slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. ((default))
Disclaimer: I do not claim to know anything about the actual events on which this movie was based or the people involved. This post refers only to the fictionalized version of events and characters shown in the movie.

There is a TRIGGER WARNING for intimate partner abuse and violence for this post.

So yesterday, my dad, Nigel, and I went to see Unstoppable. It was pretty good--I'm pretty sure it doesn't pass the Bechdel test1, but I enjoyed the story anyway. Worth my two hours and my dad's $20; your mileage may vary, especially as regards what I'll talk about below. I have the privilege not to have been triggered by this. Not everyone does.

Then we went out for a late lunch and discussed the messages the movie sends about intimate partner abuse and violence.2

Before the events of the movie, Chris Pine's character engaged in criminal and if I may say so fundamentally stupid behavior involving threatening a cop with a deadly weapon because he thought the cop was hitting on his wife, Darcy. He describes the incident--which began when Darcy received a text message and wouldn't tell him whom it was from, and he tried to grab the phone away--in the characteristic way that abusers do, minimizing his own behavior and portraying it as a big misunderstanding.

He didn't hit her, he says. He scared her, but he didn't hit her.

They almost never admit they hit her. They only do it when they can't avoid it, and then they'll say it wasn't that hard, and they'll talk about how they didn't mean it or it was an accident or she deserved it.

Sometimes they will alternate between these minimizing lies.

The character then went to the home, I think it was, of this cop who had been friends with Darcy for years and who, according to Chris Pine's character3, has "always had a thing" for her, and took him for a ride in his truck with a gun on the dashboard to say, "Stay away from my wife."

So, well, the way he tells it, the cop and his cop friends prosecute him for this, and the court enacts a restraining order so he can't be with his wife and child.

Now, friends, I don't know. Okay? I don't know. Is it possible that the courts would enact a restraining order protecting Darcy and not the cop he actually threatened with the gun? Maybe. Is it probable that this would happen if she herself didn't also press charges? I don't know. I do know that for many, maybe even most, women who are afraid of men of their acquaintance, it's fucking hard to get a restraining order. You have to prove a lot of shit beyond "he tried to take my phone away", and sure, "he pulled a gun on my friend because he thought the friend had contacted me" will go a long way toward that in some courts4, but not if you, the victim, are standing there saying, no, there's no abuse, it's fine, it's all fine.

"I scared her," the character says, "but I didn't hit her."

I don't know whether to believe him or not, but for the purposes of this discussion I'm not sure it matters.

Because the scaring, the intimidation, that's abuse too.

I have been afraid of a lot of people in my life. I've been afraid of my mother, my sister, kids on the bus, guys at work5, guys at school, teachers, men on the street, men at the gym, you know, there are a lot of men on this list, but you know which man is not, has never been on it?

My husband. He fucks up sometimes but he doesn't intimidate me, he doesn't let his anger turn into something he can use against me to make me feel small and afraid. We argue--we argue a lot about money these days--and sometimes it gets loud, and sometimes we say things we shouldn't, both of us. And I wish it wasn't that way. But he doesn't scare me.

He certainly wouldn't scare me over a text message, even if it was a text message from someone he thought might want to sleep with me. Because you know what? My husband knows I'm queer, and he knows I'm still in touch with some of the women I've had things with in the past.6 This is a man who, when I came out to him, was so uneducated as to think it must mean I was telling him I wanted to sleep with women while I was with him; this is a man who knows that if I had lived closer to a woman named Nikki before I met him I would probably be in a relationship with her right now, and who knows that now I live within an hour of her and sometimes we hang out. He doesn't get jealous about it. He doesn't get possessive and controlling. He doesn't yell at me for talking to any of these women and he doesn't try to intimidate me or them into cutting off contact. Because he respects and trusts me.

In the movie, the incident is portrayed mostly from the abuser's point of view. When we see Darcy's side of it, what little we see is her visibly feeling conflicted and still loving him. Then he saves the day and she leaps into his arms.

The whole thing is portrayed as a big misunderstanding. It's heavily implied that she misunderstood what he was trying to do when he grabbed for the phone, because grabbing for someone else's phone out of their hand is supposed to be totally innocent and not a huge sign of disrespect for their belongings, boundaries, autonomy and personal space. Then the way he tells the story is perfectly tailored to make it seem like it was all blown out of proportion and we shouldn't judge him harshly for it, because what he did wasn't really that bad. But the real misunderstanding is his misunderstanding--the part where he lets regret color his voice--the part that means it wasn't even worth it.

The text message was from her sister.

Friends, the way this is revealed--the way he says it--we are meant to sympathize with the character, oh, he just made a mistake. But what that would mean is, if Darcy had received a text message from her cop friend, Chris Pine's character's behavior would have been justified. And it wouldn't. Nothing justifies abusive behavior.

She wouldn't tell him whom the text was from when he asked. That could be nothing. Or it could show that he's been asking her that kind of thing and she resents it, and/or that "my sister" has been an unacceptable answer in the past, one he wouldn't believe.

It wasn't her who got the ball rolling on pressing charges. Maybe that's coincidence. Maybe it means he's already taught her she deserves his treatment or that there's nothing she can do about it, nowhere she can go.

She takes him back; he gets her pregnant again. Maybe he was sorry, maybe he learned his lesson, maybe they're happy and maybe she wanted this.

Or maybe, just maybe, he was on the news as a real life goddamn hero, and everybody was talking about how he couldn't let that train take out the town where his wife and child were living, and she didn't feel like she could stand up in the face of that and say she didn't want him back, knew she would be shouted down if she tried to say he was anything less than a fucking angel, that maybe someone could save a town but still be an abusive asshole. Because we don't, as a culture, believe that's possible.

Maybe she thought it was a sign he was going back to that sweet, caring, romantic man she fell in love with, that this was proof he had changed. Maybe he had; I don't know. It's never resolved, how he treats her, what happens with them.

The little epilogue text at the end of the movie tells us they have a second child on the way. I'm sure that we the viewers are supposed to see this as proof that she's happy with him, because obviously she wouldn't consent to sex or to getting pregnant if she didn't want to be with him.

And I guess if you ignore the reality of intimate partner rape and of men who browbeat and manipulate their female romantic partners into getting pregnant, that makes sense.

The character was abusive. The way it's presented in the movie, we're supposed to see the abuse as "not that bad" or possibly "not really abuse", but it is that bad and it is abuse. He saves the day and he gets her back. His past behavior is erased. We're not even shown that he learned any kind of lesson from the restraining order.7 There's no indication that he won't do exactly the same thing again, or worse. But he's A Hero, so it's all good now.

Abusers can be heroes. It's entirely possible. Someone can do something amazing and awesome in public and still be an asshole in private. It happens all the time. The problem comes in when, as a culture, we pretend this somehow makes up for the abuse. Because it doesn't.

So let's look at the story another way. For "oh how sweet, he doesn't want anything to happen to his wife and child," read, "he still sees them as his possessions even though she kicked him out". Remember that if he had failed, not only would he have been killed, but Darcy and the child probably would have too. It's not exactly the same as, but not entirely unlike, the abusive dudes who kill their wives or girlfriends and children before killing themselves because they don't want anyone else to have their possessions.

And there will be those who say I'm reading too much into this; save your breath. I've heard it before. You could be right; like I keep saying, maybe the character has changed, maybe he's learned something, maybe he really was doing it all to save her, maybe even to prove himself to her. Maybe he goes home to her and treats her, not like a princess, but like a human being, an equal partner, and trusts her and doesn't "let" her have whatever friends she wants because he knows it's not his to "allow".

But the movie should have shown us that, if that's what they wanted us to believe. Otherwise it's irresponsible storytelling. And more than that, it sends an irresponsible message.

By telling the story of abuse from the abuser's point of view, we legitimize the abuser and marginalize the victim. By taking him at his word when he says he didn't hit her and implies it wasn't really a big deal, we minimize the reality of abuse.

The reality of abuse is minimized enough already.

1. On the basis that while Darcy and her sister talk about the runaway train before they know Chris Pine's character is on it, I don't think the sister has an actual name; Denzel Washington's character's daughters only talk to each other about him; Rosario Dawson's character talks to at least one other women, but she is a nameless, faceless receptionist or administrative assistant on the other end of a telephone; none of the reporters are given names, nor, I don't think, do they talk to each other; and the diner server neither has a name (unless she was wearing a nametag I didn't notice) nor speaks to anyone but the dude with the ponytail and the big truck.
2. I love my dad. He doesn't always get it, but when he does, he really gets it.
3. The character's belief that this man wants to sleep with or date his wife, or whatever, is not evidence of anything either way. Abusive, controlling men are often very jealous and often believe that any man who talks to their intimate partner is trying to "steal" her. I'm not sure if this is just because of the controlling and possessive aspect to the abuse or if it is also informed by some kind of subconscious knowledge that not every man will treat her like shit and if she figures it out she'll leave. Or maybe that's conscious knowledge, I don't know.
4. There are courts where this won't mean jack shit. There are courts where "doesn't want another man talking to his wife" will be seen as evidence of "loves her deeply, puts her on a pedestal".
5. Not where I work now, but in the past.
6. I'm not in touch with any of the men--it just didn't work out that way.
7. One of the first, if not the first, scenes of the movie is Chris Pine's character stalking his wife and child. He drives his pickup truck over to where he knows they'll be and watches them from, presumably, just outside the restraining order's radius. And I thought, oh god, we have a divorced or broken up relationship and he's going to get her back by saving the day; I hate when that happens. I didn't know it could be this much worse.

Oh, Cosmo

Nov. 12th, 2010 02:25 am
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. ((default))
So occasionally I find myself in need of something to read while on the pot, and occasionally whatever Discworld book I am currently rereading is in the bedroom with a sleeping Nigel. On these occasions sometimes I pick up the lastest femininity propaganda magazine that has arrived in my mailbox. (For those of you just tuning in, I signed up for some scam a few years back and made all these payments on a shit-ton of magazine subscriptions and I imagine they will end in two or three years.)

Therein I read bullshit like the following quote from Tim, 21, on the subject of women's breasts:

"I like the way boobs jiggle when I play with them. It's like they're alive or something."


Boobs are alive. This is because, rather than being inanimate objects (although I can see how you might be confused about that), they are part of women's actual human bodies. Much like how your toes, earlobes, elbows, kneecaps, and tongue are alive.

Meanwhile, in another part of the magazine, a woman wrote in to ask how she could refuse consent to sexual activity with her boyfriend without hurting his feelings, stating that she usually just allowed him to fuck her because she didn't want to upset him; instead of saying, "Compliance is not consent, and you have no obligation to engage in any form of sexual activity unless you want to at that moment and with that partner; his whiny little fee-fees are his own goddamn responsibility," the author of the advice column urged the woman to see her doctor in case there was a physical reason she was not becoming aroused after her boyfriend had started to rape her. (THAT'S RIGHT I SAID RAPE; IF SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BUT SHE SAYS YES BECAUSE OF THE EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION HE DISHES OUT WHEN SHE SAYS NO, THAT IS RAPE.)

The magazine also contains this helpful advice: "If you're a B-cup or larger, use a hand to push one breast up toward your mouth and let him watch you lick a nip."

I tried this in the interests of SCIENCE. My G-cups cannot reach and I almost gave myself a neck cramp. Why is this sexy?

Then they made fun of Kat Von D. and shamed her for having tattoos that they don't think will look good when she's old. These assholes do know the art and artistry of tattoos is her life's work, right? And guess what, bodies age AND THAT'S OKAY.

I really need to get to sleep. Fucking work.


Oct. 3rd, 2010 05:03 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
It's not just for breakfast anymore.

You can "understand where they're coming from" all you'd like, but that doesn't make anti-women's-ownership-of-own-uteruses activists' signs reading "ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN" any more accurate. You see, thanks to SCIENCE, we know that abortion does not, in fact, kill children.

Abortion terminates pregnancies.

If it can be said to kill anything at all, one could say abortion kills embryos and fetuses. But embryos and fetuses are not children, the reason being, children have been born.


Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:30 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
I was going to write a post about another Cosmo article (the "best orgasm tricks" whatever one), but you know, I'm just not feeling it. I don't want to put my energy into it right now.

Talking points:

- No, Cosmo, women don't "take longer to orgasm" because our "anatomy is more complicated"; in fact, in masturbation, women take the same amount of time to orgasm as men. In heterosexual sex, women "take longer" to orgasm because dudes don't give a fuck how to make us come. Once there is a boner in the equation, it is all about the boner. And because the reason there is this overarching cultural narrative about the clitoris being So Fucking Hard To Find is that dudes do not bother learning how to find it. (Dear dudes: it is the sticky-out bump a little ways above the opening of the vagina, the top meeting point of the labia minora. You're welcome.)

- No, in fact, it should not be my or any woman's priority to avoid wilting a dick or two by actually having the temerity to ask for what we want and enjoy in bed. Indeed, the careful nonconfrontational model of communicating this information does not reliably communicate it. Anyway, if some dude is really that freaked out by a woman actually knowing what she enjoys well enough to tell him, he's not going to wind up good in bed no matter what the fuck I try to do about it. And in fact (as I have explained before but cannot be arsed to go and find) dudes' dicks wilting at the thought that a woman might conceivably not like something they want to do to "with" her is both a result and a keystone of the rape culture. This shit is the stated reason dudes don't like actually asking for consent, so they just proceed as if everything is groovy and wind up raping people.

Anyway. My ass has to raid ICC tonight. Have a pleasant evening.
slythwolf: (BULLSHIT)
And everyone was surprised. Heh.

But no, okay, here is the thing: somehow, within the last few months and without my doing anything to precipitate it, Cosmopolitan started coming to my mailbox once a month. Last month I sat down and "annotated" the entire issue (little comments in the margins about "Why the fuck would I want to bring some dude a beer when he can get it himself?" and so on). This month I am going to rip apart a very stupid cover article.

The cover says:

His Burning Sex Need
Satisfy the Craving Your Man Won't Admit to You

If someone "won't admit" a sex-related "craving", the respectful and non-rapey thing to do is to proceed as though zie doesn't have that craving. Assuming that someone has a craving zie won't admit is pretty much the same as pretending "no" means "yes".

So then I turn to the article, to see if it fails as hard as I think it will. And it does, but in a different way than the cover does.

"The New Male Sex Need", the article is entitled. A cursory skimming of the article shows that the "new" male "need" is power. Make your man feel like a superhero by...submitting to him sexually. (No, really, they actually frame it as a superhero thing.) There is a sidebar warning that "stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem cause up to 20 percent of...erectile dysfunction", so I guess you wimmins had better submit to make the men feel all Big And Bad so they can get it up! (Bonerz are totally the most important thing ever.)

Remember, ladies, the only way a man can feel good about himself is if he's putting his penis in someone on a regular basis, preferably in "[p]ositions that put him in physical control". And after you tell him about how much he turns other women on (which you can totally know, because of the ladybrain hive mind) and that you think it would be really hot if you were a damsel in distress, he rescued you, and then you rewarded him with sex.

All men, the article assures us, "[crave] that sense of power in bed", even if they're "too embarrassed to admit it". And this of course goes back to the cover fail. Because if someone tells me fifteen times in a row that he isn't into that, and I frame that as his being too embarrassed, I am projecting consent where no consent exists.

Plus, you know, the part where of course all men crave sexual power over women, obvs, I mean, it's not like that kind of shit is an artificial construction of the patriarchy or anything. And it's certainly never dangerous to women for men to be in physical control during sex! It's not like that's one of the ways they manage to rape us or anything! I mean, it's not as if his being physically in control of my body and what is happening would make it possible for him to, say, ignore me if I told him to stop or that I didn't want him to do some additional thing!

Also you should grip the sheets or your male partner's upper arms during sex to show him how intense the pleasure is that he is giving you. I almost forgot about this part. Dear Cosmo, fail. If the pleasure I'm feeling is intense enough for me to be gripping stuff involuntarily, I sure as hell don't need you to tell me to do it, and if it's not? Well then by doing so I would be A) faking pleasure I don't actually feel B) as a performance for the purpose of male enjoyment instead of allowing my sexuality to be what it is and exist for me and C) encouraging a repeat and/or continuation of something that doesn't work for me.

In conclusion: fail.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
- people are calling Kate out on stuff others of us have said and holding her responsible for it even though it wasn’t her that said it

- so many fucking white people invested in making sure we can all agree that the act of taking a Funny Hitler photo is not as racist as blah blee bloo, and if I have to say to myself, what does this remind me of, to be perfectly honest the first thing to come to my mind is the reaction of the male progressive blogosphere to the picture of some Obama staffer groping the cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton and miming forcing beer down her throat, because we all know if a White Dude didn’t mean it That Way then everything is fine and dandy

- somehow saying “I find it really fucking odd that someone wouldn’t say anything about it if they didn’t already know their partner was like this” is the same as saying “Sandra Bullock owes us all an explanation and if she doesn’t give us one she is no better than her husband”, except that those two things are in fact not the same at all

- white people’s handwaving about what is and is not racism, and what is and is not as bad as what else, is just so much “pay no attention to the oppression behind the curtain”; let’s all re-focus our attention off of racism and back onto what white people think about racism and the hierarchy of where you fall on “I’m not a bad person really” instead of owning our shit and trying to change something for fuck’s sake

- people being perfectly willing to speculate, based on evidence that he probably thinks Nazis are awesome, that Jesse James is an abusive partner, but it is just beyond the pale to speculate that Sandra Bullock may have been aware of, and in fact may have condoned, the Nazi shit

- the implication all over the goddamn place like the elephant in the middle of the living room that we all tiptoe around that Sandra Bullock’s lack of male privilege erases her white privilege, that somehow we as a society should not expect her to speak out against bigotry whenever she has the opportunity because she is a woman–yes there is a sexist history of assuming that women share their husbands’ politics, but this is coming from a different place than that, I can’t say it right I’m sure because it’s three o’clock in the goddamn morning but the thing is, I expect white people to speak up against this shit when given the chance because it is not people of color’s job to end racism, they didn’t start the shit, it’s on us to do it, and yes, to be perfectly fucking clear, if a white person is handed on a silver platter (or a silver-plated shit platter, let’s be honest, if you are a decent person finding out you’re married to someone who thinks Nazis are awesome is not going to be a pleasant experience) the opportunity to speak out against racism and doesn’t take it, you bet your ass I start to wonder why

- my pasty white ass saying the same thing people of color have said a million fucking different ways gives white people epiphanies
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
..."about which I keep forgetting to post", I know, shut up.

Anyway. I saw some commercial or something on TV the other day while I was cleaning the living room, and the phrase "your little man" was used to describe a male infant. And I started thinking about it. Because my mom calls her dog (Ziggy the two-and-a-half-year-old pug) her little man, and a few days ago on It's Me or the Dog (I think it was) the owner was calling hir dog hir little man, and Victoria (or whoever) said something about "you think of your dog as your son".

So I think we can all safely say that, in English-speaking or at least American culture, "little man" means "son", or more specifically "infant or toddler son", right? Okay.

But what does "little woman" mean?

Your "little woman" is your wife.

I can't decide if this is infantilization of women/wives, privileging of male infants by referring to them as adults, or some combination of the two.
slythwolf: (BULLSHIT)
Dear President Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party,

How many fucking times do I have to tell you? Seriously. Can I own my uterus yet? No? How about now?

You can blather on about the status quo and how this shit doesn't change anything all you want; it won't make it true.

In case any of you are interested, this shit is exactly why I didn't vote for President Obama in 2008, as I have explained on several occasions. Mr. President, you have always talked out of both sides of your mouth when it came to my ownership of my uterus, and I had the sneaking suspicion that this indicated you might throw me and the rest of the female 52% of the country under the goddamn bus at the earliest opportunity. And guess what you did?

Now, I know there are people who think, every time you do something douchey and I say "I told you so, should have voted for Clinton", that I am gloating. I am not. I really, really wish I had been wrong. You know, not as much as I wish I were in the trouser leg of Time where Clinton actually won, but you not being a women-under-the-bus-throwing douche would get the job done.

And the rest of you! Jesus H. tapdancing Christ on a purple glitter pogo stick! What the fuck is this shit, are you still claiming to be the party on the left because if you are I am seriously interested to hear your explanation for the existence of this many fucking people in your party who are against abortion. You assholes are fucking moderates shading into conservative, and you fucking know it. Stop running right! Some of us are broke as shit over here and it's going to save you a fuckload of money to pay for my birth control and any abortions I might need than to feed my unwanted children! In fact, it would wind up helping the country make more money in the long run if you would make sure I and people like me had things like health care, decent education, and somewhere to sleep at night, but of course we can't think in the long run, can we, the corporations would complain because it might affect their bottom line for the quarter. And of course the Republicans would start shrieking about socialism OH WAIT.

God damn. I am so tired of this shit. Listen, you poorly organized collection of yahoos, wake up, yank your heads out of your collective asses and realize that the "them" you are protecting your (white, male) constituents from make up the bulk of your constituency, or I and my values will continue to fucking vote for someone else.

Go ahead, tell me I need to vote for you or the Republicans will get Roe overturned. You know you want to. I fucking dare you.

With exactly as much respect as you deserve,
Wolf A. Woman, Slytherin
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Is what it comes down to.

You don't get to make choices for me. I, as a sovereign being, get to make my own choices. I don't care what you know or what you think you know or what experience you have. You may be permitted to give me advice if I ask for it, and I may or may not follow it, but the choices to ask or not ask and to follow or not follow belong to me and me alone.

Unless I have explicitly asked your opinion on the matter, you, your friends, the government, the First Lady, the nine out of ten doctors who agree, the "everyone" in "everyone knows", and in fact anyone who is not my chosen health care provider, all have no right to tell me what is and is not healthy for my body, what I should and should not be doing with or to my body, what my body is, is not, should, or should not be capable of, or that and why you disapprove of my choices for and about my body.

My body belongs to me because it is me. (I am not only my body; it is not all of me, but it is me.) If I do not own myself, I have and am nothing. If you infringe upon my right to own and rule my body, you take from me all that I am and have. You make of me less than a person.

Autonomy and consent, the most basic of all human rights. Autonomy and consent, the foundation of who and what we are. The baseline of our ethical understanding, thrumming along through everything; this is all we need, here at the heart of it, all that any of us need to understand. You own you. I own me. If zie's not having fun, you have to stop. If zie doesn't want help, you don't give it. If zie asks you for something, you don't have to say yes. If hir body doesn't look or move or work the way you have been taught that bodies should, it doesn't matter, because it is none of your business. If zie chooses to do or be something that you don't understand and/or that you wouldn't choose for yourself, remember that hir choice belongs to hir; accept that people, like bodies, are different; and go on about your day.

If zie is hurting you, mentally, emotionally or physically, you have the right to tell hir to stop. You are under no obligation to consent to being hurt.

If zie is not hurting you, do not claim that zie is. Someone else being fat does not hurt you. Someone else being queer does not hurt you. Someone else being trans* does not hurt you. It does not matter whether these things are choices, because the choices that they may or may not be are still not yours.
slythwolf: (BULLSHIT)
Trigger warning.

Your warning for dub-con triggers me. Being made to remember the fact that some people think there is such a thing as "dubious consent" triggers me. Because what is "dubious consent" as it is written about in fanfic?

The exact circumstances of my rape.

"Dubious consent" is no consent. It's a situation where the victim has said no, or has not said yes, or has said yes after coercion, but is aroused anyway.

When I was raped, I was aroused. I was aroused by the stuff that happened before the rape, the stuff I did consent to. But I DID NOT want penetration to happen. And I was not asked. My arousal was taken as consent.

I feel like I'm not saying this well but possibly that is because I am kind of freaking out trying to write the post.

I don't know, I don't--I know this will alienate a lot of people, I know there are a loooooot of people who have a big problem with anybody saying "your kink is wrong!" But if you like dub-con? YOUR KINK IS WRONG. You are getting off to something THAT HAPPENED TO ME AND WAS NOT OKAY.

It has happened to many, many other people and every time it happens is not okay.

I wanted--to make a long and involved post about this but it turns out it really is that cut-and-dried. "Dub-con" is rape. Your kink is wrong. It disgusts and frightens me that people want to get off to one of the worst things that has happened to me in my life.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
"Oh shit--when you say stuff to journalists, they print it!"

Dear fuckneck,

No, the n-word was not remotely the only offensive thing you said in that interview. See also the other racist shit you said, all the shit you said about women, your admission of sexually assaulting Perez Hilton to "out-fag him", and your extremely disturbing desire to rape every man who ever has sex with a woman before you do.

Seriously, just stop talking. Shut up and go away.

No love,
Wolf A. Woman, Slytherin
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
No, I do not think it's funny if some dude likes his tires better than his wife, okay? No, that is not cute or hilarious. Ahahaha because Bridgestone tires are so awesome! No. Fail.


And YES, it was a fucking rape joke, are you FUCKING KIDDING ME, if the guy honestly thought he heard "your tires or your wife" then he thought the other dude WANTED TO RAPE HIS WIFE, HOW DO YOU NOT GET THAT.

Pop quiz. This commercial was NOT hilarious because:

A) the dude thinks it's fine and dandy to toss his wife to a stranger so he can keep his tires
B) his throwing her out of the vehicle in these circumstances implies that she belongs to him, and is his to pass out to other dudes to rape whenever he pleases
C) lol women are useless what you really need is a good set of tires amirite
D) this shit is part of a systemic set of messages that we receive in the patriarchy about women, women's humanity, women's value, and women's purpose in society (hint: fuckholes) that is deeply misogynist and contributes to women's oppression

Your insistence that this commercial was not a rape joke and was not offensive is:

A) bullshit
B) triggering
C) fucking misogynistic
D) mansplaining

The Wolf is:

A) in a better position than you to know what is and is not offensive to women, being one herself
B) a human being entitled to respect and consideration when she has just been fucking triggered by your bullshit denial of rape culture
C) fucking pissed off at you and tired of laughing this shit off so as not to cause a scene
D) despairing and disappointed in the guild because she thought, fuck, at least a mostly-female knitting-based guild would be free of this shit
E) definitely getting in on the women-only raid as soon as fucking possible
F) pissed that the dudes seem to be running the high level progression of the guild
G) suspicious that there may be stereotypes involved about girls not being serious gamers

You guys, I need puppy videos or, like, I don't know, good fanfic or something. This shit happened over two hours ago and I am still buzzing with adrenaline. Halp. I'm gonna do what I can with ice cream, but--halp.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
When last I got so disgusted with this tripe that I had to take, like, a two-and-a-half-month break from it, Edward was being an abusive douchebag, Bella had no personality and did not seem like she was attracted to him at all, and incidentally she was also casually ablist. Shall we see if anything changes in chapter 5? (No, I don't think it will either, but I have to get through this shit: I said I would.)

In the beginning of chapter 5, Bella is so distracted by Edward's bullshit PUA-like I-like-you-I-hate-you routine that she doesn't realize she's late to class. Then she feels guilty about turning down the lesser, not-Edward boys for the dance and seems relieved that they have "forgiven" her.

I tell you, these books are toxic shit. Not wanting to date someone: not actually a transgression that requires forgiveness. Dating every boy who shows interest in her: not actually the duty of any girl. This kind of crap is the bread and butter of the rape culture. It denies girls' and women's human right to decide for themselves with whom they will become romantically involved. The feeling that we did something wrong when we didn't agree to date whatever unappealing boy very easily turns into our agreement to date boys we don't want to because we would feel bad refusing. And everyone and everything around us tells us this is right and just: oh, he's such a nice guy, why don't you like him, you're making a mistake, he'd treat you like gold, you should give him a chance, maybe you'd come to be attracted to him later, blah blah blah. And the men reinforce this with their stubborn belief that they are entitled to argue with us when we say we're not interested or that it's not working out and we want to break up. Because if my reasons for not wanting to be with you are not good enough for you, you can convince me to do what you want.

No. Fail.

Anyway, these other characters don't even have any reason to be that upset that Bella turned them down, considering she made enough excuses that each one kind of thinks she still wants to date him, it's just that she had other plans that day.

Now, I am not about to blame and shame a female character for "leading guys on" or whatever.

But this portrayal is bad, bad news, because it just plays into the stereotype of women as wishy-washy and being unable to say what we mean and/or give anyone a clear signal about whether we're interested or not, like, "oh I don't want to go to the dance I am doing other shit that day" is Hot Girl Code for "I don't like you". Now, I don't expect there to be a lot of guys reading these books, don't get me wrong. Guys aren't taught to be interested in these kinds of stories the way girls are. But: girls are reading the shit and girls are being taught that giving boys completely unclear signals totally works. Which it doesn't. Even giving boys clear signals doesn't work sometimes, they will still hear whatever they want to hear.

I gave a boy unclear signals in the summer of 1999. I went on a couple pretty unsuccessful dates with him, told him I had a great time even though it was meh and I was meh about him. Came back from Australia and he showed up on my doorstep with welcome-back balloons and flowers. I had to tell him I was in a relationship with someone else.

I'm glad he wasn't the kind of dude who hears what he wants to hear even when you're emphatically not saying it, because the truth is, I did feel bad about hurting his feelings, but he didn't start stalking me. Which some guys would have done, and you don't know until it's too late.

But then, I don't know, sometimes giving them the clear negative right off the bat will just mean the stalking starts then instead of a little later; you can't win.

Wow, that was a pretty big tangent. Anyway.

Okay, let's talk about the rain thing. I can't remember if I've done this yet or not; everyone else has, so I'll just give you the basics.

It does not actually rain constantly in the Pacific Northwest. It's not even constantly overcast.

What it is, to my understanding, is that the region is basically a temperate rainforest, which means there are little frequent bursts of light rain. It will rain pretty much every day, but not all day. I think they do have more overcast days than, like, the global average, or the national average, or something, but I'm fairly sure I remember reading somewhere that we have more overcast days in Michigan than they do in Washington. And it is not remotely always overcast in Michigan.

Anyway, if these people are used to it raining all the time--why wouldn't they just go to the beach in the rain? Kids, I have been to the beach in the rain, and it is not that bad.

What month is this taking place in? That's what I can't remember. Are we ever told? It's 75 degrees in Phoenix when Bella leaves, which sounds like spring or fall to me, but she's on about how it's sunny all the time there--well, Stephenie Meyer, I have the Weather Channel website open in front of me right now, and it is actually not sunny all the time in Phoenix. 11-13 sunny days on average in March, when the average high temp is 76. In November, when the average high is 75, 14-15 sunny days which means it is less than fully sunny half the time.

Now, in November and March in Seattle, I'll grant you, during those particular months it is usually cloudy. The average highs are 52 and 55 respectively, though, not "the high 40s", although I will buy that it's extra cold that week; that happens. But! It only rains about half the days in both those months. And it's ridiculous for Meyer to write these characters wanting to go to the beach to swim, or whatever, during these months while living at that latitude. Going to the beach in late fall and early spring is fun, okay, I've done it, but unless you're close to the tropics, you don't actually think you're going to be doing traditional beach activities with bathing suits and stuff. You put on a sweater and a windbreaker and you build a bonfire.

Bella, it's admirable that you want to be polite about Mike's beach trip, okay, the polite thing to do is to be excited about an engagement you have agreed to, but you do it either because you are excited or because it's polite, not to make up for not accepting another invitation. Because guess what? You had no obligation to accept that other invitation, so there's nothing to make up for. You certainly don't have to make up for "disappointing" some boy because, as I have already explained, it's not your duty to live up to his romantic expecations.


I can tell I'm not going to get very far in the book this time. I am literally four paragraphs into the chapter.

Oh, now she's doing the insecure I'm-not-sure-if-he-likes-me-he's-acting-like-he-likes-me-but-that's-impossible-I-suck thing. Now, this is realistic, I'll give you that. But the way Meyer writes it, again, makes Bella sound like a poorly-programmed teenage-girl-emulating robot. "Maybe it was just a very convincing dream that I'd confused with reality. That seemed more probable than that I really appealed to him on any level."

No. Actual teenage girl sounds like: "I wasn't sure what to think. Had he been acting like he liked me? Or was I just imagining it? Maybe I was projecting a tone that wasn't there. Was there a tone? Was he really looking at me the way I thought he was looking at me or was it wishful thinking? I didn't know. I was hoping this trip to Seattle was supposed to be a date, but maybe it was just a friend thing. But then he kept saying he didn't want to be my friend. Was that supposed to be his subtle way of saying he wanted to be more than friends? No. No. I couldn't get my hopes up, that was a sure way to guarantee he was just going to stand me up and laugh at me."

Although, to be perfectly honest, that's what you sound like when you're thinking about a boy who isn't deliberately jerking you around to keep you off-balance and compliant.

Edward does the finger-beckon thing. I think we are supposed to find it cute and/or sexy; I find it nauseating. If you want to sit with someone at lunch, YOU ASK THEM TO SIT WITH YOU, you don't just finger-beckon them out of the line and expect them to jump to obey.

Which Bella does.

And then Edward, completely unnecessarily, when she gets there, is all, "Why don't you sit with me today?"

THANKS, EDWARD, IT WAS ALREADY BLATANTLY OBVIOUS WHAT YOU WANTED. Unless! Are we actually supposed to believe it would have been reasonable to do the finger-beckon and then be like, "I want to talk to you about this quick thing--okay, go away now"? That would have been even MORE bullshit; if you have a quick thing to talk to someone about, YOU go to THEM.

Also, the way he says it? RUDE. "Would you like to sit with me," "Won't you sit down," "Please have a seat," "Won't you join me," not smugly "Why don't you sit with me today?" Like, "I'm doing you an enormous favor picking you out of the screaming throngs of fangirls, let me pat you on the head and expect you to be pathetically grateful for my attention."

Which Bella is.

Hey, by the way, Edward is inhumanly beautiful. In case you forgot.

He is also a smarmy douchebag who likes to make incomprehensible comments, smugly refuse to clarify them, and pretend this is polite behavior.

Then he jokes about isolating her from her friends and not letting her hang out with them anymore. I'm not even kidding. Kids, if someone wants to keep you away from your friends, that is abusive behavior. Even if someone romantically interested in you doesn't like or get along with your friends, the reasonable thing to do is still to respect your right to have time with them without hir. Even if they do get along, you still get to have time with your friends without hir. That is the respectful thing to do and how someone who trusts you and does not want to control you will behave.

Now he's doing the I'm-warning-you-stay-away-I'm-bad-news-hey-come-over-here thing again. Guys who are not actually vampires do this in real life. They do it so they can treat you like absolute shit and then contend that you don't "get" to get angry about it because they warned you it would happen.

It is a huge red flag. I do not expect a, what, seventeen-year-old to necessarily know that, especially in this culture, but I do expect an author not to write it as a sign of True Love or something. You don't romanticize abusive douchebag behavior in your writing. It's irresponsible. It contributes to the culture's normalization of that behavior, which in turn contributes to the horrible physical and psychological violence men perpetrate against their intimate partners every day.

At least Bella calls him on the smug-mysterious-pronouncements thing.

You know, let me talk about the whole Edward-can't-read-Bella's-mind thing. I could get behind that as a reason to be attracted to someone, if you were constantly bombarded by all these thought-voices and you found this one person who was a little bit of peace from that. But that's not how it's presented at all. Edward loves being able to read people's minds. He has spent most of the book so far using it to his own advantage and for his own amusement. He's fascinated by Bella because he can't read her mind, but it also seems to really piss him off. It seems to me that it's a manifestation of the whole men-don't-understand-you-crazy-incomprehensible-wimmins thing. Bella is the only girl he has ever met who is actually "feminine" in that way, and he hates it about her but he names it "love" instead.

Dudes are always doing this. They complain and complain and complain about all the stereotypical shit they hate about women, and then they say "oh but I love women" when what they mean is they love controlling us and being able to fuck us.

Meanwhile Edward both wants and doesn't want Bella to figure out that he's a vampire. This is actually kind of poignant, or could have been if it was handled better: he wants to be able to tell her what he is, so there can be no secrets between them, and he wants to be accepted and loved for who and what he is, but he also wants her to know so she can run away and he won't have to worry that he will accidentally hurt her or bring danger to her that she would avoid by not being around him; and he doesn't want her to find out because he's afraid she won't accept it.

Poignant. But still abusive. If you think you're bad for someone, and that you're only going to wind up hurting them, what you don't do if you're a decent person is keep pulling them in and pushing them away until they are utterly dependent on you, the better to play your sick little game of Russian roulette and see how long you can go without doing something completely unforgivable.

Meanwhile, RPattz is absolutely right. Edward totally hates himself. He is extremely messed up. And Bella is doing the oh-you-poor-hurt-thing routine, as we the readers are also expected to; let's fix this poor broken fucked-up abusive man with the power of Love!

And we are learning that "anxious, on edge... and, more than anything else, fascinated" is how you feel when you meet the person you're destined to be with. When in real life it's usually a sign you should run far, far away. "This guys makes my stomach drop into my toes and gives me fear-adrenaline but he's so hot" is not actually good news.

There is nervous excitement when a healthy attraction is new. That is a pretty standard thing. But it doesn't manifest as anxiety and edginess. It manifests as tingly butterflies and the inability to stop grinning and hugging yourself. It doesn't ever cross your mind to worry that you might not be safe with this person. You feel comfortable together, despite the nervous butterflies, and when you're together you can't stop laughing.

Meyer tries to give us the safe thing here. She tries to make us believe Bella feels safe with Edward, but she fails. You don't feel anxious and on edge around someone who makes you feel safe. Anxious and on edge is the opposite of feeling safe. And you can't tell me that Bella is anxious but not afraid. Anxiety is fear. It's fear you can't name, and that you can't see what it's pointing at. But it's still fear.

What Bella actually thinks, the way I read it, is not that Edward would never hurt her, but that he would never hurt her on purpose. But he might not be able to help it. Because he's dangerous.

And I mean physically hurt her, not emotionally. It is true that even in healthy relationships people accidentally hurt each other emotionally, and there are apologies and forgiveness and the relationship can recover.

And it's possible to accidentally physically hurt someone: I once tried to throw a magazine to Nigel while he was sitting on the couch and it hit him in the balls. That was an accident, and accidents happen. Sometimes he sits on my hair. It's not a big deal.

But what's not okay: knowing you might hurt someone, believing you are not in control of your own behavior and that you will not be able to help hurting somone, and sticking around them anyway, waiting for it to happen. Explaining to them that if they know what's good for them, they will stay away, and placing the responsibility for not getting hurt on their shoulders instead of making sure you don't hurt anybody. Trying to claim that you don't intend to hurt them but not actually taking any steps against it.

If you actually don't intend to do something, and you know it's a possibility? You take steps against it. Like: I don't intend to sleep through my alarm. So I set two of them.

Meanwhile Bella and Edward are sitting in awkward silence in the cafeteria for the entire rest of the period. Then he tries to get her to cut class with him. To do what, exactly? It is just never explained. For all we know, he spends the class period sitting at that table spinning Bella's Snapple lid. (We are not told the lemonade is Snapple. What other lemonade comes in the kind of container that has a screw-on lid?)

Now the kids are testing their own blood in biology class. NO. THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN. Do you know how paranoid the public school system is about AIDS? Seriously. Anyone even scrapes a knee in gym class, they break out the biohazard stuff. AIDS being the stated reason. This has been going on at least since I was in middle school.

And the whole "oh you should know your blood type in case you want to donate blood"--no, okay, fail. First of all, they put your blood type on your birth certificate, and second of all, when you donate blood they tell you what it is anyway.

Also I cannot, just cannot, deal with Bella being a teenage girl who can't handle the sight of blood. No. Hell no. No way. I would buy it from a younger girl; I would buy it from a boy. But women? Women cannot get through puberty without getting tough about blood. HELLO WE BLEED FROM OUR CUNTS ON A REGULAR BASIS.

If the problem was the needles, that I would believe. Blood? No.

The nurse wants to put ice on Bella's forehead? What the hell for? Someone explain this to me. Ice is to bring down swelling; Bella hasn't hit her head (today). She doesn't have a fever or anything, but you don't put ice on the forehead for a fever anyway. Is this just "vaguely medical-sounding task so Bella and Edward can be alone"? Because I'm sure with a little tiny bit of research SMeyer could have found something actually plausible. Maybe Edward could have said, she didn't eat anything at lunch, and the nurse could have gone to get her an apple or something.

Anyway are there schools that actually have nurses? Is this a real thing in the world or just something that happens in books and on TV? No school I have ever attended had a school nurse. If you didn't feel good, the office might let you call a parent, and if the parent agreed to come and get you, you went home. Any medical attention you might require was your family's responsibility, unless something happened that required the school to call an ambulance.

Now Edward saying Mike "loathes" him is supposed to be another indication that Edward can read minds. Hi, bad foreshadowing! Bella professes not to believe that Edward could know that, but then she thinks, oh, maybe he does. MAYBE? YOU THINK? POSSIBLY HE ACTUALLY KNOWS THE KIDS HE GOES TO SCHOOL WITH BETTER THAN THE NEW KID IN TOWN DOES?

Yes, context suggests that Mike hates Edward because of Bella. But Bella is assuming that. How do we know the loathing wasn't already there?

Meanwhile Edward likes to run down his car battery in the school parking lot. Hey, SMeyer, most kids that go hang out in their cars during class aren't there to listen to music. It's called a clambake. Look it up.

Now Edward contends that people can't smell blood, which is a total lie. OF COURSE WE CAN. Dear Bella, blood doesn't smell like rust and salt, it smells like BLOOD.

I'm starting to dislike this Mike guy. You don't talk about a party in front of someone who isn't invited, that's just rude. And I'm pretty sure he's doing it on purpose to be rude, like, nyah, Edward, I have a date with her and you don't.

Dudes take note: women do not actually find it flattering when you treat us as commodities to compete over and show off.

Now Edward is helping Bella without being asked, then mocking her for needing his help. Well, not actually mocking her, but looking at her sarcastically for being sick.

Meanwhile, hey, as far as I know, the school receptionist can't legally excuse you from class. Maybe the nurse could, but I would still think parents would have to be called. It's certainly not cool to be sending a weakened high school girl off campus with some boy without letting parents know about it and having some way to be sure that, say, he's not taking her off into the woods somewhere to rape her.

What would have happened in real life: Bella goes to gym class, explains that she is not feeling well, sits on bleachers for entire period. If Edward tried to say, can I take this more-vulnerable-than-usual girl away in my car to parts unknown, receptionist's response would have been, I DON'T THINK SO MISTER DON'T THINK I DON'T SEE THROUGH YOUR LITTLE GAME.

Oh now Bella is going to invite Edward to SOMEONE ELSE'S PARTY even though she knows the host doesn't want him there! Not cool, Bella.

If Edward was really this old-fashioned gentleman from the time period he grew up in, he'd be like, "Oh no I couldn't possibly impose, I haven't been invited." I mean, he does eventually say he wasn't invited, but he should have gently corrected Bella when she assumes she can invite him TO SOMEONE ELSE'S PARTY. "Oh dear, I meant to say I haven't been invited by the host," possibly.


She turns toward her truck and he GRABS HER JACKET TO HOLD HER BACK and gets OUTRAGED that she dared not to go the direction he was expecting omfg! I can't let you DRIVE, you silly little woman, you're coming with ME.


Too much to hope, I suppose, that the receptionist sees this out the window and goes HOLY SHIT THIS IS BAD BAD BADNESS and at least calls the cops or something?

Now Bella is trying to figure out: can I get away from this situation, or is it safer to just comply? Edward confirms: I will just drag you back if you try to run. There is no escape.

She gets in the car.

Do not expect the books to ever acknowledge that this was FUCKING SCARY ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR on Edward's part, or that in fact THIS BEHAVIOR HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE AND IT'S NOT BECAUSE HE WANTS TO PROTECT YOU. Because I know women who have been dragged places against their will by men, who have realized there was no way out of the situation and decided not to make it worse for themselves. They did not get a nice ride home listening to Clair de Lune. They got sexually assaulted.

And in this scene? Edward has not sexually assaulted Bella, BUT HE HAS ASSAULTED HER.

Listen: if you're physically stronger than someone else to a huge degree and you know and they know you could force them to do anything you wanted, and you're a decent person, you are very careful about making sure that you don't do anything or ask them to do anything they don't want to do. Because a decent person knows it's not okay to coerce people into things.

Anyway. I think that's a good place to stop this time. I was trying to get through a whole chapter, but it just keeps going on and on.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
We, humans, we already have spider goddesses. They don't teach us evil, they don't teach us to murder for gain treading carefully in the shadows not-getting-caught while we turn on the weakest among us and tear them apart.

They teach us to spin and weave.

Spinning and weaving is women's work. It was from the beginning; all evidence suggests that women invented it. (Women seem to have invented all the things that made civilization possible--language, tools, seed cultivation. This is beside the point.) Men took it over eventually, as is their way, and made it a thing done in guilds for profit; but women still spun and wove at home, with the flax they had grown in their little back gardens and the fleece of the sheep and yaks and alpacas they themselves chased in all weather up the heathered hills, over the mesas, down the mountains, through the snow. They spun and wove and made beautiful, useful things, and when they remembered they thanked the spider goddesses who had taught them how.

Spiders are women in all our stories, from Kokyanwuhti to Arachne with her loom all the way down to Charlotte's Web. Spiders are wise and skilled women who teach us to make useful things and to do it beautifully, to do it mindfully, sitting and moving the hands and the shuttles and talking and laughing, fingers flying, happy, loving women sharing, sitting still and moving together, telling stories both true and fictional, telling the news, telling the traditions, remembering together what is important and making together the communities that humans were made for, making together the fabric, both literal and figurative, that warms our hearts and bodies, that protects us and brings us together as a people.

The stories are in it. The love is in it. In the thread of the fabric that women spin and weave is our history, our journey as a species into what we have-are become-becoming, still moving forward still connected down through the thread of the years to the first woman who twisted a puff of fiber in her hands and the spider goddesses.

This is important to me. Probably it is more important to me than it is to other women who do not work with fiber. I do not spin or weave myself; I wish to learn, but I have not found the opportunity. I knit. And knitting is a form of weaving too. Sitting still and moving the soft strand of yarn flowing steady over and under my fingers around the needles sliding back and forth and interlocking, it's a kind of magic, the magic of spiders, turning a string into something much more, something amazing, something useful and beautiful, and it doesn't stop being magic because you find out how it's done.

When women made stories about spiders, they were the wise and loving goddesses I have described.

When men make stories about spiders, they become Shelob and Lolth.

Is it a coincidence, do you think, that men have also turned "spinster" into something a woman does not want to become?

Men took it over eventually, and made it a thing done for profit, as is their way. Then they made it a thing done by machines, so the rich could have many more clothes and fine carpets and blankets and draperies than anyone ever could need, but the poor women still spun and wove at home.

Kokyanwuhti still whispers in our ears. It is dangerous, and she makes herself small so she cannot be seen, but she is still with us. The men will tell you that spiders are Lolth, and the black widow, who kill without thought or for pleasure or gain, because men never could see beyond the end of their own noses, or understand what it might be not to have their kind of mind. Don't believe them. Our Grandmother could kick Lolth's ass any day of the week with eight hands tied behind her back, but she doesn't have to. We know what spiders are like.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
I wanted to hold off on this post until I had actually finished Homeland. Couldn't do it; it was burning in me to post, so much so that I only got four hours of sleep last night because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'm only about halfway through it--it's an ebook, I can't take it around the apartment with me, and that's cutting down on my reading time. So bear that in mind.

Here at the beginning let us greet and acknowledge the elephant in the room: the black race of elves are the evil ones. This white girl can probably not say anything new about that, and will probably miss a lot of shit about it, so we'll move along.

I cannot help but experience the drow in a way other than I'm sure Salvatore intended. I am a feminist, and so any culture that has the women in charge and doing woman-centered things (let me take a moment to savor fuck yes birth magic right at the beginning and she's on a birthing stool not lying back in a bed male doctor hovering over her telling her what birth is and how to push) is going to get some fist-bumps from me. Then there is the whole Slytherin aspect: do whatever works, but if you get caught that's a big fail and you will be punished.

Now, I hasten to add, when Slytherins are actually setting the rules in the first place that actually makes no sense. But when you live in a world run by Gryffindors and/or others who will not understand the nuances--or when it turns out the rules are fucking stupid--it can be important. But that's a discussion for the post on Slytherin social justice so we'll move along again.

And here comes the big but.

But my enjoyment of this culture on a feminist and Slytherin level is, I guess I will call it, tainted by the obvious assumption that I am supposed to experience this culture as evil.

Now, the drow are evil. No getting around that.

And we're walking, and we're walking... )
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
..."for which to stay tuned", I know. Shut up.

So I am working up a couple of things to post about over the coming week. There'll definitely be another ADD Blogging soon; I want to talk about "I'm not ADHD", "I didn't know you were ADHD", that whole thing.

Thing #2: moar Twilight blogging. I think I am sufficiently recovered from the last time I did it, y'all. I'm gonna wade back in again.

And speaking of problematic books I'm reading, when I finish Homeland I'm going to have to post about the drow. Because y'all, as interesting as this book is, and as much as I'm enjoying it on one level--on another, the whole thing is an MRA fantasy. So stay tuned for that.

Finally, at some point in the future, expect to see the definitive post on The Slytherin Case For Social Justice. (Yes, there is one.) I am tired of people giving me shit about being an activist and identifying with Slytherin when any fool can see--well, all the stuff I'm going to put in the post.
slythwolf: (BULLSHIT)
They have an article, apparently prompted by Tiger Woods's extramarital activites that are none of my goddamn business, entitled "Seriously, Guys, Do We Need to Lock You Up?"1 It is purported, on the cover of the magazine, to be an explanation of why men cheat. There is a cheesy picture of Tiger Woods in a chastity belt, a brief, one-paragraph introduction, and then you turn the page and--

"Help End the Trend: Never Sleep With a Married Man!"

Oh! Okay. Pack it up, people, it's women's fault again! Men don't have to do anything different, it's all women's fault. We can all go home now, the status quo is preserved.

Then they go into a bunch of evo-psych bullshit about how men are hardwired to be nonmonogamous.

So, okay, fine. Nothing we haven't heard before: okay. It's bullshit, obviously, we know. If anything it's better for the species for women to have kids with as many different partners as possible, but whatever, right? Okay.

Evo-psych bullshit aside, if I'm going to accept that men are hardwired to be nonmonogamous, you know, I don't actually have a problem with that, if they get it through their heads that it's not a good idea to make a promise you don't intend to keep.

Because, I mean, some people are nonmonogamous, you know, constitutionally, and those people will never be happy or have healthy relationships until they accept their constitutional nonmonogamy and negotiate that in their relationships. Which is totally possible! People do it every day! Poly people can and do have relationship problems, obviously, but they have a little bit better chance to deal with their nonmonogamy than people who try to repress it for the sake of some bullshit societal ideal that doesn't apply to them.

Now, I don't know if Tiger Woods is poly, nor do I care to. Again: none of my goddamn business. And this solution does not work for all men, as people in the poly community can attest; there are men who are such entitled douchebags that they will continue to perpetrate infidelity and/or bullshit controlling behavior2 in all their relationships, simply because they can and they don't think about anyone else's feelings.

But that shit is societal conditioning and we as a society must address it. Sweeping it under the rug as an evo-psych thing is A) not going to solve the problem and B) a fucking insult to the poly people who are not entitled douchebags, who know to make relationship agreements that work for them instead of pretending to do what the other party wants and carrying on a secret double life.

Not everyone is monogamous. This is a fact. But everyone is capable of thinking before blurting out a promise, and of choosing either to comply with that promise or get out of the relationship first.

Most of us make mistakes in relationships. Infidelity can be one of them. In order to be a decent person, each of us has to acknowledge that zie made a mistake, learn from it, and try not to repeat it. Saying you didn't know any better? Fine, if you truly didn't. Acknowledging that you had to make this mistake to learn what you really wanted/needed? Great, if you go on to seek out and define for yourself with your partner(s) the kind of rules you can stick to. Pretending it doesn't count because you can't help it, then going on to do the same thing a shitload more times? Not being a decent person. Contending you didn't know it was wrong, while using the excuse that you can't help it, all the time having kept it hidden knowing you were in trouble if you got caught because you had promised not to do it? Entitled douchebag.

1. Answer: Yes.
2. Such as having "poly" relationships where they get to fuck a large number of different women, all of whom have to be monogamous to that one dude.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
But I totally hope Rush Limbaugh is dead. That would really fucking make my year.
slythwolf: (I remember.)
I was seven years old and a bit and I never knew about this.

I've heard a bit about it since. Never realized it happened that long ago. But then, you know, it did and it didn't; doesn't it keep on happening.

And so if I go to engineering school, and I stand up and say women are human, is some man going to come along and shoot me for it? Maybe.

People will tell you we don't need feminism, feminists look for things to get angry about, feminists are just exaggerating and reading too much into things and taking it too personally. People will say of this man1 that his misogyny was not a factor in this crime, that it was just that he was "crazy", and that he was abused as a child, and that's what made him do this.

I have friends who are "crazy". They don't massacre women for going to college.

I was abused as a child. I have never hit another human being2 hard enough to leave a mark.

When a man walks into a school and says, feminism has ruined my life, so I'm going to kill women, it is a safe bet that that man is a misogynist.

When someone points to this man and says, this man did not do this because of misogyny, I hear: He didn't do it because he's misogynist; everyone is misogynist, and not everyone does this. I hear: Yes, everyone hates women enough to want to kill them for stepping outside the kitchen or the bedroom, but you have to be "crazy" to actually do it.

I hear it everywhere.

I hear it every time someone blames a rape victim's "poor choices" for her rapist's crime, every time someone says of the victim of an abusive partner, "Why doesn't she just leave?" I hear it when people say women should never walk alone at night and that we should know the risks when we decide to step out into the world around us, should be aware at all times that there are men out there who hate us enough to do horrible things to us for no reason other than their own hatred. Watch out, I hear, watch your own back, because nobody else will have it.

"I wouldn't do it," the people say. "Of course not. I'm not like that. But some people are, and you should be careful."

If I say, let's hold them accountable, let's bring them to justice for their crimes, I hear: Why do you hate men? Why do you think it's such a big problem? It doesn't happen to that many women, can't you just let it go?

And the men who are thinking about killing women hear: Go ahead, everybody wants to do it anyway, you'll be doing the world a favor, nobody will punish you, the feminists will complain but everyone will just tell them to shut up.

If you minimize this massacre, you are sending future murderers the message that murdering women is okay.

If you make it about mental illness and child abuse, it is a fucking insult to my husband and me and all the other abuse survivors and people living with mental illness who don't slaughter innocent people.

And if you say it wasn't misogyny that made him do this, I can only conclude that your head has been up your ass for so long you no longer register the smell of bullshit, but that's what you're spewing nonetheless.

So, I'm pretty angry, as you might have noticed. This was supposed to be about remembering the victims. But--okay, I never met any of these women. I was seven years old and a bit. But I bet they'd want us to be angry.

1. I'm not going to say his name. I think CaitieCat put it best when she said, "Let his name rot along with him."
2. Or any living creature, except killing bugs.

Read This

Dec. 2nd, 2009 05:44 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
TRIGGER WARNING: [ profile] pocochina has an excellent post on Huckabee's pardons of violent rapists.


slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)

October 2012



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