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"

Mainly, I endured a lot of verbal and emotional abuse. He told me I was stupid. One night, I got a promotion and took him out to dinner. After I told him the big news, his first response was to point at my face and ask, “Sweetie, don’t you think you should go see a dermatologist?”

And he started to call me fat.

Fat. Of all things, that was the proverbial crossing of the line. I had narrowly escaped anorexia before he knew me. I would have been already dead if I hadn’t built up a zero-tolerance policy for my own internal “you’re fat” messages. To this day, every time I am tempted to see myself as fat, I respond internally, saying, “Shut up, you’re trying to kill me.” Beneath his howls and my trembles, it clicked. He was really trying to kill me.

"

— Erin Matson http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/09/10/stayed-abusive-marriage-two-years/

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"Trauma permanently changes us.

This is the big, scary truth about trauma: there is no such thing as “getting over it.” The five stages of grief model marks universal stages in learning to accept loss, but the reality is in fact much bigger: a major life disruption leaves a new normal in its wake. There is no “back to the old me.” You are different now, full stop.

This is not a wholly negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life — warts, wisdom, and all — with courage."

— Catherine Woodiwiss, from ‘A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma’ (via istruggleandemerge)

(Source: twloha, via radfemgurl)

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You can bet Palmer feels empathy and sympathy for Rice. She probably does love him. She more-than-likely hopes and believes he will change. He has probably promised to change many times. This is old hat. Women who have been in abusive relationships know exactly how it goes and how it feels. It’s not easy to believe that someone who claims to love you and who you feel love towards would hurt you. Of course we hope they will stop. Of course we want them to change and want to believe they will. Abusive men aren’t all abusive 24 hours a day. We hang on to the good moments — that’s why we stay.

Abuse is a mindfuck. We are made to feel dependent on our abusers. We feel embarrassed and ashamed at what we’ve been put through, what we’ve “put up with,” at the verbal and emotional abuse we’ve been subjected to. At the reality of our lives and the crazy, humiliating, inexplicable behaviour we’ve witnessed. How can you tell someone those things? Surely no one will understand… Our self-esteem deteriorates. We become isolated from our support systems. We feel we can’t ask for help because we’ve left and gone back so many times over and we know our friends and family are sick of it. We feel judged and we feel stupid and we feel weak. We are strong women and we know better. We feel like we can take it. We can cope. We compartmentalize — shutting the bad stuff out. We tell ourselves it isn’t so bad. We really, really want it to get better. He says he’ll go to counseling. He says he’ll stop drinking. He says if only we’d change our tone of voice or our body language or be gentler or kinder or more thoughtful… If only. We stop trusting ourselves. Is it our fault? Is this normal? Maybe I did provoke him…

Abuse isn’t as simple as you want it to be. It isn’t clear cut. It isn’t easy to leave. It isn’t easy to give up on someone we care about and have invested time and energy and emotion into. But no matter what Palmer does, no matter what she feels or says, it doesn’t make his actions ok. And it doesn’t mean she deserved it.

"

On Ray Rice and why it doesn’t matter if she stayed (via feministcurrent)

(via historic-upstart)

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"The classic trap for any revolutionary is always, ‘What’s your alternative?’ But even if you could provide the interrogator with a blueprint, this does not mean he would use it: in most cases he is not sincere in wanting to know. In fact this is a common offensive, a technique to deflect revolutionary anger and turn it against itself. Moreover, the oppressed have no job to convince all people. All they need know is that the present system is destroying them."

— Shulamith Firestone - The Dialectic of Sex

(Source: bbrightstar, via alcindora)

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"

Mary Anne Layden, PhD, Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania writes a fascinating paper entitled “Pornography and Violence: A New Look at Research.” I would encourage doubters of my thesis to read the entire paper:

“For many reasons, as we shall see, pornography is a very effective teacher of beliefs and behaviors, and one that also teaches its users that the behaviors are acceptable and stimulates them to do so…

Males who viewed sexual violence obtained higher scores both on scales measuring acceptance of interpersonal violence and the rape myth [the belief that women actually enjoy rape and suffer few negative consequences], when compare to males who viewed either a physically violent or neutral film. The increase in attitudes supporting sexual violence following exposure to pornography is greater if the pornography is violent than if it is non-violent.

A similar effect is seen even when the pornography is not violent. Males who are shown non-violent scenes that sexually objectified and degraded women and were then exposed to material that depicted rape indicated that the rape victim experienced pleasure and ‘got what she wanted.’

Even women who were exposed to pornography as a child have a greater acceptance of the rape myth than those who were not. Those exposed to pornography recommend a sentence for a rapists that was half of that recommended by those who had been shown non-pornographic imagery. These subjects appear to have trivialized the crime of rape.”

And then there’s this, as cited by the Berkmen Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School:

[Excerpts of the] Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography: Section 5.2.1 Sexually Violent Material

“…[C]linical and experimental research … [has] focused particularly on sexually violent material, [and] the conclusions have been virtually unanimous. In both clinical and experimental settings, exposure to sexually violent materials has indicated an increase in the likelihood of aggression. More specifically, the research, … shows a causal relationship between exposure to material of this type and aggressive behavior towards women.

…The evidence also strongly supports the conclusion that substantial exposure to violent sexually explicit material leads to a greater acceptance of the ‘rape myth,’ in its broader sense - that women enjoy being coerced into sexual activity, that they enjoy being physically hurt in sexual context, and that as a result a man who forces himself on a woman sexually is in fact merely acceding to the ‘real’ wishes of the woman, regardless of the extent to which she seems to be resisting…”

And then there’s news stories such as this one out of the UK last year, entitled “Porn ‘drives youngsters to violence during sex,’” where the author notes that “Extreme pornography is driving thousands of young people to commit sex attacks, a study shows. Some nine percent of 14-21-year-olds admitted to carrying out some sort of sexual violence, including one in 50 who had raped someone. Those perpetrators tended to report ‘more frequently being exposed to media that depicted sexual and violent situations,’ the poll of 1,058 people found.”

I could go on. The evidence that pornography, especially violent pornography, both inherently trivializes rape as well as trivializes sexual assault in the minds of those consuming it as so-called entertainment or recreation, is as overwhelming as it is obvious. This is not a very difficult concept to figure out, either.

Regardless of your opinion on porn use, pornography is, at its very core, the systematic dehumanization of those being portrayed and the systematic degradation of unique human beings with personalities, ambitions, personal histories, and perspectives, to a one-dimensional sex object for one-sided consumption. It’s sexually carnivorous, and sexually cannibalistic. If you can boil a person down to a body or a collection of body parts, it’s scarcely surprising that violence against that person can be accepted much more easily by those participating in the dehumanization process of porn use.

As for those who say that my thesis is a moot point because rape culture doesn’t exist at all, I would merely point out that my claim here is not that there is a direct link between those viewing violent porn and sexual violence against women (although many others do make that claim.) The point I am making is that pornography leads to the trivialization of sexual assault, which is how many define the “rape culture.” That point, unfortunately, withstands all objection.

"

Yes, Porn Does Trivialize Rape, by Jonathon Van Maren

(via exgynocraticgrrl)

Regardless of your opinion on porn use, pornography is, at its very core, the systematic dehumanization of those being portrayed and the systematic degradation of unique human beings with personalities, ambitions, personal histories, and perspectives, to a one-dimensional sex object for one-sided consumption. It’s sexually carnivorous, and sexually cannibalistic. If you can boil a person down to a body or a collection of body parts, it’s scarcely surprising that violence against that person can be accepted much more easily by those participating in the dehumanization process of porn use.

(via bloxs)

(via bdsm-harms-women)

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"Here is how the story goes: Boy meets girl. Boy decides he’s in love with girl. Boy chases girl. Girl says she’s not interested. Boy keeps chasing her. Girl says she’s still not interested. Boy keeps grinding away at her until she wears down and finally says ‘yes.’ They are happily swept away on a wave of romance.

The end.

Here’s another version: Boy meets girl. Boy decides he’s in love with girl. Boy chases girl. Girl says she’s not interested. Boy keeps chasing her. Girl says she’s still not interested. Boy keeps grinding away at her. She still says ‘no.’ Boy rapes girl. Girl falls in love with boy. They are happily swept away on a wave of romance.

The end.

And another: Boy meets girl. Boy decides he’s in love with girl. Boy chases girl. Girl says she’s not interested. Boy keeps chasing her. Girl says she’s still not interested. Boy keeps grinding away at her. She still says ‘no.’ Boy murders girl and is filled with manpain and regret, but she deserved it for being frigid.

The end.

Truth, or fiction?

All three of these scenarios play out more or less constantly in pop culture, with some variations — the first might as well be Twilight, while the second describes any number of rape-romances produced by the dozens every day, and the third scenario plays out all too frequently in pop culture as well. But they’re also closely mirrored by events in real life — that first scenario in particular is viewed as a highly romantic one, and in some cases as a relationship ideal, something girls should be excited about, something boys should strive for."

— s.e. smith, How Pop Culture Breeds Male Entitlement | this ain’t livin’

(via brutereason)

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There is a tendency to judge the actions of those with the least amount of power the same as those with more power and then ask, “Isn’t that what equality means?” It’s a clever rhetorical evasion of the issue. Equality is the goal, but to pretend that we actually exist as equals right now is to ignore reality. Like it or not, we all carry history with us in our personal interactions. The history of violence against women is one where women’s bodies are a battleground in a struggle for power. Punches, kicks, weapons, and the threat of death have been used to assert dominance and deny women autonomy, at home and out in the rest of the world.

That’s why it’s not a matter of it being wrong for a man to hit a woman because he may be physically stronger than her. It’s not about women being delicate. That line of thinking is standing on the right side of the issue for the wrong reasons. It reinforces patriarchal thinking about a man’s duty being protection.

No, violence against women is a scourge because it establishes a hierarchy of power. It is a means of ensuring submission. It assures the persistence of inequality through terror.

"

Mychal Denzel Smith, How to know that you hate women — Sep. 11 2014

(Source: descentintotyranny)

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"The choice which radical feminists defend is substantive. We ask what is the actual content or meaning of a choice which grows out of a context of powerlessness. Do such choices as surrogacy foster the empowerment of women as a class and create a better world for women? What kind of choices do women have when subordination, poverty, and degrading work are the options available ‘to most’? The point is not to deny that women are capable of choosing within contexts of powerlessness, but to question how much real power these "choices" have. To paraphrase Marx and apply his words here, women make their own choices, but they often do not make them just as they please. They do not make them under conditions they create but under conditions and constraints that they are often powerless to change. When Marx uttered these thoughts, he was acclaimed for his political insight. When radical feminists say the same, they are blamed for being condescending to women."

— Janice G. Raymond - “Sexual and Reproductive Liberalism” (via cunicular)

(Source: re-interpellated, via turning0nthelatheofheaven)

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"These are forms of male aggression that only women see. But even when men are afforded a front seat to harassment, they don’t always have the correct vantage point for recognizing the subtlety of its operation. Four years before the murders, I was sitting in a bar in Washington, D.C. with a male friend. Another young woman was alone at the bar when an older man scooted next to her. He was aggressive, wasted, and sitting too close, but she smiled curtly at his ramblings and laughed softly at his jokes as she patiently downed her drink. ‘Why is she humoring him?’ my friend asked me. ‘You would never do that.’ I was too embarrassed to say: ‘Because he looks scary’ and ‘I do it all the time.’

Women who have experienced this can recognize that placating these men is a rational choice, a form of self-defense to protect against setting off an aggressor. But to male bystanders, it often looks like a warm welcome, and that helps to shift blame in the public eye from the harasser and onto his target, who’s failed to respond with the type of masculine bravado that men more easily recognize."

Amanda Hess, Why it’s so hard for men to see misogyny

(Source: ethiopienne, via seriouslyamerica)

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Society demands that we keep overcoming, overcoming, overcoming. But we don’t have to. Nowhere is it written that to be a really real human you have to brute force your way through your limits. Nowhere is it written that not doing so makes you less worthy. For most people, constantly refusing to acknowledge that you have limits is seen as a problem. We all have limits & we are supposed to acknowledge them, know where they are, work within them.

But when you have a disability, it’s like everyone expects you to push past your limits all the time. They want to be inspired, or they want to not have to deal with the fact that a disability means “there are things I cannot and will never be able to do”, even as they expect me to know there are things I can do that they will never be able to.

So we are pushed to keep ‘overcoming’, and if we can’t we are failures and lazy. But if we can, we aren’t really disabled. It’s a no win either way.

"

Neurodivergent K, 'Overcoming' Is Not a Moral Obligation (via skoomapipe)

(via spare-armadillo)