Monday, May 08, 2006

Why Feminism? (Part 13)

Rape is a Weapon

The feminism I found in college gave me strength, confidence and courage. It started to reassure me that I was not crazy, and teach me that my experiences were part of something larger.

However, it is the more radical feminism that I've found in the blogosphere over the past few years that has helped me really put the pieces altogether.

When Twisty writes about soft porn images of pre-teen girls, and people's justification for it, I'm not only reminded that I was not being paranoid after all, I begin to understand a bit more about why everyone else around me reacted the way they did. Only in a society in which female=sex could people react to my pain and the injustice being done to these girls in the way that far too many people do.

When commenters at Pandagon discuss rape, and argue over whether rapists are always consciously out to hurt their victims or not, and whether radical feminism hinges on understanding the motivations of the attacker, having empathy for the victim, or both, the light bulb goes off in my head. The idea that I was wronged twice, first by my brother, and then by my parents for not understanding that all this was something done to me - not just something that he did - becomes that much clearer. Understanding the usual motivations for these kinds of crimes also makes his anger at me afterwards make so much more sense.

When women post pictures and stories at HollabackNYC, I know I'm not a crazy bitch for never believing that catcalls are complimentary. I know I'm not crazy for automatically knowing that invading my privacy in order to stare at my naked body is the single most insulting thing my brother has ever done to me. And that the whole question of possible incest is the least of what was wrong about what he did. Which makes it that much easier to see though Volokh's (and other's) bullshit.

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