Friday, 30 March 2012

Internet! Internet! OMG INTERNET!

I've got internet! Wheeeee! No this isn't some kind of alternate reality timey-wimey situation of me having turned into the sort of person who points at the sky when a plane goes overhead (mind you, did a fair bit of that when Trainboy was little and obsessed with helicopters). Basically, due to no money, we have had No Internet for over a week. And it was horrible.

Now I'm quite old. I spent my teens and my twenties in a world where they Hadn't Invented the Internet, and I didn't die or anything. There were books. There was going to one club and picking up a load of flyers at the end of the night inviting you to other clubs of a similar nature. There was the phone to huddle over for hours wittering aimlessly at my friends with only periodic interruptions from one or other parent reminding me that they might want to use the phone as well. There was keeping a diary and pretending to be reluctant to let other people read it.

But these days, having No Internet is miserable, alienating, almost crippling. You don't know what anyone else is doing, even if they mean to tell you, because you can't get at your email, or your Facebook. You haven't got an almost-instant answer to any weird question your offspring hurl at you. You can't work out the way to get from one side of London to the other on buses (because you can't afford to go by train) without roaming round every suburb you ever heard of.

Thank fuck for internet cafes. Particularly the cheap rubbish one up the road, who see me stumble through the doors and whip out the portable disc thingy all ready for me, now that they have had a week of me whining that none of their in-situ disc drivers work.

Mind you, internet cafes are getting... well, does anyone remember when they were really EXCITING? And you could get cappucinos and cupcakes and even a beer or two while you logged onto Usenet or sent a tentative E-Mail to a friend on the other side of the world? These days you have to step over the pitbulls to get to a terminal,and generally sit between someone negotiating the full horror of an online loan company's interest rate or someone trying to word a drug-selling ad that won't get them chucked off Ebay.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Time for a bit of feminism

You have been warned, well you will have been warned if you read the introductory bit, that this blog might sometimes smell of feminism. If the possibility bothers you then feel free to fuck off. And not come back.

I would also like to observe good online manners here and advise that the following might be distressing, so if you are sensitive (and I am going to use the phrase Trigger Warning), you might want to skip this post and maybe read the funny ones instead. Here's a harmless picture if you need to hop off the page quickly.

Anyway, in the light of the Mumsnet We Believe You campaign
(I would link but I am stupid tonight and can't make links work)
Here's some thoughts about rape, and rape myths.

I haven't been raped. Yet. One in four women have, which means it might happen before I die. Not having been raped yet doesn't mean I'm better, smarter, tougher than those women who have. Nor does it mean I'm uglier. I've just been luckier so far. I haven't met a rapist.
I've gone out, worn skimpy clothes and heels, got apocalyptically drunk and walked home alone. I've been lucky, I didn't meet a rapist.
I've crashed out at house parties surrounded by drunk men, but they weren't rapists.
I've snogged men, danced with them, laughed with them, invited them into my home and let them stay over despite only having known them a couple of hours, but they haven't been rapists.
I've started having sex with men, realised I haven't got a condom, or I feel sick, or for whatever reason I just don't want to carry on, so I've asked them to stop, and they've stopped. Because they were not rapists.

If I had, at any point over the years, been raped, it wouldn't have been because of anything I did or didn't do. It would have been because a man who was present at the time was a rapist.

One in four women will be raped at some point. That doesn't mean one in four men are rapists. Most men are not rapists, but rapists don't do it just the once because they 'got carried away' or they 'misread the signals' or because of anything the woman said or did. That minority of men who rape are rapists, and they will do it again and again and again. Because they are rapists, and all the shame attached to rape belongs to THEM and not those they hurt. They are the Epic Fails of humanity and a blight on the world.

So if you were unlucky enough to meet one of them, it was not your fault. I believe you. You did nothing wrong, you were just unlucky enough to find yourself in the presence of a rapist.