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Thursday, January 23, 2014

RAPE CULTURE IN AMERICA

isamu noguchi
 

One of the biggest surprises of my life, which really isn't a surprise at all, is seeing the extent of male contempt for women. It seems like it is even more pervasive than racism, in every race. The right wing launch of all-out racism in reaction to an elected President, who happens to be black, is equally obsessed with devaluing women. I'm actually glad to see this fountain of racism that reacted itself to the surface over Obama by way of hate radio and television. The civil rights era never really addressed racism. It was about legal rights for black people like for white people. Racism  was the R-word at the time. It was the word everybody was so tired of hearing and it always popped up, "That's racism!" How did we know you'd say that? A man I once knew, who is long on the other side, watched tv news every day of his adult life with a drink before dinner. Several years ago a new book was published on the civil rights era that was getting attention for being a good read. I gave it to him. When he finished it, he said, "I didn't know any of this happened." Knocked me off my track. I didn't feel like I wanted to read it because I remembered so much of the news from the time and much writing around the issue. All the photographs were familiar. And I know he watched the news more than I did. I didn't even question why he didn't know about any of it. Uninterested. Black people come up on the evening news and mind shifts to someplace else like when a commercial comes on. He also couldn't listen to female talking heads on the news. The female voice was devoid of authority for him, like there couldn't be any knowledge behind it.
 

isamu noguchi
 
The republican right wing white man party has been obsessively making so many laws against a woman's right to be a human being, it's overwhelming to me that the white men of our government hate women so much. Do they really represent the rest of us men? We need studies to prove that rape is epidemic in our time, when it's so obvious, who could question it? Heard on an NPR interview show today, it might have been Diane Rehm, a woman saying seven percent of college boys admit to having raped, and of them two-thirds were serial rapists. Seven percent is seven per hundred. A school with 20,000 students has 700 rapists. Considering the very large number of colleges and universities in the country, rape is a serious problem. Law enforcement says she asked for it, she shouldn'a wore that dress that showed her figure. In a world of people dictated by television an unshapely woman is a pig. Again, male dominated networks and belief system based in advertising where a female figure is a predictable attraction. We have an entire nation where seven percent of the boys are rapists. No telling how many men over 20 are rapists. It's a bigger number than the college boys. The women know, but they can't talk, because in  America when it's a white boy, he was seduced into it. Blame the victim. She got him drunk. If he's black, string him up. Keep white girls safe for white rapists. I was driving back from town today hearing a woman whose name I don't remember talking about this problem and my jaw dropped to the metaphorical floor when she mentioned the seven percent statistic. Seven doesn't sound like much of a percentage, but multiply it by all the schools in the land and rape is a national epidemic not being addressed. This is an expression of collective male fear of women that is masked as contempt. Of course, it's not all men. I'm dwelling on the seven percent, not the other 93. Why don't the 93 say to the 7, cut it out, asshole? Indifference.
 

isamu noguchi
 
I heard another statistic later in the day that increasing numbers every year of women are not getting married. I saw a cartoon on the subject: Why buy the pig when all you need is a little sausage? Since I've become aware of the serious social problem of the male fear of women, it makes me question my colleagues in gender all the more. I came from the world of that mind, white man mind, grew up in it, learned it, unconsciously lived by it in the early years. Not rape mind, but fear of women mind. Rape is an expression of fear of women, same as sex play with children. An awful lot of us grow up in families where daddy talks down to mommy, where grandpa talks down to grandma, and the women have no recourse. I've thought about the question of next lifetime, how would I like to have a female experience next time? No way! I thought of what women go through subject to men, especially the intelligent woman married to an ignorant man who rules her with his ignorance and she has to learn with her intelligence how to live with it and not dry up into ashes. I'm not proud of being male. White man has made a fool of himself for an awful number of centuries. I grew up among boys as one of them, learned the culture as one of them. I was not one of the boys that believed dying for my country was honorable. I thought it was just dead. I wanted to live my life, not be killing other guys my age deluded into believing for rich white men who cared nothing about me or them.  Why should I care enough about them to die for them? They wouldn't die for me. Didn't have a choice. The draft made the decision for me. Authoritarians just have to look at me to know I am the enemy. I tend not to give authoritarians my power. They hate it. I go about my way.

isamu noguchi

In my lifetime in a world that is half men and half women, I have found the more intelligent people I know are women. The men are way down the scale in relation to the women. Another epidemic in our time is young women with one, two or three kids, divorced from a guy who needed anger management training and never got it, living in HUD housing, working a full time job for minimum wage, taking night classes at the community college, kids in daycare, and at home has to turn them over to the television. How many men can do that? Working class women all over the country are living in this situation, a large number of them. They get taken advantage of by landlords, mechanics, employers. The ex husband works, lives in a trailer unable to take care of himself in any way, drinks himself to sleep in front of the tv at night, and pays a great chunk of his pay in child support. It's hard enough for them to give up so much of their pay they have nothing left over, but the guy couldn't take care of kids, nurture them, give them affection, and live in poverty working all the time too. It's difficult both ways. The girls in this situation with kids our Christian society wants to throw out with the trash. Believe it or not, the American way is and always has been to hate the poor. It hasn't been until the last several years that I've seen the white reactionary male politician, cloaked in Bible, so dead set on denying women basic human rights. I did not see that coming. I've come to believe collective misogyny was under the carpet of denial with racism, needed bringing out in the open, and now is that time. I see a consciousness waking up in women all over the country now. It's been going on for awhile, since the Seventies. I've been reeling from these rape statistics I heard this morning, seeing the sorry state of the American male consciousness. It makes me ashamed.

isamu noguchi
 
 
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