Tag: rape

How Many Ways To Interpret "No"? Just One

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | February 15, 2010 12:23 pm

So a ‘survey‘ (via online polling) of over 1,000 people in London supposedly reports:

‘a majority of women believe some rape victims should take responsibility for what happened.’

But considering:

– how frequently we blame the victim rather than taking the time to address the real social and cultural norms that allow this mentality to persist…

– how many victims of sexual violence already do not report the crime out of shame, fear, or public embarrassment…

–  Silence Is The Enemy

It’s necessary to speak up. And the truth is relatively simple: Regardless of how a person dresses or behaves, there is only one way to interpret No.” Case closed.

That said, I’m skeptical that the results of this so-called survey reflect reality.



By Sheril Kirshenbaum | November 9, 2009 3:55 pm

rape_by_slytherin_princeIs The Enemy:

Richmond, California (CNN) — Investigators say as many as 20 people were involved in or stood and watched the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside a California high school homecoming dance Saturday night.


As many as 10 people were involved in the assault in a dimly lighted back alley at the school, while another 10 people watched without calling 911 to report it, police said.


The victim was found unconscious under a bench shortly before midnight Saturday, after police received a call from someone in the area who had overheard people at the assault scene “reminiscing about the incident,” Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan said.

This initiative continues until the silence stops.


Silence Is The Enemy Continues

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 15, 2009 8:45 am

rape_by_slytherin_prince.pngI started Tuesday by donating last month’s blog proceeds to Doctors Without Borders.

Silence Is The Enemy, which began in June, was only the beginning. It’s one effort in the long and continued crusade to end sexual violence around the world.

Join us on facebook, Twitter, and become a part of our growing coalition. Contribute through blog entries, letters, Op-Eds, donations, and any means you can.

Rage against the silence.


Silence Is The Enemy: Seeking Volunteers

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 30, 2009 3:46 pm

rape_by_slytherin_prince.pngIn the first month Silence Is The Enemy has grown exponentially. We can already measure success in the thousands of dollars that will be donated through blogs and more support than I could have imagined.  Thanks especially to Arikia Millika, who voluntarily build us a website (http://www.stopsilence.com/).

Now we need a few good men or women to help us run some of the nuts and bolts as we grow.  We’re looking for assistance in managing the initiative’s Twitter account @StopSilence and Facebook group where membership approaches 5,200.  If you’re interested to help, email me at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com with a few sentences about why you would you like to be chosen.

I’ve already explained that June was only the beginning. Silence Is The Enemy lives on, drawing attention to sexual abuse globally and we encourage everyone to join us, talk about it, and act. We will continue…

                       until the silence stops!


End The Silence And Turn Up Your Speakers!

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 30, 2009 9:35 am

pistil1.pngOnce upon a time I was drumming in a pretty sweet band called Pistil with Megan Dawson on bass and Ann Starling and guitar. But they were practicing every week and booking shows around the Triangle, while I was sporadically in town between traveling and work commitments. We agreed that the very talented Ian Kleinfeld should take my place and now Pistil is better than ever…

Since this marks the final day that Silence Is The Enemy is raising funds for Doctors Without Borders, we’ll end the month with a bang–a song about two perspectives of rape called Mouse and Monster from the band. And remember, June was only the beginning. Momentum continues to build and our goal remains to draw attention to sexual abuse globally and encourage everyone to talk about it and act.

Megan explains why she wrote the song:

I’d been reading a lot of justifications for victim blaming, most specifically the term “Gray Rape” at the time.  I was so sick of hearing that there were legitimate reasons, under certain circumstances to coerce, force, or intimidate another person into sex.  There isn’t.  The line is always consent, and if its unclear, there isn’t consent.

In our society, we go around pretending like women bare the burden of sexual restraint, we refuse to place the blame on men to control themselves and allow them room to wiggle their way our of accountability.  Which means that blame falls on women.  I’m sick of feeling like if I dress a certain way, then some men get a free pass to behave a certain way.  I’m sick of feeling like if I drink too much, I am at fault for someone else’s behavior.  I’m sick of being a sexual gatekeeper.  I’m sick of our society not holding men accountable for their actions.  I’m sick of the lack of outrage regarding the made-up concept of “Gray Rape.” I’m sick of patronizing leaders assuming that the answer to rape culture is to corral women into behaving in a certain way.

The song is written from both  a victim and perpetrator’s perspective; from a man who is making all the stereotypical excuses and from a woman who is sick of taking blame.  Its both social commentary and narrative of a rape culture and the ambiguity surrounding it.

Mouse and Monster by Pistil

(lyrics after the jump) Read More


Twitter's Not Silent

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 25, 2009 8:57 am

rape_by_slytherin_prince.pngYou’ve seen our beta website for Silence Is The Enemy, perhaps added your support to the growing Facebook group… Now you can join the movement on Twitter!

No, I’m still not ‘tweeting‘, but am appreciative that the lovely and talented Arikia has created an account which will feature details on new initiatives, questions to followers, ways to contribute, and more.  And when you have important related news, tell us about it here.

As I wrote last week, June was only the beginning and momentum continues to build. Our goal remains to draw attention to sexual abuse globally and encourage everyone to talk about it and act. And we will rage against the silence.

Remember, there’s still one week to maximize blogospheric donations to Doctors Without Borders so keep clicking on these links since revenue is based on traffic:

The Intersection
On Becoming A Domestic And Laboratory Goddess
The Questionable Authority
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Blog Of The Moderate Left
Seattle Grassroots Examiner
the rugbyologist

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Announcements, Updates

Do You Know The Enemy?

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 19, 2009 9:07 am

In just a few weeks Silence Is The Enemy has grown exponentially, with more support than I could have imagined.  The Facebook group alone approaches 5,000 members.  What comes next is up to you…

rape_by_slytherin_prince.pngYou see, June was only the beginning. The goal remains to draw attention to sexual abuse globally and encourage everyone to talk about it and act. We’re not focused on one gender or limited to a single specific region and now we must continue to bang the drum.

The lovely and talented Arikia Millikan of The Millikan Daily has voluntary started to build a website and the bare bones beta page is up and running! As you’ll see, there’s much work to be done, but the reason I want to announce the url now is because so many readers and bloggers are checking back throughout the month. So spread the word:


Participating blogs linked on both sides of the main page demonstrate the strength of support this initiative has already received.  Soon we’ll provide much more information with resources and links, and the site will serve to compile Silence Is The Enemy posts from across the blogosphere. Please join me in thanking Arikia for her wonderful work online in comments!  Readers are also encouraged to leave suggestions and ideas on the design below and we’ll incorporate the best into the website.

In the mean time, several bloggers have pledged to donate their June revenue (based on traffic) to Doctors Without Borders. So remember you can support the effort with each click on:


Thanks to everyone who has already joined the cause and contributed using their words, voice, mouse, and more.  Since I’ve been traveling, the coalition list below is no longer up to date because new bloggers are taking up the call everyday. That said, consider this a sample:

Read More


Rape Is NOT A Game

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 10, 2009 9:06 am

rapelay_c.jpgI’m not particularly good at video games. My brother always beat me on the original Nintendo and I never graduated to another system. Once in a while I’ll try someone’s Wii, but don’t seem to have the attention span gaming requires. Guitar Hero never made much sense either–I’d rather jam on real instruments. Still, from a distance I can appreciate the leaps and bounds of progress in virtual technology. Yesterday, I even learned avatars can now give birth in Second Life. Go figure. That said, there’s a boundary that should NEVER be crossed, imaginary or not. I draw the line at rape.

Rape is NOT a game.

Unfortunately, the Japanese production house Illusion seems to think it provides quality entertainment. In 2006 they released ‘RapeLay,’ after the previous titles ‘Battle Raper‘ and ‘Artificial Girl.’ The premise… well, ready for this?

Players stalk a female character as she waits for a train in the subway station. Apparently, you can even virtually pray for a gust of wind that blows up her skirt to peek at her underwear and fondle her body while she tries to fight back. Sure sounds familiar so far–can anyone say post-traumatic stress?

Next, the goal is to rape the woman… followed by her two virgin daughters (pictured on the cover above). According to Persia:

One of them resembles a girl of about 10 and, horrifically, you can see tears coming out of her eyes. “Sniff… sniff… I w-w-want to die,” is one of the comments she’s automated to cry.

It still gets worse.  Players invite friends to participate in gang-raping the children and if the woman becomes pregnant, she must be forced to have an abortion. Otherwise, she becomes more visibly pregnant with each subsequent rape. Should she finally have the baby… GAME OVER.

According to a spokesman for the company:

We believe there is no problem with the software, which has cleared the domestic ratings of an ethics watchdog body.

Seriously? There’s a big problem. And I can’t decide which is worse–that this abomination was created or that there’s enough of a market to distribute it. Although words fail me, I will not be silent.


The Web Just Got Louder

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 5, 2009 5:25 pm

My oh my, what a week it’s been….

rape_by_slytherin_prince.pngSilence Is The Enemy has gone international with well over 130 posts in many languages from all sorts of places and people.  I’ve had trouble keeping track of everyone involved in the coalition, so if you don’t see your blog listed here, email me.  The facebook group will soon surpass 4,000 members and our official website is close to launch.

In addition, the number of bloggers donating revenue from June to Doctors Without Borders grows, and since income is determined by traffic, continue contributing with every click to:

The Intersection
On Becoming A Domestic And Laboratory Goddess
The Questionable Authority
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Blog Of The Moderate Left
Seattle Grassroots Examiner
the rugbyologist

Day 5 and the storm against silence has commencedIt’s time to make some noiseSpeak out.

You know what to do.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Education

The Coalition Grows…

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 2, 2009 9:52 pm

Tremendous thanks to everyone already contributing to Silence is the Enemy through your donations, letters to members of Congress, word of mouth, facebook, articles, and more.  And to those still unsure where to begin, just look to the online coalition so far for inspiration…

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Education

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