Last night my sister sent me a link to an article about U.S. Congressman Todd Akin who has found another way to distinguish between legitimate rape and illegitimate rape.
According to this man, cause men know everything about the female body and what women want, that “legitimate rapes” of women do not result in pregnancies whereas “illegitimate rapes” do.
“It seems to me first of all from what I understand from doctors that’s really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said of a rape victim’s chances of becoming pregnant. -CTV News, August 20 2012
This is one of the biggest loads of bullshit I’ve ever heard! The belief that pregnancies are “proof” of rape is insulting, disgusting and sexist!
Akin’s statement further promotes the idea that abortion rights should not be allowed even for women who become pregnant after a rape, since she clearly wanted the sex anyways which is how she got pregnant (oh shoot me now). The fetus is still also seen as innocent (which it is, this isn’t the fetus’ fault) therefore should be allowed to live with the women who will have to look at part of her rapist every day (I hope my sarcasm is coming through).
I know some women who are raped, become pregnant, keep and love those children and I support and commend you for raising your child despite the asshole who attacked you (http://www.pandys.org/articles/rapeandpregnancy.html). For those who abort or chose adoption I support and commend your decision and can only imagine all the emotions and thoughts that must be going on in your mind!
So Akin has just created another way to blame women for their rapes! Pregnancy must mean she wanted it from him or else her body would have shut down. THIS IS GARBAGE!
This also defines rape as only vaginal sex, by a man to a woman, that results in ejaculation (which is how Akin is saying “true” rape can be determined). This excludes rape committed by same sex partners and rapes that still involve other body violations.
Akin claims that he misspoke (of course he would) and has great empathy for the many women who are assaulted and abused but I can’t see how he could have meant anything other than what the above quote says.
Today was SlutWalk Toronto 2012!
It was super hot but the Walk was BEAUTIFUL!!!! My friends and I got a spot right near the front of the Walk which is really awesome! There were a bunch of speakers and they were amazing! So inspirational!
I’ll post others later! I’m super tired!
(From SlutWalk Toronto Facebook page)
”Fat women are treated as utterly undesirable in our culture [and] are often turned into a ‘bizarre’ fetish object. The result is that fat women are told to be grateful for any sexual attention they receive from anyone, whether they themselves find that person sexually appealing or not. In other words, even more than your average women, fat women are only allowed to be occasional objects of desire and are regularly denied their right to have and pursue sexual desires of their own.
That way of thinking becomes very dangerous when sexual violence is mixed in. When fat women are raped, they’re often told they should be grateful that anyone wanted them, or, alternatively, disbelieved because it doesn’t seem plausible that anyone would want them ‘enough to rape them.’ These arguments not only rely on the dangerous myth that rape is about uncontrollable sexual desire (it’s not), but also propagate the message that fat women’s bodies aren’t valuable enough to the culture for their violation to be taken seriously.”
- Jaclyn Friedman in: What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety
SlutWalk Toronto 2012 is coming up in a few weeks. My friend Lillian and I spent a whole night (about 5 hours) working on signs for the event! I decided that on the back of my sign, which quotes Girl, Interrupted on the front, I should write the statistic of how many women with mental health issues experience sexual assault. I was googling this yesterday with not much luck but came across something new to put on my sign, a new DSM V disorder called Paraphilic Coercive Disorder.
Here is the proposed definition from www.dsm5.org, Paraphilic Coercive Disorder.
Paraphilic Coercive Disorder
A. Over a period of at least 6 months, an equal or greater arousal from sexual coercion than from consensual interaction, as manifested by fantasies, urges, or behaviors.
B. The individual has acted on these sexual urges with a nonconsenting individual, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
C. The diagnosis of Paraphilic Coercive Disorder is not made if the patient meets criteria for a diagnosis of Sexual Sadism Disorder.
D. The individual is at least 18 years of age.
This new diagnosis would make individuals, but more specifically males, who commit or attempt rape be seen as ill instead of as a criminal. Rape and rape fantasies would become a mental illness.
Psychologists and psychiatrists have been telling the DSM 5 task force that this “disorder” should not be included but the DSM 5 website shows an update as of April 2012 which I interpret as it’s inclusion very likely.
I want to be calm, cool and professional in arguing this but I’m furious! I already disagree with so many new inclusions and exclusions that are being proposed for the DSM 5 that to find out about this new “disorder” is just another smack in the face, especially to women and men who have experienced sexual assault!
One of the issues with having a mental health diagnosis is navigating responsibility. “If I have an illness then how much of what I do, say and think actually within my control?” It gets very tricky. Paraphilic Coercive Disorder would experience the same.
I am disgusted thinking that some men could be diagnosed with this “disorder” and be excused from their destructive behaivour! I have a vision of men who commit rape being given Prozac instead of jail time and it makes me very nervous.
Not all undesirable behaviour should be disordered! Unfortunately we need to face the fact that humans do things bad things while being perfect “normal”.
The most important issue to mention while talking about Paraphilic Coercive Disorder is that it completely ignores patriarchy’s role in sexual violence! Patriarchy is an illness but it’s a social illness, not something we can blame on one individual person! Rape is about power! “I didn’t mean to rape her judge, I have a mental illness”……ugh! Women are already blamed for their rapes! This is another way to excuse men from their violent actions!
We need to acknowledge that our young men are being told from very young ages that they are supposed to be violent and that women are lesser than they are. This message encourages a rape culture to form and this DSM 5 proposal not only encourages a rape culture but validates it and gives yet another escape for men who commit sexual violence!
Societal roles have huge impact on mental health and that is acknowledged but still individualized. If we can teach our young men to appreciate women and that having emotions is something men are allowed to have then I guarantee that Paraphilic Coercive Disorder would disappear!
I am not qualified to say what is a disorder and what is not but clearly neither are these DSM task forces that keep pumping out these manuals! Sexual violence is a problem but it’s not a mental illness (if anyone has a mental illness it’s the victim of the assault. PTSD, depression, anxiety etc can occur after experiencing a rape). It is a deeply ingrained belief that men are dominate over women, that women ask to be raped and that men are not responsible for their violence because “boys will be boys”.
Rape is not a mental illness!
Here are some resources:
Today is the 1 year anniversary of SlutWalk (http://www.slutwalktoronto.com)! I am so happy that I live in city in which it was created, Toronto! SlutWalk was the first protest I have ever participated in and it is one of the best experiences of my life! (Ps. I will be moderating the hell out of any comments)
SlutWalk was founded by Heather Jarvis and Sonya Barnett who attend(ed) York University in North Toronto. York has a horribly history of its female students being sexually assaulted on campus grounds, including in their own dorm rooms! On January 24, 2011 York was having a crime prevention safety forum in which Toronto police officer, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, said:
“I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
He is right! He shouldn’t have said that!
Why use Slut in SlutWalk? A lot of people have asked that. Slut because it is the language he used. Slut because is it a historically degrading word used towards women. Slut too say “FUCK YOU!”
A lot of people, sadly get hung up on the movement using the term Slut. This sometimes completely removes certain from ever support it! This is upsetting because you don’t need to identify with Slut, you don’t have to like the word but you should not abandon the cause! SlutWalk is more about ending sexual violence against women and ending victim blaming!
SlutWalk is about a lot of things:
SlutWalk is about ending sexual violence against girls and women!
SlutWalk is about supporting women in reporting their assaults!
SlutWalk is about showing that it doesn’t matter what you wear, how you act, where you go, girls and women should not be raped!
SlutWalk is about showing that all women are at risk for sexual violence but that certain women such as racialized and disabled women are at and even higher risk!
SlutWalk is about demanding the police not turn women away or dismiss their claims of rape!
SlutWalk is about demanding that individuals who sexually assault someone are given appropriate punishments!
SlutWalk is about reclaiming women’s sexuality and pleasure which has long been oppressed under our current patriarchal system which says a women needs to look, act and be a certain way!
SlutWalk is about support lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their safety and sexuality and acknowledges that all sexual orientations are at risk of sexual violence!
SlutWalk is about reclaiming historically degrading words, such as Slut, to make them lose their power of us!
SlutWalk is about EDUCATING MEN to not rape because they are a key piece of ending rape culture!
SlutWalk is about globally supporting the rights or girls and women!
SlutWalk is about removing the shame experienced by girls and women who experience sexual assault!
SlutWalk also acknowledge the sexual assault experienced by men and seeks to support them!
SlutWalk helped me create a new self worth! As soon as I found out about SlutWalk, what the movement was about, I finally felt comfortable with myself. For too long had I be damned, and worse, damned myself, for my sexuality! SlutWalk allowed me to experience freedom. I was able to walk with women and men, young and old, who supported me, who understood my journey and I can’t explain how amazing that felt!
I have faced some anger from women who disagree with the movement. I have been told that I am betraying women by supporting a cause that uses such a degrading term and that I call myself a slut (proudly). These are usually the same women who then go on to say that clothing, behaviour, and location to condemn a women to be raped. This is a disgusting attitude!
I will be participating again in SllutWalk 2012 which will be on Saturday May 26 (two days after my birthday)! It will be bigger this time so probably more amazing than the first! I’m very proud to be a part of this movement!
Today, April 3 2012, is the first International Day Against Victim Blaming! Please do you part in eliminating the blaming of victims of assaults DONE TO THEM!!!
It DOES NOT matter what they’re wearing!
It DOES NOT matter how they’re are acting!
It DOES NOT matter if they’ve had sex with the person before!
It DOES NOT matter if they walked down the dark ally!
It DOES NOT matter if they’re are intoxicated!
It DOES NOT matter if they are in a sexual relationship with the person!
IT DOES NOT MATTER! DO NOT RAPE! NO MEANS NO! WE DON’T “ASK” FOR IT!