Michael Moore apparently acquitted himself well on Rachel Maddow’s show, without anyone actually mentioning that whole Twitter “frenzy” thing which stopped his rape-apologism bullshit from vanishing into the murky depths of Too Much Patriarchal Fuckwittery.
But as Sady Doyle has kept saying, this isn’t just about Michael Moore repenting, or Keith Olbermann growing up and collecting his toys from the floor around his cot (don’t hold your breath, anyone) or even really about the specific details around the accusations against Julian Assange.
This is about rape culture.
And one media figure managing to finally get it right one time is not anywhere near the end of the story.
Harriet has an amazing Open Letter to Second and Third-Wave Feminists With Publicly Recognisable Names:
“No means no” took us a long way. To put it simply, but not inaccurately, it took us from a world where no meant yes. That is an incredible gain. But “no means no” has taken us as far as it can. Namely, it has taken us to “yes means yes.” It has taken us to a place where we can recognize, create theory, create terminology, and openly discuss the idea that sexual violence and sexual abuse can happen without a “no” as well as with one. We believe that requiring a “no” is not good enough, not a high enough standard. We require a “yes.”
Sady Doyle who’s been a fucking trooper on this is continues to be awesome in Keith Olbermann and the Eternal “If”:
But when I told Keith Olbermann I was being attacked, he asked for proof, and I gave it, and I said I had more proof I could give him, and he still refused to acknowledge it, he still talked about “if.”
THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT RAPE CULTURE CONSISTS OF. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE PROTESTING. … I proved the attack, and he said the attack would be bad “if.” “If” it was real. “If” I weren’t just being hysterical and making it up. WHEN KEITH OLBERMANN KNEW IT WAS REAL, Keith Olbermann said “if.”
Rape culture is a gigantic insidious fucking Shoggoth that threatens all women and even men. It’s about discrediting, blaming and automatically disbelieving victims and privileging and excusings attackers and constantly moving the goalposts and always pretending that of course we take rape seriously but this time it obviously isn’t real rape-rape.
This is not over just because Michael Moore has managed to be a decent human being one time. This is not over until we end rape culture.
No matter how much we can raise, it won’t be enough. But by donating, we demonstrate two things: First, that every rape survivor, every rape survivor, is exactly as important as this one WikiLeaks member (and keep in mind that the organization of WikiLeaks, no matter how you feel about it, could in fact keep going without Assange). Second, we communicate the same thing we’ve been saying all along, which is: If you are a rape survivor, we have your back. We care. We don’t care who comes at you, or how hostile the culture is to you, or who you are: We care about you, about your right to live in a world without rape culture or rape apologism, about dismantling rape culture and rape apologism, about providing you with the support and resources you need, about opposing those who would smear or endanger or hurt you, and just, basically, making sure that if you need a hand we will give it. We care about you.
We are going to keep pressuring Michael Moore (@MMFlint! #MooreandMe!) for an apology, an explanation, and a donation of $20,000. But we can help rape victims, too.
I’m a privileged girl. I have plenty of time to kill on the weekends watching hashtags and stirring up trolls online.
I can also make a difference in real life by contributing some of my disposable income – a byproduct of my unearned privilege as an educated, employed middle-class white person – to help support other victims of rape and sexual abuse.
I know many people cannot afford to contribute in this way – capitalism, ho! – but I can. And if you can, let the world know that you too will stand up for rape victims and refuse to let them be shamed and silenced.