talking about sexual trauma

Our civilizations are traumatized by sexual violence. A poison we should neutralize by talking

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Date Rape

I was naive enough to think or hope that Date Rape doesn’t exist any more. An article on a German website taught me otherwise:

Of course it was completely naive to think that a culture of consense and a positive, reponsible attitude towards sexuality – the own and other’s – should now be prevalent at least among younger people.

On the one side, the attitude towards sexuality is very much a cultural thing, and so quite complex. On the other side: There are rules. Very simple ones. „No means no“ for example. But that’s not good enough. The rule to follow is: „Yes means yes“ (and nothing else means yes: Not passivity, or not saying no). I cite Jaclyn Friedman in the introduction to the very interesting collection of essays „Yes means yes“: Weiterlesen


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Reading: Our Shared Shelf, a Feminist Book Club by Emma Watson

Quelle: Reading Resolutions: Our Shared Shelf, a Feminist Book Club by Emma Watson

I just finished my last book, „a fisherman of the inland sea“ by Ursula K. Le Guin (loved it), so what now? I’m happy to discover this initiative via „the Gloria Sirens Blog“! It sounds like a lot of inspiration and exchange. So I’m looking forward to discover the color purple by Alice Walker. Hopefully with some time for exchange also. . .

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„Homesman“: About destructive. . .

. .. attitude towards sexuality. Watching this film left me nearly breathless. Never seen such a drastic description of the consequences that total lack of respect towards sexuality and lack of communication about it can have. And this coming from puritan US!! I was stunned. „Homesman“ is not a film about the „Wild West“ or about a tough woman, but (for me) about a desolate and desolating culture that destroys relationship between men an women, the women and at the end also life. The film shows this without any teaching attitude, you don’t even notice what it is about until – well, probably until you try to understand why the brave Mary kills herself. Not because she finally picked the wrong man for this one night? She’s not sixteen any more. . . Difficult to tell why, at the end. But we who watch understand how desperate the situation of these people was; and not only, not mainly because of their hard lives. But mainly because their relationship to each other was spoiled by violence and the lack of compassion, and a completely rigid, mean moral. No pleasure allowed, no birth control either. One of the mad women has thrown the child born from a rape by her husband into the sump. There is not enough to eat anyway.

Let me put it this way: I have rarely seen such a subtle way of showing such an enormous deal of violence.

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Samar Badawi also talks about it

Sister of the well known human rights activist Raif Badawi, Samar is „a strong voice“ as Hillary Clinton said when Badawi got the „International Woman of Courage Award“. She fought for driving licences for women in Saudi-Arabia e.g. Samar Badawi was put in jail already 2008 – for having fled her sexual abuser (in this case her father). He had incriminated her for „disobedience against parents“. Yeah well, the victims are the ones who get punished; that’s not new (and not specific to Saudi-Arabia).

After a police questioning the day before yesterday, she is free again. „Free“ physically at least. By the way: Here is the twitter address of King Salman of Saudi-Arabia: 

But who knows – asking massively for freedom for her and her brother might even worsen things.

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Ursula K. Le Guin, the Scapegoat

Le Guin has no fear of speaking about sexual violence – it is not an important subject in her work, but it exists in a very natural way, she doesn’t exclude the subject, knowing it can be part of human existence. One of her short stories is about a society where a horribly mistreated child is the core of its happiness and its good functioning.

It is being showed – naked in a cellar room, suffering, horribly lonesome – to every person on the edge of adulthood. Le Guin doesn’t tell explicitly why this is done and how it works that the Scapegoat makes everyone conscious of the luck and good life he or she has in comparison.

There are persons though, who leave the country sooner or later because of the existence of this child (once one dies, another one is incarcerated). They can’t accept the fact that a society builds on such a horrid base. One of her stories is about one of the persons who left.