As Free as a Bird

Spreading my voice on the injustices of rape culture, misogyny, and human trafficking in an effort to educate others and empower like-minded women.

Archive for the tag “Violence and Abuse”

Domestic Violence Defined

Domestic Violence Defined

It is much more broad and far-reaching than many people realize.

Death is Fashionable?

Trigger warning: Violent and disturbing images

Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in the air.

I have seen an article before about violence against women in fashion magazines and advertisements, but I looked at it as something that we are moving away from at this point. Obviously I was wrong. Here is a new Marc Jacobs ad featuring a girl who appears to be dead:

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I fail to understand why violence against women is viewed as art. I’m not sure what message they are even trying to send here. They are normalizing and glorifying violence against women, and they are using a young woman who has admitted that she is unstable to carry out that message.

I could argue that these images are actually symbolic of society and the fashion industry, and the real damage that they can cause towards women and young girls. Women are often placed on a figurative scale. As a woman, you cannot be too skinny, because then you don’t have “enough curves”, and you cannot be overweight because that makes you “disgusting”. Why do we care so much about what other people look like or what they choose to do with their bodies? It would be different if comments revolving around weight were actually born out of true concern for the person’s health, but they rarely, if ever, are. I think many people mask their ignorant comments with “concern”.

These photos are why I am honestly feeling deterred from having children. Why would I want them to grow up in world like this? Violence against women is seen as art.

Again, these are really disturbing.

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I don’t see anything artistic about this. This has very little to do with fashion, and a lot to do with violent/gore media. They look like still shots from a horror film. I guess I will never understand the fashion industry, especially when they try to make strangulation look sexy.

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I realize that there are fetishes out there, but I honestly do not think it is healthy to put on display for young girls to see. I do think we should be more open about sexual education, but I doubt Rihanna songs or fashion ads are created for education. It honestly just looks like another image of a man dominating a woman- “putting her in the place”. People seem to think all these images and jokes are harmless, but I don’t see the humor or beauty in violence. The hyper-sexualization and glorification of violence against women is a problem displayed in advertisements and the media on a constant basis. Sometimes it feels as if there is no escape from their onslaught of images. Images like these images contribute to rape culture in America. We are so desensitized to violence against women; it is almost seen as normal, and sometimes goes as far as claiming to be sexy or artistic when women are abused.

That is a serious problem. Yet, how can we change it? It is so engrained in our culture. Are we too far gone?

 

Note:

If you would like to see more images or read more on the topic, here are some sources that I used:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/violence-against-women-in-fashion-continues-unabated

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2014/jan/09/female-corpses-fashion-trend-marc-jacobs-miley-cyrus

Combating Misogyny

Educating men and boys on the importance of women’s rights is vital to the feminist cause. So many people perceive rape and violence against women to be a woman’s issue, but those people forget who the main perpetrators are: males. If we do not reach out to the male population and gather support things may never change. There needs to be education on all of the topics and a willingness to learn amongst both genders. Instead of working against each other and promoting hate between genders, a more effective route to take would be to work together to create equality for all. We may not reach every man, but we can appeal to those who have women in their lives and let these men know that misogyny and violence against women does personally touch them. If you have a woman in your life that you care about, it touches you. Women live in a constant hyper-vigilant state in order to avoid getting assaulted. Even if a woman has never been assaulted, we all take daily routines to avoid it, whether it is a conscious effort or not. We need to reach men, because they do care, they just need to be encouraged that it is acceptable and courageous to care.

 

Change.org Petition

Change.org Petition

 

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Sign the petition to stand up for a TCU sexual assault survivor who was fired. You can read more about the story when you click the link to sign the petition.

Killing Us Softly

I watched this series a few times throughout college. Kilbourne has 4 videos from throughout the years that discuss women, self-image, self-esteem, and violence against women in relation to how women are portrayed in the media. This is her most recent video. I believe spreading videos like this is vital to women’s physical and mental health. As she states in the video, degradation and dehumanization of women is just the beginning of violence against women.

 

The Truth About Bullying

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Bullying used to be something that people assumed only happened in high school. The truth is, bullying can start as early as elementary, preschool, or middle school and can endure throughout high school, sometimes into college, and can even leech into one’s professional life at their workplace or at home in their personal life. Hell, it even occurs in some nursing homes. Bullying has no age limit.

Some forms of bullying that are currently trending in society include:

  • Slut Shaming
  • Victim Blaming
  • Victim Shaming
  • Rape Culture (which includes many of the above, but is not limited to the above)
  • Sexual Harassment (including, but not limited to: workplace and street harassment)
  • Cyber Harassment
  • Texting Harassment
  • Fat Shaming
  • Skinny Shaming
  • Workplace Discrimination
  • Racism and Racial Slurs
  • Gender Discrimination and Sexism
  • Racial Profiling, Gender Profiling, Age Profiling
  • Homophobia and Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • Age Discrimination
  • As well as many other isolated or recurring forms of general bullying

So, what are we going to do about this epidemic of hate? I have stated before that I believe bullying leads to, or is as a result of, violence against women. None of us are immune to it. Many are bullied:

  • at school
  • at work
  • at home
  • at church
  • at the park
  • at the mall
  • at a nursing home
  • by a spouse
  • by a pastor or religious official
  • by a family member
  • by a significant other
  • by a coach
  • by a sibling
  • by a friend
  • by a boss
  • by the police
  • by a teacher or professor
  • by a caretaker

The list goes on. There is a constant barrage of attacks on our self-esteem daily, whether it is a subtle message from society, or a completely obvious attack from someone. Maybe you never considered something from the list above as a form of bullying, maybe you never considered one of the places listed, or maybe you never even considered one of the people listed as a bully, but any of them can be possible and should be considered. In order for things to change we need to get to the root of the problem. I believe the root of violence is bullying and hatred of others. It is vital to begin to work to eliminate bullying and stop it before it reaches a peak of catastrophe. When you see someone being bullied in any way, speak up. Do not let the bully intimidate you; you are almost as guilty allowing it to happen. If you are being bullied, recognize that being mistreated is not your fault and do not let anyone convince you otherwise. No one deserves to be tortured, and yes, bullying is torture. Despite the saying we have always heard, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”, nothing could be more inaccurate. Sometimes verbal abuse can be just as, if not more, damaging than physical abuse. Physical abuse can heal over time, but emotional scars can remain for a lifetime. Violence is a cycle, and just because it starts with verbal abuse, does not mean it will not end with physical violence, and vice versa. The two oftentimes come hand-in-hand. Something has to be done that is preventative, rather than actions resulting after a tragedy that could have been prevented. The first step is to bring light to the issue. Spread the word, don not let efforts against bullying become a dull voice in the background.

 

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