Thursday, August 23, 2012
Thoughts on "Rape Fatigue"
I read feministing.com as often as I check my email. When I found the website it was as if I was finding the feminist Holy Grail. First I just read the featured articles. Then I started reading whatever "What we missed" links caught my eye. At this point, I'm a feministing.com addict and not ashamed. I read whatever I can, and then read whatever I can on any other pages that I'm sent to. I love reading feminist perspectives on gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, abortion, rape, race, etc.
This website has started my wheels turning on the concept of gender identity (being transgendered, gender non-conforming, etc.) which has been really exciting. I am able to read many different perspectives to try to figure out my own personal beliefs.
However, sometimes keeping up with feminist current events is like having another job. Sometimes it's rewarding, exciting, challenging and funny. Other times it's frustrating, depressing, or downright exhausting.
This is why I'm really glad Erin Gloria Ryan wrote this article on Jezebel.com (don't worry, I'm sure I'll become hooked on this site too as well) because I feel the same way. It's truly exhausting to read article after article, misogynist quote after misogynist quote in this seemingly endless abortion war.
As I hope it is assumed by the rest of my blog, I consider myself pro-choice. In cases of rape, incest, fetal anomalies, threat of the mother's life, not being able to emotionally or financially support a baby, whatever. You don't have to explain your choice to me, and you shouldn't have to explain your choice to random politicians, most of whom are men and will NEVER have to deal with this issue on a personal level. I hope to never personally have to make the choice to have an abortion or not, because I don't know what I would do, but the fact that I may not even have the option or that so many roadblocks will be thrown into my path is truly terrifying.
When I read these things, galf of me wants to get up and GO - change things, fight, write letters, write blogs that people will actually read, petition, knit a uterus for a politician so he'll get out of mine, do something! The other half feels completely overwhelmed. What can I do? Where can I go to make a positive impact in my community? I end up not doing anything and feeling guilty about it. The guilt is tiring. The reading is tiring. The being angry is tiring. Tired, tired, tired.
Maybe someday people will read this blog and it won't feel like I'm a hamster on a wheel, spinning out my feminist frustration with nothing to show for it. Until then though, I'll keep reading, learning, thinking. Misogynists haven't figured out a way yet to stop me from doing that.