Siren Song Like a War Cry

a call to arms; an open letter to allies

I was once in love with a beautiful boy with the brightest green eyes I’ve ever seen. He was kind and gentle. He was filled with passion, always talking about bringing about the revolution, the destruction of oppression and the fall of capitalism. He wanted to save the world. He taught me about love, and freedom. He taught me to love my body, my soul, and to search for freedom amidst terrible oppression. He gave me feminism, and I ran with it. I loved him with every particle of my being.

One night, he raped me. Whereas some memories fall to the wayside of time, become blurry and less distinct as others line up to take its place, the events of that night are etched into my soul forever. We were in the bathroom. He had just gotten out of the shower, and I was standing near the tub as he dried off. I can still feel his breath hot on the back of my neck as he told me to bend over, hands already pulling down my pajamas. I told him no. I didn’t feel safe in the bathroom, the door was missing a panel and anyone who walked by could see what was going on. The light was harsh, I didn’t like the way my body looked underneath its unforgiving blaze, I was scared and uncomfortable. I told him no. His hand pressed down upon my back and demanded that I bend over. I didn’t resist. How could I hit someone I loved so much? He didn’t stop. I let him rape me. When he finally relented, it was because I begged for him to stop.

When we got back to the room that we had shared for over a year, he told me that I played into it. That somehow my hard learned defense mechanisms of freezing, begging, making myself as small as possible, shielding myself in the places I did not wish to be touched, was somehow an act of consent. I spent six months in silence. I still slept with him because now I knew that consent was optional, not a requirement. Every night, I’d simply float away from my body so as not to feel his poisonous touch. He never spoke of it. He never asked.

He was an anarchist, a revolutionary. He vowed to destroy patriarchy and oppression, yet embodied oppression within himself. He allowed it to harbor there unchallenged and unchecked, making countless excuses and avoiding accountability. I have no doubt in my mind that my rape was a direct result of my uncompromising approach to challenging oppression within our relationship. In the weeks leading up to our encounter in the bathroom, I had been challenging his privilege and accountability every day. My partner blamed it on passion. He told me that he didn’t mean to, it was simply a mistake. But it was clear to me that he made an example of me. He chose to rape me in a place that was public, so as all could see the fate of women who challenge the dominance of men.

This is a call to arms. This is a reminder to every man who has ever forgotten what women are sacrificing to confront patriarchy. This is for every man who doesn’t tell his friends not to use the word bitch. This is to every man who lets a woman stand alone, fighting against her oppression. This is to every man who doesn’t get there first.

We are being raped. We are being raped and murdered by your comrades, your friends, your brothers. And you are silent.

Men don’t get raped for calling out their comrades. Remember that, and act.


3 Comments so far
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This is a really tragic tale. As someone who identifies as an anarchist, I’m ashamed to be affiliated with this rapist. You’re absolutely right about patriarchy; anarchists must seek to dismantle this form of domination with the same tenacity with which they seek to dismantle capitalism (I actually posted a recent blog about this). This rapist is certainly not an anarchist, as he of course did not practice what he preaches.

And patriarchy finds its way into language with words like “Bitch” and “Cunt.” Take the word “Cunt.” A slang-word for female genitalia has become the ultimate cuss word. WTF? I will do my part, as I do, and bust my comrades chops when they use patriarchal, anti-feminist, and anti lgbtq, language. I’m sorry for what you went through, comrade.

Comment by comradshaw

Some guys who talk and believe in revolutionary things are sometimes really immature, and have pretty basic ideas of what it means. That said, even radicals who have written books and who may be professors at some university are like this. I don’t know what it is, some just act on impulse, a kind of raging impulse for an insurrectional moment, that can also be an impulse for sex too. I’m sorry this happened.

Comment by lettrist

i’ve been increasingly surprised and simultaneously alarmed by the lack of safe(r) space and prevalence of oppressive -isms in my community.

it’s even more difficult when it comes from people you care about and expect better of.

i guess i am just really feeling the lack of a true radical community here in my town right now, even in my own household. it is a culture that simply doesn’t exist here and fostering its growth is extremely difficult and i feel very isolated and alone in the task. but i’ve always been adamant that i need to ultimately stay here, in the long run, because i firmly believe that a sense of place and an intimacy with one’s land base is an essential aspect of any true and effective resistance. so i am committed to fostering the growth of a radical, revolutionary community here, rather than running off to some city where the “scene” already exists, as so many of our most radicalized community members have

i’ve become a lot more sensitive to the word “bitch” and one of the things that i have noticed here is that the women around our house use the word just as much as if not more than the men. it’s difficult enough to call out the men on their speech and behavior and it’s damn near impossible to be taken seriously by the women around here about it since it’s coming from me, a male-bodied and identified individual. as a “cis hetero male” i feel kinda disempowered (and frankly, helpless isolated) in addressing these issues within my community.

solidarity, compañer@.

Comment by Dirty Hands

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