(TW: rape) Take Cassandra Hernandez, a female Air Force airperson, who was raped by three of her colleagues at a party—where, yes, she was drinking. After she went to the hospital and filed a report, the Air Force treated her to a harsh interrogation—so harsh, in fact, that Hernandez decided not to testify against her attackers. Instead of giving her the treatment she deserved, the Air Force charged Hernandez with underage drinking and ‘indecent acts.’ To make matters worse, Hernandez’s three attackers were offered immunity from sexual assault if they testified against her on the indecent-acts charge. So, in effect, she was charged with her own rape.
But this is what the world looks like to women. It looks like a series of potential assaults and split second decisions that could mean the difference between getting home safely and not. Women don’t need to be told these things - they understand them to be a) the reality of a culture that not only refuses to do anything tangible to combat sexual assault but b) also assumes women are just really, really stupid while c) siphoning all responsibility away from the people actually in a position to make a difference.
The menstruating woman is depicted in a state of uncleanliness — yet able to be saved from this unsavoury state by sanitising menstrual products which promise to make her ‘clean’, ‘dry’, ‘deodorised’, and ‘fresh’. These euphemisms — menstruation being referred to as ‘that time of the month’, or the adonishment to ‘stay fresh’ — maintain a degree of separation from the materiality of the menstrual blood, and reinforce the broader social practice of menstruation being only referred to in code — ‘I’ve come on’, ‘grandma is here’, ‘the little visitor’, or ‘red day’ — which reminds us that it is unspeakable. Depiction of menstrual blood are completely taboo; it remains the great unseen, the shame that must be hidden; so television advertisements show blue ink being poured onto panty-liners, in order to illustrate their absorbency. Red ink would be too close to the real thing that we are desperately trying to avoid, too abruptly dispelling the fantasy of the female body that does not leak.
But the point, the point, is that whenever I hear someone talking about how it’s wrong to have sex and sexiness in YA novels, what I actually hear is this:
I’m terrified that the first fictional sex a teenage girl encounters might leave her feeling good about herself. I’m terrified that fictional sex might actually make teenage girls think sex can be fun and good, that reading about girls who say no and boys who listen when they say it might give them the confidence to say no, too – or worse still, to realise that boys who don’t listen to ‘no’ aren’t worth it. I’m terrified that YA novels might teach teenage girls the distinction between assault and consensual sex, and give them the courage to speak out about the former while actively seeking the latter. I’m terrified that teenage girls might think seriously about the circumstances under which they might say yes to sex; that they might think about contraception before they need it, and touch themselves in bed at night while fantasising about generous, interesting, beautiful lovers who treat them with consideration and respect. I’m terrified of a generation of teenage girls who aren’t shy or squeamish about asking for cunnilingus when they want it, or about loving more than one person at once, and who don’t feel shame about their arousal. I’m terrified that teenage girls might take control of their sexuality and, in so doing, take that control of them and their bodies away from me.
So here’s the real reason that rape jokes are troubled territory -
Because rape victims say so.
They get to say that. They get to feel that way. On this, they get to set the cultural rules.
It’s not about right or wrong, or logic versus emotion, or arguments of over sensitivity or hypocrisy — you have the free speech to make whatever jokes you want or talk about rape in whatever way you feel is illuminating. But they get to be upset about it. And call you on it. And be hurt by it.
But consider this:
You get to not be a rape victim.
They, however, are not afforded that luxury. Ever again.
You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.
we have to get a divorce
i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain:
it’s not you
it sure as hell isn’t me
it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do
i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species
i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night
i know you would never DO anything, you never do but..
i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night
did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication.
after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together
like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away
this is not true
after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down
while he still has control over his motor functions
he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift
she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes
spooning every morsel into her mouth
she wastes nothing
even the exoskeleton goes
she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them
now that.. is selflessness
i could never do that for you
so i have a new plan
i’m gonna leave you now
i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices
i hope you do the same
i will jay walk at every opportunity
i will steal things i could easily afford
i will be rude to strangers
i hope you do the same
i hope reincarnation is real
i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures
i hope we are reborn as flies
so that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to.
Jesse Jane (god bless her sweet, bubbly heart) made a choice to get a massive breast augmentation. Seriously, each one of her breasts is about as big as her head. She really wanted giant tits. She now has giant tits and is consistently happy with them. I think they look pretty cool on her even though I wouldn’t want them in my own body.
Her choice is just as valid as the choice of a woman who gets heavily tattooed, or declines any sort of body modification. This applies to any woman who does or does not make changes to her appearance, whether they are mostly permanent and surgical or extremely temporary and involving a tube of lipstick or mascara. You might not like it, but you don’t have to look at them, fuck them, or be friends with them if you find their choices that offensive.
I’m really tired of hearing “porn fans” say things about how they like me better than “those women who have ruined their bodies with plastic.” That’s a direct quote from one… one who happens to be female. I’m especially tired of seeing them specify which women they’re referring to by name. That’s not paying me a compliment. That’s saying nasty things about coworkers that I appreciate as human beings and respect.
I’m also really tired of hearing some feminists say that any CHOICE made by a woman is invalid or wrong because it doesn’t line up with THEIR idea of liberated womanhood. Do you want equality and freedom of choice or do you want everyone in the sex industries and other traditionally female occupations to roll over and do what you say? If you want the latter, you are just as bad as the patriarchy that you rail so hard against.
My body, my choice.