Trigger warning: Rape will be discussed below.
This second semester has been particularly brutal because throughout the span of the semester, I haven’t had a single week that’s been as my weeks were originally scheduled. What this means is I’m basically operating in a more sleep deprived state, and I did what I figured was bound to happen eventually: I hopped on Bart to head home after class, only to remember after I looked for my car in the parking lot that I’d driven in the morning. So that’s how law school is the first year, you’ll wind up forgetting what it was you even did in the morning of that same day because you’re just out of it.
And finals. I’m not looking forward to them, but I want to be done with this process already. Criminal law cases are for me, the worst. I try to think people are decent, and then there’s the reminder that laws exist and lawyers have jobs because people commit terrible acts. There’s no way around having to have discussions where subjects that hit a little too close to home are discussed, and I want to run from the room screaming because I can’t believe I heard someone trying to justify the molestation of a 10 year old by a 15 year old.
That is more or less my problem with feminism these days: that it stopped being about women treated as human beings and has turned into a word that means if a woman approves of it, it’s feminism. It’s hard for a movement to maintain its steam when there’s so many divisions within it: cultural, racial, religious, age, and economic status are the first few that spring to mind. Which probably have everything to do with my lived experience, which is how everyone comes to the world and its various divisions.
Which is where and what is rape, which seems like it should be obvious, isn’t. On campus, there was a performance of the Vagina Monologues, and the tagline on all of the posters for it was “Vaginas are for Everyone” and I couldn’t help but feel upset by that because my first thought is no. No, because my body and its parts aren’t for everyone, they’re for me and whomever I decide to let have access to them, and that is the whole point of consent. Learning to navigate the routes to consent in a world where mixed messages are sent, brings to mind The Not Rape Epidemic piece. My own experience with rape and not rape are what trouble me about the possibility of being a parent one day: how does one raise a child in this broken world?
It’s also troubling me that there’s not more discussion around the whole James Franco scandal. As my boyfriend was kind enough to remind me, he’s a man in a position of wealth and power and doing what such men have done historically, using it. No one’s too upset because he never actually met up with the girl, and he’s James Franco and thus by most measures desirable, and so women should feel lucky that he was interested in them.
And it’s that sort of thinking that’s troubling in the first place. Were I to magically find myself in a position of wealth and power, my thoughts wouldn’t then turn to using said wealth and power to hit on underage guys. I’d be disgusted with myself if I did, and I can’t help but wonder what about me that makes me want to resist such gross abuse. Is it as simple as being a woman, and thus not subject to said temptation?