Trigger warnings for fuckwittage misogyny and rape culture.
Ladies and gentlemen, I fear my snark may be high in this one, because I honestly cannot actually believe we are having this conversation still. And today I am finding it hard to engage compassionately with the Other Side. So forgive me. If feminist snark is likely to upset your poor little man brain, just label me a horrible SJW (I wear it with pride anyway) and move along back to Reddit or wherever you came from. I thank you.
Okay, so! Some poor misguided man children got themselves in trouble this week here in Dunedin for making a Facebook page called the “RACK Appreciation Society”. Essentially, it was for (mostly uni student) boys to post pictures of naked (or nearly naked) women so they could all check out their racks and make manly grunting sounds, I guess. I should be able to stop here, because that should be enough for you to go, UGH gross objectification rape culture, shut that shit down.
But it gets better. Because some of these guys thought it would be a good plan to post pictures of their ex-girlfriends, pictures given to them in confidence and trust within the confines of an intimate relationship. I believe the term amongst the MRA clan is “revenge porn”. Do I need to explain why this is a problem?
*waits for all the victim blaming outrage to die down*
Apparently I do. Because we still live in a world where that kind of shit is labelled as “boys being boys” and the women in question are blamed for ever allowing any sort of sexual behaviour WHATSOEVER to happen in their lives. (Oh, and if they don’t? They’re frigid prude bitches, so you know, we can’t win.)
You know, if your response to any of the above information is something like “She shouldn’t have given those pictures to him if she didn’t want people to see them”, then you are PART OF THE PROBLEM. This is just another version of the idea that once you’ve granted some consent, you have implied ALL consent. Just… seriously, just fucking stop and think about it for half a second.
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl hit it off. Girl trusts boy. Boy and girl engage in an intimate, sexual relationship. At some point during that trusting, intimate phase, girl gives or sends boy some sort of sexy picture. Things go bad, and they break up. Boy then… POSTS THAT PICTURE ON FACEBOOK? Really? AND then GIRL gets blamed because, don’t you know you should NEVER OPEN YOURSELF UP TO ANYONE. You should NOT under any circumstances EVER trust a single human on the planet, especially if said human is a straight male, because come on, WE ALL KNOW WHAT GUYS ARE LIKE, AMIRITE? That’s your argument? And *I’M* meant to be the man-hater?
Look, I love men. Some of my best friends are men! (Hah, see what I did there?) And because I like and respect men (like I like and respect HUMANS), I just fucking expect better than that from them. I expect them to step up and act like GROWNUPS. I expect them to respect the intimacy of a private relationship, to respect that what happens within that intimate space stays there unless you have express permission to share it. I expect MY partners to respect and care for me enough that they protect the truly precious thing that intimacy is, EVEN AFTER IT ENDS. I have pictures of that sort of some of my exes, and they have them of me, and even the ones where it ended REALLY BADLY I expect that those pictures will stay private unless they explicitly ask me if they can share, and I SAY YES. I wouldn’t show them without permission, and no one else should either.
I just… Guys, this culture of victim blaming, this “boys will be boys” mentality, seriously, it hurts everyone. It doesn’t just upset us because we’re humourless feminists and we can’t appreciate “a bit of fun”, it upsets us because it’s a symptom of a really broken way of viewing human relationships. In fact, it’s a broken way of viewing HUMANS, particularly those of us who identify as female. It is a symptom of a broken societal power structure, yes, and you can come and argue that with me till the cows come home, but it’s also just… it’s FUCKING INSULTING. To everyone. It’s insulting to women, for reasons which I’d think by now are obvious, but apparently aren’t, since the maintainer of said page claimed quite unironically that it was meant as “appreciation and respect” for our gorgeous bodies that are totally his right and domain, I guess. It’s insulting to men that we don’t expect better from them. It’s insulting to our relationships that we think that trust is stupid. That being dumb enough to trust someone means that you’re totally asking for whatever breach of trust comes along.
How fucking sick are we as a society that THAT is our dominant narrative?
Look, if you know me, you know I am anything but humourless; in fact, the people who know me well know I have a dark and often very inappropriate sense of humour. But this shit is BANANAS. We need to change that narrative. Hold these idiots accountable for, yes, I’m going to say it, sexual violation. And MRA people, if you’re still reading, you really need to stop for one second, stop waving your arms around and using SJW as an insult, and realise that, FOR REALS, this is insulting to you too.
BE BETTER, humans. I know you can. I believe in you. That’s why I’m still fighting.
(And you know, thanks to the RACK AS guys for the extra exposure. We take our advertising in any form, even when it comes wrapped in manchild misogynist douchebaggery.)