1989

if you can’t fuck’em, kill’em
if you can’t do it good..
do it hard

– Lydia Lynch

leather

Tori Amos is pretty well known for her song Me and a Gun, inspired by her own rape, to the extent that some people only know her as “the chick who was raped”. (Side note: This is one of the reasons many women choose not to expose themselves as having been raped.) It’s easier to see things that way, I suppose.

This version is very quiet and expresses a delicate sadness and strength, barely indicative of the courage required to sing such a song and share it with so many people. But, as she says, “I must get out of this”.

A few years ago Tori started performing Me and a Gun in a much angrier, aggressive manner. At one point she has a knife and at another point she has a gun. I don’t like the gun portion because it seems less potent and unnecessary. Yes, the song is about a gun and not a knife, but the knife functions better in her hands. Perhaps because she was actually raped by a man with a knife? I don’t know.

The point is that anger is less acceptable in female victims than sadness. I have experienced this personally when attempting to express my feelings regarding sexual assault. It’s not that I believe perpetual anger is good for people, but I believe that we have a right to our anger just as much as to our sadness.

I think that the female character in my project is holding onto anger because it’s more appealing to her than being feeling like a victim, but she cannot help straddling both responses. And in the midst of this, there are still other questions. And doubts.

The last time I checked, we were heading out into the snow-covered wilderness to escape a powerful group of men who were trying to assert permanent dominance by raping and impregnating us. Some of the women were not trust-worthy, more crab-like. They found my secret room.

It’s time to go.

The Last House on the Left, 1972

I watched Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left (1972) the day before yesterday, knowing full well that it was going to be difficult for me to stomach. Horror films aren’t exactly my thing to begin with, and this particular film deals with a truly horrific ordeal for two young women. I could shrug it off as a movie, but rape and murder aren’t fiction, only this particular instance is fiction.

Like The Virgin Spring, there is a “bad”  girl (Phyllis) and a “good” girl (Mari). Although, Craven more explicitly demonstrated the way that the innocent girl is not so in the black and white sense. She drinks, she talks about sex, she doesn’t wear a bra, she says, “tits” to her parents when talking about bras, and she’s more than willing to “score some grass” before the concert. This may be in part the bad girl’s influence, but the good girl is nonetheless intrigued.

Mari: The leaves are really beautiful.
Phyllis: Yup, they’re really starting to change. I guess winter’s comin’ on!
Mari: Yup, Hey! I changed this winter!
Phyllis: What do you mean you changed?
Mari: I mean my breasts filled out!
[Phyllis laughs]
Mari: I mean they were nothing last summer!
Phyllis: I didn’t know you last summer!
Mari: Well, they have!
Phyllis: Well, congratulations!

And an even “uglier”, “animal-like” woman (Sadie) was in on the rapes and murders. Ironically, she refused to have sex with Krug earlier in the movie because of her newfound female independence. She reminds me of women who decide to be “one of the boys” because it’s better than being one of the girls. Safer, anyway.

Takes one to know one, I suppose.

It’s not really a good movie. I was watching the whole time for special moments or stills to take, but nothing much struck me as interesting. Beyond the implications of being really sickening.