At the very least, an abortion is heartbreaking. But is the alternative better? Is it better to have a baby born addicted to meth? It is better to doom a mother and baby to a life of poverty? Is it better to risk the life of a mother and allow her cancer to spread from her cervix to the rest of her body so that a fetus can live…with no family? (I could go on.) Once we close the door on these types of abortion, it is only a matter of time before abortions are illegal in the case of rape and incest. But I promise you, illegal or not, abortions will continue. Instead we will see a rise in “back door” abortions. With that comes a rise in mortality and morbidity. “I’m Pro-Life and Pro-Choice but I am not Pro-Birth”

Source: I’m Pro-Life and Pro-Chioce but I am not Pro-Birth

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If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist)

A lot of these thoughts really spoke to me. The pressures that women put on themself or on other women are great. We must work to fight against those pressures in order to change the world we live in.

girl in the hat

image courtesy Devil Doll image courtesy Devil Doll

Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.

Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.

Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.

Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow…

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The F-Bomb Princess Video Isn’t Offensive, It’s Exploitative

Dr. Rebecca Hains

Yesterday, for-profit T-shirt company FCKH8.com released a video called “F-Bombs for Feminism: Potty-Mouthed Princesses Use Bad Word for Good Cause.” The video features five angry girls, ages 6 to 13, who express outrage at society’s sexist treatment of girls and women while decked out in princess attire.

F-Bombs for FeminismThe video opens with the girls sweetly cooing, “Pretty!” while posing in their gowns and tiaras. But three seconds later, they switch gears and shout: “What the fuck? I’m not some pretty fuckin’ helpless princess in distress. I’m pretty fuckin’ powerful and ready for success. So what is more offensive? A little girl saying ‘fuck,’ or the fucking unequal and sexist way society treats girls and women?”

As the video progresses, the girls review the ongoing issues of inequality, systematic discrimination, and sexual violence faced by women in the U.S. They pepper these facts with more f-bombs, of course.

This combination of pretty pink princesses and relentless use of the…

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Rape Culture

michael-courier-rape-cultureRape culture is a term that was designed decades ago, to bring to light ways in which a society blames rape victims and rationalizes the behavior of the rapist. In a rape culture society, women may feel intimidated to speak out against actions ranging from sexual remarks, sexual touching and rape itself. In a rape culture emotional and physical terrorism against women are considered a societal norm. Shocking as it sounds; it is common practice in the United States. Furthermore, researchers have cited rape as a crime that disproportionately affects women. Majority of the rape victims are women, with only 2% representing male rape victims.

Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. 1 in every 4 women report being assaulted in their lifetime. The majority of these women will be assaulted sexually multiple times.  Rape culture is accepting that sexual violence exists, telling women and girls to be more careful with:

  • What they wear
  • How they carry themself
  • Where and when they walk

 

…and the list goes on with the do’s and dont’s that every woman should follow in order to stay safe from sexual violence. In addition, society encourages women to take self-defense courses. A rape victim is then faulted for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or not defending themselves. That is where we are all wrong because, providing such solutions suggests that, rape comes from irresponsibility, lack of common sense, or failing to rebuking offenders to stop rape.

Victim Blaming 101 cooch coach

Still not convinced that the U.S. could be defined as a rape culture? Remember the Steubenville, Ohio rape case? A high school girl, incapacitated by alcohol, was sexually assaulted by two of her peers. The same peers then circulated nude photos of the girl all over social-media, (which reflects a high degree of disrespect for women’s dignity!) Media reports were filled with empathy for the two young men, stating the court ruling could ruin their life – ignoring that their action of sexual assault was the real cause of their misfortune. Most of the media and community supported the side of the perpetrators, adding pressure to the plaintiff and sending a message for other women and girls in similar circumstances not to come forward. A national survey in America further indicated that, only 16% of rape cases are reported to the police. This statistic tells a tragic story that sexually violence against women is not a priority and most criminals get away with it.

 

Women rights groups and individuals are working hard bring light and see an end in rape culture, a necessary change needed to end violence against women.  Rape culture is a prevalent problem, which must be addressed from the systems level in order to make impactful changes. We must:

Address the Real Problem – Instead of asking what a woman was wearing when a rape case arises, ask why the perpetrator thought it was acceptable in the first place.

Re-examine Masculinity – Masculinity should be defined in a context free of violence. Supporting those who are or were victims of sexual assault, rape or domestic violence is manly.

Speak up – When you see behaviors or hear remarks that degrade a woman or promote rape speak up and condemn the action. If your friend makes a joke about rape, do not laugh along; rather say you don’t find it funny!

Support Survivors – This should not be a one gender role; everyone, including men, should condemn rape and support those who have survived the ordeal by listening, being patient and avoid judgment.

Rape in society needs to be given full attention. Creating awareness, although somewhat painful, is essential. We must stop victim blaming, and view rape as a violation of human rights. Cooch Coach Community is dedicated to playing a part in this change.

Writers and reporters check out this resource before covering a rape story.