Thursday, January 10, 2008

Down with Cosmo!

Upstairs at PWCL today, we are talking about the Willamette Week cover story. But you might also notice that the PWCL Blog was talking about this case just the other day. Thanks Hillary!

One thing that stood out to all of us in the article was this:

Hunter calls what happened to her something akin to “gray rape,” a term she learned from an article in Cosmopolitan written by Washington Post journalist Laura Sessions Stepp.

And basically, I just want to say: THERE IS NO SUCH THING. And I am pissed that this young woman read about it in Cosmo and now thinks that it actually exists. Grrrrr......

Okay. Thanks for letting me get that out. I'd encourage folks to go over to the WWeek site and look at the comments on this article. In amongst the victim-blaming and the rape culture myths put forward, there are quite a few folks on there trying to respond and call it out.


Kelsey said...

I just read the comments and I'm actually sick to my stomach. I even had to respond to a comment by one of the guys who put the blame on the survivor.

I get in such a bubble within the DV/SA community in which I'm surrounded by people who don't regularly blame victims and have mostly sexist views. I guess I forget that a lot of people in this world still hold really gross beliefs about women and sexual assault. ICK.

Jenny said...

I wrote to Cosmo when the original article about "gray rape" came out last summer.

They wrote back to me to let me know that Laura Sessions Stepp has been writing about rape for many years, and the district attorney who was interviewed in the piece had been prosecuting sex crimes for a long time.

It's unfortunate that they weren't able to take my comments to heart, as I made it quite clear that I also worked in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault.

I guess they don't think empowerment sells magazines.

Ledena said...

I decided not to comment on the wweek site and instead wrote an email to Beth Slovic, the reporter on this piece. I thanked her for covering this story, and let her know what I thought about it. It felt good. Linda suggested we submit it or something similar to the editor as well...

Jenny said...

I just want to give a shout out to Ledena for prompting me to put our phone number on WW comment page for the "Trial by Facebook" page.

I didn't jump into the fray. I simply said "If you've been sexually assaulted, we believe you, and we can help. Please call our 24/7 crisis line at 503.235.5333" There can't be anything worse than being a survivor, and logging on to that site only to find people telling you you deserved it.

Linda said...

brilliant jenny. i have no idea why i didn't think of that.

maybe its 'cause you are smarter than me ;)

we should make sure that what you said gets into the letter to the editor we send.