Monday, June 23, 2008

maybe if we just called it something other than....

...a "rape fantasy."

Ever since reading this, i've been thinking something fierce about the whole rape fantasy thing and it's not sitting well with me. that "story" in particular strikes me funny for a number of reasons. The first being that i can't really stand anyone talking about sex the way that she does, but there's this strange thing that some people associate with feminism that seems to allow for that way of talking. I think it stems from the whole "men can talk that way, so can we" thing, but that just pisses me off. It's gross when men do it, it's gross when women do me anyway. Secondly, she's awful to the prostitute she hires. If a man wrote as dismissively about a female prostitute as she does about her male one, he would be called a chauvinist. What you can get from her attitude is: "It doesn't matter how I treat him, I'm paying him." And that fucking sucks for any human being. Do your thing, but come on.

Finally, and mainly, the reason why this story pisses me off is the whole rape thing. She hires a man to rape her. SHE HIRES A MAN TO RAPE HER. THAT'S NOT RAPE. That's called domination, maybe violence, maybe power play- whatever- but it's not rape. She was and had to be in control of the entire thing- they even had a safe word.

That got me thinking about this allusive "rape fantasy" and I've concluded that it doesn't exist. OK, maybe there are some people for whom that exists in the way I'm thinking about it, but on the whole the terms are mutually exclusive. If you're fantasizing about something, you're probably enjoying it to some extent or at least wanting it, and that is exactly what rape is not. Rape is not wet or exciting, it's terrifying and awful and dry and painful and all of those other things that we all know rape is. What a "rape fantasy" really is, is folks fantasizing about domination. In the case of women, it's us getting excited about someone taking control, sure maybe being violent or aggressive, maybe there are bruises or maybe it's simply a "I want you" "OK!" kind of thing. The point is, in some estimation, it's wanted. Rape is not.

And rape is not something that feminists can "reclaim" like the word "bitch" (something I still have a problem with honestly...). Rape is rape and trying to take it back and own it makes it so we get to be desensitized when shit actually goes down. It's not like you can say "you can't rape me, I've reclaimed the word." I sympathize with the sentiment, we want to control the things we can't. But how about talking about it and trying to spread awareness instead of acting like rape is a thing that is awesome and that we want to pay people to do....that just gets confusing.

So. I suggest that we change our language when referring to these things so as not to confuse the two ever again. That way when someone says "rape fantasy" we can know that they actually mean it and we can then take psychologically responsible action. Let's call it "domination fantasy" or maybe come up with a euphemism...I'm not that clever at the moment, but I'm sure there is one.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"When we refuse to suffer"

I don't think I was supposed to have left the house today. But I kept trying and trying. It all started at 7:47am this morning when my body sensed it was the time that I normally wake up and I said "oh heeelllll no" and went back to sleep.

9:30am rolls around and I hear my roommates wander out of their holes and congregate in the living room. They're laughing, telling stories, and generally making me feel like I'd be missing out on something unless I joined their morning ramblings. So I got out of bed for a full half hour but soon felt a pending hangover and came to the realization that I hadn't actually been awake for any of that half hour- so I went back to sleep. I had some of the strangest dreams I've ever had in my life. I was convinced, in my sleep, that I was awake and all of this stuff was actually happening to me. Flower, the dog, jumped in bed with me, at one point there was a piglet in my bed too. I watched a car crash and saved a pet rat who I could talk to and who lead me on some strange journey to Grass Valley (that part I think I knew was a dream). Then my ex-boyfriend walked into my room without a shirt on and when I asked him why he was there he only said "I have to go" and then left.

These very strange things went on with a scary feeling of reality until 1:20pm when my sister called me. "This is just silliness," said I to myself. "You're a grown-ass individual and it's time to wake on up." And it was so. I took a shower, felt like shit, decided I should grab a bagel at a cafe and enjoy the beautiful weather. It sounded so good. Until I actually tried to eat the bagel and thought I might throw-up.

So I went back home and fell back asleep until 3:40pm. I was pretty sure that the day was really supposed to start at that point so I made myself some food (and finished the bagel I had gotten earlier) and decided a good way to make use of the day I had all but squandered was to see the ocean. So I threw some stuff together and barely caught the N Judah as it squealed past Duboce Park. I even made my way to the front of the train to pay because I felt so lucky to have caught the train. We were moments away from 2nd Ave when the driver (conductor?) announced that because of an accident ahead he was going to have to turn around.

OK- that's fine- I only know, like 4 MUNI routes in the city, so I'll catch the 71 to Haight and Fillmore and take the 22 to the Marina. It's no ocean, but the bay certainly is good for what ails you. The 22 turned out to be about 20 minutes behind schedule so I decided to just make lemonade with the lemons of the day, get some orange juice and start a new book in Duboce Park. It was getting a little chilly, but I was determined to enjoy the rest of the sun.

Life was going well for a good 15 minutes until I decided to roll onto my stomach. Just as the rotation was complete I felt a sharp pain on my forearm just beneath my elbow. I looked and lo-and-behold struggled a bee who, with suicidal instincts, had stuck himself to me. I brushed him off, threw away the stinger, watched the poor thing struggle in the grass and had one of those rare, but so important moments of existential nihilism. On top of reflecting on the uselessness of existence and bitterly laughing at the cruel joke of life, I decided that from the beginning, it was clear that it was one of those days that I was simply not meant to experience, and so I accepted defeat. What I wouldn't give for something to watch a movie on....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008