We know you want to protect women in bathrooms. What about from actual rapists?

 

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I keep waiting, but it hasn’t happened yet.

A few weeks ago, there were lots of men looking out for the safety of American women everywhere by wanting to ban transgender women from using the ladies’ rooms at Target and other public places. We were told how women were precious, how they needed protected from “men in dresses.” When the current administration sent out messages to schools giving guidelines on how to treat transgender students, eleven states sued to make sure that our girls are safe in their locker rooms from transgender girls.

Oh, I heard them say that it wasn’t REALLY the trans people they were worried about. Sure, there would be plenty of opportunities to call them freaks and perverts. Lots of chances to remind us that there are just a few of them, so why should we bow to their desires. Lots of dismissive language that told trans men and women that their comfort and mental health don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

But no, it wasn’t primarily the trans people (especially trans women) that we needed to be protected from. It was the the pedophiles and the voyeurs who would take advantage of the laws. It was the men who would dress up like a woman so they could prey on women in bathrooms. Those were the real threat. Those were the men that needed to be dealt with. Violent men who would do actual harm against women – those were the men that we needed to be on the lookout for, those were who the men were concerned about. Keep women safe from men who were violent.

So when Stanford rapist Brock Turner got a mere 6 month sentence, I started waiting. Waiting for all of these men to start posting their outrage at the system that so dramatically failed a young woman. Waiting for petitions to receive millions of signatures demanding stricter sentencing for rapists. Waiting for viral videos of pastors standing outside of the courthouse, speaking in animated tones about what grave injustice was taking place behind those walls. Waiting for men to share the powerful words of the victim as a reminder that rape has lifetime consequences for those who experience it. Waiting for men to remind other men that the responsibility not to rape lies with them, not with the women who are raped. Waiting for these men to prove that their concern for their wives and daughters wasn’t really just a mask for the transphobia that they carried and didn’t want to be called on. 

Instead, I’ve read a letter from a father saying that his son is being punished too harshly for only 2o minutes of action, where instead of a perpetrator of a violent crime, he is the victim of alcohol consumption and partying. I’ve read many times about how many drinks the victim had before she was raped. I’ve read about how we need to crack down on drinking on college campuses.

I’ve seen lots and lots of nothing at all from people who just weeks ago were ready to storm the bathroom stalls to make sure their wives and daughters were safe.

Where are you? Where is your outrage when a young woman is penetrated by fingers and leaves and pine needles behind a dumpster while she is unconscious? Where is your disgust for a system that slaps a rapist on the wrist and says, “Well, he probably won’t do THAT again.” Where is your anger at a culture that has more concern for the impact of jailing a rapist than the impact of a rape?

Weeks ago, we were told that women needed to be protected.

But apparently not from rapists.

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About Alise

I’m a lot of things, but more than anything else, I’m a woman in progress. I’m finding that out more and more all the time. Knitting is just a series of knots. I hope as my tangled thoughts are put out there, they will weave together into something that adds a little bit of beauty to the world.
This entry was posted in LGBTQ, Social Justice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to We know you want to protect women in bathrooms. What about from actual rapists?

  1. Beth Caplin says:

    You knocked it out of the park. Thank you. I’ll definitely be sharing this.

  2. karen ehler says:

    True true true. Thank you for writing this. Too many men are full of shit when it comes to truly protecting women from sexual assault.

  3. Christine says:

    Reblogged this on Passing The Speed Of Light…. and commented:
    Nail -> Head

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  8. Lori says:

    Yes. Exactly. So well put, thank you.

  9. Michael Weathers says:

    Must not spend much time on FB because I’ve read multiple articles, several penned by fathers and husbands alike as well as a petition to have the judge removed from office which I signed, shared, and encouraged others to do as well. So yeah, get off your soapbox.

    • #notallmen !

      She was pretty clear that this was directed to the men who were outraged by trans people in the bathrooms of their choice, so unless you were part of that particular transphobic horde, she was pretty clearly *not talking about you* or men in general.

      • Maruice says:

        Why would there be any overlap between men who aim to deny people rights and men who are outraged over this story? Why should we expect any? I think it’s pretty clear and obvious that the men in column “A” were using the “we must protect women” line as a way to justify their hate. I get that the author is trying to call out the hypocrisy and all but it’s so blatant and obvious that this article was barely necessary at all because column “A” doesn’t want to hear what you have to say in the first place. Why not champion the men who ARE speaking out to encourage more to do the same? Why not cite examples or link to the petition mentioned? This sort of “gotcha” writing is pointless and confusing because to you’re talking at/down to people who don’t care about you in the first place and confusing the people you should be speaking to.

        Yea you wrote this, great, now what? What am I doing with it?

  10. I think her point is that women are far more outraged over this issue. I’ve seen some blog posts and letter written by men as well. But I’ve seen far more created by women.

    • Dave says:

      Sharon- you should be outraged. Remember it was two males that stopped this rape. This writer is complaining when men step in to protect women and then complains when men don’t say enough. If you really want to be ‘equal’ start looking after your own. You don’t hear men crying about women not doing enough for us when we get abused. Remember it was two males that intervened this rape, where were her ‘female friends’? Home writing a blog on how worthless men are, I suppose.

      • Jenn says:

        Way to try to turn this into another game of blame the victim and “Oh us poor men, we’ve had it sooo hard for a few millennia”.

        This whole article you seem to be trying to disavow is on point and is the result of rape and rape culture being avoided or in your case, downplayed. Yes two men were there and helped catch him, point? It could have been two females, two city workers, a mixed or same gendered couple, or, *GASP*, two transgenders or non binaries. Your point of deflection is truly flawed on its face.

        Women come together on issues like this because IT KEEPS HAPPENING AND SIX MONTH SLAPS ON THE WRIST JUST ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SIMILAR/SAME BEHAVIORS.

        And just in case you missed it, this article is about taking care of our own.

      • Lissa Henry says:

        Dave – you are pretty defensive. It seems very true that many men get raped as well as women. What no one seems to realize is that rape is an act of both violence and humiliation. It is used to show dominance. It is not ‘sex’. All humanity has good reasons for despising rape and rapists. It is much easier for women to report rape and agitate for social awareness and harsher punishment because women , too, mistake it for sex. We know that we are generally less able to protect ourselves and that it is less shameful for females to admit to having lost in a struggle. For males, rape is even worse. Men are taught to be the dominant person who is to protect himself and others. I agree that men need to be much more vocal about rape, but it is getting better. Alise was in no way putting down men who are speaking out. She was addressing the men who use an excuse to discriminate against a vulnerable minority. She was calling them out for not addressing the very real problem of rape and the lax laws.

  11. Christie says:

    This is a GREAT article. But why is it headed with a photo of a gun? This has nothing to do with guns.

  12. Joe says:

    You don’t see the 300,000 people signing a petition to have the judge removed? You don’t see Mike & Mike on ESPN railing about how ridiculous this sentence was? Oh, but not ALL of them are upset and writing open letters and blog posts…

  13. Thank you. I am not a threat in women’s loos. I have been feeling fearful in the public toilets for the first time in years, after all that outrage. You could make all sorts of points about Brock Turner- how many black rapists have had such a lenient sentence?- but almost all the outrage is on the Left. The Right is mostly quiet.

  14. Miss May says:

    You’re comparing a national issue to a local one, and expecting one victim to get the same outcry as hundreds of thousands across the nation. There are TONS of people who want to protect women in bathrooms (ironically, often from rape!) as well as from actual rapists. Nobody (except a select few, mostly relatives) likes this guys sentence, but you’re expecting everyone to take time out of their day to voice their disgust for a rapist they don’t know in a town/state that they’re not from, that has no direct impact on them? By this notion we’d all have to quit our jobs and protest every single act across the country that we felt was unjust. That’s really a pretty ridiculous assumption if you stop and think about it. Comparing apples to oranges.

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  17. woodenmonkey says:

    Thank you. I’ve been thinking this, but not articulately enough to share my thoughts and frustration.

  18. Kerwin says:

    One thing has nothing to do with the other. We can’t protect women if they decide to get black out drunk. But our government doesn’t have to sanction men going into women’s restrooms.

  19. Jack Joseph says:

    You think the entire internet outrage is 100% female? What are you thinking? If you want to be outraged, take on the father, who did not ask/counsel his son to man up, not to a mistake, but to a crime. Take on the his attorney, who even if he “got it”, really didn’t “get it” as demonstrated by his line of questioning. You think the petitions to recall this judge are only being signed by women? By posting your line of reasoning you yourself are perpetuating a false line of reasoning. What happened was not a 20 minute mistake. It was a 20 minute assault. Halted by 2 men who recognized it for what it was. Men are reading her statement to their sons. Men are equally as outraged. Your statement indicates that your stereotype is as faulty as the stereotype that perpetuates these crimes against women.

  20. oldvanner says:

    I own groups on FB concerning Transgender issues . I have collected many reports of State police statistics from several states and in NO CASE WHAT SO EVER Has a “REAL BONIFIED TRANSGENDER PERSON EVER BEEN CONVICTED of Lewdness, of molestation or anything with a child !

  21. pyctsi says:

    Thankfully my social media is full of people decrying the lenient sentence, these are the same people who have been decrying the ludicrous bathroom bills.

    I’ve not seen anything by the prominent groups who want to promote the bathroom bills decrying the lenient sentence, so either they don’t give a toss or their heads are so far up their own backsides about the bathroom ‘problem’ that they haven’t noticed it yet. Either way for groups of people who were so vocal about protecting us from a non existent threat there seems to be, currently, a deafening silence.

  22. Lindy says:

    Alise, you must have blinders on. Many men have spoken up about the light sentence the Stanford rapist received. Do your research before you publish so that you write a blog so you can write from an informed platform.

    • Alise says:

      Of course men have spoken up. But even now, days later, none of the most visible and vocal people in the bathroom wars have said word one about this. Franklin Graham? Silent. AFA? Silent. FRC? Silent. FotF and James Dobson? Silent.

      They were loudly opposed to trans women (never trans men, which is its own curiosity) using a woman’s bathroom because MAYBE there could be predators who would take advantage of those protections. But when an actual predator is given a slap on the wrist? Nothing.

      When that changes, I’ll retract my statement that these men don’t care about the safety of women. But right now, I stand by what I’ve written.

  23. I recently read a letter from a man condemning the father who pleaded for mercy for his son who committed this horrible rape crime. I have not yet seen anything from American Family Association pertaining to this crime, at least not yet. As a Father and grandfather, and as an ordained minister, I am very much supportive of rape victims. My oldest granddaughter will be starting college this Fall. I am so sorry that this happened to you and even sorrier for such a token of punishment given to the rapist. Please know that there is one person who shares your grief and He is greater than all of the organizations in this country. His name is Jesus. You are in my daily prayers, as are others who victims of this terrible crime.

    Deacon Steve a. Politte

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  27. hh157 says:

    This post is wonderful. Thank you so much. Its people like you that inspire me to keep fighting!

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