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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Rape, Rape Culture, and Recovery - 3 Years Out

By Liberate Zealot
*Content Warning - Discussions of rape, rape culture, and PTSD*

Let me begin by saying these are my own personal experiences and in no way meant to reflect the experiences of all victims/survivors.  Even victims/survivors with similar experiences of sexual violence might experience very different effects and have very different roads of recovery.

The one thing I think the vast majority of us share is that recovery is not an absolute, it is a constant journey of progress and triggers and backsliding and unlikely to fully ever end.

I know sometimes I have thought I've reached, or nearly reached, the end of my recovery.  Months have passed since I've thought of him, or that night.  Since I've felt that knot of anxiety in my stomach, or that strange mental disconnect where my brain seems to float partially separated from my body.  Since that dizzy, rushing feeling overtakes my ears, eyes, brain, and body.
Sometimes months pass, but then something happens.  His name shows up on my Facebook feed, I see someone who looks like him when I'm out and about, I hear about another woman's rape which is similar enough to mine that I cannot disconnect my own experiences from hers.  Perhaps I hear a rape joke, am watching some movie or TV show that features a rape (these are worst when I cannot prepare for them).  Perhaps I just surprisingly dream in some way of that night and awaken, shaking.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Statistics vs Lived Experiences for Women at College

By Liberate Zealot
*Content Warning for discussion of sexual assault, rape, stalking, domestic violence, and rape culture*

Recently in the feminist/social justice sphere of social media that I inhabit a variety of people have been naming Cards Against Humanity and one of its originators, Max Tempkin, as good examples of those with privilege listening/learning/and properly apologizing for when they harm others.  And this regard for the game, and its creators, especially of Max, is something I take great issue with.

Not only because it is a game created by a bunch of (to my knowledge) heterocis white dudes who are upper middle class and therefore its hard to take any of its racist/sexism/homophobic/transphobic/ableist jokes as "ironic".  After all Max Tempkin wrote a lovely apology about that using all the appropriate language of "privilege" and how irony doesn't "punch down."

The issue with this apology and Cards Against Humanity is that I know Max.  We attended the same small liberal arts college, we have many mutual acquaintances, and Max Tempkin is a rapist.