When I ask [people] about the feminist books or magazines they read, when I ask them about the feminist talks they have heard, about the feminist activists they know, they respond by letting me know that everything they know about feminism has come into their lives thirdhand, that they really have not come close enough to feminist movement to know what really happens, what it’s really about. Mostly they think feminism is a bunch of angry women who want to be like men. …When I talk about the feminism I know—up close and personal—they willingly listen, although when our conversations end, they are quick to tell me I am different, not like the ‘real’ feminists who hate men, who are angry. I assure them that I am as real and as radical a feminist as one can be, and if they dare to come closer to feminism they will see it is not how they have imagined it.
i’m so tired of this “misogynist with a heart of gold” hollywood trope
i’m so tired of these leading men who treat women like shit until they meet the “right” kind of girl who is worthy of their respect
revealing that they were a good guy all along
i’m so tired of being told my humanity is negotiable
Oh—you wouldn’t date a girl who’s ever been a stripper?
In that case, I wouldn’t date a guy who’s ever been to a strip club.
Oh—you wouldn’t date a girl who’s ever done porn?
In that case, I wouldn’t date a guy who’s ever watched porn.
You’re the reason we exist.
You’re the demand to our supply.
If you disdain sex workers, don’t you dare consume our labor.
As they say in the industry, “People jack off with the left hand and point with the right.”
THANK YOU JENNI HERD
Slurs are not just “bad words”. They’re part of systemic dehumanization of entire groups of people who are and have historically been subjugated and hated just for being alive.
FYSE: Mmmm communication is sexy!
When I was seventeen and preparing to leave for university, my mother’s only brother saw fit to give me some advice.
“Just don’t be an idiot, kid,” he told me, “and don’t ever forget that boys and girls can never just be friends.”
I laughed and answered, “I’m not too worried. And I don’t really think all guys are like that.”
When I was eighteen and the third annual advent of the common cold was rolling through residence like a pestilent fog, a friend texted me asking if there was anything he could do to help.
I told him that if he could bring me up some vitamin water that would be great, if it wasn’t too much trouble.
That semester I learned that human skin cells replace themselves every three to five weeks. I hoped that in a month, maybe I’d stop feeling the echoes of his touch; maybe my new skin would feel cleaner.
It didn’t. But I stood by what I said. Not all guys are like that.
When I was nineteen and my roommate decided the only way to celebrate the end of midterms was to get wasted at a club, I humoured her.
Four drinks, countless leers and five hands up my skirt later, I informed her I was ready to leave.
“I get why you’re upset,” she told me on the walk home, “but you have to tolerate that sort of thing if you want to have any fun. And really, not all guys are like that.”
(Age nineteen also saw me propositioned for casual sex by no fewer than three different male friends, and while I still believe that guys and girls can indeed be just friends, I was beginning to see my uncle’s point.)
When I was twenty and a stranger that started chatting to me in my usual cafe asked if he could walk with me (since we were going the same way and all), I accepted.
Before we’d even made it three blocks he was pulling me into an alleyway and trying to put his hands up my shirt. “You were staring,” he laughed when I asked what the fuck he was doing (I wasn’t), “I’m just taking pity.”
But not all guys are like that.
I am twenty one and a few days ago a friend and I were walking down the street. A car drove by with the windows down, and a young man stuck his head out and whistled as they passed. I ignored it, carrying on with the conversation.
My friend did not. “Did you know those people?” He asked.
“Not at all,” I answered.
Later when we sat down to eat he got this thoughtful look on his face. When I asked what was wrong he said, “You know not all guys do that kind of thing, right? We’re not all like that.”
As if he were imparting some great profound truth I’d never realized before. My entire life has been turned around, because now I’ve been enlightened: not all guys are like that.
No. Not all guys are. But enough are. Enough that I am uncomfortable when a man sits next to me on the bus. Enough that I will cross to the other side of the street if I see a pack of guys coming my way. Enough that even fleeting eye contact with a male stranger makes my insides crawl with unease. Enough that I cannot feel safe alone in a room with some of my male friends, even ones I’ve known for years. Enough that when I go out past dark for chips or milk or toilet paper, I carry a knife, I wear a coat that obscures my figure, I mimic a man’s gait. Enough that three years later I keep the story of that day to myself, when the only thing that saved me from being raped was a right hook to the jaw and a threat to scream in a crowded dorm, because I know what the response will be.
I live my life with the everburning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experienced a sexual assault, but even a number like that can’t be trusted when we are harassed into silence. I live with the learned instinct, the ingrained compulsion to keep my mouth shut to jeers and catcalls, to swallow my anger at lewd suggestions and crude gestures, to put up my walls against insults and threats. I live in an environment that necessitates armouring myself against it just to get through a day peacefully, and I now view that as normal. I have adapted to extreme circumstances and am told to treat it as baseline. I carry this fear close to my heart, rooted into my bones, and I do so to keep myself unharmed.
So you can tell me that not all guys are like that, and you’d even be right, but that isn’t the issue anymore. My problem is not that I’m unaware of the fact that some guys are perfectly civil, decent, kind—my problem is simply this:
In a world where this cynical overcaution is the only thing that ensures my safety, I’m no longer willing to take the risk.
— r.d. (via elferinge)
Yes. This. All of this.
It’s what I tried to explain in my post about being afraid of cis people, and this is also how I feel about interactions with men too. People who don’t get it keep looking at it from the wrong angle. They look at it from the angle of the privileged group. When they hear a woman talk about harassment, or sexism, or assault they’ve experienced, they go “not all men are like that”, and they think, as long as it’s not ALL of the men that are like that, then it’s okay. As long as there are men who don’t have experiences of assaulting women, harassing us, or being sexist assholes, then there’s not a problem. As long as there are cis people who don’t have experiences of misgendering trans people, then there’s no problem. They don’t look at it from our perspective, which is that each time this happens to us, it scars us. WE have to deal with each incident, and the effects on us. WE have to deal with each time this happens, not knowing what’s going to happen, or in what condition we’ll be in when the incident is over. This adds up. It’s like telling somebody who gets slashed with a knife every so often whenever they go out, “oh not all knife wielders are like that”, and they want us to not be paranoid about knife wielders. When you’ve been hurt over and over again, seemingly randomly, and you don’t know when the next person you meet is going to do it again, you get scared. You get damned scared because you don’t want to get cut again, you don’t want another scar, you don’t want to have to heal again. You don’t want to get hurt. And it doesn’t fucking matter how many people are like that as long as it regularly keeps happening to us, and the culture keeps excusing it and creating an environment where it keeps happening!
Not all men are like that.
Almost all women have had an experience with a man who is like that.
Great women of science
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) - British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934) - Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist, famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity.
Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) - Chinese American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity.
Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) - French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment.
Mae Jemison (1956) - American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.
Vera Rubin (1928) - American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She is famous for uncovering the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) - English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world’s first computer programmer.
A report from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, found that transgender people faced double the rate of unemployment of the general population, with 63 percent of the transgender people surveyed reporting they experienced a serious act of discrimination that majorly affected their ability to sustain themselves. These numbers are even worse for trans people of color, especially trans women of color, the deaths of whom have been deemed a “state of emergency.”
Trans women have been saddled with the responsibility of taking on trans-exclusionary feminists for far too long—but it’s not their issue to deal with alone.
Read: It’s Time to End the Long History of Feminism Failing Transgender Women by Tina Vasquez at BitchMedia.org. Infographic by Michelle Leigh.
Look at how poor female survivors of sex trafficking are treated: 45 out of 50 states refuse to expunge/vacate our prostitution arrest records, which employers then use to deny us chances for jobs. Lawmakers know that this holds us back from being able to get ANY job at all so we can rebuild our lives and emotionally heal, and get on our feet to support ourselves - thanks to Welfare Reform, there is NO adequate economic safety net for unemployable destitute, marginalized women.
This is what pimps mean when they tell their victims, “Once a whore, always a whore.” Pimps KNOW that society has allowed poor throw-away women and girls NO OTHER PLACE except the gutter and an early grave (life expectancy rate for poor sex trafficking survivors in the US is 34 yrs old), and that those of us who survived and escaped prostitution by sheer luck are NOT treated very nicely by everybody else.
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