As most other people here, I've been following the UCSB shooting and its developments. However, I haven't been able to watch the videos. I can't handle that level of hatred and misogyny. I can't bring myself to let the shooter into my home and my life, even through a YouTube rant. I'm pissed off.
Last night, I followed some of the links from this Jezebel article to the forums and /chans that Rodger frequented. What I saw disgusted me and disturbed me deeply. Post after post talking about the evils of feminism, women as beasts, as lesser than these pathetic, bottom-of-the-barrel scumbags for daring to have agency over our sexuality and our lives. These men, who style themselves incels, "involuntarily celibate," turn their unfulfilled desires into such hatred that it takes your breath away.
And to be honest, it doesn't scare me. It fills me with unspeakable rage. I can feel it threatening to burst out of my chest. It makes me want to scream and cry and break stuff. It takes me back to the days immediately following my own rape, when I was angry at everything and everyone, but myself most of all.
I dug up an old radio interview I did about my rape with a friend of mine from university and relistened to it. In it, I talk about not feeling anything about the experience anymore, but I don't think that's true. I do still feel it. And the thing that surprises me is that my anger has nothing to do with the man who raped me. I don't think about him at all. He is nothing to me. I'm angry about the way our society continues to treat rape and people who have been raped. Every time I hear the word rape used as a joke, or hear someone say that a woman deserved it, or that it's not that bad, I feel that anger surge up and I feel a little bit of what I felt the morning after.
I've been struggling with the idea of going public about my rape on Twitter (and by extension Facebook, since my accounts are linked) since #YesAllWomen started trending, but I don't think I'm ready to make myself so vulnerable at this moment. I have spoken about my experiences publicly before, at university events and online, but rarely to the people who actually know me. Few of my friends know about this. So I'm posting this here, because it still straddles for me that divide between public and private and because I feel like something's going to break if I don't get this out.
I know this is a difficult time for many of us who have survived rape, sexual assault and domestic violence, so if anyone needs a place to vent, feel free to do it here.