Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Friend Did It

Writing is a great way to express yourself. I do it all the time. I communicate much better through writing than I do speech. A piece of writing can be published and last forever. Even after the book/magazine/newspaper is recycled or archived, there will be a record of it somewhere.

Many women throughout the ages have used writing and rhetoric to try and change the world. They've done a hell of a job if you ask me! For most of history, Anonymous was a women. No one would have taken her seriously if she gave her real name. Eventually, I hope to be an accomplished writer too.

We read a speech by Andrea Dworkin that really got to me. This was given in 1983, titled “I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape.” Can you imagine? Honestly, even I can’t. How horrible is that? It’s been around since the dawn of time, and it used to be okay. Some people still act like it’s okay. She asks: “Why are you so slow?” She says things that just break my heart like: “We do not have time. We women. We don't have forever. Some of us don't have another week or another day to take time for you to discuss whatever it is that will enable you to go out into those streets and do something. We are very close to death. All women are. And we are very close to rape and we are very close to beating. And we are inside a system of humiliation from which there is no escape for us.”

I feel like a lot of the issue about rape and how so many people ignore it and blame victims and just overall pretend it’s not real, is because it used to be legal. The definition has changed. It used to be okay to rape your spouse. People get raped by family members, babysitters, their own significant others, their friends.

How many of you have been there? Where you thought rape wasn’t possible unless it was a stranger? How many times have you trusted someone enough to be alone with them and something bad happened? And you didn’t want to tell anyone because they’d just take his side? He’d lie, say it had all been your idea, you seduced him, blah blah blah. Oh here’s an idea, if I wanted to sleep with you, I would have done it the first time you asked, DUMBASS.

But of course when I try to point that out, this happens:

People like this Derik are why people think this crap is okay. Dworkin continues: “It is an extraordinary thing to try to understand and confront why it is that men believe – and men do believe – that they have the right to rape. Men may not believe it when asked…It's in life that men believe they have the right to force sex, which they don't call rape.”

Hiding behind guilt, that's my favorite. I love that one. Oh, it's horrible, yes, and I'm so sorry. You have the time to feel guilty. We don't have the time for you to feel guilty. Your guilt is a form of acquiescence in what continues to occur. Your guilt helps keep things the way they are…Your guilt, your suffering, reduces to: gee, we really feel so bad. Everything makes men feel so bad: what you do, what you don't do, what you want to do, what you don't want to want to do but are going to do anyway. I think most of your distress is: gee, we really feel so bad. And I'm sorry that you feel so bad – so uselessly and stupidly bad – because there is a way in which this really is your tragedy. And I don't mean because you can't cry. And I don't mean because there is no real intimacy in your lives. And I don't mean because the armor that you have to live with as men is stultifying: and I don't doubt that it is. But I don't mean any of that.”

This speech just blows my mind.

“Intimacy is worth having. Tenderness is worth having. Cooperation is worth having. A real emotional life is worth having. But you can't have them in a world with rape. Ending homophobia is worth doing. But you can't do it in a world with rape. Rape stands in the way of each and every one of those things you say you want. And by rape you know what I mean. A judge does not have to walk into this room and say that according to statute such and such these are the elements of proof. We're talking about any kind of coerced sex, including sex coerced by poverty.”

BOOM. Like Andrea, I leave you here to listen to this and do this for the women you say you love.

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