I must have sat down to write this blog post about 100 times. I volleyed back and forth between a sarcastic "oh, hey there Spring. way to take your fucking time getting here", and something all profound, perhaps a little floral and romantic and shit because today marks my eleventh anniversary with The Boy.
You'll have to excuse me for nixing both openings. This is not to say that I'm not ecstatic that Spring finally got her shit together and showed up for work. Tardy, much? This Spring, especially, is shaping up to be the best yet. I'm off to NYC for some serious girl time in a couple of weeks, a trip that I couldn't possibly be more excited for. Then, we open up the cottage for another fantastic summer. In early June, we are gathering all of our closest friends together at the cottage for a big weekend party to properly celebrate The Boy's birthday. Then we're off on a road trip to see the National play (twice in 24 hours, YES). We're in the process of purchasing a 7-seater SUV so that we can properly christen this summer the "Summer of the Road Trip". We have so many little plans in the works with various amazing people and I can't wait to get started.
This is also not to say that I'm not excited/surprised/relieved to have made it eleven years with The Boy. I/we are profoundly lucky. This relationship has really become a lesson in dichotomies. Every year gets both harder and easier. Quieter and more passionate. Softer and so much harsher. It's both saved me and broken me to the core. And I know that I can't/won't live any other way. There's no life for me that doesn't involve me standing by his side. I won't cross these streets until he holds my hand.
But, unfortunately, these thoughts have taken a backseat in my mind. There's something much more frantic and pressing on my mind as of late and it's accompanied by a quiet, growing rage. I'm trying to pull all of my thoughts and emotions into a proper essay on this subject, but I think that that may take some time, so I will open up the discussion with myself in this blog post and hope that this shames me into getting my thoughts down on paper.
If you've been out for drinks with me lately, you will have noticed my one-track mind, preoccupied with the growing number of stories about the very public rape of teenaged girls (let's be clear: if these things could be measured, which they can't, documenting the rape and cowardly sharing it electronically with everyone in the community is even worse than committing the assault in the middle of the street), the refusal of the justice system to act (especially in the face of a significant amount of evidence), the inevitable slut-shaming and bullying that follows, and the too-often tragic consequence of the victim taking her own life (or becoming otherwise destroyed emotionally). There are five high profile cases in North America that I'm keeping track of, including one that I'm helping with, which keeps me awake at night and in a daze most of the day.
What's been most disturbing to me has been the response of so-called liberal, well-educated, thoughtful people, some of whom are my friends or acquaintances (since social media is one of my sources of society's responses to this new twist on rape). It's really been in the backdrop of the actions of Anonymous (which I wholly support) that I've started questioning the assumptions of so many. I guess I thought (naively) that feminism had come further, that more people thought critically about how sexist this entire set-up is. People who realized that this is only being touted as a "careful" balancing act between privacy interests and the rights of victims because this is a crime in which the majority of victims are women. This isn't an issue that *often* adversely affects men. It's clear in the way that the accused are being described, in the way that the victims are being portrayed, in the words being used to effectively shut down discussion of this subject*, in the almost complete lack of critical analysis of society's response to these crimes, that people just aren't getting that it is our lack of a genuine response to this violence that makes the effects of these crimes so devastating.
*(it is likely that people will spend more time focusing on the recent tragedy at the boston marathon than they did on this issue in the past few weeks. both are horrifying, tragic crimes which serve only to harm innocent victims. but why do people find it easier to talk candidly about the horror of a public bombing than the horror of sexual violence? some crimes are understood as obviously wrong and tragic, the victims clearly defined; and yet others, those arguably much more personal, are seen as so much more complicated and pushed to the margins.)
listening to: the national ~ don't swallow the cap