Thoughts about rape

After talking with friends on Twitter, this is what I want to emphasise:

Rape is forced sex without consent.

If your partner cannot say no to sex, it is rape.
If your partner does not understand what sex is and its consequences, it is rape.
If your partner is unable to say no because they are scared of you, it is rape.
If your partner is too drunk or passed out to say yes or no, it is rape.

Only if your partner is a adult who understands the consequences of that sex act and is willing to still have sex with you, is it a yes.

And yes, this applies to both men and women. Rape is not a gender-based crime. It is a tool used by rapists to silence their victims, to assert power, to satisfy their own selfish desires and egos. “Lust” is simply an excuse used by irresponsible people to force themselves on others.

Rape culture is an extension of that. It blames its victims and puts the onus on them to defend why they were raped instead of the rapist.

Rape is rape. That is all.

Ghost Stories for the Unintended

Call it what you will, but the talent to see, feel and perceive ghosts is still very strong amongst Asians. The power to perceive the mystical in every human being manifests itself so much more subtly yet blatantly in Asia. I suspect this is shaped strongly by the culture itself; the Asian culture emphasises respect for everything around us, to hold ourselves as tiny, small manifest parts of the Universe, and thus we have a healthy respect for the things that cannot be seen.

Among a number of South East Asian countries, there is a belief that sacrifices must be made before large, mega-construction projects are begun. These sacrifices are not the “slay a bull and say a prayer to the Gods according to your religions” kind of rituals. No, they are much, much more darker. They have their origins in the days when humans were finally beginning to understand the world around them, when shamans still ruled.

These sacrifices involved (depending on the version you hear) just the heads of your enemies or the innocent, or burying others alive. Still some say that the bones of the dead must be mixed with the cement. Which is it? I do not know. All I know is that the tales I’m about to relate take place over various parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

Continue reading “Ghost Stories for the Unintended”

[Nanowrimo 2009] Excerpt: Scaring self

Was writing this in a darkened room (my bedroom) on Q10 when my word war alarm beeped and I jumped. Here, have a laugh:

Ta’Lern turned the door’s knob. To his surprise, it turned easily. He looked up at Raishan in surprise. Now they both knew something was wrong; Marissa always locked the door, mainly because it gave her that extra warning time when Renami’s visits were imminent. Though it had been years since they had met, she did it anyway. And she would have never left the door unanswered for this long either. The two brothers came to a consensus fairly quickly; Ta’Lern kicked the door opened.

The smell assaulted them.

Air escaped from the confines of the house out into the open, bringing with it the smell of rotting flesh and so much more. It was at least five days old. Even before their eyes adjusted to the darkness, Ta’Lern and Raishan knew what they would find, having been brought up to kill and on the battlefields. The only question was whose bodies were there.

“Annwn, they’re dead,” Raishan took out a handkerchief and covered his nose.

He followed Ta’Lern in. Stopping by the frame of the door, he used the edge of the gun to switch on the lights. The lights flickered and then came to life. As they did, he heard skitterings in front of him and realised what it was.

There were rodents and other stuff on the floor. Blood was everywhere, on the walls, on the floors, and on the furniture. It looked like someone had tried to pain the hallway red using the blood from the three bodies on the floor. They had been clawed to death, innards, limbs, everything was everywhere.

Annwn did not step in, but merely watched from where she was. She made a retching sound; the siblings were still not used to smelling such rotteness no matter how many times they were exposed to it. It was not something to be proud of.

“Three days,” Ta’Lern was squatting down to one of the three bodies. He was examining the woman closest to them.

It looked like a man and woman had been fleeing from the door when it caught them. From the moment of impact, they were dead. Their backs faced them, their spines exposed. Just to be sure, Ta’Lern used the edge of his gun to turn the woman over. The grotesques and bloated face of Marissa was looking at them. Her eyes were closed though, and Ta’Lern pointed to her neck; she had been killed by a snapped neck, which was a quick and painless death at least.

Raishan walked over to his brother, using his boots to turn the body next to the female over onto his back. This one had a look of horror on his face, with his eyes bulging out. In front, there was a slash across his neck, but from experience, they knew it was not enough to kill a person. No, that one had been for torture.

If the wounds on the front of the man was any indication, he had suffered long. Raishan could not say that he was unhappy about it. The chain the man wore was Renami’s favourite. His coat was tattered, and there were self-defense wounds all over him; Renami had fought for his life.

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I often speak my mind without thinking of the consequences. My emotions often get the best of me, and I say things, unaware of how much it hurts that person until I’m told. When they lash out, I often react defensively.

Today though, was something that I needed in a long time. I had a blowout with a friend, and it left me open. It made me realise something I had been refusing to look in the face, to accept that I had no power. That my voice, for all the good my writing and my talking did me, was useless.

It was admitting that whatever my reaction to the Penan rape, nothing would change. No one would remember the Penan case in a few months, and they would be forgotten, lost in the mists of time.

Like Melissa Audrey. Like Nurin. Like Sharlinie. Like that boy Asmawi, was it? Like the boy Ho Ping. Like Ching Poon.

So many names. So many forgotten. Innocent lives.

I joined the Pixel Project out of shallow reasons. It was just because I thought it would look good on my resume. It was also a cause I could identify with. But it wasn’t until I actually started writing properly for it that I realised just how screwed up it all was.

Which is why tonight, the first in a long time, I gave into my despair. I cried like a child. For the evil done by women to themselves. By the evil done by men to women. Does what I say, do, or write really matter? My words are only words. They are no substitute for actual, physical action.

This helpless rage, this helpless fury, this impotent anger… Tonight, I give in to it.

Tomorrow, I overwhelm them.