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The absense of consent is not consent

The house next door is being renovated and I noticed contractors in my yard. Specifically, parked in my yard. I went out to check it out and found they were using my hose as a rope---after using my outside tap for their various needs. "We knocked," said the leader. "Nobody answered."

Which knocked me back on my heels. Nobody was there, nobody answered, so....that means, yahoo, partay!? What the hell would these guys do if the door was unlocked? And I know the answer. I got it from a guy named chuckles48, who explained why it was okay to take my personal information and give it to people who've subsequently harassed and threatened me. "You didn't protect it," he said. The conservative mindset in a nutshell. I especially love the idea that one---I suspect for chuckie it's women, or women-like creatures like gays and Dems----cannot ever withdraw consent. I also like the fact that because somebody else asked him to do this, that makes him somehow blameless. Finally, he's a firm believer in the 'both sides' fallacy, where you take evil people and compare them to non-evil people who are usually devoted to fighting them. "You can't tell the difference between identity and an opinion," he sneered, because I guess if you believed the things he does, you'd pretty much have to comfort yourself that it's just a difference of opinion, too. The issue comes down to consent. I withdrew mine a lot time ago. To this guy and that guy, it doesn't matter. If they had it once, sucks to be you because they have no morals, no qualms, and the only thing that matters to them is winning and taking and getting.

As an aside, I know people who are friends either with this online asshole, or people like him, and their response is----always, after I get pissed off at something the asshole has done---that they don't want to get in the middle, that you're both my friends,. Which in turn reminds me so much of waht people say when they talk about bullying years later. The bullying gets ignored, but once the victim turns around and fights back, that gets noticed. Rules get remembered. Judgment gets passed. But not with the original act. There's always a middle, despite the fact that one person made the first move, and if the victim reacts they get told, "Well, why don't you finish it? Saying they started it is so juvenile!" Why? Why is a victim not entitled to a response, to fight back? "Oh, you just won't give up!" It's bullying, all right. I wonder how many people who pull this crap were bullied themselves. What it amounts to is coming down on one side---usually the wrong one---and then putting pressure on the person who was attacked to shut up and make it all go away. Stop and think. How many of these "I don't want to be in the middle/both sides are just as bad!" people do you know? Take a good look, because if you ever need them, they're going to side with the person who did the wrong thing.

Amanda Marcotte once wrote that people side with abusers because they're charming, charismatic, or other things. This is true. Bullies are charming---you would be too, if you knew that people would always take your side. You'd be confident, charming, even witty----because people like power, and often all it takes to have power is to be a jerk off. People also don't want to think unpleasant thinkie thoughts about their friends so they tend to ditch the person that makes them have those thoughts, and it's not the jerk. By the same token, the pressure put on victims to 'give it up' 'get over it' and all the rest is amazing. "Just let it go!" goes the whine. Because it's our buddy Joe and we don't want to look too close at him. Victim blaming is taken one step further: the victim is the bad guy for not letting it go. And you can guess which gender the bad guy usually is.

The bullies are never remorseful, or if by some chance they do face some pressure, chances are they get away with a shitty "I'm sorry you're such a weakling asshole who can't appreciate my genius" type apology. "I'm sorry you feel that way," is the classic, and again, people who ought to know better jump on the victim for not letting it go.

Something else about apologies, too: they don't let the offender off the hook. "I'm sorry," isn't enough if real harm has been done and the victim is the judge of what harm has been done. Not the offender. Not the so-called 'mutual' friends. Not the people who whip out the hoary old false equivalency. The victim and the victim alone. If there's real harm done, the offender's an asshole for not taking steps to make it right. And of course it seldom if ever gets that far.

There is usually absolutely no middle in these type of disputes. What usually happens is that somebody's an asshole, the victim responds, asshole gets pissed, victim gete pissed---and victim gets pissed on. Self defense is not a crime----well, unless you belong to certain classes and genders, it's not. Recast an argument between two men and see how that changes things. When it's two women, it's a cat fight: petty, spiteful, bitchy, probably hormonal, unimportant. When it's a man versus a woman, the man benefits from the cultural conditioning----beaten into us since birth---that men are logical, thoughtful, Right, and honest while women are hysterical, emotional, prone to lying. And as time goes by and a case of self defense becomes "why won't that bitch let it go?!" that bitch may very well wonder what the fuck is going on. Women and other people are not entitled to defend themselves, even against another woman, because this culture has such a fear and contempt for losers. If you're not the one doing the attacking, then you're the loser and people will back away for fear of the cooties. This, by the way, explains so much about conservatives like Chuckles above, who like to act as if their biaes don't affect real people, and aren't based on absolute contempt for anybody who's not a rich white conservative God-fearin' dude. Don't be fooled by piercings and tattoos. There's a recent move afoot in conservative churches, for example like San Fran's Mars Hill, to recast cosmetic unconventionality as moral innovation, when the Mars Hill male parishioners are just the same old patriarchs as before.

America is such a black and white country sometimes, and in disputes and how we view them you can see them. Not coincidentally, the conservative mindset exploits this to a T, with its good/bad, male/female, madonna/whore thinking. There's only winners and losers, good and evil to conservatives, and that's why they're so eager to recast all debates as 'both sides are just as bad.' Wrong. Again, there's attack and defense, and the Repubs like to cast themselves as the stern Daddy while everybody else is the air headed housewife or non-male who needs that stern male hand. Shut up, ladies, Daddy knows what's best. You don't need abortions; you need babies! If nothing else betrays the mindset, it's the twin battles of abortion and gay rights, because as much as conservatives like to talk about babies, the fact is that by siding with the fetus---not a baby---they're attacking the woman, and by casting homosexuality as icky and female they're revealing that their views of sex are essentially male/female, doer/done to; plow/soil; active/passive; faucet/recepticle and...rapist/victim. Except all victims in their universe aren't really victims, they're just losers who didn't protect themselves but oh, wait, some people don't get to protect themselves. This is why they can on the one hand condemn the rape of a Bill Napoli-approved virgin and yet wish for prison rape out the other side of their mouth. Some victims aren't really victims; in fact, they're appropriate targets, because that's their job in life. Gay men, for example, can't be real men, because a real man sticks his dick in whatever's around; the gay guy or the woman is the receptacle on the other end. It's kind of hard to act offended about most rapes when, really, when it comes down to it, sex for guys is just dick insertion, so why do women get so pissed off about it? (You can see some of this is with Ken Buck, who sneered that people should vote for him because he doesn't wear heels, and as a prosecutor dismissed a confessed rape with the comment that the victim experienced 'buyer's remorse.' Once you give consent to one guy, ladies, you stop being a valuable commodity and become just a receptacle for all. Does a receptacle have a right to choose who ejaculates into it? No, but her owner does; rape as a property crime, again, where the real victim is the male owner of the woman's hymen, vagina, what have you.)

And this brings me back to the beginning, because talking about conservative men can be a misnomer, in that so many progressive men seem to think that voting for abortion makes them feminists and nothing else need to be done. Consent is always the thing, and I did not consent to anytihng, either that the contractor or Chuckles did, and when I pointed out that my consent was the issue, but men got offended and blew up. Chuckles remains intransingent to this day; the contractor---who did actual damage to my property---told me to sue him. Apologizing, of course, is not for men such as they, especially for a fine conservative guy who thinks it's stupid to confuse 'identity with differences of opinion.' So many conservative opinions are based on the simple opinion that only straight white guys are human, and their actions very clearly bear that out. Gay people aren't human; women aren't human; fetuses are more human than the women in whose bodies they reside. For example, there's this Republican scumbag who's running in Minnesota right now. He's trying to whip up the homophobic vote by saying that gay marriage is not a right, that voting against other peoples' rights is a right that Democrats are usurping. By defining straight (white) people as the only humans, the Repubs neatly, sneakily set up the debate on their terms. Which, in the context of this debate, is another dodge that deflects attention from what's going on: rights, consent, who matters.

I'm sure somebody will try and come up with a clever hypothetical exception instead of deal with reality, but that's still another dodge. It was and is very simple. It's bullying. It's the many forcing the few out of the ring, and dismissing their consent or desires or welfare or rights. These are very simple things: watch for the very complicated contortions that people go into avoid that reality.

Video here, for an example of excising gay people from society:



Is that a difference of an opinion? Are the people who strip gays of their rights and women of their consent and the people who fight to defend and restore those things just as bad? Think about it.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
idemandjustice
Oct. 21st, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
So, are these contractors going to pay your water bill, since that costs money? Or are they comfortable just letting it be theft?

I live in Colorado, and I've been having nightmares about Ken Buck. I dreamed my sister was voting for him (she's really not), and that I was just ranting and raving at her, warning her that if she voted for him, she'd have buyer's remorse.
ginmar
Oct. 21st, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
The guy on the phone was defensive from the get go, after I explained that I didn't want he or his workers taking my absence as license to do whatever they wanted. He told me to sue him---! He just went into my yard, helped himself, then denied he'd helped himself---and I caught the fucker red-handed!
idemandjustice
Oct. 22nd, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
You might want to actually try to sue him. I'm pretty sure it would be for small claims court. You'd want to check, but at least where I am, if you win the case you don't have to pay any of the court fees.
visp
Oct. 22nd, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
I love those "Why do judges get to decide these things?" arguments. They decide because that's their JOB! There are 3 branches of government, people, and the judicial branch decides things like when people are letting provincial small mindedness violate the constitution.
kellicat
Oct. 22nd, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
I also love how the candidate in the video fails to mention how civil rights for black people were decided in the courts, NOT by majority vote.
ginmar
Oct. 22nd, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Yes, because rights exist even when other people want to deny them. Ah, the good old days, when white people doled out the rights. Oh, wait....!
kittenmommy
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)

The bullying gets ignored, but once the victim turns around and fights back, that gets noticed. Rules get remembered. Judgment gets passed. But not with the original act.

That was certainly my experience, yes.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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