Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Because this is Important

(and I'm too tired to write a real post)

Melissa's had some great - but heart-wrenching - posts lately about rape and how it's normalized through humor. In her most recent post on the subject she responds in the comments to someone who makes the tired old argument that:

If I were wasted and walked down a city street with $100 bills sticking out all of my pockets, then got jumped you’d call me, at the least, irresponsible wouldn’t you?

Having responded to such arguments at face value before, without really examining how false the core of the argument is, I want to highlight the Melissa's fantastic reply, which boils down to:

Relying on the “guy getting mugged” comparison tells us two things, however. One: It shows how deeply ingrained the notion of women’s bodies as property is. Comparing a woman’s genitals to a $100 bill visibly dangling out of a man’s pocket is laughable in both practical and intrinsic ways, and yet the association was cited with not a hint of awareness at its patent absurdity. Two: It illustrates how far removed you are from the real threat of rape. Invoking a mugging is evidently the closest thing you can imagine to being forcibly subjected to an assault on one’s sex organs. That must be a lovely world in which to live.

I will be stealing that the next time I get into that argument with someone.


Melissa McEwan said...

Thanks very much for the kind words, Mickle!

Mickle said...

You are very welcome. And you deserve lots and lots of them.