Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Most Men Don't Rape: Why We Should be Marching

I don't think the SlutWalk is about convincing men not to rape. Most men don't rape, and the ones that do aren't going to be convinced with rational discussion, because they hate us and there's something wrong with them. Imagine an anti-robbery march: HELL, NO, WE WON'T GO! BREAK AND ENTER, NO NO NO!

Neither is this about persuading The Big Machine to take us seriously. Never in the history of the world, as far as I know, has a marginalized group achieved equal status by convincing its oppressor of its worthiness or by pointing out that it isn't nice to dehumanize.

No: this is about addressing why feminism finds itself in bed with the patriarchy itself in deciding what sort of behavior is appropriate for women and what sort compromises our personhood, equality and safety. If we only get to pretend like we're equal as long as dominant culture lets us, then guess what: that's not really equality. The funny (read: sad) part about it is that at this point, we're still in that position because of our infrastructure-weakening internal strife. We're really only fighting each other, while the patriarchy leans back on its adjustable deathbed, sucking on a bendy-straw and cackling feebly – and until we get our collective mind right about sex, that's the way it's going to stay.

As long as we continue to accept that male sexual attention has the power to strip a woman of her agency and reduce her to an object, then we also accept that women who solicit sexual attention and enjoy sexual activity, especially outside accepted patriarchal parameters, are inviting that diminishment – not just for themselves, but for all of us. As long as we accept that, then we ourselves are complicit in perpetuating the notion that there are, in fact, conditions under which women do not deserve full citizenship with all its benefits, protections and responsibilities. Men are free to do what they want, but not us – and if some of us misbehave, it's we who will punish the bad girls, confiscating their car-keys and bringing them to Daddy.

Children of abusers will recognize this pattern of policing each other, forming factions and blaming whoever provokes the latest round of abuse for endangering us all.

There's a schism dividing the feminist paradigm, and it goes like this:

It's unequivocally, inarguably wrong to rape – but some of us really are asking for it.
I am a sovereign, autonomous individual, equal in all respects to you – unless I use my freedom to make a choice of which you don't approve.
Women are as capable, competent and worthy of respect as men – except the sexual women; they're inferior and worthy of contempt, maybe by choice, maybe not. Who cares? Do what you want with them; they're a problem we'd like to be rid of.

SlutWalkers: march not to decry our victimhood once again, but to reclaim our power and move out of our embattled, injured state and into our full human potential.

SlutWalk Colorado Springs

1 comment:

  1. Thank you SlutWalkSprings. This is a good movement for women empowerment.