Thursday, December 08, 2005

Playing the blame game

Usually, I tend to read my papers about a week after I buy them... god knows why. I would be a shit journalist, cos I am always the last one to find out about stuff.
So I just stumbled onto this article by Naomi Wolf, which addresses the issues I talked about in the Drunken Consent posts, which made me fume at the hypocrisy and double morals in the way courts deal with rape cases, even though I am not in the slightest surprised. It is so deeply engrained in society that even though I logically reject the notion of "blaming the woman because she wore a short skirt", something in me feels like if I don't want to be attacked, I shouldn't wear certain things. Even if the rapist would get jailed, I would still blame myself.
I remember when I lived in the Christian community (mind, a group of nouveau fundies/born- agains), that was what I repeatedly heard: "men are visual creatures, a woman should not dress in a way that attracts that kind of attention of a man." And then I remember the incident when one of my rather big-busted friends, who worked as a maid at the mission center, was reported as a potential Jezebel to the manager because she wore a tank top. Hell, it was in the middle of summer, boiling hot, and there was no air conditioning! What was this guy doing staring down the top of a young girl who could have been his granddaughter, while his wife was next to him, and then have the nerve to report her as temptress??? Oh boy, the hissy fits I threw at the time.
This shit is doing my head in.

Anyway, here is a quote that sums up the consequences of that fuckin neanderthal-patriarchal attitude:

"the crime itself is something you can eventually recover from - less easy to recover from is the social trivialisation of what happened to you, let alone the notion that it was your own fault."

That's precisely it. This is one of the things that made it so hard for me to deal with what happened to me when I was a kid. I could have dealt with what the fucker did... what I couldn't deal with was that no one gave a fuckin shit that it happened, and that it was treated like it was no big deal... as if girls simply have to accept that this kind of shit can happen to them. Because boys will be boys. Because that is the price of being a girl.
When you're a girl, you get abused if you are not pretty. When you are a girl, you get abused if you are pretty.
When you are not pretty, and get molested, all you get is: "Well, be grateful that you got some action." When you are pretty, well, that's just gonna get you that kind of attention, won't it? That's just the price of being pretty.
Men can't handle strong women, but men rape women they think are weak, passive and insecure enough to not defend themselves.

What the fuck are we supposed to do?

And this mindfuck part of the world calls itself civilised.

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