Always nice to start the morning by losing MORE faith in humanity

Day 33. 75 pages, 36,861 words.

I was greeted by the following image on my Facebook feed this morning, the origin of which was this disgusting news story.

I could weep. I wanted to write about my book today.

Not pictured, anywhere: Humanity.

Look, I get it. I get that this is meant to be a powerful statement about the unfairness and the inequality that is a blight on our society. I get that it’s gross and hideous when people say these things about girls who have been raped. It’s heartbreaking that people do, and that people actually believe those justifications. It’s even worse that, a lot of the time, the victims come to believe it.

But did you ever stop to think that the phrase “lowering yourself to their level” maybe has the word lowering in it for a reason?

This kid – this poor fifteen-year-old kid – was gang raped. According to the news story, he was also raped before this, too, under different circumstances. Do you think anything – women’s rights, social justice, fucking GamerGate – makes it okay for you to turn this vile act into a little agenda-pushing commentary?

You’re wrong. In every way, you’re wrong.

Heck, for all I know the kid might approve of this message, once he gets out of the hospital. Maybe some sort of positive thing, a rise in awareness and a shift in our cultural outlook, can come of this disgusting crime. Just as I’m sure Jesse Metcalf Green intended. Indeed, if Jesse Metcalf Green knew this kid, and put out this message with the kid’s knowledge and approval and involvement, then I take back everything. That would be wonderful, if this victim could recover emotionally as well as physically and rise above this evil to show us all what actual humanity looks like.

In the meantime, I’m not seeing humanity here. I’m seeing people whose side I desperately want to take, people whose attempted point I still do wholeheartedly agree with, throwing it all away on a text-based act of pointless, ugly spite.

This is exactly what I’ve been saying about redress or payback not being a healthy way to counter this stuff. You think you can fight something big and bad by becoming it? Have you learned nothing? You think it’s okay to make this one about gender?

A child was gang raped.

Fuck your gender.

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2 Responses to Always nice to start the morning by losing MORE faith in humanity

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    You are truly a saint among men. Nay, humans. Fuck gender, absolutely. Let’s just all be decent to each other as best as we can possibly enable ourselves to be. And this example you harangued ain’t it.

    Besides doesn’t the gender reversal of this sort of, I dunno what would you call this, an ad? A stunt? Anyway doesn’t the gender reversal become problematic because of the very things we spoke of in the Spider Woman discussion, how representing females in an attractive way and males in an attractive way don’t carry the same baggage or implications to society? I mean, on top of all the wrong aspects you pointed out, this also seems to be an issue with it.

    • stchucky says:

      Thanks man. Obviously, I agree. I’m sure in the eyes of the gang-rapists, this poor kid was asking for it in some way. Probably not in makeup or a mini-skirt (although maybe he was, and why not indeed?), but in some way that made him a victim. And yeah, the ill-advised social commentator hero here was probably way off.

      I guess the important thing to remember is we should not give a shit what the eyes of gang-rapists tell them, because they are gang-rapists. It is 100% their fault, 0% his fault.

      One thing did cross my mind as problematical in my attitude, though, and it is this: I have made light of rapesplaining, in my own mild way. Every time I say “I deserved to be short-changed at the supermarket / spend an hour waiting for a train / pay fifteen euros for a 3D movie theatre ticket, I was dressed provocatively”, aren’t I belittling and in some way normalising an awful crime?

      Sure. Absolutely I am, and I am not proud of finding such poor-taste jokes funny. I definitely pick my moments when to voice such things, and make sure as best I can that nobody can misconstrue a joke as a serious excusing of rape.

      And that’s what the difference is, to me.

      First, and most importantly, I would never make such a joke about a specific case, where there is a specific victim and perpetrators, like in the case I have posted about here. Jesse Metcalf Green made this stand in direct response to an actual incident with a concrete, if unnamed victim. Yeah, it’s awful that there is a wider context for this shit, but there is one and I think “getting screwed over by The Man / getting bent over a barrel by Uncle Sam” … at a certain point these just become cultural phrases rather than anything directly about actual rape, right?

      Second, a poor-taste joke about taking it in the rear from some ostensible service-providing agency is in no way trying to make a serious point. If anything, it is lampooning the very idea of rapesplaining, making the “she was dressed provocatively” line seem as ludicrous as it is, and maybe even making it that much less likely to be attempted as an actual serious defence – in a way I am sure Jesse Metcalf Green was trying to do here. But it is in no way intended as a serious point. It in no way says “see how stupid that sounds when I suffered an awful and life-ruining violation from my local public transportation company?”

      There’s a time and a place to pull out the snide “she was asking for it” line. And this wasn’t it.

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