domestic violence/intimate partner violence

26 Feb

CDC report

US Dept of Justice and National Violence Against Women data

Tony Porter
At TEDWomen, Tony Porter makes a call to men everywhere: Don’t “act like a man.” Telling powerful stories from his own life, he shows how this mentality, drummed into so many men and boys, can lead men to disrespect, mistreat and abuse women and each other. His solution: Break free of the “man box.”

Tony Porter is an educator and activist who is internationally recognized for his effort to end violence against women.

Rape as primetime comedy
Great links to other sources.
Before watching this remix of the 2012 television season’s many rape jokes, take a minute to view an excerpt from the documentary Vietnam: American Holocaust, where American soldiers testify that they raped civilian women during the Vietnam War. “We found one hiding in a bomb shelter,” one soldier explains, “She was taken out [and] raped by 6 or 7 people.” You might also watch this recent speech from Tony Porter, where he recounts a moment from early adolescence when he came upon a group of older boys raping a mentally disabled girl from his neighborhood. Rape most easily stirs anger and depression, so a joke about it would seem to be a risky proposition for any comedian; yet that is exactly what happens with relative frequency in a number of new sitcoms this television season. The remix above features scenes from 2 Broke Girls, Wilfred, Up All Night, Workaholics, Whitney, Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, Glee, Work It, and a few others. More than just insensitive content in an era when 1 in 5 American women experience rape or attempted rape at some point in their lives, the use of rape as humor can potentially minimize the brutality of this crime. While humor can sometimes be an effective means of leveling social criticism (as argued elsewhere on The Sociological Cinema), that does not appear to be what is happening in the scenes that compose this remix. This short clip provides an excellent foray into discussions about how rape humor is part and parcel of rape culture (defined here). The humor stands to reinforce deeply problematic values, norms, and ideas of that culture, especially when they are blended with other more innocuous punchlines and canned laughter from a studio audience.


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