Saturday Chores #6, July 5, 2014
This sign was all Grayson’s idea. I couldn’t stop laughing.
Brittany, 28, Colorado
I was 21 when a routine physical showed that I was pregnant. I fainted when I found out. I was on the Depo-Provera shot and in a committed relationship. I was also going to college, working full time and decided to end the pregnancy. I wasn’t ready physically, emotionally or financially to be a parent. I spoke to a woman at the clinic who asked if I needed an escort from my car on the day of my appointment. My aunt and best friend were accompanying me, so I said no. But then she told me to call if I was having trouble. I asked, “Why?” She paused and said, “Just please call if you are having any issues.”
I was the first appointment that day and noticed a few men, all in their 50s or 60s, milling around the parking lot when we pulled in. Once we got out of the car, one made a beeline for us with a fistful of pamphlets. My aunt said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and he got irate, screaming, “How can you do this? You’re killing your baby to continue on your whore lifestyle, you jezebel!’ Suddenly we were surrounded by five other men — that’s when the baby-doll parts starting hitting us.
They had a box filled with torn apart baby dolls covered with red paint. All three of us were hit — in the head, chest, torso. As they were pelting us, they yelled, “This is what you’re doing to your baby! Look at the street! It’s strewn with the blood of your baby. That’s your baby scattered across the street!” It was surreal and terrifying at once. And we still had to cross a wide street to enter the clinic. Then they shouted at my aunt, “Grandma, why are you letting her do this? Tell her to give her baby up for adoption!” My aunt responded, “First of all, I’m not old enough to be a grandma. Second, come talk to me when you have a uterus and a vagina.”
I thought I’d feel better once inside the clinic. But as I sat in the waiting area, I could hear every single girl get out of her car and do that walk of shame. That was the worst part of the day. When the doctor pulled up later that morning, there was such a frenzy the building almost shook. I heard them shouting, “Murderer!” and “Butcher!” and my heart started racing all over again.
I was the first to see the doctor. After he went over the procedure with me, he asked, “Do you have any questions?” I said, “Are they going to be there when I leave? — not, “Is there any pain?” or “How long will it take to recover?” He said, “No. After I arrive, they disperse.” That was true, and I was grateful. I would have stayed until they left. I couldn’t go through that again.
But there was one good thing the protesters did that morning: They convinced me I was making the right decision. I bet every single woman inside that waiting room felt the same way, even though none of us spoke. We’d all just been through the most heinous experience, but there was a feeling of quiet satisfaction among this group of women amidst the horror. I thought, “If I can make it through that, I can make it through the rest of this day.”
|—||6 Women on Their Terrifying, Infuriating Encounters With Abortion Clinic Protesters - Cosmopolitan (via iamnotafeministtbh)|
- It’s not hard to fathom why so many men tend to assume they are great and that what they have to say is more legitimate. It starts in childhood and never ends. Parents interrupt girls twice as often and hold them to stricter politeness norms. Teachers engage boys, who correctly see disruptive speech as a marker of dominant masculinity, more often and more dynamically than girls.
- For example, male doctors invariably interrupt patients when they speak, especially female patients but patients rarely interrupt doctors in return. Unless the doctor is a woman. When that is the case, she interrupts far less and is herself interrupted more.
- This is also true of senior managers in the workplace. Male bosses are not frequently talked over or stopped by those working for them, especially if they are women; however, female bosses are routinely interrupted by their male subordinates.
- As adults, women’s speech is granted less authority. We aren’t thought of as able critics or as funny.
- Men speak more, more often, and longer than women in mixed groups (classrooms, boardrooms, legislative bodies, expert media commentary and, for obvious reasons religious institutions.)
- Indeed, in male-dominated problem solving groups including boards, committees, and legislatures, men speak 75% more than women, with negative effects on decisions reached. That’s why, as researchers summed up, “Having a seat at the table is not the same as having a voice.”
- Even in movies and television, male actors engage in more disruptive speech and garner twice as much speaking and screen time as their female peers.
- Listserve topics introduced by men have a much higher rate of response.
- On Twitter, people retweet men two times as often as women.
The best part though is that we are socialized to think women talk more. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are hogging the floor when men are actually dominating. Linguists have concluded that much of what is popularly understood about women and men being from different planets, verbally, confuses “women’s language” with “powerless language.”
This preference for what men have to say, supported by men and women both, is a variant on “mansplaining.” The word came out of an article by writer Rebecca Solnit, who explained that the tendency some men have to grant their own speech greater import than a perfectly competent woman’s is not a universal male trait, but the “intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness where some portion of that gender gets stuck.” Solnit’s tipping point experience really did take the cake. She was talking to a man at a cocktail party when he asked her what she did. She replied that she wrote books, and she described her most recent one, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West.The man interrupted her soon after she said the word Muybridge and asked, “And have you heard about the very important Muybridge book that came out this year?” He then waxed on, based on his reading of a review of the book, not even the book itself, until finally a friend said, “That’s her book.” He ignored that friend (also a woman) and she had to say it more than three times before “he went ashen” and walked away. If you are not a woman, ask any woman you know what this is like, because it is not fun and happens to all of us.
Last week as I sat in a cafe, a man in his 60′s stopped to ask me what I was writing. I told him, a book about gender and media and he said, “I went to a conference where someone talked about that a few years ago. I read a paper about it a few years ago. Did you know that car manufacturers use slightly denigrating images of women to sell cars? I’d be happy to help you.” After I suggested, smiling cheerily, that the images were beyond denigrating and definitively injurious to women’s dignity, free speech, and parity in culture he drifted off
In the wake of Larry Summers’ “women can’t do math” controversy several years ago, scientist Ben Barres wrote publicly about his experiences, first as a woman and later in life, as a male. As a female student at MIT, Barbara Barres was told by a professor after solving a particularly difficult math problem, “Your boyfriend must have solved it for you.” When several years after, as Ben Barres, he gave a well-received scientific speech, he overhead a member of the audience say, “His work is much better than his sister’s.” Most notably, he concluded that one of the major benefits of being male was that he could now “even complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man.”
“Stop interrupting me.”
“I just said that.”
“No explanation needed.”
If there’s one thing I love, it’s cheese-covered gluten. And if there are two things I love, they’re cheese-covered gluten and making fun of lifestyle guru and noted Veela Gwyneth Paltrow. So when I came across a copy of Gwyneth’s 2014 diet book It’s All Good (“delicious, easy recipes that will make you look good and feel great”), it seemed like a golden opportunity: What if I spent a week only eating Gwyneth’s gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, meat-free, ingredient-free, my-children’s-college-fund-free food? Would I look good? Would I feel great?
I’m really proud of this article that went up on Jezebel today. And here’s one additional (and important) thought that didn’t make it into the piece:
Women of all sizes are conditioned to believe that restriction is the ultimate virtue—we eat up the lie that conventional attractiveness is the only measure of worth; we court the indignity of being literally ranked in a perpetual fuckability draft; we dump billions of dollars into cosmetic and diet companies in exchange for their assurances that we will never be good enough; we live and die by the belief that being unhealthy and thin is better than healthy and fat. We waste our lives seeking validation from an entity that does nothing but abuse us. To indulge in a rather gimmicky analogy, I feel like I’m Crazy Eyes and diet culture is Vee.
So, after a lifetime of miserable, shame-based, demoralizing food restriction, I don’t “diet” anymore—a decision that’s done more good for my mental and physical health than any amount of therapy and lunges—and I simply can’t engage with diet talk the way “normal” women do. Literally the LAST THING I’M INTERESTED IN DOING is writing a rah-rah yay-food-restriction typical diet review. And yet I really did love a lot of things about Goop week. So it was an interesting and fraught line to walk, and I don’t know that I’ve got it 100% figured out yet.
i love to singa
about the moon-a and the june-a and the spring-a
This year I finally bought one of those mini souvenir Oscar statues that they sell all over Los Angeles. They’re fitted with witty, positively biting plaques such as “Best Stoner,” “Hottest Wife,” and “Coolest Cody,” (who the hell knows any cool “Codys,” let alone “Coolest”?). As truly…
Here are all the replies, with names removed for career purposes:
- This is so French horny.
- Is this how ultrasounds are made?
- Trumpet of the Swank Magazine
- You can do better. I feel like euphonium it in now.
- Are you saying that joke fell flat?
- I coronet comment at this time as to whether or not I thought you blew. BTW, is this pic from Brassers.com?
- I look forward to seeing all these comments as an original piece on Buzzfeed tomorrow.
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So a video popped up on my Facebook feed today (and by popped up, I mean it started without my prompt, and I was forced to watch a small portion) that depicts a Malaysian woman beating a baby on a bed. And I want to address this video now, as news sites are starting to pick it up and label it…
Trigger warning for massive amounts of racism.
Here’s an amazing illustration demonstrating the masses of racist rhetoric within the Reddit community. You’ll laugh at the absurdity at first and then cry when you realise it never ends.
“You say not all men are monsters? Imagine a bowl of M&Ms. 10% of them are poisoned. Go ahead. Eat a handful. Not all M&Ms are poison.”
People do know that literally all M&Ms are bad for them in some way right? But people still eat whole bags of them. They’re not even as bad as cigarettes or beer for that matter, but I digress.
I keep seeing posts like this saying “well some bad guys is basically the same as all guys being bad” - and it’s an absurd fallacy.
Sometimes the weather is bad - so don’t bother looking forward to good weather.
Sometimes you get food poisoning - so better stop eating any food.
Sometimes I get bad grades - so better stop trying for good grades.
Sometimes people fart and it smells bad - so better stop breathing forever.
Literally, if you stopped doing anything because 10% of it was bad - you wouldn’t have anything to do. And when you realize that it’s more like 90% of things in general suck… well then. I hope you have a great life living by the rules to your nonsensical fallacies.
lmao so the core of the “not all men” argument (which is illustrated quite well above) comes from taking personal offense to any mention of men being bad.
"well some people are bad so better avoid all people, because i’m gonna get lumped in with them, and that’s not fair to me! so i’m gonna make a big stink about it!"
it isn’t about you. not everything ever posted on the internet is specifically targeting the almighty You. to have the gall to even utter “Well, Not All Men Are Bad” in the presence of traumatized people that are still actively processing and coping with the actions of Bad Men is so juvenile, selfish and despicable that it qualifies as a reaction only a sociopathic nightmare of a person should have.
drilling the point home that some men are dangerous and not trustworthy isn’t an attack against you, it’s a warning for women, by women, out of concern for each others’ individual safety and well-being. the suggestion that this is FALSE and - hilariously enough - UNFAIR TO MEN suggests that the healthy alternative advice would be, “well some men are bad, but not all of them! so just trust all men you meet until they do something that makes you reconsider your implicit and unquestioning trust in them!”
The classic Not All Men argument, and its believers, expect and all but demand the implicit cooperation and obedience of others. “Your statistics are unfair,” the thinking goes, “because I know they do not apply to me! So you have to change your argument to exclude me, and men like me, because I don’t deserve this!” at no point is the Not All Men argument considerate of its intended audience; that is, women that rightly guard their personal safety. this *poisonous* line of thinking puts the speaker, Nice Men, and their own wellbeing first.
so don’t get your khaki cargo shorts knotted in a wad every time a Men Are Not Trustworthy post wanders by your dash. you want sympathy for being civil; you want recognition for being nice; you want someone to make a special consideration just for you because if they don’t, your feelings are hurt.
if you are offended by a non sequitur analogy explaining how 10% of men are dangerous and not to be trusted, you are either dangerous and not to be trusted, or upset because someone might perceive that you are, even though you aren’t.
here’s a cool trick people figured out a while back that you might try, to indicate to other people that you aren’t dangerous and not to be trusted: don’t take everything that tangentially applies to you as a personal attack against you, and don’t angrily belittle people in your lengthy explanation of why You are being offended by something that isn’t even about You. and you certainly aren’t helping your case if you do exactly that (See Above) to people that were getting along just fine without you kicking the door down and trying to “make them see the truth.” your truth is yours - not someone else’s.
another cool trick that works wonders: shut up.stop talking. if you don’t think something applies to you, don’t act as if it does. if you’re likely to put your foot in your mouth whenever you open it (again, See Above), perhaps you shouldn’t open it.
the only fact worth sharing, the only truth worth heeding, whether You are comfortable with it or not, is that someone else has to decide for themselves, of their own volition, whether you are a safe and trustworthy person.
Are you a safe, trustworthy person? Do your actions - not your angry Not All Men counterpoint posts on the internet - prove as much to others? If so, why bother getting offended by something that doesn’t apply to you? If you’re a safe, trustworthy person, why would you ever compromise yourself and argue the opposite?
1. Do it for the wellbeing of other humans and not for praise/reward. Respecting women is the bare minimum of human decency, not something for which you deserve a medal.
2. You’re not owed anything. Not sex, not attention, not time or effort, not automatic trust. You might know that you are completely harmless and well-intentioned, but remember that it is impossible for a woman to simply look at you and tell the difference between you and a violent hateful man. Do not resent women for their fear. Instead do all you can to make them feel safe.
3. Instead of insisting on derailing conversations with exceptions (“i’m not like that,” “only some men do that” etc.) LISTEN and EMPATHIZE with the frustrations and fears of the people having those conversations. They are talking about systemic problems and not you…unless your main concern is your own feelings and not the pain/fear/injury/deaths of women. Then you really are “like that.”
4. If you are a cisgender man, people - especially other men - will probably listen to you more readily than they will women. Acknowledge this privilege and use it. Elevate women’s voices and defend them.
5. But don’t conflate that with your voice or opinion being superior, necessary or even wanted. Sometimes it just isn’t. Know when to keep quiet and listen.
White privilege is posting a manifesto on Youtube and carrying out a mass shooting that causes more deaths than the Boston Marathon bombing and the media doesn’t label you a terrorist.