Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Now: Disney and Rape Culture

Hello everyone, I am the new co-editor: Theresa!

There are no significant updates with TVPJA when I am writing this, so I would like to turn your attention to a recent unfolding of another rape case. It has the potential of leading to changes if the public takes action.

Picture from "It Happened to Me: I was Raped at Disney World and Nobody Cared"
The gist of the story is that a young woman working for the Disney College Program was sexually assaulted by a male co-worker. She went to the Employee Assistance Program, numerous other departments, and finally Employee Relations. There was no procedure. It was unclear who she should had gone to. And she was met with inappropriate accusations and assumptions. A hashtag of #disneyrape is trending on Twitter and related comments are being posted on Disney's affiliated pages. You can find out more from the victim's perspective, but rehashing the facts of the crime will not further the cause. Instead, this post should help us all recognize the fallibility and inexcusable conduct possible in even the "safest" of places. 

Hopefully Disney and other organisations consider implementing programs and procedures for when the worse happens. Support services need to be in place.

Our society, however unintentionally, promotes a rape culture by defending rapists and shaming victims, making them feel worthless and the rapists condoned. 

A rape victim could report an assault, but is not taken seriously, blamed for the assault, and the rapist is unpunished. A rape victim could not report the assault, but is chastised, guilt-tripped, blamed if the rapist hurts someone else.

These are actions we can do to stop rape culture in our day-to-day lives...

Do Not:
Blame the victim or his/her actions.
Excuse the actions of the rapist.
Believe s/he wanted or asked for it.
Suggest the way s/he was dressed, said, previous history, etc etc etc caused it.
Make rape jokes or trivialize rape.

Be supportive.
Be patient.
Empower and encourage.
Shut down sexist comments.
Stop sexual objectifying remarks.

Rape is not only restricted to Disney World or theme parks. Rape is an occurrence that plagues many people across time and location, and individuals regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, age, etc. There are many instances of sexual assault in the United States, and in the last few months a particular case enthralled the media for a while. But it is just one of many horrible events.

In the more public sphere to improve sexual assault policies, consider:
Training to become an educator.
Start, promote, or participate in a walk.
Raise awareness.
Volunteer at events and support services.

Wishing you all safe days and nights.

Some resources for allies and victims:


Marta said...

Nice post ! You blog is very interesting!

Shavell Skeel said...

Eye opening...continue to speak out Theresa