I’m madder than Putin at a Pussy Riot show.
I get a letter from Amnesty International, one of the few charities I donate to. (Not counting the guys on the street with a cup. Them, I give to every day.) A.I. fights torture and government abuse all over the world, usually without giving a fuck about ideology.
But now? What’s the first paragraph of their appeal letter?
I regret to inform you that more than a decade into the 21st century, women and girls are still being raped, beaten, killed by family members and trafficked every day.
What the fuck?
Flash to Abu Ghraib prison: An Arab man lies naked, face up, on a sheet of plywood. His hands and feet are tied to the corners. He’s stretched like someone ready to be drawn and quartered. Pulled tight over his face, a cloth immobilizes his head. An American soldier holds a giant watering can. He pours it down…over the man’s face…into his nose and mouth. Involuntarily gasping for breath, the tied man inhales the water. His lungs fill. He gags…pukes…inhales his own vomit…chokes…then more water. It’s like death…he wants to die.
Says Wikipedia: Waterboarding can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage and death. Adverse physical consequences can manifest themselves months after the event, while psychological effects can last for years.
Google “Waterboarding Women” and the only reports you’ll see are people arrested for the CRIME of torturing women. For women, it’s abuse. For men, it’s business as usual.
Flash to 21st-century American laws linking Selective Service registration (compulsory military service) with getting a driver’s license.
Here’s the scoop:
Federal law (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.) requires virtually all male U.S. citizens, as well as immigrant men residing in the U.S., to register with the Selective Service System (SSS) when reaching age 18. In an effort to ensure compliance among young men, many states have enacted legislation which links SSS registration with the process of applying for a driver’s license or state identification card.
MEN, get it? Check out the war reports. When they talk about horrors…evils…who gets mentioned? Women and children, of course. Killing men? It’s all in a day’s work.
The Amnesty Internationalletter has a postscript that says:
Mr. Board, (I HATE being called MR. BOARD) when you hear of girls in Sierra Leone being genitally mutilated against their will… I’m sure you think, “What can I do to help?”
Jeeezus fuckin’ Christ. BOYS are genitally mutilated against their will in the US—thousands every day. It’s called circumcision. And is there a PEEP against it? Maybe, but not from Amnesty International.
And don’t give me this shit that it’s differentbecause boys only lose the tips and girls have to give up the whole shebang. That’s wrong! With very few exceptions (and these are evil, I’ll grant that), so-called female circumcision is just that. The equivalent of female foreskin. Snip. Snip. Gone. That’s it…not the whole kit and caboodle. In any case, it’s certainly as painful and as involuntary in boys as in girls.
Even this punk-rock magazine is guilty of survivor syndrome…at least the letters section.
I sit on the toilet, a beer-shit survivor, reading a letter from a woman who is an inappropriate touching survivor. I don’t have the exact quote, but it doesn’t matter. Just the idea of a touching survivor should make you puke.
You name it, and some female is a SURVIVOR: a cancer survivor, survivors of “Intimate Partner Violence,” domestic violence survivors, an alcohol abuse survivor, a partner of alcohol abuse survivor, sexual harassment survivors, and, of course, touching survivors.
Some feminists believe every woman who has ever had sex with a man is a rape survivor. Oy vey!
Listen buckaroos, if you get through someone calling you a name, you are NOT a survivor. If someone touches you in the wrong place, you are NOT a survivor. If someone shows you dirty pictures at work, you are NOT a survivor. If some construction worker makes sucking sounds when you walk past, you are NOT a survivor.
FLASH TO THE TURN OF THE 21ST CENTURY: I stand on the sidewalk in front of Sophie’s bar, fishin’ for drinks. The NY SCUM cassette just came out. It’s a documentary of a CBGB scumrock festival. I’m the head producer, yah dee dah…man of the hour…now buy me a drink.
Also hangin’ out are now columnist George Tabb and then-columnist Jane Guskin.
“Hey George,” I say, resting my arm on his shoulder, “pretty good cassette, huh?”
“I’m not buying you a drink, Mykel,” he says.
How’d he know I was gonna ask?
Behind me I hear a voice…loud…threatening.
“Where’s Mykel fuckin’ Board?” it says.
BLAM! A fist to my jaw. I’m down, lying fetally on the sidewalk. KABLOOEY! A boot to my ribs. I curl deeper into the helpless position. Above me is TC, a local who did some postering and organizing for the scumrock festival. He wants money from the tape…for his work…for his effort…I should pay him from the tens of dollars I got from ROIR for producing the cassette.
His foot draws back for another boot to the ribs. I tense. A pair of legs appears between TC’s boot and my chest.
“STOP! NO!” shouts the voice belonging to the woman of the legs. It’s Jane.
“NOW STOP IT!” she yells.
TC cowers…mumbles something…walks away.
In this culture, it’s OK for guys to whack away at one another. You gotta be good with your fists. If you don’t fight back, you’re a sissy. (I’m a sissy.) But girls? Oh no, you should never hit a girl! You just can’t hit a girl. That’s abuse. It worked for me. Thanks, Jane!
Jane is my hero…my heroine. But I’m not in danger of dying.
I was punched and kicked, but I’m a punching-kicking VICTIM at best…not a survivor.
(Note: Being punched or kicked repeatedly by someone you live with does not make you a domestic violence survivor. It makes you an idiot. Get the fuck out of there!)
I am neither a jock-itch nor a hemorrhoid survivor, though I’ve had both.
Survivors are people who barely beat death and live to tell about it. Those guys tortured in Guantanamo Bay…THEY are survivors. Pakistani families that live through American bombing…THEY are survivors. George Tabb who lived through the World Trade Center attacks and had half his intestines removed because of the aftermath poison air…HE is a survivor.
Foreigners (almost all MEN) forced into the US Army to kill in Afghanistan or Pakistan or who-knows-where’s-next-stan…THEY are survivors.
[Note: Many U.S. courts give political and economic refugees (men only) the choice of possible death by entering the US military and killing Afghanis or returning to their home country to a more certain death. Which would you choose?]
FLASH TO NOW: I sit at my desk in nothing but my boxer briefs. I type with my left hand as the thumb of my right hand digs into my right nostril, fishing out the discomfort. As a booger survivor, I know the strain, heartbreak, and suffering of intranasal offal.
I’m thinking about the victims of the Christian shootings at the batman movie in Colorado. And how about the one at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin? People killed. People survived.
With one exception ALL the mass shootings and other terrorist murders in the last 20 years have been by CHRISTIANS! Why don’t the NY cops have a Christian task force? Why aren’t they monitoring churches? Infiltrating the Salvation Army? Don’t they understand Christianity is a VIOLENT religion? Its very symbol, the cross, is a weapon of death!
I’m wondering what those who lived through the Sikh attacks…those with bullets in various body places…with friends and family killed or maimed…I’m wondering what they think of survivors of inappropriate touch.
A bubble of gas rises in my bowels. I can feel it on the lower right side…it rises up crosses from right to left… settles above my anus, where I blow it out in a burble…a very long burble. As a flatulence survivor, I know I need to make adjustments, to get beyond my pain and get on with my life.
FLASH TO NEWSPRINT: As if survivoritis weren’t bad enough, the same issue of MRR as the I-was-touched letter has an interview with some NYC group whose job it is to help survivors.
Now, if some one is injured, raped, beaten, or shot, they need support. I’m happy that people volunteer to help…though from the sound of this one it’s women only as victims…er…survivors, and men as perpetrators. But that’s not the worst of it.
Oh no, one of the prime functions of this group is not help, but REVENGE. Helping the victim…er…survivor is not enough. But they’ve got to PUNISH the perpetrator. Give ’em the old backhand. Put ’em in jail. Break ’em. Let ’em get raped by some big stud. That’ll cure them of their violent thoughts, right?
Jeezus fuckin’ Christ! Prison BUILDS rapists. Your push for revenge MAKES MORE VIOLENCE. (Please don’t call it justice. That’s what everyone calls revenge.)
Girls, if you don’t like being touched, slap that hand. If you want to prevent violence and abuse, then act like Jane acted when she bravely stood between me and that kicking boot. More than anything, learn to defend yourselves, to fight back like I never did. That’s VICTORY. There’s no survivor about it.
(MAXIMUM ROCK’N’ROLL refused to print this column. That is their right. They did so without comment, or explanation. That is their wrong. If you disagree with their decision, or if you agree or if you have any other comment, please email MRR at firstname.lastname@example.org.)