Journal Entry #4

by Glen Canning
Journal Entry #4

Journal Entry #4

~ Rehtaeh Parsons
26 September 2011

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Susie May 16, 2013 - 9:33 pm

Sounds like she has such high hopes. Something any young woman should be able to actualize without harm or threat to her person or egregious abuse of her worth as a human being. I am reminded of something I read once:

“Rape has been very hard for women to understand. Each woman, after all, sees herself as a person with qualities and talents and problems and ambitions and a great curiosity about life: What will happen? What will I become? ‘Will I be able to do what I want, to make my ambitions real and concrete, not just a dream in my mind? Then a rapist intervenes. In acquaintance and date rape, the woman’s idea of herself or any hard-won self-knowledge is pissed on. She’s opened up and, through an internal assault, a man says to her: You’re nothing and no one. Rape is intensely expressive; the message is inscribed on the unwilling body. And if he can do this, anyone can. Women in general, especially young women, want to live in a harmonious world, one in which kindness and generosity matter, a world in which empathy is the main dynamic of friendship. How does one live in a world in which anyone one knows, gendered male, might well rape? Add into the mix the social requirement that women be nice, receptive, caring for others, not pushy or rude, always assuming the best, never the worst. Is it really true that having a cup of coffee with a man or inviting him into where you live (if he is not already there) or going out after dark is an invitation to rape? Each time a woman has a conversation with a man, is she supposed to be able to get him to establish with some certainty that he is not a rapist? Since most rapes are not stranger rapes, what kind of rap sheet would her science teacher or her brother’s best friend or, for that matter, her brothers have? Suppose a woman wants to live in the world as a fully enfranchised person? Yes, she wants to go to the mall and to the library. She’s also allowed to have a drink or two or three alone in a bar; she has every right to take a walk after dark; she can sit on a park bench in broad daylight to read a newspaper or book; she has a presence, physical or intellectual or creative, that demands attention; she loves life and has a vitality that is equal parts appetite and engagement; she is friendly; she enjoys male company and believes in her own equality with men (although that is a shockingly low standard to meet); she likes sex or not and is articulate about the presence or absence of her own desire; but above all, she cannot live in a nightmare world in which every contact with a male may turn into a rape for which she will be held responsible. Yet that is the world she lives in, acknowledged or not. Kafka could not have told the story of one day in the life of a woman in a rape culture.” – Andrea Dworkin

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