annieRant - Episode 3 - Rape Culture
"Hey, I have an idea for a random activity, do you want to go rant?" says Konstantin.
Oh yes, i do.
This is a difficult one, and one that I can't just angrily fling words at. And one that it's basically impossible to say just enough about and to find the right words for.
So please keep in mind that this is an abbreviated approach on the issue (because a five minute rant has its limits), and that it's only one perspective and opinion, which is fueled by personal experiences and experiences of people close to me (not by a complete and exhaustive knowledge of every aspect of a gigantic, multifaceted issue).
Let me say this: Every experience is different, because it involves unique humans in unique circumstances experiencing a unique conglomeration of horrors. Every experience is valid.
I am not really trying to talk about unique experiences here (because this is not the place for that for me), i am trying to talk about the underlying culture, trying to understand the underlying disease. This is my (current) take on it.
More resources on the subject:
Excellent stuff about consent:
More on rape being a complex issue with many facets (Not that all of this doesn't come with a big fat trigger warning anyway, but seriously exercise caution when going down the rabbit hole of articles and studies on sexual violence and simple lists of the many varieties of sexual atrocities that can actually be categorized):
"The problem is this:
We keep trying to oversimplify incredibly complex issues. And it starts with the word. Use the word "rape" and people go "Whoa, don't you think you're exaggerating a bit? Like demonizing the word is gonna make it easier to deal with an issue, that's already incredibly difficult to approach. But yeah, sure, let's forbid use of the word "rape" for anything but stranger-jumped-me-in-a-dark-alley.
And then let's question what you wore. And what you said. And how you acted. And were you drunk? Because surely you provoked this... I mean, maybe you weren't ASKING for it per se, but you definitely didn't do anything to discourage it either, now did you?
Because female sexuality is something we as a culture still can't quite wrap our heads around. Healthy exploration is frowned upon. Openly talking about healthy exploration makes you scandalous at best and contemptible at worst. Hell, you can't even breastfeed in public without getting dirty looks. So how are you supposed to talk to anyone about any sexual aggression you may have encountered when the entire fucking world already looks down upon you for being a sexual creature at all?
Because rape is not a clear-cut issue. It's an incredibly complex and complicated issue with many shades of grey. I mean, there is rape for sex and rape for dominance which is a distinction that already goes beyond what we usually think.
But then there's also levels on intentionality.
I mean yes, there is the evil, malicious premeditated rape that's so nice and easy to define. But you don't have to want to cause someone pain to hurt them. I think probably a lot of rape is unintentional and the aggressor may not know that they've done anything wrong at all.
Which doesn't make them innocent.
But it also doesn't make them monsters.
Rape is a social issue. We breed it. We teach it. We teach male dominance. We teach consent as an assumed positive. Like, unless you're whacking him about the head with a fucking frying pan shouting "No, I do not want this!" you've automatically given your full and absolute consent.
As if it was easy to say "no, please stop" and have the other actually stop.
As is we all always had the mental power, the courage, the ability to say "no" and enforce it.
As if women weren't taught to be passive and that "it simply can't always feel good."
As if we weren't taught that we owe our partners sex and if we can't provide it then we're not worthy of their love or attention.
You know, as evolved as we may be, we still live in a world that assumes being male to be the default position, and that teaches you that empathy and caring and paying attention to others are female dispositions, are weak and inferior qualities of those who live to serve the ones who lead.
Which isn't a fucking excuse.
Being a product of your culture doesn't excuse you from being a decent fucking human being, or from taking responsibility for the pain you inflict on others, or from doing everything in your fucking power to make it stop.
Which you can.
Because people make a culture.
You know, if we were to teach everyone, teach men, to empathize, to care, to pay attention to others, rape culture as such would die. Because you don't unintentionally hurt someone when you're actually paying attention to them.
If paying attention to others and caring were the default position we'd all be having better sex.
And we'd be better friends and parents and teachers and colleagues. We'd all be happier. We'd be less alone. Less broken. Which, then would cut down on violence, on drug abuse,...
Hell, let's take it even further, if we pay attention to and care about ALL humans we can cut down on racism and xenophobia right here, too.
And take it further yet, to paying attention to the world around us and we can end pollution and the inevitable destruction of this planet we inhabit.
But I'm getting off track.
And then there's a decent chance I'm just full of shit."