Trigger Warning March 31, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, prostitution, rape.
Tags: big porn inc, gang rape, knowledge, male violence, rape
i wrote most of this before the great cotton ceiling
debacle of 2012 feminist emergency and ive been thinking about it on and off ever since, when i wasnt thinking or writing about trans. tending to feminist emergencies is real work too, but the other stuff doesnt stop just because someones picked up the red phone and had good reason to use it. ive been thinking about “trigger warnings” and going down the rabbit hole of what men are and what men do, and all the obstacles in front of us, preventing us from knowing the real, whole truth. all of it.
allectos post on big porn inc has haunted me ever since i read it. whenever i read stuff like that, stuff thats truly, truly “triggering” it changes me. i dont know where this word “trigger” came from or what people think it means, perhaps especially what its supposed to mean when its used by those who arent being “triggered” (ie. men in feminist spaces mostly, if not exclusively) but i should think that “warning: you are about to be permanently changed by what you are about to know, and you are dangerously close to knowing it but still have the choice to know or not know at this point, its not too late to hold onto your ignorance of this one thing” would seem like a more accurate and honest descriptor, although its long and doesnt exactly roll off the tongue. and…something to do with size. like you think the world is the size it feels to you now, but theres actually much, much more to it than that, do you want the world to get bigger immediately? yes/no? if not, stop now.
and before you continue, there are no graphic depictions of anything in this post. im talking about trigger warnings in a meta way, and discussing horrific sexualized violence in a general way. not giving you an actual trigger warning.
the horrors that men perpetrate on women and children (and non-human animals) are literally beyond any of our (women’s) imagining, i think. some of “us” and those among us have experienced some of this first hand, some of the horrors that really likely are a 10 on that scale, but even they, i dare say, cannot imagine the many, many other things that men do that are also a 10. the horror and the magnitude of the horror registers and the memories are there, and the 10 has been acted out on bodies and minds but still, the details must evade us. mustn’t they? because men are extremely creative, when it comes to thinking up ways to harm, and actually harming women and children. creative torturers and death-dealers. if thats not the most necrophilic thing i have ever heard, then i dont know what is. its also a reversal of the highest order. they are destructive, in every way.
and in my travels, as i am sure has happened in most of yours, i have had cause to know about some extremely horrifying things that men do to girls and women. there are no words to describe the atrocity of these things, not to mention the audacity of the perpetrators, and relaying “just the facts” would provide wanking material to some perv, so i wont do it. but every single time i heard, saw or read about one of the many things men do to girls and women, it changed me. the details were always different, and so each instance changed me in a new way. the only thing that was constant was the horror and the misogyny, and the world getting bigger, and the fact that i identified, always, with the victim, because these things were always being done by men, to women and girls. it is the truth, and i accept it as the truth. and i resist and activate when and how i can, and i think my feminist-consciousness and all radical-feminist consciousness is reality-based.
but. i also know that there are things i dont know, and that there are devils in the details. and that there are millions, billions of details. there are literally endless ways that men can harm girls and women, whether its planned beforehand, improvised at the time, or repeated or reenacted from somewhere else. i suspect that during the throes of misogynistic violence that a kind of “creative” or reverse-creative energy is unleashed and men are able to come up with some truly unimaginable ideas and acts that a person who was not in the throes of misogynistic violence would literally be unable to imagine. its as if they tap into a collective misogyny or hundreds of thousands of years of history, and coupled with their own sickness and the chemical torrent that accompanies this act and this being, they perpetrate atrocities that are literally beyond imagining. and then they document it, and pass it along as a part of men-only oral and written history. they never have to reinvent the wheel, unless they want to. they can always take it further, and the next guy takes it even further than that. its literally a kind of industry with its own industrial revolutions, and they are taking each other down that road with advancements in technologies and epistemologies and they are having breakthroughs and they have their own thinkers and geniuses and someone invented the equivalent of “gains from specialization” and another one came up with electricity and its entirely possible that things are getting worse. from womens perspective anyway.
so anyway, about the details. every single time i hear of another variation on this theme, it changes me. the world gets bigger. and in a very traumatic way. if i were to force myself to know every detail, for one thing, i couldnt: there would always be something that was unknowable, and advances happening in mens horrific industry of misogyny and sexualized violence all the time so that some of the details would always be out of my reach. but. imagine that i dedicated my life to knowing the truth, the whole truth about men and what they do to girls and women, and that the whole truth included the details. because it does.
i would be changed a hundred times a day, or once for every detail i learned. every single one, every single time. the world would get bigger every time, where one second i literally hadnt realized that the world i inhabit is the same world in which that happens, and now i know. those worlds are the same. this expanding world would expand infinitely, there would be no end of it. because of the details. and where that kind of change would be happening to any of us daily, if we made the commitment to know about it, about the details, everything else would be required to remain the same. same job. same dick-pleasing job requirements. same schedule. same clothes. most of our patriarchally-defined worlds are not compatible with this much, or this kind of change. this is deliberate.
you cant stay up all night crying, or your eyes will be all puffy the next day and you really need your sleep because you cant be late; you cant stop eating (or start to eat too much) even temporarily out of the sheer horror of what youve seen, because then your clothes wont fit; you cant call in sick no matter how sick you feel, and how sick you are from the knowing. you cant. nothing else would change, but you. nothing would get bigger except your world. which is everything, from your perspective; but thats just you.
so, i guess i would suggest that we might start thinking about that, if we havent already; and perhaps even zeroing in on the details of how to create a world for ourselves and other women that is compatible with this kind of constant change, and consistent with knowing the truth, the whole, entire truth about what men do to women and girls. because what we have right now isnt. and men benefit from women not knowing. they probably even depend on it.