Thursday, November 5, 2009

Raping me softly

Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us. -Andrea Dworkin

Oh, rape.
Did you know that I once took an intensive, 12-week course in order to informatively volunteer for a rape crisis-center in my hometown, and after serving one hotline shift, I resigned?! "Rape is hopeless," I explained, before scurrying out of the warm and fuzzy activists' office with my pointy, red tail wedged between my legs.
Rape is common. Rape is so common, in fact, that most rape survivors will file their rape experience right behind their lame blind dates, their bout with bulimia, the time they tripped on the curb in front of fifty cars stuck in rush-hour traffic. What the hell else are they supposed to do? Call the police? Make a public statement? Tell their rapist's mother?
Rape is so common that Abortioneers know to ask if every instance of intercourse leading up to a woman's unintended pregnancy was consensual. It's not always a required question for the medical history paperwork but they know. They learn to recognize the trail in a woman's voice. When they don’t ask, they wish they had later when she occurs to them again. Rape is a haunting thing. It penetrates everything. Rape is more frequent than brushing your teeth.
Rape is so common it's likely that half of the women raped last night will never call it rape. What the hell else are they supposed to do? Make everyone who ever loved them cry? Talk about how they said, NO, but kept getting wet? Talk about how they said, NO, but didn't want to get in a fist fight on their date? Talk about how sex was supposed to lead to love?
Thing about toughening laws and garnering support for survivors and asking survivors to keep their rape babies--it's all ridiculous because rape is ridiculous. Thing about asking women to remain chaste or to stop being like men, thing about rape prevention seminars--it is all a waste. Thing about rape is that rape will stop when men stop being like men--when men stop raping.
Until you find rape so completely ridiculous that you decide to ask to penetrate a woman before doing so because it's just that simple and it only takes two-seconds, you might as well call yourself a common-day rapist because you have yet to stop rape any other way.
And now to bring it back to Life: imagine spending your day away holding bold signs, declaring, Abortion hurts women!, protesting safe clinics. Meanwhile, every three-minutes a woman is raped!
We are very close to death. All women are. And we are very close to rape and we are very close to beating. And we are inside a system of humiliation from which there is no escape for us. We use statistics not to try to quantify the injuries, but to convince the world that those injuries even exist. Those statistics are not abstractions. It is easy to say, Ah, the statistics, somebody writes them up one way and somebody writes them up another way. That’s true. But I hear about the rapes one by one by one by one by one, which is also how they happen. Those statistics are not abstract to me. Every three minutes a woman is being raped. Every eighteen seconds a woman is being beaten. There is nothing abstract about it. It is happening right now as I am speaking. -Andrea Dworkin


  1. Abortion hurts women??


  2. Srsly. On a somewhat-related note, you know what's funny about being a feminist? People accuse you of "hating men" for saying that men are capable of rising above their privilege to rape, abuse, and otherwise-objectify women. Also, if you worry about rape, they say you're paranoid for "not trusting men"; but if you go about your business then get raped, it's your fault for being so dumb as to trust men. Funny!

  3. Eh, on second thought, that was only vaguely related. Guess it's just a hobby horse of mine.

  4. I have been thinking a lot about how mundane sexual violence is lately and how silencing that is. Thank you for posting this.


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