by Biting Beaver
[Article posted in the Genderberg.com discussion forums on 02/09/2006]
I got an email this morning from someone. It was an email talking about her repeated rape at the hands of a young man. This is not the first such letter I have received in my email and the feelings it evoked in me were neither uncommon, nor unique insofar as I have had them before.
The pain from these women bleeds through in their words, the screams I hear when I read their stories resonates so deeply inside of me that I tremble with barely contained rage, fear and sadness.
I have received several such letters since starting this blog. And more confessions and stories and voices than I can separate in the clutter that is my mind. Each and every woman on this site has a story, chances are good that it is that story that brought them here in the first place. Now, those stories may not be alike in the details, not every woman has been raped, not every woman has been abused, but every one of them has found a thread of commonality in a radical voice. For whatever reason they have seen the cancer infecting this society, seen its ugly face and the barren wasteland and dead women it has left behind.
I cried this morning. I locked myself in my bedroom for a few moments and I cried. I cried the tears of sadness and rage that explode from my soul each and every time I read another story. I sobbed quietly beneath my covers, not wanting to upset my children who were busy reading their books for school. I cried the tears of the victim and survivor and I cried for yet another life destroyed, shattered by the force that is male pride and entitlement.
As I read that email this morning, as I have done on other mornings when a commenter has been moved to write to me, I felt rage burning fresh in my blood. I felt sadness and a loss so deadly that it brings everything home to me. It reminds me, in violent waves, about the society in which we women are forced to live. A society in which half of the population hates us for no reason I can discern.
This has been a trying week for me. I'm working on Friday fun with Site meter and the searches that are there are terrifying in their honesty. "Beautiful girls being raped", "Sluts being beaten and raped", the searches march across my screen, a grim reality and testament to the world in which I live. It is a testament to the violence of men, the undiluted essence of hatred with which they view us.
And on this morning, there was another letter, another story, another scream from another woman who has joined the rank and file of the millions of survivors. Always, there is confusion in me when I see the proof of male violence and hatred towards women. Ever there is confusion, a sort of disjointed question that hangs thickly in the air, tainting my skin and forcing itself to be articulated.
That is the scream that rips through me. It is the question that lies unanswered and unspoken. Why?
Why? Why? Why? WHY???? Why do they do this to us? Why do they hate with such ferocity? Why do they spoil and silence these beautiful voices that are just waiting to be heard? Why do they contaminate and rip and tear and steal from women?
This is the word, the question that I asked myself as I cried this morning. This is the one thought that tore through me, demanding an answer, but I know that no answer will ever come. No answer can quiet that scream. When they say, "It's because I wanted to", it doesn't make it stop. I want to say "WHY did you want to?", "What did we do to you?", "Why didn't you care?", "Why does our pain bring you such intense pleasure?" Why? Why? Why?
They cannot provide a suitable answer, they cannot quiet the "Why?" flitting in and out of the corners of my mind. They cannot provide the answer anymore than they can give that girl back her life, anymore than they can undo the damage they wreak. There is no easy answer; there is only the reality of the millions of screaming voices, the millions of voices that have been silenced.
People come to me and say that radical feminism cannot be taken seriously because the women in it are largely composed of survivors (although, they say 'victims'). I say that it is because of this that radical feminism needs to be taken seriously. We are the proof of male violence, right here is the most honest and sincere proof you can find. It is because we are so largely comprised of so many survivors, and not just survivors of rape and molestation, but survivors of male pride and violence in all of it's forms it takes, that we need to be taken seriously.
Everyone reading this has a story. Kaka Mak, Delphyne, Ginmar, Laura, Mink Stole, Kelly Bell [bloggers], and all the others (I know your names but I can't list them all, they ring through my head even as I type and I know that the numbers are too large to list) all of you have a story, a need, a desire. Each and every one of you has experienced the proof of male entitlement and violence. No, chances are good that not every one of you has experienced rape or sexual assault, but ALL of you have seen the truth and ALL of you have been affected by the hatred that men show us.
Occasionally, one of you reaches out to me, trying to make sense of it all and I, sadly, have no sense to give. I have no greater wisdom, no sage advice, no greater understanding of the unending question of "Why?" but there can be no doubt that your stories are just as real.
From the rage, to the sadness, to the helplessness and back to the rage, the stories are there. The violence, the entitlement, the ego, the aggression, all of us have felt it to some degree or another. From the woman who spends her entire day scrubbing toilets for minimum wage, to the women who have been harassed in the park or on the street all the way to the women who vowed to love a man only to find herself the recipient of his fists, down to the woman who went on that date with the 'nice guy' and ended her night being raped. All of you have stories and it is these stories and this deep seated, undying desire to make it stop that brings radicals together.
The letter I got this morning affected me down to that primal part of my soul and I felt the desperation that so many of us have felt. The overwhelming sadness and helplessness of it all. It woke that sleeping warrior within me who first cried for the loss of yet another woman, who screamed and mourned and sobbed for the loss of yet another one of us. But now she is angry again. And her anger feeds my desire, it is her indignation at the masses of women left behind, sold out, forgotten and silenced that compels me to push forward, even when I stop for a moment to sob and regain my footing. She fills me with anger and rage and focused energy to try and accomplish the impossible. And only when the rapes, beatings, and cycle of male violence has stopped will she be sated.
I stand in the face of these men who search for, "slut rape", and "sexy girls being beaten and raped". I stand in the face of all the men that have stolen my sense of safety and security. I stand in your face Richard, and Scott and Kevin. I stand in the faces of Steven and Shawn and Brian. I stand in the faces of all the men who would take what I never offered and I stand in the face of the fucker who stole the innocence and youth from the girl who wrote me just today.
I am your worst fucking nightmare.
Here is my promise to you Mr. "Story-Snuff". I will be your conscience if you refuse to have one. I will be the screams that you tried to silence. I am your worst nightmare, the walking skeleton of the dead bodies of the souls that you destroyed with your violence, with your entitlement and with your ego. I will not shut up until you have felt, tenfold, the pain that you have wreaked upon the women you have encountered. I, and others like me, will force your eyes open to the pain that you have caused and if I have one desire that burns through me with the fiercest passion I have ever known it is this: I want for you to never have another moment of peace in your lives. I want you to never sleep soundly again, I want the souls of these women to haunt you for all eternity, even into your next life and the lives beyond that.
I am no longer a victim, I am a survivor and I will continue to tell every person I meet of you and your kind. I will force-feed the pain of millions down your putrid mouth until you vomit it up, then, I will force it down again.
You, all of you, every one of you that come to this blog looking for, "Sexy women being raped and beaten", YOU are my mark and my crosshairs are firmly on you. You are the reason that we all have stories, you are the reason that every day more women, thousands more women, millions in the world, join the rank and file of the survivors and my voice is aimed at you.
I will not let you forget the screams until they have stopped. I am the ever present reminder of your fucked up entitlement and I will not be silenced until my ashes are thrown across the ground. My voice is small on its own, but it is a part of a sea of voices, a vast army of voices that is growing larger and stronger by the day. Each and every time you beat another woman, or rape another woman, or push your fucked up entitlement onto another woman, in whatever form it takes, you create another one of me. Do you hear that? You create another me.
The numbers keep rising and when they rise up and the sobs turn to cries and the cries to screams and the warrior in us that YOU created and YOU awoke comes seeking her vengeance then you will know that it was YOU who created us.
To my readers, I hear your voices, I believe your truths and you are not alone. Those of you who have felt male violence and who are scattered and afraid and unsure about yourselves take heart for there are millions of us in this world and those who have found our anger and our rage will speak until you feel able to do so. There are millions of hands extended to you, keep talking, keep speaking, your voice is powerful and your stories are truth. Don’t stop writing to me, and don’t stop talking, your voice is perhaps your most valuable weapon and your truth is an inspiration.
Biting Beaver is a writer and a radical feminist activist, and she is also one of the pioneer radical feminist bloggers. She fuses personal testimony with incisive radical feminist analysis in a way that comes off very relatable. She is the creator of the brilliant Anti-Patriarchy website "Den of the Biting Beaver", at bitingbeaver.blogspot.com