November 25th

Officially established in 1999 by United Nations resolution 54/134, the date has been marked as such since 1981. It is the anniversary of the murders of the Mirabel sisters by agents acting on the behalf of Rafael Trujillo, president and dictator of the Dominican Republic on November 25, 1960.

The purpose of the date is to raise awareness that worldwide, one out of every three women has been a victim of abuse, coerced sex or been beaten at some point in her lifetime.

For more information: www.unifem.org/campaigns/november25/issue.php

It was four days ago.

The request these days is to talk to your son, or in the absence of having a son, some other young man or men you have influence over about how women are deserving of respect and how rape and/or domestic violence is wrong.

This sounds ludicrous in theory - I mean, who doesn't get to 12 or 13 without understanding that beating a woman up or forcibly penetrating her is wrong?

But in practice it isn't so clear. I've known women who've felt too threatened to clarify they don't want sex, or whose hint at not really consenting was ignored. Lots of "but I thought you"...

I read a posting from a girl on Reddit who was drunk with her boyfriend and he insisted on sex with her and she "gave in". Now she's pregnant and his assumption is if he takes off she can't support the baby without him so she'll have to abort it and therefore he won't be a dad.

The TL:DR is that the devil is in the details and a lot of the despair is in the corner cases. So I went and had a word with my chosen target.

It was an interesting conversation.

He's an acolyte of Milo Yiannopoulos. the fabulously gay alt-right star who takes lots of drugs and has receptive sex with a lot of black men (by his own admission) but believes that a woman's place is in a traditionally feminine role. He draws his inspiration there from his devout Catholicism which he wants to impose on everyone else but himself. 

So I cautiously sat down to have a feminist discussion with him, and I expected the worst. I was surprised on two fronts.

Firstly, he totally agreed with me on all counts: women don't have overt threats to them (dark men in an alley, it being accepted to beat them, etc.) but that yes, the devil is in the details, enthusiastic consent is a good thing, and so forth.

He also informed me that I was far too late, as his school had had an assembly for one and a half hours on the same topic, complete with data, a presentation, facts, figures, etc. He was appalled that one in three women would be a victim of sexual assault in her lifetime, and one in five for boys.

His exact words: "I was expecting some kind of lecturing radfem bullshit, but she turned out to be really cool, and it was really informative."

Looks like we're really starting to make advances here. Onward and upward.

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