The douchebag report; my first comic

So after the initial excitement of seeing that article faded, I shrugged and moved on to practicing and obsessing over Mendelssohn. I purposely didn’t read the comments, since I knew they’d be full of angry people insisting that women aren’t equal, that rape is just punishment for bad behavior, etc. and there would probably be some personal attacks in there. Basically, the typical stuff that comes up whenever anyone stands up shouting that everyone should be treated equally and with respect.

Unfortunately some people, who I will now officially refer to as “douchebags,” have decided to chase me back to my personal Tumblr and purposely try to…I don’t know, make me angry? Waste my time? I’m really not quite sure what their points were.

(I really hate that I have to say this, but I have my suspicions: if you’re someone I actually know and you did this, that is really cowardly and I am disappointed in you. I’m not above having a mature, rational dialogue about this.)

Here’s what one douchebag posted to me through that “ask” feature:

um about the short skirts don’t rape picture. Who is more likely to be raped? A girl wearing a short skirt/dress showing cleavage or a girl who’s fully covered up? HUH? WHO? I have made my point. Of course, there’s exceptions, but if you’re out clubbing at 3am and you’re dressed like that, don’t be surprised.

(Clearly they didn’t even bother to check out the site! Sad face. I also love how they think that they can make a point by presenting a non-fact.)

Here was my response, which I’m willing to bet money they’re never going to see:

Actually, some researchers a couple of years back did an extensive survey of imprisoned rapists and found that rapists pick their victims based on how vulnerable they look, not on how they’re dressed.  

A girl who is fully covered up but looks easily overcome will be more likely to be raped than a girl showing off her legs and cleavage who looks like she can fend for herself.  

You haven’t made a point. You’re basing your conclusion on assumptions that a woman’s attire is more to blame than the sick mind that drives a rapist to commit a horrible crime.  

In addition, rape is an act of dominance and aggression, not sexual arousal. If you think men rape women simply because they’re too sexually aroused to think, you must not think very much of men.

I also saw a few reactions through Twitter to the image and all I have to say is this: the small but vehement negative reaction to Equality Within Reach‘s message only proves why I had to do this project. If all that site got was a resounding “Meh, this isn’t an issue anymore,” then there wouldn’t be a need. I’m overall pretty happy that I’ve found a way to stand up and speak out, and as long as gun-toting bigots aren’t stalking me, then I’ll take whatever backlash comes with it.

But this is me; I tend to have weird reactions to things, and I found it kind of funny, actually, that there are still people who think that a woman’s clothing can be so provocative that it overcomes a guy’s rational thinking and “forces” him to sexually assault someone. A possibly-distasteful comic was born. (I think Blogger sizes this down, you’re going to have to click on it. Sorry.)

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I’m in the news! (Canadian news!)

So…hey guys! You know that time I totally talked a reporter’s ear off? Well somehow that turned into an article about Equality Within Reach!

I’m pretty psyched that site is getting more publicity (particularly cause I’m lazy and I want to spend my energy practicing, working on that album I said was totally going to come out this summer, and reading every article on Cracked). I’m also loving (and by loving, I mean my soul is 20% sad) the situational irony that the first time I’m appearing in any sort of news, it has to do with something not related to piano in any way.

But still! My project is being covered by Canadian media, and it’s so controversial that I can’t even bear to read the stupid comments! WHOOHOO!

(Seriously though, in fifty or a hundred or two hundred years our descendants* are going to look back on these years as being very un-egalitarian and that makes me ashamed! The prevalence of racism and homophobia, as well as the insidiousness of anti-woman ideas in our society, make me very sad indeed. It’s 2012, shouldn’t we be making rocket ships to take us to our intergalactic colonies, instead of squabbling over whether people should be respected?)

Ahem. Anyway, read the article; I suppose it’s some sort of life accomplishment? Do I get to level up now?

*That is, if global warming hasn’t wiped out the human race.

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Equality Within Reach; what I’ve been up to

It’s struck me that I never got around to blogging about one of the bigger projects I did. (To be fair, I have a veritable mental backlog of projects I want to blog about, except you all know I am terribly, incurably lazy.)

This past semester I launched a website devoted to issues of gender equality, sexual violence, media portrayal, etc. etc. as an outgrowth of a graphic design project. I called it “Equality Within Reach” and it’s a nice little resource summing up some of the issues and offering a boatload of websites, articles, blogs, and books to read. (Go check it out! I seriously spent a lot of time on it!)

Funnily enough, I spent so much time making sure the design of the website was good that some of the other elements were kind of an afterthought. Particularly, this:

I just needed to stock the “spread the word” section of the website with things people could share or print out. I didn’t really think people would use them. I threw this “short skirts don’t rape” thing together using an image from an animation that never saw the light of day and some default-sized fonts, flung it onto Tumblr, and went off to practice.

Well, my shoddy design’s gotten more mileage than I expected. It’s been shared more than 5000 times on Tumblr and several hundred people from all over the world have now visited the website. Apparently it made it to Facebook, because I got an email from a Huffington Post Canada reporter this morning and I just got off the phone with her. In addition to being embarrassed at my design (come on, I’ve designed much better things), I am embarrassed that I talked—a lot. I gave her ten million times the information she will ever need. I really need someone to follow me around and poke me with a cattle prod when I start blabbering.

So yeah, that’s one of the things I’ve been up to. In other news, I’m home, I’m practicing a bunch, I performed the Prokofiev concerto again this last Saturday, and in the course of cleaning my room, I’ve watched the Incredibles more than a dozen times. Don’t judge. Watching a Pixar movie over and over again is just what blazingly successful people do, okay?

In case you find my life not very interesting, you can always read about the adventures of my boyfriend (business student, CEO, and wine dude extraordinaire) in China.

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