Re: What's the difference? *LINK*
Posted By: karibkween In Response To: Re: What's the difference? *LINK* (karibkween)
Date: Sunday, 19 June 2011, at 12:46 p.m.
In Response To: Re: What's the difference? *LINK* (karibkween)
"While the Parents Television Council condemns the video's graphic violence (which isn't much worse than anything that makes its way to prime-time network TV), there's potential for a much bigger and more important conversation. What Rihanna does in this video complicates our very simplistic narrative regarding women's sexuality. Here we see that even if a woman is flirtatious and sexy and likes "whips and chains," she has every right to turn down men she isn't interested in sleeping with.
And we see that there is no justification for her subsequent sexual assault, no matter what she was wearing or how she acted before it happened. When rape occurs in real life, far too often we focus on a woman's dress or behavior as justification for the act. Whether it's explicitly stated or not, we have established a cultural understanding that certain "types" of women and girls "deserve" or were "asking" to be raped.
Public discourse on rape and sexual violence sometimes gets stuck in the realm of victim blaming -- when more emphasis is placed on the character of the accuser than on that of the accused. We have seen this play out multiple times in recent history. An 11-year-old girl was gang-raped in Cleveland, Texas, and we found ourselves in a discussion about what kind of clothing she was wearing, the implication being that if she was dressed provocatively, the 18 men accused of her assault were somehow seduced into raping her.
We see it in the media's handling of the case concerning the 32-year-old Guinean housekeeper who accused the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, of sexually assaulting her at the hotel where she worked. In the aftermath, the New York Post ran the headline "Hotel Maid in HIV Shock: IMF Gal in AIDS-Help Apartment," in what amounts to nothing more than a smear campaign and attempt to turn this woman into what Salamishah Tillet, co-founder of the anti-rape organization A Long Walk Home, describes as "the sexual predator rather than a potential victim."
It's reflected in the acquittal of Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno, two New York City police officers who were charged with the sexual assault of a woman they were called to help. According to the woman, Mata served as lookout while Moreno raped her after assisting her to her apartment. Because she was drunk, in some minds she couldn't know what happened to her that night or was likely a willing participant in any sexual encounter that did take place.
The media narrative surrounding the cases would lead one to believe that the survivors of these attacks are not entitled to justice, in part because of their own behavior.
In her video, Rihanna is like one of those girls."
"Man Down," defies stereotypes about rape
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