Thursday, March 19, 2015


What you want, 
Baby I got it
What you need

Do you know I got it?
All I'm askin'
Is for a little respect when you come home

Otis Redding

The song has been performed, parodied, quoted at the drop of a hat. It was made popular by R and B singer Aretha Franklin. In spite of the "dance floor" tune, Respect is a word that we're all familiar with. Perhaps we know the word but I wonder if we "really" know it. It should be the cornerstone of all relationships even on the most casual level. And yet it seems to be missing in the way we live and interact with each other privately and socially. There remains the question "do I earn it to get it?" Or the reverse.

All I'm Askin' Is For...

10 Hours of Walking in NYC As a Woman
Some people think that their station in life, gender, race, or even age, puts all of the cards in their hands when it comes to respect. But shouldn't there be a level of respect that comes with just being a person? Does a woman walking down a busy public street deserve to be called out to and harassed? Should she be grateful for leering eyes and snide comments coming from gawkers of all sizes, ages, and races? Should she be be ashamed for not allowing strangers into her space, that tell her to smile as though she's 10 years old? Shamers and victim blamers push back accusing "feminists of over reacting to something they see as harmless." Just good healthy free speech expressions. In their minds, (from their vantage point) no one is really being harmed. This type of MRA will always blame the problem on what is called "rape culture hysteria."  That phrase puts the problem on the shoulders of a hyper group of screeching feminists. And then when the problem continues to escalate from leering to remarks we continue to ignore the messenger. "It ain't rape!" they say. Stop being so negative. A mind set continues in the workplace, in colleges, the military, and other institutions. They scoff and say to move along. Nothing to see here. Some how without basic human respect, they try to hide or mask the problem by ignoring it. Hoping that the wounded and advocates will just quiet down and go away.

Sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and child abuse happens when someone crosses the line of decency, at the cost of another human being. They don't care that to violate another person means they cause deep harm to that person's mental and physical well-being.

Roosh Vörek
Roosh Vörek who goes by Roosh V is a Male Rights advocate guru of sort. He advocates in his blog that there needs to be a way for men to legally rape the woman or women of their choice by decriminalizing rape. His attitude seems to be that if a woman consumes either drugs or alcohol in public, then society should protect an man's rights if he wants to sexually assault her. “By attempting to teach men not to rape, what we have actually done is teach women not to care about being raped, not to protect themselves from easily preventable acts, and not to take responsibility for their actions.”
“I thought about this problem and am sure I have the solution: make rape legal if done on private property,” he continued. “I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds. 
Misogynist blogger: Make rape on private property legal- Raw Story-David Edwards February 13, 2015
Find Out What It Means To Me
Sadly Mr. Vörek thinks his contemplating this issue has lead him down the path to a great solution for men, and women. He devalues a woman's rights to drink socially, and dress the way she wants to. His solution is to allow men to rape promiscuous women, thus building better values into all women. I would laugh this off as ridiculous, except there are those who are drinking his crazy kool-aid.
He sees women as property, and not as human with the same inalienable rights.

Our first world country seems to be in a real shake-up because in some ways we are viewing this problem with no better attitudes than in third world countries. Our military has a better record for combating foreign enemies abroad, compared to its dismal record on sexual assault. Female troops have gone on record as saying they fear being raped by their comrades in battle more than the enemy in the theater. And to make matters worse both men and women have their experience in combat to back up their fears. Victims have remarked they had deep loyalty and respect for the fellow soldier, the uniform and the mission. After an attack the respect and trust is gone. When they took their issue to the chain of command, they are rebuffed, ridiculed, threatened, and sometimes raped again. If their was any respect for the institution before that, it's pretty much gone in many cases.

 USAF  Col. Don Christensen (R) prosecutes case of sexual assault of Kimberly Hanks (L)

In a killer of an article: The Military’s Rough Justice on Sexual Assault By NY Times. Robert Draper. November 26, 2014, we see how 2 people in the military fight for justice after being sexually assaulted. They are aided by a former prosecutor: USAF Col. Don Christensen can tell anyone about the level of disrespect a victim survivor receives in the military.  It's staggering, but not uncommon. If you remember the civilian Medical Technician Kimberly Hanks who was sexually assaulted in 2012 by Lt. Col. James Wilkerson. The guilty verdict was overturned by General Craig Franklin. The blaten and callous disregard of respect for the victim reverberated throughout Washington, DC.

In the same article, the Military doubles down on its' disrespect for rape victims when another survivor-victim came
USAF chose to respect perpetrator over Anonymous Survivor Kris 
forward, and named her attacker. Kris (anonymously) went from being one of the guys in her squadron, now an outcast she was ostracize as a trouble maker, while her attacker, Captain David Brooks received strong support, even visits from his commander while in jail.
In the year since the assault, Kris had fallen into a kind of limbo. While most of her fellow aviators had been moved up to new positions, she was overlooked. She eventually requested a lateral move to another department to get away from her difficult situation. “I was put on a shelf,” she said, adding that she has been socially isolated. “Since this happened, no one in the squadron invites me to do anything. And I don’t think I ever will be invited.”
The writer of the piece continues to quote Kris in this article: Her hurt was barely restrained as she continued in a jumble of thoughts: “They were my friends. We were family. It’s like parents with two kids — how do you choose? Both of these officers and no one's gentlemen are separated from the service. But evidence of the Good-Old-Boy's culture remains in this institution. The Pentagon has been dragging its feet on this issue since the Tailhook scandal erupted in the 1990's. Even with much of the reform passed into law, we still want to keep rapists in our institutions and dismiss survivors.

RESPECT... Take Care of TCB
Maybe the scariest part is when you're a survivor-victim of rape and the ones who are called to protect and serve you would rather do exactly the opposite. An 18-year-old girl living in our nation's capital was raped at the age of 11 in 2008. When she reported her attacks, Danielle Hicks-Best was arrested for filing a false report. The Metro police did it on the basis they believed that Danielle was lying and had consented to sex with several adult men. Inspite of the fact she was able to lead the police back to the scene of where the rape had taken place and there was evidence from the rape kit that Danielle had been assaulted.  The detective, William Weeks of the Youth Investigations Division believed the rapist story that Danielle said she was sixteen and would have sex with any man in the house. He was never arrested or charged with as much as statutory rape. But after several hours of interrogating, the victim in the same clothes she had been assaulted in, Weeks charged her for filing a false report because her story kept changing.
Although a rape kit once again showed that she had been sexually assaulted, Weeks went to the Office of the Attorney General and requested a custody order so he could charge her with making a false police report, which was granted. Weeks then marked the child sexual abuse case as “closed.” DC police admit botching 11-year-old girl’s rape case Raw Story Tom Boggioni March 3, 2015  
Figure this one out for yourself: A young girl gets raped and she's going to have a clear head about the facts? I would like to know first hand what made the detective in this case hand her over to be arrested? Unless there is new evidence to uncover, how this young girl who was 11 years at the time, could legally give consent, this is a total fail on the part of the police department and the people who handled her case. Where was the respect for this young girls rights? Hopefully as the Metro Police reopen this case, they can compensate Danielle in some way. Give her another shot at justice.

Respect is a mindset that we all need for each other. If the institutions feel they don't have respect from the public on an issue such as rape, you might want to ask why? As a young writer recently said in her article in the NY times:
Believing survivors is not just the right thing to do. It’s the best thing to do if we want to stop sexual violence. Wagatwe Wanjuki, New York Times December 12, 2014

Resources  Believing Victims Is the First Step

Special Thanks To My Twitter Friends
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 Vera Santa Clara
James Warrick

For your leads, insight, and laughter!

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