Rape Isn’t a Women’s Issue

10.25.11

Earlier today on twitter there was a lot of back and forth about smart partying for college kids. They suggested designating a sober partier, never leaving your drink, not having drunk sex and there were a few nods to making sure other people stayed safe. There was also the statistic that 50% of sexual assaults in college occur when people are drinking.

I’m sure most college graduates find the 50% number shockingly low.

I worry though that we’re having the wrong conversation. Maybe because October is fraught with pinkwashing I’m extra prickly to messages that purport to help women but succeed only in making us victims.

The conversation that mothers should be having with their children is simple. We need to tell our sons that they cannot sexually assault girls.

Do our girls need to be savvy? Certainly they do. Our daughters will get savvy quickly because at tender ages men will surely give them unwanted attention. They will learn to be a little fearful, they know they are physically smaller and weaker than men, and they are fully aware that love and sex aren’t one in the same. Girls learn this from catcalls, boys learn this from jokes about dropping the soap in the shower.

Do we need to teach our daughters that there are multiple dangers in binge drinking? Absolutely. We need to teach our sons the same thing. Why aren’t our sons being told that their lives will be ruined if they misinterpret a “no” for a “maybe later”.

Everyone is so obsessed with protecting the virginity of our daughters that we’ve totally neglected the important conversations that must be had with our sons.

Our sons need to know that if a girl is hemming and hawing about sex they need to get up and walk away. The boys need to know that sex with a drunk girl is not consensual. The kids, all the kids, need to know that drunk sex with anyone is non consensual.

Talk to your sons and daughters about the age of consent in your state.

When horrible people are sentenced to prison we make jokes about anal rape in the showers. Though we may have some level of blood lust for the worst offenders we’re sending a message to everyone that rape is a deserved punishment for bad people.

It follows then that when we call girls slutty or skanky (and I’m totally guilty of this) then they become bad people, and we’re conditioned to believe that bad people ought to be assaulted.

I know how to prevent sexual assault, it’s not all a girl’s job.

Lawrence Taylor Gets Probation: Heads Explode Across the Nation

03.22.11

Lawrence Taylor has been sentenced to six years probation after pleading guilty to “sexual misconduct” and having sex with an underage prostitute.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what “underage” means, the girl was 16. Sixteen is YOUNG, and LT is no 22 year old that could have been confused. Apparently she was also recently beaten.

I’m sad that our sports/music/TV stars are seemingly given carte blanche to abuse our women and girls, and then celebrated once again. I really do worry that this is happening every day and the only reason we know about it is because Lawrence Taylor was an NFL Hall of Fame athlete.

We should all worry about this. The news isn’t that LT has admitted he is a sexual predator. The news isn’t that once again a football great has behaved worse than an animal. The news isn’t that Gloria Allred has once again inserted herself and will likely get rich while a young lady is hung out to dry.

The news is that when a 52 year old man hires a 16 year old child for sex it’s a misdemeanor. That is very very bad news.

Manhattan Beach And Momversation

03.4.10

This week on Momversation Asha, Karen, Maggie and I got to talk about sexual abuse. Yeah, lucky us.

I can’t just present this video to you without some back story. I grew up in Manhattan Beach, Califrornia. In 1974 my mother took me to The McMartin Preschool for an interview. Something dropped or broke (that I don’t recall) and I said, “oh shit”. My brother and I were not accepted into Manhattan Beach’s best school, and instead we went to the co-op nursery school.

The Manhattan Beach of my youth was a very small town.

In 1983 and 1984 my friends were questioned about abuse. There were dolls, and police, neighbors’ yards were dug up. Every parent who ever buried a pet rabbit was worried, and McMartin was whispered everywhere. My neighbor was two years younger than I, in the weeks between her “interviews” she pulled out all her eyelashes. She was twelve.

Ultimately the McMartin’s were convicted, parts were overturned, some were dismissed, and everyone’s lives were ruined. The entire South Bay lived under a shroud.

Right now the town of Lewes, Delaware will experience the same issues my hometown did. Every time you look at a child of a certain age, you’ll think, am I allowed to touch him/her… hug, handshake, wave? In addition to the unspeakable pain of the children and parents directly involved, Dr. Earl Bradley raped his hometown. He stole their ability to trust, even if he didn’t touch their children.

With that, I present to you, this week’s Momversation.

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