Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Horror: My Adventure in FetLife Rape Culture




I feel very alone in the world right now.

When it became clear to me that nothing was going to change at the Scary Party (The owners had given me lip service about improving safety but The Man was kept as head of security) I decided to post my story on the local public Fet forums. When followed was a terrible experience that is in many ways more frightening than the original violation/harassment.

I don’t usually wade into internet discussions—I’ve never been awesome at filtering out feedback, so it’s just a recipe for hurt. But I knew I was going to feel guilty unless I did everything I could to warn people that this might happen to them if they go.

Here’s what I learned:

1. The owner announced that he never really took my story seriously because The Man broke up with me during the process of me reporting it. He told them I was making up details because I was heartbroken. They claimed to have been having an “investigation” but that really amounted to just finding ways to dismiss the story.

2. The Man is still claiming that I “consented” mid-scene and everyone seems to be accepting that, even though he was breaking pre-negotiated limits and breaking the party’s own rules. The creepiest part was when he said “She said she was enjoying it.” That doesn’t make it any more consensual!

3. The number of doms who run that party and are willing to attack me and try to keep me silent went up significantly. One woman yelled at me for “muddying the investigation” by saying what happened to me--shouldn’t my point of view have been part of the investigation in the first place?

4. More than one person read the post and decided that the real problem was me cross-posting.

5. Lots of people who told me it was my fault because I hadn’t called red. What is the point of negotiating if it’s okay for the dom to do whatever he wants anyway?  I said in the post that I wished I had called red, but that I was in subspace and my voice was (non-consensually) restricted. A few people said that he’d done wrong, but they were far outnumbered by people who told me to quit whining, just get used to it, it happens to everybody. It was mostly ladies yelling at me in this way.

6. The part that made me laugh the most was when The Man asked me what he could do to “make amends” Um, stop lying about what happened?

7. Even my “friend” who wrote to send me support made it clear that she had no quarrel with the venue itself.

8. Sweetie wrote the most beautiful post in my defense. I love her so much and I hope someday soon that I can be able to feel the warmth of my own home again.

Right now, it seems as though the entire local community is attacking me and telling me that my safety is not worth protecting. It seems like there is not a safe place anywhere in the world. People work so hard to protect the rights of predators, they argue so hard against anyone who tries to change things, it’s hard to imagine things ever getting better.

I wish that I would have had the sense to break up with him right away. I can’t explain why I didn’t, except that he seemed to understand what he’d done wrong and I liked him a lot. I wish I had just gotten myself home that night, reported the incident, and put myself to bed, but I didn’t. I tried to stay close to someone who’d showed me he didn’t think I was worthy of care. It doesn’t make me deserve what happened, but I hate that it wrecked my credibility and made it less likely that something would be done.

The amount of crazymaking doublethink that came from The Man and the rest of the posters makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to participate publicly in kink again.

I did everything I could do. I stood up to dom after dom in those conversations. I overcame the desire to be a good girl that has kept me silent in the past. Maybe that’s enough to break the pattern, to keep me from putting myself in harm’s way again.

It’s a beautiful spring day. The leaves on the trees are budding and we have the whole weekend to ourselves. I am going to try to stay away from Fet’s black background, both literally and metaphorically. I deserved a safe place to play, to be as happy and cared for as anyone else there. Even if nobody else believes that, I do.

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