A Scottish Rape Crisis
It is not for the first time that this column has been given over to discussions of rape and violence against women but it may be the first time I’ve directed my pen at all right thinking men – yes you sir – please – read on! Whether it is right here in Scotland or in just about any country across the world rape is on the increase. There have been too many rapes on Glasgow streets in the last fortnight – with thousands of south side residents taking to the streets last week in protest. Angelina Jolie and William Hague recently hosted an international summit highlighting the widespread use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war.
Rape is fed by a rape culture which regards women as inferior, unequal, and their bodies fair game. It is all around us. The UN’s Special Rapporteur recently criticised Britain’s ‘in-your-face’ sexist culture – she visited Scotland too. The twitter-sphere provides a convenient cover for cowardly avatars who taunt and troll women daring to venture into the public eye. When the likes of the never-funny Jimmy Carr and his ilk get away with playing sexual violence for laughs and are paid huge amounts of tax-free dosh for doing so, you do wonder when your average Joe is going to stand up and say enough already.
If you think rape culture doesn’t happen here then ask any adjacent teenager or grown man if they like Page 3, laugh off lads mags as just a abit of fun or ever groove along to Robin Thicke [sic] and his sick ‘Blurred Lines’ (it goes something like this: …I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two… He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that. Not many women can refuse this pimpin’). Grand Theft Auto? Ask them if they’ve ever murdered a prostitute after they’ve had sex with her to get their money back. Ah how wonderful – a rape and murder get you game points –whatever happened to the medieval shenanigans of the harmless old woman-free zone that was Assassins Creed?
Most men don’t rape but maybe it’s time the just-a-bit-too-silent majority of you out there stood up for us women folk like the many men on the Glasgow march and challenged the misogynist culture which is actually aimed at you. The Scottish White Ribbon Campaign and Mentors in Violence Prevention are working at getting chaps to man up against violence against women. Come on guys! You need to work with us on this one!
Rape Crisis Helpline: 08088 01 03 02; http://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/
West Dunbartonshire CARA VAW Counselling and Advocacy Service: 01389 738680
White Ribbon Scotland: http://www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk/
Mentors in Violence Prevention: http://www.actiononviolence.co.uk/content/mvp-scotland
Follow me on Twitter @AnniDonaldson
Read my blog: www.glasgowanni.com