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Everyday Encounters with the continuum of sexual violence.

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Presentation on theme: "Everyday Encounters with the continuum of sexual violence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Everyday Encounters with the continuum of sexual violence

2 Have you ever experienced attention from a man you didn’t know in public? Being told to ‘cheer up’ or ‘smile’ Having comments made about your appearance that you either liked or disliked Being assaulted, flashed, touched or followed by a male stranger Feeling as though you are being stared at Or any other experiences you want to talk about?

3 Starting Points  ‘The manifestation of men’s gender power through the routine use of aggression against women is connected to ‘non-routine’ assaults, such as rape, which are extensions of more commonplace intrusions.’ (Kelly, 1988:70)  ‘(A)n understanding of women’s oppression can be gained only through understanding and analysing everyday life, where oppression as well as everything else is grounded.’ (Stanley and Wise, 1983:135)  ‘It is not the body-object described by biologists that actually exists, but the body as lived by the subject.’ (de Beauvoir, 1954:69)


5 ‘Actual Crimes’ vs. ‘Potential Annoyances’  The third bullet point is a serious problem. In fact, the disgusting part here is how that third bullet point (actual crimes) were put on the same bullet list as potential annoyances. (AlekNovy)  I do feel for women who do get groped (which is pretty rare, as much as you’d love to claim otherwise), I just can’t see how being looked at, complimented or being told to ‘cheer up’ is oppressive. Annoying maybe. (noneofyourbeezwhacks)  The only bullet point that should be considered a problem is the third. The others… if you can’t deal with these things yourself- you are a special precious snowflake so don’t go outside. (Tim)

6 BEC ‘And I was walking down the stairs at the Metro, and this guy goes to me ‘Bonjour’ which like, I don’t know why I said bonjour back to him but I did, I think it was because I’d had a really good night. And then he said to me like where are you from and I said, oh Australia, like I think it was because I was still on a high. And then I kept walking and he came up behind and said ‘can I talk to you?’ and I said no. And I walked away and I walked down the platform…’

7 SHELLEY ‘I was basically just walking home from a night out, it was about 5 o’clock in the morning, but people walk home there because it’s a little village and it’s safe most of the time. And this strange guy was walking up the street in front of me and then he slowed down and watched me walk on a bit…’

8 JACQUELINE ‘We’d been out on Valentines Day actually and some guy who was a bartender who I didn’t know, asked me if I’d just change the tape for him while he was serving someone, if I could go behind the bar and change the tape, I was just stood there to press a button and he was like can you just press that button and that was, well obviously he must have been looking at me in some way…’

9 The Continuum of Sexual Violence ‘Every interaction with men for ages afterwards becomes a kind of cat and mouse thing and you’re just weighing up what are they trying to do. And you just feel massively threatened all the time. Even if someone comes up to you and they’re just trying to be friendly or something, it just seems to be all the same thing, it’s all harassment in different forms.’ (Shelley)

10 The Continuum of Sexual Violence (I)t wears you down in the end. That’s what happened to me. It wears you down. Unfortunately it happened to me from an early age … I didn’t have any defense against that at all. But I do feel like it’s just worn me down. You know none of that would have happened. I do think I would have been subject to it at some point in my life but I don’t think that my course in life would have been the same, that I would have ended up making some of the decisions that I’ve made, it wouldn’t have been such a normal part of life. (Jacqueline)

11 The Continuum of Sexual Violence ‘(Before) I think it was more like annoyed. Like, oh can you just go away you’re annoying me, if they’re annoying me. Or I would just ignore them. Yeah. But now there’s fear. And then, yeah, then I get angry that I’m so scared…Angry at them. At them making me feel like I can’t feel the way I used to feel, just like free and confident and independent and safe. (Bec)

12 Implications The meanings are the same, ‘only the form, the intensity, differs’ (Stanko, 1985:71)  Women-only space and women-only services  Social rather than individual cause  Encourage exploration of links and connections  Women-centred definition of what counts / doesn’t count as violence I think they’re all linked, this is why it’s harder to get over things because you just get constant reminders. So the first thing happens and then every time something else happens it just links it all back. (Shelley)

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