horror wear

Piper and Annabeth talking and the topic of their boys cooking comes up and pipers like “yah Jason’s pretty hot when he cooks” and Annabeth has flashbacks to Percy wearing a revolting blue apron and those ugly fish oven mitts and she’s just like “Percy’s can be hot sometimes I guess”

the Woody Collective is the kind of thing an edgelord creepypasta lurker would dream up and write about in the most ham-fisted way. an eldritch horror wearing the face of a beloved kids’ movie character and slowly absorbing the wicked into its every-growing mass? you can’t tell me that, under normal circumstances, that wouldn’t rank up there with all those “terrifying lost/banned episodes of kids shows” stories. yet here we are. the Woody Collective is here, and it is a thing of both infinite horror and infinite beauty

Trying to ask a person if they like HIM is one of the most difficult things ever...

Me: Do you like HIM?
Them: Who?
Me: HIM
Them: Who? *looks around* Him? *points at person*
Me: No! H.I.M
Them: WHO!?
Me: THE BAND HIM THE BAND IS CALLED HIM
Them: OH…WHO THE FUCK NAMES A BAND HIM!?
Me: .

I submitted a student a while back, the one with gold in her eyes whose family joked that she wasn't human. She's back! (I am sorry for taking liberties, it's just that I love this whole thing.)

They watch her in horror.

She does not wear iron (Her mother’s stories and beliefs were right, it seems. Iron hurts her in a way she does not want to explain.) and the rules her sister taught her all seem to cause her more trouble than it’s worth. Salt damages her hands, makes her bleed and sore, and so she goes without.

She does not carry the protections that the others do and seeing someone so easily disregard the safety measures makes them nervous. She walks in places they are terrified of, alone and unharmed, and no one wants to question why. The gold in her eyes flashes in the darkness and she carries a book in her arms. Pages and pages of drawings, of things seen in her dreams and a world she knows more intimately than her own.

(Her mother still writes her letters, but they treat her as if she never held any power over her.)

(It would seem that the jokes were truths and never something to be laughed at.)

Her golden rings, worn in her eyes, expand until the blue is all but gone. The effect is striking and some believe her to have been replaced but she is the same as she ever was. There was no replacement for her, no sweet words luring her off into Their world.

Her world.

She is stuck between the two and being as odd as she is does her no favors. Too much humanity in her spirit to be right as a Them, too much Other to belong to humans. Trapped in between, this is where she belongs.

(One day, far into the future, she will be faculty and no one will ever tear her from Elsewhere. This is her home now, and she will remain.)

One girl watches her, eyes pinned on her hands as she draws, and she sighs. An audience is not what she wanted. Everyone chooses how to react to her, of course, but she wishes that some would choose to ignore, like everyone else.

The girl approaches her and she looks up, meeting eyes similar to her own, cat pupils and orange. “You have a wonderful talent,” the girl says softly. She recognizes her now, realizes that she looks like someone who isn’t there anymore.

One of Them, one who wanted to be in the world for a while.

“You praise my talents,” she says quietly. Never say Thank You, the rules echo in her head. She wonders if the rules apply to someone who has always belonged.

Both of them grin, two sets of teeth too sharp for humans.

They are never seen apart again.

(Stories will be told of them, to be sure, but they will always be phrased as, ‘Did you meet the professor’s wife yet?’)

[x]

Male privilege & a basket of tampons

Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later. And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I’ll explain.

The party was a house party. One of those parties people throw if they’re renting a good-sized house in college. You know the type—loud music, Solo cups of beer, and somebody doing something drunk and stupid before the end of the night.

At some point, my friend had occasion to use the bathroom. When he went into the bathroom, he was disgusted to see that the hostess had left a basket of feminine hygiene products on the counter for guests to use if needed.

Later, when my friend told me about it, he wrinkled his nose and said, “Why would she do that? Guys don’t want to see that!”

When I suggested that she was just making them available in case a woman needed them, he insisted that they could be left in the cabinet or under the counter. Out of sight, anyway.

I wish I’d had, at the time, the ability to articulate what I can now.

To me, this situation is, while relatively benign, a perfect example of male privilege.

A man walks into the bathroom and sees a reminder that women have periods. And he’s disgusted. He wants that evidence hidden away because it offends his senses. How dare the hostess so blatantly present tampons and pads where a man might see them? There’s no reason for that!

A woman walks into the bathroom and sees that the hostess is being extra considerate. She gets it. She knows what it’s like to have a period start unexpectedly. The feeling of horror because she’s probably wearing something she doesn’t want ruined—it is a party after all. The sick embarrassment because someone might notice, especially if she’s wearing light-colored clothes, or worse, sat on the hostess’s white couch. The self-conscious, semi-nauseated feeling of trying to get through a social event after you’ve exhausted every avenue to get your hands on an emergency pad or tampon, and you’re just hoping to God that if you tie your jacket around your waist—you brought one, right?—keep your back to a wall, clench your buttcheeks, squeeze your thighs tightly together, and don’t…move…at…all—you might get through the evening, bow out gracefully, and find an all-night convenience store with a public restroom.

Or maybe she came to the party during her period, but didn’t bargain for her flow to suddenly get that heavy. Or she desperately needs a tampon, but her purse is in a room where a couple is not to be disturbed. Maybe she doesn’t know the hostess well enough to ask if she can use one. Or she doesn’t know anyone at the party well enough to ask. Or she figures she can make do with some wadded up toilet paper or something.

Whatever the case, she walks into the bathroom, and she hears the hostess saying “Hey, I know what it’s like, and just in case, I’ve got your back.”  She sees someone saving her from what could be a minor annoyance or a major embarrassment.

The hostess gets it. The woman who just walked into the bathroom? She’s either going to see that the person throwing the party is super considerate, or she’s going to be whispering thanks to Jesus, Krishna, and whoever else is listening because that is a basket full of social saviors.

But to the guy who wrinkled his nose, it’s still offensive that those terrible little things are on the counter, reminding his delicate sensibilities that the playground part of a woman is occasionally unavailable due to a gross bodily function that he should never have to think about.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a tiny thing. It’s a tiny annoyance for the man, and a more significant but relatively tiny courtesy for the woman. After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have.  As a woman whose life is partially governed by a fickle uterus that can ruin an evening faster than a submerged iPhone, his story has stuck with me.

How can you be so offended by a small gesture that has zero effect on you, but could make such an enormous difference to the person who needs it?

It occurs to me now that this is a small but effective illustration of how men and women see the world. It’s part of the same thought process that measures a woman’s value through her bra size and her willingness to have sex with him—that everything about us is displayed or hidden based on how men perceive them or what he wants to get from us. Unattractive women should be as covered as possible, while attractive ones shouldn’t be hiding their assets from male eyes (or hands, or anything else he wishes to use).

A woman who isn’t smiling is an affront to him because it detracts from her prettiness, despite the fact that there might be a legitimate reason for her not to smile (or more to the point, that there isn’t a legitimate reason for her to smile). Her emotional state is irrelevant because she’s not being pretty. It’s the line of thinking where a man blames anything other than cheerful sexual consent on the woman being a bitch, being a lesbian, or—naturally—being on her period. Everything we do, from our facial expressions to our use of hygiene products, are filtered through the lens of “how it looks to a man.”

It’s the line of thinking where a small gesture from one woman to another, an assurance that someone else understands and will help her without question or judgment, a gesture which could save a woman’s evening from being ruined, is trumped by a man’s desire to see an untainted landscape of pretty, smiling women with visible cleavage and vaginas that never bleed.

And people wonder why we still need feminism.