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PSA SCA


This made me shake badly, but it speaks the absolute truth about why women are completely hosed when it comes to dealing with and trying to avoid rape.  (Trigger warning, natch.)

This applies to "lesser" assaults - the kind women hear about every day, the kind that many people don't believe is that big a deal because they don't experience it themselves - as well.  Following the rules of "feminine" behaviour means we're attacked from both ends.  And why is it categorized as "not a big deal"? Because we're supposed to be nice, not make waves, not stir up shit, and be good little girls who don't cause a scene.

You know, if I'm going to be attacked either way, I would rather be attacked because I'm being "mean", rather than be blamed after I'm violated.  So I'm letting all of you know that I'm done being polite.  Next time a man demands my attention despite my clear disinterest, I'm going to ignore him.  If he pushes it, I'm going to tell him what I think.  If I'm a bitch for demanding equal consideration for my desires, then so be it.  I am old enough that I simply don't care what strangers think of me. 

The risk that all women face is that a man who is refused sometimes feels he has the right to force a woman to do what he wants.  If he gets violent, I have... options.  I'm not going into greater detail.

This applies to interactions in the SCA, too - anyone who touches me without my permission is going to get an earful.  Tell you what - if I'm at an event you're attending, and some man (or woman) won't leave you alone, or is making you uncomfortable, come to me, and I'll be your voice, your safe space, and the words you can't make yourself say because your training is too strong.  Like I said, I have options, and resources that you may not have.  I pledge to do my utmost to make you safe.

Because I'm done.  If you can't get someone to stop, I'll take care of it.  I can live with being called a bitch - I've been through much, much worse. 

No more Ms. Nice Laurel.

Some useful posts:
Rape Resistance, Not Rape Prevention (Hoyden About Town)
It's Not the Empty Street That Causes Rape (Hoyden About Town)

And, as an addition, here's something everyone should read:
Commentary from women about all the ways they curtail their lives just to feel safe (Shakesville)
And another: We live in a culture that condones abuse

Comments

( 47 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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mandie_rw
Aug. 7th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this; I was up far, far later than I should have been (I had to get up early for work!) reading some of the links you put up. They made me rage, they made me cry, but they are so very right. And it helps to reassure me that I'm not being unreasonable when I say some of the Feminist Bitch things that I do - and to encourage me when I feel too socially constrained to say them!
(Anonymous)
Aug. 7th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
I'm uncomfortable with trend.

I understand that being called a bitch is preferable to being a victim. Obviously it is, but surely there is a middle ground?

I don't want to teach my daughter, if I ever have one, that the only way to interact with people is aggressively. Of course I want to protect her, and I will give her the tools and skills to do so, but surely there is a much more important issue about respect in our society.

I want to teach my daughters (more than one now see) to treat people with respect and to above all respect themselves. I want to show them how to behave in a manner that accords them consideration and dignity, not have them behaving like a character from 'Miss Congeniality 2'.

I appreciate the sentiment, and maybe you are right, that today we may have to accept this is the only way to proceed. Maybe the world has gotten to a point that the only way to react is aggressively. I just don't buy it yet.

I ought to say I am a heterosexual man, the least likely group to get raped, and so I have to be careful what I say. My view is not insignificant however.

If you want me to back you up, tell my friends to back off, believe you when you tell me about your experiences. I will do it all. I'm not naive, I know how often it goes on, but I am very uncomfortable when I hear that the opposite of acquiescence is aggressive behaviour.
attack_laurel
Aug. 10th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
I want you to know that when we try being polite, men ignore us. We wouldn't be moving to aggression if politeness worked, believe me.

It's like the tone argument - if politeness worked, no-one would get angry in the first place. But there are many men out there (I run into at least a couple a month, and I'm lucky I see so few) who will rationalize anything except a loud decisive "get out of here" as encouragement to continue.

Politeness doesn't work.
attack_laurel
Aug. 10th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
I'd also like to quote this passage from a comment at Pandagon:

I try to always be straightforward, but nearly all men make it very difficult. Occasionally I will meet a man who handles rejection well, but that’s usually genuine nice guys who I’ve known and the topic comes up and I tell him I’m not interested. The kind of guys who walk up to me on the street or when I’m eating in a restaurant are rarely that type. And let’s face it - there’s just no nice way to say “I’m not interested”. It sucks for anyone to hear that, and I understand. However, generally these guys who don’t handle it well fall into three categories. First, there are the ones that try to make me feel guilty for hurting them. They’ll say that they really don’t deserve to have a date, or even that they are thinking of committing suicide because I turned them down for a date. Then are the guys who get really defensive and start insulting. They’ll call me a slut, or fat, or ugly, which is really ridiculous because they apparently liked me enough to hit on me in the first place. Third, some guys will bug me incessantly to just “give them a chance”. These guys never actually ask what I want, but they assume I want a certain thing and then go on about it. They’ll tell me that they’re rich, or that they have a big penis or whatever, without actually considering that maybe I prefer a guy who wears matching clothes and manages his body hair. Yes, I do care about looks to a certain extent, and since I (like most women) put so much effort into my appearance, I expect a man to care about his too. Lying doesn’t work. Even though I’m generally against lying, I have resorted to telling men that I have a boyfriend or husband, and they either tell me to leave him or say that he won’t care if I date other guys on the side. Giving a fake number doesn’t always work either. I’ve had guys who give me their number and then ask me to call them in front of them so they can get my number from the caller ID. On top of all of this is the tremendous pressure to be polite. Women are especially required to be polite in public, and often women are raised to never say “no” to anyone or anything. This was stronger in the past but it still happens. My mom gets mad if someone even asks for a favor, because, since she feels like she can’t refuse, it feels a lot more like a demand to her. The bottom line is, a lot of guys just don’t handle rejection well. So considering all these problems, is it any surprise that some women will think that lying is the easiest way to turn down a man?

And if even lying won't work (and it frequently doesn't), then getting aggressive is really the only option left.

If you read some of the links I've posted, you'll see story after story of men who think that forcing themselves on a woman is okay, that they're entitled to her, or deserve her. Being polite does not work.

ext_202715
Aug. 7th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
more
sorry, i didnt add my name... im not annonymous.. honest
mbutchg
Aug. 9th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
Have you heard of the White Ribbon Campaign?

http://www.whiteribbon.ca/about_us/
hugh_mannity
Aug. 9th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
There's a reason I work Public Safety shifts at Pennsic.

lorebubeck
Aug. 11th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
"there is absolutely no reason you should be shocked that rape occurs without screaming, without fighting, without bruising, without provocation, and without prosecution."

This.

Thanks.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 15th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
PSA SCA
I totally support this!

Your wrote:
"This applies to interactions in the SCA, too - anyone who touches me without my permission is going to get an earful. Tell you what - if I'm at an event you're attending, and some man (or woman) won't leave you alone, or is making you uncomfortable, come to me, and I'll be your voice, your safe space, and the words you can't make yourself say because your training is too strong. Like I said, I have options, and resources that you may not have. I pledge to do my utmost to make you safe.

Because I'm done. If you can't get someone to stop, I'll take care of it. I can live with being called a bitch - I've been through much, much worse."

I too was raised to be polite. Now my hair is grey/white I refuse to be polite and put up with someone's aggravating/dangerous/insulting/attempting to demean behavior. We designate our space at Pennsic as a "safe place" and make sure that every newbie and not-so-newbie female we talk with knows it. And that goes for Any space I or my husband or others who inhabit our Pennsic space is in at any event.

I and the others can, and will be, vocal if necessary.

Christine
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