“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
― Edmund Burke
This Ghomeshi thing, how his friends and community are admitting to knowing he was up to some shit, brings to light some ugly things for me. Ugly things that encouraged me to continue raping in my sex life. Ugly things that effected me when I broke out of my own cycles of abuse at the hands of others.
I’ve been thinking about that Edmund Burke quote a lot lately. Thinking about myself, thinking about the agonizing impotence of many people who have let me down, standing aside, watching. Thinking about how that contributed to how long I remained an unconscious rapist. How long I remained in corrosive situations that deeply, deeply damaged me.
Most pointedly, these events have been reminding me of something a man I know said. Something that angers me, and has been the perfect surface from which to reflect my collective grief and rage.
It was something this person said about the man who raped me in April, when I told them — a close friend of his, who had lived with the rapist for a period of time — that I didn’t know how said rapist, whom he hadn’t seen in a while, was doing, because I didn’t speak with that guy anymore (and why).
His response was: “Yeah, I’ve seen how.. selfish, his maleness is.”
Yeah. No. This shit needs a do-over.
Let me tell you a little story. See, me, as a woman, and the friend of mine who was also dating the same man who raped me this year, as a woman, both talked with him about his creepy behavior. We talked with him about it in the context of our own discomforts and boundaries which he sucked at respecting, was always rubbing up against and trying to push past. But it went even farther than that.
We figured out we both got the creeps from him in the same way and, because we considered him a friend, we had a *fucking intervention* with him about it. He was all appreciation and ears, as he normally was when we were swatting him on his fucking nose about being a pushy cockbrained asshole; wanting to know how he could do better, because he didn’t wanna be “that guy”, even though it turns out he, acting like “that guy”, and continuing to return to behaving like “that guy”, was totally “that guy”.
QUACKs like a duck? Hmmmm.
A few months after this friend and I took him to dinner and schooled him, the guy I’d had consistent confusion around and periodic boundary conversations with raped me after witnessing my getting shitfaced drunk while choking on massive waves of grief.
Additionally, he had sex with me without the condoms I’d had to constantly insist that we fucking use because he made sure to remind me every time we had sex that he’d been ‘tested’, and for a special added bonus, did so without having told me he’d stopped using protection with one of his other partners months before.
The next morning, and throughout the week-long shock period before all the elements of his dickbaggary had come to light and I dropped him like a sack of hammered shit, he’d already started bitching to ME about how bad *he* felt, expecting me to be his fucking support system for it.
Here’s a thing that I think people on the more powerful aspect of this sexist patriarchy spectrum are missing: Even when the courageous miracle happens, where someone who is being leveraged upon by this system of ours that has trained us for thousands of years to see femininity as property, stands the hell up for themselves within their relationship, it *doesn’t work*.
The women these people are fucking have zero power to influence the unconsciously indoctrinated cultural behavior of these men. Zero.
The reason for this in my experience is that there’s not enough incentive, when women these men are already getting their toxic masculinity validating sex from, speak up. They are the people with whom that creepy fucking approach was proven to work on already. They are the people who have shown investment in that approach, and in the person behind that approach. They are the people who have already volunteered to represent what is silently and unconsciously hated and objectified, people with whom that physical bond is already established.
It’s like throwing a toothpick into a volcano when a woman who is in an active loop of this behavior stands up and says that shit actually, well, stinks. They are the people who have been putting up with the fucking shit and listening to the fucking excuses and still giving up that good ol’ validating sexual property.
I suspect it really doesn’t work from that being-fucked position when attempting to influence people who apologize for this behavior, either; The men who stand on the sidelines listening to the struggles the women they fuck are having with the pushy abusive men in their lives, or the harassing ‘nice’ guys on the streets. I spent the last 7 fucking months, learning that one.
It’s really easy to sit back and say, ah, well, let her handle it, when you know something is wrong. It seems like the really nice, polite, proper thing to do; mind your own business, and as a bonus, cover your own yellow ass.
It’s also really REALLY easy to look at the results of a mans misogyny and abuse manifesting in the woman they’ve been dating, and decide she’s just off her rocker and that’s more of a problem than what might have been wrong with the way she was treated by the guy.
I know how easy that is, in part because it is what happened with the one “top” (HAHAAHAH) I dated, who used to get pissed and entitled toward me for not liking the sex he’d pressured me into trying in the first place. Who had been gaslighting and lying to me about the multiple people he’d been cheating on me with for the entirety of our relationship. Who had been systematically breaking down my psyche with his lies and selfishness, and done that while he was using the Edward Cullen stare on me and talking about babies. Who I had been calling out on his shit over and over and over again and being met with lies and accusation.
When I finally, finally cornered him in his lies and that relationship finally, finally hit the fan, everyone who seemed to have had any influence on the fucker, including prominent voices in the sex positive and BDSM communities we had both been a part of, stayed ‘neutral’ and watched bewildered as I had a fucking nervous breakdown. Many of them lifted the abusive sociopath to the top levels of the festival community I had once been a part of, all while failing to understand and even shaming me for being so fucking angry and betrayed by them for it, not seeming to grok how I could feel so abandoned and unprotected by their complacent niceness toward him.
You effect what you have your attention on. And too many of you have your attention on proving women aren’t being truthful, proving that you’re the good guy by standing back and doing fuckall to actually act like one, proving that it’s women who should be accountable for some boundary pushing asshole that YOU KNEW ABOUT ALREADY raping them and “making” you feel like cowardly shit.
Well you know what? You *should* be feeling like shit, hiding your real power behind willful impotence and listening to yourself talk over the women who you claim to give a fuck about.
Use your fucking privilege and get the fuck in the ring with us already.
I know you’re dying to throw it around, because every time I talk about this stuff, there’s a gallery of you at the ready to chime in and tell me about your intellectualizations of my life as a female. There’s always a few of you to press your resistance toward accepting that my life experience is real into my conversations. There’s always a few of you to talk about what you think from your objective perspectives needs to be “done”, and usually it has to do with what you as a fucking man think *I*, or “they”, need to be doing.
I’m telling *YOU* what needs to be fucking done, you clueless wounded fuckers: Drop your own sexism, that shit that helps you think your philosophical opinion of this issue trumps the lived experiences of the people who actually fucking deal with it, take your incredulous self-involved topic-shifting bullshit the fuck out of my facebook threads, and then go work to drop the act that being neutral about the abuse, sexism, rape and misogyny you see in other men is anything but fucking cowardice.
This is tough love purification by fucking fire. This is ending thousands of years of conditioning and inertia. Your greatest self can only rise from the fucking ashes of the lesser you, and here I am the motherfucking flame thrower. Stop telling ME you’re not that fucking guy: tell other MEN you’re not that guy, and tell them WHY, and actually BE NOT THAT GUY when you fucking say it, or I will FUCKING INCINERATE YOU. Grow some FUCKING BALLS and stand the fuck up for the women in your life, stand the fuck up for the men you want to see other men grow to be.
That best friend of yours isn’t a “White Knight”, he’s a sexist who thinks women need his saving, and he probably hates them for it and abuses them and that’s why all his girlfriends are fucking crazy and can’t seem to function. That friends boundary pushing-coercive maleness isn’t ‘selfish’, it’s fucking rape, and it’s probably why all the women he dates eventually refuse to ever talk to him again. Use your fucking privilege to be the fucking change.
But there he was, that close friend of the man who raped me, a person that the guy actually valued, listened to, had meaningful conversations with, looked up to, a person who wasn’t relied upon for their dick-wetting validation, tsk tsking in the seat next to me — because aww, how unfortunate that male mans selfish maleness had bit me in the ass, too; that maleness he’d seen and grimaced at and knew was fucked up — who had been in the position to take a stand and to make a difference. And he didn’t.
Thanks for that, dude.
And by thanks? I mean fuck. You.