[UberTrigger and Sad Warning! For my current thoughts on advocacy and sex in the rape culture, and Sexual Violence in the news]
The thing about my job as advocate and consent-extraordinaire is that it usually feels like we're playing a life-sized version of those elementary school PE games, where you have to run from one end of the gym to the other without getting tagged by the ghost, the rapist, what have you. I've made it to the far wall, so I'm showing people still in the middle how to get here too, helping them see paths as they open up. Encouraging them to run fast as hell.
But I'm not on that far wall. No one is; the threat's never gone. I have so much more life in me, and so many more risks to take, and it is likely enough that someone will rape me in my future. And I am pretty sure that, even given all the things I know, and all the myths I don't believe, it would be devastating and give me so much shit to work through (think of all the things I won't be able to do because of the effort just functioning would take).
So I practice. Just in case. When I go running when it's dark at 8pm, in the park that has lamps and is open until 11, I go through the assault in my head, yelling, "You can't keep me home! I deserve to move freely in the world! I will keep loving sex! I won't be scared of people! You can't fucking stop me!" And when I'm at the 24 hour grocery store alone in a dress at 10:30 pm, I imagine the trial, responding the the defense attorney, "The grocery store is open 24 hours to everyone. This is the most convenient time for me to go shopping. I was 'asking' to get food for dinner, not rape, actually. It doesn't matter that I enjoy sex. It doesn't matter that I talk about it all the time. My fantasies? Not relevant. You're full of shit. No one deserves this, and you can't convince anyone otherwise. I will keep loving. I will keep fucking. I will keep fighting."
I am gone, I am gone, I am gone, I am.
That's one kind of fantasy.
(one kind of disassociation.)
Lately I've been exploring my ideas about kink more, most recently as facilitated by The Pervocracy, who I heartily recommend. Yesterday was the first time I came up with my own fantasy to self-jam about, because it took that long, that much work for me to not me afraid of what I might think when left to my own devices. I'm taking Afro-Brazilian dance this quarter, and it is thrilling to move in ways that I find sexy without it being scandalous, or for someone else. It is my body, being awesome. (This is a pretty big deal. Usually when I dance in front of other people, I am very careful to make sure it is not Too Sexy, lest anyone think I am an Incorrigible Slut, or sending an invitation. Such policing! Such shite.) I am so excited and happy about this, and other related expansions of my sexual expression about which I will not be blogging.
But there's still a disconnect. There's a really shitty feeling that I shouldn't be having all this fun.
I was reading Pervocracy last night, and one post consisted of souvenirs, in the form of pictures, from a recent night of Risk Aware Consensual Kink. (I won't link to this post without context, but again, I recommend her blog.) One picture shows "whore" lightly etched into her back. I don't think this is up my alley, but there it is for her. I observed it with a "hmm," no analysis or nothin.
This morning, I check my email, and yahoo local news gives me the headline "Attacker carves 'Hoe' into woman's chest."
Why do you put so much work into making sex bad?
This pejorative-carving is something at least one person likes, without harming anyone. Maybe liking it is tied up in it being something that is supposed to be pretty fucking harmful, but that is not an invitation to do it.
It's the same thing outside the realm of kink, of course. On my bus ride home tonight, I was reading an article on sexual assault at the US-Mexico border in Color of Violence, the INCITE! Anthology (which I would like everyone in the whole world to read? Get yr hands on it if you can. Email or call and I'll tell you more.). The article told the stories of women who have been raped by Border Patrol agents, and the ensuing legal process. Luis Santiago Esteves is such a relentless offender, who kept getting reassigned to do more damage, not to mention the damage he was doing to his first and second wives and daughter at home. When he assaulted one woman, after two had already brought charges against him, he said "I know what I'm doing. And I am capable of everything." I think that's what checked me back into this fucking reality.
Why do you make sex bad?
It is not a weapon. It is how I express joy, how I find all the different sounds I can make and ways I can move. And I do love moving.
I will not let you use my body as a battleground. You cannot use it against me anymore.
(I refuse your hate. I am untouchable.)
My cunt is not a vulnerability, and my vulnerability is not an invitation.
I will not stop loving.
I will not stop fucking.
I will not stop fighting.
Free Tammy Garvin
2 days ago