Wednesday, September 06, 2006

So, I realize

...that a number of you who've been reading all this Byzantine Feminist War crap and have no idea what the fuck this all about but are still here may well have eyes glazier 'n a six-pack of Krispy Kremes by now, and, I just want to say: I Understand. Believe me, I'm bewildered by my own staying power. Hah. One of y'all, bless you, was all like,

I feel like I'm missing a key piece here of information here, not really following, but I'm interested: where did it all begin?

and I'm all,

O, where did it all begin. Well, let's see. In the beginning, the earth was created or formed, and it was very hot. Then the dinosaurs came! Then they all died, and...

Yeah. Sorry, really. And I heart you all who are still with me even though you may have been going, okay, finally, what? Well, um, yeah, whatever...say, this reminds me, I think I need to do the laundry.

Because, among other things, you know what: so do I. Actually, pretty urgent now: I'm out of towels.

It's just that, for whatever reason...

Yeah. More compelling. In a biting on tinfoil sort of way. God knows why. Well, no, I do know why.

Anyway: thank you, I love you all, and I promise to be moving on shortly, or at least branching out. Onward and upward.

So, bear with me as I just address this last ungodly mess one last time, SVP.

"It will only hurt for a moment."

First of all, I hope she doesn't mind, but some words from KH in the comments have really kind of pulled me up short, in a good way, and I wanted to share, a bit, viz: this whole "radical" notion of supposed CR or whatever the fuck it's supposed to be, (yes, old-school feminist consciousness raising is a legit tool; this is not, as Bitch Lab and others have noted, remotely what this was) and why in fact yes "just" words on a screen bloody matter, abuse-wise, too:

There’s a concept, ‘moral luck.’ (Google Bernard Williams.) If I shoot a gun into a crowd & everybody manages to duck, I’m not a murderer. But only by luck. How much should my culpability for the act depend on luck? Some people say a lot, others say not so much. I say, first, it’s a bad thing, &, second, your luck’s gonna run out, paisan. If XXX had slit her wrists? (Stranger things have happened.) I know, it just says something about her, not anybody else. Right? How dead does somebody have to be before the whole enterprise begins to look dubious?

‘ … I’m struggling to articulate … : there are … rules.’

What’s to struggle? Don’t murder. Don’t rape. Don’t treat people like shit. Easy. Everybody raised in a not-profoundly-dysfunctional environment knows the rules. (If you’ve forgotten, it’s in books & shit.) Some people just find capital-R Reasons to ignore them. Reasons that usually, totally adventitiously, serve their venal cock-a-doodle-do interests.

I’ve noticed: the rules that govern this jump-the-bitch-&-string-her-up game are actually the same rules we’ve been playing along with all along. I complain when somebody blandly, no-effort-to-hide-it lies about what I said 2 minutes before, but wait a minute … that’s what they’ve always been doing. Even vis-a-vis authentically evil common enemies. Bush, Limbaugh. Even then, it’s all guilding the lily. The real thing isn’t bad enough, it’s got to be some inane parody. Which, to me, isn’t radical (I’m protective of the word). A radical takes her enemies seriously, does them the courtesy of addressing their real arguments, not some childish caricature. A radical has a personal stake in getting it right, elsewise why bother. Which means: this isn’t radical politics, it’s shadow puppetry, radicalism as niche self-marketing. Which is why it’s so easy, come some future 9/11, to change shoe styles....

A lot of these people come from intellectually backward, philistine, middle class backgrounds. Radicalism is a form of symbolic upward mobility, an insecure, ruthless way of distinguishing themselves from the communities from which they spring. From their parents, their great-grandparents, the kind of the people who burned out mine, & tried to keep yours out of the country. To put is crudely & way-too sweepingly. If they lived in Brooklyn, Vice mag. would be their bible. This has something to do with the cargo-cult attitude to ideas, ‘theory.’ I’m not Ms. Class Analysis, but there’s a petty bourgeois stink to it. Middling IQ, less than the scientific & technical intelligentsia, learned professions, but by God they’ve been to college. Sorry, I know, catty, but true. I spend a fair amount of my time around people who don’t spell too good, & they don’t know from book learnin’, but they know bullshit when they see it, & this so-called radicalism is bullshit. That may be my point: straight from my lumpen heart to you. The combination of crudball character, middling intelligence, ambition & pretense isn’t radicalism. It’s reaction.

The name for it isn’t only ‘cult,’ although it's that. Also: paternalism. Also, to repeat, transparent BS to paper over the gaping void between radical values & shitty mean-girl power-trips.

And rationality, facts, etc. isn’t pale-male. Don’t give it over.



So, all of that. And no, I am not Miz Class Analysis, either, and no, I am not one of the proletariat me own self, not at all. That's just one thing, really. The key part: "there are rules," "bullshit," "reactionary," and "stink." Yupper.

O.K. Now the actual case: yes INdeed, rape is VERY SERIOUS. Only one small problem here: the woman in question was pretty fucking clear that SHE WASN'T EXPERIENCING IT AS RAPE. And, strangely enough, I BELIEVE THE WOMAN. You know: that radical concept wherein if the woman says she was raped? Don't start grilling her and questioning her and picking her apart and making her doubt her sanity: this, too, is kind of Feminism 101. Surely.

The funny thing is, I happen to believe that this concept of "believing the woman who had the experience" extends beyond when she says it IS rape. Wacky, I know.

So, but okay, now we are seriously down the rabbit hole because this is being explained away as goddamit, this is an EMERGENCY. This is an INTERVENTION for the woman (who by now is somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, hopefully laughing her ass off), don't you understand? It's like surgery.

Surgery. Righty-o.

Well, yes, it's quite true: sometimes, emergencies happen. And -sometimes- (relatively rarely in the grand scheme of things? nonetheless), it may happen that an apparently conscious and sane person actually is bleeding to death from his severed arm-stump but, for whatever reason, keeps insisting politely that he's just fine, thanks, no need for the hospital really ("It's only a flesh wound!") I, um, guess. I don't know how OFTEN that happens, but whatever;

the POINT being, whichever ass-stain that was that actually made that analogy, that even if it WAS clearly an emergency, hello? YOU ARE NOT A TRAINED SURGEON. You are not even someone who has any actual acquaintance with the case at all. You are, in short, just some assclown running around with a rusty hacksaw and a mallet by way of anaesthetic, who's probably not even in the right room. In fact, this isn't a hospital at all, did you notice; this is the Argument Clinic, just down the street from St. Loony Up The Cream Bun With Jam. oh, yeah, and the "patient" actually left the place hours ago. but do keep earnestly trying to saw away at whatever it is! your foot, is it? At least in that instance no one -else- gets hurt. But, as they say, sometimes, "it's the thought (or lack thereof) that counts."

And since I'm already three for three with the Monty Python: anyone else, after the initial sputtering and...sputtering, have a flash of the Gumby surgeons?

"Doctor!! DOCTOR!!! DOC-TORRRRRR!!!"

"Hello!"

"Oh! My...brain...hurts."

"Ooohhhhh."

(slap, slap, slap on the head).

"It. will. have. to. come. Out!"

"Out?!? Out of. me. 'ead?"

"Yes! On-leee...Bits of it!"

"Ohhhhh."


***

What? What are you laughing at? It's not funny. It's Deadly Fucking Serious. Except when it's not, and no, you are not to be the judge of which is when or anything else: you are delirious. Lie down and HOLD STILL FOR THE OPERATION. It's all in your head, see. Your head is the problem; your head is hurting you. It is stuffed full of Patriarchal Badness. It. will. have. to. come. Out! Yes! On-leee....BITS OF IT!!

"Ohhhhhh."

36 comments:

Ampersand said...

With all due respect, I don't think that feminists are required to believe women who say that they weren't raped. I wrote more about this in this post, back in January.

Of course, I'm not saying it's always safe to discount what the woman says, either. There are no simple rules in this area, I don't think.

belledame222 said...

Actually, in this case, I think it was pretty damn simple. With all due respect.

Yeah, there is such a thing as "intervention." That kind of only works if you actually, like, know the person and actually give a crap about her, personally, as opposed to your own agenda.

And even so, know what? She may still not agree with you, and -sooner or later, you back the fuck off.- Yeah. Even if you truly -don't- believe her; even if you suspect--and it may well turn out that she changes her mind eventually, in which case, sure, you believe her, also--that she's got some sort of denial or whatever.

Because, it is -invasive.- Because, it is -counterproductive.-

Because -you are not a trained surgeon.-

And sometimes, you know what, after you give the relevant information, support, whatever, you need to back the hell off and have some faith that this other woman can raise her consciousness for her own damn self. And can decide what is actually hurting her at this moment most, when.

Yeah?

belledame222 said...

And yes, there is a way in which one could talk in a general or even -personal- (as in, your very own shit) way about the grey area around rape; because yeah, there is one.

But if you're gonna do that, see, you stop using this one particular woman who -can- hear what you're saying and has already said, she -isn't interested in playing,- --you know, "NO?" "STOP?"--wacky, yeah--as your lightning rod/scapegoat/whatever it's supposed to be. You say, sorry, XXX, i was really thinking of my own shit here, blahblah, -move. On.-

Otherwise, that way madness lies, and you know what? Why, there goes the Queen of Hearts. Paint those rosebushes! Off with her head! (duck)

belledame222 said...

Also? If you are going to do some sort of intervention for "someone's own good," even assuming it IS your place or could be, there are ways and ways. Hauling someone's personal shit onto a public BBS for the delectation of thousands of viewers, somehow? Not really seeing that as terribly -helpful.-

You go sit in a private room with a cup of coffee and some love and warmth, and you say, eventually, what's on your mind.

Otherwise, it's--yep, that word again--ABUSE.

belledame222 said...

...For that matter, -that- scenario could -also- extend to, even if the woman is insisting she WAS raped.

Yeah. For example: consider that strange Andrea Dworkin business, you know, she was in some French cafe or something and somehow ended up in her room and is sure she was raped even though she can't understand how the waiter got through the locked door (still locked when she awoke, something).

And you know: now it's in the public forum, there is no way that it isn't gonna be a circus no matter what; but I did actually think Susie Bright's piece about this had an ingredient that was totally missing in this shitstorm: compassion. Empathy. No, hon, actually, that particular story isn't making a lot of, well, sense; I believe that you're hurting, and that's the important thing; can we talk?

But no. People hear the word "rape" and lose their shit. It's so much nicer and neater this way, isn't it? Penis invading vagina=rape, abuse. Or maybe some other physical orifice. The important part is that there are genitalia and/or physical penetation here. Once someone makes THAT claim, well, first of all everyone starts treating it as though the important thing were to decided whether it was -legally- true, which is so -not- what needs to happen first of all (if You Are Not Her Lawyer, i mean); second, well...this is suddenly more important than anything else. A penis may have invaded a vagina! Everything else can take a backseat.

Well, see, -my- thing is, serious indeed as physical rape is? There are in fact other forms of invasive penetration that are at least as harmful.

They're just even -harder- to prove.btzge

antiprincess said...

I think it's pretty simple.

I don't get to define "consent" for another human being. I just don't.

I get to define my boundaries, and defend those boundaries when I decide they need defending, and allow those boundaries to change over time and as my circumstances dictate.

I get to reconsider those boundaries in light of what trusted friends or outside observers have to say about them, sure - but my boundaries are mine and mine alone.

If I feel violated, I get to speak up. If I don't feel violated, I still get to speak up. I do think feminists are required to listen to that, insofar as I think as anyone is required to do anything.

Veronica said...

She's actually moved out to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

Spill The Beans said...

With all due respect, I don't think that feminists are required to believe women who say that they weren't raped

Why is this, exactly? We support women but only if they say what we want them to? Absurd.

I've worked with victims. You CANNOT force people to accept help. No woman leaves a domestic violence relationship or gets help until SHE HERSELF is ready to do so. Anything beyond that causes far more problems than it solves.

piny said...

I've worked with victims. You CANNOT force people to accept help. No woman leaves a domestic violence relationship or gets help until SHE HERSELF is ready to do so. Anything beyond that causes far more problems than it solves.

But would you accept her assertion that the domestic violence she's not yet ready to leave just isn't violence?

antiprincess said...

But would you accept her assertion that the domestic violence she's not yet ready to leave just isn't violence?

if my ex had just left it at an occasional crack in the mouth in a once-in-a-blue-moon fit of anger, I'd have let it go. to me that just wasn't violence.

I think it's not completely implausible that people's definitions of "violence" may vary.

belledame222 said...

And once again the need to reiterate: yes, we can hypothesize, sure, BUT:

IF girlfriend is on the other side of a whole bunch of wires, IF girlfriend says she's fine and indeed from everything else she's saying does INdeed SEEM to be fine, did one care to look, IF girlfriend actually isn't even SEEING the dude anymore, then, uh, well, that is what that is, isn't it.

Now taking it back to the DV real life in front of you scenario: again, the question is: is what you are doing actually helping?

Because, sure, you're a friend, you're concerned; you speak up; if you hear the shrieking and cries for help, you call the police; (and if girlfriend next day tells you thanks but actually they were having a rehearsal or a yes, BDSM "scene," nto to worry, they'll keep it down next time, you ALSO nod and let it go for now);

And, well, antip can answer the rest of it better than i can, perhaps, but: you know what, if someone doesn't want to hear something, they don't want to hear it.

That is a very, very hard lesson for many of us to learn.

But it is what it is.

And you nod and back off, -not- because of some abstract hooha of some sort of individualistic ideal, but because, if you can -see- that you're NOT helping, and if anything, may in fact be making it WORSE (she closes down, she shuts off from you because she feels like you, too, are invading her and she doesn't need any more of that; boyfriend overhears your strident arguments and actually attacks her MORE and forbids her to see that nosy friend of yours anymore), well?

There are things you can do. And if you're truly worried, you may not be a trained surgeon, but at least you can make it as clear as possible that you are a friend; that you are on her side.

And -maybe- you might want to consider getting some training as an R.N., hang AROUND the surgeons, find some names of skilled ones you can give girlfriend if she ever finally does crack and say, "I have a pain; help me."

But that's pretty much all, I'm afraid. Not without overstepping. Which we all do; but in a case like this, if you truly think it's -that- serious, then, yes, counter-intuitively or not, it may actually require you to slow down and be more careful, not just throw caution to the winds and INSIST on intervening.


We see what happens when people do this. Even when it REALLY REALLY seems urgent (and i do it too to some degree, sure; i am trying to be more mindful). Waco and Ruby Ridge come to mind, for instance. As does the term "overkill."

Zan said...

People's definitions of violence do differ. I've seen my friends put up with behaviour in their SO's that I wouldn't stand for, at all. Which is part of the reason I don't date anymore and have begun to fear I never will again -- a lot of the things that get passed off as being 'just part of a relationship' would make me leave immediately.

When I make noise about it to my friends, they just give me that 'oh, you haven't been in a serious relationship in years, you just don't understand' look. Which is annoying, but you know what? Eventually, they come to same realization -- that they shouldn't be expected to put up with abusive behaviours. And then they leave. When they are ready.

I think that sometimes only being out of a situation will give you the distance to truly understand what you experienced. One day, XXX may decide that what happened to her was abuse. Or, she may not. Our job isn't to jump on her and label her a victim for her own good, but to recognize she's the one who has to live her life, she has to process what she's experiencing and we need to work on making the world a place where she can do that without fearing judgement from people who are supposed to be on her side. I will never understand feminists who engage in behavours that hurt other women. (Ironically enough,that's exactly what XXX was accused of doing.) Yes, we may disagree with her view of what happened to her, but we don't have the right to jump all over her and demand she change her opinion to fit ours.

belledame222 said...

> She's actually moved out to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

Can I just say again how much I love this? So hilarious. It sort of puts me in mind of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, you know, the earnest palookas are still killing each other over some stupid thing or another back on the desert island, too late to notice the ship pulling off with Bugs on it, lei'd and gleeful,

"So long, Screwy! See ya in St. Louie!"


...and That's All Folks!

Sage said...

This is hitting me close to home, I have issues with some women "helping" me until I wanted to kill them. I'll write more one day.

But I wanted to interrupt the scintilating discourse to say that reading this blog, esp. posts like this one, often reminds me of reading Edward Albee plays. Which I love, by the way.

belledame222 said...

eep. Not "Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf," I hope...

mebbe the goat one, i haven't seen that one.

Anyhoo, thank you.

but "it wouldn't be possible without you guys."

belledame222 said...

"St. Louis." goddamit

Alon Levy said...

Two very different things here... one is that sometimes women get raped and end up not calling it rape for a variety of reasons - self-blame, self-deprecation, liking the rapist too much, etc. Two is that hammering, "You're raped," "You're a victim," etc., ranges from idiotic to abusive. The vast majority of Pandagon commenters aren't social workers, rape crisis center volunteers, or anything of that sort; as such, their "You're a rape victim" rhetoric serves no purpose but to support the in-group boundedness, which is of course always based on exclusion.

belledame222 said...

I bin sayin'.

belledame222 said...

Oh, well, then again, apparently she just dumped the guy after all. Or -a- guy. For, yes, the dick-in-throat thing, among others.

Someone out there must feel vindicated. or, well, would if they'd actually been keeping up with her blog; doesn't look like the surge of commenters have kept interest, oddly enough.

I wonder if she really did need the help of that there intervention to "serve the guy a two pound shit burger."

I'm thinking "no," but looks like it didn't do any lasting damage either.
as i said: resilient, there; but then i rather think she already was.

Carty said...

who by now is somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, hopefully laughing her ass off

She's actually moved out to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.


OK - I decided that the Pacific thing bugging me to the extent it did was more about me than anything else, but if we are taking it on, at best she’s on the eastern tip of the Gulf.

Taking the time to obsessively search RandomBird’s site we find that she refers to it as ‘the middle of the ocean’ (which would be, for the record, the ‘Atlantic’).

I think being good feminists means we need to allow her to own her own geography shit.

Oh - the topic, right.

I think a factor in ‘one of the leading feminist blogs’ inappropriate treatment of Ms. Bird is likely the self-imposed pressure to publish frequently, to keep page hit counts up.

The likelihood that one can maintain such a pace with any reasonable integrity (or even relevance) long-term is nil. Not making excuses for anyone, but perhaps one day we’ll come to realize that the sluggish MSM is sluggish for some OK reasons.

Plus, what’s with not just from time to time acknowledging that one was wrong? It’s pathological when the president refuses do it and the same is (I suspect) true for Ms. Marcotte. I mean ‘leading feminist blogger’.

I’m wrong so often such has become my cuddly pet.

piny said...

if my ex had just left it at an occasional crack in the mouth in a once-in-a-blue-moon fit of anger, I'd have let it go. to me that just wasn't violence.

I think it's not completely implausible that people's definitions of "violence" may vary.


That's true. To be honest, this one makes me uncomfortable--but then, my own love life is considered not merely violent to my immediate self but to women everywhere.

IF girlfriend is on the other side of a whole bunch of wires, IF girlfriend says she's fine and indeed from everything else she's saying does INdeed SEEM to be fine, did one care to look, IF girlfriend actually isn't even SEEING the dude anymore, then, uh, well, that is what that is, isn't it.

Yup. To be fair, Amanda said in as many words that she wasn't doing this for her.

I made similar points to these in the "I think I just prevented an eating disorder" post--and I asked Amanda how she'd treat someone with an eating disorder, if they posted about how awesome anorexia was.

antiprincess said...

I’m wrong so often such has become my cuddly pet.

I got my wrong from a wrong-rescue organization, but some people, I hear, get their wrong from a reputable breeder.

someday I will start a wrong farm.

belledame222 said...

Will the wrong farm have llamas or alpacas?

and yeah, piny, the eating disorder flashed w/me as well. partly because I remember a rather let's say -not bright- guy, the sort who tends toward this sort of re-education approach i rather think, making a similar analogy way long ago, when i first told him, dude? you are overstepping. but what if it was an eating disorder. well, what if it was? do you seriously think this sort of thunder and bludgeon and chastise approach is gonna work? that she's never heard anything like that before? "you're so selfish, you're hurting yourself AND it's an insult to all the women in the world who WISH they had your privileges, who WISH they could have enough food at all, and here you are throwing it away, and now let me whack you over the head with this crap on institutionalized misogyny, clearly you have been brainwashed is the problem"--that sort of thing? you think this will really help her or anyone else, do you? On second thought, don't answer that.

Spill The Beans said...

But would you accept her assertion that the domestic violence she's not yet ready to leave just isn't violence?


Domestic violence is far from black and white. Anyone who has worked in the field understands that there are varying degrees of violence in relationships that may or may not be tolerable to the partners. In some relationships, women participate in and are willing to tolerate some level of violence.

It isn't a cut and dried issue. How people DEFINE violence is crucial.

Women are not passive victims of men. Human relationships are complicated. In some instances, women are actually OKAY with what might not be tolerable to you or I. In my relationship with my boyfriend, very aggressive sex is the norm, and it turns us BOTH on. I routinely sport bruises and bite marks because THAT is how I LIKE IT.

That's a pretty intimate personal detail there, but I use it only to illustrate that this black and white, dogmatic, cut and dried way of looking at sexuality and human relationships, where men are always abusers and women are always victims who cannot choose is simply NOT a good way of dealing with crime/violence/domestic violence/rape.

This view of women as having no self efficacy at all to be able to define FOR THEMSELVES what is victimization, and what is not, is entirely anathemic to what feminism was originally about.

belledame222 said...

Yeah, it's funny isn't it? People--well a lot of people--tend to draw back in horror at, as you say: bruises, bite marks, cuts.

But the fact of the matter is we ALREADY know context matters with this. If you play team sports, if you i don't know BOX, well, you're probably gonna have a lot of those, bruises, cuts. Is it abuse? I wouldn't say. Part of the game.

But you know factor SEX into it and suddenly people are well it can't POSSIBLY be anything but abuse.

and i'm not even using the term "BDSM" because what you're talking about TISL doesn't even sound like it is, power play especially, at least not in the D/s sense.

some folks just like it rough.

which, and i wonder, besides the whole "this triggers my abuse issues," which is not small, and also besides "this kind of feminist political Theory says 'no,'" which is ALSO not small, is part of this that women aren't really trained to play rough, physically? I mean, this is cultural also, i realize; yes, this is a big thing. my pal trin was speculating about something like this as well, some time ago.

but, you know, i think the NO HITTING thing, both receiving and -giving,- is a lot bigger for women on the whole than it tends to be for men.

obviously that's not universal either, nothing is, but.

Yeah, the real bottom line, the hard part: ultimately the PHYSICALITY? all by itself? almost pretty much doesn't matter at all. Context is everything. How you interpret your experience. personal and intersubjectively.

Yeah. We like hard and fast rules; all this subjective stuff kind of tends to do our heads in. But also i think at the end of the day we, ("we," well, a lot of us here in our culture(s), i would say fairly confidently), are steeped in materialism, our heritage. I don't mean, money-grubbing; i mean in the real and bigger sense of: see it touch it taste it smell it hear it measure it, or it doesn't exist, not -really.- At minimum, doesn't matter as much.

Because if you -really- start getting into the mindset that well in fact actually it DOES matter as much, that...stuff, maybe even MORE at the end of the day, well, that actually strikes at the root of a lot of really hardcore assumptions most of us are raised in, i would venture. You know: is it REAL. well, if it leaves a visible mark that others can clearly recognize as such, if it can be clearly defined as such and such an act, (sucking cock, maybe a hand pushing down), well, it's REAL. the rest, well, that's just, well, let's not even really get into it; especially here; this is POLITICS. only, not. personal is political, only...o, hell, now we're all confused, best lie down again.

belledame222 said...

i mean, besides everything else you say, TISL, which: well, anathema, yes.

belledame222 said...

i mean and yet, from the other direction, as it were, my problem is that this all gets TOO abstract, too "how many patriarchies can dance on the head of a pin," you know; what does this symbolize. what does THIS symbolize. what does it all MEAN, dear? universally speaking, that is, we can't quite handle it being anything less.

but and especially when it comes to SEX, you know, what tends to get lost in all this or at least dismissed as damn near irrelevant: how does it FEEl. to YOU.

i mean to say: we tend to forget--and maybe online is contributing to the problem, but somehow i don't think it's all of it really, we can talktalktalktalk about this shit all day and still barely remember that: oh yeah, we actually live in our bodies, don't we.

Sage said...

Sorry to interrupt again. Specifically I was thinking of "American Dream" and "The Zoo Story." Give them a try sometime.

belledame222 said...

Oh, yeah, I remember Zoo Story. His first, right? Yeah, I liked that one.

Spill The Beans said...

I guess this is deeply personal to me because in my first marriage, I was the one getting hit, and I walked away because it wasn't tolerable to me, but I NEVER felt like a victim.

In my second marriage, that lasted 12 years, I actually was the one who hit my husband. He'd cornered me so I couldn't get away, up against a wall, and was yelling and spitting in my face. Never laid a hand on me. So, was it violence?

It sure felt like it, and that's why I hit him. But who was the abuser, and who was the abused?

If you asked him, he'd tell you that he was the victim. But when we went to couples counseling, the counselor, when confronted with our situation, turned to my ex, and said, "Well, if you don't want her to hit you again, I have a bit of advice for you: don't ever corner her like that again. Because if you do, her instincts are going to take over, and she's going to fight because she won't allow anyone to hit her again, and that's what she thinks you're going to do."

Victimization is what we FEEL when it happens. If she says it didn't feel like rape to her, it wasn't. And she is the one who gets to decide, in her own head.

p.s. My boyfriend gets a few bite marks, carpet burns, and welts, too. But we're loving every minute of it. In spite of how rough and aggressive we can be at times, I always feel safe.

And it is that feeling/perception of safety that is so fluid and subject to personal interpretation. The only person who can tell you whether she's a victim is the one who is experiencing it. What my boyfriend does to me in the course of sex would probably seem to some like violence...there is an element of pain. But that pain intensifies my pleasure. Who is anyone outside of that situation to tell me that it's wrong?

belledame222 said...

Yeah, it does get really murky sometimes. And people tend to not like murky, even if they're prety firmly against "abuse."

belledame222 said...

>Plus, what’s with not just from time to time acknowledging that one was wrong? It’s pathological when the president refuses do it and the same is (I suspect) true for {whomever]>

Well, yes, there is that, too, yep, mhm. I mean you know EVENTUALLY. and really, how hard was it to just READ HER DAMN BLOG?

and you know i didn't even read it as carefully as some people--people who have have noticed let's say personal information that suggests that in fact she -could- not have been that resilient after all, past history stuff which has fuckall to do with rape but is still, you know Serious; and if i hadn't already been incandescent with rage and said everything i was gonna, well, that, yeah.

and yes, wrong ocean. oopsie. point being: hopefully (and based on what i am reading) she is having a grand old time.

and as a matter of fact i did the unthinkable and came straight out and just like ASKED her if her dumping the guy had anything to do with the Intervention bullshit. she replies that in fact the guy is -not- with her, hasn't been; the final straw for her was that apparently he lied to her. head-pushing: not the deal-breaker. head-fucking: (more or less): apparently, worse. wacky concept!

and is already off and running about with a good ol' boy of some sort who likes bacon.

i admire this, i much say.

and you know, whatever else about her, at least based on what i've been reading so far, i stand my my assertion that she sure -seems- healthier and happier than that whole bunch of other-peoples'-navel-gazing wet sacks of neuroses put together.

and frankly, if yer feminism or whatever it is isn't making you happy or even any happier, much less anyone else, what on earth is the point?

Alon Levy said...

The likelihood that one can maintain such a pace with any reasonable integrity (or even relevance) long-term is nil. Not making excuses for anyone, but perhaps one day we’ll come to realize that the sluggish MSM is sluggish for some OK reasons.

I haven't seen other bloggers succumb to that problem. Lindsay can post several times a day without losing relevance or integrity. Ditto PZ, Ezra, Jessica, Echidne... Granted, all of these are better writers than Amanda, but I don't think "I'm a bad writer" is an excuse for anything.

belledame222 said...

Well, not for THAT, certainly, no.

lilcollegegirl said...

I am, at this point, quite a bit more than a day late and a dollar short, but I wanted to say thank you for this post anyway, because while I had lots of misgivings about that post, they came mostly in the form of "bad feelings" that I couldn't articulate well, even to myself. So thanks for putting my finger on why I was so upset about it. Also, my boyfriend and I both constantly have large and nasty-looking hickies (we call it neck leprosy), but no one thinks either of us are abusing each other (although part of that has to do with the location, of course.)

soopermouse said...

late as usual, but here is my 2 pence on the matter.
If a woman gets raped and then she's told that because she was drunk, she knew the guy, etc, it WASN't rape, that's BAAAAAD, but when she says that she wasn't raped, it's ok to tell her that in fact she was, and that's good although it's the same fucking thing.