exactly that

i never expected

that this post i made in an angry rant on myspace would get such positive feedback. i didn’t post it here, i figured it was kind of a “well, DUH” sort of thing…but i wanted to share.

and thanks to the people who asked if they could post it themselves, and pass it on. i received positive comments on it from some pretty unexpected places.

on 13 April, i wrote:

b/c i have to say it, and you need to hear it
Current mood: irate

if you are reading this, you are my friend, in some way, shape or form. it has become obvious to me that i need to say a few things to clear up misunderstandings b/f they happen, or happen again, and to draw my line in the sand. some of you may want to delete me from your friends files after this, so be it. some of you may think that i am pissing in my own sandbox, fine.

you all know me.

or you should, if you have been paying attention to the things that matter to me, by reading this babble that i put out pretty much daily, the things i write about, the places i link to, etc. it is no longer a secret to see that i am what i am, and who i have become.

so i have to ask,

what the fuck makes you think that it is OK to call me up and make “light” conversation and use sexist and misogynistic remarks, even after i ask you to stop. what makes you think that you can use sexist, right wing rhetoric about HRC when talking to me? i am a fucking feminist minded, progressive thinking woman, and that kind of talk, ESPECIALLY after i have asked you to refrain from it, and ESPECIALLY after i have had arguments w/ you where you REFUSE to see your privilege, will not fly w/ me. you will find yourself w/ one fewer ally if it continues. it is not OK to engage in anti woman talk, even if you think it is a joke. it is important to me, and if you consider me your friend, or care about me, you will remember that when you speak to me, or before dismissing my concerns. WORDS MEAN THINGS!

i will lay this out, so that there is no confusion any longer, about what i will and will not tolerate when you engage me in conversation.

it is not OK to make sexist jokes, about me, women in general, or certain public political figures who are smashing through glass ceilings, no matter what anyone thinks of her politics. you will not call someone a “pussy” and have it mean that they are effeminate, or try to use it as an insult to indicate that someone is weak. FYI a “pussy” happens to be one of the strongest things i can think of, just ask any woman who has given a vaginal delivery. it stretches to a nonillion times it’s original size, shoots a whole fucking human being out of it, and then returns to that original size. this does not equate weakness. i am not saying “women are superior to men”. but fucking WORDS MEAN THINGS!, so pay attention to how you use them. it is NOT OK to discredit the life’s work of a ground breaking woman, or of any woman w/ flippant remarks that discredit her on her gender alone. gender is a fucking social construct. consider the same w/ words like “bitch” and “cunt”. to not use them to degrade a woman when speaking to me, i will, from this moment on, call you out on it. think of something better. these words are meant to keep a woman in her place. i will refer to myself as such, and i may, as i possess one, and consider the other to be a fucking compliment. i would rather be a bitch or a cunt than a nice girl or a lady, b/c honestly, as Tina Fey said, bitches get stuff done. deal w/ it, but you may not use them as insults when you speak to or communicate w/ me.

you may not engage in racist behavior, deliberate or otherwise, when speaking to or w/ me. i don’t care if you think the “black woman yelled at you for being white”. that is bigoted and hateful language, and you need to be aware of such. no matter how ingrained it is in our society, no matter how casual it is for you to hear it in your “neck of the woods”. it is wrong. racist stereotypes are hurtful, whether you meant them to be or not. do not come in here and say “but but but i’m not racist!”, b/c we all are. for many of us, we have privilege, and i am officially owning mine. even though i am not technically white (i in fact consider myself a WOC, even though my skin color allows me to get by as otherwise. that is called privilege.), i recognize that i have, and still do, benefit from white privilege. i am not telling you that you need to do the same, though the world would improve a little bit for every person that does, but i will caution you when speaking to me. also, there is no such thing as reverse racism. i will not tolerate racism, even as a “joke”. hate is not funny. WORDS MEAN THINGS!

you will not engage in homophobic or otherwise queer hating behavior w/ me. the word “gay” is not an insult, though the rate of hate crimes perpetrated against people of the LGBTQ community would have you believe otherwise. you will not call someone “gay” as an insult, or try to insult a woman by calling her a “dyke” or “lesbian”. “limp wristed” is right out. you will not tote your religious infused hatred in here, and tell me that gay people are evil or disgusting or against some imaginary deity’s will. these are human fucking beings your are talking about, and they, like anyone else, deserve to be treated as such. these are people i care about and love, and people who seem to have a lot more respect for people that are different from them than a lot of straight people i have ever met. the same goes for transphobia. the fucking spell check here doesn’t even recognize it as a word, but it is real. i will repeat, gender is a fucking construct, and a transgendered person is not here to be your punching bag or punch line. you may not make jokes w/ LGBTQ people as the butt, and you may not tell me to lighten up for defending them. WORDS MEAN THINGS!

there is a laundry list of other things to add to this, but i think you get the point. if this is blindsiding anyone out there, i apologize, but it has been a long time coming, and needed to be said. some other off limit language is rape apology in any form, whiney MRA rhetoric, religious intolerance, and anti choice propaganda, b/c it is woman hating, ablism (such as using “retard” as an insult) or anything other than body accepting language.

if you are confused about any of this, i am here to answer questions.

 

so, thanks to all my readers. thanks for the support. and thanks for still checking in when the paying job has gotten in the way. if i could do this for a living, i would. i really, truly would write for my supper.

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Comments on: "i never expected" (11)

  1. I’m an intellectual elitist, and do chide myself from time to time for looking down on others. It makes me crazy to live in a world where kids can grow up without access to basic education, and to live in a country with *mandatory* basic education wherein 50% of the population can’t find Iraq on a map or tell you why we have troop there. I understand some of the root causes of bigotry, racism, homophobia, and gender bias, and I fail to understand others. For me it all comes back to a lack of education.

    The first time this got posted I resisted my gut instinct to respond, because I approve of the message but find the loaded language and apparent vehemence offensive. My initial response would have been, “Don’t tell me how to talk, how to think or how to act. The implication that I am too stupid to know this already is reprehensible and subverts what you are trying to get across.”

    Given some time to ponder, I realized that the words were not for me directly; in my case the message was preaching to the choir. But it did get me thinking about the use of forceful and in some cases extremely powerful rhetoric in trying to get a point across to those that disagree with you. People that are afraid of blacks, of jews, of gays, of women, and seek to belittle or control them might not respond to a politely worded request to remain civil, and could only be gotten through to via a hotly and demandingly worded diatribe.

    Not everyone has the benefits of a college education. Mine changed my political leanings and my sense of place in the world. Some people will read the sentences above and discount it as a manifesto from “the enemy”. But some, more openminded, will consider who wrote it and why, and ponder the similarities between jokes about and thier favorite joke about . And maybe, just maybe, they’ll realize why WORDS HAVE POWER.

  2. (HAhaha. I can’t use greater-than and less-than signs.)

    But some, more openminded, will consider who wrote it and why, and ponder the similarities between jokes about [insert thier family’s negative stereotype] and thier favorite joke about [insert any other negative stereotype].

  3. Wow. Right the fuck on.

  4. thanks, Jennifer!

    Craig (is that who i think it is?),

    i wrote this after someone i considered to be a close friend made several horrible comments to me, after several arguments a while back, and tried to pass it off as a joke. it hurt more from this person that from most people who behave this way around me.

    i write angrily, sometimes, b/c i think, like you mentioned, that a lot of people are out there and are saying things nicely, and it isn’t getting anyone anywhere. i am tired of being nice. nice isn’t getting us noticed or listened to. i am past nice, skipped pleasant, and moved right to “listen the fuck up”. some people will dismiss me on that alone, and say “you devalue your message by using that language”. if you can’t hear my message for the big fucking trees, get the hell out of my forest.

    thanks for stopping by!

  5. Just to but in cause I know a wee bit of the background on this-

    Someone who calls you up to spew hateful shit at you has lost the right to polite discourse.

    If I stood in front of an African American and started telling n***er jokes- no one would expect them to be polite in telling me to fuck off. If i stood in front of Jewish synagog yelling Heil Hitler, they would have every right to tell me to stfu.

    But for some reason we think that it is okay to insult women in front of women and that when women complain about the insults we can insult them further for being upset about it and not getting the joke.

    Sexism is just as fucking nasty as racism and we have very right to be pissed and to demand that sexists keep their traps shut around us. We may not make them think better of women (but really nothing could) but we can teach them how to live in a polite society without being a douchebag.

  6. Words do have meaning
    Here are some for you:
    YOU ROCK THE HOUSE!!!11ekeven!!11!

    I need to read things like this to remind me of my privilege and keep me thinking and evolving.

  7. thanks, everyone!

    it’s good to be able to take something so negative and turn it into something positive.

  8. I love a good rant!!

    (and this was a GREAT one)

    Rock on WOMAN!!!!!!!

  9. And in the same topic, I feel it is important to remember the source of an insult, and the decontexting nature of the written word. For example, the best redneck and hillbilly jokes I’ve ever heard come from my redneck and hillbilly family. They rely heavily on negative stereotypes, but are a form of good natured and community-building humor.

    If I were to write them down and post them on the internet they would be some of the most racist, white-bashing phrases and quips I can imagine. Coming from my uncles, whom were the friendliest and kindest people I knew, these jokes had the same degree of negativity and hate-mongering as a Dilbert cartoon. “It’s funny because it’s true.”

    Taking away the absurd situations and the differences in dialect, they boiled down to neutral comments like:
    “Some poor white folks neglect lawn care.”
    “Many people in my neighborhood have a few junkers in the yard.”
    “I am distantly related to my wife.”
    “I have had some bad luck related to my choices in life.”

    It was the way in which the jokes were told that made them funny; the topic was pertanent and easily understood but ultimately irrelevant. No one should be allowed to spew slurs and mong hate. (Monging fish is fine, but I draw the line at hate.) But the reason that Clerks II is funny is in part because some ignorent people don’t know what words are slurs and what words ane not. If I use the term “snoofly” as a racial slur I am behaving irresponsably and deserve some social ostriscism, even if no one understands me, because it is the intent of my words to incite feelings of hatred. If I am honestly trying to “take back” a word, like my brothers and sisters at heart that reclaimed “geek”, then I say more power to us.

  10. […] while i have been musing on the issue of my own privilege, and trying to understand racism better, i have noticed that it […]

  11. […] a game” because, like i have said before, now more than once, we are dealing not only w/ words and their meanings, which are big and heavy all on their own merits, but b/c we are dealing w/ actual people.  real […]

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