I turn you off. 

    So, first and foremost: you know what, Glee, you’ve got a lot of fucking nerve to use the idea that domestic violence needs to be taken more seriously (which it does) to frame an episode of your show that uses abuse as a fucking plot device. That is just….god, that is really pushing the hypocrisy envelope, even for you guys. And you know what I get it, I really do, I get that you’ve decided that you’re the Great White Hope of television or whatever, I get that you’ve decided you’re the Heralds of Change. I bet you patted yourselves on the back when you finished this one; I bet you went home and felt real good about you. And that’s great, except that what you should have been feeling was ashamed of yourselves. 

    Read More

    This is really important. I mean Glee does a lot of stupid shit (more and more lately, it seems) but they really, really fucked up with this. Like while watching this episode I was sitting there going “Really? Are you really doing this, Glee? Like…do you think this is even a remotely appropriate way to handle this topic?”

    Ten bucks says they never ever bring it up on the show again, either. Just like how they’ve never brought up Santana’s outing, or Karkofsky’s attempted suicide, or anything else that isn’t fucking finchel or klaine.

     
  4. Bill Donohue Gets Tough on Rape Victims, Wants to Fight Them ‘One by One’

    atheismfuckyeah:

    Catholic League president Bill Donohue issick and tired of coddling rape victims. That’s why he supports efforts by lawyers for two Missouri priests accused of sexual abuse to cripple an organization that advocates on behalf of the victims of pedophile priests – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). 

    SNAP is not involved in the Missouri litigation, but the priests’ lawyersare seeking“more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.”
    Donohue thinks this effort, which seeks to bankrupt and embarrass the organization, is justified because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
    Donohue went further, telling theNew York TimesLaurie Goodsteinthat the Catholic Church “has been too quick to write a check” and could save money “in the long run if we fought them one by one” – them being rape victims.
    He also claimed that the bishops are reaching the conclusion that “they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough.” “We don’t need altar boys,” he continued, as only Bill Donohue could.
    Donohue may just be projecting though, or at least speaking out of turn. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Goodstein thatDonohue was wrong: “‘There is no national strategy,’ she said, and there was no meeting where legal counsel for the bishops decided to get more aggressive.”
    Meanwhile SNAP is resisting subpoenas in the Missouri cases, but national director David Clohessy hasalready been deposed.
    He told Goodstein that the deposition was “not a fishing expedition,” instead it was “a fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition.” He said the real motive is to “harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.”
    As for Donohue, he really can’t seem to help himself. He may have been an asset for right-wing bishops at some point in the past, but now he’s a liability. He attacked rape victims without denouncing pedophile priests, and then dropped in an altar boy quip. It’s almost as if he’s in the fight to amuse himself, not to win any arguments or friends.
    But we probably shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Donohue has a history of this sort of thing.
    Wow Bill. Wow.
    ~Mooglets