Has anyone else been bothered by the rash of stories in the news lately, highlighting what appears to be a growing public acceptance of sexually based brutality? Now, I know on this blog, I normally focus on inspiring, live-your-best-life stuff (and will continue to do so), but as a mom of a daughter, I feel I need to acknowledge this.
Any of you with sons and daughters may want to chime in, too. Hell, any woman or man at all might want to speak up, regardless of offspring or not. It’s a basic humanity issue.
Is the next generation—our sons and daughters—growing up in a world that’s increasingly accepting (or even encouraging) gender-based hostility? Or is this one of those shark scare cases, where the news starts down one road and picks up momentum on that path, thus disproportionately magnifying an issue?
I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Cases in point:
Story #1: Video Game Company Publically Backs Rape Joke
- Prominent video game publisher and event host, Penny Arcade, posts a rape humor Web comic on their popular site.
- In the face of public protests from rape victims, the company makes more Web comics of this nature and ups the ante by selling and profiting from t-shirts promoting their rape jokes.
- Eventually, those shirts are pulled from the site in a temporary return to sanity by its management.
- The original critics of the joke start receiving elaborate rape and even death threats from Penny Arcade fans.
- At a recent event in Seattle, Penny Arcade execs publically state that pulling the t-shirts was the wrong decision, and they still support the jokes—to the cheers of their fans.
Story #2: Survey Reveals 1 in 4 Men in 6 Asian Countries Admit to Raping
- The study interviews more than 10,000 men in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka.
- The men are questioned by fellow males.
- Of those surveyed, 10% say they’ve raped a woman not their partner.
- When partners are included, that acknowledgment shoots to 24%.
- Nearly 50% of the perpetrators say they’ve raped more than one woman.
- The most common reasons: sexual entitlement, entertainment, and punishment.
Story #3: Abused Hindu Goddess Campaign Spotlights Violence Against Women
- More than 68% of women in India are domestic violence victims.
- Concern for the issue was heighten in 2012 when a 23-year-old girl is publically gang raped and murdered on a New Delhi bus.
- A new Indian public service campaign uses images of Hindu goddesses to call attention to violence against women.
- The ads highlight the contradiction of female deity reverence and the widespread abuse of women by giving the goddesses scars and bruises.
Story #4: Company Advertises with Bound-and-Gagged Woman Decal
- Female employee agrees to be photographed for a realistic decal that makes it look like a woman is ganged and bound in a vehicle’s trunk.
- Owner states, “I wasn’t expecting the reactions that we got, nor is it anything that we certainly condone or anything.”
- The company’s decal sales are now up.
- The company posts a follow-up poll on their site, “Which makes more news: controversy or compassion?” Note: Dictionary.com lists compassion as a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune.
So, yeah, not feeling good about this wave of news. Comments? Thoughts? Seriously, I welcome the discussion—because it’s too important not to address, for the sake of women and men, both now and in our future.
2 thoughts on “Sons and Daughters”
What I hope (really, really hope) is that the current newsworthiness of these issues indicates growing public IN-ACCEPTANCE of sexually based brutality. It has been the common, accepted practice in many countries in the world for centuries – so common and so accepted that no one felt they needed to talk about it – like slavery was when it was common and accepted.
When people started to really think about slavery and how wrong it was, some people vocally supported it and applauded it. Eventually that changed, and those people now look callous and ill-informed to us.
So, the fact that we are talking about sexually based brutality now means we are recognizing it as something that needs to change. At least, that’s what I hope (really, really hope).
I like that line of thinking, Arlene, and I’m going to join you in ardently sharing that hope.