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#Yesallwomen

It's not the fame he envisioned for himself, little Elliot Rodger, would-be destroyer of worlds and women. He went out and killed 6 people, injured 13 others, but not before he made a youtube video about his intentions. I watched it, astonished at the boy; not just at his sense of entitlement and painful narcissism, but at his sense of performance. For all the intensity of his feelings, he was playing a part, with his strange little giggles and his finger pointing at the camera. This wasn't just pain, it was fame. The irony is that the women are forgetting him again, ignoring him again, talking about themselves again, talking about other men again. He is quickly becoming some guy who shot people because he couldn't get laid, not exactly the testament of the eternal Alpha Male. The success of the yesallwomen hashtag is leaving Elliot on the sidelines. They aren't thinking about him, they're thinking about the whole thing, the ridiculous and endless war upon women, the stuff we face every day. And it makes me remember my early impressions and ideas about sexual violence.

I remember Dad saying that if a guy tried to rape me, I just had to tell him I was on my period, and the attacker would leave me alone. It was as though once a month I turned into a magical walking skunk with the power to melt my enemies by squirting fetid ass-juice at them. My safety lay in being able to disgust a man. It was less comforting than Dad intended.

Another time the police came to visit students at our halls of residence. Their advice was straightforward. If someone decided to rape us, we should let them; 'Better raped than dead,' was their advice on the subject. But this came with a corollary, told to us that very same night, after the police had left, by one of our number with two brothers in the Met. According to her, her brothers always knew when someone came into the station having been 'really' raped because the victim would be beaten to hell and back, covered in blood and sperm and bruises. 'No man would want to to fuck her,' was the sagacious judgement of these officers of the law. Disgust again, this time not as a shield but a validator in the eyes of men whose first decision on seeing a female rape victim would be to check her attractiveness and use it as a barometer of deceit/exaggeration.

So here was the problem. If a rapist attacked, it was best to let him have his way in order to survive. But unless he nearly killed his victim, she would not be believed. What was the choice? Do you face death/ultraviolence or the sneer of a society built around hating you? When the time came for me, as for so many women, to face a would-be rapist, I fought and I was very lucky to survive, let alone get out unmolested. Many people, police officers, barristers, counsellors, have asked me why I grabbed the knife as it came towards me and there are many raw, different reasons, but one main one is this: I don't want to live in a world where I have to face death before people believe me.

And that really is all.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
nyarbaggytep
May. 28th, 2014 04:03 pm (UTC)
Me neither.
smokingboot
May. 28th, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
Too right, bright Baggy X
abutterflygirl
May. 28th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
I found myself wishing he'd killed me if I'm honest. Because that's how bad the pain inside was. But because no one could see it, no one questioned it, no one knew and no one did anything about it. I fought, unsuccessfully. But I fought because I was being hurt and I wanted to protect myself as best as I could. I had a few bruises from fighting back and being held down. After it was insinuated that I was a slapper on that night, I told no one else and kept the marks well hidden and obviously the bruises disappeared. 3 years later a counsellor told me that it was my word against his and any evidence then, even internal damage (or remaining scar tissue) would be chalked up to me 'liking' and 'choosing' to partake in rough and adventurous sex. I couldn't believe that what I was telling her counted for nothing and could be dismissed so easily based on the fact that there was so little 'real' evidence as she put it.

The whole thing makes me very mad and so sad to think we live in a society that makes these unfair, and unjust judgements on what can be a horrific, life changing experience. I just don't get it. There is no severity meter. It's just wrong - in any form. And no one should be dismissed or have to 'accept it' as a better case scenario! What is with that?!</p>

Sorry rant over.
Bravo on a point you well made x

smokingboot
May. 28th, 2014 10:49 pm (UTC)
No apology needed, Butterfly, not ever X

What you went through was unacceptable. Not just what happened to you, but everything afterwards. Respect to you for surviving it, and for Living. It is your right. You deserve it.
We are part of a growing torrent of voices, and they shout, we shout, so many voices shouting....and we are each alone, each story its own, but also we are million. Maybe it means nothing, but it's better than being choked in silence, shame, self-blame, the myth of a society built around just not hearing us.

They can't help but hear us now.
I applaud your bravery, Butterfly, now and always.

Lots of love

Debbie
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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