A well known actress that I have always admired has been quite forthcoming about the subject of rape recently.
Saying (in a GQ Magazine interview)she had been date-raped in the past (a semantical argument maybe but date-rape is a phrase I've never liked, it's lends a kind of acceptability or well-it-was-a-date-after-all attitude) she mentioned that if a woman decides she doesn't want sex after all, (during foreplay) then any ensuing sexual activity is something that needs to be worked out amongst the two people involved, not the police. In other words, it's not really a crime since both people involved should "negotiate" afterwards.
Moving on from that rather troublesome logic, she has now spoken to a writer from the Sunday Times, saying it has been historically better for male defendants in rape trials to have female jurors, since women are inherently jealous of other women and may not favor the victim, despite evidence to show that she was indeed a rape victim/survivor. Female jurors might feel the victim was "asking for it" because female jurors may be sexually jealous of the rape victim.
The actress does concede that this female attitude is "unfair".
A snippet from her interview:
"“No, it’s more that I prefer male journalists because there’s a streak of female journalism — the bitches — who are mean-spirited and nasty because you are another woman and want to make you feel crap. It’s very upsetting. I’m more careful when I’m being interviewed by a woman because, from experience as well as reading articles about other women, I know there is a little stiletto knife hidden behind the back.”
“In a rape case the courts in defence of a man would select as many women as they could for the jury, because women go against women. Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don’t know. But other women on a rape case would say she was asking for it. The only reason I can think of is that they’re sexually jealous.” "
The interview got me thinking. We all know that some women can be rather catty and silly with each other. Teen girls can be very mean to the plain, over-weight girl, yet secretly hate the really pretty girl who has all the boys wanting to take her out. Women are not always each others best allies. We are pleased when we see a dad take his kids to the park but find it worthy of no praise when a mom does it. When a child is harmed, we tend to first wonder why the mother didn't look after her child properly, not the father.
We here the expression all the time "how could she DO that? She's a MOTHER!" Yet it doesn't have the same ring to it, regarding a man being a "FATHER!" . The media is merciless at times, in this arena.
A neighbor once told me that our mutual neighbor was a great parent because he played outside with his kids a lot. Meanwhile, I play outside with my kids every single day but it's expected, not applauded.
On the other hand, I don't have many guy friends, I never really did. I value my girlfriends far more. My only true guy friend is my husband when I really think about it. Additionally, I've had some good gay male friendships. But I love and value my girlfriends and don't view them as competition and certainly there is no sexual jealousy (although a few of them bounced back into size 6 jeans after pregnancy way to quickly for my liking!) I love that I can talk to them about politics, kids, men, social issues, culture and plain old chit-chat. There is nothing like a girls night out! I would hate a life without my girlfriends. They are my rocks.
But still it remains - catfights, women on the Real Housewives of [insert major city here] portrayed as money grabbing, catty "frenemies", not to mention The Hills on MTV - and it causes some to wonder if women are bringing the "bitchy" stereotype on themselves.
So now I have to ask, does this actress have a point? Are women too inherently competitive with each other to be true allies? Tell me what you think.
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