Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Great Leap Sideways

"The time I’ve lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing
The light that lies
In woman’s eyes,
Has been my heart’s undoing.
Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
I scorned the lore she brought me,
My only books
Were woman’s looks,
And folly’s all they’ve taught me."

 - Thomas Moore  (1779–1852), The time I’ve lost in wooing

You know how people keep saying we have to have The Conversation? Mostly about race, but sometimes about beating women down or posting their naked pictures on the internets if they speak up. So bring it, boys. Oh, wait. You already have: every two minutes in America.

Assuming I had naked pictures, and that I was dumb enough to upload them to the cloud, posting my naked pictures would bring that trend to the kind of halt a schoolbus full of orphans would make being rammed into a bridge abutment at 90 miles per hour by an 18-wheeler with “Grim Reaper” spray-painted on the side.

My own story of sexual assault is actually three, including one about which I cannot speak and therefore about which I shall remain silent.

There was the time a neighbor fixed me up with her brother, a cop from Riverside, who took me to a cheap dinner and then called me a cunt because I wouldn’t fuck him in the front seat of his muscle car. He dropped me off at his sister’s house before peeling out to accurately demonstrate the actual size of his penis. She was babysitting for my toddler, who I then had to carry two blocks home in her sleep.

One out of five women are likely to be raped, gentlemen. Some would say the rape epidemic is a fiction. I couldn’t agree more that it would be nice if fewer women were being assaulted today than yesterday.

As to Mr. Number Two, I’m quite sure he is limping around right now trying to remember where he got that scar next to his penis. Or maybe he’s dead because some other woman managed to actually hit his femoral artery with her metal nail file – what I was going for when he hit me so hard on the side of the head that I saw stars. At least I drew more blood than he did: a victory of sorts. And I didn’t get raped that night either, although I had to pay a cab because it was too far to walk home.

In both cases, I was a full grown woman, and I was wearing lipstick. In retrospect, I was probably was asking for it because I had, you know, a pulse.

But here’s where I want to depart from the hegemonic discourse about how great things are going, and leap sideways. I submit that… wait for it….  it would be even better if women didn’t get assaulted at all. No kidding. Even better: how about if women didn’t always have to worry about being disrespected, raped, assaulted, paid less, and knocked out in elevators?

More importantly: it’s not women’s looks that are the problem here. It’s the aggressor who is at fault. If women’s looks are your only books, you’re fools. Time to wise up.

So because men no longer find me rapable – because I’m old enough to join AARP and because my dress size is two digits – I feel safe going on record and saying if good men don’t stand up on the side of good women, we’re headed down that slippery slope that leads to covering our heads and FGM and honor killings here in this land of the free and home of the brave dickheads who call ladies cunts.

No comments: