Quantcast

«

»

Jan 19 2013

Rape Goggles

This one involves MRAs, Wooly Bumblebee, and the details of sexual assault. It’s not pretty.

Earlier this month, I wrote about being very cautious about alcohol after being sexually assaulted by someone who had used alcohol to incapacitate me. I’ve written about the assault before. I usually link the story when I talk about it. I didn’t this time because I knew what was coming and didn’t feel like having the details hauled out and mocked.

That choice has resulted in some…interesting criticisms. We have Reap Paden trying to tell me that I was writing about being an alcoholic. (Uh, no.) And then there’s Wooly Bumblebee:

Pic of tweet from Wooly Bumblebee. Text in post.

This one is perfect for @szvan and her beer goggles: [A Voice for Men link] #VictimCard #WomanUp #PersonalResponsibility

Beer goggles. I mention being sexually assaulted while under the influence and she talks about–

All right. Let’s just look at the post she’s linking. If you want to see the whole thing, clicking on the picture above will get you to her tweet. I’m not improving their Google rank for this crap. The title is “You weren’t raped. Join the club.”

There is a little bit of irony here, in that Wooly Bumblebee accidentally got something right. I wasn’t raped. The sexual assault I experienced didn’t meet the legal definition of rape. Of course, everything else, both about her and about the article is dead wrong.

You see, the article is yet one more exercise in claiming that the combination of alcohol and lack of consent is about regret, not rape, not a premeditated crime. It wants you to have a story already in mind when you hear that someone was raped or assaulted while drunk. The problem, of course, is that the narrative they’re desperate for you to accept bears no resemblance to what actually happens. Want to see? Just compare the “beer goggles” scenario that Wooly Bumblebee claims to what actually happened.

Their idea of how this goes?

They get dressed up in their best whore clothes, head out to a frat party, drink their faces off, end up in bed with some guy they wouldn’t normally touch with a ten yard pole, wake up the next morning feeling like a total slutbag and then, it happens:

Someone must be to blame for this! I can’t possibly have gotten shitfaced and exercised some really poor judgement. “Moi? Ce n’est pas possible! I am an innocent blushing virgin with impeccable moral standards. Why, only whores get smashed and fuck random guys in a frat house, and I am not a whore so JESUS MOTHER OF GOD I WAS RAPED!”

Bitch, please. You weren’t raped. You were trashed.

What really happened?

I was fifteen and sitting in the back of a pickup truck in a parking lot at UW-Stout on Christmas Eve eve.

Some frat party. Those empty parking lots are real meat markets, you know. Also, I’m pretty sure my “best whore clothes” don’t include a winter coat.

I do remember being offered a rum and Coke. My friend, who at eighteen was hoping she was pregnant, didn’t drink anything. I’m not sure whether I had a second drink.

I’m not chatty, so I didn’t really notice how hard I’d been hit until it was time to climb out of the back of the truck and back into the cab. If I didn’t have a second drink and the rum wasn’t 151, I was drugged.

That’s an inclusive “and”. A couple of small paper cups worth of rum and coke isn’t supposed to equate to drinking one’s face off. But I wasn’t controlling the amount of alcohol in my drinks. That was “some guy [I] normally wouldn’t touch with a ten yard [sic] pole”.

Also, I did have plans to have sex that evening–with a guy I hadn’t met even. I had no illusions that this made me a whore. Nor did I think it was a bad idea. I just thought I should have some say in who my partner was. You know, the way the law and basic decency suggest.

On track would have been meeting the guy to whom I was going to “lose” my virginity. Virginity didn’t actually mean anything to me, but mine was getting annoying. I kid you not, there were two guys, uncle and nephew but very close in age, arguing over which one of them was going to take my virginity nine months down the road when I turned sixteen and was legal.

I had other plans, which included shutting these guys up already. They also included the younger brother of the fiance of a friend of mine.

They most decidedly did not include his father, who was the asshole mixing my drinks. Nor did it take until morning for me to be unhappy about this.

He insisted that I sit between him and my friend. Then he unzipped his pants and explained that unless and until I “lent him a hand,” we weren’t going anywhere.

So I did. I was too intoxicated to think to counter-threaten with the fact that he’d already committed one federal felony by hauling me across state lines to get me drunk. I had nowhere to go, because I was trapped between him and my sober, silent “friend.” My one coherent thought was that this would be a very useful time for that passing out thing some people did around alcohol. I did that too.

I couldn’t stay passed out through the whole ride home, though, probably because it wasn’t safe. So there are nightmare flashes here and there of streetlamp illumination moving at freeway speeds.

There wasn’t any bed, either. Every single detail of how it isn’t really rape or sexual assault when she’s been drinking is wrong, with the possible exception of one.

No, we don’t live in a rape culture. We live in a “Don’t You Bitches Have Any Friends?” culture. Me and The Princess have our fair share of experience dancing like madwomen in our lingerie in night clubs filled with horny men who were starting looking like the cast of Ocean’s Twelve after that last appletini. Many nights ended with crazy slobbery make-out sessions with “the dude who looks exactly like Brat Pitt” (except when we looked at him in daylight later).

Here’s the thing: we protected each other. Not from the guy who looked like Brad Pitt through our appletini-googles. We protected each other from our own bad judgement. “Rape culture” theory holds men, and only men, responsible for what women do.

Yeah, I had a person with me I thought was a friend. The thing is, the person she should have been protecting me from was, in fact, that guy. Even if she’d done it by substituting her good judgment where my drunken judgment failed (“Take us home right now! You don’t want to be caught with a drunk minor in another state.”), she still would have been protecting me from him. He never looked like Brad Pitt, just like that nasty, creepy old guy who held the keys to the truck and my way home.

And no, I didn’t hold him responsible for what she did.

She never said anything to me about why she didn’t try to stop it.

Every few years, she sends a note saying she’d like to catch up. She sent another one yesterday.

I don’t answer those. He was the criminal in that situation, but she, despite what the MRAs would like you to believe, is part of that rape culture that doesn’t intervene and just assumes this sort of thing is going to happen as though no one were responsible for it. It took them both for me to end up in that situation.

The post at A Voice for Men would like you to come away with this message:

Women and men who really were brutalized aren’t helped by your phony version of a rape culture. In fact the rape culture you create with your lack of personal responsibility, your “I’m a pure snowflake and men are sex maniacs who oppress me” mentality makes it worse for people who were truly hurt and not just regretful.

So embrace your inner slut. Or trust your friends when they tell you it’s time to say nighty-night to appletini-Brad. Or you know, shut the fuck up. Take your pick.

This “you” they claim to be talking to? She doesn’t exist, not as a cultural phenomenon. She’s the myth that people who want to deny the reality of rape and sexual assault assume when they hear the word “alcohol”. You know, just like Wooly Bumblebee did to me.

Want to talk about “womaning up” and “personal responsibility”? Fine. I hold her, the author of that post, the people who published it at A Voice for Men, and everyone who opens their idiotic traps to repeat the myth personally responsible for all the rapes that continue to go unreported and unpunished under the false accusation of “regret”.

71 comments

4 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    indradawn

    You are one brave, brilliant woman. I, and by extension my daughter, have learned a lot from you. The blowback isn’t for naught.

  2. 2
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Damn.

    Thank you for sharing, Stephanie. I do not blame you for not wanting to answer your “friend”.

    And one more little nugget to add to my pile of reasons to hate the slymies.

  3. 3
    Inaji

    *Aauuuuggh* I cannot even begin to express how very much I loathe victim blaming and denial of rape culture. I’m so sorry that happened to you, Stephanie. And I’m sorry that these…people don’t have the basic human decency to care about the harm their rhetoric does to people.

  4. 4
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Stephanie:
    I am so sorry you went through this. To be sexually assaulted is horrible enough and now to have rape culture deniers and MRAs diminishing your experience and blaming you is unconscionable.

    As well, I simply cannot express my utter contempt and disgust at Wooly Bumblebee. I just don’t understand how someone this lacking in empathy and basic human decency can function in society.

  5. 5
    Ophelia Benson

    As Ed said the other day – I keep thinking they’ve hit bottom and then they start drilling.

  6. 6
    smrnda

    She’s basically just advancing more rape myths that there’s something magical you can do like ‘go out with friends’ (sounds a lot like “don’t walk alone at night” ) that will guarantee you won’t be raped. No matter how many precautions you take, there’s always things you can’t control (like the presence of a guy who wants to rape you) that isn’t going to be affected by that.

    She also makes a mistake of saying that rape culture holds only men accountable. No, it holds just about everybody, male or female accountable for rape culture if they buy into it.

  7. 7
    The Mellow Monkey

    I am so sorry for what you went through, Stephanie. Both then and every last stupid, nasty victim-blaming piece of crap since.

    Tony:

    I simply cannot express my utter contempt and disgust at Wooly Bumblebee.

    Ditto this. I’m just beyond words. Ugh.

  8. 8
    carlie

    What the fuck is wrong with people?
    I’m so sorry you’re being put in the position of having to defend yourself yet again.

  9. 9
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Two things.

    First, Stephanie, my sympathies for the original incident – perp’s assault and friend’s complicity – as well as wooly bumblebee’s crap.

    Second, I’ll go on record saying that every time I think seriously about starting a blog, I think about what you and Ophelia and Rebecca and Surly Amy and others get… and don’t.

  10. 10
    Jason Thibeault

    Rape culture is getting assaulted at 15, and still having to defend yourself as not having merely had regret the morning after a beer-goggle-fueled tryst decades later, at the behest of people who have no fucking clue but still are willing to smear and slur and victim-blame at all costs.

    Wooly Bumblebee is a contemptible piece of work.

  11. 11
    cassmorrison

    Wooly Bumblebee must absolutely hate the “don’t be that guy” campaign out of Edmonton that explicitly states that a drunk person cannot give consent so it’s assault.

    When I hear stories like yours, Stephanie, I am amazed at the resilience people have. Thank you for using your strength to speak out and help prevent others from having a similar experience.

  12. 12
    morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor

    Stephanie, love and support to you. And piles of hugs if you want them. Rape culture deniers trigger huge rage in me so I’ll just stay offline for now. Your never ending courage at staying online amazes and astonishes me.

  13. 13
    mouse

    All this – the harassment by the MRA crowd, the larger issue of misogyny in the atheist online community – is really getting me down. Actually it’s making me feel angry and helpless. What the heck can we do?

  14. 14
    Inaji

    mouse:

    What the heck can we do?

    For one thing, refuse to be silenced.

  15. 15
    Stephanie Zvan

    Adam’s petition is still collecting signatures, in case you haven’t spread that around yet. That certainly won’t hurt.

    It also really helps to just get other things done. It perks the emotions up a bit, and it means that your view ends up counting for a little more when you stand up and say, “This is intolerable!” Find a project you can contribute something to, even if that’s just publicity.

  16. 16
    Pteryxx

    What the heck can we do?

    keep being supportive of one another, be ready to listen, tag team when folks need breaks, work out strategies such as instituting policies for conduct and holding providers accountable… more than nothing.

    I recall, back before 3D5K and around the time of PZ’s ‘The Woman Problem’ post (my introduction to the topic) that the casual toxic crap went mostly unanswered and very few folks spoke up about it. I started learning so that eventually I could de-lurk and support (mostly) Caine. (There were others but as a lurker I sure seemed to see a lot of Caine holding the line alone.)

  17. 17
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    (There were others but as a lurker I sure seemed to see a lot of Caine holding the line alone.)

    Yes, well, I wasn’t alone for long. We have a nice, large amount of mouthy, uppity peoples now. It’s good. Everything you mention is good, but it all goes back to refusing to sit down and stay silent. If a person just can’t handle speaking up right now, then everything Stephanie mentions is good – especially supporting people and organizations that do stand up and fight the good fight.

  18. 18
    Pteryxx

    now I’m thinking of Harriet Hall and pulling the ladder up after oneself versus Chicken Run. “You want to get every chicken out of here… at the same time?!”

    It’s harder to make sure everyone, not just the front-liners of the moment, has a chance. Just being The Exceptional Woman ™ is the easy way out.

  19. 19
    Anthony K

    So what exactly makes these people critical thinkers any more than, say, Rush Limbaugh is?

  20. 20
    Sunil D'Monte

    As Jason said above, this kind of victim-blaming and denialism is *itself* part of rape culture. As is the whole concern trolling and redefinition of rape so that only “people who were truly hurt” get justice. A week ago I saw a post by an Indian MRA (yup we have them too) who referred to the recent Delhi rape and murder as a “genuine case”. That’s basically what the MRA deal is now. Violent stranger rape = “genuine”, pretty much anything else = “false accusations”.

    Btw this post is worth bookmarking and sharing on the subject of “personal responsibility” type of victim-blaming. She gives lots of examples to show how bogus that line of reasoning is:
    http://damsel-in-de-tech.blogspot.ca/2012/10/victim-blaming-under-guise-of-personal.html

  21. 21
    suffragettesass

    I logged in and delurked just to throw a little support behind you, Stephanie. I can’t stand that this is going on, and I wouldn’t be able to believe the direction of this discourse if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. It’s nauseating, heartbreaking, and not what my atheism includes. Internalized misogyny may be the very ugliest form it takes. You recently friended me on FB, and I appreciate it, because I value your voice and what you have to say matters to me. Please stay strong.

  22. 22
    Feminace, formerly Qurikythrope

    I…just…wow.

    Man, if Stephanie’s story is actually some sort of “drunken slut regret” tale, according to these tools, then my sexual assault is a whole mess of “the bitch was asking for it.”

    Trigger warning:

    I was well of age (23), at a Pagan gathering (back when I believed in spells and such), and had been dancing around a bonfire wearing naught by a long skirt and had consumed a drunk amount of booze. Dude had his eye on me for the entire gather, and the one previous. Not wanting to rock the boat with drama like a good baby Pagan, I just ignored the looks and deferred like a mofo, and stuck next to my friends. This gather, I attended only with my (now ex) fiance. The looks while I was dancing went from just “you’re lunch” to outright kissy faces and tongue licking and just…ugh. When we needed fresh batteries for our flashlight (to find our tent – I was getting to the point where drunk became sleepy), I took the opportunity to get away from the stare downs and go to our car to get them. I didn’t pay too much attention to the footsteps behind me, because hey, I was in “safe space”. People could go around naked, sexuality was of the open variety (if I was actually interested in Dude, I would have already had him, you dig?), full of happy go lucky Goddess worshiping open minded folk, right?

    Yeah, it wasn’t until my frozen brain realized that Dude had me against my fiance’s car, forcing me to kiss him with his hand up my skirt and in me that I realized that space wasn’t all that safe at all. Between all of the drink and my freeze reaction, the word “no” didn’t pop out of my mouth until my fiance shone a borrowed flashlight down the path. It was the LAST gather I ever attended, and I spend YEARS unable to call what happened an assault.

    Yeah, every single thing these asshole could possibly say to this, I’ve said to myself. I shouldn’t have drunk so much. I should have just drummed and not danced at all. I should have worn a fucking shirt. I shouldn’t have even gone at all. Hey, maybe I should have just opened my legs and let him have me the first time he made his interest clear, fuck what I wanted. I’ve said all of this to myself, and worse. Nothing they could say could hurt as much.

    So, seriously, fuck them. Just…fuck them. You’ve got all of my support, Stephanie.

  23. 23
    mouse

    Thanks for the suggestions. This inspires me to respond to something I saw on PBS of all things. The conservative black woman on the panel took any opportunity to remind young women that they shouldn’t drink so much, because obviously they’ll get raped that way. I’m going to write to her tomorrow. Also, extremely busy work schedule be damned, I’m booking days off and going to the women in secularism conference.
    P.S. the link to Adam’s petition seems just to bring me back to this page.

  24. 24
    Stephanie Zvan

    Sorry about the bad link. Fixed now. Please introduce yourself at WiS.

  25. 25
    suffragettesass

    I will also say while I’m logged in that it is your loud voices (you, PZ, Ophelia, et al.) that help some of us quieter and more insecure folks to develop a backbone and the courage necessary to stand down stupidity and hate.

  26. 26
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    I’m so sorry, Stephanie. Thank you for what you do.

  27. 27
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Suffragettesass, I have been fortunate and have not have such a thing happen to me. But it does seem that all of the time spent after that indecent, wondering if it was somehow your fault, that really makes this terrible.

    I do hope it has ended for you. Or at last kept at a minimal.

    Good luck.

  28. 28
    athyco

    You rock, Stephanie Zvan. The Wooly Bumblebees of the world would decry the hypocrisy of “The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion,” but they see no problem with “The Only Moral Rape Culture Is My Rape Culture.”

    Did I mention that you rock?

  29. 29
    Erin (formerly--formally?-- known as EEB)

    Well, fuck.

    I am so, so sorry. I’m sorry that you went through that years ago, and sorry that there are people scummy enough to try and use it against you. I thought I’d seen everything, really, that I was beyond being shocked, and still. Wow. I almost can’t believe that this is real. (Of course, I know that it is, and I in no way want to sound like I don’t; I’m just saying that my mind has a hard time accepting that there are really humans this vile, that there are women who could treat another woman like this, that this community is not safe*.)

    Thank you so much for your bravery, and for your willingness to continue the work that you do in spite of these disgusting attacks. I don’t know how you do it. Women like you (and Rebecca, and Ophelia, and many others) inspire me to keep going, too.

    *And, no, any community that includes members who will mock or try and trigger a victim of sexual assault, who will use her history against her, who express hyper-skepticism about victim’s stories, who make excuses for rape and harrassment, who fight messures to protect against sexual assault and harassment, who make violent and/or sexual threats, who excuse those who make violent and/or sexual threats, and a community that includes anyone who in any way supports, tolerates, excuses, or simply ignores and therefore allows those members to continue such behavior, is not safe.

  30. 30
    suffragettesass

    Janine, I think you were talking to the person who posted after me (Niki M). I was also assaulted but I don’t wish to talk about it.

  31. 31
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    You are right, suffragettesass. It was Niki M that I should have been addressing.

    I apologize to both of you. I should have made sure I had the correct moniker.

  32. 32
    sambarge

    When I read something like what Wooley Bumblebee wrote, I keep repeating to myself, like a mantra, “She is just trying to protect herself from the terror of rape by othering the female victim.”

    I have to say, it’s not working. I still think she’s a horrible human being for writing that, for putting it on the internet and for enabling rapists, who will read it, agree with it and believe it the next time they victimize and rape.

  33. 33
    Feminace, formerly Qurikythrope

    It’s alright, Janine and thank you.

    suffragettesass, I wish you all of the support. Talking about it can be rough, and I don’t blame a single person who wishes not to.

  34. 34
    suffragettesass

    No problem at all, just wanted to make sure the message got to the right person.

  35. 35
    So

    There is not one sexual assault “scenario” (as Wooly Bumblebee seems to think), there are many. The common denominator in each: an assailant who decided, who chose, who consciously acted, to assault someone.

    I am delurking to show my support to you, Stephanie. I am convinced I am not the only lurker here with the same sentiment. I love reading you, I learn a lot from it actually, and I am glad you are continuing to write in the face of such adversity.

    Now I just wish they’d stop it. For all our sakes. I think I’ve heard that type of rethoric for far, far too long.

  36. 36
    hjhornbeck

    I’m coming to the thread late, but I’d like to thank Zvan and Caine for stepping out and combating this; because of you, and others like you, I’ve transitioned from being a lurker to engaging these people. Thank you too, Niki M, for sharing your story; everyone who shares their story breaks through the culture of silence on this issue, and helps make it easier to talk through these issues.

    You’re having an effect, and it’s making the world a better place. Keep it up.

  37. 37
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Urgh, fuck, Stephanie I’m sorry.
    I know the feeling of “it’s all your fault you waste of skin” for something else when the whole world tells you that you’re not to blame and supports you.
    I cannnot imagine how this must feel when large parts of the world agree with the nasty monkey-brain screaming such stuff.

    I’ve done “stupid” (mildly teenager stupid stuff like drinking too much). The reason while I didn’t end up as a victim of assault or rape isn’t because I stayed sober or didn’t make “bad choices”. The reason is that nobody decided to take advantage of black-out drunk and drugged 15 yo me.

  38. 38
    Crunchy Renee

    I also lurk, and just wanted to sow some support.

    The Wooly Bumblebee is like a bad parody, I still cannot believe she is real. Maybe SamBarge is right, and she is just otherising to protect herself, but at this point, I don’t care. she is as despicable as the rest of that crowd.

    I really don’t see whats so hard about rape = no consent, and why people always have to play “lets blame the victim.” I guess they do it to feel safer themselves, but still theres no reason to deny so many peoples experiences as rape.

    TRIGGER Warning- Rape

    I have been raped twice- the first time at 16, when a friends boyfriend left her asleep downstairs, and crept up to the attic and attacked me where I was sleeping. (Obviously my fault for being so sexy while asleep.) But I was “a slut, that wanted him (!!!)” so she didnt believe me, even though I never had any interest in this guy. I wish I would have called the cops, because he later murdered someone, and maybe he wouldn’t have been able to that, had he been jailed for rape. I didn’t because bother with cops after being mocked and disbelieved by so called friends. I wasn’t up to it. Oh well.

    The second time, at 24, had to be my fault for being in the car with a guy, someone I had known for awhile, and had been around before. I mean, I must have tempted him with my parka and snow boots! But forcing oral isn’t really rape, anyway, amiright? I really just love choking and being hit, and having my hair pulled, but am too ashamed to admit it. /snark. (Makes me rage to think people think this way.) Once again, no cops.

    Wooly Bumblebee and her MrA buddies would say I just regretted these events after wanting them. This is why they are disgusting people who deserve the worst life has to offer them. There’s nothing like being forced into sex/sex acts, only to be called a liar afterwards

  39. 39
    la tricoteuse

    The funny sad thing is, you know what happens when you do have friends around you who save you from situations where you are of diminished capacity and therefore unable to consent? The “fat/ugly/jealous cockblocking girlfriend” meme. You just can’t fucking win.

  40. 40
    sheila

    Stephanie, I’m so sorry you get this appalling behaviour. I don’t suppose it’s much consolation at all, but watching what you and Ophelia have had to deal with in the last few months has finally convinced me that the verbal bullying I suffered at school wasn’t my fault. The hyenas don’t need to be provoked before they become hyenas.

    Who has the most interest in promoting the idea that it’s morning regret? Rapists, right? What lie are they most likely to tell? I’m sure it gets repeated by gullible non-rapists, but rapists will actually work at it. A bit like the way uninformed people will spread climate denial, but the source of the lies is the oil companies.

  41. 41
    Argle Bargle

    Crunchy Renee #37

    The Wooly Bumblebee is like a bad parody, I still cannot believe she is real.

    It’s quite mind-boggling how little empathy Wooly Bumblebee and people like hir have regarding rape and sexual assault victims.

  42. 42
    Martha

    Alright, that does it. I’m going to WiS, too. As Mouse said, it’s a crazy time for me, too, but this is important. We can’t let these vile, cruel, and hateful people win.

  43. 43
    A Hermit

    These people can only make their arguments by ignoring what happens in real life and inventing some kind of idealized story that reinforces their biases.

    Isn’t this how religions work?

  44. 44
    Jackie

    Stephanie, I’m so sorry that you being brave enough and selfless enough to share your story has led to these disgusting people targeting you for blame and verbal abuse. You deserve our heartfelt thanks, not to be mocked and called names.

    This victim blaming is so widespread that fighting must feel like trying to mop the sand from the shoreline. But, you are helping people. I know you’ve helped me.

    I feel sorry for Wooly. Her mind is a casualty of rape culture, twisted into something ugly, confused and full of hate. It was said earlier in the thread that she seems like a parody. That’s true. Everything she says and writes reminds me of Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks.

  45. 45
    scenario

    I’m so sorry about what happened and what is happening to you. I can’t believe that there are still people out there that still believe that if the two people involved know each other it can’t possibly be raped.

    I sometimes annoy people by insisting that rare outliers exists. People like Wooly Bumblebee take a one in a thousand outlier like the woman who wakes up the next morning and changes her mind and believes that this is how most rapes happen, unbelievable.

  46. 46
    julian

    Wooly Bumblebee and Reap Paden are as misogynistic as they come. No wonder Stefaneli backs each.

  47. 47
    Nicole Introvert (@nicoleintrovert)

    Stephanie – You are awesome. The parameters for which you felt you had to share you story absolutely suck… but you are amazing for doing so. I hope you’ve been healing well over the years.

  48. 48
    David Marjanović

    the verbal bullying I suffered at school wasn’t my fault. The hyenas don’t need to be provoked before they become hyenas.

    QFT.

    (Incidentally, that’s also why “ignore the bullies/trolls, and they’ll go away” never works. When they want your attention – or more than that –, they’ll take it.)

  49. 49
    smhll

    I really enjoy your blog. I admire your insights and your clarity in expressing yourself. Your voice is valuable.

  50. 50
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Why does it seem like there is, for every decent or admirable person, about ten sick and twisted individuals who revel in displaying their wrongness, attacking goodness, and maintaining or creating bad culture?

  51. 51
    Jackie

    F [nn]

    Those who cannot create, will destroy. It is the only mark on this world they are capable of making.

  52. 52
    Jafafa Hots

    Someone please tell me, does this beer goggles thing count for young boys too?
    ‘Cause I wanna know whether what happened to me when I was 13 years old in the basement of Canisius College was sexual assault, or whether I was asking for it because I drank some beer.

    Or maybe it’s only females for whom “you had a drink” equals consent?

    Because oddly, whenever I have mentioned my experiences, nobody has ever blamed ME.
    Nobody ever copied my revelations on FtB of what happened to me to use against me.
    Then again, I guess I wasn’t dressed “in my best whore clothes.”
    Maybe that’s the key.

    I know there have been some. but I want to see plenty more acknowledgements of what has been transpiring for the last couple of years and condemnations of it by leaders of secular and atheist groups and conferences, or else I’m writing them off as “worse than useless.”

  53. 53
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    *hugs Stephanie*

    (If, you know, you accept e-Hugs…)

  54. 54
    theobromine

    Stephanie: Another delurk to say how much I appreciate your willingness to share your personal experiences. I must say that (for this story) I am ambivalent that the quality of your writing makes it real enough that I can almost feel it. I’m so sorry that this happened to you . That I’ve not been raped, or experienced anything beyond a couple of minor sexual assaults is pure luck and coincidence. That people who claim to be rational are so clueless about this issue makes me despair about the future of the human race. We can throw off the shackles of religion ok – then what?

  55. 55
    hypatiasdaughter

    Women and men who really were brutalized aren’t helped by your phony version of a rape culture. In fact the rape culture you create with your lack of personal responsibility, your “I’m a pure snowflake and men are sex maniacs who oppress me” mentality makes it worse for people who were truly hurt and not just regretful.

    Who are these “women and men who really were brutalized”? How does WB know they were “truly hurt and not just regretful”? What IS the magic metric that WB uses to know a rape is “real”?
    Because it seems to me that in almost every scenario, “real rape” victims have done something just as careless or stupid as the “fake rape” victims to either attract the rapists attention or to fall into their attacker’s hands. Perhaps WB consider rape is only real if someone is seriously maimed or killed. But then it isn’t the rape that is being judged as wrong, it is the other violent crimes the victim suffers.
    Of course, this means that rape is not about the attackers intent, nor the victims consent – merely the seriousness of the outcome.

  56. 56
    Inaji

    hypatiasdaughter:

    What IS the magic metric that WB uses to know a rape is “real”?

    Mine is the type considered real – the stranger rape which involved a great deal of violence. That’s what is considered to be “legitimate” rape and by focusing on the rarer type, they get to conveniently ignore that the majority of rapes are acquaintance, date or within family. Then they dismiss all those as “hey, slut regretted it!” – well, at least the acquaintance and date types. I have no idea of what they think of those who rape children, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the children come in for blame somehow.

  57. 57
    Inaji

    Jafafa Hots:

    Someone please tell me, does this beer goggles thing count for young boys too?
    ‘Cause I wanna know whether what happened to me when I was 13 years old in the basement of Canisius College was sexual assault, or whether I was asking for it because I drank some beer.

    I really do not want to know what they think about men being sexually assaulted and raped. I get infuriated enough by their so-called logic on the subject, and knowing their attitudes on boys/men being assaulted and raped would probably cause a blood vessel to blow.

  58. 58
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Caine

    Mine would be “fake”, because I was in an established relationship with my abuser, and you know how it is, once you give consent to having sex with a guy, even once, that means he can just have you any time he wants and it’s magically “not rape”. *spits*

  59. 59
    Inaji

    WMDKitty:

    Mine would be “fake”, because I was in an established relationship with my abuser, and you know how it is, once you give consent to having sex with a guy, even once, that means he can just have you any time he wants and it’s magically “not rape”. *spits*

    Yep, that’s their exact reasoning. Hey, you existed, you decided to be in relationship with an asshole, you didn’t get out, yada yada yada. A whole pile of shit. I’ll join you in the spitting.

  60. 60
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Mine would be “fake”, because I was in an established relationship with my abuser, and you know how it is, once you give consent to having sex with a guy, even once, that means he can just have you any time he wants and it’s magically “not rape”. *spits*

    I could have been already married by the time marital rape finally became even a crime around here. And sure enough, if a woman splits up and accuses him of marital rape she’s just a lying bitch who wants to take away the children.

  61. 61
    August Berkshire

    It is sobering (no allusion intended), sickening, and sad to realize how much sexual (and other) abuse occurs. I feel frustrated and almost helpless. The only thing I know to do is to have zero tolerance for any degree of abuse and to speak out when the topic arises. It doesn’t seem like much compared to the abuse, but if enough of us (especially men) do it then maybe we can be part of the solution. I do know that silence makes us part of the problem. Thank you, Stephanie, for having the courage to speak out.

  62. 62
    sheila

    Someone please tell me, does this beer goggles thing count for young boys too?
    ‘Cause I wanna know whether what happened to me when I was 13 years old in the basement of Canisius College was sexual assault, or whether I was asking for it because I drank some beer.

    Hugs (if you want them.) I’m glad nobody blamed you.

    I think young boys get ignored, because they’re not a useful weapon. Their priorities; emphatically not mine.

  63. 63
    Nathaniel Frein

    “Intent is not magic” applies here too. What you intended to do that night has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you were assaulted.

    It’s about agency. And the loss of agency. When I was single, I always looked forward to the weekends after a long work week when my schedule and a “friend’s” schedule lined up and we could get together, spend the evening unwinding, and go to sleep and the next day we’d spend the whole day having “fun”.

    Until a bastard took that away from me. I’d known him about a week. He seemed like a decent guy. But he couldn’t wait. Couldn’t wait for my terms. He had to take what he wanted right there.

    I haven’t slept with a man since. And I MISS that. I miss men. I miss penises. I miss being held down by someone bigger than me, knowing that I was safe because I trusted him to stop if I asked him to. All because one person needed his five minutes of fun, and damn being told to wait.

  64. 64
    ciaphas

    I know a girl who did just about everything wrong according to those people. She’d been kicked out of the house and went home with a nice guy she’d only known for a week. The guy offered her Marvel vs Capcom to cheer her up and vodka mixed with cran-rasberry to drown her sorrows. Her drink was mixed a lot stronger than his because he hated the taste of alcohol and besides, drunk girls are fun. They fool around for a while and the guy asks if she wants to go to bed, she says not yet. So they watch a movie and the guy mixes more drinks and they fool around more. Now when he asks, she say ok but the guy isn’t sure she’s all there since she can’t even stand without support. So the guy carries her into the bedroom and she’s too drunk to even take off her shoes so the guy has to do it for her.
    .
    Then a memory stirs in the guy’s head and it occurs to him that he’s about to do something awful. So he stops undressing her and climbs into bed fully dressed and she almost instantly falls asleep in his arms.
    The guy hadn’t thought a lot about feminism or what rape was, but he did have a lot of spare time at work to read blogs and something had managed to work through the drunken haze and replace “drunk girls are fun” with “consent is important”. The guy still feels like an asshole, but being an asshole is a lot better than being a rapist.
    .
    Thank you Stephanie, for being part of the reason why I’m just an asshole.

  65. 65
    Inaji

    August:

    The only thing I know to do is to have zero tolerance for any degree of abuse and to speak out when the topic arises. It doesn’t seem like much

    Actually, men speaking up is absolutely crucial when it comes to rape culture and changing it. Every time you hear another man talk about women as objects, or jokes about rape or talks about how “easy” drunk women are, anything of that nature, speak up. Let it be known it’s not acceptable and why. Men will feel shamed more in front of another man or men than he will a woman, and for a lot them, be more inclined to listen and consider what you’re saying.

  66. 66
    Inaji

    Nathaniel, I am so sorry. *hugs*

  67. 67
    Inaji

    Ciaphas, thank you for having the courage to share your story. Thank you for stopping to listen. Thank you for being “just an asshole”, because even though that’s how you feel, it’s not how other people are viewing or thinking of you. You were a decent human being. Thank you.

    X-posted.

  68. 68
    Nathaniel Frein

    It was finding these blogs, and the safe spaces and discussions that helped me to come to grips with what happened to me.

    Stephanie, and Cain, and Ogvorbis, and Giliel, you (and so many others here) have gone through pain and hurt that I can only begin to imagine with your help. To see you constantly opening up old wounds simply in the hope that you can give others their own voice, and to show just how deep these disgusting attitudes run and how damaging they are, is simply inspiring.

    So…thank you. All of you. For being you.

  69. 69
    Ben Zvan

    I debated mentioning this, but I feel it’s an important illustration of how the slymey MRA-types twist things. After a quick twitter search on my own last name (which I should know by now is stupid), I discovered a series of three tweets about ciaphas, starting with “does he want a medal” then “he must be a poe,” and ending with the decision that “he’s a troll and Zvan fell for it”. On the upside, they all seemed to agree that passed out drunk is rape so I guess that’s progress.

  70. 70
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    Crossposting from Avicenna because WBB and past experience with her and spreading the information etc etc:

    WoolyBumblebutt is a liar. A fucking liar. She is revolting as a human being.

    I really don’t know if anyone remembers this little (tiny) dramatic episode summer of last year. It was during the whole Femistasi/#ftbullies infection of twitter. I documented it and don’t know if it did (or even should have) pinged any radars, but here: http://innocuousintent.blogspot.com/

    The rundown is WBB presented a post on her personal blog at the time as someone elses. There Was No indication it was an ‘experiment’ of any kind. After I pointed out the facsimile admin name she posted a tweet for what I assume is damage control. And then *foof* gone went the page with no explanation. The page she linked to was filled with all the MRA tropes mischaracterizing feminists.

    That is her character in a vile nutshell. She owes no explanations no apologies and will misrepresent/lie/manufacture a strawman, and it’s all *just* an experiment, and whatever her plans were with the page, whatever valiant windmill lancing she would have done, are excusable amongst her chosen people, but woe unto their victims and targets and anyone associated with FTB that happens to slip or misspeak. I think she’s a bully, her jumping on the bandwagon seemed to me an attempt to jump into relevance, as she was a very vocal shit stirrer, and prolific with her toxicity.

  71. 71
    Paranoid Dominican

    Delurking. Stephanie, this is all sorts of bullshit and it shouldn’t have happened to you. I am sorry for not being able to change society such that this sort of thing doesn’t happen. No matter how small a part of society I am, my responsibility to try and change it is greater than your 0% portion of responsibility for your rape. Keep fighting the good fight, and many hugs. Thank you for your courage.

    Caine, Niki M, Jafafa, every other survivor here whose names I omit out of haste (my apologies), hugs. You deserve better. Thank you for your courage

    Ciaphas, you don’t get a cookie for not raping someone.

    You do, however, get a whole cookie jar for having the courage to tell that story, and better yet, thank the people who taught you. They need encouragement, and men all over need stories like yours to remember that this horseshit doesn’t make you a real man. Too many dudes would say you “pussied out” because you “didn’t have the balls” to “get some”, and that toxic nonsense is purged, in part, because of honesty like yours. Enjoy your well earned cookies.

  1. 72
    Relief for the heartsick » Pharyngula

    [...] dunned by email and tweets from the haters and sick scumbags, and I read stuff by my colleagues who get far worse, and at times it is just too depressing and dismal — there really are reactionary fanatics [...]

  2. 73
    You are Judged by the Company You Keep » A Million Gods

    [...] article goes on an on… Stephanie fields it much better than me. I would have sworn at people a lot [...]

  3. 74
    Optimism? » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] dunned by email and tweets from the haters and sick scumbags, and I read stuff by my colleagues who get far worse, and at times it is just too depressing and dismal — there really are reactionary fanatics within [...]

  4. 75
    Hanging On » Almost Diamonds

    [...] way, this comment is what’s keeping me functioning right [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>