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Rape is Not a Talking Point

Edit: I am all for an intelligent engaging conversation about violence against womyn and the elections. This was unclear, apparently. Here is an example of what that looks like: More Than Rape Kits. Alright, edit done.

When is the last time you heard the phrase rape kit used in the national media? Maybe in reference to a specific survivor, questioning whether her story was true. The last time I can remember is the Duke Lacrosse case. Maybe you can remember some more recent case.

But now, suddenly "Rape Kits" are a talking point for the presidential elections, and it is making me furious.

It is not okay to use rape kits as a talking point. This is not an "any publicity is good publicity" thing. This is not an "at least someone is talking about it" thing.

This is a "no one gives two shits about rape unless" thing. And in this case, the unless is "unless they're trying to highlight their (female) opponent's unfeminist track record to convince women not to vote for her."

Well, shut the fuck up you so-called progressives who are suddenly spam-emailing me because you know I care about rape and you found a candidate who doesn't have a good track record on the issue, because your candidates aren't exactly shining beacons of feminism, rolling up their sleeves and trying to end the rape and abuse of women at home and abroad.

It's hypocritical nonsense, and you're going to start ignoring rape, and questioning survivors and trumpeting rape myths all the fuck over the place as soon as this goddamn election is done. Because your end-goal is to get someone elected, not to end rape. The only fucking reason you're talking about it is because somehow "feminism" became an issue in this campaign, and you can't figure out how to get teh laydeez to vote for your candidate cause they is soooo crazy! But wait, I know what teh laydeez care about!! Rape and abortion!!

Let's suddenly care about that too! Until November 4th, and then survivors, you're on your own again. What is it you were wearing? How much had you had to drink? Was he drinking too? Did you know him before? Did you let him walk you home? Did you invite him into your house? What color is your skin again? Ok, and the color of his skin?

Wait, why are we, the tax-payers, paying for all these women's rape kits? Maybe we should only pay for the ones where she can prove it in a court of law!

New rule: if you didn't think about rape unless Kobe Bryant was accused of it before; if you flinched when I talked about my advocacy work for a little "too long;" if you told rape jokes; if you played 'devil's advocate' when we were talking about alcohol-related sexual assault; if you don't know what is actually in a rape kit; if any of these things are true and you bring up a vp candidate and rape kits to me: I reserve the right to deck you and you owe me a $1000 donation to a rape crisis center or battered womyn's shelter.

10 comments:

Rachel said...

Gawd, stop being such an angry feminist.

jk. ROCK ON!! Or, feminist on... or, how about, feminist angrily and radically on. Maybe that's too many words. Anyway, keep it up!

singealiene said...

Went through your rule... hmm... yep, apply most of that to self, first hand even! Uh oh, including the rape jokes, guess that means I'm an insensitive anti-feminist. My fucking God, are we not allowed to be the least bit glib about our own traumas? Or use it as a talking point, to further drive home how grossly out of touch the woman who could be president is with her own gender and their issues? I think I will use it as a talking point, because, guess what, it is relevant, it is relevant to ME, and that you consider it off-limits because people are a special kind of aghast for a special kind of fucked up policy positively outrages me.

I'm not about to place rape on some magical pedestal on which only those who have been through it first hand can speak of it, and only then in the most reverent of tones. Jesus fuck, why do you think the rest of the world is so uncomfortable with even thinking about it, let alone touching people who've been through it with a ten foot stick?

Please, fuck off. You're making us look bad.

Feminist Avengers said...

singealiene,

thanks for your comment. i enjoy hearing other people's perspectives, even when they differ from mine.

my problem doesn't lie with folks who have a grasp of the issue of rape talking about the issue. i would love to discuss it with you, or rachel, or feministe folks or anyone else who has had a concept of rape before this election and will continue to speak about it after the election.

my problem lies with folks who don't give a rat's ass about rape...until now! surprise! because women's votes (and therefore opinions) matter until 7pm on nov 4th.

it's insulting, and my feelings about sexual violence are not something that will be exploited to get a vote.

if these specific guys that i'm talking about, and others of their ilk, want to discuss rape, rape culture, violence against women, and what they can do to stop it, i'm happy to do that.

at any rate, glad you stopped by and shared your opinion.

except the telling me to fuck off, i'm making you look bad part; i found that a little rude.

feminist angrily and radically on!

Amanda Marcotte said...

Interestingly, Biden's "contempt" for female victims of violence extends to him writing the VAWA.

Feminist Avengers said...

amanda,

i don't believe i accused biden of contempt for women, but as stated in the blog, he's no shining beacon. look up his record in the infamous anita hill hearings.

for instance: here.

so, i'd give his history with women/sexual violence a vote for "checkered."

thanks for stopping by!

Feminist Avengers said...

amanda,

and here is feministing's take on biden.

thanks again!

Lisa M. said...

a fantastic post.

Existenz said...

This is a ridiculous post. Period.

As mayor, Sarah Palin forced rape victims to pay for their own rape kits. And you don't think anyone should bring it up, with an election six weeks away? Are you joking?

And then you spend time ripping Joe Biden, who wrote the Violence Against Women Act and voted against Clarence Thomas, Alito, and Roberts, yet you don't say anything about McCain?

What an insane rant. Palin is an anti-woman extremist and it damn well needs to be known before the election. Do you want McCain appointing SC judges and seeing Roe overturned?

Or would you rather shut down all conversation on the topic because some idiots out there (usually from the right wing) like to blame rape victims?

If McCain wins because Palin's extreme record wasn't discussed, you will only have yourself to blame for what happens next.

Feminist Avengers said...

existenz,

i think you misunderstand the post. as stated to singealiene, it's not that no one should talk about violence against women.

it's that violence against women should be discussed as part of a broader conversation.

it's that "omgz!! wasilla made women pay for rape kits while palin was mayor!!" is a talking point, and not an actual conversation about how best to end violence against women.

it's feminist-baiting and womyn-baiting. it's disingenuous. it's hypocritical.

check this for an excellent example of engaging issues of violence against women and the election. More Than A Talking Point

p.s. i *am* insane!! :-D

p.p.s. tip: when reading something confrontational and angry with which you disagree, take a breath and read it again before you leave a ruuuuuude comment. maybe there's some meaning there you're missing because of the nature of the post or because you are so angry at the content!

feminist.love said...

duuuuude. people clearly missed the point of your post. angry grrrrlz rule! let's get together and have a real conversation about ending sexual violence!

hell yeah!

feminist love,
jen