Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Nashville is Talking Utter Lunacy

[I know I have a bunch of readers who don't live in middle Tennessee and I'm sorry you have to sit through this shit again, but that's just the way it goes. If upsetting things upset you, go down and contemplate the lovely afghan I'm making W., in part because he's now embarrassed that I'm making it for him.] Middle Tennessee, you piss me off. This would not normally be a problem, except this morning, I snapped at the dog. Once you have me irrationally yelling at my dog before dawn, we need to have a little talk. Here is what I'd rather be screaming at you: 1. Each and every one of you knows someone who's been raped. You know many someones who've been sexually assaulted, even if it didn't get as far as rape. If you're thinking, right now, "That's not true. I don't know anyone," it's either because you come across like such a fucktard that no one's told you because they don't think you'll understand or they have told you and you're such a fucktard you don't know how to listen. 2. Many conservatives, it's obvious that your concepts of freedom don't include me. You spout all this bullshit about how "your freedom ends where my nose begins," but your freedom ends way up in my uterus. You get to crawl around in my vagina passing judgment on all the things that end up there and what the result of that is. Why, conservative Americans, do you have the priviledge of bodily autonomy and I don't? Do only men get to be free? 3. Straight men, for just one day, I'd like you to try this little thought experiment. Just try to imagine the last time you got in a fight, a real knock-down drag out fight. If you lost, imagine that the guy who won stuck his dick in you. Would you go to the police? Would you go to the hospital? Would you tell anyone ever? You don't have to answer me, but I'm betting that most of you would not. So, try to have a little fucking mercy on the women who are raped and don't know exactly how to play sympathetic victim. If someone shoots you, you should go to the hospital and get it taken care of. But, if you're actually shot, you might find that you're too busy being blinded by pain and fear and, you know, death, to make the phone call to get the ambulance. Rape is also a violent crime. Rape victims are often too busy being afraid and in pain to act rationally. 4. In the end, there is little women can do to prevent being raped. You might think that you would never go to a party and get drunk. Your friends would never lock you out of the house on accident. Or you'd never walk through the park by yourself. Or you'd never let a stranger into your home. But what the fuck, women? You're never going to date? You're going to always go out in pairs? You're never going to let your husband or boyfriend or kids invite other boys over? You're going to treat every single man you meet like he wants to hurt you? That's how you go through life? You think that's a practical way for every woman to go through life? We cannot control the behavior of others. Read that again. We cannot control the behavior of others. We cannot stop men from raping us. Men have to stop raping us. Yes, there are things we can do to make our own rapes less likely, but in those cases, unless we've killed the motherfucker, usually all we're doing is moving him along to the next victim. We are not the problem. We cannot control the behavior of others. Okay, I feel better. But I know we've gotten to this point and some of you are thinking, "Has B. ever been raped?" and then thinking "Oh, my god, I can't ask that." It's okay. You can ask it. And I'll answer you. Was I ever raped? No. Why not? Because a ten year old Butcher heard me screaming and came downstairs to see what was wrong. He hit the dude and kicked him for all he was worth, but, you know, he was ten and the dude was big. When he started crying, though, the guy stopped, because as important as it was for me to know what a fucking whore I was and how I couldn't just ignore him without paying for it, it was more important for him to stop and comfort the Butcher and to let him know that boys don't have to cry about the shit that happens to girls. Why didn't I call the police? I'd already called the police a number of times after he'd broken into my house and left things. They said they weren't going to get involved in some boyfriend/girlfriend drama, even though I insisted he wasn't my boyfriend. Plus, he was at my house because my parents kept insisting that, if only I were nicer to him and worked harder to make him like me, he'd stop being so fucking weird. I thought that everyone would think I deserved it. And, frankly, I was embarrassed that the Butcher saw me like that. It's not rational, I know, but there it is. I didn't want him to have to tell everyone over and over again what he'd seen. So, there you go. I suppose you'll think that explains a lot. And maybe it does. It at least explains my love for Evan Seinfeld and David Banner. In my fantasies, I live with a guy who can kick the shit out of anyone who might hurt me.

53 Comments:

Anonymous Bob K said...

You were right--twice:

We cannot control the behavior of others.

Stop trying. Just go to another store.

10/26/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

I'm right all the time, Krumm. And when I'm not, I have the balls to admit it.

Someday you'll see that imposing your religious beliefs about when life begins on me to my detrement curtails my liberty. And on that day, I hope you have the balls to admit you're wrong.

10/26/2005 09:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Lesley said...

Well said.

10/26/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger grandefille said...

Thank you, aunt b.

10/26/2005 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

I don't get the religious references you and Bob are talking about, but as women, there are things we can do to avoid being raped.
For one, learn to stop your attacker and run. Don't stand there and fight. Immobilize him and run. There are many simple ways to do this. I can stop a man twice my size because I know how to use weight shift. Take a self defense class.
Then there are the logical events such as not walking alone at night. Although, next to my peace symbol on my key ring is tear gas. Try to avoid potentially dangerous situations, but be prepared in those cases that might be dangerous. Even with all of that, you can still get raped. Speaking for myself, I refuse to live in fear of anyone. I'm prepared, but the worst can still happen. But what allows me to be a peacenik is my preperation to war. Sounds like a contradiction, but it's true. If you know how to fight, then it usually gives you the option to be peaceful.
Learn how to kick, stomp, temp.blind and run. You don't want to stay there and yell at him and try to beat him up...you'll lose. The idea is to immobilize him and get away as quickly as possible.
Look, if there are 5 guys and I'm alone, I'm in trouble. I hope that doesn't happen. But I am prepared as I can be. Do what you can.
BTW, I have been raped and molested as a child. It didn't make me angry...and after a few bad relationships, I refused to have a victim mentality. I'm not a victim...I am very much a survivor and intend on staying so.
So again, not sure what you and Bob are talking about, but I can teach you to control your behavior.
I can teach you in on elesson how to shift you weight to throw someone twice your size. But then you have to run like hell...get to safety.
Okay. I got up to take a pain pill and try to go back to bed.
If I am able to walk on Thursday, I'll be at the party. Remind me to show you some basis moves. Even incapacitated, I can show you some basic moves.
Your friendly peaceful warrior,
S

10/26/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

The fight you want to pick is with a lot more than Middle Tennessee.

On behalf of the men, let me just say that currently we have no immediate plans to expand our freedom into your uterus or crawl around in your vagina, as tempting as that may sound.

10/26/2005 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to look up misandry. I didn't realize there was a whole word for that.

Sarcastro is right. The committee on expanding our freedoms has ruled out the uterus option.

W

10/26/2005 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

But if Kitty can't open her bookstore in Kay West, your uterus may be a viable alternative site.

10/26/2005 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Good post, B. As usual.

10/26/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Best. Post. Ever. You rock, B.

10/26/2005 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

"Although, next to my peace symbol on my key ring is tear gas."

Awesome, I love that.

Seriously, my current girlfriend was raped by her ex. While almost redundant to say rape is bad, I think it is important to distinguish that rape is always the RAPIST'S fault, not the MAN's fault.

What I mean is this. Blame the individual rapist, not the gender. I'm not saying that you are, but I think this needs to be clearly pointed out. I hate rape; besides my girlfriend, I have another ex and a good friend who were also raped. It's more common than anybody really imagines, but it is a problem with the individual who rapes, not the entire gender.

10/26/2005 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Man, I'm glad I missed that whole thread. Good post, Aunt B.

10/26/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Blake Wylie said...

You spout all this bullshit about how "your freedom ends where my nose begins," but your freedom ends way up in my uterus.

The problem here is that people who are against abortion feel that there is another person inside of you at this point...another life...another life with rights. That person's rights do include the right to life.

Now, there's a whole new argument of where life actually begins. Maybe it doesn't begin immediately at conception, but it definitely begins before it comes out of the womb.

All religion aside, this argument is strictly from a "your freedom ends where my nose begins" viewpoint.

10/26/2005 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Blake Wylie said...

By the way, Sharon. Rapists don't like guns either.

10/26/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

While I'm glad there are all kinds of people who think this is just dandy, may I say a few things?

1. Straight men are not the only ones raped when a dick gets stuck in them without their consent. It IS possible to rape a gay man. Your ommission of them is a little bit off the mark, in my opinion. As though they are so loving of penile penetration that it doesn't matter.

2. At what point do we accept that we women are strong enough to do what needs to be done even though we find it distasteful? Sure, you're ashamed and hurt and angry because there's been a violent crime committed against your person. But do you continue to be the victim with everyone saying "hush now. You'll be okay. Have some tea and sympathy" or do you take the tea, the sympathy and the phone number of the local police and rape crisis center? The best way to fight back--aside from a .9mm to the kneecap beforehand--is to put the bastard in jail. Why is it so wrong and unsympathetic and bitchy and mean of those of us who think so to tell other victims that?

If someone shoots you etc. you will end up at a hospital, unless your friendly neighborhood Dr. Mudd will patch you up. You have to go, because you are blinded by pain and have a festering wound someplace on your person. If you are raped, you're not often as easily persuaded by your own mortality.

I'm personally angered by your stance that women are apparently always helpless victims with inviolate uteruses and sanctified vaginas. Just the mere act of being a woman, apparently, means that you should be excused from acting in a socially responsible, personally responsible manner. Sharon, whom none of you would probably consider to be conservative or uncompassionate, says here what everyone knows: It is a good, practical idea to avoid dangerous situations when at all possible. That's all I was saying yesterday.

And since Blake said what I was going to say about the intrauterine life, I'll not repeat it but simply refer back to him.

10/26/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

That's all I was saying yesterday.

That was so not all you said.

10/26/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why is it so wrong and unsympathetic and bitchy and mean of those of us who think so to tell other victims that?"

My knee jerk reaction is that the problem is until you've lived through this yourself, you can't persume how to tell them to get through it. Or that if one has lived through it, one might not force one's own way of getting through it on others.

One of my most beloved family members almost didn't live through the aftermath of her rapes. Do I wish she would have done all the right things to get though it? I don't really have time because it seems to me there's no right way to survive something other than for each person to find their way to do it, and I'm just proud to the point of tears that she's still with our family. No matter how she got there.

-SuperGenius

10/26/2005 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

"If you're thinking, right now, "That's not true. I don't know anyone," it's either because you come across like such a fucktard that no one's told you because they don't think you'll understand or they have told you and you're such a fucktard you don't know how to listen."

Or maybe its because we dont hang out with dumb sluts like yourself. You're damaged goods, deal with it, dont try to project it onto the rest of us by pretending every woman out there is tainted too.

10/26/2005 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

In regard to a woman's responsibility to prevent and report a rape, it is the gist of what I was saying.

As far as the ability of a woman to enforce her worldview on another person because she's been raped, no...that's not all I said.

10/26/2005 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

Bruce, I'd venture to bet you don't hang out with anyone--male or female.

10/26/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

thats funny coming from someone who spends 18 hours a day posting on the internet

10/26/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

Dude, it's only 16 hours a day. The rest of the time I'm admonishing rape victims for not performing their post-rape duties.

And, if you weren't aware, I get paid to post on the internet all day.

10/26/2005 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

"Dude, it's only 16 hours a day. The rest of the time I'm admonishing rape victims for not performing their post-rape duties."

Like calling the police perhaps?


"And, if you weren't aware, I get paid to post on the internet all day."

Very handsomely I'm sure.

10/26/2005 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brittney, do you get paid for the admonishment too? :)

-SuperGenius

10/26/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

I do the admonishing work pro bono.

Got to get them sluts into the cop station so they can be heavily doubted, then shipped to the hospital for further probing.

10/26/2005 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Yeah. Asking a rape victim to call the police and report her rape is just the worst possible thing I could do.

I'm such a horrible human being.

Please.

10/26/2005 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

For someone who doesn't like other people to put words in her mouth, you are doing a damn fine job of it yourself.

10/26/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

Look, I agree reporting rape is a great way to combat it. But let's be clear: Women who have been raped have no "duties" to fulfill because of it.

10/26/2005 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

I haven't attributed any of my comments here to anyone else. You need to get over that, Kat.

10/26/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Much the same way you need to get over mischaracterising statements made by Kay and me and whoever else was urging women to be responsible by reporting their rapists.

Or perhaps you're just pulling these thoughts about sluts and probing from somewhere in the ether.

10/26/2005 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

It isn't a mischaracterization. It's sarcasm. Smarmy, unadulterated sarcasm.

The difference between that and "Brittney said [what she never said]" is that no one takes what I am saying as truth. It is an obvious joke.

10/26/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Blake Wylie said...

I lost track of this conversation shortly after that weird Bruce guy started talking.

10/26/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

I lost track of this conversation shortly after that weird Bruce guy started talking.

No kidding... What a fucktard he was.

10/26/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I'm thinking on the whole reporting thing. Could it be argued that one has a responsibility to report it? Yes. But, we also have a responsibility not to speed. However, if I'm an EMT and I speed to get someone having a heart attack to the hospital and I drive a little faster than the posted limit I have a reason to drop that responsibility and I doubt most people are going to fault me. Same thing if I'm a cop trying to stop a bank robbery. I can forgo that responsibility for the sake of my emergency.

Kind of a lame analogy, but when physical or psychological survival, or both, is at stake, when every moment might be a clawing the nails down to the bone and blood just fighting to hang on that only ends when the next literal moment begins, I think that just like a protective services working rushing to an emergency, I might be allowed to drop a responsibility in order to deal with the more urgent need. And no anology, what if I'm five and no one believes that my relative has been raping me? What if my rapist said I'd be killed if I told? What if I want to have one moment of peace while I'm fighting daily to make it? What if we might need to let people surviving something be the ones to decide how to do it?

Either way, I think there's an interesting issue here. The first is that any number of people can go round and round on the responsibility to report, and just as much as anyone may feel the need to stand up for that, I think it is still important to stop and think whenever one starts telling people who have been violated in part by having their choices stolen, that they still have no choices or that they don't have the choice to not do what someone else wants them to do. When they already went through that experience once in a far more frightening way. Personally, and intellectually, that really angers and frightens me.

We were told, professionally, to do what helped that person to feel better, not what made us feel better. That included a decision not to make a report.

So does any of that make someone a bad person if they don't agree with me? Oh, hell no. I think you're wrong, but you have the choice to come to your own conclusion and think that I'm the nut. I think the choice to turn it into you hate me because I disagree is a slap in the face to the gravity of this particular issue.

So go right ahead and disagree. But, personally, I hate that people are raped and I hate seeing their control and independence attacked after that's already happened once. And I think it is important to think about that, regardless of the conclusion that results.

-SuperGenius

10/26/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Wow, that's a lot to read through all at once.

But let's take it point by point.

Krumm, that was pretty bitchy of me. I'm not quite ready to apologize, but I'll acknowledge that I kind of failed to foster constructive conversation with my reply. You probably are no longer reading this, but, in case you are, I should have handled that better.

Sharon, I agree that there are quite a few things we can do to avoid being raped. I think if you go back to my post, you'll see that I acknowledge that when I talk about the problem that, unless you shoot the rapist, you may have saved yourself, but could be sending him on to his next target.

And I completely agree with both you and Blake that it's wise for women to take precautions and that feeling comfortable and able to use weapons--either guns or our bodies--is a useful skill to have. But neither a gun nor pepper spray is a cure-all. We can't have twelve-year-olds carrying around concealed weapons, for instance, but twelve year olds get raped. This is what I'm trying to get at with both points three and four. Each situation is different; each human being is different; and there's not just one "right" way to behave. Judging women against some pretend "right" way to behave is unfair.

Sarcastro, W., and Lee, fair enough. If I want to argue that there's blatent misandry in this wide-spread assumption that men just can't help but rape women, then I need to be clearer that I also don't believe that all men are just one step away from raping women by keeping my terms clear. From here on out: Men=All y'all Rapist=person who rapes. I'll be more careful.

Blake, you've hit on the fundimental problem. Once you say that a fertilized egg is the same as an embryo is the same as a fetus which is the same as a born baby, with the same rights as that born baby, you set up a conflict between the rights of the woman and the rights of the unborn. You set the mother's interests against the interests of the unborn child.

I can't really fairly argue about this with you because I think most pro-choice people would say that they feel that, if it's in me, it is me, therefore I have the right to decide what to do with it.

As you know, if you read me, I'm much more offensive in my beliefs about this. I don't care if the unborn thing inside me is a person. I'm not obligated to let its rights trump my own. If it really is a person under the law, then it definitely doesn't have any right to take up residence in my body if I don't want it to, and, as far as I'm concerned, the government ought to have a constitutional problem forcing me to give quarter to any other individual if I don't want to.

Obviously, this isn't going to change your mind on the matter, but I thought I'd let you know where I'm coming from.

Kat, I'm not sure how you missed my point, so I'm not sure how to respond. Of course it's possible to rape a gay man. Why in the world would you think I would think otherwise? I was addressing straight men because gay men are already constantly aware of all of the different ways they might be penetrated, both consentually and non-consentually. I didn't ask gay men to imagine what it would be like to be raped, because I assume gay men are much more constantly aware than most straight men of that possibility.

As for your personal anger towards me, sorry to hear it. Again, I never said nor insinuated that "women are apparently always helpless victims with inviolate uteruses and sanctified vaginas." I said and will continue to say that there is no "right" way to be raped and no "right" response to have towards being raped. There are a lot of things one might do in a best-case scenario, but if one can't do those things, it doesn't mean we should sit in judgment of the people who can't do what we think they should do.

Bruce, glad you stopped by; glad to see you go.

SuperGenius, you remain, as ever, brave and generous.

10/26/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

WHAT ABOUT MEEEEEE?!

10/26/2005 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Just wait until tomorrow. I'm totally going to lean over and whisper "fuck" in your ear so soft and sweet you'll wish I was Anderson Cooper.

10/26/2005 06:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Bruce placed himself firmly in one of the fucktard categories. I'm betting on the first instance.

Rape sucks. It's a predominantly male behavior acted out on a predominantly female subject. It's about power, and, usually, the sex portion is incidental; sexual penetration as proxy for club/knife/gun penetration. It's a violation of space, a breaking and entering event, and less about sexual enticement than subjugation and control. It's a tarbaby trap, wherein the rage and frustration that led to the rape is left on the victim, seething and vying to become again a vehicle for rage and frustration, to be visited upon another.

I'm so down with the Bruce Banner analogy. Stan Lee has said he created the Hulk to deal with his internal rage at "the one who got away". One wishes that sublimation and transformation of emotion were a surface level topic in the greater public discourse. Alas, it's more important to talk about the fucking than the why of fucking.

Best of luck at remaining in the (reported) 2/3rds of females who have not been raped.

-Saint Waldo

10/26/2005 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

As for your personal anger towards me, sorry to hear it.

Not toward you. Toward what I perceive to be your stance on this one facet of the larger issue.

10/26/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob K said...

B,
I just read it. No offense. I'm sorry everything veered off track into rape and vaginas.

I, for the record, have made no mention of blaming victims on this thread or the previous ones. I've also, made no more than a tangential reference (if at all) to religion.

My only comments have been that a store owner has the right to sell or not sell what he wants to sell.

I don't think we'd be having this extended intra-uterine detour if the scenario that provoked all this was a woman who sought an abortion from an obstetrician, who refused to perform abortions. Would we?

What's the difference?

10/26/2005 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Great post Aunt B. As for those who recommend that women just learn to shoot or whatever: the vast majority of rapes are committed by people you already know and trust.

Avoiding stranger rape is all well and good, but when it's your dad's best friend, and it's in your own home, and you're 11 years old, what do you do then?

10/26/2005 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/26/2005 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Yeah, Bruce, you're done.

10/26/2005 09:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/26/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger the Professor said...

But, Saint Waldo, sex is about power. Even if it is about trusting someone enough to be in such a powerful (vunerable) position and not hurt or abuse you. I've never understood the claim that rape is about power, NOT sex. It's about exploiting one's power via sex and about using sex violently.

I privately posed a question to Aunt B [privately, because I didn't have the psychic energy to participate in a thread where some women were being mean and petty to each other over an issue that should inspire the deepest, most understanding, supportive, and sympathetic parts of our sisterhood, often by seemingly trying to misunderstand the others so as to continue to assert one's own position - oh and there's Bruce, who reminds me that I am never truely safe and free] about why it seems that we think of power only in terms of something we assert over people in harmful, destructive ways. Maybe if we can learn to see all the ways even great, loving, consensual sex is laced with power, that it's a negotiation of power relations, we can begin to learn how to see power as a way to assist and support, not only to harm and destroy.

10/26/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how the administrator calls anyone who disagrees with her a "fucktard" in her original post, then goes on to delete any responses she finds offensive

10/26/2005 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Yep, it sucks like that around here. If you don't like it, you should leave.

10/26/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

God, B, it gets nasty sometimes, doesn't it? Never a dull moment, here at the Pants

10/26/2005 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger the Professor said...

So as much as it is true that there is a difference between a man and a rapist even though most rapists are men, I think one of the reasons that we women often do not make that distinction is because you men stand by and watch when other men act in threatening ways.

Why didn't more of you good men call out Bruce more directly and not let him get away with such violence?

Do you not see how that kind of statement totally fucks with our minds and tries to legitimize all kinds of destructive thoughts we have about ourselves after we've been raped? As much as we do not want to ask for or depend on men to protect us, when y'all don't make it clear that you can tell when someone is being agressive and violent (and maybe help to confront it) we do not feel safer with you or clear about who we can and cannot trust.

10/26/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why didn't I call Bruce out? Because the kind of impotent violence Bruce represents is just fueld by confrontation.

I've been around the internet long enough to know how to deal with a troll. Ignore them and they curl up and die.

W

10/26/2005 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/27/2005 12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/27/2005 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

W., as usual, you cut right to the heart of the matter. Still, if I catch them before other people reply to them or make reference to them, I'm deleting them.

If any of y'all have objections to that policy or if they suddenly got funny instead of obvious, we can revisit this decision.

10/27/2005 07:13:00 AM  

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