Protect Drunk Girls

Women have always been regarded as the sole source of all their suffering, and no one more than the drunk girl.

In her stumbling and fumbling, through her tears, and in spite of her laughter, we know her to be immoral and gross. We know that whatever should befall her on this “ladies night,” this “birthday celebration,” this “newly single,” “newly engaged,” “newly employed” or “just glad the week is over” night, is exactly what she deserves.

Can you imagine, having done no legal or moral wrong, but upon having bad things happen any way you are now made to be the villain in your own trauma?

This is the great shame of society, among which there are many more, but what do we do? Do we seek to rectify, to apologize, or to make the next time right? No, we persist in the belief that a woman looking for fun finds what she seeks and a woman without reserve and modesty gets what she needs I suppose. It’s easier that way, to go on as we have and let the harmed fade away, or be put away by force if need be. The best among us try, but even in us, the way we find is wrong.

“Where are the men!”, we cry, “to keep us surrounded and safe?”

Where are the women I say! To keep us safe but more than that to keep us sure of our right to live, and drink, and be merry. Why can’t we be loud and a little too much from time to time without humiliation and pain? Where are the women to tell us it is okay? Where are the women who would see us safely home? Where are the women who would cry out to the men of their sin instead of always inventing and enforcing new ones for us all to suffer under?

Summer is coming, with warm night, open rooftops, and cold drinks and signs screaming “ladies drink free ’til midnight.” Drunk girls will be let loose in the world, and I feel for them knowing many won’t make it through what should be a time of joy but many will come through changed forever and with that will come shame and blame because no one will protect them.

If you see a pedestrian on the ground, hurt, bleeding, not breathing, do you help them? Or do you assume that they brought their injuries on themselves and leave them? Do you feel annoyed at the inconvenience, huff, and leave them to their fate?

Imagine you saw an intoxicated person getting into the driver seat of a car, would you say something? Would you call a cab or summon an Uber from your phone? Whatever you would do, I bet you know what you should do. If you saw a drunk woman walking alone on the street would you do the same? If you saw her surrounded by a group of men would you walk away?

Too often I have been out with others who have lost track of their friends or allowed them to leave with strange men. I try to speak up but all I hear is so and so is going to do what they want, and I’ve felt powerless.

I’ve even, I’ll admit, fallen into the trap of judging, ridiculing, and turning a blind eye out of annoyance and frustration. It’s hard to keep caring after you warn them and warn them, and still, they don’t listen, but I have to wonder about the consequences. I wonder how much of the world’s suffering do I carry because I didn’t protect a woman in need?

Many of us have made the same mistake. We’ve had too much, done too much, and ended up in dangerous situations. Some of us walked away unscathed? Did we deserve a consequence? Did we deserve to be groped and raped? Could you look yourself in the mirror, remember a time when you went out of a wild night with a friend, and tell yourself you deserved the same as the countless women you’ve seen in the news who are now missing, assaulted, or dead?

Of course not. You made a mistake, or maybe it wasn’t a mistake at all, and that is yet another idea we have to rid ourselves of too. I hope when it happened to you had someone to look after you. I hope you know how lucky you were.

But I want the world to change. I want all women to feel protected, and I want all women to protect drunk girls at all cost. From those who would take advantage of them, hurt them, or abandon them.

Drinking or not, every woman is worthy of care and comfort. Drinking or not, we all want the same thing, some time to let loose and feel a part of a place and time where there is only joy and love. There is no sin, no shouldn’t have, there is only the safest way, and we all have to help each other to that.

Protect carefree girls. Protect girls who do too much and take it too far. Protect young girls who are learning their limits and those of the world. Protect girls trying to have the night of their lives. Protect girls having a bad night too.

In a perfect world, you would never have to worry but this world is far from that, and something else must be done. We can appeal to the men. Love us, respect us, protect us, some will and some won’t but how can you know the difference? And anyway it is hard to trust the same ones who ridicule and abuse you.

I say we look to ourselves, to women, all women, to have the understanding and the courage to lead the way to safety, love, and a sense of freedom. Help your sisters find nights of fun and release without fear, or guilt, or pain.

Protect drunk girls, wherever you go, the night of and every night after, for as long as they need you.

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Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or share a cup of coffee perhaps?

Inspired by the Instagram account @ProtectDrunkGirls

Featured image via Unsplash

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Defunding Planned Parenthood Isn’t Pro-Life

I woke up to breaking news this morning that Senate Republicans have voted to defund Planned Parenthood. More accurately, they voted to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act and included in that bill was a a provision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood too. Worse they rejected two amendments to this bill that would have increased, or at least left alone the funding. They have wanted to get rid of Planned Parenthood for a long time and with this vote they knew what they were doing.

Except what they are doing is completely idiotic. For one, Planned Parenthood provides much more than just abortions, and two, defunding Planned Parenthood does nothing to stop abortions. Duh!

Attacking an organization that provides critical care for millions of Americans, and in fact provides high quality care. I for one strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work that it is doing. In my view instead of trying to defund Planned Parenthood, we should be expanding funding so that every woman in this country gets the healthcare that she needs. Mr. President it is also my sincere hope that people throughout this country including my colleagues here in the Senate and across the Capitol and the House understand that bitter vitriolic rhetoric can have serious unintended consequences. Now is not the time to continue a witch hunt for an organization that provides critical healthcare services.

– Bernie Sanders

Here’s a little story about me. When I was very young, I had a scare, a condom broke. I freaked out thinking that this is when my life was going to be ruined. I was going to get pregnant, I would have to quit school, and become a mom before I could even get a job that doing more than stocking shelves or flipping burgers. Lucky for me there was a Planned Parenthood right by my school.

I went there feeling ashamed and afraid. I remember the woman at the counter asking me what was wrong but I couldn’t speak. I remember her motioning for me to come to an exam room so I could have privacy and tell her what happened. I don’t remember much of the conversation but I remember I felt like she cared. I remember that I was given Plan-B and sent home with free birth control and condoms, and a better understanding of how to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs. I remember that when I left I didn’t feel scared or ashamed.

I left knowing that if I needed anything else there was a place  could go.

Many people are saying that defunding Planned Parenthood is okay because there are plenty of other clinics that women can be treated at but this reeks of bullshit. Not only is the information they are providing on what alternative clinics there are misleading (Most of these clinics don’t even have an OB-GYN on staff!) they fail to mention that a lot of community clinics do not even accept medicaid. Nearly half of Planned Parenthood’s patients are on Medicaid, where will they go?

What I really don’t understand though it why should women have to go anywhere else. You already have an organization committed to providing quality care without judgement so why move away from that?

Now to the meat of the problem with Planned Parenthood, abortions. I won’t get into the merits of either side of the pro-choice/pro-life debate but I will say I am pro-choice. The reasons this doesn’t matter to the debate about Planned Parenthood’s federal funding are:

  1. Abortions are legal in this country and defunding planned parenthood does not change that.
  2. Any federal funding Planned Parenthood receives is not actually used to provide abortions because the law already says they can’t do that!
  3. And abortions are not the primary service Planned Parenthood provides, not even close.
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Planned Parenthood’s Financial Year 2013-2014 annual report via Washington Post’s “How Planned Parenthood actually uses it’s federal funding

 

So logically, when you take away federal funding that is not being used for abortions what you are really doing is taking away funding for services like cancer screening and prevention and birth control. And when you say that women can just go somewhere else even though these clinics already provide excellent services and are set up accept medicaid you sound like this is a personal grudge, or a religious one, rather than for the benefit of women’s health care.

Not caring about women’s health is not pro-life.

I firmly believe that because of what Planned Parenthood did for me that day a later abortion was actually prevented. I may not have become pregnant that time with out without them but the education (and birth control) I got prevented me from getting pregnant after that. I don’t know if any other clinic would have provided that kind of care, and for free!

The president has threatened to veto this bill if/when it hits his desk and I sincerely hope he does. I see acts like this from the GOP as an attack on women’s healthcare choices. Planned Parenthood has helped countless women across the country, including me, and I will always stand with them.

So Why the Hell Aren’t You a Feminist?

Yeah, I’m a huge feminist. I think everyone else should be a huge feminist too. I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t be? I mean how can you be against fighting for equal rights for women? I know there are men who, for obvious reason, aren’t feminists. They like keeping women subservient. They wish for the old days when women stayed home, cooking, and cleaning, and raising the kids, waiting for her man to come home.

On some level I do understand why some men would not be feminists. It’s in their best interests not to be, or so they think. What baffles my mind is the women who proudly proclaim that they aren’t feminists. You can find examples of these women by searching such hashtags on twitter as #FeminismIsAwful. A quick scroll gave me the impression that most of these women were either nitpicking flawed individuals in the movement, or had the wrong idea of what feminism was.

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See?

A quick Google search of the definition of feminism would clear up the confusion but I guess that’s just too difficult.

What these woman think is feminism is actually called “misandry”. Misandry is the “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e., the male sex). I will be the first to admit there are women whose brand of feminism is only thinly veiled misandry but they are not real feminist and I do not identify with them or consider them to be a part of the movement.

Feminism has also been wrongly associated (mostly by men) with lesbianism, and angry women who have been hurt by men and are now seeking revenge. Often times those two groups are even considered to be one in the same. In reality feminism has nothing to do with sexual orientation or gender identity. Men can be feminist. Trans-gendered people can be feminists.  Straight people, gay people, bi-sexual people, asexual people, can all be feminists. Anybody can, and should be, a feminist.

Feminism is about nothing more than equal rights. It’s about treating women the same as men. It’s about letting go of outdated views on what a women should be and what a woman ought to do. It’s about the freedom to be who you are without fear of violence and harassment.. It’s about letting go of an out dated hierarchies and systems of oppression. It’s about women not being chained to their genitals and forced to endure certain hardships based on it. It’s about letting women control their own bodies and paths in life.

It’s about treating women like real people.

I don’t see how anyone can be against this? Other than because they are just plain sexist. We can argue about the many ways there are to go about changing the male-centered society we live in but at the base of it all, the very bottom line, I don’t see any good arguments for why feminism is wrong, or bad.

If you say you’re not a feminist, you’re almost denying your own existence.

– Margaret Cho

I especially don’t get it from other women. I usually chalk it up to ignorance. Maybe their first encounter with a feminist was a bad one. Maybe they met someone who hates men and thinks they are all rapists and it turned them off. I can understand that.

But please, try very hard to think for yourself and talk to other feminist to learn what it is really all about. Feminist don’t hate men. Feminist do not believe women are superior to men. Feminist do not want to kill or enslave all men and build some Amazonian nation where women don’t wear bras or shave their legs. That isn’t what feminism is about!

It’s just about treating women like real people.

It’s a good thing I promise.

Original image via Rich Anderson

The Worst Parts of Having My Period

It’s that magically crappy time of the month again and I am feeling especially unhappy about it. I decided I needed to rant so I wrote a post full of complaints about my period. It helped.

1. My face breaks out like I’m 15 years old again.

This starts before my period even begins. In fact it is how I know I can expect to be very miserable very soon. My first reaction is denial though. Maybe I just need to wash my pillow case, or maybe I just touched my face too much the day before. Maybe it isn’t my period at all.

But nothing I do makes my face look better and then I know, shark week is coming. My hormones are completely in control at this point and all I can do is hope my face doesn’t get too bad and that it will end soon.

2. I have PMS before I realize I have PMS.

One thing that sucks about becoming a ball of anger and sensitivity is that you don’t realize it is happening at first. It happens slowly and builds over a couple of days so at first you just think everyone around you is being harsh and stupid. By the time you do realize that it was you all along you have committed enough acts of bitchiness to add a good amount of guilt to my already overwhelming feelings.

I hate when I have to go back and apologize for the things my hormones made me do.

3. I feel a lot of opposite feelings at the same time.

I want to go somewhere, but I want to stay in bed. I’m hungry but food sounds gross. I want salty foods and sweet foods. I need a hug but human touch is uncomfortable. I want someone to help me feel better but everything everyone does is annoying as hell. Nothing is right and nothing is good enough. I end up frustrated and choosing to just go to sleep rather than deal with these feelings anymore.

I feel bad for my poor girlfriend. Nothing she does makes me feel better but I still want her to fix it.

4. ALL period management solutions suck

Pads are the worst. They feel like diapers and they move, bunch, and stick to me and my underwear in weird ways. They are horrible. Tampons are better but can still feel uncomfortable if I fuck up and insert them incorrectly. You would think this wouldn’t still be happening after 15 years of periods but it does sometimes. And it’s pretty painful if you have to remove them right after inserting.

I switched to using Softcups but those can have issues too. It’s like sometimes my lady parts change shape and position and the cups just don’t fit. This is a horribly uncomfortable situation.

5. The Blood!

It’s everywhere! And despite the pads and tampons and cups it’s messy. It’s in my underwear, it’s in my jeans, it’s on my sheets, the toilet seat, my hands, and the bathroom rug. I spend the first few days of my period just worrying about leaking on to everything around me. When it happens (not if) I feel horrible and disgusting like this is somehow my fault. The shame is intense.

One of the great things about being a lesbian is that my girlfriend isn’t freaked out by the sight of my blood on something. Then again I do spend more on period accessories than straight couples so there are pros and cons.

6. I am a horrible feminist because I hate my period.

I know I know, my body is magical and it’s doing it’s magical, life giving thing. I should appreciate the process and feel grateful I was born with the ability to give life. I should honor my menstrual cycle. I should be embracing the energy that comes during this “moon time” and blah, blah, blah! I’m sorry but this sucks and pretending it doesn’t doesn’t make it suck less.

Yeah I can appreciate the process from a scientific/biological perspective but the emotional side of me can only see how unfair and uncomfortable this whole thing is. I do not appreciate this at all. I do not feel more creative and my intuition does not feel heightened. I feel like I have lost control of my body and all I can think about it how unfair, uncomfortable, and inconvenient it all is.

Sorry not sorry.

I believe that deep down all women hate their periods and it is our God-given right to complain about it as much as we want. Let loose in the comments if you need to :)

P.S. DO NOT comment telling me you don’t want to hear about periods. I don’t need that crap right now.

Original image via https://flic.kr/p/a4dVsz

The Hunger Games Are “Girly Movies”?

I didn’t know the Hunger Games movies were “chick flicks” to be laughed at until just a moment ago, when I told a guy friend of mine that I was going to see Mockingjay – Part 1 tonight and he laughed at me! Then he asks me if I had also watched the Twilight movies (I have but I didn’t care for them much) and if I had read the 50 Shades of Grey series (I read book one and two but didn’t like than enough to keep reading) but I had no idea what either of those things had to do with The Hunger Games. The only thing I can figure is that my guy friend only saw that all three featured a female lead and some sort of love story.

I asked him if he had seen or read any of Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, or The Hunger Games? He said no so I know none of his opinions about any of this are his own. I started to explain that The Hunger Games was totally different but he said I clearly had bad taste so my opinion didn’t matter. (Men.) I didn’t press the issue further because I really didn’t care what he thought but I got to thinking why was this movie series, which featured a whole lot of violence and killing and plotting and scheming to bring down a tyrannical government seen as “girly”, and why was I being laughed at for seeing it?

Now I actually did read the entire Hunger Games series and I absolutely loved it! To me, Katniss Everdeen is a brave and intelligent girl, with complex emotions, who did what she had to do for her family and for the people she loved, and eventually she came to do her best for everyone in her nation. I also like that throughout the entire series Katniss stayed true to who she was and what she thought was right. I think she is a great character for young girls. I think it’s easy to identify with her and in the end I think no women could walk away from the story not wanting to be a little more like Katness.

On top of all that, the plot and other characters are amazing too. I’m not going to get into a full analysis of The Hunger Games because my point isn’t really that the Hunger Games is good, my point is that even though it’s good it is considered a “girly movie”. The story does feature a love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, but it never seemed to be the sort of love story you read or see in other “chick flicks”. I actually thought the whole thing was rather tragic and sad! Not the kind of love story girls swoon over.

I think if more guys actually gave the story a chance they would see that it’s actually really good AND some might even find that they can also identify with Katniss. I wondered what my guy friend would think if the lead character were a male instead? I mean think about it, a guy going in to a ring to fight to the death and then leads the nation in overthrowing a government? Sounds pretty badass! Hell, even if he meet a girl along the way and falls in love he’s still badass! But if it’s a girl doing all of this badass shit then it’s a joke???

Look if your a guy reading this I guess my point is to please not brush off stories of girls saving the world and act like they are nothing but silly love stories. There is so much more to it then that. There can be badass shit going on AND some emotions going on too. That is much more human and realistic. And even if you just plain don’t like the story, at the very least don’t belittle it. It’s important for us women to see other women saving the day up on the big screen too. It’s no laughing matter that society teaches us that girls can’t be heroes, or that they need a man in order to do anything. At the very least take that much seriously!

P.S. Look at that picture up there, does she look like she’s ready for romance? NO! She ready to kick some ass! How could you think this is about to be a “girly movie”???

Girl Gang Wanted!

I admit, there was once a time when I was one of those girls. You know the type I’m talking about, the special snowflake girls who hate other girlsI have recognized the error of my ways in the past few years though I swear! I thoroughly ashamed of ever having hated or bad mouthed other women. In hindsight I see that I was caught up in a struggle to get out of my feminism and I thought proclaiming my differentness from those other women I would not suffer the fate of being seen as less than in a mans world.

Then I discovered feminism. I now understand that what I was doing was leaving behind other women and helping perpetuate stereotypes. I was doing this to other women who were hurting just as much as me. I was ignorant but I have seen the light and the enemy is not other women, the enemy is the patriarchy.

During that time I also met Mary, the best female friend I have ever had. Mary worked with me and we would spend a good portion of everyday just talking. We talked about everything and nothing. We talked about things we had in common and things we didn’t. We talked about men, and women, and life. We talked about trying to do better and be happier. We talked about how hard life was and slowly we started talking about how hard life was because we were women.

The feminism talks started because we were hanging out so much our cycles started to sync up. We would talk about cramps and bloating and our guy friends would get grossed out. This was highly offensive to us. They talked about their balls all day, why couldn’t we talk about our periods? So we talked about our periods and how it sucked that we weren’t supposed to talk about our periods. Then we talked about the prices of pads and tampons. Then we talked about how bad pads and tampons are for you. We still talked about other things too but the talk about women things was new to me and I enjoyed it very much.

Then Mary had to leave our job due to personal issues. We haven’t talked much since then. Life has just gotten in the way and I’m not used to having friends so making the effort to stay in touch is something I am still learning. I am not good at calling first or inviting someone out for drinks. I’m not good at texting and telling someone how I am doing or keeping a conversation going. Today I made the effort though. Today I text Mary and told her that I miss her face and that I am in need of friendship. She responded by saying she has been feeling the same and misses our talks very much. I am going to bug her about hanging out more. She has kids so it’s not easy for her to get away, but we both need it.

Missing her has also made me realize that female friendship is something I need in my life now. Since Mary left, and the other girl I worked with, Brittney, joined the Air Force, I work with only men and I am kinda miserable. It’s not their fault. They joke with me and pick on me and call me names and I do it back and sometimes it’s fun but sometimes not so much. These are guy things though and I miss the girl talk. They may talk about their feelings and hopes and dreams but they never do with me. With other girls those kinds of talks not only happen but are encouraged. Plus my guy friends just don’t understand some things. They don’t get mad about the crappy selection and price of bras.

I didn’t fully realize that this was what was bothering me about work but today it hit me pretty hard. The feeling of being alone and not having a girl around to understand and cheer me up hit me so hard I almost cried. So while I am making the effort to stay close with Mary, I am also on the look out for more girls to hang out with. I need the understanding and support. I need the encouragement and the openness. I need to feel like I am normal and guy friends just can’t always do that for me. I still like hanging out with guys but there needs to be a balance.

A lot of this post was inspired by The Lazy Feminist. There are two posts there related to girl gangs. One, How and Why a Female Friendship is the Most Important Relationship You’ll Ever Be In, and two, Girl Gangs. These posts really helped me understand what it was I was missing. I encourage you to check them out. And for all you ladies, do you have a girl gang? Got any advice on how I can find one of my own? Let me know in the comments :)

A Stupid Argument With A Men’s Right’s Douchebag

So yeah I got into a stupid debate yesterday with a stupid person (I assume he’s a guy but who knows so I’ll just go with person) about this whole Ray and Janay Rice elevator knock out thing. It happened in the comments of an article on Thought Catalog, Ray Rice’s Wife, Janay, Says To Lay Off, Is She Right To Demand, that I just happened to come across. It has since been made private so I can only view it anymore from within my Disqus dashboard. I had commented first saying that I hadn’t known anything about this incident since I don’t normally follow sports or celebrity news. I just happened to click on this article and watched the video. I was immediately outraged. I was outraged because of the force Ray Rice used when he punched Janay. I was outraged because he could have hurt her very badly and he didn’t even seem to care.

I scrolled down to read some of the other comments after my original one and came across this:

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The comment that started the thread says “She hit him first. Was he wrong? Yes. But women need to stop thinking that just because they are female they get a free pass to hit men. Especially when this whole feminist movement is going on. If you want equal rights, you will be treated equally. Common sense you hypocrites”.

I responded by saying that I don’t think it’s about women thinking they have a free pass. Both men and women should not be hitting anyone and neither has a “free pass”, ever! I think the issue most people have is about size and strength. Men are often bigger than women, and are often the perpetrator in domestic violence situations such as these. Those same men tend to cause more damage in their violence than women do is reverse situations. Ray is clearly much bigger than Janay and the force he used in retaliation was much more than could have used. The force he used is also more than what was necessary to defend himself and get away. My point was that he could have really hurt her. He could have killed her.

Her actions were wrong I suppose. It’s hard to judge but it seemed to me like they must have been arguing before. She swatted at him a few times too and it even seemed like she was coming at him to hit him some more in the elevator. She shouldn’t have been doing that because it’s not a healthy way to solve problems and hitting another person is wrong.

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Then the stupidity started. This “visonary_23” person responded to me by saying that assuming “men are stronger than women” in domestic violence situations is the same as saying it other situations that require physical strength, like in the police force or firefighting. This is very stupid statement for two reasons. For one, in my previous comment I used the term “tend”. When I say tend I am talking about “on average” not “always”. So there are some men who are smaller than some women, because of that there are series of fitness tests that must be completed in career fields such as police officer or firefighter. Some women can pass these tests and some women cannot. Some men can pass these tests and some men cannot.

The second reason is because, like I said before, in most cases of domestic violence between men and women the man IS bigger and stronger and so he is the one being told to restrain himself. I doubt Janay is capable of knocking Ray out cold. Her slaps would not have done him any permanent damage nor could they have killed him. He on the other hand was clearly capable of doing those things, just like a lot of men who hit women. He should have restrained himself.

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Visionary_23 continued to argue with me. I don’t really understand what was wrong with my statement, or what exactly this person didn’t agree with. He seemed to think men should not have to make snap judgments about whether or not they are bigger than a woman and restrain themselves. He thought it was weird to think that in cases of domestic violence the man (who uses greater force) is demonized but in cases where men would benefit in career choice men and women should be viewed as equal. He even got into what was the acceptable height, weight, BMI difference before a man could hit a woman. This guy was truly a douchebag.

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In a roundabout way I think he was trying to accuse me of only thinking Ray was wrong because he had a penis which just isn’t true. I also think he somehow got the idea that I was excusing her actions. I don’t know how he came to that conclusion when I repeatedly stated that she was wrong too. I tried to explain that if the roles were reversed and I saw a large woman beating the crap out of a man much smaller than her I would feel the same way. It really does come down to size and force for me. When any person acts excessively toward someone who is smaller than them I think they are a coward who shows no respect for other people nor do they have any self restraint. In short they are assholes.

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After that he kept going on about how  if women are considered “weaker” in domestic violence situations then they should also be considered weaker in the career field too. Either that or consider them equal and let them work “man” jobs and let them get beat up in domestic violence situations. I got tired of it and replied by asking him if he really thought Ray didn’t know he was bigger and stronger than Janay? I explained again that I was not saying she wasn’t wrong, I was only saying Ray used excessive force and that isn’t ok because it could have resulted in brain damage or death for Janay. Watching the video there is clearly a point where Ray could have just walked away. Hell there are multiple points where he could have walked away, he chose instead to use his full strength to knock his girlfriend out cold.

And it continued. He was still trying to get a different answer out of me about women being police officers and firefighters. I had since realized I was talking to not only and idiot but an idiot who hated women. I thought of those “Men’s Rights Groups” and how horrible they are. I scrolled around to see if this person was saying the same things to anyone else and sure enough he was. He responded to many people saying that there was a feminist lynch mob going after Ray and that feminists excuse women’s actions because of vagina’s and “equality”. I tried one more time to let him know I was not excuse her actions and that the issue was about size and strength and excessive force. Issues that are present in a majority of domestic violence situations. Then I asked him to stop.

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His repsonse was just as idiotic as all of the other responses. I wanted so much to reply again but I knew he needed the last word in order to feel like he won. This would have gone on and on if I said anything else and I knew I would never have changed his mind. He wanted an answer out of me that I was never going to give because the answer he wanted was wrong. He wanted me to say that woman are equals and Janay got what she deserved. He wanted that or he wanted me to admit that women were a weaker sex and unfit for “men’s work”. These two situations are not the same and neither are the dynamics.

I went to bed upset over this. I never get into these sorts of internet arguments. I was mad at him for being sexist and for bothering me. I was mad at myself for wasting my time and emotions on an asshole. I don’t think I said anything that was wrong. I think I made a fair assessment of the situation and I found that they were both wrong but Janay was the one in more danger. I wrote this because I needed to examine the conversation and ask for the opinions of my readers. I don’t know exactly what it is I want to know from all of you. Your opinion on any of it would be welcomed.

We All Need #YesAllWomen!

I was late in finding out about the shooting that happened last Friday in Santa Barbara, California. I don’t have cable so I didn’t hear about it until the following Sunday. I am late in writing about it too but I wanted to try to find the right words. This post does not even begin to scratch the surface of how I feel about this as a woman but it is a start.

Immediately after I found out about the shooting I began scouring the internet for all the information I could find. I read a few articles about it. I found the 140+ page manifesto left by the shooter. I heard a few quotes. I found a few forums the shooter had frequented. I took to Twitter and followed the hashtag #yesallwomen and I even checked out the #notallmen hashtag as well. At the end of it all l found myself feeling very frustrated, pissed off, and scared.

I could only get through a tiny bit of the manifesto but I read a lot of quotes from it and I did check out some “He-Man Woman Hater’s Forums”. The things I read there were horrifying. There are actual real-life woman hating men in the world. To be honest part of me had to laugh a little, at first. From the safety of my couch I could let myself see them as spoiled brats and complete idiots. Complaining that they just could not understand why women just would not see them as the “alpha males” they were and flock to them with legs wiiiiiiide open. They could not see that any woman could sense their narcissism and assholishness from a mile away and probably avoid them at all costs.

After that I realized that this was no laughing matter. These men are angry and they are finding places to air perceived grievances and encourage each other in their hatred. These men are dangerous. They see women as nothing but prizes and property. Women are status symbols. They provide nothing but sexual gratification and ego boosts. These men feel like they are being denied their own manhood through women’s denial to hand over their bodies, and these men want revenge.

The whole thing was very triggering. I have been through traumatic experiences with men but what I found myself thinking of more than anything was all the little shit I have to put up with that men don’t. Which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the lack of understanding from so called “nice guys”. That is what is most frustrating and infuriating. Privileges aside, I truly believe there is not one woman in this world who does not understand how hard it can be to try to navigate a world run by men. I am grateful for the #yesallwomen movement, and I hope it continues. I hope this tragedy brings women together.

I have been thinking more about my own experiences with men recently and also my own failings as a feminist. I let jokes and degrading remarks slide in my presence because I don’t want to be the woman who “can’t take a joke”. I listen and coddle the men around me who I hear complaining that “women never want the nice guy”, or the are being “friendzoned”. I hear constant complaining about women being bitchy or who are “probably on their period”. I have tried to explain to men why these comments aren’t okay but I am always met with defensiveness and invalidation and I get tired.

I think I have a responsibility though. I need to be stronger and think of all women everywhere when I hear these things. I need to open the eyes of those around me, both men and women, to what is really going on in the world. I think I need to inspire others to change they way they think and act. We all need to stop and pay attention. We all need #yesallwomen!

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