Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's Fourteen-Thirty; Do You Know Where Your Ministry Of Truth Is?

It’s right here, “confronting sexual violence” at Occupy Wall Street:

We live in a culture of violence in which sexual assault is often ignored, condoned, excused and even encouraged. We note that it is particularly difficult for survivors of assault at OWS to feel confident in reporting crimes to the NYPD – the NYPD’s unjustifiably aggressive and abusive policing of OWS has undermined trust in the police force amongst protesters.

Right. Parsing, as Winston Smith might be doing, if he were keeping his diary today: We at OWS employ elision, because we need it (as some of us may douse our unwashed selves with patchouli oil); and yet, ladies (make that WOMEN!), and even a couple of men (but they probably deserve it) are being raped (if that is what we mean by sexual assault), not by the abusive police whom we are forced to call when someone steals our I-pads and our laptops and loots our collective cash reserves (though property is theft), but by actually aggressive and abusive men entering the rain- and urine-soaked tents that sully the once-lovely public spaces in the Clockwork-Orange dystopia of filthy-displaced-persons camps we have lately created all over America, and into which we nightly crawl. Goodthink fail.

We are redoubling our efforts to raise awareness about sexual violence. This includes taking preventative measures such as encouraging healthy relationship dynamics and consent practices that can help to limit harm.

What is a “healthy relationship dynamic?” And what is a  “healthy consent practice?”  Is a “healthy relationship dynamic” when your boyfriend, whose Big Macs you’ve been buying because he’s run out of cash, tells you he’d like you (meaning himself) to be free to “see” other people (see “property is theft,” above) in your tent, and you agree? Is an “unhealthy relationship dynamic” when you are occupying the open air while you wait for him to finish “seeing” someone else in your tent, and you become, suddenly and unaccountably, enraged? Does a “healthy consent practice” have something to do with what it is you mean, exactly, when you’re saying the word “yes?” Could an “unhealthy consent practice” be related to your having to say the word “yes” to  the police when a rapist comes into your tent? Do we on the OWS Sexual Violence Squad reconcile these terms? Or, for that matter, even define them? No means no. Because Wall Street is raping the land, Jews are running the world (or vice versa, we can never get that straight), we are the 99 percent, and our parents told us we never have to do anything we don’t feel like doing.  Doublethink fail.

We are creating and sharing strategies that educate and transform our community into a culture of consent, safety, and well-being. At OWS, these strategies currently include support circles, counseling, consent trainings, safer sleeping spaces, self-defense trainings, community watch, awareness campaigns, and other evolving community-based processes to address harm.

But what about drum circles? Newspeak fail.

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