Monday, February 6, 2012

Take me back to the place where I first saw the light

Since the dreaded Super Bowl is over, its time to get your political seriousness back on!

For the record, I have never seen so many Tweets over somebody giving the middle-finger on live TV; there were probably more Tweets about that than about the entire war in Afghanistan.


I once told the story on this blog (or touched on it briefly), of the time I was shaken very hard by a bigshot leftist.

If you are up-to-date on your true-crime scandals, you have likely heard of the death of Yeardley Love, University of Virginia lacrosse player, who was shaken so hard by her ex-boyfriend/defendant, that her head hit the wall. (First-degree murder?) The trial of the accused, George Huguely, starts today.

As the young feminists say, this story has triggered and upset me, as I consider the fact that the only unpleasant repercussions I had from my shaking episode was a terrible headache, neck and shoulder pain. It could have been far worse, I realize now.

And what were the repercussions for the important lefty honcho who shook me in front of 5 witnesses? Nothing. Not a goddamn thing. I now realize I could have had him arrested for assault, but who thought of such things in those days? Cops were widely regarded as "the enemy". It would never have occurred to me, and so it didn't.

The fact that men "shake" women, as you would discipline a naughty child, is something that has greatly bothered me ever since. It's one of those things that simply doesn't happen in reverse: women do not "shake some sense" into grown men, or at least, I never heard of anyone doing that, never read about it, never seen it in movies or on television. As I increase my participation on various blogs that deal with men's gender issues, I am highly skeptical when they tell us men are raped and harmed by women, just as often as women are raped and harmed by men (some even claim MORE often). Although I am sympathetic to the male dilemma (as I have tagged it), we just don't hear about male lacrosse players shaken so hard by their girlfriends, that their heads hit the wall and they die. (Such a story almost sounds laughable, doesn't it?)

And how exactly would one prove that a male was raped by a female, unless some object was used? Vaginal bruising and tearing are one form of evidence for rape of women, but is there an equivalent for males?

I am open-minded enough to listen, but I remain skeptical that gender-violence goes both ways as often as the Men's Rights contingent insists that it does.

Where are the dead male lacrosse players?

Further, I think many women could tell a story similar to mine--random violence (or threats of violence) from men (not necessarily domestic violence).

Can most men tell similar stories about women?

I don't know any who can.


Chris Hedges, whom I usually respect, has written a rather hysterical piece titled, THE CANCER OF OCCUPY. (Cancer? Really? Somebody has not read Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag, and has not learned of the inappropriateness of the term.) Hedges' piece reads exactly the way so many alarmist anti-war movement screeds once did, back in the day--particularly concerning the Yippies: THE ANARCHISTS ARE INVADING, AIYEEEEE!

First, like the poor, the anarchists we always have with us. Deal.

Second, the Malcolm X/Martin Luther King dichotomy stands. The radicals make the liberals look reasonable. You're welcome, Chris! Take the position of the reasonable liberal and SHUT UP. The radicals are helping us. Only scared liberals afraid of not staying in charge, could fail to see it this way. Hedges announces:

Because Black Bloc anarchists do not believe in organization, indeed oppose all organized movements, they ensure their own powerlessness.
Is 'Anonymous' powerless? Like, when they brought down PayPal? Bullshit. They have power that can't be quantified, can't be controlled, and that is what the Hedges-types (whom I usually respect, as I said) do not understand.

Occupy is about the 99% and unfortunately, the 99% (includes even Republicans) are not going to agree on What Is To Be Done. Further, everybody in the 99% seems to have an opinion, even people who haven't actually spent lots of time Occupying. Although Hedges distinguished himself by getting arrested in front of Goldman Sachs, Occupier John Penley comments on Facebook:
I am tired of these intellectuals getting more fame and money writing about and attempting to direct the movement. By the way Chris... The Zapatistas wear masks and carry guns. I have spent a lot of time in Chiapas and much of the material aid and physical support for the Zapatistas came from black bloc types and I am sure they would not be happy about Hedges speaking for them like I am not sure why he feels he can speak from his high profile position so much about what the Occupy movement should or is doing.
The so-called "split" in Occupy, between pacifists and direct-actions protesters, mirrors every other political group I have ever been involved in. This is an old split, it is PRIMAL. Some people always want to chant and pray and sit, and some people always want to throw rocks. There are always ill-mannered punks who invade the porn store and trash it (I helped do this once, after solemnly promising I would not join the breakaway-faction that ran in to trash the mafia-owned business that specialized in violent "beaver loops") ... and some want to inflict even more damage and/or openly confront (and fight with) police.

What they do, you do not have to do.

What they do, is NOT ABOUT you, unless you choose (as I did, during the aforementioned 'Take Back the Night' march/demonstration) to jump ship and join the anarchists. The nice N.O.W. ladies did not approve of us young ruffians running in there and ripping up rape-pin-ups, and that is exactly why we didn't tell them what we were planning to do. They had a march-permit and were terribly well-behaved--and could therefore honestly claim to law enforcement that they had no clue a bunch of punk-rock-witches would suddenly break away and run inside the porn store, shrieking like Furies (that's what we were going for, anyway). As a result, we protected the march from possible arrests, AND we managed to inflict the damage.

But you know, you should not PLAY at rabble-rousing. If you give a bang-up speech saying 'women take back the night!'--do not be surprised when someone actually does.

When you say "We are the 99%--hoo ha!"--do not be surprised when the actual 99% shows up. Like, ALL of them; bikers, ex-cons, angry veterans, etc... and they may not have your peacenik, lets-get-in-a-circle-and-chant-OM values. Are you ready for that?

If not, Occupy is not for you. Because it really is about the 99%, that isn't just empty propaganda. Be prepared when the 99% really does show up... and they are, like the rest of us, extremely pissed off.

They may not show their anger in the nicey-nice way that you have come to expect.


If you missed my non-interview of Noam Chomsky, it is here.

Also recommended: 29 days on Drugs – Day 2: The President’s Pot Problem. The best analysis I have read, of why Obama seems so terrified to discuss freeing the weed.

Mentioned in the post is The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, a book about the drug war (and its focus on minorities), which I will certainly be reading and discussing on my radio show.


Caution: bluegrass ahead! This lovely, traditional old song is apparently now in the public domain; author unknown. The first line of the song is today's blog post title. (What would I do without WPCI?)

Take me back to the Sweet Sunny South - Jerry Garcia and David Grisman


JoJo said...

I actually had not heard about the lacrosse player who died after being shaken, and I had no idea someone shook you violently either!

As for there being some sign on a man that he was raped by a woman, that assumes that the woman had sex with him the 'regular' way, vs. shoving something into his anus which would show tearing and abrasions. I"m sure there has been anal penetration rape perpetrated by woman in some cases. That's the only thing I can think of anyway.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Nope, they mean regular rape, by what is called "envelopment"... I know, its almost impossible for some of us to imagine this, Jojo. I still have a difficult time envisioning it. Here is a thread that I helped inspire, on a blog that I have since been banned from: Can women rape men?

That thread is not about anal rape, but about "regular" hetero rape of women by men. 122 comments, with several personal accounts included.

JE said...

Firstly the question of evidence has nothing to do with wether rapes are happening. Secondly you can have various damage to the penis from forced sex, and furthermore various ways used by the attacker to make a man erect can leave permanent marks. (one account I read had a woman stick a broken q-tip down the victims utherea for this purpose, you can imagine the effects).

Most claims about similar rates of rape of men and women are based on a cdc study released late last year which got it's data by anonymously asking people if they had experienced various things in the last year or in their life. The first gave near equal rates for men and women (3 men per 4 women I think).

If you're looking for gender reversed equivalents of shaking (I had no idea this was a thing, horrible) then the throwing things at boyfriend that is standard part of most pop culture depictions of slighted girlfriends is a candidate. It's presented as harmless, but in reality it can be pretty dangerous depending on what's thrown. I can't remember hearing about anyone killed this way, but it wouldn't suprise me if it'd happened.

DaisyDeadhead said...

JE, good point about the throwing things... that is the primary violence against a man (Dick Van Dyke, in this case) in the clip I ran here: Why is domestic violence against men funny.

What is so interesting is that I laughed at that clip MY WHOLE LIFE, as did my whole family. Then, suddenly I saw it after the Tiger Woods debacle and it was not funny to me any more (except you have to admit that Van Dyke is king of slapstick-pratfalls)... I was amazed that my own sensibility had changed so much.

I also recently saw a re-run of an old Mary Tyler Moore episode, where some man picks up Betty White and sets her down in the middle of a large wedding cake, humiliating her. Again, I laughed my butt off in the 70s, but now? This was no longer funny to me either.

Amazing how we took violations of physical-autonomy for granted in old comedy, and now (like too much boozing, especially while driving, e.g. W.C. Fields) these things are viewed totally differently.

I take this as progress! (As I said here, its one reason I watch old movies in the first place.)

Jim said...

"Where are the dead male lacrosse players?"

This nearly did happen remember? The difference is the modality - most violence like this against men is carried out by women's male proxies.

Envelopment rape - I think one of the sticking points in the way of understnading this is unawareness of how easy it is to get a young guy erect. and if oyu have some kind of threat of other men's violence you can wield - "Do it or I'll say you raped me!" - it is pretty easy to complete the rape. Guys get hard in their sleep every time we dream. Guys get hard as a response to nerves or fear. And it very easy to coerce men into sex because of gender role expectations. It's not that difficult.

This would be a lot easier for you to understand if you thought like a rapist. Have you considered that may be why this is hard for you to get a handle on?

zhinxy said...

Bah! I'm a friendly, boring anarchist! Really! Oh, but I do adore you and this is why. :)

I am somewhat surprised you have a hard time getting your head around the idea of envelopment rape, though. Certainly abused young boys get erections they can't help, which are often used against them by their abusers as signs they liked what was being done to them *shudders*

It seems to me that if a sex act takes place without the full consent of either party, rape has happened, regardless of who was doing the penetrating. It's the same act, after all, and if you see it that way, that rape is still unwilling penetration, but it can be the penetrator that's unwilling, then that might help?

Danny said...

The fact that men "shake" women, as you would discipline a naughty child, is something that has greatly bothered me ever since. It's one of those things that simply doesn't happen in reverse: women do not "shake some sense" into grown men, or at least, I never heard of anyone doing that, never read about it, never seen it in movies or on television.
I'm reminded of an old Chris Rock stand up where he said, "I would never, never, never, NEVER hit a woman. But I'd shake the shit out of her." Now as you say you don't hear this in reverse. But I'm betting you've heard and seen stories of women "beating some sense" into grown men and it be met with laughter.

Consider now how on tv/movies its perfectly fine for a woman to respond with a slap when a man makes a rude comment her. I wouldn't defend her conclusion that the commentary was rude but escalating from a rude comment to a physical attack?

You seem to be questioning if men have stories of being attacked by women. I'm betting they do and just like a lot of women that don't have immediate evidence like a noticeable injury they often don't talk or aren't believed. In addition to the the anti-victim sentiment that male victims have in common with female victims male victims also have the pleasure of being presumed to be the attacker when they speak up.

And how exactly would one prove that a male was raped by a female, unless some object was used? Vaginal bruising and tearing are one form of evidence for rape of women, but is there an equivalent for males?
If we are talking about a male that was forced to penetrate his rapist then short of the possibility of abrasions from the intercourse (ie the rapist rubbed him raw) or maybe violent oral (the rapist performed oral sex on him and bit him?) probably not. And don't forget possible foreskin damage.

But I'm curious:
I am open-minded enough to listen, but I remain skeptical that gender-violence goes both ways as often as the Men's Rights contingent insists that it does.
Are you saying that the less likelyhood of evidence translates into it not happening at all?

And if we are going to bring back past posts then I'll toss in this one which I think I made in response to that FC post you linked to ( Unfortunately when installed Intense Debate a few weeks ago the ID install somehow hid all of my old comments. Not deleted though because I can go into my Blogger Dashboard and still look at them.

HidingFromtheDinosaurs said...

I have not witnessed this "shaking". It does indeed sound awful. As someone who has suffered a lot of physical abuse from female social workers as a child, I would request that you find whoever it is you know that is shaking children in this manner and force them to stop.

Have you considered that many men who do not participate in this action may be as unaware of its existence as you are of attacks against men? I've experienced quite a few thrown objects without even having been in a relationship. Often, there wasn't even an argument involved. Most women just don't see hurting or hitting a man as a big deal. I believe they have been socialized to underestimate the damage they are capable of inflicting. I also suspect that many of the men you know may actually have experienced violence from women and simply be uncomfortable talking about it openly or possibly even unwilling to recognize it for what it was.

As for female on male rape, I really don't see how you have such a hard time imagining it. If you want a description of an instance of it, you may want to read this: I've actually spoken with several men who were raped by women in a similar way after being given drugged drinks at parties or bars, as well as with one woman who claimed to have committed rape in that way.

Anonymous said...

"I believe they have been socialized to underestimate the damage they are capable of inflicting."

agree w/this. when my sister and i used to fight as childrn, she was so surprised if i cried. she cried sooner, even tho i'm sure she hurt me more

DaisyDeadhead said...

Hey Danny, I remember that Chris Rock routine! It bothered me almost as much as this murder trial has, since the audience laughed their asses off. And Chris Rock is someone many people admire and possibly regard as a role model.

I figure those guys that laughed, are the ones who do the woman-shaking. (I don't know why a woman would be laughing.)

In fairness, I slapped two men in my life, my two exes. It was mostly a dramatic flourish, didn't hurt em or even leave a red mark. But I wouldn't do that now and have never slapped my current husband; I think I musta got that shit from too much Doris Day/old movies. I once threw a drink in a biker's face and he decked me, bam... spit in another's, and he shoved me into a wall, hard. So SOME men certainly won't take that shit, even if you are one-third their size.

PS: As I've said, I used to drink.

white rabbit said...

I'm struggling as to who/what I could care less about - MIA or Superbowl...

I don't know what to say about main discussion - I'll reflct on this. The nearest I got to violence from a woman was a former girlfriend who, if she got really angry, would throw a glass or cup. But always deliberately missed - at least I think it was deliberate - maybe she was a rotten shot ;)

Plenty of anarchists have been highly organised - for example the CNT - the only political
organisation I would join - except that was there, that was then.

Jim said...

I haven't witnessed this buisness of shaking a grown woman lie a child but i have no trouble imagining it based on comments I have heard over time.

Same goes for women on men. And in this case the culture itself is complicit.

Daisy is not talking about someone shaking a child. That's bad enough. The shit she is talking about goes even deeper.

Speaking odf Doris day, i remember that inmvies of the era just before hers there was this trope where a woman would get all wound up about something and start babbling, and the man would cuff her lightly to bring her to her senses. It was a noir thing, maybe. And she would say, "Thanks; I needed that." This was common enough that I can remember it being parodied.

Danny said...

I figure those guys that laughed, are the ones who do the woman-shaking. (I don't know why a woman would be laughing.)
Those women laugh because of the implied hierarchy. Hitting is seen as worse than shaking (regardless of which can do more damage) therefore by the script of being a man (a "real man" never hits a woman for any reason whatsoever) he should never hit a woman but shaking one is seen as a lesser and acceptable form of violence.

Meanwhile women get applause and laughter at the idea of hitting men.

Odd I know.

DaisyDeadhead said...

I wanted to publicly thank the three men who wrote to me privately. Thank you for sharing with me, and trusting me also.

I just wish you didn't feel like you couldn't say those things publicly. That makes me very sad, that some people are still shamed by ANY kind of victimhood. Openness is the way to transform this situation!

But I certainly DO understand why folks don't feel safe in telling these kinds of stories, since in many cases, I won't either.

My best wishes to you all. And thanks again.

Truthout said...

Follow up interview with Chris Hedges

Occupy! said...

Chris Hedges' Very Public Meltdown

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