Cruel to Be Kind

How often my conversations about feminism have spiraled into requests for assault. I say, “Women don’t need men to defend them,” and am asked, “Can I punch you, then?” And I say, “Women belong in movies and video games and everything,” and I hear terrible things, unprintable slurs and demands for my assault, the threatening of a young woman to shut up: What they would do to silence me. The things they’d shove between my teeth. I say, “Men cannot threaten any woman they disagrees with,” and I’m told, “Women are just as cruel. Am I not supposed to respond in kind?” In my inbox today I have deleted sixteen messages asking for my life. When I say, “Your virginity only means what you want it to mean,” I’m asked, “If you believe in sexual freedom can I fuck you?” When I say “All it takes to be a woman is to want to be a woman,” I am asked, “So if I just say that I’m a woman, can I watch you in the shower?” As if women stand shadowy behind each other in our private moments. As if being woman means sexually assaulting each other.

Part of me - cynical, unwilling to be frightened, says that it might be a nice dose of reality. My shower where I am naked but my hair becomes streaky and thin, where my body sags, where my makeup smears. To witness a woman less than sexy, legs akimbo while shaving, pulling up flab thighs to reach the underside. Part of me dares them to punch me because I fight to win and am small but I’ll kill a man if he touches me. Once I dropped a U.S Marine. Part of me, hellfire and ice queen - says come on, then. You want a fight? Come fight me.

But more is scared. More timidly deletes messages, makes sure my name is hidden, doesn’t answer the endless antifeminist comments. The insertion of men and their opinion on simple things like “I teach children to ask before hugging.” When I close my eyes sometimes I wonder if they’re right and that scares me. How much am I going to change when my voice only echoes around me.

Why are you angry. Why are you angry. What do you think we are taking from you? If it’s not already equal why would equality frighten you.

The ancient art of being a woman and trying to get your voice heard: the gentle suggestion, the peaceful comment. The quiet listening to another opinion and the fact we must acknowledge it before we can continue. That I must educate, be sweet, be feminine in my feminism or else it’s “invalid.” I must present my declaration as a timid thing: “Women maybe should be part of more things.” And then the apologies: of course I don’t hate men, yes I like plenty of things with men in them, no I don’t think women are better. And then the explanations: women are people, here is the number of women in media, here is the number of dead women in media, here are the number of shows led by men. And then I brace for it. For the bullying.

Every time I speak it’s from a flinch. From “maybe this isn’t always the case but for me it is.” From please listen. From less demanding. God forbid I state factually that men are violent. If I speak about our fathers and brothers and the cycle of anger unfolding. God forbid I suggest that just once we should cut the bullshit and treat women well without pandering to men about how that helps them. What if I say “Men shouldn’t hit anyone. Hitting isn’t an answer.”

I’ll tell you what happens. The post was up for four seconds with three notes. The message I get is “If hitting isn’t allowed I’ll just go ahead and shove a gun down your throat.”

ENOUGH AREADY! WE GET IT - YOU THINK YOU *KNOW* SLYTHERIN...

We get that you think Slytherin girls are ‘winged eyeliner sharp enough to kill a man’. We get that you think our aesthetic is blood-red lipstick, the clack of stilettos on marble floors, and nails filed to a sharp point.

We get it.

We get that you think Slytherin boys are ‘jaw lines sharp enough to kill a man’ (perhaps we have that in common with the girls, you think?). We get that you think our mood is bitter black coffee, Shakespearean insults, and the burn of vodka as it cascades down your throat.

We get it. So enough already.

You think you know Slytherin? You think our girls are ‘bad-ass bitches’ and our boys are ‘refined gentlemen with wicked sharp tongues’?

Well, let us tell you what it really means to embody power, pride, fraternity, cunning, and ambition.

We’d be lying if we said Slytherin wasn’t that warm feeling of sinking deeper into your seat on the bus after you watch someone miss their stop. But, for all that, Slytherin is also when you were a child sitting on your dad’s shoulders - that feeling of being literally on top of the world, made all the more proud for knowing not only that the people who love you will raise you up but will be there to catch you if you fall.

That’s Slytherin - it’s what you wanted to be when you grew up, it’s your imaginary friend, and it’s getting an A on a test you studied damn fucking hard for.

And, sure, Slytherin is also silently thanking yourself that you looked your best on the days you ran into an ex partner. But Slytherin is the courage to end a going-nowhere relationship in the first place. Slytherin means willing to do what no one else can or will, to put aside desire, fear, and comfort and to just shed what doesn’t serve them; that means being cruel to be kind and knowing, in fact, that cruelty and kindness are not black and white concepts.

That’s Slytherin - it’s your little black dress, it’s self-help books, and it’s drunken chats with strangers in nightclub bathrooms.

We are so much more complex than men in suits or women in doc martens. If all you can think of is conceit when you think of cunning and if all you can think of is dominance when you think of power…then you do not know us. And we will not ask you to try harder next time because we would rather speak for ourselves.

So, enough already; we want ‘us’ done right, so we will do it ourselves.

That’s Slytherin.

2

Bug of the Day

OMG, look at this adorable hummingbird clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)! How is this squee-worthy beastie not a Pokemon??? I had it in the fridge yesterday so I could get a few good photographs, including the ones above. Today it was finally sunny out so I let it go outside. It sat on my fingers for a long time and then suddenly took off up into the sky like a little fighter jet.

@biomechabird It was only in the fridge for a few hours, til I could photograph it. I think it would last a few days in the fridge, depends on the species. Seems kind of cruel to keep them there that long though…

Questions/Comments to be sent anonymously!

(though off anon is fine too!)

  • “Is there someone you hold dear?”
  • “Don’t you feel any guilt?”
  • “You’re actually afraid to be alone, aren’t you?”
  • “There must be something you fear.”
  • “Do you have a home?”
  • “Is there someone you like?”
  • “Are you really expecting a positive outcome out of this?”
  • “Aren’t you ashamed?”
  • “Aren’t you happy?”
  • “Who do you despise?” 
  • “How do you sleep at night?”
  • “How do you manage to keep going despite everything?”
  • “What do you think of kindness?”
  • “What do you think of hatred?”
  • “Why do you fight?”
  • “Why do you live?”
  • “How much blood have you spilled?”
  • “How much death have you seen?”
  • “Don’t you think your actions are reckless?”
  • “Don’t you know how much good you’ve done for others?”
  • “Can’t you tell they love you?”
  • “Can’t you see he/she would die for you?”
  • “Can’t you see that they hate you?”
  • “Can’t you tell the truth for once?”
  • “You’re not tainted.”
  • “You’re not alone.”
  • “You’re awful.”
  • “You don’t think of anyone but yourself.”
  • “You’re an emotionless robot.”
  • “You’re just a lap dog.”
  • “It’s not over.”
  • “He/she needs you.”
  • “Stop lying.”
  • “Stop fighting.”
  • “Stop pushing others away.”
  • “You’re cruel.”
  • “You’re far too kind. Too kind for your own good.”
  • “You depend on him/her too often.”
  • “You’re overprotective, it’s stifling.”
  • “You’re too impulsive, it’s reckless.”
  • “You’re too careless, it’s a liability.”
  • “He/she is bringing you down.”
  • “You’re too timid, it’s easy to see you as a target.”
  • “You need to listen.”
  • “You need to speak up more often.”
  • “You’re weak.”
  • “You’re strong. Stronger than you’ll ever know.”
  • “You’re too proud.”
  • “Quit blaming others for your mistakes.”
  • “You won’t always be around to save him/her.”
  • “One day, he/she won’t need you anymore.”
  • “You can’t cheat death.”
  • “You can’t hide forever.”
  • “They’ll find out the truth eventually.”
  • “That person is only holding you back.”
  • “They’re too good for you.”
  • “You’ll be rewarded for your efforts if you keep trying.”
  • “It will get better.”
  • “You look lonely.”
  • “You look bitter.”
  • “You look tired.”
  • “You’re hiding a painful burden.”
  • “You’re perfect.”
  • “You’re beautiful.”
  • “You will always be worthless.”
  • “Your hands are too dirty, too tainted to be clean.”
  • “You’re lost in this world. Wandering without a purpose.”
  • “You’ll rise above them all.” 
  • “You’ll find your place in this world.”
  • “Eventually, someone will knock you off your pedestal.”

A thing I’m thinking tonight is how a lot of the current discourse seems to assume that someone must be Evil and Inhuman and Completely Incapable of Being Reasoned with in order for you to make the decision to cut them out of your life and community.

Like. It feels like a big part of the drive to declare horrible groups as having lost their status to be considered human beings is because people don’t know how to deal with humanity in the people that hurt them; humanity in people that do horrible things.

They have to be not worthy of basic human rights, they have to be not worthy of being within the rules of society, because otherwise you can’t be as cold to them as you need to be for your own safety and well-being.

So here’s a thing.

I love my dad. I believe that he loves me. And I spent *years* thinking this meant he couldn’t possibly be “really” abusing me or I couldn’t possibly be “really” that unhappy.

And my dad, my dad. My dad is a *champion* gaslighter. My dad can make you think up is down. My dad can make you apologize for that thing he did. My dad can make you question your own memory, your own judgement, your own motivations.

People compliment me sometimes, on the thorough way I construct arguments, on how meticulously I go through point by point, addressing every possible angle– and I don’t think these people know that that was the only way I ever learned how to believe my own viewpoints–was when I built my case like a lawyer and closed all the loopholes and carefully documented every single scrap of evidence so I would be sure– sure– *sure.*

And I spent so very long trying wishing for that evidence that would prove he was Really Bad or he Really Didn’t Care or he Really Intended to Hurt Me with those things he did. I had stories in my head of what would finally let me make that break, let me make him not a person, let me make him someone I didn’t love, who didn’t love me.

So here’s the thing.

You don’t need a reason other than that you’re hurting.

You don’t have to know they can’t be reasoned with to not reason with them.

You don’t have to know that they don’t deserve compassion to not offer them yours.

You don’t have to know that their motivations are evil–you don’t have to scry their intentions like tea leaves at all. You can just know that you want to be happy, and that you’re not. You can just know that what you need is incompatible with what they do.

If you’re looking for a reason to go, you can go.

And the thing is, you really *don’t* have to deny their humanity, and you definitely don’t have to abandon your own. You don’t even have to stop loving them, if you don’t want to.

There is no cruelty required to say “enough.” There is no hatred or violent offense needed to draw your line and defend it. There is no obligation from you to either love or to not love, and regardless of either, you do not have to act on it.

Their own love, their intentions, their kindnesses, their complex humanity does not buy them any part of you. You do not owe them your company, you do not owe them your time or attention or your engagement with their arguments–you do not owe them your self.

You can hate, if you want, but you do not have to.

They can be human, and complicated, and worthy of many things beyond basic human dignity, but you do not have to be the one to give those things to them.

There are a million million humans on this planet. They can be one of them.

They can be human and that’s it.

That can be all they get. They can have their life, and their choices, and their ability to be kind or cruel, to be loved or hated, to befriend of drive away. They can have every dignity that you believe that every human in this world should have, and there does not have to be a single one of them that requires you to let them hurt you, to let them hurt others, to let them have anything from you that you do not whole-heartedly want to give.

You can protect yourself. You can go after what you need.

Because you’re a human, too. And they don’t have have to acknowledge that for it to be true.

2

“Peasants love their Saints. They hunger for the miraculous. And yet they do not love the Grisha. Why do you think that is?”
“I hadn’t thought about it,” I said. I opened the book. Someone had written my name inside the cover. I flipped a few pages. Sankt Petyr of Brevno. Sankt Ilya in Chains. Sankta Lizabeta. Each chapter began with a full-page illustration, beautifully rendered in brightly colored inks.
“I think it is because the Grisha do not suffer the way the Saints suffer, the way the people suffer.”

Alice in Wonderland!VoltronAu

“We’re all mad here.”

Shiro is a particular cheshire cat, sometimes he is really kind and gentle with everyone, and other times he is kind of cruel. People call this bitter side : Kuro. This sound crazy but ,well, we’re all mad here!

Lance / Keith / Allura / Coran / Hunk / Pidge