Sunday, July 10, 2011

On Friendship

It's that time of year again. The time for my newsfeed to be inundated with pictures and statuses about one of the guys who raped me.

When you get into a relationship, friends will often say "If he hurts you, I'll kill him" or something similar. Now I'll generally tell them that it's not their place, but I appreciate the fierce moment of loyalty.

Generally, it's been true. Guys who've hurt me, cheated on me, broken my heart, have been a subject of some ridicule on the part of my friends. And I'll usually tell them that it's okay, that they don't know everything that went down. That I appreciate and love their loyalty, but it's not the time.

Then I tell them that someone raped me. Someone they know and are friends with committed an act of sexual violence towards me, took something from me that I had to fight against myself to get back, hurt me in ways that can never really be healed. And these people who said "If he hurts you, I'll kill him," said "Oh. Well it's cool if we still hang out, right?"

And I said yes, because I'm not about to tell anyone who they can and can't be friends with based on my personal feelings.

I'm not angry with any of them, really. But it drives me crazy. It -hurts me- that they'd be that way. Not only that they'd hang out with him, but they'd make such a big public deal of it that I can't avoid it.

I don't want people to get revenge. I don't want people to hate him, or try to hurt him, or destroy his business, or anything like that. I just want them to take my side. To say "You very badly hurt one of my friends, I don't want to be friends with you anymore because I'll hurt her if I continue, and she's more important to me than you are."

Yup, that's right. I want to be more important to the friends and family who've known me for ten years or more. More important than the guy they've known for less time than me, who's been less to them personally than I have, who makes cool things that they want to be seen with.

Maybe that's unfair, too, but I'm only human.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Chicago SlutWalk

Rather than copy the entirety of the post over here, I'd like to share a passage or two and leave you with a link.

We teach our girls how not to get raped.  That's where our focus is.  Universities hand out guides to college life telling female students not accept strange beverages from strangers, to travel in packs, to avoid binge drinking, to dress conservatively.  We teach them that the weight of not getting raped is on them.
We don't put that sort of energy into teaching anybody not to rape people.

I can also promise you this, both of the men who assaulted me genuinely don't believe they did anything wrong.  The fact that they wanted to have sex with me was just more important to them than any opinion I might have had in the matter.

Becoming SuperMommy: "It Wasn't My Fault"

A scene from the Chicago SlutWalk

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Making Mistakes.

I've been long-distance "seeing" a new guy for a few months. One who I met years ago, but have recently developed a thing with. Today, I discussed with him mistakes that I've made in the past.

Everyone makes mistakes. It's human nature. And inevitably, the worst mistakes we make are the ones we make when we're the most vulnerable. This is particularly harsh, because we tend to swing towards one extreme or the other and blame ourselves entirely or shirk all blame.

I'm slowly coming to terms with the mistakes I've made over the years. Accepting my part of the blame, and forgiving myself for it. In most cases I was at best very unhappy with my situation, and at worst very vulnerable and at some points a little insane.

I've always been really good at making bad decisions. I've spent a lot of my life in a subtle self-destructive mindset. I don't know if I'm trying to punish myself or escape from myself, but it doesn't much matter.

I go through times in my life when all I crave is human contact. Sometimes a hug is the most important thing that I could want. Sometimes I get desperate for the comfort of human contact, and those are the times when I make the mistakes that I truly abhor. Sometimes, I even know it at the time, but I don't care.

I've been working on this post very slowly for a week. Part of that, I think, is because I don't want to actually post it. But I do. I keep wondering if I should go into some detail, but I think it's better if I don't. If I keep it vague, I could be talking about anything. Maybe I used to drink heavily. Maybe I used to do drugs. Maybe I used to have promiscuous sex. The mistakes I made are not the point.

The point is that we all make mistakes. In most cases, the mistakes we make are a perfectly normal psychological reaction to some sort of stress or trauma. The mistakes we make do not define us. They do not make us one type of person or another. The mistakes we make teach us what we should watch out for in ourselves during times of stress or trauma. They teach us how to better adapt, how to better move on, how to forgive ourselves by not making the same mistakes again.

I'm not saying we won't make other mistakes. But if we don't make the same mistakes over and over again, then we're learning, and that's forward movement. And really, that can be the most important thing.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Actions and Reactions

Senator Emmett Hanger (R-VA) is introducing legislation that would fund research into the effects of castration on sex offenders.  We spend a lot of money keeping sex offenders from becoming recidivists, and it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to just snip snip and hey!  No more raping for YOU!

Now, I have definitely thought about this.  I have definitely thought about how this might SOLVE a problem.  I've also decided that it is absolutely a bad idea.

As anyone who has a dog who's been fixed knows, this doesn't stop behavior.  Or desire.  I can't tell you how many thousands of hours my old family dog spent humping his own very special pillow.

So how WOULD it effect the behavior of violet sex offenders to suddenly have no sexual outlet?

I'm no psychiatrist, but I have a lot of experience watching what happens when you tell somebody they can't do something they want to do.  It gets worse.

I have horrific visions of a future where sex offenders are turned into homicidal maniacs by removing their primary outlet for their emotions- instead of giving them the opportunity to learn to cope with their own physical and emotional needs, we cut them off (...) from the only outlet they understand.  We leave them trapped with their demons.

Frankly, I think the best solution is longer jail time.  Keep them in there longer than, say, the three year standard.  Keep the violent criminals in jail, don't let them out and make them more unhinged and dangerous.