Thursday, December 21, 2006

Playing The Victim

I've lost count of the times I've been accused of playing the victim because I won't shut up about rape. The reality is there is a vast difference between being a survivor who wants to reduce the number of future rape victims and playing a victim.

When many people say to those of us who identify ourselves as rape victims or survivors, "Stop playing the victim" what they really mean is, "I don't want to hear about the reality of rape or adjust my life to reduce the incidence of rape."

They want to keep their blinders on.

Men who say, "stop playing the victim" often don't want to consider whether they have ever stepped over the line sexually. It's easier to say some of those they've had sexual contact with are playing the victim than to take responsibility for trampling another person's sexual boundaries to the point of committing a crime.

Those who make accusations of playing the victim are the ones playing the victim.

How?

By saying how unfair it is that boys and men need to be sure they get full eager consent from a fully conscious person to protect themselves from being accused of rape. Don't we know that men can't live without sex?

I've heard of spontaneous human combustion, but I never knew the cause was lack of sex.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:07 AM   3 comments links to this post

3 Comments:

At December 21, 2006 12:35 PM, Blogger incurable hippie said...

I think you're exactly right, it challenges them too much. So much easier to criticise you for 'playing the victim' than to face the reality of violence against women, and even their own part in that.

I hope you, like me, will still not stop 'going on about it'. We need more and more and more and more women to speak the truth.

 
At December 22, 2006 6:37 AM, Blogger ms_xeno said...

I like the notion that it's calling attention to the existence of power-over relationships that makes you a victim. The corrollary magical thinking being that if you just announce "I'm in charge here" the aggressor will melt away like a popsicle on a hot sidewalk and everything will be great. Funny how this is in no way borne out in the blogosphere, where a woman who announces, "I'm in charge here" is inevitably a huge attraction to hordes of misogynist trolls.

The trouble with that famous statement by Eleanor Roosevelt has always been that it makes feelings more important in the scheme of things than the actions of aggressors.

 
At December 22, 2006 7:39 PM, Blogger The Speaker said...

I feel like an idiot for writing this but...
Once again, I thank you for writing such powerful truth. As always, you have addressed an issue that I relate to in so many ways. The "get over it" attitude and the "forgive and forget" attitude is quite frankly- bullshit. There is no getting over this. This happened to me. This happened to my mother, her mother, and her mother's mother. It is still happening all over the world. According to current statistics 1 out of 3 little girls will be raped in their lifetime. Not to mention the 1 out of 6 boys. So men, as well as women, need to take their heads out of the sand, and start listening to people like you. This is not something that A.) Someone should "get over", or "forget. B.) Not something I ever will get over (in the sense of the word "ignore") or forget, which as you well know is impossible. I am not "playing the victim" by speaking out against rape. I am surviving and making efforts to prevent this from happening to others. Thank you for recognizing rape and it's awareness for what they are: tools for survivors to help others.

love, jessieh

 

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