People ask me quite a bit why I care or why I bother campaigning on different issues and I came across this photo on a fellow friend and activist’s Facebook page and thought ‘yep, this is so true.’
And by angry – I don’t mean, I’m angry and want to punch something – it’s more a bubbling rage at the inequalities that make up our society that makes me want to agitate for a better society, but also I’m sick of having to justify and convince people that there is still a gender discrimination issue in Ireland. The Corrib Tape Scandal being a perfect example with peers on Facebook commenting that ‘people’ aka over emotional militant feminist women should just get over this, everybody does it – it doesn’t mean we’re all going to go out and rape girls.
Well do you know what – I WILL NEVER BE OK WITH SOMEONE JOKING ABOUT RAPE.
And yes that is in caps on purpose. Because really I just want to scream this at the top of my lungs at people who think it’s ok to make fun of an issue that for those who experience it, is one of the most horrific experiences that can be visited on a person.
I worked in an office last year where male colleagues, my own age, made jokes about rape on a very regular business and it’s only now out of that environment I realise what an effect it had on me and how it influenced how I view young guys my own age. So negative had my view become that when I met a guy recently who was very openly against violence against women, I was surprised and warmed by this. How ridiculous is that?! In 2011, I found myself pleasantly surprised that a guy my own age would be so passionately against inflicting violence on women. I don’t normally share personal experiences on blogs, but I wanted to share this because a) I need to find a way to let out the sheer overwhelming frustration I feel when I have to argue why those Guards in Mayo were wrong and b) hate speech like this, hiding behind curtains of black humour/satire does feed into our view of the world, ourselves, the society around us and how we interact with each other. The only way to remove this thinking is to have a zero tolerance approach. It should never be ok for someone to make comments founded in sexism, degradation and utter disrespect for a fellow human being. Lest we forget, rape isn’t about sexual desire — it’s about power and subjugation (from Martina Devlin’s Article in the Irish Independent)
Blogged by Linda
If anyone of you reading this have been affected by violence and/or sexual violence, there are a number of organisations you can contact:
Rape Crisis Network Ireland: http://www.rcni.ie/
Women’s Aid: http://www.womensaid.ie/