sabotabby: (furiosa)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Zoe Quinn's Tumblr post about why she dropped charges against the shitbag who's been making her life, and the lives of many women on the internet, a living hell, hit me really hard. Especially as I'm following the Ghomeshi trial, and the particularly odious Rosie DiManno columns where she calls out Ghomeshi's victims for not acting the way she'd like them to and not remembering trivial details from a traumatic event that happened years ago. I'm not linking to that.

Memory's tricky. Cops are coached about how to act on the witness stand, but I found out recently that in general, the Crown isn't allowed to coach witnesses, just the defence. The result is that women who testify against male abusers typically get torn apart, and that's part (though by no means all) of why rapists don't get convicted.

The games played on Quinn and on Ghomeshi's victims. I know these games. I have rarely posted publicly about my biological father, even in this little dead zone of the internet with my pseudonymity. But he used to play these memory games on me when we would fight about whatever. I would bring up an incident in which he'd been abusive, and he'd question me on these little irrelevant details, and thus make me doubt my own memories of the events. I think this is why I have difficulties remembering large swathes of my childhood. Reading about someone doing this to other women (was your hair up or down? What colour and model was the car?) is just beyond horrifying.

Quinn in particular hits home because she could be me. All she did was be a woman on the internet. She made stuff. It sounded like cool stuff, I dunno. It doesn't matter. She put herself out there as a creative person doing a thing, and some psycho from her past (ladies who date men, don't we all have at least one of those) rallied an army of misogynist slime to destroy her life and her family's lives.

And he's going to view this as a victory. They all will. Same if Ghomeshi gets off—doesn't matter if the criminal justice system doesn't determine innocence, just guilt, people are going to defend this guy and he's going to get to go on with his life while the victims' reputations will be tarnished forever.

I think Quinn is right to walk away from it all. The law isn't going to defend her. It was never meant to do that. You don't call the cops when you're raped, you don't expect them to understand Twitter, you can't possibly be that naïve anymore. The law exists to protect the already powerful and their property. And in the eyes of many, women are very much still the property of men.

Free speech only exists if a white guy wants to disparage those under him and escape criticism for it. Quinn's free speech doesn't get counted.

The message we're given, again and again, is to shut up. Unplug. Stay out of the public eye. If someone hurts you, acquiesce. Don't fight back. Don't take up space or make demands. Sit with our hands on our laps and hope that someone notices our purity and takes pity on us. It's not something I'm inclined to do, but then, it's not like it doesn't inform my life anyway.

My heart goes out to Quinn and to the women brave enough to testify against Ghomeshi. The system failed you. It was always meant to fail you.

Date: 2016-02-12 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] outcastspice.livejournal.com
Yeah, well said.

Date: 2016-02-12 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smhwpf.livejournal.com
It is sickening.

But he used to play these memory games on me when we would fight about whatever. I would bring up an incident in which he'd been abusive, and he'd question me on these little irrelevant details, and thus make me doubt my own memories of the events.

Ugh, gaslighting is a particuarly insidious form of abuse. So sorry you went through that. *hugs*

And very well said. So maybe the right answer to that "what about free speech?" thing is "It would be a great idea".

Date: 2016-02-13 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whatifoundthere.livejournal.com
The judge in the JG case, at least, seems to have his head screwed on pretty tight, and doesn't seem like he'll be easily snowed by Henein's sleazy moves. That may not (probably will not) be enough to bring justice about in this case, but if he acquits, we're hoping that he says in his decision that it's only because the burden of proof was not reached, and NOT because he fell for Henein's unbelievably disgusting attempts to wriggle around the rape shield law. God. That woman is a fucking monster.

Date: 2016-02-13 05:01 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (intellectual hottie (green))
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
The system failed you. It was always meant to fail you.

This is the bit that makes me angriest. All the rest is just details and examples. Horrible details, and examples that hurt real people. But until there is systematic change, it will keep happening.

Date: 2016-02-13 08:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karinmollberg.livejournal.com
Yes.

A dead woman is the gooder woman but I'm a rebel at my own hearth wishing there was no cause and one could have a bloody rest, sometime soon.

No (rest if female, ever).

(I'm writing to you but on another channel just haven't taken the time yet so just to say.)

Date: 2016-02-13 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] resonant.livejournal.com
What happened to Rosie DiManno? She was awesome until around 2001, when she got sued for libel for calling out a racist security guard. The court ruled that she was truthful, but unfair to the man. Then her whole attitude seemed to change, but that doesn't seem like enough to reverse her whole personality:

=========================================
dimanno_taking_aim_at_a_2b_boondoggle

Fifteen years ago, I witnessed a mall security guard beating the crap out of a homeless man. I called the cops and stayed till they arrived. The guard was never charged. Furious, I wrote a column about the incident. The guard sued me for libel.
Molloy was the judge at my trial and was decidedly unfriendly to the defence — which would be me. It was palpable that she did not have a high opinion of newspapers. The jury came back with a weird verdict: They found the facts to be true but nevertheless awarded $5,000 in damages because they decided the opinion expressed in the column was unfair; they didn’t like the language.

Date: 2016-02-13 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] browngirl.livejournal.com
This is so true and it makes me so angry. So fuckign angry.

Date: 2016-02-15 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-lee.livejournal.com
Here via browngirl. Your dad and my dad must've read the same rule book! (Though alas, in my case he's still stalking me online; I can't elude him without axing my fanbase. Man, how fun is that, knowing every post I make, he reads!) I too am aware of how easily I could end up like Quinn, and my heart goes out to her. I hope things get better for her.

Date: 2016-02-15 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-lee.livejournal.com
Has your child or ex-girlfriend been ungrateful?

Do you too wish you could reach into someone's mind and make it more to your liking?

Well, friend, have I got a book for you! Thought Reform for Dummies promises better behavior in three weeks flat, OR YOUR MONEY BACK! Whether it be through careful gaslighting, malnutrition, or sleep-deprivation, we'll have your ungrateful property marching to your beat in no time!

But wait! There's more! Sign up now, and we'll throw in a legal protections booklet absolutely FREE!

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