Last week there was the whole Tosh rape-joke controversy all over the internet. I declared on my FB page that in that situation, I would have maced Tosh.This stirred up a huge hornets nest (of men, not that men don’t get raped) declaring I was unjust to feel entitled to do so.
I thought hard about it and see their side completely. You don’t react to outrageous, meant-to-provoke you words with violence. You react with more words, or removing yourself from the situation. That’s what good people do. Responsible citizens.
So why do I love nothing more than a violent feminist vigilante comic? Then a fantasy about killing a man (or men) who tries to rape or otherwise take forced sexual advantage (or is talking about it, or even seems to be thinking about it). Maybe part of this is getting hollered at and having salacious things said to me on the street since I was 12. Sometimes its an ego boost but usually its a fear – ugh ok what next. oh god are they following me? that one guy looks big, can i take him? What do I have on me that I can use as a weapon? Especially at night.
I’m lucky. At 5’10” and almost 200 lbs, nobody picks a fight with me. Nobody chooses me as the gal to follow into an alley. I can get around. But guys still shout. And still I worry. I see my more petite friends and wonder how the fuck they deal with walking down the street late at night, when cars driving past full of drunk dudes screaming at them. I’m sure many of them have a plan. I see women wearing impractical shoes and I blanch. Don’t they know they can’t run away in those things?
If someone starts talking to me about how they’re envisioning me being sexually assaulted, I’m going to take that as a direct threat, and I will take action.
This may just be big words, maybe in reality I’d freeze up. Maybe I’d somehow get out in time and call the cops, to watch the legal system fail me as its failed so many other women. But that’s why it’s such a fantasy. What IF. What if we did. What if we did rise up.
Naughty Bits #1 (Story title: Crazy Bitches) by Roberta Gregory (Fed up with how underground cartoonists defend degrading women in their strips with ‘but its art,’ Roberta decided to draw a man with the same things happening to him that have happened to women in popular underground cartoons like Robert Crumb’s.)
I’d love it if people shared other examples of this.