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malthaussen

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Member since: Sat Sep 24, 2011, 10:36 AM
Number of posts: 13,795

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Two poems of sexual abuse

Written some years ago to give voice to the pain of a loved one:

"Ode to Uncle Woody"


"Do you know the power of the silent orgasm?"
You ask, and I say I do.
And also its loneliness.

The door creaks...
"Don't make no noise, Missy,"
"Don't let them hear," he begs.
As you lie beneath him in silent fear.
Fear only? Is that all you feel
As his body works on yours?
Is that the knife of self-loathing?
Loathing for him is foregone...
Is that pleasure, in the confusion
Of contempt, and pain, and hate?
"Don't make no noise," he whispers
As your mouth opens in a silent scream.

No one will hear your anguish.
That is your triumph, not his


***

"Ode to Uncle Jim"


Your mother wanted a Bonneville
So she pimped you to Uncle Jim.
To be passed like a party favor
To Tony and Frank and Tim.

To Vegas and Reno they squired you,
Little teenaged party doll.
To be very good to Daddy
And displayed in the gambling halls.

Feral child, run through the streets.
You can’t escape the sound of your pounding feet.
Don’t talk of love to a piece of meat
Thirteen years old, and oh, so sweet.


Down on your knees in the hot desert nights
Giving to Daddy such sweet delights.
A little Lolita, Missy the whore
Learning all about love behind a locked door.

Feral child, getting her pretties:
Making them pay for their little kitty.
Lay money down in the Executive Club
Fourteen years old, and a tiger cub.


Racetracks, casinos, the hottest of spots
Where they pay for their trophy who cannot escape.
Vodka and tonic and caviar crackers:
This is just a transaction: it’s nothing like rape.

Feral child, run where you will.
Daddy is happy to foot the bill.
But here’s the thing that can really kill:
You’re fifteen years old, and over the hill.


Run from the rackets, run from the tracks,
Run from the party lights and the whole ball of wax.
Run cross the country to hide out Nowhere:
Just another teenager in “Mayberry’s” square.

The new school is lovely, the kids are so nice:
They play “Spin the bottle” on Saturday nights.
Your mind is exploding, you can’t find a space:
You’re Frankenstein’s Bride, and you’re so out of place.

Here’s the doctor’s prescription, made just for you:
Have a pint of vodka, and some digitalis, too.
You can’t even laugh, and you can’t even cry.
Sixteen years old, and it‘s time to die.

Waking later in the hospital bed
The tubes and the I.V. tell you you’re not dead.
You’ll have to find another way to crawl out of hell:
Missy is dead: Long live Michelle.

-- Mal

Rumination on Misogyny

X-post from GD, where I presume it will fall dead-born from the press. FWIW.

I have been ruminating a bit on the issue of misogyny here at DU, and thought to share the fruits of my labor so far. And I will start by referencing a different, if related subject, that of rape.

When the woman says the man raped her, and the man says she loved it, in the absence of witnesses, whom are we to believe, or if not believe, grant the greater benefit of the doubt? Now, the moderate and even-handed individual might, at first blush, sadly shake his head and say that, since it is the man's word against the woman's, no determination can be made. Let's look a little deeper at that, though. The first objection to that position that occurs to me is this: by proclaiming neutrality, we automatically cast doubt on the woman's word. This is inescapable: we are telling her that her assertion has no validity unless she can prove it. Yet no such burden lies on the man, and in fact we implicitly endorse his assertion that she loved it by not questioning it. Of course, if the opposite were true, and we discounted the man's word out of hand and accepted hers, then we are denying validity to him while placing no burden on her. But since this is not the practice, it is an empty point, although one might wish to ruminate on whether it is a greater injustice to be falsely accused, than to be bereft of recourse.

But let's look a little deeper, if you will. The second thing that strikes me in this situation is that the woman, in asserting rape, is making a statement about herself. She is telling us what happened to her body, her psyche, her right to her own physical and emotional integrity. The man who asserts she loved it, however, is making a statement not about himself, but about someone else. One might reasonably ask which has the greater claim to authority, in this case: the one who speaks of herself, about whom she could reasonably be assumed to have rather more certain knowledge and understanding than you or I, or the one who speaks of another person, and arrogates to himself the final word on what she did or did not feel, did or did not experience. To me, this seems rather a telling point.

So now we proceed, willy-nilly, to misogyny. I have seen, recently, rather a number of conversation threads that go like this: A, a female, states "I have seen/experienced a lot of misogyny here on DU. B, a male, responds "It's not a lot, and those who do it are banned." These threads usually go rapidly downhill from there.

How, then, does my earlier rambling about rape relate here? Well, it occurs to me that if an individual says she has experienced certain behavior, she is rather more of an authority on her experience than the interlocutor who tells her she is misrepresenting/misinterpreting the situation. Whereas the individual who asserts that her experience is a misrepresentation/misinterpretation is arrogating to himself veritable status as arbiter of what does and does not constitute misogyny, and who does or does not experience it.

Another thought occurs to me, unrelated to the rape illustration, but with bearing on the question of misogyny. I am a male. In 58 years of life, I have never been subjected to misogyny, and never shall. It is, one might say, a biological necessity. I may have experienced other forms of bigotry, insult, belittlement: I have never felt misogyny. I may have witnessed acts, been exposed to circumstances or statements to which I would attach my own definition of the word, still I have never experienced misogyny. It is not, therefore, for me to define the phenomenon for those who have had such experience. It is rather for me to learn from them, that I might become wary enough to recognize it, and courageous enough to oppose it.

-- Mal

Rumination on misogyny.

I have been ruminating a bit on the issue of misogyny here at DU, and thought to share the fruits of my labor so far. And I will start by referencing a different, if related subject, that of rape.

When the woman says the man raped her, and the man says she loved it, in the absence of witnesses, whom are we to believe, or if not believe, grant the greater benefit of the doubt? Now, the moderate and even-handed individual might, at first blush, sadly shake his head and say that, since it is the man's word against the woman's, no determination can be made. Let's look a little deeper at that, though. The first objection to that position that occurs to me is this: by proclaiming neutrality, we automatically cast doubt on the woman's word. This is inescapable: we are telling her that her assertion has no validity unless she can prove it. Yet no such burden lies on the man, and in fact we implicitly endorse his assertion that she loved it by not questioning it. Of course, if the opposite were true, and we discounted the man's word out of hand and accepted hers, then we are denying validity to him while placing no burden on her. But since this is not the practice, it is an empty point, although one might wish to ruminate in an idle hour on whether it is a greater injustice to be falsely accused, than to be bereft of recourse.

But let's look a little deeper, if you will. The second thing that strikes me in this situation is that the woman, in asserting rape, is making a statement about herself. She is telling us what happened to her body, her psyche, her right to her own physical and emotional integrity. The man who asserts she loved it, however, is making a statement not about himself, but about someone else. One might reasonably ask which has the greater claim to authority, in this case: the one who speaks of herself, about whom she could reasonably be assumed to have rather more certain knowledge and understanding than you or I, or the one who speaks of another person, and arrogates to himself the final word on what she did or did not feel, did or did not experience. To me, this seems rather a telling point.

So now we proceed, willy-nilly, to misogyny. I have seen, recently, rather a number of conversation threads that go like this: A, a female, states "I have seen/experienced a lot of misogyny here on DU. B, a male, responds "It's not a lot, and those who do it are banned." These threads usually go rapidly downhill from there.

How, then, does my earlier rambling about rape relate here? Well, it occurs to me that if an individual says she has experienced certain behavior, she is rather more of an authority on her experience than the interlocutor who tells her she is misrepresenting/misinterpreting the situation. Whereas the individual who asserts that her experience is a misrepresentation/misinterpretation is arrogating to himself veritable status as arbiter of what does and does not constitute misogyny, and who does or does not experience it.

Another thought occurs to me, unrelated to the rape illustration, but with bearing on the question of misogyny. I am a male. In 58 years of life, I have never been subjected to misogyny, and never shall. It is, one might say, a biological necessity. I may have experienced other forms of bigotry, insult, belittlement: I have never felt misogyny. I may have witnessed acts, been exposed to circumstances or statements to which I would attach my own definition of the word, still I have never experienced misogyny. It is not, therefore, for me to define the phenomenon for those who have had such experience. It is rather for me to learn from them, that I might become wary enough to recognize it, and courageous enough to oppose it.

-- Mal

Dudley Moore Beethoven -- endless piano sonata



From "Beyond the Fringe."

-- Mal

Groucho Marx on "What's My Line" (panelist)

Maybe the funniest WML ever:



The comments are interesting, too -- in that they reveal that the first guest was convicted 13 years later of purjury, in that he denied pimping out his wife and running a special "blue room" in the jail where he served as warden... one of Groucho's first questions to him was "are you a corrupt politician?"

And Daly spends most of the show cracking up. Beautiful.

-- Mal
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