Why I need Intersectional Feminism

20 11 2013

In the past few months I have been standing up for myself and what I believe. Calling people on their shit, so to speak. Namely people I interact with, online, and in life. First it was my father. Some coworkers, an old prof, and my boss.

My coworkers I just say my peace and it’s usually a short conversation where little is said beyond and little or no feather’s are really ruffled. The long email’s between my dad and old prof, have been tasking. When I confronted my boss I almost quit my job.

I need feminism because my boss doesn’t’ understand the difference between innuendo and making a rape joke. He is unwilling to admit that the sexual humor that is common in the kitchen is capable of going too far, and that making a joke about raping one of his employee’s with one of the managers is not okay. And then he proceeded to tell me that I might want to find a new job, because this may not be the best fit, because these kinds of jokes would continue and I wasn’t going to tell him otherwise. I need feminism, because I’m tired of being called a prude, or humorless after standing up and saying that rape jokes aren’t okay. Or any misogynistic jokes for that matter.

I need feminism because when I use the term rape culture my professor automatically makes claims about how this day and age is probably one of the best times for women, and one of the best countries for women. And even if that were true, which I’m not entirely sure that it is. Why stop, because things are better than elsewhere? How is that even an argument? Also just within the last year the way in which men have policed women’s bodies, and the number of times that our media and culture have promoted rape, blamed victims for ruining the lives of rapists, is extremely alarming. And while he complains that it is important to acknowledge and talk about false accusations being a real thing, as if it was the most important issue and something that happens more than rape. If false accusations were over ten percent of reported sexual assaults, then maybe. MAYBE it would be an extremely important aspect considering this day and age. But considering that false accusations are also frequently lumped in with unfounded cases I.E. cases where there isn’t enough proof to prosecute….well perhaps what is actually a false accusation should be tightly guarded, more so than having rape needed to be continuously qualified.
What it boils down to is he is equating the societal problem of false accusations with the societal problem with actual rape. They are not the same. The weight is very, very different, and the scale is tilted very much towards the amount of rape that happens.

Rape needs no qualifiers. Rape is rape. If no consent is given, then it’s rape. Grey rape, forcible rape, pedophilia, date rape. It’s rape. It’s a dehumanizing, violating, tortuous, traumatic, sexual action taken against some one that drastically alter’s that person’s life. And for my prof to call rape a hobby horse, is disgusting. Robin Thicke’s (I acknowledge that this is not the only dangerous song out there, or terrible pop song, and possibly not even the worst however, it’s popularity is alarming) case in point of rape culture. The fucking song was #1 on the billboards for something like ten weeks this summer, and is still being played on the radio. And yes, people still listen to the radio. With in the last year, alone it seems that more and more rape is becoming a group activity. (Stubenville, Hallifax,Maryville) This song and many others, as well as political figure’s comments, and comedian’s behavior point to a popular culture, a society that does not understand what rape is.  That’s why these qualifiers have been popping up rapidly.

Perhaps there is some understanding forming, since the FBI finally updated their official definition of rape, since 1927. Perhaps URC stats will be more accurate, eventually but until society and culture, come to really understand what rape is, I doubt it.  I mean, it took me a year and a half to understand what happened between me and my ex. Six months for me to understand what happened with the stranger. It has taken me three more years to realize that much of my entire sexual history was traumatizing, and coercive.   So on top of understanding what rape is, we need to understand what consent is.  We also as a society need to understand effects of trauma, and what it looks like. I’m still learning that myself.  It’s a long way. And it won’t happen all of these things, none of it will happen unless we all look to Intersectional Feminism. For it is only when justice is sought out for all of those marginalized, that peace, and real justice can be found.

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20 11 2013

Do you ever grow weary of being strong? I was taught in times like these that Jesus was there to carry me through. I believed that for a long time. A long time.
And then there was that time I was on my knees before a rainbow colored window, begging Jesus to make the voices go away. To make that dull mocking laughter coming from over my shoulder go away. To make those thoughts stored in the back right corner of my mind stop.
I begged. Prayed. Read scripture. Said enough, that it was too much. The burden too great. The ash of everyday in my mouth.
Loneliness was all I received.
Loosing god was hard. But soon I learned something harder. I was always taught to look to god to know who you were. With out god I did not know where I stood. I did not recognize my face.
So I looked to others more tangible to tell me who I was, despite never being comfortable with their assessments I assumed the roles assigned to me.
Confusion and misguided love or hope, led to abuse…
Shadows so many shadows.