Laura Bates of Everyday Sexism gives us some more everyday sexism.
Meanwhile, this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival made headlines for featuring a high number of jokes about rape and domestic violence. Such “jokes” are also endemic online.“We must wake up to the way that social media enables and magnifies abuse and harassment of women,” Ms Dustin says. The popular social news website Reddit has entire categories dedicated to “raping women”, “hot rape stories”, and “choke a bitch”. And an article on the student website UniLad in January said: “Eighty-five per cent of rape cases go unreported. That seems to be fairly good odds.”
Yes but those are just tropes and tropes don’t matter and besides “tropes” is a big stuck-up fancy intellectual showoffy conceited arrogant word that only a bitch would use because bitches are so arrogant and bitchy, plus they all stole it from Anita Sarkeesian because nobody ever used it before she did.
Jacqui Hunt, of Equality Now, says: “We absorb messages from all around us every day, so what some might dismiss as harmless banter takes on a completely different quality when it forms part of a general culture of demeaning, pejorative and prejudicial reporting on women.”
Noooooooo. That can’t be right. That implies that tropes matter and everybody knows that tropes don’t matter. Messages don’t matter, culture doesn’t matter, stereotypes don’t matter, nothing like that matters. That stuff is all non-physical, and nothing non-physical matters. What are you, some kind of crazy dualist or something? You think ideas matter? Ha! I laugh in your face. Ideas don’t matter. Only a punch in the face matters. Anything short of a punch in the face is totally inert* and harmless.
In fact, these jokes and media slurs could even be having an impact on rape conviction rates. Alison Saunders, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, told The Guardian this year that widespread “myths and stereotypes” about rape victims may give jurors “preconceived ideas” that could affect their decisions in court. When victims were “demonised in the media”, she said, “you can see how juries would bring their preconceptions to bear”.
Nope nope nope nope. Can’t be true. Can’t possibly happen. Juries never pay any attention, their whole lives, to intangible things like jokes and media slurs. That’s why there’s never any need to sequester them and make sure they don’t see any tv or newspapers. Myths and stereotypes make no difference to anything ever.
It will not be easy to tackle such deeply ingrained ideas. “We need nothing short of a revolution in our approach to sexual violence,” Ms Dustin says. But although the attitudes revealed have been worrying, the fact that such stories have been so prevalent in the media this year is a sign of progress, she believes. “The scale of revelations about abuse of women and girls in the Jimmy Savile case may have begun to turn the tide.”
As awareness grows, says Ms Diamandopoulos: “We have to get together as women … to grow the seeds of the fightback, which has already started, with organisations such as Rape Crisis, Object, Everyday Sexism, Mumsnet and others. Together, women have moved mountains before – we can do it again.”
Pfffffffff. Ideas – attitudes – stories – revelations – awareness. Come on – none of that makes any difference to anything! When has an idea ever made anything happen?
People are so silly.
*Oh I’m sorry, I used the word “inert.” That’s one of those words like “trope,” probably – too big and fancy for a good honest person to use, and just a way of trying to emasculate decent men.