Sometimes I Am Rage, Sometimes I Am Grace 2: Faith, Hope and @BoxerGifts Rape ASBO’s

(This dude is apparently a journalist…a man who clearly knows how to do better feminism whilst at the same time trashing the woman…)

Because a woman speaks and therefore ‘shut-the-fuck-up’ is the knee jerk response…

And then of course there are the comments left by ‘Dawn-possibly-Thomas’… and although I deleted them immediately, there were a few rather more traditional ‘calling a woman cunt/bitch/whore’ comments (although they did at least call me a Christian cunt/bitch/whore, so I suppose I should be flattered that they recognised me as a woman of faith).

It occurred to me quite quickly that if these fake ASBO’s were truly harmless; if they weren’t in fact products of a mind which can make light of, excuse and joke about rape; if they really were just some silly thing over which I were wasting my time..

Why go to all the trouble of trying to shut me up? Why put me down, why patronise and belittle me? 

Now, I know that as far as actual abuse online goes, the above is nothing: I may be a woman, but I am protected by my cis-gender and my whiteness, and what I have experienced is nothing compared to many cis and trans*gender women of colour.

Nevertheless it is interesting to me the efforts these men will make to shut a woman up for something over which I am – apparently – wasting my time.

The petition – because even if Boxer Gifts/Silly Prezzies/’Dawn-possibly-Thomas’ doesn’t withdraw that bloody ASBO from sale, I’m not going to shut up. Not now. Not ever.

Rape Myths and Rape Culture – Yes, I Am Still Talking About That @BoxerGifts ASBO…

Of course I am still talking about that ASBO, and I am talking about it doesn’t just trivialise rape but because it perpetuates the myths that help to feed rape culture.  And honestly, it’s obvious – from the wearing short skirts mean you are asking for it myth, to the myths about being drunk whilst being raped – it doesn’t take a genius to see how this awful ‘gift’ makes light of every trope that makes it appallingly difficult for those who are raped or abused to be believed.

And that’s before you get to the supposedly ‘light hearted’ stoning – because that’s not even a little bit racist is it? Honestly, anyone who thinks I have ‘too much time on my hands’: how is this (TW/CN) meant to be funny?

To be honest, being white and cis-gendered means that I haven’t faced any serious abuse talking about this – those privileges protect me, and I am not blind to that. But let’s also get something clear: I am not some over-wrought emotional harridan making a fuss about some harmless bit of paper. What I am angry, really truly white-hot angry about, is that we live in a culture that finds it acceptable to perpetuate the oppressions that say that this is acceptable.

I am angry at the homophobic, transphobic, racist gender norms where ‘feminine = submissive, woman = property’ that are so ingrained in us that seemingly perfectly normal people can excuse this sort of thing and can shrug it off without a thought as ‘it’s just a joke’, and mock those who challenge it as though their failure to see the problem is our fault.

The myths might be the product of an interwoven web of oppression, and made up of myriad parts, but as the lovely Zanna commented ‘we fight them on the scale of possibility.

I don’t have a hammer to smash the whole rotten structure down – but I can fight this. And whatever comes next.