stephiny: (fuck it)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/17/the-rape-of-men

This isn't the most unbiased article ever, but it is still an essential read.

I made the mistake of reading the comments, some of which were removed very quickly. There are still a lot of people that seem to think that men can't be raped. There are people who think that organisations that support female rape victims should never do anything for men. They say that women worked together to create these organisations so men should do the same.

I don't entirely disagree. Men need to do something. But the women forming these organisations work in a culture where it's thought that to be female is to be a potential victim, because it's something that men do to women. Men are big scary predators, women must band together blah blah blah.

I'm not for one instant saying that all of that isn't great, but it makes it even harder for men to come forward and get help.

1. Who do they turn to when the only places that suport rape victims are women only spaces?

2. Who will believe them in a society that believes only women are ever raped?

3. How can a man, who many see as a potential rapist, actually be the victim of rape?

It's the third point that is the most important. In most cases, rape is primarily about power. In a society with strong gender roles such as those mentioned in this article, it is an attempt to make a man less of a man. Where strength and power is valued and vulnerability is seen as a female trait, to admit to being raped will strip a man of his masculinity and of his place in society. When even rape crisis centers turn men away, I would argue that it is even more devestating in many cases than when it happens to a woman.

Whether in Uganda or England, I imagine men being less likely than women to band together to develop support for male rape victims because it's seen as something that only happens to women. A man who is raped is seen as weak, not good enough, not man enough. When being a man means being strong and powerful, why would anyone want to be associated with providing support?

...this is somewhat lacking in coherency, but I hope everyone gets the gist of what I'm trying to say.

tl;dr - Perceptions need to change. Stigma needs to be reduced. Male rape victims should not have to have such a hard time coming forward. In the meantime, centers dealing with female rape victims need to also offer some kind of support for males.
stephiny: (dog ate it)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] scruffyduck for mentioning this, because otherwise I wouldn't have realised.

I also really appreciate [livejournal.com profile] ripley78 talking to me about this, because I wasn't sure at first if I was going to write anything about it or not.

Most people when they think of SI immediately imagine teenage girls scratching their arms for attention. They think it is just a phase that people will grow out of. Other people think that anyone who harms themself is suicidal. In very few instances, these assumptions are correct. Most people who SI though, they don't want everyone to know, they don't want attention, and they want to live.

I'm not f-locking this entry. Most of you are my friends and already know this stuff about me, but if even one other person finds this in any way useful, it's worth having it out there. This could also be somewhat triggery for some of you.

I'm 23 years old and have been cutting for over a decade. I don't want to die. I don't want attention. Cutting isn't the only way that I hurt myself, but it's the one thing that I always come back to. It works. I've also scratched my skin raw, pulled my hair out, burned my fingers, provoked people into fighting, stabbed my arms with needles, pinged elastic bands around my wrists, squeezed various body parts in vices, and even deliberately broken my toes so I could grind the bones together.

That's the what. They why is somewhat more complicated.

Anger is a fairly common trigger. Not so much anger at the world or at other people, but anger at myself. I'm never good enough, fast enough, strong enough, clever enough... I'm not particularly great friends with my brain sometimes, given the right circumstances I end up twisting any failure into personal shortcomings and end up taking my anger and disgust with myself out on... myself. I'm convinced I fucking well deserve it, and no amount of logic can overcome the emotion.

Numbness, dissociation, not being able to feel. That's another big one. I feel like I'm floating outside of myself, like nothing is real. Maybe something good has happened and I know I should be happy but I'm feeling nothing. Pain is an anchor to reality, a sensation I can identify and use as a starting point for coming back to myself. It proves to me that I am real.

Sometimes I feel completely overloaded with emotion and I can't cope. If I cut then, a rush of calmness overtakes me. If the manic overloaded feeling doesn't go away on it's own, and I don't do something about it, I tend to get reckless. Luckily this is one of the rarer reasons for me to hurt myself.

It's a coping method. Not the best one in the world by any means but some days it literally is a case of cut to get through the day, or slit my wrists. And I don't want to die.

Even sitting down and trying my best to explain why, I know I've missed out a lot. The reasons beyond these simplified ones really are complex.

So, do I think it's a good thing? I mean, I've been doing it for over ten years so obviously if I thought it was bad, I'd stop, right? Well, no. When I realised that I was hurting my SO by doing it, I stopped for roughly 6 months. She didn't ask me to but I certainly have no intention of hurting anyone other than myself. It wasn't as simple as all that though. A spectacularly bad day followed by an impossibly long and lonely night led to cataloging all the pills I could find in the house, just desperate for something to make everything stop for a moment so I could catch my breath, could begin to process all the shit. Well, every possible cocktail of pills to make things stop would be a little more permanent than I'd like. I felt dizzy, could hardly breathe and my hands were shaking, and I cut. It worked, it calmed me and got me through that night. And it's only happened once more since.

People that SI need better coping mechanisms, but they need ones that work before anyone can possibly expect them to stop with the only method they know. Control helps too, I have a small 'hidden' area on my body that I let myself cut. Because maybe I haven't been able to stop completely, but limiting myself in that way is something I CAN do, and limits possible damage (and scarring).

My Mum asked me once (after she'd discovered that I'd pierced my own ears. She doesn't know about the rest of it) if I like pain. No, I don't. I naturally have a high pain threshold and don't tend to notice much minor stuff, but I do go out of my way to avoid things that hurt. The only 'good' pain is the times I don't notice it with the emotional catharsis that sometimes occurs. Sometimes pain is useful but for me it is never pleasurable.

Some useful websites are:
FirstSigns
Mind
TheSite
stephiny: (Default)
Give me one reason I'm going to hell.

Then post this request in your LJ, and I will tell you why YOU are doomed to eternal damnation.
stephiny: (spaceballs the icon)
I'm somewhat prone to obsessing over what is right when it comes to moral issues. I end up thinking way more than is healthy, like the time that it was suggested to me that using wikipedia in any way for coursework was cheating. I'm still of the opinion that it's not, because proper research papers include bibliographies too, and the main thing I use wikipedia for is to find relevant sources of information on a subject. She wouldn't explain why or how it was cheating though, so I still find myself occasionally tearing the subject apart in my head trying to figure out how it is wrong.

The same goes for my thoughts on piracy. B thinks I'm a thief, and today on facebook this status was posted, "Ebook piracy is theft. If you upload or download an in-copyright ebook without paying for it you are a thief. No ifs, ands, or buts. You are a thief. It's no different to walking out of a shop with a book under your coat."

When two people that I respect disagree with me, that's a fairly strong sign that there is some kind of flaw in my logic. I can't for the life of me figure out what it is though, and it's not like I haven't carefully examined every issue that I can think of relating to it. I'm obviously missing something and it's really frustrating.

I understand perfectly that in terms of what the law states, I am a thief. Ethically though, I don't want to steal. I just have a different definition of theft to most people and if it's actually wrong then I have a lot of fixing that I need to do.

When I've watched a film online more than once I try to buy a copy. This is why I have a pile of DVDs that are still in their wrappers. I buy them because it seems wrong not to, because I've watched it enough that I can't justify not owning a copy. When it comes to books I read whatever is freely availible online first. Google books or amazon often have long excerpts that I can read to decide if I want to buy something or not. If I can't find anything like that, I'll hunt down a copy to download and read and I have a hard time stopping reading something partway through. I almost always read those to the end, even if the books are shit and not worth buying at all, which is wrong but still not resulting in the loss of a sale. At least there aren't many books that I download and don't go on to buy. I have a nice little pile of unread paperbacks because of this, though most books I like to read multiple times and I get enticed by the new book smell so they tend not to go unread for long.

But then again, everyone already knows I do that. I'm still missing something and it's going to drive me nuts until I figure it out.
stephiny: (me)
I read this post yesterday and it immediatly pissed me off. Not because it is wrong (it's not), but because it is missing so much.

"And I am sure that you, Guy Who Is Reading This, is That Guy. You're the guy who would never rape a girl passed out on your bed (who, for that matter, knows that such an act would be rape), or the woman in the village your battalion/troop/whatever is overrunning. You're the guy who wouldn't do such a thing even when his buddies were heckling him, telling him he's a fag and a pussy if he doesn't. Even more, you're the guy who would stop his frat brother from raping that girl, and get her home. You're the guy who would stop his comrades, or at least report them."

The problem I have is the words "That Guy".

In that entire post there is not a single mention of the duty women have to do the exact same thing.

How many times at parties do you see a drunk girl pass out? It's not uncommon. How many times do you see someone make sure that she is okay and ensure that she will be safe? Not nearly often enough.

Where are the guys who should be looking out for her? Where are the girls who should be looking out for her? I've seen way more concerned guys than girls

Even worse is when there are stories of girls waking up naked with no idea what happened. That is horrifying to most people but the stories of guys waking up naked with a candle shoved up their arse, now everyone thinks that is funny.

It shouldn't be.



How about having no actually mean no?

Again we blame men exclusively when the issue isn't nearly as simple. I had a friend who could be a complete idiot at times, and I'm sure there are thousands of other women like her out there. She was cheating on her bloke and to make herself feel less guilty she would say to whoever she was with "no, we really should stop". Stopping was the last thing she wanted to do and some guys would then refuse to continue. She'd spend hours complaining about that the next day.

For that matter, can we please try saying no when we don't want to do something? And FFS stop initiating sex just because you think it is expected!



Walking home alone. It's a bad idea.

Be willing to walk a little out of your way to see your friends home safely. Pretty much what you always hear that men should do. If you are alone then don't take that shortcut through the dark alley or through the woods, stick to well lit streets.



Look out for your friends and even total strangers in the same way you would hope they would look out for you.

Don't go to a party where you don't know anyone and drink too much

Let people know where you are

Don't let your friend go home with this guy/girl she just met without getting an address

It's all things that should be common sense, so why aren't people doing it?



No. Men are not fundamentally entitled to women's bodies. Everyone needs to remember this, both men and women. There is a problem with a society that lets some people not realise this and it is up to everyone, both male and female, to put this right.



Guys, even if one woman said no and then begged you to continue because she didn't mean it, it does not mean you should ever ignore it in the future.

If you see someone in trouble then HELP THEM! If it looks like a girl is getting unwanted attention then at the very least check she is okay.

If you are in a group and someone suggests taking advantage of a woman then don't hesitate to be the first to object. You are not a coward for not wanting to, you are a hero for stopping it. Group mentality is a dangerous thing, object before everyone starts agreeing and the person who suggested it will look like the arsehole he is.

If you need to do more than verbally object, do it. If you need to call the police, do it.

All those things you hear about what a gentleman should do? Those are the things any decent person should do. Walk girls home, wait with them for taxis.

You really need a reason other than it being the right thing to do? Respect. Girls will respect you, guys will respect you and most importantly, you can respect yourself.



As always, saying something like this will probably piss people off. Some people equate saying that women should do something to reduce the risk with believing that women who are sexually assulted in any way somehow deserve it. That is NEVER the case. But I feel these points have to be made

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July 2011

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