Friday, November 12, 2010

watching the whites of your eyes turn red

saddest life of just monday and friday bloggggggggs !

yesterday was, to say the least, a shitty day. i spent most of the day reading about rape and genocide and war, gendered violence during genocide and war, how/why rape is used as a tool to control and terrorize and destroy women during war, etc., which was rough, and then went to genocide class (which is a great class but always, uh, a downer?) and thennnnnnnnnn on my walk home, two dudes started saying weird fucked up shit about my body ! generally i don't react to stuff like this, but i told them to fuck off, and one "jokingly" said to the other, "we should rape her"

atomic bomb

i wasn't scared that they would do it- it was obviously a hilarious joke meant to intimidate and scare me, but at the same time like... howwww fuckingggg depresssinggggg that men know the weight a threat like that carries, and use that threat because they understand how that would terrify and intimidate and demean a woman ! misogyny, amirite??!?!! i have a lot more to say about this i guess but it's making me depressed to think about it.

on to less depressing news- genocide class was good last night. we covered cambodia and argentina, and watched the documentary new year baby, about a woman who was born in a refugee camp after the DK were overthrown- she goes back to cambodia with her parents and finds out the truth about what happened to them (and about her siblings). it was a great documentary, funny and sweet and gutwrenching and moving, and of course i was the only one crying (my professor cried a little too). this week we read why did they kill?: cambodia in the shadow of genocide by alexander hinton

why did they kill?

which was really readable (except for the part where he talks about eating someone's liver for like 6 pages), but the big thing for me this week was the article we had to read, "political violence in argentina and its genocidal characteristics" by daniel feierstein. i don't want to windbag too much about it, but the conclusion of the article absolutely floored me and helped me focus my research proposal a little. he was discussing the problem of calling the holocaust and the political violence in argentina in the late 70s/early 90s both genocides or genocidal, and made the point that he wasn't saying they were exactly the same or equal:

However, using the same concept does indeed mean that we suggest the existence of a connecting thread which makes reference to a technology of power in which the “denial of others” reaches its peak: their material disappearance (the disappearance of their bodies) and their symbolic disappearance (that of the memory of their existence). A technology of power in which, unlike war, this disappearance has an effect on the survivors: the denial of their own identity as the synthesis of a being and an action; the disappearance of a given form of articulation, precisely, between a way of being and a way of doing (a particular type of identity which is defined, like all others, through a particular way of living). That is the reason why the specificity of the term genocide appears only in the middle of the 20th century (and, in any case, the specificity of its historical practice towards the end of the 19th century), to designate a disappearance which exceeds the extermination resulting from a war, because it does not end with the deaths that it generates, but begins with them.


my paper is (loosely) going to be about rape and gendered violence against women during genocide and the way that these things are truly genocidal (something that most people associate with murder, and quantify with a body count) precisely because of the effect that they have on the living survivors of a targeted group, and his quote sort of articulated how i feel about... what i want to say. i've been thinking about it since we watched my neighbor, my killer in class, where several women who survived rape and witnessing the murders of their partners and family and children repeatedly referred to the genocidaires as "our killers," even though they were alive.

um, enough about genocide. and rape. i bought some boots? this is also kind of a bummer because i betrayed my "i don't buy accessories from stores that don't sell plus size clothing" thing to get them, and i'll probably have a crisis of conscience and return them.


they're backordered for now butttttt i will keep you guys posted on how well i stick to my guns here.

um, what else? reading for school, writing for school, sleeping, eating canned soup from cvs, petting some cats. weirdo has been valiantly helping me study:


sorry this entry is so disjointed, i'm exhausted and antsy and stressed right now, and i uh, had a crappy day yesterday. this weekend = grocery shopping, reading, mouse? maybe getting to bro down with mouse's nephew?

p.s. right now for class i'm reading s: a novel about the balkans by slavenka drakulic, and this week is gendercide week, soooooo this will be a grim week.
p.p.s. yesterday i bought used copies of the books: rape warfare, mass rape, and gender & catastrophe for my paper. seriously, this will be a really grim week.


  1. I am so sorry that happened to you. It makes me so steam out of the ears angry every time I hear or read about this happening to a woman, let alone someone I know.

    When I lived in Baltimore I was leaving for work super early one morning and a guy on the street slapped my ass as I walked by. I hurled around and yelled something like "Don't ever fucking touch me again!" (something totally on impulse, I didn't think at all) and then he came over and started screaming in my face about how he was going to rape me and if I didn't like that shit, to leave the neighborhood. It was horrible and shaking to say the least but what shook me up maybe the most was that after our little encounter, I walked by another guy who had witnessed the whole thing and what did he do? Catcalled me.

    I felt at that moment like every man was a predator in disguise.

    Anyway, to shift topics, I love those boots. They are "sharp" as my late grandmother Ruth would say.

  2. I know I need to stop recommending reading to you because there is only so much one can fit in a term paper, but: if you want to write about how genocide is manifested in more than just physical death, then it might be worth looking up some of the debates about "cultural genocide" and "social death" etc. (There should be some stuff in the Journal of Genocide Research or you can just search Jstor.) Because what you're saying is definitely part of a larger argument that says, "look, genocide is about more than just killing people", and the whole issue of rape and the symbolic death of women through gendered violence fits into that argument really well. I will shut up now.

    (PS - I am actually really obsessed right now with finding value-neutral ways of "comparing" genocides that do not imply hierarchies of suffering; this is a problem that has plagued the field. If you come across anything like that, let me know!)

  3. anna, i'm one step ahead of you ! i actually like.. just found out about JSTOR the other day and have been saving pdfs like crazy, probably faster than my brain can ever read. i resent the fact that i'm taking another class, even, because i don't want to read about that ! i will let you know if i find anything about that- it's sort of vexing that people get hung up on like... what is a worse way to be destroyed and making it into a pissing contest (and since i started that adam jones book i'm like #@)#(*@*#()# cartoon curse words).

    carla, i'm sorry that happened to you. lyfe sux.

  4. I don't even know what the "advanced" way to process anything like this is. It makes me immediately want to go around cutting dicks off of everyone and letting them bleed to death. It makes me sad I am dating a guy, even if the guy I date has told me he's so flipped out about the number of guys he thinks would actually rape someone if they thought they could guarantee not getting caught and is floored by how much of an asshole he thinks mankind is at large in that area.

    I feel like it's also hard to balance when to say something. If I'm holding my tongue because I can't be bothered with the mental energy, fine. But if I'm holding my tongue because I fear retribution, how well is holding my tongue working anyway, in the big picture?

    I feel like everyone who is woman-identified should be equipped with a mandatory flame-thrower.

  5. jesse, i couldn't agree more. it's seriously like... frustrating and depressing and i hate the helpless feeling of like... being physically intimidated into silence and being left with zero way to defend myself against this stuff- hence why my brain turns to castration and vaporizing. ugh.

  6. is it gendercide if you lead an extermination campaign against misogynists?