Well well well. It looks like Time Magazine, the publication we recently completely owned with some sweet double trolling, has once again put it’s big fat foot in in it’s big fat mouth. In its most recent fail, a woman named Caroline “Get Back In The” Kitchen published what can only be described as a sexual assault on logic and reason.
Caroline calls for an end to the recent ‘Rape Culture Hysteria’ that has extended beyond feminist circles and entered the mainstream. She’s talking of course about the popularity of editorializing on the “rapeyness” of certain elements of our culture. She cites as examples: the opposition to Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, criticisms of Barbie’s appearance, and the removal of the statue of a half nude man at Wellesley College that was deemed triggering for sexual assault survivors. Even the term “rapey” itself is something that has only recently entered common parlance –- the idea that something can be evocative of rape, despite its intentions or literal meaning.
While I agree with Caroline’s underlying sentiment that we seem more focused on the idea of battling “rape culture” rather than actual rape, I fail to see why that is a problem. What I’m saying is, why are you demonizing hysteria itself? Hysteria is a good thing.
I’m tired of the world telling women that they can’t be hysterical. Women are inherently hysterical, much more so than men, and the main goal of feminism is abolishing the patriarchal systems that require us to subdue innately female characteristics. Disallowing hysteria is the equivalent of calling for an end to burping and scratching. That wouldn’t be fair, would it? I don’t tell you how to watch football, don’t tell me how to think of the children. Real feminism embraces the idea of women running around accusing everyone of rape, disregarding legal consequences, and creating moral panic. Telling us not to do that is like telling us to shave our armpits or our legs. We women curb our hysteria because we’re socially inculcated to do so, not because we want to.
As a woman, I love fainting. It’s a secret that the patriarchy keeps buried, but every time you faint you kill a couple of brain cells. This is the same chemical process behind getting fucked up, one of my other favorite activities. Every time a woman is confronted with a situation that is too vulgar for her delicate sensibilities, her brain ‘menstruates’ neurons, and she is carried away to a blissful, subconscious fantasy land through the feminine power of the vapors. Fainting in response to rape culture is inherently feminist, and it’s something they took away from us. Fainting used to be a big part of hysteria, but if you look at this distilled, commodified form of hysteria we have now, you can see how things are actually just getting worse for women.
The problem with looking at rape as a serious crime that we already have laws against, is that it does little to combat the problem of social inequality between men and women. No matter what, a woman will never be able to rape a man, and because of this, we can never have true equality simply by criminalizing rape in whatever form it exists. Even when a crime isn’t happening, there still exists a fear that the crime could happen, which creates victims on its own. This is the main idea behind rape culture. Men will never be able to experience this fear, whereas women live in it. The only way to balance that equation -– to create true equality -– is to bring about a world where both men and women live in the same amount of fear. This the essence behind hysteria. It’s a natural feminine response to gender inequality that helps shift cultures and perceptions when justice and logic fail.
That’s why we need hysteria. We need to point fingers left and right. We need to write think pieces about absolutely everything we can. See a commercial you don’t like? Cry rape. Your boss smiles at you? That’s sexual harassment. Stub your toe on a bookshelf? IKEA is a rape company that makes foot raping rapeshelves designed to harm women. Everything is rape until every man fears us as much as we fear them.
We need to promote the idea that innocence, much like gender itself, is simply a social construct. It’s not something that needs to be decided in a court of law, and it’s not something that needs to be tied to strict definitions of crimes. Creating a world where men fear labels as much as women fear rape is the only way to create a truly equal society that can make real progress, and the only way to do that is by encouraging hysteria. When you take away a woman’s right to cry foul and infer bad intention, you cut off the closest thing she has to a dick. Let’s get crazy, ladies. Let’s fix the world.