The story of my rape is full of those “How-could-you-be-so-stupid?” moments that enable outsiders –– often police, district attorneys and academic staff –– to dismiss a victim’s claims. As if a woman’s “stupidity” can magically transmute rape into not-rape. As if naïveté is a rapeable offense[…]
I was told by two attorneys — I could post my rapist’s name to the Internet, if I felt it was necessary to my emotional health. And so I did.
I posted both his and mine. It was my emphatic rejection of both invisibility and shame. Women from all over responded –– thanking me, telling me that I had given them the courage to say the word “rape” and speak the name of their rapists. And for their sisterhood, I am profoundly grateful, because it helped make me feel visible and human again.
Recently, I was also counter-sued by my rapist for libel. And I will meet him in court with his confessions. Yes, I was “stupid” to trust him not to rape, to be confused that he had raped me, and to try to transform that violence into something human. But my stupidity does not transmute his crime. The rape was still a rape. And I will do all I can to make him reckon for it.
Now that spring is finally (finally) rolling around, my Twitter feed has been slowly filling up with caution to cyclists to “ride safe” and educate them on how to cycle in a legal manner.
Naturally, I sent out my own tweet along the lines of: “Cyclist safety tip: don’t hit cyclists with your car.” Naturally, someone responded, annoyed that I wasn’t thinking of the pedestrian.
Yes, some cyclists share spaces with pedestrians and indeed some pedestrians are injured. But complaining about that to someone who just wants to see fewer folks hit by cars (whether it’s a bus user, a skateboarder, a pedestrian, or a cyclist, these deaths are horrible) is useless and vitriolic.
Active transportation users need to work together as allies in solidarity and fight for safer spaces. We don’t need wider roads; we need a modal shift on how we get around. Attacking potential allies is not the way to go about it.
There is a photograph being shared in Facebook of a woman cowering in a corner, eyes downcast, as large man standing in the foreground swings his fist at her head. The caption reads, “Women deserve equal rights. And lefts.”
“I can never get that photo back, it’s out there forever.” That’s one of the notes that B.C. teenager Amanda Todd held up in a video she made before she died by suicide. She, too, had been harassed online by someone she’d flashed her breasts at; the picture outlived her. In that case, too, Canadians were outraged, at least for a little while.
We need Susan Sontag to return and explain to us the connection between ubiquity of cameras and the weird anomie that lies behind this behaviour. On one hand, it occurs to me that technology is moving so quickly that we haven’t had time to lay down the ethical tracks for it to move along. We don’t yet know the consequences of young people growing up with 24-hour access to free, sexually explicit images, in which women are often degraded and intimacy is a transaction. On the other hand, I think: How hard can these lessons be? Don’t harm another person. Don’t film yourself harming another person. Don’t distribute images of a person being harmed.
Despite a billion lessons in equality and tolerance, we have yet to pass on the message that women are not things or tools or devices for sexual gratification. In particular, young men – not all, not a majority, but enough for it to be a problem – have failed to grasp this basic truth. I wonder, as I see legitimate news organizations run headlines like Jennifer Lawrence Most Wanted To Star In Sex Tape, if we ever will […]“The objectifier treats the objectified as a mere tool of his ends, and not an end in herself.” When that relationship is amplified online, as it increasingly is, it becomes much worse, because the subject then experiences humiliation over and over: “To objectify publicly is a variety of shame punishment.”
Here’s how it works: Each turn, you build some track and add a new station. And so do your opponents. Because you’re not the only line in town, you have competition. Your goal is to serve as many desirable blocks as possible, while keeping your opponents at bay. How? Well, every piece of track you lay down cannot be crossed. So every turn, you are building walls. The only way through is via stations.
Over time a subway system will develop, its layout determined by how you and your opponents have chosen to play the game.
That’s my elevator pitch. If you ever meet me in person and ask me about my game, I’ll say something like that. Try to look surprised.
Today in videos that will blow your mind: This is called a “Hyperlapse,” a time-lapse video built with a number of camera movements. This would be cool on its own (the process is generally very time-consuming), but the really awesome part is this: It was created using publicly-available Google Streetview data. There’s even a tool that helps you make your own. The results are rad in that way that few things are. I’m gonna stop talking now. Just watch.
Thanks to everyone who recommended me those bike light/ reflector companies! I had a meeting with my university’s campus safety and our city’s safety division. We’ve got a lot of ideas rolling around. Woohoo!
This is what people see as they commute to work in Philly.Hollaback Philly is absolutely doing it right.
This is quite brilliant because it actively challenges the problems of the ruling patriarchy and its impact on street harassment and (most importantly) shows why its wrong.
Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.”
But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys and that it took time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do pre-shoot before arranging the toys), whereas in poorer countries he found it much easier to quickly interact, even if there were just two or three toys between them.
There were similarites too, especially in the functional and protective powers the toys represented for their proud owners. Across borders, the toys were reflective of the world each child was born into—economic status and daily life affecting the types of toys children found interest in. Toy Stories doesn’t just appeal in its cheerful demeanor, but it really becomes quite the anthropological study.
A woman once told me pointedly something that has stayed with me to this day. We were kissing. Lying on the cold wood floor, my hand traveled across her stomach and she whispered, “I think we should take it slow.” I agreed immediately. Before moving in to kiss her again, I said, “Just tell me when to stop.”
This, I thought, was considerate. Respectful. Sexy. But she quickly corrected my mistake. Pulling away from me, her face took on a serious expression and the words she spoke illuminated a misunderstanding I had long nurtured, even as I knew myself to be a thoughtful feminist with much respect for other women.
In essence, what she said was, “Women are not given enough opportunities to say ‘yes.’”