“I hope you get raped” – On living in the Middle East and being a “traitor to women.”

“Yeek-yeek, woop woop, Why you all in my ear? Talking a whole bunch of shit that I ain’t tryin to hear.” – Ludacris.

Logging in this afternoon, I found a particularly heartbreaking comment – more akin to a rant, actually – in the moderation queue to this post, which deals with some of my more recent experiences with sexual harassment in Amman, Jordan.

I won’t reproduce it here; I have my limits.

To summarize – what it said is that by moving to an Arab country, I have betrayed all women everywhere, that I deserve everything that happens to me, that I am disgusting for dating a “filthy” Arab, that women like me should be paraded through the streets as an “example.” The author concluded by expressing her wish that I get “dragged out of [my] house by [my] hair” and then “get raped.”

I went to the gym today, and spent some time on the treadmill wondering if I should even respond. What’s the point? You’re just feeding the beast, right?

Actually, I went to a sexual harassment focus group last night, and one of the things we talked about is how ignoring harassment doesn’t really make it go away. Considering that these sort of words have been flung at me before, I believe that by doing nothing, I am only giving the batshit accusers their validation.In addressing racism against my boyfriend, I shouldn’t center my own precious feelings. Having said that, I have to point out that women of my background inevitably attract comments that imply or flat-out state that we are “sullying” ourselves. We have no right to choose a partner either. Or we do, but only if we make the “right” choice (which, once again, means that we never had a choice to begin with).

In the proud tradition of racism, the comments assume that “Arab” amounts to some sort of monolithic identity that women like me are attracted to – because we’re self-loathing, because we are traitors, etc. I certainly could not have fallen in love, with, say, the common ties that bind “normal” couples together: shared tastes, shared views, kindness, a shared love affair with Star Trek and barbecue, et cetera. Arabs don’t watch Star Trek. And they can’t be kind.

It’s funny, because in this kind of atmosphere, I can’t even complain about my boyfriend not picking up his socks, without being constructed as a willing victim of the monstrous Arab. It’s exhausting. While he and I bicker quite a bit (then I bugger off to Ukraine for a few days, and then I come back and complain, and then we screech a little at each other, and then we watch some Star Trek), I still have more in common with him than with any man I know. I don’t know what the future holds – we met while we were very young, statistics aren’t on our side – but whatever happens, love is love. You shouldn’t have to justify it to the Race and Ethnicity Polizei, not ever.

Moving on, I naturally “deserve” harassment because I chose Jordan. Women who were born here, well, they get a pass. Sort of. Most women in Jordan are subject to some form of harassment or another – subject to ever-shifting hierarchies that define who gets to pass through a public space unmolested and who does not. And hell, some men make a point of harassing local women a whole lot more – since they think they have a particular right to police them.

How do you figure out who “deserves” what here?

Naturally, I shouldn’t even try to humour said troll’s so-called point. I just find it amusing in its stupidity, especially since the troll purports to address the issue of my “deviancy” from a feminist perspective.

But it’s the “I hope you get raped” thing that really got my attention, because the way it was framed made me think that the troll was coming from a place of real pain. I think you have to be in pain, one way or another, if you wish something like that on anyone. It made me wonder if the troll is a survivor of sexual assault – and whether or not the perpetrator was Arab.

A female relative of mine was attacked by an Arab man. A string of associations was formed. It was inevitable.

Inevitable, but not ever-lasting.

So far, the violence and assaults perpetrated against me have been the exclusive domain of several Ukrainian men. I associate some of the worst moments of my life (so far – it can always get worse, yay!) with Ukraine. I’ve only ever really dated one Ukrainian man, and that I was terrified, terrified, of kissing him. He was a nice guy and we still keep in touch, but there was a barrier there, and I couldn’t bring myself to cross even when I had really wanted to.

Do I get angry at women who choose life in Ukraine, or Russia, and are able to lead enjoyable lives? No. I’m somewhat jealous of them, truth be told. There is a part of me that will always be bereft – that will long for impromptu renditions of “Cherniy Voron” at two in the morning, that will miss skinny-dipping in the Dnipro and eating vareniki at Puzata Hata. It’s not that I have any illusions about a life made out of beer and sunshine, somewhere over the rainbow, in Mother Ukraine – it’s just that I know that you not only gain things by moving away and staying away, you also lose things, and that’s just life.

So I guess I am especially bewildered when my life in the Middle East is dragged out as some sort of example of pure Satanic barbarism. My initial instinct is to ask – “But don’t you want me to be happy? I mean, I’ve been unhappy for so long, I’m really trying here. You seem to know what it’s like to be unhappy, don’t you have like, any sympathy at all? Or should everyone feel like shit because you feel like shit, eh?”

This point is as old as the world – but apparently it needs to be repeated, over and over again: evil begets evil. I can’t really imagine the sort of problems that my troll is having – but I can only hope she gets some serious farking help.

10 thoughts on ““I hope you get raped” – On living in the Middle East and being a “traitor to women.”

  1. Yeah, from what I hear even niqabis aren’t immune to harrassment. When things get thrust into the newscycle there’s a general spike in people looking to vent their stupidity, it’s more easily said than done but don’t let it get to you, it’ll pass.

  2. Yeah, from what I hear even niqabis aren’t immune to harrassment.

    I was thinking about this today, since I heard from several people that there is now this big rumour that certain niqabis in certain neighbourhoods of Amman are actually prostitutes concealing their identity. So harassment has definitely gone up. It’s things like this that make me want to get my hands on the nearest grenade-launcher…

  3. heh, you’re such a coward. you like to slam down on men and live in your own personal hell, while you stay trapped from your own horrible experience, never letting it go, but….

    you deleted calm cool and collected comments? why because you don’t know everything?

    let’s see…. you fight wah with your boyfriend, then run home to Ukraine where you were abused, to wander around perpetually remembering your event, and then, run back to fight with your man… nice job. no socially functional problem there… spending your entire existence running away from yourself and taking no stock at all in the lack of change that this blog has shown in it’s entirety.

    you know? most of the blogs I read that are related to this one – those where folks have come out of personal hells – tend to – over time – show growth, acceptance, and in some cases even forgiveness.

    your blogs? from the first to the last, they’re the same. wallowing in your pain, living in your misery and remaining morbid and in the meantime, you hate men. and yes, you do hate men.

    anyone who walks outside with their keys through their fingers is already assuming that any man that walks by her (probably minding his own business, or thinking about whatever he’s thinking about), is obviously interested in harassing you.

    and that is how you live your life.

    trapped. still living in the midst of what occurred and still functioning as a victim. So you surround yourself with other folks who can’t get past themselves, and forgive and more importantly, forgive themselves.

    I’ve read this and your other blogs for a long time, and i did it for one reason and one reason only.

    you seemed like an intelligent and capable enough person that you’d actually move past whatever it is that ails you, but nope.

    zero progress. none.

    i remember a friend of mine who went to AA. i went to support him a few times, and i noticed one perpetual theme. let’s talk about how we’re not drinking and go over and over all the old glory day stories, and then, after, when we hang out on our own “socializing” we’ll do the same thing.

    it got to the point where I had to tell me friend to get his head out of his ass. this isn’t rehabilitation, it’s living in the past.

    it’s wallowing in one’s own self pity.

    that’s what i’ve seen you gather around yourself here.

    sad and pathetic.

    i don’t even feel for you anymore, i use to. I use to think you were someone who was fighting back, but you’re not. i bet you go to these little harassment meetings, and then go out after wards and all the conversations are in the genre of : “i remember when (insert event here) happened to me and I….”

    still living and wallowing in the middle of it.

    I was abused as well, so was my brother. so was my mother. sexually and physically. guess what?

    we moved past it. because we forgave him, and forgave ourselves, and every instance in our lives, is just that.. an instance. not something that brings us back to ohhhh our poor little experience.

    we don’t use it as an excuse to yell and scream on the street when someone walks by and we with our keys in our hands ready to be attacked, just assume that’s what is going to happen.

    we don’t have that dead, empty hurt look in our eyes that permeates all of your photos.

    we live.

    you’re not living. you’re dead. still in the middle of your torment, without any desire to get out of it, holding onto it for security, and to validate all your attitudes and hatreds.

    god it must suck to be you.

    I thought about this today, because i didn’t see how anyone could or would want to constantly bleed. and devote their entire life to bleeding…

    it’s like an individual who peels their scabs after the blood has dried over.. just to see it bleed again.

    get over yourself.

  4. Dude. I put you and your “collected” comments on mod because this entire thing is getting embarrassing. I’m not going to give you any more rope to hang yourself with, you can look for it elsewhere. The internet is a big place.

    Do piss off now, there’s a good lad.

  5. [Comment edited to fit within the commenting guidelines of this site]

    panda panda panda

    bunneh bunneh

    panda

  6. [comment edited to fit the aforementioned commenting guidelines of the site]

    Hello, my name is James Van Leuvaan, and I persist in hanging around sites where I am no longer welcome. Why do I do it? It’s anyone’s guess. Back to the spam queue with me.

    (Panda panda)

  7. I had to do a double-take when I realized Van Douche was actually back. I’m actually more than a little icked right now. It takes a -very- obsessive personality to splooge all over like this after being ceremonially shown the door.

    Van Douche, honey, if you’re reading this (and I know you are, you obsessive little fuck), here’s a hint:

    Take a look in the goddamn mirror if you’re going to even -think- of lecturing someone else about getting over their shit. Trolling other people’s sites is -not- the mark of a healthily adjusted individual. You have about as much credibility as Ted Bundy at a rape crisis center. Own your shit. Trust me, it’s much better for you than indulging in creepy Antonova-stalking shenanigans.

    It must be a tremendous blow, to realize that some woman on the internet does perfectly OK without your Lifetime channel-inspired wisdom and nonexistent charm. All narcissists are extremely -peeved- when confronted with someone who couldn’t give a fuck about them. But put your big-boy breeches on and get over it, please.

    Antonova looks pretty alive to me. Alive and well and still pretty damn hot (you might want to get that necrophilia stuff checked out with a reputable shrink). And something tells me she wouldn’t be caught dead obsessively stalking some random guy’s blog.

    You actually go around thinking about her throughout your day, huh? God, it sucks to be -you-, sweet cheeks.

  8. I think I understand why this blog gets so many blog-stalkers. It’s written in a personal style, the authors identity is out in the open, and its not one of those huge impersonal blogs that receives 100+ comments per day.

    Narcissists swarm blogs like that because they think they “own” the authors or that the authors “owe” them.

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