Thursday, August 9, 2012

rape culture is not a part of alt culture!

so a friend recently posted the following link on FB: which i highly recommend, btw. i've seen quite a lot of similar stuff popping up in recent years. i think it's important that we talk about this. i think it's fantastic that a lot of it is being posted by my male feminist friends. i think it's necessary to put into words what we all see simmering below the surface and don't talk about. the thing is that some of the statistics in these articles really shock me and a lot of the things they talk about (like "the pact"), while i certainly know what they're talking about, DOES NOT HAPPEN IN MY COMMUNITY! i'm not remotely saying that there's no need for us to talk about it, rather i think the fact that we do is one of the reasons the alt community seems to me to be stronger and healthier than the mainstream world. we post articles like this, and then we talk about them. we consistently support each other and stand up for what we know to be right. we are politically active and fight for an end to bigotry and violence. i was recently writing about the differences in dating in the alt world vs the "normal" world and i think that has a lot to do with it. the community being small makes it easy to manage. in the 13 years i've been in our community, i have only heard about 2 incidents of people acting unacceptably (in the ways that would be defended or accepted in mainstream society). in one i was there for the aftermath where a guy showed up to a birthday party and a girl immediately wanted to leave because he had raped her. he was immediately asked to leave, everyone's opinion of him as a person changed radically, and we all stood behind her as having done nothing wrong. the other someone was drugged at a party. her friends immediately realized that she was not ok and took care of her. the person responsible was called out for it and is no longer welcome at any of our events. this is the place i proudly call home. i am surrounded by honourable men who do not put up with their friends preying upon women. i am surrounded by strong women who are not afraid to speak out and stand up for themselves. we do not find racist or homophobic or sexist jokes funny. we respect each-other as humans. if we are catty or dramatic, it is based on people's actions. stereotypes are not brought into it. all of my friends know that i was sexually abused as a child and have been sexually assaulted as an adult. i have never had anyone react to that knowledge in a negative or unsupportive way. i am female and pansexual and i never get discriminated against for it. coming from that basis of support gives me the strength to deal with people out in the "normal" world who are not so enlightened. it gives me the baseline for what is actually normal and sensible so i never consider other opinions may be true. i'm not battered with hatred and objectification on a daily basis. i keep it out of my life so it can't infect me like the plague it is. and i'm not afraid to walk down the street alone at night. i'm not afraid to be in an elevator with a strange man or cross a nasty area of town alone. i'm healthy and strong and capable of defending myself. i have my head on straight about reasonable risk. failing all that i carry a large knife and the training to use it. living in a healthy community gives me the strength to deal with an unsafe one. attending events and making friends here is a tacit agreement to abide by our rules. when we bring new people in we have a good idea that they are respectful and open minded. usually they share some interests but far more important is their attitude. i think that's why it's very common for people to come out to an event and immediately get the feeling "oh god, i'm home!". they are. this is what we were all looking for. the environment and the people where we fit. i'm not sure how we can extend these social rules into the rest of the world. maybe this kind of strict control only works in a small group or maybe that's the only reason we're able to be so different. i'm told that in cities where the alt community is huge it's the same. maybe it's just that we're used to being different in our clothing and our music and our interests. we don't care if our social rules are also different. we have no problem saying "i don't care if that's acceptable where you come from, that shit doesn't fly here". maybe it's just that the world needs to stop wearing their wishbone where their backbone aught to be. it starts with one person influencing their social group. it starts with one company choosing to market things in a way that focuses on their product without demeaning any group of people. it starts with you. stop wringing your hands. the next time your buddy makes a crack about getting a girl really drunk so he can get laid, don't laugh. tell him that's not fucking cool. stop going along with things. stand up and say no. people will respect you for it.


  1. ironic timing

  2. WOW! i've always been pretty lukewarm about fetlife but that crap is not ok! thanks for letting us know. i'll be sharing that link. i wasn't actually thinking of the fetish world here, tbh. i have had really inappropriate things happen at sin city, which is why i don't attend anymore. it's too open to the public and not well enough controlled. fetlife is a public site anyone can join and is even more poorly controlled. perhaps this is what happens when the normal and alt worlds collide, people who want the perks and don't understand the rules?