writing rengeek magpie mind

July 2014

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criminal minds prentiss facepalm

just give me your hand. your mother is drunk is all.*

And while we're on the subject of sexual violence, in re: Rape Culture. I explain--

...no, take too long. I sum up.

Look, if you're one of the people saying, "What a pity these boys were convicted of rape, because they had their whole lives ahead of them," you are part of the problem.

You may think what you're saying is "What a pity these boys committed rape, because they destroyed their own futures." But those are not the words coming out of your mouth.

Stop. Look. Listen. Look left, then right, then left again. Then think about what you are about to say or type.

But if you are one of the people saying, "Well, the victim had her whole life ahead of her too," you're also not saying what you think you're saying, and you're contributing to the problem and expressing an internalization of rape culture as well.

The victim--shall we call her a survivor, now?--still does have her whole life ahead of her.

Surviving sexual assault is not the end of a life. Rape culture includes this pervasive idea that the person who is raped is ruined forever, that "she'll never be the same," that she's soiled and broken.

Guess what? Hundreds and hundreds of rape survivors go on to lead productive, fulfilling lives! Yes, it's an act of violence. Yes, it's a trauma, and it should never happen to anyone, and surviving violence--sexual or otherwise--is not easy or clean.

But we need to get this fucking idea of a "fate worse than death" out of the language and the culture pronto, because it compounds the fucking damage when you tell somebody she's automatically damaged for life.

Comments screened, because I don't even.


*not the actual lyric. But close enough for my purposes today.

Comments

Absolutely you may, dear heart.

The thing is, whatever sexual violence I've experienced (and of course there's some, and how terrifically pissing is it that being a woman means that for all of us of course there's some?), the thing that I am still struggling with and seeing a therapist at 41 is the non-sexual child abuse?

THAT did a number on me.

I hope all women--all people--who suffer have someone to stand up for them and show them that it is not the end of their life. And I love every person who has spoken out here and elsewhere to say so.

No silence and no shame.

***

(In a totally unrelated note, read BLOODHOUND last year and loved it and cannot wait to get to MASTIFF. You do good, ma'am.)
Thank you for the compliment--coming from you, it's fuel to keep me warm for the week!

I didn't have anyone to tell me it wasn't the end of my life. Every time I felt myself flagging and losing my will to struggle and succeed, I remembered my mother, and it was like the sting of the lash driving me on. I was damned well determined to survive her abuse, though I thought of it in terms of not letting her win. My next oldest sister, who was battered as well as emotionally abused, felt the same. We supported each other, telling each other we were going to survive our mother and make good lives for ourselves.

It's funny. I still hate to talk about being abused. (I stopped writing for five years after a fight with my mother.) But I do it at appearances when asked, because I know it's important to some of those in the audience. So definitely, no silence and no shame.