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(TRIGGER WARNING) An Account of Sexual Assault at Amherst College: An Account of Sexual Assault at Amherst College

amherstsexualassault:

By Angie Epifano, Epifano is a former student of the class of 2014

[[Full transcript because the website is down]]

TRIGGER WARNING: This content deals with an account of sexual assault and may be triggering to some people.

When you’re being raped time does not stop. Time does not speed up and…

This young woman is AMAZING. Brave, perseverant, determined…It’s DISGUSTING that she had to go through this - that ANYONE has to go through anything like this, ever. But I thank her for having the courage to write about it. Silence = Shame. Speaking up can = Healing.

Pain

Smoking way more cigarettes than you’d normally smoke in any given period of time is like a socially acceptable way of cutting yourself - in public. After all, who would ever really bother to ask - or even notice - “are you smoking more than usual?”  It may not feel quite as good as a blade, to former/current/secret/sometimes/occasional cutters - but at least you don’t have to lie away the marks.

You do however, have to deal with the cough that gets worse, and the fact that the pain that you thought you’d buried for good almost 7 years ago seems to be worming it’s way back under your skin…

South Dakota wants to LEGALIZE the MURDER of Abortion Providers.

I find the following paragraph from the Mother Jones article especially demonstrative of the S. Dakota Government’s COMPLETE LACK of anything resembling an understanding of what it means to be 1) the owner of a uterus or 2) a woman even having to *consider* putting themselves through the all-too-likely feelings of desolation, guilt, anger, frustration, fear, pain (physical, emotional & mental), confusion, emptiness, self-hate, mistrust, angst, and so many other feelings that may surface even in women who DESPERATELY, ABSOLUTELY *want*/or/*need* to have an abortion…not to mention the thousands of women who seek them out despite feeling ambivalent or unsure on some level about their decision.

"Before performing an abortion, a South Dakota doctor must offer the woman the opportunity to view a sonogram. And under a law passed in 2005, doctors are required to read a script meant to discourage women from proceeding with the abortion: "The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." Until recently, doctors also had to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she had "an existing relationship with that unborn human being" that was protected under the Constitution and state law and that abortion poses a "known medical risk" and "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide."

Go get a bucket or other receptacle, then read the wording of the proposed Bill for yourself, then barf into aforementioned bucket.

Dear S. Dakota government reps backing this bill: Do you have a uterus? Have you ever had an abortion? Have you ever had to THINK about having an abortion? Have you ever accompanied a friend, partner, or loved one to get an abortion? Are you aware of the intense internal questioning women who seek abortions go through, REGARDLESS of their end decision? Have you ever been pregnant at a time when, for financial, mental, physical, or emotional reasons, you felt you’d be incapable of giving birth to that child? Have you even become pregnant as the result of rape, incest, or some other liason that otherwise negatively impacted your life, sanity, and how you might feel about having a child resulting from that liason?

No? You’ve never done/had/been/experienced ANY of the above? THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP AND KEEP YOUR POLITICS OUT OF EVERYONE’S PANTIES!!!!

OUR Bodies = OUR Choices.

“The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape. “Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of 16th and Locust?”
“Yes.”
“Did you struggle with the robber?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“He was armed.”
“Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than to resist?”
“Yes.”
“Did you scream? Cry out?”
“No. I was afraid.”
“I see. Have you ever been held up before?”
“No.”
“Have you ever given money away?”
“Yes, of course–”
“And did you do so willingly?”
“What are you getting at?”
“Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given away money in the past–in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren’t contriving to have your money taken from you by force?”
“Listen, if I wanted–”
“Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr. Smith?”
“About 11 p.m.”
“You were out on the streets at 11 p.m.? Doing what?”
“Just walking.”
“Just walking? You know it’s dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren’t you aware that you could have been held up?”
“I hadn’t thought about it.”
“What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?”
“Let’s see. A suit. Yes, a suit.”
“An expensive suit?”
“Well–yes.”
“In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn’t that so? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn’t we?”
“Look, can’t we talk about the past history of the guy who did this to me?”
“I’m afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don’t think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?””

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I first came across the above post in a Women’s Studies class in University about 8 years ago, and it really struck a chord with me, because I think it so clearly demonstrates the utter ridiculousness and lack of true justice with which society treats rape survivors.  In addition, I’d like to post a similar piece displaying the utter fucktardedness people seem to have about the way rape & rape survivors are perceived, vs. the way ALL OTHER CRIMES (and victims of those crimes) are perceived.

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If Robbery Victims Were Treated Like Rape Victims

1. The victim’s expensive suit, watch and nice home would be cited as tempting robbers beyond human endurance.

2. The victim’s spouse, family, friends, and representatives of the victim’s religion and favorite charities would be called in to testify that the victim frequently gave money willingly (even enjoyed it!).

3. The victim’s name would be withheld because it is shameful to be robbed.

4. The victim would be blamed for having money or a home where robberies are known to occur.

5. The victim would be photographed nude by strangers in white coats.

6. If the victim knew the robber, it would be automatically assumed that the items or money taken were actually gifts by the victim to the robber.

7. The victim would be quizzed about how much the victim resisted the alleged robbery and required to show proof of struggle.

8. The victim’s checkbook, bank records, and tax returns would be subpoenaed and submitted as evidence the victim has given, spent, and lost money and property foolishly before.

9. The robber would sincerely testify that since the victim left the door unlocked, the robber naturally thought the victim wanted to be robbed.

10. The robber would sincerely testify that it wasn’t robbery. They were just having “rough giving” together.

11. Robbery victims would be suspected of going through all of the above just to get attention or to harm the honor of the robber.

12. Society would think none of the above is strange.

Republicans Silent on Rape Redefining Bill

This makes me want to barf. Please, Please, PLEASE if you live in the U.S., sign this petition and tell you Senators that "Bruises and broken bones do not define rape - a lack of consent does. Stand up and oppose the dangerous GOP legislation to redefine rape."

projectqueer:

Republicans Silent on Rape Redefining Bill

The Republican-controlled House is considering limitations on federal funding for abortion that could be a crown jewel of the leadership’s attempt to show constituents there’s a new, socially conservative sheriff in town — if anyone was willing to discuss it.

It seems one of the only people willing to talk at all about the controversial abortion bill is one of its Democratic co-sponsors, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL). And he’s not willing to embrace the language in the bill that appears to redefine rape in a way that would prevent some impregnated victims from having their abortions covered by insurance.

But it’s radio silence from the pro-life community, which is usually more than willing to sound off on abortion and what needs to be done to stop it.

Over the course of Friday and Monday, TPM reached out to pro-life groups and Democratic and Republican pro-life politicians — some of whom have backed federal action on abortion with language similar to the House law, known as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” — to talk about the new bill’s language regarding “forcible rape.” None responded, except Lipinski, who told TPM that he’s willing to take another look at the controversial rape language.

A quick refresher: The House law, also known as H.R. 3, is designed to make permanent some existing bans on federal funding for abortion, like the Hyde Amendment, which prevents Medicaid from covering abortion except in the cases of rape or incest or for the life or health of the mother. The bill also prohibits employers and the self-insured from using widely-available tax breaks for buying private health insurance, if that insurance also covers abortion.

But the widest criticism of the bill comes in its exemptions for rape — provisions that would allow federal money or private insurance to be used to cover an abortion. H.R. 3 says those provisions would kick in only in cases of forcible rape, a distinction from other forms rape of that is largely undefined but seems to suggest that a rape that doesn’t include violence wouldn’t count. The bill would also limit the incest exemption to women under the age of 18 — meaning a victim of incest who was legally allowed to vote wouldn’t have her abortion covered by Medicaid and would likely have more limited access to private insurance than she does today.

The health provision would also limit abortion coverage to cases where the woman’s physical health was in danger if she gives birth. That would close a supposed loophole some abortion opponents have been talking about for years, in which doctors factor mental health in health-of-the mother decisions.

(You can read the entire House bill here.)

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) did not respond to several requests for comment from TPM. Smith is a chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, a bipartisan group of anti-abortion legislators. He had plenty to say about the bill when he first brought it to the House last year, as reported by the anti-abortion site LifeNews.com:

“For over 30 years, a patchwork of policies has regulated federal funding for abortion. Together these various policies ensure that the American taxpayer is not involved in funding the destruction of innocent human life through abortion on demand,” Smith wrote in a letter reported by the site. “This comprehensive approach will reduce the need for the numerous separate abortion funding policies and ensure that no program or agency is exempt from this important safeguard.”

The site made no mention of the forcible rape language, and Smith’s office wasn’t interested in discussing it when we reached out.

The language isn’t a first for Republican anti-abortion efforts. As TPM’s Brian Beutler reported during the thick of the 2009 health care debate, anti-abortion members of Congress hoped to include the forcible rape language in the health care bill, as part of their efforts to ensure that no taxpayer funds would be used to cover abortion as the law went into effect. One version of the forcible rape language was offered in committee by three members of Congress: Reps. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Pitts and Blunt are still in Congress, and Pitts is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3 (Blunt’s now a Senator, so he can’t co-sponsor a House bill.) Neither responded to requests for comment on the use of “forcible” rape in their amendment, or what the terminology might mean in regards to the House bill.

Most of the Republican leadership in the House has signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 3, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The Virginia Republican is a vocal opponent of abortion who promised the thousands of opponents who gathered for the March For Life this month that “the tide has turned” on abortion since the GOP regained the House majority. His office also did not respond to a request for comment on the forcible rape language in the bill, despite his co-sponsorship.

Anti-abortion politicians aren’t the only ones keeping quiet about H.R. 3 since the forcible rape language came to light. Calls to numerous anti-abortion groups, including National Right To Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Americans United For Life, the Susan B. Anthony List and the Abstinence Clearinghouse were either unreturned or met with “no comment.”

The closest I got to a comment was from the Susan B. Anthony List, a strongly social conservative group last seen calling on the candidates for chair of the Republican National Committee to weigh in on life and the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. A spokesperson for SBA told me leaders of the group would be willing to get back to me “later this week,” when he promised SBA leaders would have “much more informed comments on the topic.”

For now, however, the spokesperson said SBA was yet another “no comment” in a long list of abortion foes uninterested in going on the record about the controversial language in a bill they’ve touted as the first step toward a Republican-led, pro-life House of Representatives.

Hey Hey Ho Ho, Slut Shaming has Got to Go!

tombsstone:

The fact that anyone can be labeled a slut, at any time, with any level of sexual activity under their belt, and the fact that sluttiness is a moving target, makes it clear that slut-shaming isn’t just about controlling how much sex women have. If you can be called a slut without so much as kissing another person, then it stands to reason that your slut status must be based on something besides your level of sexual experience or activity. And often, it is. It’s based on what people assume about you just by looking at you - at your body, your clothes and the way you move through the world. Once you realize that, it becomes obvious that the slut label isn’t just about controlling how much sex women have: It’s about controlling how we dress, how we walk, how we talk, how we dance, how much we drink, who we talk to, how we feel about our own desires and so on and so on. And crossing the invisible, culturally-determined “slut line” in any of these arenas is enough to earn you a label that, no matter how much we denounce and detest it, no matter how well we understand its purpose and its perniciousness, somehow manages to seep into our brains and eat away at our certainty and self-assurance.”

from ‘slut panel’ postmortem: “shame, shame, go away” on feministing. the whole piece is very good, but this section was especially good. 

COMPLETELY.

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