[Raw FB thoughts] Comment on RollingStone piece | ‘A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA’

(Trigger Warning)

Article at: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119

This is just absolutely disgusting.. And this is why anyone who rapes should be hung upside down from the balls to deter anyone else who even thinks about it as an immediate targeted policy, while the lengthy process of ‘awareness’ is put in place and takes root. So rape is just an ‘initiation’ for these students, that just goes to show how much they think of women and how they literally only see them as objects. and the reaction of her friends telling her not to report it because ‘they will be banned from frat parties’ is just surreal..

And this is what literally shocks me here, for all the talk of women being so much more well-off in the West compared to other backwards societies it literally never ceases to amaze me how little value I find that they in essence often hold.

Even amongst those who call themselves ‘feminists’, you often find underlying attitudes that show a lack of so-called ‘extra’ feminist consideration in certain situations, for example where a woman complains of abuses against a ‘good’ man. This is a psychological phenomenon I must admit I cannot fully explain, although I can hypothesize why it appears to me to be the case.

It seems to me that to such minds, in a “more-or-less” gender-equal society (relative to others) – where for example there are generally no impediments to the sharing of spaces between men and women, or where men and women are able to mix freely and unimpeded in the vast majority of fora etc. – i.e. where women are able to engage in *certain spaces and practices* which are not restricted to men (yet whose aims often tilt towards men and/or are structured by them), creates a faux-impression of ‘equality being achieved’, and hence the woman having ‘full autonomy, and responsibility, for her actions’.

In other words it creates a semblance of equality because its seen as relative to other societies where such certain activities are off-limits to women – women are *deprived* of them; to use a simple example if a woman just feels like going out to party at night in whatever dress she likes she can and will not be ‘stopped’ by society (since it is as a matter of ‘initial action’ generally accepted in society – that is not however to say that society will treat her sympathetically if something happens to her, but that simply she is *able* to take that initial action) which is not the case in many other places (to be clear not placing a value judgement but trying to develop my understanding of the associated psychology). And so the fact that the woman can do such certain activities here and enjoys that ‘advantage’ over ‘there’ comes with the notion that women here enjoy (significant/threshold-achieving) ‘autonomy’, because of the fact that they can ‘do all these things men do’. They too are able to play the ‘game’. Sexism and such attitudes meanwhile are in general mostly remnants of a conservative/victorian past, rather than by-products contributed to potentially by the structures of the new arenas of the ‘more progressive’ present.

But these new arenas where women can now participate were not left simply unaltered for women to enjoy, but were in turn modified to deal with the participation of women and how such a participation can actually serve the interests of (a certain set of) men – not to the conducivity of women.

So the rules on which this ‘game’ is played are extremely skewed – in other words women are allowed to play the game and so they are judged by the fact that they are *allowed* to play the game, not by what the rules of the game entail or what their participation necessitates, *or* more importantly what compromises or concessions being ‘able’ to play this game requires them to give in return, knowingly or unknowingly. Its like giving the women the ‘right’ to go out and party’ instead of ‘stay at home’ comes with the trade-off of the dropping of any rights she may have. You want to enter our world? Fine. Now you entered our world, you play by our rules.

To use another example, in a situation of contrasting allegations of abuse between a male accused and a female accuser – lets say in a situation where both were involved in an ‘open relationship’, the fact that the woman has ‘autonomy’ here and has the ready option of being as ‘promiscuous’ for example as a man if she so wills means that she will have no ‘extra’ right of consideration even in a situation of her making (gendered) allegations of abuse; so for example if she alleges that at one point an incident occurred where the male physically abused the female – the allegations made by the female will be taken with a pinch of salt and suspicion even by self-identifying feminists – she had lost many of the protections afforded to her when she entered that arena – why? *Because in this particular arena they live in an equal world*. But of course it is not an equal world, and the foundations and underpinnings of those arenas even if now allowing female participation were not constructed in an ‘equal’ way. That is not to say that as an automatic reaction a woman should be believed in any case just because she is a woman, but to note the contradictions often which exist between the ideas of equality between the different arenas of the subject, and how they can have a very real effect even on those who think they are impregnable to it.