Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Rape Culture: Who's Ready For A Fucking Fight?



As I was writing my third article for the UJ badasses, a formative thing happened. My husband, Mr. Zarrah Jane (ZJ), came home from work and said, “Boy, do I have a story for you.” In the moments that followed, my half-finished article took an immediate backseat to the story he shared with me. I am sharing his story with you now.

Mr. ZJ works in a male-dominated field that has little contact with customers, so his co-workers are free to be as crass and open with their masculinity as they please. One of his co-workers asked Mr. ZJ a simple question, “So, have you heard about the Stanford rape case?” (Mr. ZJ has been loosely following the case because I follow it. Usually he spends his downtime at home researching his hobbies, such as motorcycles, cars and boats. Man stuff. I regularly bring up issues, such as the Stanford case because it brings some spirited conversation into our evenings. It’s also interesting to hear his perspective on women's issues because Mr. ZJ is pretty damn smart.) His douche-nozzle co-worker proceeded to voice his opinions to Mr. ZJ regarding the case. 



Janes, I present you a phenomenal list of his colleague's best talking points:
  • Why was the alleged victim in an unfamiliar place to begin with, especially without her cell phone?
  •  She can’t be a victim, because she put herself in that position by getting black-out drunk.
  • If she can’t remember the attack, then who’s to say that it even happened?
  • What is the big deal if she doesn’t remember the attack? She could just go about her life like it never happened.
  • And the crème de la crème - If she got this guy all worked up, what did she expect to happen?
There you have it. I couldn't concoct a more poignant example of the rape culture in our country, which is very much alive and well. I live in Seattle, one of the most liberal cities in the United States, and yet there are still motherfuckers in this city spreading this antiquated view of rape. Not only were some of his facts just plain wrong, but this shitbag never even considered blaming the perpetrator. Every time Mr. ZJ presented an alternate view to his co-worker, such as “She was unconscious” or “The attack was witnessed by two dudes who held the attacker until the police showed up,” he was met with disinterest or rebuttals. In Mr. ZJ’s words, “ I couldn’t fucking believe what I was hearing.”

For those of you who haven’t read the victim’s statement at Brock Turner’s sentencing, please click here and read it now. As I read her words, my heart broke for her – NO ONE should have to experience what she went through. Please encourage everyone you know to read her statement, because we have a lot of fucking work to do to change the rape culture that permeates our society.

And the Janes can’t do it alone; we need our men to stand with us. In that moment of talking with Mr. ZJ in our living room, I couldn’t have been more proud to call him my husband. He gets it. He has no problem challenging fucked-up thinking, even when it may not be the popular opinion among his peers. We need more men like my husband and more men like the male graduate students who put a stop to this woman’s personal hell on that dark night behind a dumpster. We need more men who don’t view a woman’s “slutty” clothing or drunkenness as an invitation to assault her because she was “asking for it.”

My sleeves are officially rolled up.

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