“We need more men with the guts, with the courage, with the strength, with the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other and stand with women and not against them.”
- Jackson Katz
“When attacked from behind, she grasps a hatpin. Turning quickly, she is able to strike a fatal blow in the face.” Hatpin self-defense tactics are illustrated in these photographs excerpted from a 1904 article that was featured in the San Francisco Sunday Call newspaper (via Bartitsu)
Speaking of nostalgia … how long have women been defending themselves for? Oh yeah … forever
I’m pretty irritated by my email box and have been pretty irritated for a good week. I don’t write about my irritation because I am pretty sure I will get even MORE irritated if I do. All that said I have a bunch of emails from anti feminists sitting in my inbox. They don’t like my posts, they don’t like my blog, they sure’s in fuck don’t like my feminism. Guess what? I don’t fucking care. Let me repeat that, in the famous words of Harry P, for you.
Let me also step you through a couple other things:
1. This blog is not a democracy. I don’t write it for anyone’s pleasure but my own. You don’t agree with my opinions? Super no problem. You hate my blog? Also no problem. You hate me? Ok, a little personal, but whatever.
I assume you understand how the internet works right? You don’t like what you are reading? Click the little “x”on the right hand corner of this tab and go somewhere more agreeable to you. I repeat. I do not care. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am not collecting readers, or comments.
Do I look like I am fishing for blog growth?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my readers, and enjoy their comments when they are inspired to make them, whether on my blog or via email. But I’m not trying to build some mega blog. This blog is not a popularity contest sort of endeavour for me. I don’t write for you. I write for me. It’s liberating. If you’ve never tried it you should give it a go.
2. If you believe for a moment that I am going to release posts that are full of wanking criticisms about my personhood, right to think, breathe, exist and then argue them with you … um no. It’s not going to happen. If you think you are going to see me apologize for being a woman, with my own sets of thoughts, feelings and experiences being a woman – I do advise you not to hold your breath.
I enjoy my peace of mind. I don’t do conflict for the joy of conflict. Yuck.
I also like diversity of thought. I am generally really pleased to consider alternate opinions. All that said, I will not release comments when they are prefaced with words like “You blah blah blah feminists should all die”. etc. I won’t release and argue those comments because quite simply I am not interested in
3. I know that you think that your issues and perspectives trump mine. This is becoming a real danger faced by anyone who writes about any issue.
If I have a headache, fuck man, you’ve got a brain tumour.
If I make a point about an issue, you’ve got 100 issues lined up that I haven’t thought about or addressed… and it’s a real issue for you because of the above point … your issue is way bigger and more important than my issue. I’m going to tell you what I think of this with a little analogy.
Say I have breast cancer, and I write some posts about my breast cancer. Suddenly someone jumps up and says, “you have nothing to bitch about, I’ve got leukemia!” Then someone else pops up and says, “you bitches have no right to bitch about cancer, how dare you, my mother died last year”. Then someone else pipes up and says, “you’re all a pack of douches, and you should all be dead. You’re stupid, and leftist, and uniformed, because the ENVIRONMENT man!!!!””
So here’s the thing. I would commiserate with you about your leukemia, the death of your mother and the state of the environment …. if you didn’t shove it down my throat, and expect me to apologize for my breast cancer.
At the point you insult me, minimize, marginalize and dismiss my issue, my opinion, my lived the fuck experiences … suddenly there’s no room for a conversation, and whilst I will always acknowledge the legitimacy of your issues, I will not do so at the expense of my own. I will not want to discuss your issues with you because you are a myopic asshole. Yes, that’s right.
I am not the asshole who is unaware that other perspectives and issues exist, I’m the asshole who refuses to pretend that my issue doesn’t exist in order that you can feel heard. It’s not either / or.
Get the picture? At the moment you stroll into my cyber living room and want to tell me I should die, or I am stupid, or my lived experience is less relevant that yours, or whatever your deal is, we have a problem.
Most elementary school kids understand this problem, its a basic communication / socialization 101 problem …
Now some bloggers like this hideous conflict, adrenalin laden attack and be attacked thing and are prepared to make nice nice chit chat, be an apologist for their opinions, and / or fight the good fight. They think it drives blog traffic – and maybe it does, but as I previously discussed, I don’t care about blog traffic. I don’t release venomous comments and I delete those sorts of emails.
Once again, this is not The Democracy of WrongSide. I don’t write for your approval, I write for me.
4. Other good news about the internet: You too can blog. You can start your very own blog, in your very own cyber corner, and you can write about your issue. You can find your tribe, where you all agree that your issue is the real issue. Isn’t that great?!
You can make sure stupid, horrible, girls like me don’t come in with their idiotic issues and leave comments on your blog. You can do this because you know, freedom of thought, freedom of speech meets the right to decide who talks about what in your livingroom.
I wish you well on your blog, writing about your issues.
5. Here’s a weird thing I notice. If I did try to write about your very important issue that I don’t have any lived experience with, you’d be leaving me comments telling me that I am “misappropriating your issue”, you’d be telling me I was an ignorant bitch who has no business speaking to your issue because its not my issue. How very dare I!
If I don’t write about or carefully explore your issue, I am an ill-informed, ignorant bitch, who clearly knows nothing and should have my hands chopped off at the wrists to prevent me from writing about non-important drivel, aka anything you don’t think is important.
Basically I am fucked either way eh?
I dare say, the only sort of writing or conversation you will be interested in is me saying yeah, my lived experiences and issues just don’t matter, you’re right, yours are way more important. Fuck my migraine, your tumor trumps it.
I’m not interested in that sort of writing. Therefore I choose to write about whatever I choose to write about. See how that goes?
6. I think I make a great ally. I have very strong social justice leanings. If you approach me, and you make a reasoned argument about an issue, I am the sort of girl who will say, Ahhhh I see. Is there a way I can support you or help?
I won’t try to write about your issue (I don’t live it), I won’t shove my “help” down your throat or pretend to know what you need (because I don’t). If you think it best for me to to stay out of your way so you can fight your corner without my baggage (my issue) weighing you (and your issue) down, no problem I can do that.
But when you insult the shit out of me because my issue just isn’t as serious as your issue and you go on to tell me I should be dead as a result. When you treat me like shit, belittle, diminish me, demean me, insult me.
I am officially offside.
At that point, I am not your ally,
I’m your, have-a-nice-life-enjoy-your-fight-alone girl. I’m your, get-out-of-my-cyber-space girl.
So for those of you coming into my cyber-livingroom packing hate … let me end this post on a righteous, what a great Jack White song, high note …
And just because I’m a history fan, here’s Kate Gleeson’s Re-inventing Tony: why Abbott’s attempt to woo women doesn’t bear scrutiny
One of the things I feel compelled to do as a feminst, social justice advocate and woman, is to make explicit my disgust for Stupid Shit that passes for law and social commentary. Case in point thse two stories:
What do these two stories have in common? Well, despite all logic, reason and common sense, two girls are being made to be responsible for the criminal behaviour of the men who sexually assaulted, aka, raped them. My readers know how I feel about bullshit like this, I have written explicitly to it in posts such as Observationally Speaking, It Would Appear Men Have Very Serious Hormonal Problems … Yeah part of it is this suggestion that poor menz just cannot control themselves, and part of it is that we still, in 2013, successfully make children / young women / women responsible for men’s inability to control themselves and FOLLOW the LAW.
It goes beyond even this, however, when we have a legal system that makes excuses for the “poor menz who rape”… because little girls are just too damn sexy. If this type of legal argument can be made which makes victims of rape responsible for their rapes, then the law is BROKEN. If these types of sentences can be passed by judges, then the judges are BROKEN and clearly need to be sent back to school – because it can only be inferred that they lack education, training, basic common sense and decent judgement.
The fact that this continues to happen …