Thursday, December 15, 2011
I'm the crazy feminist that frat boys and Pat Robertson warned you about. . .
You can blame this one on Josh. He told me that I should start blogging again. And he is the 10th person this week that told me that I have a way with words. As I start to write this I'm suddenly aware that most of my blogs are about the same thing: feminism. And by that I mean feminism that is of Nazi-istic proportions. So, that being said, here it goes.
There are a few events that have happened lately that I need to get off my chest. So a few weeks ago (fueled by a few more drinks than I care to admit and/or remember) I was playing pool at a bar with a few friends of friends of acquaintances. The cast: Josh and I on one team. Josh's friend and his friend's friend's girlfriend on another team. She went to make a pool shot and a guy walked by and slapped her ass. Apparently this sexual harassment happened quite often because she just rolled her eyes and disregarded his actions with a look of shame. Being a very outspoken person and the alcohol in my blood being even more outspoken than I am, I yelled at him. Very loudly. Me: "Hey! What the fuck! What the fuck did you just do? You don't treat a woman like that! That is someone's sister, girlfriend, daughter! You tell her that you're sorry!" Douchebag: "mnmmnsorrymnnmm. . ." Me: "No, you look her in the eye and you tell her that you're sorry for that!" Well, the guy hung around the area still being an extremely disgusting human being and I recall telling him to get the fuck out. With more expletives than usual. And then she ended up telling me that that was the nicest thing everyone has ever done and every single statistic about abuse/hatred/low pay/rights violations/etc. . . ran through my head and I cried and made sure she had my phone number if she needed anything. It was an extremely emotional event.
Not even a week later I was walking through WalMart and two guys walking past me decided that it was acceptable to make kissing noises and say "Hey Pretty. Hey Pretty." to me. In my pre-menstrual cycle hormone surging state I yelled at them. Douchebag: "Mmmhh mmmhhh. Hey pretty mhh mmhh pretty" Me: "What the fuck did you just say to me??!" Douchebag: "I was just calling you pretty" Me: "No! You don't fucking talk to women like that. You don't know who the fuck I am and you don't talk to me like that!" The douchebag then walked away as I told him to fuck off and keep walking.
Even though the two events are completely separate I know that they are connected. And I'm not talking about they are some type of conspired events to drown my ever shrinking faith in humanity. I'm saying that both of the events are indicative of how our society and culture treats women. Men have created a world where women's self-esteem (or lack thereof) has been torn away and broken down and men seek to gain control of us by telling that us that we can be more womanly by gaining men's attention, however degrading it is. Even though a man may violate your life-given right to personal space and safety, if he sees you as a sexual conquest then you should feel proud. Any ill-received attention is still attention. And if you're entire sense of self worth is reliant upon how the world rates your attractiveness, then it is accepted as a compliment. Sexism is a social disease.
I am going to admit that I'm a hypocrite. I wear clothes that I like that make me feel good. I wear make-up. I don't consciously do it for attention or for compliments, but I do it for some sense of self-esteem. While writing this post I realized that every time that I described the latter scenario previously to friends I mentioned that I was wearing very casual clothes and had no make-up and wasn't trying to attract attention to myself. Even though I could go on a rant for days about how when someone is raped/ abused what they were wearing has nothing to do with deserving how they are treated. And I could cite cases where a rapist is let go of charges because the victim was wearing something too "revealing" and deserved it, that they were basically asking for it. And I realized that in describing my looks that morning that I was justifying that same argument. Part of changing our rape/abuse/harassment culture is part of identifying how we see any situation from every angle and see things on a personal and global level. Anything that happens to me happens to every other human being on this planet and vise versa.
I'm going to end this blog post with a lyric and a music video of Amanda Palmer's song Ampersand.
"I have wasted years of my life
Agonizing about the fires I started
When I thought that to be strong
You must be flame retardant"