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[personal profile] watershoes
ALRIGHTY THEN. Hello! My name is Sarah and we are going to Talk About Some Things. Those of you who were here yesterday (warning: brief yet graphic description of rape) remember that there was some seriously offensive behavior happening! (I'll let you go catch up, my post I've linked has the two posts linked that are the start of this)

Now, [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany has updated here, as well as edited her initial post here. I'm going to go THROUGH that post of hers, as well as the edited post, in this post, which pisses me off for two reasons: a) the content of that post is pretty damn offensive and b) this means I have to read it carefully over AGAIN, point by point, which is only going to make me more angry. But! I do it for you, and so that we can Talk About This.

Note: I have no expectation that this post will do anything to sway either [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany or her friends. They have shown that they are not interested in discussion by either ignoring points brought up by commentors in [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve's post, by derailing, or by disabling/deleting comments. (Also note: Derailing for Dummies is NOT a how-to) I will not be deleting comments that might pop up here, I will of course allow anonymous commenting, but I will screen/freeze trolling comments. I also will warn and cut for language I see as triggering; if I miss something let me know.

Let's Go!

Let's start with the edit, which I'll c&p under the cut for posterity:
YES, I USED THE R-WORD, OMG. I considered the reference very carefully prior to making it. I knew that some people would find it offensive; I chose to use it anyway, for precisely that reason.

Rape is a horrific, massively traumatizing experience, but it is not the epitome of horror in the universe, nor is it unique in its horror.


We're going to start here by trying to quantify traumatizing events. There are worse things than rape in the world! Therefore you shouldn't be offended so much by rape!

I speak not of internet flame wars, but things like emotional rape - the systematic violation and victimization and depersonalization of another - and NO you cannot say that it is not the same, because now we are talking about my personal experience and YES IT IS. A person can brutalize another to the core of their soul, shatter every part of their psyche and leave them cowering and helpless, without ever touching their body.


Without a doubt, emotional trauma inflicts massive wounds on the psyche. I speak from personal experience in this instance, but I also know that my experiences are very different from rape. I do not feel it is appropriate to compare and conflate these traumatizing events. Rape survivors are also survivors of emotional trauma as well as physical trauma. Rape survivors are not IN ANY WAY analogous to people who have had other people criticize their writing. I'm leaving aside the issue of fanfic and the internet because you know what? If you were in a creative writing course and you wrote a story, and had worked very very hard on it and submitted it to a public forum for your classmates to read it if they should choose to, and then another classmate did read it, and let other members of the class know about problematic elements in the story so that they might make informed decisions, this reaction would still be hyperbolic, out of line and incredibly offensive. Ditto if this was a published work and a review written about a book. Ditto ANY TIME YOU COMPARE ANYTHING TO RAPE WHICH IS NOT RAPE.

The idea that forced sexual activity is the Very Worst Thing Ever


WOAH WOAH WOAH. We are going to STOP RIGHT THERE. Because now we are heading into the area where Rape is conflated with Sexual Activity. And Non-Consensual is turned into Unwanted. You know what's unwanted? My wheat intolerance. Junk mail. Strangers sitting too close on the bus. You know what's non-consensual? RAPE. You know what's not SEXUAL ACTIVITY? Rape.

Rape is not about SEX. Rape is about power. Especially the type of rape used in the original comparison: gang rape. Rape is still dismissed as something based on getting sex out of the victim. And then that idea is used to dismiss rape as a horrible horrible act of abuse. Because you really wanted it, right? And you wouldn't have [done that/been there/worn that/whatever] if you hadn't secretly wanted it. There is nothing about rape that involves SEXUAL ACTIVITY. It involves violation and assault.

and worse than any other experience could be, is not only degrading to anyone who's ever been tortured and victimized in a non-sexual way


You know who wins in the Victimized Olympics? NO ONE. I addressed this point already, but all trauma is traumatizing. That being said, rape is STILL DISMISSED AS A SERIOUS CRIME AND INCREDIBLY HARD TO PROSECUTE. If you are the survivor of sexual assault, and you choose to tell people, the chances are high that you will spend a large amount of that time convincing them that yes, it happened and yes, it is a big deal. I'm not going to rank trauma ('Oh, you're only a 6 on the trauma scale. You only get this much sympathy, for this many years. Next!') but to ignore the fact that rape survivors face a very different world from survivors of other types of physical assaults is to be dangerously and willfully ignorant

but also plays right into the archaic concept that A Woman's Virtue Is Sacred Beyond All Else, and is offensive on that level as well.


OH HO HO. Let's talk about THIS. A Woman's Virtue (leaving aside the fact that yes! men are victims of sexual assault as well! let's ignore THAT TOO) has NOTHING to do with the offensiveness of the comparison. My concern for survivors of rape is not for their 'virtue' or 'worth' as women. It is for their emotional and physical needs as survivors of rape. I don't believe that a person worth as a person is based on their physicality and what they have to offer in that way. I believe that the personal sanctity and safety of every person is paramount and when that is violated, that is the crime. I don't believe that rape 'besmirches' virtue in some way and is wrong because of that, I believe that rape is a VIOLENT AND DISGUSTING VIOLATION, and that it is wrong that any person thinks they can assault in that way.

So I refuse to fall into line with the thinking that the word "rape" is somehow more sacred than any other kind of horrific experience; horrific experience is horrific experience, whatever its form.

In this situation, people are alleging that I caused them deep and lasting emotional harm with my words


Well, wait. How did you start this post? A person can brutalize another to the core of their soul, shatter every part of their psyche and leave them cowering and helpless, without ever touching their body. Oh, right. I guess that only applies to you, huh. I guess the GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION of Gang Rape you used in your initial comparison, and the chance that it might trigger some readers, doesn't matter. Or the fact that [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve made hir initial post in order to warn hir readers of the potential of triggering, HARMFUL language and imagery in your story. Sorry, my bad.

- and yet with their own words, they have effectively gathered up a mob, snuck up on me from behind, blindsided me with a blow to the head, and proceeded to shove their Internet penis through every orifice they could find


Well. If I may be a bit flippant, I seem to have misplaced my Internet Penis. I probably put it down when I picked up my pitchfork and flaming torch. In that one post that started all this. The post where you left comments, and your readers left comments (comments that haven't been deleted! Imagine!), before you compared OPINIONS ON YOUR WRITING to RAPE. And now, a MOB.

as if I were a thing to be abused rather than a human being worthy of even basic respect


Everyone is worthy of respect. Everyone includes you, yes, but it also includes me, and [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve, and all the other people who have spoken up to tell you that you said something wrong and hurtful.

- and they are ALL ABOUT the damage they claim I've done with my words, yet completely dismissive of the effects of their own words and actions. My words are WEAPONS; theirs don't count.


And I could spin this write back at you: our words are brutal and dehumanizing, leaving you cowering in a corner, but yours are misinterpreted and innocent. This works both ways.

And I don't know if I can even explain how deeply dehumanizing it is to have people TELLING YOU what your thoughts and motives are, to speak openly and honestly to people and have them bluntly call you a liar because you cannot possibly be CAPABLE of honesty


Unfortunately, your actions and words have not shown you to be someone who is willing to engage openly and in a calm fashion about the issues brought to your attention. You began engaging in a reasonable way in [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve's post, and overnight decided to make offensive and hyperbolic statements. When called on your actions, you escalated further. I have no faith in your motives.

... once you are the target of an assault like that (and assault with words is still assault, especially accompanied by that sort of mob intimidation tactic) you are no longer a person, you are nothing, and no matter whether you fight back or try to cooperate or roll over and show your belly or burst into tears you are still POWERLESS, the mob is relentless and Will Not Stop until you are completely cowed, completely beaten, utterly broken... and then they will kick you in the side and tell you that you DESERVED IT...

Yes. Rape.

I used a horrific word to describe a horrific experience. In the world beyond fandom, that is what writers DO.


In the World Beyond Fandom, someone who compared criticism to a brutal gang rape would also be looked at askance, at least.

And y'know what, in the real world people use words like 'rape' in analysis and analogy, and other people read these terms and attempt to comprehend the underlying concept being conveyed without screaming 'OMG SHE SAID RAPE!!!!!' because the Word is more important than the idea involved


The words we use show how we feel about the ideas and concepts we are addressing. Your cavalier treatment of the act of rape and of rape survivors shows your thoughtless and careless treatment of those things.

- and in case I have not made it adequately clear, I am through letting the Fandom Thought Police push me around. Words can cut, words can wound, but the insane emphasis of the power of words over the MINDS AND HEARTS OF ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS is just ridiculous.

I understand others' opinions may differ wildly from my own, and I have no wish to deliberately cause pain, but I am no longer a member of the fandom community, nor subject to its self-censorship requirements, and I will express myself as accurately as possible. I respect the thoughts and feelings of others, and acknowledge their validity; I am not, however, bound by them.


So yes, the "R-word", and (end edit) why on earth would I want to be part of a community that thinks this sort of behavior is acceptable? Why would anyone?




Whew. Ok, now on to the post made today. The majority of it is general Cult of Nice bullshit. There is also a very telling statement (The antics of the hamsters running on their wheel have nothing to do with me. (Except when they make me shake my head in incredulity and say, "...what?????" - but even that's getting old.) But the people who read my stories and enjoy them, you guys I appreciate; so drop me a line, and I will definitely be in touch once I shake things down.)

I personally am not bothered if she leaves her stories up or takes them down. I'm not going to judge the quality of her writing, that's not the point here. The point is the offensive comments made, the unwillingness to confront her own actions, and the violence in her language.

Phew.


ETA: I am away for the weekend! Family time and planning and etc. Please feel free to link this, please feel free to discuss in the comments. Please do not troll yourself or others, please feel free to post anonymously, please keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle.
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Date: 2010-06-25 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pearldrop.livejournal.com
I don't believe that a person worth as a person is based on their physicality and what they have to offer in that way. I believe that the personal sanctity and safety of every person is paramount and when that is violated, that is the crime. I don't believe that rape 'besmirches' virtue in some way and is wrong because of that, I believe that rape is a VIOLENT AND DISGUSTING VIOLATION, and that it is wrong that any person thinks they can assault in that way.

YES. THANK YOU. This is EXACTLY what I was trying to say and couldn't figure out how to put words to it. It has nothing to do with virtue, it's about violation.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
You are so welcome! I am glad I could clarify your brain for you. I like it when that happens.

Date: 2010-06-25 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] listedheart.livejournal.com
oh god, i hadn't read some of the edited in stuff. HOW CAN SHE THINK THIS IS OKAY?

Date: 2010-06-25 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
I really have no idea how this is something someone sits down and writes. Like, it's SO LONG, there couldn't have been SOME POINT where she stopped and went "...hmmmm" AT ALL???

Date: 2010-06-25 08:27 pm (UTC)
ext_15713: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinuous-curve.livejournal.com
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
You are so, so welcome. Thank you

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From: [identity profile] sinuous-curve.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-25 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-25 09:35 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] sinuous-curve.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-25 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-06-25 08:34 pm (UTC)
ext_10249: (boomer)
From: [identity profile] nicole-anell.livejournal.com
I couldn't read past "Internet Penis". Thank you for taking this down much more articulately than I could.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
INTERNET PENIS. STOMPIN' AROUND, CAUSIN' HAVOC.

You are welcome!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] nicole-anell.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-25 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-06-25 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apricotflower.livejournal.com
Go Sarah! I agree with what you have said. Although I don't follow that fandom, I can see how she believes she is being criticised too harshly (whether that's valid or not, that's still her experience) but that does in NO way justify all the rape comparisons.

(And I seem to have misplaced my internet penis as well. Know where one could find such a thing?)

Just one thing - the word denigrate means the following: From Latin dénigrātus, the past participle of dénigrāre (“‘to blacken’”) from dē + nigrare 'to blacken (< niger (“‘black’”)) (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/denigrate). My language uses the term 'to blacken someone's reputation' too, but it can hardly be considered anti-racist to continue using it. Just fyi!

Date: 2010-06-25 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Like, have all the feelings you want, but don't add OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS to your feeling-pie.


I did not know that! Thank you for bringing that to my attention; I've edited the post.

Date: 2010-06-25 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roadmarks.livejournal.com
Because now we are heading into the area where Rape is conflated with Sexual Activity. And Non-Consensual is turned into Unwanted. You know what's unwanted? My wheat intolerance. Junk mail. Strangers sitting too close on the bus. You know what's non-consensual? RAPE. You know what's not SEXUAL ACTIVITY? Rape.


I kind of love you a whole lot right now. Thank you a million times over.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
♥ Thank you, bb. I'm glad you read it.

Date: 2010-06-25 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] loreleilynn.livejournal.com
I just. Is she actually insane? Is there something actually wrong with her? I can't imagine anyone with human empathy saying the things she's saying.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
I think a lot of it is just that she doesn't want to look at her own actions, and is therefore unwilling to see other people as people. All people are people!

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From: [identity profile] tacky-tramp.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] loreleilynn.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] tacky-tramp.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 04:49 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-06-25 08:47 pm (UTC)
ext_84761: (Default)
From: [identity profile] fallintosilence.livejournal.com
Thank you so, so, so much. I could never dissect that awful post line-by-line and rationally respond to it, so kudos to you, because all this needs to be said and understood. It's upsetting the author will never actually listen to reason or, you know, anything at all that anyone says to her that's critical, because you make some excellent points.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
You are so welcome. Thank you for reading! It is really really frustrating that it doesn't look like it will do anything to effect change in the way any of these people use their words.

Date: 2010-06-25 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juliansinger.livejournal.com
...Internet penis? Really? Really?!

Also, wow, does she go on a lot in that first post. A lot. Talktalktalktalk defend! Talk.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Yeah, we've all got 'em somewhere, I guess!

it was LONG, man. That was unpleasant.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marksykins.livejournal.com
Oh JFC, that's just gross. How can [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany not see this? It honestly baffles me.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
It's just dedicated blindness. And a really strong position as a Fandom Martyr.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impertinence.livejournal.com
You'd think ridiculous rape comparisons would no longer stun me, AND YET. Ugh, the level to which she's divorced from reality is gross.

Date: 2010-06-25 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
AND YET. I know.

It's like, here is REAL LIFE and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over there, off in the distance, there's [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany

Date: 2010-06-25 09:50 pm (UTC)
ext_7299: (Default)
From: [identity profile] redbrickrose.livejournal.com
Oh, *wow* I had not seen some of the edits. Internet penis? Just wow, so gross.

Date: 2010-06-25 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Aside from how incredibly ANGERING this is, it is also really, really gross.

Date: 2010-06-25 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleurdeliser.livejournal.com
Thank you for the posts you've made the last two days. They shouldn't even need to be made.

Date: 2010-06-25 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
You're welcome! Thank you for reading this. It is VERY AGGRAVATING and rage making to be having to talk people through this, but if it has to be done...

Date: 2010-06-25 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spuzz.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for saying this and going through that post. Just really, thank you. ♥

Date: 2010-06-25 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
♥ Thank you for reading it. This is all very gross, but it has to be done.

Date: 2010-06-25 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lovinspike247.livejournal.com
I still haven't finished reading this (I have to take breaks because I get angrier and angrier with each paragraph), but thank you for going through all the crap she said and writing this post. &you;

Date: 2010-06-25 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Ugh, I can't believe I even got through it all because my tolerance for things that make me this angry is smmmaaaaallll, but you know, WHAT MUST BE DONE. &you;

Date: 2010-06-25 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angelsaves.livejournal.com
you're really great and i wish more people were like you <3

Date: 2010-06-25 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
♥ thank you bb. I wish more people were not asshats >:(

Date: 2010-06-25 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
You know who wins in the Victimized Olympics? NO ONE.

Except you. You win 1 Internet. ♥

I'm ridiculously horrified by exactly how deep this crazy is digging her hole. Every time I think she's going to stop, she keeps right on tunneling to the center of the earth.

On the other hand, I have begun asking myself... what did I expect of a person whose best-known story featured Jon Walker as a horribly traumatized victim of child rape who is literally healed by The Cock... three of them in fact! I am not exactly shocked to find out this person thinks it's okay to trivialize rape.

Date: 2010-06-26 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Woo! I will trade my Internet for goods and or services!


She just keeps going. I'm amazed that she thinks this is legitimate language to use!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] tacky-tramp.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 04:29 am (UTC) - Expand

Internet Penis

Date: 2010-06-25 11:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieupsidedown.livejournal.com
Also Internet Penis just reminds me of this:

Re: Internet Penis

Date: 2010-06-26 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
lololol AWESOME.

Date: 2010-06-26 12:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nwhepcat.livejournal.com
So let me get this right. She went back to the rape post and edited it to make it MORE offensive? Wow.

Date: 2010-06-26 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Yep! She's a hard worker, all right. That takes dedication.

Date: 2010-06-26 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fictionalaspect.livejournal.com
Hell motherfucking yes.I think I saw in another comment that you're okay with people linking to this? Because you are being far more sane, rational, thoughtful, critical, and clear than I can really pretend to be right now, and I think your summation is pretty much the best one I've read so far.

Date: 2010-06-26 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Yes, please link away!

Thank you so much, it took a lot of cursing at the laptop while I was writing this. Thank you for reading it.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] fictionalaspect.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 12:42 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-06-26 01:00 am (UTC)
ext_3762: girl reading outside in sunshine (Default)
From: [identity profile] harborshore.livejournal.com
Brava. Just, seriously. I'm going to skip reading the update, I think, because, I just, I just can't. *scrubs at brain*

Date: 2010-06-26 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
It is really really fucking frustrating. I'm hoping there won't be anything else to read from her on this issue...

Date: 2010-06-26 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cool-rain-kiss.livejournal.com
Because now we are heading into the area where Rape is conflated with Sexual Activity. And Non-Consensual is turned into Unwanted. You know what's unwanted? My wheat intolerance. Junk mail. Strangers sitting too close on the bus. You know what's non-consensual? RAPE. You know what's not SEXUAL ACTIVITY? Rape.

YES. And man, I just. I'm so glad I'm friends with you. This post is amazing and articulate, and I'm so glad you made it. It restores my faith in decency and compassion. &you;

Date: 2010-06-26 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
&you;! Thank you, bb. It's because I have awesome friends who urge me to get my post on that I do it. ♥

Date: 2010-06-26 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] just-katarin.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for making this post and reading through that horrificness so you could make these salient points because it's all just so disgusting and leaves me feeling dirty and angry at the world.

Date: 2010-06-26 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
You're welcome! Thank you for reading it. NGL, that was a hard slog.

Date: 2010-06-26 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] languisity.livejournal.com
You are amazing. Seriously, I don't know how you managed this? But thank you SO much.

I'm not going to judge the quality of her writing, that's not the point here. The point is the offensive comments made, the unwillingness to confront her own actions, and the violence in her language.

Exactly. It's really distressing that she just doesn't care, and the people in support of her keep missing the point entirely.

Date: 2010-06-26 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minna.livejournal.com
what an ABSOLUTE FUCKING DIPSHIT :( and thank you for reading through that drivel so the rest of us didn't have to <3
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