jessica valenti

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I’m appreciative that young men [like the ones who created the “anti-rape” nail polish] want to curb sexual assault, but anything that puts the onus on women to “discreetly” keep from being raped misses the point. We should be trying to stop rape, not just individually avoid it.

If it were truly that simple, previous iterations of this same concept would have worked. Remember “anti-rape underwear”? Or the truly terrifying “Rapex” – a female condom that would insert tiny hooks into an assailant’s penis? You can’t really expect women to wear modern chastity belts or a real-life vagina dentata in order to be safe. That’s not trying to stop rape - it’s essentially arguing that some people getting raped is inevitable.

Even if a woman were to wear special nail polish or anti-rape underwear, or if she listens to common – but misplaced – advice about not getting drunk and always walking home in a group, all she’s supposedly ensuring is that she won’t be attacked. (And even then it’s not real security, because women who do all the “right” things get raped too) What about the girl at the same party who decided to have a few drinks that night? “So long as it isn’t me” isn’t an effective strategy to end rape.

My latest at the Guardian US, Why is it easier to invent anti-rape nail polish than find a way to stop rapists? 

Beyoncé’s ‘Flawless’ feminist act at the VMAs leads the way for other women

Beyoncé, in the midst of an epic 15 minute medley at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music awards, performed her song “Flawless” in front of a giant screen blazoned with the word “FEMINIST”. And, as in her music video, the superstar sampled author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech on feminism and expectations for girls.

The zeitgeist is irrefutably feminist: its name literally in bright lights.

Read the rest at the Guardian!

There is one thing that suicidal rape victims need: immediate assistance. But for one young woman in Ireland who was pregnant and seeking an abortion after reportedly being attacked, the only thing her government offered was the slow, bureaucratic violation of her humanity.

The unnamed woman, now 18, was reportedly raped as a minor and sought an abortion just eight weeks into her pregnancy. Even after experts found her to be suicidal – a prerequisite for abortion under a new Irish law – she was denied access to the procedure. According to a report by the Sunday Times, the woman, who is not an Irish citizen, believes that the government deliberately delayed her case – both through the state’s decision to ignore psychiatric experts and via her inability to travel because of her legal status – so that she would have to carry the pregnancy at least through the fetus’s viability. After going on a hunger strike, she was forced to undergo a caesarean section at just 25 weeks into her pregnancy.

That’s 17 full weeks after she first sought help.

That is not a policy; it’s a persecution.

From my latest at The Guardian, A pregnant, suicidal rape victim fought Ireland’s new abortion law. The law won.
PROTIP: If you can’t find any information on something, it’s probably because IT NEVER HAPPENED. For fuck’s sake people. 
And for the record, because apparently it needs to be said: Men can be, and are - at alarming rates - raped. They need the same resources and support that survivors of any gender do. 

PROTIP: If you can’t find any information on something, it’s probably because IT NEVER HAPPENED. For fuck’s sake people. 

And for the record, because apparently it needs to be said: Men can be, and are - at alarming rates - raped. They need the same resources and support that survivors of any gender do.