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lunedì 13 marzo 2017

Anti-Rape Protest 9

Women took to the street in Kingston to launch a movement to combat rape culture as women across the Caribbean rise up against gender violence.

“There’s a new army in Jamaica and they are recruiting,” wrote former Jamaican senator and self-described changemaker Imani Duncan-Price in a recent op-ed in the island’s The Gleaner newspaper.
“This is not an army that fights with guns and M16s — though they are militant about their cause,” she continued. “The aim: to finally make Jamaica safer for women and girls, to deal systematically with the scourge of violence against children and women.”
Jamaica’s new militant force Duncan-Price wrote about is the rising Tambourine Army, a recently-founded organization leading a fight against gender violence in the Caribbean nation.
The Tambourine Army made its protest debut Saturday with a Survivor Empowerment March in Kingston in solidarity with a series of women-led marches across the Caribbean — in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominica, Guayana and Trinidad and Tobago — sparked by the #LifeInLeggings movement to protest violence against women. During the march, organizers presented a 20-point platform for change that highlighted the need to combat rape culture.
The call to action invited women and allies to bring tambourines, whistles and pots and pans to the march to make noise to protest gender violence and the normalization of rape culture and victim blaming in the wake of a recent wave of femicides and other attacks against women and girls in the country. The tipping point came when allegations surfaced that a church pastor had raped a 15-year-old girl — just one example of more cases of church leaders abusing their power and trust in the community to prey on and rape girls.
The group describes itself as “survivor-centred, action-based” and “committed to justice, healing and empowerment for survivors, changing cultural attitudes towards sexual violence, and removing the scourge of sexual abuse, rape and all other forms of violence against women and girls.”
During Saturday’s march, demonstrators carried signs blasting rape culture, while speakers read out the names of women who were killed by their intimate partners last year.
While the women-led march also garnered support from men, women reported on social media that some men harassed demonstrators as they passed and threatened to rape women in the march.
“Their behaviour isn't surprising. In fact it's the norm. Our society has tolerated disrespect esp(ecially) against women,” tweeted TV personality Terri-Karelle Reid after other tweets detailing some of the insults and threats she heard at the march.
“Their behaviour is why we marched today and will continue to march,” she continued. “We will get louder, we will get more intolerant and we will fight.”
At least eight women have been killed by their partners in Jamaica in the past few months. According to Duncan-Price’s op-ed, a total of 134 women and girls were killed in the country in 2016, up from 116 the year before.
The Caribbean overall is home to soaring levels of violence against women, and Jamaica — along with Barbados and Bahamas — is among the 10 countries with the highest rates of rape in the world, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crimes. Nearly one third of all women in the Caribbean have suffered domestic abuse.
Facing those levels of violence and daily harassment, women are taking a stand, and Saturday’s Survivor’s Empowerment March in Kingston and similar demonstrations across the region are just the beginning of a budding movement.

Jamaica's Tambourine Army Fights Gender Violence, Rape Culture 12 March 2017

Hundreds of Wellington students gathered outside Parliament this afternoon to take a stand against rape culture in their schools.

"Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence stop the rape," the gathered crowd chanted as they waved signs in the air declaring "my little dress does not mean yes" and "consent is not a joke".
The fired-up protesters were prompted to take action following comments posted online by Wellington College students joking about taking advantage of drunk or unconscious women.
I don't want to stand in front of you today and say that I hope to see a better future for my daughter. No, I want change now, for my generation.
Norma McLean, 14
One comment said: "if you don't take advantage of a drunk girl, you're not a true WC [Wellington College] boy."
Another comment said "f*** women".
The comments spurred four Wellington East Girls' College students into organising a protest arguing for consent education in New Zealand schools, and rebuking rape culture.
The protest started at 4.30pm and drew a large number of people, male and female alike.
At the entrance, a group of teenage boys handed out pamphlets for White Ribbon that said: "What kind of guy do you want to be? YES to respectful relationships."
"No matter what I wear, no matter where I go, yes means yes and no means no," was another chant repeated by the crowd.
Numerous signs were waving around in the crowd, including one printed across a pair of underwear on a mannequin bottom.
"I might be butt naked but that doesn't mean yes," it said.
Another sign was emblazoned with a picture of a uterus and the words: "we are not ovary-acting."
Other signs said "this sign would be funnier but rape isn't a joke" and "toxic masculinity ruins the party again".
Wellington student Norma McLean, 14, made a speech to the protesters and was greeted with thunderous applause at the end of every other sentence.
"I want to see a future in which all women can stand tall like we did at this protest," she said.
"I look out at all of you here today and I am so proud, proud that I can be a part of such an important protest.
"I don't want to stand in front of you today and say that I hope to see a better future for my daughter. No, I want change now, for my generation.
"I am 14, and already I have experienced sexual harassment while only walking down the street. I don't want to reach the age of 18 and already be afraid of going outside in the dark. Why should I be afraid? This fear makes me angry, angry that rape culture is still so large among us."
McLean also addressed the men and boys in the crowd.
"Please go forward, spread this message to every man you know. The buck stops here with you. Rape culture stops here with you."
One of the protest organisers, Sorcha Ashworth, also made a speech, saying they were calling for respect.
"It's important we teach the rights a woman has to her own body before the rape culture teaches it first," she said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women Paula Bennett also came down to speak at the protest, commending those attending.
"I think it's incredibly powerful that such a large group has turned out," she said.
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox also made an appearance, saying it was "so amazing" to see everybody come out in "such numbers".
She addressed the Wellington College boys attending.
"You could have buried your heads in the sand, you could have said 'that's somebody else's issue, I don't do that, that's somebody else's class."
Instead they were making a stand, she said.
"These young women could potentially be one of your wives in the future. If I were you I'd choose one of them because they know what's what about sexual violence."
A group of women in "pink pussy hats" sang a song, called Quiet, which was first sung at the women's march in Washington DC.
Former Auckland mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick was also there to join the protest.
She told the Herald she was in town and decided to come along.
She said it was "crucial" to end rape culture, and also focus on the issue itself rather than terminology.
She said one in three girls would be sexually abused before they were 16, one in seven boys, and 90 per cent of those incidents of abuse would be from someone the victim knew.
"That's a rape culture."
Swarbrick said it was also important that it was young women organising the protest and leading it.
"Keep fighting," she said.
One of the organisers, Selome Teklezgi, said the turnout was "amazing".
She was feeling "pretty emotional" at the response.
Co-organiser, Narjis Al-Zaidi, said they didn't expect so many people.
"I think it still hasn't sunken in yet."
Hundreds join protest against rape culture in NZ March 13 2017

The SRC at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has launched a campaign calling for a safer environment for students - saying rape and rape culture need to end.  
SRC president, Kuhlekonke Ntuli. says some measures have been put in place - but that security at residences still needs to be beefed up. She says the awareness should ideally be 365 days long. 
"Currently, we find a rape culture in universities where a lot of young people are vulnerable due to unconducive environment in universities. For example, the issue of accommodation and the issue of funding," she said. 
Early last year, protests broke out at the university after a drama student was raped by a fellow student on the Pietermaritzburg campus.  
Then in September at the same campus - a student was sexually assaulted - allegedly by police during "Fees Must Fall" protests. That case in still being investigated.  

The university has welcomed the anti-rape campaign. 

SRC-led anti-rape campaign calls for students' safety Puseletso Petersen

A study by student advocacy group End Rape on Campus has revealed the systemic failure of some of Australia’s highest ranking universities to deal with rape and sexual harassment allegations.
Over the past five years, more than 500 complaints of sexual assault — including 145 complaints of rape on campus — were made to the university administrations of several high-profile universities across NSW, ACT, Victoria and WA:.
Of these allegations, End Rape on Campus reported that only six cases — just 1.2% — resulted in the expulsion of the alleged perpetrators.
As campus returns for 2017, students are demanding that university administrations start the semester by taking responsibility for the rape epidemic unfolding under their noses, and stop ignoring complaints and covering up the reports.
President of University of Sydney’s Student Representative Council Isabella Brook said: “Universities are taking academic misconduct, such as plagiarism, more seriously than rape.
“We constantly have students telling us that the support is not in place when they experience issues of sexual assault on campus.”
The report broke new ground on the rape culture brewing on Australian campuses. One submission details an activity known as “rockspidering”, in which male students knock on female students’ doors and consider the woman opening the door as her consent to sex. A submission from another campus claimed that the campus dormitories are known as “slut alley” and the sports oval “the rape oval”.
On-campus services for survivors of sexual assault and rape are known to be inadequate and underfunded.
Students at the University of Sydney have slammed the university administration after a letter was obtained showing the university failed to allow police to release information about an attempted assault on campus in August last year, due to “public interest”.
The screenshot of the police report, acquired by Channel 7, revealed that “CCTV footage provides excellent shot of ‘Person Of Interest’s’ face, suitable for identification. Nemesis stills have already been distributed. In the event that he is not identified from the nemesis email, police will consider a media release. The footage depicts the actual offence taking place, which is quite shocking. It would have strong appeal to television news networks. Contact victim and Sydney University before undertaking this option.”
University Group Secretary Alex Maitland said the information was withheld from the student body because “there are overriding public interest reasons against disclosure of the documents and objects to the release of information”.
Unless rape culture is tackled on campuses, students are facing another year of sexual assault allegations being ignored and swept under the rug. The problem goes right to the top of the university, and so must our attention.
Real change will begin when a feminist movement is built on campus that the administration can no longer ignore. We need to push student welfare, an end to campus misogyny and justice for survivors to the top of the agenda and keep the pressure on universities to deal with rape and sexual assault allegations seriously and promptly.

Universities fail to address campus rape epidemic GEMMA SCARLETT March 10, 2017

Nearly two years after she beat a Title IX investigation stemming from her essay on “sexual paranoia” on campus, Northwestern University Prof. Laura Kipnis got a rude welcome to Wellesley College.
Campus sexual-assault activists published a video denouncing Kipnis on Wednesday, just an hour prior to her lecture to a Wellesley group that promotes intellectual diversity.
Shutting Down Bulls**t with SAAFE” goes after the “white feminism” of Kipnis, who wrote a second essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education about her “Title IX inquisition.”
The video was made by Sexual Assault Awareness For Everyone, a student group. Though they do not identify themselves in the video, The College Fix identified them as Wellesley students Molly Nyberg, Katherine Hyslop and Jalena Keane-Lee.
She’s not a feminist because ‘white feminism is not feminism’
The Wellesley College Freedom Project, founded in 2013 to promote “tolerance, pluralism, intellectual diversity, and freedom of expression,” hosted Kipnis for a lecture at its annual Censorship Awareness Week.
The Northwestern professor, a cultural critic who teaches filmmaking, received a different honor from SAAFE before she took the dais.
“Welcome to ‘Shutting Down Bullshit with SAAFE,’” a pink-haired young woman says. “The bullshit that we’ll be discussing today is the work of Laura Kipnis.” (It appears to be the first video in a potential “Shutting Down” series.)
In the video, the Wellesley students seek to “shut down” the rhetoric of Kipnis by debunking five “myths” they attribute to her 2015 Chronicle essay “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.”
In that essay, she had argued that campus policies prohibiting professor-student sexual relationships are infantilizing, and that these policies subvert the agency of students to make their own choices.
Kipnis challenged the conventional wisdom that professors can “force” their students into sexual relations. The result of this “obsession with helpless victims and powerful predators” is that “students’ sense of vulnerability is skyrocketing,” she wrote.
But the Wellesley students were most upset by Kipnis’s claim that rape culture isn’t real.
“To put it simply, rape culture is the values, actions, and traditions maintained in a society which normalizes sexually aggressive and coercive behaviour,” says Hyslop, a senior majoring in media arts.
“Which Laura would know if she was actually a feminist,” Nyberg and Keane-Lee chime in.
They take issue with Kipnis’s assertion “How does one know sexual advances are unwanted until you try?”
Psychology student Nyberg retorts “Consent, Laura! It’s called fucking consent,” without answering the question Kipnis posed.
To reiterate their earlier claim, the students conclude with “Myth #5: Laura Kipnis is a feminist.”
Kipnis cannot possibly be a feminist “because white feminism is not feminism,” they say, without defining “white feminism.” The students then accuse Kipnis of “deciding to keep only the parts of feminism that are convenient” for her, and decry her for having “controversial conversations for the sake of being controversial.”
There are some “basics” of feminism “which Laura obviously hasn’t grasped yet,” they say, defining real feminism as “inclusive” and which “actively fights against systems of inequality.”
The video does not refer to anything Kipnis has written in five books on gender and sexual politics.
The video concludes by saying SAAFE “shuts down patriarchal bullshit instead of adding to it.” Nyberg initially agreed to a Fix interview but later declined. Hyslop and Keane-Lee did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Inviting liberals who ‘challenge the views of their own side’
Wellesley Sociology Prof. Thomas Cushman told The Fix he created the Freedom Project to bring speakers to campus who “might not otherwise be heard,” such as “conservative, libertarian and classical liberal speakers.”
It has since “evolved” to “bring liberal speakers who have made arguments that challenge the views of their own side,” he added.
Regarding the SAAFE video, Cushman said he welcomes it as “form of dissent” and respects “the emotions within it,” but said its claims about Kipnis’s views were not “accurate or fair,” which will be clear when the Freedom Project posts Kipnis’s lecture.
Censorship Awareness Week is just one way the Freedom Project promotes its mission.
It also hosts a speaker series – “Why Conservatives Embraced Criminal Justice Reform” is one upcoming event – and a yearlong academic program focused on freedom that accepts 15-20 students every year.
The project has even bigger plans for next year, Cushman said. It’s working with New York-based Scholars at Risk “to host refugee intellectuals from authoritarian countries who will be provided a refuge to continue their scholarly work without intimidation.”

Anti-rape activists ‘shut down’ female professor who decried ‘sexual paranoia’ on campus TONI AIRAKSINEN - BARNARD COLLEGE •MARCH 10, 2017

Rape culture, at large, is described as a culture whose prevailing attitude perpetuates the acceptance or trivialization of sexual assault. However, every individual understands it differently.
Lynn Otterson, director of the Women’s Center at UIS, said, “It’s a culture – whether it’s a small micro-culture, like a group of friends, or large culture, like a nation – that does anything from [encouraging to tolerating] sexual violence.”
It goes anywhere on a continuum from encouragement and promotion of sexual violence, to a culture on the other end that tolerates it,” she said. “But in between all of that, there’s a lot of people.”
Andrea Duvendack, a 21-year-old communication major at UIS, described rape culture as oversexualizing, victim-blaming, and stereotyping women.
“It is a lot of victim-blaming,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Well, what was she wearing,’ ‘Was she asking for it,’ ‘Was she drunk,’ stuff like that.” 
Molly Looby, a UIS sophomore and Women’s Center student worker, noted that strong gender roles also impact rape culture. 
“[There’s] this idea that women are submissive … that women can’t really say ‘no,’ or that men are sexual beings, so they have this entitlement to sex,” she said. “I’ve seen it [in Springfield] … even at this school, I see that kind of [rape culture] mentality.”
Duvendack said that she often unfriends people on Facebook when she sees them perpetuating rape culture.

“I had a Facebook friend who was in an argument, and he said in a comment that ‘gang rape is the best rape,’” Duvendack noted in one example.
In other cases, however, people don’t always feel comfortable speaking out.
Looby said, “You see somebody go against the group by saying, ‘This person raped me,’ and then you see them get ostracized, you see them get bullied, they get cast out, and you don’t want that to happen to you, so you stay quiet.”
“There’s a lot of things where it’s more of a ‘look the other way’ thing,” Otterson said. “If you’re the one that’s saying, ‘That magazine, that ad, that game, that comment [is] wrong,’ you risk losing your social credibility.
“But I also think a lot of the time … is people really aren’t 100 percent sure,” Otterson continued. “They’re uncomfortable with what they heard or saw, but they’re not sure if they’re right.”
Things that perpetuate rape culture can be subtle, like joking about sexual assault or the objectification of women in advertising, or they can be direct, like victim-blaming. 

Yves Saint Laurent Ad Reportedly Banned by French Watchdog Katya Foreman March 10, 2017


One example of victim-blaming can be seen in the comment thread of an article from the southern Illinois newspaper the Belleville News-Democrat. The article describes the case of a man who was arrested after engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl.
While a number of people expressed disgust with the man, another select set of people questioned and even blamed the girl.
“It wasn’t rape,” one commenter said. “He got caught on some jailbait from the article.”
Another commenter said, “Girls lie about their age all the time. Not fair to younger adults.”
“What I see in the cultures here in Springfield is that people will be strongly against rape,” said Looby, who is a Springfield native, “… but when someone comes out in that community and says, ‘This man sexually assaulted me,’ they’re like, ‘Well, can you prove it? I know him, he’s not like that.’”
While asking questions when faced with serious accusations seems like a benign and reasonable response, many scholars believe that showing immediate distrust of a victim’s claims could have a negative impact overall.
“I think the most important thing to do if a victim discloses to you is to listen to them,” said Dr. Leanne Brecklin of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “Mostly it’s just believing them, listening to them, not passing judgement in any way on their behavior or questioning them on what they did.”
Brecklin described several “rape myths” that help perpetuate rape culture. The idea that someone deserved to be raped, that how they dressed was “asking for it,” or that their lifestyle or scenario calls into question whether they’re a “real victim” are all rape myths.
Other rape myths, as described by the Women’s Center’sBlow the Whistle on Sexual Assault packet, are that rape is only committed by strangers, that only women get raped, and that “women frequently ‘cry rape.’”
“Research really has shown that false reporting is not common,” Brecklin said. “The fact is that women rarely report sexual assault as it is, and those that do report it tend to be factual.”
Multiple sources, from the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report to independent studies, place the rate of false accusations of rape between 2 and 10 percent. 
Victims who choose to report, they may be blamed, they may not be believed, they may face secondary victimization from law enforcement, or from court personnel, or the media, or even just friends and family that they tell about the assault,” Brecklin said. “It’s not likely that a woman would want to go through the experience of reporting for a fabricated story.”
“It’s very hard to talk about perpetration, because the numbers are so dire. … I’ve been [at UIS] 22 years, and I always say that the climate has changed about speaking openly,” Otterson said. “The good news is there’s more discussion overall.”
“As a society, we’re getting better,” Duvendack said. “We’re starting to take back our own rights and our own feelings.”
“I think that education is the most important thing on this,” Looby said. “You can’t combat [rape culture] if you don’t know what it is.”
As April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month, various educational opportunities are coming up for the UIS community. 
The Women’s Center, specifically, is hosting several events through March and April promoting relationship and sexual health, beginning on March 3 with Safe Sex and Healthy Relationships BINGO. Other planned events include an “It’s On Us” luau on April 6 and Take Back The Night on April 28.

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