October 24, 2007

October Media Coverage of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Thanks to CALCASA for the sourcing...

Lucinda Marshall, from AlterNet, reviewed nine magazine publications this month and compared the amount coverage devoted to breast cancer and domestic violence.
“Although October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), we’d much rather be aware of breasts, even sick ones, than talk about black eyes and things that aren’t supposed to go on behind closed doors. That point is reflected in women’s magazines, which devote much more space in their October issues to breast cancer than they do to domestic violence.”
All of the magazines Marshall reviewed advertised breast cancer articles on their covers but only two contained information on Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Marshall also pointed out, “that we shrink away from black eyes. Breasts, on the other hand, are highly marketable commodities…Such irresponsible coverage of breast cancer and blindness to domestic violence suggest that many publications are less concerned with women’s health than with making a buck.”
This story highlights how difficult it is to get effective coverage of both domestic violence and sexual assault in today’s media. Although the media is perfectly happy covering “public health issues” to varying degrees of accuracy, they rarely if ever address the broad societal costs associated with violence against women. Sexual assault in particular is often relegated to stories focusing on sex offenders and “stranger-danger” coverage made common for their ability to “scare up” ratings.
To read the full article, click here.

October 23, 2007

"Gray Rape"

There has been a discussion recently about something called "gray rape," a contrivance proposed by author Laura Sessions Stepp that only serves to support men's excuses and explanations for sexually assaulting women. There have been good discussions about this at Feministing .

Any man who has sexual relations with a woman knows, deep in his heart, whether he has coerced her or not, whether she has consented or not, whether she has relented or not, whether he has pressured her or not, whether he has threatened her or not, whether he has assaulted her or not. Any man who says he was confused or not sure is prevaricating. There is no gray area about it.

Spend some time talking with men in court-ordered batterer intervention programs. Almost every one of them has sexually assaulted his female partner, under the influence or not. Being drunk is a disinhibitor, not an excuse or an explanation. Neither party is having "consensual" sex when he or she is drunk. But every batterer will tell you that they knew exactly what they were doing. The fact that they are batterers, of course, makes drunken sex just as non-consensual as sober sex.

Scary People in America

One of the scariest slideshows I have ever scene.


Hat-tip to BAGNewsNotes