Friday, May 11, 2007

What Makes Sarah Cry: Part 1

Well, two things, right now; split into two posts because I'm not tech-savvy enough to follow blogger's directions on how to post with a "read more", and I know I'm too wordy. Not so long ago, I wrote a livejournal post on the UWO "spoof" article. What I see as the most important point of that post is this:
What really makes me want to cry is that the Maclean's article says not once, but twice, that the spoof article "made no mention of rape". Made. No. Mention. Of. Rape. "Police Chief Murray Faulkner stopped greasing his nightstick and intervened. He grabbed the loudspeaker from Ostrich's wild vagina and took it into a dark alley to teach it a lesson. To Ostrich's dismay, the vagina followed, giggling as it said 'I love it when a man in uniform takes control'". For fuck's sake, I could write a dissertation on the layers of offensiveness in that. But, um: Maclean's? The most widely read and respected Canadian newsmagazine there is? Can you get your head out of your ass long enough to realize that what those sentences describe, right there? Is rape. Unquestionably, not-even-that-well-hidden, rape. Back alley rape, even, so it's the kind you should recognize. Does a guy have to say "I'm going to rape you now" for it to be rape? Because that's pretty much the message I'm getting regarding what you would consider a description or "mention of rape". And did any of the commenters pick up on this? Nope. At least not in the first twenty-five comments or so, and I don't think it's expecting too much of Maclean's readers to think they should notice.
Apparently, we do, in fact, have to hear the word "rape" in order for a situation to become unacceptable. The latest story on "rape jokes" is from an XM radio station clip in which "Homeless Charlie" is egged on to say, among other things, that he would enjoy seeing the look of terror on Condoleezza Rice's face as he "fucked her to death". If you can stomach the clip and a comment thread full of nothing but references to stupid, repressed, anti-free speech liberals, as well as the unquestioned assumption that this is not a description of rape, follow this link. But it's on the Feministing thread that someone actually answers my question (emphasis mine):
I agree that what they said is really offensive, but in no way did they threaten anyone. A threat would have required them to say "we are going to rape you." However they were only speculating on how nice it would be to have sex with Rice, not using the threat of sex in any way.

Yes it sounds ignorant and mean, etc. Still in no way is there a threat or mention of rape. They don't say that the sex would be against the will of either Rice or Bush.

Is sex automatically rape now? Did I miss something?

Now, legally, this commenter may be right that the statements do not constitute a "threat" and therefore cross over beyond what is "protected speech", however vile, and an actual, illegal act--a threat. But that's not all he says. He says there is no mention of rape. He uses genteel academic language like "speculating" and acts like these guys are really talking about how "nice" it would be to have sex with this woman. Nice. To "fuck her to death". He's equating those of us who see it as rape when a woman is threatened with death and held down by a man who clearly hates her with the mythological feminist beasts who think that even the nicest, roses and romantic music love-making is rape. On a blog called "Feministing".

In a world where people who have experienced sexual violence are constantly having to argue that what happened was actually rape, minimizing the validity of their experiences because they weren't beaten/he didn't use a weapon/they were drinking/they may have encouraged him, and where naming a rape for what it was remains one of the earliest and biggest hurdles to recovery, this kind of interpretation of a hypothetical does matter. A guy who regularly reads a feminist blog doesn't think that people who say they would enjoy watching a woman fear for her life as they hold her down and "fuck" her are describing a violent, hateful, misogynistic rape. And seeing it, over and over, finally made me cry. It's beyond anger, it's grief and a fear that this fight is hopeless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In 1998, ACN was listed in Inc. [url=]Mulberry Bayswater Bags[/url] So Emma nabbed a job with Sydney executive recruitment agency Julia Ross. [url=]canada goose outerwear[/url] Otnoehmoi
[url=]pandora store[/url] Kspwuiylo [url=]canada goose toronto factory[/url] ikagcotmo