Two weeks have passed after the One Billion Rising event, both in Real Life and Second Life. One Billion Rising, for those who don’t already know, is a campaign (please see my previous posts on the matter, as well as Saffia Widdershins’ excellent posts) to raise awareness regarding two huge problems of our societies: (a) the problem of rape and violence against women and girls and (b) the problem of the rape culture that poisons a great part of the population and has been incorporated in every male-dominated society’s culture and mentality. The event itself was a success – both in RL and SL, inspiring thousands of people, especially those affected. However, it did not go without receiving its share (fair or not) of criticism (again, fair or not). Below, I’m going to address the points that were raised by OBR’s detractors.
Why is this event not acknowledging the fact that violence is far more likely to occur against men than it is against women?
First of all, this claim is complete and utter rubbish; it is a claim put forward by the misogynist “Men’s Rights Movement” and usually it is expressed in the following words that I quote verbatim, as the MRM’s parrots usually spam the internet with them: “Men are murdered at a rate almost 5 times that of women. [Dept. Health & Human Services — 26,710 men vs 5,700 women]“. This claim is utterly irrelevant and it is also intentionally misleading; if the MRM people wanted to be honest, they would also point out that men are usually murdered by other men. In 65.2% of the murder cases in the USA, men killed other men – of course, the misogynist whiners of the MRM don’t speak about this, because it’s very inconvenient; they’d have to go after their own members, as much of this is caused by male bravado, a trait that’s far too celebrated in our societies. I would also like to note that the Men’s Rights Movement, instead of actually doing something to promote the rights (vocational, economic, social, political) of working-class men, only whines against the fact that finally, after thousands of years, women managed to earn (through – often bloody – struggle) back some basic rights and start being treated as human beings instead of objects; they’re class traitors, if we want to speak in class warfare terms.
Second, OBR focuses on violence perpetrated against women and girls. There are many other events and campaigns focusing on all sorts of different issues. It would be like criticising a campaign about cancer for not acknowledging the fact that millions of people die of heart attacks – it makes no sense and only serves to denigrate the campaign based on an utterly irrational claim.
The name of the event is anti-men, excludes men and the slogans condone and promote violence against men!
Oh dear, where do I begin with this one? First of all, One Billion Rising is a global event and nowhere in the publicity literature (blog posts, articles, you name it) has there been any mention of “exclusion” of men from it; quite the contrary – men were actually invited and encouraged to attend, to discuss, learn about the problem and become part of the solution. Many men were on the teams, many men expressed their support for the cause, many men came to the events (in RL and SL), many artists in the OBR in SL event were men. None of them saw any “threat” against them. As for the claims that the words “rise” and “strike” condone and promote anti-men violence, they are, once again, completely irrational and no one with at least half a brain should take them seriously.
OBR is just a PR event, whereas we do real hard work, counselling women that were victims of rape and abuse
*Sigh* It is appalling that some SL bloggers and users who offer such excellent services to rape and abuse victims (at least that’s what they claim, and I’ll take their word for it) dismiss and belittle awareness-raising campaigns. Let’s talk facts here: Rape and bullying are the only violations in the world where the victim is blamed and shamed and not the perpetrator. A victim of rape and/or sexual assault is burdened with guilt and shame for what happened to her by the society, whereas the perpetrator usually goes unpunished, oftentimes with judges following an utterly sexist “logic” that says “well, she was wearing a mini skirt, so she was asking for it.“
I’ll give you an example: In 2011, interviewed by State TV station “NET”, Greek “artist” Costas Tsoklis said (around 1′:16″ to 1:35″ in this video – Greek audio only, unfortunately) on this matter: “I don’t understand why the rapist is worse than the girl that exposes her tits (sic) or her panties; I think she herself is asking for this violence; she wants to be raped. I don’t understand why Police arrest the man who raped her and not her for provoking him. Since Nature pushes him to do that. I have different views on these things, how can I explain?” (later in the video he even excuses paedophiles and says he considers them to be “healthier” than “old idiots with no eroticism”) – and still, this man is considered to be a “significant and important artist for Greece” and gets invited to TV shows to give his opinion on matters artistic, social and political, whereas he should have been ostracised. This was not in Taliban-run Afghanistan; this was in a modern, western country. I hope this unfortunate and disgusting example shows how deeply rooted in our societies’ way of thinking the rape culture really is.
It is because of this mentality, that has even poisoned the minds of our mothers (and you should see how mothers of boys view girls, prospective brides – and talk about them; a complete disgrace to our gender), that rape and sexual assault victims are afraid and ashamed to seek assistance. They are made to feel dirty, guilty and horrible; they feel alone and helpless. They don’t dare to speak up. If they do speak up about it, it’s their social life, their career that’s at risk – not the perpetrator’s. As I’m writing these lines, the “University” of North Carolina seeks to expel a female student that was raped by another (male) student, because she dared speak publicly about her sexual assault – even though she didn’t name her rapist. Societies and institutions do their worst to prevent rape and sexual assault victims from seeking help; they do their worst to protect rapists – and the first weapon they use is the combination of guilt and shame that they pile on the victim’s shoulders.
Awareness-raising campaigns seek to remove the burden of shame from the victims; they seek to encourage them to speak up, to seek help; they seek to help the victims realise that they are not to blame. Why on Earth would someone working in a sexual assault victims’ shelter or in a service that provides counselling for rape and abuse victims have a problem with that? They’re there to help and to treat victims – if the victims are too scared and too ashamed to seek their help, much of the hoped effectiveness of these centres goes away. If these critics (to be honest, so far I’ve only seen such criticism from certain Second Life bloggers and users) really work in this sector, I think their criticism is short-sighted, at best. I would have expected them to understand that awareness-raising campaigns and treatment and counselling services are not mutually exclusive, but actually complement each other – they go hand-in-hand, they don’t compete against each other.
It’s all so middle-class!
Read this. Seriously.
Anti-rape campaigns divert scarce resources and use them for an “inappropriate concern”
How much more crass and idiotic can one get? The (male – what else?) individual that spammed the Second Life feeds with this preposterous claim (and will not be dignified by being named) also said that only “hysterical women” and “hysterical feminazis” are concerned with rape. He also said that rape is “fictitious drama” that is dramatised by “overly emotional women” who “can’t think rationally” and attacked many people (especially women) who supported OBR. That should reveal a lot about his way of thinking and outlook on life, other people and women in particular.
As for the main point raised by this “man”, let me point out that (a) we live in the era of Fiat money, therefore its “scarcity” is completely artificial, (b) we already allocate far too many of these “scarce resources” on overpriced, useless crap like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the rust bucket known as the F-22 (as if we don’t already have enough means to kill each other) and on making sure that failed banksters aren’t allowed to lose their power, cushy jobs and overblown sense of entitlement – exactly how would allocation of a tiny fraction of these “scarce resources” to reducing (I’m a realist – I can’t hope that I’ll live long enough to see the day when the rape culture becomes a thing of the past) rape incidents hurt?
Mona (formerly slutrix)
- Saffia Widdershins’ posts regarding OBR
- Homicide Circumstances in the United States – Ben Best
- Greek “artist” Costas Tsoklis expressing his pro-rape and pro-paedophilia views
- University Of North Carolina Rape Victim May Be Expelled For Speaking About Her Case – Annie-Rose Strasser (from Thinkprogress.org)
- Events don’t change things. People do. Part 2 – Do the middle class have a right to protest? – Saffia Widdershins
- Fiat money – Wikipedia
First posted at: http://wp.me/p2RycE-5z