Despite the fact that sexual harassment is shown to have a more damaging impact on victims than any other forms of school bullying, teachers are less likely to intervene in incidences of the former. Why? Well, as Jena’s teacher said to her, ‘boys will be boys’. The sexual harassment of girls is viewed as ‘normal’ behaviour for boys. And it is precisely this naturalising of the act, this insidious complacency it elicits, which has enabled sexist bullying and harassment to flourish in classrooms across the world.
When we talk about war and the casualties of war, women are rarely discussed. Wartime stories are heroic battle tales, fought among men; or they commemorate the suffering and deaths of soldiers. Never do we hold nation-wide days of remembrance for the women and girls who were brutalized and killed during wartime. Yet the tragedy and injustice of war makes women and girls its victim daily. The comfort women are symbolic of this erasure and it is our responsibility to acknowledge and address the way in which women and girls are sacrificed by our nation’s wars.
I read old novels. The reason is simple: I prefer proper endings. Marriages and deaths, noble sacrifices and miraculous restorations, tragic separations and unhoped-for reunions, great falls and dreams fulfilled; these, in my view, constitute an ending worth the wait. They should come after adventures, perils, dangers and dilemmas, and wind everything up nice and neatly. Endings like this are to be found more commonly in old novels than new ones, so I read old novels.
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
A lot of truth, that.
Males as a group have and do benefit the most from patriarchy, from the assumption that they are superior to females and should rule over us. But those benefits have come with a price. In return for all the goodies men receive from patriarchy, they are required to dominate women, to exploit and oppress us, using violence if they must to keep patriarchy intact. Most men find it difficult to be patriarchs. Most men are disturbed by hatred and fear of women, by male violence against women, even the men who perpetuate this violence. But they fear letting go of the benefits. They are not certain what will happen to the world they know most intimately if patriarchy changes. So they find it easier to passively support male domination even when they know in their minds and hearts that it is wrong.
[T]he “confidence gap” is not a personal defect as much as it is a reflection of a culture that gives women no reason to feel self-assured.
In girlhood, starkly-divided toy aisles teach us that engineering, electronics and science toys are for boys, that the futures for which we should be preparing are those of the Barbie Dream House variety. Adolescent girls - especially girls of color - are given less teacher attention in the classroom than their male peers. A full 56% of female students report being sexually harassed. Sexual assault on college campuses is rampant and goes largely unpunished, women can barely walk down the street without fear of harassment, and we make up the majority of American adults in poverty.
The truth is, if you’re not insecure, you’re not paying attention. Women’s lack of confidence could actually just be a keen understanding of just how little American society values them.
There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere.
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
I’ve discovered this lately. It’s both wonderful and distressing at the same time.
That a secret fraternity is a breeding ground for rape culture is worrisome, but that it’s happening right in our nation’s capital makes that even harder to stomach. According to Erin Gloria Ryan’s research, one of the men in this email chain now works for a “prominent congressman.” Judging by how much rape culture permeates the political scene in the U.S., with influential politicians saying things like, “Rape is kinda like the weather. If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it,” or that certain forms of sexual assault should be legal, it’s no surprise many women still feel like DC will never stop being an old boys club. Of course not all men (or fraternities) promote rape, but it’s troubling to see so many that do.
When men imagine a female uprising, they imagine a world in which women rule men as men have ruled women.
There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.
A disproportionate focus on the way men’s lives are affected by rape accusations has an important role to play in rape culture. It reverses the power dynamics, positioning accusers as aggressors. Suddenly it is no longer the alleged crime, but its reporting that is the act of violence. It increases the pressure on victims who might already feel intimidated, asking “are you sure you want to make such a fuss? Are you aware of the damage you’ll do? Haven’t you got enough shame to deal with already?” It’s another form of victim blaming and it’s another way in which victims are seen as less than human, faceless objects in relation to which potential perpetrators have the right to define themselves again and again.
She knew that girls were lesser beings. Her mother’s voice whispered that she had been a son and heir.
On the contrary. You are suffering from hysteria. Most of your sex do, at some time in their lives.