Monthly Archives: April, 2015

#VetoViolence Should Include Self-Defense!

seejaneThis week you can “consult experts and share ideas” about sexual assault prevention thanks to the #VetoViolence campaign.  But self-defense is absent.  Surprised? No.  Outraged? Yes.  And for good reason.  This program, cosponsored by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and PreventConnect, should know the research that shows how effective and empowering self-defense training can be.  Would it hurt to include self-defense in their “Facts About Sexual Assault”?

Facts About Sexual Assault:
Most rape victims know the perpetrator.
Rape can occur in relationships, including marriage.
False reports of rape are very rare.
Most rapes are not reported to police.
Few reported rapes result in arrests, prosecutions, or convictions.
Nobody deserves to be raped because of behavior or actions. It is not the victim’s fault.
Rape is not inevitable & can be prevented. ‪#‎VetoViolence‬

my resistance doesn't require your approval

It’s also a fact that rape, even as it’s happening, does not need to be inevitable.  But you wouldn’t know it from the #VetoViolence campaign.  In fact, the video “1 Photo, 6 Words,” put out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, compiled select photos that were posted with the hashtag #VetoViolence a few months ago. Our own photo with a self-defense message is (not surprisingly) missing.

Fighting back is an option and it’s an option more women consider once this option comes out of the closet and starts getting talked about and written into lists like the one above.  So, help us bring self-defense out of the closet and into the popular discourse of sexual assault prevention.  Send us a picture with 6 words that convey how or why self-defense is an important part of sexual assault prevention or vetoing violence. We promise to string it into a video with rousing instrumental music just like the CDC’s video! Pinky swear!  

You can send your picture to us via this blog site or simply post the picture to your own Facebook page using the hashtag #seejanefightback

Looking forward to seeing your 1 Picture, 6 Words #seejanefightback


The Golden Rules of Womanhood

Sociologist and well known masculinity scholar Michael Kimmel describes the four golden rules of manhood as:

  1. No sissy stuff
  2. Be a big wheel
  3. Be a sturdy oak
  4. Give em’ hell

We love critiques of masculinity, but we at Chez Jane tackle social constructions of femininity.  Taking off from Kimmel’s golden rules, we therefore offer you the four golden (softened with 4% silver and 21% copper to a flattering rose hue) rules of womanhood.    Take note, sisters:

  1. Take the back seat*
  2. Be a willow (weeping if appropriate, but soft and supple)**
  3. Contain the fury***
  4. Look pretty****

Of course, we could argue, as Michael Kimmel does, that these rules are the socially constructed products of a patriarchal, heterosexist rape culture, and that deconstructing socially prescribed masculinity and femininity would do wonders in shifting the ways in which individual, social, and structural rules about gender perpetuate the rape culture, not to mention do wonders in improving the quality of life for everyone, regardless of gender.   But doing so would violate at least rules #1-#3, and probably #4, as well.

Dammit.  (Oops – contain the fury. Contain the fury!)


*Big wheels are for the boys, ladies.  We know; we checked Google images.  Unless they’re pink.  But still.

**Everyone can’t hold their ground, you know.  If manhood is about being strong, unflinching and unbending, someone’s got to yield, right?

***Because fury, however justified, is neither pretty nor hot.  Reference rule #4.

****Or hot, depending on the situation and the requirements of your husband/boyfriend.  But not too hot.  Because that’s slutty.  Unless he wants you to look really hot.  But only for him. (Not sure how to negotiate that one – good luck.)

Way To Go, Harvard, Way To Go

Nothing dampens the mood at Château Jane more than yet another dismissal of self-defense as “victim blaming”—especially when it is followed by advocating “teaching men not to rape” (as if self-defense isn’t teaching men not to rape).  And so, we thank Harvard for lifting our spirits with Meg Stone’s self-defense course on campus. Women in Stone’s class report feeling empowered, not responsible for sexual assault.

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