I’m part of an amazing team of women who are organizing an arts and activism festival around Sexual Assault and Consent in London this summer, July 30th to August 2nd. We’ve just launched our crowd-funding campaign here.
Sexual violence is something I’ve lived through, and a hell a lot of other women, men and children have lived through. We need to create new conversations around this kind of harm. To bring down the walls of silence and shame. To stop blaming the victim. To start getting real about sexual violence and its everyday effects. And to end sexual abuse, assault and violence. Period.
The festival is called Clear Lines, which is a play on the very dodgy hit song Blurred Lines. This song was banned from several UK university campuses and caused an international uproar with its sexist video content and rape-promoting lyrics. If you want to see want I mean about rape-promoting lyrics, check out the website Sociological Images, which takes the lyrics from Blurred Lines and puts them next to images from the Project Unbreakable site, where survivors of sexual violence and rape – women and men – hold up hand-written signs documenting the things their attackers said to them. Here’s a run down of the lyrics and how they echo the actual words of rapists. It’s both heartbreaking and will make you sick to your stomach. Trigger Warning.
‘Blurred Lines’ and Project Unbreakable
I know you want it. Thicke sings “I know you want it,” a phrase that many sexual assault survivors report their rapists saying to justify their actions, as demonstrated over and over in the Project Unbreakable testimonials. You’re a good girl. Thicke further sings “You’re a good girl,” suggesting that a good girl won’t show her reciprocal desire (if it exists). This becomes further proof in his mind that she wants sex: for good girls, silence is consent and “no” really means “yes.”
Do it like it hurt, do it like it hurt, what you don’t like work? This lyric suggests that women are supposed to enjoy pain during sex or that pain is part of sex:
Enough! Please help us to crowd-fund for the Clear Lines festival. We need your support. It is important to say that Clear Lines has the support of men on board. We hope that more men will see that this festival is also for them: as victims of assault themselves, and as potential change makers. Together we can stand strong.
We’re just launched our social media and crowd-funding campaign. More info about the festival can be found in the following links. We’ve got art, workshops, films, performance, and discussion panels lined up. We just need to raise the cash to make this a reality.
Thank you for your support. Let’s make this festival happen!