Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sexual Health Sundays: No More Sexual Violence

I’m not an expert on sexual assault and gendered violence. But I’m getting sick of being told that if a person doesn’t fight back, it wasn’t really rape; that women should be weary of dressing a certain way, or staying out late at night, because then she might be “asking for it”; that men and/or trans people can never be sexually assaulted; that sexual assault doesn’t happen in same-sex relationships; that the real rapist is a stranger, not a boyfriend or mother or therapist; that some instances of sexual assault aren’t as valid, or real, or important as others.

Sexual assault doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is a phenomenon born of our cultures. Sexual assault is influenced by gender identity, and it is also influenced by a multitude of other factors, things like race, like class, like dis/ability, like age. What myths have you heard about sexual assault? How many times have you read in the news about a survivor being discredited because of attacks on their moral character?

We still live in a world where a woman’s reputation is based on her so-called “sexual purity.” This is bullshit and it needs to change.

I want to live in a world where a woman can walk around the street naked at two in the morning and it will still be commonly understood that her body is her own and that no one has the right to hurt her, sexually or otherwise.

Sexual assault is not about sex. Rape is not sex.

Ask yourself this question: have you ever been on the receiving end of any unwanted act of a sexual nature?
Have you ever subjected someone else to such an action?

How do we build a world without sexual assault?

How do we heal?

Dec 6th Memorial
Fire with Water
How You Guys-- That's Right, You GUYS-- Can Prevent Rape
Blinders Off: Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault
Yes Means Yes!
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