Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Worst Blog Post Evar

That award goes to: This guy, who thinks rape is funny. BIG trigger warning.
But if anyone else would like to go and comment to the effect that the guy's a douche, that'd be great.

Because I almost blew out my Obstreporal Lobe reading that shit.

WHAT is WRONG with some of these people?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Language Is Never Innocent; Also, Much Capitalization!

So I am one of those ladies who is Friends With My Ex. I seem to notice ladies want to stay friends with their exes more often. Guys tend to avoid exes (when they don't hate them entirely). I'm not sure why- maybe it's because women are encouraged to be introspective and sort out the feelings of "You're Not A Bad Guy And I Like Spending Time With You" from the knowledge that "We Have Issues That Make Dating A Not-Fun Idea". Guys (she says, generalizing away) seem to not be trained to compartmentalize relationships like that. If a woman isn't romantically interested in them [anymore], it's a Total Rejection of his Entire Being. Yada yadda. I have a few ex-boyfriends who got over that and with whom I'm still friendly. And one of the reasons I ended it was because of his amused dismissal of my (highly feminist) worldview. It makes for some interesting discussions, which is what this post is actually about.

My ex-now-friend, referred to as S, thinks of himself as a stand-up guy (don't they all). His actions are (usually) benevolent; if you go by the rule that says Actions are More Important than Words, he's right.
What if you think that the things you say are maybe even more important, because they are the things you're thinking?
He accuses me of being "too PC". He makes racist jokes, and then points out that he has "Black Friends who think [those jokes] are funny as hell". He refers to women as "bitches", and then claims he respects women (because he's not saying it in a mean way, don'tchaknow!). This is the same guy who once called me "easy".
He's an able-bodied, hertero white cis male who *will not* acknowledge his privelege in any way. Every time we have a discussion about feminism/racism, I end up frustrated. Because eventually the subject gets around to language, and his total misunderstanding of The Way Language Works. His claim is that "words don't have power unless we (personally) give them power. If we treat certain words as taboo, that only gives them more power." He's like Randal from Clerks 2, wearing a shirt with "Porch Monkey" on the back with the claim that he's "taking [the phrase] back." At which point Dante loses it and tells him that that's incredibly racist and he can't "take back" a phrase referring to black people if he's not black!
I outlined this comparison to S, who came down on Randal's side. Sheesh.
His idea is that if he personally treats a normally taboo word as if it has no power, eventually other people will pick up on this and do the same, and in time, racial and other slurs will lose their ability to wound. It's a nice idea. It's my opinion that it's also totally unrealistic to think that one, non-famous, whitemaledude has that much influence over how minority slurs are heard. In the meantime, it's also a really good excuse for using those words without thinking about them, or apologizing.

Am I right, or does he have a point? What's an Angry FeministTM to say?

Monday, July 6, 2009

(Aborted) Children of the Corn

So my Ferret and I were taking a road trip yesterday through the lovely central MidWest. And it was scary. No, seriously, I was freaked. Not just because I now have a better understanding of the phrase "the middle of nowhere" than I have ever had before. Not just because I saw a sign advertising a tree and landscape company whose motto apparently is "We eat trees... they taste like chicken". (True story.)

It's because I also got the chance to see something I never even imagined: Anti-choice billboards in cornfields. Yeah. Farmer Brown's doing his part to Save teh Baybeez. I counted 4 on a 3-hour trip. The first time I saw one, my reaction was "Did that say what I think it fucking did?!"

I asked my Ferret not to route us on that particular highway anymore, although it is one of the more direct routes to [Large City], because every time I saw a sign in a field like "Abortion kills a baby every 24 seconds", or "It's not a choice, it's a child", I felt like I'd been slapped.

And I wondered, how must a woman who has had an abortion feel, driving past these awful things? What kind of person puts or allows someone to put that on their property? Why that issue? Why that sentiment, when there are so many other things for your field to say?
I mean, I can get behind "Support Our Troops", "Buy Local Produce", "Join AAA". I'd applaud "Eat at Joe's". But "don't kill your baby, you slutty evil female" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

I'd never seen anything like these billboards before. I don't understand it, and I almost couldn't believe it. And I was shocked, and sad, and upset, and mostly? I was pissed. Really pissed. Royally fucking pissed. I wished I could've stopped and bought spray paint because that is a vile thing to inflict on a driving feminist.

Some days, I want to get the fuck out of the Midwest, no matter how pretty the trees are in the fall. I want to go back to South Florida. Yesterday was one of those days. It really was.