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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


Aug. 5th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
OK, this makes me want to ramble off on one of my favorite "me" stories (I'm a Leo, we do this)...

Back in the Bronze Age (OK, the 1970s, it feels that long ago) as a freshman in college I took a women's self-defense course. One exercise had us lined up at one end of the gym. Volunteer trainers (martial artists with padding) were to jump us from behind and we were to scream at the top of our lungs, and break away and run as fast as we could to the other end of the gym, screaming all the time. I was puzzled but willing. On the first run-through I got jumped and did as instructed. About 3/4 of the way across the gym I noticed that there was no one running ahead or beside me and I was not a fast runner. I turned around and looked...everyone was still standing lined up on the mats staring at me. I looked back at them, looked at the instructor and commented rather uncertainly "You said I should scream..." Ummm, I'm rather good at screaming, it seems...of course having three brothers jumping you on a regular basis is good advance training. (Apparently my uncles had also trained my mom - years later a bank robber grabbed a deposit bag from her while she was in a teller line and my sweet, quiet little mother let out an outraged scream that echoed off the walls. She said she'd no idea she was going to do it, it just happened. Fortunately it wasn't armed robbery, just a grab-and-run.)

What was sad about the whole thing, was that they were surprised that I didn't need any practice. I remember being a bit shocked at how wimpy some of my classmates were at it. But having brothers and a feisty Irish heritage did help.
Aug. 5th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
The forceful scream is a powerful thing. I know I'll be teaching ALL my kids (the boys and the girl) that one.
Aug. 5th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Heh. I did something similar - the "attacker" was supposed to try to grab me, and I was supposed to scream and run. Only I fell back on my 3 years of soccer and started kicking his shins.

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