Bystander Awareness

By: Amanda Miller


In situations of sexual violence„ we think of two people being  involved, the perpetrator and the victim. But people are often unaware of the fact that a third party can be involved: a bystander.


What is a bystander? A bystander is a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part. They are different than bullies or victims because they avoid the conflict and make the direct decision to stay out of the conflict.


Why do bystanders stay out of situations? Bystanders can avoid taking part in situations for numerous reasons. Examples include diffusion of responsibility, evaluation apprehension, pluralistic ignorance, cause of misfortune, helping model, or personal reasons.


What exactly do these mean? Let’s break it down:


Diffusion of Responsibility: is when people feel that they are less likely to take action or feel a sense of responsibility in the presence of a large group of people.


Evaluation Apprehension: is being concerned with how other people evaluate us. They think; What if I embarrass myself? What if it’s not what I thought?


Pluralistic Ignorance: is when someone does the same as the crowd does, even if they disagree with it. They think that if no one thinks it’s a big deal, then I won’t think it’s a big deal.


Cause of Misfortune: is when someone believes there is a reason that something is happening. They think; someone caused this to happen, it’s their fault they are in this situation.


Helping Model: is when someone has not been shown how to help, therefore they do not know what to do and do nothing.


Personal Reasons: are when someone uses their personality and thoughts to avoid helping. They think; I’m shy, I can’t stand confronting people, I’m concerned for my own safety.


It is important to never ignore a situation you think could possibly be dangerous. Choose to be a positive bystander! Remember to get a second look, check in on the situation, and think: what if it were someone I love?


You never know, by intervening you could save someone’s life.


"ABUSIVE MEN COME in every personality type, arise from good childhoods and bad ones, are macho men or gentle, “liberated” men. No psychological test can distinguish an abusive man from a respectful one. Abusiveness is not a product of a man’s emotional injuries or of deficits in his skills. In reality, abuse springs from a man’s early cultural training, his key male role models, and his peer influences. In other words, abuse is a problem of values, not of psychology."

Lundy Bancroft, “Why does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.” (via womentoadmire)

(via feministquotes)


The sexual exploitation of women is especially predominant in advertising, which is impossible to escape because ads are omnipresent. Thin, barely clothed bodies appear in magazines and on the backs of buses. Intimate close-up shots of smoky bedroom eyes belonging to a woman wearing only lace negligee stare down at passerby from high billboards. Pelvic shots and chiseled bodies come through the television and the computer. They are in every clothing store and adorn the pages of weekly sales circulars.

The mechanism used in these ads is quite simple: Attractive bodies are employed to grab attention and simulate desire, which advertisers hope will then be transferred to the product. Buy the beer, get the girl. In this way, women’s bodies are equated with commodities, presented as rewards of consumption. By instructing men to regard women’s bodies as objects, ads help create an atmosphere that devalues women as people, encourages sexual harassment, and worse (Jacobson and Mazur 1995:84).

Often times the women portrayed in these ads are not even whole. The pictures show only legs, torsos, or an open mouth with rouge lip color provocatively placed atop a glass bottle. This reduces women to collections of parts, something less than human. This objectification and sexploitation has changed the rules of society and along with it the attitudes of men and women have changed.

Just as simple films relying on crude jokes and violence are perfect for the global marketplace, since they require little translation, so is advertising that relies entirely on image. Bare breasts and phallic symbols are understood everywhere. As are the nude female buttocks featured in the Italian and German ads for similar worthless products to remedy the imaginary problem of cellulite. Unfortunately, such powerful imagery of[ten] pollutes the cultural environment (Kilbourne 1999:72).


The Objectification of Women in Mass Media: Female Self-Image in Misogynist Culture, The New York Sociologist, Vol. 5, 2010, by Stephanie Nicholl Berberick, University at Buffalo

(via socio-logic)

(Source: exgynocraticgrrl, via feministquotes)


I’m proud of you. I’m proud that you made it through the night. I’m proud that you made it to a new week. I’m proud of how strong you are. I proud of every good decision you make. I’m proud of every good thing you do.

I’m proud of you.

(via freeingeileen)


Want to start a conversation on rape culture?

Watch and share this video from Zerlina Maxwell at Netroots Nation.

(via becauseiamawoman)


I’d love to see all of my blog followers submit! 
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I’d love to see all of my blog followers submit! 

Disclaimer and Submit Here

(via fearlessfeminism)

Violent Masculinity is Killing Women

By: Billieanne Maurizi

      When news of Elliot Rodger’s killing spree broke in May, along with his string of YouTube videos and his war on women manifesto, I felt like I was going to vomit. I called a friend of mine and asked her if I was overreacting. “No, you’re not overreacting. I’m scared too”, she said.

                  Not long before Elliot Rodgers went on his killing spree, a high school girl in Connecticut was stabbed to death because she declined an invitation to prom from a male student. He brought the knife to school with the intention of stabbing her if she rejected him.

                  My friend and I both live in Virginia, far away from where these incidents occured. So why were we so scared? Why did it shake me and every other woman I know when we heard about what happened in Connecticut and Isla Vista?

The answer is because we all know men who think like Elliot Rodgers did. Because we had all seen men flip out about “not being able to get laid”. Because we had all seen men complain about how women are all “bitches and sluts” who can’t appreciate a “nice guy”. Because we had all seen men complain about being “friend zoned” when a girl turned them down after they were “nice to them” for a while. God forbid we just wanted to be friends. These events shook us to our core because they were all too real to us, because we knew that this could realistically happen to us. The idea of a man attacking us or killing us over rejection is something that we actually have to worry about as women.

                  So why are men doing this? Why are they reacting so violently to women who reject them? In short, violent masculinity.

 Violent masculinity is the expectation of how men in our society are supposed to act. They are expected to repress their emotions, to be “tough” and “rugged”. Violent masculinity teaches men to gain respect by solving their problems with aggression, violence and intimidation. It teaches them that their value is based on how many women they can sleep with and how aggressive they are. As a result, men treat women as objects to be had and used for their own personal sexual pleasure. When women deny this to them, they become violent.

                  The consequences of violent masculinity can be seen all over; from the normalization of violence against women in the media, to the harassment and assault of women at conventions, to the horrific abuse and brutal murders that happen when men feel like they cannot control the women in their lives.

                  So what’s the solution? How do we stop these acts of violence from happening to women? The answer is actually simpler than you may think.

 We as a society must stop viewing women as sex objects to be had. Stop objectifying them in the media, stop cat calling them in the streets, stop treating women like pieces of meat, or trophies to be won. Women are complex human beings with feelings, emotions, lives and ambitions of their own. Basically we need to treat women with the respect and dignity they deserve, instead of like sex objects.

 We need to eliminate the expectations that violent masculinity places on men. Destroy the idea that men are supposed to be emotionless, violent and promiscuous. Stop calling them “girls” and “pussies” for crying or showing emotion. Stop encouraging violence as a way to show how “tough” or “manly” they are. Stop encouraging men to sleep around just to prove their “manhood”. Stop telling them that their worth is based on how many women they sleep with or how much sex they have.

We need to stop treating femininity as inherently negative, and masculinity as positive. Destroy the idea that men have fulfill the ideals of violent masculinity in order to be a “real man”. You can help do this by not treating women like sex objects, and expecting men to fulfill the unrealistic ideals that violent masculinity puts on them. You can help by simply talking about violent masculinity because there are a lot of people who don’t know what it is. Call out people you know when the do things that perpetuate violent masculinity. Essentially, if abolish gender expectations, and simply allow people to be who they are as humans, we could drastically reduce violence against women.