FAQs, Examples of Blaming & Shaming, & General Links
- Does one’s attire make one more likely to be a victim of sexual violence?
No. The notion that rape is sex, or about sex, is a common misconception - rape is a violent act about anger, power, dominance, and humiliation. Most rapists report not remembering what their victim was wearing, and studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor. In addition, a study on victim precipitation of violent crime found that 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim, compared with murder cases in which 22% involved provocative behavior. Sexual violence knows no demographic boundaries; the elderly, persons with disabilities, children, and men all experience sexual assault. What’s more, most sexual assaults do not follow the stereotypical narrative of a stranger in the bushes: six in ten sexual assaults are committed in the victim’s home or the home of the victim’s friend, neighbor, or relative, and approximately 2 in 3 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. Clothing cannot logically be a factor in these situations. Finally, the idea that attire provokes assault is fundamentally irrational because sexual assault isn’t a crime of opportunity. It generally involves a tremendous amount of planning and risk. Rapists are not robots who instantly attack at the sight of flesh. They stalk, study, and often groom their victims for great lengths of time prior to the assault.
- Don’t we all have an individual responsibility to prevent sexual violence?
We’re all about individual responsibility in preventing sexual assault and rape - the kind of responsibility involved in making a conscious choice not to commit sexual assault and rape. Humans, men included, are masters of their own actions, capable of free choice (those who are not due to mental illness, traumatic brain injury, etc., are the exception to this; it is the duty of the state to help them and protect society from them), not slaves to their carnal instincts. To say otherwise is infantilizing and degrading. Furthermore, many of the kinds of “individual responsibilities” that potential victims of sexual assault are asked to take are largely ineffective at preventing sexual violence (see FAQ A1). Even if potential victims do prevent their own victimization, they do not prevent their would-be perpetrator from finding someone else to victimize.
- If you walk down a scary alley at night waving wads of cash, you should expect to get mugged! Likewise women who show skin should expect to get raped! Right?
No. Women’s bodies are not property. But for the sake of argument - if your property is stolen or you are non-sexually assaulted, the state will not refuse to press charges, commute the perpetrator’s sentence, or disallow testimony because of your actions or the circumstances. “They had it coming” is not an effective defense in murder cases. In fact, if you’re a victim of violence because of any of a number of particular aspects of your identity (chosen or not), other than sexuality or attire, the perpetrator will be punished even more heavily because it’s considered a hate crime. With sexual violence, if you’re even perceived to be “slutty,” the perpetrator will be punished less. Our research into sexual violence suggests that attire actually doesn’t provoke sexual violence (see FAQ B1).
- What is the just-world fallacy and how does it relate to victim-blaming?
Put simply, you want the world to be fair, so you pretend it is. You rationalize sexual violence by blaming the victim - if she weren’t such a slut, she never would have been raped. You create a buffer of fiction to distance yourself from sexual violence. You give yourself a false sense of security. You always dress modestly and behave properly - something so horrific could never happen to you. More information here.
What’s wrong with telling women how to protect themselves?
Empowering potential victims to protect themselves is valuable, through sensible means like learning a martial art, carrying a weapon, staying in groups, etc. The problem is that Western society is so obsessed with self-defense that we penalize victims for not taking every conceivable measure to protect themselves. Precautions are not presented as options, but decreed as commandments to be disobeyed at our peril. Ultimately, the only people who can truly “prevent” rape are the individuals committing it. If someone’s set on raping you, wearing an extra layer of clothing isn’t going to stop them.
What are the consequences of victim-blaming?
Rapists get off because the defense can point to the victim’s short skirt. Victim-blaming compounds the psychological trauma experienced by survivors. By using fear to dictate behavior, and shame to castigate defiance, the patriarchy is able to control women, their sexuality, and their bodies.
Aren’t false rape allegations the real problem?
The research on this topic suggests that false rape allegations are rare, though they do happen. For example, false allegations are sometimes used as a tool of oppression. There’s a history of men of color being targeted with false allegations, and men of color are still targeted this way today. Gay men have been falsely accused of child molestation. Trans women have been falsely accused of being men who are just looking for an easy way to rape women. Allegations like these are used to further demean already marginalized groups, and to dehumanize individuals who belong to these groups. However, anybody can be falsely accused, and that is a problem regardless of how common or rare false allegations are. At SlutWalk Seattle we recognize that this is an issue, but this is not the issue we have chosen to fight. SlutWalk aims to rid our culture of slut-shaming, victim-blaming, and rape culture; false allegations are irrelevant to this cause.
- How do the issues of victim-blaming and slut-shaming intersect?
SlutWalk isn’t just about victim-blaming. “Slut” is much more than just an image or a mascot; it is a name chosen to start a conversation about the concept of “sluttiness” and the harm it inflicts. Many detractors of SlutWalk have said expressed sentiments such as, “I don’t like the message you’re sending that women who get raped are all sluts” or “I don’t like the implication that women who dress in fishnets and corsets are all sluts.” Sentiments like these this imply that being a “slut” (whether that’s in how much sex you have, how many partners you have it with, how you dress, your attitude, etc.) is negative and undesirable. That is slut-shaming. What’s more, it feeds into slut-shaming mythology because it implies that there is one universally accepted definition of the term “slut,” when in reality the potency of “slut” as a term and concept to oppress women comes from the plasticity of the word’s meaning. Victim-blaming and slut-shaming intersect in many ways, especially in how dehumanizing victims with labels like “slut” allows society to turn a blind eye to their suffering.
- You want to “reclaim” the word slut? To mean what? How can you reclaim something you never had in the first place?
Reappropriating/reclaiming “slut” is not the goal of SlutWalk - ending victim-blaming and slut-shaming is. Reappropriation is one of many viable tactics; a means to an end. We want to reappropriate “slut” as a positive term for a person of any gender who has and enjoys frequent sex, especially with multiple partners. Reappropriating “slut” serves three primary functions: it takes away the word’s power to do harm as a pejorative (one of the best ways to fight hate is to embrace and disarm the words employed by the haters); provides a sex-positive term for women, few of which exist (like “stud” is for men - many women find that reclaiming “slut” gives them a voice that they have lacked in similar movements); and allows “sluts” to identify as part of a cohesive group for political representation. A list of examples of reappropriated words can be found here. Reappropriation is not the only way to fight oppression. It isn’t even the best way. We don’t claim it is. SlutWalk would fail without the invaluable contributions of other protests like Take Back the Night, as well as education and legal reform. Not all women will want to reclaim “slut” for themselves, but we hope they will support their sisters who do. As with any reappropriated word, you should never use “slut” without explicit permission from the subject first, and that permission can be revoked at any time.
- Is SlutWalk just for women or “sluts”? Do participants have to be dressed as “sluts”?
Everyone - allies included - is welcome and encouraged to attend SlutWalk. Victim-blaming and slut-shaming oppress all people, regardless of gender, sexuality, or attire. Dress as you please, whether it’s in a corset and fishnets or sweatpants and a t-shirt.
- Does SlutWalk promote being a “slut”?
We’re not “promoting” being a slut, nor are we suggesting people show skin or have lots of sex. We’re promoting people minding their own business and treating others with different lifestyles with respect, especially as long as those lifestyles are ethical because they are consensual and honest. We’re saying that whether or not someone has sex is a personal choice – not mine, not yours, not the media’s, not the state’s – and those who choose to have sex deserve to be respected and to be afforded justice when they are sexually violated.
- Does SlutWalk disrespect women?
SlutWalk is not disrespecting women, and “sluts” are not disrespecting themselves or their bodies by being true to themselves and the world. The rapists, the victim-blamers who excuse the rape, and the slut-shamers who say or imply they live a degrading lifestyle – they’re doing the disrespecting.
- Why do we need a movement for “sluts”? What about the people who aren’t slut-shamed for how they behave or dress?
An analogy to the queer movement - people look at gay pride parades and say, “why do we need gay pride parades? Do gay pride parades imply that it’s better to be gay than straight? Why can’t we have straight pride parades?” The answer is that every street of every city of every day of every year is a straight pride parade. Likewise, on August 4th, every other street in Seattle will be FemaleSexualAcquiescenceWalk, because “sluts,” especially women, are stigmatized, dehumanized, and denied justice in assault cases.
- What stereotypes perpetuate slut-shaming?
The Madonna-whore dichotomy is the notion in our culture that a woman can be sexual, or she can be deserving of respect, but she can’t be both. This belief, whether conscious or unrealized, is what legitimizes slut-shaming in the minds of misogynists. It’s important to note that throughout America’s history, the “Madonna” role has generally been reserved for white women, at least in the eyes of the dominant, white male culture. Thus, the Madonna-whore dichotomy has been a tool not only of gender-based oppression, of but racial oppression as well. The Madonna-whore dichotomy also includes a significant element of classism – women deemed “whores” commonly tend to be working-class. More information on the Madonna-whore dichotomy can be found here, here, and here. The Jezebel stereotype is the notion that black women are lustful and lascivious by nature. The Jezebel stereotype has complicated origins, but throughout American history it has been used to oppress black women due to the intersection of their race and gender. The submissive Asian woman stereotype entails the constant fetishization of Asian women’s sexualities by white culture as exotic and submissive. This deprives Asian women of their agency in the eyes of the dominant white male culture. The fiery Latina stereotype is one of many stereotypes designed to belittle Hispanic women. This stereotype characterizes Hispanic women as both sexually voracious and prone to irrational bouts of anger. The intersection of sexist and racial stereotypes creates a potent tool of oppression, objectifying Hispanic women’s bodies and de-legitimizing their emotions.
- Why are racial definitions included in this FAQ? Isn’t SlutWalk supposed to just be about sexual assault?
SWS fights against all forms of sexual oppression as they occur to all groups of people. Different groups experience objectification and slut-shaming differently because of their different histories and places in our culture. When we fail to include the lived experience of diverse groups of people, we imply that the “white experience” is the default, the standard, and the “most legitimate” experience of sexual oppression. And that’s just not true – all of our stories matter equally, and all stories deserve to be acknowledged. A good article on women of color in feminist spaces can be found here.
C. Politics, culture, and the War on Women
- What are the policy positions espoused by SlutWalk Seattle?
SlutWalk Seattle’s policy positions may be viewed here.
- Who and what are the targets of SlutWalk Seattle?
SlutWalk targets the institutions and cultural norms and values that perpetuate victim-blaming and slut-shaming, including legislatures, courts, law enforcement, schools, the media, and the public.
- What perpetuates patriarchy, kyriarchy, and rape culture?
Patriarchy, kyriarchy, and rape culture are perpetuated by kyriarchal slurs (e.g., faggot, retard), trivialization of violence, not emphasizing consent, making excuses for sexual violence (e.g., “men can’t control themselves and it’s all biological”), colonialism and ethnocentrism, the commodification of sex (e.g., by believing that buying a woman dinner or supporting a wife entitles a man to sex) viewing rape as an act of sex rather than an act of violence, referring to rape as sex (especially “sex” involving coercion and manipulation), fixation on and overstatement of false rape accusation (see B7), the “nice guy” myth (see here, here, and here), saying that people ask to be assaulted, sex negativity, exclusive and divisive movements, objectifying women, enforcing gender roles, essentialism, restricting access to reproductive health care (e.g., abortion and contraception), sexualizing children, ineffective sex education, and associating sex and violence in mainstream media, associating sex and violence in advertising, and associating sex and violence in pornography.
- What protesting activities are legal and illegal?
Protected activities include holding signs, leafleting, drumming, dancing, singing, chanting, marching, standing still in a group, and approaching pedestrians on a public sidewalk with leaflets, newspapers, petitions, and solicitations for donations. Illegal activities include blocking street traffic, blocking pedestrian right of way, harassing or accosting passers-by, inciting a crowd to imminent violence or illegal activity, entering or remaining on other property after being informed that you are not welcome, violence against any person, and destruction of property. Possibly illegal activities include resisting arrest or obstructing an officer, fastening signs to public property (other than to bulletin boards generally open for posting information), littering, and using excessive noise. Points taken from here and here.
- Consent: an active, non-coercive, continual agreement to engage in sexual activity. Consent is not silence, agreeing to sex after being pressured into it, or getting a “yes” from someone while their judgment is impaired by substance use - the only thing that counts as consent is an enthusiastic “yes.” Consent can be revoked at any time, by anybody, for any reason. Only human adults can give consent.
- Gender: how one identifies and expresses oneself (often in relation to their assigned sex). Gender is both socially constructed and psychologically influenced. In most societies, genders prescribe norms such as occupations, behaviors, appearances, and power dynamics. As with sex, there are not just two genders - indeed, it can be said that there are as many genders as there are people. Individuals whose assigned sexes correspond to their gender identities are cisgender. Individuals whose assigned sexes do not correspond to their gender identities and/or who are outside the gender binary may define themselves in terms of gender identities such as transgender, genderqueer, genderless, polygender, or genderfluid.
- Kyriarchy: an expansion of patriarchy, describing multiple interconnected and interacting systems of oppression, including but not limited to ableism, ageism, cissexism, classism, heterosexism, racism, sexism, and sizeism. More information on patriarchy and kyriarchy can be found here.
- Oppression: put simply, prejudice plus power. Oppression is one group unjustly using its power over another group to subordinate and exploit them. Oppression is institutionalized when people in positions of authority act with the purpose and/or effect of oppressing. Oppression takes many forms, such as withholding economic opportunities, creating barriers to suffrage, denying legal protections from housing discrimination, and physical and sexual assault.
- Patriarchy: a system of oppression in which men hold power and privilege over women, who are expected to be subordinate to men.
- Privilege: in a sociological context, higher social, political, and/or economic status for one group at the expense of another group. Often, members of the privileged group take their privilege for granted to the extent that they’re unaware of it. Examples include white privilege and male privilege. Read “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh for more discussion of white privilege.
- Queer: an umbrella term inclusive of all sex and gender minorities, including individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and intersex. “Queer” is a reclaimed term in the same vein as “slut,” so the choice to identify as queer is an individual decision (see question C2).
- Rape: sexual assault involving penetration.
- Rape culture: a culture in which sexual violence is common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence. More information on rape culture can be found here.
- Sex [act]: any consensual sexual act between two or more individuals. See this helpful flowchart.
- Sex [classification]: a set of biological and physiological characteristics, such as anatomy, chromosomes, and hormones. Sexes include female, male, and intersex. Sex is not a binary system, i.e., there are not just two sexes.
- Sexual assault: violence of a sexual nature committed by individuals against others, or any sexual act committed without consent.
- Sexual orientation: one’s enduring sexual attraction towards or preference for particular genders, sexes, or sexual activities.
- Sex positivity: an attitude towards human sexuality that embraces, accepts, and legitimizes all forms of consensual sexual activity and all sexual orientations and identities (e.g., kink, celibacy, group sex, sexual monogamy, etc.).
- Slut: a pejorative originally meaning “a dirty, untidy, or slovenly woman.” “Slut” is used not only to disparage women for being (or appearing to be) sexually promiscuous, but also as a tool of kyriarchal oppression, justifying . There are many derogatory terms like “slut” such as “ho,” “puta,” “sharmuta,” and “slapper.” Some of these pejoratives are used to oppress some groups more than others. SlutWalk aims to reclaim “slut” - see FAQ C2.
- Slut-shaming: when people, especially women-identified people, are made to feel ashamed and guilty because of their actual or imagined sexual proclivities. Labels like “slut” stigmatize and dehumanize women, making it easier for society and the legal system to turn a blind eye to survivors, make excuses for violence, and deny them justice. The double standard whereby men are often praised for having lots of sex while women are condemned for it is an example of slut-shaming.
- Survivor/victim: terms referring to individuals who have experienced sexual assault. “Survivor” is more empowering and generally preferred.
- Victim-blaming: when victims of sexual assault are explicitly or implicitly blamed for their own assault (for example, saying that a woman should have expected to be raped if she wore a short skirt, although victim-blaming is often much more subtle). This wrongfully shifts the burden of prevention from the perpetrator onto the victim.
Victim-blaming, slut-shaming, and rape culture in the news
- February 4, 2011: 16-year-old can’t press charges against UW basketball player because witnesses portrayed the act as consensual
- February 16, 2011: Journalist Lara Logan blamed for sexual assault while covering Egyptian revolution
- February 24, 2011: Rapist will not go to jail because “sex was in the air”
- March 14, 2011: 11-year-old girl blamed for being gang raped
- May 4, 2011: Cheerleader has to pay $45,000 to the school that kicked her off the squad for refusing to cheer for her rapist
- May 5, 2011: Peace Corp volunteers speak out on being blamed for rape
- May 14, 2011: Man admits to raping 4-year-old and 8-year-old but blames them for “initiating sexual contact”
- May 16, 2011: Teen allegedly raped; forced to apologize for pregnancy before church
- May 18, 2011: British Justice Secretary suggests “date rape” is not as serious as other kinds of rape
- May 24, 2011: Kansas state Representative Pete DeGraaf supports bill banning insurance companies from covering abortion under under general healthcare plans; compares rape to getting a flat tire
- May 26, 2011: Woman who claimed she was assaulted by two NYPD officers has credibility questioned and loses case because “she was very drunk” and an officer claimed “she actually came onto him”
- June 10, 2011: NYPD officer stops cyclist for wearing short skirt
- June 29, 2011: South African policemen suggest lesbians can’t be raped by men because they are not attracted to men
- July 8, 2011: Jamie Leigh Jones loses rape case because her rapist claimed that she consented, even though she was blacked out and therefore incapable of consent
- July 22, 2011: British judge frees six rapists, saying their 12-year-old victims “wanted” sex
- August 15, 2011: Woman pays for reprting a rape
- August 22, 2011: South African cabinet member says he hopes to “get lucky” at SlutWalk Cape Town
- August 22, 2011: Washington State University writes off a rape as a “domestic dispute,” omits a reported rape from campus reports because a manager who was not a law enforcement official decided the case was “unfounded”
- August 23, 2011: An outline of how victim-blaming influenced how Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged raping of Nafissatou Diallo was viewed
- August 24, 2011: Missouri school district punishes young rape victim for coming forward
- October 8, 2011: The International Rescue Committee speaks about how very young girls (as young as 3) are being blamed for being sexually assaulted
- November 1, 2011: Canadian rape case is a celebration of victim-blaming
- November 4, 2011: A high court in Turkey rules that a 13-year-old actually consented to sex with the 26 men who raped her
- November 9, 2011: Facebook is quick to pull sexual content off the site, but does not want to pull pro-rape pages because they are “just a joke”
- November 19, 2011: 90% of survivors of sexual assault in the military are involuntarily discharged; federal judge says that sexual assault is a “military oversight issue” that cannot be addressed by the court system
- November 19, 2011: Jerry Sandusky’s crimes are called “sex” instead of “rape”; author uses this case to examine how the language used when reporting rape contributes to rape culture
- January 31, 2012: Internet commenters determine that a woman is making up her rape
- February 13, 2012: Fox pundit says women in the military should “expect” to be raped
- February 15, 2012: Republicans block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act; survivors of sexual assault in the military are blamed for being assaulted
- February 21, 2012: Jacksonville church hires registered sex offender as pastor, bans children from service
- February 29, 2012: Rush Limbaugh calls Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute for speaking about women’s need for birth control
- March 4, 2012: 16-year-old girl is bullied and called a slut by her classmates for using birth control; her classmates’ actions are influenced by Rush Limbaugh
- March 8, 2012: USC frat email says that women are sexual “targets”
- March 17, 2012: Women in Morocco are considered to have dishonored their family if they lose their virginity, even if they were raped; 16-year-old girl kills herself because she was forced to marry her rapist to avoid dishonor
- March 25, 2012: Author explores how Trayvon Martin was blamed for his murder and how clothes do not make one a target for racism or sexism
- March 29, 2012: Indonesia bans miniskirts because men “won’t be able to control themselves,” declares that miniskirts are “pornographic”
- March 29, 2012: Republicans claim that using birth control makes a woman a slut; claim that women can’t become pregnant from rape, suggesting that women who seek abortions after rape are lying
- March 30, 2012: Man acquitted of rape because victim couldn’t remember the color of a car that was nearby
- March 30, 2012: Various representatives suggest that preventing rape in detention centers is a luxury that immigrants don’t need
- April 7, 2012: Undercover investigation reveals rampant victim-blaming in Delhi law enforcement
- April 11, 2012: Man says his rape victim was eating chicken suggestively
- April 11, 2012: Teen rape victim detained by prosecutors
- April 14, 2012: Banned from Kickstarter for being a stalking victim
- April 14, 2012: Rape victims say military labels them “crazy”
- April 17, 2012: Cop who took naked photos of rape victim can keep his pension
- April 21, 2012: Ched Evans, a footballer, rapes a woman; Twitter users blame his victim
- April 22, 2012: Ched Evans rape victim named and abused online
- May 6, 2012: Commenter on Seattle Lesbian Magazine website says that all lesbians should be raped and beaten
- May 10, 2012: Emily Rose responds to a specific case of victim-blaming in the Ched Evans case and explains why victim-blaming is such a problem
- May 14, 2012: Congresswoman says the Violence Against Women Act shouldn’t cover same-sex couples because that’s a “side issue”
- May 16, 2012: US Government does not adequately protect immigrant farmworkers from sexual violence; many farmworkers are stuck working for their abusers
- May 17, 2012: Congresswoman speaks about how the watered-down Violence Against Women Act hurts survivors of sexual violence
- May 17, 2012: Rihanna does whatever she wants with her vagina and for some reason that’s a problem
- May 18, 2012: Girl gets sent to principal’s office for wearing “revealing” outfit
- May 31, 2012: Oklahoman doctor refuses to provide rape victim with emergency contraception
- June 8, 2012: Mob attacks women at anti-sexual assault rally
- June 18, 2012: Sexual assault retconned into video game character Lara Croft’s backstory as a way of “strengthening” her character
- June 26, 2012: Shanghai Metro ‘dress code’ warning full of slut-shaming, victim-blaming
- June 27, 2012: Religious organization Trinity Broadcasting Network blames victim of child rape in order to maintain TBN’s image
- June 29, 2012: Rape victim denied morning after pill by prison guard
- July 3, 2012: 14-year-old boy who raped 5-year-old girl spared jail as judge says it’s society’s fault for exposing him to porn
- July 5, 2012: Swedish court rules man cannot be charged with attempted rape because his victim was a trans woman; court apparently believes that only women can be raped and that trans women are not real women
- July 27, 2012: West Mercia Police create victim-blaming campaign
- August 6, 2012: ACLU sends demand letter to public school that forces female students to take pregnancy test, expels girls who are pregnant or refuse test
- August 15, 2012: Facebook group denigrates women for drinking, being out at clubs, being overweight, etc.
- August 19, 2012: Representative Todd Akin of Missouri believes that women cannot become pregnant as a result of rape
- August 21, 2012: Rape pregnancies are blessings from God, says Republican official
- August 22, 2012: Woman risks becoming fugitive to protect her son from continued sexual abuse
- August 29, 2012: American friar claims teens seduce priests in some sex abuse cases
- September 1, 2012: Town still blames 11-year-old for being sexually assaulted, despite DNA evidence, a confession, the girl’s testimony, and a video of her being assaulted; city tries to prevent sexual assaults from happening in the future by having a conference to “teach girls to respect themselves”
- September 4, 2012: GOP Senate candidate supports life sentences for rape survivors who obtain abortions
- September 4, 2012: Why the public slut-shaming of Kristen Stewart matters for young women
- September 4, 2012: Woman was sexually assaulted on the NYC subway and the police laughed, did nothing
- September 6, 2012: Kabul attack on female actors leaves survivors facing more punishment
- September 7, 2012: No jail time for cop in sexual assault case; judge suggests victim “take something positive out of it”
- September 13, 2012: 73-year-old woman raped and beaten for daring to photograph a public masturbator; case challenges some myths about sexual assault
- September 26, 2012: Facebook refuses to remove misogynistic rape culture pages, but will remove other forms of hate speech
- September 26, 2012: Man acquitted of rape because his victim was standing up
- September 26, 2012: Man is convicted of raping a 14-year-old; is granted parole instead of jail time; is ordered to pay child support in family (not criminal) court; is legally allowed to petition for joint custody
- September 26, 2012: Some teaching hospitals still have medical students perform pelvic exams on women under anesthesia without their consent
- October 2, 2012: Connecticut Supreme Court rules that a severely mentally handicapped woman was not raped because she did not try to physically resist
- October 10, 2012: Wisconsin State Representative Roger Rivard (R): “some girls rape easy.”
- October 12, 2012: 15-year-old Amanda Todd commits suicide as a result of misogynistic and slut-shaming bullying
- October 19, 2012: Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL): abortion is never medically necessary, even in cases of rape or incest
- October 23, 2012: "Hey, why are you such a slut?": Amherst students speak out about the rape culture at their college
- October 23, 2012: Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock: pregnancy from rape “is something that God intended”
- October 24, 2012: Women who speak out about sexism in the skeptic community face sexual harassment, rape threats
- October 25, 2012: Slut-shamed Staten Island teen tweets “I give up” before jumping in front of subway train
- October 31, 2012: Washingtonian candidate says “rape thing” not cause for abortion
- November 2, 2012: 12-year-old rape survivor called “negligent” and “careless” by school district in legal papers
- November 8, 2012: Kink community tells sexual assault victim it’s all her fault
- November 21, 2012: Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigns in response to sexual abuse allegations, public immediately jumps to victim-blaming
- November 21, 2012: Girl raped by two boys at school; the girl is suspended, while the boys’ only punishment is being kicked out of drama club
- November 26, 2012: Brussels Institute of Higher Education University bans dressing in drag after a man in drag was gang-raped, saying “certain groups perceive wearing drag as being provocative”
- November 26, 2012: Man loses job for calling out the company’s victim-blaming
- November 27, 2012: Lawyer likens gang-rape victim to a spider luring men to web
- December 7, 2012: Fox commentator says female victims of domestic violence “should make better decisions”
- December 14, 2012: California judge claims that when faced with rape, “[t]he body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted”; says a woman wasn’t really raped because she didn’t fight back
- December 21, 2012: Iowa court rules that bosses can fire workers they see as an “irresistible attraction”
- December 23, 2012: Anti-rape protesters brutalized in India; political officials and police officers blame women for sexual assault
- December 26, 2012: Riot police attempt to disperse protests over a gang rape case in New Delhi, India with forceful tactics
- December 27, 2012: Indian teen commits suicide after police pressure her to drop gang rape case, marry attacker
- December 27, 2012: Italian priest sends out Christmas bulletin claiming that women provoke domestic & sexual violence
- December 27, 2012: Woman victim-blames the survivor of a gang rape in Delhi, says she should have submitted to the rape
- January 2, 2013: Anonymous leaks video that shows Steubenville high schoolers joking about raping a teenager “deader than Trayvon Martin”
- January 2, 2013: House GOP lets Violence Against Women Act die without a vote
- January 3, 2013: California appeals court overturns rape conviction, rules state law doesn’t protect unmarried women
- January 7, 2013: Woman commits suicide after facing harassment for reporting a rape by a Notre Dame football player; woman raped by another Notre Dame football player refuses to file charges because of her fear of harassment; neither woman’s experience is acknowledged in sports media
- January 11, 2013: Fox News hosts mock transgender inmate, joke that she isn’t attractive enough to be sexually assaulted
- January 22, 2013: Associated Press article about why military commanders lose their jobs conflates rape with consensual sex
- January 24, 2013: New Mexico bill would criminalize abortions after rape as “tampering with evidence”
- January 27, 2013: UK lawmaker says women who wear short skirts and high heels risk rape
- February 11, 2013: Teacher raped by NYPD police officer, officer is not convicted of rape because New York does not legally recognize oral or anal rape as rape
- February 13, 2013: 15-year-old girl raped, police dismiss the case because victim and attackers have “low IQs”
- February 13, 2013: NC bill could mean prison time for topless women
- February 19, 2013: Colorado lawmaker: women can’t tell whether they’re about to be raped, may shoot the wrong person
- February 25, 2013: College rape survivor faces potential expulsion for “intimidating” her rapist
- March 12, 2013: Steubenville lawyers to argue blacked-out rape survivor actually consented
- May 29, 2013: Rape used as detainee tactics
F. General links and commentary
- Common Myths About Rape
- Days Without a GOP Rape Mention
- Ending the SlutWars
- Examination of the complicated intersections between feminism and the hijab
- Feminism 101, featuring Helpful Hints for Dudes parts one, two, three, four, and five
- Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog
- For non-survivors talking to survivors: limited vocabulary
- Have I ever had “ANY unwanted/undesired physical or sexual contact?”
- How rape is defined country by country
- Non-survivor privilege and silence
- Rape and sexual assault statistics from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
- Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault (from the Bureau of Justice Statistics)
- Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!
- SlutWalk Explained: the Name, the Aims, the Facts
- SlutWalk Isn’t About Sluts
- SlutWalk Protests: a Dress Is Not a Yes
- SlutWalk Seattle opinion posts
- SlutWalks and the Future of Feminism
- Societal Attitudes Supporting Rape
- Talk the Talk, Walk the SlutWalk
- Ten Best Ways to Practice Consent
- The Not Rape Epidemic
- The People You Meet When you Write About Rape
- Violence Against Transgender People: A Review of United States Data
- Why I’ll Be Joining the London SlutWalk
- Why We Need SlutWalk: a Study in Comments
- Why Women the World Over Are Taking Part in SlutWalks
- Yes Means Yes Blog, featuring this post about who rapists really are
Feel free to use all or part of this page, but please give us credit. This page is updated frequently so check back often. Last update was 3.12.13. Have a suggestion for an FAQ, an example of victim-blaming and/or slut-shaming in the news, or an informative link? Email us!