A is For: Awareness


36 Responses to “A is For: Awareness”

  1. http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/09/the_scarlett_letter

    Uh it’s pretty well recognized and already used. Can’t we differentiate this a little.

    • bzishi says:

      There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. Dawkins doesn’t own the ‘A’.

      I’m an atheist, but I still think that dismantling our rape culture is far more important right now than atheist awareness.

      • Atheist here, and a woman. I’ve been raped. That red A, if it can do more to stop the absolute prevalence of rape, is more than fine being used in this instance as well. 

        • Chris Wright says:

          I agree, but I think it might be more effective if people have an unambiguous symbol. Or if there are lapel pins for both, maybe I should start wearing both to clear up the ambiguity that way.

    • Adela Doiron says:

       The Atheist community has recently demonstrated they have their own house of misogyny to clean up as well.

    • Alan Ferguson says:

      I have sympathy for Martha Plimton’s cause, but her ribbon does clash with two established atheist symbols (the red and black ribbon and a Capital Letter “A” that slopes right)  When I first saw the ribbon above, my personal filters saw this as an athiest symbol. Thus, for me at least, a touch confusing.

      As an exercise, I did an image search and found the “A” in an ornamented Old English font is a well established  “Scarlet Letter”. In any case design space is huge and it would only takes some minor tweaking to fix, if indeed anything needs fixing.

      For me the real question is why are we arguing? 

      “Can’t we differentiate this a little?” and
      “Can’t we all just get along?”

      have similar rings to them.   May cool heads (and warm hearts) prevail.

  2. Maggie says:

    Do you honestly feel that atheism awareness is as important (or relevant to the original scarlet A) as women’s and people’s reproductive rights?

    • Benjamin Terry says:

      I don’t see any judgement on the relative importance of the issues in question, it was just a “public campaign” sort of point.  If the campaign was… “Reproductive rights: Have it your way” and someone pointed out that Burger King is recognized for using it, that would not imply that the person values Burger King’s advertising campaign over women’s rights.  I know this is a trivial point, but yeah.

  3. kateling says:

    Thanks for this. This is powerful and important, and to the above commenters complaining about the A: get over it.

    • bbctol says:

      That this is so important is *why* people are commenting about the A- they’re worried that due to the symbol being confusing, this campaign will have less of an impact on its ultimate goal.

  4. bzishi says:

    We have a rape culture going on and it is sickening. The misogynists have really been coming out of the woodwork lately (Rush, Tosh, that man that made the beat up Anita Sarkeesian game, etc.). The War on Women wouldn’t be so out in the open with its misogyny if there wasn’t broad cultural support for it. And that needs to be dismantled. This “A is for Awareness” is a good start.

  5. Koocheekoo says:

    Thank you for raising awareness on this campaign. I had not heard of it until now. Thank you also for being brave enough to share your story. I will be happy to support this and hope it is effective. From the comments so far that I have seen, this awareness is definitely still needed. Keep fighting the good fight!

  6. fatchissimo says:

    Thank you for your words.  The world is increasingly tone-deaf when it comes to women these days, when it’s not actively trying to repress them.  Good luck!

  7. Right on! It is crazy that we are still fighting for these basic rights!

  8. Liona Rowan says:

    this is excellent. thank you.

  9. Kit Cameo says:

    Thank you for telling your story, Maureen. I really hope your friend gets justice against her offender someday. I read that passage about her confronting him, and his response, with absolutely seething rage. If I articulate what I’m feeling about that right now I’m likely to get flagged by someone for foul, eye-melting language.  

  10. John Rooney says:

    As a guy, I’m shamed by the actions of many of my gender. There is no reason for discrimination, and the fact that in 2012 women are still being raped is a sad reflection on our society.

    There are many things that women have to fight for that I don’t, purely based on gender. This is unacceptable, and anyone who feels that it isn’t, needs to look closely at their own motives for that belief.

    Thank you for your honesty, Maureen, and your friend for their permission to tell that story. It’s a chilling account of how lopsided the world we live in is.

    • bzishi says:

      I don’t think it is just a reflection on our society. It is a fundamental part of our culture. Our culture does not consider that women are full fledged members of the human race and it doesn’t blink at any action that degrades women or stigmatizes them for deviating from their rigidly defined gender role. The fact that one in three women will be sexually assaulted is the logical outgrowth of our horrible system.

      Just in the last 2 weeks:

      * A man made a game where you beat up a feminist who is researching tropes and stereotypes of women in videogames. In this game you get to click on a picture of Anita Sarkeesian and watch as her face becomes bruised and battered. Previously, she was subjected to death and rape threats for the research. Other women who have protested this have also been subject to death and rape threats. Every comment thread in newspapers discussing this is filled with posters justifying the game and lamenting the apparent misandry they face.

      * Tosh ‘joked’ about a woman being gang-raped when she complained about his rape jokes. Other comedians joined in supporting Tosh including, to my disappointment, Louis C.K.  Xeni objected to this and was subjected to a Twitter storm of misogyny. A thread here a Boing Boing was closed due to offensive comments.

      • John Rooney says:

         I don’t think fundamental is the right word. That implies that our culture can’t exist without this misogynistic mindset. Certainly from religious doctrine it’s easy to see the evolution of the negative attitude towards women, but we’re not in the dark ages now. There’s no excuse for the continuation of this behaviour. None.

        There might be explanations. But hell… those two examples you just mentioned are sickening. I’m equally disappointed that Louis CK would join in support of Tosh. Understandable based on the fact that his humour is off-colour, and very cutting edge – but there have been other comics who have, while being supportive of no topic is off-limits, have also come down heavy on the in-appropriateness, and need to be *very* careful about how you approach such an issue.

        Misandry exists, but we live in a male dominated world. How guys have the audacity to make claim that we’re disadvantaged, how the restoration of balance is such a terrible thing, and then go on to play that card and expect to get any real sympathy is beyond me.

  11. Harbo says:

    The two campaigns dovetail well, with many common enemies. GO to both!

  12. Thank you for your story. It could not have been an easy one to tell. I’m 48 years old and one of the walking wounded. I was raped in high school. You don’t get over it. You may move past it but it doesn’t leave you. Our culture has trivialized rape and everyone suffers for it. We all need to fight against it for our children’s sake. Thanks to you and Martha (love Raising Hope) and Lizz for starting this and fighting for all of us. Your daughter should be proud.

    • picaflor says:

       “Our culture has trivialized rape and everyone suffers for it.”

      I hate how it’s mainstream to say shit like “I got raped by the IRS!” but a pedophile had “sexual relations” with a 13 yr. old.

  13. picaflor says:

    I dream of a day when a campaign like this garners as much male support as that from women.

    Thank you for sharing and letting me know of this campaign!

    • John Rooney says:

       I’m in agreement with you picaflor, but as it’s an issue that affects women directly, there will always be a higher ratio of women to men supporting this.

      Still, we can dream. I’d be happy for the increase of support to be in the places that matter. Our governments and ruling bodies, because at least that way change could be legislated. However, I’d really love it if more guys could see how this affects women, and care enough to get behind it, without seeing it as an attack on them.

      We need to get away from the one side wins, the other side loses thinking, as much as we need to get away from seeing sides in the first place.

      • Christopher says:

        You’re right that there will always be a higher ratio of women to men supporting this, but I think it’s important that men like you and I speak up and speak out. By doing so we’ll hopefully give others the courage to join in as well.

  14. taghag says:

    great post and thanks for bravely sharing your and your friend’s personal stories.  although it’s sad that it has to come this far before more women start to realize that we cannot take our rights for granted, i have to say that i could’ve seen it coming.  i saw so many women from my generation (X) actively rejecting feminism and riding the coat tails of generations before.  great to see the issues being actively addressed.  sad that it’s still necessary.

  15. professor says:

    These so-called “men” who commit acts of violence against women don’t deserve to have a penis because they sure as hell shouldn’t be called “men”…. they’re a total embarrassment to the rest of us!

  16. Christopher says:

    Maureen, there is so much I could say, but I’d like to focus on one thing: that for a time you were homeless in Nashville.

    I’ve volunteered in homeless shelters in Nashville, and been very aware of the issue in my area. I don’t know if you’re one of the people I’ve helped, but regardless of whether you were, or regardless of whether you got any help or not, I wouldn’t be surprised if you received some pretty awful treatment here. Speaking as a Nashville resident I’d like to apologize for that. The people of this city can, and absolutely should, treat fellow citizens–especially the homeless ones–better.

  17. wysinwyg says:

    Source for the 1 in 6 statistic:

  18. Lucy Gothro says:

    What if one can’t afford the five bucks for the ribbon?  

  19. tré says:

    Fuck awareness. A is for Action. Write your legislators, vote in and volunteer for the campaigns of people who will stop these terrible pieces of legislation, speak out, tell your “bros” to knock it the fuck off with the rape “jokes,” check your privilege where applicable, participate in radical consent, sign a petition, hold a (consensual, of course) hand, whatever you can *do* to help. Everyone here is “aware,” now what?

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