I read this post over at Feministe and I want to say that I agree with her that it’s not clear that more men are being raped in this country than women. I also agree that that number is a lot closer than anyone thought, though.

And here’s the thing–those people eventually come home, most of them.  And we already do a shitty job of helping  rape victims reintegrate into society, usually demanding of them some admission of what they did wrong to deserve being raped. It’s impossible not to see similar attitudes in our society toward prisoners. Rape is basically seen as the inevitable outcome of going to prison.

I also read this article about how birth control is basically one of the biggest changes in human history and how it’s going to take a century or two for people to really work out what it means. I do sometimes thing that some guys feel like they were promised a world in which they’d be allowed to do whatever they want and some gals feel like they were promised that, if they were good, they’d be protected from the guys who are allowed to do really bad things to, you know, people who deserve it. And I think that some people are pissed that they’re being told “no” and I think some people feel like they’re being left unprotected. But turning on the rest of us isn’t going to get you what you were promised. It was always already a lie.

Ha ha ha. Score one for me for using “always already” in a way that doesn’t feel clunky. I won’t attempt a “problematize,” since there’s simply no way to make that word actually mean something more profound than “makes me have conflicted thoughts I haven’t organized.”

7 thoughts on “Everyone

  1. If you “problematize” something, then you invariably have to “unpack” it. I hate that one, too, with a violence all out of proportion. Can’t they just talk about something, without making it sound like a camping trip?

  2. Oh, no, Jess. I hate “problematize” but I love “unpack.” To me, it’s suggestive of an idea or situation or object that is just so full of meanings that you can keep pulling stuff out of it and being fascinated by them. Or being horrified by them, of course, in some cases.

  3. nm, you’re making me think of a post-op patient pulling yards and yards of gauze out of his nose. It doesn’t increase my fondness for the word. :)

  4. If I’ve signed on to watch someone think aloud — and I really want to watch the process — I’m good with problematizing and unpacking etc…but the person who can really pull that off in interesting ways is rare.

    In my field, what happens all too often is scholars — especially women — avoid taking ownership of their own analysis and theoretical inclinations and instead adopt a pose of analytic irresolution (or as is commonly said “leaving x and y in tension”) rather than to draw a conclusion that they don’t want to fully think through or defend. It has come to be an alienating form of academic self-pleasuring and a method of deflecting critique.

  5. I have mixed feelings about “unpack.” I honestly don’t mind when “unpack” is used before an actual attempt to unpack. But I have noticed a small, but undying, usage in which the scholar notes that there’s a lot that needs to be unpacked about x but she is interested in talking about y, when y seems to me to obviously hinge on x.

    Like, if there’s a lot going on in an instance that has to do with race, that needs to be unpacked but the scholar wants to focus on gender so that’s all she’s going to look at. As if there’s nothing in the “race” suitcase that could be of interest to the people looking in the “gender” suitcase.

    I get annoyed if you tell me about something interesting that you’re not going to talk about because it’s too big to address (then don’t bring it up or find a way to bring up the pertinent parts), but I lose faith in your writing if you want to acknowledge and then ignore something you obviously shouldn’t.

    Bridgett, I have seen grown women in academia with the verbal “I don’t know but…” tick. “I don’t know, but Thomas Jefferson seems to have owned slaves.” They are facts. You can relate facts without couching your terms! And I can see that it is a verbal tick, like how some people are always “ummm…” or “like…”

    But man, I hate to think why that was developed as a defense mechanism in the first place! Or what it models to students about the ability of women to actually command facts.

  6. I like “unpack” when someone is engaged in doing the unpacking. Either as a demonstration to me, or asking me to help in doing it. I don’t see it as a way of deflecting attention or avoiding responsibility in those circumstances.

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