Friday, April 5, 2013

How Rape Culture Affects My Writing

    I've been making notes to myself on the different directions I want to delve into on the topic of my last post. That topic of course being rape culture. There are so many tangents and components and underlying issues, some that even seem entirely unrelated, that all need tackling. And it seems as though I've overwhelmed myself by starting/promising a series without first drafting an outline of any kind. So, while I do plan to continue on in writing up well thought out posts on the subject that go a little deeper into many of the individual yet not easily untangled aspects, right now I am simply going to write a bit off the cuff... about why I haven't written anything since that post.

   There are of course the seemingly important daily life reasons. Distractions. Laundry piled Every. Where. Seriously everywhere. Boxes that still need unpacking. Meals that need to be made. The kid and I getting sick. My parents having to put their cat, whom I lived with for many years, to sleep. Easter and the production I was a part of for our church service (that I got to learn and perform a bit of sign language for). And of course the crazy day before any holiday craziness in which I decide last minute that it is absolutely necessary to learn a brand new (and always time consuming) baking skill. This time it was decorating cookies using homemade royal icing. Unfortunately I didn't get any good pictures before they were devoured.

   Then there are the more sincere reasons. The fact that my last post was fueled by a level of anger the likes of which cannot be safely maintained for any length of time without some kind of major fallout. There's my general lack of motivation I've been battling for several months... and then there's my fear. The fear of the potential backlash a woman speaking out on these topics can and does all too often receive. A big part of the fury that resulted in my last post was as a direct result of the horrible things people were saying to and about women on the internet in response to the Steubenville case and others like it. The lengths to which some people will go to intimidate and belittle women for any number of "offenses".

   It's a scary world to live in as a woman. And I can't even imagine what it must be like for the millions of women who have it so much worse than me... Women who live in parts of the world where the threat against them is much more urgent and pressing. Being a moment to moment issue rather than a day to day thing in which my biggest concerns are being hyper aware of my surroundings when walking to my car that I own through a mostly deserted parking garage, some extremely uncomfortable leering and the occasional worry that if I hit that publish button on that blog I wrote on my laptop in the comfort of my home, it just might be the day that something I wrote goes viral... only instead of accolades and a widened reader base I will have an inbox filled with death and rape threats from men hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. As so many female bloggers have had happen to them. This is one of those things that I believe escapes the understanding or acknowledgement of even some of the best men out there... the fact that while they may fear criticism when sharing an opinion they almost never have to worry about someone dismissing everything they say as invalid solely on how they dress or the mere existence of whatever gender specific body parts they happen to have.

   So, there you have it. I'm overwhelmed and afraid. But I also feel deeply called to this task... and however long it may take, I will write about this. But I will also write about other things as well, as the desire or inspirations hit me... 

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