Women’s First Hand Accounts of Violence Don’t Count
September 12, 2011 14 Comments
When I was in college, I had “convenient” PIV with a man named Mike who ended up becoming my brother’s roommate.
This man was mean. In the daylight, he either ignored me, or we matched wills and intellects over various “philosophical” questions such as “Is it really true that just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean they’re not after you?”
He smelled of whisky and cigarettes. On several occasions, he was violent. He twisted my arm behind my back so far that he was completely in control. He put his knees on my arms, and choked me until I couldn’t breathe.
That part of the story is only interesting insofar as I remember not knowing why I wanted to be ignored or fought with in the day, and f*cked at night. I liked being treated this way, even though I hated it when he would pop an entire bag of popcorn for himself, and get mad when I asked to share some. Why did I tolerate this treatment? Because the patriarchal culture I was brought up in groomed me for masochism.
Anyway, this story isn’t really about Mike. When he choked me though, no one believed the story. My brother, and my friends, never did anything about it. He was still part of our social group, and if I didn’t want to spend time with him, I would have had to leave the group. Not to mention that my brother lived with him. So, I “got over” it and stopped talking about what happened.
Last night, in speaking with my brother, he finally told me that after he heard that Miked had choked me, he punched Mike, who denied that it had ever happened. So, my brother believed him, and not me.
Finally, my brother admits to me that he made a mistake in believing Mike. “Yes, you were choked until you couldn’t breathe. I’m sorry I didn’t believe you.”
Why do you think my brother believed Mike, when brother and I had been such close friends for so many years? Because it was convenient. And because women’s first hand accounts of violence don’t count for sh*t under the patriarchy. They really, really don’t.
Mike is an ass. I don’t care about what happened- I’m not traumatized. I’m glad my brother finally believes me six years later, but it doesn’t make me un-learn the lessons this has taught me. I doubt I will be believed if someone else hurts me. I’m glad I now resist my culturally induced masochism, and that I told the truth back then, even though no one believed me.