September 15th, 2009


PSA: Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Thank you to badgerbag for calling our attention to this important list of prevention tips:

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.

If we try a little harder, we can kill her off

karnythia posts on the outrage that is the current media treatment of Caster Semenya, including linking to a report that Semenya is under suicide watch.

This is how the human race deals with difference: stigma, humiliation and exposure to the point that the subject under scrutiny self-destructs. That way we can tell ourselves that we didn't actually murder anyone. Even though we do. Every day.

Edit: Just to clarify, as karnythia writes: "Between the misogyny and the racism and the privilege and the sheer entitlement on display this is one of those areas where intersectionality cuts to the bone and then beyond." This is a specific violation of human decency being undertaken by a specific segment of human society. Saying that this is how the "human race" deals with difference glosses over the reality that not everyone in the world is complicit with what is going on. I haven't followed the story closely because as soon as I read about the leak of her test results I knew that this was going to result in a particularly vicious display of gendered and racialized violence thinly defended as the media's "right to report"; because this sort of thing is not conducive to my own will to live, I don't go out of my way to expose myself to every single story. But one doesn't have to do that to know the basic outline of how she is being treated. That segment of heteronormativity that polices gender is not a universal human construct no matter how much the current brokers of globalized culture would have us believe that it is; nor are the racism and misogyny which karnythia pegs as its co-conspirators in this case. I think it is extremely important to consider exactly which cultural center(s) anchor this particular "outing" and subsequent feeding frenzy.