November 17, 2008

A little deeper

My greatest joy over the past two days has been my new rat, Reagan. She is the cutest, sweetest little girl, with the softest little belly. She was the oldest rat at the pet store, and since most people have a preference for baby rats, I thought I'd help a sista out and give her a home. Turns out I got lucky cause she's already extremely tame and just...freakin adorable.

Our other rat Jackie is having a hella freakout and attacking her all the time, which is really sad to watch, cause Reagan will just squeak, then sit there being groomed violently by Jackie, and after she's done, Reagan just sits motionless, looking completely violated. So we've switched her into another cage next door till they get used to each other's smell.

Watching the tensions between my two lady-rats for
hours this evening has made me think about an article I read today. I know, that was the worst segue into another topic EVER, but I thought I'd at least *try* to make some connection.

I read THIS article today about a quote from the usually babelicious and awesome Helen Mirren.
In it, she has said in an interview with the Sunday Times over in UK that in a rape case the defence "would select as many women as they could for the jury,
because women go against women.

'Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don't know.

'But other women on a rape case would say she was asking for it. The only reason I can think of is that they're sexually jealous"

WTF DUDE. Okay, I will cede that her first point that
"women go against women" can ring true often. But in a rape case, one could be are sexually jealous? Could a contributing factor to this view be that, in our society, when a woman is raped and is brave enough to come forward and name her rapist, she is harshly scrutinised and often met with disbelief - especially if she knew her attacker, and without having to quote any stupid statistics, being raped by someone you know is FAR more common than stranger rape. So what was she doing to "deserve" it, what was she wearing, did she "provoke" that behaviour? The underlying theme here is WAS IT HER FAULT? And the answer is, duh, a resounding NO! There is no woman, ever, who is at fault for a rape. It really is that simple.
Here's what the Brisbane Sexual Assault Services defines as sexual assault:

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behaviour where consent is not given or cannot be given and includes childhood abuse, verbal abuse, harassment, touching and rape. Sexual assault is an act of violence. It is about power and control acted out in a sexual way. Sexual assault is a crime, whether the offender is a stranger, partner, family member, fr
iend or care giver.

To follow that all up I have this other great article from over at Feministing about sexual assault training and education that is focused on men. Instead of classes focused on women, how you should watch your drinks (which you should) or not walk down dark alleys at night, how about starting with dudes - I liked this quote from the article:

"Hey, see that girl over there?" Jones recalled an acquaintance asking, nodding toward a woman he wanted to take home. "She's almost drunk. Not qui
te drunk enough. ... What shot should I buy her?"

There was a time, Jones says, when he might have laughed off the remark. Not anymore.

"You want to buy her something really strong to like, basically knock her out?" Jones, a University of Minnesota senior, recalled saying. "Man, that's not right. That's rape. That's sexual assault."

The acquaintance looked stunned. "Whatever," he mumbled, and walked away.

I would absolutely LOVE to see this change in the guys that I know, as this has happened to me - I have had friends of mine say offensive things to me, and I think that because I'm a "tomboy" they think I will agree with them. No dude, it ain't cool.

To end on a completely unrelated and adorable note, here's another picture of Reagan. Love you!


  1. Yes yes, rape is bad, we know this. What's your point? I think we all agree on that at least.

    Good length for your blogs. Subscribed.
    What did you mean by a little deeper?

    A good lawer can exploit body language of the jury in their favour, regardless of sex. The subconscious is a beautiful topic, and one rarely saught out and read about.

    Do note my comment, like your blog, flows in no continuous order.


  2. Thanks for subscribing.
    A little deeper - I'm new to exploring anything "controversial", so yeah, I am a little bit unordered in this blog.

    My main point was to explore the seemingly popular view that raped women "asked for it" - the mindset that a raped woman is anything but a victim absolutely baffles me.

    I didn't note anything about lawyers exploiting jurors body language - I took the quote to mean that "women against women" is sort of an inherent competition we have against each other. housemate?


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