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‘Orange is the New Black’ Attention Grabbing Head-Line

17 Jul

(Just a note: the following post contains spoilers pertaining to the first two seasons of Orange is the New Black)

This morning, my friend showed me an interesting article titled Orange is the New Black‘s Irresponsible Portrayal of Men. I quickly realized that the reason this article seemed familiar was because I had seen it online before-but in a very different context. I had seen excerpts from the first part of the article, arguing that there needs to be more male representation in the show, and the comments that followed were incredulous and indignant. After seeing just that much, I agreed with them. Once I read the entire article though, I see that the argument is a bit more nuanced than it was portrayed to be.

The author (Noah Berlatsky) opens by recognizing how his complaint could be construed; in a media world where women are portrayed less/worse than men, attacking an amazingly female inclusive show for not portraying men sounds laughably petty. He makes a good point of pointing out that his problem is not with the amount of men portrayed on the show, but how the few men on the show are portrayed. The example the author focuses on is the male prisoner from the beginning of season 2, and it is implied that because he is the only male prisoner focused on, he represents all male prisoner portrayal as “violent”, “abusive”, and “repulsive”. This is clear when the author writes,

“According to Orange Is the New Black, though, men in prison are “super-predators” while women in prison are, often, innocent victims, doomed by circumstances and their own painful but touching character flaws.”

However, I have to disagree with this point and the rather sweeping generalizations that follow. The male prisoner previously mentioned is first shown in a scene where a group of male prisoners board a plane; the first interaction between the female and male prisoners (after the women whistle and cat-call) is an amicable and sincere greeting between two friends who recognize each other. The only “deviant” and “dangerous” seeming man is the one who the main character, Piper, later speaks to. As the men sit on the plane, they overall seem rather tame, besides a few teases that could be interpreted as taunts thrown amongst each other (but there is a silent prisoner with a Nazi symbol tattooed on his forehead). These male prisoners are the only male prisoners ever seen/portrayed on the show. As the show does take place in a female prison, that is pretty reasonable. While I definitely agree that stereotypical portrayals of men are harmful, the author continuously uses the same male prisoner as an example of how all men on the show are treated. It feels a bit like grasping at straws.

The majority of the other men on the show are men in positions of authority; correctional officers and their supervisors (as well as various inmates significant others, like Larry, Piper’s ex-fiance). Agreed, these men are overall portrayed in a negative way, from slimy to power-abusing to homophobic. While I do think that these characters are included to show corruption in the legal system (including the female assistant warden, who swindles money from the prison), I can see how them mostly being male and portrayed in a harmful light can be problematic. The problem is moderately alleviated in the second season, where they become more nuanced and complex, but it can still be a general consensus that they are overall bad people. Piper’s counselor, Mr. Healey, was first shown as a generally well-meaning guy, even though he did favor Piper because of her education and up-bringing in contrast to his usual prisoners. However he is revealed to be extremely homophobic, rather controlling, and looks the other way when an inmate tries to murder Piper. The slimiest male guard, nick-named Pornstache, shows a bit of a softer side when he allegedly falls in love with a female inmate (when it’s actually closer to idealization) and willingly goes to jail for her, despite how in the first season he was smuggling drugs in exchange for sex. A response I’ve seen to this is when people say ‘now men knows what it feels like to have limited, often grossly exaggerated representations of themselves in television’. While this is true, I can only really see this as a temporary solution. In the case of men catcalling to women, it does not create equality when women start catcalling to men; it is merely prolonging the problem. There could be more varied portrayals of men in the show; however with the limited room to put more male characters in, I don’t really see how that can happen after you count the few good male characters like the guard Bennett and Piper’s brother.

The next main point Berlatsky brings up is how the women on the show, with the aid of their ‘melodramatic’ back-stories, are portrayed as victims of the system who deserve sympathy and recognition of their ‘innocence’. I can agree that with the way the show frames the stories of the main characters, the goal is certainly to get them in the viewer’s good graces. But I don’t think the intention of fleshing out the prisoners is to show that they are innocent, or that heart driven weaknesses led them to prison. I think it’s to show that while bad people can do bad things, good people can also do bad things. A point I continuously try to advocate is that no one is as bad or as good as they are made out to be; we generalize and polarize to neatly organize people into ‘good’ and ‘evil’. People are too multi-faceted to be divided in such a way, and there are really only varying degrees of good and bad, and everything in between. The show portrays prisoners who got locked away for a one-time mistake, it portrays prisoners who knowingly did bad things because of their circumstances, and it portrays rather awful, manipulative prisoners who are selfish and controlling. It is actually surprising to me how with a show full of diverse women, the article still manages to generalize ‘female’ portrayal into one category.

There are female inmates on the show who are capable of doing awful things, and who are not in prison because of ‘bad luck’ and “individual sadnesses”. The author even mentions Vee, the “sociopathic new villain”, but quickly dismisses her as an exception. However, the male prisoner he focused on before had a small sliver of screen-time compared to Vee, and there are actually quite a few similarities between the two characters, which the author didn’t recognize. The male prisoner was described as repulsive and deviant, whereas Vee adopted children to put into her drug business. When one of her adopted ‘sons’ betrays her, she sleeps with him and then has him murdered. I would describe that as repulsive and deviant. She is not the only example of how the female prisoners aren’t innocent, though. Morello is an inmate who constantly gushes about her wonderful fiance and the marriage she is planning for. In season 2, it is revealed that they went on only one date, and along with credit card fraud she also stalked him/fictionalized their entire relationship. By revealing the troubling backstory to an initial sweetheart, the message didn’t seem to say ‘you should excuse all her actions because we showed you what a sweetheart she is’. Even her friend in the show comforted her by acknowledging her problems and saying that she can still be loved despite them. It seems more like a message that all human beings have flaws, and do bad/wrong things, but that doesn’t mean that we are permanently undeserving of love. This is a show that focuses on the hearts and souls of human beings, and less on systematic injustices, like Berlatsky says. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.

The article, while it seems to be primarily about the television show, sandwiches a lot of commentary about violence against men and how it is ignored because women aren’t taken seriously as violent aggressors. This, I am behind 1000%. Abuse and violence are very serious things, and it is true that when women attack/hurt men, it is usually not taken as seriously as when it is the other way around.

However, the article originally posted by the author apparently received a lot of criticism, enough so that it warranted a follow-up article where the author brings in a second opinion, from author Adam Jones. This article barely comments on Orange is the New Black, and focuses on problems within the structure of female activists and male activists. It expands on the bigger issues touched on in the first article and brings them to the focus. But after reading this second article, it kind of felt to me that these were the main issues the author wanted to discuss in the first place. He stuck it in the middle of commentary about OITNB, and in doing so it felt to me that he used the show as a catalyst to point out important issues that aren’t exactly related to the show at all. It is absolutely true that in society, women aren’t seen as being capable of violence to the same degree as men. I’m glad that the author addresses stereotypes like that. But I’m not really sure how these important issues tie completely in with the show, since we often see women physically fighting each other and plotting violent deeds.

I’m not afraid to admit that I am a big fan of OITNB. But I have a feeling that someone could read this post and immediately dismiss it as ‘a feminist fangirl who blindly defends OITNB because of gender-related favoritism’. I would never claim that OITNB is a perfect show, because it’s not; like any piece of media, it has flaws and will never satisfy every viewer for every issue. But in this particular circumstance, I feel that it was receiving unjust criticism based on issues beyond it, because it had the gall to focus on women first and foremost. This post isn’t an in-depth commentary on the stereotypes and discriminations faced by both genders on an international and historical basis. I’ve been meaning to write about the show lately, and this is just a summation of my thoughts on a flawed show that is doing a pretty good job of portraying the human condition, while adding in commentary on the legal system. I applaud Berlatsky for addressing issues that others tend to shy away from, but I urge him to recognize more concise ways to address the issues instead of wrapping them in trendy packages that attract viewers.

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What We Always Tell Them (The Perception of Manhood)

30 May

Sometimes I feel like I live with a tiger in my house.

I’ll wake up on days when both of my parents are home at the same time, and before I even go downstairs I can sense that the atmosphere is different. Sometimes shouting can be heard, sometimes stony silence. When I go downstairs, my dad will usually be planted in his usual spot on the sofa, staring at the television. My mom will be bustling around the kitchen, sometimes angrily muttering to herself. One wrong move, and he could be provoked. I never know if this will be the day the house is tense for days instead of hours again, if this will be the day they both scream at the top of their lungs again, if this will be the day he raises his hand again. Sometimes it’s once a week where I have to tip-toe around, listen carefully while in my bedroom, sit in the kitchen to make sure nothing serious happens.

But a man is not a tiger. Men are men; nothing more, nothing less. So what does it say about society when men are able to act like this, and have certain types of control over others, with little to no repercussions?

In Indian culture, it’s the norm that the man is more dominant in the house. Hindus will sometimes tout that “husband is God”. But this type of male-centered mindset is persistent across the globe, whether it’s to the same degree or much less extreme. Certain ideologies are instilled into men right from the start; boys learn that it is okay for them to play rough. They learn that they should be able to get what they want, and that a real man is confident and assertive. As the age old saying goes, boys will be boys.

This is a double-edged sword for them as well; boys are told that they can’t be emotional, and that they must be strong*. When you tell your son that boys don’t cry, he is forced to find other outlets for his emotions. Maybe he’ll see a violent television show, or learn from other boys at school, and just maybe he’ll learn to take his emotions out in aggression rather than tears. I have a genuine question for you: why do you think that 70 of the last 71 majors shootings were done by men? I’m curious. Why do you think that is?

On a side note, when I use the word ‘you’ in this post, it is not a direct attack towards anyone. This is a societal effect that bleeds through into all of us. The only way to combat it is through awareness and positive direction.

We are telling our boys the wrong things. They grow up thinking that they are entitled to certain things, whether it is success, happiness, or the hot girl at the end of the movie. They think they have to force certain emotions, the ‘weak’ ones, down into the depths of themselves, but that is where they could erupt in the worst ways possible.

We as a society have a tendency to label people who do awful things as monsters; we villainize them so we won’t have to acknowledge that they are human, and relate-able to us in some small way. We do this with rapists, murderers, terrorists, and more. We use words like ‘monster’ to relinquish any responsibility we had towards making someone the way they became. Rapists are not just creepy thugs who corner innocents in alleyways. They can also be boys in college dorms, brought up in nice neighborhoods by nice families. We need to start recognizing that people, perfectly sensible people that we know and love, can do bad things. That is the only way we will be able to start conversation with our boys and girls over what is right and what is wrong; when we realize that any child could become a so called ‘monster’ if we are not careful.

There is no white and black. There is so little, in fact, that sometimes I feel as though I am drowning in a sea of gray. Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. And sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. If you have any young children in your life, cast away preconceived gender roles. Don’t let them fall prey to any stigmas, and always listen to what they’re feeling. Please, before you tell your boys to be men, think about what you want that to mean first.

*For the purpose of this blog post, I generalized boy’s/men’s individualized experiences based on overall societal constructs. Obviously many boys will not be taught things like “don’t be emotional”, but enough are that it needs to mentioned and discussed.

Why is Slut-Shaming a Bad Thing?

2 Jan

“Oh my god, what is she wearing?”

A classmate of mine once muttered something along those lines in the middle of my math classroom. A student had just walked in to talk to our teacher and she was wearing very short shorts (for lack of a better term) that showed off quite a majority of her legs.

People in the midst of social activism often jump to immediately calling out behavior like that as slut-shaming, and it’s painted as such a negative concept from the very get-go that I feel we’ve forgotten to take the time to explain the core problem with slut-shaming. It’s easy for people against activism to ask, what’s wrong with old-fashioned modesty, and why is it so horrible to tell young women to cover up? They argue that girls should be taught to show less skin, because there are more important things than looking like a slut. Instead of just labeling those people as ‘horrible human beings’, yelling a lot of things at them and moving on, I want to take the time to deconstruct the concept bit by bit. This is because we’re still caught right in the middle of both ideas; one end is completely against slut-shaming, and the other end is half-bigoted, and half just plain confused about the concept. I want to distinguish people who are confused from people who are just exceptionally rude and small-minded; ignorance does not mean deserving of hate and anger.

I’m going to focus on the clothing aspect of slut-shaming, rather than the negative labeling of women who have a lot of sex. I may make another post later, because of how horrendous a lot of the comments here were, but that’ll be a later date. The concept of slut-shaming someone for what they are wearing ties closely into ideas of someone being conceited, vain, or too obsessed with their appearance. In my opinion, the reason judging someone for their clothing is bad is because it is a slippery slope filled with too many personal constructs, clashing ideas of what is morally okay, and a very thin line between ‘right’ and ‘not right’ that can never be universally defined.

Take my classmate, for example. She was judging someone for wearing shorts that were ‘too revealing’. But if you asked others, they might have considered her shirt to be too revealing; in fact, a lot of the shirts she wore showed a lot of cleavage. So some may ask, why is she allowed to show cleavage and for it to be okay, but for that other girl to be ‘skanky’ to be wearing shorts like that?

Here’s a hypothetical example: a boy scoffing at a girl for wearing ‘too much make-up’. He mentally labels her as vain, absorbed in her appearance, and attention seeking. But let’s take a look at the boy. He happens to be wearing dark, skin-fitted jeans. His hair is artfully styled up, and you know that those shoes weren’t cheap. He obviously put some effort into his appearance, and how he wanted to portray himself to the world. Is he vain or shallow? And what point do we say being concerned with your appearance is being too concerned?

The problem with judging people for their appearance is there is no clear line to define someone, or label them as something. My standard is different from your standard. Everyone will always have different standards. So then how can we run around saying some standards are better than others? How is anyone to judge?

When people blow-up their own opinions and make them approved by a large group of people, especially through media, it’s saying that their standard is correct and all others are wrong. How can we live in a world where every single person has different standards for what it’s okay to look like, but some people just yell louder than others?

You may think my skirt is too short. I could think that you put way too much time into putting tattoos on your body. So maybe we should all shut up and stop imposing personal beliefs as universally accepted moral standards.

“Hard Out Here” Song Review

25 Nov

If you haven’t heard of it yet, Lily Allen’s new song “Hard Out Here” has been garnering a lot of interest as a female-empowerment song as well as a direct call-out to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. There are some direct shout-outs to his song/video as well as lines about sexism in general. The song has relatively low controversy, but it’s the music video that some are finding problematic. Upon writing this post, I realized that it would be too long to address everything, so I divided it into two. This first post is about the song, and the next one will be about the music video.

Via YouTube

Via YouTube

The lyrics of the song have a lot going on in them, so I’m going to deconstruct from start to finish. Just one line in, Allen uses the b word, which she continues to use for a majority of the song. Some people could complain of how using a misogynistic slur only sets feminism back, but I think this is more about a power play than anything else. If women want to use the b word and use it as empowering rather than derogatory, more power to them. I don’t really think it helps when women negatively call other women that word to bring each other down, but if you change the context of the word to turn it against people who try to use it negatively, it creates a different impact. It’s kind of how the show Queer As Folk revolved around gay characters who would constantly say f-g to each other and other gay characters. I think it’s okay to use words satirically to show that you won’t allow others to attack you with them.

The next couple of lines could be seen as problematic in a round-about sort of way. Allen states that she won’t be found in the kitchen, and that she doesn’t need to “shake her a-s” because she has a brain. This could be interpreted as shaming women who choose to be a housewife/cook through free will, not through societal standards, as well as slut shaming for women such as strippers who dance for men. The message of feminism is doing whatever you want to do, man or woman, because equality should allow everyone that freedom to choose. I don’t like the connotation of these lines, but she does say “Don’t need to shake my a** for you cause I’ve got a brain”. I’m glad she used ‘need’ rather than ‘want’, implying that people should do that because they want to, not because they feel that they have to. She also follows with “If I told you ’bout my sex life, you’d call me a slut”, so I don’t think it was her intention to imply slut-shaming with the previous line (that would be kind of backwards, wouldn’t it?).

The rest of the lines are all general observations on how society regards women, and they’re all perfectly reasonable and delivered with wonderful amounts of sarcasm and sass. She addresses double standards, beauty standards, and misconceptions of how inequality has disappeared (side-note, it hasn’t). She then has a line about someone tearing a butt in two, which is a direct hint towards a line referring to the same thing in “Blurred Lines”. Whether you think “Blurred Lines” is a good song or not, there is no way you can argue that ‘tearing a butt in two’ is not problematic; sex acts that are supposed to be pleasurable for both parties should not be referred to with violent connotations; even if it were in a BDSM or S&M context, the line is still cringe-worthy and creepy overall.

Regarding the song itself, I think it fits in with the general pop paradigm of today. On a purely musical level, there’s nothing too special or amazing about it, but it is catchy, fun, and has a rather mellow yet upbeat melody throughout. With the positive, no bs taking lyrics added in, it’s definitely an empowering song that I don’t mind getting stuck in my head once a day.

Straight Until Proven Gay

18 Aug

The other day I was sitting on the couch with my mom when she turned to me and said, completely out of the blue, “Is your friend gay?”

I was extremely taken aback but without hesitation I replied, “Yes…”. She followed it up with, “Does he have a boyfriend?”, to which I responded no. She then asked me this:

“Then how does he know he’s gay?”

I smiled a bit (although I don’t think she realized it was a bitter smile) and responded as boldly as I dared. “No one ever says that to straight people.”

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a very long time. The idea struck me right around when I was re-watching season 1 of Glee, when I realized just how problematic one of the things Sue says is. She tries to lecture Kurt on sexuality when he claims that he is gay, and one of the things she says is, “You see, that’s the problem with your generation. You’re obsessed with labels.”

via netflix.com

Screen-cap via netflix.com

The problem I had with her speech was that that line is very true. Many people are obsessed with labels, and it’s not beneficial for all of the different shades of gender and sexuality that exist out there. But the fact that the line was included in her ‘speech’ gave the impression that everything else she was saying is also true. Here’s what I want to know. Does Sue walk around her high school every day and find straight couples making out, and say the same thing to them? Did she ever reprimand Quinn for her boyfriend, because she’s never kissed a girl and therefore can’t be sure she’s not a lesbian?

The core of the advice, don’t be too quick to judge, is lost in the fact that the only person Sue decides to tell this to is the one kid who dares to claim that he’s gay. Sure, 16 years might be too young to decide on sexuality (for some, not all). But you know it’s complete BS when people only decide to share this ‘wealth of knowledge’ with people who have decided on any sexuality that deviates from the norm, which is heterosexuality. Apparently you’re only allowed to “not know what you are” if you want to be anything other than straight.

And the other point she tries to bring up is how someone could know that they’re gay if they’ve never kissed someone of the same sex. Bypassing the obvious (which again is, no one ever says this to straight people) this kind of ideology just doesn’t make sense to me. Sexuality isn’t the same thing as, for example, saying you don’t like a meal before you’ve even tasted it. People have eyes. It’s insulting to tell someone that they can’t know who they’re attracted to until they’ve had some sort of physical, sexual interaction with them.

The bottom line? It’s no one’s place to decide or even make statements on another person’s sexuality or preferences. It’s a personal decision. If you think they’ve ‘chosen wrong’, it’s not your place to comment on it. They will figure it out on their own and experience that journey themselves.

Taylor Swift is a Slut! Er, Wait…What?

14 Jan
tswizzle

Three beautiful ladies!

Taylor Swift is known for having many boyfriends. Of that fact, I’m sure all of us are aware. But recently she’s also been getting more media and public flack for her frequent dating-and a bad reputation to top it off. Many have been resorting to calling her negative words like slut or whore, because of her supposed sexual promiscuity. There’s a post floating around online comparing how many call Miley Cyrus a slut, who has been in a committed relationship for years with her now-fiance, while Taylor is lauded as classy and a role model, despite dating +20 guys over the years. This suggests that the roles should be reversed, that Taylor should be called such derogatory words…but should she?

‘No wait, the reason people call Miley that is because she dresses provocatively and has no shame in her music videos. Taylor presents herself as a classy and dignified young woman, so young girls can look up to her; who cares about her personal life?’

In my opinion, why can’t we take the best of both worlds? How about we stop calling both women names like that. In fact, how about we stop calling everyone names like that? I know it’s deep-set in our society, and it’s even very deep-set in myself, but having sex isn’t necessarily inherently wrong. If that disagrees with your religion, it’s fine for you to impose whatever values you’d like to onto yourself. But who are we as a society to tell people what they can and can’t do with their bodies?

Being brought up by strict parents, the idea still seems a bit foreign to me. There’s constantly an internal struggle between “that girl/guy is pathetic, just flirting with everyone and trying to get action” and “it’s none of my business, they can live their life however they’d like”. Obviously with different societies all around the world, different values will clash and this struggle will be prominent in everyone for a long time. But every time I catch myself about to judge someone based simply on how much they enjoy sex (which when you think about it, is really a ridiculous thing to ostracize someone for), I go by the principle of not caring unless it’s hurting themselves or anyone else. When they’re not being safe, yes, the line blurs a little. When they are a public figure who may inspire young girls/boys to engage in similar behavior without proper education or self-awareness, yes, the line blurs a lot.

I’m not saying that the video of Miley Cyrus dancing in skimpy clothes in a club is okay, because truthfully, a lot of young people watch her videos and those kind of situations can be dangerous if they end up seeking them because of her. So yeah, it wasn’t the smartest decision on her part, knowing her influence. And yeah, Taylor Swift could sit down and write a song about healthy relationships, instead of being photographed entering hotel rooms and writing occasional snarky break-up songs. But we need to start focusing on that, instead of jumping to calling them names simply because of their behavior. As a society, we need to start analyzing effects promiscuous influence could lead to and why/if it’s wrong, rather than simply attacking the concept itself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and thanks for reading!

Rape Me Once, Shame On You

9 Jan

Pretend you’re taking a test in class one day. You have no idea what the answers are, but the extremely smart boy next to you isn’t using his cover sheet; his answers are right there in front of you. I mean, you know cheating is wrong, you’ve been told that all your life. But it’s not like you woke up and decided you wanted to do it. Who could resist when the answers are right there? And everyone knows that that boy is smart; if he didn’t want to be cheated off of he should have thought to cover his answers. You don’t mean any harm, you just want to feel better about the test. He’s not gonna mind too badly, he helps people with their homework all the time. And besides, he’s practically asking for it.

Does anything in this situation seem off to you? Does it seem wrong as you read through? However it happens all the time: regarding a different situation.

Slut shaming is a huge problem nationwide. While America is decently ahead of other countries in terms of rape awareness, many are still shockingly ignorant to the horrors of rape and the atrocity of such a crime. Many have reverted to blaming the (most often) women for the rape, at least in part. What kind of clothes was she wearing, does she have many sexual encounters, how much flirting had she been doing? These are questions that people legitimately think should add insight into what happened and how badly the rapist should be punished. But I think they should not even be brought up.

It is never a person’s fault for being raped. A dress/skirt hemline will never go from ‘flirty’ to ‘rape me’ with a difference of an inch. If a man or woman gets raped while drunk, it is not their fault for not drinking in a ‘safe environment’ or getting drunk at all. Humans have self-control when it comes to raping; if they know it is wrong, they should not be given lenience based on how ‘tempting’ their victim was. Also, rapists are a small portion of the population who have serious problems, and by insinuating that any male will rape a woman if she is scantily clad is insulting to men, to be frank.

Rape education is being given though. It’s everywhere, but mostly just directed towards women. Girls are advised to not wear their hair in ponytails because someone can easily grab onto them. They’re advised to lock their car immediately after getting into it and never sit in a parked car alone. One quote from a list I saw included this:

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

There are instructors…for classes on how to not be raped. Why are women the sole target of rape prevention techniques? Why is the sole mindset “how to not be raped”, like it’s something people should be actively doing at all times? This kind of thinking makes victim-blaming okay, because it suddenly implies, oh, perhaps this woman forgot to follow this certain precaution: why didn’t she follow it? And why are we as a whole ignoring that men might need advice on how to protect themselves too?

While rape prevention is important and should be taught, it is too focused on the potential victims. Some might say that addressing potential rapists is illogical, because trying to convince a bad person to not rape will never work. It’s as if a blanket statement exists that says ‘we’ll never get through to those psychopaths, so why bother’. But the problem can best be fixed by pulling it up from the root, before ignorance and bad thoughts can set in: by educating children. Rapists are not born rapists. They become rapists. Many people don’t want to discuss FLE with children beyond general anatomy, but they need to be taught about consent and the right to privacy regarding bodies. Perhaps it would prevent horrendous things from happening, such as this.

Society has painted a picture that if you don’t want to be raped, you need to do something about it. And if you are raped, then you must have failed what you were told to do. But rape is serious, and things like clothing choices aren’t going to stop someone who wants to violate another person. Slut-shaming is destructive to victims of rape, and it’s hurting them all the way to the courtroom.

Rape me once, shame on you. Rape me twice, shame on you.