Apparently, only the Centers for Disease Control and the mainstream American media are surprised that there are numbers backing up this thing that we feminists have long called “rape culture.” I mean, when was the last time that NPR reported on rape when it didn’t involve a male celebrity perp?
In the meantime, the tight knot in my right shoulder, the one I call my Angry Muscle, is telling me that I ought to write a blog post on the subject, but I fear that no post will be nearly as straightforward as the one written by a friend who blogs as Minneapolitan Mademoiselle. The MM is a whip-smart feminist and anti-violence advocate here in my hometown, whom I suspect blogs anonymously as part of her plan to run for public office. She needn’t worry, though, as she writes with a great deal of common sense, neither cussing wildly nor baiting misogynists like your rad mama here.
The MM kindly allowed me permission to repost an excerpt from her roundup of Life in Rape Culture, which she entitled “And this is why you should care…”
[Yesterday,] the CDC released the results of the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Some key findings include the following:
- As many as 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes, compared to about 1 in 10 men.
- 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey.
- Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half experienced the first rape before age 18.
- 28% of male victims of rape were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger.
- Both men and women who had been menaced or attacked in these ways reported more health problems. Female victims, in particular, had significantly higher rates of irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, frequent headaches and difficulty sleeping.
Doesn’t that just inflame the hell out of your Angry Muscle?? But wait, there’s more:
I read it. I had the same reaction as I did when I listened to NPR this morning. “This isn’t news to millions of victims, or to people who care.” And by care, I don’t mean caring about rape and sexual violence in general, as social ills–I mean people who are compassionate and kind enough to be trusted by a survivor with his/her story. Whenever I encounter someone who claims not to know any victims of domestic and/or sexual violence, I have to break the news that they do. Actually what I usually say is: “ask yourself why you’re such a fucking jerk that no one trusts you with the truth.”
There I go, cussing again! Back to MM:
And finally, a fraternity at the University of Vermont thinks it’s legit to ask new members who they’d like to rape. The University doesn’t think so and has suspended the organization. Here’s a brief write up about that.