Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sorta Rape, Not Real Rape... (Warning...possible triggers.)

There has been a lot in the press this week stemming from comments made by a couple of Conservative MPs (and one MEP.)

Firstly Nadine Dorries introduced the Bill, that if passed would mean that girls between the ages of 11-15 would have lessons in sexual abstinance. Just girls, mind you. Not boys... Guardian article on the Bill

Then in a television interview, she came out with, I quote;
“If a stronger ‘just say no’ message was given to children, there might be an impact on sex abuse. A lot of girls, when abuse takes place, don’t realise until later that that was wrong because sex is so common in society."

Later that same week, Ken Clarke came out with comments that could be construed as meaning that some rapes are somehow less than other. He did try to clarify what he meant, but still managed to show his little understanding of what he was talking about in the first place. Ken Clark Clarifies?

He was then defended by the MEP, Roger Helmer, who definitely feels some rape is worse than other rape. "Women share some of the responsibilty"

Let's just say it's been a bad week for Tory politicians opening their mouths without thought, but also a bad week for us all when we look at these views in a broader perspective.

Nadine Dorries...WTF? Seriously? My mind cannot comprehend that a modern woman would come out with this claptrap. But when you take on board her religious and political beliefs (Fundie and very RightWing) it all becomes clear. I really don't even have to pull her ideas apart to show how ridiculous they are. But unfortunately, there are those that while agree that her Bill for single sex abstinance education is ridiculous fail to see how those ideas translate into the comments that her male colleagues make later in the week.

If we are teaching young girls that they must hold ALL sexual responsibility, as women, they STILL must hold that responsibility at all times, and if they are raped, then somehow it must be their fault. Your clothing, your attitude, your whereabouts, your alcohol consumption are all questioned in an attempt to show how a woman's actions contribute to her rape. And if you happen to be raped by someone you know (the majority of all rapes) then all of that, AND your sexual history is taken into account.

Dorries' comments that “If a stronger ‘just say no’ message was given to children, there might be an impact on sex abuse. A lot of girls, when abuse takes place, don’t realise until later that that was wrong because sex is so common in society."

Because when a sexual predator is about to abuse someone, saying no always stops them...What? You mean it doesn't?

Abuse isn't about sex. Like rape, abuse is about POWER! The power of one person over another!

I know I will be preaching to the converted here, but rape and abuse is about violent power over another. It isn't just about sex, or sexual gratification, it has a whole load of other nasties wrapped up along with it.

But the bottom line is, if a woman or man says they don't want to have sex at ANY point of the act, they have that right, and whoever they are with MUST STOP NO MATTER WHAT!

It infantalises and demeans men when the notion that they are somehow incapable of stopping having sex at any given moment is put forward as an excuse, and that when they have an erection or intercourse, that their minds switch off entirely and they become little more than drooling sexual automatons.

On a very personal note, I will share some of my more nasty sexual experiences...(Possible Trigger Alert)

The first time I had sex. I was sixteen, a bit of a social klutz, and generally a bit of a emo teenage mess. I was unsure if I wanted to do anything, but found myself led along and plied with alcohol, so when I really did want to stop, it didn't happen. I "changed my mind" at the last moment, so I know that I fall into that catagory of "it's not proper rape", but imho he had the power, he didn't stop when I wanted him to, and while I don't feel I have any long lasting damage from the event, it still means the first time I had sex is not something I feel fondly about.

I once met someone and went on a few dates with him. He was quite a bit older than me (at Uni while I was still at school.) He was nice enough, and then one Saturday morning, I met him at his digs thinking we were going to go out. As I turned up, his housemates were leaving. He was still in a dressing gown. To cut a long story short, I spent most my time trying to fend off his advances, to stop him trying to "persuade" me to go upstairs with me, and it ended with me managing to get out of the house. (Thank the Gods it wasn't locked.) and ran to a friend's house around the corner. At her house, I managed to rearrange my clothes and refasten my bra that he had managed to undo. Was this a sexual assault? Probably. Did I tell anyone other than my friends? No. Did I think I was an idiot for getting myself into that situation? Yes. However, I didn't ask for any of it, I wasn't expecting it, and why should he have thought he could get into knickers just because he felt like it.

On more than one occasion, I have had my hand forced down someone's trousers to get them off. Even to the point, that the young man in question didn't want me, he wanted my friend, but when I went out of the party to tell him that, he felt he would make do with me instead...

I have lost count of the times I have had my breasts groped and poked by men thinking that because I have spoken to them, maybe even kissed them, that I was "up for it".

It doesn't happen anymore. I am older and wiser and know how not to get myself into those situations. (Or as some arse would say, I am fatter and uglier now...a whole different issue in itself).

I never reported or told anyone (who could/would do anything about them) about these incidents, but I can guarantee that every woman out there probably has similar tales. Does this mean we were all asking for it?

Friday, May 20, 2011

I will post something serious soon, I promise...

But not yet.

I don't know who this is, or what he is saying, but Josie and I love it. It's the bouncing snowball from Finland as far as we are concerned. I am posting it here, as I have to play it every day for Josie...*sigh*

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Things I will miss and won't miss...

When we move to the Falkland Islands, life is going to be very different. Not bad, just not what I am used to. I am a little bit apprehensive about this, but I hope it will be the impetus to get off my fat arse and do some things I really want to do.


Friends and Family (goes without saying, really!)
Hertford Farmers' Market
My herb garden
The local flora and fauna
Restaurant Curry
New books

Bad attitudes
Christmas hype in the shops 3 months before the actual event.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Eating Daisies.

At the moment, I need to keep reminding myself that my emotional response to things is out of proportion to the actual reality of the situation. I am indeed overreacting.

There is a course starting in September just up the road from me, run by Sensory Solutions. It is a year long herbal apprenticeship (not cheap, but worth the money) and if I was in the country I would be all over it like an overenthusiastic labrador! But I ain't.

Now what I will be doing is wicked and amazing and a chance of a lifetime, and it isn't like I don't want to go. I just think it's fecking typical that this kinda thing crops up now when I won't be here.

And like I said, I am disportionately disappointed about it. Not entirely sure whether this disappointment is from the fact I have finally found a course that I want to, or that I should have been doing this type of work on my own and just got on with it. Is my procrastination kicking me up the arse again?

The thing is, yes, I could have probably done it on my own, but it is nice to speak to like-minded people that don't think you are bonkers and can help you out if the need arises.

And finally, Daisies taste of Happy and Rocket(Arugula)