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This is Something we Can’t Ignore.

December 21, 2010

OK OK – I had some misinformation (and what do you do with misinformation? You tell people you were wrong and correct it). Apparently, the victims names in the stories below have been available – so Mr. Olbermann did not in fact out the victims (thank the fucking gods or someone). However. Both Olbermann and Moore have been actively discussing and spreading false information about victims. This is also unacceptable – please read Jezebel here.

I stand by the post, with some alterations – when a woman cries rape, we do not destroy her, publicly or otherwise. We do not spread completely false statements. We do not tell people that “rape” was really just a broken condom. We do not make sure millions of other people do it, too.

And what we need to learn is that people who do awesome things can still perpetrate unspeakable acts. They do not get a free ride because the do Awesome Things.

And there is no Awesome Thing awesome enough to make us turn on the victims – alleged or otherwise. Never, ever. Stay out of it, instead.

Again, my apologies for misinformation… but the bottom line still exists.

I’m sorry. I know it’s the holidays. But… where the fuck have I been that I didn’t know THIS SHIT was going down.

Look. I realize I am new on the blogging scene – so I don’t have that much influence. I know it’s the holidays and no one wants to read depressing shit. I know it’s hard to get through a blog sometimes. But please, I implore you, read this one. In this time of year when we should be jolly and happy, take a minute to think about… people who can’t.

And, my fellow lady bloggers, I know we stick with the light and funny. I know we traipse into the world of men and women. I know we commiserate and complain and support. But… sometimes, in the harsh light of reality, sometimes all of that just… seems insignificant.

Please, fellow bloggers. Please read this. Please click on the links. Please read what they have to say.

Because what would make my holiday season? What would make me have a little faith? Is if even one blogger, who typically blogs lightheartedly about life and dating, posted one post, in this holiday season of cheer, about this. One blogger put it in their own words. One blogger re-tweeted this – or another of the posts herein.

Just one.

And, if nothing else, donate to RAINN this holiday season.

Even if you don’t agree, or you think the allegations are bogus, the underlying message is something we can’t ignore.

So. WTF am I talking about? Please read the full run-down here. Or keep up with the posts on it at Jezebel.

But, in a nutshell? There’s WikiLeaks, right? Right. Now. Let’s be really clear that from here on out? THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WIKILEAKS.

OK. Got that out of the way. Now. There’s also Julian Assange, right? Right.

Mr. Assange has been accused of rape.

Mr. Keith Olbermann (yes, that Keith Olbermann) and Mr. Michael Moore (yes, that Michael Moore) have decided those allegations are false. Ok, fine, they are allowed to do that. (But, really, the problem is they like Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks, and have a really fucking hard time separating this dude with this Really TerribleThing that is rape… surely, someone like Mr. Assange could not pooooosibly have raped anyone? Suuuuurely not!)


Use the interwebs to announce to MILLIONS of people the name of a woman who accuses another person of rape.

That is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ABSOLUTELY FUCKING UNACCEPTABLE. <— SORRY apparently missed this one a lil – they didn't actually out these women. BUT. They did send the names out to millions of people, disseminated clearly false information, and slandered these women on the interwebs. Saying things like well, in Sweden a broken condom is considered rape.

Yeah, no.

Well, hes only being accused of a condom breaking. This is all political and those women have CIA ties and they don’t believe in the Holocaust.

Ok, first? No. Second? What? What does that have to do with her being raped? Does that somehow make her a liar or being raped something that is ok?

This is what he is accused of doing: raping one woman in her sleep, and holding another down in order to sexually assault her.

And, further, when the truth comes out? Neither of the men, these journalists who would have you believe they are Truth Seekers, have 1) corrected their mistakes or 2) apologized for them. Instead, Olbermann is blocking people from his twitter feed and Moore is completely silent.

Why are these problems? Well. Why don’t you ask someone you know who has been raped how they would feel about this? And don’t tell me you don’t know someone, you’ll just have to trust me: YOU DO.

Add to that the fact that this is a GIANT MEDIA SHITSTORM that has been unleashed. Yes. Let’s call a woman who says she has been raped a cunt. And a bitch. And a whore. Let’s do that. Let’s tell her to kill herself.

And let’s make sure, via the internet and some celebrities dudes THAT SHOULD FUCKING KNOW BETTER, that not just those people in her immediate vicinity, but MILLIONS OF PEOPLE can do this to her. Let’s put her NAME out there so they can show up at her doorstep, should they feel a tweet or an e-mail inefficient for getting their message across.

It DOES NOT MATTER if you think the charges are bogus. It DOES NOT MATTER what you believe about the evidence that is flying around the interwebs.

How DARE you, Mr Moore? How DARE you, Mr. Olbermann? HOW DARE YOU.

How DARE you make it so blatant that you don’t understand? How DARE you, gentlemen who I respect? How DARE you make it so clear that our RAPE CULTURE still exists? You have COMPLETELY ROCKED my faith in the Left.

Yes, Miss Pepper. I do hate it when the [progressive] dog I trust bites the fuck out of my hand. Or rips the whole arm off. Whatev.


Sady Doyle at Tiger Beatdown started a protest on this. Via the interwebs. Not against Mr. Moore or against Mr. Olbermann or saying Mr. Assange definitely positively raped. Her protest is in support of rape victims not having to see this fucking bullshit happen to them. Her protest is saying that you CANNOT DO THIS to someone who cries rape. YOU CANNOT.

So. She’d like an apology for the victims. Please please please check out her blog.

Look. There a multitude of posts on why this is SO incredibly wrong, and why this is a product of a culture that goes beyond hidden sexism. I encourage you, if you don’t know about this, to read these posts. Please. If you have a lunch break, if you have time this evening. Educate yourself. Even if you don’t agree, just listen. Just realize that this is the world we live in.

Even the so-called progressive lefty-left. Even in the US of A.

If you don’t believe me – talk to someone who has been raped. Pay attention to the things people say.

Pepper and Paprika
(gawd I love these ladies – get on the P&P train now)

Pursuit of Harpyness

Heather Corinna at Scarleteen.

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon

Melissa and Co at Shakesville

You can also find a plethora of info just by searching “#mooreandme on twitter. Check out sadydoyle there too.

I am sure you will also find a lot of information against these allegations, against the Mooreandme protest. All that just makes me SO FUCKING SAD.

Because here’s the thing. This is SO SO SO beyond this one instance and it is SO uber-public, so in-your-face.

How many rape victims are seeing this? How many rape victims are so acutely aware of the shit that gets said about a woman who cries rape? Do you have any idea how hard it is to say something at all, let alone once you’ve seen this? Once you’re aware that this is how the world will react?

I can’t say anything more about it that someone else hasn’t already. But I will take a clue from one of Sady’s posts – and I will say something to the victims. Because THEY are who this is about (GODDAMN IT OLBERMAN AND MOORE!!! S’LKDNVFI83[T2NH2’NEFLKMS DLKMV;NA[IR]T943JKN!!!!)

To Miss A, who had a coat thrown over her head while she walked home in a small town and was raped at age 11: YOU MATTER.

To Miss K, one of my best friends since we were ten, who was raped in her brother’s home by her brother’s friend when she was twenty: YOU MATTER.

To Miss R, who was date-raped by that dude you didn’t like, who forced you into your own home: YOU MATTER.

To Miss L, who was raped by that guy who’s kids you watched when you were 16 and a virgin – while his kid stroked your hair and said “Please don’t make ___ cry, daddy. Please stop making ____ cry.“: YOU MATTER.

To Miss C, who was sexually assaulted her entire childhood by her own father, who now has a new family and new daughters: YOU MATTER.

To Miss J, who was forced to the ground by your fucking professor, and somehow escaped: YOU MATTER.

To Miss B and Miss H, raped at a parties – you weren’t too drunk: YOU MATTER.

To Miss J the second, the first rape included being drugged by a friend and waking up in so much blood, you thought you were dying. The second time? It was because he promised he’d leave you alone, if you would just let him have sex with you: YOU MATTER.

To the women I don’t know, who have been raped, assaulted, felt up, violated, who said something or didn’t say anything, who told a friend or told no one: YOU ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY MATTER.

And finally, to Miss C, who claimed to be raped as a freshman in my high school by senior boys who were friends of mine. Miss C, who we made fun of and called a bitch and a cunt and a whore, until you stopped crying rape.


And there is no way, ever in all of my life, that I can ever ever ever EVER express how unbelievably sorry I am. How I will ever forgive myself for the shallow, idiotic actions and words of my 17-year-old self. Sure, you can tell me I was young and wanted to be part of the group. Thanks for the note of sympathy but IT’S STILL FUCKING BULLSHIT AND I STILL KNEW BETTER.

Even though you never knew I said anything, even though I was one voice behind your back among many.

Oh. My god. I am so sorry.

NONE of these women pressed charges. NONE of these women spoke out – except one. And the ridicule of a single high school closed her mouth for good.

It is these stories that leave me shaking and in tears. THESE are only SOME of the women I know. THESE are the victims, for whom accusing someone of rape was too difficult, too traumatizing, to even say one thing – except to their dearest friends, and then only after we were sworn to secrecy.

And THIS is the culture that we propagate and encourage, that allows rape to continue and victims to remain in silence. Because they know, oh how they know, what awaits them if they speak up. Because they know people won’t believe them, won’t listen to them, will call them names behind their back.

Because even fucking high schoolers are able to call rape victims a whore and a bitch and a cunt – in order to make her go away.

THIS is why some victims say speaking up and trying to press charges was more of a trauma than the actual physical violation of the rape itself.

Ask yourself how that is even possible – and realize that 1 in 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, and that 17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape (see RAINN for more stats).

And then understand how, REGARDLESS of the truth behind the allegations against Mr. Assange, the behavior of Mr. Moore and Mr. Olbermann is COMPLETELY FUCKING UNACCEPTABLE.

In the words of Ms. Pepper:

I don’t care that some people find Julian Assange neat. I don’t know that he is a rapist, but, I don’t know that he isn’t. So let’s trust the victims of this crime in the same way that we would trust someone who claimed they were mugged, shall we?

And finally, please – I know it is the holidays. I know we don’t want to think about these things. But, please, speak out.  You don’t even have to be in favor of the Mooreandme protest. You don’t even have to support Miss Sady.

But. I ask you to please take one day to post something or do something about rape. One story. One thought. One paragraph. One link to another post. One re-tweet. One tweet at Mr. Moore or Mr. Olbermann.

One donation to RAINN.

Just one. Give me back some faith that the fight against our rape culture isn’t dead.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.

Again, from Miss Pepper:

The sick sad truth is that rapists are more likely than not to be nice normal seeming dudes who people admire. The statistics bear this out, and this is why reported rapes result in very few convictions. Not because it’s a case of he said/she said. Oh no.  We don’t struggle with other crimes that are he said/she said like non sexual assault in the same way that we struggle with rape. Somehow, juries and judges are trusted to parse out the truth about muggings! And yet.

No, most rapes are treated as he said/lying bitch out to destroy him or crazy bitch out for revenge or irrational hysterical bitch or slutty bitch or just regrets how much of a whore she felt like afterwards bitch or shouldn’t have been wearing that or she invited him in bitch or she didnt fight hard enough bitch or she went to his place bitch or if she WAS wearing that it couldn’t have happened bitch or he is her boyfriend or he is her husband or it doesn’t happen to nice girls.

The discourse currently heating up the twine and can system of the internet right now about this high profile case? It is confirming all of the above.

Look, we have to cope with the complexity of things– rapists produce great art and literature, rapists are beloved philanthropists and revolutionaries, rapists are not slavering maniacs in the bushes. Rapists are, more often than not, just normal seeming dudes.

( Std feminist disclaimer: Yes, men and people on all points of the gender performance spectrum are survivors too, no it is not less serious than when rape happens to trans or ciswomen, yes trans and ciswomen can rape. However, perpetrators are overwhelmingly more likely to be men known to their victims. And victims are overwhelmingly more likely to be trans or ciswomen. And that is who we are having this post about, mmkay? Mmkay.)

Entitled dudes. Dudes who don’t probably think, and now I’m just going to rape someone. Dudes who probably like to imagine that they were just being alpha, just taking control of the situation, just acting like a MAN you know? She was sending signals, no matter what she said, or that she was crying or stiff as aboard or shaking. Dudes who think that they are good people, that it was really just her being irrational about things and on, and on, and on to the ends of the earth and the bowels of hell.

We have a deep desire to draw a bright line and never dirty our hands with the stuff of monsters who commit Very Serious Crimes like rape. Well, we on the left who, at least generally believe that rape can happen and that women are semi people. Sort of.

But then we just jump over into bizzarro backwards land where instead of saying “I may have been wrong about that fellow!” we stick our fingers into our ears, screw our eyes shut and scream “Bitchez be lying!! La La La La La!!!”

18 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2010 2:11 pm

    Shit… these stats are scary and sad and upsetting and how it pisses my off. All type or degree of sexual assault is ugly and unforgivable and should never be sweeped under the carpet but is so often. It markes you and you are never the same.

    I will share this post, provided it is OK with you that I do so.

    • December 21, 2010 2:15 pm

      Please share! By all means!

      And, if you have time, check the other blogs too. Some are so much more eloquent than I, and more clear about why this is SUCH a problem…


  2. December 21, 2010 5:01 pm

    The thing that scares me is that people tend to forget that women are someones child, or sister or mother. Maybe they are a close friend? Who knows? The chilling thing is that statistics take the face off of the problem.

    I once asked a guy who was calling a woman a whore for no apparent reason why he talked to a person that way. He actually looked stunned, like he wondered why I was offended. I asked him if he thought she was sexy and he said hell ya. I would love to fuck THAT. Not her, THAT.

    I then asked him how old his daughter was. If it would be cool if I were to say hey man your little girl is a hot piece of ass, betcha shes going to grow up and screw like a demon.
    She’s going to take every load guys give her and beg for more.

    He rightly got offended by my comments. Then I calmly asked him why he was upset I was talking shit bout his little angel. He said because shes my daughter, I just looked at him and said and you don’t think that lady you just called a fuckable whore has a daddy too?

    He seemed to get it, but it took a lot to sink in for him.

    I am a man, I like sex, I like it hard and raunchy sometimes. I like it slow and soft others.
    But EVERY TIME it’s because she and I agree we want to. Only cowards take what they can’t be freely given. It’s a crying outrage that society still just thinks of women who say no as people who deserved that treatment. No one wants to be raped, not little boys or little girls, not men or women. Wrong is just wrong.

    I have no idea if this Wikileaks guy did it, but we have courts of justice for a reason in western society. Processes do work if used properly.

    • December 21, 2010 6:37 pm

      Bob– I really appreciate that you are willing to call out assholes like that, and I have a lot of respect for how hard that can be because of the way that men relate to each other.

      I think sometimes that the reminder that women are mens sisters, mothers, and daughters, only goes so far because sometimes, it fails to make men think of them as whole autonomous people. Basically, rape used to be considered a property crime perpetrated by one man to another. The woman involved was basically just a cipher for issues between men.

      For some dudes, I think it creates this sense that because women matter so little, because they aren’t “somebody” on their own, he can count on her dad/brother/son etc. not to take her seriously, because she isn’t really a person.

      So, it’s good and really really important to call out assholes like that, I think that ultimately, the key lies in getting guys to make the leap from “how would you feel if she was your sister etc.” to “how would you feel if that were you?”

      • December 21, 2010 7:03 pm

        Well that’s really the only way things are going to change. Empathy when used properly can be a very powerful tool.

        The person in question is hugely intelligent but in some ways acts as though he has no moral compass. I saw a pattern in his behaviour and called him on it.

    • December 21, 2010 6:48 pm

      Thank you again for your support, Bob! And for having the balls (just more evidence they’re steel!) to call out that asshat.

      Pepper makes a really interesting point! It is true that our society still holds on to the observance of women-as-property, even if it’s not overt. It’s important to recognize this, and to make that difference to “what if it were you?” and get guys thinking about that. It’s so easy for them to not get that, to not believe it ever could be. But it could happen. And the more important thing is? Imagine what it must be like to live your life knowing that it could happen. And not being able to pretend it couldn’t.

      Every woman knows this.

      On the other hand, it helps to draw someone’s attention to social ties, to, as you put it Bob, putting a face on a statistic. To making it more personal. Everyone has a mother, and often a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend.

      What if it happened to them? And someone said it didn’t? And then told millions of people it didn’t? And then called them a slut?

      • December 21, 2010 7:13 pm

        Well Nikki all I know is that for every asshole that goes out and treats women badly is that my stock goes up. I am not a saint by any means but I do know for a fact that a woman treated badly by one will really appreciate being treated properly by a true gentleman.

        We all have needs and wants but there are right and wrong ways to getting those needs met. Why would I want to treat a woman badly? If I do would she want to come back to my arms? Treating a woman like a valued human being if nothing else is a good business decision. If you had a bad hamburger would you go and get another? No.

        I don’t mean to relate women to hamburgers but you get the point, the other side of the equation is getting women to realize that there are better options than staying in a bad relationship. There are good men out there just waiting for a shot at something real and loving and lasting.

        I ramble but it all comes from a good place.

  3. December 21, 2010 6:30 pm

    Hey Nikki, thank you so much for this post and for the shout out.
    The trolling that’s been going on on the #mooreandme tweet thread is just…I don’t even know.

    The way we talk about rape has just got to change. It just has to. It is not a property crime, it is not a misunderstanding, it is not something that only monsters/animals do, and it is never, ever, ever the fault of the victim.

    This whole thing is just so depressing because it’s so expected. Every tired fucking lie trotted out about rape victims is on display, every kind of pretzel that lefty dudebros can turn themselves into in order to not have to even entertain the idea that someone can do good things and still be a rapist…all of it, it’s like fucking deja vu.

    And it’s all tied up with the patriarchy and rape culture, and how womens bodies are assumed to exist in a perpetual state of consent unless we make sure to withdraw that consent at exactly the right time and in exactly right way…and those goal posts are always moving.

    But womens bodies are in a perpetual state of non consent, they are or should already be assumed to always be saying no, so that only enthusiastic consent counts. And it makes me tired, and sad, and angry– because I too have a list of women who were raped and couldn’t face reporting, because they knew, they knew right down into their bones what nobody should ever have to know– their pain simply doesn’t matter to most people as much as protecting the reputation of their rapists as good people.

    Their pain is merely a fucking carnival game for people to throw more and more and more barbs and lies and questions until they are afraid to tell anyone because nobody NOBODY will believe their lived reality. And they god damn matter. The fact that their rapists are going around free and beloved in the world fucking matters. The fact that they will rape again and again and THAT IS NOT THE VICTIMS FAULT matters.

    …But. In the midst of all this fuckery, seeing so many feminists standing together matters too. I started a twitter account just for this, and while the trolls are heinous, the solidarity is absolutely beautiful. For every survivor who has been silenced, I hope that we keep speaking, I hope that we get people to THINK, to just think for a moment and empathize, and understand, and call out the victim blaming they hear from everyone they know.

    This is feminism. It has always been about lifting up the beaten down, the raped, the silenced, those whose own experience of their lives is not believed, about creating a better world, and I am so proud to be a feminist.

    • December 21, 2010 7:04 pm

      Again – I don’t even know how to respond as I don’t know what I can add to what you’ve just said. Aside from: “exactly”.

      It is the “perpetual state of consent” that our bodies are under – and the excuses make this clear. And yet – we blog and blog about how we are “in a state of non consent.” We only let in the dudes we really like, and we are sad/angry when they act like douche canoes and turn out to not be that cool. Well. What about when they decide they want in any way? What about if we decide their douche canoes half-way through?

      We still get to make those decisions, or else why are we even pretending that we date?

      It is unbelievable to me the number of women I know who have been raped. What’s more unbelievable? The number of men and women who don’t know how many people they know who have been raped. Because no one says a fucking thing.

      Thank you, Lefty Leftertons, for making it that much more difficult. And you were the ones I thought I could trust.

      However. You are exactly fucking right. There is solidarity here. There is hope here. This is feminism, people, in my book too. We speak out. We aren’t afraid.

      Well. At least not yet.

    • December 21, 2010 7:04 pm

      PS find me on twitter!! I can’t find you!

      • December 22, 2010 5:43 am

        Will do. I am @PepperLeeHales. I’ll look for you.

  4. Esme permalink
    December 22, 2010 6:03 pm

    Done and done. Not sure I have as many readers as you…but it’s time to get the word out on this shit…

    • December 23, 2010 11:37 am


      I know you get this. It has been great seeing the response in a positive way… I hope it keeps up!:D

      Take care, you badass you.

  5. December 22, 2010 8:25 pm

    1 in 6 women is way too many.

    • December 23, 2010 11:38 am

      Way, way, way too many. *sad face*


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