violence

S**t I Really Didn’t Want to Know or HAVE to Say

This is a screenshot from the conversation that prompted yesterday’s rant. The sadly odd thing is that the Lady that sent these to me was concerned enough for MY sensibilities that she edited “I won’t send where he’s talking about me peeling a banana with my mouth……I’ll keep it clean.”…

Screenshot (8)

She edited it heavily. Apparently, this is tame…I have been living in a bubble. I had no clue that this s**t was so common. I asked on my Facebook page. Here are some of the responses…

“Say you’re gay and suddenly you’re the spawn of Satan. Fucking bitch, cunt, I wouldn’t let you suck my dog’s dick”…and yeah, she’s gay…in fact that was Z and if y’all have read this blog you know that I adore her.

“I quit working in one location with a security guard kept pressuring me to date him.”

“I would start out saying I was married and working and the persistent ones would say that they weren’t concerned about all that and could we just get together?”

” men don’t care if I’m single or not because they are not looking for a relationship if you know what I mean”

Another response “get dick pics all the time. Sometimes, it’s the second message/text.”

I’m either stupid or, more likely, “protected” and naive. If I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t know people did this. I thought “most men” were like me. I thought that we treated women the way we want them to be treated… I think “most” are but, enough aren’t that it’s beyond time for the decent ones of us to speak up…

*****

Hey, Asswipes Disguised as Men.
Shut your filthy fucking mouths. Put down the phone and keyboard. Delete your camera app. Y’all are a bunch of insecure idiots.  She doesn’t owe you anything. She didn’t ask to be treated the way you are treating her. She doesn’t exist so that you can get laid. I’ll go over this again so that you know…
This is what you do with a Woman. You TALK to her. No, sending dick-pics isn’t “talking”. You make her laugh. You let her feel safe and secure around you. You LISTEN, really pay attention with your whole face and mind, to what she has to say. You treat her with dignity and respect, No, telling her she’s a bitch or a cunt or a dyke because she didn’t like your dick-pics DOES NOT count as “dignity and respect”. You take “no” for an answer the very first time she even hints at saying no. You NEVER put in a spot where she is the tiniest bit uncomfortable around you. Not ever. Period. You don’t brag to her about how she will feel when you are fucking her. You don’t make suggestions unless she specifically invites you to. No, you do not mistake being polite as “invites”.
You don’t act like you are a victim when she rejects you. You don’t have that right. If you think that she “owes” you sex, you are a potential rapist and need to be in a cage.
Is any of this getting through to you morons?
Nah, I figured it wasn’t but, I had to try. I won’t even go into the whole “women are our mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters” bit because your actions show that is the way you WANT them treated. All you see is an object and not a human.
The worst part of what you baboons are doing is that, for the majority of us, the women in our lives don’t tell us the shit you put them through. Our women protect us from you because they know that two things would happen when we found out, Put it like this, they keep us out of prison and you out of a box.
In short, if you think what you are doing or have done is correct or proper, instead of saying that crap or forcing yourself on her, you should go fuck yourself and then you could get laid every night.
Sincerely,
Miller
P.S. To y’all that call yourselves “incels”. You aren’t “involuntary” anything. You should call yourselves “voluntary sub-humans”. You have no right to anyone else’s body or company. You are not fit for the companionship of humans. If you feel so strongly that people have a “right” to sex, maybe you should volunteer to go to the Rainbow Lounge and take it up the ass. Don’t gay men have a right to sex, too?

*****

This isn’t me making some silly SJW excuse for me being such a great guy. I’m not. I’m an opinionated middle-aged man. I don’t care about most things. I’m not that worried about how other families live their lives. I don’t give a damn about politics. Most “social issues” don’t make any difference to me. I am not taking on some misguided guilt for an accident of birth that made me a hetero white male.  My reasons for what I write about the way women are treated, religion and, LBGT Rights have all come from the same spot. My very best friends are women. My reasons are PURELY selfish. I don’t want my friends treated like shit.

Dear Ladies,
I apologize. The decent MEN among us have kept our mouths shut for too long. Maybe we need to be shocked out of our complacency. Do us a favor, I promise we won’t like it but do it anyway. When some shit like this happens, tell us. Let us feel your pain and disgust and fear. We love you. Let us be there…even if we don’t know what to do and can’t really fix it. The decent ones of us DO outnumber the assholes and predators. We may not be able to stop them but, let us try. Let us tell you and show you that what they do is no reflection on you, only them. Y’all have put up with this stuff for far too long alone. We, Men, don’t really have any way to make up for the past but, maybe we can make your future better.
Love,
Miller

 

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How?

…as I walked away I wondered how it had become so easy? The smoke didn’t really bother me. It was just a step away from who I used to be…I’ll miss Aj but, she was just another witch…

*****

I wondered how I got to this place? I always thought I was a nice guy.  I don’t suppose that matters anymore…I always knew Aj was my friend. We were from the very start. Some people just become friends. They are destined to be. We started off a bit rough but, after a bit, things smoothed out. It’s like we’ve been friends all our lives. I mean, she told me she was a witch but that didn’t really matter.

It wasn’t really her fault that she was one. Besides, who really cared? I mean, sure, some people treated her like s**t but, she really didn’t complain. She just took it and went on because that was what happens to witches, right? Just keep your mouth shut and accept it, right? Anyway, she KNEW she wasn’t quite good enough but, I didn’t hold that against her.

That’s what we were told and, after awhile, we believed it. They ARE different…other…

After that, it was easy. We got along as long while she stayed in her place. I had to remind her of that a few times but she learned. As time went on, she got used to the idea that those things “just happened” and that I would never do anything worse. I didn’t expect to and besides, how much worse can it get for someone who’s future is Hell?

The first steps were the hardest for me. We had eaten together. I had cooked dinner and let her into my house and told her that she was my best friend.

That’s ok. I was wrong. How could a Christian be best friends with a heathen? Once I figured out that answer, I couldn’t, lying to her was easy. All I had to do was keep going on like things were still the same. Act like the subtle insults and slights were accidents. Just play the fool and keep her trust? It isn’t really lying or wrong if it’s to a witch because she’s not Christian, is it?

I’ll miss her…of course, I miss me, too…

*****

*wipes eyes*

When you read that section, do not believe that I believe those words about her.

I had to go back and try to figure out how an “ordinary person”, like me.could do what Burning Aj did. I really don’t want to ever revisit that post.

I have often thought I could not be a criminal profiler, these posts are why. To do that job you have to understand the madness. You have to visit a dark place and look back.

Leaders teach hate to gain power. They say, “see them” to distract from their own evils. Ordinary people follow along because it’s always easier to be an “us” than “one of them”. We find safety in the herd. We just gradually wander into evil, never realizing we’re doing it. We smell the smoke and are glad it’s someone else…

*****

This is the last of 3. In order, the other two are Burning Aj and Why?. This one does not make sense without the other two. If you read this one, please read or have read, the first. It doesn’t make sense without it. The second two explain the first.

Also, please, please understand. I HATE the first one. In my mind’s eye, it happened in my own yard and it hurts. I set it there and made myself see it that way so this would not be some casual exercise with words. I hope that my grief over what didn’t really happen comes through. I hope you never have to put your mind in the place I went. I did it that way because if I am going to put Aj into these three, it is only fair that there is some real cost to me for doing it…

Aj, I love you. Period.

Why?

Yesterday I wrote “Burning Aj”. I posted it without a word to explain it. I won’t link it here but, you can look it up. It was, from this side, the writing side, the most painful thing I have ever typed…including writing about my own monsters from being an addict.  By the end of that “story” I could, and still can see my very best friend burning …by my own hand. To be clear, that hurt. It was supposed to hurt. I knew when I was writing it that it would…I didn’t know how much.  It was intended as allegory. It was supposed to try to explain the Burning Times and how that could happen again. It was an attempt to try to understand how someone could do something that horrific to their best friend. What it did was to scar MY soul. I’ll probably be paying for it for a long time…

There are 2, two, people in the world that I am sure that I would trade places with if that story were true, my wife and Aj. Period. I am NOT brave or noble. I am not “sure” that I would even make the trade for my family. I am a coward. Two lives that I know are more valuable to me than my own…and I burned one of them to make a point…and I can still smell the gasoline…and see the match…and hate myself for doing it.

Why did I do it?

Because we follow The Crowd. I did it to try to understand how we could see a neighbor or a best friend and allow that to happen. How it is possible to depersonalize someone?How can we participate? How can we subject someone else to that? How is it possible to ignore what someone is?
“She’s a witch, That means she’s NOT a person. It doesn’t matter what I do to a witch because they don’t matter. It’s not like they’re “real people”. Besides, everyone else treats them like shit. What does it matter what I do to one? They’re. Not. Real. People. .. Even if they were, it doesn’t mean anything, she’s just a witch. She’s gonna bun eventually, this is just a head start. Practice, in a manner of speaking…”
That IS how it happens. The Crowd says that and we come to believe it. We teach ourselves and convince ourselves that “they” are not real people…We willingly blind ourselves to what we know to be true.

Another of the most coldly horrible things I’ve ever seen quoted was the Camp Commandant at Auschwitz saying that he punished guards for tormenting the people they were going to send to the gas chambers because their job was to execute them, not to torture them. He explained that it was like killing rats…” our job was to exterminate”.

I have tried to use this page as a way to help show the humanity of people that are seen by some others as less than human. I want to convince people to see ALL of someone, Aj. I wish you could see what I see. I wish you could share the memory of a hug that I got from her. I wish you could hear her voice. I hope you never have to know what writing something like that does to you. I wish you may see that she’s not “just a witch”. She never was. She never will be. She IS my best friend and happens to be a witch. I love her dearly.

Victim Blaming

I keep trying to write this post…and keep hitting a stopping spot…I’ll try again…

There is a candidate for Senate that has some allegations of forcing himself on a 14 year old girl 40 years ago. I keep reading comments that say, paraphrase, “why did she wait 40 years? It MUST be political” 40 years ago, the common defense to a charge like that was to blame HER for HIS actions. Even now, she is being doxed and having death threats…

I was reading, on a slightly different note, a discussion of men making undesired advances and the person that wrote the article used the phrase “creepy guy”. The conversation went from being about respecting the right of the woman to refuse to being one about what constitutes a “creepy guy” and denying that the Men’s Rights Movement exists.

*exhale*

I’m having a hard time getting past my own anger and disgust so, short words for stupid people…

NO MEANS NO.

Abusing or being in a position of power and using that to proposition a woman is wrong. What was she going to do? How could she refuse him without him lashing out? Hint, being coerced DOES NOT EQUAL CONSENT.

If you have to ask what defines the phrase “creepy guy” odds are, YOU ARE HIM. Denying that the Men’s Rights Movement exists is one of the bigger loads of Horses**t that there is. Justifying it is even worse.

Telling myself to slow down…didn’t work…

What in the hell are you thinking? Women have been coerced for all of time. Most of the women I know, rephrase, every one that has said anything about it to me, has been in that spot. Every. Single. One.

I am NOT a feminist. Don’t need to be. That implies lesser capability. The ones I know are NOT less capable…

What I am is a realist. Not every man has done this stuff. I haven’t. Period. I am not excising some personal guilt. I am speaking as a Man to say no wonder women fear us. Males, the half of the planet that is generally stronger, have forced ourselves on women. We have given them reasons to fear and resent us. Do I really need to rehash all the BS we have, over the length of time, put them through?

It isn’t really about “politics”. Respecting the dignity of another human is basic Adult 101. Not causing fear is the next lesson…or maybe even the first.

F**k me…How hard is the damn lesson?

Ladies, I can’t fix it. Sorry. Apologies for the profanity-laden diatribe. There are some, most I think, kind and decent males in the world. I am sorry that some of my sub-human brethren exist and that you’ve had to bear the brunt of their insecurities and frail egos. Not all of us demand your fear or obeisance. Most of us would prefer that you are what and who you are, capable and strong.

Men, she doesn’t owe you a d**n thing. She doesn’t owe you sex or respect. Those are earned. When you do earn those, you have a treasure beyond price. When you steal sex and force deference, your treasure is like ashes…

An Explanation of this Blog’s Direction

In the past two years and change, this blog has been predominantly about LBGT Rights and religious acceptance of Paganism by the Christian community.

Lately, it has been for and to a pair of friends that are rape survivors. That is the direction it will continue to take. There MAY be brief forays into my personal past or some other topic but, those will be directly within the context of being a survivor of something, violence, rape, or addiction.

If you followed under any other pretense or looking for something else, please do not feel deceived.

I have one sole perspective. Rape, no matter if it is forcible or by emotional manipulation, is NEVER excusable. There is no circumstance that makes it an accident. The phrases “boys will be boys” or “just a little action” do not make it right. Being drunk does not allow it. If that perspective offends you, feel free to leave. If you think “he has a sickness” and being a rapist is some kind of “illness” that can be lessened by that perspective, perhaps the one that is delusional is you.

To explain from my perspective, I DO NOT WANT to write these. It hurts. It causes nightmares and physical pain but, that is nothing compared to what happened to my loved ones. My “discomfort” is minor in light of having to live with what they do. The fact that they willingly expose what happened to them and, reading this blog and answering my questions, are forced to relive those actions makes them far more important than what lack of “fun” this may be.

If they want me to write, yes, I asked directly last night and gave them an out, their answer was to continue despite the pain of the telling and reading, means, to me, they have more import than a mere typist. Their courage makes it impossible for me to not be their voice. Their thoughts and hearts have earned my voice. That they know the dark spots in my soul and do not reject me makes them more precious than any sense of self I may have.

There will be more posts directly on track. There will be stories of what they felt and how they survive. There will be discussion of why rape is not reported. It may not always be from their perspective but, they will always be at the front of my head and heart as I write. They are not perfect women. I am not a perfect man. That is the Human Condition. They are not always brave, they fear and panic, yet, they face every day knowing that. Those are parts of them that I admire, facing life with those fears.

Lastly, if you expect a “blame the victim” thought from this blog, you will be disappointed. If you expect any mitigation of what was done by the aggressor, this is not where it will be found. If you expect any view of them other than “they may have been harmed but, they are not damaged”, it will not be here. This perspective is that her body is hers. If she walks naked and drunk down the street, give her your coat to keep her warm and call a cab…unless she wants to be walking naked and drunk… not that she is inviting you to fuck her.

If you expected sunshine and light, or cupcakes and cookies, this is not the place. Rape and violence, as well as survivor guilt, hurt, distrust, and the objectification of women, will never be “light”.

”If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

I’m confused. Maybe you can help me to understand. I keep bumping into the endless series of “why” questions…
Why is it ok for me to wear a cross or a Jesus t-shirt and it isn’t for a Pagan to wear a Pentagram or clothing expressing their faith?

Why is it ok for me to get upset if I think my faith, with all they myriad sect, is called a “cult” but, Pagans are expected to let it go?

Why is it “normal” for us to have a church on every corner and Pagans have to hide? We say they have rituals in the dark and the woods because they are evil and trying to hide. That isn’t the case, they respect and worship their Gods in nature and see the divine in the outdoors. We forced them to hide from us and blame them for hiding…

*sigh*

Once upon a time, we had a “good ole boy”, Clayton Williams, running for Governor of Texas who compared bad weather to rape. He said, ”If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” Is that what we expect Pagans to do in a Christian society? We expect them to “enjoy it” when we ridicule them. We expect them to “relax” when we bully and shun? That’s how they’re supposed to face the “inevitable”?

Religious persecution and bullying are the same things. A rapist thinks that taking what they want from a person is their right. They do not see a human but, an object. Religious persecution sees as a right, removal of person and making an object out of a human. Neither sees the “wrongness” of their action because they only recognize the validity of themselves and not the other.

At our core, what we find as our “faith” is the most basic of our “intangibles”. It is our most basic self-identity. An attack on that calls for us to question everything else in our life. From our Faith or lack, comes our sense of place and value. It gives us a context for our life and a group identity. Outside of sexual orientation, it is the most important of the ways we define ourselves.

To strip that away, to make us fearful of being attacked for that is the equivalent. It, being attacked for faith, calls us to question our lives, values, and worth. It leaves us with fear and paranoia.

So, why do we think it’s our right and duty to ostracize? Why do Christians think that Christianity allows them to attack someone else’s faith while screaming “PERSECUTION” when the return is given. *editorial, I made a blanket statement without blanket intent. Not all Christians persecute and not all Christians cry when it is returned* Why do we expect to be able to attack with impunity? To ridicule without opening up ourselves to the same? To call someone “worthless” and not show our own same lack of worth? We “reap what we sow”.

I suppose I am naive. *sigh* I thought I was taught to treat others like I want to be treated. It doesn’t matter to me what your beliefs are Pagan, Christian, “Christian-ish”, or Heretic. Those are your core.

If I want my heresy to be respected, my “self” not to be violated, my life not to be “fear, I need to give you the same room in yours. You’re not an object and you, the physical and intangible, person deserve the safety of your person. I don’t have to understand you. I do have to protect and care for you. I NEVER get to expect you to “relax and enjoy it” unless I am willing to do the same…

There Is NO Excuse

In my second post for yesterday, I talked about violence toward the LBGT community. I’m going back there. It needs to be revisited.

There is NO excuse that can justify violence except for self-defense. Period.

Violence toward a particular group is not Christian. It is NEVER justified. It is the act of a coward or a psychopath. To encourage violence or to give reasons, by dehumanizing a group, is every bit as culpable as if you had committed the act yourself. There is no difference, in my mind, between a person that would act, or cause an other to act, and a terrorist.

I’ve posted about marriage equality, love, Christianity, equal protection, and any other topic I can in support of Z.  Those are my hopes. This is my fear. I worry that some physical harm will come to her because of hate. My prayers are always with her for her protection.

*editorial, I don’t care what your view of my faith is. You might call it superstition, that’s fine. It isn’t going to cause me harm if you don’t believe as I do or, stop me from having my faith*

This is what I think that those that would cause harm miss. They miss the humanity of those that they would hurt. In the words of Shakespeare,

“Hath (I) not hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh?”

A HUMAN is a human. It does not matter that they might be different than you, they are still human. There is never a good enough justification to perpetrate violence toward an other.

******

Here’s the link to the previous post on the same topic.

https://millerdavidge.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/what-if/

What If…

There is a “trend” that I suspect is as old as humanity. It is the idea that people that are different in belief, political view, gender, or identity are less than human.

We, Z and I, use this forum to try to fight that idea. She says that she is not courageous, yet, she allows and encourages me to use her as my example. It is not hard for me to do that, in one way, because she is a great example of the kind of human I want to surround myself with. It is very difficult, in an other way, because it reminds me that there are some people that feel that she is not human. *sigh* Some days, most days…ok, every day, I want to protect her from having to be reminded of that. I want people to see her as herself, not a construct of their fears and hates. She has told me that has never happened to her directly to her face, yet, it is hard to avoid the news and the second hand hate.

Shakespeare said it, “For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,”

This is what SHE waits for to end. This is how you treat someone that, in your eyes, is less than human. Yet, dealing with this takes more courage than I have. That she is this brave is why I rejoice in the fact that this HUMAN thinks of me as her friend. I don’t know how to make it any more clear. Her living her life while dealing with the lack of regard given to her makes her more human than her detractors.

This what else I see and what I fear for her. She has more to fear from society than it from her. There is a mentality that justifies violence. The excuses given to perpetrate violence against the LBGT community are so far removed from what is human that I can not begin to describe how sub-human that makes those giving them.

I don’t quite know how to “get there from here”. Violence and hate toward an other human are a conscious choice. Demeaning someone or repressing them is an act of volition. To do it to someone that has no chance to avoid it is an act of a bully and a coward.

This did not start out to be a post about violence. It started out to be a plea for people to look outside themselves and see other people as human. It had, and still has, that goal. It was an attempt to say “what if…” we saw each other as they actually are and not how we want to see them. It is an other heartfelt attempt to interject reason. I wish I could put emotion into these words. I wish you could feel the warmth and care I have for Z and realize that a non-human does not provoke those feelings. I wish I could impart the fear I have every time I read a news story about an other random act of violence and think that it could happen to Z. I can not imagine how it must feel from her perspective. I think that if they could empathize with her, it would be a start to ending the hate.

Respect

I was reading an article about a young lady that had been suspended from her school for a dress code violation. Her clothing was called “provocative” by the school administration. In the comments she was called variously a “slut” and a “whore” for dressing comfortably. She was told that she had no worth because of the way she dressed. They said that the “lust” in the minds of her peers and teachers was HER fault. She was blamed for the thoughts of others.

There is a huge disconnect here. This is the same mindset that puts a rape victim on trial. This is the same mindset that allows violence perpetrated on the LBGT community to be excused by saying “they brought it on themselves”. It is the mindset that allows men to treat women as objects. It teaches that there are humans that are not human. It allows otherwise decent people to believe that some people have somehow earned what was done to them.

The issue is a lack of respect. It is a lack of respect for the victim. It is also a lack of self-respect for the person that causes the harm. When I say “she deserves what I did to her”. What I am really saying is “I am incapable of controlling myself. I do not respect MY ability to treat her with the respect she deserves, so I am going to allow myself to hurt her. I have no respect for my own ability to act as a rational being.”

What I do not understand is how we’ve gotten to a point where this is acceptable. I was taught, from an early age, to be polite. I was taught that women are not second class citizens. I was taught to show respect and kindness to everyone. Sure, I have a temper and in the heat of the moment I can be a jerk. When I do, I have made a choice to be angry. That is not the same as the basic failing that allows people to rationalize treating people as sub-human.

I do not understand, and do not want to, the “blame the victim” mentality. I do not understand spousal abusers that say “you brought it on yourself”. Victims do not instigate the violence perpetrated upon them. Rapists are the cause not the victim. If I look at a young lady and my reaction is lust, it is not her fault, it is mine. My mind holds the lack of respect, not hers. If I allow myself to dehumanize someone, I am not being victimized by being around them. They did not earn my disrespect.

Before we are willing to blame the young lady in the story that prompted this, we need to look at ourselves. We need to realize that we are responsible for our own actions. That how she decided to dress does not cause her to be anything other than a fellow human being. That she deserves enough respect to be able to dress how she pleases without being threatened or degraded. Her clothes were not the issue. The lack of respect for both her and themselves in the people around her was.

I can not say it strongly enough. NO ONE earns violence. There is NO circumstance that makes rape permissible. There is NO occasion that will ever make it acceptable to assault someone because of their gender or for being LBGT. Period. There is no clothing choice that will make it right to call a woman a “slut” or a “whore”.  The lack of basic human respect that allows this to happen is WRONG. It will NEVER be right.