Tag Archives: rape

Sometimes my heart pounds like thunder and I don’t know why I don’t explode

Trigger Warning: for mentions of rape and extreme misogyny

This. Just this. I can’t even. There are no fucking words. Last night I cried, I fucking sobbed because my body is not my own. My body is not my right. My body is a fucking political war ground. It terrifies me that I could wake up someday and need a fucking abortion and I would have to jump through countless painful hoops just to obtain one. And then, after all that, people would sit and fucking judge me for taking responsibility for MY life and MY body and MY fucking well-being.

It gets hard, realizing every fucking day that they don’t care about you. They don’t care if you die. They don’t care if you can’t feed your kids. They don’t care if the mental ramifications of pregnancy and child-rearing are so emotionally traumatizing that you’re never the same again. They don’t give a shit about you. You shouldn’t have opened your legs, you fucking slut. Oh, what’s that? You were raped? Oh, you were using contraception carefully but it failed you? Well, maybe the rape victim is okay but the person who willingly had sex, she doesn’t deserve an abortion. She doesn’t fucking deserve it because she’s a slut who needs to be punished with a baby. Responsibility is what we need to teach these silly ladies and the best fucking way to do that is by FORCING pregnancy that they don’t want onto them. We have a hierarchy of worth: you, woman with two children who’s birth control failed her, or you, woman who accidentally forgot a pill or had a condom rip, are not at the top of that hierarchy. Sorry for your fucking luck.

This is what a misogynistic culture looks like. This is what sexism looks like. Do you really fucking think this is about ‘saving babies’ or ‘cherishing life’? If the anti-choicers gave two fucking shits about saving fetuses then they would fucking acknowledge the 70,000 fucking women (and their fetuses) that die every. Fucking. Year. From illegal, unsafe abortions. And do you think this is the only thing? Really? Oh, no. There’s ANOTHER proposed bill that would allow doctors to refuse treatment to women if it would endanger their fetus. It’s called “The Protect Life” act. The irony would be funny if it weren’t so fucking terrifying. And the plans to cut funding for Planned Parenthood (which is terrifying on so many levels; thousands of women depend on Planned Parenthood for routine checkups and access to birth control). Don’t you fucking see it?

They want us to fucking die. They don’t fucking care.

Fetuses are more important than women. You should be punished for having sex. You should be punished for wanting to have bodily autonomy. You should be punished for accidentally losing a pregnancy. Like the woman who was imprisoned for having a miscarriage. The laws that enabled this woman to be imprisoned for a miscarriage are the same kind of fucking “Personhood Laws” that the GOP is pushing for in America. You think it can’t happen here? You’re fucking wrong. And yes, surprise sur-fucking-prise, that bill was passed in fucking Utah, the same fucking state that requires women to look at an ultrasound before an abortion. Because, you know, women are fucking stupid and there’s no way a woman could have sat and thought long and fucking hard about whether or not this was the right decision for her. No, after all that, she has to be forced to look at a fucking ultrasound in the ridiculous hopes that she’ll have some epiphany that it’s A BABY SHE’S KILLING! YOU’RE MURDERING A BABY, SLUT!

And you know what my absolute favorite part of all this is? The overwhelming majority of the people who are making these decisions about women’s bodies, health and lives are cis men. You know, the people who won’t ever fucking have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. They won’t ever have to deal with being forced or shamed into carrying their rapist’s fetus to term (all the while undergoing potentially triggering invasive check ups and procedures). They won’t have to fucking make the choice between being able to feed your already living breathing children or terminating a fetus that isn’t even a fucking person and being called a fucking murderer for it. They don’t have to worry about dying during childbirth (which BTW, death during childbirth happens way more than death during safe, legal abortions) or being denied lifesaving medical treatment because your doctor thinks that the moral decision is to let you fucking die. They don’t have to worry about hemorrhaging and bleeding the fuck out after a botched back-alley procedure that you underwent because you couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to clean, sterile, safe, legal procedures.  These are definitely the people who should be making these decisions about women’s lives, right?

I’m angry (obviously). I’m scared and I feel vulnerable and helpless. I’m so angry that it’s 2011 and we STILL have to carry on this fight. Roe v. Wade was in 19-fucking-73. We’ve been fighting ever fucking since. Our rights to our bodies and health aren’t important enough to be set in stone in our laws. So yeah, I am angry. Really fucking angry. And I refuse to fucking apologize for my anger. I refuse to be nice. Too fucking often we’re told, oh, well you can’t BE angry; you have to nice and calm and willing to explain everything over and over and over and over because if you don’t-if you’re not compliant and willing and sweet about EVERYTHING ALWAYS-well, people just won’t listen to you! Well, you know what? Fuck you. I am fucking unapologetically angry right now. This pro-choice screed isn’t an invitation for open debate; I don’t fucking want to hear your anti-choice rationalization. Women are dying. Women’s health is being threatened and disregarded. So I don’t really give two squirts of piss about your fucking reasons why you think abortion is so morally wrong and should be illegal. If that alienates some of the readers who come by this blog: too fucking bad. To quote Kathleen Hanna:

I’m so sorry that I’m alienating some of you/your whole fucking culture alienates me.

War has been waged on our bodies, our autonomy, our health and our very fucking lives. I’m not here to fucking play nicey-nice about that.

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Sometimes I just want to break windows and shit.

Imagine what it would be like if every woman responded to the sexual harassment, oppression, rapes, and sexist comments and jokes that perpetrate this anti-woman culture with extreme violence. What if every woman who gets harassed on the streets decided to throw a punch or every rape victim decided to stab her rapist or every time someone made an assumption or comment based on sexist ideas a woman decided to smash something. It’d be a really fucking violent world. An openly violent world. There would be constant violence in the streets and in homes and everywhere.

Sometimes I wish it was like that. Sometimes I wish we would all just fucking lose our shit and start breaking glass and rioting.

Do you think they’d finally listen if we did?

I’ve been thinking a lot about overt female sexuality. Because I’ve been listening to Lords of Acid. And I started thinking about how if you’re a woman you either can’t express sexuality at all (and you’re a real, true goodly lady). Or you CAN and you can be labeled all the things that women who express sexuality get labeled. But beyond that, you are no longer a real, true goodly lady. So anything that happens to you, say, you get assaulted or raped is your fault. By expressing sexuality and a desire for sex, you’re clearly expressing a desire for sex WITH ANYONE AT ALL TIMES EVER FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AND NO MEANS YES FROM NOW ON. Cause you’re a slut. If you like sex with one person, you’ll like it with the next.

We can choose to have sex or not have sex. We can choose to show our bodies or not. But there still exists the whore/virgin dichotomy. And it’s still hurting every single one of us. And as far as a large part of the world is concerned, if you choose to have sex you’re also choosing to be a bad girl and you deserve all the shit that may or may happen to you. And only bad shit happens to bad girls, right? Which is why we bemoan the past decisions (or the way they look or where they were or what they were doing) of rape victims and make it seem like they somehow brought it on themselves. It’s why we clutch our pearls at the thought of female sexuality and try to make it seem so scary and dangerous. People are so afraid of women having full and complete ownership of their bodies and their sexualities. Because that’s something that men do. It’s a manly thing. And if women do the things that men do, well, it’s like they ARE men and then there’s no power dynamic and we have to be all equal and shit.

I know I’m oversimplifying.

And I know that I’ve said this all before. And the people that I choose to surround myself with have said this all before and will continue saying it endlessly. It’s the rest of the people that I can’t get through to. Those are the people that don’t want to listen or don’t comprehend and those are the people that scare me because it’s people like that who have power, who make decisions about me and my body and the laws and the protections for and against women. I read a really thought-provoking comment on one of Britni’s posts once:

…I’m going to agree with Melissa McEwan here and say, “And just like how people who speak Arabic are better translators of Arabic than people who don’t, people who have immersed themselves in the critical theories of gender are better translators of what is and is not sexism. Identifying and defining sexism is not–as “sexism is a matter of opinion” suggests–a speculative chore. There is an existing framework for recognizing and characterizing expressed sexism—and those who have made it their business to become fluent in it are the closest thing to objective experts as exist in any discipline.”

I’ve spent most of my life, since I was about 11 years old and started reading books about rape and domestic violence, studying these things in a non-academic setting (although I incorporated it into my schoolwork sometimes). Reading books, reading blogs, listening to people’s stories, experiencing the shit first-hand, etc. I’m planning on going to college to study all of this even more. I’m lucky enough to be in a relationship with someone who has also studied these things. It’s easy for me to recognize sexism and how badly it hurts people. It’s other people that I don’t know how to reach. How do you try to point out something as simple as ‘this is sexist’, when it feels like you have to go into a detailed explanation of HOW and WHY it’s so sexist and WHY it’s important and how YES, IT REALLY, REALLY IS SEXIST AND WOULD YOU JUST STFU AND LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!?

And that’s how angry conversations start. And then we end up nowhere.

Forgive me if this post is really disjointed and makes little sense. I’ve been reading My Fault, I’m Female (you should read it too) and I got really angry and just had to write stuff.

 

 

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This post is for Britni

Tonight, I read a piece of vile, victim-blaming apologist bullshit in regards to something that happened to Britni. Britni is someone that I admire. I enjoy her blog a LOT. I look up to her brash, unapologetic sass and her cute sense of style and how she’s not afraid to call out a rape culture for what it is. Britni is not afraid to talk about when she is sexually assaulted or raped; she is giving a strong voice and face to sexual assault survivors everywhere and for that she is one of my heroes.  Britni gets a lot of shit heaped on her. And it makes me sad.

If I tell you no, stop. It doesn’t matter if I’ve said yes to 1, 2, and 3, if I say no to 4, you fucking stop. That’s called consent.

If I am wearing a piece of clothing that bears a fair amount of skin and I get sexually assaulted don’t you fucking dare blame it on what I was wearing. That is called victim blaming.

If I get raped in the dead of night while walking home from the bar by a group of men, don’t you fucking dare blame me for being out in the middle of the night after drinking. That is called rape apology.

How about we as a fucking society start blaming THE RAPISTS AND MOLESTERS for their own fucking actions? We always want the victim to take responsibility for their actions; why not the fucking criminal in the matter? I’ve quoted this before and I’ll quote it again, from Shakesville:

Quite literally, the only thing a person can do to avoid being raped is never be in the same room as a rapist. Since they don’t announce themselves or wear signs or glow purple, that’s not a very reasonable expectation, is it?

Enough victim blaming. Enough.

I’m sick of seeing rapes and sexual assaults being used as ammo as to why female sexuality is the thing that is so damned dangerous rather than all the rapists out there who are doing the goddamn raping. I’m sick of it. Britni doesn’t deserve to be blamed for her sexual assaults. When Britni felt uncomfortable with the situation she tried to leave as quickly as possible and then she was further violated; but it’s still her fault for not making enough of a scene. Because you know, making a scene always stops them in their tracks. Fuck that noise. Fuck that rape apologist bullshit. STFU, rape apologists.

Britni, this post is written entirely for you. For you and in defense of you. Because you don’t deserve that bullshit and even though you’re strong, sometimes everyone needs people standing behind them, giving them support. <3

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Rape-apology and fame privilege

You know what I’m sick of?

Rape apology.

Rape apology is everywhere, whether it’s judges deciding that sex workers cannot be raped (they’re just being robbed from, you know? ‘Cause they’re whores!), rape victims being blamed for their own assaults because they didn’t regulate their own behavior, to people just not caring enough about other human beings to give a shit about whether or not they’ve been violated in one of the worst ways possible.

That last one is something that I recently encountered at my job. I was on break with the other ladies (I’m the youngest person where I work; all the other women are from their mid-30s to mid-60s) and the conversation got around to football, not my favorite subject since I don’t follow sports. Two of the women are Steelers fans, and one of them remarked that their quarterback was ‘getting into some trouble’. This sparked something in my brain that I remembered hearing about so I said, “Didn’t he rape someone?” The response: a disheartening helping of rape-apology bullshit.

Both of the women, who are fine, lovely ladies that I enjoy working with, starting making excuses not only for his alleged behavior but for the behavior of all men anywhere who may possibly rape a woman. One immediately brushed it off by saying, quite dismissively that it was only alleged. To quote my other co-worker:

These women get around rich men for their money and you have to know that the one thing about a man is his sex drive. He’s only a human being.

So…if you’re a gold digging woman who is around a man for his money you HAVE to expect to get raped. Because that’s what men are: sex drives. So much so that they WILL rape you. I’m sorry, but aren’t men fucking tired of this shit just as much as women? Doesn’t it upset them that they’re basically equated to uncontrollable sex drives that will completely and totally violate another human being just for sex? Saying that it’s just normal human behavior to expect from a man is so insulting and places all of the blame squarely on the victim; it furthers the notion that it’s women who need to change their behavior and not that we need to teach people not to fucking rape other people.

But this reveals another kind of bullshit that we ALL see everywhere: fame privilege. Would these women be defending this man if he weren’t the quarterback of their favorite football team? We saw something similar back when Chris Brown beat the shit out of Rihanna. People (a huge number of them women, sadly) dismissing his behavior on the basis that he’s hot and singer that they love. We saw it when Roman Polanski, a man who after being accused of rape (the subsequent amount of bullshit that followed the accusation is all discussed a little more in depth here) fled the country and evaded prosecution (or indeed punishment of any kind) FOR THIRTY YEARS, was arrested; dozens of people and filmmakers cried out against it. I get so sick of hearing people defend heinous behavior just because someone is famous or talented. It’s difficult to accept that your favorite singer or sports player or what have you has done something that is so fucked up (as I’ve had to learn being a fan of Polanski’s films and also recently while coming to terms with the ableism in Evelyn Evelyn) but the victims of these crimes deserve to be acknowledged not judged. We as a society need to STOP placing blame on these people and further marginalizing them. Excusing famous people an a large scale makes it all the more acceptable to excuse it on a small, personal scale.

It makes it more acceptable to tell a girl she was asking for it by wearing a skirt and drinking a beer. It makes it more acceptable to judge a woman who hasn’t found the strength to leave a man who has systematically abused her to the point that her self-esteem is so low that she doesn’t believe that she deserves better and continues to stay with him. It makes it more acceptable to make light of and normalize rape, with horrible jokes like the one on Family Guy where Quagmire rapes Marge Simpson (who afterward claims to have enjoyed it; women love rape) and subsequently kills her (and her whole family). And all of it fosters a rape culture that glorifies and even fetishizes violence against women. A culture wherein high-end fashion uses gang rape imagery in their advertisement:

This is just one example of all the many, many, many, many examples of how normalized rape and violence against women is in our society.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of rape-apology. I’m sick of being told that women need to regulate their behavior to avoid being raped. As if watching what you wear, how much you drink, this or that truly has any real factor in whether or not you are raped.

Let’s create a scenario. Let’s pretend that I’m in a room, a party maybe, with a rapist. How about instead of me watching what I drink or making sure my tits and legs are covered and I’m wearing appropriate clothing that will not incite this rapist’s desire for me, instead of me going to all these lengths to ensure that I’m not responsible for my own rape how about THAT FUCKING RAPIST JUST NOT FUCKING RAPE ME. How about having enough fucking respect for another human being to not sexually violate them? How about we start holding these fucking rapists accountable, completely fucking accountable, for their actions. No more of this roundabout language that misplaces the blame. No more victim blaming. To quote Melissa at Shakesville:

Quite literally, the only thing a person can do to avoid being raped is never be in the same room as a rapist. Since they don’t announce themselves or wear signs or glow purple, that’s not a very reasonable expectation, is it?

Enough victim blaming. Enough.

People get raped because rapists rape them. It is as simple as that. World, I have this to say to you: stop. Stop using rape as a way to control and regulate the way women live. As an excuse to try and force us back into traditional ideas about how women are “supposed to behave”.

I hate living in a world where I am always a potential rape victim simply because I have a vagina. I hate living in a world where rape has become expected and even, it would seem, acceptable male behavior. I hate that I know women who are afraid of speaking out for fear of being blamed for something that was done to them. I hate that there is a complete validity to that fear because we live in a victim-blaming society.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and I wanted to contribute to the fight against rape and rape culture. I have never been raped but I have experienced different forms of sexual assault, much of it a result of simply being a woman who talks openly about sex. I’ve been harassed to get on cam and flash my tits and, after repeatedly declining and giving my personal reasons why I’m declining, was told that I can retain my dignity ‘because no one else will know about it’. When I told him to go find porn to watch, of which there is a VAST amount of online, he said it’s different when it’s a girl you know. It’s more real. Apparently it’s better when you coerce a ‘real’ girl into doing something she doesn’t want to do. I’ve had people try to engage in cyber sex that I in no way invited (other than, again being a woman who talks openly about sexuality). I’ve been called a whore and a slut for my sexuality. I experience these things and so do countless other women. It is reality.

I won’t tolerate rape apology bullshit anymore. I’m sick of hearing it. I’ve made a decision that from now on, when I hear rape apology I will speak up against it. I hope that I can stick to this. In a world where women are routinely oppressed and shouted down when they try to counter fucked up shit, I know that it’ll be hard and I’m gonna be dismissed A LOT. But I can’t fucking handle hearing the shit anymore. The day my two co-workers started excusing the alleged rape by the Steeler’s quarterback I went on a tangent about rape and violence against women and the different ways women are conditioned to behave by our society. And while I know that neither of them really listened or believed what I said I still felt better than I would have if I had just sat there and said nothing. It’s hard. But speak up if you can. Fight the bullshit. And if you have a story, please tell it.

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Birds do it, bees do it, bonobos do a lot of it

[Article about animal sexual behavior, first published in the Carleton CLAP 4/24/2009]

“There was an old miner named Dave
Who kept a dead whore in his cave.
You have to admit
He hadn’t much wit
But look at the money he saved!”

This limerick is the namesake of Davian behavior, in which animals live and copulate with deceased mates. Yes, inspired by Isabella Rossellini’s recent short film series Green Porno (viewable on the Sundance Channel’s website or on YouTube), here’s a handy guide to animal sex, taken mostly from Wikipedia’s article on “Animal sexual behavior“:

-Masturbation: horses (even when castrated), goats, camels, elephants, walruses, zebras, killer whales, vampire bats, etc.
-Mutual masturbation: bears and hyenas
-Autofellatio: kangaroos, bonobos, squirrel monkeys
-Sex toys: porcupines, ferrets, orangutans
-Homosexuality: giraffes, penguins, cattle, bonobos, sheep, dolphins, dragonflies, etc.
-Rape: dolphins, spiders, ducks, water beetles, elephants
-Pedophilia: moles, stoats, hyenas, bonobos
-Necrophilia: ducks, toads, squirrels

[Etc. = pretty much everybody does it. This list is far from exhaustive.]

Apparently the generally accepted term is “sexual cannibalism,” but I still prefer using “connubial cannibalism” to refer to the tendency, especially of female mantises, to bite off their mates’ heads in the midst of coitus. It’s nutritional, too! As we learn from Prete and Hurd’s enlightening text The Praying Mantids,

males are renowned for their ability to initiate copulation while being eaten. The organization of a mantid’s central nervous system will allow both copulation and spermatophore transfer in the absence of descending input from the cephalic ganglia.

In other words? Male mantids can fuck without brains. When you’re dealing with bedbugs, the phrase “All sex is rape” takes on a whole new meaning. Like a number of other invertebrates, they practice “traumatic insemination”: instead of simple genital-to-genital contact, the male uses his penis to pierce the female’s abdominal cavity and inject his sperm. Bedbugs conveniently evolved an organ called the spermalege, designed specifically as a sexual target for the male, but females of other species are not so lucky and have to deal with the health consequences of this brutal penetration.

The more we know about animal sex, the more we know about ourselves (maybe?). After all, Freud himself spent his early years in medical school studying the sex organs of eels. Moral of the story? Bonobos are some polymorphously perverse little apes.

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