Week 2 update:
T mentioned that I’ve seemed a lot happier in the last few days than I have been in awhile. I will admit, it’s nice to not constantly be thinking about our next move, researching and trying to plan stuff, organising and coordinating departures and arrivals and accommodation and transport.
And while I miss being able to see amazing new places every few days, I don’t miss having that be dampened by the thought that most of it basically exists because the native people got screwed over years and years ago (something that was really starting to weigh on me toward the end of our trip).
Aside from that, it feels like we’re bowling around in Toyland sometimes. Everything seems so small after North America – cars, houses, distances. And of course, I miss the prices! I know you’re burdened with insane health and education costs in the US, but as visitors, those didn’t affect us. We’re trying NOT to annoy everyone around us and get out of the habit of moaning about the cost of all consumer goods here. That said, petrol was $2.20 a litre when we left and has dropped 10-15 cents since, so, small mercies.
Anyway! Something different this week – only one link, but it’s a goodie, I promise.
The single best thing I’ve read in a very long time is undoubtedly The Hulk on why we need to change how we talk about rape. Yes, it’s long. Yes, it’s all in caps. TL;DR? Here are my favourite snippets, which I have painstakingly retyped for your reading:
On the pervasive mindset of victim blaming:
If the victim is our darling daughters we react to their rape as if they were a young child being raped by pedophiles and it just shatters them completely. But hey, if they’re some random chick who was being ‘too liberal’ with her body? Who had a little too much to drink? Well then men seem to care much, much less. Then men seem far more willing to defend and identify with the guy just trying to get laid in the situation.
Because if a girl goes to a party and gets drunk and someone MURDERS her we don’t say ‘Hey, you shouldn’t have gotten drunk!’ Of course we fucking don’t. So when you look at the dynamic of all this for what it really is, the reality becomes horrifying.
We’ve made it so rape isn’t actually about rape. It’s about the sexuality of the person being raped.
On the hypersexual, double-standard society we’ve created:
Doesn’t this male desire for sex and the yearning to keep our daughters pure create a super-obvious conflict? Isn’t that a catch-22 where we want two things from ‘girls’ at the exact same time? Doesn’t this just create a non-functional culture where men are shamed if they don’t have sex and yet girls are shamed if they do?
We feed team-thinking. We say ‘Be a Madonna! You will be rewarded with marriage and get to be judgemental of all those whores!’
(Ed: Hence my problem with the ‘why buy the cow’ schtick.)
On why individual advice (Don’t go out at night! Don’t get drunk! Don’t wear skirts!) may be well meaning but it is in no way a fix.
1) It’s a solution that doesn’t address the problem itself
2) That supposedly aids the individual but doesn’t help the overall societal dynamics
3) That puts all the responsibility on the shoulders of the would-be victims
4) That directly limits the rights to certain behaviour of one side of the gender
5) That not only does that, but puts those limits on the side of the gender that’s the VICTIM
6) That completely increases the troubling gender dynamic of the Madonna and the Whore, by creating another impossible dichotomy of women to live up to (You gotta drink! You can never drink!)
7) That just ends up completely apologising and placating a rape culture by not ever directly challenging it
AND 8) To top it all off, it severely hurts the mindset of the girl who becomes a victim despite all this and essentially tells her it was her fault for drinking too much, because, psychologically speaking, ‘the only difference between tips and blaming is timing’
Seriously, in the end what is right about this ‘reasonable’ solution?
Why must the solution fundamentally fall to creating another inequality, instead of doing something about the inequality of the situation behind it? Doesn’t that say something about our unwillingness to point the finger in the right direction?
(If that doesn’t convince you, how about considering it from this viewpoint:)
Most parents love their kids so frickin much that they want to send them off to school covered in bubble wrap … but we don’t do that. We know it would be ridiculous, and more importantly, it wouldn’t actually help in the ways that matter. It wouldn’t actually solve anything. It would even just make things worse for the kid.