Thursday, April 03, 2008

Blog Against Sexual Violence My Entry

I want to begin my BASV entry with part of what I wrote in a comment on my SAAM post:

Speaking out didn't come easily for me, but now that I can find the words I want to reach more people so that our collective voices and experiences become so accepted that nobody would dare dismiss this trauma as false or grossly exaggerated.

I don't want any survivor to feel as alone as I felt after being raped. I
don't want the loudest voices to be of those making excuses for the sexually

We need to get to a place where those who attack or dismiss any survivors of sexual violence need to know that their actions are more than unacceptable, they need to know that their attacks are ineffective because their lies have been exposed so well that only those who are intentionally pro-rape will continue to support them in any way.

The key is to understand that these rape denial lies and victim blaming lies tell us more about the speaker of the lies than they do about those whom these people are attacking. When people begin their attacks with "rape is a crime second only to murder" but then spend all their energy attacking someone who identifies as a rape victim they are proving that they are for the very thing they claim to be against.

Their positioning of rape as being close to murder is not a genuine acknowledgement of the seriousness of rape, but a refusal to be against any rape that isn't physically horrific to them. If someone else's rape doesn't make these observers physically ill then it doesn't matter how the act of sexual violence impacts the victim of that violence.

These people should be viewed as being as credible as the person who says, "Sure rape her if she does anything we can call foolish, just don't kill her, physically mutilate her or make her unappealing for the next guy who wants to rape her."

Repackaging this message into something less overtly disgusting doesn't change the disgusting core of this message. "Get over it" often means "So you were raped, nobody cares that your rapist is still running free and feeling empowered to continue with his violence."

Those who have blindly accepted this garbage which has been carefully marketed to them will spit it out as soon as they see a critical analysis of this message. They will not try to slap nasty labels on those who tell them that the garbage they are regurgitating stinks and makes them look horrific.

For an example of how dangerous this diminishing is, look at the recent murder of 3 children by their father, Mark Castillo, in Maryland.

Long before this horrific crime became a reality, the mother of these children, Amy Castillo, warned Judge Joseph A. Dugan Jr that these murders were likely because their father talked about murdering them to hurt her but because she was "still having sex" with her husband, she was viewed as non-credible. It didn't matter that this woman was coerced into sex because she was afraid for the lives of her children --a fear that tragically was proven to be valid during a court-ordered and unsupervised visitation.

When a man threatens to murder those a woman loves, the sex she doesn't try to fight off cannot be considered to be consensual. By this judge's failure to recognize real rape -- real violence -- he directly contributed to the murder of 3 children. Many others who failed to acknowledge the reality of this woman's rape and the reality of this man's threats also contributed to these murders. Some of these people wrongly assumed that the behavior this man exhibited in front of them was a full and accurate representation of his character and his capacity for violence.

People not getting the severity of gender violence which can be done by seemingly nice people until somebody ends up maimed or dead cost 3 children their lives.

It's important for all of us to understand that the lies which help violence continue are not logical. The rape deniers need people's avoidance of critical thinking about violence which doesn't leave visible wounds for their lies to work. This involves some pain because the reality of all sexual violence is traumatic for most people -- even for most of those who have never been the victim of any sexual violence.

What these rape denialists pass off as logical and rational is instead coldblooded and sociopathic. If some of these people can be coldblooded and sociopathic with a smile on their faces and charm in their manner that should make us shiver not lull us into thinking they are genuinely kind people.

The more people who see behind the illusion of so-called non-traumatic acts of sexual violence, the less people will feel that they can commit acts of sexual violence with no fear of being held legally accountable. For those who don't care about consequences because they plan to kill themselves after murdering those they have had relationships with, the removal of illusion may stop them from viewing their violence as a viable option.

Rather than ignoring most sexual and gender violence we as a society should be focusing on nipping this violence in its earliest stages.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 2:34 PM   2 comments links to this post


At April 04, 2008 9:48 AM, Blogger Marj aka Thriver said...

Wow, Marcella! Your own post for BASV Day is an extremely impactful article. Great work, as always!

At April 04, 2008 3:13 PM, Anonymous judgesnineteen said...

I just wanted to say I really appreciate what you did with BASV day and what you're doing on this blog in general. : )


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