I am not a feminist.  Please do not ever mistake me for one.  Feminists love men, feminists yearn for men to seek the best within themselves, for men to be free of the terribly, terribly unfair societal expectations which forces them to be that which they are not.  Feminists believe all men are human, just because men claim to be. Even when men emphasized their humanity at the point of an ancient spear or through the modern passage to manhood via 4chan, feminists can be relied upon to stand behind their boy in the hopes that he becomes a man.  Feminists think that men are merely one carefully explained gender deconstruction away from enlightenment, and if the perfect magic words are never spoken to awaken the sleeping prince, then surely she has only herself to blame. The toad is never responsible, never ever notice what’s that you say? lalala don’t make me think lalala it hurts too much lalaLA MYFINGERSAREINMYEARSICAN’THEARYOU. 

But to be sure, men have improved considerably, and it is to the genuine, hard-working feminists to whom our gratitude is sincerely owed.  While there is still much work to be done, the trend toward true gender equality is moving forward.  

Unfortunately, trends change.  That is the definition of a trend – they are not reflections upon traits which are inherent.  Trends are the result of a multitude of factors, and frequently move backwards and forwards over time, sometimes taking thousands of years to ascind, plateau and decline.  This is why, in the high-stakes game of women’s autonomy and safety over the centuries, trends do not impress me when compared to men’s natural or inherent desires. Let’s talk in twelve thousand years time. How many rapes do you think will occur between now and then? How many women’s voices shunted and silenced off to the side, made invisable to a blind man passing her by? Can you even imagine twelve thousand years, of one trend moving this way and that, influenced by this, and another trend moving here and there, influenced by that, with no intersection at all?  You surely are aware that intersections are at the root of it all, my friend.

Feminists believe one day men will stop raping women as if it’s a national sport.  That day is not today.  Today, or rather last night, I was flipping though feminist blogs after a pumpin pie sugar-induced high, and came across the following story by the brillant Sparklematrix and sweet Hearrt, here’s the point:

Eight teenaged boys have escaped a jail term for their sexual abuse, rape and torture of a 17 year old girl in the Werribee case from last year.

They even flaunted their privileged audacity to film the abuse of the girl who also suffers from mild learning difficulties.

A judge ruled they should complete a rehabilitation program to prevent them repeating their “callous” crimes.

They filmed themselves raping her repeatedly, copies sold for $5 each, and because that just wasn’t enough, they also set fire to her hair, urinated on her, and wrote the name of their home-made video production on her breast, which was cleverly entitled, “CUNT – The Movie”.  Their mammas were shocked, denied that their sweet little angels could have ever done such a thing, and naturally blamed the girl. I don’t even have to read this to know what happened, history repeats itself continually. Of course they get a free pass for all this, because they were just doing what normal boys do for fun, and why do you have a problem with that??? 

But that’s not what compelled me to break a three month hiatus, sojourners.  Oh no, this,or rather what this pattern indicates in light of some additonal information, is what motivated me into writing today. Here are the highlights, read at your own peril.

A 15-YEAR-old girl was put in a Brazilian jail cell with more than 20 men, and for a month was raped relentlessly and forced to have sex for food, human rights groups say.

“She was raped from day one” at the jail in Para state, a Children and Adolescent Defence Centre (Cedeca) spokeswoman said.

“Nobody really knows what she was charged with. She was a suspect in a robbery but police were unable to tell us which robbery. There was no formal charge,” Ms Cohen said.

Media reports of the case have sparked outrage across Brazil, especially since it closely followed an earlier incident of a 23-year-old woman who was also jailed in Para state for one month together with 70 men.

A month is not an accident. A flimsy excuse without proof or evidence to lock a 15 year old girl up with 20 men for a month is premeditated sex slavery and torture.   A second victim, while not technically enough to constitue a pattern, at least indicates the general attitude toward women and sexualized violence, given that necessity requires the willful complicity of many layers of deliberate blindness,  especially in a government run facility, for it to have happend at all.  Who really knows for sure how many other women were simply murdered after the men had their fun, or too afraid to talk?   Does it matter?  Numerous management personel had to have known, and no one cared one whit until their month of fun was up.  I’m sure they’re all good family men, and well respected in their communities.  Their mothers and sisters and wives and yes even daughters will cry with one breath, “oh no, not my Nigel.  Surely she was a just a prostitute, looking for overtime.”

pardon me while I puke.   really I can’t stand it anymore.  it is never going to be safe to be a woman in this world.

It takes an animal, or a herd of animals, to be that cruel.  Some animals probably convinced themselves that “she liked it” as she sat there frozen in pain and misery, wondering if she was going to get out alive.  Other animals most likely enjoyed her pain, her pain that they caused, pain that they were proud they caused.  They probably laughed at her.  Many more  animals probably wanted to be in there but couldn’t, in there with the shit and the stink and the blood, in there watching a young girl dying inside, in there watching a young girl wishing she were dead.   But that’s not the worst and you know it.  You know that there are countless more animals reading about it, wishing, wishing, wishing it coulda woulda shoulda been them that got to mark her with their hate.  Animals who wouldn’t go as far as these animals did, but animals who contribute in a hundred small ways every day just to let you know that because you dare to breath while being female, you will always be unsafe.  Always.  Animals who look just like Nigel.  Animals who are Nigel.

Fuck you and your goddamn fucking Nigel.  Do you understand what denial is, and that even feminists are not immune from needing a painfully logical progression of thoughts to stop?  Do you understand why you shout “not my Nigel”  or “but all men aren’t like that” when confronted with uncomfortable ideas?    Your patriotic Nigel circle jerk is a flashing red STOP sign for your brain.   Bad thought getting too close?  Hit the brakes!  Just focus on your safe, comforting Nigel, your personal suitcase of Nigels in a field of predators who would willing throw every women under the bus but you.   You can stop thinking now, you’ve reached your destination.  You don’t have to take the next logical thought in the queue.  You don’t have to face an unbearable reality, because you have one stinking lousy ONE distraction to focus on: Nigel.

A friend of mine once explained to me why years ago, why white folks didn’t want to admit flat out that racism existed.  But somehow she doesn’t understand why misogynists hide their of hatred of women under a guise of misdirections.  She doesn’t understand why misogynists deny and minimize the problems facing women long after proof to the contrary has been presented.  She doesn’t understand why misogynists will want to clarify and argue definitions until she is blue in the face, and still ask for more and maybe “can we start at the beginning again, please, I’m confused”.  She doesn’t understand why most of society nonchalantly perpetuates the myths that causes real-life harm to real-life women every single day – even though everybody and their grandma has heard at least a trillion gender deconstructions by now.  She wants them to admit that there exists an actual hatred and hostile War on Women.

Admitting a problem exists is only desirable when the goal is solving the problem.

The good done by men does not compensate for the harm done to ALL women.

Trends change, inherency is forever.

There is way out, my darling sojourners… If you but blow right through that stop sign and never look back.  Please visit again, and thanks for reading.  Erstwhile wayward travelers may expect some friendly feminst disagreement,  lost baggage, inclimate weather, or other Acts of Goddess to be generated by this humble blog.  I said, dearest sojourners, that MEN SUCK and they shall prove me right.  If you should wish to have any outgoing links disabled, just say the word.    Satsuma at Amy’s Brain provided inspiration theft for the lalaLA bit, they always know just what to say over there.

men suck 1  It has been brought to my attention that once again my suckage as a blog hostess knows no bounds.  I failed to discuss my stated objective, which was the intersection of harm as it relates to Nigel, who is unimportant.  Can you relate to my despair?   Do you see why I so vigorously resisted the temptation to blog?  Not only was I attempting to spare you the terrifying exposure to the inner workings of my insanity, but I instinctively knew that in answering one question two more would pop up in it’s place.  

Actually, if you’ve been paying attention, you will have noticed that the more accurate subject under discussion for the other day and for which I failed to ever offer up any rumination, was the intersection of harm and Stanley the Strawman, otherwise known as the “war on women”; but fear not, Nigel does indeed play center stage.   Sadly enough, chances are good that absolutely no one is bothering to read this, which means I am, in fact, talking to myself.  Blogging to self, more accurately.  I wonder, does a deaf person sign to themselves when no one’s around?

Anyway, Noble Nigel is a mime who performs street theatre.  He doesn’t say much, but he doesn’t have to; his only job is to stand between the audience and the little strawman Stanley behind the curtain.  It pays well, and the benefits are outstanding.  While emo stoicism is an admittedly tough character to play, the number of groupies who flock to Nigel’s side more than compensates for any hardship. 

But where’s the harm?  Why be mad at poor old innocent Nigel, who’s just doing his job?  After all, it’s really just those few bad boys who gad about from one indiscriminate act of mayhem to another, and we shouldn’t hold the entire cast to blame for the crimes of a few.  It’s only the “few” Stanley’s of this world who go around gleefully hacking feminist forums so they can send torquereous misexplicatives to sequestered sullied souls*.  It’s only a “few” misunderstood lads causing all the felonious harrassments, ravishings, and assorted double standards.  It’s only a “few” who need anthropomorphized displays of caged bunnies to sell skateboards.  men suck 2

Shouldn’t we reserve our displeasure for the few bad boys named Stanley?  

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say we should reserve our displeasure for the root cause of the harm done to women?**  Before we do anything else, it seems kind of important to quantify that harm — at least that’s what the scientisty people usually say — and that harm isn’t limited to a few women, now is it?  Magically, we are supposed to ignore the painfully apparent reality that every woman is harmed by what “a few” do.  Some might even propose that it is Nigel’s passive acceptance of all the misogyny swirling around like fairy dust which makes that magical sleight-of-hand possible.  Nigel is Stanley’s accomplice; they work as a team, but because they are never onstage at the same time we’re not supposed to notice how perfectly one compliments the other. 

Every time Stanley does something naughty we can point point to Nigel and say, “all men aren’t like that!” while the curtain falls dramatically.  With that line suitably delivered in a saucy tone, we can stop thinking and slog back a few mind-numbing drinks at the bar with our date, whom we’re trying really hard not to notice looks an awful lot like one of the lead players.   We can trudle back to our pre-assigned seats after intermission and be passive observers to the rest of the play, as if Nigel’s role is settled and there aren’t four more questions lined up in the que right behind the first.

*Sending “torquereous misexplicatives to sequestered sullied souls” is just a polite way of saying “torture porn to rape victims”.  I’m trying to shield your delicate sensibilities from excessively objectionable material.  Also, I have a dictionary. 

**As will be evidenced later, pie-in-the-sky ephemeral concepts miss the mark as an excuse.  You might want to rethunk that one. 

…About Nigel

August 17, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAPPARENTLY I threatened to start blogging.  Ha!  What a mistake.  What on earth could possibly be interesting enough or unique enough to blog about when there’s already an abundance of great sites to choose from?  I’m almost embarrassed that you’re still reading.  But perhaps you could help me figure some things out…

…ABOUT NIGEL, sorta

Apparently the phrase “it’s all about teh menz” is chanted at trolls in a feminist forum, in order to point out the shocking concept that “yes, we know the entire world revolves around what men think, but leave it at the door, m’kay?  We’re going to talk about what women think, in this space”.  Sounds reasonable.  But it also sounds reasonable that women invariably have men in their lives whom they care about, and as can be expected, most likely want to talk about various issues which crop up regarding said males.  Fair enough. 

So where does Nigel fit in?  Who is Nigel?  Nigel is the personification of “everyman”; he is all those men who are not overtly misogynistic but are instead at least slightly egalitarian in their outlook towards women (I think).  He’s also the guy who lets sexist comments and behaviours pass without comment because he thinks it has nothing to do with him.  He’s the default dood, and everyman is assumed to be him until proven otherwise.    If somehow I have mashed this definition, please let me know.  I tried to find him on Wiki, but apparently he’s not important enough to have his own page.

Incidently, please notice the part where I said “everyman is assumed to be him until proven otherwise”, because that part, at least, I’m confident I got right.  What does that phrase tell us?  IF the first bit is correct, which I hope it is, THEN it tells me that feminists in general have a very good opinion of “everyman”.  They are also willing to be patient while he figures out his role in the patriarchy – awfully generous of them.  So much for that man-hating feminist myth.

The thing is, I don’t believe that the entire class of Nigels, as a whole, is important to a far larger discussion.  That larger discussion is the thing which everyone within browser distance of my rantings has been unlucky enough to be subjected to.  That larger discussion is whether or not, men as a class, are ever going to stop with the sexism.

Whoa, what?  You heard me.  Don’t play coy.  There are a great many reasons why I wonder about that question.  Actually, I believe I already answered it to my own satisfaction, but I like to keep an open mind, and perhaps I’m missing some vital piece of information which will cause a giant particle beam of sparkly rose petals to appear and illuminate my way out of the darkness.  

Back to Nigel, because he’s not important.

I frequently get cuffed like a small fluffy kitten by it’s mama because I have the unmitigated gall, the monstrous offrontery to suggest that Nigel’s current role in feminist discourse should be re-examined.  Supposedly the great majority of men are innocent bystanders in this international, non-denominational war on women we have going on.  Somehow all the patriarchal terror in the entire world is caused by a small fraction of men.  Somehow, I find this difficult to believe. 

If the war on women was a result of only a few people, then patriarchy would be dead already.  A few foot soldiers simply cannot perpetuate a war.  This simple factoid should be obvious to the most brain dead among us.

The wiggly weasel way around that patently painful premise is to bring in culture as an oversized umbrella excuse, wherein we get to blame absolutely everything we can’t explain on some emphemeral pie-in-the-sky concept otherwise known as “culture”.  Culture, as we shall see later, makes a really bad defense, but I can’t cut loose on culture just yet because I’m not finished with Nigel.  Or someone could try, in order to protect the vast army of innocent Nigels from my evil wrath, to argue that patriarchy is dead. 

It’s so difficult to prove a negative.  Misogynists like to say women are equal now, but have you noticed?  They can’t prove it.  Logically, they are screwed, but they don’t even realize how badly, not yet. 

ONE OF MY PROBLEMS with Nigel is that he is a living, breathing denial mechanism.  If we can point to him every time someone says, “men have a pattern of repressing women’s autonomy” then we don’t have to deal with what that larger pattern means.  We can stop thinking.  We get to disengage our brain, and feel all those warm fuzzy feelings about the individual men in our life who aren’t tools of the patriarchy.  Most importantly, we don’t have to blame men, as a class.

What would happen if we stopped blaming culture, and started blaming real live actual men, as a class, not as individuals?   I’m genuinely asking.  What response could we expect from men, in general?  Please note — asking “if they deserve it” is a different question, and one which we will get to eventually.

This is why I’ll be a lousy blogger; I ramble off into the abyss way too much, so I will stop now.  Come back in a few days and I’ll do it again.  But I leave any interested parties more questions:  Why does no one want to talk about the pattern of Nigel?  Does everyone have him figured out but me?  Lastly, who is reponsible for “culture” if not actual people?

If you have read thus far, thank you.  Incidently, I introduced a strawman fallacy today, and he is going to burn the blog down if you don’t find him and put him out.  His name is Stanley.