No, I will not be told to ‘lighten up’: some thoughts on rape culture

I recently saw this video on Facebook, and was shocked to see how positively people were responding to it. With over ten thousand likes, and comments declaring how ‘funny’ it was, and how they’ve had similar experiences. I cannot believe that something so explicitly evocative of rape is still acceptable to the wide majority of people in a wealthy, educated western society. This shows clearly just how prevalent rape culture is, despite the fact that many declare ‘it doesn’t even exist’.

I understand that this video is about joining two popular ideas, currently there are many videos and pictures on Facebook which discuss this concept of men being ‘too big’, and I understand that ‘Mr Bankshot’ has conflated this idea with the viral video Charlie bit my finger. However this video makes for a disturbing representation of what many clearly think sex is normally like. Healthy and consensual sex should NOT hurt. If you trytaharrush to push someone off you during sex they should NOT continue, and thrust faster into you. It is NOT funny to laugh at someone else’s pain, particularly when it relates to sex. Another part of the video that I found disturbing was the look of derision on the man’s face when she ‘shouts’ ouch. If someone exclaims that something hurts, be considerate, their pain should NOT be collateral damage which is to be disregarded for their partner’s pleasure. This video should not be relatable, and  it truly saddens me to see that it is.

Another disturbing aspect of the video is the sound bites taken from the Charlie bit my finger video, even with the context of the viral video, this is distressing. Child abuse is explicitly evoked here, and it worries me that those who have viewed this video find this easy to overlook.

Many people might respond to this post with a comment such as ‘lighten up’, or ‘it’s only a joke”. But I don’t want to live in a society where rape and child abuse is condoned and even laughed about. Rape is a very real fear for so many women globally, and to normalise it and joke about it in this way, to me is repulsive. I don’t laugh when I hear someone walking behind me in the dark at night time. I’m scared, my heart skips a beat and I double my walking pace until I know I’m somewhere safe. To make trivial jokes about such a serious subject is vile, or ignorant at the very, very least. This video may have not had intentions to offend or cause upset, but entertainers whether they be on TV or on social media sites have a duty to consider how their media will be received. Next time you see a video such as this ask yourself what the implications are and if it is really okay to condone and accept media such as this. What would your reaction be if this happened in real life to you, or your best friend, or a member of your family? Think twice before laughing about rape. Consider the real life implications.

 

 

Let’s talk about sex, or more specifically vaginas.

As women we seem to have an inherent fear and maybe even loathing of our vaginas. We don’t like that long flappy bit there, this bit is wrinkly and in our adolescent years constantly question the normality of our vaginas. And this only describes the minority of girls who dare venture to behold their nether regions. I have had many a friend ask me the question, Kate is my fanny funny? I have even been shown a few fannies by drunk worried friends. Don’t worry drunk friend I am here to explain that there is nothing to fear!

Firstly we need to make one thing very very clear. Your vagina is never ever going to be on a catwalk in front of people inspecting its every crevice, wrinkle or awry hair. Stop being so hard on yourself! We are all individual, and if our faces don’t look the same then why expect our vaginas to? After all have you ever wanted to give first prize in a beauty contest to a pair of testicles? If you’re still feeling self conscious then check out the Wall of Vagina by Jamie McCartney, some of these have some major flaps, so don’t despair. No matter what shape or size your fanny may be, I can guarantee you that someone out there will adore it and cover it with kisses.

Secondly I want to address women who have never inspected their own vagina. I watched a remarkable Buzzfeed video recently in which women tried to identify which vagina was theirs from an artist sketch, and it stuns me that vaginas are still so taboo, something one of the participants said struck a chord with me ‘there’s no shame in having a vagina’. So if this is so true then why do we still feel embarrassed when discussing it?

Many women know very little about their own vagina, and treat it like their own alien between their legs. What’s even more worrying is that my brother can confirm that the schoolyard rumour that ‘girls only have one hole’ is still alive and kicking. Though amusing this might be, it is an issue of contention amongst 16 year old boyet-feat.jpgs, when it should be a matter of basic biology. Educate yourself here! You should know your vagina simply because it is a part of you, but if this isn’t a compelling enough reason for you then please, for the sake of you own future sexual satisfaction learn your vagina. We can’t expect anyone apart from ourselves to be genuises of our own genitalia (or even mildly knowledgeable about it if the one hole thing is anything to go on), so empower yourself! Vaginas are not bizarre aliens that we should cover with lace, wash scared and swiftly in the shower. Vaginas aren’t just for men, so why leave all the fun to them? At the end of the day if you can’t give yourself an orgasm, then how can you expect anyone else to give you one? So do yourself a favour, and give your vagina a handshake tonight. Be friends rather than acquaintances.

Still unsure? Read this to boost your vagina confidence!