When will our anecdotes start counting?

•August 23, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The common belief in the Western world, at least on the surface, is that women have more-or-less (whatever that means) achieved equality with men. We can go to work, choose our own intimate partners, get divorced, take birth control pills, and we have basic on-paper legal rights.

Yet everywhere I turn, I see stories of women being harassed at work, abused at home, telling their stories of rape and violence, and telling the truth about what the daily lives of most Western women are still like, in reality, not on paper.

As a radfem, I understand this reality, and know it to be true. However, much of Western society would like to ignore it. So, how long is it going to take for these women’s stories to mean something?

How many women have to be raped, beaten, murdered, and abused, harassed, and generally treated like garbage before we accept that the ultimate goals of feminism are far from being fully realized?

How many people have to believe their stories to turn the tide? How many have to care?

Today, 4 American women will be murdered by a male partner. Today, at least 360 American women will be raped. Today, more than 1500 American women will be beaten by a male partner.

While you are reading this, somewhere in this country, a woman is being raped. Right now.

If that’s freedom, I can’t see it. If that’s equality, I can’t see it.

MRAs like to argue that men also suffer these abuses. They certainly do. Often at the hands of other men, not women. Most sexual abuse committed against men and boys is perpetrated by another male.

So, the situation begs the question: why are men so violent, toward women and toward each other?

I’d say, It’s the Patriarchy, Stupid.

And here’s a disturbing statistic from Men Against Sexual Violence: 2/3 of college men report that they would consider raping a woman if they thought they could get away with it.

Regardless of all of the available information (of which I have shared very little here), the same myths about sexual violence that have existed since Biblical times are still prevalent in Western culture. Women lie, seduce men and then claim rape, falsely accuse men of rape whenever we get a chance, and regret sexual activity after the fact and cry rape to cover our tracks. Married women can’t be raped by our husbands, and prostitutes can never claim rape. A woman who is dressed provocatively is asking for it. Sex-workers are asking for it. Drunk or otherwise intoxicated women are asking for it. Passed out women are asking for it. Women walking down a dark street at night are just asking for it.

But we’ve achieved freedom and equality. No one wants to believe that sexual violence and our acceptance of it is one of the primary control mechanisms the entire world uses to keep us in our place.

No one wants to listen to the horrifying stories of our mothers, sisters, and daughters, because it’s easier to just go on believing that the oppression of women in the Western world is a thing of the past. It’s easier to go on believing that women lock their car doors as soon as they hit the seat, and check the back for unwelcome guests because we are neurotic and living in unnecessary fear than it is to accept that we every reason to fear male violence.

We have every reason to fear it.

We live in fear out of necessity, not a desire to “play the victim” as is so often said. We live in fear, and act as such, because if we don’t, and we go out for a walk down that dark street late at night, and we get raped, it was our fault for putting ourselves in such an obviously dangerous situation.

It’s not the rapist’s fault. It’s not the rape-accepting culture’s fault.

It’s our fault. Your fault. My fault.

How can anyone live like that? If we act out of self-preservation, we are living in fear and mocked for it. If we do not live in fear, we are responsible for any violence done to us.

During the abolition movement, the personal stories of slaves were used to make the public understand the horrors of slavery. During the civil rights movement, the first-hand accounts of the oppressed were instrumental in raising public consciousness. In all ground-up revolutionary movements in history, the anecdotal information provided by the oppressed has been of major importance.

When will ours start counting?

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What’s wrong with this PSA?

•August 22, 2007 • 1 Comment

Half of the human race is treated with disdain and contempt, indeed.

•August 22, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Too bad she picked the wrong half.

I warn you now, massive overuse of self-questioning.

Does this blog annoy me?  Yes it does.  Am I going to do something about it?  Other than complain?  Not really.  Enjoy.

 “What is even more amazing to me is, if you had told me a year and a half ago about this disdain and contempt, I wouldn’t know what you’re talking about either. Sure, I believed in equal pay for equal work, and that Affirmative Action should be abolished. I also believed that women earned less than men for doing the same jobs and that men used to own their wives, and that we women were all victims of thousands of years of “patriarchal oppression”. This was despite clear evidence to the contrary.”

awomanagainstfeminism.blogspot.com/2007/08/your-attention-please [dot] html

In a Nutshell

•August 21, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I couldn’t have said it better than Dizzy.

I know it must be hard to fathom that a girl doesn’t care what a smart man thinks about the thing that she cares most about in the world, or that there’s a movement that exists that doesn’t much take into consideration what men have to say on the topic. I know I’m supposed to 1) nod thoughtfully as I process your wisdom, asking clarifying questions about your points just in case I don’t immediately understand something you say, and then 2) offer up some powerful and intelligent argument on why feminism is important, and then 3) try to prove my point with examples from women in politics and a few stories about my grandmother, but of course, in the end, 4) concede that yes, you have some very good points that I will certainly think about, and thank you for educating me about feminism and correcting me on those things I didn’t fully understand about women and the world.

This seems an apt topic for a first feminist blog post.

So here’s the deal. I am a radical feminist. I am not interested in your male worldview. Call that sexism or misandry if you like, I really don’t care. I, and all my sisters, have lived our entire lives in your world: this tiny space is my world.

Maybe this pisses you off. Maybe it scares you. Maybe it makes you feel momentarily powerless.

Now you know how we feel most of the time.

And in case that doesn’t explain the situation well enough, try this.

If you still don’t get it, or choose not to accept it, get lost.