Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Stop Sexual Abuse/Assault

I was going to write a post on that, putting together a list of simple tips I could come up with. Then I read two blog posts that put it way better than I could have.

For parents, starsinmyeyes writes about how you can protect your child from sexual abuse.

And Amanda Hess of the Sexist has advice on how bystanders can help groping victims. I totally agree with the advice of making it visible, making sure the harasser knows there are witnesses and making the victim feel safer.

I think our job as bystanders, as parents, as decent people, is to help create an environment that potential or actual victims feel safe in. Where they can scream for help and expect help, where they can speak out against their harassers or about their abuse and be listened to with empathy and respect.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Good Men = "Not Rapists"?

Some days, I get a jolt that makes me wonder at how little distance we have come.

A well-read, articulate young woman friend tells me - about a character in a story I asked her to read - that she thought he was "a good guy, because he didn't go ahead and have sex with her anyway."

An educated, independent woman's definition of a good guy: someone who is not a rapist.

That assumes most men are potential rapists. And on behalf of men, I am outraged.

I am sure there are many men like that. Many, many, many of them.

But it is insulting men to imply that they can't be really good, that the most they can be is not-rapists.

There are men like the Guy, who wouldn't ever willingly take advantage of another's vulnerability; who treat women as equals; who might not always get it, but who try, and learn. Men who try to be honest, and kind, and thoughtful.

That is the standard I want. Not the other.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Why Do You Come Here?

No, really. Why?

I don't have anything brilliant to say. Sometimes I wonder if I have anything to say at all. (Though I confess, sometimes I do feel like I have so much to say I'll never get done: but I haven't felt that way for many days now.)

So why do you come back? Which label do you read the most? What is it that you like? (All of you who haven't come here by accident searching for dirty pictures or something.)

Do you want me to keep talking? What about?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I Have Been Interviewed

... again.

Read it here. This time, I reveal more about myself, such as my weird dislike of onions and my obsessive watching of Friends.

Now what else do you want to know?

Monday, January 04, 2010

It Doesn't Feel Like a New Year

... does it?

The Guy and I decided to go out to some kind of event this year, given that we have never done that. Dinner! Alcohol! Dancing! seemed to translate into fun. As it went, not so much. The food was fine, but the DJ and the dance floor were pretty pathetic, and we came home soon after midnight.

But well, never mind, I thought. The event I was really looking forward to that weekend was going to a small village school on behalf of Friends of Children.

On Friday evening, we set out with some friends to a farmhouse a little away from the city. The plan was for the Guy and me to leave later that night so that we could get some hours sleep before our expedition on Saturday, while the other friends partied on. But the quiet night and the presence of friends seduced us, and we stayed up all night talking and eating and drinking. At nearly five in the morning, the Guy and I made our way home. We got lost on the way and only got home at a quarter past six, fifteen minutes after our cab was due to arrive.

The cab arrived ten minutes after we got home, and after we had hurriedly freshened up and changed, we got in. It was only the two of us and the sole FoC employee. We drove on for hours through bumpy roads before we reached our destination: a little village school set on the banks of the river, with tall hills rising behind it.

We met the teachers and spoke to the little children, and distributed the things we had got with us. Bananas and biscuits and toffees, at first, and then sweaters and school bags and stationery and flip-flops. Seeing smiles appear on those cute little faces was worth the lost sleep.

I leave you with some pictures, taken by the Guy.