All Cis Men Need To Read This, Right Now

This is important. I want all of the cis men who clicked on this post to read this exchange. Start with this photo and click all the way through to the end. (Source:  my excellent Facebook friend Anna Jobsis).

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.

Image is the boss from Office Space. Caption says, "Yeah, if you could stop promoting rape culture, that'd be great."

So let’s go back through Carlos’s lecture. As you’re reading, ask yourself some questions: Continue reading “All Cis Men Need To Read This, Right Now”

All Cis Men Need To Read This, Right Now

My Terrifying Introduction to Feminism and Patriarchy: The Yellow Wallpaper

“The Yellow Wallpaper” was “not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy.”
                                        -Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It turns out I was reading feminist literature much earlier than I thought. Lemme ‘splain. My mom was a huge believer in reading (thanks, Mom!), so she kept my room well-stocked with books. I had a huge set of bookshelves that took up nearly an entire wall, crammed full of various tomes. Sometimes, you’d find a fat green volume with 1000 Page Book of Stories stamped on the cover. I say sometimes, because I read that thing until it was brutally battle scarred. I forgot it ever had a dust cover. It was one of my favorite books for probably the better part of a decade.

And right now, I can only remember one story in it.

I mean, I’d probably recognize the others, if I saw their titles. I read them dozens of times. I probably have appreciable parts of them memorized, just waiting for a hint to unlock. But this one never needs a hint. I never forget this story was in it, never forget its details or atmosphere.

Because it bloody terrified me. Continue reading “My Terrifying Introduction to Feminism and Patriarchy: The Yellow Wallpaper”

My Terrifying Introduction to Feminism and Patriarchy: The Yellow Wallpaper

If Your Feminism Requires a Vagina, It Is Bullshit

I’ve been seeing some supposed feminists engage in an awful lot of transmisogyny for people who claim to give a shit about trans people. And I’ve seen entirely too many feminists claim or act like they’re intersectional, then go off the rails when it comes to trans women. Ophelia Benson is the prime example of late, but there have been others. Far too many others. And I am bloody tired of it. So we’re going to have some real talk today.

This is not how you go about intersectional feminism. And it makes me really fucking uncomfortable when someone claims to give a shit about women and does a little public posturing about how much they care for trans people, too – and then goes off on a trans woman. In one recent episode, I saw a self-righteous feminist argue with a trans woman (who is also a biologist) about the trans-misogynist term “female-bodied.” When you run roughshod over another woman because she does not have the same genitals you do, you are fucking up badly. When you argue that there is such a thing as biologically female with a biologist who is telling you it’s more complicated than that, you are fucking up spectacularly. And there are far too many cis women who are doing shit like this.

So, as a cis woman, I’d like to say this to all y’all who think that being “biologically female” or “female-bodied” – meaning having a vagina and a uterus – is crucial to the experience of being a woman: Continue reading “If Your Feminism Requires a Vagina, It Is Bullshit”

If Your Feminism Requires a Vagina, It Is Bullshit