Not So Silent

Stephanie Zvan links me, I link her back — not just for reciprocation, but to direct people at the slew of links she put up, pointing us to some excellent reads in the Silence is the Enemy campaign.

Go read. If you aren’t doing anything else actively, devoting some brain-share to the topic is a start. I highly recommend the music post by ScienceWoman, which I will not directly link, because I’m trying to get you to visit Stephanie’s site. Get it yet? Go now!

Trolling as psychological rape

I want to make one thing perfectly clear, before I even begin to write this post — I do so not to stir the already muddy waters about what constitutes rape (or rather, what SHOULD — remember, “no means no” is an instruction, not a slogan or a rule). Nor do I write this to diminish the psychological and physical trauma that rape victims suffer. Rather, I write this because I’ve just been not only a witness but also a victim of the very real psychological damage that can be done by something as simple, and as common, as your average internet troll.

And the troll in this particular case is a troll par excellence, much as it aggrieves me to have to admit anything he might misconstrue as a compliment..

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Do you know your enemy?

Sheril Kirschenbaum posted this a long while back, (like April! That’s AGES AGO!) and I wanted to listen to it as I happen to love Green Day, don’t have their newest CD, and it was in my head; but MTV is restricted in Canuckistan, so here’s the Youtube version.

The “Silence is the Enemy” lyric is timely. And mentioned in the comments, so I can’t even claim I’m clever in noticing.

Is there a “rape proclivity bubble on a multi-axis quadrant?” try 2

This is just a repost without all the extra junk that ensued, so I can solicit comments on the post itself. There are very slight alterations, but none that change my point. If you read the other one, no need to reread this one unless you’re looking for a way to post about it without getting entangled (and I honestly hope you do comment… I need your feedback!). If you’re looking for something different to read, Ed Brayton expands Greg’s theme in a different direction, through all the acts of barbarism of which the same example soldiers are capable. Or you could read one of Greg’s follow-ups on the topic admonishing those that make the topic about themselves, that it’s not about them (unless they happen to be women being victimized by roaming bands of soldiers).

But whatever else you do, go here to do something positive and support the Silence is the Enemy campaign.

Greg Laden, as you may already know, recently postulated a hypothesis regarding the possibility of a “rape switch” — a set of circumstances in which soldiers are significantly more likely to rape members of the local population — that rang true with him. The idea originally came from one of his students’ term paper written in 1993. Discussion of the topic has been heated, to say the least, and I’ve been throwing more than my fair share of wild punches in the fray. This is just an attempt to put together a number of them into something more cohesive (and coherent) now that a lot of the rage has subsided. I will attempt to avoid or ameliorate those sticking points that drew so much of everyone’s off-topic ire, and I’ll even try to make up for a number of misconceptions I myself had in coming into the argument to begin with.

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Silence is the Enemy

There’s a blogging event going on right now, and for the rest of June, started by Sheril Kirschenbaum at The Intersection, in an effort to draw attention to the frequent and widespread rape occurring presently in Liberia. The fact is, rape isn’t a regional or cultural problem — it’s an everywhere problem, and the solution to it requires all of us to participate.

This problem has thankfully not touched me directly (or indirectly, really, as my one experience with rape involves a girl crying wolf), and I’m afraid I don’t have anything to say about it that’s at all insightful. I know I am not capable personally of raping someone, but I am aware that with my inability to navigate social situations, I have had problems all my life distinguishing welcome from unwelcome attention whether on the giving or receiving end, and therefore have likely made more than one girl feel uncomfortable in my lifetime with my fumbling inability to flirt, or hell, even my fumbling inability to make sexual advances on someone who I know would be receptive, like a long-term girlfriend. Though I feel as though I have absolutely no ability to comprehend the actions of men willing to force themselves on others, being barely able to assert myself to any degree even when it’s solicited, I nonetheless feel compelled to do SOMETHING, so I will direct what little traffic I have to the myriad blog posts that have been put up in the past few days on on the subject.

The ScienceBlogs Select RSS tells me all the following blogs have posts on the subject, so I’ll link them now, though I have not yet had time to read all of them:

On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess
Thus Spake Zuska
Sciencewoman
Framing Science
DrugMonkey
Aardvarchaeology
Bioephemera
Aetiology
Neurotopia

A word of warning, many of these blogs are considered safe havens for women and thus those of you who happen to be swinging pipe would be well advised to lurk before posting, if posting at all. And remember that the only thing separating you from rapists is that you are likely neurotypical (e.g. not batshit insane), and you were likely brought up in a society that frowns upon men forcing themselves on women.

On other blogs on my RSS feed which I subscribe to specifically (as opposed to the ScienceBlogs Select feed), there are more blog posts you should read along the same lines. Here’s Greg Laden’s discussion entitled A Rape in Progress, and its Part 2. He also links to Women’s eNews where a connection is drawn between rape and conflict mineral mining. Stephanie Zvan wrote a brilliant article over at Quiche Moraine entitled Legacy of War where she delves into the first casualty of any war: civilization itself. And finally, and most certainly always worth a read, is DuWayne Brayton at Traumatized by Truth.

Hopefully that’s enough reading material to get you through the night. All of these blogs are going to be posting throughout the month on the topic, so visit them as frequently as you can manage. (I’m often late posting stuff because of information overload — I follow far too many blogs and far too much catches my eye.)