Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today, I Hate Men

By Kelly Jean Cogswell

I used that title in my blog last month, and could have used it several times since. Why not? It gets your attention. Responds to the most common message out there, unspoken, and hidden between the lines, declaring, "I Hate Women. Always."

In South Africa, it's written large in sexual violence. Lesbians, especially, are raped to "cure" us of our sexual orientation, and keep us in a female's place which is somewhat lower than the sole of the masculine foot. On par with the worm. So often relegated below ground to the grave the violent deaths of women look like a slo-motion genocide. It's actually picked up speed since lesbian activist and former soccer star, Eudy Simelane, was gang-raped and stabbed to death last year.

The rapes and murders of all black females have accelerated in South Africa, though you wouldn't know it, what with the government and police responding with an inverse passivity doing almost nothing for dykes. Nothing even for straight females. Leaving rapists and murderers free to do their thing.

Carrie Shelver, an activist with women's rights group Powa, told Britain's The Guardian, to blame "the increasingly macho culture, which seeks to oppress women and sees them as merely sexual beings. So when there is a lesbian woman she is an absolute affront to this kind of masculinity." Call it what you want, the perpetrators are men. And I do hate them.

Like in Brazil, where there's an epidemic of stupid, vicious, criminal rapists otherwise known as fathers, stepfathers, brothers, grandfathers. Last month's big fuss over a 9-year-old girl who aborted twins after her stepfather raped her, wouldn't have existed at all if not for the fact that some idiot local priest summarily excommunicated everyone involved, including the doctors who performed the surgery, and the woman that tried to care for her abused daughter.

So the priester made the headline, along with the Vatican's jockeying afterwards. Only as an afterthought did The New York Times offer a report revealing that a sizable number of Brazil's legal abortions were for under-aged girls who had been raped by men in their family. Even younger ones are raped, used as blow-up dolls at six or seven, but don't turn up in the statistics because they're too young to get pregnant. No fodder for the anti-abortion activists and priests. No media hook.

Yep, today again, I'm hating men. Enough to be trembling. To fall silent. Thinking of all those little girls out there facing this man's world. Once, twice or a hundred times a day they'll be reminded of what they aren't. What they don't have. Or should be. Men will rape it into them, or beat it, or just sneer it in. Even me in my protected cocoon of enlightened societies and the verge of middle age, have a bull's eye on my face. There was that guy I chased down the street after he almost ran over me on his motorcycle. I called him an asshole. He came right back with words he meant to wound, "woman" "lesbian." Oh, and "foreigner."

After a couple minutes of that, the passersby laughing, with amusement at first, then discomfort, I wanted to smash his face in like they do ours, while shouting, "fucking man, fucking man." I wanted to rip his cock off. I didn't, though, just screamed and sounded ridiculous. Angry females always do. Ridiculous and shrill, not because of a naturally more high-pitched voice, but because that's the sound humans make when you thrust pins in their heart, stick bamboo under their delicate nails and grin.

There was that trial on the TV news a couple weeks ago. North African guy got a couple years in prison for spraying acid on a girl's face out in one of Paris's suburban housing projects, if I remember correctly. And on her upper body. He didn't like her uppity ways at the time, but is sorry now, and told her so in court when it came to sentencing.

He's not as sorry as the girl who had half her face melted off and needs the neighbor's help to put a pot on the stove and take it off.

All those men doing what they can get away with. You, too. Indifferent to the violence. Indifferent to our invisibility and silence. How many females write for anybody's press? How many sit in the Senate? How many run the investigations that solve rapes and murders? How many make the laws that bind us? Should we have to beg for equality?

Yes, apparently. You've done enough. Your conscience is clear. Which is why I write, and despite all signs, why I'm often at a loss for words to tell the truth. To rouse you. I so clearly need more. Hardware maybe. Steel-toed shoes at least for that well-placed kick to the groin.

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