14 February, 2009

Subsidizing the Rape Culture

So, abstinence-only programs. We know they don't work for shit, but did you know they promote a culture of rape? Indeed they do:

The Ohio program is Abstinence ‘Till Marriage, which started receiving annual CBAE grants of $600,000 in 2006 (set to run until 2011). On their "Miss the Mess" website, you can enter the "Party Room", where you learn the story of Rochelle, Jason, Monica and Tanner. Each person tells their perspective about what happens during and after a party one night.

Rochelle tells how she drove her drunken friend Jason home after the party, and then is raped by him. Jason denies that the rape happened, saying their sex was consensual. Monica and Tanner observe that Jason was being a drunken idiot the entire night, with Monica (Jason’s ex) adding her opinion that Rochelle has a reputation for "putting out" and being a "slut".

The site then asks the question: "Based on all accounts, whose story sounds the least credible?"

Guess who is the "correct" answer? Rochelle.

Why, you ask? Because she "made several questionable decisions", "she had a motive to lie" and, lest we forget, "she’s been pinned reputation (sic) for being ‘loose’"

It’s hard not to overemphasize the sickness in this "correct" answer. Rochelle is not be believed. After all, she drove in a car with a boy. And she’s actually had sex before, or at least people say that she has, which is apparently the same thing and equally worthy of disbelief after you’ve been raped.


The site then goes a step further, adding a degree of sympathy for the actions of the rapist:

"Also, alcohol makes people less inhibitive. Jason was extremely vulnerable to his circumstances".

Vulnerable? Less inhibitive? What exactly are they saying here, that rape is a "less inhibitive" behavior? That alcohol made poor Jason "vulnerable" to being a sick rapist asshole? Seriously, I’d like to know what the hell their point is on this one.

Perhaps the sickest aspect of this organization and their website is the fact that our tax dollars are funding it. To date, they have received $1.8 million dollars, and are set to receive another $1.8 million in the next three years. Yes, we are subsidizing rape culture. And this is just one example of the many ridiculous abstinence-only until marriage sex education programs that we have wasted $1.5 billion in federal money on in the last decade.

The blame-the-victim, excuse-the-rapist mentality both amuses and horrifies me. Amuses, because it's precisely how the fucktards who believe in abstinence until marriage think, and it's darkly funny to see that attitude enshrined in their Q & A. So much for their superior morals.

But it's truly, truly sick and outrageous that kids who don't yet know any better are being taught that if you're drunk and the girl you're with has a reputation as a slut, it's perfectly fine to force yourself on her.

I can see I'm going to have to start talking. In order to get the attention of the fuckwits responsible for this criminal drivel, I'd like to begin by placing their balls in a vise and ensuring it's very snug. Then I can explain to them that the anxiety, fear, humiliation and pain they feel is but a patch on what a rape victim feels while some asshole forces himself on her.

And then, giving the vise a few more good turns, I'd explain what comes next. If the victim is strong enough to prosecute, she's in for a hell worse for the rape. Because what happens is, you're dragged into court, where you have to stare at the man who brutalized you while his attorney attempts to place all of the blame squarely on you. The rapist's friends, who in a situation like the above were probably your friends as well, will spread rumors and lies and do everything they can to slander you because they can't believe that their very own friend is a sexually violent son of a bitch. All of this gets added to your already heavy load of second-guessing, self-loathing, and terror.

The culture that these insane freaks are promoting makes that a thousand times worse. It justifies it all. It encourages the victim to shut the fuck up and put out, because everything that happens is her fault and hers alone. It lets the rapist strut around like a stud, because hey, it was the alcohol. Or the testosterone. Or it's just what guys do. And the victim knows that in that culture, there's nothing she can do to fight back.

This is the point at which, in order to demonstrate how it feels to be a woman in this scenario, I give the vise a final turn, with graphic results that shall not be described here but which I'm sure the male members of the audience will have no trouble imagining. And even then, I'm understating the case.

Women have fought a long, hard, bitter battle to get to a point where even a fraction of us feel that sexual violence against us is never justified, and that it's okay to step forward, that if we cry for justice, it might just be given. I for one am not willing to return to the dark ages.

So please, with all due haste, send Obama this message today: ZERO OUT ABSTINENCE-ONLY SEX EDUCATION FUNDING.

Don't make Dana come to your door with a vise and a story to tell.

1 comment:

Andre Vienne said...

It's terrible, this sort of mess. I live with a man currently who is a fundamentalist Christian. He's got his own crazy, and I make sure he's not around women alone, so I can drag him away.

I wasn't so concerned early on, when I first met him, as I thought he was more afraid of women than women are of him.

Then, I heard what he'd been talking about with one of my recovering fundie friends.

He said, of Biblical times, and women having to marry men that raped them: "Rapists back then were far more moral than rapists today."

I can't look the bastard in the eye anymore.