The poetic, playful and prophetic musings of quintessential voices trying to keep up with life

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Women's" Issues

From Amherst's terrible dealings with a rape (or many rapes) on their campus to the grotesque statement that "some girls rape easy" to the "Top 10 Ways to Get Away with Rape" flier found in a men's bathroom of Miami University, it's been a rough week in the news.

With the election right around the corner, we're hearing accusations on both sides of the aisle about how each candidate handles "women's" issues.

Interesting, politicians. What exactly is a women's issue?

Is it abortion and birth control? Whether or not Planned Parenthood will continue to be funded by government money? How many women have jobs right now? Something about single parents and guns?

I don't know about you, but I'm awfully sick of hearing about the "women's vote," as if all women will be voting the same way in this election.

Why are politicians only targeting female voters now? Why in the world haven't they been trying to win everyone's votes for their whole campaigns? And why is it assumed, by politicians and by the media, that only women care about so-called "women's" issues. That only women will be swayed one way or the other by how a politician will handle policies concerning women?

These issues - from rape to birth control - are issues that concern all of us. Just because you don't take birth control doesn't mean you shouldn't be concerned about it's access for those who want to use it. Just because you may be at a much lower risk of being raped simply because you are a man doesn't mean you shouldn't be concerned about those who are.

We should be outraged at the attitude about rape in this country. All of us should be outraged. This isn't an issue only for those who have been raped, only for those who fear rape, only for those who are statistically more likely to be raped. The minute you minimize this to a "women's" issue is the minute you dismiss it as something men don't have to care about. 

I don't think all men are rapists. That isn't what I'm saying at all. I'm saying most men aren't rapists. I sincerely believe that most men think sexual assault is a horrific act. But when we hear men - men who are elected officials- say shit like "some girls rape easy," we know that all is not right in this country.

When we find a flier called "Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape" in a men's bathroom we know something is wrong.

These aren't just "women's" issues. Just because the population most at risk of being raped is women, doesn't mean men should turn off the news when the topic comes up. When the media casts these huge issues as only women's concern, they do this country a great disservice. These are issues that affect everyone in the United States (and beyond). These problems need to stop being labeled in such a way that makes people believe only women have to be concerned.

We should all be concerned.

Not just because we all have mothers and sisters, but because we're all human, damn it.

Why isn't anyone on the news curious how men are voting on so-called "women's" issues? Have they forgotten men will be voting in this election, too? On the very same issues women will be voting on?

Or is it because politicians spent their entire campaigns worrying about men's votes, so they have to spend the last couple of weeks on "everyone else?"

The media is essentially telling men to close their ears when something concerns women comes up. This attitude on "women's" issues is how we end up with bullshit like "legitimate rape." We need everyone to be informed - especially people who are making decisions about this countries' policies.

These are issues concerning women that we should all have thoughts about. This doesn't mean we control women, or tell them how to think or how to act. It means we all get informed on issues that affect those around us. Try talking to the people who are affected by the issue at hand. 


P.S. Consent is sexy, and so is communication.


  1. Just what we all need. Another feminist page, promoting rape hysteria, and pushing a variant of the "all men are rapists" bit. Kelsey is saying, "Not all men are rapists, but only men commit rape." (Because we all know women are somehow incapable of molestation, or sexual assault.)

    The only good thing I can say about this page is that, she at least acknowledged men have voting rights too.

    1. I feel like you missed the point of what Kelsey was saying. Her ultimate message wasn't, "Men suck and rape people, ew." Instead, it was, "These are not gendered issues. Everyone should be against rape and repression." More than that, her issue wasn't that men don't get raped, but that GOP candidates keep commenting on women getting raped. Why aren't you outraged at them for "forgetting" about men who get raped? I know full well (as does Kelsey) that men get raped, but they aren't the group getting singled out for this and being judged for what "kind" of rape they experienced. No one should get raped, period. But we shouldn't be limiting the definition, and we especially shouldn't be limiting the term to something one gender experiences.

    2. Actually, I was more upset by how she refuses to acknowledge, the very possibility, that women can commit sexual assault too. It is assumptions like that, that keep plenty of kids from finding help when the sexual predator is a woman.
      I am absolutely sick of feminists implying that only men commit rape, or abuse, or sexism, or prejudice. All of the above have been executed by women too.

    3. "These aren't just "women's" issues. Just because the population most at risk of being raped is women, doesn't mean men should turn off the news when the topic comes up. "

      Those are her exact words. I will empasize, "the population MOST AT RISK." Kelsey's post isn't about who gets raped and who doesn't. If it makes you feel better, she and I had this discussion not two days ago. In no way does she, or anyone else I know, believe that men aren't abused or raped or assulted.

      The issue she's discussing is not who gets raped. She made the point that women are more at risk of getting raped than men are, which is true. The point of her article was not to dismess men who are assulted. The point was to shed light on the hypocrasy on calling rape a "women's issue," which is apaprently the problem you have to begin with, so I don't exactly understand your complaint. The post doesn't claim that men are rapists and women are these poor, helpless, sad victims. To the contrary, she's commenting on how ridiculous it is that POLITICIANS label rape as a "women's issue," when, of course, it is NOT an issue that pertains just to women.

      Again, I don't know any feminists who hate men or who are man-haters. I'm sure they exist, but Kelsey is not one of them. Saying that women are statistically more likely to get raped is not a feminist bitch-fest topic intending to promote the hatred of men. It's a fact. But it's also a fact used to shame and blame ALL victims.

      Maybe you should speak with the GOP about including men in their rape victim-shaming. We're not doing it here.

    4. I think Madie represented me well here, but I in no way meant to imply that men are not also assaulted and that women couldn't be the perpetrators of assault. I absolutely believe both of those things happen. In fact, I believe that the material I discussed in this blog - the casting of these issues as only about women - harms all survivors of sexual assault, men and women alike.

      I appreciate your point that assault does not always happen to women and that men are not always the perpetrators, but I don't believe my blog opposed the point you are making. I appreciate your reminder to us all that rape extends further than assault always happening in the context of a man raping a woman.


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