Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.– Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (via bookmania)
There once was a young boy with a very bad temper. The boy’s father wanted to teach him a lesson, so he gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into their wooden fence.
On the first day of this lesson, the little boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. He was really mad!
Over the course of the next few weeks, the little boy began to control his temper, so the number of nails that were hammered into the fence dramatically decreased.
It wasn’t long before the little boy discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Then, the day finally came when the little boy didn’t lose his temper even once, and he became so proud of himself, he couldn’t wait to tell his father.
Pleased, his father suggested that he now pull out one nail for each day that he could hold his temper.
Several weeks went by and the day finally came when the young boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
Very gently, the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
“You have done very well, my son,” he smiled, “but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.”
The little boy listened carefully as his father continued to speak.
“When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And no matter how many times you say you’re sorry, the wounds will still be there.”
This was really an amazing and necessary thing to read right now.
Dear lord that image is awful. But yeah.
The problem with Seth MacFarlane’s humor, as always, is that he’s almost always punching down instead of punching up. He’s picking on people who have always been picked upon, and he thinks he’s hilarious for doing so. What’s more, he’s making a lot of money from other people who enjoy that sort of thing. But that doesn’t make him funny. It makes him one of those fratboy douchebags who seem to be everywhere in life, even into middle age, making uncomfortably insulting wisecracks that always seem to end with the protest that “I’m just joking.” The result? The two white guys are the straight men in this bit. Everybody else—foreign, old, female—is ripe for the ribbing.– Joel Mathis, “Seth MacFarlane’s Racist, Sexist New Show, Dads” (via seriouslyamerica)
As if I’m surprised that these bros are disregarding every history of the “movement” they have deigned to lead, as if I am surprised they choose to so consistently deliberately push out the voices and wishes and bodies and concerns and histories and works of every survivor.
How can you miss all the criticisms of the “‘yes means yes’” epidemic? What kind of grasp can you have on consent if you don’t understand that sometimes yes doesn’t mean yes? What does it say about you that you can’t fathom a “yes” that is anything but enthusiastic? It says that you’ve never considered, you know, power relationships, it says that you have never listened to survivors, especially survivors of prolonged domestic abuse, it says you have not read literally any literature about the dynamics of rape, like, ever. (It also says you might be a rapist, let’s be honest.) Most importantly, a men’s group fighting to preserve the “‘yes means yes’” slogan which is alreadycontroversial among survivor advocacy groups just highlights how important it is for would-be rapists to have this tool in their belt. Men and/or rapists need us to keep saying “yes means yes” because that means that all they need to do to attain total amnesty is get you to say “yes” at any cost.
I just—naively—never thought I would see a semi-institutionalized anti-rape group telling me that “no means no” doesn’t apply anymore. “Enthusiastic consent” means “you no longer can use ‘no’ as a potential response.” What are we supposed to say? Does enthusiastic consent mean we have to be enthusiastic in nonconsent? That we have to say “I am not gonna have sex with you and I swear I have a good reason”? What about silence? If “no” isn’t enough, what good is silence?
It makes me think about how, to these people, the tools of consent, the tools of “stopping rape,” are really really really really not supposed to be accessed by people who have already experienced rape. Because when they read the slogan “no means no” they read it as “when someone says no I am supposed to listen to them,” they are reading it from the perspective of the potential rapist, or the already-rapist. The potential violator of consent, the person who needs to learn how not to rape. And certainly there is a strong history, and an urgent need for that reading of “no means no.” But “no means no” is mostly an old tool for survivors, to assert “rights,” coming (first) out of contexts where some people aren’t allowed to say no. It was, in one permutation, a liberal rights affirmation addressing marital exemption laws (especially in affirming their repeal over the past thirty years or so). In other cases it has been used to resist situations where people aren’t given the “right” to say “no”—a resistance to political structures that invalidate the “no.”
So often, though, “no means no” is like, one of the only things survivors-who-said-no-but-still-got-raped-and-still-got-no-justice have to cling to. “I said no,” while a really limited device that has often hurt the survivors who didn’t say no, is a classic part of the reparative process. “I said no” is a validation for survivors who blame themselves. It’s not necessarily even that useful, and it doesn’t change anything, but it has operated like this for a long time. It should be something survivors can use to heal, if nothing else. I just can’t even believe some dudes are like “nope, that doesn’t count anymore. you don’t get to use this.”