Target: Creator of When Women Refuse, Deanna Zandt
Goal: Commend campaign to bring attention to the pervasiveness of gender-based violence
A mass shooting was recently committed at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) by a young man who desired to hurt all the women who were not attracted to him. The tragedy sparked an online protest using the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen, which seeks to shed light on the epidemic of violence against women by men who see women’s bodies as objects to which they are entitled. Of course, not all men are involved in such acts of violence, but all women are potential victims, and instances of violence like the shooting at UCSB are not isolated or freak accidents. These sentiments led writer Kate Harding to share news articles via Facebook of similar incidents. Harding’s actions inspired social media expert and feminist Deanna Zandt to start the Tumblr blog “When Women Refuse” to collect stories about situations in which women were harmed or killed for refusing men’s sexual advances.
The blog, which immediately gained several feminist administrators, features stories from various news outlets contributed by followers or found by the administrators themselves. In an interview about the project, Zandt commented, “There’s been a really positive reaction from both men and women…I think it’s been really eye opening for many people.” She notes that this blog is part of a huge effort on the part of feminists to open up a dialogue about gender-based violence, victim blaming, and rape culture. After all, it is impossible to make a change if people deny that the problem exists.
By signing this petition, you are thanking Zandt and the team behind “When Women Refuse” for calling out rape culture and gender-based violence. You are encouraging them to continue sharing these stories and building a dialogue about rape culture so that we can more effectively fight back against the objectification of women.
Dear Ms. Zandt,
Your blog “When Women Refuse” is an important contribution to the discussion about rape culture, forcing people to see that the objectification of women and gender-based violence are normative rather than isolated occurrences. Unfortunately, those who are aware of and discuss the epidemic of violence against women are mainly feminist or activist women themselves, but blogs and other social media outlets like yours are opening up a conversation that includes more of the general public.
Thank you for creating and maintaining “When Women Refuse.” Thank you for being an inspiration to women who may think that their experiences of gender-based violence were deserved or isolated in any way. Thank you for showing people that violence against women is the norm, and needs to stop.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Elvert Barnes via Flickr