What We Mean By Rape Culture

What We Mean By Rape Culture June 29, 2012

I debated over this post. My colleagues genuinely believe it’s wrong to give things like this attention, and maybe they are right. I prefer to expose these things to the light of day. Maybe I’m wrong. I should go ahead an warn that some folks may find triggers in this post, and it does contain NSFW content.

I think the PNC did a fine job of covering PSG and Melissa Murry’s story. You can read the coverage here and here and here and here and here. I recommend you read through all of it. Having several PNC members participating certainly seems to have improved the quantity and quality of coverage over last year, and the year before.

I think overall the discussion over this emotionally charged topic has been calm, reasonable and productive. I am officially against excluding anyone from public events, whether that be transgender folk or cis-gender exclusive rituals. Those who have read my blog know I’m not a big fan of gender specific ritual and I have never found it appealing to contemplate my womb. I prefer to hang out in fully inclusive rituals.

But I recently had something happen that made me see the Dianic viewpoint a little bit. I acquired another hater. Not some random person who decided to call me stupid or fat. No this person spent 20 minutes discussing my genitalia and calling me a “bitch” and “whore.” They also said some pretty horrible things about Selena Fox, who is one of the sweetest people I know. Selena isn’t bigoted, she just made a bad choice because she was so caught up in the reproductive rights battle waging in the political sphere. I don’t think such a mistake will happen at PSG again.

I have a weird sense of humor. When I listened to the podcast I literally laughed until tears streamed down my face. I thought it was so over the top that it sounded like an X-rated Church Lady sketch, or a poor imitation of the hilarious Leslie Jordan. My poor roommates had to deal with me walking around cackling and talking about prolapsed vaginas all day. Even writing this I’m giggling a bit.

Other women did not find it funny. Some of these women had received threats of violence for writing for Pagan media. They were horrified. This made me think. I was certainly angry that someone had said such malicious things about Selena. I wasn’t terribly upset about what was said about me. But if some other woman had been the target, if this had been directed at Crystal Blanton rather then me, I would be furious.

Looking at it in that light I find this pretty reprehensible, and not funny at all. You can’t fight hate with more hate. You can’t gain your rights by taking them away from others. This applies to everyone: trangender, Dianic and everyone else.

If nothing else, this podcast serves to help me understand the Dianics a bit better. I still may not care for gender-specific ritual, but I can see how behavior like this may instill in them a need for their own space.

David Salisbury, of PNC-DC and the Human Rights Campaign, told me he spoke with Melissa Murry yesterday and that the podcast below presents an inaccurate take on her feelings regarding the situation. For Melissa’s actual words please see the PNC interviews and videos linked at the top of this post.

I’m not a hardcore feminist, but this is what they mean by rape culture. When a woman expresses an opinion and instead of being challenged on the merits of her ideas, she’s simply called a “whore.” Rape culture affects transgender women too.

Here is a link to the podcast page, but you can listen to it with the audio player below.

WARNING: This is extremely NSFW and contains graphic descriptions of genitalia and foul, misogynistic language.

Audio hosted by archive.org in compliance with the Creative Commons license provided by the podcaster.

I’m maintaining a copy of the audio for legal reasons, along with screenshots of the site taken over several days, but I have removed the audio from archive.org reflecting the change in license status.

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