Friday, June 10, 2016

Yelling "Shut the Fuck Up" And Other Events

notes for the beginning

Trigger Warnings: discussions of PTSD obliquely, discussions of privilege, links to graphic articles about rape and rape culture, general swearing and rambling off subject. feminism 101

TL:DR People can be good people and still be assholes. My page, my rules. Do not fuck with my friends. Don’t be a dick. Why is this so hard?

First Note: I’ve spoken with 2 of the 3 people involved in yesterday’s kerflumph… two of them are okay with my discussing what happened yesterday. The other one defriended and blocked me, so he doesn’t get a chance to protest. Sorry, not sorry. I’m not going to name names and I want to say that I still like both of these people very much, even though I disagree with one of them on a number of topics, we’ve managed to work out our differences like adults, and I appreciate that to no end. I would have even been willing to forgive and work with Guy2, if he’d been willing to even look at what he did and why it was wrong.

Second note: I’m using Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders because I believe it is polite. We never called President Obama “Barak” during his campaign and I don’t like that we’re calling them Hillary and Bernie. It seems weird. I am also calling Bernie Bros just that, because it’s the name for them as a group. Sometimes Berners, too. But since they’re acting like Bros, I’m calling them Bros.

Third Note: None of this has anything to do with my writing career, but I spent a lot of time on it, and it's not going to fit in a Facebook post.

Final Note: not all men. Not all women. Not all feminists. Not all gamers. Not all. not all. not all. and YOU FUCKING KNOW THAT so don’t you even fucking say it. Just like you know when you say “I have a broken leg” and I say “I’m sorry,” that I am not taking blame for your goddamn injury, you pedantic headache causing nitwit. You’re just being an ass and it’s time for you to stop.

If the shoe fits, however, lace that fucker up and go for a walk.

I’m going to start with the obvious; I have opinions.

Here are some of them:

** I’m happy that Ms. Clinton is the presumptive nominee. Bernie Bros pushed me further and further away from Mr. Sanders, and then there was the doxing of super delegates. Once Sanders supporters started acting like GamerGaters, I was done. It was a movement I no longer wanted to be a part of. GamerGaters often say they disagree with the tactics of doxing and threatening, but they stay in the movement. That’s not me. I’m judged by the company I keep, and that’s company I don’t want. I stepped away from being a supporter to being a “I’ll vote for him if he gets the nod.” Then I moved all the way over to being in Ms. Clinton’s camp. Don’t get me wrong, as a person, I do not LIKE Hillary Clinton. And it’s not my business, really, if she chose to stay with a cheating, lying spouse. But that’s her personal concern. The rest of it, I like. She’s a fucking BRICK WALL of dealing with harassment after harassment. She took the Bengazi hearings like a motherfucking BOSS and I have all the respect in the world for that. Does she have her faults? Of course she does, she’s a human being, just like the rest of us. And, as someone who’s changed her mind about things, who’s checked her fucking privilege, and who’s grown over the years, I have to say that evolution as a person is a thing. If we don’t allow Ms. Clinton to change her mind, why would someone else ever do it? And isn’t the whole point to BRING PEOPLE OVER TO OUR SIDE? To convince people to see that LGBTQ people are people. That black people are people? That disabled / persons with disabilities are people. 

(*sidenote: I personally prefer “people with disabilities,” but as there’s been a wonderful thought-provoking piece… this is not that article, but it’s another one talking about how various people to whom the labels have been applied feel… If I find the other article, I’ll let you know. But the basic premise is the same; the person being labeled gets to decide what the label is.) 

(added: oh, look, here it is. My friend Barbara found it for me, so thanks to her. )

** Bon Jovi is a terrible band.

** James Bond is a sexist asshole who leaves a slime trail wherever he goes like a slug.

** White people. Men. The Financially-well-off. The educated. The straight. The cis-gender. ALL OF US NEED TO CHECK OUR FUCKING PRIVLEDGE. Yes, even you. This is one area where I’ll say we all have work to do. ALL OF US. Me. You. My husband. My parents. EVERYONE. No one is exempt. We live in a terrible, hate-filled culture that thrives on the idea of meritocracy without actually being one. (Yes, even me, see this blog entry from a few years ago I was stupid and awful and the more I look at it, the more awful I realize that I was.)

** Twilight is a fun, silly book that works people up for no good reason.

** Basketball stars are not role-models. Book characters are not role-models. Nobody is a role-model. The whole idea of role-models is ridiculous. But that’s another essay entirely and I don’t have time to do it justice today.

** I don’t like arguing. It’s not fun. I don’t have a memorized list of back-up data for all my opinions. I don’t like being angry. I don’t like being outraged. I don’t get off on telling people how wrong they are. I don’t like to play intellectual games with the background radiation of my life. The devil has enough lawyers, thank you.

-My House, My Rules-

Yesterday, I posted two very controversial articles…

This one I posted because I’m seeing a lot of Bernie or Bust in my feed. Where people will rather have Trump as president… where people insist on acting like the 2 – party system isn’t firmly entrenched in American Politics. Should it be that way? Probably not. But here’s the thing; I don’t live in a world where rainbows are farted out of unicorn butts. I live in the real fucking world, where there will be real fucking consequences if Trump takes the Presidency.

( ) Not even Trump took Trump seriously from the get-go.

“If you are a Bernie Sanders supporter who will not vote for Hillary Clinton--You are literally saying that you put your personal privilege and sanctimonious bullshit above my personal physical safety. You are literally saying you'd rather protest vote than see to it that my life, my safety, and my civil rights have a chance to be heard and protected. You don't have to like her. I'm not asking for that but the possibility of the rest of my life existing under a Trump controlled Supreme Court terrifies me and it should terrify you.” – Cara R.

On Safe Spaces and the Use of Facebook

Almost immediately after posting that article, I had two friends arguing over it. I cannot, honestly, remember what the particular bit was, except that Guy1 was going through Yet Another List of Why Ms. Clinton Is Terrible and Why the System is Broken. I agree that the system is broken. But it wasn’t specifically broken to spite Mr. Sanders, or because the super delegates think it’s Ms. Clinton’s “turn” like politics is a fucking slide at the playground and Mr. Sanders is breaking the line. 

Girl1, who is upset because she’s not being allowed to be happy about Ms. Clinton without dealing with multiple feelz from slighted Bernie Bros, sends me an anxious message, telling me she’s upset and she doesn’t want to continue to engage and she’s getting herself spun up. She does that; whenever she posts to a thread of mine and the thread turns hostile, she’ll back away, but she wants me to know that I’m not the person upsetting her and that she’s moving away for her own emotional safety. I approve.

I glance at the stuff Guy1 has posted. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. (Seriously, I promise. You can’t tell me anything new about the email scandal, or the real estate scandal, or bengazi, or whatever the hell the bee is in your bonnet that I can’t find elsewhere. I promise you, darling, special snowflake, that information is out there, it’s being shoved down my throat, and I have read it.) It’s nothing that’s adding to the discussion of being happy about our candidate and it’s frankly backing up the claims that Bernie Bros need to not see Clinton Supporters Celebrating Because It’s Making Them Sad. And honestly, I don’t want to read it right now. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting 24 hours of celebration before we have to get down to the grueling work of “reaching out” to Mr. Sander’s supporters; work that is going to be ugly and time-consuming, and probably in the end, worthless. (My husband has voiced the opinion a few times that the people claiming Bernie or Bust were probably not going to vote anyway, and therefore their opinion and their vote aren’t worth trying to salvage.)
So, both because I love my friend and I don’t want her to be upset, and because I don’t want to be upset, and because the entire fucking purpose of this thread is to say “Today, I will be happy. Tomorrow I will get down in the mud with you again and attempt to be reasonable and rational, but today, I want to be happy. So stop fucking raining on my parade” I deleted all dissenting opinions.

I believe that Facebook is my front porch; you’re all invited to come up, grab a rocker, have some lemonade. But this is MY front porch and there are discussions I don’t want to have. There are discussions I don’t want to have today and then there are discussions I don’t want to have, ever. And I will delete commentary. I don’t have to justify that to you. If someone put a Vote Trump sign down in my front yard, you can be damn fucking sure I’m going to rip that sucker up and toss it in the trash. I’m not leaving it there because “censorship.” You don’t get to tell me what conversations you get to have in my house, on my property. I have thrown my father out of my house because he wouldn’t stop arguing with me. I have thrown stuff at my brother – who has thrown stuff at me, too, so there – for not being able to shut up. Politics is sometimes a null-discussion in my house because believe it or not, my husband and I are not a hive mind. (on the other hand, he’s never voted in a major election for a candidate that’s won and I have a yen to try to convince him to vote for Trump to carry on that lovely tradition.)

And no, it doesn’t always matter how “polite” you are. I’ve known a goddamn rapist who was polite as a southern lady in public and a gas-lighting, sleep-depriving bastard in private.

So, I delete the thread, run off to do the shopping, and get back in my car to Guy1 complaining about me censoring him. Admittedly, when I delete people’s comments, I usually tell them why, but I had errands to run and didn’t want to engage beforehand. Oh boy, did we engage afterward, though.
Our first big difference of opinion is obviously what Facebook is: To me, it’s sitting on my porch with friends. (not inside the house with friends, mind you. There are some people who have that connection with me, and I’m usually pretty welcoming in real life – how I met Chuck and Colleen comes to mind – but I’d be a fool to allow any random person into my home. Even the front porch isn’t always safe.)

To him, I’m standing on a street corner, yelling, and having my Gestapo shoot people who disagree. (okay, I am exaggerating a BIT. He didn’t say that, specifically. But he did continue to argue with me about what My Facebook Page Is for quite a while. See above note about not liking to argue.)
And then I made the Ultimate Mistake in arguing with a man; I brought feelings into it. I said, specifically “And right now I care more about her mental health than yours. I don't want to argue about politics right now, I just want to be happy.”

He said: “As for your friend, you did what you felt was right. But, in my opinion, sheltering her incorrect of historic events isn't helping her to grow. It's just keeping her sheltered and frankly, ignorant. If she can't debate something civilly, and factually, wtf is she gonna do when someone who actually hates her comes along?”

Me: I’m sheltering her? You’re DAMN FUCKING SKIPPY, I am. She’s upset, near tears with frustration because she’s not being allowed to be HAPPY anywhere – given where she lives, being a Clinton supporter is not winning her any friends – without someone telling her she’s wrong, she’s stupid, Ms. Clinton is a terrible person. Someone who really hates her? What the FUCK do you know about how much hatred she has to deal with?

It took me a while to put my finger on exactly what upset me here, but it boils down to this; Guy1 is saying that it’s okay to upset and hurt my friend now because someone else might hurt and upset her more, later. Emotional pain’s not like physical pain, where if you get hit 100 times in the face, the 101st blow isn’t going to sting as much.

“Unlike with physical pains, if you apply repeated or deliberate mental stress to a brain instead of toughening up, it will hardwire a response to the type of stimulus that caused the stress to the sympathetic nervous system; which will essentially mean that you cause problems for that person the rest of their life. …while exposure therapy can make me better, that requires there to be a highly controlled environment and enough safe guards so that I don't feel panicked. Random bozos hitting the trigger in uncontrolled situations rather than helping reinforce the pathways making things worse.” – Girl1

Guy1 and I talked most of yesterday, on and off… I do like him, I do value his opinions, and in this case, I still think his opinion is… unhelpful for Girl1 and me. You can do that, you know. Have an opinion that doesn’t work for someone else. That’s okay. I don’t make my bed every day. I am never going to make my bed every day. Nothing you ever say or post or do is going to change that because making my bed every day DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. I agreed to be quicker for explanations – or preemptive on my “I’m going to shut this topic down now and this is why”. He agreed that it is my right to take down any comments that I want. No information is being suppressed; any reader on my Facebook page is welcome to share the article on their page and talk about whatever they want over there.

For right now, my Facebook page is a safe place for Clinton Supporters. You don’t want to support her, that’s fine. There’s your Facebook page.

On “Not All Men” and the Stanford Rapist who can swim well

I was just getting over my mad-on about the other thing… One thing, if you don’t know me well… I’m a muddle when put on the spot. I don’t like to argue. I do, however, know how to debate. When I have time to prepare my arguments, cite my sources, do my research, I can go through and debate point for point. (as you see here) I’m very good at research. (I snopes the shit out of everything, too. I hate posting stuff and finding out later that it’s false. Sometimes I still get caught out, but I try… )
And then I posted this article

This article is brutal as fuck. No holds barred, in your face, criticism of rape culture. And here’s the thing about Rape Culture. It’s culture. That means none of us is untouched. Rape culture surrounds us and binds us like some squicky sort of Force… it’s invisible and the most visible thing there is. It’s in everything from media to classroom dress code inequities ( ) It’s in nursery rhymes. Georgie Porgie kissed the girls and made them cry… Did you know that the original version of Sleeping Beauty that there’s quite a bit more than a kiss to wake her up?

( Side Note: this is one of the best Feminist 101 sites I’ve ever come across.)

“Everyone can agree that rape is objectively wrong, but problems crop up when we try to parse exactly what rape is and under what circumstances it occurs. I’m willing to bet that more than a few men read the victim’s letter and had a pang of recognition—not of her experiences, but his. Because most men have done at least some of what Turner did. They’ve gone to parties with the intention of hooking up with someone; they’ve zeroed in on the vulnerable girls, the drunk girls, the girls who seem like they’d be easy to take home; they’ve assumed that silence or a lack of clear refusal is the same as consent. And when these men read the account of what Brock Turner did, even if they recognize it as awful, there’s a louder voice in their heads saying something like this could have been written about me.”
I’m going to say this to be 100% clear; as a college student, I didn’t know shit about boundaries, either. Not guarding mine, not respecting other people’s. Because we’re taught that men always want it, that women always have to be convinced, I’ve done some things of which I am not proud. People were wounded in the fallout.

I would never, ever murder someone.

But I might think about it. I might viciously imagine ramming your car when you cut me off and driving you into oncoming traffic. I might spend a dinner party staring at you over the table and making nice conversation and wondering how it would look if I cut your throat with a steak knife. I would never, ever… but I did grab a baseball bat and trek across campus one time with the full intent of clunking … Christ, I can’t even remember the guy’s name now. He wasn’t in his dorm at the time, and I think that was lucky for both of us… and if I was a conceal carry type, I abso-fucking-lutely would have shot the guy that punched me in the face at the Best Buy some four years ago. Without. A fucking. Doubt. And I’m glad I don’t conceal carry, because I would have had to live with that guilt.

Of course it’s a controversial article; it’s pretty damned hostile and I think it has every right to be, because I’ve seen those men, I know those men. I know the rapists who are charming in person and wake you up every 10 minutes after you’ve worked a 16 hour shift to ask if you’re sure you don’t want to have sex until you eventually lay there and take it because you need some goddamn sleep and you’re crying while he’s hovering over you and when he rolls off, he thanks you for it and says he loves you. And he doesn’t think he’s done a damned thing wrong. And you get to the point where you never say no, because you know that no doesn’t matter and you may as well get it out of the way early rather than fight about it, because that’s what’ll happen and you don’t want to fight anymore, but you don’t want sex and you can’t ever see a time, ever again, that you will.

And if you’ve been following along… you know what comes next.

The very first fucking thing someone says is “Not all men.” (He didn’t say it using those exact words, but he did say “What about all the men who denounce…”) Not someone being obnoxious and thinking that being an annoying twit is somehow ironic and funny, but someone who honestly thinks he has to stand up for the men who don’t rape.

Honey, we’re not talking about those men, and you don’t get a goddamn gold star for being a decent human being.

“My house is on fire.”
“Not all houses catch on fire.”
“Well, that’s fucking delightful. Mind getting out of the way of the fire truck?”

Me: LOTS of men have spoken out... I'm glad the case has gotten such national coverage, because this is one of those really obviously who is wrong cases... this is -literally- the stranger in the alley. and still, he gets nothing. The people who are so worried about false rape accusations can suddenly see that even undeniable rape cases, the rapist gets so little punishment... it's opening a dialogue that needed to happen. 

In Conclusion

I have no conclusions. I spent yesterday wanting to be happy and being burning, furiously angry instead. I got support from some of my friends, and from my husband who spent most of the pre-dinner hour raging about the Brock Turner case because he’s so desperately affronted.  

I think it may be the first time that he’s realized, really gut-down-deep where you have those life changing moments, that rapists don’t go to jail. #notallrapists

I had decent discussions with one of the people who pissed me off (and who I pissed off as well; I’m not discounting his feelings about the thing. Yes, he has feelings. He may call them opinions and facts and rational arguments, but they’re still feelings. He has them, and I injured them, and I acknowledged his right to feel slighted without abandoning my right to act as I see fit. Thank you Steve Miller and Sharon Lee)