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Chilling New Website Documents What Happens to Women Who Reject Men’s Sexual Advances

Chilling New Website Documents What Happens to Women Who Reject Men’s Sexual Advances

Written by Tara Culp-Ressler

A woman attacked with acid. A teenager stabbed to death. A woman raped and beaten. Women smashed in the head with bowling balls and glass bottles.

Those are real life examples of violence that women have experienced after they rejected the sexual advances of men — when they refused to flirt with them, dance with them, go on a date with them or have sex with them — being collected by a new Tumblr page called “When Women Refuse.” The recent mass shooting in Santa Barbara, which was perpetrated by a young man who wanted to punish the women who weren’t attracted to him, is the latest example of a tragedy that fits this profile.

“We still don’t view gender based violence as a large cultural issue — we tend to think of these as isolated incidences,” Deanna Zandt, the co-founder of the digital strategy group Lux Digital and the feminist activist who started the Tumblr, explained in an interview. “We still don’t view it as a larger problem within rape culture.”

After news broke about this weekend’s shooting rampage, Zandt said that many of the men in her social networks were quick to assume that the perpetrator, Elliot Rodger, represents an extreme outlier. She wanted to do something to help people realize that what happened in Santa Barbara is actually all too common, thanks to our culture of violence and misogyny against women. So when she noticed the writer Kate Harding collecting similar news stories on her Facebook page, Zandt decided to house them on a public site, and “When Women Refuse” was born.

The site took off. Twitter users were quick to share it under the hashtag #YesAllWomen, which has emerged as a space for women to share their own personal experiences with violence and misogyny in the aftermath of the shooting.

“There’s been a really positive reaction from both men and women,” Zandt said. “I think it’s been really eye opening for many people. The most common response has been — ‘oh my god, I had no idea.’”

Thanks to the online tools that are now available to feminist activists, social media users are increasingly taking the opportunity to drive conversations about victim-blaming and gender-based violence. Earlier this year, feminists used Twitter to amplify women’s experiences with rape culture — a concept that was once relegated to the feminist blogosphere, but that has recently gained recognition in more mainstream circles. Now, the coverage around the Santa Barbara shooting has put a spotlight on the “Pick Up Artist” (PUA) community, which has a long history of treating women like objects that men are entitled to.

“The fact that this conversation is happening now is a huge indicator of the structural connectivity work that online feminists have been doing for years,” Zandt noted. “We’re in a different place than we were five years ago… We’re creating a space for these discussions.”

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

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Photo credit: Screenshot from YouTube.

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256 comments

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4:55PM PDT on Jul 19, 2014

I don't think abused people abuse others as a rule (there may be exceptions of course). It's mostly just a lie made up by abusers to justify their behavior & get sympathy from gullible people.

4:42PM PDT on Jul 19, 2014

Yes you're right Gina. There are plenty of people that have been abused who don't abuse other people. I am one of them. I have never understood why abused people abuse others. If they didn't like it why do it to others?

4:15PM PDT on Jul 19, 2014

Men who want to rape find any excuse in the world to do so to justify their sickness. The best cure is a bullet to the head because we're over-run with these bastards from gutters in slums all the way to heads of state. Once a man becomes a sexual predator, he finds no other high comparable. Normal sexual relations don't cure the sickness. This applies to pedophiles as well. Want to cure a sexual predator or serial killer permanently? End their vile life. I'm tired of human rights being given to in-human predators who have NO intention of getting cured. Their only goal is to get loose to continue on their personal "high" and find more victims. We need a social cleansing of these evil misrepresentations of homo sapiens sapiens instead of sympathy and tolerance. No amount of studying monsters like Rodger is going to change how to deal with men like him. Many of us were abused in multiple ways as children and chose to live a respectful, positive life without raping or taking life. I'm tired of "excuses".

10:11PM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

The miss use of personal energy is a bad way to go. Karma comes to mind. To use control over others by force or other methods is a wrong action for anyone to use. Mental problems, or any other names of mental/social problems do not make it alright to do rude actions to another life form. When a man gets a personal arousal from another person it is still his responsibility to conduct himself with decorum. It is not the responsibility of the other person to satisfy his sexual needs. This is some how not remembered. To sad.

12:58PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

It is sad what humanity has become. I don't remember life being this awful 20+ years ago and now... pure evil. What has happened to us.

7:38AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Horrible!

8:17AM PDT on Jun 5, 2014

I'm with everyone else on here who is sick of seeing this crazy crazy idiot all over the place. If he were still alive and asked me out I would more than likely reject him too. He was more than likely rude, creepy and cocky. He obviously had no finesse with the ladies and because of his crazy brain and over inflated ego couldn't fathom why no one wanted to have sex with him. In hell he'll have plenty of time to sort this info out.

2:25PM PDT on Jun 3, 2014

Scary stuff, scary guy.

9:32AM PDT on Jun 3, 2014

BAN IT

8:41AM PDT on Jun 3, 2014

I am proud of your comments. Good points made, especially about the NRA. LaPierre has blood on his hands from the Newton massacre.

My brother went psychotic 25 years ago...very psychotic. My parents were in such complete denial that they ignored him...even when he got in their faces. They acted like nothing was happening. My other two brothers had to pick him up at my parents' house and bring him to the Dept. of Mental Health / state hospital.

The sickness of a family mired in denial and extreme dysfunctionalism was the main reason for his breakdown. My older sister said it was 'genetic' because one of our grandfathers was committed to a state facility. I argued that it was a combination of the two...not just genetic. Environment AND genetics.

To this day no one admits that they failed miserably. My father shocked me when he said that he 'would go to his grave before he admitted doing anything wrong'.
Sick enough? I think so.

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