I’m a human, not a commodity, or an object. (x)

This is a video of Bob Morley in a forum on “What Men Really Think About Their Body” in 2013 and a tweet from several hours ago. 

These two need to be seen. I feel like male sexual objectification isn’t called out nearly as often as that of women. Sure they have different histories behind them, but they are both the removal of a person’s humanity, for the purpose of turning their body into a sexual object, to be viewed, used, or owned. Bob Morley struggles with the pervasiveness of this in his profession and is brave enough to speak out.

The video is long, so you can skip to Bob’s talk, but I’d also recommend watching or listening to the whole thing. Five different men reflect on how they view their bodies in relation to their emotions, sexuality, strength, and vulnerabilities. Bob talks about experiencing racism, misusing aggression, and being sexually objectified. Others speak about acting upon their bodies (positively or negatively) to distract themselves from dealing with emotions or issues. One shares a story that will make you cry about finding new value in his body when his bone marrow was able to save his sister.

I’m not sure what exactly prompted Bob’s tweet today, but it has been suggested that people were sending him links on twitter to gifs of himself nude in films, or saying sexual things to him. Neither are hard to imagine; if you go on his twitter you’ll see countless fans tweeting at him for his attention. Slow down, guys. Twitter feels anonymous and fun for fans, but for actors like Bob and the rest of the cast of The 100 it’s an aspect of their personal life that has been turned into a part of their job. They were all mostly unknowns (at least in America) until three months ago, and now they get hundreds of messages a day via this medium alone, ranging from, just at a glance, general responses to asking “how many money do you want me to send you to get a tweet from u”. I can only imagine how overwhelming that attention every day would be, and so much of it is dehumanizing and disrespectful. And sending sexual advances? That is sexual harassment. Bob is a human, not a commodity, or an object.

"

The fact is, a 14-year-old girl may be capable of agreeing to sex with a 49-year-old man, but she doesn’t have the emotional and mental maturity to consent. I was 25 before I realized that every man I’d slept with as a teenager was a pedophile. It seemed to me that since I’d courted the attention, that I was fully culpable. What teenager believes she is not mentally or emotionally capable of full consent? I thought I was an adult, although when I look at the picture of myself from the time period above, I see a child.

I thought I was the exception for these men, the girl so precocious and advanced that it superseded social norms. I thought that I was “older than my chronological age.”

It never occurred to me as a young sexually active teen that the adult men I had relationships with may have been manipulating me, that they had designs and motives I couldn’t see from my limited child’s perspective.

"

Emily, XOJANE, "The Myth of the Teenage Temptress, or Why a Young Girl Can Not Consent to Sex with an Adult Man"

Everyone should read this article if they haven’t already. The anecdotes are upsetting and carry major TW (pedophilia, graphic depictions of sex), but the message is just so on point. 

(via owning-my-truth)

What I needed, and what she needed, were strong male role models in my life who knew how the fuck to say “No thanks” to a little girl’s come-ons. Because it doesn’t matter if a young girl is saying yes, it’s an adult man’s job to say no.

(via bethanyactually)

I am here for the teenagers

yaflash:

There are still articles circulating about the DFTBA Records/Tom Milsom/Alex Day revelations from last week, and I noticed there are a few articles that cite me and link to that masterpost I found. I love you all very much and appreciate the link, but that post was actually originally compiled by this poster and you should give them some love, too.

That said, this whole situation has been buzzing in my brain a lot since it happened. A lot a lot. The whole thing sends me back to being 13-17 again, watching my friends flirt and date and make out and sleep with men in their 20’s and even 30’s. Watching a good friend stop using protection because the guy didn’t want to and besides, she’d convinced herself she wouldn’t mind having a baby. At least it would love her. She was 13.

I grew up in the Inland Empire (Southern California, near LA, for those who are unfamiliar with CA geography). We went to school with the children of celebrities, or kids who’d been on such-and-such a television show for three episodes. My own sister is an actress. Brushing elbows with band members or D-Z list celebrities at parties was the norm. It was a thrill to have one of them pay attention to you as a young teenaged girl. It made you feel really, really special. It got you bragging rights. I remember one of my best friends being over the moon when she got to tell the story of how she (a tall girl for her age) had to stand on tip-toe to make out with a member of a pretty well-known 90’s underground band. She was 15.

At my very first “big girl” party, my friend and her sister had a good time dressing me in a skin-tight bodysuit and overalls, doing my makeup and hair, and telling me to lie to the boys at the party and tell them I was three years older than I really was so I could play Spin The Bottle.

I was 10. I chickened out and went to hide in my friend’s room instead. I had a habit of chickening out. Probably why I don’t have an “I made out with X from Y!” story of my own to tell.

You hear stuff like this and it gets really easy to blame the girls. Oh, they’re LIARS. It’s just a kiss! They giggle about it later with their friends, obviously it’s no big deal. They’re THRILLED. They were into it at the time. They’re asking for it.

But I was there. I remember. I watched these “relationships” crash and burn, my friends sobbing broken on the floor, souls crushed by cruel words, self-worth slowly whittled to nothing. Self-injury and depression and drugs. I remember that part, too.

I never once witnessed one of these flings or relationships that wasn’t firmly rooted in manipulation or abuse. I have the benefit of age and experience now (ohohohoho so lofty at an elderly 30), and when I look back, my stomach still flips and hurts. I think about men MY AGE going after the girls we were then and I want to vomit.

I think of my own history. Of growing my oversized breasts in the summer between middle school and high school and noticing an immediate shift in male attention. I didn’t like it. I knew it wasn’t about me. It was about those tits. Those tits!

(Seriously, you have no idea how often I’ve asked boys and men why they were interested in me and got responses like, “Well, you know, you have nice hair and whatever. And THOSE TITS! Can I see them?”)

Maureen Johnson also made a post on this topic, and she said something that resonated with me. Something about these horrifying experiences being so ingrained in our culture that virtually every woman has these stories to tell. I have them. Groped again and again. Comments about my tiny body riding giant *insert gross slang here*. Raped at a party (twice). Lifting my shirt to try and glimpse my breasts. Approached, intimidated, called a bitch for trying to get away. A million-million everyday aggressions and insults and intimidations that are so much the fabric of my life that I ignore most of them these days.

And like Maureen, I have lived a pretty privileged life. My stories are nothing compared to the (ongoing) abuse other girls and women suffer every day, layered on top of racism, transmisogyny, homophobia, ableism, and so many other marginalizations that inform their womanhood.

So I’m giving no one brownie points for recognizing that they’re emotionally manipulative and that they used that to their advantage. For knowing they came from a place of power over another. Of course they know that. They all know that. That’s the point… finding people who don’t actually vehemently say NO because they want to please you, or they’re scared, or they’ve been worn down.

I am here for the teenagers and preteens. I am here for every minor who has found themselves in one of these power dynamic situations, whether it was romantic or sexual or merely a “friendship,” and has been harmed by it, or will be harmed by it. I’m not here to pander. You are all so smart, so capable, full of so many multitudes, and I have faith in you. If you need help, I want you to know that there are resources available to you.

I want you to know that you’re not alone, that those bad feelings in your gut are not wrong, and that there are always people who know you’re still having experiences for the first time and take advantage of that to trick you into thinking a bad relationship is the way of the world. Being an independent adult is a whole new stage of life, and not everyone takes that responsibility as well as they should.

But there are good people, too. You have them, and they will never take advantage of a power imbalance. They will never hurt you. And you have each other. Never forget that.

knightsintodreams:

that is a lying cat. lying cats can sense un-truths and call people on it.that is a little girl who was sold into sexual slavery.and this is one of the many scenes which make Saga the greatest comic book ever

And then she starts to call her Honest Cat instead of Lying Cat and don’t look at me.

knightsintodreams:

that is a lying cat. lying cats can sense un-truths and call people on it.
that is a little girl who was sold into sexual slavery.

and this is one of the many scenes which make Saga the greatest comic book ever

And then she starts to call her Honest Cat instead of Lying Cat and don’t look at me.

A World for Girls" draws the viewer in as young children explain the kind of world that would be affirming for girls and young women—the type of world that prevents the commercial sexual exploitation of girls and young women. The children address issues related to empowerment, equal pay, education, gender-based violence, employment and commercial sexual exploitation.

Also part of the “A World For Girls,” campaign, GEMS has created a section on the agency’s website www.gems-girls.org/get-involved/a-world-for-girls that offers ways to get engaged, support an alternate vision of the future and take concrete steps to build that collective vision of the future. GEMS has also unveiled a related Facebook campaign at www.facebook.com/girlsarenotforsale.

"The commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of girls doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens in a world where girls aren’t valued, empowered and provided with the critical educational and economic opportunities they need in order to thrive. We live in a world where girls are viewed as property, as sexual objects, as less valuable than boys."
Rachel Lloyd, A World for Girls

tw: rape, pedophilia

scandal-whipped:

The Myth of the Teenage Temptress: Or Why A Young Girl Can Not Consent to Sex With An Adult Man

I started having sex with adult men when I was 13 years old.

Neglected at home and ostracized at school, I found comfort in the sexual attentions of older men. Unlike boys my own age, who cruelly taunted me, older men were nice to me. Unlike my emotionally distant father, older men paid attention to me. They were grooming me, but to that chubby, attention-starved teenage girl, their attentions felt a lot like love.

And so I created Prodigy chat rooms with names like “13yo girl home alone” and spent hours chatting and having phone sex with the men who would find me there. I “dated” men in their 20s and 30s that I met at the movie theater, online or hanging around local college town with my other underage girlfriends. I pursued these relationships with with Lolita-like abandon. The terrifying thing is how few adult men ever said no.

I was not coerced. I consented to all these sexual encounters in the basest sense of the world. But I was making choices that I wasn’t emotionally equipped to make. Legally, that’s why statutory rape laws exist. Because like an intoxicated person, an underage person is not truly capable of informed consent.

And yet, on Monday, Stacey Rambold, a Senior High teacher convicted of raping 14-year-old Cherice Morales, who later committed suicide, was sentenced to spend just 30 days in jail. The judge justified his decision in part by saying he listened to recorded statements given by Morales before her death and believes that while she was a troubled youth, she was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold.

The judge also said Morales was “older than her chronological age.”

Yep, you read that right. A 14-year-old ” troubled youth” who eventually committed suicide (as a direct result of the sexual assault and its aftermath, according to her mother) had “control over the situation” with a 49-year-old rapist. But don’t worry, this wasn’t “the kind of rape most people think about,” according to Judge G. Todd Baugh. “It was not a violent, forcible, beat-the-victim rape, like you see in the movies.” He generously added that “It was nonetheless a rape…and this should not have occurred.”

After the sentencing, the victim’s mother shouted “You people suck!” repeatedly before storming out of the court, and later told news cameras, “My faith in the justice system is gone.”

While researching this article, I read many comments supporting the judge’s decision, all predicated on the idea that the 14-year-old victim had consented to sex with her 49-year-old teacher.

"There is little to no information given about what the nature of the relationship was, how it started, how long it lasted, how the girl felt about the relationship or perceived it, how much consent … she gave in regards to it all, but all signs point to the fact that this was an ongoing relationship where they engaged in sex on at least 3 occasions, which strongly brings to question just how much actual victimization took place here," wrote one commenter.

The fact is, a 14-year-old girl may be capable of agreeing to sex with a 49-year-old man, but she doesn’t have the emotional and mental maturity to consent.  I was 25 before I realized that every man I’d slept with as a teenager was a pedophile. It seemed to me that since I’d courted the attention, that I was fully culpable. What teenager believes she is not mentally or emotionally capable of full consent? I thought I was an adult, although when I look at the picture of myself from the time period above, I see a child.

I thought I was the exception for these men, the girl so precocious and advanced that it superseded social norms. I thought that I was “older than my chronological age.”

It never occurred to me as a young sexually active teen that the adult men I had relationships with may have been manipulating me, that they had designs and motives I couldn’t see from my limited child’s perspective. 

Once, I met a 28-year-old man online and went to his house for a “date.” He began to undress me almost immediately — I went along with it because I wanted him to like me, and our sexual encounter culminated with him holding my head down and ejaculating into my throat while I sputtered and struggled to pull away. Later, I couldn’t understand why he never called me again, why he didn’t want to be my boyfriend.

Because I was a child, I was missing large pieces of the perspective required to understand adult situations. Children can be sexual. Children can pursue. Girl children in particular may have already learned how to manipulate and bargain with their sexuality at a very young age. They are still children. Like all children, they test boundaries, boundaries that adults must set and maintain.

If Cherice Morales was indeed a “troubled youth,” like I was, if she came from a dysfunctional home or had a trauma background or had been previously abused, then not only may she have been lacking in protection at home, she may have been especially incapable of protecting herself. And that’s why statutory rape laws exist — to protect children who need protecting, not just from those who will prey upon them, but from themselves.

The defense argued that Rambold had suffered enough by losing his career, his marriage and his home and suffering a “scarlet letter of the Internet” as a result of publicity about the case.

For my part, I spent the next decade of my life wrestling with demons borne partly of sexual trauma. I became addicted to drugs, risky sex, and alcohol. I still struggle to learn that there are better ways to get attention than with my body, that my sexuality isn’t the only thing that makes me worthy of love and attention.

Still, I made it out of my teen years alive; Cherice Morales wasn’t so lucky.

What I needed, and what she needed, were strong male role models in my life who knew how the fuck to say “No thanks” to a little girl’s come-ons. Because it doesn’t matter if a young girl is saying yes, it’s an adult man’s job to say no.

You can sign a petition to unseat Judge G. Todd Baugh here. For Billings residents, a protest will take place outside the courthouse tomorrow at noon.

goldenphoenixgirl:

good video about the way women are portrayed in the media: as existing for men’s sexual gratification. 

Child Sex Traffickers 13 Times More Likely to be HIT BY LIGHTNING Than See Justice

goldenphoenixgirl:

The famous TIP Report, is go-to information guide on Human Trafficking. Composed of volume upon glossy volume, this “comprehensive” guide is hundred of pages. Buried deep in a section called “Countries T-Z and Special Case,” are just under 7 pages of content about the US. The majority of this very limited section is devoted to visas and scanning them seems to be nearly the only “method” of detecting trafficking used.

Although $150 million had been poured into creating “Justice Department task forces,”  Somehow, their severely flawed methodology in searching for traffickers (i.e. looking at passports) found just 1,362 cases of ANY TYPE of human trafficking in 2012, prompting them to say that there simply weren’t many cases. Does this sound wrong to you?

With money in their pockets, the people behind the report seem downright proud to announce that during the entire fiscal year
in 2012, they gave life sentences to only FOUR traffickers of any type. 

Even assuming that half of these were sex traffickers in particular (though I doubt any were) does this seem like an accurate estimate to you?? Lacking the manpower or funds to do a sweeping national study, I decided, instead to break down some of the known figures and do some estimations of my own based on known trafficking figures.

  1. While definitions of sexual abuse and the questions vary, it is generally accepted that around 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys in this country will be molested as children. Although many have repressed memory of their abuse or won’t report truthfully on surveys, at least this means 20% of all US citizens are molested, or 62,780,000 Americans.

  2. 90% of victims know their abuser and around half are related to victims. While many people in the 90% can and do traffic victims, for the sake of argument, I’ll only include family members, leaving us 31,390,000 people.

  3. Now what percentage of people have enough access to a child to molest them, but too much of a consciousness to make money off of them? I’ll even account for the fact that some abusers are afraid to get caught. And not all abusers have enough access to victims in order to sell them. Let’s say 95% of people who molest children would never dream of selling them. That still leaves us 156,950 potential trafficking victims. Even though your average family has just under two children and a large proportion of traffickers work in pairs (as in cases with both parents) instead of just selling their relative, let’s assume each of these traffickers sells two relatives/victims, leaving us at least 78,475 child sex traffickers in the US.

  4. Of all of those child sex traffickers, maybe two were brought to what most of us would call anything like “justice”. This makes your odds of sex trafficking a child and not getting away with it 2 in 78,475 at the absolute most. 

The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000.  This means child sex traffickers are over 13 times more likely to be hit by lightning than to see justice

[Reblog if you think this is unjust.]

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When you pay for the “services” of a prostituted woman, you are not merely removing her choices, but you are also exploiting a person in a particularly vulnerable situation. If it were easy for her to get her money elsewhere and she wasn’t living with the constant threat of violence over her head, do you think she would even feel flattered if you offered her money to be allowed to use the holes in her body? I don’t know many women who don’t, at some level, feel revulsion, when such a proposition is made. They, like I, want to matter and be respected for who they are and what they have accomplished, not for their anatomy.

When we are talking about sexual freedom, why is it that so many people merely mean the sexual freedom of men to stick their dicks into women with impunity? What about our sexual freedom to say “NO” or not even having to say “no”? What about our freedom to choose the life and work that we really care about? Why is it that people feel that it is men’s prerogative to fuck where they like regardless of whom they hurt? Regardless of what dangers they put the person they fuck in? Regardless of the fact that women may not enjoy the sexual encounter and merely fake their enjoyment. It is so often that John’s say “well she seemed to enjoy it, so I wasn’t hurting her”, without even considering the fact that if she didn’t fake that enjoyment she would most likely not get anymore clients.

It doesn’t matter which way you spin it, when money is involved in arranging for sex acts the issue of consent becomes dodgy at best and rape at worst.

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