my attempts to remain human in the face of a small town run by bros and gangs of stray catsask me stuff Submit
You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.
So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights. Phaedra Starling’s Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced (via airportlife)
David Graeber, “Beyond Power/Knowledge: An Exploration of Power, Ignorance and Stupidity” (pdf)
He also says much the same thing in “Revolutions in Reverse,” an essay included in the book Revolutions in Reverse (which can be read in Scribd at the link). I’d been meaning to post a quote from the second source for a while, thanks to Aaron Brady for the actual excerpt above. That last link is a good essay on the recent Rush Limbaugh BS and how patriarchy works and how male privilege is defended by having men like Limbaugh around to keep women’s opinions out of the allowed discourse on the subject. To keep high school boys forever unable to write essays that could relate to the issue of needing hormonal birth control to control ovarian cysts.
We talked about this a lot this year in English. Girls are taught from a young age that we have to connect to what we read, so when we do excercises in class, everyone talks about how they connect to Huck Finn, or to Jay Gatsby, or to Julius Caesar. We connect to all the characters because we have to, because if we don’t then we won’t survive through the years of school.
Boys don’t deal with this. Practically every book or story they encounter from the time they begin school is full of male characters and written by men. So when confronted with female characters of female authors, they don’t know what to do. They feel as if they can’t connect with these characters because of the gender boundaries. As one woman in my class pointed out, “girls have to connect to male characters, but boys don’t have to connect to female characters.” By the time they’re my age, it’s not even intentional: many honestly think that they won’t understand a female character because they have no shared experiences whatsoever.
When my husband told me he found a lot to relate to in the character of Janie in “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” I just about fell over from shock. It was literally the first time I’d ever heard a dude say he could relate to a female character.
**TRIGGER WARNING ABUSE, SUICIDE**
Every time I read an article about conservatives being “pro- life” I am reminded of my brother who died of ALS at the age of 47. He spent the last 6 years of his life in nursing homes where the care, supervision and meals were abysmal. One of his former roommates was smoking a cigarette, fell asleep and burned to death because his diaper caught fire. Another roommate went home for the weekend to visit his mother and committed suicide in the garage of her home so that he wouldn’t have to return to the nursing home. I have to say that in all the years my brother was there I never once saw a group of conservatives out in front of the building shouting slogans about the sanctity of life and how all lives - no matter what age - are meaningful. I never once saw a group of evangelicals visiting with patients, pushing wheelchairs, or feeding the elderly residents. There were no Rick Santorums advocating on behalf of my brother who several years before had been a pro golfer and was still the father of two adorable young boys. When conservatives and evangelicals understand that ALL life really is sacred, including that of the elderly, the permanently disabled, the terminally ill, and the women and children who accidentally get bombed in the course of a war, then maybe I’ll listen to their opinions on contraceptives and/or abortion. For now, however, this is really just a politically heated argument about women’s reproductive rights and who gets to control those rights. The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion - NYTimes.com (via glitterencrustedbunghole)