How much intolerance does it take?

If women started harassing men the way men harass women, how long would it take before intolerance would be effective in stopping the epidemic?

My bet is it wouldn’t take decades.

What if this became the norm?

asswhoopMy bet is this wouldn’t become the norm.

What if every time a man bent over to adjust his shoes, to pick up dropped keys, to peer into a window, he was at risk of being harassed, ogled, demoralized, humiliated simply because he had a penis?

My bet is men wouldn’t tolerate being harassed, ogled, demoralized, or humiliated based purely on the possession of a penis.

Women aren’t tolerating being harassed, ogled, demoralized, or humiliated because of breasts, but we aren’t getting very far with our intolerance. Violence against women is an everyday occurrence, and so is bragging about being violent against women. Check Facebook.

Women, Action, & the Media is a group working to fight the tolerance and acceptance of violence against women. They’ve teamed up “with The Everyday Sexism Project and writer/activist Soraya Chemaly to launch the #FBrape campaign to hold Facebook’s feet to the fire by targeting their advertisers (and in turn, holding their feet to the fire)” (Make Me a Sammich).

They’ve written an Open Letter to Facebook. They’ve posted examples of what they are speaking out against.

This is the kind of image Facebook considers obscene:

Aurimas Mikalauskas (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Aurimas Mikalauskas (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This is the kind of image Facebook considers acceptable:

from "New Examples live as of Friday, May 24, 2013 at 9:43am Eastern"

from “New Examples live as of Friday, May 24, 2013 at 9:43am Eastern”

When the breastfeeding image is reported, it’s removed as offensive or pornographic. When the beaten woman image is reported, it’s protected and allowed to remain.


How a photo of an attack is not a photo that attacks a person based on their sex is beyond me. It’s beyond many people, but not Facebook, apparently, which is the aim of one of the WAM! campaigns, as well as their supporters.

It is estimated that 70% of women have survived an assault. Estimated. Estimates of the number of male victims of abuse and rape are lower, and not because men aren’t abused and raped, but because the stigma is even worse for men.

Many incidents are not reported. Were every incident of street harassment reported, the police would have little time to respond to other crimes. Were every incident of physical violence reported, the police would have little time to respond to other crimes. Were every incident of rape reported, the police would have little time to respond to other crimes.

But every incident isn’t reported, and tolerance and victim-blaming run rampant right alongside the abusers. Is it any surprise that violence against women isn’t reported with people and media alike question what the woman did wrong? When wearing a dress is justified as an excuse for a man to harass a woman? When spending time on the phone with a friend is justified as reason enough for a man to punch a woman? When getting drunk becomes justifiable permission for a man to rape a woman?

How much intolerance does it take for violence against women to no longer be accepted? We haven’t reached that level. I don’t know what that level is. It seems every time we reach that bar, it’s raised again, higher, to an unattainable level, only to be reached through the strength and sheer determination of people working against it, only for it to be raised again, higher, and higher, and higher, and higher.

Copyright 2002 by Signe Wilkinson

Copyright 2002 by Signe Wilkinson

The minority of men are assholes. The majority are not. The minority of men harass women, beat women, rape women. The minority of men are ruining the reputation of the majority. Ruined, actually. It’s not in a state of becoming ruined. It already is. The phrase “all men are assholes” is a common utterance.

What if this became the norm?

How much better would our world be?

My bet is much better.

What if we no longer supported abusers and started supporting the victims? What if rapists weren’t let loose to rape again? What if wife-beaters weren’t let loose to find a new wife to beat? What if braggarts brags weren’t accepted as free speech? What if these abusers didn’t get a slap on the wrist, but a hit where it hurts – to their freedom? What if the abuser was afraid to abuse, rather than the victim afraid to report?

What if? Because that’s all it is right now, a “what if”. It’s time for “if” to become “when”.

How much better would our world be?

My bet is much better. Much, much better. For women and for men. For the good men. For the bad men, well, they just might experience some of the hell they’ve inflicted on the women they brag about minimizing, beating, raping, and murdering.

Add your voice: share the FB status, tag your tweets #FBrape.


  1. I love it hun, and wish people would become more caring. I'm writing a post for you right now, and there's so much I want to share with people, and so much I wish people would change. I know it wont happen, but I want it to. I want people to change, to love, to care.

    1. I do too. It’ll be a good day when when Social Media sites no longer promote the violence, when the victim isn’t the one made out to be the bad guy.
      I’m glad to hear you are writing your post. This guest post series has been successful and the support the writers are getting is fabulous.

      1. Each time I write about one of the things that have happened, it feels a bit better. I had to write and then read about my rape over and over and over so it would sink it that it HAD happened, and not something that is happening now.
        It’s almost done. Well the first time… then read through and edit.

        1. It does help immensely to write it out. I find that by putting it into blog-storage, I no longer have to keep it in my head and remind myself of all the crap. I have it stored in my blog, so I can come here to remember it when it comes time for court and I don’t have to try to remember it in my over-full brain.
          You’ve got time to get your post in the shape you want it. You can even put it aside for a bit and come back to it, and it’ll always be yours and available for you to edit. Thank you, again, for sharing your voice.

          1. You’re welcome hun. I’m always here. Anytime. I want to write it down in one setting, with time to come back to it. I’m thinking of a sketch I’m working on to go with it.

  2. Noel Stephen Moes · · Reply

    Reblogged this on The Portfolio of Noel Stephen Moes and commented:
    Lead: Non-Hyper Social Experience

  3. Facebook has gotten increasingly stupid. To be honest, the only reason I’m still on it is to keep on eye on the twins to make sure they aren’t getting into stupid shit on Facebook.

    1. Facebook does have a lot of stupid to it. Like the pictures with captions that say “Like in one second if you love [insert love here]”. It takes me more than one second to register the picture and the words, so apparently I don’t love God or puppies. It’s ridiculous.
      But this isn’t about the FB stupid. This is dangerous. I feel like allowing these images and pages promoting violence against woman as laughable and excusable is a major setback in the battle to end domestic violence and the victim-blaming that goes along with it.

      1. Well, yeah. I consider that stupid, which is why I said what I said.

        People defend images such as these by telling people offended by them that they are too sensitive and that they need to develop a sense of humor. I think I happen to have a pretty healthy sense of humor, but I don’t find shit like that funny. I don’t find violence funny at all. Against anyone. Committed by anyone. Violence by anyone against anyone is stupid, pointless, and barbaric. Fuck violent people.

        1. That argument of being too sensitive or a lack of a sense of humor is lost on me too. You didn’t see images of the dead from the Aurora, CO theater shooting being blasted everywhere with jokes about not ordering the right candy being the reason they deserved to be shot. No one deserves violence. Ever.
          Violence from one human against another is not funny. Black eyes and bloodied noses are not humor. FB, and all social media platforms, need to adjust their definition of hate to protect all victims of violence and since they seem unwilling to do this at the request of the people reporting these images, perhaps losing the money they get from their advertisers will make them think a bit more clearly about what is and is not hate.

          1. I hope so, but unfortunately there’s a reason so many of these images are shared. People, for reasons beyond my comprehension, enjoy these pictures. I don’t find any satisfaction in them and can’t really understand any reason to look at them.

            1. I don’t understand it either, but I’ve had to see these kind of images in my own mirror, so, yeah, I’m sensitive to them. I don’t understand the titillation of abuse.

              1. I know you have, and your story makes me incredibly sad. Every time I read about it. Seriously. I get upset and depressed for quite some time every time I read about some atrocity committed upon you.

                Yet, you still lead a normal life, you’re a wonderful person and mom despite all you’ve been through, which is why you inspire me and why I think you’re so much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

  4. Beautiful sentiments. I found myself laughing at the first video until I really devoted my attention to your words.
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you.
      I’ve been saving that GIF for a while. My first reaction also was to laugh, until I saw it for what it was. I always knew I would use it to make a point about the tolerance of disrespect.

  5. […] Violence should not be tolerated […]

  6. Reblogged this on FEMBORG.

  7. If only all those “what if’s” would become reality!

    1. If only. Wouldn’t that be nice.

      1. Oh man could you imagine?!

  8. Reblogged this on behindthemaskofabuse and commented:

    This is such a powerful post. I believe we can and are making a difference.

  9. What can any man say at this point?

    1. I know this post was one sided. I know I only gave one sentence to the suffering of abused men.
      What any man can say is the same as what any woman, what any human who is against one person purposefully inflicting suffering on another person, can say – this behavior shouldn’t be tolerated. The more of us there are, the louder we will be, the louder we are, the sooner we will all be heard. All of us. Abused women and abused men, and those who stand by us.

      1. Well now I wish I had said that…

        1. You still can. We all can, again and again and again.

          1. You got me again.

            1. I’m on a roll today.

              1. And I, as it turns out, am not.

                1. Sit on a tube of Pillsbury Crescents, and you too can be on a roll.

                  1. I tried it… I liked it… I don’t know if I am on a roll but I might be gay now…

                    1. My job here is done.

  10. […] How much intolerance does it take? ( […]

    1. Thank you for including my post in your update. I do hope, really really hope, FB stops sweeping this under the rug and actually cleans up their mess.

  11. As a woman who entered the “corporate workplace” in the ’80s, way before sensitivity training and sexual harassment policies, I remember things like this being kind of normal in the office. I would always feel uncomfortable when the cartoons where passed around, when men made comments about women eating certain types of fruit and how no one ever said a thing about it.
    Now that we’ve jumped into the cyber age, who needs to xerox unacceptable cartoons, or make a comment in the lunch room. You can just take a picture of someone eating their lunch upload it to a myriad of sites and put whatever comment you want. Now (at the risk of sounding like a prude) add in music videos and popular music that objectifies people and sexual acts and no one thinks a thing about it. We’ve come a long way in the Western World as women being used for alliances, to expand land holdings or to strengthen corporate structures. We cannot be locked up for being “hysterical” and forced to have a “hysterectomy” because our husbands or fathers deem it necessary. (This was just about 100 years ago in the US btw). Thank you for speaking out – thank you for sharing! I will reblog if you don’t mind. And I direct you to a post I did a few weeks ago called . It was about are we becoming a “rape culture” Keep Speaking Out!!! Love this

    1. I used to work at a place where it was “funny” to joke about women eating hot dogs at the company picnic. Now they can just tweet that shit. It’s just as uncomfortable, maybe even more so.
      Thank you for reading, and for your thoughtful comment. Thank you too for reblogging this. We have to keep speaking out together for our voice to be loud enough to be heard. I’d like to think that eventually it will be.

      1. I just had a post show up on my FB timeline that you might be interested in. It was from this page:
        They had a post removed and have joined the FBRape campaign you wrote about. What FB may not realize is the fact that women make the majority of financial decisions or purchases for the household. If a woman has a bad experience at a store, she doesn’t go back, no matter how good the sale. So, if women who are fired up about #FBRape, boycott those who advertise with FB, the volume will be turned up drastically – past 11. (This Is Spinal Tap reference)

        1. Not only are women the ones making the majority of the household decisions, we are the ones noticing the advertisements. And even though advertisers aren’t able to choose the pages they appear on, their name is becoming associated with these “jokes” and it’s not looking good for them. Thank you for the page link!

  12. Reblogged this on The Journey Of My Healing and commented:
    Very thought proving post by @Deliberate Donkey. Definitely worth reading and sharing!

  13. This is kind of one of the reasons I’m in a religious order. Sure, I could be out there campaigning on the streets and so on, but without the power of the prayers of folks like myself, the campaigns are basically like standing in your own front door with a shot gun to protect your house from the invading soldiers when you’re in a war zone. For me, this is my way of fighting – by praying, and by being online and supporting justice as best as I can.

    1. I am thankful you are fighting through prayer. I do believe it strengthens the resolve of those of us on the streets. I am grateful for your support. Thank you!

  14. Denise · · Reply

    Last week, in a restaurant, my 19-year-old daughter went to the restroom. When she came back, she told us that she’d walked past a busboy who made some lewd comment about her being cute. She kept going, then turned around, went back and said, “That’s rude and demeaning and you shouldn’t talk to women that way. I could go to management right now and have you fired.” I think I could take a lesson or two from her. And that led to the yet another discussion of why certain men act the way they do – what makes them think they have the right to do so – and round and round we go.

    1. Good for your daughter. If only we all had a voice that loud and proud!
      There is a big difference between a man telling a woman, “you’re cute”, and a man telling a woman, “oh baby, let me come get some of that”. The first is a compliment. The second is harassment. Teaching the society of rude men this difference is an uphill battle. Your daughter won her round with this busboy. Hopefully he’ll think twice about what he’s saying every time a woman walks by him from now on, potential to be fired or not.

  15. […] How much intolerance does it take? ( […]

  16. I often say almost all men are jerks. So, I guess you are right; the minority have ruined it.
    I dislike the liars and all on the dating sites also. I mean I try hard to be truthful and, I know that many women pass right by my profile because they believe that, if I am saying what I am saying and am a man, how much worse am I in reality? They believe I am lying, yet they don’t do much to get it changed either. I understand.

    1. Dating sites, I think, are among the worst of the worst for lying. They have gotten a bad reputation, and the men who are there to be honest suffer from the double negative. I wish you the best of both worlds, my friend. Keep being honest. Lying to find a mate will only bring suffering for you both.

      1. Don’t I know it!!!

  17. […] A call for Facebook to change […]

  18. Great post. I am completely bewildered at how of the two images above it’s the breast feeding baby picture that FB had a problem with… something completely natural, something often considered beautiful. But, they had no problem with showing a woman’s bloodied face? And allowed it under the guise that it was an attempt at humor? F that. FB you have serious issues. I’m glad I’m not a member.

    1. By their definition all we have to do is make breastfeeding a “joke” or a meme and it would be acceptable. It’s so very sad.

      1. Sad… yes, that sums it up. Hopefully enough people get outraged by this that they adopt a bit more common sense approach. Or, at least stop being hypocritical…

        1. Maybe it’s time to organize a worldwide deactivation day. If everyone and all of their friends quit on the same day, it’ll send a message and no one will have to worry about”missing” anything.

          1. Sign me up!

            Hmm, wait, would I have to sign up ahead of time, to then be able to deactivate on the same day as everyone else?

            1. Lol. Don’t waste your time. It’s really a bunch of crap now-a-days anyway. You can join the voice against it with the twitter tag.
              I’m working on a post about a “deactivation day”. I have a couple of people to talk to before I go and try this. I’m going to try to have it up tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

  19. It’s scary what people find “funny”. And it what kind of messed up universe is the breast feeding photo banned while the nosebleed photo is allowed to stay?

    1. The messed up universe is this unfortunate rape culture we live in. Thankfully, though, due to the efforts of so many, Facebook has said they are going to take a stronger stance against the images promoting violence against women. Now it’s time to make sure they follow those words with action.

  20. […] the first post that officially kicked off this project, I have written 8 posts: a letter, essays on Facebook and violence against women, a Fathers Day memory, a moment of personal growth, an intimate moment, […]

  21. […] The content isn’t right, but to the frustrations of thousands it isn’t always exactly, technically, legally, pick a comfort adverb, wrong. It can be violent, or graphic, or graphically violent, but if it doesn’t violate the community standards, Facebook moderators allow it to remain visible. […]

  22. […] there either, even with my personal disgust at their mishandling of demeaning images of women (from abuse to eating disorders, FB is an active playground of misogynistic horror, with placating and minimal […]

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