Being happy to admit you are bigot is not really common, but I acknowledge I have held views that have been very successfully challenged, because I am reasonably educated I accept being challenged and I am grateful when someone shows me the error of my ways, or challenges my preconceived notions.
My awakening to being bigot was during an Open University lecture, we were talking about the commodification of women in advertising, and it was the realisation that I had accepted the information fed to me that woke me up to the world of bigotry, well my world of bigotry; from there – so the hymn goes:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.
and my shackles fell off etc etc.
Many instances I have been forced to confront the feelings that challenge my inner belief of socialism, and I am still getting there. I have lived in Swindon for about four years now, doing Night Shifts I have to walk the gauntlet of the Friday and Saturday pub crawl as I walk to and from work, it is mainly the women that take my eye, skirts covering nothing in particular and their tops covering even less theses lasses are out for a ‘good time’. They are dressing provocatively, they are ‘just asking for it‘ and when they get it some of the women will shout rape. Dressing to sexually entice men, or women for that matter, it is not surprising that you sexually entice them.
It took me a long time, well until May 2011 to have these views successfully challenged. It was reading an article about the SLUT WALK campaign that emphasised that women have the right to wear exactly what they want, and not get raped for wearing something provocative. It seems simple and self-evident now, but before it was a mass of contradictions. The argument is really simple, a woman has the right to say ‘NO’ to sexual intercourse regardless of what she is wearing, if she was stark naked she still has the right to say ‘NO’ because women have the same rights to respect as Men.
Men have a civilised duty to listen to what a woman says and respect her choice – I am not going through all the gender combinations it would end of as a more confused mess than my writing normally is!
President Obama said today:
“Rape is rape… The idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”
The excuse ‘she was asking for it‘ is null and void, the excuse that ‘It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘do you mind if I do it again [but it wasn’t rape?‘ is actually wrong, if as alleged Julian Assange did this, then he should have asked, or at least stopped if there was a refusal. The charge that he refused to use a Condom was – in my opinion – criminal. The quote came the only RESPECT MP, in the UK.
Rape is wrong, rape is a violation and it is a total abuse of power – there are no excuses.
I think my old Tutor would be proud of me, I have proved I can be a feminist at last – or at least civilised.