Hello, you. I’m EK McAlpine. aka @whatkatie_did aka fighter of lost causes, stander-upper for the voiceless. Okay, that sounds a little dramatic. I may be over-gilding the lily. However, something happened last week. Something terrible and awesome at the same time.
A hashtag appeared on twitter, as they do. Usually they’re about Justin Bieber, One Direction and occasionally world politics. Very occasionally. This one was entitled #itsnotrapeif, where delightful human beings who can presumably vote and exist alongside others in society, were discussing what was and wasn’t rape in their eyes. For example, it wasn’t rape if you followed them on twitter. Or if you bought them dinner, or drove her home. Everyone seemed to miss the point – that it’s not rape if it’s consensual sex. That’s basically the only time it isn’t rape, guys. Some people understand that. I assumed most people did.
But, no. We live in a patriarchy, where men dominate nearly every sphere of society, politics, media, sport and work. Where women are sex objects, who can be reviled for enjoying the act of sex or for being too ‘prude’ or ‘frigid’. Where a woman’s image is up for public discussion, often to her face, whether she wants it or not. Where the way a woman looks is more important than what’s in her head. And where consent is assumed – after all, she must have ‘asked for it’ if she was wearing a skirt/was drunk/was flirting/knew the attacker/had enjoyed sex before/was not a virgin/had sworn at some point in her life. Add your own phrases in to that little fun game.
Now, I fought against the fucked up troglodytes who were happy to believe that the hashtag was ‘funny’, ‘just a joke’ or, dare I say it, ‘banter’. One even asked how I could be a ‘fierce feminist’, since I was abused a child. Basically, they were fucking idiots. But that doesn’t change the fact that these opinions exist in society. And that’s wrong. If we allow these opinions to go unchecked, we let down every person who has been a victim of sexual violence. We fail anyone who has felt threatened or intimidated because of their gender. We allow this rape culture to continue for our children.
And that’s wrong. So, what can we do about it? Well, it’s difficult. It’s going to take a hell of a lot. But this page is the first step. We’re going to be setting challenges, having regular blog posts commenting on gender issues and most importantly, raising money for an organisation that can help the victims of rape culture, Rape Crisis. Because dealing with the effects is just as important as dealing with the causes.
So, join us as we attempt to read twenty books each in two months. You can get involved by reading your own twenty books or just spreading the word and helping us get donations.
Together we can sort this out. Together we can fuck the patriarchy.
If you would like to get involved please send your name and e-mail to either me, @whatkatie_did or Rhys Morgan @rhysmorgan.
We are hoping to create some downloadable sponsor forms and all participants will be invited to review each individual book and guestblog their progress on this page.
Participants currently include:
Rhys Morgan – @rhysmorgan
EK McAlpine – @whatkatie_did
Lauren Cole – @lovelifelauren
Sarah McAlpine – @sazza_jay
Maria Wolters – @mariawolters
Kelli Savill - @kellipandaaa