This is for Maricruz Ladino and Olivia Tamayo.
This is for Consuelo and Magui and all those who declined
to give their last names, for those who spoke
and those who remained silent.

This is for Alejandra, who drives through red lights
and needs medication to sleep at night,
whose words at the sentencing trial translated to:

It’s like a wound that’s there
and it’s always becoming sore again
and it’s bleeding.

Her fingers are still stained with raspberry juice
but she ties sweaters around her waist
so when her mayordomo says Que nalgotas tienes
he can’t touch her beneath the layers.
Even when the heat scorches fruit on the vines
and her skin blisters with hives
she blankets her body,
ties a bandana around her head, face, neck like a niqab.
She covers her eyes with dark glasses.

Filling her bucket with fruit she tries to forget
that day in August, when the raspberry plants were so overgrown
that she couldn’t see down the row
and there, in the shady arbor of vines,
her mayordomo stood waiting for her.

When the police found his pants
streaked with her menstrual blood,
he claimed it was berry juice.

Did she know when she fled her mountain village
that she’d have to pay with more
than the bucket-weight of berries?

The grocery bins are filled with organic raspberries
that Alejandra can’t afford to buy.
When she sees them,
she looks away.

Lily Dayton

Rebranded

May 11, 2020

Steubenville, 2013

Everyone saw that picture of me
like trussed game hauled out of the woods.

People in fucking Australia read about me.
We don’t use minors’ names. Like that means a damn.

Two states away, former residents say,
We all know who it is. You should have seen

what she wore to midnight mass Christmas Eve.
Bishops, lawyers talking about lessons for parents,

teachers, community leaders. Like rape
is some fire drill. I learned. There is no safe.

I’m still honor roll, got plans: west coast college
dye my hair, cut it off, watch my glass at all-times.

Trussed game. First kill. A blooded youth,
that stain gone long before the name we burned

into those boys carrying me. Rapist.
Not quarterback. Not wide receiver. Rapist.

Wendy Scott

Sometimes I think Earth has got to be the insane asylum of the universe. . . and I’m here by computer error. At sixty-eight, I hope I’ve gained some wisdom in the past fourteen lustrums and it’s obligatory to speak plain and true about the conclusions I’ve come to; now that I have been educated to believe by such mentors as Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein, van Vogt, Clarke, Pohl, (S. Fowler) Wright, Orwell, Taine, Temple, Gernsback, Campbell and other seminal influences in scientifiction, I regret the lack of any female writers but only Radclyffe Hall opened my eyes outside sci-fi.

I was a secular humanist before I knew the term. I have not believed in God since childhood’s end. I believe a belief in any deity is adolescent, shameful and dangerous. How would you feel, surrounded by billions of human beings taking Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and the stork seriously, and capable of shaming, maiming or murdering in their name? I am embarrassed to live in a world retaining any faith in church, prayer or a celestial creator. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or a Hereafter; in angels, demons, ghosts, goblins, the Devil, vampires, ghouls, zombies, witches, warlocks, UFOs or other delusions; and in very few mundane individuals–politicians, lawyers, judges, priests, militarists, censors and just plain people. I respect the individual’s right to abortion, suicide and euthanasia. I support birth control. I wish to Good that society were rid of smoking, drinking and drugs.

My hope for humanity – and I think sensible science fiction has a beneficial influence in this direction – is that one day everyone born will be whole in body and brain, will live a long life free from physical and emotional pain, will participate in a fulfilling way in their contribution to existence, will enjoy true love and friendship, will pity us 20th century barbarians who lived and died in an atrocious, anachronistic atmosphere of arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping, child abuse, insanity, murder, terrorism, war, smog, pollution, starvation and the other negative “norms” of our current civilization. I have devoted my life to amassing over a quarter million pieces of sf and fantasy as a present to posterity and I hope to be remembered as an altruist who would have been an accepted citizen of Utopia.

Forrest J. Ackerman
Another Time Another Place

say no at any point

May 4, 2020

A guy never has a right to force a woman to have sex with him under any circumstances. She should be able to say no at any point, and he must honour that denial. It is criminal that so many girls and women are raped today. Fully 60 percent of all females who lose their virginity before age fifteen say that their first sexual experience was forced! That is a tragedy with far-reaching consequences.

James C. Dobson
Life on the Edge: The Next Generation’s Guide to a Meaningful Future

Sunday Role Play

April 12, 2020

I fight like a girl

March 21, 2020

I fight like a girl who refuses to be a victim.
I fight like a girl who is tired of being
IGNORED and HUMORED and BEATEN and RAPED.
I fight like a girl who’s sick
of not being taken seriously.
I fight like a girl who’s been pushed too far.
I fight like a girl who OFFERS and
DEMANDS RESPECT.
I fight like a girl who has a lifetime of
ANGER and STRENGTH and PRIDE
pent up in her girly body.
I fight like a girl who doesn’t believe in
FEAR and SUBMISSION.
I fight like a girl who knows that
THIS BODY and THIS MIND are mine.
I fight like a girl who knows that

YOU ONLY HAVE AS MUCH POWER
AS I GRANT YOU.

I fight like a girl who will never allow you
to take more than I offer.
I fight like a girl who FIGHTS BACK.

So next time you think you can distract
yourself
from your insecurities by victimizing a girl,
THINK AGAIN.
She may be ME and

I FIGHT LIKE A GIRL.

ANON

Did you drag me to the dumpster
like a Glad garbage bag full of trash,
glad I was drunk enough to
fuck and chunk over
the edge, a sack
of action toys?
Did pine needles prick
the fingers you used
inside of me, dirt beneath
nails scratching me
as if you were a grizzly bear
digging for seeds,
my vagina your den?
Did the fact I had no choice
make you flinch when
you entered me?

Laurie Kolp

…Louis used to rape me on the porch swing after Dorothy had driven into town… he was a jumbled agony of tears and lust and the seat cover fabric was a mesh of wild pink roses that Dorothy had embroidered at nights and I counted the roses and the stars in the sky…and I rented out my little pussy for no money and afterwards he always wept and tried to untangle the knot of chewing gum in my hair…

Sara Stridsberg
The Faculty of Dreams
Trans. Deborah Bragen-Turner

In fact, the apocalypse as male paradise is something you’ll run into again and again in this novel.  Huge swathes of text are given over to lasciviously explaining how, in order to re-populate the earth, men will have to sleep with as many women as possible (whether they like it or not – it’s all for genetic diversity reasons, you see). Using the apocalypse as an excuse to basically legitimise rape, or, at best, polyamory, is all kinds of messed up. There are whole chapters that read like a pervy manifesto or teenage sex fantasy (“they’ll HAVE to have sex with me now”). But it’s stupid in a structural sense too: there are long passages of dialogue explaining why all this would be necessary, but such discussions are taking place only days after the arrival of the blindness/Triffids/plague, when surely the more immediate concerns of finding clean water, shelter and other survivors should be taking precedent over long-term plans for coupling and repopulation?

Apocalypse as Paradise: John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids
Tomcat in the red room blog

a BIG surprise

April 14, 2019

If you go out in the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You’d better go in disguise…

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic…

If you go out in the woods today,
You’d better not go alone.
It’s lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home…

Jimmy Kennedy

Teddy Bear’s Picnic