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a breakthrough in the never-ending fight against rape culture

So we all know the internet is full of beyond disgusting jokes that are inappropriate and pick on someone that isn’t a white man, and jokes about rape are no exception.  It was only two days ago that a particular article of interest was forwarded to my inbox seeking an urgent piece to be written. I grasped this chance with both of my hands (and a bit of wind burn from replying so fast) to report this good news to our dear lip readers.

Rallying from Change.org and GoPetition has paid off with the news that facebook will no longer allow pro-rape groups. The pleas for removal of these groups  that  had previously been ignored have finally been acknowledged!

But is this really an achievement worthy of celebration considering the lengths of protest and struggle that it took just for the recognition of the utter inappropriateness of these language and ‘jokes’?

The crackdown is welcomed and truly has been needed for some time, but as Violet Blue, noted author, says in her article ‘Facebook finally removes it’s pro-rape pages‘, “it’s great that the pages joking about girls having sex at knifepoint are finally gone after months of traumatizing sexual assault victims in its community that accidentally landed on the page. Yay, Facebook.”

The sad need for complaints and petitions pushing for further action on pro-rape groups when countless reports continually went unrecognised by the popular social networking site surely paints a distorted picture. A picture of the normalisation of sexual violence towards women that just isn’t acceptable, and yet the acknowledgement that what has previously been dismissed as ‘pub material’ actually is damaging and offensive has been one necessary step towards equality.

So what lies ahead? I guess more hard work and actions, but if this success can prove anything, it is that we can determine the changes in the world. It’s a small step in an online world where people are tough and anonymous and everything is perfect. But it’s also a place where networking like no other occurs, friendships are made, issues are discussed, and action is taken by people you would never meet outside the internet. Whether we like it or not, facebook and other social networking sites are technology vessels that can transport the changes we want to see in the world in the years to come, if used in the right way and if the bullshit is bypassed.

This is a victory indeed, but there is still a long way to go to truly crackdown on the ‘humour’ of sexual violence towards and degradation of women. But at least we can see light in the reasoning that women too, like being treated as equal citizens.

And we won’t settle for less.

(Image Credit 1.)

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