Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Something You Don't Really Want To Hear About

I've been watching "Issues," occasionally...or at least, part of it. It's usually half over by the time I get home from work. I have heard Jane Velez Mitchell discuss what she calls "the War on Women." At first, I thought she was exaggerating, but then I remembered "The Handmaid's Tale," a rather chilling little story written years ago by Margaret Atwood. Wikipedia (linked above) says:
The Handmaid's Tale is a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985. Set in the near future, in a totalitarian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid's Tale explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain agency.
Basically, it recounts what happens after war has been declared and women are reduced to illiterate slavery.

Today, I read this, in The Huffington Post. A story about a girl, gang raped and beaten for two hours outside her high school homecoming dance, while people looked on, joined it, and generally sank into bestiality for the nonce. From the article:
"She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other's presence," Lt. Mark Gagan said. "What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it."
They plied her with alcohol first. I guess that made it consensual in the eyes of the dozen or so onlookers who thought it was great entertainment.

What the hell is happening, here?

I'm well past the age where I would normally be at risk for rape (yes, I know...there are sickos out there), and I stay away from dangerous places, but I'll tell you what...if anyone did lay hands on me for such a nefarious purpose he might find himself living to regret it. Maybe not for long.

You have to fight the bastards, and I don't mean slapping and girl-fighting; I mean inflicting the most damage you can. A broken hand is better than being raped, and you have feet, knees, elbows and foreheads as well as hands. They may be stronger, and can take, but you can make them pay.


  1. Ronni- When I lived in Beantown I was attacked one evening and was somehow able to fight the guy off. I bit his hand (pre-AIDS- I would hesitate to do that now), he finally gave up after bystanders started yelling at him and running through traffic to help me. The cops picked him up- I was able to ID him only because of his hand. Long story, he ended up escaping while under what passed for "custody" then (I've always wondered about that, myself); I had to move overnight (losing my $900.00 deposit), and live out-of-town for 2 years. The cops thought he'd gone to Maine, where he had relatives, so eventually I came back (I had really hated the thought that I was being forced to leave a city I, then, still loved so much, because of someone else).

    This new, so much more horrifying case has really brought up a lot of issues and stuff for me. I think back to "my" Good Samaritan witnesses, who all had their own lives to live, but couldn't just let this happen to me. In some cases they stuck around for the paperwork and court testimony, if need be. I was so thankful- it wasn't "just" my word here, but theirs, too. Case was eventually dropped (time passes, and attempted rapes and rapes are really, really low on the scale there- they happen all the time in Boston- new college freshmen, er, fresh meat, every year), but I was told he went away for a slew of other assaults and rapes.

    These young people who watched and, if what we hear is true, encouraged what happened- I'm having a hard time regarding them as members of my species today.

    You're so right about fighting back, what the guy who attacked me didn't know is I'd once before been attacked, so I was ready and able to react (you freeze up the first time- at least I did). I turned into a gibbering animal, all flailing arms and legs and snapping mouth. He had a small knife, which oddly, did not intimidate me at all- I don't know what I'd have done if faced with a gun. If there's no gun involved you have to fight, fight, fight. It was winter, I was wearing a heavy quilt tundra jacket, and I knew his dinky knife wouldn't be able to do much through it. After that I carried police mace all the time. You needed a firearms permit for that in Mass. back then. I would suggest strongly that any female carry AT LEAST mace (pepper spray doesn't always stop 'em), day or night, if she doesn't care to go about fully armed. Colleges and universities should have MUGGING SCHOOL for incoming freshmen Orientation Week- a fake mugging will prepare them for what's to come! I am not actually kidding, either.

    BTW, my broken leg, which you predicted might cost $15 thou- HAH! $17,200+ and counting! I still have one more cast and films to do, and no income since I'm PT in South Carolina. Work is carrying my insurance for first 90 days, so its imperative I do not screw healing all up.

    Sorry for this long post- too much TV (yup- "Issues", etc!) but women have to know what they are really up against.

  2. I posted this on another blog, but I will post it here too: After this horrible gang rape that happened a few days ago (not the first, I can only pray it will be the last) all I could think about was why women didn't go out in the street with signs and candles and chants and shouting "we are mad as hell and we are not going to take it any more"! I watched "Milk", the movie about Harvey Milk who fought so hard for equal rights for gays, for people of color, for disabled, against any gender bias. He inspired equal-rights riots, the Vietnam war type protests. That's what women need to do. If those friggin' Republican nuts can organize their stupid selves to protest the smartest president we've had in decades, why can't women finally get together and get outraged about the violence that happens to us everyday, every where, at all ages, even to our children!