Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm not very good at being polite while effectively communicating.

I'm having a hard time being nice to people. Specifically men who like to clear up "what I really mean". I don't mean that men should do something about rape. I mean that men AND women should do something about rape. If those lazy chicks would start doing something, maybe we could get somewhere one of these years.

That's not what he meant. Of course.

When I say, "I think that men should actively slap down this kind of language" I don't mean "Wouldn't it be nice if men and women constantly paroled one another and gave out friendly little advice about tone and language."

Women disapproving of rape centric language isn't exactly news. It hasn't accomplished much. Chicks are on the other side of the Embargo refusing to dole out sex rather these guys talk right or not, why should the rapetastic guys give a shit that women who won't put out dislike what they say? Women have nothing to offer that the men consider worth curtailing their behavior for.

When men censure other men for using inappropriate language it is either ignored because it is from a stranger (reasonable to ignore strangers) or it is coming from a buddy. Your buddies help create your world view.

I occasionally hear guys say things like, "Why won't you give me a blowjob? Why are you being mean like that?" If there was a handy buddy nearby to say, "Dude she doesn't owe you a fucking blowjob shove off." He'd be a lot less likely to harass women in front of his buddy. Maybe less willing in general. That's the best I've got.

The police and outraged women cannot create an environment where a problematic behavior goes away. Shall we look to Prohibition? Rape centric language works the same way.

I'm going to pick an internet cultural point just for fun. How about Reddit. If ALL THE WOMENZ downvote something inappropriate it will hardly be a dent. Guys need to stop ignoring things they disapprove of. Instead of saying, "Well it's not my thing but I'm not going to lecture them" say "Yo, posting pictures you surreptitiously take of some chick's panties isn't cool" and there are tens of thousands of similar comments? Well, it would be much harder for the assholes to have the day. There is no hope for websites like Fetlife. That's just a rapist party ground. 

When you put men and women in a room together you get a different culture than when men are alone. Women are trying to change the communal space and being slapped down hard. A lot of the problem is that we have no access to trying to change the culture where men go off by themselves. That's pretty entrenched. I can't do anything about it.

And if one more man that I know sanctimoniously tells me he doesn't know anyone who supports rape I will vomit. I could start listing your friends you asshole. I could tell you stories that would make you shiver.

Sometimes I feel a little weird about how many women come to me with their rape stories. They will never prosecute. So I walk around feeling like a one-woman Megan's List. I know who has been arrested for rape. I know who chases the 16 year old girls and pushes them too hard. I know who says, "I'll just touch it with my fingers" before pushing a cock in. I feel bound by the seal of the confessional. I can't tell who these people are.

I give subtle warnings but frankly I'm not sure anyone should listen to my timid "He's not a good person" when I can't give any details. Sometimes I start crying because I am so overwhelmed by what I know but I can't share it. I wasn't given permission. I know about a lot of rapists in the bdsm community and in the dance community. I know who raped their sister. I know who has a habit of "slipping the condom off" after a few minutes of sex.

And I can't do anything with this body of knowledge.

Noah says people will be more offended and not less if I explain why I talk about white men the way I do. I have had very few ongoing interpersonal relationships with men of other races. I don't feel like I understand the cultural bias enough to speak about them as a group.

I suppose that technically when I am generalizing I should go all the way to saying "white American men" because Europeans act differently.

These are the men who make up the vast majority of my life experiences. I have had a lot of terrible experiences. I have yet to meet a black man and have someone tell me he is a rapist. I know it happens but it is invisible to me. So I don't flinch when black men walk by.

When I look at white men I see all the potential power they have in my society. Not that each man is actually loaded with privilege and ease. I understand that they have a distribution too. But I have known rich monsters and poor monsters. They aren't very different.

I generalize about that group because I have had highly negative and highly positive experiences with men in all socio-economic groups and different social communities. And I like to travel. I meet people all over the place. I have been to 27 states so far and I will see all of them.

I asked Noah today if it was hard being married to someone as angry as I am at his demographic. He said it is much like living with any random person because everyone hates white men. I feel sad when Noah talks about his experience of living in the world. It doesn't sound like a lot of fun being him.

I suppose it would be fair to say that I have a lot of neutral interactions with white men--although honestly those are more rare for me. In all the random social contexts when I interact with people briefly it's likely to be a woman or a non-white man. Like checkout clerks. Those are the most neutral interactions in my life.

Otherwise I find myself loving or hating individual white men. It's rare for me to feel 'meh'. And I usually know within a few minutes if I hate someone. It is rare for me to change my mind.

When I love someone and I am very angry with them sometimes it feels kind of like loving them and hating them at the same time. I can tell that the danger zone for me is when I lose respect for someone. I don't really know how to handle this like a grown up. Luckily it seems to involve people fading completely out of my life whether I like it or not. I am just riding the waves of people coming and going. Don't get attached to anyone.

I'm doing better with the kids. It helps that Calli has picked up like 20 new words and it is making it easier to talk to her. We had a rocky couple of weeks. I'm glad things are settling down.

I feel worried that I won't allow my children authentic emotion. Then I talk to them and I stop worrying. I'm kidding. Calli doesn't want to ever identify herself as sad. She thinks she will be punished and sent away from me if she is sad. I am working on teaching her that there is a difference between "sad" and "ear splitting shrieks that will shatter my ear drums and cause a week long headache". Being sad isn't a problem. Hurting my head a lot is. It's a journey.

I think it is interesting how when I look around at the world I see people trying to get by. That's life. It's a constant struggle to get what you need and what you want. I see people using modern conveniences as if they will provide happiness. How is that working out for y'all? It's pretty shitty for me. I like my new washer and dryer and all but they haven't improved my mental health.

When I think about generations past most of what I think about is how they spent a lot more time having to deal with being alone in a way that I cannot imagine. I have books. I have a computer and an internet connection. I am never completely alone. I always have a way of distracting my mind. I can't help but think this is bad for me. Am I so anxious because I kill a lot of time distracting myself and I am not accomplishing much with my life? I have a hard time adding things on to parenting. Often that is all I can do. I feel pathetic about that.

Once upon a time people raised their children and their food. We would starve.

I think that part of the reason things are going better lately is Shanna is catching on to this housework thing. I guess we needed a week of being stuck at home for her to be bored enough to figure it out. Of course this involves me doing a lot of baseline work to keep the house clean. Anyway, for the past few days she has been coming to me and saying, "If I clean up the living room can I do a craft?" Then she cleans up the living room. I am so ecstatic I could swoon. Calli helps. They both try to sing the cleaning up song Kira taught them. "Look at Mommy do her share" always comes attached with this very doting smile and a hug. Sometimes Shanna feels patronizing in a good way.

I feel incredibly volatile. Happy then angry. I am having an interesting time emotionally handling the kind of disclosure going on in therapy. I really need to talk about these things. And I feel guilty talking to Noah about all of it at this point. I'm sure he's bored. I'm bored. I feel very ashamed of being someone who has to talk about incest a lot. I need to talk about what I saw and experienced and how it changed me. I fucking have to and I don't have many good places. But it's hard going from that level of discourse back to biting my tongue and praying I have the ability to stay silent. Because everything in my brain is poison and I don't want it to seep into the world.

My cheeks are raw. I have been biting the hell out of them. That seems to be the next thing I am doing. I do it completely unconsciously and I don't notice till too late. I want to be in pain. I feel pretty disgusting and it seems somehow a moral wrong that I am in so little pain.

Last night sex was hurting. I told Noah to stop. He did immediately and was very supportive. I feel like I failed in my duties. I don't get a checkmark towards my quota if I'm a loser and I can't finish. Noah doesn't feel that way. He was really nice. It wasn't his fault it was hurting. Bodies are tricky. We both did everything "right".  I still feel wrong. I still feel bad.

I feel this horrible sense of foreboding. I am not fulfilling my function. My role. There is this whole Embargo thing that protects other women. I am not fulfilling my function as the one who has to make up for all those asshole, selfish girls. I am saying no. That's not something I am supposed to do. I feel braced for someone to hit me. I feel terrified. When I go out into groups of white men I have to be tense all the time and prepared to deal with someone who is going to be mad that I am joining the Embargo. I can't relax. It could happen at any point.

But men of color don't harass me in the same ways. They will express general appreciation for me but there is no attempt to move towards me (they usually back away while calling a compliment so as to appear less threatening, in fact). That's not how white men work.

At the dance community I don't have anyone suggesting that I am mean for not giving out blowjobs. Instead I have men sneer while they look me up and down and tell me they don't want to dance with me. It's not better.

I'm the only woman I know who went to Renaissance Faire for the sole purpose of picking up men and I slept alone. Even my normal fuckbuddies went off chasing other people. There are some groups that find me attractive and then there is the rest of the world. Where I am apparently far less cute than I think. And they sneer at me for wanting to touch their hands.

I know that there are other communities out there. Well, I hear. Sort of. Occasionally. After the fact. But things start too late at night or they are far away or they are not even vaguely kid friendly. Maybe I'll find a community some day. Right now I am sticking with the home schooling group.

It's weird. I am not going to be a person who really immerses herself in that world. I'm not going to chase fame for being a parent. It kind of bugs me. And I don't think that one reads my blog and thinks, "Yeah, another Mommy Blogger." That makes me curious. Would anyone describe me that way? I find the term hilarious. I write about incest and rape and violent sex. Oh, and I have kids.

Is my gender or my relation with those two people enough to change everything I am and have been online for ten years? (I read a blog. In case you are wondering what this random tangent is about.)

I have been feeling weirdly guilty about how disjointed my blogging is. I keep forgetting why I do it. I do it because otherwise these words get backed up in my head. When I get them out I can stop rehearsing. It doesn't matter if other people are annoyed by how repetitive I am. It doesn't matter if it is comprehensible to everyone. This isn't a book. This isn't a self-contained essay. It's a journal entry. I miss that aspect of "livejournal". It's my personal journal. I just post it on the internet because otherwise I stop writing. I won't do it just for me.

I feel like I specifically use blogging as a hack to get through my defense mechanisms. I am willing to write things in weird disjointed ways over long periods of time to a semi-anonymous audience. I will explain some things and not others with no rhyme or reason. I can handle that level of commitment. I can't commit to always being coherent. I reference a lot of random things very quickly. After the fact it doesn't always make sense to me either. This is stream of conscioiusness.

But I find patterns in the gush. I see in glaring detail the omission of the word contempt for the slow fade of love. I don't stop loving people because I am mad at them. I stop loving people when I feel contempt for them. It's not a pretty thing to say. That's a lot of why I work hard to not criticize Noah overly. I don't want to walk down that road.

I picked this life. I want to stay in it. That involves maintaining respect for Noah. He mentioned last night that he is going on 40. Yup. He pointed out how he is aging. Yup. When I met him he was  28. I think he has improved substantially. I think he has turned into a man. I appreciate the sacrifices he makes for me and for us--they are many.

Noah says that I am alienating my audience (white males) in my rhetoric. Yet years ago he went from saying, "I don't think there is any sexism in my company" to being able to point out specific things people say that suck. And sometimes he even calls them on it. I like hearing about his day so I get a lot of details.

He has changed. I take a lot of responsibility. I'm not an easy pill to swallow. I can be quite bitter. But there is good to be found.

I wish I felt like I was good. I mean--I know I'm an asshole. I'm not a bitch. How about that for my anti-women shit. Assholes are self absorbed and unwilling to bend for someone else's convenience or preference. Bitches actively want to hurt people and will go out of their way to punish people. How do you like that difference in gendered expectations?

I think men are damaging because they are apathetic about the harm that happens near them. It isn't their problem, Jack. They don't even notice it because it is so normalized for them. And when you slap them in the face repeatedly with the fact that it is happening they resist. Until they say, "Hey maybe you are right."

Subtle polite messages are ignored. I'm not trying to hurt you, my darling white men. I'm just trying to slap you out of apathy. I understand that this approach is not for everyone. I am Not Everyone's Thing. I knew that.

I'm tired of having men tell me they don't know anyone who supports rape when they know a number of rapists. I just am not allowed to say out loud who they are. In fact they support rapists with ongoing friendship and love. Yeah. Stop telling me you don't support rape. Fuck you.

Why don't women report more to the police? Because it's he said/she said unless a woman has the presence of mind to go directly to a hospital for a rape kit. It is pretty standard trauma reaction for women to not think clearly after being raped. Lets humiliate them for that as much as possible and see how many try to stand up for themselves. At this point I don't think I could successfully prosecute any of the men who have assaulted me as an adult. I don't have any options unless I had a very successful lawyer and my odds would still be miniscule. I don't have money to burn on wasted attempts at vengeance. Give me a break.

No, I didn't mean that men AND women have to work harder to end rape. I think women are already working about as hard as they can. Where are the god-dam men? Those supposed "allies" who "don't support rape". Yeah. Stop hanging out with rapists and I might believe you for more than a millisecond.

I am so tired of being lied to. I think I am glad we didn't get the car back yesterday. I can use another day of being trapped in the house. I'm not feeling sociable.

I think that part of where women come into this is that every little girl should be told that when someone penetrates their genitals without consent that is rape. Let's get this word force out of it. Because it means different things to different people and emotional coercion counts. If someone puts something in your genitals in a way you have not consented to that is rape. Or in your mouth. You can be raped with oral sex.

I feel like we don't have a group consensus on what good touch/bad touch even means. So how can we have a discussion?

5 comments:

  1. > I suppose that technically when I am generalizing I should go all the way to saying "white American men" because Europeans act differently.

    That would be less prone to offend the people I'm talking about, yes.

    Now, are you worried about who you offend?

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    1. Worried is an interesting word. Do I think about it? Yes. Do I feel bad because people will be offended no matter what I do? Yeah. Do I worry about which people in particular are offended today... not really.

      Delete
  2. So, I spent a couple minutes being defensive internally about knowing rapists, then I remembered the male member of one of my communities that didn't take no for an answer from my sister. (She's larger and resisted the advances successfully, but not because he was willing to hear her no until she was rather forceful and physically exited the situation).

    I wrote an email to him, checked in with my sister about sending it, she asked me not to for external reasons having to do with livelihood. Feeling pretty shitty about the whole mess, both on the global level and on the personal level, not sure what else to do in the moment.

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    1. I know a number of women who stay in the closet because coming out would risk their jobs. It's horrifying.

      Do you socialize with this person? Is this someone you deal with?

      So, I pick what social events I go to pretty carefully based on how I emotionally feel on any given day. Sometimes I can handle standing in the same room as a guy who raped three of my friends. Sometimes I stay home because if tried to lean in and hug me I would break his nose purely from reflex. Thus I stay home.

      These women have chosen not to come forward. I do not get to shame them for that. They are trying to survive. I do decide if I can handle being in the room with a rapist. Sometimes I just can't play the game and be silent and consent to the polite fiction that he is a decent human being. I just fucking can't. I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns and I hope he dies lying on a bed of nails roasting in the sun.

      But I can't out him. I'm not sure if he knows that I know. I don't think so. I am very distant and unfriendly.

      Extra awkward? I totally used to fuck him. I never had an issue with him.

      But I believe my friends. I pick them over the rapist. Sometimes I will be in the same room as a rapist and keep my mouth shut because that is what I have to do to support my friends and sometimes I just can't handle being supportive that way. I have to judge myself. I can't predict in advance how I will feel.

      This is part of what makes me so flakey in social groups. That is just the guy that keeps me out of a few events. I could go on.

      But I'm stepping near the edge of outing things I can't out. So I have to shut up.

      I suck at that.

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  3. You know? Even when you go straight to the hospital/police for a rape kit- it's still "he said/she said." When you're strangled to death and beaten badly, and the firemen and EMTs have to do CPR to bring you back- when the police interrogate the rape victim in the hospital, they will ask over and over what the victim did to provoke the rape.

    Our "justice system" is still a huge good ol' boys club, and rape won't be taken seriously until this changes.... and sadly that seems to be generations out.

    I have taught my daughter and son- someone touching your body without YOUR CONSENT is abuse. Touching someone else's body without their consent is abuse. Penetration without consent is rape. Period. Hopefully we can at least not be part of the problem....

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