Posts Tagged With: violence

Blue Valentine

So this post is very late on the band wagon but I finally got around to watching this movie. I wasn’t feeling the story-line too much but honestly, I watched it so I could examine it’s “controversial” scene and understand why exactly the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) wanted to stick it with a NC-17 rating. By the way, this scene is a single scene depicting a woman receiving oral sex. And watch it I did…. and I have to say I’m flabbergasted. There was absolutely nothing “extreme” about it. You don’t see anything of anything. All you really see is a couple enjoying thoroughly enjoying themselves while fully clothed. Now what is so wrong with that?

It’s stuff like this that’s really hypocritical. There’s movies upon movies of men receiving oral sex from women, and they just get an R rating and sometimes even a PG-13, but the few times it’s the other way around, oral sex on women is seen as pornographic in nature. Double standard much?

If you don’t understand why ratings are important, Ryan Gosling explains it perfectly: “A lot of people think, ‘What’s the big deal if it’s NC-17, the kids under 17 can’t see it,’ but that’s not true. What it really means is it can’t play in a major theatre chain and you can’t have ads for the film on television. It stigmatizes the movie in a big way. What we’re really saying is not that our kids can’t see this movie but nobody can see this movie unless you live in a big city and there’s an arthouse theatre.” Anyway, Harvey Weinstein’s fought against the MPAA and was able to reduce the rating to R so all was made well again. Right?

Wrong. Keep your eyes open the next time you watch a flick involving violence. It can be anything – action, horror, thriller, comedy etc and almost always, you will notice that a movie that has gratuitous violence can easily skip past high MPAA ratings but a movie depicting sex get’s slapped with a NC-17 rating. Saw 3D has a woman bisected by a buzzsaw. Blue Valentine has a woman orgasm by oral sex. Which movie do you think teens were allowed to see?

We live in a culture in which violence, and especially violence towards women, is tolerated to the point that it becomes white noise. Meanwhile, sex remains a taboo topic. What it comes down to is this: media’s representation of people enjoying sex is so skewed towards men that it’s immediately considered problematic when women are portrayed as sexual beings. A woman’s naked body gives a film an R-rating, but a woman (even clothed) enjoying sex can land a film in the no man’s land that is NC-17. How messed up is that? It’s high time our media reflects reality, and allows women to be fully-fleshed, sexual beings instead of the sexualized object the MPAA clearly prefers.

“For the last three decades many Americans have puzzled over a system that gives an R to a movie in which a women is carved up by a chainsaw and an NC-17 to one that shows a woman sexually pleasured. From such ratings one might conclude that sexual violence against women is OK for American teenagers to see, but that they must be 18 to see consensual sex. What message does this send to the kids the MPAA presumably means to protect?”

– Carrie Rickey

“You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.”

-Ryan Gosling on the controversy around the rating of his film ‘Blue Valentine’

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Don’t Be That Guy


  • We need you to be allies in this battle against sexual assault.
  • We need your voices to challenge negative attitudes that say: ‘sexual assault is a women’s issue. It doesn’t affect me’.
  • We need you to reject with us, messages that say: ‘she deserved it’ or ‘she was asking for it’. No one ever asks for or deserves to be sexually assaulted.

See The Website


“Typically, sexual assault awareness campaigns target potential victims by urging women to restrict their behavior. Research is telling us that targeting the behavior of victims is not only ineffective, but also contributes to and increases self-blame in survivors. Instead, the SAVE campaigns targets potential offenders – ultimately the ones who hold the power and responsibility to end sexual assault.. By addressing sexual assault without victim-blaming, we intend to mark Edmonton on the map as a model for other cities.”

This approach may not be effective with men who intend to rape. But I doubt that’s the point. Rather than addressing a hardcore, repeated behaviour, these ads seem to try to shake the “nice guy” who “takes advantage” of a female peer out of his delusion that what he did was OK. And perhaps to encourage victims to report what is really a crime and a violation committed against them, for which they need not feel guilt.

Edmonton Police report that more than half of the assaults their Sexual Assault Section investigated in in 2011 involved alcohol. The scenarios we see here are all too familiar to young people who spend a lot of their time drunk and wild. It’s the classic myth of aroused and impaired men being “out of control” when they find themselves in a potentially sexual situation.

Designed to reach youth when they are at most risk of entering these situations, the ads will be posted in men’s washrooms in bars and clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, as well as in LRT stations and campus and entertainment newspapers.

SAVE spokesperson Karen Smith says she believes the campaign will work, adding “the posters are certainly creating conversation around the issue of consent.”

It’s certainly a conversation we need to be having.


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The Indian Woman

Patriarchal culture and sexism pervades India, but it seems that there’s no other place quite like Delhi where patriarchy and power mingle to create a sense of supreme male entitlement. It’s a festering cesspool that permeates right into families where these attitudes are born and reborn. Whatever the case may be, I think we can all agree on the fact that it would suck to be a woman in India. While I hate having to admit that, I won’t ever deny that fact.

I love being Indian. I’m immensely proud of my country and heritage. But if there’s ever been a day when I’ve held my head in shame, it would be today. It was bad enough having to hear how brutal of a rape that 23-year old girl was forced to undergo, but the responses (or lack thereof) from our so-called educated politicians and the police force have made it all the more worse.

I saw pictures of these young girls standing their ground, protesting, screaming in the cops’ faces and getting beaten up. Learned pundits question why. What is the point of this protest anyway? What is it that they want? It’s a pity they can’t even see how basic their need is. They just want to be treated as humans; it’s as simple as that.







I’ve had my share of molestation both in India and Dubai.  Hands stealthily moving over you, pinching your bottom, rubbing your breasts as you desperately try to find some inch of ground that will be safe. Those moments of being groped and pawed were so fleeting; most times I wouldn’t see who did it. Other times have left me angrier at myself for being stunned and not responding fast enough before he could get away. And other times I was too young to know that such behavior was wrong. While my parents would never react like this, the general reaction when reporting back about said molestations is: “Kya karein, aisa hi hota hai” (What can you do, this is how it is). It’s a crushing realization that this is a fact of life and something you’ll just have to deal with.  Bottom line is: if you have breasts, you’re fair game.

It shames me to read that India is the world’s fourth most dangerous country for women, sharing disgrace with Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan and Somalia.  This despite the fact we have a fairly comprehensive range of laws around women’s rights.  So why is it that we still feel unsafe?  The trouble lies in weak implementation of laws fusing with antiquated customs in a rising atmosphere of rape culture.

The movement surrounding this recent gang rape to stop this violence against women must be sustained till justice is done for every one of us who have been violated. The victim of the Delhi gang rape has triggered a social revolution. While the circumstance under which this movement came to be is extremely unfortunate, we must sustain it, deepen it, expand it. We must demand and get speedy and effective justice for the women of India. We must call for fast track courts to convict those responsible for crimes against women. We must make sure laws are changed so justice is not elusive for victims of sexual violence. And most of all, we must see to it that these new laws are implemented so that justice will always be provided.

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Oh Ha Ha

There is a Twitter account called #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend.

Understandably, being called “an abusive man” over Twitter pissed a lot of those #ReasonsToBeatYearGirlfriend contributers off — especially since some/most/many of them may not actually domestic abusers, but were simply contributing to a ha-ha-hilarious trending topic.

It’s just a jooooooke, they all whined, because joking about hitting your partner is funnnnnnnny!

Really, those ignorant whiners just need to STFU (that is, if they aren’t booted off Twitter entirely). Sure, there’s a legal difference between actually being a domestic abuser and making a joke about domestic abuse on Twitter.

But a cavalier attitude towards domestic violence — whether it’s against men, women or children — contributes to the culture that allows it to exist. We’re not at a place yet where joking about domestic abuse, or rape, or child abuse, is funny. Period.


While on Facebook this morning, this too made me cringe:

Yes, because all other religions are invalid and only Christians can appreciate god's glory.

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