Advice From The Comic Hack 172 – The Support The Survivors – Men Are The Worst Edition

Sep 02

Advice From The Comic Hack 172 – The Support The Survivors – Men Are The Worst Edition

Austrian bodybuilder, Predator slayer, Mr. Universe, California Governor, Terminator, Kennedy banger and my personal favorite (of three) Conans; Arnold Schwarzenegger has said “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. 

Today I try to respond to one of the most difficult emails I have ever gotten. I mean – the question is not that hard but the situation certainly is. Finding or making “the funny” for this one is. For inspiration I look to one of my personal heroes and unparalleled quote-machine Sir Winnie Churchill who offers this “We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival” and from Burmese statesperson, politician, diplomat and author Aung San Suu Kyi who reminds us all “Humor is one of the best ingredients of survival.” Today a Darling Reader, previously victimized in a heart-breaking way has her hard-won peace shattered when her attacker ‘returns from the dead’ to victimize her once again. This is not a zombie story but it does contain horrors. Please try to survive today’s column –  which I hope to eventually include in a book (and/or an Ebook) –  AND don’t forget to submit questions for future columns to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com 

Big Winnie, Big Pimpin'

Big Winnie, Big Pimpin

 

I quite enjoy reading your advice column, as do I always strive to catch The Tortuga Twins at least once every year at *redacted* Renaissance Festival. As such, I was wondering if you might shed some light onto my own situation.

About two years ago, I found myself trapped in a relationship that started as a casual affair and quickly turned very abusive. This man was violent, and raped me frequently over the next eight months. The seemingly obvious question at hand is why I didn’t leave sooner, but the mental illnesses I struggled with at the time prevented me from believing things could be better than they were, and he was extremely volatile and threatened my life if I were to ever say anything. It wasn’t until I started to recover from severe depression that I found the courage to record the act so that I would have evidence against him; I made myself very clear that if he ever came anywhere near me again, I would turn my evidence over to the police. Things got quiet after that.
A few months later, I heard a rumor at a science fiction convention (how we originally met) that he had committed suicide. I saw no reason for people to lie about this, and still don’t, so I didn’t question it. Instead, I felt relieved that I wouldn’t have to keep looking over my shoulder in case he were to try to come back into my life.

Until he walked into the store I worked at two weeks ago.

All of my old anxieties have flooded back, especially now that he knows where I presently work. I don’t know what to expect of him, if anything. I feel like I had finally surfaced after months of drowning, only to be pulled right back under the water again. I don’t know what to do.

Any words of wisdom on your part would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

A loyal fan

I stole this image from the movie - Girls Against Boys too.

I stole this image from the movie – Girls Against Boys too.

I really wanted to open this response Darling Reader, beloved reader, aggrieved reader… strong, surviving reader – with a jovial, joking-not-joking response to the effect of “My instincts are to shoot him Dead-bang, and/or send him to JAIL.” But I’m glib. I’m a boy. I’m an (allegedly) funny, poseur, comic scribbling out advice and dick jokes and trying – if I fail at making the world better – to at least not make it worse. As a boy – A man (I’m 51 years old I might-as-well own up to it) I cannot know what you have endured. I cannot know what you’re going through now. And though I have studied and read so very much about how sexual assault cases are mishandled by our court system I could never experience that travesty and injustice the same way you would. Men are the worst.

I’m a man. I’m a man who is aware and outraged. I am a man sick-to-death the statistics of sexual violence against women. RAINN – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – reports “Every 109 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes that victim is a child. Meanwhile only 6 out of every 1000 perpetrators will end-up in prison.” I’m fucking tired, exhausted, yet so filled with rage at the knowledge that 11.2% of all college students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation and I have a righteous, almost murderous, indignation when I hear of the Brock Turners, David Beckers, John Enochs and Mother-fucking Austin James Wilkersons – animals who committed unforgivable crimes yet got off scott-free. These privileged, white, educated, evil vermin are so different from the hooded figure in an alley, a car park, in your home – that we’ve been trained to fear. I’m heartbroken that a father has to teach his daughter where to park, how to dress, to be careful of her drinks, her dates, and her choices as if somehow it’s her responsibility to ensure she’s not a victim. And tell me; how dare I make this column about me?

Ladies - Rapists.

Ladies – Rapists.

Speaking of me – I’ll let you in on another secret: each week in preparation for this article I have to assign a “Featured photo” that appears at the top of the column and that shows up whenever you link to it. Having studied advanced click-baiting I make sure that each featured photo is “sexy”, usually featuring a scantily-clad and alluring woman – because it works. In fact for each feature photo I usually just Google Image Search the word “sexy” followed by something related to the topic. “Sexy Zombie” “Sexy Soap Opera Villain” “Sexy Poker Players” are some of my recent searches and it seems to be working, to be drawing eyeballs. Men are the worst. It appears to be drawing traffic even though I suspect the majority of my reading base is women. What the hell am I supposed to do for this one “Sexy Rape Survivor?” You know what – I just Googled that. Don’t. Men are the absolute WORST!

I’m a man. Men can – and do – get raped but let’s be honest here, it mostly by other men. Men are the worst. Let’s also be clear, statistically the biggest challenge I face as a cis-gendered, white, middle-aged, male is how to make a fucking joke, or series of jokes – dick or otherwise – about this horrible topic.  I am so-very-slightly likely to get robbed, or shot or struck down by an angry Sith lord but mathematically all of my oral/excretory/genital protrusions and orifices are going to remain un penetrated and un molested. All I have to worry about today is bringing the funny. The best “joke” I can come-up with so far? “An American gets raped every 109 seconds – Whew, that American has bad luck! They must be so tired and sore! That American should move to a safer neighborhood!” Yeah it’s not great – but neither is this topic. At least I refrained from making the joke about Turner and Becker and Wilkersongetting off” because FUCK those PIECES of SHIT. Or rather; DON’T. They deserve to never have sex again – prison rape notwithstanding.

You may not fit in PRISON little rich boy, but we'll find a way to fit in YOU

You may not fit in PRISON little rich boy, but we’ll find a way to fit in YOU

I’m a man who is aware, and fuming. I can’t know what you’ve faced but I do know how complex and shattering what you’ve gone through is reported as being. You’ll never hear me question why you “didn’t leave” or the validity of your assault when you mention that you were dating at the time. You’ll never hear “real rape” or victim blaming coming from this Comic Hack. My heart bleeds for you. Sitting in my comfy Comic Hack abode suffused with anger and on the verge of tears I can only say I’m sorry. I can remind you that you can, and will survive. I am in awe of your strength.

No. I do not question nor do I blame you for not having left that man earlier or moved forward with prosecution when the opportunity arose. I do not blame you for not having moved forward with any judicial reckoning – I can only pray you don’t blame yourself. This quote – from one of the TWO Survivors Of Rape Forums I will link to in this article wrecks me when it talks about how you understandably stop trusting men – or anyone – after an attack “…You don’t even trust yourself. You question your judgment, your self-worth, even your sanity. You may blame yourself for what happened or believe you’re “dirty” or “damaged goods.” Relationships feel dangerous, intimacy impossible. And on top of that, you may—like many rape survivors—struggle with PTSDanxiety, and depression.

Fuck

But enough about me, about victims, about survivors, about criminals and about men. MEN ARE THE WERST (hehehe).  Let me address exactly what you wrote me for. What do you do now?

See: "Werst" is a type of sausage AND it looks like a penis being... Whatever let's see YOU come up with a better joke

See: “Werst” is a type of sausage AND it looks like a penis being… Whatever let’s see YOU come up with a better joke

I might be joking about shooting him (I have to say that so if you do; I’m not legally liable) but are you sure I cannot get you to go to the cops? I’d love for you to put his ass in jail, possibly in a Turkish or Philippine prison; some dark hellhole befitting his stature. But I won’t fault you for not wanting to subject yourself to the abomination of trying to pursue this legally. I’d like to think that the video you were brave enough to produce would make it an open-and-shut case. But I also want to believe in unicorns.

I couldn't possibly have put up the "hot Unicorn Girl" in a column like this

I also couldn’t possibly have put up the “hot Unicorn Girl” photo in a column like this

I am going to strongly, fiercely advocate for you to take out a restraining order so that the full strength of the law (whatever that means) will compel this bucket of shit to stay away from you. Since you now have possible complications at work – if you can do so without jeopardizing your career and your emotional and psychological well-being; perhaps you can enlist the aid of your coworkers? At least, circumstances permitting, tell the boss and/or senior-most female supervisor. Maybe you can produce a little kit, like an “In case of Asshole Rapist, Break Glass” deal that you can place in his hands if he ever dare return? Make sure it includes a copy of the restraining order, a copy of the incriminating video, an invitation for this bag of poisoned meat to stay far away from you (the added clause about rotting in hell or being eaten by grizzly bears is optional) maybe even the business card of a high-powered and highly motivated lawyer and a not-so-thinly veiled threat “I have the evidence. I have the option of pursuing you with JAIL or a CIVIL SUIT. Either way – I’ll make it my hobby to ruin your life as you attempted to do with mine. I thought you were dead and I preferred it that way. If you value your shitty existence – and selfish pricks like you always do – you’ll go away so I can pretend that you ARE dead. I really want PEACE but I will absolutely settle for VENGEANCE.” Make him fear the consequences of his cowardly act. Let him know you’re a force to be reckoned with.

Or...

Or…

Listen Darling Reader, dear friend. All Charles Bronson fantasies aside, what I want most is for you to be SAFE, as happy and healthy as you can be and for you to not allow yourself to be victimized by this insignificant, syphilitic sloth-penis ever again. I’m going to suggest going to the police to consider pressing charges. I’m going to suggest that you do talk to a lawyer about a lawsuit. But I’m going to insist that you take out the restraining order. I also want you to promise me that you won’t go through this alone. Talk to those at work if you can. Speak to your best friend(s). Do you know any large, angry, punchy-and-stompy types? Maybe they should know how you’ve been wronged? Get some counseling. Seek the support of those who – like you – survived this. A very smart lady-friend of mine suggested RAINN, or you could also choose AFTER SILENCE as online support. There are hotlines and meetings and people far better qualified to help you than some slinger of jokes sitting in his Doctor Who pajamas, railing at your unfair treatment. I also want you to promise to contact me in a month. I want to KNOW you’re okay and that you’ve taken some steps to move forward, get healthier, and to keep yourself safe.

Please!

Please!

That’s the note I am going to end one of the tougher columns I have ever had to write on.  I think we need to end here and maybe all curl up alone, in our blanket forts with our teddy bears. Tell me what you thought of my reply in the COMMENTS Section below. ALSO: Do you have issues you like some advice on? Do you have questions about life, sex, death, relationships or other totally insignificant concerns? I’d love for you to submit those questions to advicequestions@comichacksguide.com. Finally; almost forgot: SHARE, LIKE, TWEET and spread this week’s column for me m’kay?

11 comments

  1. Your Humble Comic Hack /

    This was hard for me. Was there anything else I should have suggested? Should I have more jokes or fewer? please let me hear from you.

    • Windyfairy /

      Maybe a self defense class? Shooting him may get her in some hot water, having to prove defense and all, but being trained to knife hand that mf’er in the throat, if he ever comes near her not only improves her safety, but her self esteem. A good teacher will be understanding of her need for physical training and psychological reinforcement. My grand master always put me with a guy that was six three. In hindsight, I know it was because, physically, it was easier for me to throw him, because of physics. It did amazing things for my confidence, though, to feel like I could handle someone that much bigger than I am.

  2. Jennifer /

    Wow. Just… Wow. Sir, you are spot on with the advice.

    My wish for this reader is that her incredible strength will carry her forward. I *HOPE* she does get the restraining order. I *HOPE* she has someone – several someones – at work she can trust to assist her. (I *HOPE* this guy went home, considered what he’d done to her, and decided to end it all by sticking his head in the toilet and swirlie-ing himself to death.)

    • Your Humble Comic Hack /

      I cannot think of better end for this P.O.S. than down the tidy-bowl

  3. That was difficult to read, I’m sure it was difficult to write. You did a damn fine job writing on her particularly difficult subject.

    All of the things that you suggested she do I wholeheartedly agree with, however, you left out another option. A gun. Get trained, get armed and carry daily. Protecting our self is a basic fundamental human right. It’s not for everybody but it should never be discounted as an option.

    • Your Humble Comic Hack /

      Actually I DID suggest shooting him Dead Bang… and as a concealed carry cardholder myself I support her 2nd Amendment rights.
      But I’m not certain if that’s the sole or even correct answer myself.

  4. I’ve seen what happens when a victim doesn’t go public. She was sexually assaulted by her trusted roommate. She told a few close friends, but refused to go public. Years later, she continued to think about what he’d done. She couldn’t take the mental strain anymore; she confronted him in his home and shot him 9 times. She’s currently serving a 30 year prison sentence.

    Please report this. Get a restraining order. Get your manager to understand the consequences if he shows up at your place of work. Many, many people will want to help; trusting them enough to let them help is often the hardest part.

    • Your Humble Comic Hack /

      Holy SMOKES is that a cautionary tale!
      Thanks for weighing in

  5. The Loyal Fan /

    Survivor in question who wrote you here. I want to just take a moment to say thank you for your thoughtful words, and for allowing me to crack a smile while I try to figure out my next step. I’m considering all options (that are legal, anyway – as much as I might enjoy such cheery fantasies I don’t think going in guns blazing will end well for me either). Right now, I am grateful for my friends who know and have been a shoulder to lean on, and I’m grateful for you, dear Comic Hack.
    I owe you a bear hug at the Ren faire.

    • Your Humble Comic Hack /

      We have your back!
      Not just me, but all of us.
      Be safe, reach out for anything you need!

  6. The Loyal Fan /

    Well, it may be a bit over the month that you requested. But my restraining order came through. Thank you again for your words of support and allowing me to confide in you when I didn’t (still don’t) really have anyone else to talk to. I owe you a bottle of Vodak. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *