The above video is by Emilie Autumn. I’ve never heard of this musician before my kid ended up with a custom Sim on their video game (Sims 3) called the same which they had downloaded just because of the unique look of her. After a bit of googling, I found out she is a musician and dug them up on Spotify. Through my googling I found out she was a survivor of abuse, rape and assault, and had a pretty rough case of bipolar disorder which included auditory hallucinations. She apparently can visualize written music because of coping mechanisms she developed to keep the hallucinations under control.
I’m in a very musically submersive mood lately. Not that I’m not always listening to something, but sometimes I will drown in it. This is apparently one of those times.
My first impression of her music was Amanda Fucking Palmer had a lovechild with Maggie Estep in a Victorian Cabaret, her songs were riddled with storyline and tongue in cheek blasting on a lot of women’s issues as well as society’s complete inability to deal with mental health. Through listening to her latest album, which you can hear on Spotify at least, I realized just how right she was and my god, how beautiful she puts it out there and serves it to us, all the while never backing down from being just as shocking and blunt as she wants to be.
Amanda Palmer is a survivor of past assault… Siouxsie Sioux too. These people too and these (from WordPress, no less), and here’s a list of over a hundred songs that relate to abuse, assault and/or rape. And these are just the famous ones, I would not doubt if everyone knows of at least 5 other people who have been victims of some type of abuse/assault, or possibly were yourselves.
Why? What the hell is wrong with people?
I think we have all come to understand that rape is not about sex, but about power. I’ve never understood why there was so much fear of (mostly) women that rape was the main go-to men used against them. I’m not going to get into the politics of female-on-male rape, but I would like to point out that men and women both have reflex biological reactions to tactile stimuli, none of which indicates “consent.” If we didn’t have these responses, sex would not be very pleasant for the times we do consent. Not even if someone was walking down the street completely naked are they “asking for it,” and if a victim is acting “too normal” its probably because, like most us, we want our lives back to where they were before trauma.
But what if you have a mental disability or behavioral disability that makes it difficult for you to interact with others or communicate fully? If you don’t tell those close to you, they probably won’t be close for very long, but what about work and or dating relationships? If you do tell them, do you risk the chance they might objectify you and feel that anything you say has no value since you’re “crazy”?
I already have an epic truckload of issues with the mental health field and its current level of capability. I also have a problem with the level of stigma that is created in which people are only defined by their most prominent weakness. “Oh they were depressed… that’s definitely why they killed their entire family, case closed.” I don’t know about you but when I am in the height of my depression, I can barely come off the couch. It’s usually my overall apathy that tells me I need to get my meds adjusted.
I think the mental health field is about the same level as, historically, the medical field was when leeches and bloodletting were the main go-to for… well, everything. Combined with our bad habit of objectifying someone with a special hurdle in the russian roulette that is genetics & heavy dose of environment, you have a recipe for a lot of problems with assault and rape. Who is going to believe the freak, right?
Personally, the kind of person who would think like that, who would take advantage of that type of situation… they need the special needle…quickly. You’d euthanize a rabid dog, I find no difference here… except the dog couldn’t help it, we just can’t cure it. Actually, can we keep the dog and just eliminate the twisted as fuck human?
The sad part is proving it. The only ones they victimize are the ones who long stopped bothering to say anything because no one listens anyway, their words have no merit. Makes us pretty fucked up as a society, doesn’t it?
But Emilie drags her pain and her weaknesses and everything ever done to her right in the middle of the room and makes you look at it, refuses to let you turn away and makes a bitter joke of it to make you face it and see it all for the truth behind the lies. She, like Amanda and Siouxsie wear their past like armor and use it to toss a giant middle finger at anyone who thinks they should behave “more like a victim” to be credible.
It reminds us the problem doesn’t lie with disability or trauma. It lies with our treatment of those who have suffered, those who have a disability and most especially those who have dealt with both… we all matter, no matter what your unique color or flavor may be, we are humans, the most complex of animals, we just need to stop behaving otherwise.