Bullard and Gordin epitomise rape culture
I’ve tried to steer clear of the Bullard-Solomon slugfest but Jeremy Gordin’s smug, masturbatory “article” on Politicsweb has pushed me over the edge.
I’m not going to link to it – you can google it if you really want to bathe in its excremental depths – mainly because I don’t want to lend credence to the very-old-boys club that is clearly in charge at that site.
I’ll offer a summary instead:
“This Bullard-Solomon thing is lame, dude, fully lame”
“Threesomes are totally cool, chick, so chill”
“Yo! Who would the third person be? Tee hee! Funnnny!”
“Bullard doesn’t hit on chicks – he’s waaaay too cool for that, bro.”
“You’re all way too outraged, yo, we’re just joking and shit”
Or to sum it up in one line: “Bros before hos forever, right?!”
It’s not the limp and mechanical writing that offends me – although I’d be ashamed if that was my level of expertise after four decades in the game – it’s what is behind the words.
Neither Bullard nor Gordin have raped anyone – at least not to our knowledge – but their behaviour is the very epitome of rape culture. In their tone, in their approach, in their attitude we see their message clearly: “Stop making such a fuss, woman, it was just a bit of drunken sex which you secretly wanted anyway. If all you mouthy bitches would just shut up we would all be happy.”
Of course both of them will deny this to the ends of the earth. They will point to the specifics of what they actually wrote – to their words in their most literal and narrow sense. This is a vital part of rape culture – focus on the details of each case and treat each incident on its dubious merits. She was wearing a short skirt. She was flirting. She was a bit of a slut.
None of this is to say that either Bullard or Gordin are stupid. They know how to pick their battles. Bullard chose Solomon carefully. Her polarising militancy makes her an ideal target for his attacks. As soon as anyone objects he can immediately appeal to the specifics of the case – “She’s a shrew! She needs to lighten up.” – which is great cover for what is essentially verbal abuse and hate speech.
But this kind of mechanism is exactly how the most insidious and established bastions of rape culture operate. It’s not about the 21-year-old bros screaming “Suck my cock” – those are just the inexperienced vanguard of the unspoken global rape alliance. In time they learn the best weapons: spin, dissimulation, trivialisation, ridicule, scoffing dismissal.
The fact that a white man in his 60s with considerable resources and connections has used that influence to openly attack a woman in her 20s, however strident she may be, on behalf of another man in his 60s (also gifted with money and influence) should be sign enough of what’s wrong with this picture. This isn’t journalism, commentary or even free speech. This is bullying by the most unforgivable class of bullies this planet has to offer: old, rich, connected white men.
Bullard and Gordin make me ashamed to be white, male and South African. To be associated with them, even obliquely, fills me with disgust.