I saw this ridiculous post that made me pretty angry, so…
False rape accusations are extremely rare! Extremely. I know there are men who have some misogynistic imagery of evil, angry women holding rape as a trump card over them, but it’s not accurate.
Rape cases tend not to result in a conviction (only 9% ever go to trial and only 3% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail [x]) - if you were trying to get revenge on someone through the criminal justice system, this would not be your best shot.
Rape cases they tend to put a victim on trial - and air out all of her or his private information. Despite what people like to pretend, society doesn’t care about rape victims unless they fall under some perfect victim archetype - and most do not.
If someone wanted to get back at you, they probably would not do so by accusing you of rape. At least 54% of rapes are never reported.
People will bring up the percentage of false rape allegations as 8% (or even higher), using the FBI’s statistics. This number is not the percentage of rape allegations that are fabricated, but rather the percentage that are “unfounded”. Unfounded does not mean false. In the largest study thus far, a 2005 study (Kelly et. al), a lower number of 3% was found.
Additionally, jurisdictions that report to the FBI have varying definitions of “unfounded” making the term meaningless. Individuals within the justice system have bias as well. So the 3% number is also likely to be lower, particularly taking into consideration the fact that the majority of rapes are not reported to begin with.
Police officers and courts also tend to dismiss rape allegations as unfounded due to:
- a victim delaying a police report or not undergoing a medical exam
- a victim blaming themself
- a victim’s previous relations with the offender
- a victim’s use of alcohol or drugs by the victim
- no visible proof of injury
Plenty of victims are in a horrible state after being raped - and having their bodily autonomy invaded - and many are not thinking of or willing to submit to a medical exam in such a vulnerable state. We live in a rape culture - part of rape culture is that consent is portrayed as blurry and grey (when it really is not at all), so many victims do blame themselves, initially or forever. Rape is still rape even if your rapist is a friend, coworker, date, or partner. Rape is rape if you’ve consented to something else or consented at an earlier date. You are unable to consent if you are intoxicated. And plenty of rapes do not involve injury. None of those situations makes a rape illegitimate or false, yet it affects statistics. Additionally, victims may recant allegations or testimony due to intimidation or reliance upon their rapist.
Most women will not sling false rape accusations at men for revenge. It’s illogical and impractical, and it’s a heinous crime to fake. Stop pretending that it’s common for women (or anyone) to make this up. If you act like it is, you’re a horrible person and dead wrong.
I’m not angry or upset about anything in particular at the moment, but I thought I’d take a little time to write something out that had been bugging me about allies. It’s certainly not all-encompassing or totally comprehensive, but I hope it’s something I’ve been thinking about in terms of being a good ally and a good neighbor, especially here on Tumblr.
Before you step in to help us out, I’d just like to clarify a couple things.
You and I, we may have taken the same seminars and maybe even read the same Audre Lorde excerpts or Ronald Takaki books, but know this: we learned very different things in very different ways
For students of color, for gay students, for trans* students, for the children of immigrants and refugees, these classes aren’t always about learning new concepts when it pertains to us. It’s more about learning the names of things we already knew fairly intimately. Do you understand that? You learned it another way. You went in, you got this set of key words and a list of definitions. Your learning was, in all likelihood, “Here is this word. This is what this word means.”
For you, it was “Xenophobia: a strong fear or dislike of people from other countries.”
For us, it was “Xenophobia: the time that boy in my kindergarten class spat on me because I couldn’t speak English yet. Or when I saw that clerk yell at my mom in the grocery store because her English wasn’t clear enough. Or when USCIS had us confirm our American citizenship with the same set of papers seven times over the course of sixteen years because they wanted to confirm that we were, in fact, actual American citizens.”
For you, it was, “Racism: unfair treatment of people who belong to another race; violent behavior towards them.”
For us, it was, “Racism: that one time I saw that manager tell that sales girl to follow my dad around at Kohl’s. Or that one time my neighbor’s kid got shot by the police and they tried to cover it up by convincing everyone he was in a gang because he was Hmong, but we knew he wasn’t. Or that one time my dad told me I shouldn’t rollerblade to the library because I’m not white and it’s not safe for me.”
For you, it was, “Homophobia: a strong dislike or fear of homosexual people.”
For us, it was, “Homophobia: that time in the sixth grade when Ryan shoved against a glass door and banged my face in it while yelling, ‘faggot!’ at me until the teacher stopped him. Or when my Catholic high school’s president told me that, though he loved me as a child of God, he still believed I was sinful when I suggested that we start a GSA.”
For you, it was: “Classism: prejudice or discrimination based on social class.”
For us, it was: “Classism: that one time when my best friend came over to hang out in high school and her parents didn’t want her to come over again because they didn’t like our neighborhood. Or that one time when your friends had no idea what food stamps looked like and you were too embarrassed to explain what they were.”
So while you were learning that these academically-framed phenomena were real problems, we were just getting little figurative nametags for awful things that we already knew. Your weekly vocabulary list was, to us, just a hollow shadow of our lived experiences.
So my point is this:
If you didn’t live an experience, then step aside. Because we knew this stuff before our professors told us what to call it. We learned it from the bottom up, you learned it from the top down, and that’s not even a metaphor.
When you step out of class, you get to be like, “Oh, awesome. I am learning how to be a good ally and a better human being. This will help me.” For us, it’s more like, “Ah, so that’s what they’re calling it nowadays. When exactly did they say change was going to come for us?”
So in practice, here’s what all this theory looks like: you don’t always have to speak. I mean, certainly, you should totally call someone out on their oppressive bullshit. But if you identify as male, you don’t get to tell people what is best for women as though you have that authority. If you’re white, you shouldn’t be trying to “uplift” people of color by the grace of your intellect or your words. Nobody’s looking to be ‘rescued’ or ‘pulled up from out of their unfortunate circumstances’ as you may be tempted to believe.
All anybody’s looking for in an ally is someone who knows that “empowerment” means taking a step aside in a place where you know you have privilege. And if it is, for example, a PoC-to-PoC conversation, a woman-to-woman conversation, a queer-to-queer conversation, etc. about this stuff, and that isn’t who you are, you don’t need to be chiming in.
Just take our word for it, let us talk, and let us vent. We’d like you to give us room, and if you have to be helpful, then help make room for us by giving up some of your proverbial social girth.
Because the bottom line is that our academia has made a commodity of our lived experiences as teaching moments for you. And if you think your academic knowledge is more valid than our lived experiences, then you’re definitely not part of the solution.
So I finally watched the very much criticized film and dubbed ‘failed’ Pixar film Brave. I want to begin to say I can totally understand where all these comments about it being a ‘lesser’ Pixar film because let me say, the story is very, VERY simplistic.
The movie isn’t all that long at all, in essence it’s a very light Pixar film. It’s very easy to absorb and digest, that’s maybe why people who are always expecting interesting themes in Pixar are dissapointed. Although the ads advertise this as a ‘family film’, it’s a little more than that.
(Pictured above: Lack of communication)
The story of Brave centers around young and reckless Merida and the relationship with her uptight and graceful mother, Elinor. That is the core center of Brave. It is the story of a girl’s relationship with her mother, both the good and the bad sides of it. The story is a feminist coming-of-age in many ways.
Firstly, this story can be set in any period in time, actually. A.) You have a girl who wants to be rebel the societal rules her mother was brought up in. B.) You have a mother who has trouble understanding her daughter’s ‘new age’ agenda. The broken bond between the old woman (old female gender norms) and the new woman (the new feminist ideas) are core feminist themes.
One thing the film does perfectly, is making you sympatetic to both characters. Me and my sister agreed when watching, that we were torn whether we sympathized with Elinor or Merida. The film puts in you in both mother and daughter perspectives making the audience draw connections between them. Whereas in Disney films we have the evil stepmother or the absent ‘death’ mother, in this film Elinor breathes life and is as genuine and real as Merida.
(pictured above: perfect queen being perfect)
Also I want to talk about femininity, particularly Elinor’s femininity. First of off, Elinor is a very feminine character, who places value on manners, dresses and other ladylike hobbies. Although Elinor DOES try to attach her feminine values to Merida, she ends up valuing Merida’s own hobbies and begins to compromise with her.
Nowhere in the film does someone dismiss or mock Elinor’s femininity, not even Merida, she holds the values lesser but does not criticize femininity like many other ‘spunky’ female characters. Attach to Elinor’s femininity is a strength and powerful wisdom (it is to note Elinor is the HEAD OF THE FAMILY, not Fergus).
Elinor exclusively holds more political power than her husband. The clans listen to her rather than her well-intentioned, though dim-witted husband. In a rare Disney story, the Queen holds more power than the King. (one problematic point though, is the childish fighting scene that relies to a woman being the responsible mother trope)
Conversely, the Clans hold Elinor’s opinion quite highly and again there is no shaming of status or ability of knowledge as a woman.
In the film as a whole, there is no doubt or shaming of strength/wisdom as a woman. Even when Fargus locks up Merida in the room, there is no significant insight or dialogue that suggests he is doing it because Merida is a girl and cannot protect herself. Even when Merida shoots that arrow, no one gasps and said “OH A WOMAN!”. It’s more a problem because of tradition within the kingdom’s realm rather than a misogynist problem. Merida even fights her father, herself and shows equal abilities to him.
(pictured above: THAT GIRL CAN KICK ASS. Not pictured above: Misogyny)
It is to note the suitors of Merida are more concern with Merida’s ability and role as princess rather than her prettiness. There is no mention of Merida’s beauty and desirability in the film. NONE. In fact, all the suitors are more than happy when they are not being pressured to marry her.
Likewise the film touches in Merida’s own sexuality, she is clearly interested when Dingwall offers a buff, tall warrior. But is dissapointed when the real, meek suitor is behind. Rarely in films or disney films, are we shown glimpses of females sexualizing males. Merida is uninterested in the clueless Dingwall heir.
The female-male relationship in the film are of interest, as well. Fergus and Elinor have one of the most interesting relationships.
(pictured above: “I respect you and I think you’re awesome” relationship)
Fergus shows a whole lot of RESPECT for his wife. Not only is he loving and caring, but highly values her and her opinion. Although the marriage does fall back into the old run-off-the-mill responsible wife and careless husband. Fergus ability to listen and comfort Elinor save the relationship from being a trope. Fergus relies alot of Elinor’s opinion,from raising the children to run the kingdom. His greatest pride are not his war scars or bear story, but being able to showcase these accomplishments to Elinor.
There are not alot of female characters in Brave (like any other disney film), however I found the interesting the portrayal of the witch.
(pictured above: OBVIOUSLY not a witch, but a carpenter)
The witch is kind, mysterious, grandmotherly, funny, sweet and charming at the same time. She is not evil nor good. She is not mocked because of her unattractive appearance like in many Disney films. She is one of those characters, I wanted to know more about. She seemed to be thinking she was helping Merida (AND SHE DID) and she seemed concerned about Merida. Maybe she’s a witch with a feminist agenda?? (aren’t we all?)
The film fully centers, however, on the relationship between Merida and Elinor and repairing the torn bonds between them. Through the process of transformation, listening and spending time with each other female relationships can be saved, even in a patriarchal world. Elinor accepts Merida’s decision and praises her tenacity. Merida embraces her Mother’s femininity as strength and bonds with her.
(pictured above: Elinor lets her hair lose and Merida respects her mother)
I also wanted to add rather quickly, that all the male voices are pretty much toned down or completely dismissed. The twins don’t speak. The men/ Clans sound pretty childish or unintelligent at times. Fergus lets Elinor do all the talking. Brave is a film that carries a woman’s voice rather than a man’s (even Merida narrates the story).
Also Merida does not get married AND lives happily ever after. She is rescued though…
BY HER MOTHER, MOTHERFUCKERS
(Pictured above: which one is the toughest of all the realm?)
Conversely, Merida protects and saves her mother. Once again, we have women protecting and saving other women. There are no damsels in distress, they help each other out.
Quick note to add, Brave was directed (and written) by a woman. That’s like bonus brownie points since we need more female directed in the film industry.
So to conclude, Brave (IMHO) is the most feminist friendly Pixar and Disney film. Not only does is showcase women doing cool-kickass stuff but it doesn’t shame upon them for it. Femininity and non-femininity are both valued and not pitied against each other. No one needs to get married to be happy and people live happily ever after.
So if you had to show your kid some not super problematic Disney film, Brave is your go-to for sure.
(Not everything is sugar and spice; PROBLEMATIC ASPECTS I DID CATCH: No PoC even though PoC existed during this time period. HOW HARD IS IT TO HAVE A MOORISH OR MIXED RACE CLAN? MOREOVER TEN OR MORE POC IN THE BACKGROUND?? Also the treatment of the servant lady, forgot her name, was a bit umm not cool for me. Nothing more to add so far)
all women were bigger and stronger than you
and thought they were smarter
women were the ones who started wars
too many of your friends had been raped
by women wielding giant dildos
and no K-Y jelly
the state trooper
who pulled you over on the new jersey turnpike
was a woman
and carried a gun
the ability to menstruate
was the prerequisite of most high-paying jobs
your attractiveness to women depended
on the size of your penis
every time women saw you
they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands
women were always making jokes
about how ugly penises are
and how bad sperm tastes
you had to explain what’s wrong with your car
to big sweaty women with greasy hands
who stared at your crotch
in a garage where you are surrounded
by posters of naked men with hard-ons
men’s magazines featured cover photos
of 14-year old boys
tucked into the front of their jeans
and articles like:
“how to tell if your wife is unfaithful”
“what your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate”
“the truth about impotence”
the doctor who examined your prostate
was a woman
and called you “honey”
you had to inhale your boss’s stale cigar breath
as she insisted that sleeping with her
was part of the job
you couldn’t get away because
the company dress code required
you wear shoes
designed to keep you from
and what if
after all that
still wanted you
to love them.
—carol diehl, “for the men that still don’t get it”
So this is what anti-black woman misogyny looks like in action. And it’s been bothering me since it happened.
I was video chatting Joshua who is staying at a hotel for a church conference. At first, he was alone but in the middle of our conversation his roommate arrived. A black guy. He sounded nice and everything.
I joked with Joshua that I feel insulted because he didn’t introduce me (although I wasn’t looking to be actually introduced, seeing as I was on Skype and not in the room) but he actually turns the laptop and introduces me to the guy. But he says jokingly beforehand, “My girlfriend is upset because she feels ignored” and so the dude sees me and says to Joshua, “There is nothing like an angry black woman. You better take care of that.”
And then he proceeds to state his personal belief that all black women have some anger issues within them. I was not amused. Joshua ended up telling the guy that I don’t like when black women are treated in a monolithic manner and that none of that works because I’m a black feminist and all of that and the dude just jokes, “But it’s true. You’ll see.”
Of course, I don’t think he’s ever had a black girlfriend. Those types normally don’t. He actually gave us a long diatribe about his most recent ex, this white girl who treated him like her “trophy black boyfriend”.
But anyway, there I was in the middle of a discussion between two black men. And I felt disrespected. Like I was the “lesser” woman because I’m a black woman and reduced to stereotypes of being “angry” and all of that. Whereas, if I had been white then perhaps he would have given me more leeway to in fact be an individual. And that’s unfortunate because he is black! Blacker than Joshua and I!
And it was also weird seeing two black men (one who doesn’t seem to be particularly inclined towards black women, and one who loves black women! and me in particular!) discuss dating & race because it’s almost like Joshua, the black guy who actually dates a black girl, is not looked down upon exactly (after all the other guy is a product of a black relationship) but kinda diminished because he could do better and get him a white girl. He was talking about how white girls LOVE dark-skinned black men in Canada. I believe it, although I doubt that love is anything more than fetishization. And yet, that in his mind is more palatable than an “angry” black woman.
And I think it’s expected that if a black man is anything but the “real nigga” TM stereotype and all of that, that he will want a woman who “reflects” that… which is definitely not a dark-skinned, natural girl like me. Of course even the “real nigga” TM men want them a ‘red bone’ so…
I don’t think folks think dark-skinned, nappy-headed black girls are supposed to have boyfriends, never mind love where she is actually adored for her looks. I find that mentality not just amongst black men. But black women too.
I get the feeling that people wonder why I’m in a successful relationship with a black man when that light-skinned black woman over there isn’t. That and I don’t have an hour glass figure. I don’t straighten my hair or wear weaves. So it’s like… why would a black guy want me?
I’m the antithesis to what is considered attractive in society. OF COURSE this also has to do with the internalization of the idea that when getting a man, it just has to do with looks because that’s the be all of a woman’s worth. But it also has to do with colorism and adherence to white beauty ideals.
And the black guys who date girls who look like me I think can run into people (especially other black men) who wonder why they don’t have a girl that is more attractive i.e. closer to Eurocentric beauty standards.
And these same black men often think girls who look like me are annoying and perpetually angry and bitter. It really doesn’t matter how I present myself. Those traits are automatically associated with dark-skinned women with people who have colorist mindsets. If FLOTUS can’t escape these stereotypes, then I know I can’t either.