Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Girls sold into trafficking rebuild their lives and reclaim their childhood.

Girls sold into trafficking rebuild their lives and reclaim their childhood being freed from this 7 billion dollar a year industry.

A documentary support about how Made By Survivors fights slavery with empowerment.

Made By Survivors is the core program of Made By Survivors Network, a US based NGO that works internationally with survivors of slavery and human trafficking. Founded in 2005, our mission is to end slavery through economic empowerment and education, giving survivors and people at the highest risk the tools they need to build safe, independent, slavery-free lives. MBSN currently operates programs in six countries, with a concentration of programming in India and Nepal. We offer job training and fairly paid employment to survivors, and provide intensive business development support to our core programs and partners. We market and sell the survivors' products in the US, and also assist them in finding other buyers.

Those who are able, please help support their work through your consumer dollars!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Dame With A Rod

(Just a note: No, Steven Pinker is not a rape-apologist...he has the wrong ideas of the causes of rape, and I don't appreciate his labeling people who disagree with him as "delusional" and the hyperbolic language like "the madness of crowds". But obviously he isn't "pro-rape" and would like rape become a thing of the past. OK? Good.) 

Well-respected evolutionary psychologist and author Steven Pinker says,
"I believe that the rape-is-not-about-sex doctrine will go down in history as an example of extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds. It is preposterous on the face of it, does not deserve its sanctity, is contradicted by a mass of evidence."

He thinks rape is motivated by the natural need for males to pass along their genes, an adaptive reproductive strategy, and that seeing it as a weapon of power is false and not helpful in attempting to stamp it out.

I think that if the motivation is sex, the fact that a man is ignoring a woman's privacy and bodily integrity by forcing himself on her while she is telling him to stop is *always* an expression of power and contempt. It's a sense of entitlement to a woman's body regardless of what she wants. To be able to do this is to have complete contempt for your victim, to be completely oblivious to their cries for mercy, begging you to stop, ignoring their tears and screams.

To be able to ignore this makes you a monster.

But apparently it's sheer "madness" to think a rapist is malicious in his intent. And preposterous! And utterly delusional! That Pinker uses such strong language to disparage women who point this out is just bizarre. And where is this "mountain of evidence" that proves otherwise? Assertions aren't evidence. Women, especially those uppity ones he often disparages ("gender" feminists)have no authority to talk about rape. Too emotional I guess.

But what is the typical excuse or justification used for rape? It's rarely 'I was just really desperate for sex, sorry.' It's 'she was asking for it,' 'she's a whore' or 'slut', she 'deserved it' or she was wearing the wrong clothes or was out where she shouldn't have been.

That's about punishing women for not obeying the rules of a male-dominated society and that is definitely about power. And to a victim, rape is definitely not 'just sex,' it's violence and abuse. And that violence includes ignoring a women's humanity and right to bodily integrity. And it does make me feel threatened whenever I see a woman put through hell when she's brave enough to try to prosecute her attacker and she's dragged through the mud and told rape was just punishment for her disobedient 'sluttiness.'

So yes, it does terrorize ALL women, and very effectively.

The fact that the statistics of women and girls who are raped are high, 1 in 4, is seen by people like Pinker as proof that rape is a natural thing. But he doesn't explain the high rate of male-on-male rape, which is thought to be one in six boys/men. How is that about passing on genes?

We all have the instinct/drive to eat, we need to eat for survival. That wouldn't justify someone walking up to strangers in a restaurant and grabbing the food off their plates, would it? (I know, I hate to compare women with objects or food, but I don't know what else could get through to someone making excuses for rape other than comparing rape to stealing).

For a great rebuttal of this idea and the bad science behind it I recommend biologist Jerry Coyne and Andrew Berry's "Rape As An Adaptation?"

And Jerry Coyne's article in The New Republic "Of Vice and Men: The Fairy Tales of Evolutionary Psychology":

Juliana Hatfield - A Dame With A Rod

I'm a heroine.