...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.
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!!!"
(slap, slap, slap on the head).
"It. will. have. to. come. Out!"
"Out?!? Out of. me. 'ead?"
"Yes! On-leee...Bits of it!"
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!!