I read something on msn.com the other day and it just totally irks me beyond belief. If this seems more like a rant, it probably is one. There are two things that bother me about this particular article – one is the idea that some of the guilty parties would say ‘it’s just a joke’ therefore it’s free speech and the other is what’s happening is a prime example of rape culture. If you need an idea of what rape culture is, I suggest you read this.
The article I am referring to from msn.com is this one. It talks about a Facebook page dedicated to graphically belittling Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. The article indicates there were active military members liking this page and commenting on it (granted – it only indicated three and that’s only based on those listing themselves as active duty, but that’s three too many regardless). The page had a total of 182 likes so who the others were, is unclear. (p.s. – I only note the military because Speier is working to reduce/eliminate rape from the military and find a better way for justice for those who are victims of rape. It just shows that rape culture is alive and well in the military; I’m NOT anti-military though. I support the troops but not rape culture, wherever it may exist).
What bothers me so much about all this is one the abuse of free speech in my mind. I already wrote on this topic, but please feel free to read the article. It may help explain some of what I’m talking about here. I personally am all for the freedom of speech but hate speech, such as this or similar isn’t okay in my mind. Speech or other freedoms that infringe on others is no longer acceptable and to me this is what that does. It also promotes harming others, etc., and that simply can’t be protected, or at least it shouldn’t be.
Second what bothers me so much is this Facebook page, while it existed, is a prime example of rape culture. There are still far too many people who dismiss rape, don’t take it seriously or somewhere in their twisted little minds think it’s okay to rape (regardless of gender but in those instances seems mostly geared toward women). I really can’t understand how someone could even remotely think this type of behavior is acceptable – not just posting to a ridiculous Facebook page, but to think like that in general. It really drives home the point that there is much more rape going on than is reported. Many statistics through the years (granted I didn’t do all my homework this time around and don’t have those stats; I mostly am speaking just from my opinion only) have shown that many survivors don’t report rape for any number of reasons, one of which I’ve heard in the past because even they aren’t sure it was rape. Stupid gray areas. That doesn’t include intimidation or other reasons for wanting to stay quiet on the matter.
It’s absolutely mind boggling, disheartening, disturbing, upsetting and any other word you choose to use here, that this is going on in our world. I just think it ridiculous and perhaps a bit oxymoronic we’ve convinced ourselves that we’ve made such advances in rights for women when these things are still clearly happening. Look at what happened in Steubenville. Look at this about this Facebook page and this is 2013… NOT the 1950s. So much for treating women as equals; for seeing them as the humans they are and not just another sort of punching bag for male aggression. I can only hope that the Internet is making it possible for more and more people to speak out about this; for people to organize events to protest or hold demonstrations showing support for survivors and for ending rape and the culture that goes with it.