Tag Archives: rape

Random Fears

10 Sep

3AM: My nemesis. I always wake up at this hour in the night, sometimes to pee. Sometimes I just make my way to the bathroom since I’m awake already. When I walk across the dark room trying to avoid the bed and the cat, I have this habit of rubbing the sleep from my eyes. And Every. Single. Time. I think–if I tripped I might poke my eye out. . .

Another fear involving eyes regards my contacts.  I always put the left one first, because that’s my worse eye.  So if something were to go wrong and the was acid in my contact case, or the peroxide in the cleaner hadn’t neutralized, I would still have an eye with good vision.

Answering the door.  When there is a knock at the door, and I am not expecting it–well, it freaks me out.  I wonder who it is and what they could possibly want.  I try to be really quiet so whoever it is doesn’t know I’m home.  And I never, never open the door.  I’ve seen and heard about people pushing their way inside and doing terrible things.  So I’m paranoid about people at my door.

Strangers.  Of any kind, really.  I know it’s silly, but I’m suspicious of most everyone.  I watch serial killer movies and documentaries all the time and the number one thing is–the killer is always someone unexpected.  They are attractive and charismatic.  So therefore, you can’t trust sketchy-looking (homeless) people OR normal looking people.  So I’m always weary, and thus unfriendly, towards people I do not know.

Seafood.  I eat most everything.  I absolutely hate throwing food away, so I’ll eat something a little questionable every now and again.  And most things can be nuked extra long and I’m confident all food-borne pathogens are killed.  But anything involving seafood is not even good for leftovers.  When you hear about someone who DIES from food poisoning, more often then not it was seafood that did it.

Not hiding in especially rural areas.  It’s not that I’m super-gay or flamboyant or anything like that.  My problem is that people do not know that I AM gay.  It isn’t like I’m trying to HIDE anything–I guess I just don’t look like your typical gay, and I don’t wear a rainbow flag.  Being seen with Cool is the only tip-off to people normally.  And being closeted is self-hating and lame, not to mention too much effort.  BUT when we go to certain places–I’m like do not touch me, don’t look at me.  I am afraid in places like Idaho, Montana, and other really rural areas that we will get killed over it.

My teeth.  It seems most of my random fears involve my face.  If I skip wearing my (lifelong) retainer at night, I’ll start to have nightmares that my teeth are crooked.  And when I’m awake I’ll thin they feel a little loose, and sometimes I even think they feel different to my tongue.  As a continuation of teeth, I worry more and more when I haven’t been to the dentist.  I NEED to go every 6 months, but moving, money, and scheduling doesn’t always hardly allows that.  And the longer I go between visits, the more exponentially the worry increases that something will be seriously wrong/expensive to fix in there.

So I guess I’m a head case, is the point of this post.

Girl 27

11 Jul

MGM wanted to wine and dine their sales associates.  Invited them to L.A. and Mr. Mayer is quoted as saying “Anything you want.”  They got extras to a ranch under false pretenses–a movie call requiring western wear.  It turned out to be a party for the sales people.  With something like 1.5 cases of scotch per person.  This was a very thought-provoking documentary about a 17 year old extra (dancer), Patricia Douglas, who accused an MGM sales-rep at the party of raping her.  She had been a virgin.  Not that it would have been any less terrible (or true) if she had been sexually active.

In the 1930’s (and before) there was no sex education from parents or school.  No one talked about sex, pregnancy, or especially rape.  Rape was never even mentioned in the movies–it was avoided.  As such, rape could not occur.  When women accused it, they were stigmatized (as they are today) There was also no recourse or help when it did occur.  Like the “perfect” 1950’s, which I’ve discussed on my blog before, where things aren’t discussed, it doesn’t mean the perfect image portrayed is a true one.  The unpretty is just hidden.  And keeping secrets makes ugly, problems.  People can’t keep those sorts of things under wraps without facing consequences at some point or withering away internally.  Not talking about sex or rape, doesn’t mean sex won’t occur and rape won’t happen.  It just leaves people ignorant about sexuality and sweeps rape under the closet door with everything else unpleasant.

Along with ignorance and secrets so prevalent in that era, the institutionalized cover-up contributed to Douglas’ misery and decline.  It was the studio movie era so MGM was king.  MGM was the biggest employer in L.A.  This means they controlled police, politicians, and the majority of the public.  To cover the bad publicity, they got the doctor to give Douglas a douche PRIOR to an examination–essientially erasing all evidence.  The one witness changed his story–then got a lifetime (nicer) job at MGM.  When the case went federal, Douglas’ lawyer didn’t show up (3x) to the landmark–1st–federal trial.  Suddenly, Douglas’ mother, the minor’s custodian, came into money.  She had furs, a stable of horses, and cash–and dropped her daughter’s case.  Makes you wonder. . .

The film covers the subsequent trial (then lack of one), cover-up, and lifelong ramifications.  It is true, abuse and mal-adaptive behavior continues from one generation to the next.  Though she lived into her 80’s Douglas had died long before that.  Long term affects of the rape and the cover-up of it:  Douglas could not love or trust men, and became, in her own words, “frigid” sexually.  She never mentioned any of this to her daughter or grandchildren, but was cold toward them.  Douglas became home-bound and obese.  The only things she ever did were watch MTV all night and sleep all day.  Douglas lived with her mother, but treated her poorly.  The rift, ignorance, and pattern of abuse spans generations.

What else can you say, but rape ruins lives?  The documentary will stay with me.  I suggest you watch it too.

PS: Greta vanSustern is a total lesbian–married to a man or not.

P.S.S:  Film based on, “It Happened One Night. . . At MGM.

“The Bully”

31 May

I think bullying is an important issue.  Kids should be protected.  And marginalized youth are at high risk for being singled out, attacked, and ultimately for suicide.  That’s why I wanted to watch “Bully.”

Via NetFlix:  Bobby (Nick Stahl) takes great joy in bossing around and beating up his best friend, slovenly ex-surfer Marty (Brad Renfro). But when Marty’s girlfriend (Rachel Miner) witnesses one too many of these incidents, she vows to kill Bobby, enlisting her friends — and a hit man — to help. From controversial director Larry Clark (Kids), this unsettling drama is based on a true crime.

The parents that all these kids seemed totally dependent on, ranged from clueless to apathetic.  They either didn’t know what their kids were up to, or didn’t do anything to regulate their activity.  It really does start with the parents.  If these young adults had responsibility they would not have TIME to get into such trouble.  And supervision?  Hello, parents?

I didn’t like the characters totally downplayed multiple female rapes, but seemed perturbed by mistreatment of the male friend.  The girls in the film seemed unaffected by rape–which is NOT true to life.  When a woman is raped it changes her.  She might become depressed.  Maybe she will withdraw.  Even gals with low self-esteem and no boundaries (as the movie women were) would react adversely to being raped.  Not so in this film.  Both women, not to mention their friends and boyfriends seemed to quickly forget the abuse they suffered.  I would think if you had it in you to kill someone, the rape would be the incident to push you over that edge.  Not so.

This group of entitled, drugged-out, teenagers and young adults were incited by some male bullying.  Everyone was appalled and aggravated when the bully beat on his “friend,” said mean and inappropriate things, or was just aggressive and hostel in general.

I didn’t like it.  Anyone else seen this film?  Did you think it was true to life or true to the events it was based on?

“Rape is JUST About Sex”

17 Mar

I have encountered trolls on feminist blogs that say rape is simply about sex.  They refuse to believe rape is about power, control, aggression, and patriarchy.  I challenge, that if rape is truely about sex then the places that have legalized prostitution should have lower rates of rape.  Because by all intensive purposes, no one should have to force sex, because they can just buy it.

My home state of Nevada, for instance, has legal brothels that “sell” sex.  Yet, Nevada’s rape rate is consistently higher than the national rate.  The large counties (cities within include Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks, & Carson City) in Nevada disallow prostitution, but many of the more rural counties have legalized it for economic reasons.

“Among the rural counties in the state, those with legalized prostitution have rape rates in 2007 that are over 5 times larger than rural counties without legalized prostitution. The average rape rate in rural counties with legalized prostitution (46 per 100,000 population) is also higher than rape rates in the urban counties within the state (42 per 100,000 population).”

Click to access Rape%20in%20Nevada%20v4.pdf

Let’s not even go into the situation in Asian countries such as Thailand, where prostitution is prevalent.  I think we can all recognize women (transsexuals) are not treated with respect there and rape is a massive problem.

Don’t get me wrong–I think legalized prostitution is the best way.  Those women are STD tested regularly, they have regulations that condoms must be used, they are safer then females working the streets, and the ranches pay the women really, really nice wages.

My mom had a student bring his mom’s W2 in for show and tell and the women at the Moundhouse brothels garner wages that exponentially exceed a teacher’s salary.  And the prostitute I knew lived on the Arnold Palmer Golf Course, drove a BMW, and had three pure-bred Bengals as well as a prominently displayed boob-job pic of herself on her fridge.  The Moonlight BunnyRanch gals are not hurting for money–that’s for sure.

And who am I to say they shouldn’t pursue that line of work.  If the women end up there (b/c NObody WANTS to become a prostitute) they have the right to stay there if it is profitable for them and if they can live with it.  I think the problem lies with the men who support those businesses.  The women wouldn’t do it if there was no money in it (and if they didn’t have other emotional, self-esteem, or addiction problems).  Society should look down at the men who go into brothels, pay for sex illegally, or rape women to get sex.  That is the problem.  And it’s a societal one.

An Oxymoron No More: Raped Policeman

7 Apr

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2011/apr/04/raped-policeman-colleagues-investigation

This story is especially interesting in the context that our society tends to blame the victim for their own rape.  This mentality creates an even more negative environment for people who have already suffered something very traumatic.  A side effect of this prospective is a deadlock on actually preventing rape, a stalemate when catching criminals, and an impasse when treating victims.  Now that the tables are turned, and we have a strong, rape-educated, enforcement-officer man’s perspective we can recognize our flaws in thinking.  Changing our point of view is not only more salubrious for the nation, but curative for the consequences of this terrible and persistent crime.

I have included some popular doctrines regarding rape, which I do not see as hyperbole.  I wish these strong tenants, dogmas really, were embellished for effect!  According to examples from the media, laws in affect, and my real-life experiences this is how people in the United States think of rape.

Pre-Rape common misconceptions that tenaciously and stagnantly stay in fashion:

Women should not dress a certain way (perceived as “easy” or “slutty”)  if they don’t want trouble.  Nothing too gaudy, cheap, showy, or flashy should ever be worn by a lady.  And if a women chooses to dress that way she is also choosing the potential consequnce of getting raped.  Women should anticipate danger and not put themselves in a situation where rape is possible.  Females should be able to spot potential attackers and steer clear of them.  If they are not prescient in this matter, they are too naive to be out at all, so they should stay at home, preferably chaperoned by a stronger, more worldly man.  They should certainly not lose their wits by drinking or taking substances.  Girls should never find themselves alone.  If women don’t abide by these strict rules they are “asking for it.”

The creeds dealing with rape prevention are dangerous and gender specific, because it puts all of the emphasis on women.  Really, they are invectives against half of the population. In order to not be raped women have to occlude men’s behavior.  Not once, do the above views try to barricade the act of rape by regulating men’s behavior.  These misconceptions are not a denunciation of the rapists themselves, nor are they a revilement of the act of rape.  As it is written, the responsibility for rape-prevention lies with women.  If rape is happening, it is because women are not doing what they should to obstruct it.

This article profiles a police officer who went to brunch at a pub with a group of coworkers friends.  He became intoxicated as the evening wore on.  His friends left and he was enjoying himself so much that he stayed behind.  The officer interacted with his future attacker, but never felt wary of him.  He had no idea what the rapist was capable of.  Later, the policeman was raped by this other patron of the pub.

Do we think about this situation differently than if this male police officer was a woman?  If the officer was a female would we be told what she was wearing in the article?  Maybe he was particularly tawdry that day.  Why does it not matter to the editor of the piece since the victim turned out to be male?  After reading this would we pass judgement that the female victim had a lot to drink?  I know for a fact, readers would be screaming at the page if someone’s girlfriends left her alone in a strange pub while intoxicated–it just goes against girl-code.  Since this is a man, do we even think about that?  I would think that an officer trained in prevention of sexual assault would be the type of person to distinguishknow, and detect exactly what a would-be attacker would be like.  He was not divinatory in the matter at all, and if HE had no notions of the future violence, how are women expected to know?  I think our blame culture would react a lot differently if rape touched the lives of more (straight) men.

Post-Rape Misconceptions:

There is not time to flag after being a victim of rape.  Any women who is truly raped would go directly from the scene of attack to the police station to report the incident.  If the victim showers or cleanses herself it is because she has something to obscure.  If the victim goes anywhere else, it is because she is not upset and therefore did not actually get raped.  A woman who does not press charges right away just regrets a consensual sexual encounter–she is making the whole story up.  No one is allowed time to dwindle into grief or slacken into shock.  Even if a female does report the incident, you must scrutinize her accusations carefully.  If she does not remember every detail,the tale seems opaque, or if her story is not consistent each time of telling it, even after many, many tellings she is probably lying.  If a women does all of the above correctly, you still have to be suspicious of her motives and consider her overall character.  She may just want attention, or she may just be a slut who actually wanted the sex.

Society calls for victims to act mechanically–even under the great stress of being violated.  To ebb afterward is to try to thwart the truth.  Again, women are the ones called into action.  It is she who must not be apathetic to this crime.  The rapist is not addressed is the post-rape misconceptions, and the female victim needs to act in a routine manner to resolve this unfortunate blemish.  If the woman does not act automatically, or if a step in the process is wrong, it is her own fault if justice is not served.  Even if the female victim does everything right, it is not likely a man actually perpetrated a crime without reason.  It is her fault it happened. . .  if it occurred at all.

This police officer could not remember how he got to the scene of the attack.  After the rape, he did not perfunctorily arrest his attacker as he was warranted to do as an officer of the law.  The victim also did not go to a police station for fear of being recognized–he went to a private clinic.  Importantly, despite being on the other side of the rape investigation countless times, this police victim chose not to press charges because he was scared of the consequences, didn’t want to be victimized further, and just wanted to forget about the incident.  Even when pressured by officious fellow police-officers to aid in an investigation, the police officer was obdurate about pressing charges against his attacker.  Suddenly, his perspective changed from being motivated to put rapists in prison to preserving his own sense of self.  In turn, his buddies at the police station wereunyielding about hassling him about working with investigators to get the rapist off the streets.  They were too helpful to the point of meddlesome in their raped cohort’s healing process.

Do we think of this police officer as careless because he ended up at a strange man’s residence at the end of the night?  Is the guy blamed in our minds because he got himself in that situation?  As a reader do we think differently of a man that chooses not to report this crime than if it were a woman?  This trained officer of the law, wanted to remain reticent about his attack because he found the consequences of letting the rapist go unpunished to be less severe than the consequences of the world knowing how he was raped.  I think it is especially telling that an investigator of rape who knows the system well and has a close support group of experts would choose not to pursue an arrest.  Something is terribly wrong when victims of serious crimes would rather remain laconic than face the scrutiny of “justice.”  Obviously, if this is true, it means the enforcement and judicial systems are equivocal:  Asking that victims come forward, yet giving them implicit signs to keep taciturn. Of course, such an ambiguous message is detrimental.  Who is the system helping if it is not victims of rape?

The worst thing about the attitude towards rape in this country is that it sets rape up to be a natural inclination of men to be avoided by women.  If our society is predispositioned to set rape up as something that women need to take the steps to avoid it removes responsibility from people with a penchant for sexual violence.  It makes female members of the system control the situation without giving them any real authority to do so.  Analyzing a male police officer and rape-prevention and correction specialist is valuable for precluding the deleterious point of view that rape is the victim’s own fault.  We should be looking for ways to amend a flawed system and improve the environment for victims of rape.  Becoming ossified in our views and sticking to what we know is not working.    Ameliorating the problem of rape requires a change of heart for the way we think about the crime (and women) in the U.S.