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

Thank you for your words.

I wish I had someone to say these words to me each time it happened.
As a survivor, I struggle on a daily basis to get through and move on.
Most of the time, I feel like a child trapped in an adult's body, physically aging but not growing as a person.
Your words has given me a hand up from the deep hole I've dug myself into.
Too many emotions and not eloquent at expressing what I feel now.

I would like to share something with everyone who is reading this.
I recently saw a film called "Dolphin Boy" (2011) about a teenager who was kidnapped and assaulted by a group of "male relatives" over an innocent text message to a female classmate.

Here's a synopsis of the documentary:

"Morad,a teenager from an Arab village in the north of Israel, disconnects himself from humans after experiencing a violent attack. As a last resort before hospitalisation in a mental institution, he is taken by his devoted father to be treated with the dolphins in Eilat. Morad starts speaking again after months of silence, but he erases his past and refuses to go home to his waiting mother. Filmed over 4 years, this documentary traces the devastating havoc that human violence can wreak upon the human soul and the healing powers of nature and love."

In the film, when Morad first 'recovers' from a catatonic state, he completely represses the life he had as a person before the assault, and identifies himself as a newborn with the dolphins as his family. It took him 4 years to reconnect his past and present identities before he could return to his village and family, and testify as a witness so that the people responsible could be charged and sentenced in court.
It is amazing to watch his story unfold. Though he says in the film that some good things have happened to him because of the attack, but it doesn't heal (he is still struggling with nightmares and flashbacks), his choices and actions are of someone who is continuing his life marathon.

Any act of violence or abuse or rape "kills" essential pieces of our soul and identity. It is good to share stories about survivors who have gotten up after the fall.

If you see a screening for this film, you might want go for it.