As one who possesses a va.gin.a raising another who also has a vag.ina ….

To steal a (now one of my favourite) phrases from The Blessed Barrenness “As one who possesses a vag.ina raising another who also has a va.gina”  – there is  a powerful video put together by Project Unspoken at Emory University, where they ask both men and women what they do in their daily lives to avoid sexual assault and harassment.

Not surprisingly all of the men interviewed say they don’t do anything to avoid being attacked, while the woman are constantly adjusting their behaviour to protect themselves from gender based violence.

As a women I immediately identify with the women and how they are constantly vigilant and adjusting their behaviour.  It affects what they wear and how they plan their activities. I sit there in amazement that something so monumental does not affect the men being interviewed.  At all.  Not a fig.  I assume it was a universal issue, but it seems not.  Women only problem.

I am not in any way knocking these guys being interviewed. I think the horror is that girls are brought up to be vigilant and always to be on the look out for a possibility of an attack, while men do not need to worry about this.

The one woman being interviewed explains that women have to be so careful, so cautious and so aware about what they wear, what they say, where they go, what they do, always on the look out for way to prevent being raped.  And if they so as dare to make one error in judgement somewhere along the way, and they get raped, then the blame will be shifted on to them as to how they were “looking to be raped” — I am not paraphrasing it very well, but that in essence was the gist of it.  Horrifying.  Nauseatingly true.

None of this is surprising but it’s a great video that effectively shows how differently men and women move throughout the world.  It is disturbing when you consider the defenses we have to raise our daughters with, whilst we flick our sons the car keys and a pack of con.doms.

We seem to spend more energy on teaching our girls not to get raped, than the energy we are spending teaching our boys not to rape.

Youtube link to Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCCaKuWQLp8

In the event you cannot link through to Youtube – try this link to view the video: http://www.velvetparkmedia.com/blogs/project-unspoken-how-we-think-our-selves-and-our-safety-world

Qu0tes from the video:

{statistics are USA based, but I can’t imagine they are too far removed from South African statistics on the same issue}

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3 Comments

  1. Caleb Peng

     /  November 25, 2012

    Thank you for sharing our video! The second one came out a few weeks ago. Check it out here: http://youtu.be/ljTE83k1DD0

    Reply
  2. This makes me both indignant and sad all rolled into one!

    Reply
  3. Project Unbreakable is an amazing photography project. It has a rape survivor hold a hand written sign that says what their rapist said before, during, or after the offense. Sometimes they include what their friends or family said (always blaming the victim). It is incredibly heartbreaking, but a reminder not to victim blame.

    http://projectunbreakable.tumblr.com/

    Reply

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