Think of bad relationships as faulty products. If a product malfunctions we complain and get our money back, write a review, and maybe even sue if it was really bad! When you complain about a bad product you suddenly find others that experienced what you did.

I opened a bottle of Sriracha hot sauce today and it exploded in my face causing temporary blindness and extreme discomfort. Luckily I was in a friggen science lab when it happened and was able to quickly flush my eyes with water to remove the rather hot and burny pepper sauce.

The pressure was so high it kept spewing out. Not the usual bottle I get, I was excited to try a different brand. A few had been purchased, it must be good, right? Clearly there was something wrong! It sounded like a gun shot when I opened it. What if it was a little kid or someone with a bad heart? Nobody should ever have to go through this again!

The song She Blinded Me With Science was in my head all day. Ironic AF, glad I am not blind. It really puts things in perspective. We are just a moment away from having our lives changed. You never know when things will happen. You can’t let things go without fixing the problem!

I called immediately and the customer service rep knew exactly what I was talking about, like “Oooo yea, exploding bottles, people call about that all the time. We are JUST the distributor though, not the ones who make it.” Pass the buck, not my problem.

The email on the bottle didn’t work, guess there are too many complaints!  You are the only phone number on there! Do you want to be associated with a dangerous product?

I was very lucky that I didn’t get seriously hurt. I took it back to store and got a refund. The manager took the remaining bottles off the shelf and will hopefully complain to his higher up.

Consumer accountability means SAY SOMETHING! Be the change- report things when there is a problem. Just like when anything bad happens, it is important to report it right away so it doesn’t happen again!

Same goes with rape- if it happens to you tell the world who did it to you to prevent it from happening again. He blinded you with violence. You will save someone from the torture and degradation you felt in this aggressor’s evil grasp!

Often times I see brave #metoo posts that are from a long time ago. While it is important to do it now and air the dirty laundry, doing so at the time may have stopped them from hurting even one more person.

If you are a survivor and you didn’t speak up at the time, remember that it’s still the agressor’s fault, not yours, so instead of beating yourself up over it, speak out now.

I know it is not easy to stand up. No one wants to think about something they would rather forget and risk not being believed. But, it is essential to stop the pain. You are not alone. There is a web or survivors who have your back!

I was just faced with a situation where i knew someone had raped one of my friends (like 100% proof) and he was selling shit at one of my shows. NO MORE! He is done in this town! He will never sell his crap at a show in my city and never rape another innocent person in his disgusting van ever again. Buffalo on blast. The world will know who you are, jerk off!

Don’t tell me she wanted it! Don’t say you were drinking too so it was ok, she was black out! That is never ok, how many others has he violated? How can he think that it’s ok to hurt people? He felt my hot breath on his ugly face when I told him off. It is important to SPEAK UP and tell people when you know something or someone is wrong.

I know that I have a gang of strong women ready to take him, and others like him, on and get them out. Law enforcement doesn’t work most of the time so we need to take matters into our own hands and alert our sisters. I wanted to drag him into the street and rip that shitty little beard off his face for what he did to her, but violence is never the answer. Peace, love, and spreading KNOWLEDGE.

Hold people accountable. DO NOT ENABLE! SILENCE IS ENABLING. Stop the cycle by standing up!

If nobody knows how can we stop it from happening again? You were not the first. It has probably happened before. Participate in online communities where women tell other women about abusers, then share stories about the same man or violater!

We need to help each other know who the douchebags are! It is important to make it known! They are your neighbors and friends! Some of them seem innocent but they are NOT! Serial killers have charm, you trust them until they murder you!

You can personally change the world by just speaking out against oppression. How many people must get hurt before it changes? Whether it’s a nice seeming friendly neighborhood rapist or a bottle of hot sauce prone to explosions we need to tell the world to watch out. Food recalls, car recalls, toys that kill kids, lead paint, mad cow, and other dangerous things that have been taken out of circulation due to people standing up.

Toyota just did a huge recall on cars because airbags weren’t going off. They found that out the hard way and someone got hurt, but we will never know that person’s name or how many were affected by the malfunction,

There have been many successful class action lawsuits but just as many settled out of court that we will never hear about. Silence is paid for. We know that this also happens with celebrity rape cases, but I urge all people to take the side of truth and justice over money.

Always chose people over profits and the well being of others over being scared quiet. There are white men in suits right now deciding if the money lost is more important than safety of consumers. It takes many complaints before a recall is made. It should only take one!

Big business makes bullshit that hurts the environment just like toxic masculinity makes men who can’t respect women. By speaking out and doing something we can shut down rapists, abusers, AND bad business practices.

You would not buy something off Amazon with only bad reviews just in the same way you would not go on a date with someone who was put on social media blast for sexual misconduct. It’s incredible what kind of change people are capable of by just standing up.

The rocks are being turned over and the scum doesn’t know where to scatter. Its beautiful to see these predators exposed. The problem is that there are so many. It feels like a constant struggle to unearth them all.

Original Post that Sparked the Flame

Yesterday I was scanning the book of face and came across a post from my beautiful bestie that put a dude on blast for blatantly saying that women DESERVE to be disrespected! What the actual fuck?

She did a screenshot of his comments on a post saying that a woman needs to be loved and respected and then shared them with her friends and tagged the guy. There are over 300 comments and counting.

We went at him in real time for almost an hour, his feeble attempts to justify his actions were shut down with wisdom and swift justice. So many men were calling him an asshole and women tore him a new one.

He said that it was a joke but then continued on trolling all women and talking down to us. He dug his grave by enacting a fury of feminist rage. Good luck with that hell mouth buckoo! One of my woke male friends said that he is scared to talk to most women because he knows that men suck and its hard to prove you aren’t like them.

This scumfuck said that a “real” lady likes being disrespected from time to time, my bestie responded simply with “EW!” and he escalated it quickly.

Scumfuck: “I mean shit, now a days you show a woman some gentlemanlike class and respect they think you want their pussy. Only way to assure them that you don’t is to show a little disrespect. Like listen bitch, not every dude wants your stank ass pussy. Lol. Sometimes disrespect is needed to put bitches in their place. And thats not me being any kinda way other than real.”

Bestie: “And what place exactly of you think bitches need to be put in? Please tell me oh wise man.”

Scumfuck: “When y’all act up because you don’t get your way, you need to be talked to in a certain way that makes you lose that dumb attitude. Like the one you have now”

Bestie: “OHHHHH! right cause its 2017 and women are supposed to be subservient and inferior to men. Me and my dumb little lady brain are so forgetful sometimes.” *twists hair around middle finger*

Scumfuck: “You don’t think that sometimes there are shitty women? Women try to belittle and control men with psychology and this whole post is the perfect example. So its okay for women to treat men like shit and talk shit but when a guy does it, its wrong. Double standards are great and all but grow up. I’d also like to add, ladies, the women who go on power trips and think they’re better than men because they think men are stupid and only think with their cocks, are the women I despise and have strong a dislike for. And sadly this seem to be a large portion of women. Not all men think with their cocks and alot of us have have hearts that are reserved only for the right people.You girls obviously didn’t have a good father figure in your life and feel the need to take your anger out on men you don’t know. Im sorry you went through whatever you went through, but take a chill pill. Not every guy is bad. And my opinions of putting people in place with words when they step put of line is more than okay in america.”

Bestie: “Bigots are the ones who need to be put in their place. Maybe seeing what everyone else thinks of your sexist rhetoric would help you rethink how much of a garbage human you are? And haaaaaaaaa bring my dad into this. He’s a mother fucking hero. I don’t hate men. I just want to see them do better. And you could do MUCH better.”

(Ed’s Note: While we strive for correct grammar on this site, we have decided not to copy-edit Scumfuck’s comments in order to preserve authenticity)

Meme ℅ Grovey Cleves

Daddy issues? Really bro? He just freaked out when called out. He has a girlfriend. I wish I could send her this convo, I’m sure he untagged himself to hide. He also said that we both probably steal and also place false accusations on men.

And why we so upset? WE ARE ALL UPSET WITH YOU and that smug little attitude, and yeah she is right to put your ass on blast!

We live in a world where we have to look out for each other because so much bullshit – like the comments you made- is out there. So many men think its ok to just “DISRESPECT” women by raping, murdering, mutilating, and ya know just normal stuff like that.

Try living life in fear. Try being a woman. You don’t have what it takes dude. He also said “Womens rights? Why is that even a thing? You have the same rights as a man in america. Lol.”

Mistreatment of women (or any human) and sexual assault is nothing to laugh at. This is not a joke! See how well its going for Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, and all the others. Real funny.

Guys like this are the festering puss in the pimple that is the Donald Trump era, and ladies/ woke gentleman/ humans we need to POP THIS BITCH! Let the white nasty goo ooze out so we can put some antibiotic ointment on it and start the healing process. Toxic masculinity is a rampant disease

Gender is just a social construct, sex is a sliding spectrum, and forget about all of the archaic archetypal attitudes that have been destroying people since people existed. Asshole is not a gender identity.

Not every person who identifies as a man is an asshole, just the evil ones. I never ever claimed to “HATE ALL MEN” this is not the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men by Valerie Solanas). Believe me, I love all humans, I am pansexual and yes, I love men.

My dad is a prime example of how a man should be. He treats my mother with love and respect and takes care of his family. I do NOT have “daddy issues”. My only issue is that I have not met any men who are as awesome as my dad.

It’s like saying every asshole dude who thinks with his cock has mommy issues. His mom probably dislikes him as much as we do. Perhaps she has no idea and her pedestal really is encouraging him, but he made his choices.

I am definitely not saying that all “women”or female identifying humans are perfect either. My friend who is a stripper said that the people who often disrespect her the most are women. They think that they can get away with doing things that men are not allowed to do.

Sex workers get all of my respect. As women we need to be supporting each other and lifting each other up, not tearing down our sisters and degrading them in order to impress the guys or fulfill your own twisted ego.

I have several people in my life who have survived abuse and now want to call out their abusers. I want to create a dating profile that is completely honest. It will not be slander because the jerk will know it’s all true. It will be anonymous, the EX or person who was abused by them can submit the photos and answer all of the questions truthfully. We can call it OkStupid.

Hobbies: Punching women and destroying their self esteem and sense of worth, video games, , and watching anal gang bang porn.

What do you do on a Fri night?: Emotional abuse and torture with a side of forced sex on the rocks. Netflix and chilling with sexist comedians and my dog Bruiser, drinking brews.

Ideal date?: 100% American woman, big tits, big ass, no brains, no voice, subservient, great at blow jobs, no self worth, great cook, into being a side piece, jail bait preferred.

Career: Well since I got fired from 711 for doing whip its and expelled from community college I guess it’s sleeping in my mom’s basement and eating meatloaf while jerking my lil ween off obsessively until it blisters.

Favorite Song: Smack My Bitch Up

What do you do when knowing that someone raped your friend but she doesn’t want to come forward, she is too scared, blames herself, it’s her fault that she was drunk… well she didn’t take her own pants off and stick his cock inside her unwilling vagina. She didn’t put those bruises all over her body. She didn’t say YES! But she wanted it? She was too drunk/drugged to function and she WANTED IT?

The most important thing is to report rape right away, get the rape kit before you take a shower, physical evidence is important. Plan B can be administered as well as emotional support from a professional counselor. I would be scared too, embarrassed that I was the girl who was drugged and gang raped behind a dumpster.

Rapists hurt more than just the physical body. Survivors are violated, that scene in a movie where a woman is rocking back and forth in the shower is not shocking. Rape culture is normalized. Abusers are heroes and presidents!

Glorifying abuse on women, trans, and non-bianry humans is a terrifying truth. It is out in the open. Women get stoned to death for being promiscuous and men can just do what they please.

Attackers get violent when confronted with what they have done. Pity nobody has their backs, not even other men. Survivors are gaining power and rising up.

The #MeToo campaign is an incredible shift of power. Use your voice! Rose McGowan and Ellen Page are two of my role models for tearing up the patriarchy they have survived in for so long. They used their fame and following to rip the head off the beast.

Hollywood needed to be exposed and torn to shreds, young actresses (and actors) have always been victimized. Give some head to get ahead, right?

I want to set fire to all the rape vans and free all the people from the cages of oppression that bind them. All us stinky pussy hoes have a problem with you existing in your current state, fragile man children. There is nothing sexy about disrespect. Mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, lovers, and friends all need to be aware if someone in their life is an abuser.

Together we are the voice for the voiceless. The silenced millions who thought they were in it alone need to know that there is a network of strength behind them, a net of loving arms. Others will have your back. We are a tight knit web of female rage. War paint on. This will not be pretty…

You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we are here today.”

– A rape victim to her abuser

Being drunk or walking alone is not asking to get raped. Being adorable or sweet is not an invitation for violation! NO MEANS NO! No response ALSO MEANS NO! There is no non-consensual sex, there is consensual sex and then there is rape. All parties involved must be in willing agreement and capable of making decisions.

As a woman I have been told never to walk by myself. I have been warned that if my clothes were too revealing I might “attract the wrong attention.” I have attracted the wrong attention without even batting an eyelash. I have heard horror stories of women being thrown down in alleys and beaten to within an inch of life, having their dignity and sometimes their lives taken by predators.rape pie chart
Its a scary world, for everyone. I even know a man who was victim of a brutal rape, he woke up half naked in an ally in the middle of the day, drugged and taken advantage of.

Movies and the internet do not help rape culture. I often recall being deeply disturbed by the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange, and know that there is even more brutal scenes out there now and a whole genre of rape porn.

But still, it’s deeper than that. At the end of the day its a human being making the decision to be evil and heartless, to take something that is not being offered. The next scene of the woman in a shower, never being able to wash away the dirt she feels inside.

In January of 2015 two Swedish Stanford students were biking across campus and discovered a rape happening. They chased down the assailant and he was arrested. 20 year old Brock Turner was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault.

He was found behind a dumpster thrusting himself on top of and violating a half nude woman who was passed out. He could have faced up to 14 years in prison. He was only sentenced to six months in county jail and probation.

The judge feared that a more severe punishment would have too severe of an impact on the young man. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! SEVERE IMPACT? ON HIM!? WTF! HE IS A RAPIST!

A rapist who happened to also be a champion swimmer, all American white bread Olympic bound perfection. It was more important that this perfect boy who just made one little itty bitty rapey mistakey would be ok in the end.

Did the judge even consider the women he raped? The woman who he put his rotten fingers inside and forced himself upon? The woman who will never feel truly clean.

The victim spoke out with a poignant statement to Buzzfeed. She explains the course of her day, remembering going to a party with her younger sister, and then waking up covered in blood in a hospital with no panties on and pine needles in her hair. She then continued to describe the invasive aftermath of photos and tests, nurses measuring abrasions, and questioning.

She was black out drunk and raped, because she remembered nothing he got to make all of the rules. HE got to fill in the blanks. The man who raped an innocent woman will of course say she wanted it, she ASKED for it even. A made up night of dancing and kissing. She was drunk and he took advantage of her weakness.

Her life was halted, not knowing how to talk to even her family or boyfriend about that night. She became isolated and stopped sleeping.

While at work one day she came across an article about her attack. She learned for the first time (like the rest of the internet) that she was found butt naked from the waist down with a strange man on top of her. One of her saviors was crying when describing the scene. The gory details were on the internet before the victim was even informed!

WHAT? She was studied and prodded then sent out into the world with no therapy, then the investigation happened and she wasn’t told, it happened to her and she had to find out at work. As if she was invisible, she didn’t matter. In the article the rapist claimed that SHE LIKED IT!

After reading the entire article about the gory details of her assault, the article listed his swimming times. His swimming times were more relevant than her goddamn life. She couldn’t digest the information and passed out when trying to tell her family what happened.

She realized that if it hadn’t happened to her he would have raped some other girl instead. Thank god he was caught, he will pay for this, she thought. ct-brock-turner-stanford-rape-20160607

Money and privilege win out, surprise. The over priced lawyers turned her into a demon and glorified Brocky-poo. He was drunk too, but not “black out.” Yea she liked it, she danced with me, she rubbed my back.

Bullshit. No woman wants to be face down covered in pine needles behind a dumpster. No good human has sex with someone who is unconscious and flees from the scene when confronted.

He knew damn well he was wrong and still didn’t have to pay for it because he is white, rich, and a star athlete. The rules are different.

The helplessness she felt was even more traumatic than the deed itself. In the end she says that she suffered for every girl out there who is going through the same thing, there are so many more, so many who have never spoken out. Invisible victims of society, taught that it was their fault.

rape

Things need to change! Victims of sexual abuse have no voice, the consequences of such evil deeds need to be more severe, it is a travesty.

It is also about class and race. If a poor black man was convicted of a similar crime against a white woman he would be hung, nobody would care, there would be no surprising headline. Everything must be equal. No matter your race or class you must be punished for your wrong doings equally.

It is not fair that we do not feel safe, I am often asked if the streets around where I work are safe to walk at night, I want to say Yes, but really think No, there are no safe places for women. No matter where we are there is a chance for horrific things to happen to us, day or night.

Nothing we wear or don’t wear, nothing we say or do can save us. UNLESS we stand together and take back the night, we stand with our sisters would have been abused and make sure it never happens again. We fight to make sure rapists get what they deserve and let it be known that women are strong, especially together.

Do not be silenced, do not stand for this.

Last Wednesday, so-called “pickup artist” and advocate of legal rape on private property Roosh V announced that the “global meetups” his Return of Kings group had been planning were cancelled. Some Montreal-based feminists including Katie Nelson didn’t buy it one bit. They tracked down where the still-on meetup was taking place and on Saturday confronted the local organizer and saw to it that the event wasn’t going to happen.

In this audio interview (which will be included in our next podcast’s panel discussion available on Wednesday), Nelson speaks with FTB’s Jason C. McLean about Saturday night, why it’s important not to ignore Roosh and people like him, the master doxxer getting doxxed himself by Anonymous and Roosh’s beer reception in Montreal last August:

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Andrea Dworkin’s death. On September 26th, 2015 she would have been 69 years old. Opening on September 17th and running until the 27th, Montreal Theatre company Waterworks will be presenting a world premier full staging performance of Aftermath.

Based on a text written by Andrea Dworkin after her drug-rape in Paris in 1999. Her life partner, well known author and activist John Stoltenberg, found the original document on her computer.

“…what I discovered was a 24,000-word autobiographical essay, composed in twelve impassioned sections, as powerful and beautifully written as anything Andrea ever wrote. It was searingly personal, fierce and irreverent, mordantly witty, emotionally raw. It was also clearly not a draft; it was finished, polished as if for publication.”

The piece was edited and cut in half to about 90 minutes and directed by Stoltenberg and Dworkin’s longtime friend and collaborator Adam Thorburn. It was performed as a staged reading in New York by Maria Silverman in May of 2014. “At each step in putting this theater project together, I have wished I could talk with Andrea about it. I would want to tell her how the words she showed no one are now reaching and affecting audiences in live performance,” Stoltenberg writes.

The Montreal production is being directed by Waterworks artistic directors Tracey Houston and Rob Langford and being performed by Montreal actor Helena Levitt as Dworkin.

We’ve heard of this type of story before, more recently with the Bill Cosby allegations and Jian Ghomeshi spectacle where the victim’s creditability was brought into question. “If she can’t remember everything, then maybe it didn’t happen.” It was so long ago, maybe she’s a little sketchy on the details” ad infinitum.

In the text, Dworkin refers to the drug Rohypnol and GBH. “This isn’t an aspirin in your drink. It’s not like getting drunk. It’s not like getting high. This is so easy for the boy. This is so simple for the boy. This is foolproof rape. The gang who can’t shoot straight can do this kind of rape. You can do this hundreds of times with virtually no chance of getting caught. I think how easy this evil is to do.” She goes on to describe how powerless one is to fight back from this kind of rape even after the fact, when there is no memory to report or very little if any evidence left behind.

Aftermath is a very passionate, personal account of Dworkin’s life, family, work and thought process that very few people not familiar with her writings have yet to see or be aware of. Stoltenberg explains, “[Dworkin’s] stirring writing ranges dramatically over many themes—her aspirations when she was young, her erotic and romantic relationships, the marriage in which she was battered, her understanding of the connection between Jews and women, her take on President Clinton’s behavior, her deep commitment to helping women, her critique of women who betray women. And the fact that Aftermath is acted means audiences get to hear an emotional dimensionality in Andrea’s voice that in life she shared only with me and her closest friends—trenchant and oracular, as the public knew her, but also tender, sardonic, sorrowful, vulnerable, funny.”

Rob Langford and Tracey Houston, founders of Montreal’s The Waterworks Company (Palace of the End, Gidion’s Knot, Glory Dazed), a troupe committed to staging the best of contemporary playwriting by women, found out about Aftermath last year from Stoltenberg’s Twitter feed, Langford contacted Stoltenberg, proposing to give Aftermath its first full staging here in Montreal.

Aftermath runs September 17th to 27th, 2015, at the Centre culturel Georges-Vanier, 2450 Workman, Little Burgundy, a couple of blocks northeast of the Atwater Market. METRO: Lionel- Groulx.

A special première takes place on September 17th at 8pm; the show runs over the next two weekends Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 4pm. Post-show talkbacks, with special guests, will take place throughout the first weekend.

Admission is $18 / $13 (buyer chooses price). Tickets are available, via Eventbrite, 
at waterworksmontreal.com, or at the door.

Trigger warning, this article discusses sexual assault and rape.

After a 26-year old woman was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver a few weeks ago, the police told her that she had been the third victim of such an attack since July, and went on to find out that she was one of 17 similar cases currently being investigated this year. As if these facts were not hard enough to swallow, Montreal police spokesperson Laurent Gringast went on to suggest a number of ways women can protect themselves against predator cab drivers, which included not taking a cab when they are under the influence and taking a picture of the driver’s badge and sending it to a friend via text message.

According to canadianwomen.org, half of all women in Canada have been assaulted at least once, either physically or sexually, since the age of 16. Half of all women. At least once.

The website also goes on to explain sexual abuse (for those who are unfamiliar with the term, which seems to be the case here) as “Using threats, intimidation, or physical force to force [someone] into unwanted sexual acts”.

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So why, then, is it so easy to blame the victim? She was going home too late. She had drunk a few too many beers. And, of course, she hailed the cab right off the street instead of calling it in, so she was obviously looking for trouble.

The real problem with victim blaming, though, is not one of petty sexist allegations. The biggest problem remains that many women are so afraid of being judged, that they cannot even admit that they were raped, primarily because of the sexist statements leaving the mouths of police commissioners themselves.

How are women supposed to feel safe in a world where they are taught how not to get raped, instead of being insured true security over their own bodies and their minds?

One young woman, Desiree Armstrong, recently came forward to the media about her own assault story, but only after it was revealed that the police were investigating 17 similar cases. When she had reported the assault to the police, they wouldn’t take her seriously, because she had been drinking. While the police went on to say that they may ask an intoxicated person to file a report the next morning, Armstrong maintains that she was not told that, and has since moved to British Columbia.

Leading my own mini-investigation, I took to Facebook to ask my 363 ‘friends’ if any of them had any personal experiences with taxi-driver assaults. Thankfully, not too many people responded, save for two girls – one of them had a friend who had been raped by a taxi driver two years ago, and the other mentioned that she once rode in a cab with a nab who refused to take payment from her and instead insisting that “if [they] kissed/fucked, [they]’d be even.” She then went on to leave the cab without paying since the driver had refused to take her money.

Toyota_Camry_XV40_Taxi

I myself, on the other hand, remember one particular night a few months ago. It must have been around three o’ clock in the morning. I was dying to get home after a long night out. A cab driver saw me standing on the sidewalk and motioned at me to come over. I entered his car and told him I needed to get home, but had no money. I had, indeed, been very intoxicated that night and had definitely not been thinking straight, so it sounded normal to me when the man said “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” My idea of the world being full of good people rooted firmly in mind, I replied with, “Really? Wow, that’s so nice of you. Are you serious?” Then he said “Yeah, yeah,” in his weird accent and kind of pointed towards his pants, or something. I don’t remember this part with too much detail, but I remember him saying “You know?” And then I realized that he was suggesting that I pay him in some type of sexual “favor” in return for my “safe” trip home. I suddenly got scared and left the taxi, feeling quite shaken.

While I wouldn’t call my story abuse, because I was obviously given the opportunity to say no, it did leave me feeling extremely paranoid. I can only imagine what these women have been through, but what I can’t imagine is what type of “men” these cab drivers must be in order to abuse a woman in her weakened state, especially when she is intoxicated or tired after a long day, and itching just to get home safe. I am wondering why we are investigating the type of women in these stories instead of the type of men conducting these crimes. I am wondering how it is supposed to be encouraging, at all, for a woman to be told not to take a cab home if she is intoxicated (what else is she supposed to do?), or that she is now expected to always take a photo of the taxi driver’s badge to maintain her own security.

Expecting a reality where women are totally and completely precautious of everything they do is not only unrealistic but completely hypocritical. We can secure ourselves behind bulletproof glass, but that doesn’t stop people from still shooting at us. And sometimes the bulletproof glass isn’t so bulletproof. And sometimes women get raped, no matter how cautious they are. Conditioning women to believe that they are the problem takes the limelight away from the real problem, that is, the assaulters themselves. Causing fear can induce more self-built security, yes, but it is the blindness towards inequalities that will continue to perpetuate the problem, time and time again.

When I first heard there was going to be a comedy set on rape at this year’s Zoofest called Asking for It, my reaction was a mix of horror and curiosity. If done well, I thought, at best it would be interesting. But if done poorly it would be abhorrent, and further the pervasive rhetoric that rape culture stands on.

Adrienne Truscott’s set opened with her dancing through the audience naked from the bottom down, in an intimately sized room. The audience from the beginning was clearly put on edge by the proximity of the naked women, but I think that was her point. She tried to ease the crowd with banter, and a couple outrageous rape jokes meant to poke fun at the assumptions that are made about rapists and survivors. It fell short, making some people, myself especially,  more uncomfortable. I think it would have been much more effective is she focussed more on ridiculing the perpetrators and the culture that supports them.

After interviewing Truscott earlier that week I guess I had expected a lot more from the set. The intent was there to satirize a prevailing issue in gendered violence, that was clear. And Truscott also stayed clear of any victim blaming, which was also, more or less, clear. But the satire could have, and actually really should have for the sake of effectively shifting the focus of rape culture, been taken a few notches up.

I had gone wanting to see how a comedy set could be executed well on this topic, but instead I feel like what was left was a very shallow attempt at address the issue in a comedic way. Her costume, I think, was a good example where she should have satirized more. She was dressed as “the ideal rape victim,” meaning wearing revealing clothing, drinking, and being flirty, as a way to point to the assumptions made about women who are raped. But other than dressing this way, it was never brought in to her set very directly, which rendered it more or less superfluous.