The Circle: Patriarchy, Trauma, and Silence

27 Dec

With the whole #MooreandMe saga, I did a lot of thinking about how much emotional damage I was willing to take in order to ‘do good’. It was not an easy thing. Reading about and writing about rape and about supposed ‘allies’ and feminists turning their backs on victims for 7 days straight, making it a part-time job, essentially… it’s constantly triggering.

Many feminists and rape survivors (often both) did not feel able to participate because it was so upsetting (many over at Shakesville alone said as much). Protesters were getting rape threats, death threats, the most vile insults hurled at them… all because we wanted some liberal men to acknowledge that rape is serious and that victims should be listened to. The irony.

More irony? Because men have raped women, those women feel unsafe to engage in anti-rape activism because they get rape threats and are triggered, leading to fewer women speaking up, leading to rape culture staying in place*, ending in men raping women with impunity. And repeat.

Patriarchy is one efficient machine.


*This is not to say that victims have an obligation to ‘speak out’. We don’t. The persistence of rape culture is not the fault of women. The male sense of entitlement to women’s bodies is why rape culture persists, no matter our ‘resistance’ to it.

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