It’s time for me to take a break from blogging about the anti-accuser reactions to the allegations against Julian Assange. Why? I know there’s more to do, but I can’t do it. At least I can’t do it without damaging myself.
I didn’t take this on as some kind of academic project. I didn’t write these posts as some kind of ecological niche project to raise the profile of my blog. I did it because I have to. While I have the energy to fight it, this isn’t something I can turn away from.
This kind of crap–this irrational grasping after reasons to keep some bigwig on his pedestal, this wild brainstorming of trivial, unexamined excuses to stick fingers in ears when someone says they’ve been violated–this damages people and it damages whatever claim to civilization we have. It blurs the line over whether a woman has the right to control what happens to her body, for women as well as men. It says demanding that right will only get you revictimized, even if you manage to get legal authorities to take you seriously. It prioritizes the claims of the powerful over those of the powerless, entrenching privilege by legitimizing the idea that answering a few questions from legal authorities is an unbearable burden that requires that the person asking for this simple redress submit any privacy she might previously have claimed.
And it says that rape isn’t something people should have to think about.
I admit it. I wish that last were true. However, the last time the subject came up, I turned away from the guy who wanted to know why I wanted people to think about rape (of course it was a guy) to the women around me. “So, how many of you have had to think about rape recently?”
Everybody nodded. I turned back to the (sincere, confused) guy across the table. “Seems only fair.”
Honestly, though, I don’t demand that every guy spend a bunch of time thinking about rape. I just want the ones who don’t, who won’t, to shut the fuck up on the subject. If they won’t, I’m going to do my damnedest to make them think about it.
It’s going to cost me, though. It always costs me. It costs in energy and eloquence I could spend on something else. It costs time, because I’ve got such a tiny window to get through to people that I must get things right. And it costs in me. This is a subject where I’ve got my own set of triggers, for fear and for rage, and if I’m going to fight it, I have to spend far too much time among people who thoroughly creep me out.
So I’m done for the moment. I haven’t covered everything, but there are other people out there fighting similar fights. It’s not that hard to find them if you’re willing to look. So look before you speak.
And I’ll be back at this at some point. I’d like to stop, but as long as my blog never goes a day without someone, and usually several someones, finding this post in a search, that’s not going to happen.