rape

Twitter Death Threats are Tasteful and Decent

Kill all men. 3 words that erased all the times I was raped, sexually assaulted and beaten by men. These 3 words justify the death threats against me. In saying these words, I have confirmed that I am just as bad as the entitled men and any report I make of abusive behaviour against me is invalid.

I have just finished speaking to the police who called to update me with regards numerous threats to kill and the reams of racist abuse I have been subjected to on Twitter. They advised that Twitter, being based in California refuse to provide British law enforcement officers with any information even in cases where there are threats to kill because their laws around taste and decency differ from ours. Apparently they only concede for serious crimes like murder (not threats to murder).

I want to know how the Metropolitan police were able to investigate the abuse aimed at Twitter activist Caroline Criado Perez (and Stella Creasy) and were able to convince Twitter that the words used to threaten her did breach taste and decency standards even though she is also in the UK (like me). I asked the officer who called me (from West Midlands Police) why this disparity between activists on Twitter when we’re all women receiving death threats and whether she could blame me for thinking it is rooted in structural racism? She maintained that she was just passing on the message from their techie guy and it had nothing to do with race, more that Twitter was refusing to comply. She was also confused because they said it was about protecting their users from opponents of free speech and that surely this protection should be extended to me too, also one of their users.

Why would it though? The internet is awash with rapists and their apologists, misogynists who fantasise about murdering and humiliating women (and probably do in their relationships) and the overall response has been amusing for them. Social networking sites like Facebook will delete an image of a woman breastfeeding a hungry baby because it breaches standards of taste and decency (and sets them apart as somehow enlightened – Darwin award please – among the mammals) yet raging racists like Britain First get a free pass. Murdering entitled scum from the states get a shrine devoted to worshiping male power. Twitter hasn’t responded to the two tickets I got from them acknowledging I’d made complaints regarding gendered abuse and DEATH THREATS but why would they?

In a world where 50 women have been murdered by men this year in this country alone, am I really surprised that gendered abuse is still being ignored by the men in power? The kind of world where the reaction to homicide perpetrated because male entitlement is one of praise and in support of male privilege, not condemnation of the kind of society that allows sick individuals like these to thrive. In a society where rape victims are asked what they did to provoke a rapist into raping them, am I surprised that the 3 words I have at my disposal to empower me when I’m feeling weak (but angry still) are considered equally harmful to the sexual abuse I have been subjected to my whole life (the experiences I have on twitter being an extension to a collage my brain has collated over the years)?

Of course I’m not. This doesn’t change the physiological effects of silencing and legitimisation of abuse has on me. I had a panic attack and had to cut the call short. This was after I explained that I would not be deleting my online profiles because I will not let them succeed in their campaigns to silence me. I won’t let them have the satisfaction and to insist I am complicit in abuse against me if I do not is victim blaming, nothing more or less. It’s not like I have a choice, I do the things I do so that the world is a safer place, one that I can be a part of. Unfortunately this whole incident has served to remind me that I can’t expect this and that attempts to change the status quo will be met with reinforcements from the oppressors.

I’ve advised the police I would like for this complaint to be escalated to their superiors and to find out how it was possible that 2 people were sent to prison for similar offences against a blonde woman.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

TW: Would you report your rape to the police?

I have a Google email alert for sexual offences police corruption. It’s been a busy week for a few bastard coppers. I created the alert after the case brought against Ryan Coleman Farrow who was convicted of 13 counts of misconduct in public office (THIRTEEN) yet received only 16 months in prison for his crimes despite the fact that one of the victims killed herself following his negligence. They described him as a ‘rogue officer who set out to deceive’ implying that victims should not be alarmed by his practice, as though he was the exception not the rule (even though there was some vague reporting of a coinciding case where the defendant could not be named for whatever reason). Another of Coleman Farrow’s cases involved the rape of a 96 year old woman (she died without justice) by her son, in her own home. I would imagine if you were going to make an example out of anyone to serve justice as a reminder to the rest, this would be the one but I cannot say that 16 months is a particularly effective deterrent especially given that he could be released in half that time.

I want to prove that this kind of conduct is endemic in police forces across the world. I want to point out how ridiculous it is for us to expect these people –among the most likely to demonstrate their entitlement – to protect us from the worst of violations. We can start by having a look at this pig. Here we have the judge using the Polanski Defence in his ruling; the poor sod was so grief stricken due to the death of his wife, he couldn’t help but molest a 14 year old child. He was given a reduced sentence because of the effect on his own 11 year old. Here is a court identifying two counts of indecent assault against a minor yet all the while subtly condoning his behaviour in the form of a lenient sentence of 18 months and actual fucking praise for having done “so much for the public in North Wales”. The defendant, Donnelly, had told the girl she reminded him of his late wife. Now, I cannot be the only one alarmed at the fact that this man has been given a reduced sentence because of his own underage child (who is probably more likely to remind him of his late wife if the child is from that pairing?). The judge said that he hoped the public would understand “the balance the judge has to make in these cases” to which I put this; he is now a schedule one sex offender. Will social services and probation follow up these offences and supervise his contact with any minor given that he has a conviction for subjecting a child to cruelty, exposing them to ‘moral and physical danger’ and will be on the sex offenders register for the next decade? Doubt it.

A lot of victims don’t get to court because of how the system is set up to favour perpetrators (rape culture) or through fear that the case will play out as the one above. Many more make the decision to report abuse but then fall back after their first encounter with the cops. I can understand why. As a general rule they aren’t the most sympathetic in nature nor friendly, their job is to contain disorder so that it protects the surrounding area (buildings mainly). It is a huge leap to entrust these (mainly) men with sensitive information when we are afraid they are capable of the same things.

As a DV worker I was aware of a few ‘rogue officers’ in my line of work. We knew one of them was quite a sadistic abuser, all the while giving the impression he took domestic violence seriously but we couldn’t let on because his victim was also a colleague. Imagine that; working for a domestic abuse organisation, unable to point out the perpetrators in your midst because mendacity. If the truth had been outed, she would have probably lost her job. Imagine reporting your abuse to someone like the copper I worked with. What do you think he’s going to do? I would think he probably couldn’t care less and depending on how vulnerable you were, might try this. Then imagine that the Met refuse to accept responsibility for an on duty uniformed police officer (one who has been convicted and dismissed from the force for his actions) for taking advantage of a vulnerable drunk woman who was unable to consent. What will their defence entail? She shouldn’t have been so drunk she was unable to protect herself? But.. The police are supposed to protect us. We don’t see them as individuals; they are the police (plural). With this stance are they in fact reminding us that the police are free to act with impunity? No accountability? No responsibility? It certainly seems like it. I’m yet to see the term ‘rogue officer’ applied with this recent spate of predatory coppers. Perhaps because it would be an unashamed blag and at this juncture, career suicide for anyone stupid enough to stand by it. The Sapphire Unit (since “overhauled and renamed” allegedly) has been exposed for its corruption yet again. A detective constable and police constable facing claims that they faked records (perhaps in a bid to boost detection rates a la Coleman Farrow). The public are not waning in confidence, they are livid with anger at this blatant disregard for victims of patriarchal violence. These perps are not just the knuckleheaded cap toting Neanderthals we find at demos but senior officers; detectives at the top of their game. Like this prick. Of course the police will not be commenting at this stage because anything they do say, can and will be given as evidence.

This isn’t just A Thing we have to endure in Britain, police officers in forces all around the world are guilty of almost identical crimes. The intention is to maintain patriarchy, by keeping vulnerable people afraid, teaching them that the state controls what happens to their bodies, it decides your value and whether you can access justice. The same people we are consistently forced to trust with our most intimate violations are in fact the same ones who keep rape culture alive. These officers in America used their authority in exactly the same way ‘rogue officers’ do in every corner of the world. They are in a position of immense power (one where they are perceived to be fighting the forces of evil) and instead they use it for its intended purpose; one of power and control in a hierarchy determined by the patriarchy. Even when they are caught red-handed the preferential treatment they receive in sentencing compared to say, black males, is an overt display of double standards and a reminder that they still win even when you throw the rule book at them. We need a different system.

Violence against women is pandemic (TW)

Whilst Sunny Hundal points his finger at the whole of India for its burgeoning rape epidemic, Jim Davidson has been arrested for sexual offences. In what seems to be a never ending spectacle of horror, Britain’s ‘National Treasures’ are being outed one by one for their abuse of women and children. The lead singer of The Lost Prophets has been charged with conspiracy to rape a child under 13, conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child under 13 and making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children. Rape Crisis Scotland responded to 12000 calls in the space of 12 months. End Violence Against Women revealed 41% of women aged 18-34 have experienced unwanted sexual attention. Meanwhile a New York police officer is accused of plotting to kidnap, rape and EAT women.

On doing a Google news search for rape, I went as far back as the 20th December only to discover that rape seems to have vanished from our streets. There were a couple of local reports of women being attacked by strangers in parks but the first 12 pages speak of India’s fall from grace. The whole world is rightfully appalled at the horrific way our sister met her end. But it seems to have had a magic effect on rapists the world over. Have they stopped raping?

I would love nothing more than for this to be true. But I feel it is unlikely when, on New Year’s Eve I stood waiting for a friend to collect me from Aldgate East station. It was 2am, I’d left one set of friends to meet another. As it drizzled, I stood under the canopy of the entrance, rolling myself a cigarette, hoping I wouldn’t be noticed. A group of lads exited the station and immediately gravitated towards me. I braced myself, angry that they would dare to do so. The leader of the pack stood in my personal space, less than a foot between us and stared at me square in the eyes. He had a sick cocksure smile planted on his face and leaned towards me. “Happy new year” he sneered. Of course all hell broke loose and I told him to fuck off in as many ways I could muster but he stood fast, my words barely making an impact. His friends were either side, all staring at me as they thought things and I felt sick. I remembered the woman from Delhi and I thought of whether she’d felt the same, did she think the approaching group of men were ‘just being a nuisance’? Did she know what they would do to her? Who could predict such a thing? It felt like they were there forever but then a male friend showed up. He saw me shouting at them and rushed over. I babbled at him, and he turned to them “if a girl tells you she doesn’t want to speak to you, you fuck off!” The whole party started shouting their excuses, denying their part, with no intention of backing down. A man passing by joined us and stood shoulder to shoulder with my friend. He threatened the other boys. So they skulked off.

I was shaken by this. I am no match for a group of men. My friend wasn’t much of a threat to them either. It was only as my situation drew attention they appeared to lose some of their power. Later that evening another group of strange men would surround my young friend and tell her she was a slut and should cover up with one of them stating Allah had granted him the right to put her in her place for being an apostate. This man was white with a ginger beard. Crowds of people stood around as they threatened us. Nobody spoke up.

Patriarchy is controlling each and every one of us right now. It’s telling us that the Indian rapist is a new breed of perpetrator, so horrific in his methods that we need to focus our attentions on sorting THAT country out. An epidemic suggests a rash of incidents, as if it’s a new problem or that somehow it has gotten much worse. That’s what patriarchy wants you to believe. India has always had a problem with rape. Just like the UK has always had a problem with rape. That’s how patriarchy works. And it keeps you battling the very same problems because it tells you it happened elsewhere. By pointing the finger at India and referring to the woman from Delhi as the Indian girl, it has become someone else’s problem. Instead of the global virus that it is. Rape is very widespread in India. But it’s widespread here too.

Damini’s rape will change India. It already has. Women are taking to the streets in solidarity. Global pressure and bad press will force Indian to review its penal code. If the mobs are successful, rapists will die. We hope. But when this happened to Mary Anne, what did we do?

It was 2006. Mary Anne was 16. She and a friend were abducted and then raped and tortured for several hours. The perpetrators had forced them to take drugs and they were repeatedly told they were going to die. Mary Anne eventually died from her numerous stab wounds. Her friend miraculously survived a bullet to the head. Where was the outrage for Mary Anne? Why are we not still angry?

Patriarchy minimises rape: “Do you honestly think a woman is treated the same in India as in the UK? REALLY?”. It defines it for you. When something like this happens to a woman, the menz trip over themselves to mansplain it to us. Instead of thinking, fuck those Indians need a telling off, why not think, fuck, rape is an evil thing and rapists need taking out? And then do something about it. Make it unacceptable to laugh or joke about rape lest the rapist thinks he’s got a friend in you. Raise your boys and girls with a clear understanding of consent. For a start, reason with your children why they must brush their teeth instead of forcing the brush into their mouth. Show them why it’s good to ask for permission.

Smash male privilege.

Smash the patriarchy.

Don’t feed the trolls.

This is not a race issue (which is one of patriarchy’s more evil inventions); this is about power and control of women by men. The only way to change things is to highlight them and keep the pressure on ALL governments. Let the rapist know we’re watching.

We’re watching the Indian ones right now.

Who’s watching ours?

Perpetrators, Paedophiles and Patriarchy

It’s been a while since I was a teenage girl but I can remember how I used to feel. I am one of an identical set of twins. Identical, but different still. I was the quiet studious one, she was the pretty one all the boys wanted. Identical remember? I was a few pounds heavier so this made me the fat one. Pounds, not kilos or stones. They said I had a bigger nose even though most people couldn’t tell us apart at first glance. I was a coupla inches taller than my younger sister by four minutes, but patriarchy doesn’t care for a healthy body mass index just sex appeal and next to me; she was a little bit skinnier and more talkative, especially with the boys.

She was 12 the first time a boy called her frigid. He was the cock of the class, advancing through puberty with straight As and all the girls wanted to be his girlfriend. I did too but I can’t remember why, it was just what we did. We weren’t thinking of losing our virginities, heck, we didn’t quite understand how that all worked. The gesture of the finger through the hole was frightening, what on earth did it mean? My sister was called frigid for refusing to let this boy kiss her cheek. In fact, she thought he’d already gone too far by holding her hand! A little while later we’d heard he’d cheated on her with a girl a coupla years above us. Everyone said they’d had sex and everyone called that girl a slag. But everyone gave him a pat on the back and whispered about who’d get to be his next girl. This behaviour was considered normal.

Teenaged girls are walking the tightrope to acceptance. I’ll never forget how an ex described how happy and reassured he was that his recently tweenie daughter was funny; a skill that would help her fit in with the boys. He actually said that it didn’t matter if a girl was not so attractive as long as she had the ability to charm them over with her wit. It was then I understood that he understood patriarchy and how it controls women. To fit into this man’s world, you’ve gotta make yourself attractive to them, on their terms.

And so we start shaving the baby bird down we sprout when our bodies start changing. We aspire to be the girl the other girls don’t like; they’re only jealous. We want a boyfriend but that’s only because so and so has one and if we don’t it’s probably because we have herpes. The word virgin makes us cringe and it’s only when we lose our virginities that we realise it’s too late, now we are sluts and can never be a virgin again. Some of us will have to have our hymens sewn up so that we can pretend it never happened. It’s that or risk death in the name of patriarchal ‘honour’.

In light of the Savile enquiry, with hundreds courageously coming to the fore, our society has had to think seriously about the way in which we silence child victims of sexual abuse in this country. They have been scorned and accused of making their allegations up; because it’s easy to present as a victim of systematic abuse? Only it’s not. How is one hardwired to think of people being so duplicitous as to convince a jury that they have been horrifically violated, sexually, against their will? Imagine replaying those incidents over and over in  your mind until one day, when you feel for the first time people are actually listening, you dare to share the crimes committed against you, hopeful that you will have finally have support. Except.. They say that you are lying, that they don’t believe you and this is something you have conjured up for financial gain.. Why would anyone risk putting themselves through this unless they are telling the truth?

Even if you are telling the truth and the judge believes you, convicts the perpetrator and locks him away, there’s a message in it for you still. It doesn’t matter that you’ve just only just left primary school, haven’t even had all of your jabs, the fact that you were there shows you were willing. This is what Judge David Farrell QC had to say whilst passing sentence on Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro, jailing them both for just 40 months because he accepted the perpetrator’s defence that she was ‘willing’ and looked at least 14.

Judge Farrell said: “Despite her age it is accepted that she was a willing participant, but the law is there to protect young girls from this type of behaviour and to protect them from themselves.

“The girl had clearly been subjected to systematic sexual exploitation and you willingly used her for your own sexual gratification. It is aggravated by the fact that the event was being videoed.”

I disagree, Judge Farrell. The law is there to protect children from men like you. And you are there to implement the law, not make a mockery of it.

But he’s the not only one. Last month Steven Pollock admitted to violating a 13 year old girl. He was duly convicted of sex with a minor yet somehow managed to walk free from court with just an order for community service and undertaking that he should attend a sex offender’s programme. He obviously knew he was committing an offence when he told his very drunk victim to pretend she was 16. The CPS changed the original charge of rape because they could not establish whether she had given consent.

CONSENT?

How is a minor able to give consent? Is this not a clear cut case for statutory rape?

Lord Turnbull has difficulty answering this question. “It is important to understand that the offence arises out of consensual conduct rather than any form of force, grooming or manipulation.”

MINORS CANNOT GIVE CONSENT.

DRUNK 13 YEAR OLDS CANNOT GIVE CONSENT.

THIS IS CALLED RAPE.

When the judiciary are sending out a clear message to victims that they brought it on themselves, how is it any wonder that Savile’s victims remained silent for so long? Even when they convict offenders they have to slip in a warning (control) for all victims. Anthony Parry was recently convicted of rape and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. His victim awoke to find Parry raping her. Despite this and the fact that Judge Niclas Parry found the defendant guilty, he added that the victim had “let herself down badly” by drinking heavily and taking drugs on the night she was attacked. He told her she had made herself “easy prey for a rapist”.

Take this as a warning women, you should all just accept rapists exist and that they will rape you if you don’t do a better job of immunising yourself against this sort of thing. Stop drinking, stop having fun, change your clothing (but don’t cover up too much lest they think you’re a Muslim, and what a can of worms that is) and for chrissakes, stop sleeping around, or you’re just asking for it.

Sign this petition, not because I believe it will ultimately change anything for the big menz in power but because it is raising awareness by its very existence. RT it, forward it on to your mailing lists, keep talking about it. The more we say, the more we can do to affect change.

Judge Niclas Parry, apologise and retract your victim blaming comments:

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/judge-niclas-parry-apologise-for-and-retract-your-victim-blaming-comments-to-a-rape-victim

The patriarchal media and its victims

It’s hard being a victim. The very word implies submission to a violent or aggressive act, one in which we were overpowered and controlled. It makes us feel helpless and vulnerable. Being a victim or coming across as one leaves us open to further victimisation. And so we prefer to say we are survivors. We were able to overcome the horrific circumstances that threatened to shut us down and because we have survived we deserve praise for our resilience and ability to rise up. To do this, we need recognition. Firstly to recognise for ourselves that we fought hard and that it wasn’t our fault. Our clothing is not to blame, nor our looks or the time of day. Secondly, that our supporters believe us and in doing so protect us from further harm, defining the line for what is acceptable, ensuring that we do not begin to believe the lies our media and politicians spin in order to control our movements and associations.

A sex scandal is what happens when a supposedly happily married media ‘personality’ cheats on their long suffering, eternally loyal partner. Why it is any of our business, I won’t pretend to understand but for the sake of a comparison, that is how it reads to me (and I hope for most people). My aversion to the phrase aside, I strongly object to those words being used to describe CHILD ABUSE/STATUTORY RAPE (where patriarchy calls the underage victim willing and ‘older than their years’). In one article exposing the child abuse/sexual violence perpetrated by the voice of Elmo (yes, really), he is described as having ‘sexual relationships’ with underage ‘accusers’. Minors cannot consent to ‘sexual relationships’.

NON CONSENSUAL SEX IS RAPE.

(You can read the article here http://huff.to/WMoubA)

The writer of this article calls it underage sex and suggests the voice of Elmo continues to experience ‘misfortune’ as a result of the allegations. Hey Elmo, it really is bad luck that you’ve been caught abusing children. Maybe if we tarnish your young victims with the sort of language that implies something sexual happened but they’re only making it known now cos they want to see you go down, you’ll be spared a proper punishment and the victims will be ridiculed instead.

What do Berlusconi, Dominique Strauss Kahn, Jimmy Savile and Elmo have in common? They have raped and abused and violated women and children without their consent. In the British press, they are all allegedly involved in ‘sex scandals’. There are numerous attempts on behalf of the patriarchal press and media to silence the victims by giving a platform to the perpetrators (‘I’m not an abuser and that’s the end of that. Now give me money’) and using language to convince you of their innocence. Victims do not want to be associated with a sex scandal. It is sordid and implies they were actively involved in some way. By implicating the victims and suggesting that they are in some way to blame, patriarchy ensures that survivors remain victimised. It creates a barrier for other victims to speak out too. It normalises abuse by rebranding it as just sex and the ‘accusers’ as jilted lovers or scroungers after their 15 minutes. Just like the many women who believe partners have more rights to their bodies than they themselves do (wish I’d been there when patriarchy invented this one) even when she doesn’t feel like it, the message we are consistently given is that there are levels of rape and your rape isn’t even rape rape. In fact rape rape is extremely rare so in this way patriarchy has convinced you that sexual violence against women just isn’t even a thing (what rape culture?).

This is one of many examples I could give regarding the way news is reported in a patriarchal system and how it influences society’s attitudes to victims of gender related crime. In as many weeks, 2 perpetrators of domestic homicide murdered their wives before committing suicide. Neither case was reported to involve domestic abuse. There was an emphasis on the behaviour of the murdered woman in the run up to the incident, perhaps she liked a drink and was ‘bubbly’ (read overly friendly/in your face). There were no indications as to the behaviour of the perpetrator except maybe he’d had a spell of depression (sympathy please) and don’t forget what an amazing personality/leader/sportsman he was and what a loss this will be to the world. The language used attempts to invoke sympathy for the abuser; it paints a tragedy not a brutal murder.

It is powerful and influential and they know this.

..Don’t even get me started on child ‘porn’.

The First Obstacle To Equality

“I don’t want to say anything cos they won’t believe me.” A sentiment almost exclusively owned by women. Whether disclosing rape or thinking of telling our pals their boyfriends are womanising scum, we fear repercussions on speaking the truth. There was an incident in which we were victim, we were hurt physically and/or emotionally, we know what happened wasn’t right. Yet it’s instinctive to bottle up and withhold justice for ourselves because we know, society will simply not believe us. What makes us so unbelievable?

Bro code, an unspoken agreement between men that their woman is their property and brothers must not risk the woman coming between them. Yes, she is damn fine and tempting but don’t fall for her, instead, give that big man chest a primal thump and a knowing look; “bros before hoes”. They will believe each other before they believe you, in some misguided solidarity with the brotherhood irrespective of the offender’s track record. Whereas, a woman; her reputation, her previous record says everything there is to know about her morality.

Do women who have had sex always tell lies? Jane Clare Jones asks for the Guardian.

“In the patriarchal playbook, a woman’s moral virtue is synonymous with … well, her virtue. Good women are chaste and pure. And the others – those who express their sexuality in ways not sanctioned by church and state, those who are sexual at all – are quite simply not to be trusted. They seduce and entrap. They’re dirty and diseased. And, above all, they are deceitful and duplicitous. If they want to moralise, they should, as Rogozin told us in his second tweet, put their pants back on. And if they refuse, nothing they say is to be taken seriously or believed by anyone. A simple sexual slur, and, as if by magic, a woman’s word is instantly devalued, divested of authority and discredited.”

(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/13/women-sex-lies-pussy-riot-madonna)

This makes sense. Rape victims, sexually assaulted against their will have actually had non-consensual sex. Despite the fact that they did not agree, potentially fighting off the perpetrator with every bit of strength they had, men will instantaneously believe they must have brought it upon themselves. “They love it really.” By the mere fact they own vaginas. If she wasn’t doing a good job of keeping her vagina shut, i.e. sewing it up so it’s not a “gaping pocket” or covering herself so that she looks just like any other Dalek, then she must have been “asking for it”. How patriarchy has twisted the way we view women, their bodies sexualised even when breastfeeding their infants. People are disgusted by the most natural act of them all. Because, well, it’s private, for a husband’s eyes only. Only on humans though, we are more than happy to guzzle back billions of gallons of other animal’s bodily secretions, quite happy to munch on the reproductive efforts of birds. Females, whichever species, are to be gorged on, to satisfy male bellies and sexual urges. It’s their only function. Do you know what human breast milk smells like?..Isn’t it time you found out? Why don’t we talk about it? Is that why breasts are so sexualised? Is it also why we push sugar laden formula milk on people who can’t afford it, because breast milk smells so.. womanly? It smells as it does so that visually impaired newborns can recognise their mothers. It’s NATURAL.

So they forcibly impregnate and take what they can from the female form. Rape it at will. A vessel, it carries through new life, but the womb is pure filth. Full of dirty blood, it smells. In many cultures, they shave off the downy soft hair on small babies, coming as it did from that evil place deep at the core of woman. She must take 40 days’ rest, unwashed and unmade; cleanse herself of all impurity when her time is up. Reintroduce her into society as a born again virgin, God put the baby in there, they have no idea how it came out. Vaginas, they smell bad too. Why don’t we ever talk about semen? It’s not an odourless, colourless gas we can’t see. Boys start off by teasing girls about their periods and how they can “smell when you’re on”. I don’t remember teasing the boys back just feeling utterly ashamed at being afflicted by this curse I thought was going to bypass me, being as I wasn’t like all the other girls…

Nuns. People believe them (unless they too are raped). Mothers who never remarry, sacrificing everything for their broods; they are exalted in my local community. They are however, also called ‘rundhi’ in Punjabi. ‘Rundhi’ means both ‘widower’ and ‘whore’. For a woman without a man (having already experienced sexual intercourse) must be like a whore?

Will you join me in an unspoken celebration of the female form? Not to ogle it and take from it what you want to satisfy your own desires but marvel at its resilience and adaptability, the ability to create life, sewing together all the parts that make a human… Magic, no? And what might it be like to be with a woman who is proud of her body and what it can do too? Not just reproductively but sexually. And if there were more men who knew and appreciated female sexuality, maybe then we’d be happier sharing the truth about when we were violated?

Our bodies are not shameful. Patriarchy is.

What rape culture? What racism?

Many thanks to Natasha J Smith for sharing her harrowing story of rape in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. As predicted, it wasn’t long before the apologists crawled out bringing with them the racists and anti-Islam hate mongerers.

The Netherlands appear to going crazy for my blog today. I’ve been linked by a queer little character that thinks it OK to invade a serious piece on misogyny and patriarchy and make it about the cause closest to his heart; those pesky muslims and their superior woman-hating ways. Darn it, must be really annoying when brown people hate women that bit better occasionally.

The troll lives here http://www.eliveld.nl/articles/2012/2706/2706.html where he tries very hard to justify his hatred of women because of how they let brown men treat them. Sigh. He also refers to me as Punjabi. I know the ass, you and me thing is really old but that line was made for twerps who need life breaking down, it’s the perfect formula.

SOLIDARITY WITH ALL THE LOVING PEOPLE; WHO CAN GIVE IT AND RECEIVE IT.

WHATEVER YOUR COLOUR, RACE OR RELIGION.