Trigger Warning: rape.
I am a bee head-butting the aggressor; a snake poised to strike; a cat with its ruff all up, pupils gone large, claws extended.
I was just upset. Upset as in sort of sad, sort of disappointed. I was just that, just that lower amount of emotion, that lower energy output of “Well, that’s very sad and disappointing, especially coming from a friend, but I cannot let myself get too worked up, because there are Other Things on my plate.”
Now I am worked up. Now I am angry.
It’s not just a train wreck of epic proportions. It’s something that effects me — and people I love — personally.
Because, while the word rape may not “reduce me to a quivering mass of sobs” every time I see it, it still hurts me when it comes out of the blue, sans trigger warning. It still hurts when I see it used cavalierly.
And I have at least one friend who has recently gone through this sort of thing who cannot hear the word, cannot say it, cannot read it. We call it “the R-word” because the hurt is too fresh for zir.
I’ve spent the past few days holding zir through zir tears and reminding zir that it’s not zir fault, and that zie will survive, and that it will eventually get better.
If zie had been part of the pagan blogosphere or on TC in the past week, zie would have been triggered all to fuck. And been told zie was weak because of it. As zie is one of my friends that I have been trying to get to TC to see the conversations, because of zir interest in paganism, this was a real possibility.
Zir feelings are completely valid. Zir inability to deal with that word so soon is completely valid. Zie is allowed to feel that way.
This past week the pagan blogosphere became less safe for survivors. TC became less safe for survivors, if only for a moment.
While I’m less likely to get into a fighting spirit on my own behalf, I am already engaged in the battle for my friends. Especially for zir. Because I was the first person zie told. There’s a responsibility inherent in that, in being that first person that gets told.
Part of that responsibility, for me, is to get angry, and then get busy.
So this post, and the long-ass two-pronged curse I did last night, is me getting busy.
If there is anything you take away from this post, take this away.
Do not ever use the word rape to refer to anything but sexual assault. Winning at video games is not ‘raping’, losing money at the mechanic’s is not being ‘raped’, sensing someone’s thoughts is not ‘mental rape’, cutting down tress is not ‘rape’ unless you are also fucking them. If you do use the word like that, and you get called out for it, respect that you’ve triggered the ever-loving fuck out of people and apologize with a real apology, not fauxpologies galore. Admit you’ve done wrong and try to make it better.
Taking the stance of “WUH EVA, WUH EVA, I DO WHAT I WANT” on this makes you look childish, arrogant, and beyond help.
Yes, SatSekhem, I am talking to you. I am also talking to anyone who agrees with you, who thinks that what you did is okay.
It’s not. It will never be okay. I will never be okay with it.
And I will never read your blogs again. Not out of anger, or some petty feeling of wanting to get revenge — but because your blogs are no longer safe spaces for me to go to. Knowing that you literally do not give a shit about triggering people all to fuck, and that when called on triggering people all to fuck you will scream about how you’re the one being attacked, makes your blogs huge danger zones for me, and I won’t venture there.
You will probably see this post as an attack. I’m not going to be able to stop you there, as you have seen everything else done in this situation as an attack on you and that’s your prerogative.
But let me be clear: if I were to attack you, I wouldn’t fucking post about it on my blog.
This is what it has always been: you have hurt and angered people who considered you a friend, and then refused to listen to what they had to say because they dared to say it in an angry tone.
I am angry, and I am telling you, and anyone who displays the same behavior — it’s unacceptable.
And now that I have said this, now that I have shown my anger unabashedly and very clearly — I am walking away. I have Other Things to deal with. I am done with this situation now.
I wash my hands of it.
It is somehow a strange feeling to ‘like’ things like such a post, but you know what I mean… and you are right, your anger is right.
And I feel the same way about “liking” anything that’s more than just an expression of good things; this is why I prefer the Google+ language of +1-ing something — you are co-signing/signal-boosting it, which does not indicate like or dislike so much as it indicates support or importance.
Though when WordPress sends me an email telling me someone liked my post, they say “Tana thought your post was pretty awesome!”, which is what I assume people mean when they ‘like’ my post: “I am saying this is a good post, not that I like what prompted it.”
Insomnia makes me ramble.
I think the thing that genuinely blows my mind the most about that entire sequence is the idea that treating rape trivially is somehow vastly, categorically different from telling rape jokes. From here, it’s pretty much “six of one, half a dozen of the other”.
I mean, it’s a kind of trivial point to be snagged on, but I am genuinely mindboggled.
Ditto. That’s pretty much where my flabbergastedness comes from too.
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