[This post contains profanities, lots of them - and the odd typo. Blame the sheer anger]
I have a dream, and that is of a world in which men and women have an equal say, equal pay, equal power, equal possibilities, equal rights and equal responsibilities. A world, in which we no longer regard the inauguration of a president equipped with a vagina as “something special”.
I wish for a world in which men and women are eachother’s peers and associates, with equal obligations and duties; a world in which men and women are allowed to make the same decisions over their careers, over whom they love, and over what happens with and to their bodies.
And when I say equal, I mean equal. There is no such thing like ‘a little bit more (or less) equal’. You are either equal to the person standing next to you, or you are not. The Oxford Dictionary after all defines ‘equality’ as being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value and having the same status, rights, or opportunities. It is a bit like being pregnant: you either are, or you are not. There is no debatable middle ground here, ladies and gentlemen.
Fancy gender equality veneer
Some regions in the world seem to have come a long way in the decades after women started to set alight their bras, yet others have an equally long way to go – despite the content of their constitutions (South Africa is a good example). Even in Europe and the US, both seen as beacons of civilization, human rights, and equality, there is room for improvement. Even there, equality between men and women is sometimes nothing but a thin layer of fancy veneer that masks a sometimes not so equal reality.
Pessimistic? Nah. I don’t think so. I consider myself a perfectionist rather. As long as there are EU commissions to make sure that women have the same rights and responsibilities as men; as long as there is a need for gender equality NGOs; as long as there are people of influence who are doing their best to undermine women’s wellbeing – the situation is far from optimal.
Able to shut down pregnancy? Gimme a break!
Talking about those people of influence. Over the past few weeks, various US politicians – all men – have climbed onto their soapboxes to inform the world how a) rape affects women physically and mentally b) how there are various, sometimes less serious, types of rape and c) how females should deal with pregnancies as a result of this act that falls into the category crime against humanity.
“[Pregnancy as a result of rape] seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down,” said Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican representative, earlier this month.
This came on top of other utterings of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and presidential hopeful Ron Paul, both Republicans. They respectively coined the phrases “forcible rape” and “honest rape” – suggesting that there are god forms of rape.
Visitation rights for rapists? WTF?
Then there are various states in the United States (31 of of them) where the law – which is often drawn up by men, let’s be honest – allows rapists to claim visitation rights and custody of the child (if pregnancy occurs). Yes, let’s rape the woman all over again shall we? Let’s give the asshole in the story some rights.
American male politicians are not alone with their retarded ideas about rape and how it affects women.
* In 2011, UK Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke claimed that “date rape” was less “serious” than other attacks.
* Last week, Kees van der Staaij, the leader of the Dutch Christian fundamentalist party SGP, echoed the backwards remarks by Todd Akin – and refused to take them back.
* In 2005, South African Constitutional Court Judge Moegoeng Mogoeng – back then judge in the former Bophuthatswana High Court – reduced the jail sentence of the rapist of a seven-year old girl from five to three years because “the accused was 30 years old and a first-time offender, married with two children and a soldier who earned R1 800 a month. “While he accepted that the girl’s vagina had been penetrated, he found that it was not known whether this was with the man’s penis or his finger, as her dress had covered her face,” The Mail & Guardian reported.
Acceptable forms of rape? WTF?
Back to Akin and his hillbilly friends. I refuse to dig into his ‘knowledge’ regarding the female body. I refuse. That is plain stupidity and ignorance. Nothing a few years of high school biology classes can’t fix.
What does bring my blood to a simmering boil is the suggestion that there are apparently acceptable forms of rape. What makes me spit fire and brimstones is that men have the audacity to tell women, who were raped by other vagina-less human beings, how they should deal with the potential consequences of rape. Instead of going after the rapists, these men push the problem into the victims’ corner – and uteri.
Excuse my French but give me fucking a break already! Todd Akin and Fan Club – whether you are from the US or elsewhere: You are nothing but a bunch of backward, ignorant, heartless assholes living in the Stone Age. Did your mothers collectively drop you on your heads when you were little, or were you born this way? I really can’t fucking tell.
You have no clue how it feels!
In My Humble Opinion you three, as well as your fans out there, should keep your ignorant, dumb-ass mouths shut about how victims should deal with the aftermath of a crime that affects mainly women (not men!) and is committed mainly by males, your male counterparts (not women!).
You ‘gentlemen’ have no clue about how it feels when someone forces himself onto and into to you, simply because you were equipped with a vagina – and not a penis. You will probably never know how it feels when your pleas are ignored. You will never know how it feels to lie on your bed, too drugged up (involuntary, in my case, by the guy I was dating at the time. I hope that of all people, YOU Kenneth Clarke, with your hurtful date rape comments, are reading this post) to protest but conscious enough to realize what it going on.
You will never feel the overpowering mix of humiliation, the loss of dignity, self-worth and self-love on le moment supreme when someone forcefully shoves his penis inside you. You will not spend hours in the shower because you feel so dirty you want to die, scrubbing until your skin is red and raw. Nor will you cry yourself to sleep for days after and have anger tantrums for weeks and months.
Soul-crushing, nauseating fear
You will not have to go to the GP for all sorts of STD tests. You will not have sit at the cop shop and explain everything to a total stranger. You will not know how it feels when they tell you the evidence is so small that there is not a case – because there was a condom in the equation.
You will not suffer the mental consequences, including lack of trust in people and never wanting to have sex ever again – which subsequently may lead to one failed relationship after the other. You will not feel the overpowering, soul-crushing, nauseating fear when you accidentally bump into the perpetrator years later, just before a job interview.
I personally can’t even start to imagine how it must be like to fall pregnant on top of all of that, and having to look at a swelling belly containing the product of one of the worst days of your life. I can’t imagine having to allow the rapist back into my life because he wants to see the baby.
The above was enough, thank you very much.
It must be excruciatingly painful having to carry the rape pregnancy to full term – whether you give up the child for adoption or not. When you are not pregnant, you can sometimes forget about what happened. Sometimes, in whatever shape or form, you are able to black it out. How the fuck can you ever come to terms with the ordeal when you are forced to carry your rapist’ child, and love it at the same time? Or even worse, when you are forced to allow the rapist back into you life? How?
Spare me your pro-life bull shit
Akin & Fan Club, in the US and elsewhere (even in my so-called tolerant native land The Netherlands there are politicians with similar convictions): Spare me your murder and pro-life bullshit crap nonsense.
Do you morons realize that tampering with women’s reproductive rights will lead to an increase in backyard abortions? DO YOU? We females are pretty determined and industrious that way. If we want to get rid of ‘it’, we will find a solution – whether it is allowed and safe, or not.
You don’t have to push daisies in order to be dead
Those backyard abortions are deadly. Globally, 17 million women per year undergo illegal, unsafe abortions because there is not other option available and of them 70.000 do not live to tell the tale. This has severe implications on their families, children and the overall fabric of their communities. Most children in the world are raised primarily with their mothers. I am sure you get the idea.
Akin & Fan Club, with your pro-life theory you are giving a cluster of cells, that can’t possibly survive on its own, a much superior status than a woman of flesh and blood, a woman who has been living and breathing.
Your mothers would be proud.
Taken all of the above aside, can I inform you that one does not have to be pushing daisies in order to be dead! It took me years to feel alive again, to regain my confidence in the opposite sex, to disallow the past from affecting the present, and to have functional relationships again.
Todd Akin and fan Club: I know you are hiding behind the Mighty Bible, but try to listen to your common sense and stop your pro-life bullshit and stop telling rape victims what they can and can’t do with their uteri. Instead, fight the perpetrators. They are the problem, not the women who are trying their best to patch their lives back together.