Dying should not be a side effect of ‘sex’

Francisca Marquinez is only one of far too many women killed on account of men’s sexual desires.

Francisca Marquinez

Who was Francisca Marquinez? What we can garner from the evidence is that she was choked to death in October 2015. Beyond that, we know little about who she was.

The overwhelming theme of the messages I found through the online condolences book her family set up for her tell the story of a kind and caring woman. Marquinez was “a fun, outgoing and genuine person with positive energy.” She had an “infectious laugh and a beautiful spirit.” She worked for many years in the Human Resources sector and liked to dance merengue and salsa. Her niece Carla says her aunt was “a woman whose happiness shone through.” Yet no news outlet discussed the 60-year-old woman’s personality or life. The media was far more interested in talking about her murderer’s penis.

Marquinez was murdered by her boyfriend, 65-year-old Richard Henry Patterson, in Margate, Florida. Patterson was charged with second-degree murder in October 2015, but was found not guilty in May 2017. The ruling happened almost a year ago and yet there is still far more information available online about Patterson’s genitals than about the woman whose life he took.

The attorney for the accused argued that Marquinez had “accidentally” choked on Patterson’s penis during consensual oral sex. But in all likelihood, this murder was far more gruesome and far less titillating than it was portrayed. The case was referred to in the media as the “penis defense murder trial.” Instead of referring to an “asphyxiation defense” or the “suffocation defense,” the Sun Sentinel called it an “oral-sex defense,” thereby providing legitimacy to an implausible claim.

For Patterson’s defense to be plausible, Marquinez would have had to not realize her death was imminent. Associate Broward Medical Examiner Iouri Boiko, who conducted Marquinez’ autopsy, said that although it was not possible to confirm a cause of death due to the decomposition of the body when it was found by police, it is impossible for it to have been an accidental oral sex scenario. Marquinez would have had to remain absolutely passive while her airways were blocked for more than 30 seconds, until she lost consciousness. In reality, Boiko says, she would have kicked, bitten, or done something else to prevent the blocking of her airway, he explained in court. “It’s the normal reaction.” Even after those fatal 30 seconds, Patterson would have had to keep his erect penis blocking the throat of the unconscious woman for two to three minutes. Only then, after this ongoing blockage of her airway, would Marquinez have finally died.

Patterson waited several days before informing anyone of Marquinez’ death, allowing time for her body to decompose beyond the point where an autopsy could reveal causes of death. Eventually, he called his ex-girlfriend (not the police or an ambulance). During the trial, the jury was presented with a recording in which his ex-girlfriend asked, “Were you arguing?” Patterson replied, “Holly, it doesn’t matter what happened. I’m not telling you what happened because you don’t need to know. Period.” He texted his daughter, saying, “Your dad did something really bad last night,” and that he was “so, so sorry.” He also told his ex and daughter, “I choked Francisca (not, “she choked”). Because Patterson didn’t contact the police, it was his ex-girlfriend who decided to contact a lawyer to defend him in the inevitable trial that would ensue. All reasonable evidence incriminating Patterson was considered less relevant than the star of the trial: his penis.

Due to Patterson’s claim that the size of his penis was a factor in Marquinez’ death, he asked the court to view it as evidence. Assistant state attorney Peter Sapak considered this, asking: “Do we do it in the back? Do we do it in open court? How is the defendant going to be erect when the jury views it? Because a flaccid penis, whether it be a picture or the jury actually seeing it, is completely irrelevant. It needs to be erect.” Patterson’s defense said they were willing to provide a picture of his clients penis next to a tape measure and a frontal picture of Patterson’s naked body.

Patterson’s penis — not the fact that he killed a woman — was the big news story. The media framed the case in a way that would ensure the public read it as funny and titillating. “Massive penis man who claimed his girlfriend choked to death during oral sex is dramatically found NOT GUILTY of murder,” read one headline. Another read, “Murder suspect tries big-penis defense — and it might work.” This narrative — that a woman had consented to her own death — was believed by the media because it confirmed what we’re constantly told: that women enjoy and seek out the violence perpetrated against us, that sex and violence are interchangeable, and that no femicide is so cruel or harrowing that it is above being considered “consensual sex.”

To imagine that Francisca Marquinez likely fought for her life, as a man — someone she once loved — used his penis as a murder weapon is heartbreaking. Those 30 seconds when she was aware that she was going to die must have been terrifying. Why would a jury acquit a man of such a gruesome femicide? The answer to this question lies in porn culture.

In porn culture, there is no form of violence against women that patriarchy does not legitimize as a “kink.” In porn culture, causing harm to women is not only presented as arousing, but also as desired by women. A 25 billion dollar industry is not marginal — it represents that which permeates our culture’s sexual psyche. Even if we don’t personally consume pornography, the men we have sex with often do, meaning the sex we have is still shaped by porn, as is society’s understanding of gender roles in sex, more broadly.

Maree Crabbe, the coordinator of a violence prevention program called, “Reality & Risk: Pornography, young people, and sexuality,” writes in The Guardian,“Even if we don’t watch it ourselves, porn demands our attention because its prevalence, the nature of its content, and its impact make it a cultural influence we can’t afford to ignore.”

In porn, women are paid to pretend they genuinely enjoy whatever is done to them, even if they are in pain… Or perhaps, precisely because they are in pain. Porn performer Anthony Hardwood explained to Crabbe why the shift towards more aggression has come to dominate the industry and that there is financial incentive to sustain this trend:

“[The directors] wanted to get more energy, more rough. It’s like we want to kill the girl on set. You know, the customers love it. They buy the movies. They want the scene like this. You have to be very rough with the girl.”

A comprehensive study on pornography, published in 2010, found:

“Of the 304 scenes analyzed, 88.2 per cent contained physical aggression, principally spanking, gagging, and slapping, while 48.7 per cent of scenes contained verbal aggression, primarily name-calling. Perpetrators of aggression were usually male, whereas targets of aggression were overwhelmingly female. Targets most often showed pleasure or responded neutrally to the aggression.”

When porn is selling this violence and aggression as “sexy,” and the idea that women enjoy this torture, what impact does that have on society? If porn directors and male performers are degrading and abusing women on set, what makes us think viewers won’t emulate this behaviour?

Contrary to ideas popularized by liberal feminism (for example, that “consent” justifies everything and that all activities related to “sex” are potentially “empowering”), we cannot glamorize violence against women as “a sexy kink” on one hand, then act horrified when society follows suit. As Meghan Murphy writes, “No progressive person today would argue, for example, that if a black person ‘consents’ to slavery, slavery can be empowering or liberating.” Yet when it comes to women, no violent act is too repulsive, degrading, or vicious to be considered inexcusable, so long as there is “consent.”

“The last thing these two adults did together was oral sex. He thought that’s how she died,” Patterson’s lawyer said during the trial. “The humiliation of having to tell people was just too much for him.” In other words, a man who, during his trial, focused on trying to show his genitals to a jury, and used his alleged “big penis” as a defense against a murder charge, wanted this jury to believe he was too shy to call an ambulance or the police while Marquinez lay dying. And they believed him.

Tragically, this is not the first time that a jury has found it plausible for women to “consent” to being murdered in the name of sex.

In 2015, a 49-year-old man said that his 91-year-old neighbour had suffocated during a “sex game” in Porto, Portugal. His semen was found on her body and it was revealed in the autopsy that the woman had died from asphyxia. The woman’s body had “extensive genital injuries,” but the local newspaper called the woman’s death “a tragic accident.”

In 2011, Cindy Gladue, an Indigenous mother of three daughters, was murdered by a john who stabbed her in her vaginal canal, leaving a perforation that was more than 11 centimeters long. She did not die immediately. Gladue was placed in a bathtub where she bled to death after hours of agony. Her murderer, Bradley Barton, was found not guilty of first-degree murder in a trial wherein Gladue’s disjointed pelvis was physically shown to the jury. The jury preferred to believe that the fact she was a prostituted woman somehow justified her death and that being stabbed in the vagina could be “an accident” following “consensual sex.”

During the trial, it was revealed that Barton’s search history included pornography that sexualized violence against women. The judge described finding pornography depicting  “gaping vaginas and extreme penetration and torture,” but this evidence was not permitted in court because it was obtained unlawfully by the police. During trial, Barton’s defense argued that even though Gladue must have gone through “an awful final hour of her life,” the jury should not let that gruesome factor “poison” them against Barton. The jury agreed.

The harm caused when we glamorize and sexualize violence committed against women is serious. If there ever was a line separating violence against women on porn sets and violence against women off set, misogynist men are effectively erasing it.

Recently, porn actress Nikki Benz filed a suit alleging she was abused on set. While she had consented to working with a co-star, Ramon Nomar, on a particular shoot, the director, Tony T.  inserted himself in the scenes, as if he were an actor, participating in abusing Benz. She said she called “cut” several times, but was ignored, as Tony T. said to her, “Open your eyes bitch… Open your fucking eyes.” Water was poured on the walls and floor in order to cover up her blood. Benz’ suit explains: “[Tony T.] would film with one hand and choke Benz with the other hand. Nomar stomped on Benz’s head. Between Tony T. and Nomar, Benz was hit, slapped, choked, and thrown on the ground and against the wall.”

Benz is not alone in her experience. Porn performer Leigh Raven documented the abuse she experienced on set in March. And while we need to stop this abuse, we also need to address the broader impact of this imagery. Murphy writes:

“When the industry is creating porn specifically to show women being punished, women in pain from various sex positions or from being throat-fucked, women crying and vomiting from blow jobs, and women being demeaned verbally, in explicitly misogynist ways, it doesn’t only matter what is happening on set. It also matters that men around the world are masturbating to these scenes, these ideas, these words, and these images.”

We live in a world wherein the sexual desires of men are considered more important than the lives of women and girls. It will take decades to untangle and repair the damage that has been done to countless women and girls whose pain has been rebranded as pleasure and as harmless “kink.” But if we are the ones being humiliated, hurt, and tortured, whose kink is it? Whose pleasure is being entertained?

Amidst the salacious details, I’m haunted by the everlasting pain that remains with the families of these woman. While judges and juries let men off the hook for murdering women through so-called “consensual” sex acts, the families of these victims are left with a grim reality.

In the Chicago Tribune, Sharon Cohen writes:

“For more than four months, Ronggao Zhang has walked to his missing daughter’s apartment almost every day. At first, he stood outside, hoping she would show up one afternoon. But even after he was told she’d been kidnapped and was presumed dead, he’s continued his routine. ‘It brings peace and comfort to my heart,’ Zhang explained in Mandarin, through a translator.”

Zhang’s daughter is Yingying Zhang, a Chinese visiting scholar at the University of Illinous at Urbana-Champaign who was kidnapped and is believed to have been murdered by fellow student, Brendt Christensen. He has been charged with kidnapping resulting in death “in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner, in that it involved torture or serious physical abuse to the victim.” Christensen’s internet history showed that he searched “the perfect abduction fantasy” and “planning a kidnapping” on fetish sites.

For those who believe violence against women is legitimate fantasy or consensual role play, “accidental” death could be perceived as a fetish gone wrong. But to the family of every one of these women, it is a trauma that will never leave them. Zhang’s mother Lifeng Ye, said of her daughter’s kidnapping:

“We don’t know where she is, and I don’t know how to spend the rest of my life without my daughter. I can’t really sleep well at night. … I often dream of my daughter, and she’s right there with me. I want to ask the mother of the suspect, please talk to her son and ask him what he did to my daughter. Where is she now? I want to know the answer.”

How many women will lose their lives? How many more families will be destroyed? How much more pain and suffering must women endure in the name of male pleasure and entertainment? One woman is too many.

Raquel Rosario Sanchez
Raquel Rosario Sanchez

Raquel Rosario Sanchez is a writer from the Dominican Republic. Her utmost priority in her work and as a feminist is to end violence against girls and women. Her work has appeared in several print and digital publications both in English and Spanish, including: Feminist Current, El Grillo, La Replica, Tribuna Feminista, El Caribe and La Marea. You can follow her @8rosariosanchez where she rambles about feminism, politics, and poetry.

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  • ptittle

    Of course, it’s all about the penis. Always.

  • calabasa

    This is nauseating. Seriously nauseating, on top of heartbreaking.

    How could juries possibly believe such stupidity? He was “too embarrassed” to call the police?

    So if I want to murder a man, all I have to tell people is he had a fantasy of being smothered by large breasts, and I really didn’t realize he was actually smothering to death, and then was “too embarrassed” so I left his body for a few days until it was conveniently impossible to determine cause of death? Would this really work in the reverse scenario?

    It’s SUCH a dumb scenario–I feel like he could have told ANY other story that would have been more plausible (like, she just stopped breathing, and I was in shock and didn’t know what to do)–much less the evidence of him saying “I did a bad thing” and “I’m so, so sorry”–and the jury fucking BOUGHT this?

    I am reading Silvia Federici’s *Caliban and the Witch* now about how the state basically weaoponized misogyny as a means of consolidating power and controlling underclasses of men…give them women to hate and women to rape, and you’ll keep them pacified.

    I have to wonder how male sexuality became so dark and has it been, through centuries of torture, conditioned that way and these are simply modern-day expressions of the sexual contempt for women under capitalism–as freedom of women poses the biggest threat to that system–or how much of this is innate.

    Having experienced a man struggle with this directly–having seen his struggle with the dark thrill he got out of abusing me–I think this is something these men often *struggle* with and which has been *introduced* to their sexuality (commonly through porn)–and that that we normalizing it as an excuse for murder is atrocious…

    I don’t even get how…the Supreme Court does not uphold BDSM as an excuse for inflicting grievous bodily harm on someone, and let’s be honest, the ONLY WAY this could fly is if he said it were a fetish SHE had–as we as HE had–for irrumatio and choking someone with a penis, clearly an act of BDSM that could potentially inflict grievous or fatal harm–and as the author says, no one can CONSENT to their death–I don’t understand not only how the jury could come back with this verdict, nor how this could possibly be upheld. I hope this horrible verdict is repealed under the grounds that a fetish does not equal consenting to die, even if that’s what he is claiming happened (as the prosecution points out and the author recounts in stomach-churning detail, she would have choked, kicked, slapped, anything to get away from being choked by his penis, and he would have had to hold her unconscious body there another three minutes blocking her airway for her to die). This is CLEARLY sexual torture and BDSM is NOT grounds for acquittal of the grievous bodily harm of another, much less their death–there’s no way this could have been an accident, and yet the jury came back with THIS verdict?

    I remember that case with the 91-year-old neighbor–a pretty clear case of sadistic rape and murder. “Sex games?” Really? I guess the 91-year-old should have taken it as a compliment that her 49-year-old neighbor wanted to rape her, am I right?

    As horrific as the details of this story are, what’s *disturbing* is how it was reported about, how society has discussed it, and the verdict–how abusive gonzo porn and BDSM have become so normalized in the landscape that this could possibly be seen as either “funny” (how incredibly dehumanizing for the poor victim, what an awful way to die, and how barbarically insensitive to her family), or as in any way shape or form an “accident.”

    What’s next? Murder victims are “asking for it?” Or only female ones?

  • midwifemama

    Great article, Raquel. Very painful to process, but so important. I wish every single liberal pushing the “consent is sexy” narrative would read this.

  • Jen Miller

    So sickening. I’m glad you are writing about this – few other news sources seem game (or interested) to touch it.

  • Elara

    Thank you, Raquel.

    This sickens me and saddens me. And the way the media choose to spin this, much like every other case where women have been brutalized sexually before (and after) men have killed them is fucking appalling.

    Sometimes I wonder why they hate us so much.

  • Christine

    Raquel mentioned Cindy Gladue. The outcome of that trial was as disgusting as she described, but it’s worth noting that the case is still moving (SLOWLY) through the courts:
    https://tinyurl.com/y8abumrn

    I am moderately confident that our Supreme Court will affirm the lower court’s ruling to re-try the offender, but I wish they had declined to hear the appeal in the first place.

  • corvid

    “We need to make sex female centered.”
    Yes, this for sure. We run the majority of the risks when it comes to sex, therefore our well-being should determine sexual morality.

  • marian hyde

    The bible is one of the founders and pushers of patriarchy.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Ha ha ha – oh, yes, please – let’s hold up the BIBLE As some sort of feminist tract! Riggghhhhht. Be more “biblical.” That’ll guarantee equality for women!

  • Hekate Jayne

    This murder took several minutes. And he just continued on.

    What kind of creature does that? I mean, he HAD to have noticed something amiss. And he not only continued, but he finished.

    How does this fucking monster not lose his goddamned boner when he sees that he is literally fucking her throat to death????

    Apparently, not only does abusing and degrading us give males a boner, but actually murdering us does, too. I used to think that dudes just ignored our discomfort until they finally taught me that not only do they see the pain and hurt, but they actively cause it because they fucking love hurting us so much, that it actually arouses them even more.

    And they have been this way for centuries. And yet, we hold out hope that they will be suddenly become allies, that we can explain that we are human, and that they will understand. It doesn’t make any sense.

  • Wren

    This is one of the best articles I’ve read here, but it is also beyond disturbing. I read it last night and didn’t sleep well. The underlying message that these cases convey is that these poor women could have been any of us, and these sadistic murderers could be any man. And what’s worse somehow is that it might not matter to anyone else because it’s just the price we pay for being female in man’s world.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I am married to a decent man.

      In 20 years, I have never seen him be violent. Not once. Once, about 5 years ago, he was verbally shitty to me, at which time I told him that if he thought that he was going to be shitty to me for funsies, and he thought that I would take it, he was fucking wrong. He hasn’t done it again, since.

      I live every day knowing that my life, my marriage, my relationship is as peaceful as HE allows it to be. I also know that if he decides at some point to kill me, that I will be reduced to the mouthy bitch that wouldn’t stay in her place, the uterus that denied him children, the fuckhole that denied him PIV. And that he will be the sainted dude that really just loved me so, so much, and that you will never know the whole story, because he is such a good, decent man.

      I don’t think he would ever hurt me. But we ALL know how it would go if HE CHOOSES to be a violent shit.

      You have heard the message correctly. It is our choice in how we address it.

  • susannunes

    If he kills somebody else, he will be tried for it.

  • calabasa

    Yeah I always forget about double jeopardy here, other countries have different legal systems. It’s funny how men commit almost all crime, not to mention violent crime, not to mention sexual crime, so who does it protect that there’s no way to retry when a jury steeped in porn and rape myths comes back with a verdict that goes against the law in their own country? Who is protected by this? The “free?” Or men?

  • calabasa

    I agree with you. Anyone with any life experiences or opinions of any kind is ruled out.

    I guarantee you one of the first questions from the defense to the prospective juror pool would have been “have you ever been sexually assaulted?” The prosecution might then ask, “Have you ever committed a sexual assault or been accused of one?” But who is more likely to lie in this scenario?

    Same with BDSM–“Have you ever done BDSM?” You think a sadistic dom is going to answer this truthfully?

    Basically on the jury you get people with no opinions about anything–who I have found most often turn out to be Republican (their opinions only arise when you say a commonsense statement like “undocumented immigrants should not be left to die of dehydration in the desert” and their hackles suddenly rise; before then they are “not political” and “don’t have an opinion”), and you get liars.

    A true jury of your peers would be 12 random people asked NO questions and it would then be entirely the luck of the draw. As it stands now, you get liars (who are more likely to be sociopaths than idealists) and people who think they have no opinion about anything (and have never experienced too much adversity in life) on juries.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I appreciate the kind words, I have been trying to formulate some kind of a response, and I can’t find one. I get a lot of response from males online, and none of it is even remotely kind. So when one of you says something positive, apparently, I just can’t form a response, male kindness is just such a fucking rarity on the internet.

    I am not the only woman here that knows that. Not by a long shot.

    And while your words are kind, they make me sad. So many women here are wonderfully articulate, strong, smart, persistent, possessing a wicked wit, vast sense of humor and seemingly endless supply of patience and character. So many of us deserve accolades that we will never get.

    Would that each woman here could have a fan club. I would settle to live with autonomy, in peace, and without fear, though. I think most of us would.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      I’ve loved your writing since I first saw you on here. And I definitely didn’t expect any sort of response. I’m really just glad that you exist. I’m glad that despite all of the shit you’ve suffered that you’re still here. I’ve also seen the sort of awful responses men give to women as brave and honest as you are. I don’t blame you for feeling the way that you do. Your candidness is the sort of truth that helped me cut out my shitty male ways in the past. I’m eternally grateful for women like you (no man has ever helped me much).

      Oh, I’m certain you’re not the only one. That’s the fucking saddest part of it.

      I agree with you so, so much. I try my best to call attention to the wonderful women here and their thoughtful articles or comments. I think what makes you stand out (for me) is that your words are the kind of words that finally made me see how shitty of a male I was. Words like yours are the words that prevented me from hiding in my male privilege. They penetrated so deeply that I had to question myself and my morality. They made me second-guess everything I thought I knew about what it means to be a man and decent human being. The words you say cut deepest because even the shittiest male alive knows that what he’s doing is wrong. You call attention to male behavior in the most cutting ways. Most men that are called out in that way just continue doing what they’ve always done. After all, like you said, what real reason do they have to change when it benefits them to remain the same? That was true for me. But I had to change because my greatest pursuit has always been for truth. The truth I had lived was only valid for men and not every human being.
      The actual truth is that radical feminism is right. The truth is that women go through endless amounts of shit every-single-fucking day and it’s acceptable to most people that it stays this way because it benefits men. That is not fucking acceptable.

      I just hope that maybe my ability to change shows that not all hope is lost. I do think it’s possible to have a world where women live with autonomy, in peace, and without fear. But it’s men that need to do the work. We’re the problem. Men have to be held accountable for everything they do. I don’t think I do nearly enough, but I do try. I’m honest in my everyday life and I continue to hold both myself and other men accountable for actions and behaviors. I do want to continue to offer you encouragement, Hekate; if you don’t mind. I never want to make you uncomfortable. My appreciation for you is vast. I think you deserve to know that you’re an awesome individual. And I will definitely continue showing appreciation for all the other wonderful women on here, too.

      • Hekate Jayne

        I agree that males are the fucking problem. And I understand that you have had some male violence directed right at you, in a pretty fucking horrible way, and that is as delicate as I can frame that.

        I am routinely accused of hating ALL MENZ. And the males that tell me this are very upset by it and they tell me all of the fucking time in some kind of fucked up reversal, wherein I am supposed to understand that males are only violent because of my hatred. And women like me. Because I am supposed to believe that if I am kind, and more importantly, if I will just shut the fuck up, then dudes everywhere will become docile, peaceful, and the EPITOME of human excellence. But we keep on talking, so they keep on murdering us (and each other), and it is all the fault of women. MANLOGICKS.

        Acknowledging reality is translated by males as hatred because reality, the reality that MALES choose, that MALES create, surprisingly, makes them look like MURDEROUS FUCKSTICKS.

        I don’t know if you know Terry Crews, but I fucking LOVE Terry Crews. I read a quote by him, recently (paraphrasing here) where he said when he was young and trying to learn about women, that he was told by the males around him that he should always keep women off balance, keep them guessing about whether or not he liked her, to keep her insecure, don’t ever let a woman be too comfortable and secure. Oh, and to always have more than one (like we are sandwiches, or shirts, or something). That was eye opening to me, because males always say that women play games and are manipulative, and we all know that is a reversal, but Terry gave me proof of what we all already know.

        Terry says that this kind of mindset is how slave owners treated slaves. This is how males control us. This is how males view us. What tinfoil says up thread, about the woman with 7 sons? And they can’t obtain domestic slaves in the form of a wife because males are so much more precious that female fetuses are aborted for the crime of being female? So they return to the fucking DOMESTIC SLAVE THAT GAVE THEM THEIR WASTED, WORTHLESS LIFE.

        In spite of all that, I don’t hate males. Not all of them, anyway. I don’t have that kind of time and I do have other fucking hobbies. Some of you are quite lovely, so it’s a fucking shame that I have to avoid all of you, in most cases, since it is on me to avoid male violence instead of being on males to just not be violent assfucks.

        And you say that you have changed. Maybe you have. I have no way of knowing. But I live with a man that isn’t violent, and he has just never been violent. Males have been violent for centuries. I am coming to believe that, although there is ALWAYS free will and choice, that males are just innately violent, and the occasional non violent male is a pleasant freak of nature type anomaly. Lots of people will say that socialization is to blame. But then who socializes males to be violent? It ain’t women.

        I am still thinking about that. The issue remains the same. Anyway, it is always interesting to talk to a dude that is not shrieking at me or threatening to rape me. As far as online interaction, it is a rare surprise.

        • Tinfoil the Hat

          I kinda hate all men. Except my husband and sons, who sound like Hekate Jayne’s man.

          My men kinda hate all men too, actually.

          My 17 y.o., riffing on the old “If a tree falls in the forest” conundrum, said today: “If a woman is assaulted in front of a dozen witnesses, did it actually happen?”

          I’m GLAD he’s like this.

          • calabasa

            That’s an amazing analogy and he’s cottoned onto something that always puzzled me about that saying that suddenly makes sense (if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it fall…this presumes that the other trees–kin to this tree–are not “persons” with no awareness, a *human* presence–or at least a hearing or sighted animal’s presence–must be around to confirm something happening; it objectifies the trees as if they are non-living objects. Of course, unless you are a solipsist, it’s a pretend-deep question to begin with). So yes, if women are depersonalized like the trees in this analogy, it should properly be, “If a woman is assaulted in front of a dozen female witnesses and no male witness is around to see it, was she really assaulted?” According to Wahhabi Islam, no (four male witnesses have to witness the rape, or it didn’t happen). For all intents and purposes according to our law also no, although we pretend otherwise. (I mean, otherwise a dozen victims coming forward should be enough to convict any man, but it’s not, apparently).

            Your son is amazing!

            Also, this reminds me of the “why is a raven like a writing desk?” riddle which for so long has confounded writers, apparently; I figured it out when I was like twelve that it’s because they both have quills, and talking to somebody the other day it randomly arose in conversation and they casually mentioned the same answer before I even got a chance to say it.

            Why is that such a famous riddle again? Who knows.

            Anyway, your son has resolved for me the reason in my mind that tree question always puzzled and never sat right with me. Thank you!

            ETA: Although of course logically in this case there’s an assailant who is technically also a witness as well as a participant–and HE knows. This is something me–and my rapists, especially the ones who feel guilt, but not enough to tell the truth to the authorities–will have to live with every day.

            WE know. And the answer is of course yes.

          • Hekate Jayne

            It has been my observation that if a man is not popular with males, it is usually because he is not a raging asshole.

        • calabasa

          I disagree about free will and do think it is socialization (perhaps weaponizing some innate aggression, but mostly socialization)…

          ..but that’s me.

          ETA: I also love Terry Crews, though. And his quote there shows that men have always known what techniques to use to gaslight women well before they were put down in pick-up artist handbooks.

          Sadly, his quote about not wanting to hear an exotic dancer talk about her children because it uncomfortably humanized her during the bonding ritual of doodz at the strip club has been responded to by men not only with vitriol about “misandry,” or him being a “cuck” or a “white knight” but with self-righteous cluelessness about how “I would never think of women as less human, Terry Crews must be a bad person,” “in my country I have never heard of such a thing,” and with horrible neoliberal shit comments such as “it’s unprofessional for a woman to talk about her kids in that setting, she’s there to do a particular job and there’s a time and a place for talking about your kids and that’s not it.”

          However, smart women nodded along and noted that at, say, food service industry jobs male waiters talking about their pursuits would earn them higher tips, whereas when it was female servers it made people uncomfortable (the idea that your help might be more educated than you often does to begin with, but this is not frowned upon for men), because they were no longer seen as “pretty food service slave object,” and one customer actually complained that a female server had mentioned she was enrolled in university and hoped to find work as an engineer and called it “disloyal” or some shit–so women talking as ever produces interesting results noting how men are uncomfortable with women having professional pursuits and being human throughout the quote unquote “service industry,” men talking produces only pretend cluelessness (they know better), self-righteous indignation, defensiveness, and self-serving justifications (except in rare cases of men agreeing and saying, “yes, this is the truth, men do see women as less human,” and the rare instances of men talking to one another about how to remedy this enormous problem).

      • calabasa

        I told the truth like Hekayte Jayne to my rapist because I was so fucking wounded and so fucking angry with him. Of course, being the “soft heart” (or was it sweet? I can’t remember) that FierceMild once said of me on here (which I found surprising), I have also apologized to him many times for telling him the truth about himself, for being angry, for outing him to protect other women (which he pleaded with me to take down–it is the first Google search that actually pops up on the internet under his full name–saying “I know I don’t have the right to ask this of you, but this will affect me professionally and personally”–I actually TRIED to get it taken down, but the woman who runs the site, who remains anonymous, basically refused).

        It is unclear to me to what extent my constantly feeling sorry about expressing my anger to him is patriarchal brainwashing and how much is how my personality truly has changed over time and because I have done so much contemplation of human nature. I feel I have arrived at some place of peaceful understanding which is helping me to heal. There will always be a sadness, and there will always be anger–but I am going to direct that anger toward the system, itself–the people at the top who make this possible and who destroy our happiness to achieve their fantasies of power and control, who have pitted men and women, black against white, anything and everyone against each other in the creation of hierarchies for the purpose of the classic divide and conquer strategy–the anger toward my individual rapists has turned to indifference in the case of some and true sympathy (which I prefer to the condescending “pity”) in the case of others, although I am very angry at the injustice of a society that has done exactly fuck all about it, and in fact pretends none of it exists, in which a woman like myself is recast as insane, a liar, and making up stories, because everyone pretends the Big Lie that women rarely get raped and “if you meet one asshole you met an asshole, if you meet three assholes…” Classic victim-blaming, and zero understanding of the process of revictimization which is absolutely necessary to understand in order to even understand an industry such as, for example, the sex industry.

        This personally has helped me to heal–to depersonalize my anger. I like how another commenter wrote that most of us learn how to diffuse our shadow sides and use them in service of the greater good, either through understanding or productive direction of our anger–but she said it as a reason to blame those who don’t or aren’t capable of doing that, and I don’t. I don’t believe in free will at all to begin with so for me it doesn’t even approach a question of “accountability.”

        Therefore, those blessed with the wherewithal to withstand the brutality of the system and learn from it something enlightening and the strength and the giving-a-shit-ed-ness (its own quality) to forge through the abuse and find a way to speak the truth and to change people’s minds and what’s more their hearts are the only ones who can make a difference in the end. It’s not anyone’s “fault,” per se, it’s a matter of who perseveres. It takes a lot of fortitude to be a person like Malala or like Meghan Murphy who has been through a lot of shit and suffers through more in order to fight the good fight; born psychopaths have the advantage of experiencing neither guilt nor trauma the same way, and everyone else is traumatized to various degrees and functioning as best as they can with that, so being able to withstand that and come out of it is the only way to fight those create these divisions among us in the first place, an extremely difficult task, especially as we are all fallible.

        I understand Hekayte Jayne’s anger and I also admire the bold way she speaks her mind and it’s this anger and boldness which made me feel terrible for hurting the person who did such a terrible thing to me (though perhaps my forgiveness and apologies only made him feel worse–sometimes kindness can be worse than cruelty when a person believes they should be punished and made to suffer). I only hope that I got through to him in any way shape or form the way that the woman you described who so changed your mind and the way Hekayte Jane get through to you.

        I don’t know if this approach will work with all men, though, although I don’t think we should soften our approach for them, at all. I think we should tell the truth about what we feel. My feeling is that men have been engineered this way the same way that women have been and it’s time for us to overthrow the system together. That’s the conundrum of reconciliation though–the wounded party nearly always has to be the bigger person to repair a relationship, as it is often only in hindsight that the party in the wrong will admit to their fault.

        I understand however the cries for separatism and it might be a good strategy if only to take down capitalism by removing women’s unpaid labor from the marketplace (if ever we could do such organization, and free ourselves from the bonds of loving men); it would signal the collapse of capitalism, which as a system needs to go–as do all hierarchies–if we are to find a system of universalist secular humanism and global egalitarianism–but because women are so deeply enmeshed with men through bonds of love and abuse, the question remains as to how to accomplish this without it.

        I think it’s likely the system will collapse soon, and women will be in a perilous position, so we need to rally to support each other then, to protect each other from men (or find men who will fight also to protect us), and when the dust settles we’re going to have to be around for the reformation of new societies and the mass cleanup of the earth which will take centuries if it’s even possible.

        Meanwhile, it’s important for us to enjoy our lives and speak our truths.

        However, your post helps me feel better about being angry and brutally honest with my ex after what he did. Instead of abuse maybe I can think of it as a kindness, or as neutral and simply what it was: the truth (regardless of whether it was coming from a place of anger or of woundedness).

        • Hekate Jayne

          I just talk and whatever comes out, comes out. Males get that privilege, by default. I have claimed it for myself. Where males get accolades for speaking clearly and concisely, I get called many names, told that I should be “nicer”, that I sound hateful, unfeminine (a big LO fucking L to that one), etc.

          There was an instance recently, I am thinking that you may know what I am talking about, where a dude was talking about the nasty, vile, disgusting state of his brohole. But he made sure to mention how SEXAY he looks now in a bikini, because he is totes a dainty lady. Towards the end of the conversation, some of the women involved in the discussion were on about how we shouldn’t be mean to the transdude, I can’t remember the exact reasoning for it, but it was along the lines of he was duped or victimized by surgeons and society, and women being mean to or about him is just so bad, and it makes women uncomfortable to be mean……..

          To which I just think FUCK THAT. This is a dude that thinks that turning his penis inside out via an expensive, elective surgery makes him a fucking woman. Well, that and how he looks in a bikini.

          Maybe he is a sweet and kind dude. But I feel justified in assuming that he is a sanctimonious, selfish, self absorbed asshole that more than likely thinks that he has an actual vagina, is fine with dudes taking what belongs to women, is probably “triggered” if he has to hear the word, uterus, etc. I have yet to see a trannie online that wasn’t a horrible misogynist.

          I am going to talk about it, and that is going to sound however that is going to sound. And I know some dudes are going to cry about it, and some of them are going to not only tell me all about their hurt feels, they are going to use the absolute worse language that they can in hopes of bullying me back into my lowly place.

          My point is that I don’t give a flying fuck about dudes and their man feels. They can fuck right off. And that goes for ALL of them, but especially for the rapists and the violent ones. I am not trying to reach them, or make them feel better, or make them into decent people. Just from viewing history and the world around me, I am pretty sure that it’s a safe bet that they are never going to be any different then they are now. I mean, it’s been thousands of years, nothing that I say is going to change them. Also, I am not talking TO them. I am talking to women.

          I don’t feel like it is on me to be the bigger person, either. I am already the bigger person, since I do not rape, bully, intimidate, harass, etc. other people. Males have set the bar extremely low in that regard. I also struggle to understand how you can feel badly about hurting the feelings of your rapist. I mean, I hear what you are saying, I understand what you are saying in a literal sense, but I just can’t understand that level of kindness. Or forgiveness. Although I am not sure those are words that I would use to describe what you are doing there.

          Outside of my husband, I can’t remember the last time that a male ever considered my feelings, even in just a fleeting moment. I don’t consider male feelings. Not even a little bit. The entire world does that, including a lot of women. The males will make out just fine without me.

  • Safa

    Absolutely!

  • Robert Gonzalez

    “More and more women are catching onto the scam. And we are starving the beast. We are separating as much as we are able. No labor, no sex, no children.

    No more begging, asking, pleading for males to please, please ally with us, recognize us human, asking them politely to stop murdering and raping us. Isn’t that what we have been doing for centuries? And if it is so fucking effective, then why is male violence escalating???

    And I have peace because now I know. I understand that I can’t fix it. But I can absolutely starve them out. And I can encourage other women to do the same, and to support each other.

    The reality and the truth is ugly. But I would rather know it and face it. Because then I can combat it. And that is no small thing.”

    YES!

    Seriously, Hekate, you should give some thought to publishing a book about your thoughts. I know you know I’m a fan of yours, but what you’re saying here actually does work.

  • TwinMamaManly

    Am going to hunt down a copy of that book ASAP, these are my thoughts exactly.

  • TwinMamaManly

    I hope so, I have 3 very young pre-school aged beautiful, bright little daughters. It scares the bejeezus out of me. Fortunately, we have a very close family with lots of wonderful male and female role models. But I am scared for them when they will begin to venture out in the world. I just hope I can help develop their confidence and resilience so they can cope with the deluge of “male fuckery” and the unwanted attention they are sure to attract.

    And fortunately they have a good man in their father – because he was bought up by a single Mum with five older sisters. Even though they struggled financially (after his philandering, made-and-lost several fortunes, drinking, gambling father left), he is ever grateful his Dad was not on the scene.

  • TwinMamaManly

    Actually, evidence shows that male jurors are less likely to acquit than female jurors. Something to do with the “white knight” concept, combined with women being unable or unwilling to relate to victim because they don’t want to picture themselves in the same position (I’m not like her because I would never do that/say that/wear that/datethat man/put myself in that position etc.)

  • TwinMamaManly

    Unfortunately, a criminal trial is not about seeking the truth. It is about both sides arguing to determine which narrative based on evidence determined to be admitted is presented. Often, hugely incriminating evidence is excluded because it may be “prejudicial”, and character evidence (of victim and perpetrator) is given more weight than “actual” evidence. It is seriously f**ked up and arelic of patriarchy. Other countries, such as France, have more of an inquisitorial system, rather than than the adversial model used in UK, US and Australia. I would like to see a move towards inquisitorial because the focus is more on the genuine “truth”.

  • TwinMamaManly

    That crime was appalling. I can believe it took an expose by 4Corners to get the investigation reopened. The (white, male) prosecutor, who declined to pursue, should be fired and disbarred.

  • TwinMamaManly

    Next time he forces a woman to give him a blow job, could he be charged with assault with a deadly weapon?

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Thank you. This is yet another reason I come here. ❤️

    • calabasa

      Yes, you have sent me love and healing many times, and I send it back to you. Your words “you need to be kind and gentle to yourself” have stayed with me. Thank you.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Got it. I see it now. Thank you.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    “an orgasm is the most physical pleasure a person typically experiences.”

    Well, according to men, anyway.

  • calabasa

    I also know what that is like. I’m sorry.

    I used to wonder why men wondered why we didn’t want sex with them more often when they rarely center our pleasure and are just flat-out fucking dangerous. I don’t wonder anymore because I realize they live in a place of massive cognitive dissonance.

    My experience of being abused through irrumatio or coerced oral sex has also made me reluctant to pleasure a partner this way, because it’s a reminder and because the *minute* I get on whiff that he thinks this is at *my expense* is the minute I lose all taste for doing it and all interest and generally feel fucking awful. Which because of porn I think happens frequently (I think it’s rare for men *not* to objectify women who are orally pleasuring them). This is sad because I actually *do* enjoy doing it for a respectful partner as long as I am physically comfortable (I mean, I actually do find it a turn-on), so essentially some of my own sexuality is denied me if I feel I can’t do this any longer because of patriarchy (same with PIV, which I enjoy though rarely climax from– our whole way of thinking about sexuality needs to change and should become about bonding rather either procreation or degradation). Some procreation will naturally occur if we change this paradigm which is fine within the bounds and bonds of a loving community.

    I agree with a commenter down below that we need to actively promote woman-centered sex as the true meaning of sex-positive in order to combat this stuff.

    • FierceMild

      Yes. Every time I hear a man say, “she doesn’t want sex as much as I do” I tell him that if sex with him was orgasmic she would want it. You’d be astonished how often this fact simply has not occurred to men.

  • Just Passing Through

    I know this…just don’t want to acknowledge it I guess.

  • Just Passing Through

    I guess we can hope that more men (like the Jensens and Katz’s of the world) will grow in number and help more men find their humanity…. for the sake of everyone. Mvaw will never end until porn and prostitution are seen as the abominations they are… so in other words, we have a looooooooooong way to go since those two things are now being normalized by men everywhere. Younger women are my hope.

  • calabasa

    I did out him…it’s the first thing that pops up when you Google his name. Since he has a fairly common white guy’s name, I also gave a physical description including his European ethnic background (which any woman getting involved with him would likely immediately hear about, as his mother is a naturalized citizen here) and what city he’s from. He found this and begged me to take it down. He said “I know I have no right to ask anything of you but…” I felt sorry for him (I had made the post in a moment of anger) and I asked the site owner (whom had responded to the initial post in an encouraging fashion) to take it down. She never responded and did not remove it. I suppose she knows that victims are often manipulated by those who victimized them into feeling sorry for them.

    I say the same to women I know in abusive relationships who continuously feel sorry for their manipulative abusers, because I love them and am frustrated by the scenario–but I understand what it feels like from the opposite side.

    I don’t think it’s as simple as rapists don’t have feelings. But a woman said this to me the other day: mean words don’t make a man rape, nice words don’t make a man rape, parental issues don’t make a man rape, compulsions don’t make a man rape, a man makes a choice to rape and to continue doing so.

    I disagree with the latter two as I think compulsions may well play a part and I don’t believe in free will, but thinking about it I realized I have felt responsible for his mental breakdown and also responsible for his other victims. I realized that by blaming myself I am also implicitly blaming the other women (he sought vulnerable women/specifically hunted other women who had been previously victimized after observing how many of them have trouble with sexual boundaries, low self-esteem, and freeze up when violated; so not only is he a sexual bully but a coward). Were they not innocent victims? Was I not also innocent and undeserving of this treatment?

    I also realized that he *liked* it, and that’s why he continues doing it. It doesn’t matter if it also disturbs him, it doesn’t matter his other feelings for me or anyone else, none of that matters because it didn’t stop him from doing it and he did it because he *likes* it. Whatever parts of him felt shame or horror they were overridden by the part of him that really enjoyed sexually assaulting vulnerable women (I mean, it was a sexual thrill for him). That really disgusts me. He strikes me as being like a remorseful child molester, even if emotionally he’s childlike himself (which many child molesters are)–that doesn’t mean he isn’t intellectually adult, or highly intelligent and capable of manipulation (he is). Compulsion is no more reason to act on biastophilia than on pedophilia, in fact less so as at least a person like him is attracted to adults and *can* have consensual sex. If he hurts women rather than gets help that’s on him.

    I have felt like by reminding him of it I provoked him to obsess about it, but if anything disturbed him it was his own behavior, how much he *liked it* while hating himself–which I know he does (while simultaneously blaming everyone else and pitying himself)–so even if I don’t believe in free will, it still doesn’t mean all the rest isn’t true (his realization of his enjoyment of raping defenseless women with me may have been a *catalyst*, but only because of himself–it has fuck all to do with me apart from that I another of his victims, and–I hope–the person so far during this he has most heinously fucked with).

    In fact, if my crushing him by rejection and telling him the truth as I felt it has caused him to drop off the social scene I may very well have saved a few women. And if it *does* cause him to seek help or reconsider (or his family to seek help for him) then that would also be a good thing. I should stop beating myself up.

    If I ever hear from anyone who is monitoring these things that he’s popped up again and back at his old tricks I’ll press charges (assuming I am feeling better by then and am capable of doing so). The last thing I want is him doing this to anyone else ever again.

    I realize I’ve been your typical self-blaming victim (it sucks how much the brain wants to do this) and have hated myself for an anger at him and even a desire to get even which was natural (he kept expecting someone in my life to gang up on him with baseball bats, which both shows he knows his guilt and also doesn’t know me at all–though I know some of my family members have had similar thoughts). I can’t help but pity such a person, but my pity doesn’t mean anything I did was wrong; I should feel bad for myself also. I mean, if I can’t help but forgive him because he’s fucked up (as I honestly forgive everybody), why wouldn’t I forgive myself? (That’s a very good question and one I really need to return to).

    If he realized he fucked up and lost and also grievously harmed someone who apparently to others seems to be a very kindhearted person, well, I can only hope that could be another catalyst for change so he doesn’t do it again even if only for selfish reasons (because he doesn’t want to end up alone). I can only *hope.* I would hate to imagine if he keeps abusing what kind of poor woman he would find who would stay with him.

    I know women as a class not having the kind of violent or vengeful impulses so many men do has served to keep us in our places throughout history, and I have to wonder how much of that is socialization and how much is biology, although honestly at point it’s a moot point and doesn’t matter–I am more confused as to the question of morality (I used to believe justice was more important than mercy, for example; I remember my mother being shocked by that when we were doing those Meyers-Briggs assessment tests for fun–I now feel differently, although when I mentioned that to her she said, “how can there be mercy without justice?” By which she means, those who commit crimes should be held accountable, and the victims can then decide if they wish to be merciful). It would not be a crime to charge him with his crimes and then recommend to the court a course of treatment.

    I didn’t cause him to become obsessed with what he did–he did, by doing it and finding out how much he liked while hating himself (I think there are probably a lot of self-hating rapists, just as there as self-hating porn users and punters and even self-hating serial killers; self-hatred does not cancel out harm, it only magnifies it). He is the one who abuses women and hates himself, I only reacted. I have been blaming myself for being unkind to an unstable person, for being “just like him,” and even for his subsequent behavior which I found out about later and was appalled by; and this is not fair. I suppose this is typical for a victim and even understanding the “why” of that (or even understanding that I feel an odd kind of survivor’s guilt–as in, survivor of events that have been fatal to others)–doesn’t change how I feel emotionally which only will come with time.

    I only realized how much I was even *feeling* this way recently, so it’s good to articulate my thoughts and have them rebutted.

    I disagree that rapists can’t feel or can’t love (I think all kinds of men can rape, and hell, even killers often love their mothers), but hurting my rapist’s feelings should not be my top priority. And my worry that I am “like him” or have become like him goes back to feeling that I deserve it, a feeling which existed before I ever met him and is no doubt part of what made me vulnerable in the first place.

    It’s not my fault and I shouldn’t blame myself for any sexual violence directed toward me or toward others, or for my reaction to it, is the point I guess and what I need to remember. I should write it on a Post-It note and stick it on my wall.

  • Hekate Jayne

    A few years ago, a male tried to grab me, at a gas station, in broad daylight. (If I tell the story in too much detail, it will out my identity). I turned in his direction and faced him squarely. I had already actively avoided his path once because I knew something about him was off.

    Anyway, as he approached, I looked him in his face and I said something like “I know what you want, I will NOT make it easy and I will NOT go quietly”. There was a space of 2 or 3 seconds where we just stared at each other, and then he turned his dumb ass around, closed his hatch, got into his SUV and left.

    I am a small person, just under 5 foot 2 inches, under 120 pounds. I look conventionally “feminine”, but as soon as I open my mouth, it becomes clear that there isn’t anything dainty or cute about me. I give no fucks. But I am convinced that dudes see a small female and think that I am an easy target. And this guy was really big (although everyone looks huge to me, it feels like, sometimes). And if he had decided to grab me, anyway, I am sure that he could have done it, it wouldn’t have been my fault.

    But we are trained into submission as women over the course of our entire lives for a reason (the gift of fear by Gavin deBecker). I had fleeting thoughts of “oh my god, I am going to have to scream and call attention to myself” and “maybe he really DOES just want to ask me a question, I shouldn’t be RUDE”. But in the end, I decided that I don’t give a shit if he was a harmless dude, I have no way of knowing that. I am completely willing to make an ass out of myself for safety reasons, better safe than sorry.

    Make no mistake, I would have torn into that fucker like a starving spider monkey on a fucking cupcake. But I didn’t have to because I completely disregarded the lifetime of “femininity” that I had been groomed into. My “unladylike”, bitchy, disposition saved my ass from a predator because even HIS dumbass could see that I was going to be way more trouble than he wanted to deal with. He expected docile, complacent, compliance.

    In fact, when a random dude wants to get my attention by demanding that I smile or asking me if I “have a man”, I turn directly to face him and I say loudly “WHAT?” And the look on their faces is HILARIOUS. I am shocked at the dudes that look all chagrined and stunned into silence. If they remain silent, I will say “WHAT? You wanted my attention, you annoyed me to get it so WHAT? What is it? What do you want, dude?” At this point, I get told that I am a bitch, or he was just trying to give me a compliment, or blahblahblah, at which point, I just roll my eyes and sigh really loudly, turn my back and continue on about my business, while he slinks away from the awful bitch that hurt his feels.

    Sane, safe males understand why I act the way that I do. Males are so easily confused, they don’t know what rape is, they thought she consented, the rape was just a miscommunication. I may be assaulted again, I may end up getting raped, but since I know how stupid males are and how males lack the ability to understand body language and even a straight up NO, I act in a way that they can understand. With aggressive speech and a distinctly unfeminine manner.

    And they completely get that. And I am pretty sure that it kills their boner, so BONUS.

    And if I consider man feels, then I can’t effectively protect myself. These 2 things are mutually exclusive.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Wow. Males have made it unsafe even for males to be open to other males. I am sorry for your experience. And I will gladly hate that rapist right along with you.

  • FierceMild

    That man deserves to die.

    • calabasa

      I suppose you think the same about my rapist?

      I’ll put it this way: I wouldn’t wish on anyone what I’ve been through the past two years. Including him.

      He is also a fragile and unstable person who was clearly carried away by the dark side of his emotions, as so many of us get carried away by the vanguards of depression and ill feeling.

      In fact, they are currently researching NPD as a manifestation of depression, and considering most narcissists are male and the link between sexual narcissism and rape I find this interesting.

      I am not proposing sympathy for the devil but rather am saying that we are more like the devil than we know or care to admit. There but for the Grace of God and all that.

      I have suffered now for more than a year wondering if I made another person feel as bad as I did, even if that person is the person who caused me to feel so bad. Which is preposterous but true. It’s why I never got a driver’s license, although I’ve lived all over the world and in my own country cycled everywhere and managed a system hostile to people like me who don’t want to drive. The existential horror of the idea that I could accidentally kill someone has haunted me since I was young, I could not live with myself and don’t want to risk it. I told myself if I have a family and young children I will have to, but considering my ethical objection to motor vehicles I don’t actually think this is true (and I’m pretty damn amazing on a bike, my motto is to remember that every car on the road wants to kill me and I am only safe on a clear bike path, and even then to remember how to fall correctly if anything happens–knowing how to fall from studying judo has saved my life more than a few times as a cyclist. If women were taught to approach men the same way while retaining calm with regard to navigating the world and relationships we’d all be much safer. It’s unfortunate the lies that we are indoctrinated with as children).

      In any case, I don’t think anyone “deserves” to die and I hope my rapist gets help. And I feel for everyone on here and feel for Roberto (who has the same name as my most recent rapist, who so badly damaged me, except his is the Anglican version despite having a Spanish mother), but if I were to practice magic it would not be dark magic. The lure of the dark is strong but we must resist it.

      • Tinfoil the Hat

        I think perhaps you are in the throes of Stockholm Syndrome.

  • FierceMild

    Because it’s outside (I like outside) and it requires quiet and concentration, which are two things I could use more of.

  • calabasa

    I have always been against the death penalty, and if rape suddenly made me in favor of it that would be letting my rapist’s actions win.

    I believe we are better off addressing the system than individual measures especially drastic individual measures no one will impose. If we had the death penalty for rapists, no one would be convicted of it (although that’s nearly the case now and that’s because as a society we recognize how inhumane our prison system is and tend to excuse rapists’ actions and blame victims, so we don’t want to send men there if there’s any reason at all to find them innocent). Clearly our priorities are skewed as we’ll happily send some poor black guy to prison over an eightball of heroin.

    However, even if there were some humane way to impose this penalty on only the guilty, I wouldn’t choose it. If we have all be conditioned by the sadomasochism of gender roles under patriarchy, the fact that men grow up to rape and women grow up and are victimized is an entirely an accident of birth. If we were set against each other ages ago and on purpose–if male sexuality has been weaponized–it’s important to discuss this and discuss how to heal.

    In fact my town is holding a panel discussion on how to heal sexual violence within the community and I plan to attend. I think that atonement for rape is possible but is made impossible within our current society because of cognitive dissonance; the conversation isn’t even possible unless victims ask for it specifically using restorative justice–which I used to feel conflicted about, but don’t if the rapist is willing to attend therapy and to publicly apologize for his actions. The idea that rapists should all die just further drives underground any discussion.

    I know most victims might not be strong enough to go through seeing their rapist again and I don’t know if I can either, but the rest of society who has not experienced sexual violence certainly needs to convene to speak about reasonable measures to address this unaddressed epidemic that is being left to founder by our “justice” system.

    I do not believe saying all rapists should die is actually conducive to healing over this issue or to rape prevention, regardless of the feeling; it is venting, which I understand, but it’s not realistic.

    To keep the #metoo momentum going, we are now in a stage of organization where we must discuss how to address these wounds within the community and what we can actually do about this problem that holds rapists accountable, condemns their actions, teaches others not to rape and about egalitarian sexual relationships, and allows those who want to atone ways to seek help, as well as their victims; addresses therapeutic avenues for both.

    That rapists and victims cannot bridge that gap because of the pain of rape–which I know all too well–does not mean the rest of society should not. It’s time society do some of the labor of healing and addressing the problem of rape which victims are constantly tasked with, while being torn down in every way within the justice system.

    I highly doubt rapists would thank me. I know my rapist’s prized possession was his reputation and he would be incredibly ashamed to admit to a group of people in public that he had raped me. Most rapists would not like this kind of public attention or spectacle at all. (There are obviously some exceptions). However, we should be aware of rapists trying to call attention to themselves as “great guys” or downplay the rape, like Tom Stranger–THAT was the real travesty in that case. If they will not openly admit the truth, they must keep silent while victims’ statements are read to them (for example, in the case of individuals who have been outed in the community as having multiple victims).

    There must be SOMETHING done about this, and the answer is not “death penalty” or even “prison” so far as most people are concerned. I am in the camp with “something is better than nothing.” Publicly acknowledging the problem and shaming rapists would be great.

    As it stands, even THAT cannot happen because of accusations of slander, and we need to address as a society how if we are unwilling to address this problem using the justice system then we need to find some other way to address it.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    I would definitely buy a copy.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    The only quibble I have is that many of us hard-core radical feminists have spent our lives knowing what a bad man looks like. Some of us may know and trust the few men in our lives. I’m not sure it’s up to *you* to decide for women whether the men in our lives are safe or not. It is an attempt to erase our agency, and it says you don’t trust women to be smart enough to take care of ourselves.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      I worded my original response strongly because of how emphatic I was in my agreement with Hekate about women limiting interactions with men. This is the portion where I could have worded it differently. It’s my personal opinion that women have far more to lose than to gain by interacting with a majority of men. That’s why I agree with Hekate’s views. In no way do I want to sound like I want all women to think or feel the same identical way as I do. I don’t want to mansplain or question any woman’s self-agency here or anywhere. Again, personally, I just have no reason to believe men would treat women any better than a man, especially considering everything I’ve read here on FC about femicide and assault on women and the sorts of personal experiences I’ve had with other men throughout my life.

      I understand what you’re saying, Tinfoil the Hat. I’m not a woman and my experience comes from a male perspective. I wanted to share the negative experiences that I’ve had even as a male that is not traditionally masculine and who also happens to be self-critical of what I’ve been brainwashed to be as a man. I’ve come a long way, but I will always have room for improvement. I don’t always realize the misogyny hidden in things that I’ve become accustomed to saying. My response was trying to reflect my passionate desire to share the things I’ve heard from men’s mouths when they think women can’t hear them. I get so simultaneously angry and sad when I read another instance of a woman dying because of some fucked up thing a man did to her. Sometimes I think my emotions get the better of me and I don’t stop to think how I’m wording things.

      I completely see now how I could have worded my response differently. I’m so sorry about that. I really want to thank you for making me aware of it. I appreciate you taking the time to point it out for me. Your response helps me become more self-aware of changes I can make.