Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Know Rape Apology When I Read It. Rape Apologists Don't

My absence has been long, but I know somebody has lurked here in the meantime (more on that later). Unfortunately, my grand return isn't going to be one of those funny posts that I usually do. The frequency of my funny entries is entirely subjective, but I assure you, this is one of the posts that better fits my recently created subheading.

Nobody asked, but one of my biggest pet peeves is rape apology. If that's not liberal elite enough for you, perhaps you'd rather drop the term "rape apologia" at a party. For those who don't know, rape apology is speech that takes the side of the perpetrator in spite of the victim in rape cases. In essence, the rape apologist is apologizing, or explaining away, the especially heinous crime of rape (seriously, who doesn't watch Law & Order: SVU?). It is damaging to all women, not just victims of rape, but survivors who are subjected to this vitriol can really be hurt by this.

It all started with this post at Her Authority, a blog I highly recommend, written by ProChoiceGal. Actually, it started with this post at some other blog that I don't really care about. On Twitter, the author of the blog that I don't really care about tweeted a link about the 11-year-old pregnant Mexican girl who was raped, allegedly by her stepfather. The title of the article was 11-Year-Old 'Rape' Victim Wants to Keep Baby (stay classy, FOX News). Even novice feminists see the problem with putting the word rape in quotation marks; it totally delegitimizes what happened to this girl. ProChoiceGirl replied, asking what's up with the quotes around the word rape. The author of the blog that I don't really care about doesn't see the problem and took it upon herself to write an entire post lambasting ProChoiceGal about the fact that she did not report her rapist to the police. Here's only the second most offensive part of the post:

@ProChoiceGal wrote an entire blog post on “Anti-Choicers and Rape Apologists[my side note: please read it!]. But I think she overlooked the real rape apologist, herself. She is so engulfed in her role as the victim; she totally ignores the bastard that raped her. Is he in jail? If not, why the hell not?

Calling a rape survivor a rape apologist for not reporting the rape? This person considers herself to be pro-life, by the way, and proves that women can be just as sexist as men. I agree with ProChoiceGal when she says that this is how anti-choicers react to pro-choicers who call out bullshit. They get scared and refuse to think about how their words are perceived by others. Speaking of which, I called that rape apologist a Grade-A 100% piece of dog shit. I thought long and hard in crafting that insult, and I'm pretty proud of it. After ProcChoiceGal explained why she didn't report the rape, the rape apologist said this, and it really set me off:

How many other young women has this guy raped because he wasn’t put in jail? For generations, perverts have been allowed to attack their victims, and NOTHING is done to them. They get away with it, and do it again, and again. This is what has to change.

I don't have to explain why this logic is problematic and pure rape apology, right?*But that's exactly what the author of that gem wanted me to do, in 140 characters or less, at that! So, the rape apologist came to my neglected blog to check out my Twitter feed in order to talk about me.

@Justsnapd8 #uncovertheculprit UN @funnyfeminist aka FEMily posted the comment Apology expected! #prochoice #prolife

Since when do I belong to the UN? I don't have my own country, yet.

@Justsnapd8 @FunnyFeminist Why would you call someone you don't know, an asshole, and a piece of dog shit? Did I do something to u? #prolife #prochoice

Not just to me, to all of womankind. I didn't say why, because I think metacognition is important. Doing her thinking for her just rewards laziness. I told her to read the comment she left for ProChoiceGal over and over until it clicked in her mind that she was indeed engaging in rape apology. She came back to me five minutes later, totally not getting it. I told her to spend more than five minutes thinking about it. I checked my feed every few minutes to see what she had to say, and was impressed that nearly an entire half hour passed without a response. After all that waiting, she said:

@Justsnapd8 @FunnyFeminist I refuse to let a person w/ little or no real life experience, attempt to belittle me this way. Goodbye Emily

I think it's funny that she believes 25 years, 7 months, and 7 days isn't enough life experience to engage in a serious conversation, but she'll fight to the death for the pretend rights of zygotes, who are -9.5 months old, no matter how much it belittles the human rights of women. Maybe her affinity with zygotes is due to the fact that they never talk back, unlike those bitchy educated Latinas.

I told that poor woman that her hostility toward metacognition will ultimately be her downfall. And I didn't say that just to sound highfalutin. I did it because I'm genuinely concerned about people who refuse to think about their thinking. That's exactly how rape apologia, and other types of hate speech, spread unchecked. So when you're called out on your bullshit, just check it. It's really eye-opening and makes you a better person.

*In case I do have to explain it, this kind of logic is rape apologia, because it makes the victim, rather than the rapist, responsible for other women's suffering. It is thinly veiled in the common sexist belief that women are the morally superior sex, and is therefore responsible for the well-being of every person in the entire world, a burden that nobody else is expected to carry. This belief, possibly in a contradictory way, has been used to argue against suffrage, abortion rights, education equity, and basically every other civil rights fight that women have been engaging in since the beginning of time.


ProChoiceGal said...

I really don't understand it when I tell someone that I did not report my rape, and they respond by saying "I wonder how many more people he's raped because of that!"

I mean, really? That's sooo helpful to everyone involved!

FEMily! said...

I don't get it either. And the fact that she thought putting the rapist in jail was more important than the victim's well-being was strange to me. I don't see one situation as having priority over the other. But my first thought is going to center around the current victim, just because they need the most attention, I guess.