I have a very large capacity for outrage at injustice and inequity and a virtually endless capacity to discuss it.
This is probably why Nicole and I got shushed in the waiting room at the oral surgeon's while Social Butterfly was getting her wisdom teeth pulled (send healing wishes and heavy whipping cream). Nicole and I might be sorta-kinda-very-similar in our knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, our "issues." So there we were, animatedly discussing feminism, misogyny and rape culture and and an old man shushed us. Loudly.
I have always been a feminist, but never a militant one. I was not ever one to call anyone out for referring to me as a girl. Now I wonder about the wisdom of that. Was I complicit in maintaining the cultural attititude of dismissivenes and marginalization toward girls and women that is more pervasive today than it was when I was actually a girl?
Probably, though I didn't do it maliciously.
I am telling you now though, that I am still being called a girl, at 50-years old, by men both old (If you're over 70, imma cut you a break) and young, or at least no older than me is starting to seriously grate.
Cool artist dude whose work I was digging today at the La Jolla Art Festival? Asking us to let you know if "you girls have any questions' means I wouldn't buy your work even if I did have a spare 3,000K.
One of the things Nicole and I were discussing (we were almost whispering at this point) was my epiphany, after reading about the James Madison University clusterf**k, was it may be one of the reasons it's so hard for men--administrators, campus police, judicial affairs, etc.--to accept that a rape was committed may be due to widespread consumption of pornography.
In this case, there was videotape, made by the men, of the young woman having sex with three (former) friends after drinking heavily (drinking should negate ability to consent). The video is said to show her attempting to pull her shirt back down to cover herself and other actions that would indicate she wasn't into it. The judicial affairs committee said they couldn't determine it hadn't been consensual.
I was a party girl back in the day (I was definitely still a girl--under 21). Big-time. I hung out with other big-time party girls and quite a few party-boys as well.
Not once, did I, or any of my friends, or any of my friends-friends, or any of my friends-friends-friends ever say, "You know what sounds like a bitchin' time tonight? I think I'd like a gang-bang with some guys I have class with on Monday. That sounds like my idea of a good time."
It. Doesn't. Happen.
These male yahoos in positions of power seem to be watching their wet dream unfold on the screen or in the victim's story and start with the assumption it's consensual.
Oddly, when anyone mentions presuming the rapist is guilty until proven otherwise, the handful of false accusation cases are trotted out as though written on stone tablets next to the Ten Commandments.
It makes me (and Nicole) a little shouty. Sorry.