From Your First Cigarette

When you’re a whore, you’re a whore all the way:

Forcible rape only, no date rape, no marital rape, no Roman-Polanski
style rape. Presumably because a girl or woman in any non-forcible rape
situation would have been “asking for it” anyway. Which leads to
another question–how in the hell would that be enforcable? A woman
would have to provide a police report with her insurance claim? Bart
Stupak isn’t only a misogynist, he’s a piss poor legislator.

Via the Crack Den.

A police report wouldn’t be enough, of course. Give these people that, and they’d ask other questions, draw up other qualifications, make it a booklet-length examination, like the fucking SAT. The woman — no, girl — would have to be young, and religious. She’d have to have never so much as looked at a man before. She’d have to have abstained from any and all drugs and alcohol not just the night she was raped, but for all time. She’d have to have been accosted in broad daylight, surrounded by armed guards, and probably carrying a weapon herself. She’d have to have been tied up, tied down, duct taped to the bed, to the chair, gagged, blindfolded, completely immobilized. She’d have to have been wearing a burka and walking five steps behind her father and five big, heavily muscled brothers.

She’d have to have a clean record. She’d have to have good grades, but not too good. She’d have to have no blemishes, no bruises, shiny hair, but not too shiny, and a pretty face, but not too pretty. It would be better if she didn’t even have her period, it would be better still if she was mute. Blind. Deaf. She’d have to be everything that everybody loves, in order to be the
national poster girl for Quit Fucking Raping Women You Assholes,
because anybody less than completely virtuous doesn’t deserve our
clucking over her on the evening news, doesn’t deserve our
consideration, doesn’t deserve our time.

She’d have to have been born perfect, to pass the little tests these people put up before they have to give a shit. She’d have to find her way past all their little barricades, all the things they throw out their in the road like fleeing villains in a chase movie trying to keep their essential humanity off their tails. She’d have to find a way to satisfy their vision of a perfect victim, because we’ve internalized enough Reaganite bullshit to know that imperfect victims don’t deserve our sainted sympathies. We’ve internalized enough Welfare Queen, Katrina-Victims-Have-Big-TVs media to know that if even one person games the system, then the whole system and everyone it helps is tainted forever and should be thrown out in favor of some Dickensian dystopia of private workhouses run by Holy Mother Church. Moreover, we’ve given in enough to our own fears and our private selfishnesses to know that if we can make up a plausible story in our heads, the myth won’t be busted, and what we used to call conscience will be susceptible to drowning in decent brandy.

I’ve said it before, I’ve said it often: We spend more time hunting around for ways to psychologically excuse ourselves from giving a fuck than we ever actually spend solving any of our problems. If we put our national attention toward doing the job in front of us instead of finding ways to avoid it, we would cure poverty, hunger, famine, pestlience, skinny jeans, anddeath. Instead we’re just trying to find ways to make it okay that we don’t want to do anything, and would rather eat burritos and watch TV. I do it too, in ways large and small: Let somebody else take care of it. Let somebody else worry for a minute. Let somebody else deal with the world. I’m tired. And if I feel guilty about that, well, one easy way around that guilt, that feeling of vague complicity in a culture that says there is no woman who can’t be debased just for the fun of it, is to say fuck it, she shouldn’t have been wearing that dress.

And she shouldn’t have been walking alone, late or too early, and she shouldn’t be at a party without ten friends to watch her drinks, and she shouldn’t be uppity or she’ll need to be brought low, and she shouldn’t get drunk, and she shouldn’t get high, and she shouldn’t shoplift, and she shouldn’t hook, and she shouldn’t have married that asshole anyway, and she shouldn’t have let him come inside, and she shouldn’t be so pretty, and she should be prettier, and she should take a self-defense class, and she should carry mace, and she shouldn’t have screamed, and she should have fought back, and she should have just shut up and liked it, and she should be exactly what I think I would be like, could be like, am like before I can see myself in her, and she should have the decency not to make me think that hard or care that much.

Forcible rape. A police report wouldn’t be enough. There will always be a way around the audacious urge to give a flying fuck.



9 thoughts on “From Your First Cigarette

  1. The vast majority of rapes (something like 85%, according toDavid Lisak’s Rape Fact Sheet) go unreported, mostly because ofexactly the factors you mention — nobody much is a deaf-mute religious virgin who stays indoors in a locked windowless room unless escorted by armed male relatives, has never smoked, sworn, or swived, and has never had an impure thought in her life.
    Further, most rapistsaren’t what these people would define as “forcible” rapists anyway; they prefer to incapacitate or cajole their victims…

  2. Brilliant post.
    I’ve always wondered about the “only in cases of rape or incest” fantasy. First of all, if a cluster of cells is so precious, why is it less precious when it’s the result of a horrible sexual encounter? Are they just too cowardly to come on out and say they don’t really care one way or another about women or children, so they hedge their bets for whichever case seems the most heartrending, hypothetically? And, as you point out, how the hell is a woman supposed to prove rape, outside of a court case, which could take months? Time being of the essence and all.

  3. Sigh. The letter is still scarlet, and To Serve Man is not only a cookbook, it’s what some still believe our other halves are meant for. Knuckle band-aids all around.

  4. I’m still, even after thirty-odd years of these assaults, just plain gobsmacked that we’re talking about something that’slegal, and is a privacy right that’s protected by Supreme Court ruling, and ought not be open to any scrutiny whatsoever under HIPAA, fer gawd’s sake.
    Democracy is no guarantee that sanity will prevail…

  5. Perhaps there could be some sort of requirement that there were witnesses to the rape, although, of course, the there would be a corollary that two female witnesses would be required to counter that of one man, for instance.

  6. I couldn’t find it on the Google but I recall some state-level legislator a couple of years ago distinguishing between “rape-rape” and the rape of a “good Christian girl”. The latter being bad, the former not so much.
    Something is fundamentally broken inside of these people’s brains.
    The rape-deniers are almost always self-professed Über-Xtians. I know that correlation doesn’t equal causation but…

  7. Back before Dennis Miller became a complete right-wing tool, he articulated the best opinion on abortion I’ve ever heard: “One cock, no vote.”

  8. I never did understand why it was taught that men would defend women. It’s rarely true but most especially with conservative men. Stupak is no exception, hell he’s a rapist’s dream in fact. He hates women as much rapists do.

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