The horrific shootings at Santa Barbara sparked the #YesAllWomen hashtag. At times I broke down as I read the stories because they were horrific. I couldn't believe it took a hashtag for me to realize that just because something isn't rape doesn't mean it's not part of the rape culture. There are events in my life that I thought were my fault or trivial or something I blew out of proportion in my head that actually weren't. I made excuses, I explained it to myself, I rationalized it, I ignored it, I hoped it meant something else. Every single woman in this world has that story. And these stories don't happen because you slept with a stranger or you met someone online. We are abused at the hands of male friends we trusted, boyfriends we love, husbands we have children with, fathers, brothers, the police, and our leaders' inaction. My highest read count on my previous blog at Third culture is still the post on rape culture in New Zealand following the Willie and JT interview and the RB saga.
So for today's recommended reading I'd like you to read the following. Fair warning to all, this week I've read many stories and it has left me not with hate but with debilitating fear.
1. Part 1 and 2 of the stories on Writehandedgirl.org - where stories were sent in by many women. Special thanks to Sarah for making that space available.
2. When women refuse Tumblr
3. Pregnant Pakistani woman beaten by family for marrying the person she loved - global outrage, local silence
4. Two teenage girls have been found hanging from a tree in a northern Indian village after they were gang-raped by five men
5. Why men don't see the harassment women experience