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If you don't want to click the link, or if it ever goes dead

Michelle Marks is dead, Brock Turner is a rapist, & men are still blaming literally every single thing but themselves for their crimes against humanity

Happy Wednesday! Here’s your friendly neighborhood reminder that so far today, thanks to the war being waged on the female form, approximately 560 women in the U.S. have been sexually assaulted. If you’re a maths whiz and you’ve figured it out already then congratulations, you’r right — that is indeed one woman every 90 seconds. Good job.

If you’re still good at maths, then you’ll have also just figured out that also means another 400 women are due to be sexually assaulted today.

Oh, have I brought the mood down? Bummer, because it doesn’t get any prettier from here. Three women are also expected to be killed today. Most likely by their current or former partner. With a gun.

Let’s review the highlights reel:

On Monday night, 24 year-old Michelle Marks was shot in the head in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Point blank. Boom, done, dead. Her ex-boyfriend has been taken into custody and is expected to be charged with her murder.

Shocked by this story? Because I’m not. Horrified, yes. Of course I’m horrified. I am bewildered by the lack of moral center and obvious contempt for women found within this perpetrator. I am devastated by the mutilation and destruction of the female body and the reckless disregard for human life. And I’m angered by the ease in which this act was committed, publicly, and the barely audible outcry in the days following. But surprised? No.

Why? Because just last week Margarette Madi, pregnant with her third child, was killed by her husband because he thought she was a voodoo priestess trying to murder him.

Because on a Tuesday in early February Caroline E. Nosal was killed by her co-worker, Christopher O’Kroley, because she didn’t want to date him, and because she had reported him to management for harassment. During his confession, O’Kroley said it was “easy” to kill Nosal because she had “ruined his life”.

Because just two weeks before that, Janese Talton-Jackson was killed by Charles McKinney, because she had rejected him when he came onto her at a bar. That’s it. That’s literally the only reason he followed her out of the bar, into the car park, and shot her in the chest. Because she said no.

Because a pregnant woman in Chelsea was beaten and thrown to the ground because she didn’t say thank you to the man who opened a door for her.

Because a woman in Texas rejected a man’s romantic advances, so he abducted her and tortured her in his own home for two weeks.

Because Detroit mother of three, Mary “Unique” Spears, was shot and killed at a relative’s funeral after she rejected the advances of a stranger attending the same event.

Because 16 year-old Maren Sanchez was killed in a Connecticut high school by Chris Plaskon after she refused to go to Prom with him.

Because Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others after writing a rambling manifesto detailing how he’s a sad, sniveling excuse of a human being who cracked the sads because no girl would sleep with him.

Because Adrian Bayley followed Jill Meagher home and abducted her meters from her front door, later dumping her abused body in a shallow grave — because he ran into her on the street and because he felt like it.

Because Greg Anderson killed Rosie Batty’s son after she took out a restraining order against him, because if Greg couldn’t have his son, then neither could Rosie.

Because — come on — even Serial podcast darling Adnan Syed is in jail for (allegedly) killing his ex-girlfriend, because he was either heartbroken or angered by Hae Min Lee dumping him.

Because searching “man kills ex-girlfriend” in Google News — just news, not even a general Google search — brings up over one million results.

Every day, men are assaulting, raping and killing women, and then whining about how it wasn’t their fault.

Then whose fault was it? Apparently — according to these abusers, rapists and murderers — it’s usually the woman’s fault.

Suuuuure buddy. It’s our fault that we tricked you into developing immediate and intense physical and/or emotional feelings for us, and then it’s our fault that we turned you away. It’s our fault that we hurt your feelings, it’s our fault we provoked your bad temper, it’s our fault we bruised your fragile heteronormative hyper-masculine male egos. It’s out fault that we don’t understand how badly you want us, it’s our fault when we don’t explain to you that wanting us doesn’t grant immediate access to our vaginas. It’s our fault when we don’t give you our bodies, it’s our fault when we don’t give you our number, it’s our fault when we don’t give you a smile. It’s our fault when we don’t give, give, give.

We don’t give, because we owe you nothing. And somehow that ends up being our fault, too.

Here’s a thought — maybe it wouldn’t be quite so bad if someone was on our side. The problem is, no one is on our side. When we walk into a police station to report our rape, the policemen ask things like “how much did you drink?” or “what were you wearing?” or “were you flirting with him?” to gauge just how much of the incident is our fault. If the case makes it to trial, a defense lawyer, a judge and a jury will ask the same questions all over again — to gauge just how much of the incident is our fault.

Even if a man is found guilty, there’s a solid chance he won’t face jail time. Case in point: Our dear friend, Brock Turner. Pretty little white-boy athlete who was caught in the act of disrobing and raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Got six months and probation for a sentence that carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

Here are the things that have been blamed for Brock Turner’s rape of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster: excessive alcohol consumption, binge drinking culture, ‘promiscuity’, college hook-up culture, simple ‘confusion’ on the rapist’s part, the cold [which Turner’s defense attorney used as an excuse for his client’s erection], the unconscious and unmoving victim allegedly stroking the rapist’s back, and political correctness. Yep, Brock’s childhood friend blamed political correctness for their mate raping an unconscious woman.

Time to get our law nerd hats on!

“Crimes against humanity” are certain acts which are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population or an identifiable part of a population. They can be committed during war or peace time. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are either part of a government policy (although the perpetrators do not need to identify with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority.

According to the International Criminal Court, “crimes against humanity” include any of the following acts: murder; extermination; enslavement; deportation or forcible transfer of population; imprisonment; torture; rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds; enforced disappearance of persons; the crime of apartheid; and other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.

See that? Right there, at number one? Murder. And six points in? Sexual violence. Two atrocities that are committed against women all across the world, every single day. Indiscriminately. Purely and simply because we are women. Because we identify as women.

And with every case that goes cold,
with every charge dropped,
with every criminal proceeding ending in “not guilty”,
with every reduced sentence,
with every story untold because of fear of repercussions,
with every government slash to domestic violence funding,
with every Republican trying to strip away our bodily autonomy,
with every stupid article denying rape culture,
with every gun sold to a man who plans to shoot us with it,
with every “she was begging for it”
“she enjoyed it”
“she needed to be put in her place”
“she ruined my life — ”

— we see these atrocities condoned and tolerated by our police, by our judicial system, by our government and by other men.

Brock Turner got six months and probation for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Six months for a charge that carries penalties of ten years. And you know what? Brock Turner will spend more time in prison than 97% of rapists.

Don’t try to tell me the system isn’t against us.

So, which one of you institutions is going to own up to it first?

Gentleman, I propose this:
today, for a change, take the blame.

I’m really lucky. There are a lot of really good, compassionate, well-meaning men in my life. They are men who see what is happening to women, and they wish it would stop. They want it to stop. Well then gents, let it start with you.

Acknowledge that violence against women is a crime against humanity, and lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of men. Be loud about it. Get really fucking upset that Brock Turner will barely see the inside of a jail cell for raping an unconscious woman, and tell literally everyone you know that you’re really fucking upset about it. Tell everyone that this isn’t okay, that we can’t let it keep happening, and that something has to change.

And then next time something else like this happens, get really fucking upset about it and tell literally everyone you know that you’re really fucking upset about it. Tell everyone that this isn’t okay, that we can’t let it keep happening, and that something has to change.

And when it happens again, get really fucking upset about it and contact your government representatives, your policymakers and your law enforcement officials, and tell them that you’re really fucking upset about it. Tell them that this isn’t okay, that we can’t let it keep happening, and that something has to change.

And when it happens again, get really fucking upset about it and contact your government representatives, your policymakers and your law enforcement officials, and tell them that you’re really fucking upset about it. Tell them that this isn’t okay, that we can’t let it keep happening, and that something has to change.

And when it happens again…

See where I’m at?

Reject patriarchy in all its forms and convince the men around you that they have to do the same.

Gentlemen, go forth and tell your fellow bros: The hyper-masculine, heteronormative, misogynistic empire you’ve built — it has to fall.

Because it’s leaving too many women for dead.
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