Social alarm and confusion are two terms that are being used to synthesize, enunciate and signify the practice of pricks and chemical submission. In my opinion, the debate is precisely in clearing this equation, renaming its variables and clarifying its functions. This action is a matter as mathematical as it is organic –in terms of the social body– that allows reflecting the salubrity of the exercise, consolidation and protection of sexual violence within the social group.
To begin with, it is relevant to situate the practice of chemical submission as one of the formats that the exercise of sexual violence acquires, that is, what is innovative is, perhaps, the format but not the content or intentionality. The habit of cheating, tricking, getting drunk to reduce reaction capacities or comprehension with the idea of sexually assaulting are forms of generalized submission and, furthermore, socially consensual. Here is the first important question; the process of establishing consensus implies naturalizing the method and naturalization is the necessary preliminary step to trivialize sexual violence and empty it of political content. This idea places us directly in the consequences of encompassing punctures within concepts such as social alarm and confusion. From a feminist perspective there is no confusion –everything is very clear– and social alarm continues to be a mechanism that society activates to prevent (re)thinking in political terms what is behind the punctures. In other words, confusion and social alarm fulfill a coordinated function: to execute the system of control, punishment and surveillance that is established over the life and body of women and to protect the free exercise of sexual violence. Is it the confusion that leads to social alarm or the social alarm that generates the confusion?
The (dis)order –order in patriarchal terms– in the debate produces a lack of clarity, fear, difficulty knowing what to think, what to do, and this confusion is the perfect stage to cling to what we do know and practice; machismo and sexual violence. Inevitably, in the confusion, social alarm appears linked, solely and exclusively, to fear. This alarm without critical debate does not transform, if we build social alarm we are structurally protecting sexual violence. And this is one of the debates that we must implement.
Therefore, a battery of questions with their answers: what is the social alarm responding to? To protect the sexual status quo and its privileges. What exactly surprises or shocks us about punctures? That sexual violence materializes in a praxis that violates the pact of what is assumable, of what is acceptable, of what has already been naturalized and that as a society we allow, build and shelter every day. In this regard, the social alarm precisely reveals the symbolic legislation that prevails in society as a whole, that is, we are concerned about the act of pricking because it is imprecise, because it is unknown and because sexual violence can only be carried out within the parameters of naturalization, otherwise exposes the patriarchal sexual contract and its existence. Hence the expressions “Where are we going to get?”. We have already arrived, a long time ago. Equally serious acts happen continuously but fully accepted.
On the other hand, confusion and social alarm are feeding on dynamics that reproduce all the mechanisms of sexual violence. Thus, for example, an important part of the published news has a basically criminalistic perspective. The discourses around the “procedure” of the injections, the drug they contain or the possible effects they generate are a way of downplaying the underlying debate and (re)establishing a voice that, beyond being critical, is reactionary. Giving voice to “experts” who, furthermore, openly acknowledge not knowing what the drug being injected may be, casts doubt and questions the experiences and symptoms of those who have lived through it. And, even more serious, it depoliticizes our debate by placing us in the discursive drift of machismo.
Chemical submission through puncture, regardless of its intention or ultimate goal, is a dynamic from which to exercise control, submission and sexual violence. This control-submission binomial has multiple ways of materializing, one of the most important –and also the most subtle– is the incorporation of sexual terror, which in practice translates into a constant reduction of the most fundamental freedoms for women. The discourses that have been built around the subject send out an instructive message that reinforces the discipline of punishment, vigilance, alertness, self-control and sexual terror in women (submission); and consolidate the position of power and privileges of men (control).
For all these reasons, it is essential to turn the focus, not to continue producing news and discourses that strengthen sexual violence but instead deconstruct and problematize it from critical feminist theory. When I speak of turning the focus, I speak of placing the gaze and responsibility on the attitudes of those who attack and not on those of those who are attacked, I speak of placing the debate in its fair terms. Let’s pose the question from four statements: “At 10 pm at home because you still rape”, “I’m going to look for you because after a certain time you rape in a group”, “It’s better that you don’t go out tonight because there will be a lot of people and you still violate”, “Do not walk alone through areas where you think you can rape”. These expressions appeal directly to the reduction of rights and freedoms of men. It would be unthinkable to raise this scenario in which, hypothetically, public space, attitudes, freedom of movement and the free exercise of sexuality are restricted for them, simply raising it can generate a violent reaction on their part. However, in women’s lives it is absolutely naturalized, assumed and agreed upon. The ‘not all men’ –but yes to all women– can no longer be an argument, it is a perverse fallacy from which to justify oneself.
Let’s take “the punctures” as a gateway for a deeper reflection with feminist approaches and perspective that make it possible to reflect on the privileges and social prestige of hegemonic masculinity, the culture of rape and the social pact that protects it. Let’s look away, hold those who attack responsible for the attacks, demand that they say NO to themselves and their peers, and that social control be focused on their attitudes. In this context of debate, what coverage would punctures have?
We, compañeras, feminism, online feminist self-defense, fun and pleasure as a political proposal.