Posted in Parenting and Random Shit

No Marriage For You!

I know that when two people fall in love, it is so easy to get caught up and carried away. When you feel that connection, that love and that intimate bond that you’ve never felt before with any other person, you just know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you’ve found the one. You get engaged and, sure, your family and friends are all really happy and you’re looking forward to committing your lives to one another in front of all of them and blah, blah, blah, but none of that can compare to how it feels to break the exciting news of your nuptials to the government!  When I reflect on my marriage and what it means to me, it’s the tax benefits and inheritance rights that make me feel nostalgic and gushy. I’m just a hopeless romantic, I guess. I really value the sanctity of marriage and I know that if we, as a society, have any hope of preserving that, we are gonna need some more fucking laws. I can’t believe that people would think the government should just be issuing sanctification certificates (aka marriage licenses) to any pair of adults that holds out their hand. I’m tired of hearing all the whining about “equal rights”. This has nothing to do with rights! Marriage is between a man and a woman and GOD, end of story! Well, I mean, pending government approval, and proper government licensing and filing, and, also, correctly recorded on all of my income tax documents and filings, and some other shit, but other than that, MARRIAGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS!

You want more reasons? FINE! I’ll give you reasons:

The Bible says it is an abomination.

We have to defend traditional marriage.

It’s unnatural.

The majority of Americans don’t support it.

It’s a slippery slope. If we allow this, brothers and sisters are going to want to get married next.

Good enough? You can save all the arguments. It’s just gross to even think about. I don’t care what they said in the Loving v Virginia case; you will never be able to convince me that interracial marriage is acceptable! Wait, what? Oh, you were talking about gay marriage? Oh, my bad. Okay, HA, I got confused on the part where you were saying something about civil rights and then I saw that cute, little puppy go by and wasn’t paying attention for a second and that was when–anyways, that’s hilarious. You’re talking about gay marriage and I’m talking about interracial marriage…LOLerskates. Anyways, so you were saying about gay marriage? Oh—-well, NO! They don’t need to get married!  God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve! Of course, I have reasons!

The Bible says it is an abomination.

We have to defend traditional marriage.

It’s unnatural.

The majority of Americans don’t support it.

It’s a slippery slope. If we allow this, brothers and sisters are going to want to get married next.

The government needs to make laws, NAY, a constitutional amendment, as protection from any union that threatens to defile the institution of traditional marriage.

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Presumably, if I asked most people that now espouse these same reasons to oppose gay marriage, if they think it would be okay to ban interracial marriage again, they would say no. I’m sure it would be answered as if it were a ridiculous  question, then they’d tell me that this is apples and oranges but it isn’t. It is the same thing. When even the arguments against it are the  same, the best you could argue is that I’m comparing Galas to McIntosh. One of the main arguments made to oppose both scenarios regards the claim that marriage was established for the benefit of procreation. It is frequently invoked that, since same-sex couples can’t produce a biological child, it negates claims of any right to marriage. Should we apply this logic to heterosexual couples as well and make issuance of the marriage license contingent on medical documentation proving fertility? Persons found to be infertile or women beyond menopause are ineligible for consideration. Sorry.

Most opponents of gay marriage get up in arms about “redefining marriage” and espousing its merits, and importance of the government’s responsibility to uphold the principles of “traditional marriage”. Some are willing to compromise and  are willing to allow gay couples to have “civil unions” but just refuse to share the word “marriage”. I think this is fair and reasonable because “separate but equal” has never let us down. Oxymoron, shmoxymoron! AMIRITE? So, like I was saying, one major hang up people have is the designation of “marriage” to be used in reference to an abominable union. This position is typically predicated on an implied trademark of divinity, contained in the part(s) of the Bible that provide the framework for traditional marriage.

I know this will surprise many of you but, believe it or not, I want to help, which is good because you need my help. You’re going about this all wrong, you see. I am, honestly, moved by your passion, respect and desire for traditional marriage. On the basis of religious freedom, if you feel that the word “marriage” should be reserved for those that subscribe to and emulate traditional marriage, as ordained in the Bible, your fight is justified. If you want to silence dissent, if you want to dominate the debate, if you believe the biblical tradition of marriage to be a protected institution and want irrefutable proprietorship of the term “marriage”, to be used only to refer to a relationship that meets the strict criteria outlined in the Bible, we have some work to do. I don’t know if you know this but we have gone so far away from the gold standard of traditional marriage, it is practically unrecognizable. Don’t worry, though! We’re going to write our congressmen, stage protests and write petitions and we won’t rest until TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE is the only kind of marriage.

Anyone unwilling or unable to live by the standards set forth in the Bible, NO MARRIAGE FOR YOU!

MUST PROVE AND PROFESS A BELIEF IN GOD:

Currently, any couple sporting opposite genitals and no more than a few common alleles, can go get married tomorrow. No one asks them about their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Atheists can get married. Even a Satan worshiper can enter into marriage! I think this is a huge problem and I’m stunned it has never been addressed. People are getting MARRIED in courtrooms and parks by JUDGES! Appalling, I tell ya.

No God? NO MARRIAGE FOR YOU!

SINNERS NEED NOT APPLY:

Obviously, we can’t expect people to be completely infallible, much less completely without sin, so we can allow for some wiggle room. However, if we are going to make the assertion that the sin of homosexuality disqualifies their right to marriage, we should probably consider spreading out the sin restriction. I mean, for fuck’s sake, if you’re a rapist, a pedophile, or a serial killer on death row, marriage is yours for the taking. We will draw the fucking line at a gay serial killer getting married, though? See! Bigger fish, people! Bigger fish!

You break a BIG commandment? NO MARRIAGE FOR YOU!

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO, GOT TO DO WITH IT?:

Traditional marriage wasn’t built on love.  One of the major overhauls to traditional marriage happened when people fought for the right to marry someone of their own choosing, of their own volition. Traditional marriages were arranged marriages, motivated by men wanting to secure social and/or political rank.  Reinstating this aspect of traditional marriage will really hit home the next time someone makes the argument, “homosexuals just want the same right as you, to be able to marry the person they LOVE”, because now you can say, ‘Wrong, bitch” as you tell them all about your TRADITIONAL marriage and how you met your spouse on your wedding day all those years ago and that you’re pretty sure that, one day, you might even learn to love one another. Maybe you won’t. Who cares, though! That’s not what marriage is about. This is business!

You want to marry for love? Too bad! NO MARRIAGE FOR YOU!

WHO NEEDS A SISTER WHEN YOU CAN HAVE A SISTER WIFE!?:

Traditional marriage doesn’t restrict men to just one wife. What kind of life is that? Traditional marriage permits men to marry as many women as they can support. Hey, if they can’t take on any more wives, they have the option to keep an unlimited number of concubines. Abraham had two wives and Solomon had 700, not to mention an impressive army of concubines. Adultery is a sin committed by women. Men have an eternal “hall pass”. Don’t ask questions.

You want a monogamous marriage? Well, you can roll the dice but you don’t have any guarantee, nor any recourse if you end up disappointed. Which brings me to my next point…

YOU GET ONE SHOT AT THE SHOW:

Divorce will be made illegal, immediately. Exceptions may apply but are at the discretion of the court. Any persons granted a divorce will be ineligible for future marriage.

You left your previous marriage because of abuse, infidelity, addiction, or general misery with one another? NO MARRIAGE FOR YOU!

The following items will also render persons ineligible for MARRIAGE:

  • Premarital sex. Virginity, in the form of an intact hymen, is a requirement of women entering into marriage. If, upon consummation of the marriage, there is no physical evidence of hymen rupture, the marriage will be voided and the women will be imprisoned and face the death penalty. Women who’ve engaged in premarital sex can seek companionship via concubine status (*this prohibition does not apply to men*)
  • If you’ve ever put a penis in any other orifice than a vagina, NO MARRIAGE FOR YOU!
  • Incest, though, gets a green light.

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Or, another idea is, maybe we could just live and let live. If Joe and Henry want to get married, how does it threaten the sanctity of your marriage? How does it hurt you? I’ve never heard anyone demanding a law be passed to prohibit celebrities like Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian from being allowed to call their record-setting unions a “marriage”. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: The government CANNOT sanctify your marriage. I’m dead serious. You don’t need a death certificate to get into heaven, either, in case you were wondering. If your moral code makes no allowance for anything other than baby making sex, in the missionary position, why do you think you are obligated, much less allowed to impose those sanctions, religious or otherwise, on others? I don’t know if you’re aware but a man and a woman can achieve great levels of immoral kink that would make some people’s heads spin. A penis and a vagina are not, or rather should not be, how we measure the social value or implications of the family unit. I don’t know about any of you but, when I applied for a marriage license, no one asked me or my husband if he had intentions of putting his dick anywhere other than my vagina. We could use sodomy as birth control and we’d maintain the right to use the term “marriage”. Truth be told, I have no idea why the government is in the marriage business as it is. I’d happily support the argument that “marriage” apply only to the religious institution if, and only if, the government weren’t involved. That means, no government licensing, no tax benefits, no special legal recognition or treatment. If two people want to enter into a legally binding civil union, they don’t need the government to set the terms and make a contract. I’m sure people will read that and think its weird, even though they don’t think it is weird that it is no different from how marriage is currently handled, it just removes the third-party that only serves to tax your relationship, for better or for worse. 599695_351828551595626_80547546_n-300x223

You shouldn’t be demanding laws to protect the delicate sensibilities of others. If you’re offended by gay marriage, don’t get gay married. Easy, peasy. I’m not exactly excited about anybody with functioning reproductive organs being allowed to breed but you don’t hear me calling for a government licensing requirement pending a moderate screening process, do you? If Adam and Steve or Ana and Eve  love each other and want that magic government certificate, who the fuck cares? You don’t legislate the personal, intimate, consensual relationships of adults. If you want to get married once, 5 times or never, I have zero fucks to give. It doesn’t hurt me, it doesn’t even affect me. If you’re a pitcher or a catcher or a scissoring expert or celibate, if it doesn’t cost me money or get me pregnant, knock yourselves out or up. Have a fucking blast. Don’t steal my shit, don’t hurt my kids, don’t kill me and I’ll do the same in return.

Posted in Parenting and Random Shit

Just Keep Moving, There’s No Rape Culture to See Here, Folks

I remember the cop, visibly annoyed with being burdened with the task of taking my statement, leading me into the tiny room and I remember the panic bubbling up when he shut the door behind him. I think he typed 5.5 words a minute. I told him the whole story. It seemed like we were in there for hours. Maybe because he took that long to type or maybe because the designers of that tiny room, with the door closed, made no allowance for personal space. It didn’t help that he was so obviously agitated with being assigned the duty of taking dictation from me. At 20 years old, the last thing I wanted to be doing was sitting in that shrinking room giving some strange man a detailed, minute by minute, account of the night that started out at a bar with friends and ended with two of those “friends” raping me.

The only time he spoke to me was to tell me to “hold on”, “go ahead” or to repeat something, except for when I got to the part about the blood running down my legs as I ran from the apartment. Without looking up, he asked, “were you a virgin or something”. I said “no” and he kind of shrugged, which made me feel like I had to defend myself and I started explaining how I’d only been with one person but he just said to get back to the story. I wasn’t prepared for the interview after he finished taking my statement, not that being informed of it would have prepared me for the line of questioning.

Were you drunk?

I was.

What were you wearing?

If the rest of you are wondering, I was wearing a mini pencil skirt and a black v-neck tee. The police took it at the hospital as “evidence”.

You didn’t have on underwear when you were seen at the hospital. Why?

I guess that “M” and “C” pulled them off of me in the process of raping me. When they decided they were done and let me go, searching for my underwear completely slipped my mind.

Have you ever slept with either of them before that night?

No. Evidently, though, if you sleep with a man once, he maintains the right to plant his flag when and if he feels like it and it isn’t really rape.

Have you ever flirted with them? Were you flirting with either of them that night? Were you dancing provocatively at any point?

The reality of this “investigation” really began to set in at this point.

If you were drunk, why would you go home with two men?

I told him that they were my friends. They saw that I wasn’t in any condition to drive and told me just to come back to their place for a while, get something to eat and they would bring me back to my car after I sobered up for a few hours. I missed the fine print. I took the invitation at face value. Fuck me, right? You still want me to disregard the notion of rape culture?

The thought of calling the police didn’t even cross my mind when I ran out of that apartment, bleeding and crying, without my panties or my purse. Even when “M” chased after me in the parking lot, asking me if I was okay and apologizing, I just told him to leave me alone. I just wanted to go home and sleep and never think about it again. I was even wracking my brain about who I could get to cover my shift in the morning because I couldn’t deal with work and I didn’t know if “M” or “C” was scheduled and I didn’t want to see them. At this point, you see, the logic of the rape culture was well ingrained into my head, unbeknownst to me. I realized that what had happened in that apartment was rape but I didn’t know who, if anyone, would believe me. Would they blame me? Hell, even I wasn’t sure if it was my fault.  Why did I do those shots? Why didn’t I just drive home?  What did I do to make them think it was okay?   I said no. I said it over and over. I pleaded for them to stop. I was crying. They were holding me down. I’d never known anyone that had been raped (or so I thought) and so had no first hand knowledge of what it was like to report a rape. My biggest fear was that no one would believe me. The only reason I did report it was because they wouldn’t even talk to me. much less do STD testing on me, at the ER unless I filed a police report. I conceded and then my fears were proven to be right. “M” and “C” were given the benefit of the doubt from minute one. They had all the rights throughout the process. I was the one on trial. I was the one that was guilty until proven otherwise. The onus was on me to prove that I didn’t want to have sex or deserve to be raped. The focus of the “investigation” was my history, my character, my personality, my personal style, my social behavior and alcohol intake.

The minute the story of  Steubenville went viral, I was–actually, there isn’t a word strong enough to describe my disgust. It is the standard treatment of rape victims by the media and society, insofar as the scrutiny and indignation being targeted to the victims. The biggest difference with this case and other rape allegations that get the attention of the media was the indisputable evidence against the accused, though. There were pictures of them carrying her seemingly lifeless body through parties. The rapists and their “audience” tweeted the photos and even details of the assault. There were videos from the party that showed this sixteen year old girl, naked and passed out as her peers assaulted her and, literally, pissed on her.  Others parts showed witnesses sitting around, talking and laughing about the assault. The town didn’t rally their support for the sixteen year old victim. They didn’t plea for the public to grant respect and privacy to the person who was violated, debased and humiliated in front of her peers, who did nothing but, best case scenario, turn a blind eye, and, worst case, cheered it on and laughed. No one asked what upbringing or influence could result in these boys being capable of such a public, notorious show of misogynistic, callous, disregard for the 16-year-old victim. No one asks what influence would provide these two boys with such an emboldened sense of entitlement that would be required to publicly rape a girl, videotape it, make jokes, and share it all via social media? Or, how could all of the other teenagers at this party stand by and watch this happen and not speak up? Why didn’t anyone help her? Why didn’t anyone intervene or, at least, sneak away and call the police?

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Stop teaching boys that friendship with a female is a last place ribbon, a consolation prize. Your daughters will internalize this message about their value too.

The media and the public consistently deny that there is any such thing as rape culture within our society. The assertion is dismissed on the grounds of our “civilized” society and the modern normalcy of women’s rights. The dissenters point out that we have laws and if they think really hard or have google access handy, they might cite cases in which those laws were even enforced. Many will condescend with the “you ingrate” tone and tell you to go live in the Middle East, “then talk to me”. The dam broke when the guilty verdict was handed down this past week. Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond reacted to their sentencing, breaking down into tears. The media responded with unmitigated pity and sympathy for the now convicted rapists. They might as well have fallen to their knees, sobbing and wailing, as they mourned and bemoaned the implications the conviction and sentence may hold for the future of the rapists.

An NBC correspondent opined, “In many ways, tonight stands as a cautionary tale to a generation that has come of age in the era of social networking.”

What the what? Evidently, Lester Holt thinks that the biggest mistake these boys made that night was logging into twitter.

CNN’s Poppy Harlow, I shit you not, said: “incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart.”

Am I supposed to squirt a fucking tear, here? If anyone wants to watch where their lives fell apart, a good starting point would be the video and pictures of them raping a girl and then work backwards from there.

Candy Crowley contributed her sympathy, saying, “A 16-year-old just sobbing in court; regardless of what big football players they are, they still sound like 16-year-olds. . . . When you listen to it and you realize they could stay until they’re 21, what’s the lasting effect, though, on two young men being found guilty, in juvenile court, of rape, essentially?”

Rape, essentially? I want to punch a baby seal. Why don’t you ask yourself about the lasting effects this girl might suffer after, not just being raped, but being raped in front of all of her peers, having it broadcast across the world-wide fucking web and being relegated to drunken whore status by the media and court of public opinion.

The dialogue, in the aftermath of the sentence, was woeful, angry and ripe with indignation. What kind of world do we live in when studious, promising athletes can’t just go out and rape a girl without consequences? It seems every major network is talking about how much this will hurt Richmond and Mays. I’ve heard over and again that they were good kids, they made good grades, praise for their athletic prowess, and the potential ramifications these sentences hold for their futures. Conversations on the victim, who was also 16, might I add, revolves around the fact that she was intoxicated and descriptions of her provocative attire. I haven’t heard about her grades or her character. Any mention of  her is basically a thinly veiled  summation of a drunk slut.  The boys were football players and good students. They are relevant. They had a future.  It’s not that the victim doesn’t matter at all; it’s just that Mays and Richmond matter a lot more. The victim, on the other hand, has been dehumanized and objectified, by her attackers that night and, since then, by the media.  She’s a nowhere bound party girl who woke up with a hangover and buyers remorse. One major flaw in this treatment of rape victims by the media and the public is that it perpetuates the notion that a situation in which, for instance, two boys carry a semi-conscious, inebriated, girl around, strip her naked, sexually violate her, and piss on her, all in front of a crowd and a camera, is motivated by sexual attraction and desire, rather than to completely demoralize and debase another human being for no other reason than they could. They performed for the crowd, they documented the assault, they blasted jokes, pics and details across social media. They acted with hubris. Now, the tears that are shed are shed, not for the child that was violated and assaulted, but for those who considered her and her body to be their entitlement. The moral of the story that these kids and others, including your children, will take from this, is that girls are responsible for sexual aggression employed against them. Despite the videos, the pics, the jokes, the bragging, the distribution of the photos and video of the rape between their peers, the victim is cast in the role of the villain and her attackers are the victims; led into temptation by her feminine wiles.  It was out of their control, they were powerless to resist raping her when they saw her passed out in tight clothes. Yeah, I don’t know why anyone would be concerned with any so-called rape culture.

We indoctrinate our children into the rape culture, just as we were indoctrinated. Our daughters are told that they are responsible for controlling male behavior.  In a rape culture, we don’t actually empower girls; we teach them that their sexuality makes them powerful and then we call them sluts and whores if they dare entertain the thought of wielding it. She will learn to, not only, accept being objectified but to be flattered by it, to seek it out, in search of empowerment. We teach her that female sexual agency is almost non-existent, except to satisfy the sexual agency of men. Girls will learn that they can give consent just by what they choose to wear. They will, one day, join the chorus of society, shaming female sexuality and sexual agency as immoral, abnormal and an invitation to rape.  Rape culture romanticizes rape by treating it like an act of uncontrolled passion and sexual desire. In a rape culture,  women are advised on measures they can take to prevent being raped. It covers things like hairstyles, fashion choices, and even goes so far as to suggest urinating or vomiting on herself, or telling an attacker that she has an STD. I’ve never gotten an email on “robbery prevention, with advice like, don’t wear expensive clothing or nice jewelry, don’t drive an expensive car, don’t purchase pricey electronics or have too big of a house. The message is simply, “don’t fucking steal” but, in a rape culture, a message of “don’t fucking rape” just never got off the ground.  Rape culture teaches us to inquire about and critique what a rape victim was wearing.  We learn to scrutinize a rape victim’s sexual history. We will judge her if she consumed alcohol or did drugs.  We rationalize and justify rape on behalf of the offenders. We absolve them of responsibility and project it on to the victims by analyzing her history, behavior and choices. In a culture of rape, we don’t blame the rapist for raping, we blame the victim for the series of  decisions and actions that ended with being raped. We perpetuate this culture when we say things like, “yeah, it is sad that she was raped but she shouldn’t have put herself in that situation”. Anytime you accept that there are choices women can make in which rape should be expected or accepted, you are part of rape culture.
What goes almost unnoticed is, if we accept all of that as fact, then we are also implying a belief that rape is a normal function of the male psyche. The urge to rape is part of a boy’s inherent nature, and they must make a consistent, conscious effort to stifle their propensity to commit sexual assault.

Nothing sells pizza like a rape joke
Nothing sells pizza like a rape joke

Say it with me:

Women have unmitigated, irrevocable governance over her body. If she is drunk and topless, she isn’t asking to be raped. There isn’t a situation or scenario that exists in which rape should be considered and dismissed as an acceptable or expected consequence. I have the right to walk down a fucking alley. I have the right to go to a party and drink. No one has the right to rape me.
Men are not slaves to their sexual urges, void of conscience, humanity or empathy. They do not have to fight against a natural inclination to rape, abuse or dominate women.

Some new rape prevention slogans:

Don’t rape

Real men get consent

Consent is sexy

That’s a good start.

 

This was a previous blog but I’m linking for relevance:

http://viewsfromthecouch.com/2012/08/20/how-not-to-be-raped/