Archive | July 2012

OVER IT. Over rape, misogyny, patriarchy.

I haven’t been blogging regularly, I know. The misogyny rampant everywhere saps my strength. First, beating up a female politician in my home state. Then, stripping and molesting a girl on a busy street.
It took a great toll on me and both are gruesome. The video of a pregnant woman beaten and kicked stays with you a long time, just like the video of a girl molested on a busy road.

It sickens me to stay in my state, my country these days… But that is fodder for another post.

I want to share a poem by Eve Ensler in this particular post.

OVER IT

I am over rape.
I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.
I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.
I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.
I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don’t have a sense of humor, and women don’t have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny.
We just don’t think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.
I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.
I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.
I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.
I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.
I am over rape happening in broad daylight.
I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.
I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called “comrades.”
I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.
I am over the fact that after four women came forward with allegations that Herman Cain groped them and grabbed them and humiliated them, he is still running for the President of the United States.
And I’m over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it.
She was booed, not Herman Cain.
Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the alleged rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.
I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.
I am over starving Somalian women being raped at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.
I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it’s their fault or they did something to make it happen.
I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime — the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.
No women, no future, duh.
I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it.
I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters — film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes — while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.
I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?
I am over years and years of being over rape. And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5-years-old. And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape. And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.
I am over being polite about rape.
It’s been too long now, we have been too understanding.
We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office.
We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered.
We need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape.
There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated. ONE BILLION WOMEN.
The time is now. Prepare for the escalation.
Today it begins, moving toward February 14, 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.
Because we are over it.

And I second Eve Ensler.

I tweet @Archsmta

This entry was posted on July 20, 2012. 2 Comments

Ten Feminist Quotes I Love

“Well, I have lost you; and I lost you fairly;
In my own way, and with my full consent.
Say what you will, kings in a tumbrel rarely
Went to their deaths more proud than this one went.
Some nights of apprehension and hot weeping
I will confess; but that’s permitted me;
Day dried my eyes; I was not one for keeping
Rubbed in a cage a wing that would be free.
If I had loved you less or played you slyly
I might have held you for a summer more,
But at the cost of words I value highly,
And no such summer as the one before.
Should I outlive this anguish, and men do,
I shall have only good to say of you.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

*

“Felicity ignores us. She walks out to them, an
apparition in white and blue velvet, her head held high
as they stare in awe at her, the goddess. I don’t know
yet what power feels like. But this is surely what it
looks like, and I think I’m beginning to understand
why those ancient women had to hide in caves. Why
our parents and suitors want us to behave properly
and predictably. It’s not that they want to protect
us; it’s that they fear us.”
― Libba Bray, A Great and Terrible Beauty

*

“What’s the worst possible thing you can call a
woman? Don’t hold back, now.
You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore,
bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.
Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a
guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term
“mangina.”
Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is
a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl.
Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me
that’s not royally fucked up.”
― Jessica Valenti, Full Frontal Feminism: A Young
Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters

*

“Now, should we treat women as independent agents,
responsible for themselves? Of course. But being
responsible has nothing to do with being raped.
Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or
took drugs. Women do not get raped because they
weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because
someone raped them.”
― Jessica Valenti, The Purity Myth: How America’s
Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women

*

“I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which
had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy.
Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness.
But perhaps you will say, these were all written by
men.”
“Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference
to examples in books. Men have had every advantage
of us in telling their own story. Education has been
theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in
their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”
― Jane Austen, Persuasion

*

“My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them
like rational creatures, instead of flattering their
fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were
in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand
alone.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights
of Woman

*

“Feminism has never been about getting a job for one
woman. It’s about making life more fair for women
everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing
pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about
baking a new pie.”
― Gloria Steinem

*

“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I
had even spoken myself. My silences had not
protected me. Your silences will not protect you….
What are the words you do not yet have? What are
the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to
make your own, until you will sicken and die of them,
still in silence? We have been socialized to respect
fear more than our own need for language.”
I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that
could happen to me if I tell this truth?” Unlike
women in other countries, our breaking silence is
unlikely to have us jailed, “disappeared” or run off
the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some
people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and
disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking
out will permit other women to speak, until laws are
changed and lives are saved and the world is altered
forever.
Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen?
Then push yourself a little further than you dare.
Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They
will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s
personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you
will find you have fallen in love with your own vision,
which you may never have realized you had. And you
will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you
don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and
cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your
nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma
Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be
part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with
surpassing certainty that only one thing is more
frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not
speaking.”
― Audre Lorde

*


“Empowered” and “sexy” are not universally
synonymous. That a woman is not a sex kitten does
not mean that she’s any less comfortable or
empowered or any of that stuff. See above, re: not a
homogenous demographic. Stop making sexiness a
universal demand. Let some characters be unsexy.
And for f*ck’s sake, please, please stop drawing
women who are injured, or dead, or being tortured, or
punching bad guys, in sex-kitten pin-up poses. That is
bad visual storytelling, and it is INCREDIBLY
creepy. Let women be heroes for the sake of
heroism. Women don’t have to be damaged or
traumatized to be strong, or to want to make a
difference. Corollary: Dropping rape into a backstory
is not a panacea for making a female character
complex and gritty.
Imagine you have a daughter. Imagine the kind of
women you’d like her to want to grow up to be. Write
them. Write women you’d want to be friends — really
good friends — with. Write women you’d get in
arguments with. Write women you’d be legitimately
scared of. Write women like your mom, like your
aunts, like your wife, like your friends, like your
nieces and nephews and daughters and bosses and
friends. We are not aliens… This, too, goes back to
“doing things.” A lot of the time, male characters act,
and female characters are acted upon. Let female
characters make difficult choices — and sometimes
choose wrong — and have struggles and the same real
victories. Because without those things, they’re not
characters; they’re just window dressing.


Rachel Edidin talks about portraying female
superhero characters at Comic Alliance

*

“I am passionate about everything in my life – first
and foremost, passionate about ideas. And that’s a
dangerous person to be in this society, not just
because I’m a woman, but because it’s such a
fundamentally anti-intellectual, anti-critical thinking
society.”
Bell Hooks

#
I tweet @Archsmta

This entry was posted on July 4, 2012. 1 Comment