Lately, my thesis work has got me thinking about sex. Oh, who am I kidding? I have always thought about sex. I should say: lately, my thesis work has provided a conduit for my preoccupation with sex.
The working title is Wicked Little Girls. It’s a sort of subverted dystopian feminist critique of the medical/psychiatric field’s co-optation of, and profiteering off, female sexual abuse narratives. Evolutionary biology and psychology, in the hands of the patriarch, have distorted these narratives, repackaged them, and sold them back to a generation of women in a box marked Survivor’s Guide to Recovery. Caution: Will Take A Lifetime to Complete.
Throughout my research and writing, I’ve been imagining an alternate universe. One where a woman (now comprehending, emotionally, the violations against her as a child) turns to an ‘expert’ and says: my father raped me. In this alternate universe, the expert does not begin listing, ad nauseam, the boatload of symptoms accompanying childhood sexual abuse, like PTSD, low self-esteem, dissociation, sexual deviance, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, etc. In this alternate universe, the expert does not go on to exploit implore the woman (‘patient/layman’) to recover more memories, darker memories, the most disgusting acts she’s surely repressed for the sake of her own survival.
Instead, in this alternate universe she says: WHAT THE FUCK? ARE YOU SERIOUS? SOMEONE CALL THE COPS, THERE’S A PERVERT ON THE LOOSE. In this alternate universe, instead of focussing on what is wrong with the woman, we turn with indignation to the perpetrator and ask what the hell is wrong with him.
“I believe child sexual abuse and violence against women are an integral structural part of patriarchal society and culture. They are how we–especially, but not only, women–are socialized to accept powerlessness. If this were any other issue with such a devastating effect, we’d have a massive mobilization of resources, we’d have comprehensive programmes, we’d have a blank cheque to enable us to do the work that needs to be done. If any other sort of plague or virus than the one called child abuse ravaged the children and left them crippled or destroyed, we’d find the resources to stop it.” — Elly Danica
Lately, I have been thinking about sex. Oh, who am I kidding? I have always thought about sex. I should say: lately, sex has been thinking about me. Sex wants to get to know me. It keeps asking me questions and stripping off its own layers to reveal more. It whispers words like ‘feminist’ and ‘patriarch’ and says: Hey, don’t run! You’ve always said you’re up for trying new positions!