Posts tagged arguments.
you guys should never complain about anything. there’s kids in africa. they’re there in africa. the kids.
“it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a word”
i’m pretty sure that’s the point of words
to mean established things in order to make communication possible
What I do want to tell you is that you need to stop using the “wives, sisters, daughters” argument when you are talking to people defending the Steubenville rapists. Or any rapists. Or anyone who commits any kind of crime, violent or otherwise, against a woman.
In case you’re unfamiliar with this line of rhetoric, it’s the one that goes like this:
You should stop defending the rapists and start caring about the victim. Imagine if she was your sister, or your daughter, or your wife. Imagine how badly you would feel if this happened to a woman that you cared about.
Framing the issue this way for rape apologists can seem useful. I totally get that. It feels like you’re humanizing the victim and making the event more relatable, more sympathetic to the person you’re arguing with.
You know what, though? Saying these things is not helpful; in fact, it’s not even helping to humanize the victim. What you are actually doing is perpetuating rape culture by advancing the idea that a woman is only valuable in so much as she is loved or valued by a man.
The Steubenville rape victim was certainly someone’s daughter. She may have been someone’s sister. Someday she might even be someone’s wife. But these are not the reasons why raping her was wrong. This rape, and any rape, was wrong because women are people. Women are people, rape is wrong, and no one should ever be raped. End of story.
There’s a difference between enjoying something that’s problematic and excusing something that’s problematic because you enjoy it.
CASUAL THINGS YOU DO THAT TRIVIALIZE RAPE (SO PLEASE STOP DOING THEM)
- Making rape jokes. Examples: ‘rape is just a struggle snuggle’ or ‘it’s not rape if you say surprise first’ or ‘if you rape a prostitute, is it rape or shoplifting’ or ANY OTHER RAPE JOKE.
- Calling situations that are nothing like rape rape. Examples: ‘that math test totally raped my ass’ or ‘the IRS really raped me this year’ or ‘i would absolutely rape something to eat right now’.
- Questioning survivors. Examples: ‘are you sure you didn’t just change your mind in the morning?’ or ‘I don’t think it’s rape if he’s your boyfriend’ or ‘are you just saying that so you won’t be called a slut?’
- Talking about rape as a positive. Example: ‘I would love to get raped by a hot girl’ or ‘I wish [insert attractive female celebrity here] would rape me’,
- Pantomiming rape. For some reason, the guys at my school think it is the absolute height of humor to sneak up on each other and simulate humping one another while yelling ‘rape!’. PRO TIP: It isn’t funny at all and it makes you look like a complete and total asshole.
- Calling all physical contact rape. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen (usually, but not always) guys at my school engage in minor physical contact like accidentally bumping someone in the hallway or seen two of them wrestling, and one or both will start laughing and screaming “RAPE! RAPE! HE’S RAPING ME!”
This is obviously a very incomplete list, so please feel free to add your own.
PS - If you do any of this stuff, you are an asshole and you need to stop right now
Murphy justifies keeping students from grappling with this history in the name of “[making] sure every kid in the county is protected.” In this reckoning, 17 and 18 year olds need protection from a few lost nights of sleep, from realizing that people are capable of doing truly awful things, from the knowledge that some people live with horrific, daily, inescapable violence.
Here’s another question: which 17 and 18 year olds need protection from this? Many teenagers know these things already. Some because it’s an unavoidable part of their history. So many others know these things from direct experience. To be able to assume a blanket right to protection that can be exercised simply by keeping scary books out of kids’ hands is the product of an amazing level of privilege and disconnectedness from reality.
As Prof. David Leonard says, the argument from a white parent living in an affluent suburb that “children” as an undifferentiated class need to be protected from merely reading about such things “speaks to sense of entitlement and notion of whose innocence, security, and personal joy deserves attention [and] protection.”
This is a roundabout sort of white supremacy that coopts the language of keeping kids safe to say that the experiences people of color actually lived are too volatile even read about. And let’s be clear, it’s not simply the fact that these are stories about people of color that is at issue. It’s the fact that these are also histories of white people, and histories that are fundamentally incompatible with mythologies of whiteness, particularly the myth of whiteness as innocence.
A history where people of color are the innocent victims of white violence is an offense to white supremacy. So demands are made for preserving the “innocence” of white kids, something that requires denying the innocence of communities of color subjected to white violence and colonialism. White students must be shielded from the trauma of confronting the violent acts and legacy of people who looked like them – perhaps even people they are descended from.
I hate the phrase “boys will be boys” and I think it should be replaced with “bad parenting results in assholes”