“Based on 2005 US Census data … an estimated 20.2 million women have been raped. This same study found that the past-year prevalence (ie, the proportion of the sample who had been raped within the past year) was 0.94%, or an estimated 1.1 million women.”
“Rape-Related PTSD: Issues and Interventions | Psychiatric Times.” Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jun. 2015 <http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/ptsd/rape-related-ptsd-issues-and-interventions>.
Last week I posted a call to action on this site, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. I asked you, and all of my social media connections to help me with an important project. I asked for help getting WordPress to remove a site it hosted called “The Philosophy of Rape.”
The site encouraged the rape of women that they defined as “harlots”, “sluts”, “feminazis”, and other derogatory terms.
Site contributors and members of the blog were considered “brothers”. These men went as far as to encourage the rape of their own daughters if it would result in correcting behavior they felt unbecoming of the ideal woman.
WordPress did nothing. My friends and others across social media filed complaints with the company. We contacted the media. We contacted the FBI. Also contacted were the authorities in San Francisco, where the WHOIS of the hosting placed the site.
We put pressure on WordPress by spreading the word that they tolerated a violation of their Terms of Service and common decency. WordPress accepted the abuse of women.
I am almost afraid to tell you how it felt to see that site. Scared because I do not want to give any contributor to that site any satisfaction. The only thing that takes away that fear is this: Today I have power. Today the site is gone.
I did not want to tell people where the site was because I did not want anyone to click it, to give it traffic. Having zero confidence in WordPress as the clock ticked, their inaction left the site alive and the traffic growing. Today I could tell you the URL if I wanted to. Today the site is gone. Today I have power.
I did not want any women who had been raped to click the link because seeing that blog felt like being raped again. I did not want to be responsible for triggering the same feelings that I felt when I found the site.
There was only one way to stop that from happening. We kept tweeting. We kept posting on Facebook.
Finally, WordPress replied:
“We don’t support the views of the site but we do support freedom of speech – https://en.wordpress.com/freedom-of-speech/ …. I think it’s satire anyway”
My reply to them?
“.@wordpressdotcom you see http://t.co/9WVCQlfFS as satire & freedom of speech but it’s #hatespeech & teaches #violence #rapeculture @ACLU @FBI”
Moments later the site was down. I do not know how long it takes to remove a site from their hosted servers, so I do not know which straw broke the camel’s back. Here is what I do know:
We have power.
There are so many ways to find your voice. There are ways to get power, use power.
Here’s the thing: Today was a good day. The good guys won. It does not always work that way. Take the victory. Celebrate it. Use it to rub away some of the tarnish on your soul.
I found that ugly piece of the human race while trying to find a support site. Strange isn’t it? I searched here and there looking for something that fit my style. Finally, I searched hashtags for #rapeculture to see who was tweeting with that tag. There was one tweet, just one complaining about this site. We needed to blow it up. So I did.
That was better than any support site I could have found. I fought the devil, and I won.
I have power.
Featured image by artist Billie Colson http://billie-colson.artistwebsites.com/
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