Monday, June 4, 2018

The Eating of the Crow

One of the very best things about having my own blog is being able to speak my mind without having anyone there to temper my words.

One of the very worst things about having my own blog is being able to speak my mind without having anyone there to temper my words.
Fresh Catch
I stand by all the things I said in my post yesterday, but I failed to look beyond my anger and see other sides of what is a many-faceted problem that needs more discussion than I could handle in elebenty bajillion posts.

I left out some things, and glossed over some others.

Let me say this first of all:

Falsely accusing someone of rape is just as vile as raping someone.

Both of these actions destroy lives, and I'm just pretty much generally against destroying anyone's life.

I shouldn't have gendered my post. Men are victims, too. Current statistics say it's as many as 1 in 6 men have been sexually harassed, abused, assaulted or raped. It's also an incredibly UNDER reported crime, just as rape against women is.

And none of that takes into account the abuse that the trans community receives.

So, no, it's not just women. And all of it is abhorrent.

Secondly, I didn't give nearly enough thought or words to those falsely accused. It happens, and it's probably happening more and more now that the "me, too" movement has taken off and people like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein are paying for their crimes.

When I was saying it wasn't a witch hunt, what I meant and didn't articulate at all, was that when it's he says vs. she says and she says and she says and she says a dozen times over, there's a pretty damn good chance the accusations are true.
I much prefer steak.
When it's he says vs she says, with no other accusers or witnesses or proof, what should we do? Who is to be believed?

I don't know. I really don't.

When trying to compare the viciousness of the crimes in my head, it's difficult for me. Rapist? Lock them away forever. False accusers? Yeah, lock them away, too.

There are unquestionably different degrees of sexual harassment, assault and rape, though. There's the 18 year old dating the 17 year old that gets locked up for statutory rape and ends up having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. His life is ruined, and I think, hope, that we can all agree that is wrong. There are violent rapists who deserve to burn not just in the pits of hell, but in a pit of our own making here on earth because fuck them and fuck showing them mercy.

Are there different degrees to those who make false accusations? This isn't nearly as clear to me because I can only see someone who would do that to another person as pure unfiltered evil. Not only are they destroying an innocent man's life (and I'm using genders here because I've never heard a case of a man falsely accusing women but I'm sure it's happened), but they are also destroying the credibility of women people who are real victims. They are making it much more difficult for those real victims to come forward.

It's worth talking about, isn't it? Calm, rational discussion rather than my angry blog post from last night? I should have spoken to those women privately, one on one. I have had a conversation with one of them today who read my post, the one who made the witch hunt comment. We're both on the same side. I made unwarranted assumptions regarding the basis of her comment.

I was wrong.

Simple as that, given context, I was absolutely wrong.
Maybe a nice salad?
Turns out that she has a friend who was falsely accused and lost everything - job, wife, reputation, everything, and you can't get that back. The accuser finally admitted she made it all up. This gentleman was accused and convicted without the benefit of a trial. The clock couldn't be turned back, the damage couldn't be undone.

That is terrifying. It's absolutely terrifying that that can happen. I have no idea what the woman's reasoning was, but does it really matter? She absolutely destroyed him with lies.

This can't happen, for all our sake. For the men who are ruined and for the people who are true victims of sexual crimes that are afraid to speak out.

Our justice system is fucked. We do not hand out punishments that fit the crimes, from murderers who get a slap on the wrist to some dumb kid smoking a joint in his car that ends up in prison for three years and a felony on his record forever. Ethan Couch. Alice Marie Johnson. Countless others that the justice system utterly fucked the fuck up on.

So what do we do?

We keep talking. We keep being civil to each other. Oh, and just as important, if not more important, is listening. We have to hear each other.

And for the record, I'm guilty, too. In my younger, drunker, stupider years, I know I grabbed a few asses in bars absolutely without consent. It never once entered my mind that what I was doing was wrong. We're conditioned to believe that men enjoy it.

With the benefit of age, I know now that what I did was wrong. Absolutely wrong. Being young, drunk and female is no excuse. I've had the opportunity to apologize to one of the men because he was, and has remained, a friend over the last quarter of a century. The others... I barely remember them, didn't know them, so let this be a blanket apology to ALL men who've been on the flip side of the coin and had some sloppy drunk chick paw on them in a bar.
Eh, what the hell... I'll go all in.
And that's why we have to keep having these conversations. Yes, parents need to teach their boys about consent and all that it entails, but they also need to be teaching their girls as well. Consent - giving it and receiving it. It needs to be a gender-fluid discussion. Men, women, and every possible identity in between.

I'm still learning, folks, and I hope you are as well. I made a mistake based on assumptions. Hell, I've clearly made lots of mistakes based on assumptions. Crow is something I've learned to swallow. It's never pleasant, but is always necessary.

But no matter what, let's keep having the conversation, okay?

A word of warning, though... I'm probably not done with this topic. I didn't even touch on the sloppy drunken bad sex that happens in college where women wake up with regrets and decide they were raped. Campus rape is a real problem, but so are bad decisions and binge drinking. If a drunk woman is incapable of giving consent, a drunk man is equally incapable. Put those two together and it's a recipe for disaster.

99.5% of the people I've encountered in my 48 years have been wonderful, thoughtful, caring, kind people. The true evil ones, thankfully, have been few and far between. I believe most people are basically good, if misguided... and I include myself in that sometimes.

You'd think I'd have learned by now that sometimes words come from people's mouths without the intent to cause harm, considering I do it myself so often. Let my mistakes be a lesson... and remind me when I spew things without thought, that there are multiple sides to every story. I'm not unreasonable... just passionate.

Perhaps too passionate at times. 🌝

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Slut Shaming & Victim Blaming

I haven't done one of these posts for a while. Lately it's all been about sex and Second Life and I haven't touched so much on real world topics.

But I need to get this off my chest.
Last weekend I was in a club, dancing, having a good time when the topic of conversation took a turn. The DJ made a joke about something, I think maybe the claims against Morgan Freeman but I'm not sure. I was only half paying attention.

But then one of the women chimed in about how sick she is of the Me, Too movement. And then another chimed in, agreeing with her, and then another.
I had to leave before I got in a very heated argument with them. It wasn't the time or place, but...


No. Just fucking no.

I'm (mostly) sexually submissive, yes. I do think men and women are different, yes.

I'm also a fucking feminist and have been around the block several fucking times. Maybe they're just young and haven't been in that position before. Guess what? I have. Many fucking times growing up. Once I hit puberty and got tits, a lot of men decided they were, literally, up for grabs.
I mean, I understand WHY they wanted to grab them, but...
I came of age in the 80s. My body matured young... when I was 12, I could easily pass for 18. That got me in some situations beyond my control, but let's look beyond that.

I was 16 when I got my first job. I was working part time after school in a store owned by a friend of my dad's. This friend, my boss, used to come up behind me when I was standing at the counter and grind against me. When we'd close the store at night, he'd say things like "why don't you come home with me and we'll take a bath together?" I'd laugh awkwardly, as a 16 year old does, and jump in my car to get away from something that I knew was wrong... but didn't really understand what and why.

These things weren't talked about then. Date rape was something that was just beginning to be a thing. Oh, and, yes, I did have a date with a guy I'd had a crush on for years that took me parking, put the keys down his pants and tried to shove his entire fist in my pussy. Did I say no? Well, I moved his hand quite a few times when his fingers were creeping towards me and tried to keep my thighs clamped shut. But I was shy. And I was alone with him out in the woods. And I didn't fucking know what I was supposed to do, so I eventually stopped fighting it and took it.
Is that consent? No, it really fucking isn't. He didn't manage to get his fist inside me... hell, I hadn't even had a dick inside me at that point, but he certainly left some damage. I didn't realize how much until I got home and realized my panties were soaked in blood.

(Karma's a bitch... a couple years later his miserable ass got drunk and thought it'd be funny to play Russian roulette. He lost and I got the chance to spit on his grave.)

Was that the last time? To that extent, yes, but there have been dozens and dozens of times over the years where men have grabbed my ass in a bar, or a date kept getting handsy even after I'd swatted his hands away over and over. Dozens of times when men didn't take no for an answer until I had to say something along the lines of "Jesus fucking Christ, what the fuck is wrong with you?"

Was I raped? No... but as you can see from the two stories above, I was certainly sexually assaulted.

Did you know I lived and worked in Hollywood during the years Harvey Weinstein was at the top of his game? I did. I was old enough by then to not take shit from men, but I knew a lot of young actresses trying to get a fair shot at having a career.
I could tell stories and I could name names, and they would be names you know. These women didn't keep quiet about it then... they told their friends, their agents, whoever was around. We'd get together and have drinks and the stories would come out. "Oh my god... he did that same thing to me!" was something I'd often hear. I could tell you some shit. Some names wouldn't shock you, but I bet I know a couple that would.

These women who are coming forward now with their accusations about men in Hollywood aren't lying, folks. They've been coming forward forever but it wasn't until Ronan Farrow, a man, wrote an expose that anyone listened. That anyone fucking cared. I'm thankful to Ronan, but god damn... why did it take until a man wrote about it for anyone to take it seriously and do something?
Any woman who says she's never been in that type of situation with a man is either lying, or grew up incredibly sheltered. You feel powerless. Confused. Angry. Hopeless.

And it's not even a case of thinking no one would believe you if you told your story... it's that no one cared. Everyone in Hollywood knows it's happening and everyone for decades has just turned their heads and looked the other way. The women all knew that if they went to the police, it would be their word against his. His powerful lawyers against the barely-passed-the-bar ambulance chaser that's all they can afford. They were all told by women older and wiser to keep their mouths shut if they wanted a career in Hollywood. Their agents, publicists, managers... all told them to hush their pretty little mouths.

And now they aren't, and these imbecilic men are being held accountable for their reprehensible, inexcusable actions, finally. Fucking finally.

And that shit is going to trickle down. From Hollywood, to Washington, to your neighborhood store. Men are going to learn that, no, they don't have the right to any woman's body. We aren't just "things" that men can use as they see fit.
And then I hear these women... women... making excuses for these men. Blaming the victims. "They knew what they were getting into."

Oh for fuck's sake! Haven't we moved beyond that? The whole "she was asking for it", "she shouldn't have dressed that way" bullshit? Just when I think we're making some damn progress, I realize there are still women... not men, no, they were wisely keeping their mouths shut... but women who are perpetuating this fallacy that a victim is in any way responsible for what happened to her, and it fucking infuriates me.

These are actual quotes from women:

"to be honest I getting a bit sick of the "me too" crap... Most knew exactly what they got into before it happened.. but now they all jumping... best sentence "I coundnt do anything against it while I was a nobody, but now im mighty!" just lol.. she just got to this exactly bcuz of IT"

"ffs...guys are afraid to get on an elevator alone with a woman or tell  her she looks good much less flirt!!! omg they'll get sue for that!  zup wit dis chit?"

"but its a bad topic for a party ^^ lets drop it *smiles* lets be happy that we arent millionaire "bitches" who need publicity ^^"

"while that's true, I'm seeing a "witch-hunt" develop. Where people just need to point an accusing finger and someone looses all their work and gets sentenced without a fair trial"

What in every hell is wrong with these women?
Regarding quote number one, no, they really fucking couldn't do anything about it when they were nobodies. These men have dozens of lawyers at their disposal and on retainer. These women at the time could barely afford food and/or rent. She got powerful because she was sexually assaulted and that's supposed to be okay? No, it fucking isn't. In order to pursue the career path they'd chosen, that they had every single fucking right to pursue, they had to put up with being treated less than human, like fucking fleshlights. Fuck every single thing about that.

The second quote, that's just ridiculous fucking hyperbole unworthy of comment beyond that... except for maybe learn some basic grammar and spelling.
Third, these "millionaire bitches" don't need the publicity. What they need is for men to stop acting like horse's asses, and to stop holding their careers for ransom to be paid by being a limp rag doll that they can paw and hump and drool all over.

Fourth, it's not a fucking witch hunt. When woman after woman after woman comes forward with the same damn story, when a fucking pattern develops, it's not a god damn witch hunt. These men  have teams of lawyers, publicists, agents, and private investigators that they use to destroy these women. To absolutely obliterate them. Blacklist them. Ruin their reputations. They spend millions on this shit.

No young actress in Hollywood has those millions to blow to go against these men. That's why it's so important that they come forward with their stories so they can band together and use the truth to take down these men.

Is every accuser telling the truth? Certainly not, and I strongly believe thay anyone who makes false accusations should pay a harsh price because every time a woman lies, it makes it harder for another woman to be believed.
Outtakes... Flamingo photo-bomb
I'm just sick to death of it, y'all. 

Enough is enough. Ladies, stop embarrassing me with your backwards 1950s repressed Stepford wife bullshit.

I'm pretty fucking pissed at myself over it, too. No, maybe it wasn't the right time or place for me to school them but I really should have anyway. I have immense respect for the gentleman who owns the club; he was AFK and unaware of the discussion happening. I didn't want to want to make a scene so I... I just left. How should I have best handled it? Maybe a conference chat between the four of us? Individual IMs to each one? Educated them in local? You see, there is still a stigma about speaking up. I didn't want to be that harpy.

But these are serious issues that have been facing women since cavemen dragged their women around by the hair. It gets better little by little. Two steps forward, one step back. I feel like we're on the cusp of breakthrough, though... even with the pussy-grabber in chief sitting in the Oval Office.

Anyway, ladies... yeah, don't do what those other women did and blame the victim. If it ends up not being true, like in the Duke case, yeah, throw her to the damn wolves... but for every liar, there are hundreds, if not thousands, that are telling the truth.

And more importantly, no woman ever deserves to be assaulted or raped. It doesn't matter that she went alone to his hotel room (a suite in these cases) for a business meeting, it doesn't matter what she's wearing, it doesn't matter what her chosen occupation is (even prostitutes).

The only person to blame is the person doing the assaulting, the raping... the pussy-grabbing and tit-mauling, groping, drooling oafs that can't fucking control themselves in the presence of women.

Blame the rapist, not the raped. It's not that hard.

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