Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear World

Dear World,
Today in my women and minority writers class we discussed a book we are reading called, "Sapphira and the Slave Girl." Set in pre-Civil war the story is about a white slave owner, Sapphira, and her jealousy for a young, black slave, Nancy. Sapphira invites her nephew Martin to the plantation for an extended stay. She knew, because this was the time, that ruining Nancy would be having her nephew rape her.
That's bad enough, but the worst part is that she didn't have to ask him to, it was basically assumed. She invited him with the hopes that he would. That's often what white men did to black female slaves. It was normal. It was expected. Much of the book involves Nancy avoiding him, running from him, avoiding being left a lone with him, and seeking help and asylum from other people but being unable to get it because, who would help her?
I get that boys like girls. I get that boys are attracted to girls. What I don't understand is forcing sex on a woman. How would that even be enjoyable? Are men so desperate for sex that they'll take anything they can get? Is that what we've come to? What is it about that kind of pleasure that men become addicted and violent? I don't understand rape. I don't understand it, I hate it, and it makes me sick even thinking about it.
But I can't help it. I see men around me chasing women and I think, "Oh, he probably just wants to get her in bed." I see male violence on TV. I see women being submissive, fulfilling their duties as a "woman" and being abused. I see it in other countries where women wear veils and take a beating. I know that it happens everyday here too, just better disguised.
What is the core of a man? Is it a sex-hungry, violent man? Is it a sneaky rapist? Is it a steroid pumped, sex god? Is this just how guys are wired? Are they all bound to want sex as much as the next guy? Are the "bad" guys just indulging in porn and adultery because it's easier, while all the "good" guys are repressing what is also buried deep inside.
Is there a little bit of this in every guy? Is there something about the sensation of sex that one women could never fulfill? Are all guys cheaters? Are all guys bound to be addicted to porn the rest of their lives? Do all guys spend 20+ years in marriage only to get bored and find some young, sexy model who can keep them satisfied?
I don't like what I'm seeing around me. I don't like what I'm learning about relationships, marriage, sex, and beyond. It makes me feel like I should always be conscious of "his cheating ways" after all "boys will be boys" as if that's an excuse. That's just it. We half expect men to cheat. When women cheat, it's a disgrace. When Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King Jr, and John F. Kennedy cheat, we shrug. I mean, they did some good stuff, let's just overlook that part of history.
It makes me feel like no matter what I do, I'll never be good enough. It makes me feel hopeless. It makes me feel like I'll always wonder, "Does he wish I looked like her? Does he wish I acted more like her? Does he look at porn when I'm not around? Does he fantasize about other women?"
It makes me feel that in the already competitive battle I feel between myself and the women around me, I'm bound to lose. How could I compete with her?
I know I'm heated when I write a lot quickly. I'm not expecting you to answer all these questions, though I wish you could. I'm not mad at you, I'm frustrated and I don't know what to do.



Carley Brown said...

"It makes me feel like no matter what I do, I'll never be good enough."

I've thought about these same thoughts alot! My Dad cheated on my mom though multiple times when I was younger and it's hard to find the hope in it all. I have doubts I will.

These are all good valid questions. But I agree, I absolutely hate the fact that I feel like I won't ever be good enough for some guy and they will always want you looking better, and if your not, they'll find someone who is.

Its a disappointing reality.