rape culture


Having grown up in Alabama, I understand that bigots will go to extraordinary lengths to justify their rage and their hate. When I have supported groups like Black Lives Matter, I have been accused of only having sex with black men. When I supported marriage equality, I was labeled a lesbian. So I guess that it makes sense that my support of rights for transgender/non-binary people means that, drumroll please, I am a man. No, you didn’t read that wrong. In the middle of the night last night, a stranger accused me of having male privilege. I cackled as I read it. Who knew that I’m a dude?! I would have expected my parents or my gynecologists over the years to have told me if I was a dude. I’m especially disappointed that the gynecologist who performed the hysteroscopy/uterine biopsy and D&C didn’t say, “Uh. This procedure can’t be performed on you.” My family and doctors didn’t call me a dude because… I’m not one. Whether you subscribe to trans-exclusionary feminism’s1 reductive view of gender as being based on body parts or the inclusive view I subscribe to that admits gender & sex are not one in the same, this conclusion that I have male privilege makes no sense. I don’t have the body parts of a dude. I don’t feel I am a dude. Therefore: A dude I am not. In case you can’t speak Yoda, let’s try the standard English: I’m not a dude/man/guy/boy/male. I doubt I can put it any more clearly than that, but I’m sure that that won’t satisfy some of these individuals. Calling me a guy because I disagree with what you feel a woman should believe is as hysterical as it is sad. But it’s not the first time that a TERF has gone this route. I would bet that if any woman spends any length of time debating them or disagreeing with them that TERFs would start questioning their biological sex. Or if they don’t question the sex of the person, they start saying that she is somehow incapable of thinking for herself and that men must have brainwashed her. The internalized misogyny is strong with TERFs. How are they “liberating” women2 by denigrating women that don’t agree with them and suggesting that they are somehow unable to use their cognitive processes to come to their own opinions? It’s almost like their own version of a savior complex. They feel the need to “rescue” the poor little women who disagree with them from making informed decisions about their own lives and making conclusions about the things that they believe based on their own experiences. That’s not liberation. That’s oppression. You can’t replace one form of oppressive system with another. That just doesn’t work. Or, more correctly, it doesn’t actually liberate anyone. Also, misrepresenting what people say so that you can perpetuate hatred and encourage a pile-on is not the action of those intent on liberating. The original angst fest by this “liberation” force began after I defended a male friend on Twitter after a female follower of mine said something about him being harmful because he uses the term TERF to describe people who are, well, TERFs. This was the tweet that was being responded to: It’s becoming blatantly obvious where the adage “separate the artist from the art” came from, and we probably should stop using it. — Soyter Krampus 🔑 (@petercoffin) November 5, 2017 I cannot share the text of the tweet that I responded to as the user was reported3 to Twitter several tweets later for threatening to dox multiple individuals. But it is the threat to dox that alarmed me so much about this particular group of TERFs. I tried pointing out what was going on to Helen, which led to the response4 by Juniper that I have male privilege. Helen and other TERFs had insisted that their ilk couldn’t be behind the doxing threats or the ableism, racism, and other vitriol that I had seen while conversing with them. When Juniper came along, she decided that my outrage was due to my either having a penis or a feeling that I should have one. I’m really not sure how a person who has never been a man and who never wanted to be a man somehow has male privilege, so I asked. I think one of the reasons is because you stated that you would fight to get a man who posts picture after picture of his come covered cock into safe spaces for women and girls because he says the magic words ‘I am a woman’. — helen staniland (@helenstaniland) December 2, 2017 The tweets that Helen was referencing were from a different Twitter user who had offended her sensibilities by posting, on her own timeline, nude pictures and video. Helen encouraged a mob of individuals to report Meisha, even though Meisha’s posts do not violate the Twitter rules. She had already given me a hard time for pointing out to another individual that reporting Meisha would only lead to that person being punished by Twitter. No. women don’t post pictures of their come covered flaccid cock. What mental gymnastics do you have to go through to tell yourself he’s a woman? Would you fight for him to be in spaces with women and girls? — helen staniland (@helenstaniland) December 1, 2017 When Helen had discovered the tweet she dislikes so, she had made sure that all of her followers could join in on her hate. Anyone who didn’t had to be shamed. I just didn’t want to play that game with her, so she went full-on with the faux outrage against me and even challenged my gender and biological sex because I supported a person who she didn’t like & who she was simply using to gain prominence amongst her TERFy peers.5 I was familiar with her technique because of the past disagreements with her,6 so I told her to leave me alone. Repeatedly. She thought […]

I’m A Guy?


To say that I’m a Kate Winslet fan would be putting it mildly. After Titanic‘s release, I began one of my first full-on obsessions where I’d buy or rent all the movies she had been in and watch every interview. It’s something I’ve done with a lot of celebs, though most I eventually get over. Kate is one of the few who I still adore. I feel similarly about her costar in Wonder Wheel, Justin Timberlake. I was (and still am) a huge fan of his. I loved him on MMC. I favored *NSYNC to the Backstreet Boys. I bought his first album, his second album, etc. I contemplated using Napster to get some of his music back before he played Sean Parker in The Social Network. I’ve seen most of his movies. At different points in my life, I’ve had fan sites for both Justin and Kate. I used to write RPF1 about Justin and *NSYNC. These are individuals I adore. The writer and director for their latest movie isn’t. To steal a term from the BDSM world, Woody Allen is a hard limit for me. I’ve seen one of his films,2 which I hadn’t noticed was his before I watched it.3 I can’t separate Allen’s work from the child sexual abuse allegations and from his bizarre choice to marry his former girlfriend’s adopted daughter. These are not actions I want to endorse, which is what I would feel I was doing if I watched the films. I can’t watch my all-time favorite actress or one of my favorite musicians act together because the person making the film is a schmuck. And a part of me is kinda fucking pissed that they’ve both acted like working with him was not wrong or completely disgusting. I’ve felt that outrage with other faves, i.e. when Kristen Stewart not only acted in his film, but tried to excuse the behavior. I can’t condemn people like Roy Moore or Donald Trump for being sexual predators if I’m not going to condemn people like Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein, etc. I can’t pretend to have an ethical standard then abandon it when following the standard gets a little difficult. I have to apply it to the people who I like it I apply it to the ones I don’t. Otherwise, it’s meaningless. Wait. No, it isn’t meaningless. It just doesn’t mean what I want it to mean. It warps that standard into something tragic, vicious, and crude. It becomes hypocrisy.  I cannot be part of a system that gives abusers and racists a slap on the wrist, then wring my hands over what message is sent by that lack of punishment. I cannot pretend that it is okay to be watching a movie by a person I know is abusive. I can’t act like my money and my time aren’t essentially endorsing rape or abuse if I watch Wonder Wheel or any other movie or television show, so I won’t try to do so.  Photo by GabboT on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA real people fiction ↩Match Point ↩I still feel guilty over watching it years later. ↩

The Ethical Standards of a Fangirl



The past week has been rough. Seeing political leaders in my state make excuse after excuse for Roy Moore has made me want to scream. Seeing people I know in real life dismiss the claims has made me want to cry. Seeing “conservatives” attack the character of victims has been disgusting. Seeing “liberals” talk about how my state is a festering limb ready to be amputated or how we should be targeted with nuclear strikes because of the reactions by some residents has been infuriating. It’s just been overwhelming.  I believe the accusers.1 That should not be shocking. I try to always believe the accusers, even if it’s someone I (once) adored or respected.2 I’m not going to go into specifics, but the whole idea that it’s a conspiracy against Moore is just pretty irrational. There is no conspiracy by the left or by the “GOP establishment” to malign him. If anyone just wanted to discredit the man, they needn’t make up sexual abuse allegations. His career is enough for most reasonable people to determine he’s not qualified.   I don’t like Roy Moore. I never have. I never will. He’s not someone I think deserves respect. He definitely shouldn’t hold a public office of any sort. I thought that before these allegations because I’m familiar with how abusive he can be when holding office. I don’t believe people who have a history of violating constitutional rights and who want to turn the country into a theocracy are fit for public office. I don’t really understand why there have been so many concern trolls from out of state trying to tell me how wonderful Moore is. They don’t even know the first thing about him. They just view this as an attack on their principles. And I just cringe because I know how horrific his principles are, so I have to hope they really don’t share them because the alternative is, well, horrific.  This is not a left vs right issue. It’s an issue of wrong vs right. Most people understand this. Many of Moore’s biggest critics have been Republicans, as have the accusers, so this idea that it’s Democrats plotting against him just underscores how out of touch his supporters are when it comes to politics and to acceptable human behavior. How can it be controversial or overtly political to oppose child abuse?  I don’t know how anyone could think a person accused of sexually abusing, harassing, and stalking teenage girls belongs in the Senate. That just completely baffles me. And I can’t see any political issue being important enough that it would justify a vote for someone so vile. What issue could make it okay to vote for someone accused of abusing kids?  Listening to the stories of the women and hearing the reactions by people across the aisle has just made it difficult as a child sexual abuse survivor to deal. It’s everywhere I look, and it triggers my obsessive tendencies to seek out more about the story. That just leads to more stress which leads to unhealthy coping techniques. I had gone a week-and-a-half without chocolate when the story broke. Within two days, I had started on a chocolate binge and I’ll have to work myself back off the candy. I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing to blame on this story, but it’s the reality.  And when I see people choosing to dismiss the allegations because they were from decades ago, it makes me think that they would not believe me or any of other survivors that wait years before talking about it—if they ever do. It makes the world feel more frightening and foreign. It makes me feel alone. Every time they tear down an accuser because she’s not perfect, it makes me feel like they won’t believe any survivor. It’s just a lot to deal with and sometimes I just want to scream until my throat is raw because I know these reactions by his defenders are harmful and wrong, and I hate them for making recovering from the trauma of sexual violence that much harder. I just have to figure out how to deal with this story and allo its dredging up. I don’t see it going away any time soon. I have to hope that my state will do the right thing in the end.  Have I just agreed with Mirch McConnell? The end must be nigh. ↩Al Franken. ↩

#NoMoore


I got catcalled less than 12 hours ago. It was the first time I’ve had “positive” comments yelled at me by a stranger. Just like when they were intentionally hateful, I almost started crying. I did start shaking. It felt the same as the hateful ones.  I’ve had body image issues since I was a little girl. I’ve dealt with bullies, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. I’ve gotten harassment from strangers, online and offline, including abusive comments, rape threats, assault threats, and death threats against myself or family members. I’ve been told I was so ugly that I would never be loved by my grandfather and by total strangers. I’ve had acquaintances of my family tell me at my abusive grandfather’s funeral that I would be so pretty if I’d just lose the weight. I’ve been negatively compared to my gorgeous older cousin since I was little by other family members and, worst of all, myself. I’ve been called “earthquake” and “human manatee” and all sorts of other loathe some things. I’ve had grown men that I didn’t know tell rude things out of their cars at me when I was a preteen and a teenager. So when I say I’ve had experience with harassment, I mean it.  This felt exactly like that.  Maybe when the guy yelled into my car from his place of work that I was “looking good” and “gorgeous”, he thought that was nice. Maybe he meant it as a compliment. Maybe he thought I would appreciate it. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t a compliment. I didn’t appreciate it.  I was in my car with my mother. I thought I was in a place where I wouldn’t have someone harassing me. I thought, for lack of a better term, that I was in a safe space. All of a sudden, this comment changed things. I couldn’t hide from this person. I couldn’t get away right then. I just had to sit there and let someone I didn’t know objectify and dehumanize me. I had no out. If someone asked him about it, he might not even have registered that the incident took place. It probably isn’t a blip on his radar. If he did, he might say it was the dress I was wearing. It was strapless and short. I wore it so the physical therapist could check an incision from hip surgery  that took place on Monday. I didn’t wear the dress to be noticed. I wore it because it’s practical and appropriate in warm weather.  Even if I’d worn it for more superficial reasons, he would have no right to reduce me to an object the way he did.  I don’t even know what this guy looks like. I didn’t try to look for him. I was more concerned with getting away from him in that moment. And it wouldn’t matter what he looks like anyway, except that I would know to avoid him if I ever saw him again.  I know there are people who would think I should feel grateful. Well, I’m not and I hope I never am. There are ways to compliment people that aren’t harmful. Those are the compliments I’ll feel grateful for. There are truly wonderful men out there who know how to compliment and not objectify or harass women. Men like that are the ones I’ll applaud for their behavior. I will not applaud being harassed, objectified, disrespected, or abused solely because some random guy doesn’t know how to behave properly.  Photo credit: weaverphoto via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

How a Total Stranger Stripped Me of My Humanity in ...



After watching Audrie & Daisy, I seriously hope that Darren White loses his bid to be reelected. I know documentaries don’t always give you the full picture, but it’s clear that he doesn’t respect rape & sexual assault victims. This is one Democratic candidate I would never vote for, and a race where I’m actually hopeful the Republican wins. His bias was clear. Daisy Coleman deserved more from his department. He failed her. He failed the people of Nodaway County, and the bullying & vandalism that took place after her rape is proof that he is also unable to keep the peace in his community. He does not deserve to be a law enforcement officer anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t believe he will lose. If the people of Nodaway County and Maryville can be so hateful toward a rape victim based upon who raped her, then they might not even care about the miscarriage of justice by Darren White. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong and elect Randy Strong. I hope they do.

I Hope the Nodaway County Sheriff Loses


3
Sometimes in life I feel the urge to rant about things that bother me and, guess what, Trump bothers me. A lot. So I decided since it’s the 2016 election that I would come up with 2016 reasons not to vote for Trump. Of course I realize this may not convince people to not vote for him, but it will allow me to express reasons he should never be the President of the United States. I know 2016 is a lot of reasons to come up with, but I believe I can come up with them. I will try to remember to include links to information backing up reason so that you will see that this isn’t just me making baseless accusations. There will be 99 posts of 21 reasons each over the next 99 or so days. This will give enough time before the election to get all 2016 reasons out.1 1. Trump is a liar.  As of July 23, 2016, only 29% of statements made by Donald Trump are considered Half True—15%, Mostly True–10%, or True–4% by Politifact. Even during his RNC convention speech, Trump couldn’t avoid lying.2 The Washington Post has accused him of being “pathologically dishonest“; the National Review labeled him the “post-truth candidate“. 2. Trump was accused of raping his first wife, Ivana Trump. During a deposition for their divorce, Ivana described a sexual assault perpetrated by Donald against her in 1989. When the rape was discussed in a 2015 article on The Daily Beast, Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization said: “You’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse…It is true…You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”3 3. Trump was accused of attempting to rape Jill Harth. In 1997, Harth filed a suit against Trump alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 1993. Harth also accused Trump of repeated, unwanted sexual advances. She claims he groped her under the table at a restaurant and he pushed her up against the wall of his daughter’s bedroom and groped her again. The lawsuit was settled, though Trump denied the allegations. 4. Trump was accused of raping a thirteen-year old girl. The girl, publicly refered to as Katie Johnson, filed a lawsuit accusing Trump and Jeffrey Epstein of having solicited sex from her at sex parties at their homes in Manhattan in 1994. She claims Trump “took her virginity in 1994 when she was only 13 and being held by Epstein as a slave.” She said they threatened her family and her with harm if she didn’t comply. The claims were corroberated by a person referred to as Tiffany Doe. 5. Trump was implicated in the rape and disappearance of a twelve-year old girl. Katie Johnson’s lawsuit alleges that she was forced to participate in sex acts with a girl referred to as Maria Doe for the enjoyment of Donald Trump. Johnson claimed that Trump told her she “shouldn’t ever say anything if I didn’t want to disappear like Maria, a 12-year-old female that was forced to be involved in the third incident with Defendant Trump and that I had not seen since that third incident, and that he was capable of having my whole family killed.” These claims were also corroberated by Tiffany Doe. 6. Donald Trump is a birther. Remember when Trump decided to accuse Obama of not being born in Hawaii, meaning he couldn’t be the American president? Yeah, it was quite the story. And guess what? He still identifies as one, despite evidence that Obama was born in the country.4 Birtherism is blatant xenophobia, which has become Trump’s favorite -phobia. Well, aside from Islamophobia. And homophobia.  7. In his campaign announcement speech, he accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug dealers. Supporters of Trump like to point out that Trump followed that up with the statement that “some, I assume, are good people“—which doesn’t make it any better. It’s like telling someone that the bowl of strawberries they handed you has rotten berries in it, but that some aren’t actually rotten. It’s a xenophobic, good-luck-guessing-who-is-bad statement. It’s fear-mongering. Trump supporters really ate those rotten berries up. And guess what? It’s pretty much bullshit. 8. Trump used slave labor in Dubai. Slave labor was used to build Trump International Golf Course in Dubai. This was supposed to be the “greatest golf course in the world” according to the more-humble-than-you-know Trump. Workers made less than $200 a month and lived in squalorous conditions. 9. Trump has been accused of sexual harassment and humiliation by former employees. This year, Elizabeth Davidson filed a complaint with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission over remarks made by Trump while she was working for his campaign in Iowa. He has been accused by multiple women of mocking or degrading women working for him, using dismissive and sexist language to refer to them. 10. Trump has stated that he is attracted to his daughter, Ivanka Trump. Multiple times. His first caveat with his incestuous attraction is that he’s married, not that she’s his daughter. He joked about how she’s she could be in Playboy and that he could date her.  He only asserts that he’s her father and couldn’t date her as a side note. 11. Trump sexualized Tiffany as an infant. In an interview, Trump stated he’d like his then one-year olds daughter Tiffany to inherit her mom’s breasts. 12. Trump is hypocritical on Clinton’s vs. Pence’s support of the Iraq War. In last week’s 60 Minutes, Trump defended Pence voting for the Iraq War, while simultaneously bashing Hillary Clinton for her vote. Pence is, according to Trump, entitled to make mistakes. Hypocrisy, Party of Don. 13. Trump is hypocritical over receiving money/favors from Saudi Arabia. In another case of “do as I say, not as I do”, Trump likes to imply that Hillary has received money from Saudi Arabia either personally or for her […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump — Reasons #1-21