[personal profile] dysprositos
I came here today because I don't believe that rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we are not just in armed combat against you? It's not because there's a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence. --Andrea Dworkin, "I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape."

If I believed all men were rapists--

If I believed all men were potential rapists, and not in the sense of "I must treat all men as potential rapists because the consequences for misjudgment are so severe" but actually that each and every man had it within him to rape, and not in the sense of "given bizarre unlikely scenarios like aliens made me do it, they were going to wipe out Earth if I didn't! or similar" but in reasonably commonplace and likely circumstances--

Do you think I'd be sitting here?

Do you think I'd make speeches, presentations, online posts, and not bullets, knives, an army?

Do you think I'd be learning statistics and arguments instead of combat techniques?

If all women, or all feminists, or most feminists, or all self-identified radical feminists, or any significant portion of all women believed, really and truly and deep down in our souls, that all men were rapists, that all men were potential rapists, do you think there would be a single man left alive by our choice? Do you think we would hesitate to declare war on those who would have, by their own nature, declared war on us?

Do you think women so weak and tender and ineffectual in our anger that the worst you would suffer would be sensitivity training, mandatory sexual harassment workshops for work, reprimands for rape jokes, the "reverse discrimination" of expectations of humanity? Do you think we would even have expectations of your humanity?

Do you think that if tomorrow all women woke up with the realization (true or untrue) that all men really truly hated us enough to want to and be able to and try to write their dominance and power on our resisting bodies, do you think that we would hesitate to move from education to annihilation? Do you think us incapable of becoming valkyries, furies, harpies, avenging angels, every mythological embodiment of men's fears of women's anger? Do you think "Battle of the Sexes" would be metaphorical, merely a joke and an aggravatingly gender-essentialist board game?

Do you think I would have men in my life by choice? Do you think I would have a man as a friend? Do you think I would associate with men if I believed all of them capable of this?

Do you think I would stand in front of a classroom mostly of men and plead with them, with you, to believe that rape is a men's issue, to do something to fight the rape culture (not in so few words), do you think I would bring presentation notes to that classroom and not a gun if your criticism that I was "treating all of the men in the classroom like we were rapists, like all men were rapists" was true? Do you think I would be talking to you, Random Privilege-Soaked Dudebro Douchebag #3-Today, #3112-Total, if I thought you were a rapist?

What's that? No? You actually have a tiny glimmering of understanding that maybe perhaps mass-murder/suicide is not exclusively the option of (white, conservative) men who believe themselves to be systematically persecuted and hated by the universe?

Then next time you feel the urge to accuse some woman of saying or believing or acting like all men are rapists, rethink. Think again. And shut the fuck up.

(This essay is mostly the outgrowth of in-person, offline talks with guys, and is not in any way aimed at or principally about anyone online. If you have made this argument, consider this your free non-personal stupid-argument check, less an attack [gods know I've made stupid arguments before] and more an opportunity for personal growth. All-out warfare is not recommended. This argument may also apply to literal interpretations of the term "class warfare" and people who really truly believe that "all POC have hatred of whitey must-kill urges hard-coded into their beastly animalistic [&c. &c.] DNA"--see also "white men do not have the monopoly on violent expressions of anger in face of perceived persecution." (And possibly other axes as well.) However, as a white upper- or upper-middle-class person, I do not feel qualified to write the "you really think I'd leave it at snarky comments online?!" class- or race-aligned essay.)

Comments not screened currently; don't be an idiot, don't be a jerk; I reserve the right to ban, delete, and freeze for any reason whatsoever with no justification.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-20 05:55 am (UTC)
kurorahk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kurorahk
yeah, but just recalling from a few weeks ago iirc. I figured as much though, this defiantly was one of the things that ticked you off about most of the people that we have deal with at college. Also yeah your audience was just rude, and probably the people who think brute force always does what is needed.

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