Most of my family, until very recently, didn’t know that I am a lesbian. It’s not that I’m ashamed of it or anything, but that I really resent that I have to inform them in the first place, like they have some sort of right to know. As far as I am concerned, they don’t. I don’t bother to hide it, and it would have been really obvious if I ever decided to bring another woman to a family event or into the house. It just isn’t something that I feel that I should disclose to people, as I highly resent that heterosexuality isn’t something that you have to confess, but homosexuality is.
I don’t define myself by the gender of the people I associate myself with romantically, and I hardly see why anyone else should. I am, however, aware that when people become aware that I am a lesbian, that often becomes the only defining feature of my existence. Much like any marginalized identity is considered more noteworthy than who a person is as an individual, homosexuality is considered more important for generalizing about the traits of any person than something like their hobbies or personal aspirations. Think about how we refer to people that we don’t know by name. There’s “that tall chick” if we’re talking about a tall white woman. Or “that black guy” if we’re talking about a black male. In the first case, the person is defined first by their gender — the most important personal identifier in a culture that considers gender the most important aspect of individual identity — and then by a physical trait. She is not defined by her race, unless she is in a group where her race is noteworthy. On the other hand, the second person is defined by his blackness, because we define the default human being as white in most circumstances. Thus, it is noteworthy that he deviates from that norm, and we identify him with that deviation.
The point here is that gender, as it identifies people, is a dichotomy. People are either male or female to the general population. Everyone has a gender (or is assumed to have one, regardless of their self-identification), and that is used to define everyone. Most other traits do not work that way. While maleness is often regarded as a norm, in which femaleness is the defiance — as can be seen in the tendency to define all of humankind with the word “man” or general pronoun “he” — this is much more readily apparent in general conversation when it comes to other social identities. Race, religion, nationality, weight, and sexual preference are all traits in which a dichotomy may or may not be used, but there is at least one value that is defined as the norm and thus, not noteworthy, while all other values are considered deviances.
Here’s some examples of how this plays out in the real world:
- That (average-weight) guy vs. that fat guy
- That (straight) man vs. that gay guy
- That (white) woman vs. that black woman
- That (American) person vs. that Polish person
- That (Christian) kid vs. that Jewish kid
What happens is that values like average-weight (which may or may not be average, depending on what is arbitrarily defined as acceptably average), heterosexual, white, Christian, and American are invisible. They are not noteworthy, because we simply assume that everyone is heterosexual, white, average-weight, Christian, and American until that person is proven otherwise by their appearance.
However, not all values are apparent via appearance. Things like nationality, religion, and sexual orientation have to be disclosed or forcibly discovered (or “outed”) by others in order for those deviant values to be used as identifiers — with or without the consent of the people identified, correctly or incorrectly, by them. Such is the case with homosexuality. There really is no reliable way to determine sexual preference by observation. Sure, some people fit the stereotypes of homosexuality. But for every homosexual that is “caught” because they fit the expectations people have of them, there are hundreds more that engage in everyday interactions without anyone having the slightest notion otherwise.
I am one such person. I’ve been told that I don’t come off “as a lesbian”, whatever that is supposed to mean. I more or less adhere to patriarchal beauty standards by the chance of genetics and personal aesthetic choices that tend to be perceived as more feminine than masculine. I adhere enough to those norms that even if I defy them in small ways by my mannerisms or wardrobe, the average person would not have any reason to suspect that I have little to no romantic inclinations towards men.
Thus, I feel constantly pressured by a very real social expectation that I either deviate from the norm in easily identifiable ways so that everyone can pigeon-hole me, or disclose my sexual preferences to anyone that I have more than a passing social interaction with. This expectation, plain and simple, pisses me off. I expect that many, if not most, homosexuals feel similarly.
I feel as if I must behave or dress in such a way that people may easily label me as “deviant” and then freely discriminate against me or make bigoted assumptions without fearing that their judgment is erroneous. I also feel that if I don’t chose to do the former, I must verbally inform them of my deviance from their expected norms, so that they are not “fooled” by my “deception”. In this way, my social behaviors are either classified as visibly wrong and abnormal or invisible and deceitful.
This plays out in regular social interactions. My family used to often inquire as to the state of my love life, asking if I had meet “a nice boy” recently. This they did with the assumption that I was both heterosexual and actively looking for a romantic partner. Since I am not the former, and sometimes not the latter either, the question simply didn’t apply to me. Thus, I was either forced to lie, obfuscate, or confess. This expectation left me with such anxiety that I often dreaded family events.
That example is pretty tame considering the usual consequences. If I do dress and act like a stereotypical “dyke”, I am harshly alienated in public in ways that are inhumane, degrading, and currently acceptable by both social and legal norms. I may be called a “faggot”, I may be excluded from job opportunities. I may be taken less seriously, or feared. That is the consequence of defying norms. On the other hand, if I dress as I choose to and act as I currently do, I “pass” as straight. I don’t do this by design or any explicit desire to closet myself, I do it because I like skirts, flowery tops, and cute shoes. I do it because I am not very assertive in pubic, and I paint my nails when I feel like it. That is just who I am, and who I am, apparently, is mostly read as “straight”. But this, inevitably, is eventually seen as a deception, sometimes by even my homosexual peers. I am accused of confusing or playing with heterosexuals, who are discomforted by the realization that they made the mistake of treating me like an actual human being until they knew I was a deviant freak. I am accused of hiding my “identity” — as if coming off as a lesbian in pubic was more central to who I am than my personal fashion inclinations. I am exposed to danger by men threatened by the fact that they have no access to me sexually, or thought they had access until I informed them otherwise. I am also exposed to danger by employers, acquaintances, and academic peers who feel like I have fooled them into complacency for my inherently disgusting nature, and thus, compromised their own comfort, safety, and moral values.
Out of frustration for the state of these injustices, I find myself torn between refusing to disclose any of my romantic life out of jealous spite, or visibly identifying myself as gay in such an obvious and blatant fashion that people assume I am “shoving it” in their faces. I find myself wanting to piss people off. I want them to feel deceived, I want them to be uncomfortable. This is because I am always deceived and uncomfortable, and there is nothing that I can do about it. I am always deceived when I assume that people are expected to treat me as an equal human being, and then fail to. I am deceived that we are a nation, founded on equality, when my day-to-day existence undermines that lie so utterly. I am put in situations where I am forced to out myself or lie. I am forced to distrust people who may disclose my preferences to a bigot with the power to deny me what is I am due. I never get to feel like I can trust or feel comfortable with the vast majority of people out of no personal choice of my own. That is the reality of being homosexual in a world in which that is considered deviant.
It’s pretty poor compensation that I can make people momentarily discomforted and unsettled in very small inconsequential ways of their own design, while I have to put up with enough Catch-22s to make me paranoid, anxious, and withdrawn out of fear of very real, very dire, and sometimes very dangerous social consequences. That is the nature of oppression: heterosexuals can choose whether or not homosexuality threatens them. They can give up the internalization that deviances to a standard they have placed themselves as the center of threaten their very existance of as individual. I can’t. I can’t wake up one day and say that heterosexuality as an institution and identity doesn’t threaten me. Because it does. Heterosexuality is defined as the negation, oppression, and alienation of homosexuals. That is what it is, and how it is defined, by institutions of power that I do not have any direct access to. I cannot redefine heterosexuality as a social superstructure or pick and choose what parts of it I want to adopt in my life. I am explicitly, irrevocably, and undeniably, excluded from heterosexuality and all the privileges it grants, and there is nothing whatsoever I can do to change that without putting herculean effort — effort not asked of heterosexuals — to cause massive institutional change.
That’s another power of priviledge: the opportunity to ignore the status quo. The heterosexual may chose to ally themselves with homosexuals and open themselves to a small portion of our vulnerabilities. Or they may quietly defy norms in small ways that do not directly threaten the institutions, but at least do not directly threaten homosexuals themselves either. Examples of these kinds of heterosexuals are those who are willing to picket for gay rights alongside gays, or those that simply live their lives enjoying the priviledges of heterosexuality — such as marriage — without enjoying the priviledges that directly deny homosexuals similar rights — such as refusing to vote for state propositions that ban gay marriage.
I don’t have that kind of luxury, not really. Sure, I can just go about business as normal, but that business includes enough unsavory reactions to who I am that I either have to be vigilant enough to preempt, or strong enough to ignore if I can. That kind of mental discipline takes effort and not a small amount of paranoia and alienation. This strength and vigilance is not required of heterosexuals, unless they too are the members of other alienated identities, but I assume that the vigilance required is different.
That vigilance and strength is symbolized and made palpable by the social phenomenon of “coming out” and then living “outed”. Choosing to come out, or being outed, takes so much strength and mental energy that is never asked of heterosexuals. It’s a vertible gauntlet of self-doubt, anxiety, and stress that is like nothing else. I’ve heard that it’s easier to come out than it is to live closeted. I say that’s bullshit. It’s not really easy to disclose a “secret” that has been constructed as something worthy of disclosure in the first place by its position as a defiance to the norm. It’s simply more of a relief to know that you don’t have to hide anymore, that you don’t have to fear the reactions of people close to you. Going “out” is not a one-time thing. Not even the most “flamboyant” of “queens” gets out opt out of outing themselves again and again. This is because homosexuality is treated like it’s something shameful that must be hidden. Much like nobody wants to assume that a stranger is a murderer without explicit evidence, so too to even the most liberal of individuals refuse to assume that someone isn’t heterosexual unless they have stated otherwise. Yes, people actually do behave as if being gay is a dirty little secret that it would be wrong to accuse someone of. Innocent until proven guilty; straight until proven gay. Being accused wrongly of a crime is precisely how people react when they are accused of being gay. How many times do people loudly deny that they’re a “faggot” or a “sissy”? How many times have those labels been thrown around as if they were indications of dire personal faults? How many people go to great lengths to prove to everyone that they are not sissies or faggots? Most people! Most people, if they were accused of being gay, would deny it quickly and unequivocally. They may or may not tack on a “not that there’s anything wrong with that” as a half-hearted objection. If there wasn’t anything wrong with that, they wouldn’t be so devastated with the assumption of homosexuality that they had to immediately correct that assumption. If they really thought there was nothing wrong with it, they would have neither confirmed or denied it in the first place!
Homosexual individuals don’t come out once and then live their lives knowing that everyone knows and that they don’t have to hide. I have to continually out myself to everyone that ever gets close enough to me. Because everyone will assume that I am heterosexual until it is explicitly shown or said otherwise. And you I bet that they will never just come out and ask me. It seems funny to say this, but I actually prefer it when people ask me my orientation before they assume I’m anything at all and ask if I have a boyfriend. They want to know for their benefit, after all. I don’t lose or gain anything by them knowing. Their ignorance is of far more consequence to their assumptions regarding who I am than my ideas of myself. It comforts them to know, not me. I honestly could care less. I only want them to know because hiding is a pain in the ass and their frequent assumptions regarding my nonexistent heterosexuality are annoying and alienating. But it doesn’t end there. I have to juggle a mental list of who knows and who doesn’t for the rest of my life. Plus, I have to worry about if the people who know are going to tell other people or reveal it to people who I don’t want to know.
I was faced with this recently when a close family member who does know told family members that didn’t know without my permission. She claimed that she was “not ashamed” of my sexuality, so when they asked about whether or not I had a boyfriend, she informed them of my orientation. Then, I was faced with the prospect of seeing them for the first time, knowing that they knew, in front of other family members that didn’t know. That encounter will go down in history as one of the most awkward and anxious family events of my life. I hated it, and resented that I had to worry about who knew what and who was going to disclose what, and say what, and think what, and judge what. I’m surprised I didn’t have a panic attack right then and there. It was horrible. That situation was only surpassed by the endless anxiety of Christmas, in which I wondered the entire time if my father — who snooped through my private things without my consent and found out himself — had told the rest of his family. Then I had to wonder if they were being particularly unpleasant shits because they knew I was a big fat dyke and didn’t like it or just because they were extra special assholes for no reason at all. And the entire time, I was wondering if I should ask if they knew, because if they didn’t, then they would. But they seemed content to not ask me about it, if they knew, which was infuriating.
Thanks for keeping things about me from me, dude. That’s really mature and fair of you. I really highly doubt that your qualms about it being awkward for you are worse than how awkward it is for me. You know, the person who is actually concretely affected by this shit, day in and day out. But I forgot! The unearned comfort of heterosexuals is oh-so-much-more important than the very minimum of human decency and respect owed to homosexuals. My bad.
The point is that I really didn’t give a flying fuck whether or not that family member was “ashamed” or not of my sexuality. Her opinion, frankly, in that situation didn’t matter. It’s my secret to tell or to hide, not hers, and being in that situation out of no decisions of my own made me equal parts depressed, anxious, and really pissed off. I can never be completely out. That’s not the nature of homosexuality. I always have to decide who I’m going to “act gay” around and who I can’t. I’m not going to correct someone that interviews me for a job that I’m not straight. I’m not going to tell my gossipy older relatives who I know are both conservative and bigots. I simply don’t want to put up with their shit. I’m not going to scream it from the rooftops. I’m not going to walk into a restaurant holding the hand of a woman I desire and pull out a soapbox and say, “YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! I AM GAY, SO YOU CAN STOP WONDERING AND RUBBERNECKING AND GET BACK TO YOUR DINNER!”
I didn’t come out. I came out, then came out some more, and remained closeted, and told white lies, and denied, and came out, and came out, and ignored questions, and came out, and denied some more, and simply let people have their assumptions. I have to chose who to trust and who not to. I chose wrong. Hell, I came out to the internet and my friends before I came out to my parents. Then my father snooped and told me he knew. Then he may or may have not told other people without my consent, which made the holidays hell. Then I told my mother. Then she told more people without my consent. Then I decided to keep my brother in the dark because he’s an immature fuck, and would probably say something really stupid at a bad time. Then I decided that my work doesn’t need to know either as long as I’m not dating anyone that I want to take to social functions. Then I start to trust and admire professors and realize from their off-hand comment about “that lifestyle” that I can’t trust them and have to be careful what I say around them if I want a recommendation letter. Then I have to lie awake at night and wonder if a recommendation letter for graduate school is more important than some basic fucking dignity, and if I’m betraying myself and gays everywhere by being a coward.
And around and around it goes. I tell the wrong people, I get the brunt of the consequences. So far, every single person I’ve told except my friends has done something I didn’t want them to with that knowledge and put me between a rock and a hard place. Does that make me want to trust people? Fuck no. I’m not a trusting person. I don’t like strangers, I don’t like casual social events. I don’t tell people about my personal life. I zealously guard my personal space and my time. Then, I get told that I’m paranoid. Yeah, okay. I get stabbed in the back by most of the people I trust, and I’m paranoid? I have to worry who knows and won’t tell me they know, I have to worry who suspects and won’t ask, I have to worry who is clueless and will react badly, and I have to worry who knows and has done something stupid with the information.
Ugh, this shit is so fucking frustrating! It’s horrible because straight people have no clue. They have no clue the endless anxiety they cause whether or not I trust them. My nightmare doesn’t end when I let them in. It isn’t any better if I don’t. I know now why my peers invent slurs for heterosexuals. Breeders. Deep down, I want them to feel the sting of social rejection. When I’m petty and upset and anxious — which is about half of the time — I want them all to know how much their ignorance sucks. I want them to suffer. I hate their privilege, and I covet it at the same time. I wish for the days back when I was kid and the extent of my sexuality was that I had private parts that were fun to play with and horrify the adults. It seems horrible to say, but I know why people — after a revolution — go through the homes of their former oppressors and rape and pillage and assault and burn. Not that I’m saying that I would do that (because I wouldn’t), but I wouldn’t judge those who did it harshly, pretend that they are monsters. Because I know, intimately, the seductive catharsis that would be making them suffer just one fraction of what they have gained off our oppression.
And I end the first part of this series with that thought. I hope to have captured the rage, the anxiety, and the horrible gut-churning fear of what it means to me to be homosexual in American society. I want to expand this series, next time, with the concrete social mechanisms that I think are responsible for the alienation I feel. Then, I’ll finish up with a third post about my personal experience coming out, and what it meant to me.
One thing I like to do is be meta. I’m meta like woah. You see that shit over there? I can relate it back to five social trends you’ve never heard of, then I’ll make a sarcastic joke about it tomorrow. In other words, I’m a kill-joy and I point out how deeply unoriginal shit is.
Know what is unoriginal? “Darkier and Edgier” plotlines. In the space of time between the ages of twelve and eighteen, shit gets real. We trade in cartoons and cute time-wasters for two-hour long epic movies about violence, violence, sex, how cool shit can look with CGI, boobies, violence, and more sex. If you follow this completely transparent and overdone formula, you’re guaranteed a high-grossing block-buster or an action movie so predictably awesome that the Oscar committee will totally suck your dick.
In short, as we age it seems that we demand our entertainment “age” with us. We want it to be more “mature”. What results is anything but. Advertising usually promises that reboots of old classics will be edgier and darker. They’re supposed to be more cynical, and acknowledge the complications and moral ambiguities of adult life. But time and time again, this isn’t what results. What we typically get is pure escapism: immature, fantastic, and utterly decadent satisfaction of our most infantile impulses. Jungian psychoanalysts could have a field-day with this shit.
As with Michael Bay’s clusterfuck of the Transformers reboot, the finished product is something that takes out the emotional and complex parts of the plot-lines that we all loved as children and replaces them with asinine dick jokes that only impress the likes of Beavis, Butthead, and their cabal of like-minded dude bros.
Sure, there’s movies that do touch on the many nuanced difficulties of adult life. These used to be Oscar-bait, but now they’re typically side-lined into the category of “indie” and never heard of again. For instance, the indie flick 500 Days of Summer offers a very realistic portrait of the life of a relationship, and includes a meaningful ending far more poignant than the typical rom-com. Instead, accolades are now showered upon movies like The Departed — an orgy of mobster violence — Avatar — a CGI masterpiece of a guilty liberal white fantasy — and The Blind Side — the story of a rich white woman and her large black plot device.
Sometimes, a plot will get a makeover by having several bad things happen to characters that are totally unlikely. These bad things are then used to force emotional tension and ham-handed character growth. A perfect example of such a Deux Angst Machina is the latest Spider Man’s veritable orgy of super villains packed into a single movie, or basically every disaster movie ever made. This may or may not be coupled with the usual Stuffed in A Fridge plot line, where the death or rape of a character, usually female — seen briefly or never on camera — is used to facilitate the character growth of another. Take Avatar, in which the male protagonist is motivated to go to Pandora because of the death of his twin. The twin, on the other hand, and his mourning for the loss of such an important figure in his life, is never fully developed. Actual emotional responses to death that don’t inspire gratitude displays of violent heroic angst — such as, you know, actually crying — have no place in “adult” media. Only fags cry.
Probably the most offensive manifestation of the larger phenomenon is the tendency to simply turn the sex, violence, misogyny, racism, and homophobia up to 11 and forget to hire a good writer. Bay’s Transformers is probably one of the best examples of this, but others include women-hating gun-happy action fests like Wanted, Dude Bro comedies featuring Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Judd Apatow, or Tucker Max, and every single James Bond movie ever made.
In the end, what separates adult entertainment from family-friendly fare is the level of maturity. If it features even slightly plausible writing, advocates some sort of positive ethics, and requires protagonists that are more than one-dimensional manifestations of massive self-entitlement — chances are that you’re either watching a movie rated no higher than PG-13 or some sort of artsy indie flick. If the bigotry is palpable, the plot nonexistent, the gore plentiful, the CGI gratuitous , and every single cast member that isn’t white, male, and heterosexual is used as a plot device, villain, or reward, then you’re watching a “mature” and “adult” movie.
Bottom-line: when you’re a kid, you’re expected to work hard, play fair, and learn things. When you’re an adult, you get to do whatever the fuck you please, cuss a lot, have sex with unrealistically good-looking women who only exist to further your shallow development or reward you for your self-entitlement, and reduce moral dilemmas to just doing incredibly illegal and totally immoral things because they look really cool.
Earlier today, I got one request after another to approve comments on a post. I glanced at the alerts on my Blackberry and decided to wait to investigate until I wasn’t at work.
So I get home, and lo and behold, Men’s Rights Activists had taken over 20 craps on my blog and my view-count for a single day shot up to over 300. You could call them “comments”, but that would be implying that there was any sort of rational content therein. Naturally, they were all on this post, which was authored over a year ago. I guess taking dumps on current posts would have been too hard or something.
Of course, I didn’t approve any of them. I have no patience for fecal matter masquerading as poorly constructed sentences. Also, comments on very old posts typically aren’t something that I approve. Especially ones that come from such high-minded sites as MisandryReview, Remasculation, and the Counter-Feminist. No, those sites do not get any link sauce from me. If you wish to wade through the stupidity for a brief chuckle at hatred-steeped flatulence, you have Google at your disposal.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the MRA community for widening my audience. Bravo! I so do appreciate thoughtful input. Honestly, I don’t think so highly of any of you that I peruse the internets for your year-old posts and then distribute them to my cabal of hooligans for our puerile amusement. Thus, I am forced to admit that you must think quite highly of me and those lovely like-minded women who posted such things so long ago. Either that or you’re simply too much of cowards to engage me face-to-face, or even give me a link back to the seedy dens of misogyny that gave you directions to my corner of the internets.
Never fear! I have the use of WordPress’s handy-dandy tools which tell me which sites directed you here. I thank you all for the fine chuckle. Really, that amount of delusion in one place is a terrible thing to hide. You should have shared it with me sooner. I especially got a chuckle out of your bulleted list of terrorist tactics instructing your goons how to troll feminists on their blogs.
I especially think it quite hilarious that you think trolling and other virtual harassment is a good thing. I really bespeaks of your claim to the moral high ground, no? Since I am neither a troll nor a coward who uses the internets for such idiotic and juvenile things, I shall take the gifts you have given me and respond to them right here. I have no wish to visit your websites, as hospitable as they may be, to harass you. Nor shall I recruit a cabal of radical feminist terrorists — such as the ones you assume control the universe — to do my bidding. I’m just one fat radical feminist lesbian, with a cat and a blog, responding to your thoughtful posts.
Thus, I have included some of the aforementioned “comments” in this post for the sake of my amusement. Since everything submitted to my blog thus becomes part of my blog, I get free reign to post it where I please. Since I hardly think that such intelligent and thoughtful comments should be buried under the oppression of the chronological nature of blogging, I have decided to post them at the top of my blog to give them the spotlight they deserve.
So without further ado, let us give a warm round of applause for MRAs and the foul gifts they have left so graciously upon my virtual doorstep!
Wow, I just read through all this and I have to say, they way all you girl’s proved D right was amazing.
Your misuse of the possessive is appalling, as is your misuse of “girl” to label adult women. Thank you for playing, please come back soon!
Why is disagreeing with feminist views conflated here with not understanding them? Feminism is a subjective political ideology just like so many other perspectives in the world. It’s not “reality,” but rather an interpretation and prescription for reality.
Perhaps because there actually was a genuine lack of understanding, John. Also, you may be thinking of liberalism and conservatism. Or perhaps fascism or socialism? Communism? Marxism? Those are political ideologies, John, feminism is a sociological discipline much like Jewish Studies or Sexology. You could perhaps debate that analysis of sociological trends and gender would be unwise and bear little fruit, but I doubt you’ll break any new ground or bestow upon us any worthwhile findings. You may also want to dispute physics or mathematics while you are at it. I hear those disciplines are aching for criticism from people who don’t understand the slightest bit about them.
D-sure does show what feminist thinking is all about.
kudos to him for making them look like the spoiled arrogant fools they are
this thread has got to be exploited for what it is-a sound defeat against feminists by a single person who ended up being banned because the feminists couldn’t answer a couple simple questions.
just goes to show the intelligence of this board–none
Outdoors, my friend, I think your caps lock key is broken. You may want to look into fixing that. Also, I think your period and hyphen keys are sticking. It seems that your post is lacking in all punctuation but misplaced hyphens and scant periods. What does this have to do with your comment, Outdoors? Why, nothing of course! I simply followed suit, you see, as your comment had nothing to do with the post it was submitted under!
wow alot of sexist women on this thread. so what if historically the poor women were oppressed does the justify the oppression of men today, because thats what it sounds like to me.
gasp men having the same rights as women say it aint so.
You and Outdoors simply must tell me what brand of keyboard you are using. I need to take a note so that I remember not to buy keyboards lacking caps locks keys. I am also puzzled as to which “rights” you are referring to. I detailed many privileges that men possessed, and many rights that women do not. There was little to no discussion of rights that men are currently gaining that women have long enjoyed. Such a discussion would be silly, you see, since women are in the process of gaining rights which men have denied them through vicious oppression.
oh and D stop arguing with ignorant sexist feminists like these they hate men probably because they cant get one arguing with these silly girls is very stupid of you.
male privilage (the only argument feminazis have against men having equal rights)
Now I’m beginning to think that you like the sound of your own typing. Responding to yourself is quite narcissistic of you. Also, you may keep your men to yourself, thank you. I am quite happily gay, you see, and find women infinitely more fascinating than a group of outwardly misogynist men.
Nobody seems to have mentioned that rape has dropped by nearly 80 percent in the past 30 years. Why no celebration?
Well, this wasn’t a post about the rape rate, Nicolas. Seeing as you are not the author of this blog, it would be silly of you to assume that I have the same posting priorities as you think I ought to.
Well, this blog post and the following “discussion” proves beyond any doubt that feminism is nothing but a cult, impervious to rational reasoning. Good to know that humanity moves on and that “feminism” soon will be nothing but an entry in a dictionary of failed belief systems.
Apropos dictionaries, some definitions of “whore”:
– a promiscuous woman. [New Oxford Dictionary of English, 2001]
– a prostitute or a woman who has many casual sexual relationships [The Penguin English Dictionary, 2003]
– a woman who has many sexual partners [Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 2003]
So anyone looking for the correct term describing a promiscuous woman – it’s a safe bet to trust the experts on word definitions.
Why, Mike, this feminism you speak of is a lonely cult indeed. I fear that I have neither paid my dues nor met with the Grand Master Feminist this year, so I have yet to receive notice that this we have moved from a decentralized organization of like-minded sociological theorists to a bonafide cult. I want a temple or something. Also, I do believe I know what a dictionary is: a book that gives you definitions of words, but not an in-depth critique of their use and misuse in the present culture and the sociological implications thereof.
This would then mean women also benefit from the very same patriarchy. Nearly all buildings, dams, sky scrapers, infrastructure, roads, electrical, technology is built and developed by men. Men fight wars so western women are safe. In fact western women benefited from the two wars. The less groups like the Taliban exist the safer women and the rights are. Women benefit from chivalry as is the case of Bill Clinton and Obama giving women special programs like VAWA.
The fact is if you argue I and other men benefit from a patriarchy system then it is extremely clear women also benefit from the same system. Why do liberal woman and feminists vote for patriarchs over women in each election? 51% of female democrats voted against Hillary in the run offs.
Men die 5 times more on the job. We have higher drop out rates. We die more in wars that benefit the freedom of Western women. Every 5 floors of a skyscraper one man died. We men perform most of the research, most of the technology advancement… all things women greatly benefit from. Carrie and the other fab 3 from Sex and the City wouldn’t be cavorting around unless men built that city and gave them a world where they can buy shoes and dresses instead of being honor killed, burned alive or beaten for speaking to another man.
Western women benefit off our backs. So if you wish to claim men benefit from patriarchy and I some how owe the world then you women ALSO benefit greatly from a chivalrous patriarchy and you women ALSO owe.
Dear me, cb750, you seem to have forgotten that men could have done all of the above with women at their side more efficiently than they did it in the past with women at their feet. Patriarchy didn’t build civilization, people did. Unless you are in the habit of constructing buildings and paving roads with your penis, I hardly see how the lack of an extra set of hands is a good thing.
Why does feminist ignore female privilege but blame – collectively – men for male privilege?
Ahh we all know the answer – typical feminist hypocrisy. End of.
Karl, please contact ryan and Outdoors re: the proper use of the dash. They seem to have mistaken it for a hyphen and could really use your assistance. Also, end of… what?
Oh look, Feminists ganging up on, then banning dissenting viewpoints in the name of “safe space for women”. I’m shocked. No really, I am.
I thought you guys were all concerned about men’s issues too…cause you’re all “egalitarian” n stuff…
Or is it simply YOUR take on men’s issues? Men can’t have a perspective of their own? Is it not “valid” unless approved by Feminists?
This whole thread is arrogant dismissal of D, and anything he’s brought up. This whole thread is flat out PROOF that Feminists have zero interest in looking out for men in the same manner men looked out for women.
Just one more reason to ignore anything your kind has to say.
Wait, so you’ve gone out of your way, Factory, to my “safe space”, read my post, put your hands on your keyboard, and pressed “send” because you’re “ignoring anything my kind has to say”? Also, if you want to make a statement, such as “this whole thread is flat out PROOF,” you may want to prove some context or proof of that yourself. Am I supposed to take your word for it? Additionally, I’m going to take a wild shot in the dark and say that you’re really not shocked at all.
This is interesting. I still for the life of me cannot figure out where is all this supposed male privilage, in the USA.
[Insert long list of her experiences arrogantly standing in for all women in America here]
[Insert rosy and overstated female “privileges” here].
I also find it interesting, JenK, that your lack of experiences of male privilege and glut of class- and race-specific experiences of “female privilege” are supposed to negate the experiences of other women. Are you superwoman? A god? The speaker of all woman-kind?
D, you’re wasting your time. I don’t know why you’re bothering.
They’re FEMINISTS, dude. They don’t care about rational discourse, they just want to whine. They’re psychologically predisposed to hating and detesting men, even when it’s self-destructive for them.
And they will never, ever change their minds about ANYTHING, no matter how hard you try.
Reading this thread, I’ve noticed the usual feminist “debating” tactics against you (in no particular order):
Ad hominem attacks
Insulting your intelligence
Insulting your masculinity
They’re feminists and out of contact with reality, dude. You’re wasting your time. Best to ignore them and go somewhere that the general populace is capable of rational discourse.
Hey Dude! Can I call you dude? I want to relate to you as a human being, so I’m going to use slang that is supposed to stand for all of humanity through the use of the male default on a feminist blog. You might want to look up libel, by the way, just for shits and giggles. I don’t that word means what you think it means. Since this post was original made in September of 2008, D is probably long gone by now. He can’t hear you, dude.
The quickest way to know that your argument is sharp is to get banned on a feminist blog. Good job, Jenn! Now nobody will know how badly D beat your group of cat herders in debate.
Quickly, delete his most cogent posts so other commenters may think he is more stupid than your supporters.
Getting banned on a blog = good argument. Sorry, were you just mistaking trolling for intellectual debate? That explains a lot, honestly.
Don’t sweat it D – the 800-pound gorilla in the room is that THE MOMENT the lights stopped coming on these women’s ‘feminist perspectives’ would dissolve on the spot.
Maybe, after 40+ years of abuse from you ungrateful cows, men won’t want to fix it for you next time.
Maybe, instead of wasting Daddy’s hard-earned money on useless degrees, you should have learned electrical engineering or carpentry. THAT would be empowering.
And, when that day arrives, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU will abandon your Marxist horeshit and find the nearest man to provide safety, sustenance, and security. The only problem is, too many men without short memories will tell you to screw off.
It won’t be male priviledge that sees me through. It will be hard work and knowing how to do usefull things. Whining is not useful.
I enjoyed your mish-mash of cliches, ZenCo. It was sweet as cats on a hot tin roof. Like pie on a cool summer’s day. Once in a blue moon I shot at it and landed among the stars. Or something. Yeah. Your discussion of bovine, daddy issues, Marxism, and he-man heroics was also particularly original and insightful.
…and in particular curious about how you, as an individual woman living in 21st century America, experience oppression and suffering. What direct negative impact does living in a patriarchal society have on your day to day existence?
The reason I ask is because from this distance (I am in New Zealand) it is difficult to reconcile the notion of “oppression and suffering” with my understanding of life in the US.
I would say that black people in South Africa prior to 1995 were oppressed; ditto women in Afghanistan under the Taliban, or pretty much anyone living in modern day Zimbabwe or Somalia. Sadly, there are lots of people in the world who are oppressed, and who suffer as a result.
You on the other hand, live in a country where your constitution guarantees your rights of free speech, association, protection from authority (at least it did before your ridiculous Patriot Act), and to practice you religion. There are no laws or statues that actively promote discrimination against you (but a few that do so in your favor). You have the same access to legal and political representation as pretty much anyone else, male or female, and while bad stuff certainly happens to women in your country, it certainly happens to men too. In western societies, men don’t have rights or privileges that you do not have (despite your assertions to the contrary) and while your government may impose restrictions on your activities that you don’t like, disagreeing with government policy is not oppression; it is a difference of political and social opinion.
The truth of the matter is that your oppression is in your imagination, and you are actually one of the least oppressed people in history.
Ah, I do love a sporting day at the Oppression Olympics. I do hear the scenery is lovely in New Zealand, though, and wish to express my jealousy that you live in such a picturesque country whilst I live in Desert Hell Hole, USA. I also do enjoy hearing that men know more about the experiences of women in other countries than those women do. Really, the foresight and knowledge of the male gender is truly astounding.
I started to read this irrational rant then i ran into this…
“I refuse to even debate any statements to the contrary.”
and so i am leaving, after all whats the point in arguing with someone who treats feminist ideology the way Sarah Palin treats the bible?
I like your inclusion of my prose without context. It bespeaks to your intellectual integrity. Even more amusing was your entry into the conversation just to say that you’re leaving. It is rather rude to crash a party only to leave when you’ve pissed in the punch 30 seconds after you walk in the door. Hit and run trolling! How very courageous of you.
Feminists forgot about the women they have enslaved and exploited just so they could, and can, enjoy prestige, entitlements and, power. They forgot about the women who were oppressed by women.
Something you say is not so. I have not forgot the details of history or the oppressions such as racism and classism in which wealthier or white women profit off the backs of poorer or darker women. I merely find it tedious to discuss every single nuance of reality in every single post to preempt totally inane and off-topic discussions of what someone who is not me thinks I do or do not know from a single discussion of an entirely different subject.
Well, that was fun. A rousing and thoughtful gate-crashing. Round of applause for our visitors, folks, for the free entertainment!
You know, when someone with a long history of violence and a lot of money threatens to kill someone and allegedly holds them against their will with a knife at their neck, you’d think that you shouldn’t grant bail, let alone at $8500.
Man, it must be nice to be able to beat the shit out of pretty much woman you’ve been intimate with and threaten their lives and still make a cool million an episode when you’re out on a bail that looks like pocket change in comparison.
Take note ladies! The world, and especially the legal system, hates you. While you may have no protection against people firing you for finding topless photos in magazines, you can merrily abuse everyone with a vagina you’ve ever slept with (or almost slept with) and still be the highest paid actor on television.
Judges, by the way, can deny bail if the accused is a high flight risk or highly dangerous to themselves, their victim, and society at large. But since Sheen only abuses women, who aren’t people, it’s totally okay to release him on a mere $8,500.
Check out this rap sheet ‘yo:
– 1990: Sheen “accidentally” shoots then fiancee Kelly Preston in the arm. Since it was an accident and everything, Preston was totally nonplussed and totally didn’t hold it against him. She was so understanding that she called off the engagement, just to prove that she really didn’t think he totally did it on purpose or anything.
– 1995: Sheen admits to dropping a cool $50,000 on Heidi Fleiss’s escorts. Nothing displays your high regard for women like buying and consuming their sexuality.
– 1995: Two months into his marriage to Donna Peele, a model, Sheen is sued by a UCLA student that claimed that he hit her a year before when she refused him sex. The case settles out of court.
– 1997: Sheen pleads no contest to charges of battery and assault of then-girlfriend Brittany Ashland, whom was given stitches when he threw into their marble floor. He never goes to prison, but gets two years probation and a measly $2,800 fine.
– 1998: Sheen violates parole and is turned in by his father after being hospitalized for a drug overdose.
– 2005: Pregnant Denise Richards files for divorce. She makes allegations in court that he has a porn addiction (and appears to enjoy seemingly underage porn), threatened her life several times, physically abused her, and regularly verbally abused her with epithets such as “cunt” and “nigger”.
– 2009: Sheen holds wife Mueller to bed, at knife point, and tells her:
“You better be in fear. If you tell anybody, I’ll kill you. I have ex-police I can hire who know how to get the job done, and they won’t leave any trace.”
She calls the police anyway. The incident is sparked when she allegedly threatens to leave him and take their twins with her. Don’t cha know that all those stupid women need to do is leave their husbands? Unless of course, they’re just asking for the abuse or they secretly like it, the poor dears. I mean, it’s not like the abuse escalates after separation or anything. And everyone knows that the legal system takes domestic violence really seriously. I mean, $8,500 of bail is a lot of money for a guy that makes over $800,000 an episode of his hit show and totally sends the message that everyone genuinely thinks that women are people, not punching bags.
I fail to comprehend how anyone with that kind of history is walking the street, free as a bird. If I wasn’t afraid of what I’d find, I would research if crimes like abusing animals, property damage, having a joint, and peeing in public are taken more seriously.
Seriously, Democrats really hate women or I use the skills I got in law school to analyze shit that takes away my rights
So it gets worse.
Behold the absolute draw-dropping shittiness of The Stupak Amendment. Here it is, proof positive, that Democrats really hate women. What’s also awesome is that the first female Speaker of the House presided over a Democratic majority that passed the most expansive restriction on women’s rights in recent history. Not only was the amendment passed by 62 democrats (and all voting Republicans), the bill carrying the amendment was passed through Congress 220-215, with the majority of Democrats blithely signing the biggest roll-back of reproductive rights. Super.
Some Democrats (mostly women) did not take this shit sitting down. They tried to speak in Congress, only to have male Republicans heckling them and shouting “I object, I object, I object, I object” over them. Think Progress has the video. Thrown under the bus by their own party, some of the women we voted into office were forced to speak out against their own party signing away their rights while they were viciously silenced by the very men that orchestrated this new oppression. I’m sure that while the men in Congress, some of them in their own party, thought this was just business as usual, our minority of female lawmakers got a heady sense of deja vu. Men talking over them in a meeting? Nah, that never happens. Especially when you’re talking about your own freedoms and liberty. I mean, just shut up bitch. Know your place.
Out of this process of ugliness came the unholy spawn of the Stupack Amendment. However, unlike some other places, I believe that the proof is in the pudding. I’m not doing to quote from some dude that quoted from some other dude that quoted from yet another dude. I’m including the full text of this steaming file of fail. Here’s your fucking hope and change, right here:
AMENDMENT TO H.R. 3962
OFFERED BY MR. STUPACK OF MICHIGAN
AND MR. PITTS OF PENNSYLVANIA
SEC. 265 LIMITATION OF ABORTION FUNDING
(A) IN GENERAL—
No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the women in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.
(B) OPTION TO PURCHASE SEPARATE SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE OR PLAN—
Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting any nonfederal entity (including an individual or State or local government) from purchasing separate supplemental coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section, or a plan that includes such abortions, so long as—
(1) such coverage or plan is paid for entirely using only funds not authorized or appropriated by this Act; and
(2) such coverage or plan is not purchased using—
(a) individual premium payments requires for an Exchange-participating health benefits plan towards which an affordability credit is applied; or
(b) other nonfederal funds require to receive a federal payment, including a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds.
(C) OPTION TO OFFER SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE OR PLAN—
Notwithstanding section 303(b), nothing in this section shall restrict any nonfederal QHBP offering entity from offering separate supplemental coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section, or a plan that includes such abortions, so long as—
(1) premiums for such separate supplemental coverage or plan are paid for entirely with funds not authorized or appropriated by this Act;
(2) administrative costs and all services offered through such supplemental coverage or plan are paid for using only premiums collected for such coverage or plan; and
(3) any nonfederal QHBP offering entity that offers an Exchange-participating health benefits plan that includes coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section also offers an Exchange participating health benefits plan that is identical in every respect except that it does not cover abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section.
The emphases are mine.
For those without a background in legalese, this is about as unequivocal and binding as law can get. There’s no wiggle room. No exceptions. What this creates is a health care system in which women are second class citizens, forced to choose between even private coverage of a perfectly legal procedure and all federal funding of health care. This, simply, is an outrage. As far as I’m concerned, this violates both Roe and the substantive due process of the 14th amendment, but for those without a background in law, rest assured that this shit is really, really, really, legally dubious.
So let’s digest this, line by disgusting fucking line.
Section A explicitly prohibits any federal funding governed by HR 3962 (the larger Affordable Health Care for America Act) going towards the provision of abortions. But if you thought that they really needed to put this in, that anyone was really ever in danger of seeing their tax dollars going to “kill babies”, well, you’re a fucking idiot. No, seriously. Behold the related 30-year-old shittiness of the Hyde Amendment. Passed in 1976, in the immediate backlash of Roe decision three years earlier, the amendment explicitly bars all appropriations for The Department of Heath and Human Service budget from going to the purpose of funding abortions. It does not prohibit all federal funding of abortion, just anything out of HHS. Since H.R. 3962 would be administrated by HHS, there was absolutely no way, shape, or form that its provisions would go to funding abortion. Got it straight?
Moving on, the second clause is the kicker: “or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion”. You catch that? If you have a health plan that covers abortion, you cannot receive any federal assistance. Can’t make the last $300 for a root canal? Too fucking bad. Choose between your teeth rotting out of your face or abortion coverage. Want part of your “exchange” to go towards a consultation with an allergist for your seasonal allergies that you couldn’t otherwise afford? Too fucking bad whore, you got an abortion last year on that plan.
This amendment goes beyond limiting federal funds. This explicitly bars even private insurance companies from covering abortions.
Well, so can insurance companies just offer plans with abortion coverage and ones without? Sure, if you’re cool on getting totally substandard care and no government assistance whatsoever. Given that the majority of those who see themselves in low-paying part-time positions that don’t offer health coverage are women, there’s going to be a lot of women who need federal assistance. But they won’t get it unless they accept prohibitions on their rights, and start saving for out-of-pocket abortions if they need it, instead of putting away money for retirement. That’s other thing: men won’t have to save for expensive procedures that they need. They won’t have to choose between affordable health care and their reproductive rights.
But all this begs the question: will insurance companies continue to offer abortion coverage? The answer: probably not to the extent they do now. Providing abortion coverage will undoubtedly require additional administrative costs to make sure that the company remains in compliance with the amendment. Additionally, by section C Paragraph 3, those additional administrative costs will have to be covered entirely without federal assistance that insurance companies could get if they didn’t offer abortion.
The result is obvious: some companies will just not offer abortion coverage. It’s too troublesome and expensive. If they offer it, they’re required by Section C Paragraph 3 to provide identical coverage that doesn’t cover abortions. Notice that the amendment, however, does not require that companies offer plans that do offer abortion coverage. A company would be in compliance if they did not offer coverage for abortion at all. In fact, it’s transparently obvious that this is the goal of the entire amendment: to make it so that insurance companies will have lots of incentives to never cover abortions.
If a company decided to offer coverage including abortion, the coverage would be prohibitively expensive. Not only could the insured not use federal monies for any medical procedure so long as they are covered for abortion, they also would be forced to pay higher premiums. After all, the additional administrative costs of the plan could not be paid for with federal assistance, which would transfer the additional fees directly unto women. To really sweeten the deal, you’d also be ineligible for Medicaid matching even from your state while your insurance covers abortion. Awesome.
At the end of the day, you’re left with a tiered health care system. At the very top are men. They can purchase private insurance. They can use public funds. They can do what you want with them, within reason, and not have to worry about losing coverage.
Quite a way below them are women paying for identical insurance except for abortion coverage, but paying much higher premiums. They cannot use public funds for anything.
Below them even further are women who can’t pay for the prohibitively expensive private insurance of their female peers. Among them are women that need any assistance whatsoever for anything, even something as simple as a teeth cleaning. They must pay for abortion out-of-pocket or choose between any federal or state assistance.
And at the very bottom are the women who can neither pay for prohibitively expensive private insurance or out-of-pocket abortions. They get pregnant, and they’re forced to procure risky abortions by untrained providers or have a baby against their will. At best, they succeed. At worst, they bleed to death or lose their fertility to a massive infection.
Oh, and they will suffer from those cheaper abortions. I’d bet all the money I have that someone will make it so the prohibition against paying for abortions will extend to paying for the complications from botched abortions. Or they’ll extend it to birth control, IUDs, and all those things that wackos say “kill babies”. Before long, everything that has to do with your right to exercise your entirely legal reproductive rights will damn you to fork over big bucks. No assistance. No coverage.
Lo and behold, our fucking Democratic majority has opened its collective asshole and shat out a mammoth steaming pile of shit that only allows us to avoid bankruptcy by medical bills only if we promise to be good girls and never ever kill babies.
There’s your Hope™ and Change™. You thought that Democrats were cool with just throwing gays under the bus? We’re not stopping at anything. Fuck the poor. Fuck women. Fuck the environment. Fuck the Middle East. Fuck accountability. Fuck ending tax cuts. Fuck our progressive base. Fuck federal law and Roe v. Wade and the things we could do with a Democratic majority.
If you have a Senator that would otherwise vote to pass this bill (mine are all Republicans), please, for your rights, send them a letter. Give them a call. Do something! Otherwise, I’m afraid that this is the death-knell for reproductive rights.
Lest you forget, know that the people who run America really hate women. No, really, they do. Underneath all that “hopey changey” bullshit is deliberate callousness that will not hesitate to throw women, gays, minorities, and the poor under the bus to get what they want.
Lo and behold, the steaming pile of shit that is HR3962. Just like all of the bills coming out of the House and Senate, the newly passed HR3962, known as the “Health Care Bill”, defines “basic health care” as “basic care for human beings who don’t have vaginas”. Among the services that sub-humans need and are therefore not necessary, of course, are the following: pelvic exams, domestic violence counseling and screening, counseling for STDs, birth control, and abortion. To add insult to injury, none of the above are protected from “cost sharing”, which means that women might possibility be required to pay the costs of these vital procedures out-of-pocket instead of using the affordability credits. Abortion, specifically, is barred from the application of affordability credits, meaning that it must be paid out-of-pocket.
This, of course, raises the question of how exactly women are going to afford to have abortions. Most private insurance companies do provide some sort of coverage for things as basic as birth control and abortion. However, a lot of people cannot afford private insurance, such as single mothers who don’t’ work enough hours to be eligible. Effectively, this will create a gender-tiered system of medical care, with men on the top, rich women with private insurance below them, and poor women with state insurance below them.
Additionally, will the new insurance deny coverage for abortion complications? Considering how hell-bent the leadership is on crafting a bill prohibiting any sort of reproductive care to women, I wouldn’t be surprised if women were given a red A at clinics instead of care and left to bleed out in the streets.
Of course, erectile dysfunction is on the list of things that will continued to be covered by insurance. So while you can get boners with medical assistance you can’t prevent pregnancy, end pregnancy, check if you can get pregnant, protect your ability to get pregnant, or protect yourself from abuse even if not pregnant. In short, the state thinks that funding a man’s right to have a sufficiently manly boner with the people’s taxes is totally more important than providing vital medical care to people with vaginas.
In other news, I’m looking forward to not voting in the next election if my choice comes down to a man who hates women and a man who really hates women.
Note: This post contains big spoilers for a movie that you probably shouldn’t want to see anyway.
Nobody caters to the easily nauseated. Here at XXBlaze, I like to pride myself at catering to really unpopular abnormalities. Being about as abnormal and unfit for civilized society as I unwillingly can seems to be my niche. According to the powers that be, there really isn’t a bigger crime against nature than being a educated opinionated fat gay woman.
So right here, I’m declaring a new series. I’ll call it, “Movies to Throw Up To”. I figure with the popularity of playlists such as “Songs to Have Heterosexual Church-Sanctioned Sex To” and “Songs to Get in Shape So as to be Suitably Fuckable To”, I might ride their coattails a little. In the name of feminism, squeamishness, and informing the public of what to avoid, you understand.
Right, so Movies to Throw Up To. First up is the movie I reluctantly saw this Halloween: Paranormal Activity. When it comes to riding coattails, this flick has got it in the bag. Cashing in on the popularity of other really fucking stupid movies like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity captures suspense with a camera technique I’d like to call “I paid $10 to see a movie costing a more money than I’ll ever see that looks like it was shot by a $50 camera attached to a run-away washer”.
In other words, the movie is much more likely to make you physically sick than to scare you.
So like Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity required that I take several short breaks in the middle of the film to step out into the hall. Not because it was too scary or intense, you understand, but because I was really fucking nauseous and had to go learn over a trash can until I figured I was fine enough to return to indulging my masochistic taste in cinema.
But unlike Cloverfield, I actually made it through the entire movie. I really wish I hadn’t.
Paranormal Activity reminds me of being eight years old at a slumber party and telling creepy stories to friends to see who would get more freaked out. We’d sit around in our Barbie sleeping bags and tell stories about white vans and creepy coincidences. Funny enough, all those stories were total bullshit and the product of sugar binges and reading too much Goosebumps. We were all more frightened of a totally innocent white van parked by a telephone pole than we were of the dude that showed us his penis in the public library.
Being a big girl now, I’m a bit more concerned with 40-year old sex offenders than demons and ghosts. I wish I could say that the rest of the world shares my good sense of priorities, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Thus, the thriving popularity of movies like Paranormal Activity: movies that don’t scare you once you grow the fuck up and figure out that demons are the dudes who run the fucking world or who fly under the radar because the people they hurt are just blamed for being victimized.
Which brings me to my next point: that douche Micah, Kate’s, the protagonist’s, boyfriend.
The scariest part of the movie, aside from how close I got to throwing up the chili I had for dinner, was how much of an unsympathetic misogynist asshole Katie’s live-in boyfriend is. She tells him to stop doing something, he does it anyway. She pleads with him to do things her way, and he blows her off. She tells him to turn off the camera when, he keeps it on. He even tries to keep it on while they have sex.
Katie quickly figures out, however, that the demon that has been haunting her since she was eight is angered by a dude stepping in on his territory. Because, ya know, women are totally the property of whatever paranormal shit is out there or a dude. Match-up: Demon From Hell versus Misogynistic Boyfriend. Who will win the ownership of a vagina? Very original. My third favorite part is when Micah gets pissed off at the demon and starts yelling about “his house” and “his girlfriend” and how he’s “going to take care of it”. Yeah dude, you’re going kick the ass of something that doesn’t have a corporeal form. Good luck with that.
Obviously, everything that Micah does to “take care of it” pisses the demon off. Katie doesn’t want him to do it, he does it anyways, the demon gets angry and does more crazy shit when they sleep. There, I just ruined the plot of the whole movie. You’re welcome.
Coming in a close second for my favorite scene is when Micah gets pissed off (good acting dude: varying between ineffectual pissed off he-man and dismissive surly ineffectual he-man for two hours) at Katie because she tells him that she’s really mad at him for getting an Ouiji board, after everyone told him not too and he promised Katie that he wouldn’t, that she needs to “go upstairs and hang out with her demon boyfriend”. Silly bitches, putting their needs and safety above listening to the Man of the House. They should just go upstairs and hang with the demon that wants to kill them, if they’re going to be uppity like that and think that they know better about how to deal with the shit that haunted them for like, most of their lives.
So Katie goes upstairs and slams the door. The camera shuts off, then turns on again to a scene of Micah holding Katie on the floor of the upstairs hall while she cries and tells him she’s sorry. He replies, “it’s not your fault”. Which, funny enough, it isn’t. See, the demon has been haunting Katie since she was eight. It even burnt down her childhood home. This demon is Serious Business. All the demon did, until Micah got his camera, against her wishes, and put powder on the floor to track its footprints, against her wishes, and trying to contact it with an Ouiji board, against her wishes, is burn down a house and breathe on her while she slept. Creepy dangerous shit, you understand, but not anything close to what it’s been doing now. Probably because Micah thinks that his pride and chest-beating he-man antics are more important than not pissing off the thing that you can’t hurt but has really evil intentions towards someone you supposedly love. To get back at Katie for involving her boyfriend, the demon basically does creepy shit every single night instead of just sometimes, which escalates to leaving supposedly irretrievable mementos from her childhood burnt-down home around her house and dragging her down the hall while she sleeps and biting her.
Instead of this being a good indication that Micah really ought to listen to his girlfriend and stop doing shit she knows will piss the demon off, he gets it into his head that’s it’s a good idea for him and Katie to leave the house. Even though the medium (whom he predictably thinks is a quack), Katie, and her best friend all told him that the demon will just follow and get more pissed off. Just like it has been following her since she was little. Micah doesn’t listen though, because he’s smarter than the quack physic and all those silly bitches with their vaginas. He packs up, and prepares to leave the next day when Katie stops protesting.
And here comes my favorite part of the movie: the end. I loved the end because I got to stop watching the totally asinine antics of the Man Who Hasn’t Got a Fucking Clue through the lens of a camera attached to some sadistic machine hell-bent on making me as motion sick as possible.
Additionally, the end was sweet because Micah finally shuts the fuck up. Yep, the Demon From Hell figures that Micah has stepped in on his territory for the last time. As they sleep, it possesses Katie, makes her stand over her boyfriend and watch him as he sleeps for three hours, then walks her down the hall, down the stairs, and makes her scream for her boyfriend.
Micah, like a fucking champ, wakes from a dead sleep with an instant woody at the idea of saving his damsel, vaults over the bed, and runs down the stairs. There’s a bunch of screaming, and then silence. Then, in the only part of the movie that made me jump, something is thrown at the camera, knocking it off the tripod.
That something is Micah’s lifeless body. Fuck yeah. And then Katie just kinda stands there, with her blood-stained pajamas, walks over and calmly smells him. Apparently being possessed by a demon makes the boyfriend you just killed smell good. Okay. Then she makes the patented creepy horror face, lunges at the camera, and everything goes dark.
So I stumble out of the theater, glad to be able to stand outside in the cold night air and let the combined motion sickness and the nausea of the totally asinine acting and plot fade. Just for an idea of how dumb the plot was, I spent at least 80% of the movie with my eyes closed trying not to throw up, and an additional 10% outside the theater and I didn’t miss a goddamned thing.
After returning home, I figure that I’m going to do this post. I sit down to do it, but as I start to type the first part of it, I am totally stumped on how to spell “Micah”. So I pull up IMDB and look it up.
What really killed me, and just hit home how much I fucking hate this movie, is that the most discussed thing in the movie’s forums was not the shitty camera angles. It wasn’t what a big stupid douche Micah is. It wasn’t that I was exchanged $10 for a ticket and an assumption of being entertained and got ripped off.
Nope, it was how “fat” the actress who played Katie was. Yep, the woman who walked around in barely-there pajamas for most of the movie, with nary a love handle or Buddha belly in sight, is a fucking whale. She’s just such an offense against the patriarchal standards of fuckability that the entire board is buzzing about what a goddamn fat ass she is.
Moral of the story: you can attach a camera to a washer and make a good portion of your audience want to hurl. You can make your secondary character an annoying macho butt nugget. You can cash in on the ever-so-popular horror genre of “hurting women for funsies”. You can forget to include that thing called a plot.
But all that anyone will notice is that the actress isn’t a size 0.
The verdict: I give this movie a 10 out of 10 on the nausea scale for finding a way to make me simultaneously physically and mentally sick, even an hour after I leave the theater. Well done.
Fuck you Disney Princesses. Out of all the things in my anti-feminist childhood, I have to say that I dislike you the most. Your perfect hair and submissive mannerisms were never the most sexist thing on the block, but you certainly were the most influential. Even though I found that I had a hard time relating to most of you, you still stood alongside Barbie as the most available commercial female role models. You were pretty, nice, and got to have magical adventures. You always fulfilled the things demanded of you by society eventually, and got together with a very charming handsome prince. Or at least you snagged a man who eventually became a prince or someone of equal importance.
To a hopelessly nerdy tom-boyish girl who related to books better than she related to girls and boys her age, you represented an ideal that I know I ought to meet, but found myself unable to. My hair was always too short, my figure too stocky, and the boys seemed to prefer girls more like you than like me. Since having a boyfriend was the best indication of social standing by the time I hit nine, I was equal parts envious and awe-stricken. I even dressed up as both Jasmine and Pocahontas several times each for Halloween, and lovingly kept the costumes even when I grew out of them. Today, I try to tell myself that at least I was unconsciously progressive enough as a child to choose the non-white and more rebellious princesses as my favorites, but the fact still remained that I looked up to you, the childhood scions of anti-feminist lore.
You taught me a lot of things; most of which were incredibly damaging. You taught me that it’s only appropriate to look up to men, and that all older women are inevitably evil, unless they are fairies. You taught me that mothers are useless, and better off dead, and that fathers are well-meaning tyrants that must be defied in small ways because they were understandably hesitant to hand over their power over you to another man.
You taught me that I must be nice to even the meanest of men, in case they were a prince and my kindness and resemblance to a door-mat could redeem them. If they were genuinely mean, I ought to know instinctively, or at least suffer silently until a prince rescued me. If I tried to rescue myself, I would inevitably end up in more trouble. You taught me that good girls always enjoy housework, caring for children, and sacrificing themselves for the sake of a man.
You taught me that that sacrificing myself for the sake of men may involve using my sexuality to seduce villains that I want absolutely nothing to do with, putting my life on the line, allowing myself to be imprisoned and abused, and giving up all the hobbies and talents that defined who I was. Those hobbies and talents didn’t really matter anyways, because they were only bargaining chips for snagging a prince, who cared more for my physical beauty then anything I was capable of or enjoyed doing.
You taught me that men knew better than me, even if they were abusive, angry, immature, and foolhardy. You taught me that the most important thing in a man is his legacy and royalty, his physical attractiveness, and his charm and wit. If he wasn’t royal, he must fake it, even if a show of material things didn’t really impress me. For a prince charming must buy me, even if I don’t wish to be bought. A proper man, you see, always pays for me, because women are objects.
You taught me that men go out and do things, and that I’m just there as a prize to be won or a silently suffering support system who is always waiting, never doing.
You taught me that I must wait for “true love” and never waste myself on short but enjoyable flings. True love was always the product of a simple kiss, by which I could determine the course of the rest of my life. You taught me that there was no divorce, no uncertainty, and no break-ups. A princess stays with one man, the first man, forever. You taught me that a whore moves on and does what she think is best for herself. A whore leaves a man who is abusive and angry instead of sacrificing her comfort and pride to turn him into a prince. You taught me that all men are redeemable by the charm of my physical beauty, naïve optimism, and willingness to put up with anything.
You taught me that if I somehow erred and found myself with a man who was not redeemable, it was because he was a villain that I must stay with until a true price comes and saves the day. If said prince never came, it was because I was not sufficiently beautiful and forgiving to the man I was with, and that if I tried harder, he would stop being so abusive. You taught me a that a good girl is never single, and never happy being single. Her entire life revolves around men and self-sacrificing relationships.
You taught me that good men will overlook me if I’m poor, too homely, or insufficiently wealthy. I must wait for someone to grant me with the material objects to fake being wealthy instead of seeking them myself. You taught me that if a prince only notices me if I doll myself up and meet his expectations of womanhood, that he isn’t a materialistic shallow jerk, but that I must follow certain rules and never question status-quo in order to be happy and taken seriously.
You taught me that men blinded by their incredibly lofty, but never wrong or shallow, standards for the opposite sex, and are therefore easily manipulated by the physical beauty of evil women, and thus that I must “save him” by being even more physically beautiful than them. You taught me that if I was richer or more beautiful than a man, that my wealth and power and standards of physical beauty were erroneous, and that I should be happy to marry a thief or someone cursed or disfigured. You taught me that I must meet his standards, whether he is a prince or a pauper, and that his standards are always right, and mine are always wrong.
You taught me that a princess is never gay, fat, anything less than absolutely stunning, or a tomboy out of anything other than desperation. You taught me that inter-racial relationships are only allowable if my prince is conquering or colonizing my hopelessly backwards and savage ethnicity; an ethnicity that is always somehow more sexist than his. You taught me that only then is it fine if I wish myself to be his “prize” for showing the savages the benevolence of the white man.
You taught me that good girls only marry for love, but somehow inexplicably only fall in love with conquerors, princes, and men who could suitably become royalty.
Disney princesses, you taught me a lot of things, but never how to be true to myself. You never taught me how to love my mother or have good female friends. You never taught me how to look up to anyone who didn’t have a penis. You never taught me how to be successful by not waiting for the heavens to open up and hand things to me because I was beautiful or because I existed only to make myself beautiful. You never taught me how to deal with what I was given instead of wishing for a man to save me and bring me back into line with the status-quo. You never taught me how to fall in love with someone I was actually attracted to or someone that was good for more than trying to save me when I was perfectly capable of saving myself. You never taught me how to say no to anyone. You never taught me how to watch my ass, protect my self-esteem, and judge standards for myself. You never taught me how to think for myself. You never taught me about things that mattered like politics, ethics, or anything else but fashion and a narrow definition of love. You never taught me to get out of tight spots by my own wit and force of will. You never taught me that my sexuality wasn’t a bargaining tool, a prize to be won, or the only thing about me that was worth two shits.
Out of all the things you didn’t teach me, you didn’t teach me that being a chubby bookish gay girl who didn’t take shit from anyone was perfectly okay. You did teach me, however, that I was a freak of nature. You taught me that I ought to put down the books, shut my mouth, and take up putting on makeup and doing laundry as my hobbies instead. You taught me that I should fumble my way through several ill-fated abusive or uncomfortable relationships with men instead of looking for love where I was endlessly more likely to find it. You taught me that my body was an unruly tool, and that by viciously controlling it with eating-disordered behaviors and self-hatred I might become a woman worth anything but scorn.
But you only succeeded in teaching me these things because you weren’t alone. You were a bullhorn in a room of sympathizers. There were healthier less damaging whispers around the outskirts, but you and the like-minded denounced them as social pariahs, sexual deviants, mentally disturbed, and political extremists. As a girl desperately just wanting to disappear and fit it, I never really had a chance. Neither, I gather, did the majority of my peers.
In short, fuck you Disney princesses. I will not pay to see your regressive movies, I will not look up to your flawless beauty-standard-compliant faces. Additionally, I will live my life telling everyone who will listen that we’ve got it all wrong. You and your clique of impossibly beautiful peers are the ones that ought to be silenced and ostracized. Not me, and not all those other beautiful and achingly real girls who desperately need to be heard and appreciated for how they are, not scorned for how they fail to be just like you: the perfectly useless, silent, submissive princess.
As anyone with an internet connection will know, the last week has been a series of failures when it comes to male celebrities breaking the law and treating women and girls like shit. Everything I could say about Polanski, however, has already been said.
With Polanski, however, it seems like few people outside of Hollywood are engaging in overt rape-apologetics. The people I happen to run into on a daily basis are mostly in agreement that Polanski is a filthy fucking rapist and that the portion of Hollywood signing that “Free Polanski” petition have all lost their fucking minds.
So, I at least have some faith in humanity.
Although it is very shaken when it comes to Letterman. I was always of the opinion that he was a swarmy asshole. Most men in power tend to be, and there were no indications that he was an exception to the rule.
Thus, the news story about how he slept with many female staffers in his long tenure as a talk-show host didn’t surprise me at all. Hey, another famous male abusing his power to harass, rape, or exploit women. In other obvious news, the sky is blue. I bet you would have never guessed that! What really bugged me about the story, however, wasn’t really that Letterman was an unadulterated douchebag of the highest order. It’s the public reaction to his revelation that got my panties in a twist, so to speak.
Unlike Polanski, most people seem to have filed Letterman’s shenanigans either under the “ha ha, that’s funny” category, or moved right into “bitches blackmail men because they didn’t get what they wanted out of seducing them, the whores”.
And the second assumption bugs the ever-living shit out of me. It’s like the entire world has no idea of what power imbalances are created when your boss is a very famous man hell-bent on seducing you, or the fact that sexual harassment in the work place is illegal.
Because that’s what Letterman did: he sexually harassed, coerced, and exploited the women and men under him. He turned the staff of his entire show from the meritocracy it was supposed to be into a harem of peons he assumed were only there to assuage his massive self of self-entitlement and/or his prick. He deprived women of the positions they’ve earned because they wouldn’t sleep with him or he wouldn’t want to sleep with them. He deprived men of the same, because sleeping with him was not an option, and that seemed to be the most sure-fire way of climbing the ranks quickly.
In short, Letterman poisoned the well. He forever twisted the fair and equal power structure that he was legally and duty-bound to uphold into whatever suited his overwhelming sense of narcissism.
And when he revealed what he did to the public, they laughed.
They laughed like it was not a big deal. Like he wasn’t responsible or that an offense against morality hadn’t been committed. They laughed like every powerful man is entitled to behave as such because such men have “earned” the right to viciously undermine fairness and exploit everyone around them, especially if the exploited are women.
Honestly, that scares the crap out of me. What Letterman did isn’t rare or uncommon. It’s very prevalent. People in power use that power, and the threat inherent when they have that power and other people don’t, to do all sorts of unconscionable shit. It’s an endless cycle of cronyism and exploitation/corruption that irrevocably taints most power structures.
Yes, most. Corruption underlies most hierarchical structures in most societies. Letterman’s actions are just more evidence of the same. They’re not a laughing matter.
For shit’s sake, when are people going to stop laughing at corruption and demand some goddamn accountability? Whether it’s Polanski or Letterman or George W. Bush, it should be really fucking obvious by now that most people in power behave as if that power gave them carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want.
Furthermore, this shit doesn’t happen in a vacuum. When Letterman uses how well women please his cock to determine his advancement policies, people who deserve it don’t advance. When Polanski uses the promises of fame to rape girls, girls don’t have a safe way to get fame or trust those that could help them achieve it. When George W. Bush uses how much contractors are chummy with his interests to determine who does what in Iraq, billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars just disappear and resurface in generous Halliburton compensation packages or are spent on mercenaries that slaughter civilians.
When corruption earns laughter rather than moral culpability, corruption flourishes. It undermines every concept of fairness and justice we think we have. It poisons the well and engages in behavior like rape, sexual exploitation, or outright murder.
So when you think of Letterman, don’t laugh. What corruption does isn’t funny. And it’s about time that we stopped laughing at men who abused power, and started demanding some fucking accountability.
Lo, the rape culture. Verily, we are soaking in it. It would be very melodramatic and feminist of me to say that the reason I have been on hiatus from lady blogging is because the rape culture paralyzes my will to write, but the truth is that I’ve been studying for the LSATs for the past four months, and feel rather like someone installed a shunt into my cranium.
For all those with the fortune not to know the horrors of pre-law school standardized testing, I envy you. Truly.
But of course, nobody is really interested in such boring pursuits, however necessary. Let’s talk about BDSM again.
BDSM is like the no-man’s land between sexyfun feminism and seriousbusiness feminism. There needs to be some Anti-Landmine Convention for that shit, yo. For while I did not partake in lady blogging whilst I was studying, I did participate in my fair share of lady blog reading. Whenever sex is mentioned on a blog, it seems to open a floodgate of navel-gazing BDSM pontification. What is consent? Is it cool to stick my arms up to my elbows in someone’s anus? Why do both dominant and submissive women wear corsets, while only submissive men do the same?
Only the first question really interests me. See, I’ve had a lot of orgasms in my life. They are hardly the pinnacle of human achievement. Color me unimpressed that other people have figured out that they, too, can orgasm. I really have no wish to detail sexyfun time. Am I doing it right? Are you doing it right? The only thing in the world, I fear, more rigid and conformist than the middle-school pecking order is how much people seem to care how other people get their rocks off.
No, I do not excuse said sexyfun people from this critique. Encapsulated in the concept of BDSM is the thought that people outside the “scene” are really missing out. They’re hopelessly “vanilla” or sexually repressed or something. Perhaps they’re godbags and read the Bible every hour and haven’t been naked without shielding their eyes from their loathsome bodies since they were toddlers.
This is all very self-congratulatory. Very predictable too. Someone says, “dude, getting a boner from hurting women is not okay.” Which, by the way, shouldn’t be a controversial statement. But then everything derails into fail about 0.02 seconds later, when someone has to chime in out how fucking awesome BDSM is and how much it is all about consent and celebration of human sexuality and transgressing Puritanical ideas and blah blah blah.
See, that shit doesn’t fool me. It shouldn’t fool you either. Because in that there is inevitably the implicit premise that so-called “vanilla” people aren’t interested in consent, that they aren’t having sex on their own terms for their own self-aware reasons, or that we’re just not cool enough to drop tons of cash on props to have orgasms. Oh, and that BDSM people are totes better at boinking than you, and you really ought to be jealous.
Dude, no. Just no. This kind of shit isn’t just confined to the internets or feminist blogs either. It plays out whenever I go have some drinks with my chums. It becomes a contest of who is the most “liberated” in their sex life. By “liberated”, they mean has the most props, the most scripts, and the haughtiest, most obnoxious, urge to brag about it all the fucking time.
It’s a game of who can dominate everyone else at being more into domination. Patriarchy2. Then you muddle it up with equating orgasm with the absolute be-all and end-all of human achievement, and you have an entire culture centered on hurting women for some dude’s boner so you can brag about it all the fucking time.
And isn’t that just what it all comes down to? I’m not putting vanilla sex on a pedestal either. I’m just channeling Foucault by saying that there isn’t a hell of a lot of difference between one narrow idea of what sexuality ought to be being replaced by other very narrow idea of what sexuality ought to be, which is supposed to be completely different from what it was, but it actually isn’t. At all.
And what that it is, and what it has always been, is the rape culture, or hurting the exploited for boners. There’s nothing new about that.
Which, is very obvious by how people talk about BDSM in feminist spheres and else where. Before the waters get muddied and the shit hits the fan, a woman will chime in in how much she likes it when she fantasizes about being raped.
Did you catch that? When we talk about kinky funtime, I’d like to focus on the fact that there’s a big portion of the male population that thinks that fantasizing about hurting women for boners is awesome. Not just in BDSM “spheres”. Everywhere. That’s the entire premise of the pornography, prostitution, and that little trillion-dollar international thing called Human Trafficking.
But that seems immaterial to most who talk about sex. It always comes down to what woman is stepping on other woman’s toes. For shit’s sake, does anyone really think that I honestly feel that women fantasizing about what they think rape would be like (but it isn’t) is actually the problem?
The problem is dudes. Dudes who hurt women. Dudes who don’t see BDSM as sexyfuntime, but as an outlet to be creepy fucks and sexual predators. Dudes that somehow always wind up being the dominant, the Master, and women who don’t seem to understand that when we talk about rape, and exploitation, and hurting women for boners, we’re not pointing the finger at them. We’re pointing it at the patriarchy, and the dudes who use it to hurt women.
Because at the end of the day, I have no desire to figure out if women who like to be hurt in the name of orgasms are better than me, worse than me, or just neutral. Men are not just inert sacks of flesh that simply respond to the desires of women. They’re the ones, as a general rule, who are doing the hurting, the defining of norms, and the ones that benefiting from said norms.
And to be honest, whether or not anyone gets their rocks off to being slapped around a bit is a little less dire than disavowing dudes of the sentiment that it’s totes cool to hurt or exploit someone in the name of boners. But maybe that’s just because I’m a totally repressed prude.