The West Mercia Police have already been forced to apologise this week for a stunningly, ill-conceived and downright stupid campaign which basically blamed women for being raped. The Feminist backlash campaign, led by the Worcestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, resulted in this poster being removed [supposedly, and, I say supposedly because I haven’t seen any evidence that they have been]:
Drinking alcohol doesn’t make you vulnerable to rape. Being with a rapist makes you vulnerable to being raped. Rape isn’t sex you regret. Rape is a criminal act perpetrated by a man. Now, I’m not adverse to tattooing all convicted rapists on the forehead but they aren’t exactly representative of most rapists since most rapists are never charged; never mind convicted. We live in a rape culture which hero-worships convicted rapists like Mike Tyson and pretends Julian Assange can’t possibly be a rapist because he is critical of the military-industrial complex. Or, something. The West Mercia Police’s campaign buys into some of the most pernicious and dangerous rape myths which are simply victim-blaming. Frankly, I’m disgusted that this campaign was approved.
Turns out that poster wasn’t the only piece of misogynistic twaddle that the West Mercia Police came up with. This one with the genius victim blaming slogan: Let your hair down, not your guard.
Yep, because being raped is all about letting your guard down. The campaign only makes sense if the West Mercia police have put rapists in charge of their anti-rape campaign. After all, blaming women for being raped only benefits rapists. It doesn’t prevent rapes. It doesn’t protect women from rapists. And, it doesn’t make rapists responsible for being rapists. Whoever conceived of and approved this campaign, needs to be demoted and retrained [or fired. I’d go with fired. There are lots of unemployed people who are intelligent and are in possession of normal emotional literacy skills. Might as well get rid of stupid police officers now].
The “This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me” campaign by the Scottish Government was a brilliant piece of media campaigning. I have no idea why the English and Welsh governments haven’t just borrowed the whole campaign since re-inventing the wheel isn’t exactly cost-effective [not that money should matter when dealing with rape but our current government clearly don’t give a shit about people so we might as well use the economic argument to appeal to their inhumanity]:
We need to stop blaming victims and start holding men accountable for their violence.
At least, according to some whiny git called Andy Foreham, one of the organisers of Tyson’s “boxing hero” event in Hampshire, Tyson is feeling “very upset and very disappointed” at being held responsible for being a rapist. Is anyone else upset by this? Because, I have to say, I’m feeling quite smug about hurting the feelings of a rapist and domestic violence perpetrator: a rapist who had the gall to say this at his sentencing hearing:
I have not raped anyone, tried to rape anyone by any means,” he said. “I’m sorry for Miss Washington as a person. I by no means meant to hurt her or do anything to her. I’m sure she knows that.
Yeah, I’m sure Ms Washington was really pleased to learn that Tyson didn’t mean to hurt her when he didn’t rape her without her consent. Or, whatever self-serving bullshit he was spouting. I’m equally sure that Ms Washington will be pleased to know that Foreman believes that feminists are just vindictive for continuing to harp on about Tyson’s conviction for rape as it’s just “something which happened years and years ago.” and that “(t)he council are trying to be “dogooders saying they do not want this type of person in Fareham.” That’s us evil, vindictive Feminists: holding grudges about convicted rapists. Clearly, the world would be a much happier place if us Feminists stopped holding rapists accountable for, you know, being rapists. Or, something equally stupid.
I’m glad Portsmouth Guildhall cancelled this event due to Feminist activism and this petition. I’m equally glad that Fareham Town Football Club succumbed to Feminist activism after agreeing to host the event when Portsmouth Guildhall cancelled. But, I’m not exactly feeling the love for these two organisations. They both decided that Tyson’s ability to punch people in the face whilst “boxing” was more important than Tyson’s long criminal history of violence against women. His conviction for the rape of Ms Washington and his well-established domestic violence against his ex-wife Ms Givens are hardly the only examples of Tyson’s misogynistic violence. This just another example of the minimising and erasure of male violence against women.
I’m beyond angry at the continuing assumption that celebrity rapists are only ever accused of the crime by gold-digging whores. I’m angry at celebrity men whose violence against women is minimised by a misogynistic media [and I’m looking at you Chris Brown and Charlie Sheen]. I’m angry at the people who buy into this discourse and who help perpetrate and perpetuate rape culture with their willful ignorance and clinical stupidity.
Mostly, I’m proud to be a Feminist. I’m proud to stand with women who hold men accountable for male violence. I’m proud to stand with Feminist activists who fight for women despite threats of violence and rape. I’m proud to stand with women who understand how harmful the Patriarchy is for women [and men]. I’m proud to stand with women who won’t be silenced.
In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, here are some of my favourite images:
Look, it’s PETA being misogynistic. Again. Anyone else shocked by this? No?
I’m an animal rights supporter. I don’t buy from companies which test products on animals. I genuinely don’t understand people who buy mascara which is tested on rabbits and I support the proposed EU ban on testing cosmetics on animals. However, I don’t understand why PETA insists on perpetuating rape culture in order to save rabbits. Are they that stupid that they can’t tell the difference? I think the celebrities who endorse PETA are hypocrites; yeah Naomi Campbell, I’m still looking at you.
There is NO reason why PETA has to advertise its campaigns by objectifying women. They perpetuate rape culture because they choose to. That is fundamentally the problem of PETA. They just aren’t intelligent enough to critique capitalist practises without supporting patriarchal conformity.
There is no birth control which is 100% effective. Most women know that every time they have PIV, they are risking pregnancy. We have sex because we enjoy it; despite the knowledge of all the possible lifetime consequences. We know the difficulties of choosing whether or not continue the pregnancy. We know that many women do not have a choice; whether it is because there is no access to abortion in their area or if poverty will force a “choice” on them. We know what pregnancy can do to our bodies in a “normal healthy” pregnancy; never mind one in which we could potentially have SPD, anaemia, gestational diabetes, hyperemesis, or pre-eclampsia. We know the all the possible consequences of giving birth; vaginally or via caesarian. We know the possibilities of post-natal depression, tearing and even the fact that domestic violence frequently starts or gets more severe during pregnancy. We know the statistics because we know the realities. We see them every day in our families and our friends.
The real question is why do so many men (and their handmaidens) assume that men should face no consequences for fathering a child? And, why does the government support the right of these losers to fuck women with impunity whilst slut-shaming those women for having sex? Why are women the only ones who have to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions? Why does the government think it should punish some women for withholding contact from abusive men without punishing those same men for the abuse or their failure to pay maintenance? Why do men get to do whatever they want whenever they want with no legal or moral requirement for them to act like an adult?
Here’s the thing: I think withholding maintenance is child abuse. If you help create a child, then you damn well better financially support them. Men who withhold maintenance to punish the mother are committing child abuse. Failure to support your child is neglect and should be legally recognised as such. If the primary carer, otherwise known as the mother, could go to prison for child neglect for failing to adequately feed and clothe their child, then why shouldn’t the erstwhile “father”? These men aren’t “good fathers” and the pretence that they are actively harms children. Children need good, kind men in their lives. They don’t need abusive arseholes who prioritise fancy cars and booze above the basic needs of their children.
And, yeah, I think men who don’t bother to financially support their child, shouldn’t be allowed access. Deliberately withholding support should be a legally valid reason to deny contact. Men who use access to control their ex-partners should be prohibited from contact. Men who commit domestic violence against their partners shouldn’t be allowed contact with their children. If you assault your partner, then you can’t ever be a good father. Good fathers are not abusive. Children deserve the right to be raised in a happy and secure home; not one in which their “father” gets to dictate everything that happens just because he has a penis.
Failing to support your children means you aren’t a real man. You deserve to be named and shamed. You are responsible for the feminisation of poverty.
You are the reason our old government had to subsidise single mothers through tax credits and income support. You are the reason that these same women will be pushed further into poverty by our current government of misogynistic arsehats. These are the people who are destroying our families; not single mothers who are desperately trying to feed and clothe their children whilst dealing with abusive men and a society that doesn’t think men should be held responsible for anything. Ever.
Canada has a much better track record with child maintenance than the UK. The assumption there is that men should pay to support their children in order to prevent women’s dependence on the welfare state. Perhaps our current government of nincompoops should have looked into that instead of slashing the welfare budget creating a whole new generation of vulnerable children being raised in poverty. These are the consequences for failure to pay in Canada
- Make deductions from wages (maximum of 40% gross wage);
- MEP can take money payable to the debtor from bank accounts, mutual funds, rent or contract fees;
- Garnish income tax refunds, GST rebates, Canada Pension Plan income, and Employment Insurance payments;
- The debtor may be prevented from transferring any property he or she wishes to sell, and allows MEP to seize assets including vehicles, shares and bonds;
- The debtor may have his or her driver’s licence, registration, licence plates, or abstracts restricted or suspended;
- Recreational licences for fishing and hunting may be restricted;
- MEP may cancel current driver’s licences for account more than 60 days in late payments;
- Passports can be revoked;
- MEP may prevent an owner from re-mortgaging or selling real estate without first making payments. In some cases MEP may force sale of real estate;
- Failure to make child support payments may be registered as bad debt and affect credit;
- If assets are being kept in the name of a company, MEP can apply for a court order allowing the company’s assets to be used to pay for the debt;
- MEP may seize assets the debtor tries to sell; and/or
- If assets are being put in someone else’s name to avoid collection, MEP can apply for a court order allowing for their seizure
It’s easily assessed via personal income tax which is filed yearly. Yes, there are real holes in the system and some men do get away with child financial neglect but, at least, Canada recognises that men who refuse to support their children are committing a crime which has long-term consequences for those children. The UK needs to take a real stand against abusive men and start forcing men to take responsibility for where they decide to ejaculate.
Gingerbread Campaign on CSA