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The Thelemite and the Drunk Girl

The Thelemite and the Drunk Girl

by Sister Georgia


A thought experiment for for a dreary June morning:

Part 1

You are a committed thelemite, who recognises no restraint, whether moral, social or legal, over your Will. You also haven’t gotten laid in 7 years.

The woman of your dreams invites you out for dinner, apropos nothing. In the course of the evening she imbibes a large amount of alcohol. She invites herself back to your flat, snd you crack open another bottle. She flirts with you; kisses you; begins to remove some clothes.

You run off to the bathroom for pre-coital ablutions and, upon return you find her naked, draped seductively over the sofa…. and fast asleep. You try to wake her, but she is dead to the world: thoroughly drunk, and thoroughly passed out.

You are a committed thelemite, who recognises no restraint, whether moral, social or legal, over your Will.

The only Law you recognise is the Law of Thelema: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

What do you do?

Part 2

Another thought experiment

You are a committed thelemite, who recognises no restraint, whether moral, social or legal, over your Will. You get laid with some regularity, though not as much as you like.

You have begun dating a woman, and have slept with her once or twice. You arrange to meet a her at a party, and make plans in advance to go home together afterwards. You flirt throughout the evening.

As the party draws to a close, and everyone has left except you two, you realise the person is very drunk: so drunk, in fact, that they fall over, and are unable to get up. They are not unconscious, but nor do they appear to have any clue what’s going on.

You are a committed thelemite, who recognises no restraint, whether moral, social or legal, over your Will.

What do you do?

Part 3

So, how come when it’s phrased like this, most people I ask can agree unquestioningly on the Willful course of action? To the extent that even posing the question begins to look absurd. But when I say “’I was raped” and describe the second of these situations from the perspective of a victim, a significant amount of the response was that I should not have been so drunk, that I should have acted more responsibly for myself.

I accept the bias of presenting in the situation in the mode of a thought experiment, but that’s the point. Men seem to find it so easy to empathise with the perpetrator in this situation, but so difficult to empathise with the victim

When it’s a thought experiment almost everyone agrees. But when we actually speak of the person who does not act as agreed, the impetus suddenly goes to the woman—“why did you get so drunk?” And this is victim shaming pure and simple. Because it is easier to talk about how women should protect themselves than how men should change their behaviour.

This article states it perfectly:

“When we tell women not to wear short skirts we are also fundamentally misunderstanding the drivers and causes of sexual violence (it’s about power and control, not lust). But we’re also not really trying to prevent rape, rather we’re simply trying to reorder who gets raped, by downstreaming the problem to the next woman in line.
We’re saying, ‘Don’t rape me! Rape the drunker girl, the girl in the even shorter skirt.’
We’re also saying that we think male violence is not a choice that men have any control over.
And here’s the rub. Not only is this advice not making women safer, it’s actually enabling offenders, and putting women at greater risk.
How?
Well, when police tell women not to walk alone at night, it doesn’t stop women walking alone (and in reality, women are far more likely to be attacked in their own homes than on the streets).
What this advice does do is significantly deter women who have been assaulted from reporting to police for fear that they will be blamed or judged.
And this means that offenders can keep on offending with impunity […]
At the time I reported it to police but, bruised and in pain, one officer told me “the problem is women just don’t understand the risky situations they put themselves in”.

Let that sink in.

A 23-year-old woman who has been bashed, choked, threatened with a box cutter and indecently sexually assaulted goes to police and is told “the problem is women”.”

But there’s a further aspect, not often spoken about because it is a highly complex one, and involves a great deal of empathy. And we’re all so on the lookout for the chance to shout SHAME and the chance to cry BLAME that we’re unable to see the complexity and the grim inevitability of the patterns in which we are enmeshed. When people say “well, you have an alcohol problem, and are a slut.” And I narrow my eyes and think, really? You really do not get it?

A lot of people who come to magic have had a difficult past. For women in our current culture, this often means a difficult sexual past (remember one in three women have been sexually assaulted). Whatever the reasons—and I believe misrepresentations of Babalon, the reputation of Crowley and the secular nature of British feminism all have a part to play—there is an undeniable trend.

I struggle with alcohol. Many people who have had difficult pasts do. It is something I have worked on, and continue to work on. My relationship with alcohol is not independent of this trend, this formula—I drink to forget things men have done to me. Drink-shaming someone isn’t quite the same as rape-shaming, and I do understand that it often comes from a good place. But it is also ignorant and unfair. It shows a distinct lack of empathy and understanding; it enshrines rape as an occurrence that is unusual, and discrete—that is, it implicitly and unconsciously denies the impact sexual assault has on women, and the way that one sexual assault often makes women more vulnerable to more. Because you’d think—well, won’t you protect yourself better now? Make sure that this doesn’t happen again? But when someone you love rapes you or beats you, or degrades you day after day, you begin to think this is how you deserve to be treated, that this is what love looks like.

I am asked to empathise with my abuser, to understand why they may act that way

And I am told I drink too much. But no one asks me, why I acted that way. Because if they did, I would say “I have been pressured into sex since I was 15. I drank to take the edge off when I had sex I didn’t want. It took me a long time to recognise the pattern, and I rarely drink now–because I know, I am less able to protect myself – because I know, in the past, in dangerous situations, drunk me always chose the path least likely to get her killed. And sometimes that means sex one doesn’t want. But it’s better than a beating, right?” (Anyone who thinks I’m exaggerating probably shouldn’t move to NE England). Never forget that good ole adage: “Men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them.”

And I understand, when I hear people say, “what does this have to do with anything?” But I also know I’m not the only one who feels like this. Not the only one who got used to abuse being normal, who developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol in order to deal with the abuse, and normalised this too. “What does this have to do with anything?!” you cry. Because freedom doesn’t mean the same thing for men as it does for women.

The order was supposed to be different. It was a space where I was supposed to be able to be proud of myself- to finally be free to act as I willed, and not to tiptoe ‘round men, making sure that my shirt wasn’t too low cut, and my talk too provocative, and my eyes too fucking alluring. It was supposed to be a place where I could talk about sex without being ashamed of myself, and without inviting attention. It was supposed to be a place where I stood equal with my brothers. It was supposed to be a place where I could be honest about my vulnerabilities, and my problems, and receive support to work through them—not where they would be noted on a fucking clipboard and systematically used against me. Because we just love passing judgement on women, don’t we? Even other women love it—a chance to return some of the spite they’ve been subject to.

I say, “someone has wronged me.” You say “well, you should not have made yourself vulnerable to harm.” But all this is a super convenient way of gaslighting the existence of structures of vulnerability—of denying people vulnerability. It’s not that there shouldn’t be compassion and attempt to help passed-out people, or even some level of judgement, particularly if it helps to work out how the situation could have been prevented…. except, there is. Because the focus of conversation is still on the behaviour of the victim, rather than on that of the perpetrator, and thus we cannot help but ignore the underlying problem.

We don’t speak about them as though they have betrayed the very essence of our only Law—which is precisely what they have done. And I appear the only one sitting here understanding that the Law of Thelema is a categorical imperative. There are no ifs and buts and whens, only Will.

My point is, we shouldn’t be discussing what the woman was doing, at all. Conversations around these topics always appear to revolve around what the woman was doing/wearing/saying, where she was, what she drank, whose company she kept. But that entirely misses the point that she has done nothing wrong.

If we all agree rape is wrong, why does it still happen, constantly? Because the cultural changes are only being asked of women, being done by women. I had so many friends say to me, “well, if you don’t want to get in situations like this, then don’t get so drunk.” And so a stricture is placed on my freedom:  I must watch my actions here, not drink too much, act provocatively, drawn any male attention. Because here, too, I am a victim-in-waiting, and if I don’t act accordingly, then I have only myself to blame.

But to me the point of a fraternity, when I’ve faced a lifetime of men trying to get into my pants, is to have a space that is safe from that: in a society that barely recognised sexual assault as a criminal act (in reality, not idealistically), a fraternity should be the place where one can pass out naked and wake up fully clothed in bed. To me, that is the whole point. Because if you want women to perform magic with a group of people—magic which makes them etherically and emotionally vulnerable, as well as physically—they need to know that they are safe. That is the point of a magical brotherhood.

Drink sweet wines and wines that foam : We will guard you in your ways.


 

Other articles by Sister Georgia:


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4 thoughts on “The Thelemite and the Drunk Girl

  1. Thank you for these series of articles. You are a committed thelemite, who recognises no restraint, whether moral, social or legal, over your Will. I will first address this. I have never thought that Thelema permits or accepts no restraint in moral, social, or legal matters. I believe it asks that one respect another’s Will. In the first two scenarios mentioned, this is rape and should be prosecuted under law as such.

    In a previous article, the matter of an individual with higher position in a Thelematic organization having sexual relations with another under their guidance. Specifically, the article talked about a case of rape. That was/is clearly wrong. My opening line in this paragraph is what I gathered as an underling issue. A house of worship, a religious organization, and any business, etc. must accept that leaders are to be held to a higher standard. In matters of religion where a pastor or other has a degree of authority and power of an individual to betray trust for sexual gratification is wrong.

    Thank you once again for the articles. 93

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