Dave’s slammed at work and has been paying more attention to soccer than rape culture this week; I spent the first hour of my day fixing the server and am still twitchy, and my own focus on rape culture has been diluted by packing and sending my teenage daughter to a foreign country for the first time.. Hi. How’s by you? We hope you don’t mind a link roundup today; we promise a return to our regular incisive commentary Monday!
* Silvana responds to Stern’s op-ed - “I thought, maybe this is my healing. I can’t undo what was done to me. I can, however, stop the state from inflicting pain and injustice on people who are on the lowest rung of our bogus humanity-ladder, forgotten by everyone and championed by no one. Even those people, even them, they do not deserve wanton pain and suffering. Maybe by doing this, I establish my firmest principle: that there is no reason in tragedy, no blame appropriate to explain ill fate - that the entire enterprise of deciding how pain and suffering are meted out according to some invented and constantly-shifting scale of goodness, is wrong.
But no. Just, no. I am not a slave to trauma. I am grown. I have chosen this. Because sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for why people do the things they do, and giving even one of the people who hurt me the power to determine my life is too much already. I respect what Jessica Stern has to say about the healing that understanding her PTSD has brought her. But I can’t forget that feminism taught me that there isn’t always a reason. I don’t do this work because I am damaged and trying to avenge some other injustice. I do it because this is who I am: I identify with the underdog. I am motivated by challenge; the harder and more intractable a problem seems, the more I want to solve it. It may be comforting to think that there are reasons for the choices we make, but we also have to embrace that there is chaos.
I am not pre-determined. I have autonomy, and I chose this road. And I will choose to choose, and not be chosen.”
(My response: “I am a social justice superhero (I fight crime!), but also there is more than a little bit of engineer in me. I see a problem, I start working on solving it. Rape culture is a problem. Okay then, brew up some coffee and hand me my sword, let’s get to the bottom of this. That’s who I am. That’s who I always would have been, I think, trauma history or no. In my prehistory before I had a trauma history, my parents said I looked like I’d've made a great lawyer - but that’s more because I was persuasive and logical than for any prekindergarten fascination with lawyering. Persuasive and logical: That was me at 3. This has always been me.”)
In conclusion, I give you the awesomest video I have seen all week.
You may not like Ke$ha, but you totally have to love that video. I do, anyway. I share because I care.
Shira formerly served as a volunteer with BARCC's Survivor Speakers Bureau and Prevention Services. She also formerly worked as BARCC's volunteer and program assistant. Shira also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories and poetry, and much of her outreach was done within the community of science-fiction fandom and the closely-allied local polyamory community.