Tag Archives: rape culture

Van Halen & rape culture: Jamie’s Crying

This morning I decided to burn a CD of the first Van Halen studio album.  As I arrived at work, I was deep in a lyrical analysis of “Jamie’s Crying”.

In addition to being the sixth or seventh best song on the record, it is also a funky track about consent.  Sung from the perspective of a young woman who said no to a ‘one night stand,’ and is now sad that the only romance her prospective lover wants is quick sex.  (Hence, why she is cryin’).

It seems like an interesting take on consent.  In this case, the lover pressures Jamie and Jamie refuses.  I appreciate that the pressuring lover simply ups and leaves when “Jamie wouldn’t say alright.” But the prevailing message of the song is that if someone doesn’t sleep with the band, they’ll never get any other interaction (‘gone forever.’).   A sort of nod to consent in a forward motion toward rape culture.

Cue Van Halen groupie reel.

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Filed under music, representation, sexism, sexual assault

Solidarity against rape culture at Vanderbilt

The editor of the Vanderbilt student newspaper wrote a nice opinion piece about the visibility of rape culture on a fraternity message board.  After summarizing the toxic discussion, Andre Rouillard shares his conclusion and noted that he had saved the message board discussion and posted it for posterity:

If all of this isn’t rape culture made manifest, then I don’t know what is. I’m not going to waste my limited word count railing against the enabling power of anonymous message boards and social media, the insularity and cliquey-ness of Greek life, or other favorite targets of those who write on this subject but who don’t pay witness to it. This single, 44-post thread is a glimpse into a rape culture that is alive and well here at Vanderbilt. It’s alive in dorm rooms, Greek houses, classrooms and public spaces. It is a culture that commits rape and then comes together to shut down its victim.

“Consider yourself lucky if no one finds this thread,” warns one user. Well, now no one can: The thread was deleted from the website yesterday after 8 p.m. However, you’ll be able to find the entire thread saved here, with the name redacted.

It is plain now that there are groups of individuals at this prestigious, beautiful, diverse institution darkening its classrooms and hallways and making it a less safe and accepting place for the women in attendance. After all of the steps forward that Vanderbilt has taken in my four years here, this thread represents one hundred steps backward. I am deeply ashamed to share classrooms, professors and the name on my soon-to-be-printed diploma with the students represented in this cesspool of destructive gossip and self-serving intimidation. I’d like to think we at Vanderbilt, the lucky few, are better than this — but now, I’m not so sure.

via ROUILLARD: The girl that ratted – InsideVandy: Opinion.

In a badass moment of solidarity, another student has written a shared letter declaring that she is the ‘girl who ratted.’  Sharing risk and making the threats of retaliation visible are both smart responses to the incident.  Julia Ordog explained her strategic thinking:

“I wanted to just do something to make my thoughts on it heard in a concrete way,” she added. Ordog also wanted to demonstrate her support for the alleged victim.

“I came up with this idea of ‘I am the Girl That Ratted’ because in my head, I was thinking about how it really could have been anyone, and how even though I haven’t been a victim myself, it’s something that I feel very passionately about,” she said. “I wanted it to be an ally statement, but also more powerful than that.”

She only circulated the letter to about 60 people initially, who she says were students she had talked to about the online postings, students who she knew were passionate about the issues involved, and close friends. The message spread throughout campus during the course of the day, with Ordog being contacted by several students requesting permission to forward her email along to others.

via ‘I am the girl that ratted’: Collegiate ACB thread sparks viral solidarity movement – News – Inside Vandy.

Small numbers, smart organizing and strategic thinking change culture.

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Filed under feminism, representation, resistance, rhetoric, sexual assault

Accountability: Anonymous hacking Steubenville

Adrian Chen has a provocative essay on a hacker/Anonymous member who was instrumental in articulating the digital actions to challenge rape culture in Steubenville Ohio.

Chen not only describes the mistakes made by Lostutter and Anonymous hackers, but also outlines the cultural impact of this kind of hacktivism.  Here Chen describes the impact of the video released of the football player enthusiastically cheering on the rapes.

The video wasn’t forensic evidence of a crime, but of the attitude that could allow something like the rape to happen over and over again. When people talk about how Anonymous “exposed” Steubenville, they can’t mean the facts of this case, which were utterly botched by KnightSec and its allies. What they mean is that Anonymous exposed how sexual assault is a bigger issue than bad people doing bad things. That it is enabled and even celebrated by a culture that tells young men it’s OK to laugh off a horrific rape as harmless late-night debauchery, to be instagrammed and tweeted about, then expects the rest of us to feel bad for the perpetrators when they’re punished. That’s the valuable lesson of this video, and KYAnonymous alone had uncovered it.

via “Weaponize the Media”: An Anonymous Rapper’s War on Steubenville.

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Filed under communication, hacking, media, protest, resistance, sexual assault, technology