And we definitely need to talk about how you’re talking to men.
Ah-ah-ah – I see you sidling towards the door, thinking that you don’t need to read this because you’d never talk about women like whatever I’m about to say. Stay put, Mister. Because I do mean you.
Yes, you. Yes, Mr. I-Respect-Women. Mr. I-Would-Never-Say-Harmful-Shit. Mr. I-Would-Never-Ever-Be-Like-Trump. I’m not just talking to the men who say misogynistic shit today. I’m talking to you. Take a seat. We’ve got some hard things to discuss.
Content note for: Sexual assault, misogyny, sexism, denial, rape culture
Content note for sexual assault, victim-blaming bullshit, rape culture apologia.
If you think Carlos is making really good points and sounds really reasonable, you need to start educating yourself on what rape culture is. Now. Before you open your mouth to advise a woman on what she should or shouldn’t do. Before you nod along with your fellow dudes while they’re explaining this shit at women. Before you ever say one more fucking word, shut up and do some learning.
And keep in the forefront of your mind that what I’m saying applies to trans women, genderfluid, and nonbinary people just as much. Cis and trans women, along with people coded or read as women or femme, but who don’t identify as women, all have to deal with all this shit. And it’s constant. Carlos is just one vivid example in an endless septic ocean of them. Carlos is just one guy among millions who thinks he’s a nice dude and helping women out, but who is actually throwing toxic sludge all over them.
And you, dear reader, may also be a Carlos. I know you don’t mean to be. But you’ve been socialized that way, and most of you haven’t spent much time rethinking your assumptions. I know this because I was once a Carlita. I absorbed those same toxic rape culture messages and passed them on. Yes, women can perpetuate this shit, too, but it’s mostly men doing it, and we need you to stop. It can be done. If I can learn it, anyone can.
Qandeel Baloch, a fiercely independent woman who dared to defy the stringent modesty rules of her culture, is dead, murdered by her own family.
The kind of violence she suffered is called an honor killing, and we here in the West too often don’t realize what’s meant by that. We’re given to trite, pithy comments about how there’s nothing honorable about killing your sister or your daughter or your wife. If we understood what honor meant in those cultures, we wouldn’t say such things.
It’s a funny thing to think about, this question of honor.
And what kind of person do you have to be, for your honor to depend on your family members conforming to a restrictive standard of behavior?
This question of honor. And individuals. And anger and and shame and fear. What kind of human do you have to be?
Perhaps, the kind of human who lives in a society where the standing and reputation of your family– its honor– dictates just about every measure of accessibility and livelihood.
So. Last week, I mentioned a fun new project I’d be unveiling this week. My friend Zeroth and I will be analyzing Supernatural episode by episode. We’ll be presenting the pilot episode for your enjoyment tomorrow. Today, I’ll introduce you to our methods and aims so you can spend more time enjoying our analysis and less time trying to figure out what the fuck we’re talking about.
So, first, Supernatural: for those who haven’t watched the show, it’s basically about two brothers who travel the country tracking and fighting all sorts of supernatural entities. You’ll encounter everything from ghosts to terribly mauled Native American legends to angels and demons. It’s very strongly influenced by the horror movie genre, although it’s not afraid to play around in other genres, and has a healthy propensity for laughing at itself. It’s gone on for eleven seasons and been renewed for a twelfth, so yeah, it’s been a pretty successful formula.
Apologies for it being somewhat quiet round here lately, my darlings. I’m deep in a project wherein I am sorting through well over a thousand public domain images of Mount St. Helens. It’s necessary for upcoming posts, not to mention the eruption book and the guidebooks I’m working on, but ye gods does it ever suck up the time.
Fortunately, I can watch television whilst downloading, categorizing, and posting select images. I’ve got through most of Supernatural, and will have So Many Things to Say about it soon. I’ve sampled Gilmore Girls, and discovered that stuff based on ordinary life terrifies me far more than shows with monsters or murders. I actually had to quit watching because it was giving me conniptions. I’ve started Daredevil, and oh, yes, I will have Thoughts on that as well.
Newcomers to ETEV probably haven’t spelunked the archives, so it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that I’ve got clinical depression and anxiety. They’re both kicking up one hell of a fuss at the moment. You might not know it from a few recent blog posts and my Facebook feed, especially not since my feed has been full of my comments on the Supernatural marathon I’m currently running and precious little else. I’m pretty good at covering the worst bits up. That’s such a weird thing about these disorders: if I haven’t hit absolute rock bottom, I can look pretty bubbly and bouncy. I might even appear to have my shit together.
I don’t. But I’ve been dealing with this for a long time, and I know how to put the mask on so I can function in the outside world. And I know what to do when I’m no longer going to be able to fake it to make it.
So. I’m going to tell you a truth: the reason I’ve been mainlining Supernatural is not just because it’s an entertaining show, but because I’m using it to stave off a major depressive episode. Tell you what, teetering on the edge of the abyss is about the most unpleasant sensation a mind can feel. There’s a reason why we turn to things and cling to them, whether they be drugs, alcohol, a teevee show, or whatever. When you’re going over the edge, you’ll grab at anything that appears to give you a chance of not going over.
If you hang around in social justice circles for more than about a minute, you’ll probably encounter someone insisting that those of us paying attention to language aren’t doing anything important. Said attitude is usually displayed by people sniffing about how we’re being too politically correct. They dismiss our attempts to, for instance, get people to stop using gendered slurs or ableist insults. Even our allies sometimes have a distressing habit of downplaying such things.
“Traditional marriage and religious liberty are under attack all across the nation,” writes former Harris County GOP Chair Jared Woodfill.
No, Jared and all the other crybaby cons. Not a bit of it. Traditional marriage is just being asked to share its sandbox with others. It gets to keep all its toys. It’s still got plenty of room to play. Nobody’s kicking sand in its eyes, or telling it to go home, or borrowing its bucket and shovel and not giving them back. If traditional marriage can’t play nicely with the other kids, that’s its problem, not theirs. It can learn to share the space, or go home to sulk, but nobody’s attacking it. Continue reading “Dear “Religious Liberty” Brigade: You’ve Lost. You’ve Always Lost”→