Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the news – on Donald Trump and Nocturnal Animals

Welcome to a new era of  politically sanctioned patriarchy | Mona Eltahawy

... The first foreign leader to call and congratulate Trump upon his election victory in November was the Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Of course! I could not imagine two world leaders whose public record of misogyny better capture the politically sanctioned patriarchy that so challenges feminism today.

One, Trump, has openly boasted that his fame allowed him to “grab women by the pussy”. At least 24 women have accused the next US president of inappropriate sexual behaviour in multiple incidents spanning the last 30 years.

The other, Sisi, was the head of military intelligence in March 2011 when 17 female activists detained at protests were subjected to “virginity tests” by the military. The women were vaginally examined against their will by military doctors. Sisi justified the tests at the time, saying they were to protect the military against accusations of rape – as if only virgins could technically be raped.

When the leader of a country is so misogynist, so abusive and cavalier with regards to women’s bodies, it sends a green light that women’s bodies are fair game, not worthy of respect. ...

I’m so glad to spoil this film for you | Victoria Coren Mitchell

This column will contain spoilers for the film Nocturnal Animals. But that doesn’t matter because it’s a repulsive film and you shouldn’t see it anyway. It came out a while ago; I saw it last week only because it’s had nine Bafta nominations – and I wish I’d read a column with a spoiler in it, because then I wouldn’t have gone.

So, if you haven’t seen it, I’m afraid the rest of this paragraph is going to spoil the excitement of the “will they/won’t they” moment. Will the women be raped? They will! Will they be murdered? They will!

Sorry if that ruined the surprise. Many reviewers have enthused about the gripping suspense of that scene and now I’ve told you how it pans out. Then again, for some viewers, it will improve their viewing immensely. There’s a very long bit before the rape and murder, you see, in which the women sob and scream and pray for their lives; in which a mother desperately and poignantly tries to protect her doomed daughter. You’re really able to experience, empathetically and viscerally, their awful fear. It’s a good few scenes later that we get to hear they’ve been raped and to see their dead, naked bodies in a heap. ...

 

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