Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rape Culture: why stand up when you can be silenced?

In case you needed proof that the rape culture is alive and well, check out the #MooreandMe hashtag on twitter. Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown, and a number of other tweeters, are speaking against the bully tactics being used to silence and discredit the women who accused Julian Assange of rape. A lot of misinformation has been flying around (perpetuated by news articles that have been making strange claims about rape laws in Sweden), and Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann publicized the names of the accusers through twitter. This was wrong: women who accuse men, particularly famous men, of rape are often threatened, assaulted, and harassed. Quite frankly, reporting a rape can be dangerous, especially when there is no repercussion for the men who publicize the alleged victims names. I don't know if Assange is guilty or not. I do know that these women are being victimized by the people trying to get them to drop charges by revealing their privacy and trying to scare them away.

We have to make sure that the men who casually retweet private information about these women understand that it is NOT OKAY. That perpetuating a culture of fear, a culture in which rape only matters when it doesn't interfere with a political agenda (or only matters when in happens to someone you know, or only matters if the rapist was a stranger to the victim, or if the victim has the right reaction...) is completely unacceptable. If we want a culture in which it is safe for a victim to say "I was raped" than we cannot let this kind of public harassment of accusers to continue.

Thanks Sady. Thanks for spending four days on twitter demanding a response from Michael Moore. Thanks for enduring trolls, threats, accusations, and name calling.

"to let none of us go missing without a fuss" - Margaret Christakos

Read Sady's MooreandMe Day 1, Day 2, and Day 4

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