Rape Culture

The other day, I found myself watching Steven Crowder’s “Rape Culture doesn’t exist: change my mind” on Youtube, and sadly enough, I thought he was rather convincing. I still did not agree with him, but I could see where he was coming from, especially as he limited his definition of rape culture to “tolerating and encouraging rape,” which he thought American culture clearly did not do because of course, rapists are convicted, and they get long sentences in high security jails. Of course no one goes around saying “Rape people, you’ll have fun”, “oh what rape? Yes, you should totally try it, it’s awesome.”

The problem was the people who came to try and change his mind were not convincing, and they could not respond to his arguments. Yet, as one was clever enough to say, he had come prepared and they had not. As much as I believe in empirical data, I still think it’s very easy to go around talking about facts that you have carefully collected without collecting facts that could possibly demean your argument.

Steven Crowder did not make me change my mind about rape culture, but it did make me wonder if we were too virulent or if maybe we were seeing things that were not really there, in a sort of social media induced paranoia about the world around us. To be honest, I do think some things go too far when I read tweets that say a man saying hello to you on the street is offensive, or someone naively calling you pretty is a form of harassment. While I think this goes too far, I still think catcalling and street harassment are a real thing for many girls and women. If you look around, you can see women crossing the street to avoid groups of men because they don’t feel safe. At that point, whether they are actually safe or not is not what deserves to be pointed out – the fear itself is what should be noted. Why are these girls and women so afraid?

Well… I guess misogyny and lack of respect for all women is the problem; the problem is that girls are taught from a young age that they have to be careful because the world is a more dangerous place when you are not male. Rape culture is part of that danger without a name. As much as I sometimes want to forget that it’s there, I am also constantly reminded of how present it is. All the time. Everywhere. There is no escaping it and it gets even worse when suddenly you realise that girls propagate the ideas themselves. So you go on Instagram, and you see a photo of a girl and the comments from females friends and herself read something like this:

Friend: “I’ll rape you any time”.

Instagram girl: “I’ll be waiting” winky face

Friend: “After you have a few drinks, I can get you to bed.”

Insta girl: “sexy winky face” repeat 5 times.

Here we are, we have just dived right into it. Of course they’re joking right? Of course they don’t MEAN it right? But the thing is… Rape is not a joke and can never be a joke. Rape breaks people’s lives. Rape creates trauma. Rape is violent. Rape is not trivial. And if girls feel free to joke about it this way and to make it seem natural to, how are men and boys to evolve? If this is so pervasive that even girls think it’s normal to joke about rape, what are we supposed to do? I mean… The comments even explain how to abuse a girl: make her drink. And then, if the girl seems to be open to the idea of being raped, how is anyone to know that rape is not ok?

And this, this is why the conversation about rape culture and misogyny has to go on. Because girls and boys and men and women need to value themselves and girls and women of all classes and races and ages need to respect themselves and be respected in return. Because things need to change. For the better.

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Doppelgänger

The Doppelgänger … and apparition or double of a living person…

I am not sure why I am choosing this theme to start writing again. Perhaps it is because I often feel divided and it keeps me from working, or doing what I love or even being the best version of myself. When I last wrote here, I said that my soul felt exhausted, and it really, really was.

Doppelgänger

 This blog, art, my dissertation are all important to me, but then I feel as though I were becoming someone else. Sometimes, it is an empty, broken shell, and sometimes it is a soft body full of holes and a head that hears and sees and feels monsters all around it, or it can be shouts and eyes and obsessive thoughts… Suddenly I am not there anymore; I am only a stranger or a visitor in my own body. It is scary, but then again, it really isn’t as bad as it could be. And I can’t say if I’ll make it this time either, but I will try…

Repetition and Rehearsal

I find myself thinking that I repeat the same words over and over again, as if I were rehearsing for the day when the thoughts I have, the words I speak and the actions I perform coincide. Anxiety builds up inside my chest; it makes my heart pound and my vision go blurry.

I have not worked on my PhD for two weeks and I have barely worked on the classes I teach. I have not drawn, written or even read – and I wonder: where have these weeks gone? What have I been doing all this time? Last month, on the 20th of October, I was at a seminar I had organized for grad students, and now I am in my room composing this blog post, but I am not sure what happened in between.

It is scary. I feel stuck – stuck on repeat, stuck on nothing. I tell myself that I could flee – that is the escapist solution and it would not solve anything though. I am so scared that I will not make it and that I will ruin everything I have built…

That is yet another repetition.

Another combination of words I have already used.

Where do I go from now? I must fight, but I am tired of fighting. I must go on, but my soul seems exhausted. There is hope… There’s always hope. I just need to catch it.

Prefer

via Daily Prompt: Prefer 

It is – 

Capture d’écran 2017-10-28 à 14.04.32.png

It’s knowing that sometimes
I cannot hold your hand
Because it isn’t safe
To take it.

It’s feeling there are times
You have to say my name
As if we were just friends.

It’s being called different
And pretend it’s alright
If I can’t kiss you bye
When we part.

It is a hug that means
A million more
Than people think.

It is a look that gleams
In the dark of the room
When no one is paying
Attention.

It is the weight of not choosing
If I prefer to show
My love in public

Or if I want to play
Games of hiding
Games of keeping
It a secret

Just for the sake of playing
Just for the thrill
Of pretending.

Because there are days without
A choice for us.
Places where love is dangerous –
If lights aren’t out.

A teacher’s inspiring love for her students!

Since I’ve been teaching I’ve noticed that a lot of my students love drawing, writing or painting. This aspect makes me feel really interested in them and I’d like to share our common interest on my blog. Actually, I’ve got one student who is fond of drawing and painting, she is an artist at heart […]

via Let’s talk about Art — WELCOME TO OUR ENGLISH CLASS WORDPRESS

I love how passionate my girlfriend is about her job as a teacher. She’s the most amazing human being!!

Splendour and Chaos

I am just starting the second year of my PhD and last Thursday was the first appointment of the year with my advisor. Before then, I was asked to write a summary of the research I had done during the first year so it could be reviewed by a research committee. I can gladly say that both the committee and my advisor were satisfied with my work and thought everything I had done so far was convincing and sensitive. They also concurred in saying that it was very clear and explained carefully… And that’s where I get to the title of this post.

Capture d_écran 2017-10-21 à 21.52.31

Because inside my head, everything looks quite the opposite. There’s a chaos of thoughts and doubts hiding behind the splendour of the summary that I gave to the professors. There is something about writing a dissertation that creates messes and confusions inside your brain. Sometimes, it feels as though I were facing a large ball of wool that I didn’t know how to disentangle. I have the intuition, deep down, that this ball, once it is  unravelled, will be the long, beautiful thread which will hold the thesis together, but now, it just lies there twisted on my brain-floor.

And I do have most of the elements I need to write and make an outline, but all of the ideas just keep floating inside my brain, and they are unwilling to come together. It scares me… All of these doubts… Teachers say it’s natural and healthy. Keats even believed the ability to remain in doubts and uncertainties was key to writing poetry and to easing the burden of being unable to understand everything about life. I agree with that… I really do, but what happens when positive, philosophical doubt turns into questions about whether or not you are capable ?

I suppose you have to push ahead. You have to take a step back and reflect on what you’ve done so far and how you can go on. You have to let the fog scatter and clear. And you have to write, even without a plan or a specific goal, just to see where the ideas take you. And hopefully one day, it will all make sense. So if there’s any piece of advice I can give myself, and anyone else, it is just that:  DON’T GIVE UP !

Love,

Sacha 💙

Starting (almost) over

It has almost been two years now since I wrote the very first article in this blog, and I was very proud of it at first. I would post almost every week – there was something exhilarating about it! But I have been stuck… Looking over the posts, I could see no direction. Something was simply missing… Perhaps it was my rambling too much, or perhaps there was element of repetition… Maybe it was the long pauses in-between posts… I can’t really tell what it was, but it definitely was there – Just blots of ink and erratic strokes…

Abstract 101
Confusion – Watercolour and Ink on Paper

So I thought to myself: “Do you want to give up the blog? Do you want to start a brand new one?” The answer to both questions was a definite “NO”, but I did want to change it.

I turned my computer on this morning and trashed a number of posts I had written; I will probably use them again later and I want to make sure that I have all of the poetry saved in Word file as well. I changed the theme, and the header image. I created two new categories, which you can find in the menu section on the top right corner of the blog, and decided on what I wanted to do differently.

First, I am hoping to write more about mental illness and love, my two new categories. I will try to be more consistent in writing the blog as well. I love writing – poetry, prose poetry, prose, essays… anything that sparks the candles in my brain, but if you don’t ever write, you can’t get better at it. It’s just like drawing and painting… if you never do it, there’s no chance you’ll ever get anything out of it. So yes, I am going to try and make sure I write every week and post a painting or drawing with each piece too. I have been telling myself I would do it for months on end now… I am just a little tired of telling myself I’ll do things… I think I’ve said that in another post, but who knows? I may succeed this time. So wish me luck and perseverance 🤒

Love,

Sacha ⭐️