To read an excerpt from the book, please click on the following link:

ashaveilbook.blogspot.com


Friday, January 03, 2014

That Which Blames

One way to keep the worries from the threshold is to research and write my new science fiction novel, The Gospel of Demeter (originally The Book of Jezebel, but Jezebel is now a warrior queen in the book and a minor character.  Demeter and Persephone are the main sustaining social myths that my futuristic society is based upon).  I like it for the cycle of birth and death, and rebirth that this myth illumines. 

I've been researching topics regarding matrilineal societies, and in the course of it, found a very sad but also powerful and hopeful site called Women Under Siege Project.  It can be found here:

http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org

This article particularly struck me; I will excerpt some of it here and post the link.  One of my characters is a rape survivor who has never been able to tell her story.  The first person she tells her story to is a stranger from the Demeter world, where rape and sexual abuse does not exist.  I definitely will have the idea of a "cult of antisocial masculinity" in the Demeter world's dim past (which brings in Jezebel the warrior queen who runs the mean guys off):

http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/eight-reasons-why-victim-blaming-needs-to-stop-writers-activists-and-surviv

I excerpt it here.  I hope for a world where one day, such things are in the distant past.
 
Silencing the witness
It’s important to remember that the phenomenon of victim-blaming is not just prevalent in rape. It’s the method by which people in power protect and maintain support for their coercive and criminal activities, a method that turns people against their own best interests and against themselves.
Victim-blaming occurs predominantly in issues of class. Regardless of your gender, race, age, sexuality, if you are poor you are seen as responsible for your poverty. No system put you there; according to the dominant culture, your hunger, your homelessness are your own problems.
There is also this common notion that rape is the only crime where the responsibility falls on the victim to avoid and prevent their brutalization by the hands of another. But this is also false. Crimes such as the systematic, institutionally sanctioned theft of fair wages, health care, food, shelter, and education are perpetrated and go unpunished because of this “victim responsibility” model. It’s up to you not to starve, to budget to the last penny, to manage your wage cuts so that corporate shareholders can afford their second homes.
The real function of victim-blaming is not simply to take focus away from the perpetrators, but to make sure that those who could help the victim don’t. Make sure they believe whatever has transpired is simply inevitable. Women have always been raped and will always be raped unless they do something themselves to stop it. The poor will always be poor unless they pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
Victim-blaming creates irresponsible cowards.
It creates a world where there are no perpetrators, where those who have been harmed live in shame and those who witness remain silent. It is an essential part of the cult of antisocial masculinity.
And it’s time to take a good long look at that cult. It’s time to bring it down.

Cara Hoffman