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This made me shake badly, but it speaks the absolute truth about why women are completely hosed when it comes to dealing with and trying to avoid rape.  (Trigger warning, natch.)

This applies to "lesser" assaults - the kind women hear about every day, the kind that many people don't believe is that big a deal because they don't experience it themselves - as well.  Following the rules of "feminine" behaviour means we're attacked from both ends.  And why is it categorized as "not a big deal"? Because we're supposed to be nice, not make waves, not stir up shit, and be good little girls who don't cause a scene.

You know, if I'm going to be attacked either way, I would rather be attacked because I'm being "mean", rather than be blamed after I'm violated.  So I'm letting all of you know that I'm done being polite.  Next time a man demands my attention despite my clear disinterest, I'm going to ignore him.  If he pushes it, I'm going to tell him what I think.  If I'm a bitch for demanding equal consideration for my desires, then so be it.  I am old enough that I simply don't care what strangers think of me. 

The risk that all women face is that a man who is refused sometimes feels he has the right to force a woman to do what he wants.  If he gets violent, I have... options.  I'm not going into greater detail.

This applies to interactions in the SCA, too - anyone who touches me without my permission is going to get an earful.  Tell you what - if I'm at an event you're attending, and some man (or woman) won't leave you alone, or is making you uncomfortable, come to me, and I'll be your voice, your safe space, and the words you can't make yourself say because your training is too strong.  Like I said, I have options, and resources that you may not have.  I pledge to do my utmost to make you safe.

Because I'm done.  If you can't get someone to stop, I'll take care of it.  I can live with being called a bitch - I've been through much, much worse. 

No more Ms. Nice Laurel.

Some useful posts:
Rape Resistance, Not Rape Prevention (Hoyden About Town)
It's Not the Empty Street That Causes Rape (Hoyden About Town)

And, as an addition, here's something everyone should read:
Commentary from women about all the ways they curtail their lives just to feel safe (Shakesville)
And another: We live in a culture that condones abuse


Aug. 5th, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
I was going to ask if we could possibly establish a device or badge for acting as Safe People in this manner, but I am worried how this might be accomplished without the possibility of someone using it as a the worst form of disguise, to lure in someone.

Of course, getting a badge established for this express purpose officially would probably be impossible anyway - I doubt the SCA wants to take on those kind of heavy-duty liability concerns.

But there should be a way to do so un-officially. I don't know, but I suspect the Blue Feathers may not be quite so expressly official, and might serve as a pattern for consideration.

I'm certainly in support and would like to be in cahoots with you. I've had much experience and training to be this for others. I've been called aggressive, bitch, opinionated, unladylike, and just plain scary before - all for no more than insisting my no means no, really and truly, and if you don't accept that, I _will_ make sure you're not in a position to continue being such a dumbass about it. One way or another.
Aug. 5th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
(haven't read the linked posts) If you wanted something to ID yourself as safe, you could always just go with the established: http://backupproject.org/ Not remotely perioid, but...
Aug. 5th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
No - word of mouth, and trusted people (I would say only women, initially, though I know men who will back it up) only.

And it needs to be kept small. Larger groups have a tendency to become uncontrolled and unvetted. It's a personal, not an official thing.
Aug. 5th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
Nods. Quite all right, although I am going to join the Backup Project for when I attend science fiction conventions.

Here in my barony, I'm currently serving as the hospitaller, so I can work on this on a personal level.
Aug. 5th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
When you said this, my first thought was that we needed something like this in AnTir. I would be willing to serve as a go-to, yet the number of events I attend is limited, and - well - what if I'm not there? Or people don't know me?

I totally agree it should be kept very small, word-of-mouth and unofficial, but how can we let people know?

Tiny but fierce,
Aug. 5th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Consider me as a man who will always back you up.

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