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So I have a new piece on the Guardian’s Comment is Free! It is about how Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage (could Michael Savage actually be the WORST of them??? Research suggests maybe Yes) love to use the word “rape” to describe things that are not rape, like health care reform or taxes or gay people existing in the universe. (That last one, they compare to rape OF AMERICA’S CHILDREN! And by “they” I mean Michael Savage because wow, he is a massive a-hole. Maybe the worst massive a-hole!) And you can read it by clicking on this link!

And now, story time to justify this instance of blatant self-promotion: I wrote this while I was coming off the sort of massive annual cold/flu thing that leaves you all loopy and weak and unable to fully process whether you are in fact making any sense at all, and I was all like “NO TIME FOR SICK, GOT A DEADLINE, MAKE THIS HAPPEN SADY D.” But I was terrified even after I wrote it and read it over a few times to make sure it was OK and sent it in that I had actually slipped into sick-person dream logic at some point without recognizing it, and woke up the next morning feeling like, “fuck, what if there is a line in there where I called Rush Limbaugh a terrible alligator soldier of the Lizard Armies or something?” But I didn’t! And then it turned out that people (AWESOME PEOPLE, that is) even seemed to like it! So it all worked out!

Yeah, that was a boring story. It will be even more boring if you read it again, because you know how it ends already! So read the piece instead!


  1. William wrote:

    Crikey! I hope you’re better soon.

    You should feel no need to apologize for promoting yourself on your own site. We come here because we want more Sady! Promote away.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Permalink
  2. C.L. Minou wrote:

    I love the Guardian! I love Sady Doyle, especially in the Guardian! But augh the comments in the Guardian, especially on Sady Doyle!

    And word on the piece, and hope you feel better soon.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  3. Nymeria wrote:

    Why did I read the comments? I’m usually good about not doing that! (Well, sometimes) But this, oh god.

    Great article, though!

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Permalink
  4. Margaret wrote:

    This piece really reminds me of arguments that I came across in my African American History class that talked about how the presence of slavery in America really framed the rhetoric coming out of the South about their conflict with King George. They constantly spoke of themselves as being enslaved by him, or transformed into chattel, and beyond just being hypocritical, some historians argued that it revealed their awareness of and attachment to their privileged status. Because they were surrounded by people whose rights they’d decimated, the idea of having THEIR rights decimated or curtailed in any way was even more terrifying.

    It seems like a similar dynamic is going on here. Since protecting rich, white, male privilege is the shibboleth of the far right, there’s no more visceral way they can present the loss of their status than by likening themselves to the people they strive so hard to keep down– women, gay men, and inmates.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink
  5. caffeineadddict wrote:

    Oh I read the comments too! Gawd!
    I felt that there was a gap in your article, particularly regarding the gendered specificity of one’s fear of being raped. You talked about how using the term rape metaphorically mobilises irrational fear against opposing opinions, gays, the loss of childhood ‘innocence’ etc. But I felt kinda weird when you didn’t recognise that a fear of rape won’t necessarily be experienced by all of your readers in the same way, given that it tends to be women and trans people who are disproportionately affected by rape. I kinda felt as though you were addressing a de-gendered audience. Yes, using the term ‘rape’ can increase one’s fear of a lot of things,but FOR WHOM is this fear heightened? I’m not saying there are identifiable groups, but implying that everyone will experience the fear in the same way makes me feel weird.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Permalink
  6. Beth wrote:

    you rock lady!

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 12:46 am | Permalink
  7. Jeeps wrote:

    The comments certainly are a cesspool, aren’t they.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 2:56 am | Permalink
  8. kristyn wrote:

    CaffeineAddict, are you saying that man-people, and though I may be reading this wrong, perhaps people such as yourself, do not have this thing called empathy?

    Wait, pick me, pick me, I know the answer to my own question. Silly me, empathy is a LADYPEOPLE thing.

    It just surprises the holy-shit out of me whenever people commit that thought to print.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  9. billie rain wrote:

    hi sady

    i’m with the other commenters here: the responses to your article on the guardian site are, for the most part, awful! i think it’s an indication of how lightly sexual assault is taken that not only are these folks using the fear of rape to scare folks away from whatever they don’t agree with, but that guardian readers are then defending their right to do so!

    that metaphor is used inappropriately way too often, by conservatives and by folks in general. i published an article in a zine about 15 years ago critiquing folks in the leftist punk scene for misuse of rape as a metaphor.

    i have also stopped watching law & order: svu because, in addition to unquestioningly supporting the prison industrial complex, they routinely have their characters threaten perpetrators with the threat of being raped in prison. also, they make offhanded comments like “we all know recovered memories are BS.”

    the problem of rape and sexual abuse are deeper and more widespread than most people want to admit. i commend you for speaking out about it.

    xo billie

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  10. Thessa Mercury wrote:

    God, people are morons. I thought it was a good article.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  11. snobographer wrote:

    I think MRAs and other professional rape apologists police the ‘net for articles like yours just so they can regurgitate the same points again and again.
    Also, what William said.

    Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  12. Sady wrote:

    @CA: Well, I think men fear being raped, too, although given our cultural conceptions of rape it’s often treated jokily, rather than being thought of as a serious and possible occurence in their lives. Also, I think that even if men don’t fear being raped THEMSELVES, or have less-than-fully-evolved concepts of consent (which is common for a lot of people, and not just men) the idea of rape as they conceive of it is Very Bad and Very Scary to them. We wouldn’t have rape-revenge stories written by and for men if that weren’t the case. And, finally, note that at least one, and possibly both of the Savage rape metaphors ARE summoning up the rape of a male person: gays and/or human rights “want to rape your son.”

    Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  13. caffeineadddict wrote:

    Oh I’m in no way implying that men don’t fear being raped, or are not raped, or don’t hide the fact that they fear rape. What I’m drawing attention to is the way women are taught to fear rape in a way that a lot of men aren’t- e.g. the warnings women get ( sometimes from mums/dads/friends) before they go out, the way guys yell from car windows at women when they are out at night ( e.g.’you slut’, ‘you cunt’, ‘wanna fuck?’-from my experience), the way women are told to watch their drinks/be careful when they are out etc. I think the heternormative male fear of rape is interwoven with homophobic and misogynistic politics, in a way which makes it slightly different from the ‘dominant’ female fear of rape. Our culture teaches women that male rapists are omnipotent-everywhere- and therefore it is their responsibility to protect themselves. I am not saying that men are not taught this, but rather that more emphasis is placed on ingraining it in women. There is a difference in the rape education/ acculturation process for men, women and trans peeps. Having said that, people’s embodied experiences are different, and I get that there will always be exceptions to this- e.g. a guy may have been raped in the past/heard of a friends’ rape story/ taught to fear rape in a similar way in which women are taught to fear rape, resulting in a heightened fear of being raped. However, I do not think we have progressed so far that one can say that men’s, women’s and trans peoples fear of rape is equal. I still feel that this fear is experienced disproportionately by women and trans people.

    Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 3:59 am | Permalink