Sometimes I try to be a perfect little atheist. I try and pretend that I don’t ever get down as an atheist like I did when I was a Christian. In a way, I don’t. I don’t have that constant heartbreak. But I do get blue, and I am blue right now.
I just worked 13 hours at night. I am only scheduled for 12, but I had to work an extra hour so I could clean out one the trucks. This was punishment because I forgot my apple core in a truck last week. Tommorrow, I have to wake up in the middle of my “night” for an appointment that I didn’t schedual. My appointments are schedualed for me and sent to me by email. If I miss the appointment email in the 30 – 40 completely pointless emails I get everyday, then a letter goes up chain saying I missed an appointment. And I will get screamed at and be given more small pointless tasks, in addition to the small pointless tasks I already do. I am going to get to spend about an hour with my wife and daughter today before I have to go back to work and do it again.
My old friend refuses to write to me. I called her and told her that I am sick of pretending to have a relationship we don’t and lets get this all worked out. She said this was too painful for her to deal with on the phone, and I had to email. Now, she refuses to return my emails. Ahhhhh, the love of Christians.
I want to be loved. I want to be held and kissed and enjoyed. I want friends. I want to see my daughter. Hard to see your kid when you leave for work at 5:15 PM and don’t get home till 7 AM. I want to see my wife. And if I cannot have these things, I would just as soon be downrange making double and not having to pretend like I am husband and father right now. I’m not. I’m just that guy that crashes here, uses the shower, and steals the left overs. Not super happy with my life right now.
And no end is in sight. I have another 4 years to go. Then another 30 of working for the same damn people in different uniforms, doing some other job, working my ass off to get the money to pursue my dreams. I am regret. If I had known who I was when I was 18…. but I didn’t start to figure it out till 8 years and two dependents. Now, two peoples lives ride on my ability to grit my teeth and follow pointless rules.
The room was tiny, not with the spartan cleanness of a jail cell, but with the claustrophobia of a coffin. He kept it neat, everything in place. The books on the desk in an orderly row from large to small. Anything that rested on something else was centered, and the squares of the quilt in perfect form with the posts of the bed. Closer inspection would reveal that this order, this cleanliness was in spite of the shabbiness of the room. The bed frame was scratched and rickety, the dresser missing boards, and the quilt tattered beyond all reason.
He stood in the room, naked and still damp from the shower, combing his hair with total focus. He was making part line down the center, imposing order on the chaos. He puts on a a black pair of underwear, a black pair of socks, a pair of Levis, a black t-shirt, and soft black boots. He takes one last look at the boy in the mirror, and sighs deeply. He’s not hearing voices, but his feelings are so conflicted it feels like a dialogue.
You don’t have to do this to yourself.
I’m not doing anything to myself! I just want to be happy.
Nothing can make you happy but Jesus. God will make you suffer until you turn to Him.
I am already suffering. I’m all broken and dead inside. When I do this, I feel something.
Sin brings pleasure for a season but the gift of God is eternal life.
He walks out of the room, over the torn carpet and broken down furniture, pausing to pet the dog who was sleeping in front of the space heater which warms the shack. He stares into the warm, brown eyes as he strokes the fuzzy ears.
Oh God, why did you make me a man? Why couldn’t you have let me been born a dog so it wouldn’t be a sin that I wanted to have sex? If you’d made me a dog, I wouldn’t be such a disappointment to you. I’m not sure if what I am going to do is sin against you or against my own body. I’m so sorry that I hang you on the cross again everyday. I’m so sorry.
The dog, looking as mournful as only a hound dog can, rests it’s head on it’s paws again and closes it’s eyes. The young man walks through the kitchen, the whole wall a library. He feels the weight of the great dead men on that shelf, pressing him to do something great, to change the world. He walks past the classics, the theology texts, and the paramilitary training books he’s memorized, to his mother at the table. She’s studying for work, and the whole kitchen table is covered with her books.
“Mom, I’m going to cruise the loop, I’ll be home before curfew.”
His mother glances up, not at him, but at the clock. Her face is pained from the effort of trying to discover what the new and arbitrary changes to the care plans are. Studying in hard for her, but she doesn’t want anyone to get hurt on her watch and she reads the guidelines cover to cover over and over again. She drops her eyes from the clock, and rises taking a sip of her chicory. She looks her son over head to toe, and frowns.
“Be safe tonight OK? If it starts to snow harder, pleas come home, I worry about you.”
“I know, you do Mom” he says as he slips into his black trench coat, and gives her hug.
“I love you” he says. “I love you too.” she replies, going to the kettle for more hot drink.
He walks out the door, slipping his black beret on his head as he walks out to his Ford Festiva. Like everything else he owns, the car is third hand trash, but with it, he can go where he wants to go and do what he wants to do. He’d sell his soul for it. He digs on the radio as he drives the eight miles to town, finally settling on some classic rock. He watches the snow blow by, like the trails of stars when warp is engaged. The inner dialogue is quiet. The car has a broken muffler, and it the roar of dying motor and the strains of Pink Floyd push away reflection.
He’s going to the big weekend shindig in the boondocks town he lives in. The kids drive in circles and congregate in the town square, showing off their parents’ expensive cars. At the corner of the square, between the gas station and the movie theater is the VonHoff Insurance agency. He pulls into the parking lot as the lights inside go off. A young woman opens front the door, and steps into the November cold, her fingers senseless in gloves, she struggles to lock the door.
Every time he sees her, it’s a dream. Like him, she’s seventeen, but unlike a lot girls his age, she’s shaped like a woman, not a girl. She has full hips from eight years of ballet. When he sees her waist he wants to put his hands on it. She wears “real bras” not the padded push-up junk that other girls do, and she has a lovely 50’s pinup profile because it. Her auburn hair falls halfway down her back. She’s like a woman out of time, a War World Two vamp dropped into his little pointless town and he thinks he might love her.
He watches her bend over to get the key into the lock, and turns his eyes from her curvy backside, mixed up bible verses pressing into his mind
The lust of his eyes comes not from the Father but from the world.
If you look upon a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery in your heart.
Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.
The wages of sin are death.
If you eat of the forbidden fruit you will surely die.
It is good for man not to touch a woman.
It is better to marry than to burn.
But he can’t look away for long. She’s beautiful and she likes him. She bounces to the car and hopes in. Her face is pure electricity with a smile. Her grey eyes sparkle in the yellow streetlight as much as the snow flakes caught in her lashes. She reaches grabs his hand holds it in hers, blowing on it.
“Hi, babe.” She says between breaths.
“Hey.” He puts the car into gear and backs out. They drive and talk. They talk about the world, about the nature of things, about everything and nothing. They talk for hours, but it feels like minutes. Soon it’s almost ten, her curfew. He drives her back to her father’s office, and as they do, he broaches the topic he’s been thinking of all night. His heart is racing.
“Natalie, do you remember how you said you wanted to kiss me goodbye and I turned my cheek to you?”
She nodded, flopping the pompom on the top of her stocking cap. “Um hmm”
“Well, you said when ever I was ready for more I could tell you?”
The pompom flopped again. “Um hmm.”
“Well, I’d really likely to give you a real kiss goodnight, tonight.”
Her brows knit in concern.
“Are you sure you aren’t going to feel guilty about it? I don’t want you to just disappear like that again,” she asked.
“Oh, I’m sure,” he lied.
This is going to feel so great, this is going to be what I want. When I kiss her I’m not going to feel broken anymore.
You are just using her for her body you selfish bastard.
It’s OK. She’s so perfect for me, she’s going to be my wife, that’s what God put her in my life for. We’re going to get married
Maybe the guilt of this will make me hurt enough to really commit to God.
I think I really love her.
Maybe this sin will make me feel so horrible I’ll finally have the nerve to kill myself.
A coy smile spread across her face as they pulled into the office. “Well, if you’re sure,” she said as she got out of the car.
He jumped out to help her clear off her car. She starts her Buick and and steeped back to him. She pushed her hands into his open trench coat and wrapped her self around him, her pink sweater like star against his blackness. She held him tight and then raised her lips to his.
He kissed her, pressing his lips against hers as he held the small of her back in his hands.
No, no, no. Oh God, please forgive me. I’m sorry that I can’t control my lusts.
Her tongue found his, and his breathing quickened. He had an erection so hard that it hurt. He felt betrayed by his body. Now she would know that he was not doing this because he loved her, but because he wanted sex. She’d know what a pervert he was. He shifted against her, and tried to remember what he had read about kissing in books. He moved his tongue mechanically in her mouth.
I’m a whore. I am such a whore. She’s so sweet and innocent and I am such a filthy whore.
She gently broke away from the kiss, and looked at him, trying to find his eyes.
“Joseph, you have such beautiful eyes, I want to see them.”
It scared him so much to have her look in his eyes. They said eyes were the window to the soul. What if she saw all the perversion in his soul, what if she saw how fucked up he was inside? She was such a nice girl, and nice girls didn’t think about sex. All he could think about right now was having sex with her. He was so ashamed. He raised his eyes, trying to hide the darkness in his soul, but pain is transparent.
“Oh honey, are you sure this is OK?” she asked.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m just, this is just, new for me.” he said, staring into her eyes. His pulse was pounding, but not because he was aroused. He was terrified. He wasn’t pressing his hands against her because he loved her, but because if he didn’t they would shake uncontrollably. Every part of him, his body and his soul wanting nothing more than to let himself go, to fall into her and never take a breath. He never been so tempted to not have control before, and he didn’t know who he would be if he didn’t have control. What if he couldn’t stop? What if she said stop and he couldn’t? Was that who he was?
She began to kiss him again, and he kept going through the motions. He felt dead inside, laughed at. Empty. But not quite enough. He didn’t hurt enough to give up on everything he wanted and seek God. He didn’t feel hurt enough to kill himself. He didn’t feel anything but a sort of dark nothingness, a disillusionment as real and solid as the woman in his arms. Finally, with one last concerned and wistful look, she slipped out of his coat and into her car. She waved sweetly and drove away.
He climbed into the Ford. He hadn’t hurt himself enough inside to die, just enough to carry more pain. It had been in the back of mind the whole time he was with her, it always was: How to deal with the pain of failing again. He always failed to be the man God wanted him to be. As he drove he fingered the big combat knife he kept in the car. He knew God didn’t want him to cut himself either but the Bible had far less to say about self mutilation than sexual sin. Surely it was less of sin than the sexual sin he had committed tonight?
If cutting himself took away that loneliness he wouldn’t have to kiss Natalie again. Everyone knew where kissing lead. It lead to sex, it was unavoidable, and since Natalie would never have sex with someone like him, it would be sick and wrong. She would, of course say she wanted to, because she loved him but if she knew the real him, she would say “No.” If he slept with her, it would be a kind of rape. If they kept kissing, he would become a rapist. Kissing was a gateway sin, and once you turned your back on God you would do anything.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, because of this God gave them over to shameful lusts.
Her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the death none who go to her return or attain the paths of life.
If cutting myself makes me not feel so broken and lonely, then it keeps me from kissing Natalie. Which keeps me from becoming a rapist and going to hell. I have to cut myself or I’ll go to hell and hurt this person I love.
Joseph leaned back in the seat, at peace. Maybe he had found the inner strength to be a better man after all. Perhaps his first kiss wasn’t a complete loss after all.
Follow the above link and you will see:
Lots of red meat increases mortality risk
Um, really? Cuz, I’m pretty sure that the risk of mortality is pretty stable at 100%. Everybody dies. I like this line too
“People whose diets contained more white meat like chicken and fish had lower risks of death.”
lower risks…of death. Seriously, lower risks…of death.
This is my last post on this ghastly topic. In the first, I said that I agreed with the feminist party line that rape is caused purely by the addition of a rapist. In the second, both in the comments and the post, I said I really struggle with the idea that no woman could be held even a little bit responsible. Primarily this was because of my close relationship with a rape victim. It seemed to me that if I said that a woman who was getting drunk and frisky with total strangers had the same total lack of fault as child who was raped (my friend) then I was somehow cheapening the horror and misery that latter felt.
While I rationally accepted the obvious truth that rape is cause by the addition of a rapist (something that did not seem so obvious to me a few years ago), I found this statement emotionally disturbing, and I wasn’t sure why. So, post three was an attempt to explore my feelings about it. I found two reasons to be disturbed. The first was I had a lot of hate toward women when I was young man. Though I never acted on these feelings, to accept that rape is just as evil towards a drunken, promiscuously dressed woman as it is towards a child, meant I had to look at my feelings in high school and college about my peers, not as the reasonable thoughts of frustrated young man, but as something profoundly unhealthy.
The other reason was the safety and security of my daughter. Obviously, I had some unhealthy views about sex, love, and sexual roles. I picked these views up in the malaise of church, camp, campus, books, and “positive Christian radio”. I want my daughter to grew up healthy, strong, and, above all, free. I want her to love freedom. Free speech, free press, free trade, freedom of religion. These are the things I believe in. They bring me joy, and if I can only communicate one thing to her in my life it would be “Freedom is worth fighting for.” Yet, having been the first trusted male for several rape victims. I have heard about rape to a detail I could have never imagined, and I am terrified of teaching my daughter to believe something that could hurt her the way some of my beliefs hurt me.
So I arrive at my answer: Rape victims are to blame for rape in exactly the way that soldiers are responsible for their injuries. Right now my good friend Paul is “down range”. He volunteered to join the Air Force. He volunteered to go on the very dangerous mission he is on. No one forced him to join. No one forced him to go on this mission. If he gets shot, it will happen at the end of chain of decisions for which there can be no one to blame but him. Yet, if he gets shot my thought will not be “Well, he was asking for it.” Or, “Well of course, he got shot, wearing a US uniform in a place like that.” Or “Well, a nice guy would not have been in that village with an M4 in the first place.”
It all boils down to reasonable expectation. You see, I joined for a lot of reasons. I was broke, I was tired of fighting the bad guys and never winning (we belonged to an inner city church). I was facing my fears. There were a hundred reasons I joined, but in the end I joined to fight this misguided war on terror for one reason: So my daughter wouldn’t have too. I made a decision about “reasonable expectation”.
The US has a reasonable expectation of acts of terror. They are people out there who hate us. Regardless of whether their motivation has merit, their methods are horrific. I volunteered for the Air Force during a war, a war that will never truly end. I volunteered to endanger my life for an ideal, the ideal that terror should never be a reasonable expectation.
We fight for rights by using them. We fight for freedom of speech by speaking freely. The day we say “I’m not going to say that, I’m afraid of what the government might do” we have lost our free speech, regardless of what a old piece of parchment under glass in Washington says. Couldn’t we blame Martin Luther King for his assassination? He could have stayed at home. He could have stayed quiet. But instead he fought for his right to free speech by speaking up. He fought for his right to peacefully assemble by peacefully assembling. He got shot because he stood up and said “Hate is not a reasonable exception.”
Rape is not a reasonable expectation. No matter what the statistics say, no matter how many lives are destroyed, no matter what, it is never a reasonable expectation. We fight for the right of people to dress how they like, speak how they like, and act how they like without fear acts of hate by dressing how we like, speaking how we like and acting how we like regardless of the consequences.
I joined the Air Force because I believed that planes full of innocents crashing into buildings was not a reasonable expectation. This life style choice is a risk, but I believe in this ideal so much, I will risk my life for it. For the belief that rape is not a reasonable expectation I will believe things that put my daughter at risk, because I would rather have her live a life of danger and freedom than cower in fearful security.
Why is this subject so important to me? Why do I need to have an opinion on this? First, to redeem my past. As I said before, I have never raped anyone, not by even the least coercive definition. I never felt the desire to do so, but I did share one common thought with rapists: I hated women because of how much power they had in comparison to me. I would submerge my identity to be with a woman. I would change my vocabulary, my clothes, my hair. Anything just to be seen with a woman, yet no woman would equally debase herself to be with me. I hated myself for being so desperate and empty and I transferred this hate to women.
Christian life reinforced these outlooks in a lot of ways. Women were the “weaker vessel,” fragile, emotional creatures, who could not be trusted to make important decisions, which is a backwards way of saying they could not be held as accountable as a man for their behavior. This and the tyranny of love. Young adulthood is a time to understand love and sex. I remember so many ex-couples where the girl broke up with the guy and really wanted to be friends afterword. Getting a mix tape of Micheal W Smith’s “Friends” was not unusual.
Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes he’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the lord’s the lord of them
And a friend will not say never
cause the welcome will not end
Though its hard to let you go
In the father’s hands we know
That a lifetimes not too long to live as friends.
With the faith and love god’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that now you show
But we’ll keep you close as always
It wont even seem you’ve gone
cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
Do you see what I mean the tyranny of love? My god, who could do that? No pain of loss was great enough. No hope of a different kind of love could hurt enough. Nothing could hurt enough to end it. You just had to just keep suffering, pretending that everything was OK. This was the “love” that my female peers spoke off. This too contributed to my hate.
Further, from home and a little bit from the Christian culture, I had picked up the idea that women were not as sexual as men. “Women act like they want sex to get love, men act like they want love to get sex” was never said from the pulpit, but as a viewpoint, it pervaded the churches, camps, and college I went to. To have this incredible need from someone and have them have no need of it themselves felt so unfair. Imagine you are dying of thirst, and you crawl up to a person sitting on a 55 gallon drum of ice water. “No, you can’t have any. You’re all icky and thirsty.” You’d be pretty mad.
Again, the Christian culture shares some blame here, because if I could have just had a girlfriend and gotten laid, I probably would have calmed down with the hate quite a bit. But Christianity told me that the only acceptable way to desire sex was to want a wife. So every female friend I had was the future Mrs. Ronin Truthwalker. Every issue was huge. I could never just enjoy a young women for who she was. No, I had be weighing her character for fitness as the mother of my children. This is not conducive to good friendships, which made me feel hurt and betrayed a lot. Which again, increased the hate.
This hate I used to feel is the first reason this subject is so personal and important to me.
The second reason is my daughter. I don’t want her to grow up the way I did with these really stupid ideas about sex, love, and male and female roles in society, because ideas take people places, and those aren’t places I want her to have to go. A person’s ideas about rape are sort of a litmus test for what they think of women. If a person thinks that rape is not as serious a crime when the women was dressed suggestively that person is saying “It’s OK to harm women if they don’t look like nice women.” Which then says “Nice women either don’t like sex or don’t look like they do.” Which then says “It’s OK for guys to like sex, but not for women too.” Like I said, ideas take people places and I don’t want my daughter to go the places those ideas take people and I don’t ever want to go back myself.
I want my daughter to be free and strong. I want her to believe that rape should never be a reasonable expectation. At the same time, I don’t want her to believe an idea that puts her at risk. I’ll finish the rest of this later. This is just why this is important to me. I’ll give my conclusion later.
Ok, spring is at last here. Here in southwestern Germany, this means the weather is going from cloudy, wet, foggy and just around freezing to cloudy, wet, foggy, and above freezing. This means it’s time to break out the bike and start riding to work. And by bike, I mean bicycle. Since I was bicycle commuting before I came here, I already have a pretty German looking bike: fenders, light, blinky in back, cargo rack, etc. Since the weather here is a lot like Seatlle I am buying some actual rain gear.
I once heard a feminist talk about how skirts and high heals were designed by men to objectify women, so reduce them to nothing more then sculpted meat for the hunger eyes of patriarchal creeps. If that’s true then a secret cadre of angry homosexuals designs clothing for cyclists. I mean, I’ve managed to go my whole life wearing tights once, when I was playing an elf in a community theater presentation. Now, I might be wearing them everyday. Eww.
At first, I was going to buy the really cheap ones, but then I got thinking. These things are designed to make my dangly man bits ride very intimately with my body. What full traction is to the spine, bike shorts are to testes. This is not a task to be entrusted to the skills of some poor Malaysian garment worker working for pennies a day. On the other hand, I don’t want to buy the most expensive one just because it’s there. I figure I will check out the most expensive tights to get a bead on price range. And there it is
The name of the top of the line tights is… Gavia. Let’s see that would be pronounced GAY via. Gay as in homosexual. Via as in way or road. The top of the line one is called, “The way of the gay.” Nice.
In my earlier post about rape I mentioned the Christian/Conservative/patriarchal party line as my starting point, my beliefs in high school. I explained why I felt this view was wrong, and I agreed more or less with the feminist party line. That post climbed up over 1000 words and I quit, saving the second half for another day. This is the half where I admit thought I agree with my own conclusion, I am concerned by the direction society has taken in response to the tension between these two view points.
For some reason, women trust me. They tell me things they would not tell other men in their life, and this contributes greatly to my disillusionment with Christianity. Being a fundamentalist home schooler, my high school was the kitchen table, and not a lot of sexual coming of age happened there. The place that “grew me up” was my job at East Iowa Bible Camp. A busy lifeguard, I sat stone still, watching my grossly over crowded pool carefully. There was room for two my stand, and to make sure I didn’t miss anyone, I didn’t talk. I just listened.
Girl after girl sat on my stand with me. Enjoying the comfortable silence for a time, and then beginning to talk. And they told of their rapes. I don’t remember the numbers anymore, just that it was more than half. These beautiful young women, with their shining eyes and easy smiles had been raped. So many of them had been raped. They were worship leaders, youth group assistants, nursery volunteers. They were young the face of Christianity, fresh scrubbed and facing the ‘morrow. It still disturbs the hell out me as I write it 12 years later.
I knew from TV shows I’d watched, the important thing to say, was that it wasn’t their fault, and while I said it to still their tears rolling down their faces so incongruently in the summer sunshine, sometimes I didn’t believe it. One friend told me she knew she was raped, but didn’t remember. Klara (not her real name) had been drunk, and she remembered doing a strip tease for the boys at the party. She woke up with her panties around her ankles, her crotch feeling raw and damp.
Another friend was four. Her mother left her with a good Christian neighbor everyday. The neighbor’s son was 10. He raped her. He raped her everyday until they moved to the mission field, eight years later, her a budding young woman, him finally legally an adult. We’ll call her Gina.
These two women never told each other their stories. Neither ever knew the other was victim, and I’d given my word I wouldn’t tell. Inside, I seethed. Both were raped, both had something horrible happen. Both were shattered inside. But one was actively trying seduce a stranger and had, with full knowledge of consequences, consumed a huge quantity of alcohol. The other was four years old. In general, I agree with feminism, I agree that rape is far to common, but I have always felt any definition of rape which puts these two acts on the same moral level is less than ideal.
I remember believing that raping a drunken promiscuously dressed woman should not be punishable to the same severity as raping an “innocent” women. This retrospect belief sickens me today. Feminism taught me that woman should be able to do and appear as she wishes and that only thing that makes for a rape is the addition of a rapist. I feel that is mostly true. I also feel saying Klara’s experience was as equally not her fault as Gina’s is an enormous slap in the face to Gina. I feel that saying the only contributing factor was the addition of rapists elevates a Klara as much as saying “She asked for it” rapes Gina anew.
My second confusion is about alcohol. A woman cannot give consent if she is drunk. Even if she says yes, her yes is meaningless, because she lacks the ability to consent, and cannot be held accountable for her action. Yet man, no matter how drunk, rapes if he does not hear and heed a “no”. This is a horrible double standard. In short a woman is not accountable for her sexual behavior when drunk, yet a man is. This is patronizing so called “positive discrimination”. It is clear sexual Uncle Tomism, that says that woman are weaker and less accountable and need more protection.
This issues are where I step away from the party line. I am not making statements of fact. I am stating my understanding of the facts. I could have them wrong, and I welcome correction. Please feel free to comment and set me straight, that’s why I wrote it. I would really like to hear something from some card carying feminists on these two issues. Thanks for reading, all.
I’m broken inside without you
I cannot face the twilight alone
Without you, I must have day or darkness
But I am haunted by the twilight
This time when no bustle distracts
From your absense, my mind still
But for the pining.
Night has come, and left her veil.
Queen Mab stands by my door,
but she will not come.
It is between these woman,
Lady Night, and Queen Mab
That I belong to you
But you are not here,
Not with Night, not with Mab
And to climb into Mab’s carriage
without you, is to know
She will not drop me by you
I will awake, following m’lady
as her dark veil burns,
I’ve wanted to write a post about rape for awhile now, but it’s a pretty hard topic to write about. I’ve never been raped though I have been sexually assaulted a few times. I want to write about it because I want some discussion on it from my readers. If you never comment on anything else, this is the blog. Unfortunately, I have my usual problem of with holisticness. I can’t talk about rape without talking about gender, sex, feminism, and society. This means a lot of variables which introduce a lot more chance for me to accidentally spew bullshit.
(The purpose of my blog is to purge myself of bullshit. I am out here, saying to the whole world, “Hey, call my bullshit.” So, readers, if I say some total crap, be gentle. I’m here to learn.) Now that that’s out of the way…
When I was in high school, it was incredibly important to me to develop my world view. I’m not sure if my experiences are unique to me, if all young Christian me, all young Christians, or all teens in general feel this pressure to have an opinion on everything. I think because of Christianity, I was in a group of people who believed that they had special revelation about how the world should work, the pre-packaged world view I and other de-cons have mentioned before. The church calls this having a ready answer. I also believe that the rationality that my father taught me as a method for interpreting scripture helped me to be a rational thinker. It was important to me to have an answer that was really defensible.
I believed that rape was a crime, a terrible one that should be punished with death, but only in the case of real rape. A wonderful American girl with good clean hobbies, perfect teeth and and well earned scholarship to a small, but challenging private college, is snatched out of parking garage and raped after a prolonged fight with her assailant.
But in the news a lot was something called date rape. A woman would dress like a prostitute, let a man get her drunk, take her home, get her naked, and then say no. Well, that wasn’t rape at all, she acted like she wanted sex, then got upset when she got what she had, through her actions, asked for all night. I wasn’t sure how this should be treated, but certainly it didn’t deserve the death penalty. This could not be what God intended when he said that a rapist should be killed. If fact, the Torah says that a woman who is raped where others can hear her, and doesn’t yell for help must herself be stoned. (Deuteronomy 22:24)
I remember the scuff about Clarence Thomas, and similar stories, and the consensus among my peers was that these girls hadn’t really been raped, because they were asking for what they got. I remember the humorous incredulity in regard to news story of prostitute who had been raped. You can’t rape a prostitute, we reasoned, you can only rob her by not paying her afterward.
So, now I am an atheist. One of the things I have done is try to examine the claims of people who’s view I rejected outright before. Some I have found that I still reject their ultimate thesis, Muslims, for instance. But feminists surprised me. I found that while I don’t agree with everything they say, I can test many of the basic theories of feminists with a skeptical eye and burden of evidence, and that these theories pass.
You might notice I said “girls” in reference to the alleged victims of rape. I know that they were over 18. Yet, they are called girl, for the same reason that a 50 year old black man is called boy. An unconscious display of power, a statement of the hierarchy, a re-establishment of pecking order. I know now that what this is, and I try to eliminate such patterns from my writing and speech. And the feminist taught me a lot about rape.
First, most rapes are not what I described above as “real” rape (though it too is real). That would more appropriately be called “Hollywood rape.” It’s quite rare. The place where most rape happens: a woman’s own bedroom. The person most commonly raping them? Someone they trust; how do you think they got in the bedroom? Now, I know some people will read this and think to themselves, oh well that’s not real rape.
Rape by someone they trust in their own bed? That can’t possibly be real rape because that wouldn’t happen to nice girls. Whether you realize it or not, if you are going to be really honest with yourself, if you think that sort of rape isn’t real, it is because you have decided that a girl in her bedroom with a man she trusts is already guilty of wanting sex, so she can’t be upset about the man giving it to her. I used to believe that, so it is with some authority that I say, how mind bogglingly stupid.
Imagine going to a hospital and saying you are interested in a vasectomy. You talk to the doc for about an hour, you take the brochure, and you get up to walk out. At the door, the doctor shoves a needle into your left buttock. You instantly don’t feel right, you turn around and fall. As the world goes black and you become increasing powerless you feel the doctor pulling your pants off. You wake up, and you have a vasectomy. You’re not going to sue are you? After all, you’d been asking for it for an hour.
Two women both go to Applebee’s. They both go with someone they trust and care about. They both dress quite revealingly for the pleasure of being seen. They both get quite tipsy. They both get taken home and carried to their bed by their date. One is raped. One is not. What’s the difference between the two situations? The addition of a fucking rapist.
It’s not the way they dressed. It’s not the way they talked. It’s not the drinks they had. The only thing that got one women raped, the only thing that made the situation something terrifying and twisted was the addition of rapist. The problem is not the victim, the problem is the rapist.
Not every man is a rapist, in fact most aren’t. The problem is not the woman. The problem is not men. The problem is rapists.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I thought I’d put my last post to you guys behind me. Well, one more. I’m sorry. I ended up saying a lot of things that didn’t need to be said. Their is a fine line between being honest and being an ass. I, quite obviously, crossed it, and I’m sorry.
When I told you I was an atheist, what I expected was that you would call. You would seek out what this meant, but thats not what you did. It got me thinking about specific times that I’ve wanted you to really take an interest in specific parts of my life, and for whatever reason you didn’t or couldn’t. And the more I thought about it the more it ached, and lashed out at you on my blog.
I’d wanted to show you and world that I valid reasons for de-converting, some based in my emotional experience, some based in reason. The purpose of those posts was show my pain, that I had been hurt by Christianity. But I was so mad when I wrote them, I whipped you for all hurt I ever received from every Christian that I could not sit down with and say “I’m a person, and you didn’t have a right to treat my like that.” I think you guys were just really insecure, and it came out in a lot of ways, some big, some little.
Above all, I wanted say I’m sorry for saying that you were no better than foster parents. You really did love me, I know that. I was a wreck when I wrote that, screaming at you you out of 16 years of repressed rage at the church. It’s probably the cruelest thing a child could possibly say to a parent. I should have never said that. I can’t take it back, but I’m incredibly sorry.