I’d heartily recommend Sarah Kendzior’s writing to anyone wanting to understand the politics of race and class underlying what’s going on in Gaza — or Detroit, for that matter. It was via this piece on gender, power, and rape threats, however, that I first became aware of her — and was reminded of just how badly patriarchy, misogyny, and male entitlement can fuck things up.
Trigger Warning: violence
Yesterday night 17 people became the victims of a violent and deranged individual, a madman, who was unbalanced and ill. And yet another
white manpoor soul has committed an act of terrorismbeen a victim of inadequate mental health care. Or so the story goes.
#YesAllWomen because when I was sexually assaulted in the Navy, my commanding officer suggested it must have been a miscommunication between myself and that sailor since he was such a nice guy.
#YesAllWomen because when a man threatened to use me for target practice four years ago, the Laramie…
She may be a siren of demagoguery and treachery, but it doesn’t mean she’s wrong or you shouldn’t read her.
This kind of hateful rhetoric is exactly what MRA and PUA (Pick Up Artist) groups believe, and Rodgers was a known member. He was active on their forums, subscribed to their videos, and lifted their language in several disturbing videos published before the tragedy. He, like many MRA and PUA supporters, maintain a sense of entitlement towards women and their bodies, and consider men being dominant to women the natural order of things.
Men who subscribe to this kind of thinking are not necessarily so extreme as Rodgers, but that doesn’t make it any less troubling. You may have seen them hanging out at the mall, or on online dating sites (often referred to as “Nice Guys of Ok Cupid”). These are men who perpetuate a culture of misogyny and blame feminism for what they perceive as a reduction in men’s rights. They believe women owe them sex, should be submissive to their needs, and need to be put in their place. To restore the balance, these men are violent, sexually aggressive and disdainful towards women.
Posting this excerpt from another must-read. Because I can’t actually go looking for MRAs and PUAs - rape apologists, in plain English - to pound.
So no, it’s not all men. But then it never was.
But if you think for one second, for one solitary second, that demanding tolerance for men as a group, that dismissing the reality of violence against women because not all men kill, not all men rape, if you think that’s more important than demanding justice for those who have been brutalised and murdered by those not all men, then you are part of the problem. You may not have pulled the trigger. You may not have raised your hand to a woman in your life. But you are part of the problem.
This is not the time, to use the refrain of apologists for bigotry, to play devil’s advocate. The devil has more than enough advocates today. On most days, I can put up with aggressive faux-objectivity being used to shout down women’s experiences and silence gendered trauma, but not today.
No more NotAllMen. Not ever.
Earlier, seeming to anticipate the question, Mr. DeWine said: “Some may ask why others were not indicted. Under our system of justice the grand jury must have probable cause to believe all the elements of a criminal offense are present.”
“It is simply not sufficient that a person’s behavior was reprehensible, disgusting, meanspirited or just plain stupid,” he said.
Ohio Attorney-General Mike DeWine discusses the indictment of four so-called “adults” in the Steubenville football rape scandal.
Coach Reno Saccoccia was not indicted.
Source: The New York Times
Twitter threats are just one example of online harassment. In July The Washington Post published a story about men who post phony ads to make it appear as if their ex-wives or girlfriends are soliciting sex. One man, Michael Johnson II of Hyattsville, Maryland, published an ad titled “Rape Me and My Daughters” and included his ex-wife’s home address. More than 50 men showed up to the victim’s house. One man tried to break in and another tried to undress her daughter. Johnson was sentenced to 85 years in prison. His victim was physically unharmed but these ads can be lethal. In December 2009, a Wyoming woman was raped with a knife sharpener in her home after an ex-boyfriend assumed her identity and posted a Craigslist ad that read, “Need an aggressive man with no concern or regard for women.” Her ex and the man who raped her are both serving long prison sentences.
Revolting, horrific, disgusting, sad. This is why everyday sexism needs to be called out and shamed publicly.
If there’s one thing I want to come out of what happened to me, it’s for the phrase “don’t feed the trolls” to be scrubbed from the annals of received wisdom. Not feeding the trolls doesn’t magically scrub out the image in your head of being told you’ll be gang-raped till you die. What are victims meant to do with that image, the rage and the horror that it conjures up? We’re meant to internalise it until it consumes us? Well I’m sorry, but I’m not having that.
Victims have to be allowed to stand up and shout back – they need to be allowed to ask for support, without being accused of attention-seeking. They need to be allowed to draw the attention of the world to what so many women go through on a daily basis, and make it front page news. Because, make no mistake. Not talking about this is not going to make abuse and misogyny go away. On the contrary, it will help it to thrive.
If you’re committed to to ensuring that the public sphere is a safe place for everyone to participate, regardless of sex or gender or orientation or skin colour or religion or income level or whatever, then this is something you need to read.