Quickies

Quickies: Sexual assault PSA, the erasure of women in sports, and Christianity Today on women’s sex drives

Amanda

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

Previous post

Guest Post: On Being a Defiant Athlete

Next post

Throwback Thursday: Tell Me How I Should Feel

21 Comments

  1. May 1, 2014 at 10:38 am —

    Oh god, I cracked up at Tenant in the rain. What a perfect gif to follow that paragraph.

  2. May 1, 2014 at 10:53 am —

    The article about women being erased from the Boston Marathon erased the wheelchair winners, both male and female.

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm —

      Could you be more specific? There’s 2 articles linked that address the Boston Marathon. Which article are you referring to? And could you point to who the wheelchair winners were for those of us who don’t follow marathons or sports so we can look into it? Thanks!

      • May 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm —

        Hanoumatoi and I brought this up in the comments of the Skepchick article. Tatyana McFadden, an American, won the women’s pushrim division this year, and was erased from both articles. (The men’s pushrim division winner this year was South African, so somewhat off the topic here.) Hanoumatoi pointed out Jean Driscoll’s eight wins since 1995.

        Six marathons under the belt, working towards BQ, and I fully support recognition of pushrim as just another division.

    • May 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm —

      Beat me to it! I noticed the exact same thing. It’s great that a woman won in 1985, but what about the other American winners! Pushrim is also a super athletic division, and filled with as much drama as those who compete by running!

  3. May 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm —

    My 6yo and I were in the car when the PSA came across on NPR. I immediately noticed that it fails to acknowledge the existence of domestic violence against men and so did my son.

    • May 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm —

      “What about the MENZ?!”

      • May 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm —

        Yeah, not sure what the point of Daisy’s post was? it also doesn’t directly mention domestic violence at all. it also doesn’t acknowledge an infinite variety of other injustices in the world, because it’s a 2 minute PSA targeted at a very specific and common variety of violence.

      • May 2, 2014 at 9:20 am —

        Actually I meant, “What about the VICTIMS.” All the victims, of all genders.

        Max, since PSAs about reporting violence are often in the context of domestic violence, I guess I mistakenly made the connection myself.

        • May 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm —

          I’m sure you meant well, perhaps you should google “what about the menz” to see specifically what I was aiming at. In this PSA, we were talking about one problem, with one group of people. There isn’t time to focus on other people, nor do we necessarily need to every single time.

          I actually thought it was a rather refreshing PSA. Sure, it’s kind’ve “duh” because we know rape is wrong, but with rape culture telling us sometimes it’s not, it was nice to see men condemn it.

          • May 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm

            I didn’t say anything about this before, because I wanted to think it over, but I want to say something about it now.

            How is dismissing sexual violence against men any different, conceptually, from dismissing sexual violence against, for instance, sex workers? In both cases we’re making a judgment call about what characteristics a person needs to have in order for us to be fussed about the thing that happened that person, and the line between “man” and “sex worker” seems very arbitrary.

            Excluding victims of sexual assault from our caring based on an arbitrary gender distinction doesn’t seem any different excluding categories of victims based on any other arbitrary distinction. Why care about sex workers? Why care about single women? Why care about drunk women? Whatever reason you come up for why to care about those groups, why does that reason not also apply to male victims?

            This is a serious question, by the way. I’m genuinely interested in an answer.

      • May 2, 2014 at 12:08 pm —

        I think “what about the MENZ” is entirely called for in cases where, for example, woman complain that they are paid less and men complain that they’re forced to take on all the pressure of making more money. Or a thousand other (more and) less obvious examples.

        But does it really apply to cases where women are being raped and assaulted and someone points out that men, too, are raped and assaulted? Honestly, this video made me feel like sexual assault is something that only happens to women as well.

        That’s not to say that every PSA on sexual assault needs to include men, or that PSAs on sexual assault can’t or shouldn’t focus exclusively on women, but this PSA felt like it when out of it’s way to erase men rather than focus on women. It started out listing all the women in our lives this happens to “our sisters, our wives” and then labeled it for us: “it’s called sexual assault”, and it applies to “hers and shes”. Perhaps I’m being over sensitive, but it would have been nice if they’d made clear they were talking about sexual assault against women, rather than sexual assault in general which only applies to women.

        • May 2, 2014 at 1:48 pm —

          Yes, WATM, does apply here. Please google it.

          I have to say that I disagree. I can see how you read the PSA that way, but I didn’t. All I’m thinking is “small steps.” Small steps people, the world doesn’t change overnight. (I know you want it to change now. So do I.)

          • May 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

            I would argue that ‘what about the men’ is a perfectly reasonable reaction here if you see this as a PSA about sexual assault in general. If so, it’s quite clearly painting it as something that only affects women; erasing an enormous number of male victims.

            If you see this PSA as being about sexual assault upon women specifically, then you`re correct that `what about the menz’ is out of place and disruptive.

            I feel it comes across very strongly as the former, however. The gender neutral lines “It’s called sexual assault.” and “It’s up to all of us to end sexual assault.”, without qualifier, is sufficient to convince me that it was addressing sexual assault as a whole while clearly only acknowledging the existence of female victims.

      • May 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm —

        “What about the MENZ?!”

        Oh, yes, continue quoting memes without context. It’s not like some of us aren’t survivors of child molestation. Oh, and just so you’re aware, male survivors of sexual assault tend to internalize misogyny: “Being raped isn’t manly. Therefore it wasn’t rape, or you’re really not a man. In fact, men always want it (which also creates the ‘women are responsible for men’s hormones’ rape-apologist canard).” Oh yes, we end up suffering from the exact same memes that excuse rapists in the first place.

        Naturally, MRAs use us without our consent (Using me without my consent is apparently fashionable.) to shout down domestic violence centers and other important services for victims. Of course, they do all of nothing for actual male victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, or what have you. Because anything that benefits us isn’t their agenda.

    • May 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm —

      (I think I’m the only retweet of that which is sad. And then I saw vul only has, like, 18 followers, and I felt better about my twitter. Which is in itself kind of sad.)

  4. May 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm —

    I hope that PSA is not the end of the PSAs, because most everyone agrees that sexual assault is wrong. Even a significant proportion of rapists know that sexual assault is wrong. The biggest problem is a lack of understanding/desire to understand what sexual assault actually =is=.

    I’m reminded of a commercial for a sitcom in which a clearly drunk woman says to a man, “I like your tie,” and the man says, “I like your compromised judgement.” Hyuk hyuk. That’s rape being played for laughs, there. Just so we’re clear, everyone who laughed at this commercial (which was everyone in the room with me at the time) was laughing at a joke in which the punchline is “a woman is sexually assaulted.” But when I pointed this out, I got a lot of static about how having sex with a woman too drunk to consent isn’t =really= rape. It’s not “rape-rape” as Whoopi Goldberg might say.

    Well, yes it is, and that’s one of the major obstacles to putting the brakes on sexual assault. It’s all well and good to get a bunch of famous men to say, “If I saw a sexual assault in progress, I would definitely sweep in and stop it!” but less helpful if those men don’t recognize sexual assault when they see it.

    • May 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm —

      Emphatic fucking yes.

    • May 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm —

      “Well, yes it is, and that’s one of the major obstacles to putting the brakes on sexual assault. It’s all well and good to get a bunch of famous men to say, “If I saw a sexual assault in progress, I would definitely sweep in and stop it!” but less helpful if those men don’t recognize sexual assault when they see it.”

      This so much! Most of rape culture is actually rape denial culture. Variants on “she wanted it”. (The DSM even lists rationalization as a common behavior for all manner of inherently non-consensual paraphilia.) And of course, most people see the rapist as a random stranger, never mind that these are generally people the victim knows. Rape by fraud or economic duress isn’t seen as rape. A number of jokes or songs present a man who sleeps with an underage girl as a tragic hero. (Even if he’s only sympathetic if he’s 18 and she’s 17 or something, and even then, Romeo and Juliet laws exist.)

      tl;dr: In Western media, rape is something that ‘those types’ do, not squeaky-clean upper-class white heterosexual males, nosiree. And of course, you can avoid it by cutting off your ponytail or whatever; that convicted rapist wouldn’t lie to us, now would he? (Yes, the idea that you can prevent rape is an affront to logic, why do you ask?)

      And the really wonderful thing about rape culture? It sucks at portraying healthy relationships. Hence, for instance, all those teen romances where the girl is saved by her love interest, and later, their relationship is just as abusive.

Leave a reply