Shiny Happy People… ImageOfTheWeek.

Shiny Happy People... ImageOfTheWeek.

I found this today, on Buzzfeed (click on the pic to read the article): ‘No, Seriously, This Guy Is Holding A “You Deserve Rape” Sign’

For a bit of context: “A University of Arizona student [Dean Saxton] sparked outrage Tuesday by holding up a sign reading, “You Deserve Rape” and preaching that women who dress like “whores” bring rape upon themselves in protest to a sexual assault awareness event being held that night.” – Buzzfeed.com

The awareness event in question was “Reclaim the Night“. In a nutshell, this event is a brilliant movement of Women reclaiming their right to safety on the streets, protesting against the idea that they should feel scared and intimidated to go out at night.

Back to the picture in question… It is quite hard for one to explain how they feel about such an image. The first words that sprung to my mind were ‘angry’, ‘upset’ but also, unfortunately, ‘not surprised’. Many of the arguments about gender equality are pretty self explanatory and obvious in this context, however, I think a few points specific points need to made here.

Firstly, this is a universal attack. Not only is this image/campaign an attack  on Women, but it is also insinuating that Men believe that they have the right to rape based on the actions of the Woman. Furthermore, this is an implicit attack on Male character, assuming that men are unable to control their sexual capacity. In a patriarchal society that dictates how Women should act/dress, surely these are indications of a repression? What is even worse, is that it doesn’t even take into account the real reasons for rape. Most of the time, it isn’t even about Sex, but about assertion of male dominance, a struggle for power and issues that are a whole different “kettle of fish”.

Secondly, after reading one of the passages from Saxton’s blog, it occurred to me that this Christian extremist is mixing up two very different issues – That of Rape and Sexual Violence, and that of Sexual Liberation. He refers to the American Greek-life culture as a “whoredom” where young men and women are committing “sins” however this is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ISSUE about sexual behaviour, and more specifically, college culture for young people.  This isn’t an issue about men criminally forcing sex onto dis-consenting Women.  Yes, I agree that there can be some overlap in these environments whereby peer pressure and intoxicants can blur the lines of consent, however, this is not Saxton’s arguement. He is insinuating that if a woman engages in pre-marital sex, than it is inevitable that men may want to rape her – this is a disgusting belief and one similar to the justifications made by the Dehli gang-rapists for the crimes against their 19 year-old victim.

Thirdly, I will make a point regarding “issue-overlap”. As with many extreme views, single prejudices against gender, sexuality, race, religion, class do not really exist. These factors are interlocked and have been throughout history. The only difference in the 21st Century, is the increasing voice that minority groups have in the globalised era. Saxton states that “fat lesbians will get raped”, putting them in the same camp as Feminists and whores. Why is it that one’s weight and sexuality determines whether they get raped? Does your own prejudice permit you to believe that those different to you deserve to be subject to the worst forms of violence? Where does this end? Do other religious groups deserve this same fate?

Lastly, I would just like to express how unfortunate it is that these views are being expressed in today’s world, and worse, that free speech protects these views. All types of inequality stem from extremist views such as the ones held by the man who produced this image. More to the point, he is arguing that rape is okay and his university paper saw it fit to publish it. This view has no place in a publication and no place in any society.

Over and Out.

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REBLOG: The tragic irony of Censorship

I stumbled across this brilliant blog post today about American gun law. It provides the perfect example of how the “Free World” is one of the biggest hypocrisies on this planet. Had I not stumbled across my ImageOfTheWeek today, this would have definitely made the cut!

Enjoy!

Over and Out.

PostScript

A new publicity campaign from the ‘Moms demand action for gun sense in America’ project has struck chords. One image has reached viral status on Facebook and other social networking sites over the past week. The haunting photograph depicts two girls, roughly 9 years old, sat cross-legged in a classroom with an American flag hung dutifully in the corner. Writing above the two girls reads ‘One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them.’ The girl on the left holds an illustrated copy of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’: the staple children’s tale of a wolf, a grandma and a girl. In stark contrast, the girl on the right sits devoid of emotion; however, with impeccable posture, she grasps a semi-automatic assault rifle, her fingers resting loosely over the trigger.

”Meticulous attention to protecting irrational, incredulous and irreversibly damaging firearms rights presents a multitude of tragic ironies.”

Last…

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No Journalism, Just Truth.

Hyeonseo Lee, a regular citizen of North Korea, shares her story of how she escaped the DPRK. Not only did she set up her life in South Korea, but she then went back and saved her family from starvation and possible death.

This little “TEDwhim” is not a response to the big news headlines, but was sparked by this single. mighty story of courage.

I am sharing this TEDtalk at a very tense and serious time of global politics. Hints of nuclear war from North Korea have shadowed the world and the US have responded firmly to these threats. As international citizens, it is hard to gather the truth about DPRK. We are bombarded with Journalism an dramatic reports about the militant regime, the destructive leadership and the decaying population. However, we must wonder how much of this is true and how much of this is over-exaggeration of Western Media. As a politics student, I have recently become highly cynical of reports such as BBC Panorama on DPRK from Monday. Surely this is all just Western propaganda, showing the worst elements of an enemy nation while concealing the positives?

Hyeonseo Lee has put this cynic in her place. The negatives are the Truth. The positives are but Delusions; delusions of indoctrinated Korean people. Listening to Hyeonseo’s story and raw emotion has really opened my eyes to the struggles of the DPRK.

It has made me rethink the simple privileges I have grown up with – A wage, a vote, a voice.

Over & Out.

This Time, Last Year. ImageOfTheWeek

Image

Wellesley College Scream Tunnel ’12 in support of Boston’s Marathon Monday: In respect for those affected for the Boston Bombings 15/04/2013.

Never before have I woken up so early on a public holiday however, it is tradition for Wellesley Women support the athletes of the Boston Marathon. As the half way point, Wellesley have acted as a support system for runners since the 1970’s, providing drinks, hi-fives and more recently, a cheeky kiss.

I never really understood marathons until I took part in the Wellesley Scream tunnel during my semester there. The determination and endurance of the athletes really blew me away and since then I have an up most respect for those who run, walk and wheel their way to the finish line. The atmosphere the event fostered around the Boston area was so infectious and you couldn’t help but feel the sense of community. Unfortunately, it did not occur to me that holding up a “Kiss Me, I’m British” sign would mean getting my cheek covered in other people’s sweat. Clever, I know.

Yesterday, the inspirational event that is Marathon Monday was in full force again. However, 2 devices exploded near the finishing line in Downtown Boston killing 3 people and injuring many others. Limbs severed, lives ruined and faith, broken. I chose this “flashback” picture for my image of the week in honour of those affected by the bombings. It represents the spirit of the Boston area and also how events like this can bring the whole world together through sport. The bombings were directly targeting these representations (as well as innocent people) however I hope the spirit of the event will not be killed.

Over and Out.