June 12, 2016
by Cynthia 

In light of the latest high profile sexual assault case, we published Rape Culture 101 this week, a comprehensive breakdown of the term, it’s causes, and how it builds an environment in which rape is presumed to be inevitable, by GUTS editor Rebecca Blakey. You might also consider re-visiting this Dear BB entry, which gives some generous and thoughtful advice for men wanting to resist rape culture. Here are a few pieces from elsewhere that we’ve found particularly insightful this week:

  • “We need to talk about how so many reactions to stories like these center the mens’ feelings.” Anne Theriault on how men see themselves in Brock Turner.
  • “Brock Turner is wholly a creation of our culture, as is every rapist and abuser, and so is the system that let him off the hook.” Jes Skolnik on rape and justice beyond prisons.
  • “Prosecuting a rapist certainly sends the message that sexually assaulting someone has consequences, but it won’t on its own fell the monolith of rape culture” Marie Solis on how some rapists don’t know they are rapists, and what the consequences of this are in our current legal and social systems.
  • Earlier this spring, British Columbia’s provincial government passed The Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act, which gives universities and colleges in B.C. one year to enact specific policies on sexual violence that establish clear procedures for responding to disclosures and outline support services for people who endure rape. This week GUTS contributor Paniz Khosroshahy wrote about how Title IX works in the United States, and discusses how analogous mechanisms might operate in Canada.
  • More from Sara Ahmed on her resignation from Goldsmiths and  how to listen to those who have been excluded and silenced by the supposedly inclusive institution:

    Attending to sexual harassment, listening to those who are affected by it, whose lives are shaped by it, is emotional and hard work. Even when you have understanding, knowledge, it can be undoing and unsettling to listen to those who have been targeted and bullied in the place you work. Sometimes we have an idea of place because of our own histories: a place seems inclusive, radical, open, because that place was open to us, because that’s how it seemed to us. But that is not how everyone experiences that place, which means a place is not the same place.

  • Black Lives Matter activist Jasmine Richards has been convicted of felony lynching and sentenced to 90 days in jail with three years probation. Read Victoria M Massie’s overview of the history of the anti-lynching law and how the conviction works to intimidate and criminalize BLM activists nationwide.
  • Desmond Cole on the Vice documentary about an alleged gang, Dixon City Bloods, and how the doc further demonizes the neighbourhood and excuses the criminalization and harassment of Somali Torontonians by city police.
  • “What we see now is not the left ‘eating itself’ and the destruction of the great coalitions that brought so much progress in decades past. What we are seeing is what we’ve always seen: privileged white liberals demanding that those of us on the bottom sacrifice ourselves on the altar of the greater good.” Ijeoma Oluo on how the brown, queer, and poor are not the ones holding the left back.
  • Hillary Clinton declared herself  the presumptive democratic presidential nominee this week, becoming the first woman in the US to do so. It’s important to remember the ways in which HC isn’t exactly a champion of women’s rights but in fact embodies corporate feminism.
  • Have you read the new Zadie Smith story yet? You can also listen to Smith read it aloud. This passage feels particularly relevant to current discussions around rape culture:

The two men like to arrive in this manner, with a more or less friendly greeting, and this might remind us of the fact that all humans, no matter what they do, like very much to be liked, even if it’s for only an hour or so before they are feared or hated—or maybe it would be better to say that they like the fear that they inspire to be leavened with other things, such as desire or curiosity, even if, in the final analysis, fear is always the greater part of what they want.

  • “There aren’t many futures more chilling to me than one in which not even the march of time can free us from our oligarchs” Charlotte Shane on the bleak future promised by life extension technology: more white men.
  • I love this: Leanne Simpson reads poetry from her spoken word album Islands of Decolonial Love with musician Tara Williamson
  • This: Lemonade is a journey to love—but not simply romantic love we’ve seen over and over between a wayward man and a hurt woman— this work concerns itself with forms of love seldom explored in the pop world: love of self, love of community, love of womanhood and Blackness, love of spirit; the kind of love Baldwin said ‘takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.’”

Image: From Hidden Figures, a forthcoming film about the Black women mathematicians who where instrumental to NASA’s space program in the Jim Crow South of the 1960s.


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