Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: Quiet

Joss Whedon. Harvey Weinstein. The Republican Administration's ongoing assaults on women's rights. Millions of Americans and a Republican Congress supporting and condoning an admitted sexual predator as head of state. The ongoing demands that Hillary Clinton shut up and/or say only precisely what other people want her to say. The dirtbag left mocking a rape survivor without apology (to her).

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about this song, "Quiet," which went viral during the Women's March the day after Trump's inauguration.

It's not a shocking revelation to say that times are tough.

People across the political spectrum often treat women's rights, and specifically violence against women, as a game in which they can make some larger "gotcha" against a political opponent.

What becomes frustrating is when the voices of progressive feminists who have long condemned rape culture in its varied manifestations - left, right, and center - continue to be ignored in these mainstream point-scoring narratives. Many men who do get it (or at least appear to publicly), often self-promote their own performances of "getting it," rather than promoting the women who have been making these observations for a very long time.

Yet, one of the most important things men can do as progressive allies is to refuse to participate in rape culture with other men. This refusal is often done in quiet, everyday acts: calling out shitty behavior of other men, not bonding with men over the subordination and abuse of women, and not participating in "locker room talk."

Also, listen to women. Rape culture places a lot of pressure on women to be quiet about our experiences within this system. If we're talking about our experiences with rape and gendered-abuse, be aware that doing so usually results in more negative consequences than positive for us.

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