Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why the idea that women have human rights in Australia is a joke

Warning: This post may contain traces of anger that many people have an intolerance to. This post will be a bit long, as in talking about human rights I think I have to show the legalities of international legislation on this issue. Please bare with me though, I think I raise some interesting points I would like responded to. If there are any MRA types that still frequent my blog I would also like your input here. I will start off with the UN declaration of human rights;

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedom set forth herein.

(sourced from

To make my argument for the lack of human rights in Australian (which applies well to other nations, such as America) and to show why FRA is not a violation of human rights, so irrelevant as a parellel to the question of the prevalence of sexual abuse I will draw primarily from these five articles;

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

In order to demonstrate my point I will take a personal reality and show how it is also a political reality. Firstly I will pose a few questions, Where were my human rights when I was being raped, sexually abused, emotionally abused and stalked? Where was my right to life, liberty and security of person? Where was my right to not be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment? Those rights didn't exist. As a consequence in a society where 1/6 women will be repeatedly sexually abused or raped (I seperate those two things because law does) where is the human rights of that nearly 20% of women? Where are the human rights of all women in society who are subjected to this constant threat which takes the form of further restriction of liberty. Such as freedom to leave ones house after dark without fear of and the very real possibility of assault.

When I was being raped I did not have those rights, I still don't have the rights to full protection from sexual abuse happening again which is demonstrated by its shameful prevalence. One in six women in my society have had their human rights directly violated, how can you reconcile this fact with the statement that women have human rights? In an above human rights article it also states that it is a human right to not be subject to incitement of discrimination. We live in a society which romanticises and constantly justifies sexual abuse in various forms, including saturation of the media. I don't doubt that FRA is wrong or a horrible experience, but it is not a human rights violation, as the UN outlines in its declaration everyone is entitled to a just hearing when accused of criminal activities and that is just what men accused of rape receive.

Even if it was a reality that FRA was a human rights violation. Nobody has been able to show that it happens as often as does sexual abuse. I doubt that one in six men are subjected to repeated FRA accusations. They get a just trial, and I believe I had a trial too, but not a just one. Society has deemed me as a woman, deserving of sexual assault, it has deemed this by encouraging it and normalising it to the widespread extent of today. Even as a person accused of rape human rights are upheld in this way, but I never got anything but an arbitrary decision that resulted in the ideology that I should be raped and consequently degraded and tortured.

I have been raped and sexually abused multiple times starting when I was 11. The oppression of women was made evident to me before I even became one. However despite the fact my human rights have been violated consistently over my lifetime I am not supposed to be angry, not angry with the system that allows these atrocities and not angry with the people who perpetuate it. I am sick of being told that I shouldn't be angry, that I should just get over it. How can I get over something that is still happening to the women around me, and how can I get over something which is likely to occur to me again in the future? I don't think I can without accepting that rape is just "shit happens". If that is the case I refuse to "heal" from my experiences, we need to stand up against this system and prevent this shit from happening anymore.

I don't understand at all how anyone can claim that one in six women don't have their human rights directly violated and how women as a whole aren't subject to a system which enforces this. If anyone can give me some answers on this I would be grateful.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

women, LGBT and discrimination

I know I said at the beginning of my blog that I didn't want the imposition on my blog of christians saying "It is god's word", but I have changed my mind. I would love to hear a christian perspective on some of my ideas. Also I plan to express my interpretations of their views so it would be unfair to prevent any from commenting on it. If I am incorrect in some way please let me (civilly). Firstly I would like to offer my interpretation of peoples interpretation of the bible. I haven't read it all but I have read bits, fairly big chunks of it in parts actually. However definitely if I misquote or paraphrase let me know. I write from my understanding of christianity's take on marriage through discussion with church going christians and research into christian groups, activists and blogs. (caution may repeat some sentiments expressed in my last blog entry but I wish to expand and clarify on these points)

I am sceptical that there is any christian that follows god's word (expressed through the bible) in its entirety. I have certainly never encountered anyone who wants to stone adulterers or rape victims who won't marry their rapists to death (for obvious reasons). It applies also to lesser things like a man being forbidden from sitting where a menstruating woman has been. I have heard logical arguments from christians for why; the onset of sanitary protection means disease spread through blood contact isn't an issue anymore, therefore there is no reason to avoid seats formerly sat upon by menstruating women. This puts a qualifier on the whole argument of god's word. By saying it isn't appropriate or relevant to follow certain parts of the bible (as examplified above) you are saying it is incorrect even though god said so because of logic and rational application of facts.

Logic dictates that the other side of this is agreeing with god's word also with a qualifier. Either there has to be a logical reason to follow god's word or at the least no illogical reason why it should not be followed. Thus it seems to remove the "god's word' argument at least as a sole basis for political policy and interpretation of the bible as it is obviously impacted by peoples opinions and views about certain things.

How this applies to the question of homosexual marriage is simple in my opinion. If there is logical reasons why homosexual marriage would be a positive thing, or at least not a negative thing then it should be allowed even though god was/is clearly anti gay.

To demonstrate this point that homosexual marriage is a positive, or at least not a negative, I will introduce a hypothetical here, from a strictly conservative christian view. Let us for a moment assume that sexuality, in particular homosexuality is a choice and that it is also wrong and condemned by god as wicked and sinful. The facts are as follows:

Being homosexual increases the chances of depression, anxiety and suicidality due to discrimination perpetuated by not being seen as equal to heterosexual (ie marriage rights)

Homosexuals are still 'gay bashed'

Homosexuals as people are seen as less than heterosexuals

Gay relations won't actually be changed by gay marriage rights (just viewed as equal)

Addressing the homosexuality (sexuality in general) as a choice argument I would just like to ask as a woman why wouldn't I choose to be gay? The benefits are:

Significantly less chance of stds

Significantly less prevalence of sexual violence

Significantly less prevalence of domestic violence

(compared to heterosexual relationships and marriages, all shown in scientific studies). This leads into the next issue I noticed while perusing the bible. One of the main verses which condemns homosexuality as sinful also includes condemnation of thieves and adulterers. It also condemns rape. 1/6 women in Australia will be raped or sexually assaulted NUMEROUS times in her life. I am not sure of the exact facts here (I am not sure anyone is) but it stands to reason to assume it is about 1/6 of men perpetrating these acts of violence. So on one hand you have gay marriage which involves 10% of the population and on the other a crime nearly 20% of people are directly involved with in one way or the another. I have however been unable to find any christian groups rallying against rape (please direct me to websites of any that exist).

Homosexuality has been proved to have no direct health issues. Being raped on the other hand generally comes hand in hand with co morbid psychiatric issues such as depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. Why when there are logical reasons not to oppose homosexual marriage and logical reasons to rally against rape do we have people pouring millions of dollars into anti-gay christian compaigns but none that I can find into anti-rape christian compaigns?

I would like to at this point out that in my opinion the idea of marriage as "tradition" also holds no weight. There is little about marriage today that resembles what it was founded on. There is a no faults divorce system and there exists now the choice not to get married and not necessarily be expected to produce children if you do. The one tradition that holds true is marriage as a union between one man and one woman. However the history of marriage as an insitution is based upon the rule of a patriarchy. The "one" man is dominant over the "one" woman. Positioning women as lesser than men and thereby implying their needs and wants are of less concern. This allowed there to be a position where rape wasn't possible in wedlock. Consequently to support traditional gender roles in marriage is to encourage a culture where sexual abuse is widespread, this I believe contradicts the bible.

Convicted sex offenders and child molesters are permitted to get married with no challenge (that I have heard) coming from church groups. Seems to me that a child molester would pose more threat to the welfare of children then does a gay couple, who have the same potential as straight couples for love and compassion and morals.

I talked earlier about there being no health problems directly involved with being homosexual so I would like to now address a constant argument presented by the conservatives against gay marriage. The fact that gay men are more prone (then heterosexuals) to contracting sexual diseases such as aids. However to say this is relevant to the fact that they are homosexual is deeply flawed. It is like stating heterosexual people contract sexual diseases for reasons of their sexuality. If this is the case, then opposite sex marriage shouldn't be allowed either. On the basis of relative std contraction only lesbian marriage and relationships should be allowed as they have the lowest amount of stds.

It has also come to my intention that several conservative church groups believe it is impossible to have morals without following a divine law. However through the application of science morals can certainly be formed and followed quite well. The bible itself is subject to the scrutiny of facts as I stated previously. The other flaw of this as applied to homosexual marriage is that it is used to state that gay people do not follow god's law correctly and are evil. However many straight couples in society do not follow the bible either, not much is said about their inability to make moral judgement. I suppose as long as you conform to a christian view of a relationship without actually being christian you are still seen as a moral person, even though it is asserted that is is not possible for you to do so.

Another point I wanted to raise is the fact that the bible sees women as lesser beings than men. How can a rational person support the right of women to vote (assuming you do) to grant equal rights but deny equal rights to homosexual couples? Returning to the std argument for a moment, I also don't understand the ramifications of std rates in homosexual relationships in regards to gay marriage. I believe they are most likely already sexually active, it is hard to save yourself for marriage when you're not allowed to marry.

I have two side notes to make here.

1) I oppose the use of the word homophobia and propose instead sexualism (allows for sexualities other than homosexuality to be discriminated against)

2) I use the term homosexual throughout this post as it is written in regards to christianity's response to the LGBT movement which has a focus on the homosexual aspect. Although to be politically correct I would prefer if I, and they, used the term "non heterosexual"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the matter of LGBT

I bring this up because I think it applies quite well to the ideologies of feminism in many ways.

The dogmatic conservatives seem to have taken up a postion of oppression. Whereby they are being oppressed by the oppressed. I just don't see how this is possible. You can't have a situation where the oppressed are oppressing the oppressors. Just like in feminism where the men claim it is they who are being oppressed.

And just like within a feminist context they are claiming that their freedom of expression is being compromised by the gay and lesbian movement. However just as it is wrong to openly (or secretly) hate a woman, a black, an asian it is wrong to hate a homosexual.

The parallels between the movements and the issues in each are startling. So I had a few questions. To those who subscribe to christian dogma and support gender equality (which doesn't seem to have support in the bible) and are anti gay how do you justify this position?

To those who support equality based on gender, race and sexuality what do you think about the issue of anti-gay christians being oppressed?

Is it anti-religious to resent that kind of bigotry? Is it even bad to be anti-religious? A lot of the dogmatic christian ideology seems to subscribe to the idea that homosexuality (but not hetereosexuality) is a choice, so it is therefore a viable target. In much the same way (but actually based on facts) being christian is a choice, and interpretation of the bible in certain ways is a choice. So perhaps by their very own logic it is perfectly moral to "silence" them.

Another point in which I saw anaologys to feminism was education. Namely there were complaints about literature involving homosexuals and sex education involving homosexual studies. Much the same as there is opposition to studies focused on women.

I think the point many conservatives miss is that as a woman, as something (someone?) other than heterosexual I experience oppression, where as they are the oppressing force. As the oppressed it is important for their to be things like girls studies, womens studies and the inclusion of homosexual literature and education in the reading curriculum. This to enable the change of societal values that will lead to more freedom for more people rather than what we have now. I am not forcing my will upon their lives they are forcing theirs into my life, by bitterly not allowing me the right to marry a woman.

At this point I should go into the arguments of why/how homosexuality is not a choice, but I really can't be bothered right now. If it is necessary let me know.

That said. I don't hate christians I hate the bigotry and the cowardice of hiding behind the bible.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rape jokes

I know there is an abundance of feminist blogs addressing this issue, but I couldn't resist putting my two cents in.

Rape jokes can be funny. Example,817/

The question often brought up is "why can we joke about death and not rape"

It is interesting to deconstruct. Perhaps it is because death happens to everyone. It isn't insulting one group of people. Perhaps also the fact that real rape is often a target for joke comes into play as well.

However there are obviously bans on certain type of jokes. Torture jokes don't seem to be common.

The joke is "rape is just surprise sex!" not "torture is just surprise bdsm!"

It just doesn't have the same oomph because people recognise torture for what it is; wrong.

However in a culture where rape is often considered to be rough sex, it hits a little too close too home when people minimise it by referring to it as sex. This misconception damages rape victims, women and society. Why perpetuate the myth?

To lighten the mood...

...and prove I'm not as angry as I seem :P

I found this on the interwebs.

How many feminists does it take to change lightbulb?

None, because they never change anything!

Two..............IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT?????!!!!???

A total of 100. One to change it, and 99 to wring their hands and agonize about how oppressed the socket is.

How old-fashioned. The other 99 are there to lobby Congress to outlaw crimes against sockets -- and to say the bulb-changer is not a representative of mainstream feminism.

A total of 11. One to DO IT ALL BY HERSELF!!!! And 10 to form a survivors of darkness support group!

Seven. One to change the lightbulb, three to protest the offense committed by the lightbulb in regards to the socket, two to secretly wish they were the socket, and one to secretly wish she was the lightbulb.

Three - one to do it, the others to consider unscrewing it before it's a third of the way in.

None. It's not the light bulb that needs changing.

Five, four to try like men and fail miserably, one to find a female electrician, settle for a man and picket as he works.

Two - one to change the bulb and one to write about how it feels.

Two - one to change it and one to threaten to do a Lorena Bobbitt on any man who tries to interfere.

Three - one to screw it in and two to talk about the sexual implications.
"Hey man, screwing objectifies the light bulb"

50,000 marching on Washington demanding the lightbulb be changed!

That depends. If there is money in it, it takes 10 women-only-governmen t- contractors working 2 years at a salary of $50,000 per year. Otherwise, it's traditionally expected for the man to do it.

Ten: To form a university funded protest committee to research how the white male patriarchy conspires to keep women and minorities in the dark.

Two. One to threaten that as a mother, she will be unable to provide her children light without federal assistance; and a N.O.W. attorney to ask the Justice Department to sue GE for allowing the bulb to go out in the first place.

Nobody knows. But everyone knows that women and minorities will suffer more than anyone else because it's dark.

None. Women have a supreme court, constitionally protected right to work in the dark if they choose to.

It's sexual harassment to even SUGGEST jokingly on the net that a woman SCREW in anything.

One. But if the bulb IS replaced, the job will go to a minority or woman contractor.

30,000 to start a letter writing campaign protesting Newt Gingrich cutting off funds for the Federal Light Bulb Changing Agency...

Three. One to screw it in, and two to file a sexual harrassment lawsuit on behalf of the bulb.

Two. One to wait for a federal agency to send someone to screw it in. Another to file harassment charges against the men possibly looking at her in the dark.

Feminists don't screw at all. That's what sperm banks are for!

If a feminist does screw in a light bulb, it will be up to the government or the father to support any children resulting from such a sexual act. She will also require free day care for the light bulb children and federal funding for studies of how light-bulb children should be treated under affirmative action hiring quotas.

Unknown. But the federal government's welfare reform will limit the number of free light bulbs a woman can receive to under a 2 year supply.

One. And when she replaces it, she will think of Mother Earth and use a fluorescent lamp designed to last 3 times longer and protect the environment... But if a man isn't paying for it, then she will use the cheapest one.

Two, one to change it and one to tell her she did a really good job.

That's not funny, abusive white male aggressor!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's ok to be raped but not to be angry about it

To put things into perspective here. I will outline a few facts about rape that should be common knowledge. In the legal system of both America and Australia rape is considered one of the worst things you could do to another person. It is in fact second only to murder. Rape is torture. Psychological and physical torture. Rape has long lasting effects on the person's life.

Now having gotten the housekeeping on rape done I get into the point of this entry. This was in part inspired by a response to my last post, but mostly inspired by the general response to rape.

It is easy for a person to say "yes, rape is bad, I understand it has long term consequences" but it seems like another issue entirely for them to actually have any understanding of the reality of rape. The reality is yes, anger and sadness, and confusion and anxiety. So why then is it so easy for these people who supposedly understand to call justified anger "wallowing" or "self pity".

Yes, I do feel bad that I was raped, it wasn't a pleasant experience. Yes I do get sad about it. I do get into a rage about it on occassion. Is this self pity though or is it just grief?

I am not talking about only myself here, it happens to other people who have experienced rape as well. We are still smothered in a silence enforced by societal pressures. No one wants to deal with the anger that results from rape. I mean I certainly don't so I can understand why someone else would want to be away from my anger. However to be treated with a complete lack of compassion is more then I can tolerate sometimes.

I am not by nature self pitying. I never think "Ohhh, why me?" I always think "Why anyone?". As a consequence I then set about trying to help the people it has happened to and trying to prevent it from happening to anyone else.

Sometimes I express my anger in a negative way, I direct it towards people who don't deserve it. However in the case of creative writing my anger isn't really directed towards anyone at all, just the situation in general.

I really don't comprehend why it is so wrong of me to be upset, why I should "lighten up" because someone isn't capable of dealing with the harsh realities of rape and the aftermath. Well sorry but it is something many people actually have to deal with every day.

In a society where sexual assault is so common, why is it that it still so wrong to be angry about it?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I wrote a story today, inspired by Dworkin. Be kind, it was just a spur of the moment thing.

Love at first sight

At the time I met her I was empty and alone. Drained and desperate. It was what passes as night in the city. The natural order of the passage of time disturbed by a continual hustle and bustle and brightly lit roads and store fronts. I caught my first glimpse of her when rounding a corner. Her most noticable feature was her hair. It drew my longing eyes like pollen draws the bee. Her hair was long, I don't know about the colour, because it glistened and shimmered in the artificial light. Dozens of different colours all at once, a rainbow trailing behind her, and after that first time I never paid much heed to her hair again. That beautiful luxurious hair lied to me, it said you can bury your face in me and I will envelop you and protect you. It promised freedom in it's tangled tresses, freedom it couldn't deliver, except fleetingly.

Later in her apartment, in her, I found my cocoon, I found a womb to shelter in, reveling in its warmth. For the first time since the endless day began I shut my eyes, resting, satisfied with the fruits of the search. When I thought about it later, and was really honest with myself. I tentatively admitted I had thought by filling her that I could also fill myself. This realisation however occurred past any possibility of usefulness. I was in fact stroking a gun, just as she had stroked me to throbbing fullness, when this thought swam into my consciousness. As the tears soaked my face, I thought perhaps the ejaculation of man was merely grief expressed. Perhaps the male climax is poetry and art and overwhelming anguish.

On that night, that garishly lit up night in the shadow thrown by her shades I had thought myself saved, but the redemption found in the feminine folds of her body was hollow and brief. As soon as I convinced myself that she was salvation incarnate, I moved my things into her apartment, although I had no personal belongings to my name. There for months we laid in each others urgent embrace and told delicious lies to each other, as maggots infested discarded plates of food. Our hearts thrumming together in the throes of abandon, both reckless and needed. We whispered of love and mutual need and satisfaction. We spoke of the world, our world, here in the shadows.

I became a man possessed, when I needed her, which was all the time, I had to have her without hesitation. A slight hesitation on her part would give birth to doubts of the absolute truth of our love. It came to the point where in the after glow of our love making I would reach for her again. Plunge into her depths, into her, and out of myself. My disgust at being alone in my rotting flesh was too much for me to bear so I spent more and more time in her, frenzied in my need, unmindful to hers. It came to past that one night my frenzy reached the crescendo where I was no longer aware of her at all, except as a means of escape.

She rolled over to sleep after an extended love making session and I became enraged, denied my freedom, denied my pleasure. I reached for her as I had many times before, rough though, this time. I pushed her facedown on the mattress and slid into her, burying my face in that gorgeous hair. No matter my stroke, slow, fast, gentle, forceful, I couldn't find the peace I craved. Her struggles were meaningless and her cries of pain like bird calls on the wind. I thrust harder, winding my hand in the tangle of her hair. If I can just get deeper, I told myself, I will find nirvana once more. After trying until the sweat poured down my back with no success, I pushed her away from me. My shame hanging limply between my legs.

It was never the same after that, we stayed together, but instead of burning for my touch as I burnt for hers she would cower and tremble like a beaten puppy when I reached for her. Her once fiery eyes that burnt with an inexpressible passion were dull and dead, only sparking to life when fear ignited them. It was the never the same to my manhood either, it hung lifeless beneath my belt, and no amount of coaxing would summon it to towering heights again. I felt robbed, she had rejected my maleness, she had rejected me and as a result my masculinity was cowed.

Now, unable to possess her as god and nature ordained, unable to achieve fullness as a man, I turned to other means. I was plagued by feelings of inadequacy and my inability to take what was rightfully mine. I became more forceful, instead of pressing against her to feel her heart beat with love against my chest. I took to pressing against her to feel her heart increase its cadence in fear. Where once she quivered in passion and need she now quivered in terror, I became unable to tell the two apart, I didn't want to. Being the cause of a reaction, any reaction in her body was enough for me. Her looks of love became glances of terror trying to gauge my mood.

Rather then please me, rather than assure me that I still had control, it was merely a reminder of the power I had once had. I had once commanded her body, brought her to shuddering orgasm as the captain steers his ship over the swelling wave. Now all I could do was intimadate her into submission to me, my manhood gone with her desire. I was barely conscious of the atrocities I was committing, losing myself in my helplessness and impotence and only later noticing the bruising forming on her thighs, belly, breasts and face. The more abuse she endured from me to prove her love and devotion, the more I wanted to torment her quaking body, as mine was tormented by withdrawals.

One day I arrived home from work and found her in our bed, lifeless as she had been for a long time, but dead as well. Her staring eyes, searching for something else, something better, as mine once had. There wasn't a mark on her body that I hadn't caused. She was beautiful in death just as she had been in life. I leaned over her body and pressed my lips to hers, tasting only cold and death and my own salty tears. I left the apartment and the bed that had been my sanctuary for a time and never returned. I resumed my restless pacing around the city, looking once more for that long hair I could lose myself in.

Every woman I glimpsed in my outings however, was a reminder of damnation rather then a potential salvation. I came to know that she had been my only safe haven, my angel, my jesus, sent here to suffer for my sins. Just as the jews had tortured and killed their saviour so had I tortured and killed mine. That is how it came to be that I was sitting in my car parked at the very corner where I had first seen her radiance. A gun in my lap, next to my lifeless member. Lips dripping blood where I tore them in distress mixing with tears of knowledge realised too late. Nothing left to do now, I put the gun in my mouth and my finger on the trigger.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dworkin is my hero

I have only really read excerpts from her books and speeches and just today started on reading ok, more like inhaling a book she wrote titled "Intercourse".

She takes what is in the furthermost reaches of my mind, things I dare not speak of, things I dare not even think of, and lays it out on the page for my eager eyes to absorb.

I feel like I am fully understanding the issue of rape for the first time. I have long thought of it as a hate crime, but only with Dworkin now triggering cognitive functioning, do I recognise it for what it truly is; an institutionalised hate crime.

I will believe that the patriarchy has been dismantled successfully and that gender equality (equity as some have suggested I call it) has room to grow and flourish when I can do the following-

-run down the main street naked
-get so intoxicated I pass out
-walk around outside by myself at night time
-sleep naked next to a boy

without the fear that these actions will result in rape or sexual abuse. All of these things a boy can do (invert the last one to read sleep naked next to a woman) without fear of these such repercussions.

"My body, my choice" is only true if you have a penis.

Returning to Dworkin herself, I believe she will be a great source of inspiration for me. Her ability to persevere through extraordinary personal hardships, never losing sight of the goal, never waivering, never allowing people to bully her. These are all things I admire and hope I can live up to. Amazing lady, just amazing. It is true bravery to state without a doubt that something so widely accepted as right, is actually wrong. Especially for decades, especially besieged by critics. When I grow up I want to be Andrea Dworkin, noble and adamant.

Her work is so emotive, scanning through the pages, lapping up every word of beautifully turned prose I was filled with anger. No, that is wrong, I was allowed to feel the anger I was already filled with. It was...liberating. I have never felt so at peace with myself as I do now, admitting I am pissed off has allowed me to relax.

She made me aware of the true horrors of rape, what I feel personally but didn't have the ability to give voice to. The rage and helplessness and fear I felt during my own experiences are of faded hue compared to the rage and helplessness and fear I feel now on behalf of my gender. How can this keep happening? How can it be that people think its normal for women to go out and have to watch their drink like a hawk lest it be spiked. How can people think its normal to have rape crisis centres scattered everywhere. How can people continue to turn a blind eye when it is their sisters, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, friends being raped. Do they not know that rape is torture, murder of the spirit, destruction of freedom. Do they not realise it is an enslavement of all women, to keep us in our places, keep us behaving, so men can maintain their dominance. You better behave! If you go out drinking, if you wear skimpy clothes, if you flirt without giving up the goods, you might be raped! This isn't conjecture, this is reality, the cold hard facts. Argue with that.

Lurking in my pacifist heart are flickerings of a desire for vengence, a subtle hostility towards men I never allowed near the surface. She is right, if all the men who claim the women in their lives are important and equal actually thought that then we wouldn't have the situation we have now. I feel the nagging feelings of doubt towards these men growing in my belly. Being sexually abused by 4 different men by the age of 22 can do that to a girl though I suppose. I wonder if number 5 would/will push me over the edge into fully formed cynicism. Oh well, I guess we will probably find out.

As for the vengence idea I am already putting my plan into action. I am going to follow in Dworkin's footsteps and rally against the patriarchy and everyone who supports it. I will tear them apart with words and they won't like me very much, but I will like myself and I will be able to sleep at night.

I am entitled to what men are, that is all, and that is all I want, why is it so hard? Decades after we gain the right to vote our movement is stalled. Let us come together once more as the feminists of old did, and take what is rightfully ours. I am done begging.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sex is natural

I have recently undertaken the task of trying to absorb Dworkin's work and read through some blogs that cover the issues she raises. In doing so, my own brain juices were triggered.

Sex is natural is the instantaneous and absurdly common response to any suggestion that sex may not be necessary. While this satisfied me for a time, the natural state of things rarely seems to be the best state of things. Moving away from a feminism for a moment to demonstrate this point, it is natural for people to eat animals. We are omnivores, we are more intelligent and more powerful then animals, so therefore it is natural for us to do so. I don't know if I ever thought like that really, but it was a good excuse at the time to continue eating meat. However it is wrong to torture and kill and wrong to excuse ourselves and justify our actions by claiming we are "just animals".

If in the case of vegetarianism a claim that it is natural to commit the kind of atrocity against animals that is the meat industry is to be rejected then in the case of sex it should also be rejected. We are not just mindless animals determined to engage in sex and procreate, we are, or should be, thoughtful human beings. Afterall what about our society now is in any way natural? We are constantly pumped full of medication when we probably should have died already, we have cities that are covering the world in smog, and slowly killing it. Nothing we do is natural, nothing we do is merely because we are mindless animals acting on instincts, so why do we continue to hide behind this excuse?

I was surprised by the fact I actually agreed with some of what a self proclaimed radical feminist stated. I have long been resentful of the expectation of sexual intercourse. There are many situations where it is expected, in normal situations, by well adjusted men. For instance if a woman allows a man to touch her, stimulate her, it is done with the absolute assumption that sex will follow, if sex does not follow well then rape does in extreme situations or frustration on the side of the man. I am aware that some women enjoy sex, orgasm from sex, but the studies show that most women do not climax from penetration. Why then is she expected to spread her legs? Why would she want something that isn't actually pleasurable?

In a relationship is another time sex is expected. If a woman isn't willing to have sex with her partner then she is not taking care of his needs properly, though very little is mentioned about him taking care of her needs. If sex doesn't occur this then isn't a healthy relationship, a real relationship or sometimes even a relationship at all. Even though one partner probably won't enjoy it.

The true issue with these situations is that they are hard to avoid. Humans are social creatures, they want to be with someone and they want to feel physical closeness. Not being in a relationship, not being able to experience physical pleasure without the eventual result of sex will never result in anything but misery. Women it seems to me often end up in situations where sex isn't the result they were hoping for but they submit to it to please their partner. This isn't the normal healthy compromise of a relationship (assuming it is in a relationship) that is sacrifice.

This results in a sense of helplessness I think. It creates an environment where the woman is not free to say no, if she wants to be close to someone if she wants to get the trade off of maybe engaging in sexual activity that pleases her as well she has to have sex. It is a currency, women give sex and men give emotions.

Why do men who are well aware that women rarely climax during sex still expect it? demand it? Get surprised when it isn't there? Are the radical feminists right, are men really conditioned to that extent to feel entitlement over women and their bodies.

Sometimes after I shower I look at my body and wonder how it could be that it will ever be mine, there is always someone who thinks that using it is his right as a man.

Yes I understand that men become aroused and enjoy sex, but I also understand that men aren't animals, sex is not a necessity to life (not anymore).

Why does the chant of "my body, my choice" ring so false?

Personally, I dislike sex, it isn't a pleasurable sensation for me. I gain no enjoyment from it, but people keep demanding that I have it anyway because its normal and healthy and natural. Until today I believed them, I convinced myself it was part of some mental illness, something to be fixed. Go to therapy and fix myself then I will enjoy sex. Seems to me with all the studies showing that sex doesn't often result in climax for the woman, I should have figured out sooner, my lack of desire for sex was probably not caused by mental illness. The tracks that play over and over in my head, frustrate me. Why do I have this determination to "cure" my displeasure when it comes to sex so that I can learn to satisfy my partner? It seems wrong to me, that I have to think this way.

My therapist incidently described a pressure to have sex as similar to the experience of rape. In both scenarios there is one person trying to force their (his) will upon the other for selfish reasons and the other person is trapped and distressed. I definitely see how this is true. Furthermore for me, pretty much anytime I have had sex has been in attempt to please my partner not really examining too thoroughly the fact that it wasn't something I wanted. It is degrading in a way to have these kind of thought patterns in my head.

In a conversation with a friend the other day, I told him he was common because he was a boy, there are lots of boys I said so therefore you are common. He responded that it isn't very nice to be put in a group based on your gender and told you are common. Sadly, my compassion and empathy deserts me just now. Maybe I am just too used to my gender defining me and too sick of it.

What is the verdict on these musings?