Presentation on theme: "A slide show depicting violence against women and the image of women that some men have. Wait for the music to begin then click to continue. Photo de."— Presentation transcript:
A slide show depicting violence against women and the image of women that some men have. Wait for the music to begin then click to continue. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
1st part Is a woman capable of defending herself? An amusing short story by John Novotny, which clearly portrays how some men see women. Monica Bellucci in Laura Carsons role Jenna Ficher in Carols role John Krasinski in Jesse Haimes's role Rain Wilson in Toms role
Laura walked into the apartment at 9 oclock sharp, leaving nothing to the imagination. Hello Jesse, she said in a soft voice, I dont know why but I had imagined that youd given up.
You under-estimate me, Laura he said, taking off her coat. And at the same time, you under-estimate yourself. You have never looked so stunning..
Thank you, Jesse, she smiled as she accepted a glass of champagne. To tell the truth, I feel on top of the world. Im ready to go ten rounds if I have to. Your remark is out of place, darling, he said feeling hurt. You give me the impression that Im a boor who doesnt know how to behave himself. I dont deny that in other circumstances…… but now Ive changed my batteries. Good for you! exclaimed Laura applauding gaily. Dont tell me which role youre playing tonight. Itll be moiré fun to guess.
A delicious cold buffet was laid out for them and they dined by candle light. Later, they settled down by the bay window which overlooked the river, whilst they drank their Benedictine. You present the merchandise so well, murmured Laura. There are times when I almost feel like giving the devil his due.
Thats just what Im counting on, he answered in the same tone of voice. Oh! exclaimed Laura. Are you expecting me to yield, to give in to you, out of the goodness of my heart? Out of goodness or devilishness, as you like, added Jesse. You should be so lucky!
Thank you. And now answer me: suppose you were to find yourself completely naked in front of me, could I claim, and rightly so that Id won the day? Do you have the intention of stripping by force? No, Honey. I wont even touch you, he declared with a smile. I have to admit given these circumstances that your claim would be somewhat justified, Laura admitted. Now, may I ask at what moment you intend me to turn into a strip tease dancer?
It wont be long, replied Jesse. To help you to decide quickly, let me show you some presents that I have prepared just for you. Jesse forced himself not to show his impatience, whilst he led her towards the two wardrobes.
He opened one of them and pointed to the furs hanging inside. Can I choose? Laura asked. Theyre all yours, he replied. Have a good look. She walked inside the closet and Jesse smiled and thought about the events of the past week…
A week earlier, Jesse Haimes had been sitting at the terrace of a café, wistfully sipping a scotch; he steadily put the glass back onto the table and leant towards his friend: « I assure you Tom, its not for lack of trying. God knows Ive tried everything! Ive played the gentleman, the big brother, Casanova. Ive been patient, impatient, persuasive. Generous? inquired Tom. Abundantly, insisted Jesse. I ve even gone so far as to buy her a poodle.
And in spite of all that, miss Laura Carson remains impenetrable.. Disgustingly, impenetrable, confirmed Jesse. Lets have another glass Tom suggested making a sign at the waiter. Unless youve got a lot of work this afternoon? No. We just have a change of offices in view. Were moving the accounts to another office. So a drink is all the more necessary. »
They remained sitting, waiting for their drinks, exploring the depths of frigidity that Laura Carson represented.
Tom watched Jesse light a cigarette. Just as he was about to throw his match into the ashtray, Tom stretched out his arm and snapped his fingers. Abracadabra, he said and the ashtray disappeared. Jesse gapped then forced himself to smile. « Not bad. How did you do that? Oh, its nothing. Just a little conjuring trick, Tom said feigning modesty. Of course, usually I dont do it in public. But sometimes it happens to you on impulse.
I didnt know that it was your hobby. Its not a hobby. Its a magical power, Tom said laughing. How about making the ashtray come back? Jesse declared. I cant, admitted Tom. Im capable of making small objects disappear. But I have no idea where they go… »
Jesse frowned, but composed himself as the waiter was coming towards them with their drinks. He waited for him to leave then turned towards Tom. « Youre not having me believe that this thing is serious? He asked, pointing to the centre of the table. Tom nodded shyly. « Come on, Youre not having me swallow that! Put your straw on the table said Tom » Jesse took the little straw out of his glass and put it where he was shown. Tom snapped his fingers at the straw. « Abracadabra », he said. The object disappeared. Jesse stared for a while at the spot where the straw had been, then he once again called the waiter over. « Two other scotches, he ordered and an ashtray. » The waiter brought the drinks and the ashtray, whilst looking at the table and its occupants suspiciously, then he moved away.
« Listen to, Tom continued. This old guy explained it to me some time ago that every man has a magical which his particular to him. He was capable of changing water into whiskey. A trick which had its uses. So Ive got a magical power too? inquired Jesse excitedly. Ive told you, each man has one, Tom replied. Youve just witnessed the demonstration of mine. And how do you find out which you have? » Tom shrugged his shoulders. « I suppose that most people dont ever find out. I only found out by chance. Perhaps mines the same as yours, Jesse suggested. Try and see », Tom said pushing the ashtray toward him. Jesse took a deep breath, snapped his fingers and said the necessary word. Nothing happened to the ashtray. « Did I forget anything ? » asked Jesse hoping against hope. Tom shook his head. « Perfect technique, he said. No result.
Hmm, I suppose my power is different, muttered Jesse. Good God how the heck can I find it? I wouldnt worry about it. Its not so important. Unless of course, its the trick with the water and whisky. » Once again they called the waiter and Jesse soon a glass of water in front of him. The result was the same as with the ashtray. « Unlucky, said Tom. In your shoes I wouldnt worry too much. As I said, I hardly ever use my power. Its rather embarrassing when people start asking questions. Why dont you just forget it ? » Jesse shook his head. When they parted he said to his friend: Its the first time in weeks that Ive been able to think of anything else other than Laura Carson!
A few moments later Jesse was settled in his office when his secretary came in. « Heres your mail, Mr. Haimes. » Jesse smiled at the tall, slim blond standing before him. « Thank you, Carol. » The young woman left. Jesse watched her leave then he carefully took out his hand from under the desk where he had hidden it. In his hand was a hat and he looked at it expectantly. « Abracadabra », he murmured. But no rabbit appeared. « After all, I think I prefer it that way, he said to himself. I wouldnt have too excited about such a gift. »
With that his secretary returned. « Yes Carol? Mr.Wigman wants to know if he can take the two metal cupboards, which are among the surplus furniture and put them in the accountancy department. Ill see to that with you. » They both went to the room where the furniture was stocked. In a corner they found the two metallic cupboards. They were about 3 feet in width and 6 feet high. There were no shelves as they were supposed to have been used as cupboards. Jesse opened the door of one of them and looked inside. « Wigman will have to put shelves in, he said as he closed the door. Hell only have to order some and... »
At that moment he interrupted himself and looked at the cupboard, then at his secretary. A crazy idea came to mind, whilst he vaguely remembered a scene from a light comedy he had seen long ago. « Carol, he said hesitantly, Could you er….. I know that thisll seem strange... Yes, Mr.Haimes? Well, then, would you mind getting into that cupboard for a moment? » Carol smiled. « Inside the… the cupboard ? Thats it. Inside the cupboard. I dont understand. According to all probability, Jesse announced, theres nothing to understand. And if it were the case, Id explain it to you later. I hope so », said Carol smiling all the while.
She hitched up her skirt a little and climbed into the cupboard. « Thank you », said Jesse. He closed the door and stood back a few steps. Then he looked determinedly at the cupboard. « Abracadabra », he pronounced in a sufficiently stifled voice, so that Carol could not hear. Then he opened the door of the cupboard, trying to smile reassuringly and almost lost his breath when he realized that the cupboard was empty. Automatically he rushed towards the other cupboard and opened its door. « Dont worry. Car… Oh! My God! » Carol was indeed in the other cupboard, half hidden by the frame of the door. At the first glance Jesse noticed two things. Carol was completely naked …. and she was absolutely furious.
Jesse looked away, then said to himself : « oh what the hell ! » and looked back. « What have you done with your clothes ? he asked. What have I done with them! yelled Carol in a threatening voice. (She got out of the cupboard on the tip of her naked toes.) From my suspenders to the ribbon in my hair! My word youve outdone yourself ! » Carol collapsed into one of the armchairs that was part of the surplus furniture.
« Youd better explain this game she continued. Im warning you, what you at home is one thing what you do in the office is another. I have always insisted on not mixing the two ».
At that instant she interrupted herself and stared open mouthed at the cupboard she had stepped out of. « But thats not the one I was in. Im warning you, youd better have a good explanation! Explain or else Ill scream. » She had already begun to open her mouth. In the nick of time Jesse leapt towards her covering her mouth with his hand. « I can explain everything! » he said quickly. He felt Carol relaxing and removed his hand. « It is good, she says. Let's go. »
Jesse looked at cupboards, then again Carol. « To tell the truth, he said sadly, I cant. » Carol again opened her mouth. « Wait, I beg you, Jesse beseeched. I mean I dont know how that happened. It would indeed seem to be due to my power. Oh yeah! Your power? Carol said raising her eyebrows. Would you believe it! You pervert! And may I ask what you intend doing now? » She rocked herself in the armchair by making it swing round on itself. « Were a bit at a loss for space here, arent we? » she said briefly. But Carol I…you…
I told you what you do at home is one thing, at the office its another. And if you... »
At that moment Mr.Wigmans voice boomed out. « Mr. Haimes! Mr. Haimes! » Both started and Jesse leapt up. « Im here, he shouted. Wait for me ! Oh, I can come in if you like and….. No! Jesse yelled frantically. Wait a moment. Im getting rid of some things that are cluttering the cupboards. Very well », Wigman replied. They could hear his footsteps as he walked back and fore in the adjoining office.
« Get in the cupboard, Jesse whispered to Carol. Not on your life! She whispered back. Are you going to do…. Carol, Jesse begged. (He leant towards her and kissed her on the lips) Ill raise your salary 10 dollars a week. Ill take you to the Stork Club any evening you want. Ill buy you a new dress. » Carol calmed down. « Mr.Haimes, that wont be necessary. Yes, yes, he insisted. I committed a blunder. You said it yourself, the office is the office. I promise Ill remember in the future. » She threw her naked arms around his neck and kissed him. Then, smiling, she stepped back. « O.K Ill get back in the cupboard. » As she was turning her back to him to get into the cupboard Jesse let himself tap Carols cheeky bottom, then closed the door on her.
« Its O.K, Wiggy, you can come in now. Ive finished. Mr. Wigman came in and walked up to the cupboards. « Excellent, perfect, he said. Its too good of you to go to so much trouble, Haimes. Youre in a sweat. You know, I could have waited. Dont mention it. Its nothing, Jesse said, standing in his way. But inside… Theres nothing left, theyre entirely bare Jesse declared, choking himself on the last word. Youll have to order some shelves. He pushed Wiggy towards the door, shook his hand and shoved him into the hall. Then he walked up to the phone and dialed a number.
« Hello, Miss Devins? Jesse Haimes here. No, theres no need to bother the boss. Its you I want to talk to. I have a favour to ask you. My club is preparing a revue show and we need a womans costume, the whole thing. Carols busy at the moment, would it bother you to see to it yourself?... Thank you. Its kind of you. What size? Oh, Carols would be fine. So, if youd like to write down each item of clothing, a dress, corset... »
When he had finished he went back into the room and freed Carol. « Dont worry about your clothes, he said. Ive ordered all you need by Miss Devins. Good idea. She has taste and is conscientious. Itll take her at least an hour. » Hand in hand, they went back to Jesses office.
Three days later, he had finished the fittings he had undertaken in his apartment: two side by side wardrobes built into a wall. Their doors were like those of any wardrobe. He put away his tools before proceeding with the final test. He took a doll hed bought in a toy shop and out it in the first wardrobe. He carefully arranged the folds of the little dress, then got up, closed the door and stood back. « Abracadabra », he said with a flippant gesture of the fingers. He went to the second wardrobe, opened it and smiled. Inside was the little plastic doll, completely bare. « And now, Jesse said to himself, its your turn Miss Laura Carson. »……
He had just closed the door on Laura, without her noticing, so absorbed was she by the furs, inside the closet. Quickly he stepped back and lifted his arm. « Abracadabra! »
The bedroom was silent apart from the background noise of soft music playing on Jesses record player. He had gone to open the door of the second cupboard and Laura was in there. Although he had prepared himself for a long time for this moment, Jesse couldnt help being lost for words. Her body was perfect, without any flaws, a symphony of soft curves. In the candle light her skin shone like ivory, as she moved graciously out of the closet without batting an eyelid. Her long black hair seductively covered her exquisite shoulders. Jesse had to hold his fists behind his back.
Very calmly, Laura walked to the centre of the room, then turned round to look at the two doors. « Here you are… naked », Jesse said in a hoarse voice. Laura looked at herself. « Indeed. As naked as the day I was born. »
A burst of laughter shook his body and Jesse had to loosen his tie. Laura walked towards the bay window bathed by the moonlight.Jesse undid his shirt collar. « Youre amazingly very at ease, he remarked. Its almost as if nothing can perturb you. »
Laura shook her head. « Apparently youve just discovered your magical power, thats all. »
Jesse, who had started to undress himself stopped in his tracks. « Perhaps, he said not wanting to lose his advantage, anyway things went according to plan.
Granted, Laura said. However, do me a favour. Yes? Go and fetch a poker and hold it at arms length. » Surprised Jesse walked towards the chimney and picked up the instrument and held it as she had told him to.
Laura raised her forefinger and pointed it at the poker.
Horrified Jesse then watched as the poker went limp as soft as a duster and hang pitifully at the end of his hand.
You see, Jesse Laura said you can do nothing to me. I discovered my magical power a long time ago. John Novotny
Second part, after the fun… the sad reality… First an article by the Centre daide et de lute contre les agressions à caractère sexuel of Quebec. The C.A.L.A.C.S which gives a very good ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT Then an anonymous article about Rape and sexual aggressions on women found on the internet At least one out of three women in the world have been beaten, forced to have sex intercourse or have been badly treated in the course of their lives, with domestic violence reaching as high as 70%in some countries. In the European Union the percentage of women who have received undesired sexual harassment at work is between 35 and 50%. These figures reach 60% in Spain, Italy and Portugal… Finally listen to a song by Anne Sylvestre Douce Maison (Sweet home)
The photos in the second part are by the photographer Naïla el Ammany known as moulich/mademoiselleN and whose photos/and or books you can buy at the following addresses:
I- Extracts from an article by CALACS The complete text can be found at: ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. 1- Definition of sexual assault 2- Backdrop on violence against women 2-1 At the heart of a patriarchal society 2-2 Vulnerability: A- The lack of information and understanding of the problem B - Women's dependence on men C - The isolation of women 3- Consequences of sexual assault. 3-1 Social consequences 3-2 Individual consequences 4- Myths and prejudice in face of reality 4-1 Sexually assaulted women 4-2 The assaulters 5- Social responsibility and sexual assault
1- Our analysis of sexual assault (Cf. CALACS) We define sexual assault as an act of domination, abuse of power and of violence, perpetrated mainly by men against women and children. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
To sexually assault is to impose attitudes, remarks or sexual gestures against a person's will. The victim often knows the assaulter. He uses different methods of manipulation : emotional blackmail, intimidation, threats, verbal, psychological, physical, or sexual violence, all in order to maintain the victim in silence. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Sexual assault can take different forms : incest, sexual harassment, obscene calls, sexual aggression (in childhood, as an adult, by a professional), exhibitionism, voyeurism, pornography, prostitution and rape. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
2. Backdrop on violence against women 2-1 At the heart of a patriarchal society (*). Sexual assault is also at the heart of our society, a society which through its history, traditions, laws, myths, prejudices, beliefs and its symbols, promotes and maintains unequal relationships between men and women. (*) Here we are referring to a patriarchal society, meaning a society built on the power of fathers, a social domestic, ideological, political system in which men, by force, direct pressure or through myths, traditions, law, language, habits, etiquette, education and the division of work, decide the role the woman will or wont play and in which women everywhere are under the male yoke » (Rich, 1980: 53).) Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
A society where men hold greater power in social, economic, political and cultural structures and where a large proportion of women are still maintained in roles and situations favouring and worsening their vulnerability, and by this fact, their lack of objective information, dependence and isolation. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Despite the advances of recent years, a greater recognition of and a larger representation of women in certain fields, the abusive use of power by men is still present even though it is often manifested in a more insidious and subtle fashion. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
A society which through its socialization process (*), conditions men early on to adopt dominant attitudes and women to adopt submissive attitudes, and consequently, predisposes them to live in and maintain unequal relationships. ( *) We learn through socialization how to behave in society. It is by this process that each child acquires aptitudes, values and behaviour permitting the child to conform to the role that we want him or her to play in society. Various factors help a child to assimilate this role. First of all, evidently, we have parents, school and religion but also, more subtly, movies, books, magazines and finally, the masculine and feminine ma childs surroundings. Capitalist and patriarchal societies evidently inculcate in their members, roles behaviour and values that serve the interests of capitalism and patriarchy » (Pettifer 1997 : 35-36). Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
A society, finally, which legitimizes the right of men to dominate and control women by violence. This tolerance of violence against women is one of the most revealing indicators of a society valuing male supremacy. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Sexual assault : a Means of Controlling Women For a long time, sexual assault has been a very efficient method of control for ruling the lives and daily actions of women, for maintaining them in fear and in a position where they cannot contest the abuse of power and authority exercised by men. The eventuality of sexual assault is often enough to restrict the autonomy and freedom of women. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Whether they be the result of political, religious or territorial conflicts or the result of rivalries between criminal groups, wars have used and still use sexual violence as a tactic or a strategy to weaken, paralyse and destroy the enemy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Commerce, 1999). Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Perceived by our sexist society as objects and mens property, women, in times of war, become prime targets. Assaulting the wife of his enemy is often a way to attack his most precious and intimate possession. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
2.2 Vulnerability Because of the inequalities existing between the sexes and their sexist socialization, women find themselves in a position where they are more vulnerable to violence, particularly sexual assault. While not explaining everything, the three factors which follow, inspired by Freeing Our Lives : A Feminist Analysis of Rape Prevention (1978), allow a better understanding of the underlying purpose of the existence and the persistence of sexual assault in our society. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
A - The Lack of Information and Understanding of the Problem The lack of objective information and understanding of the problem contributes to the existence and continuation of sexual violence. Often, the populations information is incomplete or distorted by myths and prejudices surrounding, for example, the victims, the perpetrators, the circumstances of the assault, the causes, the consequences and the solutions to the problem. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Also, in order to convey more exact information on sexual violence, the CALACS have chosen to redefine it based on real-life experiences of women. These experiences have allowed and still allow today to overturn the myths and prejudices and re-establish the facts, meaning that sexual violence is a social problem rather than an individual one. By making known their analysis and their experiences, the CALACS are concretely trying to fill in a lack of information and correct any misinformation circulating about sexual violence, and by doing so, change the situations which increase the vulnerable position of women and children in our society. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
B - Womens Dependence on Men Because of the unequal relationship between the sexes, women do not have equal access to expression and the exercise of power, be it economic, political, social or structural. This has the effect of limiting their participation in several decisional forums which thus are not at all or are barely representative of their needs and interests. This in turn has an impact on the quality of their living conditions. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Under the weight of social and economic structures, and of fear and threats of violence, women often find themselves in situations maintaining and favouring their dependence, helplessness and insecurity. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
To have an effect on the conditions favouring womens dependency, the CALACS believe there should be a radical change at the heart of the structures where men have conserved a privileged social position. A change which would abolish the inequalities between men and women and which would respect by the same fact, the rights of women : to be free to express their abilities, their knowledge and to behave without restraint, discrimination or danger to their safety and integrity. A change that would permit women, from that moment on, equal access to social resources. Working on the inequalities between the sexes constitutes a first step in this direction. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
C - The Isolation of Women Womens isolation is related to discriminatory social structures which place women in a position limiting their self- determination and their equal participation in society. This isolation (geographical, psychological or social) is accentuated by different personal and social situations : poverty and single parenthood, for example, being sources of stigma and isolation for women. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Linguistic and cultural barriers are obstacles which increase the isolation of immigrant women. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
For physically and intellectually handicapped women, the problems of social integration and the absence or lack of physical and economic autonomy increase their isolation and their vulnerability to violence. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
For lesbian women, homophobia (fear, misunderstanding, non- respect of a different choice of sexual orientation) and the fact of hiding or displaying their lesbianism, increase their isolation and their vulnerability to intolerance, and consequently, to violence. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
For aboriginal women, the disrespect of their culture and traditions, difficult living conditions (poverty, drug addiction, violence) and the limited or inexistent resources available in aboriginal communities are only some examples of why they find themselves more isolated (Pelletier, 1997). Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
For imprisoned women, their criminal past is often an obstacle to their social reintegration. Marginalized, these women find themselves more isolated and likely to face violence. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
As is the case with sex workers, homeless women and women with mental health problems, they and many others are highly marginalized by society. Consequently, they find themselves in a position of increased isolation with the increased possibility of violence. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Moreover, the isolation of women faced with the threat of sexual assault is a factor which renders them more vulnerable to sexual assault. Isolated, women have less grasp on the solutions to use to counter sexual assault. By coming together, women can develop collective strategies to react to and fight against this violence and bring about social, political and legal changes. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
At the end of the day,taking action against sexual violence means working, among other things, to reduce these three factors of vulnerability. That being said, no woman is safe from sexual assault. For the CALACS, it will be thus as long as society is not rebuilt on a foundation of equality meaning a foundation which would favour the equal economic, cultural, legal, political and social development and expression of its members. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
3. Consequences of Sexual Assault 3-1 The social consequences of sexual assault are enormous and affect all women. Danger and fear, made more intense by the imposing reality of sexual assault, are an integral part of womens life. Daily, women are driven to live a life of circumvention. They restrain their movements and make various adjustments (hours and location of outings, means of transportation, style of dressing. etc.) in the hope of ensuring their safety and protecting themselves against the real threat of sexual assault. Yet, they should not have to exchange their freedom for their safety. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
As a threat to the privacy and integrity of women, sexual assault represents a serious obstacle to the fundamental rights of women. Also, when they are limited by the consequences of assault, women are less free and less likely to stand up for their rights. The control exerted by the threat of sexual assault infringes directly on the ascent of women in our society and their right to dispose of a decision-making power equal to that of men. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
The human and social costs related to sexual assault and largely, violence against women, are very high. We estimate at 4,25 billion the annual cost of violence against women in Canada (Greaves, Hankivsky and Kingston-Riechers, 1995). Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
3-2 Individual Consequences Sexual assault carries heavy consequences on the individual level. Post-traumatic stress carries its share of physical, psychological and affective consequences which can vary from one person to another. (Neron,1998) Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
On a physical level, depending on the type of sexual violence, women can suffer from bruises, headaches, gastro-intestinal problems, nausea, gynaecological complications, etc. A fair number of women will be anxious with the possibility of pregnancy, of having contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or even worse, HIV. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
With respect to their psychological and emotional well-being, sexually assaulted women are often disturbed and experience a series of emotions ranging from anxiety, shame, guilt, incredulity to anger, confusion, etc. They are also frequently troubled in their identity and their sexuality and forced to seek relief from their suffering through self-mutilation, addiction, denial, etc. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Some of them are more likely to develop mental health problems in their lives and in fact, are eight times more likely than others to try to commit suicide or to experience depressive episodes (Workgroup on aggressions with sexual character, on 1995),… Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
…flashbacks, panic attacks, amnesia, and dissociation. (Dissociation: We define it as a survival mechanism in which women split their body and their mind in order to cut themselves off from the oppression and suffering they are experiencing) Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
The silence surrounding sexual assault often worsens the short and long-term consequences. Taboos, myths and prejudices push women into silence and make disclosure more difficult. Also, many women are scared of not being believed, of being judged, blamed and rejected by their family circle (spouse, children, family). For women who were assaulted by a family member, this difficulty is much more present because they fear that the disclosure will split up the family. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
For certain women, the fear of disclosure is linked with the fear of being identified and stigmatized in the community (village, town). Unfortunately, in many cases, their fear is justified : they are not always believed and their family circle sometimes rejects them. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
4- Myths and Prejudice in face of reality (*) (*) Myths constitute a simplified, often illusory story that people form and accept about an individual or event and which play a determining role in their behaviour towards that person. Prejudice refers to a belief or a preconceived opinion often imposed by society, the era, the education etc... (Petit Larousse, 1997: ).) Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
The myths and prejudices regarding sexual assault have an impact on all women. They aim at making women feel responsible and alleviating men of their responsibility. They impose restraints on womens freedom to be and to act, limiting their exercise of their individual and social rights. They indicate the supposed good and bad attitudes to adopt, the first protecting us against sexual violence, the second provoking it. These indicators tend to create a false sense of security in women. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
A fundamental difference characterizes the myths and prejudices about sexual assault, more particularly, about the women sexually assaulted and the perpetrators. The myths and prejudices about sexually assaulted women aim at making women feel responsible for the assault they have undergone. This has the effect of individualizing the problem, isolating women among themselves and socially and preventing them from taking control of their lives. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
As for the perpetrators, the myths and prejudice aim for the opposite effect. They aim at alleviating men of their responsibility for the assault they have committed by invoking personal problems or by blaming the victim. Various problems (beaten or sexually assaulted in childhood, alcohol, excitement, loss of control) are very often invoked in order to limit or completely deny their guilt. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
4-1 Myths and Prejudice about sexually Assaulted Women The myths and prejudices about sexually assaulted women are numerous and tenacious. The most frequently conveyed, among others, are that it is practically impossible to sexually assault a non- consenting woman, that women lie about having been assaulted, that they file complaints when they have not been assaulted, that only easy women are victims of sexual assault… The most injurious of all, in our opinion, implies that women provoke the assaults of which they are victims whether it is by their behaviour, their attitude or their appearance. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Our daily work with sexually assaulted women shows that it is possible, evidently, to assault a non- consenting woman. It is the characteristic of sexual assault. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
All methods are good to assault a woman. The perpetrator can use blackmail, excessive strength, threats, a weapon, etc. As for the myth saying that women lie, it has its origins in the lack of credibility granted to womens views in society. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
The myth that women file complaints when they have not been sexually assaulted implies that women are vindictive, that they file complaints for everything and nothing although the reality is otherwise. In actual fact, only a small proportion of women declare the assault to the police. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
As for the myth that only easy women are assaulted, it implies that criteria exists for easiness. This is completely false. The presumption of easiness or of provocation is only a pretext for assault. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
No situation can be interpreted as an invitation to assault : neither hitch- hiking, going out late at night, consuming alcohol or drugs, dressing in a particular way, nor accompanying a man to his home, etc… Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
No woman wants to be assaulted, humiliated and scorned in her intimacy and integrity. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
4-2 Perpetrators of Sexual Assault. Several myths surround the perpetrators (motives for assaulting, psychological and sexual profiles, etc…) Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Thus, contrary to beliefs, sexual assault is not perpetrated by men who are strangers to the victim, men who are pushed by uncontrollable sexual urges or who are completely disturbed. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
In 98% of cases, the perpetrator is a man (Statistics Canada, 1993b). He is usually known to the victim (father, father-in-law, brother, husband, sweetheart, lover, acquaintance, professional, colleague, neighbour, etc.) and takes advantage of his relationship of power, confidence or authority to assault the other person. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
He generally shares his life with a partner, permitting him to express his sexuality actively and regularly (Pettifer & al., 1997) which belies the myth that he is pushed by irrepressible sexual desire. The fact that the assault is often premeditated and repeated over several years also invalidates this myth. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Even though we often attempt to depict him as such, the perpetrator is not a person suffering from serious psychological problems. He is, in most cases, a man psychologically and socially normal or functional meaning able to live and work in society (Tourigny & Lavergne, 1995) and thus aware of the assault he is committing. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Some research has shown that people in situations of authority form a considerable proportion of sexual perpetrators. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
During the past few years, more and more doctors, therapists, psychologists, coaches, priests, gurus, etc. have been called to the courtroom. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
It is difficult to draw a typical picture of the perpetrator. Age, ethnic origin, profession, social status, etc. offer no clear indication for the potential to assault or not. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
5- Social Responsibility and Sexual Violence The efforts deployed by the CALACS alone are not enough to stop sexual assault. Women, among themselves, must continue to show solidarity and fight together in order to find solutions to the problem of sexual assault.. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Society, its different authorities (public, governmental) as well as the media, equally have their part to assume. To remedy the problem, we believe that the different levels of government should recognize that sexual assault and all other forms of violence against women constitute a violation of fundamental human rights. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
These different authorities should condemn all political, religious or cultural powers which exercise any kind of control on the lives of women. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
They should also prioritise and finance to a greater extent non-profit organizations, programs, projects and initiatives of women who have come together to put an end to the violence with which they are confronted. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
We also believe that it is necessary to act globally and in a concerted way about the problem of sexual assault and on the other manifestations of violence and discrimination exerted against women. They should be prevented in different communities through better information. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
In our opinion, it is necessary to continue improving the services offered to women (psychological, medical prevention, defence of rights). The needs of women doubly vulnerable to violence (aboriginal handicapped, immigrant, incarcerated and lesbian women, etc.) (Moisan, 1993) should be taken into consideration to a much larger extent. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
We also think that it is necessary to favour a judicial treatment of sexual assault that is non discriminatory towards women and that assures them respect in their right to equality, integrand security. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
In this sense, the judiciary system should be a place exempt from attitudes, judgements and prejudices penalizing women. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
It goes without saying that men should take responsibility for sexual assault, first and foremost, by becoming aware of their behaviour, which is likely to reinforce the oppression that women experience. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
They should recognize their individual collective power to denounce the factors which are at the source of sexual assault and what perpetrates it. Reproduced from the documentation of Regroupement Québécois des Centres dAide et de Lutte contre les Agressions à Caractère Sexuel. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
II An anonymous text about Rape and sexual aggressions on women found on the Internet. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
In our pretty little world, we are used to having a number of principles. Some call them truthful generalities others preconceived ideas. For example women appreciate being whistled at, obscene comments and lecherous looks because its flattering to be considered as an object of desire, a piece of flesh; women it would seem, feel reassured when men are eyeing them and that they appeal to them……… Either Im not a woman or theres something wrong here. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
The fact remains that men who think along these lines do not risk much. On the whole, women remain more often than not passive, deaf or indifferent towards the male who walks around with his prick in his hand like a brave soldier, who because he has a rifle, is looking for a female into whom he can discharge it. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
So, as strange as this may seem, whether we are 13 or 50, fat, deformed, spotty, thin, wrinkled, plain, flabby, small, in a mini-skirt or overalls, a top executive in a suit, unemployed or a militant we all take our turns at being a good ride, a bitch, a sucker, a slut, a poor screw, a tart, or as a consolation to possess a certain part of the body which attracts masculine opinion: a bitchs butt, sucker lips, a tarts walk, or wear make-up like a slut.… Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Because whatever we are, we are part of the myth that women are temptresses, greedy bitches or downright Nymphomaniacs, a myth behind which is hidden the real truth, that a man has the right to consider a woman in such a way, to assault her and to treat her like some servant. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
This daily male behaviour legitimises furthermore these dramatic acts. They concern every woman whoever she is and result in physical, sexual violence(rape and sexual assaults) As a reminder French law qualifies as rape any act of sexual penetration committed against another person by violence, constraint, threat or surprise and sexual aggression any sexual act committed against another person by violence, constraint, threat or surprise. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
To consider sexual violence from the point of view of legal punishment distorts ones perception. Condemning assaulters and rapists (when they are condemned) does not solve the problem in any way neither for society, nor for men and even less for women. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
For one filed complaint, how many remain silent? For one condemned offender how many complaints are dropped? And most of all does the Law constitute an adapted answer to the question of sexual violence? Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Indeed, rape and sexual assault are not news in brief, are not accidents of an isolated nature due to ones private life, but are the result of social factors which reveal the state of relationships between men and women of all ages. Its not the question why did M rape W that needs answering but why do men rape women?. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
The recognition of the psychological suffering as well as the importance showed by the initiatives of solidarity between women with or without support from their nearest and dearest, seems crucial to me, revealing the early stages of a new relationship between the main characters. To be able to talk about the act and the pain is fundamental for those who are imprisoned in their silence. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
To talk is one thing to be heard is another. But just how far can talking free you? Does it allow you to get through to the attacker? How can women come to terms with the assault, so that their words and actions are turned against the attacker? Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
A huge question, obviously but my opinion is that it is easier to be deaf or blind. To prefer simplicity to reality is sheer hypocrisy. How can one consider the slurs on ones physical and psychological integrity, of repeated acts by men throughout the centuries as news in brief? Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
How can one forget that more often than not sexual assault is not an act of X but of my father, my husband, my big brother, my cousin, a friend, my boyfriend, a friend of my parents, men I mix with. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
How can one forget to take into consideration sexual violence as a male problem, a manifestation linked to the building of the masculine identity. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
How can one feel at ease when the society in which one lives, admits when it doesnt deny it, that of course it is a difficult situation but that in the end of the day its a reality to which people are used. A fatality. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
In effect, has a man ever taken the time to imagine what his life, his ideas, his feelings would be like if he lived in a world where the roles were inversed? A world where for centuries and in almost all civilisations, he would be the one to run the risk of being raped, on the occasion of any old war, a retaliatory expedition, a racial guerrilla war, a night time brawl, after a concert, on returning home late or simply a terrible blunder? Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Have you managed to comprehend to what can correspond the existence of a raped woman, thats to say the fact of being deeply affected in her physical and psychological integrity, feeling guilty about an attack of which she is the victim, to see violence forced on her own body, to carry the scars for the rest of her life and especially to be reduced to silence? Even having to justify herself Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Have you realised the depth of meaning of an act that has been repeated down through the centuries like a tradition that men need to carry on and which by its character and especially the mitigating excuses that one feels necessary to find, constitutes the most cynical and the most abject, the most violent demonstration of scorn by the stronger sex, for the fair sex? Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Do you really comprehend at last the hypocrisy and cowardice of an opinion which considers sexual aggression not as a male problem, but as a regrettable, congenital fatality of womanhood, a rashness or unfortunate combination of circumstances? Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
The hypocrisy of society consists in refusing to admit that sexual violence has always been viewed with relative tolerance. The famous yes, of course, but As if the man was not the one and only person responsible for an act that he has decided to commit. There are no mitigating circumstances, whatever one tries to say. ANONYMOUS TEXT Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
Finally, listen (no need to click) to the song by Anne Sylvestre Douce maison (sweet home) (Please remember that in French a house une maison is feminine, hence the comparison between a house and a woman. This subtlety is lost in English.) It was a sweet home, a house of good taste. With just the necessary amount of moss spread over the right place, with a sufficient number of walls to experience ones own particular warmth, and with just enough windows to look through without forethought. No, no Im not making anything up, but Im getting to the point. It sometimes opened its door for those it chose. The lock was not difficult, home, you have no key, but in its naivety it never thought that one could resort to violence to penetrate beneath its roof. One day bad luck arrived, a gang happened along. They ring the bell and kick the door. All together they encourage each other, claiming youll open up And so begins the damage, the door, theyll break it down. Savagely they enter, destroying all before them. They force the windows open before the burning fire. And carve on the walls their insults with their knives, They leave acting like warriors when only wounds remain. The house since this crime has neither soul or name, But its not a victim, its its fault they claim. It seems it took pride in its appearance with its new roof and beautifully flowered garden. Besides no house of good repute would keep itself apart: Those in the village are always well respected. If you dont possess a lock, well then you need a caretaker. Youre looking for trouble if you flower your garden. If you pass by and you have a heart, No doubt youll cry, its a picture of tragedy But nothing, not even your tears will be much help. It has withdrawn from its fears, it is closed for ever. If I have told you the story of this ravished house, Its not so that you may feel its enough to be outraged. This must stop, we should be able to live in peace, Even when opening the window, even if there is no key. No, no, Im not making this up. Im saying what I must. Photo de moulich / mademoiselle N
1st part- music Youve got a friend in me 2nd part –music Sad violin and Douce Maison sung by Anne Sylvestre.. For the 1st part the photos are from the Internet and from > for the rest of the slide show (including the background picture) 1st part- story by John Novotny 2nd part- the texts are taken from C.A.L.A.C.S. The anonymous text Texts translates from French to English by Jeanne Corneille, thank you very much to her.http://www.flickr.com/photos/moulichnaila/ Daniel, La Roche-Posay le 8/03/2011 This slide show « Literary slide show N°77bis International Womens day. March 8th » is strictly deprived (I have no site, thus if you wish to receive one of my previous literary slide shows send I ). All my slide shows are for not commercial custom.