Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Imagine a world . . .

Imagine a world where rape is legal. Perhaps even a world where, for some, rape is a rite of passage amounting to proof a man can assert control over his own destiny. Some who have already completed that rite of passage may even encourage others to do so, both as a means to validate their own actions and to consolidate the practice.

Imagine the victim of that rape, knowing she has been violated, being bewildered, hurt to the core, and convinced by any reasonable moral standard that it was wrong, trying to find justice and appropriate consequences for the perpetrator. At first she is treated with bemusement that she should have such temerity. Then the excuses, the brush-offs begin "I'm sure he felt he was doing the right thing", "You must have done something to deserve it", "You shouldn't have been in the wrong place at the wrong time", "I've heard that you're up for it pretty much whenever", "He says you were asking for it". If you're lucky, you get: "Most men aren't like that."

It would be no surprise that most of these apologists are men, most women simply turn their backs, but an astonishingly large fraction are happy to back up the men. It must be sickening.

If you persist, the accusations start: "Why do you have such a problem with men?", "There's obviously something wrong with you", "You have to face up to your own behavior, you can't hope to get better if you don't".

You know that to concede any of this will destroy you completely, both from within and by validating this twisted logic for others. So you keep going. Then they say you're obviously a danger to yourself and to others, and they're taking your children away to make sure you can't hurt them. They might even give the children to your rapist. Then, devastated and unable to function you get fired, then get into trouble because you can't pay the man who took your children. Because you were raped. Because he raped you. Suddenly, everything that matters is taken from you because of something that someone else did to you.

This is what it is like for men who are removed from their family home by false accusations of abuse, perhaps by a wife who has been abusive for years, but you took it because, well, you're not sure why anymore. It's a rite of passage now, for the self-assertive woman, to rid herself of a man she's decided is holding her back and her divorced friends will happily help her build a case, from raw cloth if necessary. Any regrets will just fuel the fire.

Don't tell me it's not like rape until you've lived through having your world turned upside down, your reputation questioned by anyone who feels like it, taken from and kept from everything you care about by the one person who was supposed to stand by you.

You know it is wrong, but no-one will listen. They apologize for the mother, excusing her actions by arguing that she must feel you are a threat, that you must have done something to deserve it, that it's your tough luck for marrying the wrong woman. It’s all your fault, after all. Idiotically, they ask: "Why would she lie?" But you know it's not true, it's patently ridiculous, isn't it? So you argue.

Most of the people with the power to help, but won't, will be women, but, confusingly, some of them will be men, although most men will just look at you strangely and change the subject when you ask them to try to see it your way, that you have to do something.

Keep going, and they'll judge you to have a problem with women. "Why are you such a misogynist?" they'll ask, "What’s wrong with you, that you can't admit to what you've done wrong". Try to cut a deal, try to bargain an admission of something you know you didn't do to get a little mercy, and all mercy will evaporate, you've just sacrificed yourself on the altar they constructed.

But it wouldn't matter anyway because it's a Catch-22. If you won't admit to the accusations then you're in denial and therefore a danger to your wife and kids.You have to be kept from them. Fighting that just proves their point (so does giving in). They're taking your children from you and giving them to the women who did this to you. Then they make you pay. And God help you if you break down and can't keep your job. Everything that matters is taken from you because of something that someone else did to you. That's what it's like, there's no need for imagination, it's out there, right here, right now. Rape is legal, if you're a man and divorce is the tool used to violate.

(This post was inspired by a comment on another blog which I've since lost, I think it was at Dr Helen's.)


Kelvin said...

John Doe,
How do you survive? How do you see through all the pain? I just could never understand how a man could ever stand up again after such an experience. I'm merely an undergraduate of political science at a feminist university, but all it took was 2 months for me to complete lose faith in the system of which we live in.

I express the pains of fathers and mothers that have been taken away by the court systems. I express the pains of the children who never got a chance to meet them. And they would label me a prejudice scum.

Am I wrong to care so much about something I never exprienced? Just yesterday my girlfriend asked me if we both wanted children, would I make her quit her job to take care of it. I love her very much and I replied that I would never do such a thing, nor would I ever have a child grow up in some loveless daycare. Am I wrong to never want to marry and have children because I realize that men doesn't stand a chance in modern law?

I just don't know anymore.

Molly Mac n' Cheeze said...

makes me want to kill all women... and im even a female myself. but its so true, what you said. the only sad thing is that for women, rape is just the same. we are all swept under the rug and told that we deserved it and everything you said. as i was reading your analogy, i was thinking, i guess rape really is acceptable. even though it wasn't your fault at all, you are still considered tainted/marred/worthless once its happened. you go through all the same emotions that you described. so even though i am not a man, a father, been married or divorced, or even have children for that matter, i still empathize with your pain. Just hold you head up and keep fighting for those babies. They are your flesh and blood and you deserve them in your life and they deserve you right back. and i promise that one day they will seek you out and find you or vice versa and the greatest revenge on your ex is to let them know that you kept fighting and you never gave up. i promise.
"that which does not kill us, makes us stronger" well sir, your nto dead yet, so just rest assured that you still have the strength to fight another day, another battle, and see another sun rise. also, get a better lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Why are we fighting in the first place at all?

@Kelvin: We survive because we have to. Research male suicide rates both before and after divorce and you will see a difference between men and women.

-Strength and Honor-

Anonymous said...

Actually that was me- my name's Mark (go see my 'blog'- just a place to hold all of my anti-femarroid posters- http://reality2007-endofcivilization.blogspot.com/-use them any way you want & spread that address around- please) I wrote that on Dr. Helen's article she had on Pajama's media- here's what I said (but you said much more eloquintly which is great):

"Guys, to explain how it feels to be a man nowadays to a woman, tell them to imagine if they woke up suddenly tomorrow to find out that rape is now legal. All the women would be completely freaking out, saying, "this is insane," but then the men's only response is, "hey, not all men are like that." Then, just to make you feel like you've just entered the Twilight Zone, they ask accusingly, "hey lady, (talking to her like she's an idiot that was born yesterday) what do you have against men anyway? You're scary and creepy and obviously have issues that you need to get counseling on because of some past relationship problems- you know, you fit the profile of an abuser. I would never date a woman like you."