It is frustrating to live in a society where sexual violence is commonplace, and feel helpless to stop it. Many people are so disgusted and frightened for themselves and those they care about, that they do not have the patience to wait for our culture to right itself. It is from this frustration, impatience, and usually from a sincere worry for women’s safety, that people often will try to pass along rape prevention measures that may or may not be useful. [...]
Much of the safety advice that is given out is aimed at potential victims (quite often young women), that seems solid and constructive, but that largely ignores the social and societal context in which the violence happens, and also fails to take into consideration the practical realities of women’s lives.
It’s a question a lot of men have – they see themselves as feminist allies, they don’t want to be objectifying or creepy, but they still want to be able to express their sexual attraction to women whom they find appealing. And so they should – men and women enjoying sex together is a good thing! But I can understand why some of the things one learns as a feminist ally could make one reticent because of the possibility of putting one’s foot in it and being perceived as one of the bad guys, or even worse: appearing to be one of those predatory faux-feminist men who’s only parroting glib sound-bites in order to get laid.
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I know the site’s been a bit quiet lately – other things in life have been keeping me busy. Luckily, there’s still plenty of other strong feminist writing around, including this great series from Echidne of the Snakes: If you somehow missed my six-part (so far) series on the need for feminism, you can still […]
cross-posted by Melissa McEwan , originally posted at Shakesville on November 20, 2007 [Important Note to Feminist Noobs: This is a long post. It contains lots of different, though related, Feminist 101 kind of ideas about misogynist language. Please carefully read the whole post before commenting. If you don't understand one of the points that […]