“You don’t have to be overly macho. You don’t have to be over-complimentary. Gain her respect. And that’s treating her as an equal. Don’t bullshit her. Treat her as a human being. Treat her as you would treat yourself. As soon as you have that respect from her, she’ll treat you with the same respect that you show. Then you fuck the shit out of her.”— John Curtis Holmes
No one rapes your Internet connection, or rapes you in a debate. No one rapes your ask box with spam. People don’t rape with their eyes, that’s called “eye-fucking.” You are not raped with a passionate hug. No one rapes you at basketball or rapes you with a tackle, playful or athletic. You don’t want someone to rape you, because then it isn’t rape. Wanting to rape does not mean wanting to have sex. You do not want to rape people to whom you’re attracted, unless you are a rapist.
As long as I’m talking about it, here are some misconceptions:
Nonchalance toward rape does not combat the stigmatization attached to victims.
The word rape does not give itself power. The power comes from the context of the word for victims.
Rape victims are not asking you to be hypersensitive by asking you not to belittle or to trigger a trauma.
I’m not violating your right to free speech by asking you to be considerate.
If you read this and felt attacked, ask yourself why. We don’t say “sexually abused” metaphorically, so why say rape? I’m not asking you to never use the word. I just believe it should only be used when you seriously mean rape. When we live in a world without millions of victims, we can talk about redefining or reclaiming it.
I even have alternatives, though there are obviously many more:
“Coming into a feminist conversation with, “Have you considered that sometimes women acquire free drinks at bars?” is like walking into graduate school during Philosophy finals and saying, “Have you considered that the color blue that I see may not be the color blue that you see?”
Imagine you are the guy who just walked into that Philosophy class and laid that shit down. Imagine the class full of students who have worked very hard and committed themselves and sacrificed to be here, students who have spent several years of their lives learning about this subject. Imagine now their feelings when you go to the head of the classroom with a smirk on your face and demand the professor give you an A for effort. Imagine now that they think you are a douchebag asshole, because they do, and because you are. You are a douchebag asshole because you are obviously so self-centered, arrogant, and completely ignorant of the world around you, that you thought you could walk into a high-level course with no background and no work and say something profoundly simplistic and totally unrelated and also everybody should congratulate you for having done this thing, so brave, so provocative.
Okay, so that might be a little more abstract of an example. How about something more people are likely familiar with? Imagine you work very hard at your job, and yet you have a boss who is a fucking moron. Your boss knows nothing about the work the company does. Your boss doesn’t even know the names of the products. All your boss knows how to do, apparently, is walk around with a very smug look on their face, occasionally saying something like, “Have we considered… advertising our product?” and waiting for the advertising department to praise such a profound and remarkable idea. And if you do not praise your boss, your boss gets angry. Your boss tells you that you are not a team player. Your boss tells you that they got where they are by hard work and ingenuity and hustle, and you could show a little bit more of that, don’t you think? Also, have you considered using this new internet thing he’s hearing so much about? That’s why he gets paid the big bucks, you know, ideas like that.
This is what you do when you walk into a feminist conversation and ask whether or not we have considered that sometimes men get turned down by girls they like and that hurts their feelings.
You are not asking us a real question. You are simply illustrating, for all to see, your own ignorance. You are saying, “I have not considered the implications of the question I have just asked. I have not taken the time nor effort nor commitment to sit down and ask myself this question. Instead, I have come into your philosophy classroom/office/feminist blog and shit out my question with a smirk, because I believe that my two seconds of thought are worth more than your long-term analysis, because I believe I am worth more.””—
The above is a great excerpt from a post at Fugitivus a couple years ago. The post is longish, and definitely worth a read, but this particular quote stood out.
You can probably imagine the stupid ass shit that doesn’t get out of The Border House moderation queue. ”HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THAT MEN ARE OBJECTIFIED IN VIDEOGAMES, TOO???!!!11” No, dumbass. We haven’t. Because it’s not like we spend a lot of time thinking about sexism and its effects on people in the context of videogames and have a blog about it, or anything like that!
“Most of us, in our daily lives, do not think about rape at all. Women, however, do. When I ask women what they do in their daily lives because of the threat of sexual violence, they offer a long list of actions and thought processes – everything from paying attention to where they park their cars to having a man’s voice on their answering machine to holding their keys as a weapon when walking across a parking lot. Every action of women within a rape culture is tainted by that culture. Going to get their mail, driving to work, going out with friends – none of these actions is “free.” One way of thinking about this is to realize that regardless of the statistics about how many women experience a rape or attempted rape within their lifetime, 100% of women experience the threat of rape within a rape culture. This means that all women’s lives are impacted.”—
Pornography, Lad Mags, Video Games and Boys: Reviving the Canary in the Cultural Coalmine Matthew B. Ezzell (via iwillnotshavemyvagina)
I always walk with my keys out after dark. I will gouge your eyes out.
See, my mom taught me to gauge out an attacker’s eyes with my thumbs. The keys (or optional metal nail file, if you carry those) are out because they can be jabbed violently and directly into either the stomach or interior thigh and then pulled up as hard as possible.
I was maybe 12 years old when she thought it was necessary to teach me these defense tactics. THIS is rape culture.
My dad taught me how to break a nose in both a fatal and nonfatal fashion, how to blind an attacker, how to hit the kidneys forcefully enough to momentarily debilitate, at what angle to knee or elbow the groin from several different positions to best debilitate, and told me to scream “fire” instead of “rape.” He taught me these things when I was eleven years old, and he taught me because my mother couldn’t talk about sexual assault due to post-traumatic stress. This is rape culture.