Hestia_Jones1

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About Hestia_Jones1

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  • Gender identity
    Female
  • Membership Type
    Survivor
  • Location
    United States
  1. I'm a feminist, and I've considered myself one ever since I heard the true definition: people who want equality between any and all genders (not man haters). I pay attention to feminist discussions both in person and online, and this viewpoint has now passed being a mere annoyance and started making me really angry. I'm tired of people saying that SA in situations where either a man is a victim or a woman is a perpetrator are somehow not as bad or not as worthy of discussion. I'm tired of people assuming by default that perpetrators are men and that victims are women, and saying that this is not an issue for men because men are not "systemically oppressed". I'm not a male survivor, but I am a survivor of CSA that was done by a woman. Somehow, when I deal with the memories and broken thoughts that resulted from this, it doesn't help or comfort me that the majority of these cases are committed by men. In fact, it hurt me for many years to hear people saying that these less common SA situations were not as worth discussing or paying attention to, because they were less common. Hearing these things made me feel like I was a freak, that there must be something truly wrong with me to have experienced this if so few other people did. I did not even realize until I told someone else about it that it was CSA, because I couldn't put it together in my head that it was still wrong if it was done by a woman. I am also a survivor of CSA committed by a man, and even though my female perpetrator hurt me for a longer period of time, even though she damaged me more psychologically, I have a harder time accepting that what she did was indeed CSA. A lot of survivors that I've talked to who are male, have been hurt by female perpetrators, or both, have said similar things. The thing that bothers me most about this: I think that had it been more known and talked about that women can also commit SA, my female perpetrator would have been more aware that what she was doing was wrong. I really wish it was an issue that was taught about and taught about more. I remember that in videos about SA, sexual harassment, and domestic violence that we watched at school, men were always shown as the perpetrators and women were always shown as the victims. There are a lot of movies and books that portray SA and domestic violence where men are the perpetrators and women are the victims, but I can count on my fingers the amount of movies and books that portray something else. Yes, one can argue that that situation happens more often statistically. However, does the fact that fewer people die from being struck by lightning than in car accidents stop schools from teaching kids how to stay safe in a lightning storm? Does the fact that shark attacks are rare stop movies like Jaws from being made or from gaining audiences? I see this a lot. The documentary "The Invisible War" about sexual violence in the U.S. military spends about fifteen minutes focusing on male survivors, even though there are more incidents of men being assaulted in the military. When the internet news station called "The Young Turks" aired a story about a thirteen-year-old boy who was sexually assaulted by a female teacher, they kept calling him "lucky" because the perpetrator was "hot". When the ABC show called "What Would You Do" (which has actors play out a scenario and watch how people seeing the situation respond) had actors portray a woman physically abusing her male partner, witnesses either ignored the situation or even said that it was probably the man's fault. When the same show portrayed a preteen boy being sexually harassed by his young female tutor, witnesses commented that the boy was "lucky" for receiving that kind of attention. This is horrendous and needs to stop. In short, I'm tired of people, especially feminists, throwing around the fact that SA is most often committed by men and experienced by women as an excuse to say that other types of situations are not as worthy of attention or that they're not as bad. I'm tired of so-called feminists accusing those who try to discuss the fact that men are also sexually assaulted of being Men's Rights Activists. I'm tired of the situation being treated as some sort of Oppression Olympiad where even when men share their stories of domestic and sexual violence, they are dismissed by being told that women still have it worse in the grand scheme of things. By doing that, society is silencing the many people who are survivors of SA who are not female or who were not assaulted by men. And when the welcome message from Pandy's has to reassure male survivors and people who have been hurt by women that they do belong here, I know that it is a big problem in society. So thank you Pandy's, for acknowledging that is a real problem and for creating such a welcoming and safe space for survivors that society forgets about and mocks. Sorry about the rambly nature of this blog. I just woke up.
  2. Why I Laugh

    I've been scared to post about this, because people, especially on this forum are understandably vehemently against this concept. And I know why. I've been scared to do this for a while, and I certainly would not advocate that everyone try this.However, hear me out on this: I've found it helpful to make jokes about what happened to me. Not about others, no way. That's their story. But when I find a way to laugh about my past, it genuinely helps me deal with it. As I've said, I've been terrified to share this. I'm worried I'll get shunned, or that people might even stop believing that my story is true (people with hard pasts aren't ever supposed to laugh or be happy, or so people think). But I'm tired right now, and my inhibitions are smaller than usual, so here goes. A few months ago, my boyfriend introduced me to Christopher Titus' standup. I was absolutely blown away by how brilliant it was: suddenly, his past- which would be horrifying to the average person and would get DCF in his house faster than an ant on a piece of food on the floor- was funny! It was hilarious! And in a way, it seemed to help him. Humor has always been valuable to me. I'm a very sarcastic person, and laughter has always helped me deal with nerves- whenever I've done singing performances, I've always cracked a couple of jokes when I've first gotten to the microphone. Not only does it relax the audience, but it relaxes me- suddenly, this event, where I have to sing in front of a lot of people and might strum a wrong note or forget the words seems like less of a big deal. In the same way, I have learned from Titus to in a way laugh in the face of the scary things in my past. I have learned something similar from John Cheese, a writer on Cracked.com, who routinely talks about the very difficult life events he has faced: child abuse, poverty, divorce, alcoholism. He is one of those writers that is honest, throws out harsh truths and tough emotions, making you cry and be angry, while making you laugh until your stomach hurts. As he puts it, "This may just be my own warped sense of humor, but I’ve always been a fan of dark comedy. I think that every good comedian I’ve ever seen has something deeply wrong with him in some form or another. They don’t all put it out there in the limelight, but it’s there, torturing them when everyone else has left the room. Mocking them from the closet when the lights go out. The majority of us have that to varying degrees, but it’s not something we’re all comfortable talking about...It’s so dark when you look at it from that perspective, but damn if I don’t find it funny, regardless." Much like Cheese, when I was a kid, I did not know that what was happening to me was wrong. I knew I hated it, but I thought it was something adults did, even though I was too scared to talk about it. When the harsh reality hit me just a couple of years ago, I did not know how to make sense of it in my head. So, this thing that happened...it's not normal? It's not my fault, even when my perpetrators used to say that it was? Tragedy is a concept to describe something so outlandish, so ridiculous, so incomprehensible, that we cannot explain and never know quite how to deal with it. What is the other concept that definition describes? Oh, right, comedy. By laughing and coming up with jokes about what happened to me, I can truly establish to myself that I will not find meaning or reason behind it. That trying to figure out why it happened, or how it could happen is like trying to understand a Monty Python sketch- something so crazy and sick that it defies explanation. When I joke about my abuse, it's also a way for me to approach this horrible thing that eats me up and makes me feel awful about myself and not have to cry about it. I can think about it, talk about it, and not have to be scared of it. And when I am scared of it, I feel as though it has power over me. By laughing and coming up with one liners, it is as though I am saying to everything has happened. "Yeah, I'm in control now. You think you have control over me? Think again, I'm actually laughing at you, that's how not in control of me you are!" As you've guessed from my user name, I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter, and when I think about the concept I'm writing about here, I think about the fact that what finishes a Boggart is laughter. The way Neville gets rid of the Boggart in the third book, which has assumed the form of professor Snape, someone who terrifies him (as he should- NO SPOILERS) is by laughing in his face. And that is what I do by laughing about my abuse: I paint it as something ridiculous, dress it in my grandmother's clothes, if you will. Then, I am not scared of it as much. I really hope that I do not lose my friends on here or get kicked out of Pandy's for this. I do need this place, I need the support when I am in a bad place. I hope I don't offend anyone with this post, and if I do, I will take it right down. It'll disappear- POOF! I just wanted to share a way that I deal with the stress, fear, and sadness that I experience. It may not work for other people, but it sure works for me. EDIT: Wow, I'm so happy at the response. I guess I was a little too paranoid when I wrote this last night.