A woman is getting lots of attention (positive and negative) for sticking period pads around her city that have feminist messages attached to them for International Women’s Day (March 8) which falls during Women’s history month. The pads are supposed to provoke awareness to social injustices surrounding rape and victim blaming.
The Tumblr account is under the name “Elonë” and her photos have been seen over 100,000 since she started the project.
Here are two of the fabulous messages she has left so far:
This messages sparked a backlash from men saying they don’t know anyone who isn’t disgusted by rape, but several recent articles that have been trending on social media show otherwise. First there was the MRA that asked for rape on private property to become legal so women would make “better choices for themselves” and then there was the rapist from India who said women shouldn’t fight back and just “take it.” Those are just two examples, there are so many more because misogyny is not some isolated problem.
And while the majority of society are disgusted with rapists, there are many women who receive threats of rape and assault daily over speaking up for feminism on social media and statistically a woman is raped every 107 seconds in the U.S. So why is it so wrong for a woman to shine a light on the silence from the male gender when it comes to the subject of rape, why aren’t men standing arm in arm with feminists and equally outraged over this huge problem, ESPECIALLY if rape by a male is also a problem for men?
Elonë also tackled the problem of catcalling:
Despite her innocent activism to spread positive messages to help women and speak to society, she has received a lot of backlash from people online.
The mansplainers and MRAs came out in force:
One of the problems in our society is the notion that women could always be doing something “more useful” than simply talking about rape. Instead of creatively starting a discussion on rape, this person says she isn’t helping homeless women enough because she could have donated those pads. Others were madder about the fact she had littered. Instead of talking about women, she should have talked about men, really the complaints went on and on.
Here are some examples from the comments section on Buzzfeed:
The main complaint was that Elonë had generalized by simply saying ‘Men’ in her first image. This complaint is common because males seem to expect women to name every man who is apathetic about the subject of rape by name, but the real problem is instead of talking about rape they wasted space by saying that Elonë had personally attacked them.
This is such a common gripe that it seems like nothing can be discussed on the internet because these poor guys all need to be assured that the woman in question isn’t speaking about them personally — which pulls the rug out from under the original topic in such a way that it becomes a secondary issue.
Psst. Hey guys, if you don’t feel this way, she isn’t talking about you.
The other complaint was that men are also raped and they weren’t included, but Elonë says she mainly talked about women because it was International Women’s Day. While it’s true that raped men generally do take a backseat in feminist rape discussions (because females are statistically raped more, are statistically victimized by men, and the same society that is unfair to women are also unfair to male victims), simply shutting out the fact that women are victimized more often and are very often blamed for their rapes isn’t helping anyone at all.
Men do get raped (statistically by other men), and very often they are kept from discussing their rapes because of this patriarchal idea that men should be strong enough to stop a rape or that they should be ashamed. It’s a huge problem for victims on both sides of the aisle and society is to blame because of our antiquated views on gender and sexual assault.
Many others thought it was a great idea and really liked the medium Elonë used to spread her message to society and at the very least she did provoke males to ask themselves, “Am I more disgusted by periods than I am rape?”