natasha romanoff + tumblr wanting a black widow movie.
i am the tragedy and the heroine
┖ leading ladies of the marvel cinematic universe
I just wanna do cute things with you like crush the patriarchy, fight for gender equality and help to destroy racism
Every day, online forums like Hollaback, Stop Street Harassment and Collective Action for Safe Spaces, post stories about street harrasment. Browse some of the stories, and you’ll see: people who experience harassment are not okay.
They are angry, humiliated, and scared.
Angry, because if you are a woman, there is a 99 percent chance you’ve been sexually harassed in public. In fact, there’s a 20 percent chance you’ve been experiencing harassment since you were 12 years old. If you are gay, transgender, or bisexual, there’s a 90 percent chance you’ve been verbally harassed at work or school. Many say that they experience harassment every day.
Imagine what it might be like to be made to feel, on a daily basis, that your body or gender presentation is public property to be commented on, touched, or assaulted on a whim.
Humiliated, because harassment is not about sexual attraction. It is a reminder, from the harasser to the harassee, that the harasser has power — power to hurt and embarrass.
For many women, it can be a reminder that they live in a society that values them for little more than the sum of their body parts.
Scared, because every instance of harassment contains the threat of violence. This threat can be explicit, or implied: what if I don’t respond the way the harasser thinks I should? Will he follow me? Will he pull me into his car? What if I see him again when it’s dark, or I’m alone, or he has friends with him?
And even as people everywhere speak out against harassment, just as many defend these actions or dismiss them.
There are five ways public sexual harassment is commonly defended.
1. “Harassment is unfortunate, but completely normal. You just have to deal with it.”
There’s no doubt that street harassment is normalized in our culture. Just watch TV, listen to music, or pay attention to advertisements and you’ll see it being made light of. Even people who are frequently harassed are not immune to this normalization, and many cope with harassment by doing their best to ignore it. On the other hand, straight, cisgender men may be unaware of the problem because if they don’t harass others, they rarely experience harassment.
But whether or not you feel the negative effects of harassment, can you really continue to tolerate a world in which it’s “normal” for your female or queer-identifying friends, family, and neighbors to constantly feel less safe in public than men do?
Women report that they avoid eye contact and walking alone in public, or change their outfits or routes to avoid harassment. This might not seem like a big deal until you understand that, for many, it’s a daily ritual that can still fail to keep them safe.
2. “Relax. It’s a compliment!”
It’s a fair assumption that if women go to such lengths to avoid street harassment, they probably don’t consider it a compliment. Unsolicited attention on their appearance or body is far more likely to make people feel uncomfortable than flattered, especially if society has a tendency to place undue value on their appearance over any other qualities.
By the same token, while there may be “gray areas” where individual unsolicited comments can be interpreted as flattering and polite, this isn’t a very good defense. Women frequently have their bodies commented on or threatened in public, and some might not want to hear it, even if the intention is good.
It’s more important to focus on treating everyone with respect than to hold women responsible for correctly guessing each time whether someone genuinely means to pay a compliment or is harassing them.
3. “It’s just a little harmless fun. Boys will be boys!”
We already know that, for the harassees, the experience of harassment is most definitely not fun. This argument presumes that men and boys are little more than animals with no control over their instincts and no ability to stop themselves from hurting others.
Honestly, if you identify as male, you should be offended by this one.
4. “What about flirting? What if I meet THE ONE at the bus stop tomorrow? Are you telling me I can’t say ‘hello’?!”
There are still plenty of people out there who believe that feminism is no more than a plot to disrupt the continuation of the species. It’s not, I swear! Many feminists, male and female, love flirting and practice it often — but we recognize that flirting takes two.
It gets scary when the flirter won’t leave the object of their attention alone, even when she makes it clear she’s not interested. Remember that people who are frequently harassed can be on guard the moment they step out of the house, and it’s on the flirter to treat the flirtee with respect and know when to back off.
The flirter may be disappointed that their good intentions were flouted, but they should understand that a positive reaction is not an entitlement.
5. “Harassment has everything to do with what neighborhood you’re in/what you look like/what you’re wearing. What do you expect if you walk out of the house in that short skirt?”
Wrong, wrong, and SO wrong. Harassment happens everywhere, at any time of day. It happens to people of every race, age, class, and sexual orientation, and in some if its most pernicious forms, it intersects with other prejudices like racism or ableism.
Because it is motivated by the harasser’s desire to assert power over the harassee and not by sexual attraction, it has little to do with what the harassee looks like. And as with more serious crimes on the spectrum of sexual violence, no one is asking to be harassed, no matter what they wear.
Sexy outfits are never an invitation for harassment or any other kind of gender-based violence.
When people normalize and defend public sexual harassment, they silence those who would speak out. But as more activists around the world stand up and say they’ve had enough, these misconceptions are getting kicked to the curb – where they belong.
A list of parenting action items, created in the hope that we can raise a generation of children who have less rape and sexual assault in their lives.
The ongoing horror of rape in the news, from Penn State to the young women raped and killed in India to Steubenville, has proven to be a wake-up call for many parents. We always knew that rape was a problem, but never before have we been so mobilized to create change.
As writers, educators, and advocates of sex-positivity and healthy consent, the four of us have been inundated with requests from parents for advice on how to help create a future with less rape and sexual assault.
We believe parents can start educating children about consent and empowerment as early as 1 year old and continuing into the college years. It is our sincere hope that this education can help us raise empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of healthy consent.
We hope parents and educators find this list of action items and teaching tools helpful, and that together we can help create a generation of children who have less rape and sexual assault in their lives.
There are three sections, based upon children’s ages, preschool, grade school, and teens andyoung adults.
Julie Gills, Jamie Utt, Alyssa Royse and Joanna Schroeder
Use langauge such as, “Sarah, let’s ask Joe if he would like to hug bye-bye.”
If Joe says “no” to this request, cheerfully tell your child, “That’s okay, Sarah! Let’s wave bye-bye to Joe and blow him a kiss.”
Use language like, “I know you wanted that toy, but when you hit Mikey, it hurt him and he felt very sad. And we don’t want Mikey to feel sad because we hurt him.”
Encourage your child to imagine how he or she might feel if Mikey had hit them, instead. This can be done with a loving tone and a big hug, so the child doesn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed.
Talk to kids about helping other children*, and alerting trusted grown-ups when others need help.
Ask your child to watch interactions and notice what is happening. Get them used to observing behavior and checking in on what they see.
Use the family pet as an example, “Oh, it looks like the kitty’s tail is stuck! We have to help her!!”
Praise your child for assisting others who need help, but remind them that if a grown-up needs help with anything, that it is a grown-up’s job to help. Praise your child for alerting you to people who are in distress, so that the appropriate help can be provided.
One way to explain this may be, “Sarah said ‘no’, and when we hear ‘no’ we always stop what we’re doing immediately. No matter what.”
Also teach your child that his or her “no’s” are to be honored. Explain that just like we always stop doing something when someone says “no”, that our friends need to always stop when we say “no”, too. If a friend doesn’t stop when we say “no,” then we need to think about whether or not we feel good, and safe, playing with them. If not, it’s okay to choose other friends.
If you feel you must intervene, do so. Be kind, and explain to the other child how important “no” is. Your child will internalize how important it is both for himself and others.
Scared, happy, sad, frustrated, angry and more. Charade-style guessing games with expressions are a great way to teach children how to read body language.
If Grandma is demanding a kiss, and your child is resistant, offer alternatives by saying something like, “Would you rather give Grandma a high-five or blow her a kiss, maybe?”
You can always explain to Grandma, later, what you’re doing and why. But don’t make a big deal out of it in front of your kid. If it’s a problem for Grandma, so be it, your job now is doing what’s best for your child and giving them the tools to be safe and happy, and help others do the same.
Of course parents have to help sometimes, but explaining to little Joe that his penis is important and that he needs to take care of it is a great way to help encourage body pride and a sense of ownership of his or her own body.
Also, model consent by asking for permission to help wash your child’s body. Keep it upbeat and always honor the child’s request to not be touched.
“Can I wash your back now? How about your feet? How about your bottom?” If the child says “no” then hand them the washcloth and say, “Cool! Your booty needs a wash. Go for it.”
Let them choose clothing and have a say in what they wear, what they play, or how they do their hair. Obviously, there are times when you have to step in (dead of winter when your child wants to wear a sundress would be one of those times!), but help them understand that you heard his or her voice and that it mattered to you, but that you want to keep them safe and healthy.
Teach them the correct words for their genitals, and make yourself a safe place for talking about bodies and sex.
Say, “I’m so glad you asked me that!” If you don’t know how to answer their questions the right way just then, say, “I’m glad you’re asking me about this, but I want to look into it. Can we talk about it after dinner?” and make sure you follow up with them when you say you will.
If your first instinct is to shush them or act ashamed, then practice it alone or with a partner. The more you practice, the easier it will be.
Sometimes things make us feel weird, or scared, or yucky and we don’t know why. Ask your child if that has ever happened with them and listen quietly as they explain.
Teach them that this “belly voice” is sometimes correct, and that if they ever have a gut feeling that is confusing, they can always come to you for help in sorting through their feelings and making decisions. And remind them that no one has the right to touch them if they don’t want it.
Don’t answer and respond to temper tantrums. Ask your child to use words, even just simple words, to tell you what’s going on.
Teaching kids to respect one another’s space, from even a very young age, helps grow empathy.
The way you talk about these changes—whether it’s loose teeth or pimples and pubic hair—will show your willingness to talk about other sensitive subjects.
Be scientific, direct, and answer any questions your child may have, without shame or embarrassment. Again, if your first instinct is to shush them because you are embarrassed, practice until you can act like it’s no big deal with your kid.
Do you like to be tickled? Do you like to be dizzy? What else? What doesn’t feel good? Being sick, maybe? Or when another kid hurts you? Leave space for your child to talk about anything else that comes to mind.
This is necessary because many kids like to disappear deep into their pretend worlds together, such as playing war games where someone gets captured, or putting on a stage play where characters may be arguing.
At this age, saying “no” may be part of the play, so they need to have one word that will stop all activity. Maybe it’s a silly one like “Peanut Butter” or a serious one like, “I really mean it!” Whatever works for all of them is good.
Teach them to take a T.O. (time out) every so often, to make sure everyone’s feeling okay.
Ask what they could do or could have done differently to help. Play a “rewind” game, if they come home and tell you about seeing bullying.
“You told me a really hard story about your friend being hit. I know you were scared to step in. If we were to rewind the tape, what do you think you could do to help next time if you see it happen?” Improvise everything from turning into a superhero to getting a teacher.
Give them big props for talking to you about tough subjects.
Whatever they feel is okay. If their friendship with someone else seems like a crush, don’t mention it. You can ask them open questions like, “How is your friendship with Sarah going?” and be prepared to talk—or not talk—about it.
You can do this in simple ways, anywhere. Ask them to observe how people respond when other people make noise or litter. Ask them what they think will happen as a result. Will someone else have to clean up the litter? Will someone be scared? Explain to kids how the choices they make affect others and talk about when are good times to be loud, and what are good spaces to be messy.
Can they pick up the litter? Can they be more quiet so as not to interrupt someone’s reading on the bus? Can they offer to help carry something or hold a door open? All of this teaches kids that they have a role to play in helping ease both proverbial and literal loads.
This is an age where various “touch games” emerge: butt-slapping, boys hitting one another in the genitals and pinching each other’s nipples to cause pain. When kids talk about these games, a trend emerges where boys explain that they think the girls like it, but the girls explain that they do not.
We must get kids talking about the ways in which these games impact other people. They will try to write it off, but it’s important to encourage them to talk it through, and ask them how they would feel if someone hit them in that way, or did something that made them feel uncomfortable or violated.
When you see it happen, nip it in the bud. This isn’t “boys being boys”, this is harassment, and sometimes assault.
In middle school, bullying shifts to specifically target identity, and self-esteem starts to plummet around age 13. By age 17, 78% of girls report hating their bodies.
We tend to build up our smaller kids by telling them how great they are. For some reason, we stop telling kids all the wonderful aspects of who they are when they reach middle school. But this actually a very crucial time to be building up our kids’ self-esteem, and not just about beauty. Remark to them regularly about their talents, their skills, their kindness, as well as their appearance.
Even if they shrug you off with a, “Dad! I know!” it’s always good to hear the things that make you great.
We’re often good at talking about waiting until marriage to have sex, or about sexually-transmitted infections, or about practicing safer sex. But we don’t usually talk about consent. By middle school, it’s time to start.
Ask questions like, “How do you know whether your partner is ready to kiss you?” and “How do you think you can tell if a girl (or boy) is interested in you?”
This is a great time to explain enthusiastic consent. About asking permission to kiss or touch a partner. Explain that only “yes” means “yes”. Don’t wait for your partner to say “no” to look for consent.
Educating our middle schoolers about consent means we don’t have to re-educate them later and break bad habits, perhaps after somebody’s been hurt.
Middle school is the age where sex-talk begins in gender-segregated environments, like locker rooms and sleep overs. Their crushes and desire are normal and healthy. But as parents and educators, we need to do more than just stop kids from talking about other kids like they’re objects. We also need to model how to talk about our crushes as whole people.
If you overhear a kid say, “She’s a hot piece of ass” you could say, “Hey, I think she’s more than just an ass!” You can keep it jokey, and they’ll roll their eyes at you, but it sinks in. They need a model for grown-ups who are doing things right. Even saying something like, “It’s also cool that she (or he) is so awesome at tennis, isn’t it?”
Sometimes that means our desire feels overwhelming, or that we’re angry, confused or sad. It’s common, and perfectly okay, to be overwhelmed or confused by these new feelings.
Tell your kids that no matter what they’re feeling, they can talk to you about it. But their feelings, desires and needs are no one’s responsibility but their own. They still need to practice kindness and respect for everyone around them.
Men need to talk to boys about what’s good about masculinity. Ask what hasn’t been so good about our culture of masculinity in the past. How can we build a more inclusive form of masculinity that embraces all types of guys: from jocks to theater kids to queer folks to everyday you-and-me? These conversations can encourage a non-violent form of masculinity for the future.
Boys need to start talking about building a healthy masculinity starting in middle school and continue through college, because transforming masculinity is vital to transforming rape culture.
Make it clear that you don’t want them drinking or using drugs, but that you know kids party and you want your kids to be informed. Ask them questions about how they are going to keep themselves and others safe when they’re drinking. Questions such as:
- How will you know when you’ve had too much to drink?
- How will you handle it if your driver has had too much to drink? (Make clear that your child canalways call you to come get him or her if needed).
- How will you know if your drinking or drug use has reached a dangerous level, or crossed into addiction?
- How does your behavior change when you’ve had too much to drink? How can you protect others from yourself in that situation if, perhaps, you become an angry drunk or start violating people’s space or safety?
- How will you know whether it’s okay to kiss someone, touch someone, or have sex with someone when you’ve had a lot to drink? Explain that decisions sometimes become cloudy, and signals become unclear when we are impaired. How will you be sure that you are reading the other person’s signals accurately? Suggest that they always ask for permission to touch or kiss another person, especially when there’s drinking involved.
- Although it should be obvious, explain that a person who is drunk, high or otherwise impaired should not be touched, harassed or sexually assaulted. Teach your children to stand up for, and seek help for, a fellow partygoer who has had to much too drink.
- Be careful about the language you use with your kids about partying. The responsibility isnever on the victim to have prevented his or her assault. It is always on the perpetrator to make the right decision and not harm anyone.
Yeah, they’ll tell you they know it all, but continuing the conversation about healthy consent, respecting our partners, and healthy sexuality shows them how important these themes are to you. It also normalizes talking about consent, so talking openly and respectfully with partners becomes second nature to teens.
They want to learn, and they will find a way to get information about sex. If you are the one providing that information—lovingly, honestly and consistently—they will carry that information out into the world with them.
Having good information encourages kids to be UPstanders, not BYstanders. Not only does the world need more Upstanders, but kids really want to be a force for good. And we can give them the tools to do so.
it’s very frustrating being a girl and trying to flirt with other girls like. you tell them, ur cute. ‘Aw thank you’ no. no i’m being gay with you. homo intended. damn it