(Content Warning: I’m going to talk pretty frankly and at least mention rape, domestic violence and similar things, some in relation to myself. The Youtube link absolutely has dodgy lyrics, though I find the lyrics of ‘Rape Me’ less offensive than those of ‘Blurred Lines’ to be honest.)
This is reaction, this is emotional, I suspect the grammar is dodgy as fuck too.
The Prime Minister is a misogynist.
The Prime Minister is likely a domestic abuser of some stripe.
And like pretty much any man who hates women he assumes all men have his view. You know what, I have generally assumed that, because it’s safer to and then be pleasantly surprised by the guys who managed to get over that incredibly low bar. The problem is, that the guys who don’t have that view, (and I have been very grateful in my adult life to discover that there are a lot of them who don’t) they don’t see it or they don’t understand that it’s not a joke to men like Boris Johnson, Robin Thicke or whoever. So it gets disappeared in plain view, like so much abuse, the victims assume everyone is in on the abuser’s side and so do the abusers.
Today the Prime Misogynist said that there was no need to make misogyny a hate crime. A kind reading of his words would suggest that it’s the familiar Tory position that if you enforce the laws that are already on the books then you don’t need to make extra laws which just spread the police thin. I’m not inclined to that very kind reading since he said police should “focus on very real crimes“, of course he doesn’t think that attacks on women are real crimes, after all he’s likely assaulted more than one woman.
I am angry, I am disappointed, I’m not surprised.
I think the myriad of reactions that I had are best expressed by Amanda Palmer & Reb Fountain if you haven’t played it yet, I would, it’s embedded right up there.
It starts nice and easy with Blurred Lines, simple to listen to, musically. Harder when you’re forced by the arrangement to listen to what Thicke has been singing all along and what we try not to hear when we’re enjoying that nice light pop.
And then you hear that chord. That opening. And you know, or you do if you’re me what’s about to come. And that light bollocks that sounds nice on the surface is eviscerated by Kurt’s lyrics.
How many ways can you hear Rape Me on it’s own? You can hear this mash up that same amount or a thousand more. He always said he wrote it as a big fuck you to the abusers. I’m not saying Cobain didn’t fuck up but by christ he understood a very particular part of a woman’s psyche.
At first I’m listening to this mash up and I’m hearing that’s (Reb’s lines) what the man is convincing himself she’s saying and that’s (Amanda’s lines) what she’s really saying. How much does he really believe she’s saying that? That’s the thing isn’t it, that’s why I have never reported a man for rape when it comes right down to it. Have I been raped? Oh yes, I’m almost 40 and I like sex with men, of course I’ve been raped.
I don’t talk about it a lot because it’s none of your godsdamned business, that and my Dad used to occaisionally read this blog and no way in hell was I explaining that to him. But isn’t that the thing, when we don’t talk about it then eventually we all become complicit in this silence that leads to abusers thinking that they can rape us and people who aren’t abusers thinking it’s not happening. Is it fair that I apparently seem to have to share my private trauma for people to understand that this is real, that this is a problem? No way it fucking isn’t, and yet here we are again. Fuck you. Fuck all of you.
The first time I was raped I figured that I had a choice, I could either retreat into myself or I could go out and fuck a lot of men and take back some sense of control. I did the latter, of course. Fuck all of you, this body is mine and I’ll do what I damned well please with it.
There’s a freedom I found in confronting having been raped, after all, if it’s going to happen when you’re wearing something nice, surrounded by friends then it could happen no matter what – may as well do whatever the hell I want, after all what’s the worst that could happen? Well as it turns out I could get raped again and it be more violent than the first time.
(Content Warning, there’s descriptions coming up)
Still didn’t report that one because, did he really know what he had done? I mean, we’ve both grown up in this society where men are supposed to be uncontrollable animals and you can’t expect actual human decency from them. And did the first guy really know it was rape? I was drunk, basically passed out, so I couldn’t say no, (in these days of talking about enthusiastic consent of course the point that I couldn’t say yes either has probably occurred to you dear reader). I never gave it a moment’s thought at the time, because all I was focussed on was the fact that I was pretty sure I hadn’t said no. Even that I can’t be sure of, I did pass out several times during.
But can we really expect men brought up in the same culture that I was to think any more than I do about raping me? After all, whatever I do, it’s possible that I’m going to tease the wrong guy, that I’m going to wear a short skirt in the wrong area and not notice until it’s way past too late. I mean that was basically what happened when I got raped the second time, and I actually had that thought during, at around the point that he tore parts of me that would later need stitches. That really hurt.
I really thought about that second rape when Helen Mirren got into trouble for her comments about date rape. That was the point where I really understood that men were not looking at the same world as I was. My early adult life I assumed that I could get myself into trouble and that if I did then I could either retreat to the safety of home, bar the doors and only come out occaisionally. I see a lot of women and girls do that, it’s easier, safer and provokes a lot less anxiety. It’s what a lot of us are told we need to do growing up. I’ve never wanted to head into the world that way, so assume that at some point bad things are going to happen, that you’re going to get raped and just attack the world head on.
It took Mirren and #MeToo to show me that I have never really looked at men as having agency within that world view. That I was considering rape as an act, but that I’d fallen into that trap of rape happening to me, randomly, out of nowhere, I never even considered the rapist. I’ve been raped, I’ve never reported my rapists. I’m not about to either, because to be honest I’ve so successfully gotten over them that I have forgotten their names.
Fuck you, rape me, and I’m not going to let that single act fuck me over completely.
Do it, and do it again
Rape me, my friend”
And yet. I’m not trapped inside a house too scared to go out, but I’m still scared. Ask The Interuptor sometime about how she and I approach upsetting men, a hundred microaggressions and a few rapes shape you no matter how many men you enthusiastically consent to. Especially if one has involved coercive control, something that I didn’t recognise for what it was for years.
Fuck all of you.
Did they know it was rape? If you put it in those terms most rapists don’t think it was rape, she was asking for it, the lines are blurred right? So what if she passes out during? He was drunk too. But there are guys who are shocked, who’d never even think of doing that no matter how drunk they were, how young they were. So what if it tears her? She was teasing. But there are guys who won’t assume they’re getting any until you’re taking off their pants.
Silence means you might get to process your private trauma but you think that it’s private trauma, you think that the situation isn’t common.
“I’m not the only one.
I’m not the only one.
I’m not the only one.”
There was an American Feminist I used to talk to. She said that being submissive was a sexist sexuality because in a world in which women were held captive by the patriarchy a submissive sexual role wasn’t about playing with power it was mimicry of the world as is.
I like to play when it comes to sex, I like to do what feels good and sure the personal may be political but I need some time off from the baricades, the world is just too much as it is. I’m quite a fan of BDSM, I suspect though that it’s a sexual expression that has a lot of people working through their trauma using sexual joy to do it. Am I submissive? Am I dominant? I’m a switch, maybe, I am who I am because of trauma, because of diagnosis on top of diagnosis on top of diagnosis until you can’t see where the medicalisation ends and the personality begins. Make me feel safe and sure, I’m a sub. If I’d just been raped, and then I fucked you then you’ll be sure I’m a domme.
And yet, it’s the vanilla sex that sticks with me, the awkward as fuck vanilla sex that was fun because we were home and in love. Maybe I am vanilla, like I’ve often said, it’s just that sex is a way to process the trauma of the world, the trauma of sex, making it pass through my body until I feel like I know it and it’s done with.
Men regularly make me cry. Because they aren’t looking at the world the same way I am. And christ I am so fucking angry about that.
How many ways can you hear that mash up? A man singing what he wants to hear and a woman singing her defiance in a way that sounds like she’s encouraging him. Yeah, that sounds about right. Everytime I’ve said my piece I’ve been misunderstood by men.
Fuck all of you.
Fuck all of you and feel those godsdamned chords in the centre of yourself, feel that anger, that’s mine, I know that.