my rapist is going to have access to 10 years worth of my therapist’s notes. she’s been subpoenaed. so has my gp. the system actually allows a rapist’s defense to do this. there are no words to describe how i’ve been feeling since i found out yesterday.
now let me interview you all and rewrite your stories and make a lotta money for the democrats or something
A sex worker experiences first hand the stigma of the trade after losing custody of 3 children when an abusive husband cries “Whore!”.
The inspiration for the film came from the eye opening experience of being a sex worker faced with a custody battle after having been a victim of domestic violence. It shocked me that a twice arrested wife beater could turn the tables on his victim by making allegations of prostitution.
No longer was he a wife beater in the courts eyes, it seemed that they had unofficially dropped the charges from “wife beater” to “whore beater” and that apparently wasn’t nearly as bad. Social workers, Guardian ad Litem’s and even attorneys took their turns throwing obstacles and delays in my direction to delay my progress through their system and provide an advantage to my husband, who immediately plead guilty and signed a case plan to voluntarily cooperate with the removal of the children into state care. I on the other hand plead not guilty to any misconduct warranting that the children be removed from my custody. I was not the abuser, and had never abused or neglected the children. This I was told made me the “hostile parent”. During my four year battle for custody I found very little support for Sex Workers in Custody disputes. In fact, I found little or no reference to any sex work related custody cases at all!
I think that the discrimination that I faced within the family court system is more prevalent than we are aware of. My project is to create a documentary film about my particular case and the battle that I wage against the Family Court interviewing key organizations such as the Guardian ad Litems office to understand their views and opinions regarding sex worker parents and their right to raise their children. It is important to recognize that it is not only Sex Worker rights at play here, but also the rights of the children of Sex Workers to have access to their Sex Worker parent in the absence of abuse or neglect. The fact that the family court has the ability to make custody decisions based on a parents involvement in the sex industry is astounding and should not be allowed. In most cases these children are not even aware of the parents involvement, all they know is that abruptly one day they are with their parent, and without warning they rarely see that parent again.
The emotional trauma of the loss of the parent far outweighs any effect of the parents occupation on the child. In my case, the children were unaware and home with their father when I left the home to go to work at night. It is critical that we begin to understand what is happening to these children. We must question a court that’s stated purpose is to protect the children, when clearly that is not the the goal when a judge can ignore complaints and descriptions of emotional abuse and neglect in their current placement with a father that has a history of Domestic Violence simply because a sex worker parent “posed no real option”. I questioned how a court could rule in such a way.
It was on my mind as I was watching television and saw several references to prostitutes on that reinforce negative stereotypes of trashy streetwalkers, drug addicts, and references to the fact that all prostitutes are worthless. This I believe to be an important factor in the attitude of the family court. Sex Workers are one of the last social groups that is still okay to depict with such intolerance. We should be offended, and demand sensitivity. It is the equivalent of “Fried Chicken, Watermelon, and a Hollywood Black Face movie”.
African Americans fought hard to be seen as human beings that deserve equality and sensitivity. Sex Workers need to stand up and demand the same.
this is real and this happens to real women.
I cannot endorse the comparisons drawn between whorephobia and racism as I don’t think that is appropriate, but it remains very true that sex working mothers are usually in sex work to provide for their children, yet by virtue of their job they are deemed unfit parents and have to face the constant threat of having their children taken away.
and just look to the popular trope of “serial killer/misogynist abusive pig is that way because his mother is a whore” in fiction for what people believe sex working mums are like as parents.
LOS ANGELES — After revealing yesterday that he had recently split up with longtime girlfriend Rihanna, a heartbroken Chris Brown tearfully told reporters that he always thought the 25-year-old singer was going to be the woman he’d beat to death…
The Onion is really gunning for black women and girls this year with no shame whatsoever.
I went to a sex party not long ago. I talked to a bunch of the members and organizers of the group, and heard all around that they really value consent and they’re super aware of feminist issues and the danger of abuse in sex-positive spaces. I had a pretty good time, met a lot of people, hooked up with a dude, fit a humorous number of naked people people in a bathtub at the same time.
Days later I found out, almost incidentally, that one of the guys at the party had been ostracized from another scene for “some problems.” Some problems with boundaries. I was a little ticked that no one had identified this guy to me.
Later still, I found out that the guy had raped a woman.
Oh, but, like, she only said he raped her and no one was there to see it and it was really confusing and stuff and anyway what do you want us to do, like, treat the guy like a leper? He got kicked out of one scene already and that was like a couple years ago and we’re trying to help him change and now he’s okay as long as someone keeps an eye on him at parties.
Originally I had written a rant here. I’m angry about this, is the short version. I’m quite angry. I’m angry because this isn’t the first time I’ve been around a known abuser and nobody told me; I’m angry because I’ve been abused under the aegis of BDSM; I’m angry because so damn many of my friends have been abused in the scene; and I’m angry because if I used the guy’s name in that story above, I’d be kicked out of the scene.
If you want the long version, Yes Means Yes spells it out here, in a post I think everyone in the BDSM/swinger/sex-positive communities should be reading.The first step is admitting we have a problem. And we do have a problem. I’ll skip to the end: there’s no shortage of stories that start “I was abused” and end “when I tried to say something the community closed ranks around the abuser and I was frozen out.” It’s happened to friends of mine. It’s happened in communities where people insist that the community isn’t like that. And almost always, you have to actually know the participants to know what happened because nobody talks about it. It’s all secret, there’s no sunlight and no transparency. You, you out there on the internet, can search blogs until you’re blue in the face for a record of some of these stories, or some indication that you shouldn’t play with some of these people, and you’ll never find it. Even when “everybody knows,” the “everybody” is very narrow.
And much more. Go read it.
In the meantime, I like the BDSM scene. I like the sex-positive scene. I love that spaces exist where I can be myself and spend time with people like me. I don’t want to leave. I especially don’t want to leave and let the abusers have it.
I also don’t know how to fix it. I find the efforts to do so alternately inspiring and utterly frustrating. I understand the problems that “expose and expel anyone with any accusation against them” would create and yet I hate the default solution of “therefore, keep all abuse secret and consequence-free.” And I also understand that anything framed in terms of accusations is only cleanup after abuse has already happened—a real “fix” would cut down how much it happens in the first place.
I have a few small suggestions that don’t require involvement in the question of accusations*:
1. Let new people know the scene is dangerous. Newcomers shouldn’t be hearing “BDSM is all about consent.” Newcomers should be hearing “BDSM should be all about consent, but there are a few people here who won’t respect that, and we don’t know who they are.” We shouldn’t be teaching new people to relax and take it all in stride; we should be teaching them to be wary as hell. I’d rather feel like I’m scaring people off than feel like I’m luring them in.
2. But don’t assume all newcomers are only potential victims; newbie education should also include teaching people how not to become perpetrators. (I’m going to hopefully write my own thoughts on this soon.) For three reasons:
a) It may, in fact, prevent some of them from becoming abusers.
b) Seeing things from the other side may make them better at recognizing abuse.
c) It takes away the “I didn’t know that was a problem” excuse in a hurry.
3. Make audience-visible consent a part of BDSM classes and demonstrations. I’ve seen this done right a few times and wrong a lot more. Right is when the presenter negotiates with their demo-partner right there in public, or makes it explicit to the audience that they’ve negotiated privately. Wrong is when the presenter just jumps right into throwing rope (or whatnot) on their demo-partner, and as far as the audience can perceive, the “consent” is that the demo-partner doesn’t safeword or run away. Wronger than wrong, and not at all rare: the presenter gets “playful” with their demo-partners (or audience members!) in ways that clearly weren’t pre-negotiated even in secret.
Taking thirty seconds to make it clear that you always ask, you don’t skip it because “it’s just a demo” any more than you skip it because “I know they’ll like it,” would make a big difference in BDSM education.
4. Most parties have special rules that you have to talk to the host about before doing fireplay and bloodplay—the host will direct you to a location where you won’t set the house on fire or ruin the carpet, or simply say “no, we don’t have facilities for that, this is a no-fireplay party.” We need to have these same rules about resistance and “consensual nonconsent” scenes. If you’re going to do something that looks just the same as abuse, you should be required to run it by the host first.
That way, if a host sees something that looks just the same as abuse, even if they’re afraid/unable to shut it down with a “hey, is that consensual?”, they have an excuse to shut it down with “hey, you didn’t get clearance to do that!”
5. Get survivors to real resources. I don’t think we should be creating internal, informal resources in our community for this. The “we’ll handle everything internally and informally” mindset is how we got in this mess in the first place. What I do think we should be doing, however, is making a concentrated effort to connect abuse survivors with resources like the following:
The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
The Network/La Red (GLBTQ- and kink-friendly organization against partner abuse)
The National Leather Association Domestic Violence Project
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
And, frankly (although I know damn well the barriers there can be):
The Fucking Police
When people report abuse, we should be referring them to outside, professionally run organizations with trained specialists who can help them through the painfully complex process of decision-making and escape and recovery. We should not be encouraging them to keep it in the community. We see everywhere from churches to colleges to the military what happens when abuse survivors are told “we’ll handle that internally,” and it’s always crap. Let’s handle this shit externally for once.
The first step is to admit we have a problem. So in a way I’m glad to see my community doing that. Even though it’s upsetting and causes a lot of strife in the short term, I’m really happy to see all these conversations about the dark side of the BDSM community coming out in the open. I just hope we can go from conversations to actual change.
I’m beyond angry that people said they just had to keep an eye on him and he’d be all right. What in the everlovin’ fuck?
So in response to an article I wrote about my own experience with and problems with certain aspects of kink/BDSM, including how I was abused within the scene, some asshole had the audacity to say this;
Because of course, anyone who was abused within a BDSM/kink community is clearly just lying because they’re a prudish bible thumper. And fuck sake ‘what is sex work’? And suggesting all my experience is on-line when I state explicitly that
I think this from my own personal experience as a woman who was in the scene and abused in it, and despite the visibility of that abuse, everyone else was crickets.
There is a special circle of hell reserved for fuckwits like this who deliberately trigger and harass abuse survivors while suggesting that they’re lying about being abused in the first place. Fucking bastard. I am so angry I am lost for words.
dude needs to die. what a fuckwit.
and most men ARE misogynists.
and like, the whole idea that people who have suffered abuse - particularly childhood abuse - are perma-”broken” is fucked as fuck anyway. I mean, there’s a reason we all stopped using “victim” and started using “survivor”.
the reason people really want these stats about childhood trauma to be so absolutely attached exclusively to sex workers rather than acknowledging it is something most of the world’s women experience is because it validates the widely held, patriarchal belief that sex ruins women.
only depraved, broken women could sell sex because sex is not something women want or desire in and of itself with no sentimental attachment, or can use for our own gain… or, most importantly, be anything but sullied by.
because the number of people women have had sex with is still used as a gauge of a woman’s worth and so no normal healthy woman would willingly degrade her own value to men by being a sex worker.
therefore only a woman already broken (preferably sexually broken) could possibly do sex work.
it’s just another control tactic.
how can you not all fucking see through it?
we don’t have to fight anymore
I know this image is supposed to be cute and OP only thought it would be funny.
But it skeeves me the fuck out.
Because I assure you, that bag? Never hit back. Or started anything. Ever.
Think of what that means for this analogy.
self-protective behaviors are not always nice
they are not always easy for third parties to swallow
that does not mean they’re not valid
sometimes you have to pick sides! what a concept!
and yes, I understand it’s not always practical to cut off abusers entirely, or safe in some cases. there’s still a big fucking difference between infrequent casual conversation with an accused abuser and actively reaching out to them and involving them in your life more than strictly necessary. yeah, ethical decisions are hard and awkward and might cause drama, suck it up if you want to be a good person.
He says ‘I don’t get it, why are you still a virgin at 24?’
He says ‘I don’t believe you, I’ve seen you walk, virgins don’t walk like that’
He says, ‘That ain’t natural, people are supposed to fuck.’
He asks ‘Why though? No offence though.’
I ask ‘When was your first time?’
He says ‘I was 12’
He says ‘I know what you’re thinking, that’s too young.’
I look at his knuckles, he has two good hands.
He says ‘She was older than me.’
I ask ‘How old?’
And he says ‘It’s better that the girl is older, that’s how I learnt all things I know’
He licks his lips.
I ask again ‘How old?’
He says ‘I could use one finger to make you sob’
I think of my brother in prison and I can’t remember his face.
I ask again ‘How old?’
He says ‘Boys become men in the laps of women, you know?’
I think of my mothers face lined with her bad choices in men.
He says ‘If you were mine you wouldn’t get away with this shit, I’d eat you for hours, I’d gut you like fruit.’
I think of my cousins circumcision, how she feels like a mermaid, not human from the waist down.
He says ‘I’d look after you, you know?’
I laugh, I ask for the last time ‘How old?’
He says ’34.’
He says ‘She was beautiful though and I know what you’re thinking but it’s not like that, I’m a man, I’m a man, I’m a man. No one could ever hurt me’.
This woman is sent from heaven. I’m crying right now. Don’t ever tell me men of color don’t need feminism. They just don’t know it…
Valentine a day (http://brandonbird.com/shopping.html).
ok so this is adorbs BUT one of the valentines in this series (which u can see at the link) has, like, a woman with a black eye on it?
I feel like thee is a line here: SVU valentines are, you know, kind of inappropriate but also funny and cute, but SVU valentines depicting actual scenes of sexual/domestic violence… ehn, too far, Brandon Bird. Too far.
If I was creating that scene out of whole cloth, you would have a point. But these are commenting on a show, and that show depicts violence and abuse.
Some history on SVU: in the mid- and late- ’90s, original “Law & Order” was hitting its creative stride. And they were finding that some of their most successful episodes were ones that broke the formula, and dealt with crimes beyond simple “who did it?” murders. Episodes like “Mad Dog,” where McCoy does everything he can to put a paroled rapist back in jail using increasingly sketchy legal tactics (does the end justify the means?), or the one with the child serial killer (can she ever be rehabilited?). These shows were revolutionary, because 1) they addressed crimes and problems going on in society that till then had never been put on TV or discussed in the mainstream, and 2) they did not offer pat, easy answers.
SVU was conceived as a whole show about those gray areas. But in practice (at least during the Neal Baer years), it became anything but. Victims are always shown as just that—victims—until the hero cops can show them the way, and justice is rarely ever delivered through due process, but usually by some crazy vigilante act like someone smuggling a gun into the squad room to shoot a perp dead. It portrays a world of heroes and boogeymen, and to me that’s a huge, huge disservice to actual people affected by these kinds of crimes (I know many of those people, hell, I am one).
So yes, I made these Valentines to be funny. But the humor is absolutely not directed at people who suffer abuse and horror. It’s directed at TV’s depiction of it.
ugh can you please not do this, I actually really like your work
look, I totally appreciate what you’re trying to do, I’m an abuse/rape/dv survivor and I really love SVU and I am, like, not unaware of the approach of the show, I don’t need an explanation of that
but the fact is that card doesn’t come across as being a piss-take on representations of victims, at least not to me
the beaten woman and the “you’re extra special” are, I think, INCREDIBLY easy to read as a domestic violence joke and I know you’re clever enough to realize that if people are reading it that way it’s probably not because we’re ignorant about domestic violence and/or television.
yeah, no matter how much he mansplains it away to “context”, that card is gross and sends a terrible, terrible message. only assholes who think trivialising abuse is funny would laugh at it and that doesn’t change because of a big text block that basically boils down to “but context, you silly woman!”
I mean, if you have to give it that much explanation, Brandon (although it was incredibly condescending of you to assume missv just doesn’t ‘get it’), maybe your ‘joke’ just isn’t working.
Cyberstalking is any type of online behaviour that is designed to damage the victim’s reputation, intimidate, monitor their movements or to deceive. Cyberstalking can also be used as a way to continue to maintain control and instill fear into a partner or ex partner, even after a relationship has ended. Types of abusive online behaviour include:
- Joining the same chat, social networking or online social groups to contact, harass or intimidate.
- Posting pictures online without permission.
- Developing fake profiles – tricking someone into having contact, stealing someone’s identity or misleading them.
- Making false accusations or threats on public online spaces such as a Facebook wall.
- Monitoring someone’s movements or behaviour online.
- Damaging data or equipment.
- Gathering information about someone through their family, friends, workplace or other online sources.
- Ordering goods or services in someone else’s name.
important to note. pay attention to whether anyone is doing this to you.
some are bold for a reason that i’ll explain in a separate post, so as not to derail this one.
If I was really being abused, shouldn’t I have known it in the moment? Why do I need reflection? Am I over thinking it? Maybe I’m imagining it. Maybe I’m just overreacting. People who knew back when I was being abused, do they think I’m lying about it now?
And look, I know intellectually in the bits of me that read “Why Does He Do That”, that takes women studies courses, that of course it was abuse. but I’m scared of how much I’ve normalized the abuse and how much I hid it and how much I still don’t know what was abuse.
I’m not gonna reblog shit (but I will say “bluetrafficlight”), but I have so much contempt for men who try to discredit feminism with examples of instances of male SA survivors, if I could fly across the room and fucking kill them I would. I would destroy them like the fucking rainmaker.
First of all, pretending that male survivors are somehow not important to feminism is a gross misrepresentation of literally everything ever. Women squeezed blood from a fucking stone to create resources that didn’t exist AT ALL to get to where we are with our still extremely limited women’s centers/shelters and almost all of them extend help to men. Women are ALLOWED to prioritize women, rather than focusing exclusively on men (who as a group have exponentially more access to resources and money), especially when men did none of the work.
Secondly, to list individual cases of male survivors as a way to “prove” feminists don’t care about male survivors is disgusting. There isn’t another word for it. EVERY woman, whether she is a survivor or not, lives her life under the constant threat of rape. The literally constant threat of sexual violence, because she dared to dress a certain way or drink at a party, or because she walked to her car alone, or talked to a handsome man in a bar, or because she reported an assault to the police who then assaulted her, or because she “ruined” a “good boy’s” life. Women are raped, abused, and killed EVERY DAY, and that is supported by our culture, society, and government.
To shut your eyes and ears and pretend like feminists/women/survivors don’t care about all other survivors as a way to discredit feminism is to ignore the active work these women are doing to end a rape culture that men are fighting to keep in place. It’s disgusting, it’s enraging, it’s counter-fucking-productive.
MRAs (and MEN, for that matter), if you are so goddamned concerned, go volunteer. Pick up cell-phones for emergency donation, feed homeless men and women at a shelter, hand out fliers for women’s centers, organize auctions, raffles, food drives, collect blankets for winter-warming shelters. Give your money to women’s-only spaces that support survivors, give your time and money to creating more resources for male survivors.
And most importantly, and I mean this sincerely, stop talking. Just stop. If you want to actively help solve these problems, it’s time for you to listen.
They never will do this because MRAs don’t give a fuck about male survivors of violence. They care about hating women and making sure women aren’t stealing their precious, precious attention. Time and time again I’ve seen MRAs throw around examples of male victims of rape as a rhetorical device, and it’s disgusting and sick. The lives of these men don’t matter to MRAs unless they can be used as a “QED, bitch” to get some feminist to shut her mouth