the thing that gets me about the “misandry means women are scared when I stalk them” thing
is that I’ve had dudes do shit like that to me on multiple occasions
almost always at night, always white dudes who get offended that I am trying to give them a wide berth or avoid them in the street. It’s always these dudes who decide that they are so fucking entitled to dictate where and how I fucking walk on the fucking public sidewalk that they are justified in rushing me, grabbing me, chasing me, in one case circling me tightly so I couldn’t get away, and then fucking laughing at my obvious panic and fear because “omg lighten up, lady!!!!”
like, this is an actual thing dudes do
their solution to women being afraid alone at night is to give them more reasons to be afraid, and then turn around and mock and insult them for being afraid
fucking logic/fucking basic human decency/fucking people
how do they work
yesterday I was at a bookstore with a male friend. I was staring at a shelf; he was just around the corner at a computer the store provides to search their inventory. This is significant because as we stood there, a dude just blows in and says, very loudly and intrusively, “Any good books on this shelf?!” It takes me a moment to realize he’s alone and talking to me. At that point I glance over at my friend, who’s wide-eyed at this guy’s arrogance, and boom, intrusive dude realizes I’m with a ~chaperone~. At this point, I was uncomfortable enough that I walked away. My friend comes after me and says, “Wow, that was weird.”
Of course, I then had to explain it wasn’t weird at all; this kind of thing happens to me all the time when I’m by myself. Men come out of nowhere and demand responses from me, knowing that most women are socialized to stand there and giggle uncomfortably while they impose on their space and time. I used to do that, even though I hated every second of it. We are taught to fear leaving and taught to fear staying, and of course, when we relate these stories, the maliciousness is so subtle and context-dependent that people who weren’t there feel free to assert that we must be overreacting.
What suddenly occurred to me was the sheer depth of the danger inherent in fact that men take care not to do this in front of men who might conceivably be sympathetic towards a given woman. It causes men, even men who are quite decent and aware of sexism, to wonder why they never see these things women keep saying are so common. Not only does it cause us to lose credibility, but it also allows the men who DO act this way to maintain the mental division between “having fun” and being a person who deserves to be feared and avoided.
this is really important commentary so I’m reblogging for the bolded, because:
1. when we talk about sexism making women feel “crazy” it’s important to understand that there really is a sort of mass gaslighting (for lack of a better term) going on; incidents like this are part of that. First you induce fear in someone, then you humiliate them for their fear response, and best of all, the whole thing is so context-dependent that when they try to explain that this happens all the time and is a problem chances are, especially if they are trying to explain this to a dude, they’ll be told they’re over-reacting. That is some fucking systemic abusive behavior.
2. there is a real kind of selective sociopathy at play here. Dudes know on some level that this is not okay, so they hide it from their fellow dudes, but they still get their fucking rocks off over it, they do it for fun. To get enjoyment out of a woman’s terror. And these are ordinary dudes, who just deny deny deny that that is fucked up so much and deliberately avoid situations where they might be told by another dude that it’s fucked up so they can continue to do it. Just. Yeah.
yeahhhhh awesome. I hate humanity. I was born in a cabbage patch. on mars.
This is how you handle it
Living in this society, yes, there will be books, music, movies, etc. that have problematic themes in them. Also, there will be actors, singers, performers, etc. that have done and said problematic and hurtful things to marginalized groups. Some can apologize and change. But a lot will not (because their aim is only to market themselves to the majority, and they don’t really give a shit about you if you’re marginalized).
Then for some of us, we probably won’t notice the problematic material until later in our lives when we’re more self-aware, then we learn that a lot of crap we like was actually bad for us.
It’s disappointing to find out that a media that you liked or a celebrity that you liked has actually said and/or done hurtful, bigoted things. It feels like betrayal if you’re a part of that group yourself. And if you’re not, you just feel dirty continuing to like the problematic media or person.
Lots and lots of feelings surrounding it, I know. But here are some tips on how to deal:
- Just calm the fuck down jfc
- Just listen to what people are saying about the person, and don’t leap out to defend them and interrupt people. If you do, then you really have to pull back and evaluate how you can be so fucking petty and childish. Also, expect people to tell you to STFU and call you out for derailing.
- If you don’t know the context, be brave enough to look it up yourself instead of interrupting conversations and going, “I am a HUGE fan and have been for many years! I DEMAND PROOF! STOP YOUR GROWN-UP DISCUSSION RIGHT NOW AND SPOON FEED ME!”
- If the celebrity/book/movie/etc. hurts a marginalized group you’re a part of, and you want the marginalized group calling the problematic shit out to stop and validate you and your feelings so that you will feel less like a privileged asshole, then guess what? YOU’RE A PRIVILEGED ASSHOLE! One of the worst types, actually — a gross, emotionally manipulative one. You SHOULD feel like one, feel bad about it, and then stop being one if it makes you feel so bad. Seriously, don’t talk about how mad it makes you and whine about how much you like a certain movie or so-and-so celebrity. Also, if you are trying to be more aware of your privilege, yet you act like this, you’re failing extremely hard no matter how bad you feel about Dan Savage being an abusive shithead, Lady Gaga being transphobic and racist, Gwen Stephani being a typical racist white lady, etc.
- If the celebrity/book/movie/etc. hurts a group you are a part of, but you still like the celebrity/book/movie/etc., that’s great! Now, please just let people talk and share their opinions and don’t try to shut down others or think your voice is more important than anybody else’s. And if the problematic shit is indeed there, without a doubt, while you can have your own feelings about it, you don’t have a right to tell other people how they should feel. And if you’re just in denial about it all, then unfortunately, your own internalized stuff is yours for you to deal with. Go deal with it and let people talk, or better yet, just listen to what people say and think about the media you consume. You don’t have to make judgments on anything immediately — just think for yourself.
- It’s not the end of the world, you’re not “evil” for liking the person/media in the first place, up is still up, down is still down, etc. Seriously, it’s ridic how defensive people can get about these things. I can understand why — some books, movies, and celebrities have changed my life, too. There’s no undoing that. But there’s also no undoing the fact that we live in an oppressive society where bigotry is still very much alive and perpetuated through the media and the news. This is how stereotypes are kept alive, this is why characters are often whitewashed, this is how rape culture hasn’t died yet. It’s horrible. You might feel horrible that such a horrible piece of our culture has helped you at one point. But maybe you should learn not to worship people or put them on pedestals and realize that people, yes, even people you like (!), can do bad things, say bad things, write bad things, direct bad things, etc. that really, really hurt people. That’s on them. But it should be on you to see the problematic behavior, deconstruct it, and see it for what it is instead of losing your shit over it. You can take parts of the good yet acknowledge and condemn the bad. You can still like an idea behind a movie yet hate a bigoted actor who’s in it. You can still like music from a certain performer yet realize they’re -ist assholes. That’s totally possible to do. Not everything is all-or-nothing or “black-and-white.” Everybody has the ability to be perceptive, so ffs, work on your own perception. But if you shut down marginalized people calling shit out, then you ARE a bad person.
- And really, if finding out that something you like is -ist, oppressive, or bigoted completely destroys your foundation, then the person who called it out to begin with should pat themselves on the back for a job well done. And you should try to have a stronger foundation for your principals and morality instead of building it around a celebrity. For example, if Lady Gaga is the sole reason why you’re supportive of the LGBTQ community (and yes, lol I’ve heard this), then you find out she’s problematic, and that just changes EVERYTHING for you, then actually, you don’t give a shit at all. If that hurts your feelings and you want to scream at me, do two things. Go back and read the first point then the rest of this post, then go look up Lady Gaga and her transphobia and racism. Also realize LGBTQ should (doesn’t, but should) include trans* people and PoC.
For the balcony.