Every single man I’ve ever met, bar none, has been defensive when the topic of domestic violence or sexual assault is brought up. Every single one has always stated, explicitly or implicitly, that they could never do that. Even when they acknowledge that women and non-binary people and trans people have every reason to fear every other man. Here’s the thing: every woman alive knows that you (yes you, well meaning liberal leftie intellectual) could assault, rape, or murder her at will for no reason and sometimes with no recourse. That’s the first layer. The second layer is that every single woman is thinking ‘will this man be punished for murdering me.’ Sometimes, is the answer, maybe. In another post I talked about how generally if children are involved and the perpetrator survives, the answer is yes. But not always. There are the Laci Peterson type cases, in which the perpetrator will be definitively punished because both the victim and the victor fit perfectly into the media niche. Laci Peterson was beautiful, married, White and pregnant. LaToyia Figueroa was also pregnant, but she didn’t have the benefit of being white or married. When a woman disappeared in my area she was always called ‘a mother’ ‘the mother of one.’ Probably without it her case would have been forgotten.
What hurts so much is the denial. It plays into things like rape jokes. If you’re a man and you make a rape joke in front of me I’ll never lose my fear of you.If I said this it would be you who was offended, as if you taking offence was more meaningful than my being frightened you would rape or kill or maim me. Which, again, you could do. As a Feminist of the radicalist persuasion who has also been assaulted, I find myself constantly on the defense to prove my fear is valid. Well fear doesn’t have to be valid. If it’s there, it’s there, and your joke about my trauma and a subsequent mild apology isn’t going to alleviate that.
I know women and girls who’ve been involved with rapists or known abusers who use this same reasoning. I know it is partially a defence of their own actions because if the person was an abuser that would mean that their relationship is abusive. Similarly if, like a good friend, one is in a relationship with a rapist, that might mean that on some level the intimacy in that relationship is not necessarily consensual. Men who have sex with drunk women who can’t consent probably don’t do it only once, which makes my experience all the more sobering. I’ve seen a lot of people associate with abusers on the basis that they’ve changed. Abusers can’t change because society gives them no incentive to change. Abusers have discovered that people can know their history and still associate with them. Abusers don’t change; they get better at hiding it in public. Think about the people, for instance, who love Lolita because they believe the novel’s beautiful writing justifies their attraction to children. They don’t actually care that academics have been saying that book is satirical and Humbert Humbert is a loathsome monster since it was published. They’re not listening. Just as men don’t listen when women say Please don’t joke about the event that ruined my life or is in the process of doing so. This is also Alt-Right 101, by the way (noticing a pattern.) Their hate speech exists in a vacuum because the viewpoint is so loathsome. The idea they have of a Mexican, or a Muslim, or a Woman, or a LGBT person or a POC (because Alt-Right hate speech is pick and mix) isn’t anything to do with the real person. The rape apologist has a drastically different view of rape than a rape victim. To them, it is just another topic, or it exists in a fantasy land where they will become the avenger, going out and stomping on a rapists head on behalf of the victim, provided the victim can prove their victimhood beyond a doubt.
Because only good victims deserve righteous anger.
I will say it now. I am not a good victim. I didn’t know I was a victim for a long time because nobody told me having sex with me while I was drunk was rape. I associated with my rapist because I wanted to be friends and not victim and perpetrator. I was wearing a dress that was a bit more risque than what I’d worn before. It wasn’t violent, except for the coercion aspect. (He kept asking and asking and asking and asking….)
I did not go to the police because I knew I would not be believed. I am not married. I am poor.
The list goes on.
I would not be believed, and was not by anybody.
This is difficult.
This is the absurdity of men being afraid of false rape accusations. The scrutiny given to victims is so extreme, so awful that nobody would subject themselves to it willingly.
(People will tell me about the varsity team. She had been raped, but not by them, probably. I am always suspicious of narratives that perfect.)
Men can’t invent all these insane justifications for their abuse, so why can’t they just believe?