Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Things That Piss Me Off - the I have not been on social media for two weeks hardly at all and just look at this mess...


I need to write, but I can't promise that any of this will make sense. I'm going on week three of anxiety fueled sleep deprivation and being kept upright through the use of a magic elixir known as caffeine.

*slurps gigantic Diet Coke*



Seriously, you guys. I've seen things.

I'm not here to talk about what has been going on in my personal universe, mostly because I am (yet again) peripheral to the story and it really isn't my story to tell and even though way too many people I am related to seem to believe that I overshare EVERYTHING, the truth is that I don't actually reveal very much about the shit that matters. So. There's that.

What I am here to do today, though, is to get some of this rage out of my system. And I said I'd write more too, so killing two birds with one stone or something like that.

I mean, I meant to do a whimsical quote series or some uplifting shit, but we both know that wouldn't last long anyway.

You and me, both, reader. The one of you that is left.

I think it's cute that I still blog as if blogging still holds some teeny bit of relevance in the world.


Long winded, I am today.

Let's get to the rant, shall we?

Hang on. I need to paint my nails....

Seriously. I am painting my nails. Because I have been so busy/distracted/anxious about basically everything the last few weeks that I had old nasty nail polish that I picked off last night. Because I am all up in my bad habits right now.

I know, I know, I know. I need to take care of myself. Can't pour from an empty cup. Put your oxygen mask on first. All those things.

I am amazing at giving that advice and terrible at following it and that pisses me off.

The selective outrage of...well....everyone
I quite literally haven't been reading much news lately. Avoided my Facebook newsfeed completely for over a week. Missed out on all kinds of stuff that I would normally pay attention to, and not really by choice, but because of all that other stuff going on around here.

I had occasion to jump on for a bit and it was pretty obvious that I was going to be really pissed off by what I was seeing. Everywhere.

A whole bunch of people outraged about a Polish doctor being held by ICE because he'd been brought here as a child, his parents entering the country without formal permission. People who never ever seem to notice all the stories of people of color being deported, doctors or otherwise. Even the veterans - people who've served a country that would toss them out on their asses, send them to a country they've no recollection of...those don't seem to rile up the people who were pissed about this Polish doctor.

Then, in every corner of my interwebs, the story of a mom who'd told her doctor she was dealing with postpartum depression, only to have the doctor call the police on her. Allllllll the maternal mental health advocates were in a tizzy over it, made this story she shared go viral, turned her into a hashtag and started protesting at their statehouses over the terrible things that happened to this woman. And, don't mistake my words here - what happened to this woman was horrible and wrong...but let's not pretend for even a fraction of a second that this is the first time it has happened. Black women have been telling these stories for decades, begging mental health advocates to understand that calling 911 during a mental health crisis can be anything but life saving. Listen to black women.


Whiteness. It's a helluva drug.

All those gymnasts...
While it seems like most of the country is shocked and appalled at the horrors told in victim statements, I watched all of it unfold from a weird place in my life. Disconnected, but seeing things that maybe I wouldn't have seen.

This wasn't one victim. Those victims weren't all silent. Some talked and those in a position to do something did nothing. Others knew and allowed it to continue. When rape apologists whine about how victims should have left or said no or should have told someone, this case is a glaringly obvious example of why those arguments are bullshit. Here, a man in a position of authority and unique access to both the underage gymnasts and their dreams, found victims lined up at the door and a universe willing to insulate him.

If you're outraged about this case, be outraged about all the other cases. How many victims does it take to get society to collectively give a shit? 5? 10? 100?

What about all the predators who only violate one person?

Are those victims to be less believed?

While we're on the subject, let's talk about Aziz
You know damn well I don't want to talk about Aziz. Not specifically, anyway. I'm sure as hell not getting into any discussion with people who want to play the "why didn't she leave" card, which rapidly became the new "well, look what she was wearing".

If you're into victim shaming, don't try me.

Women tolerate abuse because we're groomed to tolerate it. We put up with shit like what he did out of fear that it might suddenly turn into something so much worse. Women die at the hands of men who claim not to understand what the words, "no", "maybe on the second date", or "I think I need to leave" mean.

This particular guy has claimed feminism as his own to advocate for, has claimed to be the nice guy who understands, has made money selling books and tickets about how he's trying to be better than most of the assholes out there...and yet, he's still that guy.

Which is exactly the problem.

I saw the stage production about a blind date with my teenagers this past weekend. In the show, there is a recurrent character of the female protagonist's "bail out friend" calling to check on her, give her an out....who eventually comes to the restaurant to make sure that she is okay.

Women have to do that. Men don't.

The thing that makes people uncomfortable about the Aziz story is the familiarity. If you're over the age of 25, chances are damn good that you've had an experience with eerie similarities.

Women, maybe you've been pressured to do something you didn't want to do, felt like shit afterwards, wondered what the hell happened, then proceeded to blame yourself for being there in the first place, rationalized it in your head somehow, carried on.

Men, a whole hell of a lot of you have been there too. Maybe you've been the guy saying, "I'll stop, just don't leave", thinking that she's "playing hard to get". Pressing for more with someone who isn't interested. Pressed on anyway. Succeeded. Considered it a success. Or if she did get brave enough to walk out, you decided she was a bitch. Whined about being friendzoned because if a woman doesn't want sex, she's lesser in your eyes. Do not even come at me with the #notallmen bullshit. I'm not saying all.

It makes us all uncomfortable because damn near all of us have been there to some degree...which is the problem.

Is it the same thing as forcible rape? Of course not.

Is it something we can ignore? Fuck no.

This is absolutely societal. It infiltrates everything kids are taught from birth about gender, seeps into every interaction. We have to talk about it, we have to stop pretending that it isn't a problem. Even if it seems a little too close. Especially if it seems a little too close. 

I'm here to make you uncomfortable. You're welcome.

For the record, guys...I don't give a shit if you feel guilty feelings about things that happened in the past and don't want to admit that you've been that guy. I really don't. Fix it moving forward. Know better. Do better.

And maybe, just maybe you should fucking apologize to whoever you might have hurt.

P.S. All the women out there doing the "she should have left" thing. Stop. For real. Don't buy into the toxicity of rape culture.


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