Thursday, 26 February 2015

My blog on rape. 23.02.15

I've been wanting to write a blog on rape for the longest time. I know I write about rape often enough, but not like this. I tend to write in theories. This would be about realities. After all, it's easy to discount my ideas: I'm not an expert—i.e., I've not had the training and education that our society seems to consider the requirement for expertise. I have, however, lived in environments where sexual assaults were almost the norm, rather than a theoretical possibility. Most of them never got to be full-on rapes, thanks be to the deity of your choice, but some did. I've seen a lot of people recover from rape, by which I mean they returned to what they considered full functionality. They were changed people, but not, in their eyes, for the worse.

I fully believe that they got better because they didn't get any of the "official" help. Our current approach towards rape victims seems to ignore everything we know about recovery from traumas. Everything we tell people NOT to do in the event of a trauma in order to avoid developing phobias or full-blown PTSD, we seem to encourage rape victims to do. Avoiding triggers, for instance, used to be considered dangerous. Now it’s encouraged. What the hell is up with that? It makes my blood boil. Whilst I can understand the ideas behind it if I squint hard enough, any post-trauma treatment that doesn't put the victim’s recovery as its first priority needs to be thrown in the bin and set on fire. I'll gladly volunteer to piss on the ashes.

I could write real stories of real people and what they did to get better. There is no fucking point, though, because I already know what the response of the experts would be. "The plural of anecdote is not data". I don't know what's going on in my friends' heads. What I'm saying is justifying rapes. I'm victim-blaming. I'm probably a secret member of the Men's Rights Association, and feast on the blood of babies.

It's not that I give a flaming fuck about what the harpies might bark at me: I've been accused of being a gender-traitor so often that I ought to get a badge. It's more that I don't see the point in writing something that will be drowned at birth in a sea of squawking. I can't get my voice heard by recounting second-hand experiences, and that's that. All I can achieve is to get yelled at.

If I recounted first-hand experience, though, that would be different. As a friend put it, I would be a victim, hence sacrosanct. The harpies might think twice before screeching that I'm justifying rapes, hey. I've got the winning hand: I can stand on my little podium and, wringing my hands and bravely holding back my tears, recount my tragic ordeals and how I overcame them... Only I can't do that, ‘cos I haven't got tears and my ordeals weren't tragic. I got better, you see, so they're actually not a big deal anymore. That's the thing with full recovery: YOU MOVE THE FUCK ON. I can't use my victim card (and, incidentally, anyone who dares call me a victim better have a good dentist at hand) because I never embraced that role and moved on from it as soon as I was able to.

I could probably still manage it, though. I could whip up enough emotion to back up my stories, and make the harpies shut up long enough to make my voice heard. And then they'd pat me on the head, and tell me what a brave little munchkin I am, and it's unfortunate that I'm repressing my real feelings and in denial and probably got Stockholm syndrome and I'm identifying with my abusers and this and that and everything I've got to say will STILL be discounted, still be drowned. So I'd be exposing myself for nothing.

It was frustrating the fuck outta me. Then I realised that the problem was me: I was being a total asshole. In losing sight of what the real priority was, I'd been as bad as the harpies. The point of me writing about what I know, what I've seen work, is that it could help somebody. The point isn't to change the system. The point is to help someone's recovery. That's why I care. That's why I ought to write. And if my stuff reaches one victim and helps them out, even by a tiny fraction, then it's worth all the grief that comes with it.

Fuck it. This is not about glory and rights and social commentary. This is about recovery.


Barbara said...

Dammit, woman, WRITE IT.

God's Bastard said...

Alright, alright, keep your hairnet on...

technogypsy said...

Sadly you are wrong about one thing - your first hand experience would be invalid and you would be attacked as an inauthentic womyn. Sorry