To add anything to this would be to diminish it’s importance, so I will simply and continually support the message: “Blithe predictions of lasting scars from rape may be particularly harmful because they play into the very same misogynist narratives that have created and perpetuated rape culture: the idea that women are defined by our sex organs and reproductive capacity; that the touch of a man’s almighty penis can leave a woman permanently soiled; that a raped woman—even though she can no longer be sold to her rapist in the West—is damaged goods.”


Phoenix tattooGirls need to know that a sexual assault doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of suffering.

As a mother of two daughters and as a psychologist who has experienced sexual assault, I find myself troubled by some of the language that feminist women (like me) and progressive allies deploy to fight rape culture—in particular the way that those who have been violated are sometimes assumed to have psychological scars that inevitably will screw them up for life.

Let me be absolutely clear: Forcing, coercing, exploiting or manipulating someone for the sake of sexual pleasure is immoral because it is harmful and dehumanizing, and it’s long, long past time that we made it a social outrage.

For most of human history, women and children have been treated as possessions of men—as economic assets, trophies, slave labor, and objects of sexual gratification—rather than full persons with preferences and rights, starting with…

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