rape culture


I got catcalled less than 12 hours ago. It was the first time I’ve had “positive” comments yelled at me by a stranger. Just like when they were intentionally hateful, I almost started crying. I did start shaking. It felt the same as the hateful ones.  I’ve had body image issues since I was a little girl. I’ve dealt with bullies, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. I’ve gotten harassment from strangers, online and offline, including abusive comments, rape threats, assault threats, and death threats against myself or family members. I’ve been told I was so ugly that I would never be loved by my grandfather and by total strangers. I’ve had acquaintances of my family tell me at my abusive grandfather’s funeral that I would be so pretty if I’d just lose the weight. I’ve been negatively compared to my gorgeous older cousin since I was little by other family members and, worst of all, myself. I’ve been called “earthquake” and “human manatee” and all sorts of other loathe some things. I’ve had grown men that I didn’t know tell rude things out of their cars at me when I was a preteen and a teenager. So when I say I’ve had experience with harassment, I mean it.  This felt exactly like that.  Maybe when the guy yelled into my car from his place of work that I was “looking good” and “gorgeous”, he thought that was nice. Maybe he meant it as a compliment. Maybe he thought I would appreciate it. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t a compliment. I didn’t appreciate it.  I was in my car with my mother. I thought I was in a place where I wouldn’t have someone harassing me. I thought, for lack of a better term, that I was in a safe space. All of a sudden, this comment changed things. I couldn’t hide from this person. I couldn’t get away right then. I just had to sit there and let someone I didn’t know objectify and dehumanize me. I had no out. If someone asked him about it, he might not even have registered that the incident took place. It probably isn’t a blip on his radar. If he did, he might say it was the dress I was wearing. It was strapless and short. I wore it so the physical therapist could check an incision from hip surgery  that took place on Monday. I didn’t wear the dress to be noticed. I wore it because it’s practical and appropriate in warm weather.  Even if I’d worn it for more superficial reasons, he would have no right to reduce me to an object the way he did.  I don’t even know what this guy looks like. I didn’t try to look for him. I was more concerned with getting away from him in that moment. And it wouldn’t matter what he looks like anyway, except that I would know to avoid him if I ever saw him again.  I know there are people who would think I should feel grateful. Well, I’m not and I hope I never am. There are ways to compliment people that aren’t harmful. Those are the compliments I’ll feel grateful for. There are truly wonderful men out there who know how to compliment and not objectify or harass women. Men like that are the ones I’ll applaud for their behavior. I will not applaud being harassed, objectified, disrespected, or abused solely because some random guy doesn’t know how to behave properly.  Photo credit: weaverphoto via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

How a Total Stranger Stripped Me of My Humanity in ...


After watching Audrie & Daisy, I seriously hope that Darren White loses his bid to be reelected. I know documentaries don’t always give you the full picture, but it’s clear that he doesn’t respect rape & sexual assault victims. This is one Democratic candidate I would never vote for, and a race where I’m actually hopeful the Republican wins. His bias was clear. Daisy Coleman deserved more from his department. He failed her. He failed the people of Nodaway County, and the bullying & vandalism that took place after her rape is proof that he is also unable to keep the peace in his community. He does not deserve to be a law enforcement officer anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t believe he will lose. If the people of Nodaway County and Maryville can be so hateful toward a rape victim based upon who raped her, then they might not even care about the miscarriage of justice by Darren White. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong and elect Randy Strong. I hope they do.

I Hope the Nodaway County Sheriff Loses



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Sometimes in life I feel the urge to rant about things that bother me and, guess what, Trump bothers me. A lot. So I decided since it’s the 2016 election that I would come up with 2016 reasons not to vote for Trump. Of course I realize this may not convince people to not vote for him, but it will allow me to express reasons he should never be the President of the United States. I know 2016 is a lot of reasons to come up with, but I believe I can come up with them. I will try to remember to include links to information backing up reason so that you will see that this isn’t just me making baseless accusations. There will be 99 posts of 21 reasons each over the next 99 or so days. This will give enough time before the election to get all 2016 reasons out.1 1. Trump is a liar.  As of July 23, 2016, only 29% of statements made by Donald Trump are considered Half True—15%, Mostly True–10%, or True–4% by Politifact. Even during his RNC convention speech, Trump couldn’t avoid lying.2 The Washington Post has accused him of being “pathologically dishonest“; the National Review labeled him the “post-truth candidate“. 2. Trump was accused of raping his first wife, Ivana Trump. During a deposition for their divorce, Ivana described a sexual assault perpetrated by Donald against her in 1989. When the rape was discussed in a 2015 article on The Daily Beast, Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization said: “You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse…It is true…You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”3 3. Trump was accused of attempting to rape Jill Harth. In 1997, Harth filed a suit against Trump alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 1993. Harth also accused Trump of repeated, unwanted sexual advances. She claims he groped her under the table at a restaurant and he pushed her up against the wall of his daughter’s bedroom and groped her again. The lawsuit was settled, though Trump denied the allegations. 4. Trump was accused of raping a thirteen-year old girl. The girl, publicly refered to as Katie Johnson, filed a lawsuit accusing Trump and Jeffrey Epstein of having solicited sex from her at sex parties at their homes in Manhattan in 1994. She claims Trump “took her virginity in 1994 when she was only 13 and being held by Epstein as a slave.” She said they threatened her family and her with harm if she didn’t comply. The claims were corroberated by a person referred to as Tiffany Doe. 5. Trump was implicated in the rape and disappearance of a twelve-year old girl. Katie Johnson’s lawsuit alleges that she was forced to participate in sex acts with a girl referred to as Maria Doe for the enjoyment of Donald Trump. Johnson claimed that Trump told her she “shouldn’t ever say anything if I didn’t want to disappear like Maria, a 12-year-old female that was forced to be involved in the third incident with Defendant Trump and that I had not seen since that third incident, and that he was capable of having my whole family killed.” These claims were also corroberated by Tiffany Doe. 6. Donald Trump is a birther. Remember when Trump decided to accuse Obama of not being born in Hawaii, meaning he couldn’t be the American president? Yeah, it was quite the story. And guess what? He still identifies as one, despite evidence that Obama was born in the country.4 Birtherism is blatant xenophobia, which has become Trump’s favorite -phobia. Well, aside from Islamophobia. And homophobia.  7. In his campaign announcement speech, he accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug dealers. Supporters of Trump like to point out that Trump followed that up with the statement that “some, I assume, are good people“—which doesn’t make it any better. It’s like telling someone that the bowl of strawberries they handed you has rotten berries in it, but that some aren’t actually rotten. It’s a xenophobic, good-luck-guessing-who-is-bad statement. It’s fear-mongering. Trump supporters really ate those rotten berries up. And guess what? It’s pretty much bullshit. 8. Trump used slave labor in Dubai. Slave labor was used to build Trump International Golf Course in Dubai. This was supposed to be the “greatest golf course in the world” according to the more-humble-than-you-know Trump. Workers made less than $200 a month and lived in squalorous conditions. 9. Trump has been accused of sexual harassment and humiliation by former employees. This year, Elizabeth Davidson filed a complaint with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission over remarks made by Trump while she was working for his campaign in Iowa. He has been accused by multiple women of mocking or degrading women working for him, using dismissive and sexist language to refer to them. 10. Trump has stated that he is attracted to his daughter, Ivanka Trump. Multiple times. His first caveat with his incestuous attraction is that he’s married, not that she’s his daughter. He joked about how she’s she could be in Playboy and that he could date her.  He only asserts that he’s her father and couldn’t date her as a side note. 11. Trump sexualized Tiffany as an infant. In an interview, Trump stated he’d like his then one-year olds daughter Tiffany to inherit her mom’s breasts. 12. Trump is hypocritical on Clinton’s vs. Pence’s support of the Iraq War. In last week’s 60 Minutes, Trump defended Pence voting for the Iraq War, while simultaneously bashing Hillary Clinton for her vote. Pence is, according to Trump, entitled to make mistakes. Hypocrisy, Party of Don. 13. Trump is hypocritical over receiving money/favors from Saudi Arabia. In another case of “do as I say, not as I do”, Trump likes to imply that Hillary has received money from Saudi Arabia either personally or for her […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump — Reasons #1-21