GFE’s or “Girl Friend Experience”

 It has come to my attention (thanks OAG!) that there’s a new thing in prostitution circles now. It’s the GFE, or rather, the “Girl Friend Experience”. Now, I am admittedly not readily familiar with more recent terminology in prostitution and so I hunted around a bit to find out what this GFE is all about.

Apparently it’s a prostitute that acts like a girlfriend. She has sex without a condom, french kisses and overall tries to play the part of her client’s girlfriend.

At first this really surprised me, then however it really began to make sense to me. As most of you know I was a stripper and I’ve shared stories before about how men would get very upset if you didn’t act like you enjoyed them buying your body. In fact, this was played out on one of the posts I did not too long ago. I mentioned how most strippers that I knew, myself included, would oftentimes be thinking horrible thoughts about the men they were giving lapdances for. We’d be focusing on their wacky hairdo or yellow teeth, really it was any little thing we could find wrong with them. Why? Because when you’re being bought and sold as a piece of meat it’s simply a self-defense mechanism to pick apart the looks, smile, hygiene or whatever else from the person who’s doing the buying.

In any case the article Stripping, my experience was immediately linked to from a hostile site. The tone of the article I wrote was that the women you are paying for actually resent you, and, in fact, instead of being awed by your manliness are probably laughing at you behind the scenes.

Quite frankly this pissed off the largely male audience at the hostile site and they went on to say some pretty vicious things about me for telling them that *gasp* a woman doesn’t actually love being treated as property. I didn’t bother to read the hostile link, mostly because I don’t really do that. Dubhe is the one who can’t seem to stop reading all the hateful things that are posted about me but I tend to ignore it because these folks aren’t my target audience and to be honest, they mean exactly jack shit to me. However, the reaction of anger that came from that post didn’t surprise me; I’ve confronted this mindset many times in my life.

Men who buy a woman’s body but also want her to be happy that they bought it. In fact, as a quick side trip (which really is related to this post I promise!) I’ll relay a story to you about something that happened early on in my relationship with Dubhe. Having been a stripper and an escort I have a special affinity and indeed, a special rage, in my heart over men who frequent these ‘businesses’. I’ve been at the receiving end of hordes of harassment and things that went well beyond what I was being paid to do. Of course, there is very little recourse for strippers when they are sexually harassed on the job. You sign up to take off your clothes and make some money but oftentimes the reality is men trying to finger your asshole or vagina as you walk past. Men spitting on you or pouring beer on you. Men throwing change at you or bottles or ashtrays. Men grabbing your hair, slapping, hitting, spitting and pushing.

These things are bound to create anger and frustration in ANY person who experiences them. With that in mind I get very, very angry at men who frequent these establishments. Now, as you all know Dubhe pulled himself from the bowels of the Patriarchy, he’s still learning, still growing and still working his ass off.

However, way back when we got on the topic of stripping and I found out that he had been to a strip club. I asked him if he knew that the woman hated him? I asked him if he knew that she was most likely looking at him through half closed eyes but inside she was suppressing a gag reflex that went a mile deep. I told him that it’s likely that she not only didn’t WANT to be getting off some slob with a lap dance but that she most likely actively HATED him on some level. That she may have, at some point, been fantasizing about stabbing his eyes out with an ice pick. I know I did.

His reaction was normal insofar as this sort of thing goes. He was offended. He was surprised and offended that she wouldn’t like him. He was pouty and frustrated and assured me that I was wrong, that the girl couldn’t have felt that way about him because “I was a (can anyone fill in the blank?)…..”NICE GUY” after all, I didn’t grope her and I didn’t say lewd things to her, I was a “NICE GUY!”

Of course, I pointed out that it took vast quantities of entitlement and privilege to believe for one instant that you can BUY a human being and that they’ll be somehow happy and grateful to you for doing them the honor. Not to mention, if you were such a NICE GUY, then why did you buy the use of her body to begin with?

Dubhe is not isolated in his reaction to men finding out that the woman they just bought and used was not ecstatically happy about being nothing more than a piece of meat for your pudgy hard on. Oftentimes with these men I like to ask them a series of questions, “Did you ever think about her life? Did you ever give a shit about her past? Her experiences? Did you ever even realize that she had a fucking NAME?”

Of course they never really think about any of those things but yet, they expect the woman that they’re buying to think about all those things about them. Can anyone tell that this is something that bothers the fuck out of me? *cough* to get back on topic, the point of all that was to illustrate that this phenomenon of Girl Friend Experience doesn’t really surprise me.

Men, by and large, don’t only want to buy women but they want women to enjoy being bought. When they find out that a woman doesn’t really love being bought and sold they get angry, pouty and indignant. It would be funny if it weren’t so fucking insulting. When they find out that, in fact, the object they purchased wasn’t very happy with them their little porn-induced world illusion is shattered. It oftentimes comes as a complete surprise to these guys that women don’t actually lurve being humiliated, degraded and purchased like a rat terrier. It really becomes a sort of paradigm smasher when it becomes obvious that many of these women actively dislike them.

Why? Well it’s simple really; women know that we are ‘othered’ all the time. To hear men talk we’re not like them at all. We enjoy having babies, changing diapers and then being anally fucked by our husbands at night. Of course, men don’t or wouldn’t enjoy that themselves but women do because they’re the ‘other’. Women just like degrading things because they’re just ‘different’. Things that men would hate women just lap up.

This is a classic example of ‘othering’ we are the other; we are something fundamentally different from men. Therefore, men can watch a woman being raped by a Great Dane and actually believe that some women just LOVE to be raped by Great Danes because, well, women are just ‘different’. (which, btw, I’ve been meaning to do a post on. Bestiality and porn, it promises to be quite long and, hopefully, good) When they find out that women don’t like so many of the things that they themselves would abhor then suddenly they can’t be ‘othered’ quite as easily.

So, a man coming face to face with an angry woman who is telling them that the stripper they paid to give them a lapdance could have been fantasizing about poking his eyeballs from his sockets with an icepick is generally turned on as the enemy because she is smashing his nice, neat little paradigm (the sound of the indignation, wrath, poutiness and general bashing that ensues is the sound of a paradigm shifting without a clutch).

People in general, and men in specific, do not at all enjoy being faced with the reality that a woman is not ‘other’. That we like and dislike most of the same things that men would like or dislike. When they realize this they get angry because it would infer that they’re doing something wrong. If THEY wouldn’t like being bought as a cum receptacle and they’re finding out that women may not like being bought as a cum receptacle it becomes much more difficult to keep that wall of disassociation in place. We can no longer be ‘othered’ and this means that the man must suddenly decide whether he’s really the ‘nice guy’ he always thought he was.

In any case when I heard about this I was reminded immediately of the “nice guy” syndrome as it pertains to stripping and the parts of the industry I was involved with. If a dude wasn’t throwing ashtrays at you, slapping your breasts or pulling your hair he was a ‘nice guy’ and therefore you were expected to be slaveringly grateful to them. The fact that they had just bought you doesn’t mean that they’re not a ‘nice guy’, no, of course not. It just means that they’re normal men and thus are able to distinguish themselves from those ‘not nice guys’.

This is possible only because of the ‘othering’ that I talked about further up. They reason that because we are ‘other’ then it’s possible and indeed, quite likely, that we simply can’t be understood and therefore it’s possible and even likely that we enjoy the treatment that they would find ing, humiliating and debasing.

So, does it surprise me that men suddenly want, not just a hole, but a hole that acts like it’s happy to be a hole? No, not really. Think for a moment about the encounters you’ve had with men. Perhaps it was with your husband or your lover. You didn’t feel like having sex but maybe he was nagging and nagging and nagging and you thought it would just be easier to give in. You sigh and say, “Fine, whatever. Hurry up and get it over with!”

How did that go over? I know that for me when I’ve been in this situation the guy who pushed you so hard just a scant second before will normally look at you as if you’ve just grown a third arm. “Well, no. If you’re going to be THAT way about it!” is the usual reply. The attitude that follows is often sulky, nasty tempered and grouchy, in my case it would also be very dangerous for me. So, after one or two instances like this you quickly learn that you’re not just expected to give up sex, but to act as though you enjoy it. To do otherwise would result in the nasty paradigm shifting discussed earlier and since you’re the closest target then the rage a man experiences over having his ‘othering’ challenged will be directly aimed at you.

So what do we do? Oftentimes we sigh internally but externally we act as though we’re into him and while he’s going at it and we’re screaming that almost ridiculously falsetto porn scream we are internally ticking off what we need to buy for groceries the next day.

Make no mistake about it, they want to fuck you but they want you to ACT like you WANT them to fuck you. We are not only expected to fuck on demand but to ENJOY fucking on demand. Wanna make any guesses where this idea that she loves fucking all the time every time comes from? Anyway, back to the post. Apparently men are paying more for prostitutes who will give them a GFE, which is really just a fancy way of saying, “I’ll pay you more to act like you like being bought”.

Seriously, think about this for a moment. The guys who pay for a GFE are perhaps the worst of the lot because they already recognize that prostitutes most certainly do not really want them, and have definitely realized that many prostitutes are downright disgusted by them but yet they don’t give a fuck.

They already KNOW that the prostitute doesn’t like them but have decided that she is so much of an object that she can FAKE liking him and his conscience is clear. And, in a good many of them, knowing that she doesn’t want him fucking with her but paying her to pretend she does gives him a great big chubby dick from the mere thought of the control.

He deliberately ignores that a prostitute is likely disgusted by him but it doesn’t matter, and, in fact, he is likely getting off on that knowledge. With a guy like this we can’t even give him the benefit of the doubt by saying, “Well, I dunno, maybe he thought that she really liked him” with a nervous shrug and a hopeful look. No, we KNOW that this guy is aware that the woman doesn’t like him and most likely wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole any other time. He KNOWS this, so he just goes ahead and pays her more money to pretend and the owner paradigm fits completely into place with this final indignation. Dude, talk about buying someone heart and soul.

Then of course there’s the entitlement aspect. The men who engage in such a thing not only believe that it’s right and appropriate to buy away a woman’s loathing of them and that she should act like she likes it, but they also believe that they, for whatever reason, have a right to a relationship. They have a right to buy another human being, use it, discard it, and she should pretend that she enjoys it. Wow, talk about living in a fantasy. Talk about male entitlement and privilege.

The women who are doing this are, of course, opening themselves to great risk. They’re at huge risk of contracting diseases, some of them fatal, so that a guy can completely and entirely ‘own’ that woman for the period of time it takes for him to fuck her and get his rocks off on whatever porn induced fetish he has.

And make no mistake about it, the fact that she doesn’t like him and she’s pretending she does anyway is a big part of this. He’s controlling her and he’s forcing her to do something she doesn’t want to do because this system has placed women squarely in poverty just so they can have a sex class to use when they want it. That sort of power is what these guys are craving. So, not only does she have to endure degrading anal sex by a man she doesn’t know but she has to kiss him and smile and pretend that he’s not hurting her either. This GFE is the epitome of exercising complete and universal control over another human being. These men are buying not only a human being but the outward expression of that human being’s emotions. They’re putting her at tremendous risk in their frenzy to control and dominate another person and indeed, it’s part of what gets them off.

This has nothing to do with a poor lonely guy looking for someone to play pretend with. No, not in a million years. It has everything to do with controlling the minds of the objects you bought. These are privileged men who believe that they have some immutable ‘right’ to purchase a woman and that she should like being purchased. It has nothing to do with tenderness or closeness and everything to do with the thrill of paying a woman enough money that you can inflict upon her any number of STD’s and it’s too damned bad for her. What a power trip it must be to know that you have not only bought the wet holes for your use but that those holes will act as though they enjoy it while you do any manner of degrading things to them that you want, and it’s just an extra bonus that she has no idea whether your infecting her with AIDS or any number of STD’s.

Don’t be fooled. These guys aren’t looking for a girlfriend. They’re not looking for tenderness, kissing, touching and so on. They’re looking for the ultimate control and domination that money will buy. They’re looking at being able to do anything they want and knowing that she will pretend to enjoy every second of it.

It never ceases to amaze me what new, controlling, domineering and violating thing men are capable of cooking up. I am endlessly amazed by how much power white males have in this society and how they are still seeking more. How the power of being the ruling class is not enough for them. How the power of buying a body for their use is not enough for them. How the power of the fear of a rape culture is not enough for them. How the power of living in a world in which women are displayed, contorted and free to every man who wants a quick power trip isn’t enough for them. They must continue to work up new and better ways of taking more power and more control. Up to and including buying not just the body, but the outward expression of emotion from that body as well and then getting off on that expressed power. The power to dominate and own, the power to hurt and cause fear and yet, they still crave more.

And you know what the really ironic part is? The part that makes my gut kind of twist in a sickening grind? It’s the fact that these men will come to the prostitutes asking for a GFE and they’ll be entirely focused on feeling badly for themselves. How horrible their pathetic little lives are that no woman will touch them with a ten foot pole. How sad for them that nobody has yet to be able to see what a kind, generous caring dude he is. And they’ll go on and on about how their wives are cold-hearted bitches or how the women are never able to see what a great catch he is.

They’ll go on and on about what a ‘nice guy’ they are and how there’s nothing wrong with HIM but rather women just like ‘bad boys’ or women are so shallow that they can’t see what a fucking gem he is. He’ll go on and on and on about his torturous life of pain and torment and loneliness but you know what will never, ever cross his tiny little mind? The fact that the woman he is paying to pretend to be his girlfriend is drug addicted and she grew up with her stepfather raping her from the age of 7. And how, at the age of 12 she left the house because her mother didn’t believe her and she ran away to avoid further abuse. And how she is now only 15 and is working as a prostitute who is trying like hell to just stay off the streets and how she’ll be servicing two more men that night after he is done with her.

None of that actually occurs to these men. The ‘talkers’ want to go on and on about their horrible wives or horrible girlfriends or they want to chat it up about how they’re really prince charming but no woman can see how amazing and wonderful they are. And all the while they will ignore or gloss over the fact that the woman they are currently speaking to has been bought and is about to be used for her cunt. It’s all about how bad their lives are but never, for a moment, do any of them say, “You know what? I’ve changed my mind. How about you take this $100.00 and use it to pay the rent with. No strings attached, you don’t have to fuck me. Just take this because I don’t like the fact that I’m paying to own another human being.”

Nah, that’s something they never do. Why? Because we are the ‘other’.

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Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Porn and Prostitution- Intro to Porn Week

Originally published on April 07, 2006 

I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long while. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to find my numbers and such until just now. Originally this idea was intended to run for a week, each day a different installment until, on Friday we completed the idea. However, I feel like undertaking this task today.

I want to discuss the ‘tiers of harm’ associated with pornography. At every level of pornography, from the making, to the distribution to the watching and to every single woman in society there is harm.

It makes sense to start at the beginning, and the beginning in this case is making pornography. Now, for the purposes of this series of articles I want everyone to understand that when I’m referring to pornography or the sex industry or prostitution I am using the terms almost interchangeably. The difference between pornography and prostitution is really just a ghost line that is put in place by those who wish to separate themselves from ‘those other people’. In this instance the ‘other people’ are the ones who buy prostitutes. Societally speaking pornography is more accepted than buying a prostitute, therefore people have a much easier time aligning themselves with this ‘very different’ (to use their words) aspect of the sex industry.

I also want to note that you will see me using scare quotes through this article when referring to women who ‘get something out of it’. This is not a post debating whether or not they are actually getting something out of prostituting themselves which is why the scare quotes are there. The assumption is that prostitutes and porn stars are ‘getting something out of it’ and I will leave that alone for another day. Ok, on with the show.

First we must understand that the two are indistinguishable in a practical sense. Pornography is prostitution, but the fact that not just one man is using the prostitute puts it into a different category in the law.

It stands to reason that in a society where women are to be available to all men all the time that prostitution would fall into an altogether different category than pornography. The line drawn between the two is truly a false dichotomy, the real reason that lay at the heart of the legalization and, in fact, mainstreaming of one, whilst the other is a more ‘seedy’ underside is not too hard to understand.

In porn the woman is available for ALL men, all the time. Every man who sees her can ‘fuck’ her, even if only through the male who is present in the movie. She is truly the whore, the free hooker, the slut that every man can do with what they will (either in the actual making of or in the viewing of).

Prostitutes on the other hand are only fucking a small percentage of men; therefore, since they are not offering their object status to each and every single man who desires it, it is a far more taboo idea.

Of course, at its base, porn and prostitution are the same thing. In both of them a woman exchanges sex for money but in one of them it is filmed, in the other, it’s a private interaction in which it has been argued the prostitute is getting ‘something out of it’. With this false idea of the prostitutes ‘getting something out of it’ the degradation is not complete enough for society’s liking. Without the benefit of allowing every man the ability to use her, she has not been punished enough for ‘getting something out of it’.

In other words, pornography allows the entire male population to use and degrade her sexually and that works off any ‘benefit’ she may get from the act. In this case money. A woman who derives any benefit from selling her sex is a maligned creature indeed. With the porn star we can take away any and all ‘benefit’ that she is perceived to have received by making her fodder for every man to degrade. That’s a tradeoff that the Patriarchy will make.

One woman gets paid a few hundred bucks to be an object of degradation, humiliation and objectification for millions of men. Her image is forever sealed, her degradation posed and captured at it’s finest to be stored in the annuls of time. At any moment, 1 year, 5 years or 30 years later she can be recalled by any man who wants to degrade her without ramification. All for a few hundred bucks. Of course it’s a great deal for the Patriarchy. They get a collection of women, thousands of unnamed stories and faces that are frozen in the very act of degradation that man gets so much pleasure from. Exposed and captured at their most vulnerable they represent the culmination of Patriarchal power, a thing to be seized by each and every member of society and jerked off too gleefully as proof of male power and domination.

The porn star is maligned because she is perceived to have gotten some ‘benefit’ from having sold herself. Women hate her because men seem to love her, Men hate her because she displays a lack of character so complete (to the men) that they are incapable of feeling anything but revulsion at her, after they use her to orgasm to. It’s true. The porn star is maligned because she has become what society has trained her to be. She is maligned by the men who display and overwhelming disgust of her when they are done using her. That disgust is often rooted in the very acts that they desire but are disgusted by. The very acts that they would never do or allow to be done to them builds a disgust of the very women that will do it. It’s a case of projection at it’s finest but that’s also not what this is about. Suffice it to say that society hates the porn star, but she is also mainstream and acceptable precisely because of her degradation and the fact that millions of men all over the world can, at any time now or in the future, use her and reinforce her status as a dehumanized thing.

The very thing that makes her hated and maligned is also the very thing that makes what she does acceptable. Why? Because she has taken her punishment for being such a despicable creature, she is allowed to exist BECAUSE she takes her punishment, that punishment being that she is forever a nameless, faceless object to uphold the tenets of male domination.

The prostitute however, has no such tradeoff. She is not being degraded enough according to the patriarchy. Millions of men cannot fuck one prostitute. The entire society of males cannot degrade one prostitute, it’s not feasible. Unlike the porn star, her audience is only a relatively small group of men who are in physical proximity to the individual woman. Her punishment for merely having female genitalia and then, ‘getting something out of it’ (presumably money) is too much of an affront to the patriarchal construct. She is selling herself in private to only one man, or a series of singular men and the belief is that she’s ‘getting something out of it’ therefore, she has not been punished enough.

Under this system a woman not only cannot be perceived as ‘getting something out of it’ but she must be punished for anything she does get out of it no matter how small. The system dictates that she must be available without reservation, without any thought to herself at all times. If and when a woman is perceived as having ‘gotten something out of it’ she is reviled and degraded all the more.

The prostitute flies in the face of patriarchal norms in that way. She is a woman who is perceived as ‘getting something out of it’, taboo at best, hated at worst. The reality of whether she actually does ‘get something out of it’ is up for debate but the perception is still there.

It is because of this reality that prostitution has more of a stigma attached to it than pornography. Both women are prostitutes, one of them can be said to ‘suffer’ more than the other if only because every man has access to their degradation for an unknown number of years whereas with the prostitute only a small percentage of men have been allowed to degrade that particular woman and for most of them the only memory and ‘proof’ that they have is in their memories. There is also the matter of her not being ‘available’ for an infinite number of years. Eventually the prostitute will get old, die or otherwise be unable to be degraded. Also, there is no ‘proof’ that she was degraded enough in prostitution, therefore the societal taboo is harsher.

Lawmakers have decided that prostitution is illegal in many places. Based, unknown to them I suspect, upon the model I just discussed. With porn men can degrade her ‘safely’, from a distance, any man, at any time. With prostitutes you must ‘pay’ to degrade them, therefore, in the mind of male privilege, the prostitute comes out ahead, or at least even. The truth of that statement can again be debated, but this is what the men believe when they go to prostitutes.

This could perhaps, (I haven’t thought about it too much yet) even be the reason that prostitutes are far more likely to be raped than anyone else. Their degradation is not complete enough, selling their bodies by some men can be too easily construed as her ‘getting something out of it’ (money). The retaliation is rape and degradation that defies the accepted limits of degradation afforded to porn stars.

The porn star is paid once and then subject to abuse by anyone at any time. She is the creature who appears to love the abuse and degradation that the patriarchy is so adept at providing. Therefore, HER abuse is legal precisely BECAUSE of that.

A woman who gets anything out of sex is a maligned creature indeed, even if the perception of her is wrong, even if she is being harmed by the sex it doesn’t matter. If the perception is that she is getting something out of it then she is hated. The slut is hated for precisely this reason, as is the prostitute, as is the woman who just knows what she wants in bed. ANY sort of perceived ‘benefit’ is reason enough for men to revile her. The ‘benefit’ could be enjoyment of the sex act, or her saying “No” to him. It can be money, power, anything she does that lends to a perception of benefit.

A man who ‘nags’ his partner into sex probably stopped giving a shit about the actual orgasm involved after the 3rd “No”. It becomes a battle of wills that the man must win. Why? Because she is perceived as having gotten a ‘benefit’ from her sex, in this case, the ‘benefit’ of being able to say “No”.

The prostitute is similarly hated because her ‘benefit’ is money. She got money but didn’t get degraded enough to ‘pay’ for that money.

The porn star, on the other hand, is understood to have been suitably degraded, it can be clear that she has gotten the short end of the stick on this one. Her image and likeness and even her rape (Deep Throat) are proof enough that she is degraded enough to be allowed to ‘benefit’ from the measly few hundreds of dollars she received. Even after the woman is dead and in the ground her likeness, her essence and her body is still open to male degradation.

Porn and prostitution are the same thing. The only difference is that the porn star makes no bones about privacy, indeed, she is captured in the very act of ‘allowing’ herself to be degraded so that millions of men can, in turn, get off on that degradation. The prostitute has the audacity to require it to be only one man, not millions, and her degradation is not complete enough for societies liking.

This is the reason that one is legal and one isn’t. It has nothing to do with Freedom of Speech and everything to do with the levels of degradation that men perceive them having taken.

So, to start off this series I wanted to tell everyone exactly why I will use the two interchangeably. They are the same thing in every aspect. One is legal, one is heralded as being ‘helpful to relationships’ and ‘harmless fantasy’. But don’t be fooled, the sex industry is just that an industry. Some women have paid enough and the Patriarchy is willing to strike a deal with them while others haven’t paid enough and are therefore more maligned and more ‘taboo’ than the other.

And this, my friends, is my intro to porn week which will resume on Monday (unless I crank out the next post over the weekend).

Thanks to Dee for contributing this series of posts

Porn Week: The partners of sex industry supporters

 

Originally published April 11, 2006

People oftentimes say that the only people who are hurt in the sex industry are sex workers and the men because they have their money taken from them (I know, it’s laughable but true, people honestly DO say that men are victims in this regard).

However, I did say that the sex industry hurts people at every level and that’s what I want to talk about today. Yesterday I wrote about how it hurts the women who are actually in the thick of things. Today, I want to talk about women who are currently with men who actively participate in the sex industry.

These are the wives and intimates of men who use pornstitution (I LOVE that word Sam!) and their pain is every bit as real as the pain of the women who are providing the service.

Women who are the partners of men who use pornography are greatly harmed by the men who use it. There are two levels of harm.

1. The internal harm to women.

2. The external harm to women.

Basically, for the internal harm, I’ve classified harms that are not directly related to the men, things like low-self esteem, self-doubt and so on. In the external category I’ve classified things like rape by men and pressure to do painful things.

I’ll start with internal.

Women who live with men who actively engage in pornstitution suffer many internal harms, one of them is self-esteem issues. Oftentimes women will see their partners watching women that they can ‘never measure up to’. They, rightfully so, begin to wonder if that’s what their partners really want. They look in the mirror and see that they are neither a size 2 with enormous breasts nor do they have blue eyes and blonde hair.

Their self-esteem is further damaged when they ask their partners why they’re looking at these other women this way. Men will often respond with something that they know to be a lie like, “Well, I don’t like any of them, I’d much rather be with you!” The women fear (perhaps for good reason) that their partner is lying to them. Surely, if he wanted to be with them then he wouldn’t be fantasizing about women who are nothing like her…right? The term ‘fantasy’ is often used to refer to something we want. For example, I don’t fantasize about eating rotten eggs because, I have no desire to eat rotten eggs.

So, the patent denial from these men serves to make her question more. She knows that what he’s saying is rubbish. After all, if she’s been with him for awhile and knows anything about pornography she knows that he can get any sort of porn that he wants. If he really wanted her type of body, or hair or whatever, then he could find it. It’s not that difficult to do.

So first, her self-esteem is damaged. She fears that her partner doesn’t find her as attractive and this sets up a ‘competition’ with the women in the sex industry (which will come into play later on as well).

Next, she begins to doubt herself and her ‘ability’ to ‘keep him happy’ sexually. Her self-esteem has already taken a big knock, hell, finding out that you’re not your partners ideal fantasy is pretty heavy shit. And so now, she is in the perfect position to fall into the self-doubt. She begins wondering if she’s any good in bed, she isn’t doing the things that the women are doing in his movies and strip clubs. She doesn’t scream like that, or act like that, or talk like that, or suck dick like that, or take anal sex like that, or any other number of the lies that pornography tells. She doesn’t do any of that. And since, she reckons that he’d be looking up people like her if he really wanted HER then the self-doubt settles in.

She begins to doubt her personality, her attractiveness, her desirability (both emotional and physical). Soon, she’s a wreck; she’s full of self-doubt and low self-esteem which are two great big risk factors for depression.

Often women will say that they feel like they’ve been ‘cheated’ on. That their husband is giving all this attention to a woman she can never be. They feel like they have been ‘betrayed’ and can’t figure out why they hurt so badly when everyone is saying that it’s ‘normal’ for him to watch porn. Hell, she’s probably even being advised to watch porn with him at couples counseling because it will, “help you become more intimate”.

She doubts herself and second guesses her feelings on it. She ‘catches’ her partner watching porn and feels betrayed and cheated on but she isn’t allowed to express those emotions because of the pornification of our society. If she expressed them then her fears will be seen as ‘prudish’ and ‘unfounded’. This creates a rift inside of her, she doesn’t want to feel so badly, but she can’t help it. She tries to minimize her pain and doesn’t tell anyone because she’s probably heard before that, “It’s normal for guys to look at porn”.

Now she is riddled with self-doubt, “I shouldn’t be feeling this way” she chastises herself. “I should be able to understand that it’s normal”, “I should be secure in my relationship” and so on and so forth.

At this point men come into the picture. They have always been in the picture, in fact, it is their sense of entitlement that put her into this position in the first place. His insistence that he has a ‘right’ to porn and thus, in her mind, he has a ‘right’ to hurt her is what brought her here to begin with. But of course, until now he has just been a passive actor. He’s ‘only’ been indulging in his ‘right’ to look at porn. Too bad for her, whatever she feels is her own problems stemming from her own insecurities…right? (clearly, I don’t believe this, but for the sake of this post and keeping it on track I won’t go there)

Now, his actions become active, putting her pain squarely into the ‘external’ category.

Here’s a few, once again from OAG’s site (her site it the handiest I have around, I STRONGLY recommend it to anyone who’s looking for information!)

… I was raped and assaulted on two different occasions by an ex who was obsessed with porn. Also, while we were involved, he constantly made me do sexual things that i was not comfortable doing, such as acting out porn or taping us having sex, and would make me feel like scum if i tried to refuse. The stuff he did to me will be with me for the rest of my life; It doesn’t get any easier and it’s not something you can just move on from. People have got to start paying attention to what porn does to the women who are involved, both on screen and off…

Porn is gross! I believe only sick people at it .I knew someone with a bad porn habit, this person was abusive to me and to my sister, worst of all after looking at this porn he would want to have sex with me and get into things he had seen in the porn. What he did hurt and it still hurts to this day.

..then, i got pregnant..he kept buying magazines especially while i had a big belly… i cried everyday. i still do. i have tried to do things he wants me to do in bed..but he would still look at it.

I was molested by 3 different men throughout my childhood –all of which used pornography as a visual aid in order to get me to perform.

Also, we have some stuff from Dr. Diana Russell

“I don’t need studies and statistics to tell me that there is a relationship between pornography and real violence against women. My body remembers.” — Woman’s testimony, 1983.

A letter was sent to the United States Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography reporting that: “A mother and father in South Oklahoma City forced their four daughters, ages ten to seventeen, to engage in family sex while pornographic pictures were being filmed” (1986).

And these are not isolated examples. Visit an anti-pornography board sometime where people who are hurt by porn and recovering addicts are coming together. The theme of men asking, demanding and taking things that they see in porn is so commonplace as to be ‘normal’. Hundreds of stories, hundreds of thousands of stories, all of them experienced by a woman. All of them referring to their partners using porn to hurt them, it’s not a tiny percentage here.

The simple fact of the matter is that men are asking women to do what ‘those women’ do and by the time they start making her do these thins she has already had her self-esteem severely damaged and there is too much self-doubt flooding through her mind.

By the time he gets around to pressuring her to do things there is little resistance. She has been primed to offer as little resistance as possible. Men are asking their partners to do the same sorts of things that they’re doing in the sex industry. My own experiences are consistent with this theme and I am but one experience in an entire world full of them.

Remember the numbers from yesterday? Do you remember the percentage of prostitutes whose attackers used porn as a guide? Clearly not every man who looks at porn is a violent rapist, however it’s important to remember that these things happen on a continuum. While not all of them are raping women, a good portion of them may be ‘nagging’ her into doing something they see in pornstitution. Telling her, “If you loved me you’d do it” or some other manipulative threat. These experiences are traumatic for women, who simply want to feel good with their partners.

Often, women coming out of relationships with these men have low-self esteem and carry a torrent of stories about rapes that they are only able to define as such later. Many of them talk about being raped in a specific way that they saw in their partner’s pornography.

Other women are incessantly asked to ‘do it like she does’ while being given a pornography as an illustration. The simple fact of the matter is that, for these men, the fact that they are hurting their partners means nothing to them. Their partner’s pain and wishes are thrown to the side in favor of pornstitution.

Pornography does affect men’s ability to relate to women, I’ve done posts on it in the past, specifically For the Number Hounds. That post is chock a block full of numbers, statistics and so on.

Here are a few stats from the post, for example –

Regular users of pornography are more likely to think of women in stereotype, (1) as “socially non-discriminating, as hysterically euphoric in response to just about any sexual or pseudosexual stimulation, and as eager to accommodate seemingly any and every sexual request.” (2)
Allan, K., & Coltrane, S. (1996). Gender displaying television commercials: A comparative study of television commercials in the 1950s and 1980s. Sex roles, 35 (3/4), 185-203.
Zillman, D., & Bryant, J. (1984). Effects of massive exposure to pornography. In N. M. Malamuth, & E. Donnerstein (Eds), Pornography and Sexual Aggression (pp. 115-142). Orlando, FL: Academic Press

Regular users of pornography are more likely to have sexually callous attitudes and accept the rape myth (that when a woman says “no,” she means “yes.”)
Allen, M., Emmers, T., Gebhardt, L., & Giery, M.A. (1995). Exposure to pornography and acceptance of rape myths. Journal of Communication, 45 (1), 5-26; Saunders, R.M., & Naus, P.J. (1993). The impact of social content and audience factors on responses to sexually explicit videos. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 19 (2), 117-131

Regular users of pornography have increasingly hostile and aggressive sexual fantasies.
Malamuth & McIlwraith (1988). Fantasies and exposure to sexually explicit magazines. Communication Research, 15 (6), 753-771.

Regular users of pornography are less likely to convict for a rape, and less likely to give a harsh sentence to a rapist if in fact convicted. Conversely, individuals who do not use pornography are more likely to convict an accused rapist
Garcia, L.T. (1986). Exposures to pornography and attitude about women and rape: A correlative study. AG 22 (1853) 382-383.
Zillman & Bryant, (1984). Effects of massive exposure to pornography. In N.M. Malamuth, & E. Donnerstein (Eds), Pornography and Sexual Aggression (pp. 115-142). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

With all the drop in the ability to empathize it stands to reason that the men would also be unable to empathize with a woman who doesn’t want to do something she finds painful, degrading or both. The fact is that most women who’s partners have had issues related to the sex-industry have been asked, coerced, nagged and even forced to act out what they see in magazines. This is closely related to the process of turning fantasy into reality that we were discussing a few days ago.

With her self-esteem shattered and second guessing herself, her feelings, her ability to determine what ‘should’ and ‘should not’ bother her, she is ripe for the abuses that invariably come later.

Each and every single woman that I have ever spoken with whose partners engage the sex industry have been subject to abuses in some form or another.

Not only are they victimized by their partners who refuse to care about their feelings while they are actively engaged in pornstitution use. But they victimized again when the partners finally (if ever) decide to stop looking at it. They are told that they need to try to ‘understand’ when her partner ‘falls off the wagon’. Her outrage has no place to go and all of the understanding, attention and care is once again laid at the ‘addicts’ feet.

Even outside of the sphere of immediate influence (i.e. the users female partners) pornography still causes pain. Daughters of porn users have been raped and molested by men who are using porn. They’ve even been raped and molested with their abusers showing them porn, or using porn as a manual. And this is not a small, miniscule percentage of the population. Many survivors speak of their abuse with porn playing an active role in their abuse.

Even if the man doesn’t do something that extreme his ideals of women are shaped by pornography and the daughter, sister and so on is always affected.

Every woman within the personal sphere of a sex-industry supporter is affected by him; from his partner, to his children, all the way to his siblings and mothers. Even if that effect is ‘only’ a change in the man’s outlook on women they are still affected. And that outlook does change; it has been proven time and time again in study after study (check out the sidebar links for more information). When a man’s outlook and ideas about women change then the women in his life are ALWAYS affected.

Sometimes their outlook changes in a large way, in the cases of rape, abuse and so on. Sometimes the change is more subtle, in his demanding for sex whenever he wants it. His reduced empathy for pain, of any kind, that women experience. His ideals of what women are for. What constitutes ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’.

There really is no escape from it. When you have a man in your life that is engaged in the active degradation of women through the sex industry you are going to be affected, in some way.

The fear, the self-doubt and low self-esteem are bad enough but there is also the acts that she’s asked to perform or the acts that he just assumes she *should* be doing. Those thins are horribly damaging. To always feel like you’re never ‘good enough’ even after you try to be like the women that he wants is shattering to the self-esteem. And all of this is done in the name of male entitlement and privilege.

Even more troubling is the fact that men are being exposed to hard core pornography at increasingly younger ages. One of my sons friends actually came to me about 2 years ago, when he was 12 and asked me about fisting. He was TWELVE! He spoke to me because he wanted to know what I thought about porn; he confided that at the age of 12 he was watching 4 hours of pornography a day. Hard-core, no holds barred pornography. He asked me if women enjoy being fisted. I was utterly shocked that this child, this boy was asking me about these things.

I had a very long discussion with him about women, about what they like and what they don’t like. At the age of 12 I was having a discussion about sex with a young boy who believed that women had orgasm through anal sex and that penetration with a baseball bat or a mans fist was pleasurable for women.

Now, it’s safe to assume that this child had not had sex at his age. However, what will his expectations be when he does? What will he be expecting from his girlfriend? And how does one make him understand that a single woman saying, “Umm…no, I don’t like that idea” is important when there are hundreds of them standing up and saying, “Yes, please cause me pain”.

If children can be affected then adults can be affected. The studies show it and every girl that he runs into will be affected by his belief that these things are right and good. If we fast forward I wonder what that boy will expect of his girlfriend? When he was 12 he expected her to enjoy having a man come on her face, in fact, he believed that it would make her orgasm.

With the proof that the studies are showing us, that men are affected by regular use of pornography, then there is little doubt in my mind that his girlfriends will ALSO be affected by his pornography. And the saddest part of all is that these survivors are silenced by the masses. Men scream at them, tell them that they must have wanted it. They make excuses for the men saying, “Well, how was he supposed to know that she wouldn’t like to have his fist stuffed inside of her?”

Men who watch pornography are changed at a fundamental level, their ideas about what women are and what they should be is changed. They accept rape myths more easily and are far less willing to find an accused rapist guilty of the crime. In short, men who watch pornography affect the lives of the women around them and they wander on blissfully sure that they’re not doing anything wrong. Most of them never stop to think about it. Most of them never stop to think about why they unquestioningly accept a woman’s fake screams of pleasure as the real thing.

They are affected, they just don’t know it and, as men, they engage in the male privilege of believing that what they believe must always be true.

Men engaged in supporting the sex industry leave a path of destruction behind them that they are too self-absorbed to notice. When one reinforces the ‘fantasy’ that is presented in porn of a woman enjoying her degradation (through orgasm) then he is reinforcing this very important concept in his life as well. And once this has been reinforced often enough it is simply assimilated as a part of their belief system, it is then that the women in his life will suffer. As his demands for degrading sex continues, she will suffer. As his sense of entitlement grows, she will suffer. As his belief in the rape myths solidifies, she will suffer. And as his dissatisfaction with his sexual life (another effect of porn) grows, she will suffer. In the end, SHE is the one suffering, not him. He is simply too self-absorbed to give a fuck about her pain.

~BB

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Porn week- More about affecting women

 

Originally published April 13, 2006

Ok, after yesterday’s hiatus I’m ready to tackle the next part of Porn Week. This post is going to be two-fold. The first part of it is going to deal with how women are affected who have nothing to do with men. The women in our society who are lesbian for example, or the ones who choose to be single, or the ones who choose to stay as far away from men as they can.

The second part of this will discuss the affects that porn has on female consumers. The women who watch it, what harm it causes the women who choose to watch it.

Well, after Tuesdays post I figure that a few of you may have been thinking, “Well, that’s just fine and dandy BB. But what of the women who aren’t with men at all?” It’s a fine question because there are many women out there who aren’t with men, who choose to stay single or who love other women. Porn affects them as well.

Women who choose to stay single are affected by the pornography use of perfect strangers. For example, Holla Back just did a story about how a normal woman is affected by the consumption of porn by complete strangers. Note how the man had a video camera.

And this one isn’t the first. There are others out there, lots of women who have had porn referenced to them by complete strangers. I, personally, have had a complete stranger come up to me when I was in a library and ask me if I liked to watch porn. Many of us have experienced the boy in school who would come up to us with his copy of Penthouse that he lifted from his father and show it to us. Even as adults this is not uncommon. I’ve had friends who were chased from a library or computer lab because the man next to them was looking at pornography on the computers. Or worse yet, he and his friends were looking at porn and creating a hostile environment that she couldn’t work in.

What about the jurors on the Haidl rape case? They watched a video of a child being raped with bottles, pool cues and lit cigarettes but when they were told that the girl wanted to be a ‘porn star’ suddenly there was reasonable doubt. The very allegation that she wanted to do this cast reasonable doubt and resulted in a hung jury. Who knows if she had ever said such a thing? Perhaps she didn’t, it’s possible that she never even saw pornography until she saw her own rape on the television. But yet, pornography affected her. It affected her intimately as that first trial was hung. The mere mention of an allegation helped give the jury reasonable doubt.

But it gets better, women who come into only glancing contact with men are still exposed to their pornography use. Take the women (and there are MANY of us who fall into this category) who have been exposed to pornography at the workplace. These are women who oftentimes have nothing at all to do with pornography on their own. And yet, they are subjected to it at work as a form of harassment. Men, talking about strippers and porn stars, about x rated internet sites that they’ve found. I vividly remember the last job I had, I worked in Logistics and one of my co-workers had a thong clad woman on his desktop calendar. I also remember a conversation with a man who told me I looked like the stripper he saw last night. Who had the gall to tell me that I should be a stripper. Where would he have gotten the idea that this was an appropriate thing to say to a woman? That this was a flattering thing to say to a woman?

Pornography is still being forced down women’s throats in the workplace, on the street and in stores. Complete strangers, men whom she doesn’t know, will ask her about porn, show her porn, pin it up at desks and show it to them in public. To recall another story about my own experiences with this sort of thing I have to go back to when I was around 22. I was in my car, driving through town. The town had a series of stoplights and I somehow managed to hit them all. I was in the left lane, and a truck was in the right. The men noticed me at the first stoplight in a series of about five of them.

The weather was warm and I was enjoying my day with my car windows rolled down. At the first few stoplights the men in the truck next to me were hollering and winking at me. By time I got to the third one they had pulled a pornographic magazine from somewhere in the truck and were waving explicit images at me from their window. The more I ignored them the more they screamed.

They hollered to me, “Hey! You look like HER!” while holding the centerfold aloft. I leaned over and rolled up my window, ignoring them. However, they weren’t done and they followed me through several of the stoplights until I turned left and got away from them. Where would they have gotten the idea that a woman would want to be shown pornography? Where would they have gotten the idea that it was acceptable to keep pushing even after the woman has rolled her window up and is actively trying to ignore you?

This is not particularly uncommon. Women, who otherwise have nothing to do with pornography, being harassed by it and with it.

“But BB, that’s just a group of assholes! I don’t do any of that so I’m not adding to this problem”. Perhaps. But here’s the thing, the studies have repeatedly shown that men who view porn are changed by it. Men, who are otherwise ‘nice’, ‘caring’ men, begin to get the idea that women are pieces of meat and THIS translates into women being harassed more and more on the street.

Sure, maybe you don’t hold porn out of your car windows to harass women with it, but we know, all too well, that when guys scream at us, “Nice ASS!!!!” where they’re getting it from. We know exactly where they got the idea that I am the sum of my parts and that my parts were open to inspection and perusal at any time by them.

But it goes even farther than that, porn influences the reality of men and how they perceive women. Most of them won’t admit it when they’re actively using porn, but I haven’t met a man yet who hasn’t acknowledged this fact after they stop using it.

Nobody wants to admit that they are being programmed by something. We like to think of ourselves as clear-thinking autonomous individuals. Yet, every time we masturbate to an image we are reinforcing that image with chemicals.

Porn leaves a lasting chemical imprint in the brain.

And when the images of porn have been repeatedly reinforced by your own actions of masturbation then your outlook and how you view women in general changes. Suddenly, women are little more than ‘eye candy’, objects that are available for the male gaze each and every time they leave their homes.

From fat women, who are measured against the porn standard and then criticized openly and sometimes viscously by men. To thin women who are measured against the porn standard and subjected to disgusting comments by men. All the way down to the man who ‘just’ stares at the women in line at the grocery store. She is being affected by the porn use of the man she doesn’t know. Women become simply objects, and their existence is a testament to his ‘right’ to stare at her ass, or her breasts or her legs or whatever part he fetishizes about her. Pornstitution is step one in reducing women to body parts for the consumption of the male gaze.

The man in line behind you who stares at you until you’re squirming and uncomfortable, he is another example. The complete stranger at the store who feels that it’s his right to engage you in conversation and is pissed off when you respond in a non-porn style way and tell him to go away. These men have been affected by pornography. The man who undresses you with his eyes, or the men who criticize you openly about your legs or your hips. These are men who have taken the message that women are objects to be judged by men to heart.

You don’t think that men are affected? Well, once again we’ll have a look at some of the stuff that OAG has collected from a message board that does ‘reviews’ on pornographic pictures.

Here are a few comments I’ve lifted from that page for the purposes of this post.

Great Gonzagas

those are huge knockers and a butter face. but hey, they’d be handy if she had a toothache *and* was on the rag at the same time. if you know what i mean, and i think you do.

somebody drag it back into the water, and leave it there.

Asking If they’re fake is like asking if she has orgasms. who cares?

skank

Yes, indeed Mizike. I’d love to pound her in the ass.

Busted. Tits can only do so much for a guy. I love big yammers, but not with an accompanying face like hers.

I can see why she doesn’t want the focus on her face./would still hit it though

Butterface. /can’t believe no one said it yet

She’ll make a great intern some day.

she would suck the chrome off a trailer hitch….or a golf ball through a garden hose..trust me. How do these get through?

I’d hit it like a Korean whore in China.

I think my wang moved a little… wait… no it didn’t.
/yeah, I guess I’d still hit it. Good for a poke if the tele’s broke as they say.

These are just a few in reference to two women who were ‘judged’ by the men. Want to hear what they have to say about Britney Spears?

i’m not a big fan of spears, but big stars end up being role models to 14 year olds, so hopefully her busting outta her bra will inspire, this generation of 14y/o to be mega-cleavage showing sluts.

Does anyone else think the Olsen twins are hot? Does it matter to anyone that they’re only like 15?

I can’t wait until Britney’s all washed up… You know she’ll be taking it all off once her music career is over.. 😉

I want to know if she swallow, spit or gargle.

She is just a trailer trash girl who needs to be barefoot and preg…..

What a brainless sack of meat. She has the potential to be a fark puppet (as long as she doesn’t open her mouth to speak) or an organ bank (until the parts run out), but sadly, nothing much besides that.

If I can’t pin her ankles behind her ears and drive the ol’ skin bus into tuna town, the terrorists have already won.

now this is dirty. Mmmmmmm. hot little hussy, tempting us all with those virginal gazes whilst wrapped up in slutsville

I don’t get it, Maybe if you put a bag over her face then I might do her, but dang she ugly

I wish she’d turn into a porn star already and just become cum fodder and yesterdays news.

There are hundreds more of them, thousands more, each of them more despicable than the last. And you know what? I suspect that if you took any one of them aside and told them that they were misogynist idiots they’d argue with you until they were blue in the face. Why? Because pornography blurs that line so much that they believe, most likely with all their heart, that they ‘like’ women. In fact, they’ll look at a phrase like “Maybe if you put a bag over her face then I might do her” as a compliment. Oh, and please don’t use the tired line that they’re ‘just’ internet trolls and they’re not really like that. I’ve done plenty of posts on that topic before.

Of course, despite what they want you to believe their comments and attitudes say differently don’t they? Nah, porn doesn’t change the male outlook on women…not at all *snark*.

But what of lesbians? You know, women who love other women. Women who don’t want anything to do with men sexually? How in the hell can they be affected by male porn usage? Well, gentle readers, I’ve done posts on this before. Here’s a link –The Lesbian Caricature as well as another post that goes into Lesbianism for men.

Even lesbians are being pulled into male pornography, the control that men must exert on a woman who has no desire to be with men results in the proliferation of men wanting to see, “real lesbians” and “lesbian women fucking women” (sitemeter searches). Even lesbians, that group of women who have no desire to be with men, are affected by pornography and male usage of it. They are at once fetishized, feared and hated.

Finally, we have women who watch pornography. To that all I can say is that other feminist bloggers have done excellent articles on what it did to them as well (For those who have done those articles, I can’t find the links right now. If you want to, could you repost them in the comments?) I’ve done my story about how pornography affected me, as a female. It’s not much different from the stories of other radical bloggers.

Quite simply, women are affected by male use of pornstitution and they are affected by female use of pornstitution. From the catcalls and stares to the porn in the workplace. Lesbians, single women, even separatists are affected because pornography changes the people whom it touches. The expectations of men change, the expectations for women change. Porn props up harassment and objectification and if you, as a man or a woman, think that porn isn’t affecting your outlook on sex, women, or the world, then you are sadly mistaken.

Perhaps, instead of insisting that YOU are above the influences of pornography, you instead think about ways that you have been affected by it. Because you have been affected by it and therefore each and every single woman who comes into contact with you, whether it’s the stranger who’s tits you stared at in the store, or the fat woman who’s weight you criticized or the co-worker who was exposed to you and your buddies talking about the HOTTT strippers you saw the night before, YOU are affected. And, in turn, you affect those women around you who are already bombarded with images, movies, commercials and so on that marginalizes and objectifies them.

Next time you have a sexual thought, see what influence pornography has played in creating that thought. The next time you think about that woman’s ass in the store ask yourself why you’ve put so much emphasis on her ass to begin with. The next time you criticize that woman who is overweight and who is eating a piece of cake, ask yourself why you believe you have a right to criticize her. Ask yourself what she ‘should’ look like and why you believe that you have a right to determine what any woman ‘should’ look like. The next time a woman is eating an ice cream cone in front of you and you think about whether she’d be good at giving you head, ask yourself where that comes from.

Maybe then, you’ll understand what I’m saying.

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Too Damned Many

As usual I’ve been reading my favorite blogs and they’ve struck home with me this week. You see, when I started writing here at The Den it was simply a place where I could go and speak freely and anonymously about the world as I see it.

I never would have believed that the-world-as-I-see-it would inspire so much hatred and fear but it did. I remember when I first started getting comments; I was excited that someone out there was hearing me. But the first thing I noted was that yes, they were hearing me, but they fucking hated what I was saying. I’m not sure why, but I kept writing, often I look back and wonder why I kept going. Hell, I often look around me and wonder why I’m still writing.

*sigh*, my thoughts are becoming muddled and I’ve lost my direction. Let me try this again.

This week we’ve lost yet another blogger, one more voice silenced in a string of courageous women who have gone before her. When I read the news I shook my head sadly and fought the wave of emotion that swept over me. Sadness and despair took me for a moment. In the short time I’ve been doing this I’ve watched as woman after woman has taken a big breath and decided to start blogs. The circle of radical feminist bloggers is too small, so very, very small, but their spirit and their fight is big. They start blogs, one small voice that has decided to speak out, and then it begins. The trolls invade, the ‘pro-sex’ bloggers take notice, hell sometimes even other radicals argue with them. The point is that oftentimes they will just sort of disappear one day.

I’ve watched them come and go, I’ve watched radical voices crumple and disappear and I feel angry and I feel sad and I feel despair and all of these things I feel at the same time. I’ve come close several times to walking away from this project and goddess knows how many times I’ve read yet another article and shook my head in anguish at the unfairness of it all. So when I read that we’ve lost another voice it hits me like a personal H-bomb exploding in all of its dismal glory and it occurs to me as I shake my head sadly while holding back tears of rage that I will have to update my blogroll once more.

When I began doing this I never could have believed just how big this blog would become. I never would have believed just how many words of support I would have gotten but there’s another side to it as well, a side that radical bloggers everywhere experience. There is the sting of hate from both women and men and gods, don’t ever underestimate that sting.

I don’t know, perhaps it’s just me, maybe I’m speaking in generalities when I have no proof of anything but I think it happens to all of us, or most of us, or a large portion of us. We start blogging, wanting a ‘safe’ space where we can speak. I think in the beginning we all hope to have positive comments directed our way. We all hope that people will show up and say, “Hey! That’s exactly it!” I think we are also looking for confirmation that we’re on the right track, that we’re not freaks, that there are others who believe like we do.

Soon though the trolls come, I think that all blogs are found first by the trolls. I’ve sometimes posited that they have Nextel radios that they communicate with and when a new radical blog opens they call in to each other and report it. Regardless, the trolls seem to be able to sniff out a radical site quicker than fleas can sniff out a new puppy.

The trolls come and we realize that we are being condemned and hated. And then the other radicals show up and I think that we feel relief at first. We finally feel as though we’re not alone. Our blogrolls widen and we march on, the trolls don’t sting quite as badly because we have a circle of supporters and we go to each others blogs and we fight the trolls and we feel like we’re not alone.

Somewhere though, something shifts, perhaps it happens one day when we’re looking at yet another story of a woman being beaten and raped and left for dead in a dumpster, maybe it happens when we decide to stop shaving and we are rebuffed harshly in public and in private. Perhaps some ‘pro-sex’ blog finds us and begins to obsess over us, posting every day about what a big piece of shit we are, or maybe we pick up our first cyber stalker, the impetus changes but I think the effect is the same.

Suddenly that blogroll seems too small and abruptly it’s as if we are transported into a satellite view and we see that all around us there is this vile misogyny and hatred. We find that our co-workers, friends and family refer to us as ‘man haters’ we find that we are but one small person standing on a beach and scooping teaspoons of water out of the ocean one at a time. We look at the vastness of the ocean and it occurs to us:

We will die in the same world that we were born into.

All of our fighting and screaming, all of our defending and begging and frustration, all of our anger and sadness will die, impotent and ineffective for we are battling an army, the likes of which we never could have comprehended. We are, for all intents and purposes, trying to empty oceans with teaspoons.

And then we get it, we’re not fighting because we have any hope of any real change in our lifetimes. Hell, we’re not even fighting because we have any hope of change in our grandchildren’s lifetimes; many of us have given up hope at all and are certain that the situation will never really change. So why are we fighting? We’re fighting because what else can we do?

I know for me there was a moment when my bright eyed optimism failed and I saw the truth of what I’m doing in the harsh light of cynical despair. In the beginning I had hoped for real social change, I had hoped that speaking out; writing about it, trying to raise consciousness would beat back the tsunami that women live with.

I had hoped that a few well crafted posts about “What women have to do to ‘prevent’ rape” outlining how we walk to our cars with keys clutched between our fingers or how we forgo hiking and camping alone or how we always wonder whether or not our new boyfriend really would have stopped the other night after he nagged us for three hours to have sex with him.

I naively assumed that all it would take is to just let people know what was happening. I assumed that it was a matter of speaking out, of letting people hear it.

I didn’t understand how very far off base I really was. I didn’t account for, nor understand, the depths to which misogyny had been embedded in the very fabric of our lives. In short, I didn’t realize that I was trying to do the impossible. I looked at that ocean and thought it to be a lake and I looked around me and saw the other voices on my blogroll and assumed that the entire shore was dotted with them. I didn’t realize that there were only a handful of us and that the lake was an ocean and that the twenty or thirty of us were trying to do something that was impossible.

Gods, when that hit me I was devastated. I vividly remember sobbing huge tears in the shower, collapsing on the floor while the hot water ran in rivulets over my skin. I remember crying until there were no more tears to cry and my skin was pruney and wrinkled from the water. I remember looking down at my hands and understanding, fully and completely that this would be a battle that I would fight until I was old, until my hands really did look like the water soaked hands I was looking at now.

I realized that I would be fighting this battle until I died, an old woman with pruney hands, and I would hand my spoon over to the next young, naive woman and let her continue to try and empty an ocean.

There are days when I understand that this battle will not be won in my lifetime, and the sadness that envelopes me is too much to bear.

I will never walk free down the street, unafraid, unconcerned, as a human being walking amid other human beings.

I will never walk to my car without that niggling fear that we feel, without shifting my bags in my hand or wondering if my bag would be heavy enough to act as an effective weapon.

I will never feel confident enough to camp alone in the woods, unafraid and unconcerned.

I will never experience a day when I can fish at 2:00 am and when a man approaches me I can smile at him with no fear or misgivings in my heart and say, “Hi! How are you doing tonight?”

I will never experience a time when I can, without fear, without reservation, bring a man to my house and not have it even cross my mind that he would rape me.

These are only a scant few things that I will never experience. Other women have more of them, different than mine perhaps, but regardless for me there came a time when I understood completely that I will not change the world. That this world doesn’t wish to change and indeed, that it will actively resist any and all attempts I make to the contrary. No amount of anger, begging, sobbing or pleading will change it for me. It’s too entrenched. It will not happen in my lifetime.

When that realization hit me I was in a pool of despair, sobbing upon my shower floor and then sobbing some more until I was so dehydrated that crying anymore was not physically possible. When I got out of the shower Dubhe was worried and concerned and he said to me, “Oh BB, what you are doing is important” and he said it the way that a man, who has never felt the raw heart stabbing pain in their gut when they read of another woman who has been brutalized at the hands of men, says such things.

Despite his intentions his surety came from that place that men can afford to inhabit. After all, it was very easy for him to tell me to go on when he didn’t, and never would, feel the gut wrenching pain of reading that a woman was dragged to death by her abusive boyfriend, leaving a blood trail a mile long and that the residents were primarily concerned with the removal of the bloodstain.

He would never feel the raw fear, the edge that is felt when we find ourselves face to face with a stranger in the park. He would never feel the rumbling in the guts when your boyfriend gets mad in front of you for the first time and you become painfully aware of each and every single woman you’ve known who has been beaten, raped, groped, assaulted, slapped, hit, abused, fondled, ogled, catcalled, bullied and scared by men.

Of course he could easily tell me to keep going. Of course he could tell me to keep writing. Of course he could have hope when he didn’t feel each and every violation upon his own body. When he wasn’t forced to relive his own attacks each and every single time he wrote. Of course he could be courageous when it wasn’t his people who were being systematically enslaved, degraded, dehumanized, bred to death, outcast, mutilated and murdered.

But I couldn’t be so optimistic. When the death threats start coming and the rape threats start coming and yet another man writes you an email telling you that, “If I ever find out who you are I’ll fucking rape you to death you stupid cunt”,

When even other women wage a war on you, talking about you, screaming about how awful and stupid you are,

When perfect strangers feel entitled to create images of you being raped by animals,

When men feel entitled to stalk you and harass you for the crime of speaking,

When your mother tells you that you’re a ‘man hater’ while simultaneously believing and approving of everything you write,

When men use your story of abuse, rape and degradation as pornography and then write to you telling you that they orgasmed when you described your rape at the hands of men,

When friends, family and coworkers turn from you,

When your children tell you you’re ‘gross’ because you stopped shaving your armpits,

When people set up blogs designed for the sole purpose of telling everyone what an evil person you are,

When you see the influx of trolls coming and telling you that you’re stupid and worthless and crazy,

When you see the search terms that men are using, “Raped sluts”, “Beaten and raped whores”, “Bleeding ass fuck”,

You start to feel not so optimistic.

So, when I find out that we’ve lost another voice I sob silent tears that nobody will ever see but me. But what can I do? I feel torn. I sure as hell can’t tell them to stand back up and fight for a war that we will never win, or at least, one that we will never win in our own lifetimes. I’ve seen too much shit to believe that anymore. What do I do? When we’re fighting a battle we will never win? When society views us with generalized scorn and hatred? When our emotions, feelings, experiences are wiped away with a dismissive wave accompanied by the old refrain, “Well you’ve been abused but you have no right to be wary of all men”, or better yet, “You should let go of your anger, I know plenty of women who have been abused and they’re not angry”. When all of it can be dismissed with a wave of the hand and a pat on the head from some asshole man or some sex-pos woman then we realize that we’re fighting for the sake of fighting.

I cannot look any woman in the eye who has chosen to lay down and stop fighting and tell her to stand back up again. I cannot condemn them for they have reached that moment when they realize that they will be fighting their entire lives, sobbing all the time, begging men to stop, explaining themselves over and over again and they will never understand why they are so hated and maligned, until they die without the freedom of ever having lived without fear.

And when they express this notion they are greeted with such things as, “Well, men have to be afraid too!” or, “You know, you risk your life driving to the store in your car” and so on and so forth until they’ve explained it a dozens of times and they’ve heard analogies comparing rape to getting the flu or being in a car accident.

 

These are women who have come to understand that our own lifetimes are but drops in the bucket for we are fighting against ideologies that are thousands of years strong. Thousands of years of embedded ownership, oppression and humiliation, an entire society built upon the degradation of females in any and every way possible.

The news that schoolgirls were systematically separated from boys and murdered is not a point of interest. Men, on this very blog, continue to deny that women are even raped. In the face of statistics, studies and so forth they wave it away with a shake of their entitled hands and in so doing they ensure that their undeserved privilege will remain intact.

Some of us, myself included, moderate comments on our blogs to keep out the most vile and hateful filth that would be inflicted upon the women who post with us. But make no mistake, we still see those comments, and we still see the trackbacks and we still see the filth that is spoken of us. And after awhile we grow tired, as so many bloggers before me have done and they decide to lie down and be done with the whole nasty business.

Sometimes they just stop posting, I those ones on my blogroll as long as I can, always hoping and praying that they will come back, but unable to bring myself to beg them to stand with me once more. I will not beg them to subject themselves to the same vile hatred that so many of us experience.

How can I, a woman who feels the despair daily, a woman who has heard the same stuff that is directed at them, a woman who is certain that the screaming and begging and yelling will never bring about real change in my lifetime, ask another woman to stand in the face of it? How can I ask another woman to willing take the abuse that will invariably be meted out to her when I know, only too well, how awful that abuse is?

Just today I received yet another threat against my person in my inbox, another man who hates me and feels that he is entitled to write to me and threaten me with bodily harm. I am reminded sometimes of that scene from The Return of the King, when the forces of Gondor are amassed at the black gates and they’re calling Sauron out. At one point the camera pans up and we see Gondor’s forces standing in the middle of a huge wave of opposing forces. We know, as do the characters, that they have no way of winning, there is no hope.

How can I tell a woman to go into that battle knowing that there is no hope of victory?

In real life there is never a ring of power which will balance the scales. There is never a small hero who emerges to overcome the awesome forces of the opposite side. Indeed, in real life there is a certain failure that radical bloggers learn to deal with, there is knowledge that the oppression and degradation of women will not be overcome in our lifetimes.

So yes, I am deeply troubled when we lose another important voice, it cuts through all of the false bravado, all of the courageous words, and it reminds me that there are real, live women out there who are speaking this truth and dealing with a very real, systematic hatred and wave of violence for nothing more than speaking their minds. Do not be fooled by our tough words and our almost mocking tones, I think it’s safe to say that all of us are affected by the violence. We deal with it differently, but that doesn’t mean that the affect is any less real.

There are times when I am enveloped with a hopelessness so vast and so large that I hope for an apocalypse and no, that’s not an exaggeration. I have often heard bloggers stating that they must take time off, they must have a hiatus from all of it. Gods, I understand that feeling all too well, there are days when you read another story and everything just sort of leaks out of you. Days come when you don’t think you can bear to live another day in this world, when you wonder and daydream of a world where women are safe, where children aren’t prey and where men aren’t monsters.

On those days, when you read another article or see another story or look at another study or statistic you feel your heart sink and you realize that you are completely, 100% stuck. And no matter how loudly you scream, no matter how angry you get, that tomorrow another woman will have experienced the life altering event of rape and that your voice will do little to stop that ocean from consuming yet another of your sisters and it feels as if you simply cannot go on.

You feel as if your voice, your anger, your experiences, thoughts and emotions are impotent and useless. There is no escape from this world save death, no escape from the worry and the fear that men will never experience. There is no way out, no magic portal that we can escape through; we are well and truly stuck.

In those moments everything seems to close around me and my breath sticks in my chest and I need to hide. I need to walk away, to lay down for awhile and hand my spoon to my sister who will not condemn me for my exhaustion. And I shut down the computer and I don’t look at my email and I stop looking at comments and I just hide and pretend that today no woman will be raped. And I spend a day imagining a day in which a woman isn’t killed for the crime of being raped, and I imagine a day in which no woman has to submit to having a man scream “Nice ASS!” to her as she is walking down the street and I imagine that perhaps today is the day where no woman is beaten by her husband.

And then I think to myself, “BB, maybe today is the day that you should pack up your stuff and just go camping for the weekend?” and then I remember that I’m a woman, and to go camping alone and unprotected by a male is fraught with fear and difficulty.

And then I realize that saying such a thing aloud will most likely bring more condemnation my way and I realize that as I’m pondering these things a woman is being beaten so I go to my garden and I understand that as I’m pulling a weed out that a woman is being raped somewhere just because she is female. And so I come into the house and I turn on the radio and I understand that somewhere a woman is being enslaved for the purposes of being used sexually by men and that people would support this practice instead of condemn it. So I decide to turn on the TV and I watch as another pretty white woman is paraded across my television screen as another victim of rape, but of course I understand that I will never see the face of a black woman or a fat woman because they still don’t count as human beings.

And so it goes until I can take no more of it and my anger grows larger than my exhaustion and I pick up the laptop and find myself writing once more.

I’m sorry that this post seems so full of despair and so full of sadness and defeatism. I’m sorry that this isn’t a happy, jolly, optimistic post that promises everyone that if we only keep fighting we can make it stop. I apologize that I have succumbed to my own anger and sadness and despair and spread it onto my blog, the one place I have always tried to show a strong front, but right now I don’t feel very strong. Right now I feel anger but it is a useless anger for the 2000 people who will read this today are but a small drop of water in an endless sea, even with 20,000 or 200,000 thousand or 2 million or even 2 billion we are ineffective because right now, as I am typing this, there are 6,662,822,662 billion people on this earth, and now, …663, 754, 766, and so on. Every second I type the population soars and it continues to do so, it continues to rise; now there are 6,662,822,870, in the scant 30 seconds it took me to type this it has jumped again.

Even if 2 BILLION people agreed with me and fought with me and were busy spooning out this ocean out with their teaspoons we would still be woefully unequipped.

It is in these moments that I feel the most despair, when I think of the bloggers we have lost. When I look at my blogroll and see that there are those who haven’t updated in months and I think, My gods, this will never change.

But for some reason I am compelled to stand once more, as I hear the voices of my sisters screaming and begging and I know their fears and I feel their sobs and I am wrenched from my daydreams of equality and peace and a world in which we’re allowed to live in peace, unfettered and unafraid of the violence of men. I am pulled back to my feet and I continue to write and to speak and to delete the hate mail, rape threats and insulting comments from my screen even as I understand that I cannot delete them from my mind.
This is why bloggers quit. This is why brilliant voices are silenced. This is what happens when we stand back and look at the bigger picture and despair enters our hearts and we look to our sisters with tears in our eyes and say, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I can’t do it. I just can’t do it anymore” and other women will hug those of us who simply can’t continue and we’ll embrace them either physically or spiritually in our writings and we’ll say, “It’s ok my friend. I understand and I’ll take your spoon for you”. And we do this with tears in our eyes and we wonder if perhaps we would be better off if we left with them, if we laid down on the beach and just let the ocean take us as well.

And some of us are able to see the ocean and we feel it lapping at our feet and we decide that even though we cannot empty it, even though we will never know a day when we will see results from what we’re doing, that we can’t stop. We try, gods, there have been days that I have begged to be released from this knowing. This awful, terrifying, horrible knowing. There have been days that I wished, with everything inside of me, that I could reverse that knowing. That I could go back to when I didn’t see it, back to when the ocean was invisible to me, just as the women standing on the beach were invisible.

But I can’t. And I keep trying to lay down but as soon as the waves lap at my feet I realize that I can’t just let it take me. And so I listen to the words of my brave sisters and I look up at them from the sand and I take their words and use them to lift myself back up because damnit, I don’t want to be swallowed whole.

To my sisters, to all the women who write, and speak and talk and fight. To all of you holding your spoons right now and looking at the vastness of what we’re doing. To those of you who have watched others lay down and feel frustration and sadness and who are fighting back tears.

I feel your pain.

Your words are treasured jewels to me. They are the hope that I can cling to and the fire under my ass and damnit, sometimes I hate you for speaking out. Sometimes I hate you for continuing to show me this ocean when all I want to do is lay back and let the waves wash over me. But somehow you always manage to inspire those few remaining words I have and your words and bravery and dedication manage to pull me to my feet once more even though I feel so tired and I’m still so very young.

 

You are all beautiful. You are all intense and amazing and brilliant. And Heart, while I read your words and see the stories about more women being devoured by the ocean and I grow angry at you for reminding me of it and pulling me to my feet once more, I love you for the inspiration that you give to me.

All of you are wonderful. All of you are incredible. Stormy, Sparkle, Spotted Elephant, Breatheinspirt, Lost Clown, OAG, Sam, all of you and so many more that I can’t name you all, thank you for making me mad. Thank you for enraging me in those moments when all I want to do is run into the ocean and let it consume me. Your words, your stories, your articles are inspiration to me.

There may come a day when I throw it in completely, when I am consumed by misery and sadness and despair and I lay down and I don’t stand back up, sometimes I hope that the day will come soon. Looking at the threads of my life that are spreading before me and knowing that as long as I am in this world, as long as I am alive and breathing and typing that I will be facing the raw hatred and condemnation that I have received thus far makes me terrified for what the remainder of my life holds.

When I feel the pain of another woman cutting deeply into my own soul I look out towards the future and know that there will be so many more moments like this one. So many more times when my heart feels as if it shall bleed all over my keyboard and I think to myself, “I’m sorry my darling sister. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t stop it for you.” And fuck, I’m not looking forward to a lifetime of those moments, yet, there is no other choice for me right now.

No, this post is far from happy. It’s far from optimistic, it’s far from anything even remotely resembling hope. This is a post of desolation and despondency, of fear and anger and the overarching feeling of being entirely helpless yet, perhaps it is also a peek into what others feel on those days that they post one line,

 

“I need a break.”

Before disappearing for weeks.

~BB

P.S.- I wanted to add that I am NOT going to stop writing. This is not a ‘goodbye’ letter but rather a letter of frustration. I’m not ready to lie down just yet 🙂

Also, some of you will have noticed that I opened comments on this post for the express purpose of showing everyone what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ on some blogs. These are the comments that we keep off the blog for obvious reasons. I think they’ll go a very long way towards proving my point once again.

It’s Over

Well, it’s all over and I’m breathing a gigantic sigh of relief. Last Tuesday I went to Planned Parenthood for the first of 4 visits in an effort to end this pregnancy. The first thing that struck me when I walked through the doors on Tuesday morning was the security. I was first buzzed into an ‘antechamber’, a small room that led to the waiting room. It was concrete and sported a large bulletproof glass window (at least I’m assuming that it’s bulletproof because it had wire zigzagging through it). On the other side of the window sat a nurse who pushed a drawer to me from the other side. Inside the drawer was a sign in sheet where I had to write my name and the purpose of my visit on. Security cameras watched my every move.

I signed in and the nurse retrieved the drawer with a little lever on the inside. Dubhe and I were then buzzed through the security doors and allowed into the next antechamber. This next room was also utilitarian. Indeed, it could be described as depressing. Chairs lined the room and there were no magazines or reading material. Another large bulletproof window lined the wall where the nurses stood behind the glass looking through it to the people waiting on the other side.

There was another metal tray which the nurse pushed through the wall to me as she said something through a microphone. I couldn’t hear her at all, but saw a clipboard in the tray which asked for my medical history. I filled everything out and sat back down nervously. Three other women were in the room with me as well as Dubhe. Dubhe was the only man present and I will note that he was the only man present for all of the visits except for the one on Friday.

We waited another 15 minutes or so after I filled out my paperwork and I had enough time to take a good look around me. Behind the bulletproof glass was a series of security cameras which took in every angle on the parking lot and the security room I had originally passed through. The room I was waiting in now had no windows save for a small rectangular one near the ceiling; it too was covered in bulletproof glass. It’s safe to say that I was very aware of the security measures that were in place. A few minutes later the door opened and I was ushered into the next room.

This next room was completely different from the other rooms I had thus far seen. Where the others were obviously designed for security this back room was set up more like a ‘normal’ doctor’s office. A small waiting room was at the center and a short coffee table sat between several chairs, magazines graced the top of the coffee table.

Dubhe and I went back and I submitted a urine sample. On that first visit they did a vaginal ultrasound to confirm the age of the fetus, as we had suspected it traced back to the condom breaking on September 15th. The pregnancy was at 6 weeks, but the gestational age was at 4 weeks (the pregnancy date is from the first day of your last period, not from the date of suspected implantation so the pregnancy date was approximately two weeks older than the actual age of the fetus). The nurse who performed the ultrasound was very gentle and very, very kind. In fact, she put me at ease almost immediately and I didn’t do that ‘freeze-up-and-clamp-down’ thing that I do during almost every exam of that sort I’ve ever had.

She asked if I wanted to know if she saw multiple fetuses to which I nervously responded, “No way! I can’t take care of one, two of them won’t change my mind” she laughed as well and proceeded with the ultrasound.

After that I had some blood work taken by another nurse who was very adept at finding the vein on the first try then Dubhe and I went into another room to listen to the counseling session. The nurse who counseled with us gave us our options and I explained that I was interested in the Mifepristone rather than the surgical abortion. We discussed the pros and cons of all the procedures. She asked me a few times if I was sure that this was what I wanted and I vehemently said “Yes!” I explained the nightmare I’d experienced thus far and she was clearly frustrated by the roadblocks I had experienced.

I had to listen to a recording by the doctor before being released and having another appointment scheduled for the following day.

The next appointment was a short counseling session with the doctor who was exceptionally friendly and sweet. We talked a bit and she explained that there was a 24 hour waiting period during which I’m supposed to ‘think it over’, she then explained that by law she had to tell me that. I responded by laughing and saying, “Yeah sure, as if I’ve thought about anything else since I found out I was pregnant”.

This caused her to laugh heartily for a few moments and she rolled her eyes and said, “I know, every woman who comes in here has spent way too much time already thinking about it.” After about 15 minutes with the doctor I was released again and yet another appointment was made for Friday. It was then that I’d get the pills. I was told that on Friday Dubhe could not accompany me into the back for the pills and so forth, I assume that this was yet another security measure and so we smiled and signed the consent forms and so forth and we were released again.

Friday morning I went back, I was warned of the possibility of protestors on Friday and had to sign an acknowledgement of this when I left on Wednesday. We pulled into Planned Parenthood at 8:00 a.m. on a rainy, cold day. Apparently protestors love life except for when they have to get wet while loving it. The parking lot was empty, and I smiled happily to myself while chuckling over how a little bit of rain and cold kept them away like the plague.

We entered and I hugged Dubhe and left him in the waiting second antechamber while I went into the waiting room. I was given the first dose of medication, Mifeprex, which served to make the pregnancy unviable. I was given FAQ sheets by the bunches as well as instructions for how to use the remaining medication.

I was given Doxycycline (an antibiotic) to take for 7 days to prevent infection as well as a bottle of anti nausea medication, 4 tablets of Misoprostol and an Rx for Tylenol with Codeine. I was told that there would be few, if any, noticeable side effects from this first dose of medication. I was instructed to take the Misoprostol the following morning to begin the process of expelling the fetus which would already be unviable by the time the expulsion began.

Dubhe and I spent a nervous night on Friday. My mother had come up to help us through this entire process and we chatted lightly about how awful it was that the place was virtually Fort Knox. She recounted stories about the pre-Roe days and told me how my aunt nearly died from an illegal abortion. We discussed politics surrounding abortion and my mother nearly choked on her tea when she read the hate mail I have received over all of this. She was almost in tears as she shook her head in confusion that so many would wish her daughter death for the crime of having sex.

She was offended that others would seek to condemn me so readily, of course, my mother is fully aware of my health problems as well and looked at me with tears welling up in her eyes as she said, “BB, you could die if you had a baby? Why would perfect strangers want you to die?”

This launched a long discussion about feminism, misogyny and punishment through forced childbearing.

The next morning (Saturday) I awoke from a restless sleep and began the morning regime. I had been instructed to take another antibiotic in the morning, followed an hour and a half later by the anti-nausea medication, a half hour after that I was to take the 4 tablets of Misoprostol and place them between my cheek and gum and allow them to dissolve.

Around 11:00 am I put the Misoprostol in my mouth and waited for it to dissolve. I began to bleed at 1:00 pm though the cramping began long before that. Indeed, I was cramping before the tablets were completely dissolved.

The cramps were severe and I was very glad for the Codeine, although it put me a bit out of sorts and groggy which wasn’t exactly what I wanted either. Despite the pain I wanted to continue to move around, my mother is a nurse and she backed up everything I had been told about laying prone. I had been advised at Planned Parenthood that walking around a bit would help the process move faster and would also result in smaller clots.

My mother and Dubhe monitored my temperature and Dubhe talked to me when the cramping became severe. In some ways it felt much like labor, although not as brutal as laboring with a full term pregnancy. It was painful but it came and went, sometimes it hurt pretty badly and then it would kind of fade away for a little bit.

At 1:45 I passed a large blood clot. It was about the size of a ping-pong ball although that’s a rough guess since I didn’t actually see it. It fell down into the bottom/back of the commode and was lost from view before I could even see it. The clots became a bit unnerving, not because I was worried about life or because I felt guilt or anything like that but because, well, passing large blood clots is bound to be unnerving to anyone *smile*. However, after the first large one there were no other huge ones.

I cramped for quite awhile and passed clots ranging from pea sized up to ping pong ball sized although none compared to the first one. Gradually the cramping eased and I was able to sleep for a bit while Dubhe ran to get us some take out. All in all most of it was over by about 4:30 pm and while I had a few pretty bad cramps after that time they became steadily lighter. I dosed up again with Codeine before bed and slept like a rock.

Overall the cramping was much stronger than I expected and it even surprised me at times with its intensity. For me, the cramps were far worse than the cramps associated with a normal period. The bleeding was lighter than I expected and the clots were more numerous, although smaller than I had expected. Sunday I was exhausted all day, my body ached, particularly my lower abdomen where my uterus is. I passed a few more clots on Sunday but the cramping was gone and the clots were about the size you would get with an average period. The bleeding had quieted quite a bit although I was told that this could vary from woman to woman.

My mother made sure I was ok in the morning and then she left to get back to my father. I was glad for her presence.

Dubhe and I spent the day chatting and hanging out on Sunday and I hugged each of my children who were all aware of what was happening with mom. They all told me they loved me and they were glad that I was ok.

I’m not supposed to ride the horses for a few weeks or engage in any heavy lifting which will be tough not to do since I’m very active however I’m still pretty tired today though the soreness in my belly has subsided quite a bit. I feel no guilt at all and there has been no ‘buyer’s remorse’ as it were. From the beginning of this, for a multitude of reasons, I knew I could not and did not want a pregnancy. The process was tough on my body and involved some pain but it was well worth it.

 

In January Dubhe will be eligible for his health insurance to cover a vasectomy; we’re looking forward to that with great anticipation. Overall, this has been a learning experience for both of us and I can quite safely say, with complete sincerity, that anyone who says, “Women use abortion for birth control” has never, EVER had an abortion.

That notion was dispelled for the complete idiocy it is within a half hour of the cramps starting. It’s likely that having been through this procedure myself I will personally wring the neck of anyone who is stupid enough to suggest that particular fallacy around me ever again. I can firmly say that I do not believe that any woman uses the equivalent of a jackhammer to the guts followed by bleeding and clotting as well as no intercourse and ‘light duty’ for several weeks as birth control. The notion is completely absurd and it’s disgusting to me that the forced birth movement has tainted abortion so much that a generally held belief is that you can have one and it’s just like taking a pill or slipping on a condom.

Now, however, I’m tired so I’m going to close this post but I’ll apologize first for the typos. I haven’t spellchecked this and I don’t intend to.

~BB

Incoherent Ramblings and Stream of Consciousness Thoughts

October 9, 2006
8:37 am

Well, the pregnancy test came back positive. You know, I put on a brave face for my readers and many of them keep saying that I’m courageous and brave. But they’re wrong. I’m scared. I’m fucking terrified. I’ve never been in this situation before and, truth be told, I never quite ‘got it’ before now. I guess it’s something that you just can’t understand until you’ve actually been there, as I am now. But the fact of the matter is that I’m blogging about it and I’m getting the shitty comments and I’m getting the helpful comments as well. More kind comments than unkind and that, at least, is something.

But I’m still scared; I’m still terrified at what’s happening to me. Questions shoot through my mind like angry wasps buzzing in my ear.

What will the clinic be like?
How many protesters will there be?
Will I be strong enough to wade past them or will I crumble and be shamed as they so wish me to be?
What will the doctors be like?
Will they be kind?
Or will they try to guilt trip me?
Should I tell my friends and family or should I be quiet?
How can I keep pretending to be happy and brave when I’m actually terrified on the inside?
Will it hurt?
How will I get over my phobia of gynecologists?
Oh gods, I’m scared. I’m so scared!
Will I be able to get over the fear of the speculum?
Will I get that thing where everything clamps down from terror and they have to tell me to ‘relax’ over and over again?
Will the doctor be a male or a female?
Am I stupid to be afraid of all of it?
How can I deal with the resentment I feel at Dubhe for not getting any of this backlash?
Is it horrible that I feel resentment in the first place that he hasn’t been the target of hatred?
Will this affect our relationship for a long while to come?
Is it horrible of me that I’ve refused to have penetrative sex since this began?
If I have to have a surgical abortion will it be worse since my cervix is fucked?
When they start talking about hormonal birth control should I speak up and tell them that I can’t take it or just take a shot and deal with it?

Sure, I put on a brave face, don’t we all? And, when you write things of a decidedly radical feminist bent you’re subjected to quite a few negative comments. I get plenty of hateful, nasty comments, I’ve been threatened before and I’ve been screamed at and insulted and had horrible things said to me. To be honest, you kind of develop a thicker skin, or at least you pretend to.

Some days I can laugh in the face of it but other days I’m worried and scared and can summon little more than a half-hearted, insecure smile. Am I brave? No. I’m not. I’m the farthest thing from brave that I can be without moving into complete coward territory. But I sure can put up a big front sometimes, and even better, sometimes I even believe it.

I’ve asked myself countless times why I even mentioned this entire thing on the blog. What was I thinking? Where the fuck was my head? I chide myself and condemn myself for opening this seeming can of worms. I self-blame, telling myself that I shouldn’t complain about the hatred because, after all, I put it out there.

But see, the thing is that it makes me feel good to write. That is what I do. Writing is the medium that I love more than any other expression. I never in a million years expected it to blow up the way it did. I never expected the links and the comments and the helpful and not so helpful advice. What I expected was simply to rage at yet another injustice. To be frank I never felt fear when I wrote that first post about the EC fiasco. Hell, I’ve followed news stories of similar things. While I’ve been blogging I’ve watched the news as woman after woman had a hard time getting EC filled or failed altogether in their efforts.

I’ve read the stories of the pharmacists refusing EC to women who have been raped. I’ve read them and I’ve raged with them, I never, in a million years, expected my story, one more story among vast oceans of stories, to get the attention it ultimately got. And if that was a surprise then the larger surprise was the hate that was also doled out.

To be perfectly honest I haven’t focused too much on issues of abortion and so forth. In this blog I have explored, in detail, my abusive marriages and relationships, my rapes and the lens of feminism that they led me to. This space has been little more than a public sounding board, a way to tell the world that Yes, these things happen, Yes, they happened to me and Yes, I am trying to heal from them after so many years.

This blog was created as a place for self-exploration in a public forum; it is also something I never thought I’d do. I have always kept journals, but they have never been read by another soul before, and here I was spilling out all this shit and damnit, it felt good. But I only dealt with the stuff that hit very close to home. Those things that had directly impacted me and forced me to look at things through a different lens than I had ever used before.

So writing about the EC thing didn’t cause me fear or concern. As far as I was concerned it was simply one more story in a landscape dotted with similar stories. I reckoned that my regular readers would leave comments of support and that they would be, in a sense, a shoulder to lean on.

It didn’t actually turn out that way though. For some reason this story went bigger than I ever thought possible. Even though I have read countless stories in the newspaper and online and in other blogs about the very same thing, for whatever reason this story, my story, was elevated to attention status. And wow, did it ever get attention.

I have often wondered why a story that has been told so many times would get this sort of attention while so many others haven’t. I felt guilt, and actually still do to a certain extent. There is a not insignificant bit of guilt residing within me that the voices of so many other women were ignored but for whatever reason, mine was heard. My readers know that while reproductive choice is important to me, as it is with all feminists, my main focuses on this blog have been rape, defining it, redefining it and discussing it. As well as the exploration of pain that survivors deal with on a daily basis. I am also notorious for my anti-porn stance and I devote much of my writing to discussing these topics.

Abortion, EC and so forth have made appearances here but my focus has been pretty much limited to the things that I have personally experienced. So, here I was in this position that so many others have been in and, for whatever reason; my story was picked up and read. And goddamnit, that makes me feel like shit.

*sigh*

Anyway, after writing about the EC thing I saw another area of feminism that I had not previously seen on anything more than a superficial level. I saw hatred and misogyny that was every bit as vile and horrible as the standard stuff I get all the time. People left comments, many, many helpful and wonderful comments. People also got angry with me and acted in ways that were abhorrent, cruel and dehumanizing.

I was told that the people who wrote such horrible woman-hating sentiments were simply ‘being jerks’. It was suggested that there is a number of people out there who just get off on being assholes. It was also suggested that some of these commenters were even pro-choice but that they just enjoyed and thought it funny to randomly attack people.

I called bullshit then and I stand by that now. Quite frankly if there exists people in this world who truly have no stance on a topic, or even who support that topic, who say these sorts of things to other people just for giggles then this world is a far sicker place than I ever imagined. It has been suggested that some of the commenters were ‘just people who get off on this sort of thing’, and it has been argued that these same people just ‘get off’ on insulting, threatening and debasing all others ‘just for fun’. It has even been alluded to that these same people may even be pro-choice but just enjoy cruelty, debasement and degradation for the sheer enjoyment of it.

If this is true, then what it boils down to is this: These people get off on cruelty for the sake of cruelty. They need no agenda; they just get off on kicking people who are down. People who are in pain, or scared or people who just plain care about something.

I cannot think of a more terrifying individual to be around. I cannot, in my wildest dreams, imagine a person who agrees with abortion telling another person that they are worthy of death just to be cruel.

Anyway as I was saying before I got sidetracked. After the posting on EC I was surprised and shocked, yet I was happy to see that so many people were getting the message that this sort of thing is happening to so many women. I am but a drop in the proverbial bucket on this one, many women have gone before me on this and many will follow after me. I took the attention and all the knocks I received and told myself, “Well, at least this topic is getting more attention now”.

And with that I resumed my writing, always knowing that there was a chance that the EC didn’t work. I watched the days and wrung my hands. I read up on abortion protesters and on the stories of women who have braved these picket lines. I read up on herbal miscarriage formulas and hoped that the worst would not come to pass.

Last week I looked at the calendar and closed my eyes before sighing largely. I was late. The first day I thought that perhaps it was my nerves, when the morning of the second day came I decided ‘no more excuses’ and I got a test. I knew that there was a strong possibility that I was pregnant but I was terrified to face that reality, instead, I stalled that first day, hoping beyond hope that I was just nervous.

When that plus sign showed up I fell to the floor and cried. The EC had failed and I was facing down a dragon. I retreated from the blog for a few days, sobbing in fear and worry while I did more in-depth research on my options. I calculated back and knew that I was but a few weeks along, indeed, this last Friday was 3 weeks exactly since the condom broke. Dubhe tried to take as much time off as he could as did I, but eventually he had to go back to work and I sat here, alone, when I had work to do.

 

I wrung my hands some more when I thought about posting the story at
The Den. I remembered the bitter sting of the hateful comments that were posted over the EC and decided better of telling the story. Then, one evening I was chatting with Dubhe something became clear to me. I was being scared into submission by the same kind of people who place shame onto the shoulders of a rape victim while forgetting entirely the other party involved.

I asked myself a few questions, “Would it help or hurt if I write about it?” and I realized immediately that this story would very likely help other women while simultaneously hurting me. It’s likely that this is a story that has been replayed many times and if I was feeling alone and scared then surely there were others out there who felt the same. I looked back over my time blogging and came to understand that it was precisely the knowledge that I wasn’t alone in my experiences that helped me so very much.

Knowing that you aren’t the only person who has experienced something gives you an immediate sense of relief and begins to wipe away the shame caused by feeling alone. Understanding that my story may actually help someone else is what prompted me to write that last post. Of course, as part and parcel of the writing, I would be making myself a huge target. So I spoke to Dubhe and told him that I wanted to do this, I asked him to take over everything on the blog for a bit so I didn’t have to deal directly with it. He readily agreed and so it has been.

The nasty emails have been coming, along with the kind ones and, for the record Dubhe has said that there are far more kind emails than nasty ones. A fact for which I am eternally grateful. The same holds true for the comments, by far there are more kind comments than hateful ones.

This entire thing has brought so many things to the surface for me. In some ways I’m in a catch 22. I refuse to play the forced birthers game of “Prove why you’re an exception to my no abortion policy” while at the same time there are things that would invariably shed a completely different light onto the situation if people knew it.

The fact of the matter is that I’ve realized, through all of this, that there are so many factors in any individual situation that they almost become moot. For example: I’ve wondered, as has Dubhe, why he became completely invisible during all of this. It’s as if his dick completely disappeared from the equation and it does not escape me that if I were using the pill and still got pregnant I would be accused of being irresponsible or, more likely, having made a mistake taking it. Thus the pregnancy becomes my fault.

However, what if I said that the condom broke because of user error? What if I said that Dubhe didn’t use it properly? Ahh, but see, there’s the rub. I’m still at fault for not taking the pill. It’s still my fault because I should have known and the pregnancy is still my fault. More than that though, I’m playing the ‘prove why I’m an exception to the rule’ game.

What if I said that I can’t bear children without risk of death? What if I told everyone that I had some medical problem by which I couldn’t carry a child? Of course, that still becomes my fault because if I knew that then why didn’t I get my tubes tied? Why didn’t I succumb to expensive and invasive surgery that poses a whole host of different problems to women who undergo it? If I say that I do not believe that invasive surgery with massive side effects is an acceptable birth control method then I’m just asking for it anyway and thus, the pregnancy becomes my fault again. Not to mention that again I’m playing the ‘prove why I’m an exception to the rule’ game.

What if I said that for the last 18 months I did exactly what the forced birth camp says I should do and I ‘kept my legs shut’? What if I said that the risk of conception was too much a risk for me to take knowing that I couldn’t take hormonal birth control and didn’t have the money for invasive surgery? What if I said that I wouldn’t let Dubhe stick his dick in me for the last 18 months of our relationship? Of course, then I’m borderline abusive for withholding sex from him, and everyone in the world sympathizes with him. Then I’m a frigid bitch who wouldn’t put out and should have just used contraception anyway so that he wouldn’t have to suffer such a horrible fate as not being able to stick his dick inside his partner. Of course, then I’m pandering to the ‘I’m an exception to the rule camp’ once again.

I could go on and on and it may be that these stories are real, that these individual factors do indeed apply to me or it could be that these are factors that other women have had. Either way, I won’t be baring any of the details of what happened to me, even though perhaps those factors would indeed take some of the heat off of me they will serve no purpose but to undermine any woman who can’t ‘explain why she’s different’.

Instead what I’ve done is watch curiously as people act just like people and forget that Dubhe was involved and forget that the birth control was on his penis and forget that for each and every single woman out there there is an entire set of factors that you can’t even begin to grasp.

I can point out that forcing a woman to play the ‘prove it’ game is simply a trap crafted to make women feel as ashamed as they can be made to feel while explaining why they are ‘different’. The fact of the matter is that no woman is ‘different’. Each and every single woman who has ever found herself in these circumstances has an individual host of reasons that a pregnancy is a bad idea for them and all of those reasons are valid.

There are also those who have stated that my story is ‘too perfect’ to be real. To be honest there’s little that I can say to that but it doesn’t exactly surprise me to hear some stand up and say that I’m lying. Indeed, women who undergo traumatic, life changing experiences are often written off as liars. The default position is to disbelieve everything we say. A woman who has been raped is clearly a liar for some nefarious purpose and a woman who is impregnated is also clearly a liar.

 

It is a common tactic to say a woman is lying if she’s saying something that a given person doesn’t want to believe is true. It’s much easier to accuse a woman of lying and write her off completely than to admit that there are things that happen with stunning regularity that are just wrong. I suppose that I could send them a piss sample to prove it, but why the fuck should I have to do that? Sure there’s lots of things I could do to ‘prove it’ but I know this tactic, I’m quite familiar with it as it is the exact tactic that people (mostly men) will use to defame a woman who has accused a man of raping her.

Indeed, the similarities are stunning. I’ve heard that I ‘should’ have known to get online and get a prescription ordered. I’ve been told that I ‘should’ have kept my legs closed. I’ve been told that I ‘should’ have done more to stop it. That I ‘should’ have known better than to let a man near me. I’ve been told that if my story was real I would have done this, and this, and this, and this differently.

All of this sounds strikingly familiar to, “You should have done more to stop it”, “If he really raped you then you would have done X”, “If you didn’t really want to be raped then you would have done this, and this and this to stop it”, “If you had fought him more and kept your legs closed then you wouldn’t have been raped”, “You should have known what would happen if you went up to his hotel room”.

What all of this has in common is a desire to be able to put your hands over your eyes and not see what is happening around you. My story is not unique; I assure you that it is not some big conspiracy. If the fact that it is ‘too perfect’ for your liking unnerves you then think about this: Every time a pregnancy occurs it is ‘too perfect’. Indeed, a pregnancy can only occur under perfect circumstances.

I have been researching and it appears that the EC wouldn’t have affected this pregnancy anyway since it doesn’t do much if you’re ovulating. When the condom failed I was in that few day window of fertility and from what I understand EC wouldn’t have done a damn thing anyway.

 

The simple fact of the matter is that nobody has to believe me, indeed, I will offer no proof other than my word. This blog has always been a journey for me, in which I write down my experiences and look at them through a feminist lens. It was never intended to be anything but that but for whatever reason (I still can’t figure it out) people decided that they liked what I had to say and they began reading it.

When I started this journey I wanted to finally share with others the things I have been through and experienced but I was too frightened to share these same things with people I knew. I decided to use the blog as a kind of cloak, behind which I could tell all and someone might hear. I wouldn’t have to see the look of disbelief on their faces when I told my story and I wouldn’t have to hear the ‘well you should have known’ crowd when they stepped up.

This blog began because I was too frightened to talk about so many things. Indeed, I still possess much of that same fear and my guts are trembling right now as I think about crossing that line of protestors. In short, this space was created as a safe space for me where people just happened to like what I was saying. If anyone wishes to believe that this story is false then so be it, there is nothing I can do to tell you otherwise and, to be perfectly honest, I will not endeavor to ‘prove’ anything to anyone.

I know I said that I was on hiatus but I had an urge to write this morning and decided that I’d just go ahead and post it anyway. Heh, I haven’t even edited this as I’m pretty much exhausted from writing it all out and now, I feel the way I would feel if I spent a few hours sobbing. Kind of relieved, really tired, and for some strange reason, a bit cleaner if that makes any sense.


I’ll have Dubhe put in a proper update soon, or I’ll do it myself as I get more information. Oh and you’ll note that the beginning of this post probably reads like a journal entry. It was intended to be just that actually, an entry in my private journal I keep on the computer, until I got further in and decided that I would post it in the blog instead. In any case, I don’t expect this post to be much more than stream of consciousness writing kind of akin to vomiting onto paper and feeling less ill for the effort but I thought I’d stick it out there in any case.

~BB

The Hiatus Will Start After This Post

*sigh*. I haven’t felt motivated to post for several days for obvious reasons. Indeed, when I put up a quick update this morning I had planned to go outside and do a bit of garden work to clear my mind. However, I decided to delay my trip so I could read a few of my favorite blogs.

Over at The Axe Forgets The Tree Remembers I read a post by “Z”. It was a post in which she expressed frustration over how she hears fetuses being referred to in derogatory ways. Now, this post is not intended to attack Z, indeed, she makes a point that many would agree with, rather this post is intended as an explanation for the phenomenon that she has witnessed, at least on my part.

As I posted this morning the EC failed and I’m currently taking other steps while I gather the money I need to finish this thing once and for all. And you know what? Every time I think about it I refer to this fetus as a ‘parasite’, a ‘tick’ and other things I won’t even mention. Z expressed frustration and wondered why women would do this and I can answer her question. The answer may not sit well with her, or with anyone else, but nonetheless it is the truth.

I am fucking angry as hell that around every corner I am faced with people who believe that the life of this fetus is worth more than MY life, or the lives of my children.

It becomes a question of how much shit can you take before you begin to actually hate the thing in your womb. Since the start of this I have been told repeatedly that I didn’t deserve to live. I had a commenter tell me that if they ever met me they would rape me repeatedly before torturing me and murdering me in the most painful way they could (no, they didn’t tell me exactly how they planned to do this, I guess that they wanted me to leave it up to my own imagination).

I have been called a ‘filthy cum drinking whore who should do everyone a favor and stop breathing’. I have had emails sent to me in the guise of having helpful tips to cause a miscarriage but which really suggested lethal herbs. I have been given death threats, I have been called a murderer and I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been called a whore or a slut.

Just a few choice excerpts:

you dumb slut

you fucking retard

Ha ha, you’re a dirty whore

YOU DESERVED IT, YOU SLUTTY LITTLE WHORE

SHUT YOUR GODDAMN FUCKING MOUTH, CUNT

Your life is fucking worthless you goddamn slut

Please kill yourself now bitch

I hope you feel good about murdering your kid whore

Tough shit slut

You are a disgusting little shit of a woman

If I ever met you I’d fucking kill you like you murdered your baby, fucking whore

Die you fucking slut

Why don’t you just kill yourself now. People like you don’t deserve to live

Stupid whore. You spread your legs and now you want to murder a baby. I hope you get raped and murdered. Maybe then you’ll feel what that innocent life felt

This is a tiny sampling and this was the response I received at taking EC. How much can one person take before they begin to hate the thing inside of them? How many times can you listen to people tell you that you deserve to die, that they want to kill you? Or they want you to kill yourself?

How often can one person hear that a fetus is more important than their own life? Than the lives of their children? How many times can you be reminded that you are, to them at least, a sack of shit and not worthy of even living?

Am I cold hearted about this? You bet your ass I am. I’m angry that my life is apparently worth so little because I had sex. I’m angry that people would literally try to fucking murder me by sending me a list of fatal herbs via a ‘helpful’ email. And that is to say nothing about the picket lines I will most likely have to cross. That speaks nothing to the shame that this society will attempt to thrust upon me for this situation. It speaks nothing to the anger and rage I feel that the penis which was actually attached to the condom apparently becomes utterly invisible.

I resent this fetus. I resent the fuck out of the fact that something which is 1/16 of an inch long and which looks amazingly like a reptile trumps the life of a woman and her three children. I resent that this glob of cells which is smaller than a wad of snot is clearly valued more than the life of a 34 year old woman who is trying like hell to support her existing kids.

So Z, I can answer your thoughtful question. Some women treat embryo’s like parasites and say the most awful things about them and act in seemingly cruel ways because they’re fucking pissed that something that small can be worth so much more than the life they have struggled to build. And you know what? Maybe it’s putting our anger into the wrong place, I know that argument could be made, but sometimes, after you’ve heard one more person tell you that you should die or be murdered you get fed up.

When you see that pregnancy stick you understand that if you’re not willing to raise another child for 18 years and you need to get an abortion that you are about to become one of the most reviled and hated segments of society. When I looked at that fucking test and saw it come out positive I fell apart because I knew, in that moment, that I would be facing some of the most violent and horrific people out there. People who want to see me die, people who say the most vile, horrific things imaginable in the name of the ‘life’ that is inside of me.

Where is that anger going to go? When you know that you’re crossing that fucking picket line where those protestors will be screaming the same sort of shit that those commenters did, well….where does the anger go? When you understand that there are those that would fucking KILL you, leaving your existing children to be raised without a mother you start resenting that potential life more than you’ve ever resented anything before.

I know I do.

I resent that Dubhe was forgotten. I resent that I continue to get emails and hate comments because I took EC. I resent the misogynist language that people are using to describe me. I resent that there are so many that would have me put a gun to my head, or, better yet, they’d do it for me all because I had sex. I resent that something which should be so simple will require me to go to that clinic 4 times and walk through those hateful, nasty protesters over and over again to fix. I resent that while I worry about a fucking clinic bomber the man, who was wearing that condom when it broke, only needs to worry about how he will take time off of work.

I resent that this potential life is given more consideration than any of the lives that will be poorly affected by it. I resent that I need to cough up $450.00 for the fucking abortion pill and that my insurance won’t touch it. I resent that I am made to feel like I must explain myself or else face the wrath of the psychos. I resent that the same sort of shame is being forced onto me by this as the shame that was forced onto me when I was raped as a child.

I resent that if I talk to people about it, about my feelings, about my fear and my anxiety that I may very well be the target of death threats, hatred and condemnation.

I resent that so many people would like to see me hide myself because I was awful enough to consent to sex. I resent that this is an issue that, while I need, desire and want to talk to people about, I must hide from everyone because to tell them would mean that I instantly become a ‘worthless cum guzzling whore’ who deserves to be ‘brutally raped before being slaughtered in the most painful way I can think of’.

I resent that something so painful to deal with, something so terrifying and life altering is something that instead of getting support over I am condemned over. Do you know why I haven’t posted something long and thoughtful about this? Because I’m tired. I’m fucking tired. I can only be kicked back to the ground so many times before I start thinking that I need to just lay there and stop fighting against it.

I haven’t done something about it because I know the hate mail and the hateful, horrible, disgusting comments I will receive. Quite frankly I’m tired. I’m tired of weeding them out and I’m tired of seeing them. How many blows can one woman face before they begin to become angry?

And so what happens is that the malicious and horrible way that women are treated builds up inside until they become angry and resentful. What do you do in the face of such hate? You strike back. You strike back by attacking the thing that they deem to be more important than you. More important than the years you have spent building memories and building security.

Don’t think for a moment that there won’t be horrific comments and emails sent to me as fallout for this either. Don’t fool yourself into believing that it won’t happen. It will. It has and it will happen again.

So yeah, I’m angry. I’m pissed as fuck and I resent the hell out of this zygote for having more right to life than I do. I resent it tremendously and I resent that I have to have it in me one more day.

So, to all of you who wonder about the seeming cruelty of women when they speak of aborting in tones of laughter. Try to think about the hatred that they’ve experienced and understand that it is a tactic intended as a huge “FUCK YOU” to those that would say that the embryo inside of them is more important than their lives and the lives of their children. It’s the best they can do to fight back against people who want them dead. People who would seriously murder them.

Yeah, I’m resentful at this circumstance. But perhaps, to those of you who wonder why women are resentful, the more appropriate question would be, why do people feel entitled to strip these same women of all humanity and dignity for the sake of the fetus inside of them?

*sigh*. I know that this post will garner plenty of hate mail but I refuse to be shamed and to those of you who laugh and say I deserve it I say this: When the abortion pill starts working and I expel the parasite from my womb I shall dedicate it to you when I flush the toilet.

And THAT my friends, is a big FUCK YOU to everyone who thinks that this fetus is more important than my, or my children life.

Bite me.

~BB

(Z- I want to say that these last comments weren’t directed at you *wink*. I think that your post raises a question that many people have and, speaking for myself, I had an answer to it. The hateful remarks are dedicated to those people, both past, present and future, who will slam me and tell me that I’m worthless for making this decision. I hope that you understand that the anger here isn’t directed at you, but at those who have repeatedly tried to knock me down for being uppity enough to thwart them by taking control of my own reproduction.)

Published in: on May 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Waffles and Abortion

You know, I hear many forced birthers cite time and time again that abortion, EC and so forth are ‘bad’ because of the poor little baby. Often times these folks are of a religious bent and they try to guilt women by telling them that the ‘baby’ is just as good as a breathing human being. 


Now, I have many, many reasons for being (as one blogger put it) radically pro-choice. Some of these reasons carry different weights on different days. Clearly, one of the biggest reasons is because without reproductive freedom for ANY reason women aren’t free. My feminism ties very closely with my radical pro-choice views. My views on the environment also ties in closely with my pro-choice. I am not a moderate pro-choicer by any stretch of the imagination. I’m all for RU-486, or the abortion pill, being available to any woman who asks for it with no questions asked hell, I’d advocate over the counter sales if there are no health risks attached.

From actual mechanical abortions to Mifepristone (abortion pill) to EC to plain old birth control, at any time during the pregnancy and with no questions asked (other than actual medical questions) I’m pro-choice. One could say I’m ardently pro-choice, or even rabidly pro-choice *grin*.

One of the many reasons I’m pro-choice is due to my spirituality. I hear a lot of talk about the souls of these 2 week old ‘babies’ from the Christian camp who tend to believe that god on high has given someone a ‘miracle’ when he ensouled a fetus. Now, I don’t usually post about my own spirituality on this blog but some of you have heard me allude to my spirituality in a joking way over the EC thing and I’ve received several emails asking me about it so I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet and tell everyone what I think about fetus’s and souls. Hopefully I can give everyone a good laugh while I’m at it and make everyone wonder if I’m serious or not *wickedgrin*. What follows is my interpretation of souls and babies and why abortion is a good thing.

Ok, let’s assume for a moment that all the religious types are right; let’s assume that humans and every other living organism has a soul. So here we are, a bunch of souls running around in human suits (or dog suits, or fish suits or whatever…souls aren’t just for humans you know *wink*). We’ve got our human suits and when we die we turn back into fun little blobs of spiritual energy, our souls are released from our suits when we die.

So, at the moment of death our souls just sort of leak out of our bodies and we’re just a ball of light that runs around all pure and happy and stuff.

Now, if you’re a Christian you may believe that you get whisked off to heaven or hell or wherever you’re supposed to go. If you’re a pagan you likely believe that you jump into another body and start again in a fresh suit. If you’re an atheist you believe that you just kind of blink out, but if you’re BB you believe that you kind of zip around creating as much havoc as possible.

Heh, let me explain. Here’s my theory:

Souls are like waffles! Yep, that’s right; we’re all like a great big bunch of cosmic waffles made up of all these little squares. Now, through our lives we are soaking in butter and syrup. Now normally we’d like a waffle that has lots of butter and syrup but for the purposes of my spirituality we’ll assume that butter and syrup are bad things. For the purposes of this analogy butter and syrup make our waffles mushy and unpalatable.

So, all our lives we’re soaking in butter and syrup. Now, some of us are big waffles and some of us are small waffles, like those tiny little waffles that are on the kids menu at restaurants. The reason that some of us are small waffles is because we may have become too soaked with butter and syrup to be a palatable waffle anymore. When this happens we have to undergo a painful ‘dewaffling’ process in which Mother has stripped us of the icky waffle squares and, being the master recycler that she is, recycled them and left you with however many squares were salvageable.

In any case, when we die our waffles sort of leak out of our human suits and we realize that we’re waffles once more. Normally we get really happy about this and say, “Awesome man! School’s out! It’s summer break!” and we prance around excitedly at the whole new world before us. We see all these other waffles kind of hanging out and having fun and we buzz away from our now defunct human suit and begin hanging out and having fun along with them.

We take a quick inventory of how many squares we have, sometimes we may have lost squares and sometimes we may have gained them, but then we’re off to party with the other waffles that are buzzing around.

Now, if you’re one of those gigantic belgium waffles you may hang out at slumber parties and make Ouija boards move on their own. Or maybe you’ll slam a few random doors and freak people out, who, after all, are still trapped in their human suits and have forgotten that they too are waffles. The bigger waffle you are the more fun you can have.

But there is a drawback. See, our human suits are also important. They act as a ‘battery’ that keeps us running and once that battery goes out you’re on borrowed time. If you’re a bigger waffle you’ll be able to have a longer summer break because all those nooks and crannies tend to hold more of a charge. But if you’re a smaller waffle then your summer break is shorter (maybe you have to go to summer school, I don’t know) the point is that if you’re a small waffle then you don’t have as many golden brown nooks and crannies that you can subsist on indefinitely.

Eventually all waffles become weak and then, a ‘miracle’ happens.

But before we can talk about the miracle we need to turn our thoughts to a newly impregnated female. When a female (whether that’s a human, or cat or even a housefly) is impregnated it changes her waffle signals. Once that little zygote is formed the waffle in the woman suit becomes a bit like a magnetic waffle. Yep, that little zygote needs a waffle to fill it and thus it begins to act like a magnet.

Now, here we have this woman kind of running around in her human suit but her energy has changed and now she’s a magnet and she’s running around oblivious to all the waffles who are hanging out at the pizza shop and enjoying summer vacation.

So this newly zygoted female is buzzing around and all the waffles are going, “OH SHIT! There’s a magnet! Get out of here! Run! Run!!” and the waffles scatter and bolt because they’re all having fun fucking around with slumber parties and passing themselves off as the Christian god to good pastors around the world (where do you think all those prophecies come from and the idea of the rapture? It’s really waffles talking to waffles in their human suits! Waffles are quite amusing when they realize what they are)

And so when a magnet shows up the waffles all bolt as quickly as they can. They run screaming from slumber parties and away from haunted houses as speedily as possible. It becomes a virtual waffle stampede! And this is where it gets fun.

As the waffles are running away screaming “The fuzz is here! Run! Run!” the bigger ones manage to outrun the smaller ones. And when the smaller and weaker waffles are too slow or too busy to notice the magnet coming their way they get sucked into the woman waffle whose energetic signature has changed with stupid sperm. Now, I think that the size of the woman waffle also plays a part in it. Maybe, if the waffle inside the woman suit is a big waffle, she can suck in the big waffles. I’m not too sure about this point and I haven’t given it much thought. However, the ‘miracle’ inside of the zygoted woman is more likely to be a busted waffle who couldn’t outrun the fuzz than an actual willing participant.

See, being a waffle is a bunch of fun. Hell, who wouldn’t want to scare people or talk people into believing that you’re a god or a faerie or dead Aunt Martha? And so the actual desire to be stuck in a suit again is pretty low. Most of the time waffles don’t want to go back to school, at least not until they’re ready. Now, the discerning waffles among us will realize when they’ve all but used up their battery and before they get sucked into another waffle they make a choice and they jump willingly into a waffle of their choice. But too many waffles get carried away with summer break and they party right up until their last night at which point they get sucked in anyway.

The problem is that there are way too many zygoted people running around and the poor little waffles can scarcely enjoy their well-deserved summer break without being sucked back in.

The good news is that we have abortions which give the waffle another shot at having fun. When we get abortions we release that poor waffle-napped waffle and free the little sucker so that she can continue to wreak havoc with Ouija boards around the world.

 

Unfortunately if the waffle was sucked into a woman waffle that has been seeping in the butter and syrup of Christianity then the poor waffle-napped waffle doesn’t stand a chance. And so the waffle is stuck in the zygote but it takes a long time for our waffle to forget how cool it was being a waffle and it remembers how much fun it had pretending to be Aunt Maude or making dishes fly out of cupboards and so it voices its frustration at being trapped by kicking relentlessly inside of its little waffle prison (human or animal uteri *grin*).

And then, when that waffle is born in a brand new human suit it screams and cries for no apparent reason because all of us old waffles stuck in our human suits have forgotten how much fun it is to be a waffle. The newborn baby is just pissed off and trying to tell everyone just how much it sucks that it’s stuck in another human suit.

Unfortunately the baby forgets soon enough, it’s like a coping mechanism for waffles because if they remembered just how much fun it was to be a waffle free of a human suit then all humanity would be committing suicide at the age of two. And of course that’s not good because then all the waffles are just running around with no Ouija boards to fuck around with and we wouldn’t want that!

Now, everyone has been both male and female waffles so one time you may get to be a magnet (which, after you die you remember and you laugh about) and the next you may get to be a waffle that runs scared from the magnet. It’s like a big game of waffle tag wherein sometimes you’re “It” and other times you’re “Not It”.

So you see, the ‘miracle’ of pregnancy is really just a waffle-napping *nodnod*, some poor waffle was just minding its own business when it got sucked into a magnetized waffle. To most waffles abortion is a boon because being stuck in human suits is uber boring compared to the fun you can have as a waffle.

The moral of the story? Think of the waffles, have an abortion.

~BB

Post Script:

The best part of this post is this: Is it satire? Or is it real? Is BB simply pandering to the trolls? You decide. Either way, I think that starting a ‘think of the waffles’ campaign is a good idea *nodnod*

Published in: on May 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Privilege, Man Hating and History

Since I began this blog I have received plenty of trollish comments, abusive emails and so forth. By and large the biggest thing I am accused of is ‘man hating’. Of course, every feminist has most likely been the target of this accusation more times than they can count so it comes as no surprise that a very vocal feminist gets this accusation leveled at her more than any other.

I’ve noted that most of the vitriol tends to come on the heels of those posts in which I refer to ‘men’ or ‘mankind’ or some such collective term that refers to groups of men or men as a whole. A little more recently this post brought me some staunch criticism. Indeed, most people were fine with the post in which I speak about how badly I was made to feel over the EC thing. Most people had no problems with me beating myself up and questioning myself. However, at the end of the post I outlined ways in which mankind has collectively caused so many problems in this big old world.

At the end of that post I purposefully bolded the man part of ‘mankind’ in an effort to make a point. Of course, this was a perfect formula for people (namely men, although I think there may have been a few women involved as well) to complain and send me emails. Time after time the emails said:

“Sure, I know that men may not have been the greatest in the past but your present use of the word is just wrong. We have changed the laws and now women have just as many rights as men do!”

Or some twist on this theme, indeed, I tackled this issue a little bit in the comments on the individual post but, as usual, I want to explore this a bit further. In the comments I was accused several times of going into an ‘anti-male rant’, I allowed a few of the comments through moderation but most I simply held back.

The consensus among those who disagreed seemed to be this (paraphrased):

“Women also denied you EC on that day. Therefore women are just as much to blame as men and the history of the world really has very little to do with it.”

To be blunt I’m calling bullshit on this and I’ll try to explain why. Societies, whether they are global, national or local, are not based upon an individual day. Rather, societies tend to evolve, they grow upon foundations that were laid out at the beginning of the society.

Now, changes can and do come to societies but because they are generally built upon tradition rather than a snapshot of an individual day that change will likely come slower. As a general rule the longer a given tradition has been coveted and held as truth the longer it will take to change a particular mindset.

Take for example the way this society views homosexuals. Sure, laws are on the books but just because a law has been created doesn’t mean that it will protect homosexuals. The true change will come when we have dug up the foundations upon which homophobia is built.

It is ludicrous as well as deceptive to take a snapshot of a given incident and not put it into a larger perspective. This tendency to do just that allows for a skewed picture of the actual problem. Feminism is an area in which we absolutely must look at the history beneath all incidents.

Now, I will not argue when someone says that a woman denied me EC when I needed it, this is a fact. My doctor (who is female) was the first in a long chain of people who treated me like shit. However, it’s important that we look at history, as well as the foundations upon which her decision was based. The individual doctor was at fault and I am in the process of finding another doctor. But to lay the blame solely upon her shoulders is also a cop out to neglect the role that society has played in her decision is also misleading. We must look a bit deeper to determine what her actions were based upon and it is there that we find the unsettling truth that I alluded to in the second post (linked above).

 

When we begin to look at her actions within a frame of reference we find that it’s likely she acted as she did out of moral compunctions. Indeed, most of these folks are of a decidedly religious bent and here in America that is code for Christian. Christianity is a religion made by and for men and its ideals are much the same as the woman-hating ideals of nearly every large, institutionalized religion.

It is imperative that we understand that women’s decisions are not made in a vacuum. Does this mean that we give them a ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card? Hell no, what means is that we must remember the history of women in this society when we decide just how much blame she should receive.

Societies are not built in a day, they are built over a long period of time and they are built on traditions. This society (as nearly every society in the world) was built upon the traditions that men found important. Women had little say in the traditions that men found to be important but it’s critical to understand that women also do not live separate and apart from those traditions. Was my doctor wrong? You bet your ass she was and I’ll be finding a new doctor as well as spreading the word about what she will and won’t prescribe. However, her decision to prescribe medication or not was not made in a vacuum. It was a decision that she came to after many years of living in this society and absorbing its traditions, expectations and so forth.

To suddenly say that women are just as responsible as men is a hollow argument. To suddenly say that women are suddenly, after thousands of years of living as second class citizens, just as responsible as those who created those traditions and beliefs is ridiculous almost beyond belief.

The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a good example. In most of the places that practice this horrific tradition it is women who are actually performing the brutal procedure on girl children. Women are the ones who are wielding the knife and chopping up the genitalia of other women. However, I can’t think of any feminist who would hold the women who are engaging in this practice up to the same standard of responsibility as the men of that culture.

“But BB,” you say, “it’s the WOMEN who are doing it!”

Yes, you’re right. But why are they doing it? Why are they upholding this barbaric practice so faithfully?

And it is there that we find the problem, the practice is what men want and the women in these areas have been exposed to systematic abuse for thousands of years. Indeed, in some areas a woman who hasn’t had the procedure done will be outcast by all the males around her. She will be seen as dirty or promiscuous and no man will want to marry her, at the worst she can be cast from the village because she is seen as dangerous.

So while men themselves are not doing the actual cutting they are the driving force behind the procedure. When we step back and look at the history of these cultures we see a very clear picture emerge. The women are little more than the foot soldiers of the powerful males, and while their actions are individually wrong they are simply the vehicle by which men continue to exert their power and control over the women in the area.

In short when we see an individual woman acting in a despicable way we must, must, must look at the big picture and ask ourselves ‘why?’ It is at this point that I start to lose men and they start getting angry because the answers to the question of ‘why’ implicate them in something so large and awful that individual men wish to distance themselves as far as possible from it.

When we start asking ‘why’ we start seeing the foundations that men have built for this and almost every other society on the planet. Saying that men have been the instrumental force in the woman hating that happens in this country is no more dishonest than saying that white people are an instrumental force in the slavery of people of color.

When we look at racism we cannot get a clear picture until we look at the history of this country. By that reasoning when we look at sexism and the role that women play in it, we cannot get a clear picture without looking at the people who built, legislated for and actively promoted the culture of misogyny we now live in. To do anything but is to ignore history and the role that was played by the given sexes.

Feminists aren’t trying to excuse behavior of women who do shitty things; instead what they are attempting to do is show folks the basis of many of the behaviors that women may be engaging in. Only then can we begin to see the severe and I dare say, institutionalized phenomenon of the oppression of women. We must look at the entire picture to see the entire picture. And to do that, we must look at who wields the power.

Worldwide men have been at the helm; for the most part it is men who built the institutions and the laws upon which so many injustices have been committed. Historically speaking men have been at the forefront of the wars, death and destruction of this natural world, as well as at the forefront of woman hating, rape and rampant misogyny.

If we ignore that then we ignore the thousands of years of history that men have, by and large, controlled and created. These institutions do not die easily, particularly when there are still many who wish for them to be upheld and many more who derive very real benefit from them. When we have folks blaming prostitutes for prostitution rather than Johns we will never right the huge injustices before us.

 

The beauty of this worldwide system of oppression of women is that women have been recruited as being the ‘bad guys’. Women are often used as the foot soldiers of the men in power; they are used as the tools by which men can continue to live with unquestioned privilege and authority. Society grooms these women from birth, depending on where they live, it tells them that their genitalia is shameful, that they are worthless, that their importance lay in how many sons they can produce or how well they fake an orgasm. Are these women responsible for their deeds? Yes, of course they are, but so are the men in power who are pulling the strings behind all of it.

It’s a dirty truth to hear your gender be fingered for the state of affairs we have here but just because it’s painful to hear doesn’t mean that it’s not true. The urge to distance oneself from this macabre movie is strong but to do so is to deny the facts of history.

When I am accused of white privilege it’s frightening and the first thing I want to say is “No, not ME!” and become defensive. But the truth of the matter is that this accusation doesn’t come from an alternate dimension, it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. When I look at the destruction that white people have foisted upon people of color around the world I am sickened to belong to that group. When I see the destruction we have wrought in Iraq and I look back to the destruction upon so many races throughout history I am sick to my stomach but to deny that history exists is pompous beyond anything I can even articulate.

Saying that actions and events of today have nothing to do with history is to deny that the history even existed. We cannot minimize the roles we have played even if it makes us feel like shit to own them. This lens works across the board. It does no good to take a singular incident and analyze it without also analyzing the culture and history that the incident was born in.

It’s very easy for a privileged class to look at the deeds of their forefathers and say, “Well, it wasn’t me who did that!” and then dismiss everything out of hand and accuse someone of just hating them for no reason. Privilege has a way of blinding one to the role that one has played and this also has the affect of alienating the oppressed class even further. It also renders the defensive person’s personal privilege and the benefits that come with that, completely invisible.

 

When we look at someone and level an accusation of ‘man hating’ at them because they are saying things that make us feel bad we also allow ourselves to not notice or forget the privilege that we are engaging in. Hell, the act of nullifying thousands of years of oppression is the HEIGHT of privilege. You don’t have to give it any weight because it’s not important to YOU.

Do any of you believe that women are happy about effectively being written out of the history books? Do any of you believe that women are thrilled about being kept out of lawmaking and politics? When someone levels a valid complaint against the powerful class they are seeking recognition to the harms done to their people, to deny that is to exist in a state of privilege that has never been afforded to the oppressed class. This same truth applies across the board; wherever oppression rears its head. Whether we’re talking about racism, sexism or homophobia this understanding is crucial.

So the next time I begin talking about the fact that women were written out of history, literature, politics, sciences (and many other fields!) I’m not ‘ranting against men’ I’m noting that there is a very real history of misogyny, fear and oppression that this society was built upon. To understand feminist theory we must also understand the roots of oppression that it is built upon.

Am I angry at the way men have kept women out of almost every powerful role? You bet your ass I am. Am I angry that women have been forced to be passive observers, their voices and protestations rendered invisible while men destroyed this planet, waged wars and committed atrocities that go beyond anything I can even imagine? Yes I am. What I want is this: I want for men to recognize their privilege and the roles that they and their forefathers played in creating this society, only then will we be able to attack the foundations of it and eradicate it.

Look behind the veil and understand that people don’t act in a vacuum. People act and react based upon roles, institutions and beliefs that are often ingrained for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Understanding is the key to making it stop; sticking your head in the sand and looking at one piece of a puzzle will simply allow the cycles to continue undimmed.

~BB